The Letter N

February 27, 2009 at 9:39 am (Uncategorized)

For preschool class this week we are making Noodle Necklaces and Neckties.

I have dyed pasta so many times in my 14 year parenting career that I am thinking everyone knows how to do it.  But, just in case someone wants directions you will find excellent ones HERE

Here are our pretty noodles drying. :^)

Here is our other craft for the letter N.
For our necktie craft we used this printable.  Instead of having the kids color the tie I am taking a big stack of my scrapbooking scraps so they can cut a tie from pretty paper.  I think they will have fun making these.

We will also be pasting newspaper on the letter of the week, playing with numbers in the parachute, eating Nilla wafers and having 3 felt board stories; Noah, Soup from Nails and Nine Little Zebras.  Oh, and our mystery box items are a necklace, a necktie and nothing!  LOL

I can’t believe we are all the way up to the letter N!  Only 12 letters to go and I will graduate from preschool!  LOL

Happy Homeschooling,



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Birthday Celebration

February 26, 2009 at 10:14 am (Uncategorized)

We are not having my daughters party until next week, but here are some pictures of the family festivities at home yesterday…

Posing with her bounty of gifts!

Her birthday treasure hunt
We started this when my oldest turned 13 and Dad was already living in our new location and couldn’t be with us on birthday morning.  I wanted my son to have some gifts to open even though we had already had his party.  So I did a treasure hunt with one gift for each year of his life.  (Inexpensive things.)  The kids all LOVED it so now we have to do it for every birthday!  It is a fun new tradition.  Now I mostly incorporate their gifts into the hunt, so they get a mix of nicer things and inexpensive things.

Finding another clue/gift!

and another…

Opening her gift from her little brother…

Hugging her big brother for the card he made her. So sweet!
He wrote "You are as beautiful as a flower." on the front of the card and then decorated it with flower stickers.  What girl wouldn’t love that?

She is so fun to give gifts to!
Every gift she opens she squeals with delight!

Here is the one she REALLY wanted this year!
A pink Nintendo DS Lite!  This girl LOVES all things pink.  She frequently laments over the fact that most of the (non-clothing) things she gets are more gender neutral so they can be passed down to her little brother.  So this was a BIG treat to get a girlie Gameboy!  LOL

One last posed picture with all her treasures!

And of course we had to have cake!

We were looking at scrapbooks the other day and she saw that this is what we had done for her older brothers cake when he was 8.  So she wanted the same thing in pink!

Did I mention that she decorated it herself?

And blowing them out.

Happy Homeschooling,


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Magic Tree House Passport

February 26, 2009 at 9:05 am (Uncategorized)

A BIG thanks to msack for letting me know that The Magic Tree House website has a printable passport to go along with the Magic Tree House books! 

Here is how it works:

  1. Print the passport from the website.
  2. When your child completes a book they go to the site and take a little online quiz.
  3. Once the quiz is completed correctly they can print a sticker to go in their passport!

Here is the link to both the passport and the quizes.

My daughter is going to LOVE this!

Happy Homeschooling,


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She is 8!!!!!!!!

February 25, 2009 at 9:04 am (Uncategorized)

Happy Birthday to my precious baby girl!

My little GEM how quickly you are growing up! 

I came across this poem last weekend that I had written about my daughter when she was 14 months old.  It is amazing how well I had her figured out at such an early age!

Loving You

Loving You Means…
Smiles from ear to ear, laughs and grins that steal our hearts,
watching an incredible mind at work.

Loving You Means…
Seeing a child in love with the world, always on the go, exploring, climbing,
investigating, always wanting to be outside.

Loving You Means…
Learning that even a  tiny child can be gentle with animals. Among your first words were "Dog" and "Kit-Kat".  When you see our pets your whole being lights up!

Loving You Means…
Always being on the go, seldom getting down for a nap, treasuring your warm snuggles all night long.

