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Josh Working Hard

Joshua, enjoys being outside. He wants to do more outside chores, but we don't really have any. We have no cows or chickens to tend to. No trees to chop for firewood. No fireplace to put the firewood, if we did have trees.

We are planning a camping trip this April. Josh, took it upon himself to help with the firewood.

He is chopping up some of the wood that was left from the front house.

It took him most of the day to cut this up. He was proud of his work and blisters at the end of the day!

I had a few more pictures that I wanted to post, but I think Lupe, took the camera. I'll have to download them later and come back to finish this post.

Caleb's Special Sandwich

When Lupe, buys the day old bread on sale at the grocery store, we need to eat it up, fast! What I do is make hot ham or turkey sandwiches. First I put some mayonnaise or butter on the bread. Toast it in a nonstick pan. Heat up the meat and add some cheese. I like the works in mine. Pickles, tomatoes and lettuce. Yummy. Caleb, just loves these that now he makes them almost every single day.

Now Caleb, makes his own. Here he is heating up his bread and meat.

The pan he is using, we got it for saving up points. I think it was at Albertsons. They actually ran out of pans, but Lupe, was determined to get our 'free' pans that we earned. He found out that one store was receiving an extra shipment. Thankfully we got our pans.

Caleb, with his finished product.

A close-up.

And another day he made his famous sandwich.

This time he used left over hamburger buns. He likes to toast the bread until it's almost burnt. The above picture was taken yesterday. He made himself two sandwiches and the toasted bread. He was full and I think he did save half of a sandwich.


Normally when we get home from lunch on Sunday we all take a nice long nap. Not sure why, but naps are good on Sunday. I really fall into a deep sleep. If I wake up too early I have a headache.

We own an 11 unit apartment complex in Dallas. A few weeks ago someone ran into the side of the wall, pushing the wall in about four inches. It happened to hit the mangers apartment. Thankfully the person who hit the wall lives there and has insurance. Nobody was heart, Praise the Lord!

Since the wall was pushed in the shower does not work. Again, thankfully the toilet works and the apartment managers daughter also rents from us, so they have been able to use her shower.

Today instead of taking his nap and working here, Lupe, had to go to Dallas to check on the progess. Hopefully he won't have to stay long.

Regarding School

Well, I think I might have our school figured out for next year.

Josh, will use MFW Exp1850. This consist of Bible, History and Music. He will do most of the reading. The Bible portion we will all do together. Science he will use Sonlight 5. Learning about the body, survival and some computer skills.
Language Art I'm still deciding. I do know he will use The Bridge for grammar. I'm still up-in-the air about using Character Quality Language Arts mainly for his writing. I do like that the grammar portion of CQLA will reinforce what he is learning with using The Bridge. I hope Josh, will be able to utilize Editor Duty.
For math he will continue with Math Mammoth. Hopefully finish 5A/B &

Annette, will use some parts of EXP1850 along with Oak Meadow 5. I like the writing assignments in Oak Meadow but I think Exp1850 will round it out. I'm not sure if I will have, Annette continue with Meaningful Composition. OM has lots of writing. I might have her use  Book Reports a One Year Course from The Father's Books. Then have her use CQLA in 6th grade and continue from their with regards to writing.
Science, she will use Sonlight 5 with Josh. Bible will all do together using MFW EXP1850. We will study the book of James. Can't wait!
Math she will use Christian Light 5 (hopefully, she is finishing up CLE Math 3 and will continue through the summer and finish CLE4)

Caleb and Brent will use The Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading Level 2 for grammar, writing, phonics, spelling & reading. I'm almost certain I will start Mystery of History with them. Nothing to complicated. Just use MOH and add some read aloud books as time permits. They will continue to listen to audio books.
Science, will be audio books, books regarding Texas flowers, trees & birds. I will use two books from Simply Charlotte Mason; Jack's Insects & Outdoor Secrets.
Caleb will use CLE for math and Brent, might use Math Mammoth or CLE. I'll let him pick which route he wants to go. He is more of a workbook type kid. I'm thinking he might want to use CLE.

Ethan & Lance, will use The Phonics Road to Spelling & English and listen in on older siblings history & science.

All will continue with Talking Fingers for typing and reinforce phonics rules. Continue to learn about outdoor survival, roping, knife and tomahawk throwing. Maybe Annette, will get to take her sewing class at church again.

That's our plan for next school year. Still praying about it. I'm so thankful to the Lord, for giving me the opportunity to homeschool my little brood. I love them so much! I can't imagine them being away from me for eight 8+ a day.

Here is a picture of the children having fun in the snow. We were blessed with six inches. Just enough to have fun, but not too much where we have to shovel. I love Texas!

