*****Please note that there are days where I will post more than once. So, to find out all the latest happenings and "goings-on" in our family (or my random thoughts), be sure to scroll down.*****

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas With Family

On the 17th, we got together with my side of the family to open gifts.  We were scheduled to go to Virginia for Christmas (which didn’t happen), so we made plans to celebrate early.  The boys received lots of cool toys that have kept them busy over the Christmas break.  Here they are opening their gifts and having fun…

Stay tuned for pictures from our celebration of Christmas Week…

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pinterest Anyone???

So, have you joined the latest addiction…aka Pinterest?  I’ll admit, I’m late to the party.  However, I’m now hooked.  There’s such a wealth of information on that site, and I could spend hours just looking, pinning, and dreaming. 
I have put my Pinterest time to use though…I’ve made and tweaked three recipes so far.  I’ve also used my non-crafting ability to tackle a few Christmas ornaments and the yarn felt wreath (this has been on my to-do list since it made it’s debut in the blogosphere months ago). 
You can find me on Pinterest under mom2calebnmicah
Here are my Pinterest attempts:

Crockpot BBQ Chickenbbq chicken
Parmesan Ranch ChickenParmesan Ranch Chicken
KISS PiesIMG_8092
Yarn Wreath with Felt FlowersIMG_8138
Ribbon Tree OrnamentIMG_8090
Ribbon Tree OrnamentIMG_8086
So, do you Pinterest?  If so, send me your name, and I’ll follow you!  Smile  I love seeing new ideas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Third Grade Weeks 23, 24, and 25 in Review

Here’s a compilation of the past 3 weeks (it didn’t take us 3 weeks as Caleb chose to double up on stuff in order to have a longer Christmas break)…
English – Caleb finished up his ACE Pace by working on synonyms, sequencing, and cursive letters. 
Math – NEW CONCEPTS:  Between Which Two Tens; Add to Check Subtraction; Reading Dials; Counting by 4’s to 16; Line and Ray; Counting by 12’s to 60; Equal Sign and Not Equal Sign; Counting by 4’s to 28; Ounces and Pounds; and Time Patterns.  REVIEW CONCEPTS:  Fact Focus:  16, 9, 7; Fact Focus:  17, 9, 8; More Doubles:  7, 8, 9; Fact Focus:  Opposites of Doubles – 7, 8, 9; Fact Focus:  12, 8, 4.
Caleb is still doing really well in his math and English this year.  I’m so pleased that we switched curriculums, and I feel we’ve finally found our match.  I’m hoping he continues to do well so that next year’s curriculum choices will be easier.  Smile
We’re enjoying lots of holiday craft and baking time during our Christmas break.  The boys are super excited about Christmas, and I’m enjoying the memory making.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Party Time...

There’s a party going on!!

Historical fiction author April W Gardner is celebrating the release of Warring Spirits, the second book in her Creek Country Saga! Everyone who purchases Warring Spirits on Amazon on Thursday, December 15, 2011, will be entered into SIX different drawings for some cool and unique prizes. That’s right—ONE purchase. SIX chances to win. 


She’s also giving away personalized, signed book plates (labels for the inside cover). One for every book you purchase. That’s a lot of bang for your buck. Order today and cross a few names off your Christmas list!

So what’s this book about? Warring Spirits is the sequel to Wounded Spirits, April’s Grace Award winning debut novel. Here’s a bit about today’s featured novel: 

Where blood is spilt, unexpected love may bloom.

In 1816 Georgia, escaped slaves control the land just beyond the American border in Las Floridas. Lost somewhere between white and black worlds, Milly follows hope to the only place that can offer her refuge—the place Georgians are calling Negro Fort. The first, sweet taste of freedom convinces Milly that surrender is not an option. Death would be more welcome.

Major Phillip Bailey has orders to subdue the uprising and return the runaways to their masters. Forced to fight alongside Creek warriors—the same who etched the scars into his mind and flesh—Phillip primes himself for battle.  But inside, a war already rages—return for the woman he thought lost to him or concede her to the enemy she loves; follow orders or follow his heart.

Ready to learn more about those great give-aways? Hop over to APRIL'S PLACE.

