Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our New Family Member---CHEWIE

Meet CHEWIE--she is soooo cute! She really likes her exercise wheel.

Zach has been wanting to get a pet for a while. The husband and I talked about it and told him he could either get a RAT or HAMSTER. We picked up a little black and white hamster today. Her name is CHEWIE. She was snoozing in the dinner bowl at the petstore when we saw her. Zach thinks she looks kind of like a cow (spots). She's settled in very well I think. Zach has been sneaking into the sewing room to pet her while I wasn't looking LOL. We plan on putting her in his room,but don't have a stand or extra table at the moment,so she's hanging out with me and the parrot in the sewing room/my office. Tinkerbelle has had her eyes on the new arrival all day. It's been funny to watch her watching Chewie! The husband texted me from work and said he's thinking about getting himself a RAT. I told him as long as he cleans it I didn't care. I swear he's still a 9 year old trapped in a 43 year old body LOL!


Merry Christmas---and Happy Holidays from our family to all of our readers....Peace.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Zachary is 9 years old today....if you want to read about his birth story check out my other blog.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Merry Christmas.......

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CHEESECAKES--Sweet Potato Pie----Dressing OH MY!

My son has been waiting days for me to make the pumpkin cheesecakes (or pumpkin pies) as he calls them. He loves them and this year I made an extra one. I have 3 pumpkin cheesecakes plus an experimental apple cheesecake in the fridge.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 graham cracker crust
8oz neufchatel cheese (softened at room temp)
1/2 cup sugar
dash pumpkin pie spice
8oz cool whip (room temp)
1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix

Mix all together well and pour into pie shell. Let chill in fridge until firm.

Apple Cheesecake

1 graham cracker crust
8oz neufchatel cheese (softened at room temp)
1/2 cup sugar
dash of apple pie spice
8oz cool whip (room temp)
1 cup of apple butter

Mix all together well and pour into pie shell. Let chill in fridge until firm.

Sweet Potato Pie

1 pound sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
heaping dash of cinnamon
heaping dash of nutmeg
2 unbaked pie crusts

***Heat oven to 375*F
Boil sweet potatoes (skins on) until they are "fork soft"---rinse in cold water and
remove skins--place in large mixing bowl--add in the other ingredients mixing well--pour into pie shells and bake for about 55-60mins.

***The original recipe called for other spices but I used these--the original recipe only made one pie--I guess I had heavier sweet potatoes. You can find the original recipe at ALL RECIPES.

My Family's Dressing Recipe

2 boxes jiffy cornbread muffin mix
a few boiled eggs (I used 5)
2-3 chopped apples
1 bag of dried cranberries
1 large onion diced
1-2 bunches of celery chopped (with leaves)
1 small roll of mild sausage
chicken stock (I used about 2 boxes)

***Heat oven to about 375*-400*F
boil,peel,and chop the eggs--add them into the muffin mix--add enough water to mix and bake until done---remove from oven and let cool----chop the apples,celery,and onion.--add the cranberries and apples to a large bowl--crumble in all of the baked cornbread----in large skillet saute the onion and celery until it is soft--add into the cornbread---mix it all together---in same skillet you cooked the celery/onions cook the sausage until it is done--drain well--crumble it into the cornbread---mix well----pour the dressing mixture into a baking pan and add chicken stock until it is moist---bake in oven until it is brown and bubbly (not burned)-might have to add more chicken stock to keep it from drying out.

**Usually my family adds chicken into the dressing,but this year I am trying something different. Instead of the box cornbread mixes,you can certainly use cornbread made from scratch-this is just easier for me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Apple Butter Cake

I found this recipe on a blog that I visit quite regularly-BLESS US O LORD. It looked so good I couldn't wait to try it. It has the kitchen smelling so UNBELIEVEABLY GOOD. I can't wait to slice into it! I kind of tweaked the recipe to fit what I had on hand,but if you want to look at the original recipe,check out the blog.

