March 31, 2008

Home Education Week: Profiling the Family

Today is day two of Home Education Week! Dana at Principled Discovery has set up a week of writing prompts and activities for anyone who wants to participate. The writing topic for today is "Profiling Home Educators."


Profiling Home Educators: Monday, March 31
Describe yourself, your family or one of your children. What is it like to be home educated in your family? What is “normal” for you?

PotatoCode Name: Potato
Status: firstborn
Gender: male
Hobbies: playing guitar, cracking jokes, eating
Favorite Subject: literature
Least Favorite Subject: ?
Aspirations: to be a rock star or own his own business
Monkey
Code Name: Monkey
Status: second born
Gender: male
Hobbies: anything related to tools, duct tape or PVC
Favorite Subject: science
Least Favorite Subject: reading unless it's something he wants to read
Aspirations: to be a pastor and an engineer
Pumpkin

Code Name: Pumpkin
Status: third born
Gender: female
Hobbies: reading anything, playing piano
Favorite Subject: everything
Least Favorite Subject: none
Aspirations: to be a missionary
Peanut
Code Name: Peanut
Status: fourth born
Gender: female
Hobbies: animals (especially dogs), reading (especially Redwall)
Favorite Subject: history
Least Favorite Subject: none
Aspirations: to be a veterinarian

"Normal" for us: We get up, take showers, eat breakfast, then we start schoolwork. Everyone works on independent work in the morning, sometimes working into the afternoon. I'm available for help when needed. We do any read-alouds during or right after lunch (unless not everyone is done with independent work). We also do hands-on activities, nature study, science projects, and other group stuff during the afternoon a couple of times a week.

I have a nice schedule that looks really good on paper, but we don't follow it strictly. I just put it together so I can make sure I'm not overloading our days - and because I'm kind of weird and I love anything to do with schedules and organizing.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Mar. 31, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by rcelliott

I am really impressed with your PSP creativity. I like this post for a lot of reasons, two of which are:

Your creativity on the pictures and the time you spent showing off your children

The thoughtfulness you used in writing about them and showing off their talents without baring any weaknesses.

I love you!!!

Mar. 31, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Very nice pictures! Someday I'm going to learn how to do that. :) I have a written schedule, too, but it is extremely flexible.

Peace to you,
Renae
http://lifenurturingeducation.com

Mar. 31, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

What interesting pictures. They seem to fit the bios of your children. You do a great job!
Blessings,
Laurie

Mar. 31, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by kympossible

Great job profiling your kids and a "normal' day for you. I really enjoyed reading this!

Blessings,
Kym


Menu Plan Monday - Mar 31


Although I did post my menu for Menu Plan Monday last week, I did a horrible job sticking to it! I definitely have to get back on track this week. I've been busy, so I've been doing a lot of menu recycling; I think I'm getting bored. I don't mind having scheduled breakfasts and lunches, but I need to try some new recipes for dinner!

If you want to see other people's menus for this week or post your own, go to orgjunkie.com.

Monday

Breakfast: Blender Batter Pancakes, fruit, milk
Lunch: PB & J, carrot sticks
Dinner: Corn Chowder

Tuesday

Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, fruit
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli (I'll do two chickens to use later in the week)

Wednesday

Breakfast: Five Grain Hot Cereal, milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Spaghetti, salad

Thursday

Breakfast: Yogurt with Homemade Granola and fruit
Lunch: Homemade Pizza, carrot sticks
Dinner: Shepherds pie (leftover chicken/mashed potatoes from Tuesday), green beans

Friday

Breakfast: eggs or oatmeal
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices
Dinner: Chili, cornbread, salad

Saturday

Breakfast: smoothies, eggs, maybe bacon
Lunch: PB & J, carrot sticks
Dinner: Beef Vegetable Soup (I snagged this from one of orgjunkie's menus)

Sunday

Breakfast: Porridge, milk
Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: TBD

Well, I only have one new recipe so far (Saturday's dinner). I guess it's better than nothing, though! :-) Maybe I can find something different, crockpotty and easy for Sunday.

March 30, 2008

Home Education Week: B.H.E.



Today is the first day of Home Education Week! Dana at Principled Discovery has set up a week of writing prompts and activities for anyone who wants to participate. The writing topic for today is "Looking Back:"

 

Looking Back
Share your personal history…before you were a home educator. What was life like? Think about things you miss and things you and your family have gained.

