Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday's Website

A little late for Christmas but a fun way to get a good deal! Woot is a group of websites that posts a new good deal everyday. The original woot is mostly electronic items but often has vaccuums and other household "of interest" to me items. Kids woot has toys and other kid items. When the item is sold out it is no longer available.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's Website

Organized Christmas!

Tons of cute ideas. I personally am planning to make the adorable hot chocolate stocking stuffer! I even ran to the store last night to buy the cake decorating bags.

Hope your holiday planning is going smoothly and that you get to enjoy your family and friends this season!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho!

So, I have been putting off the trip to the jolly old elf this year. I avoid the mall most of the time anyway but especially at Christmas time. Plus, it is always so tense...waiting in crazy long hot lines with Josh who is never really "sure" of the whole thing. He wants to go but...

Anyway, my sweet neighbor told me about this store near us that was having a Santa event today. She said that it involved reindeer and santa but that is really all I knew. Since it did NOT involve the mall I was all in!

After lunch today we jumped into the car and headed to Horrocks market!
We were directed by a grandmotherly lady, heading to her car, to the area where Santa was sitting. He was at the end of a line of children (of course!) but on the way was a fenced in area with the reindeer. They were wandering a bit and you could feed them. It was very cool! And it made the wait go by super fast. Josh pet Comet and tried to feed them but they were not really hungry!

It was finally our turn for Santa. He was stationed in a cute little sleigh that the children could sit next to him in, not on his lap! Luckily I thought to bring my camera. We snapped a few pictures and Josh read him his letter to Santa. (thanks Kylie Our Worldwide Classroom!)

Then we headed into the store where they had free face painting, free ice cream, and all kinds of goodies!

What a super fun FREE day! Our pictures turned out pretty good and I even uploaded my card order to pick up tomorrow! (We love Costco)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


We are having our first real snowday today! Very exciting for sure! So far, we have watched the original Grinch movie, Charlie Brown Christmas, and are starting in on Ichabod and Mr Toad as I type. Of course he has also spent the morning stamping, playing with Lego's, making a "movie" with his Little People Nativity, and building his new lego kit from the Lego City Advent calendar.

Busy Busy Busy!

I personally am exhausted (long night...see yesterday's comments if interested in an update but all is fine!) and have just laid here on the couch all morning watching the flurry of activity!

We do have big plans for the afternoon however! We are making a button wreath from our Advent activities list. (yesterday's activity...good thing I saved it huh?) He has also decided to make puppets with the cutout nativity people. (todays activity!) (LAZY LINKAGE TODAY!) Oh yeah, and FINALLY finish decorating the tree!

We are likely to have another snow day tomorrow, they are predicting 2 inches an hour all night. So I think I will gather up the supplies for gift making and try to get some of that knocked out if we are home again. Also, tomorrow should be a bit better for outdoor fun so for sure we will be heading out to enjoy the snow.

Enjoy your families!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Please...if you pray...

Andrew's brother is having surgery any minute. He was injured and is having his eye socket repaired. Please spare a thought for him and the family today. They are struggling with the weight of all life is throwing them right now.

Thanks so much

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Christmas Fun!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Mocha Cappaccino or Frappe (wait...what IS the difference?)

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Well, it is our tradition to just sit them is also our tradition to worry nonstop about "the gift perfection" until it stresses us (read ME) unreasonably! (Funny (now) story, last year Josh woke up at like 4am and went downstairs and checked out all his Santa gifts. I cried! Stinker!)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? On the rare occassion that we actually get to hanging the lights...we do the white ones.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Definitely! Josh actually asked yesterday when we would put it up...just after he kissed me under it at the dollar store. (makes up for #2)

5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving but it is slow going this year!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Fudge and Snowy Trail Mix

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? The year my Dad had me pick out a gift for my Mom. On Christmas morning I opened it and thought he had messed up. Still not getting that it was actually for me! I even hid it in my closet for him for like a month!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? ...What do you mean?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We have Josh open up gifts from extended family. Helps to break it up a bit!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? mostly with Josh made ornaments and old stuff from Andrew and my childhood! We also have a couple nice collections (Lenox Snowman and Beleek Doors)

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Dread it.

12. Can you ice skate? I went once when I was in 6th grade, did okay then???

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? That is really hard...I have received so many wonderful gifts. Maybe my Ipod!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Making it great for Andrew and Josh.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? see #6

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Advent Calendar

17. What tops your tree? Silver Star

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Giving

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Santa Baby and God rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? No thank you...unless it is made of chocolate!

21 Favorite Christmas Show? Josh and I love Christmas movies but I guess my favorite is still the original Grinch!

22. Saddest Christmas Song? Ugh, the one about the boy who wants to buy shoes for his dying Mom...I must turn that off as soon as it comes on!

Feel free to copy this post and fill it out on your blog. HT- Missy

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Celebrate Snow!!!

Well, if you live where it snows there is just nothing you can do about you might as well at least pretend to enjoy it! Here are a few ideas of fun things to do with the kids on a snow day!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent Calendar

Here is our schedule for advent activities. I would like to have all the required materials assembled beforehand so I can just grab it and we can do it. But we shall see... I have an advent calendar with 24 little drawers, so I just print the activity on a slip of paper and stuff in the tiny drawer. Josh opens the correct drawer in the morning and sometime that day we do the activity!

