Tuesday, July 8, 2008

M's photos

The girls both love to take pictures here is a few of M's. One is off our back deck at sunset and then a light house light in Glen Arbor. I guess I didn't download C's picts. Anyhow, I think M does a good job.

4th of July

Over the weekend we went to Empire and Glen Arbor areas. We had a great time just relaxing and drawing on the beach. Here is some photos of the girls. They weere soaking up the sunshine. It was very nice, not to hot not to cold.


We had a bunch of old T-shirts to get rid of and I found a book that uses old T-shirts and turns them into new clothes here is our first attempt.
I like all of them. The butterfly one is very cute I wish we could have coverd up more of the logo on the edge. C wanted "God's Team" to show. With M's it is very cute with pockets on the sides. I think this turned out best. The black is hard to see. It will be mine. I like it however I am doubting my first thoughts that it would be slimming?! Just another warm summer day in Northern Michigan.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Square Foot Garden

Okay, I set off on an adventure this year. I decided to try this Square Foot Garden Book. Since our soil is sandy, being here on the water and very acidic, with all the oak trees. I started to look at container gardening and stumbled on the Square Foot Garden approach in the gardening section of the Library. We didn't follow it exactly but very closely. We used some friends cow manure, some compost, wood ashes, some perlite, some peet moss, and some black top soil. We did this all unscientifically just threw it in said "that looks good" and mixed it up. Fairly complex, huh? Well, the ph measured perfect 6.5-7. So, that is good. And here is some of the results. Our plans are to mulch the leaf pile and put it over the ground between the boxes.
The tomatoes are supposed to climb these fancy cages Todd MDH made out of conduit and tomato fence I ordered on-line. Did you know tomatoes climbed? I didn't. Anyway, you can plant them a lot closer if you have it set up like this. Usually they need 4 ft around them this way you plant one per sq ft. I planted 28 tomato plants, 16 Roma's for canning, 4 cheery for popping in your mouth, and 4beef steak for hamburgers or bean burgers in my case. I have so much planted that I am wondering what I got myself into for canning. Especially after I just stood in the kitchen for 2 days making bread and strawberry jam.


Here is M picking and eating strawberries. The kids were busy playing and eating. In fact I never go one photo of C. She was to busy with friends. I made bunches of jam and need to get up and make more tomorrow.

I made freezer jam. The one without pectin is very sugary and runny. ( I was trying to be thrifty). The next batch was with pectin. I am trying some sugar free stuff tomorrow. It uses natual apple juice for sweetener. I really hope this turns out since the girls music teacher and grandparents are diabetic. I also would like it for us if the taste is good:). I will keep you posted.

Family String Band

If you didn't know my girls play in a band called THE FAMILY STRING BAND. Both girls play instruments. M has played violin for 5.5 years and C has played cello for 1.5years. M loves her fiddle or violin (depends what she is playing) so much some days she plays it over an hour and a half. And for those of you who think she is such a serious musician there are days I still have to make her practice. C on the other hand enjoys it but not to the extent M does. But, M has some years of experiance on her.

Where is this leading to... well M lead a performance at The Spirit of the Woods Festival and here are some photos of it. I wish I had video of her playing. She is really good (of course mommy is talking here) I will have to get some video on and let you guys judge for yourselves.
M is the little one in the front and C is off to the side playing the cello. C is a natural metronome she keeps beat really well. She did so well for being the youngest performer at the festival at the ripe old age of 8.
They play with the Family String Band Studio, Jam before the Bayside Travelers Contra Dances, and also play with the Prelude Chamber String Orchestra. God has blessed them with amazing teachers and a desire to have fun while playing together. I am so pround of them!
My hope and prayer is that God will use their talent and ability to draw others to Jesus and that God will be glorified through their music and love for it. After all he created it!

Mail Woes

Hey there! I hope that someone is reading this since I don't write often enough but, if not oh well. I will consider it my online diary.

Okay, if you are a home schooler or a book purchaser you would know that when most of us buy curriculum and books we will ship it via media mail. Which usually works fairly well, it's a little slow, but cheaper to mail items. Well, May 31st I bought my Tapestry of Grace and it still has not arrived;( The worst part is we didn't insure it or track it!! (Note to self, next time insure and track anything that is $225). Anyhow, the poor soul refunded my money even though she has no books or money since the books are MIA somewhere in the vastness of the US Postal Service. What a nice person, but to be honest I just want the mail man to deliver the box. I don't feel like I can order a new one until the 6 weeks is up just to be fair to her. So, believe it or not I have prayed over a box of 3 ring binders daily! But you know God has given us so many seemingly unimportant things and I know he cares about my desires. It is my desire to give this lady her money so she isn't out $225. The worst of it is her husband is active duty military and I feel so guilty taking money from someone who is serving our country. So, pray God will bless Diana and her family finically if the box never is found.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A New Curriculum!

Okay its been a while since I have blogged. I have to admit that I was and am always looking for a better curriculum for our home school. I love Charlotte Mason but it is hard to follow because it keeps you very busy reading a lot of hard literature .I also had a hard time getting it all done and feeling like I was fulfilling my obligation to what I felt the Lord called me to do in my home school. But, I love her style of Narration, Copy work, and Dictation. Yet, I am searching or was searching for a way to learn and for my kids to learn about Gods word. And somehow when we got side tracked (or on the right track )by reading a lot of Bible, I felt guilty spending to much time there because I needed to hit all the subjects for school. Well a friend, God Bless her, by the hand of God was brought to a curriculum called Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson. She gave me the book to borrow and I devoured a 600 page book in a week. Praise God! It was exactly what I was looking for. A curriculum not just sprinkled with Gods word but immersed in it. It also uses Charlotte Masons methods of teaching and all the learning styles! So, I bought the first book which was $15 and a e-text so I could down load it immediately. Our first week was great! The kids loved it, I loved it and most important I am positive it made the Lord smile. So, I am on the wrong computer but I will put the kids work in here in the next few days. I am very excited about this.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bad Days

Okay so in my last blog I was honest about my fears of homeschooling in the beginning and also the on going fears. Now, forgive me, those of you who will condemn me for putting honest and true life and feeling into this blog, but it is my blog and I don't aspire to be anyone but who I am.
On with it, yesterday was a "very bad terrible day" (from the book: Alexanders Bad Day, very cute kids book) I read for a while out loud and Michala could not narrate back what I read because the 18 year old was busy interrupting me and goofing off. Which has been a constant issue, so mommy and cousin (me, one in the same) had to put the crabby face on and scold a person who is supposed to be an adult and send her up to do her own school work in her room. And the second oldest was ordered to reread what I had just read and do without read aloud time until who knows when. I don't enjoy wasting my time and getting a sore throat for nothing. While Carmin the youngest told me the story finished her work and was the only thing that kept me from loosing my mind and patience at the moment. This is when Dad woke up (he works nights) and wondered why Mom was in a foul mood. Surprisingly at the end of the day Hannah was speaking to me. So now today as punishment both girls spend the day doing school work in their rooms and Carmin gets my full attention for the morning. So, will this teach them to be diligent or just afraid of moms (cousins) wrath? I loose my patients when I make an effort to make learning fun and people don't take it seriously. I suppose I wouldn't be a very good unschooler. So, ladies, this is an honest bad day in the life of one homeschooling mother (or cousin).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Daily Digest

Well today I am busy with the daily routine. The girls are busy with school. I am checking e-mail and doing laundry. Exciting! I am very excited, however to go to INCH this year. It is our state home school conference that is held in Lansing. I have not gone since my best friend died and I am ready to go now. In the past it has been geared toward new home schoolers. This year it seems to have more to offer for those of us who aren't quaking in our boots at the idea. Notice I didn't say afraid because you are always afraid. Afraid your child isn't getting enough of each subject, afraid you will fail, afraid they won't get into college. We just aren't terrified like we were at first (LOL). I really don't fear these things on a regular basis. Just once and a while when I hear of how bright someones child is and I wonder will mine make the cut? Then God reminds me I was called to do this and when ever you are called by God. Well he doesn't fail. He always rises to the occasion.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A little more on Charlotte Mason. First off there is a wonderful website dedicated to CM. It has her books online, many links to other websites , free out of print ebooks, and free curriculum plans and schedules! It is called amblesideonline.org. This is some of what I use with my girls. I don't do every subject (like Plutarch) and do put the grades together rather than having to read many different books for each grade. I also aspire a little to Robinson Curriculum where I do require my kids to do much of there work alone, his website is robinsoncurriculum.com. ( I will talk of him later or you can just visit his website, I find him brilliant and fascinating) Each child has an assignment book that I write down daily reading list, spelling words (usually misspelled words from writing), math pages, and any unusual chores. The chapters they read alone they narrate back to me. We have a world map puzzle that is 1,000 pieces right now that we are doing for Geography. Michala learned the States and Capitols from music and her Leap Frog. She knows them better than I do! Most of our science is done in the Spring, Summer, Fall, and through reading. I love the Thorton W. Burgess books for science if you can find originals they are a treasure. You can find paperbacks at doverpublishing .com otherwise they are out of print. Back to Science, we do garden and when we find creatures we often draw them and look them up. We have also used Considering Gods Creation and that was a great hands on start to Science. I like to keep things simple mostly for my own sanity but also I think to many subjects cause a lot of disruption in the school day. To tell the truth, many days we have spent a whole day outside doing Science and nothing else, the same is true for all of our subjects. If your kids are actually interested and curious why stop to do math? Go with the inspiration. Some of our best learning has happened by chance not through my planning.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Long Thursdays

Okay today is the day I dread of all my week days. I get up at 6am and go to my accountability partners house and then go to clean my weekly cleaning job. Some days I enjoy the break others I return tired and with an aching back. I always listen to music, sermons, or talk radio while cleaning. But this morning I broke my earphones getting out of the car! So, in the bathroom I listened to the radio and then had quiet for some of the other 2 hours of cleaning. Which gave me much time to talk with the Lord. But for some reason when I don't have radio I move much slower and was a 1/2 hour behind today. When I got to the kitchen I turned on the Food Network channel and this show was on called Partially Homemade. Now I am hoping to find these really amazing recipes on the web! Which got me to thinking about a friends blog and her question of what does from "scratch" mean? What does it mean? Unless your God did you really make anything from "scratch"? Anyhow, now that the persons house I clean for is clean. I need to clean mine. It is much more fun to clean another persons house than your own!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


As I wrote in my profile, I am a homeschooling mom. I love homeschooling although it has good and bad days. I am a Charlotte Mason girl. For those of you who don't know what this is, it is a style of homeschooling. We use whole living books to read. These are books written by one author who is passionate about the subject. They are not textbooks because they are written about many subjects and by more than one author. How many of you have read a really good book that was non-fiction? Say about Helen Keller that wanted you to learn more? That is a living book it inspires you! So those are the books I look for. The girls love to read and do most of their learning with these types of books. We also do grammar by journaling. I asked a professor once how to improve writing and grammar skills he said "by reading really good books and by practicing"! So, that was exactly what Charlotte Mason said in her books . We also do vocabulary words which can be interesting considering the majority of our reading comes from classics like Shakespheare . We also do Narration and Dictation along with Copying great works. I will get into these later. For Math we use Math-U-See, it works well for us and uses the mastery method rather than the spiral method schools and textbooks use. Anyhow, if any of you doubted how crazy I was it is now verified. I am crazy about books, Jesus, my kids, and oh yeah my husband.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hey I did it!

I am figuring this out sorry that Hannah is sideways. I'll have to figure that out later. So these are my beautiful girls. I am very proud of all of them. Things have been very tough for Hannah this year left all alone with no parents and living with 4 people she really didn't now very well. But she is doing very well.
This is Michala she is 10.5 yrs old.
This is Carmin almost 8yo.
This is Hannah my 18 yr old cousin.

New Start

Well it has been almost a year since I have been here. I actually am very computer illiterate and I couldn't figure out how to post another blog. That and last year I had dial up---how annoying. Since last year we have a new child. She is really my cousin. Around this time last year I was caring for my Aunt Oona who had bone cancer and a brain tumor. Well in April last year she passed away and my cousin came to live with us. Hannah turned 18 a week ago. I am also homeschooling her she is in 11th grade.

This year has been difficult with so many changes and my husband working night shift. But praise the Lord he gets days in May! I will try my best to get some pictures up of my girls (all 3) if I can figure out how.

Today is our busy day with library stops and orchestra for the girls so I must get a move on.