Sunday, January 30, 2011

Got snow?

Why no, no we don't. We were to study snow for our month of January. We did get a snowman. Yet all our other snow experiments have gone by the way side *sigh*

So, we combined sugar, milk, & vanilla in a small baggie. We then placed the small baggie inside a larger baggie full of ice and salt.

shake, shake, SHAKE....


"Hey, it's actually ice cream!"

January Goals~

: Meteorology

Dec - cloud study
Jan- minimal snow study

Feb- a rain study... we can't go wrong with this in the Pacific northwest, right? =)

The book of James
We are continuing Pilgrims Progress still...
it is quite the complex novel; a great lesson in metaphors too.

The Life of Lafayette
U.S. Constitution/Federalist Papers...
we have barely cracked open this massive study yet,
thus we continue on...

Economics: (for Nick)
Not Yours to Give~ Davy Crockett
On That Day Began Lies~ Leonard Read
Weekly Current Events summaries

Nick~ Johnny Tremain
TJ~ Valley Forge
Katie~ The Winter Snow of Red (Dear America study)

We are enjoying the Liberty Kids series while our studies are focusing on the Revolutionary War era.

adverbs, quotations

Nick- irrational numbers, square root formulas, & review military time.
TJ- study of prisms & other 3 dimensional shapes, review percents/decimal/fractions.
Katie- simple division, review multiplication table, time, & money.

Fine Arts:
composer- Johannes Brahms
w/ Hungarian Dance No. 5
artist- Pablo Picasso
w/ Mother and Child
poetry/verse-1st Corinthians 13: 4-8
w/ Love is...

We will be working on fluency & comprehension. Our study habits need to be improved and consistant this month. =)

Nature Study:
This study has been mostly limited to our "weather" study. We are due for an explorative outing, and rumor says it is suppose to be a dry week... a dry week? Did you notice our science agenda above? of course that would make sense... after all, this months experiments for our 'rain' study will include the need for RAIN! I am convinced that God has a sense of humor...really!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Godly Living...

To Be...Submissive.

Wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives...
as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior...
your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses- but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gently and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3: 1-4

Ah, I know this Scripture all to well. I was not good at it, but it was my lifeline in our marriage for many a years. Can I tell you dear friends & family, that God is faithful in all things? Indeed, may I forever cry it on a mountain top!

I was not of a quiet & gentle spirit, and my husband was not obedient to the Word; this is how our marriage began. We loved each other very much, atleast what we knew as love; Christ was not at the center... and God had bigger plans for us. I don't want to throw my husband under the bus here, but I do want to be a bit candid & truthful of our challenges. Fred loved me, he was a fabulous dad, he was a hard worker, he had an inner calling of righteous things. He ignored that still small voice of reasoning (the Holy Spirit) for most of his life. His childhood was difficult, he lacked a positive male role model growing up, and frankly was an angry soul for many years. In the beginning years of our marriage I was outspoken & insecure. I desired stability, I felt shakened. I discerned what my husband chose to ignore; I knew the amazing person he was to be, he fought it. I saw hope, but felt lost. I trusted beyond our circumstances, beyond my own compacity to understand... and God, in His timing, was faithful to answer the cries of my heart.

The verse quoted at the top of this post is what I leaned on; I grasped onto its promises; I believed... and it became. Fred has now been walking with Christ for quite some time; 11 years to be exact. It is always a process of transformation, our walk w/ Jesus Christ, but the beautiful part is that we are doing it together.

For the wives:

This is not about what our husbands should be doing.

Yes, there is scripture that follows this verse that guides the men on their responsibilities towards us. We are not to judge, point, or reflect back to what our husbands "should" be doing... nope, that is not our place.

Our message is loud and clear at the beginning of the be submissive.
(This does not mean to be abused, just to make that clear.)
Submissive~meekly obedient~to be gentle & quiet.

It is about our own heart issues
it is not about our husbands qualifications.
It does not say only if your husband deserves this.
It is a calling to do what's right,
and in my case,
to do what is right without fear.
ie 1 Peter 3: 6

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Homeschool Reflections

Question #2

How to homeschool w/ littles in the home?

or, in my circumstance,

How to homeschool multiple age groups effectively?

There are several approaches (that I am aware of).

Do group nature walks, field trips, exercising science experi-
ments, etc.

