Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Year is beginning

Another CHRISTmas is over, and  a new year is beginning.

We had a great CHRISTmas, spending the day with family...and, as usual, receiving far too many gifts.  The girls got Nikon Coolpix cameras and have been having a blast with them.  I got the latest version of Corel PhotoShop...and a book to help me learn it!  Everybody got books to read (of course!)......and I've already read one of them, The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue.  (If you liked the Yada Yada Prayer Group/House of Hope series, you'll like this one too!)

We finished our 5th year of reading the Jotham's Journey Advent books.....this year was our second time through Bartholomew's Passage.  We also did our Noel Calendar......despite that my girls are older now, it has become a beloved tradition.

CHRISTmas Eve service is my favorite church event, and this year was no different.  DD13 was honored to play Mary during our church's CHRISTmas Eve service.  She brought tears to my eyes.

We're slowly getting back into the school routine.  We finished Mara, Daughter of the Nile during our CHRISTmas break.  DD13 loved the entire book (she continually begged me to read more!), and both were kept on the edge of the their seats as I finished it.

As the year is winding down, I naturally find myself looking ahead to the coming  Seems like just yesterday it was turning to the new millennium an90Daysd here, we've completed an entire decade of it!   I don't make New Year's resolutions, as I just break them anyway (often before I truly even get started!), but this year I have decided I am going to read through the entire Bible--something I have never done.   So, I purchased the 90 Day Bible, as I like the idea that the reading will be during my less busy months of winter.  To read the Bible in 90 days, I need to read 12 pages of the 90 Day Bible each day.  Definitely doable, requiring about an hour each day.  Anybody want to join me in reading through the Bible?

A very blessed New Year to all my family, friends, and readers!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Catching up....

Wow, where did the time go?

We've been plugging along with school, though not getting as much done as I would like.  We've just been so busy.  I purchased some apples from our neighbors (in public school) and it took them a week before they could catch us at home to deliver them!

We've all been involved with church events....special musical events, funeral dinners, and the like.  The library ministry (which I'm involved in) and the youth ministry worked together to host a public showing of the Veggie Tale's It's a Meaningful Life.  We held a coloring contest and made a ton of different kinds of popcorn,,,we had almost 100 people show up for it!  It was a great family night.  The girls are in the puppet ministry, which performed before the movie started.

The girls were aPuppetslso scheduled to do a Christmas program with the puppet ministry for special needs kids at a local Rotary event.  DD10 ended up with an ear infection at the last minute and was not able to perform!  We had packed up the theatre and all the paraphernalia that goes with puppets (and you wouldn't believe me how much there is!!!) and set up the day before.  About an hour before were were to leave, she complained that her ear hurt.  Bad mom that I am, I figured--since this was the first she had complained of it--that she could get through the performance and then we'd have it checked out the next day.   Well, we no longer got through the door for the event when she has tears in her eyes at the pain and I had to call dh to come get her and take her to stat care.  YPuppetsep, a pretty  bad ear infection and a round of antibiotics.  And guess who had a crash course in running sound and doing the backgrounds for the puppets????  Yours truly.   Wow, do I have a new appreciation now for what puppeteers have to do!!!!!!  It's a crazy scramble behind the scenes of each performance!  Fortunately we had a forgiving audience who enjoyed the show despite all my mistakes!

Let's see what else has been going on??    Oh yeah, it's Advent time, so we are in our fifth year of the Jotham's Journey trilogy......which means we're doing Batholomew's Passage this year.  This has become a favorite Christmas tradition.  Even though this is the second time through the trilogy, the girls continue to beg me to read more of the story each night!  (I was excited to announce to the girls that I have pre-ordered the long-awaited Easter story of Jotham's son.......Amon's Adventure!!!  We cannot wait for it!)

What else.......oh yeah, it's bitter cold and snowy and icy here in Ohio.  One day last week I quite suddenly found myself on the ground at the base of the deck.....having somehow missed the four steps from the deck to the ground!  Ugh.  Yeah, I'm still feeling that one.  The chiropractor is slowly getting me back in shape.....praise God nothing was broken!  \o/

And, just in time for the single digit temperatures.....the thermostat on the van is on the blink.  Brrr.....

Another reason I've not been on the computer as much is that it just plain hurts to type these days.  As my flare (dermatomyositis) gets worse, my muscles have weakened greatly.  I think I hurt the wrist of my right hand trying to lift something and have caused a tendon to become inflamed......either that or I have developed carpal tunnel.   Whatever the case, all I can is OUCH and I pray it heals soon!

And of course, as with so  many, we are getting ready for CHRISTmas.  Our tree is up and most of the presents have been purchased.  Still need to make some cookies. We are looking forward to a theatrical performance of A Miracle on 34th Street later this week.

Well, I guess that's about it.  Hope y'all have a very blessed CHRISTmas!

Oh, a PS......a bit of good news that I almost forgot......dh has become our Deacon of the Sound Ministry at church!  I love our church and am so happy we are involved!  We have an awesome minister, wonderful music, and a lot of great folks there!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our Week in Review: November 22-24

A short week with Thanksgiving tomorrow.

We finished The Hittite Warrior, so we're on to Mara, Daughter of the Nile for history.  I also finished pre-reading Rise of the Golden Cobra by Henry T. Aubin.  It was a good Ancient Egypt story, but there are a couple parts that I will edit as I read (for instance, one of the main characters is called b@$t@rd.....seriously, can't authors just leave things like that out of the stories!?! Especially when cussing is not a habit in the story.....there was only this one incident in the entire book!)  I will save this book for a bit later in history, since it takes place about 728BC and is about Pharaoh Piankhy (Piankhi/Piye).

This week, dd10 finished up the Missionary biographies from Fortunately for You that she started last week.  She's into missionaries right now, having just finished the Benges' George Mueller.  Now she's reading the one about Eric Liddel.  She's even asked for more of the YWAM biographies for CHRISTmas!  I'll have to work in the Hands of A Child's Missionaries lapbook sometime soon.

She's had a long time interest in learning Spanish, so I today purchased a subscription to a new website called Discover Spanish.   Using a Homeschool Buyers Co-op coupon, I was able to purchase a 36-lesson year for just over $35.   So, we'll start incorporating that into our day next week.

She's still plugging away on her Calvert Grammar.  She started Math-U-See Delta this week, having completed the Gamma book with an 88.3%.  We also managed to get in an All About Spelling lesson, #17 I think it was.

DD13 finished up reading Module 6 of Apologia's General Science and doing the corresponding On Your Own Questions, but she still needs to finish her lapbook components for the Study Guide and take her  test.

She is finishing the final bridge for the Pre-Algebra with Biology Life of Fred book.  Guess that means I better purchase the next one!  Fred is such a riot....who knew math could be so much fun!  She continues to plug away on Saxon 8/7, her Ultimate Grammar book, and Phonetic Zoo as well.

The girls did puppet practice this week, preparing for two public appearances coming up soon.  DD13 also had drama practice.  She's in a short skit for worship service this Sunday....she'll be playing the ear in a skit about the "body" of Christ.  She also had practice for her part (Mary) in our Christmas Eve service.

Guess that's about it for the week, other than getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner.  Dh's mother is making the turkey, green beans, and some pies.  I'll be making scalloped corn and the sweet potato casserole.  Dh's sister will be bringing potatoes and a pumpkin roll.

I purchased some spelt dinner rolls for Thanksgiving...yummy!  (I am not a celiac, but do tend to eat gluten-free as I am avoiding wheat.  Although spelt is an ancient form of wheat and does contain gluten, I can eat it...someone with celiac would not be able to eat it.)

I just pulled a batch of bread out of the oven....yummy rice and flax sandwich bread.  I'll cut it when it cools and freeze it.  It's easy to pull out and toast for a quick sandwich!  The house always smells so good when bread is baking!

Well, that's it for this week....may you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day, surrounded by your loved ones.  We have so much to be thankful for!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our week: November 15-19

So, how is your week going?

This week we have continued reading The Hittite Warrior....which the girls have a love/hate relationship with.  They love it some moments, hate it others. LOL.   I couldn't find any free comprehension questions to go along with the book, so I've made up my own....either I'm choosing easy questions, or the girls are following along pretty closely, as they're getting most of them correct!  Woo hoo!

We finished our first quarter of Mystery of History, Volume I today.  We reviewed all of the Challenge Cards for the first quarter......we do it as a game and the girls were able to get most of the questions.  The girls are working on their notebooking pages (getting caught up with the first quarter ones, since they are a new product from Bright Ideas and weren't available when we started the school year.)

For Bible, we did Lesson 15 of Answer in Genesis' It All Begins with Genesis.  This was an interesting lesson, as we discussed the Anthropic Principle.  It is absolutely amazing to think of all the tiny details our Creator thought of to make life on Earth suitable for us!  If anyone of these little details were off by just a small amount, life could not exist!

DD13 has been working on Module 6 in Apologia's General Science this week.  She's started the experiments, some of which take a few days.  She's looking forward to making the rock candy.

DD 10 has one more lesson in her Math-U-See Gamma book...yay!   Though it's a bit young for her, I had her do the free book bite (a fun alternative to a book report!) for The Old Lady Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle from Homeschool Share.  She still loves fairy tales, and it was a good book to discuss contentedness and circular stories.  Later this week, I hope to start her on Volume I of Fortunately For You's Missionary Biographies.

We're also busy with church activities this week.....I had a library committee meeting, the girls both had puppet practice this week, and dd13 has drama practice.  One of those week when church feels like home (not that I mind a bit!), as I'll be there 7 days out of 8 straight days.

Not too exciting of a week, but just wanted to let you know what we're up to.  (I hope to be better about more regularly updating my blog so you know we really do do school!)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Our curriculum for 2010-2011

Our oldest is in 7th grade this year.  This is our first year away from doing so many literature-based unit studies.  :(   But that hasn't stopped us from reading good books!  Our history this year is the closest to  a unit study that we're doing.


We are using Mystery of History Creation to Resurrection as our spine.  I purchased their new challenge cards to periodically review.  I like the short lessons and that it is Bible-based.   But the best thing about our history has been our read-alouds.  Even though my girls are older and very strong readers,  I have been reading aloud most of the historical fiction novels that I have chosen to go with our history studies this year.  Many of the books were recommended in the MOH text.   My girls, especially my oldest, tend to be stuck on reading only limited topics.  I wanted to make sure they get in lots of historical fiction this year, and, also being convicted after hearing Andrew Pudewa talk about the importance of reading aloud to your children, I decided I would read the books aloud to them this year.  It's been great so far!  The girls have really enjoyed books that I'm sure they otherwise would have quit reading about chapter 2!

Here's what I've read aloud so far......

  • Adam and His Kin by Ruth Beechick

  • The Golden Bull by Marjorie Cowley

  • Gilgamesh the King and The Last Quest of Gilgamesh by Ludmila Zeman

  • The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

  • Where I Belong by Rebecca Kenney

  • The Laughing Princess of the Desert by Anne Tyra Adams

  • Tirzah by Lucille Travis

  • The Cat of Bubastes by G. A. Henty

  • Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson is our current read aloud.


For science this year, dd13 is doing Apologia's General Science.  She is doing the notebooking pages, lab reports, and lapbook components from Knowledge Box Central.  I comb-bound the notebooking pages, which are for the On Your Own questions, and the lab report pages.  The lapbook components, which are for the Study Guide Questions, she mounts on piece of cardstock and places in a 3-ring binder like a Lap-N-Note book.  It's been working well for her.

