June 30, 2006

Day Before Vacation

Minga in our Suitcase - July 2005

It's always hectic before you leave town for a week vacation, and today is no exception for our family. It is such a wonderful feeling to be going home to Texas again. This will be a welcome break for Kevin, since he hasn't taken a week of vacation since... well, it would take me a while to remember back that far (he's had quite an awful career ride the past three or four years now). We're excited to see family and a few friends as well. Today has snuck up on me, and we're not really finished with all the 'school' for this Unit-Study that I had planned... but the great thing about KONOS is that I can do some of it on vacation and it will seem like fun and play, rather than work. I'm going to use the time to read some books and get some planning done, too; as well as type up last year's First and Second grade curriculum, field-trips, enrichment ideas, Konos favorites and such (to be posted on the blog at a later date).

Minga, our 1-year old long-haired cat (rescued from a Texas 'kill-shelter' on Mother's Day last year) is going to be an unwilling participant in our Texas journey. I'll probably post more on that this week after we set out. Tomorrow marks the beginning of her second big trip. We couldn't find anyone to feed her - seems like everyone else will be on the road next week, too. Hey, go figure! You wouldn't think it was a national holiday in the middle of the summer or anything, would you?

So I'll leave you with my list for today (as if you were interested). It's more for my benefit than yours.

Vacuum the apartment
Return vacuum to friend
Fax something
Save 50 pictures to SDM card for printing
Soup for lunch
Tacos, Spanish Rice & Beans for dinner
Update checkbook, check bank account, pack bills and paperwork
Update Netflix to send "The Secret Garden"
Watch Olympics video & return
Make a phone number emergency list for fridge and car
Kids to write pen pals & mail
Make copies and mail kid's letters
Finish ornaments, update Seasons posts in blog
Eat berries
Write CR letters (save to SDM card for printing) and birthday cards
Rolodex update (save to SDM card for printing)
Tidy house
Get cat carrier from storage on porch
Set out video camera, 35 mm & digital camera (plus all related cords & batteries)
Pack snacks, drinks for trip
Pack toys, games & movies for kids
To post office for stamps
Pack suitcases for me and kids (sunglasses, bathing suits, towels, bathroom stuff)
Pack paperwork, books, school stuff and magazines
Clean out fridge
Pack empty laundry sack and drycleaning (dollar cleaners here we come!)
Update calendar
Go through paperwork on desk and get stuff done before we leave
Kids to do Math, reading, typing, and finish "The Secret Garden"

*update 7/1 midnight... oh, well; I guess I'll get to the rest of that stuff after a few hours' sleep. Going to bed now! Don't forget to click and listen to the link below! It is too funny!
How's that for "reality" blogging? TMI (too much information)? Oh, well... it's good for me to write it all down so I can remember to get it done. Instead of remembering my list, though... I thought I would leave you with this bit of humor (a very funny Texas spoof at A Voice in the Wilderness).

You have a super Friday. See you from the other side of the border soon.

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June 29, 2006

My Homeschool Lunch


Meet Morgan's lunch. She's a very ingenious little girl. She's much like a mini-Martha Stewart. It's wonderful that her memory is in tact and she's able to multi-task. I keep wondering where she got these traits because her father and I are pretty nerdy and slow. When doing our unit studies she's often the first one to gather up supplies and check the library books for all related topics. She organizes the stuffed animals at the book store and fixes the shelves at the grocery store if they are off kilter. She puts little place tags on the table when it's time to eat dinner and creates her own centerpieces. She remembers events and reminds me where I put my keys. She's only 7 and already she's really making me look bad. [I'm thinking if I have any more kids in the future, I can let her raise them and maybe they'll all end up like her.]

I thought I would start a new thing here at Sprittibee. I'm posting a photo of our lunch the other day because I thought my daughter was so cute picking her name out of the bowl. This is, however, admitting publicly that I'm not a perfect eater. We do have our "quick" lunches that are quite unhealthy - like most people. We eat a lot of healthy lunches, too! At least they aren't eating white bread PBJ sandwiches, greasy Lays chips, and chocolate chip cookies with chocolate milk every day like my son did at private school for a whole year without me knowing it (just by raising his hand - in KINDERGARTEN - to bypass the hot tray each day! The tray wasn't that healthy of an alternative anyway [I mean - what ARE 'chicken rings' really made of? I've never seen a chicken that looked like a donut.])

