Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mom notes

I had the weekend off, and we did some things.  Out in the yard this morning I helped Esme improve upon her leanto tipi.  I used old computer cords (networking cords) that were already in the yard and broken to weave in and out of the branches so they will stick together better.  The structure is pretty solid now.  We also took some of the bricks from the garden and made a pretend brick fireplace.  She found an old piece of grate shelving to put over the top of that, and we used a board on top of two other bits of log to make a table.  I found a rubber doormat the dogs had drug out in the yard a long time ago (which was a trick - because I couldn't find it way back then) and put it in front of her 'fireplace'.  She found some pieces of bark for plates and set the table.  Now she has a great pretend house.

After all of that we watched Jumanji together - she really watched it from start to finish.

I finished one of my baskets the other day, started cutting out squares for a quilt out of recycled stuff (old pillowcases, stained shirts etc.) and made two new pillowcases to replace the ones I was taking.  The herringbone fabric is grey on grey.  I've done some laundry and some cleaning.  As one of my friends says on FB often - 'I adulted for the day'. 

I did finally get to watch my calculus video - to help explain what they are doing in Math Girls about derivatives.  The teacher on the video is Keith Devlin of Stanford, and I remember his MOOC a few years ago I participated in really taught me what the logic symbols (union, etc.) meant and had me thinking.  Esme was starting to go through her preschool then, and times became hectic, so I never finished out the course.

Esme has some goals for this week - watch some Engineering videos, spend some more time on her Indian House, and find out why crabs walk sideways - is it in their DNA?

Friday, January 29, 2016


9a    - new game exploration: Minetest
10.15    - discussion of Minetest and building plans outside
    - PE: 100x JJ, 10x cat squats, 50x 15lb bench, 50x rev Situp
10.45    - Math worksheets: Place numbers and Addition to
      Mult. rewriting
11a    - Minetest
1.30p    - break

1.45    - Minetest
4p    - done

Thursday, January 28, 2016


11.15    - Writing: A Vampire's Life in Skyrim
12    - PE: 100x JJ, 50x 15lb bench, 10x 20lb squats
12.15    - shower curtain assembly and hanging
    - how it works / loading dishwasher
12.45    - break

2p    - Math worksheet "Elevator problems" and "Flowers for Mom"
2.30    - English worksheets: reading comprehension
2.45    - 4 color puzzle worksheet
    - 24 peice jigsaw puzzle
3.15    - break

4:00 - Indian House outside - She called this Engineering.
4:15 - Helping cook dinner : scalloped potatoes au gratin

She wants me to look up more things for Engineering, and to start the Crash Course Kids series she saw on their list about Engineering.


4:30 - Nova 'Magnetic Storm'
5:30 - done

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Limbo and Squirrels

10.15a    - PE: 100x JJ, 50x 15lb bench,  50x reverse sit ups
10.30    - 15min Multiplication Table (136/144, 94%)
10.45    - Limbo Frame project, measuring, planning, helping Daddy with construction.
11.30    - Limbo Skating
11.45    - break

1.30    - Writing: Squirrel Math Story Problem
So - Stuffy and Puffy are boy and girl squirrels (on a desert island).  They will live for five years and have ten babies per year.  Half of their babies will be girls.  The girl squirrels will have ten babies a year.  All squirrels live for five years, then they die.  After ten years, what will the population of this Squirrel Island be?

1.45    - solving squirrel math problem
There will be 120,864,960 squirrels at the end of the ten year period.  That's a very noisy place, Esme said.
2.30    - Geography worksheets
3.30    - break
5:30 - discussing math and showing off limbo frame
6:00 - done

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


  It's still cold out there - but the snow is gone.
I made this simple black crocheted hat the other day... it works fine :)

The attitude was a bit better today, due to what she missed last night and also because it was the first thing we talked about this morning - when we could get done if she didn't fuss.. vs. when we got done yesterday.  It also helped that she had already done the writing assignment ... She didn't like the handwriting book -- it is so easy (material) but so long (actually writing what it asks)...  She did get it done and paged through the Waldo book a bit for the last five or six minutes of that session.