Keep the littles busy w/ a snack & activity!

Send the overly active little one outside to play! of course, w/ safety in mind... we have a fenced yard, own a overprotective pitbull, and I have full view of him through a big window & a sliding glass door AND he usually has a buddy (aka sibling) that will always join him.

Lots can get done in a school day if one waits til the littles quiet time...shh (whoever wakes the baby, takes care of the baby, er toddler)

Another technique is to assign one sibling to play with a little during one-on-one time with another sibling. Rotate as necessary. =)

What works for us:

I chose self-learning a couple of years ago. That is, the older students are fully responsible to get their required work done without being told and with their best resource at hand (their own brain). Isn't that what we do to "teach" a subject? They are perfectly capable of doing the same research to get an answer as I am... the age of this responsiblity is a matter of maturity & parental discretion.

Our classroom schedule can be found

My older students get their core work done in the morning. Writing, English, Science, & Literature. This is done in the a.m. THIS is when I spend quality time w/ my littles. Where lessons, story time, & crafts are done. We follow this with lunch. Then I find that because I have had focused time with the littles, they usually are ready for some type of quiet time (usually a movie); this is when I have group studies w/ my older children. These are the 'extras' of education, but things I feel are important, and this is the time of day that keeps us connected as a family (and a school). FREE time follows. Activities are a bit chaotic at this time, but they have fun! The older boys often pick videos games, but it is not uncommon for them to kick a soccer ball around w/ the toddler, play scrabble w/ sissy, or wrestle w/ Andrew amongst a list of many other things. History & Bible are currently done in the evening when Dad can join us..but that's not school is it? that's just fabulous family time!

What does NOT work for us:

To expect, try, or attempt to give individual instruction for every subject to each student.
Don't get me wrong, they all need guidance & help from time to time; but spoon-fed instruction is not neccessary nor beneficial. One of the best approaches I apply is to ask a question of their questions. huh?

Katie "Mom, why does Tuttle (our turtle) sleep in its shell at night?"
Mom "Why don't you read about turtles in the encyclopedia, and tell me what you can find"
Usually, this is where she chooses to write about it, but will also have a great conversation with her dad & I about what she found out.

TJ "I don't understand Integer multiples?"
(in my day this was called "multiplication of fractions)
Mom "Can you write out the problem for me? What step would be next?"

I love the "how do you spell _ _ _ _ _ _"....
how would you spell _ _ _ _ _ _?
95% of the time they will spell it correct. =)

So, how 'bout you? If you homeschool and have little folks, how do you homeschool with littles around? What works for you?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Home Business


Nutritional Products

The business:

My dear husband is an entrepreneur at heart. It has been a calling; a God-gifted desire.

Fred knows the importance of families needing extra income. His aspiration is to guide others to help themselves. The thing that impresses on him most about being successful is the impact he can have helping others to do the same. It is a great thing when not only ourselves, but especially others, can gain financial freedom ... to do what they want to do ... when they want to do it.

Fred has gone through many trial-n-errors, researched endlessly, educated himself thoroughly, and kept his priorities in check (God, me, & the children). He was introduce to One24Online
about 5 months ago. He quickly realized that this was an unique opportunity at a business which allows anyone who wants to make a very good income from home to be able to do that.

The product:

NUTRITION MATTERS! My heart about this topic came quite by startled discovery.
My story:(in very short version) is that I was a sickly child. Yearly bronchitis, strep throat, & pneumonia episodes. Incessant coughing, runny noses, skin rashes were common. By the time I was 12 we finally discovered the culprit...Asthma & hayfever, & a few tidbits of other things. And there it began...testings (a very thorough, needle pricking ordeal), followed by weekly shots (for 5 years), nose sprays, inhalers, over-the-counter & prescribed meds, humidifiers, plastic on my sheets & pillow, no stuffed animals, & the infamous nightly box of tissues I went through...ugh. I literally never remember breathing out of both nostrils at the same time; at night I would swap sides to sleep on,just to try to get any free airway through a nostril. I had the also had the infamous "allergy sallute" aka wiping your drippy nose on your sleeve in a desparate attempt not to drip any where else- not proud of that visual, lol.
Fast forward to age 26- My sister-in-law & myself came across an herbal company. I was leary of all the hype (it was a new concept to us). Was it safe? Did it work? The first product I bought was Bee Pollen. I was told it was a perfect food. What caught my attention was it was said to help w/ ADHD which I clearly thought my oldest had (age 5 at the time). So we tried it, "we" means I took it also. I guess to see that it was safe? Anyways, about 6 weeks later, out of the blue, my heart pounded at a startling fact... I was mowing the lawn w/ baby on my back AND I could breathe. Mouth closed, both nostrils, breathing! Fresh oxygen entering my body... I was stunned... and never looked back. I still get occasional season triggers, but they are oh so mild compared to my past life. This is when I realized that holistic measures were valid. Admittedly, I am a bit 'anti-doctor/pharmaceutical'. I realize it has its purpose, but by all means I will try something natural first.

