Monday, November 16, 2009

1, 2, 3




Friday, November 6, 2009


One month of homeschool under our belts and Ry is doing great!!
We try to work on these areas every day:
Sign Language

When Rylee is having a "good" day, we just fly through the subjects. When she's having a "less than stellar" day....well, we just pick a few and carry on.

All last year, we could NOT get this kid to try reading. I have a feeling that something went wrong at school during reading and she ended up having a sit 'n think. It totally put her "off" reading, spelling and printing. Sooooooo, I've started her right back at square one....mastering letter sounds. I also found the Dolch List and she's zipping through these sight words, twenty at a time. Soooooo very proud of her!!

Making sentences with the Dolch Flash Cards:

We started a little weekly program, called Country of the Week. She gets to choose any country
and we do a unit study on it all week. She quickly got bored with this so it has morphed into Flag of the Moment. lol She loves to locate the chosen country on the globe, draw its flag, study the facial characteristics of the people, learn a few of their words, and listen to their style of music.

Here's her flag board:

I showed her what Continents are so it's easier for her to pinpoint her chosen country:

She was good at patterns, but she just couldn't get the adding and subtracting thing down, when she was first home. She got it within a couple of we're skip-counting by 5's and 10's to 100. This week she learned how to tell time at the 1/4 hrs. Today she caught on to the 5 minute intervals....amazing!!

Sign Language:
We have a set of DVD's called Signing Time....and I love them!! She's been watching them for a couple of years now, but she still enjoys them.

We are also reading all the books from the Science of the Week list. They are terrific!! I can't believe how much I've learned already! LOL
From the Series: Let's Read and Find Out Science.

One of the experiments/activities had us roast pumpkin seeds:

So far she's mastered body parts and simple phrases. I'm trying to join French and Sign Language together right now. She "signs" a word, says it in English, then says it in French.

I'm going to need a "real" teacher for this one pretty soon.....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I'm NOT a pill person....however I have thanked God many times for aspirin and the odd Robaxacet. Come to think of it....Demerol was high on the list after a couple of surgeries too! lol

So when I waded into the whole health and well-being field, you can imagine my shock. There are shelves of vitamin pills to choose from...starting with every letter of the alphabet. Some for your skin, some for your nails, some for your libido, some for your kids.....and every brand is "the best"! Yah know?

So being the skeptical and tin foil hat wearer that I am, I went with the bare minimum.
Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Flax Oil and eat lots of garlic.

Both girls get 500 mg of Vitamin C. 1000 mg when cold/flu season hits. They have their own brand for now because our C was too strong and tart tasting.
They also get 500 IU of Vitamin D. I was crushing our pills and hiding it in a spoonful of yogourt until I found Vitamin D Gummies. They happily take their pills every morning.

Big Daddy and I both take 1000 IU of Vitamin D...which we will double now that cold/flu season is here. And we both take 1000 mg of Vitamin C...again we double since it's that time of the year.

I'm big on garlic...the little people can actually eat it raw now! Too funny!

And my newest trick is Flax Seed Oil. It kinda smells and tastes like rotten walnuts but I tell you since I've been taking hearing has improved and my coat is shiny! lol Just watch out for the burps....woohee.... I now have Big Daddy gulping it down with his juice in the morning and I'm sure I can properly disguise it in smoothies for the little people.

Well that's it for, what do you take?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Pints of apple butter? Nope, years I've spent on earth. I wish it was the apple butter scenario. hehehe As I turn 43 today, I realize I have come to that place in my life where.....I don't care one bit what people think of me. Somewhere along the line, being a size 8, having perfectly coiffed hair and wearing the latest clothes became highly unimportant. Oh I know, some of you will think it coincides with the arrival of the kids....maybe. But I'm thinking it has more to do with not needing to impress anyone....and a real need to be happy! Afterall, when Mama ain't happy....well, nobody's happy.

It dawned on me that I didn't have to conform to anyone's standards. I don't have to live in the burbs, send my kids to the "right" activities, get my nails done, buy things on credit, be a good little drone....I DON'T HAVE TO!!! It makes me "sane" in the eyes of the regular folk to follow the rules....but it makes me UNHAPPY! When weighed, HAPPY wins out over perceived sanity.

So, I will happily embrace my inner hillbilly, canning and dehydrating food....all the while clothed in ankle-length denim dresses and packing a few extra pounds. lol I will knit and sew, homeschool, stack firewood, live, laugh and love! Ahhhh, life is good!!

43's going to be great!

Monday, November 2, 2009


I have a Nesco All-American Harvest Dehydrator....and I love it! Mine came with 4 drying trays but since I've started drying apple rings....well, we definitely need 8 more.

Okay, so here's what happened during my first attempt:
With all the apples I've been playing with, I figured it couldn't hurt to pick up one of those fancy cutter/corer/peeler thingamajigs. If you haven't seen one of these babies in action (ahem, Janice) you're missing something! lol
It peels the apple in one long ring:

It even slices the apple - NOT thick enough for me though

Uh oh, it's all in one long piece too.

My babies thought it was neat though:

So I ended breaking up that long curl into pieces. Not the best, believe me! The instruction booklet that came with my dehydrator suggests using a pre-treatment on the apples before drying so they don't oxidize....well, I'd never heard of ascorbic acid mixtures. I knew darn well I wouldn't have any of that on my pantry shelf...and I wasn't heading to the I just poured some apple juice in a bowl and soaked the apples in that. WORKED PERFECTLY! The instructions also said it would take between 4 - 10 hours to dry. I let mine go waaaay too long and they were too crisp.
Okay, so here's a shot of the end product:

For being a first attempt and too crispy, they still ended up being polished off by my crew.

My second attempt fared much better. I sliced the apples by hand - nice and thick.
Soaked them in apple juice:

Dried them for 5 hrs:

They came out nice and soft...and the batch was devoured in 2 days! Like I said...Mama needs more drying trays.
So what have you been drying?