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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Last Week of Summer Vacation!

Well it is our last week of Summer Vacation, and so far Isaac has avoided us. While I am relieved we still can get inundated with water once Isaac makes landfall, which is now a Cat 1 Hurricane. I grew up in upstate NY, and we would dread blizzards and snowstorms. A snowstorm, even a blizzard doesn't have anything on a hurricane. Even inland, where we live, the effects can be devastating from flooding and tornadoes. I never had a blizzard destroy my home, but you only need one tornado to destroy everything you own. It can be heartbreaking. We had a lot of rain, and flooding, from TS Debbie at the end of June. So, too much water will be devastating to this area. On a good note Isaac will be bringing much needed rain to some severe drought areas out West, so at least that is good. Prayers to everyone in the path of Isaac. Be safe and be smart!

I am looking forward to the new school year, and sharing all our adventures in learning with all of you. How are you spending the end of Summer?



Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Hunger Games and Isaac

We are expecting a large TS or Hurricane, named Isaac, on Monday and Tuesday. Last week we were inundated with rain, from a Tropical low that was way over by Mexico. We are saturated, and any amount of rain is going to cause flooding. So, we are preparing for possible flooding, and the probability is good we will lose power at least for a while. It is moving a little bit more to the west, but it is still so far away, that you really have to pay close attention.

On Friday, my husband and I, watched The Hunger Games. This is not a movie I enjoyed, nor will I watch or read anything more about it. I have no idea what redeemable qualities anyone thinks a teenager would get from this movie. After ten minutes I was ill, and wanted to turn it off. I think if you are an adult and you enjoy this kind of stuff, awesome, but my kids won't read it or see it anytime soon. I really really disliked this storyline. I won't give away too much, but lets just say it was barbaric like dog fighting. Since I don't promote dog fighting, neither will I promote The Hunger Games. I really can't believe how many people actually loved and enjoyed this set of books.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Learning With Flashcards

Yes, flashcards are monotonous and can be boring. But, I find for the best way to remember things, repetition is best. That is how I learned to spell, multiplication and division tables, muscles and bones of the body. Through repetition and memorization. We have some of the Hot Dot things shown below. My kids seem to like them, but I find them kind of expensive and not necessary to have such fancy flashcards. I did find a website that I love, and it is FREE, braineos. I did the ones for the Periodic Table, and even today at age 43, I only got a couple wrong. I still remember them after all these years, and no I am not a Chemist. Repetition works even if others don't like it or want to use it.





Saturday, August 18, 2012

4H Awards Banquet

This is the end of our second year of 4H. Each year the county 4H director throws an awards banquet for the kids and their families. You can get awards for many different things. Portfolios, activity books, years in 4H and officers. DJ is an officer, but not county officer, just for our group. So he will get his officer pin at our group dinner probably in September. Both kids did awesome this year, with DJ getting a silver award for his portfolio and a trophy for getting a perfect score on his Entomology book. This next year DJ will be doing Photography book 3, and either Entomology 2 or Bee Keeping. Caitlin is doing a rabbit book and then in the Spring will start her butterfly book. Caitlin is no longer a Cloverbud, so now she is excited to be able to get placement ribbons, rather than just a green one. DJ's scrapbook came in 3rd place, and Caitlin got a 100 on her small animals book and got a special ribbon for that. As a group this next year, the kids will be studying First Aid. I have been asked to assist in this, and I have volunteered DJ as well, as he has did a First Aid class. Should be an awesome year.







Monday, August 13, 2012

Clearwater

I don't swim in the ocean. Matter of fact in the Summer we don't go anywhere near an ocean, because you need to be able to cool off. The parts of the ocean that are near us, is dirty water and you can't see in the water what might or might not be there. It is usually full of seaweed as well. I don't like walking where I can't see. The only thing Grandpa Ed really wanted to do, was visit the ocean again. Since he lived briefly in Tampa, FL 36 years ago, he wanted to see his old house and go to Clearwater beach. So, that is what we did. I have to tell you, Clearwater is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been on. The water is so clear you can definitely see right down to the sand underneath you. The only issue was it was so hot, and the water so warm, you didn't really ever cool off. We stayed only 2 hours, and good thing because we would have been burnt for sure even with sunscreen. Dinner after was awesome as well. If you ever get a chance to visit Clearwater, I can not recommend it enough. We will definitely go back. I hope you enjoy the images. It never did rain, until the day Grandpa Ed had to go back to NY. Thank you Mother Nature!















