Thursday, April 15, 2010

Journal Talk

A few years ago, the kids were in public school back in our home town, and the girls had the greatest teacher when each of them was in 5th grade. Mrs. Shriner still holds a special place in our hearts. She was tough and didn't put up with any garbage, and at the same time, she was extremely smart and witty. She and Maddie had a special banter, and when Morgan came along, there was a wonderful relationship between them. "We Love You, Mrs. Shriner--and planting flowers with you in the park, and getting muddy at Swamp Stomp, and not getting to say "fun" until Friday."

Ok...on with the program before I get too homesick...I can feel that little twinge in my heart starting...the sniffles are brewing...I miss my mommy, wait, my mommy's here...I house....I brother...I miss... I miss...better stop now
(Mrs. Shriner probably won't approve of my "...'s", sorry....I'll work on that)

One of the really great things Mrs. Shriner did with her students was "Paper Talk". Once a week the kids would write her a note asking her anything they wanted, and she would respond by writing back. It ended up being a really down to earth way for her to communicate with the kids. It seemed like school time was business time, but these notes allowed a more playful side of communicating with her.

We decided after two years of public school we were going to homeschool again, and I've always believed that a good idea is a good idea, so why waste it! We created our own version of "Paper Talk". We call it "Journal Talk".

Every school day for the last two years, the kids have kept daily journals. Each day they write their goals, the week's memory verse, and then we simply talk. They can write about anything that they want, funny things, serious things, emotional things, plans....anything! One of the goals I had for Journal Talk was to make sure that if they had anything really important that they wanted to talk about, it could be done here. There have been times when they felt like they could write out a concern easier than saying it, and it opens the door for us to talk face to face. It's kind of like it gives them an opportunity to get some things off their chest without interruption.

I really wish we had started these years ago, even when they were little. It would have been hysterical to look back at what the kiddos were thinking in 1st grade.

We use Mead Composition Notebooks that have 200 pages in each. That works out perfect for the 180 day school year, and everything in the journal entry is included on one page. It prevents them from feeling like they have to write a ton, but there are plenty of extra pages in the notebook if they do.

Here are the kids Journal Talks. They like to put stickers on them.
Even in High School, stickers are still important!

Here is an example of the Goals section of the page. I try to encourage them to be specific and not give a generic, "get my work done today." The page is also dated so we can keep track of attendance through this as well.
This is Maddie's entry...she likes to draw little pictures...It's her journal, she can express herself however she wants.

We have a memory verse every week, and I try to encourage them to use journal talk to work on their penmanship. They do pretty good!

This is one of Wesley's journal entries, and as you can see at the bottom, his dad responded this day. Sometimes we both do, sometimes it's just me. But every day one of us will.

Here's one of Maddie's journal entries.
Notice the crazy cat! She has a crazy cat named Dash that licks on her face at night. He deserves his own post!

Morgan is my "Poochie Pooh" baby girl.
This was an entry that her dad and I both responded in.

Let me tell ya, your kids will love it! In fact, if there is a day that I forget to respond, the day does not begin. I'll have three journals in my face with them saying, "You didn't do Journal Talk!"

If I could pick one thing that is my favorite part of the year, it would be this. There is now record of our daily lives from three different perspectives, and I hope one day they will enjoy looking back and remembering all they did.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Yeeehaw...Pink Links

My family and I love to watch PBS "House" programs. Have you heard of them? They'll take families and single people, and have them do things like establish a settlement on the frontier, or a build a New England colony. Some of them are out there in the wilderness anywhere from several weeks to several months. Everyone succeeds at completing the time, but, with a historical evaluation at the end, not everyone is a success. There are several in the series including, Frontier House, Colonial House, 1940's House (currently watching), Manor House, and more. Check out your local libraries movie section to find these and more.

A few weeks ago we finished watching Texas Ranch House...LOVED IT!! The Cooke family had to establish a ranch in post Civil War Texas. It was a working ranch with cowboys and acres and acres of land. It's amazing to see how people would really struggle without modern conveniences, and do their best to "live" like they did back then. I think this was my favorite because of the clash between the ranch owners and the cowboys...drama, drama, DRAMA!!

