Sunday, August 31, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
In the past (during public school and homeschool), no matter how many different exercises we did or how much we memorized, he just couldn't grasp the concept.
After much research, this year I purchased Natural Speller. I had looked at it before but thought it wouldn't be worth it because the price is $22 for a thin book. But I came across one for $10 in the used section of a homeschool store and picked it up. Had I known how well it was going to work, I would have paid full price long ago.
Yesterday was our first day of school. I started on the grade level my son's yearly test had showed him to be performing. I started by giving a pretest. Ten words into the test my son was whining and frustrated. He ended up throwing his pencil down while he wiped the tears from his eyes. He had eight of the ten wrong, and he knew it. But he also didn't know how to spell them correctly.
Before things could progress further, I stopped him. We spent about 7 minutes going over the "rules" for the words on the list, as explained in the Natural Speller. Then he took the pretest again. And guess what? He got 22 of the 25 words correct. On the first try.
He was grinning and proud of himself by the end, and I was proud of him, too. So now I'm a convert. For those of you with struggling spellers, I heartily recommend the Natural Speller. (And no, I'm not getting any kind of kickback for saying this.)
Monday, August 25, 2008
Today was our first day of school, and my first day teaching kindergarten! We just started homeschooling about two years ago, and my two oldest are in the 8th and 10th grade. But my youngest son turned five this year, so we started kindergarten. And what fun it is proving to be!Today we started learning about the calendar and the letter "A." We read books about apples and stated learning how to sing the alphabet. The alphabet is just so much more fun than algebra!
My daughter, 16, did great with everything. Like me when I was a girl, she always enjoys the fresh start and the excitement of a new school year.
My oldest son, 13, had a couple of very short whiney moments because he really wanted to play with the stuff he got for his birthday this past weekend instead of doing school. But all in all, he did great, too. I am proud of all of them!
The hardest part was getting the boys out of bed! They have been sleeping in all summer. I got them out of bed only to find them trying to fall back asleep on the couch moments later.
Of course, if we follow a pattern from previous years, next week will be hard. The first week or so is the "honeymoon period," and the second week is when they start testing their limits. But as long as I am consistant, they should settle down into a good routine by within three or four weeks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, two daughter-in-laws, and five wonderful grandchildren. They are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa. Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995 after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has more than 95 books published including Now And Alwaysand Bluebonnet Belle.
ABOUT THE BOOK: Texas, 1865 Willow Madison and her friends, Copper and Audrey taught school in neighboring Texas communities until the Yankees rode into the area and burned them out. In the midst of fear and chaos, survivors banded together to fight for what remained of their homes. Then word reached the people that the terrible war was over. Now penniless but still hopeful, Willow vows she will take care of her friends, Copper and Audrey, and her ailing uncle, in Thunder Ridge, Texas, even if it means having to marry wealthy Silas Sterling, a man thirty years her senior. But standing in her way is handsome sawmill owner Tucker Gray, with his enticing eyes and infuriating headstrong manner—the man Willow cannot get out of her head . . . or her heart. Even though her friends beg her not to give up her dream of happiness, Willow is determined to do the right thing for those who are dearest to her. But which path does God want Willow to take: a life of duty and commitment . . . or a life of everlasting love? If you would like to read the first chapter of Twice Loved, go HERE
Thursday, August 21, 2008
We are blessed to have a long growing season here in the south, so this year we are trying something new. When the squash and green beans stopped growing, we pulled them up and replanted. The squash now has blooms on it and we can't wait to start harvesting them again! If it works out, we will get two crops this year. Next year we will do it again but with more varieties of vegetables.
Right now the only thing that is still growing well are the tomatoes, banana peppers, green peppers and eggplant. Everything else hit the end of its season and died off, although we are still getting an occasional watermelon or cantaloupe. We are happy to still be getting anything. This watermelon and these tomatoes were a great addition to our meals the other day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matt Bronleewe is a recognized producer, songwriter and author. The former member of the band Jars of Clay, has earned numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. His songs have recently been recorded by Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, and more. Bronleewe has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith, International pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere.Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally.To add to his list of accomplishments, Bronleewe has expanded his love of story telling beyond music into authorship. He is currently penning a 5 book series for Thomas Nelson Fiction. His first book Illuminated began the adventurous series about rare manuscripts and the mysteries within.Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.
ABOUT THE BOOK: A mysterious book with a dangerous secret. An evil brotherhood out to conquer the world.One man stands between them . . . with his family in the balance. In the twelfth century, Henry the Lion collected the rarest relics in Christendom. And to protect his most precious acquisitions, he encoded the whereabouts in a gorgeous illuminated manuscript called The Gospels of Henry the Lion. The manuscript has been showing up and disappearing ever since. No one knows where the relic has been hidden . . . or its ultimate power. Only one man holds the key to the mystery. He's carrying it in his briefcase at his son's school for show-and-tell, and he thinks it's a fake. But he's about to find out just how real it is. Because the wolves are rapidly closing in. And if August Adams can't decode the secret in time, the world's balance of power will forever be altered. If you would like to read anexcerpt of House Of Wolves, it will be HERE
Friday, August 15, 2008
I am always enthralled with the reminders of beauty and peace God places in our paths, if we just stop to look. This beautiful butterfly decided to stop by for a sip or two from our echinacea (a.k.a. purple coneflower) this morning.
This is my first time planting echinacea, and for the first few months it was very ugly. "Are you sure that's not just a weed that grew up?" Hubby would ask every time we looked at the herb garden. Isn't it amazing? That "weed" grew up into these beautiful purple flowers that attract more beauty in the form of butterflies? It reminds me of the Ugly Duckling story from our childhood.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
ABOUT THE BOOK: When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone's coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick's nephew Joe hates all of her ideas and two, Laini has to admit he's right--she's a disaster at design. Still, she can't risk losing the job. To compromise, Joe brings in help on the project, while Laini continues to bake the goodies that keep his customers lining up.Their relationship is moving along, so when new guy Officer Mark Hall implies that Joe's family is tied to the mob, Laini doesn't want to believe it. But things spin out of control when she meets the family, including "the uncles," who seem to confirm Mark's suspicions. To make things worse, Nana Pantalone makes it clear Laini isn't the kind of girl she has in mind for her grandson. Laini's not sure if she should give Joe the benefit of the doubt or just set her sites on Mark and fuhgetaboutit.
"Tracey draws us into the world of family and friendship with a few surprising twists along the way Bravo!"~RACHEL HAUCK, author of Diva NashVegas and Sweet Caroline
If you would like to read the first chapter of That's (Not Exactly) Amore, go HERE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tracey Bateman published her first novel in 2000 and has been busy ever since. There are two other books in the Drama Queen Series, Catch A Rising Star (#1) and You Had Me At Goodbye (#2)She learned to write by writing, and improved by listening to critique partners and editors. She has sold over 30 books in six years. She became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the early months of its inception in 2000 and served as president for a year. Tracey loves Sci-fi, Lifetime movies, and Days of Our Lives (this is out of a 21 year habit of watching, rather than enjoyment of current storylines.She has been married to her husband Rusty for 18 years, has four kids, and lives in Lebanon, Missouri.