Friday, December 19, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 13 - Winter Break

We tried really, really hard to focus this week, but how could we? The week before Christmas with family, presents, good food. The week before knowing we've got 2 whole weeks off. Not that we JUST didn't have 2 weeks off for Thanksgiving...

But I could focus on my CROCHETING. (I need a smiley face icon, huh?) I created a cover for my 2015 Bullet Journal/Planner. I love the colors, but I'm not crazy about the cover itself as it's already pilling and collects hair, fur and lint like velcro. :: sigh:: I may just remove it and decorate the Moleskine notebook cover instead with scrapbook stuff. In the meantime, I'm trying to make some fingerless gloves for Cati. (Pattern here.)

❄ Jazz & Concert Band Practices (Cati) ❄ Christmas Band Concerts (Cati) ❄ Bible Study (Me) 

Chop Suey with Cucumber Slices & Carrot Sticks ❄ Biscuit, Egg and Cheese Sandwiches & Clementines ❄ Baked Chicken, Rice & Peas ❄ Meatball Subs ❄ Clean Out Fridge Night ❄

Determined to get in a full productive week of learning, Sam and I had some long, long afternoons. Cati finished her core work most mornings before Sam and I rolled out of bed. Isn't it interesting how unique we are? Sam and I are "night owls" who prefer a late morning start, but Cati is an early to bed, early to rise person. We're fortunate to have a schedule to works best for all of us.

Cati's Accomplishments
Capitalization of Greetings & Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
Multiplying/Dividing Mixed Fractions, Algebraic Equations, Perimeter, Decimals, Roots & Order of Operations with Exponents
Types of Fossils, Radioactive Dating, Geologic Time Scale & Earth's Eras
CNN Student News
Phys. Ed. Walking

Sam's Accomplishments
MobyMax: Describe Events in Stories/Dramas, ID Supporting Details in Paragraphs, Quotations, Suffixes, Prefixes and Word Roots, and Vocabulary Building & Grade Spelling Weeks 35-37
Multiplication Facts, Word Problems, Fractions, Time, Square Roots & Regrouping
Inside a Volcano, Types of Eruptions & Volcanic Landforms
CNN Student News
Phys. Ed. Walking/Jogging, Biking (in the Snow)

❄ Star Wars (Cati) ❄ Stuart Little (White) (Sam) ❄ Ben and Me (Lawson) (Sam) ❄

❄ "Different Types of Volcanoes" (You Tube) ❄ "Volcano Eruptions Song" (You Tube) ❄ "What is a Volcano?" (You Tube) ❄


With all the celebrating coming up, I'm not sure I'll be getting to more blogging until 2015! So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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

Don't forget to check out my other blog posts this week!
Tuesday Coffee Chat: Christmas Traditions
Wednesday Hodgepodge: Randomness

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Randomness

1. Time magazine has selected The Ebola Fighters as their person of the year for 2014. Do you agree, and if so who would you say is a close second? If you disagree with their choice, who do you think should have been chosen? 

I haven't seen the article. The Ebola workers in Africa? Sure! They have a lot of responsibility and risk there. But, honestly, I'm not one to keep up with news, no cable and no newspapers, so I don't know if there are others more worthy or deserving.

2. This question comes to you courtesy of Susan who blogs over at Stew Mama Says. She knows we have a wedding happening any minute now, and she asks, 'What's your favorite-something old? something new? something borrowed? something blue in your home?  Be sure you hop over and say hi to Susan today! 

Old? Er. New? My Moleskine squared notebook that I'm going to use as my 2015 bullet journal and planner. Am I the only one that gets excited about new year planning? Borrowed? I don't think I have anything around borrowed right now...Blue? About now, my winter jacket!

3. Fudge-yay or nay? Your favorite flavor? Do you make it yourself? With nuts or without?  

How can anyone say nay? It's sweet! LOL I'm a big fan of chocolate, with or without nuts. Peanut butter is tasty too. But I'm not don't care for white chocolate anything. Is that even REAL chocolate?

4. December 17th is Wright Brothers Day, commemorating the first successful flights made by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  How old were you when you made your first flight? Do you like to fly? Have you ever been to Kitty Hawk or other parts of the North Carolina Outer Banks? 

I was 18. I flew from Maine to Belgium with my French teacher, Mr. P., and our school secretary at the time, and about 8 other French and Spanish students. We stayed with French families for 2 weeks, traveled around for a week, and spent a few days in Switzerland and Spain. But I've never been south to N. Carolina.

5. Do the people in your family tend to follow a particular career path, and if so what's the path?

Nah, we're all over the place! Lobstermen, school bus drivers, correctional officer, teacher, front hotel clerk, deli manager, construction worker, landscaper, hair cutter...Our paths meander every which way!

6. What is one thing you absolutely, positively must accomplish today?

Uhm. A shower. 

7. This Christmas I hope to spend a few relaxing days with my supportive Mom and Dad, my zany sisters and nieces, my wonderful BF and his kids, and my awesome kids, opening gifts and celebrating with good food and egg nog.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Happy Hodgepodging!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday Coffee Chat: Christmas Traditions

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 post!

