Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Field Trip Journal

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a mead spiral notebook to use as a field trip journal. It has multiple pockets in it to hold brochures, etc. Each time we go on a field trip I will have Grace write some thoughts or interesting facts about the places we visit as well as an illustration of what she saw. The pictures above and below are of field trips we went on while on vacation to Fort Pulaski and Tybee Island Lighthouse. Today I also used this as her writing assignment.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Post Vacation

Okay, we have decided that it would be in our best interest to purchase a vacation home on Tybee Island. lol. If only. Had a great time over our long weekend in Tybee and packed alot in to it. Scott and Grace have decided we are going to save as much as possible and go back in the Spring. We will see how that turns out. I have my doubts. Already trying to go to Greenville in March to a home school convention and have to fit in a trip to Kentucky at some point to visit family. Oh, almost forgot we hope to go to Pigeon Forge before the end of the year and go to the Titanic Museum. That adds up to alot of money. So Scott better start selling some art. We would love to travel more, which means need to pay down some debt so more money is available for that.

For those that are interested the chickens are doing well. I originally thought I would come home to a coop full of dead chickens, but the medicated water and food seem to be doing the trick. Even the sickest chicken looks 75 percent better and is opening both eyes off and on. We will continue to medicate for another 7-10 days.

Tomorrow is back to the daily grind as far as school is concerned. Also this week starts some of our out of the home activities. On Thursday Grace will start learning Tone Chimes to perform at the nursing home with a group of children. Next week a pottery class starts and the following week drama will be back on a weekly basis. Busy, Busy, Busy! Just how we like it.

Tybee Lighthouse

Yesterday as a family we went and visited the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum. Lots of great views from the top and imformation about Tybee Island's history. I am somewhat fearful of heights so didn't spend much time at the top. 178 steps to climb to the top. It was also very windy. Today we leave and go back to real life. It has been a very relaxing three day weekend for us. The only down points are that Grace was stung by a jellyfish one day(not to bad) and woke up this morning with what we think is swimmers ear. So probably off to the doctor tomorrow to have that checked out. I have talked to my friend twice that is taking care of the chickens at home and they are all still alive and feeling better. I guess the antibiotic powder in the water must have done the trick.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Civil War Field Trip While on Vacation

As many homeschoolers know you can't go on vacation without getting in a little educational field trip. When we return home we will finish up our history study of the Civil War. Here at Tybee Island is Fort Pulaski. There was a battle between the North and the South during 1862. Fascinating place to visit. Initially Grace was not interested because she thought hey this is vacation and I don't want to do anything educational. But once we got there she really loved it and even did her first ever Junior Ranger program and got her badge.
Spending time as a family has been great. This is the first trip that our 20 year old son has gone on with us in a while due to work and school.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Can You Guess Where We Are

Tybee Island, Georgia
We have traveled down to the Tybee Island for a long weekend. These were taken this morning early before anyone was on the beach. We are on the North end of the island and it is much more residential than the South end. Which means alot less tourists, even though we are tourists, it is nice all the peace and quiet. This go around we rented out an old beach house for three days. Beaching, crabbing at night, eating out, relaxing.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bread Recipe

I have been asked by one of my followers to share the bread recipe I use. This is not my own recipe, I got it from the King Arthur Flour Blog.

1 1/4 cup warm water
1 heaping tablespoon honey
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (one packet)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry milk

Put packet of yeast and a sprinkle of sugar to the warm water and let the yeast dissolve for about 5 minutes. Mix all ingredients. May need to mix with hands. Knead for 10 minutes. Grease your bowl with shortening then put dough mixture in to rise for 60-90 minutes. After first rising gently deflate dough and shape into a rough rectangle about 8" long. Put in lightly greased 9 x 5 bread pan. Tent the pan with greased plastic wrap. Rise again for 60 - 90 minutes. Dough should crown 1" to 1 1/2" over rim. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 20 minutes then tent lightly with al. foil and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes or till golden brown. Turn loaf out on a rack to cool, immediately rub the top with a stick of butter. Wait till completely cool to slice.