10:00 - reading aloud Droon book #6, Sleeping Giant of Goll : three chapters
10:30 - Harcourt Language : Sentences pg 31-49 // handwriting, exercises
11:00 - Crash Course Series :
               'Spheres' (geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere) and Food Chains/webs
11:30 - break

11:45 - Khan Math : 3rd grade to 91%
12:15 - 2nd grade spelling 37, 38
12:30 - break

12:45 - .5 mi walk to mailbox and playing frisbee
1:00p - Minecraft : building house and garden, furnishing house and taking screenshots
2:30 - done

I built most of the house while she worked on the fountain garden.  She added a 'cooked beef' stand out side and lots of villagers, as well as some decorations inside and the vines in front of the boat docks.

This was all hers.
She deleted the fountain a few times but finally put it back.

and the house needed a dog.

Out with the frisbee.  She found a rock and we talked about fossils we used to find and where they had come from.  She said this rock was very large and I should take a picture of it.

Monday, January 25, 2016


9:30am - drawing diagram of squirrel bird
9:45am - writing description of squirrel bird out by hand
10:15am - lunch break
11:00am - writing description cont. and dictionary use
11:30am - //continue writing assignment untimed
--------------She was taking so long to write so little I told her she would have to produce two pages of material no matter how long it took.

her diagram of the bird squirrel

1 - games and lessons / Keyboard Ninja and lesson set #1
1:30 - break
2:00 - science  videos: Crash Course Kids :  Series 1 and 2, Food and Resources
2:15 - Geography quiz/copywork at map
3:00 - Big History Project Units 2 and 3 (Stars and Elements)
3:15 - .5 mile walk / tossing football on the way back home
3:30 - break

                                                          snarling while typing her paper out
I'm being a tiger, ok?

4:00 - Khan Math 3rd grade to 87%
4:30 - write-up on computer
-----------typing same two pages.. until done (which was a while after 5, but counting her done then)
5:00p - done

Prototype I made of the x-ray bird, with a pocket for it's brain in the back of its head
It also has a little pouch inside it's mouth but it can't swallow anything too large - unlike the hippo we had made a while back that could eat other toys and blocks.  Esme wants me to make a bigger one.

//She did some extra work on her cat castle.. adding boxes and a 'calendar'.  She didn't get to play on the big computer (Steam games) tonight because of her lagging behind today on the assignment .. but she did play on my computer for a bit while I worked on one of my baskets.   And no staying up 'late'... right to bed at 9:30.  We'll see if that has any effect for tomorrow.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Snowpocalypse

   We had snowball fights!

I had at least four layers on up top and two layers of pants!
I was lucky enough the thrift shop pair from when I got stranded in Duluth so long ago was four sizes bigger - it worked perfectly as a pair of snow pants :)

 The snow was the deepest right at the woodpile.
 Esme tracks all the way up the road
 Daddy came out to play too, briefly - he was very cold.
 and the sled did not work as properly as we had hoped.. for the second day in a row.
 documentary footage of the glare ice!  It will probably be slush by tomorrow
if the temperature goes up to 38 as they say it will.
 We measured a couple of places and it was 3 to 4 inches over most of the yard and in the truck bed.  By the woodpile it was six inches deep.

Also, Esme's hair went up in a nice bun after a warm bath, chicken soup and hot bread.  Now she is back to playing Skyrim.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday snow day

 It's still falling...

We've given Esme the day off for the snow storm.  Tennessee has declared a State of Emergency and it does not look all that nice out there.  The dogs have busied themselves last night and this morning by eating slippers and mittens.  So, I've busied myself repairing or replacing them.  A friend noted she hopes we keep power -- me too.  I've called into work because although I am a Minnesota native the South does not build roads in preparation of snow.... we've slid off the road last year on one of those twisting hills and I don't want to repeat it this year.

