Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back To It

Okay maybe things can get back to normal now. I finished watching all four seasons of Prison Break (very addictive show) last night. Can't say that I liked the ending. But now that it is actually finished my obsession with the show can end. lol. Took my mom to her check up with her cancer doctor yesterday so was gone most of the day. Looks like we get three more months of reprieve. No new growths and the three growths that are there are stable and have not grown at all. She has felt better these past three months than the past two and half years of treatment. So for that we are very glad that we get to wait three more months before another scan. Especially since we have a special trip planned for the whole family over the Christmas Holidays. I will speak more of this later. It has rained every day all day since Saturday afternoon with the exception of one day. Getting tired of the rain, and I know my chickens are. Today will be just a day at home cleaning, cooking and schooling. Last night after I got home from taking my mom I went to the kitchen to start making some goodies. We were totally out of everything. Made some egg salad for lunches today and brownies for everyone's lunches. Today will probably make some choc. chip cookies and maybe some granola bars. Looking forward to a quiet day at home.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I have been working on this while watching all those episodes of Prison Break. Also still hand quilting a blanket and making some cross stitch Christmas ornaments.

What Has Been Taking Up All My Time

Okay another guilty pleasure as of late. For the past month I have been working my way through the Prison Break Series on Netflix. I am currently halfway through season 4. So just a little more to go. I am ashamed to say I have kind of become obsessed with the show. But promise to have some more posts available in the next couple of days.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What's Been Going on the Past Couple of Days

Not blogging, as you can plainly see. Just haven't felt in the mood. But thought I would get on for a few minutes and catch you up on the past few days:

Wednesday - Took my mom to Emory for her three month cancer scan and blood work. Go back next week to find out the results. She got to take the last three months off from treatment because the cancer lesions had not spread or grown very much. Thyroid cancer can be extremely slow growing as far as cancers go. Please pray that again the three lesions that are present have not grown and that no new lesions have spread anywhere else. These last three months have been great, mom has felt wonderful and put weight back on. Grace stayed with my dad for the day while we were gone. Sent her with some schoolwork to do on her own and then took her to her art lesson late in the afternoon.

Thursday - Yesterday was school in the morning, out for lunch and tone chimes class in the afternoon. We all went to my mom's house for dinner last night and watched old family videos.

On the school front: In Science we are studying weather. Grace loves Bill Nye the Science Guy and have been watching some of his videos about Atmosphere, Wind and The Water Cycle. Updating our weather chart daily, following current hurricanes, etc. In History just finished a book about The Story of the Chicago Fire and have started The Story of the San Fransisco Earthquake. Next week will be a small study on Alexander Graham Bell. Math has been all about measurement. Metric and English Standard. Grace finished the fourth Percy Jackson book and is anxiously waiting for the fifth to be delivered.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It has been so great to get back with our drama group from last year. Many new faces this year also. The elementary class has 14 students and the high school class has 11 students. Today both classes met together. Last week was actually our first class. Last week and this week we have focused on getting the kids out of their shells with drama games. Most of our students are returning from last year and really have no need to come out of their shells because they are already very used to performing. Grace really loves this group and was so excited to get back to it. Also it helps that her closest friend is taking drama this year. This semester we will be focusing on short skits and one Christian drama that we will perform in November. Next semester we will be performing the musical of Alice in Wonderland. Everyone excited about that. Doing musicals is a tradition with this drama group. Two years ago we did a musical of The Secret Garden and last year we did two musicals - Willy Wonka and The Music Man. This group spent alot of time together last year with practices and it is great to get back together for the new year.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nature at It's Best

These black cap chickadees visit our yard daily. They are a joy to watch feeding in the woods right out side my window.
I have been trying to get this shot for four days and even this one turned out a little blurry. At my desk each morning I look through the window and there is a black cap chickadee that comes a feeds off of a wild sunflower plant in the woods. For quite a while this summer the birds just kind of disappeared, I think because of the amount of squirrels that were present. But now in the past 2-3 weeks they have reappeared. I have missed them so much.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pioneer Days at Travelers Rest

Travelers Rest was a Stagecoach Inn during the 1800's in North Georgia. Once or twice a year they have a Pioneer Days. People from the community come out to show how things were done back in the day, dress up and dance.

