Monday, December 29, 2014

Homeschool Update

Looking back through 2014, I realized that I haven't kept up with the weekly wrap-up of what the kids have been learning.  Here is a brief review of the 2014/2015 year (so far):
  • Copy work - Each day during the the week, Nick and Sam have been working on their cursive writing by using scriptures each day.  The scriptures that they copy work are also in cursive.  So learning to read and write cursive each day has been a plus.  
  • Spelling - Right now the kids are working on Sequential Spelling 2.  Before the 2014/2015 year comes to a close, they will be working on Sequential Spelling 3.  This program works well for them and we will continue to use it until I feel they have no more need for it.
  • Book of Mormon - Nick and Sam are reading at their own pace.  They started reading the Book of Mormon in October.  They read 1/2 to a whole chapter each day.
  • Reading - Nick and Sam read at least 1/2 hour each day.  They can read a book of their choosing and if they read more...even better :)
  • Life of Fred - The kids have completed the Elementary Series and the Intermediate Series.  Starting in January they will begin Life of Fred: Fractions.  They are looking forward to learning more about Fred and, of course, math.
  • Mystery of History Volume 1 - The kids are working in Quarter 2 and are almost finished.  We are hoping to complete the book before the end of April.  
  • Science Experiments - We have dabbled a bit with some experiments but it just hasn't taken off.  A different plan is in the works for the remainder of the 2014/2015 year.
As you can see, the lesson load has been a bit relaxed but a lot of other things have made up for it.  The kids work on their own projects that interest them and it has been interesting to see their talents expand.

In January their homeschool lessons will have a bit more substance.  After a bit of research and talking things over with Nick and Sam, the following subjects will be added:
  • Jump-In - This is a writing curriculum for middle-school age.  I know that Sam is not quite the age but I feel this will be good for her.  It is a workbook with activities for the week.  We tried a different curriculum at the beginning of the 2014/2015 year but it was not working out well for the kids.  A lot of confusion and frustration. Jump-in looks user friendly and it can be used for 2 years.
  • Elementary Science - After reviewing and contemplating on what to do with science, the kids and I settled on the following curriculum.  Nick chose Zoology 1 and Sam chose Zoology 3.  Their choices will more than likely take them into the 2015/2016 year.

 Christmas break comes to an end on January 4th and 2014/2015 lessons start up on January 5th.  We are all looking forward to a great year of learning :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world." ~ Ether 12:7

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!


"A Christmas Carol" is playing in the background, Scott and the kids are in the office playing a video game (Christmas present), Blackie is taking a nap, and I am enjoying the peace and quiet of the day.  So many things to be thankful for.  I am most thankful for why we celebrate today...Jesus Christ's birth. 

Merry CHRISTmas to all of my family and friends!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

O Come, O Come Emmanuel


I love listening (and watching) The Piano Guys.  The above video is one of my favorite Christmas songs.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Scripture Sunday - Sister Mayle's favorites

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fir to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." ~ Mosiah 3:19

"O, my beloved brethren, remember the awfulness in transgressing against that Holy God, and also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of that cunning one.  Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.
O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words.  Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel.  Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker.  I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken." ~ 2 Nephi 9:39-40

Sister Mayle completed her mission last week.  She is now home spending time with her family and getting ready to go back to college.  It has been so much fun getting to know Sister Mayle and we miss her tremendously.  Sister Mayle will always have a special place in our hearts as well as in our family.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Scripture Sunday - Sister Crook's Favorites

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." ~ 2 Nephi 25:26

"And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them.  If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?" ~ 1 Nephi 17:50-51


Sister Crook will be transferred this next Tuesday and we are going to miss her tremendously.  Sister Crook will always have a special place in our hearts.  She has just over a year left on her mission and I know that the families and investigators that she comes into contact with will be truly blessed.  We love you, Sister Crook :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Flash Mob - Air Force Style


What a way to start the Christmas season?!?!?

I may be impartial because my dad served in the United Stated Air Force :)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful

This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for:
  • My family - Scott, my wonderful husband, and our children...Nickolas and Samantha
  • My Parents for their love and support
  • My Siblings and their spouses 
  • Nieces and Nephews, even the little ones ;)  
  • Being able to travel to celebrate Sarah's wedding
  • Friends - especially my best friend that I have known since Kindergarten/First Grade.
  • Aunts, Uncles and Cousins - Happy to have visited a few of them at Sarah's wedding.
  • Homeschool!!!!
  • Blackie - love his little hugs
  • The chickens and roo.  Fresh eggs are the best
  • Sister Missionaries...Sister Mayle and Sister Crook have been a blessing to our family.  The kids absolutely love them...so do I
  • Work - even on the stressful days
  • Libraries - books are our friends :)
  • The Bible
  • The Book of Mormon - I'm almost done with my 3rd reading.
  • My Baptism in the LDS Church.  
  • Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
What are you thankful for this year?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one." ~ 3 Nephi 19:23

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank You

(picture from facebook about 3 years ago)

For all the sacrifices and for our freedom,
To all our Veterans, Thank You

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sisters

This photo was taken the first time Sister Crook (L) and Sister Mayle (R) came to our house.  Their personalities were perfectly captured :)  The Sisters are called to serve an 18 month mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.   Sister Crook is about 3 months into her mission and Sister Mayle has about 5 weeks left in her mission. When the time comes, it will be difficult to say 'Good-bye' to both of them. 

