May 29, 2008

Task completed!

Yippee, my mind is at ease! All of the curriculum for next year has been purchased and arrived.

I can now relax and enjoy the summer. I have even setup files in my mail program to organize things that come in so that I can look at them later in the summer if the correspond with what we will be doing in the fall. I think I will be turning my curriculum brain off! Of course I am waiting to see if I get a request for a portfolio or not from the school district ~ I have decided that if they don't request one I will not be sending one! Hope all of your planning goes as smoothly as mine has!!!

May 28, 2008

Breaking News

She babbles incessantly, has cut her second tooth, wants to eat everything, will be one in 2 weeks and is now:

We are sooooo done for!!!

May 26, 2008

Summer Vacation?

Everyone has been asking me lately, "When does school get out for you guys?"

This is a difficult question for me to answer because I am rather torn right now. I have always felt that summer was really a waste of time ~ don't get me wrong, I don't think kids should be chained to their desks in classrooms 5 days a week 52 weeks a year, but I homeschool so I don't really think they should be chained to desks period. I do however think that the 3 months that they are off in the summer leads to three months of review in the fall. At PS they generally don't start learning anything new until after Christmas break and that was one of the reasons that KM used to get so bored with school. We have always done workbooks, projects, field trips and of course TONS of reading in the summer and during other vacation breaks before we started homeschooling, that is just what we did in order to keep KM entertained and engaged during these break times. So here is where I am torn, I don't want to waste the summer, but I don't want to overwhelm her, and I would like some more relaxed time. I know I am not the only one out there wondering the same thing because lots of newbie homeschoolers have been asking this same question on lists lately.

When I asked KM what she wanted to do she said "Can't we just do what we have always done?" So that is the plan we are going with. This will be our last week of full-time homeschooling, then we will be on summer break. By Friday she will have completed the full 5th grade curriculum on Time4Learning and we will be starting some starting our "Homeschooling Lite." We will be doing review of math daily, lots of reading, LOTS of outings, and I think we will try out my latest discovery ~ lapbooking. I guess that sums up what we will be doing. Of course we will continue to post all of our adventures here.

What are your families plans for the summer? Do you do any "schoolwork" over the summer? How long of a break do you take? Let some newbies learn from the wisdom of those who have been around a bit longer!

May 25, 2008

Day of Art & Music

We had a great afternoon with some friends attending the Spring Planting Moon Pow-Wow & Crafts Festival today ~ ~ the kids had a great time. One of the other mom's said to KM "I wish my music classes were this much fun when I was in school!" Which put a smile on her face.

KM could not get over how detailed their beadwork was and kept commenting on how much patience they must have to make such precise pieces. The intertribal ceremonies were incredible and the drum circles was a fantastic site as well. She got some great photos of some of the formal tribal attire.

May 23, 2008

The cost of everything!

Just about every blog that I have been on lately has had some reference to the astronomical prices of gases and how it is effecting their families. I really don't like to get political in general and though we have had to make some changes along with everyone else, I thought I would bring to light a story that I heard from my neighbor.

Now we all know oil prices are high as well. Most of our neighbors all use different oil companies and are on scheduled deliveries. Luckily most of us also have wood burning stoves or fireplaces so we don't tend to need fills up as often as others do. I am very fortunate that we have had the same oil company since I was little so we have a wonderful family rapport with them. They are great about calling when the prices drop down and asking if we would like a top off at the lower rate or if we are scheduled for a delivery they will call and say hey the price just shot up if you can wait until next week it may drop down. Unfortunately my neighbors company seems to not be as family friendly. She is on a budget plan, so that she pays a monthly price for the entire year so that she doesn't get whacked with a huge bill come January. I think anyone could understand that this years budgets were going to be off as no one really thought it was going to stay cold for so long or that the prices would sky rocket to over $135 a barrel. So when she got her last oil delivery of the season earlier this week (we are all hoping that these tanks will get us through the summer) she was shocked that not only did she have a $900 balance, but their had been a $25 delivery surcharge added to the last three deliveries because of the cost of gas. I nearly fell over ~ are they expecting us to go pick up our oil? How in the world can a company that has always delivered a product - there is no other way to get all of a sudden without any warning to their costumers be allowed to charge extra? That is our wonderful government for you! If that had been someone on a very restricted income - social security for instance- that $25 surcharge could mean the difference between oil or medicine or food. I just don't get it.

I have also noticed that the prices of just about EVERYTHING is increasing. At first most people didn't notice, but even the comfortable are starting to notice a huge difference. We depend way to much on oil-based products to get us what we need. How about your family - what types of buckle-tightening have you had to put into place?

