Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pictures of our chicks

The chicks are about 3 weeks old now.  They've been living in our basement.  But we finally had a warm day, and they got to go outside for the first time.  They were very curious--pecking at grass, scratching in the dried leaves, spreading their wings, etc.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I did it!!! I read the Bible cover to cover over the last 87 days!!

I am so excited!
For the first time in my life, I have read the Bible cover to cover!
I finished it tonight!

Thousands of us participated in the Bible in 90 Days Winter 2011 Challenge over at Moms Tool Box.  I read it over a period of 87 days, reading 70 of those days.  I started just before CHRISTmas, as I knew March was going to be very busy!    And March indeed was rough--not only with the busyness I was expecting but with several days of illness for me.  I've only had one weekend out of the past month that I was not ill.   Though, ironically, it was illness this weekend that allowed me to finish it on time!!  Hey, laryngitis doesn't stop reading time!

This has been an amazing journey!  There was so much that I don't recall having ever read before.  I loved the fast pace, as it gives you a helicopter view of the Word and everything stays fresh in your mind.

Of course, there are many parts that I want to go back and re-read and delve into more deeply.  I already purchased the Tabernacle book in the Following God series due to this reading.   I've got some other Bible studies planned too because of this reading. 
Even though I own several Bibles, I did use the B90 official Bible.   They recommend using a Bible that does not contain study notes, or a person will get bogged down reading the details in the study notes....that would have definitely been me!!!!   There's really nothing special about's an NIV and it has each day's beginning and ending page marked for you.  Also included is a reading plan so you can check off each day.   But you can use any Bible, just divide the total number of pages by 88 (give yourself 2 days grace).   The great thing about doing the challenge with so many others, however, is the accountability.   Each group has a mentor who encourages us along the way.  My mentor was fellow homeschooling mom, Debbie in Alaska.  She even read along with us, even though she's completed the challenge last time it was offered.   Each week, the participants of our group checked in.  We encouraged one another to keep up the pace, shared sorrows and heartaches, and prayed for one another.

If you've never read through the entire Bible, why not give the B90 a try?  Believe me, if I can do, ANYone can!   I have tried reading the entire Bible several times in my life and each time I stopped somewhere in the Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy area.  This time, those chapters didn't seem so bad!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Doubts and Encouragments

I don't know about y'all but it always seems to be about this time of year that I start wondering if I'm doing enough, wondering how we'll "get it all" done, trying to figure out what to do next year, trying to figure out how my youngest thinks (and sometimes the oldest too!), etc.  I tend to dig out some books of encouragement (and go to Convention!) to recharge my batteries.

Anyone else feel like this toward the end of the year????   Just wondering what books encourage you?

Here are a few of my favorite that I try to at least skim each year:

Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Clay & Sally Clarkson  (supposedly a new edition is coming out, but it's been delayed since last fall)

Ignite the Fire by Terri Camp

Real Learning:  Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss (while I'm not Catholic and the author is, she says A LOT of things that I can appreciate)

Mitten Strings for God (not about homeschooling, but just general parent encouragement)

I Saw the Angel in the Marble by Chris & Ellyn Davis  (and their new one, I Carved the Angel from the Marble)

Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe by Todd Wilson

So what encourages you to stay the course that God has called you to.....

Friday, March 11, 2011

We woke up to a Winter Wonderland this morning!


The snow was really coming down!

I think the horses were wishing for hot mash this morning!

Horses in the snow

Wasn't The Pond beautiful this morning?!

The Pond

In the woods....

In the woods

From the woods to the field....

From the woods to the field

In the field....


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

End of February and into March



It's hard to believe we're in March now.  Most our snow has melted, and now we're dealing with mud and floods.  It took me an extra half an hour to get to the chiropractor last week because I had to find a road that wasn't flooded.  Fortunately, the house is on higher ground.

The weekends since my last update have been spent with illnesses. First, it was dh with the flu, then the following weekend I had a migraine that put me down for two days, and then this past weekend I had the flu. I miss church!!!! I was not able to do daily reading for my Bible in 90 Days, but I should still finish before the end of March if I get in daily reading now. I'm in Acts. I seriously never thought I'd make it this far! I can't wait until I can say that I have read the Bible completely through.

