Monday, October 12, 2015

Oconaluftee Indian Village

The kids and I really enjoyed our field trip to Cherokee today. We went to the Oconaluftee Indian Village. I think it was kind of fitting that we ended up going on Columbus Day. Let's go learn about the culture that we messed up. Seriously though, it was really educational. Claire loved the beading and exploring the houses, Chandler loved the blow gun demonstration and animal traps and they all loved getting to be part of the "friendship dance". A picnic lunch and playing with friends just topped their day!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Can you believe how big Declan is getting?  Where is my baby?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Open Gymnastics Fun!

 It was our homeschool co-op's open gymnastics day!  The group rents out the gym like you would for a birthday party and all the families split the cost.  It is lots of fun!  All of my kids love it!  And now for the pictures ....

Monday, September 21, 2015

The County Fair!

We got to enjoy our annual county fair this weekend.  Always a fun time!

Claire got him into the tank!  Proud of my girl! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tallulah Gorge

Yesterday we got to go to Tallulah Gorge with some other homeschool families.  It was a great little field trip!

The interpretive center had historical exhibits, examples of local wildlife and a short film on teh ecosystems and history of the gorge.  Then we had a picnic and went for a hike to see a waterfall and the dam.  It was lots of fun and the kids enjoyed being with friends. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My Little Entrepreneur!

Last week Claire went with my mom to the flea market on Saturday.  My mom goes every weekend during the season and sells fresh cooked pork skins, homemade salves deodorant and tooth powder, etc.  Claire has been asking to go and try to sell her little rubber band bracelets and since it was Labor Day weekend and should be busy and she had built up a good little inventory we decided to let her.  She walked in the door late that afternoon with $65 in her hand!

She was apparently quite the salesperson. Lots of people gave her extra money and told her to keep the change, etc. One lady just walked up and put a few bills in her hand and said she just wanted to support her enterprise and when she walked away Claire realized it was $10. She was a big hit!

I'm so proud of her. She had taken $20 of the money she made to buy more bands to make bracelets and the rest she split in half to spend and to save.  (She bought herself a Lego set with her spend money.)  Yesterday we went to open a savings account for her at the credit union. She pulled just the bills out of her piggy bank and was able to open her first bank account with $55! We plan on working on the coins this week to add to her account. 

And now this morning she got up extremely early to head to the flea market with my mom again. She has been working on bracelets all week and wants to learn how to make bead bracelets to expand her inventory. I'm just so impressed with her. I did not have that kind of drive and entrepreneurial spirit at 9 years old!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Getting Back into the Habit of Menus

I have been bad. 

This summer I have kept making meal plans and I just have not been following them. 


But, I am proud to say that this past week I have actually followed our meal plan and so far so good this week!  I waned to go ahead and share what we have been eating.  I am starting to think that it's just because the weather is cooling down.  I have the hardest time with no appetite when it is so hot. 

Sunday (8/30) -  Cheesy Ranch Chicken, couscous, stuffing and green beans <----- This was a new recipe and a big hit!  I found it on pinterest on THIS blog. 

Monday (8/31) - Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches (ham for the kids), raw veggies

Tuesday (9/1) - Pancakes and bacon

Wednesday (9/2) - Sweet and Sour Chicken, Rice and mixed veggies

Thursday (9/3) - Lo Mein

Friday (9/4) - Roast Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Biscuits, Green Beans and Cranberry sauce

Saturday (9/5) - Bacon, Egg and Biscuit Casserole <------ This was also a new recipe and the kids thought it was okay, but my husband LOVED it!  I found it HERE

Sunday (9/6) - Eat Out

Monday (9/7) - Kielbasa, Boiled Potatoes, Cabbage and rye bread

Tuesday (9/8) - Hamburgers, Claire's Mac and Cheese and Corn of the Cob

Wednesday (9/9) - Ravioli

Thursday (9/10) - Chicken Cordon Bleu (sides to be determined)

Friday (9/11) - Mu Shu Chicken on homemade Flatbread

Saturday (9/12) - Goulash, Egg Noodles and veggies

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Homeschool Plan 2015-2016

We have a plan!  And as my husband always adds - but we aren't Cylons.  Yes, the nerding is strong in this house.

This year we are continuing some things, but changing some things out.

 Last year I used this to plan/record our school year from Mardel and it worked great so I ordered a new one for this year.  It has everything I need for our schoolwork and it's pretty!  :)

For English we have started journaling everyday and we are using Queen Homeschooling's Language Lessons for Little Ones 3 and Language Lessons for the Very Young.  We have also added All About Spelling Level 1 for both kids. 

When the kids journal they write the entire date (i.e. Monday, September 7, 2015) and "I am thankful for ___________." and "My favorite part of yesterday was ____________."  I noticed a bit too much of focusing on the negative with my children and I am hopeful that making them think of the good things will help that.  Plus, handwriting practice! 

We have really liked Queen Homeschooling's Language Lessons.  It is Charlotte Mason based and very gentle.  Each lesson usually only takes 5 minutes max and there is a lot of poetry and beautiful paintings mixed in.  We are beginning All About Spelling this year.  I am starting both of them at Level 1 and they both say it's one of their favorite subjects this year. 

We are doing Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics this year with our homeschool co-op and really, really like it so far.  I think all the experiments will make this a very memorable year! 

Our homeschool co-op is also doing Mystery of History Volume 2.  This book focuses on the Early Church and the Middle Ages.  Some of the weeks look really great, some we have already covered, but I still think it will be valuable.  Repetition is helpful when it comes to history.

We will be continuing with Horizons Math.  Chandler (1st grade) is starting Math 1.  Claire (3rd grade) is a little behind, but we will be doubling up some lessons until she gets caught up.  Math is a strong point for her even though we haven't gotten through the lessons so I don't worry about her picking it all up.  We will slow down if she needs more work on a concept.

Fiona has a school bag too like the big kids.  (I'll tell more about those another day!)  Her bag is full of a notebook, pencil bag, stickers, a coloring book, washable crayons, and some magnet games, etc.  We are going to start some gentle preschool stuff with her this year, like colors and shapes, but she os still 2 so I will not be pushing it.  She likes "doing school" like her brother and sister though.

I'm looking forward to this school year.  I think it will be a great one!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Co-op Began!

Today was the first day of our homeschool co-op for the Fall! I tried to get a picture, but it didn't really work out ....

We did get a quick group picture though!  Look at all those homeschool kids!

I was teaching this morning so it was hectic. But class went well and we even got to go to the park to play with friends afterwards.

 I have happy and tired children.  Isn't that the best thing to have?  :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Today was Claire and Chandler’s first gymnastics class!  

They had a lot of fun.  It is a homeschool gymnastics class set during the day, which is awesome.  I love a class that doesn’t interfere with dinner and family time.  The only downside is that I had to stay there for 2 hours today and keep Fiona and Declan entertained.  Which was not so easy!  But Claire and Chandler really did enjoy it – we’ll see how it goes!