Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Change of Scenery

Today, I just have some random shots from our little getaway...

(click on the photos for a larger, clearer view....takes me right back to that little island where ducks rule)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We just got back from a mini-vacation. We went to an island where life slows down and ducks rule.

People don't blink an eye when the light turns green and no one moves. They just figure that up ahead some ducks must be crossing the road.

(Which was a far cry from our trip to the beach earlier this month when traffic got blocked for a few minutes because people were transferring a disabled person into a van and all sorts of cars behind started honking like crazy!)

Yes, we visited an island where the people don't mind ducks camping out in their yards. They even put out buckets of food for them....

and baby pools full of water.

It was a nice island.

More pictures tomorrow!
(betcha can't wait!!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recipe for a sweet bath....

The other day, K pulled out her spa science kit and decided to put together a little something special for her bath.

She gathered the necessary ingredients. It was a rather simple recipe.
One cup of oatmeal and one half cup rose petals.

Dump the oatmeal and then....

....dump the rose petals.

Mix it up and put some in the little muslin bag. The rest goes in a ziploc bag for future baths.

Now, take the muslin bag and put it in your tub filled with hot water....

or balance the bag on your nose.

Your choice!

Monday, August 24, 2009

You know what I love?

I love the fact that after an extremely busy week and an extra busy day, after I sloppily threw together a last minute butterfly birthday cake.....K still loved and appreciated it. Even though she said, "Well, at least no one will think it's a real butterfly!" That's my girl, always looking for the bright side...or was she making fun of me?

Nothing went right with this cake and everything I did made it messier! Perhaps one shouldn't wait until the hour before a BIG family celebration dinner to start working on the cake. Ya think?

Ok...I'll show you the cake worthy of this blog. (this is so not one of my finer moments...makes me want to dig out the past cake pictures and show you all that I CAN make a mean cake....) However, I like the idea of keeping it real....knowing that everyone of you have sometime experienced a kitchen flop. (You have, haven't you? Don't tell me otherwise...)

Friday, August 21, 2009

My little fire builder....

A few weeks ago, K had one of her ideas. She spent some time in the back yard putting this pile of sticks together and even took the picture herself. Then she got busy making a flyer that suddenly made the above picture make sense.

This flyer was posted in our hallway so everyone would take notice. What a perfect thing for a summer night. I usually think of s'mores for camping...but since we haven't gone camping in eleventy hundred years, I thought "Why Not??"

So, S'more night was officially declared. It didn't start at 7:30, because Mike had to work late.

However, it did happen...

but I was too busy licking my fingers and lips to take pictures.

The Fox and The Hound

Apparently, a few months ago a mama fox gave birth in the little patch of woods behind our house. We've been able to see the three babes playing in and around our yard over the past few months. Lately though, they haven't been coming out during the day, but I know they are still around. Sometimes late at night we catch a glimpse of a fox patrolling the yard. I guess now that they are older they are more cautious. They probably drove their poor mama insane as they kept popping out in the middle of the day and playing right out in the open. What's a poor mama to do?

I would like to share this with you, though....

While the foxes were out playing....

...the hound could be found here.

Mama had NOTHING to worry about!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Homeschool Open House

There is a great community for homeschool moms online that's filled with encouragement, information and even laughs. You can find it right here...The Homeschool Lounge. Right now they are having an Open House and many moms are sharing a little about their homeschooling plans for the year 2009-2010. There are even prizes to win!! Personally, I have my eyes set on a few of them. I'll share that at the end.

First a little about us....for those of you just stopping by for the first time. I'm Tammy and I've been a homeschooling mom for over 15 years. I keep forgetting exactly how long...I just know when you get to this point you just say for over 15 years and that gets a little respect...sometimes! (ok, not really...) I'm married to Mike and he's been supporting our sometimes wacky experiments and group projects for....wait for it.......over 15 years!! (what a co-inky dink!!) Our first three children are boys and they have all since graduated. We are down to just one lovely student...Miss K. It is different homeschooling just one child...but I feel that I have had such a well rounded career. (First time homeschooling, homeschooling with toddlers, homeschooling multiple children multiple levels, homeschooling children with learning delays, homeschooling while pregnant, homeschooling with a baby, homeschooling high schoolers, now just homeschooling one, that is well rounded!) I can relate to just about everyone out there. Over the years we have changed our styles, our curriculum and our schedules. I try to find what works for each child and do my best to encourage the gifts God has placed in my children.

