Thursday, December 30, 2010

Most Viewed Posts and Pages from May – December 2010

A friend and fellow crew mate, Tristan at Our Busy Homeschool, posted My Top 10 Posts in 2010 and I thought it was fun so I decided to do it also...

So here are the top posts and pages for the last six months from

I am posting each popular post and page with the link in case you are now interested in boosting that posts readership Happy Smileys
  1. Homeschool Memoirs #28: Life Skills  posted March 6, 2009  had 740 page views 
  2. Lego Organization, Clean-up, Storage and Display Part 1  posted Jan 14, 2009   376 page views 
  3. Make Memories with Books and a Seminar by Cindy Ruston    posted Nov. 4, 2008   373 page views 
  4. Not Back To School Blog Hop - School Room   posted Aug. 10, 2010    359 page views 
  5. How do you organize your files on the computer?   posted July 3, 2010   323 page views 
  6. Favorite Non-School Games   posted March 4, 2009   190 page views 
  7. 2008 Beijing Olympic Lapbook Minis and Maps   posted Aug. 8, 2008   135 page views 
  8. The Blog Cruise - Thinking about Homeschooling? New Homeschooler? Here is some advice from a Veteran    posted Aug. 16, 2010    120 page views
Top 2 Pages (tabs at the top)
  1. Memes  205 page views 
  2. Resources for 2010-2011 School Year 139 page views
It was interesting to see that some posts I did in 2008 are still most popular with people.

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Goals 2010 Update Before End Of Year

I wanted to review and update you on how I did with my 2010 goals before I set some new ones and continue others for 2011.

If you want to see my other posts about my goals here they are, in chronological order:

The last update for this years goals was Oct. 23 as you see above. As in previous goals posts I have highlighted the updates in yellow. The original goals are not highlighted.

Personal Goals:
  • Continue being consistent with my devotions. 
    • I was doing well in this area but I have not been having daily devotions lately. I don't know why I let the busyness of this wonderful season and my own laziness keep me from setting aside time for my Lord and Savior every day. I enjoy my devotions and don't know why I can't be consistent. I guess it is just my flesh trying to win out and excuses about all the things I have to get done that make me skip devotions. What can I do about it. Start today spend time in the word, pray, listen to music... and not wait until New Years to start doing what I should.
Health and Fitness
  • Exercise more, more often and consistently. Start by walking 10-15 minutes a day on the Elliptical Walker
    • I started exercising on our Wii and then I got a sinus cold/infection. I have been fighting it for a couple weeks off and on. We also had sick kids and the holidays so I have not kept up with things like I wanted to. I plan to start working out again this week hopefully or next for sure. I got Biggest Loser for the Wii for Christmas and plan to start using that as well as my Wii fit exercises.
  • Eat better and loose weight. Start by drinking more water and making sure to eat more fruit throughout the day and veggies at lunch.
    • Lbs lost so far??? I don't know? Probably nothing or maybe even a gain with the Christmas cookies and treats my daughter made and my hubby and son's birthdays the past week also. This will definitely be one of the ongoing goals for 2011.
  • Read some books on homeschooling and other educational topics. Start by reading Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell (a TOS Homeschool Review book).Work on my own writing projects.
    • Still reading and need to work on finishing: 
      • Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling still. Little by little. I am now about half way through the book.
      • Cat and Dog Theology by Sjogren and Robison (we used this for summer Sunday School at our church), I need to get that finished. 
      • 30 Days to Understand the Bible book with my boys for Bible Class. We used this as a supplement for our Sunday School this past spring. I never did the book but am doing it now with the boys. They are liking it. We do a little each day.
      • Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. We are using this book and a video series for Growth Group. The whole church is doing this series right now, together.We missed a couple weeks because of sickness so I am not sure where we are with this book.
  • Work a little each week on the History Unit study projects I was working on or the E-book on Homeschool Organizing I was writing.
    • I have not worked on this. I need to get going on it.