So if you want to join in the fun by posting a photo of your homeschool lunch (I'm not going to tag anyone), please post a link in my comments section and I'll feature you in a post once I have a few. Sorry that Blogger doesn't accept trackbacks.

I've had this picture and was going to share it... but the idea for letting others participate came from Wifely Steps who began a similar venture with a refrigerator photo. I added my refrigerator to her growing list of participating appliances over at my Gatheringmanna blog. It is neat to see how other people arrange their magnets. There's also a lovely recipe for my friend Ammie's Authentic Italian Risotto at my other foodie blog if you're interested.

I'm off to go pick berries, visit homeschool friends, and get more homeschooling done today. Have a super Thursday.

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June 28, 2006

Summer Announcements & More


1. Stop on over at the Homeschool Carnival - Week 26. I missed it yesterday, unsure of where it was. Sorry for the delay! Blame it on the sunshine at the park.

2. I'll be hosting the Carnival on August 8th! Looking forward to it.

3. We've only got three days left until we head down to Texas for our vacation, so we're buzzing like bees to get as much school done as possible. I'm planning to get through the last bit of Winter and Spring today, and hopefully will add a few photos to the Season Set. Don't worry, I'll have computer access on vacation, although I might not be seen quite as often as usual.

4. Our vacation will be from this Saturday through the following week (July 9)... but I'm taking my 2004-5 School Year records with me so I can start adding them to the Sprittibee's Homeschool Series! Maybe by the end of July I'll be almost caught up. Now if only I could manage that task with my scrapbooks (7 years behind). Be looking in to see the records added to my homeschool series post for the year Kaden was in 2nd Grade, and Morgan was in 1st (this year they are in 3rd and 2nd)!

5. In case you've time to browse some more, I've gathered up some interesting posts/info from my browsings this week. There are so many great blogs out there, folks. I'm very happy that you visit mine - but don't let your browser stop there!

Honey on the Net:

Wittingshire’s Darwin Dissent Post - my comments? BRAVO!

Amy, the Humble Muse spreads seeds of wisdom in this garden-related post.

PHAT Mommy recognizes the signs of depression as they affect her parenting skills.

Blogs of Beauty Awards are open again for 2006!

Nominations begin Thursday June 29th, and continue until July 9th. Voting begins for the finalists on July 10 and continues until July 17. Winners will be announced July 18th! Stop over at "A Gracious Home" this Thursday to nominate your favorite Christ-Centered blogs (written by women). For more ideas about what they are looking for in a blog, visit the Carnival of Beauty requirements post.

6. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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June 27, 2006

Tuesday Catblogging

I've been neglecting my poor kitty-cat lately. With all our sickness, homeschooling, and running about to the doctor and such. I thought I'd make it up to her by spending less time in here talking to YOU... and of course, sharing a cat photo. So here's my latest Minga-Cam Shot:


It's called the Minga Twist. It's her "oh, look at me, I'm so cute and fuzzy - please pet my belly IF YOU DARE" position. Many a soft fleshy arm has drawn back bleeding from this ploy. Beware of the furry belly seduction.

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June 26, 2006

More Seasons Unit Links than you can Shake a Stick At

I've been a busy bee searching through the cyber-world for links to use with my KONOS Seasons Unit. I thought I would share a few with you and add to this list later when we make our way through Spring, Summer and Fall. If you are looking for ideas for your KONOS Seasons Unit or just stopping in to get craft ideas for the holidays, this is the post for you. Right now, we've only covered Winter.... so there are a great many more for that season than any other. I'll try and keep them organized to make them easier to Access. If you are interested in other Seasons Unit posts from my blog (we've been trying to get this unit done for quite some time), please check here, here, here, and here. Oh, and don't forget the Seasons Tree!
Please notify me via email (click the contact link to your right to find out how) if you find any broken links!


Basic Seasons Unit Links - for the Whole Year!

Winter Seasons Unit Links - December, January, February!

This post will be updated frequently until the unit is complete! If you're looking for other homeschool posts here at Sprittibee, you can scroll up to the very tip-top of the blog and type a keyword like "lesson plans" into the search box. If you have any trouble finding anything, shoot me an email.

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June 25, 2006

The Chigger in my Refrigerator

*Post Updated 6/28/06

2 Corinthians 6:4-10 -

"4Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything."

