Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Circle Loom

Milton holding his first circle loom project.

So Milton wanted to make something on a circle loom for quite some time and for some reason I kept putting it off. I had nightmares of multiple mistakes and tears and the project becoming so messed up it would be left up to me to salvage it. Well, I was wrong. He did Awesome. How did I go about it?
1. I showed him how to do the first two rows.
2. He did it

Yep that's it. He asked me a phew times what his next step was but after row 5 or so he did not need to ask any more. After watching a video on you tube about how to finish the hat. I showed him how to do the first step of finishing once and he continued from there. I did help with the final finishing. I fixed a minor whole and rang in a stray loop of yarn but It turned out awesome. The best part is that it was for someone else and it was not a selfish act. He wanted to make it for a baby that a friend of mine was having. That is why it is pink. He claims he wants to make another hat. We shall see if he follows through with that.

Free Kit Winner

OK, I have not forgotten about you all and I have finally chosen a winner.
  The winner is Holly!
I have spent the last couple of days putting together the kits for my niece and nephews and they are finally done. If you are still thinking about making one yourself here are a few tips on keeping it cheep. Use ribbon that you have already. Use a sheet from the thrift store. If you are having trouble finding rope go to the camping or fishing section at Wal Mart. There are ropes that are 40 feet long and can be cut in half. I used cloth I already had to make bags for holding the kits. I made them big enough to hold a few extra treasures that could be added by the child. I printed out a small card with fun ideas. I also had a knots card with a link of where to see animated knot instructions. You will want to check this out. It is great.   To print cute tags here are some simple ones you could use. Just click here. So there you have it. So easy to make and can get it done before Christmas for presents you don't have to mail.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Do you have any boys who like to tie knots or want to tie knots or need to pass of knots for boy or cub scouts  (Deep Breath). Well, I can stare at those red and white rope diagrams all day and have no clue what to do. I ran across this today I thought it was wonderful. Animated knot how to. I will so be using this. visit this cool knot animation and begin to learn.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quick update

We have finished Little house in the Big Woods. We are now onto Lion, which and the wardrobe. Milton is learning how to knit on a circle loom and I am reading The Chosen. I just finished reading Dumbing Us Down and it was great. Think public school is great? read this. I just turned 36 years old and ready for another year. Water colors have come out twice in the last couple of weeks. Quincy keeps showing that he has been learning letters and numbers. Milo is reading by choice little by little and enjoying it more. Life of Fred is s till going and they love it. I am writing a novel and I have written 25 thousand words so far and just started my 7th chapter. I am now a Cub master and start next month. Wilder winter is going well and our routine is slowly developing and keeping its form. We made a ginger banana bread (Quincy's choice). Spike is starting to push himself up on his toes in the push up position. Milo will also read to his brothers now.We are also listening to Alice in Wonderland.

National Novel Writing Month

I am so sorry that I am lagging on posts this month. I haven't even been able to keep up with my daily log of our activities. I am participating in NANoWriMo. This is National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write 50,000 words in one month. I am finally writing you all about this because I was behind and as of today I am a little ahead of where I need to be so I thought I would take this chance and tell you about it. It has been crazy so far finding the time to write like crazy but I am enjoying it. I am planning on trying to either get it published or just publish it myself. All of this work and I might as well do something with it. Once I have it all done I will let you all know more about it.

Visit nanowrimo.org to learn more.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

First Days of Simplifying

Our first few days of the Modern Wilder Winter has gone well. I have hid the toys and changed up what they have available in the living room. The whole idea is to encourage reading and learning. Bordon leads to more exploration outside of scripted and over stimulating toys. I cant believe how well I did. In the boys room they have one small bucket full of blocks, 5 dinosaurs and about 8 animals, books, 8 cars and I cut their dress-up by about 3/4's. I even look all but two stuffed animals from their beds. The older son is taking it quite well. He has come down each morning dressed as a pioneer in the spirit of the change. My three year old though keeps asking for the legos and asking why I took his toys. But once he starts playing and exploring he forgets about it. Plus the kids can pick up their own mess now.

One the First we finished the last chapter of Life of Ferd Butterflies. We also read a lot from Little house in the big woods. We wrote down the jobs they did on each day of the week. We don't need to churn butter so this is our schedule that we came up with.

