Friday, October 10, 2014

#31bookpics Round-up - Day 10

So I missed a day...oops.  It was "books and friends" day, oh well!

We were at the beach, Isle of Palms SC, as guests of my most awesome brother and his wife and kiddos, for most of the week. Tons of fun was had by the way. I had pre-taken pics before we left so I could post on Instagram while we were out of town and away from all our books. I feel kind of geeky admitting

In no particular order, here are the pics since my "round-up" post last Friday.


Small books


Bookmark - this is a dolphin made by Buster - can you tell??

Breakfast + book.  This is BigD.

Current reads.  I realized later that I also am reading Wormwood Forest on my Kindle app, but that's not interesting in a pic.  Also, I know this titles don't look great together, that is just some weird co-inky-dink.  
Be sure to check out Quirky Bookworm for the #31bookpics Linkup this week.

Friday, October 3, 2014


Okay so I have completely neglected this space for well over a me!

This month of October, a bunch of bloggers are committing to blog for 31 days on one topic. Quirky Bookworm is blogging 31 Book Pics (hence the hashtag) on Instagram & through blog posts. I'll probably just be hitting the Instagram to post primarily. On Fridays though, there will be a "wrap-up" of the week.

You can see my pics on Instagram if you follow me at Kacky8. Or you can search #31bookpics and see everyone who is participating. I'm looking forward to discovering some new titles to look over. Doing it through pictures is extra added fun ;)

- Bookshelves -

- Book + Movie -

- Book Cover -

Be sure to check out Quirky Bookworm's link-up for more post wrap-ups!

AND just maybe, since this will get me visiting my blog space more, maybe I'll get to blogging some more too :)

[okay so when I previewed this post, it looked like the embedded pictures from Instagram are out of whack size idea what I need to do on that...I'll have to work on that over the next week]

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

You Don't Have to Be Fancy

I just saw this pop-up book "Unwrap the Mummy" for sale on a FB used curriculum page.

I clicked on it because a rush of amusing memories came back to me.

When Mac was probably in the 2nd grade or so, we partnered up with a couple of families to share learning about ancient cultures in group settings.  Each kiddo would take a topic and prepare a little report, that matched their grade level.  For Ancient Egypt, Mac had mummies.

Way back then...I'm betting this book wasn't around.  I probably wouldn't have gotten it anyways. We created our own mummy.  We went to the thrift store and looked through the old forgotten doll babies.  Found one that wasn't too cute :) for about $2.  I tried to convince Mac not to get attached.

I collected some other props - a shoebox, frosting, sandwich baggie, gauze, perfume, and probably some other things that I have forgotten (I wonder if Mac remembers???)  Oh and who can forget the really sharp scissors.

So we sat at the coffee table, with Mac and little BigD (he would have been in K) and we mummified the doll baby.  It was slightly surprising to them when I jammed the the point of the scissors into the doll's forehead and inserted a baggie filled with frosting to represent the brains.  But hey, it was memorable and so was Mac's demonstration.

Mac loved to practice mummifying the baby.  Who wouldn't?  HA!  She showed how you took the brain out, you did something to the belly that for the life of me I can't remember what that prop was, put on some perfume, wrapped it up, put it in the decorated box (we may have had a fake beetle for the scarab) and ta-da!

Needless to say, when she demonstrated this to the group, the giggles were quite present as it wasn't just to a bunch of 2nd graders.  There were some 6th and 7th grade siblings in the mix...yeah, they were impressed ;)

The point of this help me remember...well, just to help me remember.  But also to point out that sometimes even though there may be some fancy slick way of doing something, sometimes the best experiences are those you create from inside you with your own ideas, even if they are a bit messy, and aren't how anyone else would do the same thing.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Misrepresentation of Jiminy

Jiminy by name only a cricket. He can tell a good story and I guess is even kind of cute.  I'm guessing he doesn't stink.  I'm guessing he never ate his brothers and sisters and I don't see him shedding anything other than clothes.  Does he jump around?  Does he drink water like jello?  I'm not so sure he really should be considered a cricket.


I think I may have mentioned that the big boys around here went to camp.  That meant that someone was going to have to take care of "Nacho", Bug's new Leopard Gecko.  Well that duty was going to be LilJ's.  Then a sweet friend invited LilJ to their house for the duration of the time that the big guys were going to be at that meant we would just have the three fun!

Okay...except...let's talk chores left open now without these extra hands being around here.  And let's talk one chore in particular, the feeding of Nacho.

So when I get slightly stressed over something, I tend to talk, chatter about whatever, sort of narrate what I'm doing and/or I'll put some colorful words in there too.

Let's just say that as I was trying to "catch" 8 crickets to feed to the lizard (yes they were in a cage, but it's NOT EASY), Beanie ran to the basement door and slammed it shut so I guess no one could hear me any longer, HA!

Bug has a special tank just for the crickets.  The crickets have to be fed with fresh spinach.  They need these weirdo gross water gel globules.  Bug said before he left, oh you can just give them some fresh food when you feed Nacho.  Oh you can just...ah sure...sounds easy.

Oh you can just use the long tweezers to catch the crickets.  Then you just put them in this tube (that you have already measured out an amount of calcium dust and put that in first).  And oh they might freak out a bit and try to cling to the sides so just give it a little shake and they'll fall in.

Oh and you can just tap them out into Nacho's tank.

Oh and you can just feed him Monday and Wednesday.




catching crickets with long tweezers, any tweezers, yeah...NOT easy.  OH and then they smell.  Like really smell.  And they apparently shed because there were little "skins" all over the tank.  And they smell.  They totally nibble on EACH other.  Oh did I say they smell?  THEY SMELL!

It took me at least 10 minutes to catch the first one...remember...I needed 8.  I finally resorted to a plastic cup and eventually was able to scoop them up and slide them into this tube thing (which by the way, it's little end cups are cracking...I don't want to think about that end result).  I don't think I maimed or killed as many with the cup as I was doing with the tweezers trying to get them out.

Later Doodle told know Bug just scoops them out with his hand and puts them in the tube that way.  Niiice. the end, Nacho got his stinkin 8 crickets all nicely dusted with calcium.  The crickets got new spinach leaves, I cleaned out their nasty water gel bowl thing and added new globbies, which Bug paid for...water, for crickets, he paid for...whatever.  I made sure not to kill any crickets during that process.  Although I will admit that I took a really huge gross one out in the cup and put him outside because I think he would have eaten Nacho and or grown wings in a matter of hours.  

Also in the end...I didn't make dinner for the family.  I had planned on making rice in fact.  Gross out even now thinking about it.  Instead, it was Puffins and carrot cake for dinner.  Dairy, grains, veggies (carrots, you can clearly see carrots in the cake!), eggs...I think we are good.

Ah ha.  Yeah.  So I get to do this again on Wednesday.  When it hits about 5pm on Wednesday and you are making dinner for your family...remember me.

For the record I'm not really complaining, just hoping to get some serious "you are the MOM" mom points (like when I first picked up earthworms, which btw I would rather do a heartbeat than deal with these little stink bombs) from Bug because this is absolutely one of those "I do this only because I love you and you will be sad if your pet dies" moments.  :)


Friday, July 25, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Prepping Time

So I started this post on our older computer that doesn't have recent pictures on I decided I would just add several "throw back" photos...what's a blog post without pictures???

- 1 -

First off, we are prepping for sending three boys off to camp next week.  The younger set is imagining nights of pizza and ice cream and basically being in la-la land with the three teens gone.  However, this said younger set will be hit with some reality when on Monday morning I announce we need to cover their chores while they are gone...doh!  So we'll see how that goes over!  Now the little boys who are left, LilJ (he's not so little, just not a teen quite yet) and Buster, will enjoy having the room to just the two of them!  Currently all five share one room.  And in regards to camp...each camper gets his OWN room.  So yeah, the big guys are simply looking forward to that!

- 2 -

Still talking camp prepping...okay so sending off three, to three different rooms, means three of everything.  This I'm not quite use to!  So we purchased small mini-alarm clocks, three of them.  Several sets of shampoos, toothpastes, soaps had to be more sharing the bathroom like at home.  I'm not sure about sunscreens.  I think I might just have to have them search each other out to put that on.  We buy that Badger tube stuff and it isn't cheap!

- 3 -

Also prepping to try our hand at some fall gardening.  This means starting seedlings indoors, and now.  The last time I tried this it did NOT go well.  So I'm slightly nervous.  I bought some carrot seeds that I think we can put right in the ground in a couple weeks...probably when the seedlings of the other plants are ready (hopeful thinking there).  Buster is my gardening buddy and worked hard this morning as we started kale, broccoli, spinach and brussels sprouts seeds.   Oh and shout out to my "seed supplier", St. Clare's Heirloom Seeds, they are all non-GMO and they have some organic varieties too!

