Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back in the Saddle?

Jack O'Hearts has announced to me that he is "ready" for some school, like the big sisters. He can write his name, knows the alphabet, can count to twenty, and knows all his shapes and colors. So to give him his own thing, I blew the dust off of our Five-in-a-Row manuals, and have begun anew with Five in a Row, starting with Lentil.

My poor Lentil book. I really need to replace it. It has lost the front cover long ago, and the pages are so ancient that they are "crispy." They've cracked down the center of the book and are now held in by packing tape. Nevertheless, the story is still a classic, and JOH has absolutely adored the lessons.

By far the most interesting thing, though, is the reaction of the bigger sisters. Ace love FIAR. We rowed all the books numerous times. Everytime was a delight. Naturally, Deuce couldn't tolerate FIAR. She had no interest in the format, or in the stories, so it went back on the shelf. Three was, and still is, a workbook girl. Go figure. She would rather do pages (and pages) in a workbook, than get involved with a bunch of hands on stuff, or literature studies. FIAR wasn't really a fit with her either. However, pulling out the books, and reading them, discussing the lessons and doing hands on activites has pulled both Deuce and Three out of the woodwork, where they hang on the ends of the couch, and actively participate in the discussions and activities. So much so, that I need to remind them that this is actually JOH's lesson, and to let him talk or do the activity first.

What a dilemma. My girls are so eager to learn that they try to out do my son! Freaky. So, tonight as a bedtime story, we read Lentil and then my son, Three and I drew a giant map of what we though Alto, Ohio would look like. There were houses, and businesses, churches and parks. There were farms, bridges, a train station and all sorts of other things. JOH was so proud, we hung it up on the back of the bedroom door. So they were up 45 minutes past their bedtimes, there was learnin' going on!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I've created a set of Norse god and goddess notebook pages for download. You can find them here.

Enjoy the free-ness!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A small victory

I went to TJ Maxx today to get myself some new exercise pants, and bought a size MEDIUM for the first time since Jack O'Hearts was born! Woot!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Social Studies Units Chosen!

The Social Studies Units have been chosen for next school year:

Tudor England
Tsarist Russia

Now to get stuff together! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The tentative 2009/2010 plan

Well, here it is - so far. The tentative plan for 2009/2010 school year. I can't believe that I've got it even this much thought out so far in advance, but there is just so much going on next year that I've got to get my act together!
Ace - 7th Grade

  • Math: NEM 2
  • Grammar: ILL (continuing)

  • Literature: TBA

  • Writing: One Year Adventure Novel

  • Social Studies: American Government and Politics

  • Science: Unit Studies -

Deuce - 5th Grade

  • Math: Singapore 5A/B

  • Grammar: LLATL Orange

  • Literature: Worked into unit studies (TBA)

  • Writing: Igniting Your Writing Level 1

  • Social Studies: Unit Studies (TBA)

  • Science: Unit Studies (TBA)

Three - 2nd Grade

  • Math: Singapore 2A/B

  • Grammar: LLATL Yellow or PLL?

  • Literature: Worked into unit studies

  • Social Studies: Units Studies (TBA)

  • Science: Unit Studies (TBA)

Jack O'Hearts – Kindergarten

  • Five-in-a-Row

  • Reading: Phonics Pathways

  • Math: Games & Fun Books

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Leftover Rice Muffins

I'm fond of wild rice, and ever since I discovered that I can make it in the rice-maker at the same time as brown rice, brown and wild rice have been a staple at dinner time. I had some leftover rice, though, and a request from my oldest daughter for "muffins for lunch" prompted me to start looking for a muffin recipe where I could use up the rice, and make it sturdy enough to carry around the back yard for a portable lunch.

Here is what I came up with for a
Leftover Rice Muffin

2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups cooked brown and wild rice
1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat the oven to 400 deg. Stir dry ingredients together. Mix in the seasonings, and cheese. Mix in the rices, egg, oil and milk until just combined. Divide into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.

This made 15 for me.