May 22, 2008

Card time again -

I was spoken to earlier this week about making sure that I am doing Reiki as often I can. The more you use it, the more comfortable you feel with it. The more you use it, the more others become more comfortable with it. The more you use it, the more you help to heal the earth.

This evening at the end of yoga I picked a card from the deck and got one that reiterated the positive effect of energy and light on healing the world. Guess I should be listening!!!
I found this poem that I think very eloquently and simply explains what Reiki is for those who are unaware. ~ Maybe me spreading the awareness will make up, at least a little bit, for not having used it as much as I should as of late.

May 20, 2008

McCain's YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare

I was watching last weeks Boston Legal on my DVR and running through my blog roll when I came across this clip posted on a fellow bloggers site! Just thought I would share!
CJ says he is going to start a write-in campaign for Denny Crane!

May 19, 2008

There is always a reason!

OK so I know that I had been complaining about the TeachingTextbook site being down on Saturday, well Sunday it was still down! I was so frustrated because I really just want to have all the curriculum for the fall decided on and purchased so that I don't really have to think about it until August! I feel like I have spent the last 5 months doing nothing but scouring the net and questioning people about what is the best for this subject or that as there is no way that I could just use a "box set" with KM and have it work. So I had thought after she took the placement test on Saturday I could finally be done with all of it ~ for now anyway.

Well there really is a reason for everything! Right after I tried to get onto the site and it said it was still down for maintenance, I checked my email and had a reminder from ebay that an auction I had been watching was ending soon. I clicked on the link and there it was - YIPPPEEE! The Pre-Algebra set that I had been trying to buy. It had 13 minutes left and it was going for 60 dollars less than the original price!!! I also had a $5 off shipping coupon so the shipping only cost me $3 with insurance! If the site had not been down on Saturday and I had gotten that email on Sunday I would have been FURIOUS with myself! So I apologize for cursing out everyone that I did for the site being down on Saturday and would like to thank whomever was watching out for my finances in such a delightful way!

The ironic thing is that I had only been watching the Teaching Textbooks auctions to see if the resale value was going to be worth it for me to have her write in the consumable book or not. I will be having her use a notebook and act as though the consumable book is a textbook. Less waste and production cost that way and then I can allow someone else the same benefit of the reduced recycling reusing rate! 3Rs of course!

May 17, 2008

Doesn't it always figure!!!

KM took her placement test for next year's math as we are strongly leaning towards using the Teaching Textbooks series. She really liked the demos and the way they break down the specific problem if you get it wrong, not just one that is similar to it, so that it is easier to see where you made the mistake. I think that it will keep her engaged better than just using a textbook and me at the whiteboard as well.
So she took the test and passed it to start out in Pre-Algebra (yippee), but of course the site has been down all day! I have heard that this time of year most of the educational sites hit bumps in the road but this is crazy how many sites have been down these past two weeks. - I can't imagine what it would be like to try to order things last minute in August. Of course most of you know there is no way I could be sane all summer if I didn't know for sure what we are doing next year!

May 16, 2008

Book Connection

KM has been volunteering for the last few months at the library on Fridays during the 3-6yr old story and craft time. She goes in each week after lunch and helps set up the crafts for the kids and then helps clean up after the kids are done. She loves being around and helping littler kids so this has been a great thing for her.

Today however they were working on shifting the books and organizing the shelves so Miss J. asked if she would be interested in helping with this while she was reading the books to the children. She was so excited that the librarian trusted her to help with this task!

She has also been reading a lot lately - this seems to happen whenever the weather gets warmer around here. She loves to take a book to one of the back porches and sit there all afternoon. She will often have multiple books going at the same time as well, but seems to manage to keep them straight. Since she has been reading so ferociously lately when we arrived at the library today she proudly brought a large bag of books to the main circulation desk to donate. She figured that way if she wants to read it again it will be there and of course other kids would be able to enjoy the books.

I often wonder if children understand their place in a community and how working together makes things so much easier. I am glad that at least for today KM could feel she fit into a larger scope and that she helped the community even in this small way!

May 15, 2008

Home Schooling Truly Free

This is an amazing inspirational message from a young adult's point of view that I really wanted to share:
This was a writing assignment prompted by these HomeschoolSoup newsletters. It was written by a 15 year old homeschool student. Aside from it being one of the more touching messages I've ever read, consider it a powerful open letter to all children and parents thinking about homeschooling.