... seems like there should be something about chest colds and chigger bites in there somewhere?

Well, folks... I have a confession to make. You know those lesson plans that I thought I was going to accomplish in two weeks? ....I didn't get even half way done with them. No, sir.

Life has been getting in my way. Our family has fallen prey to some sort of strange virus. 'Made-of-steel', 'I'd-rather-die-than-miss-work' Hubby is actually off work today and one of the children still has a hacky cough and stuffed up nose. We are still finishing up Spring (in the Seasons Unit) and have a few ornaments from Jan., Feb. & March left to make. We discovered that we didn't have a kite (storage in Texas)... but then discovered Morgan had a tiny pocket kite her friend Isabella gave her. Now we are planning to add kite-flying back in to our March plans if we could ever get well enough to go outside and play together.

"So what's all this talk about a chigger in the refrigerator?" you say.

Well, I'll tell you...

Before we all were hacking up lung cookies, we managed to walk at the track a few times. We usually walk a mile or so, and then go up and down the bleachers a few times. The track is full of dense vegetation at one end, and there are scores of blackberry vines that weave in and out of sight through thick weeds and low shrubs. My son loves picking berries, but most of the good ones have been just out of reach (causing him to request assistance from me to get them). Having been raised in Texas, and having been bitten by chiggers before, I am pretty aware of weeds in the summer time [Ah, the joys of summer!]. Terms like "dense vegetation" and "thick weeds" alone are warning signs to me of snakes and creepy insects you don't want to meet up with. Little did I know that the State of Arkansas was "Chigger Capitol of the World". I kid you not, I was less than half of a foot off the track in very low grass, leaning over a berry bush without touching a thing, and WHAM! - the next day I have "chigger measles" and itching that keeps you up at night.

Fifteen half-baked blackberries are hardly worth all this trouble. I had forgotten how bad chigger bites itch. My little boy was covered with them, too. He looked like he was playing itch-Twister reaching all those bites. He was out in the grass a bit further and longer than I was. I keep thinking the little evil six-legged demons must have hitched a ride on those berries and crawled up my arms instead of through the grass. I was hardly out in contact with them long enough for much else.

Of course, being a homeschooling mother, and a mom of a kid who absolutely LOVES bugs... I thought I would catch one and show it to him. I saw a tiny red speck crawling on my berry napkin which seemed too small to be a chigger (although I was suspicious). Two days later in the shower, I noticed a new whelp in beginning stages (chiggers can live on your clothing or car seats and lie in wait for you to return for quite some time). The whelp was on my arm where it bends near the elbow. In the bright shower light, I could see a microscopic little red spot in the center of it. I scraped it off with my finger and pasted it to the shower wall. I could not imagine that it could be the cause of all that itching. Later I got a Q-Tip and dabbed it up. I thought if it was a chigger, it would be dead after the pressure of my HUGE finger smashing it like that. The little bugger was MOVING on the Q-Tip! I could hardly believe it. It was so tiny, I couldn't see it's feet, but I could tell that it was a bug. I immediately grabbed my handy glass test-tube with a screw-on lid (it pays to do Science Labs once in a while).

I had read that chiggers are inactive in the colder weather, so I put the little red devil (and his Q-Tip) in my beaker and shoved him in the fridge. The next morning, Kevin and the kids got their first sighting of a real-live, half-frozen chigger. If only our microscope wasn't in storage! Leave it to a homeschool family to find some enjoyment in a snott-covered week of chigger bites and sore throats. Hopefully all this will be behind us before we head out for our vacation over the 4th of July. If you think about it, say a prayer for Kevin and Kaden - both are still struggling with this nasty chest cold and I'm sure Kaden still has a few chigger bites in some "really bad places" (his words - poor thing).

P.S. I left a link up top for you to follow that was written by Russell T. Johnson @ The Arkansas Roadside Travelogue back in 2000. It's just about the funniest Chigger Essay I think I've ever read. It's guaranteed to give you a laugh. Go click on "State of Arkansas" above to read it! Be sure to click over and read the other interesting chigger links as well - it may clear up some of the common myths and questions you may have about the tiny harvest mite pest!

*When asking Russell T. Johnson if I could post a bit of his Chigger Essay here, he responded with a nice helpful email that I thought it pertinent to share:
Dear Sprittibee:

I got a note from a reader suggesting that I rub my chigger bites with a banana peel. I tried it and I think it gave me some relief. It could be a placebo effect, but it doesn't cost much to try.

