9th Birthday Interview

Another year has passed and it’s the last one in single digits.  Here is the latest birthday interview!

Nathan was reluctant to do this interview and that is why he is barely looking at the camera and talking in a silly voice!  Below is the transcript in case you can’t hear him.

  1. What is today?  My birthday
  2. How old are you?  9
  3. What’s your favorite color?  Red
  4. What is your favorite toy?  I like all my toys
  5. What is your favorite fruit?  I like all fruit except persimmon
  6. Where do you want to go on vacation?  Legoland
  7. What is your favorite thing to eat?  I like a lot of stuff  (this is very true, he’s an exceptional eater!)
  8. What do you want to do for your birthday?  Stay home and then go out to Pizza Caboose for dinner
  9. What is your favorite game?  Maybe basketball
  10. What is your favorite snack?  Trail mix bar
  11. What is your favorite animal?  Huh…Gracie
  12. What is your favorite song?  I don’t even know
  13. What is your favorite book?  Hmm, I don’t know if I have one.  Maybe Captain Underpants
  14. Who is your best friend?  Ryan
  15. What kind of car do you want when you grow up?  Hmm, maybe a Corvette (my dad and Christopher would be proud!)
  16. What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play
  17. What do you want for your birthday?  Um, the stuff I already got (Legos)
  18. What is your favorite holiday?  Maybe Christmas
  19. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Maybe waffle
  20. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  Pizza
  21. What do you want to be when you grow up?  Uh, I don’t know

Happy Birthday!

p.s. A lot of these questions revolve around food, which is kind of funny to me (we do love food), but I copied these from some other site seven years ago and now want to keep them consistent each year!

A Homeschool Day In the Life (with an 8 & 6 year old)

Over at Simple Homeschool Jamie is having the “Homeschool Day In the Life” series where you post what one day of homeschool life is like.  I participated in this two years ago (my boys have grown so much) and thought that I would do so again.

Here was a random Thursday that we had, but most days follow this routine.


I get up around 6:45 and get ready to go and workout (from an online video).  I never set an alarm to wake-up and let my body naturally wake-up.  Before I workout, I check some of my emails on my phone.  I then workout for 30-60 minutes (today was for 45 minutes).

The boys are waking at the same time I do, or a little later, but they usually spend 20-30 minutes talking in bed before coming out into the family room where I am.  If it is a workout that they like, they’ll join me :).  After some prodding, my oldest gets in the shower and my youngest follows him (my husband is on a work trip, but if he is home he usually starts working out at this time).  After the workout, I make breakfast for both of the boys, but many days they will make their own breakfasts or their dad does before he works out.  I just have to remind them that they have to have a protein and not just sugar!  After they are finished with breakfast they have been doing the online math program Smarttick (it’s good, but I saw the sticker price and we will not be continuing after our trial is up!).  Each kid gets 15 minutes of Smarttick.  Afterwards, they usually stay at our dining room table and draw pictures or they go and play with Legos.  During this time I finish checking all of my emails (including reading blogs I follow) and check to see the status of April the Giraffe!

Around 9am I hop in the shower and get ready for the day.  On good days I hope to get school started now, but I’m running slow!  I also stay in the shower much too long, but the house is cold and the shower feels so good!  Once I’m ready I gather all of the materials that I will be reading to the boys for school and we head into our family room to start school.  The boys get a snack or a second breakfast (they are two bottomless pits!).  We start “school” and I read stories from our Build Your Library (BYL) curriculum.  This includes language arts, science, and geography.  On Thursdays Nathan’s schoolwork goes first and then I move onto Anderson’s.  The boys really enjoy this time because they like being read to.  After the BYL work I read some picture books that complement what we are learning for history.  I quit BYL for history and have gone back to using History Odyssey (HO).  We are currently reading about the Middle Ages.  HO has more book recommendations that I think work better for my boys and get them interested in the time period.  Neither of my boys are independent readers, so much of our time is spent with me reading to them.  I look forward to when I can give them instructions on what to read and they can do it without me :).  If there are any activities to go with what we are reading and learning about we will do that now.


My oldest isn’t grumpy, he just wanted to make that face for the camera!

It’s now about 11am and we take a break so that I can have my breakfast.  My husband and I are eating breakfast so late because we do intermittent fasting.  We only eat for 8 hours during the day (11am-7pm) and so far this way of eating hasn’t been bad at all and is something that we both are happy with.  Since my husband and I are making food this prompts the boys to want to eat too, so they make themselves an early lunch, which is usually a sandwich of some variety.  The boys take a longer break to play because they aren’t as enthusiastic about the next portion of learning.

