Friday, February 24, 2012

Attention Alberta Homeschoolers!

I have been informed in the last couple of days about a new bill the PC party is trying to pass regarding the Education Act. They want to change it to say this - section 16 that all instructional materials in schools “must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.”

This will include private schools and homeschooling. We would have to use government approved curriculum and it could come to the point that we would no longer be able to use our bibles during school time.

This is not a good thing that the government wants to tell us what conversations we can have with our families in our own home or to tell us what we can and can't say to our children. We, as a homeschooling parents, should be able to choose the curriculum of our choice and teach our children as we see fit.

Please read the article at the link below. It has information on how to contact the Minister of Education, the Premier and local MLA's. I have already e-mailed the Minister of Education and the Premier. They have to know that this is not the way of a democratic country.

"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Ps 27:14

Daniel Boone Unit Study Week 4

This week was really interesting for us because we were studying the French and Indian War, which is part of Canadian history. Rebekah has just finished working through "Courage & Conquest, Discovering Canadian History" by Donna Ward and we were able to use one of the lessons from there to help with this part of our study.
First, I read a portion from a new book I got from CBD called, "Who Was Daniel Boone?" by Sydelle Kramer. It is written for kids and it's a great resource and reasonably priced at around $4. Then I gave the kids a printout of maps of North America before the war and after the war so that they could see how the land changed ownership.
Next I read about the Battle at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec from "Courage & Conquest".
I had written up a worksheet with questions and the answers to match. So that Ben and Jacob could do it. I also printed some worksheets off the Internet for Rebekah to have some further studies. Benjamin completed one of them too. It was a fill in the blank worksheet and it was packed with information.
We also updated our timeline to 1762 when Jemima was born and talked about Daniel and Rebecca getting married.
So next week we are off to Kentucky! (In our unit study of course)

Below is Ben dressed up in his Boone attire with the new real coonskin cap we bought on Ebay.

Below in this picture is Jacob dressed up like Boone and Rebekah is dressed up like his wife, Rebecca.

Below is Rebekah cutting out Colonial paper dolls.

Resource list:

Fill in the blank worksheet on the French & Indian War -

Maps of North America before and after the war -

Paper Dolls -

Just a note; I have been using Lesson Pathways a lot for this unti study. They have so much great info about this subject.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Blessed Birthday

I just had a wonderful, blessed birthday with my children. (Larry is out of town.) They started early in the morning, before I even got out of bed by making coffee and Rebekah made me this cute birthday banner. She made it to say, "Happy 23rd Birthday" because I've been joking that it is my 23rd birthday, but it's really my 23rd plus both of the ages that my sons will be this year (6&9). You can do the math. The boys wanted a game of marbles. They really seem to enjoy this game, which is awesome because you don't have to plug it in, it's just good fun. (Notice Jacob's coon skin cap that we got in the mail today. It's made out of a real raccoon!)

Rebekah was such a sweetheart. She wanted to make most of the supper, which was Thai Chicken Pizza.

She also wanted to make my favorite sponge cake with chocolate icing. It was delicious! (I guess the cake kind of gives away my age)

Here are the presents and cards from the kids. Ben got me the earrings (he bought them after I told him I liked them in a store a month ago), a card and the earphones. Rebekah made me a beautiful card and Jacob, after much deliberation with himself, decided to share his Lindt chocolate with me as they are my favorite.

I am so grateful for my children!

"Children are a heritage of the Lord..." Psalms 127:3

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Pictures

I love this picture my mom took one Christmas from the back of our barn. I have enhanced it three different ways.


Pencil Sketch


More of Rebekah's Pictures

Here are some more of Rebekah's pictures and they are my favorite. This is Little Joe when he was only a few hours old.

Here is Little Joe at 1 week old dressed up like his namesake, "Little Joe Cartwright".

And Rebekah herself sitting with our scarecrow, Stephen, at our pumpkin patch.

Rebekah's Pictures

When I was looking to change my blog, I came across the website, and on that website Karen gives a tutorial on how to use the website On it, you can upload your pictures and add special effects for free. You don't even have to sign up. The only downside is, it's closing as of April 19, 2012. Until then, we are having fun with some of our pictures. Here are some of Rebekah's pictures from around our farm. There will be more to follow.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Daniel Boone Unit Study Part 3

This week for our Daniel Boone Unit Study, we learned about Quakers, how to play marbles and used our hornbooks.
In the picture below, the kids are colouring a picture of a Quaker couple while I read to them a short history about the Quakers. Boone's parents were Quakers.
We are still learning about what children did for fun back then. So, I taught them how to play marbles.

After their game, Rebekah taught Jacob some words using his hornbook. It's actually a very good resource for learning to read.

