Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I ran 20 minutes this morning. I'm so incredibly excited and shocked. Jasmine didn't think I had it in me (thanks, kid!)
Life is changing. And, as it always is when it's us, it's changing quickly. We're hoping to get the house on the market in 2 weeks. TWO weeks.
So that means I spent yesterday starting work to get the house ready. Want to hear what I did?
~Pfaltzgraff dishes are packed (I think I still spelled that wrong. Too lazy to look it up)
~Three boxes of stuff from the back room are packed and labeled.
~The kids' toys are in their bedroom, instead of in a play area in half of the dining room
~some hooks are finally taken out of the wall from 3 (4?) Christmases ago
~a decorative vinyl sticker is off the wall of the living room
~a box of doll clothes got packed away

That looks pretty good, until you realize I tackled something little in just about every room in the house. Which means you can't actually see any change. And the whole point of organizing to me is the finished LOOK.
So today I'm going to tackle one room (the back room, which is the school/laundry area) and see if I can actually SEE some progress before I leave for date night.

I took pictures of our bedroom on Monday. It's not completely done, but almost. I want excellence. I want better pictures than I've ever taken of a room, and I want it looking better than it's ever looked! Here's what I have right now.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I think it's time to put this blog together with the other one.

It's just too hard to write on both, so I tend to just give up and not write in either!!
If you are interested in hearing my occasional school stories, feel free to subscribe for email updates to that one!!

Thanks for reading :)


Yesterday, Jasmine couldn't decide between spelling and math.
I told her she had to choose, and that if she didn't, I would.
Her response: "If I can't choose, could you please choose math??"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Three Weeks Off

So we're taking our equivalent of Summer Vacation now.
No comment on the fact that it's supposed to snow tonight. What kind of summer is that?? (*giggle*)

Bekah wanted to earn a "help mommy" badge yesterday. I haven't broken it to her that we're not doing badges next year. If she wants to volunteer to clean up, who'm I to turn that down??
Jasmine wanted to make another hideaway, since we skipped the last 5. But they didn't interest her (or me) enough, so we ended up doing one of the other activities from the Creating Clever Castles and Cars book. She wasn't happy with the results and I wasn't exactly happy with her reaction to the results, but they did enjoy running around it for a few hours last night.
(no really didn't turn out to look like anything!)

I'm gearing up for second grade. Going through the book of Science activities to figure out what all we need to buy ahead of time. I just ordered a teacher's book specifically for homeschoolers to track what we do each day. It should make things run more smoothly and keep me on task, even though we're going the more unschooling route. I still have to report to the school district, so it's good to track what we're covering for those lovely quarterly reports.

I promised Jasmine an ice cream party (with homemade ice cream!) for completing first grade.
So here's the story:
We made ice cream. From scratch. From So Delicious Coconut Milk for Josh and Bekah, and regular milk for the rest of us. (milk and sugar in a little ziploc, put inside a larger ziploc full of ice and salt, and then wrapped in a towel and placed in a plastic shopping bag. shake for 15 minutes, rinse of the water/salt on the inside bag, and enjoy!)

Pretty exciting, non?

Unfortunately, we were nervous to rinse the bags for long, because we didn't want it melting in the water.
So it didn't get the salt off.
When we put the ice cream in the bowls, some of the salt came off into the bowl.


I'd like to try again and see if we can get actual eatable ice cream out of the process this time.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Finishing up First Grade

Today we finished reading the last of the Encyclopedia of World History (with appropriate editing in the reading, like mentioning that maybe GMOs weren't quite as perfect as they thought when the book was published ;) ).

And with that, I am now the mother of a second grader!!

I'm so incredibly proud of Jasmine. She's been quite a trooper, with all the changes we've made over the past 11 1/2 months. She is definitely breaking me in to homeschooling, just as she did with being a mom. But that just makes it that much easier for the next ones coming up!

I'll keep blogging for next year, though now the title of the blog is outdated.
Congratulations, sweet Jasmine! I'm so proud of you!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Yesterday Jasmine and I read about Louis Braille and his Braille alphabet.
She thought it was a fascinating pattern, and wanted to try it for her copywork.
(drawing the dots, not actually making raised bumps on the paper).

She decided two words was enough work:

We have a goal for ourselves...I think we might be able to finish first grade this week with a little push. It means we won't do all five of the hideaways left, which is perfectly fine with me. It would be awesome to finish and have time to get second grade put together before we start that in May!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mary Poppins, an interview

Me: Jasmine, tell me how the book, Mary Poppins, was different from the movie.

Jasmine: she was crosser in the book.

