Saturday, May 30, 2015

Six Word Saturday: Summing up Life in 6 - 6 Word Sentences

Hot, Humid and Hard to Sleep.
Mosquitoes are back with a vengeance.
Cooling off with the garden hose.
Rumbles of thunder, pattering of rain.
Flowers are blooming, garden is growing.
Homeschool wrapped up for the summer.

Join Cate at Show My Face for Six Word Saturday.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 33 - The Final Week

And it's a wrap! 

Our 11th year of homeschooling is finished! Portfolio reviews are scheduled for tomorrow morning. It was a year ups-and-downs, but ALWAYS a learning experience. Now, onto planning and preparing for next year...and enjoying summer!

Not all my goals were accomplished this year, but I always am quite ambitious with them. Better to have challenging goals than ones easily attained, right? 

In the meantime, we're making memories! 

Sam decided to rig up the hose (using the mower) and cool off one afternoon. He's a "ham"!

We loaded up the kids and picnic food, and headed to a friend's house to camp in her AWESOME travel trailer. The kids kayaked and caught frogs. There were yummy S'mores, cooked over a fire near the pond. And 4 tired kids (and parents) at the end of the day.

We drove into the city and attended a AA baseball game. Our Portland Seadogs lost 2-3, but we had a great time, going home with 2 game balls (that players threw up to the kids).

We weeded and watched the garden grow.

And enjoyed seeing a few flowers bloom.

As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly homeschool blog link-ups. Click on over to see what other homeschoolers are doing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Volume 222 - Something to Remember

1. Did you do anything 'memorable' this past weekend?

It was the first weekend that my husband and I had all our children together since marrying. We have 5 kids together, ages 16, 13, 13, 10 and 9 1/2. We camped overnight at a friend's house then went to a baseball game in the city. My daughter marched in 3 different Memorial Day parades. And we played baseball together as a family and BBQed. A fun, exhausting weekend!

2. Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

Your thoughts? Don you somewhat acknowledge and appreciate the freedoms you enjoy? Did your upbringing contribute to that sense of appreciation? If you're a parent, are there specific things  you do to pass on this sense of responsibility and appreciation to your own children in regard to the freedoms they enjoy?

With the world like it is,  both "home" and abroad, the principles the U.S. have been founded on are at risk of being taken away. Protecting and fighting for them is part of being American. Although I can't say I have devoted a lot of time to discussing freedoms with the kids, I encourage them to be citizens that protect their environment, use resources wisely and be responsible decision-makers.

3. Loudest noise you have ever heard?

I don't think I've ever heard anything unusually loud; fireworks, back-firing vehicles, gun shots, concerts, and thunder have been some of the loudest sounds I've heard.

4. What was the last thing you ate that might be considered 'junk food'? Did you enjoy it? 

For dinner tonight, Cati made cheese pizza. Using jarred sauce, pre-made crusts and shredded cheese from the store, she baked 2 pies for us. Although not as good as the local pizza place, it was quick, inexpensive and satisfied the pizza cravings.

5. When was the last time you were somewhere the crowd felt 'packed in like sardines'?

Memorial Day weekend officially started the "camp" season around here. Campers, trucks and vehicles were backed up for miles Friday afternoon and evening. The convenient store was hopping with people. I was happy to return home out of the chaos!

6. Are you organized when it comes to packing for a trip? Do you make a list weeks in advance or toss items in last minute? Are you a carry-on only sort of packer or do you need an entire suitcase for your shoes?

I'm definitely a planner and start early if I can. Perhaps not weeks in advance, but early enough that I'm usually assured not to forget something. Everything fits in a carry-on as it quickens the process of getting out of the airport (and there's no lost luggage). If we're in a car then I tend to bring a few extras items I wouldn't on a plane such as snacks and drinks, more clothing and shoes, and some entertainment items like books and electronics.

7. What was the last sporting event you attended? Did you team win? Did you care?

Just this past weekend, Tom and I drove into the city with our kids for a AA baseball game. Our local team is the Portland Seadogs, affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. They lost 2-3, but we had a great time just the same.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness!

Happy Hodgepodging!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tuesday Coffee Chat: Summer Singing

Time out for MomThis week at Time Out for Mom, Leslie wants to know:

I love music! I have not shared any music around here lately...and I found a great song for the summer! Do you have a "go to" Summer Song? or do you find a new one each season?

 Blog about it and share over at Tuesday Coffee Chat!

Perhaps I'm unique in my views of music, but I don't have a "go to" summer song. Whatever plays on the radio while I'm driving around is what I remember most from a particular summer. I guess you could say that I'm a "new one each season" kind of person then.

Otherwise I don't listen to music OUT of the van. I don't even listen to the radio in the house. Er. I don't think I have a working radio...

