Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All About Reading- Great News!

The new All About Reading Level 1 program is now available!

To celebrate, the good folks at All About Learning are offering a great deal!

The new All About Reading Level 1 products are 10% off through December 6, plus all Level 1 orders will receive their fun Taste of Outer Space product for FREE!

Although I have not had a chance to try All About Reading Level 1 for myself, my son's spelling and my ESL tutoring students' spelling, reading and conversational abilities have all improved greatly from completing All About Spelling.  The success they have experienced makes me feel confident about highly recommending AAS, All About Reading, and anything offered by All About Learning Press

Good stuff.  Great deal.  Check it out.
Happy Learning!

Disclosure:  I am an All About Learning affiliate.  I have not been compensated for writing this post and have offered my honest evaluation of the product.  If you click any of the links within this post and complete a purchase, I will receive a commission.  Thank you!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Leafing Out

Ten years ago, the boys "helped" Dad rake the yard
for the first time, and afterward,
enjoyed their first game of leaf jumping.

How quickly time has passed.

*sniff, sniff*

Today, leaf-chore time quickly evolved
into an exercise in long jumping.

As Orville crashed into the leaf pile,
this is what my mind's eye saw...

...so I'm sure glad my camera caught this....

Then Wilbur took off like the wind...

...and I recalled the days
when all he could do was sit among the leaves
 and clap and gurgle.

He's not so little any more.

In fact, the King of the Mountain
challenged the men
to a jump off.

Oh yeah!

(Boys will be boys, after all!)




Happy Fall, Y'all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Preparing Tables, Preparing Hearts

Dear Readers,
I searched through my archives last night in hopes of finding something I could republish as a holiday greeting.  I am thankful for you and that you are keeping this blog alive even though I cannot give it much attention right now.  The post below is what I found to share, and it really set me thinking.  I was searching for something for you to enjoy but found a kick in the hiney word of encouragement that I needed instead. 

Admittedly, I'm not feeling particularly festive this year. I am feeling the burn from a few rough months and am more inclined to collapse face down onto my bed than to scrub and polish my house, plan a menu, gather supplies, decorate, and cook. Thanks to my wonderful mother, who is cooking our Thanksgiving meal this year, I have much, much less to do than normal.

However, even though I won't be preparing the table this week, I am not off the hook.  I can't just collapse.  That would be giving up on the most important job a mom has...leading her little ones to worship God.  My little ones aren't as little as when I originally wrote this piece, but they need me to do my job just the same.  So, though I won't be preparing a table, by God's grace, I need to persevere in preparing hearts (including my own)....

What a very busy week! The holiday rush has begun. I have scrubbed and polished my home from ceiling to floor. I have planned the menu and gathered supplies for decorating. I have supervised and edited as the boys have finished their "Merry Thanksbirthsary" projects. Everything is nearly in place, and I am close to being ready to receive my guests and fill their plates.

However, I hope to accomplish more. I hope that as I open the doors to my home and receive my family and friends that they will feel love and warmth. I pray that they will truly celebrate and that the sights, smells, flavors and experiences of the day will remain in their memories for years to come.

More importantly, I pray that Thanksgiving will be a day of reflection and genuine thanks in our home. I pray for true contentment and grateful hearts as we acknowledge that all we have is from God. I pray also we will recognize and give thanks for more than temporal things. I long for my family to rejoice and say, O death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory? Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!  From the time we carve the turkey until we slice the pumpkin pie, may we rejoice in Christ and celebrate what He has accomplished.  (1 Cor 15:55-57)

So ladies, scrub, polish, plan, prepare, cook and bake.

And as we clean the house, let us pray for those who will fill our homes with the sounds of celebration.

As we plan our menu, let us pray for those who will gather around our table. 

As we stir, mix, slice, and chop, let us be thankful to God for all He has provided. 

As we set the table and open our doors, let us do our part to make our Thanksgiving feasts a time of speaking to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and praising in our hearts to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, even to God the Father.  (Eph 5:19-20)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hey Howdy Hey!

It's time for the Homeschool Blog Awards again.  Olive Plants has been nominated in the Best Variety Blog category!  I actually know the three people who nominated me and am happy to be included in the voting again this year.

If you would like to vote for Olive Plants, just click the above button, and you will be redirected to the correct web page. 

To be honest, I'm not really interested in winning.  (Previous experience has taught me that ain't gonna happen.)  However, my favorite part of these awards is how a nomination brings in new readers who often become new members of the OP community and friends of mine. 

I just wanted to take a minute to say hey and welcome to those of you visiting for the first time.  I really am glad you are here and hope you will take a minute to look around.  I have not had much time to blog in recent months because of irl circumstances (boy, are there a bunch of posts in the queue and the recesses of my mind!).  However, I have a lot of teaching ideas and homeschooling content that I posted before I went into semi-retirement.  (For regular readers who are wondering where I am and what has happened, I hope to post about it soon- if life will slow down just long enough for me type my heart out.  I do intend to return to the blogosphere one day soon, Lord willing.)

Thanks to those who nominated me and who will be sending votes my way!

Thanks also for visiting.  I hope to see you around often!

Happy Voting!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Chatty Birthday

Since our fall break falls between the boys' birthdays,
we took them to Chattanooga as a late-for-one,
early-for-the-other present.

Such a beautiful city!

Their favorite part was getting to meet up with the Kingdom Arrows!
Here, they are outside the Scopes Trial Museum.

Michael and I enjoyed the extra day off
and the cool fall weather!
Ahhh...so refreshing!

They also got to see the Chattanooga Choo Choo!
left to right: Orville, Gracie Girl, Joy Bug, and Wilbur

The boys requested a double-decker bus tour of the city
as part of their birthday present.
Wilbur, whose birthday is today,
enjoyed sharing a seat with Joy Bug.
(He liked the free Moon Pie and
Double Cola that came with the tour, too!)

Happy 11th birthday, Wilbur!

I love you!!