Saturday, December 29, 2012

The time passes so quickly

Kevin is on his way back to CA later today.  We've enjoyed having daddy around for the last two weeks and it will be hard on the kiddos.  We're stopping at Mall of America on the way home to go to Build a Bear....that should ease some of the girls' pain.

We went down to IA to get family photos done with Kevin's family.  The last time we were all together was about 11 years ago.  I was pregnant with Princess and there were only five there are ten.  It was nice to get those done and they were alot of fun.

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos from when he was here.  My camera is dead and TLs isn't working.  The camera Kevin brought with him is out of charge and the cord is back in CA.  I guess we'll have to use the camera phone.

We've been planning the chicken coop and garden while he's been home.  He also helped hang up some things for me.  The walls are plaster so hanging things are a huge issue.  My dad is also here and they put in a new dishwasher so I don't have to hand wash anymore and a new faucet for the sink since the old one was leaking.  Dad is also building an island for me for the kitchen and brought five school desks for the kids that he built.  I really wish I had a camera!!

I'm off to get the kids moving and into the showers.  Take care and have a very safe New Years if I don't get to post again.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mid Year Review

Well, okay, not quite mid year review.

Everything is working well for us but history and art.

TLs art program, Artistic Pursuits is a nice program but its not really working for us.  It assumes that you already know how to sketch, which he really doesn't.  I'm looking into other programs or looking into a lower level for him to learn the sketching part.  The girls are using Meet the Masters and I don't love it.  Their program teaches them about the different artists, but does very little drawing.

History.  Love history!  I'm a history major.  With the move to the farm with lots more to do and starting school back up in January, I've decided to go ahead and purchase a history curriculum.  I just cant keep designing our own.  I love to do it but have been so busy, its been hodge podge for a couple of weeks.  I really want to do a good job and make it interesting so I've decided to go ahead and get Tapestry of Grace.  We will start mid year three and then move into year four next year.  I'm very excited about it.  I'm looking forward to this move for us.  It will relieve alot of pressure off of me!

Writing-The big girls are going to start IEW's SWI level A.  TL is finishing up Rockets, Radar, and Robots.  I'm going to move him into SICC level C as soon as he's done.  It will take us till mid year next year. 

Everything else is working and flowing well.  The girls are finishing up their grammer from last year and Im going to move them into Easy Grammer for the rest of the year. 

Our weeks have been really busy and I'm so behind for Christmas.  I don't have any baking or shopping done!!  I cant believe I am this far behind.  I plan on working hard to get caught up this week so I can enjoy my hubby being here for two weeks!! 

Have a wonderful and enjoyable Christmas season!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stress and stocking up

For my stocking up this week, I purchased four gallons of water, 4 cans of cream of chicken soup, and an 8pk package of AA batteries.  I still had money left over, so I'm going to grab another soup.

School went really well this week.  I'm looking into getting Tapestry of Grace for history for the rest of the year.  I start school back up in January and I just can't plan out the history program like I want. Also, I've been so busy with the kids and the house that I haven't been doing a really good job at it!!

I am so far behind on Christmas.  Cards are done.  Baking has not even been started.  No shopping done (thankfully we don't buy alot).  And I have two gifts that I have to make and I haven't started those yet either.  ugh

Good news though, hubby comes into town on Saturday.  He'll be here for two weeks and I can shop all I want while he spends time with the kids.  It will be alot of fun!!

I'll post more about our school week later!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

stocking up for $5/week

With all the recent things going on in the world, I decided its time to seriously stock up our shelves and prepare for an emergency.  We live in a tornado area and also could get blizzards, so I need to be prepared.

I found a list on pinterest on stocking up your shelves for only $5/week.  I had a couple of issues with the list.  First, if food and meals are a top priority, I certainly didnt need 180 pounds of sugar by the end of the year.  Second, my hubby and I are the only ones who eat tomato soup and so 12 cans was a little extreme.  Thirdly, they didn't have any water on the list.  We live on a well and if it freezes, no water, so that is a priority for us.

I made myself a new list and put in things that I thought we would need and eat.  I also upped the amount to $7.50, I know I'm a wild woman.  And I added on $5 a week for non-food items.

Next week is the first week and I'll be getting:

5 gallons of water
3 lbs of salt
1 package of toilet paper
Doesn't look very exciting does it?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekly Wrap up

This has been one busy week.  We had homeschool co-op on Tuesday.  The big girls are taking a class to learn to build a bookshelf and then a creative writing class.  Miss Trouble is taking a science class and then a craft class.  TL has opted not to go.  At 14, he is the oldest there and the next oldest are all girls.  Monkey gets to hang with me while I visit with the other mommies.  I hope to do a class next session to teach the older kids about the iditarod for two classes and then some information on American Indians.  It should be fun.

I just found out I may have to take an extra college class to graduate.  They changed a required upper level class to a lower level leaving me one class short of upper level class requirements.  Since I never received and email or letter about the change, I'm going to fight it tooth and nail.  Being from NY has some advantages, at least I hope in this case.

For our school:

TL and I are reading The Hobbit.  He is several chapters ahead of me and I need to catch up this week.  The girls are both reading my mom's old Barbie books (they are from the 50s).  Not really educational but fun to read and for the girls to see the comparison between then and now. 

The big girls have finally finished memorizing their multiplication tables.  I hope to have division done by Christmas.  TL has started Algebra 1 (I had ordered it and then realized when it came in that I ordered the wrong one so it took longer than expected.)

TL is still working on his Agriscience.  Its a little dry right now and should improve after the next few chapters.  The big girls have just started and astronomy unit and I'm using a bunch of files from Homeschoolshare right now.

