Thursday, May 31, 2012

Update Time

Lots going on at the moment with not alot of time to blog.
  • Exercise - Today finished the first week of Couch to 5k. First two days of running not to bad but this morning was not fun. Pain in my calves and shins. Next week I will probably repeat week one of 5 minutes walk  then 60 seconds run/ 90 seconds walk. No jazzercise this week because of holiday on Monday and doctor visit on Wednesday. Hoping to go in the morning as along as shins and calves are better. Not sure if the Jazzercise challenge will work with the Couch to 5k challenge, it would mean exercise 7 days a week and not sure if this 45 year old body can take that, but I am going to try. Grace is participating right along beside me and no problems to report on her part. be young.
  • Health - Took my mom to her three month appt yesterday for cancer screening. The week before she did bloodwork and a petscan. Petscan shows brightly lit up nodules in the lungs (metathesized from thyroid cancer). This means probably within the year she will require some type of treatment. This is like our 12th year of living with thyroid cancer with no treatments for the past two years.
  • Drama - Gearing up for performances next week of The Jungle Book. One regular practice tomorrow then Monday - Thursday will be 10 - 3 each day with performances on Thursday and Friday night. Looking forward to some down time. Pray for us, we are no where close to performance ready.
  • School - School has been out for us for a couple of weeks. Still lots of activities and discussion going on. For the summer I want her to do a daily devotion, read for 30 minutes, do some creative for 30 minutes and something physical for 30 minutes. If I can get her to accomplish this each day I will feel good about the summer break.
Some upcoming activities are : drama performance with a one week drama camp, volunteering for two weeks of art camps, and lots of exercise.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer Bucket List

We just joined the Happy Family Movement's Summer Bucket Challenge. Of course our bucket list might be a little different than others with having only one child that is turning 13 in two weeks. If you would like to join up visit or click on the image below.
  • Sign up for library summer reading program
  • Couch to 5k jogging challenge
  • Jazzercise June and July challenge
  • Go Fishing
  • Swimming at the river
  • Trip to the big library and farmer's market in Spout Springs
  • Ice Cream and Miniature Golf
  • Read Aloud one fun book together
  • Have friends over for a sleep over
  • Volunteer at 2 art camps
  • Volunteer for VBS at church
summer bucket list challenge

Baby Chickens Growing Up

I just realized last night that I haven't posted any updates of the babies. All seven are healthy and growing in two separate nurseries. Just switched the chicks to non-medicated chick feed so that in two weeks I can move both moms back in the main coop and combine the 7 baby chicks in to one nursery. Hoping everyone gets along.

New Exercise Goals

The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan  Me and Grace have set a couple of goals to challenge ourselves over the summer. I have always wanted to run but never really got past the shin splints and pains of the beginning to go any further. A couple of the blogs I read mentioned the Coach to 5k program. I really have no interest in running in a 5k but would like to be able to run 3 miles a day  a couple of times a week. This program gets you started slow with increments of jogging and walking to eventually build up to three miles of jogging in just 9 weeks. The other challenge is through Jazzercise, for the months of June and July. Grace and myself will team up and if we get a combine total of 60 classes attended we will win t-shirts. I mostly want to do the two challenges because I have been at a plateau of 169 pounds for 2 months and really need to step up my game. I hope by August to have lost another 10 pounds which is only 2 pounds a week. I think Grace would also like to loose the same. Wish us luck!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Notgrass Review - Olympics Unit

Sports & PE (Ages 7-12)   
About 6-8 weeks ago I made a purchase from the Notgrass company that I was very happy with, A Record of Learning Lifestyle Journal. I contact the company to let them know I would really like to review some of their products on my blog. Within 1-2 days I was contacted and they graciously emailed me the Olympic Games Ebook. The ebook contains 40 lessons about Olympic history and events of the summer and winter games. I would say the age recommendation is right on the money. Grace is 12 and the puzzles, etc. seemed a little easy and young for her, but the text was informative and she learned alot. I would say her favorite parts were learning about the different events and the host cities. We live close to Atlanta which was a former host city of the Olympics. This opened up many discussions about how the city is picked, etc. Also I was able to point out the Georgia Tech dorms that were once part of the Olympic Village on our last trip down to the home school convention. As a family we had also visited Centennial Olympic Park but Grace didn't realize until the unit that it was also built for the Olympic games in Atlanta. This would be a great unit to familiarize students with the Olympic history for the upcoming games in London. You can purchase this as an ebook ($4.95) or print ($9.95) from

