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

First Shave

Do You Know The Muffin Man?

...The Muffin Man!?

We are busy making our yearly ornament for friends and family. And when I say 'we' I mean the kids make one each and I have made about 40.

This year we picked these half eaten gingerbread men. They are surprisingly easy to make and each one ends up being truly unique. (Some look more tortured than others)

What up, G?

Hello internet, It's been a long time. What's new with you? ME? I find myself laid up and in want of QUALITY entertainment. I have watched Netflix, until nothing looks good anymore. I surfed around on Facebook reading friends posts like a cyber stalker. I've browsed Pinterest and re-pinned anything that seemed remotely interesting. I even did a bit of stumbling with StumbleUpon. I even stabbed my beloved Evernote in the back and got a Springpad account. I feel scientist should start a study on truly how long the internet can actually entertain and hold our interest before we go looking for satisfaction off-line. I think those critics who feel our world to overrun by technology would be surprised by how easily bored we get with it, and resort to things like reading a book and talking to people. It has literally been eons since I wrote on my blog. Why? Well I have been entirely too busy to entertain you all. At this moment in time I find myself in need of a little distraction. So, lend me your eyes for a while and I will weave you a tale of mystery and intrigue. I was in a little accident, which was totally my fault. I rear-ended a big Ford F250. The story I want to tell is that it was one of 'those' trucks. You know the kind with the curvy lady mudflaps and the 'hmm' unmentionables hanging between the back tires. I HATE 'those' trucks. They are just wrong on many levels. SO the story should go that it was one of 'those' trucks and in a moment of incensed rage I ran into him from behind, not taking into account the physics of my compact car and his rather large truck. As justified as that story may sound. The actual story was one of common human error and distraction and there were no 'hmm' unmentionables involved. I simply did not have good view of all the traffic in front due to the large SUV in front of me and then he moves to the left and there is a huge wall of traffic brake lights, a Ford F250 being FIRST in line. I managed to anticipate the accident and slowed and turned to the right to avoid a head on collision. The poor little green car of my husbands did not stand a chance though. Being in an accident it exactly like it is in the movies, it seems in slow motion. Airbags diploid and engine still running, I did the whole Super Mom thing and got the kids out of the car and checked for injuries. I was a little high on adrenaline. They were all ok, thank heavens! The guy I ran into had no injuries just a little Sprite spill on his shirt. His bumper was dinged and I took his Uhaul hitch off with my tiny engine. He was a father and dad himself, same age as me and completely sweet,let the boys who were very upset sit in the back of his truck. The Police were called, the tow truck, insurance information was exchanged, etc. It was pretty surrealistic watching all the commotion. The paramedics said the kids were fine just a few bumps they asked to check me out but the only thing wrong with me was my knee was broken...

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Illustration by Garth Williams 

Ian (11) began reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingall Wilder this month. I found some resources at Homeschool Share and various other places online and am coming up with a lapbook to go along with it.

Here is the finished lapbook:

Here are the resources we used:

Farmer Boy Unit on Homeschool Share
Illustration from the book by Garth Williams

Best Dad Ever


The only way to leave a tip.

October at Deer Flat Nature Refuge

In October we attended an event at the Deet Flat Nature Refuge in Nampa. There were lots of fun animals available to view up close, like the owls below. 

Great Horned Owl

Spotted Owl

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Happy Halloween!

When October rolls around it is crunch time for costumes. The boys are always VERY specific about what they want to be. I am talking color that is the wrong shade of red for Mario and her wears black shoes I need black shoes only! I love hearing what they come up to be each year and I try to make it happen for them.

This year I pulled together 9 costumes total. I came up with the ones for our family and some for some friends. It is something I LOVE to do.

Josef 14 is Dr. Who #10 (David Tennant)
Ian 11 is Mario and he has a Toad Stool
Kaleb 8 is a Mad Scientist
Oliver 6 is a Toy Story Alien again

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Jack-o-Lanterns 2011

The boys carved the pumpkins they found at Linder Farms into some adorable Jack-O-Lanterns. This year they all did about 85% of the work. In past years we have done most of the actual work involved while they were just project managers. We told them to keep the designs simple so they would be successful. The finished faces have a cartoon quality to them. They turned out great!!