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups a/p flour
1 TSP baking soda
1 TSP baking powder
1/2 TSP salt
1 stick butter (softened)
1 cup sugar (splenda)
1 cup apple butter
1 TSP vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream

***Heat oven to 350*F
Spray a 9x13" baking pan (or a bundt pan like I used)---mix together the eggs,sugars,vanilla,butter and apple butter---add in the flour 1 cup at a time stirring between each cup---stir in the baking soda and the baking powder---stir in the sour cream---pour into pan and bake for about 40mins or until toothpick (or knife) comes out clean.


I originally saw this recipe in TASTE OF HOME magazine (another magazine I'm crazy about). It's originally for a raisin pound cake and I've made that and it's delicious,but I decided to try it with cranberries instead. Here's a link to the original recipe RAISIN POUND CAKE at TASTE OF HOME.

Cranberry Pound Cake

1 package of yellow cake mix (I used one with SPLENDA)
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
3 eggs
heaping dash of apple pie spice
1 package of dried cranberries

***Heat oven to 350*F
In a large bowl,combine cake mix,applesauce,water,oil,eggs,and apple pie spice--stir in the cranberries---Pour batter into 2 loaf pans sprayed with non-stick spray----bake for about 45-50mins or until toothpick (or knife) comes out clean.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cake

I saw this recipe in the October 2011 issue of ALL YOU magazine (love that magazine). If you want to check it out here's a link...... PUMPKIN-CHOCOLATE CHIP RECIPE at ALL YOU.

1 Stick of butter (melted & cooled)
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix)
1 TSP vanilla
1 TSP baking soda
1 TSP baking powder
1 TSP pumpkin pie spice (I added more)
1/2 TSP salt
1 3/4 cups a/p flour
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips (i used regular size)
1 cup nuts (optional)

**heat oven to 350*F Mist a baking pan with non-stick spray

Whisk together butter,sugar,eggs,pumpkin, and vanilla---stir in baking soda and baking powder and pumpkin pie spice----stir in 1/2 of the flour and milk just until combined---stir in the rest of the flour (don't over-mix)---stir in chocolate chips and pour into baking pan and bake for about 55-60mins or until toothpick (or knife) comes out clean--


a week of rest.......

We are taking a week of rest from our studies to celebrate THANKSGIVING and to enjoy some quiet time. We hope all of our homeschool and blogger friends have a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


And we do---quite regularly!!! We spend alot of time in our PJs when doing our home-studies. I saw these jammies a few days ago and just had to get them for my son. I thought they were so cute. I wasn't sure he would like them--a few weeks ago he stated that he was "too old" for SPONGEBOB. But actually since he said that,he has started watching again LOL. GO FIGURE! We looked for some more footed pjs in his size when we went shopping last week,but they didn't have any. Yesterday,when I went shopping,they had more so I grabbed 2 more pairs---a grey camo print and a blue pair. They are just perfect for those chilly autumn/winter days when you are staying in and studying!

I'm thankful for.......

To get my kid into the THANKFUL spirit and to kind of change up our handwriting routine this week,I had him make a list of things he was thankful for. I guess it's good that we ranked higher than tv and the dog LOL.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


For our October book club,we read about DEWEY THE LIBRARY CAT. I think all of the kids really enjoyed this book--we're a group of animal lovers! We all decided that we want a cat for our library,too--ha ha just try and get that past the city council! (inside joke)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

a few updates......

Over the past few weeks,Zachary has started doing studies online at TIME4Learning. It is very handy and fun. He has learned about VIKINGS and hopefully this week,we will learn a little about HALLOWEEN-not just the commercialization of it but the real history of it. Now that the temps are alot cooler,he has spent ALOT of time out on his swing. He loves to sit and swing and listen to his favorite tunes or look up new jokes to share. I don't know which is funner-the jokes or listening to him laugh and get so tickled over a joke that he can't quite get it out!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I want a Columbus Day,too!

