Thursday, October 29, 2015

TOS Review for The Nutcracker from Maestro Classics



Today I get to share with you The Nutcracker from Maestro Classics. For this review, we received the physical CD copy of the The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker is a new release from Maestro Classics. It's perfect for ballet lovers, ballet students, families that will be seeing The Nutcracker this holiday season, and of course anyone that loves Tchaikovsky's music. He's one of my favorites. These symphonies and stories are a wonderful way to introduce your children to classical music.


Maestro Classics Review


Maestro Classics is a wonderful company that introduces children to great composers and their symphonies. Maestro Classics produces the Stories in Music series. The Stories in Music series is a great way to introduce children to classical music while a story is being told. The music is performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the stories are told in a friendly child like manner. No boring stories here! They provide a wonderful opportunity for parents to help their children learn to love and appreciate the incredible world of classical music. The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, Swan Lake, The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Carnival of Animals are just a few of the great stories they offer.


Maestro Classics Review

For this review, we received the new release of The Nutcracker. This story was just released on October 7th of this year. We were very excited to be receiving this Cd. You can purchase the Cd from maestro Classics for $16.98. If you prefer, you can purchase an MP3 download for $9.98 instead of the CD. The Nutcracker story is a well loved story. It's a classic at Christmas time. Therese has always loved the story of The Nutcracker. We watch the ballet every year on television. We hope to one day see it in person. Maybe this year...

I'm sure you already knows this, but the The Nutcracker is the charming tale of Clara and Fritz. The story takes place on Christmas Eve. When Herr Drosselmeyer arrives and brings Clara a very special gift, the nutcracker. The night becomes magical event. A sugar plum fairy, a Mouse King, toy soldiers, and a charming nutcracker fill the stage with excitement and adventure.

The Cd is an hour long. Maestro Classics has adapted and condensed the original ballet story for young audiences. The London Philharmonic Orchestra delights listeners with beautiful music. They do a beautiful job! Jim Weiss does an excellent job retelling this classic story. It will delight both young and old. Each CD comes with a small booklet in the case. The book is 24 pages and filled with all types of information. Children will be able to read over the scenes from the story, the history of ballet, learn about musical instruments, and read about Tchaikovsky. They have even included a few puzzles for the children to do.

If you want to add more to the Cd, Maestro Classics offers FREE curriculum guides for their stories. We didn't use this fantastic resource yet, but once Therese's play is over we we will do it this Advent season. I know she will love it!

The even offer some fun coloring pages, puzzles, home projects, and sheet music. These are all free and would add to your child's love of music!

So what did we think.....
I enjoyed the music and the story. Jim Weiss did a great job at reading the story, but he didn't overpower the music. He took pauses in his narrations to allow listeners to appreciate the beautiful symphony of Tchaikovsky. It was a perfect balance between the two. I have always liked the story of The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker just brings back wonderful memories of past Christmases. It brings out that feeling of happiness we all experience during our childhood. Christmas is such a magical time and the story of the Nutcracker just adds to that magical time. Listening to this story will be added to our Christmas holiday traditions.
I think most little girls dream of being in the ballet. I remember dancing around as a child and I know Therese has been dancing in her room too. Therese loved it! She found the story charming and loved the music. It was just the right length to keep her engaged. We listened to it a lot in the car on the way to rehearsal. After 2 weeks, she finally took it out of the car and has been listening to it in her room. It has become a favorite of hers. I'm thinking Swan Lake may be a good stocking stuffer for her for Christmas or maybe a special gift from Saint Nicholas.
Michael on the other hand did not. He loves classical music,has since he was a baby, but he found the story a little too girly for him. He prefers "the darker, deeper sounding classical music." I think he would have liked Peter and the Wolf more. 

I highly recommend these stories for any family. I believe if you add this to your library, you will listen to them over and over. These are truly a classic to have in your home!


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Crew members reviewed Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker. I know I'll be stopping by to see what they thought of Peter and the Wolf!


