Monday, June 11, 2007

This week...

Ok, I will admit, I AM a slacker. LOL We didn't do much in finishing up with history or science last week. What we did manage to do was run around town way too much! So.. we WILL finish up this week. ;)

We have a bit more to read from our Weather spotters guide book, then will finish off the kit with building the gauges and such. We have a few lessons to do in our Ancient Greece book, and a little reading yet as well. Then after that, all we have is the Fractions booklet to finish, and into decimals through the summer. I told the kids that once they complete the daily 4 pages of fractions, they'll only need to do 2 pages daily in decimals. Just something to keep their brains *thinking about math* instead of turning to mush. LOL

We are planning to visit some local places. I've been going through my favorites of travel ideas. Here is one I want to hit this month hopefully -
Brookside Gardens It has a really nice Butterfly exhibit. We also finally got our GPS unit, so I need to learn that this week so we can start Geocaching! (This is something we want to do a bit of before DH ends up having knee surgery again.)

So this is what our week looks like -
1. Finish the Weather Kid Kit

2. Finish the Ancient Greece unit
3. Learn how to use the GPS unit!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monday, Monday

Ok, so by now we are usually finished with our school "year".. but we ended up a tad behind this time. We have a bit of science and history yet to complete. And both kids are doing some math throughout the summer, just so they don't forget what they've learned this year.

I was hoping that most of our science work would have been finished last week.. but that didn't happen. *sigh* So I am hoping we can get the science and most of our history finished this week. So basically all we'll be doing is math and reading books through the summer.

Public schools are finished Wed. this week. So I'll be watching the girl I babysit every summer again. The kids usually do not want to do any work when she is here.. so we'll have to argue about that for a day or 2. LOL

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The weekend & Historic Harper's Ferry

I haven't gotten anything done the past few days. Saturday was spent cleaning out our horse shoe pits (that we didn't use) and finishing the last bit of cleaning in the patio. The Randy got the brillant idea to rip out these ugly, stinky "trees" in the yard by the pits. There was nothing but thistles and thorn bushes around them. So after about 5 hours, we had his dad's truck piled way over teh cab. But it looks nicer out back now. LOL

We had my brothers & mom and Randy's mom over for cookouts on Sunday. My brothers & mom came earlier for a lunch cookout of burgers & dogs. Then Randy's mom came over about 5ish for steaks. Of course it started to rain while he was grilling, but the storm passed over quickly. We played cards all afternoon & the kids swam.

Monday we didn't do anything. Everyone was too tired. Jake didn't get out of bed until after 11am.

Yesterday we visited the Harper's Ferry Historic National Park. I will have some pictures up later. It was a nice day. Wasn't too crowded or hot. We visited the mueseums, shops and the wax museum. (That place always scared me as a kid. LOL) Amanda said it was a little disturbing. ;) Then we ended with a climb up to Jefferson Rock. We are so out of shape. LOL I wans't sure if Randy would be able to make it. He knee was hurting but he made it up. We didn't go on up to the college campus or the cemetary. So that's one place I can check off our list of local places to visit. :)

As for school work, we have a bit of science & history to finish. Then of course math is ongoing through summer. I think we can knock out most of the science this week.

Monday, May 21, 2007

This week at Homeschool EStore

Roman Numerals

Almost finished..

for the year. After 2 weeks of basically getting no work done, we managed to do some today. Both kids have about 1.5 books of Key to Fractions to complete. So they each did 4 pages of that. Then we finally started our Weather Kid Kit. So we are reading the book that comes in it, Weather Spotters Guide, first before building the tools in the kit. We'll have the book finished this week, if all goes as planned. Then we began our last unit study on the Ancients, so we are studying Ancient Greece now. And we also did one of our new maps from Knowledge Quest's Blackline Maps of World History.

Normally about this time we're about finished. So we'll be finishing up just a tad later than usual. Science and History we should be finished with by June 1st. Math we are doing all summer, mainly just the Key To Decimals books. And we'll be trying t get our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory study finished.

-- Updated to add: And I forgot, we also have the D' Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths and Study Guide from TCR we are going to be using. So that will keep us reading some over the summer. This will be our "lunchtime" activity when I make the kids come in out of the pool.

I am thinking though that we might actually continue with some science-y stuff. I have a few Kid Kits I'd like to do: Rocks & Fossils, Young Naturalists, & the Microscope.

And I was very surprised today.. Amanda, my daughter who HATES math, actually sat down and did 4 straight pages without whining, yelling, fighting. And she even finished her brother, and he only did 2 pages before stopping until later in the day. He was the one whining the whole time he sat there (like all of 25 minutes). I really think this has a lot to do with MUS. She learned a lot from us doing Epsilon this year. I am hoping that math will not be a struggle for her anymore. She only need me to explain something one time.. and that's mainly because she didn't read the directions carefully enough. LOL

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lancaster Museum of Art - Nathan Sawaya's Lego Sculptures

We really enjoyed the exhibit, I just didn't realize the museum was so tiny. :(

Philadelphia, 2007

Ben at the Franklin Institute.

Amanda and Jake with the Liberty Bell.

Hey George!!

MD Renn Fest, 2006

We love the tree peoples. :)

Jake trying on some helmets.

