Monday, May 30, 2011

Nine Months Later...

No, this has nothing to do with my prior pregnancies or any prospective pregnancies. LOL A little over nine months ago was when we began our homeschool journey!! I thought it would be cool to list all the different things Hannah and Autumn have learned throughout the year.


addition & subtraction
geometric shapes (cylinder, sphere, cone)
some skip counting
counting money (bit of a struggle but we're working on it)
She can read!!
the seven continents
different types of landforms and bodies of water
seven different species of bears
improved handwriting
told me she loves Jesus!
map reading basics (using a legend, map grids, directions, etc)


knows shapes (even the crazy ones, like hexagon!)
knows most colors (most of the time she will say 'blue' since she knows she will eventually get it right! :-P)
can sing different portions of the alphabet
her vocabulary has expanded alot!
counts in the right order (here and there...she say "1, 2, 3, 14, 9, 10..." etc)
knows the sounds different animals make (cow, sheep, dog, cat, horse, etc)

Both girls love crafts!
Anything involving paint, glue, stickers, and the like are always guaranteed to keep them involved for a hot minute!  I will probably have to buy some stock in Elmer's and Crayola!

They love being outside!
They like riding their bikes, driving their PowerWheels, looking at bugs, playing soccer "like the Berenstain Bears" (what Hannah calls it and it only consists of us running back and forth in the yard taking turns kicking the soccer ball), going for a walk around the pond out back seeing what we find, helping Ryan wash the cars, splashing around in their pool (redneck or not), and I didn't realize how long the list was until I started typing this! 

They love going to church!
Praise the Lord!!! Whether it's Sunday or Wednesday they are excited to be there! Hannah pays great attention in her Sunday school class since she tells us all about her lesson when we pick her up.  She was going on about Paul and Silas a couple weeks ago! Autumn is always quick to inform me that she had donut holes in her Sunday school class. :)

Right now we are considered on summer break, but I think Hannah just assumes we are just moving straight on to the next grade.  This afternoon she brought me this new thinking skills book I bought some months ago and asked if she could do some of it since she  is in first grade now. Who am I to tell her any different? :) I suppose homeschool really does become routine and you never really take a full break from it.  

This Memorial day I am thankful for all our veterans who have given their lives to serve our country and all our freedoms we have living in the U.S.A! I was just reading about how it is actually illegal in some countries to homeschool! The things we take for granted...astounding.

Sneaky Squirrel game giveaway!

Confessions of a Homeschool is giving away the Sneaky Squirrel game from Education Insights! Click here to see how to enter for a chance to win!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Paperplate Dinosaur

Red-handed--I hope in some way
this isn't foreshadowing. :-/
 Super easy and you just have the kids paint and piece it together.  You want to give them some extra work have them cut out the body parts and cut up the paper plates themselves. 


paper plate
foam sheets
googly eyes
scotch tape or stapler
glue stick

(Doesn't it seem like my material lists are the same with just about every craft? Ha.)

Autumn is very influenced by Picasso
Cut out the center of the paper plate (which will be the body).  Cut off a third of the edge of the paper plate.  That will be the tail.  The other piece will be the neck.  Have your child(ren) paint these pieces in their color of choice.  Meanwhile cut your head, legs, spots for the body, and tail end out of the foam sheets.  Try to match it to the color of the paint,  but that's obviously not a requirement.  I'm not one to knock someone's creativity. ;)   
Such a diligent crafter :)
 Let the paint dry for at least 10 minute before attaching body parts.  Use either scotch tape or a stapler to help your child(ren) attach their body parts (especially using a stapler!).  Of course it's just easier than dealing with messy glue.  Go ahead and use a glue stick to attach spots to the body and neck. Glue on the googly eye.

Hannah said she made her dinosaur look like he's running
I also started thinking I should probably have a story to go with each craft--kinda like when we go to story time at the library.  I'll make the story here "Danny and the Dinosaur." :)

Chocolate Surprise Cookies


3/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
20-25 Hershey kisses
1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder


Prehead oven to 350.  Combine the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer set on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla.  Combine the flour and cinnamon in another medium bowl.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Mix well.

