Wednesday, December 31

Work In Progress, 12/31/08

I've been making things for the baby. Can you tell we're hoping for a girl?

I'm posting this under "work in progress" because I still have to make one more sockie to complete the set.


These are made from the same skein of yarn, so they really are the same color!!

Saturday, December 27

Christmas and a Birthday

*L* turned 2!!

Nana (my mom) is there on the phone singing Happy Birthday with us.

This is Christmas Eve. My Aunt sent 2 huge boxes with lots and lots of stuff!!

Christmas Day they opened their boxes from Nana.

Nana is with us in phone again! :)

Christmas Traditions

Last year (our first Christmas in TN) we established 2 traditions that we plan to continue.

On Christmas Eve we took the kids to Bristol to see the Speedway in Lights. I didn't take my camera this year but here is a link to our trip last year. The van overheated, so I probably wouldn't have taken many pictures anyway. It was still pretty fun.

On Christmas Day we saw Bedtime Stories. It was such a cute movie. Skeeter (Adam Sandler) tells bedtime stories to his niece and nephew. Only the parts that the kids add in come true!! Excellent!!

Monday, December 22

Christmas Program

We had our Christmas Program at church last night. They all did a wonderful job! *L* did everything that he was supposed to do. Made me proud.

Ready for Christmas



Wednesday, December 10

Homemade Knitting Needles

I am knitting every day now. I have a long list of requests.

This is the hat that I am making for *B*. It calls for sz 13 dpn, but I had read somewhere that you can make a hat with circular needles instead. So I ordered a circular needle (from I got from the ruffles to the ribbon and realized that I HAD TO HAVE double pointed needles to finish it.

SO... I went to Lowe's (with my needle gauge) and bought a 48" dowel rod. I divided it into 5 sections and used a pencil sharpener to get my points. Then I sanded them. The finest I had was 220 grit, I still need one smaller to get the last little "kinks" out.

It only took about an hour, and the hardest part was the sharpening. If I had a "hand-cranking" pencil sharpener (or an electric one, for that matter), it would've been a piece of cake.

Here they are in use. The 2nd picture shows my mistake. When I transferred from the circular to the dpn, I kept knitting. I don't know why but I have to purl the rest of it for it to come out right. Not a big deal, just weird.

Final Cost (tax included): 94 cents.

His First Loss

Tuesday, December 9

Breakfast Casserole

Assignment #113: "Although I am not able to produce miracles, it sometimes feels like I need to when it comes to meal time. There are times when money is tight, groceries are few and I have to feed my family. During the holiday season, you might have so much going on that you need to make a meal quickly with as few ingredients as possible. This week post your favorite recipes that require six (6) ingredients or less. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!"

Frozen Hashbrowns (shredded or about 8 patties)
8 - 10 eggs
1/4 C. milk (just enough to make the eggs fluffy)
meat (cubed ham, sausage, ground beef, shredded turkey/chicken, etc)
Shredded Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Spray 13x9 baking dish. Put hashbrowns on the bottom. (You can use more if shredded.) Next, add a layer of meat (this is optional, I've made it plenty of times with no meat.)
Then, cover the top with shredded cheese.

3. Beat eggs and add milk. Pour over casserole.

4. Bake for 30 minutes and check. If eggs are done, ENJOY! :)

Saturday, December 6

TN, Spiritual Revival, and New Inventions

This would be Adventures in MFW week 18. If you read my earlier post, you saw that I'm not exactly sticking with Adventures. I'm still following the TOC for US History, but I'm using A Child's Story of America as our main text.

This week our state was TN. Since we live in TN we added quite a few coloring pages from The Terriffic Tennessee Coloring Book. We discussed the Second Great Awakening and new inventions, such as the Cotton Gin and the Steam Boat.

*B* did lessons 44 & 45 plus the corresponding review sheets. She's learning/reviewing place value to 100,000.
*C* did lessons 24 & 25.

Language Arts:
*B* finished PLL Lesson 32 - copywork for "their" and "there" & Lesson 33 - dictation for "their" and "there"
*C* PLL Lesson 32.
*T* started Plaid Phonics Level K. This week he did Ss. We're still planning to continue with Reading Reflex, but I noticed that it would move along much easier if he knew the letter sounds first.

We are reading a 2-page spread from The Random House Book of Poetry for Children each day. We were doing Ambleside Online's schedule for *B* & *C* individually, but it was becoming too much on me. So I'm combining a lot of our Literature. I'll write more about that later.

We read a Biography on Bach and practiced our Hymn. I Sing The Mighty Power of God

Mike is starting first shift on Monday, hopefully that will help us to gain some regularity in our schooling. All of this "here and there" stuff is killing me!!

