Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

May you and yours be blessed with a wonderful Christmas season. 

Please remember our deployed soldiers in your prayers.  Please also remember their families back home missing their soldier and all the spouses and children that are usually sitting on a military base unable to go home for Christmas....they are missing their soldier and their family.

Peace and joy in 2012!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekly wrap up

We took two extra days off this week.  We didn't intend too, but Monkey woke up with a high fever on Thursday and covered in spots.  She wouldn't sleep and finally at 2:30am, I had to wake up Kevin to take her to the Urgent Care center.  I couldn't find my military id and you can't go unless you have it.  He took her and they determined that it was not chicken pox, but a viral infection.  They gave us benadryl to give her.  I slept for about 45 minutes while they were gone and woke up to give her the medicine.  Lucky me, she's one of those kids that gets hyper on benadryl and it was 7:30 before either of us slept.  Thankfully, my big kids shut my door and took care of Little Miss Trouble while I slept for three hours. 

Kevin came home from work at noon and I set out to buy us clothes to wear to his Christmas party that night.  We didn't pack dressy clothes and I'd rather buy than search through a 10x30 foot storage unit that's packed to the ceiling with boxes and furniture.  He's been working 6-7 days a week for 12-14 hours days for the last three weeks, otherwise I would have had this done already.  And, Arby, thanks for the best wishes.  The inspection went pretty well.   I also got a haircut, the first in four months.  I didn't want to go looking like a shaggy dog. 

The party started at 6 with dinner at 7.  This was probably the best food we've ever had at a holiday party.  Dancing and door prizes and I headed home at 10 to put myself and kids to bed.  Thankfully, we're just across the parking lot from the restaurant.  I got home to find that TL had cleaned the entire fifth wheel.  Vaccumed, picked up, and the trash was ready to go out.  I was impressed.  This is not the first time he's done this for us.  I was especially thankful because I was so tired. 

Yesterday, the kids had bowling league and then some friends came over.  We decided to treat ourselves to dinner and then we went to Fresno to Christmas Tree Lane.  It took over an hour sitting in traffic to go down the street and then over an hour to drive down it.  That with a 45 minute drive there and back, it was a long night.  We finally got home at 10:30 and the girls had a sleepover here and TL went to spend the night with his friend.

Woke up this morning and went to the grocery store and then baked 11 dozen cookies for the single sailors.  I'm wiped!!

I don't plan on homeschooling this week.  Unfortunately, I have to still mail out some boxes, get a little shopping done, and do some baking.  I am planning on finishing up the grades for the last six weeks and getting the report cards to the kids.  TL has one more Oregon Trail  class this week on Currclick.  Next session he's going to study Two Towers.  The girls are going to do a class on one of the Little House books.  I've decided to do this because our local homeschooling group is so horrible.  The leaders have high schoolers and the only few activities that are planned are geared for that age group.  I've volunteered and so has several others, to plan stuff for younger ages and its "frowned upon".  They only have two meetings a month and no mother's nights out.  They won't print out a directory so that you could even cold call people with children in your age.  I'm very disappointed.  It wasn't like this when we lived here before.

Anyway, I have lesson plans to work on and some housekeeping homeschooling stuff to do. 

I'm off right now, because Monkey decided to flood the second bath and now I have four loads of sheets and towels to wash.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Homeschooling high school part 2-Credits

Last time I talked about the possibilities of homeschooling through high school.  I discussed the number of credits needed to graduate.  If your child is thinking of going onto college, the most highly recommended schedule is

3-4 credits of math
4 credits of literature, writing, speech
3 credits of science with 1 lab
2-3 of a foreign language
3-4 credits world history, us history, government
2 credits of physical education
1 credit of music, theater, art
other electives

Now, the big question is, what exactly is a credit?  A credit is any course that is studies over 120 hours for the school year.  If you do school 40 weeks and math for 5 days a week for an hour, that's 200 hours and you get a full credit for it.  If you do physical education twice a week for an hour for 40 weeks, then it counts as 80 hours or half a credit.

I still highly recommend Setting the Records Straight by Lee Binz if your still confused about credits.  She has the easiest explanation that I could find.

Next time I will discuss keeping records and writing class descriptions.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hello, hello......anyone there?

I should correctly say, "Look, I'm backkkkk!!!"

Sorry, we've been crazy busy and then I had a week without internet.  A week!!  We have a little box in the camper and our time had been used up.  I quickly checked email a few days and turned it off.  It was nice not to be tied to the computer all day.  I felt like I spent more time with the kids and got more done. 

I'm not sure how my computer addiction started.  When my hubby is deployed that's our only way of communicating.  If we're lucky, we are on at the same time and can email each other back and forth, so I've gotten into the habit of checking the computer a few times a day.  Then, I get sidetracked.