B.H.E. (Before Home Education)

Was there ever a "before" I was a home educator? It almost seems like I've known nothing else. :-) Looking back, I'm so glad that God didn't let me have the final say in my decisions!

As a know-it-all teenager and young adult, I was quite sure that I never wanted to get married or have children. I wanted to be a "career girl" and that career was going to entail travel, although I had no clue what I wanted to do. I changed my mind quite often. I would have loved to get paid to be a full-time student. :-) Well, immediately upon entering college, I met my husband-to-be... and I knew immediately that he was going to be my husband. He knew it too - we were engaged several months later at the age of 19 and married at the age of 21. I still hadn't finished college, having taken time off to work and figure out what I wanted to do. I went back and forth from work to college until we had our first son. At that time, I was presented with the opportunity to work at home as a medical transcriptionist, so I was able to stay home with him. I still took college classes off and on until I got pregnant with our third child, when it became too much to handle the children, work and school.

When oldest was four, we sent him to preschool. Rob wanted me to homeschool, but I didn't think I would be able to teach the children while working, so the next year we sent him off to an all-day kindergarten at a charter school that we really liked. I wasn't thrilled about the all-day kindergarten, but we really liked the school and that was what they offered. That was a pretty difficult year. It went well until December, but then Nathan really started to get burned out. It never occurred to me to pull him out halfway through the year. I was busy at home working two transcription jobs and taking care of a preschooler, toddler and baby. Hindsight is definitely 20/20, isn't it? I don't know why I was worried about being able to teach him kindergarten stuff! I guess I wasn't thinking at all... My poor son came home exhausted and feeling like he was missing out while everyone else was at home. That year is one of my biggest parenting regrets.

Towards the end of the next summer, we knew we couldn't put Nathan back in school. We had been praying about it quite a bit because I was really unsure about working and teaching. The registration deadline kept getting closer and closer, and we had no peace about registering him. That was the beginning of our journey into the world of home education.

What do I miss about that short period that we had a child in school? I can honestly say that I don't miss anything about it. I felt guilty most of the year.

I think we are much closer as a family because we homeschool. Things are far from perfect, and we have a lot of struggles relationally, getting schoolwork done, and just juggling everything. However, I wouldn't trade it for anything. We also have the opportunity to be quite involved in our church, and our children are able to help serve with us. I may not always feel like we are "caught up" as far as school subjects go, and I am often too hard on my sons, but I think they are able to learn so many things that I wouldn't have time to teach them if they were in a public school all day. We have time to read the Word and pray together, clean together (not their favorite though), cook together, and serve together.

As I already said, there are a lot of struggles, but that is part of what is so valuable about home education: struggling together to work out relationships and work together as a small community. I definitely can't think of anything I miss from the B.H.E. days.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

It's been neat reading how everyone began their journey into homeschooling. There are many challenges along the way, for sure(!), but the blessings outweigh them :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Mar. 30, 2008 - Looking Back

Posted by Morning Rose

In college, I was also very career-minded and didn't expect to be a stay-at-home mom much less a home educator. We had our older son in a Christian school from pre-school through first grade. It wasn't too bad in pre-school (three mornings a week) or Kindergarten (three full days a week), but we noticed a difference in first grade (five full days a week). He was quite burned out, withdrawn, and bored, and we knew we needed to make a change. I don't miss much about our before-homeschool days either. :)

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Ellen

That's wonderful that your children serve with you at church. One day, I wrote a post about all of the learning experiences my kids were having at church. I was sure surprised to see how much was on my list. The volunteering and service projects are really important ones to me.
http://ellenfunlearning.blogspot.com/

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

I am sure that God has used that year in kindergarten for good...you've already mentioned some. It motivated you to try something a little scary (homeschooling). I'm sure it helps you to persevere. I wouldn't be surprised if the memories help your oldest to hang on to homeschooling too. You are right about all the opportunities available for homeschooling, like working at church. That is great!
Blessings,
Laurie

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

I got my Mrs. degree in college, too. However, I was married at age 19. :) I enjoyed reading your journey.

