Videos of Neal and a GHOST!

Neal making our house sing

Neal making our house sing

Anna joins Neal:

Proof of a ghost in our house. Or is it ghosts?:

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Here is Jordan at school riding a tricycle and a hot wheel bike! He is so handsome and so pleased with himself!

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Nerding Out

Nerdy lovebirds enjoying time together during some of our first dates...

Nerdy lovebirds enjoying time together during some of our first dates…

My self image has been that of a nerd for some years. And don’t get me wrong, that’s not a negative thing in my mind. I married a super-nerd and we just love our nerdy selves! We play computer games together, we watch Dr. Who together, we talk about math and I love my excel spreadsheets. True love doesn’t get any better.

Today, I have been having soooooooo much fun nerding out. What have I been doing, you wonder? I have been poring over homeschool curriculum. Ooooh, I’m so excited I get to actually pick some of these out and use them! It’s a thrill! And, true to my first couple years homeschooling, I’m picking out a wide range of curriculum brands again, mixing and matching for that perfect fit. :-) It’s only March? Well, I wasn’t going to research or shop until this summer, but Alpha Omega sent me their wonderful catalog and I just couldn’t resist. (Does it matter to me that the current year’s more moderate stack of books is going to drag out through August? Nah. Setting up school is my favorite part!)

I dunno why the kids don't get as excited as me about school! (First day of second grade in this picture)

I dunno why the kids don’t get as excited as me about school! (First day of second grade in this picture)

Ok – things could change before fall, but here’s what my list says today. And yes, I realize it’s a bit heavy for a 3rd grader, so we’ll see what changes as I keep working at the list:

Anna (3rd)

  1. Math - Horizons workbooks 5 days/week $32
  2. Spelling - Sequential spelling 5 days/week $31
  3. Grammar - Growing with Grammar (Alt: Easy Grammar Systems $20) 3 days/week $38
  4. Penmanship - Simple writing projects, such as guided journaling and pertinent copy work. $0 3 days/week(alt: Horizons workbook 5 days/week $20)
  5. History/Geography/Social StudiesStory of the World audiobooks and activities 1-2 days/week $55
  6. HealthHorizons student books 2 days/week $20
  7. Science - Continue expanding and elaborating on the Field Guide we started this year 1+ days/week $0 (alternate:Apologia Exploring Creation 1+ days/week $67)
  8. Extracurricular - AWANA, gymnastics, and hopefully field trips (parks, hikes, friends, museums, plays, tours, etc.)

Other required Washington subjects that will just happen in the course of the above and independently just for fun:
Occupational Education – chores, typing, word processing
Art & Music Appreciation – independent crafts, gymnastics?
Writing – independent
Reading – independent

Maggie (K/1st)

$15 Reading - Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
$0 Writing/Spelling/Penmanship – simple letters, stories, poems
$32 Math - Horizons workbooks
$10 Spelling - with Anna if she’s ready for it
$21 History - Story of the World with Anna
$20 Health - Horizons
$0 Science - Field Guide expansion with Anna (alternate:Apologia Exploring Creation with Anna (jr. workbook) $27)
$0 Occupational Education – chores, typing?
Extracurricular – AWANA, gymnastics, field trips

Ta-da! Now my list is online with helpful linky things so that I can keep checking back in and editing (over and over) until it’s time to buy it.

Added notes:
Supplemental videos (list garnered primarily from the facebook group, “Homeschooling with Netflix“):

  1. Disneynature videos – Wings of Life, Crimson Wing, African Cats, Earth, Chimpanzee, Oceans, Monkey Kingdom, Bears (Not sure where to get)
  2. National Geographic – Brain Games (15 episodes on Netflix)
  3. American History – The Men Who Built America, The Story of America, Dear America, America: The Story of US, The Ultimate Guide to Presidents
  4. March of the Penguins
  5. List too long to put here now

Additional Wish Items:
$60 Geosafari Laptop
$65 Microscope
$15 Prepared Microscope Slides
$30 Weather guide


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About Ruby

My big-eared friend

My big-eared friend

I find myself calling her “Ruby-Lou.” She is recorded as a stray in California and was transported to the Humane Shelter up here, because the ones down there are overcrowded. She’s listed to be a German Shepherd/Husky mix, which seems right, except she is super mellow and has spotted feet. Also, they guessed she is two years old and healthy, although at her vet check, the vet guessed 2-4 years old.

When you walk through a echoing, concrete room full of dog kennels, you know those pups are under some serious stress. Although they are safe, fed and given necessary veterinary care, it’s just not a relaxing, homey place. All the dogs respond in their own way. Some are vigilant, some are watchful, some whine, some bark, some come up to be petted, some come and jump on the gate, some stand wary, some ignore you and some just look plain scared. Ruby sat. She sat not far from the gate and looked up at us. She got up and came to us when we stopped at the gate and permitted what pet we could manage through the fence. She looked about as happy and relaxed as could be possible in a place like that.

Ruby walked to the visiting room with very little pulling on the leash. Tongue hanging and eager to get out and about, she came right up to us once she was in the meeting room. She came so close, in fact, that I found her pretty much on my lap… not shoving herself there, but somehow just being there. Reminds me of my kids… how do they end up on my lap with a book that I’m reading when I am sure I said “not right now” two minutes ago? So, she’s a bit of an opportunist and a little needy for companionship. But she didn’t wiggle or behave obnoxiously, so that was good. She’d been spayed just the day before.

So she came home with us. We’ve just had her for five days. She has never been house trained and she has more energy than she did at first… poor thing going through all those transitions after a spay. She loves to just be with us and she is great with all the dogs and cats in the neighborhood. Only sad thing is that she’s not loose to play with them like she’d love. (Our house is the only one with a fenced yard.) I’ve been grateful for the dry weather so I can leave her outside for awhile now and then. I really enjoy the relaxation of sitting outside with her (often with her next to me) but I am really just hoping she’ll go potty so we can go back inside. She’ll catch on.

Twice she’s been loose when our chickens came through the fence into her part of the yard. Both times she’s chased them, but backed off when I hollered at her. Neither time did she do anything but look curious when the chicken went to ground and was still.

So…. I’m hoping. Hoping, hoping hoping. I’m hoping we get to keep her. I’ve never seen a sign of anxiety out of her and she just loves all of us, even Jordan who hasn’t learned to be nice. Her German Shepherd therapy dog side is strong and I’m hoping it will overpower her youthful tendencies. Honestly, I’ve fallen in love with her and I’m scared it won’t work out. I really love a furry shadow in the house, even that yappy, nippy tiny Missy that we had for a couple months.

Here’s hoping! And praying.

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Anna is getting close to 8 years old!

Anna is getting close to 8 years old!

I’m thankful that Anna’s neighbor friend had the presence of mind to run for help when Anna cut her leg on the barbed wire.
I’m thankful for kind neighbors who carried her home.
I’m thankful that the urgent care was open to stitch Anna up. (they were locked up when we left)
I’m thankful that the doctor and the nurse were patient and kind.
I’m thankful that the pharmacy was open to fill Anna’s antibiotics prescription to fight possible infection. (they locked up while we were in there too)
I’m thankful that a frightened heart was encouraged by a $1.49 caramel steamer from Starbucks and the memory of doing it before with her Grammy.
I’m thankful for a husband who held down the fort and had hot waffles ready when we got home.

Anna’s cut was just shy of 5″ long and needed 19 stitches. It took eight novocaine shots to numb it and that was really hard… Anna is amazing. Love her. Phew. First set of stitches ever for anybody in our family, including Brian and myself.

Four days after stitches:

The outside of her right leg.

The outside of her right leg.


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