  • Spend some time scrapbooking. Spend one afternoon at least every other week doing scrapbooking. 
    • I have not done any scrapbooking since my last update. I will need to clean off my table again be fore I can do any. LOL I plan to do this today as I wanted to scrapbook while on Christmas break and I have not done so yet... Christmas break is winding down and soon I will be starting back to homeschooling... so today is the day! Free Userbars
  • Read some books for pleasure. Read Kingdom's Dawn by Chuck Black.
    • I started reading Written on the Wind by Judith Pella but I am not sure what chapter I am on.
  • Continue blogging and remember it is supposed to be for fun and for the records for my family.Write more consistently on my blog at least 3 posts a week
    • I have really slacked off during the holidays. I will finish up the 365 project with Christmas photos and New Years photos. I will not be joining again for next year but will continue to post photos as I see fit.
    • I want to join back in on some meme's.
    • I want to start back to doing the Blog Cruise questions with my fellow Crew Mates at TOS.
Homeschool Goals:
  • Keep doing the Workboxes
    • Doing well with this... and will be back to this when we start back after our Christmas break.
  • Be more consistent on recording daily in our school log. 
    • I have been doing better than last year but I need to be even more consistent 
  • Be consistent with reviewing the boys daily assigned work and making sure they complete everything assigned to them and then put the stuff away in the folders/notebooks where it belongs. 
    • Doing ok but needs more work.More consistency. You can only expect what you inspect.
  • Complete the TOS Homeschool Crew Review Year.
    • Second year going well. Much less pressure and less reviews. Review are more spread out and thus more manageable. 

Family/Relationship Goals:
  • Healthier Eating -more fruits and vegetables. 
    • Needs work. Me being on Weight Watchers will help as I will make sure we have more fruit and veggies in the house and less junk for snacks.
  • Exercise at home on both our Bowflex (for muscle strengthening) and our Elliptical Walker and then also outside at Winterthur Estate and Gardens Needs work. Make exercise a priority for the boys 
    • Needs work. The Wii is definitely helping as the boys love it. It is no chore to get them to use the Wii fit for 30 min. or more a day.
  • More singing as a family - Work on new song for special music.
    • We sang end of  Nov. 
    • I have not idea what the schedule will bring for 2011
  • Regular Personal Devotions for each family member and regular Family Devotions in the evening. Encourage the boys to do their devotions before school each day.
    • They now do morning devotions with their dad and they are all enjoying that.
  • Family evening read-aloud time more consistently. Needs work. We started reading Terrestria Chronicles book 1.
    • Need to get back to doing family devotions time... but this is hubby's responsibility. I need to encourage him though. We have not been consistent in this area. I forget what book of the Bible we were reading and we are reading Terrestria Chronicles book 2 but should be further than that.
  • Get back to evening read aloud time with the boys.
    • I have not been doing it. I think we are still on Little House in the Big Woods. They just mentioned getting back to reading the Little House books, they said they miss doing that.
  • Get back to meal planning because meals are more varied and we will have the ingredients shopped for ahead of time.
    • We started back to doing this and now we stopped again. The holidays have made things crazy this year... more than usual. We had leftovers last night. Tonight I cook and I don't know what I am making. Friday night is 16yo son Nathan's night to cook and New Year's Eve so we play games and stay up late... Need to get back to meal planning and regular shopping.  
  • Spend more time with my dear husband
    • We have done a lot of shopping together and watched some movies... need more alone time though... after my Mom goes home. 
  • Spend time once a week with one of my kids, just mom and one of the kids having lunch in my bedroom alone and then doing whatever the child wants to do. Usually a combo of eating, talking and playing board games and/or computer games.
    • Just recently I said I was going to start this again. But, I still have not. I need to start with my youngest and schedule it on the calendar so I can keep track of who is next for their turn. We can add time on the Wii together to this now. The kids like playing with someone for this. Maybe we should do some Wii time for New Years Eve too. It really is a good time and we enjoy it and I need to spend some time having fun with my kids.
So that is my goals for 2010 updated again. All in all I am not pleased. There are way to many "I have not..." and "need to work on this..." items above... I hope to improve in a number of these areas in 2011 and have an even better report the end of next year. Two of the things I want to do for 2011 are print and laminate my goals... keeping a printed list will help me see my goals daily and set priorities better. I also want to update my goals monthly on my blog to keep myself more accountable... maybe I will make a blog button for this too.
I hope you will consider setting some goals for 2011 with me. Because i believe it is better to have goals and not achieve all that you want than to not know where you are headed at all. Because after all... If you aim at nothing you are sure to hit it.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Bliss Day 16 - Christmas Ornament for this Year

I have wanted to post for the Holiday Bliss every day, but I have been busy... how about you??? I have been shopping with my hubby, cleaning, homeschooling, doing review posts for TOS, and more.

Each year I make an ornament for the family. I started this a couple years ago. I wanted the kids to have ornaments to take to their new homes when they got married. That way they will have things to put on their tree and won't have to buy so much and the memories will be great too. 

This is the ornament I am making for the family this year. 

A caroler holding their music.

Here is the link to the site... she has a lot of freebies.
She has a whole page of plastic canvas stuff. The link above will take you right to the section with the ornaments. There you will see the patterns for the ornaments I am making this year for the family. Caroler Kids (Boy and Girl) Ornaments.

