Saturday, March 29, 2008


This is Diesel. He was a Pound dog. We adopted him last fall as a birthday gift for two of our boys. His name was on the card, but we decided right away to change it. Only....he wouldn't let us. The closest we could get to changing it was Cecil. At that point, we decided to just forget it. So, he's still Diesel and he's very well trained to it. But then, he's equally trained to Dawg. Like, DAWG!! Stop!

He is definitely Jack's dog. Jack has wanted a dog for a long time. Man's best friend, running buddy, sleeping buddy, etc. Now he has all that in Diesel.

He's not as smart or as ambitious as Tuffy, but he'll do. :o)

School Update

I added my 10 year old to our Time4Learning membership this week.
We originally signed up right after Christmas. We went through the risk free trial period just by signing up.
We had a lot of fun during the trial period, but I just wasn't sure that (a) I could afford it, and (b) it was a good fit for this child.

Since I've been using T4L with my first grader for the past 3 months, I've learned more about incorporating the program into our daily routine. I've also spent time on the Parent Forum and reading through the extensive Hints and Help section for members.

T4L has worked so well for my first grader! I fully expect my 4th grader will have a similar experience, yet on his own level.

There was a time (not very long ago) when the 3Rs were the boring, necessary things holding us back from our fun unit studies and individual interests. Not any longer-thanks to T4L! It actually adds another dimension to our school day and easily enhances the unit study topics we are covering.

You can see the lesson demos here.

Winter/Iditarod Study Pictures....Finally!


I am finally getting my pictures together for the winter study we recently completed.  We had a great time!


We started off by reviewing some of the winter themed books in Five In A Row. We looked back at our most recent studies: OWL MOON and THE VERY LAST FIRST TIME, along with KATY AND THE BIG SNOW from last fall.  What wonderful memories these unit studies create...


We watched so many movies!  Snow Buddies, Snow Dogs, Balto, Balto 2, Iron Will and a recent recommendation, Eight Below, just to name a few.  Iron Will is probably one of my very, all-time favorite movies!  I loved sharing that story with my children.


Our first lapbook experience was an A+!  It was a lot of fun and brought some extra interest to the study.  I'm sure they look simple compared to others, but we were more than satisfied with the boys' efforts.


These types of studies are such an effective way to learn.  Most days it doesn't even feel like school!


Here are the pictures:

A sampling of the materials we used.


The boys with our Iditarod Race Map at the beginning of the race.  Trent drew most of the map.


And here's a shot of Cade playing "weatherman".


Our finished, labeled map at the end of the race:


Now for the lapbooks.  First, Cade:






And Trent's:





Now that spring is in the air, the boys are ready to concentrate on a warm weather study.


Personally, I can't get enough of Alaska!



Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Monica!

Today, Monica is having a 'special' birthday. You know the one......
Lordy Lordy,
Look who's.....
So, in honor of this friend that lives only 10 minutes away, but I never get to see..............

Almost A Reader!

I don't believe in pushing.   I know it's common for people to think that all 5 year olds (or most) are readers.  I happen to know that it takes many kids much longer to read-try 8, 9 or even 10 years old.  I know that Cade will read when he is ready.

He is so close......so very close to being a reader!  This is so exciting to me.  There is nothing like teaching your child to read.  It's such a huge step.

I have tried three different programs with Cade, and each time, he would stall out.  He was at the point of giving up, saying he didn't want to read. 

Then we found Time4Learning.  In just a couple of months, Cade has learned so much and will soon be a READER!  Just today he read most of an I CAN READ story during his Language Arts lessons. *Proud Mom Moment...

The phonics lessons on T4L are great.  They are animated-entertaining, but not babyish.  The lessons are fun and challenging. 

T4L is a great tool for the homeschooler, no matter what your style is.  I could see this easily fitting into the schedule of a textbook user, an eclectic, or even an unschooler.

I love the fact that I can choose the level for each child.  I started Cade with Kindergarten, due to issues with immaturity.  He just flew through those lessons and has now been moved up into the first grade level. 

And Science!  Since moving Cade up a level, he now has access to Science lessons.  He loves Science!

You can go here to check out T4L's scope and sequence.

Don't take my word for it!  Look around, try the sample lessons and see for yourself.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Best Seat In The House!

