Friday, August 29, 2008

Have you seen this?

My gardening friend reminded me to be on the lookout
for a new symbol in the food store....

Lovely right? You may want to re-think that....
check out her blog for more info, or go here

Doesn't bother you? OK.....If it something about it.
See the last link for more links. ;-)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tasha Tudor Day

Today is Tasha Tudor Day!

I am joining some like minded souls, storybookwoods
in remembering...we'll post pictures later.

Want to delve into her world a bit more?
Check out some of these links....

I hope everyone has a lovely day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Science Curriculum

We are joining our homeschool group
for Science this year. The curriculum chosen
is Real Science for Kids.
Today was our first day, and I think the kids did
real well. I thought they would be more restless and
interrupt more, but they were great.
Princess was the most disruptive in my opinion.
She wanted a snack, she got mad at me for asking her to quiet
down and wait until the lesson was done. She didn't like the
way I wrote the date, but would not write it herself.
She did enjoy the lesson- today we began with "what is alive".
As always, it was nice to have time to talk to the other Moms
and Princess especially enjoys playing with the "littles".
She has been asking more and more for us to have another baby.
If Farmer Dad would stop encouraging it, I might make it through
menopause without having another one.
I did not get one picture today, so you'll just have to trust me that we had a wonderful time.

Book Post for a Tuesday

We have been doing a lot of reading lately..even for us.
A few of our favorites are...

What Makes a Shadow?
We love to take out books from the Let's Read and Find Out About Science series.
Princess enjoyed this one as well. We will probably take it back out for GroundHog's Day
to do some "shadow" activities.

The Shelf Elf
Did you ever wonder what happened to those elves after the Elf and the Shoemaker story was over?
This is the book for you! Princess found it quite delightful to read about one Elf's new job
as "Shelf Elf" at the library.The book goes on to explain 'nice library manners" for children.
Although our library is not a place where the librarians go around "shushing" every patron they see,
good library manners are important.It also explains using the library..shelf markers and that kind of thing.
We enjoyed it much more than I thought we would.
Princess especially loved the illustrations of the children enjoying the library (just like she does).

The Cemetery Keepers of Gettysburg
Narrated by Fred, the seven-year-old son of the caretaker of Gettysburg's Evergreen Cemetery,this picture book tells the story of his family's experiences during the 1863 Civil War battle. With Fred's Papa away fighting,and his pregnant mother left to tend the cemetery, assisted only by her children and parents. During the battle, they flea to a nearby farmhouse full of wounded soldiers. When the conflict ends, they return home to dig more than a hundred graves, with little outside help. The story closes with Papa coming back several months later, and the family attending Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Princess was not exactly into this book, but we may use it when studying this period later.

That's all I have time for today, but I promise to make it up to you later.
Need more? Go see Heather....tell her Kate sent you! ;-)

Monday, August 25, 2008


sometimes it just turns out that way...
Princess and I did a bit of reading today,
and we played (what else?),UNO.
Will she ever grow tired of it?
We also did laundry and organized the school area
a bit more.I will post pictures when we are done.
My sister stopped by and took her to go bowling
with my niece. She also got to meet her new baby
cousin. of them.
I tried to get our grocery shopping list and my school
lessons planned a bit more, but the beds needed stripping
and the bathroom cleaning, and so that is what I did.
I am working a bit more on my planning now.
Hopefully I can post my plans soon.
Meanwhile Princess had no interest in the Unplugged project again this week.
She is all about sharks right now, and I just couldn't make cylinder connect
for her.We also got a lovely package in the mail from Amanda's shop,
but,shhh, don't tell's a surprise for her upcoming 6th Birthday!
Speaking of which...I am going to have to decide what to do about that soon.
I just don't know if I want the usual big broo-ha-ha this year.
So many friends and family..all at my house. So many projects unfinished.
We'll see.It's never stopped me before, but I feel a need to simplify lately.
Princess wants more,more,more. Naturally.
Six is a pretty important year.At least it is when you are the one who is 6.
Stay tuned...tomorrow will be a book post.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another weekend, come and gone....

