Monday, May 31, 2010


I have recently discovered this blog and have been sucked in to looking at so many of her pictures. She does a GREAT job of capturing the colors of her everyday life and I love those kinds of pictures. With that inspiration, I got out in my garden a bit this morning and captured a few happy colors.

Travis bought and planted these beautiful lilies on Friday. These orange ones are my favorite.


Pretty pink.


We had some yellow, but apparently a bird or something got hungry last night and had a snack. Hopefully, I can snag a picture when they grow back.


Our broccoli plant.


Baby broccoli. : )


Baby tomatoes. : )


Baby sunflowers. : ) And yes, even though they are about the same size as Noelle, they are babies. Last summer they got to about 8 feet tall before we hacked them down. Crazy!


Near. (Natalie with the sunflowers.)


Far. (Natalie with the corn.)


Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Download N Go Information

The Adventure Begins Giveaway!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and Amanda Bennett Unit Studies have teamed up to celebrate the successful launch of Download N Go™ with a Sweet Treat Prize Package in The Adventure Begins ... Giveaway!

They're offering one lucky winner the SWEET chance to go EXPLORING this FALL!

The entire FALL curriculum lineup of Download N Go™ (Wow! That's 19 studies!).
A $25 gift certificate to Baskin-Robbins (yummy ice cream).
A $25 gift certificate to (for those back-to-school supplies).
A $15 gift certificate to Starbucks Coffee (a special treat just for the teacher).
A full year's subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine (encouragement and resources all year long).
A "sweet" blue and brown Homeschooling With Heart tote bag (THE must-have accessory for FALL!).

For more information just click on the icon above! Contest will run May 24 and through June 12!

Also, DNG has decided to offer a coupon code for 20% off multiple packs of the DNG units! Wow - 20%. The code is: DNG20PKS - just use that code at check out and receive 20% off any multiple pack purchase!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Project 365 ::: an update

Yes, I'm still doing this. I've missed a few days, but I'm enjoying the chronology of life that we're capturing. A few recent shots:

5.21.2010: One of our outings as we celebrate the new-found freedom of being done with school. A long overdue trip to Barnes & Noble so B could play with the trains ... and of course, we ended up with a few books to go. 


5.20.2010: You would never know that this boy had just struck out by the smile on his face.


5.9.2010: Beaver Brand mustard for Grandpa's birthday. Not a traditional gift, but by Grandpa's surprise he was very pleased. 


5.16.2010: Meeting Grandpa and Grandma's dog Izzy for the first time. When asking N2 her thoughts on Izzy, she reported that she liked her, but that she jumped up too much.


5.11.2010: Happy mail. Brushing up on Woody and Buzz before Toy Story 3 comes out this summer!


You call always check in on our Project 365 by clicking the camera graphic over on the right-hand side.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bloggy Review ::: Download N Go Davy Crockett!

Back in January, I blogged about Amanda Bennett's unit studies and how much N1 and I were enjoying them with our school. I've recently received two of her Download N Go unit studies to review and there will be a fun giveaway, too, so make sure and hang in there to the end of this post. : ) These studies are geared for a K - 4th grade age range. As N1 was in K this year, we haven't attempted to do everything in the studies, however, there have been plenty of questions and prompts to discuss and learn about. My favorite part of these unit studies is the extensive book list that is provided! At the beginning of each unit, there is a list of close to 40 books you can look for at your local library (or purchase) that talk about the subject of the unit. For us, that has been a great help especially as we spend so much of our day doing read-aloud right now. 

First up, Davy Crockett! From the press release:

Davy Crockett will delightedly bring plenty of interesting stories to your family and encourage lively discussion in your household!

Students will travel with Davy from his early frontier life in Tennessee through his heroic efforts at the Alamo, investigating these daily objectives filled with high-interest fun in an interactive format:

· Day 1: Who Was Davy Crockett?
· Day 2: People and Places in Davy Crockett's Life
· Day 3: Science Secrets of the Frontier
· Day 4: Lessons to Learn From Davy Crockett
· Day 5: Remembering Davy Crockett 

There's an additional Learning Links page, and all lapbook components are ready to print and go! There's even a Davy Crockett timeline!

Integrated studies include: History, Spelling, Geography, Vocabulary, Literature, Writing, Science and Art!

As we finished up our school year last week, we did a few of the activities about Davy Crockett. How fun to find out that this American hero was born in our home state! We learned a little about Davy, a little about Tennessee, and made sure to listen to the theme song from the Disney movie about Davy Crockett. Had we continued with the study, we would have spent some time learning about Texas and Davy's adventures at the Alamo as well. A great character study of an American legend!

