Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Philippians 4:13

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thank you

(I got these pictures off facebook and am not sure who took them)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fearless by Eric Blehm

Today I read Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm. 

Taken from the inside back cover...
"Fearless is the story of a man of extremes, whose courage and determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love of a woman.  It's about a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses and persevered to reach the top tier of the US military.  Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, Adam's final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice."...

I laughed through some of the funny things Adam did...especially the incident with the fire ants. 
I could feel the hurt and pain that his parents went through during the dark times of Adam's life.
I cheered Adam for overcoming his drug addiction.
I cried and mourned the loss of a hero who put his life on the line for his team as well as his family and country.

Fearless is a must read for everyone.

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

Friday, May 25, 2012

Looking Back on Week 1

What a great first week of our new school year.  Both Nick and Sam did a great job with their math and spelling lessons. 

Math has been more of a review, which I am grateful for.  The kids have enjoyed getting back into adding and subtracting.  Nick informed me that he does not like the 'difference' problems, but you want to know a little secret...he is awesome with the 'difference' problems.  Sam has been reviewing her counting, before and after, and tally marks.

Spelling has been an eye-opener for me.  Both Nick and Sam are enjoying each lesson and I have confirmation that this year was a good year to introduce these lessons. 

Math and Spelling are the subjects I do with the kids.  They prefer it this way and have, quite often, told me so.

During the day, while I am at work, the kids are free to do whatever they want.  This week, they helped Scott take apart old printers and power supplies from computers.  Nick learned how to operate a cordless drill/screwdriver and had fun taking things a part.  Also, the kids helped Scott fill the bed of the truck with scrap metal to take to the junk yard.  At the junkyard, Nick got in the back of the truck and helped Scott unload the scrap metal to be weighed.  Because of their help, Scott gave Nick and Sam a couple of dollars each.  The kids thought that was pretty cool.

Another thing that the kids are learning is gun safety.  Scott is teaching them about guns/rifles because we own a few and both he and I feel that the kids need to learn how to behave around guns and to also learn the rules about handling guns. The kids have had experience shooting a BB gun.  They learned about the 22 rifle this week.  They asked if they could make their own targets and Scott said 'Go for it!'.  Once the targets were made, Scott nailed the targets onto a board and set it up about 20 feet away from any objects that could be damaged from bullets.  Nick and Sam, with both Scott and I present, were allowed to shoot off a couple of rounds from the 22.  They loved it and showed us that they can follow rules and behave around guns.  Scott is the only one who loads the 22.  The following are our family rules when it comes to guns/firearms:
  1. Never point a gun at a person.
  2. Never point a gun at an object like a vehicle, house, bikes, etc.
  3. Shoot only at designated places (like the targets that our kids made)
  4. Guns are only used for safety. (this is for our family)
  5. Only daddy (Scott) will carry a gun when we hike in the woods
  6. Only daddy will load the guns
  7. Do not touch a gun without daddy or mommy's permission
  8. Nick and Sam are only allowed to shoot a gun if mommy and daddy are present
  9. Guns are always unloaded before putting away.
  10. Bullets are placed in a safe place, away from the guns
We want our children to be aware of guns and learn about them.  Our town allows people to shoot on their properties.  We hear guns going off quite a bit in the summer months as well as during hunting season.  I have grown up with guns because my family enjoyed to hunt.  I was taught to respect the gun and to obey the rules of a gun.  This is something I am hoping the kids will learn too. So is looking good.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

N is for... in The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

Our family has read the 7 book series a couple of times

We have enjoyed watching the 3 movies...The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and have recently purchased the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre of The Chronicles of Narnia

To be honest, I was hesitant in purchasing the audio version.  I have checked out a few audio books from the library and found them very very boring.  I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the above purchase.  My kids love listening to each book and so do I.

Check out what others are Blogging Through the Alphabet!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Today is a New Year

Nick and Sam have officially started the 2012/2013 homeschool year! 

 For this school year, I had the kids help me choose the curriculum.  They both wanted to get back to Horizons math and asked to have the spelling curriculum as well.  Nick is working in Grade 3 and Sam is working in Grade 2.  Nick is actually grade 4 but I had him repeat a math grade a couple of years ago when we switched the math curriculum.  For his spelling, I wasn't sure about his level, so I chose grade 3 for this too.  Sam hasn't quite finished her grade 1 math, but she wanted to start in grade 2 this year.  We will take time doing the math, but with a little help from Fred, I think both Nick and Sam will do a good job.

As far as history and science...well the kids will be reading a lot of books and I am going to let them take the lead on these subjects.

