Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Worksheet Generator

I love cool things that make my life easier and THIS is one of them. It is a worksheet generator. You type in the questions and it prints out a worksheet...Very clean and neat looking!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Thank you Darla for sharing a great new website! Check out! You tell it what ingredients you have in your cupboard and it gives you a recipe! How cool is that ! ENJOY!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mud Stomp Updates

The mud stomp has been moved to 1pm due to cooler mornings. Come to the 4-H center at 1pm for some muddy fun!

Ice Cream Social

Thank you to everyone who came and contributed with the ice cream social! We had 78 people there! What a great turn out! What a fun time! I hope you all got to visit with old friends and even meet some new friends while you enjoyed your yummy ice cream treats!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back to School for the Bakers

We start back to school next Monday. I love getting back to school! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE summer as well. It is probably my favorite time of year, but there is something about the start of a new school year. I love the cooler mornings and the bustle of activities starting to appear on my calendar. I enjoy the anticipation and getting all of our homeschool stuff ready! We had a lot of shuffling around in our house with moving rooms and things around this year (switching space with Jason's office), but that just gives us a fun, new place to be for the year!

For our first day of school, we always have a special breakfast (usually made by Dad!), we take their pictures out by the ash tree (which reminds me I need to mow this weekend!) and then start the day out with a treasure hunt for their new supplies! They love doing this and giggle with joy at finding their new things! We usually do just 1/2 days until Labor Day, so we have time to still get to the pool. We are going to start with Math, Language Arts and History and then fold in the other subjects after Labor Day.

I hope you enjoy your first day of school. I know many of you have started already and some will start after Labor Day. Enjoy these moments. Take pictures and have fun.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Live Talk Tuesday

This is a neat resource. You can dial in to the call on Tuesdays or listen at your convenience from your computer. They take place on Tuesdays at 1pm. If you want to listen to previous broadcasts, just scroll down to the bottom of the page. The first one aired on Aug. 12th and is about "How To Make Sure Your Child is At or Above Grade Level". The second one aired on Aug. 19th and is about "Focus On Fun – The Key to Motivation". The next one is next Tuesday! Very useful info!
About the show
To listen from your computer

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Vacations are a fun, fun time! I remember camping trips from when I was a child! I loved those times with my family. Doesn't everyone just love vacations?!?!?

The past two weeks, we spent time with our family on an actual vacation! What fun it was to get up and have nothing on the calendar, but spend time with family. I loved being able to just drive down to the beach in the mule (even if it was cooler than expected) and play in the sand with an adorable dog (how cute is he?!?!) who adopted after day! BTW, we DIDN'T bring him home!
The girls have some extraordinary memories that will last a lifetime!We were relaxed and took the time to be together! What a blessing that time was to our family.

As homeschoolers, we have the benefit to create our own vacation days. Please be purposeful in doing that! Mark out time on your calendar and in your schedule for your special days with your kids and family! Make it special and take advantage of the flexiblity you have!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Product Reviews

The Old Schoolhouse has a couple of new products out that they asked some people to review. One of them was the Schoolhouse Planner and the other was the digital version of their magazine.
The Schoolhouse Planner
Many of you may have seen this planner advertised and if you were like me you were mildly intrigued! Could all the forms you need really be in one fantastic planner? I downloaded the sample pages and read all the bullet points, but still wasn't really sure! The marketing and the sample pages don't even come close to how cool this planner is! From a planner-a-holic to the non-planner, this is a GREAT and easy tool to use! I downloaded mine into a pdf format. The planner starts out with calendars and lots of them as well as tidbits of really useful information (ie: timeline of inventions, countries & capitals, and period table of elements just to name a few). One of the great things about this planner is that you can make it your own. With the pdf format, you just type in your information and print! EASY! There are literally hundreds of forms in the planner. You pick which homeschool, household or calendar planning pages you like best, customize it to your own and you are set!
Digital The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Subscription
The magazine comes to you in an email and then you click a link to view it. I am in favor of ANYTHING that reduces the paper in our houses, so this was a neat idea and email is a great way to get it to me! I am still, however, someone who still likes to "flip" through the pages of a magazine or a book. Luckily, TOS has considered that and the graphics of their digital magazine provides that feeling! My favorite parts of the digital magazine is the ability to link to the websites or urls from the actual article or advertisement for more information as well as the convenience of being able to send the article to a friend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tips for homeschoolers

Whether you are a new homeschooler or a veteran homeschooler, sometimes it's nice to look at how others do things. I remember loving the dish pan trick! These tips may be useful to you:

Practical Tips for Home Schools

Home's Cool: Get Organized for Homeschool

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Naturalist Programs

Being a Charlotte Mason fan, I appreciate the opportunity to be outdoors. I loved it when I was growing up and my kids truly enjoy the outdoors as well. In Nebraska, we are fortunate to have so many great parks nearby! Last week, some of us went to Mahoney State Park for the trail rides. Once there, I was reminded of the naturalist program offerings they have at the park...for FREE! They are offered daily throughout the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Call the park for scheduled sessions.

Monday, August 11, 2008


We are going to host a lapbook session for Moms this year. If you don't know what a lapbook is, these links will help you out!

What is lapbooking?
For those of you interested in lapbooking, notebooking, or foldables I found this fabulous website with free printable sheets to use. There is even a whole page on American Girl books and printables to use for those books!>
In the Hands of a Child

Lap Book is a trademark owned by Mike and Tammy Duby of Tobin's Lab

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Proud Mom & Dad!

