Winter Formal

January 22, 2012|1:22 pm

Last night two of my children, Aimée and Jeffrey attended a winter formal dance in Mankato. It is held at the Verizon wireless center. I can remember when it was held at the  Kato Ballroom back in my day. It is an event that goes across the spectrum of schools. Public, private, Christian, homeschools, unschoolers all are welcome to attend as long as they fit the 10-12 grade category. They attended with a group of mostly homeschooled  -with- a –couple- of- public- schoolers thrown in for diversity bunch of friends.

I believe that Alex the beautiful instigated this group going to this particular event. Even if it was her the rest of the group jumped onto the idea quickly.

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While making plans for this event some of us mamas discovered that the day can get a bit spendy. Especially if you have more than one child at this age range. Fortunately for me Jeff fit into his dad’s suit and we actually found size 14 extra wide boats dress shoes in town. We are also blessed to have a Dané in our lives who runs her own business sewing . We actually went to the mall first to try and find a style of dress that Aim would be comfortable with but they all seemed to be missing large parts of the dress. if they had a top there was no bottom and if they had the long skirt there was no top. Aimée really wanted a dress that had a flowy skirt and sleeves. So off to the fabric store we went. Several hours of work later Aimée and Jeffrey looked like this:

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We all met at the home of Alex’s grandparents for a pre dance dinner served by the mamas.

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Note the gorgeous and formal dinner napkins otherwise known as bibs, that they are wearing. I had mental pictures of scrubbing applesauce or meat grease off of suits or a dress bodice before the dance and this was my solution. Some of the young ladies and gentlemen thought it was a great idea and the rest humored me!

While waiting for dinner there was a rousing sedate game of pinball. I don’t think they quite new what to do with all the fancy clothing they were wearing and the result was a very quiet group for the first part of the evening.

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Kim and Chris took great care to make a beautiful wrist corsage or boutinniere for each member of the group.

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We had fun setting the table nicely:

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An of course we had to take some fun group  and individual photos;

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This was one of my favorite shots of the evening!

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But this runs a close second!

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I love brother and sister photos. here is one of our Aimée and Jeffrey

and below is Lucas and Brooklyn:

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January 18, 2012|2:30 pm

Announcement! Announcement!

We are officially a house of readers. As of this morning every single one of my children have been able to read at least sounded out short stories! I am so excited!

It is every mama’s delight when all of her children are reading. It is every homeschool mama’s secret fear that some of them may never read! I know it is a bit of hyperbole to think that, but really it is a deep down fear in most if not all homeschool mama’s hearts LOL!

More work is required to make sure everyone is fluently reading but that is just day in, day out, having fun with words and books.

Look out world! They can read!

Weekly wrap .. a little late

January 15, 2012|11:49 am

I meant to spend time on Thursdays or Fridays doing a wrap up of our KONOS units but this week got away fast.

I had a Pampered Chef party yesterday and Dané had a spin in so it was busy prepping for those. Pat finished the ceiling and floor at her house and my is it gorgeous! She was happy to have the company so she could show off the house!.

So back to our KONOS week. We are studying Inquisitiveness and Resourcefulness!

This first week was very light as it was meant to ease us back in to the routine of school and especially for us the routine of a KONOS week. It went so well. I couldn’t read out loud because of the cold I am still fighting but the children took turns reading My Side of the Mountain out loud. We are over half way through the book and will follow that with the original unabridged Swiss Family  Robinson.

We watched the movie and I and some of the older children made so many comments on the differences in the book we decided it needed to be read aloud.

Watching Rube Goldberg machines on youtube video was the highlight of the week for most of the children. All in all the switch back to KONOS has been an unqualified success after week 1! Now to finish planning week 2!


January 9, 2012|10:29 pm

well I was sitting here planning a blog post. Sort of prewriting in my mind before actually composing ya’ know? I think it was going to be a good one.. I was looking forward to writing it. Then Aimée sat down with her laptop next to me. To show me an email from a friend. A bunch of them are getting together to go to the Jobs dance. A formal open to all 10-12th graders in the area. She wants to go! And wear a dress! So tomorrow we are off to look at patterns and fabric. A dress? My MeMe?

This is going to be so much fun!

Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember whatever it was I was going to post!

Short view from my desk

January 8, 2012|10:37 pm

I am planning… our first day back with KONOS as our main curriculum. Illness all week leaves me planning at 10 pm on Sunday.

I am thankful for.. a day with Isaac and Jeff. We took Isaac to play in the state finals for bowling. He did pretty well but we won’t know his standing until it is posted Tuesday night!


Outside my window.. darknesssss! Must be bed time?

I am praying for the ladies in our homeschool co-op and homeschool mommies everywhere!

A picture to share about our week….

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This and that January 7th

January 7, 2012|2:15 pm

Ok the to do list I published on Thursday was a total non starter. When mama gets sick she should be grateful that the house is picked up and that tummies get fed! And believe me as hard as this cold / flu hit me this week not once but in two separate increments I am one grateful mama for children who take charge and get things done. Hubby was an absolute blessing and made sure my water cup stayed full and I had kleenex in every spot of the house.

So today I will start on the lesson planning for Monday’s lessons. I am not going to over do and have a relapse. I cannot be sick tomorrow. Isaac actually qualified for the State tournament for bowling after only starting this fall. We were so surprised when he qualified for districts but finding out he placed 4th at his level at districts and that the top 5 got to on to the State finals in January was just plain FUN! So tomorrow he bowls three games in Eagan MN. Can’t wait to see what  this all involves.

