Olive Plants

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's a Give-away!

Hey Olive Planters!

Are you ready for school to start?

I am! I am!

I have really enjoyed summer break. I have spent a lot of time at the pool, even more time lesson planning, and even fought off some bats! Soon, however, the Olive Plants Home Academy will be in full swing. I will share our 2014-15 curriculum plans in days to come but wanted to take a minute to share a great resource with you today! (AND A GIVE-AWAY!)

It is my honor to spotlight a very talented curriculum and e-book author, Kathy Hutto. She is a personal friend of mine-- a sweet, God-honoring lady with two of the nicest kids you could ever meet (one of them is a student at the co-op I lead). She also just happens to have amazing teaching ideas oozing from her pores.

Here is just a sampling of the many wonderful items available at her CurrClick store.

An Excellent Homeschool Planner

Unit Studies

Virtual Field Trips!

Supplemental Materials

Resources for Special Needs Students

...and even a book
on writing and publishing ebooks!

Kathy also offers memory aids, posters, lapbooks, spelling sheets, and (my personal fave) silly sentences. She is such a gifted and experienced teacher who has taken great care to publish affordable materials for use at home or in a formal school setting. Most of her items cost between 50 cents and $5!

She has also graciously offered to give away
one of her fabulous products (up to $25)
to an Olive Plants reader!

To enter, visit Kathy's CurrClick store and tell me in comments to this post what item you would choose if you were the give-away winner.

You can earn 1 bonus entry each by sharing about this giveaway on facebook or twitter. Notify me here in comments or include #kathyhutto in your post/tweet so I can give you credit.

Earn three bonus entries by liking Olive Plants on facebook and/or following me on twitter, @Homeschooldawn.

Earn FIVE bonus entries by subscribing to Olive Plants.

You have until August 13th to enter. I will pick a winner using random.org. (I'm old school because I don't want to buy a rafflecopter subscription right now. ;-)

Happy last few days of summer!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The L-O-N-G- Awaited Reveal

Last summer, Michael and I, with the help of the boys and my parents, remodeled the boys' bedrooms. Actually, because they were soon to be teenagers, we moved them into their own bedrooms for the 1st time in a long, long time. I got to play interior decorator and design two rooms to match two very distinct personalities. ;-)

By this time last year, we had finished the painting, bought the furniture, and gotten everyone moved into their new spaces. Soon afterward, I started chemo and switched from Martha Stewart-mode to survival mode. It took every ounce of energy Michael and I had to get "regular" life done, so the finishing touches on the room had to be postponed.

But, finally, here it is!

As promised many moons ago... Brian's finished room!!

Okay, if you think really hard, you might remember how the room looked after we painted last year.

I was a bit worried about painting the room bright yellow,
but you held my hand and told me it would be alright.

I'm so glad you did
because here is what the finished room looks like!
Never in a million years,
 would I have thought that
I would LOVE so much bright color,
but I DO!
Not only does he have a nifty art station under his loft
but he has a Hot Wheels track that runs from his bed
to the floor! How fun!!

Here is a close-up of the art station and his latest modeling project.
The art table is adjustable so it lies flat as pictured,
or it can tilt to various angles for sketching or painting.
We added the cups in the background to hold markers,
pens, crayons, glue and scissor.
The boxes on the shelf hold assorted art supplies.
IKEA should totally pay me for this ad post!

Which reminds me...
Disclaimer: This post is not an ad.
I just wanted to share my son's room with you
and am not being compensated for this post.
I attached a cool piece of fabric under the mattress so that
he would have something inspiring above him as he works.

The legs of the art table provide more storage space.
We are using as much wall space as possible
to display his artwork and other projects,
like his science fair board to the left.
Note: Post on science fair coming soon!

Above the loft, we displayed another piece of his artwork--
some kind of bird. Surprise, surprise.
On either side of the bird are the paintings
that his friends made at his 10th bday pARTy.


Now to the desk area.



Here is the completed school area!
As you can see, some of his art supplies spill over into
the school area. He came home with lots of
great art loot after his pARTy.
However, there are shelves and cubbies
for storing his school supplies, too.

