Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Library Books and Manga

I'm addicted to youtube.

Yes, I said it.  I am.  I watch so many great and helpful videos.  Dinner ideas, budgeting, organization, book reviews, book hauls, homeschooling.  You can find just about anything on there.  Lately I've seen one of the ladies I follow post her kids library book reads or just weekly reads.  She has younger children than I do but its still a cute idea.  I thought we could do that.  So I made our first video. 

The cool part is feedback.  The books she picked out weren't all the best for her age.  Someone commented and let me know so I pulled those books aside to read first.  The Alice series aren't really appropriate for her age.  The Wolf one was actually a great story and although someone had some reservations it I decided it was okay for her to read.  I actually kinda teared up.  I totally recommend it.  

Let me know, what do you think?  More library picks for the week with a little heads up about what is appropriate for a 9 year old?  

As always, I'm looking for manga recommendations for her age group. 

Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Human Body - A Girls 4th Grade Mini Lesson

My 9 year old daughter has developed quite a bit of curiosity about the human body.  She isn't the type to ask a lot of questions.  She is the type to read books about them and then discuss what she finds questionable, relatable or interesting.

The American girl series has been one of her favorite go-to series.  You can find these here.  Our local library has most of them.  You could check yours.  I found a few online at the above link and a few used at a local bookstore.  They were a good beginner series for her.  Then she moved on to The Period Book.  This one is a bit more graphic and in detail.  Parents need to look at this book before you let your child.  I'm comfortable with her looking at it.

The last book I picked up for her brother but she commandeered was You: The Owner's Manual for Teens.  If you want inside pictures or a flip through, let me know and I will post one on youtube for everyone.  Its actually too big and detailed for her.  I think she just flips through it and picks up parts that she finds interesting.  As she grows older I think it will be more useful.

These books have led to body part discussions and more researching.  We have two body books that have big pullouts in them.  These were great.  One was big enough that she could lay beside it and it was the same size.  She refused to be in the picture. :)

Amazon has the Pull-out, Pop-up Body in a Book used for .4c (3.99 shipping) at the time of posting it.


The inside of the skeleton is awesome too.  There are flaps for the body organs.  We lifted and named most of the them.  We then talked about why one side was bone and the other was pink.  I explained they were muscles.

That was our mini (2 hours) lesson on girl health and the human body.
Hope you have a blessed week!

****Does contain affiliate links for Amazon.  Doesn't cost you anything extra, promise.  Just gives me a number on how many clicks my links get and a tiny amount of credit.**

Monday, September 28, 2015

Difficult Choices... Real Life Rambling

I think a day is going to come soon when I have to chose between working and homeschooling my daughter.  I don't like to think about it.  I hope it doesn't happen but if something happens and their dad isn't able to work then I will need to provide income.  Unfortunately with homeschooling my son then when he went back to school I started with my daughter, I haven't been to an outside the home job in years.  In this economy with lack of jobs, low pays, and unfriendly family work hours, I'm scared.  Yes, you read that.  Scared.
Its one of those conversations we avoid.  I don't want to discuss it.  Fear that I would not make what he makes and be able to pay all of the bills (credit cards and household).  Everyone says pay down your credit card payments.  He is.  He handles the money.  I don't.  That's the way he has always wanted it.  I know what the bills are but he knows when he pays them and what he spends.
Wow, this turned into a really private kinda post quickly.

I hope that the choice doesn't come down to work or homeschool.  My daughter has intended to go back to school in middle school (two years from now).  I hoped we would manage that long then when she does I can go back to school and finish my degree or find a job with daytime hours while they are all at school.  I watch my friends schedule their days.  This person picks their kids up and that person keeps them until they get off.  Or they pay for them to go to afterschool programs until they get out of school.  I have nothing against that.  Nothing at all.  Paying for an afterschool program would defeat the purpose of me working unless their dad is out of work then he can pick them up.  Its very overwhelming to think about.

My oldest transitioned back into public school in 6th grade which is middle school here.  That was what he wanted.  Its been a struggle but he has stuck it out.  We've dealt with difficulties along the way.  We still do.  My daughter wants to do the same.  I'm okay with it.  I don't know how well she will transition but we will try as long as that is what she wants.  She has an audio-visual sensory issue.  She doesn't like noise, crowds or moving things.  At home she has to have quiet to work or have her head phones on to block the noise.

Am I rambling?  Maybe I bit.  Might even be repeating myself.  So sorry.
I'll quit now.  Just a rambling real life moment there.  

Is this a common fear amongst homeschool moms?
Anyone else going through similar?
How do you manage?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Real confession time..

Sometimes I look on facebook and see all these posts with parents and happy teens taking selfies or doing cool stuff... and frankly I feel like a failure.  My mood swing happy teenager doesn't like to do these things.  He hates going out and doing things.  Shopping?  OH heck no.  Skating? Are you trying to kill me MOM?   Walking at a local beautiful park?  Uhm not a chance.  Swimming?  HAHAHAHA.  Sit at home and play Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed?  Okay see ya later mom, have fun.  Sometimes I am even brave and drag him out of the house.

Today I took (cough cough.. DRUG) him and his sisters to a local beautiful walking park nature preserve.  I mean it's shaded, has water access, lots of bridges, and its great.  Who could ask for more?!

See, isn't it gorgeous.

Nope, he wouldn't even walk with us.  Parked his self on a picnic table and read for the whole hour.  But at least when we left, he was in a better mood.  Even joked.  Some days I wonder...

Then I remember I can't compare my life to the pictures people post on facebook.  They are moments in time.  We all have happy moments in time.  I will just keep trying.  Maybe next time.

How do you get your teen out of the house?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Our Homeschool Room Tour

Our homeschool room is now in use. :)
So I did a virtual tour for anyone interested.
Here it is.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Update on Homeschooling a Bipolar Child - Transition into Public School

Its been a long time since I posted the homeschooling a bipolar child article.  I would say its time for an update.

My son is now going into 10th grade in public high school.  He homeschooled from mid-1st grade through 5th grade.  Around 4th grade he asked me to let him go back in middle school.  We discussed it.  I had always said I wanted him to go to high school if he wanted.  I thought the variety of classes and shorter classes would work better for his ADHD.  In a way it was.  In a lot of ways it wasn't.  We struggle on a week to week basis.  With his ADHD he craves a lot more social interaction and activities than the homeschool community in our area provides.  And honestly last year was the first time I actually became aware that there is a homeschool co-op in our area.  A very small one.  Public school provides that interaction.  The problems start with his bipolar and anxiety kicking in.  His moods are a bit scary for other kids I assume.  He can be happy and joking around then mad as a hornet.  Its progressed into punching a wall and breaking his hand twice in middle school.  Middle school was rough.  I do not recommend sending your child to middle school.  That is my opinion.  Do what you will. :)
So far high school has been easier.  It may also be due to his age and maturity.  Things are calming down.  We've tweaked medication and had visits with the guidance counselor.

I am very glad I homeschooled him.  I can look back on those years with fondness now.  I can say that being home helped him develop manners and his intelligence.  I'm sure all those years were not always fun.  Matter of fact I know there was stressful days and I quit days.  I wouldn't take them back.   Some days I miss it and think it would be nice to have him back home.  But for now he is doing well.  Three more years and he will graduate.  How time flies.

For now I will homeschool my middle daughter and be happy that I have this experience with her.  I will also cherish my youngest daughter.  Didn't want you to think I was leaving her out. :)

Also.. if you have any questions, feel free to ask away.  I will try to answer as best as I can.

Blessed Be.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Homeschool Room - Desk! part 2

I ordered my daughter a new desk. It was a very specific floating wall desk that I thought would save us some room. Nope. Its a BIG desk. I ordered it online from a random company and it took forever to get here. Almost three weeks. If you want one, go order from Staples and pay the extra $10 I saved and get it way quicker than I did!

So here is the new desk. I put it all together and my son and hubby helped me hang it.  Isn't it pretty.

I still have a few more projects I want to do this month before I consider it finished.  Like my desk area.

I also NEED to get my lesson plans done.  I've started but with everything everywhere I haven't finished it.  

Blessed Be!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Drink Recipes - Non-alcholic

I've been looking through my recipe book and trying to decide if I want to convert my little box into a pinterest board.  I look at Pinterest way more than I look at this box.  I start searching.. and I can't find the recipe on Pinterest.

Sooooo I'm sharing them here.

