Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! 

I have to work New Year's Day - but have the weekend coming up off.

Esme's proof copy of her book came today.  We fixed a few things and added a couple more illustrations -and soon it will be ready to print for 'real'.  And to sell on Amazon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Esme and I had a day in town yesterday - got lots more books at the library, including a few cookbooks for me and a copy of 'Daughter of the Forest' by Juliet Marillier.  It was recommended for anyone who liked Catherynne Valente.  We also found 'Sleep Like a Tiger' which had been on my list!

I came home and made a chicken recipe, which involved deboning the chicken.  That is not usually in my comfort zone (Mark thinks I'll take a finger off).  My mother never let me handle knives or raw meat during cooking lessons - well into my teens.  I'm still catching up on the experience now as an adult.

The recipe turned out great.  Esme ate every last little bit of hers.  There is enough to make a sandwich left in the fridge.  I woke up dreaming about a pumpkin pie.  I hardly ever dream of food.  Too much recipe reading lately *heh*.  I do have multiple cans of canned pumpkin in the cupboard from Christmas.

We are still in 'official vacation' for homeschooling, until the 5th.  I'm working on a book of my own - something completely creative and not based on reality.  I'm letting a stream of consciousness sort of thing happen, at times writing long lists of related words and then as I write the next part of the story I realize some of those words work into it.  It's turning out quite psychological and dreamlike.  Fun.  I've gotten three chapters and have rewritten it from start to finish a few times over now.  It started out dismal and the sun is starting to shine in now as a solution is dawning ahead of them.  Again, fun.

Don't have a lot of plans for today -already did the fresh writeup and clean copy in my folder.  I was going to read it through again a little later and mark it up again.

Monday, December 28, 2015

I ate octopus - recipe review

I gave cans of fancy octopus to Mark and Esme for Christmas as a gag gift.  It was Mark's idea... but he didn't think I was going to do it after I told him I couldn't find a way to use it and didn't want to waste it.

But I found some recipes.  And I thought, I'd try one.  I chose a Greek one that we had most of the materials for  - and had to substitute a few things and pare down the quantities because I was only making for myself and using one can of octopus.  The recipe called for tapenade - and I know my substitution for that was not very close.  I'm not sure yet if I like tapenade...anchovy paste and all that.

Octopus and Potatoes with Olives and Chile at Epicurious

First off - it wasn't that bad.  It was edible - even without the sauce or anything else on it.  I think I fell into the large percentage of people who cook the octopus too long.  The recipe actually says just until heated through.  And the canned octopus is already cooked.  But there is that fear factor that the fire will help make it 'safe'.  In this case, I've read the longer you heat it after it is out of the can the more rubbery it becomes - until it is like chewing a rubber band.  I described the octopus in my dish as 'like cubes of fish pepperoni'.. chewy, cured-feeling... but maybe it would have been better if I had swept it in the pan and out of it as soon as the beans had warmed a little, just like the recipe said.

So, my recipe was this - I'd say it makes two servings.

1 large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes. 
A bit of onion and two small cloves of garlic, minced up.
Good olive oil.
Red cayenne pepper
White wine vinegar, because we had no red.
About 9 green olives and a handful of walnut pieces, ground up together with a tablespoon of olive oil , dashed with salt and allowed to sit about eight minutes
Canned black eyed peas, rinsed and drained.
The recipe called for navy beans, but black eyed peas were mentioned in another recipe as being a good match, and they were the other half of the gag gift.

I followed the recipe for the potato, boiling it in a water bath with a lid partially on for twelve minutes.  Then I drained it and reserved the cooking water, 1 cup, as required.  While the potatoes boiled I minced the onion and garlic, and prepared the food grinder with the olive and walnut mixture.  I opened and drained the octopus (which did not smell bad...that was encouraging), and the black eyed peas.  Everything was ready for the next step by the time the potatoes came off the stove.

