Sunday, December 30, 2012

Scripture Sunday

As I was reading "Reverence for God is the Beginning of Wisdom", an article from the January 2013 Ensign, the following scripture spoke to me and I wanted to share it with you...

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."  ~ James 1:5 (emphasis added)


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Project-Based Homeschooling


I recently purchased and read 'Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners' by Lori Pickert.  I have read many positive reviews about this book and have to agree with all of them.  This book is for all homeschool parents, from seasoned to new. 

It has been weighing on my heart to become a mentor to my children instead of a homeschool mom/teacher. This book has inspired me to do just that.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Goals

At the beginning of this year, I made a list of goals for my children and myself.
  • Nick and Sam to read at least 1 chapter book per month.  
  • Read Scriptures Daily
  • Learn at least 1 new thing a day
  • Move upstairs to new living space
  • Open an Etsy shop.
How did we do?

  • Nick and Sam exceeded their goal.  I couldn't be more pleased with their reading and I am so happy that they enjoy books.  Nick's choices have been more non-fiction/biography books...'Who Was/Is books.  He has also read some fiction books as well.  Sam read quite a few Magic Tree House books and is starting to challenge herself with higher grade level books.
  • Read Scriptures Daily...I had good intentions on this one.  I did not fulfill this goal but will be trying again in 2013.
  • Learn at least 1 new thing a day....I used to keep track of this, but I was trying to hard to learn something new and my goal was to let the learning happen naturally.  So, yes...this goal was not a successful one either.
  • Move upstairs to new living space...financial reason prohibited this from happening.  Hoping and praying this will happen sometime in 2013.
  • Open an Etsy shop...a goal that should never have been made.  Right now I do not have the time to craft and perhaps one of these days/years it will happen, but the time is not now.
Have I thought of any goals for 2013?  You bet.  I have been thinking about goals and what I would like to accomplish in 2013.  The following are a few things that I have in mind for goals.
  1. Nick and Sam to continue their reading goal.  
  2. Be a mentor to my children instead of a homeschool mom.  
  3. Nick and Sam to expand their interests
  4. Read Scriptures Daily with Nick and Sam
  5. Would like to work from home - not sure if this is classified as a goal, but it is something that I have been thinking about.
  6. Move upstairs to new living space - another repeat from 2012, but oh I do hope it is an accomplished goal for 2013.
The list will be finalized by Jan 1st. and posted on my sidebar.

Do you have any goals for 2013?  Share them in the comments...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

A couple of pictures from our Christmas fun...





Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Good Tidings of Great Joy...

The Birth of Jesus Christ
I enjoyed this message from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and wanted to share it with you. 

Merry Christmas :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

No Week Ending Posts...Christmas Vacation

We are taking the rest of 2012 off from any formal lessons.  The kids will continue reading and whatever else they decide to do, but as for week ending posts...not until 2013.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Random Things for 12-12-12

1. The sun is shining, very little cloud cover and the ground is brown.  Not a typical December day.

2. I love Red Vines licorice.  The taste is so delicious...not sweet like the other licorice brands.  Red Vines remind me of movie theaters, which I have not stepped foot in since 2002.

3. The kids have been to 2 Christmas parties so far.  I say so far because tonight will be the third and final one.  The town adjacent to us is having a Town Wide Christmas celebration.  All of the businesses on main street will be opened and Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be visiting with children at town's hardware store.  A lot of fun will be had by all.

4. Meeting up with our library friends is always a fun thing, especially tonight.(see #3)

5. I had an awesome lunch earlier this week.  Our town's Road Agent made a Shepherd's Pie and he thought I would like some for lunch.  He was right and the pie was yummy!

6. I have read 3 books in the past week. It usually takes me a good week or two to read one book.  But these last 3 were page turners and I couldn't put them down.  The house didn't look that great after reading, but sometimes a girl has to finish a good read before anything else can be done.

