Sunday, November 30, 2008

December Plans

Just a bit of the fun December holds for us...we may not cover all of this,or
we may do a lot more. ;-) This month will also be filled with play dates,
cookie swaps,gingerbread houses,teas,family and friends have birthdays,
and there are shows and exhibits to see.

Farmer Dad will have many (many) vacation days this month ,so
we will also have family field trips aplenty.

Monday, Dec 1st Jan Brett's B-Day/ Rosa Parks Day

Tuesday,Dec 2 nd Monroe Doctrine Anniversary 1823/National Fritters Day

Wednesday, Dec 3rd Illinois Admission Day

Thursday Dec 4th National Cookie Day

Friday Dec 5th International Volunteers Day

Sat Dec 6th Saint Nicholas Day

Sunday Dec 7th Pearl Harbor Day/ Delaware Admission Day/In Honor of WendyH.'s B-Day..National Eat Way Too Much Chocolate Day

Monday Dec 8th National Brownie Day/Eli Whitney's B-Day 1765

Tuesday, Dec 9th Ball Bearing Roller Skates Patented 1884

Wednesday Dec 10th Mississippi Admission Day/Emily Dickinson's B-Day/Human Rights Day

Thursday,Dec 11th Indiana Admissions Day

Friday, Dec 12th Poinsettia Day/Pennsylvania Admission Day

Saturday,Dec 13th Dick Van Dyke's B-Day

Sunday, Dec 14th Alabama Admission Day/South Pole Discovered 1911

Monday, Dec 15th Bill of Rights Day/National Lemon Cupcake Day

    Tuesday, Dec 16th National Chocolate Covered Anything Day/ Boston Tea Party/ Beethoven's B-Day

Wednesday, Dec 17th National Maple Syrup Day/Wright Brothers Day

Thursday, Dec 18th Bake Cookies Day/ NEW JERSEY ADMISSION DAY

Friday, Dec 19th National Oatmeal Muffin Day

Saturday, Dec 20th Louisiana Purchase/ Games Day

Sunday, Dec 21st Pilgrim's Landed 1620

Monday,Dec 22nd Thermometer Invented

Tuesday Dec 23rd Transistor Invented

Wednesday, Dec 24th Christmas Eve

Thursday, Dec 25th Christmas

Friday, Dec 26th Kwanzaa/ National Candy Cane Day/Boxing Day

Saturday, Dec 27th Visit the Zoo Day

Sunday, Dec 28th Iowa Admission Day

Monday, Dec 29th Texas Admission Day

Tuesday, Dec 30th Mercer Mayer B-Day / Rudyard Kipling B-Day

Wed., Dec 31st New Years Eve

Friday, November 28, 2008


Thanksgiving was a pretty quiet day in our little corner of the Garden State.
Princess helped me bake thumbprint cookies and cranberry bread,

We watched the parade and lots of football.
We ate when the turkey was ready.... We watched the Christmas lights come on across the street,
it's a fun tradition for Princess.
Desert was pumpkin pie,cranberry bread and cookies....

The table was set with a lot of vintage tableware

my feet were tired from standing in the kitchen for most of
the day, but my heart was happy. I hope Thanksgiving was similar
for all of you as well.We passed on the Black Friday deals, despite
my sister's attempts to get me out of house at 4am. Thanks to Cousin Bobbi
for filling in for me. ;-)
Instead we slept in, ate all day, snuggled with the cats.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cleaning, clearing, and complaining

Yes, complaining. I still have laundry to get done,
my daughter wants me to play games with her all day,the floors have to be washed,
there is food to prepare,cats to be fed, crabitats to be cleaned,a bathroom to be scrubbed...
my daughter is asking for more maths...
my Grandmother is still in hospital they are sure she had a stroke, not sure when...
my extended family is fighting over everything, and that is only going to get worse.
My refrigerator's water hose was leaking yesterday, so we had to shut off the water
until Farmer Dad got home from work...I could keep going, but basically it's all stupid.

In these crazy times, we still have so much to be thankful for, and I have been wasting
my precious time complaining about my life. Stupid! I have a house, and it is getting closer to being
paid for every month.I have a refrigerator with an ice maker,filled with food,I have plenty of clothes and blankets
to keep us warm, we have loving pets to share our lives with and my daughter actually enjoys learning and spending time with me.My Grandmother has insurance, and a medical community to take care of her needs and family to see it gets done. Why all the b*tchin and complaining? I am going to work on that.
Not figuring out why...just not doing it so much.I am going to try to get as much of my house clean enough so we can enjoy our holiday, and the next four days with Farmer Dad home from work, and then I am going to
sit on my floor (even if it still really needs to be cleaned in my opinion)and play with my beautiful and healthy daughter.I am going to remind myself, and her how very lucky I am to have her in my life.