I am so grateful and thankful that Heavenly Father placed the Sisters in our lives. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Day After...

Political signs are coming down, the ads on tv and radio have subsided, some are happy and others are not.  I am so thankful of the outcome and am looking forward to see what happens after the swearing in's take place January 3, 2015.

Hopefully there will be a small breather of political influx before the 2016 elections...but I doubt it.

I already have my eye on a potential presidential candidate and I believe he will do a great job!  Who is this person? Dennis Michael Lynch !  Check out his website.  You can also find him on YouTube as well as Facebook

Who do you have your sights on?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Voting Day

Today is 'Voting Day' and I really do hope that those who are eligible will exercise their freedom to vote. 




(photo by: unkown - was taken from facebook)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." ~ Philippians 4:9

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Good weather, 200+ pieces of candy, 2 tired children, 1 black cat...a fun way to end October.

Happy Halloween to all :)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."  ~ 3 Nephi 13:32-33

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A 10 Day Field-Trip

Nick, Sam and I went on a 10 day field-trip that involved 5 airplanes, driving in a van 4 days, physically touching 7 States and Washington D.C. and visiting with family.  When, where, why, and how, you ask?  Let me tell you....

When:  October 2nd to October 12th

Where:  Casper, Wyoming and Reedsport, Oregon

Why:  Sarah's wedding (my niece and cousin to my kids) and visiting family

How:  The kids and I started our journey from Manchester, NH...but due to events that happened in Chicago, IL (one of our lay-over stops), we were flown from Boston, MA to Denver, CO and then to Casper, WY.
  • We ended up sleeping over at the Denver airport on Oct 2nd and didn't arrive in Casper, WY until 3:10pm on Oct 3rd.
On Sunday, Oct 5th, my parents drove me and the kids from Casper, WY to Reedsport, OR.  This little jaunt ended on Wednesday, Oct 8th.

On Saturday, Oct 11th, my parents, again, drove me and the kids to a hotel and on Sunday, Oct 12th the kids and I were taken by shuttle to the Portland, OR airport.  We flew from OR to Dallas, TX, then to Reagan International Airport in Washington D.C. and our final flight took us to Manchester, NH.

Who did we see on our trip and what did we do?

We saw grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and had a a lot of fun.
We went to a museum in Casper, WY.  This museum was about the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail.  This museum was interactive - we got to feel what a wagon going through the river felt like, a stagecoach felt like and pulling a hand-cart felt like.  I think Nick really enjoyed the hand-cart.
We also went to the Pacific Ocean and Nick played in the water for 2 hours.

We are home safe and sound and had a wonderful time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

That was too fast...

September has come and gone in a blink of an eye.  So much happened this month:

  • Lessons
  • Birthdays - Scott, Nick, Sam, and 4 chickens.
  • Samantha's baptism
  • Library days
  • Meeting with the missionaries
  • Sick days
  • Colors changing on the trees
  • Cool days and nights
  • Dinner with new friends
Crazy how this year is flying by.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Scripture Sunday

The following scripture was read during one the talks during sacrament meeting this afternoon.   

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have not power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." ~ Helaman 5:12

 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Samantha's Baptism

Today, Samantha was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

 Nick and Sam prior to getting ready for the baptism

 L-R: Sister Mayle, Samantha, Sister Crook

Bishop Jones and Samantha

Tomorrow during Sacrament Meeting, Samantha will be confirmed and will officially be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Samantha is one happy girl :)


Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Anniversay, Mom and Dad!

I am so thankful that 52 years ago you two feel in love on your blind date, got engaged on your second date and married 4 months later.  In those 52 years, you were parted by a war, moved several times, and raised 3 children.  From the three of us, you now have 7 grandchildren (3 that are married and one that is about to get married) and 4 great grandchildren.

Happy 52nd Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!  We love you so much!!! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Scripture Sunday

'And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom;  that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.'  ~ Mosiah 2:17

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September already!?!?

The other day I was planning on doing a 'farewell to August' post and just realized that we are now in September.  This year is flying by too fast and needs to slow down just a wee bit.

August was full of school lessons, life lessons and fun. We ended August on a good note...a field-trip to Montshire Museum to see Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Nick and Sam are still talking about it and hope that other people will have the opportunity to see her.

September is a busy month for us...lessons, birthdays, a baptism and getting ready for a trip out west.  Now I just need to 'stop and smell the roses' :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Field Trip Friday

Today the kids and I went to Montshire Museum to see Sue, the T-Rex.  We also walked on one of the outdoor trails.  The kids had a great time and enjoyed the many hands-on activities. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

tbt

Our second time watching monarchs emerging from a chrysalis. Amazing to watch!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Farewell Licorice (9/24/13 - 8/17/14)


Last night as I did a head count of the chickens, I realized that we were missing one.  It never crossed my mind when we came home from church, or when I gave the chickens table scraps for a treat, that Licorice was no where to be found.  Crocodile tears were flowing from Samantha's eyes and all I could do was hug her.
You can't see it in the above picture, but when Licorice was outside in the bright sun her feathers had a beautiful green sheen to them.
We will miss you Licorice and I am sure the other hens and Sunshine (the roo) will miss you too.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A look back at our week

