Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sx Word Saturday: Creativeness

I'm joining Cate at Show My Face for Six Word Saturday. Describe  your week, your day, or whatever is going on in your life in just 6 words & link up. It's bloggin' fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Turkey Edition

1. Besides U.S. Thanksgiving, it's also National Game and Puzzle Week...what game have you played most recently, and who were you with? Have you worked a puzzle of any kind in the past week?

UNO! My daughter has band practice 3 times a week. While waiting, my youngest son and I play Uno when he finished up his required school work. This past week, due to sickness and taking a break from homeschooling, we played boisterous rounds of UNO in the van using the dashboard as our table. (Personally I like Skip-Bo and Rummikub better, but Sam always picks out Uno.)

2. What is one place you were thankful for this year?

Place? My home. Everyone needs to have a secure, comfortable sanctuary to relax in. A home is a place to always go back to, to make memories in, to grow in.

3. Take a nap, watch football, go for an after dinner walk, or hit the stores...which ONE is on your must-do list for Thanksgiving day? For those of you playing along who aren't in the US, answer as it relates to any big holiday meal.

Well, it really depends on WHO I'm with for Thanksgiving. Sometimes it's a football game, but this year I am with family that aren't football fans. A movie? We oftentimes go for a long walk if the weather is agreeable. Nothing like a crisp late fall walk near the Atlantic! But definitely NO shopping! I'm not a shopper even under the best circumstances! LOL And there isn't anywhere to shop on the island...

4. Besides Thanksgiving, what's your favorite home cooked meal?

Anything *I* don't have to cook! LOL I've been craving a Beef Wellington lately. Perhaps I can get my wonderful BF and/or son to bake one up for me...I do enjoy a baked ham dinner or a meaty-cheesy lasagna.

5. What product from an infomercial would you most like to own?

I can't even remember the last infomercial I watched. We don't get cable. And I've never purchased anything through an infomercial. Is nothing a good answer? LOL

6. Christmas shopping? Have you begun? Finished? Will you shop on Black Friday? How do you feel about stores opening on Thanksgiving Day? What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?

See #3! No, I haven't started and won't be shopping on Black Friday. I don't even look at the ads for Black Friday! Due to my strict budget, my Christmas shopping list is quite short and simple. Stores open on Thanksgiving? I know there is a push on Facebook for stores to be closed, but oftentimes those working on holidays get time-and-a-half. Before kids, I liked working on holidays for the extra money and oftentimes my employers would even provide a special lunch or dinner to boot.

7. What are you most grateful for that adds beauty to your everyday life?

I can't believe I am saying this, but the SNOW that we're getting today. It looks like a winter wonderland out there! Stark white, sparkly, contracting the dark evergreens. Come February I'll be groaning about it though! 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 11 - Rut oh!

On-line time was curbed this week. My laptop is with Eric, the Computer Guy, for a charger port replacement. I suggest never sitting on the charging cord while it's plugged into the computer...I haven't had time to write blog posts or visit your blogs or even play Words with Friends on Facebook. Fortunately, I am able to use my oldest son's school computer for HOMESCHOOL and a little personal use. My laptop is a very important part of our learning!

I've had more time to crochet! Just last week I decided to teach myself using You Tube videos with the Crochet Guru here, then moved on to making a double-crochet beanie after watching this video. I've made a camo beanie for Sam and another in blue for Thomas, my BF. I like to challenge myself though, and crochet seems more understandable than knitting, so I made a single-crochet toddler beanie with a scalloped edge and a pink daisy for a friend's granddaughter.

But then I came down with a bug on Wednesday and Thursday, putting a damper on school and everything else. I'm feeling better today, but I'm still achy and tired.

• Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti & Cucumber Slices • Chicken Veggie Pot Pie • Pizza • Hot Dogs, Baked Beans & Brown Bread • Baked Chicken, Rice Pilaf & Peas •

Can I tell you how "on the ball" Cati is this year? Gosh. She certainly matured over the summer months, becoming much more focused on school with a positive attitude. This is a girl who gets up at 5am sometimes (Yes, really!) and gets her Saxon Grammar and Writing and Saxon Algebra 1/2 completed before my alarm even goes off to get Jake up and off to charter school. She does creative writing every day on Wattpad, not part of her homeschool, but because she enjoys it. She walks every day, snow, rain or shine, to improve her health. And she even does my dreaded dirty dishes. I know I'm being braggy, but I'm proud of my girl!