I have not had a moment to update here over the last couple of days.
We had relatives visiting from out of state, and a baby shower and a birthday party to attend.
We also needed to hit the shore, which we did on Friday.
The weather was perfect, not too hot, water was warm.
Friday night we had dinner with my Aunt and Uncle in the restaurant of their hotel
while listening to some excellent jazz. Princess had a blast and only asked once to "move things along".
She had been promised a "tour", and did not want to miss it.
Saturday I had a baby shower, which meant about 5 hours child free.
Farmer Dad took her down to visit friends for a swim.
Saturday night we watched some pre-season football, although I was too beat to enjoy it.
My Aunt wanted "everyone" to get together and watch the game, but I just cannot deal with
too many activities in one day, and for once I did not allow myself to be pushed into anything.
Sunday we had a birthday party for one of the girls in our homeschool group.
It was another lovely day in the Garden State.Princess fell asleep on the way home
tired and happy after a day spent swimming and playing with her friends.
We hung out playing with the party favor, "giggle goggles" (huge hit around here)
Tomorrow we will be canning..I have two tons of tomatoes in my kitchen right now,
and they must be dealt with.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday and the weather is lovely

way too lovely to sit inside at the computer.
I have cleared out and cleaned out and re-organized most of my kitchen cabinets.
There is still much to be done around here. I brought in a HUGE basket FULL
of green beans that must be canned. Really..I am quite tired of eating them this week.
I still have tomatoes to pick and process, but my arms were too itchy to continue
from all that "keep away from me" toxin Tomatoes put out.
Maybe in the morning. We did do a bit of learning around here today, as Princess
is still obsessed a bit with sharks and wanted to watch some documentary or other
on demand (Animal Planet) today about them. We also read a bunch of shark themed books.
I will do another post about them- mine got deleted when I tried to fix it and post it.
My error...I am not exactly technologically advanced.
I also spent some time today going through all our books kept in the 3 season room
aka the schoolroom. Princess has been very agreeable to my getting some work done
without her underfoot and has made herself useful a time or two as well.
She helped alphabetize the movies and went through her book basket to see if there were books to
donate to a friend we made through freecycle for her students. She teaches in an inner city area,
and they often do not have books in their home. She likes to send books home with them when she can.
She also built a castle for the kitties, "reorganized" all the drawers in her room, sorted, and folded laundry,
helped make lunch, helped wash dishes and polished the living room furniture. We also moved the acorn squash down to the basement and cleaned out the fridge. We could continue our great progress towards a more orderly
and clean home tomorrow or we could blow it all off and go down the shore.
Stay tuned. I may even get the ability to post photos back.....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Yes, I am feeling quite inspired as you can tell by the title
of this post. I have a very messy house filled with things to be given away, or sold.
Too many e-mails to read, and we have a very busy weekend ahead.
There have been babies born..another cute, but all the way in California.
More friends and relatives just waiting for their new arrivals.
Another baby shower this weekend. Relatives flying in from out of state...
pre-season football on television. The garden is bursting with fruit and veg and I have been trying
to get my hands on more canning lids. I really thought I had another box or two.
Of course, this house is so is possible.
My book post is stuck in limbo and I'm not sure what I did...I will re-write it later.
After I clean...and read to Princess some more.
I also promised we would go to the park and drive down the shore.
Farmer Dad will probably have to work late tonight....I am getting off this computer right now
and going to deal with everything on my to do list.
I'll be by to visit you all later..I promise!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'd like to thank the Academy...

the Athena Academy that is,
for this wonderful award.
There are questions to answer, so here goes...
A. attached or single?
B. best friend?
C. cake or pie?
You only need to look at me to know I can't decide

D. day of choice?
Friday is as good as any other

E. essential item? Books F. favorite color?
Chartreuse (although I call it "happy" green)

G. gummy bears or worms?

H. hometown?
South River

I. favorite indulgence?
Coffee (chocolate is a necessity..not an indulgence)

J. January or July? July
kids? Oh goats here...I have enough to clean up after 1 husband, 1 daughter, 2 cats,2 hermit crabs and a tank full of fish.
life isn't complete without? My Princess
marriage date? ..we use June 28th
number of brothers & sisters? 1 younger sister..3 younger brothers
(I only share both parents with my sister)

oranges or apples? Apples..the smell..the taste..cooked..raw..hard to go wrong with Apples.
I can even grow them myself. ;-)
P. phobias? The usual..being covered in bricks..buried alive...spiders..
Q. quotes? "Early to bed..early to rise..makes a man healthy and wealthy and wise"
(I love Ben)

reasons to smile? My Princess
season of choice? Early Autumn
tag seven peeps! Keeping it to seven will be hard..if I read you..I probably think you're brilliant!
unknown fact about me? Probably should stay that way ;-)
vegetable? Most of them....couldn't live without tomatoes and zucchini
worst habits? Swearing,sarcasm (both are kind of necessary to survive NJ )
x-ray or ultrasound? I am not sure if I have a preference, but I have had both
your favorite food? Italian
zodiac sign? Aries

