Friday, April 30, 2010

Five Question Friday... a meme I saw on a friend's blog

1. If you could, would you go back to high school? Nope, no way! High School were not my best. I finished that and have been homeschooling and learning along with my kids for 19 years now and homeschooling is the best!!!

2. If a genie appeared and granted you two wishes, what would they be? (And, no saying "more wishes".)
Wish 1: That we could move out into the country and have a small farm where the boys could have places to build and be boys and we would have a little bit bigger house with a wrap around porch and a screen enclosed area for eating outside and a place for a large garden.

Wish number 2: That we could start a family business and have it succeed so that my dh would not have to go back to working a job (especially one he hates) and so that my boys (and girls) would be able to help and get income that way for our whole family.   

3. What kids show do you secretly like? Magic School Bus (though we watch on video... not even sure if it is on t.v. any more), used to love watching Sesame Street and Barnie but we don't have cable or little kids so I don't know what shows are on now or what the show are like if they are still on), and I love old cartoons like Bugs Bunny.

4. What is your beverage of choice?
McDonald's Sweet Tea!!! No doubt there!

5. What is something that you would change about yourself (or are working to change in yourself)?
My weight... I am not very successful because I let stress get to me and then run for sweets and salty foods... but I wish I could get a handle on it.

Join me for this meme by clicking the meme gadget at the top of this post.


Thursday, April 29, 2010


Ok... I know there are a lot of pictures in this post...

what I want you to know is I really pared it down...

I could have put a lot more on here.

The top 9 are my favorites.

All of them were taken at Winterthur.

I hope it doesn't annoy you to see so many Winterthur pictures. It is my favorite spot on earth right now, the place I go to be in God's nature and I meet him there and feel His presence.

I used Picasa to crop and color correct the photos.

great photo if I do say so myself

beautiful Creation - wonderful Creator

This is my favorite spot at Winterthur.

these two shots came out wonderful

a view of the gazebo through the peony shoots

love how this shot came out... such a unique angle - with the flowers in the front and the rock in the background

another unique view looking down the wall at the climbing vine

my favorite tree

my hubby and I out taking photos together

gorgeous colors





I hope you enjoyed these

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TOS Homeschool Review Crew - Lesson Planet

What is Lesson Planet??? Lesson Planet is a search engine with over 150,000 Teacher Reviewed Lesson Plans and 75,000 Worksheets from gathered from all over the Internet. You can search for any subject in their search box and then limit it by age and by the ratings. Here is a quick one minute tutorial to help you see what the lesson planet is all about. 

Some parts of the website are viewable by anyone you can view any of the links at the bottom of the page. The FAQ has further information you may need. For example: Where do the online lesson plans come from? Lesson Planet's teacher-reviewers are constantly combing the Internet identifying, reviewing and rating all the lesson plans that are available on the Web. In many ways Lesson Planet is like a searchable guidebook to online lesson plans and other online teacher resources.

Here are the subjects you can search:
If you choose to try out Lesson Planet with the Free Trial here are some features you should check out that are for members only:
  • On the left side there is a box that shows you your recent searches in case you need to search for that topic again.
  • Lesson planning articles written by teacher subject guides, including one for homeschooling at Click on the orange link in the box to go to the complete list of articles for that subject. You can also subscribe to any of the guides by RSS feed.
  • Curriculum calendar: with a list of events for each day and links to the search engine for lessons on that topic. (Non-members can view the calendar but not the links to the lessons).
  • Members of Lesson Planet also have access to web-based tools including  LessonMaker (make your own lesson and submit it), NewsletterMaker and Online Storage
Now for my opinion: This kind of site is just not for me. I found a number of problems with the site. I looked for hours and did not find any lessons or worksheets that we would use in our homeschool. Most of the lessons are made by and for classroom teachers. Some of the lessons are for books that I don't have, that are not even specified. One of the lessons I found said to look at the TV... (What???) then page 145 of "the" book... (what book???). Most of the lesson plans are links to other sites, some of which require further memberships (some of them paid memberships), some of the links go to nowhere, they are dead, some just link to other free sites with lesson plans. Some of the lesson plans require further planning and most require a larger group of children than a homeschool family has. The worksheets were either useless, twaddle and busy work, or something that I cover in other ways with things I already use and have. Sometimes when you do a search you get all kinds of non-relevant lesson suggestions. For instance, I searched Renaissance and got a bunch of US map lessons, what's up with that?? Also, with so many great lesson plans for free on the Internet, if you are interested in lesson plans, I just would not pay for the membership. Google search will get you so many lesson plans. Just do a search and use the subject you want and then put "lesson plan" after that. Oh, and because this is a site made for and mostly by public school teachers it is definitely secular in origin. Though this is not a primary reason for not using the site I wanted to make sure you knew.

There is a possibility that this membership is exactly what you are looking for, though this is not for me. With the Free Trial you can check it out and see what you think for yourself.

Lesson Planet has a 10 day Free Trial to allow teachers and parents to try the site with no obligation. Membership to the site is $39.95/year.

Out of five stars I give Lesson Planet

To see what my other crew members have to say about the Lesson Planet check out the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

***Lesson Planet provided me with 3 month membership so that I could do my review. Though I received this product for free I have given an honest review of it here in this post.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

365-97-101 Flower collages from Winterthur, April 2010

Before and After photos
top part of each picture is from 4-3-10
bottom part of each picture is from 4-11-10
Pictures are from the same basic area/view though I could not get them exact.

change in color and height
these will be Peonies

before only leaves
after with flowers

before without dafodils
after with dafodils

Amazing how the plants/flowers changed in just 8 days

Which collage do you like the best???
Leave me a comment


365-93-97 Beautiful Scroll Work

All this scroll work is from the railing by the Quarry Garden at Winterthur.
For the first 3 pictures I  used Graphics Toolbox to trace around the outside edge of the scrollwork and cut it away from the rest of the picture.








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