Sunday, June 27, 2010

iPhone for Homeschoolers

I am the proud owner of an iPhone 3gs.  I know, I know, I am so behind on technology.  Probably most of you have had one for a while.  But since the new release of the iPhone4, the 3g and 3gs versions have really come down in price and we were finally able to afford a 3gs. (being a one income family, we have to fore-go some things and the latest in technology is most usually it.)  Anyway, I have been blown away by the wonderful educational apps that are available.  I've only had my new phone for 3 weeks, but I have already discovered many things that is helpful in teaching my daughter in a fun way at home, or when we need to fill some time in the car, at a restaurant or the doctors office.  The following is great for beginning math and word recognition.  It is called  "Teach me kindergarten."  Another App that I downloaded is "Sight Words".  This is 300 of the most frequently used words in the English language.  You can flag which words you want your child to study.  There are one letter, two letter, three letter and four letter words.  Also if you are just now teaching your child to tell time, I found a wonderful app called "Jungle Time".  It is a cute little animal face clock that starts with hourly increments and then goes to half hours and quarter hours when you tell it you are ready.  These are just a few that I have found really helpful with a kindergartner and I have seen many more apps for the more advanced student.  I can't wait to see what else there is to help me bring in some fun to our homeschool.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Backyard Nature Walk

A few days ago my daughter and I went on a morning nature walk in our yard. (we live out in a very rural area.) We spied a wild rabbit nibbling on grass in our backyard. So, we sat down and was very quiet and watched it for a long time, and I was able to snap a few pictures.
 Then about a week later we were walking on another morning nature walk in our yard and we saw a beautiful hawk in a pine tree in our front yard.  I snapped a picture of the hawk before it flew away. (I guess it was camera shy.) Then I immediately reviewed the picture on my camera and zoomed in on the hawk and to my surprise he had breakfast clutched in his talons. (possibly our little rabbit that we saw the week before.)
 Before we started doing our nature walks as part of our homeschool I would have never believed all of the activity that goes on in our own yard!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Been Awhile!

I have slacked off on my blogging for about a month or so and I think it's time to get back to it. My daughter was sick for a week, then I was sick for a while. It took me nearly a month to feel back to normal.
Anyway, The end of the school year is upon us and I am in the process of trying to evaluate my 5 year old to see where we stand after our first year of homeschool. Luckily I have a homeschool supply store, Rock Solid about 20 miles away, so I will be taking a trip tomorrow to pick up a Kindergarten Diagnostic Prescriptive Assessment packet. I think we have done pretty well, however we may need to do some work through the Summer. Although she officially isn't supposed to start Kindergarten until this next school year. I felt she was ready and so we started slow, but she has really done well. (the evaluation will tell us for sure where we stand.)
Now I get to start the fun of searching for the curriculum that we will be using for next school year. I already have so many ideas about what I want to use. But I don't have enough money to get all the things I want. A good site that has some wonderful curriculum is Queen Homeschool Supplies. I could spend a lot of money on this site, but of course I have to stick to a budget.
I have heard wonderful things about "The Story of the World", so I think I may get it. I found a wonderful deal at a local used book store, Chamblin BookMine, of the Activity workbook for "The Story of the World". I couldn't pass it up at 1/2 price. I will keep you updated with what curriculum I end up using for next year.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tomorrow will be a better day

It is 11:00PM and I have been sitting here praying and crying, asking God to PLEASE help me with my 5 1/2 year old daughter. Today, we have been butting heads. She has become so disrespectful towards me. She actually told me "NO" several times today and has tried to tell me what to do all day long. Today, in anger I told her "I guess you don't need a Mommy anymore because you have all the answers!" Which then she proceeded to cry and I felt like doo doo. I need to learn to send myself for a time-out and just get control of myself before I talk to my child who is making me angry.
I would say this is a stage, except she’s been battling me since the day she could talk. But I think I asked for it…when I found out I was having a girl, I asked God to give me a strong, independent daughter, who never doubted herself, and could stand on her own two feet. Some say God has a sense of humor! *wink* Although we battle from time to time, I love her so much and thank God daily for the gifts he has given me.
When I first made the decision to home school I knew we were going to have bad days occasionally, but today was an all day event. From the moment we woke up to the time my daughter went to bed we have been going at it. After my daughter went to bed I sat on the couch and prayed and cried and felt lead to go to my daughter's room and comfort her and let her know that I love her and that tomorrow will be a better day. She hugged me and told me that she loved me and I cried a little more while we snuggled for a few minutes. I can definitely say that while I am schooling my daughter, God is also schooling me. He is trying to teach me patience, unselfishness and understanding, but at the same time to stand firm on what I know that he has called me to do, and that is love her and bring her up in His ways. And yes, tomorrow WILL BE a better day.

