Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-My Little Princess

My little princess loves to dress up and pose for the camera....

Happy Wordless Wednesday!!!

Welcome to my Chaos, for the Blog Bash 2011!

Thanks for coming to visit! Welcome to my Cordial Chaos!

First a bit about me: I'm an x-flight attendant turned SAH-Homeschooling mom. I'm married to an awesome and very patient man. I've been truly blessed to be called mom to 6 kids that I couldn't be more proud of. My oldest daughter is married with a daughter of her own that I just adore. The next 3 kids in line are all college students off to find their way in this vast world we all call home. The youngest 2 are my partners in this homeschooling journey of ours. More of my reasoning for homeschooling can be found in an earlier Why do you Homeschool post.
            This is my cluttered corner of the world....
Complete with the all necessary cup of coffee! This is where I do most of my homeschool planning and research as well as write, work on photographs, and just play around on the computer. 
This is the view from my "office" window:
Today is a hazy day, in general I'm a pretty lucky girl to be able to look out the window at any given time of the year and have a beautiful view. 
This is my family:
This picture was taken 2 years ago at our oldest daughter's wedding. I know it's not the most recent but a picture that I absolutely love. 
Let's not forget my precious grand baby:
Looking at her and seeing what an absolutely spectacular mom my daughter is becoming makes parenting all the more worth it. 
Other important residence of Casa Chaos are 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 fish, none of which wanted to cooperate for pictures today (I don't have time to look through old ones).
When the weather is nice we spend as much time outside adventuring as possible then in the winter I like to hibernate. I said I like to...not that I get to ;)
My most favorite things in life are spending time with my family and being a part of my kids lives. I am so blessed to be able to be the one raising them. 
Next in line of my favorites would be taking pictures and writing, both of which bring me much solace.

Our homeschooling journey is an ever changing escapade. As of today I would definitely say our curriculum choices are pretty eclectic. 
So that is a look into our Cordial Chaos! Please feel free to stop by any time and make sure to say "Hi"!
Also link up at The Ultimate Homeschool Bash 2011! Hosted by Women Living Well ministries!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Amish Country Anyone?

            We took a drive out to the Northern Indiana Amish Country for a sort of field trip over the weekend. I've always been intrigued by the Amish way of life and have thought it would be a great experience for the kids to learn about the diverse cultures that live around us.
            Our trip started out  bit rocky having left later than planned. I didn't have time to do research on the area like I should have before we left either, so off we went, winging it. Some of our best trips have been impromptu so why should this be any different!
            When we arrived we asked the woman at the front desk of our hotel what a "must do" would be for the area. She said, "A buggy ride of course." So off we went, we scheduled a buggy ride out to a working Amish farm to check it out!
The horse in the photo above was not the horse that pulled our buggy
 The ride was very tranquil. Our driver let the kids ride up front and even let them drive the buggy in turns most of the way to the farm! We found out that a good buggy costs about $7000, and that they have to have plates on the back like cars!
The handsome guy above was our horse!

When we got to the farm we were very surprised to see that it wasn't as primitive as we thought it would be. The farm that we visited was a dairy farm. They had very modern dairy equipment as well as a tractor due to the need to meet codes.  
They did not however have motor vehicles, only horse and buggy! While there we were able to milk a cow both by hand as well as by machine!
Yes, he really is getting a taste of the milk straight from the cow's utter!
The cow's utters were carefully cleaned and prepared for milking prior to.

After the cow's were milked each one's utters were cleaned again to prevent mastitis. The milk went straight into a large refrigerated container. It would later be picked up and taken to another facility that would then process and pasteurize the milk. 
We were able to taste the milk raw in it's best and healthiest form!
The yard where the animals lived was a bit of a hodgepodge, but all of the cows, horses, chickens, and even the cats and dog seemed to get along very well!

The kids were also able to feed the baby calves which of course was such a treat!
Over ice cream we learned that Amish children normally only go to school through the eighth grade, that's when courting begins. They normally get married between 18-early twenties. Amish weddings last about 4-5 days! And much like our culture FOOD is a big part of it! The kids and I plan to try an authentic Amish recipe toward the end of the week. 
The family who owned the farm had three daughters which all attended the local public school which was also a surprise to us. They had the choice to either attend the local public school or the Amish school.
After a great tour that my hubby felt was a little haphazard, I felt was relaxed, the kids said their goodbye's to their new found friends.

And off we went back to the main town area. We had the pleasure of meeting a new driver and horse for our return trip!

After we bid our farewell's to Amish country we started making a list of the things we would like to do and learn on our next trip! Over the next week we'll also learn more about the Amish culture!
I think it's such a wonderful thing that we have such diversity all around us. We can learn and respect each other, as well as embrace the world that God made!
Happy Exploring to all!!!!
P.S. This post is linked to the Field Trip Friday Blog Hop!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blogging...Feedback please...

