Friday, October 17, 2008

School Pictures - 2008

All my friends with kids have been calling/emailing me telling me about their kid's first pictures... I was so excited to hear about this milestone, but it also made me feel a little sad when I realized that my kids won't ever have a kindergarten picture day!

I started thinking about that a little, and then it hit me... who says picture day has to happen in school? So today, we got the kids all dressed up and hopped in the car and started driving around aimlessly - and look what God gave us!  ***Edit:***  I'm not sure why the pictures don't show up in the post any more, but if you click on them you can view them.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Art Ideas

I subscribe to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's email newsletter, and there are a variety of articles included each week. One of my favorite parts is the Freebie section, and this week contained quite a gem:

Enjoy! Now, pick something and get messy with your kidlets. ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Post #75...

Well, a new school year is starting - and as everyone probably knows, I am organizationally challenged. I've been spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to spend less time doing the stuff that I feel wastes my time... heh. I'm trying to come up with a rough routine for our day and all that good stuff, so far I have some wonderful ideas that I have yet to implement ;)

Here's a link to a site with very useful stuff: Donna Young .If you need forms for things like attendance, grades, or scheduling (plus some other neat stuff) you should go check her out, her forms are free for the printing!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Curriculum Links

These are a couple of sites that I found interesting:

Evan-Moore Curriculum Resources veeeery interesting :D

Neoscience is a complete science curriculum with experiment kits that include everything needed to complete the projects.

Moving Beyond the Page is curriculum for creative and gifted children.

Is YOUR child gifted?

Book It!

Remember Book It? Well, now it's easier for home school families to participate and I think we'll make it an annual thing, starting this year. I've enrolled and will be receiving some materials in September some time and the program runs October 1, 2008 through March 31, 2009 for K-6 (kids must be 5 by September to be eligible).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Taken Today / Announcement

Well, thought you'd all like to know...

J has become a glasses wearer! He only needs them for reading, and already I've noticed a difference in his attitude during "school". He pays attention longer, and actually reads faster - I think he can see the letters more clearly, and while I thought before that he was really having to think very hard about the words I now believe that he just couldn't see them very well. He has some worksheets to complete tomorrow so I'll know better to what extent he is being affected by his eyesight. I'm glad to have caught this now, instead of later!

J was having pics taken of him, so S had to have some taken too.
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I recently started reviewing Time4Learning by The Learning Odyssey for our core curriculum purposes after reading many MANY reviews from other homeschoolers at Home School Reviews. It's an online curriculum, and so far appears to be very thorough - it starts at the PreK level (still slightly above S's head but too easy for J, he placed in K/1st for math and english) and goes up to 8th grade at this point. Much of the learning happens on screen, but there are plenty of provided activities and printable work sheets to supplement the computer stuff. These pictures were taken today, the very first time we tried the site. Pricing is VERY reasonable and there is a two week evaluation period during which you can get a refund if you decide the program is not for you. Multiple children receive discounts and there is no commitment.

Independent Reading

Reading "Hello Kitty's Paper Kiss"
This book belonged to me when I was little - my Dad was a semi truck driver and crane operator and was gone a lot, the book is about a Daddy going away for work and sending a letter with X's and O's at the bottom, very cute. S is on a Hello Kitty kick, which is also very cute. She calls Hello Kitty "my hello ki tee".
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How my kids help with laundry:

Actually, they *are* pretty helpful - it's nice to not have to bend down to empty the dryer, and they both help sort the laundry into categories (I use this more as an educational excersize than chore work - "make a pile of pants, a pile of shirts, and a pile of socks and undies" or "make a pile of your stuff, and a pile of your sister's stuff"). J can pretty much fold up his own stuff and put it away on his own, so that helps with the amount of time I really have to spend (even a little makes a difference).
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Like Crayola?

I don't get anything if you do this, but I entered and thought that someone reading this little blog might appreciate the info...
Crayola® Sweepstakes at Michaels Craft Store...
Tell other parents to sign up for The Knack by April 30th and they will automatically be entered into the sweepstakes. Five lucky winners will each receive over 250 Crayola products valued at over $1,400! 
Click here to see official rules.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Good Homeschool Materials Source

I'm jumping on the bandwagon - who couldn't use a little extra green? :D

The HSB Front Porch is having a contest and you can win a $50 gift certificate just for blogging about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Spring Promo before midnight April 30, 2008. Subscribe now to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and receive 25 BONUS gifts valued at over $550! The Winter Promo sold out, don't miss out on the free gifts this time!

