Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekly wrap up

This has been a good week at our house.Everyone has memorized our scripture about loving one another and serving one another. My younger son Justin is really taking it to heart too! Yesterday he asked me to get him some milk. I told him that he was big enough to do it himself and I’ll be darned he said “But mom our scripture says to serve one another!” LOL! I got up and got him some milk! Hahahaha

Isaiah has almost finished All About Spelling level one.We have been playing a reading/spelling game together this week. I ask Isaiah to spell a word and his younger brother Justin to read a word and if they get them right they get a chocolate chip :0)

The best part of the week was finding out that my hubby will be here for his leave two whole weeks earlier than we thought he would be :0) It has been almost seven months since we have been together and we are all freaking out with excitement! We also baked some cakes together for Isaiah’s Blue and Gold banquet(boy scouts). The boys baked and decorated with very little assistance from me and both had a ball!100_4947 100_4951

Feel free to check out how everyone else’s weeks gone at Kris’ blog Weird, Unsocialized homeschoolers.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What I have learned about Charlotte Mason So Far…

I am really excited to be learning more about Charlotte Mason and her educational philosophies. I find it interesting that although I have been homeschooling for a few years now and have heard of Charlotte Mason numerous times, I’ve never taken the time to learn more about homeschooling in the Charlotte Mason methods.

So far the things I have discovered that I love about CM are –1st her methods of oral narration.Teaching our children to listen,really listen and to be able to organize there thoughts and tell us what they learned.

I am also 100% with her on the living books VS Twaddle!! LoL I love her term “twaddle”. There are so many books out there today that are not worth the paper they are printed on. Since when did childrens authors decide that our children are “stupid” and so we needed to “dumb things down” for them?? I am just like every other homeschooling parent I am sure in the fact that I LOVE books. A good living book can draw you in and teach you so much!

Another area I find interesting is her take on doing Artist studies as well as composer studies. I’ll be honest with you. I am not really an artsy type of person. I think there is some beautiful art out there. But I myself am not artistic at all.I enjoy classical music and religious music, but I am not remotely musical myself. So these are two things that tend to get neglected in our homeschool. What I like about Charlottes ideas are that they are simple. They are things I can do.

Charlottes idea’s about being out in nature and studying nature hit home for me. I love to be in nature and it is also my favorite area of science to study. I think its sad that so many children today are so over scheduled that they have little to no time to be out in nature observing and enjoying the world around them.They spend 7 hours inside there school building just to come home to homework, lessons, sports practice then time for bed!

I look forward to sharing more about Charlotte as I read and learn more. As well as sharing our plans for implementing some of her ideas into our homeschool!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The flexibility of homeschooling

 I had a full day of school planned today. Religious studies, grammar,math and spelling too. On top of all that I planned to exercise, bake two cakes with the kids (which you know takes twice as long as doing it yourself), allow boys to decorate said cakes AND attend a Blue and Gold banquet for scouts…100_4947

Well the day actually ended up looking more like this..Baked cakes, grammar, feeding baby and bathing all four kids, exercising, decorating cakes, talking to dad on the computer and attending the banquet.100_4951

The wonderful thing is the kids learned and things were accomplished =0) I know that because homeschooling is part of our way of life that we can just go with the flow of what comes and not stress over something we may have “missed”. There is always time to do that lesson tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My New Do’

I just wanted to write a fast post showing off my new haircut. I LOVE getting my hair done!I have changed my hair so many times over the years. I’ve had shoulder length curl’s, a straight chin length bob and hair as short as most mens(no joke).Its been brown and red and highlighted too. So here is my new hairdo, for now!100_4930

100_4932 the side view


100_4933 and the other side =0}

Weekly weigh in

Well I really don't want to post this weigh in =0} I gained three pounds in the past two weeks. I basically lost my motivation for a while. I let some stuff going on interrupt my commitment to being healthier.

I have been struggling with staying motivated and had to just decide whether the work and discipline was worth the result. I have decided that it is =0} I’m back in the swing of it! Today I have exercised I did 20 minutes on my treadmill while listening to an audio book and have done really well on watching what I eat.

