Happy Birthday, Alex!

Alex turned 8 on Saturday. In lieu of a party, he opted for an evening at Cedar Point. Cedar Point hosts its Halloweekends throughout the fall, and we heard the rumor that the parks are empty on Friday evenings. The rumor is mostly true. There are no lines for the rides. Whereas there are a few people at the park, most people attend in order to walk through the umpteen dozen haunted houses. We opted for the rides, and walked right on most everything we wanted to. Alex even cleared the height limit to ride most of the biggies including the Magnum, the Power Tower, and maxAir. This last one was even terrifying to watch. I'm glad I didn't have to ride it with him.

Happy Birthday, Alex!


Mercy Watson

Have you heard of Mercy Watson? She has quickly become the new favorite pig in our home. And, we love lots of pigs...Wilbur, Babe, Piglet, etc. There are six books thus far in the Mercy Watson series, and thanks to the recommendation from one of our local children's librarians, we have already read all six books. Some more than once! They are written by Kate DiCamillo, who is probably most popular for Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux, since both of those award winning children's novels were turned into movies.

Mercy Watson books are easy chapter books for younger readers, so our librarian recommended them to Allison. However, we have all found ourselves enjoying the adventures of this pig who loves hot buttered toast. We giggle along as we listen to Allison read us the books.

Along with Despereaux and Winn-Dixie, DiCamillo also has several other books for older children that are worth reading. Alex read a new one, The Magician's Elephant, in two days. DiCamillo is a fantastic story-teller. Check her out!


Forseeing the Future...

Thanks to our friend Scott, we recently discovered these AT&T commercials from 1993. Did we really believe, nearly 17 years ago, that we'd have the technology we have today? Check them out.....

As an added bonus, the commercials are narrated by Magnum P.I.


North and South

I'm thrilled to report that we've had a great start to school. We've only been 'in session' for two weeks, and both those weeks were short weeks due to Labor Day and a Field Trip which was a blast! Friday we traveled to Zoar, Ohio with our Field Trip Co-op for their civil war days. The City of Zoar holds a Civil War Festival each fall which includes many battle reenactments. On Friday they host a school assembly with stations practicing old techniques (weaving, wood detail, candle-making, confederate and union camps, etc.) along with an artillery and cavalry demonstration. On Thursday, in preparation for the trip, we read quite a bit about the Civil War and the 19th Century.

The kids and I, enjoyed ourselves so much that we returned with Adam on Sunday to watch one of the battles. Neither one of us had ever been to a Civil War reenactment, and now I can see why they draw such a crowd! The South won the battle we watched, although I think it had something to do with their five cannons to the Union's two.

I'm super happy with all the curriculum I have chosen for the kids and promise to post more about what our school schedule looks like at a later date!

I caught this 'dressmaker' texting. Very 1800's.


Tomato Pie

Thanks to my friend Kristin, I have come across the most tasty recipe, Paula Deen's Tomato Pie. I made this one afternoon, and we had gobbled it up by the next morning. I actually think its a little too cheesy (if that's even possible) and next time will probably reduce the cheese a bit. Enjoy....

  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.



Sheppard Software

Our children are fascinated by maps (as are we) so we've decided to incorporate quite a bit of Geography into their schooling this year. So far, a worthwhile purchase has been a $14.99 globe from Target. Also, we have come across one of the best (we think) online tools for world and US geography. This site provides many games to learn the states and their capitals, countries and their capitals, as well as bodies of water and other landmarks. The other games are worth checking out, too!

Sheppard Software

By the way, Alex can already name, identify and locate all 50 states! And, we haven't even begun 'schooling' yet.