Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Random Dozen - 09/29/10

Time for the Random Dozen... click the donut button above to go to the host site and read others random dozen or do your own.

1. Do you believe, somewhere deep inside, that blondes do indeed have more fun? That they are "dumber" than brunettes or redheads? Be honest! No. No. Their dumbness just gets more attention because of the stereotype.

2. Which animal would you most like to observe in its wild habitat? Lions

3. This week the U.N. announced that Dr. Mazlan Othman has been appointed the official "Alien Ambassador," should any extraterrestrials contact us. Have you, or has anyone you know, ever seen a UFO? No, and seriously... what a waste of our money to have an Alien Ambassador!!!!

4. Name your favorite Hitchcock film. Rear Window I was introduced to this movie through Movies as Literature from Bright Ideas Press... Love Movies as Literature. Great Curriculum.

5. Would you rather spend time at the library, the mall, a craft store or home? Home... Library... Craft Store... can't decide... I like Home the best but it is nice to spend time at the Library and Craft Store and then come home and relax and use the things I got while I was out.

6. Which Disney princess is your favorite? (Or Disney character, if you are a guy) Hmmm... never thought about this before... don't know which is my favorite??? Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle; it would definitely be one of these four not the others. I took the following quiz and it said I am most like Snow White. Here you take the quiz... what Disney Princess are you?? Find your Disney Princess Personality Quiz much more fun than figuring out which one you like. Free Emoticons

7. What kind of art is your favorite? Photos taken by my family and art drawn by my family, especially my talented hubby and wonderful, creative daughter Jessica.

8. How do you feel about viral videos, that is, videos made by amateurs that end up on Youtube receiving thousands of hits? I feel nothing about them... I don't watch them... I watch mostly Gaithers on YouTube and a few movies of period dramas that I like and don't own.

9. Where do you buy your jeans? Wallmart

10. Tell me about your first automobile accident. Pulled out of our trailer park, to the left I had to look up hill and the sun was blinding me. Did not see the car coming. She smashed into the back of our van... it was a large 16 passenger old van we had. It did not do much damage to us... just shook us up. Can't remember how much damage it did to her car. I had all 4 kids with me... no one was hurt.

11. Have you ever been honest when you knew you would benefit more if you would be dishonest? Yes

12. If you were appointed "Ambassador to Aliens," what would you show and tell first about life on Earth? What would be the most difficult thing to explain? Well first I would never allow myself to be appointed Alien Ambassador but I would show and tell about God first! But, I don't expect to ever meet an alien... I don't think God created life on any other planet in our solar system or in any other solar system.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

TOS Planners... yes PlannerS, there is more than one... check it out

TOS now has student planners. Each has pages that are pertinent for just that age. The high school planner will not have handwriting pages in it... the primary planner will not have chemistry terms.

  • Primary Planner—grades K–3
  • Secondary School Planner—grades 4–6
  • Middle School Planner—grades 7–8
  • High School Planner—grades 9–12
You can also combine the original planner (for Mom) with other student planners.

And you can get the planner(s) as an E-book download or on a CD.

Then there are also Modules to go with the planner. One for each month of the year. ( plus the Modules from 2008 and the Modules from 2009)

Here is the link to ALL the planners, all the combos, all the ways to have the planner.
51 different planners, modules and combo's available. Good luck choosing the ones that are just right for you and your family.

Here is some information about what is in the planners.

One of my favorite things about the planners: Use the planners on the computer or make a hard copy. Select pages, customize them by typing information directly into the form, and save them or print them. No more struggling with unusable pages or too few pages. Need more pages or a different form later? No problem. Simply modify the form and add it to the planner.

Select from a wide variety of forms:
  • To-do lists (today, tomorrow, next week . . .)
  • Marking period planners
  • Wish list (stuff to buy later)
  • Science lab sheets (use to gather all the supplies and record the experiment too)
  • Book reports
  • Chore charts (includes tasks and pictures for primary and secondary grades)
  • Loaned and borrowed lists (no more lost books, CDs, DVDs . . .)
  • Family tree
  • Community service record (college and scholarship applications may require this information)
  • Dates to remember (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, important events)
  • Website login/password reference (handy!)
Plus . . .
Schedule with monthly and yearly calendars; assignment and due date sheets; or daily, weekly, and quarterly sheets.
Set daily, weekly, monthly, semester, or yearly goals.
Build high school transcripts and track hours—start now to make transcript creation easy.
Evaluate progress and document curriculum, educational objectives, course of study, test scores, yearly grades, or a 12-year plan.
Capture memories of the first and last days of school with a Beginning/Ending School Year Page.
Record extracurricular activities, music lessons, field trips, memory work, books read, or crafts completed.
Create daily journals or nature journals. Fun journal pages for primary and secondary children include lines to practice handwriting and draw a picture.
Document spiritual milestones with prayer journal sheets, Bible study notes, Bible reading highlights, or discipleship recording sheets. Even add a Bible reading plan to read from Genesis to Revelation or chronologically.

