Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Gratitude Challenge coming to a close…..



Well this has really been fun and I have enjoyed this challenge, although it wasn’t much of a challenge to find things I am thankful for.  There are plenty of those.  The challenge comes in blogging about it every day or close to it, in my case.  I tried.  Some of mine were short.  Some were very random, and some may have seemed silly or unimportant to someone else. Some were much more heartfelt.  That’s how it goes.  I have said it before, I know, but I am grateful for this challenge.

I am grateful for the ability to pray. I can pray for others.  I can pray for myself.  I can just pray.  He listens no matter where I am, physically or spiritually.  He doesn’t care the time of day or night. 

Over at Garden of Learning, she is continuing this as a weekly meme now.  Thankful Thursdays. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I am VERY thankful for my husbands job.  It has been such a huge blessing to us.  They trained him in everything.  They even sent him to CDL school.   He loves working on the oil rigs too.  Loving your job, or even liking it is huge. 

We had always talked about moving to a smaller town and getting out of the city. 

This job gave us that opportunity. 

We have also been able to take our children on some trips this year that have been a lot of fun. 

We were even able to take a honeymoon this year.  We never did that when we got married. 

At first I was nervous about family time with his job.  He would be gone a lot.  It is all working out now.  We are used to his schedule.  He works 2 weeks on and 1 week off.  We still see him on his 2 weeks on.  It has been really nice to have him home for an entire week at a time.  


Monday, November 28, 2011


Sometimes I get that overwhelming feeling of thankfulness.  I am just so grateful for all I have. 

I try not to take things for granted.  Although sometimes I know I do.  I am going to try harder to feel thankfulness in every single day and moment that I can.  

I am so thankful today.  I love this feeling.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Reading Game

The Reading Game is a memory sight word game.  At the end of each level your child can READ AN ENTIRE BOOK.  

I had no idea where to start with sight words once we got through the letters of the alphabet sounds.  Where do I start?  This game can be a starting point for learning sight words or it can compliment any curriculum. 

P1040316At first I was worried that the simplicity of the game would be too easy for her.  After playing it a few times I realized she enjoyed it not being too hard.  She also enjoyed the one on one time of whomever she was playing with.  (It is to be played with 2 players, one teacher and one student.)  She was able to catch onto the words rather quickly.  The repetition in a game form really made it much more fun than just flash cards. 

The books are written using only the sight words learned in each level.


Each book is written about an animal and is a fun story.   The books have no punctuation and no capitalization as to not overwhelm new readers.  I wasn’t sure about this at first.  Katey already reads some stories with those things. She also gets very set in her ways.  I was worried since the books were different than what she is used to that she would put up a fuss.  She did P1040317not.  She read right through the first book after the first game.  I think the fun story kept her interested.  Also the pictures are black and white.  Some children might find these boring.  For us though they were just right.  Just enough of a picture, but not a distraction. 


They have a pre-test/post-test worksheet to see how far your child has come.  Many of these words are on the Dolch sight word list and are part of the P1040315common core.  Some are not as well.  For instance, to read the book Skunk, she needed to learn the words skunk and stripe.  While those words are not on the list, they needed to be learned in order to read these books.  (My sheet got colored on before I took this picture, it happens.)

At a glance:

The Reading game is great for teaching/learning sight words.  It is a fun, quick and simple game.  180 sight words are taught using this game- 30 words per book.

Who is this for?  Anyone learning sight words that enjoys games. 2 players, one teacher, one student.

Where can I purchase it at? You can purchase it directly from their website.

How much is it? $24.95

What a great holiday gift for an emerging reader.

This game is brought to you by the authors of Wordly Wise.  Kenneth Hodkinson


To see what others though of this check out this post. To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.

As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I review products like this, which I receive for free in order to be able to write my reviews.  A positive review is not guaranteed.

Grateful for modern medicine.

I am grateful for modern medicine.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grateful for Nature


I am grateful for nature!  God created such a wonderful place for us to live!P1040312

Emily found a butterfly the other day and she guarded it until it was able to open it’s wings and fly away.  It was a very neat process. 


And gorgeous too!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Grateful for the food bank.


Last week, the kids and I went to the food bank to make a donation.  We took a small tour while we were there. 


I was amazed at how many families they feed each month. 

While I don’t use the food bank personally I am grateful it is there for those in need. 

While we were there some Veterans came and made a large donation. 


I asked them how they collected it all and they simply said they just went to the store and purchased it.  HOW NICE!!  I am grateful for those that volunteer and donate! 


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grateful for Thanksgiving


I am grateful for Thanksgiving.  It is a fun time to get together with family and the food is great too.  

It is a neat part of our becoming a FREE COUNTRY.  It is a neat time to remember we have so much to be thankful for. 

I am grateful for life also.  This Thanksgiving a dear family friend was given back to Heavenly Father in a tragic car accident.  It makes you realize to cherish every moment. 

You will be dearly missed. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A day in the life

This is my first in a new series of posts I will be doing in an effort to keep it real on my blog


Here is a picture of my sad sad plant.  I don’t know what is happening to it.  Sad! (Never mind the dirty dishes in the sink.)


