Friday, May 30, 2014

7 Quick Takes {May 30, 2014}

1) You know when I said in my last 7 Quick Takes 
that this week would be easy? So, I wasn't running around everywhere frantically although I was running around the house in a tizzy trying to check things off my to do list. And why, you ask? Because we start summer school next week! Does tizzingly around work, you ask? Sometimes! And I don't believe tizzingly is a word, but just pretend with me! Things are calmer today and the weekend should be too.

2) Some of my friends and I are trying to come up with a free weekend to do some scrapbooking and it is almost near impossible for three moms to find such a weekend or at least the same weekend. Looks like it won't be until mid-July and honestly there is other stuff going on, but we will have to work around it.

3) Just some pictures!

LOL! They were tired!

Spoiled! She isn't a fan of rain and sometimes gets let in when it rains (if she stay in one place). She slept here for two hours last Saturday while it rained.

4) Last week I said I had been pretty lucky in winning books, well I won again. Thanks to Meredith @ Sweetness and Light Merry Month of May Giveaway (and Hillside Eduction)! I decided not to enter a couple of other giveaways this past week because I was feeling pretty greedy! ; ) 

5) What have I've been reading this week? I finished Sarah's Teaching From Rest and I suggest you get it and read it too! I still need to listen to the audios. I got Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon from the library this week and it is surprisingly ok. I've read a few chapter and it has some helpful information, but I'm glad I found it at the library and didn't buy it. I may not read it all but skip around and read chapters that interest me. I'm still reading the Simply Charlotte Mason free e-books too.

6) Who has my interest online this week? Another installment of Jen's Charlotte Mason Teaching Tuesday which makes me wish everyday was Tuesday! I told you I'm on a CM kick! 

7) Plans for the weekend and next week? Perhaps a few things from the to-do list. I need to do some weeding and cut down all the bloomed out iris stalks. No big plans so it should be a restful weekend which is much needed! We start our summer term next week. Three weeks with four half-day of school. I'm still wrapping up what we will be doing. Just planning to finishing up some things that didn't get completed, keep moving in math, and reading. Tyler is attending a day camp next week at the nature center.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Daybook {Late May}

Outside my window
It looks like a beautiful sunny day from the window. Tyler opened the door and we learned it's really humid. We were outside all day yesterday, so I think I will stay in today. Allergies are getting better around here. Oak is settling down and grasses are just starting. Grasses don't bother me as much as spring trees, so I should be good. There is a massive pine tree in our backyard (that touches the back deck) and it is pollen crazy!

I’m thankful for
an extra day off this week. Scott needed some time off and we got to play yesterday because of it. I'm also thankful for Confession and Mass yesterday.

I’m struggling with
order in the household or maybe just staying focused on task and completing them. I'm easily distracted and it's hard to get back on task. 
There is also this money thing. The list of needs is really long at the moment. It tough in deciding which are an immediate need, which can wait, and which ones to take off the list. Lots of prayer!
I'm also struggling with the fact that my baby will hit double digits in a couple of weeks!

I am working on
lesson plan! I spent the last week thinking about them and just not able to get started. Inspiration finally hit late Friday night and I got Tyler's science planned out for the next school year.

I am reading
Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie and I'm loving it! I've already listened to one of the companion audios too and can't wait to listen to the rest. Wonderful resource with a price that everyone can afford!

Simply Charlotte Mason has several free e-books and I've been rereading them since some I haven't read since our first year of homeschooling! They are different this time around.

This one I'm watching,Learning and Living: Homeschooling the Charlotte Mason Way DVD set and it was a big investment. The DVDs are nice quality and the presentation is nicely done. I've seen most of the SCM DVDs in the past and the first DVD wasn't anything new to learn. I see that changing as I go through the set. I'm especially interested in the high school one. Only 10 more to watch, lol!

I am hearing
A radio that is too loud (Caleb) and the clicking of the x-box remote. It's a lazy day around here except for Scott who is working hard in the basement.