Saturday, August 11, 2012

Awesome Mini Vacation

We just got done with the best mini vacation, ever! Grandpa Ed, who happens to be my father in law, came in from NY on Wednesday until today. I never really got to know him real well. Even though Craig and I have been together 10 years, I was pregnant and ornery, then we moved to FL right after Caitlin came along, so I never got to get close to him. This week I learned what a laid back, loving father and grandfather he really is. We had so much fun and enjoyed his company so much, it was sad to see him go. We went to the ocean, the springs, and just swam and enjoyed each other right at our house. He was here six years ago, to be Craig's best man, when we got married, and that was the last time we got to see him. They were only here that one day, and they flew back out. They have a small farm, so it is hard to travel, and of course we have dogs and kids which makes travel expensive as well. However, I told Craig we are not getting younger, his family is not getting younger, we need to just save and at least every other year head to NY for some family time. We are planning on going next Fall, so I am happy about that. Now I have to get all the laundry done and the house cleaned, and pay some bills, LOL! I hope everyone had an amazing week. I will load more pictures on the next blog post.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Free Flashcards at Sudy Stack

Anyone who knows this blog, knows that I spend Summer doing Spring cleaning of my house, my homeschool supplies, and everything else. This blog is due for some Spring cleaning matter of fact. Anyways, one of the new websites I found this Summer, is Study Stack. Now, I have only tried it briefly, but my kids like to learn in a variety of ways. Usually, on Friday they get to play games and other avenues of learning. Since the computer is super important to them, they would prefer those games be online. Study Stack is not really a game, but an online flashcard generator for all subjects, even foreign language. I love flashcards, because they repeat things over and over, and that is the best way to retain information. So, my kids will definitely be giving this website a try. There is another one, I like too, but for some reason the site is down, so I can not share it yet.



Friday, August 3, 2012

Tropical Waves, Tropical Storns, and Inlaws, Oh MY!

Of course it has been hotter than the blazes here. It is August after all. For some strange reason my FIL picked August, the worst month to visit Florida, to come for a vacation. We are very excited he is coming, been six years since we saw him, but now I am honestly stressing a bit. Who wants to sit in a house with possibly no power, no air conditioning, and torrential rain everyday. Welcome to the Sunshine State! It is August, and that is when the Tropics really heat up in August. There is a tropical wave sitting over south Florida, that promises a very wet weekend. We do need rain, but some areas flooded very badly with the last system, and I feel bad for them. Then next Wednesday, just as FIL is set to arrive in Florida, the Tropical Storm or worse Hurricane Ernesto will be approaching the Gulf. Since we live on the Gulf side, this would really suck. We still have a ways to go, so I can hope that it steers to the left, over towards Texas where they really need rain even more than we do. Of course I will pray that it just peeters out all together. I am not optimistic though. What are your plans for the weekend? I hope your weather is nicer than ours is going to be.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vistas In Reading Literature

This book, Vistas in Reading Literature, will be the book I use for 7th grade reading and comprehension. I like this particular book because not only does DJ have to read and understand, but there are a lot of writing type activities to go with each short story. Along with vocabulary and grammar, this book is a nice complete little book. Because DJ reads other books, for which he is responsible to do book reports on, this book could easily be a two year curriculum. The one we used last year, I thought we liked, but it ended up not being user friendly. Also, because I really dislike just textbook learning, I have discovered tons of new sights, a few really good ones, that I have now included in the kid's curriculum for next year. We have a big year planned, I hope I can work it all in. If not, we carry over to the next year. I try not to stress the small stuff. The book shown is the silver level, 7th grade is the red level. There are red level books available at Amazon, but they didn't have an image, so I used this one for the image.


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