Not only can each child create a one-of-a-kind planner, but age-appropriate articles and reference sheets will also make the planners a handy reference tool.
Include "How-to" Guides for ready reference:
  • Letter writing tips
  • Lapbooking directions
  • Handwriting guides
Add "Must-Know" Lists for those hard-to-remember facts and figures:
  • Measurement conversions
  • Elements
  • Capitals of states or countries
  • Timelines
  • Kitchen and measurement conversions
  • And more!
Creating and designing their own individualized planners will make scheduling fun for children and teens.

I also talked about the planners HERE and HERE in previous posts.

I am putting this ad on my blog to challenge you to buy the TOS Planner which I love. This blog post is also an entry to win a gift certificate. One of us who post an ad to our blog will be chosen at random.

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Random Dozen - Late Due Wednesday 09/22/10

I wanted to do the Random Dozen yesterday but forgot. I saw it late last night on someones blog but was to tired to bother. This morning another person whose blog I read posted theirs... Late. So I thought I would do it to... Late but better Late than Never... Right??? Well I guess if I didn't do it the sky would not fall down or anything... but I wanted to... so here it is...

1. Have you, or has someone close to you, ever won an award for anything? I got an award for being the only one in our group (the group that was building our Habitat homes together 12 years ago) to complete the home repair course they had at the time. I got recognized with a certificate and a toolbox with some tools in it. My hubby slowly confiscated my tools and toolbox... LOL As far as I know that is the only award I ever won.

2. Who is the nearest relative to you who has served in the US Military? My Father served in WWII. My Father-in-Law and several Uncles did also. My cousin served and lost his life in the Vietnam War.

3. Share something that stirs the patriotic spirit in you.  Memorial Day Parades we go to every year in my hometown. Listening to the Gaithers sing patriotic sons... check out my Spiritual label if you want to hear some.
4. Where are you in the birth order in your family? Do you think your "placement" made a difference in your personality?  I am the baby and yes, birth order matters. Siblings were 9, 12, and 15 when I was born. Once I was older I had a lot of advantages being the only one still home. My sister says I got a whole different father than they had. I was his baby and got lots of love and a few other things.  I still fell like the baby even though I will be 50 next year. My siblings still treat me like the baby too. My placement made a big difference, but God knew what he was doing.

5. Name one trait you hope you carry that was evidenced in your parents or grandparents. Faithfulness (from my mom)

6. If female, do you prefer wearing a skirt or pants? If male, shirt and tie or polo? Female, pants during the week but I like wearing skirts and dresses to church each Sunday. My daughters wear only skirts and dresses and I probably would if I were thinner. I want to work toward that.

7. Approximately how many times do you wake during the night? Usually two, sometimes more. But, I usually go right back to sleep after going to the bathroom.

8. Share a favorite movie quote. I have to set up the favorite line... It is from Little House on the Prairie. Season 2, Disk 1, "The Richest Man in Walnut Grove" The Ingals owe money at the mercantile and the whole family is working to pay it off. Caroline is out in the field plowing because Charles has been working elsewhere. He comes up to the field and finds her plowing.
Charles: "Look at you."
Caroline: "I must be a sight."
Charles: "You are. Your face is dirty, your hair is all askew, and you're still the prettiest woman a man ever set his eyes on"
Then comes my favorite line.... ready... still Charles talking...
"The only thing I regret about being married to you is that I won't have the joy of asking you to be my wife again." (and... kiss) awwwww..... love that line!!!!

Saw on the 2nd cup of coffee post that she said she wished she could find a YouTube video for her quote... guess what I found... here you go... this part starts right out with my quote... now you can watch the scene...

9. What is your favorite Fall candle scent? Vanilla... all time favorite.

10. What is one Fall activity you're looking forward to? Church Bonfire and hot dog roast... with smores for dessert.

11. Tell us about a pleasant surprise that happened to you recently. Hubby bought us a air popper for popcorn.

12. What was it like when you first met your in-laws-to-be?  The first in-law I met was my sister-in-law. I met her before I knew my husband. She had a daughter in my Kindergarten class my first, and one and only year I taught. She became my teacher aid, watching the K kids during nap time so I could teach the 1st graders. She introduced my hubby and I. She invited me over for dinner and then he stopped at the school for something and she invited him too. That night he invited me to go to the Valentine banquet our church was having. I said yes. He said we should go out before that so we would not be strangers at the banquet... and the rest, as they say... is History!!! 