Hope you have a Very Merry Christmas!

  1. Begin Lego Advent Calendar!
  2. Decorate for Christmas
  3. Glittery initial ornaments
  4. Christmas Cookies
  5. Cookie exchange and Talent Show
  6. Picture With Santa
  7. Roll a Christmas tree
    Dotted sheet Tree
  8. Button Wreath Ornament
  9. Nativity Cutouts
  10. Santa With a cotton beard!
  11. Reindeer Addition Roll and Color
  12. Christmas tree Puzzle
  13. Christmas Movie marathon w/ Popcorn
  14. Pom Pom Garland
  15. Magnetic Bookmarks
  16. Decorate felt Stocking
  17. Photo Ornament
  18. Wrap Presents
  19. Pretend Christmas Eve at Nana's
  20. Pretend Christmas Day at Nana's
  21. Make Fudge
  22. Felt Holly Napkin Rings
  23. Reindeer food
  24. Christmas Eve at Grandma & Grandpa's House

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daybook- November 18, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Outside my window... it is cold, rainy, and oh so dark today.
I am thinking... of Joshua's teacher who has been home sick for 3 days...Please pray...
I am thankful for... a loving, happy, healthy family.
From the learning rooms... today we worked on the Story of the World and The Story of the Orchestra. We are beginning to cut out and assemble a lapbook for Ancient Egypt and I am wanting to create a timeline that we can use for both "world" & "Orchestra".
From the kitchen... Mmm, I can smell the Cream Cheese Chicken from the crockpot. It just seems to warm up the whole house.
I am wearing... A forest green "Camp Catch A Rainbow" t-shirt, Forest green hoody, and Yoga pants. Bare feet! Took it easy today...obviously...
I am creating... A December menu plan.
I am going... christmas shopping tomorrow...again! I am struggling to find just the right item for my Mom. ...also, those frustrating stocking stuffers I always make more difficult than need be!
I am reading... The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
I am hoping... to settle holiday plans soon.
I am hearing... utter silence! Josh is home from school but having quiet time in the basement.
Around the house... ugh! Still working on preparing to sell the house. Exhausting!
One of my favorite things... Dr Pepper Lip Smacker
A few plans for the rest of the week: More staging, finish sorting Joshua's Legos into bins, prepare Kitchen/dining to be painted.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Josh and me his first day of school! I love his constant enthusiasm. I must strive everyday to see it as a blessing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Penguin Unit

Sheesh, I love Penguins! I had so much fun planning this unit. We are going to read Mr. Popper's Penguins and a few other gems. We will also study Antarctica. We live in MI so snow will be here soon. We will launch this unit after the Christmas crazy!

Other Books
The Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin
Penguins (True Books)
Penguins: Level Four (Usborne First Reading)
Antarctica (True Books: Continents)
Penguins (Animal Information)
Counting Penguins!

Other Penguin Unit
Mr. Poppers Penguins Book study (Funny, I found this after I did the rest of this post...nothing like reinventing the wheel. Oh well!)
Mr Popper's Penguins Lapbook

Penguin Lapbooks Lifecycle and many other amazing resources. (ht- My Montessori Journey)
Penguin Puzzle and cards/book
Antarctica Website
Ice Melt Fun Game

Language Arts
Many Simple Penguin Literacy Ideas Dot to dots, easy reader book, name recognition, abc activities.

Printable Penguin Counting Activity (scroll down for penguin activity link)
Penguin math Ideas Varying levels!

Penguin cards (Beautiful Cards from A Bit of this and that)
Cool Antarctica Website

How to draw a penguin
Penguin art

Penguin puppets
Handprint penguins
Potato print Puppets
Felt Penguin w/ printable directions

Penguin song etc... cute ideas!
Penguin Memory Game
Save the Egg game

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Report Card and a question for YOU!

At Josh's school they do conferences a month or so before report cards so that a "turn around" is possible. I get the idea just not sure how I feel about it yet.

However, we are really happy with our school choice still. Josh loves his teacher and is really enjoying school. He is learning a ton because the young 5 class gets to do fun stuff like all the lifecycles and only inadvertently works on letters and sounds. Which is great for Josh since he does not need that. Having said all that...

Josh brought home his report card Thursday. It is a 5 page report that covers a ton of subject areas including math, science, language, social studies, and moral focus. Their grading scale is 0-4.

0 means does not understand skill or concept yet.
1 means beginning to understand skill.
2 means at grade level.
3 means at end of year level.
4 means exceeds expectations.

The included letter stated that we should see a lot of 1 & 2's at this time of the year.

Josh got 15 4's, about 18 0r so 3's, and 5 2's.

So I have a question, did we make the right choice? Should he have gone straight to Kindergarten? What do you think? I am too blinded by my utter fondness for his teacher to think it through.

I do want to say, we are really proud of him. We knew he was bright but we really expected to have some behavior issues. He can be a bit spirited! But he does really if only he could extend that to his after school behavior....but that is for another post!

