Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Eggs, Ka BOOM, & Gold

^^^^^ Hahahaha - I don't know about you, but I crack myself up with these crazy titles. Some weeks are easy to label & some weeks I am really grasping at straws.

We are taking advantage of a 30 day free trial to Reading Eggs. Makenzie is STILL not reading like I think she should be. I know, I know. It will happen in its own time. She will eventually take off. Everyone is different. BLAH BLAH BLAH 

I KNOW all of this, but I CANNOT relax & just let it happen. So, I'm willing to try just about anything right now.

Back to Reading Eggs, I have let it replace most of her "school work". She is advanced in math so I'm not worried about taking some time off there. Let me just say that this youngin is LOVING this web site! She asks to play on it ALL the time. This, I like.

We haven't been using it long enough to see if it works, but I will keep you informed.

Mars has been our object of study in science. Hey, I even learned a few things. I didn't know that the soil has iron in it thus creating the red in the "Red Planet". I also didn't know (or maybe just didn't remember) that Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the solar system.

We planned an artificial ecosystem & Austin even built one. We also recreated an Olympus Mons eruption!

We spent even more time perfecting (yeah right) the 4H presentations to share on District Day. We had to travel all the way to Greensboro & take up the biggest part of a Saturday for District Day.

I am SO proud of Makenzie! She did her presentation on "Raising Egg Laying Chickens". When she practiced at the 4H office, she forgot EVERYTHING. Not this time! This time she did AWESOME!

But wait, there's more. I'm just as proud of Austin! He talked about "Dirt Bike Safety" and he won GOLD! WHOOP WHOOP! That means he is going to State this summer!

The kids worked on their 20th Century inventions this week, adding things like The Academy Awards, Popeye &; Mickey Mouse comic strips, color TV, movies with film, & every woman's best friend - the automatic dishwasher.

Austin is reading The Train Jumper. Yeah, I know. We are just a little bit behind time with that one, but its still relevant. I wish I had time to read it as well, but no such luck. Maybe this summer.

We are only a few chapters into reading The Cay. This is another one that I have never read so I'll let you know how that one turns out.

We watched The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas over the weekend. This is a pretty heavy story, but this time in history was heavy. There was just so much hatred all around. It's so hard to even comprehend.

I chose not to read The Diary of Anne Frank, but we did find out who she was & the struggles her family went through.

We also read The Little Ships - The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II. The further I read, the more I cried with this one. My kids always look at me funny when I cry while reading. But I just couldn't get past the amazing effort of the "little people" and the sacrifices they make on a daily basis without needing or wanting recognition or compensation.

While we are on that particular topic, I have to address the actions of my oldest son. Two different times this week, Austin has made a few dollars. Right after receiving this money, opportunities have risen where donations were being taken up. Once for a little girl who was sick, the other at church. He has emptied his pockets both times without thinking twice.

I couldn't help but think of the little widow woman in Mark 12 " And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."

How many times do we stop & think before we give to a worthy cause? How many times do we justify a buck because we only have $21? We certainly couldn't put the whole 20 dollar bill in. How many times do we argue or give God excuses because we only have another $100 to last until payday? But how many more times should we give more?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rachel Ray has Nothing On me

Hello out there in blogger land!

Can I just say that I have ROCKED IT for supper this week? Why yes, I do believe I can!!

First, in honor of St Patrick's Day, we made Rainbow Cupcakes! WOW, what fun!! Yes, I had WAY too many dishes to wash, but hey it was worth it!

I also made Loaded Potato Soup since anything potato-ey should be Irish, right?

Justin was out of town all weekend  so we actually waited until Monday to enjoy our delicacies. I don't think the leprechauns were too offended.

One night, I surprised everyone (especially Makenzie - who without batting an eyelash said "I hate that!") with omelets. Might I just state here & now that I have never & I do mean NEVER made an omelet before. I always convince Justin to make them for me!

So I found this handy little recipe on a blog that I follow & quickly pinned it to Pinterest (feel free to follow me there) for Western Omelet Rolls. Now granted, mine didn't turn out that pretty & my eggs stuck BIG TIME, but man was it yummy! Even to the cute little blonde who claimed to hate it before she even tasted it.

Lasagna Roll Ups were also a huge hit this week. This is yet another one that I have pinned. (Don't you just LOVE that site?!)

We have actually ate this before & loved it. I was a little skeptical about all of that spinach. Hey, its green & healthy, I really didn't think my kids would touch it. So I made some with spinach & I made some with hamburger & spaghetti sauce. Believe it or not, they liked the spinach ones better.

YIPEE! Score one for our health!

Let's see what other masterpieces I can create this week. LOL

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Insane Asylum, Ice Cream, and a New Business

We have tried to resume school this week. Really we have. But let me just tell you just in case you don't seem to have this problem. Insanity breeds insanity.

