Saturday, December 6, 2014


Its December sixth.  The cards are purchased (not addressed or mailed), most of the shopping and wrapping is done, the tree is up.....but that is absolutely all that is done.  I have boxes of decorations that the kids want to put up, hopefully we will get that done tomorrow.

I found myself struggling trying to homeschool and go to college full time so I made a few changes.  I'm getting up a little earlier to try to get some of my reading done before I start their school day and I changed some of our curriculum.  As a history major, I love to design my own curriculum for the kids but it was seriously falling through the cracks.  They hadn't done history in about four weeks so I brought down and purchased a curriculum for them.  Not how I like to do it, but it will work for this year and next.  I just can't juggle it all.

It doesn't help that with popcorn sales in Boy Scouts, I've been really busy with that and thanfully this is my last year being the treasurer.  I'm done.  TL has one more year of scouts and I'll have volunteered for ten years on scouts.  The girls need me with their American Heritage Girls program so that will by my focus.  Christmas program practices have kept us busy also.  I'm hoping to spend more time with the kids but it seems like all I do is housework, laundry, homework, and homeschooling.  We've gotten off of our chore chart schedule so I'm making sure that we get back on track this week.  I'm planning on taking May off this next year (I have two classes right now that end in February and will take one eight week class in March through April).  I'll have five classes after that and will hopefully be done by April of the prize is in sight.  I just have to stay focused and pray alot.  I've been losing my patience with the kids when they interrupt me doing homework.  My other problem is that the little ones need to have a more structured bedtime.  If I get them in bed at a set hour every night I'll be able to do some homework then and not be too exhausted.  Unfortunately, as I get older, I'm finding late study nights are not my thing.  I'd rather go to bed and sleep a good eight hours.  

I'm off to bed for now.  Early day tomorrow with Sunday school.  Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Update on my crazy life

Things have been really busy here:

  • We were visited by our homeschooling blogging friends that we'd never met but "known" for years.  It was a wonderful visit and way too short.
  • The teen got his driver's license!!  WOOT!  WOOT!  I don't have to drive  him around anymore!  And at the end of the month he'll have his own vehicle.
  • Boy Scouts is in full popcorn swing.  I'm tired of it already.  As treasurer, I'll have a busy few weeks.
  • American Heritage Girls has started.  As an explorer leader and vice-coordinator, I'm really busy.
  • Last three weeks of this term for school.  I have two 12 page papers to write, ugh.  It wouldn't be bad except that I wasn't able to pick my own topic for the one class so I'm dragging my heels on it.
  • Canning is done for the year.  We've had frost several times and I didn't get as nearly as much done with the tomatoes as I wanted but sadly its over.  
  • We got a pig and a calf to take care of.  We're still getting plenty of eggs from the chickens so that's a blessing.
  • The heat is on already.  I had to do it because it gets down in the 30s at night and its just really really cold.
  • My dad and his wife have decided to sell everything and travel in their RV full time.  I'm very excited for them.  Should be alot of fun.
  • Homeschool co-op is going really really well.  The girls are enjoying all of their classes.
  • TL is taking Russian classes through Currclick and loving it.  The classes are fun and engaging and he likes his teacher alot.
I think that's about it for a quick update.  I'll have some curriculum reviews later this week.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

History plans Grades 6-8 Industrial Revolution through the end of the 21st century

History lesson plans Grades 6-8      Industrial Revolution through end of 21st century including a study of Native Americans
I am currently working on a master’s degree in history.  I wanted an inexpensive program that teaches history utilizing fiction, non-fiction, and biography while exploring maps and projects.  I do recommend getting Christine Miller’s All through the Ages book.
I believe in teaching history chronologically.  I know, you’re looking at this list and going well, the first few weeks are about American Indians and Immigration in the United States.  I know but these are topics that I didn’t think we’d sufficiently covered.  I wanted my kids to have a good overview of different regions of American Indians and also some important treaties, leaders, and wars.  Immigration plays a very important role in the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th century so I included a separate study here.
**My goal is to develop a plan that is inexpensive and utilizing books, lapbooks, notebooking pages, etc that I already have or can purchase inexpensively.  Any books can be substituted out here.  I just list the ones we have for my own records; it doesn’t actually mean that we will use them or even all of them.  Use books from your own shelves or go to the library.  I love history but there are so many books out there that it would be difficult and expensive to have an extensive library at home. 

