Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Today and Yesterday

I guess I will start with yesterday. Got back to some summer schooling yesterday morning. Reviewing fractions, reading, grammar, Bible, and writing. About 1 1/2 hours worth of work. Mostly review stuff and work to keep our minds fresh. In the afternoon we went bowling with the home school group and had a good time. After dinner Grace and her dad went to the park to practice volleyball. Grace is preparing for a volleyball camp in July.

Today had to take my mom for an appointment at Emory. Last week she had a CT scan and blood work performed, so this week was for the results. If I had not mentioned before she had to come off the chemo pills because of too many side effects, with high blood pressure being the worst and unable to control it. She also came down with shingles about three weeks ago. But even with the shingles this is the best she has felt in probably 1 1/2 years. Ct scan showed growth in the spots that are on her lung, but we are only talking millimeters in difference. The growth in the neck and on the adrenal gland are stable with no changes. We discussed and decided to table further treatments until we do another CT scan in September. This is a very slow growing cancer and it won't hurt to wait and see. Mom has gained 7 pounds back since being off the chemo drugs. Her and dad are going on vacation at the end of July to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Grace went to stay with a friend today and go swimming while we were gone. Tired from driving but glad that there will be no treatments for a while and not driving back until September.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What we are Reading and Costumes

Okay, I know it isn't a classic. But it is a really good series. Grace read the first book herself and half of the second book then put it down to read other things. I really wanted her to finish the series and I felt like I was missing out by not reading it with her. We finished the second book together and are now reading the third in the series, "The Titan's Curse". I think I enjoy them just as much as her and I try to read aloud one chapter a night. I hope to finish the series before next school year because the author's new series I believe is about Egyptian gods and we will be doing an entire year on Ancient Egyptian History. That book series would tie in great for independent reading. Anyway, today we went on the hunt for two costumes for The Wizard of Oz performances. Went to the book store of course, Grace picked out a book to bring home and I picked one out. Greek Myths is a book I have had on my wish list for a while. We have checked it out from the library, but this is one of those books you can read over and over and use as a reference book. It goes as a great companion book with the Percy Jackson Series, so I splurged and bought it. Paid retail price to boot. Luckily also found everything that we needed for the costumes. So glad that is done.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Library Fun

As any self respecting home schooler will tell you, we love the library. Go at least twice a week, in the summer probably more. Love the summer reading program and all the activities that go along with it. Most summers we join 2-3 different library programs to get in all the fun activities. This morning was a beading workshop. Here Grace is making a beaded hairclip. While she was in the workshop I went to the book sale they have every Saturday. Since it is a small library in a small town, the turnover in books is not as often as a book lover might like.But today I hit bit. In the top picture is A Fill for Joan, Anne of Green Gables (All three stories), Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities, the little thin book on the bottom is a pen and ink drawing book.
In this next picture is Food Drying, The Trumpet of the Swan, Alice in Wonderland, and Nature Nurture. Got all of them for 8 dollars. Yeah! Also checked out some books on chickens, building coops, bread making, and a daily life of the Amish. Lots of reading going on around here and planning for the chickens.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Art Camp

This week fun was had by all. Another church in our area holds an art camp each summer. Many classes are offered and many kids want to sign up, K-7th. This is Grace's second year to go. She wishes it would go on all summer. Tonight was the end of the week program and all their art work was displayed like it would be in a gallery. Classes that Grace participated in was Art II, Sculpting, and Pottery. She really got in to the Sculpting class - brought home many creative pieces.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lego Quest Challenge

This weeks challenge was to build a marine vessel that could float or be a wreckage that sunk to the bottom. Grace created a canoe and it actually floated for a few minutes and then started taking on water. For those Lego fanatics out there, be sure to check out the weekly challenges at