Maestro Classics Review

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

We've Made a Few Changes to Our Lessons


Well, now that we are into our lessons a few weeks, we thought we would change things up a bit. Like many homeschooling parents, we always find something not working out for us. The nice thing is we can change. I know when we first started homeschooling, I was so scared to change the curriculum once we started. I felt like we were giving up, I was making things to easy for the kids, and that I was teaching them to be quitters. After a few years, I realized that when it comes to learning, especially the basics, you do what you have to do to get them to learn. If they need a different program, you find it! If they absolutely dislike a program, you change it. I realized that learning should be fun, not tedious. If children dread their lessons and school, it will turn them off from learning. My goal is to create life long learners.

So after being back to school for a few months now, we made a few changes......

Religion~ No changes here
Faith and Life 6 
Gospel of Mark 
Gospel of Luke
Baltimore Catechism

I do want to add daily Mass a few times a week especially during Advent. 

English~ 
Voyages in English 5 (Therese loves)
Voyages in English 6 (Michael doesn't like)
Editor in Chief  Forgot to order Therese her book, so we haven't started it yet
Diagramming Sentences
Catechism in Rhyme (handwriting) Writing Through Early Modern History 

Latin~ 
Latina Christiana 1,  Decided not to do it this year

Math~ 
Horizons Math 4 ( I switched Therese back to Saxon 54, I do think this is the best program out there, Therese didn't like Horizons math and I found it lacking)
Saxon Math 65

Spelling~ Everybody changed
All About Spelling 4 Switched Therese to Phonetic Zoo Level A...We love it!
Spectrum Spelling 6  Too easy, so we switched back to Spelling for Young Catholic from Seton

Poetry~ 
The Harp and the Laurel Wreath

Geography~ 
Online Resources

U.S. History~ 
Pioneers and Patriots
History Study Time Travelers The Early 19th Century
History Study Time Travelers The Civil War

Science~ 
Online Resources

U.S. State Study~ 
Library
Online Resources

Bird Study~ 
Peterson Field Guide Birds
Peterson Field Guide Color in book

Tree Study~ 
Peterson Guide Trees

Art~ We have been so busy we haven't even started this yet
9 week study of various artists.... George Seurat, John James Audubon, Georgia O'Keeffe, Grandma Moses 

Music~ 
            Music from the different time periods we will be covering in history   
                 ex. Civil War, Pioneer Days, War World I & War World II


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TOS Review for The Ultimate Homeschool Planner


Do you struggle with keeping your life and homeschooling organized? Do you feel frazzled and lost? Well, The Ultimate Homeschool Planner from Apologia Educational Ministries will help you get things back in order and on schedule.


Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner
For this review, I recieved The Ultimate Homeschool Planner with the orange cover. The planners
cost $29.00 and come in 3 choices for the cover.


The orange and blue planners allow you to plan for 48 weeks, while the white planner allows you to plan for 52 weeks. Each planner allows you to plan and set goals for up to 6 children. In addition to the The Ultimate Homeschool Planner (for moms), they offer planners for students and teens. You can even purchase the planners in bundles! Be sure to stop by and check out all they have to offer.


Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner
I've tried plenty of planners over the years. When I worked outside the home, I had the traditional leather planner to keep track of appointments and travel dates. Once I stopped working, planners didn't seem necessary. The first few years, I spent my time taking care of babies and planning the occasional play date. The wall calendar in the kitchen worked just fine. When we started homeschooling all that changed! Suddenly lesson planning, co-op classes, field trips, doctor's appointments, etc seemed to spin out of control. So to get back on track, I started searching for a planner. I've found a few I love...paper and online and I've found a few that I really didn't care for. I truly believe a planner is a very personal thing! What one mama likes, another mama may not.

All About The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

As I stated before, the planner comes in 3 cover choices. All three are beautiful! You just have to pick the color you like best. The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is a system designed by Debra Bell. Mrs. Bell is a seasoned homeschooling mom who knows what happens when life gets out of control. Chaos can bring down the whole house. 
"Order brings peace."
     ~St. Augustine

We all know planning won't eliminate chaos and the circus running around in your house, but it can help reduce it! And who doesn't want a little bit of peace?

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is well laid out. Mrs. Bell explains how to use the planner and offers wonderful suggestions. I highly recommend reading the "How to Use" section before filling in your planner. The planner is broken into various sections. There are 14 sections in the planner in total.

                                   

The first section is the User Guide. The User Guide is broken into 4 sections. The goal of the user guide is to help you get the most out of your planner. By planning, you can make the most out of your school year. 
  •    Yearly Planning
  •    Monthly Planning
  •    Weekly Planning
  •    One Year Planning Grid

By setting your goals, you can fine tune the little details of your monthly and weekly plans. When you establish a yearly goal, you can see just how mush time you have. This is huge for me. I always tend to over schedule our lessons which in turn causes us to fall behind. I'm a little bit of an overachiever in that department. 

"There will always be more to do in homeschooling than you have time to do."
~ Debra Bell

The second section contains the Student Goal Setter, Pre-Planning Guide, the Family Priorities, and the Resource sections. This section is great for figuring out what your goals are for each child. This is a good time to ask what they liked about the previous year and what they would like to learn this year. It's always a good idea to get them involved. Children involved in the learning process are much more eager to learn. There are character goals and academic goals for each student. 
The resource section gives you a place to record all the books, dvds, etc you plan on using during the school year! I loved this section! I write my resources down in a notebook and without fail I lose it every year!
     
The next few sections are the meat of the planner. This is where you will plan your months and weeks out! There is a monthly planner section followed by a weekly planner section. 



I loved how you could fill in the month and the days on your own. Some planners I have tried in the past start in September and end in May. This works if you follow a "normal" school schedule, but if you're like me it didn't quite work. The Ultimate Homeschool Planner gives you 12 months (24 pages) for your monthly planning. 




For the weekly planning in the orange planner, you will be able to plan out 48 weeks out. Each weekly planning pages contains 4 pages. Each week starts out with a page to record a Bible Plan, a Battle Plan, Prayers, and an Outreach. Each week also begins with a beautiful quote to encourage you.
The second page is for you to record special achievements, special graces you have seen, and any memorable moments that happened that week. What a wonderful way to write down and remember all those special moments. The next two pages is where you can record lessons, classes, appointments that are happening during the week.


After the planning pages comes the record keeping pages. Here you will be able to record grades, reading lists, books lists, field trips, and extracurricular activities. This planner allows you too keep it all in one safe place.
   
The final section of the planner is filled with teaching tips. Here you will find ideas for motivating your children. Mrs. Bell has included tips on how to raise independent learners, ways to motivate the reluctant learner, and tips on how to figure out your child's learning style. 
She even include a high school planning guide with an example. This will come in handy as we get closer to starting high school in a few years. Boy, where has the time gone?


So what did I think.....
The planner is very thorough. I haven't found a planning section that Mrs. Bell has forgotten about. I personally liked this style of "old fashion" planners. I have tried online planners, have really liked a few, but I always end up back to my standard paper and pencil planning methods. I love how the planner is filled with inspirational quotes and I love how she includes the Christian faith in the planner. For me, I would still have to add a lot of the faith part to the planner. The paper planner I use right now is geared for Catholics, so I don't have to add all the feast days. This would be the only drawback to this planner. I could just add it myself, so the problem could easily be solved.
Overall I liked the planner, I loved the teaching tips and the how to use guide. I feel like these would be beneficial to new homeschooling families, as well as seasoned homeschooling families. A lot of good, solid advice! My only concern with the planner is the cover dosen't seem very thick or sturdy. I worry that it may not last (stay attached to the book) for the entire year. I guess only time will tell.
   

Be sure to read about Debra Bell and check out the books she has written to help homeschooling families!