Next came the onion and garlic and olive oil for eight minutes, stir-fry type with a little water in it to keep the pan from burning.  Once the onion began to become transparent - I added the cayenne pepper, then a splash of vinegar and waited for the liquid to begin to burn off.  (I might have put too much vinegar - it is hard to pare down a recipe on the time, less)

I removed the whole thing from the heat to bring the other ingredients.  The olive mixture, the potatoes, a half cup of the black eyed peas, the octopus, and half a cup of the potato cooking water...  The olive mixture coated everything and smelled very good.  I let it heat a little longer than I should.  Then it was out onto a plate and drizzled over with a little extra olive oil.  I paired it with some apple pastry we had left in the fridge from Christmas.

The octopus was very chewy.  It might have been better if it hadn't been cooked quite as long.  Other than the chew-chew-chew it was all quite pleasant.

So, I've eaten octopus.  I might do it again.  But, I'll make sure I plan out a few more ingredients and be sparing on the heat and vinegar.  I also read it is not a good idea to eat any leftovers the next day.  I went and looked that up because I could only eat half of what the above recipe produced. We have another can left in the cupboard.  It will probably be at least a month before I try another recipe :)

Next idea to try - based on what I learned with this - tandoori spice mix.  I cleaned our entire spice shelf today and am writing down the things I will need.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dog bed and Storytime for pup

Lucy on her new dog bed, being read to by Esme

Esme has had her trained to come sleep on a blanket on her floor when she calls Storytime at night.  Then Lucy will sit beside her as we pass the book back and forth.  Sometimes, when we read upstairs, she comes and puts her chin on the bed upstairs and begs to come up and supervise.  That's her job!  

About a week ago Lucy stopped sleeping all the way through the night down there - lonely, uncomfortable or just too cold?  Esme wanted her pup to be more comfortable, so she asked Santa's reindeer to remember Lucy this year and get her a dog bed (among the other things that were on her 'extra' list the night before - which Mark and I collaborated on and actually made).  Now it has her blanket thrown over the top of it and she is sleeping there happily.

Tonight they are reading the Magical Animal Fairies series - and probably back onto Droon in a week or so. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day

 A very bird Christmas

Tweet, repeat

Fluffy blanket!
 And Mark got a dinosaur toy, that was taken over by Esme.

Grandma came down and Mark made a wonderful deep dish lasagna.  I put on a movie 'The Hundred Foot Journey'.  Esme gave Grandma her painted birdhouse and I gave her the little sequined ornament.  Daddy had gotten Grandma a huge bale of potting soil medium for her greenhouse this winter.  Grandma gave us many thoughtful gifts, as well.  She found a mortar and pestle, which we had been hardpressed to find for chemistry and other projects earlier this year.  We were so happy to have her down for a meal and enjoy the movie together.  Mark's lasagna was truly good and everyone ate a lot.

I have new yarn to add to my two years and counting blanket I was knitting, and to make more dishcloths out of.  Mark and Esme have canned octopus...which was a gag gift from Mom.  But, I think I'll have to try to cook it for real - not for them.  That will be bravery.  There were also lots of treats everyone will like - even the dogs and cats got their own treats.

Other Note: Esme's book has been digitally proofed and a physical proof copy is due in our mailbox in early January.  Then, when we see that everything is good, we'll order several copies and they will wing out in the mail :)  I have another New Year's gift ready to be sent out too - just added the finishing sewing bits to it the other day. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Night before Christmas Eve

I've been sewing, Esme has been drawing and wrapping up secret gifts.  We haven't been up to much today - watching old Christmas movies and listening to the rainstorm outside.  I've been trying to format Esme's book for the publishing company the way they want it... to get a quote on how much publishing would cost.  That has been a long slow process, so far, but some progress.

I finished reading The Scorch Trials, and the Mysterious Howling (Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place), and am halfway through A Snicker of Magic.