Another Nice Saturday

The sun is out today. I didn't realize how much I missed the sun. It's so pretty and warm (in the upper 50's). The children are riding their bikes. Brent's bike got a flat this week, so Lupe, took him to the store to buy a patch or something for it. I often tell the children that they are very blessed to have a dad who stops what he is doing to help them out.
Many times he will help them cut a piece of wood even though he is busy trying to get the house done. I praise and thank the Lord daily for my husband.

Even though I have tons of laundry to do, I am loving today. Here I pulled out the laundry basket from the only closet in the house (beside our bedroom closets). We have three closets in the whole house. Can you believe it? This is the width of our closet. But look at that mess. All that junk hiding under the laundry basket. Another embarrassing moment. Yikes.

I haven't completed cleaning it all yet, so no after pic. There were so many towels, sheets and blankets. Some were even damp. Yuck. I rolled everything outside where the washer & dryer is. Much easier to wash.

Lupe and the kids brought me home a McCafe coffee. Yum!

Nothing Much Done

Well, I didn't accomplish too much today. Annette, took her Christian Light Language Art's test today and scored 94%. That's the best score so far. The last two Light Units she scored 90%.

Brent, started a new math book today. Counting Numbers with Spunky Bk 2. He finished the first book. He started using this math program last year but I switched him to Math Mammoth over the summer. He keeps going back to his Spunky math book though, so I thought we'll just stick with it until he finishes it. He is more of a workbook type kid anyway. I'm wondering if he'll ever return to Math Mammoth. He seems more interested in Christian Light Education. I think he likes the whole workbook look.

I'm sure Brent, would love to do another year of Spunky, but there is no Spunky level 3.

My Sweet Lance

Yesterday after we dropped the children off at church my husband and I headed to my dad's house. He is in California. We are checking his mail. On the way, I got really car sick. Couldn't wait to get out of the car. We finally got there and the fresh air felt so good. We only stayed for about ten minutes. Just enough time to check the mail and empty a bucket of water. My dad has a leak and Lupe, hasn't had time to get to fixing it yet.

On the way home I was so sick. My head was dizzy and my stomach queasy. We finally made it home. I thought I was going to have to head to the bathroom but I didn't. I decided to lie down on the bed and there I stayed. Lupe, picked up the children from AWANA.

Lance, was so kind. He got me a blanket and cut up a tomato for me. He used a Dixie butter knife. I don't know how he cut it with that but he did. He brought it to me in a small bowl. Later he brought me a bowl with broken pieces of an ice cream cone. Lastly, he cut up an apple. What a sweet little guy.


Today, Lance, worked on his cutting, pasting and folding. Annette, read Lance the story of the Three Little Pigs and helped him cut out the pieces to the story.

Later, I read the story to him again and had him act out the story with the pieces he cut and folded.

More on CQLA

I wanted to write about the grammar portion of CQLA. My son needs more repetition to get things cemented in his brain. The average child may not need this but Josh does.

One week may concentrate on Adverbs but not enough for my son.

The numbers indicate the weeks.

  1. Week 1 Adverbs, sentence structure, speech tags
  2. Week 2 Adjectives & Contractions
  3. Pronouns, three types of sentences
  4. Subordinate clauses,
  5. Plural nouns, articles
  6. Possessive nouns, capitalization rules
  7. Subordinators & clauses
  8. Quotations & Speech tags, interjections
  9. Semi-Colon usage, Be, a Helper, Link Verbs
  10. and so forth...........................
CQLA does explain grammar very well. The child reads about adverbs. They do a work sheet to highlight them. Editor Duty, they correct spelling words and grammar. Josh, is only on the third month so I'll have to keep you updated. I'm just not sure if there is enough review for Josh. This is why I would like to add Daily Grams.  I think it would make the Checklist Challenge easier.

The Checklist Challenge is a neat part of CQLA but we are not using it to it's fullest.

The CC may have the child add an adverb to each paragraph, and an adjective, use a thesaurus to change a word, change a 'boring' verb in each paragraph to a 'strong' verb.

Since Joshua's grammar is weak we don't do all of the CC. I probably should take more time to help him with this.

Hope that helps a little. Hopefully as we continue I can write more about it.


Yesterday the children finished school early (due to them waking at 5:00 am or so) They went outside for some bike riding and found nature instead.

Josh, enjoys birdwatching and took a photo of these Waxwing birds.

Such beautiful birds. There were at least a hundred of them flying from tree to tree.

I zoomed in so you can see what they were after. Some sort of seeds growing on the trees.

Here is another bird enjoying our trees. I think it's a sparrow. Again I zoomed in on the little guy.

Another bird. Is it a sparrow? No, it's a Robin. I belive a female Robin.

Today, Joshua, went out again and took more pictures.

How do you like these two weird looking birds?

Just kidding. Brent & Caleb, are trying to keep warm.

Here is what Josh, took today.