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens


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Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review
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Sunday, October 25, 2015

TOS Review for Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level A from IEW

   

Today, I am reviewing an amazing, incredible, and wonderful spelling program from the Institute for Excellence in Writing. I'm sure you can tell already how much we enjoyed this program! For this review, we received the Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level A Starter Pack. If you have a child who is struggling in spelling make sure you continue to read. This may be the answer you are looking for. Your child will thank you....I promise.


IEW Phonetic Zoo
Institute for Excellence in Writing is a leader in the writing curriculum. They are well known and well liked in the homeschooling community. It's pretty hard to find a homeschooler who has never heard of them before. We have used different products from them in the past, but I had never tried their spelling program. I just always focused on their writing curriculum. 
With all the curriculum out there why would you choose to use IEW? 
Well, they give you 5 good reasons why on their website.
1. It's easy to use (Yes, it is!)
2. It's enjoyable (Yes it is...no tears, no fits, no drama)
3. It's flexible (works for a wide range of ages making it easy to adapt to multiple children)
4. It's a lifelong investment in your children (I don't need to explain that one)
5. They offer a 100% no time limit money back guarantee on the products they sell (this is great since we often buy products, end up not using them, and wasting money)
So for this review, Therese gave the Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level A a try. We had been using another program, but were willing to give it a try.

The Phonetic Spelling Zoo Level A Starter Pack comes with 5 audio CDs, MP3 downloads are included, Lesson Cards (all 3 levels), Personal Spelling Cards, Zoo Cards, Downloadable Phonetic Zoo Teacher's Notes, and the Spelling and the Brain video seminar. The starter pack cost $99.00. Level A is geared for students in grades 3rd through 5th, but can be used for younger or older students depending on their abilities. IEW offers a free placement test, so you can easily find out where your student needs to be.

 IEW Phonetic Zoo
Phonetic Zoo is a student-led program. It focuses on the the phonetic sounds, so it is an audio based program. This is not your typical word list and workbook spelling program. 
The lessons focus on a specific topic......, vowel sounds, vowel pairs, word endings, etc. Each lesson has 15 words for the student to learn. The students listen to the rule for the lesson, a cute jingle to help them remember the rule, listen to and spell the words being recited, and then listen to the correct spelling to the words and write the correct spelling. Students get to check their own work.
Students will work on a lesson until they get all 15 words correct two days in a row. Lessons could take 2 days or longer than 2 weeks. It all depends on how well you student picks up the lesson.
So how did we use it?
First off, I have to tell you Therese is in the 5th grade, but has been struggling with spelling for a few years now. She truly is her mama's kid! We have used numerous programs trying to find the right one. The program we had been using before this one was good and was working, but we quickly discovered that Phonetic Zoo was even better. Therese loved that she could work on her spelling without mom. Independence is a big thing for her right now. We have entered the preteen stage of life.
The program is easy to use. Therese worked on spelling 5 days out of the week, Monday through Friday. First off, I had Therese pick out a notebook for her spelling words.We turned on the CD and got down to work. Lesson 1 was a little tricky. She complained he spoke to quickly and she couldn't keep up. So we turned the CD off and I did the words orally with her. We did this for about 3 days with lesson 1. After the 3rd day, she finally was able to follow him for the first part of the lesson. Checking her answers was still difficult so I still read the words to her for that part. By lesson 2, she was able to listen to the rule, lesson, spelling words, and the checking of the spelling words all by herself. So her listening skills improved in just a few weeks!
 We are moving through the lessons rather slowly. I was a little concerned at first but it seems like that is normal. So for example lesson 1 took  9 days, lesson 2 took 10 days , and lesson 3 is were are at right now. 
She plays the CD on her player. She does use earbuds, so she doesn't disturb her brother while he does his spelling lesson. I like that she uses earbuds, the man's voice on the CD actually annoys me after awhile. I don't know why but his tone gets on my nerves after awhile. 
What do we think?
Therese loves the program! She likes the fact that she can do the spelling almost on her own She is becoming more and more independent with her studies, so this program was a great fit for her. She found the program fun and easy to do. When she first started lesson 1, she did complain the gentleman on the CD spoke to quickly. But by lesson 3, she was good with his pace. She didn't have to rewind to hear him repeat the words or letters as much. She feels much more confident with her spelling and wants to continue with this program. I have noticed a big improvement with her spelling when she is writing for other classes. For a child, who struggled with spelling, it is great to see her filled with confidence and full of smiles! She's eager to do her spelling and I don't have to hear all the moans and groans.

