Friday, March 28


I type this to you, as I look out the window of our family room. It is 6:33 a.m. to be exact, and the sky is just starting to lighten up a little. All is quiet. Scott left at 5:30 for work, and I decided to do a little blogging. I have been trying to catch up a little bit. So I have my coffee in front of me, and what I had hoped would be the fireplace blazing behind me. This is not the case, however, since I can't seem to get the fireplace going. I will try again.

I have been reading a good book I would like to share with you, called The Ministry of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson. I will try to post daily on my readings, with her questions and my views at the end, as food for thought. Please post your views as well.

Just to jump ahead a bit, next week is going to be hairy. We have 3 doctor's appts. scheduled, including my first ever mammogram. We will see how that goes.

So I will leave you now, and will try to be back shortly with The Ministry of Motherhood.

Thursday, March 27

Spring is here!

Illinois is a funny state. Spring can be snowy, or spring can be warm, all in the same week. On this particular day, it was sunny and cold. The little boys enjoyed riding their bikes outside.
Scott, Skaterboy, and 2 of Skaterboys friends, decided to have an air soft battle, out in the woods. The cold didn't bother them a bit. I actually enjoyed the peace and quiet inside, on this particular afternoon.

St. Pat's Day

Saint Patrick's Day is a special day. Because we homeschool, I try to come up with fun things for the kids to do on this holiday where we honor this patron saint. This year, the little boys made hats, and colored a St. Pat's Day picture. I taught about St. Patrick, and his referral of the shamrock. Meaning, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We talked about Ireland as a country, and pointed it out on the Atlas. We talked about the continent Europe. I read them 2 Irish stories. One about St. Patrick, as a boy; and one about Leprechauns. Here the boys are blowing St. Pat's Day bubbles. It was a fun day indeed.

Painting Eggs

Truthseeker and Thumbody enjoyed painting their Easter eggs the night before Easter. We decided to try something new this year, and let the kids paint their eggs. This is actually the first year I didn't buy one of those egg coloring kits at the store. I used food coloring paste, a tsp. of vinegar, and 2 tbsp. of water. I stirred it up, and let the boys get creative. Of course, Skaterboy thought that he was too old to partake in this activity, so he was playing a game on the computer at this time. Sometimes he likes to do these activities, and sometimes he doesn't. We leave it up to him.

My Adorable Skaterboy

It's hard to believe sometimes that children do grow up, and fast. In so many ways he is still my little boy, but in so many ways he is already a young man. This picture shows such innocence. Not many more years of that, I'm afraid. Do they really have to grow up?

Easter Cancakes!

No it's not a typo, I did intend to type cancakes. This is what our kids have called pancakes for at least 5 years now. Scott is our breakfast maker, as I am not a morning person. Some of you know this. I would be content doing nothing but drinking my coffee, and not talking to anyone for the first hour of my day. Besides, Scott is the best breakfast maker in the whole world. For Easter breakfast, before church, he made bunny shaped cancakes, bacon, and eggs.

Easter Puzzles

Truthseeker and Thumbody love puzzles! They are both quite good at putting them together. Truthseeker is a pro at putting a 100 pc. puzzle together, Thumbody needed a little help from mom with the dinosaur puzzle. Grandma brought the boys 4 puzzles for Easter.

Look What The Easter Bunny Gave Me...

Thumbody was so fun to watch this year. He got all into the whole Easter Bunny thing. He even made him a picture. Because we are Christians, we don't focus too heavily on the EB, it's more focused on what Christ did for us, but we do allow EB to play a small role in our Easter tradition.

Easter 2008

Thumbody and Grandma, at our Easter feast.

Ham Is Overrated!

Okay, so we had ham for Christmas this past year. I wanted something different, and asked for suggestions. Skaterboy, our oldest, suggested Cornish game hens. So without a thought, and at $1.99 ea. at Aldi, how could I refuse. They took about an hour to cook, and were delightfully wonderful. I threw them in the over right after church, and we were eating by 3 p.m.


I Love Sushi!!! There I said it. For years I was terrified to even try sushi because of the whole raw fish thing. It kind of made me queasy. Last summer I finally tried it, and loved it. It's very refreshing, and it just tastes healthy. A few months back I was able to purchase a sushi making set, and finally used it last week. I thought for my first try at sushi making, I would use the molds. These are topped with smoked salmon, seedless cucumber, avocado, and red pepper. They were delicious. Skaterboy helped me devour these over lunch.

Wednesday, March 19

Back In Full Force...

I am finally back, and ready to blog again. I apologize for the 3 mo. hiatus, but it couldn't be helped I'm afraid. Soon after Christmas, our computer started acting funny, doing weird things, etc. Our dear son, Skaterboy, and a friend tried to fix the computer, to no avail. Accidentally deleting XP altogether, making our computer completing non-functioning. Believing that this was the end for this computer, we had our sights on purchasing a new computer with our tax return. On a whim, we decided to take the pc to the computer store and see how much it would cost to reinstall XP, and fix all problems. This resulted in good news, as the total bill came to just under $140. This including the addition of AVG 7.5 virus protection, which is around $50 per year. This protection, we feel will be a good investment.

