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Monday, April 30, 2007

Ambition transforming into Confidence

I'm in 100% planning mode, I have books ALL OVER our house, stacks in each room. There are children's French books, my French books, books that I pick up to read a paragraph or two before I'm called to assist in some way, books about our Medieval studies and other books we're using for 2nd grade. My dh, bless his heart, said our house looks like it's bursting from the seams in books and notebooks. "Isn't a beautiful thing, honey?"

I had all our Medieval books on our kitchen table, stacked and ready to reference as I put together a "teacher's manual" for myself and he asked me, "when is your test?" Lol. In about 2 months and honestly I can't wait. Everything feels much more cohesive and knowing that we'll be using books that reside with us is exciting! No more stress about when the library books are coming, when they are due, etc. Here's a sneak peak at the schedule that I'll post when I'm done.

The Glory That Was Rome - Chapter 1

c Peril and Peace: Chrysostom, Bible, Jerome
c Roman Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean
c Childcraft’s Places to Know: pg. 199, 126, 290, 216, 123
c Mythology of the World: Ancient Rome pg. 44-50
c How Children Lived- p.16-17 Growing Up in the Roman Empire
c The Ancient World (Kingfisher) p. 76-87
c Kingdoms and Empires p. 28-37 Rise-Fall of Rome
c Activity: Eat Like A Roman Soldier, Roman Empire from a Carpet View

Library: c Rome Antics by David MacCaulay
c United Streaming or DVD: Ancient Civilizations: Rome

Our history lessons will consist of reading a little more than what we've been doing this year but I hope it will make things click more for Camille. We're going to keep track of the people we study by doing biographies on the major players, we have many more books to "look" at than we did for Ancients and more Mom-friendly activities! I am very excited!

I am an ambitious person, I can't help it. Ideas are bouncing around in my head all the time and I have to figure out which ones are worth pursuing and which ones are best left as ideas. Studying French in my mind is a big undertaking, especially as a non-native beginning learner. I am diligently trying to find a tutor for myself and my children and determine whether going back to college in the fall is doable. The one thing I have decided is to sell The Easy French Jr. and Level 1. This is a hard decision for me, I haven't bought and sold curriculum yet but after I made the decision, everything seems easier!

I want learning French to be fun and I have more than enough resources right now. It's just organizing them all to be the most effective. So I'm creating a "game plan" or a sequence of concepts to cover with my children. Here's a sampling of what I'm doing:
1. Numbers 0-10
a. Ask How Many? How Much?
b. Play number/counting games
- Chutes & Ladders
- I'm thinking of a number between 0-10, what is it?
- Counting within books (Ten Little Ladybugs, etc.)

2. Numbers 11-20
a. Ask How Many? How Much?
b. Try simple math addition/subtraction problems with # 0-10
c. Flash cards 0-20 with french words
d. Thinking number game 0-20

3. Alphabet
a. ABC song
b. Use videos
c. Use books
d. Make an ABC book, list words alphabetically as we learn them

4. Colors
a. Ask- What color is that/this?
b. Candyland (with numbers in French)
c. I spy game
d. Books/Dvds/Songs
It's a basic outline, but I intend to pull all of our resources and fill in what to use and when. There's a lot more we will cover, including basic conversation and I am still talking to my children in French when I can. My ambition to teach my children French has finally met confidence. Confidence is such a nice quality, it makes those butterflies in the stomach go away, it helps to move the journey forward.

SpongeBob French phonic books bought from Ebay. Of course, I'd rather them NOT be Spongebob Squarepants but Camille was bonkers about these and if it'll help her and me, I don't mind trying them.

The books pictured at top are a set of toddler french books that will help with the outline I have above.

Being able to read french websites has opened another world to me filled with support and information. It's nice to be able to know how to shop and have a better idea of exactly what I'm looking at. I haven't bought anything from since ordering a book in English from there but I have accomplished a "wishlist" so that I can determine if there's a better price elsewhere or if I "really, really" want the item in the wishlist. Things I'm still looking for:
• French music to listen to for enjoyment
• Children's book of poems (I have found a few that I think I like)
• Children's music
I know that when and if I feel I need curriculum, that I want a reading/writing/speaking program for Camille. Until then we're going to build up our vocabulary and just have fun. I love it when my confidence catches up to my ambition, it makes things exciting!

Have a great day!


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Set up a Poetry Notebook

This was posted by someone named Lisa D., several years ago. I think she posted it on the WTM boards, or it may have been on a classical education board. This is typed word for word by the original poster’s directions:

Poetry Notebooks:

For each grade level, there are enough (or more than enough, in some cases) poems to fill up a blank book from Miller Pads and Paper. The Miller blank books are very inexpensive, and have 14 front and back pages each (28 surfaces). For each poem that you insert in the book, you will leave the opposite page blank for your child to illustrate that poem.

Here’s how I usually arrange my books. When I open the front cover of the book, I attach my first poem to the front side of the first actual page of the book. For this page, I usually choose one of the shortest poems in the packet, so my son can illustrate this poem underneath the text. (This means that you will want to place the poem toward the top of the page, to allow plenty of room at the bottom for the illustrations). On the back side of the first page, I attach the second poem. The illustration for the second poem will be on the front side of the second page (opposite the text, giving you a 2 page spread for each poem/illustration).

The pattern goes the same way for the rest of the book. If you want to put more poems in the book than you have space for, you can use the same method as for the first poem in the book. Simply put some of the shorter poems toward the top of your page, and allow them to illustrate underneath.

To attach the poems to the book, use only double-stick tape. (Rubber cement, glue, etc., will make a bumpy mess of your page, and it will not lay smooth). Simply trim the poem down to size, preferably with a paper cutter, and then proceed with the double stick tape.

Memorization: I prefer to use Katherine Bell’s memorization techniques found on her website her website. This involves an audio recorder and tapes, plus headphones. I let my son listen to the selection that he is memorizing daily. It’s amazing how quickly this repetition cements the poetry in his little head. Usually, I will quiz him on what he’s learning 1-2 times a week, just to make sure that he is really paying attention. I also have him recite his poems frequently to family. He has to speak loud, clearly, and slowly. He is not allowed to fidget around, look down, etc… I keep a separate audio tape with all the selections he has memorized so far for the year. This is a review tape that he hears once or so a week, just to keep fresh the other selections that he has memorized. The method is, for the most part, a hands free method of memorization for the parent. (Other than recording the poems on tape in your own voice, and occasionally reminding them to go listen to their tapes.)