Friday, November 13, 2009

In His Words!

We are watching The Wizard of Oz (no school today!) we just got to my favorite scene where Dorothy opens the door and everything is magically in color. Joshua says, "why do all those leaves look like they are made from rubber?"


Have I mentioned that he wants to be a movie maker?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday's Websites

This is where my head is right now...thought I would share!

Mrs Pancake Super cute printables!

Michigan's Fun Learning Activities Great ideas for every family....Yeah MI!

Homeschool Share My "go to" for ideas/activities for themes. Especially great for lapbooks.

Planning a bit for Christmas!

Nativity Cut-outs

Bookmark Christmas Present idea

Fun to watch

Where ** is Matt? Cool for geography!

Trying to keep in the forefront of my mind...

Great advice for Boy Mommies! Intended for homeschoolers but adaptable for all.

Friday, November 06, 2009

November Seasonal Activities

We had so much fun last month I thought I would throw together a list of fun activities for us to do again this month. Please note that we have NO INTENTION of doing everything on the list. These are just our options to pick from.

Turkey napkin Rings We did these when Josh was 2 or 3 and still use them every year!
Hand & Footprint Turkey
Thanksgiving Story bracelet
Shape turkey
Cornucopia Cute but may be too difficult!

Language Arts
Turkey paper
Thanksgiving Words! Print, hole punch and put on a ring for easy writing!
Thanksgiving 5 senses Book LOVE THIS! It is right where Josh is at!
Thanksgiving fill-them-in Tale

Practical Life
Turkey Sewing- Easy! !!!!!!!

Thanksgiving Memory Match game

Fruit Gobbler Definitely doing this!
Edible Indian Corn How can I do this dye free????
Thanksgiving Blessings Mix
Teeny turkey sandwiches

Thanksgiving Printables
Activity page Might keep them busy while waiting for pie.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ October 26

I just noticed I have not posted a menu in almost a month! I guess it has been busy/crazy. I had the flu, parent teacher conferences, volunteering in Josh's class twice a week, 2 dental appointments (got a crown), and Josh had a fever for a few days; not to mention that Andrew has been working long hours. Mostly it has been good...except when I was very sick.

So I am going to post a month long menu for November (prob. December too). Trying to save a bit of time during the holiday season. I am also scheduling certain types of meals for certain days...trying to simplify and avoid the crazy!
Monday= Mexican
Tuesday= Italian
Wednesday= Misc...
Thursday= Chicken
Friday= Pizza
Saturday= Misc...
Sunday= Breakfast

  1. Omelets/Bacon
  2. Empanadas
  3. Chicken Parmigiana
  4. Polish Sausage w/ Macaroni & Cheese
  5. Easy Chicken & Gravy with mashed potatoes
  6. Pepperoni-rolls
  7. Family Party
  8. French Toast & Sausage
  9. Taquitos and salad
  10. Lasagna
  11. Chicken Chili & Cornbread
  12. Savory chicken roll ups/
  13. Take out Pizza!
  14. Hot Dogs
  15. Egg in a hole
  16. Nachos
  17. Spaghetti
  18. New recipe...yet to be determined
  19. Cream Cheese Crockpot Chicken
  20. Garlic Bread Pizza
  21. EAT OUT!!!!
  22. Bacon pull aparts
  23. Taco cornbread pizza
  24. Skillet pasta
  25. Chicken Fingers & fries
  26. Thanksgiving!
  27. Pizza
  28. Leftover Turkey Shepard's Pie
  29. Breakfast Pizza
  30. Tacos

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Geography Songs

I was doing a little geography research for Josh's teacher and figured some of you may be interested as well.

Here is a link to several continent songs. I personally have always used the Love and Marriage version about half way down. It has the continents and the oceans but does not include the newer Southern ocean.

For a good state song try The 50 States that Rhyme Song. I had a hard time with this but got better after a few tries!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday's Website which is basically online educational games for pk-6th grade. You do need to log on but they do not even require your email address, just user name & password.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

What Josh is Reading Right Now!

Josh just loves all of the Denys Cazet Books! Especially the Chicken pox stories. They really are silly and so much fun. The reading levels are 2 or 3 and are fast fun reads.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October Seasonal Activities

I was looking for some ideas to make this rainy miserable Fall a little more fun and thought I would share what I found with you! We will not get to even half of these!

Crafts (mostly Halloween)
Paper Strip Pumpkins We did this! It turned out great and was fun and easy!
Tissue ghosts We made these and strung them on a plastic glow lace!
Color, cut & glue Jack O'lantern or Cut & glue Jack O'lantern or Jack O'lantern person (not scary!)
Lantern Orange or Black would look cool!
Bat Mobile
Cute paper Bats I would like to use these bats to make the above mobile!
Adorable Craft stick Mummy
2 liter bottle ghost
Fall Ideas
Felt Board Pumpkin Faces Thanks Melissa!
Fall Silly Putty
Easy yarn Apples and Pumpkins!
Spider Web Spin Painting
Fall Window Hangings We did this last year with wax paper, leaves, crayon and an iron!

