Tuesday, July 30, 2013

George Washington's Rules - #9

George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior, Rule #9 and its translation:

 9thSpit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it.

This one seems fairly straight-forward:
  • Don't spit in the fire;
  • Don't squat in front of the fire;
  • Don't put your hands into the flames to warm them;
  • Don't put your feet up to the fire, especially if there is meat cooking at the fire.
These are all such common sense for me as an adult (except the one about squatting). But George Washington originally came up with these rules when he was, I think, ten, and I guess there are just some things that need to be spelled out when you are a ten year old boy.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Old Schoolhouse Expo Special Event

In the state in which I live, the annual homeschool "conference" is only the equivalent of the "Vendor Hall" in other states. There is a county's fair grounds buildings, and the vendors occupy many buildings, and it is fun to get out and buy new things, ...but ...I miss my annual Homeschool Convention from my previous state (Colorado). Oh, the days of schedules, different speakers to listen to, gleaning from the wisdom of others. Taking notes, notes, notes; chatting with other homeschoolers about my successes, failures and frustrations. I miss it. I could attend one in a bordering state, ...if I had hundreds of dollars to spare for the gas and hotel room... 

The alternative I have learned about in the past is to sign up for a "Homeschool Convention" that comes right to me in my home! I can participate via my laptop, sitting in my recliner, or I can withdraw to the quiet, remote downstairs family room and listen via headphones while my kids enjoy their summer activities upstairs. (Well, my kid. He's 13.) There are different providers who make this type of event possible, and I've been frustrated when they hit in September, or December, or February... Um... I'm trying to homeschool here. I don't usually take one week breaks during those months. They provide recordings as well, but if I don't listen to it when it happens, it usually just becomes an mp3 file in storage on my computer that I never revisit. 

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is planning just such an event, and they are planning it in... are you ready for it? They are planning it for the month of August! What a great idea! The Schoolhouse Expo is coming up the week of August 19 - 23, 2013.  Sessions will be live online from 1:00 pm until 8:00 pm EST, and the recordings will be available later. Like a state convention, there will be different speakers at different time slots, but unlike a state convention the recordings of the sessions you miss are given to you as part of your entrance fee. And, unlike a state conference, all this comes to you for one low price of $24. And you don't have to pay for gas or a hotel!

This hits at a very good time for my calendar, and I plan to "attend" as many sessions as I can. I still have a busy schedule, though, even though it is summer, so I am glad I can listen later to the recordings of the sessions I can't catch when my son is at the dentist, etc.

Here are some contributing speakers:
And guess what! I get to give away a ticket!

If you want to be eligible for a ticket, please leave one comment below. I will select the winner using a randomizing number selector. This ticket gets given away... I'm not sure when. They didn't tell me. So leave your comment. I'll send out a reminder next week, too, and hopefully by then I'll know when the ticket gets given away.

**********DISCLAIMER:  I get to receive one ticket to attend this event free of charge in exchange for announcing this event to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Think Back Thursday - Extended Family

For today's Think Back Thursday we are focusing on "Extended Family". Being the geneology snoop that I am, I will delve back into years past and post geneology information. I don't have much time to dig up photos, so I'll do the best I can with what I've got.

In looking at what I've posted in the past, I've decided to focus on my mother's family today. My mother was descended from the Efraimson family (Pahlavalehto family, where John was Efraim's son and became Efraimson). My mother's parents were Ted (Theodore) and Esther Holien. I don't have a "couple" photo of them, or even a photo of my grandfather at all. He died when my mother was nine. If/when I find one in the future I'll try to get it posted.

Esther was the one from the Efraimson clan (pictured below, center). 

She was firstborn to Alfred and Emma Efraimson, first child of 12.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Picaboo Yearbooks - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review


Have you heard about Picaboo Yearbooks? I just learned about them this year, AND I got to receive a 20 Page Softcover Yearbook for free so that I could do a review. Now you get to learn about Picaboo Yearbooks from me, personally, and you can go check them out at their page!
I have three "children". (Why the quotes?

