Friday, October 31, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday {October 31, 2014}

1) I feel like such a failure with the the triduum celebration of the weekend. Tyler is trick or treating tonight for All Hallows' Eve, I made no plans for All Saint's Day, and nothing special for All Soul's Day either. I decided not to make any plans since we are all ready booked for Saturday. I'll try to do better next year!

2) Tyler picked the ugliest costume ever! I had him hold the cat to try and make it look cute.  The cat was asleep though and had no idea what was going on. I call it "Sasquatch finds dinner".

3) I told Scott he needed to learn how to cut the boys' hair since it is a struggle to make arrangements with those who have offered to give them free cuts. Scott did buy clippers but I was surprised when he wanted me to do it! Ha! Ok, I did end up cutting Scott's hair and I guess it went fine.

4) See that pine tree in the above pictures? It is coming down. We planted it for privacy when we moved here 15 years ago. It was 5 feet tall and is now taller than the house even with the main trunk being broke off in an ice storm a few years ago. It has outgrown it's spot. It's my favorite tree and I will miss it! It was windy today and every time the back door was opened I could hear the beautiful sound it makes when the wind blows through it!

5) I'm scrapbooking tomorrow! I haven't touched my stuff since July? and I sure hope I have some pictures in my bag! I'm thinking about selling all my card making stuff tomorrow too. They have a "garage sale" table. I've been thinking about this for some time. Must decide by morning!

6) I really need to get busy and do some Advent planning! Otherwise it will turn out like this weekend. I would like to find a couple new books. Any suggestions?

7) Here are a few pictures at the second to last cross country meet from last week. Tyler is the one with red shorts. Which worked well in picking him out in the crowd. Except for the last meet when it seemed like a quarter of the boys had red shorts on! Tyler finishes in the middle of the pack but as you can see from picture #4 he starts at the end. He passes a lot of people!

Caleb is in the middle of the picture (about the third from the right) wearing a gray shirt.

Tyler at the finish line.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pretty Happy Funny Real {October 30, 2014}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Every Thursday, over at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Today's Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real comes from our trip to the farm last Friday. The boys were wanting to pick up the last of the walnuts and I wanted to walk that trail that has been calling my name. Besides walnuts, Caleb picked up Poison Ivy and somehow got it all over his face.

Locked out! We got to the family farm and realized we forgot the key. We drove the truck, to collect walnuts, and the key was in the car. Thankfully we are less than fifteen minutes away and the drive was beautiful with all the colors of autumn.

The boys climbed the gate and decided to play in the creek and woods while I drove back. Tyler found this interesting rock that had to come home with us. I didn't get a good picture of the rock but it was really interesting.

 On the quick walk on the trail I've been wanting to visit, we found many treats along the walk. Coral Berry was everywhere! The fruit color was magnificent. 

This small Oak tree was loaded with acorns. They were small but in prolific bunches.

We came along this Dogwood tree and were amazed by the leave and seed color.

All the Golden Rod had turned to seed which was a fluffy site.

My dad's deer stand is on this trail and Tyler wanted his picture taken in it. It should be noted that this was the only picture he wanted to take that day. 

Just a little love shared among brothers. I just wanted some pictures in front of my favorite tree.

Our Plans {2014-2015 Term 2}

It's hard to believe we are a third of the way through the school year! This post will have what we are continuing from term 1 and what new books we are using for term 2. A * will indicate any new selections for term 2 or books we switched to after school started and weren't included in the term 1 post.

Tyler~10 years old~5th grade:


Visits to North America  (map work)

The Cat of Bubastes (historical fiction)
Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (ancient history)
The Story of the World 1 (Ancient History) 
Augustus Caesar's World  (will be added in about halfway through the term)*
Stories of America Volume 2 (American History)*

We switched to Saxon 5/4 earlier in the school year and have been very happy with this switch.
Life of Fred (math review for Tyler)
Times Attack  (for additional fact practice)

Tyler has two more weeks of weather study and then he will be starting Focus of Chemistry*.
Health 5 from Seton

Life of our Lord For Children
St. Joseph's Baltimore Catechism *

Language Arts:
IEW Fix It Book 1 (applied grammar)
All About Spelling 4 
Keyboarding Skills 
Writing (working on written narrations and other writing projects)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe * (for literature) 

Caleb~13 years~8th grade

Caleb requested to stop ancient history studies and switch to modern history. So, we are going to use plans for studying the 20th century from Mater Amabilis (World and American History)
American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Guns (American History)
Hittite Warrior (Ancient History-he's enjoying this book and wanted to finish it; we will replace it with a book off the MA list once done)
Visits to North America (map work)
Current Events using our Diocese's weekly paper
Geography Games (map drill)

Saxon 8/7 
Times Attack (for additional fact practice)

CHC Life Science by Michael J. Spear *(which is a complete change from our original plans)

The Virtue Tree Program  (which is from CHC and I found it in their old Middle School Guide-but the current lesson plans are in the seventh grade lesson plans)
St. Joseph's Baltimore Catechism No. 2 *
The How-To Book of the Mass *

Language Arts:
IEW Fix It Book 2 (applied grammar)
All About Spelling *
The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (literature)
Writing With Skill Level 1 *
Written Narration once a week from history

We also have 45 minutes first thing for Morning Basket and 30 minutes at the end of the school day that I like to call Afternoon Basket. This is the work we do together. 

For Morning Basket I plan to spend 15 minutes on each topic and get down three each day. We were running a few minutes late this week and just read a little less in the read aloud.

For Afternoon Basket I just pick a topic that I want to do that afternoon and do one or a few of the suggestions under it.

Morning Basket links:
Swallowdale (read aloud)
A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls (history)
Grammar Town *(grammar)
St. John Paul II: Be Not Afraid *(religion-saints)
The Father Brown Reader II *(read aloud)
Faith & Life 5 (religion-catechism)
The Fallacy Detective (logic)
The U.S. Constitution and You *(civics)

Afternoon basket links:
Chalk Pastel
Ed Emberley
Art Through Faith
The Ultimate Homeschool PE Book *
Memorizing poetry using How to Teach Your Kids Shakespeare and The Harp and Laurel Wreath
A Midsummer's Night Dream  (Shakespeare)
Lewis Carroll
Handicrafts Made Simple-Hand Sewing *

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Tuesday Daybook {October 28, 2014}

Outside my window . . . .
it was a beautiful autumn day.  The past weekend was hot(the air condition had to be turned back on for a short time)! Cooler temperatures are wanted but it is a little of a shock today after such a hot weekend.

I’m thankful for . . . .
a busy late summer/early fall season being over. Now just back to normal busy. This week is ideal and we only have one activity planned in the evening. 
A two-night getaway with Scott last week at our favorite spot. We went to celebrate our 15th anniversary, which was in September, and Scott's 40th birthday which occurred while we were away. 

I’m thinking about . . . .
a shopping list. I need to go shopping and I'm struggling with that list.
Advent . . . is it too early? I would like to work on a book list and decide on what traditions we will do this year. I need a new wreath since I didn't like the new one we had last year. I would like to get those shopping list made too and get the shopping started and done before Thanksgiving.  

In the schoolroom . . .
We started term 2 this week and the first two days have gone well. I'll be posting our term 2 plans later this week along with Learning Notes sometime over the weekend.
From the kitchen . . . .
I planned beef stew, homemade pizza, and taco casserole this week. The rest is being filled in with some type of frozen meat and veggies or leftovers. I made the pizza tonight and didn't have any sauce . . . . there goes thinking the menu was organized this week.
I am working on . . . .
attitudes and habits. Not just the boy's but mine. New term with a new schedule and it's time rid the house of the complainers and talk-backers. I could use a mentor!
I am reading . . .
I finished A Mother's Rule of Life and I thought it was wonderful. I need to catch up on reading some of the boys books for school. I've been listening to Anne of Green Gables in the car with CDs that I got from the library. The reading is not the greatest, but I'm enjoying the story and I know this is the only way I will get to "read" it. Next in my pile to read is Holiness for Housewives.   
Around the house . . . .
do you hear crickets? My project from my last daybook are still not done. New windows and doors really should be on a priority! We are still dragging on feet on the painting.
A few plans for the week . . . .
School, catching up on some project put off for less busy times, hopefully enjoying some fall nature, youth deer season, and scrapbooking. I haven't made any plans for All Hallows' Eve or All Saints Day,yet. I would like to do something special on Friday since Saturday is booked.
Life with boys . . . .
Cross country season ended last Wednesday and the boys haven't ran since then. I think they decided to run once a week through fall and winter (if possible). I need to get this activity on their calendar.
The boys have been spending their free time building in the backyard. We have a pile of blocks (those used to make a retaining wall), some tin pieces, and a few odds and ends building supplies that they are using. I'm hoping animals don't decide to make it their winter home!
Pictures . . . .
A few from our trip.

View from our room!

Squirrels were enjoying fall at the lake too.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Learning Notes~Week 12 {2014-2015}

This was our finally week of term 1! The boys worked on end-of-term examinations, math, and Language Arts only this week. Once they were done today we headed out to go ice skating at the homeschool session. (Side note-any local homeschoolers, there were only 2 families at the rink today! Great time to ice skate without the crowd!!)

Pictures are from the boys cross country meet this week. Caleb came in 12th and Tyler 88th (out of 140 something boys 5-8th grade).


Caleb~13 years~8th grade:

Caleb finished up week 6 of Writing With Skill and I'm not sure if he will admit it or not, but he is really enjoying this writing program. I'm liking it to because I don't have to lead it. It is self-teaching and I'm just there as needed for help and do the checking it over. 

In math, Caleb did lesson 16-19 in Saxon 8/7. We missed a day because I couldn't find a protractor. Perhaps I should buy one since this is not the first time this has happened. Yet, seeing that we don't have one perhaps that means there is no reason to teach that lesson?? Caleb had a few "ah-ha" moments this week in math!

I had Caleb take a keyboarding exam. He couldn't do it not looking at the keyboard but once I uncovered the keyboard, he only made three mistakes. I think he did fine. Experience and practice is all he needs now.

For US history, Caleb gave me an oral narration from his American Gun book. I asked that he pick a firearm and tell me everything he knew about it. He picked the Spencer Repeater and did a good job.

Caleb was able to give oral narrations on the Catechism questions on how to make a good confession and explain the Sacrifice of the Mass.   The Sacrifice of the Mass question was a little harder but the basic was included.

Caleb also worked on ALEKS, Fix It, All About Spelling, read in The Catholic Missourian for current events, read in Hittie Warrior, and read in Fellowship of the Rings.

Since Caleb was struggling with science I didn't ask for an examination in that subject. I did ask that he read sections in The Usborne Science Encyclopedia on those he read about in his science book that he needed some help in understanding.

Caleb has less exams than Tyler because I chose not to give him examinations on some of his religion and history books. He did more in language arts though this week and it took him longer to complete his day than Tyler.


Tyler~10 years~5th grade:

Tyler completed his history exam with an oral narration about The Cat of Bubastes answering the questions: Why did everyone want the high priest dead? Why was the death of the cat so bad? 

Tyler was able to answer the Catechism questions: What is Holy Communion and what is necessary to receive it worthily? Explain the Sacrifice of the Mass? Tyler struggled with the second question and decided he wanted to reread that lesson.

In science, Tyler was easily able to answer three discussion questions from his Health text. He wasn't able to answer the narration questions from the Kid's Weather Forecasting book. The reason for this is unknown as he enjoyed this book and it was a living book. His experience of his weather study was good so we will just let that go.

Tyler also completed narrations from A Life of Our Lord (Tell me about a story from the apostles training?) and St. Therese of Lisieux: The Way of Love (Tell me about Therese's journey to the Carmelites.)

Tyler also read in his geography book (Tree in the Trail), worked in Fix It, All About Spelling, Copywork, complete Saxon 5/4 lessons 41-44, and reading in his Narnia book. 

Both Boys
I asked for the map drill exam (North America) that they labeled everything they could remember from the past eleven weeks. Both boys did equally well and labeled all countries, oceans, and the states they they had learned so far. They had learned some of the Canadian Provinces but they both misunderstood and didn't label any on the exam. I was told they could remember about half of them, which I thought was great since I don't know any of them. Map Drill has been a mostly review this year (except the provinces of Canada).

In Morning Basket we read in Swallowdale (Tyler and I find this book much enjoyable!, Grammar Town, and Faith and Life. We were light on Morning Basket to allow time for examinations.

We are excited to be on Fall Break now! I have a lot of planning to finish before we start term 2 and I hope to get this done over the weekend to keep the week free for some other projects.

How did you week go?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Daybook {October 13, 2014}

Outside my window . . . .
lots and lots of rain!The sun may have been out five minutes today.

I’m thankful for . . . .
helpful attitudes from teenage boys . . . . when they appear out of no where and disappear just as they came. 

Some much needed energy! It sure has been lacking and then it kicked in when I was about ready to make a doctor appointment. I really think it was allergy attacks.

I’m thinking about . . . .
lots of stuff that needs to be done around the house. It's a little overwhelming! I recruited Scott to give me a hand next Saturday on some projects around the house.

On a similiar note, my vocation as mother and wife and this path that God has me on.

In the schoolroom . . .
It's the last week of term 1!! (out of 3 total for the year) The boys started the end of term examinations today and those will continue all week with just a small list of other assignments. Next week is a break! 

From the kitchen . . . .
I've been working hard to avoid eating out during cross country season since we don't get home until 6:30 from a meet (and we usually eat at 5:30). I had planned some fast food last week since Tyler had a scout meeting at 6:30 and he was going to eat on the drive home, but it was rained out. I think we might make this goal now!

I've been working on keeping a "pantry list" and that is going well. It still needs work. I have 7 meals planned for the season and a list of stuff I need to make them all. I just purchase from this list at the grocery store. This saves the trouble of planning out new meal ideas each week and saves me a lot of time trying to come up with a grocery list. I stock up on those items when they go on sale. I change out the meals with each season. 

I thought I would get tired of the same thing but really there is a lot of variety. We have a Mexican night every week (if not twice) and really all the dishes take the same ingredients so we usually just pick what meat we have on hand and make it into a taco casserole, tacos, nachos, or soup. That is the variety I was looking for!

I am creating . . .
schedules! I've been reading A Mother's Rule of Life and this has been very helpful in giving me ideas for the school schedule.

I'm also working to finish plans for term 2. I still need to work on morning basket and science.

I am working on . . . .
enjoying the daily grind of housework. Responding with cheeriness instead of gruffness in the trials of motherhood.

I am reading . . .
I already mentioned A Mother's Rule of Life, which I recommend you read too. I have a stack of other books I want to start and then I have a stack of the boy's books for term 2 that I need to read too. I have a lot of reading planned for the near future!

Around the house . . . .
I really would like to paint the living room (and main hallway) and kitchen/dining room. I've had samples taped to the wall since spring. I narrowed it down to 3 colors today. I took pictures off the dining room wall in August to get ready to paint. I'm really dragging my feet on this project!

We are needing to replace some doors and a window before winter hits and that is sneaking up on us too! We've been talking about it for way too long and it's time to get it done!

I put away the boys summer clothes and pulled out the winter clothes today. It was easy enough since I went through all the clothes in storage in August (to prepare for a garage sale). Tyler's was just a move around job. Caleb though has grown since August and we had to try stuff on, again. It looks like we will have a shopping date next week while on break.

Laundry! I'm not sure what happened but there is just so much laundry right now! I did five loads today and I will probably be doing 3 loads each day the rest of the week. I'm not even behind and did all the laundry as scheduled last week. Yikes!

A few plans for the week . . . .
all the project listed above. Cross Country meets! The one for today was canceled so we may have another one next week but that is the end of that. Scout meetings and other miscellaneous meetings. Looking forward to a good weekend though and plans for Scott's birthday on Sunday and Monday. Our calendar will transform after this week into something much more reasonable and we are looking forward to that.

A picture (or three) . . .

Caleb's shelfie with a sleeping cat (the cat never woke up either). That cat is spending a lot more time in the house lately. It started with an injury and now with all this rain (he thinks he has the right to come in out of the rain and I don't have the heart to disagree with him).

Tyler has been into balloon art lately. This was a hat he created.

This is my niece (my brother's daughter) from about three weeks ago. Tyler and I got to visit for a few hours while they came to visit family about a half hour away from us. I'll get to see her along with the rest of the family next weekend! Looking forward to this!! You can find more pictures of that visit on my sister-in-law's Facebook page under September 2014 album. You will see my Dad, Mom, Tyler, my niece and nephew, and farm life at our cousin's place.

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