What's Going On?

April 28, 2010 at 8:11 am (Uncategorized)

Whew, things have been busy here and I haven’t had time to put a coherent post together in a few days….

Let’s see what’s going on?

  1. We are working on putting our vegetable garden in.  We have 2 tomato towers and a raised bed area.  There will also be Topsy Turvy’s for peppers and strawberries.  Lot’s of work!  I mostly point and give direction.  But, I have gotten some dirt on my hands once or twice!  :^) I can hardly wait to eat….tomatoes, lettuce, green peppers, hot peppers, green beans, carrots, zucchini, cilantro, basil, rosemary, and squash, pumpkins, watermelons and strawberries all grown in our own backyard!  We haven’t had a really good garden since we left California in 2004.  So, I am ready!  I will post some pics when we get it all set up.
  2. I bought the kids one of those little sand/water play tables to put under the new play structure we got them.  I was worried after we put it together that they might be too old for it, but I was wrong!  They LOVE it and have been out playing with it for hours on end! 
  3. We just started week 1 of 3 for Samantha at American Girl Club.  And I am NOT teaching!  It was fun this week to show up and just be a mom!
  4. I am ready for the school year to end.  I get this way every year about this time.  Still 4 or 5 weeks of school to go and my brain is already on vacation!

My posts may be sporadic in the coming weeks.  The weather is GREAT and we are spending as much time as we can outside.  Not much time for blogging!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Last Week of Awana

April 26, 2010 at 9:23 am (Uncategorized)

Another year of Awana is drawing to a close!  Last night was the last night of regular club for the year and next week is Awards Night.  Both of my littles finished their books for the year.  I am proud of them!  They have worked very hard and have learned a lot of Bible verses this year.  :^)

Here are some pics from the last night of Awana.

It just so happened that the one night I thought to bring the camera my daughter got to present the American flag!

You can see both my daughter and my little man saluting the Awana flag in this shot.

My little Sparkie!

My daughter with friends!

My daughter with her sweet leader.  :^)

Hanging with a friend!

Music time.

It’s hard to believe our family has been doing Awana for 13 years now!  I am so grateful for the Awana program and how it has positively impacted our family over the years. 

As the Awana theme song says…..

Firmly AWANA stands, led by the Lord’s commands,
“Approved workmen are not ashamed,”
Boys and girls for His service claimed!
Hail! AWANA! On the march for youth;
Hail! AWANA! Holding forth the truth.
Building lives on the Word of God AWANA stands!

Happy Homeschooling,


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American Girl Club – Addy 1864 – Week 6

April 23, 2010 at 9:29 am (Uncategorized)

Last night was our last night of Addy!  Wow, that 6 weeks went fast!  We finished up our Addy study by having a potluck like Addy had to celebrate the end of the Civil War.  We read the Emancipation Proclamation aloud.  We also learned about Jubilee and Juneteenth celebration that still happen today to celebrate slavery being abolished.

Here is our potluck table.  We had …watermelon, biscuits, collar greens, sweet potatoes and goober peas!

Here are the girls working on their
Ida Bean Dolls.

My daughter filling her doll with beans.

My daughters doll ready to get hair sewn on.

Sewing on hair.

Girls concentrating on their dolls.

It is SO fun to see how the girls make the dolls their own.  Each doll had it’s own personality! Love the hair on this one!

Another one with awesome hair!  I have no idea how she did it!

My daughter with her completed doll! :^)

So that is it for Addy! Next week we will start a 3 week review of Samantha.  I started American Girl Club last year with Samantha.  I had no idea we would end up doing all the girls back then!  Now we have made our way through all the girls up to Samantha.  One of the other mom’s has graciously offered to teach the 3 weeks of Samantha to give me a break.  So I am very much looking forward to getting to go and be just one of the mom’s!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Twenty One!

April 21, 2010 at 9:41 am (Uncategorized)

Twenty one years ago today I was a bride!  I have NO idea where 21 years have gone….But, I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband who loves me and still makes me laugh every day!

Happy Anniversary honey!

For your viewing pleasure here is our engagement picture…
Yes, my hair is hysterically funny!  LOL  Wow, that was some serious 80’s hair!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Ida Bean Doll

April 20, 2010 at 7:07 am (Uncategorized)

One of the only crafts the girls in American Girl Club have ever requested is an Ida Bean doll! In one of the early books in the Addy series Addy’s mom makes her a rag doll filled with beans.  Addy named it Ida Bean, and the girls have been wanting to make one ever since! So this is the week! 

Meet Ida Bean!

I am very excited about making these with the girls tonight!  This is the 4th type of doll we have made in American Girl Club.  For Kaya we made a cornhusk doll, for Felicity we made a clothespin doll,  and for Kirsten we made a yarn doll. But, of all the dolls we have made this one is the most huggable!  I think it is absolutely adorable too!

So here are the steps to make the doll:

  1. Cut 2 layers of black fabric into the doll shape. This doll only has a head, arms and a torso.  It was very common to make dolls without legs because they were usually made out of scraps of fabric and the legs didn’t show under the skirt anyway.  I used white chalk to trace the pattern onto the black fabric.  Then I sewed them together, cut them out and brushed off the chalk.  At this point they are ready to give to the girls.
  2. Once the girls have them they will need to turn them right side out.  I am going to have them do this BEFORE I give them beans.  It seems every time we do a project that needs to be turned someone forgets to do that step and they end up unhappy with the seams on the outside of their project.
  3. Fill with beans leaving enough space to fold over the bottom and sew it shut.  They are going to need to fold it over before sewing it.  Otherwise beans will eventually squish out between the stitches.
  4. Fold up bottom and sew closed.
  5. Now it’s time to put on the face.  I used French Knots for the eyes and a Chain Stitch for the mouth. This may be a bit challenging for the girls.  But, it’s always fun to teach them something new!
  6. For the hair I bought a bulky black yarn that looks a lot like hair.  (I learned my lesson about trying to braid yarn together to make hair on our yarn dolls!) All the girls will need to do is cut off a length of yarn and sew it to the head with black thread.
  7. Now it is time to dress your doll!  I cut 2 pieces 9" X 3" to go over the shoulders and pin below where the waist will be.  Tri-fold the long strips and place over the shoulders so the seams side are facing the doll.  Then I cut them skirt 6 inches long and 17 inches wide.  Run a basting stitch along the long edge and draw it up to gather. Wrap it around the doll and secure temporarily by tying the strings together.
  8. Cut 3 pieces of yarn long enough to tie around and hold the skirt of the doll and make a cute bow on the back.  Once the skirt is secured remove the pins you used to hold the top straps on.
  9. The fabric we used frayed nicely so I frayed the edge at the bottom to give it a nice finish.  If your fabric doesn’t fray you might want to cut it with pinking shears to give it a fancy edge.
  10. That’s it!  Your bean doll is ready to be loved!

You will find the pattern for the doll body HERE

Happy Homeschooling,


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Mad Science – Taste Buds!

April 19, 2010 at 8:07 am (Uncategorized)

Our latest Mad Science class was all about taste! 

Here are the kids mixing up some blue food coloring to…..

….use to dye their tongues! 
This was to help make their taste buds more easily visible so they could get a good look at their partners tongue.

After examining each others tongues the kids learned about how taste and smell are connected. 

Here they are passing around different beakers to smell.  They also learned about wafting scents to protect their sense of smell.

Now how about making your own soda pop!  Yep, the kids got to mix up their own soda and carbonate it!

My daughter tasting her soda without using her sense of smell.

The kids lined up for a lifesaver taste test.  Each of them had a partner and they opened and fed a lifesaver to each other without telling what color it was. The kids had to guess what flavor they got without seeing the color.  It was really hard!
My daughter got green and was sure it was cherry!

One thing I don’t think I have mentioned is that each week the kids get a cool take home experiment to go along with the week’s lesson.
This week we got a scratch and sniff match up card.  Here are my kids with a friend doing there scratch and sniff cards.

This was week 6 of Mad Science at my house!  Two more Mad Science classes this year before we break for Summer!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Boys Book Club – Wishbone – Treasure Island

April 16, 2010 at 8:39 am (Uncategorized)

This month for Boys Book Club we read The Adventures of Wishbone Salty Dog.  This is a retelling of Treasure Island as only Wishbone can do it!  Since the weather is great right now the mom that leads the book club decided we would have it at the park!  It was a GREAT idea!  She also invited the boys to come dressed as Pirates!

Here is our narly crew of Pirates!  Arghhhh….

Only during a Pirate themed book club is it okay to shoot your neighbor during the book discussion!  LOL

After discussing the book the boys were split into 2 teams.  They were each given a treasure box to go hide in the park.  After they hid there treasure they came back to the tables and drew out a map to guide the other team to go search for the treasure. 

Here is one of the teams heading out to hide their treasure!

The other team hiding their eyes while the treasure is being hidden.

Here is our team with their map ready to give it to the other team.

Here are the two teams meeting up to swap maps.

Arghhhh!  We found our treasure ye scurvy dogs!
For snack the boys each got a fruit roll up to roll out and "draw" a treasure map on it with white icing.
Here is my little man working on his.

My son decided that since this month Boys Book Club was at the park that he wanted his sister to come too! I thought it was VERY nice of him since he stays home every week while she goes off to American Girl Club.  I have made a really big deal about this being his special time with mom.  But, he knows that several of his sisters friends are there since they all don’t have a teenage brother to stay home with.  What a sweet boy to want his sister to come along!

Here is my daughter helping her brother with his snack.

Last, but not least, the boys got to take home their share of the Pirate booty! There was a bag for each of them with chocolate gold coins, candy necklaces and bracelets, Ring Pops, super balls and gold nuggets (aka: rolos!)

It was a very FUN book club! I think next week we will read the Magic Tree House Pirate book and guide.  We might try to do a Pirate lapbook too!

Happy Homeschooling,


Click HERE to read about Boys Book Club – Wishbone – Beowulf
Click HERE to read about Boys Book Club – Flat Stanley

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April 15, 2010 at 6:00 am (Uncategorized)

Here is how I solved the "problem" of my rent-a-kid taking too many good pics of my kids!

I found this COOL frame that holds 18 5’X7′ photos!

I love it!

I also framed 5’X7′ pics of each of the kids in Black and White with their siblings peeking out behind them…

and this one in black and white too….

Yep, I love them all!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Wordless Wednesday – The Zoo!

April 14, 2010 at 6:15 am (Uncategorized)

Happy Homeschooling,


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Resurrection Party 2010

April 13, 2010 at 8:33 am (Uncategorized)

Our April Kid’s Day with our homeschool group was a Resurrection Party.  We had a Disciple Egg Hunt, games and the Resurrection Egg story.  Then we had a HUGE potluck lunch!

Here are some pics…

The story

Egg Golfing….Plastic eggs filled with beans and taped shut replaced golf balls.  The kids LOVED it!

Egg Toss Game…Same eggs we used for golf replaced the bean bags.

My little man running in the egg relay race.

Parachute Game…The kids tossed fun foam bunnies in the air and then raced around looking for the one marked with a flower.  The one who found it got a prize.  Once everyone got a prize the kids switched to tossing plastics eggs around in the parachute.

Once we were done with the games we moved on to our Disciple Egg Hunt!

My kids on the race to find their eggs!

It was a fun day! 

Happy Homeschooling,


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