George Washington's Rules #8

Sorry I missed a couple of weeks. Here is Rule #8 and it's translation:

 8thAt Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.

In other words, If you are playing a game (thinking something like Ping Pong, Volley Ball, Croquet, where only so many people can play) or warming yourself at the fire and someone arrives after you, it is good manners to step back and let them play the next game, or warm themselves at the fire, and speak civilly to them or in their presence.

My sense is that this was a rule for showing class and politeness even in the presence of one's "enemy", or someone whose company you did not like or did not prefer. This shows you to be a noble man of character. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Menu Monday for 7/22/13

Here's my vegan/carni menu plan for the week. This week leans slightly more vegan than last.

Barbecued chicken (Quorn faux chicken patty); corn on the cob; Brussels Sprouts

Asparagus Soup, salad, Wasa crisp bread
Warm white bean salad, Wasa crisp bread

Steak subs (portabello mushroom/onion sub - skip the cheese), cole slaw (salad)

Chicken broccoli farfalle (whole wheat broccoli farfalle with faux chicken or beans)
 Garlic Chicken Farfalle with Broccoli
Sloppy Joes on roll (California veggie burger on whole wheat flat), carrots 

Stuffed baked potatoes (topped with broccoli, veggie canned chili)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Homeschool Mother's Journal

This week in our home school we have been working on America the Beautiful, by Notgrass. My son is actually starting to own his own work with this program. He doesn't do it perfectly, skipping some assignments, but it is a huge improvement.
America the Beautiful Curriculum Package
 We are at about Lesson 6 or 7 right now. At Lesson 5 there was a fun assignment to build a longhouse using toothpicks and gumdrops. We didn't do it. I wasn't prepared. So I'm looking ahead this time to try to be ready for the next hands-on or.

We're gearing up for Boy Scout Camp... very soon... so the school books will have to rest for that week for other very good endeavors for my son.

I've also been decluttering my house. JD baked and iced a golden layer cake, chocolate buttercream frosting, which went into the freezer in preparation for County Fair. Wednesday night he finished up an electric project at 4-H which he will enter at the fair.

Thursday he was supposed to have a Boy Scout get together to work on Astronomy Merit Badge, but clouds moved through and it was cancelled. Then the clouds left and we looked at the crisp clear sky and sighed.

Friday JD had an orthodontist appointment. His treatment plan was laid out, and he goes back in a few weeks for spacers, then a couple of weeks later for a palatal expander.

JD worked at the fairgrounds yesterday to help get it ready for Fair days. And that was our week.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

25 Truths: A TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

Ed Douglas is a Christian man in his sixties. He has (and continues to) lived a "successful" life. He has been very successful in the banking industry, and he has been very involved in mentoring youth and young adults through volunteerism, coaching, and motivational speaking. He was encouraged by a friend to

Coming Soon in our life...

Coming soon: Boy Scout Camp  - Camp Liberty !

J-Boy is a Boy Scout. One day he hopes to make Eagle. This summer he will go to camp. I think it will be great!
And, actually, I'm going too. I'll be an adult volunteer. I'll try to take good photos! 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Badge of Honor: A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

In early June I learned that Susan Marlow and Kregel Publications would be sending my son and I a copy of Badge of Honor to read and review. My son was looking forward to this book. We had just returned from a trip to Arizona, and he had Gold Fever!

As we began working our way through the book, my biggest challenge was keeping my son on track. He didn't want to read about hunting for gold; he wanted to hunt for gold!

Badge of Honor is the first book in a new children's series called "Goldtown Adventures", written for children ages 9-12. It is set in 1864, near the end of the California Gold Rush. Gem and Ellie are brother and sister. They like to hunt for gold on their claim on Cripple Creek

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kindle Book GIVEAWAY 7/15-7/17/13

Excellent Kindle book giveaway Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday! (I started this post Monday but got distracted, so it didn't get posted.) If you don't own a Kindle, you can get a free Kindle app for your computer to read kindle books there.