As far as parent in-laws go I only had one.... dh's Mom. Dh's father died before we met. I don't remember our first meeting but she was very loving so I am sure we did fine. We only ever had one conflict and that was about the wedding. Dh put his foot down and told her it was my wedding and everything would be my way. That ended that. Unfortunately she died when I was carrying Jessica. We had only been married 4 years.

So, since my list is so late I guess you have already read the rest of the groups lists and I am the only one behind in reading them.  But if you haven't then go over to 2nd cup of coffee and read them.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

365-265 and Wordless Wednesday

not much to say about these beauties of God's Creation

Salem Ridge Press - Great Historical Fiction


I love History.
I love Historical Fiction even more.
I love finding new authors and companies selling good quality Historical Fiction, books that are not twaddle.

This company has some of the best.
My boys and I loved these books.

Salem Ridge Press is reprinting Historical Fiction from years ago. Books long forgotten. Books you are not likely to find in your library. I know they are not in my county libraries. Salem Ridge Press searches out old books and chooses the best and reprints them. There is more information on their site on their mission and how they choose their books.

The language in these books is older as are the books. We did not really have trouble with this. A few of the words threw us for a loop though. Thankfully Salem Ridge Press has helped with that by providing definitions of some of the words most would not know at the bottom of each page. It was very helpful to not have to read with my dictionary on hand. We only needed this on a couple of words since we read a lot of older books, but it was a great help in those cases.

Besides the books on their site have some wonderful articles. I especially liked these:

Make sure to read them...

after you finish reading my review.

Salem Ridge Press sent me three books to review. Out of the Mouth of the Lion came as a print book in paperback. The Martyr's Victory and Yussuf the Guide came as e-books.
Out of the Mouth of the Lion by Emma Leslie
Asia Minor
163 - 166 A.D.

Softcover $14.95
Hardcover $24.95
This book is about the early Christians and the Roman government and Jews of the time that persecuted and made many Christians martyrs for Christ. The picture on the cover conveys the topic well. There is separation from family because of Christ and there is reuniting and redemption. This book was hard to read emotionally for me right now. It is so convicting. The early Christians were so devoted, steadfast, and faithful. Find out a little more about Out of the Mouth of the Lion on the Salem Ridge Press site. But not too much more... we don't want to give away the whole story. Emma Leslie uses scripture in each of her books. She also has Godly characters both real and fiction. For example Polycarp is in this book. Each of the churches of Revelation is mentioned that Paul had visited. I loved the applying of those verses about the churches in the book. Genius! 

Here... How about this... Read the First Chapter of Out of the Mouth of the Lion! I guarantee you will want to read more... you will want to buy not only this book but all the books by Emma Leslie

The Martyr's Victory by Emma Leslie
Danish England
879 - 883 A.D.

Softcover $14.95
Hardcover $24.95
A small group of monks enter the part of England ransacked by the vikings. Why? To bring them salvation of course. This book tells about this time and the trials the monks went through trying to bring Christ to the barbarian. Here is a little quote from the preface that sums things up.
"...that they have done noble work for God and mankind, all must admit, and we may still learn many a useful lesson from the self-denying, devoted lives of monks..."
Read the First Chapter of the Martyr's Victory!

Yussuf the Guide by George Manville Fenn
Softcover $16.95
Hardcover $26.95 
A young sick boy convinces his guardians to take him with them on a trip. They of course encounter many adventures including meeting their turkish guide. Who are the good guys, who are the "bad" guys?

Here is a quote from the book:

"“If you ask my advice, Gentlemen, I should say, carry each of you a good revolver, a knife or dagger, a sword, and a double-barreled gun.”
“Sword, dagger, and gun!” cried the professor.
“Surely a revolver would be sufficient.”
“Why not push a nice large brass cannon before
us in a wheelbarrow?” said Mr. Burne sarcastically,
LOL Kind of funny if you are just reading it. Serious if you are the ones living it. Just shows what a dangerous time they lived in.
Doesn't that make you want to read the story... or maybe this will... CHAPTER X -  A NIGHT OF HORRORS Eeeeeww... makes you want to find out what happens!!!
Read the First Chapter of Yussuf the Guide!