Peace to you,
Renae
http://lifenurturingeducation.com

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by HomeForHeavensSake

Thanks for leaving me a note earlier! :)

I never pictured myself as a homeschool mom, either. But now, I can't see myself as anything but!

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

I never was carreer minded knowing all along I just wanted to be a SAHM. But I never expected to homeschool. That was an unexpected path. I loved reading your story!

Mrs darling
http://peterpanandfamily.blogspot.com

Mar. 31, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

You know, I am glad you talked about how even though homeschooling is the way the Lord led your family, you still have troubles. This comes on an especially challenging day, so it was good to hear some hope!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

Karly @ www.indescribablelife.blogspot.com

Mar. 31, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Your first few sentences sound so much like me! Travel, career student wannabe, not sure about getting married...

And the closeness of family is high on my list of pluses, too!

Dana
http://principleddiscovery.com


March 29, 2008

Regarding Amish Friendship Bread

IMG_4851
Yummy stuff, but it is quite an endeavor to keep up with Amish Friendship Bread! As my aunt said when I told her I was baking some of this bread a few weeks ago, "Ah... it's a mixed blessing." I've never been successful at keeping up with this for long. In fact, it has been years since I have had some starter. I was wondering if you could freeze the starter or adapt the recipe at all, so I did a trusty Google search and quickly found some recipes and information, at allrecipes.com. Here are the recipes I found:
The editor's note for the starter recipe states that you can freeze the starter in 1-cup portions. You have to thaw it for at least 3 hours before using it. The comments for these recipes are very helpful too. I was able to play around with the recipe that I was given and use up all of the starter. I did make four new bags of starter that I froze. BTW, my instructions didn't say not to freeze it! Please, no negative comments on this controversial topic!
HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Mar. 29, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

Oh I LOVE amish friendship bread. I got my starter when I taught public school. Then my supply just grew and grew. So I took bread and lots of batches to Sunday School class to share. lol I don't have that recipe anymore.
Blessings,
Laurie

Mar. 29, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Sawickis

Andrea~

I have to tell you that my dogs love Amish bread starter because not more than 2 hours after you gave me some I found the bag on the floor in the family room completely empty.

I'd love more when you have some.

*Kristie*


March 28, 2008

Blog Tip Challenge ~ Newspaper Style

The Blog Tip Challenge of the Month at the HSB Company Porch sounds pretty fun this month. Here's the info from The HSB Company Porch Homeschool Times:

One way a blogger gets others to come to their blog is to start a weekly or monthly blog post meme (pronounced like theme). The blogger challenges their readers to post on a certain subject on their own blogs and then asks those bloggers to sign up by either leaving a comment or using the Mr. Linky at the bottom of the original post. This way other readers and bloggers can read all the posts that mention the  same topic. For instance, Thursday Thirteen, Wordless Wednesday, and Works  for me Wednesday. The list could go on and on and on! If you see a meme on a  blog you'll know it because it will direct you back to the original post. So start your own meme!
Blog Tip Challenge of the Month

Even if you don't want to start a meme you can certainly take part in them!  Remember many of the other participants will be reading your entry. Right here's a great place to start - The HSB Company Porch Homeschool Times. Write a blog post in newspaper fashion about any homeschool event or activity you have taken part in. It can be truth or fiction, the point is to have fun! Tell us how the dog ate your schoolwork or about the field trip to the pizza parlor. Don't forget to write it just like it's an article in a newspaper. Give it a catchy title like 15 Homeschoolers Caught with the Dough at Pizza Ritza!

Once your entry is posted come back to the Porch and sign up with Mr. Linky, that way everyone can read your post and you can read all the other entries!

I decided to recycle a blog post that was already written in newspaper fashion:
Stolen! King Cluckenhamen and His Family! (click to read it).

I hope you decide to participate - I'm having a lot of fun reading all of the creative news stories out there! Go here to submit your story and read others.

Map Day

We just began our third unit of Tapesty of Grace Year 2, which covers the colonial time period. This has been a year of change and experimentation for me as far as how I implement Tapestry of Grace (TOG). I decided to change the way we do mapwork by doing all of the maps for the unit the week before we begin. I think it will be advantageous for my children to see "the lay of the land" before encountering it in their reading, as well as during their reading. I am also hoping that they will have more time to do projects if we do the maps ahead of time - I am really bad with hands-on activities for TOG!

