Monday, April 25, 2016

Journal Jottings of a Maine Mama - April , 2016

I haven't had much time (and truth by told ENERGY) to do much blogging lately, or even reading all the wonderful things you all blog about. My life is blessed! I simply want to enjoy every day that God has given me with my loving husband and zany kids, the new experiences, the adventures, and even the challenges.I miss writing though, and this link-up. Perhaps starting it at the beginning of the week and posting the following Monday will work...


Although we've had some days of steady, cool rain, the weather has warmed up. We are enjoying more and more sunny days. Some days we don't even have to wear jackets!

All the snow is gone. The leaves have been raked off the lawn. The downed tree branches have been gathered and stacked to burn in the fire pit. The grass is green and growing. Cate's perennials have popped up as well as the Bleeding Hearts under the crabapple tree. The brook is swollen with melted snow from the mountain. Decidious trees are leaf buds. And the birds and spring peepers are back filling the woods with songs.

After a busy morning filled with learning and errands, I'm resting in the livingroom. The windows are open and I can hear the hens clucking. Another egg? Sam is making homemade peanut butter cookies and watching Netflix. The dogs are napping on the other end of the couch.

Grocery Shop
Band Practice
Scrub Toilets

Monday: Pepperoni or Cheese Pizza
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Garlic Bread and Steamed Peas
Wednesday: Leftovers - Baked Beans and Hot Dogs or Spaghetti and Meatballs and Baby Carrots and Celery Sticks
Thursday: Breakfast Pizza with White Pepper Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Cheese, and Bacon and Pineapple Chunks
Friday: Chicken Alfredo and Steamed Cauliflower/Broccoli
Saturday: Chinese Take-out
Sunday: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

I usually catch up on "Survivor", "The Amazing Race", "The Voice", and "Big Bang Theory" on Hulu or CBS sometime AFTER they have aired. We haven't had cable or local TV in several years now (nor Netflix). I do miss some of the shows on cable, but it's convenient to watch shows when it works for me through Hulu or CBS.

Most of you probably don't know that 3 1/2 years ago I attended the birth of my nephew Ayden. I was also there with my family when he died 50 minutes later. Ayden, the first child of my sister, arrived at 22 weeks due to an incompetent cervix. He was perfect in every way, but too early. It's been on my heart for a while to use my crochet to create special hat and blanket sets for Moms and Dads who's babies never go home through prematurity. These parents have only a few special items from their babies so they are treasured. I took a break from my 2 temperature blankets to make 2 sets for hospital donation. (If you are interested in also donating Project Robbie is a great place to start.)

The left set is for a baby about 1 pound. The hat is approximately 8" in diameter and 3 1/2" from top-to-bottom. The blanket is 17" x 17". The right set is for a baby about 2 pounds. The hat is approximately 10" in diameter and 4" top-to-bottom. The blanket is 18" x 18".

I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays), Frontier Dreams (Tuesdays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays)and Lunamon Design (Wednesdays).


It's truly been a blessing to spend a couple of overnights a month with my husband boondocking in our little camper. We've had wonderful times together: fishing, exploring waterfalls, seeing new areas. The simple pleasure of a homemade breakfast sitting near a rushing river or reading our bibles before it gets too dark at night with the ocean waves lapping the shore nearby and a campfire are special times together.

James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


I'm linking up to The Simple Woman's Daybook and Happy Homemaker are Mondays.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up: Weeks 24 & 25 - The One that Dwindles

Our 13th year of homeschooling is starting to wind down. You'll see this week that both our curriculum subjects, science and history studies have dwindled. Cati especially has wrapped up a number of subjects since my last wrap-up. As the weeks go on our weekly wrap-up posts will change, switching to "Summer Studies" for Sam around early May while Cate explores her own interests before new learning adventures at STE(A)M in the fall.

My Life in a Post (blog)

Needful Things (King), Everblade (Messenger)
Khan Academy: Pre-Algebra (93%)
CNN Student News

MobyMax: Language, Reading, Reading Comprehension, Math Fluency
Wattpad: Capitals, Punctuation, Showing Spoken Words
Cursive Copywork: 
Eragon (Paolini)
Saxon 65: Lesson 31 (Fractions: Cents/Percents), Lesson 32 (Lines), Lesson 33 (Angles), Lesson 34 (Rounding), Test 6 (95%), Lesson 35 (Dividing with Zero), Lesson 36 (Subtraction Word Problems), Lesson 37 (Fractions), Lesson 38 (Segments/Area), Lesson 39 (Polygons)
CNN Student News

Sam completed Lesson 12: Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. He started off his learning watching "All about Pluto and Dwarf Planets for Kids" and "What is the Kuiper Belt?" on You Tube. He learned about the IAU's definition of a planet and why they now classify Pluto differently, and Pluto's geographical make-up, orbit, rotation, and moons. He finished his study by learning about Pluto's frozen landscape and making Ziplock baggie ice cream with Cate. We wrapped up his study with a brief study of Kuiper and writing a biography. 