WHAT? You don't have that problem? Well, welcome to my world. Let me introduce you.

Hi, my name is Tracie & I live in what I affectionately call the "Insane Asylum". This is my world. I am the queen. They know me here. And that's how I like it!

Anytime, and I do mean A N Y T I M E that we get off schedule, it takes entirely too long to get back on track.

After the crazy 2 weeks we have just had, I really didn't expect the first part of the week to be too productive. Wait - I think I have said that a few times recently. Oh well.

Through the, uh hum, raising of voices and threatening of lives, we have actually had a decent "school week". We have gotten a lot accomplished and hopefully learned a little as well.

The purchase of a new business extension on Monday did little to ease the stress of our week. Blessed Boutique officially added bottle cap jewelry to our many talents. PLEASE check it out on Facebook & help support us!

Hitler is still an evil man. People are still persecuted just because they are different. We Are the Ship shed some light on a little history of America's favorite past time.

Tuesday brought the next episode of poultry judging.

We went to church early on Wednesday to work on our Easter Centerpiece. As always, I'm a little behind. We decided to put it in Justin's office at church this year. I forgot the crosses so I still have to add them. Here and here are the links from last year. I'll add more pictures as the grass starts to grow.

We have had a few warm sunny days this week, so lunch time involved ice cream and baseball. :) I can't wait till warm weather!

Hey do you know what you get when you give a toddler a rainbow sherbet push up? A colorful sticky mess! Thankfully we ate outside.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Schooling Outside the Box & Night at the Museum

WHEW - man am I TIRED!

I have been set up at a consignment sale for 4 days promoting Blessed Boutique. Let me just first say how thankful I am that God blessed our family through this opportunity!

The kids - ALL 3 kids - have been at my mom's house so I could actually get some work done. This wasn't my first choice, but I didn't have much of an option. Oh well.

I sent their school work with them & amazingly they actually did a little bit. I haven't checked it for accuracy yet though.....

As a family, we all worked on the upcoming performance for Night at the Museum. Makenzie rehearsed her speech over & over and she worked on her poster. We planned out her costume as well. Justin helped Austin or maybe I should say that Austin helped Justin build a model airplane (from scratch).

My boys did an amazing job portraying Wilbur and Orville Wright, even though Orville screamed for his sissy while eating a cookie on stage. Makenzie was the cutest Rosie the Riveter I have EVER seen.

Lady Liberty, Billy Graham, Molly Pitcher, Amy Carmichael, and Raggedy Ann were just a few of the exhibits that came to life. There was even a puppet show depicting Queen Esther's life.

We focused on History & Science the first half of the week since we wouldn't get a chance to do that once the consignment sale started.

We continued our study of the Earth and the Moon in Apologia Astronomy. They thoroughly enjoyed playing with the compass we made and discussing craters and eclipses.

We finished reading A Long Way From Chicago and it was one of the best books we have read this year. We also read Mississippi Bridge and discussed how different times are now and how black people were still treated inferior to whites even though they were free.

Now, I'm going to bed. Did I mention that I was tired?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Who Will See Anyway?

Do you ever feel like someone is watching you?

Do you ever feel like someone is just waiting for you to make a mistake?

I feel like that quite frequently. I have three little pairs of eyes that are always watching me. I have many others that are watching me on a very frequent basis.

I don't always feel like they are waiting for me to mess up as much as they are looking for guidance when they are confused or acceptance when they mess up.

As Christians, more people are watching us than we realize.

The world is watching and waiting. They are curious about our lives and what makes us different. Some are even jealous of our happiness and peace.

I have never claimed to be perfect. I have never claimed to have all the answers. BUT I DO hold fast & firm to the promises of God that I have been forgiven & that HE holds tomorrow. Even when I don't understand, God has a plan.

My mom hasn't attended church regularly since I was a teenager. In fact, I could probably count the times on two hands in 20 years & that even includes funerals.

This is a very difficult subject with me. I have tried and tried to talk to her. I have begged, I have cried, I have gotten angry. She claims to be saved but has no desire to have anything to do with church or God for that matter.

I try not to dwell on her lack of fruit, but sometimes its hard.

My heart was heavy this morning. I have been thinking about the song Celebrate Me Home. I won't be able to celebrate my mother's passing when the time comes. I just don't have the assurance of her salvation.

God's word tells us in Hebrew 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

This conversation came back up tonight - she actually brought it up.
I asked her to help me understand. The only response I kept getting was that she "had her reasons." I asked her if she ever missed church or being around other believers. She said that she had no intention of ever going back. And as far as believers - she had me.

 Oh mercy!  

What a pitiful example she has chose to look to!

 I've heard it said for many years that "you are the only Bible that many people see".  

I don't know about you, but that sure puts a lot of pressure on someone!

Are you living close enough to God that you can positively influence someone's life? Or have you fallen into the pit of despair that too many Christians fall into?  

