Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Egg-cellent!

1. In honor of the date...when were you last sent on a 'fool's errand'?

I always try to look on the positive side, even if the errands turns out a "wash". I don't remember my last "fool's errand". Every experience is a chance for growth, for laughs, for learning.

2. Peter Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, The Energizer Bunny, The Easter Bunny, Rabbit (Pooh's friend), White Rabbit (of Wonderland fame), or the Trix Rabbit...which of these 'famous' rabbits can you best relate to right now?

Energizer! Between house responsibilities, homeschooling, hobbies and errands, trying to do some decluttering and organizing, and getting the kids ready for a week with family, I've been GOING and GOING.

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3. When did you last find yourself scrambling to get something done? Explain.

I'm a planner. I rarely scramble to get something done. It's been a while and I just can't think of something right this sec...So, maybe I'm scrambling to find an answer for this question!

4. Last time you were up at the literal crack of dawn? Why? Last time you stayed up all night? Why?

I love my daughter with all my heart, but her 3am cell phone alarm with Dr. Who "chimes" HAS. GOT. TO. GO! Why 3am? She says she wants to get up early to get her school done when the house is quiet. The problem? The alarm doesn't wake HER up! And just to make sure she doesn't sleep in, she has the alarm set for 4am and 5am...and 6am too. Guess who it DOES wake up? 

5. Crack a book, crack a bottle, crack a joke, crack an egg...which have you done most recently?

All of the above in the last couple of days! I'm reading River Talk, about a Maine town near a paper mill, that's a great read. I broke a glass bottle in the utility room during my decluttering and reorganizing. I hope to have the room looking spiffy by the end of next week. What a chore! My fiance and I are always telling each other jokes, making the other laugh...or sometimes shake our heads. And I had to throw away a cracked duck's egg from the fridge. Life is all that it's "cracked up to be"! 

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6. What's your favorite part of a typical weekend? Tell us why that's so.

Sunday! We all need a day of rest, right? I try to get all my household responsibilities, laundry, vacuuming, scrubbing toilets, on Saturday, then take Sunday for blogging, catching up on my Hulu shows, reading, and crocheting. Or spending time with my Tom and the kids.

7. What's something I'd find on a bookshelf in your home? Other than a book I mean!

Well, there's some board games and a red-haired Cabbage Patch doll from the '80s, some DVDs of my favorite shows and a Mason jar of buttons, a few picture frames and a glass clock my sisters gave me 20-odd years ago, and a big green plastic Halloween pumpkin that I throw loose change in.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

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Happy Hodgepodging!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 25 - Bumpy Roads

It's that time of year where frost heaves and mud are taking over the roads. Nothing like bouncing up and down in the back of the van to excite the younger kids, and make me wonder when I should schedule an alignment. Fortunately, I haven't had to do the "pot hole slalom". Yet.

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Phew! Although I managed to get a weekly wrap-up done last week, no other blogging happened. Do you ever find yourself without energy for anything extra? I did crochet up a beautiful "ocean blue" hat for a friend one evening. (Want to crochet up your own beanie? Here's the pattern.) 

I saw this dessert for a banana pudding poke cake on Facebook this week. What's not to love about pudding AND cake, but it just seemed like to much work. Bake a cake? Nah! So, I whipped up a 10 minute version that was yummy!

2 packages instant vanilla pudding ($1.38)
3 1/2 cups cold skim milk ($.72)
1 box no brand Nilla Wafers ($2.99)
1 small container non-dairy whipped topping ($.99)
2-3 large ripe bananas ($.47)

Mix the pudding with the milk and set aside to firm up. Place a layer of wafers in the bottom of a 9x9 casserole dish. Fold the whipped topping into the pudding. Spoon half the pudding over the wafers, spreading evenly. Place a layer of sliced banana over the pudding layer. Add another layer of wafers, reserving 4-5 cookies. Spread the rest of the pudding mixture evenly over the top. Place the 4-5 cookies in a baggie and coarse-crush with a rolling pin. Sprinkle the wafer crumbs on top. Makes 10 servings ($.66 per serving).

In my quest to find curriculum-on-a-budget for next year, I found 2 websites that may be helpful to you. (For more resources, see Our Favorite Resources page here.)

DiscoveryK12 is a complete curriculum for grades K-12 covering Language Arts, Math, Science, History, Visual/Performing Arts, Health, HTML Coding, and Spanish. Need records? It does that too! Attendence, grades, even a P.E. log can be printed out. I wish the Writing portion included lessons and I'm unimpressed with Spanish, but the video components are a definite plus for Sam. (Don't confuse this site with K12.)

And Essential Skills Advantage is a grade K-6 Language Arts program that includes reading, spelling, comprehension, and vocabulary. No records with this one unless you want to pay for an upgrade though. But Sam is enjoying this one better than MobyMax.