I wanted to remember a few books from a reccommended list earlier...
Book bits for the new year:

To  remember:
The Whisper: Pamela Zagarenski
Sleep Like a Tiger  Mary Logue and Pamela Zagarenski

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Red love bird

 Esme's drawing
Mom's handmade toy, with some bits modeled after a red ibis (scarlet ibis)

He has a lot of personality :)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday before Christmas break

9a    - 100x JJ, 30x 10lb deadlift
9.15    - 3rd grade vocab words, Quizlet, geography
---Lots of hard words in this list, which was a LONG list, which she had to read first off.  And I had her do several quizlet scatters to show she understood the meanings of them.
--- We went over the progression from neighborhood to planet again.. she added Universe and Dimension when I was talking about this lesson last night, so I included them in the floor map I laid out for her from 'closest' to farthest out.  She still gets city and country mixed up... but the progression is helping some.  We went over the seven continents on the map and she argued over Europe and Greenland again...talked about people being stuck in their ways that Europe was it's own continent even though the map shows it connected.  We looked at the Eiffel tower on street view and I showed her the Pantheon as well.

10:30 - Khan Math : 3rd grade to 83%
--- She's getting to the hard stuff... three step problems, comparing multiple equations to a questionl etc...
11    - break

1 -  allowance shopping: shopping for a gift and helping with groceries for Christmas
2 -  break

3:45 - Reading:  The Biggest Shadow in the Zoo
                          Mother Bruce
4:15 - Painting project
4:30 - Reading:  The Squirrel's Thanksgiving
       Painting cleanup
5p   - done

And we're on break now until the 5th of January!  Wow. 
She told me she has had dreams about going back to third grade next August - it will be so cool she can DO anything.. except have trouble with the teacher... I am quite sure she will be ready.  We have went through so much and she is doing so much better on all things, even the things she had trouble with in the past.  But, I still anticipate there will be trouble with almost any teacher.  I am just jaded after the problems she had with the first grade teacher.  And she still hardly ever sits still... which seems to be task #1 in any class nowadays...  she is always on the move, asking questions (like why isn't there a MorrocA?  Who decided it had to have an O?) and bouncing, fidgeting, etc....Take each step as we come to it...

I have some more Christmas things to finish.  And I work tomorrow.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


10    - 3rd+ grade vocobulary words
10.15    - research: Squirrel traps mechanics and plans
11.30    - break

12p    - tree climbing
1p    - Wild Pacific ep 5: "Strange Islands"
2p    - ep 6: "Fragile Paradise"
2.45    - timekeeping math
3p    - done

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


10a    - 3rd grade vocabulary words
    - minecraft
12p    - break

1p    - minecraft
//She created an immense statue 'hotel'... I took some screenshots.

view from inside the Statue's eye.

4p    - goegraphy google maps / streetview
I showed her the coast of Scotland near Edinburgh, the Moeraki boulders in New Zealand, baobab trees in Madagascar, villages in Nigeria and then she wanted to go see the Colosseum in Rome.  We ended on the Arch of Constantine, and discussed that she had seen him in her history videos.  She saw the inscription on the image and asked if it was ancient writing -and I found a translation of it for her.  I've studied both the Colosseum and the Arch  in art history and never knew just how very close they are to each other - so it put it in perspective for me some, too.
4:45p  - done

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


10a    - 3rd grade vocabulary words
10.15    - history of christmas research
12p    - break

1p    - .5mi walk; completing writeup of christmas research
1.15    - Wild Pacific ep 4: "Ocean of Volcanos"
2p    - break

4p -  Yard  cleanup project
//She asked if we could start to clean up the accumulated plastic and other things in the dog yard and start to reclaim the porches on the old trailer for 'hideout' and 'treehouse' type areas.  We got some big yard bags and picked up all the old bottles and bits of miscellaneous stuff that was not dangerous.  Another day we will start to pick up boards and garden hoses and other things that are out there. 