Russell T. Johnson

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June 23, 2006

Blog Design - Good and Bad

I read an interesting article and some comment debate on what makes a great blog sidebar. I think "Good and Bad" in blog design is subjective to personal preferences and somewhat effected by blog purpose. If you are a high-tech blogger, you probably won't be as interested in "fellowship" like a homeschool mom will be. Those types of bloggers prefer clean, simple, easily navigated sites with rss feed buttons and less blogrolls. Homeschool moms tend to gravitate to the more personal blogs which show a part of the blogger's personality and tell about what type of person they are. In case you just stopped in for the first time here at Sprittibee, I had my blog redesigned this month (here's a shot of what it used to look like):


I've had blog design on the brain for quite a few months now.... so I thought I would share with you what I like to see in other blogs:

Quick Loading - Scripts from code that you place on your sidebar slows your blog down. My web designer said that I had a lot of scripts before my redesign; and she deleted many of them and moved the sidebar under my content so that my content loaded FIRST - making my blog seem to load quicker for my readers.

Originality - I like seeing different templates than I have seen before. This is one of the reasons I gave up my pre-fab blogger template and hired a designer to make me something of my own. I love seeing the way people create "extensions of themselves" by way of interesting blog templates that tell you about their personality.

Good Design - pleasing to the eyes, color coordination, repetition or theme, easy to read, good separation between posts, organized sidebars and NOT TOO CROWDED. I read a cute article about the rules of good web design (which fall neatly into the acronym: C.R.A.P. - How C.R.A.P. is your site?)

Here are a few unique sites with not only originality,
.........but good design as well:

Amy's Humble Musings
PHAT Mommy
Mark Bixby
Veerle's Blog
Down in Texas
Farmgirl Fare
Okay Samurai

I could go on and on... there are so many great sites...but you get what I mean. I'd love it if you shared a few of your favorite-ly designed blogs in my comments section!

Search Boxes - I love to be able to easily find what I'm looking for without scrolling through endless archives.

Your Photo - Let me see who's talking! Photos put a personal touch on your content.

Purpose - What's the mission of your blog? Are you a Christian? I like to know those kinds of things up front.

Photo Links - I enjoy browsing other people's photos (especially other homeschoolers and crafty people who take pictures of their projects).

Blogrolls - You can go overboard with these, but I like to see what other people are reading. Not necessarily their affiliations and such, but their own personal favorite blogs. I have found many interesting blogs by clicking in other bloggers' favorite blogroll lists.

Your Name/Screen-Name - When you are trying to link to a post on someone's blog, you usually like to say... 'So-in-so over at So-in-so Blog said, "This".' It makes my life easier if I can easily see who So-in-so is without the prolific reading of fine-print.

Retractable Blogroll Lists - Danny at JackLewis.net has shared his code for making your longer blogrolls retractable or 'hidden until clicked'. On longer lists that I am on (like Pro-Life Blogs), I can easily leave the option for others to view that list by tucking it away (neatly out of sight)... and yet still have it be there to give all those other bloggers ecosystem points.

Site Meter - I love my site meter. I had three previously; but after a year, am finally deleting one of them because of it's embedded script that was slowing me down. I think it is nice to view other site meters sometimes as well. There's something open and honest when you find a blogger willing to share the gritty details with anyone interested. I have also found other interesting blogs and links through my site meter.

Tip Jar - I don't always leave tips for people... but if I love your blog and am a repeat visitor for a while, who's to say I won't win the lottery and want to share my joy? [Note to readers: You have to play the lottery to win, so therefore I can't win and this is just an analogy to make a point.] I can honestly say that my tip jar has not made me rich, but I will disclose that some nice readers put enough money in there to pay for about 5.53% of my blog redesign. Why not have a tip jar to help with hosting costs or just to buy a nice book once or twice a year from Amazon?

Thanks to Glenn of Unite Later, My Boaz's Ruth of A Dollop of Sour Cream, and Cindy of Obstreperous Heart (who's husband happens to be a web designer) for their generous donations which went to help pay for the design! Thanks also to my KONOS mom buddies out there who may not have blogs, but shared a few handfuls of spare change in exchange for the use of my PDF planner and such.

