Friday, December 16, 2011

Trying a New 'Do

For a church Christmas dinner tonight, I got the urge to just do something different. I like it and out was very simple. I just pulled my hair back into a regular claw clip and I just french braided the rest and tucked and pinned under the leftovers. Turned out nice, I think;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Morning Find

An overnight few and heavy morning fog left this surprise on a bush in our yard today.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Five on a Row Ornament Exchange Tree

We didnt have am extra tree running around and weren't going to buy one since we just moved out to "the sticks". So we gathered some unique limbs from our woodline and made do:). These ornaments are what we have collected from our exchanges over the last 3 or 4 years. We just love our FIAR family!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Great Wall Project

Using Expedition Earth from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We did not glue it so that they could play with the bricks to build things for Lego men :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sewing Project Redone

Dress fabric came in a project pack for a pillowcase. I am not one to feel like I have to follow every rule. This is how it turned out. Do you like it?
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another take on my new cut.

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New 'do

Or at least a new look. If there were any humidity or if I were running late this is what you might see if you ran into me on the street. Fairly au natural most days. This is my natural curl. I didn't know how much I missed it. But I did and now I'm loving it again.
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Happy Fourth of July--a little late

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About twice a year, we take to the road and travel down the eastern side of the U.S., and reunite with my family. There's usually a trip to the beach involved and whatever else we can manage to stuff into a one week time frame and still breathe in the heat and humidity. This time was no a few of the pics of our recent trip.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tie dye projects

We recently participated in an American Girl Co-Op with one of our local homeschool groups--at least the girls did--the boys were in misery.  The girl this time was Julie.  She was born in my era; however, I did not participate in activities such as the discos.  Of course, tie dye was all the rage during many of my growing up years.  I had never actually done it , though.  So, this was fun for us all.  The scarf on the left is Dana's and the one on the right was Jenna's.  They are now wearing them on their heads bandana style and it is soo cute.  Jenna is still just 5 and is not a full time participant in many of the activities but she was adamant  about doing this one.  They also made friendship bracelets, talked about women coming into equality in many arenas, a few more activities and  topped it off with butterfly cupcakes.  It was a fun time!

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A Constant in Our Home: Room Time

The majority of our school work is usually completed by early afternoon.  After lunch, I let the crew go out and run off some energy by whatever means necessary (within civil limits, of course) and then we are on to room time.  We began doing this when our babies were just babies.  When they were small, it was also an opportunity for them to learn to play alone and to pick up behind themselves.  You can see from the picture above that they have mastered that quite well, no??

 They have always had room time and we all need it!!  By that point in our day, I need a breather and they do, too.  Now that 3 out of the 4 are reading, it has turned into reading time.  But for nonreaders, it is playtime and/or reading time but they know it is quiet time for all to regroup.  I take care of drink/bathroom/toy/book needs before this time commences so that it truly is peaceful.   We all benefit from a peacful moment after the morning hours of productivity.  We have no intention of dropping this time just because they are older..this is kind of a forever thing here!

Leave me a comment and let me know some of the "forever" things in your home.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Garden Update

This is how our garden grows:). We have only harvested lettuce and chives so far. We let the broccoli bolt but will try again in the fall.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Prairie Girl She's NOT

At least not today. Everyone around here has been enjoying make-believing all episodes available of Little House, but today someone's changing things up a bit!
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Back to School Part 3: The Daily Line-up

Our homeschool is getting geared up for next school year. I am pleased to be fairly ready for next school year. I have a few more resources yet to be received but we are ready. I thought I would lay out what I have each child doing next year so that it is clear what I mean by things.
I mentioned in another post that each child has their own planning page in a weekly lineup that I can write on with dry erase pens where needed. My older children especially like the independence of being able to know what's expected and then just go do it. I'm still enjoying having our family together for some teachings/readings and we will continue with some of those things.

Here's the general plan:

Begin together:
Readings/Discussions from the Family Discussions section on's unit study.
Unit study from Expedition Earth
Prayer wall, animal classification chart, missionary studies

Math, Spelling, Grammar, Handwriting, Phonics for littles, reading assignments (mostly from, memory work, writing assignments
There will be some weeks when there will be timeline entries, but not consistently.
Also, there are few things for the older children(not every single day, just sporadically): geography worksheets, critical thinking exercises, vocabulary worksheets

Together again:
Extras such as games, Spanish, geography experiments, music, etc Each week, I have a meal planned relative to the country we will be studying.

Some of these items only require a few minutes' time, but I list them to keep myself accountable.

I'd like to hear what you have planned for your homeschool next year. Leave me a comment!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Our caterpillars wove their cocoons and we are now awaiting their "delivery"!! Yay!!
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Jenna's Dress

Just something I whipped up, made of a little bit of this 'n' that. Much of it is re-treasured.
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Coming Soon: New Friends

Our caterpillars came..complete with food in their temporary habitat.  As promised, they headed to the top of the cup to hang upside down.  It was pretty cool watching them.  The little balls around are their waste!  I was shocked at how much they put out and the fact that they don't require water.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spring Art Outdoors

After a few 90 degree days, the breezes were welcome therapy for our crew. We do a lot outdoors. Today I was flying' by the seat of my pants on this. After a picnic under our Cherry Blossom tree, they rode bikes a bit and then this idea struck me. I retrieved the box of sidewalk chalk and explained. 1 divide space mentally into fourths. 2 each child facing a rotated direction so that they couldn't see their neighbor's drawings. 3 Draw something soft then we rotated. Repeat with scratchy, hairy and slimy (or whatever you prefer--you could even do a theme) . 4 They are adding to previous artists' work without compromising it. Hopefully it will turn out to be a sort of mural ;)
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back to School Part 2: The New Stuff