A closer look. I think this is a Black-Capped Chickadee. They like to hang upside down almost as much time as being rightside up.

Here is our pathetic little bird feeder. I would like to get a better one someday. This one was inexpensive. $6.00 I think.

I plan to purchase a few books about the trees, flowers and birds in our area. Any suggestions? We live in Texas not far from Dallas.

I almost forgot to mention; yesterday Nature Boy (Ethan) walked slowly to where the Waxwing birds were flying. He was under the tree waiting for them to come back. He waited patiently and soon birds were flying around him. They were so close and he stayed very still. The children and I were watching from the window excited for Ethan. We saw him slowly lift his jacket up over his head. When he came inside we were all excited and asking him questions. The first thing he said, "They started pooping on me." we all laughed and now see why he was putting his jacket over his head. 

The children were joking, saying that the birds gave him a gift. It was funny.

 God, really must love us to have made such beautiful birds for us to enjoy. The details. How can one say there is no God? 

Ethan's Schooling

Ethan, is ready to read and write. My plan was to use Talking Fingers this year with him to get him going. The more I think about it the more I would like to start The Phonics Road with him. My only problem with this, is it will separate him from Lance.
 I know Ethan would do well if we started now.
I want to keep him and Lance together though. I can't imagine using four different levels at once.

I can't afford the student package anyway, so the helps with the decision. I think I'll have him practice writing the sounds out a couple times a week and see how that goes, plus he can continue using Talking Fingers.

Phonics Road Level 1

Brent and Caleb are on week 23 of Phonics Road. Yesterday I dictated all the words in their student binder. Today I dictated the words again in their composition book. My boys are older than the average bears for level 1 but they seem to need the practice. As I've mentioned we are pretty much going at regular pace.

After I dictated the sentence we read all the words. I then dictated a sentence with week 23 words. Once we went over the sentence I had Caleb, think of a sentence and they both wrote it. The sentence was "The girls forgot meat for supper." We went over capitalization and punctuations.

Brent's, sentence was 'The girls forgot to hang the mouse.' As you can see they need more practice with original sentences. I haven't been consistent with this part of the program. From now on I'm going to have them do this twice a week.

Here is Brent's 'Sentence Page'

Looks like I need to pay more attention to his writing. I found a few mistakes that were not corrected as I was posting this.

An Act of Kindness

Yesterday morning I woke up to this.

Have some coffee. The machine is ready to go!!! Josh.

All I had to do was hit 'start' when I was ready to have my java.

While pouring my morning cup of coffee, Annette, warmed my slippers for me. They were toasty warm for my feet.

I thought that was very kind.


Joshua, is using Character Quality Language Arts Level-A the Red series. He is in the third month second week.

CQLA includes penmanship, grammar, writing and spelling. Joshua, struggles with spelling so we are using Spell to Write and Read but I do have him read the spelling words and copy them. We just don't copy them to the spelling notebook or take the spelling test.

I chose to put Josh in Level-A which is recommended for grades 4-5 because he hasn't had a lot of writing instruction. He's had some grammar in the past but has a hard time with remembering....

Josh, is doing well with it. He doesn't jump around excitedly but he does enjoy using CQLA. His writing has improved. He has mentioned that the checklist challenge has helped him when he writes in his own journal (this he does on his own time and I don't require it. He just enjoys writing)

Each level of CALQ has three levels; Basic, Extension & Further Extension. There are three colors to choose from; Blue, Red & Green. Depending on what Character Qualities you would like to focus on for that year. I chose Red for Josh this year.
What I like about the levels; if your child is in 4th grade you can have him start with Basic, maybe halfway through the year you feel he can handle Extension as well. In 5th grade you can use the same level but have him do Further Extension and choose another color, so the passages are not the same.

Here is what a day looks like.

Day 1: He copies the weekly passage. Currently I'm having him copy only the Basic. I have him read the character traits that border his paper. He writes sentences, definitions as directed. He also reads the spelling rule and copies the spelling words. He does not do any review words because he is using SWR for spelling. Editor Duty, is where the child reads a paragraph and corrects the grammar and spelling. Since Josh, can't spell and is still learning grammar I have him skip this part. Hopefully next year we can include this.

Day 2: He does Study Skills/Prewriting: Key Word Outline. He goes through all the sentence and writes his KWO. I have him do the Extension. This is another great benefit because you can choose what level. Just because he only copies the Basic doesn't mean he can't do the Extension with other parts of the program. It's very flexible. Once done with his KWO he does the grammar portion.

Day 3: He writes a rough draft report from his KWO. CQLA gives him step by step instructions. He also writes his opening sentence.

Day 4: Grammar & Comprehension. This week he is working on Prepositional Phrases & Details. We go over his composition using the Checklist Challenge. The CC is where he adds or omits things. Maybe omit a word and replace it with a more exciting word. Something that will grab the reader.