About Section - I just recently added a personal About Section to my blog because I have so enjoyed them on other bloggers' blogs. I know that Blogger offers a canned About Me section, and it is nice... but a personalized one is even better. I kept both links on my blog because I know that I enjoy reading about the person who's writing! You can access my Blogger About Me section by clicking my photo, and my personal About Me section is now under the About Tab directly to the right of my current post.

Contact Section - It's always nice to know how to get a hold of the author if you have questions or suggestions.

Favorite Posts - This may seem to be vain on the surface, but if you know that there are ten posts which tend to be your most popular posts, maybe you should consider adding them to a Most Googled/Favorite Posts section in the sidebar? I have added a list of my favorite posts in the top of my sidebar for those who are returning and looking for something in particular... or for those who are browsing and might be interested in something other than the most current posts. It also is handy for myself if I need to refer to them.

Insanely long graphic links to books that you are reading or have read. If you want me to look at those, please put them in a post and link the post on your sidebar. I have never bought a book through an Amazon link in a sidebar. I have, however, considered buying a few which were reviewed in a post and linked there.

Tons of advertising. If I had money, I'd be out using it to do extra-curricular things with my kids or using it to hire a maid so I could have more fun at home with them. I read blogs in my spare time to connect with other homeschool moms, get news, find out what other homeschoolers are doing, and get craft ideas for school. I rarely click on advertisements. In this case, less is definitely more.

What do you think?

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Field Trip Foto Friday: A. D. Players Theater


Now in their 39th Season, the AD Players are a Christian-based Theater that provide wonderful plays for children and adults. Located in Houston, Texas and founded in 1967 by local actress, Jeannette Clift George, the A. D. Players boasts of being the nation's oldest professional Christian theater. I didn't know this when we went to see "Princess and the Pea" in 2004, but there are six locations in the greater Houston area that you can go to see them.

The photo above is one of my kids with an actress from "Princess and the Pea". They did the play in a small circular room with seats all around and an area where they could go in or out on either side. The children absolutely loved the play, and they only had seating for about 50, which made it nice and cozy and easy to hear. We found out about them through church friends and happened to check them out while we were studying about 'Kings and Queens' with KONOS. It was like a 'God-Smile' for Him to provide a great field-trip for us on a unit study that was particularly hard to plan field-trips for. We live too far away from Houston to attend any of their plays right now, but one day we hope to see them again.

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June 22, 2006

Ice with Issues


Do we have any budding homeschooled scientists out there that would like to explain these freakish frozen friends we found in our freezer? Since then, we have tried to re-create the effect, to no avail. We have tried hot water, luke-warm water, and cold water... but never since have we seen such wild icy behavior!

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June 21, 2006

My Blog is a Masterpiece


1: the most outstanding work of a creative artist or craftsman
2: an outstanding achievement
I was blog-hopping today and discovered a cute little program that turns your blog into art. According to Melissa at Here in the Bonny Glen, the colors in the picture represent links (blue), photos (purple), tags, and such. I wasn't sure what grey or yellow or orange stood for, but my blog sure looks pretty as Modern Art:

Why don't you go see what your blog looks like in a "graph"? It takes a while to load the final product, but it's fun to watch.

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June 20, 2006


Please forgive my obvious technical difficulties. I'm looking into figuring out how I can fix the problems. In the mean time, please read the posts and ignore the fact that my blog appears to only be half-way loaded in your browser. Geocities has been hosting my images and if too many people download my images (including the background images for this blog) in an hour, they turn me off. This means I'm going to start to have to PAY them for hosting my files if I want YOU to be able to see them all the time.

Hmmmm.... any better ideas?

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June 19, 2006

Seasons Unit Photos

I'm posting my flickr photo links for the Season Unit so that everyone can visit and check up on our progress. We managed to get quite a few things on our list today accomplished and took a few photos of the fun. I tried to use my new Kodak Easy-Share Gallery account, but you can't give out the link on a blog unless you pay for their premium service. After uploading and all that trouble, I ended up having to use flickr anyway. Oh, well - you live and learn.


I'll be back in with more as the unit progresses. Poor Morgan had to take pretty strong medicine for her sinus cold tonight. Poor baby. Daddy is home tomorrow and Wednesday, and I'll just be back in to post photos if we take any. Hopefully I won't use up my quota at my free flickr account... I think I'm already past 50% for the month. Good night.

More to come...

