Monday, March 19, 2012

Simple Woman’s Daybook:







March 19, 2012

Outside my window... 
It is super crazy nice! I mean last week it was snowing… this week it is in the 70’s! That is Maine for ya! NUTS!


I am thinking...

Wow, do I have a lot to do today.. Need to get out and prune my raspberries, and blueberry bushes today, and clean out the chicken coop..

I am thankful for...  
This beautiful weather to get me back to my happy place. I need the sun, and be able to enjoy it! Smile 

From the learning rooms... 
We have been doing our regular stuff, and we are doing science with a friend each week (right now learning about weather)… Started our Geography study.. worked on Alabama last week.. Go to our blog
The Monkey School (promise to update it this week)

From the kitchen... 
We are having chicken taco’s! Yummy!!!

I am wearing... 
Jeans (thought about capris', but I’m still sick), t-shirt, and my sneakers, cause its still muddy out. (Flip flops coming out soon!!)

I am creating...

A new space downstairs… we are going to start sealing the floors this week, and then we can start on walls! YAY!

I am going...
Looking to plan some hiking trips soon. I hope to keep the kids really busy this summer, and enjoy the weather! I’m so anxious!

I am reading...
The second book in a new series I’m reading by Sheryl Woods .. Really good, if you like Debbie MaComber you will like her.

I am hoping...
That this nasty cough will go away soon, so I can feel 100% better.

I am hearing...  
My son digging through Lego’s…

Around the house... 
Spring cleaning to be started! Can’t wait!

One of my favorite things...

A few plans for the rest of the week:  
Not to much, No Scouts for us this week, Eye Appt, Cleaning up the yard, building some new garden beds, and composting bins, sealing the basement floor, enjoying the gorgeous weather, and some walks!!!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...



Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal:









In my life this week… 

Wow, this week has been like a whirlwind. We had a busy day of Scouts on  Monday…

Tuesday I helped my dad, and got some groceries…

Wednesday we cleaned and packaged up the 50lbs of meat I bought…

Thursday we chilled at home, I wasn’t feeling that well…

Friday we had another busy day… Science with a friend, and a Birthday Party….

Yesterday we spent enjoying the beautiful weather!!!

In our homeschool this week…

We learned our normal grammar, spelling, math, and art..

History we are on China..

Science, we made a Anemometer (pic’s to come on our Homeschool blog here)

Geography we learned all about Alabama.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Take the things that you can, and make them fun… Don’t be the old boring teacher that just gives out the instructions. This makes it more engaging for both you and the child. Smile 

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week… I’m not sure.

The weather is going to be BEAUTIFUL, so we will be busy I’m sure.

Probably a playdate or 2, our weekly science day… and maybe a hike, if I can get it planned!

My favorite thing this week was…

Yesterday.. My kids were so good, and we just had so much fun working together. It was wonderful!

What’s working/not working for us…

The weather… We are so excited it is getting better. That means our fun trips to do school outside at the park, or a cool field trip. We love the spring, summer, and fall to do school anywhere but inside!

Questions/thoughts I have…

Are their any of you out there that just pull together your own lessons all the time? Do you find it easier or harder than following a premade curriculum??

Things I’m working on…

We are getting ready to seal the basement, now that the weather is getting warmer, and put walls up. Can’t wait!

I’m reading…

The second book in a series I’m reading by Sheryl Woods. I just started reading hers, and like her!

I’m cooking…

Tonight is either going to be leftovers, or Chicken Taco’s. I haven’t really decided yet.

I’m grateful for…

The freedom I have to teach my kids the way I see fit, and that we can spend our days (while they may not always be the best days) together. To know that we love each other unconditionally. To learn from each other and grow to be a better person.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Family is the most important thing in the world.
Princess Diana

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beautiful Saturday…



The weather is finally starting to come around.. Oh doesn’t that make me extremely happy!