(I don't have any pictures I've taken (yet) just the recipes and a snap of whatever picture came with it if it had one.)
Hope you enjoy.

Orange Breeze

1 cup juice from fresh oranges
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup ice cubes
Orange Slices (optional)

In a blender container combine orange juice, milk, sugar, and vanilla.  Cover; blend until mixed.
With the blender running, add ice cubes, 1 at a time, through lid opening.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into tall glasses.  Garnish with orange slices, if desired.

The Frosty Apple

1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 quart naturally sweet apple cider
4 to 6 scoops vanilla ice cream (for tops)

Let a pint of vanilla ice cream soften at room temperature or microwave for 20 seconds.  Put ice cream and cider into a blender or food processor and blend until frothy and well mixed.  Stir in nutmeg.  Pour into tall glasses and top with a scoop of ice cream, if desired.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top.

Creamy Dreamy Orange Smoothie

2 cups orange juice
1 ripe banana
1 navel orange
4 oz lite whipped topping (thawed)
1-1/2 cups ice

Cut banana into pieces.  Cut orange into quarters.
Place all ingredients in blender and blend for 30 seconds.
Serve in tall chilled glasses.
Serves 2.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Art project!

Taking a break from organizing, decluttering, and moving furniture for a bit of fun.  My girls and I found a cute video on youtube about decorating a teen girl's room.  While my girls are not that old some of the things were too cute to not do. So at 11 pm last night we decided to do one!  Here you go.

First we used painters tape to mark off the letters that we wanted to spell out on our canvas.  This took several tries as rounded letters are too hard for 8-9 year olds to do.  These took mom a few minutes to get right!

Next you paint the design you like and let it dry. 

Then peel off the paint.  Super easy and super cute!

And mom made one too after the girls were done making a mess... I mean creating art!

Mine will go in the homeschool room when its done!

Blessed Be!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Homeschool Room Series. Part 1

One of my summer projects is to convert my yardsale room into a homeschool room for daughter.   First let me explain what I mean by yardsale room. Basically it's the dumping room for all the things I sell online. Unfortunately sales have been down and I have way to much.  It was out of control. So I sorted and toted up what I plan to keep. To sell online later or actually have a real yardsale.  That in itself took a week.  No I didn't take pictures. It's ridiculous really.. I promise. So anyway I cleared it out and took almost everything out. What I didn't have  room to relocate I pushed to the center and covered.  That's when the fun began.
Started with spackling.  It's a basement room that my daughter picked a very bright green for when it was her room and the people before us were very hard on these walls. I did A LOT of patching. First lesson I learned was to put the spackling on thin. My wrist still hurts from sanding yesterday.   Ugh. Second coat was way easier. ;-)
Then came washing the walls. Where did all these cobwebs come from?  

Now I am painting. I have two fabulous helpers for this job. 

Next came the bookshelf relocation. I have a home library/office where my desk and bookshelves are located.  I have 11 bookcases in my library.  Three of these were relocated in our new homeschool room.  My homeschool books were scattered through these 11 bookcases.  Yes, I know.  It was a long process and I didn't take any pictures of that part.  
I finally finished that part then sorted all the books on the shelves except the school books that I know for sure we will be using this year.  Those will be on a different bookcase.  So here is the bookshelf wall so far.  

 Before books!

After sorting books!

Now to start on the other wall.  The chest in the middle is our time capsule.  It has all the kids baby clothes and things that I've kept for all three of them over the years. I'm in the process of making a seat cushion to fit there for a reading nook.  I have so many plans.  Next up is my daughter's new desk.  It should be here next week!  More updates coming soon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lungs in a Bottle?

While perusing youtube looking for homeschool science project ideas, I came across what looked like lungs in a bottle.  So I did some research and we made one.  Super easy.  Directions can be found on youtube or pinterest.  We did a quick video and posted it because we thought it was so cool.  Ignore my very loud southern accent.  lol  I promise to get better at these videos and post more. My daughter likes sharing with everyone.  It really helps with her shyness.
Here you go.  Lungs in a bottle.

Blessed Be!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Garden Beds and Rabbit Poop

Note:  Apparently I did this post once and somehow deleted it!  Grr..  So here it is again.

My garden this year is much smaller than in previous years.  I planted everything from seeds that I had put up.  Some of them didn't sprout and others died before hardening.  :(  This is a skill I have to work on.