Day 5: Normally Josh, would have a spelling test and a Dictation Quiz but because of his spelling issues we skip them. He does write his final copy of his composition.

The Dictation Quiz is taken from the passage of the week. The student is to read and study the passage everyday and on Friday he writes it from dictation.

I really like this program and it may seem that by skipping the spelling notebook, Editor Duty, the spelling test & dictation quiz why use it? The answer is, there is still a lot of meat to the program. Joshua's grammar and writing is improving. I like the character qualities they reinforce what my husband and I teach him. He reads about missionaries, men & women who love God and people in the Bible as he is learning his Language Art's and that's weighs heavily for one of the main reason we are using CQLA.

Will we use this next year? I would like to use Level-B from the Blue series. I'm not sure that we will though only because next year Josh & Annette, will use The Bridge to the Latin Road which is a grammar course. I think it might be too much to do both. Although I REALLY like the writing. I'm still deciding.

The grammar portion of CQLA does not teach diagramming. Instead it will have the student highlight the verbs in one color, nouns in another and so forth. The Author mirrors the grammar portion after Easy Grammar. For those of you who would prefer more grammar I would think you can easily add Daily Grams. I might purchase the 5th grade Daily Grams book to go along with CQLA. Since he will use The Bridge next year I might not. Decisions, decisions.

Funny Brent

My dad enjoys telling stories to my children. Some are tall-tales. Like one Monday when he said he was going to kill the possum in his yard and bring the ribs on Thursday morning for me to cook up on Friday.

Friday morning I took the ribs out that my dad brought the day before and placed them on the counter. Brent, walked in and said, "Those look packaged." He looked a little bewildered.

At first I didn't get it but after a few seconds I realized that he remembered that on Monday Grandpa Joe mentioned the Possum ribs. I told Brent, "Guess Grandpa didn't get that possum after all."

Another funny saying from Brent. My dad was talking about his vacation that he was going to take to California. Later Brent, asked me, "Why do they call it Lost Angeles if it isn't lost?"

I told him it's Los Angeles.

Waking Up Early

I have mentioned that my four older children are waking up at 5:00 a.m. or so. Here is how they look about 1:00 p.m. I think Josh is faking here though. Can you sort of see a smile forming there?

No faking here. This is the real thing! Although this picture was really taken at night.

Bed time is so easy now. By 9:30 p.m. all is quiet here.

Here is a picture of Caleb, studying his AWANA verse. Excuse, the mess around him.

Lance, reading ;)

Apples Daily Spelling Drills

Today I had Joshua, use Apples Daily Spelling Drills. It doesn't require the child to memorize lists of word but it does drill the spelling rules. Hopefully along with SWR he'll get those rules cemented in his cute brain.

Apples Daily Spelling Drills has been sitting on my shelf for three years. I bought it when Josh was in third or fourth grade but didn't realize at the time that it was meant for older children who needed drilling.

My children are still waking up early. Josh woke up at 5:30 and Annette at 6:30. Yikes! They like to finish school early so they can have more free time. It's weird when they say, "I'm done." and it not even 11:00 yet. If you think about it 6:30 to 10:30 is four hours.

Still Thinking

Ok, I'm still thinking about next year for my four younger. The most simplest way to go would for all of them to use MFW EXp1850 with Josh.

  • EXP1850-Exploration to 1850
  • 1850MOD- 1850 to Modern Times
  • CtG- Creation to the Greeks
  • RtR- Rome to Reformation 

It will look something like this.

  1. EXP1850 with Josh 7th, Annette 5th, Caleb 4th, Brent 3rd, Ethan 2nd & Lance K
  2. 1850Mod-Josh 8th, Annette 6th, Caleb 5th, Brent 4th, Ethan 3rd & Lance 1st
  3. CTG-Annette 7th, Caleb 6th, Brent 5th, Ethan 4th, Lance 2nd
  4. Sonlight Core-5- Annette 8th, Caleb 7th, Brent 6th, Ethan 5th, Lance 3rd
  5. RtR-Caleb 8th, Brent 7th, Ethan 6th & Lance 4th
  6. EXP1850 Brent 8th, Ethan 7th & Lance 5th
  7. 1850Mod-Ethan 8th & Lance 6th
  8. CtG- Lance 7th
  9. RtR-Lance 8th
I think something like this might work. I like that Caleb and the younger boys will be older when the reach CtG. 

Although I do like The Mystery of History option


Friday, was the day Annette, attends her sewing class at the church. This was her second time to attend. She learned more about fabrics. Next week they get to use the sewing machines. Miss. Nan, is an older lady at the church that has a heart to teach young ladies about Jesus through sewing. She is really sweet. She is actually the middle child of 11 children I think it was. Many of the girls in her class come from large families. We might be the smallest one there.