Monday-Laundry ( we shall see if I can get it done in one day, even with Milo's help)
Tuesday-Ironing and cloth diaper cleaning
Wednesday-Mending and sewing projects
Thursday-"Churning" We will be cleaning the bottom floor of the house
Friday-Clean top floor of house
Saturday-Clean up the outside of the house and the car.

We also read about how they treated the Sabbath.
These are the activities we decided would be ok and not ok on Sunday.

Sit Quietly
Play with Paper dolls
Play Quietly
Read Scriptures
Look at books
Quietly play with dolls
We added (listen to scripture books on tape and writing letters)

Making new things

On the 2nd the boys helped a lot with cleaning, painted with water colors and we backed pumpkin custard (pumpkin pie with no crust) from scratch. We read some out of a book called the Pioneer Sampler. It talks about the different jobs in the family. One thing Milo and I took note of was that the 4 year old would start to do family chores when she was 5. I am trying to take this idea to heart and let Quincy alone a little more when it comes to work. He still must do his morning duties but it is up to him if he wants to help with the morning team work. We also learned about churning butter. We tried to make our own butter but we learned that the cream being at room temp. was very important. After the boys took their turn shaking the cream I shook it all of the way to whip cream. Not complaining. It went great with our pumpkin custard and maple syrup. I already have purchased more cream so we can try it again this coming week.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Modern Wilder Winter

OK, call me crazy but I have been trying to figure out this balance of the modern world and a family centered on reading and learning as described in the TJEd philosophy. I have been pondering the writings and ideas of Kari Tibbets and all though I do not agree with many of the ways she implements things in her home I see the wisdom behind it. Also, with our coming holiday season coming and needing to have a VERY simple Christmas I have decided to read the boys Laura Ingle Wilder's book Little house in the Big Woods. Now I have listened to this in audio book form and remember the simplicity they had and the hard work it talks about. And the bonus for me right now was the simple and slim Christmas. So this is what I have had planned. 
A Modern Wilder Winter!

We have this room that was suppose to be Johns for studying but he just hates being in a small room so he is always in the living room anyway. So I am taking all of the crazy "educational" toys, Legos, most of the Lincoln logs, minimizing their dress up (they have soooo much of it) and much more and putting them in this extra room. I, for some reason, cannot just take it all to a thrift store without knowing how this is going to go. I am going to have their few toys out on a book shelf in their room and the closets will no longer be needed for anything but cloths. In the living room, where all of the educational toys were, I have reduced it a lot. I have a shelf with minimal art supplies, paper for writing and for cursive practice (if they feel like it), some rocks and fossils that they love, micro scope and a few puzzles. I can’t get rid of all of the puzzles, my 3 year old LOVES them and would be so sad. I now have a whole shelf just for me so the kids can see what books I am working on and now my nature journal (sketch book) and journal are now just a reach away.

What else will equal our Modern Wilder Winter? Movies will only be once or twice a month and I will only be checking facebook in the evenings and for only 15 min. I plan on working every morning with the kids and baking with them every morning. Have you heard about the good of bored? I am hoping to work this idea to my advantage. We have three tall bookcases of books plus more books in the kids bedroom. I hope to simplify so much that they are picking up books even more than they are now. LOTS OF READING! I plan on spending more time in the evenings with my boys and doing as much with them as possible. This is going to be a challenge for me. When dinner time comes I want to send the kids out of the kitchen but I will be inviting them to help me. I also cannot wait to see them on Christmas morning when they get their homemade gifts. With as few toys that they will have i think this will be one of the best Christmas's ever. 

 So how long are we going to do this? 4 Months of simplified living. Who knows. Maybe we will keep doing it but for right now we are going to see how this little experiment goes. It won’t hurt my kids and if anything we will be better off because of it.


So have you heard of this? I have not until just a couple days ago. November is National Write a Novel Month and I have signed up to give it a try. I have to write 50,000 words in a single month. Why? Because it sounds like fun. I have always enjoyed writing but I have not done it much since I have had children. Granted I have always done childrens stories in the past but why not try my hand at a novel. My kids always give me ideas so why not do one.