Pure Imagination

Good, True & Beautiful

This song just makes me want to be a kid again and the images are just beautiful. The new commercial that has this song in it prompted me to look it up on youtube. Just sit back, turn up your speakers, relax and enjoy it. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fingerprint Art

About 2 weeks ago I saw that the by Little Hands blog was using Ed Emberly's Complete funprint Drawing Book.
I am always looking for fun art or craft ideas to try out with my daughter. So I clicked on over to and found a used one for around $4.00.  I received the book last week and I decided to use it on Friday as my daughter's Art/Craft time.  We had SOOO much fun!

This is my five year old's fingerprint artwork.
Even Mama got in on the action. I think I had more fun with it then she did.

This is the cover of the book. He also has other Fingerprint books that are a little more advanced.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Woohoo!!  I am the winner of a free "Mommytography 101" online class from the Work of HeART and Soul blog.  I am so excited! I love taking pictures of my family and our homeschooling life but I would love to have more of a professional look to them. If you are interested in taking a Mommytography class, just click on the button below.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The winner of the fabulous book "Because I Said So" by Dawn Meehan is...
Jennifer @ Parenting in Blue Jeans.
Congratulations and Enjoy!!
Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog to leave comments and be entered for a chance for the book giveaway.
(Winner was chosen by

Just for the Joy of it

Good, True & Beautiful

Every Thursday, Good True & Beautiful blog does a post called "Just for the Joy of it", and I will be joining in.  For those of you who remember growing up in the 80's or were born in the 80's will remember this wonderful song.  I couldn't sleep last night, so I was on the computer, and I came across this video and song.  As one commenter put it  "this track always brings back magical echoes of the now distant 80's for me", and that's pretty much how I feel. I love listening to this song, "Just for the Joy of it"!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two Cent Tuesday

I am starting a series of posts called "Two Cent Tuesday".  This is where I will just give my opinion on random things that I happen to be thinking about.  So, here goes!

Planning a party is hard work.  Any mom who has planned a 5 year olds birthday party or  wants all of her friends to stop by for whatever party company (Premier Jewelry, Southern Living, etc...) happens to be the latest fad, knows that a lot of work and money go into party planning.  Excitedly, you put the invitations in the mail, and ask that everyone RSVP, so you will have some idea who will actually be at your party.  Then a week before your party only 2 people have called to RSVP, so you get your phone list out and start calling. Does anyone, anymore, realize that RSVP means that you are to contact me WHETHER OR NOT you can attend?   Please tell me, is it just me or does anyone else experience this?   It only takes a minute out of someone's day to RSVP.  I always RSVP, because I think it's just rude not too.  I've also tried putting "RSVP regrets only" and it still didn't work.  Does anyone have any special tricks to find out how many people will be attending your party before the actual day of the party?

Sorry, I think this turned out to be more of a Rant, then a Two Cent.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Hi, my name is Rhonda and I live in the Jacksonville, FL area. This is my first year participating in the ultimate Blog Party. I have been happily married (ummmmm... yes, this is true) to my husband, Tommy, for almost 13 years now. We have one beautiful 5 year old daughter and we will hopefully be adopting within the next 6 months or so.

I blog mostly about what I am currently interested in, which happens to be Cooking, Cleaning, Homeschooling, Child Rearing, Crafts, my Faith or whatever happens to be going on at the moment. It really is an eclectic blog.

Just to let you know a little more about me:

1. I am 38 years old.
2. I have one brother and one sister, I am the oldest.
3. I love to read. Sometimes I like to read for entertainment, but I LOVE to read for knowledge. I have a bookshelf full of many different categories, i.e... Nutrition, History, Politics, Child Rearing, Education, etc...
4. I love fruit type desserts instead of Chocolate.
5. I drive a Limo occasionally on the weekends to make extra money.
6. I own a Hot Dog Cart.
7. I get very anxious during a Lightning or Thunder storm.
8. I don't like being out at night by myself.
9. I seem to be obsessed with the number 11. I see it everywhere! I can't get away from it.
10. I have always lived in the same city my whole life. Although, I would love to live in another city just to say I have lived somewhere else.
11. I let my 5 year old daughter watch WAY TOO MUCH TV. (I need to work on this one)
12. When I am not homeschooling or watching TV, ahem...I mean cleaning, I am on the computer with FB or most recently working on my blog.

Being that I am new to the blogging community I am looking forward to meeting many new bloggers today and hopefully finding a lot of interesting blogs that I can glean some interesting ideas from or just for pure entertainment. I am so amazed at the witty and talented bloggers out there!

I do have a giveaway by the way!! A book titled, "Beacause I Said So..." by Dawn Meehan. If you are in the mood for a good laugh then you will like this book. Dawn Meehan is also a member of the blogging community . Leaving a comment below will enter you for a chance to win a copy of this book.