Around the house
I use our summer break for some deep cleaning around the house and it's going well. One bedroom and one bathroom done. I have the kitchen/dining room on the list for this week. One room a week is my goal. I would love to do some painting soon too. The living room, kitchen/dining room, and hallway are calling my name. I'm thinking all one color this time, but I have no ideas as to which one. I need to go to Lowe's and look at samples and look over my color inspiration board on Pinterest. I'm working on building a new bookshelf/night stand for my bedroom and hoping to finish that today. The ant invasion has put that project off for a week, but we have been ant free since Wednesday, so it's time to put the window back together.

One of my favorite things
Getting to go fishing (again) yesterday at the family farm. I forgot the camera! The boys had fun and Scott came in first with the most fish caught, then Tyler, and Caleb last. Caleb did catch the largest though (catfish). I sat and watched and honestly, the shade was nice as it was humid yesterday too. The fishing would have been in the sun.

A few plans for next week

Grocery Shopping! I really should go today, but I'm not feeling it. We will make it work until tomorrow. This week is going to be easy! No commitments outside the home!! This is becoming rare, so I will enjoy it and catch up on my to-do list. I'll have to be creative in keeping the boys entertained though!

A picture or two
of Caleb and Zebra. Noticed that Caleb is texting, which is new for us. I still have the number that I've had since I was 18 when my dad got me a cell phone to keep track of me during my college years since I commuted to school. That phone is still on my Dad's plan and he finally got texting. I really didn't think Caleb would use it much since he doesn't have a keyboard on his phone, but I was wrong! Scott and I do not have texting on our phones yet!

Tyler watching a movie this morning. He wasn't too happy with the camera in his face.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Evaluating the School Year {2013-2014}

You can find my previous post for plans for the 2013-2014 plans here (term 4 plans), here (history for terms 1 & 2), here (updates in the first term), here (Caleb's original 7th grade plans), and here (Tyler's original 4th grade plans).

I think rereading these post will tell you most of the changes that went on throughout the year and give you links to the products we used.

I could easily double the size of this post by going into great details about everything, but I'll be keeping those notes to myself. If you have questions, please ask in the comments or email me. I would love a discussion!

In our last week of school we did an End of Term 4 Evaluation, much like the one we did at the end of the third term. This form of testing is a great tool! I was able to compare the test to the previous term and compare our work load (I had a lot less questions this term, so I knew we covered less material). I was also able to see which books/subjects the boys enjoyed/disliked and which ones they struggled with or found easy (through there oral and written narrations). The boys also did the PASS Test. According to Missouri law we do NOT have to do testing. The law does ask for evaluation and I decided to accomplish that with standardize testing this year. We took the same test last year. I will not do the testing again, although it was helpful and it went fine. Besides those evaluation, the boys did a questionnaire for me. Last year they refused to fill it out, but this year they enjoyed telling me how the school year went.

I decided to give you a run down of the boys answers from the questionnaire.

Favorites: Life of Fred (absolute favorite), Mike Graf book (another absolute favorite), The New Way Things Works (science 2nd term), PE-tennis at the YMCA (homeschool class), free writing, Five For Victory, and the All Saints Day party that I put together for the boys.

Least Favorite: Family Time Fitness, religion, math, all science except the one listed above, Shakespeare, Latin, and reading. : (

Easiest subject he listed as free writing and he listed the hardest thing as any assigned reading and Winston Grammar.

Favorites: Fix It! (absolute favorite), Francis and Clare
book (another absolute favorite), keyboarding, bird study, nature study, read aloud time, free reading, Our United States of America, and many of the same things Tyler listed too (LOF, Mike Graf book, The New Way Things Work, tennis).

Least Favorites: IEW Student Writing Intensive, map work, Latin, Family Time fitness, free writing.

Caleb listed his easiest subject as Life of Fred (as it should be since he was reading along with Tyler). He listed his hardest subject as history.

