Sunday, November 24, 2013

To Do

Last week was pretty good! Christmas stuff seemed to get back burnered, but I still have this week.
  1. Get a pedicure
  2. Go over Christmas card mailing list
  3. Order stamps for Christmas cards
  4. Make dentist appt
  5. Make carmel apples with kids (did melted caramel over sliced apples... will have to do...)
  6. Make orthodontist appt for Kate (and maybe Jack)
  7. Return a quilt pattern I borrowed from a friend
  8. Make banana muffins (how did this get left on the list? I'll consider it a freebie!)
  9. Figure out photo for Christmas cards
  10. Call bank about account issues
  11. Plan Thanksgiving road trip
  12. Call homeschool program about language class
  13. Library returns/pick up holds (holds are probably going to be gone when we get home)
  14. Finish Christmas tree ornaments
  15. Get good camera organized so I can take good photos over Thanksgiving
Okay, some of this just isn't going to happen this week because I'm not at home. Should still be able to get a decent amount done.
  1. Go over Christmas card mailing list
  2. Order stamps for Christmas cards
  3. Make dentist appt
  4. Make orthodontist appt for Kate (and maybe Jack)
  5. Return a quilt pattern I borrowed from a friend
  6. Figure out photo for Christmas cards
  7. Finish Christmas tree ornaments
  8. Take lots of family photos, especially with my grandma
  9. Flip through huge stack of old magazines
  10. Mall returns
  11. Review November homeschooling
  12. Clean out email inbox (whoa, it's out of control!!)
  13. Figure out/order stocking stuffers for kids/Matt
  14. Figure out last few extended family gifts.
  15. RELAX a bit!

Dad to the Rescue


Getting to Dallas to spend Thanksgiving with my family was a bit of a challenge this year. We had originally planned to leave Friday morning (we couldn't leave earlier because Matt's birthday was Thursday), but Colorado Spring got hit with an icy snow storm Thursday night/Friday morning. Decided to delay our travel by a day, but we saw that another big storm with expected ice was going to be moving through New Mexico/Oklahoma/Northern Texas by Sunday morning. I realized that Saturday was our only window of travel opportunity, and that I would have to do the entire drive in one day or we would be out of luck until mid-week! 

Our normal route through Raton, NM and Amarillo, TX is usually a 2 day trip for us. We had already planned to take a different route this trip through Kansas and Oklahoma (because Kate wanted to check Kansas off her list of states visited - my kids have already been to over half the states in the US!). I decided to stick to this plan as New Mexico weather/roads was already bad.  I woke up at 5am, and we were on the road by 6:30am with the plan to drive 13 hours all the way through (the longest drive I've done by myself with the kids in one day is 8-9 hours). I knew I'd be crazy tired but that it had to be done.

About an hour into our drive, my dad rescued me from a potentially miserable drive! He called and said he could fly into Wichita, KS, meet us and finish the drive. It worked out so well. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. He had been waiting at the Wichita airport for only 5 minutes when we pulled up to pick him up. He drove the rest of the way allowing me to relax and nap.

Thanks to my dad, I'm now cozy in front of the fire at my parents' house waiting for the ice and snow to arrive.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Won!!

I was really in a funk yesterday, but then look what arrived to cheer me up...


All kinds of fun sewing goodies from KidGiddy plus a signed copy of her new book Sewing Tales.

Goodbye, Funk!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Funny Baking Moment

Want to get this down so I don't forget!
(Isn't amazing how many things you think you won't forget about your kids, and then you do?!?)

Kate would kill me if she knew I was putting this out in a public forum. Hopefully by the time she is old enough to read this, she'll be fairly forgiving. Anyway...

Remember how Kate is supposed to be doing a baking "class" this fall for homeschool? Well, we haven't been doing such a good job. Actually *I* have not been doing a good job of formally teaching  her, but she has been baking quite a bit (with varying degrees of supervision). Today she wanted to make cookies, and I suggested that she use the Tollhouse recipe on the chocolate chip bag.