Raising Chickens

We have close friends that have chickens and it is always fun to go over and see the baby chicks and watch all their funny behaviors. I have been waiting on farm fresh eggs from them for a while now but her husband has decided to breed and sell, so no eggs to sell to me. This put another thought in our heads. I posted earlier about all the problems with gardening in our yard. Started contemplating other ways we could work toward a more self sustaining life. Chickens have always intrigued me. I thought it was going to take a lot of talking for my husband to agree, but low and behold, today he announced that he wanted to rework the backyard to accommodate chickens. Due to wildlife and neighborhood dogs (remember bunny) they can not be free range. We will have to build a run, hutch, nesting boxes, etc. The whole works. Hubby seems to feel like he has most of the materials already available here at the house and will need to buy very little. I am thinking we will probably start some on this project this weekend. The first item we need to tackle is tearing down a low deck that was used for two years around an above ground pool that is starting to rot and burn it. Then we have lots of ground cover pebbles to move and patio pavers to reposition to make a path up to and around the chicken area. At this point I am just looking at hens for egg production. But if Grace has any say in the matter she wants to eventually have a rooster and babies. We will see how it all goes. I will be sure to include pictures along the way, etc.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Something from Me, Something from Grace

Home made blueberry muffins. Finally found a great recipe that makes really moist muffins.
Some new characters that Grace has created. Always drawing, always creating.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Produce Visit

As many of you have read in past posts, the garden thing just isn't working out - not enough sun. Hence no produce. And the squirrels keep demolishing the strawberries. We live in a small town - no farmer's markets. Only one big fruit stand and they ship stuff in it is not grown on their property except the corn. What to do? Well, there is a small produce store in our town and some of the items are home grown and some are shipped in. Today me and Grace took a visit and bought these items:
Strawberries - 1 pack
Blueberries - 1 pack, going to make home made muffins tomorrow
Bananas - 1 bunch
Head of lettuce
Apples - 5 large golden delicious
Free Range Eggs - Can't remember if 18 or 24
Huge Dill Pickled for Grace's snack this afternoon.
Red Seedless Grapes

Grand Total 18.00
I thought that was pretty good. Should last us most of the week.

Weekend Fun

Friday - Grace had a friend over then went to the friend's house to spend the night. Hubby and I got to go on a date night. Mickey Pigs for dinner and looking around the book store.

Saturday - Grace and hubby got up early and went to the river to swim, pan for gems and gold and generally just have a good time. We finished reading the second book in the Percy Jackson series and enjoyed it very much. She like me to read it because I do the voices, etc. When I finish a chapter its just one more please..... How can you say no to that. In the evening the whole family got together at LongHorn's to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary and Father's Day. Great food and fun times. After dinner everyone went back to their house to play cards.

Sunday - Attended church and went out to lunch. Did you notice a trend here - lots of eating out this weekend. Hubby and Grace again went to the river for a couple of hours. We started readed the first couple of chapters from The Titan's Curse - really enjoying it so far. Grace did alot of drawing and started reading Illustrated Classics of Jane Eyre.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Civil War Unit

It has taken me some time to really stop and think what I wanted Grace to learn about The Civil War. I had some books here in our personal library that I knew I wanted to use, but also checked out many books to go through and pick out the best. That is exactly what I did today. It is looking like this unit will probably take the better part of 6-8 weeks to complete, but I feel it is worth it. The Civil War was such a tragic time in our country's history. This is what I have come up with so far:

Read Alouds
Across Five Aprils
Abraham's Battle
Clara Barton Founder of the American Red Cross

Books Grace Will Read Independently
If you Lived at the Time of the Civil War
Robert E. Lee
The Story of Fort Sumter
Library of Congress Book - Civil War
Kids During the American Civil War
The Gettysburg Address in Translation
Graphic Novel Abraham Lincoln
Ghosts of the Civil War

Items to Discuss
Civil War Generals - Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, William T. Sherman
Major Battles - Fort Sumter, Battle of Bull Run, Gettysburg, Sherman's March to the Sea
Lincoln's Assassination

Activities, Videos and Field Trips
Watch parts of Gone With the Wind
Cut and Assemble a Southern Plantation
Visit the Cyclorama in Atlanta
Add all important figures and battles to our Book of Centuries
Color in maps showing Confederate and Union States
Visit a Civil War Battlefield

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Literature Choices for the New Year

With so many great literature choices to chose from, I have finally narrowed our list down for the next year. Most of them are series we have started and want to finish. We are just about finished with By the Shores of Silver Lake and will try to finish the last three books throughout the year.