Who needs one of those fancy, rocking gaming chairs when you have a sleeping brother handy?

Going Back A Little Bit...


I was going through the picture files on my computer yesterday and found a couple of  'educational moments' that, in my somewhat biased opinion, really need to be recorded for all to see.  


This is from the early fall.  We were studying A PAIR OF RED CLOGS through Five In A Row.  We learned a lot about Japan and had some fun on the last day with a meal of chicken fried rice.

This is Cade trying his hand at chopsticks in his makeshift Japanese outfit.  Cute, huh?





This is just a small sample of art class on any given day.  This is Eli hard at work mastering ink drawing.


Yes, he's very good at it.  He can create artwork anywhere, anytime!

Notice that he created art on my last blank grade/attendance report sheet.  I'm beginning to think it's the t-shirt.  Everytime he wears the "I DIDN'T DO IT" t-shirt......he does it. 


Now, this is an example of his artwork that I can actually keep past bath time.  It is a study in pencil and orange crayon.


I'll be back to post the pictures and details of our winter study  and give an update on how school is going with FIAR and T4L.  We were side-tracked by sping break this week.  We had originally planned it for next week, but decided to move it up to accommodate a birthday, friends and a trip to the Skatepark of Memphis to see a pro skateboarder!





Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monster Cake!

My daughter loves Monster Energy drinks. I know, not the healthiest thing in the world.

I have to confess to enjoying my fair share of the "Mean Bean" variety....

Anyway, for her birthday yesterday, she requested a Monster cake. It had to be her favorite-yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Hmmmmm......

This is what I came up with.

I used a can of black decorating frosting over the fudge frosting, topped with the Monster can logo cut-outs, with sprinkles and candles to match!

She loved it. (On the right)

Out Of Order

This will probably seem a little weird. I was going through the pictures on my computer and found several that I never got posted on my blogs.

So, let's go back to December....

We started celebrating St. Nick's Day (Dec. 6th) a couple of years ago. This also happens to be my little one's birthday, so it adds a little something to the season.

Here, all the kids have their shoes out by the fireplace, just waiting for Ol' St. Nick to fill them with candy and chocolate coins. The two year old was allowed to put out both shoes because his are so small. LOL

Now, on to Christmas...

This is a shot of the fireplace all decorated for Christmas. What? You say that you don't normally decorate your fireplace with Christmas ornaments?

This is a new tradition in our home. We never had a problem with two year olds and Christmas trees until 2007. I was afraid that I'd lose all of my precious, special ornaments.

The answer....hang 'em high!

Here's a close-up of the 'special ornaments'....

I love Christmas and I'm sure that most of you love it, too. BUT..... doesn't this make you appreciate spring that much more?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

17 Years Ago Today....

My life was changed forever.

I became a MOM.

I can go back in my mind and remember the details of that day (and the previous week) so very well.

We had just bought our first home and moved in over the weekend. It was Monday morning.....time for work.

I worked for a pharmaceutical company and never thought about not working. I worked ten hour days and most of the time, 6 day weeks. I had taken that Saturday off because we were moving into our new house!

It was Monday morning and I was exhausted. I was a week away from my due date and intended to work until labor. However, that morning I was seriously contemplating calling in sick.

I trudged out to the car, opened the door and.....my water broke. Thankfully, it wasn't anything like in the movie THE CONE HEADS. I have to admit to a bit of a fear that it would be exactly like that!

I went back in, called in sick and went back to bed. We spent the day painting the shutters, pacing, doing some laundry, pacing and waiting for the cable guy. He couldn't believe I was in labor and waiting for him before going to the hospital! Priorities, right?

Seventeen hours from start to finish....I was a MOM!

Happy Birthday, Sam (Mantha May)!! Thank you for changing my life...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Book Shelf

I haven't posted a book shelf post in a while. We've been reading a lot of winter, Alaska, sled dog type books around here lately.

I just have to mention one children's book in particular. It is Big-Enough Anna.

This is a great story with wonderful artwork. We really enjoyed this one, as it is based on true events and includes photographs at the end of the book.

I have decided to read or in some cases, re-read the classics. I'm trying to show my teens that you can enjoy the classics; that's why they are classic.