We are still working on Lewis and Clark.  Its been a really fun unit to explore.  I hope to have it done the first week of December.

TL is working on a unit from IEW.  I plan on finishing this up by the end of Jan and moving onto another unit from there.  The girls are working on writing for their creative writing class so I haven't touched their other stuff.  I think I'm going to start IEW with them in January.

All the big kids are using All About Spelling and making vast improvements with their spelling.  I'm really happy with this program.

Only the two big girls are doing grammer and they are doing really well.  We're finishing up our book from last year and then will dive into a new book later this year.

Is going Spanish, Government, and Computers.  Spanish is okay.  Im not really sure I like the program we're using but I think its because we're in the intro discs and not the actual program yet.  Government is going quite well and I really like the program we're using.  I couldn't find a computer program so I grabbed the books from the class I had to take in college and putting TL to work with Word right now.  He'll work on Excel and Powerpoint this year.  He's also working hard on Taekwondo and Boy Scouts.

Art is going okay.  Could be better.  I'm not an artist at all so this I really struggle with.

The big girls
Are working hard on the Bible Quiz Team.  They have had two competitions so far and improved a ton from one to the other.  They have also picked out badges to work on for American Heritage Girls.  The girls are also working on Geography and its going well so far.

My goal this week is to get caught up grading and recording.  I need to work on science and history lesson plans.  I also need to work on  my blog.  These pictures are really old and I haven't posted this year's curriculum yet!

I'm also working on painting the big girls' room.  I tried to remove their wallpaper with everything known to man.  Apparently they used superglue to hang the wallpaper.  I'm finishing up one little section by the door and then priming over all the wallpaper and calling it a day.  I don't have time to spend removing this wallpaper and the girls are anxious for a little color.

I can't even post pictures because my camera has decided to die on me, well actually the battery.  Its a rechargeable battery and about ten years old.  I need to get a new one but can't find one anywhere so I'll need to look online.

Have a wonderful and blessed week!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The garden.....planning phase

While growing up, we had a huge garden.  Lots of canning was done each year.  I haven't planted a garden or canned in over twenty years.  This along with the fact that I live in a colder climate zone has encouraged me to buy the following:

I have just drawn out the garden area.  I plan on growing two apple trees (more will be added later), two pear trees, a peach tree, and a plum tree.  If I have space, I want to do a cherry tree too.   I plan on planting strawberries and blueberries this year.  Raspberries and blackberries will be added next year.  Although I'll be spending alot of money on plants this year and not receiving any yield, the yield in years to come will certainly make up for it.  We also have two apple trees on the property that haven't been sprayed or taken care of the last few years. 

I've also been planning out the vegetable garden.  Sweet corn, potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, lots of tomatoes for canning and spaghetti sauce, pumpkins, beans, peas, and cucumbers.  I plan on canning pickles so lots of cucumbers.  We also have an asparagus and rhubarb patch on the property.  There is also a small strawberry patch, but I don't know the yield on that yet either.  I need to see how much we get from that patch, not that it really matters, my kids could eat quarts each day.

I've also got this book:

And also this:

TL and I have started planning out the chicken area.  Only egg chickens for us right now, so I'm thinking about a dozen, which should give us enough and some to share.

I may think about a milk cow too, seeing as how expensive milk is getting.

Take care everyone!!  Happy reading!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Getting over the sickies

Everytime we move, we go through a bit of illness to get everyone adjusted to the new climate.  This time has been no exception.  The kids have all gotten sick here and there and have seem to adjusted well.  I thought I would miss it.  I was dead wrong.

Last Sunday, I became ill.  Really ill.  Can't get out of bed, coughing, headache, chills so bad that I was shaking so bad I couldn't stop, and then the fever would kick in and I'd be covered with sweat.  Sunday through Saturday I was in bed sick......could barely get out of bed.  Finally started recovering this Sunday and yesterday finally felt almost all better.  The big kids were great, they helped with the little ones, got food, and tried to keep the house intact. 

I am so thankful that I am up and well again and for the wonderful job the kids did.  I have spent the last two days cleaning, putting away the tons of toys, and doing laundry.......but that's okay. 

Have a wonderful weekend!!  The kids and I are back on track tomorrow with school and hopefully should get alot done the next two days.  I hope to do some double time next week and do some catching up.

Friday, October 19, 2012

End of week 3

This week was great.  Only TL was sick at the beginning of the week so he had to play catch up, but for the most part everything will be completed today!!  The last two weeks were rough with the stomach flu and closing of the house.

Spanish is going well with the new program, although the speaking is really difficult.  I know how to correctly pronounce the words and its not saying that I do it correctly either.  Writing and spelling are improving.  I'm seeing a lot of improvement in his writing this year.  For Science, we decided to do an Agriscience book, well, we did buy a farm right?  

Much better with writing and spelling this year.  She still needs to work on her math facts.  Grammer and library skills are going well.  She and Courtnee are just finishing up a study on horses (guess what animal they want?)

She's doing great with writing and spelling but needs to work on her handwriting.  Its big and messy.  

Working on the letters of the alphabet.  She's doing really well writing her name and learning her numbers. 

For all of them, we do history together chronologically.  These past few weeks have been 1800-1810.  We just started Lewis and Clark this week and will continue to work on it for another two weeks.  We have some projects to complete that will make it more fun.

Today my rainbow resource order should arrive with our new math for the year.  I am also getting TL's bible, art, and government curriculum.  I have a few more items to order but nothing that we needed right now. 

