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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This is what happens when you and your mom shop at the same stores! 

Yep, she showed up at my house so we could do some Christmas shopping wearing MY shirt (she still claims it's HER shirt, but...)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Scenic B&W - iheartfaces

I decided to post a B&W Scenic shot for iheartfaces this week.  This is at our ranch in NW Arkansas.  What a pretty place - in any season!

For more Scenic B&W Photos, please click to iheartfaces

Freezer Paper Tee Tutorial

Did you know that freezer paper will stick to material and make a perfect temporary template???  Yeah, me either!

Inspired by the "I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar" blog. I have had a blast making t-shirts for Charger using freezer paper templates.  The possibilities are endless...

(This is a pretty long post, so grab some coffee and/or chocolate, sit back and....)
Here's what you're gonna need.

Any design you want to transfer
Freezer Paper
Fabric Paint - I used Tulip Matte paint that I found at Hobby Lobby
Exacto Knife
Paint Brushes

Here's my design.  I had a hard time finding a Christmas-themed design for a 10 year old boy, so I just made one.  It's printed out on regular paper, and I just cut the paper to make it easier to manage.
Tape this down to your cutting board or self-healing mat.

Place a piece of freezer paper (shiny side down) on top of your design, and tape it down to your mat as well.

Carefully, cut around your design with an exacto knife.  Be careful not to make any extra cuts in your freezer paper.  This will help you not have any of your paint seeping underneath later.

Here's my stencil all cut out.  Notice the small circles up above?  Make sure to keep those "holes", so that you can place them back in your "o" when you iron your freezer paper onto your shirt.

(Pretend you see a picture of me ironing the freezer paper to the shirt now.)

Go ahead and iron your t-shirt and decide where you want to place your stencil.  I decided to place it vertically up the side of Charger's shirt.

Then, place your freezer paper SHINEY SIDE DOWN onto your shirt and iron over it.  Make sure you really go over the small pieces of your template to make sure they are stuck down really well to avoid the paint seeping underneath.

Here, I have started to paint my stencil. Can you see the freezer paper ironed onto the white t-shirt up above?  When you're painting, try to go FROM the freezer paper onto the t-shirt.  Avoiding that paint seeping once again...

Here, I have painted my entire stencil area twice to make sure the paint is really dark.  My boy sure doesn't want a pink and white shirt!

Next, you just need to carefully pull the freezer paper off of your tee.  See those "holes" in my "o's"?  Just get your exacto knife and a pair of tweezers, peel it up...and...


Here's my tee basically finished.  Now, I just need to let this dry according to the fabric paint directions (mine said 4 hours).

After looking at it for a while, I added some shadow to it in black to try to make it a bit more masculine.

After all the paint had dried, I placed a dry washcloth over the design and ironed over it once last time.  This heat set the paint, and now it can safely be washed over and over again.  I think I'll turn it inside out each time, but I'm not sure you really have to do that.

Here's the finished product.

I also made a Star Wars themed shirt for Charger since that's his favorite.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment...actually leave me a comment anyway - just to show you're out there!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


My newest favorite photo of my boy...

It makes me smile...


Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Love Target!

I almost peed my pants! Now, that would have been "stinky"!


Friday, November 26, 2010


Ok, who doesn't love BACON????  No, it's not good for you.  No, I don't know what part of the pig it comes from.  And no, I don't eat turkey bacon! (And yes, I just ended that last sentence with a preposition - sorry...)

I HATE the mess stovetop bacon prep creates.  So, I have come up with a solution.  This is a totally new-to-me solution (please don't tell me you've been doing this your whole life...).  :-)

Take your trusty cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper (aluminum foil will work, but you will need to overlap it and the grease tends to leak to the sheet).  Make sure your parchment paper is a bit longer than your sheet so it will contain the nastiness. 