The boys and I dropped her off at church and we continued on to our favorite place. The coffee shop. Before we entered I told the children that I was going to purchase a coffee and a Pixie Stick for Annette (she gave me the money). I was not going to buy anything else. Then I reminded them not to touch anything. This coffee shop is no ordinary one. They sell lots of antiques.

As I entered the lady at the counter greeted us and said, "Everyone working here has agreed that your kids are the most well behaved kids we have seen."

I thanked her and we chatted a little. I told the children later what the lady said about them. I like to encourage them and remind them that their good choices are noticed. I let them know that they are the salt & light of this world. To let Jesus shine through you. Less of us, more of Him.

I always thank the person who compliments my children and let them know that it's very encourging to hear.


Today Lupe, took us to Auntie Anne's Pretzels. It was the first time we all got a whole $2.50 pretzel. They were free. Hee, hee. We did buy four Strawberry Lemonades to go with them. Yummy.

We sat outside and ate them. The children played near the waterfall. It was nice. We haven't done something like that in a long time.

After we went to Target. Caleb and Lance needed some shoes. I was going to buy some Borax but they didn't have it there. We also got a tire patch for Joshua's bike. Daddy tried riding his bike and popped the tire (shhhh). The kids needed some new toothbrushes. I got Brent & Josh the spinning toothbrushes. They were two for $7.48. Both boys brush their teeth regularly but they get a lot of junk on them. Sometimes I have to take a washcloth to their teeth. I also bought me a wide-tooth comb for my curly hair. No more brushing for me. Lupe, needed a new pair of jeans. By the time we left we spent 87.00. Yikes! How things add up so fast.

Lupe & I were really tired today. I took a nap when we got back while the children rode their bikes. Lupe, helped the children add air to the tires. He's a good dad.

The children helped wash five loads of laundry, so that needs to be put away. I still need to put the bedsheets on my bed. Saturday is change our sheets day. Doesn't always happen but we try.

The children woke up at 5:00 a.m. this morning. They are obsessed with waking up early. Lupe, took the four oldest with him to drop my dad off at the Greyhound Bus Station. He's going to California.

Ethan, came to my room about 8:00 a.m. (yes, I was still in bed, stayed up late trying to find info on mild dyslexia and other things) and said, "Mom, they all left me." He wanted to go with them to see Grandpa Joe off. Poor guy.

At least they brought back some donuts.

If I Could Start Over With Language Arts

If I could start over with Language Arts, what would I do? If I could go back in time; Josh is five years old.

I would purchase The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading. I would take the first year having him learning the sounds, continue through first grade but add penmanship. Have him learn those sounds forward and backwards while learning how to write them.

In 2nd grade we would officially start using The Phonics Road. Because I would like to keep them (the children) in two some would finish between 5 or 6th grade.
Once done with The Phonics Road continue with The Latin Road and Daily Grams.

That's what I would do.

My children are now 5.5yrs to 11.5yrs. I have wasted so much time and money. I was flip-flopping around, like a fish out of water.

I have learned that the grass is not always greener on the other side, just more complictaed and expensive.

Mystery of History

My friend Amity, suggested Mystery of History. Now why didn't I think of that? Back in the days (2003)......I was going to use MOH. That was when I use to make things complicated with combining a gazillion things. To think I owned the first two volumes.

FYI: For those of you who are going to order it soon there is an update of MOH Vol 1 coming to a theatre, bookstore near you! Here is a link.

My wheels are turning. I could add some of Simply Charlotte Mason books for extra reading (no pressure though). Letters From Egypt, Boy of the Pyramids, Jashub's Journal (use for read aloud only. Not the Bible Study portion, although it does look adaptable) and maybe throw in Outdoor Secrets and Jack's Insects for  a little science.

Now that looks doable. MOH can be read in the evening or we can listen to the audio cd too!

What to do with Joshua now? Sonlight 3+4 or My Father's World EXP1850?

No Need To Read

Just writing my thoughts about what to use next year. Might be a bit boring to y'all or confusing, so feel free to skip.

My three choices for Bible, History & Geography for next year. Sonlight Core 3+4, My Father's World Exploration to 1850 or Simply Charlotte Mason Genesis through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt Module 1.

My first thought was to use MFW EXP1850 for Joshua's seventh grade year. Use MFW 1850 to Modern Times for 8th grade. I planned to have him do most of the history reading on his own.

Annette, would use her own  American history program and I can use something with the four younger ones. I would love to start an Old Testament study with Caleb, Brent, Ethan & Lance.

As I think about having Josh & Annette using their own history and the younger ones study the Ancients, well, it looks like a bit much. I think I'd be able to handle it IF we were not using Spell to Write and Read, The Bridge to the Latin Road and The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading.