She mixed it all up on her own, asking me a few questions her and there. When she brought me a bit of batter to snack on, I thought it seemed a bit thin, but it's been so long since I've made that recipe, I didn't think much more about it.

Kate plopped spoonfuls on a cookie sheet, put them in the oven to bake, and sat down to watch a TV show with me. After 15 min she went to check on the cookies. It was one, big, melted, burned mess all over the cookie sheet (thank goodness we used a jelly pan with rims). I should have taken a picture of the disaster!

Ends up, there wasn't enough flour used. The recipe called for "2 1/4 cups flour" which Kate read to be 2 scoops with the 1/4 cup measuring cup. Only 1/2 a cup. I can see the misunderstanding. We added a bit more flour for the next batch. Turned out beautiful! Yum!

(It is NOT good for my waistline to have Kate baking so much! I can't resist the temptation of baked sweets...)

Homeschool Moment

Working on the floor while Kate is at French club this afternoon.


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Sunday, November 17, 2013

To Do

Last week's plan... not bad...
  1. Get a pedicure
  2. Go over Christmas card mailing list (need to sit down and do this while I watch a movie or something)
  3. Order stamps for Christmas cards
  4. Work on Christmas ornaments
  5. Make dentist appt
  6. Make carmel apples with kids
  7. Buy bulky yard for Kate's knitting project
  8. Make orthodontist appt for Kate (and maybe Jack)
  9. Return a quilt pattern I borrowed from a friend
  10. Make grandma's Christmas present (I purchased something so now I might not make anything)
  11. Schedule donation pick up
  12. Finish wrapping Christmas presents to be sent off 
  13. Call chicken sitter
  14. Make Chex Mix
  15. Make banana muffins (in the oven right now although I should be in bed!)
And the plan for this week...
  1. Get a pedicure (Going to do this Tuesday evening when the kids are at sports and Matt is working late)
  2. Go over Christmas card mailing list
  3. Order stamps for Christmas cards
  4. Make dentist appt (I might have to put this off... I think there are only 3 days between now and Christmas that I could actually go to the dentist)
  5. Make carmel apples with kids
  6. Make orthodontist appt for Kate (and maybe Jack)
  7. Return a quilt pattern I borrowed from a friend
  8. Make banana muffins
  9. Figure out photo for Christmas cards
  10. Call bank about account issues
  11. Plan Thanksgiving road trip
  12. Call homeschool program about language class
  13. Library returns/pick up holds
  14. Finish Christmas tree ornaments (hand stitching is all that's left... blah...)
  15. Get good camera organized so I can take good photos (not iPhone pics!) over Thanksgiving

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

To Do List

Did I get nothing accomplished last week?!? Apparently not...
  1. Pharmacy Pick Up
  2. Oil Change (and they found enough wrong that my poor vehicle is STILL in the shop...)
  3. Get a pedicure
  4. Sort box of books for donation
  5. Repot Christmas cactus (Finally! I've been meaning to do this for at least three years!!!)
  6. Go over Christmas card mailing list
  7. Order stamps for Christmas cards
  8. Work on Christmas ornaments
  9. Make dentist appt
  10. Make carmel apples with kids (purposely put off to this week)
  11. Buy bulky yard for Kate's knitting project
  12. Make orthodontist appt for Kate (and maybe Jack)
  13. Return a quilt pattern I borrowed from a friend
  14. Make grandma's Christmas present
  15. Schedule donation pick up (I'm going to blame this on the organization not calling me. They usually call every few days! Why did no one call me last week?!?)
My grand plan for this week... too similar to last week...
  1. Get a pedicure
  2. Go over Christmas card mailing list
  3. Order stamps for Christmas cards
  4. Work on Christmas ornaments
  5. Make dentist appt
  6. Make carmel apples with kids
  7. Buy bulky yard for Kate's knitting project (and her own knitting needles - she's really in to knitting!)
  8. Make orthodontist appt for Kate (and maybe Jack)
  9. Return a quilt pattern I borrowed from a friend
  10. Make grandma's Christmas present
  11. Schedule donation pick up
  12. Finish wrapping Christmas presents to be sent off (go ahead and be VERY impressed!)
  13. Call chicken sitter
  14. Make Chex Mix
  15. Make banana muffins

