Showing posts from March, 2011

It’s A Party!!!

This is my first time participating in the Ultimate Blog Party.   I’ve been debating all day as to whether or not I want to post.  And if I write a post what do I say? As I sit and ponder and fret and wonder, I end up with Mercy Me’s  “No More, No Less” song running through my head. “Let me introduce myself to you.  This is who I am. No more, No Less” Maybe I should just let you listen to the song for yourself.  It’s become a theme song of sorts for myself.  Like the lyrics state “I’m just trying to be real.” So who am I?  I’m not sure how to answer.  I could tell you things like, I’m married with four daughters or that I’m Christian .  I could tell you that I like to read and I like to cook .  Or maybe I should tell you that I home educate my children? Maybe I should warn you that sometimes I just ramble on about whatever’s on my mind . I’m still trying to figure out exactly who I am and this blog is my way of processing my world!  Thanks for stopping by!

Reading Aloud Challenge Update 3/31

A couple of weeks ago my friend Debra issued a reading aloud challenge to herself.  Last week, I joined her albeit a little late.  Today I’m joining her again.   In my last R.A.C (That’s Reading Aloud Challenge) post ,  I mentioned that I was going to give the girls a choice between 3 books.  I plan on eventually reading all three books but let them decide which one to read first. The girls voted for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and asked for The Last Battle to be added to the list of upcoming read alouds. We have not done as much reading aloud as I originally planned so I’m trying to take the position of “some is better than none.” Here is what we *have* read aloud this week: Honeybear read at least 3 days worth of history to Tailorbear from the Usborne World Wars book.  They are almost finished! I finished one story from The Dutch Twins and started the next week.  Only Supergirl is really listening to this one though I think Tailorbear secretly enjoys it.   She was ch

TOS Review: Song School Latin

These past few weeks, Supergirl and I have been enjoying using an introductory Latin program from Classical Academic Press entitled Song School Latin . As I type this I hear “Here comes Magistra. Salve. Salve!” coming from the family room as my 6th grader works on her math.  She’s not even the student I’m using this product with!  But she’s been listening to the songs as well. Song School Latin , written by Amy Rehn, is an enjoyable way to introduce Latin to younger Elementary aged students. Children learn words and phrases from songs. Song School Latin presents both classical and ecclesiastical pronunciations. We’ve chosen to use the ecclesiastical pronunciation. The Student Edition: The student book includes the CD containing all 30 songs in both pronunciations.  A pronunciation guide with charts for both classical and ecclesiastical styles is included in the beginning of the book. This guide also describes the differences between the two pronunciations. The reader is told to

Meet me on Monday--- 3/28 edition

Last week a couple of my friends participated in this fun blog hop/meme.   I’ve seen at least one of my blogging friends participate already this morning so today I’ve decided to join in the fun. Questions: 1.  Crunchy or soft tacos? Crunchy.  Definitely.  Hands down.  I’m a crunchy taco girl.   My husband prefers soft tacos so we end up with both when I make tacos.  Like tonight.  We’re having tacos tonight  and I have to remember to get the flour tortillas out of the freezer for Honeybear.  But it’s ok that he prefers soft tacos.  It just means more crunchy ones for me <grin> 2.  Do you scrapbook? No, not really.  I’m a scrapbook wannabe failure.  No, I don’t wannabe a failure.  I want to want to scrapbook but I fail.  My daughter kind of sort of scrapbooks.  She’s  a crafty kind of gal.  If she didn’t look like both my husband and I,  I would seriously consider wondering if she was switched at birth.  How can someone so talented come from someone who lacks those skills? 

Summer Salads: Tuna Macaroni Salad

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. For me that means it’s time to bring out the salads!  On Friday, I made my first summer salad of the year: a tuna macaroni salad.  With some fresh fruit (I have a fondness for grapes with my macaroni salads) and crusty bread this main dish salad makes an excellent summer meal. If you’ve read any of my other recipe type posts you already know that I don’t really measure anything.  I’m a “dump cook”.   I just dump the ingredients in a bowl and mix it altogether making adjustments as I go depending on how it looks or smells. What you need: 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions (I prefer elbows with my tuna but you can use any shape) 1/2 cup or so mayonnaise or Vegenaise (more if you want it creamier. Vegenaise is a vegan alternative to mayo which contains no egg or dairy) 1/2 small onion, finely chopped 2 stalks or about 1/4 cup or so celery, finely chopped 1/2 cup or so GREEN olives, sliced (these a

