Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fun Learning Sites - Big IQ Kids

Little One and I have been having fun on some sites lately.  I thought I'd share some of them.  Here's the first one I've decided to share. - there's a whole lot of good stuff here, and a good portion of it is available for free.  Because of Little One's age, we're only using one part of the site, the Spelling Program.  Truthfully I didn't have any thoughts of doing spelling with Little one for a long time yet but she's taken an interest in trying to write and I thought I'd capitalize on it.  The thing that drew me to this Spelling Program was that you could input your own word lists.  I started with a personalized list of our family names, because Little One was interested in learning how to spell all of our names.  She loved using the program and learned how to spell our names quickly so I decided to check out the graded word lists.  She flicked her way through the first word list for grade one, the "at" family list.  I guess we'll move on to the next list, as long as her interest stays.  I will make more personalized lists, using words she asks to spell and also using words from a prepimer dolch word list.  If she was older I would make use of the other programs available on the site, and you never know, I just may be making use of them sooner than I think because Little One is eager to learn.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Write or Die

I've decided to try NaNoWriMo again. I figure that if I discipline myself I should be able to write for at least some time in the morning and the night. It will mean some changes. I will have to get up earlier and I will have to change what I do in the night but I think it is doable.

I took the goal of 50,000 words and and divided it by 31 to see how many words per day I would need to shoot for and it works out to be approximately 1667 words per day. If I write twice a day I would need to write approximately 834 words a session. I was thinking I'd probably need about an hour per session.

This morning I decided to use Write or Die to get an idea of how many words I could write in an hour. I didn't get up early this morning so I didn't actually have an hour to spare so I decided to see what I could write in 20 minutes and then just multiply that by 3 to see what I could write in an hour.

What a surprise I got!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Murder Mysteries

Some of my favorite TV shows are murder mysteries - NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds. I love them! Presently I'm reading a book, The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker, that reminds me of Criminal Minds.

My daughter read this book a while ago and told me I would love it. We went on a long trip again a couple of days ago and I needed something to read so I asked her for a book and this is the one she gave me. I am loving it! Funny thing is that while I'm reading the book I'm picturing the characters of Criminal Minds as the characters in the book. It's uncanny how much the book reminds me of the show.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

8 questions tag

I don't usually do these things but I've been slack in posting anything lately so I figure why not do it and at least get a post up. :)

Shannon tagged me in her 16 questions post. I enjoyed reading her answers and initially thought I was supposed to answer the same questions as she did and was getting ready to do that when I reread and realized that I was to answer different questions that she had posted.

Anyway, here's her questions and my answers:

1. Toddlers or Teens? Which is harder and why?
I happen to have loved all the stages of my kids and can't say that I found any stage harder than the others. I do believe, however, that starting over again at an older age is harder.

2. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
Hmmmm...honestly, I'm not a big fan of Christmas. It can be such a stressful time. I like things plain and simple and to me the time together with family doing simple things are the best. One of my favorite things is driving around looking at the Christmas lights.

3. What do you do (if anything) for regular physical exercise?
Ha! Regular??? Physical???? Exercise???? All three words are kind of foreign to me. :) I am trying to get back into the habit of walking every day and hoping to work back up into running a bit too. Been trying for a few months now and so far I haven't had much success.

4. Country/Traditional/Eclectic or Modern – which is YOUR home decorating style?
Ha again! :) Home decorating style - more foreign words to me. I have no style, in fashion or home decorating. :) My house is very plain and thrown together with little thought other than what is needed and what is available.

5. Baths or Showers? Which do you prefer and why?
Hmmmm...I haven't had a bath in a long time, though I think I actually prefer a bath. My do-it-yourselfer hubby renovated our upstairs washroom, where our bathtub is, and we've been unable to use it for about 5 years. Luckily we have a shower downstairs that is functional. I think I prefer a bath because I find it more relaxing and more like a get away. I can soak in the tub for a long time in peace and quiet away from everyone. A shower is more energizing, not as relaxing, and doesn't last as long.

6. Have you ever lived abroad? Where and for how long?

7. What is your favourite season and why?
I love all the seasons but I think fall is my favorite. I love the smells and the nice crisp feel in the air. I love that it's not too hot and not too cold, but just right. I also love how colourful it is.

