Friday, March 30, 2012

Playing and Cooking

Playing sick or something like that


Tera's first from-scratch chocolate cake


Daniel doing his part to help when it was all over. 


Our friends came to visit



Play things made by Daddy
(water table and sandbox)
Michael's birthday presents, which we are still in the process of finishing.  When finished there will be a mini-play area outside, complete with a lava pit stepping stones, wooden balance beam, and the two things pictured.  Finally, something for our kids to play with outside.  :)  My husband has so much to do around here, but he's put those things on the back burner.  Just so he can do this for the kids.  He's so sweet...I love him!

Big smile...

Redwall cooking- The kids found this website and have started cooking Redwall recipes- Oatcakes, Mem Divinia's Hotcakes and Hunter's Hot Pot

Thursday, March 29, 2012


The question that is never far away
The healing doesn't come from the explained
Jesus please don't let this go in vain
You're all I have
All that remains

So here I am
What's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I've fallen into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

Sometimes I feel it's all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through

So here I am
What's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I've fallen into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It's the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all the scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say "It's over now"

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I've fallen into your arms open wide
When The hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide.
--Mercy Me

Friday, March 23, 2012

I shouldn't say "it's been a long week" because I feel like that is all I ever say.  Random statements are all I have left.

I went this morning for a 2nd shot in my foot for a neuroma, I let go for over 5 years.  For all you younger people out there, don't let health problems slide-Take care of them! Or you will regret it later when they are injecting cortisone into the top of your foot.

My new indulgence I posted about is definitely not helping me lose those pounds I've gained since Christmas.  So I'll say good-bye to my new friend- at least until after my 20th high school reunion coming up this fall.

Does anyone else feel like all they do is buy groceries and the refrigerator only stays stocked for 2 days?

I've been waking up at 6 AM every morning this week.  Waking up early to pray, read my Bible and get a shower before the kids wake up or at least get up.  Mostly I've been successful and that's probably why I made it through this week intact.

My back has been hurting for a few days. 

I've been putting off writing my letter of protest to the parole board in the case of my brother's murderer.  It was really weighing me down to the point of snapping at everyone around me.  I was getting nasty and really irritable.  I just decided I better go ahead and do it before I get kicked out of the house or my husband starts living on the roof (Proverbs 25:24).  Thursday during Tera's piano lesson, I did it.  I felt like Frodo after he threw the ring in the fire- the burden was gone- I was at peace!  I apologized to my family and all is well in the household again. 

We've got about a month of official school left.  I'm ready for a vacation!

I like having kids old enough to help around the house!

Here's my version of Garrison Keillor:  "Well, that's the news from around here...where all the women are crazy, the men are understanding and the kids know how to make lots of noise."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


that's what Michael calls dandelions.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I have a new I can have -just for me.

Chocolate Chip Cookies for ONE!

-1 Tbsp. White granulated sugar
-1 Tbsp. Brown sugar
-1 Tbsp. Butter
-1-2 Tbsp. Chocolate chips (I use the white baking chips, since they are allowed for me)
-1 Tbsp. Water
-1/8 tsp. Vanilla
-Pinch of salt
-Pinch of baking soda
-1/4 Cup Flour + 1 Tbsp. Flour

Combine everything but chocolate chips.  Mix well.  Add chocolate chips and stir. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes. 

Most recipes let this dough make 1 big cookie.  I, on the other hand, prefer more cookies.  So I just make them smaller and usually come out with 7-8 cookies.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

K5 Learning Review

A while back, we were given a free 6 week trial of the K5 online learning program.  My kids really enjoyed this program overall.  Here's our review of the pros and cons in our opinion:


This progarm allows the teacher/parent to assign various reading and math lessons to students based upon their needs.   K5 has placement testing when you start the program, so no guessing about what grade level your child should start.   I loved the teacher reports that showed the profiency level achieved on each lesson. 

Personally, my kids loved the spelling program.  It's a very basic program- the voice reads the word, the student types and is corrected if wrong.  Each word missed is reinforced thoroughly.  After reaching certain milestones (50 words, 100 words spelled correctly), the student gets to pick their choice of a La Linea movie.  My kids did extra spelling work just to see these short, funny video clips. 

The support team offered through email to contact us for further help with customizing our learning experience. 


Sometimes the grouping of  spelling words seemed strange for 4th and 5th grade students (liberal, welfare, revolution).  Our kids had to listen carefully to instructions on how to input answers into the computer.  It didn't always register their correct answer or it was difficult if they wanted to change their already entered answer,   They were frustrated by this. 

Overall, our experience with this program was very good.  The customer service was awesome and seemed like they would be very helpful if you were a subscriber. 

If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I have a confession to make....I listen to country music when I'm alone in the car!

There you go...I said it.  Whew, I feel better!

I grew up listening to country music, bluegrass, southern gospel and folk music.  Now, my tastes are quite different.  Mostly  I listen to praise and worship, contemporary Christian and folk music (if you don't count kids' music as a genre)...oh, and my husband play fingerstyle blues on his guitar.  I'm becoming acquainted with Muddy Waters, Charlie Patton and whoever wrote "There's a Rat in my Kitchen". 

I'm getting off track here.