I’ve decided that since eating healthy is my biggest struggle that I am going to make it as easy on myself as possible and not bring things into the house that I know will be hard to resist.No more Oreo’s in the house =0} I have to say that I have been really uplifted and inspired by reading about everyone else's weight loss journeys over at Kris's blog.

I’m looking forward top a good week and my goal is to get off the three pounds I gained by next Tuesday!Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The military changes things

Being an army family affects every aspect of our life. It affects  where we live, when we are together, when we are apart, how often we can see our extended family and our homeschool.

I have been thinking a lot about that last one in particular lately. Right now myself and my four kiddos are living in a little apartment in our hometown.My darling soldier is deployed to Iraq. We have been blessed to be able to be homeschooling near our cousins who also homeschool.My sister and brother in law and their five children live about 10 minutes down the street =0} We have been able to have some really fun times together during this homeschool year.

In just a few months the kids and I are heading back to the Pacific Northwest in preparation for Dad to come home.We can’t wait for him to get back and are very excited for the move! The issue I am having is the fact that after much prayer and planning I have decided to switch up the way we do some of our homeschooling.New curricula must be bought, the next level of some of the ones we currently use as well. I’d love to start implementing some of the new techniques I am interested in too,BUT the more I buy right now the more I have to pay to ship in four months to our new home! =0} So the question is do I put things off and begin our new ventures once we have moved or do I order away, start now and pay for shipping later??

I hate knowing that there are changes I want to make and just sitting around not making them. Then again my practical side tells me that paying shipping for the new products ONCE is enough..what is a Army wife to do!?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up

This is my first weekly wrap up which is so cool! I found this on Kris’ blog. Check out the guidelines and how to’s of the weekly wrap up HERE.

This week has had a bit of everything going on! A bit of book work, work on behavior, planning for the  MidWest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati(WooHoo) and the like! I wont take the space here to explain all of the curricula we use or how we generally “Do” school. I did that all in a post you can read HERE.

We were able to get through all our spelling this week. All review of doubling SS,FF, and LL as well as K and CK at the end of a word.Spelling doesnt come so naturally to me or my son so we tend to do a lesson then practice practice practice! Grammar was a breeze with Isaiah doing his lesson each day on his own.Currently working on finding the subject of the verb in a sentence.

We introduced a new concept in math this week. Subtracting two digit numbers with borrowing. Isaiah is picking that up fairly easily.The interesting thing I have noticed with Isaiah is he does not like to use manipulatives! In the lesson they have you first show the kids with dimes and pennies how to do the subtraction.That just annoyed Isaiah to no end. He told me “Mom just write the problem and tell me what to do!” So thats what I did! Hahaha!

This week we have been working on memorizing  Mosiah 4:15. Now if your not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints then you probably wont know this one since it is in the Book of Mormon.Incase your wondering what the Book of Mormon is or a bit about the LDS church feel free to check out the site So I’ll share it with you here: Mosiah 4:15 “But ye will Teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” This has been a concept we are trying to focus on here at home.Showing love and serving each other. The hymn we are working on learning focus’ on that concept as well. It is called “Love At Home” which you can listen to HERE.

Our unit study this month is about technology. Isaiah is a science buff and loves anything electronic and robotic =0} The highlight of the unit study this week was taking apart and identifying the pieces of a computer that our wonderful grandma and grandpa donated to the HS cause =0}  We have learned about motherboards, resistors, PCU’s and lots of other neat stuff.100_4810 We had a field trip with our cousins this week. They also homeschool so it makes for lots of fun!My sister and brother in law took my two boys Isaiah(8) and Justin(5) and their three oldest Makayla(8),Joseph(5), and Emma(4)to the police department. I got to stay home and play with my younger two Hannah(2) and Alyssa(3 months) as well as with my two nephews Daniel(2) and Oliver(1)!