This past week was our 9th week of lessons.  I decided to put "Cover Story" aside for a while and try something different.  This is what the kid's week consisted of:
  • Copy work - kids continuing with their cursive writing and doing a very good job
  • Spelling 2 - this is coming along fine and I can see improvement on a daily basis
  • Unit Study - Before the week started, I asked Nick and Sam what they wanted to learn about.  Nick said he wanted to learn about moles (the animal) and Sam said she wanted to learn about raccoons.  When we visited the library last Saturday, I made sure I checked out enough material for their unit studies.  Each day, Nick and Sam worked on worksheets (made by myself) and learned to research their perspective animal.  They did great!
  • Reading - 1/2 hour daily - Nick read a chapter book and Sam read many different books
  • Life of Fred - We completed 'Kidney' and started 'Liver'.  These books are the intermediate level
  • Mystery of History - Learned about Israelites in Slavery and the Shang Dynasty.  The kids also took the "What did you learn?" test 6 and "What do you know?" pretest 7.
  • Daily care of Chickens - water, feed, cleaned out coop and played with the chickens
  • Library - Visited both the Grafton Library and Canaan Library. Played with a friend and visited with our favorite librarians
  • Raptor Night - Scott, the kids and I went to the Canaan Meeting House to see a presentation of Raptors:  Birds of Prey.  We learned about a Red-Tailed Hawk, Sparrow Hawk and a Great Horned Owl.
  • A lot of outside play
 A small glimpse of our week.  Now to plan for our next week of lessons.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Raptors

Tonight, Scott and I took the kids to the Canaan Meeting House to see a presentation on raptors.  No, not the kind from "Jurassic Park" and Yes, that is what our kids first thought.  The raptors are Birds of Prey and VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science) put on the presentation.

We saw a Red-Tailed Hawk, a Sparrow Hawk, and a Great Horned Owl.  All of these raptors are un-releasable and are used for educational purposes.  The kids enjoyed learning about these 3 Birds of Prey and thought the Great Horned Owl was the best.

A field-trip to VINS may be in the near future...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

New Friends


Thursday night, we had a nice visit with our new friends...Sister Spangler, Sister Turley and Sister Jensen.  They are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  We had great time fellowshipping and look forward to visiting with them again.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Look Back: Weeks 5 - 8

When the kids first started this year, I informed them that they will have 4 weeks of lessons then 1 week off, and so on.  The kids just completed their 2nd four weeks and this is what they have been up to...
  • Life of Fred: Kidneys - This is the first book of the intermediate series and the kids have really enjoyed each lesson.  They will actually complete the book this weekend.  They practiced adding, subtracting, multiplication, division, some algebra, graphing, etc.
  • Mystery of History Vol 1 - Another 2 thumbs up from the kids.  They really enjoy learning about history, especially that which correlates with the Bible.  
  • Copy Work - This past 4 weeks, the kids have been working on their cursive copy work and they are doing a pretty good job.
  • Cover Story - They worked on lessons 13 to 24 and it seems that this curriculum is a bit too much.  So, I have decided to put it aside for a while and then reintroduce it at a later time...either in January or the next school year....decisions, decisions.
  • Reading - 1/2 hour daily reading is what I ask of my kids.  If they read more...Awesome.  If they just read the 1/2 hour...Great.  
  • Science - Right now they are taking care of the Chickens.  I will be adding more science stuff through out the year, but have not quite figured out what that will be.
  • Free-time - Playing outside, riding bikes, playing in the pool, playing with friends, driving go-karts, summer reading program, cooking, baking, chores, watching movies, computer time etc.
I probably left a few things out, but the last 4 weeks were busy, fun and full of learning.  Now it is time for a week off for relaxation and regrouping.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Farewell July

I cannot believe that today is July 31st.  It just began yesterday.  What did we do to make the time go so fast?  Well...
  • Samantha participated in the Summer Reading Program that was hosted by Canaan Town Library.  
  • July 12th was our town's independence day celebration.  Yes, we do things a bit late around here ;)
  • Had a new chicken coop delivered.  Samantha posted a bit about it on her blog.
  • Purchased two guinea hens...Not sure why, as they like to fly and I do not like to be around flying birds that fly to close to me. ( a fear of mine)
  • Ice-Cream social at Canaan Town Library to celebrate the ending of the Summer Reading Program
  • 4 weeks of lessons - more on that in the next post
  • Work, work and more work
  • Rain storms and pleasant, not too many humid, days
  • Playing with the Chickens
  • Blackie's 5th birthday.  He is a pretty special little guy :)

A busy, fun month!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chicks and Deer

Yesterday, after a nice down pour, the chickens decided to meander down the driveway to have a meeting with their friend...

 Close up of the meeting

Lily doesn't seem interested in the conversation

I can only imagine what they were conversing about.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"If ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life." ~ Alma 32:41

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014 Summer Reading Program

This year, Samantha participated in the 2014 Summer Reading Program that was hosted by Canaan Library.  This year's theme was "Fizz, Boom, Read" (science).  Each week, the kids either did crafts or projects that had a science theme.  The last day of the program was today, the ice-cream social and certificates. 





Here is Samantha receiving her certificate from Miss Amy, the librarian :)

Good job, Samantha!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

45 Years Ago...

...Apollo 11 launched towards the moon. 

What an amazing accomplishment! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

tbt


Sam, "Uncle Danny", Nick on the beach in RI almost 2 years ago.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Poetry - another first...