We took a week off between units to file and organize everything from unit 2, revamp our schedule, do some decluttering, and prepare all of the maps for unit 3. I wanted to do all of our timeline work together also, but we didn't get to that - yet.

I own the MapAids for Year 2, so I printed out all of the teacher maps and enough student maps for each child. We did the first one together, but I decided I would let everyone work on their own maps in any order they chose. I let them cheat and use the teacher's maps, but they had to include everything on the maps. We use maps often as a part of our studies. It has been my experience that my children learn a lot just by handling the maps, which is the reason I allowed them to use the teacher's maps. I might change my mind next time, so if any of my kids are reading this, it is subject to change! :-) I will be printing out some blank maps and doing testing periodically just to make sure everyone knows the most important information.

IMG_4858When everyone completed their maps, they bound them with the ProClick binding machine (hat tip to Angi at Peakmore Academy and Deborah at Notebooking Pages), which I absolutely love! The kids are expected to refer to their maps during their weekly readings and check the geography assignments for extra labels or suggestions. So far, so good, although this is only the first week of the unit. The bound books of maps are the beginnings of their notebooks for the unit. We will be adding notebook pages, writing assignments, pictures and descriptions of projects, and any other pertinent assignments to it. I am hoping that we will also put together a fold-out timeline to include with each of the notebooks.

In case you are interested in trying this and don't have maps available, there are tons of free maps available online. I have listed some favorite map sites and resources in my Free Geography Resources category. TOG also offers links to geography resources for each year plan (click on the year plan to go directly to the geography links page): Year 1 (Creation to the Fall of Rome), Year 2 (Fall of Rome to the signing of the American Constitution), Year 3 (World History During the 1800s), and Year 4 (World History During the Twentieth Century and into the Present). These links would be helpful regardless of which history or geography curriculum you are using.

As I already said, this is subject to change. I think it might work out well for us, though. Everyone is already doing projects, and it's only the first week of the unit. Nathan has a huge project planned, but I won't unveil it yet. Allyson already completed what was supposed to be a unit-long project: a card game using figures and information from the unit. Now she and Kathryn are working on a medieval card game since I am so bad about getting to projects and we did very, very little for the middle ages! Jordan made this Jamestown replica from Home School in the Woods. I'll try to post pictures of projects and notebooks as they are completed.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Mar. 28, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by rcelliott

Wow! Didn't you just take those pictures???

Mar. 28, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lcourtneymom

Hi, I visited your blog to read the Front Porch "assignment." Your blog is beautiful. I am going to read some more about Tapestry of Grace. I am really looking for something different next year for history, and this is one I keep seeing come up. Looks interesting!


March 26, 2008

Home Education Week

Did you know that the governors of Nebraska and Florida have proclaimed a Home Education Week from March 30 through April 5, 2008? To celebrate, Dana at Principled Discovery is hosting Home Education Week, complete with writing prompts and a graphic, and everyone is invited to participate! Click on the image above for more information.

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Mar. 27, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Thanks so much for helping with this! And I'm looking forward to what you have to share! :)

Dana
http://principleddiscovery.com


March 25, 2008

Spring Reading Thing 2008

Since I had so many books that I didn't finish on my Winter Reading Challenge Wrap-up post, I'm really excited that Katrina at Callapiddler Days is hosting the Spring Reading Thing 2008! The challenge goes from March 20th, through June 19th. One random participant will win a $10 gift certificate from Amazon.com, but you have to post your initial reading list by midnight (EST) tonight and post a recap by midnight on June 24th. You can join the reading fun anytime though - the deadline is only to be eligible for the prize!

Here's my list (leftover from my Winter Reading Challenge list. I noticed that a lot of people added their Bible reading goals to the Winter Reading Challenge. I thought that was a great idea, so I added my Bible reading goals to this list. I'll hopefully add some more books, but I would like to get most of these finished up first. Books I'm currently reading are in red; books I have completed will be crossed off.

