Monday, December 13, 2010

Rosetta Stone Giveaway!

Now is the perfect time to give your child the gift of possibilities for the holidays with Rosetta Stone Homeschool — and you can WIN a Level 1 Homeschool program, language of your choice (valued at $249)!

Right now Rosetta Stone is having a special Holiday promotion on our Homeschool Edition program and we’d like you to help spread the word! Everyone can save up to $150 on Rosetta Stone Homeschool by visiting our website at

By helping us spread the word you can win a Rosetta Stone Homeschool Edition Level 1 program, language of your choice, valued at $249.

This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever!

Students participate in life-like conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone incorporates listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing along with speaking and pronunciation lessons. For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program to allow parents to easily enroll up to ten students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, grade completed work (the program grades the work automatically as the students progress), and you can view and print reports for transcripts. Homeschooling a lot of kids at your house? This program is designed to enroll and track up to ten students (five users on two computers) and will work for nearly all ages — from beginning readers up to college students.

To win this program, copy these paragraphs and post them in (or as) your next blog post, and/OR post about this contest on your facebook page. Then go to the original page at
and leave a comment saying that you’ve posted about, or have linked to, the contest. Please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post, and good luck!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Great Geography Game!

This morning we rapped up our study of Canada.  I fortuitously stumbled upon this great interactive game!  The kids really enjoyed playing it and even my 5 yo caught on shouting "Northwest Territories!" when he knew the answer.  The site has an interactive game for every continent on the globe.
Enjoy ;)

Monday, November 8, 2010


I don't know about you, but I always feel that hour we LOSE more than I feel the hour we GAIN!

Here we are at the start of another work week and we have plenty of work to do!  Tomorrow the kids are participating in a book report with our homeschool group.  It's a great opportunity for them to practice public speaking and it's fun for us as their parents to see them share their thoughts on the books they've read.

So my motivation today is to have them finish up those books and write or type their to follow!

Happy Monday!

Update:  The kids did a great job at their Book Report night.  Attendance was a little slim, but it was still a great experience for everyone.  J-saurus did his report on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
M.J. did Lainie from the American Girl book series.

Buster Brown didn't do a report, but made a bookmark at the craft table.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wait...what day is it?

Oh, that's right it's Tuesday.  Does that ever happen to you?  Sure it has.  Anyway, I was hoping to show our finished craft that I mentioned last week.  Alas, it is UNfinished...sigh. 

So here's why the fall craft (along with a list of other things) didn't get done...

We started out the week with dh getting food poisoning (tip: If the grilled chicken sandwich you order looks questionable, DON'T EAT IT! No matter how hungry you are!)

Then MJ was struggling to breathe which led to a dr. appt. and asthma medication :(

We did accomplish some schoolwork, too...

Studying Mexico in MFW:  Yarn Art

 J-Saurus did a dragon...big surprise!

What's a fiesta without a pinata?
And then there were costumes to make for "Free Candy Day" :)

So I missed "Motivated Monday" this week, but hopefully I'll get back on track this week.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Motivated Monday? seemed like a good idea: Pick a goal for the week with a few ideas on how to accomplish it and call it "Motivated Monday."  Well, I'm not so motivated today.  My dear hubby called off sick after throwing up half the night :(   My youngest was a bit under the weather yesterday with stomach issues and I'm not feelin' too hot myself.  Oh well.  Life goes on.  I'm on my second cup of coffee and we're wrapping up our a.m. schoolwork.

Things don't have to be in perfect order ( what's that!?) to proceed with my blogging.  I have PLENTY of goals and aspirations to be a better me, soo....

This week I am motivated to tackle this adorable craft from Family Fun magazine.  Fall is without a doubt my favorite season and this creation beautifully captures why I love it.  We're past "peak week" for ooh-ing and aah-ing over the brilliant colors, but there's plenty of fall left and I want to soak up every second!

Have a Great Week Everyone!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Birthday Girl

When you're a kid the entire year revolves around two events: Christmas and your birthday.  There was plenty of excitement in our house last week as our only girl turned 8.  Her birthday was on a Thursday, so we had the grandparents over for cake and ice cream.  Of course she wanted a "friends party," too.  We don't usually do this sort of thing, but we had her party at an indoor bounce center.  It was really a "2 for 1" as we celebrated our oldest son's birthday, too.  He'll be 10  in just a few days.  Anyway, leave it to MiMi to get THE gift...
MiMi is my mom by the way.  She couldn't wait to give M.J. her American Girl doll.  These two have been inseparable... so cute!
Incidentally, the matching jammies came from K-Mart!  I know! K-Mart, right.  Who'd a thunk?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crossing the Border

We're heading south of the border this week to study Mexico!   Don't worry.  We are merely traveling in our imagination.  Our neighbor to the south hasn't sounded very hospitable lately.  So, we'll stay safe in our Ohio home and open our atlas.

