February 26, 2010

Homeschool Feature Friday


So here is how I handle worksheets/quizzes/tests for multiple students. I print off all the copies I need for a unit at once. Then I file it in a portable accordion file and keep that by my desk.

I find that if I have to stop and make a copy of something, it gets put off. Planning ahead and keeping it all in one place makes us more efficient with our time.

February 25, 2010

How He Celebrated

We celebrated his birthday a day early. Thursdays are busy here. I didn't want him to hang around until after 9:00 waiting to celebrate his birthday. That would kinda suck.

He had nachos for dinner. His current favorite.

Ishmael is a nonconformist...like his mother. This is the 2nd time he wanted an all out ice cream sunday for his dessert rather than the traditional cake. Take note of the backpack he's wearing. It's a hiker's pack so he can do lots of hiking/camping. That is if he doesn't wear it out from wearing it so much. lol

He has everything but the nuts. We are laying off until we get a nut allergy screening.

He and I went through pictures together and he made this collage all on his own.

Tonight, Daddy surprised him with a new pocket knife.

Happy Birthday Calvin

Sometimes you are a mystery to me.

You amaze me everyday. You are so smart. You have my heart in the palm of your hand.

Please stop growing so fast, K?

Thursday Tips --- an IT box.

Coffee with Me Thursday Tips
This is my tip for all the other techies out there just like me. I was inspired to share it with you when I needed to put the software and user manual for my Workforce away.

This is my IT box. I keep everything I'll ever need to network, repair, or just tune up my equipment. As you can see it needs to be organized a bit.

I cleaned out all of the stuff I no longer need, (like my old printer software/manual and old tax software), before I put it all back in the box. In that plastic bag are my small telephone cords, extra chargers for ipods (we don't plug them all in at once) and other smallish cords.

At the bottom of my box are all of my big cables, miscellaneous cords, and a spare surge protector. I've learned that sometimes a cable will just go bad. It's good to have backup.

February 24, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday


This week I want to talk a bit about my printer. I had to replace my old printer. It was 3 years old...and in techie speak that means dinosaur era. It was a great piece of equipment but it was just a tool. It never thrilled me.

Allow me to introduce you to my Workforce 610. This baby prints up to 38 ppm (pages per minute), has wi-fi, and the quality of my prints is great!


I also love how little space it takes! Everything folds and collapses to make it so very small.

This printer definitely works for me!

February 23, 2010

Blog Trail Tuesday


Today's blog trail will take you to Tech Talk for Moms.

Some girls like flowers or jewelry. I like LOVE techie gear. I have been enjoying the new product reviews from a mom's point of view. I live at my computer. It's my very best friend in the whole wide world. I use it for social networking, educating myself and my children, keeping up with current events, and organizing everything in my life.

February 22, 2010

Magnificent Monday - The Eyesore


Today I'm starting another weekly challenge. Magnificent Monday is about starting the week off with making something beautiful. This can be anything from a total room make-over to simply clearing out the clutter. Maybe you haven't taken the time to make yourself beautiful in a while. Go do it now and come back and share with me what you've done to make Monday MAGNIFICENT!

I'm going to start off with a simple fix-it. My fridge has been an EYESORE for so long. It may not look like much to you, but a cluttered fridge in the kitchen is like stepping on a floor covered in corn flakes. ICK! I don't even want to be in the kitchen.

I put all the Word Whammer magnets in the bucket. Threw away some empty bottles of medicine, put away the plastic cups/lids and wiped off the top.

It's a small difference that really makes me feel SO much better!

Now it's your turn. Go make something beautiful!

1) Write about it in your blog. (Pictures are nice but not required)

2.) Come back here and link up with the Mr. Linky below. Simply type your name and enter the link to your post on your blog.

3.) Share the blog love. Come back and visit all the other links and leave comments on fellow Magnificent Monday participants.

Not a blogger? That's okay. You can still join in. Share what you did in a comment. Be sure to sign your name so we know who you are.

February 19, 2010

Friday's Homeschool Feature


Welcome to Friday's Homeschool Feature. I'm excited about getting this going. I love homeschooling my kids. I love our many adventures!