7. Nick and Sam have been playing very well together.  They aren't arguing as much and hopefully this will last.  (I know, wishful thinking).  They have been busy building lego cities.

8.  Homeschool, or in our case lately, Unschool has been fun.  The kids are reading quite a bit, using their computer time wisely, using their imaginations, cooking, baking, etc.  Sometimes I do worry that they are not doing enough, but then I am brought to reality by what they tell me about their learning journey.

9. Scott has been working on our heating system.  A few runs to the hardware store and now all is good, for at least this year into next.  He has also been working on our upstairs bathroom.  It is almost finished and pretty soon we won't have to go downstairs to shower.

10. Work has been pretty good.  A bit hectic at times and slow at other times.  I am gearing up to close out 2012 and open 2013.  This will take place over the next few weeks.  I am a little nervous, but I am getting help from a great friend.  It is a learning experience that I look forward to.

11. Our family is doing good.  We haven't done anything extravagant this year, except for going to RI over a weekend this past summer.  We have stayed around the house, hiked in the woods, and pretty much kept to ourselves. 

12.  80's music rocks!  I listen to it daily, especially at work.  Makes the day go fast and sometimes just sitting back and listening to music from my childhood brings back fun memories with my friends. 


12 random things on 12-12-12...Hope your day has been a good one :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Isaiah 7:14

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Looking Back on Week 24

This week, the kids and I did the following:
  • Read Books - Nick finished another chapter book, "Louis Braille: The Boy Who Invented Books for the Blind", and Sam has started "By The Shores of Silver Lake". 
  • Computer Time
  • Unit Study with me:  Expedition: Israel.  So far we have learned about 2 places in Israel (Jerusalem and Bethlehem), 2 types of animals (Canaan Dog and Dugong), 2 types of food (Almonds and Salt), 2 Heroes of Israel (Jacob and Moses) and a couple of Hebrew words.  We are taking our time with this unit study and the kids are are enjoying each moment.
  • Sam made corn muffins (from a mix) all by herself.  I did supervise, but she read the recipe, did the measurements, stirred and filled the muffin cups.  She did learn a really good lesson...to always make sure the lumps are gone or else you'll get a mouthful of mix.
  • Library day (always a positive)
The kids had a pretty good week in that they didn't argue very much.  This is a welcome blessing!

Yesterday, we took the kids to a Christmas Party and they had a good time.

The highlight of the week was from today. Before I tell you what happened, I will have to tell you that about 5 months ago, Nick and Sam wrote to Mary Pope Osborne.  If you are not familiar with her, she writes the Magic Tree House series.  I wasn't sure if the kids would hear anything back, but today they did. Nick and Sam received a letter Mary Pope Osborne.  They were pretty excited, too!  (i am sure it was a form letter, but it was fun to see their eyes light up).  

Hope you had a good week like we did :)

The Captain's Bride - review





"Leaving their home in Norway behind, Elsa and Peder Ramsted set out to carve a new life in a young country with their closest friends, including Kaatje Janssen, a woman seeking a new beginning for the sake of her marriage and the child growing within her; Elsa's sister Tora, a sly young vixen who knows just what she wants - and exactly how to get it; and Karl Martensen, a man torn between his friendship for Peder and a forbidden, secret love for Elsa, a man tormented by emotions that threaten to ruin them all." (taken from the back cover of the book)

'The Captain's Bride', written by Lisa Tawn Bergren, is book one of three in the Northern Lights Series.  In this book, you are introduced to Elsa and Peder Ramsted, Kaatje and Soren Janssen, Tora Anders (Elsa's younger sister), Karl Martensen and many other characters that intertwine in each other's life story.  The journey for each begins in Norway at the wedding of Elsa and Peder.  From there, the story has twists and turns and each character finds themselves in America following their own dreams.  Click here to read the first chapter.

