Monday, August 18, 2014

Another day...Another Post...

A new school year is upon us...

I can't believe it.  It truly seems as if 2014 just began and here it is August already.  Time has certainly sprouted wings lately.  

The boys and I schooled through June and July and about half of August.  Then after a very, very stressful couple of weeks, I decided we all needed a break and time to regroup and plan for another school year.  

So, our "summer break didn't actually begin until August 13th.  The boys were so excited when the discovered the days "plans" on the whiteboard!  :) But, truthfully, I am ready for the structure of a regular routine.  Even if our routine is crazy, it's still routine!  

I see all the posts of Facebook about "first days" and think, Oh I want that joy again.  So, I have spent the last couple of days planning for the new school year.

Being the super frugal person that I am, I have most all of the curriculum that I will need for the next several years already in my curriculum boxes.  So, I simply went out and grabbed the next books and got my "plan" on.  I bought a subscription to the Homeschool Planet Planner back in May and let me tell you it is so worth every penny!  I can enter all my plans in the planner and move them around as needed.  No scratching out, no white out, no redoing it, no going crazy because it doesn't look "pretty".  I can move stuff easily if it doesn't get done on a specific day, keep records, add family stuff, etc.  It's phenomenal!  If you want to check it out - click here - there is a one month free trial you can use.  Let me tell you now though that once you try it, you will be hooked!  

Our curriculum hasn't changed much in the past year...we are going to simply keep going with what works for the boys.

Bug is turning 11 next month - oh my!  I tell him when people ask to say "I'm going into 5th grade".   This is simply for all the people out there who go by "grade level".  I find that the number on the front of the book doesn't really matter, the beauty of homeschooling is that he can work at his pace.

Bug is going to keep using Teaching Textbooks and xtramath for Math.  He is currently working on multiplication in xtramath and doing really, really well.  Well, I might have messed that up with this whole "summer break thing", but I can't stress over that.  He's sharp, I'm sure he'll get back on track fast!  I picked up a book called Test Tutor a while back.  I think I am going to incorporate this in throughout the year to "test" his math skills.  Although I don't believe "tests" are a really good way to access someones' skills, I do believe it's important to learn "how to test".  

Language Arts is pretty much the same stuff.  He will continue using Building Spelling Skills and Growing with Grammar.  He will also continue working through the Explode the Code series, he is currently about half-way through book 6, as he finishes one he just moves to the next.  I need to look into the Beyond the Code set, I suppose.  He still has a bit of the Handwriting without Tears cursive book to finish.  I think once this is done, I am just going to have him practice his cursive in everyday stuff instead of using an actual curriculum.  He's doing really well with his cursive...much better than I ever did probably.  I sort of fell off the wagon with the poetry and writing curriculum I started with him last year.  We made it about 3/4 of the way through the poetry book.  I plan to finish that up with him.  The Just Write book - well, he hates writing, so, I am just going to have to get that one done.  I know he needs it, I just gotta do it.  I think I can...I think I can..I think I can...

We will continue reading with the Pathway readers, they are so awesome!  The boys enjoy the stories, so it's a great fit for our family!  Bug started the 5th grade reader a while back, so I plan to have him finish that and work right into book 6.  I love the books and the workbooks that go with them because not only are they good wholesome reading, but the boys really enjoy them!  We will also continue with "free reading" time - at least 30 minutes of reading any book you choose.  I have a word study book that Bug is going to work with this year.  Just once a week to help build vocabulary.

Bible and History we study together.  I am going to dive into the Picture Smart Bible this year.  I have heard good things and my hope is that it will keep their interest and encourage a love of bible learning.  History is still "Our Nation Under God".  We have been slowly working our way though this curriculum.  I like it, it's pretty gentle and I can add in my own resources as we go.

Science is also a family subject.  I signed the boys up for the Skrafty Skool, Apologia Zoology 3 Land Animals of the 6th day, class.  I think that will be a great one to participate in.  They enjoyed the other skrafty classes they have taken and it's a great way to get them excited about learning.  :)  We will also be reading through the Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader book 3.  I love these books, they are such easy reading and great discussion starters.  Bug will also continue working on the lifepac science curriculum I picked up last spring.  I like these books and he is doing well with them.  