What does Christmas Eve look like in your home?

Never the same. Lately.

When I was married we lived in the mid-west for a while. It was hard to get back to New England to visit family for Christmas, but we often did, juggling family in Connecticut and Maine, on airplanes, in cars. It was hectic! But then we moved back to Maine and settled into a routine. The kids and I would drive 4 hours to my parent's house a few days before Christmas, opening presents and having a family dinner on Christmas Eve, but arriving home to celebrate again on Christmas day. And again with my ex-husband's family on the weekend.

But divorce has a way of changing things.

Last Christmas I decided to simplify as I was no longer able (or wanting) to celebrate so much. Don't get me wrong! It's nice to see family, but the "running the roads" not so much. So, I decided to just celebrate Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve and that weekend with my ex-husband's family.

Photo Source

Christmas Eve will be on the 22nd this year. My sister is hosting, but works on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. (Let's hear it for Correctional Officers!) We'll have a big family, but informal dinner of spiral ham (with a sweet glaze), homemade mac n' cheese, steamed veggies, and a TBD dessert(s). We'll open presents.

And I hope to get some egg nog...

What about you?

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 12 - After a Quiet Break

It's awesome to be a homeschooler! We can tweak our schedule to fit just about anything, especially when it comes to recouping from illness and spending time with loved ones. So, we took 2 weeks off, some spent resting from a "bug", but a longer time spent with Nannie and Grandpa Lobster. Family is #1!

While the younger kids enjoyed another week of spoiling with their grandparents, Jake and I had quiet days at home. (He did have a few days of school.) I can't even say I did a lot of housework, although I did finish cleaning and organizing Sam's bedroom. (Phew! I may not be the same after seeing the dirty dishes stashed under his bed...) I was able to spend more time with Thomas, and delved into new crochet projects. (You should see my Pinterest board...)  I made a slouchy hat with a brim, mesh market bags, Christmas coasters, and bath puffs. Sometimes it's nice to just "chill".

• Take-out Chinese • Chicken Drumsticks, Roasted Potatoes & Steamed Carrots • Homemade Stuffed Crust Pizza with Green Peppers • Crockpot Sweet n' Spicy Lil' Smokies, Meatballs & Broccoli with French Bread & Cucumber Slices •

Cati was a trooper this week. She came back from her grandparents with a sore throat, hacking coughs and sniffles, but she still did her work most days. (I suggested she stay another week as to not bring illness back here, but.) She did decide to skip band practice. A wise choice considering. 

But despite a 2 week break and a cold, our week back went smoother than expected. Sometimes getting back into routines can be tough. Or it can be a chance to break NEGATIVE routines and start new ones. Sam's "night owl" hours before break have been replaced with an earlier bedtime for an earlier start to the school day.

Changes were  made to Sam's Earth Science. It was becoming a battle! So, I decided to give him the "power": He reads the sections independently and writes notes for his notebook. Before I was reading the information and writing notes that he would copy. He seems more content to do the work alone. :shrug: And his notes are more thorough with labelled diagrams!

But then he came down with a cold too. So, we spent part of the afternoon watching movies (while I crocheted my latest projects), and then played the Multiplication Grid Game and watched You Tube videos on volcanoes.

And today we did a little school then made homemade gingerbread and chocolate peppermint fudge. (Leave it to us to forget to add the peppermint extract to the fudge though...) It is the baking and making season!


  • Descriptive, Proper, Limiting & Diagramming Adjectives
  • Average, Coordinates, Mixed Fractions with Different Numerators, Area
  • Kinds of Fossils, Radioactive Dating, Geologic Time Scale, Earth's Era
  • Current Events: CNN Student News
  • Phys. Ed. - Walking


  • Easy Peasy Days 20-21 (Conkling Poetry, Wrote Diamond Formula Poem, Aesop's Fables), Spelling Weeks 34-35
  • Multiplication Facts 0, 1, 2 & 5, Solving for N, Regrouping, Time
  • Types and Stages of Volcanic Eruptions, Volcanic Landforms
  • Phys. Ed. - Walking, Building a Snow Fort
  • Current Events: CNN Student News

Holy Bible (Me) • Star Wars (Cati) • Stuart Little (White) (Sam)

• Concert Band (Cati) • Bible Study & Fellowship (Me) 


Happy Homeschooling!

As always, special thanks to these weekly link-ups:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Christmas Spirit

1. What is one new holiday tradition you'd like to establish, or one you've established recently, say in the last year or two?

OK, I'll admit it: I don't usually have the "Christmas spirit". I find December a stressful, chaotic month. Not just because of juggling holiday expectations, but because it is usually the last month I have to make ALL preparations for a long, snowy winter as well as expenses of paying for heating oil and snow plowing, dealing with bad driving conditions and shoveling snow away from the front of the house. And that's in addition to homeschooling, running a house and caring for 3 kids and a bunch of animals as a single Mom. Who has time for Christmas decorating? Oh! And did I mention I dislike shopping? But this year I hope to have a least a few days around Christmas to relax and enjoy my kids, my family and time with Thomas.