I feel extremely lucky to have all of you in my life as well. Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives
to share in ours. Thank you for offering guidance,a warm hug,a good laugh and encouragement when needed and a thank you for reminding me that my choices have value and that I am not alone.
Thank you for being my friends, even if we have never met in person.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Thanksgiving book post...

I just wanted to take a moment to share a couple more Thanksgiving books that we
are enjoying here in our little corner of the Garden State...

Cranberry Thanksgiving

We really enjoy this series, and we plan on making the cranberry bread recipe today. It doesn't have some of the prettiness of other books, but it always has a message we can relate to and enjoy.
Princess agrees we should try to find a copy to own.

The Night Before Thanksgiving
This is a funny take on the night before Christmas (obviously), and we enjoyed it very much. It made us look forward to the holiday even more for some reason.
Princess especially loved the relatives coming in for fun and food..very cute.

I thought it was going to stir up a lot of ...who will come over to see me? type questions,
but she likes the idea of it being just us as much as we do, so it looks like
we will be spending Thanksgiving just the three of us, although we have been discussing heading into the parade with some friends.
Another favorite around here is

I have written about this hilarious book before, but it has to be read every year.
It's a hoot!! We roll around on the couch reading it and cracking up.
Princess also thinks the pictures are too funny.

We will be trying to get some school done as well as cleaning in preparation for the holiday today.
Unfortunately, we got some bad news Yesterday, Princess's Great Grandma had what we believe
to be a stroke. We do not know too much yet, she was admitted into the hospital for tests, and hopefully
we'll know the extent of the damage done sometime today.
I hope you'll all send some positive thoughts her way.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Group Unplugged Project..Thankful

is Thankful this week.

I am going to cheat and talk about our Thankful Tree.

We do not have a great deal of wall space here in our
tiny little corner of the Garden State, so we used the
storm door on our porch/ school room. Normally at this
time of year we spend a lot of time out there, but it has
been down in the thirties already, so we have not been out there
as much. We have been keeping up our Thankful Tree, we just do it

and come back inside. I used regular brown tempura paint
mixed with just a little water. Princess and I made leaf rubbings
one day a while ago, and we cut them out to use on our tree.

I keep them in a basket next to the door, along with a silver metallic
sharpie and a roll of tape.

If you want an easier template for leaves,
try the Toymaker for some lovely ones.
I hope that you will take a moment to visit Mom Unplugged
today, and see what all the participants have done this week.
Maybe, just maybe, you will be inspired to add your link and join in.
Either way, I think you will be Thankful that you stopped by..
just like I am Thankful that you stopped by here!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Green Up Saturday!

I have been trying to post a green up tip every other Saturday.
This week I would like to talk about some options for Thanksgiving.
If you are hosting this year, why not ask your guests to bring their own
leftover containers so less food gets wasted. We all know most people don't actually eat the leftovers.
We are not most people.If my peeps baulk at eating it again, I freeze and serve at a later date.
Don't forget to use that turkey carcass..I mean if you're going to kill it,
make good use of it! I hate seeing people just toss out those bones!My Mom used to have a soup pot
ready for that turkey carcass right after dinner. She just set it aside early in the morning.
As soon as the meat was picked off the bone, she tossed her veg scraps (end of the celery,carrots and onions) along with the bones into some water to
cook. She would strain all the liquid out and add any leftover
carrots etc to it for the finished soup or she would cut up more onions,celery,carrots etc and saute a bit before adding to soup.I make mine like she did using whatever is on hand for the soup.It may vary from year to year, but it's always good.We always had soup the next day with sandwiches for dinner after spending the day while decorating the house for Christmas and baking cookies.It was one of those rare days off for my Mom, and we enjoyed it a lot.We never raced to the mall that weekend, it was about being together and listening to holiday music and baking and generally having fun.Must have been all those feel good chems from the turkey! ;-)
I still love the smell of turkey soup simmering. If you are really organized and can have it cooking up while
your company is still there, they can all take some home for the next day, and you won't get stuck with a billion gallons of it in your freezer! ;-) I like having some in the freezer to use all during the winter, but not everyone likes turkey soup as much as I do. OK, I'll step off my soapbox (or is that soup box ?) now.
You probably need to run to the food store.....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Books

I promised a Thanksgiving Book themed post, and here it is..