We have been using the program All About Reading for both of my boys.  My oldest is categorized as being in third grade, but he is not independently reading yet.  I had heard from many people that this is a great program for those who are not up to grade level with reading.  I’ve found that this program has been great!  Both of my boys like it and I’ve seen huge improvements with my oldest.  Each lesson has just the right amount of reading to not be frustrating, which is a big plus.  My youngest is in Kinder and I have found that he is beyond his level in the program (he started reading on his own), but we still do the lessons so that he has a good foundation.

After reading we do our math program Right Start Math (RSM).  When we were starting out homeschooling this year I wasn’t sure what math program we should use and I took this quiz and it was suggested that RSM was the best fit for us (my husband got the same results).  I  like the program and my boys seem to enjoy it too, although sometimes they complain about having to do it.  I think that they complain because it’s usually the last thing that we do for the day and they just want to be done!

For reading and math I work with one boy at a time.  They alternate who goes first each day.  I tried having one do reading and then the other one do reading, but that was a no go.  While one of them is working with me the other one is usually playing or trying to find ways to annoy their sibling while they are working.  My oldest does have to read by himself for 20 minutes.  He can pick any book and read as much as he can.  Lately, he’s been reading Captain Underpants.


My boys are finished with school and now it is time to do some chores!  They clean up their messes and sweep.  They have to do this before they get an hour to play video games.  They play either Minecraft or Super Mario Brothers on our WiiU.  We set a timer for this and almost every day it is a struggle to get them to quit playing.  If I have to tell them to get off more than a few times and they don’t listen to me they lose it for the next day.  When they are finished playing they either go outside or stay inside to play.

Around 3-3:30 they ask to go see if their friends (who go to public school) can play.  I tell them that we should take a walk with the dogs since it isn’t raining!  We get the dogs ready and head on out.  On our walk, they stop at their friends’ houses and ask if they can play, but they have homework to do, so they continue on the walk with me.


I start working on dinner around 4:30 and the boys play.  We eat between 5:30-6.  After dinner I decide that we are going to do the Deep Space Sparkle (DSS) President’s Day art project that I never got around to!  I read to them two books about Abe Lincoln and then we do the project.  I’m pleased with how they turned out, but my oldest is being grumpy and says that he doesn’t like his artwork.

Homemade pizza! I’m trying to eat healthy, so I have the zucchini pizza sliders 🙂

The boys now have time to play and I usually catch up on emails, social media, reading, learning to play the guitar, learning how to use my camera, or watching Gilmore Girls.  The boys really like to bother each other and I think that I spend more time “yelling” at them to leave each other alone.  At 7:30 I tell them to get ready for bed, but it takes them about an hour until they are finally ready for bed.  Once they are ready I read to them and they go to bed.  When their dad is home he is the one that reads to them before bedtime and that gives me some much needed alone time!

*On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday my boys have either Fencing or Parkour classes, so that changes those days up a little bit.  If we have extra time we like to do science experiments, play board games, or free draw.  Every day doesn’t go smoothly and I’ve left out plenty of arguing and fighting from everyone in this day! 🙂







This winter we’ve had a lot more snow than what we usually get here.  The boys are thrilled since they love the snow!  Last night it snowed 6 1/2″ at our house and it looked so beautiful waking up to everything covered in snow.  Luckily, Christopher doesn’t mind driving in the snow so we aren’t housebound (this area is notorious for not having the infrastructure to handle a snowstorm for the roads).


I hope that the bees are still alive in there!










Recipe to Make A Carrot Smoothie



Nathan wanted to make his own smoothie concoction and it actually turned out tasty.  He wanted me to share the recipe with others, so here it is.  The recipe is all his own (I just did the typing).

-Little water.  Fill to the top of the blades.

-2 apple slices.  Add to blender.

-1 graham cracker.  Break-up and add to blender.

-1 large carrot chopped.  Add to blender.

-Blend until everything is blended.

-1/2 cup coconut milk.  Add to blender.

-1 tablespoon maple syrup.  Add to blender.

-Add some ice.

-Blend it all together.

-1 banana.  Add to blender.

-3 or 4 handfuls of berries (we used marionberries).  Add.

-Blend it all.

-Add 1 cup of ice.

-Blend it all.

-Smoothie is done!


6th Birthday Interview

It’s hard to believe that this kid turns six today!  As usual, we did the birthday interview :)!