Today, the kids were introduced to poetry through their 'Cover Story' curriculum.  Below are their very first poems:

Gorillas
by Nick Smith

Living on the jungle floor,
Playing with each other.
Eating bananas for a snack,
Taking a mid-morning nap.
Little babies nice and fuzzy.
One big happy family.


My Little Brooder Charlotte
by Sam Smith

My little brooder sits on an egg.
She will sit, sit, and sit some more
Hoping to have a chick born.
Maybe a roo, maybe a hen
We don't know for it ain't born.
Hoping to be a mother
So, that's my little brooder.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." ~ Proverbs 2:2-6

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Volunteering

This morning, for three hours, my sweet little girl volunteered for the first time at our local library.  Samantha helped shelve books, catalog books and even worked on her alphabetizing skills.  She had a very good time and looks forward to volunteering again next month.  Great job, kiddo!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

JULY

Things I think of for JULY:

  • Independence Day
  • Declaration of Independence
  • American Flag
  • Parades
  • Pioneer Day (Utah State Holiday)
  • Fireworks
  • Hot days
  • Bar-B-Ques
  • Library Summer Reading Program
  • Fun
What do you think of?

Friday, June 27, 2014

The First 4 Weeks

Four weeks ago, Nick and Sam started their 2014/2015 homeschool year. In random order, the following is what they have been learning/working on:
  • Copy work - Each day, Nick and Sam work on a page, sometimes two, of copy work.  These past four weeks, the kids have copied quotes by C. S. Lewis, Dr. Seuss and L. Frank Baum.
  • Spelling - This year, the kids started with Sequential Spelling 2.  Nick and Sam are working at their own pace each day.
  • Cover Story - The kids watch and work on a lesson three days a week and are also required to do daily journal entries.  These past four weeks, the kids have had to come up with 5 questions each day.  They just finished up Unit 1 and took their first test tonight.  They both did pretty good and I am happy to know that they are actually listening and learning from the DVD lessons
  • Reading - This is a daily, 1/2 hour time for both Nick and Sam
  • Mystery of History - Three nights a week, the kids and I work on a lesson each of those three nights.  So far, the kids have had a refresher lesson about Creation, Adam and Eve, Jubal and Tubal-Cain, Noah, Ice Age, and Dinosaurs.  They also have learned about Sumerians, The Tower of Babel and The Epic of Gilgamesh.  The kids have taken at least 3 pretests and 2 regular tests.
  • Life of Fred - Jelly Beans.  We worked through the whole book and tonight we completed the elementary series.  I really enjoy Life of Fred and so do the kids.  It makes life more enjoyable and peaceful in the house.
  • Don't Be A Lemuel - This is a pretty good book and study of Nephi and his brothers Laman and Lemuel from the Book of Mormon.  The lessons have been about following Heavenly Father's commandments and to find and capture the spirit of the Lord.  The kids really seem to enjoy these lessons and so do I.
  • Chickens - The kids are responsible for helping with the chickens...water, feed and cleaning the coop.  We have added two more to the fold...2 guinea hens along with the two chicks that hatched about 3 weeks ago.
  • Life-Skills - Nick and Sam have helped with the upstairs construction.  They helped with the mudding and priming of the living room walls.  Nick and Sam have also had a few baking lessons and they even fixed dinner for the family a couple of nights.
A busy four weeks and I even left a few things out.  This next week is an 'off week' and I am sure both Daddy and I can find something constructive for the kids to do.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Important Work

"The most important of the Lord's work that you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home"  ~ President Harold B. Lee

Messy bedrooms, toys everywhere, lessons not done, arguing, playing instead of helping around the house are daily struggles.  I keep reminding myself of the above quote and realize that if a lesson is learned each day, then I am on the right path.  I enjoy the peaceful, quiet moments with the kids.  It is during these times that I realize my kids are that...just kids.  There are lessons to be learned in all things, at all times, and in all ways.  President Harold B. Lee is right..."The most important of the Lord's work that you ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TBT

From 2009:  The year we got Blackie.  He will be 5 years old this year.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Just being 'Broody'

Good News!!!



Charlotte is just being 'Broody'!!!  She was pretending to incubate her own little clutch of eggs and now we are working on getting Charlotte out that line of thinking.

I have one happy little girl :)


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What's 40 more? update

A little over three weeks ago, a friend of ours gave us 41 chicken eggs to hatch.  Scott and I dutifully set up the incubator and placed all 41 eggs in their cozy, warm home.  After a week, Scott and I candled the eggs and ended up throwing out 3.  We then had 38 eggs. 

This past weekend was the 'hatching' weekend.  After much anticipation on the part of our children, only 3 eggs hatched.  Unfortunately, one of the new chicks died.  Samantha named this sweet little chick "Jennie" and we had a funeral Sunday morning.

We have two healthy little chicks that will be returning to our friends house and in exchange, Scott and I are going to try to hatch more eggs.  This time, we are going to try "dry incubation" and see what happens. 

On another chicken update: 

One of our hens is not doing very well.  We think she is egg bound as she has been brooding since Sunday night.  We are keeping an eye on her but have prepared the kids that this hen may not be with us much longer.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Timely Quote

(quote found on facebook)


I was looking for a scripture to post for today and found the above quote instead.  A lot going on in our lives right now and Heavenly Father knew I needed to read the above.

Monday, June 2, 2014

1st day of 2014/2015 Year...