This product~ Natraburst

So the one product being introduced by the company my husband gained interest in was Natraburst. "Fine, order it, I'll try it out and let you know what I think" My words were there, but my attention was distracted, thus it took about a month before I actually opened the container to check it out. Hmmm, this stuff actually tastes good. A month later, hmmm, think I will let the kids try this out.

Now for all you folks that don't know us personally, we eat terribly, yes, I admit it. My husband is a sugar fiend, one child eats meat & junk, another child won't eat meat for the most part, and yet another child eats pretty much "beige" only (bland, boring, starch based things), and I myself, am a carb & diet soda nut. It's not pretty; I am not proud. So now you can see the importance of my interest to let the kids start taking this. By the 3rd month I requested us to put in a double order. By the 4th month I noticed subtle changes. My oldest homeschooler stayed more focused, the 13 yr old (a season of changes) moods were softened, dear daughter is not quite so whiny, and I am noticing some positive changes in our 6 yr old whom has some Aspergers tendancies. (I will soon be posting an update about Andrew) As for myself, diet soda is becoming less appealing *gasp* If my dear husband would be more consistant with his consumption of Natraburst, we could determine if it is helping with his lifetime battle with migraines... I will keep you posted on that one.

We are now in our 5th month with this business and its product (One24 and Natraburst).
Profits from this opportunity began s.l.o.w.l.y, but we have earned enough in a few months to pay for our double order and still have a bit to pocket! He is amazed at the simplicity of the program, and I adore the nutritional value it offers. For us, this is a win-win situation! Enough so, that we were compelled to share...thus our reason for the link on the sidebar of our humble lil blog.

Live well, laugh often, love always~

Sunday, January 16, 2011


of a

and other tidbits of l.i.f.e. Academy.

So, in my previous post, we made a snowman. It began to snow at 6 p.m. & finished snowing at 10 p.m. ~thus we made a snowman at night. By mid-morning this is what was left of our Jack Frost...note: we felt the need to add our own paper snowflakes to get the full winter effect here. =)

We decided to observe the dissection of our snowman.
Do you see the tiny spot of that snow left? This was only a few hours later (in the afternoon). Some of Jack Frost remains were leaves, rocks, twigs, & a dog toy. That has to be the quickest life of a snowman ever!

l.i.f.e. Academy~

Nick enjoying a video game to himself because he is the only one whom gets up early to get his school work done & out of the way. Note: he does not enjoy getting his picture taken; like the "mom, what are you doing?" look he is giving me?

In here (mom & dad's room), I am sure TJ had the best intentions to get his work done. After all, I do see his math, grammar, & literature books out, along with a pencil even! Only he fell back to sleep...No worries though, Bryson was soon in being "Tigger" on the bed. =)

Bryson is always helpful in his own way....

Why, just moments before waking TJ, he decided to help himself get a snack. That would be a just-fresh-opened-bag-O-chips that he has spilled in his attempt at filling his own plate. And just because I know you are wondering; why yes, yes we do eat off the floor when this type of thing happens, because it happens a lot around here... haven't you heard of the 3 second, er 3 minute rule?

Meanwhile, Katie has continued her writing from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWrMo from November). She is quite the budding little author, complete with illustrations too!

School is going great! Love the Robinson Curriculum we chose at the beginning of the year (in Aug). So much consistancy & simplicity, yet gaining knowledge by the books full... yay!