Happy Baking!

Chicken Trouble

A few days ago we spotted one chicken with a swollen shut eye. Still eating, happy, etc. A couple of days later the other eye. Still eating, happy, etc. Now another chicken is starting with an eye problem, no discharge from eyes or nostrils. I think I am hearing some sneezing. This morning first chicken has both eyes closed and not moving around as much. Went to the feed store and purchased some powdered antibiotic to add to the water daily and stopped feeding chicken scratch and went back to the medicated starter growth feed. I don't think the one chicken will get better but we are hoping and praying that everyone else will be okay. To compound the problem we are headed out of town in the morning. Wasn't planning on anyone having to deal with the chickens for a couple of days.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Simple Living

Thinking alot lately about simple living. Reading many books, researching many blogs and websites. Trying one day at a time to reach that goal. Some items already in progress:
Chickens for egg production - won't start laying till spring
No more paper napkins or paper plates for the last 6-8 mths.
Baking bread - need to learn to do buns, etc.
Creating Christmas Gifts - saving money
Leaving the air conditioner set on 79 or 80 most days

Items that still need to be implemented:
Ban on buying - especially clothes, toys, etc.
Purchasing products that have little to no packaging
Using what you have and not purchasing anything new
decrease debt
decrease monthly grocery bills
Next spring grown own veggies elsewhere - no sun here to grow

Will keep everyone posted on progress.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Library Choices

Our Civil War study will end in about a week. While we were at the library today we picked up some books for our new history study and some items to flesh out our home ec program. Our next history study will be about immigrants coming to America and the Titanic. We hope to visit the new Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge after we are finished with the study.
Grace is interested in learning how to cook so we picked out some fun cooking books from the children's section. I will go through each book and pick at some activities for us to tackle.

Great Find at Goodwill

Today we went to the big library about 45 minutes from our house. On the way we noticed a Goodwill store we had not visited before. Of course being a homeschooler I went straight to the book section. I picked up Beautiful Girlhood and The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood for .75 cents each. Yeah! Don't you just love a good deal. I think she is still a little young to start this study, probably looking at 9th grade.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fun Friday

Two Fridays a month we will be ditching regular school and doing some fun things. This morning we woke up and did a nature walk first thing. Took pictures of everything interesting we saw and brought it home to do journal pages in our nature journal. The above picture is a new book we picked up from the library this week about insects. It page is Internet connected. I asked Grace to pick a two page spread, read about it then go to the Internet linked pages. Next was a Home Ec project of learning how to set a table. We also picked up a book about recycling and I asked her to look through it then pick a project for us to start doing. We already do some of the projects listed like clothe napkins, no paper plates, clothe shopping bags, etc. Grace picked us starting to recycle. This weekend we will purchase a couple of plastic containers to collect each week then drop off at the recycling center. We only have two chapters left in The Silver Chair so we are going to start watching the movie today and compare it to the book. Tonight we will be attending an art gallery showing for an art field trip.
Deer Tracks

Unknown animal tracks

Marshy area we found with cat tails

Two types of mushroom not yet identified

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Math Woes

Every year it is the same problem. Grace is unable to learn a math concept and keep it. Every year we spend the first three months reviewing concepts we have learned in all the previous years. It astounds me that she can do fractions but has trouble with elapsed time problems, rounding and estimating and sometimes even division. Once I do a quick review with her of a concept then she has it again. But a month or more down the road she may forget it again. Normally I don't worry about it, I am okay with the fact that she is probably 1-2 years behind in math. But at the end of this year is the dreaded standardized test and we are doing more review this year than we normally do to prepare for it. Last year we spent half the year on fractions. So she doesn't know alot about measurement and geometry. We also need to study alot about decimals and percents throughout this year. Sometimes it is just overwhelming. I don't want her to be discouraged about math or freak out when it comes time for the testing. Luckily our state does not require us to turn in any of the information just keep it on file at home. I know, crazy isn't it. The state requires you to do it but not turn it in.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Country Entertainment

The past few nights Grace and hubby have been going on walks for the purpose of catching grass hoppers to feed to the chickens. It is the funniest thing to watch. One chicken will catch a grass hopper and then all the rest will chase him down to try there hand at stealing the bug away. Very funny stuff!!