So, I've decided to check it in the morning and night and that's it.  After the holidays, I'm moving back to paper lesson planning.  The computer program works great but its too distracting to me to have it open all day long.  I tried printing out each day and then checking it off but I end up with the same amount of paper I was trying to avoid by using the computer.......

Our camper is decorated.  Took about ten minutes.  The four foot tree is up.  Monkey girl keeps taking all the ornaments off.  I didn't buy nice ones at all, because I knew she'd be doing that.  Maybe next year.  We strung up some lights and it looks a little festive in here.  I'm a little sad not to have all my decorations, but its good.  I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to wrap the kids stuff now.  Daddy may have to take them bowling one day!!  lol

The kids have joined the bowling league here on base.  They're having a blast with it.  Little Miss Trouble gets to start after the new year in the bumper bandits league.  It should be really cute.

I have lots more to post.  I have some more high school stuff to share and photos.  I need to get working on that.  Unfortunately, the kids have been going to bed really late and getting up late.  Daddy's got a huge inspection this week (prayers please for it to go well) and he's been going in at 5am and coming home at 8-9pm so the kids are up to see him. 

Take care!!  Enjoy your shopping and Christmas season!!  I finally have my cards done, I'm usually done on Thanksgiving weekend but I procrastinated this year.  Most of my shopping is done and I need to get boxes out this week to mail.  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

High School???????? post 1

I am less than one year away from having a high schooler in my home.  Oh boy!!

I've been homeschooling since he was in kindergarten, so I'm not threatened by designing or buying curriculum for high school.  I know many people are intimidated by math or science; I say Bring It On!!

I've been stalking websites, reading books, and looking at whatever information I can get my hands on to determine how to keep the records and make transcripts from all that information.

The best book I've found is Setting the Records Straight by Lee Binz.  She has  broken down the information into manageable bits and with humor that makes it an enjoyable read.  I loved looking not only at her transcripts, but the other examples that she has listed in the back of the book.

One thing that I knew that I needed to do, was to lay out a plan of course of study for the next four years.  I know that things will change as TL firms up his interests, but I wanted to have a set course of action.  The first thing I did was lay out the possible classes and credits that he would earn.  Then I compared my list to the list in her book and it was right on.  I took a college-prep program in high school so I designed my plan according to that.  I also added in computer science, because let's face it, I'm old.  We chiseled our papers into stone.  My one semester class in high school consisted of our teacher boring us to death with information about DOS systems (yeah, I went there).  If it wasn't for Pong that was uploaded to our computers (which probably weighed 100 pounds each) we would have drifted off to sleep.  And yeah, I went there with Pong.  If the kids today could only see what we considered fun and enjoyed hours of entertainment with!

Back to credits.  Most high schools require 19-22 credits to graduate.  WA needs 22.  I looked up CA, since we live here now, and they only need 13!!  Are you kidding me?  Nothing like setting the bar really high!!  And they wonder why CA is in the toilet.  I did call the school liason here on the base and she told me that to graduate to go to college, you needed 9-11 more credits........still not required just to graduate though.

The credits that your child needs to graduate is determined BY YOU as the homeschool parent.  Whether it be 18 or 40, its up to you.  I only compared my plan to the state's because I wanted to see how it compared.  Like I said, its up to you to determine how many credits your child needs to graduate from your school. 

I will be discussing this topic on length, in case anyone cares, and hopefully post information on grading, transcripts, course descriptions, CLEP and honors classes, etc.   If there's anything that you want to discuss, let me know and I'll talk about what I've learned.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Two new recipes for today!!

Harvest Apple Dip
8 oz softened cream cheese
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together and beat until smooth.  Slice apples and splash with 7up or lemon juice to keep from browing.

Egg Casserole
1 lb sausage, browned and drained
6 slices bread-cubed
2 cups milk
4-6 eggs
1tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped
ham-optional-1/3 lb thinly sliced and chopped

Spray 9x13 pan.  Mix all together and put into pan.  Refrigerate overnight or 8 hours.  Bake uncovered for 50 minutes to one hour.

Monday, November 14, 2011

School is going well!

Our second term has just started.  I split our school year up into five terms, anywhere from 6-8 weeks long with a week off in between.  Of course, we do field trips then so we try to keep it educational somewhat....shhhhhh!! Don't tell the kids that!

I also decided to alternate weeks with history and science.  We just weren't focusing enough time on each subject.  I didn't enjoy breezing through the material to move onto the next subject.  I'm also hoping this will give us more time for projects.

TL's Oregon Trail class (from Currclick) is going really well.  He wrote his first journal entry and did really well with it.  This week, they're working on their supply lists.  I remember when we had the Oregon Trail game for the computer....Kevin and I couldn't get out of Independence because our wagon's were too heavy and TL was already in OR.  I think we lost if several moves ago....I'll have to see if I can refind it somewhere.