I enjoyed reading this book and found the storyline of each character easy to follow.  The only thing that I can find fault with the story is the ending.  I was expecting more, but since there is book two and three in this series, I can understand why the author ended the book in the way she did...I look forward to reading book two in the near future.

(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Isaiah 9:6

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Spirit of CHRISTmas



(Christmas Flash Mob by Journey of Faith at South Bay Galleria)

I saw the above video on Facebook and loved it so much that I wanted to share with you.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Looking Back on Week 23

Week 23 already?  It doesn't seem like it has been that long!  Below is a run-down of what the kids were up to:
  • Practicing writing their full names and mailing address
  • A lot of reading.  Nick finished another chapter book and Sam has started reading 'The First Four Years' by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Played outside in the snow
  • Played a lot of card games
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Helped fix meals
  • Errands with daddy
  • Computer Time
  • Watched a couple of educational movies
  • Vocabulary Cartoons
Hope your week was as relaxing as ours :)

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 30


Today I am thankful for...

Heavenly Father - The many blessings that He has given me and His love for me.  I can't imagine my life without Him.
The Scriptures (KJV Bible & Book of Mormon) - Without them, I would be lost.

I enjoyed this year's Gratitude Challenge.  Some days were more difficult than others, and it was those difficult days that made this challenge a blessing.  A big THANK YOU to Brenda for hosting this challenge once again.

What are you thankful for today?

 Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 29

Today I am thankful for my wonderful husband, Scott. He is my best friend, my rock, has a great shoulder to cry on, is a great dad and a loving husband. 

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 28

Today I am thankful for my back-up assistant at work. I wasn't feeling that great today and am blessed to have a back-up assistant, Peg, who said yes to taking minutes during the Selectmen's meeting tonight.  I have been struggling with the minutes for the last couple of months and have been pondering on a solution.  Well, that solution came today when I asked Peg if she would consider taking minutes for the rest of the year (3 meetings).  She fortunately said 'Yes'. Sometimes a break is needed, even if it is a small one, to clear your thoughts and reduce the stress.

Thank you Peg!!!

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 27





Today I am thankful for the gift of motherhood. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had.  It is also the best job too!  I am so thankful that God blessed me with two loving, fun, energetic children. 




What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happier At Home - review


"One sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick...why?  She was standing right in her own kitchen.  She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home, itself.  'Of all the elements of a happy life', she thought, 'my home is the most important.'  In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home." (portion from the back cover of the book)

Gretchen Rubin dedicates a year (September to August) to focus on making her home a happier place to live for herself as well as her family.  Each month, Gretchen focuses on a particular area within her home...Possessions, Marriage, Parenthood, Family, Time, etc.  If you enjoyed her bestselling book 'The Happiness Project', you will more than likely enjoy 'Happier At Home'.

I give this book a 3 out of 5 rating.  For me it was a so-so read and some of the chapters were slow moving.

(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review)

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 26





Today I am thankful for having a calm Monday after a long holiday weekend.  I know that the rest of the work week will be a bit hectic and having a day of 'calmness before the storm' is greatly welcomed.

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 25





Today I am thankful for a very long weekend.  It was like taking a mini-vacation without having to go anywhere.  Spending quality time with my husband and children and not being held to a schedule was a wonderful blessing.  We put puzzles together, baked pies and cookies, hiked in the woods, talked and enjoyed each others company.

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Looking Back on Week 22

This week was a definite unschool week.  I will just list the activities that Nick and Sam did this week:
  • Read Books
  • Artwork (Nick)
  • Played card games and Yahtzee
  • Made Pancakes (Sam)
  • Helped dad make dinner (Sam)
  • Listened to an audio book about Abraham Lincoln
  • Watched several episodes of Little House on the Prairie Season 3
  • Watched School House Rock
  • Checked on the Science experiment - seeing how long a piece of bread becomes moldy.  The bread is in a jar with a lid that has a couple of holes.  The bread has a few moldy spots and is also drying out.  Nick and I had a conversation about his findings
  • Hiked in the woods and found animal tracks (deer and possible coyote)
  • Helped keep the house clean
  • Nick and Sam helped me make pumpkin pies
  • Nick, Sam and I put together a 550 piece puzzle.  Took a lot of patience for Nick and Sam to focus on finishing the puzzle.  In fact, they didn't want to go to bed last night until it was finished. 
Tomorrow we visit the library.  Looking forward to seeing what books they check out this week.