The kids have pretty much eaten them all up. I got a little nibble off the side of Deuce's but they went like goldfish in a piranha tank. I guess I've got me a winner!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hamburger Freezer session

So we got this coupon for a free one-day membership to Sam's Club. My husband asked me if I'd be interested in going? Sure, why not. So off we went.

It was a bit overwhelming. Luckily for me, I had my calculator with me, along with my mental price book. (If I'd been thinking, I'd have brought my actual price book, but we can't have everything, can we?)

So after breaking down prices into units, then converting the units into the portions that my normal grocery store sells, we discovered some of the things were good deals, and others were simply o.k. DH and I stuck to the things 1. that we knew were good deals, and 2. wouldn't rot or get bugs in them, and 3. we'd use.

We got toilet paper and dog food, laundry detergent and pancake syrup, bananas and a 10 pound tube of hamburger.

Yes, a 10 pound tube of hamburger. It was 90% lean, and a very good price.

Here are some facts about a 10 pound tube of hamburger.
1. It is as big around as the thigh of a 7 year old.
2. It is almost as tall as a 19 mo. old toddler.
3. It is almost impossible to resist slapping it.
4. A 4 1/2 year old will insist on carrying it around the house, before you are allowed to do anything with it.
5. It is also much more meat than I am used to looking at at a time.

This is what I did with my 10 pounds of hamburger:
One pound went into taco meat. (Made by TOH - nearly by herself)
Three pounds went into two meatloaves (BH&G basic recipe)
Three pounds went into 3 packages of meatballs.
Three pounds went into 3 batches of chili con carne. (I also put in 1/2 of one of those gigantic cans of crushed tomatoes in that. - the rest of the tomatoes I froze in 2 cup containers)

That's nine dinners done and in the freezer. Whew!

The upshot to all of this is that DH and I decided we didn't need a membership. Yes, they have some good deals, but mostly the grocery items are about the same price when you shop the sales at the "regular" grocery store, and don't even come close to touching the price you pay at Aldi. The other stuff may or may not be a good deal, but we don't usually buy big screen televisions or trampolines or stuff like that, so a membership for that sort of thing isn't worth it for us. If another one day membership comes along, will we take it? Probably, it was pretty entertaining at least, plus there were lots of samples being handed out.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Periodic Table of Elements - Finally!

For the past few (hundred) months, we've been learning about the Periodic Table of Elements. You may recall, we were doing all sort of experiments, including this one. Well, I am extremely please to announce that we've finally finished the unit. Here is our masterpiece:

The kids are pretty proud of it. Ace even told me that when we take it down, we need to put it on a big sheet of cardboard or something to preserve it. Uh huh.

Well, here it is, all preserved for ya.

When Daddy Homeschools

When Daddy homeschools, you get to see what is inside a hard drive. In this lesson, we discover that there are some very powerful magnets inside of a hard drive.

You might even get to keep a little bitty piece of it, if you are lucky! Deuce is lucky!

New Veggie Blog to follow

I think I'm in love with this blog:
A Veggie Venture

My right knee has been really sore lately, so I've decided BEFORE I see an arthropod, I'd lose 20 pounds and see if that helps. So, Sunday I began.

Sunday I walked with Carmen for 1/2 hour, and really watched what I put in my mouth. Did pretty well too.

Monday, I took the kids to the Milwaukee Public Museum, I figure I did my walking for the day there! Pretty good at keeping an eye on my food intake as well.

Tuesday, it RAINED, but I took Astro out for a 1/2 hour walk, and began writing down my food in a diary. Other than the beer I had in the evening, I behaved myself.

So today I weighed myself, and hey! I'm 3 pounds less than I was on Sunday. Now this might be due to lots of things, so I'm not celebrating too much yet, but ... stay tuned.

Oh, and I discovered on i-Tunes a bunch of podcasts with walking music on it, so I put those on my i-Pod, for walking. Today, I need to find Astro's collar, he might have lost it in the backyard, or on our walk. Last night he wasn't wearing it. H mmmm....