Sam delved into the World of Multiplication this week. (We touched on it at the end of last year.) I wanted to add a little creativity to his learning, so I searched my Pinterest and came up with some games to play to reinforce multiplication facts. (Links are below.) Do you have any games or websites to help learn multiplication?

Phrases and Clauses, Direct & Diagramming Direct Object, and Descriptive, Proper, Limiting & Diagramming Adjectives
Creative Writing on Wattpad
Equivalent Equations, Reciprocals, Multiplication/Division Rules, Average, Symbols of Inclusion, Order of Operations, and Multiplying/Dividing Mixed Fractions
Geologic Time Scale, Types of Fossils, Carbon Dating, Soufriere Hills, Montserrat Volcano, Mt. St. Helens Volcano
CNN Student News

Sara Teasdale and Jack Prelutsky Poetry, Ice Cream Poem, Spelling 34 
Multiplication Chart, Multiplication Facts 0, 1, 2 & 5, Multiplication Patterns, and Multiplication Facts
Monitoring Faults, Types of Volcanoes, Soufriere Hills, Montserrat Volcano, Mt. St. Helens Volcano
CNN Student News


Stuart Little (White) (Sam) •

"Volcano Eruption - The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens (1980)" (You Tube)

 • Jazz & Concert Band Practice (Cati) • Cub & Boy Scouts (Jake & Sam) •


Happy Homeschooling!

As always, special thanks to these weekly link-ups:
 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized HomeschoolersHip Homeschool Moms

Don't forget to check out my other blog posts this week!
Six Word Saturday: Forward

And check out these FREE on-line resources for YOUR homeschool!
Multiplication Grid Game
9s Hand Trick Video
Multiplication Video Games
Colorful Multiplication Chart
Color my Number Multiplication Sheets

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge: The Sick Additon

1. What's something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?

Health. Yesterday I had a mild headache all day. Come 8:00pm I was shaking with chills, and it took flannel sheets, a blanket, a regular comforter, and a down-filled comforter to get warm. And this morning brought the, er, tummy troubles. Being ill sure does put a damper on your day.

2. The color brown-love it or no? What's your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?

Look! Brown-tinted questions! LOL Brown is just another color in all our amazing hues. It's cool, relaxing, earthy. My bedding is moss green, cream and chocolate brown. And my bed has been the most comforting thing today as I recoup.

3. What's something you're looking forward to today?

Relief from my headache?

4. The word 'feminism' is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you're a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?

I think most of my family and friends would consider me traditional. Although I am more than able to take charge, do what needs doing, and want respect, I am content with "old-fashioned" man and female roles. Taking care of a house and children, cooking (even though I don't really enjoy it) and chivalry is my thing.

5. What's something you personally can't eat without making a mess?

Am I the only one that needs an extra napkin when eating spaghetti and meatballs? Yummy!

6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?

Just last week I gave my youngest son my first ever crocheted beanie, and a few days later I gave my BF my 2nd ever beanie. I hope they have toasty heads this winter! By someone? My wonderful BF gave me flowers...Awww!

7/8. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude.

This isn't really my favorite, but I am too fuzzy-brained right now to find the scripture, but always remember your blessings. Even in the worst of times there is something to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Six Word Saturday: Forward

I'm joining Cate at Show My Face for Six Word Saturday. Describe  your week, your day, or whatever is going on in your life in just 6 words & link up. It's bloggin' fun!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 10 - Trying to Focus

I decided to learn to crochet. I enjoy learning something new, especially a handicraft. I found tutorials to help teach me the basics. (Visit the Crochet Guru here.) Her videos include left-handed instructions. Woot! It's a bit challenging to do things the "left way" with right-hand tutorials. This week I made a dishcloth. Next up? A simple beanie hat...I hope.

I needed to find some way to use up 10 pounds of strawberries from the freezer. I found on Pinterest a recipe for making strawberry jam in a BREAD MACHINE here. (I never did notice the "jam" cycle button before...) The results? Awesome lower-sugar strawberry freezer jam!

We got sticking snow; snow that doesn't melt on contact with the ground. Not a lot, but enough to let me know that we need to finish up our winter prep (i.e. putting the outdoor furniture, lawn mower and grill away). It's on our To Do List today.

