Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Great Book

The girls and I watched 'Miss Potter" and since they have been very interested in Beatrix Potter. We found a real gem at the local Library- NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE- THE STORY OF BEATRIX POTTER BY DOROTHY ALDIS copy write 1969. This book is exactly what Charlotte Mason would call a living book. It is inspiring! We want to go outside and live the life Beatrix lived...thanks to her governess not her parents. It could serve as a manual of home education. She had an excellent govorness who taught her through her (Beatrix) own interests! Just amazing. Infact, we have enjoyed it so much we will be looking for a used copy at Amazon to add to our own library.

On Sunday, coming home from grandma's, our tired family turned the car around to observe a Snowy Owl on the top of a barn roof. Thankfully, we had the camera with us! It was the largest one I've ever seen. It was so beautiful and sotic sitting up there scaning the feilds for food. Today the girls looked up the owl on-line and listened to its call. I was disapointed it wasn't in our book HANDBOOK FOR NATURE STUDY- BY ANNA COMSTOCK. We did however find fun and interesting information on-line and in some nature magazines we already own.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Overscheduling your kids time

I know for a fact that this really bothers some of my friends and maybe family but I am of the mind that my kids don't need every moment of each day occupied. I know it is hard for us mothers who seem to think that we need a plan an activity or a learning experiance for the day...I've come to disagree-- after a little heart searching and prayer. Why not just let the child play? You know I don't think that if Thomas Edison's mother would have given him little lessons or activities she would have even come close to the amazing lessons he taught himself. God instilled in each child creativity, enthusiasm, a sense of adventure, and some ingenious ideas. Think of all the scientists, authors, billionaires, adventurors, presidents, and the like who spent their free time discovering who they really are...teaching themselves their own trades. So, no I think my children just need to play, explore, and create. I don't need to help them along... their imagination is far better than anything I or anyone else could possibly teach them!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Frugality (you may think I am crazy after this)

I clean a house once a week to help pay for music and dance. I end up taking home the numerous newspapers for our wood stove almost weekly. They put them in a big black garbage bag along with other things. I bring this whole bag home and sort it. Here comes the crazy part that may make you think that I am insane. But that's okay I have been called worse. These are the things I found in the bag that were useful to our household.

- 1 30 gallon garbage bag to reuse
- 3 dry cleaning bags (w/ a knot in the bottom they can be used for small garbage bag)
- 1 hanger which we always seem to need
- Almost a whole ream of paper for the printer (1 side used)
- Newspaper for the fire and making baskets
- coupons from 4 different newspapers! I end up giving some away!

Crazy, but I rarely buy any garbage bags, hangers, or paper for the printer. And to top it off the coupons often come the same time the store is offering a sale! I can get name brand 3 pack of razors for .99 cents and so on! Walgreen's actually had $10 store coupon and the paper a $10 manufactures coupon for teeth whitening making it cost $14 instead of $34! I don't know if I will buy it. But, someone I know may use the coupon. You don't always have to go to all the stores to get the sales. Most store match prices if you bring in the competitors ad. So, you can still have one stop shopping.

So, on top of getting paid I get paid again! I don't know on average how much this saves me; but it saves me and helps pay for music and dance for my girls making this effort very worth my time!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Auditions and More

Well, yesterday Michala had her Audition with Grand Traverse Musicale. We will find out either late tonight or tomorrow morning if she will receive a scholarship. Her chances are small but it was good experience for her. It was a last minute deal. We found out that they would open the scholarship up to her last Tuesday, which isn't a whole lot of time to find a music piece ( usually only 8Th-11Th graders- can try out, M is in 7Th). So, we found some music she already knew well to play; but, they were fiddle tunes. (next year we will prepare a classical piece). The genre was more classical music than fiddle/folk, but it is always worth a try. Plus, some of these kids have so much experience and good teaching under their belts that it is hard to compete. Don't get me wrong; I love our teacher but these kids go to camp after camp and have professional musicians for teachers.

It was a very nerve wracking experience for a mom! I actually dreamed we forgot the violin and then couldn't get in the door. Here is a synopsis of the whole ordeal. We ended up getting there late and had to pass the time on to another boy who sang some beautiful song in Latin. (My nerves started in) Then this lady with a watch comes up to us and says looking at her watch, "You got 15 min until you are on. You must be here in 7, and waiting. My watch is syncronized with the judges." I am thinking...oh my, this is the big leagues...I start sweating...I think I have to use the bathroom! But wait, Michala needs me to fill out paperwork and take all her stuff to the other room. Her teacher says, "we need to tune up and run through a practice." I think bathroom will have to wait...I probably don't have to go anyway. They get into the room to warm up and sit down, they play maybe a 1/4Th of the song and the lady with the watch comes to the door with a look on her face like... get out here or you aren't going to audition. Now, my stomach is tuning and I am shaking a little. I think... jeez these people are uptight we don't have to be on for 10 min. But, we go.. and then stand a wait. (I don't get it). So while standing there her teacher who is accompanying Michala on the cello states she is nervous then turns and enters the Chapel. Leaving me standing outside the door fidgeting with fright. (Parents aren't allowed in the room, in fact no one but the accompanist, musician, and judges are.) So, there I stood trying to hear but not peer at her so she could see me and loose her composer. As far as I could tell she did well and her teacher confirmed she did great. When the lady with the watch asked her what Michala thought of the audition she said, " It was great! I had fun!". Here I was nervous, stomach turning, sweating etc...and she was enjoying herself! She never even noticed all these people with watches and papers bossing us around! So, lesson for mom learned... if kid doesn't appear nervous...relax and let them have fun. I also learn something about my daughter...she is one very composed young lady! Scholarship or not I am so proud of her.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Well, the girls decided to finish their school work while I am at a local home school Mom's Night Out. Instead they are baking. They decided to bake the oreo's Carmin is rolling out the dough and Michala is making the filling. She has done a fairly good job since powdered sugar is one of the hardest things to use a hand mixer on and not make a mess. I must admit that they taste increadibly good. I think they taste just like the real thing...but it's been almost 7 years since I've had a real oreo. Carmin who has recently had one says they are great. We made Shepards Pie for dinner and some carrot cake for me to take tonight. Part of me is hoping that the cookies will be gone when I get back. Otherwise, I may eat the whole bunch when I get back!

The very irregular post!

I am really going to try and do this more often.

Over the weekend we were truely blessed by God...a friend invited us to go to Disney in Orlando. We have to pay for our food and flight home which is about $320 for the 3 of us. The kids are really excited as am I, the hubby is not. He gets to stay home and work. Bummer.

You know it is not the vacation I am so excited about but spending time with a friend. Since, my best friend died I've been praying for a friend that could also have girls that were the same age as the girls and homeschooled. Well, ask and you shall recieve. PTL.

Anyway, today is Michala's big day. She has an audition for a scholarship (did I ever mention she plays the violin). I really doubt she will get it, but the experience will be good. She is nervous and I am trying to explain that her only failure will be failing to try. But, I must be nervous for her as well, since I woke at 4am from a dream that we couldn't get there on time. LOL...I am letting her sleep in since she didn't sleep the night before and I want her to be well rested. Plus, they have been fighting something for the last few weeks.

I found an amazing cookbook for you gluten free foodies out there. I just love it and it is so simple to use. If you have ever tried anything from scratch you understand how hard it can be. You feel like you empty your whole pantry into the bowl because you use about 6 flours and most of them are so strange you can't pronounce the names! Well, no more with my new favorite cookbook! Easy Gluten-Free Baking by Elizabeth Barbone .
I got mine at borders books with a coupon. Did you know you can sign up for e-mails and they send you coupons? Yes, they do!

Schooling update...We have been getting up at 7 am and I have been reading to them aloud while they eat and do some art/handy crafts. Usually starting with the Bible, moving on to a fun read aloud (Treasure Island is our current read), then ending with either history ( Creation to Ancient Egypt and Greece) or science. We are using Apologia's Botany book and Truthquest history (which uses living books)and Diana Warrings Creation to Rome. When I am finished reading the girls usually do math (Carmin is doing Saxxon 4/5, and Michala is using Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra). They then do CQLA or Character Quality Language Arts (which is all LA in one which I love). They then read a mix of their history/ Bible hero's/science/or a good literature book. We are hopefully done by 1:00 when all our other activities start. On Monday" and Wednesday's we have a very long day of school getting much of our history and science done. We have a very light day on Thursdays.

Well, I am going to wake up the sleeping beauties and start school!