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 23

Today I am thankful for being able to homeschool Nick and Sam.  I enjoy learning with them and love watching the 'a-ha' moments.  Seeing Nick and Sam expand on their individual interests is fun and rewarding. I thank my friend Tammy Bessett for introducing me to homeschool and answering my never ending questions.

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 22





" That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." ~ Alma 34:38

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 21





Today I am thankful for that wonderful moment of tucking my kids into bed.  I love seeing my children snuggled under their blankets while cuddling a favorite toy.  I cherish this moment every night and realize at the same time that one day in the future, my children will no longer want me to tuck them in. 

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 20

Today I am thankful for stars in the night sky.  Lately, the nights have been clear and the stars have been brilliantly bright.  I have been able to see many constellations that I would not see in a city sky. Sometimes I even find myself playing dot to dot with the stars, especially when I am unable to sleep.

I am so thankful that God created stars.

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 19

Today I am thankful for receiving the November issue of  Ensign Magazine.  This particular issue has all of the talks that were given at the LDS Semi-Annual General Conference which took place at the beginning of October of this year.  I watched a few of the talks, but being able to read all of them is a wonderful blessing.

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 18

Today I am thankful for naps.  When my children were babies, I looked forward to their nap-times so that I could have a little break.  Now that my children are older, I am the one that take the naps. I love napping, especially on the weekends.  It is the only time that I can completely rest my mind and body before a new week begins. 

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 17

Today I am thankful that my children love to read. I started reading to them when they were very young (about a couple of months old). When we started homeschool, I used Five In A Row curriculum.  The many books we have read together has really sparked the love of reading for both of my children. 

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Looking Back on Week 21

Last week I skipped updating the kid's learning week. A lot was going on and tiredness took over.  The kids did their regular reading, computer time and movie time.  They also started a science project to determine how long a piece of bread turns moldy.

This week, the kids did the following:
  • Nick worked in his Vocabulary Cartoons book.  
  • Both Nick and Sam started working in their math workbooks.  
  • We all played several games of Yahtzee.  Great math practice for both Nick and Sam.
  • Computer Time
  • Movie Time
  • They made me birthday cards
  • Sam helped with preparing meals
  • Nick made a transformer figure out of legos
  • Sam worked on a knitting project
  • Nick finished reading another chapter book about Albert Einstein
  • Both Nick and Sam did some copy work from books they have read and even illustrated their pages
Tomorrow is our weekly visit to the library and we will probably do some sort of baking project.

Hope your week was as fun as ours.

2012 Gratitude Challeng - Nov 16

Today I am thankful for having co-workers that understand the frustrations that come from working for a municipality. 

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 15

Today I am thankful for social media (aka: Facebook and Twitter) because it has re-connected me with family and friends that I have not seen in a very long time.  I have reconnected with cousins, aunts and uncles that I have not seen since the early 80's, one of my cousins being Brenda from Garden of Learning

Thank you Facebook for the virtual family reunions!

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 14

Today I am thankful for coming home to a clean house.  Usually when I get home from a long day at work I end up cleaning messes that were left on the floor, counters, kitchen sink, etc.  Not today.  I was pleasantly surprised and thankful that I could relax and spend quality time with my family.

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Monday, November 12, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 12

Today I am thankful for the beautiful warm day we had today.  The kids and I went to the local park and enjoyed the warm sunshine on our faces.  Today is probably the last good day we will see for a while and spending it with my children was a bonus. 

