Tuesday, January 29, 2013

new family photo

Free unit Studies

This year has been expensive with our move and buying a new home so I had to resort to many free unit studies that are out on the web.  Here's some that I've found and used parts of this year or plan to.

Hobbit Study Guide

Lewis and Clark

Preschool units and activites


Tracking read alouds

Geography games

Space unit study

Geology unit study

Geology unit study

Space unit study

Weather unit study

Iditarod unit study

See my previous post on Maple syrup making unit study here

I use these websites alot and enjoy using them as starters for my own unit study.  I've found that I almost always tweek them somehow and adjust to use the books that I have on hand.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Our island adventure

The kids are in the middle of a project that I designed for them.  We're reading Swiss Family Robinson.  TL is reading the original and the girls are reading a more simplified version.

They have to design an island that they have been deserted on.  Draw a map of it, labeling water and land features.

They have to design a shelter.  They may either built it or draw it or both if they desire.

They have to research five animals that they choose to be on the island.  I think right now each of the girls has twelve.  They are very enthusiastic.

And they have to do three journal entries:

1.  Describe how they got to the island and who they are with.  Describe what they are doing for shelter.

2.  Describe two animals that they have encountered.  Finish talking about their shelter and discuss what kind of foods they are eating and how they are getting it.

3.  Make up an adventure that happens to them on the island

They are all excited about this project.  I'm excited too and can't wait to see the results.  Hopefully I'll have a camera soon and can show you!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekly wrap up

Not having a working camera is really bugging me.  I have to paint the schoolroom and put curtains up, but I'd really love for everyone to see it and the gorgeous desks that my dad built the kids for Christmas. 

This week went pretty well.  We've been fighting colds and the remnants of the fever from last week so we didn't quite finish everything.  We'll be able to catch up next week on a few things that we didn't finish up.

The girls are started learning the states and their capitals.  We're learning five a week so we should be done by the end of this school year.  I pulled out some geography games so that we can play more and have some fun learning. 

I reinstated my edhelper subscription.  I wanted some more activities that are "fun" for the girls.  We've been doing okay with our workbooks and things, but I definitely need to put some more fun into our school day.  I also spent about an hour on pinterest pinning things to do and make for school.

TL is doing okay, although he keeps putting off his writing assignments.  He doesn't even care if I take points off of his grade.  I'm not sure how to make it more interesting for him to do.  Any suggestions anyone?

We are loving Tapestry of Grace.  I love having all of the information there for the week to study and do.  The readings are flexible in that I can switch out the books that she suggests for ones that I have or can find cheaply.  I am really enjoying the program and will post more about it later.

Math is going well for all the kids.  Even though TL hates watching the video for Saxon, he certainly gets more out of the instructor than he was getting from me and is doing better because of it.  Princess and Bug-a-bug are moving right along with their math.

Trouble is doing well learning her letters and their sounds.  She's doing really well in math too and I'm getting more things for her to do to make it more interesting and increase her learning.

I started back to school this week.  I have this class and one more and then my bachelor's will be complete.  I have looked into master's programs but probably won't start that until next January.  Its good to be back into school because I really do love it, I just have to relearn to adjust my schedule and spend more time in the schoolroom instead of the living room in front of the tv. 

TL and I are reading the original Swiss Family Robinson and I've started to read aloud a toned down version for the girls.  They are all loving the story.  I decided to start doing a read aloud at night for the big kids again.  I haven't pinned down what we're going to read yet.  I miss reading aloud to them and will be happy to get back into it.  The kids really enjoy it too.

I have started turning off the tv every night at 7pm.  We will be doing our bedtime routines, reading, and hopefully playing more games.  The tv has become a time sucker and waster for all of us and it needs to stop.  I commend those of you who have gotten rid of it entirely, but I can't pull the plug.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I've had several requests on facebook for some chicken recipes so I'm posting them here.

Mexican Chicken
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg taco seasoning
monterey jack cheese slices
sour cream

Dust chicken with taco seasoning and place it in a baking pan.  Top each breast with a scoop of salsa.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Add slice of cheese to top and bake until melted.  Serve over rice with a scoop of sour cream. 