Friday, December 5

Homemade Laundry Detergent

This whole thing got started Monday night when I watched 17 Kids and Counting on TLC. The Duggar Family makes their own Laundry Soap. I had toyed with the idea of trying it for a while, but after she said that the batch they make costs about $2 I made my decision. Also, I had no idea how EASY it actually is. The only problem is that their recipe is WAY TOO BIG. :) So I did a little research and found quite a few sites. Tip Nut has 10 different variations on one  page, but this is the one that I actually followed.

Here's what you need. Washing Soda, Borax, and soap. 

Fels Naptha is the most highly recommended, but I couldn't find it and I already had Ivory. After all was said and done, I found some Octagon. I'm going to try it the next time.

1/3 bar soap
1/2 C. Washing Soda
1/2 C. Borax

On the website she said to use a full bar if using Ivory. I didn't read that until AFTER I had made mine. It came out just fine and washes better than the commercial stuff! So, 1/3 of a bar of Ivory soap is the same as 1/2 C. after it has been shredded.

Then just follow the instructions and voila!!

... enough soap to last a LONG TIME!! I've already washed 3 loads (at 1/2 C. per load), and I'm loving the results.

The first load was my husbands work clothes. (He is a welder, they get very very very dirty.) I wanted a true test. I have never gotten his clothes that clean with any commercial detergent that I have ever used.

Let me know if you usually make your own. Or if you made some after you read my post! :)

Saturday, November 29

Movies, Movies, Movies

We watched 7 over the holiday. That's what happens when you live so far away from your family.

Kung Fu Panda *****
Excellent! The overall theme was that you are special just being you!

Speed Racer ****
Not what I expected. Definitely a "kid" movie, though they said the *a* word a bit too much. Very good, except for that.

WALL-E *****
Another excellent movie! It does a great job of showing us how lazy people become the more dependent they are on computers. Very funny and heart-warming.

We did let the kids watch both of these movies. You really have to be careful that you don't pick up the "unrated" versions of these movies.

Hancock ****
His super powers are like Superman, but Hancock doesn't hold Superman's hero status. Very funny. I'm pretty sure that we had the "rated" version. The *a* word is said quite a bit, and there was one almost sex scene. Other than that a very good movie. Oh, and there is a twist that I NEVER expected.

Drillbit Taylor ***
Funny. Three high school freshmen hire Drillbit to be their bodyguard. There was some language and a few sexual innuendoes, but the kids didn't pick up on it.

We watched these after the kids went to bed.

21 **
College kids go to Vegas and count cards. I can't say that I was thrilled about the movie. It was ok, but I kinda wish I'd waited until it came on TV. Oh, well.

Don't Mess With the Zohan *
It's not the worst movie I've ever seen, but it's pretty close. If this was the "rated" version, I can't image what the "unrated" would have been like. Mike loved it though, so I guess it's really a matter of taste.

Wednesday, November 26

27 Reasons to be Thankful

Psalm 100
A Psalm for giving thanks.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord , all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord , he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
It's so hard to narrow it down to 27. Here they are, and in no particular order.
1. I am able to homeschool my children.
2. God has given me a wonderful family to take care of.
3. I woke up this morning.
4. Jesus loved me enough to take the punishment for my sins.
5. The Internet.
6. Spell check.
7. Free books online. Saving lots of money!!
8. I am in good health...
9. And so is the rest of my family.
10. My van is almost paid off!
11. Charles Alderton for inventing Dr Pepper.
12. Delirium during labor, or we'd only have one child.
13. Hot water... well, any kind of running water is great.
14. There are people strong enough (mentally and physically) to fight for what's right. Whether it be in the military or getting laws passed/changed, etc.
15. My mommy didn't marry my biological father, but that she decided to marry my daddy.
16. My daddy loved me so much that he adopted me.
17. Mountains.
18. I can see them from my house.
19. I can read, write and do 'rithmatic.
20. My Memaw.
21. My Grandma helped me to ask Jesus into my heart when I was 6.
22. God sees the overall plan to my life and guides me along the way.
23. The delete button.
24. My digital camera.
25. Space heaters and blankets.
26. A wonderful church family.
27. Miss Jocelyn, for making me think of and list a lot of things that I am truly thankful for.

Work-In-Progress, 11/26/08

Work-In-Progress Wednesday... that works, right? :)

Here is the scarf I've been working on. I love how the stripes have come out! I'm definitely using bigger needles for the next scarf though.

This is a dishcloth that I'm working on. Here is the pattern that I'm working from. The colors will match the sunflowers in my kitchen.

Saturday, November 22

Baby 'Boggin

I used size 8 needles and 4 ply, worsted weight, 100% cotton yarn. I looked at a lot of different patterns before I sort of came up with my own. I know, it was brave for my first project!

Cast-on 56 stitches. Use knit stich only. I stopped after I had 48 or 50 rows. (I'm not exactly sure that I counted them right.)


Bind off.


Fold in half from short end to short end. Sew together. (I was off. by a row, oops!)


I sewed the top together like this: (about 7 stitches per section.)


Here are my models.


Finally I added a bow.