Today as I was cooking dinner, thanks to E-MEALZ !  It was Chicken Corn Chowder and Cornbread.


Anyways, Tyler saw me get an egg out of the fridge to add to the cornbread mix and next thing I knew….


He had cracked his own egg ON THE GROUND.  Oh such a helper.  I had Katey hold him back while I got the camera to take this picture. 

Also while our dinner was cooking, after the egg incident.  Tyler lined some of his cars along the counter.


That night at dinner, Tommy inspected his food with a magnifying glass before eating it.  Come to think of it, he didn’t eat very much of it, I wonder if he found anything.  HMMMM…


Here is “My” bookshelf.  It is where I keep all my supplies that do not go into our workboxes. 


Katey was trying to be sneaky and make a slide out of the couch cushions.  She noticed she was caught at I was taking the picture.  She put it back.  What a mean mom! 


Emily had been begging me to have a friends read-a-thon.  She invited quite a few friends.  We supplied popcorn and lemonade.   Only one friend showed up.  Everyone had a great time.  Even Tyler who was not silent.  Winking smile  Then as that friend left, 3 more showed up, all younger.  They were more rowdy and less reading got done then.  It was still fun.  


This isn’t really my whole day in a post, just mostly the evening.  Maybe next time I will do the morning.   

Disclosure:  My family room is only clean because I made them clean it to have the read-a-thon.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Keeping it real, Really!

Ok, so I have really been thinking about my blog lately.

Why do I blog?

I blog for me.  For me to document my life.  For me to make friends.  For me to store my ideas.  For family and friends to be able to keep up with us.  It is a form of scrapbooking and journaling for me.  I also enjoy doing reviews and connecting with other bloggers.  I enjoy the friends I make from blogging. 

What do I want from it? 

I want a document of my life, like a history of my family and I.  I want to inspire others.  I want to share awesome ideas (even though I rarely have them.)  I want those that are less than “perfect” to feel welcome here and to let them know they are not alone.  I am one.  The perfect can join us too.  ALL ARE WELCOME.    I want to make friends through it.  I want to be able to find my faults and build on them through this blog. 

 Why do people follow me? 

I have no idea really.  I would bet that most of my followers are from The Crew.  I hope you continue to follow me even though I may not be the most creative or inspirational person out there. 

One of my favorite blogs

I also would like to share/document more of our “real” life.  What I mean by that, is that I am NOT Susie Homemaker.  I am NOT an amazing person spiritually.  I am NOT Super Mom. I most certainly am NOT a genius.  I am NOT alot of things.  Who I AM is a person who is trying my best to do what I know and feel is right for my family.  I try my best.  I love the time I get with my family.  I love how we grow and learn together.  I enjoy the character traits my children are learning. 

Here are a few real life random pictures I took today.


This is my laundry room.  Yeah,  Well um… There it is, and to think I just did a huge, the whole family had to help me, laundry day and fold YESTERDAY!  No, it doesn’t ever end. 


Here is a picture of me from today.  I am only dressed and hair down because I lost my drivers license (story of my life) and today was the day I was going to get a new one.  (In our small town the Drivers License Division is only open 2 days a week, Mondays and Tuesdays.)   Usually I am in a hoodie and ponytail. 


While I was in the bathroom randomly taking a picture of myself.  I noticed this sign that I have hanging in their.  (Yes, on an index card.  They are my favorite.)  I made it when Tommy was struggling with learning his parts of speech. 

In case you can’t read it, it says

To he who is using this toilet and not flushing:

I need you to begin flushing and washing your hands, or you will get a verb across your noun.


I love how we learn at random hours throughout the day.  Even on the weekends sometimes.   

I will do  a few day in the life of posts each month to document who I really am.  No perfection necessary, or even expected.  


Stay tuned for these and I hope I am not alone in my Being okay with not being perfect.

A timer for those that struggle with lapsed time, and those that don’t.

Time Timer
I use timers all the time. I need them to keep me on track.  I use them to time how long to stay focused on a certain thing, whether household or homeschooling, from when to switch the laundry to how long of a break we should take.  We even play a beat the timer cleaning game.

What makes the Time Timer different:
  • It is visual.  It has a red area that shows you how much time is left.
  • It is battery operated, so it does not tick.  It is not digital though.
  • It is portable.  It is small and it has a face cover that turns into a stand.  So easy to just drop in a purse or bag and not have to worry about it getting ruined. 
Time Timer is nice because it is silent, it does not have the distracting ticking sound of a wind up timer.  Which is perfect if you are distracted or pressured by the noise.  It is also very visual because to show you how much time is left, even if the person cannot understand time. 

It works great for Katey.  She does know her numbers now, (whoo hoo!)  She also knows some time basics.  Such as nearest hour and nearest half hour.  Lapsed time is different.  This is great in helping her understand it. 

In fact just last night we were going ice skating at 7pm.  She kept asking how much longer, how much longer.  I just set up the Time Timer for 40 minutes and she could see how long until we were leaving. 

