Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday Happenings

Been awhile since I've posted and I thought I'd do an update. :) We finally moved! The end of October to be exact. It was a bit rough at first... Amanda is never good about change, so we had about a week before she felt "ok" about living here. She was the one that BEGGED us to sign the lease and then once we moved she wanted to go back to the apartments. (She was like this when we moved into the apartments as well, but I thought it was because we moved from Smithsburg because we HAD to, not WANTED to.) I was very stressed about about various things and that was the icing on the cake. On the plus side of it all, I did lose 10lbs. lol School-wise things are up & down. We started off ok back in Sept. then with the move we kind of slacked off since we were packing and what-not. And since we've been moved & unpacked things haven't restarted yet. The Holidays came up quickly and we were wrapped up in that. We did manage to sneak in a field trip in Nov. We drove to Triangle VA to the Marine Corps Museum. We had a really nice day. There was a LOT to see there.
We've done a bit of baking since early Nov. Cupcakes, pie, coffee cake, and cookies. A LOT of cookies!
Jake also turned 16, so that's why the slice of pie is getting a candle stuck in it. ;) Mid-Dec we attended our homeschool groups Christmas party. We wanted to go since we really aren't "active" in the group much anymore. There aren't many older kids in the group so there just isn't anything going on for my 2. :( But anyways, we went and had a great time. The kids each got a gift from the kids' gift exchange. Jake got a recycled butter box with about 27 tiny wrapped "presents". He had to open each one to find the Gamestop gift card. We had a fun time watching Jake open them. Amanda got a cool Hello Kitty "lunch-box" with 4 Hello Kitty Pez dispensers. I had seen this at AC Moore and told the mom about it. So Amanda was happy about getting that. For the moms gift exchange, anyone participating just brings a gift. we draw numbers and go round choosing or stealing a gift. Whoever gets #1 can go again at the end to steal if they choose. I got #1 (again) this year. My first gift was a bunch of nice ornaments and scented items. It of course was stolen. My 2nd one was a really nice crochet shopping bag. It was stolen. The 3rd time I thought I was picking up some candy or something, but it was a Port City Java gift card, a really cute coin purse and a handmade Golden Snitch ornament. I LOVED it. And I warned everyone if they took it from me I would be stealing it back at the end. So of course, I kept it. :) I had made a really awesome recycled newspaper sparkling tree. I have to make one for myself yet. So hopefully will get that done this week. lol
Amanda and I also made cranberry & popcorn garland for the trees out back. I meant to get this done for the Winter Solstice, but we were a day late. Christmas has come and gone and we had a very nice one this year. Kids got a lot of cool & fun stuff. I guess they were pleased as they both dove into their games and such. lol

Here is sweet little Dwight posing...

Amanda's pile
Jake's loot
Family gifts
Now we just need to figure out what to do for New Year's Eve, besides eating Chinese Food.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week in review

Ok so this week was a little better. :) Maybe we'll get back into a routine by, oh Jan or Feb. hehe It is hard enough getting back into a routine after "taking a break for the summer" but after taking a break from sit-down-book-learning for a few years, it is REALLY hard to get back into things.

I had hoped to do some geocaching this past week, but the weather was not all that great for being outside. The temps were low but the humidity was just ridiculous! I felt miserable just going out to get the mail. Our upcoming move (no clue as to where yet, but we are staying in the same town just really need to get out of this apartment!) is looking like it will be Nov or later. We're going to have stay here at least another month. The places we've been looking at just aren't nice on the inside. And while we hate living here, moving into a new shitty place just to get out of another one isn't going to work. So the search continues!

On the school front, here's what we did:

We have everything (or will after I go shopping for the last few items this weekend) for chemistry, so Mon will start on that finally. My Home Science Tools order came in on Thursday right before I had to head out for my weekly MNO. (A bunch of us went to see The Help, great movie! We were all crying, and a group of 8 ladies crying together is quite a scene! We all looked like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer coming out of the theater. hehe) So anyways, back to chemistry... I should have lots of fun reports next week on our experiments. We're looking forward to getting started.

Math - Jake finished book 1 of the Key to Algebra. He breezes right through most of it and actually went ahead and finished this coming weeks work as well. As for the geometry, he only did the minimal amount he had too. LOL There are 8 books in the set but we only have the first 3. Not sure if I'll have him do them all or not. I just wanted him to have a little bit of geometry, so if we do more it might be next year.

Writing - This weeks lesson was on Parts of Speech. He had to copy out the sentences and label the parts of speech. Not the boys most favorite way to spend his time. LOL But he got through it ok and didn't do too bad.

Grammar - Not much to say here, he finished up his 5 lessons for the week.

Economics - Same here, Chapter 3 read and questions answered. These chapters and questions are usually pretty short, so he gets them finished up quickly.

Art - He finished up his chapter reading, but didn't get the Artist Bio pages started. So he can either do them over the weekend, or first thing Mon.

He also finished up a "small" amount of his geography work. Why he is dragging his feet on this is beyond me. *sigh*

Another thing I wanted to note is the reason I do not mention Amanda in my posts is because she has basically "finished" homeschooling. But she isn't quite ready for taking classes at the community college yet either. So she is actually doing some things at home as well. She needs some math review so we are working on that. But she also wanted other work so she is doing the art lesson along with Jake. Plus she is doing a Shakespeare unit study and some other Language Arts "classes" (vocabulary and writing). And of course reading history books. We have to go digging through the boxes of books I've already packed up because apparently one of her fathers military dictionary type books was packed away by mistake. And she needs it out.

So that's out week. Hopefully I'll have picture to add in next week. :) Of chemistry and hopefully some nice Fall scenes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week in review (a few days late)

Better late than never though, right?

We didn't get a lot done last week. Too much was going on (and not anything fun sadly) and I just let things slide. But some work was completed, so it could have been worse I suppose.

Chemistry is still on hold. I did a group order with some other moms so we could get free shipping from Home Science Tools. (LOVE THAT SITE!!) So the materials will be here Thursday hopefully. Chemistry will then begin next week. :) The getting out of bed thing still needs work.

Here's the list of what was done last week:

Math - He finished up most of his work for his Algebra review. Not so much for Geometry. So he has that to get caught up on this week. It really takes him less than 20 minutes to complete 10 pages. He just hates geometry, so he drags his feet on it.

Writing - He started his lesson for the week, but didn't get it all finished. So he did that all up today.

Grammar - He finished his 5 lessons for this. It really only takes him about 15-20 minutes to do a weeks worth of lessons in this book as well.

Economics - He read chapter 2 and answered the follow-up questions in the guide book.

Art - Last weeks lesson was still just doing some reading. This week we'll be adding in biography History Scribe Artist Biography pages.

He did some more geography work as well. And we didn't get around to adding in any History. Might wait until next week for that.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Week in review

I'm going to try this again. :) Maybe I can at least do a weekly review throughout the year... that shouldn't be too hard right?

We had our first day "back" on Tuesday. We still need to do some work on Jake getting out of bed when I wake him. I find myself going back every 20 minutes or so and he's gone back to sleep! (But yet on a Saturday morning when he goes with his dad to the game store he either wakes up right away or wakes himself up almost 2 hours earlier than he needs to!!) So yeah, we need to work on that. But all in all, it wasn't too bad of a week. Tuesday was the hardest.

He finished most of the week I had planned, Chemistry I put on hold until next week because I needed a few other items. And I had planned to start working through the Movies as Literature book, but since we are packing to move all the DVD's are boxed up. So we'll pick that up once we get moved and unpacked.

So here is what we did accomplish this week:

Math - for the time being, I am having him work through some Key to... books. So the schedule is for 2 pages of Algebra and 2 pages of Geometry each day. He truly hates Geometry. lol But he got through it just fine and finished everything for the week on Thursday.

Writing - Since his goal is to start writing more, I had this book from last year when I was planning on working through Oak Meadow with him. But we changed our minds. I did keep the writing book to use though. It is The Least You Should Know About English: Writing Skills. I have an older copy, the 8th Edition, of Form B. Forms A, B and C are all the same except for the exercises in each book. So no need to buy all 3.

So Jake will be doing a section or 2 each week. Each chapter is broken into sections, which have explanations and exercises. Then there is also a proofreading exercise and sentence writing. The sections are about 10 pages each. They don't take him long to finish, which is why some weeks he'll be doing 2 sections a week (plus there are a few with just 2-3 pages).

Grammar - He is using the Easy Grammar Ultimate Series Grade 11 book. The Ultimate Series books are just like the Daily Grams, but for grades 9+ (they do still have the Jr/Sr book, but recently came out with these.) Just a page a day, takes about 5 minutes. He'll most likely do all 5 pages on one day just to finish it up quickly for the week.

Economics - I had picked up Whatever Happened to Penny Candy (An Uncle Eric book) at the curriculum fair in the Spring to use this year. Not sure how I feel about the rest of the Uncle Eric books, but this one got a decent review (even from secular homeschoolers). Then he'll also be working through the Bluestocking Guide: Economics book.The schedule is 1 chapter and worksheet per week.

Art - I put together a quick and easy art history lesson plan. Using a few Usborne books I have along with the History Scribe Artist Biography pages. So he will read a section/chapter in the book and do any biography pages we have with artists that were in the time period he is reading.

He also still has some Geography work he is finishing up. Next week will add in Chemistry (The Joy of Chemistry) and Social Studies/History (Critical Thinking in US History)

So that's it for the week. Not a ton, but it was enough. LOL

Monday, March 28, 2011

Waiting on Spring

March is quietly (& coldly) leaving us soon. The few days of warm temps we had this month seem like they were years away. Its been quite cold and icky, I've debated turning the heat back on. lol We did venture out on one fairly nice day and took the short hike/walk up to the Washington Monument. It was a chilly, breezy day so we didn't stay long.

The closer we get to Summer, the more work it seems the kids have to finish. Of course, they haven't been doing much at all.. which is normal and they have to bust their asses to finish it up before our final review of the year. They've both still been doing a good bit of reading. So they aren't JUST playing on the computer or Xbox. hehe But I've redone their schedules and I am *hoping* they stick to it a little better in April.

We've changed the dates a bit on the boys game days we were doing. It was becoming to much *work* for Jake since 2 of the boys were bickering a lot between them. So instead of every week, we are now hosting it once a month. So with the once a month Family Game Nights at the game store, that should be plenty of non-family game time. Which we've been doing a lot of. Jake won't always play, so mostly it is Amanda, Randy and I. We have all the Settlers of Catan expansions now. (We'll eventually get all the 5-6 player expansion sets so we can have friends join us.) We took a break from Settlers this past weekend though. On Saturday I showed Amanda how to play Uno Rummy Up. I hadn't played it in years. So Sunday, with dad with played that and Life. I think she's getting burned out on Settlers and needed a break (after all, it was usually her wanting to play Settlers so much!)

April brings so many activities I have on the calendar. Whether we'll get to them all, I have no clue but there are a few I *really* want to do. On the 2nd we a bake sale to raise money for our MS Walk team. So I'll help out a bit then, not sure if the kids will. The 9th is an open house at the Earth & Space Science Lab. The 16th is the MS Walk. Amanda and I will be doing this, not sure if I can talk Jake into it yet.  And then on the 17th is the Brookside Gardens Earth Day Festival. This is the things I am most looking forward to this month. On the 23rd, there is an Earth Day Festival at Morgans Grove park. Not sure yet if we are doing this. And sometime in April we are hoping to spend a Friday in DC.

Menu Plan Monday

Quick post with our menu for the week -

Monday - Moussaka, veggies and orzo
Tuesday -  Chicken Parm with garlic bread
Wednesday - Pulled BBQ Beef sandwiches (in crock), veggies and rice
Thursday - Creamy chicken and wild rice soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
Friday - Pizza

Monday, February 28, 2011


Not too much to report here really. Not a lot of book work going on, as usual. hehe The kids have 3 months to get their math work finished. I've made (and re-made) their schedules.. so it is up to them. I'm going to try and push them along this week, as I would rather they just get it finished sooner and not take until the end of May to do so.

Both have been reading a lot more lately. Which is good, as neither read all that much in the past few years. Jake is on a Sci/fi-ish kick, Amanda is opting for non-fiction.

Now that Spring is almost here, we have plans to visit many local places. First up is a trip to Harrisburg to see the National Civil War Museum and the State Museum of Pennsylvania. I had gotten really cheap tickets through Groupon for both. I also picked up some cheap tickets to the Aviation Museum in College Park, MD. So we'll head there one afternoon. And of course, Earth Day is right around the corner, so we plan to visit Brookside Gardens for their Festival. And of course, we can't wait to start Geocaching again.

Amanda wants to visit lots of battlefields again this Spring/Summer so she can get more pictures taken. So we'll try to hit as many as we can before the hot, humid Summer keeps us indoors.

Menu Plan Monday

Just a quickie post for my menu this week:

Monday: Sausages with onions & peppers, veggies
Tuesday: Swedish meatballs with noodles, broccoli
Wednesday: Baked haddock, mac & cheese, peas
Thursday: Ham & corn chowder
Friday: Chipotle
Saturday: Pizza
Sunday: No clue... lol

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Meant to get back here before (I know I say that a LOT!). But Here is the menu for the week. I may list a day, but we don't always stick with that. Sometimes I get hungry for one thing and will switch the days around. :)

Monday - Beef sausages, green peppers, onions and mushrooms (cooked in spaghetti sauce) with baked potatoes.
Tuesday -  Chicken Alfredo & rice bake (recipe found HERE)
Wednesday - Stuffed green pepper soup (recipe found HERE)
Thursday - Turkey tacos & Spanish rice
Friday - Turkey meatballs and Dijon mashed potatoes

What are you having for supper this week?
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