This past week we ended up taking Wednesday off.  Our time limit for the Navy storing our household goods was up and we had to put it into our own storage.  I'm glad because I was dying to get my bread machine and sewing machine back.  Those movers were fantastic!!  They fit 12,000 pounds of stuff into a 10x30 foot storage space.  Things are stacked up to the ceiling!!  But, I was able to put aside the school books boxes and put them in the front so that I have access to them.  I'm sure I missed a few boxes, but at least they'll be closer to get in to!

The three big kids started the bowling league two weeks ago.  TL did great the first week and not great this past week.  Kevin tried to show him how to put a spin on the ball and it didn't work for him.  Princess improved her average score by 20 points this week.  Bug-a-bug is working hers.  She's used to the bumpers so it will take her a bit.  If she takes her time, she does really well.

That's all on the homefront here.  I have photos to post from when mom was here, but my computer's been so sluggish that I don't want to put them on.  I'm posting to Kevin's external hard drive tonight and I'm also getting a thumb drive!

Take care and have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 7, 2011

All Aboard the Oregon Trail!

TL's taking a class through about the Oregon Trail.  The class started next week and runs for six weeks.  

Each student is assigned a pseudoname with their family and cattle information.  For their first assignment, they had to write about why the joined the trail, describe their family, and tell what they expect along the way. 

Kevin and I decided to do that class because we thought the exposure to another "teacher" would benefit him.  I've talked lately, about his poor attitude doing his schoolwork, and today I saw alot of improvement.  He was excited to write his journal entry and finished not only that but half of his work by lunchtime.  I'm anxious to read his teacher's comments about his journal entry.  He hates to write, especially creative writing so I was happy that he came up with some really good ideas for his entry.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!  I'll get updated later this week.  I got behind with my mom here!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Grammy's here!! Grammy's here!

My mom and cousin's daughter arrived on Saturday.  We're excited to see them.  I haven't been home in five years (its too expensive to travel across country with all of us) and my mom last traveled to us in May of last year.  The kids are super excited.  Even Little Miss Trouble, who doesn't remember her much, and of course its taken Monkey a little bit to warm up to her. 

We're going to do a couple of fun things while they are here.  I'm hoping that mom gets some rest though.  She works two jobs and gets pretty tired out.  The long trip across country doesn't help either.  I'm hoping we end up moving back to the east coast so that traveling will be easier on us all!

Daddy and three girls up in TL's bunk.

Showing how old she is. 

Blowing out candles on our breakfast cupcakes.

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday

Okay, I have no idea how to make a button and I'm too lazy to look right now, so this will have to do. 

This week I put a new chore schedule in place.  The three oldest each have a section of the camper to clean: my room and bath, the living room/kitchen, or the girls room/bath.  They will rotate each week.  Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday they are responsible for vacumming and any dusting that needs to be done in that area.  On opposite days they must clean the bathrooms and the person with the living area must wash the floor.  This takes them about 15-20 minutes each day. 

I also put forth a rotating schedule to help with making meals, washing dishes, and doing laundry. I've decided that the person helping with meals will be able to help menu plan and we will focus on one meal a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) that they will really do themselves, with my supervision.  That person will still help out with the other meals, but the focus will be on that one meal.  The goal is that after a few weeks rotation, they will be able to do an entire day's cooking with little supervision.  I'm hoping this will help out when the flu hits, as it always does.  Last year, the girls were awesome making breakfast (cereal) and lunch (sandwiches) when I got sick.  The nice thing is that because we're in the fifth wheel I'm close by to help out!

So, here's three recipes.  The first is from Pampered Chef.  This time I made it in the crock pot, I just put in on high for 3-4 hours until the potatoes were done.  Its always been a favorite here.

Double Potato Scallop

1 cup cooked ham, cubed
1 can condensed cream of potato soup
1/2 cup cool whip
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
4 large unpeeled potatoes, sliced thin

Mix all together.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  Crush croutons on top and cook another 15-20 minutes or until done.

Taco Soup

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 envelope of taco seasoning
2 cans corn, drained
2 can chili beans, undrained
2 (14.5) oz cans diced tomatoes

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in taco seasoning, corn, beans, and tomatoes.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with crushed chips and shredded cheese on top.

This taco soup recipe is great for lunches.  Its quick and easy and all my kids (except the picky eater) love it.

Pumpkin Spice Bars

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 can cream cheese frosting

In a mixing bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients.  Combine the rest and add to the pumpkin mixture until just combined.  Pour into a 15x10 pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until done.  Cool completely and frost.