The boys are all ours and the youngest girl. Our oldest son is in the middle next to his beautiful wife. They are expecting our first grandbaby next month!!

So, what are we using this year. I have fallen in LOVE with
My Father's World curriculum and this will be our third year using it. I have never used a set curriculum this long before...but it works with K and we both enjoy it!! We are now studying Creation to the Greeks. We use Apologia for science and AGAIN I cannot not say enough good stuff about their books. It's also been three years for this series and each year has been an incredible learning experience for K AND me! This year we are tackling Zoology 2. For math we use Singapore and Calculadder. Other things that we are using this year are Explode the Code, Wordly Wise, several items from The Critical Thinking Company, Spelling Power, and The American Girl Body Book. Click on any of those links to read more about them.

Here's a glimpe into our school room. This was last year, but not much has changed...except for some new books and a little rearranging on the shelves...oh and my computer is now sitting where you see that basket on the table.

We've already had our first day of the 2009-2010 school year and you can read all about it and see some pictures here. Sometimes the best know what happens with the best plans. Check it out and see for yourself!! Also, if you want to see other homeschool posts highlighting last year you can click here!
Oh and about those items that I am hoping to win.....

I'm hoping to win either:

#2 $50 gift certificate to Rainbow Resource

#11 Reach for the Stars Writing program

#12 Set of Circle C Adventure books

Yes, I'd be happy with any of those or even one of the other prizes.

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A healthy recipe....

Like I said in my earlier post, I've eaten enough junk this summer to last me for quite some time. I usually do try to get good food in this family and we often have meatless meals, or fish, or whole grains and we always have some veggies....but looking at it from an overall nutrition standpoint for the entire week, I can see we still get too much sugar and fat and not enough fruit and veggies.

Since I control much of what comes in this house....and much of what goes in their bellies, I realized that I need to be the one to take the plunge and just stock up on the good stuff. The past few days have been going well and no one has revolted.....yet. Well...K is daydreaming of junk food a lot, but she probably did that before and just didn't tell me about it.

Having said all that, I did allow one ice cream purchase today for the whole family to share. Hey...I'm keeping it real. We are not going to go to the extreme here. Just overall healthier is the goal. :) I've been looking for recipes and have copied quite a few to try later. I did want to share a recipe for Easy Hummus. I found one online and tweaked it. A common ingredient in hummus is tahini and while I do have tahini in the pantry I don't really love tahini. K definitely doesn't care for it, so I made it without. It was good....really good!! Best part...K loved it.

Try it out for yourself.

1-15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained
(reserve liquid)
2 cloves of Garlic(or less if you don't like it real garlicy)
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine everything in a blender or food processor. Blend on low speed and slowly add liquid from beans, if needed, to reach desired consistency.

I used raw veggies and whole grain crackers as dippers.
A healthy recipe for a quick snack or appetizer.

it's about time....

After a summer of too much of this.....

and too much of that...

I've decided it's about time to start eating healthier!!

I brought this in earlier this week from our garden. The green beans were delicious steamed. They didn't need any butter or salt....they were perfect. I took the basil and made a pesto dip and cut up raw zucchini to dip into it. YUM! Then I used a cucumber and the large tomato to make a bowl of tabbouleh and a small bowl of cucumber salad for K. These were all the side dishes to compliment my roasted chicken. A healthy dinner, but one that didn't lack taste. I plan to share some recipes and keep myself on track here as we strive to eat less processed junk and more whole foods.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


...cuddling up and watching cartoons with your cousin makes the day seem brighter.

