Friday, February 26, 2010

This Sounds Familiar...

...eerily similar (hover over similar to find the link)to our days at home.  Particularly the parts about 8:00 wake up calls, and highbrow, sophisticated dinner conversation.  It's always nice to learn that I am not alone in my psychosis.

I am quickly making my way through the archives of Pioneer Women.  She is hilarious!  My cheeks hurt from laughing so much.

She makes me want to pick up and move to the prairie....

Jim would make a good cowboy, he looks good in jeans.

The kids and I have studied the Little House series.

I can ride a horse.

I've shoveled manure, and put up hay with the best of them.

And, I love Louise L'Amour.

How hard could it be?

Who am I kidding, we are way too lazy to run a ranch.  I will just have to continue to read Ree's blog, and live in my fantasy world.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ok, this is a must read!

My sister brought this post to my attention, and I just had to share.  I see pink wool thongs in my future...

Oh, and while you are there be sure and read the "Why we homeschool" post on the left hand side of her blog.  Enjoy!

...still laughing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More Free Resources

Hundreds of free ebooks to download. Here and here. They can be downloaded and printed, downloaded to MP3 players, or to a Kindle type gadget. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Think I Have It

I hope no one has thrown up from all the adjustments I have made to this blog today, but I think I finally have the finished product...thanks Jen for being my blog guru!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Red Thread Legend

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place, or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle,
but it will never break."
- an ancient Chinese belief

It has been 5 months since we submitted our dossier to Armenia. We were told this portion of the process would take 3-5 months. We are trying hard to be wait gracefully.

Next month it will be a year since we picked up our end of the red thread connecting us to our son. He has been waiting much longer than that.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Phonics fun

We are loving Progressive Phonics. Remember the free phonics program I told you about a few weeks ago? You really should check it out.

Owen is asking to do school now! Which is astounding. A major improvement over the driveway temper tantrums he used to have. Have I mentioned those?

Last fall, I dropped the kids off at my in-laws one morning on my way to school. Owen was in one of his moods. He decided he was not doing school that day. To make his point very clear, he threw his backpack on the driveway, gave it at few good kicks, and repeated, "I AM NOT DOING SCHOOL!" ...Alrighty then... I'm pretty sure the whole neighbor heard him.

....there goes my Mother of the year award. I silently picked up his backpack and walked into the house hoping he would follow. Luckily he is still a Mommas' boy at heart, and did eventually walk into the house. Parenting with witnesses is always a humbling experience.

This product must be a miracle, because it won this stubborn boy over.

No, I'm not getting paid to say any of this. Remember I'm very small potatoes over here. When I find something that works for us, I just have to share.

Progressive phonics is simple and to the point, no fluff. Great as a stand alone phonics program, or for reinforcement, if you homeschool after school. It consists of printable easy readers, handwriting worksheets, and phonics games. All in progressively advancing order. You can go as fast or as slow as your child needs to go.

As a follow up activity, I am going to make this for his workbox. Isn't that such a creative idea?

It's so exciting to see your kids excited about learning. So worth a few temper tantrums along to way.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Friday, February 12, 2010

We don't have cable...

...but this almost makes me wish we did! I'm dying to see the whole episode.

You can also visit this family at their blog, Life with my Special K's.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Finally, a Snow Day!

So much snow, so little time...

Ahh! Snow angels.

Still not too big for a quick slide.

Marney's "Laura" Dress

Marney loves her new "Laura" dress (Thanks Grandma!) and Charlotte doll. She has hardly taken it off. She even wore it to Tae Kwon Do. Dad was in charge that night, need I say more? When Jim asked her if she was going to leave her bonnet up when they got to TKD, she said, "no Dad, that would be weird." I'm glad she does have some level of embarrasment, even if her bar is set a little higher (lower?) than most.

Madeline offered to make Marney's birthday cake. It turned out really yummy, and cute, in a technicolor way. Thanks Madeline, you are a great big sister.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thinking of homeschooling...

...but you are single and must work, or married and must/want to work?

It can be done!

I did some research and found some good articles online, as this may be the situation I find myself in soon.

The key is flexibility. Flexible schedules, and thinking out side the 9 to 5 box, open up a whole world of possibilities.

Who says school must be done between the hours of 8am and 3pm?

We often do school work in the evening, on weekends, and through holidays. We also do not take the summers off. We got an incredible amount of work done last summer, and the kids still had plenty of time outside with their friends. Sticking to a schedule all year long helps everyone stay on track, and does wonders for keeping the "Mom, I'm bored's" away. My family just functions better when we are busy.

One article says to think of yourself as a business manager or coach to your kids. Setting mutually agreeable goals, and over seeing their progress.

Homeschooling is really most effective when it is approached that way. Your kids take an active role, and take responsibility for their education. Your help and encouragement keep them on track, and their confidence and love of learning grows. They learn to think for themselves, not regurgitate a lecture.

Many times homeschoolers who try to do 'school at home' burn out quickly. Kids just do not learn best that way, and can lead to frustration for everyone.

Madeline has taught herself math this year. She reads the lesson, does the practice problems, then corrects her own work. I test periodically, and she does remarkably well. She looks forward to math everyday, and has a real sense of ownership over her work.

Don't underestimate what your kids (and you!) can do. I'm keeping this all in mind as I begin planning for next year...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Amazing Lady

Check out this amazing lady. Click on her promotional video, I dare you not to cry!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lydia sings Natalie's song

This is the girl who raised $30,000. in a matter of weeks toward the adoption of a little girl from Russia who has been blessed with Down syndrome. This will be this families 3rd child with DS. One biological and now 2 adopted. They are currently waiting for a travel date.

This song is about her sister Natalie who was adopted from a Russian orphanage years ago. You can read her story and see pictures here.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Goulash soup

The following is not really a recipe, just the contents of my fridge together on one pot. We called it lunch:

1 lb of maple sausage browned

1 small onion, chopped by small boy

1/2 red pepper, chopped by same small boy (other 1/2 eaten by boy)

2 celery stalks chopped, small boy may begin to run out of gas here and Mom may need to finish.

32 oz. box of vegetable broth (finally found a use for that!)

1 14oz can stewed tomatoes (because there's always a stray one in there somewhere...)

1 small can chopped green chili's

2 cups water

2 beef bullion cubes

Bring to a boil.

(about this time, I very skeptically taste tested. To my surprise, it tasted suspiciously like goulash, which my kids love and I never make. So, I tossed in a can of corn and some whole wheat rotini-about 1/2 the box-all I had left, what else would we do with half a box of pasta around here?)

Let simmer 'til you can't wait any longer, then enjoy!

Three thumbs up! Quite an accomplishment around here.

Free Phonics Program

This phonics program looks really good. I have not tried it yet, but I plan to!

I wonder what homeschool Mom's did before the dawning of the internet? I can't imagine.