Spring is one of my favorite seasons. I love it!!! I need to get my camera out, and start taking some pictures again. I have been slacking lately big time. (not good)

We were outside most of the day today. I dropped Little Monkey off at a Girl Scout Event. They learned about recycling, and picked up the grounds of the place they meet at. Then planted some flowers. She had a blast!

I came home, and the rest of us went to work pruning our fruit trees. This is suppose to be done Feb/March.. But with the crazy weather we have been having I was hoping it wasn’t to late. We have a total of 7 trees we prune. Got them all done yesterday, and they look lovely, if I do say so myself. Smile 



Since the weather is suppose to continue, I’m hoping to get the raspberry and blueberry bushes done on Monday.

I can’t wait til I can start planting in my garden. I have a plan all made out, and even started some of our seedlings. (my dad has a greenhouse, that I put them in)


Later in the afternoon we picked up Little Monkey, and headed to the library. Picked up daddy from work, and headed home for our St. Patty’s Day feast! I made Cornbeef, Cabbage, Carrots and potatoes. YUM!

It was truly a great day, to remind us that spring is coming.

What fun things did you do?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why, I have not been writing as much this month…



One of my commitments is being a Girl Scout Leader, which I’m sure you have heard me talk about a few times (or more).

Well that generally means for the whole month of March, I’m running around like a crazy lady, trying to find where I left my brain behind. LOL!

Why you ask??! Well, its cookie month. Which for me means, dropping off cookies, counting cookies, picking up more cookies, and becoming a cookie! Yup, lots of cookies in there. Winking smile 

Please we are doing a bit of this…


Oh, and did I mention beyond being a leader, I also have another girl in another troop! Which means twice the running around.. (luckily this year they did not do a cookie booth)

So, forgive me, but I will be better about getting posts up after this month. Don’t forget to support your local Girl Scout Troop, and eat some yummy cookies!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

TOS Review: Progeny Press Literature Guide






Progeny Press makes learning Literature a bit easier. They break down the story for you, and puts it in this handy little Study Guide.

They have 100’s of Literature Guides to choose from, and they come in 4 different levels. Starting with Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, and all the way up to High School.




We decided to go with “The Bronze Bow”. Not a story I had heard of before, but it is about Romans and Monkey Man is really big into Ancient History.  He was a bit skeptical at first.

Then I got him to try it. He read the first couple chapters with ease. I stopped him every couple chapters, since the study guide is broken down into every few chapters as well.

It went better than I expected. He loved that the review of the chapters had fun activities to go along with it. Here is an example of one..




For the Bronze Bow study guide it covered lots of information. They go over vocabulary, some multiple choice questions, and then it does a series of short answer. Occasionally throwing in a few opinion based questions. They suggest reading the book in the first week you start this. For Monkey Man, reading this book in one week was just not going to happen. So, we decided to try it by reading a few chapters at a time, and then go over the corresponding section of the Study Guide. 




Now while my son reads at a 8th Grade level, doesn’t mean that I always believe he is getting all the information out of a book that he should be. This helps me to see the areas we need to work on to strengthen.. and to see what kinds of things interest him, and he can retain the info.




Buying Progeny Press Literature Guides:

If you are not sure whether a book is in their grade level, they have all their books broken down by grade. Or if you click on the one you think you are interested in, it will tell you which grades it is appropriate for. Along with a bit about the book.

Some are done only by Email PDF which are $16.99

Booklet : $18.99

CD: $16.99
CD & Booklet: $23.99

Our Thoughts:

Monkey Man, really enjoyed what we have gotten through so far, and hope to finish up the rest of our book in the next couple weeks. He really likes that it gives you activities to go along with your reading.

From a parents point of view… I really enjoy the way it is laid out. I like that it breaks it down by chapters. Love that it gives them short answers, so they can give what they think are happening in the story. (Giving them a chance to learn how to interpret what an Author is thinking) I absolutely think this is a company we will be utilizing more in the future.. especially since my kids love to read. There is such a great selection to chose from!