A Reading Aloud Challenge

Recently my friend Debra, from Footprints in the Butter began a reading aloud challenge for herself .   I want to join her in that challenge. There are lots and lots of great reasons to read aloud to and with our children.  Sometimes I need to be reminded of those reasons.  I’m looking forward to reading Sarah Clarkson’s Read for the Heart so I can be reminded of those reasons and have a book list to help me choose some great literature.  (Look for my review of this book on May 27th) I believe Reading Aloud is an essential component to home education.  We used to read aloud about  1 1/2 to 2 hours a day from history, science and literature selections.   This past school year, I have really dropped the ball. Part of the reason we chose Sonlight Curriculum was for the great books.  I would spend about 45 minutes to an hour a day reading Science and History and in the evening, as a family, we would read for another 30 minutes to an hour from whatever our Read Aloud(s) were.  Sometimes

TOS Review: Big IQ Kids

  Big IQ Kids states that they have only have one mission: “to transform your young learner into an A+, 100 % student.”    The Facts: Not a a software product “ Our learning applications are interactive tools that proactively work together with young learners to create individualized lessons around that particular student's own pace.” Customizable —use predefined word lists for spelling and vocabulary or create your own.  Adjust the number and type of problems in math. Adjust the number of questions in the U.S. States program. Online Subscription —access Big IQ Kids from any computer with internet access. 4 Programs: Spelling, Math, Vocabulary and U.S. States Programs for grades 1 through 8- The age range that benefits the most would be 2nd grade through 5th grade.  For math and spelling you can choose from “Grade 1 and below”  through “Grade 8”.   Vocabulary starts at 3rd grade, however there are guidelines for the number of words for each grade level. Free and Pr

Five Question Friday (3/18/11)

  1. Have you ever testified in court? For what?   Testified?  No.    2. Do you still have your wedding dress?  Yes.  I don’t know how well it is preserved but it’s sitting in a box around here somewhere.  I have a daughter or two who wants to be able to wear it. 3. Is there a special place you like to go when you're happy, sad, stressed, etc.?  I have a place I’d love to go: the ocean.  I love the ocean.  I don’t get to go to the ocean as much I would like but it is where I would like to go when I am happy or sad or stressed or just need to ponder the Majesty of God.   4. If you have kids, do they sleep with you? If you don't have kids...will you let your kids sleep with you when/if you have them?  Do they sleep with me?  No.   Did they sleep with me?  Yes.   I had one who very rarely ever came to sleep with us and one who I wasn’t sure we would ever get her OUT of of our bed.  Sometimes having the little one sleep with us meant we all actually got some sleep! 5.

The Lost Treasure of the Incas

Whenever we do a deep cleaning (you know the kind where you dig out in the corners where you’ve stuffed everything out of sight, under couch cushions, and the far reaches of the closet?) my husband will call out “have you found the lost treasure of the Incas yet?” This week we’ve been half heartedly doing some deep cleaning.  Today, Turtlegirl brought me a letter.  She said she found it in her room.  No one could answer how this folded, old note got into their room (from out of my dresser drawer!!).   She wanted to know what it was. It was lost treasure.   I really thought I had lost it.  It was supposed to be in the rubbermaid container with other sentimental notes but wasn’t and I thought I had inadvertently tossed it in the trash. It isn’t treasure that will pay the bills or fund our retirement.  It’s a treasure in my heart.   I still remember the day I received that note.  I don’t remember what I was wearing but I remember what he was wearing (his black cowboy boots, blue jeans,

Home School Conference or Convention?

