Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Reads

July Reads:

The Mystery of the Hidden Room by Marion Harvey

The Girl from Montana by Grace Livingston Hill

Alone, Yet Not Alone by Tracie Leninger Craven

Homegrown Humus Cover Crops in a No-Till Garden by Anna Hess

The Unexpected Visitor  by Agatha Christie (adapted by Osbourne)

Called to Write, Biblical Truths for Authors and Bloggers by K.M. Logan and C.M. Logan

The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2013-2014 Curriculum

Our curriculum choices for 2013-2014 
Tera- 7th Grade
Daniel- 6th Grade
Michael- Preschool


Tera- Saxon Algebra 1/2
Daniel- Saxon 7/6

Language Arts:

Tera- Spelling Power
Easy Grammar Plus

Daniel- Spelling Power
Daily Grams
A Reason for Handwriting D
(He needs to finish last year's book and then we are switching to some free cursive handwriting printable)

I'm still trying to figure out how I want to do "reading" this year.  My kids are avid readers, so I'm not worried they "won't" read.  I just need to come up with my approach for the year.  


  My Faith (Nazarene catechism curriculum)


Tera-  Exploring Creation with General Science with Notebooking 
(This is doubling as her handwriting this year)

Daniel-  God's Design for Science- Inventions and Technology
Various astronomy resources

Foreign Language:
Spanish for You! Estaciones
Visual Latin


America From the Beginning

Tera asked to study American History chronologically this year.  This is a new curriculum designed for grades 3-8.  It has everything I'd want in a history curriculum.  Readings with comprehension questions, timeline, map work, hands-on activities.  She is really excited about this one! 


  • Art lessons at a local studio (2- 6 week sessions)
  • Private music lessons (Tera- piano; Daniel-flute)
  • Art and Music projects directed by yours truly
  • Web Design Programming curriculum
  • Swim lessons (6 weeks each semester)


Michael is starting his second year of preschool.  We have already been working through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, so we'll finish that probably before Christmas.  

His weeks/days are broken down very easily:
  • Reading lesson
  • Song of the week from Do You Know the Muffin Man?
  • Bible story of the week with activities from pinterest
  • Book of the week with activities and crafts from pinterest 
We read to him, play with him, and play some more.  He begs to do "activities", so I definitely have to have things planned for him.  He's starting taking a phonics notebook that a neighbor gave us to bed every night.  He sits there in bed sounding out words, driving Daniel crazy!

I'm sure we'll tweak things as we go through the year, but that's the great thing about home schooling.  

To see similar posts, check out the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop


Also linked up to Hip Homeschool Hop

Monday, July 29, 2013

A good start...

The first day of school is not all work... 

I had to get up at some awful, early, dark hour to be ready for these three.  I'm not a morning person.  So if I just stumble out of bed and these three are up and raring to go--that's not good for me.  I had breakfast made ahead of time.  I exercised, did my devotions, had a shower and got breakfast on the table before the first one came down the stairs.  It really got my day off to a great start, which in turn sets the mood for everyone else.   (I'm about ready to fall asleep right now, but at least I'll be ready for bed earlier tonight.) 

We did play a bit, too!  
We only visit Froyoz about twice a year-the last day of school and the first day of school.  (It's a bit expensive for 5 people, but make sure to get their punch card.  11th one is free.)

Daniel's trying to figure out how to eat this without getting his hands dirty, 
it didn't work!

Michael thinks as long as there is frozen yogurt involved, 
who cares about getting dirty?

It was a good start to what's going to be a great year! 

First Day of School 2013


 I've been taking this same picture since Daniel was in kindergarten.
I can't believe how these kids have grown. 







Friday, July 26, 2013

Mixed feelings

The last weekday before school starts....sigh

I always feel torn between being super ready to start back and never ready.  I've kinda felt like a bum this summer.  I've done some writing, some reading, some gardening and some planning.  Mostly, I've just kinda chilled out.  I needed it. I needed some unstructured time to gear up for this upcoming school year.  My kids did, too.  They had no schedule this summer (except for daily assignments and chores).  They enjoyed it--no deadlines, projects or big to-do lists.  Alas, there is a season for everything and we are all ready for school to begin.  Summer's been fun and relaxed, but our minds are ready to get to work.  

I have no last big adventure of the summer planned this weekend.  That kinda sums up our summer-nothing big, just pure, simple enjoyments.  