Ranch Style Chicken
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Thick cut bacon
bacon grease
dijon mustard
lemon juice
sharp cheddar cheese

Mix 1/2 cup dijon with 1/2 cup honey, and juice of 1/2 lemon.  Whisk until smooth.  Pound chicken to 1/2 or 3/4 inch thickness.  Add marinade to chicken and refrigerate 3-4 hours.  Fry bacon and reserve 1/4 cup of grease.  Clean skillet and then heat the reserved grease.  Cook chicken 1-2 minutes on each side.  Remove chicken to baking sheet.  bake at 400 for 10 minutes.  Add bacon and cheese and cook until cheese is melted.  This is a Pioneer Woman recipe.

Bourbon Chicken
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
brown sugar; seasoned to taste.

Combine olive oil and the next eight ingredients.  Place chicken in crock pot.  Pour sauce over chicken and cook until it falls apart.

Slow Cooked Lemon chicken
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp butter
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup water

Pat chicken dry w/paper towels  Combine the oregano, seasoned salt and pepper; rub over the chicken.  In a skillet over medium heat, brown the chicken in butter and then place in the crock pot.  Add water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon to skillet; bring to a boil.  Pour over the chicken.  Cover and cook 3-4 hours on low.  cook until meat juices run clear.  Serve over rice.  I sometimes make lemon rice to go with this dish.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Farming Friday

I thought I would start posting some ideas for our farm or homestead on Fridays.  I'd really love for it to be homestead daze, but it doesn't flow as well. 

We have decided to convert part of the corn crib into the chicken coop.  We laid out plans that TL and I will be implementing in the spring.  We have alot of junk that the homeowner left that we need to clean out of there first.  I hope to start working on it in March/April.

April I will also start reviewing my garden plans and building boxes.  We decided to do raised bed gardening.  We're not getting any younger and kneeling down isn't something that Kevin or I want to do.

I'll also need to make the strawberry raised and tiered planter and figure out where the fruit trees are going to go.  I've decided on dwarf trees.  They produce less fruit but because they take up less space, you can plant more of them.  I'm excited that they only reach about 6ft tall.  I may add some semi-dwarfs next year.  We have three full size apple trees on the property now that badly need pruning.  I'm not looking forward to climbing a ladder to do that!

I've been drooling over my seed catalogs and have decided which seeds I will be buying.  I'll be placing my orders at the end of the month.  I can't wait to have some fresh veggies (and next year fruit)!! 

Did I mention that we're also getting a bottle fed calf?  A neighbor is going to rent our back pasture for some of his beef cows and he's giving us a calf in return.  "Ribeye" will be a nice addition to the homestead.

The big joke in our house is animals.  When we first got the farm, I envisioned chickens, a beef cow, and a pig.  Hubby was against it for some reason (he's come around now).  So I kept telling him that I was going to raise alpacas instead!!  Last night he sent me a Craigslist item that had alpacas for sale!!  We joked about it......and then he added that he wants to raise bison.   Thank goodness he's just joking!

I'm off for now.  Have to take TL to our church for teen night.  I pick him up at midnight and have the whole evening planned out to do all kinds of lesson planning!!  I'm really trying to get totally organized this year!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Our 2012-2013 Reading Lists

I am totally not ready to start school this week.  My hubby left Saturday and my dad just left today.  I haven't taken down Christmas decorations and I still have lessons to plan out.  I'm almost done with the rest of the year's planning.  I will enjoy having them all done when I start school back up on the 14th. 

I decided to plan each subject, not by week, but by the number of lessons we have left.  Reading and math for instance we do five days a week, history and science four days, and other things we only do three or two times a week.  I gave us a week's worth of lessons as a grace period.

I love Tapestry of Grace.  I will post on this later this week.

I was able to lay out the kids' literature assignments  for the rest of the year.  I had to switch gears for Shakespeare for TL.  Originially, we were going to watch a play while doing a study on Shakespeare and then read another play, however we won't have time for that.  Our late start and my illness this year put us a little behind.

His 9th grade reading list for this year is as follows:

The Hobbit
Swiss Family Robinson
Tell Tale Heart
Cask of Amantillado
Hamlet video
Midsummer Nights Dream video
Last of the Mohicans
Mysterious Island
Rip Van Winkle
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Wind in the Willows
Princess and Bug-a-bug's reading list is as follows:
Sarah, Plain, and Tall
The Boxcar Children
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House on the Prairie
Henry Hudgins
Encyclopedia Brown
I hope to finally finish updating my blog this weekend.  I still have last year's curriculum up!!  ugh!!  And the pictures are really really old!!  I still don't have  working camera but I'm sure I have newer pictures than this!!
Have a wonderful week everyone!