In the home school community spring means conventions and conferences.  This week’s TOS Blog Cruise is:  “Homeschool Conventions - Do you attend, what are the benefits, pitfalls, etc. Share your experience!” I am blessed to live in an area that offers more than one convention or conference, yet with multiple possibilities I did not attend my first conference until 2006!!!  I just wasn’t sure how to work out the logistics with small children before then. You may have noticed I have used the words conference and convention.  Some people may use them interchangeably but I do see a distinction between them, especially for home education. In my experience a conference focuses on building up the home school by providing speakers that focus on topics related to the family.  These conferences may offer workshops and have speakers who do focus on the educational aspect of home schooling and they may offer a vendor hall, but primarily, the purpose appears to focus on a religious conviction t

I love Lent

Growing up I can’t say that I even liked Lent let alone love it!   Lent was simply that 40 day period from Ash Wednesday to Easter that must be endured. As a Catholic who disliked fish (immensely disliked!!),  I truly hated Fridays.   Public Schools (at least then) catered to Catholic students and served things like fish sticks (blech!) with parsleyed potatoes (those were good!) or cheese pizza.   Dinner meant fish, or tuna noodle casserole, you know the kind made with cream of something soup.   My mom would also add slices of American Cheese Singles (I’ll just say “not my favorite”) and crushed potato chips (I liked that part!).   Sometimes we would order cheese pizza.  That would have been good but I really prefer pepperoni. I didn’t understand what Lent meant.  I didn’t understand that it was a time of preparation.  I didn’t realize that experiencing Lent, would make the Resurrection of the Lord the most meaningful historical event in the history of humanity. I thought that Lent

TOS Review: Reading Kingdom

I am so excited today to tell you about this online reading program, Reading Kingdom , created by Dr. Marion Blank . First let me share a little bit of background about Supergirl.  She is 13 years old but doesn’t look it and is certainly not 13 in her emotional, cognitive or social skills.   Generally she looks about 6-7 years old and her academic skills fall in the K-2nd grade range.  She is developmentally delayed both physically and mentally. We had reached a wall of sorts when it came to reading.  Perhaps I wasn’t consistent enough or perhaps the learning issues associated with DiGeorge were emerging but whatever the reason we were still struggling with reading 2 and 3 letter short vowel words fluently.  She might read them fluently on the flashcard or in isolation but be unable to recognize them when reading a book and would slowly and painfully try sounding out even those words she had previously mastered. We began using Reading Kingdom in mid-January.  She went from strugg

Forgiveness Sunday

For Orthodox Christians today is Forgiveness Sunday . Today, we ask forgiveness from each other for sins and offenses we have committed against each other.  Sometimes we can hurt, wound or offend others without even realizing it and on Forgiveness Sunday Orthodox Christians acknowledge this.  So today I ask you my readers to forgive me if I have given you offense or wounded you. If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15). May God forgive us all!

Extra Creamy, Extra Cheesy Mac & Cheese

The other night I made Macaroni and Cheese for dinner.  I don’t usually make Mac & Cheese for our family meal (I usually just make it for the girls for lunch) so I wanted something a little more “grown up” and a little more classy. I wish I had taken a picture to share but alas  we ate it before could digitally immortalize it. When I make my mac & cheese from scratch I start with a basic cream sauce and add cheese.  Then I just stir in the macaroni.  This time however,  I wanted to bake the cheesy pasta. What I Used: Macaroni (I wanted to use all medium shells but I ended up not quite having enough so we had a mixture of small shells and medium shells.   about 4 – 5 cups uncooked; cooked according to directions 6 cups Milk  (actually I reconstituted non-fat instant milk for 4 cups and then used 2 cups of our 2% milk.  I was running low on milk) 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) 1/4 cup olive oil   3/4 cup flour 1 tsp ground mustard 1/2 – 1 tsp garlic (or to taste) salt and pe

Five Question Friday

It’s been way too long since I’ve participated in Five Question Friday over at My Little Life .   These are fun, and since I am procrastinating and since it is Friday and who doesn’t like to have fun on a Friday, I’m participating today. 1. H ave you ever forgotten your child in a store or at school? At school? LOL.. nope since we home school, I’ll add that I’ve never forgotten a child at home either.  At a store.. no…. leave a baby in a hospital room while I walk with her twin to the OR and then return to the waiting room because I thought baby was with Grandma? Um.. I plead the 5th. 2. Where did you go on your very first date? (Like...first first, not first with your spouse or current significant other!)   I don’t know.  I didn’t really date much.  I can’t even remember WHO was my first date let alone where we went or what we did.  It could have been Mike but I don’t remember where we went. Maybe it was a school concert?  I guess it doesn’t stick in my mind because he wasn’t t