PLOP your not so healthy, non-turkey (or turkey if you must) bacon onto the parchment paper and pop it into a 375 degree oven for...... a while....Honestly, I don't even know how long I cook it.  I just go about my business, and when I start smelling that fabulous (not so healthy, non-turkey) bacon-ey smell - VOILA!

Your bacon's ready, the house smells yummy and the grease is all contained on top of the parchment paper.  I just let that nasty grease congeal (eewww) and throw the paper away.  No messy clean up! My kind of cookin'!

Tell me what you think.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Charger's Homeschool Curriculum 2010-2011

I just realized that I wrote about Viper's curriculum this year, but neglected to come back and write about Charger's. Here goes...

Teaching Textbooks 5-6
This curriculum seems to be working out okay.  We are moving pretty quickly through it and hope to finish both books this school year.
We're also supplementing with Key to...books.  We are doing the Fractions book right now, and I am loving the step by step method it uses.

Sonlight dictation exercises.
We're continuing on with Handwriting Without Tears Cursive again this year, since handwriting is probably Charger's most difficult area.  Ideas are all there - writing them down still seems torturous.

We're using both Vocabulary Workshop Orange from Sadlier-Oxford (k12) and Vocabulary from Classical Roots 4 (k12).  I LOVE the Vocab/Classical Roots series.  I have used this for years with Viper and his understanding and use of vocabulary is amazing.  We'll finish the Workshop book by Christmas and move onto VfCR in the next semester.
No spelling this year, since Charger does not have any problem in this area.

Mainly using Sonight 4 grammar sheets but also supplementing with Exercises in English Level D (k12).

Sonlight 4 readers
Lots of library picks
Also, some from the workbook - Nonfiction Reading Comprehension, 6

Sonlight 4 program
History Pockets - Civil War and more as we move through the year

Sonlight 4 science program
Scientist biographies from the library
Following along with some of his older brother's chemistry experiments

U.S. geography through Notebook Pages

We had started typing using Typing Tutor software, but his computer crashed, and we gotta find the $$$ to replace it.

I am also utilizing some fun stuff from edHelper and superteacher.com and anything else I find that would be fun for him.

He's continuing with piano lessons and thoroughly enjoyed playing tackle football for the first time this year.  We're so sad the season is over...

We ARE a Green-Eyed Family

Want proof????

(ok maybe we're actually the Hazel Eyed Family, but that doesn't sound nearly as cool...)

I LOVE MY GREEN EYED (hazel eyed) BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Craft #1

Ok, so I'm feeling all accomplished and everything since I actually completed a CHRISTMAS CRAFT before December even rolled around! Let me point out all that is AMAZING in that last sentence.

First, the fact that I am even crafting is shocking even myself! I am not that kinda girl people - I'm the "let's go throw the football" kinda girl and I'll just go BUY a pillowcase kinda girl.

Second, ummm...I started AND FINISHED a project before the intended holiday rolled around!!!

Now, this craft was a pretty simple one (after I finally figured out what that sausage-like roll of fabric could actually turn into). The one tricky thing for me was figuring out how to do the "applique" portion of the project. (And please don't comment to say that my applique isn't finished yet - I know, I know. Getting to that this evening.)

What caught me by surprise was the intricacy of Heat N Bond. Yes, I know many of you are laughing, thinking to yourself - Heat N Bond - easy peasy! And yes, in the end it was easy peasy. But, why o' why don't they tell you NOT to iron your Bond sheet to your fabric "snowflake" while using your ironing board????

I seemed to have missed that key instruction of maybe placing it on wax paper or marble or super duper teflon!!!

I'm off to find the post on sewing your own ironing board cover....

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Homeschool 2010-2011

Thought I would post the curriculum we're using this year. I love reading what others are using for their kids and hate that I hardly ever see what others are using for their older kids. So, I will.

I have a highschooler and a 4th/5th grader this year.

Viper (13yrs.)
One Year Adventure Novel

We're using a tutor from Los Angeles, named John Rosasco
to study Conceptual Geometry, Trig and other higher math concepts.

I decided to use Apologia's Chemistry text this year. I have really struggled with finding quality science curricula that is not purely Christian in its focus. This science text seems to be working for now. It was a bit of a struggle just reading the text and answering questions. BORING! But now, I bought the DVD/supplement lecture material from Red Wagon Tutorials, and that is making it more interesting.

Viper is auditing a U.S. History class at the local community college this semester. He is doing great, carrying an A average so far. Whew!

He is also taking the following:
Spanish 2 - Rosetta Stone

Web Design this semester and next semester 3D Design

U.S. Geography using these notebook pages -

His literature correlates to his American history and/or character building. I will try to place a list here sometime soon.

Vocabulary from Classical Roots, Level D

Daily Grams, Grade 11

He is also taking a college level piano course with a private tutor and continuing with his karate training. He will be testing for his black belt in December (we hope).

I have to run but will post Charger's curricula later today.

And your daily pic...

Switching to a New Blog

Well, I screwed up...I decided to have my boys start a blog so that they could talk about the books they're reading, etc. What I DIDN'T realize was that I created their blogs linked to my original blog...So, every time they changed their information, it changed mine as well.

So, last night I finally took the time to set up a new blogger account for myself and transferred my old posts over to this blog. Now, it looks like I blogged about a million posts in a single night, but I couldn't figure out how to do it any other way. Thank goodness I'm not great at keeping up with this blogging thing, so I didn't have too many posts to "cut-n-paste" over here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

KFL Chargers Football 2010

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Trip to Austin, Tx October 2010 (old post)

We took a spontaneous trip to Austin to see the Capitol and Treaty Oak last weekend. We just up and took off after Matthew's football game and stayed until Monday night. My mom went with us, as she likes to travel just as much.

We had fabulous weather and even visited Inner Space Caverns on our last day. It was fun!!!

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Vader Plays "The National Anthem" (old post)

And now....Vader....(insert girls screaming).......playing....

The Star Wars National Anthem!!!!


He had a blue button down shirt on over his Star Wars shirt but just had to take it off to play his piece.

Way to go Vader. You did an awesome job!!!


Merry Christmas 2009 (old post)

We had a quiet, family Christmas this year. Fortunately, hubby didn't have to return to work the night of Christmas like he did last year, so we have been able to hang out together. The boys have been lost in their new videogames - but today we forced them out-of-doors and went to a (new to us) State Park to ride the trails. Not as exciting interesting as we had hoped, but we all got some much needed exercise and fresh air.

We'll be taking the next week off for Christmas vacation and then heading back to the real world. Maybe by that time I'll be ready for it, but for now I'm totally enjoying having no obligations!

I guess I didn't keep up with this...(SPAIN video)

I guess I didn't keep up with this blog as I intended, but I hope to do better from here onward. (yeah right, I know myself) I'll just say that I'll do the best I can. ;-)

A LOT has happened in the past 10 months. One of the biggest was that Jake and I were selected to the USA National Karate Team and traveled to Punta Umbria, Spain for the WKA World Championships. We traveled from October 25- November 3rd, and had a great time.

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Another big event that occurred was the death of my husband's Aunt Jerry. It was really a shock. She was 83 years old, but doing rather well. She passed away sitting on her front porch watching the sunrise. How perfect was that???

Along with dealing with the sadness of her death, we found out that my husband was to become the Trustee of her 420 acre farm in Arkansas - 11 hours from home. My husband is up to his eyeballs in the logistics of this, and we have a lot of decisions to make. One thing I do know is that Halen and Vader LOVE spending time on the property.

The boys have switched to using the Texas Virtual Academy for school this year. It's a public school option completed at home online. It's great because Halen has instructors for all of his classes, lightening the load on his good ole mom. Some classes I just don't want to have to learn all over again.
We are now getting ready for another Merry Christmas. The house is decorated, the stockings are hung, the shopping's even done. Now, if I could just find the Spirit....
Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

The Bitter Homeschoolers List (old post)

This is cranky but also really funny. I got it off Facebook. Read to the end for an after note by me.

