Friday, October 26, 2007


I love using Google to search for things. However, I just found out about a new search engine called GoodSearch that donates to the charity of your choice! For all the searching this family does, we might as well be donating to a good cause! I chose "The Office of Letters and Light" as my charity, because that is the non-profit organization that operates NaNoWriMo free of charge! Goodbye Google, hello GoodSearch!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NaNo & My Stick Family

November is fast approaching but it isn't too late to sign up for National Novel Writing Month! You've always wanted to write a novel one day, haven't you? Well, NaNoWriMo is the end of the One Day Novelist! Yes, that is you -- the one who is always keeps saying "One day, I'm going to write a novel."

This will be my second year participating (and finishing, I hope!). So far, I know two people writing this year -- my sister and Robin at My Two Blessings. If you're going to be writing (I know you want to!) and would like to be Writing Buddies, just go to my Author Info page and either send me a Nano Mail or add me as a buddy.

What is a Writing Buddy? Someone who is there to encourage you -- either via email, on the msg boards or just through the word count bar! Everyday you write you upload your word count and the little bar moves a little farther to the right, a little closer to victory!

Now, who are these cute stick families that I heard about at Pheasant Ridge Academy? My family!

This first one I made. That is my Harley Honey, myself, Ginger 12, Momo 10, Tullius 7, Zamakee 5 and Beanie 2.

This second one my daughters, Ginger & Momo, made (without having seen mine).

Funny how we didn't pick the same options! All the kids wanted to know why Daddy was bald in my picture! Well, I couldn't have the beard and hair, it wasn't an option. Nor did they have a motorcycle helmet. So I did the best I could! There is only one thing exactly the same in both pictures -- can you find it? If you make a Stick Family, I'd love to see it!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mathmagical Monday: Multiplying by 11

Tullius, who is using MUS Gamma, learned a neat trick for multiplying by 11 last week. Any two digit number (that adds up to 9 or less) multiplied by 11 is that number...okay, I'm not going to be able to explain this. But I think I can show it.
Take 34 x 11, for example. The answer is 374 -- you split the digits 34, like this: 3___4. Then add them together (3+4) and that number goes in the middle: 374. Try it, it really works!

In this same lesson (23), double digit times double digit multiplication was introduced. Tullius does not really "get it" -- this is the first mathematical concept that he hasn't instantly understood. Anyone have any special tips or tricks for this? I'm planning to watch the video with him and do some more block building this week, instead of moving on to the next lesson.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Week 13 Report -- Back-to-School

Last week was Back-to-School after a week off for Ginger's surgery/recovery. She still couldn't read on Monday, so I did all our TOG reading aloud -- Black Ships Before Troy, Story of the Greeks, Encyclopedia of the Ancient World, D'Alaure's Greek Myths, Spend the Day in Ancient Greece, and Classical Kids. By Wednesday she was wearing her glasses and reading Black Ships Before Troy on her own. I'm glad. Somehow I expected the book to be...happier. But no, not those Greeks and their gods!

By Wednesday, Ginger was able to do her own math -- nothing like attempting to describe a decimal addition problem orally! She is on Book 2 of Key to Decimals. Momo & Tullius continue through MUS Zeta and Gamma respectively. Zamakee continues to be left out. Although he now able to count/recognize/read numbers in the 20's and 30's. This is though no effort on my part, I'm still trying to remember to do the 1-5 pages in his Kumon Numbers book!

We are almost done with God's Design Science Plants! The kids are now reading and narrating the lessons to me. No one wanted to wait for me to do "class." I don't think I'll use the GDS Chemistry books in the spring. Now I'm thinking perhaps Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry would be a better choice. But maybe not...they like reading about science better then they like doing it with me, apparently.

Let's see, anything else of note last week? In Latin we skipped the history readings in Lively Latin -- I decided that we'd just save the "How the Roman Government Works" for when we study the Romans in the spring. My own Latin, using Latin Made Simple continues to go well, although I really need to make myself some flash cards. Its just there are so many words! Which is why I need the flash cards in the first place.

We did several projects -- Ginger made a dolphin Minoan Fresco, Tullius and Zamakee made Greek Stone Pendants and everyone made an Athena clay owl. Even me! I just couldn't keep my hands off the kids clay, so I did one of my own. Speaking of owls, Zamakee recognized that OWL and LOW have the same letters, just in a different order. Hooray! Oh, and he made up some sentences (pictured above), I dictated them to him one letter at a time and he wrote them down. That was during our poetry study of similes, another thing I'd already forgotten about already.

I really must write weekly reports the week they occur, not half way through the follow week! Oh, one last thing -- on Friday we went to a local dairy farm that has an open house/fair every fall. There was lots to see and do, including camel & pony rides and darling baby alpacas. I think I want this one!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Silly Name Tag

I read this fun tag at Light in the Shadows and since she tagged everyone who read it...I decided to try! I did make one small wording alteration so I could let my kids read it without having to explain certain career options. :)

1. Your rock star name: (first pet, current car) - Fifi Caravan
2. Your gangster name: (favorite ice cream, favorite cookie) - Mint Chocolate Chip Pecan Sandie
3. Your fly guy/girl name: (first initial first name, first 3 letters last name) - Land
4. Your detective name: (favorite color, favorite animal) - Blue Horse
5. Your soap opera name: (middle name, birth city) - Elnora Palatine
6. Your Star Wars name (first three letter last name, first 2 letter of first name) - AndLe (Ooh, I kind of like that!)
7. Superhero Name: (2nd favorite color, favorite drink and add "the") - The Purple Lemonade
8.Nascar name (first names of your grandfathers) - Carl Alvin
9. Dancer Name: (favorite perfume, favorite candy) - Chocolate (I don't know any perfume names, let alone have a favorite!)
10. Witness Protection Name: (mother's and father's middle name) Carlene Preston

Now, that was fun...who should I be today??

Better yet, who will you be? Tag, you're it!

Surgery & Snowflakes

Ginger's eye surgery went very well! To all who prayed and were thinking of us, THANK YOU! She is only a week out, but the surgeon is pleased with the results.

I enjoyed my time off of message boards and blogs, not because I found other delightful pursuits to fill the time, but because I was not wondering what everyone else was up to...and did I have an opinion to share?? :)

Last night, I did what seemed like a little blog reading for the first time in about 10 days -- my wrist hurt after using the mouse so much! I can't have that! I have NaNoWriMo coming up in three weeks! I've got my general plot and a few character ideas...

Speaking of writing, there is a very cool article about writing called The Snowflake Method. Even if you aren't contemplating writing a novel, the link he gives for The Koch Snowflake (made using fractals) is worth the visit!

And speaking of snowflakes, if you love paper snowflakes but don't enjoy sweeping up afterwards, have I got a website for you! Take a peek at SnowDays when you have a few minutes of free time. After the intro, you can create your own snowflake or even view one we've made. The kids have used different names, but if you search by Fuzzypretzel you'll see some they've done! And if you make some, I'd love to see them!

Oh, I updated our History Project Pictures with the things we've been working of these days, I'm going to update the whole website.

Latin Motto

Non scholae sed vitae discimus ~ Seneca. We learn not for school, but for life.