Thankful Thursday…. Enjoying Nature

I have always loved Spring.† New beginnings, growth, warmth, breezes, beauty.

I am so thankful for this life I live….

Thankful for the opportunity to spend so much time with my girl.

Thankful for our relationship..

Our way of learning…mostly stress free….

Our ability to go about most days S-L-O-W-L-Y

Really examine God’s creations…

All Pictures by Keilee

Thankful for time to take Wildflower Walks….

Examine bugs….

Enjoy the birds…..

Live each day…

Happily linking up with Theresa at “Thankful Thursdays

Homeschooling Rocks,

Karen

ìA bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.î ~Lou Holtz

†ìForget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.î† ~Kahlil Gibran

80∞ Weekend Means….

playing with your dog….

swinging in a swing wearing a hat of course….

making bunny food on an open fire built on Indian rocks…..[notice the dirty feet…love it]

sitting under trees….

grass beneath your feet…

grilling out….

laughter….

Isn’t Spring the best? And it IS Spring, I don’t care what the calendar says. 🙂

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.”† ~Nadine Stair

Mehndi Gloves, Pysanky Eggs, The Simple Life and MORE….

Spring?† It feels like SUMMER here.† I can not believe this weather.† Ok, we had a really mild winter but 80∞ in the middle of March is crazy.† I want to drag out all of our summer clothes but as soon as I do it will SNOW!

We have had such an incredible week.† It included a lot of ‘going’ places, but also a lot of learning.

†1.†† Keilee made this picture of her art drawing figure.† Behind it is one of her old cameras.† She LOVES old cameras.†

2.††† Keilee also made this picture of her favorite subject, Nomad.† I swear she had some that I think was shot UP his nose!

3.††† Went to see “The Lorax” with a homeschool group.† I liked it very much even though 3D is not my favorite most of the time.† “The Lorax” is my favorite Dr. Seuss book.

4.†† One of my FAVORITE RESOURCES of the Week.† “Girls Who Looked Under Rocks”.† This is an awesome book.† It is about 6 female naturalists.† Anna Botsford Comstock is one of them.† We read this book all week and looked up information on all the women featured.† Keilee is going to do a report on one of them next week.

5.† A very cool recycle project we saw at Burritt Museum.† It is all made from the tops and caps of various things!

6.† Lilac Bush – this was beautiful and smelled so wonderful!

We did a very cool art thing called Mehndi Gloves.† Here is a link to the lesson plan.† Mehndi Art Gloves Lesson PlanOurs didn’t look as good as the ones portrayed but we had a lot of fun with them.† Our gloves were a little big and I think it would have been better if they were tighter.† I got our gloves at Dollar General and they were ‘one size fits all’.

†We also went to Burritt Museum to take a class about Pysanky Eggs.† The class was informative but the actual “making of” was a little lacking.† Keilee and I both thought it was a little too “Easter Eggish” instead of “Ukranian Eggish”.† There was a HS Mom who sat next to me who told me she and her family had just spent a month in Ukranine because she was adopting her daughter from there!† Even though ours didn’t turn out as cool as the videos Kei and I watched it was still fun!

After the class we roamed around the Historic section of Burritt on the Mountain. They have beautifully restored historic homes from the 1800’s and 1900’s.† They also have animals.† Keilee was in heaven.† She said she could see us living in one of these houses.† I told her that would be awesome as long as I had electricity and indoor plumbing!

Animals and More Animals!

We have been spending huge amounts of time outside.† We have walked the dog, laid out, rode our bikes, gone on wildflower walks and just sat under the trees and talked.† I love this time of year.

We have been playing an iPad game A LOT called Charadium HD.† It is another “FAVORITE RESOURCE”.† It is too fun.† It is like Pictionary and you play with other people.† Everyone so far seems really nice and doesn’t use bad language or anything.† Keilee loves this game.† She plays it all the time.† It also helps her with her typing and spelling which she needs!† Hores indeed!† I think she meant holes. 😉

She's WINNING!