             Well I am still learning all of the ins and outs of being a new blogger. Not to mention one that isn't all that computer savvy! 
            I started this blog partly because I found so much valuable information in other blogs that I wanted to be a part of that sharing community, partly because I love writing, to me writing is somewhat therapeutic, partly because I wanted to journal our homeschool journey, well I could go on but I think you get the picture, I have a plethora of reasons for blogging. My blogging journey has evolved from just writing, sharing, and learning about homeschooling to also sharing my photography which I also have a passion for! Maybe once I feel that i have this somewhat down I'll start a separate blog for photography.
            So as I've said my blogging experience has been a learning experience all the way around. I added DISQUS to my blog to better track my comments and be able to reply easier and all of my comments disappeared from my blog :/ Hmmm...very curious. Someone more computer literate I'm sure would know why, but I am somewhat perplexed. Maybe in time I'll figure it out but for now....
            I've figured out how to add other blogger's buttons to my site, which is really great! I read something I like and feel that I can also share through my own blog! My son even figured out how to make a pretty button for my blog as well, although I'm not absolutely sure that it's operational! 
            What I really need is to take a blog course, but that whole "time" thing gets in my way, so I'll just trudge along and figure it out as I go :) In the mean time I wouldn't object to helpful advice :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday....Gotta Love the Magic of Fall!

We have been watching and enjoying the transition of this tree.  Fall is so magical :)

Happy Fall!!!

7th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards

            Just a quick reminder that nominations for the 7th Annual Homeschool Blog awards are still being accepted until October 21st! Don't forget to nominate your favorite blogs! Also, hop over to the Ultimate Homeschool Blog Roll at Hip Homeschool Moms to check out some of the many blogs out there!

            Just click on either link in this post or the buttons in the side bar to access either link!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fossils, furry friends, and monsters....

            With the weather so crazy and unpredictable in our little corner of the world (the week started with shorts weather and ended with coat weather) we try to embrace every nice day we can and get out in it! What that means is lots and lots of field trips! So last week consisted of nature walks, finding fossils, playing in leaves, and going to the zoo (the kids take a class there once a month). Fossils, rocks, and minerals are a bit of a hobby for my hubby so going to dig at a fossil quarry was right up his alley.

This isn't the first time that we've taken the kids on a "dig". We've gone out to dig in Wyoming at Tynsky's fossil Quarry as well. The one's there were a bit more impressive than the fossils that we found in Ohio, but the experience was still invaluable!

And to coincide with our prehistoric journey we are trying to hatch Triops. We even found some great educational material to help us study our Triops.
Another educational tool that we're using for fossils is the Smithsonian Handbook- Fossils.

            Heading back to present day we headed to the zoo to learn about the African Savannah. We found educational material compliments of the Staten Island Zoo and the Toledo Zoo to aid us in our journey. As well as our "old faithful" Enchanted Learning.
While at the zoo we saw more than the African Savannah, we had a great adventure as well.

Then we ended the week with my daughter wanting to save a butterfly from a modern day miniature monster;
Mr. Praying Mantis!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

To deviate or not to deviate...

            I say deviate!
            Toward the end of our week we were trying to somewhat play catch-up from having taken a week basically off. I had an agenda of what we needed to get done. I start a lot of thoughts this way so what's one more...One of the best things about homeschooling is that we don't have to follow the agenda if we don't want to, yet we can still find an educational adventure in almost everything we do. So we started out on the catch up path then deviated by watching this great show called growing up Gorilla on Animal Planet just to take a break. This lead into a great discussion on Gorillas. So we found a report diagram at Enchanted Learning and looked up various Gorilla facts on line. One of the sites we used that we liked was Gorilla's World. We filled in our diagram and thoroughly enjoyed the lesson. It wasn't on the agenda, wasn't planned, but fun and educational none the less!
            Deviation #2 came while peering out at an amazingly beautiful fall day! We read the book Leaf Man, then set out in search of our own Leaf Man.

Then we headed across the street to admire an Egret.
And ended the day by inspecting grasshoppers in the "wild"...
I didn't have the heart to correct my daughter when she said, "look, it's a baby on it's mother's back!"
None of it on the original plan for the day, but an educational adventure that I wouldn't trade.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What do you do when it's just been a long week?

            It has really been a very long week. I must say for good reasons though. My mom came into town last Wednesday and just left today. I love having my mom in town. She lives about 3000 miles away from me so I appreciate and absolutely enjoy every minute that we get to spend with her. You never know what tomorrow will bring so we have to embrace the gifts that we get today. For the past week that gift for us has been having my mom out to spend time with.
            What comes along with my mom being in town is a full house. I couldn't love it more....except the dishes of course. Every day is filled with activity and great food. I think I've gained about twenty pounds, but it was well worth it.
            The weekend consisted of watching a homecoming football game that my niece cheered for in the freezing cold rain, to watching a youth football game that my son played in and my daughter cheered for in sunshine but still relatively cold wind,

to celebrating two birthdays (my second daughter that just turned 22 and my mom who will forever be "29" in my eyes), to warm and cozy brunch where everyone wore jammies and played cards.
            This week started with beautiful sunshiny mild fall weather that we couldn't resist being out and getting dirty in in! Especially my little grand-baby.
One of the most amazing things about living where we live in the Midwest is that the weather can change in nearly an instant, as well as the remarkable colors those changes bring.
Another great appreciation that I have for where we live is the stunning scenery found outside almost every door that is so inviting for us to want to savor.
The photo above is of my daughter relishing in that very beauty.  
But alas, all good things come to an end. My mom left today and I had to think about the things the week didn't consist school work. We did do a very little bit stressing the words very and little. 
I personally wouldn't change it for the world given the fact that I think the lessons of family and friendship that we experience when my mom visits are more valuable than any "socialization" skills learned elsewhere. 
So my question is this: If you homeschool, what do you do when family is in town? Do you take the time off from "school" or keep a routine? 
Over here in Casa Chaos, we always leave room for chance and change in every day.