Remember you are not bound to these poems. These are a great representation of many of the good poems out there, but if you come across one that you would like to include, just go ahead the type it up and trade it out for one of the other poems. Or if you want to shuffle around the poems from one grade level to another, go right ahead. I think I already mentioned this in my original post, but the order of the historical selections in the poetry selection follows the grade-level order for Veritas History. (Beginning with Ancient Egypt in 2nd grade, and ending with American History in 6th grade). If you are following a different course of history, just shuffle these poems around to fit with your own plan.

Here is the poetry list:

First Grade
Psalm 1
Psalm 23
Psalm 100
I Sing the Mighty Power of God
Mr. Nobody
The Lamb
A Little Brother Follows Me
Hurt No Living Thing
The Wind
The Swing
End of Summer Poem
Bed in Summer
Animal Crackers
At the Zoo
A Good Play
(Extras: Beautiful and 30 Days Hath September)

Second Grade
Psalm 8
Books of the Bible
Silent Night
Oxymandias of Egypt
Ten Plagues
The Red Rose Says . . .
Song of the Grass Blades
Which Loved Best
If You Were
Results and Roses
How the Little Kite Learned to Fly
The Moon
Pirate Story
Children’s Hour
When Mother Reads Aloud
My Shadow

Third Grade
Psalm 113
10 Commandments
O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Try, Try Again
The Grumble Family
A Land Unknown
Rules for Talking
Blessings of Prayer
The Violet
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
The Seagull
The Harvest
The Duel

Fourth Grade
1 Corinthians 13
Philippians 2: 1-18
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
A Humble Heart
The Captain’s Daughter
Can and Can’t
Sermons We See
Father Mapple’s Hymn
Red Geraniums
The Eagle
The Snow (It Sifts from Leaden Sieves)
Captain Kidd
Sonnet XXX (Shakespeare)

Fifth Grade
Isaiah 53
Amazing Grace
Declaration of Independence
Preamble to the Constitution
Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers
The Charge of the Light Brigade
Concord Hymn
The Flag Goes By
All Things Beautiful
What Have We Done Today?
Sin and Its Cure
Beautiful Things

Sixth Grade
Ephesians 6
O God, Our Help in Ages Past
Gettysburg Address
Churchill Speeches
In Flanders Fields
The New Colossus
It Can Be Done
America the Beautiful
Somebody’s Mother
The Loom of Time
The Road Not Taken
Little Boy Blue
Crossing the Bar
If I Had This or That


Saturday, April 28, 2007

2nd Grade Poetry Memorization

We are using First Language Lessons as our grammar curriculum, which has poetry memorization as part of it's course. There are four new poems to be memorized in the second grade level, in addition to the ones memorized in the first grade level.

In addition to the new four poems in FLL, we'll memorize:

From The Harp and Laurel Wreath

  1. Rain by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. Happy Thought by Robert Louis Stevenson
  3. Singing by Robert Louis Stevenson
  4. Time to Rise by Robert Louis Stevenson
  5. Singing Time by Rose Ryleman

*The poems by Robert Louis Stevenson will be bilingual French/English memorization, they are short enough, "Singing" will be the last one we do in both languages since it is two stanzas long. There is a French/English version of "A Child's Garden of Verses".

For character during the year, because I like to read something when character issues crop up and then discuss it, especially with my dd.

From The Book of Virtues:
  1. Anger by Charles and Mary Lamb
  2. A Child's Prayer by M. Benthram-Edwards
  3. True Nobility by Edgar Guest
  4. Try, Try Again by Anonymous
  5. Can't by Edgar Guest
  6. Only A Dad by Edgar Guest

by Charles and Mary Lamb

Anger in its time and place
May assume a kind of grace.
It must have some reason in it,
And not last beyond a minute.

If to further lengths it go,
It does into malice grow.
'Tis the difference that we see
'Twixt the serpent and the bee.

If the latter you provoke,
It inflicts a hasty stroke,
Puts you to some little pain,
But it never stings again.

Close in tufted bush or brake
Lurks the poison-swellëd snake
Nursing up his cherished wrath;
In the purlieux of his path,

In the cold, or in the warm,
Mean him good, or mean him harm,
Whensoever fate may bring you,
The vile snake will always sting you.

A Child's Prayer
by Margaret Betham-Edwards

God, make my life a little light
Within the world to glow;
A little flame that burneth bright
Wherever I may go.

God, make my life a little flower
That giveth joy to all,
Content to bloom in native bower,
Although the place be small.

God, make my life a little song
That comforteth the sad,
That helpeth others to be strong
And makes the singer glad.

God, make my life a little staff
Whereon the weak may rest,
And so what health and strength I have
May serve my neighbors best.

God, make my life a little hymn
Of tenderness and praise;
Of faith, that never waxeth dim,
In all His wonderous ways.

*This will be our new bedtime prayer and I'm printing and laminating it to have it above both our children's beds.

True Nobility
by Edgar Guest

Who does his task from day to day
And meets whatever comes his way,
Believing God has willed it so.
Has found real greatness here below.

Who guards his post, no matter where,
Believing god must need him there,
Although but lowly toil it be,
Has risen to nobility.

For great and low there's but one test:
`Tis that each man shall do his best.
Who works with all the strength he can
Shall never die in debt to man.

Try, Try Again

by Anonymous

'Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again;
If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try again;
Then your courage should appear,
For, if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear;
Try, try again.

by Edgar Guest

Can't is the worst word that's written or spoken;
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day;
It rings in our ears like a timely sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can't is the father of feeble endeavor,
The parent of terror and halfhearted work;
It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
It stifles in infancy many a plan;
It greets honest toiling with open derision
And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can't is a word none should speak without blushing;
To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
It blights a man's purpose and shortens his aim.
Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
Refuse it the lodgement it seeks in your brain;
Arm against it as a creature of terror,
And all that you dream of you someday shall gain.

Can't is the word that is foe to ambition
An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
Its prey is forever the man with a mission
And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
Hate it, with hatred that's deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed 'twill break any man;
Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
And answer this demon by saying: "I can."

*"Can't" is to be read and discussed when the problem arises, it may be recited by the offender...hmm.

Only A Dad
Edgar Guest

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.