So... I am reading Anna Karenina. I am only on page 168 of about 800 pages. I think I have all of the characters sorted out in my mind and find that I am looking forward to reading time each night.

This is it for the book shelf this week.

What are you reading?

Wrapping It Up....


We are finishing up a big winter study that started a while back with the winter FIAR books and ending shortly with the end of the Iditarod dog sled race.


We have had so much fun!  We I love this race so very much.  I have tried for years to get my children involved with my love for Alaska and the dogs with very little success.  They enjoy the study because of the fun books and movies, but when it's over.....well, I just don't understand! 


This year, I actually had one child get really involved with me.  My 10 year old eagerly checked the race updates, went through the daily update newsletter, asked about the checkpoints, etc.  Heaven!


We I chose 3 mushers to follow this year:  Jeff King, Martin Buser and Mitch Seavey.  All 3 finished in the top ten, so not bad!


We actually put together our very first ever lapbooks.  I used a variety of sources, but the main idea came from homeschoolestore.com. 


We will be finishing this study, hopefully Monday, maybe Tuesday and then I'll post some pictures and more details.


Thursday, March 13, 2008



How's this for style?!?!?
My little girl.....

Monday, March 10, 2008

In Honor Of The Ultimate Blog Party....

Let's PaRtY!!!!

It's time for a blog party!!!

Click the link on the lower right to check out the UlTiMaTe BlOg PaRtY!

Invite all of those cool-crazy people you know!

Junk food....goodies...yum!


Since I kept coming up on this thing called the Ultimate Blog Party, I thought I would go check it out. It all starts on 5 Minutes For Mom, a really, really nice website.

So, I'm joining in on the party!

My name is Lisa and I am a stay-at-homeschooling mom of five. My husband and I have been married for nearly 22 years...some hard and some easy, but all very much worth it. My kids range from toddler to teen-never a dull moment! We are a close family and although we have the normal, everyday scuffles and arguments, we love each other very much and laugh a whole lot!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading about the things that go on here!

I forgot about the prizes!! There are tons of prizes to be given away during the Ultimate Blog Party. Don't forget to check out the prize list. My favorites are:

1. #91

2. #70

3. #58

I also like these: 117, 19, 24, 53, and 60. There are so many! It was really hard to narrow down the list. Check it out!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Snow....The View From Our Front Lawn....

This is the view from our front lawn. The barn isn't really very close,
but it is nice to be in the back of a development, knowing that the land
across the way will never be developed. At least, it isn't supposed to be...

Here's a zoom view...

It feels this close. At night you can hear the cows mooing like they are at the front door!

The snow was so pretty! This was the first snow of this winter and
the first snow for us in this house.

You Just Never Know What To Expect....

Yesterday my two year old super-glued his upper eyelashes to his lower eye lid. He was in full-blown panic. This, of course, caused me to launch into full-blown panic.

Thankfully, the glue was not in his eye and I was able to use a wet cloth to remove the glue, opening his eye once again. His eye was not even a touch red and the crying stopped immediately.

At this point, we began to grill each child to find the guilty party that left an open bottle of super glue out in plain view of the two year old.

Our children received 'the' lecture, you know the one...the no lying, no hiding, no blaming others...yada yada.... until the oldest admitted that the super glue was hers, but she certainly did not leave it open and out!

Later, we discovered the two year old had been snooping through the teen's room, including the drawer that once held the super glue.

We knew it was him....he left his blankie and his sippy cup on her bedroom floor, along with the entire contents of her make up drawer (including the top to the now tossed bottle of super glue)! I just wish I'd had the camera at the time so I could record the moment.

This all brings back the memory of the magenta printer ink bottle he carried around last month. Daddy said it was okay because he would never be able to get the top off-he checked it. I now have a dark pink spot the size of a DVD on my bedroom carpet....

More Snow Pictures!






Four of my kids playing in our surprise March snow.  The 6 year old is missing.  He was playing with friends down the street.


Friday, March 7, 2008


A view of the first snow of this winter from our front porch.  They are predicting a total of 4-6 inches!

And yes, that is a garden gnome.  I have no idea why it is sitting on top of the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe, or why the Cozy Coupe is on the front porch....  (Kids!)

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