moving my blog again!!

I’m sorry to keep moving this blog around, but it has been educational for me to learn these different platforms of blogging.  And I am working on a new site to help fellow homeschoolers and parents by sharing what has worked well for us– our curriculum choices and such. I plan to promote it a little better too and try to connect with other parents.  I seem to have a unique homeschooling style and I haven’t had much of a following or interest in this blog, but at the same time, I have not been interested in other homeschooling blogs.  What I have found though is that I relate better just to regular people and parents just trying to figure out this parenting thing.  I don’t believe there is one best way to educate our kids, and I believe in just doing what you believe is best for your child– assuming you are a sane, mentally healthy parent.  So my new site will focus on education in parenting, and I will continue to blog personal stuff there as well.  So please follow me over there– I just posted about Thanksgiving!!  I also have been keeping a gratitude blog at

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free ebooks

Just had to share,  these look great– free downloads!!

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Making Soap for Chemistry Lab

This actually ended up being a little stressful.  Lye is a caustic agent and I stressed the importance of being careful so much that my kids were actually nervous– but that’s good for chemistry– we must be very careful.  So I watched a couple of youtube videos on making soap and finally settled on this recipe.

I found a crockpot at goodwill for $5– score!!  So we got our safety glasses, gloves and long sleeves and supplies all ready.  We measured the lye and water outside and left it out there to cool while we finished measuring the oils inside.  We used olive oil, coconut oil and red palm oil.  The red palm oil smells pretty bad and really overtook the whole soap making it orangish although the soap smells OK, it does not smell good.  Also we used a stick to stir the lye and we got little pieces of bark in it.  Also, my daughter spilled some of the oil that was already mixed so we had to remeasure it, clean up the floor and guess how much of each to put back in.  But once we finally got it mixed and stirred and cooking in the crock pot, it wasn’t too bad.

We poured it into a shoebox lined with parchment paper, which reminds me it’s time to cut it, wish me luck….

Here is the only picture I have so far–  my boys were trying to disappear with the slow shutter speed… fun fun,  This will definitely take some  more practice– we made bread for chemistry also– it was a little easier than the soap.  And obviously we didn’t get much else done– but that’s just how chem labs are.


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Fascinating article on Unschooling

The more I learn about unschooling, the more I see how it can work for people.  This article is the last in a series that reports on a survey given to people who were unschooled.  There were 75 respondents and only 3 of them had negative experiences mainly because their parents were mentally unhealthy and didn’t want to deal with social situations, so these kids felt isolated and ill prepared for life.  Most of the respondents however saw it as a privilege to be unschooled and went to college and have successful lives and most of them plan to unschool their own children.

My philosophy is do whatever works for you!  Unschooling would not be a good fit for our family, my kids need a little more structure, but I do value them having time to themselves to explore and pursue their interests as much as possible.  It’s nice to be having more study, data and results coming out on all types of  homeschooling.  And kudos to these brave parents willing to buck the system and give their children the  education they felt was best for them.  They are our pioneers.  Thank-you!

Here is the article.

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Chemistry Unit 1

We started Chemistry this week.  We have down a few things here and there for Chemistry, I was never sure how we were going to quite do it though without the gas benson burners.  Turns out, Chemistry kits come with alcohol burners!!  But we found that little votive candles actually work quite well.  We just practiced by heating water in a test tube over a flame and getting all our protective gear on.  I tried turning the TV on for the 3 little guys, but then we lost the 7 yr. old to the TV, so we’ll do it during nap time in the future.  The 3 little guys watched their candle burn.

chemistry1 chemistry2

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Doing things you don’t want to do — Exercise!

Exercise seems to be one of those things that you know you should do and you’ll feel better after, but it can just be so hard to get started.  Well, I have pretty much always exercised since high school, I played on the school’s soccer and basketball teams and ran Cross Country and Track.  I learned a lot about exercising that way and working hard and how good it feels after, and I carried it with me throughout my life.  I exercised through all my pregnancies even the twins, except at the end and for 6 months after they were born– it was the first time exercising took more out of me than it returned.  I am so much better when I exercise.  When I don’t exercise, I get cranky, I don’t see things in perspective I get overwhelmed easily.  I can be having the worst day, I’ll go exercise, come back, nothing has changed except for me and everything is great, I’m fine and can manage my tasks and my life.


the sky yesterday on our walk before my jog with the girls

When the kids were little, and the little ones now, they play around with me and try to exercise too especially when I am following a video.  They also get plenty of exercising just running around.

As the kids got older, they have often been on soccer teams, last spring they ran track and learned some field events of jumping and throwing.  We went swimming almost everyday and two of them joined the swim team.  My 15 yr. old played volleyball for the school team in the fall– that was took about 20 hrs. per week and plus some.  She would sometimes go to practice feeling cranky and mopey, not really wanting to go, but she would always come home so happy.  It was really good for her, I guess she’s kinda like me.

The other kids didn’t do any organized sports this fall, except the boys will ride their bikes with me while I jog to the village and back.  But we noticed that one of our cute kids was looking like he takes after the chubby side of the family and me, and probably needs more exercise than leisurely riding his bike around the village.  My husband has been wanting to start exercising too, so he took it on himself to start running with this boy.


one of the twins loves to run, beats everyone everytime

Once volleyball was over, I had my daughter run with me– oh how she complained and cried the first time we went.  She laughs about it now, she was literally throwing a 2 yr. old tantrum.  But she was happy the rest of the day, didn’t complain the next day, and took off yesterday while I was dealing with her sister running with me, whining and complaining the same way the older one did, but not quite as bad.

For her, this daughter just turned 14 this week,  I have been trying to get her to come with us for about a week.  Every time, it is a pain, she has to go to the bathroom, she’s too slow getting ready, she has this assignment to finish etc. etc. etc.  But I had told her last week that once she was 14, no more excuses, she will have to just come.  So, she did yesterday with a lot of whining and complaining and thoughts that she wouldn’t make it, with those side aches and such.  But she did it!  And she was much happier the rest of the day.  I expect she will recognize the value of running soon too!!

I think the hardest part sometimes is just getting started.  I have been jogging for about 4 months now.  I am getting better.  I feel such a difference.  These girls are going to be passing me up in no time, I’m going to have to run a little faster!!

For the little ones, we got a mini trampoline from the halloween candy fairy.  And I am taking them for a walk to the stop sign and back everyday, a task with it getting dark so early with daylight savings living on the edge of the time zone!!  But an important aspect in living a balanced a life.


On our walk, bikes, stroller, trike, it’s all good!

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Teaching Kindness

I like this article a lot.  The 5 things the writer recommends are:

  1. Make caring for others a priority
  2. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude
  3. Expand your child’s circle of concern.
  4. Be a strong moral role model and mentor.
  5. Guide children in managing destructive feelings

This is an area I have been thinking about.  It is nice to be part of a big family because there are ample opportunities for my kids to serve each other.  We don’t do a lot outside of our family, and it would be good I think to find something the girls could do to serve the community.  I will be on the lookout, especially as winter is coming and the Christmas season, it shouldn’t be too hard to find something outside for me and them.  Hope you enjoy the article too!

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