My favorite picture this week:

Watching the Sheep...

Keilee loved learning about Marco Polo this week from SOTW.† Then we watched a really good Hallmark Channel Movie called “Marco Polo”† [duh huh?]† We kept having to pause it while Keilee told me things she remember from her reading.† I love that!

And next week is the HUNGER GAMES!!† We have had our tickets for a month.† EEP!† 12:01 AM will find us at the movie theater.† Keilee is thinking about dressing up as Katniss like she did for Halloween. ††

Isn’t homeschooling just the best thing ever???†

Happily linking up with

Mary at “Collage Friday

and

Susan at “Favorite Resources

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”† The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”† ~Margaret Atwood

Christina’s Interview With Keilee….

Christina at Interest Led Learning interviewed Keilee last week for her blog.† We LOVE Christina’s blog and get so many great ideas from it.† She is the Mom of twin 6 year olds!

Here is the beginning of her interview…

“Today Iím so excited to share an interview I did with Keilee. Keilee is 12 and has been homeschooling for the last five or so years. Iíve learned a lot about all the creative things Keilee has been doing lately from visiting her mom Karenís blog at HomeschoolGirls.

I wanted to interview Keilee because she lives a life full of imagination, creativity and passion outside the school system. My kids are still young, so I find it so exciting to read about older kids who are doing some really cool things. (Not that we arenít too, but at a different level )”

Read the rest HERE.

Thanks again Christina for giving Kei this wonderful opportunity.

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

“Do not go where the path may lead; go where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Wicked, Spring is in the Air, & Math and Science Fun…

This week was unbelievable!† After the crazy show week and the crazy FLU week, it was nice to get back to semi-normal.

First of all we saw Wicked.† To say we loved it would be a huge understatement.† It was MAGNIFICENT, SUPERB, AWESOME, BLOW OUR MINDS great.† Keilee knew every song but we didn’t know the ENTIRE story line.† She was on the edge of her seat the entire time, literally.† I would have sat through it again immediately afterwards.† Even if you don’t like Broadway shows [and HOW is that possible????] you would love “Wicked”.† I even loved the $40 T Shirt that she wanted…..ok, I didn’t love it, but I stood in line with other crazy people and happily gave up the money.†

We did so much this week I can’t even remember all of it.† There was lots of learning.† We learned about sine and cosine, we made roller coasters and more on a great site I found.† It is my resource of the week.† It is called Math Apprentice and we both learned so much.† Doncha love when YOU learn stuff too?

Math Fun!
Periodic Tables and Roller Coasters

We tried veggie black bean burgers and I was so sad that we didn’t like them much.† What did we do wrong Jess??† Keilee made some Taco Chicken Soup that was delish though!

Black Bean Burgers and Chicken Taco Soup

Keilee did some playing outside.† We are both so ready for warm weather.† Even though we didn’t have much cold.† I found this app called Fast Camera that takes about 100 or more pictures a minute and played around some with it.

Cartwheel Fun

We also did an experiment to find out whether atoms move faster in cold, hot or room temperature water.† [Hot in case you were wondering],

Keilee made a draw string purse which turned out very cool [it is a lot larger than it looks in this picture]†

Kei and I have been talking a lot about how important our words can be.† I have gotten into a horrible habit of saying, “Stupid”.† Everything and everybody is ‘Stupid’.† I am trying very hard to do away with that word.† And because I say it, of course Kei does.† We talked about being critical and how even though everyone needs someone to ‘vent’ to and we have each other for that; we need to be more supportive and kinder.† To help us remember Keilee made us both ‘Think’ bracelets.† Like ‘Think before you speak’.† I love the idea and am wearing mine everyday.

†We got the bracelet idea from this Monthly Newsletter called “Homeschooling Ideas- Fuel the Fire”.† Sign up for this if you haven’t.† REALLY..do it NOW.† It is awesome and I look forward to it every month.† Here is a link to this months newsletter.†It is my other Favorite Resource this week.