Have a fantastic week everyone!!  We're off tomorrow to celebrate Little Miss Trouble's fourth birthday.  Next week we take our first break as my mom and cousin come into town!!  yeah!!  Haven't seen my mom in about 18 months!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Anyone use Currclick?  Its a fantastic website loaded with all kinds of workbooks, lapbooks, and unit studies that you can download instantly.  I love it.  I use some workbooks and lots of lapbooks.  Having them on my computer versus taking up valuable shelf space is ideal for me, especially now that we're living in a camper!  I also like to be able to load up the book and print the page I want instead of trying to copy it out of a book.

Another benefit?  They run freebies all the time.  And fantastic sales.  If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll get to know all that's going on and each week they have a new freebie featured for you.

Just recently, I started looking at the other part of their website.  Currclick Live.  They have several clubs to choose to join.  TL is checking out the Lego Club this month.  I'm trying to talk him into joining the chess club. 

Yesterday, he took his first "class".  Science Jim's theme this month is spooky things and he learned all about dry ice.  TL really enjoyed it.

I've also signed him up for the Oregon Trail class.  That looks really interesting and he's excited about it.  Normally, I wouldn't pay that much but since he's had a hard time focusing and getting work done lately, I thought it would do him some good.  He has assignments that he has to complete and hand in so I'm hoping that it will trigger something that makes him realize that he has to get his work done.  And have fun while doing it.

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'm really wondering.....

why I can't seem to get my entire to-do list done during the day.

why I can't seem to sew or quilt a little each day.

It seems that there are never enough hours, yet I have all the modern conveniences that my ancestors didn't have.  I don't have to grow my own food (although I'd like to) or clean animals after my hubby shot them.  I don't have to make every single meal from scratch (although I do that most of the time).  I have a refrigerator, stove, and running water.  No going to the well to get water and boiling it to wash dishes, cook, or do laundy.  I won't even get into what it took to take baths. 

I've been limiting my computer time.  I rarely watch tv, most of the time I'm multi-tasking....making dinner, doing lesson plans, etc while the tv is on.

I have a car to drive places, don't have to hitch up a team and drive for hours to get to the store.  I don't have to feed and take care of those animals.

Yet, my ancestors grew their own food, smoked or canned it, dealt without all the modern conveniences to do their everyday chores, and still managed to sew their own clothes, knit their own scarves and mittens, and make quilts.  Why can't I find time during the day to do some sewing? 

One of life's little questions to ponder I guess.......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Yes, I know I'm a day late with my recipe post.  On Sunday night, Bug-a-bug slipped and fell in the shower.  Now, the shower in the fifth wheel is smaller than a normal shower and she fell and hit the shelf.  Monday we took off from school cause daddy was home and she played outside.  Every now and then she'd complain about it so we gave her a little tylenol to help with the pain believing that she bruised it.

Yesterday was totally different.  She had to sit all day and do school.  By dinnertime, she was in tears.  After dinner, I took her to urgent care and found out that she has a fracture in her coccyx.  Poor thing!!

So, I'm posting two recipes today.  First, is a favorite around here for all of those apples you've been picking.

Harvest Apple Dip
8 oz softened cream cheese
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together and beat until smooth.  Slice apples and splash with 7up or lemon juice to keep from browning.  We use red, green, and yellow apples for pretty coloring.

This next recipe I got from a friend of mine.  She makes it all the time and its become a family favorite here also.  Even though it has chicken in the name, there isn't any chicken.....don't ask, cause I have no idea why.

City Chicken
Boneless Pork Roast cubed
Bread Crumbs
chicken broth
dry onion soup  mix

Cube pork.  Roll into egg and then bread crumbs.  Fry in crisco oil until browned on each side.  Put into a baking dish with soup mix and chicken broth.  The chicken broth should be added until it is halfway up the side of the pork, do not cover the pork.  Cover and cook at 350 for one hour.

Now, her original recipe calls for the pork to be skewed onto skewers but I'm too lazy and I can see the skewers being used as weapons, so I don't use them.  This is easy and very tasty. 

Have a great week!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Our little adventurer

Even though we live in a fifth wheel, Monkey gets into all kinds of trouble.  When we went to dump last week, we couldn't figure out why the water was moving so slowly through the hose and it wasn't emptying.....well, she'd put a small gatorade bottle down the toilet.  I'm also missing the toothpaste, my makeup, and my deodorant.   Everything has now been put up and out of reach.

She still likes to color on the walls.

And climb....

Look what I saw today peeking out from her brother's bunk?

Who me?  She wanted to just stand on the ladder...wouldn't go up or come down.

She fell asleep one day under the table.  She had the chip in her hand but dropped it in her sleep by the time I got the camera.
I wonder what next week will bring with her!!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

So, here's a new thing I'm trying here.  I will post new recipes on Tuesdays for everyone to share.  Maybe I'll try to figure out how to make a button and do a linky thing to share everyone's recipes! 