Book excerpts are a great way to get a feel for the author’s writing style, so I asked April to share a scene with us. Here’s a taste of chapter two where Milly, the heroine, must make a pivotal decision—keep running or stand and fight for her freedom.
Ahead, the forest made way for a clearing occupied by squatty huts. The escorts led them through the settlement’s cold, lifeless center. The only sign of activity lay ahead behind a massive wall that loomed before them. Hushed voices of women and children carried over the top, and light from their fires illuminated a path that ran the along its base.
Instead of taking the path, one of the men pulled aside a thick layer of hanging vines and banged a series of knocks against the door. Only blackness greeted them until a narrow passageway opened from the other side. 
A glow emanated from within. She had yet to step foot inside, but already Milly felt at home. She moved to enter, but Isum hesitated.
“What is it?” she whispered.
He turned to her and grasped her chin. “Them soldiers out there? They’s comin’ for all them what’s here. In the fort.” 
Milly nodded. “I know.”
“Do you?” His voice lit with intensity. “I’s willin’ to fight for my freedom, but you…you gotta be sure this is what you want. Iffin you don’t, we keep on south. Find us another place. Some place safe. You gotta be sure. ’Cause there ain’t no goin’ back. There ain’t no surrender.”
The finality of their journey weighed her down like a yoke dropped around her neck. There ain’t no goin’ back. That, she understood. She’d told herself the same the moment they’d broken free of Crawford County. For the last two weeks, she’d chosen her own steps, in her own glorious time. Going back to slavery was not an option. 
There ain’t no surrender. Was she willing to die for her freedom?
Isum was. She heard the resolve in his voice, saw it every day in the proud tilt of his chin and in the way he gripped his pistol. He would die hard, but he would die free.
A handful of seconds passed as Milly wavered. She had a choice—enter, or turn around and try another option. 
Was this what freedom felt like? If so, she could never give it up. Not now that she’d tasted it.
She wished to God her first real decision as a freed woman wasn’t such a grave one. Still, she smiled. “I’ll fight beside you. And if need be, I’ll die beside you. There’s no going back.”
Isum’s teeth gleamed as a grin broke his features. In one swift move, he slipped a hand around the back of her head and dropped in for a kiss. With moisture from his lips cool against her cheek, she squared her shoulders and stepped into the opening ahead of him.

Sound intriguing? Head over to APRIL'S PLACE to learn more! Or go straight to AMAZON to get your copy.

--April W Gardner is a multi-published author and the founder and senior editor of the fun literary site, Clash of the Titles.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Third Grade Week 22 in Review

Here’s how this past week went for us…
Bible – Our Bible stories were on “Jesus Lives Again” and “Jesus Showed Himself to His Friends.”  We read Matthew 28:1-8 and John 21:1-8.  Caleb’s memory verse was I Corinthians 15:4b.
English – This week Caleb worked on antonyms and synonyms.  He’s still really enjoying the ACE Paces, and he’s doing really, really well.
Math – NEW CONCEPTS:  Counting by 3’s to 30; Pentagon, Hexagon, Octagon, Oval; Choosing Coins for a Value; and More Words That Tell Us to Subtract.  REVIEW CONCEPTS:  Fact Focus:  14, 9, 5; Fact Focus:  15, 9, 6.  Caleb is still doing really well with the CLE Light Units.  It seems to be the right for now.
FUN SCHOOL – Here’s what Caleb worked on during Fun School…Math:  He read Mummy Math:  An Adventure in Geometry by Cindy Neuschwander and played with his Hot Dots Money Cards.  English/Brain:  He worked on a decoding worksheet, a secret code worksheet, and a “name something” worksheet.  Reading/Magazine:  He read his Click:  Farm Animals magazine.  Science:  He read his Farm Animals book and typed up a report on farm animals.  Bible:  He read a devotional on “Heidi Has An Attitude.” 
We will probably be skipping FUN SCHOOL until after the New Year.  We’re still a few weeks behind in our regular studies, so I want to take the time to get us caught up with that since we’re hoping to be out of town for Christmas.  So, for the next 3 weeks, Caleb will work on Handwriting, English, and Math.  Then, I’ll come back and do a combined review of those three weeks.  Smile

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