Me: What does cross mean?

Jasmine: not nice.

Me: which would you rather have as a nanny?

Jasmine: Julie Andrews' Mary Poppins.

Me: Bekah, what was your favorite story?

Bekah: the last one.

Me: Why?

Bekah: Because there was a letter.

Me: What did the letter say?

Bekah: It said that she would come back.

Me: was that written in English?

Bekah: No, it wasn't.

Hudson: Mine favorite was, um, in the book. Mine was, um, when they was going to a place. Like going home. They goed home.

Jasmine: Mine was when they went Christmas shopping.

Me: Are you excited to start reading Mary Poppins Comes Back?

Jasmine, Bekah and Hudson: YEAH!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Covered" Wagon

We did last week's Hideaway this afternoon: a covered wagon.
But the swimming noodles didn't appreciate the heavy sheet, so I taped them up more and put on a pillowcase. Kinda lost some of the excitement factor, but at least they were able to play in/on/around it!

We brought down their old spring horse to pull the wagon. They enjoyed exploring the West!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Hideaway!

We've pretty much given up on making hideaways, but we still have a bunch of boxes, so we should keep chipping away at them. They're just getting tough to keep the motivation up, especially during the cold weather...the porch is too cold to have the hideaway out there, so it's the kitchen. And I get really claustrophobic.
But we did one today. It's actually from the readings from a couple weeks ago, but that doesn't matter. The kids love it because it's also something they see in their current favorite movie: Disney's Peter Pan!

And I know I'm rambling and not saying much. Shall I try over?

We finally got around to making a hideaway today!

These are not pictures I'm proud of photographically, but the kids like them because it helps them remember the hideaway.
They're quoting Peter Pan while they're inside. It's pretty cute.

We're getting close to the end of the school year. It's hard to believe we're almost done with first grade!! What a long and winding road it's been!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Math Class

I was in a mood to shake things up a bit today.
That, and I was just going through the games closet, realizing how many we haven't touched in years.

So I brought down Yatzee. Or, as Bekah read it, "Yangtze." (she loves "The Story of Ping.")

We had a great time! They liked to "Shake it, Pinky, Shake it" with each roll. It extended the game quite a bit but they loved it.
They added up their scores on the abacus. They used lots of logic and problem-solving skills to play the game.

And for the first time ever, I won on a game I taught someone else!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ending the Third Quarter

It's hard to believe it, but we're now 3/4 of the way done with first grade! Thankfully I have all but one of the books for second grade (and that last one I can borrow from the library if I'm inspired to go through it before the new one arrives), so I can do some concrete planning.

I'd say this year has been a success. One of the things I'm most happy about is that I've learned to go with the flow more. Both with giving Jasmine some freedom in planning her day/week, and in adjusting the curriculum as needed to work with our temperaments and strengths.

I've loved the Hideaways. Well, loved 'em and hated 'em. There are more boxes still sitting, waiting to be created, than we have projects left, because now that it's winter, our space is more limited. But we still do them some of the time:

My husband and I re-tackled that notorious igloo with the milk jugs we held onto after our first attempt. It was helpful to have thought it through the first time, so we could avoid the same mistakes. It was smaller, but it actually lasted a few days instead of a few minutes!

Gym class is more fun than I ever thought it could be...they love yoga, ballet and Irish Dancing.

I'm excited that we've made it this far, and that things are smoother and more enjoyable most days. I love my kids and am so very thankful that I get this time with them, and that I'm not sending them off for some other person to get to see that "aha!" moment. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Second Grade planning

So....we're changing gears again.

Thankfully it's only January and we're not scheduled to finish first grade until sometime in April.

Jasmine had requested a science focus for next year.
No, that's not completely true. She asked that the only thing we do next year was science.

Thankfully, her favorite part of science is my reading to her. So though I am making plans for more activities and experiments, I know the primary requirement is good books. I can do books!

I've decided to go through history, starting with the Biblical account of creation, and through to modern history, and we'll cover things as they were discovered/invented. So we'll cover gravity when we learn about Isaac Newton.
It means making a lot of we cover astonomy when we do ancient Greece, with Aristarchus, or do we wait until we get to Copernicus?? I haven't yet figured that part out, but I did find an awesome book that may help steer me:   I just got notification that it's been shipped. I can't wait to look through it and see how much it steers things.

Our main book is going to be the Usborne Internet-Linked Science Encyclopedia (Usborne Encyclopedia).

I've also found a couple books for next to nothing (love buying used books!!) with tons of fun child-friendly experiments. I think we should have a fun year!!