Tuesday, March 30, 2010


You would think that an almost 11 year old wouldn't have these, but you were wrong. Yesterday the culprit was long division. We have been working on fractions for a while now and not reviewing much. Yesterday long division and multiplication was just too much for Grace's mind. So we are back to reviewing for many days to come long division and multiplication. Needless to say it was a long afternoon. Much better today. Breezed through math but still needed my help. Long division has been a thorn in our side. We will conquer it!

Last night was our second performance for The Music Man and tonight will be the last. Everything went well and I am expecting the same for tonight. We will be said to sing that last song. Next on the agenda in drama will be Shakespeare, watered down for elementary ages. Trying to decide what to do about next year for drama. The school we attend to take this is going to a 5 day a week schedule which means a two day drama class may turn in to a 5 day class, which obviously we cannot do and still maintain our academics. Just have to wait and see. She will be trying out at the end of this month at the community theatre for The Wizard of Oz. So see, we can't even get away from drama in the summer. Performances will be in July.

Leaving for Kentucky on Saturday, so much preparation to be done as soon as performances are finished. Looking forward to spring break. Planning on going to the International Horse Park, on a candy factory tour, and maybe some other places as time permits. We will only be there for 4 days. Puppy is going with us, this is a first. Never really went on vacation with a dog, but she is only 7 pounds so how much trouble could she be. Okay, don't answer that. We will just hope for the best.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Work in Progress

A few weeks back I showed some photos of a blanket I was crocheting and one I was quilting. I have started putting some squares together for the crocheted blanket and thought I would share it with everyone. I decided to connect the squares with a whipstitch. Still have a long way to go, but I think it is turning out pretty well. Should I put an edge around the blanket once it is finished? A single or double crochet all the way around?

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Friday was exciting and busy for us. We did our first performance of The Music Man. The kids did really well. The above picture is of Grace in her Pick a Little Lady costume. We were at the play from about 11:30 - 3:30 so didn't get much book work done today. I went out to dinner and a sit and stitch at a local yarn shop with a friend and Grace stayed home with hubby and they did art all night. Watched movies and painted, etc. Looking forward to a peaceful day today except for laundry, line drying, and cleaning the house.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I've Been Kind of Quiet

Sorry about the lack of posting over the past few days. Very busy and trying to catch up. Here are a few random things going on around here:

  • Not much book work this week. Lots of practice for The Music Man - our first performance is today. I took some pics yesterday at dress rehearsal but left my camera at the school. I will post them tomorrow. The play is not near perfect but probably as good as it can get at this point.
  • Mom went to the doctor yesterday and they have ordered her medication. After much investigating looks like she will be going with the insurance company to pay for the drug. She will have a balloon payment of 4700 for the first month then 350 a month until the new calendar year starts and she will repeat the process. We are worred about the side effects, so please pray for my mom and starting this new drug.
  • Yesterday after a three hour practice we attended a volunteer workshop at our local library. The first part of the workshop was about volunteering in general and the second was learning some about the library. Grace signed up to volunteer one day a week at the library for a hour after we return from Kentucky.
  • Tonight I am meeting a friend from church for dinner and a sit and stitch at our local yarn store. I am still working on putting together a blanket made out of granny squares, it will probably take a while. Looking forward to some adult girl time and talk.

I will post more tomorrow about the performance today and such.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Grace's Art Part 1

I have been very remiss lately about recording Grace's drawings. This post is mostly for relatives, but hopefully others will enjoy her drawings too. The piece below is one of her beloved managa characters that she has created. These days mostly her drawings consist of manga characters.One day for an art project for school I asked her to draw something a little more realistic and this is what she chose.
For a long time horses were her thing, that was all she wanted to draw. Occasionally she will still draw one, maybe she will get some inspiration for the International Horse Park that we will be visiting when we go to Kentucky in a couple of weeks.

Of Course dragons are still a big thing too. Some she colors some she leaves in pen and ink. I have about 10 more pictures to share with you of her drawings but I will include them in more posts later on.

Food Inc.

