They shall mount up with wings as eagles…

Archive for August, 2011

Photo Challenge Day 3

Today’s photography challenge is “clouds.”  I think every one did a great job despite the fact that there was barely any clouds out at all today.  I hope you enjoy our photographs and join us tomorrow for day 4.





Earlier today we visited the Swanson Library since the two closest to our house were not open.  It had been a long time since I have visited.  We will be going to this branch again soon.  They had lots of fun toy to occupy the little boys while the rest of us browsed the shelves.  My favorite part was a small display of my favorite American Girl Doll, Felicity.  Whats best is that it is a really early doll, plus some of her coveted accessories.  Makes me want to get a job there just so I can play with her.  They also have a lovely display of many old and out of print books.

This afternoon, we did a couple fun activities to occupy our time.  First we played with some dry beans and un-popped popcorn.  The little boys especially liked the dumping, pouring and filling.  The big boys even joined us for while.  Zion really liked doing this and even added our stones and clothes pins to the mixture.  Of course, he got kind of wild at one point…dumping beans on his face over and over.  Silly boy.

Playing with the beans

While Israel was napping, I took the quiet opportunity to make a Drop Box, something I had read about at the Play at Home Mom.  It’s hard to tell from the photograph, but there are little holes cut into the top of a printer box.  Above each box, I wrote a letter, shape, color or number.  Then, on seashells we got at the thrift store, I wrote upper and lowercase letters, dots for each number and matching colors/shapes.  I added some other small items to the container of “droppables” just for fun.  Promise seemed to like helping Israel match the seashell letters up to their proper box.  Israel liked this project the best out of all the kids.  We will definitely be doing more of the ideas from the PAHM

Photo Challenge Day 2

Day 2! Day2!

Today’s challenge was “What you wore today.”




































Join us tomorrow for day 3.

30 Day Photo Challenge

I came across this blog post about a 30 Day Photography Challenge, on Pinterest recently.  What a perfect thing to get my kids taking more unique photographs (not that they need much help in that department).  We started today with “self portraits”.  I think they turned out fantastic.  Hopefully I will keep on top of this and post our challenge pictures daily.  Next up for tomorrow: “what you wore today.”

Yesterday, the kids and I went to a couple thrift store in search of treasures and boy did we find some!   Everything in the picture we found at the thrift store except one jar (it used to be a jar of honey that i d been saving.  Going left to right:  Clay pot filled with polished stones, tall jar full of sea shells, unpainted wooden house, basket (that we filled with cooking utensils, stuffed fake fruit, and small pie tins), a punch of old school clothes pins (not the pinchy kind) and a peg board.  And that is just the stuff pictured.  We also got a big paper umbrella, a light house bird house, tons of books, a new shower curtain, and the best thing ever, a Cow Wheelie Bug for Lincoln.  Brand new cost: $80.  Goodwill price: $5.99

Kindergarten is Awesome

Zion loves kindergarten in every way, shape and form.  I am so glad.  A month or two ago he wouldn’t even sit to listen to a story or play quietly while I read to him and now he is asking to do his kindergarten work.  One morning after I laid Lincoln down for a nap he reminded me it was time for kindergarten and another day he asked to do more school work in the afternoon.  He loves using his alphabet flashcards.  He has a couple different sets and a chart showing the whole alphabet.  He isn’t too keen on listening to me tell him what each letter’s sound is, but he loves matching up the capital and lowercase letters and finding them on his chart.  He does really good until he gets to ‘L’ which comes out “elemenohpee” instead of pronouncing each letter individually.  We are still working on that.


We had a giant play group on Monday with our friends from the Omaha Area Homeschoolers group on Meetup.  It was crazy and chaotic and lots of fun.  It would have been a bit easier if the backyard wouldn’t have been so muddy.

Zion had a reading day for Kindergarten where we skipped phonics for the day and just spent some time cuddled up reading and coloring.  It was nice.


Daddy helped a lot with school work on Tuesday.  I sure appreciate when he is active with the kids education.  He even started a fun lesson on martial arts with the bigger kids.

Zion made a giant “days of creation” mural down the wall in the hallway.  Now he wants to cut and paste all his work to the wall.  He even added alphabet flash cards later in the week.  Thankfully I have 3 extra sets of those alphabet cards.

On the fifth day, God created all the bird and fish, so we had goldfish crackers.  The kids will be sad when our creation snacks end.

I found an old book of Mad Libs for the kids to play with.  Gabriel wasn’t too happy with the idea at first since it reeked of something educational, but after we read their first Mad Lib, he was hooked.  I even caught Promise playing alone with them later in the day.

Sometime during my internet travels, I came across a recipe for play-doh.  I decided on the Classic Play-Doh recipe since I had all the ingredients on hand.  I did do the baking soda substitution since I dont keep cream of tartar on hand.


Promise woke up sick this morning, so she got the day off school.  Jason read some of  “Sign of the Beaver” to the kids.  They must really like it since they asked him to keep reading when they were finished with today’s chapters.  Today was the day Zion asked to do more school work.  Makes a mama’s heart happy.


Jacy and Promise have been making a series of funny fighting videos.  They film using my camera in slow motion and then replay the video using the fast forward button making their movie look like it’s going in normal speed.  The final result reminds me of those old silent videos since the speed isn’t quite right.  Leave it up to them to figure something like that out.  I had no idea my camera had a fast forward button.

I found some great  Preschool/Kindergarten activities for large and fine motor skills.  We will definitely be using some of the fine motor activities.  When a child’s hands are stronger, it makes learning to form letters easier

Jacy’s Reading List:

Gabriel’s Reading List:

Promise’s Reading List:
  • The Amelia Bedelia Treasury  I am pretty sure we got this one from the thrift store for 20 cents.  Can’t beat children’s books 5 for $1.  Makes me want to take a trip just to see what they have today.


*Disclosure - post contains Amazon affiliate links

Come Write with Us!

Preview of journal page from

I love Pinterest.  I come across the best things, and it’s easy for me to find the things I’ve pinned since I can scan for “pins” easily on my boards.  Something I pinned recently was some really neat journal page printables.  Technically, they are meant for adults, but I thought the kids would enjoy doing them as writing exercises.  We’ve done two days so far, and they seem to be liking the newness of them.  Especially since before we were just doing straight journal writing.  Sometimes I chose the topic, sometimes they got to choose the topic.  Gabriel still needs a lot of help in the writing department, so whatever gets his pencil to paper is good.  We might even do these on non-school days.  Imagine that!

After we finish up with these journal pages, I will be on the hunt for some good writing prompts.  I am always up to suggestions.

Physical Education


I just came across this great blog post about incorporating Physical Education into your homeschooling education.  They linked a great source for activity calendars.  I definitely want to start following their suggestions since I seem to do better when I have a plan mapped out for me.  I think we will start September 1st, since August is nearly over.  The calendar is meant for children 5 and under, but I bet we can all get something out of the activities.  I won’t rehash everything written at The Homeschool Village, so click over there and take a look!

Speaking of Physical Education and Health (since Nebraska does require that we teach health).  I came across a health curriculum that follows traditional eating rather than that severely upside down “food pyramid”.  Its called Real Food Nutrition For Kids!  They offer a free chapter, but it did take a couple of days for me to get the email link so be patient, its worth the wait.  As soon as the weather gets cold, and we are having more time in the house, I am going to get the full curriculum to try out with the kids.  Probably just Jacy, Gabriel and Promise, but maybe Zion too.  It’s for ages 6-11 so Zion might be a bit young to keep up.  They also have a course for ages 12 and up.  If I like the one for kids, I thing we will use the older one for junior high health.  Currently we use Apologia Science Anatomy and Physiology in lieu of a health curriculum since in encompasses both science and health for us at the moment.

My Father’s World – Creation Part 2


Tuesday was a busy day.  We got up early, well early for us, so we could make it to the Omaha Children’s Museum by 9AM.  They have member’s hours from 9AM – 10AM and it is a lot less busy to go then.  Not to mention much easier to find a parking space.  We met up with a couple other homeschoolers and met a new family as well.  Its bad, but I love that public school is back in session.  The museum was much slower than it had been all summer, and the parks are emptier too.  Just homeschoolers usually.

Tuesday also meant that Zion was studying day 2 of Creation in which God created the sky and water.  Of course the highlight of the day was snack; marshmallows (for sky/clouds) and water (well, for water LOL).

In knitting related news, I’ve been knitting on a super secret test knitting project.  The ending garment will be for Jacy.  Its purple.  But that is all I can share for now.


Wednesday morning we went to the park for a homeschoolers meetup and to let the kids burn off some steam.  I should h

ave brought my camera to take pictures, but its hard to juggle Lincoln and a camera, even if he is riding in his carrier.

We did school in the afternoon, after our nap/reading time because I was pooped after being out all morning.  Then we had snack, of course, but I mucked up the original idea.  We were supposed to have dirt cup snacks (pudding and crushed Oreos mixed) to represent God making the land and the plants, but I forgot pudding needs milk.  And per usual, we ran out of milk the day before and it wouldn’t be milk day until Thursday.  So we just had Oreos since we had them.  I didn’t hear any complaints from the peanut gallery.  Usually, we don’t have such unhealthy snacks, but I figured this was a special occasion with Zion starting school and all.


Milk day!  We just started going out to a farm to get raw milk and I love it.  I had been wanting to get it for the longest time, but just hadn’t been able to make the commitment.  Between getting our CSA this year and switching to raw milk, we’ve really started eating a whole lot better.

Zion was really interested in his letters today.  He has been exposed to Aa – Hh now.  He was having fun matching his little letter cards with his master alphabet list and his flashcards.  He doesn’t like to say their names (or sounds) but will happily match them up and he seems to grasp lower case and upper case, although he calls them little and big.  For snack, we had cheese, crackers and banana slices to represent the sun, moon and stars being created. The cheese for the moon, the crackers for stars and the banana for the sun.

Oh and I nearly forgot.  Gabriel and Promise had a play-date with a couple of friends from our homeschooling group.  I am so glad Gabriel has found himself a little friend all his own.  He’s shy and has been kinda feeling left out lately since Jacy and Promise both have close friends.

Fridays are our day off, or catch up day.  We are all caught up, so they are done with their school week.  Yay.  Maybe we will do some science before the big kids head off for camping, just for fun of course.

Okay, now for some pictures of school work being done, snacks being eaten and Lincoln enjoying a banana.

Promise’s Reading List

  • The Care and Keeping of You
  • Amelia Bedelia Collection

Jacy’s Reading List

  • Encyclopedia Brown #1

Gabriel’s Reading List

  • Pokemon Jr Novel
  • Legend Of Zelda comic written by Jacy

Belle Skirt for Promise

I am so excited about this project.  At the end of June, I test knit a skirt for a favorite designer of mine, Elena Nodel. I’ve been waiting for the pattern to go live so I could share the finished results.  Here is the link to the official pattern page:

I absolutely loved knitting this skirt and it was another chance for me to practice knitting a provisional cast on which I haven’t quite completely mastered.

I really love the results, especially the length.  It is so hard to find skirts long enough for Promise since she is so skinny.  The size for her waist is always much smaller than the size she needs for length.  It was knit from Ever-Match Tapestry Wool  that I found at the thrift store for a steal.  $4.98 for the wool plus some other yarn.  The buttons came from Grandma Trudi’s sewing box that I inherited. I am hoping to find a couple tops to match it.  The colors are so perfect for fall, especially since it is made from wool.  Jason says it looks like vintage Minnesota Vikings colors.

Nebraska and Iowa Homeschooling Laws and Links

Resources  For Nebraska:

Nebraska Department Of Education Exempt School Information –

Contact about sports –

How do I contact the Nebraska School Activities Association’s Customer Service Department?

You can contact us by phone at: (402) 489-0386, 0r by fax at: (402) 489-0934.

Any mail correspondence can be sent to the following address:

NSAA Customer Service

P.O. Box 85448

Lincoln, NE 68501-5448

We can be reached by email at:

Omaha Home Educators Network –

NCHEA – (Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association)

Resources for Iowa:

Iowa Homeschooling Laws Overview –

NICHE (Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators) –

Know the Laws and Rules –

Our 2011/2012 Curriculum

I get this question a lot and thought it would be helpful (to me) to write it down so others can come read it.

Jacy is going into the 6th grade this fall.  He is using Switched on Schoolhouse for History/Geography, Language Arts and Spanish.  He is using Apologia Anatomy and Physiology for Science.  For Math he is using Jump Math.  To supplement his spelling he is using Sequential Spelling.

Gabriel and Promise (4th and 2nd)  are using the same things, with some workbook adjustments for skill levels.  They are using Switched on Schoolhouse for Language Arts and Spanish.  We are using Sonlight for Bible, Memory Work, History/Geography, Read Alouds and Readers.  (Jacy joins us often for our Sonlight lessons).  They are also using the same as Jacy for Science, Spelling and Math

We just started Zion this year with Sonlight’s p4/5 curriculum and MyFather’s World K.  I also got him a Horizion prek workbook, since the SL for p4/5 doesnt have many writing activities.

So that’s what we are using, and here’s my reviews of the thing we are using now and somethings we’ve used in the past.

Switched On Schoolhouse –

We tried it this year for Spanish, History & Geography and Language Arts.  Jacy really, really likes it.  He likes being able to do his own thing and go at his own speed.  It didnt work at well for Gabriel and Promise because there is a lot of textbook-like reading for them to do on their own.  I did keep them doing the Language Arts portion because it was catching a few things they hadn’t learned in depth yet.  Next year we are going to try Sonlight’s LA program for at least G and P.  If Jacy wants to stick with SOS, that will be his choice.

We also tried Spanish through SOS, but I dont think they are retaining enough knowledge.  I really want to try Rosetta Stone sooner than later.  Jacy is still doing the Spanish, but G and P have dropped it because it wasnt a good use of their time.  Unfortunately.

Apologia Science –

I really, really love our science.  The Anatomy and Physiology have regular notebooks and jr notebooks to go along with the text book.  This was really helpful because I can have the J, G and P all doing the same thing, with different notebooking journals.  The regular journal is at least at a 3rd grade level in my opinion.  We are hoping the author comes out with more jr notebooks for her other science books.  They are all creationist based, so follow along with our faith.  Hugely important to us.  We got our supplies through so it made that part easy peasy.

Jump Math –

This one is a bit harder to get a hold of.  We get ours through a coop, but i think amazon carries some of the workbooks.  It is a Canadian company, but i really appreciate how it teaches concepts from different points of views.  After Zion finishes the Horizon workbook, we are going to try that math with him since its easier for me to get, plus has fun manipulatives.

Sequential Spelling –

It is basically a bunch of spelling list, but teach using spelling families that build upon each other through out the week and the lessons.  It has really helped Gabriel gain some confidence in his spelling, the others dont need much help, but are most definitely benefiting from the practice.  And yes, we are all doing Book 1 together.  It was made to be done in a way that there are not grades, but spelling levels.  As long as the child can read at about a 2nd grade level, they are reading for Book 1.

Sonlight –

This is my favorite thing we do.  It is a literature based curriculum that rotates around History.  We pretty much follow the included schedule word for word, except we don’t get much use (so far) of the notes that are included.  It has discussion questions, etc.  We just make up our own.  We are doing the readers currently, and plan to try their full language arts program next year.  The books included with the program are well worth the expense in my opinion, but are mostly easily found at the library.  Some of them are SL publications so those would have to be purchased through them or skipped.     The read aloud often include poetry or arts books. 

Zion is using their p4/5 program since the K program is a bit over his head.  We also added in My Father’s World K Curriculum.  This should give us 2 years of PreK/K work.  We are using MFW for the solid phonics foundation and SL for the beautiful books.

My Father’s World –

We just started using this so I don’t have a complete review.  So far so good.  I spent a good part of last week mixing the weeks from MFW with the weeks of SL to make a 2 year K program for Zion (and tag along Israel).  Just from going over it, locating supplies and extra books, I really like the way it is set up.  Zion seemed to enjoy the quick lesson that we did this morning, but time will really tell how well he likes it.  One think I do like about it is that the cost is far lower than Sonlight’s and yet it seems to be just as good of a curriculum.  They are both very similar in that they use a lot of books.  The one disadvantage MFW has over SL, is that it isn’t entirely all inclusive.  MFW does expect the parent to use outside sources for some of the subject, like science.  Every week it asks the parent to reference an encyclopedia, other books, the internet or magazine articles.   Thankfully, we have plenty of that lying around the house being unused.

Southwestern Ask Me! Books –

I saw these books on TPW blog and knew I needed to have them.  Long story short, we bought them through a kid selling them door to door two years ago.  I’ve added them into Zion’s curriculum at regular intervals.

I hope this helps someone