Week one through week three-Native Americans
This is an overview of the Native American tribes within the United States.  The Northeast, Southeast, Great Plains, Northwest, and Southwest Indians are discussed.
Books used:                       North American Indian Stories by Gretchen Will Mayo
                                                Southwest Indians by Mir Tamin Ansary
                                                …if you Lived with the Sioux Indians by Ann McGovern
                                                …if you Lived with the Cherokee by Peter and Connie Roop
                                                …if you Lived with the Iroquois by Ellen Levine
                                                The Encyclopedia of Native America by Trudy Griffin-Pierce

** I know the If You Lived Series is geared towards younger children but they do have wonderful information for research

See the attached lesson plan called Native Americans grades 6-8

Week four-Immigration

Books used:                       Immigration by Peter Benoit (Scholastic-Cornerstones of Freedom)

Week five-Industrialization Revolution
Week six-Industrial Revolution
Week seven-Topics covered:  Spanish American War, Boxer Rebellion, US President McKinley assassinated, Wright Brothers, Panama Canal, San Francisco Earthquake, Triple Entente
Week eight-Balkan Wars, Russia: October Revolution and Tsar Nicholas II,
Week nine-WWI
Week ten-WWI
Week eleven-WWI
Week Twelve-WWI ends and League of Nations formed
Week Thirteen-US Prohibition, Palestine, Europe: Mussolini, Soviet Union established, West Germany occupation, Stalin rises to power
Week Fourteen-Charles Lindbergh, US stock market crash triggers Great Depression, Pluto discovered
Week Fifteen-Great Depression
Week Sixteen-1920s survey of music, crime….leading up to Al Capone’s imprisonment
Week Seventeen-FDR New Deal, Europe, Hoover Dam
Week Eighteen-Hindenburg, War of the Worlds, WWII begins
Week Nineteen-WWII
Week Twenty-WWII
Week Twenty-one-WWII
Week Twenty-two WWII
Week Twenty-three-US Marshall Plan, NATO, Israel, Germany and Korea
Week Twenty-four-Cold War begins, Korean War
Week Twenty-five-Korean War
Week Twenty-six-Elizabeth II, climbing Mt. Everest, US: Segregation ruled illegal
Week Twenty-seven-Rosa Parks, Warsaw Pact, US Civil Rights struggle in South, US and Russia launch satellites into orbit
Week Twenty-eight-US: Alaska and Hawaii introduced as states, Fidel Castro established as dictator in Cuba, Berlin War, Bay of Pigs
Week Twenty-nine-Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK assassinated, MLK: I have a dream speech, South Vietnamese government overthrown by coup
Week Thirty-Vietnam War
Week Thirty-one-Vietnam War
Week Thirty-two-MLK and Robert Kennedy assassinated, Northern Ireland tensions, space race
Week Thirty-three-space race, Roe v. Wade, Watergate Scandal, St Helens erupts
Week Thirty-four-Space Shuttle’s first flight, Gandhi assassinated, Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader
Week Thirty-five-Challenger blows up, Mir Space Station, Chernobyl explodes, Berlin Wall comes down
Week Thirty-six-Persian Gulf War, Waco Texas
Week Thirty-seven-World Trade Center explodes, Mandela elected president to South Africa, Rwanda
Week Thirty-EU formed, 9/11, tensions in gulf

For a printable version of this go here.