4:30p -  Big History Project videos
//We watched the first two videos in the Big History Project to start to answer her question about where the water in the Universe came from before the Earth was made (coments and such) where that came from etc.  
5p - done

Monday, December 14, 2015


8a    - 3rd grade words, Verb Conjugation
//I really think she can read every word on the 3rd grade sight word list without problem...also gave her a list of words from her How to Train Your Dragon book of words she had trouble with previously - like 'reduce' and 'surface' and 'heir.'  We covered some of the basic non-conforming verbs, like give, come, sing, bring, begin, go/went, do/did etc in a word processor to show understanding.

8.45    - geography
//We 'traveled' to Madagascar jungles and the Leaning Tower of Pisa on Google Maps.  She found a lovely little backyard garden of terracotta pots and planters in a back alley in Pisa... Esme really loved the downtown park she found in Nashville.

9.15    - minecraft
10.15    - break

11a    - Wild Pacific ep 2: "Castaways"
11.45    - ep 3 "Endless Blue"
12.30    - break

1.45    - PE; 100x JJ, 30x 10lb deadlift, .5mi walk
2.15p    - done

Sunday, December 13, 2015

bits with checkmarks

 I made some stuff today - not the things I had intended, all of them... but still, it is something.  We redecorated the little wall tree Grandma Irene gave us a few years back - I made a new string of 'lights' out of felt and yarn and a little red kitten pocket ornament that has beads on it.  Esme reluctantly decorated her candy cane candy container with help from me on the glue gun.  She had big plans the other day buying it that it was going to be a cool ornament - so I gave in....but insisted she do something with it more than just peel the paper off of it and hang it up.

 I played with clay... based on little things I was remembering in dreams.
I'll paint them in a few days when they are dry.
and glue a tail on the horse out of yarn.

Repurposed quilt to serve a need.

And I sewed the new sticks in the corners of the tent Esme got for Christmas a year ago... she is setting up her dollbed in it again in her room.  I finished the crayon pouch for her desk out of some of the same fabric as the sewing machine cover.  It seems to work.

 I still need to finish the Christmas dolls... I'm a procrastinator, especially on someone else's projects like these dolls.

Eight o clock
Esme was napping on our bed after having fallen asleep next to me.  Mark had put the puppies up on the blanket beside her and she didn't even stir. I had been reading - but went to get the laundry.  When I got back it was just too perfect of a scene.  Mark was reading on the chair - this scene sprawled on the bed...  I sketched until just before she woke up and turned over.  I wish the scanner hadn't cut some of the side detail off- there is a bit more of Mark and of the pillows to the right.  She ended up sleeping directly in the spot between our pillows.  Very much like a puppy herself.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

bits and plans

Bits on the fly.  Oh I know I overthink this stuff...but I do think we do better when I plan it out somewhat then when I totally just go from the hip.  After Christmas is considered 'semester 2' at the public school.

 Esme has completed four tests for her school in the past month or so - and gotten at least a passing percentage on all of them -even when there were areas in the test we hadn't covered yet.  So, I think that is going very well.  I'd like her to work some more on spelling and vocab next semester, some world landmarks, reading comprehension again and continue in the Harcourt language book to make sure we've covered the gaps.  And I want to keep going in history - maybe start Big History, although the Mankind Story of All of Us was working fairly well for us - and there is more of that on the way soon.

Christmas is coming up - and we're almost ready....some things coming in the mail soon, to wrap, a few items to pick up etc...  And it looks like I'll have a mini vacation coming up at Christmas, with at least two days off before hand.

Mom  Notes: 
I'm reading All the Light We Cannot See, a prize winner reccommended in my feed - and also the MagicKeepers volume 1....  I still have Princess Academy on my desk and A Snicker of Magic checked out from the library.  The young adult type books (three of those four) are quicker reads but still it is a very good expansion...   I dreamt of such a good story last night I wish I had held onto it when I woke up ... it would have made a good chapter if I had sat down and written it out.  I have one chapter of a different dream written out - waiting for a decision on what to do next if I want to write more on it.  Those are better dreams than the ones where they move all my PVC fittings to the other side of the store on my vacation and I try to hook up someone's roman tub facuet and can't figure out how to get to the parts I need... can see them in a room but don't know how to get there from here ie etc... psychological stuff.  