DD10 is doing Real Science-4-Kids Chemistry Level 1, which is from Gravitas Press.  It's a bit of a challenge for her, but she's doing OK with it.  I've been making some crossword puzzles  to help her remember key terms from each chapter.


We're doing a variety of things for language arts, which is normal for us. LOL.

DD13 is doing Easy Grammar's 8th grade Ultimate Grammar.   DD10 is doing Calvert's 4th grade grammar CD.

Both are doing Institute for Excellence in Writing's Fix-It grammar and Student Writing Intensive Level B.  I am so excited about this writing program!  Although I've not kept it up as I had wished, we're plugging along slowly (which is better than not at all!!!).  Even my dh is implementing some of the ideas into his college classes!

DD13 is using IEW's Phonetic Zoo for spelling, while DD10 is using All About Spelling.  DD10 is almost done with Level 1.  She would have been done with it long before now, but we've been doing it hit and miss.  :blush:

In the spring, we will do some literature analysis with IEW's Teaching the Classics.  I am very excited about this program and how it can be applied to anything we read.

Both are learning to type.  DD10 is working on cursive using Handwriting Without Tears.


For math this year, DD13 is continuing with Saxon, doing the 87 book.  Over the summer, I had her do the Life of Fred Fractions book.  She has liked it so well, that she also did the Decimals and Percents book and is currently working on the Pre-Algebra with Biology book!  Fred is a hoot!

For DD10, we switched to Math-U-See this year.  I backed her up to the Beta book, which she flew through, to help solidify concepts and to make sure we would do things the MUS way.  She is almost done with Gamma.


For our Bible studies this year, we are doing AiG's It All Begins with Genesis, and learning the importance of having a Biblical worldview.    Along with this, we are using How Do We Know the Bible is True? and similar resources.

That's about it, I think.  It's a pretty busy year!

Oh, what a beautiful morning...oh, what a beautiful day!

Look what we woke up to this morning!

It's just beautiful out!

Daddy and our youngest went out and had a snowball fight!

Our oldest was busy in the kitchen...making treats for her horses!

2010 - 2011 Co-op

So...another co-op year has started. We have 36 families this year, with kids from preschool to high school, and we meet once a week for classes.

DD13 is taking

  • Art Fundamentals

  • Gym

  • Super Study Skills & Outlining

  • On-line Research Skills

  • Apologia's General Science

DD10 is taking

  • Chemistry (Science For Real Kids, Level I)

  • Geography

  • Gym

  • Sewing

  • A Beka Health

I'm helping to teach the General Science class this year.  Basically, we spend two weeks on each module and come together once a week for experiments.

For field trips with our group, we have done an educational corn maze and a historical re-enactment so far.  We've got a couple of plays coming up.  Not sure what else we're doing with the group this year.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Been awhile!

Hey everyone,

Sorry, it's been so long!  I got busy the beginning of this year, and then Homeschool Blogger changed format and I've been toying with it here and there, trying to figure out how to use it again!!!   So, here I am almost a whole year later!  The blog isn't fancy but at least I *FINALLY* figured out how to get my little dust bunny and books logo back on here!

So, what's up with us?   Same old, same old.

I still head up a local homeschool co-op.  The girls are now in 7th and 5th grades, so homeschooling gets to be more challenging.  I still struggle with health issues, but am plugging along.  We are still active with church activities, with me doing photographing and library and fellowship work, with dh doing sound, our oldest daughter doing puppets and drama, and our youngest daughter doing some puppets.

Oh yeah, last October I went mostly wheat- and dairy-free, as well as cut out a few other foods.  I'm trying to closely follow the Blood Type Diet.   Hard to believe it's been a whole year!  I lost 40 pounds, and am right wear I want to be!  Hurray!  I'm still figuring out recipes and still want to find a bread recipe that is as good as regular there such a thing?!

Well, that's enough to get me started again.  I'll try to do some posts soon about what we're doing this year.