Have a wonderful week!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

TL is one great kid.  Friday night he took his first belt test at the new taekwondo studio.  He's rolled with the punches with all of our moves.  After two and a half years doing taekwondo in WA, he had to switch to karate when we moved to CA, and now is going back to taekwondo.....but its a different style so he had to start all over.

After the first class, his instructor informed me that he was ready for his belt test.  So after the third class, he took his belt test on Friday and is moving up to the next belt.  He has been given the go ahead to move up the belts as fast as he can to get to the equivalent that he was in WA. 

Personally, I love his new studio and his instructors!!  Here's some photos from the test.

Nervous before the test

Getting ready to break the board

After breaking the board

Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting settled

Wow, what a crazy two weeks.  We started school but with the closing and stomach flu bug, we have yet to complete a full week of school.  I'm praying it goes much smoother next week.

The kids are all involved in their activities.  TL has joined boy scouts again and has find a nice taekwondo studio.  He did two years in WA and then had to switch to karate in CA.  This style is different than the one in WA so he has to start all over again, however, after his first class the instructor told me that he was ready to test for his yellow belt.  Wow!!  Very proud of  him!

The girls have joined American Heritage Girls and seem to really enjoy it.  Awana was a bust, we gave that up and won't be going back.  None of the girls enjoyed the club and the Cubbies were ignored for the first 30 minutes so we're not going back.  I'm looking into 4H for the girls, the only problem is that the club that is closest to us meets at the same time as boy scouts and in another town, so not sure that one will work.  The big girls have also joined the Bible Quiz team at the church.

The church has a wonderful homeschooling co-op that is extremely relaxed and fun for the kids.  I'm enjoying meeting everyone and all the kids have made friends, except for TL.  He's the oldest out of the group.  The church opens up every Friday night from 7-12 for the teens in the area, they get about 30, so I'm hoping that he will meet some friends there.  Our town has about 250 people and the town the church is in has about 700 so its pretty small town living here.

I'm spending this weekend doing lesson planning for next week, finishing organizing my desk, and hopefully removing wallpaper.  I'm going to try removing the big girls' wallpaper and the upstairs bathroom this week so I can paint next weekend.  Then I will probably be doing the dining room before it gets too cold that I can't open the windows. 

Take care everyone and have a blessed day!

Friday, October 5, 2012


My camera has decided to die, otherwise, I'd post photos of our new home!!  Yeah!!!  We FINALLY closed yesterday!!  We were supposed to close Aug 31st! 

Thankfully, we're already in the house.  I have a lot to do now though that we're finally official.  I have about ten boxes of crafts and school room stuff that I didn't want to unpack until I knew we were closing for sure.   I had to buy some more shelves to hold all the stuff and I'm sure it won't be enough.  The books have already been unloaded onto the shelves but need to be more organized.  I do have all of history and science together, but thats the extent of the organization.

I'm also in a rush to get some painting done.  Let's face it, it gets cold here in Minnesota and soon!!  I started painting the little girls room tonight.  Their room is about 9x12 but then has a smaller room attached (about 7x8) with shelves built into the other end.  Perfect little play room for them.  Anyway, I'm painting their main room a light purple and the other room a light pink.  Don't be too impressed, I got the idea from a painting brochure at Home Depot.  It looks like it will be really cute.  I'm excited for them.

The big girls have picked two really bold and dark colors for their room.  I'd love to steer them to a lighter something, but it is the first time in their lives that they've been able to have color and not just white walls. 

TL likes his wallpaper and duck border in his room.

The upstairs bath needs to have the flower wall paper removed and get painted.  Its not to big so it shouldn't take too long.

I'd also like to do the dining room before snow falls.  I have to remove the wallpaper there and then paint. 

This of course, with all the regular day to day stuff plus raking leaves from about thirty trees and starting to clean out the barns......we should be busy for a while!!

Take care everyone!!  Have a blessed weekend!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I'mmmmm bbbaaaaccckkkkk!

Okay, at least I have internet access again.  It has been a crazy month.  Delay after delay has delayed our closing.  We will finally be closing this Thursday and I'm so excited!!

The owners of this house are truly wonderful Christians.  They had already moved to KY last year and the house has been vacant.  They graciously offered for us to move into the house while Kevin was still there so that he could help us get settled and some things ready for winter before he had to leave to head back to CA.  It was about five days before we actually spent the night here.  Our bed is against the wall and looks out french doors into the back pasture.  The sun rises there and it is truly beautiful to see in the morning.

We were able to take care of some much needed maintenance before the winter months arrive on us.  And unpack a good portion of the house before he left.

I didnt have to transfer over the water because we have a well system and only the electric had to be transferred.  We did that immediately, not wanting to impose on the sellers.  I held off on phone and internet though until we had a definite clear to close from the bank.  The many hold ups were definitely because of the fact we were using our VA loan.  I don't know that we'd ever go through that experience again.  It was definitely challenging!  Our phone and internet were not supposed to be hooked up until Monday but we live in a small town......and that has its advantages.  The gentleman called today and asked if he could come and install it..........oh yeah!!  internet!!1

My inlaws came into town last night and we did some exploring today.  The next nearest town, with 700 residents, has a world class meat smoker and we bought some great meat.  Apple cinnamon bacon.....yum!!  Then we ventured into Hope, which has a creamery.  Bought a pound of butter, its supposed to be fabulous.  Also spent $10 on local honey....two pounds!!  Its like $7 for a pound in the supermarket.