Since we like to sing and are going caroling this year, and have previous years, I thought this would be good. I am of course changing the colors to fit my family and making a different color scheme for each. The picture above is of my daughter Rachel's. The only other change I made to the pattern is that I made french knots for the eyes instead of doing regular stitches. My hubbies will be blue, Jessica's will be burgundy and black, Nathan's will be orange and black, Christopher's will be green and black, mine will be lavender and purple.

If you want to see the ornaments from previous years I posted them in this post - Holiday Bliss Day 4

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Great Family Board Game... Wits and Wagers Family



Do you like games??? As you can see from the picture on the left our family does... this is our game closet.

Do you need a gift for your family for Christmas this year??? or a gift for another family? Wits and Wagers Family would be a good one for either. It is so much fun! This is a trivia game where every answer is a number... very different than any other trivia game I have ever played.

The game is suggested for ages 8+ but I know my fellow crew mates said that they played with kids even younger, I haven't since my youngest is 13, but we all enjoyed the game and I plan to play it often.

The games says it is for 3 to 10 players but my son and I wanted to play and no one else wanted to so we played with 2 and did fine.... the game was short and sweet so we played again... but it did work. You can also play as teams and you can have up to 5 teams and I don't see why you couldn't have more than 10 to play teams if you want.

The Wits and Wagers Game (original game) is supposedly an award winning party game. For the new Wits and Wagers Family Game they took out the betting parts and they put in 300 new family-friendly questions. The questions go from ones you would think might be in a trivia game (like the boiling point of water) to questions that are just way out there... My favorite so far has been,
"How many times does a honey bee flap his wings...
in one second." 
Do you know the answer? Well, the fun thing about this game is that you don't really have to know the answers to the questions, you just have to guess what you think the answer is, and then pick the guess that you think is the closest without going over. That's great, because I don't know the answers to most of the questions.

Each person/team chooses a color and gets a write-on wipe-off card and a little black marker (the colored cards in the picture a little down lower in the post).

Then you get a set of Meeples. Meeples are fun, cute, human shaped wooden pieces.

One player reads the question, everyone/each team writes their answer on their write-on wipe-off card. When everyone is done you flip the cards over and put them in order from 1 to the highest. The next thing to do is choose an answer.

You can put both your Meeples on your guess if you are confident in your guess or you can split them up. Do you think someone else has the best guess, put one or both of your Meeples on their answer. Do you think everyone, including you, guessed higher than the correct answer? Then put one or both of your Meeples on the black number 1 at the top.

PhotobucketThere is a score keepers write-on wipe-off card (the in the picture to the left with all the white dots on it). You get 1 point for writing the guess that is closest to the right answer with out going over. You get 1 point if you place your small Meeple on the winning answer board. Lastly, you get 2 points if you placed your large Meeple on the winning answer board. The first person/team to 15 wins.

I have played a number of time with various members of my family. We have had a lot of fun each time. I plan to make this one of the games we play on New Years Eve... a tradition at our house to stay up late playing games together as a family. Each game takes about 20 minutes... depending on how long people ponder over the questions. Some people in our family... who shall remain nameless... take a long time to write down an answer... even though they have no idea what the real answer is. We find it funny! Well, we love games and I am definitely keeping North Star Games on my list and will probably buy one of their games in the near future. Maybe I will ask for one for my birthday... though that is not until summer.

Here is the Website for North Star Games

Games tab of North Star Games Once you are on the games tab click the cart on the right that is across from the item you want... it will take you to a page where you can buy that product. or you can

Here is the Wits and Wagers Game Page Wits and Wagers Family Game

Wits and Wagers Family game is available at Target,, and may be found at your locally owned toy and games stores. The also has carts across from the item you want... it will take you to a page where you can buy that product. Also, website has a feature that lets you find a store near you that carries the game. Click the tab that says Buy... it worked for me... even though the pages says coming soon. The list price is $19.99.

Out of five stars I give Wits and Wagers Game

To see what my other crew members have to say about Wits and Wagers Family Game check out the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

***North Star Games provided me with the Wits and Wagers Family Game 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.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spirit Filled Sunday - Mary Did You Know?

Songwriters: Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene

"Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am."

I hope you enjoyed that song. It is one of my favorites this time of year.

Later I will be listing some of my favorite Christmas music. We have a whole CD case with just Christmas music in it. We love music at our house.

I own a number of Gaither DVD's. I have a number of Gaither DVD's on my Christmas wish list... I hope I get at least one new one.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

365-341-344 Cleaning and Organizing

You may be wondering why I am saying WooHoo when this post is about cleaning and organizing??? Are you???