So, what have we been up to? Well, there really hasn't been an abundance of excitement here, in the past 3 months, I'm afraid. This is good, though. Last year was extremely busy, extremely stressful, and extremely exhausting. I'm up for a slow, peaceful year. The kids are doing great with their lessons. I finished reading Farmer Boy to the boys in late January, which they thoroughly enjoyed, I might add. They even asked if there were more books about Almanzo, and when I said yes, and did they want me to start the series of books where Laura meets Almanzo, and marries him, they decided that the rest of the books were more for girls, and not boys.

So, instead of continuing the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, we have decided to start an entirely new author, being that of Mark Twain. This author was my idea, as I had recently read an article in Family Fun magazine, about following in Twain's footsteps along the Mississippi, on the Illinois and Missouri sides. Being that this would be a great field trip for the boys, and not very far from home, I decided to start reading Huckleberry Finn to them, and then will continue on with Tom Sawyer, and some of his other writings. We have this trip planned for late April.

Our history lessons this year have been on World War II. This subject has enlightened us in so many ways. We have been working through a book we checked out from the library called World War II for kids. This can be found in the non-fiction section of the library. This book is great. Not only are there activities for the kids to do, but genuine letters written by GI's, Holocaust survivors, family members, former German soldiers, and the President of the United States. This gave us a real glimpse at what life was like back then. We created recruiting posters, ripped sheets for bandages, rolled bandages, took care of the wounded, cracked a code, made butter extender, and rationed food. This just to name a few. We also read The Upstairs Room. We have watched almost everything we can dvr off of the history channel that has to do with WWII. The old documentaries fascinate me. How opinionated we were about the Germans. Yes, Hitler was a bad, bad man. What we felt was so interesting however, was the distrust the rest of the world had for the German population, after the war. Many things we saw encouraged people to be fearful of Germans, expecting them to retaliate again. We learned about Rosie the Riveters, and excitedly found out that my grandma was a Rosie during the war. We also had the great opportunity to learn that my great uncle died during battle in WWII. My grandma gave us a photo of her brother in uniform, and a copy of the letter sent to my great-grandma telling of his death. How real something feels when your family is such a big part of it.
So we continue to work on WWII, until the end of May, when we will be traveling through Kentucky and Tennessee, visiting some of the WWII war memorials, and museums.

On another note, we celebrated Abraham Lincoln's birthday last month, by visiting his first courtroom, here in Lincoln. Because our town, Lincoln, is named after Abraham Lincoln, there are many activities annually surrounding Abe's life here in Illinois. It's funny that our house sits on and around Abe's old stomping ground. He probably fished across the road from us. Skaterboy dressed as Abe for the birthday party, along with other 4-Her's in the county, and performed a skit, taking us through the life of Abe. Can you believe he's 150 years old?

In Science we have been discussing a number of different things pertaining to physics. We constructed fixed and movable pulleys, studied combustion with the use of a pop can, by heating it on the stove with water in it, and then quickly putting it into cold water, studied clocks, and the possibilities of time travel. We had the privilege to watch the eclipse, which was very cool, and learn about why we have them. Honestly, I had never seen one before. I was so mesmerized by it, that I forgot to grab my camera, and when I ran inside the house to get it, much to my chagrin, it was gone. With the little ones, we have discussed the weather, and seasons mostly. We collected snow, on a very snowy day, We examined snowflakes on black cardstock, to see differences in shape and size. This month we will be talking about rain, and wind.

Skaterboy continues on with his algebra, and 9th grade English. He is also working through Karen Andreola's Story Starters, which I have mentioned before. This has been a great tool in unleashing the inner writer in him. He has come a long way.

Truthseeker has come a long way in becoming an emergent reader. He now knows all his beginning letter sounds, all middle vowels sounds, and most ending letter sounds. He is able to put 3 letter words together and read them. (short vowel sound.) He can read sight words: I, and, the, is, it, me, to, as, and have. I write little stories for him containing these words, and he is able to read and draw pictures to these stories. He is also able to read 4 little beginning reader books, that came with his curriculum. Truthseeker is a whiz at math, and is working quickly through his math book. He is learning also about the USA, and other countries. On Monday, we talked all about Ireland, as it was St. Patrick's Day, and learned why we honor this patron saint. In the past 3 months, we have also discussed St. Valentine, dental care, fire safety, and Creation.

Thumbody has learned all his colors, and most shapes. He can rote count to 14. He knows his ABC's and is starting to point out letters and sounds.

I have lots of photos to download, and will be posting them as I am able. I hope this makes up for the lack of photos that I mail to you. You may print out any photos that you wish to keep from this website.

This week we started talking about Easter, the Holiest of holidays. As we clean our house, and keep our focus on the cross, and the resurrection, we will be taking a break from our other subjects.

Easter Blessings to All!