Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Happy Home Educating Mother

I am thankful for the opportunity to attend a home school convention here in Alaska, small as it may be. Some day I hope to attend a "real" conference in the lower 48. Back to the conference. I had a mission as soon as the doors to the exhibit hall opened and that mission was to find the Geography Matters table and speak with Debbie Strayer, one of the authors of Trailguide to Learning. Upon locating her, I extended a whole hearted thank you to her for writing a curriculum that is what I have been trying to put together (unsuccessfully) for years. And I thanked her for the best home school year we have had in a long time.
I came home today refreshed mentally and ready to continue on this journey.
I was also able to purchase the display curriculum they had there because they didn't want to pay to ship it back. So, for a while tonight I am looking ahead to next year and doing a little mental preparation. I love it!
I also think I have encouraged four to five people to start using Trailguide, and here I thought I couldn't sell anything.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

No masterpiece but a much enjoyed evening

I had the opportunity to attend our local Christian Home school Mom’s night out free watercolor class last week. I painted pears. I am not an artist but I much enjoyed this evening of quiet creativity.

Work in progress


Finished piece, well, unless I decide to do a few more strokes before framing, yes, I am framing my piece for preservation purposes.


A Big Project Complete

My oldest three Blessings are part of the leadership team with our homeschool program. Usually this just entails twice monthly meetings and a service project (like K-4th grade gym) per month, but the kids just finished up a huge fundraising project. One of the seniors, and president of the leadership team, was diagnosed with a rare cancer this year so the leadership team planned this event. Our leadership teacher and another teacher worked out an amazing fundraiser with the kids. Dinner and a silent auction. I was amazed. Last word we received last night after all receipts were totaled was that about $10,000 was raised. What a blessing this will be to the family to help with multiple surgeries and treatments.

The girls looking at auction tables.


Judith donated earrings that she had made.


Last minute preparations.


More auction tables


Levi had to give a speech and make a couple of introductions.


Benjamin wanted to bid on this Lion, he made the highest bid, he was happy.


Sunday, April 21, 2013


Friday I noticed fuzziness on the willow trees, spring really is just around the corner.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Joy in a Home Educating Mother's Heart

Tonight my heart is joy-filled. I was knitting and Elisabeth was doodling on the dry erase board when she said, "Mom, give me an order of operations." When Elisabeth finished her math book in December I changed curriculums for her. Our curriculum is a linear curriculum and I LOVE that fact. This curriculum is a perfect fit for Levi but not the girls. I ordered Math on the Level for Elisabeth and it is working well for her. I started her with some areas she enjoyed but needed to build upon what she knows and we have gone from there. The program is teacher intensive but not so much at her level as it will be at a beginning level. She is also creating a math journal to use as a personal reference. I hope to share more of our math journey as we go along. But tonight I am just as happy as can be.
Judith is starting Teaching Textbooks math in the fall unless I change my mind between now and ordering time. Life of Fred, must find time to use Life of Fred.
Benjamin is along for the ride and I will use lots of books, manipulatives, games and use Math on the Level for a basic guide for his beginning math learning.

Two things about this picture

1. Judith and I are inside and everyone else is outside. We stayed in to put away groceries and clean up after dinner. We are pajama girls. Judith is now reading and I am knitting.
2. The best part?  Do you see the daylight coming in the window? It is 9:30 PM and we have light. Oh the glory.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Everyone is finished early with school today and we had company for a couple of hours today. What's up with that? This never happens.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I let my Blessings sleep until they woke up because Levi and Elisabeth have whatever Benjamin had last week.
Benjamin enjoyed some quiet play time with blankets, pillows and stuffed animals this morning.
Benjamin and I had to make a quick trip to North Pole for banking and picking up a few items from the grocery store. Benjamin mentioned that he and I rarely go anywhere alone and he is correct. After we returned home we took the dog for a walk. We saw snow shoe hare tracks, talked of dog toileting issues and just had a good walk with the dog.
Today our curriculum called for whittling soap with a manicure stick. Well, my older blessings all have knives and have whittled so I said save the soap for washing and get a piece of wood and whittle. So, Judith may be finished with her school or maybe not since I haven't checked her work yet. Better go do that!
All in all, not too bad for a Monday.