School is going well. Moving right along. Had to take Travis to the hospital this morning to have an abdominal ultrasound to try and diagnose gall bladder issues. Waiting to hear back. Possible surgery in the next few weeks. Another family at our church as pulled their kids out of public school to home school. Going to their house tomorrow to answer alot of questions and help them get started. Talking about homeschooling is one of my favorite past times.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dropping Volleyball

As much as Grace enjoyed volleyball we just had to drop it. September was going to be taken over by games and practices. Also alot of the away games were up to two hours away. That was just going to cut into our family time too much. Not to mention she wouldn't be able to participate with an upcoming pottery class and some drama classes, which we all know is her first love. We are very excited by the fact that we went to a meeting at the Community Theater this weekend about a new children/teen drama group they are putting together. Had a good turn out of about 20 kids/teens. They will be meeting either once a week or month with classes offered in anything from stage makeup, costume design, auditioning, improve, acting, etc. as well as more performances for the kids to participate in. Dropping volleyball also opens us back up to auditioning for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in September. Needless to say Grace is very excited. Also found out that Jennifer Anniston is filming a movie here in our small town and has already been sighted in a couple of places.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Relay for Life

As many of my long time readers know, my mom has been battling thyroid cancer for 10 years and my Aunt died one year ago from breast cancer. Ironically my Aunt Linda died on August 13th last year and Relay for Life was last night which was August 13th. I couldn't think of a better way to honor her memory than to go and participate. My sister's company that she works for was a corporate sponsor which means they had a booth to raise money. She came up with a pretty cool idea. They did a Minute to Cure It just like the game show Minute to Win It. Raised a fair amount of money for the cause. Lots of people having fun doing really silly games. Zaxby's had a booth doing crazy hair, which of course Grace just had to do. I left my purse in the car so I didn't have my camera to take any picture. They had a survivor's walk which my mom did. For our small town we had a pretty good turn out, I would guess about 2000 people. I know that my sister and her team put in alot of work. Habersham EMC our local power company held a dinner for all cancer survivors a couple of nights ago also. They gave each survivor a t-shirt and cupcake with one candle on it to celebrate being alive this year and for another year to come. Mom has not had any treatment for the last couple of months and is feeling so good sometimes it is hard to remember that she actually has cancer. Thyroid Cancer grows slow and sometimes you are able to just sit and wait. We return To Emory at the end of September for another scan to find out how much if any growth has occurred.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Geography is always a hard subject for me to plan. In the past few years we haven't really done anything. So this year I wanted to do something that would not take long and only happened a couple of times a week. The above picture is of our map drills. This year we will concentrate on South and North America. I am taking the lead on this from Simply Charlotte Mason's site. I copied a map of South America and slid it in to a protective cover site. This way Grace can write on it if she wishes with erasable markers. I also created a page that she can match up with the numbers in a protective cover.

I printed this old book from The Baldwin Project, "Home Geography", it has basic information for probably elementary age. We will read over some of this later in the year. The picture below is something I printed up from another blog. Sorry can't remember where I saw it. It is of the most famous 100 places in the world. We will pick one each time we study geography, talk a little about it and locate it on a map.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nature Study Wednesday

Our challenge today was to look for butterflies. We did find two but try as we might they wouldn't stay still long enough to get any type of picture. We did spot this guy though and got a great photo.