Here are the tomatoes that made it. :)  The other plant is a pickling cucumber that was very determined.  It was actually one of the ones I killed.  I poured the dirt back into the garden bed and it sprouted back up!

Here is a bigger picture of my raised garden bed.  The rabbit hutch is over the bed so that the rabbit poop can be spread in the garden all year long. :)
We do have plans to build a better more leak resistant hutch in the future but for now our homemade hutch works well.  In case you are curious, there are two lion head rabbits in there.  I will try to get a good picture after I spring clean their home.  In the winter we had boards to the outside to protect them from the elements.  I took two sides off and the weather decided thunderstorms were needed.  So I will get out there and finish up when the weather cooperates.

And here is another couple of cucumber plants that I placed along the fence line in hopes of getting them to grow up the fence.  Hopefully the blackberry bushes already occupying a portion of the fence don't try to hog the fence. ;)

Hope you enjoyed the little garden post.  Blessed Be!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Homeschool Book Haul!

All the kids were gone this weekend!  So hubby and I had some time to go exploring and spending some time alone.  After a long day of exploring and riding around, he took me to the bookstore.  Sweet, sweet man!

SO I bought homeschool materials!

Here is what I purchased.
First picture I bought my daughter a new clipboard for .99c and the goodwill.  You just don't know how long we searched for a cute clipboard two years ago before school started!  Her favorite color is green so this was an awesome score for us.  Utopia we purchased from Amazon.  The rest came from a local used book store.  The workbooks were only $3 a piece and the other books were .75c each.  I was thrilled.

This set all came from the local used book store.  Top two are more for me than my daughter.  But I did see a section in the Unsolved Mysteries book about Amelia Earhart that I think she may be interested in.  

The paperbacks are all (except the hamster one) about famous women.  After watching a tv show where they commented that a woman did something first but a man was given recognition for this thing, my daughter was rather aggravated.  lol  So I picked up some books on famous women for her to learn about.  If you know of more famous women that I can look for material on, leave me a comment below.  I will definitely look them up!  The other books on the top right are big books from the Oology series by Zoticus de Lesseps.  We have almost the complete series.  These we picked up at the local used curriculum sale for $4 each.  They are awesome though.  They contain flaps you open and letters and more.

These are most of the things we picked up.  I still need a science curriculum.  Math I have covered.  And we have plenty of books in our home library to keep us busy.  If you would like a tour of our home library let me know and I will see what I can do. :)

Blessed Be.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Header Opinion?

Today I played around with an online collage to make a new header.  
I made two different ones.  
I would LOVE to see which one do you like best?  

Option 1: 

Option 2:

Thanks for following along on our family blog!  Blessed Be!

Summer School.. And a Homeschool Room!

Our homeschool hasn't really ended yet much to my daughter's dismay.
I still have half a math workbook I want her to complete.  I also started her on 
an explode the code book.  You can see/purchase it here if you want to know more about Explode The Code.  I am hoping it will help her work on her thinking skills.  My daughter is slightly ADD and very reluctant to do work on her own.  She wants someone to read her the instructions and explain them.  While I don't mind doing this for some of the more confusing ones, I think at 9 she should be a little more independent than she is.  Two subjects all summer with lots of reading thrown in hopefully will get us back on track and keep those skills fresh for next year.  

This is probably a very unpopular opinion but I think year round schooling (gasp!) is actually a good idea (oh no she didn't!).  Kids lose so much over the summer.  I've noticed that homeschoolers I follow seem to share this opinion more than public schoolers.  Disclaimer:  I have kids in public school AND homeschooling. 

I am also really excited to start work on our homeschool room.  I've cleaned out most everything.  I hope to paint this weekend or next.  Then start moving stuff around to see where everything will go.  Its not a big room.  Just a smaller spare bedroom.  But I'm content to have a room (with a door I can shut) with her desk and mine and all of our material in one area.  I hope this encourages us both to stay on task better next year.  I will be taking pictures to post on the blog as soon as I get the painting started.  Maybe a video tour too. 

Just had to share!  Hope you all are having an awesome summer.  Blessed Be!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Homeschooling and Snow.

Do you homeschool on snow days?