Misc. Activities
Printable Halloween Games
Halloween Color Pages

Line Art Leaves

Online Activity
Build your own Jack O'lantern

Pumpkin Shakes
Ghost Sandwiches
Spider Pizzas
Ritz Spider
Witches Hat

Language Arts
Pumpkin Book
Several Links to Fall Poetry

Fall Window
Skeleton from bottles Plan ahead for next year?

Fall Tree Dice game

Pumpkin Ideas
Star Wars Pumpkin Stencils Links to other themes too!

Monday, October 12, 2009


...or in our case beforeschooling, since Josh attends PM young 5's. School is going great for him. He is enjoying it, LOVES his teacher and is actually learning quite a bit! He knows more about frogs then anyone would ever want to know! However, we still feel the need to enrich his learning with more. He is way ahead of his class in both math and reading. They are currently learning to count to 20. He could do that at 3 years old. So here is what we are doing...

Science- (as previously posted!) We have chosen several areas to study and are doing one a month! (September Biology plans, October Physical Science plans)

Geography- Landforms and the Continents using Continent Boxes, Continent books, and any other resources I dig up!

History- Story of the World We are enjoying this but I am having a hard time preparing ahead. I just need to sit down and get things ready for the month in a basket or something so I can just grab!

Music- To our dismay, due to scheduling, Josh does not attend Music at school this year! Therefore, I ordered Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! and am really excited to get started. We plan to begin tomorrow. (Just got it Friday!)

Practical Life- Remember these? I plan to start back up working on Josh's cookbook. Today was my b-day so I am thinking of having him help make a cake tomorrow (good excuse, right?). We also want to continue working on skills such as...

  • tying
  • cutting with scissors
  • cutting with knife
  • pouring

Math- Our main focus right now is on addition and heading toward subtraction. On our shelf you would find...

  • Addition Strip Board (info)
  • Addition Snake game (info)
  • Hundreds board (video)
  • Other manipulatives such as counters, dice, etc...

Language- This is the easiest and most natural! We have a reading night planned for Tuesday where we all pile into my bed and read to each other until bedtime. However, he reads to us or we read to him every night before bed normally. So I am not really planning anything extra...yet!

Art- Want to work on a few drawing skills and of course we will do seasonal crafts. We are happy with his school's art program so just having fun here for now!

Really though, this seems like a lot. But we have the entire school year and all summer to accomplish these things. Some weeks we do a ton and some weeks (like last week!) we get NOTHING done. Either way, we are not stressing. Our intention is to have school for an hour 4 days a week before lunch. ...but sometimes...the Lego's just need more attention than the dining room table...ya know?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009


I am sick, whiny and miserable. I am not going to do a menu this week. Talk to you again when I can actually breathe.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Read this one!

Tears people...If you have a little girl, or not so little girl, or were a little girl...
This spoke to me this morning...

Elizabeth Foss Shops

October = Physical Science

Physical Science - gas liquid solid, magnets, buoyancy, surface tension, evaporation, volume, weight, measurement

We never get to all the activities I list and I often take longer than indicated to do a "theme". It is just my intention to do these activities in October. Hope you find something here you can use with your family!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah

I have nothing to say, well that is not true...I just have nothing INTERESTING to say. And, if you know me in real life (rl) you will know I have never let that stop me! So....

  1. Internet Explorer is apparently not happy with Blogger. I can not seem to make them talk and behave together. Which is frustrating and making it really hard for me to post anything with a lot of links in it. Which includes my October post for science.
  2. Tomorrow is October! When did that happen?
  3. This year October means 2 things to me instead of just one. My usual and I start working in Josh's class...on Friday...
  4. I am nervous about starting Friday. I just do not feel prepared! AT ALL! I am running the entire Accelerated Reader (sorry no link!) program for his class. Should be interesting since I have not actually seen AR at all in about 10 years. Then, only briefly.
  5. Remember me complaining about our brand newish furnace leaking? STILL NOT FIXED! It has been about 2 weeks.
  6. Now the Kitchen sink...with the newish faucet is leaking...or at least it was until the plumber came and fixed it this morning. It was under $100 which is good but the broken part only costs $.40. Oh least it is fixed.
  7. Josh is HILARIOUS and so is all of life in his eyes...or at least that is what he tells us and everyone who will listen.
  8. It seems like everyone I know is either pregnant or just had a baby. (Congrats BL!)
  9. Anybody want to buy my house? Please!
  10. Next week, Josh's teacher is coming for a home visit.
  11. Josh has sold $68 worth of his toys on ! And several more to go.
  12. He bought a batcave with some of his money...ugh, here Fisher-Price Super Friends Batcave (don't ask how long that link took!)
  13. I usually have several Christmas gifts purchased. This year? ZERO!
  14. I have a lot of things going on that are unbloggable and are weighing on my heart.

Thanks for the indulgence of a whiny list! I will try to get the October Science posted this week!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ September 28

We did not follow the menu at all last week! Sure hope we can do better this week! AND I still did not get a chance to make the Who Bread! So that is still on the schedule for this week.

Monday- Taco Salad

Tuesday- Pita Pizzas (Just reg pizza but made on a pita)

Wednesday- Cinnamon French Toast & Sausage

Thursday- Chicken Parmesan

Friday- Fried rice with Ground Turkey (not sure how...we shall see...I will post a recipe if it turns out!)