A few weeks ago I watched most of Food Inc. which you can watch on Netflix Instant Watch. I got through about 45 minutes of it, not because I found it boring, but because I couldn't stand watching what the animals had to go through to provide all of us meat. It really makes you think about what your putting in your mouth and where it is coming from. Food Inc. really made me stop and think and still three weeks later I am still thinking about what we can do as a family and our purchasing power in the marketplace. After watching the movie I investigated purchasing meat from organic online meat companies. At this point in our lives we just cannot afford it. I know we need to go to more meatless meals, we are starting the process. But it takes time. Soon I will be purchasing local eggs from a friend with free range chickens. There is a great giveaway over at www.shelookethwell.blogspot.com for a $75.00 gift certificate to Wellness Meats. Alot of the blogs I read are all of the same mindset about this and they help me to forge on in this area of menu planning and health.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Book Shopping

As any self respecting homeschooler will tell you, you can never have too many books. Last night we went out to dinner and then to a book store. We spent two hours looking at books and magazines. Grace is still obsessed with dragons and manga drawing books. She got three books - a book to read that has a continuing story of dragons, a dragon book that explains the different kinds, etc, and a drawing instruction book of manga. Grace will be starting art lessons - mostly drawing when we get back from Kentucky. She is looking very forward to learning more. She spends anywhere from 1-3 hours a day drawing.

Container Gardening

Seedlings progress so far. This has spinach, lettuce, and romaine.As I have mentioned before we live in the woods, not much sunlight, not great for gardening. We have tried gardening in the yard, nothing happens. So this year we decided to try our hand at container gardening. This is Scott's version. Anything he does includes wood in some fasion. In these containers will be spinach, lettuce, romaine, peppers, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, a few herbs, and strawberries.

I went ahead and purchased one blueberry bush and one strawberry plant to see how things go. They each require 6 or more hours of sunlight a day. Our front porch receives the most sun so I thought we would give it a go.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Treats for our Feathered Friends

This is our Science book that we love. We only have one more chapter and we will be finished with Science until our new Anatomy book comes to us in May. They have a wonderful suet recipe in it that I make off and on for our birds. We love all the birds that come and visit our yard. The squirrels really like it too. lol. If anyone is interested let me know and I will post the actual recipe. It usually makes 8 suet cakes which will last us a couple of months.
Ingredients: lard, cornmeal, birdseed, raisins, crunchy peanut butter, sugar and rolled oats.

The finished product.

Dad's Birthday

I forgot to share the pictures of my dad's 74th birthday. Good day for all. Yes, that is my baby(Angel the Poodle) in the backgroun. She wanted to go to a party too. After lunch and cake we watched the Kentucky Wildcats win the SEC Championship. Very exciting game! I baked the cake, just something simple.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The past two times I have wanted to wash laundry and line dry the weather has not cooperated. Last week we only had one day of sunshine and the rest rain, now we had two days of sunshine and it is cloudy and rainy again today. Grace has no clean pants so I will have to wash and dry. I might be able to line dry some in the house. Also can't get an early start on anything because hubby is asleep downstairs - worked all night. Son is home on vacation for the next three days and that is where hubby normally gets away from us all to sleep. Looks like schooling will have to wait until after lunch when every is up. Also need to get some groceries today and go to church tonight. How to fill it all in between 12:00 - 6:00. I guess move at warp speed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Drama Practice and School

Today mostly centered around fine arts classes at Trinity and school here at home. We started our three hour practices to get ready for our performances of The Music Man in two weeks. All I can say is we still have a long way to go. If you can imagine directing 24 kids in a production you will get the picture. Songs, dances, lines are all memorized but blocking is killing us right now. Came home this afternoon and did abou 1 1/2 hours of schoolwork. Tonight was our support group's biography fair. We didn't prepare anything to present but went to support all the rest of the students. With mom and dad's illnesses we have barely had time to do our own academic stuff much less prepare for something extra. It was fun to see everyone. I just signed Grace up for some drawing classes starting when we get back from Kentucky. She is really excited about that. I will try to include some photos of her newer drawings soon. Now going to settle back, watch some TV ont he computer and crochet.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Husband's Art

As some of you know my husband is an artist and has started showing some of his work in a local gallery. This is a recent pen and ink drawing that he will be selling prints of at future gallery shows and art festivals. He has added pictures of some of his newest creations and you can check them out at www.artofscottk.blogspot.com.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Repurposing and Projects

Found a spot today to set up a table for my seed trays. I plan on purchasing more trays in a week or so. This spot is in our dining room where the seeds/plants can receive lots of sun. Only thing I have to worry about is the cats. Once upon a time I had this table set up for sewing, but our house is so small I took it down a couple of years ago and much of the time I hand sew on my bed.
As most of you know, Grace loves to draw and is pretty good at it. Mostly she draws downstairs, but I decided it was time she had a private/quiet place in her room to draw and create. This old computer table was in our attic and the bench was covered with fabric and foam we already had. That is one thing my hubby is real good at - always having odds and ends to make things work and come together.

