Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween fun...

I love that I'm trying to add more photos to my blog. When I set out with the intention of starting a blog many moons ago, I knew I wanted to create a journal of our homeschooling and general family stuff for our family that was spread out, so they could keep up with everything. I can't tell you how many blogs I have started and let fall by the wayside over the years. I have done alright with keeping up with this one, but I always forget or make excuses for not having time to add more photos. I have been really trying recently, and I'm proud of the effort. Yay me. :D

Last night was our annual Halloween party. Tracy and her family throw this every year, and it's always so much fun!

While the boys always do costumes, the hubs and I don't. This year, we wanted to do something together, but not too involved. We found these masks, giant glasses and wigs and thought it was fun!
During a massive de-cluttering, Scott found his old 3DO (?) gaming system and decided to set it up on a big TV outside. There was nothing, not even obstructed views by costumes, that prevented *everyone* from joining in a Samurai Showdown battle at some point in the evening... 
We always love gathering with this group of people, and last night was no different. We had a blast, adults and kiddos alike!

This week will hopefully go well. I am having some dental work done tomorrow that will keep me out of commission for at least tomorrow, maybe a couple of days...but the boys are excited about playing some vocabulary and spelling games with a couple of special Halloween word lists, so that should fill up any down time during the beginning of the week.

Other than that, Braeden has a new Beast Quest book to read and Bailey is continuing on with his 3rd book in a Raymond Feist series he's working through. They are also working out of some Usborne books for Science and World History, which is new and different, and they are enjoying that.

For now, I'm going to finish some work I need to finish, then I'm going to spend the rest of the day trying to mentally prepare myself for tomorrow. Dentists and I...we don't play well together, so I'm a little anxious. And by a little anxious, I certainly don't mean full blown panic attacks. Not at all. Noooope. Not what I meant.


Have a great week, and don't forget next weekend marks the end of Daylight Saving Time, so we get to set our clocks back! I always love that extra hour! :D

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I survived the week!

I told ya...all that busy messes with my mojo, but I made it through the incredibly busy week last week! We were absolutely thrilled to be able to be with the family for the birth of my nephew!

Meet little Lucas Gabriel! Although, at 9lbs 6oz, I bet his mommy would say he wasn't SO little! ;)
Braeden and Lucas.
Bailey and Lucas.
Outside of the new baby excitement, we did manage to get all of the running around (vet appointments, dentist appointments, Master's, soccer games, etc) that we needed to do done.  Shocking, yes. But yaaaaay for us!

The boys' last soccer games are Tuesday evening, so besides those and our normal Master's on Thursday, this week will be slower and we should be able to have a good, full week of learnin' stuff. We have really enjoyed working with the Firefly book, but are reading to put it down for now. Well, they are ready to put it down. Now it's my turn! ;)

I don't really have anything super planned for this week. I just want them to log some hours on T4L and VSC. Without a lot of extras in our schedules, it's a good time for the them to just plow through some of the lessons and word lists. Bailey will need to start T4L's algebra curriculum soon, but I told him not to freak out about it...he can let me know when he feels comfortable. It's included in the cost of the program, but I do need to "activate" it so to speak. He wants to get a little further into the regular 8th grade math before I do that though, so I'm giving him time.

Believe it or not, the one thing he has asked to do is another writing course from Time4Writing. I knew he wanted to take the follow up to the mechanics course he took in the spring, and we were really hoping to do that over the summer, but never found the time. Ah well. Better late than never. We just have to decide if we want him to start it now and work on it through Thanksgiving and the first part of December, or if he wants to wait until January at this point. We are also tossing around the idea of letting Braeden take his first elementary online writing course. I don't know that it's something he's ready for. But...I suppose there's online one way to find that out, huh? :D

We are about to head out to my weekly torture session (normal people call this "grocery shopping"). The sooner we do that, the sooner we can get back and get caught up on our episodes of Supernatural and Haven from last week. Woot.

Hope errbody has a great week. And can I just add...last full week of October is upon us already. Wth? Who has the time-speeder-upper? I'd like to hold onto that for a bit, please.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apple Festival, A New Baby and Staying Busy...

Last week went very well, scheduling wise. The boys enjoyed working with that swanky new Firefly book I posted about, and they did really good with everything else I've been throwing at them.

This weekend we had some great company stay with us (including a new doggie that found his way here and doesn't seem in any hurry to go home), and we went to the Apple Festival in Ellijay today. Everyone had a good time, and I will try and post some pictures this week. Right now...I'm just too tired. Lol.

The week coming up is going to be ridiculously busy. Tomorrow, I'm taking said new doggie to our vet to see if he's been reported missing and/or he's chipped or anything. If he isn't, then it's back to our house to make some flyers. He's a beautiful baby that's been fixed, is housebroken and crate trained, and loves to play...surely there's a family out there missing him. :/

After the vet, Bailey has a 4H meeting. Then we are headed down to spend the evening awaiting the scheduled c-section of my new nephew on Tuesday morning! We are all SO excited to meet the new baby and we can't wait!

Once we get to greet him and give him lots of love, we are headed back home for two soccer games on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, I'm out of the house all day.

Thursday, the boys both have dentist appointments at 9am, followed by Master's. Oh, and sometime after the dentist but before classes start, they have to have their "school" pictures made.

Then more soccer. And another 4H meeting on Friday. Aaaaaand more soccer on Saturday morning.

