Monday, August 27, 2012

Rising Star Academy Week 2

Well we made it through week two!  Whew!  We are slowly getting into a good routine I do believe.  I am so thankful for routines.  They just make everything so much more enjoyable.  We accomplished quite a bit this last week and I am so excited about that.  We haven't added all the subjects into our schedule yet, simply because I find it best to start slow and add in.  That way the boys and I don't feel overwhelmed. I find this helps our days be more enjoyable.  We will be adding in science this next week, then Texas History a few weeks later, then artist study, and poetry study.  The boys having been working so hard and I am so proud of them!

Here are some highlights from this last week.

We started our week by saying our memory verse Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.  :)  We also worked through a couple more lessons in our stick figuring curriculum.

Bug completed Lessons 11-15 and Quiz 2 for Teaching Textbooks math.  He also took a 0-3's times tables quiz and did very well!  He scored 100 % in under 5 minutes on his addition fact tests as well!  

Meals On Wheels graphs:  Bug graphed whether or not each stop had a screen door and Red graphed hair color.  He was a little disappointed there were no red heads.  ;)

 Red worked on his calendar book, which included skip counting, calendar, and number lines.  He also worked on the double addition facts.  He worked on number sentences and practiced writing number sentences.  I introduced subtraction number sentences and we practiced a few of those as well.  Later in the week we worked with the pattern blocks - which is a favorite of Red's!  We also did an activity with light and heavy using the balance.  

Doubles Facts

Addition Number Sentences

Language Arts:
Bug continued his daily activities (daily grams, explode the code, word study) and started on Unit 16 in his spelling curriculum.  We also began working on contractions.  I found a fun book at the library for us to read about making contractions.  Then we made some contraction flash cards.  We use these for practicing what words make a contraction and how to spell the contraction.  He also completed another story and workbook pages in his reading book.

Bug's spelling...he loves to write with pens. We are working on "neatness".  :)

Daily Grams

Verb Activity - Pop Goes the Verb!  LOL  Bug wrote sentences about a soda can that had been smashed and trashed during his "life".  The object was to come up with some great high power verbs.  (This is a Hot Fudge Monday's activity.)

Reading with Lucky. Peanut loves his Lu-Luck!  

Red also continued his daily activities (explode the code and word study).  He started Unit 1 in his spelling curriculum.  This is new for him, last year he didn't have "spelling words".  He made a 100% on his first test! Red also began his new reading curriculum this week.  We talked about his new books and completed the first teacher story and he answered questions orally about the story.  Then the next day he read the first story and did the corresponding workbook pages.  In phonics we reviewed the rules and letter sounds.  For journal writing this week Red drew the weather and completed a sentence about it.
Red's Spelling

Field Trip!  We had our first field trip.  I had a co-op planning meeting, so the boys went with me to play with friends.  Physical Education Field Trip - woo hoo!  Love it!

Nature Study:

We ventured out to the trampoline and did some drawing and discussion about what we saw using different "views" around the backyard.  We also read more about Mr. Crab in the Nature Reader 2 book.  We discussed exoskeletons and skeletons.  We were all really intrigued and excited to learn that crabs can regrow a claw if they lose one.  They can also regrow an eyeball - can you imagine!  :)


We finished Draw Write Now book one - drawing the Gingerbread Boy.  We enjoyed talking about the story and even rehashing some gingerbread house adventures from the past few Decembers!  LOL

Literature Study:

We have been reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and discussing what we read at night before bed.  We are excited to hear this original version and plan a movie watching day so we can compare and contrast the two versions!  

Well that is our week...lots accomplished...yeah for us!  Love it!  

Until next time...we-


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kitties make good teachers too!

You know sometimes you learn the simplest things from the most unlikely places.

Today I got a lesson in peace from my precious gray kitty.

While cutting up chicken for the pot of chicken tortilla soup, my sweet precious Smokey came into the kitchen and plopped at my feet. I began having a one sided conversation with my sweet boy when all of a sudden it hit me.

Peace can come in many forms and from lots of places, but smokey had found it in the kitchen next to his mama. His human mama that is. That sweet boy, I just love him to pieces.

I had this lightbulb moment when I figured out he was purring! As I was chatting with him about nothing in particular...he just started his motor, and let me tell you it was revved up - loud and precious!