Today is Friday and NOTHING has been done!We all have colds and so planned on today just being a laze around the house kinda day! The big excitement was seeing our FedEx man! He delivered a big old box with some educational games and also some puzzles that I had ordered last week.So we’ve had fun with those all afternoon! I hope everyone else had a fun/crazy/educational week too!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The way we homeschool

I have decided to join in doing the weekly wrap up at Kris’ blog weird unsocialized homeschoolers.Check her out HERE .Before I post my first weekly wrap up I thought I would post about the “typical” homeschool stuff that goes on in our house. We have one son who is “officially” schooling.For him we use saxon math2. I am not a big math person and luckily my son gets math fairly easily!I honestly think he would do fine with any math curricula I gave him(lucky me)!The other math resource we use is an online program called mathletics.I plan on doing a post soon all about mathletics so I wont describe it here for you.Suffice it to say my son asks to do mathletics EVERY SINGLE DAY!You can check the program out for yourself HERE.

I’ll group language arts all together.For spelling we use all about spelling which I LOVE! I have learned a good bit from it actually! It teaches the kids the “why” behind how we spell. We also use a free online grammar resource called English Grammar 101.Its a no frills program but effective. My son gets on the computer and clicks on his next lesson. The top of the lesson has a prompt introducing the new concept or reviewing the last concept. Then there are twenty phrases or sentences for your child to read and find the grammar concept covered for that lesson.We also read books..lots of books! I believe that reading to our children aloud is very important, not to mention fun! I dont care if your child is 2 or 12 they can all benefit from read alouds.

Our faith is a huge part of our life as well.We study the scriptures daily reading and reviewing sometimes a verse and sometimes a few chapters.We work on memorizing favorite verses simply by reading them daily.We also have started something new. We are working on learning hymns. We just picked our first hymn from our churches hymnal.We talked about the hymn, read the words and then sang the hymn and will sing it every day till we have learned it.We also have weekly family nights. We call this Family Home Evening (FHE). This is a night each week that we dont have any outside activities.We have gospel centered lessons, play games, have snacks and talk over any family issues we may be having at the time.

For everything else we do unit studies.This is the basic overview of things. Any given week we may throw in a field trip, scouts, family outings or any number of other things =-} Homeschooling is our way of life and everything we do is all wrapped up into that and you know we wouldnt have it any other way!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hands on learning

100_4810 100_4811 This month we are talking all about technology. What it is, how we use it and what it may be like in the future. Its been fun to study about how the military uses technology since we have a daddy who is in the army. We are also lucky to have family who is very supportive of our schooling!Grandpa “donated” an old computer to the cause this month.

The kids are taking apart the computer. Identifying parts and learning what they do. They will also use all the pieces once we are done to make something new of their own design. I love this sort of hands on learning. They learn so much being able to touch, feel and manipulate things.Really experiencing them =0}

Charlotte Mason =0}

Yep thats what I said! Charlotte Mason! We have been homeschooling for a few years now and so of course I have heard of Charlotte Mason.Heard of her and her methods but never really studied about them or gave them much thought!Until now!

Like I mentioned in an earlier post plans for next year have been shaping up nicely.Shaping up, being rethought and then changed completely! LoL! I must say I love how God lets me plan and prepare and then he reminds me that He is the one leading this family and that I should really look to Him for the plan!

I’ve been researching science curriculums as of late .That was our first departure from “the plan”. I had planned on using unit studies solely for science and history this year! Well God knew better and He has been directing me towards a science curriculum!The curriculum I found that I like the best has a description on their website about how their curriculum is set up and why its set up the way it is. As they described the “living books” they use as well as narration and pages to make  a “science journal” I lit up! This is exactly the sort of thing I wanted to use! I’ve always been about using what I termed “real books” and not dry boring text books.The website goes on to say that these choices all came from, in general the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education…

What??? Charlotte Mason?? I’ve heard of that!!!Well that started it! I’ve been reading online everything I can find on Charlotte Mason and her philosophys and I LOVE IT! LoL! How could I have been homeschooling this long and Not realized it?? I am really excited to begin implementing some CM techniques in our homeschool and see the fruits that I know will come from it!