Fiction:

Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens (free online)

Helen's Temper, by Mrs. George Gladstone (with the HSB Literary Club - free online)

Nonfiction:

Awakening Youth Discipleship, by Brian J. Mahan, Michael Warren, and David F. White

What is Form Criticism?, by Edgar V. McKnight

Deep Justice in a Broken World, by Chap Clark & Kara E. Powell

Soul Searching, by Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton

From the Bible:

1 Samuel

2 Samuel

1 Kings

2 Kings

Daniel

Romans (current family Bible study)

1 Timothy

2 Timothy

Happy Reading!

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Mar. 25, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Looks good, Andrea. You've got some heavy (but intriguing-looking) books on your list. Thanks for being part of SRT '08!
- Katrina, Callapidder Days

Mar. 28, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Great reading list! I saw the Homeschool Lounge logo on your blog. I'm there too as Renee'. I'll try and stop your nook soon!

Renee'
http://rmboys2.wordpress.com/

Apr. 21, 2008 - Great List

Posted by ltjewel

You are the second person I have seen with Bible readings on the list. I may have to go add that.


Winter Reading Challenge Wrap-up

It's time for the Winter Reading Challenge Wrap-up. Thank you to Trish at A Joyful Heart for hosting this. Congratulations to Gretchen, who won the $25 Amazon gift certificate!

I tend to read several books at a time, so I knew my list was probably a little ambitious to actually finish. I never started What is Form Criticism?, by Edgar V. McKnight. Otherwise, I did okay, considering the length and content of some of my book choices. My original post is here.

Completed Books:

Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens (free online): I really enjoyed this one, although I have only come across one Dickens book that I haven't liked (and I didn't finish it, so it really doesn't count). :-)

Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell (free online): As soon as I started this I realized that I had already read it! I read it again anyway. It is quite different from other Gaskell novels that I have read, but the characters grow on you, especially Miss Matty.

The Practice of the Presence of God, by brother Lawrence (free online): I highly recommend this one. Brother Lawrence almost seems too good to be true, but his insights on focusing on God (really "praying without ceasing) are invaluable. His humility really captured me.

Families at the Crossroads, by Rodney Clapp: This is another one I highly recommend, although many American Christians will be offended by some of what Clapp has to say. This book caused me to take a good look at how much American culture has impacted my thinking (and I thought I already had a pretty good grip on that). If you decide to read it, make sure you read the whole book to get the big picture.

Life Skills for Kids, by Christine M. Field: This is a great book to help you plan teaching some of the skills your children will need. Some of the author's ideas about preparation for adulthood seem a little bit over-planned for me, but that is a very natural reaction from the way she was raised. I found the book to be very helpful. It would be a great reference to keep on hand.

Currently Reading:

Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens (free online): This one hasn't been a favorite for me, although the satire is brilliant (of course). I'm plugging away at it though. I'm almost halfway through it.

Awakening Youth Discipleship, by Brian J. Mahan, Michael Warren, and David F. White: This short book is pretty scholarly, so I have to read it when I can really focus on it - not too often around here! I'm only about a quarter of the way through this book, which I had hoped to finish.

Deep Justice in a Broken World, by Chap Clark & Kara E. Powell: I skimmed through "Deep Justice," as we will be using it for a youth/family book study. I still have to go through the book and do a thorough reading. This book is addressed to youth leaders, but it is very practical for anyone with children. It's another book that is probably controversial among American Christians, but, in my opinion, the book is an excellent tool for youth leaders and/or parents who would like to introduce their children/students to some of the wrongs in our culture and do something about them. It's all about serving the hurting.

Soul Searching, by Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton: This book has been on my shelf for quite a while, and I still haven't made much of a dent in it. I added it to my book list, but it is one that I will keep plugging away at in between other books. The subtitle is "The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers." As you can see from that, it is mostly statistics and commentary on those statistics. I'll be finishing it, but it probably won't be for a while.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Mar. 26, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

You had a great book list and even getting half way through is an accomplishment! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Are you doing the Spring challenge?

Renee'
http://rmboys2.wordpress.com/


Menu Plan "Monday" - Mar 25


Although it's Tuesday, I thought I'd better post my menu for Menu Plan Monday anyway. I think I'm addicted to the accountability! :-) I might end up making some lentil soup this week in case I don't have enough leftovers for this menu - we'll see. I also need to get in the habit of making extras and freezing since our busiest time of the year is fast approaching.

If you want to see other people's menus for this week or post your own, go to orgjunkie.com.