Saturday- Savory Chicken Roll ups found here!

Sunday- Leftovers!

Check out the other menus-->

Friday, September 25, 2009

My 5 Tips for A New Montessori Mom!

Jo recently left me a quick request,
I have recently been asked by a new-to-Montessori mom of a toddler, where to start? She is overwhelmed by the amount of equipment and information you are a Montessori mother I would love it if you could share your top tips too.

Here are my top 5...

  1. Focus on Practical Life! Little ones need lots of PL activities. The good part of that is PL activities are the easiest to make, cheap and easy! Some great ideas for these activities can be found here!
  2. The Child is likely to find a favorite activity and do it over and over and over. That is OKAY and actually wonderful. This type of behavior helps little ones focus and become peaceful. (My Josh made bead necklaces everyday for months, he did eventually pick other activities...I worried he never would!)
  3. You, and your child will be okay if you do not have every activity available in a traditional Montessori environment. They will still learn all they need to know. Do what you can and make do when you can not! (We never did get Josh to do anything with the beads or the base 10 blocks for that matter...but he still learned to add at age 4!)
  4. FOLLOW THE CHILD! Even if you planned to present say uh farms, if he wants to learn about bugs...Go with it! He will learn more if he is interested and your stuff will wait.
  5. Finally, find support. Even if it is through an online community, you need to have someone to bounce ideas off of and vent to. I am so very grateful to all the moms who I have met through my blog and through reading theirs. Leave comments, ask questions. We all really want to help each other and a lot of these women have such amazing knowledge to share!

Here are a couple entries I wrote when planning to work with a toddler using Montessori:
More ideas

Check out Jennifer's Blog
She teaches in a Toddler classroom and is an AMAZING Monte mom herself!

Good luck and feel free to always ask anything!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday's Website

Ooooh look what I "stumbled upon"!
KidsTuff Kids Chair!!!

What sweet little perfect for little ones.

And, the price seems really reasonable!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ September 21

Busy, busy, busy!

But here goes what we may potentially eat!

  1. Shepard's Pie (I just throw in a bunch of veggies, chicken, gravy, cr of chick soup, and mashed potatoes on top bake...Eat! Yum!)
  2. Tuesday the boys have a Daddy/son dinner out at Josh's school!
  3. Empanadas
  4. Fettuccine Alfredo
  5. Pizza
  6. Omelets
  7. Mexican chicken salad

I also really want to make Who bread!

It is officially Fall on Tuesday! I am thrilled! I just love Autumn... the weather, the clothes, my birthday!

Have a great week!

Check out the other menu's at

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Falling into Fall!

In all honesty, I am struggling a bit right now trying to find a rhythm for our days. We have a lot going on.

Josh has started school. He is really enjoying it and thinks his teacher is hillarious. (his words!) What that means for me is that I am now spending 1 hour in the car everyday just getting him back and forth. That time does not include wait time. And I can not believe all the after school/evening meetings!

We are getting our home ready to be sold. Which means oh so many projects. Painting, cleaning, power washing, priming, sanding, etc...

Then there is the life happens category. Things like normal living... Which also includes our newish furnace leaking mysteriously, and my new project of selling all our unwanted stuff on craigslist.

So what is suffering? Oh, you know... dishes, laundry... the normal stuff.

We are doing pretty good at keeping up with our at home school. We are working along at our human body study. The Story of the World is also going great. I keep adding more and more to it because we are really enjoying it. All we have done for geography is put together our new NA geopuzzle. (love it by the way but more on that later!)

So that is what we are up to! How is Fall treating you?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday's Website

Some cool ideas for crafts for a culture study but definitely a "work in progress"!

Make sure you check it out though and bookmark for future use!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Well we did it! We survived Josh's first week of school! I tell you though, it was both worse and better than I expected.
The first day I dropped him off and for the most part it went fine. He was excited and happy...I held the tears until I got in the car. Sounds successful, right?
Pick up was a bit iffy. To begin with, the whole crazy pick up thing is CRAZY. There are no buses, so every parent is there waiting in line to pick up their child. CRAZY!

When it was finally my turn to get my kid...he was escorted to the car by his teacher... he jumped in and immediately burst into tears. I think he was a bit over tired. He is not generally that emotional. He had forgotten a book he made during Center time AND some little girl tore it and he had to tape it. It is still unclear to me which he was crying about...maybe both!

Anyway, then he says, "...and Momma, we did not learn ANYTHING said I would learn something..." Oy, he has continued to complain about that everyday but at least now he is also adding that all they learned was about school rules...but nothing else! (Which by the way, is not true since he told me all about snakes on the way home today...BUT he wants to learn real stuff like math etc...) I just keep reassuring him that they will learn more as everyone gets used to school.

Which is only sort of true! He is not going to learn what he wants this year, and prob not next year, at school. But we are also continuing to work at home and he is loving that all of a sudden. Sort of a "you do not know what you have until you no longer have it!"

Right now at home we are working on

  • Geography~ North America
  • Science~ Human Body (esp. digestion this week!)
  • History~ Story of the World (what is history/archaeology?)