- 4 -

And lastly in prep talk...this upcoming week is our county's fair!  This is usually when the kiddos get all their projects in line to submit for judging.  And having moved to a new county has not deterred them!  CB will be baking, a pie and a cake entry (pecan and carrot!).  Doodle is going to enter some of her art pieces that she created in art club this past year.  LilJ may enter a lego creation (he makes WORKING lego guns...shots guns, pistols, even a revolver one time...all with legos and little lego bullets that fly out of them!).  I am hoping that next year we might have an animal or two (think chicken/s and bunnies) to enter.  We shall see...

- 5 -

Did you ever see "Alias"?  It is by far one of my most favorite tv shows.ever.  Last night I got the three oldest boys to sit down and watch the pilot with me.  They liked it...yay!  This means I have a very good reason to rewatch it all! 

- 6 -

So I can't believe that next week August arrives.  That means school is literally around the corner...and oof!  I'm rethinking some science plans as I'm seriously pondering a more CM approach for the high schoolers but still using a spine.  I've got two that balk at science and that is just sad really.  So I'm hoping with more time "doing" and reading more than just a text will help the motivation there.  LilJ is chomping at the bit to start calligraphy, a handicraft I promised him this year.  And can you believe that Doodle is really looking forward to starting some Latin.  Okay then...go for it!

- 7 -

Oh and got blackberries?  Well we apparently have quite the spot but oh those thorns!  I told Buster the next time we go picking we will wear our jeans and our gloves.  Ours are right on the edge of the woods, so they get a lot of shade and I think that accounts for why they seem to be turning much later than most.  There are still a lot of red ones we keep checking on!  Our very large grape arbor apparently has some sort of black rot.  Lots of the grapes have shriveled up and died or they have gross black spots all over them.  When I looked it up, the info I found said that it's a fungus we'll have to cut all the way down to nothing or it will for sure come back again next year.  Lovely.  We have found some "wild" grape vines here and there along the edges of our woods.  Those appear we will see what they can produce for us.

Happy End of July!  
Check out more 7QTs at Severella's this week!  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Picking at the Neighbors'

We have been blessed to have found a great neighbor!

Mr. S, as we call him, has the largest garden we have seen before.  I know there are larger, but to us, this has just been a wonderful spectacle to drive by each day this late spring and summer.  It has been a joy to watch it grow and grow.  He has worked and worked too.  It is in his front yard right up against the road...the flattest part of his land.  Off to the right, way right, are his bee hives :)

When we first moved in, we didn't get ourselves over there to meet him and his wife until only a couple of weeks ago (remember we moved in May).  He shared with us a quart of his honey (which is beyond the most amazing honey.ever!)  About a week later he dropped a bag (which I weighed to be about 5lbs) of green beans.

Now last night he came by and said that he and his wife had picked all the green beans they were going to bother with this summer and there was still half of this crop left to pick.  He said we could come and over and do some picking.

So this morning...we did just that.  It was overcast and not nearly as humid as it had been, perfect weather.  I was only able to get the help of Buster, Beanie and Doodle.  You can probably see where this is going!  Doodle was done as soon as we came across the spider (pictured below) and as you can see, the other two eventually hit "we are DONE" mode.

But I think we got a good haul - at least another 8lbs!

Friday, July 18, 2014

7 Quick Takes - in the midst of a polar vortex

- 1 -

So this polar vortex thing has been so amazing this week.  It's definitely been a motivating factor to get my walks in the morning done.  It also was helpful while we worked in the prison yard this morning.  Prison yard?  Doesn't everyone have a prison yard?  HA!  Actually for us it's a small bit of yard that has been chainlinked (by the previous owners) and attached to the side of the house.  We nicknamed it the prison yard because looks like one, especially with the electric wire strung around the top, although as of this week, we took that part down.  Our neighbor informed us the first owners had it as their dog run...that explains the gravel under the dirt.  The next man that lived here (this second man was the live-in fiancee of the widow of the first man, only this second man died of the same thing her first husband died of...I didn't even want to know what that was...okay I digress) tried to make it a garden, which explains the random strawberry plant that tried to grow in the middle of the weeds and a large amount of dirt mounded sort of in the middle.  ANYWAYS, LilJ and CB helped me over the past couple of weeks, to just dig and flip, dig and flip.  We basically skimmed the entire surface of the area with shovels and then flipped over the dirt so the weeds roots were to the sky.  Today we finished it all up by getting the last scraggly determined weeds and we tried to even out the dirt.  Next up will be to add compost...lots and lots.  

And if you look super closely, you'll see a fawn in the far corner.  It was trapped as it wandered in our open gates and couldn't figure out how to get out.  I posted a video on FB of how I coaxed it to leave.  Maybe I should make that a whole post of it's own on here...

 - 2 - 

Managed to remember to sign up the boys for a couple of Homeschool Connections classes and subscribed for the year to the unlimited access package.  Even though some would say we are in the "sticks"...these sticks have high speed internet, woohoo.  Next week BigD will sign up for a community college course as he enters his senior year.  It's that time of year...

- 3 -

Have you seen me mention on FB (I don't think there is anyone reading this blog who I'm not friends with on FB...if there are...hello!) that Mac has written, along with her bff, a webseries?  Here is the site:   Collegebound.  Take a look and consider donating to their cause!  I think they are almost to halfway of their goal.  I've read the script and it's a funny one.  I think kids who are upper high school age and college students will relate to the subject matter...stressing about making the grade and the tuition payments for college!  They are filming this summer and plan on editing this fall and then putting the series out after the new year.  Pretty exciting!  Be sure to look at their video on the website (it's on the donation page), you'll hear directly all about the project from Mac and her friend KT!

- 4 -

So my stack of books on my bedside table is not shrinking, at all.  I'm reading, or at least I feel like I am.  I think my problem is that I keep adding to it.  Currently I'm following along with the podcasts for The Little Oratory.  At first, because we downsized so much for our new home, I didn't think I had any place at all to put a table to set up an oratory.  However, I literally stumbled upon a place when I needed to move an antique table that we were storing in the basement (because I just couldn't part with it in the move) and if I couldn't find a place in the house, I was going to have to sell it.  It's truly tucked away as there is a chair in front of it, basically you could say blocking it.  However, at prayer time, this is a swivel chair and we can turn it and it should work!  I haven't done anything more than put the table in it's place and add a lamp.  We'll get there.  Oh and other books...Great Expectations, Tattoos From the Heart, and today from the library I got for me to read :) the first Harry Potter book.  I've never read it all the way through. 

- 5 -

I can feel that this upcoming week is going to be the week to change over the planning binders.  I've been lazy about emptying out the student sections and beginning anew for a whole new year of subjects.  If you are curious, I just use 2 Avery binders and use the pocket tab dividers (I love these things).  Each kid is behind their own divider.  Within that section, I add syllabi, notes on school schedules and planning for that particular child.  Then, because their divider has a pocket, I can throw in there anything that doesn't have holes for a binder that I just want to store there.  Or basically, things that I come across midyear that need to be saved and I'm too lazy to hole punch them and they just get pocketed.  So on Friday afternoons (okay I won't totally kid you, majority of the time it's Sunday evenings ;) I sit down with the binders and each kiddo's planners and plug in the week's assignments.  The big guys (meaning anyone in high school) get the nifty printed out agenda produced by the app Homeschool Helper.  This was the best $5 I ever spent in our homeschool careers.  I use it on my ipad.

- 6 -

Master Chef - do you watch?  It is our family's summer obsession!  My boys love Gordon Ramsey.  Sometimes they catch Kitchen Nightmares too.  We are rooting for Big Willie of course.  And although Lesley gets a bashing each week from the other contestants, and yeah it is deserved sometimes, he appears to be a good cook,  We all think Cutter should have gone home weeks ago, phooey on him.  This was the show that lit that initial fire under CB and still continues to inspire him to invent and experiment when he cooks.  We love these benefits!

- 7 -

So there is this awesome movie theater in these's a cinema drafthouse.  I had never been to such a thing before we moved here.  It is so much fun and it is NOT more expensive than the regular movie theater, nor is the food.  The best part, the vinyl chairs.  The fabric covered chairs at other theaters give me with the willies...well I'm afraid they are giving me lice or bedbugs or the like.  But vinyl chairs...they don't bother me.  At the other theaters, I would wear a hoodie and put the hood up when I sat down...embarrassed the kids.  Yeah well...too bad.  And this summer, the theater has had free movies for kids each week.  Next up is Rio and then just one more week left after that with Despicable Me 2.  Both movies I have yet to see in one sitting.  The kids, well they have seen them several times...but they don't care.  Who can resist the big screen and big old bowl of popcorn!

Happy summer in the polar vortex!

Check out more QTs this week at Conversion Diary!