I am tagging.....
If you haven't already found this blog in my favorite list, or on your own..her blog is chock full
of resources for homeschooling.
Nina. Enough said.
And a little beauty goes such a long way...
Mariposa always makes me feel like I have had a little vacation
when I visit.
Whenever I feel like I am too busy to get anything done,
I stop by Chere Mere in her lovely new hometown
and I leave feeling refreshed and like I need to get on the ball.
She has way more going on over there!
Another busy Mom who makes it look so easy...
Heather's blog is filled with brilliant ideas to keep her two boys active and happy
and I wish I lived close enough to join in!
Another inspiration for me, is Wendy..
I take full credit for bullying her into blogging, so go see why.
She is the homeschooler I wish I was creative enough to be.
My favorite is still the giant squid..we will copy it one day.
Really..this is difficult...I am always amazed at what and how everyone of you are doing
with your children and with your lives.
I am going to end this list with another "Z" favorite "cat lady".
No one makes me laugh or think more. I am grateful every day that I "found" her.
Big hugs my brilliant all add so much to my life.
And Wendy..thank you for giving me this...I would have given it to you if you hadn't!

Playing Catch-up....

I was too busy trying to get our act together
in our little corner of the Garden State to post
for the last couple of days. Now I am not sure where
I "left off"
I will be posting our First Grade Plans (such as they are) this week,
and some fun links that I have found recently.
Meanwhile, here are some pictures
from our weekend.

Princess was very excited to receive a surprise package in the mail
from Zilla...

the look in the picture is her saying "I can't believe it!!" over and over.
It was a huge fact I think this bag is replacing the very pink Disney Princess-y
book bag that she was going to be using to ferry her supplies back and forth to her "science class"
this year.Weather permitting of course.She is in Princess heaven right now.
Thank you Zilla.

We also did some other stuff..swimming...shucking corn...picking produce..eating..UNO..
maths...lolly-gagging around the infield...lolly-gagging around the outfield...( that movie!)
snuggling with the kitties.
OK, it is one picture from the weekend...I am experiencing what can only be called "technical difficulties".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scholastic Books

Remember all the hoopla over the Subway Contest
that many complained snubbed homeschoolers a while back?
Well, although it ticked me off a bit, enough to e-mail
them, but not enough to get my knickers all in a twist
and boycott them or anything (we really don't eat there anyway).
I was a bit upset that Scholastic Books was involved, and I did write to them
to let them know how it made me feel (I did not threaten to boycott them,
just that I was a bit disappointed in their involvement).
Well, I still have not had any reply from Subway (maybe they know I don't go there
enough to bother with me?) but I had an immediate response from Scholastic Books.
An apology and a hope that I would continue to spend my hard earned dollars with them.
They also asked if they could send a book to my children (or child).
I replied, that my daughter loved their books, and would surely enjoy a new book
if they sent one and forgot all about it.
This past weekend it arrived in the mail. We were very excited because this book was on our "we really want to own this book" list.
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Clooney
I would have linked to the Scholastic listing for the book, but I couldn't find one.

Isn't it nice to get surprises in the mail?

Story Book Woods is trying to spread the word through the blogosphere and get
all like minded peoples to celebrate Tasha Tudor Day.
Princess and I have always enjoyed the books of Tasha Tudor, so we will be
celebrating her life on her birthday. August 28th.
Help spread the word and stop by to pick up the lovely graphic at Story Book Woods
if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Playing at the park

The weather has cooled off considerably here in the Garden State,
so Princess and I drove off to meet some friends at the park.

The kids had a blast, and it was so nice to chat with my friend.

We walked all around the animals, and stopped under a gazebo near the lake...