*The Notgrass company graciously sent me this free ebook for my humble opinion.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another Fellowship Opportunity

Today was another fun day for Acts of Faith.
The family of one of the members of our group owns a horseback riding and zipline center. So today was all about some quality time together for the group. Only one member of the group was not able to attend. Later it was pizza for dinner and a game of barn tag for about 4 hours.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Biggest Loser

Grace has become obsessed with watching past seasons of Biggest Loser on Netflix. I was hoping it would inspire her a little to add more exercise and better eating habits, but so far that has not occurred. But the episodes that I have watched have really inspired me. As I have mentioned before both me and Grace attend Jazzercise classes three times a week. For the longest time that was really all I could work into my schedule and my health was not the best either. But now that we figured out I was anemic and have brought my blood count back up I feel really good. So last week I decided we would add at least two more exercise days to the regimen. Those two days would consist of walking/jogging in our neighborhood. Of course I make Grace go as well. With school being finished I feel we can really accomplish some good work with our bodies and health throughout the summer. Grace's birthday is coming up and I know she would really love to get a wii. If the money materializes I just might do it and get the wii fit plus with the Biggest Loser games. She would be so surprised.

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's Official

On August 14th 2012 a close friend and myself will begin an adventure of running a fine arts cooperative "Creative Christian Cooperative". For the past 3-4 years we have worked together running a theatre group of mostly homeschoolers and some public school kids. Over the past few months God has really opened some doors for us to expand this program. We will be moving to a new location and offering more classes. To be specific art, drama, dance, tone chimes and show choir. Obviously we are very excited. This program will take place two afternoon a week at a very low cost. All the teachers at this point are volunteering their time but in the next 1-2 years we hope to have our own facility and broaden the scope even more. We are very excited to help youth find their strengths and gifts then go out and share God's blessings with the community. If you think about it please pray for this new organization, that it will take off and we will get many students to sign up and be excited about sharing God's word with the world through fine arts.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Very Busy Weekend

Saturday morning we walked with the Jazzercise float in the 50th annual Mountain Laurel Parade. This was the biggest parade our little town has seen in a while. I would estimate between 30-40 organizations were in the parade consisting of motorcycles, cars, floats, horses, and trick cars. It was alot of waiting around (1 hour in the sun) for a short walk through our town square. But it was fun and both me and Grace receive 5 attendance points each to reach toward our goal of getting a free t-shirt from Jazzercise for attending 150 classes in a calendar year.
Acts of Faith performed for the last time this year at an outdoor venue on Saturday night. Then tonight we had a cookout at one of the members homes. This group is very close and loves spending time together. We all had alot of fun this weekend but there was also some sadness. Two of our members will be leaving the group with one transferring to a college in another sate and one moving with her family. Of course we have another group celebration scheduled on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Living Well Wednesdays

  This will be my first link up to Living Well Wednesdays. I guess today I would like to talk about my renewed commitment to teach my children more about their relationship with God. As a family we have always gone to church, read the Bible, and included religious studies with our homeschool curriculum. But I felt there was so much more that needed to be done. When I thought back on everything I have taught my children, it really didn't include having an actual personal relationship with God and how to really pray. So recently we started more time with daily devotions together and talking to them about how to actually pray or have a conversation with God. This has opened up many discussions about faith, how can we know God is listening, what do I pray for, etc. I have also renewed my commitment to more private time with God by joining the online Bible study at Good Morning Girls on the Proverbs 31 Woman. I would encourage each of you to take time every day to have discussions with your children about God and his ultimate role in their lives.

