Thursday, October 1, 2015

Usborne books

Have I ever told you about my love of books?  If I haven't well  let me tell you.  I've always been a voracious reader and I honestly don't remember a time that I didn't know how to read. Growing up going to public school , I read and read a lot.  Reason being I went through so many schools growing up that my education was very spotty. I didn't come from a military family. So it wasn't because we were moving around a lot. It was because that was how my parents knew how to deal with bullying back ' in the day' before homeschooling really ever took off.

I remember my father buying lots of books. We really rarely ever went to the library because my dad always felt why go and borrow it if you can buy it. Granted the economy was far better off in those days too.   So most of what I was taught growing up was really because I was self taught, rather then being taught by adults.  I'll admit I'm still learning ( aren't we all?) and I get to pass on that love of  books by homeschooling my children.

I will say that this picture really says it all.  We have lots of books in our home. We even have an entire shelf devoted to books in our living room.  This doesn't count with the two large shelves of books stuffed full in our school room either.  I will admit there are far more children's books then there are adult books. As much as I do still love to read I find myself reading their books to them then I do books for myself. Which I honestly think needs to change.  Ha, ha.

How time flies

How time flies is the title of this post. Time is flying by so fast. Just this evening I was sitting down with my sister , talking to her on the phone. We were talking about notebooking and I knew I had a picture in my archives here to show her a picture of our old notebooking endeavors we did when the girls were younger.

Looking at all of the posts , it made me miss that time so much. How time flies.  I missed so much when the girls were younger. We had so much fun. There wasn't a thing they wouldn't try.   So I definitely want to try and post more pictures here. I know maybe no one really reads this blog anyways. It's a great thing though to be able to blog our life. I truly hope that some day my girls can come back here and find all the wonderful , fun things that we did as a family.  I want them to be able to come back and show their children some day what God had blessed them with.

                       Katie's 15th birthday,,, she has another birthday coming up very soon.
                                       She certainly is my child,,, all chocolate cake!!
                                  Last winter,, Maggie sliding down the ramp in the back yard.
                                       Hannah taking her turn going down on her knees.
                                         Our last Thanksgiving as a family with grandpa..
                                                     My Frozen Princesses, posing for a pic.
                     The girls working on a mummification experiment. The result was pretty cool.

                                                  Maggie having tons of fun
                                                Katie measuring things out too.
                                                              Hannah in 6th grade
                                                                 Marilyn 11th grade
                   Sorry, Maggie. Her picture turned out a little funny, The sun was in her eyes, 4th grade.
                                                             Maggie shooting hoops.
                                         My cutie patooties last year , cheerleaders,,,
                                                                                                                                   Katie in 9th grade this year,,, wow!                                                 We just have so many pictures. That I couldn't possibly show them all here.  I do want to make more of an effort to just enjoy them here to look back on. We have Facebook now. Facebook didn't exist when I first started this blog. So it's a bad habit at times to post everything there rather then on here. I do like this type of format still because I can find my pictures. They don't get lost in the midst of posts.    The one thing I want my girls to know is that I love them more than life itself. They have made our life so much better having them in it.  We have our days but in the end I am blessed. I have some super great kids , and for that, I can't ask for anything more.                                                         

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Simplifying Homeschool the Spiral Notebook Way

Admit it.  This is the time of year that just drags, and it drags slowly. The children are read to break free of school work, and mom's brain is on how to become more organized for the new school year.   

Are we doing enough? Are we falling behind? What in the world are we accomplishing?  I found myself asking these questions time and time again. I also found that one subject was getting far more attention than another.  There was just nothing there to really hold my girls accountable, and the old , " I need you to get this done because I assigned this to you." standby was just not working anymore. It honestly didn't matter if it was me telling them to get it done. Things just weren't getting done. 

I did find one solution. Though not entirely perfect , and not an original idea of mine ,  it can be as simple as a 25 cent notebook. " No way," you say. Yes, a notebook. 

I had read an article about this simple , yet innovative idea of using a notebook to keep track of our daily progress.   I just felt like we had zero direction and something really needed to change. 

So when I read the article I immediately grabbed some notebooks that I bought in the beginning of the year and went to work.