The kids and I are enjoying the small town living.  We're starting to get our activities in place.  Found a fabulous homeschool co-op at a church that we were looking to attend.  Tomorrow is our first day there and we're excited.  The kids really enjoyed meeting new friends there.  Monday, TL will check out a taekwondo studio and boy scouts.  The girls are heading to American Heritage Girls on Tuesday.  Awana is on Wednesday.  Things are falling into place.  We really miss having daddy nearby but are consoled that with his schedule the next two years, he won't be home much anyway.  He'll be lucky to be home six months out of the next 24.  Thankfully, he'll be making several trips home to see us and we're very excited to get our little farm up and running.  We went over plans while he was here and it looks like we're on the same page on a lot of things.  We can't wait!

With all of the upheavel and unpacking, we finally started school this week.  Our first week went well however, there are a few things that I still need to get for school for the kids.  I hope to place that order this week.

Have a wonderful week everyone!!  Enjoy the beauty of the fall, the colors here are fabulous!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

and waiting and waiting and waiting

Well, we got word from the bank (ten days before closing) that we couldn't buy all of the land.  Its seperated into two different parcels, the front four includes the house and barns.  They wouldn't let us add on the back parcel of about eight acres.  After several days of back and forth, the sellers are going through the county to get it resurveyed to make it all one parcel.  Seriously?

Delaying our closing until how long?  Thankfully, its a small town and their real estate agent knows the surveyor so it will be filed this week.  We're shooting for the 7th!

Hubby is on his way here now.  Not all of our stuff fit in the truck (that's a shocker).  We have a small room of stuff left.  Not sure how or when we'll get it here.  Kevin also told me that they unpacked boxes and through stuff into all kinds of drawers, anywhere they could fit stuff.  Oh, the fun of unpacking it will be!! 

So, please pray for hubby's safe travels and also for our closing to now take place on the 7th.  We plan on taking a trip up on Wednesday so he can see the house and we're unloading our stuff into his cousin's garage.

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Here's a few more pictures of the house:
The side yard looking into the front yard.  The three apple and one crabapple tree are right by those pines.

The front pasture.  We need to take out that dead pine.

The back of the horse barn.  We need to do a little TLC to it.

The kitchen

The front yard

Have a wonderful week!!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

We're in IA

We arrived in Iowa last Wednesday.  We drove the two and a half hours up into Minnesota to see our new home on Friday.  Here's some photos that I took of it:

This is the north barn that also sits along the side of the road.  There are three stalls in ther, but we will probably put the chickens in it

The main horse barn with nine stalls in it.  Also the garage. 

The barn with the corn crib and also the smokehouse.  They had friends pasturing their horses in the back acreage

The front of the horse barn

The back 8 acres.  Fencing goes all the way around our land

The back of the house with the deck

The side of the house

Leaving the house.  Kevin's navy friend retired ten years ago and lives 20  miles away.  He met me up there.

I was excited to find out that the property has three apple and one crabapple tree on it.  I was planning on planting some next year, now instead, I need to just prune and spray.  They were in need of some TLC.

We close the 31st.  So every excited.  Lots and lots of work to do, but very  happy to do it!!

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, August 10, 2012


Washington was our most favorite duty station.  We loved the people, the island, and the beautiful scenery and animals.  Here's some photos of our week so far!

I pick up TL from boy scout camp tomorrow.  We leave Monday morning to head to IA.  It should take three days of hard driving, but we'll get there and relax before we close on the house on the 31st.  Can't wait to see the hubby again!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


So we left CA this past Thursday.  A very long day of driving....850 miles to Washougal, WA to visit our friends.  The kids were champs and did really well with the traveling.

The day before we left, the littles gave the dog and entire bag of his dog treats that have medicine in them to help with his joints and stuff.

Six hours into the trip, on a three lane highway in the mountains, the kids started screaming that the dog was pooping.

Everywhere.  Dog diarrhea.  Thankfully, he had a pillow and sheet and it landed on that, only a few drops everywhere else. 

The smell was awful.  I got him out and cleaned it all up.  I wrapped the sheets up and told the kids we'd stop at the next place to throw it all out.  I rolled down the windows.

Got back into the driver's seat to see smoke ahead.  I went around the bend and the entire road was covered with smoke.  Flames were going on both sides of the highway.  It looked like it was burning itself out, there was a large blackened area already.   Little Miss Trouble was crying and upset, but the big girls calmed her down....they were fantastic the entire trip.

The good news is that the smoke killed the diarrhea smell. 

Right now, we're back in Oak Harbor, WA enjoying some slightly cooler weather.  ITs in the 80s, which is warm for here.  I'll be honest, I was looking forward to some 70s.  I can't complain though, because the entire nation is so hot right now.

I dropped TL off at camp.  It was so nice to be welcomed back to a great troop.  TL will have a great time.

The girls and I will be doing some visiting and sight seeing this week. 

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

So much to do.......

and I'm sitting here doing nothing.  I need to finish up some lesson plans but I've got piles of stuff to pack in the car and I don't feel like digging through it.

I have to go through all of our clothes and get some sweatshirts out.....much cooler in WA than here.  The 30 degree temperature drop is gonna be huge!!

I need to finish sorting through my clothes and get rid of those things I haven't worn in forever.  We need to to find some space in the truck.  The dog, me, five kids and lots of stuff.....its gonna be crowded!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

change in plans

All year we promised TL that he could go to Boy Scout camp up in WA with his old troop.  Yes, the new troop was that bad.  Bad leadership, awful boys, and bullying.....I've never been so glad to be outta somewhere in my life.  We paid for camp and then the brilliant idea of buying a house and all the came about.  We thought of flying him up there.  Tickets are ridiculous.  It costs less for us to drive him up there.  So that's what we're going to do.  From there we head to IA to stay with some family until we close on the house.

This means we leave next Wednesday!!!  arrrghhh!!  Lots to do, little time.  I'll be hit and miss until then!