Levi and I came up with another fun couples costume this year.  Everyone has wanted to be a superhero at one time or another. Why not in your 30's? Here we are as Wonder Woman and Superman. These are not costumes our real lives we really do have to have super human abilities to survive raising 4 boys, homeschool, and endure12 years of marriage.

Count Gourdula

Ian got some small gourds and created this guard guy. He is so proud of it. He is a vampire gourd so we named him Count Gourdula.
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It's Fall Again!

Mitchell Boys @ Homeschool Day at Linder Farms, Kuna, ID Oct 2011

The first frost was today. All my pumpkin leaves died and I can see what our harvest will be.
I am going to start warming up the oven for some baking.
The boys Halloween costumes are almost finished.
All the Halloween decorations are hung up.
Tree leaves are turning colors.
Hot Chocolate sounds yummy.
I broke out my boots and sweaters and put them in my closet.
I am looking forward to my favorite season!

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Guess What?!

I'm Pregnant!


Me too!

My MIL went to her Visiting Teaching interview tonight. Greeted by congratulations from the Relief Society President about how I am due soon and they have me on the list for a baby blanket. Needless to say my MIL was shocked at the news.

Needless to say, I am NOT pregnant. I have no idea who in the ward reported it the the Relief Society.It's pretty funny.  Maybe they could let me know my due date...

BTW Picture is from 2004 when I was pregnant with Oliver

Oliver loves frogs

Oliver made this frog craft and is so proud of it.

When Pigs Fly

My 2nd son Ian is 11! I can hardly believe it! He wanted his cake decorated with Gir from a cartoon he likes called Invader Zim. It turned out pretty good. 
Ian is an amazing kid; lovable, creative, and fun. I am looking froward to seeing him bridge these pre-teen years to manhood.

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Cursive Copywork Printable: Baden Powel Quote

Click here to download and print


In the Kitchen...

If I can make out a meal plan, then I can make out a grocery list. These are amazing time and cost saving tools-the meal plan and the grocery list. If I know what meals I can prepare, I am more likely to actually cook. I can avoid that 4 o'clock panic and the agonizing question of  "What's for dinner?" When I bring an organized list into the grocery store I am 100% more likely to pick up exactly what I need. I avoid those impulse buys by only buying what is on the list. To the annoying child begging for random goodies on a low shelf I say, " Well, let me check the list...hmm...well looks like it's not I'm sorry I can't buy it. Maybe we can put it on the list next time."
You see I've got a decent system going. My only dilemma has been the elusive meal planning sheet to hang on the fridge. I've tried a few of the ones I found online but they just don't seem to be a good fit. Alot of them just focus on dinner and dessert. Many don't include the most major meals in my home...snack time.
My other problem these forms want you to pick a certain day for each meal. What if it says Meatloaf for Saturday and Saturday comes around and I really want what we are having for dinner on Sunday instead. That is a mini-crisis. Do I dare defy the order of the meals.
Well just like everything in my life...if I want something done right I better just do it myself. So, I created my own AMAZING meal chart and an equally AMAZING grocery list sheet. I was able to do all of this because, lets be honest, I am rather AMAZING.

So the key to my AMAZING meal planner is that you do NOT have to pick a day. I'm serious here people! Most weeks we will eat roughly 7 dinners, lunches, breakfasts and 14 snacks. You just make a list and then you check off the meals you've used up as you go.

After I've made the meal plan, I make the grocery list. Listing what I need for each meal it it's respective grocery store aisle sections on my Grocery List Sheet. I then go to the kitchen and double check that I don't already have items and add staples we are out ketchup. Then I take my handy dandy Grocery List to the store with me.