Although The Phonics Road covers all Language Arts for the younger children so it's not like they will have so many different workbooks.

The Bridge is a grammar program that the two older ones including myself need to take. I like that The Bridge does require mom to be there. I know my children will learn and it will prepare them for The Latin Road to English Grammar.

Those three time-consuming programs are non negotiable. They stay. Edited 2/11:(Um, they didn't stay. It was too much for this mama. I tried. What a difference a year makes. He,he.)

Because, I feel strongly about keeping them, it's making my Bible, History & Geography choices a bit more complicated.

If you're still with me.......to make things more simple I could use My Father's World EXP1850 with all my children. Although I'm still wondering when all the notebooking, timelines and such will fit in. Maybe make it a Friday thing or could be done on Monday since we don't do spelling on that day.

Another thing is I REALLY want to use Sonlight Core-5. Have since Josh, was in kindergarten.

Then we could all use Sonlight Core 3+4 (American History) Use Core-5 the following year with all the children (although the core is more for a mature audience) Have Josh, go on with his High School Studies and the rest of the gang can cycle back into MFW history cycle or Simply Charlotte Mason's cycle.

Those are my thoughts. Other things flying around in my head about school but I'll have to save that for another time. I need to pick Annette up from church. Today she had her sewing class.


Missed Words

With using Phonics Road the goal is to get the children using the phonogram sounds to spell words. Instead of spelling every by saying e-v-e-r-y you want them to sound out and think ev-er-y. Think ever/i/. English words don't end in 'i' so substitute y.

When my children are still missing the words after I have dictated the words twice then I have them write it down three times. I don't like doing this because it's not the "think-to-spell" way. I kind of modified how we do this.

Today Brent, missed the word 'said' yesterday and today. This is after I told him the word comes from say, so think sayed when you spell it.

I wrote 'said' and told Brent, as he writes 'said' say, 'sayed', underline the ai and then say, 'said'. Did that make sense?

Here is another word he is having trouble with, 'most'. As he writes most, mark the 'O' while saying 'o' and 'i' may say their name before two consonants.

With the word 'why' underline 'wh' and say, "English words don't end in 'i' substitute with 'y'.

I hope that by copying the word three times and saying the rules will help him remember how to spell the words and tie it in with his phonograms and rules.

Too Many Cookies

I think I have been baking too many Chocolate Chip Cookies. I stepped on the weigher and I'm five pounds heaver. Yikes! Scary.

Could be my good cooking too!

Or maybe all the whipped cream in my coffee.


Yesterday I was making dinner as the children were waking up from their naps. Annette, entered the kitchen, so I told her to make sure she had everything ready because AWANA is tonight. She is looking at me nodding her head and at the same time she opens the oven door, pulls out a pan and places it on the stove.

"Annette, Annette, what are you doing?" I ask. She just stares at me so I ask her again.

She finally snaps out of her grogginess and said, "I don't know. I need to use the bathroom." and she turned and left.

Today the temperatures was in the high fifties. A warm day for us. The children were outside riding their bikes and playing. Brent was selling lemonade that he made in his canteen. Ethan, came in and asked if I could cut an apple so he could sell the pieces. I think he sold them for two cents a piece.
Later I told Ethan, he could sell the rest of the donuts. We had five mini donuts left that grandpa brought for them earlier this morning.
I mentioned that he can't eat any, they are for his business. I also suggested that maybe he sell them for three cents each. He didn't like that. He said they would go too fast at that price. He than asked if I could cut them so he would have more. I asked, "Are you going to sell each half piece for two or three cents?"

"No", he said.

"For how much are you going to sell them for?" I inquired

"Five cents each." and he did. Each half piece of a mini donut was five cents. For a whole it would cost ten cents. I was surprised he sold them all. Annette didn't care for his prices but bought anyway.

We have been having wasp dropping from the sky in the backyard. I wonder if it's too cold for them. This has been happening throughout winter days. Weird.

Annette's Grandpa Joe, came by the other day and gave her this hat.

For those of you who know my dad, you also know that he is a die hard Viking fan! Has been since before I was born. To get Annette, a Cowboy hat is a BIG act of love for his sweet, wonderful granddaughter. I didn't even think I would be allowed to marry Lupe, becuase he was a 49's fan at the time (he is now a cowboy fan.)

Thanks dad!


I talked with Lupe, today about my Josh. He is going to take over math for a while with him. Yahoo! I'll assign the pages and correct them but I get to hand them over to my Sweets! I'm so happy!

Where is the Dr. Pepper?

It's been an I need a  Diet Dr. Pepper kind of day! A Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper at that!

Any of you homeschooling mama's ever feel like you teach and teach and teach but nothing is getting through? Well, I'm just having one of those days.