• Baked Chicken Tenders, Teriyaki Rice & Peas • Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza • Vegetable Beef Stew & Rolls • Baked Pork Chops, Mac n Cheese & Apples • Taco Salad • Cereal, Skim Milk & Fruit 

It was hard for us to focus on our schooling this week. Not that it wasn't productive, but it was a struggle for ALL of us to get started and hit most of our subjects every day. Some weeks are like that, right? I think we were thrown off by a super busy (but fun weekend) and Jake being home from public school Monday and Tuesday (due to teacher's workshop and Veteran's Day).

Sam spent a lot of time redesigning his popsicle stick boat filled with expanding foam, even painting it. (I drew the line at HOUSE paint though...) It floats, but it's wobbly so he continues to make modifications, testing buoyancy in the bathtub.

Infinitives as Subjects, Phrases & Clauses. Wattpad Creative Writing
Rate Word Problems, Equivalent & Addition-Subtraction Rules for Equations, Rectangular Coordinations
Erosion & Deposition: Weathering, Run-off, Moving Water, Glaciers, Waves & Wind
Early Crete, the Minoans, the Mycenaeans, the Dorians, Greek Dark Ages

Sara Teasdale Poetry, Wrote  Biography Poem, Grade Spelling Weeks 26-33, Story Settings, Main Topics in Stories, Adverbs, Quotation Marks
"Some Went Away" Word Problems, Fraction Pictures, Repeated Addition for Multiplication & the Multiplication Table
Earthquakes: Measuring Seismic Waves, Damage Caused By, Protecting Against
Early Crete, the Minoans, the Mycenaeans, the Dorians, Greek Dark Ages

Lilly's Ghost (Drake Harris) (Me) • The Hobbit (Tolkien) (Cati) • The Story of Davy Crockett, Frontier Hero (Retan) (Sam) • Sea of Ice: The Wreck of the Endurance (Kulling) (Sam) Stuart Little (White) (Sam) •

 • Pie and Game Night with the S__'s (Me)  Thomas & Kids Visit (All) • Jazz & Concert Band Practice (Cati) • Cub Scouts (Sam)


Happy Homeschooling!

As always, special thanks to these weekly link-ups:
 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized HomeschoolersHip Homeschool Moms

Don't forget to check out my other blog posts this week!
Memory  Monday: Our Pet Family
Tuesday Coffee Chat: Let It Go
Wednesday Hodgepodge: Veteran's Day

And check out these FREE on-line resources for YOUR homeschool!
Around the World Country Stamps for Geography
Circulatory System Notebook Pages

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Veteran's Day

I'm joining up this week with Joyce at This Side of the Pond for some fun, interesting questions-and-answers. Why not join in too?

1. We celebrate Veteran's Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a solider, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you're not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.

I'm sure this will sound a bit uncaring - I do respect and support all of our veterans and those currently serving in any military capacity - but I have only once written a letter to a soldier (back in high school) and never brought a meal or coffee for a soldier. I can't recall an opportunity to do so...I have thanked those serving though.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)...what would you choose?

Chocolate? LOL Just kidding...sort of.

Photo Credit

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the 'real' mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an 'early responder' or a 'last minute, barely-under-the-wire' kind of guest?

It's been year and years since I've gotten a written invitation through postal mail. Most of my family and friends do e-vites now.  Do you suppose postal mail will be a thing of the past some day? something used only for packages? I respond when I'm relatively sure I can either attend or not. Sometimes that's right away, sometimes at the last minute.

4. What's something you really don't like to waste?

Food. It's so expensive without throwing any of it away uneaten. We often have Leftover Lunch here. And what isn't eaten for lunch is either frozen (if it does well reheated) or given to the chickens. We also "feed back" dried, crushed egg shells to the chickens for a calcium supplement (instead of purchasing commercial products). Peelings and other scraps are composted. We really have very little food waste.

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld...of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?

Oh. Well, I haven't really watched a lot of episodes of these shows, but I'd have to say Friends. Joey was always good for a laugh. I do remember watching MASH growing up. Hawkeye was also good for some laughs. But Cheers and Seinfeld I know of, but never watched.

6. What decision are you glad you made?

Recently? I had about 10 pounds of strawberries frozen in the freezer. They've been there since last season when we picked them at a local farm. Definitely needing used! But how? I found a recipe for BREAD MACHINE freezer jam on Pinterest (here) and tried it. Super easy! And it worked! Not only great for those PB and J sandwiches, but warmed on vanilla ice cream too! Yummy!

Photo Credit and Website of Recipe

7. In this month of 'Thanksgiving' what is one thing that's different today than it was a year ago that you're grateful for?