Shape the dough into 20-25 1-inch ball.  Flatten each ball in a 2-inch round.  Place the rounds 1 inch apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets.  Place 1 chocolate kiss in the center of each round.  Enclose the candy with the dough, making sure the candy is completely sealed in the dough.  Bake until golden, about 13-15 minutes.

Combine the confectioners'  sugar and cocoa in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over the hot cookies.  cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

*I did not have Hershey kisses, but I did have some candy I had leftover from Easter! Worked out very well! And it's egg-free so you can eat the dough! ;)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Week in Review #32: Final Week!

This is about 3 seconds after Hannah
finished the last of her math and I declared
her a 1st grader!
We are officially done with Kindergarten! I am so proud of Hannah!  There are a couple things we are rolling over into 1st grade, but I figured math had to be one thing to be completed.  Maybe that's just me because I don't like math, and I just wanted to get it over with. :-p I am happy to say that Hannah did very well, and the only thing she needs time with is counting money but that will come with time. Now we will take a month off and start up in July!

5/26 Shopping Trip

2-Oscar Mayer Selects turkey dogs
2-Total Plus cereal
1-Stouffer Farmer's Harvent lasagna
1-Finish dishwasher gel
2-PowerBar Harvest energy bars (ONE WAS FREE!)
3-Lean Cuisine Market Creations
1-California Pizza Kitchen pizza & appetizer
2-Pampers Kandoo flushable wipes (FREE!)
1-Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Bath Power Sprayer
2-Gorton's Fish Fillets
2-Airwick air fresheners (ONE WAS FREE!)

Retail: $72.81 +tax
Paid: $30.67 +tax
57% savings

Not my best but the regular price on some of these items was crazy! $8.99 just for the Scrubbing Bubbles and I got it for $1.49! I would love to at least get 70% savings when I go shopping next week. Something to shoot for. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pop Art Handprints

This is by far one of my most favorite crafts! I found the idea at Laugh Paint Create.  I think the kids'favorite part was covering their hands in black paint. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Redneck Waterslide

So it continues...the crazy Caulfields and our money saving ways. ;) I still give Ryan all the credit.  Out of the two of us he is definitely more of a big kid, so I save all this outdoor stuff for him.  While it is not picture I should also mention that we did in fact get the kids an actual pool, since Ryan finally decided to just throw the camper shell away.  He tried selling it for only $50 and still couldn't get rid of it.

As you can see the slide itself is a tarp, the tarp that was actually used to line our redneck pool.  Yesterday was a bit breezy, so Ryan used a couple of tire rims to weigh it down, adjusting the hose on one just so to create a fountain effect.  Autumn was not too keen on the waterslide.  Ryan pushed her across it, but she preferred to splash around in said pool.  Hannah sure loved it!  I will admit that Ryan and the girls got me to go on it a couple times (in a t-shirt and pj pants no less).  And no, there are no pictures of that thank goodness!

The "slide" is obviously not very long.  Ryan is already plotting combining this with another tarp he has and taking this to the steep hill on the other side of our yard. We shall see how that goes (or how high our water bill will be!).  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We were featured at!

Our lil ol' blog was mentioned on the GoodyBlog at! It was for the Parents Blog Roundup, which regularly posts different parent blogs.  Click the link to take a look! Needless to say, I am very flattered. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Week in Review #30 & #31: In a Funk

In the very early hours of May 15, 2011 my nana went to be with the Lord.  Her health had not been very good for a long time, so it was inevitable.  It didn't really hit me until the 18th, but fortunately the girls were distracted by Nick Jr. long enough for me to have a good cry.  When I was 18 I wrote Nana a letter asking her if she was saved and she responded that indeed she was and had accepted the Lord at young age. I am very rest assured she is with Jesus, pointing out her gorgeous great-grandchildren. :)

Absolutely nothing exciting happening on the school front. So ready to be done so I can hit the ground running planning for 1st grade and preschool!! :-D We have one more week. 

For about a minute we thought we would possibly be moving to Virginia where Ryan would have transferred to a new position with his company.  That didn't pan out, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't relieved. I loathe moving.  I get settled somewhere in a routine and then have to start all over again. Ugh.

