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The Boy Who Couldn't Read

This is the boy that didn't start 'really' reading until the summer of his 4th grade year.

Do you see the book? My Josh, fell asleep while reading!

He now reads daily. He loves to read! Praise the Lord!

Some books Josh has recently read;

  • Blood on the River James Town 1607 by Elisa Carbone
  • My Side of the Mountain by Craighead George (he also read the sequels)
  • Revenge of the Whale The True Story of the Whaleship Essex By Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Morgan the Jersey Spy by Jamies Otis (an A Beka book)
  • Master Cornhill by Eloise Jarvis McGraw published by Sonlight
  • Air Raid-Pearl Harbor the Attack that Stunned the World; The Story of Dec. 7, 1947 by Theodore Taylor
  • The Giant of the North By R.M. Ballantyne
  • The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne
It is a blessing to see him falling asleep while reading. He didn't start reading until he was 10.5 years. Oh, he could read small words (consonant, vowel, consonant words-cvc and cvcc words) but he was not a fluent reader. He was still in the sounding out stage. Now he reads at grade level. His comprehension skills are above that. His vocabulary is above also.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Today for supper we are having Beef Stew with French Bread (store bought)

Here is the recipe. I got if from allrecipes.com

2lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2tsp. salt
1/2tsp ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1tsp. paprika
1tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups beef broth
3 potatoes diced
4 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped

  1. Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, & pepper. Pour over meat and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic clove, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots & celery.

  2. Cover, and cook on low setting 10-12 hours or on high for 4-6 hours

I doubled the recipe and instead of onions I used dehydrated onions and no bay leaf. Can't wait for dinner.

Morning Accomplishments

Busy morning. Let's see what's been accomplished.
  1. Got our dinner in the crock-pot. Stew is on the menu. Will have recipe soon.
  2. Went through all the mittens, gloves and hats. They are paired and the stragglers have a home until we find their mate.
  3. All the veggies & fruit are put away.
  4. Washed down all the kitchen counters.
  5. Put two loads to wash. Now the dishwasher is running so I can't put another load until the dishes are done.
  6. I washed all the big pots and bowl.
  7. Children helped tidy the house. Still needs a good sweep but at least most of the items are put away. They also cleared the kitchen table off and wiped it down, folded laundry, made my bed and cleaned what they could in my room ;)
There is still a lot to do but at least we got a good start. I once thought a smaller place would mean less cleaning but it's been quite the opposite :o)

Well need to start lunch. We are going to have grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. As I type Brent, is playing Risk on the computer. He gets 20 minutes. Josh, is sweeping the kitchen, Annette and the rest of the gang are in our little bathroom playing in the sink with water. There is CHRISTmas music playing.

I'm still in my Pj's

Jesus loves you!

My Goals for 2010

Some goals I have for 2010:

  • Read my Bible more
  • Lose 10lbs

  • Get our chores back in order

  • Start menu planning back so we know what we will have for lunch & dinner

  • Become more organized, this is a goal I have been working on for years. I'm improving but still have ways to go

  • Become more frugal. Our goal was to be dept free by April 2010 but my dad needs financial help so it won't be for a few years now.

  • Continue to work on character traits with the children.

  • Use more homemade beauty products. We started making our own shampoo & conditioner. I would like to make deodorant, face wash & scrub and toothpaste.

These are some goals. I am trying to use less chemicals and by doing so I save money too :) I'll post more on these goals later. This is just my list.

I'm working on being more frugal. 

 One of the hardest parts for me will be to not spend on books and curriculum. Using what we have. I'm going to start making my list for next year and buy little by little so it doesn't become one big purchase.
I don't buy clothes, perfume lots of make-up. No expensive items in our house or fancy decor; just give me books. I haven't been in a mall since 2008. Forget diamonds, I'd rather buy books :o) My sweet husbands keeps saying, "That's why we have libraries."

Forgotten Gift

We are listening to Jonathon Park The Hunt for Beowulf. A CHRISTmas gift that I forgot to give to the kiddos.

Annette, was poking around the Vision Forum website and mentioned Jonathon Park, when I remembered the forgotten gift.

I Can't Cook

I must admit I am not a good cook. There are days when I make something and it doesn't come out right. I will call my Sweets to let him know, just in case he would like to stop at Taco Bell ;) Today was one of those days. My bean soup had a funny taste to it. The kids and I put lots of cheese and we survived. Well sort of. As you can see Brent below is, well, maybe it was the spices in the soup ;)

Just kidding, this is a picture of him after he ate a cookie with lots of frosting on it. He didn't realize that his face told a story ;)

Well, back to my cooking. My dear husband thought he was marrying a women that can cook. I had made some pretty good meals before we were married. Little did he know that's about all I could make. Hee, hee.

My Sweets is so sweet though because after he has his supper he always says, "Thank you for that wonderful dinner."