Monday

Breakfast: Blender Batter Pancakes, fruit, milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Creamed Tuna & Peas, rice, salad

Tuesday

Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, fruit
Lunch: Homemade Pizza (with leftover spaghetti sauce), carrot sticks
Dinner: Grilled Chicken, homemade biscuits, green beans

Wednesday

Breakfast: Five Grain Hot Cereal, milk
Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: Corn Chowder

Thursday

Breakfast: Yogurt with Homemade Granola and fruit
Lunch: Black Bean Soup (from freezer)
Dinner: Sloppy Joes, salad

Friday

Breakfast: eggs or oatmeal
Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, apple slices
Dinner: Chili, corn

Saturday

Breakfast: smoothies, eggs
Lunch: PB & J
Dinner: Leftovers

Sunday

Breakfast: Porridge, milk
Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: something in the crockpot or roast chicken

March 24, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge: Choosing a Focus

Well, I'm a bit late on my Green Hour Challenge post, but better late than never, right? The fourth Green Hour Challenge assignment was to choose a focus for the next six to eight weeks, of course staying flexible if our children find something else of interest. The kids were on vacation with my mom for a few days last week, so I wasn't even sure if we would get to our nature study at all. They were in northern Michigan, so they got to spend a lot of time outdoors. We did end up going out as a family on Saturday to the same park we went to for our last assignment. It was late on Saturday when we went for our walk, so we didn't get to the nature journals yet. We watched the ducks for a while again. They were pretty active, so it was a really fun time. It was nice to have Rob there too - he took TONS of pics!

Our focus for the next few weeks is going to be invertebrates since we have some worms to dissect that I haven't gotten to yet. We didn't see any worms or snails, but the Canadian Geese were eating something in some mud.... .

Here's another squirrel:

Nature Walk 095

Some pods that lasted through winter:

Nature Walk 089

This was pretty funny! The ducks were flying into the water and sliding on the water. Here are a couple of pics, although it was much more fun to watch!

Nature Walk 073

Nature Walk 072

One of the interesting things we noticed was that the roots of many of the trees were much more prominent on the river side of the trees. Not all of the trees were like that, but there were enough to draw our attention to it. Here is an example:

Nature Walk 097

I was immediately reminded of Jeremiah 17:7-8

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Mar. 24, 2008 - Love the duck photos

Posted by HarmonyArtMom

I love to watch ducks as they come skidding into the water.

You are the first person to pick invertebrates as your focus. :) We did an earthworm dissection a month or so ago and it was actually quite interesting.

I will be watching to see how your study goes.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Mar. 24, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by ApplesofGold

I really enjoyed this post-and all the pictures, too! Holly


March 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Mar 17


Here's my menu for the week. It isn't as detailed because I haven't had much time for planning. I did want to at least plan the dinners for the week though. They are pretty simple and quick, as it looks like it will be another busy week.

There is a good article at Menus4Moms this week called Work Week Menus - How to Make it Easier! Don't be fooled by the title; it will be helpful whether or not you work outside the home. The article outlines some simple cooking ideas that most of us are probably already aware of, but reminders are always helpful (at least they are for me).

If you want to see other people's menus for this week or post your own, go to orgjunkie.com.

Monday

Tuna Melts

Tuesday

Black Bean Soup

Wednesday

Leftovers

Thursday

Roast Chicken

Friday

Spaghetti

Saturday

Corn Chowder

Sunday

Family Resurrection Day Dinner

March 14, 2008

Outdoor Hour: Some Exciting Finds

The third Green Hour Challenge assignment was to take another 10- to 15-minute nature walk. We were to focus on being quiet again and try to do a nature journal entry. The weather was perfect for being outside yesterday! We went to a park with a nature trail and spent about an hour outside. We didn't get to the nature journal entries, although we talked about them and are planning to begin them. We had a wonderful time, though. It was definitely a success! Since we didn't work on nature journals, I'll share our finds in pictures here.

The first thing we saw was this squirrel:

IMG_4710

Next we came upon some ducks!

IMG_4721

Hanging around with the ducks were some Canadian Geese.

IMG_4734

Look at these beauties!

IMG_4739

As if that wasn't enough, we came upon a tree that a beaver had worked on!

