Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Highlights from our recent trip to Yellowstone

Looking for buffaloes

Hot springs

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone river
Mammoth Hot Springs
And the highlight of our trip, when buffaloes came into our campground and surrounded us.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Fun Daddy (and Fun Mommy)

My husband likes to refer to himself as the Fun Daddy and sometimes the Fun Mommy (which is sometimes true since I am the one washing the dishes while he is playing some game that he made up with the kids like Deadly Penguin). I could not have picked a better daddy for my girls.

He is so excited to see the girls when he gets home from work. He loves spending time with them. He takes turns taking them on Daddy/Daughter dates. He takes us all on fun family vacations. On these trips, he gives up going on long hikes and being at the perfect picture spot at dusk to be with us. He teaches the girls all about the world around us with knowledge that he keeps in his encyclopedia-like brain. And have a mentioned that he makes up fun games? My girls so lucky to have such a fun daddy!

Happy Father's Day, Honey! I am so glad you are the father of my children.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wish You Were Here Wish You Were Here by Kathleen Krull

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is another book I found while doing our United States unit study. The premise is that a girl named Emily is travel to all 50 states with her Grandma. It is a really cute book. Each page has interesting facts about each state.

View all my reviews.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sometimes I am a little slow figuring these things out

Blogging and reading blogs is fun, but it can be time consuming. I seriously did not know how some people kept up with reading blogs and posting almost everyday. Then I discovered Google Reader and scheduled posts. Those of you that are familiar with these are probably laughing that it took so long for me to figure these things out.

A couple of weeks ago I set up Google Reader. Oh my gosh, it is so great! It is just like reading email. I used to have all of the blogs I liked bookmarked and I would go through each one and see if there were any new posts - very time consuming. And if I would go a week without checking them I would have to spend lots of time catching up. Now with Google Reader, I can just check everyday and skim through the new posts very quickly. I feel like I have just come out of the Dark Ages.

Then I discovered scheduled posts. Now I knew that I could keep a post as a draft and post it later, but I didn't know that I could type up a post and schedule it to post on a certain day. This must be how people keep up with regular posting. Some days I have more time and lots of ideas of what I want to write about and other times I get am very busy and have few ideas. I don't want to do several posts in one day because who has the time and interest to read a bunch all in the same day. So now I can type up a bunch of posts when I am in a writing mood and set them to post on future days when I am busy or having writer's block. I realize I could have done this with drafts, but then I would have to remember to post them later. Now I can just write then, set them to post, and forget about it.

Technology is wonderful... once you figure out how to use it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Brilliant homeschooling advice wasted on my friend, Ann

I have been chatting a bunch with my friend, Ann. We have been discussing plans, schedules, and philosophy. The problem is our homeschool styles are very different, so much of my advice is lost on her. I have been a bit out of touch with my local homeschool group due to getting ready for the move, so if I want to talk homeschool, I talk to Ann. Since she is not getting much from my babbling, I thought I would share some of my wisdom here.

On whether to add "fun things" to school time:

I remember reading somewhere that you really need to question why you are having your child do something in homeschool. What do you want to want them to accomplish by doing the task? I think this mostly applies when you are asking a kid to do a worksheets, but I think it is also something to think about with the fun stuff. To me there would be 2 reasons to add the fun stuff. 1. It is fun, but not something they do on their own. 2. You need some busy work to keep one kid busy while the other is working, so that they don't loose focus.

On unschooling:

I think the reason I am pondering all of this is that I equate unschooling with mama doing nothing and most of these mamas are putting in a bunch of effort.

On making a schedule:

If you just make your kids do a bunch of stuff just because you feel like the should be "doing school" then your system won't last. Also, I think it needs to be fun for you. Not everything needs to be fun for you. There can be a list of things that your child does on her own that you don't have to think much about, but there needs to be something fun for you in the schedule. I enjoy reading and learning about our topics, so that is what keeps me motivated to continue with our schedule.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet my husband, the photographer

Yes, I know he just finished his PhD, so he is technically a professor not a photographer, but my man takes some dang good pictures. If he hadn't just spent the last 11 years in school and racked up thousands of dollars in student loans, I would be encouraging him to be a professional photographer. Well, that and also he loves his job as a professor. But seriously, his pictures are amazing. He just started a photo blog at so go check out his photos and try not to be jealous that I get to decorate my house with these lovely pictures.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Don't worry you are at the right blog...

I have just been having fun with the template and pictures. I also discovered that I could add my goodreads reviews right into my blog - cool!
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream by Bruce Coville

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love Bruce Coville adaptations of Shakespeare. He does a great job of simplifying the stories so that kids can understand while keeping some of Shakespeare's wonderful language.

His other titles include Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and A Winter's Tale.

View all my reviews.
I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote (Melanie Kroupa Books) I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote by Linda Arms White

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I found this book while looking for books about Wyoming for our 50 states unit. It is a very cute story of Ester Morris who was instrumental in gaining women's right to vote in Wyoming in 1870, 50 years before the 19th amendment. She also became the first woman judge and first female to hold a political office in the US.

View all my reviews.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Look what I had to say

I was recently contacted by USA Today about homeschooling. One quote made the article. Good thing it was a good one.