Here is Grace learning to weave with a loom.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Taking the Day Off

Decided to take the day off from school today. A historical house in our community (The Charm House) is having an estate sale today. We have always wanted to go inside. Through the years the house has been a hospital, bed and breakfast, and rented out for events. Right now it is own by an individual. Doubt we can afford anything in it but thought we would do a walk through. Also this afternoon is home school bowl and skate at the local skating rink. After that we have to go make a big grocery trip. Last night Grace went to the local fair with her grandmother and aunt, had a good time. Tomorrow is her first drama workshop with the community theater then we are heading out to a Pioneer Days at another local historic spot and Grace is having a friend spend the night. Lots going on so thought a break from school might be in order to prepare for all of this.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Grace's Projects

Last night Grace finished her entry for this week's Lego quest challenge. A very traditional playground with monkey bars, picnic table, seesaw, slide and merry go round. The merry go round spins and the seesaw goes up and down. Grace really enjoys the Lego challenges
Next Grace has been working on hand drawn note cards to sell at our church's holiday bazaar. Her and hubby will have a table together with Scott selling hand made walking sticks. I was going to participate also until I found out that the Simply Charlotte Mason Seminar was on the same day. Grace may decided to also create some jewelry twine, etc. Most of the proceeds will go to our church's building fund which built our family life center about three years ago. We agreed to let her keep a little. I think I still might bake a couple of items for them to take and sell.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some Changes

This year our Science has focused on the human body using Jeannie Fulbright's new book. We have accomplished the first three chapter. On Friday we went on a field trip about weather, climate and the water cycle. After not studying very much about it decided it was time to learn a little more. I picked up the above packet to make us a weather station to record weather in our area. The picture below shows the stickers of fronts, etc. to place on the map and are reusable. It also came with a guide on how to use everything and some hands on activities. So for the next couple of week we will be studying weather, recording our local weather in a journal. and learning a little about clouds too. I think we may end up stretching out the human body book over two years and supplementing other science materials in between for variety. Grace is also reading a book we go from the library about the rain forest.

Also decided to move us back in to the sun room which houses most of our school materials. Have been at the dining room table for the last 5 months but needed a change. Also needed wall space - none in the dining room, all windows - so sun room it is. We redid this desk last year and it did have the desk top computer on it which has since died which opens it up to be Grace's desk each day. We will see how this works out.


I forgot to post yesterday. But it is not surprising because yesterday was kind of busy. Monday are always a little tough with school. Grace has to get herself back in the mindset of school work just about every Monday or after holidays, etc. We were able to finish in about three years. Would not have taken that long if she had not had a little meltdown with math. Isn't always math. The bane of our existence. Grace struggles with math period. There is just no getting around it. She struggles with abstract thinking, new concepts, relearning concepts we haven't done in a while, keeping her facts memorized - in other words just about everything. This year in math I put her curriculum together myself based on the table of contents in a 6th grade Teaching Textbook, with free worksheets from the internet. Last year we spent half the year on Fractions through Life of Fred. The whole purpose of the curriculum for this year is to prepare her for the standardized test by law we have to take every three years. At the point I am just not going to worry about it any more. I know she struggles with it and I don't need a test to tell me that. On to bigger and brighter things. Yesterday was the start of our year in drama at Trinity Classical School. We had 14 students show up for the elementary class and the high school class will meet today. This first semester we will focus on training, skits and a short christian play and we will only be attending once a week on Monday for 1 1/2 hours. Next semester we will meet two days a week with the high school kids to prepare for the musical of Alice in Wonderland. Grace was thrilled to get back to her old stomping grounds. Seeing old friends again from last years drama group and getting to know some new students. Grace is also preparing for a Holiday Bazaar our church is putting on in November. She will be making some items to sell, keeping a little of the money and donating the rest to our church's building fund.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Quiet Weekend