I know it's not true, but it just feels that way.
My Josh, is so hard to teach. He gets things wrong that he knows. Today we were going over his math problems. With one of his missed problems we went over it together, when he got it wrong again I asked him about a number that he ignored. He said, "It died."

How can a number just die off??? I wanted to get upset but I didn't. I told him numbers don't just disappear and die. He said that it was in the 'cents' and he couldn't borrow from the 'dollar' column.

This is something that I taught him in third grad and has known until now. He does things like this all the time and I'm so FRUSTRATED!!!!

At least he doesn't get discouraged.

All About Our Spelling

My two oldest Josh & Annette are using Spell to Write and Read. I believe from here on out I'm going to combine them. Annette, is a pretty good speller and Josh needs a lot of work, but I can't teach them with SWR separately any more. Takes too long.
Since Joshua, has trouble with the phonograms and which ones to use I am going to teach them both 20 words in one day. Day 2 I'll have them use the SWR cd to go over the same words again. They will listen to the word, pause it, write and mark the word and go to the next word. I'll then check to see how they did. If they missed any I'll go over those words with them. Day three I'll start a new list and add in the missed words. Day four they will again use the cd to go over the words again. Next week I'll carry over any words that needs practice.

Caleb and Brent I teach together using The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading. We are on Week 22 (Yahoo!). I'm doing the same thing with them. We finished list two. Tomorrow we'll go over the whole weeks list again using another composition book.

Next week I will have them start Week 23 on Tuesday; do the first half the words. Wed. we will go over the words again. Thur. do the second half. Fri. go over the second half again and add any missed words.

I'll see how this goes for a while and report back!

As for my two youngest. Well, that's a bit complicated. You see, Ethan, is ready to read and write. Lance, is very immature and has no desire to do anything but play and have mama read to him.

I want to keep them together for phonics using The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading. This means I can't start Ethan, using PR yet. BUT, he is so ready.

What I have decide to do is use Talking Fingers with both of them for phonics this year. At least this will get Lance, started and Ethan, can move on.

My only concern is Talking Fingers teaches differently from Phonics Road. I am teaching Ethan his phonograms still. What I started to do is sit with Ethan, when it's time for him to type sentences.

Talking Fingers first has them type "F_F_F_" the line is space (space-bar). Then they might type "Fa_Fa_Fa_etc." to practice learning where the keys are. They are also doing a few other phonics games for instance a picture will come up and if it starts with 'f' they hit and say /f/ another game is seeing a picture of a rat and writing the word r-a-t. Once they move on to writing sentences, that's when I come in ;)  I turn of the sound. If the child takes too long then the program will say, "Type the letter 'f'." I don't want him to be told, so this  is why I turn off the sound.

The program shows and tell the sentence briefly, then the child is to write it. I'll have Ethan, write it but I will finger spell a word first then have him type it. If the sentence is "The cat went back" I'll let him write the word 'the' and 'cat' because I know he knows how to write those words easily. With the word 'went' I'll finger spell it then let him type it. Same with the word 'back'. I'll ask him, "What /c/ sound do we use."

He'll answer, "/c/ two letter /c/." so that is how we are using TF. I'll keep this blog posted to see if it's working for us.

The older children are using it for typing (shhhh, reviewing their phonics.)

Talking Fingers does not teach all 70 phonograms only 40. It would be nice if it said three sounds for the letters a, o & u but I think it will work out okay.
I was teaching Spell to Write & Read. Today I combined Annette and Joshua today. I new the words were too easy for Annette, but I remember reading on the SWR YahooGroup that it's okay, they are still learning. One mom said, that even though she combined her older with her younger, that the older ones spelling still improved. So I might just do that too.

Anyway, we were going over the phonograms and 'ui' came up. They both couldn't remember the sound. I told the the sound and had them write it in a separate composition book five times. They were to say it as they wrote it. Annette said, '/00/, /O/. It's not catchy mama."  With some of the other phonograms; I guess they had a catchy tune about them.


Josh and Annette, have been waking up early. I think they started this Wednesday of last week.

Their goals; to start school and finish earlier. They also like how they can focus on their work with no interruptions.

This morning Josh, woke up at 6:00 a.m. He quietly got up, used the bathroom and walked into the kitchen. He was trying to start before Annette. As he reached out for the light switch and flipped it, he was freaked out and quickly turned it off! He turned on the garbage disposal. His first thought was, hope I didn't wake, Annette. He then quietly found a pan to heat up some water, which wasn't easy considering the pan was at the bottom of all the others. It's small, so it ended up on the bottom of the pile. Annette, woke up soon after.

I like that they are training themselves in good habits. Rising early to focus and stay on task with their schoolwork.

My Little Mama

Yesterday Lupe, took me out on a date. My dad watched the children. I made spaghetti for dinner.

