Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Starting the Move

We took a load of things out to the new house today. We also got about 2/3 of the trailer unloaded. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea what it is like.

Kitchen - Upstairs

Dining room - Upstairs

Living room - Upstairs (Has a gas fireplace)

Master bedroom - Upstairs (Has a walk in closet and a door accessing the bathroom)

Bathroom - Upstairs

Girls' Room - Upstairs

Office / Craft room - Downstairs (Has a walk in closet)

Family room - Downstairs



Friday, January 25, 2008

Lonely Days

Lonely days are here again. Dh had to fly out of state for his grandmother's funeral. So we are on our own until Monday evening. I miss him terribly already.

We have a signed lease on our new rental! We will be moving in next week and are very excited about it. We even have an activity on the calendar already. There is a Girls' Club starting and we will be moved in time for the first meeting. It's been a long time since we were able to participate in anything like this. It sounds like there are several families in the area that have children close to our ages so that is very exciting. We also have good friends from days past that live there.
Dh's job is also going well. So things are slowly starting to fall into place.

We are pretty healthy again although a little bit of sinus congestion is hanging on. We haven't been that down with germs in a few years. I guess moving will do that to you.

I started working on our taxes today and made good progress.
But I need my box of files before I can complete them. So a couple more days once we get settled and I should be able to mail them.

I also discovered today that our prepaid long distance (www.onesuite.com) does have an access number here. When we moved and the access number I had been using didn't work, I thought all my minutes were lost. I didn't think about looking for a different number. So I am very excited about that as their rates are good.

We have had a good amount of snowfall the last couple weeks. I will definitely get more pictures posted after we move. The view out there is gorgeous.

I'll wrap this up with some pictures.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mom, I want some more! Are we talking about more pizza? Possibly. More ice cream? Definite possibility! But more oatmeal??????!!!!! I couldn't believe my ears! And to top it all off - everyone in the family enjoyed the oatmeal. That was music to my ears as I have been wanting to start having hot cereal more often since it is healthier and less expensive than the alternatives. I have to say that yesterday's oatmeal was the best I have ever tasted. So even I am more motivated to make it. All I need to do now is to translate the recipe into crock pot form and breakfast will be a simple affair.

I just mixed all ingredients in a kettle, brought it to a boil and cooked for 15 minutes. Of course, the heavy whipping cream on top added a delicious element but if that is what it takes for my family to eat oatmeal more often, I'll keep whipping cream on hand.

2 cups Oatmeal
4 cups Water
Salt to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons Cinnamon (Adjust to taste)
1/3 cup Brown sugar (Adjust to taste)
1 apple, peeled and diced

I plan to add a little flax meal but I need to buy some seeds.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Medical Report

We're surviving the crud. Dd12 has it the worst (as usual). She will go back back on an immune booster when my vitamin order arrives. She used it a couple years ago and has been stronger since. Not that she gets extremely sick but she would be the first one of our family to get sick whenever we got exposed to something. Dd11 hasn't had it at all (as usual). Dd4 is basically well. (This is the sickest she has ever been so we've been very fortunate.) And ds is happy but still congested. Dh's ears are popping a bit. I had a tight neck and gunky throat yesterday and am just weak. Hopefully that will be it for me. Homeopathics and Vitamin C may have come through once again.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Having too much fun not to share . . .

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The more I progress on this homeschooling journey, the more comfortable I am not having instructions all laid out for me. This is especially true in the area of spelling. So for next year I had decided to just use words that had been misspelled during other work such as compositions, dictation, etc. I had a weekly plan something like this:

Day One: Write words (cursive), Syllables (printing) / Mark with dictionary pronunciation

Day Two: Part of speech, Definition, Different endings

Day Three: Sentences

Day Four: Test

Day Five: Write spelling rules for words missed; Write words 5 times

So yesterday the first thing I read upon opening the LLATL Teacher Manual was this:

"Each week, your teacher will give you ten words from the Commonly Misspelled Words List in the Appendix at the back of the book. Add any misspelled words to the Personal Spelling List found in the Appendix in the Student Activity Book, or create your own Personal Spelling List on a separate piece of paper. Next, add any words you misspelled in your weekly dictation to your list. Add any misspelled words from any other writing you do during the week." Then it goes on to tell how to study those words.

WOW! I couldn't have described what I wanted to do better than that. So you can imagine that that tipped the scales greatly in favor of using LLATL.