Weeks one through three: Native Americans

Native Americans Grades 6-8
This is an overview of the Native American tribes within the United States.  The Northeast, Southeast, Great Plains, Northwest, and Southwest Indians are discussed.
Books used:                       North American Indian Stories by Gretchen Will Mayo
                                                Southwest Indians by Mir Tamin Ansary
                                                …if you Lived with the Sioux Indians by Ann McGovern
                                                …if you Lived with the Cherokee by Peter and Connie Roop
                                                …if you Lived with the Iroquois by Ellen Levine
                                                The Encyclopedia of Native America by Trudy Griffin-Pierce
** I know the If You Lived Series is geared towards younger children but they do have wonderful information for research

Week one
Vocabulary terms:  treaty, compromise, wampum, clan, surrender, reservation, warrior, squaw
Study the Northeast, and Southeast Indians in detail.  Make notebooking pages or lapbooks answering the following questions:
            What were their traditional dwellings?
            What were their family/clan relationships like?
            What were their clothes like?
            What did they generally eat?
            What were their customs in warfare?
            Name five different tribes that is located in this region

If you have the Enclopedia of Native America read the following:
            Northeast: pages 27-32
            Southeast: pages 49, 55-59
Read aloud: North American Indian Stories
Activities:        Plan a Native American meal
                        Make a cornhusk doll
                        Design a village for the Northeast or Southeast Indians
Week two
Read Aloud:  Soft Rain
Watch:  Dances with Wolves
Study in detail: Plains, Northwest, and Southwest Indians.  Make notebooking pages or lapbooks with details such as
            What were their traditional dwellings?
            What were their family/clan relationships like?
            What were their clothes like?
            What did they generally eat?
            What were their customs in warfare?
            Name five different tribes that is located in this region

Activities:        Make a dreamcatcher
                        Make a diorama of an indian village from one of these regions
                        Make a todem pole

Week three:
Project week!
1. Pick two of the following people and design a notebooking page or poster with information about their lives such as when/where they were born and died, what tribe they were with, what interesting thing they did in history, and any other facts that you find interesting.
                        Crazy Horse
                        Red Cloud
                        Red Eagle
                        Sitting Bull

2.  Pick two of the following wars and write short reports regarding the details of the war, who is was between, the years, the outcome, any treaties that were made as a result, and what eventually happened to the treaty.
                        Wounded Knee
                        Red River War
                        US Dakota War
                        Ute War
                        Little Big Horn

Watch:  History Channel Code Talkers

*****When doing research online, DO NOT use Wikipedia.  It is a bad habit to get into. Anyone at any time can go in and change any information that they want on this website.  Colleges generally do not allow usage of this website so do not start using it.  Use websites that are .edu or .gov; .com websites are generally not sourced and not confirmed.  Always be sure to be watching your child while on the internet to ensure that they are not connected to a website that is questionable.
 For a printable version of this Native American study, go here.

Week four-Immigration

Day one
Read Immigration by Peter Benoit (Scholastic-Cornerstones of Freedom) pages 6-19

Day two
Read Immigration pages 21-43
Read about the first person to arrive at Ellis Island

Day three
Read Immigration pages 45-49

Day four
Watch the virtual field trip of Ellis Island

Notes from the reading and study guide for quiz:
1.       What did U.S. President John F. Kennedy call the United States? ____________________________________________

2.       Define immigrants: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3.       Define indentured servant: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4.       What were some of the reasons that people immigrated to the United States?

a.       _________________________________________________________
b.      _________________________________________________________
c.       _________________________________________________________

5.       Define ethnic enclave:

6.       Define refugee: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

7.       Which continent has the greatest number of immigrants to the US? ______________________

8.       Why do you think that nation has the largest number of immigrants? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

9.       Which decade in the 1900s had the most immigrants? _________________________________

10.   Why do you think that is? ________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________

11.   Why do you think that there was such a decline in immigration during the 1930s and 1940s? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

12.   Where is Ellis Island located? ______________________________________________________

13.   What was the purpose of Ellis Island? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

14.   What years did Ellis Island operate? ________________________________________________

15.   How many immigrants were processed during those years? ____________________________

16.   The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States in _________________ by _____________.

17.   Engraved in the base of the statue are lines from Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” which reads:


18.   Who was the first person to arrive on Ellis Island?  How old was he/she and where were they from?  ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

19.   What did that person receive when they arrived on Ellis Island? _________________________

20.   In what year was Ellis Island opened as a park? _______________________________________

 For a printable version of week four immigration, go here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Geography-Travel the World Series

Almost ten years ago was that terrible tsunami in Sri Lanka.  I'm embarrassed to say that my hubby and I huddled around the globe to locate the tiny country that received such devastation.  We had a general idea....but that was it.  