So, all this western livin' got me thinking of my next Pink Links post, and I figured it just had to be about cowgirls. I've been working on it for a while now, and I thought it was about time I filled you all in on what I've found.

Don't forget to click on the Pink Links and they will take you directly to the shop and item.
Have fun ya'll!
This photo called
reminds me of when Maddie was about 3.
We had helped friends move out to Wyoming,
and we brought all the kids back cowboy boots.
Maddie's were RED and looked just like these,
which totally matched her personality.
I still have them sitting on a shelf in my work area...
(memories....excuse me while I get a tissue)

Ok...someone give me a time machine!
I want to pop my girlies in it and turn back the clock!
makes the cutest little tutus.
Here is their
...."ya jest gotta git yer girlie little red boots to match!"

Not only are these outfits super sweet,
but these girlies are the cutest.
I'm thinking they are sisters...possibly...they sure look alike.
I had to show my big girls..."Look these sisters hug!"
You've got to check out
Get one for your daughter!...
or grand daughter!...
or the little girl down the street!
I think it will make the world a happier place!

Speaking of happy places....
I really loved this
Everything is precut and ready to go with the binding included.
She's already taken care of all the time consuming cutting
that completely stops me...
...I mean us,
from tackling such an adorable project.
There are absolutely no excuses left!
"Thank you, Kelly!"

You just can't be a cowgirl without appreciating
heritage, heirlooms, and quilting.
Thus sayeth, The Frog!
has got all your bases covered...
wait that's baseball...
got all your horses in the barn....
you know what I mean...
will be that perfect place to rest yer head. The shop owner, Amy, also has a terrific blog with more samples of her beautiful work.
Hop on over, and check out
and tell her The Finicky Frog says, "Hi!"

When you still live in town, like me, but you still have aspirations of owning a horse,
these Horsin' Around Bookends are perfect.
You don't have to feed 'um or nuttin'!
Wouldn't these be great
with a collection of old western stories nestled between them?
has so many unique vintage items in her shop.
You've just gotta go look!
She also has a blog, by the same name, that I drool over.
In fact, you have to take a peek at this post
to see all of the cottage decorations she's designed.
Trust me, you'll instantly be a fan!

Every time I look at this picture I hear gunshots in the distance
....pick-ewe pick-ewe
(that's what my gun sounds like)
has a huge selection of western themed candles.
was perfect for this weeks Pink Links.
The color of the candle reminds me of a summer shade of lipstick
that smells like pink sugar.
One of the really cool things that I noticed about this shop, is that they give free samples with your orders.
Isn't that just smart?!!!

The cowgirl gem of the west has got to be turquoise!
It's my favorite!
Every time I wear it I think of all my family in Arizona.
Especially when it's cold and there are 236 inches of snow on the ground.
It just makes me all warm inside.
The Rattan earrings
over at Stone Wear Designs are perfect.
I totally can see them with a casual outfit or
dressed up for date night.
(Hint Hint Honey....Mother's Day....Wink WINK!)

You really can't have too much turquoise when your a cowgirl.
(Gosh darn this eye just keeps a winkin')
I think it's exciting when I find shops on Etsy that are just getting started.
They've still got that new shop smell!
just opened in March of this year,
and they have a great selection of unique bracelets.
Stop in and check out her selection and keep an eye on this shop!
The Wild West Bracelet is my favorite.
It has all the elements of western wear.
Leather, turquoise and style!

Let me know what you think, and I would love to know if you have any cowgirl favorites that I've missed!

God Bless, Y'all!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Thank you all so much for entering the Giveaway,
and for your sweet comments.
I want to give a special welcome to all of my new friends
who have decided to make this one of your morning coffee stop.
I have a list of posting "idea-rs" with some handy household hints and homeschool tips that I'll be working on this week.
I hope all of you pencil me in to see what's "hoppin' nin" ( I kill me!)

Now, for the winner of their very own Ring Pincushion.....
drum roll please!!!!

Mary from jamfiescreations1


You may select any one Ring Pincushion from my Etsy shop
I hope you love and cheerish it,
and think happy froggy thoughts whenever you use it.

Again, thank you everyone,
and I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

He is Risen!


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