If I were to win any prizes from the UBP10 it would be the following:

US39 -Be My Guest certificate ($250 value) for one lucky winner, (2 night stay for a family of four) at any Hilton Garden Inn. donated by Hilton Garden Inn

US11 – A $100 gift eCertificate to, immediately redeemable online at over 13,000 restaurants nationwide. donated by EarnestOne

US7 -   Tupperware Prize Pack – the winner will receive a box filled with fun Tupperware goodies.
donated by Marine Corps Nomads

If these prizes are already taken, I wouldn't mind any other prize. (Except for Netflix, already have it.)

Have a great day Partying!

God Bless & Enjoy,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

OAMC (Once a month Cooking)

I thought this was a wonderful idea and enlisted my cousin, Shontelle, to do it with me. She was just as excited as I was to possibly save money on our grocery bill and help save us time in the kitchen, and also shore up a food supply of more nutritious lunches and snacks for our kids. I found the idea from She challenged her blog followers to a "Cook from the Freezer Challenge" and many of her followers are posting the outcome and successes of this challenge, so here goes mine.

My cousin arrived at 9:30a and we promptly got started on the task at hand. We started doing the prep items, such as cutting onions and browning ground beef, etc... Then we got our 3 crockpots started with Chili, Beef Stew and BBQ Chicken. Then we made 6 casseroles; 2 lasagna, 2 potato& ham casseroles and 2 chicken, rice & broccoli casseroles. We had some left over lasagna ingredients so we made an extra lasagna for lunch and it was a hit.
My cousins youngest, Morgana, loved the lasagna.

After we were finished with our lunch break we started on the pumpkin muffins and burritos. the last thing we did was make homemade chicken nuggets and pancakes. Wow, we couldn't believe it was 7:30p when we were finally finished. We put everything on the table to see what we had accomplished for the day.

We are anxious to see what works out and how long it will last us. Overall, it was a very exhausting day, but I think we will definitely do it again. However, we might break it up into 2 days instead of one marathon day. We were literally good for nothing at the end of the day. Luckily I had plenty of food on hand, so I popped a few burritos into the microwave and then topped them off with some cheddar cheese, sour cream and salsa. Voila', dinner is served!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Homeschool Easter Party!

We had such a fun time at our first Homeschool Easter Party.

We had Bunny Rabbit Cupcakes.

We did a fun Craft of Paper Plate Bunnies

I found a neat Blog that had a recipe for Chocolate Bird Nests.

Then the kids went outside and played in the sandbox for awhile.

We had a really great day. Can't wait until next Easter!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Counting my Blessings

My sister and My cousin both have blogs that I follow and recently they both have talked about counting their blessings. I too for some reason have been thinking this same thing. With all the bad that goes on in this world, such as people living in tents in Haiti because their homes have been destroyed or the family that has lost a loved one in a tragedy, or the husband that has lost his job and can no longer support his family, we are a very blessed family.

We have a wonderful home and I am very thankful for it everyday. It may not be the cleanest or the biggest home or even the best decorated home, but I love my home just as much and am very thankful that we can afford the home that we have.

My family is safe and healthy. Both of my parents are still alive and for the most part are still healthy. I have a brand new nephew whom I love very much, and have enjoyed seeing my little sister become a loving mother. I think my sister and I both have the same view on raising our children. She can now understand the sacrifices one makes for your children. yes, we could work a 40 hour job and put our children in daycare, but at the end of the day, who is going to see their first smile, hear their first laugh, see their first steps, hear their first words. I am now entering the phase of being able to see the moment when the light bulb appears over her head as she has that aha moment when she "gets it". I am currently teaching her to read and teaching her sign language and I can see the motors churning in her head when she is trying to understand and figure things out. Why delegate these moments out to someone who doesn't have the love and dedication that you have for your own child? What priceless memories I will have my whole lifetime of the precious time that I spent with my own children. I know you've heard the saying before, but I think it's worth repeating. When you are old and not long for this world and you look back on your life, will you wish that you had spent more time at work, or had kept the house cleaner, or drove the latest model car and had the latest fad in clothing? No, you will have wanted to spend more time with your loved ones. So, I can say that I am very thankful for my daughter. Don't get me wrong, we have our moments of frustration and my patience is definitely tested, but I am thankful for every minute that I have with my daughter. She is turning into such a sweet, caring, beautiful little girl. I often wonder if I am doing a good job raising her, and then she does or says something that makes me step back and say a silent prayer of thanks to God that what I am doing is worth it.