At that moment, I decided that my children would learn better geography skills than I possessed.  So I've come up with this study program for them to do.  The wonderful thing is that this program can/will be used for years as they can do as many levels each month as they wish.  

I have a blank world map hanging on the wall that we use to test with.

Each month, I print out the sheet corresponding to that month's study and then I give them a blank map to fill in themselves.  It gives them ownership of what they are doing.  I designed the program to go over countries, capitals, vocabulary terms, oceans, lakes, rivers, mountains, deserts.  Here's a look at month one and two.  September is a short month because we're getting into the swing of things so that only has two levels.  If your child knows these already you can move onto level two.  I've designed a ten month program.  

Month one
Level one – Back to Basics
North America
South America

Level two
Atlantic Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Artic Ocean
Indian Ocean
Southern Ocean




Month two-North America

Level One
United States

Level Two

Level Three
British Columbia
Northwest Territories

Level Four
Lake Superior
Lake Michigan
Lake Huron
Lake Erie
Lake Ontario




There is a printable version of this here.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Organization is key

So many of you are talented enough to just go with the flow of the school day and remain calm, cool, and collected.  I would love to be like you.  I am not that way at all.  In fact, when I'm not organized with copies ready to go, lesson check off list printed off for the kids, and my desk cleaned off......well, let's just say it isn't pretty.  I'm not...that is.

I cannot function this way.  Perhaps its because I have so much on my plate between homeschooling, full time college, American Heritage Girls, and Boy Scouts?  Probably not...I've always been this way.  Making lists checking things off.  I've even done things for the day not on the list and then written that item down just so I can check it off.  I know, I'm pathetic.

With homeschooling I struggle to juggle five different levels.  I have two that need one on one time for all their lessons and two that work independently that need one on one time for certain things and one that is almost exclusively independent.  And of course, they are all clamoring for my attention at the same time.

This year I made a very organized detailed schedule.  Listing what happens when and if mom is needed for the lesson.  Now I do answer questions or give directions as needed but the kids know that I am working with someone else and are pretty patient for a few minutes until I get to them.

One saving grace is Homeschool Tracker.  I love that I can plan out lessons for the entire year for each subject and each grade level.  Once the lessons are in, I just use the scheduler button to plan out each week and I can even include a time for the subject to be started and completed.  A lot of times, the girls are done ahead of schedule so they just move onto the next subject. No problem there.  Several times during the day, I grade their work (with the girls its usually after each subject) and mark it completed.  The program records attendence, grades, and books for me.  I have purchased a yearly plan of $60 for the online version.  I used to use the Plus program but when the computer crashes there goes your lesson plans.  I enjoy having access wherever I am at.  It also saves lesson plans for me to use for the kids that are moving up so I don't have to replan or retype or rewrite in plans.  What a blessing!  I can even type in goals if I wish.  I'll do a more in depth post on the tracker program later this week.

On the homefront, I'm canning up a storm.  I did eight quarts of spaghetti sauce, 6 quarts of chili, and 3 quarts of pickles in the past week.  I still have to do relish, salsa, and the carrots.  I've already done the green beans and the apples will be ready in the next week or so.  We still have apple butter left from last year so I'll do applesauce and some apple pie filling recipes.  I'm hoping my friend will let me have access to her pear tree which is loaded with pears and they don't plan to use.  That would be a huge blessing!  And of course, tomatoes are still coming in so I'll be doing more spaghetti sauce and chili.  I already pickled beets for Kevin.  I think they're yucky and so do the kids.  Peppers and onions are all in.  We now have 12 quarts of bread and butter pickles so I'm pretty sure we're set for the year with those.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, September 1, 2014

School year 2014-2015

Tomorrow starts our new school year.  I will be teaching five different levels.