These are block from the quilt I am working on. Going slow because of hand sewing. If it turns out okay I might post a picture of the finished product.

This is another project I have been working on periodically. Granny square afhgan. I have many squares already done of the multi color, just have to decide how I want to connect them.

New book I purchased with tax money that will come in real handy. Very visual type patterns to reproduce. It is really hard for me to read a pattern and actually be able to do it. I do much better with someone showing me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Money in Hand

We got our tax refund this week and have allotted it to many items we have been waiting to purchase. Today I went shopping with my mom and Grace to get some of these items. Also this morning I was able to register us for the hotel and convention fees for our state homeschool covention. Very excited about going. This year I will also be participating with the used curriculum fair that goes along with the convention. I have about 100 items to sell. Maybe I can make enough money to at least pay for the hotel fees. I have a wishlist so far about a mile long that I will have to make some decisions on over the next month before we go. Okay, I also preordered Grace's Science for next year which will be the new Exploring Creation through Anatomy and Physiology. We have been waiting for this book with baited breath. Won't be shipped until mid-May, can't wait! Also paid half of the credit card off, it is the only credit card we have anything on and hopefully in the next six months that will be gone also. Went to Kohls to return two shirts that didn't fit Grace from the previous visit, found some bed pillows for 3.99 each and purchased 4, a new one for each of us. Found some birdseed on sale at Lowes, 4.48 for a 10lb bag and it was buy one get one free. Now have 40lbs of birdseed, should last me a couple of months. Hubby needed new clothes, haven't bought any for him in about 5 years. Got two pair of jeans and three shirts. Next on the list was to purchase some of our garden supplies. Here are just a few seed packets that we are adding to the seed we already have. Cherry tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, sugar snap peas, and romaine lettuce. Hoping to start these in about a week
Found these two nifty seed starters for Grace to play around with. The smaller is for herbs, including: basil, oregano, and parsley. The larger will start 25 plants from our seeds. If she has ones of her own she is a little more interested in the whole gardening process. We won't be able to start anything big until we return from our trip to Kentucky that we will be taking in three weeks. Which actually lines up with right after Easter to plant.

Just thought this was so cute. My baby. She will be going on the trip to Kentucky with us, she is very high maintenance. Had to purchase a small collapsible crate today to take with us.

Do you see him? Took this pic a couple of days ago, Mr. Woodpecker was going for something on one of our railroad ties. This was as close as I could get to him. Love to watch these guys work as long as it isn't on our house.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

School and Medical Update

Went to drama today and practiced for about two hours. We only have 2 1/2 weeks until we perform, lots of work yet to do. After returning from drama Grace read from In the Days of Noah and Greek Myths. Her creative writing assignment was to write about a collection she had, she chose to write about her rock collection. I was surprised to see her get so in to it and write more than she usually does. We also did a lesson from Life of Fred, cursive, word of the day book, context clue cards and 30 minutes of independent reading. Usually Tuesday is a light day due to fine arts classes.

We got the word back on how much the drug company would reduce the cancer drug cost for my mom - get ready for this astounding good fortune that came our way - $2000.00 dollars a month. Can you believe that! How do they expect your average Joe to pay that kind of money for a monthly drug. Went over to my mom's house tonight to write a letter of appeal to the drug company and explain what all we have been through over the past 4 years and how much out of pocket expenses they pay for health insurance, prescription drugs, gas money back and forth to Emory, doctor's visits, labs, etc. Mom will fax it tomorrow to them and see how it goes. Not to mention we looked this drug up on the Internet and so many side effects, very scary. Not really that much different than what she was on before, but still scary. Tomorrow after lunch going back over to moms to help her get groceries and hubby and Grace will sit with daddy. We are still to afraid to leave him alone for any stretch of time. But he hasn't had any more TIA episodes, so we are very thankful for that.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beautiful Day