I do wish I had more time for projects but I don't seem to use the time when I have it lately... instead reading or looking at things on Pinterest... when I could be making.  Hmm.   

I was going to make a crayon pouch to hang off of Esme's writing desk in her room..because her box keeps falling over on the surface and spilling the crayons.  And I have those Christmas dolls to finish the clothes for.. and knitting projects sitting on my desk.  I would like to get myself into making more on my quilt pattern - in flying geese pattern maybe - but part of me takes over and says it won't last and the seams will fall apart before it is used think about that, and wonder if there is something other than quilt blanket that already made patchwork could be made into...I've been telling myself for months to make a cover up for my sewing machine to reduce the dust in it.. and I still haven't made one.  Other things: clay fish and birds for the mobile in my head... Esme wants her tent to be functional in her room again (the sticks inside broke)///

Friday, December 11, 2015


8:30 - Latin worksheet, Two Adverb worksheets
9a   - break

9:30 - Khan Math - 3rd grade finished up to 74%
10am - Minecraft
11am - Art (drawing) and writing : George the Dragon Father
12:15 - break

1p - more art, painting the back illustration to her book.
1:30p - break

//We took Grandma to town
3:00 - library with kids
4:30 - park with kids
5:30p - done

Thursday, December 10, 2015


 10:30a    - English: Subjects, Verbs, Objects, Adverbs
11a        - measuring room, bed, taking notes
11:15       - break

We've agreed that measuring and comparing prices for her new bed could be a school project - so we did step one today...looking at decorator stores that had used furniture for sale.  There will be other outlets we want her to look at, online stores, making a chart and sometime in February or March we will actually decide what is the best option from her research.

12:30       - decorator store #1, measuring, notes
1pm         - park.. very cold, but she talked to the ducks and played on the equipment some.
1:30        - break
2pm         - decorator store #2, measuring, notes
2:30p       - break (lunch)
3:00p       - P.E. with kids at lunch place
3:30p       - break

// We went to an outlet store, and I bought her a jacket.  She found a cool gecko lizard toy.  I finished reading my book 'Inside Out and Back Again' by Thanhha Lai that had been highly reccommended.  I read a few little bits to her while she was running around with twin girls at the lunch place.

4:00p - Math worksheets #1 // addition and subtraction mixed word problems
4:30p - Nature documentary Wild Pacific ep: 'Ocean of Islands'
5:30p - Math worksheet #2 // addition and subtraction mixed Equality equations ie: 2+10=8+___?
5:45p - done

She was learning the coding platform for Garry's Mod yesterday - which she would like to  continue in her free time tonight.

I've been previewing Big History.  We might get into that next month or matches with our timeline idea very very well.  

// Mom Note:  Esme actually said she wondered where her schedule was today -- I had one each of the first three days of the week.  I just printed out the one for tomorrow and the English and Latin worksheets.  We really need to do that last illustration tomorrow.  I'll see how much headdesking I get when we have to do the English.  She had trouble with the verb/adjective/noun/adverb sheet this morning and there is another one of those.  She said it was HARD but a Kindergarten like thing (because there was coloring)... I told her it was actually a fourth-fifth grade type subject in my mind (adverbs if taught in their entirety), but we were learning the third grade parts of them now.  That made her focus a little more.  My point to her was AD means 'attach', and 'JECTIVE' is the subject or object Noun, and 'AD'-'VERB' means something that attaches to and changes the verb instead of one of the 'jectives'.....  She understood that.  But then she had a very hard time when faced with all four classes and sorting them out... hates to be wrong, didn't want to participate if there is a chance of being wrong etc... then got back to business when that didn't fly with Mom etc...  So  - that is why I anticipate headdesking when she sees another one tomorrow.  But hey, it is Friday!.  and I go back to work on Saturday....which isn't so great.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


8.30    - math worksheets, multiplication,addition
9:10 - Latin words test and flash cards (I counted, there are 83 cards)
9:45  - silent reading dragon book, jumping jacks
10     - gameplay : Winter Arctic game
10:15  - Harcourt Language, 12,13 unit 3 review
10:45 - break

//During the language workbook she asked me if I thought it was fun - I said it was more fun than many things we could do to learn this.  She said, oh,ok just checking if YOU found it fun.  I don't find it fun.  Minecraft is fun.