I saw this method on Pinterest and thought to try it

I've got a few projects going - a plane finished for a shop order, a rope and yarn basket I've been working on, the weaving.... there is a quilt on the bed that needs several repairs.  There is also a Stanford
algebra program I wanted to finish watching... if the satellite lets us.

little clay projects I did a few weeks ago and painted.
I really liked the horse.

propellor airplane for Knitowl shop

Esme is playing Skyrim - but I expect another snow excursion later.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


9a    - Mankind ep "New Frontiers"
10a    - helping Daddy fix the fence, .5 mi walk
10:15 - break for lunch
11:15 - engineering toy fishing rod and 'baitbox'
//She begged for a half hour of this, promising she would do her math work without fuss.  She delivered -- joking a lot during the math but no headdesking.

11:45 - Geography quiz/copywork at map
12:00 - Math : Progress in Mathematics pg.90, addition and subtraction word problems
12:15 - Khan 3rd grade math to 83#
12:45 - break

1:15 - Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima, history videos
2:30 - done

//The 'Mankind' episode spoke about us dropping the atomic bomb, but did not go into any reasoning for it.  Esme was focused on this - why would we do something so destructive.  I found a series of videos showing the attack, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's war speech and description of the war we joined in Europe - and then also the full description of Hiroshima (National Geographic Explorers) -- including radiation sickness.. why we have tried so hard all over the world to never do it again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


There was snow last night, but it was actually ice.  So, she was unhappy her snow storm wasn't something she could make snowballs out of.  That set us off on the wrong foot all day.

9    - Mankind ep "Speed"
10.15    - story discussion, reading her first draft
    - PE: 100x JJ, 10x 15lb deadlift, 50x bench

10:30 - --frustration/attitude adjustment-----counts as a break---
//There was a large motivation problem today as soon as she saw the writing assignment sheets.  She asked to type on the computer, instead of writing it by hand.  OK, yes - we can do that just fine.  But, then she sat with her head to her desk and said loudly I'm thinking! every other minute.  She had read through her story but didn't want to continue writing it - she came up with an ending during this time.  'There was a big war I was not in it from Esme.'  and she thought she could be done.  No.  I eventually told her that entire half hour was not being counted as school.. and the next one wouldn't be, either - if she didn't actually continue with her story in a logical manner.

11.00    - writing - She made two good paragraphs of sense on Monster Castle.  She moved the story along and was happy to do so once she realized it wasn't that hard.... her spelling is even getting pretty good.  She came up with a couple of words she knew but I had to help her spell - abandoned, ignition, fuel gauge etc.

12    - break, we made pizza and watched the first two episodes of Doctor Who (2005)  She likes it!

3:30 - Khan Math : 3rd grade math from 72 to 79% - they've rebooted and reorganized so her 89% went down to 72%... she didn't actually notice that.  But, she jumped the gun on a problem I was explaining and got the 'wrong answer' so she grumped terribly for the last twenty minutes.

4:10 - drawing invention plans for sewing X-Ray bird.
4:45 - making paper pattern with me from drawings, tracing pattern
5:00 - done

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


8.30    - writing grocery list
8.45    - break

9:30    - Mankind, ep : 'Revolution'
//The part about the sewer and water system in London during the bout of cholera made her take notice - she said she wanted to build a sewer in Minecraft, based on what she saw, and run it to the houses.

10:30     - MLK video and discussion
10:45     - break
//Daddy came home from the store.  The dogs howled.  We shut off the video for a bit.

11:00     - continue video and discussion
11:10     - math, adding and subtracting decimals
//Progress in Mathematics c. 2000 - pg. 80
11:25     - reading Sophia the Snow Swan Fairy
11:40     - Minecraft - modelling a sewer system
12.45     - break

3.30    - PE: 100x JJ, 14 cat lifts, 50x, 15lb bench
3.45    - art: bird drawings
4    - pizza construction
4.30     - done

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mom Projects

Working on this... it will be a month or so before I get to the done stage.  I tried heddle sticks but they failed... oh well, try again next time.  I wrapped the yarn the wrong way a few times so the heddles will not work as well as they should.