He then started Lesson 13: Stars and Galaxies. He watched "Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #26", "High Mass Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #31", "Black Holes: Crash Course Astronomy #33",  "Binary and Multiple Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #34", and "Neutron Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #32"

Cate completed Module 12: Energy and Light last week. She explored human metabolic rates, calories and food, doing a combustion experiment with a tealight candle, vinegar, baking soda, and matches, and another on body temperature. Her science vocab words are: producers, consumers, carnivore, omnivore, herbivore, and basal metabolic rate. She received a 100% on her final exam.

Then she finished Module 13: Introduction to the Process of Digestion. Vocabulary words were digestion and vitamins. She studied the parts of the digestion system and completed a stomach acid experiment. She scored at 98% on her exam.

A History of US (Hakim) is our read aloud book when we are out-and-about. This week we began book 2, A History of US: Making Thirteen Colonies 1600-1740, reading chapters preface - 9. The preface included a very brief overview of biblical, African and European histories that would go on to influence the colonization of America later. We also learned about religious persecution and changes in England and Europe, and why Europeans decided to embark on New World settlements and how this effected Native American tribes such as those of Powhatan. We read about John Smith, John Wolfe, Pocahontas, and Jamestown. 


While Cate was at jazz band practice, Sam and I took a quick, chilly walk along a wooded path. It was flurrying and the brook was partially frozen again, but it got us energized to finish up math in the van.

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

Have a WONDERFUL week! Happy homeschooling!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Taxing Season

1. What's the last thing you did that could be described as 'taxing'?

I'm not sure what's going on with my clothes washer, but for some reason the laundry wraps around the agitator tightly every spin cycle. When it starts sounding weird, I open the lid and unwrap the laundry. And it will only spin out if I stop the spin cycle, turn the knob around 2-3 times, and restart the spin cycle. I suppose I need admit defeat and call a technician...

2. If you could plant a garden of anything, what would be in it? 

There's nothing better (IMO) than fresh, sweet peas from the garden, ripened in the sun and still small. But if I was planning flowers, I think I would go with Lily of the Valleys. I tried once to transplant 50 bulbs, give or take, but not one popped up the following season. So much for an easy perennial!

3. April 10-16 is National Library Week...will you celebrate with a visit to your nearest library? When did you last make a trip to the library? What are you reading right now? What's one title on your want-to-read list?

Tomorrow? I finished my latest book, Dawn's Prelude by Traci Peterson, and I NEED another. Reading and crocheting are what I do, and I can't go long without either. Sometimes they are my sanity! (Well, not really, but both ARE relaxing.)

4. Share a saying or an old wives tale you heard while growing up, you believed to be true or that you paid attention to 'just in case'?

I am completely drawing a blank. I'm sure there were some old wives' tales my Mom shared or my grandparents or SOMEONE when I was growing up, but I can't think of any this sec. Can I blame it the mild headache I have?

5. Are you a fan of onions? Garlic? Ginger? What's a dish you love that contains one, two or all three items listed?

Onions and garlic go in almost every single dish that I make. Onions and garlic MUST be finely minced. I don't like chunks! Now, ginger? I use ginger in gingerbread and quick breads, but it's not something I use a lot of. Ironically though, I'm making a Crispy Chicken Romaine and Pasta Salad for dinner tonight...with a sesame ginger dressing.

6.  Where does nurturing end and indulging begin? What are some skills or qualities you think a person needs to possess in order to be viewed as mature?

A mature person is responsible, patient, kind, and caring. They are secure and confident in who they are, what they do and how they relate to others. They adapt well to different circumstances, making thoughtful decisions. And they possess a sense of humor.

7. What leading figure in any field would you like to hear speak, and why?

Er. Um. Hmm. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Would you like to see our camping and fishing adventures? You would? I started another blog just for that! I'd love more readers. Click here!

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