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler, she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007

Okay, now I don’t always go around feeling that way and I am not going to bite off the head of anyone who asks me questions about homeschooling. But sometimes I DO feel like this.

You Know You Homeschool Your Kids...(Old Post)

your youngest son is playing with an army man and a schoolbus (WHILE completing his math work by the way)and says:

"You're under arrest. Why? Because you're on a schoolbus!"

(spring 2009)

week in review Jan 12-16, 2009

Yes, I know it's a week late....

Let's Try This Again (old post)

Here's a video of Halen's Top Kick Demo this past Saturday. The pictures aren't that great - but it's something for Dad. I HAVE to learn this CAMERA!!!

KTKK Top Kick Demo Team (Old Post)

Here's a video of Halen's Top Kick Demo this past Saturday. The pictures I took didn't come out all that great - but it's something. I HAVE to figure out this CAMERA!!!

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As Luck Would Have it (Old Post)

A Brag on Halen/Viper (2008-2009)

Just need to brag a bit about my oldest. Tonight, Halen, his dad and I were called into his martial arts instructor's office. Halen thought he was probably in trouble, although he couldn't think of what he could have done.

Well, after working really hard - Halen was asked to be on the karate school's WORLD TEAM!!!! I am so proud of him. It was a hard decision for him to decide he wanted to train 6 days a week and all throughout the summer to be a part of this team. He had to decide he would put forth that effort BEFORE he even tried out. Then, he also had to prove he was good enough to compete effectively. And TONIGHT he found out he was one of only 2 kids asked to join the team this year.

Way to go HALEN.

Viper's 2009-2010 Reading List

Hatchet - Paulsen
Number the Stars - Lowry
The Trojan War - Coolidge
Banner in the Sky - Ullman
Adam of the Road - Gray (?)
Archimedes and the Door of Science - Bendick
Escape from Warsaw - Serraillier (?)
The Great and Terrible Quest - Lovett
I Am David - Holm
In Search of Honor - Hess
It's a Jungle Out There - Snell
Leonardo DaVinci - Hahn
The Samurai's Tale - Haugaard
Snow Treasure - McSwigan (?)
The Good Master - Seredy
Only the Names Remain: The Cherokees and the Trail of Tears - Bealer
Year of Impossible Goodbyes - Choi
The Breadwinner - Ellis
The Light in the Forest - Richter

Charger's Reading List 2009-2010

The Great Wall of China - Fisher
Tut's Mummy: Lost and Found - Donnelly
The Usborne Time Traveler
The Greek News - Powell& Steele
Detectives in Togas - Winterfield
Henry Huggins - Cleary
Homer Price - McClosky
Little Pear - Lattimore
Mr. Popper's Penguins - Atwater
Greg's Microscope - Selsam
Pompeii: Buried Alive - Kunhardt
Titanic: Lost and Found - Donnelly
The Chalk Box Kid - Bulla
Jake Drake: Bully Buster - Clements
The Last Little Cat - DeJong
The Littles - Peterson
The Long Way to a New Land - Sandin
The Long Way Westward - Sandin
The Secret Valley - Bulla
Viking Adventure - Bulla

**Vader may not read all of these selections, since others may be substituted to match our History Odyssey curriculum.

Elf Yourself Christmas 2009

Alabama Pics

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Well, we headed to Alabama last Friday to spend time with Midnight's brother and family. We had a really good time just hanging out

and having fun. Midnight's brother is laid back and positive thinking - just what this family needs. The boys had a great time playing with their cousins and getting antagonized by their uncle. Heading back soon is definitely on the agenda.
We had the dog and the camper. Both worked out surprisingly well. It was great to have our space, and the dog - well, he was in HEAVEN!!! Can you say, living a country dawg's life. He even tried to sleep under the house with uncle's two pooches. What a trip!