Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

TOS 4th of July Sale!

1776 was a spectacular year, and it's a smashing, save-more-money price! Grab your subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine during their four-day Fourth of July sale, and check out the craziest price on July 1 only! Receive a 2-year subscription, free Homeschooling with Heart tote bag, and five FREE E-Books for just $17.76! While supplies last. U.S. and Canadian residents. July 2 through July 4 the unprecedented savings continue. The sparks are flying at TOS Magazine . . . join in the celebration and savings! Get the details here http://thehomeschoolmagazine.com/2010/Fourth-of-July.htm.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Favorite Recipes: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are my absolute favorite muffins (and the only way Anthony will eat bananas.) They are easy to make and very moist. Try them out and let me know what you think.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup Miracle Whip
3 ripe mashed bananas
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Beat egg in small bowl. Stir in Miracle Whip and add to flour mixture. Stir in bananas and add 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin pan and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

This recipe makes approximately 12 muffins, so I double to feed my crowd! You could also make ahead and freeze them.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The TOS HomeSchool Crew!

I think that one of the best ways to find great HomeSchool products is by word of mouth. There are so many great products available to HomeSchoolers with more and more coming out every year. Reading reviews written by people who have had an opportunity to use the product is a great way to get an idea of whether or not a product will work for your family. I am very excited to have been chosen to be a part of the TOS HomeSchool Crew this year. I will have the opportunity to use several products over the course of the year with my children and then be able to share my review and help you find some great products for your family. Stay tuned and follow along with my blog because the TOS HomeSchool Crew will be setting sail again in July!

Windows and a Door!

I am so excited that we got the two front windows and the new door put in yesterday! The "garage" now looks like a room in the house instead of a garage. I was very glad my dad was here this week-end and was able to help. That second window was very heavy and it was over 95 degrees outside so it was great to have an extra pair of hands. I am so proud of my husband and all of the work he has been doing on this project.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Review: Venom and Song Book Two of the Berinfell Prophecies

I have just had the absolute pleasure of finishing Venom and Song, Book Two of the Berinfell Prophecies by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. I chose this book because it looked like something Chelsea would be interested in reading and seemed rather " Lord of the Ringsish" (I know that is not really a word just what I was thinking.)

" Time is Running Out...." The seven royal Elf lords are struggling to learn and control their new found powers while trapped in a strange world with the Evil Spider King and his followers determined to destroy them. The seven lords must prepare for battle and figure out the mystery of the Rainsong before it is too late.

This was a great book! I was a little worried about starting this series in the middle. Although I did not read the first book (yet) there is a description of the Principal Cast and Principal Locations in the beginning of the book that gave enough descriptions so I would not be "lost." It was a wonderful, suspenseful story that had several twists and turns that made the outcome unpredictable. In addition to this being a wonderful book, I would like to point out that it is a very sturdy hardcover version that will be able to be read over and over again with a very well designed cover. I would definitely recommend this book to teens or adults that enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

HomeSchooling a High Schooler!

Yikes! I cannot believe that Chelsea is going into the 9th Grade already. Well, actually if she was in Public School she would be in the 8th grade, but since she completed 8th Grade equivalent work last year we are moving into the 9th grade this year. Besides teaching your child to read, High School seems to be the time that HomeSchoolers fear the most. I am not "worried" about the High School years. I know that whatever I have been called to do I will be equipped for. I do however want to give my children the best education possible and the proper records if they chooses to go to college. So, I am doing a few things a little differently for High School.

I started out making my plans by looking up the High School Diploma requirements for Public School in our State and finding out how many credits are required and in what areas. Next, I sat down with Chelsea to develop a 4 year "plan " writing out what she will be taking when (subject to change of course in some of the elective areas.) She will have a notebook to keep all of her completed work this year and we are also going to keep all of her writing (stories, poems, songs) and keep a log of books as she reads them (a bit of a challenge since she reads so much.) We will be keeping up with credits earned to make a High School Transcript. I have bought a HomeSchool Planner from http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/ to use for this year. I have also found a website that has a lot of forms and articles on HomeSchooling and HomeSchooling through High School. Check out http://www.donnayoung.org/.