Loving You Means…
Being amazed that you can follow directions extremely well.  You are capable of so much, so early.

Loving You Means…
Observing a child who cannot wait to learn.  You cherishes books and treats them very gently.  You always want to write and draw.  You love to copy everything your big brother does!

Loving You Means…
So much more than words can express.  It means seeing a whole person in such a tiny body.  It means seeing so much potential and so much love all wrapped up in one adorable package!

Loving You Means..
Truly embracing a gift from God.


April 30, 2002

I do wish my children would stop this blasted growing up! Sigh…

Just to show how long I have been blogging now…

Here are the posts from when she was 5, 6 and 7!

Happy Birthday to my precious sweetheart!


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Stage Fright on a Summer Night – Questions

February 25, 2009 at 5:54 am (Uncategorized)

My daughter has been reading through the Magic Tree House books.  Many of them I have read aloud to her before.  But, yesterday she read Stage Fright on a Summer Night by herself and we had not read it together before.  To make sure she was comprehending what she read I thought I would ask her some questions about the book.  Here is what she told me. 

Stage Fright on a Summer Night – By Mary Pope Osborne

Comprehension Questions


Who is William Shakespeare?

William Shakespeare is a guy who wrote lots of scripts for the theater and poems.  Some people think he was the greatest writer who ever lived.

Where did he live?

He lived in London England in the 1600’s.

What was the theater like in that time?

Everyone basically could afford it.  Some people would sit on the ground.  People who were richer sat in booths that hung from the ceiling.  Women were not allowed to be on stage.  All the girl parts had to be played by men.

What is something funny that happened in the book?

The Fairy Queen in the play got magic juice put on her eyes by the Fairy King.  It was to make her fall in love with the next person she saw.  But she saw a donkey next!  So she fell in love with the donkey! 

What is something sad that happened?

They made the dogs and bears fight in the Bear Garden. 

Did you like the story? Why or why not?

Yes, I liked it because it was interesting and I learned about William Shakespeare.

What is something new you learned?

I learned that women were not allowed to be on stage.


Happy Homeschooling,


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February 24, 2009 at 8:04 am (Uncategorized)

Now that we have a teenager in the house it seems that we now spend a lot more time thinking and talking about preparing for "the future".  As a parent I want to know that my children are ready to face the world when the time comes.  Now that my oldest is 14 1/2 it seems painfully obvious that the future is NOT that far away. 

Much of our current preparing for the future is making sure he knows the practical things he will need.  Suddenly everything is a lesson!  Need a new car battery?  Make sure you are showing him how to do it!  Leaky sink, broken washing machine, car repairs…you get the idea.

Last weekend I watched the movie Dan in Real Life.  I have mentioned before that I really like to watch movies that I know nothing about, and this was one that fell into that category.  What a treat!  I have to tell you I really enjoyed this movie!  It was sweet and smart with strong family values.  But, I digress…at the end of the movie the main character said something that really got me thinking.  (I don’t think this will give anything away about the movie BTW.)  He says something about how we all ask our kids about what their plans are.  We press our children to make plans.  But the truth of the matter is what we plan for rarely ever really happens!  What we really need to do is "plan for the unexpected!"

WOW!  Truer words have never been spoken!  I have been thinking so much about this ever since I watched that movie.  What were my "plans" when I was 18 years old?  Have any of them panned out the way I thought they would?  As my teenager would say "Short answer, no.  Long answer noooooooooooooooooooo!"  LOL  Most of who I am has been formed by things I never planned!  I never planned to lose my first child in the 5th month of pregnancy, I never planned to take 15 years to have my 3 children.  I never planned to live in 4 States by the time I was 44!  I never planned for job losses and houses that would not sell.  I never planned to live in Las Vegas!  (That is for sure!  LOL) Yet all of these things have happened in spite of my plans!  (And believe me the list could go on and on.)