Daily Devotionals

Who is God?   We have started Who Is God? from Apologia as our daily family devotional. I really like the format of this book and the stories they use to get a point across to a child or pre-teen is just brilliant. There are only 10 lessons in this book and with us reading it 7 days a week, we will definitely need the next in the series soon. Grace had started asking alot of questions recently that really warranted getting something to add to daily Bible reading. Lessons included in Who Is God?:
  • WhereAm I Building My Life
  • How Can I Know What's True?
  • What is God Like? Part 1What is God Like? Part 2
  • Who Are The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit?
  • If God Created The World, Why Isn't It Perfect?
  • Why Did God Create Me?
  • Will God Meet All My Needs?
  • Why Does Sin Keep Me From Knowing God?
  • Is Jesus The Only Way To God?
If you are not doing family devotions together each day, I would encourage you to start. It always opens up a line of communication with your children about God and starts lots of interesting conversations.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Local Electric Cooperative Field Trip

This field trip was held at our local electric cooperative, most of the kids present were alot younger than Grace but I still learned alot. One of our homeschool dads is an electrical engineer and was able to set up this field trip for the group. First we went outside to see two linemen that had thirty years experience. Demonstrations were held where a hot dog and chicken were fried. Lots of talk about safety and wires that might be on the ground.
I think the most impressive part was visiting the dispatch office and seeing a electrical outage call in action. Here he also answered alot of our questions. The cooperative sent each child home with a nice goody bag. The poster below of the squirrel had me chuckling.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My First Online Bible Study

I have just joined my first online Bible study. Just yesterday I finished reading A Purpose Driven Life for the second time and was wondering "what next". While perusing through blogs I noticed a post about The Proverbs 31 Woman Bible Study hosted through An e-book and study guide are available for free. It actually starts today and runs throughout the summer. I encourage you to check it out and join the Women Living Well community.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Great E-book to Read

Glenn Beck's company Mercury Ink has just released the the first episode of the book Wrath and Righteousness from Chris Stewart. I believe it will be a 10 episode book with one installment being released at a time. I just finished the first 126 pages and thought it was great. If you were a fan of the Left Behind series then you will probably enjoy this also. The battle between good and evil. Subscribers to Glenn Beck can download for free otherwise I believe it is $2.95 per episode. Go to to check it out.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Last Week of School

This week was our official last week of school. All in all not much was accomplished. Grace was sick two of the days with a cold. Monday I went to Jazzercise while Grace stayed home and got a little work done (Olympics Unit, independent reading, literature, Bible, and Heroes of American History) before going to a friend's house in the afternoon for some fellowship. To make up for her missing Jazzercise she rode the exercise bike in the evening. Tuesday we tied up some loose ends in the morning and went out with hubby in the afternoon to look for some used books for the lending library. Wednesday Grace had a sore throat but did go on a walk in the afternoon with us. We played a board game and watched America Story of Us. Thursday she was still sick but we read a couple of chapters from Anne of Green Gables, watch America Story of Us, and play a game. Mostly she was just miserable. Friday was errand day plus independent reading, Olympics unit, Bible, and nearly two hours of drama practice in the afternoon. After dinner we visited my mom and dad. Today she went off with a friend to help with the Post Office food drive. Now playing at said friend's house on the trampoline. Even though this is the last week of official school, I did tell her that we needed to finished the Olympic unit from Notgrass because I need to do a review of it and Anne of Green Gables as well as the remaining episodes of America Story of Us. In my mind I am trying to figure out a way to make it appealing to Grace to start doing school year round. Looking at these two schedules: three weeks of school with one week off or four weeks of school with two weeks off. Of course the weeks we have off she would still need to go to the fine arts co-op and her beginning essay writing class. We could take off most of June and start back the last week of June. I just don't know if she will go for it. Must still do some thinking.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Lamplighter

Lamplighter Publishing is a wonderful company with so many books and audio theatre cds, sometimes it is just impossible to pick which to purchase. I fell in love with Lamplighter books three years ago at our state convention. I knew I only had enough money to purchase one book and one audio drama cd. Boy, it was hard. Well recently Lamplighter has started a program that makes choosing so much easier. My Lamplighter Book Club has three different monthly plan for any amount of money you wish to spend. I have started with the lowest plan where I will receive one book a month for $20.00 This means I will receive 12 books in a year which will help greatly in enlarging my endeavor of a lending library with quality literature. Other plans include: 2 books for $36, 3 books for $51, and 4 books for $64. The other great part of this is the fact that you have a your own queue (just like Netflix) to fill with the books or audio dramas you wish to receive throughout the year. Also you can pick which day of the month to receive and pay for the monthly book/cd. I received my first book right on time last month. Each book and cd is a family treasure to hand down to each generation. I encourage you to visit to find out more information.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