Basically, this year will be more on the unschooling, delight-directed side.  I am comfortable with this way of learning and I am excited to learn along side Nick and Sam.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

M is for Moon

This is probably one of my favorite pictures that I have ever taken.  A friend of ours gave us an awesome telescope and my husband decided to set it up one night so our children could see the stars and moon. I wanted to share our experience of seeing the moon up close, so I placed the camera lens directly onto the lens of the telescope where you look in and 'click'...the above is the end result.  Aren't the craters amazing?!?!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

End of Year Evaluations

At the end of each school year, if you happen to homeschool in NH, an evaluation is required of your 'students'.  We have a couple of options to choose from...portfolio review, standardized testing, or other review that is set up with your representing agency.

This year, I chose to have my children do standardized testing.  I am not a real fan of them, but I needed to know the strengths and weaknesses of Nick and Sam's learning this past year.  I quickly found out that their reading and comprehension is excellent, language arts are great and their sentence structure is beyond what I expected.  When it comes to math, Nick needs a little work with multiplication and Sam is right where she needs to be.

2011/2012 year is officially over!!!

2012/2013 is barely beginning with Life of Fred - Edgewood. Samantha has requested to start Horizons Math next week.  The month break between the school years has now dwindled to 2 weeks.  Thank goodness we school year round.   

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Can you imagine living in a world of 'sameness'?  What about being assigned, at the age of 12, the job you will have the rest of your life?  If you can't imagine it, then I suggest you read The Giver by Lois Lowry.

The wonderful librarians recommended that I read this book and I am glad they did.  I had an idea of what to expect because I have read other books by the same author.  What I didn't expect was the way this book made me think and feel about colors, memories, life lessons, etc.  Like the librarians, I also recommend this book.  This book is considered a 'junior fiction' in our library (ages 9+).  My personal opinion,  I would wait until my children were a bit older before I have them read this...around 11 or  12 years old.

Thanks Amy and Nancy for your recommendation!  Looking forward to reading your next one...whatever that may be :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

L is for...

Life of Fred!

Half way through our 2011/2012 year, my kids started to lose their enthusiasm with math. They were hitting road blocks and fighting me almost everyday to NOT do their math lessons.  The frustration level was high!  So I did what I usually do to seek guidance...I clicked over to FIAR to find out what others were using for math.  This is where I heard about Life of Fred - Elementary math series.  I read reviews and decided to give Fred a try.  There are 10 books in the elementary series and we, the kids and I, are having a blast learning about math and other tidbits found in each book.

Little did I know how much Life of Fred would change our attitudes, for the better, toward math.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

To Be Perfectly Honest - review

Have you ever been challenged to do something that you never thought you could do?  What about telling the truth for a whole year?  Could you do it?  Well, Phil Callaway was given this very challenge and he takes you on a year long journey through his ups and downs, positives and negatives, and humor of telling the truth...most of the time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to all of my friends and family.   

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

Sunday, May 6, 2012

On 2nd Thought...

Two weeks ago, the kids finished up the 2011/2012 school year.  I figured we would take the whole month of May off and start the 2012/2013 year in June.  Well, as you know, plans can change.

Tomorrow, the kids and I will be starting Life of Fred - Edgewood.  They have been begging (almost) to start Edgewood and I put my foot down last week and said, "No, we need a little break".  I changed my mind and the kids are super happy :) (I know that when I was their age, I ran far away from math) I am very happy that Nick and Sam have a different outlook than I did.

Besides math, the kids are continuing their daily reading and are thriving with the many adventures each book takes them on.

Changing ones mind is a good thing.  I guess learning never stops, even when a good intention break is planned.

Here's to a new year of learning!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

4:15 on Friday

Right now at this time, 4:15pm, on Friday afternoon I am...
  • Listening to 80's music (absolute best music ever!)
  • Watching the traffic drive by
  • Watching the wind blow through the Lilac bush/tree
  • Wondering if it is going to rain...looks like it
  • Waiting for the weekend to begin (15 more minutes to go)
It has been a long week and I am looking forward to being home with my family, relaxing and catching up on things that didn't get done during the week.

Here's to a great weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

K is for...


Last year, my children were introduced to Knitting by my mother.  My son knitted once (the first two pictures) and my daughter has enjoyed knitting ever since that first introduction. The last picture is a project that Sam and I worked together.

I haven't knitted anything since that day and feel bad that I haven't started any projects.  One of these days I will actually sit down and knit something fun.  I have several ideas in my mind, but they won't get done unless I pick up the yarn and needles.

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