This is our first year using MFW and so far I'm loving it!  We're beginning with Exploring Countries and Cultures (ECC) which provides a strong foundation in geography.

These passports created a ton of excitement for the kids!  They couldn't wait to add their photo and have their pages stamped. You can see them proudly posing in front of our map.

Break time is over...back to work!

Motivated Monday!

If there's anyone actually reading this, it's clear to you that I'm a casual blogger.  I don't post consistently and I don't have a single theme to my blog.  We'll, I'm working on changing that and I've been extremely motivated to start today!  I'm not quite sure what's gotten into me...I'm envisioning redecorating projects, cleaning out closets, lesson planning, and making lists.  I may even plan out the menu for the week! 

Maybe "Motivated Monday" is a good place to start!  I see a theme emerging...

What goal are you motivated to accomplish this week?  What task would you love to check off your "to-do" list? 

I think I'll start with that one thing that should be my top priority.  That thing that isn't really a thing at all.  This Monday I'm Motivated to start each day on my the His feet.  How else can I even begin to tackle the mountain of tasks that fill my day?  Before I pour that first cup of coffee or take one bite of breakfast, I need to "sink my teeth" into my "daily bread."

Incidentally, our memory verse from My Father's World ( our homeschool curriculum ) is Matthew 4:4 ~Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Have a Great Week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

THE Fair

I've gone as a baby in a stroller, a toddler in a wagon, an excited child, an awkward teen, a girl on her boyfriend's arm, a newlywed, an expecting mom, a nursing mom, a mom with a one-year-old strapped to her back, and a reflecting mom soaking in every minute of her children enjoying the fair that ended all my summers and signaled the start of each fall. It may look like some photos from some 'ole fair, but it's much more precious than that to me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Latest Artwork

Today I did a painting job for an old high school friend.  We connected through facebook, she saw some work I had done, and hired me for her son's bedroom.  He loves planes and wanted an AC-130 to span the entire wall of the room.  The actual size is much longer than my "wingspan" from fingertip to fingertip.  I wasn't there to get their reaction, but she sent me an email and the room is a hit.  Her son loves the plane and said, "I can't believe this is my room!"  How cute is that!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Planning for the Schoolyear

We are thoroughly enjoying summer here!  My parents blessed us with a swimming pool for the kids and we've spent every hot day cooling off in it.  The backyard has taken the place of the kitchen and family room.  Dinner is cooked on the grill, we dine at the patio table, play beach volleyball, card games - you name it!  ALL outside!  Yes, we're soaking up every bit of summer.

BUT, planning for the 2010-2011 schoolyear is a priority.  After attending the CHEO (Christian Home Educators of Ohio) Convention last week, I feel refreshed, edified, and excited about the school year ahead! I listened to encouraging speakers and shopped the exhibition hall for curriculum.  Materials have been purchased and we're ready to go!  So, here's what the materials for 3 kiddos looks like...

Actually this is just SOME of what I purchased for the school year.  Most of it I bought at the CHEO Conference and I'm sharing with you even though I agree with Rev.Voddie that it doesn't matter much to you what I use because I'm not teaching your kids!  There is so much curriculum out there and you have to choose what works for YOU.  Still...I'm a curious person and like to know what other moms are using, too!

So, for the curious mom's- here's what I'll be using this year:

J-Saurus, age 9:
Math U See (finish Beta, start Gamma)
Switched On Schoolhouse Grade 4 Language Arts
Any Child Can Write
Sequential Spelling

M.J., age 7:
Math U See (finish Alpha, start Beta)
A Beka Letters & Sounds 2
A Beka Handbook for Reading
A Beka Language 2
A Beka Writing With Phonics 2
A Beka Spelling 2

Buster Brown, age 5:
Math U See Primer
A Beka Letters and Sounds K
Handwriting Without Tears

J-Saurus & M.J. will also begin "My Father's World."  This curriculum is multi-level teaching that helps parents instill a Christian Worldview in the next generation.  I'm really excited about starting Exploring Countries and Cultures - the first volume in the 5 year cycle of teaching.  Click on the link to learn more!