Other poems I would like to read throughout the year just for reading:
  • Let Dogs Delight by Isaac Watts
  • He Prayeth Best by Samuel Coleridge (from Rime of the Ancient Mariner)
  • Old and Quiet Pond by Basho (after reading "Grass Sandals")
  • Little Things by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer
  • I Like It When It's Mizzly by Aileen Fisher
  • I Heard a Bird Sing by Oliver Herford
  • Long, Long Ago (a Christmas poem)
  • The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Two Lessons by John Ciardi
  • Who Has Seen the Wind? by Christina Rosetti
  • What Do The Stars Do? by Christina Rosetti
  • The Mist and All by Dixie Willson
  • The Fly by Christopher Smart
  • The Moon by R. L. Stevenson
  • Our Saviour's Golden Rule by Isaac Watts
  • Fishy-Fishy in the Brook - nursery rhyme
  • The Boy That Never Sees from CLP Nature Reader, Volume 2
Poetry is very important to me, these poems listed at the end are ones that fellow homeschoolers shared that they use for 2nd grade. Other posts about Poetry memorization: Why?


2nd Grade Spelling

We're on Spelling Workout C, after finishing SWO A and B in first grade but instead of doing Spelling multiple days of the week, we'll be doing it once. The words for the week will be introduced on Monday and then on Thursday, Camille will do the exercises in the book.

You can view the inside of Spelling Workout C (or other levels) and the teacher editions at
We're only going to do this one level for second grade, it is considered a 3rd grade book.


Friday, April 27, 2007

United Methodist Questions & Answers

United Methodist Questions, United Methodist Answers
Exploring Christian Faith
by F. Belton Joyner Jr.

This is wonderful! If you've been looking for a book to explain United Methodists' faith, views, beliefs, history, etc.

Table of Contents

I. God
1. How do we know God?
2. Who is the Trinity?
3. WHat is the practical meaning of belief in the Trinity?
4. Why does God allow suffering?
5. Is it OK to call God "Father"?
6. What do United Methodists believe about evolution?

II. Jesus Christ
7. What does "incarnation" mean?
8. Was Jesus really born of a virgin?
9. Where was Jesus when the world was created?
10. Why did Jesus have to die?
11. What is the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus?
12. Will Jesus come again?

III. Holy Spirit
13. What does the Holy Spirit have to do with Jesus?
14. What is the Holy Spirit's work within the church?
15. What is the Holy Spirit's work outside the church?
16. What is the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit?
17. What role does speaking in tongues have in United Methodism?
18. What are the gifts of the Spirit?

IV. Humanity
19. What does it mean to say that people are created in the image of God?
20. Are people good or bad?
21. What is original sin?
22. Do people have free will?
23. Can a person really become perfect?
24. What happens when we die?

V. Salvation
25. What is prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace?
26. What about repentance?
27. Can a person backslide?
28. What does it mean to be born again?
29. What do good works have to do with salvation?
30 Who can be saved?

VI. Church
31. What is the nature of the church?
32. What is the mission of the church?
33. What are the creeds of the church?
34. Who are the clergy?
35. What is the role of laypersons?
36. What is connectionalism?

VII. Worship and Sacraments
37. How do UM worship?
38. Is it a table or an altar?
39. How often do UM take communion and other questions?
40. What about infant baptism?
41. Can I be rebaptized?
42. What's with all this singing?

VIII. Bible
43. What is the Bible's authority?
44. Why do we call the Bible, "God's Word"?
45. Is the Bible infalliable?
46. How do I read the Bible?
47. Why do Christian disagree on what the Bible means?
48. Why follow the lectionary?

VIIII. Theology
49. How do UM do theology?
50. Are UM liberal or conservative?
51. Why be concerned about theology?
52. Why is education so important to UM?
53. How does UM theology differ from other theologies?
54. Why are UM so exercised about homos#xuality?

X. Christian Life
55. What are the means of grace?
56. What are the works of mercy?
57. What about prayer?
58. What about healing?
59. Why be involved in justice?
60 Why does it make a difference how I live my life?

XI. Reign of God
61. What and where is the kingdom of God?
62. Why is what I think about the future important?
63. What is the nature of heaven?
64. What is the nature of hell?
65. What do UM teach about sin?
66. What will happen at the end of the world?

XII. History and Heritage
67. Who was John Wesley (and who were all those others)?
68. What are the different types of Methodists?
69. How did UM get to the United States?
70. Who were Francis Asbury and Christian Newcomer and Harry Hosier?
71. Who was Marjorie Matthews?
72. How do UM get along with others?

XIII. Polity
73. What is The Book of Discipline?
74. What is a conference?
75. What is the trust clause?
76. How are bishops chosen and what do they do?
77. What are chargeable offenses?
78. Why do the preachers move so often (and other questions that didn't fit in anywhere else)?

List of Hymns Quoted - This is great for those that wish to learn hymns alongside your studies!
For Further Reading

This book is brief and well-focused, it's not political and defuses acrimonious debates simply. It is perfect for United Methodist parents to use with their children at any time there is a question or as a 4th grade and up tool. There are not "homeschool" products for United Methodists so many, like me choose to use non-denominational products like Explorer's Bible study. EBS is fine for learning about the Bible but to learn what it means to be an United Methodist, there needs to be more.

The pamphlets at the church may be useful as well but for $10.36 at Amazon, the "spine" of studying United Methodism is right here. The author teaches Methodist history and Wesleyan theology at Duke Divinity School and has written other books.


You Musn't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must — but never quit.

Life is queer, with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won if he'd stuck it out;
Stick to your task, though the pace seems slow —
You may succeed with one more blow.

Success is failure turned inside out —
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt —
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit —
It's when things seem worst that YOU MUSN'T QUIT.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Our 2nd Grade Bible

Goals for the year:

1. Develop a better understanding of who God is and what the Bible says.
2. Encourage and Develop memorization: Memorize 34 scriptures
3. To discuss and facilitate ways to apply God's Word to our lives.

Curriculum to be used:

Beginnings II- Jesus My Shepherd : New Testament Lessons for Young Readers
by Explorer's Bible Study

Daily Activities: Average 30 minutes

1. Begin by reviewing memorized scriptures.

a. Review up to 10 scriptures daily, new scripture to be recited 3x
b. Review older scriptures once a week in addition to new
c. I will read the scripture in French when it is introduced.
2. Child to read aloud Bible Story, discuss any difficult words with Words to Know
3. Complete Questions: orally or on paper
4. Repeat scripture to be memorized
5. Discuss how we can use this lesson to strengthen our walk with God.
6. End in prayer either from the lesson or from what we've learned.
7. Learn/sing a hymn once a week (not part of curriculum)

I typed up all the scriptures we would memorize and provided the same verse from a French Bible. We will attempt to memorize the easier ones.
John 1:4-5
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
4 En lui résidait la vie, et cette vie était la lumière des hommes.