We Gather Together
This book is a lovely collection of all the traditions
around the world that take place in Autumn to
celebrate the harvest season and how they relate to
the American Thanksgiving.It has great craft and activity ideas and links
to learn more too.

Thanksgiving Treat
This is a charming story about a little boy who is too little
to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner.His Grandpa finds him
a way to help..gathering chestnuts from a nearby tree.
They all roast them on the fire together.

Thanksgiving is Here!
This book starts off with..When the sun comes up at Grandma's house...
the Thanksgiving turkey goes into the oven..and then the doorbell rings.
All sorts of fun ensue as the family gathers together
to celebrate the holiday.
The sofa and piano get moved aside to make room for the big table.The chairs don't match,
but nobody minds...
We all have a place at the table.
Everyone helps put everything back, and they go home knowing they'll all be back.
Very nice book with delightful pictures.

Arthur's Thanksgiving
Arthur's class has to put on a Thanksgiving play,
The Big Turkey Hunt.
Mr Ratburn picks Arthur to be director.
His first job is to assign parts. No one wants to be the turkey.
In the end, when the turkey is supposed to appear, Arthur turns to find
an entire flock of turkeys on the stage as they all come together to recite
the line.."The Turkey is a symbol of togetherness and Thanksgiving!"

The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin
Papa and the cubs are feeling down because
Halloween is over and Christmas is a ways off, when
Mama Bear reminds them that Thanksgiving is coming.
This cheers them up, but not in the way she hopes.Instead,
Papa Bear gets wrapped up in competing for best pumpkin
in the town's Thanksgiving Festival.
They are upset when their pumpkin does not come in first, or even second place,
but on the way home Mama Bear finally gets them to understand that Thanksgiving
is about giving thanks, and they have a lot to be thankful for.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving One of our favorites.Mr and Mrs Moose are getting
their home ready for Thanksgiving with their friends.
Mrs Moose wants a "real turkey" for her table.
Mr Moose sets off to find one, all their friends join
in as he "hunts" for one with helpful hints like,"we saw one down by the river.."
Soon they have a real "hunting party" and find the turkey's nest.
The Turkey does not want to come out and join them, but he is given little choice.
The entire party hand delivers him to Mrs Moose, who greets him warmly,
sits him at her fine table, and tells him she hopes he finds everything to his taste.
"You are so kind to worry about my taste,he says,"I'd thought you'd be worrying
about how I'd taste." Mr Moose smiles and says "It's so nice to have friends around the table at Thanksgiving."
Of course Turkey agrees.."It's even nicer to be at your table instead of ON it." ;-)

Where have all the pictures gone?

Princess and I have been busy taking pictures the last
two days. Farmer Dad was off from work, and we drove down the shore
to visit Nana, went out to lunch, watched the boats on the water, we went to
our local library's first Homeschool Open House, walked around the duck filled
pond and had hot chocolate and cookies while we read in the sun. We took a long
drive with Farmer Dad passing many lovely farms and cute animals and such that Princess
busily captured with the camera from the backseat. We stopped off for another lunch out
and played air hockey. We visited with Great Aunt Adrienne and decorated cookies with cousin
Stephanie, ate dinner with Luis and Aunt Shell. Sometime during the visit as Princess was taking
pictures she hit a button on my camera..she wasn't sure which one, and although I got it working again,
one of us erased all the photos on the camera from the last two days! Including some cute shots of
Princess and her kitties snuggling on the couch in jammies, her excitement at receiving a special package
from our friend Nina, her updated Thankful Tree, some seed pod experiments and cookies we baked
together and a turkey craft. Oh well. I guess we remember all the fun we had anyway....but she looked
ever so cute in some of those, and her cookies were adorable.
The open house at the library went pretty well, although aimed more at the Moms than the kids, in
Princess's opinion. She was the only girl and all the other kids were older or younger, but she had fun.
We did meet some nice homeschoolers in our town, and one family has 4 boys, ages 13, 10 and 8 year old twins.
We were invited to get together with them to take part in some "fun activities" they do with their Dad
on Saturdays...crafting and cooking.Princess was pretty excited. The boys got her a bit excited to learn another language. They are all learning Latin, and then either Spanish or Japanese or French. Oh the possibilities! ;-)
We made casual plans to meet up again at the library, so we could talk more. The librarian (we were happy to see it was our "fave") was very enthusiastic about her outreach to the homeschooling community and willing to be
of more help should we need it. She is trying to line up a couple of long time homeschoolers that she knows
to come in and talk to us, and has great hopes of making this a regular program that will help us connect to one another. It was a very positive experience, although she didn't homeschool her children, she is very supportive of what we are doing and open to meeting our needs. We left with a stack of "animal" themed books in our bag.
She had a nice big selection of books in the conference room for the kids to look through, explained some of what the library has to offer, what will be coming soon, and handed out some leaflets about the computer offerings
the library's site offers and how to use it, and Princess really liked the hand out on the Dewey Decimal System.
She has the "code" now to find whatever she wants to in the library. There will be no holding her back.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wednesday catch up...

