Friday, February 2, 2018

Goal Setting/Progress

Goals are nothing if you don't have a plan to work forward in them.  This year, I have a long list of things I would like to work toward.  I may or may not complete them, but having them in the forefront of my mind helps me at least think about them.
I have not made STELLAR progress on ANY of my goals...but baby steps in a few.   
Some progress has been made in Reading, Crafting, Blogging and re-reading The House That Cleans Itself. 
My computer crashed, but my IT lady was able to give a fix, that I am HOPING will last for a little while.
I am going a little backwards on getting healthier as I have been OFF PLAN with THM for about a month now...This is the one I am most concerned about.
Math has also fallen to the wayside as we left off ALL subjects for the speech tournament we were preparing for.  We had a recovery week and will hit the books again next week.
All money related goals are being set aside for now too...won't go into details on that, but can't be helped.
Cookies...well let's just say until I can handle getting dinner on the table, learning how to do this will be set aside too! 
I am hoping that posting the progress will help me have a small measure of accountability!
How are you doing with your goals?  How do you stay on track? 


Friday, January 5, 2018

Dandelion Wine

Dandelion Wine
Ray Bradbury
Doubleday Publishing

We are finishing up this book this week.  We are behind and that is making me cranky, but I think we are getting some good stuff done.  We will probably be working through my list of books through the summer.  My daughter is enjoying the books we have read. That may change with the upcoming books.

I had heard good things about Dandelion Wine and wanted to add it into our lineup for the year.  It has not disappointed!  I am really enjoying it and can't wait to find out how it ends.

For this book, I decided to have the main activity be Annotating.  I thought I had never done this before, but I realized that I do some version of it all the time in my Bible. 

First, I had my daughter read a couple of articles on it...

How to Mark a Book

Annotation for Smarties 

We also found this video, which I thought was helpful

I think we are going to do more annotating with future books.

We also worked on this study guide

That is it for Dandelion Wine!  We will be onto Little Women!

Monday, January 1, 2018

18 Goals in 2018

2018...I cannot believe we are here already!  Happy New Year to you and yours!

Last time, I shared some of my favorite things from 2017...this time, I think I will share a few goals I have.  I am not saying resolutions, because it seems so strong of a word and I often forget about mine about mid March.  I have noticed though, if I don't have a plan for what's ahead, I will not have a way of measuring where I am in regard to what I hope to do in life.  Some of these are very specific...some, much more general...but I hope to see progress toward achieving what I am laying out in this coming year.

1} Become healthier- this includes eating right, exercising and seeing the doctor about a few concerns.  I have put this off for too long and need to make this a focus area.  I did get this started in 2017 and made some good progress...hoping to get back on track and move forward.  I will not list specific markers, mostly because I haven't laid that all out yet.

2} Read- I have a shelf that I set aside for the books I am hoping to work through next.  This stack of books has been shoved aside by reading I am doing for school assignments for the kids.  I am still hoping to work through this stack.

3} Blog- I am hoping to move my blog and be more intentional about how/when I post.

4} The Big Math Catch-up- We are already about halfway to this goal...this was a HUGE school focus for us this year.  The kids are doing a great job on this!

5} Craft a Month- You know all those projects many of us have laying around and all the ideas we want to come to?  Well, it is my goal to create something each month.  This has been shoved aside for too long and bags of supplies need to be used.  Here is the first thing I want to make.

6} Cookies- Have you seen all the cool decorated cookies people have been making?  I have had a few sets made and let me tell you...I want to learn how to do this...
Here are some sets that I ordered through Diane.  If you get some from her, tell her I sent you!

7} Build up our Christmas movie collection- This might seem silly...but I am hoping to get at least 24 Christmas movies collected this year.  We enjoy watching a movie a night in December...but we are mostly dependent upon whatever we can find at the library.  We have seen some good movies, but some pretty corny ones too.

8} Build up our Emergency Fund- this has been used quite a bit in the last year or so and is sadly lacking.

9} Budget Buckets- Along with the emergency fund, I would like to get these full...the budget buckets are categories in our budget that only come along once or twice a year...Christmas, birthdays, school fees and such all fall in this category.

10} Get ovens fixed/new ovens- we are without ovens right now...which is interesting.  Thankfully, we live in a time when there are many ways to cook food!  While I am thankful for all those other ways to cook, I am looking forward to getting working ovens again.

11} Lead the children to more independent school work- This has come a long way so far this year...we are probably about halfway on this goal too...Mostly my younger guy needs work on this.  Since I am working a little bit now, ,I need them to be able to be productive when I am not here.

12} Re-read The House That Cleans Itself and implement a plan for staying on top of cleaning projects.

13} Weekly De-Clutter Day- I AM THE WORST at this!  Pray for me!  I need all the help I can get here...both because I have no time AND because I am an infamous pile stacker.