I'm working on finding more crockpot recipes for my family.  We need to crockpot three nights a week so that dinner is ready as soon as we walk in the door.

Last week, I tried these two recipes.

Chicken and Rice Casserole
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1/4 celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup carrots
1 lb uncooked chicken breast, skinned and boned and cut into cubes
1/2 lb cheddar or your favorite kind of cheese

Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.  Combine all ingredients, mixing well but gently.  Cover, cook on low for 4-6 hours or until rice, vegetables, and chicken are tender.

*****I made changes before I even started.  No celery.  My hubby is not a fan and quite frankly I usually end up throwing it out of the fridge when it goes bad because I don't use it fast enough.  I sprinkled celery seed in it.  I used regular rice which didn't work out well.  It didn't have enough water to get the rice soft.  And I used a bag of mixed frozen peas and carrots.  Call me lazy, it was easier to cut open the bag and dump it in.  No cheese for just sounded weird.  

Results:  Good, except for the rice.  The kids and hubby requested no rice from now on.  Okay, we're rice nerds.  We lived in Japan for three years, they need it to come out of a rice cooker and not mixed into their meal.  It had a really good flavor, almost like chicken pot pie, which is a HUGE favorite around here.

Slow Cooker Enchiladas
1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
16oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
10oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
6 (6in) flour tortillas

Cook beef, onions, and green peppers in skillet until beef is browned and vegetables are tender.  Drain.  Add next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes.  Combine cheeses.  In slow cooker, layer 3/4 cup of beef mixture, one tortialla, and about 1/3 cup cheese.  Repeat layers.  Cover and cook on low 5-7 hours or until heated through.

******I did not use green peppers in mine.  Again, hubby doesn't care for them and they're too expensive.

Result:  Hubby and I really liked it.  Kids were had too many beans for them.  They're not big bean eaters. 

Both recipes were taken from Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook.

I have lots of soups, stews, and chili recipes.  If you have any others you'd like to share, please email me at  With your permission, I will share them here for everyone to try out!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…

Just trying to get organized and settled into a routine.  The heat isn't making it easy though.  With the front air conditioner broken,  the six of us are stuck in the living area of the fifth wheel.  This next week is supposed to be cooler!!  Yippee!

In our homeschool this week…

Like I said, trying to get into a routine.  The kids are going to bed really late and getting up really late.  When the sun goes down it cools off so we try to get them outside to play.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We're getting to visit with friends that we've know for years but haven't seen in forever.  Today we went to our friend's commission to officer.  It was such a wonderful day for him and his family!

My favorite thing this week was…

hmmm, my air conditioner?

What’s working/not working for us…

This awful schedule of late to bed.  Too many hours of kiddos awake for me.  I need a break at night!

Things I’m working on…

I'm trying to work on a quilt for Halloween and some Christmas stuff but I can't seem to get motivated.

I’m reading…

Nevada by Dana Fuller Ross and Help for the Harried Homeschooler.

I’m cooking…

Lots of crockpot meals!!  If you have any recipes to share, please do!!  We are almost thirty minutes away from home between 5-6 for TL's karate class.  Needless to say, the kids are starved when we get home and want food immediately so I'm making good use of my crock pot.  I'll post two recipes I tried this week.

I’m grateful for…

My wonderful husband whose been putting up with my short temper (because of the heat) the last few weeks!

I’m praying for…

The soldiers and their families

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Little Miss Trouble and Monkey

Bug-a-bug riding the bikes

Princess riding the bikes

Poor daddy doing all the work and pedaling the bikes

What a smile!

Lots of fun on the water

Getting ready for the hay ride with all the characters from Yogi

Hayride!!  Monkey had no idea what was going on and she didn't like those characters at all at first!

The girl dressed here was a favorite among my girls.  I later found out that she's homeschooled and works there on the weekends.  She was so very sweet.  They all were, what a great time we had.

Surprise!!  A photo with both of us in it!!  I think I'll use this for our Christmas photo this year!  lol

TL pedaling away
We had a fantastic time at Jellystone at Cobb Mountain in CA.  The people there are fantastic and the kids had a blast.  We had a bit of a time trying to get there.  Mapquest took us this crazy way and with our size rig, the poor truck was ready to overheat!  It was awful, much easier getting out of there!

If you ever get a chance check out the Jellystone campgrounds.  They're mostly in the east, but so much fun for everyone!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The last few months of last school year, TL really struggled with his work.  It wasn't difficult, he just couldn't seem to get it done.  I seemed to be on him all day long.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the trend this year too.  Coupled with this blasted heat, my short temper has not made this easy.  I yelled several days last week.  It doesn't help either that he's very sarcastic (just like me), which makes me even angrier.  Nothing like seeing the worst about yourself reflected in your children.  All of us have been short tempered and yelling.  The heat is just not working for us.  My kids love to be outside too much.