Anyway, I only listen to country alone for several reasons- the biggest deals with censorship.  I don't want my kids to hear bad language or beer drinking songs or other not-so kid friendly themes that are common in this genre.  (Personally, I usually change the station when those come on).  Not everyone agrees with me, I'm sure, but they're my kids and there ya go!

So why do I listen to it?  It reminds me of reminds me of my brother.  My brother, John knows probably every country song on the radio and most they don't even play anymore.  I hear "Feed Jake"  and it makes me miss him a lot.  Why?  Because he always liked that song and I can hear him singing it in his deep country twang. 

I've lost a lot of my southerness since moving to Tennessee...I know that sounds impossible.  But things are different here.  My accent's not as thick as it once was.  I'm raising kids that have to be taught how to say words like "Montgomery", so they don't sound like a "yankee" when we go home. 

I grew up in the back woods country of Alabama.  If someone was at your house...they were either a friend come calling or a trespasser.  I hate the old saying:  "you can never go home again".  I hate it because in some ways it's true.  I left a long time ago and it's just not the same.  Went to college, got married, graduated, got a job, moved home, moved away again, had kids.  I like my life here, my house in our small town on main street, my homeschool friendly area...but sometimes I just want to get in the car and crank up the country and get sad about not being at home. 

There are some things I don't miss...long hot summers, fireants, red clay staining everything,  racial tension, shelling peas until your fingers turn purple and extreme weather.  I do miss...quiet porch swinging, being in a car just the four of us with the windows rolled down and the radio blaring, southern hospitality, real sweet tea, banana pudding, listening to bluegrass gospel on Sunday morning while getting dressed for church, 3rd Sunday in May with dinner on the ground, visiting the family cemetery, being able to picture with your eyes closed every stretch of road...just snippets.  Snippets that all come back in the car when I'm all alone.

Then, I hear a song like this... I think of my dad, my brother,  my grandpas, and my nanny. 

All the snippets come flooding back mixed with tears and sadness.  Sadness that I can't let overtake me. 

I pull into the driveway, push one of the preset buttons and walk in the door to 3 little smiling faces and I know there must be a country song out there about just this moment. 

Hi, my name is Christy and I listen to country music in the car when I'm alone....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Things I've learned...

  • When you spring clean, you have to make a bigger mess just so you can actually clean.  Your family might not even notice what you've done, but YOU feel better.
  • Cookies are not always better shared.
  • If you keep everything in the hopes of re-using it, you'll end up looking like a hoarder. 
  • Stop comparing! (your kids, your house, your life, your choice of curriculum, your marriage, your husband, etc.)
  • If your kids can learn to love, be compassionate, share and work together with their siblings; how many other friends they have is irrelevant.
  • Manicured lawns and pristine houses are for retired people.
  • You can't be it all, do it all or have it all without going crazy or being really unhappy!
  • Don't judge anyone by their blog. 
  • How much you weigh shouldn't make or break your day!
Those are my thoughts for the week!   

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

National "Pi" Day

This is how we celebrated National "Pi" Day! 

Before you think I'm really intentional and planned out...let me give you the scoop. 

I saw a post about 3.14 being National "Pi" Day asking what pie you were having tomorrow?  Someone answered "pizza?".  Since I knew we'd be working in the yard most of the morning, I took a quick inventory and  realized I had the ingredients for pizza.  I did not have ingredients for an easy pie.    So, I ran out first thing this morning for cleaning supplies and one of those "no bake" cheesecakes and a can of cherry pie filling.  I had Tera whip it up and there ya go!

The kids are now watching Veggie Tales- Duke and the Great Pie War!

How are you celebrating National "Pi" Day?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moon and Constellations

Some friends came over on Friday to finish up our Space unit.  This is where all those pinterest ideas came in handy. 

We did glitter constellations


Solar System resists


 Planet Project:
Distance of planets from the sun in toilet paper
I found the actual distances here


Neptune and Pluto are really far away..

Moon phase viewer

Phases of the moon with oreos



Even Wall-E showed up...


These are great websites:
NeoK12- we found tons of videos here on the planets and solar system
I loved this video on the relative size of the planets.
There were so many other ideas I wished we had time for, but alas, the week went by fast!
Star Wheel
Solar System Sugar Cookie
Make Your Own Constellations
Constellation books
Maybe we'll do some things this summer...Daniel was so into this unit.  He could answer every review question I asked.  He might grow up to be an astronomer one day.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Last week, we did a big space unit.  I borrowed a friend's Apologia Astronomy book and we headed for outer space.  We worked our way through the 8 planets.  Daniel is still sad about Pluto, though. 

Made craters with marbles and rocks (into cornmeal) and made a salt dough model of Mercury.


Played a space trivia game...


  Finding out way the sky is blue


Another experiment on the orbit of Earth

More notebooking and a Venn diagram comparing/contrasting Jupiter and Saturn
Did you know Saturn is the only planet that would float?

Stormy Jupiter experiment
Mix 1 cup of glue with 4 cups of water. 
Drop in food color.
Blow with straws.

Making a storm vortex (tea leaves and a straw)

Jupiter Mosaic

Space mobile- I won this kit a long time ago and have been saving it for a space unit.

After school was over one day, I had to take a phone call.  When I was done I was surprised to find  the kids had used their legos to create a space probe. 

Friday we had friends over for some moon and constellation fun...more on that tomorrow!


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