Milo wanted to play a game of chess the other day and Quincy did not want to play and I was trying to get some cleaning done so I told him to play against himself. So my book is based on the game of chess. Yes it sounds nerdy but I think I have come up with a pretty fun and adventure filled idea. So wish me luck and forgive me if I have skimpy posts this month. I will have to write 1,666 words every day.

Does this sound like fun to you. Join today and you can join me in this crazy adventure and share in the craziness. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Free Fort Kit

How much fun does this look. That is how I did it as a kid.
(without the lights of course)
So Christmas is right around the corner and how many gifts do you have to figure out? So I am going to help you out by giving you a chance to win a free Fort Kit. There has been so much interest in my post about the Fort Kit I thought I would give one away ready for gifting. The kit will include a sheet, rope, cloths pins and a storage bag. This is all you have to do to enter the drawing...

You can either become a follower by clicking "follow" off to your right and then make a comment on this post about who would receive the Fort Kit you hope to win.


You can follow by submitting for an email subscription (if you do not have a google account), also to your right, and then make a comment on this post about who would receive the Fort Kit you hope to win.

I am so excited for this giveaway. Please share this with as many fiends as you can through email or Facebook.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Fort I put together for my boys today. 
So from my post about the Holidays Coming someone had shared an idea that I think is the best. Karri Tibbets this is in honor of you :)

How about a Fort Making Kit. King sized sheets, rope and cloths pins. I cant get over the greatness of this idea. Ok, I know that kids build forts. I did my own share of them as a child. But how it would be great to not have the beds pulled apart and linen closets emptied every time my boys feel like building a place of their own. Also, the wonderful Heather mentioned how this stuff could even be taken outside for building fun. Of course, why not. If it gets to gross you can just toss it into the wash.

Heather had also shared a video that shows you how to make a simple small kit. Now watch the video
Ok, so I love the cute colors and all but I will be going to a thrift store to find my sheets and King size come in only so many super fun prints. I would use a lot more ribbon so the ties can fit around a larger chair top. I would also use a white cotton rope for ease of tying. I will be also be doing more than one sheet. I am thinking about 4 to 5. Mine will go into a tub rather than a bag.

Heather also shared that she put hooks up in the bedroom or play room for her kids to tie the ropes to. I am so excited to piece together this gift for my sons. The video kit would be a really cool Birthday gift. I think my niece and nephews may be getting one of them this Christmas.

Let the forts be built!

Type 1 Diabetes

Welcome to those of you who are effected by or know someone with Type 1 Diabetes. Please share this post with anyone else who may be able to use it. I really want to help out some Mommies out there.

OK, so I have found that coming up with 60 carb combos for every meal and 15 carb snacks to be making me totally crazy. Kids are hungry, baby is screaming and I am stuck doing mental math. Ahhhh! So on my Type 1 Diabetes page I will be collecting all of my 60 carb combos that I come up with. It is sparse right now because I plan on adding as I go. It has been about 2 months and I have just decided to start doing this so it should bulk up pretty fast.

I am also going to add links to help people find from scratch recipes with nutrition facts available. I love to cook and I am so over the canned this and that just so I know the carb count. It is time to spread my wings. I hope this will help someone. Visit My Type 1 Diabetes Page Now!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fibonacci Numbers Video

So I found the link for this video through a Yahoo Group and I wanted to share it with more people. How have I never heard of the Fibonacci Numbers? I will admit like many of us that I am a product of the public school system. Yes, I can read...Yes I can write (spelling can be questionable)...Yes, I can speak in front of people but I really feel that I learned nothing of quality beyond the minimum life skills needed. This video is fun and quirky. I am going to be watching this again and again. All I have to say is SLUG CAT! Please share this with other homeschoolers you know. My 8 year old even found it to be fun. You can understand the Fibonacci Numbers. Learn more about Leonardo Pisano Bigollo "Fibonacci" in Mathematicians are People Too (vol. 2).
If you dont have a book learn more about him here.