This is an incredibly insightful young woman! Hope you enjoy it!

May 14, 2008

Art With Dad

We had a wonderful day yesterday visiting LP and OR. When we came home though KM noticed that there was one thing left on the schedule that didn't get done, so after dinner:

KM had had these shirts in a drawer just waiting to be drawn on!

They were very creative!

And of course as with every art project CJ does:

Jenna the Jeep had to make an appearance!

I must say that he is the art & I am the craft - (in more ways than one really)!

I am great at making things and am soooo not at drawing, coloring and painting. Just another way we fit together to make the whole!

May 13, 2008

New Favorite Quote

I’ve seen the village, and I don’t want it raising my child! - Anonymous

This quote has been appearing everywhere I turn lately and I love it!!!
I have tried to research where it came from but have not been able to find out. If anyone knows please share!

Here is a great article that was sent around today and it also has this quote so I thought it would be fitting to share!

May 12, 2008

Nice Diversion

Some days a change of pace is all that is really needed!

We have been spending Mondays with our local group hiking, but the weather was far to iffy and windy as the trail today was right on the ocean and we had SC. Now don't get me wrong we have completely loved the hikes, but it was nice to kinda go off the track. We got work done very quickly this morning, SC took a very short nap (OF COURSE), so we decided to run some errands and have a nice lunch out. We went to KM's favorite little restaurant for chowder and sandwiches. I had forgotten how much people LOVE babies. All the older customers were coming over and talking to SC. She is such a happy little bugger, but she is LOUD!!! Luckily no one minded that she was screeching like a little monkey. I honestly think that one of the best gifts that homeschooling has given our family is the wonderful connection that these two little cousins have with each other. KM adores SC and vice versa. They are so funny together and they would not have seen each other for more than an hour or two each week if she was in PS still. We are going off track tomorrow as well - the 3 of us are going to visit LP and my other little niece OR! This should be interesting to see what the 18 month old decides to teach the 11 month old and how the 10 year old will deal with 2 of them running around. I will let you know how LP & I survive the 3 of them!

May 11, 2008

Just wanted to send wishes in hopes that every mom has a wonderful day of feeling fully appreciated!!!

May 10, 2008

Sad Moments

This can be a difficult time of year for so many around me who have lost their mothers. It is a horrible club to be part of, but know that you are not alone and they are always watching out for us! I came across this quote and I thought it was very fitting for how I feel the day before Mother's Day.

Because I feel that in the heavens above

The angels, whispering one to another,

Can find among their burning tears of love,

None so devotional as that of "Mother,

"Therefore, by that dear name I have long called you,

You who are more than mother unto me.

—Edgar Allan Poe

When my mother got sick 2 years ago, we all thought she will push through, she will get better. She started the treatments and she was so full of fight and life, we thought there is no way this is going to take her down. Quickly we saw that was not the case. Within 3 months she was gone. All of our lives were so changed over that very short timespan. We will never be the same family without her here, but we try. We barrell through! We see her face whenever my neice smiles ~ Noni would have loved her so. We think of her so often, of the things she would have said, what she would have done, how she would have fixed things. My sister and I not only lost our mother that day - the only true mother either of us ever had - we lost our best friend, the only person we felt ever unconditionally loved us, the one that we could say how much we hated her and she would say nothing but "I Love You too!" She knew all of our secrets. All the stories that held all of us together. She was not perfect, she made her fair share of mistakes as we all do, but I hope one day my daughter will have half the love and respect for me that I hold in my heart for her!

We Love and Miss you every minute Noni!

May 7, 2008

A great day to meet new friends!

We had the first meeting of the environmental club KM wanted to get going today.

We had less attendants than we thought we would, but things happen & it turned out to work out ~ much easier to get 5 kids to agree rather than 10 without a doubt!

They even had plenty of time for some fun!

Thanks to all who could make it and all who tried!

May 6, 2008

Great blog article!!

You have to read this fantastic blog article I found tonight:

I love finding blogs like these!

Losing Interest

I realized last night ~ when I choose to fold the laundry while listening to my MP3 player ~ that television has not been holding my interest AT ALL! Even when I have it on lately I am not really paying attention to it, it is just on for the noise. I have been watching some movies here and there, but the shows that I LOVED last season, just aren't holding my attention. I have rekindled my attraction to all things Jane Austen as PBS has had her movies on lately. Really it is an infatuation with all things British. CJ hates it, but of course he has been working a lot lately so maybe that is why I have been headed back in that direction. I also have been "DVRing" ~ I know it is not a word, but what else do you call it ~ a lot of the Independent Lens documentaries. They are always on at really strange times like 3am, ~ does anyone really watch them then? ~ but they are usually really good! So anyway I was just wondering if it was just me or if anyone else has been feeling this way. Is there a show that has kept your interest?