Luke 18:27
(what I would consider an easy scripture in French)
27Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
27 Jésus leur répondit:
---Ce qui est impossible aux hommes est possible à Die

*We will also be studying Church history in our history studies.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Our 4 Day Schedule

We start anytime between 7:30 and 8:00 am and typically end around 12:00 noon. Anything we don't finish we do after lunch but this is usually because of a project or the kids want to do something extra. We're keeping our lessons short and it is common to piggyback lessons onto the next day, if we don't finish everything by Thursday, it's done on Friday or Saturday. Friday is usually 1-2 hours long. Each year will have different subjects and as the kids' subjects increase, so will the schedule. My hope is to be able to finish by lunch for a while or at least keep a healthy balance for us all.


Today I Wanted To Ship...

...My Kids Somewhere!

I'm the MEAN Mom, I found a bracelet of Camille's under my bed and I told her I was throwing it away. It made her cry and she presented me with this picture to express herself. We discussed, or I should say I told her ...that if she can't take care of her belongings, they don't belong to her anymore.

Danny, getting dirtier by the minute AFTER I've told him to come inside. What a FUN day!
We quit school right after 11:30 am this morning and not because we were done.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Nitty Gritty Schedule

I've hit one of those times where there is a lot happening but by the time you sit down to write/type about it, it just seems either too trivial or too cumbersome to write about! We've gotten so off course with our lessons that we're doing something drastic, we're attempting to follow a rigid schedule. With dh's mom health issues and the latest travelling, I need to regain some momentum. I've decided to stop moaning about it and actually do something about it! I hesitate to write about it but I am determined.

Here's the new regime, I did post it below in Teaching My Children French post but it's what I want to talk about for this post.

5:30 am I wake up and do whatever I want for 1 hour, child free. Whether it be study French, read my Bible, walk the dogs, drink a whole pot of coffee- I can do it child-free! I also have to take my shower during this time because...

  • 6:30 am Wake-up call for the kids. Camille is to get dressed, make her bed and comb her hair. I'm helping Danny.
  • 7:00 am Breakfast. We eat together, clean the kitchen and brush our teeth.
  • 7:30 am Bible and Memory Work. Do our Bible lesson, review our scripture memory work, poetry and history.
  • 8:00 am Math.
  • 8:30 am Grammar and Handwriting. We do our Grammar lesson together and then I spend time with Danny while Camille does her Handwriting, we're using a digital timer.
  • 9:00 am History or Science. Danny gets outside time now or play time in his room.
  • 10:00 am Read-Aloud.
  • 10:30 am Independent Reading
  • 11:00 am French
  • 12:00 Lunch
After lunch, Danny is put down for his nap allowing Camille to practice on the piano, Danny free and then she takes her nap. I can take a nap at this time too if I wish.

There is room to move stuff around if we get off "schedule", the read-aloud can be moved to night time, the independent reading can be moved to the afternoon, I don't think French will take an hour but today it did (trying to find everything, the kids wanted to play a game that I hadn't planned for.)

Let's see where we are in our lessons:
Bible 22 out of 30 lessons done = 8 weeks
Math 127 out of 160 = 6 weeks
History 28 out of 40 = 12 weeks
Grammar 52 out of 100. = 8 weeks
Science 30 out of 40. = 10 weeks

Spelling & Art are done for the year, Cursive Handwriting was started early so it doesn't count.

Weeks left that I allotted for 1st grade: 9 weeks although I wanted to be done at the end of May, not June. Let's see how it would work out with 4 more weeks...

To end 1st grade by Friday June 1 we'd have to:
Bible: Double up, one lesson in morning and one at night.
Math: 2 lessons a day
History: 2-3 chapters in a week
Grammar: 2 lessons a day or find places to skip.
Science: read and abandon projects/experiments or replace with nature videos.
Of course the other solution is just tack onto 2nd grade which we start July 16th or July 23rd. I'm still thinking about when to start 2nd grade, especially if we run over with our 1st grade studies. It'll be decided once we're on our month break I guess.

To end 1st grade by June 29th:
Bible: keep lessons how they are
Math: keep lesson how they are
History: do a few 2 chapter weeks but that's it
Grammar: keep lessons how they are
Science: keep lessons how they are.
If we ended June 29th, I'd want a month off so we wouldn't start 2nd grade until August 6th. Hmm. I want to look at that more closely...If we start 2nd grade on August 6th with 40 weeks of lessons the end date would be May 26, 2008. My goal is to have the month of June completely off.
1 week for Thanksgiving
2 weeks for Christmas
1 unexpected week off
1 need the week off
=5 weeks
See, although working until June 29th looks good above as far as lessons go, it doesn't help with the long-term. So we'll be doubling up and seeing where there is unneeded repetition in our lessons so we can end on June 1. We'd then start 2nd grade July 16th or 23rd.

Okay. Is that clear as mud? Lol.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Teaching My Children French

There are multiple ways to teach any subject, French is just like any other subject. Given any advice, you'll find that immersion, reading French, learning vocabulary and grammar and speaking French is the best way to learn French. So, I'm trying to accomplish all of these things without overwhelming myself or my children. Please realize I'm just starting out and doing the best I can as a French learner myself. That said, let me share with you what I'm doing to teach my children French.


I created posters based on posters I saw for purchase, here's our "wall of French" that we review.

Top Left: Alphabet; Top Right: Days of the Week; Middle Left: Colors; Middle Right: Numbers 1-20
Bottom: Common school-related words

I wanted to be able to say, "get your _____" even before I could say it in French. My drawing of scissors is atrocious but you get the idea. I also realized that having the articles (un, une, la, le, les, des) is important to learning vocabulary. Did you know what when French children learn French they don't learn masculine/feminine words? They just learn the words with the appropriate articles, like "un livre" is book instead of just "livre".

Our colors poster. White is blanc but I couldn't figure out how to put that on there.
Below are two posters we have above our kitchen table.

We try to use the French words on this on a daily basis, even if we cannot formulate the question entirely in French. Camille may say, "Maman, can I have le lait with dîner?" "Qu'est-ce que vous voulez manger? is something I say daily. Lol.

Here's Our Lord's Prayer in French. Currently I'm studying this to be able to help my children learn it. I like that it is up there though. I copied it 4 times before I was able to write it without mistake, the hazards of creating your posters in a foreign language!

Here is our daily schedule. I say schedule because right now we're working towards this and I'm being pretty strict about it until it becomes habit. This is more of a homeschooling thing than teaching French but it's an example of how we're starting to use French in our daily lives. It's not just a subject for us.