Yep. School? We don't need no stinkin' school. ;)

Lol, at some point in our schedules, the boys will manage at least some school work. We may still focus on the Firefly book for their extra stuff outside of T4L. I can plug some words from it into their SpellingCity flashcard maker. And even though Braeden enjoyed, and did well, with working on his reading fluency...I think he can work on his reading comprehension this week. Really make sure he understands all the big, fancy words he's cramming into his brain, ya know?

For now, I'm going to give myself a few minutes to catch my breath before sleep, and try to psyche myself up for the week ahead. I'm at my best when I'm pretending to be a sloth, so all this busybusybusybusy messes with my mojo. :D

Saturday, October 6, 2012


We are a family of TV watchers. And I have no shame in admitting that. I know, I know. We're homeschoolers! How could we partake of such uselessness?! Pfffft. Not only do we enjoy watching TV shows, we learn from them, and with them, too!

We have every season of Mythbusters, and many of the seasons of How It's Made. We constantly watch nature and cooking shows. We travel around the world, while sitting on our couch.

But, we can take shows that really have no educational value, and use them in our homeschool as well.

How, you ask?

I'm going to use one of our *most* favorite family shows, Firefly (fans will now get the "Shiny" title). It was only 14 episodes (and later, a movie - Serenity), but we have seen every episode half a dozen times, lol. I have several fan tshirts. I treasure my Jayne hat (and thanks to an incredible lady, this past Dragon*Con our group of 12 or so ALL had Jayne hats!!!). We even started watching Castle a few years ago, simply because I wanted to see Captain Tightpants again. :D

This week, my trusty UPS driver delivered to my door a book that made us all have a little geek squee. It's a beautiful 10 year anniversary special.

Besides being 542 pages of YAAAAAAY, this book will provide us with some spelling and vocabulary this week. Cause I'm awesome.

Instead of the spelling lists by grade that I was going to use for the boys, we are going to go through and find words in here to make our word lists! There are actor interviews, producer/director interviews...even the shooting script for every episode!

Outside of spelling and vocabulary, Braeden is going to work on his reading fluency with this book too. No, he's not going to finish it any time soon, lol, but with so much to read, it will be a fantastic reading resource for a while to come.



Big damn book for big damn heroes.

This week will definitely be fun! Go me! ;)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yay! It's October!

We had a great vacation last week! The weather was absolutely perfect. The beach was great...not too crowded and not too hot. We relaxed. We played. We enjoyed hanging out with my parents. Just wonderful. 

My boys. :)

We went to a couple of educational sites while we were there; Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum and the Museum of Arts and Sciences. The Marine Science Center was one we really wanted to visit, but our time got away from us (all that relaxing, lol) so we just did the two. Oh, and you saw some pics from the chocolate factory we did one rainy day...

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.

Tallest lighthouse in Florida. 175 feet tall, 203 steps to the top.

Looking up from the bottom...before we made our climb !

View from the top. Pretty spectacular, and worth feeling like I was going to die from the effort to get there, lol!

The light signal beacon thingy. The lighthouse is actually a working lighthouse, so the lights still work and everything. It was spinning as I was trying to take the picture...

On the way back down...

We couldn't really take any pictures at the MoAS, except of the Giant Ground Sloth skeleton they had, and of the Mastadon pieces they had. The sloth photos I haven't downloaded from the camera yet. But here is Braeden feeling a piece of the Mastadon jaw.

Quick side note...all of the pictures from the chocolate factory earlier in the week, and these pics in this post, were taken from my phone and uploaded to Dropbox. Why am I telling you this? Because I love technology and I think it's cool that I got some decent shots from a phone, AND that there is nothing to download from a camera. I just open the Dropbox folder on my computer and there are my pictures. Spiffy, huh? :)

So if our fabulous vacation is over, why am I so "Yay, it's October?"

I love this month. The temperature just keeps dropping and there are tons of festivals to visit and enjoy. All of the small towns around us have their fall festivals on their town squares. There's a huge apple festival that's not too far away in Ellijay. Helen is hosting their annual Oktoberfest. There's also pumpkin patches, corn mazes and halloween parties.

Yay! It's October! :D

Last week the boys did well with the worksheets and materials I brought with us. This week, things are back to normal for them. They will plug away at T4L and do their spelling on VSC. We may even find time to create some of our own word lists with words from our vacay. Braeden is going to work on games like WhichWord? Sentences (kinda like fill in the blank) and Speedy Speller (this one is not his favorite, lol, but it's good to try and help him spell a little quicker). 

Outside of T4L and VSC, Bailey is going to be working on 4H stuff. He has decided that even though this is his first year with it, he wants to try his hand at a District Project Achievement. Nope, I have no idea what that is, lol. But, we are learning about all this stuff together, so that's cool. This is something that they work on between now and March (I think), and then they get to compete/present at a weekend event held at Rock Eagle (I think, lol). Bailey wants to do his project on cooking, not surprisingly. He's excited. One of the things that we have to do for him to be eligible is to put together a portfolio. Homeschool portfolios are not something I have experience with (unless you count printed reports from T4L and a box full of pictures, projects, brochures, etc. Heh.) so next Monday we are having a portfolio workshop with the 4H coordinator. That should be good, for both Bailey and myself!

Alrighty. Off to get my Monday started. It's bleak and rainy...fitting for a Monday following a beach vacation, lol.

Hope you guys have a fantastic first week of October!