Yes, that is her "sweet prince" Back at home it was dinner and more harvesting, and more UNO
and some reading and playing with some toys that have not seen the light of day in a while.
It was a lovely day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesdays post is always about books....

this week is no exception.
Here are a couple we are reading right now...

Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly
Princess has been waiting for our library to get this book in.
Last night I picked it up and we must have read it 10 times
already.I think she is going to add this to her Birthday Wish List. ;-)
Nancy has to miss her best friend's butterfly themed birthday party
to go to her grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary party.
First she moans and groans, and stays very angry, but once there,
she has a extraordinary night. They even get to the local Butterfly Garden

Taking a Bath With the Dog and other things that Make Me Happy

Sweet Pea is unhappy, can she discover what makes her happy?
Everyone has a different answer in this fun book that sure put a smile on our faces.

Lettice The Flower Girl
One day Lettice gets a note from her dance teacher,Giselle,
asking her to be a flower girl in her upcoming wedding.
Princess was as delighted as Lettice to see Giselle's wedding dress and
all the finery that goes with it. There is a bit of excitement when the ring bearer
loses the wedding ring, but Lettice helps make it a perfect wedding day.

Has Anyone Seen My Emily Green?
Who could resist this rhyming delight
of a Daddy looking for his daughter
at noon (right between morning and night).
Not I, and not Princess either.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday in the garden

Weeding...weeding...and more weeding.
That is what we did. Princess woke up
to find us out in the garden working away.
She got dressed and joined us. It was nice to have her to climb
over the squash and under the tomatoes to pick the ripening ones.
I found some interesting fungi growing under the weeds between our garden plot and our neighbors.
At one point I looked up to find the butterfly bush I was weeding under, was covered in several
of these.
We finished up for the day as a very gentle rain started to fall.
It rained all day. We hung out reading, watching television and playing
UNO. Cleaned the crabitats and took care of the kitties and napped.
I was very glad that I got the work out of the way,
stopped me from feeling guilty about lazing around all afternoon.
Early to bed and this morning it poured.
We are planning on getting some baking done today, it is still pretty cool
weather wise, so we'll take advantage of it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Green Up Saturdays

We made another move to be greener around our little corner of the Garden State.
I picked up a new lawn mower for Farmer Dad last weekend from a fellow freecycler.
Can you see it? It is a reel mower. No fuel..just Farmer Dad Power.
Does a lovely job too.With the way gas prices are going, I couldn't pass it up.
What have you done this week to green up? Share if you care to.
Sorry to anyone looking for this post today, I thought I had it set to post this morning,
but it was set for Monday's date in error. (doh!)

The County Fair

Friday found Princess and I cleaning a bit,
and hanging out reading a lot. We also played
7,520 games of UNO.
I'm not exaggerating...she really likes UNO.

Saturday we headed over to the fairgrounds
for the Middlesex County Fair. It feels smaller
ever year now, but we still had fun.
The small animals were first..lovely ducks and chickens
and bunnies..of all sizes.
Princess got cotton candy and we got in line
for the ride tickets.One strip, and we were off.
First we both went on the Dragons....another
little girl joined us in our dragon and they had fun screaming together.
Next was this big slide thing that was a waste of 3 tickets to me, but Princess loved it.
Then she went on a couple of rides with another little girl and then we
had run out of tickets, so back in line and then she hit up the last ride with a different "friend".
Remember when you were young and all other children were automatically your "friend"?
Then we got lunch..a couple of slices of pizza, a couple of hot dogs, some lemonade, and
a spot in the shade. We were seated near the ag tents, so we went in to see who won blue ribbons
for growing what. This is the point of the year when we say..."we should have entered....our stuff looks better
than this stuff." . Princess played a "game" with an older women manning the table and she gave her a choice
of seeds to grow and enter next year. It was nice to hear them talk when she asked P. if she went to school,
and P said "no, I am homeschooling". Normally we get confused sputtering, or worse, but this lady said " are my grandsons." and then they talked about what she likes to testing..just an assumption that she was enjoying learning.We took our prize of bean seeds, and headed over to the pony rides.
Then we needed to hit the carousel, which P almost never enjoys, but always insists on doing.
We got ice cream (frozen waffles are NOT the same) and stopped to see more animals.
Petting the baby cows and sheep and goats was my favorite part of the day.
Then we walked over to the "rodeo show". It was a bit odd.
It seemed like the people running it were unaware that we still have agriculture and livestock..especially horses in NJ. "This is a horse"...there was a lot of snickering from the audience.
We picked up some info about 4H for Princess and headed home.
We snuggled up on the couch and finished our cotton candy......