Autumn is hitting the terrible two's pretty hard lately.  She's always been a bit clingy, especially when we're visiting family, but now she's the same way at home and we're the only ones around. Very strange. She is also throwing very notorious fits over little things.  Going to bed has now become an issue.  We go through her bedtime routine--brushing teeth, reading a story, pray.  Then I leave the bedroom and turn out the light and she starts wailing as if she is so surprised that it's time to go to sleep. Very frustrating, but we just have to push through (or push Autumn through a window, which ever happens first).

Pencil Holder Craft

I got this idea through doing a Google image search--a pencil holder made using a toilet paper roll and popsicle sticks.

Elmer's school glue
toilet paper roll
construction paper
popsicle sticks (8-10)
embellishments to decorate

Paint toilet paper roll. Let dry.  Cut out a small square of construction paper and staple it around on the bottom (this will look messy but the popsicle sticks will cover it up).  Glue popsicle sticks all around.  Elmer's glue is definitely recommended for this project.  We didn't have any so we used glue sticks and it was kind of a pain having to cake the glue on. :-p Wait for the glue to dry (20 minutes) and decorate!

5/19 Shopping Trip

Guess I'll start dating these posts since I can never think of clever titles. :-p

1-Wisk laundry detergent (FREE!)
1-Suave deodorant (FREE!)
6-2liter Pepsi products
1-Kellogg's Corn Pops
1-Kellogg's Rice Krispies
1-Kellogg's Fruit Loops
1-Digiorno Pizza & Cookies
3-Pillsbury biscuits
4-Kroger shredded cheese
2-Suave Professional shampoo/conditioner
1-Hormel Natural Choice deli turkey
1-Land O'Frost Premium deli ham

Retail: $65.97 +tax
Paid: $26.19 +tax
61% savings!

Kroger was having the Buy 10 Get $5 off sale again this week, but it was only on frozen foods.  In a way that makes it a whole lot easier, so you can only focus on one department rather than the whole store! A couple of the coupons I ended up using were ones I found laying on the shelf by the product! I know that happens sometimes if someone is not going to use some coupons then they'll just lay them on the shelf.  That's how I paid a whole $4 for $12 worth of shredded cheese! Oh yeah!

Monday, May 16, 2011

WriteShop Giveaway!

Confessions of a Homeschooler is giving away a free level of WriteShop!  Click here to see how to enter!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Buy 10 Save $5!

I was totally stupid and did not think to buy a paper the first Sunday of the month (when there are the most coupons!!!!), but I still managed to make due and get some great deals. I looooove Kroger's Buy 10 Save $5 sale. They don't have it nearly enough! I actually got a few deals from their organic section this morning. It is possible, but you just really have to be on the look out. This week they're doing Buy 10 Get $5 off on the frozen foods! Woot! Exciting! :P

15-individual packs of Kool-aid mix
2-Yakisobi noodle dishes
1-Freschetta pepperoni pizza
3-Quaker Quakes (mini rice cakes)
1-Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (FREE!)
1-Silk Almond milk
5-Kraft BBQ sauce
2-Mom's Best Naturals cereal
1-French's mustard
1-French's brown mustard
1-cannister of Koolaid drink mix (FREE!)
1-Huggies Little Swimmers
1-Gillette body wash

Retail: $55.84 +tax
Paid: $19.54 +tax

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Redneck Pool

The fact one of my kids  is wearing clothes just adds
to the redneck aspect, don't you think?
If you ever saw Kristen Wiig's skit from SNL where she is portraying Suze Orman (click here for the hilarity!), you will remember the crazy money-saving "tips" she gives.  This pool definitely makes me think it would have been one of them!

"Now listen to me my dears and dearies, first you take an old camper shell, line it with a silver tarp, fill it with water from the garden hose, pour in some Windex for coloring and you have yourself a swimming pool that exceeds...the...ever...popular...Doughboy!  And if the sun warms up the water enough you have yourself!"

Okay, we didn't really pour in Windex. Don't think the ammonia would be considered very safe. :-p This whole thing was Ryan's bright idea.  He has tried to sell that camper shell, but to no avail.  He did this on a whim one day to keep the kids occupied while he was working on his car.  Qe do intend to buy a real pool for the kids. The past couple days the kids have loved it and have worn themselves out silly. Summer shall be lovely!

I know this looks awful, but I promise Autumn is not
falling forward!
 "And remember friends, if saving money is difficult then I am a sudoku puzzle on a Friday night!"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Educational Insights Giveway!