We will continue with Phonetic Zoo and when she is ready for level B, we'll just buy the materials needed for that level. 
We would highly recommend this program for a student that had difficulty with spelling or just needs a little extra boost!
IEW Review


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Thursday, October 22, 2015

TOS Review for Writing through History from Brookdale House



Today I get to share with you a writing and history course called  Writing Through Early Modern History Cursive Level 2 from Brookdale House. We have been using this writing curriculum over the past few weeks.

Brookdale House is a curriculum publisher that creates books for children. Their books focus on child-led learning. Their goal is to get children focused on learning and enjoy it while they are doing it. Every parents dream! When children are eager to learn, the process is so much easier. Brookdale House books are designed for how children learn. The books allow the children to interact with the information, but more importantly connect the information in their minds and lives. Brookdale House wants the children to keep the information they have learned with them not just forget about it 2 days later.
Brookdale House offers a wide variety of products. They offer course in History, Geography, Bible Study, Spanish, Rhetoric, English, and Grammar.


 Brookdale House Review

For this review, we received Writing Through Early Modern History Cursive Level 2 ebook.  The eBook costs $22.95. A printed book can also be purchased for $30.95. Please remember prices are subject to change. For us the eBook was perfect. I just saved it on my computer and printed out the lessons for the kids as we needed them. The Writing Through History curriculum is a series of books that are geared for elementary age children. The curriculum is a Charlotte Mason inspired writing program. With this writing curriculum, children are introduced to passages written by some very famous men and women from history. By reading these selections, children learn how to write correctly. When children are exposed to great writing, they will learn and absorb that writing style. Who doesn't want their children to be an amazing writer?


"We owe it to every child to put him in communication with great minds that he may get at great thoughts."
~Charlotte Mason 


Each section contains a historical passage that the children read. After reading the passage, children will orally narrate the passage, write a written narration, and write a summary of the passage. A nice feature of the program is that after each passage, there is a writing model provided for study.

The Writing Through Early Modern History went along perfectly for the time period we are learning about in history this year. Writing through Early Modern History covers a wide range of years and topics. The book covers the 1600's to the 1850's. Children will learn about Captain John Smith all the way to the California God Rush! In Writing Through Early Modern History Level 2, children in grades 3rd through 5th are introduced to exciting and interesting passages from primary source documents. The book is divided into 4 sections.
  • Short Historical Narratives
  • Passages from Primary Source Documents
  • Poetry
  • Cultural Tales
There are more than 60 readings included in the book. Children will read about a variety of famous men from history like Captain John Smith, George Washington, Paul Revere, Tecumseh, and Benjamin Franklin.  The excerpts for the readings come from documents like the Mayflower Compact, Hiawatha's Childhood, and stories from the Brothers Grim.

Since the children are older, they are encouraged to write/copy the passages in paragraphs. You have the option to choose between print and cursive. We choose cursive since my goal this year was to encourage the children to start writing in cursive more (if not all the time during school) Right now they are write 50% of the time in cursive. I am hoping this program will encourage them to write even more in cursive!

An added bonus is the additional writing models in the appendix. These can be used for more dictation or writing practice. They even provide questions to help facilitate oral dictation and to help the children to really start thinking about what they are reading.

The books is 327 pages! Plenty of writing practice for children!



How did we use it?