We had to go to town to bring some things back and get Daddy's meat gift from the store.  There wasn't anything he liked yesterday so today we went to the big shop across town.  They had something he was willing to spend money on.  So, steak tonight!

3:30 - Minecraft experiment, fire charge oven
3:45 - Grammar third grade test #1 24 q
// She had six questions where she wasn't sure or didn't have the right answer... coming into this cold without any knowledge or work on several of the concepts.  I may have mentioned adverbs a few times, but we've never actually worked on it.  Two of the six questions were on that.  Not bad.  And we have some points to shoot for.
4p   - Minecraft
5:15 - last math worksheet, multiplication
5:30 - done

I've been trying to get in some time to paint the last cover picture for her book .. we haven't gotten to it yet.  But I think we are making good progress for the week.    We're also about halfway through How to Be a Pirate (how to train your dragon series).

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


8:30 - drawing, birthday present wrapping

//It was Daddy's birthday today - so we did some wrapping and Esme made a card.  It is the blue dragon the middle.

9    - Latin words test and flash cards
    - english worksheets Ch 9 Harcourt
9.30    - break
10    - English and Literature test #2 - 24 questions
//Again, a third grade test, as that is what I'm finding mostly.  She missed one vocabulary word this time, and would have missed another information question perhaps - but she read the question out loud to ask me about it and then changed her mind after she heard it said out loud.

10:30 - 2nd grade vocab on Quizlet
11    - break
11:50 - Khan Math, division, 3rd grade to 70%
12:20 - break
12:30 - weather map, Google Earth, time era app
12:45 - break
1:00p     - Harcourt Language Unit2 Review, chapters 10,11
1:30p - jumping jacks * 100
1:40p - Minecraft
about 4 I had her make pizzas with me and call it a day...

 laboratory for chemistry students

A 'mall' with shops and a pool on the bottom layer and ladders leading up to a meadow with houses at the top.  She had me help with devising a lock to keep the mall closed when the lever is thrown.

Monday, December 07, 2015


 Werewolf mittens are done!

9.30a    - Latin word flash cards
//We are relating these to other English words she knows ie: locus=location.  We added another five Latin words to the pot of cards after she asked what was Latin for bone, tooth and a few others.
10a    - break

I had a dentist appointment, so we had to get ready and go to town.

2.15    - practice English and Literature test
//This was a third grade test of 24 questions.  She would have actually gotten about a quarter of the questions wrong, from misreading or not looking for enough information.  She blew me away with one where she didn't understand what the word 'brook' meant.  She knows that word, but out of its normal context 'Wet my hankerchief in the brook.' she was ready to say it was a sink.  *facepalm*.  We talked about it and I printed out another version for tomorrow.  We do need to practice this more.

3p    - research and write out steps to Skyrim Shadowmere quests
3.45    - English and handwriting worksheets
//Chapter 6, 7 and 8 in the Harcourt Language book.  There is an emphasis on good handwriting skills and she took the criticism well.

4:30    - origin myths - Japanese, Apache, Tahitian, Aztec
4:45    - Skyrim quest - She didn't quite write down enough, so now she is two quests back trying to find the clues to start the quest she wants to do.  She has been making great progress.  We can't always tell her the exact answers - so she has to do a lot of poking around, listening and reading.
5:45      - done

A silly little thing - a knitted Kindle cover 

Sunday, December 06, 2015


Esme says she needs to have ears and stirrups when I make the next one.  It is a pattern in development.