Sing, Spell, Read and Write Level K
Horizons Math K 
Handwriting without tears
Unit studies and art

Little Miss-Second Grade
Sing, Spell, Read, and Write Level 1
All About Spelling Level 1
Introduction to Science-Elemental Science
Unit studies and art
Saxon Math 2
Explode the Code

Bug-a-Bug-Sixth Grade and Princess-Eighth Grade
Explorer's Bible Study
Sassafrass Science-biology and plant science
Teaching Textbooks
Asst classics to read
All About Spelling
Easy Grammar
IEW-Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales
History-my own design

TL-Eleventh Grade
Asst Classics
IEW-Elegant Essay
Easy Grammar
Russian (Currclick Live)
Teencoder: Windows Programming and Game Programming
History-my own design
Algebra II
Dive Chemistry

Of course, all four girls are now in American Heritage Girls in four different levels.  Its very exciting.  Monkey is super excited to join her sisters this year.  They also attend the after school program at our church one day a week at which Princess volunteers at.  

The three biggest attend a Friday night program at our church.  TL is also involved in taekwondo and Boy Scouts.  

I hope to get the girls into riding lessons in the spring.  Too cold and snowy here in the winter for that.  They are very excited to start.

Tomorrow I'll have an updated list of books that they will be reading and hopefully first day pics.  

Today we got out the school supplies and set up their desks with the new books, supplies, etc.  They were very excited.  We'll see how that goes at 8:30 in the am.

This week we're only doing half days.  My mom comes next week so we'll be taking that time off.

I'm sorry that I haven't posted in the last month.  With Kevin home we were extremely busy trying to get things done around here.  And now that the garden is really coming in, I've been busy trying to get the canning done!

Prayers for a wonderful week for all!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Unit Study ideas

Back when my big kids were little we took full advantage of unit studies.  I don't believe in doing an organized history program until third grade but up until then its fun to come up with exciting things to study: cowboys, Thanksgiving, Egyptians, and Indians are just some of the topics that we studied.  For Science we studied astronomy, oceans and animals, animal unit studies, and insect studies.  All very fun and interesting.

I realized with a second grader and kindergartener this year, that I need to switch back to those unit studies.  This week I'm going to work on setting up unit studies for my girls on the following topics: Indians, Thanksgiving, oceans and animals, space, and a few animal studies.  

We will be supplementing science with Elemental Science's Intro to Science curriculum.  I used part of it last year and we really loved the interesting science experiments and the girls loved to work on their science notebooking pages.  They felt like they were keeping up with their siblings by having their own work to do.  It was a blast.  I highly recommend this program!!!

The big girls will be using Elemental Science's Living Book series on the Sassafrass Twins studying zoology and then botany this year.  Last year we used their classic series and totally loved it but I wanted to change things up this year.  Princess will be in high school science next year and I wanted to make science fun and interesting this year.  You'll notice that it states the curriculum is for K-5th grade.  We will obviously be beefing up our studies plus both girls need to earn a science frontier requirement for American Heritage Girls so they will be able to work on these requirements and earn their badges.  I plan on using these studies next year with the littles.

I'm off to work on my homework and lesson plans.  I am very behind in both.  I can't believe we start to homeschool in a month.  I just ordered the books for the kids!!  And I'm on week 5 of two classes for my masters.  Only 11 weeks left with two big papers to write

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


If you're like me, right now you're in the midst of homeschool planning.  Books are piled up everywhere.  Little notes are spread all over your desk.  Its an organized chaos.  Selena over at Look We're Learning just wrote a fantastic post about lesson planning with little ones.

I'm juggling right now trying to keep up with the outside chores and the garden.  I have several projects that desperately need my attention outside.  We have several areas that are really just weeds that need to be dug out and redesigned.  I've been putting it off because when I go near them the giant mosquito infestation swarms out to attack me.  I really need to get moving on that though.