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'Walk-Through-The-Year' in Two Weeks

Two weeks until vacation! That means today starts our 'Walk-Through-The-Year' part of our Seasons Unit (an idea from KONOS, our Christian Unit Study Curriculum). We've been in January a few days (because I had not gotten the books and movies needed before hand), but will be finishing January off today along with February. It is fun to enjoy seasonal and holiday crafts for the whole year in just two fun-filled weeks! This is a fun summer activity as well (if you just do this project without any additional Math, History, Typing, Language, etc.) to keep your kiddos occupied during your summer break. It would lend itself nicely to help complete your library program objectives if you were to check out all the seasonal books they have and let the kids read them for credit. We're currently doing the library reading program, but I have not sat down to write all the book names on their little bookmarks yet. I think I may type a list up instead of writing to save time.

Below is my rough draft schedule of KONOS activities we have planned for the next two weeks until our vacation begins (some are from the KONOS book and others are my own additions). A few of the days towards the end are lacking in detail. I try and mainly plan detail for just a week at a time... any more than that and I end up re-doing it anyway the next week.


Math - 2 worksheets
Prayer Journals/Prayer/Bible Reading (if not assigned below) & Drill
Memory Verse work (two verses memorized - one for each week)
Poems/Paintings (read and view online relating to Month of study for the day)
Writing Assignment (if not assigned below)
Reading Library Books (if not assigned below)
Family Read Aloud ("The Secret Garden" - 1 or 2 chapters each night)

June 19 (Monday) - JANUARY & FEBRUARY
Look up Love scriptures, use one as a memory verse
Play a Bible game
Take a walk and get a snow cone
Make a MORGAN ornament (red mitten frame) to go with January - birthday
Finish reading books about Ice Skating and Winter Olympics
Watch movies from Netflix on Winter Olympics (these may not come in the mail until later this week...)
Do a president's day activity
Read about St. Valentine
Make a KADEN ornament (heart) to go with February - birthday
Make beaded snowflakes (I got the supplies for this at Wal-Mart Saturday)
Make and eat a Cherry Delight (similar to a cheesecake... I'll put the recipe on Gathering Manna soon, meanwhile check out today's Risotto recipe)

June 20 (Tuesday) - FEBRUARY & MARCH
Leftovers from previous day's activities
Read about St. Patrick and Ireland
Enchanted Learning about Ireland/St. Patrick (worksheets, activities)
Wear Green
Make a mini Kite ornament for the season tree
Watch Mary Poppins
Sing "Let's Go Fly a Kite"
Go fly a kite in the park with Daddy

June 21 (Wednesday) - APRIL
Read "Proserpine" in Scott Foresman p.42 (not sure what this is, but I have an email in to ask the question to the KONOS reps)
Visit a local plant nursery to look at flowers/bulbs/seeds (pick up sunflower seeds)
Sing rain songs & listen to them
Learn about track skills & practice them at the local high school track
Make a rainy day activity can and fill it with ideas
Make a mini umbrella for seasons tree
Write a Rain Haiku Poem
Do spring cleaning (Good time to Clean Heart - Clean Home Challenge)

June 22(Thursday) - MAY
Make a mini flower or Easter Cross for the season tree
Read mother's day poems, Read Proverbs 31
Paint a water-color flower scene (like my mom's Holland flower fields tapestry)
Study about Easter traditions and where they came from
Make natural dyes and do an egg craft (saw a cute one in a magazine making little pigs from the empty eggs - need to find the article)
Sing "Up From the Grave He Arose!" and "He Lives!"
Study about animal babies
Read the Easter Story in the Bible

June 23 (Friday) - JUNE
Read devotional about Father's role in a family out of "Home Making" by J.R. Miller
Make a June wild-flower arrangement (handy since it happens to be June)
Plant sunflower seeds
Make lemonade
Make a sun ornament for the season tree
Read Ecclesiastes about toil in the sun
Practice baseball or read "Casey at the Bat"
Sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"
Look at family reunion photos - mail a card to a family member
Listen to Porgy & Bess' "Summertime"
Have a picnic and drink your lemonade

June 24 (Saturday) - JULY
March to "Stars & Stripes Forever"
Sing the Star Spangled Banner
Make a mini flag ornament for the season tree
Read about American Revolutionary War
Go fishing and cook-out (possibly with a friend here)
Sing campfire songs
Eat strawberry shortcake
Read about fireflies
Listen to Roy Rogers campfire songs (Blue Shadows and Pecos Bill are on Melody Time - see link below)
Make a packing list for our July 4 vacation (pack our red-white-and-blue swimsuits)

June 25 (Sunday) - NO SCHOOL

June 26 (Monday) - AUGUST
Read about Scuba Diving and Surfing
Watch surfing movie (not sure - any suggestions?)
Listen to the Beach Boys
Study about shells (need library books)
Bible verse ??? Not sure yet...
Make a tiny shell ornament for season tree
Eat watermelon and make yogurt popsicles
Make summer cards for friends that lives far away

June 27 (Tuesday) - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER
Sing "School Days" and listen to "Autumn Leaves" by Roger Williams (Piano)
Make leaf ornament for season tree
Make a school days collage (photos from each school year)
Make pumpkin bread and other fall recipes
Make a mini school or pumpkin ornament (haven't decided on exactly what or which)
Learn about nuts (need library books)
Read book about why we don't celebrate Halloween
Write an autumn poem
Bible verse?

June 28 (Wednesday) - NOVEMBER
Make a Mum corsage, read about Football (need library books)
Draw a cornucopia
Thanksgiving crafts/ideas online/magazines
Thanksgiving foods (cook a mini Turkey Dinner)
Fall books from library (and poetry)
Thankfulness verses in Bible
List our blessings (make a blessings tree?)

June 29 (Thursday) - DECEMBER
Christmas songs
Learn to wrap a gift
Have a second try at making Gingerbread Men
Learn about evergreen trees
Read 'The Night Before Christmas'
Discuss Christmas traditions globally
Study the Santa legend and story behind St. Nicholas
Do a nativity play
Make a baby Jesus ornament for season tree
Make Mom and Dad birthday frame ornaments for season tree

June 30 (Friday) - LEFTOVERS
Finish any projects needing to be completed from last two weeks
Hang all ornaments on season tree
Take photo of season tree
Finish packing for trip and help with laundry (falls under spring cleaning, right?)

July 1 (Saturday) - NO SCHOOL
Pack snacks and camera
Feed the cat and give key to friends
Gas up, Load vehicle
Pick up Daddy early at work, eat lunch out

Ok... I'll have to come back in later to edit this post. Math is over and the kids need me to start on those snowflakes before we head to the snow cone stand!

I may be a little tied up for a while, but will try and get in here daily if I can. God bless and have a super Monday!

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June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

McDaddy & the Fry 'Guys' 2004

God Made Dads

God took the strength of a mountain
The majesty of a tree
The warmth of a summer sun
The calm of a quiet sea
The generous soul of nature
The comforting arm of night
The wisdom of the ages
The power of the eagle's flight
The joy of a morning in spring
The faith of a mustard seed
The patience of eternity
The depth of a family need
Then God combined these qualities
When there was nothing more to add
He knew His masterpiece was complete
And so He called it ... Dad

- Author Unknown.

I want to honor God today - who loves me when I'm unlovable, who sacrificed his perfect child that I might live, who gave me His Holy precepts that I might have peace and joy in my life, and who forgives me for all my past mistakes. Thanks for being my Heavenly Father!

I wanted to honor my husband today - who sacrifices by working hard so his children can be raised in a Christian environment. We couldn't get by without his sense of humor. We love you.

Our family at Aunt Terry's 2004

(... and we'll give him extra credit for eating at McDonalds to get all the toys in a series and wearing matching clothes - no matter how obnoxious - upon request!)

I wanted to honor my dad today - who kept praying for me even when it didn't look like his prayers would ever be answered. We love you.

My dad holding Morgan in 2002

I want to honor Pawpaw, Grandpa Keith and Papa John today - Each with their own wonderful personality! ...who help us when we are down, take us in when we need a place to stay, extend loving arms to our children, and are such fun and great people. We love you.

Papa John 2003

Grandpa Keith and Morgan 2002

Pawpaw & Nana 2003

And to all our friends that are dads out there... you know who you are... we honor you as well! We hope you had a super dad's day.

Happy Father's Day!

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June 17, 2006

Field Trip Foto Friday: Bolivar Lighthouse

Bolivar Lighthouse and Light Keeper's House - Galveston, TX

In the 2003-4 School Year (which we're still trying to get finished up by posting a few of the field trips we had photos from), we studied about light in a KONOS Unit. We studied about man-made lights, God-made lights, rainbows, wavelengths, lighthouses, bioluminescence and more. We had other Konos users from around the United States send us postcards from lighthouses in their areas and mapped them. We even made our own little lighthouse (although we didn't add a real light to it).