Life is starting to settle . . . Almost

We have found a place to rent as of February 1st so I am very excited about that. Pictures will be forthcoming after we get moved in. The view is gorgeous!

My curriculum musings are slowing. Either the day of or the day after my previous post, I ran across a Project 365 picture of Diana Waring's "What in the World's Going on Here?". (I had looked at her history curriculum a couple years ago but it didn't fit what I needed at the time.) So I printed off the Ancient Civilizations and the Bible sample and read all the way through it. (I can't stand reading things on screen.) There was such a confirmation that this is what I want for next year. (Then I realized why TOG was not coming together for me. Because although it looks like a great program, it isn't for us right now.)

So having the history decision made took a large load off my mind. I was then able to start making decisions on what language arts will fit best with that. So just in time, my Learning Language Arts Through Literature Gray teacher manual (8th grade) arrived in the mail. I think it will fit quite nicely with History Alive! making a compact core package for my 8th grader whose main focus will be history, science, and composition. (Math will pretty much be a review year.) So now all the large decisions I have left are for my 6th grader.

(Do I dare post this at this early date?)

Diana Waring's History Alive! Ancient Civilizations and the Bible
(History, Geography, Vocabulary, Composition, and other skills)

Apologia Physical Science

Learning Language Arts Through Literature Gray
(Grammar, Vocabulary, Composition, Literature, etc.)

RightStart Mathematics: A Hands-On Geometric Approach

Friday, January 4, 2008

Curriculum Meanderings

Well, my mind is full of curriculum choices this time of year. There are so many good resources available to homeschoolers and sometimes it is hard to know which direction to go. My oldest will be in 8th grade so I am trying to have things set by the time she hits high school.

Bob Jones World Studies has had good information but it isn't the best format for our family. So I am looking at Tapestry of Grace (TOG), TruthQuest (TQ), or BiblioPlan. I know I want a history curriculum that portrays a strong Christian worldview. TOG has a high learning curve but I continue to be drawn to it. The TOG Loose Threads Yahoo group and other friends have been helpful. One homeschooler was generous enough to lend me Redesigned Year One, Unit One so that I could review it. This has been the biggest help. I like that TOG can be used with all ages at the same time and can be used all the years of schooling. I also like that it incorporates the writing instruction with the subject matter. These points are in addition to the fact that it studies HIStory not just facts and events.

For science I am about 99% decided to use Apologia for both girls. Bob Jones Life Science has been great this year but it is very heavy.

I have come full circle in Language Arts and decided that I want to use Spell to Write and Read and The Wise Guide to Spelling in some form. And I want to incorporate study of words they have misspelled during the previous week. I did come across All About Spelling which interests me very much for the little ones to use after they have completed ABC the Key.

I do think I will stay with my plan on holding off on Algebra 1 for my oldest as pre-algebra is quite a handful for her this year. I may use RightStart Mathematics; A Hands-On Geometric Approach for a review of all the math she has learned before she heads into high school. I am leaning heavily in the direction of Christian Light math for dd#2 as I have heard such good reviews of its completeness. It is also in a format that she does well with. I am very happy with my choice of RightStart for my preschooler. We are just starting out but I can already see the learning potential of the program.

This isn't an all inclusive look at what we will be doing next year but it is the musings that are going on in my mind for now. Some things are already decided so they aren't taking center stage in my thought processes.

You might ask why there are so many subjects to decide on and why we aren't using the same curriculum for all the school years. There are a few reasons that I can think of. Some just weren't a good fit for us. Some were just a one-year course. In some cases, what worked well for dd#1 will not work well for dd#2 as they have completely different learning styles. And then part of it is that sometimes it is nice to have a change. My overall goal is that they are not missing any key components in a subject. Fortunately, we have accomplished that for the most part.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's Birthday Time!

Yesterday was dh's birthday. So for the first time in many years, we were able to celebrate New Years and his birthday with his family. (We have never lived in the same town.)

This past week dd4 finished up her Big Girl Sleeping Chart which means she gets to go get ice cream with Daddy for sleeping all night in her bed for 10 nights.

Ds is crawling all over the place and is pulling himself up on furniture all in the last week.

Today we are off to look at a house that is for sale at a price that is within our range (we think). I have to call the mortgage company and see how financing can work out. Then we will look at it this afternoon.
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