Thursday, November 24, 2016

My First Review


So here it is, my first review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew!  You can find them at www.SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com. This is a sample run but I am so excited to be considered.  I received a publication from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for no charge for my honest review of the product.  I chose A Path Among Ancient Rocks: Everyday Easels Book 1.  It is a 5 to 10-day unit study using art to cover the subjects of art, bible, history, geography, english, math, science, physical education and health, home economics, and archaeology.  Whew, that's a mouthful!  How awesome is that, to have fun learning about art while covering those subjects!  It was a perfect fit for my 12 year old, 7th grade son who tends to thrive on curriculum like this. You can find similar studies like this one and many other homeschool curriculum, supplements and "all things homeschool" at their online shop at http://www.theoldschoolhouse.com/shop/.

The first study in the book was a 10-day unit study titled A Path Among Ancient Rocks about a painting by Theodore Rousseau.  There was a direct link to the artwork in the pdf file I downloaded. You cover 8 different subjects (art, bible, history and geography, english, math, science, physical education and health, and home economics) on days 1 through 8 and then have a notebooking activity on day 9 and an age appropriate art activity for day 10.  I love how the art activities are broken down by age.  The three age categories include Grades K-2, Grades 3-6 and Grades 7-12.  I felt that the questions in each subject were interesting and challenging enough for my 7th grader.  He really enjoys this type of study.  The work is not too intense and it allows enough variety and the ability to customize it for your needs.

The second study was about Acropolis of Ancient Greece.  It is a 5-day unit study teaching about the Acropolis while covering the subjects of art, archaeology/science, geography, history, and then an age appropriate art activity on day 5. The art activities really engage the student to dig deeper into the subject.  The type of activity depends on the age group of the student.  Sometimes it has more of an art element to it and sometimes it is more investigative and creative for the students to answer and complete certain tasks.

The third and final study in this book was about the Designs of Louis Comfort Tiffany.  It covers the subjects of art, science, english, history, and another age appropriate art activity. The art activity included an experiment that was very enjoyable.  I really like the links included in each of these studies.  It allows the student to explore other art works and dig deeper into the subject matter.

This entire book is a wonderful Charlotte Mason type resource and the diversity of the book kept the subject matter very interesting.  My son was able to complete the lesson without too much trouble (he really doesn't like to write) and it kept his interest in the subject matter. We learned a lot together as we explored the included links in each of the studies. I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you like Charlotte Mason curriculum. The amount of information learned in the studies is wonderful. The active links in the pdf file really help to engage the student and allow for much deeper learning of the subjects.

I will end this review with a wish of Happy Thanksgiving!  May your day be blessed and please feel free to comment or ask any questions.  It was a joy to be considered for this opportunity.



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I'm Back!


So here I am again.  Back at it.  I have so wanted to start this blog back up again and just kept having convenient excuses as to why I was just "too busy."  Well, no more.  The dream will not die and I am looking forward to connecting with everyone again.  There is so much to catch up on.  It has been at least 5 years since I was active!  Where does the time go?  "Sweet Pea" is now 12 almost 13 and he would NOT appreciate his nickname at this point so we will refer to him as he is, Sam :)

I chose the picture of the chick above because it is what I am most about these days.  I AM that CRAZY CHICKEN LADY.  LOL.  We still foster, I  still homeschool, we still have a dream of being homesteaders and we are getting ready to adopt one of our foster children.  Fostering has kept me more that busy with lots of happiness and heartache along the way.  Our soon to be daughter has been with us since she was 8 months old and she just recently turned 4.  She is a spitfire and keeps us all on our toes. The chick pictured above was our first actual hatch.  One of our hens became broody (the desire to sit and hatch an egg) last fall and was able to hatch out one egg.  The other hens destroyed the other eggs and 2 just didn't hatch.  The chick ended up being a rooster and I named him Georgie (he was Georgia until I could no longer deny she was a he).  We still have him along with his father, brother and now son!  His brother and son were hatched this spring along with 4 other pullets by another hen that decided to go broody.  I'll save the updates on all the chickens in another post.

Looks like my next step is to review and update the formatting of this blog.  I'm sure there are plenty of dead links and just general clean up.  I also plan to add another page called "Lessons from the Coop."  My hopes on that page is for encouragement and funny stories from the coop.  Chickens can be a lively and entertaining group if you have never had the pleasure to meet any or have them.  I am also going to apply to be a Crew Member for The Old Schoolhouse and hope that I will have the privilege to review products for them and post what we think and learn about those products.  I will be applying for that this evening so please wish me luck!