IMG_4749

Although we didn't get to the journal entries, we had quite a fun outdoor adventure this week! Thanks again for hosting this, Barb!.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Mar. 15, 2008 - Beautiful day

Posted by HarmonyArtMom

I enjoyed seeing your photos and hearing about your time outdoors.

Thanks for sharing your link,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Mar. 16, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

That squirrel pictures is adorable.

~Tina
Jetihoja Academy
http://jetihoja.blogspot.com/


March 12, 2008

The Adventures of Two Boys...

...or "What Were We Thinking?"

The boys have been begging me for the book "Backyard Ballistics" almost since we began homeschooling. Well, I finally ordered it (after getting Rob's approval, of course) and the book arrived yesterday. Now I know why I hesitated....

The boys decided to build a paper match rocket today, which is a pretty harmless-looking project - at least it looks pretty harmless in the book. Of course, instead of making one paper match rocket on a small board, they decided to rig up 3 sets of 5 on a large, duct tape-covered board, complete with numerical labels for the rockets. What is it with boys and duct tape anyway?

IMG_4693

Apparently, the launching didn't go very well. It was quite cold and the ammo wouldn't stay lit.

IMG_4696

How's that for anticlimactic? The boys don't seem to be deterred, though.

So, you've now seen episode one from Backyard Ballistics at the Elliotts. I hope this doesn't turn into another chicken mummy saga!

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Mar. 13, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by rcelliott

I am just happy to still have a house to come home to...

Mar. 13, 2008 - Looks like fun!!!

Posted by kympossible

I bought that book last year and plan to build about half of next year's science curriculum for my boys on it. I can hardly wait!!!!

Sorry the rockets didn't cooperate this time.

Blessings,
Kym

Mar. 14, 2008 - Yes I'll blog!

Posted by kympossible

I hope to get lots of pictures and be able to blog about our ballistics experiments next year! LOL Fortunately we live in the country, so as long as my boys don't aim their potato launchers directly at the neighbor's sheep, we should be okay. LOL

Blessings,
Kym


March 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Mar 10


So far, so good with Menu Plan Monday. I don't always stick strictly to the menus, but this is really helping me keep up with grocery shopping and cooking regularly. This week I'm trying to use items I already have at home since I have to replenish some pantry items and I'm trying to keep the food budget down.

If you want to see other people's menus for this week or post your own, go to orgjunkie.com.

Monday

Breakfast: Porridge (this is what my kids call oatmeal when I soak the oats overnight), milk
Lunch: Tuna Melts, carrot sticks
Dinner: Cheesy Chicken Vermicelli, steamed greens

Tuesday

Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins (Allyson makes these), fruit
Lunch: PB & J, milk
Dinner: Chili, cornbread, salad

Wednesday

Breakfast: Five Grain Hot Cereal, milk
Lunch: Ramen Soup (Nathan makes this), celery sticks with peanut butter
Dinner: Spaghetti, Quick & Easy Garlic Bread Sticks, salad

Thursday

Breakfast: Yogurt with Homemade Granola and fruit
Lunch: Black Bean Soup (from freezer)
Dinner: Savoury Squirrel Bakes (from Kathryn's Redwall cookbook)

Friday

Breakfast: French toast
Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, apple slices
Dinner: Homemade Pizza, salad

Saturday

Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Corn Chowder

Sunday

Breakfast: Porridge, milk
Lunch: Leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: Creamed Tuna & Peas, brown rice, salad

March 8, 2008

Outdoor Hour: Using Your Words

The second Outdoor Hour Challenge assignment was to spend another 10-15 minutes outside focusing on being quiet and watching, listening and feeling. After going back inside, we were to find words to describe what we heard, saw and felt. It was cold out again, but we did go out for a bit yesterday. I drove by a park to see if it was open, but it wasn't. This would have been fun to do in a setting with more trees. Here are some of the kids' descriptions and pictures from our time outside this week:

Heard:

* birds chiriping
* dogs barking
* snow crunching
* teeth chattering (does that count?)

IMG_4680

Saw:

* brown, bare locust trees
* green, viny plant
* fluffy dogs
* frozen leaves in ice

IMG_4679 IMG_4678

Felt:

* biting cold wind
* hard, icy snow

I know what the plant is, but I'm not telling (just in case anyone young reads this); we'll be identifying it this week.

That's it for this week. I'll be glad for warmer weather!

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Mar. 8, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by bbullard

Hey, I'll have to check this out. Spring is here in our area; actually, we'll have a week or two of this and it will be summer! Since our kids are the expensive nature enthusiasts (they don't like to be outside, but love traveling to national parks, skiing and the like), this is a wonderful opportunity to involve them in some outdoor nature studies. Thanks for sharing, and I hope all is well.

Mar. 9, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

love your blog fellow SE MI gal! A hodgepodge of various 'stuffs' going on...that's what we do Spring will be here soon.

amy
http://www.rdisuperparents.blogspot.com/

Mar. 9, 2008 - Loved the ice photo

Posted by HarmonyArtMom

I am learning so much about the different climate zones we have in the US by reading everyone's blogs.

I loved your words and thought the "biting cold wind" is a very good way to describe a very cold wind. I know exactly what you mean. :)

Thanks for linking,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom


March 4, 2008

6-Word Memoir

I've been tagged by onfire. Here are the directions:

1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4 .Tag five more blogs with links
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

This was difficult for me, but I finally came up with something perfect:

Methinks that I think too much.

I'm tagging:

Sawickis

Apples of Gold

The Daniel Academy

A Pondering Heart

The Daily Planet

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Mar. 4, 2008 - methinks

Posted by onfire

that I am going to enjoy our coffee break very much!

Mar. 5, 2008 - Mrs. Elliot

Posted by SuperAngel

Aww... thanks! I will see if I can do this... it looks pretty hard! :)
Have a great day!!
Love, Prayers, and Blessings,
Miss Amanda
http://superangelsblog.com

Mar. 5, 2008 - just wanted to say

Posted by bestsister (69.159.61.134)

I'm not sure which makes me more jealous: the fact that you get to have Timmy's with my Kristina or that she gets to have Timmy's with you! Wish I could be a fly on the wall,....actually I'd rather be a friend in a chair at the same table, but that's for another time perhaps.

Mar. 6, 2008 - Untitled Comment


Posted by Jocelyndixon

Hi there! Thanks for praying and thinking of me with this tag. :)

MJ


March 3, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Mar 3


Menu Plan Monday is really helping me stay on track with meals and especially with keeping up with grocery shopping (my least favorite thing to do). I've been planning menus and making my shopping list on the weekend. I don't shop at the beginning of the week, so I plan the first part of the week using ingredients that I already have. Actually, this week my menu is mostly from ingredients that I already have on hand. If you want to see other people's menus for this week or post your own, go to orgjunkie.com.

Monday

Breakfast: Blender Batter Pancakes, fruit, milk
Lunch: tuna melts
Dinner: leftovers

Notes: Bake bread; Allyson should soak oats and prepare dry ingredients for Tuesday's breakfast

Tuesday

Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins (Allyson makes these), fruit
Lunch: PB & J, milk
Dinner: spaghetti, Quick & Easy Garlic Bread Sticks, salad

Notes: Prepare Five Grain Hot Cereal mix; make yogurt; move chicken from freezer to refrigerator

Wednesday

Breakfast: Five Grain Hot Cereal, milk
Lunch: Ramen soup (Nathan makes this), celery sticks with peanut butter
Dinner: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, cooked greens

Notes: Make granola; make pizza sauce and mix dry ingredients for pizza; move black beans from freezer to refrigerator for chili

Thursday

Breakfast: Yogurt with Homemade Granola and fruit
Lunch: Homemade Pizza, carrot sticks
Dinner: Black Bean Chili, Blender Batter Cornbread, salad

Notes: Chop vegetables for chicken pot pie; move cooked chicken from freezer to refrigerator

Friday

Breakfast: Eggs (Jordan makes these), cold cereal or oatmeal
Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, apple slices
Dinner: chicken pot pie

Saturday

Breakfast: smoothies, eggs
Lunch: black bean soup (from freezer)
Dinner: Savoury Squirrel Bake (from Kathryn's Redwall Cookbook)

Notes: Soak oats for tomorrow's "porridge"

Sunday

Breakfast: Porridge (this is what my kids call oatmeal when I soak the oats overnight), milk
Lunch: Leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: corn chowder

Notes: Make buttermilk