 For Maggie and Hannah, I went as far as color coding each subject when I wrote them down. I added check boxes so that I knew what was done and what wasn't.  Each evening I went through their books, and wrote down any page numbers , drills that needed to be done , flashcards, activities  etc so they knew what needed to be done each day. If they needed to see me to start a subject I also added that in the book as well as a check mark so they knew they followed my directions. 

Now for children Katie and Marilyn's age ( K is 15 and M is 17) they needed to take more personal responsibilty for writing down what they were getting done each day.  If I had an extra activity for them I would write it down in the notebook.  

The one idea I really liked from the article I read about notebooking your daily assignments was reserving about 10 pages in the back of their notebook for the girls to record the books they've read this year.  This will definitely come in handy when I can rip it out and add it to their portfolio for their end of the year evaluations. 

This definitely is a more simplified version of the Workbox system I have used for quite some time.  I just find that it's a more compact way of doing a workbox system especially if you don't have the room for boxes or plastic totes. 

Honestly there isn't a right or wrong way to do the notebooking system. Some people write in their children's daily assingments. Some parents have their children take ownership ( I don't recommend this until at least 8th grade, but of course children may vary) and write in what it is that they are doing each day. Some people use colored pencils. Some people draw boxes. Whatever it is you decide to do, make it your own. 
Whether you use the notebook system, or the workbox system. Honestly it does help you to organize an otherwise unorganized day. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review and Giveaway " A Catholic Mom's Guide to Working from Home.

Have you ever wished you could make a little extra income at home?  Do you find it rather difficult to think about working outside of the home?  I think every mom at some point dreams of being able to have a little extra money to pay the bills, go on a vacation, or even just have some extra spending money. 

Well, never fear!  A Catholic Mom's Guide to  Working From Home is here!

I had the wonderful opportunity to be able to read and review this very helpful e-book on how to start up your own business at home. 

The author Jennifer Rainey takes you step by step in this very easy to read e-book on how to start, implement ,and even take some pause on how to never forget your true calling as a mother.
  A Catholic Mom's Guide to Working from Home has 101 tips that can help get you thinking and started on your way to a home business in no time.  

For instance did you know that you can use previous experience to start up your own at home business?  For example  I have always enjoyed crocheting and making homemade soaps. My experience in creating things that have become a lost art could help me make  extra money on the side.  I've also known people who bake and  create wonderful things to sell to others like custom cookies and cakes. 

The author also gives advice on the importance of being on top of the legal stuff when starting an at home business. It is very important that you take the time to research what your state laws are and to pay that ever important income tax. 

Another great thing about this book is that the author asks you to remember one very important thing : You are a mother first. God gave you this wonderful calling and if your job is taking up to much of your time. Then it's time to stop and either revisit doing something else, or go back to being the wonderful mother that God made you to be. 

Another nice feature of the book is that Jennifer Rainey also reminds moms to look to God. To thank Him, Praise Him and never forget that God is there for you throughout the good and the bad.   Also sprinkled  throughout  the book are quotes by the Saints and a good reminder to look to them as great examples of what mothers should be. 

With this book being an easy and quick read. I highly recommend this book to all Catholic moms whether you homeschool or not. Even if your considering trying your hand at starting your own business. The tips given by the author are definitely by a mom who has definitely been there and done that. So what are you waiting for? Buy A Catholic Mom's Guide to Working from Home today and get started! 

Now are you ready for a Giveaway?  Five people will be able to win the E-book, A Catholic Mom's Guide to Working from Home.  

First Entry,, click the Give Away Widget down below and enter your email address. This will give you one entry. 

Also for extra entries. Follow this as well ....... 

 Extra Entry 1. Post a comment on this post. If you started a business what would it be? 
 Extra Entry 2. Click Join this Site (right side of blog)
Extra Entry 3. Join the Networked Blogs (on the right side of blog)

Also if your not one for waiting to see if you've won.  The Catholic Mom's Guide to Working from Home  e-book  is available right now for a limited time for .99 cents on Amazon .                                    

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Maggie's First Communion and my birthday

This is a little late but my baby is growing up.  Maggie has come such a long way since she was born. The first several years were full of doctors appointments, medical tests and surgeries that I never thought we'd get to the point we are today.  Two more major surgeries later and my baby girl has made her First Holy Communion.  

The week before our church hosts a First Communion Retreat for the kids. It's a special, fun time for them to go over things they've learned and to learn more new things about the wonderful sacrament that is the Eucharist.  They get to sing songs, play games, and listen to the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. At the end they got to celebrate with pizza, cake and other snack foods.  It was a great time had by all.  I've been through it three times ( my first two took their First Holy Communion at the same time so I did this three instead of four times). 
  Getting together. Since we always have such a small amount of kids in our Religous Ed group we combine with another Parish. 
 Mrs. S has done this for many years. I'm not sure on the exact amount of years but she now has this down as an art.  The kids love it and it makes this special day to look forward to even more special.
                               The kids listening to the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with fish and bread.
                                                      Mrs. S's version of the 5,000
Then there is craft time. The kids get to make a rosary box to hold onto their rosaries. And they also made a cross  and put a short sentence on what First Communion meant to them. I will say Oriental Trading has gotten a lot better with putting the sticky stuff on the back of the pieces. Back in the day we had to use glue and it was always a bit of a messy project, but the kids had fun anyways. 

                             Our little Communion Princess. Maggie looked so beautiful in her dress. 
                                        Maggie and Daddy. Yes, it was a little windy that morning but the day was just beautiful. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. It worked perfectly because we had our after party out on our deck. 
                                                           Marilyn and Maggie. 
                                         Mommy and Maggie, Well, the sun got in her eyes.
                    The altar was decorated beautifully for such a beautiful day. The picture really didn't do                             it any justice. It was actually very breath taking in person. 
                        My three older girls were so excited that they got to serve for their little sister's                               First  Communion. 
                               Maggie walking down the aisle. Her veil kept wanting to slip off her head. 
                                    Marilyn, Katie and Hannah up on the altar with Father as he was saying Communion. The one thing I can brag a bit here is that my girls do exactly what they are supposed to do when they are serving. Far to many times I see kids NOT doing what they are supposed to be doing. Like playing around with their hands, not participating in the responses , or just playing around. Father, our Deacon and even the parishioners always appreciate when my girls serve. They take it very seriously.   

I will say I did not get a picture of Maggie taking Communion. Reason being because I thought my husband had the camera and here it had slipped in the back part of our pew and I didn't know it until my husband came back. But I'll give you a play by play here. 
Daddy was Eucharistic minister that day. He was fortunate to have had the pleasure of giving Maggie the Precious Blood of our Lord. He didn't know he was going to do that at the very last moment when the Deacon stepped back and handed him the cup.   Maggie did a wonderful job as well as the rest of the kids. 
                             After Communion was all finished the First Communion kids went up for Mary's May Crowing. 
                                          Our small little group. It's been kind of sad. In the past four years the amount of children in our church has been on a serious decline. Four years ago when my two oldest had their first communion we had 18 children. Though compared to many churches, which is still small, we've just had a a large decline in the amount of children we've had for Relgious Education. Our church has been averaging between 5-7 children for first communion since. I expect the numbers to continue to go down as people in our country have just lost their way.
Maggie, Father Hoffman, and as we so lovingly call him, Deacon Bill :) 
 Our after party cake. Okay so this sorry looking cake was our cake. There is such a long story to this it's almost not funny. This ended up being the second cake I had to bake because the first one didn't take, then for some reason the frosting just wasn't working like I had wanted it to. In the end we were lucky we had the cake at all. 
 Setting up for the after party. It was so nice to have so many people for Maggie's party. Not to mention what made this day all the more special was that it was my birthday too!  It was a day I'll never forget. 
             The weather outside was just beautiful. It wasn't to hot or to cold. It was JUST right.  
                        So much so that we could all enjoy a little Vitamin D that we are so all lacking up                                here  in the North.
                                                         Maggie enjoying the company. 
                                                 Maggie opening up her gifts. She got many beautiful gifts, from a                                     Picture Bible to a beautiful rosary made by one of our parishioners. 
Finishing up opening the gifts. Even Father Hoffman made an appearance. He's the guy in black sitting in the shade. I didn't blame him. LOL 

So there you have it. It was such a perfect day for such a beautiful little girl. We couldn't have asked for anything more. It was a great way to spend my birthday. With cake, friends and family.