...started on a positive note :)  Nick and Sam were so excited to start their new year of learning.  They each have a list of items to do...spelling, copywork, reading, cover-story and chores.  The list worked!!!  I know that I am counting the 'eggs before they hatch' but I have a good feeling that this year will be a good one for all. All of the items on their list is independent work, which is awesome.  They will hold themselves accountable and I feel this is a step in the right direction.  At night, Nick and Sam will be doing history, math and bible study with me.
Great job, kiddos :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." ~ 2 Nephi 5:27

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Looking back at May

31 days ago, the kids started their 'summer break' and it has been a good one for them.  Did we do anything special?  No.  We just had a relaxing month of play, reading and computer time.  Nick and Sam worked on a few projects together and also did individual things...lego, art, reading, etc.

Now that 'summer break' is over, the kids are looking forward to starting a new year of learning.  To be honest, so am I :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

TBT

This is what our property used to look like right after we purchased it.  Notice the paved road?  That no longer exists.  See where the camper is located and the trees behind it?  They have been replaced with our house.  A lot has changed the last 8 years!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

I enjoy learning about the U.S. Civil War and thought I would share the below video.  As this Memorial Day comes to an end, I would like to say "Thank you" to all the soldiers who paid the ultimate price defending our freedoms so that we can be free.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"And again, I say unto you, all things must be done in the name of Christ, whatsoever you do in the Spirit;"  ~ Doctrine and Covenants 46:31

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Random Thoughts

I have so many things swirling through my mind that I feel like my head is spinning and doesn't know when to stop.  A lot has gone on the past few months but looking back it only seems like a few days have passed. Here are a few randoms that I am able to share:
  • Cleaning up 2013/2014 year and gearing up for the 2014/2015 year.  Just finishing up a few touches on the curriculums that will be used.
  • Planning the schedule for the 2014/2015 year.  This will be worked on over the long weekend coming up.
  • Work - good days and not so good days.  More of the later, too.  I am tired of the goings on within the town and really need a break from it all.
  • Sleep, as in I need it more.  I haven't had a good night's sleep in quite a while and would love to be able to wake up feeling refreshed.
I could go on, but sometimes I need to keep things to myself.     

Saturday, May 17, 2014

What's 40 more?!

Today we started another egg hatching project.  This time it is for a friend.  He asked us if we could hatch some eggs for him and we said, "Sure, why not!".  He gave us a bucket of quite a few eggs. All of the eggs, all 40 of the eggs, are resting comfortably in the incubator.  How many will hatch?  In about 21 days we will find out.  Oh and did I mention that the daddy of all these eggs is 'Cuddles'?  He is the rooster that we gave to our friend.  Cuddles has been one busy roo ;)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Family

(photo from facebook...not sure who originally posted this)

This picture says it all!  Family is the most important thing in the world.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Planning for the 2014/2015 Homeschool Year

With only a few more weeks of 'summer vacation' left, I thought that I would share our plans for the 2014/2015 homeschool year....
  • Writing Curriculum - this year, the kids will be using Cover Story.  I know that Sam is not quite in middle school but I feel that this curriculum will give her the tools that she needs to help expand her interest in writing.  I also wanted something for Nick as well. This curriculum, I hope, will be good for his imagination and help open up the world of writing.  I like the idea behind 'Cover Story' and if all goes well, both Nick and Sam will have quite the project at the end of the 2014/2015 homeschool year.
  • History - We will be revisiting Mystery of History: Volume 1. We tried this a couple of years ago but never completed the volume.  I feel that Nick and Sam are ready to tackle it again and I am looking forward to learning along with them.
  • Math - We will be finishing up the Life of Fred Elementary Series with Jelly Beans and then move onto the Intermediate Series of Kidneys, Liver and Mineshaft.  Life of Fred has been great for Nick and Sam and they enjoy learning a different things from Fred.
  • Spelling - Nick and Sam will continue with Disc 2 of Sequential Spelling.  I have been impressed with this program and the kids are doing great with it.
  • Reading - Both Nick and Sam will be required to read at least 30 minutes a day of anything they want to read.  They will also have a goal to read at least one chapter book per month, more if they feel so inclined.
  • Art - This can be free-art as well as activities with their writing curriculum and history.
  • Computer Time - again, both Nick and Sam will have 30 minutes of computer time after they finish up with their morning lessons.  If they choose to do educational stuff on the computer, they are able to have more time.
  • Science - Daily care of chickens, gathering eggs and hatching more eggs for our friend.
Now it is time to plan Nick and Sam's schedule for the 2014/2015 homeschool year.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May...already???

Do you remember, as a child, how the year dragged on and on?  That time went by very s.l.o.w.l.y.? Where did the last few months go?  Are we really in the month of May?

Our lives have been pretty busy with work, homeschool, chickens, and all sorts of every day happenings.  For the month of May I hope that we, as a family, can relax and enjoy some down time.  We really need to 'stop and smell the roses'.  