Monday, July 16, 2012

I forgot

I apologize to many of you!!  I forget that many of you aren't military.  You're probably shaking your head to our decision to move away from my hubby.  This decision was not done lightly.  A lot of discussion and prayer went into this.  To be honest, we never would have considered it before......until we got orders here. 

Many spouses choose not to come to this duty station and stay where they are at or move home.  Yes, its that bad here.

Another thing that you need to know, is that my hubby has been gone about half of our married life.  We have done nine deployments, three of which were four months, five were six months and one was eight months.  To prepare for these deployments, the squadrons do work ups.  They leave for a month, come home for two weeks, leave for two weeks, come home for three, etc.  Its a roller coaster of in and out.  The schedule is very fluid and changes quite often.  Its difficult on everyone.

Next year, hubby starts doing the workups.  Depending on the schedule, he'll be gone 5-6 months out of the year.  The year after he leaves for a nine month deployment.  Even if we had chosen to stay, he wouldn't have been around much anyway.  He works over 12 hours a day and doesn't arrive home until generally after dinner. 

Being a military spouse, you become "used" to your spouse being gone.  I'm very independent and take care of things while he is gone.  That's just the way it is. 

I remember one of my friends years ago, couldn't wrap her head around it.  She couldnt imagine her hubby being gone so much.  It is difficult, don't get me wrong.  Things break, kids get sick, everything seems to pile on all at once.  For the last ten years, we've been thousands of miles from family.  I've been totally alone on this venture.  I do get help from other wives who go through the same experiences and help each other out, but its different than having family help out. 

With our move, it puts the kids and I closer to family.  It also will allow us to set up a working farm by the time hubby retires in three years. 

Hopefully, I've explained this well, so you all don't think I'm crazy!!  lol

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ch Ch Changes

So with our move coming up, I'm trying not to stress too much.  I have another week of classes with two papers and two finals and I'm not nearly ready.  I have to sort and pack stuff.  I have to not melt in the heat.  109 yesterday with 35% humidity.  I'm so ready to move to a climate with four seasons!!

While we are living in MN, hubby will continue to be stationed here.  He will come home twice a year for about two weeks a time.  We also hope, depending on his schedule and when he'll be gone, that we will be able to come out to CA to see him for 6 weeks or so in the winter.  Thank goodness for skype so we can talk to him every day!!  My in-laws live about three hours south and we have a good friend about 20 minutes away from us.  It will be nicer to be closer to family.  30 plus hours of driving time is too far away and its been ten years like that.

With our pending move to the country and our little farm, we have made some changes to our school program for next year.  Right now, TL's reading Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens and is about a fourth of the way done.  After that he'll be reading Storey's Guide to Raising Beef Cattle and doing an agriscience program for science.  The girls will have their science program changed too.  They will be studying Horse and Pony Fact File.  Guess what animals that they want to get?

We hope by next spring to have the cow and chickens in place.  The first year, I plan on doing chickens for eggs only.  The next year for meat.  I'm not sure if we'll get a pig or just get one from his cousin who farms them.  He lives about twenty minutes away.  In a few years, we'd like to get horses. 

Hope everyone enjoys their summer!!  Keep cool!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Our new home

I've been kinda quiet lately.  We've been searching for and found a small farm in MN.  If the appraisal and inspection go well we'll be closing at the end of August.

The kids and I will be living there until my hubby retires from the Navy.  It wasn't an easy choice for us to make.  Three years is a long time.  Because he is on sea duty, he will be gone alot with workups and a deployment.  Home prices are so low along with low interest rates and now is the time to buy.

We're excited.  The kids are thrilled.  Five moves in ten years have taken their toll.  TL especially wants to settle down somewhere.  I'm looking forward to not having my neighbors live on top of me, or following someone else's rules in my home, and having walls that are painted a flat white paint. 

We're hoping to have some chickens and a beef cow.  Our cousin is a hog farmer so we can get a pig from him.  Hubby was even dreaming of rabbits....we'll see.  I'm looking forward to really decorating and enjoying our new space.

Please pray that all goes well during the closing and move.

Monday, June 25, 2012


My three oldest girls take gymnastics.  Priness and Bug-a-bug are in level two, moving up to level three soon.  Little Miss Trouble is taking a four year old class.  Monkey is anxiously waiting in the wings to turn three and start classes.  She as a leotard that she wears every day and has colored on the front of it.  She calls it her 'nastics.  The big girls got their leos for gymfest this week and she was crestfallen.  Since 'nastics is looing so sad, I splurged and bought her a new leo......this one she calls her sparkly.

Here's some photos from Gymfest yesterday!

Little Miss Trouble walking in to the gym

Bug-a-bug and Princess walking into the gym

The girls with their coaches-who are absolutely fabulous!!  My girls absolutely love them and they are such sweet ladies!

The girls all together on the podium.  They were able to stand individually to recieve their medals, but I thought it would be better to post the one shot.  Notice Monkey had to get in there and show off her "sparkly".

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Still planning.....

Okay, actually, I kinda just started.  These two classes are pretty intense and I have a lot of work to do for them.  I'm getting there though, only four weeks left, yikes!!  I'd better get started on my paper!

I set up my planning notebook yesterday and put in all the dividers.  I have a tab for each subject for each child.  I printed out the planning sheets for each subject.  Some subjects will be done two days a week, others will be done three, and math and reading will be done five days a week.

I pulled out TL's Tell Me More Spanish program.  It looks great!!  The introduction part will probably take up almost half the year itself.  Each lesson has about 12-16 activities.  Its pretty  nice.  I can't wait to get started on that!