Monday, November 04, 2013

New Salem

Going through some photos and realized I forgot to post a few photos of our road trip stop in New Salem State Park in Illinois.  After a disappointing stop at the Lincoln Home NHS, this stop was great! And probably much more interesting for all of us, although no Junior Ranger Badges... It is the town where Lincoln lived for several years as a young man. Not long after Lincoln left, the town was deserted (people literally moved their homes), but back sometime in the early to mid 20th century, they excavated and rebuilt on the original foundations. It was pretty fun to walk around this recreated town. All the buildings were furnished, and we learned a lot about life during that time from the docents.


Loved this. Might make my own.
I think more people should abide by this saying.
Had to get a prairie hat!

Homeschool Moment

Learning to cast on


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Sunday, November 03, 2013

To Do List

The last time I did this was way back in August, and there are STILL things on this list that have not been done yet. Oh, dear.
  1. Hem drapes in master bedroom (this is really so low on the priority list that is is never going to happen)
  2. Freakin' get my master bedroom headboard upholstered (this is a 2 person job, so it probably isn't going to happen anytime soon either)
  3. Get email inbox down to reasonable size (<10) - done but backed up again
  4. Give book to a neighbor friend
  5. Mail package to my friend Nona
  6. Mail package to my friend Elizabeth
  7. Keep up with my online quilt class (so far behind now... ugh...)
  8. Look into horse riding lessons for Kate
  9. Contact piano teacher
  10. Costco returns
  11. Return/Check out library books
  12. Clean/organize desk
  13. Call chicken watcher
  14. Inventory freezer - ha! just done last week!
  15. Schedule donation pick up
Fresh start for this week:
  1. Pharmacy Pick Up
  2. Oil Change
  3. Get a pedicure
  4. Sort box of books for donation
  5. Repot Christmas cactus
  6. Go over Christmas card mailing list
  7. Order stamps for Christmas cards
  8. Work on Christmas ornaments
  9. Make dentist appt
  10. Make carmel apples with kids
  11. Buy bulky yard for Kate's knitting project
  12. Make orthodontist appt for Kate (and maybe Jack)
  13. Return a quilt pattern I borrowed from a friend
  14. Make grandma's Christmas present
  15. Schedule donation pick up (again)
(I know, I know. The Christmas theme on the To Do List is crazy, but I need to get everything done in the next few weeks. Our schedule is full, full, full starting with Thanksgiving.)

Homeschool Moment

Quick library stop to pick up holds.

I could never figure out why the library had such high loan limits until I started homeschooling.


Now it's not unusual for me to have 50+ items checked out at one time.

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Saturday, November 02, 2013

Obligatory Halloween Photo

of the kids in costume. Kate was Medusa & Jack was a Minecraft skeleton.


(although for trick or treating, Kate had a coat over her dress and Jack didn't wear his box head)

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November (December) Homeschool Plan


