fiance, student, homeschool retiree, preschool teacher wannabe, Senior Living Coordinator, writer of many things unsaid, blogger, lover of the creative, most cheerful depressed person, devourer of books, crafty wanna be, amateur tech support, internet junkie, facebook stalker, tweeter of tweets, Pagan, friend, sister, daughter, aunt, karaoke super-star

Life is Hard...

99 Things I Ought to Do Before I Die...

Instructions:Copy the list, bold the ones you've done (with explanations if needed), share with friends.

1. Started your own blog (I love blogging!)
2. Slept under the stars (on a trampoline)
3. Played in a band (Middleschool)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (well Disneyworld, it's better anyway!)

8. Climbed a mountain 
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (does Karaoke count?)
11. Bungee jumped 

12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm (we had really awesome ones in Weiser)  

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child 

16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise 

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community 

36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (Loved IT)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (Does Usborne count)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (in the Gulf of Mexico)
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (all of the above)

65. Gone sky diving (plan to)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check 

68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle (no NEVER)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person(It's pretty cool)
80. Published a book (I WISH)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (new to me(
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (when I was little)
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (if fish count)
88. had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo 

94. Had a baby (too many to count)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Seven is Heaven!

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.”

~Walt Streightiff

Suday Citar: Tomorrow


"Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Welcome to Sunday Citar! This blog quote meme was created by Tabitha @ FreshMommy. You can stop by her blog to see the quotes and photos that she and everyone else is loving right now.

Rumpelstiltskin Narration

These illustrations were generously provided by Grandma's Graphics 
and came from the following sources. See the notes at the bottom of each illustration page
for more information.Anne Anderson, illustrator. Anne Anderson's 
Old, Old Fairy Tales. Racine, Wisconsin: Whitman Publishing Company, 1935. 

Rumpelstiltskin Narration
Ian age 9

There was a poor man and the king, one day, arrived at his house. The man said his daughter could spin straw into gold.
Then the king put the daughter in a room and said, " Spin this straw into gold. "
The daughter was sad because she didn't know how to.
Then a little man went into the room and said " What will you give me if I spin this straw into gold?
She said, " My necklace."
The little man took the necklace and started spinning the spinning wheel. When the king woke up it was done

The king put her in an even bigger room with more straw. The little man showed up again. He said " What will you give me if I spin this straw into gold? "
She said, "The ring off my finger.
He grabbed the ring and started spinning. The king woke up and saw the room was full of gold again.

The king put her in an even bigger room and said, " Spin this straw into gold."
The little man came again and said, " What will you give me if I spin this straw into gold?" She said, " I have nothing to give. "
"Give me your first Child." She agreed.
He spun all the straw into gold. Then the king woke up and married her.

A year later she had a baby and he came for it.
He said,  "You can keep your child if you can guess my name."
He gave her three days to guess. She sent a messenger to get all the names in the village. Then the little man came again, she tried to guess.
He always said, "That is not it."
She sent the messenger out again and collected even the most strange names. She still did not guess it. She sent the messenger out again. He did not find any new names. The messenger told how he stumbled upon a cliff edge and down below he saw a little hut with a fire lit inside. He saw a little man dancing and singing a little song about how his name was Rumpelstiltskin. She guessed again and then guessed Rumpelstiltskin
The little man yelled and said "You can keep your baby!"
He stomped his foot so hard he fell into the ground.

Book Notes: When Children Love to Learn; Baden- Powell and Charlotte

 Photo from Christ Church City Libraries website. Cheerful boy scouts acting as messengers to distribute food and medicine to patients at their houses during the influenza epidemic [1918] Pictured are: on the left John Neville Westgarth (d. 1981) and in the centre William Patrick (Bill) Sweeney (1908-1983).
I would not say I am a scout fanatic, but I do think the Boy Scouts of America have come up with some extremely amazing programs for youth. I do not know of a boy who would not benefit from the things learned and character gained from scouting. We have been involved in Cub Scouts since Josef was 8 years old. I have been a Den Leader for the Wolves, Bears, and Webelos and also served as Advancement Chairman and Cub Master over the last 5 years. Now Ian is a Cub and Josef has moved up to Boy Scouting-which is a whole thing for us. When the programs are run appropriately by trained leaders they can be so helpful to the development of these young boys.

I was thrilled to learn that Baden-Powell and Charlotte were changing the world at the same time.

Some quotes by Baden Powell:
"An individual step in character training is to put responsibility on the individual. "
"We never fail when we try to do our duty, we always fail when we neglect to do it. "
“The most important object in Boy Scout training is to educate, not instruct.”
“The boy is not governed by don't ,but is led by do.”
“Scoutmasters need the capacity to enjoy the out-of-doors.”