Finishing My Feelin’ Feminine Challenge

I have finished out my week of the challenge and I must say I enjoyed it! I have been a bum the last few days and not made time to get a picture! But I did wear my skirts and boots and did my hair and even wore makeup =-}

I don’t think I will wear skirts and dresses everyday.That’s not really what the challenge was about for me. What I am taking away from this week is that I can enjoy feeling feminine and being feminine just the way God created me. I would encourage any of you ladies out there to try this, just for a week and see what you can learn from a week of total femininity!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My philosophy on books

C. S. Lewis is quoted to say, “Your book bill ought to be your biggest extravagance.”  I agree wholeheartedly!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Planning for next year!

I am sure that I am not the only homeschool mom that is planning for next year already. I really enjoy the planning phase of homeschool! Looking at all the great books, projects, websites and curriculums is one of my favorite ways to spend my childrens nap time!Most of my Non homeschooling friends thing I’m either totally weird or a real nerd! I tell them I’m both and thats ok with me =-}

Whats been on my mind lately is science. I enjoy certain areas of science. I love to study animals and nature. My oldest Isaiah(8) loves science too! His mind though tends towards more the technology,robotics and physics…yeah I’m kinda clueless with all of that!After thinking and praying about this I knew that  the best route to go was to follow my sons interest not mine. I know if I help him to really get into and study the sciences he loves then he will learn and grow so much this year.

Now that thats been decided our next step was to find a science curriculum that will work well for us this year. After a fairly long look around I’ve narrowed things down and have found two resources  I am considering using this year. The first is Noeo science: physics level1. It is a curriculum I found that uses a Charlotte Mason philosophy with living books, narration and not to mention some cool hands on experiments! For anyone interested you can find that HERE!

The other thing I am considering buying is a Lego Education WeDo robotics set. These just look plain awesome!!With all the things needed to build and program robots. Check them out HERE! This is right up my sons alley and I know he would have a blast and learn SO much!!!  If anyone has used either of these I’d love to hear what you thought and I’d love to hear what your  all doing for science this coming year!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

My pride and joy part 4of 4

Alyssa is my fourth little blessing. She came to us a bit differently than the other three. After our oldest Isaiah was born we didnt feel the urge to have another baby till he was around one or so.Justin didnt actually come for a whole nother two years. It took us over a year to get pregnant with him.He did eventually come though.After He came we actually thought we might be done having children.But around the time our little guy was turning one we knew we would want another.Hannah's coming was a bit delayed due to my dear hubby being deployed. =-} Being half a world apart does make baby making a bit difficult!

But eventually we did get our Hannah and at this point my hubby was SURE he was done having kids! Three was plenty for him. At this point I didnt much mind his declaration of "being done" because hey I never feel that baby urge till the littlest is around a year...Well goes to show what I know! Hehehe I very VERY clearly remember sitting at church holding my 1 month old little girl,let me repeat 1 MONTH old little girl and I got this feeling like we were going to have another baby. The following Sunday I sat in church holding Hannah and I got the strongest impression of the spirit I have ever felt in my life.My baby had a sibling coming and not just a sibling but a sister. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was a little girl up in heaven waiting to come to our family. I sat and I just cried and cried.After several weeks of this I spoke up to my husband about it.I knew that convincing him to have a fourth child would be interesting especially when we had a two month old in the house.

Now here is the wonderful part.The part that for some reason I didnt expect. God spoke to him too =-} I told my husband how I was feeling and within a month he had agreed that we could go ahead and try for number four, even though our youngest was but 3 months old at that point. So my Alyssa is a very special lady.The Lord put her in our family at a very specific time and in a very specific way. Having her has by far been the easiest transition to a new baby! She is content most all the time.She is happy to be held and just as happy to hang out on the floor watching her siblings comings and goings too.


