And So it Goes....

Hello! It's been a while, I know. After a lot of thought, we decided a few months ago to shut down our blog. Part of it has to do with privacy to our children as they get older. Part of it has to do with the fact that we no longer need the blog to update our ministry supporters. We also used the blog pretty regularly to share photos with our family when we lived over 2000 miles away. Now that we are closer to our families, we no longer need the blog as a means to update them. After a lot of thought and discussion we realized we just aren't a family who blogs.

My one hesitation in closing down the blog was that I didn't want to lose all the information we had already stored on it. Our blog did serve as a running scrapbook/journal for the past four years. It was easy to remember what we did, and where we were, because every blog entry had a time and date stamp. I'd love it if scrapbooking was so easy! Over the past few days I've been working on a site called blurb.com and discovering how to turn our blog into a book. What a novel idea! I've had a great time turning our blog into a scrapbook to keep.

The only thing I've been having trouble with is figuring out what to do with our stored videos on the site since they won't transfer to a book. At some point I suppose I need to download them to our hard drive, and until that happens, our site will still be up and running.

If you want to connect with us, or find out what we're up to, you can always reach us on Facebook. Thanks for reading!

Until later,


I Went Out of Town this Weekend and Came Home to Find This....

Adam is quite proud of his work, although Alex did help some.


Mary Pope Osborne

Mary Pope Osborne (at times along with her sister or husband) is the author of the ever popular Magic Tree House books. Brother and sister Jack and Annie, from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania travel around the world, or back in history, in a magic tree house. They've had many adventures with pirates, vikings, soldiers, dinosaurs, penguins, ghosts, fairies, mummies, etc. The list goes on and on. Alex began reading the series when he was in kindergarten, and we quickly became big fans. He has read almost every book in the series. Allison has read nearly half of the 43 books (soon to be 44) in the series.

Last spring we became aware of many other of Osborne's books which I highly recommend. They have become excellent resources on our homeschooling journey. For instance, there are 22 Research Guides that correlate with the Tree House books, providing fun facts behind the fiction. The Research Guides provide information about the times, places, and cultures Jack and Annie visit on their Magic Tree House adventures.

But, our most favorite of her books have been Osborne's retellings of classic tales. She has retold the Odyssey i
n five books that are definitely worth the read. She has collections of Greek Myths, Norse Myths, Mermaid Tales, and American Tall Tales, of which all have become a huge hit during our school day. (This year I have discovered we can renew books from our library up to 20 times!) She has retold the story of Christ with masterpieces of art. And, of course, she has done an excellent job retelling Bible stories which is worth reading to your child more than once!


My Kids Went to Narnia Today.

Sierra wanted to stay home.

The 'bowing to Aslan' picture was all their idea. I really wish I could have gotten them outside for the perfect shot since the snow is 'thawing', but Sierra only gave us about 30 seconds in that lion's costume.


Have any of you ever tried this trick? If you figure out how it works, tell me. I'm stumped.....



Organize Me!

When we first began homeschooling, we knew that we'd have to organize our home to fit our new lifestyle. Fortunately our home here in Cleveland has plenty of space and several different rooms that could serve as a classroom. Last fall we began brainstorming the pros and cons of each room and what we might need to organize our supplies. We discussed buying some new desks, a new table, new shelves, etc. What we finally decided to do was to wait. Truthfully, we didn't know what room would work best since we never homeschooled before. Before we made a major purchase, and began rearranging furniture, I thought I should try a few things in a few different rooms to see what we prefer.

I settled on the dining room. It has lots of natural light, as well as a decent overhead light fixture. Our dining room table is nice and big, with benches on each side. Each child has a bench, and an entire side to the table. We can easily move to the living room, to sit on the couches while we read, and then transition quickly back to the table to complete some seat work. I've positioned a chair at the head of the table where I can instruct the kids from either side.

It really has served us well, and I'm glad we didn't spend a fortune on something that wouldn't have been so sufficient. But, we did have one problem. By having all our school supplies at the dining room table, often times dinner would roll around and our dining room would look like this....

Or this...So, we knew we needed a little something to help us contain all our supplies. One Friday in December, we had had enough of dining in the classroom, so we took a trip to the Pittsburgh Ikea. We found the perfect bookshelf to place under the window that would neatly assist us in turning the dining room into the classroom and back again. Each subject has its own box, and everything is fairly well organized so we can access it quickly.

My two favorite parts...
1. The entire set up was less than $100.
2. With simple Ikea furniture, the kids assembled it themselves.
Here they are. Proud of their work.We're off to a great start this winter, mostly because we're so organized!


We Have Snow!

Lots and lots and lots of snow.

Bitty Baby

Even with the addition of Chrissa, Allison still adores her first American Girl Doll.

Let's Read

You may remember me mentioning our Christmas reading challenge here. Here's a look at our final tree.....