PVC Pipe Loom by Simplified Building
I made a loom somewhat like the one at the link above - but not entirely.
I had most of the pieces for mine on hand and kind of fudged the rest.

The finished area n my loom is about 2 foot by 4 foot.

The other thing is I don't have anywhere to put it as a rug - our dogs would eat a rug like this in minutes.  But, I could probably make a cushion or a bag out of the finished work and make it useful.
And it is kind of an experimental zen project anyway - I like to weave.

Other things:  I finished the Maze Runner series/  The last bit felt like Chicken Run.  I know they aren't really the same.  But, now that the thought entered my brain it is hard to get it out.  I've started on the Sixty Eight Rooms trilogy.

Esme has Martin Luther King Jr. day off tomorrow.  I need to work so early my eyes won't be functioning.  And it is very cold out.  We have a new manager (again) at work.  It is something like every six months to a year they change things for some reason or another.  Could be bad but it isn't - the guy knows the department and has been there before.  It is just the change change change thing that grinds me a little and makes me mention it.

*edit 2024* this became a purse, not a rug, and our dogs now don't eat rugs they sleep on them and keep us from using them as rugs *ha*... I wish I had taken a picture of this loom in it's entirety, trying to build another one now and I have found the original image of the Simplified Building one (not my picture, saved here for posterity as it is gone from original) but no pictures of the loom that I built that was slightly different.

not my picture, gone from original site attempted to link above, saved for posterity

Friday, January 15, 2016


9:30 - Science videos, Constellations : Crash Course Kids
9:40 - Spelling 34,35, IXL Antonyms
9:50 - Science video, Dark Matter/Dark Energy Kurzesagt
10:00 - discussion of reading from yesterday

10:15 - break
10:30 - Mankind ep: "Pioneers"
11:30 - break

11:45 - pen and ink with nib pen and bottled ink
12:00 - Khan Math - Algebra basics,warm up quiz and first 2%.
//She is still at 87% in 3rd grade math - I started this alongside it.  We covered squares and the square root symbol as well as calculating expressions using variables 2x+4 if x is 6, a+5=20 find a  etc..., adding and subtracting decimals, and using rational fractions along a number line with positive and negative numbers.

12:30 - break
// We took Grandma to have her hair cut.  Esme had the ends trimmed off her hair as well.

3:00 -  following a list and navigating in store
3:30 - done
5:00 - Spanish on Duolingo: review
5:30 - done

Thursday, January 14, 2016


9.30    - PE, outside tree climbing and dog doging
10.15    - timed multiplication table (112/144; 77%)
10.30    - PE; 100x JJ, 50x 15lb bench,
10.45    - writing: "Skyrim Dreams"
11.30    - break

12.15    - .75mi walk
    - more writing
1p    - Mankind ep: "Treasure"
2:30  - break

We did some reading and hair care stuff after I got home from work, and she delivered presents to Grandma today, too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


9.30a    - Squirrel math (series calculation)
10a    - Simple DC motor project, magnets
11.15    - Reading: "White Snow, Bright Snow";
      "Sugar White Snow and Evergreens"
11.30    - break

1p    - writing: "Why I like Team Fortress 2"
1.30    - kitchen chemistry: surface tension
    - transplanting aloe vera shoots
2p    - Mankind ep: "New World"
3p    - done

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


9:30 - science videos, magnetism and matter
10a  - cardboard project, sword and shield

10:45 - Spacetime Episode, more shield painting
11:15 - Minecraft Spring Wood (her new city name, based on the images she painted on her shield)

12:30 - revision of Monster Castle, talking about plot
// Oh the grump.  We got past the revision after about ten minutes, most of which was grump.  Then we went on to making more content.  I asked her questions, went over the story...we got another few pages out of it.
1:30 - break

2:30 - discussion of What are Equations for?
3:30 - break
This is so hard.  She can do equations - she can understand how to get the answers.  She isn't quite grabbing why we make equations, what they are for - how to use an equation to find out information - WHY it is important.  We talked about it over about ten different scenarios.  I did more calculations and had her go step through with me.  I asked her to make an equation -and she made a multiple choice question.  It was a good one!  But.. not an equation.  We will keep working on this.  I know it is not an instantaneous type thing.