8. Are your parents still alive? If not, what do you miss most about them and if yes, have you told them today that you love them?
Yes, they are. I haven't told them tonight because I can't get a hold of them. They must be out partying again. :) I talk to my parents just about every day at least once and most every visit or phone conversation ends with kisses, hugs and I love yous. :)

Now, I'm supposed to tag others, but I'm not good at that either so instead I'll just say if you read this and want to answer the questions I answered consider yourself tagged, and let me know that you did. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

This Week's Library Loot

We were out of town last week and missed going to the library on our regular day so went a couple of days off schedule. We also didn't manage to read all the books we got out last week because of our travels and activities so I had to get some books renewed.

Renewed from last week
Where's Pup? by Dayle Ann Dodds, pictures by Pierre Pratt
David and Goliath by Mary Auld, illustrated by Diana Mayo
Song of the Circus by Lois Duncan, illustrated by Meg Cundiff
Norman the Doorman by Don Freeman

New this week:
Van Gool's Cinderella
Leaving the Nest by Mordicai Gerstien
One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia Defelice, pictures by Andrea U'ren
Teddy Bears Stay Indoors by Susanna Gretz and Alison Sage
Firebears The Rescue Team by Rhonda Gowler Green, illustrated by Dan Andreasen
Amber Waiting by Nan Gregory, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Chicken Said, "Cluck" by Judyann Ackerman Grant, pictures by Sue Truesdell (an I Can Read book)
What am I? by Linda Granfield, illustrated by Jennifer Herbert
No News is Bad News by Margaret Hennigar, illustrated by Marjorie Speed
Sammy and the Miracles of Christmas stories by Ray Guy, illustrated by Boyd W. Chubbs
Flight to Freedom by Jackie Greene, illustrated by Alison Stalker
Octopus's Walker by Carin Greenberg, illustrated by Pattie Silver-Thompson (a Preschool BabySitter Board Book)
Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated by Polly Dunbar
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

Friday, October 15, 2010

I won! I won!

Remember when I asked if you Wanna win some Fudge? I got an email a couple of days ago telling me that I won! Can't wait to get my Chocolate Cherry Pecan Fudge from Fudge by Design.

Also, I recently took part in the Schoolhouse Expo, an online homeschooling convention put off by The Old Schoolhouse. I thoroughly enjoyed taking in all the sessions and was greatly inspired by them. I took lots of notes and may share more about them at some point in time. For every session that you attended you got to put your name in for a prize. I received notification that my name was drawn for two prizes! The Right Brain Phonics Reading Program was donated by Diane Craft during her session on Identifying Your Child's Learning Glitch. I loved her session! I could have listened to her for longer. The Let's Get Ready Complete Series was donated by Cedar Valley Publishing. I'd never heard of them before I went searching to see what I had won. Looks interesting. I can't wait to get these things and use them with my Little One.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hunting and Reading Update

Finished my book but still didn't get a moose. Oh well. Maybe next time. :) I'll most likely be sharing more about the book when I get home and have more internet time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Me reading time!

I'm at the inlaws. One thing that I like about time at the inlaws is that I manage to find some time to read, not just to Anna, but for me. It's a 6 hour drive to get to the inlaws so the reading starts on the drive here. Also, bedtime at the inlaws is 10-10:30pm, unlike my usual the 1-2am bedtime, so I get to read in my bed until I finally fall asleep. Also, I don't get to choose what I watch on tv so any time that I would normally spend watching tv, which really isn't much but it is some, I now spend reading. All that adds up to lots of reading time for me, and I love that, even if I am missing my TV shows.

A while back I received Trudy Morgan Cole's newest book Lydia, A Story of Philippi. I have really been wanting to start reading it but just couldn't find the time. Now I have the time, and, boy, am I enjoying the book!

I actually received the book compliments of the author. I participated in a challenge she had on her blog last year and my prize was this book! I was thrilled, because I haven't yet met a Trudy Morgan Cole book that I haven't enjoyed. And this book is proving to be no exception.

I'm only about a quarter of the way through the book yet, but it's only been two days yet, and I do still have to spend time reading to and occupying little one. If I could devote all my time to reading for myself I would be much further ahead. Still, I'm hoping that I will get pretty far through the book before the week is over.

I've come across a few quotes already that I think are worth noting. Here are some of them:

While Lydia and Luke were discussing the seemingly opposite teachings of Jesus saying that he did not come to bring peace, but Paul talking about the peace Jesus brings, Luke says "Perhaps He meant that following His Way would bring us into conflict with others, yet we would have peace in our spirits."

When Lydia was thinking about one of her fellow Christians that tended to rub her the wrong way she thought to herself "Being sisters in Christ was one thing, but even the love of Jesus didn't make it possible to actually love everyone."

