Friday, April 30, 2010

Convention Post 1

It has been a whirl wind since leaving the house yesterday at lunchtime. As I mentioned in my post yesterday we drove to Atlanta, dropped off books to sale, went to the hotel, went to art gallery showing and ate dinner at 9:00 last night. Today was just as busy, but loved every minute of it. I decided to do the convention in a couple of posts. This morning got up early and arrived at the convention at 9:00. Because I would be volunteering in the used book fair this afternoon I got a hour of shopping before the masses came in like a wave at 10:00. The pictures above and below are what I got at the fair. I think I did pretty good - 31.00 for 9 books.
This afternoon our volunteer shift was 2-5. We had to sort all the unsold books back to the masses to pick up at 5:00. It took 30 volunteers every minute of that to get it done. When I saw all the books that did not sell I got very discouraged thinking mine didn't either. I brought 150 items to sale, when all was sorted I only brought back 25. Yeah! Looking forward to getting that check in the mail. If we had stayed one more night could have picked it up tomorrow morning but really needed to get back home. Tomorrow I will share some of my other purchases. Here is the items in the pictures:
Missionary Stories with the Millers
Detectives in Togas
The Titan's Curse
Handbook of Nature Study
How Great Thou Art - Art Curriculum
Packet of Time Line Figures
Easy Grammar Grade 5 & 6
Kirsten's Pastimes from the American Girl Series
Till tomorrow, have a nice night.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Art Gallery Show

We are in Atlanta and will be attending the convention tomorrow. Tonight we went in to the big city and attended an art gallery showing for my cousin. She is graduating with her masters degree in art this month. The showing was held at the school and is her thesis. Her mother (my aunt) passed away last August and the showing was dedicated to her. It is very hard to take pictures and do them justice. We spent about two hours at the show, went and got a bit to eat after. Looking forward to a full day tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Exciting News

Just got the email - Grace will be Munchkin Teacher #1 in our community theater's production of The Wizard of Oz. She is very excited. Unfortunately they wanted her to show up for the first practice this Friday night. We are going to our home school convention in Atlanta, can't be in two places at once. I figure she is technically an extra and the performance isn't until July, she has plenty of time to learn her part. As I mentioned, tomorrow we are headed out to our home school convention and couldn't be more excited. This will also be the first year that I will sell items and volunteer with the used curriculum part of the convention. Hoping to sell about 100 items to cover the cost of our hotel. Looking forward to touching and looking through gobs of curriculum. I will share what we got when I get back.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Need lots of prayer for unspoken request for our family, especially in decision making and wisdom on how to handle a situation.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Our local community theater held auditions last night for The Wizard of Oz. As many of you have read in recent posts, Grace has been bitten by the acting bug. In the past 1 1/2 years she has been Veruca in Willy Wonka, Alma Hix in The Music Man, Servant/Chorus in The Secret Garden and a handful of one act plays including a Shakespeare play they are working on right now. This was a new experience for her to audition somewhere else other than in her fine arts program. The audition for the Oz production went really well. They called up by age groups and there were only 5 girls in hers. The director had then read from the script, sing a couple of songs, and interviewed each of them as if they were a munchkin. She did really well, and wasn't nervous at all. As we were leaving they asked her to stay behind and audition for a one act play they were also doing. She agreed and we waited about an hour to do that. Her read through didn't go well. They didn't explain what the one act was about, what the scene was about and she had to just read it cold. She was disappointed that she wasn't able to do her best in those circumstances. But I explained to her that we really weren't even there to audition for the one act plays so if she were to get a part in one it would be just icing on the cake. Really proud of her for going out there and trying. Doing both the one act play and The Wizard of Oz would be alot of work and would take up alot of our time over the summer.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Finally Finished

Finally finished my crochet project. Now to decide if I am going to keep it or give to someone as a gift. This is a problem I always have, I never keep anything that I make. This took about 3-4 months of work. Obviously I didn't work on it every day, which is why it took me so long to finish.