Bonjour Les Amis 3 Volume Set: Love this! I love it even more that I was able to purchase it for $3.00 at our local library sale.
First Fun With French by Usborne
Brainy Baby French
Baby Einstein: Language Nursery, Baby Wordsworth-Words Around the House, Baby Newton-Discovering Shapes and Baby's Favorite Places-Words Around Town

Most of the Baby Einstein DVDs have French language tracks where the words on the screen appear in French and the voice on the video is in French. This really extends the life of these movies! I thought once Danny was older we'd be done with these but they are perfect for language learning. When looking at them in the store, look for this.

If it says it has a Language Track in French, you're good to go! Also look at the DVDs in your movie collection.
If they have this...

You can watch that movie dubbed in French. This particular one does not have subtitles in French but look for that too. The "heard" words will not match the person's mouth on the video but it is still great for immersion. I particularly like to watch movies heard in English with the French subtitle.


Pictured: Berlitz French Je Parle Français, Let's Learn French Coloring Book, Un Peu De Tout (A Bit of Everything), Mon Papa, Ma Maman, Milet's Mini Picture Dictionary, Barron's French/English Food, Barron's French/English Weather, Berlitz' Bilingual The Missing Cat, Berlitz' Bilingual The Five Crayons, Berlitz' Bilingual A Visit to Grandma, Usborne Internet Linked French Dictionary for Beginners, Camille et ses amis, Camille ne veut pas prêter ses jouets, Camille et son drôle de nounours, Help Your Child Learn a Foreign Language by Opal Dunn and Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Inside the Let's Learn French Coloring Book (which is just an alphabet book coloring book)

Inside the Milet Mini Picture Dictionary (has the all important articles!)

and inside Qu'est-ce que c'est? Which can be made into a game, there are other books like this that use the question words.
This book has flaps that open.


Okay now back to talking about Baby Einstein. I found these at Toys'RUs. They are Language Nursery Flash Cards.
I covered the English on the front and put the French word instead. We review these everyday and Danny loves them, especially the car, truck, fire truck and train flash cards!

On the back of them is multiple languages with pronounciation

I put the sticker right underneath the French so I could locate it quickly but I've got these memorized now.
That is what we do daily so far: read a book, review these flashcards, the posters and watch one of the videos. We're about to start The Easy French or Le Facile Français Jr. Level, I just finished putting the notebook together after printing out the activity sheets and combining them with The French Copywork K-3 from

I'm still in the planning stages of what songs, poems, nursery rhymes we'll memorize for the year and what order we'll learn them but we've been playing with Hop, Skip and Sing French which is quite fun!

Pictured: Aventures French Language Learning Program for Elementary Schools Book 1 set. (Private schools use this, I'm not sure I will just yet), Play and Learn French, Un Deux Trois: First French Rhymes, Teach Me French, Twin Sisters French, Teach Me French Spiritual Songs and Springboard to French.

There are some things I have too much of, such as I didn't realize that Springboard to French and Un Peu de Tout would be so similar in content. Thankfully, each is a little different. I've collected these those private sales, 4 for the price of 3 deals on Amazon,,

Useful link about teaching elementary children

French Links that I have bookmarked that will help you do anything you'd like teaching/learning French

When I have a schedule ready for what we're learning, I'll share it. I'm currently reading up different techniques for teaching elementary aged children. I'm also working on developing a sequence of concepts, I need a plan. : )
I feel like this is very disjointed but it's hard to share something when you haven't got it all figured out for yourself just yet. The idea right now is to keep the "concepts" or "theme" the same but use:
-nursery rhymes or poems
-activity sheets
-learn vocabulary and use vocabulary
-possibly copywork
to learn/teach the concept or theme.

I'll post more about this later. I hope this helps someone else and I haven't caused confusion!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Okay, I'm officially an adult now.

Today is my 30th birthday. No big deal really, just another day. I guess that's a part of being 30, birthdays just don't have the same pizazz they did when you were 10 years younger. I know I'm supposed to be freaking out about getting older, but other than wondering when I'll feel like an adult- I'm not.

Is there just a part of us that feels 17 forever? I have two human beings walking around that came out of my body, shouldn't that be enough to make me feel adult? Uh, no. In fact sometimes it makes me feel even younger, especially when making mud pies. Lol. I think I'll feel older when my children are older. Camille being 6 turning 7 is a pretty good reason to make me feel old, and the fact it has been 13 years since I was 17! Checking the math on that...yep, that's right.

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging lately. I have so much going on in "life" that I don't know what to write about here. Mother-in-law's pending departure has been such a blow to our lives and we've been doing a good bit of travelling to visit them. She just turned 60 yesterday, that's right her birthday is the 18th, mine is the 19th. In fact I saw the news about VTech at a Shoney's (while driving home) during lunch, I could barely eat. So many lives gone, for what reason? How many families devasted? How many rights are we going to lose because of this incident?

Want to read something funny? I thought I was being so clever and I ordered The Harp and Laurel Wreath from For three weeks while awaiting for it to get here, I thought we'd be able to use the English and French versions of the poems for memorization. Well, three weeks of waiting ended yesterday morning. I received my 2nd English copy of The Harp and Laurel Wreath that arrived from France. Yes. I bought the same exact book in France that I already had on the shelf. It is not in French. There's a little feature to that says livre de anglais, which means- books in English. I didn't notice it in all my excitement to find The Harp and Laurel Wreath on At least I can laugh at myself. Lol.

Have a great day.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Yes, I'm Learning French

Warning: This post is going to be very informative but also very long.
Grab something to drink and maybe a snack.

What I’m currently studying and using:

Side-by-Side French & English Grammar
by C. Frederick Farrell Jr.

ABOUT THE BOOK: The Side-by-Side Grammar books present explanations of the essential elements of Spanish or French grammar alongside their English-language equivalents. This method allows students to build on what they already know; not only do readers learn grammar for a new language but also enjoy the added benefit of strengthening their grammar skills in their native tongue !

Each lesson clearly explains functions and uses of the different parts of speech and includes abundant examples for each entry. Because the vocabulary is limited to frequently used words, students can concentrate more on a sentence's structure instead of becoming tangled in its meaning. A "Quick Check" section summarizes main ideas in each section and helps readers retain the most important information. New to these editions are exercise sections to further reinforce students' comprehension. Also available: Side-by-Side Spanish and English Grammar.