Personally, I really enjoyed the Fix It! grammar program from IEW and can't wait to start Tyler in it next year. I enjoyed our morning basket routine that is modeled after Jen's @ Wildflowers and Marbles. I certainly didn't enjoy Life of Fred and made Caleb read the books to Tyler and eventually they started reading them on their own. It looks like I will need to continue buying them for Tyler. We have yet to find a history plan that works for our family. I do know living books are the way to go though! This subject will get changed again next year.

Language Arts will be our focus for next year. I haven't received our PASS results yet, but I don't think they made much improvement this year. Most of this was my fault as I struggled with teaching this subject. I have spent a lot of time in research and feel pretty good about next year though. 

I've already started planning our summer term and the 2014-2015 school year. Unlike the previous year, I feel like I actually learned a few things about how to teach my kids and I have a better idea of how they function. This should make next year even better.

Friday, May 23, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday {May 23, 2014}

1) It's our first full week of summer break! I've been busy with many project, but the boys are struggling to keep busy. Caleb has a cold and Tyler is struggling with allergies. We did go fishing on Thursday and are having friends over today. I'm wondering if I will get all these projects done over the summer!!

2) Fishing was a little slow yesterday, but we did enjoy just sitting and enjoying the sounds of nature. The boys have a fascination with "Big Foot" and have been watching new episodes of a series they enjoy (Finding Big Foot we watch it on Netflix and I think it's from the Animal Planet channel) and so there was a lot of "knocks" and "whops" going on. Someone claimed to hear a answering "knock" and I just went along with it and said I heard it too.  ; ) We enjoyed a running joke of me using the word "squashy" every time I was suppose to be saying "Saquatchy". I thought it was hilarious! Perhaps it would mean more if you've seen the show.  ; )

3) I've had great luck lately in winning books on blog giveaways. Last week, I won Sacred Heart Books and Gifts giveaway on Jessica @ Shower of Roses. The book arrived yesterday and I'm pretty excited to read it this summer. I also won The Midnight Dancers by Regina Doman from Sweetness and Light Chesterton Press Giveaway. This book I have finished reading and can't wait to read some more from this author! Regina is a Catholic writer and rewrites Grimm fairy tales in the modern world for young adults. 

4) It's funny how bubble blowing is a relaxing activity at any age! I grabbed a bottle of bubbles before going fishing and I'm glad I did since it was too hard to read with all the knocking and talking going on around me.

5) Last weekend all my boys heading out to the Pack and Troop Scout Family Camp Out. I stayed home! ; )  I had this extremely long to-do list of stuff that I've been putting off and being home alone would help that list a lot! That list was derailed when I discovered an ant invasion in one of our bedroom windows five minutes after the campers set out. I did get some stuff done over the weekend, the ant mess is taken car of, and the camp out went well (I helped to coordinate it so that was a relief). Here is a pictures of Tyler at the camp out during the fishing tournament. He won biggest fish, but I don't think this is the one that took that prize, lol!

6)I just took a look at the calendar for next week and it's completely clear! I can't believe it since this has been a busy month. Perhaps I will get some stuff checked off the summer to-do list!

7) Clicking around the internet this week and I've found some great things. Go check them out! 
Jen @ Wildflowers and Marbles: Charlotte Mason Teaching Tuesday (there is a second posted too)
Pam @ Everyday Snapshots: Summer Reading Program 
Sarah @ Amongst Lovely Things: Teaching From a State of Rest book is ready! 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, May 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday {May 16, 2014}

1) School is done! Well, we will have a summer term in June. The boys were under pressure to finish on Monday (because of very busy week) and they pulled it off. It's evaluation time! The boys filled out an end of questionnaire for me and surprisingly they did it without complaining (last year I took a lot of grief over them!).

2) Last week the boys had a "field trip" to Scott's work to help with a first-aid training. They had fake scars and blood (and surprisingly it came out in the wash!)and had to do some acting. Scott and Tyler pretended to be injured in a bicycle accident and Caleb played the victim of a ATV accident. Apparently Caleb did too good of a job with his acting skills as the trainees carried him out of the woods and he was suppose to walk out with his injury. They enjoyed themselves and then got treated to lunch out. I enjoyed a quiet morning at home alone! I tried to get a picture of them when they made it home, but all the "blood" didn't show up. It's all over their arms, shirts, and Caleb had some on his forehead.