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2013/2014 Homeschool Year Wrap-up

The kids have officially completed their 2013/2014 homeschool year.  From June 3, 2013 to April 30, 2014, Nick and Sam worked on/learned the following:
  • Book Store Math:  the kids had to maintain an inventory, make sales, figure out sales tax, pay bills, learn to write checks, keep a ledger and find out if they made a profit or loss.  They have to maintain a store for 12 months.  Each month is considered a lesson that takes about a week to complete.  Was it a success?  For Sam, yes.  She enjoyed the figuring out the different kinds of math and thought it was fun.  For Nick, not so much.  He seemed to get bored of it and lost interest. 
  • Life of Fred Elementary Series: Farming to Ice-Cream.  Both Nick and Sam enjoy learning from Life of Fred and worked on this together throughout the year..  I enjoy Life of Fred too!  A lot of math and other subjects were covered as well.
  • Sequential Spelling Disk 1 and 2:  The kids did great with this curriculum.  I love how they worked at their own pace and kept up with it throughout the year. They both completed disk 1 and have started disk 2.  I know Sequential Spelling works because I see the results everyday.
  • Copywork:  At first, I was having the kids copy work sentences from their daily reading.  That fizzled out very early in the year.  I then purchased a couple of copy work workbooks from Queen Homeschool Supplies and these were a hit.  Sam did her copywork from : Copywork for Animal Lovers and Nick did his copywork from Lessons from Leaders.  Sam completed her workbook and started using Nick's.
  • Science:  This year, our family raised chickens from eggs.  We all took turns in rotating the eggs in the incubator, watched the hatching of eggs and enjoyed watching the chicks grow into great chickens.We started out with 12 eggs, ended up with 8 chicks, gave 2 roosters away and now have 6 chickens (4 hens and 2 roos).  The hens started laying eggs about a month or so ago and they taste yummy.
  • History and Geography:  We watched a lot of documentaries, read many books, discussed current events and learned a bit about American History.  Geography coincided with History. 
  • Reading:  The kids read at least 1/2 hour everyday.  I gave them a goal to read at least 1 chapter book a month.  They surpassed that goal and have read quite a few books.  I am so happy that Nick and Sam love to read.  
  • Art and Crafts:  This is something that the kids worked on at their own pleasure. We have a supply of paints, crayons, pencils, yarn, knitting needles, fabric, paper, boxes, salt dough, etc.  Nick did a lot of drawing this year.  Sam was very eclectic with her choices.
  • Exercise and Sports:  Playing at the park, running around the house, going for walks, etc.
  • Library:  Probably the highlight of each week.  Library Day is every Saturday.  We visit two libraries and meet up with friends.      
  • Computer Time:  When the kids finished up their lessons, they were allowed to have 1/2 hour computer time.  They mainly played computer games.  If they did anything educational, the 1/2 hour was extended.
  • Life Lessons:  Helping with meal preparations, laundry, taking care of animals (chickens)
The above pretty much sums up the 2013/2014 year.  All in all it was a good year.  The month of May is our summer break and the 2014/2015 homeschool year will begin in June.
 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Seek

(image taken from facebook)

This past weekend was the 184th General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Thanks to the internet, I was able to watch most of the conference.  The above quote is one of many that spoke to me.  I enjoyed General Conference and am looking forward to the next one in October :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

March: A Look Back

Again, not a whole lot of blogging this month as I have been busy with work and tired at the end of the day.  Here is a look back at the month of March:
  • Lessons - always an everyday of the week occurrence.  The kids have diligently worked on their spelling (Nick finished up disc one in sequential spelling), copy work (Sam completed her copy work book), a lot of reading (several chapter books from both kids), math (finished a couple of Life of Fred books), a little bit of history, science, documentary's and computer time.
  • Chickens - the hens are laying eggs.  We gather 3-4 eggs a day and have sold 3 dozen.  The kids care for the chickens by cleaning out the coop (with help from mom and dad), feeding the chickens and playing with them.  Also the gathering of eggs.  They split the proceeds from the sale of eggs and want to put some of it in the bank :)
  • Work - this month was a bit busy, especially the first couple of weeks due to the town election/vote.  Since then, the busyness has subsided a bit.  Not sure how the new elected officials will do this year but I am taking it one day at a time.  Being this close to town politics is rather interesting at times and I look forward to the day when I don't have to be so close to it.  That is one thing about small towns, politics is apparent and easily observed whether you want to be a part of it or not.
  • Fun TV - The kids have been watching "The Munsters", "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Green Acres".  Verdict of the shows:  Two enthusiastic thumbs up for "The Munsters" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" and thumbs down for "Green Acres". Hey, you can't win them all.
  • Library - 3 out of the 4 weekends we went library hopping.  We go to two different libraries every Saturday and this is something the kids enjoy.  They are able to see some friends, visit with the librarians and check out amazing books, movies, etc.  
  • Sick - Nick, Sam and Scott were down and out for over a week. The stomach bug was not very friendly in our house.  Luckily they are all feeling better and were able to visit some friends yesterday.
  • General Women's Meeting - Sam and I watched, in the comfort of our home, the General Women's Meeting from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Very inspirational, meaningful messages.
The month of March was busy and satisfying.  How was your March?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Positive Words


If you are on facebook, you have probably watched the above video.  If not, take a few moments and watch what happens :)

Positive Words are Powerful....

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"Be steadfast and immovable always abounding in good works."  ~ Mosiah 5:15

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Scripture Sunday

"I will also be your light in the wilderness;...wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall  know that it is by me that ye are led."  ~ 1 Nephi 17:13

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Critters

Today was the first day that critters were spotted in our yard.  When I say critters, I mean wild ones.  What was spotted?  Three big turkeys walking up and down the snow banks, through our yard and up into the woods.  Unfortunately, no one thought to take pictures.