My brother comes tomorrow and we need to deep clean.  The cats are all outside right now but he does have an allergy so I want to make sure that the cat hair is gone so he can enjoy his stay.

College started this week.  The one class has articles and a book that's about 120 pages to read,  plus books and articles for my paper.  Not too bad.  The other has 2000 pages in just the texts which does not include the articles or the research for the paper.  ugh

So needless to say, I'm running around from one thing to another.  I'm sitting down today and writing out a list of things to do which will hopefully allow me to stay on task.

And this week starts our birthday week.  Bug-a-Bug's is today.  She is such a sweet and gently soul.  I am so blessed that God blessed me with this wonderful child.

Have a wonderful and blessed week!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

AHG Peace camp

Dad would be proud of Little Miss sporting his Vikings hat

Waiting for craft instructions

Lunch was a four foot and 3.5 foot pizzas.  Cooked outdoors in a giant oven that this couple tow behind their truck.  There was enough room in the oven to make six pizzas.

Little Miss and her bestie at the end of camp.  Tired but very happy!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Coming up for air

It has been a crazy busy month here.  TL and I were desperately working outside to build more garden beds and get the garden in.  The weed eating took a hit.....its currently about two feet high.  We were trying to get it done and caught up and then we got about a foot of rain in one week.  The garden is growing really well....but so are the weeds.

I was also desperately trying to write two papers for two classes that ended last week.  Thankfully I received two As but now I am really behind in house and yard work.

TL's off to summer camp this week.  I can't wait to hear how the white water rafting, paddle boarding, and kayaking were.  I'm sure he had a blast.  

Little Miss went to American Heritage Girls Peace Camp (for Tenderheart girls grades 1-3) with her best friend.  They had a blast.  I went for the entire first day but had to head home to be with the other girls and then went back for the morning and we headed home at lunch time.  We were sweaty and sticky from sunscreen and mosquito spray.  There were tons of mosquitoes.

I will upload pics later....the girls are watching Netflix and the internet is too slow.

So between all this and swimming in the pond, its been really busy here.  And this week and next our church is selling fireworks at the TNT stand to raise money for our children and teen ministries.  Busy busy.

The kids were less than excited that some of their school stuff has arrived.  I received all the science and the history books.  I'll hopefully be starting up designing the history program later this weekend.  We're supposed to have big storms rolling through again.

I'm also trying to get caught up on some quilting and hope to work on some scrapbooking this summer.  The poor three little kids don't even have an album!  ugh!  bad momma!

So, I'm off for now.  Take care all!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Living next to the Hatfields and McCoys

That's what it feels like.  A few weeks after the chicken incident and my neighbor's dog, I started seeing it around again and knew it was a matter of time before it came back for a snack.  Thankfully I was here.

I couldn't get it to leave and it kept trying to circle me to get to the chickens.  We finally got it to go home and I followed it.  I was mad and probably yelling.  The neighbor's daughter started yelling at me telling me that they work all day and he got loose.  She had gone into the house to get his harness that was all closed up (snaps) and not in pieces.  Kinda hard for him to get loose if he's not wearing it isn't it?

Anyway, her father kept telling me to shoot the which I responded that he needed to just keep the dog tied up and then there wouldn't be any problem.  If I found the dog attacking my chickens again, I would shoot it is my legal right.  I'll discuss that in a minute.  Then he told me to bring down my gun and shoot it in front of him.   ???

Then he said that friends were welcome at his house, neighbors welcome, and then waved  his had to dismiss me.  He also then told me that all the neighbors now about me and my $500 bill for $13 dollars worth of chickens.  (the feed for the last year, replacement cost, and loss of egg money for four months until the new chicks start to lay was over $500, but we had verbally agreed to about half of it....they've given me $50).  He stated that if I ever got stuck in the ditch that I'd better have my checkbook because none of the neighbors would help me out.   Wow....I've moved to crazy town.