Monday, August 17, 2009


On a recent trip, K got to spend some time in the ocean with her boogie board. It was low tide, but there was still plenty of fun. She patiently waited for waves to come....

Some of these waves brought her right up to the shore

and some of these waves....


First Day....

We usually start school at the beginning of August. Now try to imagine all the feelings running through me as it's mid-August and I don't even have all my curriculum! It's on order and should be here this week...whew! However, I was going all kinds of nuts the past few weeks and decided we would start today. Yes, today would be the first day of the 2009-2010 school year. :)

Last week, I spent extra attention on the house and all the little fine laundry! I wanted the week to start off on the right foot. No need for me to be trying to juggle back to school routine and piles of stinky laundry.

I labored on a new system...a schedule of sorts. I'll report back at the end of the week on that...but I have high hopes. I also decided that since we have some important things coming up in the next few weeks that will interrupt our daily schedule, that we would start with an abbreviated schedule. That and the fact that not everything is here, yet!! We are covering most subjects, but leaving out history, science and art until mid-September.

Yesterday, we spent some time with family swimming and visiting and eating dinner together. It was a beautiful day, but I was a bit eager to get home and finish up some of those fine details. I love the first day of school and even though K was trying her best to be very cool about the whole thing, I knew DEEP DOWN she was excited, too.

So, I got home and started the last load of laundry and made myself clean the kitchen before bed. It was rough...but I knew that starting the day with a clean kitchen was an important step to a great first day.

The plan was to get moving early, have breakfast together, take some pictures and to get started. That was the know how PLANS go, right?

We got up 30 minutes later then I was hoping. Then we found out the dog had gotten out of the back yard and was walking down the we had to chase him down. It really wasn't difficult...he is old and seriously wanted to come in and have water and his morning treat. In fact, looking back I actually heard him barking on the front porch while I was still laying in bed. ;) I heard him and thought..."WOW, that bark sounds really close." So really all along he was wanting to come in...but somehow saying "we chased him down" sounds more productive. So, let's stick to that version! We chased the dog down and then started breakfast. This was around the time that I found out K was running a temperature. Yea, way to throw a curve ball into our PLANS!

However, like I suspected....DEEP DOWN she REALLY was excited about the first day, meaning we were moving ahead like planned. I'm so glad I stayed up last night cleaning the kitchen, because DEEP DOWN I know that's the only reason why she felt like starting school today.

Let's take a look at our first day....

Here's a look at our table in our school room. Doesn't it just scream, "I'm ready for the first day of school?"

I've assembled the cast of characters in our 'first day of school breakfast'. Since I used Trader Joe's Multigrain Mix with no preservatives added, I had to add some chocolate make it healthy. Ok...really the mix is wonderful on it's own....but it IS the first day of school!

See...I knew she was excited about school.
Truth...I got her laughing about something else and snapped a picture.
Notice the thermometer... temp. 100

Already on her math.
The cards are part of the new system.
Notice the thermometer....temp. 100.9

Our first day went very well in spite of lazy bones, escaped dogs and fevers!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

flippin' for joy....

What has K flippin' for joy?

Well, because it looks like we can get pictures from another file on here. I may not be able to share our beach trip, but I AM back in business.


Well, being unable to put pictures on here has been quite a downer!! All I can get are pictures that have the bottom half cut off or some weird color. Oh goes on.

We've had quite a busy summer. So busy it flew by. I hate when that happens. Hopefully someday I'll be able to share some of the photo highlights here.

I'm working on eating healthier less processed foods. Have a few yummy recipes up my sleeve. :) It's been hard...when certain "unhealthy" products know me by name!

We're gearing up for school. In fact, next Monday we start. I plan to share a lot here about I always do.

Gosh, I hope the photo thing starts working for me SOON!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Where did I go this time....

Last week Mike took off and we did some day trips and an overnight trip to the beach. :) I have all sorts of things to share....but the photos are not uploading properly here. In fact, they are downright misbehaving!! Excuse me while I go give them a lecture. Hopefully, after a good night's rest, they will be cooperative tomorrow... :) Sweet dreams!