Red is 8 1/2 now and he too is working at his own pace.  Technically speaking, he's going to be a 3rd grader.  :)

Red will continue using Teaching Textbooks for Math and xtramath.  He too is working on Multiplication in xtramath.  I have a math skills workbook that I use with him just to give him a little extra practice.  

Language arts is changing a bit for him this year.  I am going to move him to the Growing with Grammar curriculum.  I think he, like Bug, will do well with this one.  He will also continue with explode the code, building spelling skills and his penmanship book.  I am also going to have him work on his "writing" using a set of story starters.

Red will continue with the pathway readers as well and free reading.

History and Bible are together, I mentioned them above.  

Science too, except for the lifepac science.  I did pick up a single copy of a lifepac workbook, probably at a thrift store or something a few months back.  It's an older copy, but I am going to try it out with Red.  I am not sure yet if he will like that style of learning.  But, if so, I think I might buy him the lifepac set, too.  

So, that is our plans...the planner is all set.  Next step is to get our supplies ready, copies made and such.  I still have a few weeks before we start, so I am not stressed. The planning is done and that is the big part!

Now...just to get them as excited as I am....

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Happiness is...

What is happiness to you?  What makes you happy?

I believe Happiness is made, I believe it's something that we find for ourselves.  Others can't make me happy, I have to figure out that happiness myself.

Sitting out in the yard with my zoo this gorgeous, spring morning I am happy.  So happy, it made me think about the many things that made me happy.

So in my happiness, I thought I would share some of these things with you.  (In no particular order.)

What makes me happy?

Sitting in the yard with my "zoo"
Coffee with lots of creamer
Basset Hounds
Gray kitties
Listening to the bible being read to me 
Knowing my Momma is praying for me
Teasing my SIL about the Cardinals
Conway Twitty
Books on CD
Sitting on the swing, yakking with my Hubs
Watching my boys do things they love
Watching Red Sox baseball 
Working with the other members of the ECCHO board of directors
Walking on the beach (or a golf course) with my Daddy
Playing catch with my boys
Volunteering at Waxahachie Care
Delivering Meals on Wheels
Watching Jack Bauer Save the world
Bacon wrapped asparagus
My Grannies clothes line
South Texas
George Strait music
Lesson planning
All shades of the color blue

Wow, my list is getting long. I am going to make happiness.  I think I just might wear something blue....  How about you?  Are you making some happiness today?

Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

Until next time,


Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

Here it is Easter Morning and I am up with the chickens.  Literally!  For those who know me, you know I am not an early bird.  But this weekend was Antique Alley, so our alarm has been beeping at 7:30 am.  Usually the kitties are meowing at the door to be let out around 5:30, but I will tell you, I crawl back into bed after I have booted them out the door!  This morning though, they let me sleep until 7am.  But then after booting them out, checking on the new roo in the coop and making sure that old Easter Bunny had indeed visited our house, well I couldn't go back to sleep.  So, I decided I would head out to the backyard, read my morning devotional, check my email, nose around Facebook and enjoy my animals.  So here I am working on my second cup of Joe and blogging.  I am sure I will begin, the kids will wake, we will hunt eggs, look in baskets and head to church and my blog post will be set aside until some time later, but I will begin anyway.

Meet "Little Red" - the newest addition to our growing zoo. 
Hubs says he's the new prison guard for the "henitentiary", I labeled him inmate 002. 
I have to tell you now that he is the cutest rooster ever!  He is so pretty - gorgeous colors!  He is very tiny though - about half the size of Eve.  When we picked him we didn't realize how tiny he would be compared to her. 

We stopped at a garage sale - a lady we visit every year at antique alley and she had some roosters out that she wanted to rehome.  She ended up with way to many for her hen house.  We saw Little Red and thought, "Oh we want him - he's similar in color to Eve."  She told us he was the runt and sometimes picked on by the other roosters, but he could stand up for himself.  Well great, he will fit in just fine.  We love the misfits!  So we went about our junkin' and came back by on our way home.  We loaded up "Little Red" in a box and away we went.  Eve was ready to get out clucking and pacing the length of the run as we entered the back yard.  We let her out and put Little Red in the coop. 
 He seemed to be right at home.  Eve stayed out in the yard with me and got to know him through the fence.  I don't think she was too excited about her new roo at first. 

 She clucked at him quite a bit and when we put her back in the coop she pecked him on the head.  She chased him around the coop a bit, but didn't hurt him.  I saw this as a plus.  She goes to bed about 7pm each night - on her roost - she doesn't come down.  I went out to check on them as the sun started to sink in the sky and there she was, in her usual spot on the top rung of the roost.  Little Red was out in the run pecking around - all was quiet.  I went out again later and he was roosting on the rung below Eve.  Ha!  Hubs thought that was hilarious.  He decided she wouldn't let him up there with her.  LOL  I hope it's just that he is so little, but he chose the spot right below her.  Poor guy - she pooped on him!  Today they seem to be getting along better.  Little Red ventures out of the coop, but he definitely knows he is safe in there and when he feels threatened (by Scamp) he runs back to it.  He has a tiny crow and is so cute when he does it.  He puffs out his chest and ruffles his neck feathers - precious!  Dad thinks he is a Rhode Island Red - he has some pretty colors.  I just love him already.  Eve and I have conversations about how great he is and how much she will like him once she gets to know him.  :)

Well as I said, kids woke and the blog was put aside, but we are back home now and I am in the yard watching my chickens and blogging again.  Hubs is staining the trim boards we got at Lowe's after church so he can finish out the bathroom.  That is a funny story...the bathroom I mean.  Last weekend Hubs was out putting up a gutter system for the garden.  I was cleaning house.  Somehow cleaning the litter box turned into ripping out the front bathroom floor and replacing the flooring.  HA!  Hubs is still wondering how that came apart.  When we bought out house (some seven plus years ago) the front bathroom had this crazy mix of wood flooring and linoleum.  What!!??!?!?!?!  I am not sure how that originally came about, but when I was ripping it all up I figured out that the wood part was leftover pieces from the hallway/living room job and some reason someone decided, well I will just cover part of the bathroom.  :\  Anyway, I have hated it since day one, it's hard to keep clean because the baseboards don't reach the floor and the linoleum was ugly anyway.  So as I was scrubbing it one of the baseboards caught on my rag and broke - I lost it.  Literally - it was a get this junk out of my bathroom moment.  I started ripping out baseboard and pulling up tile and boards and in a short 5 minutes I had the floor up.  As I look at it I am thinking, oops, hubs is going to kill me.  He's already working on one project - he's not going to want another.  So I grabbed a hammer, screwdriver and broom and went to finishing the rip out part.  Then I hauled the new flooring (this really cool roll out tile looking stuff (not linoleum) that is almost soft - I don't know what it is called.  We bought it at Lowe's several years ago to cover the floor of the food trailer.  It was on sale so I convinced Hubs to buy enough to redo both bathrooms.  Well it has sat in the garage ever since.  I love it though, it's really pretty and rolls out easily.  Hubs was so sweet to help me cut and lay it in the bathroom.  I was so glad to because fitting it around the toilet was more difficult than my mind had visualized.  But it's down and looks great.  We picked up new baseboards - real wood - not that other junk that they had put in.  So my sweet man is staining them so we can finish the job.  I am so excited.  It is going to look so pretty when we are done!  Yeah! 

It is trying to rain...but I am not sure it's gonna make it.  As we excited church there were a few drops - but the sun was shining.  When we got home, Red and I came out to throw the ball a bit while the chickens free ranged in the yard, it sprinkled a tiny bit then too.  the clouds have covered the sun, but no more rain.  I guess we shall see.  I know the garden would love some. 

Okay last one...

I went out to check on Eve and Little Red after dark...just to make sure all was well.  Eve was roosting on the top rung - as always, and Red was on the bottom!  haha!  He picked the s

Well I am going to sign off for now.  Laundry and house cleaning are calling my name.  It's gonna be another busy week, better get to it!  I hope your Easter was as blessed as mine. 