If you can’t understand him, I wrote down his answers below :).

What is today?  My birthday!

How old are you?  Six

What is your favorite color?  Blue

What is your favorite toy?  The Iron Golem set I got

What is your favorite fruit?  Pineapple

Where do you want to go on vacation?  Czech Republic 

What is your favorite thing to eat?  Pizza

What do you want to do for your birthday?  Open presents and go out to eat

What is your favorite game?  Tag

What is your favorite snack?  Favorite snack…I think it would be…frozen banana

What is your favorite animal?  What’s my favorite animal?  Dog.  No, I mean cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat

What is your favorite song?  I don’t know

What is your favorite book?  I don’t know.  I can’t think of any book

Who is your best friend?  Cassie

What kind of car do you want when you grow up?  What?  A Prius

What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play

What do you want for your birthday?  Lego

What is your favorite holiday?  Halloween

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Pizza

What do you want for dinner on  your birthday?  Grilled cheese

What do you want to be when you grow up?  Just a regular person




What We’ll be Using for the 2016-2017 Year.

homeschool picks

At the end of last year I decided that it was time that we part ways with the Waldorf curriculum.  I did love the curriculum that we were using, but unfortunately it stops at second grade and Nathan is going into third.  My boys (& myself) were also veering away from the Waldorf way of teaching and I found that for us having an assortment of curriculum would work best for us.

This year I also decided to go with a homeschool charter program.  I have friends that were doing these and they raved about them.  I figured we would give it a shot and see if it worked out.  If it wasn’t working we could always stop going and continue on our own.  With the homeschool charter program they give us a stipend per kid for curriculum and any extra school supplies, which was a nice thing to have this year.

Here is what we will be doing.

All About Reading

I had heard from a couple of people that this was a great Language Arts curriculum, especially for those learning to read.  We got the pre-reading set and the Level 1 set.

RightStart Math

I’ve heard of RightStart Math since we started homeschooling and I’ve always been intrigued by it.  Earlier this year in one of my FB homeschooling groups someone posted this link that asks you questions to determine what math curriculum would work best for your family.  I took it and RightStart was #1.  I asked my husband to take it and RightStart was tied for #1 for him too, so I figured that it was one that we should try out.  We got Level A and Level C.

Build Your Library (BYL)

I just found about them in the Spring.  It is an all encompassing curriculum that does language arts, science, history, and art.  This curriculum follows the Charlotte Mason theory (I’ve heard of it and know a little, but not a lot).  I liked what it offered and it was super affordable because it comes as a downloadable file that I printed from home (I got it on sale too!).  As you probably noticed, we have a LA program already so my plan is to have AAR as our main resource and read the stories in this curriculum and do some of the copywork, but mostly keep it light.

Deep Space Sparkle Members Club

This is an art program that is mostly geared towards teachers in a classroom setting, but it looks like it is a great resource for homeschooling too.  I have used Patty’s lessons in the past and have really enjoyed them.  In the Member’s Club you get access to a lot of art lessons and she explains how to teach the lessons.  There is really a lot there and I’m looking forward to doing some lessons from here!


We got this book The Curious Kid’s Science Book (affiliate link) to supplement our science and do some fun kitchen science experiments.

We signed up for Mystery Science , which are all short videos that are about science.

We still have an online membership for Prodigy Math and will use that occasionally.

With the charter school they offer accounts for Reading Eggs, Khan Academy, and Moby Max and encourage us to use those to supplement what we have.

Through the charter school they also offer online and in person classes, which we will do occasionally.

Lastly, we will be taking field trips, going to museums, and learning through life!  I think that the above will keep us more than busy and I’m sure that some of the stuff will be dropped as we find that we don’t have as much time as I hoped we would have.  I’m looking forward to this school year and now I just need to start planning because we start school this coming Tuesday!



Day 31: Sunset (or maybe not!)

Today’s picture was supposed to be of a sunset, but I’m not taking one because:

  1. From my house you don’t have a good view of a sunset
  2. It’s overcast here and there probably wouldn’t be a picture to take
  3. It’s rainy and I don’t feel like going out in the rain to try and get a picture of a sunset

So, instead you get a picture of our new (& fancy) glass electric kettle!  It has a blue light and looks so cool when it is boiling water


And that is the conclusion of the August picture a day challenge!  I hope that you enjoyed my pictures.

The above link is an affiliate link and if you decide to purchase this awesome electric kettle with the blue light I would get a tiny commission from your sale!  Thanks!!