Will someone be able to say "Thank You for Giving to the Lord"? Or will they think you are just another hypocrite?  

Live your life as a blessing to God. Whether you think anyone is watching or not.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.

"I’m glad we had the times together just to laugh and sing a song, seems like we just got started and then before you know it, the times we had together were gone.”

I just LOVE Dr. Seuss! He was a very smart man who wasn't afraid to laugh at himself or at others when the need arose. He also realized that children are the future & treated them with the respect they deserve.

We celebrated his birthday on Friday. As usual, we went all out. I'm not sure who enjoys this more - me or the kids.

We started the day with Yertle the Turtle Cakes & Grinch Punch. We stacked our pancakes as high as we could before they toppled over. I even let them decorate them with green & blue food coloring. This resulted in the need to rebrush some teeth!

After reading Yertle the Turtle, we compared king Yertle to a few other power hungry dictators from history. Austin was quick to realize that he sounded a lot like Hitler. (It helped that we are on the brink of WWII so its fresh in his mind). I have always thought that Yertle was a dead on impersonation of Satan and his quest to be better than God. Then we made little turtles out of egg cartons.

For lunch, we had Cat in the Hat Pizza. It was devoured in no time.

I chose a few books this year that I have never read before (or at least, I don't remember reading them) as well as a few old favorites.

Yertle the Turtle
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day
The Butter Battle Book
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
I Can Read with My Eyes Shut
The Foot Book
McElligot's Pool
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
And To Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street
Dr. Seuss's ABC

We created new fish that we might someday find while fishing. We thought up strange teachers and designed their classrooms. We made our own feathered hats. I was also able to incorporate math, word searches, cross word puzzles, logical thinking, character training, and history.

We compared The Butter Battle Book with how easily fights can start over the silliest things and escalate into war. This book is great for helping us understand that its ok for someone to be different than us. Then we munched on Apple Butter Battle Shields.

We also enjoyed Lorax cookies and Cat in the Hat Jello throughout the day.

I stayed up late Thursday night working on a rhyming game with Easter eggs and a pocket game that I found HERE. I just fell in love with it, but I found little lapbook pockets that I used instead of the blue construction paper. I'm sure they both will be a hit for years to come.

{you know you are a teacher/homeschool mom when you are cutting and gluing in bed after midnight}

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living."

"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

"How did it get so late so soon?”

Remember the small things mom & make them count! It will be over before you know it!

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Civil Duty, CPR, & Dr. Seuss

What a full & interesting week....

If you read last week's Tales of a Homeschool Nothing, then you already know that I started the week with Jury Duty. Were you anxiously dreading awaiting it as much as I was?

We packed up all of our school books and a few toys & headed to the courthouse just after lunch on Monday. Austin & Makenzie were amazingly well behaved. They camped out in the floor & worked on school. Logan was as well behaved as anyone could expect a 20 month old to be while cooped up in a very quiet, non child friendly room.

We were sworn in, watched our orientation video & handled paperwork, then we were all ushered into a courtroom. The bailiff allowed the kids to stay in a room right beside us so they wouldn't be a distraction. I could still hear Logan hollering "Mommy!" & received several sympathetic looks.

I started to worry as the judge was explaining our duties and obligations when he stressed how important jury service is. He even went so far as to say that "we all go through our everyday lives, running here & there, worrying about our kids & grandkids, that we forget what is really important - like jury duty."


Two hours later, the judge finally asked for hardship reasons why we could not fulfill our obligation to our government. Trust me, I was first in line!

When I explained to the judge that I was the only one available to watch my children due to everyone else around us working full time, he informed me that "we all make time for what is important to us." Yes sir, I realize this. That's WHY I homeschool. Thankfully he agreed to defer my summons.

My kids are still laughing & reciting this scene from How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

Austin took a Safe Sitter class on Wednesday & Thursday this week. He learned pretty much everything that an adult learns to get certified in CPR. He really enjoyed the class & I feel a lot better knowing that he now has the knowledge to help save someone's life should the need ever arise. (Here's praying that it doesn't!)

He said that now he knew how a motorcycle felt in a parking lot full of minivans - LOL!! He was the ONLY boy in the class!

While Austin was in class, I took Logan & Makenzie back to our church instead of driving back home. We made the most of it. Makenzie enjoyed propping her feet on her daddy's desk while she worked.

They also had 4H presentation practice this week. Austin chose to talk about dirt bike safety & Makenzie chose raising chickens. I'm proud of both of them for making an effort towards more involvement.

Friday, we celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday. That is worthy of its own post so check it out here.

Its been an usual week, but I'm thankful that we homeschool & we can make the best of every situation.

I’m Waiting on the Bigger & Better

Sometimes certain people have been in your life so long it’s hard to remember where they came from, how they got there, & even how you l...