I am so thankful for my husband. He put me through college, then I decided to be a stay at home mom. My husband has allowed me to stay at home with our daughter because we feel this is the best thing we can do for her. I am always trying to find ways to make money that will not take me away from what I feel is my responsibility which is being Rebekah's mother. After our daughter was born, I attempted to help out with the family finances by working for a couple of home party companies such as Southern Living and Premier Designs. Then I went to driving school to get my CDL and became a bus driver for a year. I was able to keep my daughter with me on the bus so I didn't have to put her in daycare. Next, I purchased a Hot Dog cart and started my own business of selling hot dogs on the weekend until the economy took a dive. Now I am driving Limo's on the weekend for a local Limo company. Every time I try something new he says that he will support me in anything that I decide as long as our daughter doesn't suffer from my decision to work. He has provided for us without complaint. He travels out of town frequently and sometimes puts in very long hours at work. He does a great job of providing for our family and I love him very much.

I am also so thankful that we are healthy. It is so heartbreaking to hear stories of children that are ill and dying in the world. I don't know how parents cope with this kind of tragedy in their lives. My daughter is so energetic that I often get very weary and exhausted just from keeping up with her. However, looking back on the times that I get so frustrated with her because she won't sit still or is running around making a mess in the house or that she insists on going to the park yet another day in a row, I wouldn't change a thing. I am so thankful that she is able to run and play and make messes and climb on monkey bars day after day. God is so good!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sorry Excuse for a Mother!

Evidently this week, my daughter's preschool class has been studying bears, reading stories and doing crafts about bears. A handwritten note was sent home on Tuesday asking the parents to please send our child's favorite Teddy Bear to school tomorrow. I set the note aside and made a mental note to remember to find the box of stuffed animals that was recently cleared out of my daughters room to make room for all the new toys she was getting for Christmas. (She's into Baby Dolls right now, so we packed all the old stuffed animals that were just lying around and taking up room in her closet.) Anyway, low and behold, I got busy with loading the dishwasher and doing laundry, helping with homework, fixing dinner, etc... and I forgot about the teddy bear.

After I picked up my daughter from preschool today, she told me about everyone bringing their teddy bears to school for show and tell today and she was the only one who didn't have one. I FELT TERRIBLE!!!! I was angry with myself for forgetting. I can imagine the teacher and her aide thinking what an awful mom I must be, that I didn't even care enough to send my daughter to school with her teddy bear.

When we got home I hugged my daughter and told her that I was sorry for forgetting about her teddy bear and to please forgive me. She hugged me tight and said "That's O.K. Mommy, it was just an accident."
I felt like crying. I told her that I would find her teddy bear so she could take it on Show and Tell Friday so everyone could see that she really did have a teddy bear.

Right now I feel like such a sorry excuse for a mother!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 2 - Eat from the Pantry Challenge

Last night we had barbecue chicken breasts with Baked Beans and Caesar Salad.

Items used from the pantry:
1 Can of Bush's Country Style Baked Beans
Finish off 1 bag of Texas Toast Caesar Croutons

I didn't use very many items from the pantry today, but I did use a few more items from the refrigerator that needed to be used up:

1 head of Romaine lettuce left from a 3 pack
3/4 Jar of Grated Parmesan Cheese (only used about 1/4 Cup)
1/2 bottle of Kraft Caesar Dressing left that needs to be finished up
3/4 Bottle of K.C. Masterpiece BBQ Sauce (I only used about 1 Cup of it)

I let the 3 Chicken Breasts that I found in the freezer simmer in BBQ sauce in the Crock Pot for about 5 hours. It was so tender after slow cooking that long.

I also had some leftover cans of pumpkin from Thanksgiving so I decided to make Pumpkin Muffins this morning for breakfast.

I think it is very interesting to see other '"Eat from the Pantry Challenge" Blogs and they have their whole monthly menu already planned out. That would be a logistical nightmare for me. I'm not really a plan ahead person. So I will look tomorrow afternoon to decide what we will have for dinner tomorrow night.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 1 - Eat from the Pantry Challenge

As you can see I have a lot of food in my pantry. Tonight we chose to eat Chili with baked potatoes and I made brownies for dessert.

Items used from pantry:

1 Can Bush's Chili Magic
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Tomato Sauce
1 Bag of Martha Whites Fudge Brownie's

Right now it is pretty easy to pick something out of the pantry because I have so many things to choose from, but I'm sure I'm going to have to get mighty creative as the days go by.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eat from the Pantry Challenge!

I am going to attempt an "Eat from the Pantry Challenge" starting tomorrow evening, Jan. 5th. I want to challenge myself to see how little I can spend on groceries this month while using as much as I can from my pantry and freezer. If your pantry is anything like mine it is full of items and I want to use up these items without going to the grocery store for the month of January. I might have to stop by the grocery store for milk, eggs, vegetables and juice for the munchkin, but I'm going to try and refrain from buying anything else. Hopefully this will be a success, we'll see. I will be sharing what we eat from our pantry for the rest of this month or for however long we still have food in the pantry that is uneaten. If you would like to participate in this challenge, you can check out this site for more info.: