Friday, August 29, 2014

School-Week One!

I make no promises about posting weekly.  For one thing, my camera is busted.  Right now I have a borrowed camera but I'm going to need to return it soon.  It is hard to not have a camera but I want to wait to buy one when I can afford one I really want.  Secondly, promises like that are just made to be broken.

But that isn't what this is about.  Our first week of school was FABULOUS!  We've finished our work each day.  School lasts longer than it has in the past but we have older kids so that day was coming anyway.  Science went great (i didn't get any pictures of our experiments).  We learned about matter, mass, and density.  The kids have jumped into seat work with great attitudes and ready to learn it.  I am so proud of them.

I know that we won't always have great school days.  I know there will be days I want to run away.  I know there will be days where every stinkin thing is a fight and a battle.  But this week, is an encouraging start to the year.  And it shows me that they CAN do all of this.  My expectations are NOT too high.  I had mixed feelings about starting school this fall.  So ready to jump in and yet didn't feel quite prepared.  And it has all gone well.

Now I just need to lesson plan for next week.  HA.  I'll try to get that done by Sunday night.  :)  Next week we will be adding in our 15 minute "dash n stash" and our daily cleaning duties....gonna work to "reset" the house back to mostly clean over the weekend.  Although we jump into school work with both feet, we are taking just a little time to rebuild our school time routine...I can only pray it continues to go this well!

A is coloring "Mitchells map" for history.

Reading the "Mayflower Compact" - see how nice the projector works.  That's on my white board so we can highlight and circle things we're projecting.  I love it!

L is all about the markers these days.  So far she's only used them on paper so that's cool

More map work

G doesn't like to use a chair for school work at the table.  

The car seat is in the living room since we are getting a new van and she likes to sit in it to read her stories.

She picked out some puzzles to do.  And took off her dress.  Sigh.
All three boys are doing some computer learning this year.  G is doing typing here.  They are also learning spanish with Rosetta Stone on the computer.

Spelling "test" time.  

This is my FAVORITE school picture I can ever remember taking....This is what it looks like when 2 boys get ALL their spelling words correct.

working on his model of Jamestown.  This project gave us all some fits.  But we persevered thru it.
G and his finished Jamestown model.  Woot woot
M and his finished model of Jamestown

I don't know why the last 3 pictures won't center....I am done trying to fix it.  HA!  Great week of school in the books!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Peaches, peaches, peaches

I was able to buy a bushel of peaches for a decent price last week and have them all used up now....Since I want a record of what I was able to "put up" this year....I thought I'd just do this here too

1 bushel of peaches yielded....

7 quarts canned peach slices
7 half pints peach preserves
5 half pints peach butter
2 pints, 2 odd jelly jars (between half pint and pint size), and 3 half pints peach jelly.
1 big cobbler
several fresh to eat and gift a few.

The peach slices are beautiful but I'm not sure I wouldn't prefer them frozen in the future.  The preserves and butter are perfection itself.  The jelly tastes more like slightly peach flavored sugar to me so we'll see what everyone else thinks.

The cobbler was great and the fresh peaches in our oatmeal so so yummy!

Still finished up with the tomatoes although I'm almost ready to just mow them down.  I'm so tired of canning and my cabinets are FULL.  And I know I have apples and pumpkin to do in a few weeks.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Recent appointment with the Doctor. :)

We recently spent at a nearby library for their Doctor Who event.  We made bowties and watched an episode of Doctor Who.  It was a good time!
the kids waiting to head in.

Bowties are cool!

A and the sonic screwdriver.  (I let him borrow it.)  

Looking good there

L is ready to be a companion ;)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School!.....almost!

My facebook feed is FULL of first day of _____ grade pictures and I love seeing them.  We were also supposed to be back at school today.  But with all the canning I've been doing I am not prepared, mentally, physically, spiritually.  I am ready to get started but my lesson plans say differently.  So we will wait and start next monday.  And that's ok.  Pictures to come.  :)

Oddly, the 2 big boys were very easy to get ready for the school year.  I bought their curriculums back at the Homeschool convention.  And it was really as simple as looking at them and putting the plans in the first week.  Big G is a little more difficult.  He wants SO much to work with the big boys but I think that is actually holding him back a little cause he really isn't ready.

L, on the other hand, is making me feel crazy.  I sat for a couple hours last night (home alone) trying to figure out what to do for her.  She is preschool age for Heaven's Sake.  You'd think this was my first rodeo I am struggling SO much.  So I used my "phone a friend" lifeline and spent some time chatting (and ran to her house) with a friend who also has a preschooler.  Truly a lifeline.  Bouncing ideas off of another human really helps me get my thoughts in order.  I came home and had L's first two weeks lined up in less than an hour.  :) Not only that but I found some things to do with Big G that won't feel like extra "homework" (I hope) but that will be more on his level.

So these are my "big picture" plans....

A -
Apologia - Bible
Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) -Language Arts
Phonetic Zoo - Spelling
Apologia Chemistry & Land Animals - Science
Homeschool in the Woods Early American History - History
Rosetta Stone -Spanish
Math U See Delta (and Life of Fred for fun) - Math
Typing Instructor - keyboarding

M -
Apologia - Bible
Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) -Language Arts
Phonetic Zoo - Spelling
Apologia Chemistry & Land Animals - Science
Homeschool in the Woods Early American History - History
Rosetta Stone -Spanish
Math U See Beta (and Life of Fred for fun) - Math
Typing Instructor - keyboarding
Reason for Handwriting Cursive - handwriting

G -
He will follow along with Bible, science, and history with the big boys
Hooked on Phonics - Reading
Rosetta Stone - spanish (speaking and listening onl
Typing Instructor - keyboarding (as desired)
Reason for Handwriting - handwriting
And my "new discovery" from my file cabinet last night- Five In A Row

L -
My original plan was to do a letter of the week type curriculum.  It was NOT coming together.  And I'm not sure she's really ready for it I've switched to a "literature based weekly units" idea.  We will be using things I find online as well as Five in a Row and Before Five in a Row.  I also found these which we are going to subscribe for 3 months to see what we think of them.   She will still be doing tot trays as well in the style of this blogger

So although we aren't starting today....I think we will, in fact be ready by next week.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I've been MIA for a while.  I've been on facebook because I can do that in 30 seconds or less.  But I've not blogged and I've not really seen many people in the last few weeks.

We finally made it to a homeschool hangout yesterday and people were like "Woah!  You are out in public"  yep, we've been a bit reclusive for a while...but not without reason.

In the last 4 weeks or so I've canned

40 quarts of green beans
24 pints of pickles
21 pints of salsa
7 pints of pizza sauce
5 pints of pickled tomatoes
7 pints of pickle relish

and frozen

45 or so quarts of corn.
And a few bags of shredded zuchinni
and some chopped green peppers (I chop these and add them to a big freezer bag...and use them for soups and stuff-just busting off the bits I need)

I wish I had double or so the green beans and corn.  I wish I had a few more bags of zuchinni.  And I'm hoping for at least 24 pints of pizza/pasta sauce.  Next year, I'll know how to plant and plan differently.

All that produce has been grown, picked, cleaned, prepped and processed by little ole me.  The family has helped a bit.  We all plant together.  The King helps with the tilling some and so did A.  But I do most of it. The kids snapped 8 gallons of green beans one afternoon.

We were supposed to start school on Monday.  But I have at least 3 more canners of tomatoes to run thru (they'll be pizza sauce) not including the tomatoes still left to pick on the plants (which will likely be unseasoned tomato sauce or BBQ sauce).  And I have a crisper drawer in my fridge full of green beans I have to decide what to do with (eat fresh or can).  So school is being pushed back one week.  I have the boys first week of lessons all laid out but I still need to get L's preschool work figured out (that takes more planning from me).

If i can get my hands on peaches, I'll can/freeze those and make peach jelly and later in the fall we'll be doing applesauce and apple butter and pumpkin puree and butter.

Sometime this fall, the pig will be ready to butcher (which we'll pay to have done so we can have bacon, ham, and lard) and deer season will be rolling around.  We process all of our own venison.  By December or January, we'll also have a cow to butcher.  And we'll be borrowing a billy goat so we can have baby goats in the spring....when gardening starts again.

Although it is a never ending cycle, which has never been more apparent than when typing this out, the few weeks of canning and freezing the garden's produce are crazy.  I hide out.  Frankly, I neglect my house and the kids watch too much tv/play too much wii so they aren't in the kitchen with all the hot/boiling stuff.  But it always feels so great to have a pantry full of food knowing that if the winter is like it was last year (which is being predicted), that we will have plenty to eat without leaving the house.  :)

(PS- Although I totally enjoy sharing things like this about our lives, I am also sharing so that next year I can remember how much of each thing I had in the cabinet so I know how to change up my plans and have enough to last the year without much leftover-I don't anticipate any leftovers this year.  If I write it on a paper I will, without a doubt, lose the paper HA!)