Am I the only one that is ready for this year to wrap up? 60 days left, give or take a bunch of days. (I haven't been diligent about recording completed days this year...) Not that homeschooling has been frustrating, but because we're looking forward to the "lazy days of summer". (Oh, kayaking and swimming how we miss you!)

Sam and I did some "myth busting" this week. After seeing this video on Facebook, charging your cell phone with a paperclip, paper and quarters, we tried it out. Busted! We also found another video on charging a phone with a paperclip, quarter and the sun...Busted! If you and your crew try it and it works, let us know.

While at the library, Cati signed up for the literacy scavenger hunt challenge going on for teens. Kids are being challenged to read 50 books that represent or have a connection to each of the US states (i.e. where the author is from, story setting, etc.) Those that complete the hunt get a book bag with a big MUSTACHE on it. Cati wants that bag! She left the library with no less than 8 books? on her quest to "scavenge" this week.

As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly wrap-ups:
Hearts for Home @ Monsters Ed Homeschooling Academy photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized HomeschoolersHip Homeschool Moms

Did you miss my other posts this week?
Happy Homeschooling!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Sweet and Sunny

1. This coming weekend is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. Do you celebrate Easter in your home? What was your favorite Easter tradition as a child?

What's an Easter without a church service and hunting for candy-filled plastic eggs? or a big family dinner with ham? My kids are older now though. Easter baskets and hunts are a thing of younger years, but I still think they appreciate a chocolate bunny...But more importantly it's WHY we celebrate Easter that's important.

2. George Weinberg is quoted as saying, 'Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.' Agree or disagree? Share your own thoughts on the word hope. 

Absolutely! It's US who give up on hope. Hope is always there. It can found even in the most beak situations...if we look hard enough. 

3. Weigh in with a yay or nay on the traditional Easter candies. A solid milk chocolate bunny? Cadbury Creme Eggs? Peeps? Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs? Jellybeans? Coconut Cream Eggs? Of the candies listed, which one would you most like to find in your Easter basket?

A chocolate Easter bunny is tradition around here. I've usually gotten a small one for each of the kids every Easter since they've been old enough to enjoy candy. For me? I'd go for the Reese's peanut butter eggs. As for Peeps - Ew! Icky! But they are cute!

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4. When did you last feel 'like a kid in a candy store'

In the yarn store. I have an addiction to crocheting. Admitting it is the first step...

5. What's something you know you do differently than most people? Does that bother you? Does it bother other people?

I pondered this, but I can't think of anything that I do radically different than other people. Or maybe my family and friends are unique just like me!

6. Palm Springs CA, Palm Beach FL, or the PALMetto State...of the three mentioned, which sunny spot would you most like to visit right now? Which have you visited at one time or another?

I haven't visited ANY of these places, but their sun and warmth is envied about now. We're in the frigid winter that never ends! But, since my first best friend lives in FL and Disney is there (and everyone should go to Disney once, right?), I'd chose there to visit.

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7. If you could change the length of a day would you lengthen it or shorten it? Tell us why.

If I lengthen my day does it mean I also get MORE energy to get all those things I need to done? There's always more to accomplish, more to enjoy, more to struggle with when the day is over. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I smile at this meme. You probably don't know, but I LOVE cereal! It's been my "go to" dessert for years now. (Yes, DESSERT, as I especially like sugary cereal - Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Krispies, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and any granolas.)

Happy Hodgepodging!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tuesday Coffee Break: The Perfect Age

I'm joining Leslie at Time Out for Mom for Tuesday Coffee Chat. This week's chat prompt? 17 again! If you could be any age again, for one week, what age would you be?

Right now. Right this moment. THIS is the age for me. But all the years, all the experiences, all the trials-and-errors, brought me to where I am now. And I'm content to be here.

When I look back over my 43 years (and I don't mind sharing that number with you), every stage, every age, every phase, helped shape who I am and what I have become. Those experiences were necessary, the good ones, the challenging ones, and no time was better than another.

I don't want to go back. Nor do I want to go forward. I want to LIVE and ENJOY and GROW in THIS moment.  After all, it's preparing me for the next phase of my life...

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What age would you be? 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 24 - An Up-and-Down Kinda Week

This week I took a break from my usual Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday blogging. Something it's necessary to focus on family, but I'm looking forward to returning to blog hoppin' this coming week.

Although last weekend was full of family and fun, it was over-shadowed by losing our sassy indoor cat Stripe. I'm not completely sure when she got out on Thursday, but she did not sleep in her usual spot (at my feet) that night. Perhaps the furnace repair guy let her out that morning? She hasn't returned.  I contacted the nearest shelter as well as Maine Lost Cat Recovery and we placed a flyer on our road. We're hoping she returns soon! But with a siting of a lynx in our backyard and the frigid nighttime temperatures this past week, it's unlikely that she is still around.