Blessings to all,
Jacqui

Back to School, Woo Hoo

Homestead Dad and Sweet Pea


NOTE:  The following post was slated to be posted on August 6, 2012.  I never posted it.  But here I am, again.  I AM going to start this blog back up.  It has been such a dream of mine and I refuse to let it go this time.  I am posting this anyway just to share my heart at the time.  Looking forward to posting again and connecting.  Here is the post from 2012:

Wow.  Where does the time go?  I really was going to just shut this blog down since I no longer seemed to have the time to work on it.  But, it was something I so wanted to do for myself.  I wanted to share and connect with other moms.  I have learned so much from so many of my other blogging friends. I have been able to supplement my homeschool curriculum with so many awesome resources.  I now have some who ask me where to connect with some of these great resources.

I have decided now is a great time to start back up.  It's back to school time, even though I tend to school my little guy year round.  We did take off a little more time off than I had planned this summer, so I am anxious to get going again strong and finish getting us caught up.  Be watching for lots of future updates on here.  I hope to really grow the area of suggested homeschool sites and resources to check out.  I will even be doing a give away very soon!

For those of you that faithfully followed and supported me before, we are still fostering.  It has been an interesting roller coaster and I still don't have great faith in the system, but we are in this for the kids.  We had a 5 year old that was able to transition back home last year.  We soon got a 2 year old girl last fall that is still with us.  We had a newborn for a short time, but then were not able to keep him.  We were all very sad to have to let him go.  Sweet pea still talks about him all the time.  Of course the 2 year old was happier because she got to be the baby again!  She is quite a handful and we are so very attached.  In all the transitions, we also made the decision to change agencies and we are much happier with that decision.

How was your summer? Are you ready to begin the new school year?  Would love to hear any suggestions or new stuff you plan on accomplishing this school year.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Failures?

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Ezek 47:12 NKJV
12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine."

Well, at this point in time, the garden is sort of a failure.  Do you like my beautiful luscious weeds? Somewhere in the middle of the mass of the picture on the right is my asparagus that went to fern again.  This was supposed to be the first year I could harvest some, and I failed to get out and harvest it!  The storms and rain/floods that we had kept me out of garden and then things just got busy.

I did finally go buy some plants a few weeks ago, but have only got a few tomato plants and cukes in.  Have got to get the rest in this week.  Very late garden, but still hoping for a  harvest in fall.  Even failed to keep up with the strawberries this year.  Harvested some, but let too many go to waste. How sad and wasteful, not to mention that we would have been blessed with the extra goodies this winter.

Some was laziness, but most was due to our situation with the foster children.  I always have so many appointments (sometimes 3 in one day!!) to go to and between work and homeschool and trying to keep everyone safe, a lot of things just didn’t get done.  I was able to harvest some strawberries and enjoy a  yummy homemade strawberry shortcake cake.

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I hope to have some success pictures next week of a nicely groomed garden.  Homestead Dad has been working hard cutting down the weeds, tilling them under and has constructed 4’ X 4’ boxes for me.  We are going to try raised bed in boxes this year for some things.  We were very successful with the raised beds in the ground, but hard to maintain the weeds.  The tomatoes and cukes are still going into the ground where we have the fencing up for them.  I hope to get the peppers into one of the beds and not sure what else at this point (that bushy green thing below is the horseradish I got from a friend last year that we can start to harvest next year).

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Really disappointed in what hasn’t been done, but I’m not giving up!  I will press on and we will at least have some yummy salsa in the fall!!  Gotta have that salsa!  I make it really hot for Jearl and then some nice mild with tang for me and everyone else.  I do get lots of compliments so I think the recipe I use is a really good one.  I do can it because I like to have it ready to go year round.

Failure?  No, just delayed and not as good as it could have been.  We have been redeemed by our Lord and Savior, we are not failures!

How’s your garden growing?  Trying any new techniques or plants?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Joy Comes in the Morning

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Psalm 30:5 NKJV
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 90:13-15  NIV

13 Relent, LORD! How long will it be?  Have compassion on your servants. 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. 

I feel as if we have had our share of trials this year.  Of course nothing compares to the losses of those around us with the floods and storms, so Lord, forgive my whining and make my heart glad!  We continue to have some serious challenges with the foster child we still have.  As many of you know we took the two brothers back in hopes of being able to still help them.  Once the second brother arrived everything fell apart.  The older brother that had come back to us first started manifesting many dangerous behaviors and we had to have him removed again for the safety of my son and his brother. 