I have been a bit of a slacker when it comes to taking pictures
of our "school days", not to mention posting them.
Here is a quick re-cap of the past week or so...
in no particular order.
We baked some bread

we had dinner with family to celebrate Great Grandma's 81st, which will be next week...

Princess took good care of her cousin's baby

We baked some cookies

I snuggled with my niece's baby

We played outside in the cold almost dark...

admired out Thankful Tree from outside..

Played on the swings...

Discovered new mushrooms in the back of the yard..

Alley trying to figure out which one is supposed to be her?

Snuggled up on Farmer Dad's lap

Princess dressed up for some handwriting practice..

The kids like to have a round or two of hide and seek at the end of our
Homeschool Group play date every week.

We had flurries here today on and off, but nothing ever came of it.
More is expected this week.

Books, just because it's Tuesday....

Here we go...
I am sure some of you have read and discussed this book,
but it was on display at our library, and so I took it home..

Little Boy
We really enjoyed it! This book was fun to read, with great illustrations from
Peter H Reynolds (The Dot, Ish).Princess loves how every few favorite things is a "big
cardboard box" up her alley.Her greatest desire is to give every little child she knows
a BIG cardboard box for their birthday or Christmas. LOL
It is always her suggestion for the gift idea.She can come up with 8,000 great things to do
with a cardboard box.If you have a little need to get this book. If you don' should probably get it anyway..if your little girl doesn't like it as much as mine..find a little boy to give it to.
I am going to buy one for my newest nephew. He has a shaggy head of dark hair like the boy in the book.
Even though he is only 3 months old.

Another good book, At Night.

We really enjoyed this little book, the illustrations are so very...friendly.
The story is about a little girl who can't get to sleep in her bed while hearing her family
all sleeping around her in their apartment. She decides to get up and go sleep on the roof.
Princess noticed that her Mom hears her and follows her up even though she stays in the
background quietly and unnoticed. She especially liked the last picture of her Mom with a
hot cup of whatever watching the sun come up from a chair next to the sleeping girl.

Too Many Toys made us giggle. (Don't all David Shannon books?)
Princess had to agree she too, has too many toys.We especially loved the part where he steals the box
his Mom is loading up with toys to get rid of, so he can play with that.
I did mention she loves big cardboard boxes, right?

The Day the Stones Walked is a book for slightly older children.This book provides a
glimpse of what might have happened on Easter Island, and what might yet happen on our own
larger island called Earth.A young boy is sent by his mother to alert his stone carving father
that "a Great Wave is coming".His father is too busy carving a face on one of the giant moai
to get to safety.The boy, Pico, worries about his father as he sees the Tsunami hit, and wonders
if the old stories are true, will the stones walk? Save his father?He learns the surprising answer
in this story, but I won't ruin it for you. ;-)
Princess really enjoyed this book, more than I thought she would.(I confess, I brought it home for me)
The illustrations are pretty captivating.Reading this lead us to a wonderful discussion about deforestation
and how it effects the planet as a whole.
If you are looking for a giggle or two more, pick up