14} Regular Meal Planning- Life runs so much more smoothly when I actually sit down and do this.  It will help with my first goal too!

15} Get a new computer- Mine has been acting up.  I need to see my IT lady and see what she thinks.

16} Go on more hikes- NICER WEATHER- I am a fair weather more in late spring, through early fall for this one.

17} Finish a one year history book in one year! I did this for the first time EVER last year!  I was so happy and I know I can do it again this year!!!  We are on track to meet this goal too!

18} Get a new camera- My camera was stolen several years ago...along with it, 8 years of photos I can never get back, including the flag ceremony at my dad's memorial service.  When it was stolen, I lost all motivation for taking pictures and scrapbooking.  I miss that and would like to get that back.  In the grand scheme of life, this is pretty low on my list...but I needed an there you go.

I think that is it for now!  Once again, Happy New Year!

With much love!


Sunday, December 31, 2017

17 Faves in 2017

Hello all,

We are at the end of another year...How on earth do these go by so very quickly? I listened to a fascinating Ted Talk on how time seems to fly by the older you get.  I can't find the exact one I watched, but it was really interesting...I had never thought of it before, but I sure feel the effects!

So, as we are at the end of another year, I thought I would share a few of my favorites of 2017.  Just a way of setting a year apart from another.  These are in no particular order.
{Disclosure: All Amazon links are affiliate links.}

1} Favorite book...of course, I can't have I will separate them a little
Life in a Jar- This book was AMAZING!  I learned about it when I saw a short video on Facebook about the Life of Irena Sendler. Seeing that video made me curious about her life, and upon further digging, I found this book.  I just loved seeing the impact ONE PERSON can have.  Often, we feel like we can't change things or feel frustrated thinking we don't have an impact.  To those children she rescued, Irena's courageous work had a HUGE impact.  There is power in ONE.

My other favorite, I will place more in a home schooling category-  The Reading Promise .
This was an amazing book of a commitment of reading aloud every single night.  This father and daughter continued this for nine years.  Seeing the impact of that time and their commitment to keeping the streak was amazing.  If I had to pick only one more, Deconstructing Penguins would be on this list as well...I LOVED this book.
Ok, I will leave the books now...I could seriously write pages on good books.

2}  So, I lied...Favorite book for youth- This HAD to be its own category...
HANDS DOWN, it is Navigating Early.  I LOVE Clare Vanderpool's writing style...In some ways, her writing reminds me of Charles Dickens, in that things you see early on in the book, come around full circle at the end.  Pay attention to ALL THE DETAILS with this one.  I cannot recommend this highly enough.  She also wrote Moon Over Manifest, which is good as well, but I really enjoyed Navigating Early so much!  I hope to see many more books by this author.

3} Favorite Movie- It is hard to remember what all you have seen over the course of a year, but to the best of my recollection, I have two... Sully and Hidden Figures.  Both of these films were so very good and will become a part of our home movie library.

4} Song- Either Even If by Mercy Me or Matt Maher's I Need You.  Every hour...

5} Kitchen Tool- Kitchenaid Slicer/Shredder attachment- This has been the MOST AMAZING tool for the kitchen this year!!!  I LOVE the shredder part of it and use it OFTEN for grating cheese!!!  I can grate 2 pounds of cheese in around 5 minutes!  I LOVE THAT!!!  I do not usually buy pre-grated cheese because it has natamycin and cellulose in it.  That seriously grosses me out.  But, I am also a BUSY mom...With this shredder attachment, it is so quick and easy, I don't even think twice about it.  This is PROBABLY my daughter's favorite kitchen tool too, because she was the resident grater prior to this discovery.

6} Home School Tool- My Home School Grades- Another NO BRAINER WIN for the year...this makes my home school record keeping UNBELIEVABLY simple.  Created by a home school grad and a home school dad, this program is intuitive and easy to use. With a good mix of pre- loaded curriculum and options of customizing your own thing, you can choose to give a final grade, grades by assignment or pass/fail.  AND, can you say Transcript?  Talk about a professional document, this is a thing to behold.  On top of all the wonderful things I can say about My Home School Grades, John Echols, the homeschool dad of the team, is so wonderful in responding to your questions, suggestions and concerns.  And, I ALMOST forgot, because this is web based, you can access it wherever you, library computer, at Starbucks, etc.

