Apr 062013

Blogging Through the Alphabet So once again, I missed the 2nd week of Blogging through the Alphabet. But I’m not going to let that stop me. I’m going to bend the rules a bit and do 2 letters in one post so I can catch up.

First, B is for Books.

My husband and I share a common weakness.

It’s books. We’ve always loved to buy books. Before we even thought about homeschooling, we already had quite a collection. And after 10 years of homeschooling….look out!

To further complicate the my book hoarding problem is the fairly large gap from my oldest to youngest child. So I have a hard time parting with anything because Andrew might use it.

I recently painted the boys’ room and in order to do so I unloaded the two 7 ft tall bookcases that are in their room. (OK, so I had David do it. But I stacked the books downstairs.)


This is what’s left. I still haven’t put all the books away. But I have a pretty good reason.

C is for Capital.

We just returned from a trip to the United States capital city, Washington D.C.

We had a nice visit, though it was a little colder than I would have liked.


Here are my boys with the Capitol in the background.

FYI – It’s spelled capitAl when referring to a city. It’s spelled capitOl when referring to the building. Just thought I’d take the opportunity to correct one of my misspelling pet peeves. This error is slightly less annoying than spelling voila –  wallah or worse – viola.

Sep 172011

Do you know that commercial with the guy sitting behind a desk saying,

“I can do that. I can do that….How am I going to that?”

That’s kind of how I felt at the beginning of this week.

The kids had 3 cross country meets.

I had 3 writing deadlines.

I had a consignment sale to prepare for and drop-off the clothes for.

My son had a 2 hour appointment for testing that was 35 minutes away.

My daughter started back to violin lessons, and we had a field trip that I had scheduled (and paid for) well in advance.

And there was school to do. And cooking. And laundry. Cleaning pretty much didn’t happen this week.

But I made it! In one piece. And I did everything that I had scheduled.

We had a nice time at Old Salem Homeschool Days with friends.

This lady happens to be our pastor’s mother and church pianist. But she also works as a guide at Old Salem.

We learned about pipe organs.

This is the joiner shop.

The potter.

Learning about levers.

And pumps.

Trying out a balance.

Making lye for soap.

The Viegler House.

It looks like I wasn’t the only one who had a long week!

Apr 222011

This week my husband had 3 days off. So yesterday we decided to take a little day trip. Our destination…

Appomattox Courthouse

Hopefully you know that Appomattox Courthouse is the site of the end of the Civil War. But you might not know that the surrender wasn’t signed at the courthouse in Appomattox. It was signed at the McLean house in Appomattox Courthouse. The name of the town was Appomattox Courthouse because the Appomattox County Courthouse was located there.

We did visit the Courthouse at Appomattox Courthouse. Inside is a museum with Civil War artifacts. There were also 2 short films which detailed the last battle of the Civil War and the surrender. (Though technically other battles were later. News traveled slow in those days.) I was impressed by the great dignity in which the Union army treated the surrendered Confederates. (I would like to do some more research on this. I’m not completely sure I heard BOTH sides of the story.)

My husband in front of the Courthouse at Appomattox Courthouse

The family (minus me and baby) outside one of the small houses.

A replica of the table where General Lee sat.

This is where Gen. Grant wrote the surrender agreement.

Dining Room at the McLean house

I love this dining room. We have a youth chair that looks almost exactly like that! I wish my dining room were large enough for a table that large. It is obvious that the whole family eating together was important to this family.

After visiting the small reconstructed town, we took a short hike to the NC Memorial.

I’m not a North Carolinian by birth, but I have spent most of my life here. I have ancestors who fought on both sides of the Civil War. I definitely know my grandfather’s grandfather (I think I’ve got that right) fought in the Union army even though he was from Tennessee. I’ve seen a picture of him in his uniform.

It was a beautiful day and a great day for the whole family to get some exercise together.


Visit The Legacy of Home to read other (I’m sure more relevant!) posts on Vintage Healthy Homes.





Nov 012010

Why call it a “Mental Health Day”? This was the term some of the teachers my husband used to work with used when they were taking a sick day when the weren’t really “sick”. My borrowing the term does not mean that I condone this use of sick days, but I did get my “sick” day approved by my school administrator 🙂

I have no regrets about taking Friday off. When my to-do list starts getting long, I start getting panicky. And when I get panicky, I actually get LESS done. Here’s what I did accomplish with my extra day off.

On Friday and Saturday I:

Got my Driver’s License renewed

Caught up on laundry

Caught up on grading

Planned upcoming 2 weeks of school

Planned November’s dinner menus

Made my monthly trip to Super Wal-mart for groceries

and even took time for a field trip to Bethabara on Friday!

Maybe I can count Friday as a school day after all!

Oct 092010

This wrap-up will have to cover 2 weeks or more. I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve posted.

Our core subjects are moving along well for both of my older children. My son is not particularly fond of all the practice in Analytical Grammar, but we’ve only got 3 more weeks to go. That part he likes! I like that I am sure he is really mastering grammar. I won’t have any hesitation about not teaching grammar after finishing the Analytical Grammar course, though I do plan to use the review materials.

Life of Fred – Beginning Algebra is a super program for my older son. I love the Home Companion that goes along with it. It has all the chapters broken down into daily lessons AND includes additional problems. It is sufficient practice for him. I don’t think there is enough practice for everyone, but he really gets math. I’m having a great time explaining some of the problems when he has difficulty.

Science is well, stalled again. We’ve finished Module 2 in General Science, but I still haven’t found the time to give him the test! This week I will and we’ll start moving again. I also need to get to science with the others.

