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Showing posts from 2015

Friday 5

Five Thoughts 1. The Random 5 link up no longer exists, apparently, so I am joining up with EmmyMom for her Friday 5 instead.     2. I don't have a Weekly Wrap-up this week because WE ARE ON CHRISTMAS BREAK! That's not entirely true, because we did finish up some reading this week and hosted our enrichment class where we did a Get in the Scrap activity using primary resources (a program through the National World War II Museum) and signed Christmas cards to sent to Sa'fyre . 3. Brynne has a basketball tournament this weekend, starting tonight, and she found out that with one player injured and another not able to make it to tonight's game, she has to play point guard. She is not at all happy about this because it is so out of her comfort zone! We just keep telling her we believe in her and are hoping for the best. 4. My evenings right now consist of reading a really good book, The Good Sister by Drusilla Campbell, and binge watching Season 2 of When

Wednesday Hodgepodge

What's your biggest 'first world' problem? It's probably that I can't hardly get into my bedroom closet right now with all of the Christmas gifts that are piled in there needing to be wrapped. Each year Time Magazine names a 'Person of the Year', someone who has 'for better or worse ... done the most to influence the events of the year.' It was recently announced they've named Angela Merkel as Person of the Year for 2015. Your thoughts? If you were in charge, who would you declare Person of the Year? She is certainly an interesting woman, and it's nice to have a selection of 'Person of the Year' bring to light the life of someone I don't know anything about who is doing so much. I am also glad that the recipient is someone who has done good . I do not agree with giving the recognition to someone who has done bad to influence the world. That, to me, seems to be what the bad person would be working to accomplish. Do y

Tuesday Coffee Chat

It's the last Tuesday Coffee Chat of the year, and I'm afraid it's not going to be a pretty one. Gird your loins, folks, I have an opinion about something. Naughty or Nice? No Rules: Just have Fun with This! Let's get me out of the way. Have I been Naughty or Nice this year? I've had my ups and downs, like always. I have tried to be the best daughter of the King, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, aunt, woman I can be, and have failed miserably at times. I really do try to do all things with the best intentions, but even the best laid plans go awry. I am not unhappy with my behavior this year, but I certainly have room for improvement. We all do. Now onto the We all do ... The world is Naughty.  It's hard to find hope and joy in these uncertain times. We have to look hard! Each and every day I literally ask myself multiple times: What in the world is going on? Where do you start? What do you try to fix first? We are in a downhill spiral as

Weekly Wrap-up ~ It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Break!

We aren't quite on Christmas Break yet, but we probably will be after tomorrow. We only have two more chapters in two separate read alouds ( My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis), and Eli has about 40 pages left in his book. Brynne finished the 6th book in the original Warriors series by Erin Hunter and was so eager to start the next 6-part saga in this series that we purchased the next book for her to read on the iPad. She just couldn't wait to get started, and in three days she has read 3/4 of it. Eli plans to get his book finished today, and we'll probably finish up our other reading tomorrow. And then I am calling it CHRISTMAS BREAK! We will then be on break until January 18th. Yay! We had a difficult time staying motivated last week, with our break so close, but managed to get in a good number of hours. Our focus was on grammar, spelling, multiplying fractions, watching CNN Student News, and reading. We did do

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Many families have a story they love to tell every year around a holiday. Does your family have one? Are you the star of that story, or does another family member take center stage? Share your story if you want. One involved our Christmas tree being chucked into the yard with some spicy words being said and another involved a run-in with scalding apple cider. Both involved our family trip to the Christmas tree farm trying to capture that perfect family moment. Let's just say we now go to the tree lot at the hardware store and grab a tree. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion? Um, no. But, I do find that I speak my opinion less and less these days. If it's not my direct business, I don't want to be involved. Nobody seems to listen to advice they ask you to give anyway, so I rarely choose to give any. I find that most people offering their opinion are giving a negative one, and we just don't need anymore negativity in the world than we already have. Convers

Tuesday Coffee Chat

Random Acts of Kindness. We are doing them again this year! How do you spread Christmas cheer? I almost skipped this one today because, well, I don't really have an answer. But then I realized that I do have an answer. This time of year we do the basics in giving Christmas gifts to a child in need, donating food, keeping the Pay It Forward going at a restaurant, giving generous tips, etc. But I don't have the list of things we are going to do as a family to bless others. Honestly? this year I just feel a need to take extra good care of my own people. It has been a big and exhausting year for us. There have been a lot of great things that have happened, like Kyndal and Collin getting married, Dawson graduating from high school and starting college, Rick making arrangements with his job to be here with us half of the month instead of just on the weekends. The little kids have had a great year with school and activities and friends. We have all been healthy. It's

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Last Week

Yes, we had a full week of school last week. I just could never get myself to sit down to write about it. This will be short and sweet, to get things documented. We took off week before last for Thanksgiving, and had a perfect week of family and good food. Getting back into school is always difficult after a break, but we managed to do alright. We learned about landforms, and the kids really got into their project. From various videos they learned about mountains, lakes, ponds, canyons, valleys, islands, volcanoes, plateaus, deserts, and plains. Then they got to work with salt dough and paint. In our WWII enrichment class the kids started on a no-sew blanket to donate to an active-duty soldier. While some worked, others read out loud from our book The Victory Garden . We did lots of reading: Our Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (both read alouds); A goosebumps book (Eli); and, The Darkest Hour by Erin Hunter (B