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Middle of the week...

Princess and I did a lot of errand running yesterday.
We hit the bank,the library (where we ran into our favorite
new friends and their Nanny again).P had a book she just had to get (Different Like Coco)and picked up another bag full besides.This is one pile left beside my chair.
We visited B&N to pick up a book for 1st grade that they did not have,
Marshalls to look at shoes for P.Having struck out, we stopped for lunch.Then it was Walmart for freezer paper (they used to be the place that carried it), oh well...we did get more twizzlers and some Zote soap.Then we stopped
at a teacher/parent supply store that just opened up near us-can't remember the name. Princess picked out
four posters, Constellations,US Map, Types of Clouds and yes, Sea Life.We also picked out two packs of stickers,butterflies and planets.We could have spent more time and money there, but we were tired and
still had to get shoes for Princess and wanted to be home for Farmer dad's arrival. Target was next.
We found 3 pairs of shoes (all on sale) and picked up some organic cows milk (yes, that is how she requests it).
Upon arriving home, we had a snack of o.c. milk and brownies we made the day before and read our stack of library books. The rest of the evening was spent harvesting, playing with the kitties, playing UNO and
hanging out together. Princess had a bath and we all went to sleep.
This was our first day of really feeling human again, and i think we over did it a bit.
Right now Princess and Pumpkin are doing this.
We were going to hit the shore today, but there have been thunderstorms predicted for this afternoon,
and we got too late a start to be home before then and did I mention we did a lot yesterday?
Maybe I'll plan a dinner on the beach for tomorrow ....we still want to see the fair too.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homeschool Group

We had a nice visit with our homeschool group on
Tuesday. The girls dressed up and put on a play and
fought a bit, and made up and built castles with blocks
and nurtured each other and tormented each other.
The Moms discussed curriculum for the coming school year
and various changes in our lives and our fears and hopes,
and it was nice to be with women who understand.
We will hopefully be starting Real Science for Kids together
on August 19th. We also discussed birthday party plans..
all our girls are born in September. What are the odds?
I will get all my other plans together before then and post them here.
Despite my great fear of judgment and ridicule. ;-)
With the exception of adding Real Science, I don't think we will change much
of what or how we do things here for 1st Grade, I still prefer putting my own
curriculum together.Princess is excited to do "science" with her friends.
August will remain "summer vacation" here in the Garden State Homeschool
at least until the 19th. I am hoping we will get more days down the shore,
more fun in the sun, and a nap or two. OK, truth be told,I am still not feeling 100%.
I tire easily and feel a bit "weak".The tomatoes are starting to come in from the garden,
so I will get loaded up with their vitamin goodness and feel my old self again soon.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Linky Love

Thank you all for the kind comments
and e-mails in reference to my pathetic excuse for a summer cold.
I am really starting to feel human again,
but I still cannot organize my mind enough
to write a book post, so I will give you
a link here
so you can check out my friend Heather's blog.
She has been keeping track of all the books she reads
with her adorable sons,
trying to get to 1000 this year. They did it!
I knew they would read that many...they easily take out
as many books as we do each week/month, but I am
seriously impressed that she came through and kept up a list!
I would have given up on the typing a long time ago.
She even started a blog just for her book list here.
So if you need a book suggestion, go see Heather today, and
I promise ,I'll be back.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weekend wrap up

Here are some pictures from our week.
Princess and I are slowly coming up out of our
"cold" fog, but we're not 100% yet.
This week,
we read quietly to ourselves, made pancakes,
we celebrated my Godmother's 78th Birthday,
shared a favorite book and had a pedicure with
cousin "Panda" (my Goddaughter), we joked around
in good health,
and we we hunkered down in sickness
We even did some math!We are waiting for Princess's newest baby cousin to come out of NICU,
he had a bit of a problem breathing , but is looking better and will hopefully come home today.
We are looking forward to seeing him,and his Mom, as we've been too sick to be anywhere near

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My homeschool buddies and I are all posting pics of our "home schools" as part of our idea sharing.

Plato said...

Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child's natural bent .