Today Isaiah wanted his picture taken with mom but Hannah decidedly did not! =-}
I usually flat iron my hair and today I decided to let it be curly and to use a barrete in it. I really liked it! I have decided now that I have hair long enough I'd like to learn how to do more things with it. I wore one of my favorite skirts. Its such a pretty color and very comfortable! I got it at Old Navy for a great price too! I paired it with a white tank top and sweater over top.
We have been staying in the house the past several days due to the snow but today I ventured out! I was pleased to find that even though it was snowy and wet I had no problems getting around in my skirt.The other nice thing I noticed is that because I felt like I looked nice I was more friendly and outgoing to people I came in contact with.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I loved this picture today taken by my oldest son Isaiah(8).My younger son Justin felt the need to get in on the action even though he was NOT feelin' feminine today hehehe! Hannah is so sweet in this pink dress and warm white tights. It still is interesting to me how she naturally gravitates towards feminine clothes.She has tons of pants in her drawers and wont wear a single pair lately!
Today I am wearing a comfy and warm long sleeve shirt. I love the deep maroon color. I also am wearing another jean skirt. I love jean skirts. They are comfortable and durable and I can wear any sort of shirt with them! My feminine wardrobe has been on my mind lately because it is honestly VERY limited! I have two jean skirts and an orangy colored skirt I wore day one of the challenge. Then I have these two skirts, a maroon one and a "camel" colored one that were given to me and I don't have a single shirt to match them!LoL! I don't think any woman needs a big closet full of clothes but I do think I need to expand my measly feminine wardrobe!I hope to achieve my goal of learning to sew this year and then will be able to make myself as many skirts as I choose =-}

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know about a Free online resource I am loving right now! English Grammar 101! The website is easy to navigate, so easy in fact that my 8 year old son has been working away and he can do it all by himself. To check out the site click on the link below:

This is a free resource for individual study and homeschoolers alike. I have to admit that grammar has never been a strong suit of mine and I have learned a lot when reviewing the lessons my son is doing! All in all a great free resource to check out!


I am on day two of the challenge and I have to say I am enjoying it! I got up and actually thought about what to do with me hair today and when I looked in the mirror I enjoyed seeing it up!Its not something I do often.
I'm surprised at how much what I am wearing has affected my mood today. I put on a simple jean skirt with a lavender sweater over top of a chocolaty brown tank top. I have felt very...feminine today! LoL I know that sounds silly considering that is the whole point of the challenge but I mean feminine in a broader sense of the word. I have gone about my usual tasks as house wife, mother and teacher like usual. But I have FELT differently about them! I have enjoyed feeling womanly and serving my family in those roles that I have. I like this feeling!
I am also pleased to find that I can still do all my daily routines like laundry and baby care without feeling hindered by wearing a skirt! I am as comfortable in my skirt as I was in my jeans!

Monday, February 8, 2010


While reading one of my favorite blogs I came across a post about the feelin feminine challenge. Check out Mrs. Regan's original post at the link below.

The challenge is to wear only skirts/dresses for an entire week . You can easily be modest and fashionable at the same time. Being modest and feminine doesn’t mean wearing a skirt that covers your toes and a shirt that comes all the way up to your neck, or has dull colors! You can be modest, feminine, lovely, beautiful and stylish all at the same time! At the time I first read about The Challenge I was nine months pregnant and my clothing selection was limited to say the least! I decided to do The Challenge after baby number four arrived.
Well Alyssa has been here for almost three months now. Among all the busyness of having a new little one I had completely forgotten about the challenge. Forgotten until my two year old daughter started a new habit, every morning for the past two weeks she has crawled out of bed and asked "dress mommy?" then she digs through her drawers to find a dress for the day! Hahahaha this reminded me about the Challenge and this evening I decided to start.
I must report that I had worn jeans all day long but this evening when I decided to start The Challenge and put on a skirt I immediately felt more comfortable, at easy and well feminine! =-}

For those considering homeschooling,new to homeschooling or those who move around incessantly like us

Some people live in the same state, in the same town all there lives.We are not those people! We are an army family and we move...A LOT! In the past 7 years our family has moved more than 5 times! If your like some of my family you may be shaking your head right now! Then again I am sure some of you are a little excited by the thought of seeing so many new places!

No matter which type of person you are if you are homeschooling or even just considering homeschooling I have a little tip for you. One of the most important things to know as a homescooler are the laws in your state (or any state you may possibly live in at one point or another during your hubbys long career*grin*).