We also started the Narnia Series a couple of years ago and love them so much. I decided we really needed to finish the last two books. More than likely we read one of the Little House books then a Narnia book and so on until they are finished.

Grace is totally fascinated with The Lord of the Rings movies and her and her dad have watched them many times together. I thought she might enjoy reading the series from the beginning. I purchased most of these books last night when me and hubby went out on a date. The book store is usually a popular destination for date night after a great dinner. When Grace saw all the purchases she was just thrilled with what I had chosen for the new year.

Grace also loves the Percy Jackson series and anything that has to do with Greek Mythology. We are reading through this series at night just for fun and have three books to finish before starting on his new series The Red Pyramid about the Egyptian gods.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Home Ec Program

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have created a small Home Ec program for our new school year. Grace is 11 and needs to start learning some skills for later in life and skills that she can use now. The topics I chose are very simplistic and as each year comes and goes I will continue creating new programs with more topics. We will only be doing Home Ec once a week unless she just really enjoys it and wants to add more days. Here is the table of contents so far:
  • Egg Cookery - all about eggs and how to cook them
  • Etiquette
  • How to Cook Chicken and safety concerns with handling chicken
  • Table Setting
  • Casserole Dishes
  • Quick Breads - muffins, banana bread, difference between baking soda and powder
  • Laundry
  • Ironing
  • Health and Fitness - importance of healthy foods and exercise
  • First Aid

It will probably take us most of the year to get through these concepts. The Egg, Casserole, and Quick Breads sections have multiple dishes to cook before you move on to the next chapter. Looking forward to helping her learn to be more independent.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Creating - Getting Back on Track

I have been very bad lately. Bad at being frugal. Today was jump start day. Baked two loaves of bread which will probably last us a week - only three people in the family eat sandwiches. Also baked some home made cookies for afternoon snacking. Cooking more dinners and not eating out as much. Not sure what got in to me. Maybe we had the extra money and I got lazy. Anyway got to hop to it and get back on the wagon. Found a great recipe for batter bread which takes half the time to make. No kneading and only one 30 minutes rise time. Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks.
For school this year I created our math book. I looked at the table of contents for a widely used textbook and went to the Internet and printed free worksheets for each concept. The only thing it cost me was computer paper I already had and ink for my printer which was 9.00. Today I am creating my own Home Ec program for us to use one day a week. I have severely neglected teaching Grace how to take care of herself and a home. Pulled information from Keepers at Home and free online lessons to complete the weekly series. Looking forward to starting that.
I have three projects in the works for Christmas presents. Need to keep cracking at those too. Learning some new crochet patterns but still need some help on that. Probably have to contact my friend Kelly again to help me finish another square.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Play Practice and Summer School

Last night we went to another play practice for Wizard of Oz. Last night's practice focused on the people of Oz and the Emerald City. We got to meet the actors that will be playing Dorothy, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. They are going to be great. The young woman playing Dorothy sounds so much like Judy Garland did in the movie. Grace is getting very excited about participating in the community theater and performing with adults as well as kids. In July there will only be 8 nights out of the entire month that we won't be at the theater practicing and performing. But as I have said before, this is her passion and I am just going to let her go for it. Summer school is going well for us also. Today we are working on grammar, math, Bible, Gold Rush book, Little House book and a book I printed from the Internet, Among the Forest People for her to use for a little bit of independent reading during the day. At night she read her own book of choice. I think sometime this week we will pick back up on our nature studies. I was very impressed with the work she is doing in her grammar book right now. Today was a review over everything we have learned in the past couple of months - she had to pick out prepositional phrases, subjects, compound subjects, verbs, helping verbs, compound verbs, adverbs, infinitives, subjects from imperative sentences, and knowing not to include the word not in verb phrases. All of these were mixed up in about 15 sentences with 4-5 answers in each sentence and she only missed three in a possibility of about 30-45 totals answers. Very proud of her. Loving Easy Grammar which has made this all very easy to understand and three day a week practice.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekend Happenings

The past few days have been kind of a whirlwind. Scott worked lots of extra hours this week due to inventory. Grace spent the night with friends on Friday night (pizza, ice cream. fire fly catching, swimming, etc.), she had a great time. Saturday was Art Festival day for Scott. The temperature and humidity was stifling. Me and Grace were only able to stay a little while before the heat and flies drove us to leave for home. Didn't make alot of money, but hubby was happy with the interactions he made with festival guests. Scott really treats this as a ministry and lots of his art work is religious in nature but with subtle undertones. Usually the art itself brings about conversations that lead to his testimony. Today was church and Grace brought a friend home. After some much needed yard work Scott will take them to the river to swim and hunt for creatures. I on the other hand started yesterday with some much needed deep cleaning and decluttering of the house. Yesterday I worked on my bedroom, closet and attic space. Tomorrow will be taking items to Sharing and Caring. Trying to decide at the moment which room to tackle next. Probably the school room and family room.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Great Giveaway

There is a great giveaway at Giveaway includes a book by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, "So Much More". Also included in the giveaway are two CDs. These materials are so timely for raising daughters these days. Please go take a peek and enter to win.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mask Workshop

We look forward every year to the summer reading program at our library. For the past two months Grace has been volunteering at the library once a week so she gets to help some with the program. One of the best parts about the program is all the workshops they have and all the people they bring in to do programs. Today was a mask workshop for 4th grade and up.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rachel Ray Bakeware Giveaway

I happened upon this great giveaway and wish to share it with everyone. Please follow the link for an entire bakeware set from Rache Ray.


I've been thinking alot lately about the future and living a simple life. I know that homeschooling thoughts take up alot of space on this blog but that doesn't mean that my mind isn't racing with other things. We have tried the gardening thing for two years now and nothing will grow here. Probably because we are surrounded by woods and just don't get enough sun. Even tried container gardening on our front deck, still nothing. I think I might have to rethink some future self sufficient ideas. Our son is very interested in building a wind turbine to use for some electrical issues - luckily we live in the Ga. Mountains so we do get a little more wind than others in the state. But still don't know if it would work well enough. Have looked at solar but again we live in the woods - would require alot of clearing that we really don't want to do. We only live on an acre of land which makes it hard to have animals, like cows, goats, chickens, etc. Another problem is our well is only 45 ft. down which limits where you could put any animals you might acquire. Chickens are probably a real possibility especially since we are no longer buying feed for bunny, we could delegate that money to chickens. I am sure that hubby has plenty of supplies to actually build the coop. Since the incidence with bunny the chickens would need to be housed all the time to keep from neighborhood dogs. Next in the thought bank is something my husband brought up and that is making our own trout pond in the front yard. We have a big island area in our front yard that is not used for anything that would be perfect to create a big pond and breed trout. But the biggest thought in my mind right now is how to bring my husband home to work in town or from home. You see, since we moved up here my husband has had to travel 1 hour and 15 minutes each way to work 5 days a week. Until recently he was only working 4 days a week which gave him more time to work on his art. Now he has lost that. This week has been a whirlwind of trying to finish projects for a big Arts Festival this weekend. Meaning coming home from work around 6 and going straight to his studio to work. It would be great if he could work here in town somewhere and us live on less. I am so enamored by the home school families that have businesses of their own to support the family and work together. I watched something last night about this on The Home School Channel TV and haven't been able to get it off my mind. We have debt we need to pay off first and some more simplistic living we need to practice before being able to accomplish any of these future goals. Well, I guess thats enough to ponder about today.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Random Stuff

If you have kids I am sure you are aware of the silly band craze that is sweeping the nation. We just jumped on the bandwagon about three weeks ago. Already she has acquire about 50 - 75 bands. Where to put them? Of course my husband the creative one came up with this silly band display board. He is actually making another to take to Saturday's arts festival and see if he has any takers.
I wanted to include this picture because all on her own she included some perspective in this drawing and she really doesn't like working with perspective. You can see it in the windows.

Not sure what it is with the moth fascination, but I just love them. This one was on the door this morning when I let the dogs out - about six inches long. Puppy was fascinated with it and kept wanting to go outside and bark at it. Finally had to use a pencil for the moth to climb on and put him in another location that puppy couldn't eyeball.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Art Work

As you can tell from my numerous posts about art, this is where Grace's passion lies as well as her fathers. She has been attending private art lessons for 5 weeks now and is enjoying it very much. At the last lesson her teacher instructed her on gesturing and for homework she was to practice sketching people and items but not putting details in to the pictures. The above picture is a gesturing pose she did at the art teachers house of her dog.
Grace is still fascinated with dragons. This is one of the wooden boxes I mentioned before that my husband makes for Grace to paint or draw on.