Savannah was featured in the Midlands section of the Omaha World Herald today for her 4-H O! Project. She is very excited about the article and the journalist did a great job! Thank you Chris for displaying the O! at F&M Bank! Feel free to stop by the bank to check it out. It will be there until August 21st.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Board Game Organization

Many of you know that I like to organize things! We have recently done some re-arranging in our home and it has taken quite a bit of work to get things to where I want them to be before we start school this year. I am not exactly where I want to be yet, but I am getting there! During my process, I researched some ideas on how to organize board games as I lost the bookcase I was using to Jason's office. I found this article that talked about some great ways to help store your board games...if you are brave enough to break out of your traditional molds! Even if you aren't brave enough to do what they recommend, they have some other tips (like storing them vertically) that are very easy to do. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Planning session

Thank you to those of you who sent feedback to me via email, phone or by coming to the planning session! We brainstormed some really great ideas for the 2008-2009 school year and have a lot of fun things planned for the kids (and the Moms...and even the Dads!) this year. I am looking forward to seeing you all on a more regular basis soon!

"Free Gifs & Animations"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

O! Please say yes next time!

Many of you know our family O! story. For those of you who do not, last fall we toured around to photograph all of the O!s in Omaha. I did not do this voluntarily at first. It took my girls roping their grandparents into the project for me to get on board. Our oldest daughter was the driver behind the idea. It turned into quite a long day (finding and photographing all 22 O!s in one day) and then turned into a large (literally and figuratively) 4-H project (did I mention her project earned a purple ribbon and was selected to go to State Fair?).

Many times as Moms and especially homeschoolers, we are too quick to tell our kids "no" or "not now" or "maybe later". After all, we do have school to do! I know I am guilty of putting my kids off 100 times more than I say yes to them (maybe because they ask so often!). Regardless, there are times when we should just take a deep breath and go for it. They really do have neat ideas. They really do get excited about them. They really do value being listened to from their parents. So the next time your kids ask you to do something you really don't think you have the time or energy to do, just say yes and try it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dates to Remember

Here are some dates to put on your calendar for the year...
  • Aug 7th 7pm - 2008/2009 Planning meeting (Scooters at 180th & Q)
  • Aug 24th 3pm – Ice Cream Social – Peterson Park in Gretna. We will be having Banana splits, sundaes, and root beer floats. Everyone will volunteer to bring goodies for it. RSVP Required!!!! Note: Former homeschoolers are STILL welcome!!!
  • Aug 29th 9am-11am – Mud stomp at the 4-H center in Gretna. More details will follow. Get ready to get muddy! Tennis shoes or teva style shoes required! No flip flops for the mud! We will be hosing off the kids afterwards before they come home!
  • Sept. 5th – KICK OFF Meeting! Gretna Community Church
  • Sept. 19th – Lauritzen Gardens and Kid Structur Field Trip
  • Sept. 30thVala’s Homeschool Day
  • Oct. 3rd – October monthly meeting
  • Oct. 7thVala’s Homeschool Day
  • Oct. 17th – Gifford Farm Field Trip
  • Nov. 7th - November monthly meeting
  • Nov. 21st - Rotella Italian Bakery Field Trip
  • Dec. 5th - December monthly meeting
  • Dec. 19th - Tentative Field Trip

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reasons to Homeschool

As we start seeing kids go back to public school, it is helpful to remember the reasons why we homeschool. I found this list a while ago and enjoyed it!

  1. The only "gang" your kids belong to is your family

  2. The teacher-pupil ratio is great

  3. You don't need security guards or metal detectors

  4. Your kids enjoy socializing with people of all ages

  5. You don't have to run to catch the school bus

  6. You can sleep in on rainy days

  7. School prayer is encouraged

  8. You don't have to buy "back to school clothes"

  9. You don't have to develop a taste for cafeteria food

  10. You can celebrate your birthday with a school holiday

  11. Vacations can be called "extended field trips"

  12. You get to read more books than you ever realized existed

  13. The latest fads usually never make it to your house

  14. You don't have to worry about what your kids learned in school today

  15. You don't have to raise your hand to go to the bathroom

  16. You can wear pajamas to class and not be kicked out

  17. Chores may be called "Home Ec Projects"

  18. There's always time to bake cookies

  19. Learning becomes contagious

  20. Your family is right where they ought to be...home!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer Olympics 2008

The 2008 Summer Olympic Games begins on August 8, 2008 (08/08/08!) They will be held in Beijing, China. I am sure the kids will all be very interested in them! Be ready for those questions and check out this information...

Olympic creed:
"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

Official Emblem of Summer Olympics 2008:
Titled ‘Dancing Beijing’, the emblem is a red seal embossed with the Chinese calligraphic character jing, which means ‘the nation’s capital’. This is a reference to Beijing, China’s capital city. Modern design elements were incorporated into the traditional art forms of seal carving and Chinese calligraphy, personifying the character and imbibing it with a sense of athletic motion, hence ‘dancing’. The two strokes extending to the left and right represent the open arms of the Chinese people as they warmly welcome people from around the world. The white character is contrasted against the bright red color of the seal. Red signifies good luck to the Chinese, and in addition, symbolizes the passion for sports and the Olympic spirit.

The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 8-24, 2008

Summer Olympics Printables

Kids News Network
Kids News Network Sport is a video news channel (from the Dutch media company Free Voice) with reporting by youth from six countries: Indonesia, Burma, Afghanistan, Zambia, South Africa, Surinam and Peru. During the Olympics, they will broadcast daily updates from Beijing for kids around the world. You can see their intro video by clicking on the purple China button on the interactive map. Alternatively, you can follow them on YouTube.

Kids' Turn Central