There was even time for SILLY.† We do silly a lot at our house.† Don’t you?

Oh and Keilee tried out for another play “The Princess and the Pea”.† She got the role she wanted; Princess Diana Dingaling of Dingdong.† A princess who does nothing but sing and dance all day…type casting I say.† Rehearsals start next week….oy vey.†

Delighted to be linking up with

Mary at “Collage Friday

and

Susan at “Favorite Resources”

Math Apprentice

Homeschooling Ideas – Fuel the Fire

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

” Take time every day to do something silly.” ~ Philips Walker

“If you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” Dr. Seuss

There’s No Place Like HOME….

I can’t believe the last 2 weeks have flown by so quickly.† Last week was Show Week and it was spectacular.† Yes it was hard work for both of us [I worked back stage 9 of the 10 shows], yes it was crack of dawn early mornings and late nights but we had a blast.

There were 88 kids in this show.† Some of them as young as 3 and they did a wonderful job.† Many of them had never done plays before.† All of our awesome Homeschool friends were in the play which made it more special.

Keilee did a really good job.† This role wasn’t as many lines as Scout, but it was a lot more ‘physical’ acting.† She pulled it off magnificently.† Her makeup took about 1 1/2 hours to apply and was horrible to remove.† There were TEN shows which is more than we have ever done before.

Here is the ‘Getting Into Character’ Shots.

 

Here are some ‘behind the scenes’ shots.† iPhone and dark.† My favorite is the Wicked Witch and Dorothy ballroom dancing.† FYI, Dorothy is homeschooled too!† We had about 15 homeschoolers in this play!Keilee kept the munchkins occupied playing games like “Keilee Says”. 🙂

Here are a few from the actual show.† I think Esther made most of these.† Between Esther, Heather and I taking pictures I kinda forgot who was whose.† The really good ones are Esther’s and Heather’s.† The blurry ones are mine. 😉

More show…

One of the sweetest things was that all the Poppies that Keilee called up to put Dorothy, Toto and the Lion to sleep just LOVED Keilee.† They hung all over her and made her cards and got their parents to take pictures with her.† They were adorable.

And here are some of her favorite things.† She got flowers from our neighbor ladies, cards from her Poppies, 3 articles in the newspaper!, and she got to keep the banner they used for decoration at the theater.†

Keilee also had a knitting class in between shows.† Now Mom’s are contacting me and want to meet up at Hobby Lobby so Kei can show them what to buy.† Kei was almost as excited about that as the play!

VIDEOS!!!

Ok I edited these just for Keilee’s scenes.† She was in one more scene where she called up the Poppies but it was only about a minute.† And for some reason I have the curtain call in both videos.† And I don’t feel like fixing it so there!† Hope you enjoy. 🙂

And these are MY favorite pictures.† All from backstage. :)†

My Little Witch

Unfortunately almost everyone got sick.† The rooms backstage are very small and everyone was coughing and sneezing and running a temperature and there was almost no way that we weren’t going to get sick.† I got sick Friday night.† I woke up during the night with a 100.8 fever and just prayed that I would feel well enough to make it through Saturday.† We had cast call at 10:30 and wouldn’t be finished until at least 9:30 that night.† I had friends that could have taken Keilee but there was NO way I wouldn’t be there.† I hadn’t even seen the show from the audience.†† So I sucked it up and made it through.† I was fine until about 7:30 and then I just felt so bad.† Then Keilee woke up with it Sunday. Kei went to the doctor and she had the flu.† I am sure I had it too but I didn’t go to the doc.† Thankfully we are both feeling better now.

Sick Witch

WHEW!† What a 2 weeks.† First one amazing and fun, second one not so much.