During my "project" time today, I sewed a fringe on a shirt I had bought for Ben to dress up like Boone. All I did was buy a shirt that was too big, then I cut a 3" strip off all the way around the bottom. Then I cut the fringe into the cut side of that strip. Next I sewed in on where we wanted it along the seem side so that the fringe was hanging down. It turned out pretty good.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A New Schedule

I guess it must be the Spring feeling in the air or something that has got me all into changing things lately. Actually, having a plan for our day has been a big challenge for me. In fact, it got so bad, that I cried out to God one day, pleading for help. Help to feel like I have some control over how our day goes and what we get done and to feel like I'm not alone trying to do all of this.

So, when I was done praying, I thought that I should order Steve and Teri Maxwell's "Managers of Their Homes". And I did just that. I dove right into it when it arrived. They have some great ideas for scheduling your day and getting your kids to help with chores.

Below is the schedule I came up with for myself, Rebekah and Benjamin. I decided to wait to do Jacob's, because he can just follow along with the others for now. I have only scheduled to 5pm. My day starts at 7:30 and the kids at 8am. They have 1 hour to get dressed, tidy their rooms, eat breakfast and do morning chores. Then at 9:00, we start the day with Bible. For school I have just scheduled a 2 hour time spot. I have our school schedule separate. After school we have lunch, then 1 hour to do outside chores and working with the donkeys, this rolls right into 1/2 of outside time. Then we have 1 1/2 hours to do errands in town on Mon, Wed & Fri and on Tues & Thurs we can work on special projects during that time. Then at 3:00, we have snack and then free time until supper.

Below, you can see the system I am using for chores. It is similar to the Maxwell's, but this was free. I found this amazing website, and she has made these printable chore cards. I printed out a set for each child (which were different colours), then I cut out the ones they would need. For Ben and Jacob, I used a old photo album page and cut it in a strip of 2 photo spaces, then I folded it in half and punched holes in it for a strap. The openings for the pictures are on the top on both sides, so I slipped the chore cards in. In the front, with the name, are the everyday chores and in the back, I have put the weekly chores which we do on Fridays. This is Ben's chore pouch below and Becky's chore cards (I just used the ones from Ben's because he doesn't do those chores and Jacob has different colour cards) and the "Help Mom Cook" card. This "Help Mom Cook" card was such a blessing, because my kids were always fighting to see who could help me at supper, now we just rotate the card from child to child.
So in the chore pouch, after the child has done the chore that is showing, they take it out and put it to the back of the other chore cards lined up behind it.

This is a picture of the back of Ben's chore pouch with the weekly chore cards.

For chores that are not to do with personal care the kids get a sticker on a sheet and when they have 20 stickers, they get a prize from our prize cupboard.

I like that I have scheduled chunks of time to get things done as opposed to, say, 15 minute increments. This way we know what we have to do and by when it needs to be done. Now it seems we have an overall plan for our day and it feels great! This goes right along with what we have been learning in our Bible time about Orderliness. One of our bible verses was "Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Cor. 14:40. Praise God he showed me a way of doing this.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A New Look

Hello. As you can see I have been playing with my blog. There is so much a person can do and I don't know if this is how I will leave it, but I like it for now. A big thanks to Karen at She has all free graphics! 1000's of them and she also gives tutorials on how to use them on blogs. I would have had NO idea what to do if it wasn't for her easy to understand directions.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Daniel Boone Unit Study Part 2

OK, so we have just finished the second week of our Daniel Boone Unit Study and it is going very well. This week we learned about animal tracking, some vocabulary and covered wagons. Here are the details.

The first activity kind of presented itself to Rebekah ans me at the beginning of the week. We were out for a walk, when we saw some different animal tracks than we were used to seeing around our place. So, we got our camera and took some pictures of the tracks. Then we looked up animal tracks on the Internet and found that rabbit tracks are the closest to what we found. So we believe we have a rabbit living under our granary. This can be part of our unit study because Boone was a very good hunter and animal tracker. We had been trying to pretend to track animals in the snow a couple of weeks ago to pretend to be Boone, but this was even better. It was fun trying to figure out just what kind of animal has been on our property.

The second activity we had this week was learning some 1800's vocabulary. We looked at the poem we had printed off at and I took some words that I knew my kids would not know the meaning of. Then I looked then up in a dictionary from 1828 at to find the definitions. I printed out the definitions for Ben and Jacob to cut and paste, but Rebekah had to write hers out. We used Daniel Boone note paper also form for this assignment. I picked the words; vales, kin, kith, unhewn and rove.

Our last activity for the week was to make covered wagons. I found this idea at This was a lot of fun. Making the wheels was kind of finicky, but that's OK. Instead of gluing the wheels on, we used paper fasteners (?) so that they will turn.

Rebekah had hers hitched up to horses with passengers in no time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Daniel Boone Unit Study Part 1

This Christmas I bought Daniel Boone Season 1 from 1964 for my family, hoping to find a good show we could all watch and enjoy together. We are really enjoying it. It is full of history, and so interesting. My kids were so excited about Daniel Boone, that I decided to do a unit study on him. So this is Part 1 of our journey through American history centered around Daniel Boone's life. I will put the references for material at the bottom.
We started, of course, with a title page Then I printed off an easy overview of Boone's life (not shown) and lastly we included a poem about Boone. Which we will learn some vocabulary from later. This was day 1.

On the 2nd day, we started to focus on the 13 Colonies, because Boone was born in Pennsylvania in 1734. So we are going to spend 2 weeks talking about Colonial times. To begin with, we included a map of the 13 Colonies and coloured the states Boone lived in, and we started a timeline of his life.

Then we learned about hornbooks. Which was how children learned how to read back then. The kids made their own hornbooks. But the exciting part was, later that night, when we watching Daniel Boone on TV, Israel (his son) was using a hornbook to do his lessons. It was just cool to see what I learned in a book portrayed in real life.

We are learning about what the children did for fun as well. So to begin with, Rebekah and I have been making these absolutely adorable rag dolls. I found the pattern on a blog and it is so easy. There is no sewing involved and now that we know how to make them, it only takes about 5 minutes to complete.

Of course, the boys really want to act out what we're learning, so here is Jacob below with his Daniel Boone attire. We went to the thrift store and found a real suede vest and a red shirt like Fess Parker wears in the show. Rebekah put her leather purse around him like a trappers bag. And the final touch, the popping gun he got for Christmas. Rebekah did his hair the same as Fess Parker as well.

Now we know the TV show is actually a completely different portrayal of Boone and his life, but it is full of actual historical events, such as the wars and the fight for the land they were on and seeing how people lived in the 1700's.


Title page: The Life & Times of Col. Daniel Boone by Cecil B. Hartley

Overview: Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans by Edward Eggleston

Poem: search Daniel Boone

Hornbook: Same link as 13 Colonies

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Quick Meal Recipes

I just wanted to share some of the quick meals I've prepared recently. I know that I get stumped for ideas for meals on a regular basis and thought maybe these recipes might come in handy for someone.

This first one is so great, because it uses ingredients I always have on hand and it also uses the crock pot. Another great thing is I used frozen meat. Around 1pm I wondered what I would make for dinner one day. I went to my freezer, pulled out a bag of drumsticks and had supper ready in 5 hrs.



Cut up chicken (I used drumsticks)

1 can Tomato soup

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup honey (or you can use apricot jam or brown sugar)

2 crushed garlic

salt and pepper

From frozen, thaw chicken on defrost in microwave until you can just break the pieces apart. Put into crock pot. Mix other ingredients in a bowl, then pour over meat. Set on high for 4 hrs. You can baste the meat with the sauce as it cooks. Now my trick was, while the potatoes were cooking, I took out the crock pot insert and put it in the oven uncovered at 325 degrees. Once all the veggies were ready, the chicken was ready too.

This next recipe I got from 2 places on the Internet. A few weeks ago I was watching 18 Kids and Counting on DVD. In this one episode, they were making pizza for lunch and boy did it look good! So I went on their website to see if they had their pizza dough recipe and they had a link to a really great recipe. This is the link;

(This blog is done by a homeschooled teenager, really cool.)

I have tried many homemade pizza dough recipes and this is by far the best!

Then I got got another idea from Crystal at Homemaking on the Homestead. When she makes pizza crusts, she makes extra for the freezer and that is what makes this a quick supper. I had already made pizza crusts and froze them according to Crystal's directions at this link;

I made a freezer pack of the leftover cheese, toppings and sauce the last time I made pizza, so the other night we had pizza in about 20 minutes. Here is my freezer pack below.

And here is the yummy final product. A deluxe pizza. (Actually we had 2)

And if you are wanting a fast dessert and maybe watching your caloric intake, try this spongecake. It is ready in about 35 minutes and you can do so much with it. We have had it with strawberries and whipped cream (I make it in a bunt pan for that) or this time, we actually put chocolate icing on it. But, to tell you the truth, it was SO much better after it had been completely cooled in the fridge and eaten cold. This recipe is great because there is no butter or oil, only eggs.

I have even calculated out the dietary info;

1/8 of the cake

182 calories

3.2 gr fat

I didn't calculate the fibre, but it probably isn't that much.