I'm made a major effort this week not to get so frustrated.  Alot of prayer has been spent on this.  Its helped that it hasn't been so hot, however, today and tomorrow are supposed to be close to 100.  Pray for me.

This week, I handed TL a list of all the work that had to be done for the week.  He started Monday off trying to finish his work for the day and didn't quite succeed.  Yesterday, he completed all of his reading assignments and questions for the week.  He also finished all of his math lessons but one.  He seems to like working this way and that's fine with me.  I've also learned to make sure he's nearby so that I can answer questions quickly or gently steer him back to work. 

I love that he loves to read and that he has an active imagination, but this was driving me crazy!! 

I've been studying Help for the Harried Homeschooler!  I figured with four students this year, I could use the help!!  My focus is on fixing my own behavior to give them a good role model.  I'm praying for this struggle of mine!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our new home

I think we finally  may have our internet worked out.  Thank goodness.  I feel connected again to everyone!!  I miss reading everyone's blogs!!

I thought I'd share our new home.  I forgot to take pictures of the outside and should have done so tonight.  It was actually nice and cool here and Kevin pulled the door open on the toy hauler area.  It makes a nice patio for the kids to play on.

First, I thought I'd share a photo of me and the girls with BooBoo.  We had a fantastic time at the Jellystone Campground.  I'll share more photos later this week.

Our new bedroom.  I'm looking for fabric to make a quilt because I hate the ugly black thing.

Our dresser

Tylar getting into my makeup in the bathroom.  We found that she'd flushed some of it down the toilet when we dumped and it got stuck in the hose.

The kitchen area.  Not very big, but we do have a huge fridge which is a bonus!!  TL's bunk is up on top, the couch is to the right, and the door leads to the girls' room.

TL's enjoying some tv.  The door leads up to our bedroom.

The girls room.  Each is a queen size bunk.  The bottom bunk makes into a table with a U-shaped couch around it.

The girls' half bath.  Love the horse theme?

They were thrilled that they had a tv back there.  We generally don't do tv's in bedrooms, but this is the only extra tv we have and daddy gets to watch football all weekend and the girls get to watch what they want.
Well, hope you enjoyed our little field trip.  I miss all my extra school bunks but find it really nice to be able to clean up in a little while.  I still have some things to organize and do a little decorating.  I'm not a big fan of black, but for a fifth wheel its nice because its easier to clean up.

Have a fantastic week!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Welcome to the desert!

We arrived at our new home last week.  It was 101 at 5:30pm.  We were rewarded with an entire week of over 100 degrees and blistering heat.  Good thing they closed the pool already.

This week promises to be cooler.  Only in the 90s.  Good thing because the air conditioner has stopped working in the front of the fifth wheel.  ugh.

I'm still working on having a peaceful heart at being here.  There are some advantages.  The kids are back into their Awana program (although I'm not as pleased with it as I used to be, its a lot smaller now with less leaders), I haven't decided if we're going back to our old church or try a new one, the quilt guild is still here, and I do have friends here.

However, the scenery stinks.  The air stinks.  The heat stinks.  I'm working on it, praying on it.  My hubby needs me to be supportive and understanding, not complaining that I can't see bald eagles anymore, just acres of cotton.  It has gotten better since we've arrived but my biggest thing that I needed for support, the local homeschooling support group, is apparently no longer in existence.  I can't find it anywhere.  I'm sad because that really makes the kids friend base alot smaller.  Usually they have alot of friends of all different backgrounds and ages.  I enjoy having them around a variety of kids and not just "military brats".  (Sometimes the kids can be just as competitive over their parent's rank.......I've certainly met many wives who are).

So, I'm struggling this week to change our addresses, get the kids' activities rolling, and get myself focused.  Tomorrow's my birthday.  Perhaps I can chalk up my lack of focus to old age?  haha

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


TL is old enough to understand and discuss the events of 9/11.  We watched a little on tv and discussed how we felt and what we experienced that day.  I was teary eyed seeing and reliving the events of the day.  I pray that we never have to go through those emotions again.

My husband was on shore duty at that time.  This means that he was not deployable.  When the President came on and said, "we're coming to get you", my hubby said, just wait, wait for me.  In December we transferred to Japan and he left in January for the war. 

I am so very proud of him and all that he fights for.  I pray for those families that are still suffering through this ordeal, even though its been ten years their pain is probably still raw.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our new home

which I will not post pictures of until probably next week.  We have purchased a fifth wheel and will be living in it for the next few years.  It will allow us to pay off some bills and save some money and more importantly to me, be able to afford to take a trip back home. 

The monster is  huge with a toy hauler area in the back that houses two queen size bunks for the girls and a half bath.  Happy dance for me....two toilets for seven people!!

