Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Real Science Odyssey and Elemental Science

After reading the website and hearing so many other Classical Homeschoolers love on Real Science Odyssey, I downloaded the very generous sample.  We started it and I think it is safe to say I will be ordering the whole shabang.

Currently we are using Elemental Science, which is doing science the Well Trained Mind Way.  I like it overall and we will finish it in conjunction with RSO, but we won't continue with it when we get to second grade.  We just completed the animal unit.  The Human Body is next and we will be combining it with RSO rather seamlessly because RSO picks up where we left off.  There will be a semi-repeat of animals in RSO, however it addresses them in a different way so it shouldn't be a big deal.  I'll know more when we get to it.
I am not switching because we are unhappy or because Noodle isn't learning.  Noodle has learned quite a bit with ES, he has narration down and he enjoyed keeping the animal food chart.  His drawing has also improved.  After a while he did not like drawing the pictures, but admittedly, this isn't an ES flaw.  I could have printed out pictures for him to paste, but I just didn't think of it.  I am switching because I just really, really like the look and flow of RSO and I like that I don't need additional books, even though I will use some.  ES has worked fine for Noodle, but for me it has been a little frustrating.  I don't like all the flipping around.  It really isn't that big a deal, but it does slow me down sometimes.  A big plus about Elemental Science is the schedule being done already.

I avoided even looking into RSO because we are a young earth, creationist family.  Well, I am for sure, but Bear is still deciding on that I think.  Anyway, like with ES, I can insert God whenever and where ever I want to and I can add any books that I want.  Apologia Elementary Books are my absolute favorite science books, but I really believe they are better suited for 4th-6th grade.  We will get back to them when Noodle gets to 4th grade and can handle them and all the projects/labs. 

I look forward to blogging about our adventures with Real Science Odyssey- Life.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weight Loss & Recipe Exchange #3

I am feeling REALLY good.  I have lost 6 pounds since Monday the 21st. I was 226.2 and today am 220.2  All week I have been in the 1200 -1600 calorie range, drinking water and getting moderate exercise.  The bloat in my stomach is down from the couple of months being off plan.  I feel energized and have been sleeping well.  I am on track!!

My recipe this week is Veggie Mix with Brown Rice - which I like to have for lunch now and then.

I use the Minute Rice Single Servings.  One of them is one cup of Brown Rice for 230 calories.  I make that separate from the veggies. (it microwaves for one minute)

I do the veggies on the stove top on medium heat in 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (about 120 calories)

1 Red Bell Pepper diced
1/2 cup Onion slices (long)
Mushroom slices (1 can)
1 teaspoon of minced garlic

I stir the veggies around in the olive oil, season to taste with whatever spices I feel like, cover and put on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until they are tender and done.  I pour the microwaved brown rice into a bowl and dump the veggies on top, stirring together.  I sometimes add a little sea salt.  It is super yummy, filling and about 400 calories.  The EVOO adds calories, but it is an Omega 3 and very good for you.  I wish I had a picture - maybe next week's recipe!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My First Giveaway - Science Through the Year

I am not sure I know exactly how to do this, but I decided to do my first Giveaway!!!  Don't get too excited, it is not a spectacularly awesome Cruise or anything.  However, I am giving away a "sort of new" Science Through the Year book from Teacher Created Resources.  It is for grades PreK- K.  208 pages of science projects and experiments for little ones.  Word Wall words are included inside and there are booklets etc. that can be made.  It is sort of new because I only used it to make copies from and it has a little shelf wear.  If you win, you can use the book or sell it to get something you do need!

To enter the drawing:

If you are already a follower of my blog, all you need to do is 1) comment on this post and 2) Link to this post in one of your blog posts.  If you don't have a blog then link this post somewhere else, like your Facebook or Twitter or a Yahoo Group email.

If you are not a follower then all you need to do is 1) comment on this post and 2) become a follower!

This giveaway will end March 31, 2011 at Midnight.  The winner will be chosen randomly.  (One of my kids will likely draw a name from a hat!!!)  I will mail the book, media mail, to the winner when the winner provides a mailing address.  I will announce the winner here with a link to their blog or website, if they have one.  Please pass it on!

Here are some pictures of the book:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekly Accomplishments 3/21 - 3/25

Weekly Reports Link Up HERE at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
~What we are reading~
Me: Wifey by Judy Blume
Noodle: Brian's Hunt by Gary Paulsen on CD (we are all listening to it)

Monday:  Our first day back from spring break.  It didn't go as planned, but when does it? Noodle had a productive day of math, Explode the Code Book 1, CLE LA, Handwriting, OPGTR lesson, he read me a book and we had P.E.  We didn't get to any science or history.

Bear started a new book for Christian Studies 9 (aka Bible study), called Every Young Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn.  He completed some reading and review questions for Health. For English he did a lesson from his CLE English, a Wordly Wise Book 9 assignment and he read a short writing by Benjamin Franklin called Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America.  For History he watched the movie The Last of the Mohicans, since we are covering The French and Indian War.