Lupe, had a wonderful time. We ate Italian, watched Dear John (it was good. No bad language except for once the girl got angry and then they had to put a love scene. Those two thing ruined it) lastly Lupe, took me to Starbucks.

When we got home I was pleasantly surprised to find the kitchen all cleaned up. Even the dishwasher was running. Usually I come home to a messy house.

Dad, told me that Annette, is growing up. She took charge of the kitchen. She served her brothers, made sure they rinsed their dishes and put them in the dishwasher and gave them dessert.

My dad also told me that later Lance, said he was hungry. Annette, told him he already had his cookies for dessert. If he was still hungry he can have more dinner and she fixed him up another plate.


Josh and the boys helped too but my dad said, Annette, took charge.

My Fingers Are Frozen

It's 35 degrees but feels like 25 with 19 miles per hour winds. For those of you who have a washing and drying machine in the house, you are very blessed.

We have so much laundry because of the snow and slush that we have had here. My children's jackets are so dirty and they use twice as many clothes in snowy, slushy, rainy weather.

Not complaining here, just not sure if I'll remember this twenty years from now. Ya'know, to tell the children when they are all grown-up  and are not thankful for something. It's like the "I walked 20 miles in the snow to get to school" sort of thing or maybe it will be fun to read with my grandchildren. Who knows but worth remembering.

Linda<>< who so needs a hot cup of java

I Think I Have Science Nailed Down

I do believe I have decided what to use for Science next year with all the children.

Drum roll please! Sonlight Science 5 . It looks like a fun course. They learn about the body & survival skills. This will be good for Josh & Annette, because they are entering pre-teen years and it talks about the "change"

I will also add for the younger ones; Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology. I'll read it but I don't plan to do the notebooking or experiments. I'm only adding it to Sonlight's Science.


Josh, needs some review with Adverbs. Here is a link I found for free worksheets.

You can also print worksheets for other subjects as well.

Here are some more links: Free Adverb Worksheets, Adverbs, School Express.

There are many more. Google Adverbs!


Pitter-Patter, Drip Drip

The snow has been melting all day. I love the sound of the pitter patter or dripping.

Today I made a really good soup. I'll have to post the recipe but not today. I'm in hurry. I need to clean the kitchen and get some church clothes ready for tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow. Lupe, is taking me out for a nice dinner for two! He bought me some really pretty flowers.

I didn't get a picture :(

Costco Run

We made a trip to Costco yesterday. Our pantry was getting pretty low.

I told the children that we were going to try our best not to buy so much processed food like fish crackers, Ritz and such. We would make some muffins for snacks and finish of the fruit from the co-op. We did okay.

What I like about Costco is they have lots of Organic products now. We were able to get organic applesauce, peanut butter, tomato sauce, oatmeal packets, Rice milk,  Free Ranged Chicken stock, Maple Syrup, Sliced Cheese,  Butter and Spaghetti noodles.

We also stocked up on Balsamic Vinegar, white vinegar, whole coffee beans, shredded Mozzarella & Cheddar cheese, canned, olives, mushrooms, Ranch Style Beans, Baked Beans, Rotel Tomatoes, Oatmeal, Vanilla, Mayonnaise, fruit spread, strawberry jam, Pecans (Ethan's favorite) Sliced Almonds (for our cookies), Ground Beef, McCormick Chicken & Beef Base with no MSG.

And I did get some Saltine Crackers, Peanut Butter Pretzels, Graham Crackers & Organic Animal Crackers. Normally we would have gotten the Ritz, Fish crackers, Pop Tarts, Granola Bars, Bisquick, Nutri Grain Bars, and some others that I can't recall.

Some extras that I got; Starbucks Cocoa and Agave Nectar .

We also got AA, D & C batteries, slippers and Popcorn.

It all came out to a whopping 497.00. I tried to get enough to last us a few months with a few trips to the grocery store & Braum's. We buy our milk, eggs and butter at Braums once we finish with what we got at Costco. Hopefully, I won't write about another Costco run for a another couple of months.

I know I could have done better by making a few of the items like mayo, salsa and not getting things like animal crackers or Starbucks Cocoa (to make your own click here) but we did do a lot better. I did double up or triple up on things like apple sauce and normally we would have spent this much on a lot of snack foods.

All the canned beans and Rotel are for our Taco Soup. Yummy! It's regular thing around here now.

Joshua, loves to have his Grahm Crackers with milk for a snack in between school subjects.

Annette, loves Pop Tarts but she was so good and didn't ask for them.
Movie night here. Annette picked Iron Will.

Today we had 6 inches of snow. The children had lots of fun. Pictures coming soon!

Here are some of the pictures.

Even our toys were freezing!

Bird Feeder


Snow Angels


And lots of laundry!

By the end of the day we had lots of slushy snow. Josh, swept the whole drive-way. He said he enjoys the hard work.