We used these books in this way. I gave the book and e-books to the boys... they devoured them. Oh, we also own Glauca, the Greek Slave. It sat on our selves and no one read it... until the other Salem Ridge Press books arrived. Then ds (age 16) read the whole book in less than 24 hours!! Free Blinkies I guess it was good.
So here is what my boys have to say about the books.
Christopher - "dramatic, I really like these books"
Nathan - "excellent, stupendous, want to read more"

Salem Ridge Press has done some work that may be useful to you on their website:
Alphabetical Listing of books
Chronological Listing of books - makes it easy to find the books that correspond to the time period you are covering for history. Most helpful to me since we study History chronologically.
Listing by author
Listing by age range - so you can order books that are appropriate to your child's age(s).

I can't wait to read the new release George Alfred Henty - The Story of an Active Life by George Manville Fenn. We love Henty and reading a biography about him by the writer of Yussuf the Guide sounds great. I hope my hubby will let us order a book or two soon.

Save 15% when you buy the 6-Book Early Church Set
Medieval Church Set - Save 15%
Save 25% when you purchase the 12-Book Church History Set

All of their titles are also available as E-books at TOS Magazine's Schoolhouse Store

Also make sure you sign up for the newsletter. They say on their site, "As we release each new title throughout 2010, we will select one family who receives the newsletter to receive a free copy!" Not that that is the only reason to sign up for the newsletter. Some of the articles I mentioned above come from their newsletter. So I am looking forward to future articles from them too.

Out of five stars I give these Salem Ridge Press books:

To see what my other crew members have to say about the Salem Ridge Press books check out the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

***Salem Ridge Press provided me with the books above so that I could do my review. Though I received these products for free I have given an honest review of them here in this post.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Walking at Winterthur
Especially look at my younger daughter Jessica
She is wearing the light colored skirt and the pink top
Swinging her arms as she walks
Free, unencumbered, and unaware that I am taking photos Winking Smileys



 Love it Free Icons
Family and God's Creation...
Nothing better to lift my spirits

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Beloved, Cherished, Esteemed, Treasured, Precious... Resources

Blog cruise time again. This week the question we are answering is... "What are your favorite resources for the ages and grades that you are teaching?"

My boys are grades 8 and 11 this year. 

I will not be re-listing the specific curriculum I am using this year. I already did that on my Resources for 2010-2011 School Year page. If you want to see my favorites for that see my tab at the top of the page or click the link in the previous sentence. Those are some of my favorite resources for the grades we are currently doing, or we would not be using them. On that page there are pictures of the main books we are using and a link to find them. But finish reading this post first or open the page in a new tab and then come back.

Since I already listed my favorite resources for 8th and 11th grades you get a bonus. I am going to list some of my other favorites.

OK... I have a LOT of favorites. We have over 3,000 books in our home and I like them all.

I looked up "favorite" in the online thesaurus and so I will tell you what resources are
"admired, adored, beloved, best-loved, cherished, choice, cream of the crop, darling, dear, dearest, desired, especial, esteemed, favored, finest, highly regarded, liked, main, number one, pet, pleasant, popular, precious, prime, prized, revered, select, top, treasured, wished-for"
by me and mine. Remember I am not counting the ones already on my "resources for this year" page. Oh you should also check out my other tabs. There are great resources on those pages too. I will be limiting myself to 5 or so favorite resources for each subject. They will be resources for different ages. History will be the hardest because I have do have sooooo many favorites, not having to redo the ones on my resources page will help a little. Oh, and some of the books on my resource page for this year of homeschool belong to a series of books (like MOH vol 1,2, and 3). If I like the book I like the whole series so check out what else that author has done in that line of books. If you are confused already, I am sorry. I hope you will continue to read because...

Here are some of the resources that are admired, best-loved, especial, popular... at our house:

Well there is the Bible that would be #1. LOL Angel Smileys
Then we like the guides we are using this year. We also like Calvary Chapel's Free Bible Curriculum, you can't beat free. I used their curriculum a number of times over the years for my kids. They have two levels for each lesson for younger and older students. We have also used and like Kay Arthur's Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids.

Landmark Books -
The Greenleaf Guides and the Famous Men of... series

Genevieve Foster history books

Christian Heroes biographies - Christian Heroes Then and Now (missionary biographies) and Heroes of History (American History biographies) books by YWAM

I could go on and on... and on but I won't. I will Sign Smileys Because I said I would.

Historical Fiction

Henty Books -
Bethlehem Books - love these

Louise A. Vernon books

A new favorite - Salem Ridge Press books

That is all you get... Free Icons I will stop.. I could go on.

Lyrical Life Science - we love these. These are especially good if you have kids that learn well through song. These songs take well known tunes and put science information to them... very memorable.
Creation Science Study Guides by Felice Gerwitz
Wonders of Creation books
We own and love a variety of Creation based books from D is for Dinosaur to Answers (which is now the New Answers book). Try Answers in Genesis and Institute for Creation Research
I could list a whole lot more... we love science almost as much as history.