For the most part this weekend was very quiet and we stayed at the house. Here is how it kind of broke down:
Saturday - Woke up to rain falling which bummed out Grace because that meant no yard sales, but we actually needed the rain. Haven't seen any in about three weeks. Helped a friend cook a meal for a home school family in our support group whose mother had surgery this week. Went over to my mom's house and hubby walked her dog while we visited and watched House Hunters International.
Sunday - Got up and went to church. After church went out to lunch with some friends. Back to church again in the later afternoon for our first choir practice to get ready for our Christmas program. Can you believe Christmas is already so close? I can't. No where near prepared. Christmas will definitely be tighter this year. Just not enough cash to go around. Luckily last year we started planning ahead and preparing our children about the three present rule. Last year was the first year we only gave three gifts to each of them and life was good, no one felt cheated out of anything. This year it will probably be the same.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Elachee Nature Center

Today we went on our first field trip of the school year. Elachee Nature Center is about 45 minutes from us. A friend and her group of kids that she schools at her house asked us to come along. Elachee can put together just about any program you wish. Today's program was about weather and the water cycle. The first part of class was an overview about weather and how weather is created. Next the kids did an activity with 9 stations of possible sites of water. Each location had a six sided die that you rolled to tell you where to go next. Some examples were you evaporated now go to the cloud location. At the end of the trip the kids did a small hike on the nature trails to view how weather has affected trees, creeks, etc. Me and Grace took advantage of being in the area and went out to lunch after the field trip. Then to a bigger library. I was looking for materials to read and research about chickens, homesteading, etc. Found a enormous stockpile of Mother Earth News dating back 5 years. Unfortunately they will not let you check them out like our local library does and I didn't have the time to sit and read them all. I think I might ask my parents for a subscription for Christmas.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Great Finds

This first pic is of a find I actually found this past Spring at our home school convention. Many of you know that I love for many CM type curriculum. This study guide and book is about the Journey from Egypt to Caanan. Very inexpensive, 6.95 each. I would recommend looking at all Sandi Queen's history books and study guides. We have never been disappointed.
Our local library has a magazine discard cart for anyone in the community to drop off old magazines and take some. Yesterday I lucked out and found 8 current National Geographics and some Audubon. Hubby loves National Geographics. Then today while Grace was in her Tone Chimes class I had some time to kill and went to another branch of our library system. They had a book cart with free books and a magazine cart with freebies also. I got four Janet Oke books and an old Mother Earth News mag as well as a Smithsonian and Far Above Rubies. I feel like I hit the jackpot over the past couple of days.


Recently I have been reading alot about self-sufficiency, homesteading, etc. Books from the library, blogs and magazines. So much to learn and choose from. Living a life of simplicity is really not that simple. So much research to be done and lots of trail and error. One of my favorite blogs has a post this week about aquaponics. This is something completely new to me. We have been discussing how we would love to have a fish pond in our front island to grow fish to eat. Probably trout or catfish. The aquaponics systems enables you to do this without having to use alot of space. We wouldn't buy a system but build one of our own. You know how Scott is about reusing items that we have found, plus with him working for a steel company there is bound to be something we could use. Maybe thinking of implementing this next year. Another new blog I have found interesting is With chickens now part of our life I have been reading everything I can get my hands on to learn more. Also discussing the possibility of adding on to the coop in the Spring and adding more chickens. Bigger and better layers. Also interested in getting a subscription to this magazine I read so many blogs sometimes I forget to share the info with everyone else. I will try to make it a weekly occurrence to share some of the blogs I find interesting. You might like them too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to School After the Holiday

Went well today even with being off for a three day weekend. We started a new history study this week - Immigration/Titanic. I really wanted us to study the Titanic but it really isn't American History. So I decided to tie it in with an Immigration study. Science continues with The Muscular System. Last week Grace started her tone chimes class and loves it. She doesn't have any real musical training, but with tone chimes it really doesn't matter. That class is every Thursday afternoon. Today she started with a pottery class that will be held every Tuesday. After the class she went home with a friend to hang out for a few hours. Got some time to myself to plan lessons for tomorrow, etc.