Pics from Williamsburg last summer (and one from Jake at Busch Gardens)

This was on the sky lift thingy. Look how his freckles burst out!

These are outside the visitor center area. The big map is neat.

Amanda and Jake playing "hoops and sticks" and a sort of lawn bowling game. Can't remember if that's what they call it or not.

Probably the closest they'll ever come to sitting at a "school table" other than our kitchen table. LOL They were coloring "wood prints" or something. (Sorry my memory is terrible, I can't remember half the names of things.. I worry a lot about how these kids are learning. Cuz I'm such a brain-dead mom most times. hehe)

More Pics - Animals at Busch Gardens last summer

Of course we had to take a picture of the bunny for Amanda.

We got to pet this guy. He was pretty neat.

The wolves were so pretty.

As were the eagles.

Misc. Pics - Tulips, chickens, and a hawk

We see this pretty hawk now and then. In this picture he was actually have dinner. Not sure what he was ripping apart.

Here is the rooster and hen my father-in-law has picked up since winter. Someone gave him the hen (although we don't know where she is. Haven't seen her in a week, so hope she is just nesting & hiding) and the rooster he picked up at a sale.

Pretty tulips.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Ok so we ordered a GPS unit from Dell (they had a 15% off sale). This is the unit we bought (I am STILL waiting on it to be shipped though), Magellan eXplorist 210 GPS And I have been reading the info at the Geocaching site. And this weekend I think we'll go to Borders and pick up a book or 2. The Dummies books should be just my speed. ;)

So now, I just hope dh's knee heals quickly so he can go exploring with us. I think it'll be fun. There is so much in our area that our kids have never seen.. our fault (dh and I) not the kids. My mom always had us off in the woods & mountains, hiking & camping. (She was a much better parent in this aspect.. but that's a whole other ball wax there. hehe)

So anyways, this is one of our plans for the summer. Funds will be limited.. so we were looking for free/low cost things to do. Romping through the woods is one of them! :)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Our plan for next year: '07 - '08

Ok here is a "rough draft" of what we'll be doing/using for next year. I am sure I'll be adding/changing this over the summer. :)

Math - MUS Zeta & Pre-Algebra; Key To books (decimals & percents, whatever we didn't finish over the summer)
Lang. Arts - Tales from Shakespeare (Not sure if Jake will want to do this, so he may just do some other book studies) & other books from our book list below
Science - Biology, Physics, and maybe Chemistry - Lots of hands-on stuff (not using any textbooks for these, but will most likely use some of Janice VanCleave's books & of course Usborne)
History - Beautiful Feet's Medieval History & Knowledge Quest's Blackline Maps of World History
Art - Discovering Great Artists and Art History
Might possibly doing some history of music.. not sure yet.

Book List:
A Wrinkle in Time
The Chronicles of Narnia
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
The Great Gatsby
Jane Eyre
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Hobbit
Great American Short Stories
The Old Man and the Sea
A Tale of Two Cities
The Time Machine
Animal Farm

Not sure how many we'll get through.. but there are on the list of potential reading material.

So that's what I've come up with so far. I will update when needed. LOL

Friday, May 4, 2007

Early morning....

OK any other day my kids do not crawl out of bed before 9am. Well Jake woke this am at 6:30am!! I was awake (I usually get up between 6-7). But I like to spend the early morning hours alone. I play on the 'net/computer, have my coffee, and enjoy the peacefulness.

We let him use his money left from Christmas & taxes (yes we give the kids a bit to spend from the taxes) and he bought an XBOX 360 Elite package. He still owes us a fair amount, but he has his Spongebob GBA for sale on eBay. So that money goes to pay off his debt. LOL Anyways, he is just so darn excited that he just couldn't wait to wake up. BUT!!! He is on a time limit due to the fact he is too addicted to electronics and won't do anything else. So in other words, he woke early for nothing.. as he isn't allowed on yet.

Then Amanda wakes early also! She woke about 8am. *sigh*

Now they are yelling about spelunking. Calling the cat this. Wanting to change our answering machine message to "Thank you for calling, but I am out spelunking!"

Then they are laughing and telling the cat "Teddy are you a parking ticket? Cuz you got FINE written all over you!"

Lord help me.. I am not sure I'll survive the day! :D

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Where does the time go?

I am getting terrible about posting on my blog. :( But its mainly because I am so boring there is nothing much to post about. hehe Well I am boring but the kids aren't.

We were supposed to have our math book finished last week, but didn't get that far. So we'll be finished by tomorrow. We have 2 tests left, a unit test which will be done today and a final test that they'll take tomorrow. I allow them to be "open book" tests so that they can look back to be sure they are doing a problem correct.

I was going to go on to the next book in MUS (Zeta) but decided not to. If we would have finished back in March like I wanted to then yeah I would. But things happen and we just didn't get as far as quickly as I had planned. So I decided that for the remained of the "school year" and through-out summer we're going to work through some more Key To books. They have about 1.5 books on fractions that they'll be able to finish by the end of this month just about. Then we'll go on to decimals. Amanda of course was not pleased when I told her my plans.. but when I suggested we start another big book instead, she mellowed out. LOL So check back in the fall and see how well things went. LOL

The weather has been fabulous here, not too how not to cool. We've been outside a lot. Yesterday was park day. So several of us met up there. Amanda wasn't feeling so great so for awhile she just sat and was bored. Then she went off to swing with Jake. They ended up with 2 of the other kids making a very nice fort. I didn't have my camera, so didn't get a picture of it. Maybe I should walk up today and see if it is still up. It was very neat how they were making the walls with all the sticks they found. None of the kids really wanted to leave it. LOL

I am so terrible about bringing my camera when we go places. I think I need to attach it to myself permanently.. so I will always be ready to take pictures. :) Amanda has been begging for her own camera. So Dell had a coupon for 15% off so we bought her the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-S700. She really likes it and has been snapping pictures like a maniac. So then of course we had to get Jake something, so he got a new DS Lite and car kit.

So that's about it for what we've been up to. Hope everyone is enjoying the Spring weather! :)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Homeschool Reviews

Here in MD, homeschoolers must be reviewed twice per school year. You can either go through the Board of Ed (BOE) or a private reviewer/umbrella group. I used to just go through the BOE, only had one "bad" reviewer in 7 years of going to them. (The lady "failed" us and marked our review as unaccepted and that we needed to come back for a 30 day follow-up. That never happened. Apparently this lady was "failing" a lot of people that day.)

But for the last 2 years of going to the BOE, we had the same lady reviewer. I did like her, and enjoyed the reviews.. until.. she started "offering" more and more suggestions. "You should try this"; "Maybe if you used this"; "You should be doing such and such", and so on. So I felt that maybe it was time to go to a private reviewer.

So last year we did. And I don't know WHY I waited so long. It has been SOOO much more enjoyable to go to a fellow homeschooling mom that has/is going through similar issues we do. I used to get stressed big time about BOE reviews. You know, that queasy/butterfly in the stomach feeling when you are going somewhere you DO NOT want to? No more! I don't stress anymore.

Until now! LOL I suppose that since this is our 2ND year of going through our reviewer, we are able to either come in for a review, or mail a review. So with DH's surgery I thought "Sure, I'll type up something and mail it in". Well it was harder than I thought. LOL I have no clue how to write it out. So I muddled through it this morning and finished it up for both kids before the mailman came. And it is off to our reviewer now.

I really hope it is OK. I'm going to be worrying about until I find out what she thinks.

*sigh* I have a terrible headache (not from writing up our review). I believe it is just allergies. I am so happy the weather has warmed up.. but this time of year about kills me. My nose & eyes itch nose stop. Both run faster than our stream out back. But I'll survive. :) Just not sure how much work we'll get done today....

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What did I buy today?

I first was at Target AGAIN! Dh has been trying for the past month almost to get contacts that actually help him see clearly and feel right. Not sure if the contacts were ordered wrong or what.. but he's had I know at least 4 trial pair now. And he is STILL waiting on another, so we go back next week again. (I say we go back, because I love that store! LOL) I told the Dr. today that we need to be put on the payroll since we're there so much. hehe

So anyways, I picked up the kids each a new beach towel. We haven't bought any in years, like probably 8 or so. SO I figured they'd deserve some new ones for when we get the pool opened. I needed a new Pur filter for our sink. Mine is starting to leak every which way. So They have the silver/chrome colored ones marked down to $20. They had gardening gloves for a buck a pair, so I got me and the kids each a pair. I picked up some of the pink Breast Cancer awareness tennis balls for Amanda. They were on sale for $2 for 3. Then I got some snackies (Monster Bars, yum), some Aloe gel for sunburns :( and some bug repellent.

Then we headed over to the home school store. I picked up the Key To books for Decimals & Percents that I needed. I also got the Tales from Shakespeare study guide. I haven't looked it over yet. And I picked up a 2ND copy of the Your Body and How it Works workbook. I have one, and we plan to use it soon.. but I've decided against making copies. With the discount, it was just about $10 and that will save me in the long run from having to make copies and the time spent doing so. Then I picked up some games! I bought 2 more Professor Noggins: The Human Body and Geography of the United States. So I think we'll have to start making more time for games during the day. The kids really seem to retain the info from these card games.. so I really do need to get them out more often. And I picked up a game called Loot. It is a pirate card game and looked fun.

So that was my day. Now I need to sit down and figure out what exactly our "plan" is for next school year. So I know what we have and what I might need yet. LOL I may do that tomorrow. I am off to bed now. I'm whipped from mowing the yard today. hehe

I *think* Spring is FINALLY Here!!

Off to shower and get ready to head out for the morning.
Yesterday was such a gorgeous day out. One of my local HS groups has a regular Friday play date. We don't usually go because it is never usually a good day for us to get somewhere. And I think it is usually younger kids that are present. But one mom suggested the park that is about 1/2 mile from our house that we walk to all the time (same place we meet on Wed. with another group). So everyone came out and enjoyed the warmth & sun. There was about 9 moms and a slew of kids. I think everyone had a great time.
It was just so nice to be able to sit outside and not freeze. The wind was blowing and it was a tiny bit chilly at times. And I got sun burnt!! My arms and face. They hurt this am. :( I put aloe on last night, and will again once I shower here in a bit. Amanda's ONE arm and ONE leg got a little burnt. Not sure how she managed to only half face the sun. LOL I am such a bad mom.. I always forget to put sunblock on them. :(
Today is going to be close to 80!! Woo hoo! So we have some errands to run, then I need to mow the yard this afternoon. I enjoy mowing, it gives me quiet time to think or not think. LOL
So the MACHE fair is going on today (and it was yesterday as well) but I am not going to make it there. :( I need to get the next math books (MUS Zeta) but if I can't find them used from someone, I will just have to order and pay shipping. It's not that much, so no worries. And our local Home & School store has a sale during the fair as well. 20% off everything! So once we finish up at Target, I am heading over there. I have my list of things I am looking for. I need a few Key To books and I always pick up some new Professor Noggins games.
So we didn't get too much finished last week with our work, but at least got the math done that I was trying for. And most our of Egypt work completed. We are still reading the one book and will most likely finish reading that over the weekend. Then next week, instead of history we need to get caught up with our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory study. So that May can be the month we begin studying Ancient Greece. We should be able to finish everything up by the end of May aside from Math. That we'll continue with through June (or however long it takes to finish Zeta). I don't expect either to have much trouble with Zeta as they are OK in working with decimals. Be we'll see! :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Free eBook from Homeschool eStore

This weeks freebie is Respected American Women Lapbook. Looks great!

Been another long week

and once again, we've fallen behind in our work. *sigh* Last week was spent running errands, going to appts. and then finishing up with dh's knee surgery on Friday. We are waiting on the dr. to call back today to tell us what all he found. He was planning on snipping the tendon but end up finding what he *thinks* is gout or psuedogout.. as there were LOTS of crystals present. So he needs to be sure and sent them to be checked. They got the report yesterday, but the nurse couldn't tell us what it said until the dr. reviews it.

So he's in pain, but its getting a little better. He is a bit mad that the dr. didn't do more while he was "in there".. as he doesn't want to have to go through this again. hehe No one does, but what can you do.

So today, I want to get some math done if nothing else. I really wanted to have our math book completed by now so that next week we could start the next. But things happen.

Amanda and I will be watching Marie Antoinette today, then I think later the family is going to watch the Blue Man Group DVD we bought a few weeks back. I love those guys, and would LOVE to see them live. I bet that's be an amazing show. I kinda wish our TV was bigger, instead of just 32". LOL

We've had some cruddy weather lately. It's been in the 30's and low 40's for the last week or so. The past 2 days have been horribly windy (up to 40 mph). Today is cold, but not so windy. Hopefully it will break soon and we'll have a little bit of Spring weather.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Homeschool Blog Awards!!

Hey everyone, head on over to the Homeschool Blog Awards blog and vote for your favorite Blogs!! There are some truly wonderful blogs listed.. the voting is going to be SO hard!!

Homeschool Blog Awards

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Wooden tanks..

Well one tank anyways.

I have been limiting Jake's "gaming" time on the PC and XBOX/PS2/Wii lately. Only letting him on for so much time, then making him find something else to do for awhile. So about 5pm tonight while I am doing dishes and making pizza (I'm a mom who is thankful for Chef Boyardee pizza kits. hehe), he was driving me insane with fighting with his sister. So I pulled out this wooden tank model I had gotten him one birthday. Its been sitting and collecting dust on a shelf, so I figured it was time to dig in. I had him pop out the pieces while I did the dishes and got the pizza dough ready.

Then he helped me top the pizzas (sauce, cheeses, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, pepperonis. So while they were cooking we dug into the model. We had to call dad down for some assistance. We got some put together while the pizza was cooking. Then after we ate, dad quickly disappeared. ;) Well we got stuck again and had to have him come help.. so he just stuck around, "just in case".

The tank is finished finally, we have a few pieces to glue on yet. But its finished. I'll have to post some pictures tomorrow.

Painful my back is. In bed I shall read. Goodnight young padawans! (Sorry I have a thing with trying to sound like Yoda on occasion.)

Friday, April 6, 2007

This week at Homeschool EStore

This weeks freebie is The Moon by Hands of a Child. Be sure to get your freebie!

Spring break... ?

We had intended to take a spring break this week (Thursday & Friday) and through Monday but... the temps have seriously dropped here! What is going on!? We have a freeze warning for tonight. Come on, it was 80 on Tuesday!! So I think we'll just finish up our work and wait until it gets warmer again and take a nice break. What good is spring break when you have to stay inside wrapped in blankies?!

But aside from that, things are going well. We are just about finished with our first MUS book. I'll be picking up the next one at the curriculum fair in 3 weeks. Then we'll work our way through that before breaking with math until Fall. I have to update our materials we've been using, as we have completed some things. Our Egypt study ran a little longer, so we are finishing that up this week.

I had picked up a book called "
Earth Child 2000" by Kathryn Sheehan and Mary Waidner, Ph. D. at Borders a few weeks ago. The cover states "Earth Science for Young Children Games, Stories, Activities, and Experiments" It is intended for younger ages (Elementary grades) but it is still a really neat book. Everything can be added to for my kids ages, so we're going to start with that next week. I've been writing out a plan/schedule for that as well. And looking up books from the library to add into our learning. Plus whatever books we have at home to go along with each "unit".