I began my vacation yesterday, one week off.  We are still getting over the cold that went through my workplace last week.. but hopefully by tomorrow and the next day we will be able to do the things I have planned.  Somebody at work wants me to make Santa outfits for some dolls they have... I've tentatively agreed.  Cleaned off my workspace and started to play with some little things.

I came across some of my favorite drawings.  I really need to find a better place to keep them.  

Other than that, we are just continuing to keep the dogs in the yard  - not easy, they keep trying to convince Esme they can go out with her the 'usual' way, and that the adult humans have just got crazy ideas about the other door to the fenced yard.  I just had to capture one on the leash and bring her back in (mine, Sweetie) because she had slipped out with our elderly dog, Misha, who cannot go down the stairs to the fenced yard as well as everyone else.  

I'm reading a book called Ordinary Magic, after reading several young adult books by E.D. Baker on the Frog Princess series.  Fun reads.  I have a couple more stacked up in my queue.  I have a dentist cleaning tomorrow and promised Esme this week we will go look at the decorator store (Robertsons, in McKenzie) to see what they have for teenager beds and what price range they are in.  I'm getting a few other things ready for Esme's school this week, too.

Friday, December 04, 2015


10:00a - Achilles legend
10:30  - facts on Kinkajous / Procyon - raccoons, coatis, kinkajous and more
11     - handshake math puzzle
11.30  -Kahn math : 3rd grade math to 55%
//fractions, multiplication, graphing, word problems.  We used our fraction cube tower set for some of the fraction questions.
12     - break

2.30   - Spelling 30,31
IXL English Language Arts: 2.X.3 : Capitalization of Places and Geography
3p     - video: Mass Extinctions (HHMI)
4p     - dogs weights and medicine measures
// Mark is putting these measurements into a spreadsheet for her, so she will have data to use later in another math lesson.

4:20p  - Minecraft : We built a stadium with concession stands, bleachers, a shower room and locker rooms.  She made it like a baseball field and explained rules to me for playing with a Snowball.
5:45   - done

I read the beginning of the About Me book in Childcraft with her, and discussed origin myths and the similarities that run in many of them - I told her after we read four or five of them she'll see what I mean about that.

I'm getting several things ready for next week - as I am on vacation all week.  We should take the English language arts exam for second grade, work on Latin words as they relate to words she uses everyday...tie that in with Latin as the language of the Romans, and continue with more origin myths if she will read them with me. It is a good introduction to many different cultures, too.  She learned what the word Norse meant.  They said that Wednesday was named after a Norse god - Woden.  Hey, that is the god in the How to Train your Dragon books!  Yes, it is.

Thursday, December 03, 2015


9a    - school of dragons / sims
10a    - dog reading: Danny and the Dinosaur
    - Things to Make and do
   - The Nose Book
// She read these books to her dog Lucy.

11a    - veterinary (measuring administering dosages of medicine)
11.30a    - break

11.45    - LumiKids apps (learning / logic puzzles)
12.45    - break
7:15p - Lumiapps going through with Mom
7:45p - done

Wednesday, December 02, 2015


8.45a    - Nanowrimo book illustrations //universe map, Supercar hovercars
9.45    - IXL language arts 2; Y.1 Commas
    - gradespelling; lsn 29
10    - PE, 100x jumping jacks, 30x 20lb bench press, 30x situp, 30x
      reverse situp, 10x midlines, headstands
10.45    - break

12p    - multiplication table worksheet
12.45    - Minecraft
2.30    - done
 Dino's Universe map

I asked her tonight, after I got home from work, if she was learning everything a second grader should know.  I expected her to say 'Yes', and she did.  I asked, 'How do you know?'  She said, "Because I'm really getting things done, and that is G-E-T-T-I-N-G.  That's from lesson 29 of Second Grade Spelling.  And I'm learning multiplication.'  We discussed a little bit about history - but she decided that history isn't really figured out entirely, and she has to keep learning that.. specifically we were talking about the first people to come to North America.  She was focusing on the very first HUMANS to ever come ... the archaeology prehistory.  Good place kid.  She said that needs to be figured out more before people really know.  Oh, and the Romans were the best civilization ever.   A few months before that Japan was the best place in the entire world and she wanted to live there when she grew up.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


 8:30a - Painting cover image for NanoWrimo book
9a  - break
//Trying to get her to focus on this and not bounce around and watch a cartoon was tough.  She really didn't want to get to working on just one thing.