Farley Found It! I found this on the bookshelf at my library totally by accident.
I was looking for another book, pulled out something by that author, and saw the cover of this one.
I knew it had to come home with us! It is a goofy tale about a sheep named Farley,who likes his life, except at night, (he's afraid of the dark). His sleep improves when he discovers Edna the dog's dog house.
Edna moves her house all over the farm trying to hide it from Farley, but, as you may have guessed
from the title, Farley keeps finding it!
Princess loved the solution they came up with, and I think you will too.
So get to your local library, and take some of these out.Your library doesn't have it? Ask them if they can get it for you. Like it so much you want to buy it? Consider using my "bookstore" link on the right side bar.
I get a nickel or two for every 8 billion books I convince others to buy.
Help defray the cost of our book habit. ;-)

We have some really good books out for Thanksgiving, I will get a post up about them on Friday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Celebrate Geography Awareness Week

November 16–22 is Geography Awareness Week, and My Wonderful World is hosting a

week-long activity guide designed to get you and your kids exploring geography and the world. Check in at every day of the week to see your world in new ways!

Princess and I also plan to use this site
for some more geography this week. Thanks to my gal pal Heather for
coming through with that link...I am still recovering from losing all my
saved "favorites" a while back.((Big Hugs))'re are such a good
friend to me!

I am busy right now planning for the next month when it looks like Farmer Dad
will be home for something like 23 days in a row! That is what happens when you
are too busy at work to take your vacation time. I am hoping to plan it well
enough to take full advantage of his time off for affordable field trips and lots of
"lessons with Dad".

I was a bit concerned I had missed the Unplugged Group Project..again,
but then I saw the theme was SORT,JUNK, and DONATE.
We are so there.We spent a good part of our weekend, taking down old art work
to send to loved ones near and far, reorganizing our school supply cabinets
to better reflect what we use now.

I have also been trying to "clear out" some of the "stuff" filling my basement.
We spent a lot of time Freecycling like crazy this weekend. We also filled bags
for friends..clothes that no longer fit for Peanut, pants that might better fit B.,
who is much more particular about such things, books and little stuffed animals

for one of our favorite local teachers to give out to some children she teaches
who don't have books of their own.Princess finds this shocking and sad.
She is starting to realize how lucky she is to live in a house filled with books.
This past birthday she was lucky enough to get some books she asked for
as gifts. Books we had been borrowing over and over from the library.
She tells me several times every week how very happy she is to now "own" those
books.Last night she was rhapsodizing about her Mermaid book from Nurse M.
(I know you're reading, so this is your "shout out",lol)
So I guess this means I did take part in Mom Unplugged's Group Project this week,
even though I had been too busy to get over there and find out what the project is.
Big Hugs for Heather again for keeping me moving forward. lol
Go to the link to see what everyone else came up with..these ladies are so very creative.
I will be back tomorrow with some books, and some pictures of what we did today.

Gold Blogging Friends Forever Award

My friend Steph
just gave me an award......(ok, it was just when I started to write, but time got away from me)

How cute is that? I thought my "gold card" days were over
along with wearing pantyhose and high heels.
There just is no need for such things in a SAHM's wardrobe.
OK, Farmer Dad might disagree with the lack of a need for the
high heels, but I think he'll back me up on the pantyhose. ;-) are the rules...

The Gold Blogging Friends Forever Rules are:
1. Only five people allowed.
2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.
3. One has to be someone new, or recently new to your blog, or live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to whoever gave you the 'Blogging Friends Forever' award.

I'm passing it on to:
my "most likely to comment gals"...


Only 5? I am so bummed.
Thanks again Steph!!Sorry it took me so long to pass it on.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just Thursday

We interrupt this previously scheduled programming for
a last minute substitution aka:Farmer Dad Takes a Vacation Day!
I am not sure what today will hold for us, Farmer Dad has a bunch of
days he needs to use up, and will be taking them as the work load allows.
Today being one of them. Princess will be very excited to see him when she gets up,
and hopefully we can do something fun and unexpected to make good use of this last minute
Vacation Day. I will be back on Friday with some more spectacular "bloggy-ness" to share.
Meanwhile visit some of the lovely gals in my blog roll for some good reads, or kick back
with a cup of whatever and read a good book to your littles.Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What will we do this Wednesday?

Princess lost another tooth last night.
Jumped right out of her mouth while
she was jumping on the couch. ;-)
Are you keeping track? That is one every Tuesday night
for two weeks in a row!
It amazes me how small they are.

True to form, the Tooth Fairy delivered her 50 cents (Princess told us this was the going rate)

in a timely fashion.The bag came from here..

We will go here...and listen to this...

And make some bread.And read some more books..and work on our Mermaid Box,
and maybe some Turkey decorations. What are you doing today?

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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 .