May 5, 2008

I feel so appreciated!

She spent about an hour picking just the right ones!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

There are tons of sites giving away free things this week for Teacher Appreciation Week, but the best one yet is the Learning A-Z group of sites here is the info -

Learning A–Z Open House Starts Today
Teacher Appreciation: Try One Learning A–Z Website a DayThe Learning A–Z Teacher

Appreciation Open House begins today—Monday, May 5. That means anyone, anywhere can get free access to one of the six Learning A–Z websites each day of the week. Today our gift to you is Reading A–Z. Enjoy your choice of thousands of resources: leveled books, lesson plans, and worksheets; poetry books; high-frequency word books; phonics and alphabet worksheets; and reading assessments.

Access Thousands of Books, Lessons, WorksheetsThe websites will be open on the days indicated below, from midnight to midnight Central time.
Monday, May 5:

Tuesday, May 6:

Wednesday, May 7:

Thursday, May 8:

Friday, May 9:

Plus a bonus day—Monday, May 12:

Sign-up Today, and Benefit All Week If you are not already a registered user of one or more of the Learning A–Z websites, just register for Open House ( then visit your My Account page each day to activate the free pass for the appropriate website.
A registered user of any of the Learning A–Z subscription websites can go directly to the
My Account page to collect free passes.

Thank You!Most importantly, enjoy your free time at the Learning A–Z websites and your access to thousands of materials for differentiated instruction. Sharing these resources to help you meet the needs of every student is the best way we know to honor your contributions to children’s education. Thank you for all you do.

The Learning A–Z Staff

This is a fantastic opportunity to check out these sites before you commit to a subscription or to grab a few free downloads here and there. I personally plan on filling my jump drive!

If you hear of any great freebies going on this week please feel free to share and check back for updates and additions!!!

May 3, 2008

Me Time!

Two months ago I received my initiation in the First Degree of the Usui System of Reiki Natural. Since then I have tried several times to sit and go through the paperwork and books to prepare myself for the Second Degree training, but it seemed that every time something happened ~ the phone rang, SC woke up, KM needed help with something, the dryer buzzed - you know the inevitable something that causes every parent to not take time for themselves. This evening - after my sister called 5 seconds after I sat down with my books - I shut the ringer off, blocked out all other things and went over my notes.

I did not get anywhere near as much done as I would have liked, but it felt good to really engulf myself even for a few minutes in something other than next year's curriculum, pre-revolutionary America, 5th grade math or board books. It is often difficult to find time for oneself, but you have to or you are no good to anyone.

You must create a sanctuary for yourself, even if it is just a corner of your room, where you can recharge your own energy. Now this often means different things to different people ~ reading "girl" magazines, doing spa-at-home treatments, scrapbooking, meditating, listening to an audiobook, getting outside and being in the sunshine ~ but whatever your "thing" is, do it!

I have a meditation area in my room that is about 6 by 4 and nothing else is done in that area, but the thing is that I have not done any more than step through the area to grab a book in months! I must get back to my practice to balance things out again. I have bumped my yoga up to two classes a week, I am getting back to my regular daily yoga routine as well and I have scheduled my first shamantic-angelic-reiki session.

I am trying to remind myself on a daily basis that a burnt out mom - leads to a burnt out family!

There was also a quote within my notes that I felt compelled to share:
"Energy can only ground on the one who sends it out, and your job now, each one of you, is to measure carefully your own choices in interaction and step away from those who continue to participate in the darkness and negativity. Love, honesty, and kindness may now need to be tempered with a sense of finality when those in your life do not behave with honor, or choose to stay locked in negative behavior patterns. Justice is taken care of in the flow of energy itself, and will leave you free to move on to better days and wonderful new relationships when you make the choice to walk towards greater peace that you claim for yourself. Like attracts like." - Elaine Read-Cole

Feel free to share your ideas on how to recharge by leaving a comment!

May 2, 2008

Yoga Card

At the end of each yoga class the teacher - one of my very, very good friends - has each of us choose a card from an affirmation deck. It always amazes me how accurate to the moment the cards can be. My card this last night was:

On the reverse side it reads: "I am not restricted by old, limiting beliefs from my family or from society." Quite perfect for any new homeschooler really!