Happily linking up with

Mary at “Collage Friday”

and Susan for “Favorite Resources”

Since Spring is in the air, here is one of our favorite Natures Sites:

Nature Detectives This is our favorite of all time Nature sites.† It is from the United Kingdom and has TONS AND TONS of great ideas, games, worksheets, activities and more.† Also be sure to sign up for their newsletter!

AND GUESS WHERE WE ARE GOING SUNDAY!!????????????† TO SEE WICKED!† How perfect is that?

 

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

Wicked Witch of the West: Going so soon? I wouldn’t hear of it. Why my little party’s just beginning.

Wicked Witch of the West: You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!


We Interrupt This Broadcast….

Missed me?

I have so much to write about.† Oz and Witches and Flying Monkeys, oh My!

Last week was Show Week.† We had to be at the theater at 7:00 AM every morning which is way too early for these homeschooling girls.

This week we both have either the Flu or Strep.† Kei has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon.† She feels so bad my poor baby.† She is tired and coughing and running a fever.

Me too, all of the above.

Color us sick and exhausted.

A picture to whet the appetite.

Wicked

I have missed everyone.† I can’t wait to catch up.

Now I am going back to bed.

Homeschooling Rocks,

Karen

ìI’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.î† ~ Fannie Lou Hamer

 

Love and Wicked Witches Are In the Air…

‘Learning from a lesson plan’ was pretty sketchy this week but learning was done all the same.† Life is funny like that† doncha’ think?

Yes there was a bit of the ole’ lesson plans.† She did 3 lessons in Teaching Textbooks and worked on a Note Pack from Hands of A Child.† While I always loved the idea of lapbooking, Keilee never loved them.† The Note Packs are perfect for her.† She is working on one about “Owls”.†

She is also reading a biography on John F. Kennedy.† For some reason she has always been fascinated with him and his story.† She also wanted to know more about Marilyn Monroe† because we are watching a new TV show called “Smash” which is about a group of† people who are making a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe.† So we talked about her and watched “Some Like It Hot”.†

Valentine’s Day was wonderful.† I made Kei heart shaped French Toast for breakfast.† She had made red velvet cupcakes for her Play friends and a heart shaped cake for the two older ladies next door.† I got her 2 Webkinz, some candy, and bubble gum [see it in her mouth? ::rolls eyes::]† for Valentine’s Day.† She made me the MOST AWESOME GIFT EVER.

We also found this and loved looking at all the “Hearts in Nature”.† These are a few of our favorites but the entire article is here.† Beautiful pictures!† Seriously this link is worth looking at.† We oohee and ahhed all over it.

1.††† Heart-shaped Tupai Island in French Polynesia

2.†††† Heart-shaped tree in a wheat field in the English countryside, UK.

3.†††† The Heart Nebula lies some 7,500 light years away in the constellation Cassiopeia

4.†††† Heart-shaped rock on Palm Beach, Preveli, Rethymno, Crete, Greece.

5.†††† The 130,000 square yard islet of Galesnjak

6.†††† The Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays, Australia

Next week is Play Week and it is going wonderfully.† This week Keilee tried on her green makeup and wig for the first time.† The director told her she just couldn’t make her ugly enough for this role. :)†

Keilee getting her Witch Makeup, standing in front of her ‘castle’, getting her Webkinz together for a stop animation and playing our new game, “10 Days In The USA”.† We want to get the Europe version next.† We have played this hours this week.

Here is my favorite resource this week:

YOUTUBE CHANNEL:† CRASH COURSE of World History

My friend Esther sent this link out and we finally got a chance of watching it.† It is EXCELLENT and there are going to be 40 videos; one a week.† It may not be for your younger child.† I would advise watching first.† Only YOU know your child.† Keilee LOVES it and kept wanting to watch more.† She remembered so many things from our History studies. 🙂We discussed so many things after watching this.

THANKFUL FOR:

My child who never ceases to amaze and delight me.† Some of you know our remarkable story.† I thank God for her every day.

This was her Valentine’s gift to me.† THIS VIDEO BELOW.