I had the intent of using today as a catch-up/get ahead day for our homeschool studies,but the kiddo saw online that today was a holiday,and that area students were out of class. When I mentioned homework,he just about revolted stating that he wanted a Columbus Day off too! LOL We did do the basics,but he spent alot of time outside swinging and listening to his favorite music on his dad's phone.I swear my child would listen to music and swing 24hours a day if I would let him. What is your kid's favorite thing to do?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

a picture says a thousand words.....

a few cuddles from Tinkie always helps with math.......

playing a "guessing game"-you had to guess what object was by asking the other players questions....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I agree........

How to get your kids to be fanatical readers--Sorry, moms and dads, but it's your job -- not the schools' -- to find books to get your kids reading and to make sure they read them. Read the full article at CNN.

Time 4 Learning

Today was the first day that Zach used TIME 4 Learning as part of our daily studies. He seemed to really enjoy it. I knew he would-he loves learning on the computer and he was able to go into what ever lesson he chose. Today he did a science lesson and learned about dinosaurs. It's well worth the monthly fee.

Time 4 Learning

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A change in pace?

I think we hit a snag in our studies last week. It's not that Zach is having difficulty in anything we're doing,but I think he might be overwhelmed by something. I think I'm going to ditch the schedule and see how it goes. I'm also thinking about maybe letting him do some things online. He has been working on math at KHAN ACADEMY and really seems to enjoy it. And of course,he loves anything on the computer. I found TIME 4 LEARNING. It also keeps track of the progress and I like that. I think we will be adding it to our studies next week. What are some of your favorite "non traditional"-study aids? What are some things you do when you or your kids get overwhelmed with things?

Monday, September 19, 2011


I'm still questioning the schedule I set for our studies. It seems there just isn't enough time in the day or the week to get things done. Do you follow a SET SCHEDULE for your family's homeschool studies?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've been ordering ALOT Of books from Amazon lately and the latest batch came today. YAY! Now have to get kiddo busy reading. I made a schedule out for our studies and this has been the first week to try and get everything done on schedule each day. Today was HARD! Either we're going to have to work longer with fewer/shorter breaks or we're going to have to get up earlier and get to work earlier--or work later. Neither kiddo or I am morning people so I think the latter option of working later would work better for us. It takes a little bit for us to get going in the mornings. I'm trying my best not to give up on the schedule just yet-but it's tempting. Not quite sure what we'll end up doing. Maybe I can stick it out for the two weeks trial as I had planned and tweak it up some.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Beautiful weather this week.........

Zach has spent more time outside this week than he has the whole summer! We aren't fans of HOT weather-and this summer has been a HOT one! He loves to go outside and swing and listen to PANDORA radio on his IPHONE. He has found music from his fave video game LITTLE BIG PLANET,so he has been listening to that over and over and over all day!
Tomorrow,we will finish our first 2 weeks of Writing With Ease and I must say that I think we both like it. Monday,we will start what I hope will be the schedule we'll be able to follow for the rest of the year. We will do the core subjects daily and then add in one other subject each day of the week-with Friday being a day for activities-library-or whatever we want. I've been easing him back into the habit of doing daily lessons for the past two weeks and I think he's ready to hit the books FULL TIME now....That's the plan at least.

The Little Horse with a Big Heart

Today,Zach read the story about Einstein-the world's smallest horse.

Find out more about Einstein.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Zach read these books today. Little Pink Pup reminds me of a little runt piglet we had many years ago.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

busy with studies

We are still working everyday with our studies-I need to sit down and schedule everything out a little better so we'll have certain days for certain studies. We finished up our first week of WWE and so far so good. Zach has even seemed interested in wanting to know more about some of the stories,so I think we will add LAURA INGALLS WILDER to our reading list. He really enjoys reading the stories in PATHS TO ADVENTURE,too. Now if we can both get over our "sickies",we will be doing better--Zach was sick over the weekend and ran a slight fever. I think his was just a cold. Mine turned out to be more of a problem and I ended up at the dr's office today--SINUS INFECTION.....