Chelsea's 9th grade year looks like this:

Abeka Curriculum
Themes in Literature
World Geography
Algebra I
Science of the Physical Creation
Kings of Israel A and B
Spanish I

Home Economics 1 semester sewing 2nd semester cooking projects TBD

Music- guitar and singing (both self taught with help of computer, cd's and lesson books)

Since we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sonlight's Curriculum she is also reading through their History, Readers, and Literature Selections from their Core 100.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Making Progress

Progress on our new Family Room is coming along. Home construction is always a challenge, but construction when it is 98 degrees outside is even more challenging. My wonderful husband spent the whole day on Saturday working on the Family Room (with 3 dips in the pool to cool down.) We are hoping to be putting windows in very soon.

Don't You Just Love Moments Like These?

The boys adore their baby sister (Chelsea too of course!) They are always following her around and keeping her entertained. I thought it was very sweet when they were reading their Lego Catalog to her so I had to snap a picture.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Have a Confession to Make.......

I have a confession to make. This will be my 6th year homeschooling, and I have never written lesson plans. Really. Two years I did use Sonlight with Chelsea and the lesson plans are already written for you but I have never written out lesson plans. I have a general idea of what I want to accomplish and gather my materials at the beginning of the work. That is changing this year. I am sitting down over the next couple of weeks and actually writing out lesson plans (allowing time of course for interest-led learning and other things that may develop during the year.) There are a few reasons I am doing this. With 6 children, it is getting harder to stay organized. Organization does not come naturally to me and I want to be more successful at it. Another reason is that Chelsea will be starting High School this year and I need to keep more specific records of the work she is doing. We also are involved in a lot of different activities, and I think it will be easier for me to work on our school plans while we are not doing "school."

I found a wonderful 2010-2011 Homeschool Planner at http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/. This down loadable planner came includes everything you need for home and household planning that you can possibly imagine. It is over 600 pages long and includes many different kinds of interactive forms (that you can type and print out for each child) many different homeschooling articles, calenders, chore charts, and lots of different printouts of interest to homeschoolers (ex. metric conversion charts, Life and death of Jesus Christ, Presidents and their wives, handwriting forms, nature journals, book logs....many many more.) You can chooses the forms that you need and print out only what you want to.

So, I am working on planning out our school year. Each of my children keep a notebook (or sometimes 2) divided into sections for subjects. In the front of each notebook will have a calender, chore chart, and weekly schedule. Wish me luck as the planning begins!

Giveaway Winner!

I completely forgot to post the Heart Mender's giveaway winner! Sorry about that! Kathleen you are the winner and I will be sending you an email to get your mailing address. Thanks for participating and enjoy this wonderful book!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chelsea's Locks of Love

Chelsea decided she wanted to get her hair cut again for Locks of Love. She hasdone this oncr before 2 years ago and it was long enough to do it again. Fore more information about this program, go to www.locksoflove.org.

High Seas Adventure!

This week has been a very busy week. We have been on a High Seas Adventure at VBS. My children love Vacation Bible School and I volunteer every year. We had awesome crafts, wonderful snacks, great stories, cool games, and fabulous songs (which will probably be stuck in my head for the next year.) Our kids learned 5 Bible Points: 1. God's Word is True. 2. God's word is surprising. 3, God's word is comforting. 4. God's word is life changing. 5. God's word is for everyone. We had over 100 kids everyday pre k-6th (not bad for a small town) and raised over $800 for a child in our community with severe health problems. I had the pre-k class (over 20 kids everyday) so I did not get any pictures of my older children.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lake Catherine

Last fall, we made the decision to sell our Motor Home. Last year when we went camping, we had to take the Motor Home and a tent because the Motor Home only slept six. We could squeeze in seven, but eight was just too tight. Instead of buying a new camper right away, we decided to use the money to pay down some debt and covert our garage into a family room. We love camping and hope to buy another camper maybe next year. In the mean time, there are several State Parks in Arkansas that have very reasonable prices on their cabins. We stayed for 3 days and 2 nights at Lake Catherine State Park. The cabins were very nice and roomy. They also had everything you needed except your clothes and food. Every cabin also had a grill, picnic table, deck, and a dock. We had a great time while we were there fishing, swimming, bike riding, and playing at the playground. We hope to do it again before summer is over.
Sorry one of the pictures appeared twice somehow. I cannot get it to delete.