It was very easy to add this program into our day. We used it instead of handwriting lessons for that day. I looked through the resources and found selections that went along with what we were talking about in history. So if we were learning about The American Revolution, I printed out the section talking about it. I printed out the pages for the Michael and Therese. On the first day, we would read the selection together. After the reading, I would have them orally narrate the passage to me. On the second day, they would use the model practice. Depending on their handwriting and the time we had that we, they may rewrite the passage 1-2 more times. At the end of the week, I had them write their own summary of the passage on loose leaf paper. We stored everything in a binder.



What did we think about it?
I liked it. I found that it gave the children plenty of writing practice. Just what we were looking for. I loved how it brought history into the their writing. I love when we can combine subjects and get involved in real life learning. Of course, the kids complained about all the writing, but that's typical. They don't like writing, but it's extremely important so they'll just have to learn to like it. I did see a huge improvement on their writing. We will definetely continue with this program!


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Stop by and see the other crew's reviews for this book or many of the other great books Brookdale House has to offer! Just click on the graphic below.


 Brookdale House Review




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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Classically Catholic Memory~ Delta Year Week 1



Geography~
The Seven Continents & Oceans



For us, this week is review. If you follow CCM and have being doing it for the past few years, you know each year starts with the continents. By now, the kids know them like the back of their hands. I add the oceans during this week too.
We began with labeling the map from CCM. Each day, we review the maps and then I have the kids label the map print outs. This year, I added a few works sheets from Enchanted Learning. These extra worksheets teach the kids how to read maps. The look at the map and then answer the questions by looking over the map.

Here are the maps we used for our printouts.
Map with Labels 
Blank Map for Students to Label

Here are the map reading worksheets we used.
Continents and Oceans
Follow the directions

Here is a link to a wheel about the continents that kids can make. Great for younger kids!

Religion~
This week the kids will be learning about what a Sacrament is.



We read from the Baltimore Catechism and read this lesson online I found.
They created the seven sacraments stained glass window from Shower of Roses.
They added a coloring page to religion notebook.


Great Words~
"The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by William Butler Yeats



So for great words we started learning a poem by Yeats. Whenever we start learning a new poem, I always try to get the children familiar with the poet.


History~
This we the kids learned about the fight for freedom in South America and the Caribbean. There wasn't much at our local library, but we did find a few resources.
Online I found the following resources to help the kids learn about Simon Bolivar "The Liberator" and Latin America's fight for freedom.
Simon Bolivar
Latin America's Independence 

The kids read A Picture Book of Simon Bolivar by David A. Adler. It was the only book our library had. It was a quick easy read for them, but it provided a lot of information!



If you are looking for more information, here is a power point presentation I found that can be purchased. 

Science~
Parts of a Plant


There is so much information out there about plants it's scary! We checked out a few books about plants from our library for reference. 
To learn the most about plants, we headed outside of course. The first thing the kids did was search for a vascular plant and a non vascular plant. We went over the definitions of what each one was, but I wanted them to find an example all on their own. 
Therese was the first one to spot a non-vascular plant....moss and lichen!



If you don't have a lot of non-vascular plants near you, I found this site online with some great 

We worked on a few worksheets.....like labeling the parts of a plant, vocabulary flashcards, vocabulary matching, etc.









Till next time,
~Monique


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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

An Advent Table Runner~ My 2nd at Attempt at Quilting


A few weeks ago, Jen from Faith and Fabric asked a few of us to test the pattern for a beautiful Advent Wreath table runner.




As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew I wanted to give it a try. It definitely looked a little more trickier than the Halloween runner. I was up for a challenge though. It had more appliques and more decorative sewing along the appliques.


Creating the candles were a little tricky. I even sewed a few backwards. I had a lot of fun making each block.


            

My quilt wasn't perfect. Somehow it became a little larger than planned. But hey, it still fits on the dinning room table!
Stop by and see Jen and all the other creations the testers came up with.
I love the wall hanging idea!