They are also giving away a $150 gift certificate to the Schoolhouse Store. All print subscribers (new or renewing) between April 3 - 30, 2008 will be automatically entered into a drawing. No purchase neccessary to win. To enter without subscribing, please send a postcard with your name, address, telephone number, and email address to:
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Spring Promo Contest
PO BOX 8426
Gray, TN 37615

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dental caries are no joke! :D

Which is why we are doing everything we can to avoid them! These pics are from the kids' first visit to the dentist.
Happy April Fool's Day!

Here, J's teeth have been painted with a "disclosing" dye, which was then rinsed off and the parts that remained dyed were the areas that had plaque build up. The hygenist was awesome, and explained to him everything that she was doing and let him ask any questions his little brain could think of.

He did a great job with the water spray, our hygenist said he was the best patient she'd had in a while, even better than most adults haha...

After brushing J got some little trays put in with a flouride foam in them. He thought he looked like a duck, it was pretty cute. S had to try it out too, her trays were empty of course.

S was pretty excited to get a ride in the chair!

And she also liked the water squirt thingy. She'll have her first real appointment this September when she turns three.
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Origami Day

Crafts and projects of all kinds are much enjoyed in our house... Today, I introduced the kids to origami by making the easiest thing I could imagine... a frog. All you need is a 3x5 card and a kid (or more) who is bored :D I'm also posting directions to make paper roses, because I think they're neat. Probably too difficult for little kidlets, but wanted to post something difficult too. You can click on links in the individual instructions to see very detailed images of each step of both projects, which should make them easier to complete. Enjoy!

My bored kids ;)

S and J trying to fold their frogs... I pretty much had to do S's for her, but J did a few of the folds quite on his own (which suprised me for some reason)

Any time markers are out in our house it's cause for celebration - I tend to be stingy with them, S is messy (click the picture to see the blue marker stains on the front of her shirt). But what two-year-old isn't? I should lower my standards... or apron them or something. hehe

My finished froggie. It's supposed to be a red-eyed tree frog, but instead it just looks creepy.
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Jumping Frog

From , the How To manual you can edit!
Origami Jumping Frog
(click this link to see the original article, complete with pictures to help explain in more thorough detail)

Origami can be a fun activity for people of all ages. This easy-to-make jumping frog can be made in about three minutes and can provide hours of entertainment. The sturdiness of the index card makes the frog jump higher and last longer than if you make an origami jumping frog from regular paper. With a few friends and a few more frogs, you can play games like seeing whose frog can jump the farthest or race frogs seeing who can reach the finish line first.


  1. Place a 3" by 5" index card on the table in a portrait orientation (long sides to the left and right).
  2. Fold the top-right corner of the card diagonally (down and left) until the top of the card meets the left side. The result will look like the figure.
  3. Unfold the card.
  4. Fold the top-left corner of the card diagonally (down and right) until the top of the card meets the right side.
  5. Unfold the card. This will result in an X-shape on the upper portion of the card as shown in the figure.
  6. Grasp the right and left edges of the card between your thumb and forefinger at the midpoint of the triangles and fold the two sides inward (your thumbs will touch).
  7. As the top portion of the card folds inward, press it the rest of the way down. The card should resemble a house (see figure).
  8. Grasp the right corner of the resulting triangle and fold the "wing"upward to the top corner of the triangle.
  9. Fold the left "wing" upward to the top corner of the triangle as well.
  10. Fold the right edge of the "house" into the middle so that the right edge meets the vertical center line.
  11. Fold the left edge of the "house" into the middle so that the left edge meets the vertical center line.
  12. Fold the bottom of the card up to meet the top and then back again to meet the new fold at the bottom.
  13. Turn the frog over; it should open up a bit.
  14. Using the tip of your index finger, press the "butt" of the frog down slightly and release; the frog will jump.


  • After completing a fold, run your thumbnail across the fold while pressing firmly to ensure it is crisp and flat.
  • Larger card stock can be used to make a larger frog. However, if the proportions are not 3:5 trim it down using scissors or a paper cutter.
  • Green card stock will make a more realistic-looking frog.
  • Markers can be used to decorate your frog.


  • Scissors and paper cutters can be dangerous. Keep fingers and clothing away from cutting parts. Parental supervision is advised.

Things You'll Need

  • One 3" by 5" index card.

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make an Origami Jumping Frog from an Index Card. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Paper Rose

From , the How To manual you can edit!
How to Fold a Paper Rose (click this link to see the original article, complete with pictures to help explain in more thorough detail)

The simple art of origami may be regarded as pure personal enjoyment, but some may say there are deeper meanings to the art. Since the paper rose signifies everlasting beauty, it can be given to a significant other to impress them or win them over. The following instructions are for an origami rose designed by Toshikazu Kawasaki.