The living area is larger than our old camper.  I don't have much more counter space, but I do have a double sized fridge, which is fantastic!!  TL has a bunk over the living area so he gets his own space away from his sisters.  He's very excited about that!!

We then move up three stairs into the bathroom and master bedroom.  I'm so excited about not having to climb on the bed to make it I can't even tell you!!

We're still organizing.  We literally threw everything out of the old camper and onto the floor and every surface of this one.  I'm slowly weeding through and getting it organized.  My next step is the kitchen drawers and the homeschooling stuff.  I hope to have that done this week so that our starting school next week isn't hampered at all.

Right now, we're blessed to stay with some friends in OR.  We have having a blast.  Connie is a fellow quilter and we were up late last night helping the girls make their first pillowcases.  She also has a beautiful embroidery machine that she made little hand towels for the big girls.  They have their names and horses on them.  Very cute.

I still have to post pictures from our friends' house in southern WA.  They have a gorgeous view of Mt Hood from their property.  We had a fantastic time visiting them and they took us to Fort Vancouver, which was really fun and interesting!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You must homeschool your kids.....

So we're here in southern WA visiting some friends and our stay has been extended.  We are looking to trade up on our camper and that's the main reason, but we had a few extra days in our schedule and spent them here.

Earlier this week we walked across the street to look at some campers across the way.  The salesman was very nice and answered my questions (hubby had already been there).  I was with the two older girls and when we left he asked if I homeschooled.  An odd question seeing as we don't have anything identifying us as homeschoolers, but I replied yes.  He said, "I thoughts so.  Your girls are so polite."  I thanked him, thought it was odd and moved on. 

Today a woman approached me that had met my oldest two girls and stated that they were very polite and asked if I homeschooled.  When I verified this she said, "I thought so because they were so polite."

Although I'm excited that my children are being respectful and polite to others, these statements have me worried.  After all, there are plenty of public school kids that are polite that are not getting recognition.  Its too bad that the bad public school kids are giving a bad rap.  It saddens me that other children are not being given recognition.

I have to look at the upside though.  Perhaps the question of "what about socialization?" will be replaced by "look at how well mannered those children are".

Have a wonderful week everyone! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mt. St Helens

Big Foot Country!!!  Watch out he'll get you!

I think this is a little taller than the bigfoots running in the woods

Information about the blast zone

Mount St. Helens under cloud cover.  TL is running from an potential blast!

Helicopter tour of the mountain.  No, we did not take this.

Nice view, but still alot of cloud cover.

Coldwater Lake near the mountain base

Monkey enjoying the lake.


Johnstowne Ridge.  Johnstowne was on duty the day of the blast and managed a quick radio signal out to warn everyone before he was wiped out by the blast.  They have never recovered his body.

You can see the devastation of the trees.  There were stumps all through the blast zone and even further away.  They have replanted over 18.4 million trees and plants into this area to reforest it.

The cloud cover finally clearing off the  mountian.  You'll notice that the mountain doesn't have any vegetation.  This is because all the topsoil was blown off and only rock remains.
We're trying to enjoy our time here.   The campsite that we are at is absolutely awful.  No amenities for the kids, they aren't allowed to ride bikes or play on the little hill and there isn't enough room to even put a picnic table next to the camper.  I'm not very pleased.  It seems that they are watching us to let us know if we're going against one of their many rules.  Thank goodness we leave tomorrow to go and visit some friends.

Have a wonderful week for those of you that are doing school!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goal setting and lesson planning

Today was our trip to Mt. St Helens.  Frankly, I'm too tired to post pictures today.  I'll get them up tomorrow.  I took over 100, so I need to weed through them and find the good ones.  We spent a good couple of hours exploring the area.  When we first started, the cloud cover was pretty thick and we didn't have a great view of the volcano, but it cleared up by the end of the day.  I have some really nice shots that I will share.

Tonight I'm going through the calendar and setting up our year.  We won't arrive at our new duty station until Labor day weekend, so we won't start school until then.  We're stopping to visit friends in WA and OR and going to some really cool places along the way.  I can't wait.

After I set up the year, I'm going to work on goal setting.  I have most of the lesson plans set up, just need to upload them to homeschool tracker.  I hope to be all set and ready to go when we arrive. 

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm backkkkkkkk!

Wow, not having internet is nice sometimes, but three weeks of that and no tv was a little much.  I felt totally lost and out of touch with the world!!  We had some wonderful Canadian neighbors while camping these last few weeks.  Four couples who were so very sweet and kind.  We had a fantastic time getting to know them all.

We left our beloved home today and drove only three miles.  We're hanging out in Olympia before heading to Mt St Helens for a couple of days tomorrow.  I'm excited.   Can't wait.  It should be alot of fun.  We're going to visit some wonderful places the next few weeks.  I'll keep you posted as I can and post pictures. 