Since we have big travel planned in November and December (with minimal homeschooling) and will take a break from homeschooling over the holidays, I am viewing the next 6-8 weeks of homeschooling as one, big chunk. I'll probably still do a November review and December plan, but I want/need a rough guide for the next 6-8 weeks.
Math - My plan is to feel really good about where we are with math by the end of 2013.
  • MathUSee - Gamma - restart Kate at lesson 21 (and finish Gamma by the holidays), start Jack at lesson 1
  • Finish & reread (the 2nd reading is Matt's job!) Life of Fred Butterflies, maybe start Life of Fred Cats (kids just LOVE this series - would never use as a main math curriculum, but it is fantastic as a supplement. I sorta want to get to Trigonometry... maybe Fred will help me understand what I didn't in high school!)
  • Times Tales - continue Part 1 & Part 2 multiplication practice, especially Jack
  • IXL, XtraMath, Khan Academy - maybe if we feel like it or need something while we travel
  • Teaching Textbooks 3 - we did this last year when we all got weary of MathUSee. If Kate finishes up Gamma early, I might have her restart Teaching Textbooks as a review. Jack also if we need time between Gammas lessons to memorize multiplication tables
Language Arts - feeling really good about where we are with Language Arts
  • First Language Lessons Level 3 - continue to do 3-5 lessons/week
  • Writing With Ease 3 - continue to do 6-8 lessons/week (I was a bit iffy about this program when we first started it last year, but I'm can now see the benefits. I love the concept of being about to process your ideas mentally before writing down)
  • Complete Techniques of Creative Writing online class for Kate (feel so fortunate to have found San Diego Scribblers. Kate really enjoys writing, is independent with the work, and always chooses to do this work first - which I think says a lot. Writing is also not my homeschooling forte. I love having someone else running that show!)
  • Professor Grammar's Punctuation Packets workbook for Kate - 3-4 lessons/week
  • Improve Reading & Writing Skills Workbook with Jack - will work through at his pace
  • Sequential Spelling for Kate 3-4 lessons/week, tutor's spelling list and spelling in above workbook for Jack
  • Tutoring 2-3x/week for Jack
  • Sight Words app for Jack
  • Teach All Kids for letter reversals (Jack) and maybe more
  • Start The Sentence Family (maybe while traveling since it isn't a heavy textbook)
  • Assigned reading (Kate will read texts, Jack will listen to audiobook versions): not exactly sure yet, starting with The Story of Dr. Dolittle, then other ideas include Frindle, Little Women, maybe something related to Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hawaii. I want to start evolving our book discussions towards a model similar to that in Deconstructing Penguins
Science - having fun, hoping we do enough, want to maybe focus a bit more on the scientific method
  • Continue to work through What's Physics All About with additional resources from library - finish up forces and move on to energy
  • Albert Einstein Study (maybe)
  • Brain Study
  • Chimpanzee/Jane Goodall Study
  • Dolphin Study
  • A bunch of random science experiments/projects that I have sitting around (to be done over the holidays when we *aren't* homeschooling)
History/Social Studies - so much to learn, so easy to get side-tracked with a subject!
  • History of the World - keep reading. Maybe cut back some of the activities and just read
  • Old Testament Bible Stories
  • Finish up some Pony Express studies, maybe have Jack do a project of some kind
  • Thanksgiving/Mayflower/Pilgrims Study (just a bit)
  • Independent study for Kate - she is choosing Cleopatra - I've felt like Kate needs a little more lately. She can breeze through her regular work pretty quickly. Going to have her do some sort of project/report for us.
Misc - never enough time nor energy to get to everything we want to do
  • Apple 1:1 - goal to schedule 4 sessions by the end of 2013
  • Vision Therapy for Jack - formal visits are done, will continue at home
  • Testing for Jack (in December)
  • Swim Team 2-3x/week 
  • Volleyball for Kate
  • Soccer for Jack
  • Skiing!! Just for fun over the holidays. Lessons won't start until January.
  • Couch to 5K - work through it as we are able
  • Logic (misc workbooks, games, etc)
  • Keyboarding (Kate) - do each lesson 2-3 times before moving forward
  • Computer programming (Jack) - may start over holidays
  • Playful Learning ecourse
  • Baking for Kate
  • Family Meditation (using the Family Meditation Book which I've had for YEARS and not used yet. I think we'll also incorporate picture books on mediation/peace/life lessons/etc. with our mediation time. Would like to eventually incorporate character building with meditation time also.)
  • Daily Gratitude Journal
  • Travel: Texas for Thanksgiving (Heard Museum? Perot Museum? Fossil Rim? Dinosaur State Park? Heritage Village? not sure what we'll get to; had planned to go to Arkansas this trip, but rethinking that) & Hawaii (Volcano NP, beaches, hikes, snorkeling, luau, fun!)
  • Field Trips: would like to do 3-4 more in 2013
  • Weekly Homeschool Program (where kids get art, science, technology, language arts, math and history)