Educational Insights is giving away a $100 gift card to spend on any of their products!  This is an awesome company full of children's games and manipulatives, so I'm sure you would find something to spend it on. :) Click here to find out how to enter!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Having My Babies :)

Autumn, minutes after birth

Hannah, minutes after birth

I can't leave out either of my girls, so this will be for both.

1. Were you married at the time? yes and yes :)

2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant? excited, not knowing what to expect since Ryan was supposed to be deployed during my pregnancy, and then with Autumn I was just shocked since we wanted another baby and it happened so fast! :-p

3. How old were you? 22 and 26

4. How did you find out you were pregnant? pregnancy test at home both times

5. Who did you tell first? My mom (Hannah), Ryan (Autumn)

6. Did you want to find out the sex? Yes! I like to call my babies by their name!

7. Due date? April 22, 2005 and September 25, 2008

8. Did you deliver early or late? induced on my due date with Hannah and one week early with Autumn

9. Did you have morning sickness? oh yeah but it always tapered off right at the 3 month mark :)

10. What did you crave? With Hannah, Hardee's thickburgers and french bread pizza (gained a lot of weight :-p) and with Autumn, cheetos and Domino's chicken kickers.

11. Who irritated you the most? no one in particular

12. What was your child's sex? both girls!!

13. How many pounds did you gain throughout the pregnancy? 56 lbs w/ Hannah (ooops) and 47 lbs w/ Autumn (eh...better :-p)

14. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy? Nah.  They thought Autumn had a choroid plexus cyst so I was sent for a level II ultrasound and all was well! :-D

15. Where did you give birth? Fort Campbell, KY and Fort Riley, KS

16. How many hours were you in labor? 12ish with Hannah, scheduled c-section with Autumn

17. Who drove you to the hospital? Ryan both times

18. Who watched? Ryan both times

19. Was it natural or c-section? C-Section both times, blah

20. Did you take medicine to ease the pain? Ummmm...YES!!

21. How much did your child weigh? 7 lbs 13 oz. and 7 lbs 12 oz. (considering all the weight I gained you would think they weighed more ;-p)

22. What did you name him/her? Hannah Jo and Autumn Ryan

23. How old is your first born today? 6 years and 2 1/2 years

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all mamas out there have enjoyed a relaxing day of "me" time, because goodness knows we all deserve it! I had a lovely day, with the exception Ryan and Autumn stayed home from church because Autumn had a fever. :( She's a little better but still so tired. It's not even 7 PM and she is already in bed out like a light. Ryan is making me steak and mac and cheese for dinner. Yum! Hannah made me a card in Sunday school.  I still have the flower pen she made last year. :)  I realize more and more what an honor it is to have two precious girls call me "mama".  I can't see myself having any other job!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Handprint Sun Craft

As you can see craft time was nothing but thrills
and excitement!
I got this idea from Enchanted Learning.  It's amazing all the different ideas there are for crafts using cut out handprints.  The only one I knew of was the Christmas wreaths (no doubt we all made those in school at some point).


glue stick/Elmer's school glue
yellow and orange construction paper
googly eyes (I couldn't find our so the girls were stuck with drawing their own was hard work but they managed. :-p)

Cute a large circle from the orange paper.  Glue on googly eyes and make a face.  Trace 8-10 hand prints and cut them out.  Trace out more for a fuller look.  Cut out the hands and glue them around underneath the sun's face with the fingers sticking out.  For a more sturdy result use a paper plate for the face and paint it either orange or yellow.

A great craft to display as a spring decoration and the fact there is very limited mess makes it even better!

Belated Birthday in Clarksville

L-R: Grammie, Hannah, me, Autumn, my mom
(Grendy), my sister Meagan, Emma
 We went to Clarksville last weekend and celebrated Hannah's birthday with family. A great time was had by all.  Hannah's "big" gift was a Power Wheels jeep from my dad, and she went 4-wheeling all over the yard. :) It has a passenger seat so Emma, Autumn, and Marianne had to restrain themselves and remember the art of sharing. Hannah wanted a polar bear cake, but I still had the pan from last year!  Hannah is already talking about having a black bear birthday next year. Oy.

All the pics were taken by Hannah's Nonna (my mom's BFF).

My mom made a mini version of Hannah's favorite bear
to go with her new American Girl doll (which you can
see behind her).