Then it dawned on me that I am able find peace at the feet of my Savior. I feel safest and most secure when I seek him out, sit at His feet and just listen.

Now I know that I should know that already and perhaps I do, but it was certainly a lightbulb moment for me!

I have been making an extra effort to make sure that I take time each morning to read The Word and spend time with God. I am amazed (even though I shouldn't be) how much better my days are going lately.

It took my sweet Smokey to open my eyes!

Praise be to God the Lord Of All including gray kitties!

Until next time, we-

Monday, August 20, 2012


Ambition can be overwhelming at times, don't you think? I have found in the first week of school that my "ambition" was a bit much. Sigh...

Not that I am surprised by this! Lol

When I set about planning our new year, I started us off with such
beautiful plans. Lovely pages of ideas and plans for perfect days of learning. Well, on paper anyway.

Stop your snickering!

I didn't say realistic! :)

I am not new to the homeschooling venue. We have been at it for years. I have done it with my own kids, I have done it with other peoples kids, I have also done it in groups. But I have to tell you, a new year is ALWAYS a learning experience! And not just for the kids! Lol

I'm a planner at heart, I tend to Always over plan. I like the planning part I admit that wholeheartedly. I figure that too much to do is better than not enough.

My issue comes in that I can't let myself get frustrated when it doesn't go according to the book. Our first week went fairly smoothly. We certainly didn't get everything done that I had in the book, but we got a lot done. I think that I tried to add to much at the beginning of a brand-new year. It's just that I have so many cool ideas and fun things that I want to do. I want to put it all in the plan so we can have fun whole learning, but I know I have to have those basics in there too.

It always takes a couple of weeks to get a smooth schedule going, and I try to overdo it sometimes. But don't get me wrong ambitions a good thing. For me I just have to figure out about us.

So my plan is to back off a bit, and get the schedule down pat - doing mostly the basics. Then we can add extras as we go along.

Ambition a good thing if you use it in a good way.

Just rambling in the midst of a lightbulb moment.

Until next time...we-

Friday, August 17, 2012

2012-2013 School Year Week 1

Rising Star Academy is back in session!

We started back to school this week.  We had a very light summer schedule and then took a two week break at the beginning of August.  

So we are back at it and trying to get into the swing of things! It always takes some time to get into routine and get the schedule down pat.  I certainly didn't achieve that this week, but we are well on our way I do believe!  

Day one went well...I had wondered how it would go because not only was it the first day, but we had plans to take the boys to see Monday Night Raw in Dallas.  Of course they were unaware of these plans.  I had to do a little finagling to get school done and get us together and out the door for a little shopping and errands!  LOL  We got it done, but it was tight!  

This week we have worked on lots of stuff!

Bible:  Mission story #1 and activity from Lad Magazine; continued working on two activities from Stick figuring through the bible and began memorizing Ephesians 4:9-10.

Math:  Bug worked through lessons 7-11 of Teaching Textbooks 3 as well as Quiz 1.  He worked on Sums of 10, doubles, little more than double and lines and line segments.  He also worked on the three's multiplication facts and took a couple of 100 problem addition tests - he took 15 seconds off his time!  Yeah Bug!

Math:  Red worked on his calendar book; counting by 2's, writing numbers, addition and subtraction, inside and outside, +0 addition facts, and angles and sides of shapes.  We also went over counting pennies, the season of fall, dividing solids into 1/2 and sorting by attributes.  Later in the week we went over sets, pictographs, ordinal numbers and writing number sentences.   

On Thursday both boys made a graph using data they collected while we delivered Meals On Wheels.  Bug's question was Who answers the door - a boy or a girl.  Red's question was - are they wearing glasses.

Spelling - Bug worked on Unit 15 and score a 100 on his final test!

Reading - Bug started the level 3 pathway readers and completed story one and the corresponding workbook pages.

Reading - I didn't get to Red's first lesson in the level one pathway reader this week, we just ran out of time.  But we did do an activity out of a reading workbook.

Computer - Red worked on Time For Learning several days this week.  He likes the language arts activities.  Especially the ones where he gets to make a story using the interactive felt board.  He just laughs and laughs!

