Category Archives: homeschooling

What Me Do I Smell?

When one of my kids was a toddler, she struggled with syntax.

Yea, only one of them.  The other five were perfectly,  grammatically correct from birth.

She’d crinkle up her little toddler nose, sniff as loudly as a two year old could sniff with boogies plugging her little air passages,  and ask, What me do I smell?”

Of course, for the past three decades, my hubby and I have rarely asked each other, “Hey, what’s that smell?” like normal people.  We always wrinkle up our growing adult noses and ask, “What me do I smell?”

One day, me smelled something awful.

Being an experienced mother, I quickly narrowed it down to new plastic, even though I was at the end of the hallway and had only sniffed the air a few times. Yea, moms have amazing skills, don’t they?

Also, being an experienced mother, I was pretty sure I sniffed the danger from a distance faster than the plastic-burning culprit who had not yet asked themselves the question of the year, “What me do I smell?”

Oh, ya’ wanna’ know how come I knew it was new plastic?  Simple deduction.  The newer the item, the more likely it will be broken, dropped, cracked or burned alive.

I have other powers of deduction that would make Sherlock proud. If the smell occurs late in the evening, I know something fell onto the heating element in the dishwasher ‘cuz that’s when we run the dishwasher.  If this smell occurs during the day, I know something fell onto the burner.  The one of the four that is on, of course.  Plastic never touches cold burners. That rule just goes without saying.

However, since I have mostly adult children living in my home,  I left the smell to the culprit. Several moments after me smelled something , me heard exclamations from the kitchen and me knew danger had finally been spotted.

little house 001 
I woke up to this love letter.

When the kids were younger, they left notes that said things like,  “You’re the best Mom in the whole wide world!”

Nowadays, notes have to do with the grocery list,  errands and confessions.

Like this note.

Like the splashes?  Hmmm….do ya’ think it was another child using another burner?

Yer’ so right!

little house 003

I also woke up to this.

little house 007

And this. 

little house 008

In case you need to see that up close, here it is.

The offending adult child graciously offered to clean it up, because my kids are perfect like that, but I stopped this person. I needed pictures.  After all, I have full blogging rights, right?


Me warned them in my very first blog.

“Anything you say and do, can be blogged against you.”

Jealous you don’t have kids that cook for you?

You should be.

This is what has happened to

my mixer

my eggs

my microwave pan

my cutting board

my burners

my spices

Not jealous yet?

Now you will be. ‘Cuz look what all that practice produced.

Jon cooked Thanksgiving

Bethany cooked Thanksgiving

Grace cooked Thanksgiving

Jon’s Bread

Not’cher MinnesOtan Fud

Husband Catcher Bars

You should be jealous.  Now, let your kids in the kitchen and burn something.

Just remember these magic words,  “What me do I smell?”


Going EMO

It’s that time of year,
when we start going EMO.

I don’t mean the depressed, black look with hair hanging in my eyes.

I mean


I blogged about this a year ago today,
and the weather has been reminding me of my yearly resolution.

After all, the rains are coming soon, and then will will spend


Prairie School pics 005

We’ve been doing school outside. 

(Hey, speaking of school, I started a new homeschool blog called Prairie Momma.
Would love to have you check it out.)

Labor Day Weekend 128

We’re playing outside, enjoying the last hours warm enough to splash around.

Labor Day Weekend 037

We’re still cooking outside at the Redneck Grill,
although we had an epic failure with the first Jiffy Pop popcorn.

But, if laughter is the best medicine,
that experience should stave off the first colds of the season.

Barbie Hair 010

We watch movies outside.  Of course, a fire always helps keep off the evening chill.

Like 49’ers after gold,
every drop of fall sunshine
is soaked up
because we know
it will soon be gone.

For a few days,
knowing I would soon be inside for months,
I skipped cooking and cleaning,
and opted for reading on the deck
in the sunshine.

The skies will be gray
and our windowpanes will be streaked
with the constant dribbles
of the winter rains.

Our flip-flops will be tossed
to the back of the closet
and our rainboots will take prominence.

But for now,
the battle cry of the day is

I’m gunna spend


Gotta’ run.

Those Friday rays are calling…

First Day of School Traditions

Some traditions need to be nixed.

Getting into my Jeep and finding an empty gas tank
whenever I share my vehicle,
is not a good tradition.

Having to refill all the toilet paper holders in the house
(click on link to read about my amazing skillz)
because I am the only one capable,
is not a good tradition.

Knowing that the moment I put away the mop,
someone will spill on the floor,
is not a good tradition.

Back to School! 021

Flowers and chocolate for the first day of school?
That’s a good tradition.

Traffic was harsh and the hubbster was a little late coming home.
When I heard my daughters’ exclamations when he walked through the door,
I knew he hadn’t forgotten.

Know what I did?

I hid.

I crouched down beside our bed and tried not to giggle.
Ya’ know, I never was a good Hide and Go Seek player.
I’d find an awesome spot, then be so happy, I would giggle
and snort myself into capture.

This time I didn’t giggle.
Hubby came in and put something on the bed,
called for me and walked away.

I grabbed one of the chocolate love offerings,
and ducked beside the bed again.
It was quickly devoured, because I deserve it,
being the mother of six kids and starting my
19th year of homeschooling.

When he came back in, he still couldn’t find me.

To calm his fears, because I’m pretty sure he was ready to file
a missing person’s report, I rolled up my candy wrapper,
and flicked it at his ear.