Each year, evaluate what worked this year and what didn't and I try to give myself the liberty to get rid of the stuff that ends up in the "didn't" category. Sometimes I hang on to stuff because I suspect it could work for us at another time but other times, I just let it go. Then, I go on a research kick to find what will fill the need that might be left by letting something else go. There are times when I have to consider whether something I'm letting go of was something that fell into the "good" category or the "best" category. If it isn't a "best" item, I consider just not filling the gap, because saying yes to one thing is also saying no to something else. That process takes time…but here are our "new " results:

Spelling Workout –I mentioned here that I used a combined method but I stayed behind in getting words keyed into the site for the children. So, this is an effort to simplify.
Primary Language Lessons (2nd grade)—This is a child-specific choice. This child did not seem to retain much of what was presented in the workbook that we used last year.
Not focusing on History—just based on the observation that my children needed a better basis for history studies, so we are focusing on world geography with only the occasional history topic.
Going it without much of anything for Kindergarten—I am thinking that the most important things I have accomplished (academically) in the first year of our children's educations are learning to read, write the alphabet/words, counting/sorting/adding…I can do that without formal curriculum. Starfall has been a huge help in this area, and other simple resources, such as the library.

My new "method" for assignments for the children. I just laminated different colors of cardstock and made up their weekly expectations. There is a section at the top for things we do together, individual assignments for each day of the week and other "extras" at the bottom that are nice to accomplish but not necessary. I can put Post-it notes/tabs on there or write with dry erase pens to make any notes. That fixes them up for a week and I am done planning for them for the week, too!! When we have a day that has things to do away from home, they are to take the items with them that are reasonable for them to complete either in the car or at the location and the next day, just move on. Carry-over type projects just keep going until we're done. I will have a simple spiral notebook for my personal notes, but I don't have that many.

Even the Kindergartener has one :

With the framework from Expedition Earth already given, as well as the outlines from , I don't have a lot of planning to do. I will try to match up a few of the readings, but that can be done as I go along. I hope this year will be somewhat light in terms of my personal planning load. We'll just keep swimming…swimming…..

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Look Back—May 2010

 And, when we do choose to do DC, they almost always look like this on the way home: 
(NOTE: child in navy shirt is not peering, he is snoozing!!)

We had some fun friends over….boy how they have all changed!

We headed out for our first camping trip of the season. We ended up loving camping together and have plans to do more this year.

We live close enough to be able to "do DC" on Memorial Day , if we choose. We usually choose to go. We might try again this year, who knows.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Back to School Part 1: Roll Call

This year will be my first year with four students. Our almost-five-year-old is just chomping at the bit to get her own school assignments and participate like the older children. So, I will oblige her J
Student roll call: Dana, age 11, grade 6. Dylan, age 9, grade 3. Nathan, age 7, grade 2 and Jenna, age 5, Kindergarten-ish.
Curriculum roll call:
Math: Abeka (if it ain't broke, don't fix it)
Language arts: Spelling Workout for grades 2, 4, 6
Handwriting: A Reason for Writing for grades K, 2, 4. Copywork from various sources for grade 6.
Grammar: Finishing Easy Grammar grade 5 for grade 6 (we started mid year) , Primary Language Lessons for grade 2, Abeka Language for grade 4

Other: World Geography Unit study utilizing resources from and . For the remaining subjects, we will be integrating a geography unit study with a world missions focus. Erica  @ Confessions of  a Homeschooler wrote Expedition Earth and we will be using it as our base. It will be the "core unit" for the K and 2 students. The older two will be adding in more from the free unit at I love, love how Ann integrates God's heart for the peoples of the world with all of the subjects here.

Extras:  a little Spanish, little music here-n-there, lots of activities with local homeschool groups and of course, team sports with our county recreation department.

Starting line: I have no idea when we will start. We have completed our yearly standardized testing and submitted those, so we are "done" from a technical level. Right now, we are just ticking away at our math from the current year and reading a good bit. When I get the itch, we will start. I don't have a starting point or finish line, we just keep learning. That's how it's supposed to be, I think. We have somehow, over the years, become year-round, eclectic homeschoolers. It is not how I set out for our school operations to work, but it is what works. We have gone through seasons of formal, school-at-home instruction, minimalist-almost-unschooling, very Charlotte Mason and sometimes Classical methods creep in. Regardless, we do a combination of them all, doing what works for each season and according to the needs of our children.

I have a few new "methods" I have created for our homeschool this year and I'll share them soon. I hope to keep our family together and yet allow the olders who want more independence have it. What I really want is for us all to learn and love to keep learning!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Re-Treasures: Hand Me Downs and Redos

I love repurposing just goes without saying that it is a bit of an extreme hobby for me.  I try to keep balance, but that term is relative in this type of situation.

1.  Bought sheet to make chair cover for daughter's vanity chair.  Loved it.
2.  Used leftovers to create this simple skirt of other daughter.  Loved it.
3.  Used embroidery piece from stained capri pants to accent.

4.  Used hand me down fabric to create shorts (ran out of elastic for waistband..will put it on my list).  Love them.  They could even be worn under skirt above for modesty.
5.  Used hand-me-down trim from mother-in-law to trim hems for a  simple, feminine look.  Love it.