9:30a - reading through NanoWrimo, working on more pictures
//I had her read through the entire book from beginning to end - which she hadn't done yet.  She also wrote a 'preview' paragraph for her book two (like How to Train Your Dragon book has at the end) and then looked through the entire layout of the book on the Book Smart app I have on my computer.

10:30a - editing, illustrations, dino lab
//I had her do the dino lab drawing twice... and pointed out that her drawing she was supposed to make into a painting was actually better than the painting she had been despairing about having to do...  Trying to point out that she needs to try hard on things even if she didn't want to do them, or it just wastes time.
11:00a - break for lunch

She has one illustration left for the back cover, and maybe a few maps I've talked to her about making for inside the book.

12:30p - library
1:00 pm - Reading 'The Pet Dragon' : Christoph Niemann, Talking about mental math in between stores.

1:30 - break
//We replenished our paint and thread at the craft section of the store, and brought home groceries.

2:45p  - Math with Dogs:  She is helping Daddy weigh and chart all of the dogs so they can get up to date on their shots and medicine.  This includes doing some math as she has to subtract the 'just me' weight from the 'dog plus me' weight, and using calculations to discover how much each animal gets of the medicine by weight.

3:15p - administering shots and medicines to dogs and cats with Daddy.  Discussion of veterinarians.

4:00p - tracing world map for journey drawing in her book.  Discussion of maps and why she can't just move things around and expect people to understand they are still what she says they are (map of Earth)...even if it is a fantasy story. She put her head down on her desk and despaired a little that she couldn't just draw all the spots in one lump place on a piece of paper and still call them Egypt and Madagascar etc...She got what I meant about tracing through the world map from the printout, though..and over her perfectionism (other end of the spectrum from 'do anything')... and did this.  Pretty good work.

//Dinner.  I told her we could do Minecraft before I go to bed or she  could play Skyrim by herself.  She finally has the dragon bend will shout, and is using it every chance she can get.
6:30 -Skyrim
7p - done


9.30    - minecraft
10a    - research & writing: 5 facts about shrews
10.30    - NaNoWriMo: writing author bio, reading edited bio
10.45a    - break

12p    - reading: animal books - silent reading
12.30    - break

1.15    - video: The Double Helix
1.30    - Mankind ep 4: Warriors
2.30    - .5mi walk
2.45    - minecraft
4.30    - done

I was down sick for the day - did a few of the things we had planned, but not all of them.
We have been working at filling in all the gaps for the NaNoWriMo book... author's page, title page, cover etc...

We started on How to Be a Pirate this weekend, the second book in the How to Train Your Dragon series.

The sherriff came by and said our dogs need to stay in the fenced yard from here forth.  It is as if the city is moving directly to our doorstep.  Some neighbor (probably the one that just moved here from a big city last year)  tried to take a leisurely walk along the county road and was escorted by our dogs for the entire length of our property.  Because this scared her, our dogs must be on a leash or fenced.   I would like to make a point, though, that I do not consider the county roads to be safe to walk on for other reasons - the speed at which people drive, the coyotes and it is Deer Hunting season.  We will attempt to keep our dogs in the fence - although our neighbor  is going to see a lot more coyotes because of it.  I already see several a month on the far side of our property.  Our dogs have been a buffer zone between the road and their property -- patrolling and keeping the local pack to the South.  Just a few months without that buffer zone I would be scared to let Esme out in the yard even in view of the house...without at least one dog next to her at all times.