I finally figured out exactly what books he'll be reading this year.

Teaching the Classics seminar
The Hobbit
Taming the Shrew
Midsummer Night's Dream dvd version (which we will watch and study Shakespeare then read Taming the Shrew)
Lord of the FLies
Animal Farm
To Kill a Mockingbird
Christmas Carol
Mysterious Island
Short stories to include Edgar Allan Poe
Poetry unit

The girls will be reading:

The Boxcar Children
Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry
Pippi Longstocking
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Charlotte's Web
Long Winter

Next week I'll be placing my first order for curriculum.  I love buying books!!  And I can't wait for all the sales on paper, pencils, erasers, etc........does anyone else like all those sales?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Planning a we will goooooo.........

Hello everyone!!  Finally got a Cricket hotspot.  Works like a champ!  So happy to have some internet back!!

I'm taking two classes this term.  Both are rather intense.  One is an ethics class.  The instructor posts about 25 questions each week and we have to answer our assigned question.  Each post each week is worth 5pts.  The final makes up the remainder of the points to equal only 100 for the year, so every point counts.  The problem is that the final is going to be ten questions taken from the ones she assigns each week.  ugh

My other class is on the American Revolution-love that time period so I'm enjoying the class.  I picked out my term paper topic-spies!!  So, I need to start reading up on that so I can start outlining my paper in a few weeks.

I'm starting to put together our schedule for next year and I hope to start working on lesson plans this week.  I need to print out the forms that I designed.  Some subjects we'll do five days a week, some two, and some three.  Sounds confusing, I know, but I have the schedule all worked out so it should be okay (I hope).

How's your new year planning going?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I'm still here!

Sorry for the lack of posts.  We've been crazy busy and have had internet issues again.  The sprint wifi box we  had wouldn't work anymore and they wanted us to pay $35 to replace it, but it wasn't even 6 months old so we cancelled it.

We're now trying to make hubby's cellphone into a wifi spot, but we couldnt figure it out yesterday.  This morning I'm at Starbucks because I have to finish my class discussions.  I tried McDonalds but their internet was down.  I really hate coffee so the smell is getting to me!!  I guess I'd better get off and try to finish up my homework.  Have a wonderful week everyone!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Military spouses blog hop

Hi!!  My name is Michelle and I'm originally from WNY, y'know lots of snow and the superbowl losers for four years in a row.  But, we do have great chicken wings, bison chip dip, and beef on weck.

I moved to VA in 1993 and  met my hubby, who was stationed there in 1995.  We married in 1996.  Since then, we've had five kids and moved five times.  Our first move wasn't until 2002.  We went to Japan for 10  months, moved to Lemoore, CA for 2 years, back to Japan for three years, over to Whidbey Island, WA for 2.5 years and now we're back in Lemoore.

My hubby is Navy and going on 24 years of service this year.  He is a surface rate.  He actually is the Maintanence Master Chief of one of the fighter squadrons here.  He does deploy to air craft carriers.  We've done nine deployments together.  Some lasted only three months, most were six, a few were almost eight.  I can't even count the number of workups he's done.  Workups are "getting ready for deployment"  and they generally last one week to six. 

Today is Military Spouses Appreciation Day.  I have to say, without my fellow sisters/spouses, these absences from my husband would have been very difficult.  For the most part, we've never been around family; we're usually overseas or on the other side of the continent.  To all my wonderful friends, and all the other military spouses, have a wonderful day!!!

We have five kiddos.  I can't download any current photos (I just realized the ones on the sidebar are almost two years old now) because my laptop doesn't seem to want to start up.  TL is the only boy and the oldest.  He turns 14 soon.  Princess is 11, Bug-a-bug will be 9 soon, Little Miss Trouble is 4, and the Monkey is 2. 

We do homeschool our kids.  When we got orders back here to Lemoore, I'll be honest I wasn't thrilled.  Its way too hot here for this northern chick.  We have been on the west coast or overseas for years and because of it, I haven't been home much.  Our deal was to upgrade our travel trailer to our fifth wheel and live in it. You can see our home here. The kids and I will travel during the summer.  This year, we leave in  July to head back up to WA to visit some friends.  I think we're going to head back through MT, WY, and CO since I've never been there.  Next summer we're leaving in May and traveling across the country and seeing everything we can along the way.

I am currently finishing my bachelor's degree.  I will be done in December!!  Yeah!  I love to read, quilt, and do genealogy research.  I have a quilting and genealogy blog but I rarely have time to update them.  I also like to scrapbook, although can't do that here, so I'm switching to digital scrapbooking. 

Thanks for stopping by to visit. Please leave a message so I know who you are and where you're from.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Do you schedule your day?

I used to but I got away from it.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps the move, perhaps my laziness.

All I know is that the last few weeks have been hectic.  It seems that everyone does their independent work at the same time and then they all clamor for my attention to work with them. 

This weekend, I made a schedule.  Although the times don't always mesh out (we're usually done before the time alloted), things are going much much smoother.  I don't feel as crazy as I did the last few weeks, which is good.  Its been in the 90s here already and its miserable.  The kids spend most of their day inside because whoever decided to design this rv park really messed up.  Usually your "hookups" are on one side....electric, water, cable, and waste.  The other side of your camper is where the door is.  Our door, and everyone else who lives here, opens up into the sun ALL DAY LONG.  It is so hot.  There's no shade to speak of and you can't even go outside later and sit when it cools down because you're still sitting in the sun. 

Oh, well.  We leave July 20th for two months.  Hopefully, the heat will not be bad until then, but we had a really  mild winter so they are predicting an extremely hot summer.  Oh, and they don't open the pool until Labor Day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Changes for next year already......