So much has changed for me in just a year! Phew! Last November I was still dealing with the end of my marriage 9 months before, learning to balance single parenting, homeschooling and running a household all on my own. This November? I am so grateful and amazed to have a wonderful man in life. A hard-working Christian family man who loves, supports and cares for me and my kids. I am excited about our future together!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday Coffee Chat: Let It Go

I'm joining Leslie from Time Out for Mom for this week's Tuesday Coffee Chat. (I don't drink coffee, so hot chocolate will have to do...) Why not head over and read how others answer this week's prompt? or link up your own? (And if you want to get a jump start on next week's link up, the prompt is: Do you think you are brave?)

Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

Clutter. You know that stuff that keeps accumulating despite our best efforts to minimize? the stuff we can't get rid of because we might just need it someday? Well, we've got a lot of that stuff.

Over the last year I have made huge strives on eliminating our unused or unneeded or broken stuff. Piles and piles of stuff taken to the Transfer Station. Bags and bags of clothing donated to the Salvation Army. Other stuff repurposed for another job instead of buying new. But some clutter isn't going anywhere...

I have a hard tie letting go of stuff with fond memories.

How about you?

I have a cardboard box of baby stuff: going home outfits and booties, blankets my "baby" sisters crocheted for the older two (but were teenagers when Sam came along and not interested in crafts anymore), locks of hair, first lost teeth (and notes to the Tooth Fairy to explain teeth lost while swimming or SWALLOWED), those favorite, drooled on board books. I'm keeping this stuff!

My Babies...Who Are Not Babies Anymore

I have 11 years of homeschool portfolios. Portfolios are required by Maine laws, but they're also a scrapbook of our year, showing learning growth, family outings and those sweet first drawings and writings. How could I let those go?

Completed Portfolios

I probably shouldn't even mention all the photos, huh? Or the doubles of the photos because you never know, right?

So, I'll let go of the blankets collecting dust...the extra towels and sheets...the clothing never worn...the plastic storage containers with no matching lids...the board games and puzzles with missing pieces...smelly sneakers. But I'm keeping our stuff with memories.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Memory Monday: Our Pet Family

Retired Not Tired Memory Monday
This week I'm joining Memory Monday over at Retired Not Tired. Each week she provides a writing prompt. (Next week is Most Influential Person.) Why not head over and share your memories? 


I could tell you about my family. I have 3 wonderful kids. My oldest son is almost 16, a bright, calm young man, active in scouts. My daughter is almost 13, a creative young lady, with musical talent. And my youngest son, almost 10, an inept builder and great for home repairs. But I decided to go a different "route" and share my PET FAMILY MEMBERS with you instead.

Rosie, our Golden Retriever, is 9 now. She came to our family as an 8-week-old puppy soon after we moved into our home. (She was quite motion sick on her way home that day...) She loves a good walk with puddle exploration.What Retriever doesn't like water? Winnie, our Nova Scotia Canadian Toller, also 9, arrived only 1 1/2 years ago. My sister could no longer take care of her with her long work hours so we welcomed her into our home. She's calm and oh-so-sweet. But she has a deep bark that does NOT match her gentleness.

Rosie with Spiderman on Skates

Stripe was brought home one evening by my daughter. I was bathing her little brother when she walked in with this tiny kitten with the biggest blue eyes ever. So scared! She and her friends had found 2 kittens abandoned on the side of the road. Perhaps by a feral mother? They found a home for the other kitten, but not for Stripe. She was in rough shape, dehydrated and only about 3 weeks old. She couldn't stand, but with diligent effort she made it through. She's 4 now, feisty, dog-like. She loves scratching through the Legos to find rubber tires to throw around and chase.

Stripe Helping with Homeschooling

Sam's Drawing Several Years Ago

3 1/2 years ago we incubated chicken eggs with the intent on giving any chicks to my mom. But, after watching them hatch, we couldn't part from them. They were just too fuzzy! 3 of our 10 chicks were roosters and were rehomed nearby as "teenagers", and another, our first to hatch, died suddenly one afternoon when she was 1 1/2 years old. (I suspect a poor crop...) Since then we added another hen who was getting pecked on by the others in my mom's flock, and 3 "babies" who are now 1 1/2. A total of 10 hens. But they weren't enough. We also added 2 Pekin ducks - AFLAK! - to our flock from a friend who was wanting to rehome them. Those two are quite a pair! They are constantly quacking to each other, arguing, but never far from one another.

Olive and Opal

Memories are wonderful!