Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Homeschool Carnival #61 Fresh off the Press!

Extra, Extra, read all about it! The Homeschool Cafe has overcome printing problems and now has been able to release this great edition of the Homeschool Carnival. Be sure to read all about it!!!!

This is the Pacific Northwest???

Here it is the last day of February and we are getting snow again! I can't believe it. This is our third snow since Thanksgiving and we are usually lucky to get one. It is beautiful outside, quiet and peaceful. I guess we will be home for the night, the one bummer when snow happens - no bible class for us tonight.

Artwork from Boy #3

After watching Bridge to Terabithia, Boy #3 checked out some drawing books from the library and produced these pieces of artwork. His big brothers are always drawing, but he didn't feel like he could do well and so he didn't draw much. The movie inspired him. Also, the neighbor boy and Boy #3 have been making up their own imaginary places, sort of like the kids in the movie did. It was well worth our time to see this movie.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

If you need menu ideas, Organizing Junkie is the place to go for Menu Plan Monday. There are over 75 participants this week!
Here is our family's dinner menu for this week:
Monday: Salmon, Rice and Steamed Broccoli

Tuesday: Salisbury Steak, Potatoes, Stir fry Veggies

Wednesday: Parmesan Chicken, spaghetti Salad

Thursday: Beef Stroganoff with Egg Noodles, Green Beans

Friday: Soft Tacos with the works

Saturday: Sandwiches or wraps with carrots and apples

Sunday: Creamy Chicken in the Crockpot served over rice

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Zoom! and Bridge to Terabithia

I know, I know, it must seem like all we do is watch movies - truly we don't, but over the weekend we did get to watch two that we really enjoyed.

The first is Zoom! starring Tim Allen. It was a great movie for those families who get into super heros. It is funny and also has its serious moments. Tim Allen plays a super hero who has lost his powers and whose team was killed by his own brother who turned evil after being zapped with radiation by a crazed general in the army. The story picks up with Tim Allen being brought back to the base, against his will, to train new recruits to form a new super hero team. It is a story of forming relationships and learning to care about others. The review on IMDB wasn't very positive but we really enjoyed this one. This movie is rated PG.

Our big boys were away for the weekend and so we treated boy#3 out to a movie and we chose Bridge to Terabithia. This was a moving story of special friendship and imagination. We enjoyed the movie very much. One warning: there is a very sad spot toward the end of the movie and parents of sensitive children may not want to take them to this one. We all got teary eyed, husband included. This movie is rated PG.

Updated to Add: Reviews of Terabithia by some young people can be found at Pink Flamingo (Hope of Shadybrook Acres) and at Christian Life in the 21st Century. Check them out and get their own unique view.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Changing Face of Homeschooling

Last week, our friends at Beth Spera in Domino posted about A New Breed of Homeschooler
and it got me thinking about our family's experiences.

We have been homeschooling since our oldest was born in 1985. She has since graduated from our homeschool and is now attending College, working toward her Landscape Design Certificate. Over our years of homeschooling we have participated in many different activities and homeschooled in different ways. We started out doing mainly unit studies and have since moved toward a more literature based learning in most subjects. During our homeschool adventure we have seen the face of homeschooling in our area change tremendously. When our oldest was young, we had a group of friends that we got together with every week and we did many learning things together, everything from sewing to a unit on trees. We participated in 4H together with these other families and the children formed friendships and had fun learning together. For the most part these times were very valuable to our family, sometimes they were frustrating, which is a common result of working with other people. Currently our family has very few outside activities for school, we do work with another family once a week. I work with my boy#1 and her Boy #1 and we are working through Apologia's Biology Book. She takes my boy#3 along with her three youngest children and is doing a geography study with them. During the fall my boy#2 was at football practice during this time and now works on his own school work. Although this arrangement is working for now, it is not exactly the way I would envision a group time.

The truth of the matter is, if I wanted to have a group learning time again, it would be almost impossible or I would have to travel about an hour to get together with some friends who still homeschool on their own. There is a local group of homeschoolers that co-op together, but they offer very few activities for older children. Most of the people that we know that still homeschool are using school based programs, online or otherwise. Very few people that we know homeschool all the way through high school on their own. It is not that these programs are inherently bad - but they have definitely changed the face of homeschooling.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Our family doesn't tend to go to the movies very often. It sometimes proves to be cost prohibitive, but over the past couple of months we have been able to go to a couple of movies and rent another that I consider very good.