We have enjoyed the Time Timer as a Katey’s special timer. 
Katey clean your room, see if you can beat the timer. 
Katey this is how much computer time you have.
Katey you can go play after this much quiet reading time.
and much more. 

Time Timer comes in 3” (which I received) for $30, an 8” for $35 (my favorite, see below), a 12” for $40 and even a watch for $40.  They even have a Time Timer iPad app and computer software.  

The 8” is my favorite because they sell, separately,  a sticker kit to be used with it. 

Time Timer stickersYou could have a morning or bedtime routine set up for you, your child, an elderly person, whomever.  They would know what they needed to be doing now to stay on track.  Even if they can’t read!!!  I LOVE IT!!

The Time Timer is so simple, yet so effective.  Be sure to have a  AA battery on hand when you order yours, which were installed after a little extra oomph from me.   Also the beep at the end isn't very loud at all.  

To see what others though of this check out this post. To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.

As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I review products like this, which I receive for free in order to be able to write my review, no other compensation is received. 

Gratitude Challenge 21


I am grateful for unanswered prayers. 

This is one of the hardest things for me to be grateful for.
I just have to realize that God has a plan for me, all my own…..

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Being Grateful for my Grandpa.

This post is pretty emotional for me.  I lost my Grandfather just over a year ago.  

My Grandpa is such a great man.   He had the BEST sense of humor.  I can remember many times he made me laugh.  

I will share one conversation I had with him.

Me: “Grandpa, how do you keep the quail from eating all the corn in your garden?”

Him: “Well, I don’t know…”  (Long pause, he is thinking.) “Here is what you could do, you could get out your gun, shoot the quail, eat them and that way you could get your corn back.”

He was so practical and an amazing worker.  He owned his own construction business in a small town.  I don’t know if he ever fully retired.  He always had people calling him asking for advice or help.

I am so grateful that my children were able to know him, and the kind of man he is.  


Friday, November 18, 2011

Struggling with bedtime.


I have really been struggling with Tyler’s bedtime.  He is 2.  He cries for a while and tries to get out of bed repeatedly.  It really affects our whole family.  It keeps the other children who are trying to go to sleep awake and it sends me right to the end of my rope. 

I recently read on Our Busy Homeschool about a book she read for her children to sleep, The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers, by Elizabeth Pantley.  I researched the book a little and decided to purchase it from Amazon. 


What is not so funny about all this is that he sleeps just fine for others.  Recently my husband and I went on a trip and left the kids with Grandma.  He slept just great for them.  Took naps, went to bed on time, without a fight.  So I came home and thought “great, I will just keep up with their schedule.”  Boy was I wrong.  I tried the things they were doing, and I heard some racket coming from the boys bedroom, I go up to see and Tyler is walking around with a “Build A Bear” box on his head opening and closing the door saying, “Hi, Hi, Hi!”  Like he wasn’t going to get in any trouble. 



And well,   he didn’t.  It was just too cute.  However he did get sent to bed. 

Back to the book. 

I am learning a lot and I like the way she gives you tips and you choose which ones and how to incorporate them.    I am not fully through the book yet, and I will be waiting to incorporate most of the techniques I choose until I am done.  I work better if I see the full picture. 

18 days of being grateful

Can you see, I am trying to get creative with the titles and well……..

Anyways, back to gratitude.    I am grateful for my modern conveniences. 


I love my washer and dryer.

I love my stove and microwave.

I love love love my furnace.

I enjoy the few TV shows I DVR.  (I love love love my DVR)

I love my computer.

I love having a place to live. 

I love my fridge and freezer.

I like my bed. (We are in the market for a new one)


I often think that the pioneer lifestyle was simpler and wish I could have there, but then I think about all my modern appliances and I love this time in my life. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

17 days and counting!!!!

Whoo hoo.  I am grateful I have made it this far.    hahaha.  I usually flake out on things way before now. 

Ok, seriously though,   I am grateful for ME, for who I am.  I do get stressed out and grumpy often.  But I love who I am.  I love my sense of humor, I love that I can see the bright side. 

I LOVE ME!!!! 

and Chocolate.

Chocolate dessert in Las Vegas

That’s me with my dessert buffet on a recent romantic vacation with my husband. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When those cute little Thankful Trees are too much work.


I thought and thought about making a cute Thankful Tree, like the ones I see all over Pinterest. 

I thought should I use real sticks in a jar, that we would hang paper leaves from?  That would be too much work.  Should I just make a tree on poster board and glue paper leaf cut outs to it?  To much work again.  Then I came to the decision that it was the cutting out of the leaves that I didn’t want to do.   

I still knew that I wanted a way to share our thankfulness throughout the month of November.

What to do, what to do? 

Continue with my laziness and delegate cutting strips of paper to Emily, then grab a Mason Jar and Ta Da.  We have a Thankful Jar. 

I quickly explained it to the children that it would be anonymous.  You would write some things you are thankful for, fold it up and stick it in the jar.  


After our initial session, I set the jar and the leftover papers on the counter, so you could add to it whenever you are feeling thankful.


I am proud to say it is almost full and I notice it being added to daily.  I don’t even remind them. 

I am thankful that I thought of a way to make this work for me. 


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