As I think of the list of things that have happened in my life that I never planned, those are the same things that have formed me into the person I have grown to be.  You see I would have "planned" things to be much more simple and easy!  I would not have planned for struggles, pain and heartbreak.  If I would have had things "my way" I would be a simple shallow person who had never experienced much of anything! But God had another plan! I know for sure that the unplanned events in my life are what have made me search my soul and lean on the Lord.  The things I did not plan made me grow up, be strong and learn that I can have joy even when things don’t go as planned.  But more importantly through all of life’s unplanned events I have learned something much more important…nothing that has happened in my life has been a surprise to God! WOW, He knows all the plans He had from me even when I am doing my best to go in another direction.  He knew that waiting 15 years to complete my family would make me a more patient compassionate person.  He knew that the struggles and heartbreak I have been through would make me lean on Him and trust Him more and more!  What a comfort it is to truly know that God is in control!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. " Jeremiah 29:11

I am sure I will not stop pushing my teenager to plan for the future now that I have had this revelation.  But, I also know that I am going to make sure to tell my kids to put their plans second.  Yep, in this day and age of "me first" I want my kids to know that they need to be more concerned about God’s plans than their own.  There will be many, many things in their lives that they cannot plan for.  But, they can plan to trust  God always!  Because planning on trusting and obeying God is always the best plan of all!

On this same thought have you seen the I Am Second Billboards?  The website is well worth taking a look at!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Isn't She Lovely

February 23, 2009 at 9:36 am (Uncategorized)

I have been wanting to work on a scrapbook of my daughters princess pictures ever since I took them Last October.  This weekend I finally took the time to set down and put a little album together for her.  In my head whenever I would think about the pictures I kept hearing the lyrics of Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder to go along with them.  Here is what I ended up putting together…


Isn’t she lovely…

Isn’t she wonderful…

Isn’t she precious…

Less than 8 years old…

I never thought through love we’d be, making one as lovely as she.

Isn’t she lovely, made from love.


Happy Homeschooling,


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Free Pancakes

February 23, 2009 at 6:03 am (Uncategorized)

Okay, I don’t understand exactly how it works but apparently IHOP is offering free pancakes on Tues. the 24th.  The website says it is to raise money for charity, so I am assuming that they are asking for donations? 

Just thought I would pass the info along.  Here is the link to their webpage:

Happy Homeschooling,


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Non-Homeschool Blogs I Enjoy

February 20, 2009 at 10:27 am (Uncategorized)

I know this may come as a shock, but there are actually blogs I read that have nothing to do with homeschooling!  Lately I have been reading a few new ones that I enjoy, so I thought I would let you all know about them.

The first one that I have become addicted to is called Cake Wrecks.  This is a blog about professionally made cakes gone wrong.  It is HYSTERICAL!  I find myself looking forward to each new post because I know that I am almost guaranteed a good laugh!  Not only are the cakes funny, but the lady who writes it is witty and sarcastic, without being mean.  The kids have also become fans of the blog because when they hear mom laughing at her keyboard and they come running! LOL  Some of my favorite posts are Redneck Wedding Cakes, Internal Organ Cakes, and who wouldn’t love a cake disguised as other food that is bad for you? One day a week she actually features Non-Wreck Cakes which are pretty awesome and one of those posts actually led me to the next blog I am enjoying. 

Dispatches From The Island is the blog of Jorge Garcia, the actor who plays Hurley on Lost.  (Yes, we are Lost fans.  I am "lost" most of the time, but my husband and 14 year old try their best to explain what is going on to me!  I am not one to usually talk during a TV show, but with this one I am consantly having them pause the TIVO so I can ask questions and they can try and explain to me what is going on!  LOL)  Anyway, I have been enjoying this blog because he seems like such a regular nice guy who fame has not ruined.  It makes me smile when he posts about his deodorant or how he saved money with coupons buying toilet paper.  LOL  Somehow this blog reminds me of my previous life when I worked at ABC-TV in Hollywood and I was use to actors being regular people.  He seems like someone that would chat with me at the commissary while we waited in line.  :^)

Okay, after all that cake and TV watching I need a exercise blog!  Thankfully my sister-in-law just started one!  YAY!!!  The Go Girl Club is a blog dedicated to inspiring us to get up and get  moving!  I love her post entitles Exercise Isn’t Fun, But This Blog Is and I can also totally relate to Are You Kidding Me?  LOL  If you need some inspration to get in shape head on over to The Go Girl Club!  You can either sign up and become a member or be a lurker like me!  hehehe Be sure to tell her Jamin sent you!