And now, for the giveaway ... leave a comment on this post for a chance to win your choice of a Download N Go unit study! I'll take comments on this post, and there will be a second post next week when I highlight another unit study and you can comment on that post, too (so you have two chances to win - I am only giving away ONE unit study.) : )

Two requests:

1. Take a minute to hop over to the Download N Go page at The Old Schoolhouse Store and tell me which unit study is the one you would like to win. (You are free to change your mind and pick another one if you do win!)

2. Also, please make sure that you leave an email address when you leave a comment - no email address = no way to contact you = no win.

Good luck! This contest isn't limited to just homeschoolers, by the way! If you see a unit that you think would make a fun summer project for your kids, feel free to enter! Watch for a second Download N Go review next week and another chance to win one of these great studies! The contest will close on June 8 and I'll draw a winner from the combined comments on the Download N Go posts.

Disclaimer: I received this study courtesy of the LitFuse Publicity Group and have received no monetary compensation. The contest is entirely of my own doing and not affiliate with any other group or organization.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Felicities ::: May 21


  • all things boy!
  • talking over boy names with T
  • our summer break from school
  • summer plans 
  • Fridays
  • scrapbook-y inspiration and creativity
  • the itch to make some changes
Happy Friday! Have a great weekend. : )

Linked up over at Becky's

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Then & Now

First day of school: 

Last day of school:

She looks older to me (and taller). : )

P.S. I also have a guest post over at Offering Hospitality today, if you are interested. : )

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chapter Books for the Young

Last week, I put out a call for help on Facebook and Twitter. N1 is reading like a crazy girl and I'm hard pressed to keep up with her request for little chapter books that she can dive into safely, i.e., meaning, I don't need to preread before her). Well, let me just tell you that my friends on FB & Twitter more than came through for me with suggestions. In case you have a budding reader on your hands and are stuck, this list is for you. (If I've read the book or at least some in the series, I've put an asterick beside them ... otherwise, they've been recommended to me, but I haven't read them yet).
Edited to add:
More additions:
  • My Father's Dragon books by Ruth Stiles Gannett (we loved these and own them! Great for boys).
  • The fantasy series by Andrew Peterson: North or Be Eaten and On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, book 3 hasn't been released yet) I have read these and loved them - I don't know that I would hand them off to one much younger than 3rd grade, but they would make great read-alouds for a younger audience (especially boys).
  • The Mary Poppins books
  • Tumtum & Nutmeg books by Emily Bearn
  • Redwall (another long series about mice that I've heard good things about, but haven't read)
Edited again to add books that our local librarian recommended. Again, I've not previewed lots of this and am just typing from her list. These are all listed as 2nd grade easy readers:
  • Fly Guy Books
  • Wiggle and Waggle
  • More Mr. and Mrs. Green
  • Golly Sisters Books
  • Minnie and Moo Books
  • Agapanthus Hum
  • Forest
  • Iris and Walter Books
  • Frances Books*
  • Winnie the Pooh Adaptions
  • Clara and the Bookwagon
  • Frog and Toad books*
  • Tillie and Mert
  • Pearl and Wagner Books
  • Little Bear Books*
  • Amelia Bedelia books*
  • Henry and Mudge books*
  • High Rise Private Eyes Books
  • Mr. Putter and Tabby books*
  • Poppleton Books*
  • There is a Carrot in my Ear and Other Noodle Tales
  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa
  • The Know Nothings
  • Oliver Pig / Oliver and Amanda books
This is listed as 2nd grade fiction:
  • Secrets of Droon series
  • Arthur Chapter books
  • Tiara Club Series
  • Zack Files Series
  • Pinky and Rex Series
  • Ready Freddy Series
  • Song Lee Books
  • Horrible Harry Books
  • Katie Kazoo Series
  • Rainbow Magic books (These are okay as far as subject matter, just kind of cheesy & lame in my opinion) : )
  • Junie B. Jones books (I don't care for these)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Giant Robot Series
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Series
  • Jigsaw Jones Series
  • Marvin Redpost Series
  • Capitol Mysteries Series
  • Geronimo Stilton Books 
/end edit : )

Right now, we're reading through The Chronicles of Narnia (and listening to them on audio book) and will probably continue those read-alouds through the summer. I want to come up with some fun read-alouds for the summer to alternate with Narnia ... so far, Farmer Boy is on the list and possibly Mary Poppins.

Other places that I've looked for suggestions have been Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt and book lists that go with different curriculums: Sonlight, Charlotte Mason (Ambleside) Online, etc. Those have given me some suggestions as well. I would also love to purchase at some point Sarah Clarkson's book on reading which I understand is full of suggestions as well.

Whew. I think I have enough to keep both her and me busy for the summer, don't you? : ) If you have anything that you want to throw out, please let a comment and I'll edit and add it to the list.