3) That cat! I can't help but laugh every time I see this picture! He is not an indoor cat, but likes to sneak in. I think he's saying, "Oh, man! I've been caught!" or "She won't see me under my cloak of invisibility!"

4) I had success at our local homeschool book sale. I sold a little over half of what I took. I listed the rest here in this blog post
and sold most of it! I've updated the post with only what is left and it's still for sale. If you bought from me, your package went out today and I will send you tracking number this evening or Saturday.

5)It's been chilly here the last few days. It should warm up Sunday and next week. I'm planning on some nature study next week! I'll write up a blog post afterwards. I'm hoping to have some blog post with some reviews of products we used this year and some early plans for next year.

6)Last week, Scott had to run an errand out of town and he took the boys with him. They first went turkey hunting and then ran the errand before stopping in Arrow Rock (Missouri) on the way home. Picture of their field trip below. 

Isn't this a happy crew after turkey hunting? LOL! Tyler has mixed feelings about turkey hunting mostly due to have to get up so early in the morning. Seeing that he is learning against the sign, he is tired out. This was also the same day as the book sale and they didn't get home until 10 pm!
Most of the historic places were closed during the week. There are more pictures on the camera, but the boys aren't around to tell me the places they visited.

7) Iris is one of my favorite flowers and mine are blooming like crazy here. Funny how thing look better when you use some fertilizer! I certainly don't have the right camera to take good close-ups, but I still enjoy trying to capture the flowers on camera. 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Curriculum Sale Blog Hop

Updated 5/16: The Online Curriculum Sale Blog Hop is over, but I did update this post with what is left over. You can still buy if you missed the sale before. If it's in the picture and not listed, it is sold already. I did lower the price on a couple of books that I missed on 5/12.

-Updated on 5/12/14 AM with reduced prices!

I'm taking part in Jessica @ Shower of Roses 4th Annual Online Curriculum Sale Blog Hop and will be listing items I have for sale!

-Out of consideration for everyone participating in the Curriculum Sale Blog Hop, please only request items that you intend to purchase and are able to submit payment for promptly, preferably within 24 hours. Paypal only!

-If you are interested in purchasing any of the items in this post, you will need to email me at daycelebrations @ aol dot com or leave a comment with your email address and I will email you. I will send you a private email with your total, including shipping, along with my Paypal address.

-Shipping will be a flat rate of $4.00 for 1-3 items and add $1.00 for each additional item, to help cover the cost of packaging and media rate postage in the United States. I will wait to ship out all packages at the end of the sale (May 15th) or before if all books are sold. Expect the packages to be mailed on the 16th.

-Condition of books are at least good (some look almost new) unless otherwise stated. If says, NEW, it means we never used the book. Ask questions if you need to know more!

-You may request a item that is PENDING in case the first sale doesn't go through. An item will be listed as PENDING until payment is received.

One book left:

The Story of the Church Her Founding, Mission and Progress A Textbook in Church History (front cover is wrinkled up, very slight stain on side) $2

Write With The Best Volume 1 NEW $5 $2SOLD

Write With The Best Volume 2 NEW $5 $2SOLD
 -Purchase both for $6!!

Megawords 1 student & teacher NEW  $5 $2

Creative Communications by Sandra Garant (notes in pencil in the side margins on a few pages) $2 $1

Mama's Notebooks Weekly Planner and Organizer NEW $10

Memoria Press Christian Studies Book 1 Teacher's Manual $8 $5

DK 101 Great Science Experiments $2 $1

Erin Condren Life Planner (April-December 2014) (My name has a sticker over it, lower right corner) NEW $15 $10 $5

Monday, May 5, 2014

Crazy May!