Holidays Are Coming

So the Holidays are coming and how do I plan on tackling this with my husband working full time on his PHD and with no money??? I going to do it Laura Ingalls Wilder style. I plan on sharing the book Little House In The Big Woods with my two boys as soon as we finish up The Secret Garden. We are going to talk a lot about how one does not need a lot of things to be happy. In this book only the youngest recieves a gift other than a pair of mittens. Very good lesson for the kids to learn. This is also going to help with the want to get rid of even more stuff to simplify our life. I plan on making all but one gift for each child. To add another element of fun we will design our dinner after foods that they ate in the book.

What are some things I am planning on making for gifts?

Fir Milo I plan on making a set of pillow cases for him. One will have the periodical elements table on one side and fireworks on the other. You may be thinking..."why fireworks?" Each color is going to be labeled with the element that creates that color. He also likes the ideas of molecules and how they are build so maybe another one with things like H2O and more. Oooo, or maybe the Preamble.  What kind of pillow case for Quincy? One with his name on it so he can trace it with his finger.  My kids also like stuffed animals. I hope to reduce these a little too but they do play with them a lot. But, I did find this site with a sock cat pattern. It is quite cute. I think I would fill the body cavity with rice so I can heat it up. I think this is a for sure for both Milo and Quincy.I would post a pick but I dont want to give it away if they happen to see this.

Family Fun Magazine also had a fun thing the other day. I want to say it was from the October 2011 issue so I could not find it online. A pillow with a book pocket. The kids got to write the name of the book they finished right on the pillow. The pillow was big enough for the kids to lay on for reading. Anything to get them reading is always a help.

Milo has also asked for a towel robe. I did find a site with instructions on how to make a robe from a towel. Granted, it is meant for the pool but I think it would still work great.

Here are some other homemade boy gifts

Marshmallow Gun

Duct Tape Wallet

Create a Slime making kit

Make a set of Busy Bags

Doorway puppet theater and puppets

Washcloth Puppet for the tub or theater

New book from a thrift store with finger puppets to act it out.

Snake Tie

Kids drawing doll keepsake or cuddly

Bow and Arrows

Natural wood blocks

Lacing stick

Story Stones

Wool Slippers

Soft Paratrooper

Balance Board

Cork Snake

Fort Kit

Ok, so I think that is plenty to choose from. You should be set for a very long time when it comes to gift giving to little boys.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More of my thoughts on Tibbiets

I have been thinking about this whole Tibbets thing a lot. Some people have found my views a little forward. It is my opinion and that is all. Just me thinking out loud and sharing it with others. Make sure you read her writings  and Q and A page for yourself and make your own assessment  Yes I do agree with the underlying idea of her headgates theory. Creating an environment that helps lead the children to wanting to read more books.

I also agree with her views on gender roles for the most part. I am a traditionalist.
Although I must say, I am not opposed to the tiny bit of help now and then. My
poor husband ended up eating Cheerios last night because an out got us back home
to late. Bad planning on my part. I am not Mrs. Beaver yet :)

I am bent on taking her idea and making it more mainstream, manageable and
acceptable to the masses. A woman that I greatly respect, Kathy Mellor, put it
this way to me

"Whenever you read anyone's ideas, just take from it what resonates for you and
store away the things that seem like they might be useful to you later. Leave
behind anything that seems wrong or that go against principles that matter to
you. Being able to make some choices seems important to you so that is why her
choosing everything doesn't go well with your gut."

I was picker her mind about it. She is a great scholar phase mentor, LEMI
trainer and parent mentor and so much more http://www.unleashingyourvoice.com/
I cant wait to learn more from her in the future. Any hoooo, I found what she
shared to make since. I can make Tibbets' basic concept work for me but I just
need to figure out how.

Some things I plan to implement
1. Get rid of most of the scripted toys. We don't have many as it is so
lightning Mc Queen and transformers will be going away. I can not part with
Thomas. They cost so much and my kids don't pay attention to any fact besides
that the trains have names.

2. We have added the 30 min of reading time at night per child. That way the
older one (8) is being read to in something he wants to learn about. He has
chosen the Who Was book about Louise Armstrong. Middle one (3.5) chose Curious

3. I am trying to come up with a way to limit regular toy time. They have great
imaginations. Right now they are upstairs playing Sherlock Holmes and then
switched to a club complete with sign written by my child who hates to write. I
guess work will be this afternoon :) But I will admit that most of the time when
other toys come out they are less active and end up fight more because they want
this thing or that. 