On a farm critter report....one of our hens gave us a double yolk egg today.  Samantha volunteered to eat it for dinner and she has declared that she will never eat a store bought egg again.

What critters do you encounter?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekend Edition

Yesterday, if you were listening to NPR: Weekend Edition, you might have heard about the town we live in.  If you don't listen to NPR, here is the link. This link has the audio and transcript.   This is what we have been dealing with since moving here in 2008.  To be honest, I never heard about the 'Free State Project' until after we moved.  Had we known, I don't think we would have chosen to live here.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Being Thankful

Being thankful is a good thing and writing them down is even better...

I am thankful for:
  • Heavenly Father in my life.  Without Him, I don't know where I would be
  • The Bible and Book of Mormon
  • A supportive Husband.  
  • Loving children
  • My parents
  • A cuddly cat
  • Bosses that allow me to take a day off here and there.
  • Sunny skies, even though it is bitter cold outside
  • A rooster that is sweet and vocal
  • Fresh eggs
  • Quietness
  • Good books
  • Ensign magazine
  • Fresh baked bread - the smell is wonderful
  • Friends, especially my best friend that I have known since 1st Grade
  • Missionaries
  • Snow
  • Freedom
What are you thankful for?

Friday, February 28, 2014

A look back at February

February, being the shortest month of the year, literally flew by.  The kids were busy with their daily lessons of spelling, copywork, reading, math (completed LOF-Goldfish and started LOF-Honey), computer time, sporadic history and science lessons, playing in the snow and playing with the chickens. 
We did have a little EGG-citement not too long ago. Last Saturday afternoon while I was just about to fall asleep watching an NCIS DVD, Nickolas went to check on the chickens.  All of a sudden I hear his voice of excitement, "We Have an EGG!" I think he said that 5 times in a row.  Scott and Samantha ran to the coop and sure enough, one of our pullets laid the first egg of the flock.





Since that day, we have gathered 4 more eggs.  Pullets (less than a year old) lay small eggs about once every three days.  Pretty soon each pullet will be laying 2 eggs every 3 days and then by the time they are 12 months old, each hen should be laying about 4-5 eggs a week. 
The kids have been checking the coop daily for eggs and have even made a game of it.  "Whoever spies the egg first gets to pick the movie"...sort of thing


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A New Favorite for the Kiddos

Both Nick and Sam have read 'The Witches' by Roald Dahl.  Because they have read the book, I allowed them to watch the movie.  They have seen the movie at least 5 times since this past Saturday.  It is safe to say that this is a new favorite movie for the kids.

My personal opinion...I didn't like the book very much.  For me, it was pretty creepy.  As for the movie, I can tolerate it but am not a fan.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Scripture Sunday

Lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God. ~ Mosiah 7:19

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A glimpse of our town...

Below is an editorial that was published in our local newspaper.  I am not sure who authored the editorial, but it is a good one as it gives a glimpse of the town that we live in...


West Lebanon Valley News 02/11/2014, Page A06

Editorial

Land of the Free Staters

In Grafton, Deliberation Takes Time



Democracy


is by nature a messy process, sacrificing as it does efficiency for the greater virtue of mass participation in self-government. Given that New England Town Meeting is about as pure a form of democracy as there is, it stands to reason that it would be the messiest. And then there’s the town of Grafton, where in recent years Town Meeting has resembled nothing so much as a long-form circus.

As staff writer Sarah Brubeck reported in the Sunday Valley News, this year’s deliberative session — during which voters review and can amend warrant articles in preparation for voting in March — convened at 9 a.m. and lasted about 11 hours. Despite their heavy investment of time, residents made no major changes to the 30 warrant articles.

That does not mean, however, that the deliberative session lacked entertainment value. For example, “Rules of Decorum” promulgated by Town Moderator Susan Frost, which prohibited cursing, name calling and personal attacks, were the subject of extensive debate, with Planning Board Chairman Brian Fellers objecting that they infringed on his First Amendment rights. Ultimately the rules remained in place, although Fellers did not. He was later escorted from the meeting by police after interrupting several times other speakers debating whether another resident was qualified to vote.

Fellers did not by any means go gentle into that good night. As Brubeck reported, he protested his expulsion in song, perhaps channeling Pete Seeger or Woodie Guthrie: “God bless America, land that I love, stand beside her and guide her … as someone gets escorted out.”

If you are getting the impression Saturday’s session was a fruitless exercise of democracy in action — or inaction — be assured that it was not. The context for Grafton’s marathon meeting is that a majority of voters apparently showed up determined to thwart the designs of the so-called Free Staters, who have moved to town over the past decade with the goal of turning it into the mecca of libertarianism. The flavor of the Free State Project can be savored in the following quotation from one of its members, Jeremy Olson, who declared that, “You shouldn’t be forced to pay for things you don’t want.” It should be noted that Grafton was hardly a bastion of big-spending liberalism before the Free Staters arrived, but most residents accepted the notion that one is obliged occasionally to support government services that one does not particularly want or need.

At last year’s deliberative session, the Free Staters succeeded in amending the proposed town budget to cut it by 10 percent, or more than $128,000, as part of their plan to shrink government. Voters subsequently rejected the Free Staters’ handiwork at Town Meeting. This year, Olson came prepared with a series of written motions proposing cuts — $43,000 in the police budget, $5,000 in legal expenses, $34,000 in the highway department allotment. For procedural reasons that appeared to have escaped Olson, none of those motions went before voters before the proposed budget article was adopted. “It’s complete chaos in there,” said Olson. Of course, if town government has become chaotic, it seems safe to say that the Free Staters have made a vital contribution to the creation of that condition.