  1. Obtain some colorful, square paper (see "Things You'll Need").
  2. Face the colorful side of the paper up towards you.
  3. Fold the square in half so that the decorated side of the paper is folded inside. Open up the paper, turn it over, and draw a black line along the crease of the back side. (The colorful side will be the color of your rose, and that is why lines are drawn on the back (plain) side, so that they will not be seen).
  4. Fold the lower and upper half in half again, so that the square is equally divided into four parts. Color these creases.
  5. Rotate the paper and repeat the last two steps, so that now you have 16 little squares.
  6. Fold the paper diagonally both ways. You should have two lines dividing the paper diagonally, giving you four triangles. This is shown with red lines.
  7. Fold the paper in half.
  8. Fold the lower half up one third.
  9. Open up the paper and rotate it 90 degrees. Repeat the last two steps. This is shown with green lines.
  10. With each corner, fold black and red lines upwards (valley folds) and green lines inwards (mountain folds).
  11. Press down on the horizontal and vertical parts counter-clockwise gently, leaving the middle standing out.
  12. Press down on the four corners of the center part and it should turn into a tiny flat square.
  13. Turn the paper around so that the colorful side faces up.
  14. Use labels. To make it easier to understand, label the four parts, then lift up the fourth (lower right) square and rotate it 90 degrees, counterclockwise, to the left vertical border of square two.
  15. Make sure the two borders align exactly.
  16. Rotate around to each square and repeat the last two steps with all four squares.
  17. Round up all four sides, and now you have the basic shape of the rose in your hand.
  18. Flip the rose upside down. Now you are looking into the inside of the rose.
  19. Fold down the petals one by one.
  20. Once you reach the last petal, tuck it under the gap beneath the previous petal.
  21. Turn it over. Now you have a pretty rose. You can add a stem for it, using wire and a few pieces of leaves with green paper. Now you are done!


  • To make it look more realistic, use a thin round pen as a curling tool to curl up the four petals. alternatively you could use a chopstick or if you have one you could use a knitting needle for a tighter curl.
  • Consider using recycled paper; it's better for the environment.

Things You'll Need

  • You can use any square piece of paper to fold this rose, although it will be easier if you use one that you can distinguish the front and back side of the paper clearly.
  • The type of paper used in this demonstration has two sides. The colorful side is the front side of the paper.
  • The side with only one color is the back side of the paper.

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Fold a Paper Rose. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Part 1

We had a very fun, impromptu Easter celebration at my hubby's Mom and Dad's house last Saturday - we drove down to pick up MY Mom to bring her up to our house to spend a week with us before Easter, and we spent part of the day having supper and playing around before coming back up.

The kids each got an Easter bag filled with all kinds of fun goodies - each received Crayola Color Wonder Soft Sticks and some coloring pages to go with them, a book with a sweet and simple discussion about what Easter is really about, some jellybeans (each color with a Christian meaning), a pen with a plush lamb topper and a cute spiral notebook to go with it.

We spent the next week talking about what Easter means and watched the Veggie Tales Easter Carol a few times, it's pretty sill but does such a great job at sharing the real message with little kids.

There are more pictures to follow from Easter Sunday, and as always - you can click the little pictures to make them larger.
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Easter Part 2

We felt very blessed to have family come visit us for Easter this year! This was the first holiday that my hubby and I have entertained guests, and it was so much fun to be able to prepare a meal for our loved ones.

We attended church at Faith Reformed Church and it was a really nice service, presented in a unique way that was refreshing and interesting. This church is set up differently than any other place we've been, there's a main sanctuary (the one we went on Sunday) where the Pastor preaches in person, and there are also satellite churches where his message is broadcast onto a large screen via projector, but each satellite has it's own unique worship service (one is traditional, another is contemporary, etc). This next week we plan to check out the contemporary service.

Our supper was awesome - we had a relish tray (prepared by my cousin Nat - olives, two kinds of pickles, crackers, cheese and later refilled with strawberries and powdered sugar and sliced green pepper) Virginia Smoked Ham (which my Mom glazed with Coke, honey dijon mustard, and brown sugar - YUM), my own secret versions of green bean casserole and cheesy potatoes (or wedding potatoes, depending on who you're talking to), crescent rolls, and Heath Trifle (my Grandma's recipe, made by my Aunt G) for dessert. I think we all ate too much, and I still have left overs in the fridge!

The kids had fun coloring eggs with food coloring markers, and then got to open their Easter Baskets. They each got a cute coin bank, J got a frog that ribbets when you drop in a coin and S got an elephant that trumpets when you feed it coins. They each got a candy item, too - and some coins for their banks.