Hannah and Marianne are giddy about something :)

pondering what she will do with her life now that she
has passed the half-decade mark.

The cake!

"I wish...a polar bear will be our next president and
focus on conservation!"

"Slow down, Hannah!"

Week in Review #29: Short but productive

This week was short and weird. We came back from Clarksville Monday, and then turned around and went back Thursday for my brother's college graduation and commissioning ceremony.  Ryan couldn't come with us for the graduation because he didn't have enough notice to rearrange his schedule at work.  All good, though.  I'm so thankful it is only a 4-hour drive! We basically only did school work on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.  Got a good bit done, but still just feel off balance.  I'm ready for a new (and normal!) week.

I have drafts about our visits to Clarksville saved. I would love to get those posted some day if I ever get the chance. :-p

Thursday, May 5, 2011

4 Subjects, 1 Activity

Hannah started on thank you cards from her birthday party last weekend, and I realized in just doing that we covered quite a few subjects--reading, handwriting, spelling, and etiquette.  Hannah was so thrilled to write them.  "Oh, Mama! That is so polite!"  I was so amused since I remember hating to write thank you cards after my birthdays, but of course I now know the importance of them.
I know etiquette is not specifically a school subject, per say, but there is actually an etiquette curriculum out there for preschool all the way up through high school called The Etiquette Factory.  It goes from table manners all the way up to etiquette for a job interview. I read about it on another blog and I was definitley intrigued. Through day to day activites I tell Hannah what is considered polite and what is not.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Famous Homeschoolers

This list was taken from the book The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling (which finalized my decision to homeschool!).  Very interesting to see.  I'm sure some of these people are "weird" in their own right (aren't we all?), but they definitely found their passions and ran with them.

Ansel Adams
Claude Monet
Leonardo da Vinci
Charlie Chaplin
Alexander Graham Bell
Thomas Edison
George Patton
George Washington Carver
Albert Einstein
Booker T. Washington
Winston Churchill
Benjamin Franklin
Pearl S. Buck
Sandra Day O'Connor
Charles Dickens
Agatha Christie

Famous Homeschool Parents

John Travolta and Kelly Preston
Paul Overstreet
Robert Frost

There were some others listed, but I did not really know who they were. :-/ Then there were others I would not exactly use as a model of homeschooling (LeAnne Rimes, anyone?). 

Homeschool Planner Giveaway

Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler is giving away Well Planned Day homeschool planner! It's adorable ad has enough room to plan for four separate children! Click here to see how you can enter or about purchasing your own!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Choose Life

 A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said: 'Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together. So the doctor said: 'Ok and what do you... want me to do?' ... She said: 'I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.' The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: 'I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.' She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request. Then he continued: 'You see, in order for you not to have to take care 2 babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms. The lady was horrified and said: 'No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child! 'I agree', the doctor replied. 'But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.' The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that's still in the womb. The crime is the same! If you agree, please SHARE. Together we can help save precious lives! "Love says I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion says I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself..." Jesus sacrificed Himself for the good of sinners! That's perfect love! -unknown

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week in Review #28: A Rainy One

Exactly 25 days to go! :-D We  are in the last month! Now I'm starting to remember what senioritis feels like! Is that weird? You're just ready for the current school year to end so you can start fresh again the following year.  Guess that's true whether you're a student, public school teacher, or a homeschool teacher! A few people  I went to high school with now work for the school system and it seems they are more excited for summer than the students could ever be!

Moving on...

Last week was great for school! I was hoping to get a little bit ahead since we went to Clarksville for a long weekend.  On Tuesday Hannah took it upon herself to do three math lessons and six pages of reading! Three times what we normally do in a single day! I love super motivated days like that. We also started lesson 15 in her phonics book which is the 'v' and 'y' sounds (as in 'happy'). That's a cinch. ;)  Autumn did a lot of stickers, coloring, playdoh, and building with giant legos.  She's definitely becoming more verbal and clear in speaking which is always a good thing.

The weather around here has been so crazy with all the rain and storms.  Tuesday night especially made me a little nervous, but thankfully we did not even lose power.  Our hearts and prayers are definitely with those in Alabama who have suffered tremendous losses. I sure hope this spring weather wraps up soon!


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