Today my Homeschool Feature is Geography. You really don't need a curriculum for geography. You just need maps.

My kids love maps, all kinds of maps. We have road maps, physical maps, political maps, and ancient maps. Often I will hand them a student notebook atlas to look at while I read the history lesson for the day. This is especially great when my history lesson takes them from one place to another or discusses a particular region. These can be found for less than $5.00. I have one for each student. This way they don't distract me from my reading while they pass it around.

One like this:

I've mentioned in my post, History and Geography, how much I love the laminated maps from Geography Matters. I only gave them a short blurb. These maps are fantastic. They are just the right size for more than one kid to work with. Typically we write on them with wet erase markers, simply because the kids won't smear eachother's answers when they are reaching across to the other side.

Sometimes I pull out a map just for fun and have them fill in as much as they can from memory. Being competitive little creatures, (...don't know where they got that gene as Leon and I are both very uncompetitive) they turn it into a game of seeing who can label the most. Notice they are using different color markers.


Got a homeschool tip you want to share?

1. Post a tip to your blog. Pictures are nice but not required!

2. Link back to me in your post. Use my banner if you'd like. Here is the code to link it back to me:

3. Come back here and click on the Mr. Linky below. Add your Name and a link to your POST. Not to your blog's main page.

4. Share the blog love and visit the other linked-up blogs! Everyone loves getting a comment so be sure to leave one!

February 18, 2010

Thursday Tip--Dusting


Hey there. Do you enjoy the soft warm lights you get from strategically placed lamps?

Then you are probably like me and have a lamp shade that needs dusting. Have I got a tip for you!

Apply your vacuum brush attachment and vacuum your stress and worry away!

My assistant would like to know more.

Vacuuming your lamp shades every week keeps them from getting all dingy and yellow looking.

But wait! That's not all! While you already have your servant vacuum cleaner working hard for you, go ahead and reach up way high and get the ceiling fan!

Your weekly vacuuming adventure will also keep your ceiling fan from getting that sticky dust that you have to scrub away with soap and water. "What a mess!"

I am not at liberty to reveal the source of my ancient secret wisdom. Lets just say...I've seen it happen.

When you are all done your brush might look like this...or worse. "Ewwwwww"

No more gnashing of teeth trying to pull all that dust and hair out of the bristles, only to have to vacuum all over again! Allow your vacuum cleaner to, once again, make your life easier.

That's all for this week. Remember, be kind to your vacuum cleaners. Dump the canister every time you use it.

Want to learn more friendly household tips? Join Melissa over at Marine's Wife and share a tip of your own!

February 16, 2010

WFMW--Shopping Bags


I almost never pick up things on a whim these days. We plan and budget everything we buy. BUT I was at the mall and these fun little shopping bags were on clearance! They are perfect. They fold up and go in this little pouch. The pouch is just the right size for my purse.

The bags are a great size and surprisingly strong. They are very pretty too. It makes me WANT to use them! And since they are already in my purse I have no excuse! I still keep the other ones in my car for the big grocery trips. I don't have quite enough to completely say no to the plastic ones, but I'm getting there.

Fun market bags to help take care of our created Earth??? Works for me!

[Join Kristen over at We Are THAT Family for her Works For Me Wednesdays blog meme.]

A Trip to the Hair Salon

Leon sent me off to the hair salon today. He's been wanting me to go get a cut for a while. He's just sweet like that and wanted me to do something for myself.

So here is my before picture from last week.


I love my little town and it's been a little while since I last posted about it. Main Street is my favorite place. Today, I decided to venture out and try a new hair salon. I definitely knew I wanted to go to one here in town. There are actually a few to choose from...but The Beehive Salon has had my curiosity for a while now. It's in such a cute location. I love this building. It's one of my favorites on Main Street.


I really enjoyed my day! Meredith was an absolute gem and made me feel so comfortable. I also found out we are neighbors! Hooray!


I love my haircut! It feels so light and comfortable! I was starting to get headaches from the length and always pulling it back.


It's fun! I can do so much with it!