Tomorrow holds for us school in the morning, trip to the library, dropping off recycling items at the recycling center, and an art lesson. We are starting something fun tomorrow that I will blog about then.

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Clothesline

My old clothes line came down to build the chicken coop. We have had the chickens for about six weeks now and I really wanted my clothes line back. So today hubby ran off to Lowes to get some clothes line cord and he built me a new one. Much better than the old one. Now back to saving some money by not running the dryer so much. Sorry about the blurry pics, taken through my bedroom window. Speaking of saving money, the past three days we have had cooler weather and haven't had to run the AC at all. The bottom pick is of the path from the back patio to the chicken coop. Couldn't remember if I had posted a picture of the completed project.

So Excited!

Just found out from my home school group that we are hosting another Sonya Schafer seminar from Simply Charlotte Mason in November. She was here in February and it was great. We are lucky because we only live close to her home location. Such a nice woman. Not sure yet what we will be learning, so many to choose from. I would really like to see her new Books and Things or maybe Laying Down the Rails. Quite frankly I would pay to listen to her talk about anything that has to do with Charlotte Mason.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Baking Day and Grocery Shopping

Went for groceries this morning with my mom. Spent 119.00. Not to bad for what I got. I do still need to go to one more place for meats. Have you noticed that most families can hardly afford to put meat on the table these days. I sure have noticed. I have also started having somewhat of a conscience these last few months about what type of eggs, chicken and beef that I am buying. I wouldn't say that I am buying organic, but surely cage free eggs, free range chicken and grass fed beef. Ever since we started having chickens at our own home my feelings have started to change about how we eat meat. I think my family would revolt if I tried meatless but at least meatless a couple of days a week. Our own chickens are young and we probably won't get any eggs until Spring. Hopefully we might get more chickens in the Spring that will be better layers, since we have now game hens and a bantam. Also looking in to possibly some ducks. But I don't think we could kill them to eat, too attached. If we had to live off our own land we would definitely be vegetarians. Today is also a big baking day. Already finished pound cake (what I eat for breakfast sometimes with a glass of milk), brownies for Travis, and tonight granola for lunches and snacks. This is the first time I have not brought back from the grocery store some type of cookie, snack cake, etc. I am really going to try hard to cook all snacks and lunch items from now on. Wish choc. chips were not so high. 6.58 for a big bag, but that will be used for cookies over the next two weeks, muffins and some to go in the granola. I still really need to learn how to cook hamburger and hot dog buns as well as dinner rolls. All a process, learning every day.

Friday, September 3, 2010


We moved to the North GA mountain area 7 years ago to a small, great community. I am ashamed to say that since moving her we have not recycled anything. Obviously my husband repurposes alot of items such as wood, metal, etc. Some of it is actually in our house as furniture, flooring, chicken coop, etc. Our town does not have curbside recycling. In the past 6 - 8 mths living a more simple life and taking better care of the Earth has been on my mind. We brought home a book about being more "green" and Grace read it. We decided to pick two items from the book to start doing and recycling was top on the list. Until you start recycling you just don't realize how much plastic goes in to your trash. In the picture above the blue bin is full and the crate above it, and this is just from about three weeks of saving items. In town there are three designated areas to drop items off for recycling. Unfortunately we are only talking about plastic with numbers 1 & 2, glass, aluminum, and newspaper. But I guess that is better than nothing. Next I need to start really watching what I buy and what sort of packaging it is in.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Foreign Language

I am stumped. This year had planned to use some computer discs of German that we already had to just mess around with, but not really feeling it. I would really like for Grace to start Latin or Spanish. Does anyone out there have a favorite curriculum or program for either. I am truly leaning toward Latin. I want to start off with something very easy going and fun. Remember that she is already in 6th grade but has not had any Latin at all. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lego Quest Challenge

If you have lego crazy kids you really need to visit The new challenge is up for this week. Building bridges. The above pic is Grace's entry for this week. Sometimes the challenges are simple like this weeks and sometimes it really makes the kids think.