This is going to be one crazy busy week! And next week will be half crazy! Because of all the craziness, I will be away from my blog for the next two weeks.

I hope to be back with several post later this month. Talk to you soon!

Caleb checking out some old trucks during our last nature study hike. Make a funny face while I'm taking your picture and punishment is it will end up on the blog!  ; )

Tyler during Easter Egg Hunt.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Just Checking in {May 3, 2014}

It's been a little busy here. I haven't had time to work on the blog, but here is a little catch up.

It's spring turkey season here. Scott got his two already. Caleb got one and Tyler is still working on his. Be warned the following pictures contain dead turkeys, blood, and raw meat! ; )

During this turkey season we have gone through a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and I need another as I found another blood stain shirt today. Does anyone with turkey hunters have this problem or is it just me? I was surprised I was able to save all the pants!

We tried something new this year and ground up the dark meat on the turkey. Usually this is waste because it is tough. We made turkey burgers out of it and it was delicious! Free old (hand crank) grinder from a friend, plus an old electrical motor equals easy work at home. Add in a free used food saver from a generous uncle and you have very economical meat!

Now on to more pleasant things! A couple pictures from Easter.

One of our favorite Lent/Easter traditions is the sacrifice jar. The boys fill a jar up with pom-poms that represent each sacrifice that is made during Lent, and on Easter morning the sacrifices are replaced with a reward of jelly beans of the starburt variety. Scott and I use to have to help fill this jar, but this year after the first week I stopped putting pom-poms in myself because the boys were filling the jar fast. It took two bags to replace the pom-poms this year. I was surprised how fast they went! Everyone likes those in this house. 

Tyler had to do some tree climbing during the Easter Egg hunt.

Looks like we have a cat now. The stray cat, now called Zebra, actually is a really good kitty and getting lots of love here. I couldn't imagine someone getting rid of him and I worry someone lost him! He has put on weight so he had been without a home for some time. We will be taking him to the vet soon, but we decided to wait a couple of weeks when we found Zebra sleeping in the street! Zebra is an outside cat (due to allergies) but has been allowed to sneak in a couple of times and enjoys sleeping on the kitchen rug. He lets us know when he needs to go out. I told you he was a good kitty!

We survived hosting a garage sale at our house the week after Easter. I had to remind my wonderful helpers that if they survived garage sale week with their mom/wife that they could survive anything! Seriously, I get a little stressed setting up! Garage sales can be a lot of work, but the money earned is nice. We put it towards a sports day camp Tyler wants to go to this summer, a meal out after the garage sale (no one is in the mood to cook afterwards!), and trips to the community pool this summer. Zebra had a good time during the sale chasing around customers and jumping in and out of boxes. He tired himself out and slept at the top of the basement steps all afternoon. Certainly some kitten left in this kitty!

School is wrapping up fast! The boys worked extra hard this week and got ahead. They estimate they have 3-4 days of work left. I estimate we will need another 3 days for end of term examinations. I don't think we will finish this coming week, but still a half week earlier than planned. Of course, we have two field trips planned and we need to hit the library, so we may lose that half week.

I've been helping to organize our homeschool group's annual May book sale. It happens this week! We have around 35 sellers, so I'm a little worried about fitting them all into the building! Should be a good sale with that many different sellers. Anyone local, contact me for details! I went through and organized and priced my books this morning. It took longer than expected. Hoping to sell everything to finish purchasing books needed for the upcoming school year. If I have any left, I will be listing books for sale on the blog and taking part in Jessica @ Shower of Roses Annual Online Curriculum Sale Blog Hop (bottom of the post link).

Plans for the weekend include reading (it's always on the list and rarely gets checked off) and making up the end of term examinations. Perhaps some garden planting??

Plans for next week include school, book sale, and wrapping up the cub scout year. Lot of busyness! Looks like all of it could continue into the next week. After that we are on break for a couple of weeks before we start a short summer school term. I plan to get a jump start on the deep-clean summer cleaning schedule as soon as possible.

What have you been up to lately and any upcoming plans?

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