Blessed because HE LIVES,





Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ramblings of a night owl in the early with caution! haha!

Coffee, Devo, Bagel and Kitties.  

Do you ever "blog" in your head? Oh my goodness I do, all the time...while washing the dishes, driving to town, hanging clothes on the line.  I have so much to share with you people, but getting it from my head to the computer is another story!  If I had a device that would translate my thoughts directly to the computer - well my blog would be a lot longer.  LOL  I love the idea of a blog because it's a scrapbook of sorts and for me, who never seems to take the time to scrapbook or even just put the pictures together in some sort of an album, well my blog is it.  

Have you heard of Minecraft?  If you haven't, well I don't know whether to be jealous, tell you to watch out or scoff at your missing out on this great learning tool.  ;)

My boys discovered Minecraft a while back when someone started yakking about it.  I put it off as long as I could, but eventually I too got sucked in to the magic of block people and 1980's looking graphics.  I sometimes feel like I am back in the world of Atari.  I describe it as computer generated legos - except everything is a cube.  It's crazy, but they love, Love, LOVE it!  I have to tell you that I love how creative they get to be and how much they are using their thinking, reasoning and creativity skills.  So my friend, Kim, mentioned a homeschool, kid-safe, server and I got the boys signed up.  This particular server offers classes too.  That's right, classes built right into the playing of Minecraft.  A somewhat heavenly concept to my kiddos, let me tell ya!  So, I looked into it and decided we would try it out.  Red picked a class on Plants and Bug picked a class on Animal Habitats.  OH MY GOODNESS!  It is so much more than I thought it was going to be!!!  Each week they get an assignment which teaches a lesson - using videos, reading and various web pages about each subject.  Then after they do the lesson part they are given a building assignment on the Skrafty Minecraft Education Portal.  

So, Red built a model of the parts of a plant, photosynthesis, compost, pollinators, a venus fly trap, a garden, etc.  It is really the coolest thing.  He had to think long and hard and really stretch is thinking skills to figure out how to make each part out of blocks.  He really enjoyed it.  
Here is a pic of Red's lesson on pollination.
Here is a look at Red's plant plot - you can see his photosynthesis near the top - the square with yellow and blue is his garden, he also made a bee and the rectangle is a greenhouse.
Bug's class is a bit longer and he is still working on his class.  So far he has learned about the desert, the woodlands and the Artic Tundra.  Did you know that a sidewinder snake never has to drink water?  It gets all the water it needs from it's prey.  We watched this cool video about the sidewider and let me tell you it was crazy freaky to watch that snake moving sideways - SO FAST!  AUGH!  But it was very interesting too.  Bug builds each habitat on the Minecraft portal and after learning all about it and the animals, plants, etc that live there.  He's got some pretty cool habitats going.  I love how creative he gets to be.

Here is a view of one of the lessons - desert animals.  See that super cool camel - that's the one we want!

Here is a pic of Bug's Woodlands plot - The big brown thing off to the left is a "tree house".   He has horses and various woodlands animals in the plot. 

I also love that this gets in a bit of extra "science" for them.  Bug is working on the lifepac science and it's going really well.  I like the layout and the easy going nature of it. 
Bug's Science Journal

Red and I are still doing to lapbook journal idea I came up with - we just finished up rocks.  He really enjoyed that unit because he loves rocks.  We just finished that yesterday. 
A look into Red's Science Journal - Igneous Rocks.

He picked moon phases to work on next, so I have a list of books to get at the library.  We are also still working through Zoology 1:  Flying Creatures.  The boys are really excited because I told them that if we finish Zoology 1, that in the fall we could take the Zoology 3: Land Animals of the 6th day in the Skrafty School portal.  You can imagine how excited they are.  LOL  Each class will cover a reading in the book as well as activities and building assignments over what they learned.  Again - layered learning at it's best!  I am going to use the lapbook for that one along with the text and the Minecraft server.  It should be a spectacular class.  

Back in September we started "spelling journals" - a place to keep the various activities we do for each unit of spelling.  I like the variety of ways we come up with to work with words rather than the same old - writing 3 times each, sentences, definitions, etc.  I have found that my kids resist that so much and then we don't get much accomplished at all. So, variety works VERY, VERY well for us.  Each week they have words that they work on - I am using the lists from Building Spelling Skills, but we go over the words and only work on the words that they do not know how to spell correctly.  This saves a lot of tedious work that they hated.  We glue, type, write, bounce, throw a ball, match, say out loud, make flash cards, flap books, fold-a-bles...just about anything you can think of to learn the words.  So far it is going very, very well.  Here is a peak at Bug's unit a few weeks ago.  He typed the words out one day and another day he did word puzzles.  Each unit's work is glued into the journal for safe keeping.
Here is a quick look at our History journal - this is Bug's map of Native Americans Tribes in Texas.  We were discussing how far these peoples migrated from the middle east and how long it took, etc.  We talked about various tribes and where they lived in Texas.
Bug finished the subtraction facts program on  He can complete all the facts (0-10) in less than 3 seconds.  Woo-Hoo!  I absolutely love that program.  I can really see a difference in their math since we began using that for memorizing facts.  He began the multiplication placement test yesterday and I was so excited to see so many boxes already green!  (Green means he answered correctly in 3 seconds or less.)  Red is right behind him - at 97% on subtraction.  I love how good they are doing with math.  What a relief for me.  ;)

I am trying to stay ahead of their learning by doing my own studies.  I started Biology a few weeks back and I have to say that I am enjoying it.  It's a bit overwhelming at times, but I think it's giving me some good knowledge that I can use with the boys.  Plus I will have my lapbook journal to use for future reference - bonus!  I just happened to be reading about photosynthesis at the same time Red was and we had a really great discussion about it!  Love that!

Here is a look at my journal - I am currently working on a unit about atoms and molecules and DNA.  I have a system I use that seems to be working well.  I read through the chapter, answer all the questions (using the book as needed) in the lapbook pages, then I go back and work through the notebooking pages that are included with the lapbook set I bought.  It makes me go through the questions twice.  I like this - extra studying I think.  I have found that I remember more of the answers the second time. 
I have also added some math to my own studies.  I have always felt that I just don't quite measure up in the math department.  I often find that I wonder the best way to explain something to the boys without confusing them, etc.  This is one of the reasons that I love to Teaching Textbooks program so much, it does the explaining for me and is so much smoother than I.  But I wanted to sharpen my own skills, so I pulled out one of the Saxon texts I have in my curriculum box and am working my way through it.

Eve, our newest family addition is doing well.  No eggs yet, but honestly that doesn't bother me.  She is just a big old pet to me anyway.  I have to say that I think all she needed was to be the #1 chicken.  LOL  She is the sweetest thing really.  I am almost afraid to get her a friend, she might resent it.  I think she likes being the only one.  She is so funny, she follows me around the yard all the time.  #ilovemychicken  You know what is really funny, Smokey seems to be afraid of her.  Which really surprised me.  He is definitely the alpha cat around here and I figured if anyone wanted to eat the chicken it would be Smoke.  Nope, he is scared of her!  Funny!  He gets down low, eyes as big as saucers and slinks away when he sees her.  Lucky on the other hand still wants to make her his dinner!  #winnerwinnerchickendinner #donteatmychicken #badkitty  When we are in the backyard, I let her out of the coop to free range.  Well when Lucky comes back there we say #blackisback, so watch out!  LOL


This is the one of the first days after we brought her home, Messy was very, very intrigued by Eve.

Another first few days - Lucky has discovered the chicken.  He would stalk around the coop watching her.  Poor chicken!



Here is Eve's first time venturing out of the "henitentiary".

Our neighbor's daughter LOVES Eve, she was out in the backyard with me one afternoon and I looked up to find her in the run with the chicken!  LOL

These three are turning into the best of friends.  They just crack me up!