Friday, April 23, 2010

More Nature Study

We have been trying to do at least two nature study walks/lessons a week. Don't really have a focus, mainly just talking about what we see and taking it from there. Today we went out the front door and didn't have to travel farther than that to find our special treat for the day. Rosy maple moths. There were three of the on our front porch just hanging out. Learned that they are attracted to black light and like to eat maple trees, hence their name. Some times they can make pests of themselves. In the next couple of days hubby and Grace are going to look at the maple trees on our property and see if they can find any more. When Grace gets back home tonight she will finish her nature journal page about these beautiful creatures.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Updates and Random Thoughts

We have some fun and interesting things coming down the pike for our family. Each year our church hosts a yard sale/b-cue event. The b-cue is cooked by a competition cooker and is excellent. It is usually a great day working with fellow Christians toward a common goal. The money we raise this year will go to fixing up our church playground which is also used by a christian school that our church houses. Another exciting event coming up is our state homeschool conference next week. My family will be working in the used curriculum sale and also attending the vendor hall and workshops. I look forward to this every year. So much fun, and Grace loves going too. Mom and dad are still having many health issues. Dad is still in alot of pain from the fall. He doesn't seem to have the will to get himself better. Mom and myself are trying to decide what to do for him. He did have a xray last week and only arthritis was found, but the doctor did see a blood vessel on his stomach that looked strange that he wanted to investigate further. Mom has had to stop her chemo pill again because it sent her blood pressure up to 190/86. Her doctor is out of town until our appt next week. They have already cut her back to half dose, not sure how much more they will cut her back. School is going well. We have finished up alot of the books we planned for the year. Doing alot of Nature Study right now. Looking forward to getting some new stuff to start from the convention.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nature Study

Today we did another nature study. Concentrated on flowers. There is a garden across the street from our library that we walked through before Grace went to do her volunteer time at the library. I loved the flower in the top picture. Does anyone know what it is?
Grace was fascinated with the variegated tulips. She had never seen it before. But alas she picked the bumble bee in the bottom picture to actually draw in her nature journal. It was a beautiful day and not too hot.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Poodles, Monkeys and Bears

I'll bet you are probably wondering how does this all tie in together. Yesterday Grace decided to dress puppy up in build a bear clothes. Okay, so that takes care of the Poodles in the title.
Yesterday we started a unit on Animals of the Rain forest. So we tied in art with the science lap book and I had her pick out a animal, plant, or insect from the rain forest to draw - the monkey was her choice. Monkeys in the title - check.

Last but not least, this morning we took my mom to an art festival it was called - wait for it - Bear on the Square. So we did not actually see a bear but went to a festival with bear in the title. Only about 30 artist booths the rest was music. Grace was the only one that purchased anything - harmonica, crocheted purse, and her first Nancy Drew book.

Friday, April 16, 2010

So Proud

Our oldest will turn 20 in May and we are so proud of him for starting college this past week. There is a story behind all of this to prove what a big deal it is. Travis started school like any other little kid but as the years rolled by his teachers and us as parents realized that there was some learning issues. By 4th grade he was diagnosed with ADD and struggling, by 7th grade he was held back a year when we moved to another city. Once he reached high school there was just not getting around the fact that he didn't try anymore. He had struggled for so long with no results that he didn't care anymore. I started homeschooling our daughter when she was in 2nd and he was in 9th grade. Many times I asked him if he would like to come home but always got a no. In the 11th grade he finally came home and I learned just how far behind he was. At the end of his 11th grade year he turned 18 and made the decision he did not want to finish his Senior Year, instead he wanted to work. I turned it over to God and knew that someday everything would work out. He has always had a great work ethic. Worked at a pizza joint his sophomore and junior year of high school. Then when he turned 18 got his first adult job at a window and door company working full time and is still there almost two years later. About 8 months ago he decided on his own that he needed to get his GED, studied on his own and passed the first time. Then three months ago decided he wanted to go to college, took the placement tests and passed them on the first try. Now has started two night college classes while still working full time. He wants a degree in Computer Networking, right now a diploma program but hoping to transfer it into a two year or four year degree. This is a big deal for our family. I am so proud of him. All it took was stepping back and letting God work and not pushing the school issue with him. He had to mature and find out that he wanted it on his own.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What We Were Up To Today

This morning was very routine for a Thursday with chorus, drama, and handicrafts classes at Trinity. This afternoon for school we finished with Brady about the Underground Railroad and now teaching Grace how to write a book report. I have decided to cut down on the written narrations we are doing and switch gears to some book reports for a while. The bottom picture is how Grace will be outlining for her reports, as time goes on and she learns more we will start adding more to the report. The top pictures shows the timeline we made today and will start using tomorrow for history. Now that I can hang clothes to dry outside I can use the inside line for the timeline or to display art work.
For history we are finally moving on to the Old West with the time period of 1824 - 1836. The two books above are our choices. Grace can choose which one she wants to read independently and the one I will be reading as the read aloud.

For art today we switched gears and I asked her to start with more natural drawings, such as trees, flowers, etc.

In handicrafts they are learning macrame and she brought this project home to work on over the weekend, it will be a belt.

Littl Buggers

Squirrels. Woke up this morning to find they had come on the deck and eaten all my strawberries and are digging up the sprouts of veggies. Going to have to move everything to the back yard and hope for the best. Ugh!!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Volunteering and School

The second Wednesday of each month our church has a food pantry open to the community. We try to help out each month. This morning we did indeed go and help, I directed people to counselors and Grace helped carry out boxes of food. Alot of the community that comes to us is seniors. I always enjoy working at the food pantry seeing the same families return and catching up on their lives. After we returned and ate lunch it was time to get down to business with the school work. Today consisted of nearly finishing our read aloud about the Underground Railroad and Slavery lapbook. It should all be finished tomorrow. Did another nature study about birds and Grace is deciding which bird she saw today to draw in her nature journal. Once she decides tonight I will read some to her about that particular bird. Math and grammar were review pages. Finished up a book about the Rain Forest and In the Days of Noah. Looking forward to starting the Greenleaf Guide to the Old Testament tomorrow. Grace also did an art lessons of drawing trees. Friday we hope to take my mom to a gold rush town that is nearby that is holding an arts festival.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nature Study and School on the Road

Today we took a field trip to Tallulah Fall State Park and this is the Gorge. The park has an interpretive center, trails, and overlooks. Very beautiful and only 25 minutes from our house. We go here often for nature studies which is also what we did today. I planned a little road schooling while we were out. Grace read a book about Hares on the way to the park and a book about Medieval History on the way back. I also had her write some sentences including adjectives to describe what we saw and heard on our nature walk.

We are starting the Outdoor Challenges connected to The Handbook of Nature Study since we have already finished our science book for the year. The challenges advises picking a focus topic, and even though we studied birds with our science book last summer she wanted to do birds again. Here she is drawing her illustration of a cardinal for her first nature journal page.
The picture below she is looking out over the gorge to try and spot some bird activity.
We also spotted this beautiful young tree with really big leaves. We looked in our tree identification book and thought it was some type of maple but the park ranger told us it was a pin oak. But it doesn't look like the pics in our guide. Does anyone have any ideas?
After the park Grace went to her new volunteer program at the library. Today was her first day and she was kind of nervous. But once there she really enjoyed herself. She will just be going once a week for a hour. Today was some training and book shelf organizing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cross Stitch

A while back I posted some of my cross stitch pieces. This Scarlet O'Hara was over at my moms and I kept forgetting to take a picture of it to share. My mom collects Gone With the Wind items and I did this for her for Christmas one year.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Updates on Parent's Health and Today

As many of you know dad had a few TIA episodes about 6 weeks ago and has been recovering, 1 1/2 weeks ago he fell and hurt his back and I got a call from mom that he fell again today but didn't get hurt. We think something is quirky with his balance. Mom started her new chemo pill on Monday at the highest dose. The only side effects she is feeling so far is fatigue and redness and swelling in the hands and feet. She emailed her doctor and she is to stop the drug for a couple of days then start back at a lower dose. Going over tonight to spend some time with them and cook them dinner. Please continue to pray for them. They are also feeling pretty down.