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 11

Today I am thankful for our Veterans.  So many have given their lives to defend our freedoms and not able to come home to their families.  So many have given their time away from families and friends to defend our freedoms and come home to protesters that don't realize that the soldiers they are protesting fought for their 1st Amendment rights.  So many families have sacrificed their husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters and have not been properly thanked.

(unknown photographer)

Thank You to all our Veterans both past and present for defending our freedoms.  Thank You to the families of these Veterans for their sacrifice. Thank You to my Dad and all of my family members who have served and sacrificed so that we can be free.

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit Garden of Learning to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 10





Today I am thankful for some alone time.  I love my family dearly, but there are times when I need a break from the comings and goings of daily life.  Alone time comes every once in a while and when it does, I take full advantage of the peace and quiet.

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit Garden of Learning to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Friday, November 9, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 9





Today I am thankful for cozy jammies.  When I get home from a long work day, the first thing I do is change into my cozy jammies (aka: sweats).  I then relax and enjoy the evening with my family.  Cozy jammies are the best :)

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit Garden of Learning to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 8

Today I am thankful for snow.  We had our first dusting this morning and my daughter was over-the-moon excited to see the flakes falling from the sky.  In fact, she was outside this morning at 7:15 playing in it. 

I know that snow means cold and freezing temps, but it also means water for our well.  The more snow we get in the winter, the less likely our well will go dry in the summer.

(using old picture because camera is currently out-of-order)

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit Garden of Learning to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 7

Today I am thankful that my place of work is about 3 blocks from my house. I know a lot of people that commute 50+ miles each way to and from work on a daily basis.  I can't even begin to imagine how much fuel they use. 

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit Garden of Learning to see what Brenda and others are thankful for today.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 6


Today I am thankful for voting.  I can't imagine living in a country where my vote is not allowed. 

(picture comes from the Facebook page 'Being Conservative')

What are you thankful for?

Please visit Garden of Learning to see what Brenda and others are thankful for today.

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 5

Today I am thankful for Blackie.  He is the most loveable, fun, animated cat I have ever had.  Blackie is more than a pet, he is a part of our family. 



What are you thankful for?

Please visit Garden of Learning to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 4

Today I am thankful for a Day of Rest.  Sunday is the one day a week that I look forward to.  I try to make sure that Sundays are calm, quiet and restful for me and my family.

What are you thankful for today?

To see what others are thankful for, please visit Garden of Learning.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 3

I am thankful for God's creatures that have visited us throughout the year.  
'Berry' visited us quite often.  He enjoyed munching the wild black berries and we loved watching him pull the berry branches down to his mouth.


This little fawn was in the yard for a good 20 minutes.  His momma was nearby making sure he was not getting into trouble.

This family of turkeys visited us quite often.  Seeing the babies in their different growth stages was amazing.

It is fun living in a place where we can observe wild animals in their natural habitat.

What are you thankful for today?

Please visit 'Garden of Learning' to see what Brenda and others are thankful for.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Looking Back on Week 20

This week we had a visitor that messed things up a bit...Hurricane Sandy.  Sandy blew through town and toppled a few trees as well as dumping quite a bit of rain. She also knocked the power out for almost 24 hours.  No floods and no road damage this time around.  We were fortunate, unlike so many others that are still without electricity, food and water.  Please keep them in your prayers!

Nick and Sam read quite a few books, worked in their Vocabulary Cartoons books, played cards (go fish and matching), went on errands with daddy and drew a lot of pictures.  Sam even made a book with several drawings of animals (she doesn't even like to draw, so this was very surprising to me).  Nick wrote me a letter and his handwriting was awesome.  He is my anti-writer too.

Tomorrow is library day and possibly a baking day too.

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 2

Today, I am thankful for humor.  There has been a lot of sadness in the world and sometimes that sadness can be overwhelming.  A little bit of humor can help reduce the sadness, even for just a brief moment...