A Guilty Pleasure

I am about to come clean with a guilty pleasure. I admitted a few months ago that I like to watch TV programs. Well one of my guilty pleasures is a soap opera. GASP!!! I started watching General Hospital in my early middle school years and have continued to watch off and on through the years. I am now 43. So you can probably do the math and assume that I have watch about 20 years of GH. I was such a big fan in middle school that my mother let me stay home from school to watch the wedding of Luke and Laura. I think back on the fact that I was watching when I was in 6th grade and I would certainly not let my 6th grader watch any soap opera. Some of my favorite characters over the years were Brenda, Sonny, Lucky and Elizabeth. Jonathan Jackson, the original actor to play Lucky came back last October and I started watching again. Sonny has been in the pits of evil and evil doing for a few years now and I kept thinking to myself you know Brenda needs to come back and set him straight. Well low and behold the higher ups listened and today Vanessa Marcil is back as Brenda for the first time in 7 years and will be on GH for the next year. Let me tell you that I am one happy camper. Okay after saying all this please don't think lowly of me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bake to Basics

As many of my readers know the entire month of July was taken up by practices and performing with the community theater. So not much cooking went one, we had to be at the theater each night at 6:00. Not to go down this rabbit trail but I read in the local paper today that the community theater is holding a meeting this Saturday for interested parents/teens/children to see if there is now a need for a children's acting group. Needless to say we are going, just to see what they have in mind. Anywho, back to the original thought for this post. Last week I made two loaves of bread and a batch of brownies and cooked dinner nearly every night. This week I decided to do a menu plan (something I never do). Here is what is on tap for the week for dinner:
Monday - Eggs, biscuits, bacon and cantaloupe
Tuesday - Spaghetti, Salad and bread
Wednesday - Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Soup, Fruit
Thursday - Grilled Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Potatoes, Salad and Bread
Friday - Homemade pizza, salad and fruit
Saturday - Tacos
Sunday - Hot dogs and mac and cheese

I know some of you will read this and think, do these guys eat any veggies. To be frank, not much. We never really have, but working on it. I also have alot of fruit in the house right now and trying to find ways to eat it all before going bad. Cantaloupe for snacks and the chickens love it. Me and Grace made strawberry/banana smoothies yesterday for a snack and tonight I made a parfait with redi whip, strawberries, blueberries and bananas. So we are trying to eat healthier it is just one step at a time.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Random Items

Finished our first science experiment of the year. Each apple was peeled and put in a bowl. The apple of the left was the control apple and the apple submerged in a salt/baking soda mixture is the experiment. These are the same type chemical that Egyptians mummified people in.

The control apple looked better than the mummified apple. The only real differences were the color and that mold was starting to grow on the mummified apple.
Today we went to the library to pick up some on hold items and I picked about 5 cds to make a choice from for our next composer study. We just finished Brahms. I was looking for a composer that lived during the Civil War era but not from America. I have narrowed it down to these five, it is going to be a hard choice: Antonin Dvorak, Richard Wagner, Jean Sibelius, Frederic Chopin and Claude Debussy.
Went by the produce store on the way home. We are flying through bananas these days. Got a cantaloupe for dinner and gave some chopped up bits to the chickens. They actually like these. So far I have found that they like - cantaloupe, bread and strawberries. They do not like apples or tomatoes. Looking forward to the time we will be getting some eggs from them even if they will be on the small side.
Lots of cleaning and organizing going on around the house today. Yesterday Grace played with the legos for like 5 hours. Today she decided to sort them all, which is what she is still working on. I have swept, washed and folded clothes, cleaned bathrooms, put away dishes, and just generally picked up items from around the house and put them in their correct location.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy

We love all of Jeannie Fulbright's books. In the past two years we have gone through Zoology 1 and 3. This year it is the human body, and boy were we not disappointed. This book is incredible. Grace absolutely loves it and I think it will be her favorite subject throughout this year. The journal notebook that goes with it is equally impressive. Today we started reading about the cell's anatomy and function. The analogy Jeannie uses in the book to help children understand it is right on. Below is the start of a diagram of a cell that Grace started today and we will finish up on Monday. I hope to share photos on Monday from the experiment and a jello project to produce a cell. We also get to check on our experiment on Monday, so that should be exciting. Other subjects cover today were: foreign language, history, reading, grammar, Missionary Stories from the Millers, math, spelling, scripture memory, Bible, and literature.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another School Day