Favorite Recipes: Pistachio Pudding Salad

This recipe is a great summer recipe and is perfect for home, picnics, or potlucks.

2 boxes instant jello pistachio flavored
2 jars of pitted cherries without the stems drained
2 cans crushed pineapple drained
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 large tub of cool whip

Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Note- Use care when feeding to small children or people with nut allergies . The pudding mix does have pistachio nuts in it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Do You Know What Your Children Are Being Taught?

You know that I am pretty passionate about homeschooling and have written several posts about the many reasons I homeschool. Every year I become more and more convicted that my decision to homeschool was and will continue to be the right decision.

Do you know what your children are being taught in school? Chelsea went to public school from K-2nd grade. Everyday she would come home and I asked her how her day was and what she learned. Her answer everyday was "Fine" and "Lots of fun stuff." I did try to get her to talk a bit more, but I never knew what she was learning until after it was already done. For instance, she had already had several weeks of learning about how to recognize the different kind of drugs before I even knew about it (in Kindergarten ) and already had had a soldier from the war in Iraq come and talk to the class about trying to capture and kill Saddam Hussein (1st grade.)

Children are not taught to think, they are told what to think. Did you know that evolution is no longer taught as a theory but as a fact? Not only in Science but History and English too? Creationism is not even discussed in schools at all. Children are sent to the office for being disrespectful to the teacher when they argue these points. They are also given failing grades when they don't give the "correct" evolutionary answer to the tests. How can we teach our children to "speak the truth" and "teach the gospel to every creature" but not between the hours of 8 and 3 Monday through Friday so you can pass the test. We don't want our children to lie but put them in a situation where they have to to make a grade. High School English classes are debating such subjects as, "If you were pregnant and you knew your child was going to be born with Autism, should you abort the child?" Some schools are forcing sex education programs that include books that have 2 fathers or mothers as a requirement in elementary school. Textbooks are being rewritten and history is being changed. Did you know that our founding fathers were not Christians? That is what our 10th grade students are being taught as truth.

If your children are attending public school, stay involved with what they are learning. Stay involved with the school, find out what they are being taught, and fight to make changes. Give your children a strong Biblical Foundation so they can stand on the Truth in all situations and pray for our children and our nation every day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Book Review: The Heart Mender A Story of Second Chances by Andy Andrews and a Give-Away!

I just finished reading the best book called The Heart Mender A Story of Second Chances by Andy Andrews. Andy Andrews has written several other books including The Noticer and The Time Traveler. I couldn't wait for it to be time to nurse Lily so I could sit and read this book and finished it in 3 days. The time period switches between present time and the WWII era. The author states in the beginning of the book that it is based on a true story with the characters names changed. It talks about factual information that occurred in the US during WWII that I had no idea ever even happened. That in itself made it an amazing book. It also has very real and believable characters that you feel like you really have gotten to know and love. It is an amazing story of love, faith, forgiveness, and second chances at life and it also has a mystery that has to be solved. I hesitate to say much more because I do not want to ruin it for anyone. I very highly recommend this book! Read it!

And now, a giveaway. The publisher in addition to sending me a book to read and review also sent me a second copy to give away on my blog. You don't wat to miss out on this book! To enter the giveaway, leave me your first name and email address in the comments. Comments will not be published on this post to keep people's identity anonymous. Giveaway will be open until Friday June 11th.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for the sole purpose of writing an honest review and received no other financial compensation.