See what the rest of the TOS CREW has to say!!


* We were given an Email copy of “The Bronze Bow” in exchange for our honest opinion, as part of the TOS CREW.  Opinions are 100% mine or my monkeys.

Wednesday Hodgepodge….







1. St. Patrick's Day will be celebrated this coming Saturday...what's a favorite article of clothing you own that contains a touch o' the green?

I have a t-shirt that is a bright lime green. Yup, I love lime green! Smile 

2. What's a favorite 'green space' in the town, state, or province where you live?

I really haven’t thought about it I guess.. Going to need to research this a bit more.

3. Do you wish you were taller, shorter, or think you're just about right in the height department?

I think I’m just about right. I always used to wish I was taller, but I think I’m good. Smile 

4. What's the surest way for someone to pick a fight with you?

To just be in my face, or to bring my kids into it.  I can get really mean.

5. Broccoli-Spinach-String Beans-Peas...of the four, your favorite green veg? (Or the one you dislike the least if that first option's too hard. I just know there's some veggie haters out there.)

Oh, that is hard… I love all four!!! Peas are my first, Broccoli second, string beans third, and spinach four, if I have to choose!

6. March is National Women's History Month...besides friends, neighbors and the women you're related to, who's a woman in history you admire and why?

OH my! I was not ready for this question. I would have to say… that I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about. Another one, I’m going to have to do my research and get back to you!

7. Keep Calm and ____________on.

You fill in the blank.

Carry on

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Do any of you have any special plans for St.Patty’s Day? Is this a special occasion that is celebrated by your family?

We don’t celebrate it for any special reason, but like many things.. In spirit of teaching my kids about history, we do. I like to talk about the holiday, and then we usually celebrate with green foods, and for dinner we have Corn Beef, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Yum!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Simple Woman’s Daybook









March 12, 2012

Outside my window...

Oh it is so beautiful! It was 63 degree’s. Had my car windows down, and music cranked! Love SPRING!

I am thinking...

Wow, 100 years ago today they started Girl Scouts, and its still going strong. Juliette Low would be so proud!

I am thankful for... 

Girl Scouts… It’s a great place for girls to grow, learn, and become strong. There are so many wonderful opportunities for them.. And I am proud to be a leader!

From the learning rooms...

Today we finished up some things we didn’t get done on Friday.. and did our grammar, spelling, and geography. We are going to have a blast with this States study we are doing! I can’t wait to finish it. Smile 

To see more check out our blog here.

From the kitchen... 

We are having cracker chicken, mac and cheese, and cabbage.

I am wearing... 

Jeans, and my new blue shirt. I would have worn my flip flops (But the mud is to bad in my driveway)

I am creating... 

Some plans for our girl scouts… Looking for some fun activities to do with them!

I am going...

To go celebrate 100th year birthday with my girls!

I am reading...

Nothing right now, just finished my book need to order a new one.

I am hoping...

That the weather stays beautiful so we can go to the playground!

I am hearing...  

My kids chatting over there lunch.

Around the house... 

I have laundry to do, dishes, and sweeping.

One of my favorite things...

Visiting my dad.. I don’t see him often, so its nice to be able to visit him..

A few plans for the rest of the week: 

Cub Scouts, Dentist appt, grocery shopping, play date, birthday party, girl scout event, and who knows what else.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

An old one with Monkey Man and his favorite chicken “Red Neck”.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal








In my life this week…

This week we have been pretty busy…

Monday I unloaded 1200 cases of cookies…

Tuesday & Wednesday I was sick…

Thursday, I finally gave in and went to the ER, I had bronchitis (Blah) ….

Friday we had our weekly History/Science Class with friends, and visited my SIL….

Saturday was the Pinewood Derby for Monkey Man, which I posted about..


In our homeschool this week…

In our schoolroom we have been busy puttering around. We have been doing really good keeping up with our normal studies..

Having fun with Math, Spelling, Grammar, and History..