7} Makeup Item- This is an area of great sadness for me...In 2017, my favorite skin care/makeup company {BeautiControl} was closed by the parent company {Tupperware}. I have been using their products for about 25 was a HUGE SHOCK to hear.  While this is sad, the good news is that Rick Heath (son of the founders of BC) and Gary Jones (So involved in BCs research and development for SO MANY YEARS) have partnered together to bring us TruAura.  I am looking forward to seeing what they are planning.  I really like what I have seen so far about the Prebiotics and Probiotics with regard to our skin's microbiome.  I am signing up as a consultant, mostly to get my products at a discount.  Watch for the launch on February 1, 2018.  And feel free to ask me any questions...while I don't know much yet, I will do my best to get you an answer.
That said, aside from my BeautiControl products I LOVE, I will say that my favorite item for the year is either Young Living's Savvy Minerals blush Smashing, OR Younique's lipstick Stinking Rich.  The blush has a little sparkle to it that is lovely and the lipstick is a GORGEOUS cool red.  I think I need to order another one of these.

8} Snack- Lily's Salted Almond Milk Chocolate Bar- Trying to get my health in order, I have been sugar free for most of 2017....until the dreaded Christmas fiasco...seriously NEED TO GET THE SWEETS OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!  Anyway, this bar is sweetened with Stevia and is such a wonderful treat that supports the way I am trying to eat now.  There are several varieties to choose from, but this is my favorite.

9} Perfume- Do Son- I got a little sample of this perfume in an Ipsy bag. I absolutely LOVE this scent.  I need to grab a bottle. Here is the description from the website: Divinely mysterious tuberose unveils its powers of seduction on a bed of berries and flowers. It is embraced by the fresh sweetness of a sea breeze, like a pagoda on the edge of the Gulf of Tonkin.

10}Wallet- Hobo Lauren- I absolutely LOVE this wallet!  It is a pretty good sized wallet with two sides.  Each side has a snap closure.  It fits my budget envelopes nicely as well as all the other things that gather in my wallet.

11} Planner- My BUJO- have you heard about Bullet Journaling?  Well, I love the flexabilty of it...  It can be used for whatever need I have and then I just go to the next page for whatever my next need is.  I love that nothing is wasted and no blank pages are staring at you counting off your planner failures.  AND, it is whatever I NEED...not whatever the planner creator thought I would need.  Some people have very artsy BUJOs, but mine is messy and very utilitarian.  One day, maybe it will be a work of art...just not today!  I am a pen and paper gal, but my hubby prefers the electronic way, so I use COZI for him.

12} Field Trip- This is going to be a toss up between seeing the Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors and a senior trip we took to Friday Harbor in the San Juans.  It was a perfect day when we went and the English Camp was GORGEOUS!!!  We had a blast.  I was hoping to make it back there with my family, but that just didn't happen.  Maybe next summer.  If you are in Washington State and it is a beautiful day, please make the trek to Friday Harbor.  You will not be disappointed.

13} Leggings- So I went to the Lula Side...these leggings are buttery soft and many have fun patterns.  I also scored a black pair when that line was introduced.  Like wearing your pajamas!  If you haven't tried them, I think you might love them!

14} Soda- Going sugar free, I miss my old Diet Coke.  On Trim Healthy Mama, Diet Coke is NOT on plan...Probably better for me too!  So I have been enjoying Zevia's Ginger Ale.

15} Organizing tool- 31 Bags- I have two styles that I like...The Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote with the Fold and File insert is my most favorite bag. I have one of these bags for for Bible Study, one for co-op, one for Awana...etc. I love how great these are for my various needs.
My second favorite is the Large Utility Tote.  I added the insert, but I don't love it as much as I thought I would.  The bags are great though and I keep them in my van.  Keeps lots of various things from rolling around all over in there.

16} Young Living Essential Oil- Ok...I really can't have just one...I need them all, really...but I love how Tangerine makes me feel so happy and Thieves and RC when we are feeling a little under the weather.  Also, can we say Frankincense?  Well, many other favorites, but I will end there and save you all a major ramble.  If you are interested in learning more about Essential Oils, feel free to let me know or check it out here.

17} Budget tool- The last Favorite from 2017 is a tablet I made for our budget.  We do a weekly budget and as a pen and paper gal, I used to write each line out each week on a small yellow pad.  I got tired of writing out the same thing over and over and over, so I had tablets made.  I love these. They work PERFECTLY for me...
I do KNOW that I can do this in excel...but I do not LOVE Excel...and I am a pen and paper gal.  There is just something so satisfying in writing this out for me.

Well, that is my list...sorry it is so long.  I hope you have a fantastic 2018!  Next post will be my goals for 2018!

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Crucible

The theme for this year in Literature for my daughter seems to be to read all the books that Mom has never read before.  So this book is no exception.  The Crucible is a play by Arthur Miller about The Salem Witch hunt/trials in the late 1600's.  What I did not know until I began researching this book, was that it was also speaking about Red Scare in the 1950's and The House Un-American Activities Committee. As we just finished up this time period in history last year, it was a fascinating connection for me to make and since it is fresh in our minds, will make for some interesting discussion.
Here are the resources I am looking into using for The Crucible.
First, we will be using this Character Analysis Graphic Organizer from Teacher's Pay Teachers and this flip book.

So, life took a HUGE detour...and the Character Analysis organizer was the main assignment for this book. I am also having Grace do a One pager for this book.  I added the book, The Wave to her reading as well.

This was a book recommended by a friend.  We should have read it last year for history, but it has a powerful message.  
That is all we got to for this book.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall's Golden Days

Fall’s Golden Days

Halfway between school starting and Thanksgiving is where I find myself today…It is a lovely day in my neighborhood, and we have been homeschooling for several weeks now. We have a busy schedule this year, but that is a story for another article…maybe…if I survive it! So as I stare at a blank screen…preparing to write…I’ve got nothing.
Fall is a time in our home to catch our breath and hold on…everything starts, school is amped up and running, and we are just trying to get used to our new schedules, hoping I have the brain power to remember we need dinner. We are hoping to implement some Sabbath rest weeks into our school year to give us respite…but, right now, we are nose to the grindstone. I thought it might be fun to share some lesser known holidays for October…maybe you can find one to color your month, bless someone else, or just create a memory together.

October 2- Name Your Car Day
October 4- National Frappe Day
October 4- International Frugal Fun Day
October 5- Do Something Nice Day
October 11- It’s My Party Day
October 11- Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day
October 14- National Dessert Day
October 17- Wear Something Gaudy Day
October 18- Sweetest Day
October 21- Count Your Buttons Day
October 21- National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
October 24- National Bologna Day
October 25- Make a Difference Day
October 26- Mother In Law Day

We may try a couple of these…just for fun! When we do, we will add them to our Year Book in a Box from the Smart Kids Launchpad. We will be gathering pictures and memorabilia throughout our school year to remind our children of all the great things we have done this year. The Smart Kids Launchpad is a FANTASTIC site filled with activities for you to do with your children to teach them responsibility, money and the value of hard work. I have several of these activities open in my web browser.
Since I have included a couple of dessert holidays, I will not leave you high and dry with nothing to make. Let me recommend some Gingerbread, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Cheesecake , or this Apple Cake…Now, I already hear it…the groanings…but NOT ALL APPLE CAKES are created alike. I think you might really enjoy this one. Originally from a 1997 Cooking Light magazine, I switched out all the low fat subs for the real deal and this has been a family favorite ever since. Feel free to make the switch back to the low fat equivalents – we just prefer to eat certain things, like butter rather than margarine.

Apple Cake

• 1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
• ½ stick butter, softened
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
• 2 large eggs
• 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
• 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
• ¼ tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 3 cups chopped peeled apples (use a type good for cooking. My recipe suggests Romes, but I usually use Jonagolds or Fujis for this cake)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Beat 1 ½ cups sugar, butter, vanilla and cream cheese until well blended.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture beating on low until just blended.
5. Combine ¼ cup sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar over the chopped apples, stirring to combine.
6. Fold apples into batter. Pour batter into a 9 inch springform pan and sprinkle with reserved cinnamon sugar mix.
7. Bake for one hour, 10 minutes or until cake pulls away from the sides.
8. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut with a serrated knife.
9. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Hoping your fall into fall is colored with love and fun, but just in case it is a rougher transition for you, remember, MANY of us get to Fall Back on November 5th! 
Originally Posted at Home and School Mosaics

The Catcher in the Rye

Hello!  I am back again as we are wrapping up this book.  I had never read The Catcher in the Rye before and was a little concerned as I was reading it.  I almost axed it, but decided to leave it in our line-up.  I will say that there is an extensive use of God's name in here that is not what you would call reverent  It was so frequent, that it was distracting.  Also, there is some sexual content that you might want to be aware of.  Definitely pre-read this before deciding whether or not it is appropriate for your family.

So, here are some resources we used for this book:

First, I enjoyed the Crash Course videos on this book.  I don't always agree with what he you may want to watch this before your student as well.

We used this resource from Teacher's Pay Teachers as a Study Guide.  This should be the Pinterest Link for that study guide if you can't see it on the other one.

We printed this timeline off and this plot diagram. I believe both of these resources were free when we did this.
We also used pages 7-13 of this resource.  It was creating journal entries as if you were Holden.  We are not finished with the book yet, but my daughter has enjoyed doing this.
I had her read this article (The link was not working when I grabbed it...It is the New Yorker article Who Was J.D. Salinger by Adam Gopnik, September 5, 2013, in case it is still not working when you go to look.)
I wanted to do a mind map similar to the one in this packet, but we haven't done it yet and I don't see it getting added in at this point in time.  A One Pager would be a good idea too.
I think that is it!  Next up, The Crucible!