Monday, March 29, 2010

New blog posts...

Three new blog posts over at my new blog,

Be sure to change your readers or resubscribe to my feed in the little box on the right by entering in your email address and they confirming it when they send you a message in your inbox!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

My 5 Favorite Education/Homeschool Resources...

remember, I'm switching over to 
so change your reader and/or go there to update your email feed in the 
little box on the right-hand column.

I can't say enough about this series. Susan Wise Bauer starts with the earliest nomads and ends with the end of the USSR. The books are great read-a-louds and the cds are even better. We listen to them in the car, on road trips or on our extra long drive to piano lessons every Tuesday. And then, after the kids are out of the car, I keep listening... because it is so dang INTERESTING!  She also has tests and activity guides. This is a great resource for any family... homeschooling or not.

2.  History Through the Ages from Homeschool in the Woods

This is an amazing, family-owned business run by a homeschooling mom of 4, Amy Pak. In her former life, she was a professional illustrator. And you can tell!

Way back when, she was unimpressed by the quality of resources available to her when she started her homeschooling journey. So, once life allowed, she began creating her own resources. She has personally illustrated and created all of the products offered on her site. I have the timeline notebook shown above, but you can just purchase the Timeline Figures in either print format or on CD. Her work is just pretty, pretty, pretty! Someday I will wallpaper a room with historical figures...

She also has many other products, including the Time Travelers History Study Series: She has "New World Explorers", "Colonial Life", "The American Revolution", "The Early 19th Century" and "The Civil War".
They are all beautiful, comprehensive and leave you wanting to learn more and more about history!

Then, she also has her "Hands On Activity Paks" that include "Composers", "Artists", "Old Testament" and "New Testament". These are directly downloadable from her site (after payment) or you can get them on cd.

Needless to say, this woman has vision... and I like it!


If you have an idea, then they have thought it, and done it... 
This is a website with a wealth of information. Last week, I used it to download FREE (everything is free) pre-school projects for Katherine and an entire lapbook project for Jonathan on Lewis and Clark. Materials are contributed by homeschoolers... so you are gleaning wisdom and experience from countless families. GREAT resource!

4. Illustrate & Write
My new friend, Heather, over at blogs on the Pioneer Woman site about her homeschooling experiences. Her post about Illustrate & Write changed my method of teaching Jonathan writing.  I just loved the way Heather chronicled her son's journey with Illustrate and Write. She give so much detail... with photos, direct copying of her son's writing and then her "translation". For example:
“puekepolls rea goweng to ther homs bkus tha got in a fit”
(Porcupines are going to their homes because they got in a fight.)
This photo is from her post on

It's Jonathan's favorite part of school and now my 4th grader, Emelie, who is not homeschooled, has her own illustrate and write journal... "because it looks like fun!".

Thanks Heather!  (Did I mentioned that she has a daughter named EMELIE???!!!)

5. Amazing, beautiful, scream-out-to-be read books!...
We are using Sonlight for some of our homeschool curriculum. What I think I love most about Sonlight is their booklists. They're awesome! Jonathan's reading has taken off this year, mostly due to increased reading time and the very interesting books that he gets to read. I found in early February that he had read all of his books for the year... uhhh... that's a good thing, right?

Here are a few examples:
Jonathan's book list from this year

Grade 3 and 4 read aloud list - just another example of Sonlight's great choices of literature. What I like about Sonlight is that they categorize their books by grade level, by read aloud level AND by maturity level. So, if you have a reader who is ahead of her grade level, you can search their list for books that are more advanced, but still appropriate for her maturity level.

I have used the booklists to order straight from the sonlight website, which is often a very good deal, or to check the books out at the library.

I think of myself as a well-read person, but was surprised at how many books on the list that I hadn't heard of ... and they were GOOD!

I also love this series of classics: the Junior Illustrated Library. I received my first one when I was 8 years old from my Grandma. Little Women. The first of many beautiful books I'd read... My mom gave me a few, my sister has lent me a few and this Christmas we received a few as gifts. Talk about inspired reading. I like to use these as read-alouds. Most of them run from $12-15, pretty affordable! You can't help but invest yourself in a story with illustrations, fonts and paper like these classics!  Or maybe I just like taking photos of pretty pages...

Anywho... that's all for now. Hope these gave you a few ideas for things to do with your kiddos. Really, you don't have to be homeschooling to use any of the resources... we may not homeschool next year, but I'll still be all over these great products, because they are well-made, inspiring and make me and my children WANT to learn... and that's what life is all about, right!?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

who says a stick horse doesn't like to color?

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Monday, February 15, 2010

they make all things new...

So, I found this really great organizer system at Target the other day that I love: itso! They're priced reasonably and have all these cool little bins that fit inside each other and a neat flippy lid that Jonathan and I played with for a while. So I bought four of the organizer bins, thinking they could be useful in SO many ways.

Sure enough, my little girls can think up a use for just about anything...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

new blog...

I've changed the location of my blog to

I'll keep posting over here for a while to let you reset your readers and feeds... I don't want to lose my millions of followers! :)

For my family and friends who get my blogposts in your email, you'll have to go to the new blog: and re-enter your email on the right side of the page. And then, you will need to check your inbox and confirm your subscription to my email feed.

i love


He is my man. I am in awe of him.

He is calm. He is patient. He is funny in awkward moments. He can make the lonely guy in the room feel comfortable. He scrubs the bathtubs for me. He can talk to anyone.  He says a sincere thank you is the greatest reward he could ever get ~ and he means it. He knows the name of his janitor at work.  He prays at night while he pretends to be asleep. He has never said one unkind word about his parents. He wakes up and snuggles babies while I sleep like a rock. He can do things like replace breaks, build gates, wire a house for telephones, insulate our attic, etch glass and make gorgeous rosaries. He listens to hip hop music in the car when he's by himself. He volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House when he was growing up. He thinks I'm beautiful. During college, he worked the night shift at a gas station in the 'hood. He wants to go to space before he dies. He likes to listen to me talk. He went to a judge to have his name legally changed so his confirmation name would be on his diploma from Texas A&M. He taught our kids to say, "Thank you Mommy for this yummy dinner" no matter WHAT it really tastes like. He has the faith of a rock. When his cousin took in a little deaf girl, he learned sign language so he could talk to her. He bought an antique anvil from a guy in Houston and now they write emails back and forth. When Emelie was born, he held her ALL night long while I slept; he wouldn't put her down. He loves old books. He likes to give waiters a hard time at restaurants. He makes a mean martini. He's become friends with lady who runs the drive-through register at McDonald's. He remembers everything he learns. When he was a little boy, his grandmother looked at him sitting at her kitchen table and told his mom, "Take care of him. He's a deep one."

and he loves ME. perfectly.

Curt, you save me every time.

Friday, February 12, 2010



when you're not even 2, peaking under the table is a skill worthy of practicing daily...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

life is tough when you're avoiding bedtime...

bedtime is tough around our house. We're real nazis about it. I mean, when that clock hits 8 o'clock, you're OUTTA here!

No, I won't be finding any of my children hiding inside their Daddy's robe at 10:30 PM. Not me. And I definitely WON'T run and grab my camera and take 20 photos of them snuggling on the floor.