In a discussion about what roles and responsibilities the Christians had Epaphroditus says "Our job is to tell people about Him so they'll be ready, not to attack the rulers of the world"

I'd say more but I'm being driven to bed again. Time to break out my little night light reader and get into the book again. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

I don't want to go hunting!

I used to love hunting. Moose hunting. I've successfully shot a moose a number of times. One particular time stand out in my mind. One shot and the moose dropped right to the ground. It wa amazing! This year, however, I have no interest. Actually, my interest has been wanning a few years now. Unfortunately I have to go hunting this week. It started today. Bleh. I'm just not in the mood. Apparently I have to go again tomorrow too. Bleh! I'd like to get the moose within ten minutes and get it over with. I wonder will I be that lucky. Probably not. I'll let you know.

That's what's on my mind right now.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Yesterday's Library Loot

Where's Pup? by Dayle Ann Dodds, pictures by Pierre Pratt
David and Goliath by Mary Auld, illustrated by Diana Mayo
Song of the Circus by Lois Duncan, illustrated by Meg Cundiff
Norman the Doorman by Don Freeman
Birdsongs by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, Helen Oxenbury
Ollie's Easter Eggs by Olivier Dunrea
Ollie by Olivier Dunrea
Where the Giant Sleeps by Mem Fox, pictures by Vladimir Radunsky
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems, pictures by Jon j. Muth
The Cow Love Cookies by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Marcellus Hall
Carl's Summer Vacation by Alexandra Day
Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
Toy Story 3: A Read-Aloud Storybook adapted by Christine Peymani
Good Morning, Chick by Mirra Ginsburg, pictures by Byron Barton
Caramba written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
What Are You Doing Sam? written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Stella Princess of the Sky written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
When Stella was Very, Very Small written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Stella Fairy of the Forest written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Will I Nano this year?

NaNoWriMo time is coming close. I've given it a try a number of years but I've never actually finished. To be perfectly truthful, I don't get very far. For some reasons, though, I just can't seem to resist given it a try.

Last year I found a site which I used to help prepare plot notes. There were daily assignments for the month of October to help you get ready for writing in November. I'd really like to try that again, but I can't seem to find the site. Grrrrr....

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

I love it when Little One says something that is inspired by a book we have read together. That happened just now. I was sitting at the dining room table on my laptop and there was a bag of Christy's Chunks Ahoy! sitting on the table. Little One came by and reached into the bag while saying "Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!"

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! happens to be the title to a book that we read recently by Candance Fleming. This is a cute story about a man that has to war with some hungry bunnies while he tries to grow a vegetable garden. Little One loved the book. We've read it a few times. We especially like making the sounds the bunnies make as they invade the garden.

I love that I knew what was on her mind as she reached for the cookie and said "muncha, muncha, muncha". She often does that, repeats a phrase from a book that we've read. I'm glad we get to share those special moments reading together and that they allow for more special moments when we get to share a secret that others might not fully understand.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Submitted to, and included in, Carnival of Homeschooling #253

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, October 04, 2010

Wanna win some Fudge?

Check out the Happy Birthday contest at DownLoad N Go.   There are a number of different ways to get your name in for the draw.  Be sure to check it out.

While you're there, check out DownLoad N Go.  It's a great idea by Amanda Bennett, unit study queen.  I attended a webinar presentation by Amanda tonight and she said that DownLoad N Go takes unit studies to the next level.  These are downloadable unit studies complete with web links to helpful resources.  They look very interesting!

Friday, October 01, 2010

I completed the 90 Day Challenge with One Day to Spare!

I learned about Amy's, from Mom's Toolbox,  Bible in 90 Days Summer 2010 Challenge the very day that it started, July 5, 2010.  You can read my post about joining the Bible in 90 Days Challenge by clicking on the words.  I seriously wondered if I could do it, but I completed the challenge today, with one day to spare!  I actually read the whole Bible through in 89 days!  I still find it hard to believe.

I truly loved this experience and I will be doing it again.  Actually, Amy is starting another challenge January the 3rd.  If you are at all  interested or curious about it, be sure to check it out.  I challenge you to take the challenge yourself.

There were over 600 people that signed up to take Amy's challenge.  As people report in about finishing she is adding their names under the Bible in 90 Days Summer 2010 Grads list on her blog.  It is amazing to think that so many of us did this together.

I have to say, that I am proud of all those that took on the challenge, even if they didn't finish.  Sometimes life gets in the way of your plans and you don't get to do the things that you really want to do, but you shouldn't let that get you down.  The time that you did take to read your Bible was profitable and I'm sure it helped you grow in ways you may not even realize.  If you happen to be someone that took the challenge but didn't complete it, chin up, don't get down on yourself.