I'm off for now to read everyone's blogs.  I've missed my blogging friends!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No internet

Sorry that I haven't posted.  We do not have internet at the campsite that we're staying at.  We're camping at the beach here in town.  I know, I know.  Who cares about the internet when you're camping at the beach right?

I hope to post pictures next week when we start our travels to CA.  I'll post pictures of our camper so you can see where we'll be living for the next few months.

The kids are adjusting well to the camper.  The two littlest had the biggest adjustments but are doing well with it so I can't complain.

I need to finish working on some lesson plans this week.  We are parked right next to a park so the kids can play while I do lessons.  I almost finished before the packers came but didn't quite make it.

Take care everyone!!  God Bless!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Five days!!

I should be in a panic.  The movers come in five days.  I'm really not.  I'm lucky to have to pack up the camper, and although it will be stuffed to the top, we'll have everything we need for the next six months.  As of right now, all the school books are in.  That took up alot of space, but we need them so they have to fit. 

I'll be moving in bedding, food, and clothes this weekend.  All the other odds and ends, plus toiletries.  It will be stuffed until I can't stuff anymore. 

My hubby bought a new truck yesterday.  We've been married 15 years and this is the first new vehicle we've bought.  Overseas tours make it difficult to buy new.  We're excited.  Even as light as the camper was, it was difficult for the Yukon over mountains and hills.  At one point in West VA, TL asked if he should get out and help push it up the hill.  I think we were doing 15mph.    It was sad.  Anyway, we'll save the wear and tear on the Yukon and be able to keep that for many more years. 

I'm still trying to talk hubby into upgrading into a 5th wheel and just living in that.  He'll be gone alot and this will give the kids and I the flexibility to travel and see family.  Living on the west coast with all the family on the east coast means not many trips home.  Its just too expensive.  Plus, wouldn't it be cool to visit the civil war battlefields while studying the civil war.

Yeah, I may have to work on him some!!  Have a great week!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Been busy sewing

I have all the school books piled and ready to be packed in the camper.  Now, I'm spending time sewing some quilt tops and wallhangings to hand quilt while living in the camper.  I hate just sitting there at night.  I like to read too, but that will get old after 4-6 months. 

So, here's what I've been working on:

This is the first block for my Civil War wallhanging.  I am loving the patterns and fabric so I may have to one day make a full size quilt!  I need to applique this block down which is why there are pins in it.  It represents the wagon wheel-for the slaves to follow.
My Japanese wallhanging for my bedroom.  I have some really nice Japanese pieces in my room so I'm turning that into my Japanese room.
Flannel rag quilt.  This is the back side.
This is the front side.  I have to cut all those seams into about 1/4 inch cuts and then wash to give it a raggy look.
So, no homeschooling news, but I have been busy.

Eleven days until the packers come.  Hubby comes home tomorrow and has about twelve things on his to-do list before the movers get here.  My list is much shorter.  Perhaps, I will sit in my lawn chair and sip lemonade while watching him do his jobs.  Only fair right, since I will have to pack the camper for living 4-6 months.  I have piles made already so I think I will have him pull the camper around this weekend and get the beds all made up and the school books in.  Next week, I'll just have to pack the clothes and food then.  I'll post pictures then!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Let me clarify!! Sorry for the confusion!

I see from my posts, that I haven't been to clear in my thoughts. I know what I'm I should expect you all to read my mind huh? I'm having old age brain!!

We are packing out of this house the week of July 25th and moving into our camper. Hubby as to report mid-Sept, but will probably arrive about three weeks early. The kids and I will be traveling very slowly, visiting WA, OR, and northern CA before arriving mid to late September. I'm hoping it will be down into the 90s by then.

The housing waiting list is about 3-6 months so we'll be camping until then. I really enjoy my camper, its nice and big with four bunk beds for the kids. We'll be moving everything into it the weekend before we pack out and I'll take pictures then and post them for you. Hopefully, since we'll be in the camper, we'll be able to do a little bit of traveling in southern CA too.

Hopefully this clarifies for you guys!! I'm sorry I've been so vague lately!!

Homeschooling Field Day

Our homeschooling group does a field day the last meeting of the year.  The kids have a blast and its all thanks to Tina, who organizes and puts it together for us.  She's such a blessing!  Egg toss, three legged races, sack races, and an obstacle course for the little ones, it was a great time!

TL and his friend guiding him to the finish line trying to keep the cotton ball on the spoon

Little Miss running the obstacle course for the little kids

Bug-a-bug would have a much easier time during egg toss if she kept her eyes open!

Monkey running around
Time out for a snack
Hopping along

Getting ready for the sack race

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!