As we've been finishing up things, I've been listing them for sale. I am trying hard to clear out my shelves with things we're completely finished with, and also things I've had forever and that I KNOW we aren't going to use. I don't really need to make room for next year's books as I already have just about everything. I just want nicer, more organized shelves. :)

So that's about all that's happening here. We are waiting to hear from Dh's drs. about when he will be having surgery on his knee. It is kind of hard to really plan anything right now, not knowing that date yet. So hopefully they'll get the approval soon from the insurance company.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Appointments & Shopping

and not a bit of schoolwork. That's all we did today. Randy had an eye appt. this morning, so we all rode along to shop while he was getting his contacts. The eye dr. is in Target. So I made a list really quick before we left. We have a cool book (Mythbusters: Don't Try This at Home) from the guys at Mythbusters and I wanted to get our "Mythbusters Box" ready for when we start reading it. I needed some cheapy measuring cups & spoons for the experiments, so i didn't need to use my cooking ones. I was looking for a cheapy stopwatch, but the cheapest was $10.. and I truly didn't want to spend that on something we won't use often. I also needed some string, so find a nice sized spool of twine that will work nicely. Only thing I wanted but couldn't find were some corks. I know I saw these somewhere before, just can't recall what store. Might have been Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Then the kids each got some new shorts and a few shirts. Then of course during check-out my stupid card wouldn't work. The girl had to call for verifictaion. Then when I spoke to the women at the cc company, she said my card was never activated. Um.. yeah it was! I called as soon as it came. I remember because I was on the phone for about 15 minutes listening to their garbage spiel about the credit insurance junk.. which I declined TWICE!

So.. after that we come back home for lunch, freshening up, and then back out for the kids' dentist appts. They just needed cleanings today. Amanda has a cavity, Jake didn't. Surprised me.. as Amanda is very good about brushing and not eating tons of junk. Jake on the other hand.. I think he'd rather have a tooth pulled than *waste time* brushing.

So that was it for our day. We have Happy Feet we're going to watch tonight. I think I am going to make a Shepard's Pie. Never made one before, so this should be interesting. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Our Schedule is going..

fairly well so far. We aren't getting quite everything finished, but at least we are making progress. I check off what we complete each day. I am also keeping track of our work with the Homeschool Tracker download I had gotten months ago. It is a pretty neat little program. I have just the free/Basic version. If you haven't already, you should check it out.

I had wanted to get an early start today.. but that's not gonna happen. The kids have been up for almost 2 hours now, but neither has even had breakfast yet. Amanda wanted smoothies (yogurt, frozen strawberries and bananas - YUM) again, but I need to clean the blender first. LOL And that'd mean I'd have to do dishes, but I can't do dishes because I am doing laundry. So I have to move the wet laundry from the washer, into the dryer... but I can't do that yet, because I am bloggin!! So she's just gonna have to eat some cereal. ;)

I can just hear Ron from Harry Potter now, "She needs to get her priorities straight" (when Hermione had said they might get hurt .. or was it killed.. or worse, EXPELLED! from Hogwarts. Can't recall which movie it was from, Sorcerer's Stone I belive. I know it wasn't in the book though.) Anyways, I'm rambling now. Better go take care of that laundry.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

This week at Homeschool EStore

Their freebie this week is Easter Notebooking Pages by Amanda Bennett. Be sure to get your copy!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Review: Amy Knapp's Homeschooling Organizer

OK, I am not the greatest at doing reviews, so I will try to do my best. ;)

I really wasn't sure at first how I'd like this. I use Amy Knapp's Family Organizer, and have for about 3 years now. I love it.. so wanted to give the Homeschooling Organizer a chance. I had also never personally seen the book, just saw it on Amazon, so I had added it to my Christmas list.

At first glance, I thought "Eh, nothing fantastic." Throughout January & February, I'd write in some things here and there. But it was until recently I decided we need a "plan". So I opened up my Homeschooling Organizer and got to it. The spaces are enough room for me to write in just about every subject I need to. On any given day, I can plan out for math, science, history, reading; all on the Lesson Planning side (left) of the book. Also on this side is a Grocery shopping list. Then you still have the days of the week side (right) to fill in for appointments, etc. and a To Do/To Call section, PLUS meal planning area. This all folds our into a 2 page spread, so you can easily see what is going on for the entire week.

The rest of the book is nice as well. In the front it has small "at-a-glance" calendars for August (of starting year, mine is 2006) until December of the following year (mine is 2007). Then the calendar and lesson planning, etc. pages begin with the starting year, August. You have a large 2-page spread of the months calendar. Then it goes into the planning pages & weekly calendars. Planning pages continue through August of the following year. Then you just have large 2-page calendars for the remaining months through December.

Additional pages in the back of the book include: Book Log; Chore Assignment Log; Personal Development; Grading; Field Trip Log Ideas; Completed Field Trips; Budget Planning (for the family homeschooling - includes materials for all children); Individual Budget Planning (for each child). These pages are reproducible.

I will be ordering my Homeschooling Organizer for next year as well. I think this is a great tool to help keep us on track. While I don't think I'd use it as a "regular" planner/datebook, as it is larger that my other one... I will continue to use it for homeschooling.

So, hopefully my review doesn't sound too jumbled. :) Enjoy!!

A schedule of sorts..