The last two days have just been beautiful. Spring is int he air. Yeah! Today's temps are in the 60's, a far cry from all the snow we had last week. Grace has spent of most yesterday and today in this swing that we have down in our woods. It goes really high out over the trees. The neighborhood kids love it. It is a shame that we are expecting rain the remainder of the week. Scott set up my outdoor clothesline today and I dried my first load of laundry. It dried in like an hour. It was great.
This is a new book we have start, I, Juan de Pareja. Read the first chapter today that explains how he started out as a slave and was inherited by Valezquez. We are using this to not only study Velazquez for artist study but also about slavery. The first chapter was very good. We are taking a break from the Little House Series to read this one then back to the series. We started the Little House books last year and tend to read 2-3 a school year. Hopefully we will finish them all in another year.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Random Thoughts

Yesterday was a pretty relaxing day. Hubby worked in the yard most of it. He has spent so much time of the last few months working on his art and it has been so cold that the yard had kind of gone to pot. Lots of leaves. I got caught up on some household items too. In the mail yesterday we got the power bill. I had really been waiting for this because I wanted to see how much money we had saved by not using the electric heat. It was very disappointing. Only went down from 59 to 50 on the usage scale which calculated into a money savings of 18.00. Granted after midnight I do not get up to add more wood to the fire, but the thermastat is set on 64. So now that it is getting a little warmer we will dry the clothes outside on the line and continue not using the heat and see if we will get a marked difference then. Last night was hubby's second gallery show openning at the local art gallery. A reception was held for all the artists and we had a really good time meeting and talking to them. Scott had three pieces entered this time. Coming up he has three art shows/festivals in the spring and there is a juried contest through one of the bigger art centers that is offerring a $50,000 prize. It is for art made with repurposed pieces, which is right up Scott's alley. Grace went to vaudeville night at church and had a great time. Performed in two skits herself. She just loves performing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Back on Track

Today is all about getting back on track with living a simple and frugal lifestyle. With my parents illnesses and such there was just no time to do anything. I purchased an indoor clothesline yesterday and have decided to start line drying clothes to help more with the electric bill. We have already not been using the electric heat for almost two months, just the wood burning stove. Hubby is going to hook up an outdoor line in the next day or two, he has been cleaning up the yard and burning yard debris so not the ideal place to be drying clothes right now.
I have a galley style laundry room so not hardly any area in there to dry, only a few shirts can hang above the appliances. This room also serves as a food pantry will shelving up above.

This is our sunroom/schoolroom. The clothesline I purchased hardly holds anything but it is a start and it is retractable so it can stay up on the wall all the time.

Baking a loaf of bread also. Hope to bake a brown sugar pound cake later in the day. Tonight is Vaudeville night at our church and Grace will be in a couple of skits. But tonight is also hubby's new gallery showing. I will probably go with hubby and Grace will go with friends.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Grocery Shopping, Gardening, and a Confession

I think I will start off with the confession. We are a meat and potatoes kind of family. Glad I got that off my chest. Trying to cook from scratch and make healthy meals is really a challenge for us. My kids have been eating processed food for so long that I make things and sometimes they never eat any of it. The almost 20 year old it is not a big deal for because he is gone most of the time, between work and school and doesn't really eat here very much. I like salads, but not really any other veggies. My children have followed in my footsteps. I am still trying, just not succeeding very well.

Grocery shopping today was depressing. I read all these wonderful blogs about people getting fresh locally grown food. We live in a small town with only two produce stores and they don't really carry local grown food. I have a friend with chickens and as soon as the weather warms up I will be purchasing or bartering for her eggs. I have looked in to organic beef online and I just can't afford it. We have a friend at church that know most of the county and I am going to check with her about local beef and chicken. Here is what I spent for groceries that will barely last us two weeks. 13.00 at the produce store for cherry tomatoes, bag of red potatoes, 6 pink lady apples, bunch of bananas, bag of spinach for salads, and a bag of red seedless grapes. At Walmart I spent 49.37 for nesquick, cocoa pebbles, sugar, three bags of chips, taco seasoning, two boxes of mac and cheese, spaghetti noodles, clothesline and pins, bread, toilet paper, two bottles of diet soda, dishwasher detergent, two packs of muffin mix, cheezits, and a gallon of bleach. At Ingles I spent 66.58 for taco shells, dry milk, cereal, beets, choc. chips, spaghettios, pizza sauce, two bottles of soda, shredded mozzarella, gallon of milk, block of Cheddar and mozzarella cheese, cage free eggs, roast, three containers or ground beef, pepperoni, frozen burritos, frozen biscuits, chicken nuggets, and fried chicken from the deli. I know there is alot of processed food in here and items I could make myself, but the kids won't eat it. So do I just let them starve and fix it anyway? As soon as it warms up we will be container gardening on our decks and landing (we don't get enough sun anywhere else to garden in the yard) and we plan on planting blueberry bushes, lettuce, herbs, strawberries, tomatoes, and some carrots and potatoes down at a neighbors house. Sorry this has been so long. I think we really need to get out of the thinking that every meal needs a meat on the plate and that will cut down on money per meal. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sleeping Late