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special Monday night? Who's your favorite Peanuts character and why? "Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellent therapy for  a troubled mind." (Linus) Would you agree? No we didn't watch it on Monday, and I heard they had a 50th anniversary special before it. I am bummed that we didn't see that because we are HUGE Peanuts fans, especially Eli. In fact, I wore my Peanuts shirt yesterday. We did purchase the Holiday Collection dvd that has the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas specials on it because, surprise surprise, we often miss when it is coming on. We are going to see "A Charlie Brown Christmas" play in December as a family, and are all really looking forward to that. My favorite character is Peppermint Patty. I just think it's sweet how much she is in love with Charlie Brown ("Chuck") but is such a tomboy that she treats him like a guy would treat one o

Tuesday Coffee Chat

It's Giving Tuesday. Will you Participate? Honestly, I didn't know there was such a thing as Giving Tuesday . But, it's a great concept! We don't have any plans to give specifically today. But we do try to be mindful of those in need, especially during the Christmas season, and here are a couple of things we are doing this year. Turkey Trot 5K . I registered for and ran in a 5K on Thanksgiving morning to benefit a nearby children's therapy center. That is a good way to give, if you are a runner. I am certain there will be lots of Christmas-themed races this month. You can locate races in your area at Running in the USA . Salvation Army Angel Tree . We always try to donate gifts to some sort of gift giving organization every year. This year we purchased gifts for an 8 year old little girl off of the tree at Walmart. Just look in the entrance of many stores for an Angel Tree , grab your angel, and purchase the gifts. My kids are spoiled for Christmas, so

Wednesday Hodgepodge

What's something you wish you knew how to do, but feel like it's too late to learn? It's never too late to learn to do something you want to know how to do. I've always wanted to know how to sew. Your least favorite thing to shop for? Why? Good deals on clothes. I love clothes and I love good deals even more.  Oops. Read that question wrong the first time. I love to shop. I can't think of anything I don't like to shop for. Maybe bathing suits? Just because ick .... someone had that same one on without underwear before me. Thankfully, other than top size, I can pretty much just buy the same size bottoms these days without having to try them on first. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were growing up? Thanksgiving is still pretty much the same. We spend time with family and eat a lot. Now that I have my own family, though, we DVR the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade so that we don't have to get up early to

Tuesday Coffee Chat - This or That

I am thankful for a mindless Tuesday Coffee Chat this week. We have some heavy things going on in our family, so my brain cells are a little limited. Here we go ... Heels or Sneakers ... Honestly, heels, but not dressy pumps, stilettos, etc. I have a high arch in my foot so a heeled boot feels so much better to me than a pair of tennis shoes. If I am wearing yoga pants or a hoodie and jeans and want to wear sneakers, I will wear them for a while. But once I get home I put on a pair of slippers instead. Sneakers are not comfortable to me long-term. But I can wear a pair of heeled boots all day, even shopping, without any problems. Coke or Pepsi ... Makes no difference to me. I do like Diet Coke, but can drink a Diet Pepsi just as easily. Instagram or Flickr ... Definitely IG, all day every day (@nikki_taulman). Tomboy or Girlie Girl ... Neither. I am definitely somewhere right in the middle. Nap or Read ... Now that one is not fair! If it is nap time, I might start ou

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Nothing Basic About It

You know how the last few weeks we have been home all the time and have really worked on the basics, those core subjects? Well, last week we were home pretty much all week, but nary a basic core subject was touched. We took off for Thanksgiving Break starting last Friday. Since we were at a stopping point in several subjects and didn't want to start any new lessons with the upcoming break, we did more reading, lots more science, and delight-directed learning. Plus, I have had some raging fall seasonal allergies going on and felt pretty cruddy all week. A constant sinus headache is so draining, so the kids doing lots of extra reading and primarily independent work was especially helpful last week. Schoolwork One biggie was finishing Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury and then watching the movie. This was an excellent book that fit in perfectly with our studies of WWII. The movie was just as outstanding, and I will have a review of it on the blog next week. Also b

Wednesday Hodgepodge

What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general? Not much surprises me, unfortunately. But I guess the lack of care that people have of their own environment does baffle me. I just don't understand why you wouldn't want to have a well-kept home and yard, children who are truly loved and disciplined, pets that are cared for, a nurtured personal appearance. It's just a lack of care. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year ... awesome sauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fat berg, fat shame, angry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable. Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find the most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say outloud? Which word would you most likely to use in a conversation? I am not saying I will not ever use one of these words in conversation, or even that I haven't. But just becaus

Tuesday Coffee Chat

In the wake of the Paris tragedy, today's Tuesday Coffee Chat prompt is timely ... What do you hope to be remembered for? As I get older I realize how unimportant so many things are in this world. And one of those things is what other people think of me. I have just come to a place in my life where I don't sit and worry about it. I mean, I want to be a positive influence in the lives of others, bringing light and joy to their lives. I guess I hope that others see me as someone who has a strong faith and tries to live it out to her fullest, who has successes in that endeavor and who pushes through the failures. Chances are others will focus more on the failures. But, that's okay. Because, I think, in the end they will come to the conclusion that I am a fighter who never gives up. The things I am willing to die on a mountain for have decreased over the years. Maybe I don't have the stamina and energy, maybe I have become calloused, or maybe I really do live by t