We decided to still try to work with the younger brother, who is now almost 10, but alas, it is not to be.  My son who is 7 has now been exposed to behaviors that are VERY unacceptable.  We have given our required two week notice and I am afraid we will not be able to keep him any longer.  We are now on “lock down” where I supervise the boys every moment.  They must be in my vision every moment.  I am mostly a stay at home mom, so this can get challenging when I must leave the room.  The rule is, my son comes with me and stays with me when I must attend to something.  I can leave no room to chance anymore at this point.  It will be a stressful week, but with God we are more than able.

It is sad that we did not have a better outcome, but the well being of my child has already been violated and his innocence broken.  We knew we didn’t want to have older children in our home and we broke our own rule.  We have now paid the price and so has our son.  I pray that God can erase from his memory the things he has seen and been shown to do.  What fools we have been.  I repent and ask for forgiveness and I know my God hears my voice. 

I’m sure that everyone else already knows this, but if you are looking for insight into fostering, I HIGHLY recommend that you DO NOT take any children near the age or older than your child. DON’T DO IT!!  You just never know.  We happened to get one of the worse case scenarios you can get and it was our first time out.  We are fairly angry with our agency because they had to have known to some degree if not all.  We asked the questions, just evidently not the exact right ones in the exact right way, because we were constantly led to believe that this was all new to them.  Everyone in the system that I have spoken to that is involved with this case has said it was one of, if not THE, hardest case they have every had.  So now what do you think??  My response has not been so joyous as I have heard this repeated on different occasions. 

We are picking up the pieces and moving on. We will try again.  I hope we have a better experience.  We have been assured by many that not all in the system are such rough cases.  We will try with perhaps age 5 and under, maybe younger. 

I have not had the time or felt like blogging.  I was pretty close to just shutting it down for now, but I love to babble and this is such a good outlet for that, isn’t it?  Seriously, I just have a lot I want to share and learn from fellow bloggers.  We really want to get this homestead stuff going.  We just haven’t had the time or resources to do much.  With the heavy rains and our schedule, I have not even gotten the garden in yet!!  I will share in a separate story.  Enough for now.  Blessings to all.  Praying for joyous weekends for all of you. 

Any challenges in your life lately you would like to share?  Better yet, are you confident that Jesus will walk you through every one of them?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Boy(s) are Back

2011 Samuel's scorpion lego creationFinally, an update to our foster story.  Things have been pretty crazy around here for many different reasons (sickness, schedules, weather, etc.).  I have missed blogging and am making a goal to blog at least 3 times per week if not more, if my schedule allows it.  Lately, the weather has kept me from blogging until I found out about Live Writer and now I can write without being online and post later, yeah! Smile

I’m not going to go into any details because I don’t quite have this confidentiality thing down.  For the related posts to this story see HERE and HERE.  Basically, we have one of the boys back and we should be getting the other brother sometime this week.  It was a long drawn out process and lots of prayer and faith.  We are believing that God will get us through this and that He will do a work in the boys’ lives.

Our hope is to be able to care for these boys while they wait for reunification with their family.  It has only been about 4 days now and we have already had several trials.  We knew it would be difficult because of the behavior problems.  Like I said, we are walking in faith and believing that God will do a work.  I’m sure we’ll have more trials to overcome when we add in the other brother, but God can do anything and He will get us through this.

It was God who broke my heart over the situation with these boys and I know we can trust Him to carry us through it.  I appreciate those of you who have communicated with me that you are keeping us in your prayers.  It means a lot to us.

What challenges have you faced lately, and have you remembered to trust God to get you through them?

Monday, May 2, 2011

2011 Flood in Southern Illinois

2011 Flood by Rt 13 near Murphysboro 2011 Flood by Rt 13 and 127 N 2011 Flood Goofy Gold in Mboro
2011 Flood Rt 13 Family Auto lot 2011 Flood Rt 13 E towards Cdale 2011 Flood just S of Reed Station MHP
Lots of bad weather lately down in our neck of the woods.  My internet has been off more than on.  It is actually off right now and I am able to write this and hopefully post later.  All of the above photos are in areas that should NOT have any water!  The lower right one is some flooded farmland and the others are from the highway where the water has threatened to close (and some are actually already closed) our roads.  

The road we live on has an East and West and the West end has been closed for almost a week now.  We are currently getting more rain and there are areas south of us that have had to evacuate their towns.  It is very sad.

There is a lot of sandbagging going on in our area.  Many volunteers have stepped up to help out their neighbors.  Below is a picture of the Army Corps of Engineers who have been transporting sand bags in needed areas.
Sand Bag Helicopter
There was also an onslaught of of tornados in the southern states of Alabama and five other surrounding states.  The reports I heard were about 160 tornados in about 1 week and over 300 deaths.  Our prayers go out to all the individuals and families devastated by these storms.
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