Saturday, February 27, 2010

Organizing your home.

Here's a link to an awesome set of pages created just for moms. I've heard about mom binders/journals, and these pages would be absolutely perfect! Everything you need to create the ultimate organizational binder. Thanks so much to Debra at for sharing these with us. If you haven't signed up to be on her email list, you really should.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nature Club

Once again, we had a wonderful hike today for our monthly Nature Club meeting. This time we visited Elsie Holmes Nature Park. This was my first visit, but I can assure you it won't be my last. The park is free, and includes 66 acres of trails of varying lengths and difficulties. There are rock formations, the Chickamauga Creek to explore, and tons of native plants and trees. The paths are well marked and you can pick up a map at the start of the trail. The park also includes a covered, screened in pavilion, restrooms, picnic tables, and some play equipment for the kids.

It was cold, but warmed up quickly once we reached the creek. The only wildlife we saw was one brave hawk, and our respective children. I say the hawk was brave, because it takes a lot of gumption to go anywhere near that number of children howling like coyotes at the top of their lungs! My kids and I came home with tons of cool rocks, fungus, and nuts to further study. We did all bring our nature journals, but the kids never stop long enough to get anything done. They seem to simply enjoy being together in the great outdoors.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Manic Mondays!

I find it so strange after hating Monday's for so many of my working out of the home years, that I now rather enjoy Monday after a busy weekend. We had so much to do this past weekend that I feel like we never got a moment to relax. My Sunday school class had their First Reconciliation on Saturday, then we had a shopping spree at Sam's Club for groceries, then home for chores, washing cars, and an evening spent with the kids. Sunday is always a blur of Sunday school, Mass, lunch at my husband's grandmother's house, visiting with her and doing some light housework there, and then finally home late in the day. We did install some really neat bookshelves for the twins, made from vinyl rain gutters. I got the idea from another blog and thought it would be perfect for their room. They turned out great, and the twins have been reading non stop since. Its amazing how much more interested they are in their books now that they can see them! You can get directions and see pictures of them here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hurray for Friday!!

We had an awesome day today. We went on a fieldtrip to the Times Free Press. If you've never been, I highly recommend it. We got to tour the entire facility and see how a paper is made from start to finish. Our favorite parts were seeing the printing press, and watching the papers go down the conveyer belt to be shipped out. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and shared not only the details about the paper making process, but also the history of the paper itself. Unfortunately my cameras battery was dead so I missed the opportunity to take pictures to share.

Also, today was the first Friday in Lent. My children were none to thrilled to hear that we would no longer be having our regular burgers and fries for dinner on Fridays until after Easter. For Lent this year, I'm not so much giving something up (other than meat on Fridays), as I'm doing something different. My goal is to read from my Bible daily, along with doing some new things in my daily life that I don't normally do. I have set myself the goal of reading the entire bible from start to finish this year. I'm well on my way, and reading daily during Lent will keep me on track.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Field Trip

Today we had the opportunity to visit our local paper, the Chattanooga Times Free Press. We were amazed at the size of the printing press! Our tour guide shared lots of interesting facts about the history of the paper and of the printing process. We got to see how the papers are made from start to finish. Really amazing stuff!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

Today I'm thankful for not having to get up at the crack of dawn to be somewhere. Those of you who know me well know that I am so not a morning person. I'm not generally civil until around 9 am. If you don't believe me, just ask my husband. Today we had an uneventful day of schoolwork, followed by a fun afternoon of running errands. All the mundane things like going to the bank, renewing car registration, post office, etc. Following all those fun errands (with 3 children in tow), we went to the library. Honestly, I'm really surprised that our local library doesn't quick throw out a closed sign when they see us coming. My kids just don't seem to understand or comprehend the concept of being quiet. But, aside from making way too much noise, one of the twins knocking a bunch of videos off the rack (probably because he was seeing how fast the little rack would spin around), and then the boys having a tug of war match over who got to push the little book cart around, we survived. I have to say, since the library modernized their system and made everything available online, my life has been SO much simpler. I can do most all of my searching at home and keep our visits as short and sweet as possible, as I'm sure the staff appreciate.

One exciting thing that we did find out about today is that we have 2 products to review. We went to the library to check out some books on Australia to prepare for next weeks unit study. Once we finish, I'll be reviewing the products for you here. All 3 of my kids were super excited about that one! The other product we're reviewing is about fireman. My boys have fireman costumes, and love playing fireman, so this unit study is sure to be a hit as well. Check back in a few weeks to see my review on both of these great products from The Old Schoolhouse.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Testing, testing...

Can I just say how stressed I am over the upcoming annual testing my daughter has to do? This will be the first year we've had to test, and I think I'm way more stressed about it than she is. I think she'll do fine with most of the subjects, but I'm not so sure about math. She has had the hardest time memorizing the times tables. I just purchased an online game called Timez Attack that I hope will help her. So far all of my kids are loving it. Its by far the best online game I've seen. She asks to do it rather than her regular math lesson. I don't let her of course, but I'm all about games that teach! I really think that my boys will get into this game as well. That way I'll be ahead of the game when they get ready to do multiplication. Check out the graphics in this game! It seriously looks like something you'd see in a video game.

By the way, in case you were worried about the game being violent, its totally not. The troll will shoot you with green slime if you don't answer the question fast enough, but that's it. He just looks scary. The full version of the game available for instant download is just $39.99, but you can get the base version for free...even better!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Lightning Thief

I was introduced to the Percy Jackson series through my 11 year old niece. She's a huge Harry Potter fan, as is my husband,and she thought he might enjoy this series as well. Well, suffice it to say that I promptly purchased the first book in the series for him, but I ended up getting hooked myself. Although these books aren't exactly in the same league as Harry Potter, they are excellent in and of themselves. I enjoy Greek mythology, and these books don't disappoint. I quickly read the rest of the books in the series, and would love to read more. They combine an interesting story plot with tons of Greek myths, and a hefty dose of action. If you have a child that likes fantasy types of books, they will probably love this series.

We also went as a family this weekend to see the movie which was just released. I have to say that although I enjoyed the movie, I probably would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't comparing it to the book the entire time. I was rather disappointed in the scenes that were left out or completely changed from the book. While Harry Potter never fails to amaze me at how close they are to the book, this movie did just the opposite. I still enjoyed the movie, but I wish they had done a better job of keeping it true to the book. All of the kids enjoyed the movie though, so all in all I would recommend it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Review

After seeing a link for Startwrite on another blog, I just had to check it out. Let's just say that my twin's handwriting leaves something to be desired... Well, after downloading the full trial version and printing out just about anything and everything I could think of, I have to say that I really like it. Not only that, but my kids who HATE writing, actually asked to do more pages. One of my twins has now started writing everything in cursive just from one page of cursive writing that I printed from Startwrite. I can only begin to imagine all of the uses I could find for this program! If you haven't tried it yet, you really should!

You get to try out the complete program once. Then, if you like it, you can purchase the full program for $39.95. It comes with just about any font you could think of, along with several sizes to choose from. The worksheets can have lines that you simply trace, lines with directional arrows to help them learn letter formations, dots, and many more. You can even customize the pages by adding in graphics. You simply type what you want them to write, and VOILA...instant copywork practice for any subject. This is now on my wish list!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Since I'm originally from Florida, I just LOVE snow. This has been such an awesome winter for playing in the snow. My kids have never had so much fun. Here are some pictures from recent snow days.