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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Cool New Feature on Blogger

Perhaps you have already seen this, but in case you haven't, I thought I would share. There is now the capability for you to schedule posts.

Sheduling Blog Posts

I tend to do lots of blog posts in a short time and then don't do any for quite a while, so this will be very helpful to me in providing some consistency to my blogging. People get tired of checking your blog after about a week and some don't come back.

The other idea I had was to make a rough schedule of categories to blog on during the week: ie.
homeschooling, scrapbooking, ranching, kids projects, fun finds, etc. Perhaps I will work on that idea once the kids go to bed tonight.

Hope you find this helpful (well, if you use blogger and not typepad, wordpress, etc.)

New Desk and Chair ????

Every Homeschooler Needs a Cool Desk and Chair

This came in a homeschool newsletter, the Homeschool Buyers Coop
I haven't purchased anything through them, but I do know people who have. They do group buys and negotiate great deals. They had a huge discount on microscopes last year. I will use them in the future, just hadn't had a need to yet.

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a good laugh.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Spring Voice Recital

It has been a month and I am finally getting things posted from the kids' voice recital. I don't have very good pictures of the kids actually singing (though the video is much better), so I am posting a picture of their teacher Jodi. The girls sang two duets and in between they sang a song with my son. Each had a solo verse in one of the songs.

We started voice lessons in January and because of bad weather and the distance to lessons, it was the end of January before we got started. The recital was at the end of April and I am finally getting around to posting. How pathetic is that?

We are taking the summer off but plan to start up again this fall. Jodi is a wonderful teacher and is not only teaching them inflection, but reading notes, etc. We are looking forward to starting up again this fall.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What Kind of Shoes Are You?

You Are Cowboy Boots

This doesn't mean you're country, just funky.

You've got a ton of attitude and confidence.

You're unique, expressive, and even a little bit wacky.

You wear whatever you feel like รข€“ and you have your own sense of style.

You are straight shooting and honest. You tell people how it is.

Low maintenance and free wheeling, you're always up for an adventure.

You should live: Where you can at least get to wide open spaces

You should work: In a job that allows you to take change

What Kind of Shoe Are You?

I guess this was right on! I just unlaced my Ariat Roper Cowboy Boots in the last hour and spend the entire weekend at an equestrian event. What do you know? These things are accurate!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Over the past several months, we have slowly added to our herd of horses. My youngest daughter purchased her Palomino mare last September. Her name is Lightning, a registered Quarter Horse mare and she'll be going to the trainer to get broken this coming Monday.

Next came, Sam, a sorrel gelding, with 4 white stockings, for my husband. He is also a registered Quarter Horse.

Next we added Malibu (an unregistered Apaloosa) for me.

Then came Honey, a registered Quarter horse, who is a sorrel mare with 2 white stockings for my son.

And last but not least we added Paisley, a registered Quarter Horse mare who is black with a white star on her forehead for my oldest daughter.

Horses are really cheap right now due to high feed costs and the pinch of higher fuel costs has caused many people to rethink having a horse around that isn't earning it's keep. We have lots of grass on our farm (no grain crops), so that isn't as much of an issue for us. My husband put it in perspective like this: We bought 5 horses for less than the price of a new 4 wheeler.

With our grazing operation a 4 wheeler is invaluable around here, with moving cattle every day. However, only one person(or with a rider) can use the 4 wheeler. We'll be able to use all the horses and everyone will be on horseback to get the job done, instead of 4 of the 5 of us on foot. Sometimes on foot isn't fast enough..... Granted we only have 400 acres and not thousands of acres on this place, where horses would be an absolute necessity.

Hope you enjoy meeting the newest members of our place. Look for pictures of our new round pen next week. We hope to have it finished this weekend.

Tree Planting Adventures

A few weeks ago, almost a month now, we planted about 300 trees for a new windbreak on the east side of our place. It was the one direction where the farmstead was not well protected from wind and other nasty weather. Our last snowstorm (not very long ago) was fierce and from the east. And it was not fit for man nor beast with that cold wet wind from the east.

While we won't receive the full benefit of this windbreak for many years to come, the trees and windbreaks we planted before we had kids (1994- 1996) have grown considerably and provide great protection. We planted a variety of trees, some smaller and quick growing (redozier dogwoods and gray dogwoods) and some larger, slower-growing (white spruce and black hills spruce, and walnut).

The challenge has been keeping the cattle and sheep out of them, as we haven't yet been able to get a secure fence around them. That is complicated by the fact that we have steel fencing and yards being installed, so all the old yards/fencing have been pulled out. So if anything gets out, there isn't much to stopping them. This usually happens when I am home alone with the kids (like yesterday). Thankfully we got cattle in easily and put up some gates (where they were going to go anyway). I look forward to seeing this windbreak 10-15 years down the road. We have plans to plant more windbreaks next year and in a few other areas on the 400 acres as well.

Techno-savvy kids......

Given that most of us over age 35 need our children to help program VCRs etc., I am not amazed at what young kids can do with technology (build webpages, upload photos, etc.). I like to read the following blog, as she has great scrapbook projects that she posts. This cartoon just tickled my funny bone and thought you too, might appreciate it.

Just a Minute of My Time

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Door Prize Gift Album

I have been very busy lately. Haven't gotten much scrapping done for myself, but managed to make a couple of gifts lately. The one I made yesterday only took about 1 1/2 hours.

I made it a 4 x 5 inch album that was wirebound. I decided to wallpaper the top part and then leave room for journalling on the bottom part. I went with something generic as I wasn't sure who would receive it. As it was, it went to a gal that I know pretty well and she was happy to receive it. She was concerned that it was paper and stickers and that she had to put it together and make it look pretty. She was relieved to find out that it was completed for her, except adding her own photos and journalling. She said that she had a few gals come over to look at it and one offered to trade door prize gifts with her. So perhaps I could sell some of these online.

These should be rotated a 1/4 turn to the left so you can see how the pages flip up. This is a sample of the pages in the album. Let me know what you think.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thinking of Next Year Already....

Not next calendar year, but next school year. Generally I have made out my curriculum order and placed it in April. Life has gotten increasingly busy for us over the last year, with the addition of DH's consulting business and the growth of our direct marketing and his speaking engagements. Consequently I haven't done it yet.

As we are finishing up various subjects for this year we are looking ahead to next year. Some publishers we will continue on with at the next level. Some subjects, we have decided to try a new curriculum to give us some variation. I am not one to change every year. Generally we go with a publisher for at least 2-3 years. For example Spelling: we started with a Reason for Spelling. While I liked it for the 2 years we used it, it was expensive. Then we used Rod and Staff Spelling. Inexpensive, simple, got the job done. We used it for 3 years. But we didn't feel it was challenging us beyond the spelling lists. We plan to try Sequential Spelling for the next year. It is not laid out like the previous ones and I believe, will transfer to over to words not on the list.

I plan to spend some more time this week getting my curriculum list made and decide which things I want to look at when I attend our state homeschool conference in 2 weeks. Somethings I will order for sure, others I want to get my hands on to decide and compare side by side.

I have determined that with our busy schedules and the amount of time we spend in the vehicle, we could be spending some of that time learning. I plant to buy Story of the World 3 on Audio CD. We already have I Can Do All Things for our art curriculum on DVD. While we won't be able to do the art projects in the car, the drawing and marker portions can be done at our destination or during our in hotel time. I am also looking at math drill and spelling drill CDs to be used on the laptop when we are on the road. This should help us to make better use of our time in the vehicle and not put us behind in our schooling.

What changes do you plan to make with your homeschooling for next year? Who knows, you might give me a great idea I can use.....