King Phillip's War

Finn and Ginny's mother and father are missing, having gotten lost in time. They probably thought the time machine was a TV remote, but however it happened they are gone, and no one knows "when" and where they are.

Finn and Ginny searched for them once before in The Pilgrim Adventure, and they had agreed not to try it again. But so much time has gone by their resolve crumbles; they want their parents back. So, once again, when their aunt and uncle are both away from the farm for the day, Finn and Ginny hold hands and take a time travel to try to find Mom and Dad.

Something goes wrong! Ginny's hand slips, and Finn looses her! He can only assume she is in the same time, but she has ended up in a different place, and Finn doesn't know where. Their experience has taught them that they will land near someone they are distantly related to, but that doesn't help him a lot...

Download King Phillip's War and find out what happens to Finn and Ginny as they try to find each other in the middle of one of America's deadliest wars, the one that only gets a single paragraph in student history books.

There are also free study materials available at the author's website, here:


Susan Kilbride, the author, has also just finished her third book in this series, The Salem Adventure.  To learn more about this series, go to http://funtasticunitstudies.com/the-our-america-series/ and read all about it.

I will be writing a review separately about this book shortly.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Menu Monday for July 15, 2013


Here are this week's vegan/carni blended dinner plans for my family:

I have a date tonight to go out to dinner with my daughter, so I'm not planning dinner. Hubby is going to figure it out while he shops today.

Sweet Potato/Cauliflower Soup, salad, rolls 

Asian Chicken Salad (Use white beans as protein for the vegan portion of the salad)
salad recipes

4-H Meeting tonight. To make dinner fast and easy, the carnivores will each barbecue sandwiches from a prepared packaged tub of barbecue mix; side of coleslaw. The vegan choice will be marinated zucchini/chick pea salad, which will have been prepared Tuesday.

Tacos (quinoa tacos), refried beans, chips
Tri-color Quinoa and Greens Taco Filling

salmon, potatoes, Brussels sprouts (Quorn "chicken" patty)

Might be going to the baseball game and eating there. If eating at home: spaghetti, sauce, TX toast, salad

 Oatmeal Raisin Snack bars and Green Smoothies this week.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mayan Mysteries: A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

For many weeks now my son and I have been playing a new online game called Mayan Mysteries by Dig-It Games. For purposes of this review I received a 12-month on-line subscription to this game. 

Mayan Mysteries is an engaging game that draws your child into the efforts to solve a mystery about

What day is it today?

So what day do you suppose it is today?

Today is Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A! All you have to do is print out a "Cow Starter Kit" (you can find at above link) or create your own cow costume using fabric, and go to your local Chick-Fil-A! My son is working on it right now.

With a Cow face or head costume you get a sandwich. Throw on a tail, ears, nose, spots, and a sign that says "Eat More Chiken" and you get a full meal! How cool is that? (...except that I'm vegan...)

But we're headed there in a few minutes anyway. My son likes "chiken". So, thanks, Chick-Fil-A!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Guess What Today Is?

Heads up for you here -- today is 7/11 ... and today 7/11 is giving away one free 12 ounce Slurpee to anyone who wants one. Just sayin'...
I am told  the give-away is from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Menu Plan Monday for 7/8/13

Here is my vegan/carnivore blend menu plan for this week:

enchiladas (bean burritos), refried beans, chips, salad, yellow squash

lasagne rolls, salad, TX toast

chicken (faux chicken patty), rice (brown rice), broccoli

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches (kale quinoa salad)

Hamburgers (veggie burger) on rolls (whole grain flat) with green beans and baked beans

Salmon with potatoes (yam--my main dish, with leftover brown rice) and Brussels sprouts

chicken wraps (chickpea salad wraps)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Teaching the Classics - A Schoolhouse Crew Review