She worked on it for a week.† At first she didn’t want me to post it because she said, “I sound horrible singing”.† [And she sings beautifully] She was trying to sing very quietly because I was in the other room.† I told her it was up to her and finally she agreed.† I cried when I watched it and still cry every time.† All of these things in the video she made me; a card, model of Pluto, roses made from pipe cleaners and a bracelet she made;† and gave them to me after I watched.†

NOTE: Kei and I’s ‘saying’ for as long as she could talk has been, “I love you to Pluto and Back”.

PS.† I don’t think she understands that “FINE” isn’t really something you call your Momma. ;)† God love her.

Happily linking up with

Theresa with Thankful Thursdays

Susan with “Favorite Resource This Week

Mary with “Collage Friday

and Kris at “Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Weekend!

Homeschooling Rocks,

Karen

“I Love you to Pluto and Back” ~ Mommy to Keilee and Keilee to Mommy

Dissection, Glasses and Year of the Dragon….

There seems to be such a trend on the blogs I read to explore “Interest Led Learning”.† I am so excited where this has led us.† Thank you to all who inspire me in blogland; Christina, Susan, Jenn, and more.†

1.††††††††††† Keilee at the eye doctor.† She is farsighted and needed glasses only for close up work.† Since she has had them her headaches have completely gone!

2.††††††††††† Kei, Chan and Jake at our Chinese New Year party!† We had such a great time with all the Moms and kids.† Great food and great friends.† Keilee is the “Year of the Dragon” so this is her year!

3.††††††††††† 2 Ingredient Strawberry Fudge.† Kei made this to take to the Chinese New Year party.† Very easy and very yummy!

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 oz) can of strawberry frosting
  • 1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips

How to Make

  1. Prepare a 9×9 pan by spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Over a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt your white chocolate chips.
  3. When chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in your strawberry frosting, evenly.
  4. Spread in your prepared pan and place in fridge to set for 30 minutes.
  5. Cut into squares to serve.

Notes

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

4.††††††††††† This is candy that my brother got when they cleaned out a Fallout Shelter on the Arsenal.† It came in a 55 pound can.† The label said, ìCarbohydrate Supplementî.† It was from 1963!† He looked it up and they said it was fine as long as the can was still whole and sealed.† Which it was. We shared it with our friends at the Chinese New Years Party.† So everyone ate 49 year old candy!

5.††††††††††† Keilee at Wizard of Oz practice.† With the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and a Winged Monkey

6.††††††††††† Keilee with her new glasses playing a Critical Thinking game on iPad.

7.††††††††††† Working on a craft in our cleaned up Homeschool Room.† Keilee cleaned off this table and it is now her ëCraft Tableî.

8.††††††††††† At Sci Quest exploring ìLightî

Keilee took 2 Science classes this week at Sci Quest.† Each class was 2 hours long so she got tons of good Science instructions.† Which is great because I am a little lacking in the whole ‘hands on science stuff’.† The first one was on Newton’s Laws.† They talked about the 3 laws and did lots of experiments.

All of these pictures are ones Keilee took during class on her iPhone.† She kept texting me pictures showing what they were doing! 🙂 I trained her well.

Newton's Laws Experiment

The second class was on Arthropods.† It was a dissection class.† Kei has never shown any interest in dissection but decided she would like this one because they dissected a crayfish.† She did not stop talking about it for 24 hours.† She learned so much.† They examined several Arthropods, did worksheets and then dissected a crayfish.† She got her own one to do all by herself.† She loved everything about it but the smell.† Remember that smell? I do!

Grasshopper and Cockroach w/o Wings
Before and After Crayfish

†While Keilee was doing her 4 hours of science I got to sit in the break room and talk to Moms.† That place was full of HS Moms.† You could almost feel the ideas and resources bouncing around!† One of my great friends Stacey and her daughter Makalia [who decided not to take a class this time] brought this game called “10 Days In the USA”† We played it for about an hour and I loved it.† I mean loved it so much I ordered it from Amazon yesterday.