Messy and Scamp like the chicken coop way too much. As soon as Eve steps out (and sometimes before) they are headed in to check it out, roll around or find a place to nap.  Crazy animals!

Baseball season is underway and the boys are having a good time.  Red's team moved up a league this year and they are having to work a little harder.  It's really good for them I think to actually have some competition.  I think it helps to build their skills.  Bug is playing short stop again this year and loves it.  He is so long and lanky and fast!  We get out in the backyard and practice.  I figure our next property needs to have space for a ball field.  

Zoo Pictures - The Johnson Family Zoo:

Messy - all worn out.

The Rebels turn two!
Sweet Minnie Me

Momma's Smoke

Bug's Luck-Luck 

  Sometimes Eve is so quiet that I forget she is in the backyard!  I find myself frantically searching and calling her name (someday I know she will answer) and then undoubtedly find munching away somewhere - like in the cedar trees!

Messy climbing high in the red oak tree!

Forever Friends...

One rainy Sunday morning, I decided to sit out on the back porch and watch the sermon on my computer. Since I was out back and it wasn't raining that hard, I decided to let Eve free range.   Well the "not so hard" rain didn't last long because it started pouring,
thundering and lightening in nothing flat!  LOL  So, here I was with a hound hiding under the bench, Messy crouching beside me and a wet chicken at my feet.  My dilemma was clear - do I make a run for the coop or bring her in.  Hubs won't mind...right?  LOL  It slowed down a bit after some minutes so Eve and I made a run for the coop - thank goodness for bagels!  I shut her in tight and made it back to the porch, soggy, but before thunder boomed again.

Here's a funny story - my sweet man, #lovehim!  Last week while Bug and I were learning about the desert we watched a video about camels.  Well I have to tell you know that they are the cutest things!  Oh my goodness!  Bug and I have decided that we need a camel for our "zoo" (and a turtle).  So I casually mention this to Hubs.  I am cracking up as I type this because he is just so darn sweet.  He didn't say, "No way are you crazy?"  His answer was, "Do you know how much those things eat?"  LOL  I love him, he knows me all to well.  So, someday....I'll be sure to post a picture for you.  ;)

A parting picture...

Three friends, breaking bread together...

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Time for an update!

What's up with us?

Our school year has been going along well.  I use the word "well" because I admit that it has been a struggle at times.  Overall the boys are doing very, very well in their studies and I feel like we are moving through the material at a good pace.  I have added in a few things since the new year and I think it is working out well. 

I admit our curriculum, schedule and methods are constantly changing.  I have found that the boys get tired of repetition, as do I.  I like to change things up from time to time, keep it fresh and keep their heads in the game.  This also works well with Red because I haven't found what works "best" for him just yet.  I just keep praying that I am following God's plan.  I am consistently inconsistent...but I find that is possibly the key to good homeschooling (for me anyway).

We are still working our way through the Apologia Zoology "Flying Animals of the 5th day" using the lapbook set I found at currclick.  I really like this lapbook - it works well with the book and it adds in an extra layer of learning for the boys. 

Here is a look at the lapbook for our Zoology study (complete with a Minnie Me!).

I have added in another science curriculum for Bug.  I picked up some other science - a lifepac set - Bug.  I like the layout and I think it's a good way for him to work on some extra "science" stuff on his own. 

I also added in some more "science" stuff for Red - his is a  bit different though.  Currclick had a great sale a while back and I picked up several lapbook/mini book sets about various science subjects.  So using these in a spiral, I have set up a "science notebook" for Red.  He picked a set about tornadoes to work on first (surprise, surprise) so that is where we started.  I picked up a few books at the library for us to look at as well. 

Red's science journal:
Our history study has been moving along really well - I really like this curriculum.  We began talking about the continents and oceans, so I expanded that part on my own.  The boys have "continent work" each school day - they answer three questions about the continents - name some animals, countries, interesting facts, etc.  This will go into their history journals as part of the continent section.  We are forming "books" for each continent.  We are also learning about the oceans.  I have picked up several books about each ocean and we are learning all kinds of interesting facts about them.