My New Coffee Maker Arrived

I posted about how my coffee maker is acting up a few weeks ago. I have been having to do all kinds of tricks to get my morning coffee. Here is one of those tricks. Not sure how to describe so I'll show a picture. I have to hold it like this while it's brewing. Thank goodness I only brew 4 cups (just enough for a nice big mug full).

I'm so happy my replacement came yesterday. It already found a home on my kitchen counter.

This morning I had a nice hot cup of coffee and I didn't have to jump through hoops to get it ;)

I'm loving how easy it is to use blogger but miss my homeschoolblogger.

Veggie & Fruit Co-op

Look what I got today. The boys piled the vegetables one on top of the other.

We promptly washed and cut up the apples.

Don't they look so good!

One of the ladies at church called me up yesterday and said she had an opening in their fruit & veggie co-op. I guess someone dropped out recently. For $20.00 every two weeks we get an assortment of fruits & vegetables.

Molly's Money Saving January Digest

I purchased my first Molly's Money-Saving Digest.

I'll have to come back to give a review at the end of the month. It comes with all sorts of nifty organizing stuff. I don't see me using all the budgeting because we do that online. I do want to use the checking account for the children. You can print of checks. How cute. Now I know you can make these yourself but I'm too lazy and busy to learn. Someday when my children learn I'll learn with them but for now I'll use Molly's. My sister Cynce, I'll link her blog later is really good with the computer. She makes all kinds of fun notebooking pages.

It's So Quiet

It's so quiet here. As I hear clinking & sliding I look around. Brent is playing Risk on the computer. Annette is playing Pattern Play

Caleb is playing Police Blockade

and Josh his playing  the Zoo Keepers game

I bought these for CHRISTmas and the children are really enjoying playing with them and working their minds :)
I was a bit worried they would say, "Mom, is this more school." They are getting older and know that I am always trying to figure out ways to work their brains ;)

LA's is Helping Josh

A week ago I was outside washing (our washer/dryer are out behind the house) and talking to Joshua. He is writing a book. As we were talking he said, "I don't really want to tell you this, but my LA's is helping me with my writing."

I had to laugh. He most likely didn't want to tell me because he was afraid I might pile on more schoolwork. I assured him that I wouldn't and was happy he told me.

He is using CQLA.

The writing portion has him change words, add and delete. How to make a Key Word Outline, try not to use every day common words.
For his book he noticed were he could use a better word and so forth.


I'm still at a crossroads with what to do with my other blog at HSB. I do like the community over there. Maybe I'll ask my sister to help me organize it a little better and make is a specific blog for homeschooling only. What to do??? :)

The children are playing "Camping" this is when they fill their backpacks up with camping gear, go outside on an expedition and come back inside to make make camp under the kitchen table, beds & coffee table.

Normally they would make camp outside but it's raining. Since they are inside they get to sleep at their camp site.

Lance & Annette are under the kitchen table. Brent is under the coffee table, Ethan is under my bed and Josh & Caleb are in their room listening to an audio book. A Henty book I think.

My camera doesn't want to load any pictures otherwise I would have posted some. I have the pictures now. At least some of Annette & Lance.

Ethan Enjoying a Sandwich

At church I was was talking to people, when Ethan got hungry. He said he wanted some food. I told him to wait a minute and I'll get him some. He said, he could get some by himself, so I let him. When I  was done talking I found Ethan, happily eating a sandwich. He told me latter that there was some stuff in it that he didn't like but it was still good ;O)

I'm not sure if anyone can see this besides family. Can someone please leave a comment and let me know if you can view the video?

Lance's School

My Lance, is 5.5 years old. He is a bit immature for his age. This year we decided not to start Kindergarten with him. At church in AWANA he is still in Cubbies.

We are mainly working on his motor skills using these:

As you can see there are books with lots of cutting, pasting, tracing, drawing & so forth. My sister gave me the Big Book of K Puzzles and those have lots of critical thinking puzzles. My husband purchased Reading & Math from a Scholastic book fair that they had at work a few years ago, so I'm adding that in too. Lots of beginner stuff.
Here are some pictures of his school.

Below is a binder with tabs. The tabs are labeled with the day of the week. Monday, Tuesday etc. I put a days work in each sheet protector. What doesn't get done that day I move to the next. Usually there is unfinished work and I put that in "Monday" section and add new material for T-F. In each sheet protector I put a page from each book. One for cutting, pasting etc.

Here are a few samples from his 'I Can' workbooks.

Here is some of his completed work!

As you can see with the 'pig' below, Lance, uses too much glue. These are from the Kumon workbooks.

Annette, is a huge help with Lance. She enjoys being his 'teacher'.

Annette, took the above picture.

I do plan to start Christ Centered Math in January. Lance, is also learning his phonograms. He doesn't actually like doing his phonograms. He says, "I don't like phonograms." He mostly just hears them while he is playing and I'm teaching the older children.