(this is not photo-shopped)

Please join Brenda over at Garden of Learning to see what others are thankful for :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

2012 Gratitude Challenge - Nov 1



 "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name"  ~ Psalm 92:1


Today begins the 2012 Gratitude Challenge and is being hosted by Brenda over at 'Garden of Learning'. If you would like to participate, head on over to this post to find out how to join this amazing challenge.

Many blessings to all :)



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Looking Back on Week 19

After taking a week off, the kids are back to learning new and fun things.  I actually had lesson plans for them this week, but left it up to them as to how they would go about the activities.  Yes, we are still leaning on the 'Unschooling' side of things, but sometimes a schedule helps  to set off ideas.  So with that, the following is what Nick and Sam did this past week:
  • Nick read "Who Was Roald Dahl?" in 2 days as well as some graphic novels and Sam read quite a few picture books. 
  • For math, Nick did a few problems from a Pythagorus math book about ratios and also did circumference and radius problems.  Sam drew geometric shapes and wrote out some addition problems.  Scott took the kids to K-Mart this week and they were able to spend some of their money as well as figure out how much they could spend.
  • They did some reading about history past.  Sam read about renaissance art and Nick read about Russian immigrants
  • The kids also read about science.  Nick is reading 'Who Was Albert Einstein?' and Sam read about the Human Body
  • Besides computer time, the kids watched 'Drive Thru History'.  Love these videos!!!
  • Today was library day and Sam did some volunteer work which she thought was awesome.
  • Scott took the kids outside to practice target shooting.  Nick's targets were water bottles and Sam's was her pumpkin.  They had a great time.
  • Virtual field-trip to Alaska thanks to my parents :)  (see previous post)
Have a great weekend :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Alaska

Last month my parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  They did it in style too!!!  They took a lot of pictures to share with the family and I thought I would share them with you.  Here is the beauty of Alaska!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Consider The Blessings" - Scripture Sunday Post


Another great talk from the 2012 Semi-Annual General Conference.  I enjoy listening to and learning from President Thomas S. Monson.

Happy Sunday to all :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

No Wrap-up Post This Week

I did a couple of posts this week on what the kids have been up to and felt that I really didn't have too much to add about the rest of the week. 

Tomorrow is our library day and the rest of the day is slated for cleaning and possibly baking.

Have a great weekend :)


Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 Random Things

I have been having a difficult time coming up with things to blog about.  So today, I thought I would blog about 5 random things that have happened this week.
  1. Pretty cold one morning this week that I had to actually scrape off the car windows!  I don't mind the cold weather, but having to scrape the frost this early is a little inconvenient.
  2. Lots of 'transformer' activity from Nick.  He has drawn, played and designed a lego optimus prime.  It keeps him busy and quiet at times.
  3. 2nd Presidential Debate was interesting, especially following the tweets on twitter.  The tweets make the debate a lot of fun and enjoyable.  If I just watched the debate, I would be so stressed out. Thank goodness that there is one debate left...next Monday.  It should be a good one and I am looking forward to, again, following the tweets.
  4. Selectmen's meeting was last night.  It was an ok meeting with a few interesting items discussed.  One of the items was a potential proposal to place a wind farm in our town.  Personally, I am not sure it is a good idea.  It really won't do anything to our current electric bill as the wind farm will be hooked into an electric company that doesn't even service our town.  Having the wind farm may help with our property taxes, as in keeping them low.  But a little more research needs to take place and I will have to ask my brother about wind farms (he used to work for a company that does just this thing).
  5. Sam has been playing away with her stuffies and dolls.  She pretends that she is a teacher, a surgeon, a nurse, a mom and a sister.  She loves to use her imagination and I enjoy watching her play.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

4.6

That was the magnitude of the earthquake we felt about an hour ago. 
Here were our reactions:
  • Scott - looked outside to see if it was windy because he thought it was a big gust of wind
  • Me - laying down with Blackie, I felt the house vibrate and thought it was either the wind or a very low flying big plane
  • Samantha - was sitting in the chair and felt the chair vibrate and thought it was the wind
  • Nick - didn't even phase him
A little while later, the phone rang and it was my friend telling me it was an earthquake.
I then went onto facebook to catch up with my friends and found out it was a 4.6 magnitude quake.