We all played several games of Chess, which accounts for why we didn't finish everything on the to do list.

Tuesday: Noodle pretty much did the same as Monday, again we didn't get to any science or history.

Bear continued reading Every Young Man's Battle, completed another Health assignment and did another assignment from Wordly Wise Book 9,  We also did a lengthy grammar review, since it isn't his greatest strength.  He took his Module #9 test from Apologia Physical Science.  Lastly, we also did a basic math review. 

Again, we played several games of Chess.  I am not sweating it, since it is a game of strategy and uses thinking skills.

Wednesday:  Noodle and I started the morning (8:35 am) with a game of Chess.  Noodle had school at Grandma's so Bear and I could have some uninterrupted time for lecture and notes. Noodle had a failed science experiment - we were supposed to be able to stick a suction cup to a rock to demonstrate how some sea creatures (like an Octopus) cling to surfaces.  I don't see how this was supposed to work- ever - but oh well.   It was a productive day anyway.

Thursday:  We had co-op and park day.  I had an IEP meeting with Noodle's Speech Therapy teacher.  He is doing so well he will only be going once a week now.  YEAH!!!  The sooner we can break our ties with the school district, the better.  Bear got his Rat Breeding Operation almost up and going - all he needs now are rats.  Yes, he will be breeding food for the snakes.

Friday:  Noodle got his basics done and took a math test - 91%.  Bear took a health test - 82% - he obviously didn't study long enough.  Bear got news that he is getting a second Ball Python. It will be here tomorrow.  He is excited and has already prepared the enclosure.

It seems this week's theme was Chess.  We basically did full school days, but no exciting projects or photo ops this week.

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week...Weight Loss.  I finally pulled myself together, weighed myself and got zapped back to reality.  Since Monday I have lost 4.8 pounds.  No doubt it was water I was holding and bloat from my out of control weekend eating.  Being in denial is easy when I don't get on the scale.  I am so glad I stepped on and got a dose of reality. Every day I have been counting my calories by weighing and measuring all my food, drinking water and exercising.  I feel good.

In our homeschool this week...Chess.  We have been playing Every.Day.  Noodle loves to play and he is getting better and better.  That said, he beats me more than I beat him!
Places we're going and people we're seeing...Co-op and Park Day.
My favorite thing this week was...Going to the Rick Springfield concert at the Austin Rodeo!!!!!  I was a giddy, swooning teenage girl again for a couple of hours.  Best time of the week, hands down.
What's working/not working for us...Time.  There just isn't enough time in the week to do all that I want to do.  I have so many ideas, projects and visions, but not enough time to carry them all out.  I am forced to prioritize and I don't like it.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...I have just been thinking lately how much I am enjoying this time in my children's lives.  When I meet people who say they would like to homeschool, but can't for some reason, I feel extra grateful that I can.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...  Nutella Muffins.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Memory Lane & Rick Springfield

I went to a Rick Springfield concert tonight at the Austin Rodeo.  It was too much fun! I still know all the words.  I went with a couple of girlfriends- also homeschool moms- and we were dancing in our seats.  He played all his hits, came out to the crowd and was literally 5 rows in front of us!!! It was so exciting.

My Blackberry doesn't take great pictures, but here they are anyway.  I feel like I am twelve again. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


OK, so I know technically I am on a "diet' (ever notice the word DIE in there???) but every once in a while it is alright to indulge in something completely outrageous.  If you are a health food foodie or into organic you might want to click out now, because this will disgust you.

If you love a good dessert and live in or near the Austin, TX area then a visit to Gordough's is a MUST!!!!  When I heard about this place I had no idea what to expect.  I drove past it the first time because I wasn't looking for a silver bullet trailer on the side of the road!  Technically they are on a corner and have a parking lot, but they are still roadside.  Anywho, they are sinful doughnuts, made fresh to order, but they aren't just any doughnuts.  They.Have.Toppings.  OH MY WORD!!!!!  Check out the menu here: Gourdoughs Menu.

Bear had a Flying Pig, which had maple icing and bacon on it.  Yes, bacon.  Take a look at this!!!!

Noodle and I shared a Heavenly Hash, which had marshmallow, chocolate fudge icing and fudge candy on top.  Have you ever seen anything like it?  I thought I was going to go in to a sugar coma, and it would have been worth it.  Definitely.

Wordless Wednesday 3/23/11 - Snake on the Loose

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week 12 - 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Yeah -  I am finally current.

Week 1 - Decision Points by GW Bush
Week 2 - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Week 3 - The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Week 4 - Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Week 5 - The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx

Week 6 - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Week 7- Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Week 8 - Biblical Home Education by Ruth Beechick

Week 9- Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chesea Handler

Week 10- What Janie Found by Caroline Cooney
Week 11 - Wifey by Judy Blume
Week 12- Clan of the Cavebear by Jean Auel

Weight Loss and Recipe Exchange #2

I am not as on the ball with this as I thought I would be.  Oops.  At least I am here now, right?  I have not weighed myself this week. I am scared.  I don't want to know if/what I gained back.  I know I haven't been diligent with my food weighing and measuring.  I have been riding my bike about 3-7 miles per day, but that is not enough to combat the extra calories.