Did you catch the bits of truth shared between them? Many of their thoughts and philosophies were parallel and even Charlotte recognized Baden-Powell's potential to change the lives of children.

Quotes from When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper page 30-

" It was typical of her open search for the best ideas to develop a full life that she pounced on Baden-Powell's Scout Handbook designed to train soldiers. I doubt that any other Victorian educators saw the potential in that book even for boys, let alone for the demure little girls with their governesses." 
" Charlotte not only saw potential in it, but she immediately purchased quantities of the handbooks and included them in the PUS (Parens Union School) curriculum."
" Thus while other children were kept indoors to have endless facts crammed into them, these fortunate children had every afternoon outside. One afternoon a week was for "scouting": tracking, noticing wind directions, learning to set up camp, and enjoying a truly hands-on education that thrilled and energized them. These children took part in the beginnings of the great scouting movement!"

Rite of Passage

" When I grow up- like you... I'm gonna buy me a house... and get all these (furniture)... and then I'll get a Facebook."
~Oliver age 5

I ought to...

Book Notes: When Children Love to Learn

"Miss Mason's educational philosophy is not about what someone thought as a Victorian; it is not tied to the the past, as if trying to hark back to a golden age. These ideas, being true ones, have an unchangeable underlying pattern (form) and yet give freedom for individual life and practice. When the Christin worldview gives this form, there is much stability and also freedom for appropriate adaptions. That is what makes this way of educating children so exciting. " ~When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper page 25
I loved this thought from the book. It is so true. If you are using Charlotte's methods thinking you are recreating some bygone educational experience-like sleeping in an antique bed and breakfast- that is not what she ever intended. She believed that there were universal truths about children.That certain tried and tested practices helped children learn. She believed these could be applied to all children despite economic, cultural, and ethnic differences. The basic nature of children has not changed since Charlotte's day. We may add in new technologies and modern culture but this does not change the very nature of a child and how they learn.

Wishin' and Hopin' and Thinkin' and Prayin', Plannin' and Dreamin'...

Ok, I am probably making this WAY harder than it really is or needs to be, but I gotta have a plan or else all chaos breaks loose with four boys. It is kind of like how dogs can smell fear, little boys can tell when you are unprepared and then take advantage of it.

'Oh look, Mom doesn't have anything planned for me to do! While she is working with my brother...I think I'll see if that hanging light over the dinning room can hold my weight.'

I need to have at least a brief outline of what and who I am teaching each day ahead of time. I can always alter it later depending on what we ACTUALLY get done. I've learned over the last 6 years homeschooling-what we plan to do that day and what we actually get done and two different things. Thank you dear Lord, for erasers. I'm excited that using the CM methods will reduce the actual 'teaching' time and save me possibly hours a day,but I still gotta have a plan.  After all ....“To be prepared is half the victory.”~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I'm including these first drafts of my planning and planner pages in hopes that they may help or inspire others. I am so grateful to all the homeschool mom's who have put up samples of their planers and schedules. It is always nice to have something to look at and get ideas from.

Chart with CM Subjects listed
Includes categorizing them by disciplinary or inspirational,Subjects done together or individually, how often they should be taught, if they need moms help or can work independently on that subject, ages to start, if they need narrated, and curriculum source.
I tried to stick closely to CM recommendations. I used the book When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today
and the AO website to help me.

Weekly School Planner Pages:
Includes 2 individual planning pages that I'll fill in per child per week and will put on clipboards on each boys shelf with books. And also a page for subjects and things we do together that I will keep on a shelf with the materials and books needed for me.

Artist Study: Claude Monet

 Woman with a Parasol: Madame Monet and Her Son, 1875, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. 

This term on Ambleside Online the Artist Study is on Claude Monet.
Great Resources for this artist study can be found listed over at Fisher Academy. (Thanks Amy)

Oscar Claude Monet was born in 1840. He was the founder of the French Impressionist movement.  The Impressionist style was named after what he titled one of his paintings- Impression, Sunrise.
 Impressionist paintings usually include visible brush strokes, natural settings,  open composition, light at different times of day, everyday subjects, people in motion and in different positions,and varied angles. Most Impressionist painters painted en plein air, which is a French expression that means "in the open air". They believed that the natural light and fresh air added to this paining style. Other Impressionist painters include; Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul C├ęzanne, and Mary Cassatt.

Spiritual Sunday: Anyway...

"If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; BE KIND ANYWAY.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends, and some true enemies; BE SUCCESSFUL ANYWAY.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you; BE HONEST AND SINCERE ANYWAY.

What you spend years creating, others may tear down overnight; CREATE ANYWAY.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous; BE HAPPY ANYWAY.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten tomorrow; DO IT ANYWAY.

In the final analysis, it's between you and God; IT WAS NEVER ABOUT YOU AND THEM ANYWAY."

~Mother Teresa