Interesting...to say the least.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lessons from the Prairie

(photo courtesy from Amazon.com)
Everyday, Nick and Sam get to each choose a movie to watch.  Today, Sam chose 'Little House on the Prairie' Season 1.  Both Nick and Sam sat mesmerized watching Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura and Carrie.  Many questions were asked during each episode on disk 1.  Luckily Scott was watching the episodes with them and was able to answer the questions.  The questions then turned to what life was like after 'Little House'.  Nick remembered about a book we have and brought it out to find the answers...

(photo courtesy from Amazon.com)



When I got home from work, I sat and watched a few more episodes of 'Little House' with my kids and I enjoyed each and every minute.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Twice A Bride ~ A Review

"Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.
With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters' beloved Miss Hattie, new developments promise more uncertainty as some unexpected visitors make their way to Cripple Creek.  Will the arrivals threaten the deep family bond of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?
Filled with resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life's unexpected turns, revealing the ways a loving God turns brokenness into beauty." ~ taken from the back cover of 'Twice A Bride'

Mona Hodgson writes a beautiful story of loss and life renewed.  'Twice A Bride' is book 4 in a series about the Sinclair Sisters.  I have not read the first three books, but if they are anything like book four you will not be disappointed.  I am planning to read the whole series and look forward to getting to know the sisters and how they ended up in Cripple Creek.

(disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)

Scripture Sunday

"I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws."  ~ Psalm 119:30

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cookie Math

Did you know that chocolate chip cookies can provide a fun math lesson?  I never really thought about it until I read this blog post. I tweaked the lesson a bit and the fun began.

Nick and Sam had 4 different (brand name) chocolate chip cookies to work with:  Hannaford Break and Bake, Hannaford soft cookies, Keebler and Chips Ahoy.

They had to do the following for each cookie:
  1. Measure the cookie
  2. Describe the appearance of the cookie
  3. Count the amount of chocolate chips on top of the cookie
  4. Count the amount of chocolate chips on the bottom of the cookie
  5. Break the cookie in half and count the chocolate chips in the middle of the cookie
  6. Taste the cookie and rate the taste
  7. State if the cookie is crunchy, chewy or soft.
 After they did the above activity, they had to answer the following questions:
  1. Which cookie had the most chocolate chips?
  2. Which cookie had the least chocolate chips?
  3. Which cookie was the largest?
  4. Did the largest cookie have the most chocolate chips?
  5. Which cookie tasted the best?
My kids enjoyed this activity and look forward to more fun math in the future.

One other thing I forgot to mention...a tall glass of milk is needed, especially when your kids get thirsty from all the yummy cookies!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Looking Back on Week 18

Another week has come and gone.  Learning may not be 'formal' but it is still learning:
  • Computer time - the kids happened onto a game about Jack and Annie.  These are the characters from the Magic Tree House series.  
  • Reading - a lot of graphic novels were read this week as well as a few math books
  • P.E.and Math all in one - Scott and the kids walked about a mile, each way, from our house to my work.  I was pleasantly surprised to see my son running up the steps and into my office.  The kids timed their walk and have figured out that it takes them about 25 minutes each way.  
  • Both the kids and I worked on a few small puzzles.  When I say small, I mean 100 piece puzzles.
  • Nick has figured out how to attach all of his transformers to make one transformer.  He has been working on this little project for about 3 days 
  • Meal preparations - both kids have been helping in the kitchen recently and we have plans to do some baking this weekend
  • Library (this will be taking place tomorrow)
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Come unto Me, O Ye House of Israel"


This is one of many talks that I enjoyed from the 182nd Semi-Annual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Looking Back on Week 17

Week 17 has been an all Unschooling week.  Seems as though we are moving into the Unschooling World and I am ok with it.  To be honest, I have had some reservations about it and have had some sleepless nights on wondering if this is the right way to go.  My children are happier, able to freely choose what they are interested in learning and are having fun. 