4. I have actually let go of a lot of my controlling side since the knife
subject in my last Abigail Adams Academy class. I actually let my son take a table knife to make is
arrows for his bow. He enjoyed it so much. Thank you to everyone who shared
their knife stories.

5. I am reading to my kids Soooo Much More. The Secret Garden has done that for
me. Snacks and lunch are reading time. If they are eating they listen better and
do not interrupt as much unless it is related. My 3 year old was throwing a fit
last night and I asked him if he was acting like Mary. He did not stop but I
could see that he was thinking and did not like being compared to Miss Mary
Quite Contrary. I love it.

Well I have rambled on long enough and must give my little their snack but I
would love to hear more of what people think.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

To Tibbets or Not To?

So after my last class I was hearing more about this Tibbets lady and all of this wonderful stuff. I want to be like her I thought as all of these wonderful things were flowing through my head. This lady must have it all figured out. So I decided to learn a little more about how she was putting TJEd into her home. First I read her paper called headgates. It was an idea comparing how a child mind works like the headgates of a water ditch works. She explained that if a child is in the right environment then they will be inspired to read over play. Now who would not want that? We all wont our kids to have a great classic based education and are trying so hard to share all of these wonderful books with them. I liked this whole idea even more. As I read though this it seemed a little off to me.

Very strict guidelines for what toys should be allowed. Now some of it makes since so one may think, well she must be right. But legos, Lincoln logs and tinker toys are out. Yep you heard that right...no lego's. Just to clarify...Lego's will never leave my house even with how messy and annoying they can be at times.

So I was going through it all and then after reading all 32 pages I decided to check online for any other info on her. She had her own site (very sparse). You could email her or check out her QandA page. "Ooooo",I thought, "more information". I was still trying to figure out if I though her method was a good and worthwhile method to use. After just reading through a couple of the answers to the many questions people had asked her I was feeling more and more uneasy about it. Here are some of the things I did not agree with

1.At the dinner table the children are to speak only when spoken to. It is a privileged to be able to listen to their parent's talk

2. Children do not get to chose when they get to listen to music nor what music they listen to.

3.She chooses all of their books. Only at night are they allowed to choose a book of their liking.

4. A journal is only for those who have beautiful penmanship, spell correctly and perfect grammar.

5.All subjects should be avoided besides reading and writing because they are beyond them and will be learned during scholar phase.

6. If a child decides to widdle a toy it is not allowed in the house because it is not a useful thing for the family. Children are to only make things that are useful.

Ok, so that is only the tip of the iceberg  What happened to a loving family? What happened to raising leaders who can make choices? What happened to letting kids make mistakes and encouraging them and expecting perfection once they are scholars. I feel that her ideals take a lot of this away. It sounds more like a dictatorship to me. If my child would like to listen to some classical music I am not going to say no just because I didn't choose to have it on.

What I do agree with is creating an environment that encourages children to read. I have made it my mission to develop the way I feel will work the best for my children. I look forward to sharing what I come up with. For now I am sticking with what I am doing with little tweaks here and there.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

100 Book Challenge

To encourage our children to read we have created the 100 Book Challenge. It is mostly for Milo. He loves to be read to but he can read but avoids it. So now after reading 100 books he will have earned a treat of some sort for the family. I hope it can be something like a play or visit to a museum or something. So Milo can earn a sticker for his chart every time he reads a book he has not read. I said that he can ready any level of book this time around. Quincy has to have the books read to him. He is allowed to repeat books but he get a sticker only once per day. So if I read Go Dog Go to him 3 times in one sitting he gets one sticker. For his age repeating books is good. We are doing this so Milo can increase his number of sight words. We have also stated that a Magic Tree house size book is worth 10 stickers. If he ever really starts to take advantage of this it will be reduced to 5 stickers. So far it seems to be working.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Diabetes Walk in Cleveland Ohio