Well yes, technically.  We have a unique situation.  Not unique maybe but not the most common homeschool situation.  My oldest and youngest are in public school.  My middle child is the one I homeschool.  So on snow days all three kids are home.  And when all three are home, no one wants to do school work.  AHHHHH.  I compromise.  I do little bits of homeschool work that she can take to her room.  We don't do formal lessons like we would normally do.

Today was actually a snow day.  See.  Actually the last two weeks have been snow weeks.  And because we live in the south of the us, our state is totally unprepared to deal with snow so everything shuts down.   That's okay because I feel safer with all three kids home and not out riding on icy roads.  Unfortunately the two children that go to public school are not so happy being home.  They are very social, outgoing children that   enjoy the school environment.  My middle daughter is not.  She's more like her mom.  :)

So on homeschooling on snow days.  We do alot of math worksheets and practical life skills.  They bake.  Measuring out ingredients for recipes, learning to fold and put away laundry, lots and lots of reading, lots of documentary videos (thank you netflix and youtube), and art (love pinterest!).  I could go on with a big list.  Once the snow is gone and school starts back we will go back to our regular homeschool list.

Hope you are all enjoying your week!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015


Doing some updating and linking up.  :)
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Comics, Manga, Graphic Novels for the Pre-Teen Girl

My daughter who is 8 and fixing to turn 9 has developed a passion for graphic novels, comics and manga.  I probably should research to see what the difference in all of these terms are.  Or I could ask my 15 year old son who loves to correct me.  His favorite correction is when I try to pronounce Naruto!  I can't for the life of me say that word.  I literally give up.  Ok back to the daughter who doesn't correct my mispronunciations.

I've had a couple people say they have trouble finding things their children would be interested in reading.  This genre is perfect.  Easy, quick and fun.  Even the non-reader likes a comic section sometimes.  And they tend to be fun for the boy or the girl reader.  Although as the kids (especially girls) get older its harder to find age-appropriate books.

Our library needs a bigger section or I need a new job to support her habit.
Here are some of the series she has devoured:

Yotsuba&!, Vol. 01 (Yotsuba&! #1) by Kiyohiko Azuma

Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll, Vol. 1 (Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll #1)
by Yumi Tsukirino

Sonic Select: Book Two
by Archie Comics, Ian Flynn, Patrick Spaziante (Illustrations), Sonic Scribes

Minecraft Comic Book: Herobrine's Quest for Justice - Edition 1 by Minecraft Novels, Minecraft Comic Books
Minecraft books note:  Some of the books you will find are actually chapter books.  There are some that are comics such as the one I will be sharing here.  Double check if you are just wanting comics. :)

Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) by Kazu Kibuishi (Goodreads Author)

Tiny Titans: Penguins in the Batcave!
by Art Baltazar

Queen of the World! (Babymouse #1)
by Jennifer L. Holm (Goodreads Author), Matthew Holm

Smile (Smile #1)
by Raina Telgemeier (Goodreads Author)

The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy's Great Idea(Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1)
by Raina Telgemeier (Goodreads Author), Ann M. Martin

Big Nate and Friends (Big Nate: Comics)
by Lincoln Peirce

Note on Big Nate!  We were just approved to read an advanced copy of the book below (amazon link) which will be available March 17th, 2015.  So she is super excited about that.

 Big Nate: Say Good-bye to Dork City (amp! Comics for Kids)

Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye (Geronimo Stilton #1)   by Geronimo Stilton

NOTE: This series is not a comic book.  The Geronimo Stilton series is like a mix of comic and chapter book.  Almost every page in the book is decorated.  Its a very entertaining read for the kids that get bored easily.  Plus the series is huge so there are lots of books to keep them busy.

Wow. I didn't realize how many series she has actually read.  If you would like to see a list of all the books she has read I will include a link to our homeschool good reads account.  I'm normally good at keeping it updated.  You are more than welcome to follow us or even add us as a friend on goodreads. We love interacting with people.  See even homeschool kids socialize.  :P

Our main goodreads link:  Sweet's Family Bookshelves

The Comics shelf:  Graphic Novels, Comics and Manga

If you know of any books that she might like, feel free to let me know.  Always looking for more options.

I hope that someone will find this list helpful in getting their child started in reading.  I will do an updated reading list when she gets a little older.  Or perhaps one for my 15 year old son's list.  If you would like to see this, let me know in the comments.  Thanks for reading!