English - Bug worked on daily grams a few times this week, just to practice those basic grammar skills like capitalization, punctuation and sentence structure. He also worked on his word of the day and learned about verbs.  He completed a few lessons in his explode the code book and did some free writing in his journal.  (He wrote about the kitties.)  :)

Phonics - Red worked on a few phonics lessons and learned about sentence structure.  He worked on letter J and letter K for dictionary skills, practiced sight words and worked in his explode the code book.  He journal-ed about his favorite season (winter) as well.  

Music Study - We began our first music study this week and started with Beethoven.  Did you know he was deaf?  I did not - can you imagine?  I am just blown away by that little tidbit of info.  We listened to some of his music and we read a bio about him.  We also listened to a story written from the perspective of a little boy who lived downstairs from Beethoven.  We mostly did a lot of listening and just trying to appreciate his works.

Library - We stopped by the library for a picnic and then went inside for a little learning!  We completed our school work and looked for some books to take home with us.  Bug found several books about tornado and hurricanes, his favorite subject these days!

Literature study - we have been reading a collection of bedtime stories at night before bed.  Hubby picked up some great books from the D library for me this week, so we started The Wonderful Wizard of Oz last night as well.

Nature Study - the boys and I went to the cemetery after the library and we sat for a while and just took in nature.  The boys drew pictures of what they saw and heard around them.

Art - Today we did the next lesson in our Draw Write Now book, The three bears.  

Here is Red working on his calendar book.  We put together a new calendar for August.
Bug working on math - teaching textbooks - he is doing so well and he loves having the time on the computer instead of "writing" so much.
Red's math lessons include addition and subtraction, so we used his civil war guys to act out the number sentences.  He of course loved this part and we have kept it up all week.  I think it has helped him to stay focused on his work.  Yeah! 
Smokey thought the calendar book (which was drying) was a good place for a little rest!   
Lucky says "I'm Finished!" and we believed him since he was sitting in the finished basket!  LOL 
Red working on more math...drawing pictures of the number sentences. 
We talked about seasons one day and we are all excited that fall is getting closer.  Red drew some pictures representing what he knows about fall.
Bug started his new Reading curriculum.  He started book one of the level 3 pathway readers.   
Learning to graph...with civil war soldiers no doubt!  LOL 
Nature study - we delivered MOW and then went to the library to complete our school work - then we headed over to the cemetery to do a little nature study. 
Our Draw Write Now lesson today was the 3 bears - I thought they did a great job!  
Bug's English lesson was over Verbs, we started out brainstorming verbs and making a poster.  You will notice which ones were Bug's verbs!  LOL 

So that was week one...I am tired just thinking of it now!  LOL  We are up and running...Woo-Hoo!

August Happenings...

Kitties, Kitties, Kitties...we love our precious kitties.  They are so funny.   Mama's Kitty brought up a snake - gross! - and we found them in the yard eating it...yuck!
Here is Smokey devouring the snake. 
He was growling at Bug when he tried to take his snake!  LOL 
The Minnie stole the snake and was growling at Tigger!   
Minnie trying to keep her snake from Tigger. 
Cat fight - literally!  LOL  The girls were fighting over the snake! 
It's tug-o-snake! 
Then when we came back outside, we found Lucky had stolen the snake!  Crazy Kitties! 
Look Memaw we are stockpiling golf clubs (in case of shortage) just like Papa!  LOL 
Headed to golf camp!  
Getting together activities of my cutting skills class at co-op! I am so excited - it's gonna be fun! 
Yummy scrummy pizza!  Turkey and turkey die for! 
Red's pizza - no cheese! 
Bug and Daddy's Pizza - with black olives. 
Lucas with his "blanket".    
Lucky holding down the carrier!   
Sweet little Minnie Me! 
Look at this little heathen gray kitty!  Since Daddy is allergic to cat hair, we have to be careful about letting the kitties inside.  We try to make sure the kitties stay out of the bedrooms and just hang out in the living room - that way I can vacuum up all the kitty hair.  Well Mr. Moke-Moke thought the couch was the perfect place to nap!  I removed him and he would wait until I wasn't looking and then he would get back up there - little toot! 
Minnie and Lucas like to sleep inside the kennel. 
We gave them a shirt to sleep on - they were all tired out after a morning of romping and running and crazy kitty antics! 
Lucas - the cuddler - he went and curled right up with Smokey.  Sweet boy! 
There is no fighting in school boys! 
Lucas is my couponing kitty! 
The itty bitties were inside last night and I told the boys to go ahead and put them out so we could get ready for bed...we couldn't find Lucas.  LOL - he was quietly resting under the book table.  LOL
Monday Night Raw came to Dallas and we were there!!!  The boys were so excited!  Although we did agree that it's actually better on tv.  You can't hear the commentators, so there is quite a bit of "dead air" time.  But it was good and they enjoyed seeing it live!  
We didn't tell the boys until we got to the station to meet up with a friend.  I asked the boys to gather up so I could take their picture.  Then I gave them this sign to hold.  They learned where we were going when they read the sign.  It was a total surprise and they were so excited!