Continent Work:

Here is a look at the continent mini books we've been working on.  The "continent work goes into this part of their history journal.  As each mini book is opened, they can find various facts and info about the continent.
Along with our mini books I am using a lapbook template about the seven continents.  We are researching each one, learning facts, locations, etc. and adding them to our history journal - I made a special section for continents and oceans at the back of the journal to keep all this work.
I've also added a "morning warm-up" to our routine.  I put up a few math things and some language arts stuff each day.  The boys work it all out in a daily warm-up journal.  I like this approach because it practices writing (Woo-Hoo!) and it reinforces skills that we are currently working on.
Morning Warm-up:
Have you ever played Quirkle?  I picked it up last year at Antique Alley, but we never took the time to learn it.  Well a few weeks ago we broke it out for the first time and I have to tell you WE LOVE IT!  It's so fun - yelling "QUIRKLE" and trying to figure out your strategy.  Tons of fun!
The boys and I have started a study of the 10 commandments.  We are using Grapevine Studies Stick Figuring Through the Bible.  The boys are making a book.
The triangle represents God and the figure is Moses and you can see the tablets off to the right.
The boys are enjoying all of their ECCHO classes.  I am enjoying leading the group this semester.  We have a very large group of families attending this spring.  It's such a great group.  Bug loves his chain reactions class.  He spends the week after class coming up with chain reactions at home.  Messy was helping him out this time.  Sweet girl that she is!

Baseball has started up again...we love it.  Bug is a Marlin and Red is a Dodger again.  They both won their first game.  We are all so excited, we love baseball! 


First Bat - Dodgers take the W - 11 to 6.


I have started a new "study" of my own - Exploring Creation through Biology (Apologia).  I love it!  I have always been a fan of learning.  I love to learn, I love to read, I love to study.  I generally have a study of some sort going...a book, a bible study, something.  As I was digging in one of my curriculum boxes, I came across this set.  I actually picked it up at a sale last fall.  Since Apologia is one of my favorite sciences and it was a GREAT deal, I grabbed it up!  I am so glad I did.  I finished module 1 in 2 days and made a 103 on my test.  My hubs and kids laugh at me as I spout out various tidbits that I learn.  I took biology in both high school and college and I don't really remember learning much.  I guess the older I get the better a student I come.  (Which gives me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel with my Red!  I just hope it doesn't take three decades to get better!  ha!)  I got the lapbook set for Biology from currclick and it has been making my study so much more interesting.  I am putting them together in a spiral - I figure it will be a good resource for the boys later on.  Some of Bug's current unit coincides with what I am studying, so that is neat.  I think it will definitely help me to understand what he is learning better and hopefully I will be able to better help him! 

Here is a look at my science notebook:

Other go-ings-on...

If you look VERY closely at the middle of the picture - hovering over the green flowering plant - well you can see a gorgeous hummingbird moth!  I was out in the garden with Hubs and caught a glimpse at this special wonder!  He buzzed around several plants for about five minutes or so - it was the coolest thing ever!  I was so excited. 

Messy the cat is very much at home these days.  She loves Bug's HUGE dog, his name is Burt.  She will seek him out to sit on him - it is the funnies thing.  I love her.

The "Henitentary"

My sweet friend Karen has chickens...and she had one that was being a bully to the others.  I've been wanting to get chickens for a while, but Hubby kept putting off building me a coop.  Well Eve (the evil chicken) was the perfect excuse!  Haha!  My sweet man built the Henitentary for Eve!  We brought her home last weekend, in the middle of a wild and crazy storm no less! 

Here is Miss Eve...I have to tell you I think she is quite sweet!

Hubs says this is her "mugshot"

Inmate 001
Going into the "Big House"

The Lookout

Lucky is checking on his prisoner


 The kitties are quite fascinated by Eve - see Lucky checking her out on the other side of the run?  :)
I got Eve a "salad ball" as Red calls it.  (Cabbage) - I attempted to hang it using string but it didn't hold well - so Hubs found me some wire.  I think Eve is enjoying it - she spends a lot of time out in her run pecking at it. 

Well I had better get the boys off to until next time...  we-