I've resolved that I'm never getting anything else from them.  I'm nervous to even go down to their house as their craziness may have me arrested for something weird.  I've decided if the dog returns I will video tape it, call the sheriff and press criminal charges.

After the last incident, the sheriff told me I could give the bill to him but if I did I would have to press criminal charges.  In light of how they are acting now and the neighbors' statements that this isn't the first time there's been a problem with this dog and a previous dog that they had, I wish I had gone the legal route.  

So, that's the drama from the dog.  I haven't seen it since last Friday.  I'm sure it will be back and soon.

On the school note, we have two weeks left and testing.  The kids are doing well getting done....except the teen who is lagging behind a little.  They will hopefully be all done on time.

The garden is finally getting planted now.  We had temps into the 30s at night even this week but it looks all uphill from here.  I planted peppers last night and hope to get the onions, green beans, carrots, and beets done today.  I hope to get the tomatoes and cucumbers done this weekend and next week....pumpkins, watermelons, and cantalope.  I also planted 25 strawberry plants and three peach trees this year.  My raspberries are just growing....I only lost one this past winter with the cold.  I thought I'd lost the blueberries too but they are looking pretty good.  The cherry tree and plum trees are doing marvelously!  I'm working on pruning the apple and crabapple trees that were on the property.  They have never been pruned so its pretty bad.  The big issue is that they are so big, I can't get that high to prune.  I'm hoping to do a little pruning all year and then a big one in the fall.  I don't want to shock the poor things.

My college is going well.  I have a big paper (rough draft) due the first week of June.  I'm hoping to have that done and finish up the other class' assignment the following week and be done a week early.

That's about all that's going on here.  Its been crazy but busy!

Friday, April 25, 2014

So very sad

I came home from church on Sunday to find my white rooster missing and about fifty white feathers all over.  It was obvious what ever got him was big.  The neighbor's dog had been here that morning and she had questioned me once if he had ever gone near the chickens but without proof I couldn't be sure it was him so I kept my mouth shut.  Biggest mistake of my life.

I got home from volunteering at our church's after school program on Wednesday to find him standing in my driveway with one of my chickens in his mouth.  I went crazy.  I gunned it up the driveway, slammed the truck in park and went after him.  Four carcasses.  I was livid and the stupid dog wouldn't leave.  

I had TL go out and stay with him while I drove up to the neighbors.  I told him (calmly) that the dog was at my house and killed a bunch of my chickens but wouldn't leave.  As he was putting his shoes on, he told me that the dog was acting strangely and had attacked another neighbor's dog this past weekend.  What?  You've got a potentially dangerous dog and its not locked up?

So he drives over to pick up the dog and never once apologizes.  He doesn't ask any questions just picks up the dog and leaves.

TL and I then go to assess the damage.  I'm positive the rest of the chickens are safe in the coop.  I open the door and it is empty.  They would have gone in there to hide.  The dog must have gone in there through their door.  I count four dead birds.  We search the property and find one rooster and one hen.  The rest are gone.  Twenty hens and two roosters are what I had.  I was so upset.

We went in to eat.  I wanted to call Kevin and tell him what was going on and we figured out that one of the birds was still alive so I sent TL out to shoot it.  A few minutes later I hear the gun go off again closer to the house.  He comes in madder than a hornet because the dog was back at our house!

I flew down the street and this is where my NY attitude kicked in.  I told him that if I found that dog hurting my chickens, dog, or kids I was shooting it.  Thankfully the dog was on his way home when I left.  

Per conversation with Kevin, I called the sheriff.  The sheriff told me I was within my rights to shoot it.  Now, I'm mad, but I really don't want to shoot a dog in front of my kids.  He took pics of the chickens and then went down to the neighbors.  He wouldn't open the door, apparently he'd gone to bed although it was only 7:30.  The sheriff left a message to call him.

His wife came home at nine to the sheriff's message and her husband's note.  She came down to apologize asking how much they owed.  At this point, three more birds had come back.  I told her that I didn't know because I didn't know how many were gone.  We spoke and she told me that the dog wasn't secured because they had nothing to tie him with and that he gets out of the barn.  Then put him in your house.  She wanted to get a chain to tie him up the next night and then work on a shock collar with him during the summer so that when he leaves the yard someone will push the button.  Well, that only works as long as someone is there pushing the button.  