Our Lighthouse Craft

We love to take field trips. I'm not sure who loves them more, Daddy and I - or the kids!?! I did some research online and learned that the only lighthouse within driving distance to us (at the time we were living in Houston) was Bolivar Point.

Galveston Bay at Twilight

The great thing about Bolivar is it's wonderful, touching history. Bolivar is responsible for protecting many people from the great storm that laid waste to Galveston in 1900. We visited the site, which is now privately owned, and were able to walk up to the light and look inside it's dark, spooky, rusty windows... but you can't really see inside clearly - a lot is left to the imagination. It was creepy to think of having to climb into it and sit on the stairs while you heard the ocean and hurricane ravage the island outside... wondering if you would be alive come daybreak. It was hard to imagine 61 people on it's thin, inner spiraling staircase; as they wept, holding hands in pitch darkness as the raging storm claimed so many lives. The lighthouse keeper was said to have saved 125 people from certain death in that storm. Afterwards, he took care of them and fed them for a while since most of their homes were destroyed.

Bolivar Light and the Light Keeper's House

We discussed Bolivar's history and enjoyed seeing it twinkle in the dusk from across the waters as we drove. It looked like it was lighting up that night - maybe they turned it on for our benefit because we knocked on the door and asked if we could go on the property to see it... but I have heard that it is not in operation. I'm glad that someone is taking care of this Galveston icon that was so important in Texas History.

Here are a few other links you might enjoy:

Story of the Bolivar Lighthouse - CrystalBeach.com
Texas lighthouse site - Texas Lights
Portrait of Bolivar Light - Randy Welborn Studio

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June 16, 2006

Bikes, Links, Chicken and a Carnival

Sorry for this random post... I promise to format and edit better next time. I'm really tired tonight. I know it's Friday, also... so I guess I'll post a Field Trip Foto Friday tomorrow. This seems to be my new custom; for the last two or three times, I've been posting it on Saturday instead!

My little one (now seven years old) learned to ride her bike this week
and we took the kids to ride in a newly laid church parkinglot tonight (nice and smooth). The cool breeze was a welcome change from the summer heat - but it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Morgan is riding her bike like a pro (and it's only her second day up on it by herself). She is even starting and stopping on her own for the most part (except near streets when we made her let us walk her). It struck me as I watched her jet off into the distance doing figure-eights around the lamp-posts that now BOTH of my children are only ten years from being grown up... and BOY, that's a scary thought!

I'm slowly cleaning out my links file. I thought I would drop a few of them in here for those who mosey in tonight. I've been away from the computer today. Hey - It's kind of nice in the real world! Nice to have all the blog template troubles behind me for the time being. Here's a big THANKS to Natalie for her awesome job.

Ever wondered what ever happened to Katie? She's the little Texas girl who was taken from her family by CPS last summer because her family tried to seek alternative cancer treatments. She still needs our prayers and isn't completely out of the woods just yet. Click the link under her name and go visit her blog so you can read the updates. I can't wait to see her curly hair - all grown back in after the radiation! Leave her a beep with your zipcode to tell her you're praying for her. I just love her prayer pager idea.

A while back there was an MSN article on the top 10 most popular college degrees today. I thought some of you might like to see what was on the list.

Oldie, but goodie: Great post about priorities... "Stuff that Burries Us" by The Common Room

In case you are like me and like to keep a list... Kids Eat Free
Oh, and don't forget to check out my gathering manna blog. I put a great chicken breast recipe on there for "Badda-Bing" Chicken (from "Cook Something" by Mitchell Davis). I've got a few more recipes to blog in there as I have the time. I'm trying not to neglect that so much (been called a slacker lately by some in the comments section), but with three more weeks to go before vacation; we are cramming to get our Seasons Unit done, our tires replaced, and our bags packed.

It looks like I'll be hosting the Homeschooling Carnival in August. Stay tuned for a final date!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. We still have school tomorrow, but we'll be off Sunday. I may not be in until late tomorrow night.

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The links in my "Sweet Linkage" section are either sponsored links or personal links that I find interesting (including the links to the blogs that both of my teen children run).

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