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Giveaway..........

Be sure to check out HOME EDUCATING FAMILY PUBLISHING's September giveaways.......

Throughout the month of Sept they are picking random people to receive 2 On the Go planners -- one for you and one for a friend. GOOD LUCK.......!/HomeEducatingFamily

Monday, August 29, 2011

Moving along with our studies

The past couple of weeks,I've been getting Zachary used to our new curriculum. We've basicly done reading and maybe one new study book each day. This week,we have been trying to get more into a normal schedule. We did alot of work today---and I really didn't get much resistance. And once we got into our lesson, he settled down and worked hard. We did the second WWE lesson--it was his first "narration" exercise. It's basicly how we have been doing our reading lessons,but this time he writes the answers down instead of just narrating the story back to me. I know it will give him extra handwriting practice! Zach can spell just about any word you ask him to and he can out text the most cell phone addicted teenager,but his handwriting isn't where I want it to be. But then,I didn't have the best handwriting when I was his age. He's trying, that's what counts. We did our first lesson in our language book and science books. I had wanted to start our new math book today too,but it just didn't happen. We will do that first thing in the morning. All in all,today was a great day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mississippi project for our first geography fair

Zach was NOT happy LOL-he would have rather stayed home and played video games that morning......

About 2 weeks ago,our homeschool group held our first GEOGRAPHY FAIR. It was alot of fun and the kids did such a great job on their individual projects.We had displays on Antartica,Panama,Mississippi,China,Mexico,Jamaica,Switzerland, and Germany! I hope it becomes an annual event.

Paths to Adventure

We have read the following stories from PATHS TO ADVENTURE---
A CHILD'S PRAYER-- poem by Matilda Edwards
MARCO COMES LATE (Zach thought the cats and worms were FUNNY!)

Monday, August 8, 2011


Well,most of the schools in our area have started their new year. Some started last Friday,others started today. We,on the other hand haven't----YET. This week we are going to finish up our GEOGRAPHY PROJECT and slowly ease back into our studies. Zach has had alot of time off,and I know it will be difficult to drag him away from his favorite activity as of late (his PS3). Our HomeSchool group's GEOGRAPHY FAIR presentation is this Friday-I can't wait to see all the differect projects and see how our kids will present them--especially my son. You never know what he will do or what will come out of his mouth! We have to put the maps on and come up with a short presentation about global warming/climate change (his idea). I want to get a leaf from a Magnolia tree. We have several trees on the corner down from our house-hopefully the hubby can get us one with an attached flower. Are the Magnolia trees still blooming this time of year? I have no idea.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

About ready to start our new year.......

We are just about ready to start our new year of home studies. Our books came in the other day and I like them-I'm glad I made the decision to switch over. I'm going to let Zach have a few more days of free time and then we'll jump right into our studies.

Monday, August 1, 2011

YAY!!!! Our new books came this morning......

I am soooo excited! The new school books came this morning. They look great! I can't wait to show them to my son and get started on 3rd grade--giving him a little more summer fun first.....But MOM IS HAPPY!


We are still waiting on our books to come in. I'm a little disappointed because I used expedited shipping. I'm hoping they will be in today or tomorrow. I can't sign into the website to check the order because it isn't recognizing my customer number or password-and I really don't want to talk to anyone on the phone today.

We are still working on our geography project. I'm still kind of stumped at whether or not we'll do a project on global warming. I'm kidn of leaning toward having him just read a little bit about it and explain it when he presents his project. I don't know.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

School Supplies

I can't wait to hit the stores this weekend and see what kind of nifty school supplies we can find. Like most home-schooling families,we have a pretty good stash of supplies on hand,but this time of year I can't help but getting new things.