We’re still studying Colonial U.S. in Tapestry of Grace. We’ve taken 2 weeks to finish one week of material because we were so busy, and there was a LOT of reading in that one week. To supplement our studies, we visited the NC Museum of History Colonial Days. There was a wonderful traveling exhibit about George Washington.

You could dress in period costumes,

or play in a Revolutionary War tent.

Since the museum was right across the street from the State Capitol building, we walked over and took a look around. This statue shows the 3 U.S. Presidents that North Carolina has claim to (though somewhat disputed).

Last weekend we went to the fair. We didn’t ride many rides this year. (I rode none since I’m pregnant.)

The younger children had NOT gone to Carowinds this summer, so we did let them ride a few.

We looked at the animals. This rabbit has the softest fur. I think it was a Rex.

We also checked on our project entries. My daughter won 3rd prize for her candle and my son 2nd for his technology poster.

But the biggest thing that has kept me so busy lately is Cross Country. I am so proud of my son and what he’s accomplished. It has been a great experience for him, even if it has been exhausting for me.

Sep 042009

Today we went on our first official field trip of the school year. This year we’re going on a monthly field trip with several other local homeschool families. We don’t call it a co-op because all we do are field trips, but in a way it is one of the simplest types of homeschool co-ops to be involved in. And even though it’s not too difficult to organize, I am VERY thankful that I am not organizing this, just purely receiving the blessings of others’ organization.

Our trip today was to Fort Dobbs, an historic site from the French and Indian War. Even though it is only about 45 minutes from our house, we had never visited before. The day began with a look around the Visitor’s Center where we were able to see…

This scale model of what the fort may have looked like.From there, we went outside to see the actual site of the fort.

The indention in the ground is where the cellar was.Next, we got to try our hands at archaeology.

After our dig, the kids got to…

roll cartridges.Followed by a demonstration.

We ended with some marching drills.

This was SUPPOSED to be a straight line!

It’s a good thing none of the kids are planning on being soldiers!

We finished up with a picnic lunch and a walk along the nature trail. It was definitely a great day!

This post is linked to Field Trip Friday at Live the Adventure.


Aug 202009

One of the great advantages of homeschooling is the opportunity for field trips. We take many of our field trips when dad can come so they’re not actually during school hours, but they’re our field trips nonetheless. There are so many ways that field trips can aid in our children’s learning.

Field Trips –

  • Can be coordinated with what you’re currently studying at home. (Like going to visit a Civil War Battlesight during your study of the Civil War).
  • Can serve as a review for things your have already studied. (Remember when we studied reptiles, last year honey?)
  • Can serve to introduce future topics. (We’re going to be learning about the Revolutionary War next month.)
  • Can have no relation to past, current, or planned future studies, but can spark an interest in a new subject or be just plain FUN.

The following list contains a wide variety of ideas. Some of the ideas would be free, while others would charge a fee. Some you could do with just your family, others might require a larger group. Some give frequent tours while others may have never been asked to be toured before.

    • Museums
        • Science museums – The Association of Science and Technology Centers  (ASTC) listing of member museums. These museums usually offer free or reduced prices if you are a member of another affiliated museum.

    • Zoos and aquariums – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums provides a listing of their members.
    • Historic Places – Here is the list of National Historic Landmarks by state, as well as the link to the National Register of Historic Places website.

    • National or State ParksLink to National Park list and link to State Park list.

    • Fire Station
    • Police Station
    • City Hall and the Courthouse
    • State capitol building
    • Hospital
    • Library tour
    • Newspaper
    • Television or radio stations
    • Plays
    • Musical Concerts
    • Ballet
    • Bakery

    • Grocery Store
    • Factory
    • Farm
    • Corn Maze
    • Orchard

    • Computer store
    • Petting Zoo
    • Airport

    • Ride a train


Apr 192008

We took our first trip to the Creation Museum on Thursday.  We had been looking forward to it since we heard they were building it.  It was not a disappointment.  The museum was very well done.  The exhibits were beautiful.  It was wonderful to visit a place that is dedicated to refuting evolution.  They presented so much information in an interesting and entertaining way.  The kids had a great time.  My 6 year old especially enjoyed the dinosaurs. 


It was a nice quick getaway for us.  My husband has a part-time job in the evenings as a tax preparer.  He is also a teacher.  Since last week was his spring break and also the end of tax season, we left on Wednesday morning (April 16).  We arrived in the Cincinnatti area just before dinner.  We spent one night in a hotel room which was somewhat comical because my kids couldn’t understand why it was only one room.  When we vacation we rent a condo and we don’t do any other traveling that requires staying in a hotel.  We put our little one in her playpen in the bathroom area.  My oldest son slept on the couch and the rest of us took the beds.  The next morning we ate breakfast, packed up, and went to the museum.  We were there from 10:30 until 4:30.  Then we took the long drive home and arrived just after midnight. It was tiring but a fun little trip.


Jan 112008

I am really behind on my posting, but I wanted to shared these pictures anyway.  Over our Christmas holiday we went to the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC (we didn’t stay there!) and looked at gingerbread houses that were on display for a contest.  These houses were absolutely incredible.  We couldn’t believe some of the detail.  Enjoy

Oct 312007

We went on a field trip Monday to Mrs. Hanes Moravian Cookie Company.  There were several homeschool families from our church that went together.  It was very interesting and we got to sample all 6 flavors of cookies.

The cookies are all still hand rolled and cut.

This is the mixer that they use to mix each batch of dough. It will hold 700 lbs!

The cookies are all handpacked too. These 2 ladies are sisters of the owner. It’s a family business, and they won’t let anyone not in the family know the recipes. It kind of reminded me of those Bush’s beans commercials where the dog keeps trying to sell the secret recipe.