I've finally gotten the boys new chore chart made up. I used some of my digital scrapbooking papers to make it a little fancier than I normally do. Oliver (6) and Kaleb (8) are getting some new chores this year since they are ready for them. The boys are in charge of the entire room they are assigned to for the whole day. We usually do morning, afternoon, and evening chores. During these times they would clean-up personal messes as well as their assigned rooms. It works out well for us.

Facebook Characters 9/14/11

I stumbled upon this blog where a man drew charactures of all his facebook friends. I thought it looked fun!Here is my first one. I am hoping to do one or two a week. I've been thinking I should start drawing again anyway. This is a fun way to practice. I wonder if my Facebook friends can 'guess who?'.
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Fantasy and fairy tales are Essential

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
Dr. Seuss

G.K. Chesterton
“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
G.K. Chesterton

Math on the Cheap 2011

In a perfect world I would buy all my children RightStart Math, but sadly, the world is not perfect. My homeschool budget is very tight this year. Well, actually its pretty small every year. I am ALWAYS on the look out for a great value.  Using Charlotte Masons philosophies have actually helped so much in controlling unnessasary homeschool spending. I don't buy near as much homeschool  and educational 'junk' as I used to.

I have four boys at four different math levels. I have managed to pull together a complete math curriculum for all of them for less than $200 this year.  I got a great deal on the Mammoth Math complete set from Homeschool Buyers Co-op. Although not my ideal choice, it is very workable and flexible. I will be adding in some math games, manipulatives, and living math books that cover the concepts the boys are working with in their Mammoth Math levels. I love the lists of living math books listed at and getting them from the library means no cost to me (other then the inevitable library fines). They also have a great list of math games. All these great resources in one spot equals more time learning and less time searching.

I did run into one problem while getting math together for the boys. I have a kindergartener this year and Mammoth Math starts at grade 1. At first I thought I would just read him tons of living math books, which would have been adequate for kindergarten math. Then I stumbled upon this math site for the North Carolina Public School System and feel in love with their Mathematics Essentials for kindergarten. The layout is a flexible weekly outline and it comes complete with math poems and hands on activity ideas. Obviously some things need to be modified to allow for homeschool use, but overall I am pleased with my FREE kindergarten math. I'll be adding the living books along with the Mathematics Essentials, for a complete kindergarten math curriculum.

WALLAH! Math is complete for the year. I'll let you know later if my plan is an epic fail and I completely revise it mid-term. I am certainly not infallible.

Chubs wears the cone of shame

We had to take poor Chubs into the Emergency Vet over Labor Day weekend. He had a small bump on his right cheek that grew over night, to about the size of a golf ball. The vet said it was an abcess due to another cat scratching him outside. The nurse shaved him and then the vet lanced it open. We have to keep it open and let it is not pretty. We are putting warm compresses on him for as long as he will let us hold a cloth on his face. His least favorite part of the whole ordeal has to be the antibiotic pill he has to take every 12 hours.

Here he is in all his sad kitty-ness. He was so humiliated at having to where the cone he tried to go back into his carrier (which he hates) just so no one would see him.

I Wish I Could Meet Him!

The younger two boys are in the bathroom together getting ready for bed. I am on facebook, overhearing them...

Kaleb says, " He made our whole world."
Oliver says, " And all the other planets too."
Kaleb says, " He is so awesome!"
Oliver, "I know, I wish I could meet him!
Kaleb, " Well you will one day, after you die and then you can live with him."
Oliver, " That is so cool."

Mitchell Family Reunion: Day 1

On Sunday we headed out for the 2011 Mitchell Family Reunion. This years reunion was hosted by Levi's brother Birney, he invited us all to Seattle for a fun filled week. This first day we drove from Meridian, ID to Shoreline, WA. We arrived in the evening.


Kingston, WA

This morning at 6am we took a car ferry from Edmonds, WA across to Kingston. It was a short 30 min ride that cost $40, but it sure beat the 3 hour drive a toll booths going via land. In Kingston we stopped for gas and saw these weird carved wooden statues out front. Here are pictures of Oliver with the bear and Josef in the car. I sure missed his face the last 6 weeks while he was with his Uncle in Washington.