As many of you know I have undertaken the adventure of starting a lending library through our home. Of course I probably have a couple of years before I can start inviting people to check out books. I still have lots of books to collect both in fiction and non fiction. If you know of any great sites to visit with great prices on used books please send it my way. Today we visited a used book store and the local library was having another sale. Hurlburt's Story of the Bible is a book I have wanted for my collection for a good while. The price was never right when I did find it. Today I only paid $3.00. So excited! The picture on the right are all purchases from the library sale. This was also very cheap. As many books you can fit in a bag for $3.00. All total I only spent about $12.00 and got some great books to add to my library.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My New Favorite Company

Notgrass is my new favorite company to purchase curriculum. I actually discovered them before the convention when I purchased a Lifestyle Learning Journal to record our somewhat unschooling activities. I also contact the company about how much I loved their products and asked if they were every in need of a product to be reviewed that I was their girl. Just a day later they sent me a link to download a new Olympic Unit. A review will be ready in about three more weeks. At the convention I got to lay my eyes on their history programs, and I must say, that I just love them. I purchased the second half of America the Beautiful because as Grace has told me many times we have studied the Revolution and Colonial Times to death. The second book deals with more modern times in American History. I promise to do a review of this product sometime during the next school year. We will not be starting it until July.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New SketchFrom Grace

The Best Time of the Year

For most homeschooling moms you would be referring to homeschool conventions. Yesterday as a family we traveled down to Atlanta for our convention. This is our fourth year in a row of going and maybe just the newness has worn off, but it wasn't all that inspiring. Last year's convention would be hard to top with main speakers like Ken Hamm and Voddie Baucham. We decided to pay at the door this time and just do the shopping only pass which gets you into the vendor hall and the used book sale. The used book sale is always crazy. Everything was very picked over by the time we arrived (due to horrible rain and traffic equals an over two hour drive) but I still managed to purchase something for science next year and items for my ever growing lending library. The vendor hall seemed to be the same booths that are set up every year. This event is a Christian event and has stricter guidelines as to who can set up a booth. Don't get me wrong I very much like that but would also like to see some of the other secular products and compare. Something new for me this year is The Notgrass Company. I recently received an Olympic Unit from them that we are finishing out the year with that I am reviewing. Will post about when finished. While visiting their booth yesterday did purchase America the Beautiful for history next year. I always enjoy visiting Queen Homeschool's booth and purchased some of their products for english next year. A new booth this year was Tim Barton from Wallbuilders. If you are not familiar with Wallbuilders I would recommend checking them out. His father is David Barton and makes many appearances on Glenn Beck and Liberty Treehouse. David Barton is a brilliant historian. He has written a new book about Thomas Jefferson that I hope to get soon. Anyway all in all the convention was not as satisfying as usual or encouraging. Of course I didn't attend any workshops or seminars this year so that might be the problem. I think next year I might wait till July and go to the more secular homeschooling convention at Cobb Galleria and see what they have to offer.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

American Revolution

Today for history we watched one episode from "America, The Story of US". Grace didn't want to watch the first episode about the pilgrims and Jamestown so we skipped to the second about the American Revolution. Of course she did say halfway through it that this time in American history is the one she has studied the most. But we did learn a few interesting tidbits that I had never heard before or maybe just didn't remember them from high school or college history classes. Did you know that more people died in the British prisoner of war ships than on the battlefield. Of course we need to remember this was also during a smallpox outbreak. Smallpox had also made it to George Washington and his soldiers at Valley Forge. George Washington had smallpox as a child. He had the doctors try something very peculiar for that time - the doctors made cuts on the arms of the soldiers that were not sick and then transferred material from the sick soldiers lesions to the cuts. Kind of like a vaccine. It actually worked and only 1 out of every 50 soldiers that were treated that way actually died. Tomorrow we will watch the next episode about Westward Expansion.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

End of the School Year

That is the legal school year we are required to put in for the state of Georgia. 180 school day. Today was 175. So officially only 5 more school days. Of course I am not telling Grace this. We will continue with some light work of her choice through the month of May then take a break. Still deciding of our parameters for the new school year. I would like to work year around with three weeks on and one weeks off. But we will see.