I've had two roosters and ten hens return.  Ten more are missing or dead.  I worked up feed and cost of eggs and replacement....its over $400.  I'm not sure if they will pay it or not.  We'll see I guess.  They haven't bothered to come over and see how many chickens came back.  I was going to take the bill to them but Kevin said not to.  I will give it to the sheriff on Wednesday when he returns from time off.  

My roosters are now like Rambo on speed.  I cannot get near the hens or they go crazy.  I'm trying to talk slowly and move slowly to ease their fear.  I know that they are trying to protect their hens.  We'll see what happens with time.  I also have a hen that is literally shell shocked and just stands there.  We may have to put her out of her misery too.  I'll give it some time to see and hopefully she will improve.

I'm off for now.  Please pray that this situation gets resolved and quickly.  I live in fear that this dog will return and attack my dog or my kids.  They have done nothing to reassure me that the situation's been taken care of.  I'm not impressed with how they are handling this at  all.  I don't know, maybe I'm just overreacting?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Reading lists for the coming year

I have been working on a preliminary list for next year's literature work.  I may end up tweaking it more, but this is what it looks like so far:

TL-11th grade

To Kill a Mockingbird
Last of the Mohicans
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies
Fahrenheit 451
Prince and the Pauper
Cricket on the Hearth
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
All Quiet on the Western Front
Study and Watch three Shakespeare plays: Hamlet, Richard, Taming of the Shrew
Poetry study

Princess-7th Grade

Phantom Tollbooth
The Long Winter
Bridge to Terabithia
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMPH
The Magician's Nephew
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Cricket in Times Square
Poetry study

Bug-a-bug-6th grade

By the Shores of Silver Lake
Nim's Island
Best Christmas Pagaent Ever
From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E.  Frankweiler
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Twenty-one Balloons

Monday, April 21, 2014

The crazy life

I have many pics from Easter that I need to post sometime this week.  My inlaws and the kids' cousins came up from IA to spend the day with us.  It was fantastic.  We had a blast.

We're finally getting warmer and staying warmer.  Its a struggle with all the rain to try to get any work done outside but we're trying.  Its supposed to get a little cool again this week but the temps are moving up and that's what we like to see!

The kids and I have very busy schedules the next few weeks.  I just need to make it through May and the planting of the garden.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.....

My college is going well.  This week I'm working on completing two assignments that aren't due for several weeks.  I'm hoping that this will free up some of my time for the larger two papers due in eight weeks.  I can't believe I'm halfway through already.  Wow.  This has been a learning experience trying to juggle the house, school, and homeschooling but its going.  I hope to get more on top of the homeschooling this summer so I will be ready to go for the year before fall hits.  I'm not sure how we're going to do scheduling this year.  My mother comes the last week of August to visit and hubby will be home for two weeks sometime in Sept.  I'm not sure if I'm happy about starting school in October or late Sept.  We'll have to see what happens.  Maybe we can start early August and just do four days a week with only math and English or something like that.

Take care everyone!!   Enjoy your spring weather!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Zoo project

I designed a new project for the two oldest girls.  They enjoy doing these projects and they learn alot.

Zoo Project

1. Make a detailed map of the zoo.  Include vendors, stores, and animal displays.  Have at least 12 different animals in your zoo.  You can include a petting zoo, garden, pond, etc.

2. Make a zookeepers notebook.  A page for each animal with the following information:

  • animal name (include family, species, etc.)
  • habitat information
  • types of food to feed them
  • photo or drawing of the animal
3. Design a poster to display at the zoo:
  • an ad for one of the stores or restaurants
  • an ad for feeding time
  • an ad for a show (sea lions, bird show, etc)

The girls have one month to complete this.  Bug-a-bug has already gotten started on hers.  Next year, we may do an aquarium one.......