HOW I'M USING IT: Let's be honest, it's been a while since I studied grammar. Camille is only 6, so teaching her grammar is not really reviving my memory of the more complicated terms. This is helping me, it gives the grammar term on the left side in English and explains it well with examples. Then, it explains in English about French grammar- how it is the same as English grammar or different and how. I'm using this to refresh my memory and to learn about French grammar. I'm not forcing myself to memorize grammar rules just yet, only to familiarize myself. I am slowly going through this, taking one or two weeks per subject/chapter as I feel comfortable. I read the selection everyday, there are exercises but I don't do those until I feel confident in what I learned from reading.

Schaum's Outlines French Grammar 4th ed.

by Mary E. Coffman Crocker

ABOUT THE BOOK: At last, a guide that explains points of French grammar and structure simply, then clarifies each with concrete examples. The examples use the language of real-life situations. This new edition also makes difficult topics, like the difference between mood and tense, even easier to understand. Numerous fill-in-the-blank and other exercises with delayed answers help cut down the time it takes readers to gain proficiency and confidence communicating in French. Also available: Schaum's Outlines (German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and Latin) Grammar

HOW I'M USING IT: I'm using this book as an extension of the first one, it doesn't have the explanations of English grammar the Side-by-Side book above has but it has more exercises and French. Whatever I'm studying in Side-by-Side, I'm also studying it in this book. Same time schedule, as I learn.

Easy French Reader

by R. de Roussy de Sales

ABOUT THIS BOOK: These unique guides are based on the premise that the best way to learn a language is to start reading it, immediately. Suitable for raw beginners to intermediate-level language learners, the new editions of these popular titles feature engaging readings of progressive difficulty that allow learners to rapidly build comprehension.

Easy French Reader begins with the adventures of two friends, an American and a Parisian, as they learn about their respective cultures. This is followed by readings on the history of France, from ancient Gaul to the present. The final section features four abridged short stories by famous French authors.
Also available: Easy Spanish Reader, Easy Italian Reader (by different authors).

HOW I'M USING IT: I have to say, I LOVE this book! What a boost of confidence! It really is easy to read and understand, the back of the book has a dictionary in case you come across a word you don't understand. There are three parts to each chapter: first- you read a narrative, second and third are exercises regarding the narrative. ALL in French. I'm using this daily, reviewing the last story before I read the new one. I'm only moving as quickly as I understand, if I can't answer the questions 100%, then I stay with that narrative until I do. So far, it's been a narrative a day but the book progresses from beginner to intermediate level, so I may be slowing down after a few narratives. This is increasing my vocabulary as well!

Michel Thomas' Speak French for Beginners

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: No books. No writing. No drills. And nothing to memorize-- ever! With his patented method, Michel Thomas has taught languages to top celebrities and--through his bestselling audio programs--more than a million everyday learners around the world. At the end of this ten-CD beginner’s program, you will have acquired:

* A full working vocabulary
* Essential comprehension skills
* Complete language confidence

Don't try to memorize specific words or expressions. It is a basic principle of the Michel Thomas™ method that the responsibility for the student’s learning lies with the teacher. With Michel Thomas as your teacher, your learning will be based on understanding--and what you understand, you do not forget! Also available: Italian, Spanish and German.

HOW I'M USING IT: This is amazing, I've listened to quite a few audio products but when I'm attempting to formulate a sentence or thinking about how to say something, my mind goes back to Michel Thomas' voice. I should say that I don't have this set of cds, I have the older 8 cd set but they are the same with the exception that two of the cds in this 10-cd set are review cds.

Michel Thomas is teaching two people, a man and a woman in the program, they are learning alongside of you, mistakes and all! Now, I think anyone who listens wants to strangle the woman on the cd at some point, especially when you're listening and you think you have the right answer and she's not doing it right. I listen to the same track 3-5 times or until I can use the information M.Thomas has taught and then I move on. It's less frustrating (I've found) to listen to the same one until you're ready to move on instead of listening to multiples and then going back to review. I've been thinking about taking notes about what I'm learning with this, just to see it on paper. I just put this on my ipod and take it with me everywhere, listening 3-5x a week.

French 1
The Standard Deviants

Never fear, the fun-loving smart people at Standard Deviants have created this video tutorial that will help you master the basics of the French language in no time flat. Subjects covered include basic vocabulary, the French alphabet, vowel sounds and accents, verb forms and conjugation, gender, definite articles, formal and informal constructions, and much more. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Also available: Italian, Spanish

HOW I'M USING IT: I try to watch this 1-3x a week, but lately with the travelling I haven't been able to and I've found that it does pay to take notes and pause the video. I don't have the DVD, I have the VHS tape that I bought YEARS ago and found it recently tucked into a closet. This program is available on if you have access or you can rent it through Blockbuster or Netflix.

French in Action

The Capretz Method

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: This series uses active participation to increase fluency in French, while introducing French culture. Pierre Capretz’s proven language-immersion method is presented within a humorous teleplay with native speakers of all ages and backgrounds. The storyline of an American student and a young Frenchwoman's adventures in Paris and the French countryside is reinforced by Dr. Capretz’s on-camera instruction. The series is also appropriate for teacher professional development. Watch the videos free here.

HOW I'M USING THIS: I'm watching this 3x a week, at first I didn't make it through the first one because I got frustrated. I had immersion frustration! I went back and watched it again and realized towards the end, it is explained with words on the screen and it made much more sense! I found the book to go along with this on BookMooch but I haven't started using it yet. I keep forgetting to grab it. I might put the book into my daily reading so that I'm prepared when I watch the video. Oh, best part- it's free! Click on the link above to get immersed!

SparkNotes French Vocabulary Study Cards
(the Grammar set is waiting in the wings)

ABOUT THE CARDS: There's 1000 vocabulary cards, on the side where the French word is displayed, it also tells you whether the word is a verb, masculine/feminine noun, adjective, adverb, preposition, interjection, conjunction.
Also available: English, Spanish-may be more...

HOW I'M USING THEM: These are perfect for on the go studying, I grab 20 at a time and just flip through them for a week until I can look at the English word and "know" the French equivalent! I also have the grammar study cards waiting to be used but I'm reserving those for after the two grammar workbooks mentioned above.

I like that I can organize these by grammar if I wish without risking being wrong. I can also use these for the children if I wish, maybe as we study new words I can put them up for them to see the spelling. I purchased these for myself and the ones below for both my children and I.

French Vocabulary Flash Cards by QuickStudy

I also have these flash cards which I currently use with Camille. They are organized by subject which makes it easier on me. Here's what it contains.