God Bless!
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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Links We Like

I added a few links to my sidebar today to share with all of you - Sing, Spell, Read & Write (SSRW), Mark Kistler's Draw 3-D and Math Mammoth. I've been using SSRW for a little while now with J and he's been really taking off with reading - at the same time, S has been picking up a lot of I'm teaching and the other day I heard the two of them singing the alphabet together! She also is familiar with a lot of the letter sounds, and when we go through the chart of letters together she echoes the sounds (think "a, a, apple... b, b, ball..."). She surprised me the other day by counting to ten, and again tonight while playing hide & seek she did it with Daddy but instead of echoing the numbers he was saying it was Daddy who was echoing S! I'm pretty impressed with her lately - she's a bright one!

We've been using Mark Kistler's book, Imagination Station (which we loaned from the library and will most likely be purchasing at least one copy of) as part of our art lessons lately and it has really been a HUGE hit in our house. Not only are they learning how to draw, they are learning to be positive and self confident! We also watch Mark on PBS when we get the chance, but we often aren't home when he's on the air so we use his YouTube channel a lot - can't recommend it enough, especially for those of you who are convinced you can't draw (I know you're out there!)

I'm planning on purchasing the 1st Grade math from Math Mammoth for J soon, and I'm going to use it with a couple of books I just ordered from Family Math for Young Children, Comparisons and Family Math, Equals Series because I'm hoping to keep it interesting, both for his sake AND mine! :)

I ordered two other books with those Math books, Games for Writing and The Beginner's Bible, which J insists on carting around everywhere and "reads" CONSTANTLY: he love love loves the pictures and the stories are brief enough that he keeps asking me to keep reading and reading, this is such an awesome thing to hear, "Mommy, can we read my Bible now?" I plan to choose a story or two a week and really focus on it, maybe finding coloring pages or other crafts or some other information like maps or anything I can find... I'm excited to have a good jumping off point for our Bible lesson part of school. Even S will sit and listen to the stories, they're well written and are quite engaging. I can't wait until J can read through one on his own, it will be great to have him "teach" some of school to his Sis.

I know I generally don't get too wordy, but I guess I'm making up for it today! :D

Theatre Performance

Well, the kiddos had their last day of theatre for Winter Session on Tuesday, and the performance was so adorable. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy - Enjoy! :)

They did all their warm up exercises like pretending to be happy or sad, then they pretended to be having a picnic and they unpacked all the things from their 'heavy' baskets and tasted their PB&J and pretended it was sour (imagine all the cute "sour" faces!). Then they acted out "I'm Being Eaten by a Boa Constrictor" by Shel Silverstein using the parachute, when they say "Oh dread, it's eaten my head!" they all get under the parachute and giggle about the 'stinky snake belly' then "tickle" him to escape (which consists of pushing all over on the parachute so that it flutters all over the place, always a kid pleaser!).

Then they learned a new little thing on the spot (a little song that goes "I know a chicken/and she laid an egg/oh my goodness!/it was a shaky egg!" and then they drop a plastic Easter Egg with beans or something inside to 'lay' an egg, then pick it up and shake it fast or slow, depending on what the song said) so here's a video of that:

After that, we went up onto the "big stage" where Ms. Kat showed them all about the stage, the different parts, explained how the set was designed and how it was made... then they did a cute little play called The Big Bad Pig and the Little Wolves which Ms. Kat pretty much made up... basically, one little girl played the Pig and everyone else was a Wolf. The Set was a cardboard box, with each side representing a different kind of house: 1. Mac & Cheese, 2. Grass, 3. Rocks, 4. Flowers, which make the Pig become nice when she smells them and then they're all friends.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Here's a quick little video I put together when the kidlets were helping me fix supper one night. I think J has a knack for being cute, er... acting ;)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cooking, Unmixed

Just a warning, this one is kind of long but too cute not to share!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

TKD - Movie Too!

J's first attempt at breaking a board:

Master Pline working with the Tiny Tiger class on their one step, J is on the far right.

J "leading" the class:

Practicing Songahm II for the first time:

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Taekwondo Day 1

Click for a larger image, J is third in from the left.

Practicing self control by "freezing". He received a small plastic chain link at the end of class as a reward for doing so well - these are worn on the belt, and I believe they accrue until a certain point at which they get a patch of some sort.

Pictures taken with and posted from my phone, sorry for the poor quality - I'll try to remember my camera for the next class (which is Wednesday).

Sunday, February 3, 2008

School Day Cuteness

S is really starting to get a great attention span, and often sits and colors quietly while I am assisting J with work that requires my attention:

Here's J working on a page from SSRW. He loves it so far, it combines music, games, workbook stuff... it's great for him because he's so wiggly. I already know I'll be ordering Pre-K for S, I think she's ready for it now and may get it in the next month or so.

Aren't they adorable?!
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