It isn't horrible, but I have done much, much better.  Hopefully this will be a more disciplined week.  This week's recipe is a Fruit Smoothie.

1 cup frozen (or fresh) strawberries
half a mango
half a banana
1 container of yogurt (single serving - I use Yoplait Light 100 calorie yogurt) any flavor you want
1/2 cup of Orange Juice or Apple Juice

Blend.  Pour. Drink.  Yummy!  I call it at about 250 calories, give or take a few.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Homeschool Conventions - A Link Up!

I love Conventions!  Golden Grasses is doing a Link Up - check it out!

What conventions have you gone to and how did you participate?

FEAST in San Antonio, TX (attendee) and CHEACT in Austin, TX (attendee)

Who is your favorite convention speaker?

Jay Wile, who at the time I heard him speak, was still with Apologia Science.  Also, I enjoyed Jessie Wise very much. 

Who would you like to hear?

Susan Wise Bauer and Marcia Sommerville

Have you participated in any convention meet-ups?

Not yet, but I am open to it.

What is your best convention tip?

Wear comfy shoes, bring a bag to carry your stuff in and bring your own water.  I say bring your own because typically a bottle of water at the convention sites are $2 - 3 and obviously, a rip off.  Also, come with a list of curriculum you want to see and don't make impulse purchases.

What "great discovery" have you made at a convention?

Nothing that stands out, but I appreciate being able to flip through books that I have viewed online.  It really helps prevent buying mistakes.

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

I recently discovered The Homeschool Mother's Journal and thought I would give it a try.

In my life this week...

We were on Spring Break.  In my Weekly Accomplishments post I shared pictures from our camping trip.  Other than relaxing, I didn't accomplish much.  I also missed the boat on St. Patrick's Day.

In our homeschool this week...

We were off.  I had intended to do just Science and History, but obviously we never got around to that.  We did go to the library, so I guess that counts!

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

Palmetto State Park in Gonzales, TX.  The library.  We attended our Homeschool Park Day.  Oh, and 3 baseball practices.  Noodle's first game is next weekend.

My favorite thing this week was...

I guess I did accomplish something this week.  I went on four bike rides and each time I rode between 3-7 miles.  That felt good.

What's working/not working for us...

You know, pretty much everything we are doing is working for us.  I love all of our curriculum.  I do beat myself up at times for not getting to things on time or forgetting/not thinking of doing something cool. 

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

How will I ever do it all?  I guess I won't.  I will have to accept that what we get to, what we get done is what we were supposed to do.  It really isn't fun dwelling on the missed opportunities or as they say, "Shoulding all over myself."  Should have done this, should have done that........

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Our precious Diesel and Roxy.  They do life with us.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Always Missing the Boat

I always have thoughts about wishing I was a Superchristianhomeschoolwifeandmom, but as always I miss the boat.  We were off school this week and I essentially accomplished nothing.  Nothing on my list of to dos anyway. 

It didn't occur to me to do something for St. Patrick's Day.  I blew it.  I could have done an awesome lesson on the real St. Patrick.  We could have worn green, done cute crafts, made green eggs or SOMETHING.  But, as usual I don't think of it ahead of time.

A month or so ago I wrote up some "things to do" sheets with the months of next school year.  The idea is to write down things I want to do in certain months etc, so I can have ample time to plan ahead.  For example, I would like to do a unit study/lapbook on Christmas in December, something for Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving  and so on.  Every year these things come and go and I say, "Next year I will have my act together."  Then next year comes and goes.  Sigh.

I have been reading a lot of great blog posts about what other moms did with their kids for St. Patrick's Day and now I am feeling guilty.

Do you ever torture yourself like this?

Weekly Accomplishments 3/14 - 3/18

We took the week off for "spring break."  I haven't accomplished anything at home that I wanted to.  I spent most of the week going shopping with my mother.  She also treated us to Mani/Pedi/Brow Waxing treatments so that was fun.  My manicure is a pretty Barbie Pink color.  I have also been on 3 bike rides and going on another later today- so that was productive.

I got a little reading in, did some laundry and took the kids to the park.  I have no pictures from the week.

Here are some pictures from our weekend camping trip from 11th, 12th and 13th.

Bear and his friend setting up a tent for DH and me.

Noodle - Pogosticking!

View of the campsite.

Bear and his friend's packs.

Cooking Cobbler in the dutch ovens.

 Playing in the dark!

 Relaxing and reading.  That is DH in the goofy hat - but he didn't get sunburned!

A regular visitor to our campsite.

A solar oven that one of the other homeschool families brought along.  Very cool!

Two of my girlfriends making breakfast. 

Ottine, TX - the old post office - built in the 1800's.

Ottine, TX - a house built in 1907.

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