The following is what they learned about this week:
  • Sequential Spelling (Nick did 8 lessons and Sam did 1)
  • Reading (chapters books and several math books)
  • Living Math exercise (another trip to Wal-Mart to spend birthday money.  Both kids had to figure out how much they could spend and find items within that price range)
  • HomeEc (helped in the kitchen with cooking meals)
  • Sam had Nick teach her how to transform Nick's transformers
  • Responsibility - Both kids are learning to be responsible with their library books.
  • Computer Time
  • Movie Time
  • Serving Others - we have helped two friends who are out of town by looking in on things and making sure pets are fed.
A great week! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I am Thankful For...

My Husband  - he has been doing a great job being 'Mr. Mom'
My Children - even when they drive be bonkers at times
My Cat - his fun-loving ways
The rain - for replenishing our well
The beautiful Fall Leaves - the reds, oranges and yellows that make the green pop
Friends - near and far
My job - even on the bad days
and most of all
God - for with Him, all things are possible.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens
  And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
  See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
  And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
  The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
  Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
  Fires in the fall!

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, October 1, 2012

October is here!

This year has flown!  September didn't stick around long enough to visit and she dashed away to allow October and the beautiful colors of Fall to shine forth.  (i wish my camera was working because the leaves are starting to turn into radiant reds, vibrant oranges and stunning yellows)

As I sit here pondering what to write in this post, Nick is teaching Sam how to transform Optimus-Prime.  He did a good job too and Sam is learning by doing!  There are days when my kids are like oil and water, but right now, in this moment, Nick and Sam are working together like chocolate chip cookies and a tall glass of milk.



Sunday, September 30, 2012

Scripture Sunday


"Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me."
Alma 32:28

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Belated Birthday Gift

Samantha received a belated gift today...She has been waiting for almost a year and a half.  But today, she finally was able to check out her own books from the library.  Samantha is a proud owner of a library card!!!

Thank you Miss Nancy for doing the honors :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Looking Back on Week 16

This week was pretty much an unschooling week.  Not a whole lot of 'formal lessons', just a lot of daily living and life lessons.

On  Monday, the whole family went to Montshire Museum for Nick and Sam's birthdays.  The kids had a great time and loved all of the hands on activities.  If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend you visit the Montshire.

After visiting the museum, the kids wanted to go to Wal-Mart to spend their birthday money.  It was a great math lesson for them to experience.  They had to find an item within their price range.  They both succeeded and are very happy with their purchases.  I think another trip will take place soon.  Both Nick and Sam received more money and can't wait to spend it. 

For the rest of the week, the kids did the following:
  • Reading - Nick completed another chapter book...The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Sam read a few picture books and is also reading a chapter book about folk songs.
  • Computer Time
  • Helped with fixing meals.  Sam used her imagination and made an apple, carrot, olive salad.  She also, with help from daddy, made pancakes.  
  • Did a couple of lessons from Life of Fred - Edgewood
  • Did two lessons from Sequential Spelling Vol 1.  This is a new item in our household and because I purchased it on DVD, Nick and Sam can use it by themselves.  
  • Watched a few movies. Monday night was a Narnia night.  We watched 'The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe' and 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader'.  We also listened to the audio book 'The Last Battle'.  Tuesday we watched a documentary called 'Monumental' (very good!) Tonight we watched 'Batteries Not Included'.  
Tomorrow is Library Day and on Sunday, if the weather is good, I will be taking the kids to a farm that is having a 'Harvest Day'.  

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 24, 2012