While Cati and Sam spent the weekend visiting their Dad, Jake was camping with scouts. (Don't worry too much about him camping! They were in a cabin with a very efficient wood stove.) I enjoyed a weekend with Tom and his kids, ice skating, watching movies and playing Cribbage and Trash. (One of these times I'll win a game of Cribbage...) My kids returned early Sunday afternoon, and things got really loud with giggles, video games and "mayhem". A houseful of kids is a WONDERFUL thing!

Sam even made dinner for all 7 of us by himself. He whipped up some homemade alfredo sauce to go with pasta and a simple tossed salad. Quite impressive for a just-turned-10-year-old, don't you think? It was yummy! 

My daughter turned 13! A sweet, sensitive young lady who doesn't let me forget she is now taller than I am! (Some day I'll probably be the shortest in the house and I'm not short!)

I've planned out Cati's school for next year. Fortunately, I have all the curriculum that she'll need and won't have to purchase anything for her. But Sam? I am still undecided about Language Arts and Science. Any suggestions for a hands-on learner who doesn't like to read or write much (although can) and is budget-friendly and perhaps on-line?

We finished up Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times this week and started Volume 2:  Middle Ages. Since we only have 65 days left in the school year, I decided that we would do the Middle Ages as a read aloud book rather than a text with map activities and a wall timeline. I'm not sure if we'll complete it or not, but that's OK.

Sam struggled with learning division with remainers and regrouping when there's multiple digits of 0. Fortunately there's plenty of supplemental practice in his Saxon textbook to practice, much to his chagrin. 

Cati wrapped up Earth Science for the year today. Her focus will be on Grammar and Writing, Maine Studies and completing Algebra (with only 16 more lessons to go). She been quite dedicated to her studies this year.

Otherwise it was another week of reading, writing and 'rithmatic. 

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

Did you miss my other posts this week?

Happy Homeschooling!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Six Word Saturday: Summary in Sixes

Quiet meandering walk through squishy mud,
With Rosie sniffing new spring smells.

Hens scaling a mountain of snow,
To find the one brown patch.

Snowquake! Packed snow and ice slide,
Rumbling down the roof and off.

More outside time for energized kids,
Avoiding school work for warm sunshine.

Cold freezes deep, rutted mud solid,
Making for a bumpy ride through.

Birthday celebrations of a special daughter,
and time spent with loved ones.

Join Cate at Show My Face for Six Word Saturday.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 23 - Catching Up, Cooking & Changes

:: drip :: :: drip :: That's the sound of the packed snow and ice melting off the roof. Spring arrived this week! It was AWESOME to head out in my muck boots for a long, leisurely sun-shiny walk (through the mud) with Rosie, our Golden, and Winnie, our Toller. Without a jacket. Guess what we're expecting again this weekend? 

PAX EAST 2015It's been forever since I've shared about Jake and his goings-on. At 16, he's entered an age where he doesn't share details of his life at high school. STEM school continues to be a perfect fit for him, and he's enrolled next year too. 

Would you believe I haven't seen any of his grades this year? As someone who doesn't put a lot of "weight" into grades, I haven't thought too much about it until NOW. (Everything is on-line for me to see at any time though...)  

As one of the oldest in Boy Scouts now, he has taken on leadership roles, helping to run meetings and working with the younger scouts.  He helped with a station at the Klondike Derby this year for the Cub Scouts, and this weekend will participate in New Scout Camp Weekend.

Last weekend he went to PAX East in Boston with his Dad. PAX is THE convention for video gamers and techie geeks, and Jake has been wanting to go for a couple of years now. It was all that he had hoped it would be!

The rest of us "hung out" over the weekend with Tom. Sam had his Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet Saturday night. He participated in a funny skit with some of his den. But otherwise our weekend was filled with Sorry!, Cribbage, video games, and Hulu. Sometimes it's nice to have a relaxed couple of days! (Although I still did laundry...and dishes...and vacuuming...and sweeping...)

I had forgotten how much the kids enjoy roasting edamame for snacking. It's a super easy recipe! The kids dump a bag of frozen edamame on a cookie sheet, drizzle a little EVOO on top, stir until the beans are lightly coated, then sprinkle on salt to taste. We roast them in a 350 degree oven until they're brown and crunchy. A wonderful nutty flavor!

Roasted edamame recipe
I didn't snap a photo before OUR edamame was eaten, but this photo with recipe comes from HERE

Cati's Saxon Grammar and Writing requires a "term paper". After discussing how we were going to tackle this project, we decided to combine the paper with her Maine Studies. She's done several Maine projects so we both feel it's a waste of time, but since it's legally required we decided to "kill 2 birds with 1 stone" and do her paper on Maine. This week she did her outline and drafted a few sections of her paper on her blog.

Sam found our old Wii in a box in the utility room. He discovered that one of the controllers wasn't working and decided to go about fixing it. He tore it apart piece-by-piece with a little screwdriver, carefully looking at each part. I figured it was "toast", especially after he said, "I don't remember how it went together", but wouldn't you know? it works again!

As always, special thanks to the these bloggers: