August 31, 2009

Spelling Bliss

I am a phonics geek and I'm not afraid to admit it. I firmly believe that learning to read and spell well involves good old fashioned phonics. I recently
learned about All About Spelling and am using it with my 3rd grade son. I LOVE IT!!! Wish I had found it sooner. Download some sample lessons at the website.

August 27, 2009


We used Tapestry of Grace at the beginning of our homeschooling journey and felt quite overwhelmed, but I have just recently been rethinking. I received a link to the new Tapestry of Grace DE (digital edition) and I felt a renewed excitement.
The first time around, I tried to read and do EVERYTHING. I was so worried the kids would "miss something" if I skipped a reading. Now that I am more relaxed and confident in my teaching abilities, I think it may be a good fit for us.

Things I like about TOG are:
- Very organized lessons and readings - I don't have to plan this :O)
- Assignments that correlate perfectly if you choose to use them
- Covers all aspects of the Humanities
- GREAT thinking and accountability questions for older students
- Amazing teacher notes and student discussion guide

We are going to be trying out Y3U2 beginning September 21st.

I still plan on using many CM methods with the material, especially narrations, but I want a little more "rigor" for my oldest and I feel this will fit the bill.

August 24, 2009

Joining the 21st Century

Today I am finally among the technologically savvy. I got a cell phone and a laptop over the weekend and signed up for high speed internet (which comes through the cell phone). We are actually going to drop our land line and be all wireless. I had survived with dial-up, but it was getting really hard. Uploading pictures was a BEAR and I couldn't even take advantage of great sites like Librivox from home. This is going to change everything!
I am loving the speed. No more folding laundry between uploads for me :O)

August 17, 2009

Writing her name

Ashlyn has been working so hard on writing her name "perfectly". I thought it would be fun to practice a bit with sidewalk chalk. While I was embellishing my version (just a bit), she seemed inspired.

our "work"

August 15, 2009

A Saturday on the farm

Just after breakfast, our cow Posie had her calf. She was a few days overdue and we were beginning to wonder if we had imagined the whole pregnancy. But clearly she knew what she was doing, as the weather was much more pleasant today than it has been. We were able to be a part of the whole experience. Here are a few pictures from the birth.

the bag of water emerging

two hooves

meeting mom

Posie's healthy baby boy. His name is Willie.

After lunch, Caleb had a tractor driving lesson with Dad. It looks like he is doing a fine job of raking the hay.

August 14, 2009

Our very own Charlotte

The last few nights we have watched an amazing spider spin her web just outside of our laundry room door. Eager hands would turn on the porch light and view the wonders of web making only inches from our eyes. It has been a true testament to the awesome creativity of our God to watch the spider meticulously create a web, catch unsuspecting insects through the night, and then take her whole glorious creation down at sunrise, only to repeat it all again. This display went on for several days.

Last night however, something was different. Our spider was not making a beautiful web. She seemed slow and uncoordinated. Her web never appeared and this morning she was not resting in her usual spot above the door. In her place was an egg sack. Her life had come full circle. Goodbye Charlotte.

August 06, 2009

One Week Old

It is hard to believe that our baby calf Jonah is already one week old. He has grown so much in just seven short days. We are expecting another calf any day now from our other cow Posey.

The Purple Ribbon Brownies

I am embarrassed to admit it, but I have never liked homemade chocolate brownies. They always seemed too dry and cake like; not fudgy and gooey like my trusty Duncan Hines box mix.

Well everything has changed! Allie made a brownie recipe from Paula Deen's Savannah Country Cookbook for the County Fair and LOOK OUT! These brownies are called "Lady Brownies" and they will knock your socks off.
Here is the recipe:

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
6 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (we used pecans)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend together sugar, oil, eggs, cocoa, and vanilla. Add flour; mix. Add nuts; spread into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Recipe says it yields 15 to 20 brownies, but I'm thinking more like 12 :O) (if your lucky). They are THAT good!

Fair Results

Drumroll please.......

Visual Arts - Tissue Paper Flowers - Blue Ribbon
Cooking - Blonde Brownie - Blue Ribbon
Cooking - Chocolate Brownie - Purple Ribbon (Eligable for The State Fair)
Photography - Apple Blossom - Purple Ribbon (Eligable for The State Fair)
Photography - Flowers on Piano - Purple Ribbon (Eligable for The State Fair)

Visual Arts - Torn Paper Ocean Scene - Grand Champion Purple Ribbon
Cooking - Snickerdoodle Cookies - Blue Ribbon

August 03, 2009

The County Fair & Missing Dad

This week is our local County Fair and today is the big day to drop off 4-H projects for judging. Allie and Caleb both made projects for the Visual Arts display. We all think they turned out well....definitely purple ribbon quality in my book :O)

Caleb's torn paper and tissue paper ocean scene.

Allie's tissue paper flower bouquet.

They both will also take baked goods and Allie will enter her photo of the apple blossoms she took in April.

On another note, Allan left this morning for a week long business trip in Louisiana. We miss him already. We will be doing all of the farm chores this week, so pray for the critters. Friday cannot come quickly enough for us.

Last minute fair entry:
Allie liked my "tissue paper flowers on the piano" picture, so she created her own version and had it printed in black and white. Very Elegant.