Saturday, May 30, 2009


Well, there are 2 things I wanted to do early this summer.

1. attach a child carrier to my bike for Kimberly
2. make a compost bin.

Both are accomplished! Woo Hoo! Here are the pics. Have to make it quick cause, baby, I have a date with the kids and a bike!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nice Things

These are the roses Clay sent for our 18th anniversary--aren't they beautiful!

And this is my very cool new beach cruiser--just waiting for a kid seat to attach to the back!

vacation photos

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Work boxes, part 2

Ok, after three days of this it is too much work for me. I do not have time to set out stuff every day for 5 kids and write out assignments for these kids. I liked my old system better of just going by the daily schedule with the kids knowing what subject comes next. I do think I can write out a weekly assignment sheet that they can use as a daily check off sheet. That should be manageable. And it will keep them accountable for their time management. that was the one thing I liked--the accountability for them. But once a week planning is enough for me. I suppose the whole thing is finding what workd for you and your family. Work boxes were exactly that--WORK! Momma needs simplicity...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday at Home

the kids built a bridge at the creek
Jordan and kimberly are looking for frogs

elizabeth rode her bike to the creek

kimberly has a webkinz

they are playing again

sailing the destroyer jacob made at shop class

the winecups in bloom

sailing the boat

And me at the computer. These are for you, Clay!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Life Around the House

Just sharing some pictures from this week. It has been wet, wet wet!!! But we still accomplished a lot. School was started again, and we assembled a picnic table. Yes, know I only stained the top and seats. But still, it is a great thing to have with summer coming. Not much else going on, though. just working on lessons we need to catch up on. Oh, and waiting for a yummy homemade chocolate cake that Jacob and Emily baked after supper. I think we'll eat at the picnic table!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Work Boxes

Sounds neat, right? If you know me, you know I LOVE anything organizational that makes life run more smoothly, so when a friend told me about this concept, i had to check it out. Truly the original concept was to have 12 shoe boxes per child prefilled with activities for the day. The kids job was to work sequentially thru them until done. Then their school day was over. Well, I don't see the practicality of filling 60 boxes (5 kids worth) every day making my life easier! So once again I am in modification mode. Been thinking on this all week and here is my plan for modified work boxes:
No boxes!! The kids who are independent readers get a file folder with an envelope in each side. One side is for assignment cards and the other side is for completed assignment cards. Each day their folder will have index cards by subject in the assignment side, with their projects written out. As they work independently and complete assignments, they move the card to the completed side, and place their work in the center of the folder. When all cards are completed, and work is in the folder, they are done with independent work. Since we do unit studies, they won't always do all work this way. Much of the afternoon will be active group learning. But this will give them ownership, and visualization of progress. Little kids may get a plastic tub of preselected items for their personal time, while I work one on one with them in skill areas. We gave it a dry run this morning and the kids loved it! So I guess we will use this method starting next week.
Love the new ideas!
Oh, also in the newest issue of The Old Schoolhouse magazine, there were recipes for natural cleaning products so I gathered the ingredients (baking soda, vinegar, water, essential oils and olive oil) and am now making my own non-toxic cleaners! Lovely!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vacation Recap

I have a ton of pictures on facebook, so I will only post a few here, later. I just want to tell a bit about the trip.
It was a LONG drive (about 16 hours with stops) but worth the wait. The house we rented was in Seagrove Beach, Florida--colorfully decorated and cosy. The first night Jordan threw up several times and I washed sheets all night. But after that we were all better. We got groceries and stocked the house. Then our days went something like this:
Get up around 7am and eat breakfast. Get dressed and head to the beach ( a 5 minute walk) with wagon and sand toys. Stay at beach about 1 1/2 hours. Come home and shower and wash clothes (full of sand). Rest, bike, or go shopping. Eat lunch and take a nap. Go to the pool around 2:30 and stay a couple of hours. Come back to house and eat supper. Go to beach with wagon and toys, and stay to watch the sunset. Come home, shower, wash clothes (sandy), and hang out until bedtime.
This happened every day with bike riding sprinkled in, and some minor shopping. We drove to Miramar Beach one day and ate at Pampano Joe's on the beach. I highly recommend the fried mahi-mahi sandwich. Kim does too, because after deciding she didn't like the popcorn shrimp, she ate half my sandwich! Our big fun adventure was going to the Goodwill store in Destin. It was huge and awesome! They have super Goodwill stores there! I know that sounds crazy, but the local shops sell stuff that costs and arm and a leg. I don't know about you, but I will never pay $300 for a dress or $85 for a skirt! It almost killed me to pay $24 for a souvenir T-shirt! Ridiculous!!! Anyway, it was a relaxing week, but full of good exercise. Walking everywhere, especially on the sand, biking, swimming and living in a three story house will give you some exercise! And living by the beach for a week, we used 2 spray bottles and 1 squirt bottle of sunscreen--and a lot of hair conditioner!
We loved it so much, we hop to go back every year for a while-same house if possible. By the way, several have asked how we found the house--lost of googling "seagrove florida vacation rentals" and checking locations with google earth. Ours was through, but the invoices came through They have a ton of great places and off season is from spring break thru May 22. And fall/winter, but who wants to go when the water is cold?
Oh, they post flags every day to let you know how safe the water is. Every day we got red and purple which meant, dangerous current/do not go in past knee level, and there are dangerous marine life present (man-o-war, crabs, sharks, jellyfish). The final night, the red flag was taken down and replaced with yellow which meant the risk from ocean currents was reduced to moderate rather than high risk.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Annie is Over! Here's What You Missed!

These are all performances from dress rehearsal about a week before opening night. The full backdrop isn't up, but the songs, though incomplete, are AMAZING! CHEFS kids rule!!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009


All the hard work has paid off BIG TIME! The cast of Annie--completely homeschooled (and fabulous) --have definetely shown that they are professional grade! YOU ROCK!!!! People are amazed at these kids and their talent, and they should be...these kids are the cream of the crop!!! Seriously!! They are polite and conservative and modest and kind to people of all ages. They are growing into the kind of people society desperately needs! I will post videos and pictures at a later date, along with vacation photos ( because we are leaving the day after Annie closes).