Now, remember this corner?


Here it is with an IKEA cabinet.
We use it for toy storage/display
and as a place to display awards.
The karate belts on top will have a case
one day soon. ;-)
I would be a horrible daughter if I did not add this picture
which gives you a good view of the cute curtains
my mom made.
She also made the quilt on his bed.
Thanks, Nohnie!

 As I mentioned earlier, both boys moved into their own rooms. We completely revamped Ben's room, too; however, there are still finishing touches to be completed. Just to show you how different my guys are, I will give you a sneak peak of his room....

Can we say POLAR OPPOSITE of his brother?!

I love the color palette he chose: dolphin grey, blue, and black with just
a pop of red here and there.
I also LOVE his Dr. Who, Starry Night, TARDIS Exploding
(not sure what its actual name is) poster.
I'm not a fan of Dr. Who, like every teen I know.
However, van Gogh is my favorite artist.
One day soon, hopefully before Ben graduates high school (that's fewer than 3 years!!!!), I will have the curtains done and will post a tour of his room, too.
Until then....

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's time for YBC 2014!

My Dear Readers,

Hi! How are you?

You have probably wondered if I have fallen off the face of the planet. I am still alive and well... doing much better than I was 6 months ago, actually. You can read all about my current lupus progress and chemo treatments over at I'm a Little Lupie.

I have taken a long, much-needed break from blogging, however, to clear my head. The struggles of being sick have been real and intense. I have had to put my full focus on my health and my family and so the blog has suffered. :(

I'm back in the blogosphere today, though, to ask a favor of you.

My sons and their teammates are about to participate in the Youth Birding Competition. This is the next-to-last time they will compete because they are growing up. Only one more competition will be held (we compete every other year) before my Ben graduates!


I am trying really hard to hold it together, but look at these cuties!

Their 2nd year in the competition...
I couldn't find a picture from the 1st year!

These guys have grown up together, blessed to be such good friends as well as teammates. Here they are a couple years later.

in 2012

This year, they will enter the high school division!

What a bunch of sillies!
I hope they remember how to use their binoculars properly
before Friday!
Something they do as part of the competition is fundraise for the American Bird Conservancy. This is a conservation effort that we have chosen, as very conservative families, and feel free to support in good conscience. Check them out, and if you feel similarly and would like to support our team's efforts, please consider sponsoring our team.

You can pledge to donate a fixed amount, as little as $5.

OR what we really like is a per-bird pledge. It really motivates the guys to work hard.

In 2012, they identified 105 species. We hope they will identify 120-ish this year (to give you an idea of what your total pledge would come to if done per-bird).

To sponsor the boys, please email me at homeschooldawn (at) gmail (dot) com. You will need to give me your real name, your pledge amount, and your email address. After the competition, I will let you know how much you will need to send directly to the ABC. You can pay by credit card here.

Thank you so much for following my blog and sharing in and rejoicing over the successes of my kids and their friends over the years. If you can't sponsor the team we'll still love you! ;)

We also ask that you keep us in your prayers as we travel. Pray for safety, lots of birds and good health. This trek will be very taxing on my lupie self, but you know how we moms will do anything for our youngins, right?

Team Birds of a Feather, 2014

Thank you, also, for considering supporting the team and for praying for their efforts.

Edit: We need pledges in by 9 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, April 24, 2014, for them to count toward the team's total. They could win prizes for this fundraising effort. However, if you miss our deadline, you may still make a donation to the ABC. Thank you to the reader who brought this to my attention! :)


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Friday, January 17, 2014

School Pictures 2013-14

Ben (14) and Brian (13)
recently had their school pictures
taken by a local photographer:
Chloe of
Someone had fun in front of the camera!
He is a jokester!
You put my sonic screwdriver WHERE?!

A Dr. Who Aficionado

Is he sneezing or laughing?
Oh, he's laughing!
Ben: And now for your viewing pleasure...
the Amazing Growing Pumpkin.
Brian: Oh, brother.
Ben: Dude, that worked!
Brian: Bro, it's a different pumpkin!
The perfect 13-yo shot!