Well I decided that we needed to have a weekly "plan/schedule" of what was needed to be completed before we end our seat work for the summer. So I've been jotting down in my Homeschooling Organizer (This is the one for next year, mine runns from 8-06 thru 12-07) what I would like to have finished each day. This is not somethign I normally do, because I am just not great at schedule following. But so far, so good. Of course, this was only our first week of scheduling. LOL We did every day but Friday. And that was with running every single day of the week, including Friday (we actually went out 3 differnet times yesterday! ACK!!). I might try to talk the kids into doing some work today.. I know they'll refuse though. But maybe we can at least start our Egyptology book finally.

Thursday we went to the MD Science Center in Baltimore. We had a nice time, spent about 3.5 hours exploring the center. The Grossology tour was there, and I wasn't expecting to pay extra.. but we had to pay $26 for the 4 of us to go in. Well.. we were pretty dissapointed. There wasn't as much set up as I thought there'd be. And half of the games didn't work or weren't working very well. I had wanted to go back for the Animal Grossology tour, but I think we'll pass that one up. But all in all, the Science Center was fun. We had watched a really cool demonstratiion with Mr. Joe about liquid nitrogen. At the end he made fog and let the kids all feel how cool the fog felt. He was very careful about reminding them to NOT touch the pan he was holding. He stressed safety throughout the demonstration as well.

After we finished up at the Science Center we walked around the harbor to go eat at the Cheesecake Factory. The kids LOVE this place. We brought home 2 slices of cheesecake. YUM!! This time we tried the Godiva Chocolate and Jake picked out another chocolate, something like Chocolate Tuxedo or something.. can't recall the name. But it was yum as well.

So that was our week. It went pretty nicely, glad it is the weekend, even though it is going to be yucky. But we're going to get started Spring Cleaning!! Today we are doing the kids' clothes. Time to find out what fits and what they need new. Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

I am so bad about posting often!

I don't mean to neglect my blog, I just an VERY absentminded at times. And the past few weeks with everyone being sick, then the cats with their issues (1 being hospitalized for a week, then coming home with a cold & giving it to the other cat), and going away for a few days.. things just got away from me.

We are *trying* hard to get back on schedule. I wanted to be finished the MUS Epsilon and working on Zeta to be finished by the beginning of June.. but its not looking like that's what will happen. But I am hoping we'll be able to finish Epsilon the first week of April, then start on Zeta next and finish it up by the first week or so of June.. just a week or 2 later than I planned. I think the kids will fly through Zeta with no problems.

We'll be finishing up this week with our History (Ancient Egypt) and next week we are starting Ancient Greece. Jake is happy as he's been waiting for this study to come up. Our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book study was put on hold, so we'll be picking that up soon as well. It is just hard to get back into the rhythm.. *sigh*

Jake and I are on Book 2 of Harry Potter (Chamber of Secrets). Our plan is to read/listen to the book, then watch the movie. We are looking & listening hard for ANY clues to the final book.. but I am not picking up on anything. Supposedly there were several clues in book 1 as to what will happen in book 7. Amanda says she doesn't want to listen or watch the movies, but for the most part she does. LOL Dh thinks we are goofy for listening to the books on Cd's but that's just mainly because he can't here that well to listen along.

We are SO ready for Spring here. The past 2 days were such beautiful days, although a little windy. But anything is better than single digits. Tomorrow and Wed. are *supposed* to be in the 70's so I think we might head out and go hike on one of the nearby mountain trails. That is if DH's knee is better. Then we are to have some rain, so when the rain comes, I will start my spring cleaning indoors.. that way when it turns nice again, I can spring clean outside. :)

New Freebie of the week!

This week it is "Positive Teaching Positive Students" by Home Based English. Be sure to get your copy this week!! Just click

Friday, February 23, 2007

Whew! What a week...

Well last weekend we thought the cat was having trouble going to the bathroom (#2).. and on Monday when he wasn't better, actually he was doing much worse, we took him to the vet's. Turns out he actually had a urinary problem.. blockage/infection. He was to be released on Wed. but we were heading to Philly that day, so we arranged for him to be boarded until Thurs.

Well while in Philly on Wed. I get a call from the vet. He was doing fine, going on his own. We could pick him up Thurs. when we got back into town. Ok good. See you then. Well then on Thurs. just a bit before we were ready to come home, I get another call. He isn't going now. They may have to put in another cath. He needs to stay until Sat.

So this AM (Fri.) I give a call to see how he is doing. He is ok & going a little.. but the dr. was very worried about him being depressed. They wanted us to either come visit or pick him up. We picked him up. If we went to visit and then left him again, he'd have been even more depressed in my opinion.

So we got him about Noon. He's doing good, eating and drinking. Just very wobbly from the medicines. He has about a weeks worth to take plus is on special food for the next 6 months. We just have to watch him as he is leaking a bit. Right now he is curled up in a blanket sleeping on the couch. I know he is happy to be home. He's been giving a lot of kisses this afternoon.

On another note... Philly was good. Just happy to be home. The King Tut exhibit & Frankling Inst. were nice. We enjoyed everything. Didn't sleep at all in the hotel though. LOL I'll hopefully post some pictures this weekend.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Getting ready for some snow!