Friday, November 21

Hannah's #1 Fan!!

The sad part about this is that he still doesn't call me "mama" or his daddy "dada", so in saying a word in the correct context... I consider "Hannah" his first word.

Thursday, November 20

Tweaking MFW

I actually sat down and integrated A Child's Story of America with Adventures in My Father's World-starting at week 18.

I soooo wish I had done this from the beginning. I love Adventures in MFW, but it's very light on history... for us. Now that we've started our State Studies there doesn't seem to be enough history... for us.

Here it is. I hope someone finds it useful. At least you can see where the states would be covered in a US History Study. Click the box on the far right to make it full screen.
US History Plan
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Online Homeschooling

Assignment #110:Share some of your favorite homeschooling sites. The only “rule” for this assignment is that you have to list at least one “free” site. Many homeschooling families have made the choice to live on very little income to do what they believe is best for their children and I want everyone to be able to benefit from this assignment. If you have other sites that are “paid” sites, feel free to include these also as it might be something someone would really appreciate. If you feel led, share your curriculum choices with us. I always love to learn what is out there that I don’t already know about. Please make sure to include links to the sites you share.

Free Books Online:
Google Books
The Baldwin Project
Project Gutenberg

General Homeschool Resources:
Homeschool Share - lots and lots of free stuff
Donna Young's Forms
Play Dough Recipe - just like regular play doh!

Charlotte Mason Resources:
Ambleside Online - most of the books are free. There are very few books that you would have to borrow from the library or buy. (Or in my case, just not use.)
Simply Charlotte Mason
Penny Gardner's Site

Learn to Knit:
Knitting - these videos are teaching me how to knit.
The Knit Witch - more good videos
Lion Brand Yarn Co. - a lot of really good free patterns

A Book in Time - free activity ideas
Answers in Genesis - articles relating to History
Historical Fiction - book lists
Bible Timeline - dates creation at 4004 BC
Links of Various Timelines
Brittish History for Kids
TN History for Kids

Ancient History:
Ancient Egypt - a list of different websites
Ancient Egyptian gods - explanations
Ancient Egyptian gods - symbols
Ancient Greece - activities

US History:
Presidents - info
Presidents Lapbook
Archiving Early America - awesome! you can see original documents and text formats also
White House Kids
Liberty's Kids - on YouTube, this links to a specific episode, but it's fairly easy to navigate once you're there

Music Appreciation:
The Cyber Hymnal
Classics for Kids

Art Appreciation:
Color Me Masterpiece - print and color famous artwork
More Coloring
Lessons and Activities

Where to buy curriculum?
Homeschool Classifieds
CBD (Christian Book Distributors)
Rainbow Resource
Veg Source
BestEdusource - Singapore Math

I made another list not too long ago. I tried not to have too many of the same things. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19

Knitting Update

My mother-in-law asked how my knitting was coming along, so here it is.

This is the scarf I'm making for *L*. I had begun with sz 7 needles and cast on 40 stitches. THAT was going to take forever!! (I had about 10-12 rows done.) So I started over. Now I'm using sz 10 and cast on 30 stitches.

The scarf is getting a little boring and really there is no end in sight, so I also began a hat for my niece who will be born around March 7, 2009. (I couldn't figure out how to word that without you thinking that my niece was the one pregnant.) I work on them both the same amount, I promise.

Friday, November 14

I'm Knitting!!

This is so addicting! Seriously. *B* has been wanting to learn to knit and I found a set of Bamboo sz 10 needles for $1 at Walmart. So, I bought them. I need to teach myself before I can teach her. PLUS she's left-handed so I REALLY have to know what I'm doing to show her backwards!!

This is my learning/practice piece:

Then I was trying to think of a project. Everything I read and saw said that a scarf was the easiest beginner project. So it was decided. I am going to make scarves and matching hats for the kids. *L* just got a new hat so I'm making the scarf to match.

This is what the other 3 chose. *B* chose pinks, *T* wanted red, white, and blue, *C* didn't care. :)

A Weekly Report... of sorts

Monday: We went to Bays Mountain with our out-of-towners.

Tuesday: We recovered from a very full weekend, including our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.

Wednesday: We did a full day of school. I'm so proud. :)

Thursday: We went to the grocery, paid bills, etc. And mama is learning to knit! *B* wants to learn so bad.

Friday: Right now we're anxiously waiting for daddy to wake up so that we can go to Walmart!

Wednesday, November 12

"Mom" Help!

What do I do to clear my head or take a breather? Usually, I fiddle with my blog or read posts on various forums and email groups. If I'm frustrated or a bit iratus? I clean. It burns off the energy that I do NOT want to use in anger.
(19) "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." ~ Mt 28
I just try to remember that my kids ARE my mission field. Until recently, I battled within myself about not doing enough for Jesus. Then I was reminded that God has given me 4 souls that need to be directed to HIM. Just because my husband and I are Christians, does not mean that our children are born that way.