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

No Bacon Matter

A friend of mine posted this picture on facebook.

Since "laughter is the best medicine" is currently our motto, Michael and I began to brainstorm... and laugh... and brainstorm... and cackle... and brainstorm... and guffaw until our sides nearly split.

The list got a little, ahem, long.

Too long to post below my friend's status. So we decided to share the laughter here.

In no particular order, here are our top 100 Bacon Titles! (Yes, we had to whittle the list down.)
  1. Saving Private Bacon
  2. X-Bacon
  3. The Desolation of Bacon
  4. Shawshank Bacon
  5. Temple of Bacon
  6. The Good, the Bad, and the Bacon
  7. Schindler’s Bacon
  8. The Return of the Bacon
  9. Back to the Bacon
  10. The Fellowship of the Bacon
  11. The Bacon Strikes Back
  12. Bacon Gump
  13. The Silence of the Bacon
  14. It’s a Wonderful Bacon
  15. The Green Bacon
  16. A Clockwork Bacon
  17. BACON-E
  18. Citizen Bacon
  19. The Bacon King
  20. To Kill a Bacon
  21. The Importance of Being Bacon
  22. Catching Bacon
  23. Singing in the Bacon
  24. Monty Python and the Holy Bacon
  25. Raiders of the Lost Bacon
  26. 2001: A Bacon Odyssey
  27. Mr. Bean’s Bacon
  28. Bacon on the River Kwai
  29. Baconface
  30. The Maltese Bacon
  31. The Man with One Red Bacon
  32. You’ve Got Bacon
  33. A Bacon on a Hot Tin Roof
  34. How to Train Your Bacon
  35. Gone with the Bacon
  36. The Sixth Bacon
  37. Bacon on 34th Street
  38. A Beautiful Bacon
  39. Dial B for Bacon
  40. Bacon-Hur
  41. The Bacon of Oz
  42. The Princess Bacon
  43. The Bourne Bacon
  44. A Series of Bacon Events
  45. The King’s Bacon
  46. Groundhog Bacon
  47. Bacon of the Caribbean
  48. Harry Potter and the Deathly Bacon
  49. Black Bacon
  50. Bacon University
  51. Bacon and the Beast
  52. Bacon Story
  53. The Return of the Bacon
  54. No Bacon for Old Men
  55. Bacon in Love
  56. The Bacon and I
  57. Dances with Bacon
  58. Driving Miss Bacon
  59. Chariots of Bacon
  60. A Christmas Bacon
  61. My Fair Bacon
  62. West Side Bacon
  63. All the King’s Bacon
  64. How Green Was My Bacon
  65. You Can’t Take Bacon with You
  66. Free Bacon
  67. Pretty Bacon
  68. Runaway Bacon
  69. Bacon with the Enemy
  70. Eat, Bacon, Love
  71. Mona Lisa Bacon
  72. The DaVinci Bacon
  73. Bacon Brokovich
  74. My Best Friend’s Bacon
  75. The Pelican Bacon
  76. Steel Bacon
  77. My Big Fat Greek Bacon
  78. Catch Bacon if You Can
  79. Bacon 13
  80. Independence Bacon
  81. Men in Bacon
  82. Joe Verses the Bacon
  83. Bacon and Hootch
  84. Top Bacon
  85. Risky Bacon
  86. Kung Fu Bacon
  87. War of the Bacons
  88. Bacon on the 4th of July
  89. Cowboys and Bacon
  90. Clear and Present Bacon
  91. Close Encounters of the Bacon Kind
  92. Bacon on a Wire
  93. Charlie’s Bacon
  94. Lethal Bacon
  95. Dances with Bacon
  96. Interview with a Bacon
  97. Field of Bacon
  98. Robin Hood: Prince of Bacon
  99. The Lion, the Witch and the Bacon
  100. E.B.: The Extra Bacon
Hope you laughed as much as we did! If so, what's your favorite? Do you have any titles we didn't include?

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