After the past stressful three weeks, I decided this morning I was sleeping in. Well, sleeping in for me was 8:00. But I stayed in bed until 9:30 reading blogs. Grace woke up about that time. Went to Drama today for a two hour practice that went well. We perform The Music Man in three weeks. After drama went to the library to pick up some on hold books and to the grocery store for a few items. I prepared 5 workboxes for school today, but after drama and errands we didn't arrive home until 3:30. I just didn't have it in me to do the little school work that we had prepared for today. We did pick up a great book about Greek Myths that we looked at and she will do some reading tonight before bed. She also played with legos (building all sizes of pyramids) and on the computer with horse isle. I received great news in the mail when we got home, mammogram is clear. Yeah me! Fixed a huge pan of lasagna tonight for dinner. Oh so yum! Looking forward to a night of blog reading, watching a movie, and reading a book. Planning to stay up late.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Update on Mom and Dad

Dad has not had any more TIA episodes since coming home from the hospital. Went to the doctor yesterday and according to his blood tests he is now on the correct theraputic dosage for his blood thinner. Other not being able to drive, somewhat weak, and not able to leave alone he is better. Took mom to Emory today for her treatment, but unfortunately it didn't happen. As most of you know she had chest pains two weeks ago that put her in the hospital. The chest pains came from a side effect of the cancer drug (high blood pressure). When we got there today her blood pressure was up but had been down low all week because she hasn't had any treatments in two weeks. The protocal says if the blood pressure is not under 150 she can't be treated and you can't go longer than two weeks off. So they had to pull her from the clinical trail. Met with her doctor and he is going back to plan A which is the same oral pill she is on but being able to lower the dosage as needed depending on what her pressure is doing. Can't do this on the trail, protocal doesn't allow any deviations. Also means we won't have to go as often, which has been once a week and she probably won't be as sick like she was after the infusions. Just have to pray no more chest pains. Probably will be 2-4 weeks before starting anything again. Still have to work out the financial end of things, because every thing with the clinical trail was free. The drug will cost about $300 a month.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Thought I would share a few items we have been working with. For history we are studying slavery. We started reading a book about Sojourner Truth but found it to be a pretty violent book. I know that the times of slavery was a very violent time, but it was hard for me to read it and hard for Grace to hear it. We decided to switch to the above book Brady by one of my favorite authors Jean Fritz. This one is about the Underground Railroad. We have also started another lapbook about slavery.
Another book we are really digging is Life of Fred. I have a daughter that absolutely hates math. I am not saying that she loves doing this book, but it is electic enough to peek her interest, sometimes. The only gripe I have is not enough problems for memorizing a concept. I periodically have her do more problems if needed. I would recommend Life of Fred for those learners that are just not math lovers. We are currently using the Fractions book and are about halfway through, the next in the series will be Percents and Decimals.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday, Monday

What a Monday. Non stop from the moment I got up. Had to go to parent's house first thing to give dad his injectable medication and will be heading over there again in about an hour to do the same. Had to go get the dreaded mammogram today in a town an hour away. This is actually where we used to live. Went to Steak and Shake for lunch. Haven't eaten there in about 1 1/2 years. Before I left this morning my mom, bless her heart, knew that Grace has grown out of just about every piece of clothing she has and I have not been able to find anything through the local consignment shops, gave me her credit card and a discount card to get some clothes from Kohls for Grace. Spent about 1 1/2 hours trying to find clothing suitable, she is just one the verge of leaving the children's department and moving in to juniors. Found one dress, pair of Capri's, pair of bermuda shorts, two uniform pants for Trinity, three t-shirts, three dress shirts, two bras, knee high socks, and a cami. While I was at that exit I went to the big library and picked me out some books. Got home and less than half the clothes fit her. Will return them on Wednesday when I take mom to her treatment. I am having the hardest time finding clothes to fit Grace. Driving me crazy. She really needs to lose some weight from her stomach so pants will fit her better. I did leave some school work for Grace to do on her own and low and behold she actually got it all done. Another full day tomorrow, but may need to put on hold because of predictions of 3-5 inches of snow.