What a busy week this has been and will continue to be.  Monday night is gymnastics, karate, and boy scouts.  Tonight is a makeup gymnastics class.  Wednesday night is gymnastics again with TL going to karate.  We're also hooking up that night and driving to Bakersfield to get the fifth wheel looked at.  They are taking care of some things that are covered under warranty.  I hope that they are able to fix the fridge.  Its been over a month of not having one and I'm quite over it.  They are also going to look at the front A/C again.  Its making nasty noises when you turn it on again.  They fixed it once already so I hope that they will be able to take care of it correctly this time.  I don't really like the drive back.

So, the girls have told me that the don't want to do Teaching Textbooks next year.  They want to go back to Saxon.  And I'm still trying to decide what to do for science with them.  I may switch them to Switched on Schoolhouse to take some of the teaching pressure and planning off of me.  With Miss Trouble staring kindergarten next year, I need to make sure I make time for her, which means the big girls need to be a little more independent.

Have a wonderful and blessed week!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

History and Science weekly wrap up

Its been a busy week here.  For science, the girls split up and decided to study different things.  Bug-a-bug is studying birds and then trees.  Princess decided she wanted to learn abut the ocean.  I downloaded two really nice units from Currclick: Simple Schooling: Birds and Simple Schooling:Oceans to start off our study.  Both were only $5 each.  They worked on several units and really learned alot.  It was aot of fun.

TL is working on finishing up his Survival Skills notebooking unit that I got from Hands of a Child.  He's enjoying learning about surviving in different types of weather conditions.

For History this week, we worked on a quick review of the first three presidents on our start into the first decade of 1800.  We watched the Presidents video from the History Channel and then I downloaded President information sheets and President layer books.  They are located on the same link as above, just a little further down.  I opted not to make them as books, but use them as a notebooking page. 

On Thursday, we started discussing the French Revolution.  I make an information page for TL to fill in after reading the information on the Hands of a Child unit.  The girls did the lapbooking books.  We covered about six of the topics on the French Revolution.  Next week, we'll finish up the French Revolution and discuss the Louisiana Purchase; moving forward into our study of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

I hope to place some of my order for next year this week.  How's your  next year coming along?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The one with the Big Foot..

Hubby's been working the last two days.  It isn't fairing well for his foot.  Its just a little swollen:

I'm not posting the other pick of the side of his foot.  Its dark purple, green, and yellow from severe bruising.  It looks awful.

In my own supportive way, I suggested that we break the other foot so that the swelling matches and he could go into the woods to make Big Foot footprints.  That was a no go.

I also suggested that we take a pin to see if we could "pop" the foot and relieve some pressure.  Also a no go.

Its a good thing, he still has a good sense of humor! 

I think I finally talked him into staying home today.  He's had is foot up but everytime he stands up (with crutches of course), the pain is unbearable from all the blood rushing down to his foot.

Please pray for a speedy recovery!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

School year 2012-2013

So here's what books I've planned so far for next year:

Little Miss Trouble-kindergarten
Sing Spell Read and Write
All About Spelling Level one
Bob Jones Kindergarten math
little unit studies for history and science

Bug-a-bug-Fourth Grade and Princess Fifth Grade
All about Spelling
Growing with Grammer-Grade 4 and Grade 5
Student Writing Intensive Level A-IEW
Poetry Memorization
Library Skills grade 4 and 5
Literature to include: Boxcar Children, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry, Pippi Longstocking, Heidi, Charlotte's Web, and Long Winter

Meet the Masters

Teaching Textbooks Grade 4, Grade 5

Daily Geography Grade 4, 5
Passport Club

Positive Action Grade 4, 5

Science for Fourth and Fifth Grade
Unit studies to include: animal classification, weather, space, plants, owls, and the food pyramid.  Will be using some units from Hands of a Child, free unit studies from Homeschool Share and lots of books.

History for all
Lessons, readings, and projects to include chronological history from Civil War to current times.

TL-Ninth Grade

Student Writing Intensive Continutation Course
SAT Vocabulary flashcards
English from the Roots Up
Study Strategies Made Easy
Discover what your Best at
Teaching the Classics
Introduction to Poetry
Shakespeare, Yes You Can
Reading Selections:  short stories from Great American Short Stories, The Hobbit, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom Sawyer, Christmas Carol, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Taming of the Shrew, and Midsummer Nights Dream video

Saxon Algebra with CD teacher

Tell me More Level One

Switched on Schoolhouse Grade nine

Artistic Pursuits

Saxon Biology

Lifepacs on Word, Windows, Powerpoint and Excel
Typing skills

American Government text from Power Basic
Are you liberal? Conservative? or thoroughly confused

So, how's your planning going?

Planning next year....already?

If your anything like I am, you've probably been outlining in your mind what you plan on doing in your homeschool next year as soon as this year began.  Next year, I will have four different school ages and a preschooler to contend with.  TL will be entering high school and its just going to be crazy around here.  I'm still planning on doing history together as a family.  TL will be adding in some extra classes, such as computer and spanish.  I have to find time to teach the soon to be 5 year old to read.   So, I've decided to change our schedules.  First, we'll have Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays which will be the days we do the most important subjects: writing, grammer, spelling, reading, bible, and math.  Tuesdays and Thursdays we'll dive into nice long history, science, and art lessons.  TL will also be doing his computer classes on those days.  He'll also be doing a government class for a 1/2 credit but I haven't figured that out yet.