This game is my Resource of the Week.† Another Resource I found this week and LOVED is K12 Open Ed.† There are FREE ebooks for most subjects.

Happily linking up with Mary at “Collage Fridays

and Susan at “Favorite Resources

This has been an amazing week.† Tonight Keilee is going to a spend the night party so I expect to do a lot of reading on the couch with my doggie.† Keilee has made me promise she can Face Time me before she goes to bed.† Isn’t technology wonderful?

Homeschooling ROCKS!

Karen

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.” ~Edwin Powell Hubble, The Nature of Science, 1954

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”† ~Wernher Von Braun

February Missing….

I want to live fully. I don’t want to take things for granted. I want to enjoy moments, those amazing little moments, with Keilee. Because really..isn’t that what it is all about?

Today is my Daddy’s birthday. He is in Florida for 2 months, enjoying the weather. I am sitting here on this unseasonably warm February day horribly missing my Mother. Missing her voice, her laugh, her smell, her hugs, her presence. I am in her house, the house she made into a home hoping, praying, that I am doing the same for Keilee.

She has been gone for almost 4 years.

It seems like yesterday…

It seems like forever ago…

Every day I was safe in the knowledge that she loved me. Adored me. Ours was the house where the neighborhood kids hung out.  No one left my Mother’s house without a “Jean Goodie Bag”. †She would take a baggie and fill it with candy and Little Debbies and gum.  Every child that visited us left with a goodie bag grasped tightly in their hand.

Kids would get measured on our laundry room wall.  There are years and years of measurements there….almost 40 years… She measured Keilee up until she was 7, then was unable to do it again. I carefully mark her height and feel such a connection to my Mother. I know she is watching me, smiling that I am carrying on her tradition.  The wall needs painting so badly and I wouldnít paint over it for $20,000.

This is only 1/2 of it. I can’t back up enough in the tiny laundry room to get the entire wall…

Momma’s Wall

She loved me unconditionally.† I never really understood that until I had Keilee.  How many times I would say to her, “Mom I love those earrings, bowl, picture” and she would answer, “It’s yours”. Keilee says to me, “Mom I love those earrings” and I say, “They’re yours” and I smile.

Her joke was to kiss something when I borrowed it.† She was “kissing it goodbye”.  I smile as I type that and my eyes tear up “missing” does it ever really leave us?

She called me every single morning I lived in California to make sure I was up for work. We watched the airplane crash into the 2nd tower together; her in Alabama, me in California.

She would call me every night to tell me “Goodnight my babe”.† After she got Caller ID, she answered the phone when I called †”Hello sweetie”. What I wouldnít give for one more of those calls.

She loved me, drove me crazy at times, taught me to be a better woman, slipped me her credit card to buy clothes, kissed boo boos, sacrificed, loved fiercely, called to tell me it was raining outside, woke me up every morning of my school life whispering, “Good morning sunshine”, cheered my successes, cried with me for my mistakes.† †She was a great Mother.

Picture I Keep by My Computer…

4 years ago this month she began getting really sick.  Did I fight enough for her? Keilee and I spent February through May either at the hospital, rehabilitation, or at her house.  I talked, sang, brushed her hair, brought her favorite things, made her food she loved, kissed her, stroked her face, read to her, laughed with her, talked to doctors, did research, asked a million questions

and she still died….

They never knew exactly what was wrong with her.† They called it “Failure to Thrive”.  I was appalled at that.† No one ever wanted to live like my Mother did.†

I miss you Mother.† Every day.†

Every

single

day.

I wish Keilee and I could spend one more day, week, month, year, decade with you.

One day we will…

Karen

“Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle
Everything I do is stitched with its color.”

~W.S. Merwin, “Separation”

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ~Kahlil Gibran

 

Jesus, a Mother, a Daughter and a Dog….