We went to see Night in the Museum which was a delightful movie for the whole family. It was funny and also pretty clean. There was a reference to us evolving from monkeys and a couple of parts that might scare sensitive children, but on the whole I feel like I could recommend it to most families. This movie is rated PG.

We also went to see We Are Marshall. This was a football movie based on a true incident that happened to a college in West Virginia. In this story the whole football team, with the exception of a couple of players, and most of the coaching staff were killed in an airplane crash. It is the story of how this college and community overcame the loss of so many lives and rebuilt their football tradition. It is an inspiring story and I highly recommend it. This movie is rated PG.

During this time we also rented Invincible. Yet another football story. This movie is based on the true story of Vince Papale, who overcame great odds to become a professional football player for the Philadelphia Eagles. The only thing that I can think of that might offend some people is that Vince was a bartender and some scenes take place in the bar. This movie is rated PG and we enjoyed it. It is one of the many football movies out there and another that shows a triumph over tremendous challanges.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Homeschool Carnival #60 is UP

This weeks carnival looks to be full of interesting articles. Homeschool Hacks has done a wonderful job. Be sure to surf on over and check it out.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Auto shop - Homeschool Style

Previously, I posted about our biggest homeschool project ever. It is a 1965 Ford Mustang - and when I say "project", I mean it. Here are the latest photos of this wonderful journey.

Top Photo: Boy #1 and Dad looking the engine over; Middle Photo: Boy #2 with the transmission; Bottom Photo: Project car

So far they have gutted the interior, removed the cracked windshield, cleaned up under the car, removed, cleaned, painted and reinstalled the rear end, replaced the brakes, pulled the engine and transmission. The boys work out in the garage with their dad twice a week for an hour or two each session. They are learning a tremendous amount and are getting to know their dad better. This time spent in the garage is the highlight of their school week.

Crazy Boys

These guys are always thinking up something to keep busy!

Creative Builder

Boy #2 is a very creative builder these days. These are some of his recent lego creations.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

20 Things for This Year

My friend over at Redding Mountain told me about something she had read on a blog about writing down 20 things you want to do or improve each day. I don't know about writing 20 things each day, but I did think of 20 things that I would like to work on this year. Some are things that I have worked on in the past and are not really resolutions per se but nevertheless, things I would like to see some improvement in during this year. I am listing them here with the thought that it might provide me with more motiviation. They are not necessarily in the order of importance.

1. Celebrate the JOY of my salvation daily.
2. Consistent quiet times with God
3. Drinking 8 glasses of water each day.
4. Correct the boys schoolwork daily
5. School planning time each week.
6. Pray (This should be #1)
7. Make a menu
8. Keep to my menu
9. Journal my eating
10. Eat healthier
11. Exercise of some sort daily
12. Enter expenses daily
13. Make a price book
14. Limit my computer time.
15. Make time to read each day
16. Make time to scrapbook each week.
17. Write up some goals for this year.
18. Send a card to someone.
19. Blog at least once a week.
20. Call my extended family

A lot of these a habits that need to be formed, and I like what Equuschick had to say about that here. Some of these are daily, some are one time things and some are weekly. All will help me be a healthier person, wife or mother. Yes, even scrapbooking, which is a restful and creative outlet for me.

Thankful Thursday

Some things I am thankful for today:

1. An understanding & patient Husband.
2. That son #1 was able to and did his schoolwork while I was sick.
3. The health of my 93 year old grandmother.
4. That my children are friends with each other.
5. My husband has a good job.
6. We have a warm and comfortable home.

Movie Review: Facing the Giants

Our family finally got to see the movie Facing the Giants. We had heard good things about it, but it did not play in our local theater so we waited for it to come out on DVD. Because of middle boy's love of football, most football movies are on our wish to view list. This movie follows one football season of a Christian highschool football team. It had some good lessons in trusting God and the peace that it can bring, also in focusing on what our purpose here on earth is. The movie was of good quality and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The one negative that I saw in Facing the Giants was that it could give the appearance that if we trust God, everything will go the way we want. All of the problems in the story ended up working out the way the people hoped and that isn't a true reflection of being a Christian. I wouldn't say that it was the BEST movie we have ever seen but it was good and I would recommend it to other families.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Funnies for Pirates fans

These riddles were on the Rice Krispis box and I thought they were cute. Some of my family thought they were corny - but then, most riddles are.

How much did it cost Jack Sparrow to get his ears pierced?
A buck an ear ----

What is a pirate who skips school called?
Captain Hooky