Think I will add math to please Josh in the next few weeks, once we get a better rhythm in place.

I do want to add that I really like his teacher. I think she "gets" him. She pulled me aside already to talk about how SHE has the same sense of humor as him...hmmm??? And also, that he really is good at reading...uh, yeah...I noticed! I think when we had warned her she thought we were exaggerating.

So, any good advice about keeping him away from germs and mean kids on the playground? (He already has a runny nose and had a time out for pushing a boy who would not stop teasing him.)

Welcome to the world of school!

What we have been up to...

FYI, I wrote this and scheduled it BEFORE school started!

We finally got our new flooring put in! My Cousin and Uncle do flooring for a living and did an amazing job! We are really happy with it...too bad we do not plan to be here long enough to enjoy it. We are officially getting our house ready to be put on the market!! Which means we are painting and cleaning and trying to get everything ready!

Josh has been playing outside quite a bit. Especially since we have been out there painting the garage etc... the past few days. This picture is funny though, check out the garden gloves and light saber!

Always doing some learning activity! This set is pretty cool. You can sort the animals into kingdoms, or habitat. Animal Habitats Game (appears unavailable, which is really sad because it is wonderful!)
Can you read that? It says, "Poop did not come out with marble." Josh swallowed a marble a week or so ago. It sounds like it was an accident but the whole thing was a bit of a nightmare. At first, we thought it might be a magnet. But it turned out to be just a metal marble that comes from a magnet set. He passed it pretty quick, in just 2 days, but I had to "retrieve it" to be sure it passed. On an interesting note, Poison Control called me everyday to check out that things were okay and to provide any support we might need. They were incredibly helpful!
FYI, 1-800-222-1222.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Monday, September 07, 2009

September = Biology

Here is what I am thinking for Biology!


The Skeleton Inside You (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
Germs Make Me Sick! (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) (Reading Rainbow book)
The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body
Me and My Amazing Body
The Way We Work
What Happens to a Hamburger? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
Why Do We Laugh? (Why Books)
Our Body (Child's First Library of Learning)
I Know Why I Brush My Teeth (Sam's Science)
Your Skin and Mine: Revised Edition (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
My Five Senses (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)

Other resources

Human Body Funstation
Beleduc Your Body - Boy 5-Layer Puzzle (Josh LOVES this...SOOOO worth the $$$)
Skeleton Floor Puzzle (much nicer than ours but that price is amazing!)
Talicor Somebody Board Game (LOVING this right now!)

Human Anatomy

Human organs coloring page

Human skeleton coloring page

Dr Pbody

Human Body - Power point of the body

3 Part cards

Self Care

Dental Care ideas

The 5 Senses

neat intro for readers!

5 senses body cube game!

  • Touch -mystery bag
  • Hearing - Sound cylinders
  • Smell - Spice jars matching
  • Taste - compare sweet/sour/bitter/salty
  • Sight - Magnifying glass activity

Simple reader!

Trace and color- fine motor practice.

Lapbook ideas

Science journal ideas

  • Popcorn Experiment
  • Play-doh experiment

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ September 7

"Back" to School addition! Gonna make it an easy week since we are all a little nervous!

Monday- Labor Day - Hot Dogs, beans, chips/dip & whatever else we can dig up!

Tuesday- First day of Kindergarten! Gonna take Josh to his favorite restaurant Mr Burger! (interesting choice for my child, huh!)

Wednesday- Quick Crescent Taco Bake

Thursday- Cinnamon French Toast...hold the syrup! & Bacon

Friday- Fettuccine Alfredo With Chicken (make sure you use the lower fat ingredients so this does not kill you!)

Saturday- Leftovers!

Sunday- Taco Salad

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Just spending our last weeks before school starts together! Been a bit crazy...including new family members on the way (Not me!), family members moving far away, marble swallowing along with poop inspecting (it turned up!), new flooring, many...many...many school meetings, house hunting, house "staging", and just normal life craziness.

Be back soon!


Sunday, August 23, 2009


I have been wanting to plan a Where the Wild Things Are mini-unit for a while now. With the new movie coming out it seemed timely and a great opportunity to make it extra special. (However...after seeing the preview I am not sure about taking Josh sight unseen! Going to have to read reviews!)
Nice read along guide with discussion ideas
Author info and some cool activity ideas such as

  • Language Arts ~ write a story of their own adventure with a “Wild Thing.”
  • Physical Ed. ~ Bring music to class and have a “Wild Rompus”
  • Science ~ Grow wild thing grass in cup

Great cross-curricular ideas such as

  • Language Arts ~ discuss how wild things change...becoming less scary etc...
  • Math ~ grouping/sorting wild things by attributes (tails, horns, etc)
  • Geography ~ Introduce concept of Island.

Would love to take this opportunity to introduce the Montessori imaginary island (although I am still not sure how to best create this....any suggestions????)

Practical Life ~ Wild Thing Pillows (Would obviously need help with this one!)

Science ~ boat sailing (maybe even do a paper folding boat like this!

Crafts ~Amazing idea for shadow puppets
Articulated Beasts
Where the Wild Things Are Masks

Finish up the unit with a celebration serving...