When he finally found me, I felt a little silly.
Isn’t nearly 50 years old a little too old to be hiding?
Apparently not.


He thought I was cute.
I think he’s cute, too.

And that, my dear bloggy friends, is how we keep the marriage alive.
Buy me chocolates and flowers, and nobody gets hurt,
except by flying candy wrappers.


You Got the Power?

I was trying to teach Rebekah the
Multiplication Facts.
 I love math,
and I love teaching,
but I needed more power.
I needed
Flower Power.
I’d love you to follow me over to

tUeSdAy aT
to find out how
a flower
brought the
and kept math class from being
I know that rhyme was lame.
My idea wasn’t though…

Only Boring People Get Bored

At least that’s what I always tell my kids.
The punishment for hollering
“Mom, I’m bored!”
especially during the summer,
is to clean the toilets in the house.
Yea, I do that!
But, when I found myself bored during Science class,
I know I’m the teacher,
I realized it wasn’t always the case.
Boring things can bore people.
Reading a chapter and answering questions aren’t exciting
enough to teach the subject that glorifies the Lord’s creation,
Follow me over to
tUeSdAy aT
to see how I inspire a love for Science.

Rhyme Time is a Fine Time

Sometimes, the reasons I love to homeschool are simple.
It’s not  great philosophical or academic reasons
I could spew off a soap box.
I love being with my kids.
 I also love being there for those amazing moments
of growth and enthusiasm when they conquer a new skill.
Imagine if I never saw the worksheet below,
and never had that
moment because this worksheet was completed then shoved
to the bottom of a desk or lost on the bus.
Click to enlarge.
I know ya’ really want to read this.
Yes, my daughter discovered the word
rhymes with the word
It’s truly moments like these make me
my decision to homeschool.
Teaching is my delight.
I teach with all my might.
My children are outta’ sight,
Even when they bite.
I really like to write
But my poetry is  a fright.
Speaking of rhyming,
Write Express offers a free online rhyming dictionary.
There’s another one from Ken Nesbitt’s
If you’re one of those cool, younger moms who
use their thumbs to rule the world,
there’s even a free app to download.
Kids love rhyming when it’s fun,
and shoving a worksheet in front of them first,
isn’t fun.
I like to entice them with a reading from
Jack Prelutsky first.
I blogged that I like to turn their
knee-jerk negative reaction into a knee-slap.
When they learn that poetry and rhyming
can be ridiculously fun,
then you bring on those boring worksheets.
Oh, did I call them boring?
Imagine my excitement when a local writer,
Marty Nystrom, wrote two poetry books,
one for the Old Testament and one for the New Testament.
A versatile writer, you know him best as author of
As the Deer” and many other contemporary worship songs.
Once while reading this aloud to Rebekah,
she giggled and said, “Mom, he has boys, right?”
Yea, he writes as a Christian, a poet, and a Dad.
Reading silly poetry
and giggling with my little girl,
is just one more reason why
I love homeschooling.

No More Math Party!

By the end of May,
in the house was
very tired
of school.
She was wishing the year was over.
She was longing for summer to begin.
She didn’t ever want to go back to school.
She didn’t even want to finish the books.
Since that
was the
officially declared school to be over.
A few more worksheets were completed,
and a few were just thrown away.
Yea, I did.
I threw ’em away.
The end of the math book reviews the next year,
the next year begins with review of the past year.
I thought a few worksheets wouldn’t matter.
I thought it would be no big dealio.
I was wrong.
Really, really, really wrong.
Those few worksheets really, really, really mattered.
They mattered so much, it called for celebration.

A movie was chosen.

Coffee was made for the favorite teacher.
That would be me.

Snacks were prepared for the favorite teacher
and the smartest student in the gifted program.
That would be Rebekah.
OK, she’s the only student in the gifted program.
OK, she’s the only student in the whole elementary school.
She’s still the smartest.

Ribbons were curled.

Snuggling was done between the teacher and her pet.

The  math workbook was put on display.

A while later, a jig was done while the book was carefully disposed of,
in the recycle bin, of course.
Go green!
Green is the new black, ya’ know.

Teacher’s Pet armed herself with curled ribbon…

…and launched it in the air while still dancing a jig.
A “I’m Happy Math is Done” kinda’ jig.

A “Run Around the Kitchen and Celebrate” kinda’ jig.

A “Brother Help Me Celebrate” kinda’ jig.
Those few pages really, really, really mattered.
As I plan the coming school year,
I’m wondering how to re-create 
the energy,
the thrill,
the jubilation,
displayed for
a math workbook
a new math workbook.
Most kids begin their formal education
with excitement and a love for learning.
For different reasons and at various stages,
kids can lose that love and excitement.
I am more concerned about enthusiasm than curriculum.
As the daughter of two teachers,
who married a teacher,
and has been homeschooling 17 years,
I can tell you this~~
I’ve never seen a phonics curriculum that forgot to teach the letter “s”
or a math curriculum that didn’t teach division.
Certainly, some curriculums are better than others,
but without enthusiasm and a love for learning
(teachers and students)
curriculum loses its instructional punch.
So, I’m ordering books,
and we homeschooling mommies love us some books,
and devising ways to stir up a new batch
of enthusiasm for the 2011-2012 year.
And, taking the cue from the
Teacher’s Pet,
a good place to start will be
with coffee, snacks and confetti.
Making your home sing Mondays