You can read more of my posts about my little town here: "Mayberry"

Blog Trail Tuesday


Today's Share a Blog goes to Heidi at Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers. I haven't read her book yet, but I do keep up with her work days of the week. And I read her blog regularly.

Monday - Laundry Day
Tuesday - Town Day
Wednesday - Kitchen Day
Thursday - Office Day
Friday - Cleaning Day
Saturday - Garden Day

Following these days, helps me pace myself. The housework gets done over time. Somedays Laundry Day overlaps Town Day. But the bulk of the Laundry was done on Monday. It's a really good feeling. And sometimes I'll put something off till the right day. Last week I needed to make butter and laundry soap. I put it off until Kitchen Day. Otherwise, I get too sidetracked and don't focus on what needs to be done that day. I like the routine it gives us.

My kids like knowing what chores we will focus on each day. Sometimes, they will even get up and get started on their part. They know once school and work is done, they have the rest of the day for free time.

Heidi shares some great tips and ideas for homemaking on her blog. It's also a fun little blog with a cute layout. Check her out! I can't wait to order her book!

Now it’s your turn!

1. Use the banner above.

2. Do a post on your blog about another blog.

3. Please link back to Blog Trail Tuesday!

4. Then go to Melissa's Blog, and add your link to the McLinky below. Be sure to add the link to the specific post – not your home page.

5. Finally, check out everyone else’s links!

February 10, 2010

February Fun

I wanted to follow up on my Share a Blog post. We spent the first half of the day doing a Valentine's Day craft.

They really enjoyed this one.

Here is their finished work.

February 9, 2010

Microsoft One Note

I love One Note. It came with my Microsoft Word Student Suite. I have found it to be one of the most helpful bits of software I have ever purchased.

Basically it's like a book shelf with lots of notebooks on it. I have several open. When I start a new project, I open a notebook.

Here, I'll show you part of the notebook I started for Joshua's 10th birthday party. He wants a beach theme. I spend a few minutes a day looking for party ideas.

You can see my notebooks lined up on the left. This one in particular is like a one subject notebook since there aren't any sections (I'll explain that more later).

The pages are lined up on the right. I have a page for a shopping list, invitations, and so on.

The coolest thing about One Note is that stuff moves around easily. Everything can be clicked and dragged, even between notebooks. You can place the cursor anywhere in the field and start typing, or paste pictures, links, whatever. It's not limited to invisible lines like Word or Excell.

You can also use paint tools to draw, create borders, and all sorts of stuff I haven't tried yet. Here I'm pointing out that this picture and link were cut and pasted. I think it's the easiest way to keep track of what I find on the web.

Here is an example of what it looks like to send part of the website directly from the browser to your notebook.

"Joshua's 10th Birthday Party" was just an ideas sort of notebook. It's not organized yet as Joshua's birthday is still several months away.

Now Here is a look at my homeschool notebook. At the top you can see I have a section for each child and some for different subjects I'm researching. Each section can have as many pages as you want. The pages can be as long as you want. The possibilities are endless.

This is a list of curriculum I'm looking into for Kelsea. I'm considering using Abeka for the majority of her high school education. I have prices listed and sub totals (down at the way bottom is a grand total).

My Personal Notebook has stuff like my to do list, a book list that I want to read through, garden ideas, weight loss tracking (you can open files from Word and Excell right onto a page).

My Blogging notebook has html codes that I want to remember, a copy of my banner and button, and things I want to blog about. Basically, any ideas I have for my blog, I put here.

After I enter in whatever text I want, I just close it. It automatically saves whatever you enter. You don't have to stop and save or worry about lost data. Just close and move on.

When I'm done with a project I can either delete the book, or I can close it and it will go into a file. When I want to go back to it I click on "All Notebooks" and there it is.

One more thing I want to make mention of. If there is something I know I recorded in a notebook but can't remember which one, all I have to do is hit "ctrl F" and it will search them all for whatever text I want to find.

I really love this program. It helps me stay organized. I have lots more notebooks I want to start and I'm not cluttering my house! I still have to keep a paper notebook for my shopping lists. Obviously my computer won't fit in my purse and my cell phone is too basic to handle software.