Well we are "supposed" to be getting hit with a winter storm here this week. Calling for possibly up to 8" of snow, plus maybe sleet or freezing rain. Can do without the latter for certain! But the snow we are looking forward to.

School-wise, last week was a bust. We've all had colds and felt miserable... so we didn't do much of anything at all but sat wrapped in blankets and drinking lots of juice and hot tea. Towards the end of the week, I was feeling tons better.. so I started some decluttering. I cleaned out my spices. Tossed a bunch that were VERY old. Made a new list of what I need from the store. I cleaned out the BIG junk drawer in the hutch in the kitchen. Tossed stuff from there and put all the odds and ends into containers. Now I am moving on to magazines. I have the past 6+ years of Family Fun magazines stored in magazine holders. So I started going through these. Last night I went through about 20 while watching the Grammy Awards. So they are in a bag waiting for their new owner to come pick them up. LOL

We have our King Tut tickets!! Can't wait. We are going on the 21st, then staying overnight and check out some other attractions (Liberty Bell, etc) on the 22nd. Amanda is mad because I didn't do the mega-fancy hotel. LOL But hey they charge for their high speed wireless, so I wasn't going to pay even MORE!! hehe But were we are staying is nice and cute. And hey, we're only going to be there for 1 night.. so no worries. So anyways, we are all looking for to a mini vacation.

This week we need to focus on just Math and History. We are slightly behind in both. History is of course Ancient Egypt. So we are going to really buckle down and get caught up there.

So off I go, we have to go grocery shopping today and get some goods stocked up.. just in case this storm really hits us hard. :-)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

I should be cleaning and food prepping.. but had to read through the paper first. ;) Then of course remembered I wanted to post quickly on my blog.. then, then, oh all right I'll make it quick so I can get to work. Sheesh.. LOL

Anywho.. Dh's friend & his girlfriend are coming over today. I'll be making our usual: Chili, *taco* dip with tortilla chips, steamers & mac n cheese. The taco dip is made from the steamers, then with taco sauce, lettuce, and cheese, sopur cream, and sometimes salsa. The steamers are made by the little market in town, not by me. hehe But I am making the mac n cheese this year, so that I can actually have some. Usually buy a thing for the kids, but they gobble it up too quickly. I'll make some brownies, and some other little things maybe.

Oh I have to mention this.. last night when I was making supper for Dh, ds, and I (dd was at a birthday party.. when she is home, I do make supper for her as well ROFL), ds had me laughing. I had the oven on preheating, and started smelling something burnt. I had forgotten that some food dribbled out the previous day, and didn't wipe it off. Well ds yells into the kitchen "Um.. Mom? Not to be rude or anything, but whatever you are making does NOT smell very good!" I laughed and said " No Jake, it is some spilt food I forgot about and it is what is stinking up the place. Supper is not even in the oven yet." He was releived, I think. LOL Gotta love 'em. It was a new recipe I was trying, and he didn't care for it too much. But ate a bit before dumping it out. ;) Just to be nice I suppose. LOL

Friday, February 2, 2007

Not getting much done..

This past week we haven't gotten much book work done. A little math, science, and geography.. but not all I had planned. We were also planning to go to the MD Science Center on Wed. but hubby has been sick again. So we stayed home. Now Jake is starting off with a sore throat. *Crossing fingers* that it won't go past that.

So, hopefully one day next week we'll get to go. We also have a field trip to Petco. That should be fun.

So what have we done this week then? Jake has read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. He read that in a day. I wanted to read through them again and was waiting for the aducio discs from the library, but he went ahead with book 1. We're going to work our way through them all before movie 5 & book 7 come out in July. I've read all teh books so far, but the kids haven't gone past the 2nd.

Amanda spent yesterday with her friend. She had a good time. She's been really having an issue with cabin fever I believe, so I am glad she's been out doing things with friends more lately. Because to be honest, the kid is driving me insane!! lol

Jake's been acting up as well and has had all his games (pc, PS2, Wii) taken away for the last week or more. So he is slowly earning these back. I've been letting him on the Wii, but only the sports games (phys Ed!!). I did allow him online last night and this morning a bit. So far so good. We'll see how long it lasts!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Free Download from Homeschool eStore

This weeks freebie is Pioneer Notebook Pages from Amanda Bennett. So be sure to head over and get your free download!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What's going on?

Well we didn't get any work done yesterday. Today we got some math & science completed. We are starting a new unit on Weather. So that should be fun.

Jake is having some boys over tomorrow for some XBOX gaming. He set up a day back in Nov. and it went well, so he has been wanting to do another. So tomorrow won't be a big work day either, aside from straightening up. LOL

We decided to drop the Critical Thinking - Reading Detectives books. The kids just weren't into them, so I brought out some old books of mine. They are the mini illustrated versions of 12 classic books. Such as: War of the Worlds, Ben Hur, Treasure Island, etc.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's snowing!!

Its been a nice light flurrying here for a bit now. It's laying on the road even! So hopefully we'll get a bit on the ground before it passes by. Here are some pics. The first is looking out back by the apple orchard, the second is down teh driveway out to the road. :)

Franklin Institute Membership

Our membership packet finally came! I am so excited! I can't wait to hit as many of the museums on the free admission program list as possible. We'll be visiting the FI when we go see King Tut, either next month of in March. We are still debating on when, but need to soon because I have to purchase tickets soon.