Snow shoe hare tracks
Judith whittling 
 Playing with stuffed animals. There was a Mommy, Daddy and children (shildren). Hmm? A four year old can get it right...
 Benjamin made tracks with sticks. We read The Snowy Day a few weeks ago. This looks a lot like the marks made by the boy in the book.
 Benjamin and I walking the dog
 More play
 We are still snow covered.
Just a view from my chair picture 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The young man that now lives at my house

I became stuck in the deep snow this evening on our way to deliver a meal to a couple from church. Man comes to pull me out and his machine runs out of fuel behind my van. The man's friend gets two shovels and he and Levi begin shoveling out the snow from where I was stuck. I was able to drive out forward, yahoo!!
Today made me realize how much my son has grown up. He carries, lifts, hauls, plows snow, keeps the fire going and the list could go on and on. There are so many things that he will not allow the girls and I to do. He insists upon doing those manly jobs. And yes, I just said manly jobs.
He remained level headed throughout the entire stuck situation. He shoveled until the job was finished. He is learning diligence and care.


Today's science lesson had a learning lesson and for once we had all of the needed items on hand. Rain anyone?  I'd love to see rain right now. Snow has over stayed its welcome. Back to science, the lesson was to count the number of drops of water the cotton ball could hold before releasing water. You know, clouds and precipitation?  And since you are anxious to know how many drops, 200 drops were held before the cotton ball cloud released its rain.
When one is educated at home and has younger siblings one learns to carry on even when little brother is taking up most of the sitting area of one's chair and laying a glob of silly putty and his face on one's back. Great life skills, I say.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


The oldest three girls here today put on a few skits for us today. Not sure what these two skits were about but they had fun. Love creativity at work.

They've come a long way

These two little guys have come a long way from their first meeting. The first time the Queen's husband  dropped off the Queen and her crew at my house with us never having a face to face real life meeting my Benjamin threw a hot wheels car at the Prince and gave him a large "welcome to Alaska " gash near his eye. I am sure that he knew his first stranger danger instincts were correct. Yes, indeed,  these two have come a long way.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Better today

I felt better by late evening yesterday and Benjamin feels better as well. Today we are back ti normal routine and my smoothie making partner and I are busy this morning before we head out ti piano lessons.

Monday, April 8, 2013

After a few weeks

After a few healthy weeks we have caught another something. Whatever this is is not bad though, just annoying. The symptoms are low grade fever, mild stomach ache and being tired. I took a nap at 10:30am today after sleeping well all night long and I could go back to sleep right now.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ice skating

This afternoon we ice skated for an end of testing celebration. Today was also Benjamin's first time on the ice. He was very cautious but went out for three different times around the rink. His favorite time was when skating was finished and the Zamboni came out.
Benjamin was so exhausted that he stayed asleep after he was carried into the house, and Emmy joined him.


Children need time to play, just play. No fancy toys, no play groups, no organization. Slow schedules with lots of time for little imaginations to run rampant. Speaking of rampant, while I was editing this post Benjamin's imagination got a little wild and he draped my yarn throughout the house. Love that boy.
Organized activities are just not my cup of tea. My husband and I held off until Levi was twelve before we signed up him for organized sports. We waited until he found something he really wanted to do, and guess what? He NEVER once asked to quit. And he did fine getting in there and playing on the team. He even won a leadership award from his coach and I believe that was the result of him NOT playing organized sports when I he was younger.
Our children have led full lives with lots of sports opportunities, group and individual and just good ole football, baseball and basketball at home. We have a football field (not regulation size, of course), a baseball field and a basketball goal. In the winter our yard and the road around our house serves as a cross country ski course and snow machine track.
Not everyone lives in a subdivision that never full developed as we do but there are many opportunities to enjoy life as a family.  To play just for the fun of playing, to spend evenings as a family instead of running to and fro. Says the lady who is gearing up for baseball season.
Benjamin has enjoyed his longer morning at home today before picking up the older Blessings from testing and going ice skating. Today will be Benjamin's first time on the ice, oh my, that means I am skating as well.