This morning went over to a good friend's house and started Grace's costume for the Shakespearean Festival next month. I helped with cutting the pattern and fabric. I don't sew clothes so when my friend started sewing I mostly just kept her company. Hubby picked up the blueberry bushes, will be planting them tomorrow after church.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Random Thoughts

Got some great books at the library for a rain forest study, some nature study, and looking ahead for study of the Great West in American History. So many books and so little time. Travis had his first college class last night and seems to have enjoyed it. So proud of him for starting school and looking into a career in computers. Today went to a friends house for a play date and had a great time. Today is also Scott's birthday so we took him out to dinner. Purchased the fabric to start Grace's Shakespearean costume, $30.00 for supplies. I need a costume too, but don't want to spend another 30.00. I will start putting it together tomorrow with the help of a friend. Also purchasing tomorrow another blueberry bush and a pollinator. Hope to plant them tomorrow. We already have 8 strawberries growing. Pollen everywhere on everything. Looking forward to a quiet night of crafts and catching up on some TV programs.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Salato Wildlife Preserve

On the third day in Kentucky we went to visit the Salato Wildlife Preserve. The day was beautiful and the cost was free. Can't beat that. They had indoor and outdoor experiences. Most of my pics are indoor because once we reached outdoors my battery on the camera went kaput. Outside they had a bear, wilcat, bald eagle, deer, fish, walking trails, etc. In the above picture is Grace, Scott and my niece Hannah.
This is a bronze elk as you walk in to the nature center.

Since we just finished a science unit on butterflies, skippers, and moths, I thought this was great that we ran across this in the nature center. They also had other insect and bugs on the other side.

A working bee hive. As much as Grace is scared of bees and wasps she loved looking at this bee hive. That actually has tubes so they can go outside.

Flying squirrel.

They had many interactive experiences inside the nature center.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Trip That Didn't Want to End

Boy, today was a doosie! Normally the trip home from Kentucky takes 8 hours, today 11 hours. Here is what happened: The day started out great with us leaving Lawrenceburg at 9:30 and taking our first pit stop at The Arts and Crafts Traveler's Building about one hour in to the drive. Lots of wonderful hand made objects to look at but a bit to expensive. We moved on and stopped again at 12:30 for lunch and to let puppy stretch her legs. Things started to get a little dicey when we were about to head in to Pigeon Forge area and noticed there was a sign that said the road was mostly closed and to expect long delays - so we went with plan B and turned around to take another route. This route had us drive to the other side of Knoxville, Tenn. which added about 30 minutes to the trip. We were so happy that we had missed all the traffic that at 3:00 we decided to stop in Cleveland, Tenn and do a bit of shopping. I went to a craft store and picked up some goodies, puppy got to play in a field, and Grace got a new game for her DS. Got back in the car and this is when trouble happened - Rock Slides had occurred months ago and ruined the road we needed to take so we were sent on a detour. The detour took 2 1/2 hours, that is 2 1/2 hours added to our trip along with the earlier thirty minutes. We were not happy campers. An eight hour trip turned in to a long 11 hours, Grace was great about it and was a real trooper the whole time. But man we are glad to be home and puppy is too.

Horse Park Part 3

Up front I want to say I am sorry for such a picture heavy post. The remaining pictures of the Horse Park today all come from inside The History of the Horse Museum. Lots to see and read about. The only annoying thing was the millions of years of evolution which we skipped over in the very beginning. Also talking about horses evolving from other animals. Even Grace was able to tell us all the wrong stuff they put up out there. But otherwise it was a very nice museum. This will be the last installment from the Horse Park and tomorrow we will move on to our next adventure.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Horse Park Part 2

As promised here is our second edition of pics from the Horse Park. The statue in the distance is one of the greatest horses that ever lived, Man O War. The grounds at the park are beautiful. Actually the Kentucky that we have seen so far is all green and somewhat flat, much different that what we are used to living in the woods and mountains.
I remember this horse from my childhood.

This is a close up picture of Man O War. I did learn something interesting about how they bury horses. They bury the head for its intelligence, heart for personality and will to win and hooves for the horses agility and speed and then cremate the rest to spread the ashes over the horse farm they are from. Do you see Scott and Grace below? This is a trolley ride pulled by draft horses. Me and Sue decided to skip it, there were alot of people waiting to ride, and we wanted to sit with puppy.

There were two ponies that Grace enjoyed feeding.

Alot of pasture land with horses dotting the countryside.
On the way back home we rode the scenic route through horse farm country. Lots of money out there and very beautiful. Grace favorite part of the park was the Gift Store where I let her pick out her Easter gift. They had wall to wall Breyer Horses which she collects. She picked one of the classics and a pack of Bella Sara cards.