Selectboard Chairman Steve Darrow summed up the experience this way: “People wanted to show up to make sure what happened last year didn’t happen again. There was strong support from people who didn’t want the budget cut arbitrarily.” Sure, it was messy, but it seems to have worked.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Unintentional Break

Have you ever been so busy and stressed out that you unintentionally left something behind?  That's what happened the last couple of weeks with this blog.  Work has been crazy hectic since the 17th of January and I am now getting a little reprieve before March.
I work as an administrative assistant for the Board of Selectmen in our small town.  The responsibilities that I have can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful, especially this time of year.  Our small town is getting ready for its annual vote and with that comes the budget prep (filling out paperwork for the budget committee), warrant articles (money and petition) and the warrant.  These are all voted on and getting them ready takes time. On top of that I also prepared the W2's and 1099's.  Deadlines are tough, especially when they sneak up on you! 
Getting through January was tough, but I did it.  I am looking forward to a quieter February so I can gear up for March, April and May (more busy months in the office).

As for the kids and their lessons...

They have been keeping up with spelling, copywork, reading, history, math, science and fun.  I'll give a better update in a couple of days.

Until then...Happy Monday :) 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lesson Look-back

This week, Nick and Sam learned/worked on the following:
  • Copy Work
  • Spelling
  • Reading 1/2 hour daily.  Both Nick and Sam have been reading in chapter books this week.  They have a goal to read at least one chapter book a month.  I can tell you that they exceed this goal each month!
  • Math - this week the kids learned about Pythagoras.  He started the first math school with one student.  We will be expanding on Pythagoras later in Life of Fred.  Speaking of Life of Fred, the kids worked on ch. 16 in the farming book.
  • History - the kids learned about young George Washington before he became a General.  The kids also learned a little bit about the French and Indian War, Acadia and what countries used to have claims on America
  • Computer Time - 1/2 hour daily
  • Delight Directed - lego fun, reading, drawing and writing
  • Daily care of Chickens - here are some pictures that the kids took today.  The chickens are just over 16 weeks old...
 Sunshine

 Charlotte

 Robin

 Licorice

 Beakie

 Lilly

Have a great weekend :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Back to Lessons

After taking an nice 3 week break, lessons started back up this week.  Here is a small recap of what the kids worked on:
  • Copy work 
  • Spelling
  • Reading 1/2 hour daily
  • Math - starting to read about mathematicians (Thales of Miletus) and returned to Life of Fred - Farming. Every week, until we end the 2013/2014 year, I will read about a different mathematician, a few lessons from Life of Fred and continue with the Book Store Math.  Will we do lessons from LOF and Book Store Math every week?  Yes, but not on the same day.
  • History - This week the kids learned about William Wilberforce, the Father of Abolitionists.
  • Computer Time
  • Free Time - create with legos, read, draw, write, sledding
  • Care of Chickens
  • Library 
A good first week back from Christmas Break!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Favorite Quote

This particular quote was on facebook several months ago.  It is one of my favorites. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Roo Update

Yesterday, we said good - bye to Cuddles.  He is the second roo that we have had to give away.  When Cuddles was a little guy, he was cuddly, hence the name.  He used to climb on my hand and cuddle.  As he got bigger, his attitude grew and when we said good-bye to Golden Rod (first roo to leave the roost), Cuddles became the dominate roo.  Now Cuddles is in a new home and hopefully making new friends amongst the hens, duck and turkeys.

I think we will be ok with Sunshine and Beakie, the two remaining roos. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Scripture Sunday

'Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things werewith one may edify another.' ~ Romans 14:19

Friday, January 3, 2014

Winter Wonderland?

2014 has started with a good snow storm.  It started yesterday and is just now winding down.  We got at least 12 inches of snow, maybe more.  Here are a couple of photos from this storm.

 Taken with the flash.  This is the coop in the beginning stages of construction. Look how deep that snow is!

Taken without the flash.  A little of our backyard.

It is going to be a cold one today, but luckily I will be inside a warm building (work).  
Stay warm :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year from the Coop

It has been a while since I last updated about the chicks.  So without further ado...here are a few pictures of our chicks at 14 weeks old.

 Robin - the friendliest of the hens.  Will perch on your arm all day if you let her.

 Licorice is doing great.  Her awkward wing is now fully grown.  She is the skittish one of the bunch and does not like to be held or loud noises.

 Beakie is doing better.  His bad eye is not swollen anymore, but he did lose it.  His crown is starting to grow but not his tail feathers.
 Charlotte is also friendly and quiet. She is very photogenic too!

Sunshine is the friendlies of the Roos.  He likes to be pet on his chest and back.  He doesn't come out of the coop too much.

The remaining chicks that are not pictured are:  Cuddles (roo) and Lily (hen).  Cuddles is a bit aggressive and Lily takes after him.  
This brings our count to 7.  We did have 8 but gave Goldenrod (roo) to a friend of ours.  Goldenrod was very aggressive and we did not want to him to keep pecking at the kids.

Right now the chicks are in our garage because of the very cold weather.  As soon as the weather breaks (February/March) the chicks will be outside in the nice fresh air.