Then we have been having fun with geography (along with our postcard swap)

Science .. we have been meeting up with friends and doing weekly studies.

If you would like to hear more about what we are learning, come by our school blog… HERE.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Tips to share… Hmmm… Embrace the time you have with your kids. I find even when I’m in the schoolroom learning and making learning fun with them, it makes for such a better day. If they sense you being tense and stressing it makes for such a longer day.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week, we have Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Doc appt, Play Date, Library, (maybe the playground, its suppose to be in the 50’s!!), and science class.

My favorite thing this week was…

Oh, that is a hard one.. I think it is a toss up with science class with friends, and the Pinewood Derby. Monkey Man did so good, and was so excited!

What’s working/not working for us…

Our schedule is not working for us lately.. I need to tweak it bit. Hubby’s schedule is throwing us off, but we are doing pretty well just going with it. Can’t wait for the weather to get better!

Questions/thoughts I have…

I’m super bummed, just realized the day of our big curriculum sale here, is the same day I have plans for something else I need to be at. Stinks that I can’t clone myself to be in two places. LOL

Things I’m working on…

Putting together some really fun hiking trips with the kids this spring/summer. I really want to get outside more this year and enjoy the weather. I would also like to do them with a few friends, so we have more fun.


I’m reading…

I started a new series by Sheryl Woods and am really enjoying her.

I’m cooking…

Tonight we are having Homemade Pizza.. YUM!!

I’m grateful for…

Friends, that like to teach together.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Still can’t believe my baby is 7!!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

On your mark, get set, GO!!!



Where are we racing off too?? Pinewood Derby of course!

Yup, its that time of year again… Monkey Man, has been working on his car. Not as well as I think he should have been (got his dad’s procrastination).

I love this time of year, cause he just amazes with what he comes up with for design. One year it was a pirate ship, another year he did a car… Last year he wanted a crocodile, but we couldn’t get it to work right… and this year. He came up with a sword. Not any old sword, a Greek sword.

Here it is in the process of being painted…



The funny thing was, he was like I don’t need weights on my car. When we asked why, he says, cause I don’t care if it races well, I’m only going for design. We convinced him he should at least try to race… so we put weights on.

The big day arrived today… and after we got weighed in and everything we sat and waited for the racing to begin.

First all the boys went up and voted on best of show. That was killer waiting til the very end to know how everyone voted. He was on pins and needles, and so was I. Winking smile 



Then let the racing begin. He was second up, and he put his car up their with no care in the world.. Watched it go down, and low and behold he won the race! This happens 3 more times! He is just amazed! He says to me, mom, I don’t know how this happened, all I wanted to do was win design, but I am actually WINNING! It was hilarious!

He was first up in the first round of finals.. he didn’t win, but was happy to make it there. We figured it out, that he came in 5th overall.. (which out of 28 boys isn’t shabby) I am very proud of him!

Next up came the announcement of winners, the part we had all been waiting for. Did he get design?? The pressure was on… And he did it! He won Best of Show for the Weeblo Den!!! Way to go Monkey Man!

I’m very proud of him..




He had a great time, and so did we. Another great year… and great accomplishments!


Here is to next year! I’m sure he is starting to think of a new design already… I’m anxious to see what it is.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Simple Woman’s Daybook:








March 5, 2012

Outside my window...
It is spitting snow, but looks to be fairly nice. I a bit chilly out I think though.

I am thinking...
I need to hurry up and get my butt moving, got cookies to unload today!

I am thankful for... 
My mom’s help, or half my stuff would probably never get done in a day. She is amazing!!!

From the learning rooms...
Today they are working on spelling, and grammar, and geography! To see more about our days… Go to our blog The Monkey School

From the kitchen... 
We are having Italians today… YUM! I love Italian sandwiches, how about you? This is our quick and easy meal, cause we have cub scouts tonight, and I will be gone all day!

I am wearing... 
Jeans, long sleeve shirt, and a sweatshirt, where I’m going to be today is COLD!!!