I promise today and tomorrow will be the last days for scheduling type posts. Since Grace has been so good about her school work the past three days I invited one of her friends to go to lunch with us and come hang out for the afternoon. I think Grace's favorites today was a book about Brahms for Composer Study and some German Cds we will be using for Foreign Language. Here is what Thursday's will look like throughout the year:

Thursday Schedule
Foreign Language
Composer Study
Read one chapter from Among the Forest People
Bible and Scripture Memory
Independent Reading for 30 minutes
Writing Workbook

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Back to Nature Study

We haven't done any Nature Challenges since May and I felt like it was time to start back. Still in the middle of a study of flowers. Grace received some carnations on the last night of performances so we decided to use those. She did a journal page and we looked up some information on the net about them. When we were researching found out that it's name Dianthus which is Greek and means "dios" referring to the god Zeus, and "anthos" mean flower. Thus they are called "The Flowers of God". This is interesting with all the Percy Jackson reading we are doing, including Zeus. Below is Grace's nature study journal page.
Today was our third day back to school and she did so fabulous. Attitude was great, we were at the table at 9 a.m. to get started and she got all her book work done in 2 1/2 hours. We still have some schoolish things to do this afternoon with volunteer time at the library and a private art lesson. Today we did: Science, Grammar, History, Spelling, Cursive, Art, Math, Bible, Scripture Memory, Literature, Geography, and Nature Study. When setting up our daily schedules I really thought all of this would be too much, but she has proved to me that when she puts her mind to it and with Charlotte Mason's shorter lessons it is very doable. Really enjoying reading The Silver Chair and being back in the Land of Narnia. Also enjoying reading at night The Percy Jackson Series together and for independent reading she is back to the Warrior Series.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Schedule for School

Tuesday and Thursday of each week will actually be an easier school day, more so than Monday, Wednesday, Friday due to outside the home activities. Schooling will be done in the mornings then we will go to a Fine Arts co-op from 1:15 - 2:30. The first 4 weeks will be pottery on Tuesdays and tone chimes on Thursdays. After that we will head out to volleyball practice from 3:30 - 5:30. Today was a much more calm day as far as school work went. Not attitude, yeah!! I think the subject she enjoyed the most today was Literature with reading The Silver Chair. We also started last night the fourth book in the Percy Jackson Series. In artist study we have started with a new painter, Thomas Gainsborough and will be doing an art project about him later this afternoon. Here is what most Tuesday will look like:

Tuesday Schedule
Bible and Scripture Memory
Baldwin Project Book - Among The Forest People
Independent Reading
Writing Workbook - Jump In
Picture Study
Fine Arts Co-op

Monday, August 2, 2010

First Day of School

Today was our first official day back at school but have done some schoolish things throughout the summer. I planned for us to be at the books at 9 a.m. but as expected it was more like 10. I also was not disappointed in Grace's attitude about math and writing. I am not talking about a good attitude. lol. After she procrastinated for about 15 minutes on each, she actually did a good job. I think her favorite subject today was Science. We started with the new Exploring Creation Through Anatomy. Already doing an experiment. Have to wait a week for the results. Each day of the week holds some different subjects for us, this is what Mondays look like:

Monday Schedule
Bible and Scripture Memory
Narration for History
Science and Journal Pages
Visual Memorization (Logic)
One chapter from Literature Book
Independent Reading
Starting in December we will be at Drama Class 1 1/2 hours each afternoon

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Last Performance and Cast Party

It ended tonight. Good and bad. You meet these people while preparing for a performance and you kind of get like a family. This was a large cast with alot of kids. Everyone really enjoys what they do and it shows. Great first experience with the community theater and we will definitely do it again. Looking forward to auditions for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to be performed the beginning of December. Grace is sitting down in the green in her Oz person costume.
One of the mothers that happens to be in our home school group made the cake for our cast party. She did an awesome job. I think she could definitely do one of those cake challenges on Food Network. So sorry to see it all end but looking forward to some down time in the month of August before drama starts back up at Trinity.