What is it about nearing the end of a school year that makes you try to cram more in??? Is it automatically a time of reflection and seeing that you didn't do all you wanted to? Sigh.... Well, dd13 has been asking to do Latin. This week we started William E. Linney's book, Getting Started with Latin (subtitled Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age). His website,, is a treasure trove of free resources that go with the lessons in the book. It's a gentle introduction with short lessons. Very doable. We downloaded the mp3 files from the website and dd13 reads the lesson from the book, then listens to the audio file that contains that lesson's commentary. Then, if there's any written work in the book, she writes it in her Latin journal. We will also be doing Science Roots by Paula Hasseler. DD13 will be doing Marine Biology at co-op next year and Science Roots will help. She'll be making the cards as recommended, as well as making a ring of cards to flip through for review. (The card ring will contain the Science Roots and the words she learns from Getting Started With Latin and be used for review.)

Also, I will be adding in VocabAhead's SAT: Vocabulary Cartoons, Videos, and MP3s. We have done the Vocabulary Cartoon books by the Burchers before , but they always fall by the wayside. When you purchase the VocabAhead book, you are granted rights to download a 547M zipped file that contains videos and audios to go along with the lessons in the book. I plan on having DD13 read the lesson and then either watch the video or listen to the audio. Every 10 words I will give her the quiz that's in the book. Again, short lessons that are very doable.

ChicksLet's see...what else has been going on? Oh yeah, we got 16 new baby chicks!! They're adorable and about a week old now! Our other chickens are almost 2 years old and barely gave us any eggs this winter. They've started laying again some, but are destined to become "chicken pot pie"  soon.  Shhh...don't tell them!

Phoenix Stove


With our tax refund, we decided to invest in a Hearthstone Wood Stove.    I wanted something that I'd be able to cook on if our electric went out....which happens from time to time.  We found a used one for sale at a third the cost of a new one.  Getting a good fire going has been a learning curve, but I think we've got it now.  It has a soapstone top and sides to retain heat better.  We've been mesmerized each evening by its beautiful flames.  We boiled water on it and made a cup of tea this evening.


As for our homeschooling, we're still plugging along.  DD13 is on Module 13 of Apologia's General Science.  I saw that Knowledge Box Central has revised their lapbooks.   Overall,doing the study guide lapbook has been great.  However, a few of the components were not well thought out and obviously not put together before being released for sale.  I look forward to seeing the changes made to the General Science one.

DD13 is continuing her Art Fundamentals class at co-op again.   She continues to work on Saxon 8/7 and is almost finished with her fourth Life of Fred math book, Pre-Algebra with Economics.

DD10  is continuing the Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry at co-op again.  She also started crocheting and health classes there.   At home, she continues to work on Math-U-See Epsilon, which focuses on fractions.  She's having a tougher time with fractions.  Though she understands the concepts greats, she's rushing and making silly mistakes too often.

We continue to do Fix-It and It All Begins with Genesis, each once per week.  We should be finished with both of these in early May.  At that point, we'll pick back up with IEW's Student Writing Intensive-B and do Teaching the Classics.   I just can't seem to get everything in, so I'll wait until these other two items are finished.

We are continuing with with Mystery of History Volume 1.  Not sure how we got so far behind, but we just finished the first half of the book.  The girls are really enjoying it, and we will continue the series next school year.  (I've already purchased it!)     We finished Rise of the Golden Cobra, which became another book the girls begged me to read.   (FYI:  I did have to edit two or three minor things in the story.)   I have loved how the books I've chosen this year were mostly books they would have never picked up on their own, yet by the time we were done reading it, they were sad to see it end.

I did pre-read a couple other titles that I had hoped to use in our history.  Unfortunately, they have  language and/or unnecessarily detailed violence that I just didn't feel like trying to edit as I read.  It's a shame, because both books were an overall good read for the subject.  Here are the titles in case you'd like to see if they will work for your family:  Pankration:  The Ultimate Game by Dyan Blacklock (The pankration was a ruthless, bare-fisted event of the Olympic games.  The story is set in 430BC.) and To Ride the Gods' Own Stallion by Diane Lee Wilson (This takes place about 640BC in Ninevah and one of the main characters is the son of King Asherbanipal.)  Of the two, the second would require the least amount of  editing.  I don't know, we just did Ninevah today in history...maybe I will do the Stallion book....I don't think I have anything scheduled to read for a week or so......

Well, I guess that's about it, other than to say that I've been in planning mode lately, trying to figure out what all we're going to do in our own homeschool as well as our co-op next year.   A new program I plan to have DD13 do at home is Hewitt Homeschooling's Lightning Literature.  I opted to go with Grade 7 for next year (although she'll be 8th grade) because it has James Heriott's All Creatures Great and Small, which I think she'll enjoy.

OK, that's it for this update....Thanks for stopping by and have a SONshiney week!