In May I learned that I would receive Teaching the Classics DVD course from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) to review. I received a four DVD set with a Teacher's and a 97-page soft-bound spiral book to go with it.
Teaching the Classics contains a four-DVD set created by Adam and Missy Andrews. The course teaches parents how to teach classic literature to their children of any age. It is also suitable to

Friday, July 5, 2013

Planning Ramblings on the Upcoming School Year

Homeschooling one student, and he's beginning 8th Grade. Here are my squishy plans for the upcoming year:

Regular Daily Bible Readings, memory work, and singing hymns;

Last year we were working on Horizons Pre-Algebra. We ended the year not having finished, and with my son not feeling he's got a good grasp on many of the aspects involved. So although I had already purchased Horizons Algebra (in April), I have now purchased MathUSee Pre-Algebra, which we will work on to see if we can get JD to a place where he feels like he understands square roots, graphs, plotting, solving equations and such, and ready to move on.

Plans are to use Apologia Physical Science, with supplementation from Supercharged Science (or vice versa).

Social Studies:
Planning to use Notgrass America the Beautiful, with its corresponding Geography component and a parallel literature component. (It has suggested readers, but we've read most of them.)

Language Arts:
Mushy-squishy... do I know the answer to this yet?... I'm not sure. I own much, and implement little. I'm needing to seriously implement a writing program; am considering IEW right now. I could implement the writing from Tapestry of Grace, to overlap with the Notgrass History topics...  I don't think I own an 8th Grade Grammar program, but I could use the 7th Grade program that I never used last year... His spelling doesn't need much work, but I own Kathryn Stout's Spelling, whatever its title is... His vocabulary is pretty good. I could do wonders for his vocabulary, spelling and grammar if I just got First Form Latin flowing better in his daily plans.

I plan to continue doing Artist Studies, corresponding with Ambleside Online's schedule, or whatever my whim dictates. There are artists that lived during the historical period we will be studying, and I do like to dove-tail our studies according to chronology.

Similar to Art plans, I will be following Ambleside Online's Composer Studies, but will also be taking our history studies into consideration to determine if there are composers I want to look at who were composing during the time-period we will be studying.

Physical Education:
I will be seeking to keep JD physically active throughout the year through a combination of Boy Scout activities, walking, hiking, biking, bowling, ice skating, and efforts to implement Family Time Fitness.

Yeah, my state requires that I teach this and document it. I do not think I own an 8th grade health program, so I'll have to see what I can put together.

JD's plans this year include Boy Scouts, 4-H, and being an LIT (Leader in Training) at Awanas.

We will be home schooling through the summer and taking the month of December off, so I need to be working on my lesson plans. Will let you know how things are going on this some time in the future.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Menu Monday for 7/1/13


My vegan/carni blend plan is more carni than vegan this week. I need to tighten up my discipline. Anyway, here's my week:

Birthday celebration for my daughter: brisket, mashed potatoes, green beans, followed by Nana's Carrot Cake. (I'll have to post the recipe another time.)

Relatives visiting from out of town. Original plans got bumped and we had Ledo's pizza and a tossed salad.

Plans were: barbecued chicken (faux chicken patty for me), rice (brown for me) and Brussels Sprouts. Now son ate early and had a can of chicken noodle soup, daughter is eating elsewhere, sister isn't eating with us, and we have 3 pounds of chicken to cook for just my hubby. ::sigh:: Guess we'll freeze it after we cook it.

Spaghetti (wheat) with sauce and meatballs (for the carnivores, faux meat for me); salad; TX toast (which I forgot to buy, so we may forgo)

Independence Day cookout planned - hot dogs and hamburgers (Amy's Quarter Pounders), potato and veggie salad, etc.

Going to a retreat center. Don't know what we're eating, but I don't have to cook it.

chicken broccoli farfalle, salad