One thing I'm not ready for is a change in schedule.  I've been staying up way too late this summer and sleeping in until 7:30 or 8 AM  (gasp...that's so late, I know).  For my morning-people children, I have to start my day quite a bit earlier during the school year.  So, I'll be going cold turkey come Monday morning.  Man, I sure wish I could tolerate caffeine still.  That part is going to be rough!

Even though I have mixed feelings, I'm still ready.  Ready for a new season of learning and the wonderful smell of pencils and new books.  Ready for the juggling, planning and busy-ness that just comes with the territory.  Ready for trying new ideas and approaches.  

It's going to be a great year! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why I Don't Read Christian Romance Novels

When I was looking for some free things to load on my Kindle, I ran across a title by a prolific author in the Christian romance genre.  I was very familiar with the name from my childhood.  I had always deemed the covers old fashioned and the language boring, so I never read them.  I decided to download it and see what all the fuss was about.  

Disclaimer:    I do not read regular romance novels (never have) and I rarely read Christian romance novels anymore.  This book was #2 in the past 10-15 years (The other book was a gift).    

There was a time when I read them on a more frequent basis until I had a sobering realization. (I'll get to that later.)

It didn't take me long to get through this book, it had you on the edge of your seat.  I was so into it that I couldn't put it down until long after the time I should have already fallen asleep.  There were twists and turns, excitement, adventure and.....tame, subtle romance.  You know, no kissing, sex, just the tension of two people destined to be together and obstacles keeping them apart.  He's the aristocrat gentleman or the country cowboy and she's the undiscovered beauty being suppressed by trials of this life. He comes along and sweeps her off her feet.  Sounds great, huh?  It was a great book, but it didn't convert me or entice me to read more. 


Because I know what this kind of literature does to me....

It all came back to me, why I had given up reading these books years ago.

 It's a set-up!  

Yes, you heard me right, it's a set-up.  When I read these books, I'm setting someone up.  Someone that I love more than anyone on this earth.  My husband!  

I'm setting him up to fail as the love of my life and woo-er of my heart.   I let a fantasy dictate what romance should look like in my marriage. 

"Why doesn't my husband whisper those kinds of words in my ear?"

"I wish he was more like this guy..."

Instead of accepting my husband and his personality,  I put unrealistic expectations on our relationship.   I can become discontent and displeased with the reality. 

It's a trap!

I set him up and then I fall into the trap.

"Well, at least I can read about romance and pretend..."

When things may not be going well in your marriage, it's an easy escape into this fantasy world of love and romance.  I'll read about this pretend relationship, instead of working on the real one right in front of my face.  

I've been there....and I don't want to go back.  I won't let a work of fiction become my standard for romance with my husband.  I won't set him up to fail or fall into that trap of discontentment again.  

So, I read my novel, it was good.  But not good enough as this life I lead right now, side-by-side with this man that God made uniquely to compliment me.  A man who works hard for his family, thinks I'm the most beautiful woman he's ever seen and always tells me to "be careful" every time I leave to go anywhere.   Is he like those guys in the novels?  Probably not, but he's real and that matters more! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Berry Recipes

I've been experimenting with several berry recipes this week.

Fresh Blueberry Sweet Basil Salad Dressing 

Isn't that just a beautiful color?  

I found an easy blueberry jam recipe that required no pectin and comparably a small amount of sugar.  ONLY 2 ingredients!  My kind of recipe.   This was a small batch recipe, so it was great to try it out.  It did require bringing the blueberries and sugar to a boil and stirring constantly for 30 minutes.  Fortunately, I had a very interesting novel I was in the middle of reading. 

Give it as a gift or eat it yourself!  It's great!

Spreads beautiful on toast or crackers!

I just used store bought crust and didn't really roll it out thin enough, but everyone loved them anyway. 

I found blackberries on sale and decided to make a blackberry cobbler.  I still had a store bought pie crust, so I used that instead of making the homemade pastry called for in the recipe.   Just like I remember my grandma making...seeds and all. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pickin' and Grinnin'

I'm a pickin'.... 

and I'm a grinnin'....


For the past 6 weeks or so, Tera and Daniel have been taking an acrylic painting class with a teacher we found through friends.  Her studio is seriously less than 5 minutes from our house.  How cool is that?

They both have been working on a landscape this session.  Next time, they'll complete a still life.  They both are learning so many art techniques that I'm just incapable of teaching them.  And you just can't beat that!

They took the classes with another family of siblings.  Here are all 5 paintings:

The class with their talented teacher, Ms. Henrietta from Henrietta's Studio

Daniel's finished landscape

Tera's (aka Baleigh) finished landscape

I love these paintings and can't wait to have them framed and hanging up on the wall! 


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