I am creating... 
The days lessons, and laying them out, so Hubby can take over the day for me while I’m gone.

I am going...
To be unloading, and sorting cookies!

I am reading...
A new book in the Angel’s Series by Debbie MaComber!

I am hoping...
To not get whatever it is that I’m trying to come down with.

I am hearing...  
My kids fighting over a toy, oh the joys of the morning! Smile 

Around the house... 
Not to much to do, did most of it this weekend.

One of my favorite things...
Spending time with my family!

A few plans for the rest of the week: 
Cub Scouts, pick up my dad, and play date, Pinewood Derby this weekend!
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Nothing today.. I’m picture list, need to upload.. Get on that later this week!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Homeschooling Mother’s Journal:








In my life this week…

We have been busy with lots of stuff…

Learned about Fast food nutrition at 4H…

visited my stepmom, and planted seeds in the greenhouse…

had a lazy day of games, and sundaes, during a snow storm..

had a play date, and visited with a friend….

In our homeschool this week…

This week, we started back to school after our 2 week vacation.

We learned math, spelling, grammar…

Finished up mummifying our chicken…

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Bring in the fun things.. helps learning be more hands on, and enjoyable.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week, we have Cub Scouts, might make another trip to see my stepmom, and we have our weekly history/science class with friends. Smile 

My favorite thing this week was…

Mummifying the chicken.. Yup, I’m weird. The kids thought it was so gross, and I thought it was pretty cool!

What’s working/not working for us…

Meeting with friends one day a week, to do some history and/or science. It gets the kids more involved, and its always more fun to have company right??!

Questions/thoughts I have…

This is going to be a great 10 wks. I think we are finally getting in the swing of things. Homeschooling is so much easier after the first year! LOL!

Things I’m working on…

We are working on a long states study.. I have mingled a few things together, so this may take us awhile to finish, but getting the postcards from each state is certainly keeping the fun in it!

I’m reading…

The next book in the Angels series of Debbie MaComber

I’m cooking…

We are having beef in gravy over mashed potatoes, with spinach today… YUM!

I’m grateful for…

Having great friends, that like to get together and do school stuff with us, and our amazing 4H group, and everyone else that helps me in anyway!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

None today… I will be sure to get our chicken pictures up soon though!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TOS Review: K5 Learning






What is K5 Learning? Well, just as the name states, it is an online learning site geared towards children in K thru 5th grade. It works on improving Math, Spelling, and Reading skills.

About K5 Learning:

It is designed mostly for supplementing for after school, or during the summer. It bases your child’s lessons on what grade your child is in, or by an assessment if you need one to know where to place your child. Another good aspect is that parents can make assignments for their children.


Subjects it covers:

  • Reading: 5 levels are approached. Phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.
  • Math: 3 math skills levels are worked on. Numbers & Operations, geometry, and measurement.



  • Spelling:  Is done by grade level. Or you can add them, and use your own spelling words.  Another option available, is to put them in a another language to learn.

What Middle Monkey thought:

We have tried a few different online learning sites this year. This one was a bit better than some of them, however, I’m not sure if she was just bored with them, or what. She was not a huge fan of this site. She said it was cool with the graphic’s, and colors, but she really just didn’t seem that into it.

My thoughts:

As a parent, I think if your child was struggling in any of these areas, they would be good to try. The setup is nice, and I like that they send you a report to keep you updated with how your child is progressing.

I also think that it is unique above the rest, since you can change the assignments, and tweak the spelling lists.

Would I pay the cost for it? I would have to be honest and say, no I don’t think that I would. Unless my child was struggling a lot.



For Monthly:

First Child- $25
Additional Children- $15

Annual Subscription:

Frist Child- $199
Additional Children- $129

You can go here, and get a free 2 week trial.

Want to see what the rest of the TOS Crew is saying?

*We were given a 3 month trial in exchange for our honest review as part of the TOS Crew. All opinions are 100% mine and my monkeys.