2. It's the second week of December. Have you sipped a cup of eggnog yet this month? Wrapped a gift? Opened a gift? Kissed someone under the mistletoe? Lit a candle? Eaten a Christmas cookie? Seen Santa in person? Watched a Christmas movie or special? Read scripture relating to the birth of Jesus?

Eggnog IS something to have "Christmas spirit" over! LOL My daughter and I shared a bottle of CHOCOLATE eggnog a couple of days ago. Personally, good ol' regular eggnog is best! But we might try the buttered rum next...I haven't wrapped or opened gifts, or kissed anyone under mistletoe, or lit a candle, or eaten a Christmas cookie, or seen Santa, or watched a Christmas special, or read scripture. :sigh:

3. Do you think it's better to be an adult or a child at Christmastime? Explain.

As a child! As a child, I just had to dream about the magic and wonderfulness of Christmas, the presents, the dancing lights, the great food. There wasn't concern about buying gifts, juggling long distance visits to family, planning and organizing...and dealing with life to boot. (Gosh - Do I sound like Scrooge? LOL)

4. It's often said, 'Good things come to those who wait'...agree or disagree? Why?

Something the very best things come over time (and patience). And waiting gives us an appreciation we don't have from instant gratification; we enjoy that special something...or someone...all that much more.

5. What's the last sweet thing you baked? Did you keep it, take it to a party/event, or give it away?

I made Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies with Christmas-colored chocolate chips. Have you seen the black, red and green morsels? My daughter picked them out while out grocery shopping a couple of days ago. The cookies have ALL been gobbled up by kids (and, yes, me too)!

6.  This question comes to us courtesy of Jhona who blogs over at The Red House at the End of the Lane. Everyone hop over and say hi to Jhona this week!  Here is her question... "I heard an actor talk about how he makes a conscious choice to talk to people in elevators.  He chooses to connect, make eye contact, and converse. Do you talk to people/strangers when you're in an elevator or any other place where you might have to wait together? Why or why not?"

Sometimes. While doing the grocery shopping (and getting those chocolate chips), I struck up a conversation with the man in front of me. He warned me that the "wetness" on the check-out belt wasn't water, but blood and juices from a package of meat. (Ew!) And that led into talk of upcoming messy weather. (See the connection? LOL) Why not connect? Share a few kind words? Help pass wait time in a pleasant manner?

7. Are you on the naughty or nice list this year? What put you there?

Nice! I always strive to be a genuinely nice person. Of course, like everyone, I have my moments of lapsed judgement, but I try to live life with kindness. Always.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Happy Hodgepodging!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday Coffee Chat: Random Acts of Kindness

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 post!

More about our Random of Acts of Kindness!   What acts would you add, and will you join our challenge?

Random Acts of Kindness...Little things that you can do EVERY SINGLE DAY with everyone you see. A simple smile or nod of the head. Holding a door open so another can pass through with their kids or bags. A chat while waiting in the check-out line to pass the time. Kindness doesn't have to be big. And never should be about US, but about OTHERS.

Leslie shared a link to this calendar as a helpful guide that we could do in December to show kindness:

Link to Website

Such great, simple ideas, don't you think?  IMO, kindness should be in everything we do. Not just December. Or any other month or occasion. Let's not wait for a "season", but make it part of life!

What would my Kindness Acts be?

Patience. One of the kindest, most loving things we can do is practice patience. Too many of us are in a rush, are focused on getting our needs met NOW, that we forget to slow down, enjoy what's going on, and be kind those around us. Patience brings understanding, calmness, friendliness, and joy to others that "bounces back" to us. It's a win-win!

Kind words. There's nothing better to brighten someone's day than friendly words. A simple heart-felt thank you. A wishing someone a wonderful day. Asking how someone is (and listening). A joke to bring about giggles. Words are more powerful than we know!

A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

Helping Hands. Have you ever heard the saying "Many hands make light work"? It's true! And it also builds neighborhoods, communities, friendships, and family relationships. Help others. Do so with a willing heart. Shovel the snow off someone's walkway. Carry someone's groceries. Critter Sit someone's pet so they can visit their family. Bring a meal to a busy family (or especially if there's sickness in the house). Volunteer in the community.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Memory Mondays: Christmas Memories

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 My Husband.) Why not head over and share your memories?

Christmas Memories

A round rubber Santa tree topper. Our Christmas tree wasn't the same when ole Santa dry-rotted after 20 years? and was replaced by a white, lacy Angel with yellowy tea lights. Santa wasn't even REALLY a tree topper, but a toy that I fondly remember growing up. "He" was attached to the top with a piece of glittery, tinsel-type garland, a different color each year. And I never got a picture of "him"...

I searched and searched on-line, but could only find something SIMILAR our Santa of the '70s. Perhaps he was one of a kind?

Photo Credit

But even more special was the times when my younger sister Jenny and I would lay down in front of the tree while the lights flashed on and off in no particular pattern and the livingroom was dark. We would dream about what Santa and our Mom and Dad would bring us for presents as the colors danced on the ceiling above. It didn't matter that for years there was no carpet and we were laying on a cold, linoleum floor.

Photo Credit

Merry Christmas!