Donut Eyes

Here are my silly kiddos. One of dads favorite treats are chocolate donuts.


Here is Annette.

This is Caleb, he doesn't like doing some silly stuff, he is more reserved ;)



Lance, well, um, not exactly a donut picture. I don't have one of him either. Lupe, caught the little guy taking care of business and we couldn't resist.

I love having 6 children. Some days are pretty hectic, but the blessing of having our little brood far out weighs those days.

I'm Sick

Today I didn't go to church. I came down with a cold. If it wasn't for the coughing I would have gone, but I don't like to cough in a quiet place. I'm bummed because our pastor has some pretty good sermons.

I haven't been taking my Berry Well daily.

I also have been slacking with my SuperMom Vitamins too.

Last year during the cold season I took Berry Well daily in a glass of lemonade. I would take my SuperMom's after meals. I have been really lazy and I need to get back on track.
I also had the children taking Berry Well daily. We didn't have any sickness in our house for 15 months.

I usually purchase from SuperMom a homeschooling mom. If I am going to buy six at a time then I buy from HERE. You get a discount for ordering in mini bulk :)

Some CHRISTmas Gifts

For CHRISTmas Grandpa got Lance Chutes & Ladders

He got Ethan Candy Land

These are more preschool games but even my oldest who is 11yrs. old enjoys playing these games.
Today I played a game of Chutes and Ladders with Ethan & Lance. My little Lance won. Then I played a game of Candy Land with Josh, Caleb & Ethan. Ethan won that game.

Guess what Lupe, got for CHRISTmas from Josh? A Pool Table

Okay, so it's a tabletop pool table but it's just as fun. Lupe, has been wanting to get one for years, but where would we put it. Josh, solved that problem ;) I don't really care for the game but it's fun seeing Lupe & the boys playing. Annette enjoys the game too. Love seeing my girl play. She so cute!

Elsie Dinsmore

Last CHRISTmas I bought Annette an Elsie Dinsmore book. Elsie is an 8yr. old wealthy girl in the 1840's. She lost her mother when she was a baby and her father is in Europe. Elsie longs for her father. She has comfort in that her heavenly Father loves her.

Well, the book never clicked with Annette. She picked it up once. It just didn't interest her.
This CHRISTmas I got her the audio book.

The children listened to the first cd and enjoyed it. I would like to listen or read the book myself. Normally I like to pre read the children's books but it's getting harder and more time consuming to do this. I find that I am relying on Sonlight, My Father's World, WinterPromise, Christianbooks and good reviews to help me choose books that I don't have time to preread.
Now, do I dare add the Elsie and Me Workbook?

I'm thinking this would be a nice character study that Annette & I can do together. This will also give me a chance to listen to it.

Joshua's School

Since this is a new blog I thought I would post about what we are using.

Josh is in 6th grade this year. He loves to read. He just finished Robins Crusoe. I'll have to make a list of some of the books he has read this year.

Spelling, we were using Phonics Tutor Frequent Words  but it's a cdrom and Josh doesn't like using the computer for school.

In January 2010 I am switching him to Spell to Write & Read

I like that you have to 'Think-to-Spell'. The child takes the word apart and puts them back together.

For Reading he is using Christian Light Education

Language Arts Josh is using Character Quality Language Arts. This includes Grammar & Writing. Spelling is included but since we are using SWR we are not using this portion of CQLA.

Social Studies is also from Christian Light Education (CLE)

Christian Light for Science.

Art we will start in January 2010.

Joshua's favorite subject is Science. He also enjoys History. He is starting to write more in cursive this year. His cursive is improving. I'll post a picture of his penmanship soon.


Coffee Maker

My Sweets purchased a Cuisinart Grind-and-Brew 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker for me in may. It was a Mothers Day gift.

The past two months it has had a mind of its own. Somedays it will make coffee and other days it doesn't want to. Sometimes it takes me 30 minutes to get a nice hot cup of java. It's so good when it works.
The chute gets clogged no matter how clean I keep it. It keeps making a clicking noise too. I called the manufacture and they said they will send another one out but I have to pay shipping. Fine with me, just give me a coffee maker that works! Please ;)
I haven't received it yet and it's been over a week. Hopefully Monday it will be here.
Will keep you updated.LOL.

Day After CHRISTmas

Lupe, too the three older children with him to move stuff from one storage to another. Now that we are semi settled we want our stuff closer to home. We have gotten rid of a lot of stuff but we still have things like our queen size bed, bookcases and such that we will use when we eventually move out of our 700sf. appt. house.

Anyway, the younger children and I had fun playing ZooKeeper

The object of the game is to get a certain animal home but sometimes you are blocked. It's a puzzle type game.
We also played Pattern Play

This says for ages 3 and up but it took me a while to put some of them together. I understand how the pieces work now, so maybe it won't take me so long next time ;)

Will be back to share some more of our fun thinking games.