Language Arts
IEW all the way!!!! just started this year but love, love love it... wish we had used this all the way through.

We also loved Movies as Literature. There is a great review on the student book page. Movies as Literature is a easy way to introduce literary analysis and also cover essay writing. You can read the book first if you want, then you watch a movie, then there are discussion questions for each movie and then several essay questions to choose from. We did not read the books first. We only watched the movies. My girls did this in a co-op setting and it was great. They struggled with the essay questions but it was good for them. They are better writers today then they were then because of this course. We completed it in a year.

Other writing stuff... mostly for the teachers or pages to hand out for writing prompts/ideas.
If You're Trying to Teach Kids How to've gotta have this book! by Marjorie Frank
Complete Writing Lessons for the Primary Grades   and ... for the Middle Grades by Marjorie Frank
Teaching Writing With Picture Books as Models (Grades 4-8) by Rosanne Kurstedt and Maria
The Art of Teaching Writing - new edition by Lucy McCormick Calkins
Writing Workshop Survival Kit by Gary Muschla (I have the first edition, so I am not sure what is new)

Spelling - we used a number of programs when the kids were little, mostly on the computer. One of my daughters struggled with spelling. Her brother 5 years younger than her, was always correcting her grammar and spelling. She did Apples spelling for secondary students... it did help some... now she relies on her spellchecker and on her brother to catch things she misses.

Grammar- we have always used Daily Grams for daily grammar review from 3rd-8th and then Easy Grammar Plus for High School years.

The kids also did some Megawords and Wordly Wise for vocab.

We have always done Saxon. That is what was available and mostly used when my kids were young. We kept using it because we had the books. If I was starting out I would use either Math-U-See or Teaching Textbooks. We love the way Teaching Textbooks is set up and have been grateful to be able to borrow them from a homeschool friend.

One thing I highly recommend is Hands-On Equations. It is a must do before your child encounters algebra. It will give you and your child confidence that you can face what is ahead. 

We did have some other fun books for math that the kids would use once in a while, but not often. I also had a book I used that gave you more hands on ways to teach math for when my girls were struggling.
Hands-On Math!: Ready-To-Use Games & Activities for Grades 4-8 Hands-On Algebra

We also play a lot of games. When the kids were younger we would do a whole day of school each month using only games... the kids loved those days. Maybe I will surprise my boys one day soon and that again. Winking Smileys I did a post in 2008 about using games in homeschooling. I should update that. Maybe I will do a series, Math games on one post, Language Arts games...etc. and do links for the games. I did not do links last time.

I am also not going to go into all the things we teach that are extra. Maybe I will do a post or a series on that soon to. Boy this post has given me ideas for many more I could do. If only I did not have to homeschool these kids I would have time to do all this blogging I want to do!! Free Emoticons I hope you know I am just kidding! I would never do that. Free Emoticons Besides if I wasn't homeschooling I would have nothing to blog about. Free Emoticons

I was also going to add some of my favorite how to homeschool books but that will have to wait as well. Come back often and check my blog. I will be covering those topics soon.

Click the following link to see what my fellow Crew mates are using for their children... Favorite Resources We have quite a variety of ages of kids on the crew so there should be something for everyone.

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Blast From The Past - My Family, when I was a few months old

Click the Blast From The Past Rules tab above to see the rules for my meme if you are a first timer or you forget the rules.

My Family
(left to right)
Dad (Lewis Nixon, Sr., called Lew by friends), holding Me, Mom (Beatrice), brother Robert (Bob) approx 9yrs. old, sister Elinor Christine (Chris) 12 yrs. old, brother Lewis Nixon, Jr. (Skippy when I was real little and Dad was alive, now Lew) 15 yrs old.

So their age is also the amount of years between us. I arrived way later than them. Unexpected but loved, and I grew up almost as an only child since they were soooo much older. My oldest brother got married when I was like 7, and I was Aunt Debbie when I was only 10.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010


Here are some more photos I found that I thought I already posted. 
These were taken on August 20th.
This is my flower garden in front of our house. 
I have a hydrangea which is in the back on the left, now only leaves,
some black-eyed susans,
and some weeds,
then there is my lovely rose bush. This bush got overrun by the weeds and black-eyed susans but it gave us a few roses this year. The pictures below are of one of the nicest roses of the season.
Oh, I also have some spring flowers in there.



Which close up do you like better???
261 or 262?
261 is the untouched photo
262 was enhanced using Picassa

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