If your wondering just what the laws in your state might be let me suggest going to the Home School Legal Defense Associations website
They have the laws for each of the states as well as homeschool news going on in your area.

Another weekly weigh in!

Ok I know I practically just posted my last weigh in but in all honesty that one was about a week late! LoL So After weighing this morning and having a good result I was extra excited to post this weeks weigh in!
I gained two pounds over the last two weeks. As I explained in my last post I had just lost my motivation and "fallen of the treadmill" so to speak. This week I got back to it and it was totally worth it! I not only lost the two pounds I had gained but I lost ANOTHER two pounds! My total loss this week was four pounds! =-} I am beaming if you cant tell! Hahahaha! This four pounds is especially exciting because it puts me within ten pounds of my goal weight. I am currently 165 and hope to get to and maintain 155.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My pride and joy part 3 of 4

When I was pregnant with blessing number 3 the popular question was "Aren't you hoping for a girl this time?" I can not even begin to count how many times I was asked that!Everyone assumed that because we had had two little boys we must just be dying to have a girl!! Yeah not so much!! I have to laugh now because I honestly would have been happy to have all boys! I was used to boys, they were fairly laid back, easy and the girly things my niece was doing quite frankly scared me!
But of course God knew best and sent us our first darling daughter Hannah Grace. I have always talked about how special and wonderful the mother/ son relationship I had with my sons was. It still surprises me that I did not anticipate how amazing it would be to have that mother/daughter bond with my daughter! My mom and I are really close and I can't imagine my life without her.For some reason though it did not follow in my mind that I would have that with my daughter.

Hannah is admittedly far more emotional than her brothers EVER have been and she insists on her way most ALL of the time! She is also so sweet and nurturing and loving.When I feed her baby sister she runs to get her baby doll to feed, burp, swaddle and cuddle. She also tries to burp her brothers, myself and even the cat on occasion!
She has a special bond with her daddy and loves talking to him on the computer and showing him her pretty dresses and bracelets.
One of the things I think is so cute is shown off in these pictures. As I mentioned she insists on having her way and that includes what she wears. Every day no fail she picks out a dress to wear =-}
Having been raised in this feminist world it surprises me to see how my daughter is naturally feminine,nurturing,loving and girly. God truly has put it in her and all women to be this way and I pray she never turns her back on these God given gifts.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My pride and joy part 2 of 4

This is a picture I TRIED to take of our second son Justin.It is certainly a telling picture. He is a shy one. He wont utter a word if he doesn't know you. That was proven by his silence the two days he was in the hospital with pneumonia!He would not speak a word to the nurses or the doctors.After the first day he was so fed up with people poking and prodding and talking to him that he wouldn't even look at them!!

This second picture is another good representation of our second son. He is his Dad's replica 100%!His dark brown eyes are what I notice the most.He is also one of the silliest boys I know(hence the temporary tattoo right in the middle of his forhead!) and I mean that in a good way!The thing I fell in love with the most about my husband is his sense of humor.Justin has taken after his dad there too.He can always make me smile and laugh no matter my mood. He is such a blessing in our family going about spreading giggles,laughs and love.
He is a thinker who is not afraid to ask questions. It never fails after church on Sundays he always has something new too tell me that he learned during class and usually a question or two to go along =-}
When we were expecting Justin people constantly asked if we were hoping for a girl because then we would "have one of each". But I cant even express how much joy it has been to have "our boys". I would never change it!

Weekly weigh in 2 weeks

Well I have to admit I fell of the treadmill so to speak the last two weeks =-} I did not watch my diet at all! I did continue to exercise as always but I knew it was going to be bad anyways with the way I was eating!
My last weigh in had me losing two pounds, down to 167.Over the past two weeks I gained back those 2 pounds.
The good thing is I borrowed my sisters treadmill.She has a new toddler and its just not getting used right now at her house.Having the treadmill in the house, which is my preferred form of exercise in the winter I have gotten back on track
=-} I have stayed within my point range(weight watches) and exercised every day!
Its good to be at a place where I don't beat myself up about mistakes and just give up.So I had two bad weeks! Ok I just get back on track and keep going!Current weight 169