Friday there is an ABEKA book display in town. I'm going to order Zach's books for the upcoming study year. I'm really excited about that. I hope everyone is still enjoying the summer---and if you're in the middle of this heat-wave that's smothering a big chunk of the US,be safe--be cool,drink plenty of water.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Crazy Homeschoolers Next Door Wish Everyone a HAPPY HOLIDAY!

HI and HELLO to all of my followers! If you celebrate the 4th of July,we hope you have a wonderful,safe,fun-filled holiday with family and friends.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


One of the moms in our group suggested that we do a GEOGRAPHY FAIR. This will be our first one as a family and our group's first one too. I just sat my son down and told him what we were going to do and told him to pick out something he wanted to learn about and then share with our group. He flipped through a couple of map workbooks we had and scratched his chin and said he wanted to learn about GLOBAL WARMING and MISSISSIPPI. So it looks like we will be making a research trip to the library soon.

What is a geography fair? Well it's like a science fair or book fair where kids pick a subject and research the subject and do different things to present what they have learned. They can draw maps,take pictures,color pictures,make models of things related to their subject--whatever comes to the imagination! Here is a link that shows what one HSing family did for a geography fair-love their ideas!

Walking By The Way

Monday, June 27, 2011

The trouble with de-cluttering.........

Why do some HomeSchool people find it hard to get rid of study books even when they aren't going to use them or their kids have used them and outgrown them? I guess it's because that we see the value in books more than the average person. And I don't mean monetary value of books--the value in books is KNOWLEDGE and ENJOYMENT of reading. I love books! I homeschooled my nephew back in the 1990s and have some of the books and workbooks that he used. Yes,some are probably outdated and I could probably find better options online,but every time I go to part with them I think "Oh,I just can't get rid of this-I need this book!". They are history books,workbooks,and a spanish book that I used in 9th grade-I certainly can't part with that one! I have one of my 11-12th grade literature books too~! I love history and geography and literature~! In one highschool history class,the teacher said that I took such great and detailed notes in class that he used my notebook to help his other classes learn to take notes! In one geography class after reading the chapters assigned,we could do other things for extra credit-one thing was to pick out interesting details about whatever we were reading about--and me,LITTLE MISS PERFECT would come in with 100 topics for 100 extra credits. Yes,I made straight A's--except in math class. I worked in the library from like 8-12th grade. I hated the study-hall periods so instead I would got on the "library staff" and would go there instead of being in the loud,hot,smelly study-hall. (The library was air-conditioned!) One of the perks was that after all the duties were done each day (dusting the shelves,putting the returned books back on the shelves,checking out books) I could read whatever I wanted. I read books on every topic imaginable. Mostly non-fiction books but there were some fiction books I enjoyed too. I love to research things-I love to learn about things. And with that comes a love of books. I could go broke buying books--kid's books,curriculum for our studies, books,books,books! I've had some books stacked in a crate that I've been meaning to go through and pass on to others because we weren't going to used them with our studies or they didn't fit our study-style. Out of a stack of 20+ books I think I can part with maybe 4. So much for de-cluttering. I think I need another book case or two---or three........

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Library Day

Today we went to the library. My son has been asking to go to the library so he could check out some joke books. Luckily,we beat the rain storms and made it back home safe and dry. He has already read 2 of the books he picked out. He's been slacking in the reading department lately,so I thought that we should get back into the habit of going to the library every two weeks. It's not that he can't read what I want him to,it's that he gets overwhelmed with longer books and quickly loses interest. I think that when our book club started reading the longer books,it kind of got him off track. Hopefully,by letting him pick out a few easy books to go along with the harder ones that I choose,I can get him back on track with reading. My plan is to go back to the shorter chapter books and let him build up to the longer books slowly at his own pace.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome to our blog

I hope this attempt at blogging about our homeschool journey is more successful than my last attempt.