Well I said WooHoo because I have a day off from homeschooling. My hubby and boys went with a man from church to volunteer at the Sunday Breakfast Mission in Philadelphia. The day counts as school for the boys... Community Service... great to do this time of year... and they will be doing some repair work so that can count as Home and Life Management. While they are gone the girls and I have the house to ourselves!!!!! I am cleaning my room... Flat surfaces in our home tend to get things piled on them...

So here are the areas I am concentrating on.

First is my scrapbook table in my bedroom... This gets cluttered to quickly. I want to clean this up so that during Christmas break from school I can take some time to scrapbook.

 This is under the table in my bedroom. I need to re-organize this area too... lots of things just stuffed under here.

 Clothes and Books to be put away by my closet.


When I get all the above done my next project is to finish organizing my books... whether that happens today or later. I have boxes and stacks of books that I have gotten used in the past few months and I need to get them on the shelves. In order to do that I have had to take some books off the shelves that we are not currently using. The ones we are not currently using need to be boxed up...

then I have to find a place to put the boxes. Free Smileys

While doing all this I am watching favorite movies... right now that is Christmas in Connecticut (the 1992 TV Movie)... after that... maybe another Christmas favorite... see my list that I just posted for the Holiday Bliss.

The girls and I also want to have a special lunch together, since the boys are gone all day. Maybe I will take pictures of that, too. Later or tomorrow I will take after pictures so you can see my progress.

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Holiday Bliss Day 10 - Favorite Christmas Movies

So... I am going to list our families favorite Christmas movies. In no particular order. Some I gave you multiple links for if there is a deluxe edition or a blue ray edition.

White Christmas (Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
White Christmas (regular DVD)

The Santa Clause: 3 Movie Collection - The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2, The Santa Clause 3
The Santa Clause 3 - The Escape Clause [Blu-ray]

The Polar Express (Widescreen Edition)
The Polar Express (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
The Polar Express [HD DVD]
The Polar Express [Blu-ray]
The Polar Express Presented in 3-D

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Deluxe Edition)
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Widescreen Edition)
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas [Blu-ray]

The Original Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer/Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town/Frosty the Snowman/Frosty Returns/Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol/Little Drummer Boy/Cricket on the Hearth)

A Charlie Brown Christmas (Remastered Deluxe Edition)
A Charlie Brown Christmas [Blu-ray]
Peanuts Holiday Collection (It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown / A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving / A Charlie Brown Christmas) (Deluxe Edition)

Disney Animation Collection 7: Mickey's Christmas Carol
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
The Muppet Christmas Carol - Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition (we love the songs on this)

Holiday Inn (Special Edition)
Going My Way/Holiday Inn (this is the one we own)
Holiday Inn (3 Disc Collector's Set)

It's a Wonderful Life [Blu-ray]
It's A Wonderful Life (Two-Disc Collector's Set) (B/W & Color)
It's a Wonderful Life (60th Anniversary Edition)

Miracle on 34th Street [Blu-ray] (the old version, 1947, the newer one is ok but we like the older one way better)
Miracle on 34th Street (Special Edition)
Miracle on 34th Street  this is the newer one
Jingle All the Way (Family Fun Edition) [Blu-ray]
Jingle All the Way

The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing (there is also Christmas Hope but we don't own that yet...need to get it) Christmas Shoes / Christmas Blessing / Christmas Hope 3 set DVD at Amazon

The Legend of the Candy Cane

The Nativity Story

Winnie the Pooh - A Very Merry Pooh Year

The Night They Saved Christmas  this is an older vhs - (it has not been put onto dvd, I don't know why, we like it)

Veggie Tales: The Star of Christmas
VeggieTales - The Toy That Saved Christmas
Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving
VeggieTales: It's a Meaningful Life
Veggie Tales Holiday Gift Pack
Christmas Sing-A-Longs

Also a movie I like to watch but for more mature audiences - My kids don't really like this one but it is a favorite of mine - Christmas In Connecticut (the 1992 version with Dyan Cannon and Kris Kristofferson) My version is not rated. I would put it at a pg 13 level because of some mature themes and there are a couple kisses in the movie.  Christmas in Connecticut (1992 TV Movie) There is also an older version with Barbara Stanwyck Dennis Morgan... I have seen it once or twice but I don't own it... maybe you can see if your library has it before buying. Christmas in Connecticut

Well that is the list of Christmas movies we own and watch each year. I hope you find a new movie for your family and enjoy your holidays. Join us for Holiday Bliss and tell us some things about how you celebrate Christmas... just click on the button at the top.

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Note: The links on this page are affiliate links to Amazon... if you order from my links I get a small portion of the sale... I use this money to buy books for our homeschooling.


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