To all you Mommies (and Daddies) teaching at home, teaching for Him...have a refreshing summer and a great time planning for the year ahead ;)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Signs of Summer

No more coats or jackets on these hooks! Time to hang up the shades.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Workboxes Worked for Us

If you homeschool then it's very likely that you heard of workboxes.  They're all the rage!  I'd guess they peeked in popularity over this past school year and it seemed everywhere I looked for homeschool resources I saw info on workboxes. So of course I had to give them a try and I was really excited with the results!  Our workboxes are an adaptation of the original concept as we were limited by space.  Workboxes are supposed to be just that; boxes filled with the child's assignments.  The original system calls for 12 boxes per child so with 3 children that could take up quite a bit of room.  What I did instead was use folders placed in a plastic basket for each child.  I picked a different color for each one of the kids and labled the folders with their name and the activity numbers that each folder corresponds to. When it's time to begin our school work, each of the kids takes out the first folder from their basket and opens it up.  Each pocket of the folder holds a different worksheet, assignment, or activity.  Attached to the front of the pocket is a laminated number held in place with velcro.  As each pocket of work is completed, the child takes that number card off and attaches it to a velcro strip with their name.  When the strip is full, the work is done!  My oldest son is on the Autism Spectrum and each school day started with questions like..."What's first, Mom?"..."How many worksheets do I have to do?"..."What's after Spelling?"..."How much more work, Mom?"    Worboxes have been wonderful for him!   Now he can see exactly WHAT he has to do, HOW MUCH he has to do, and WHEN his work is finished.  I'm certain workboxes will be a big part of our school day in the upcoming school year!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Latest Artwork

Here is the latest painting I did for a child's bedroom. The sister of an old high school classmate found me on facebook and saw some of my work. She hired me to paint in her 3yo son's bedroom. With baby #2 on the way, she wanted big brother Jeffery to feel special, so we took his love of trains and turned it into a very personal space for him. My client had a bedspread from The Land of Nod that we used as inspiration. I altered the designs & color just a bit and transfered those train cars from the bedspread to the wall. She knew she wanted his name as part of the mural so I came up with this...

The space over the closet was perfect for this phrase my client wanted incorporated into the room... "Always remember... you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." To make it even more whimsical, I added a red plane pulling a banner.

And here's a better look at the plane...

...and the bed put back together complete with bedspread.

and now I have a serious itch to redo my own kid's rooms...stay tuned!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Valentine's Day

One of my favorite memories from my schooldays is decorating a box for Valentine's Day and stuffing my classmates boxes with cards. My kids may not "Go to school," but they did not miss out on this holiday tradition. Our local homeschool group held a party at our church and they kids were SOOoooo excited. M.J., of course, took her box decorating very seriously. She had her heart set on a castle box. We covered 2 boxes, 4 paper towel tubes, and 1 Ovaltine container with some red & pink paper I've had since God knows when. We finished it of with some princess stickers and glitter letter stickers.

Buster Brown wanted a box that looked like Rocket from Little Einstein's. It was challenging making a rectangular box look like a rocket, but we used our imagination and he was so proud when we finished.

J-Saurus doesn't like to bothered with such things as arts and crafts. He has a one track mind and it's all about dinosaur facts! Well, I don't know what else we could have done to reflect his interest than cover a box w/ dino stickers!

At the party, the kids had a blast! Mrs. M always does everything w/ excellence and she had some great activities for the kids. Make a note for next year...

1. Hershey hug relay: The kids paired up and then formed 2 teams. Each pair linked arms and stepped up to the table. With their free arms they had work together to unwrap a Hershey Kiss and then eat it. The first team to unwrap all their kisses won!

2. Smartie Suck-Up: This was another relay where the players of each team had to transfer Smarties from a white plate to a red plate using a straw. Each player transfered as many as they could in 30 seconds and then the race continued until all the Smartie's were transfered.

3. Love Verses Puzzle: The children formed 2 teams and each received an envelope with 4 heart puzzles to assemble. The puzzles were large foam hearts with a Bible verse about love written on it. On 4 seperate pieces of Foamies where the chapter and verse. After assembling the puzzles (or while assembling them), one player looked up each verse and matched the chapter and verse to the heart with that verse on it.

There was also a Valentine box judging. The categories were: yummiest looking box, largest box, smallest box, box with the most hearts, etc. Every child won. No one was left out. Then the kids voted for their favorite box and my dd was so happy to win the "Kid's Choice Award for Best Box!"

What a wonderful time of fellowship and what a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine's Day as we reminded our children that..."We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snow Much Fun!!!

The best thing about Daddy's job is the time off! Having 2 weeks to enjoy Christmas and New Years with him is priceless. This year, public school kids had school on Mon. & Tues. the week of Christmas, but Daddy's school was already on break. That meant that Rocky Ridge was all ours! We didn't have a lot of snow, but it was enough to cover the hills and it made for some excellent sledding! We had a blast!