The next one is probably a little more of what you would expect from me.  It’s the craft blog of Futuregirl.  My friend Ann got me started on it and I am loving it! She makes a lot of things from felt, which is something I also love to do.  Everything she makes is something I would make if I had more time!  (I get the impression she doesn’t have kids! LOL)  So I enjoy looking around her blog and living vicariously through her!  hehehe  Some of my favs are her felt mushroomssofties,  and wood grained crochet pillows.

The other 2 are I guess close to being homeschool related.  They are both kids craft blogs and I found the links over at Jimmie’s blog.  The first one is called the Crafty Crow and the other is Kids Craft Weekly.  Craft Crow has a zillion easy ideas that I would love to make with the kids.  Like suncatchers, pretty folded paper butterflies and these adorable reverse applique bean bags.  The number of great ideas at Crafty Crow blog boggles the mind!  Kids Craft Weekly is pretty awesome too!  This one is a weekly newsletter that you can subscribe too.  (Or you can stop by the blog and read the lastest issue like this one on bugs.)  I have only read a few of these so far, but the projects seem easy to do with materials that are either around the house or not hard to find.  I just subscribed to get the weekly emails and I am looking forward to the new ideas I know we will be crafting around our house! 

So there you have it!  (And you all knew we would end up back with blogs that apply to homeschooling!  Sorry, I just can’t help myself!  LOL)

Thanks to Alyx, Ann, Callie and Jimmie for directing me to these great blogs!!!! 

Happy Homeschooing,


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Kaya – From Pam

February 19, 2009 at 9:56 am (Uncategorized)

One of my readers sent me the following email and I thought those of you that are following our Kaya study would enjoy her email too!  I am posting it here with her permission.  Thanks Pam!

Hi there…
   I just saw your posting. 🙂  I have been one of those lurkers in the blogging world and yours is one I keep up with. I appreciate your time spent on sharing your ideas with us all! I have used ideas from your blog to incorporate into our homeschooling. I have 2 girls who love their American Girl Dolls. Our homeschool assistance program we belong to offers learning fairs 3 times a year. Last fall they had a literature fair. Of course my lightbulb went off and thought about the American Girl books. What timing! You had just posted on starting your American Girl club. I was so excited to read about what you were going to do with it. My idea was to let each of my girls pick which doll they would like to study. One has Mia but she chose Kaya to learn more about. The other has Molly, so we chose her to do. I knew we would do a lapbook on what we learned. We used the one from I wanted to expand on more activities and your blog encouraged me to find more books…add a craft and boom, we had a great project in the works to share at the fair. I enclosed some pics from the our project on Kaya. We made a teepee out of a brown paper bag and then we made a woven basket. We ordered the doll dress to show the attire. And we even found an Indian costume that she wore for the fair and for Halloween!
It was alot of fun and just wanted to wish you well on learning about Kaya. Thanks again for sharing your experience and directing us to other resources for schooling our kids. I have even been doing the ABC book from with my son!
Have a great week,

Now this is a fine looking display! Excellent!

Okay, this basket I am in LOVE with!
I actually have made baskets like this in the past using fabric instead of the raffia.  I LOVE her idea of using the raffia!!  I am trying to figure out if I can squeeze one more craft in and have the girls make these too!

How cute is this teepee?

Keep up the good work Pam and family. Thanks so much for sharing!

Happy Homeschooling,


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