What a great month it has been so far.  More to come!  we-

Don't you just love rain in July!

Can you believe all the rain we got in July...boy how boy was it AwEsOmE!  I don't remember when Texas last had a wet July like that, but I am so THANKFUL!  I love the rain!

Well here is my July update, short and sweet - mostly pics of what went on and the brood of animals at our house!  LOL
Peanut joined the swim team again this July, he decided to only do July since it was the hottest month...the pool is so big that it tends to be rather cold.   
He of course was like a fish! 
Flip from the diving board. 
B and I started using My fitness Pal on our idevices, so we have been working on eating better and being more wise about the foods that we eat.  Well Friday night is pizza and WWE, but we both decided that Little Caesars pizza, while yummy and scrummy and totally delish, was not a great addition to our calorie intake.   
So we have taken to making our own pizza...for about 1/2 the calories!  We use the great value packaged pizza crust mix and make our own dough, then just use tomato sauce seasoned with oregano and add our toppings!  We also use ground turkey because it is a little leaner than beef.  Hubby and Bug like black olives on their pizza, I go for the mushrooms on mine!  We found that by not overdoing the cheese we save A LOT of calories. 
Red of course has the no cheese variety!  He likes just meat and sauce on his pizza.  

You know it's funny because I wondered at first if it would be worth the substitution, but I have to say - Yes it is!  The pizza is SO good and we love being able to stay in on Friday afternoons and not run to LC.  Plus we save a ton of money!  And it's not as fattening!  LOL

Itty Bitty Kitty Update!  Our itty bittys are 3 months old precious and so crazy! 
Minnie Me 
My Smokey and Lucas 
It's a beyblade bonanza!  LOL - Bug used some of his saving money to buy himself another beyblade.  Him and Daddy have been battling like crazy!  LOL 
Can you see our crazy Sadie down there?  She is so funny, she loves to chase anything throw or hurled - here it is golf balls.  She likes to chase them as I hit.  It is so funny, she barks at them if they go through the fence and she can't get to them!  LOL - crazy hound! 
Tigger again 
There is my Smokey - I love gray kitties! 
There's Mama's Kitty...sweet girl 
Lucky - "What, I didn't do it!"   
Lucas and Tigger again 
Sadie girl likes to cool off in the pool after her workout (chasing golf balls) 
Don't worry Mom, I can easily stink up my belly again, it's okay!  LOL 
Mom, are you in there, it's your Moke-Moke, open the door please! 
Lucas says - I see you in there! 

GROSS!  Hubby went to move the door stop (cat) from our door and look what was curled up on it!  AUGH!  This was the first of 4 that we found in the house!  Yuck!  I went around spraying and spraying and then read an article about how we live in the prime scorpion location and they aren't killed by normal bug spray!  UGH! 
This plant is in my way, but I am dealing with it! 
One afternoon while out in the backyard, scamp had dumped his bowl (go figure, crazy hound) and Smokey came right through the fence to check out his yummies. 
Then he swatted Scamp with his paw and scamp left him to eat!  HA!  
Can you see her ears perked up...she cracks me up...there was a bee in the water bowl and she wouldn't stand for it.  She catches them and eats them! 
There she goes, pouncing on it!  
Red finally lost a tooth!  Precious boy...he was so afraid it was going to bleed, that he wouldn't wiggle it.  He literally waited until it just fell out, right onto the floor.  LOL  His brother kept trying to wiggle it for him! 
The tooth fairy brought him some new Indians to go with this cowboys.  He was so excited!

Well look at that...there it is!  Woo-Hoo!  Until next time, we-