ABOUT THE CARDS: Box of 1000 Flash Cards include color coded tabs on the top of the cards to easily remove and replace cards in the proper section.
Also available: Spanish and possibly other languages.

Card Categories include:
·Adjectives ·Adverbs ·All Verbs ·The Body ·Food and Drink ·Sports/Entertainment ·Studies ·The Family
·Weather ·Time ·Travel ·Greetings ·Bank ·Color ·Clothes ·Measurements ·Numbers

So with the above, I am reading French, studying syntax/grammar, vocabulary, watching & listening to native speakers, listening and practicing with a renowned language teacher but that's not all I'm doing. With all this, I'm watching the children's French videos, our own movies in French or with French subtitles, I'm reading simple French children's books to my children or listening to one of their audio/books with them.

I'm also:
-Applying what I'm learning by talking to my children in the French I do know or teaching them some of the vocabulary I've learned.
-I'm repeating the lessons, rewatching the French in Action, listening again to Michel Thomas until I have a firm grip on the material before moving on. I'm writing in a notebook instead of in the workbooks above.
-Meeting with my "tutor" once a week to speak French and receive constructive criticism.
-Learning through my children's materials as well: books, videos, songs, games, creating learning posters for them, flashcards, etc.

I'll post what I'm doing with the dc in a couple of days. I hope you've found this helpful, there are many wonderful resources out there, the key is finding what will work for YOU.


Congratulations to the Winners!

I just wanted to let any/all readers know the Homeschool Blog Awards are finished
and the results are up!

Congratulations to the winners,
keep inspiring us!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

2nd Grade Preparations

2nd Grade Preparation

1. SOTW Volume 2
a. Compare SOTW chapters to the Church History reading schedule I've already prepared and correct any mistakes. DONE!
b. Compile a reading list for each week, checking against other book lists and what is available through our library. DONE!
c. Transfer complete reading list into library system. (We can do this in Georgia.) don't need to do...
d. Pick a project for every two weeks and compile supply shopping list if necessary. DONE!
e. Print out the History Scribe pages we'll be using and combine them with SOTW's student pages. DONE!
f. See about field trips. not many for this time period

2. French
We're using Bonjour Les Amis videos and taking the vocabulary from that, then we'll move on to another product.

3. Earth Science
a. Using Hands-On Earth Science and other spines, create a lesson schedule. DONE!
b. Create a supplemental reading list and transfer onto library system. DONE!
c. Create supply list. Will do the week of study as a part of weekly planning.
d. Field trips. Dd going to Dinosaur Park in Kentucky this summer, we'll visit a science museum and planetarium as well. News station field trip to interview meteorologist, and other real-life scientists we are studying.

4. Poetry via The Harp and Laurel Wreath & Poems for Memorization (by Rod & Staff)
a. Copy/type out poems to be memorized for the year, include French nursery rhymes and short poems. DONE!

5. Explorer's Bible Study
a. Type out scriptures to be memorized for the year. DONE!
b. Also have put scriptures in French underneath the English version.

6. Horizons 2
a. Read about manipulatives needed, collect and store in one place. Not doing.

7. Music
a. Get familiar with products selected and create a lesson schedule. DONE!
b. Create supplemental reading list for each composer/piece, put in music notebook. Not doing.
c. Create Music notebook copying composer pictures from the coloring book.

8. Artistic Pursuits K-3, Book 1 & 2
a. Incorporate into SOTW 2 history lessons. will post with history lesson plans later, DONE!

9. Classically Cursive
a. Get familiar with product. DONE, already in use!

10. U.S. Geography
a. Print out state worksheets from Hold that Thought cd, create notebook. Done.
b. Put states into sections by regions. Done.
c. Collected reference books so that we are not dependent on library for this informal study unless we WANT to.

11. Memorization
a. Figure out what to memorize for the year other than scripture and poetry. DONE!
b. Create Master Memorization notebook including: Scripture, French, History, Math, Science - Done.

12. Copywork in History and Science done for the year.

We're also doing a month long study of dinosaurs in-between our first and second grade year. Camille is really excited about this, she keeps asking when we're going to do it. What a great motivator! I think I've listed everything, if not I'll come back and edit it. : ) Jessica


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Humbled and Honored

I've been nominated for three categories but if you look at the other nominees, you'll see they are more qualified than I. Please go vote for your favorite homeschool bloggers, encourage them to keep encouraging you. My votes are in and you have until Friday, I was so pleased to see fellow bloggers that have inspired me or made me laugh in the past year- Yes! I voted for you! I'll shamelessly add the nominee button to the sidebar but I'm sure I have YEARS to go before receiving an award like this will be warranted. So I am humbled and honored to be nominated, but realistically- I don't deserve it.


Getting Back on Track

We've gotten off course in a big way, the news of mil's health and the travelling has my head spinning wondering, "What WERE we doing?" I had everything so organized and even if I didn't cover something one day, I knew it'd be done that week. I was tackling my 2nd grade preparations on a consist basis, I was posting here regularly with something to say or something to share. I was organized with my thoughts, my idea of what I wanted to accomplish and now I feel like I have more "projects" going than I can handle at this time.

The overhaul of our eating habits has required time, the new study of French has taken time and honestly has gotten us off track. I now have a printer and laminator so I'm slowly but surely getting things done. I haven't updated our "Books We've Read in First Grade" list, we haven't even finished The Wind in the Willows! I've taken some time away from being online and this has been healing, I need to do it more. We're so close to being done for first grade and I've learned so much this year. I really want to take those lessons learned and put them into action so that I don't make the same mistakes again. What mistakes? you may ask....

  1. Spending more time planning than doing.
  2. Adding a new project in order to procrastinate on another thing (like cleaning *smile*)
  3. Spending more time worrying about what I'm doing than focusing on what I'm doing
  4. Getting trapped into the "what is the newest, latest and greatest?"
  5. Spending too much time online talking about homeschooling with other hslers than doing the nitty-gritty work.

So, there it is- the ugly truth. Anything new and exciting can become addicted and destructive, such as blogging or having the wrong attitude in a situation. Homeschooling isn't about what we're doing, or how we're doing it and sharing our hits or misses, it's about time, it's about the kids. It's about consistency, parenting, family relationships and most of all-developing solid relationships between our kids and God. (not for everyone but this is prevalent on my list)

I've been taken off the track by discussions about Old/Young Earth, what type of books are best to be read, what is the best way to do narrations, why isn't my child doing what your child is doing?, discipline issues, and all of these are answered by "JUST DO IT." I've realized I don't have to have the "RIGHT" answers in order to move forward, I don't need to feel 100% confident in everything I do in order to be effective. I can be 10% right and still make a positive impact on my children, as long as I'm there. I can organize the information my children will learn until I'm blue in the face, but the focus needs to be on giving that information to the children and fostering their love of learning about God, life, love and discipline of the mind and body. I didn't understand when others said that faith is the most important subject to be learned. I thought, "how extreme they are", but now I see the beauty, I see the value.