Chicken Soup with rice and several other goodies as found in
The Fairy Tale Cookbook: Fun Recipes for Families to Create and Eat Together and of course wearing jammies and crowns!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Well, as A Thousand Joys pointed out, this Science Curriculum looks really good! But for some reason (control freak)...I am just not feeling it. So here is what I am thinking...

There are about 9 months of school not including summertime. We will still do schoolish activities in the summer but a lot less planned.

Anyway....9 months = 9 general themes.

  1. Weather/Seasons March
  2. Biology - human body, 5 senses, nutrition, hygiene September
  3. Earth Science - Space, landforms, volcanoes January
  4. Zoology - living v. nonliving, vertebrate v. invertebrate, kingdoms February
  5. Physical Science - gas liquid solid, magnets, buoyancy, surface tension, evaporation, volume, weight, measurement October
  6. Biomes December
  7. Simple machines November
  8. Botany - Nature Study, plant parts, insects April
  9. Dinosaurs - (Because I can!) May

I plan to share my resources as I get them ready.

***This order makes sense to me for several reasons. March in MI can produce all types of weather so is a really great time to study here. January tends to be very cold and clear so good for star gazing. December is busy and biomes can happen with zoology as well so... Bugs are back in April. Dino's are a fun way to wrap up the year! Just a little insight into my madness!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day in the Life

This one is more for me than you! I am feeling like I need to document everything possible before Josh starts school and everything please forgive my indulgence!

8am Wake up...Josh crawls into bed with me every morning at 8 often after he has gotten dressed.
Josh gives the cats fresh water and dry cat food, I give them can food.
Breakfast while watching Magic School Bus or something recorded.

9ish I get ready while Josh plays, generally with Lego's.

10am We do we...

  • worked on handwriting (specifically his name) using sandpaper letter, sand tray and making a name rainbow. He still struggles w/ upper vs lowercase.

  • Read the next Aesop's fable. Discussed being happy with what you have.

  • Played Hulk Smash to work on addition.

  • Josh read Mouse Soup (funny cracked him up!)

  • Sorted letter tiles and wrote words. He wrote table, quest, food, zoo, and a few others.

  • Used Red Rods...put in order, made the maze, made 10 with the different combos

12pm Lunch -Turkey corndogs, pretzels with Vermont white cheddar, oranges, and water.

12:15 Andrew calls

1ish Outside Josh played on his scooter for a while, we had a light saber battle, he played a bit of pretend superhero that seems to involve a lot of running and jumping!, then we went to the backyard and he jumped on the trampoline.

1:40 Snack - dry cereal and raisins and water

2pm Quiet time-he watched SpyKids 3D while laying in Andrew and my bed.

4pm Came clomping down the stairs (I was on the phone) he grabbed every art supply on his shelf and got busy creating at the table. I joined him eventually.

5:30 I start dinner (Chicken Parm) he is still creating at the table.

soon after...we clean up art supplies and I get him started on chores since it is chore night. (better known as garbage pick up tomorrow!) He brings the cans from upstairs down, takes care of any recycling that I have placed on the stool. And checks to see if the soda can bin needs emptying. I am still working on dinner so I send him downstairs to pick up a game for this evenings game night. He picks Mouse Trap.

5:54 Andrew gets home and we eat dinner.

6:30 We all clean up our dishes, I wash dishes, Andrew gets a quick job done (we are getting our house ready to go on the market).

6:45 We all play Mouse Trap...I win!

7:30 Josh is still playing with the game. He is acting silly and rough as he cleans it up accidentally breaking a piece...we once again talk about our house rules of being gentle, kind and safe. We also talk about wasting and how we earn money to buy nice things.

7:40 We do bed routine. He reads to us from the DR DOOLITTLE book he is reading (about 3 chapters) I turn on his CD (Go To Sleep Baby Child...listens to it every night!) and fan.

8pm We head downstairs and he goes to sleep.

Pretty normal day. I think in the long run, Josh going to school is what is best for him but I am really going to miss our time together. Although, I do have to admit I am already signed up to work in his classroom twice a week. He can not get rid of me that easily!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What? Another New Schedule?

Oh is true. Our old family evening schedule was no longer working, or at least we were no longer working with it.

So here is the new "after dinner activity schedule"...

Monday - Movie Night (same since we need to just do nothing and veg on a Monday.)
Tuesday - Reading Night (we all pile into A & my big bed and read to each other.)
Wednesday - Board game Night
Thursday - Math/Science night (will help to ease our "afterschooling schedule" and include A in our scholarly pursuits!)
Friday - Wii night (so many fun family games!)
Saturday - Video Game night and my night off!
Sunday - Art night

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ August 17th

We really enjoyed the Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole! It will definitely be an occasional meal, however I think it definitely needs to be cooked longer than the 25 min.

This week~

Breakfast choices- Cereal, toast, Cinnamon waffles, and yogurt.

Lunch choices- Cracker/cheese/turkey, PBJ, Leftovers, Quesadillas, noodles, fish sticks, and soup.

Dinner choices-

Andrew's request- Chocolate chip pancakes and sausage (plain for Josh...he hates chocolate!)