Want to make it yourself. Head on over to Jen's Craftsy Store and purchase the pattern!
It would make a wonderful Christmas present for someone special.


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Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up~ Week 3



Hello Friends! It's hard to believe we are in the middle of October already. I don't know about you, but fall has definitely hit here. It's going to be in the 30's this weekend at night...yikes! I'll be dragging out the wool socks for sure.

Well, I'm sure you already noticed that it was a little quiet around here last week. We went on vacation to Colonial Williamsburg. It was a wonderful trip and we were thrilled to get away for a little while. Now we are back and ready to get back into the swing of things. 

What went on last week.....So last week, we visited Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown and the Jamestown Reenactment Center, Historic Yorktown and the Yorktown Victory Center. It was lot of fun. I'll be sharing out our adventure in a few days! We returned home on Friday and Grandma came for a visit. On Saturday, we headed to the Catoctin  Colorfest Craft Show. It's a HUGE craft show. This was the 52nd year. We love going. I always find way too much stuff I want. This year, I found a adorable Mr. and Mrs. Scarecrow set to display for fall.



So our week was filled with lots and lots of walking. You would have thought I would have lost some weight but nope! Oh well.

So now on to this week....

Sunday, we went to Mass but the kids didn't have CCD. They were happy about that. We went shopping since Michael and Therese have both grown so much. They need some new clothes for fall. I found Therese few cute tops ans skirts at a local thrift store. They had a room in the back where everything was a $1.00 or you could fill a grocery bag up for $5.00! We got 15 items for $5! Nice stuff too. A Lands End top, a J Crew skirt, a Gap skirt, an Eddie Bauer dress, and a little jacket. We will be checking that store out again!

Monday was a holiday, so everyone was off. We went to our local apple farm and bought some pumpkins, apples, apple cider, and 2 mums. Of course, I left my camera at home. 

Tuesday was a day for relaxing. Grandma went home and the kids I just ended the day playing and enjoying our time home. I think we all need it. The kids did head to their science co-op class in the afternoon. They learned about seals and manatees.  While they were at their science class, I headed to the fabric store to get some material to start making fish costumes and a Mayzie costume for the play. I will be busy sewing the next few weeks. I'll share my creations once they're completed. 

On Wednesday, we got back into the swing of school.....well that was the plan anyway. I though I had planned everything out before we left for vacation but I was wrong. I only organized half of the materials we needed to get school done. So the kids did the basics...you know math, spelling, and English. I worked on planning and organizing the lessons for the next 4 weeks. I also did laundry of course! When doesn't a mama not do laundry? We all now if we fall 1 one day behind, it's all over. It will multiply while were are not looking. Therese had rehearsal at night. The girls worked on their fish dance and started to learn the hunch dance for the play.

Thursday was a a great school day. They kids got to work and really worked efficiently. I love when the do their schoolwork without complaining. They didn't waste too much time. We did take a walk outside to look for types of vascular plants. We found all 3 mentioned in the CCM book. I learned something new this week. A pine tree has male and female pine cones. Who knew? I must have missed that day in science all those years ago. The kids found both outside on the tree.


We had relatives traveling through on Thursday, we we headed out to dinner with the grandpa and his cousin and his wife. 

I had sleepy heads on Friday morning. After running around the past two weeks, I let my kiddos sleep in. Thank goodness for homeschooling. In the afternoon, we headed to Mass with our fellow homeschoolers and then went to a farm so the kids could go on a hayride, pick a pumpkin, and go through a corn maze. I get lost in the corn maze every year. They kids had fun hanging out with their friends.



So what are my plans for Saturday? 
Sewing and cleaning!


Hope you all had a wonderful week! I would say I'm looking forward to a relaxing week next week, but that isn't going to happen. We have another full week. The only days we'll be home is Monday and Thursday. We are very excited to be seeing the relics of Saint Maria Goretti on Wednesday!!!
If you have any special intentions, please let me know and we will pray for you.
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