Now I am back to work..heigh ho!  Heigh Ho!

A planning list.

January 5, 2012|7:13 pm

In the interest of keeping tabs on what I am doing here is my to do list for tomorrow:

Student planning by child

KONOS planning and prep work. Re-watch week 1 videos from Homeschool Mentor.

Try and go through one dining room shelf and clean out. The bedroom shelves are done and most of the closet in our former homeschool room. This is the room we gave to Ben when he moved back in. He was really patient!

I guess I will be teaching a class for the spring session of our co-op. One of our newer members is pregnant and the class is a full one so she would rather assist than actually teach. I need to plan the 11 week session and the homework so I can have to buy lists and also supplies made by the first Monday in February. I want to give each child a synopsis of the class and expectations for various ages by week 1.

I had planned on getting much of this stuff done earlier in the week but being side lined by a nasty cold with all the aches and pains of a flu has seriously jeopardized my progress.

So has anyone ever…

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set the same goal year after year after year? Or the newest version of the same goal? I love the idea of being more independent. Having the chickens and now our bull affectionately known as Dinner around here. He is going to be eaten so no real name for him.

A co-worker of Pat’s blessed us with three little pigs this fall.(fortunately no big BAD wolf followed him!) Two got to the big fat pig stage and are now residing in the freezers. One is still in the barn as he stayed skinny for a while after getting some kind of cold. He is now fattening up nicely and will go in the freezer as soon as there is room. Lovely to know that even though Pat is in his seasonal lay off early this year there is still food “down cellar in a tea cup” as PA Ingalls used to say.

Anyway back to my original question: I have always wanted a garden that produced enough veggies to get through the winter.How do people do that? For the last few years our garden has been a poor excuse for a weed patch despite the work Dané and the other children have been putting into it. I’d really like to have an awesome garden this year. I am just afraid that once again time and money will be poured down the drain on the endeavor. Anyone have any fantastic tips? resources? thoughts?


January 4, 2012|2:27 pm

We are planning on using KONOS this spring. That said,  I need a timeline. KONOS is the most effective hands-on homeschool curriculum I have ever used. One of the things that make it the best is the timeline that gives children the big picture of Historical and Science events. I really do not have a great space in my home for a time line so hubby and I have been kicking around many ideas. From a book of centuries to a line drawn on the hall wall to a science board with taped on lines. Pat suggested one that might really work. I am going to try and will report back.

His suggestion: to use the mirrored doors to our closet. They are about 5 x 7 so I will draw lines with the lycra glass crayons. BC on the left going up  to Jesus at the top and on the right hand side Jesus down to present day.

When I originally started the co-op my dream was to turn it into a unit study co-op for the younger children at least. We did a great US unit study but most people attending co-op didn’t buy the curriculum and they felt lost trying to follow my classes.  I think it is difficult to stay on task when there is no follow up accountability built in. My prayer is that using the Volume 3 KONOS group as my sounding board and accountability partners will replace the co-op group in meeting my needs as a homeschool mom.

New Year part b

January 2, 2012|3:01 pm

I mentioned spending time with my children as being a New Year Resolution. Accomplishing this has already been set into motion. I am taking at least a year sabbatical from the homeschool co-op I started three years ago. This is  and was a very difficult decision to make. It was only possible by the fact that when my husband suggested it I felt a total sense of peace and the thought resonating at the time was “Yes, this is the time.”

There is a group of ladies poised to take over. They have changes they would like to see that I can respect and would maybe even like if I had joined an up and running co-op with these particular aspects already in place. Since they are changes to my “baby” it will be a lot less painful for me and less stressful for the other ladies if I am not present during the change over. And yes, this is easier to write than it will be to actually carry out. I get that. I am praying for God’s blessing and hand in all of this!

Back to my children.. so without the time it takes to set up and follow through on classes and classroom planning I have freed anywhere from 5 to 20 hours a week. Yes, you read that correctly. I often spend up to 20 hours to prep work, making phone calls and just plain crisis management of the co-op. We have some new rules and plans to enforce them that may change the crisis management portion. For all our sakes I am praying this solution works.

With that extra time I plan on actually spending the time in physical teaching time with my children. My younger ones do not remember a KONOS unit and all it entails. I want to change that. Since Pat is currently laid off we are even embarking on a unit I would think twice (or twenty times) about doing. Resourcefulness and Inquisitiveness from KONOS Volume 3. It involves simple machines , levers, and many electrical experiments. Dad has agreed (with pretend reluctance) to do these. Given the amount of questions and ideas he has handed me he is into this unit as much as the children will be once they get to start.

We are continuing our chronological history (mostly for the older children) with the VP cards memory work (for all of us)and some resources from TOG. In order to lessen my planning time we are joining the HSM program from KONOS. For $30 a month Jessica Hulcy (author) does all the lesson planning and through the use of videos teaches the teacher. Being part of a separate yahoo group just for people following the HSM Vol.# plan should keep me accountable and on track.

My plan is to be so organized that we can add in time for our handicrafts and music again. All of the children love art and some are really into quilting and knitting and crocheting. Having a dedicated time several days a week should help our productivity in these matters.

Ok I just reread this and it sounds like one of those overly ambitious never will be carried out in actual life kinds of posts. I’ll be honest with how it goes OK? I don’t think we will spend hours a day on any one activity but I do want to have several sessions scheduled that will add up to real time spent on each activity over the course of a week or month.