So we are planning on visiting the
MD Science Center to see the Grossology exhibit. And there are quite a few places I want to hit in VA and PA as well. So I will be busy planning fun field trips this year. :)

It's cold!!

Right now it is about 25 degrees, it feels like 19 with the little bit of wind blowing. I am freezing. We are *supposed* to get a winter storm blowing through this evening. Possibly some snow dropping, some areas might be getting freezing rain. :( I really hope this isn't so. Snow I am all for, all that other stuff.. ice, feezing rain, sleet.. we don't want it here.

Our school week finished off roughly. Friday Amanda was just terrible to be around. She was yelling about everything and at everyone. I had to ask her again if she wanted to go to school. I don't want to out her in PS.. but if she isn't happy homeschooling and wants to try it, I'll go along. But she doesn't want to, she just doesn't want to do *anything*. So she of course lost the one thing she does want.. her computer. Friday evening then she came down and asked if she could please have her computer back. I said "Yes, but you have to work for it." So she had to help me make dinner. And while was cooking, she had to help me do the day's dishes. After supper she wanted to make a cake mix I had from Tastefully Simple. So we did. The family watched a movie and ate the "ugly cake" (That's what the mix is called hehe). All was ok. She had to then help me do up the dinner dishes. THEN she could have her computer back for the rest of the night.

I thought all was ok.. until we went up to bed. She said goodnight to her dad, but ignored me. So Saturday I just stayed away from her, as the crabbiness continued. She was still nipping at everyone. But she did tell me goodnight and gave me a kiss at least :D Today is better, she is only fighting with her brother. *sigh*

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Our day..

has gone quite well. We finished off a lesson in MUS, did some geography. We didn't get as much done as I'd have liked, but at least we did some. ;)

We then headed off to the library, I had to pick up some books, then to Borders & AC Moore. Jake wanted a Oblivion book and Amanda wanted a new Manga. Dh picked up a magazine.

At AC Moore, I picked up some yarn and knitting needles. I am going to learn how to knit! Woo Hoo! So I hope what I got was right. A friend is going to teach me.. poor thing has no idea what she's getting herself into. Bwhahahaha!!!

Some of the books I picked up from the library are kids knitting books. But in browsing through the one.. it looks hard!! So I hope I am not biting off more than I can chew. I learned how to cross stictch very easily, but heck that's just making X's everywhere. hehe So we'll see.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Today's accomplishments

We took off yesterday from any school work. A girl I babysit was supposed to come over (but of course never did) and when she is here it is hard to get the kids to finish up any work. So today was the start of our week.

We started Lesson 15 in math, will finish tomorrow. (We usually do 2 lessons a week. We are working through MUS Epsilon.) Finally got started on our book study of Charlie and the Chocolate factory. We read a bit about Roald Dahl, and an intro of the book. Of course the kids have seen both movies, so know what it is about. The copied the vocabulary words and looked up the definitions. They worked on the 50 States book. And finished up a science journal on Environments. Oh and also worked in their Critical Thing books - Reading Detectives. Not sure how far we are going to get with these.. both kids HATE their book. So.. we'll see in another week. Might just drop these.

Free eBook from Homeschool eStore

Every week the Homeschool eStore has a freebie ebook you can download. We've gotten quite a few good ones since registering. This weeks is "Quick Dinners eBook" by Living on a Dime -

Recipe: Big Batch Beef Sauce

4 lbs ground beef
4 med. onions, chopped
5 celery ribs, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (28 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
2 jars (4.5 oz each) sliced mushrooms, drained; optional
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef, onions, celery and garlic until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain.
Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 1 to 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. Cool. Transfer to freezer bag or containers, about 2 cups in each. May be frozen for up to 3 months.

Yield: about 15 cups total

*Notes: I use a little more beef, and sometimes use the seasoned tomatoes. I usually don't add the red pepper flakes either. I also usually brown the beef in a roasting pan in the oven on about 250. This is from a magazine called Quick Cooking. Then they have recipes to use it for: Tacos; Spaghetti, Lasagna. And I use it in chili also.

Recipe: Individual Meatloaves & Sauce

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cracker crumbs (I use seasoned bread crumbs)
2/3 cup milk
1 beaten egg
3 Tbsp. minced onion
1/2 tsp each, dried sage and thyme leaves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup ketchup or tomato paste
1/2 tsp each ginger and garlic salt, optional
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
sliced green pepper, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Crumble beef into large bowl. Add salt. Sprinkle with cracker/bread crumbs and milk. Let stand a few minutes until crumbs are soft. Blend together.
2. Mix in egg, onion, sage, thyme, nutmeg and black pepper, mixing well. Shape into 4 loaves. Place on a foil lined baking sheet, about 3 inches apart.
(NOTE: If I am freezing these, I just pop them into a freezer container or Tupperware and stick in freezer.)
3. Mix brown sugar, ketchup, ginger and garlic salt, if used, soy sauce and mustard. Spread mixture over tops of loaves.
4. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with green pepper before serving.

Hello, Hello, Hello!

Well, here I am. I had a blog here before, deleted it and went to another blogging site for homeschoolers. But thought I'd move things back over here again. So I will be reposting some things here.
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