One of her many manga characters. This one is actually an illustration for a story she is writing through her Create a Fantasy workbook.

And again dragons. Every free moment is taken up with drawing or creating. So great that we homeschool and she has all this time to devote to her craft.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Frog Sitting, Birthdays and A Magic Show

Close friends of ours have gone camping - so we are frog sitting. This is a tree frog that eats two crickets each day and must be spritzed with water twice a day.
Yesterday both kids birthdays were celebrated. Travis turned 20 a week ago and Grace turned 11 today. You don't see many pictures often like the one above.

Today was the opening activity for our local library's summer program. Every year they start off with a magic show. It was really good. Brought mom along with us. Went out to lunch and by Walmart for Grace to spend some of the birthday money that was burning a hole in her pocket. She bought some flip flops and a game for her DS.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gold Museum and Gem Grubbing

Many of you may not know that before the 49er's went to California for gold there was the 29er's in the North Georgia area. The first real gold rush happened right in our neck of the woods. A small town named Dahlonega was at the core of the gold rush in Georgia. Today the Gold Museum was hosting "A Day in a Miner's Life". In the above picture is a man blacksmithing many items that miner's might need. Horse shoes, shovels, axes, etc.

The picture above is a man demonstrating some of the old wood working tools that might be used to make tables and chairs.

Of course this guy was the highlight of the event. Panning for gold. He actually found gold flakes in just about every pan and gave each child a small flake in a tube of water to take home with them. He was from a local mine that is a tourist attraction where you can go panning for gold or gem grubbing. At the time of the Georgia Gold Rush there were many mines in this area that are all gone now. We also went into the Gold Museum today and watched a short film about The Georgia Gold Rush and saw many interesting relics from that period. This event couldn't of come at a better time - we started two books on The California Gold Rush this past week. Now Grace and Scott are hankering to go out in the local streams and do some panning themselves. They will probably go tonight after dinner. One of the blessings of living in the area that is rich in nature and history.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer School

This week we are doing three days of school about 1 1/2 hours each day. Each week will probably be different days because of a loaded summer schedule. Mostly we are doing these things:
  • Finish reading By the Shores of Silver Lake
  • Finish reading Young Brahms
  • Started two books on the California Gold Rush
  • Easy Grammar
  • Math Review Worksheets
  • Bible
  • Fantasy Literature Writing
  • Activities related to the library summer reading programs

I hope to do a post soon on the Fantasy Literature Writing notebook that we bought from a used book sale and some of the activities from the summer reading programs. So far we have joined two library programs and hope to join one more at the big library.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grammar - Land

I was reading a blog this morning that I routinely go and visit - most recent post is about Language Arts choices, what has worked and what hasn't worked. She included a link to Google Books for a free download of "Grammar - Land" by M.L. Nesbitt. It is a story about all things grammar put into a sort of fairy tale. Looks very interesting. Then she also included a link to worksheets that another blogger has put together for the book. The new blog I found with the worksheets is There are so many other treasures on this blog. I have added it to my favorites also. Looking forward to reading Grammar - Land for the new school year.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Website

Just came across a new website that promises to be very interesting. I fail miserably at teaching my daughter home making skills. I come from the school of - If I want it done right I just do it myself. But I know that thought process is not doing any good for my daughter. Hopefully this website will help me out. It just kicked off today. When you have a chance check it out:

Projects Over the Weekend

Over the weekend Grace produced a couple of new projects. Found a great blog from another blogger that gives out challenges of things to build with legos and then send in your photo. This is our first challenge which was to do a flag. Grace did the flag of Panama because she thought it was an easier one to do. We will try to keep up with the challenges and post as we do them.
Grace and Scott also did some painting over the weekend. Scott has been making her small wooden boxes and painting them white. That way they are easy to hang on the wall. This time Grace decided to paint something with an impressionistic style. I think she has already started another one with a dragon on it. I am sure the dragon choice doesn't surprise anyone.