Saturday, April 7, 2007

Deals at Book Closeouts!

I love, here's what they have available from

DK Publishing



All their current French items!

Take a look, the prices are unbelievable!
Don't forget to look at their April Specials for Mother's Day and their Journal & Photo Blowout!


Crepes, Pears and Chicken oh la, la!

First, anything written or said in French sounds impressive for some reason but these recipes are quite simple!
On the right is Suprêmes de Volaille a Blanc (Chicken breasts poached in butter with wine and cream sauce) and on the left is Poires Au Gratin (Pears baked with wine and macaroons). We also had white whole grain rice and Carottes Etuvees au Beurre (Carrots braised in butter). The kids didn't have the pears but had Pineapple Sherbert.


This is Vanilla Crepes with Nutella, strawberries and bananas. I've never had breakfast crepes before and this was delicious! Unbelievably simple and our permanent replacement for pancakes and possibly even waffles! Nutella is a spread made from cocoa, hazelnuts, and skim milk and is apparently very popular throughout the world and was on the peanut butter shelf at the grocery store. Yummy!

Dh asked what we're having tonight and I told him Crab Cakes, he was disappointed! "I've had crab cakes, can't you make something else French?" He's eating this UP, literally! All the foods with the exception of a select few (like the Nutella above) is made from scratch, scroll down to look at my fridge! lol.


Friday, April 6, 2007

Marriage Meme

Crystal tagged me for this meme.

1. Where/How did you meet?
Ruby Tuesday's in a mall but we talked on the phone prior, blind date.

2. How long have you known each other?
6 years

3. How long after you met did you start dating?
Two weeks

4. How long did you date before you were engaged?
6 months

5. How long was your engagement?
6 months

6. How long have you been married?
This August will be five years

7. What is your anniversary?
August 30

8. How many people came to your wedding reception?
Hmm, I'd say about 40 people were there.

9. What kind of cake did you serve?
All I remember is buttercream frosting, I HAD to have buttercream frosting, I think it was white inside.

10. Where was your wedding?
United Methodist Church in SE Georgia

11. What did you serve for your meal?
Fruit, nuts, finger food, no meal.

12. How many people were in your bridal party?
8, three bridesmaids, three groomsmen, flower girl and ring bearer.

13. Are you still friends with them all?
No, they were comprised of family but one couple has since divorced so one of my bridesmaids is out of the picture.

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony?
No, I did.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day?
Getting ready with my daughter and soon to be mother in law and sisters in law.

16. Any funny moments?
I did the usual bride thing, I fell but I didn't flash anyone thankfully!

17. Any big disasters?
My daughter's father showed up right before we were cutting the cake and dh got very angry that he was there. He showed up in blue jeans to take custody during the reception, he was supposed to meet the in-laws an hour later after the reception to pick her up.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee.

19. How long were you gone?
Four days at a wonderful bed and breakfast!

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?
I would have waited one more year before getting married, made sure my parents could have been there and had it outside.

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Left, hugging the edge.

22. What size is your bed?
In the current parsonage, king.

23. Greatest strength as a couple?
We stick.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple?
Time, being unselfish with each other.

25. Who literally pays the bills?
He makes the moolah, I spend it- on bills! : )

26. What is your song?
Lonely Road of Faith by Kid Rock (of all people!)

27. What did you dance your first dance to?
At Last by Etta James

28. Describe your wedding dress:
Hmm, I don't know how to describe it! It was just one that fit, looked and cost right! It is gorgeous, but isn't all things that seem to be made for just for us?

I've to tag three people: Barb, Becky and Linda Fay!


That's Life (C'est la vie)

A picture of some of the French items we're using right now. Pictured is
  • Hop, Skip and Sing French- games, stories and vocabulary
  • French Vocabulary 1000 Cards by Quick Study- 1000 ways to save time (lol)
  • French Grammar
  • Easy French Exercises
  • Side by Side English and French Grammar
  • Instant Immersion French workbook
  • The Big Blue Book of 555 French Verbs
  • Webster's French-English/English-French Dictionary
  • The Missing Cat by Berlitz (with CD)
  • Food (French/English Bilingual) book
  • French Ways and Their Meanings by Edith Warton
  • Penguin Parallel Text French/English Short Stories 1
  • The Easy French Reader
  • French Vocabulary Book by Berlitz
  • Goodnight Everyone (French/English bilingual) book
  • Play and Learn French (everyday conversations & songs)

Life. It's doesn't slow down does it? We have things we HAVE to do, things we've committed ourselves to, things we WANT to do. If I were to write all that we've done or have to do in the last two weeks or the following two weeks- I would shut down this computer and crawl into bed until I felt it was safe to come out. Guess what? It will never be safe! We can't hide from our responsibilities no matter how long we procrastinate, it's much better to grab the bull by the horns than to run around trying to cover our red pant wearing behinds! (My grandma used to say that.)

Danny helping Grandpa with yardwork. Grandpa let Camille and Danny both ride the lawnmower with him, they had such a blast! My dad is my hero in so many ways, he even braved taking the children to a drag race! I think it was the first time he had taken them someplace by himself and they all had fun.

A dog statue that Danny had fun with at an arts & crafts festival while we were visiting my parents.

Danny got a race car painted on his arm while Camille choose to have a horse on her face. It was a wonderfully nice day, the weather was perfect and we all had fun.

This picture really captures Danny's softness which I'll miss because he's getting older. Life has been crazy lately, I don't have a post for Camille's work because it has been sporadic as we've been travelling. It's nice to be home and resume some type of normalcy- who am I kidding!? We're not normal. Camille's piano lessons are going well, French is going well, our new cooking is going well as long as I cook the vegetables before they sour. Life is good. And I'm thanking God for it all even while I pray for strength during this time as we deal with Dh's mom going home. There's not an update for her, she still has cancer and it's still untreatable. It may happen at any time but I'm leaning on the Lord and trying to be there for my dh. Her 60th birthday is coming up and we pray it will be a good one for her, a lot of family is gathering. I pray that the Lord will make me an instrument of His peace everyday lately.