Andrew (6) is finally starting to get momentum in his willingness to learn. I am approaching his schooling in the same way as with the older kids. Reading, wRiting, & aRithmetic, the 3 R's are a must every day. Ofcourse, he does not know how to read, but he has reading time w/ me, and we are beginning our first McGuffey Primer lesson this week. I love those old-fashioned styled books! I'll let you know how it goes...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to build a snowman...

flatten the top of the first ball

have the little ones roll another ball to Dad

then add a head and accessories.

Be sure to become buddies w/ Jack Frost

We decided snowmen are kind like clowns, a bit creepy in stature, especially when they slowly it just us?

We completed our winterland adventure w/ warm oatmeal cookies...

and plenty of hot cocoa to warm cold hands...
'cept our Andrew,
who requested soda instead. =)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Homeschool Reflections

Chrissy has some fantastic homeschooling questions she has pondered since she began her journey back in summer of '09. I decided to begin a series here to help her (& others).

note: I do not have all the answers. In fact, most answers will be a matter of approach. It will depend on your individual interests as to what the right answer is for you & your family.

I will share my tidbits of thoughts here. If you have similar thoughts, completely different ideas, and/or your own post about the specific topic at hand, please do share in the comments section. Thank-you!

Reflection # 1

Do you name your "home" school?

We did not for many years. Infact, until we moved to a state that had stricter rules about "home-based education", I never even pondered the idea. Then the thought of pulling together Nick's high school transcripts for his diploma (aroung the end of his sophomore year) also guided the idea of naming our school.

My main approach to homeschooling is that it is a lifestyle, rather than a building. So I pulled together LIFE academy, but I wanted to apply an acronym to LIFE to bring it more meaning. I simply interrupted my 2 oldest sons playing a video game and asked what LIFE could stand for; without even a blink of an eye, and as matter-of-fact-as-can-be, my oldest son said "Living In Faith Everyday" and they continued to play their game. Hmmm, wow, that actually works for us... so there you have it....

l.i.f.e. Academy

So, what do you think? Did you create a name for your school?
Why or why not?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


My word of the year....


I find this to be very suitable for me. For years the Lord has been teaching me to "be still"; many lessons have endured during this time;

Now it is time to embrace "to be", and I will share my journey & thoughts along the way...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Takin' Care of Mama

My 30 day Challenge:

100 miles in 30 days. =)

Hop, skip, jump, walk, run...

I don't care how
I get it done,
but done it will get!

this is my motivation to ...




Jan. 02- Feb. 01

Sunday, January 2, 2011

l.i.f.e Academy

It is refreshing to realize we are halfway through the school year. This is usually a time, where the new calendar year begins, to start questioning myself on how we are doing; to second-guess my agenda & goals for my children; to juggle my ideas around. This is the first time I am just moving forward, no changes, confident that what we are doing is right for us. (Actually, I suppose that is not completely accurate, as I did switch up the literature reading for most of the kids, but that had already been done before now).

3rd quarter~

December Goals...

study of rain, wind, snow, & storms

The 12 Apostles.
(family study w/ Mom)
Pilgrims Progress
(read aloud w/ Dad)

Life of George Washington
(family read aloud w/ Mom)
Constitution & the Federalist Paper
(family study w/ Dad)

What Has Government Done to Our Money
(a study for Nick, to get an economic credit for his high school transcripts)

TJ- Rover Boys on the Ocean
Katie- Charlotte's Web
On the Banks of Plum Creek w/ Mom...
(from Nov. goals, just now getting to it ;^)

Interjections! amazing adjectives, and conjuctions.

Katie- intro division, multiply by 8's & 9's
TJ- decimals, fractions, & percentages.
Nick- volumes of cylinders, cones, & pyramids.

Fine Arts:
composer- Sergei Prokofiev
w/ Peter & the Wolf
artist- Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze w/
George Washington Crossing the Delaware.
"quotes" from George Washingtons Rules of Civility

We will be in the throws of lots of review this week. =) The following weeks will include Things we have, and Things that we do. This is our 2nd year, so conversation is beginning to get easier.

TOT School:
I am going to use a more multi-sensory teaching approach with Andrew (Bryson can just follow along w/ the fun). We use a lot of audio/visual activities. Some are embraced, others are strongly opposed...'sense of control' seems to be a determining factor. I am planning on introducing much more tactile means for teaching a concept. We do playdough, shaving-cream writing, & finger paints already. I intend to add sand paper, rice, velvet, & cold-cooked spaghetti noodles to the mix. This ought to be interesting.... =)