So, his ninth grade looks like this:


I also decided to change our school year around.  We're going to do six weeks on and one week off.  Here's how it looks so far:

August 20th-September 28th
(Labor Day off)

October 8th-November 16th
(the week off is Thanksgiving week, yeah)

November 26th-Jan 18th
(we will probably take close to two weeks off for Christmas because my dad will be here during that time.  This will also be the end of the first semester)

January 28th-March 8th
(off for President's day)

March 18th-April 26th

May 6th-June 14th
(memorial day off)

I think I've calculated 177 school days for the year.  This of course, does not include any field trips we may take on our weeks off. 

I've picked out all the curriculum for next year too, although I'm too tired to type that up tonight.  Did I mention, I have to give hubby pain meds every four hours?  Oh, and my laptop seems to have died and it looks like the air conditioning has gone out in my truck (its 95 here this weekend)

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hubby's foot

I had to take hubby to ortho today.  He's still in alot of pain and taking some pretty heavy drugs. 

The fibula was broken off and the other side of the foot has alot of ligament tear (bad sprain).  He has to wear his boot for the next 8 weeks.  He goes back in four for another xray and maybe to start physical therapy.

Thank you for your prayers.  Unfortunately, I'm really sick right now so this is an added strain.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

so much to say, so little time

Its 10pm and I'm sitting outside McDonalds using the free internet.  Why?  Cause mine isn't working.  Yep, that and the fridge.  Oh, and my laptop seems to not want to work either.....sigh

oh, and if things couldn't go better......while trying to reposition the fifth wheel yesterday, the hitch got stuck in the truck.  Hubby jumped in the back and tried to loosen it.  He jumped over the side to grab a tool and landed on a railroad tie.........broken foot.

Can I  have  do-over now please?  Where's that easy button?

Monday, April 9, 2012

School schedules

I'm wondering how many of you school year round?  I'm really thinking about it.  Working for six weeks and then taking a week off.  Two weeks off at Christmas and then maybe a long summer vacation of about eight weeks.  Any thoughts?

Anyone have similiar schedules?  Or do you follow traditional school schedules?

Thoughts and prayers would be appreciated!

Friday, April 6, 2012


I'm sure you've all heard.  A Navy jet crashed into a neighborhood in Virginia Beach. 

The Navy air community is very small and close.  A friend lives a mile from the crash.  We have two close friends that work in the squadron on the jets.  My friend's husband is a pilot with the squadron and thankfully, he was not in the plane that crashed.

We lived in Virginia Beach for years.  We met and married there.  Its close to my heart.  For years, the navy has been fighting the community because they kept encroaching closer and closer to the base.  It is now totally surrounded by neighborhoods.  Jet noise is a major complaint for many who live there, who ironically buy their houses close to the base.  The base that was there first.  This is going to stir up a hornet's nest within the community.

Please pray for those affected by this crash.  I'm assuming it will be awhile before we know how many were killed in the apartments as they're still putting out the fires. 

A retired EMT had one of the men land in his back yard.  He did a quick check and his neighbors carried him out.  Its important to note, that he was still strapped into his seat.  This means that they waited until the last second to eject.  They are trained to handle all emergencies and try to land safely away from the community.  Unfortunately, its too built up there for them to find a safe place.

My heart and prayers are with the entire community tonight

Monday, April 2, 2012

Map Trek

I just found this awesome resource on Currclick. Its called Map Trek and its make by Knowledge Quest.

 I absolutely love geography.  This year, as always, my kids are doing a seperate geography course to learn more about geography and I sprinkle it into their history lessons also.  Map Trek takes all the work of mixing it into your lesson plans.  I love that you can purchase each unit or together in a bundle.  If I'd realized how awesome it was, I would have done the bundle. 

Each topic has three lesson plans.  One for grades 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12.  And the best part is that all the answers are located conveniently on the teacher's page.  Sometimes with TL's program now, we have to really dig and although I don't mind the digging, it would be nice to be able to verify the answers.

The teacher's map is colored and has all the answers for you.  The black and white map is for the student to complete with the lesson plans that are given for the topic that your working on.  I purchased the New World book.  Here are all the topics that are covered:

  • World Map (Landforms)

  • Elizabethan London

  • James Towne

  • African Exploitation

  • Renaissance Italy

  • North America (map 1)

  • North America (map 2)

  • Native American Tribal Groups

  • Plymouth Colony

  • Thirty Years' War

  • Australia Discovered

  • King Philip's War

  • Ming/Qing Dynasties of China

  • The Mughal Empire

  • The Original 13 Colonies

  • The Iroquois League

  • Puritan England

  • Restoration Colonies

  • The Kingdome of Prussia

  • New England Colonies

  • The Middle Colonies

  • The Southern colonies

  • The Seven Years' War

  • The Explorations of Daniel Boone

  • Early Battles of the Revolutionary War

  • The American Revolution

  • The Expansion of Russia

  • The French Revolution

  • Napoleonic Wars

  • Lewis & Clark Expedition

  • Independence for Latin America

  • European Composers

  • European Inventors

  • England - Industrial Revolution

  • War of 1812

  • Growth of the USA (map 1)

  • The Growth of Australia

  • Growth of the USA (map 2)

  • Trails of Expansion in the USA

  • Goldrush in California

  • Westward Expansion/Mexican War

  • The Pony Express/Telegraph Lines

  • European Revolutions of 1848

  • I can honestly say that I never considered doing a map for Daniel Boone.  Or how about the Pony Express and the Telegraph lines?  I can't wait to dig deeper into this set.  

    And did I mention the curriculum integration guides?   The author has taken some of the popular history programs such as Story of the World, Ambleside, and Truthquest and labeled which maps are to be used with each lesson.  What a treasure!

    If you sign up for their newsletter, you can download a free Map Trek sampler.