But I just downloaded Spotify onto my Android. I think I have a total of 11 songs on my playlist! Look at me! Getting with the times! Eh?

What's on my playlist? 

Uptown Funk (Bruno Mars). Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) (Kelly Clarkson). Shut Up and Dance (Walk the Moon). F__kin' Perfect (Pink). (I did NOT realize that she was saying THAT in this song! What was I thinking??) Get the Party Started (Pink). Since U Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson). Try (Pink). Animals (Maroon 5). One More Night (Maroon 5). Moves like Jagger (Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera). Honey, I'm Good (Andy Grammer). FourFiveSeconds (Rihanna/Kanye West).

I found all the songs on the Top 40 list as I was trying to figure out how to use the app. I think I needed a 7-year-old to show me how it's done because those 11 songs took me QUITE a long time to get on a playlist and then some were surprises...

Needless to say, I think I'll be making some changes to my playlist in the coming weeks. Hopefully I'll figure out how to pre-listen to the songs before adding them because, well, some weren't quite what I expected.

What's on your Spotify for this summer? I need suggestions!

Creative Crochet: Rugged Ripple Blanket

Look! A blog post dedicated to my crocheting!

I never ever thought I would enjoy knitting or crocheting. Until the winter before last, I had no desire to learn either craft. I'm not sure what sparked my creative "juices" that winter, but I decided to learn to knit using videos found on You Tube. Then, this past fall I switched to crochet because I simply could not figure out how to knit in a round no matter the video instruction or Mom's help (as she's an accomplished crafter). But crochet? Now that makes sense! 

I'm crocheting up my very first blanket called Rugged Ripples. Here's the You Tube Video:

I have an ambitious goal to make each of my 5 kids a blanket to take with them as they leave for college or work. (I've got 8 years to make 5 unique blankets.) This blanket is for my oldest son Jake. He decided on navy blue, deep red and white for colors.

It's supposed to be a twin-sized blanket, but I'm guessing it'll be queen unless I decide to have vertical ripples rather than horizontal. (I think it looks awesome either way, but I have mixed opinions from my family.) Instead of an I hook, I used a J (recommended for the yarn I purchased). My progress is slow, but steady; it's going to take some time to complete it. Perhaps I'll break for quick creations here and there? I've got quite a few inspirations pinned on Pinterest.

I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at The Philosopher's Wife (Mondays), Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays), and Natural Suburbia (Fridays).

Friday, May 22, 2015

Six Word Saturday: Summing up Life in 6 - 6 Word Sentences

Settling in to a BLESSED life.

Blissfully married for 13 glorious days.
Moved husband here in 6 hours.
Early wake-ups to start day together.
Date night with ice cream sundaes.
Warming by the fire, cooking marshmallows.
Long weekend with 5 super kids.

Join Cate at Show My Face for Six Word Saturday.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 31 - 32 - Tick Tock!

We're getting closer and closer to finishing up our 11th year of homeschooling. Portfolio reviews are set-up for the end of the month, so we're pushing through our final lessons to preparation to start summer vacation June 1st. We're all ready to have a break, and enjoy our new blended family and warmer, sunnier weather.

Cati's goal is to finish up her Maine Studies research paper. She's not thrilled about this paper as we've already done Maine Studies with her older brother, but she didn't do it in the grade range required by law. Unfortunately it's one of those things she just needs to get done to move on.

Sam continues to finish up Essential Skills Advantage's Language Arts and work problem sets in Saxon 54. Unfortunately he's going to fall "short" on my goal of 100 lessons, finishing at 85. Like many kids with SPD, he needs constant review. Saxon is great for that, but sometimes even additional review beyond the curriculum is also needed for long term understanding. It's made moving ahead a slow, but steady process.

In the meantime, we're enjoying our extra time to pursue other interests.

Our garden is planted with peas, beans, carrots, cucumbers, and pie pumpkins, the tried-and-true growers for us. One of my new SIL's grows GIANT pumpkins, including an award-winning over 800-pounder, and passed along some seeds to us. Sam is hoping for one REALLY big pumpkin come fall. Me? A single vine can take up to 400-500 square feet of growing space. Looks like I'm going to have less yard to mow this season!

As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly homeschool blog link-ups. Click on over to see what other homeschoolers are doing!

 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

"When one teaches, two learn." - Robert Heinlein

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Volume 220

1. When is your next big deadline? What's it for?

May 17th. Tom and I hope to have him moved out of his studio apartment and into the house with me and the kids on Friday. It'll be a relief to have that done!

2. May is National BBQ month. Do you prefer cooking indoors or out? What's the best thing about a BBQ? What's the last thing you cooked on an outdoor grill?

My preference for cooking? Letting my kids do it! I don't like to cook, but I like to eat...BBQ grub is tasty and I do grill out a lot during the warmer months. The last thing I cooked? BBQ boneless skinless chicken "tenders" with whole Maine potatoes.

