Thursday, February 24, 2011


We live in western WA which is absolutely beautiful and the wildlife is amazing.  We find it funny that the island that we live on rarely gets snow.  Last year we didn't get anything.  Earlier this year we had two days of snow-about three inches total.  Everything closes.  Roads are hilly and freeze and without the proper equipment, they freeze over and are very dangerous.  Kevin and I think its funny because we're both from snowy areas and the little snow we get here shuts the whole place down.

This time we got about six inches.  Some areas got up to 18.  We may possibly get more snow today, I'm hoping anyway.  I love letting the kids play in the snow.  The only bad part is that after taking off a week for Grandpa's visit, we're now taking snow days.  A little longer than I anticipated, but I can't very well make mine stay in while they watch their friends play in the snow from the schoolroom windows.  Besides, we all had to participate in a snowball fight!!

Looking up the street during the snowfall

Our little tree out front covered with snow

Bug-a-bug playing outside

TL getting ready to send a snowball my way

Little Miss didn't want to play in the snow after we got her outside.  It took her a while to go out and play.  Our neighbors were out and she finally was persuaded to play with her little friend.

The neighbor girls
I know that the snow will be gone soon.  In the meantime we'll enjoy it.  I'm also catching up on some homework and studying.  I have a term paper to write this weekend that I haven't even started the research for yet.  Its gonna be a long weekend!! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

quick update

We've had a busy week with Grandpa here.  Most of the time was just spent doing fun things with him.  The kids really enjoy the once or twice a year they get to see him. 

It was especially nice because it was Princess' tenth birthday.  Being a military brat child means that you finally get your military id-so you can shop and show your card to get healthcare benefits.  Grandpa bought her a new wallet and purse for her new id card.  She got to go to dinner all by herself with him too.

We had pictures taken with Grandpa.  My dad loves to get photos done with the kids.  The last ones are years old and the two youngest weren't in them.  It was definitely time for new ones. 

It was hard to see him go this morning.  The girls are sleeping in (he left at 5am) but TL's been up since then to say goodbye.  The baby got up at regular time but Little Miss is also still sleeping.  We're busy when Grandpa's here and they stay up late.  We stretch every moment we have with him.

I'm asking prayers for him now.  When he returns home, he has about a week before he has a biopsy done on his prostate.  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lucky me

I've been lucky enough this past week to do two presentations for our homeschooling group.  Monday night was our monthly meeting and I was able to talk about my passion for genealogy research.  I gave tips on how to get started, how to organize, made huge hints on interviewing your relatives today before they are lost to us, and what to do with the information.  I also provided information on different projects to do in your homeschool regarding genealogy.

The kids really enjoyed hearing about my Tennessee family, which my cousin and I swear is in the witness protection program.  No one goes by their name.  My father's generation and the one before all use their middle names.  It took me years to figure out why they called my dad Wayne instead of Phillip.  His brother isn't so lucky, he's affectionately known as Tinker.

I had decided to try to research my great grandmother Polly, because quite frankly we're rumored to be related to Davy Crockett, and well, just how cool is that?  My dad didn't know her parents names but I didn't think it would be a problem because she'd lived in the same county her whole life.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find her on the census records, and without parents' names to help, I was at a loss.  My father finally remembered that she had two brothers-Uncle Fuzzy and Uncle Tater.  Are you kidding me?  He remembered they had a still up on the mountain and made moonshine.  Why does this not surprise me?

One night, I was lucky to stumble across the Tombstone Project.  Volunteers all over the country scour cemetaries to record the headstones before they are lost to weathering forever.  I searched in the county, just for fun, and found James "Fuzzy" Rhea!!  I couldn't believe my luck!!  I was so excited!!  Even better, a brother that had never married was buried nearby along with his parents!  I hit the Jackpot!

Back to the census records I went to find Polly.  I found the parents and "Fuzzy" but now had another problem.  The only girl I found that was Polly's age was listed as Violet Anora.  Her daughter, my grandmother's name was Violet Jean, could it be?  I called Polly's daughter and found out that Polly's name was really Violet Anora.  Why on earth did we call her Polly then?  She didn't really know.  Apparently, she looked like a Polly when she was born.  okay........

Upon further research, it looks like Polly's maternal side, like the nickname Polly.  I found several listed on census records.  How or why it started, we'll probably never know, but it was neat to find out.

Today, I was able to teach a lapbooking class and cover the Iditarod.  We love the Iditarod.  We follow it every year.  We also love lapbooking and I was able to show many of my fellow homeschoolers how to lapbook.  Many had been fearful in the past of trying it out, but found that it was really easy to do..  I think everyone enjoyed learning about the Iditarod and the kids had alot of great questions.

My dad is visiting now, so we're off for a week.  The kids are enjoying time with their grandfather.  We don't get to see family enough, so we always take off when they're here.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Literature project ideas

Need some interesting project ideas for your literature unit?  How about
  • poster
  • diary entry
  • time capsule
  • cereal or toy designed after the book
  • newspaper article or paper
  • photo album
  • screenplay
  • story quilt
  • comic strip
  • time line
  • travel brochure design a game
  • write a new ending
  • paper dolls made of the characters
Hope these ideas help you out!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Are we hungry?

The tough part about being a growing one year old, is that you're always hungry.  I often find Monkey in the pantry.  Here she is with the pancake mix.  I should have just added syrup and she would have been all set.

Here she is inside the pantry.  She's sitting on the bag of potatoes.  She's brought her doll and stroller with her and both are snacking on pretzels. 

Here's our favorite dessert.  Rainbow Ribbon Jello.  It doesn't last long around here.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Time Traveler Series-review

I just received the Time Traveler Series-American Revolution last week.  We're getting ready to venture into the American Revolution.  This program wasn't really something that I needed.  I have a ton of projects and recipes to do.  What attracted me the most, was the unique projects that the kids would be doing.

We've already gone through the American Revolution once and I'm sure TL would like some other projects to do.  So far, I've viewed the shadow puppets, which are in the first few lessons.  It looks like tons of fun!!

The timeline and vocabulary cards are fantastic and are divided into groups of five lessons.  There are awesome notebooking and lapbooking activities. 

I am anxious to start this program.  It will take me a little longer to finish because I take a world history approach to our studies.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekly wrap up

This week has been busy as usual.  I was able to keep up an organized with my homeschool tracker program.  I know I stopped using it when we moved, I'm not quite sure why I never started again.  Well, actually I do.  I moved from overseas, had to unpack an entire house, and had baby number five a month later.

I moved TL into Apologia Astronomy.  He should actually be in a 7th grade program but half way through the year, I didn't want to spend so much and I had this available in a box.  He was able to melt a candy bar and built a pin hole viewing box.  Thankfully the sun was out and he could do both projects.  The girls are continuing on with Exploring God's Creation-Earth Science.  We're working on water this week.

This week we discussed the 13 colonies and filled in a map of them.  The Salem witch trials also took center stage.  The kids, especially the girls, did not enjoy hearing about this part of our history.  The slave trade didn't do much either to impress them with our past.  I will be moving into Daniel Boone on Monday.

The Three r's
TL is doing well with his studies.  He's working on the first 15 Latin and Greek roots, a vocabulary study, and Saxon Math.  Math is the only thing he seems to be struggling in.  He still does well, but it takes HOURS for him to finish.  And he refuses to copy the problem to the work paper to do it, which is the reason he makes mistakes from trying to squeeze in problems onto a small space.
Princess is making strides with reading and math, although she's still a little behind, she's making a real effort now to catch up.  She's the one who keeps saying she won't do her work and is the hardest to get to cooperate.  Just lately, she's figured out that her friends are moving ahead and she's not, so she's working hard at catching up to them.
Bug-a-bug is the easiest of all the kids.  She'd finish her work in three hours a day if I could just sit and work with her.  She wants to do extra too.
Little Miss Trouble has been learning her colors and how to count to 10.  She's learned a couple of shapes this year and has been learning how to write a, i, and l.  She actually colors within the lines and writes pretty well.  I have some photos I need to post.

The girls are studying Australia.  This was something else I changed in January.  We are going to do a continent study, then a habitat study, and then perhaps an animal study. Most of it will be lapbooks.  The girls enjoy them.
TL will continue to work on his world geography.

The girls are working animal lapbooks.  Princess is doing a horse one and Bug-a-bug is doing one on cheetahs.  TL will start a state project this week for the homeschool fair coming up next month, our theme is American State Fair night.

Next week we will finish our Australia and animal lapbooks on Monday and Tuesday.  My father is arriving on Tuesday night for a week.  Princess' birthday is next week and she's looking forward to seeing Grandpa.  I think we may make a field trip one day, not sure where yet.  The rest of teh time will be spent on quality time with Grandpa.

have a wonderful weekend.  I'll be doing my homework!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm still here

School has been really busy for me.  The third week of class I had 300 pages to read, plus discussion question and responses to do.  Last week was midterm week.  I did well, except for my stupid music class.  I say this because I've written six 8-10 page term papers and gotten 95 or higher on all of them.  My instructor would like us to summarize 60 pages of reading into 300 words and include all pieces of music, vocabulary terms, and opinions....and if we miss any we get points off.  The highest grade I've gotten is a 75......and that's the class average.  arrrgghhhh

The kids are doing wonderfully with school.  Its helped that I've been really good at keeping up with homeschool tracker and staying organized.  I've been better at getting everything ready to go before we start the day.

I've also reorganized my cleaning and laundry schedule.  The kids help more with the house, mostly cleaning up their messes.  I need to redo the chore chart but so far my mental schedule seems to be working.  We clean during the week and I do laundry on the weekends, along with most of my homework.  I'm realizing that I can't do homework starting at 9 or 10 pm.  I'm too pooped.  Too old now I guess.  So, I try to do some of what I can during the week, and then do the majority on the weekend.

I can't believe I have to sign up for classes again on Monday.  I only have three weeks left in these two classes.  Only two more terms of going full time and then I'll be taking two terms with only one class at a time and then I'm all done!!  yahoo!!  I'm excited.  I'm tired, but I'm glad I'm getting it done! 

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Star Spangled Banner

While watching the Super Bowl, we noticed Christina Aquilera messed up the words to the Star Spangled Banner.  She's not the first big star to do so, nor will she be the last.

Today on yahoo news, they posted an article about the tricky lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner.  Tricky?  Did I miss something?  Myself and almost every other American know the correct lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner.

Pop stars don't seem too.  Maybe its because they're not making a cool million on the song.  I mean really.  Why bother learning the lyrics to the song that symbolized your country?  The song that symbolizes freedom.  Freedom of speech, which by the way, guarantees that you can sing whatever you want.  And earn money from it.

Yeah, those lyrics sure are tricky...........