Tuesday- Out to dinner...the beginning of the school parent meetings!

Cream Cheese Crockpot Chicken - did not get to it last week!

Taco Cornbread Pizza

Pop-up Pizza Pie New Recipe! We will replace the Ground Beef with ground turkey.

Macaroni 'n' Cheese and Turkey Dogs

BLT's & Oven fries

Join the fun at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

100 Books!

Well he did it! Josh read 100 books this summer. He is mainly reading the stage/level 2 & 3 books. Some are chapter books; also some picture books. We made a chain with the title and author written on each paper strip. It now stretches across his entire room.

We anticipated it taking MUCH longer to get to 100 so we celebrated at each 25 books read. He earned a prize for each celebration, some we picked some he picked.
25 - The movie Iron Giant on DVD (I had bought it for his Easter Basket...then forgot and bought it was waiting for an occassion.)
50 - He fell in love with a set of those stick in water and they grow to 4x their size superheroes.
75 - A slurpee from 7-11 (rare treat for someone who does not have dye)
100 - A trip to Chuck E Cheese. (Can you guess what we did today?!)

Not exactly sure what we are doing from here. He wants to continue to do a chain but I am sort of burned out on it. So we will see...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

History Planning for The Story of the World Volume 1

With the major help of this SOTW unit, this SOTW sheet, and and all this SOTW info. I have planned our History for the coming school year.

Obviously, we are using The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child; Volume 1: Ancient Times. I ordered the CD's but wanted to plan the activities myself. Seemed like a good plan until I realized I am a COMPLETE moron when it comes to anything having to do with History and Geography. Thankfully I found some amazing resources that pointed me in the right directions. I planned one activity to do with each of the 42 chapters. It took FOREVER but I am happy to share...hopefully it won't take as long to post and edit Html's! (Sorry, I got lazy and tired! I may go back and edit later but for now...HUGE LINKS!)

Story of the World Volume 1
Misc.~ coloring pages Egypt Rome Greece Christian
Other Countries
Some of The Story of the World text here!
Ch. 1 - The Earliest People

Activity - Cave Painting

Ch. 2 - Egyptians Lived on the Nile River

Activity - http://http//

Ch. 3 - The First Writing

Activity - Hieroglyphs

Ch. 4 -The Old Kingdom of Egypt

Activity -

Ch. 5 - The First Sumerian Dictator

Activity - Make a Sumerian seal (name writing clay mold) examples

Ch. 6 - The Jewish People

Activity - Make Josephs coat from old shirt and paint

Ch. 7 -Hammurabi and the Babylonians

Activity - Create own laws (rules)!

Ch. 8 - The Assyrians

Activity - Fairy Tales

Ch. 9 - The First Cities of India

Activity - visit

Ch. 10 - The Far East: Ancient China

Activity - make a Ming Bowl

Ch. 11- Ancient Africa

Activity - make a Paper bead necklace

Ch. 12 - The Middle Kingdom of Egypt

Activity - check out

Ch. 13 - The New Kingdom of Egypt

Activity -

Ch. 14 - The Israelites Leave Egypt

Activity - &

Ch. 15 - The Phoenicians

Activity -

Ch. 16 - The Return of Assyria

Activity - Library field trip (first library created)

Ch. 17 - Babylon Takes Over Again!

Activity - Horrock's (local greenhouse) for hanging plant

Ch. 18 - Life in Early Crete

Activity - Volcano

Ch. 19 - The Early Greeks

Activity -

Ch. 20 - Greece Gets Civilized Again

Activity -

Ch. 21 - The Medes and the Persians

Activity - HELP>>>Any suggestions????

Ch. 22 - Sparta and Athens

Activity -

Ch. 23 - The Greek Gods

Activity -

Ch. 24 - The Wars of the Greeks

Activity -

Ch. 25 - Alexander the Great

Activity -

Ch. 26 - The People of the Americas

Activity -

Ch. 27 - The Rise of Rome

Activity -

Ch. 28 - The Roman Empire

Activity -

Ch. 29 - Rome's War With Carthage

Activity - or

Ch. 30 - The Aryans of India

Activity -

Ch. 31 - The Mauryan Empire of India

Activity -

Ch. 32 - China: Writing and the Qin

Activity - paint name

Ch. 33 - Confucius

Activity - tangrams

Ch. 34 - The Rise of Julius Caesar

Activity -

Ch. 35 - Caesar the Hero

Activity - Roman Numerals

Ch. 36 - The First Roman Prince

Activity - Toga toga toga

Ch. 37 - The Beginning of Christianity

Activity - Mosaic cross necklace w/ foam. e.g.

Ch. 38 - The End of the Ancient Jewish Nation

Activity -

Ch. 39 - Rome and the Christians

Activity - discuss

Ch. 40 - Rome Begins to Weaken

Activity -

Ch. 41 - The Attacking Barbarians

Activity - &

Ch. 42 - The End of Rome

Activity - "gifts" of Rome Collage using

We plan to do one chapter a week! We realistically will not get to every activity. Especially since we are also planning to do Science and Geography. Not to mention our regular activities. Oh yeah...and his school!