3. What is one thing that's on your "never again" list?

Amusement park rides. Sure, I'll go on some of the "kiddie" ones, but anything high or spinning - no way! As I've gotten older I have become fearful of heights and spinning makes me, er, ill.

4. What is something that annoys you about people your own age? Something you love about your generation?

Oh, when women dress like teenagers. You know those shorts with the words on the bum? SMH. Don't do it ladies! But I love that we have the confidence of experience we didn't have as teens.

5. Lilac, Iris, Hyacinth, Pansy...your favorite purple flower?

Photo Source

6. What's a song that always calms you down?

I can't say as I have a particular song. Or at least nothing comes to mind. I do enjoy a wide variety of music, but mostly only listen to it while driving. Perhaps it keeps me calm and focused then? 

7. What is the last thing you donated?

Outgrown clothing to the Salvation Army. Every spring and every fall I go through our clothing, throwing out anything ripped or stained and donating anything outgrown or not worn in forever. Less unused clothing means more closet space!

Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness!

Happy Hodgepodging!

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook: May 11, 2015

The sky is an overcast steel gray. Light sprinkles of cool rain fall gently. An occasional soft breeze rustles the evergreens and emerging buds on the deciduous trees.

My beautifully simple wedding was just yesterday, and I continue to reminisce about those hours with my new husband, our kids and family. 

For a husband who is hard-working, family-oriented, loving and caring, humorous, and Godly. For kids who are healthy, helpful, and a bit zany at times. For family and friends who support me with listening ears, kind thoughts and cold tea.

Warm, cozy black sweats (with cargo pockets), a bright green Starter T-shirt and fuzzy blue, white and purple socks. Comfort wear for a day of catching up on housework!

I'm continuing to crochet a navy blue, bright red and snow white "ripple" blanket for my oldest son. It's a project that will take some time to complete, but I am thinking about taking a break to make some cute crochet keychains to add to my pile of creations to sell or give away as gifts.

In 4 days, my husband and I will be driving to the mountains for our honeymoon. I'm looking forward to our special time together, making new memories, hiking to waterfalls, ascending the highest peak in New England, eating at restaurants...and enjoying an in-room jacuzzi.

I have almost finished Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the 2nd book in the Divergent series my daughter recommended. We hope to borrow Allegiant from the library.

With the help of my kids, Cati and Sam, our Square Foot vegetable garden is planted. Grow, veggies, grow! We're keeping it simple this year, planting only sugar pie pumpkins, sweet peas, Contender beans, Parisienne carrots, and pickling cucumbers.

Sunday - Wedding Reception Cook-out
Monday - Ziti with spaghetti sauce and meatballs and fresh veggie sticks
Tuesday -  Leftovers from wedding
Wednesday - Fast Food (During Move)
Thursday - Baked Whole Chicken with rice pilaf and peas
Friday - Restaurant
Saturday - Restaurant


Would you like to see my ever-growing Pinterest crochet board? Click here! There's never enough time in the day to crochet!

 To read more Daybook posts or learn how to participate, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Six Word Saturday: A Forever Life

Giddy for the BIG day tomorrow...

On Mother's Day I will marry,
starting forever with my best friend.

With our children, parents and siblings,
we'll share our vows and commitment.

Then celebrate with our blended family
a forever life together as one.

Join Cate at Show My Face for Six Word Saturday.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 30 - A Glimpse of Summer

Oh, with temperatures like these how could we possibly focus on homeschooling this week? Stay cooped up inside, pouring over adverbs and fractions? No way!

So, we walked along the causeway near the lake, soaking up the sun's warm rays, and enjoyed a picnic lunch under the bridge. And went kayaking for the first time this season. (Why yes! the water is quite cold still!)

Jake spotted a young snapper in the yard one afternoon. Although we were excited to watch it meander along towards the brook, the turtle didn't seem thrilled with our presence. It's hard to think of something 4 inches long ferocious, but it tried to intimidate us with it's snapping and hissing. (We kept a respectful distance of course.)

Years ago the kids' friend pulled this MONSTER from our brook. This one? Very much intimidating!

Despite kayaking and building of a new tree house, finishing up outside spring cleaning, and watching movies at night, Language Arts and Math were completed most days for Sam and Cati worked on her Maine Studies research paper. We're down to just a few lessons to finish out the year!

Who's planning for next year? With my portfolio reviews being scheduled for this month, I've started to think more about next year. I'm almost done deciding on curriculum...Suggestions for a FREE on-line high school health curriculum? Over the summer I'll tweak the details, determined learning goals, and snag the rest of supplies needed.

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

Happy Homeschooling! I'll be posting my next weekly wrap-up as a MRS...