So this last Saturday we were a part of the Cleveland American Diabetes Association 2 Mile walk to raise money towards Diabetes research. We raised just over $1300 and we couldn't be more happy. We got up early and with Mr. Army (Milo's insulin bag) and breakfasts in hand we jumped into the car and off we went. We got there just in time and Milton was loving all o the attention. There were not a whole lot of kids at this event. We plan on attending a Cleveland Zoo walk next year geared towards Type 1 children. So Milo was called up front as being one of the few people who had raised over $1000 dollars. He received a very nice medal and a red ht. If you new how much Milo loves hats this was very cool for him. Thank goodness John took the kids around to see the booths before hand because as soon as the walk was over and lunch was handed out the event was pretty much over. So after this we took the kids to the Great Lakes Science Museum to meet Mike Foreman, a real life Astronaut. We were in line and happened to be where the line was cut off and we did not get to meet him in person but did get to watch him sign a photo for both of the older boys. He also gave a presentation about the future of NASA (read more on Milo's page). We ended the day with dinner at Stake and Shake and it was yummy. Guacamole Burger and a Dark Chocolate shake are perfect. Milton tried Diet, caffeine free coke and decided that he does not like coke. But he got to have a chocolate chip cookie. All were happy and then we wen home. Great day, great learning, great family fun.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Leaves

So today was a great. Some would say I waisted it. I had to take care of some phone calls this morning so the kids got away with playing and not doing their morning jobs. Was my day ruined? I looked out of the window, saw the sun, leaves falling and colors painting the trees. "Lets go outside boys and try to catch a leaf." Shoes were on, bags were grabbed and out we went (I had a chair to sit with the baby and read outloud to the boys).

It was so much fun and we ended up staying out there for 1.5 hours. Milo ran around diving here and there to grab that special leaf. I promised a special fall treat if one of them could catch a  leaf right out of the sky. Huge gusts of wind and hundreds of leaves fell but still to trophy. We even tried holding up a plastic bag in the wind to see if one would happen to deposit itself for our keeping but to no avail. Then the moment came when almost all hope was lost and Milo plucked a red leaved trio right from the crisp fall air. Ahhh the victory.

We also finished reading the book Little Britches by Ralph Moody. Wow, what an ending. Check out my other post on this book

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October and starting

So it is now October and we are finally getting going on school. Schedual picked to try out and it went pretty good today and the ay before. Here is how it went...
7:30 Mommy sang a hymn to wake up older boy then scriptures group song and family prayer Det dressed and make beds.
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Brush teeth, morning jobs and team work project
9:30 Mom School
10:00Snack and morning reading
10:30 Spark Station
11:00 Activity list (golf, scouts, trumpet activity basket)
12:00 Lunch Mystery Box and Book reading

This is what we have so far.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Golf it is

So Milo has been showing an interest in Golf. "Why not?" I thought. So I started to look into lessons and oh my goodness...So NOT affordable when there is no income for the most part. So what to do???

Well, we already had two golf clubs given to us in Page that are kid sized. Lucky there. We were at Walmart looking for something and I ran across their golf section. $3.00 red plastic golf balls to practice driving. $3.00 golf tees. Then we looked up golf grip and how to drive the ball basics on YouTube. Perfect!

Milo was outside working on his swing.

Today I was in the Thrift store looking for a desk I could use for sewing and what did I find? A putt and return putting green. Complete with water and sand hazard. Boy did the boys have fun with that.

I will be checking out a DVD from the public library once it gets here. A kid’s instructional video on golfing. I can’t wait and Milo is excited. Now we just have to find a mentor who would be willing to stop by now and then and give him some tips.

A new school year

So a new school year is about to be under way but it is starting with a bang. We just moved cross country from Arizona to Ohio for my husband to start his PHD in Music Education. We have been unpacking for a while but are enjoying all of the wonderful things to do so much we keep going out for most of the day and having to much fun. We are facing a few years of full time student life with our new family of 5 and figuring that all out. And then to top it off we just found out that Milo has Type 1 Diabetes. Yeah for us! another adventure to begin within our adventure.


This all happened the weekend before my husband started school. Talk about a tornado hitting. Everything hit the fan to say the least. Milo is doing better now and we have been doing this new life for 2 weeks and there are still so many questions but they will be answered as time passes. But hey...life must go on.

I am excited about our new year in learning great things. We are easing into it this year but have already learned some really neat stuff. I love it when I am learning things for the first time with my children. It cracks me up when Quincy asks about people like Archimedes and Pythagoras. Who would have thought?