3:45 - Mankind The Story of Us : Survivors
4:30 - done

I updated the timeline after dinner. 
We're watching the Martian.
Esme isn't watching it very much...

Monday, January 11, 2016


Esme's book went on sale on Amazon last night!  I hope she'll continue with the second one she said she would make about the same character.  She worked pretty hard on it, especially the illustrations, and I learned a lot getting it from raw material to publication.

Today we started with a writing assignment:

9:30a - writing assignment: 'brainstorming word association', 2 lined pages of  'Monster Castle'

goofing off with a Santa Hat during her writing time

//tomorrow I'll have her read over what she wrote, think about paragraphs, capitalization and punctuation - and I'm not sure if I'll get more content out of her after that-- but we did discuss it a bit today - elaborate on your characters, tell me something that is great - but if you don't write it down it is lost etc.

 Chompy the dinosaur contemplates learning to write
I wrote a little start to a story, too - while she wrote hers.

11a   - reading: Droon #5 The Great Ice Battle Chapters 3 through 10.

//The books were due back to the library today.  We usually crunch a book like this in three sittings or maybe four - at night, before bed.  But we read almost this entire book in one sitting - three to four pages each in rotation.  She was a bit upset halfway through - and then got over it and pushed through, especially because there was a snowball fight in the book and she loves snowballs.

12:30 - ManKind the Story of Us: Plague.  // Lots of discussion during this.  History is a little brutal.
2p    - library : We picked up two more fairy books, another Droon and a few others.

2:30p - done

// Mom Notes //
It's been a productive day - got new books, finished the new dress I started yesterday for Esme.  It had some things in it I needed to learn.  I'll post on that another day.  And I finished up my knitting project.  It's ready.  Esme worked on her project, too - and it is very pretty.  I'm halfway through the Death Cure (part of the Maze Runner series).  I'd had it on ebook hold for a while, now.  I didn't check any paper books out of the library for me specifically - a preview of a Percy Jackson thing I might read with Esme...  I only got halfway through the last paper book 'for me' before electronic books coming available on my wish list led me astray.  I'll check it out again in a few weeks, maybe.  Or I'll read Last Legends of Earth again.  I'm getting nostalgic for that, too.

Writing:  This morning I worked out a few scenes from a dream I had - but not for the Magpie book.  I'm waiting for a day I feel is right to type it all out from start to finish and nip the edges off it again.  In the meantime, work on a few other little things here and there.  I might need to string up something to weave after a bit, too - there was a metal frame in my dream and I was trying to choose between warping it up for a loom or making a drawing board out of it.  It could have been either.  I remember stating to no one in particular in the dream I needed to set up a weaving frame, a big drawing board table AND a sewing area and have all three open all the time.  But there just isn't space for that in real life. Says something to me, though.

Friday, January 08, 2016


10a    - hair care (what does conditioner do?)
10.15    - cooking lesson: sausage
10.30    - Blue Planet "Coral Seas"
11.30    - break

12.15    - TNReady math test sample, 5/6
12.45    - break

1.15    - 1 mile walk
1.30    - PE; 200x JJ, 50x 10lb bench, 50x sit ups
2    - 100pc puzzle
3.15    - break

3.45    - puzzle cont'd
4.15    - done

Thursday, January 07, 2016


8.30    - making pancakes from scratch
--reading recipe, translating abbreviations, measuring and mixing (Mom did the cooking)
9    - HHMI Lecture and discussions, genetics and populations
10.45    - Geometry worksheet, area of circles and triangles
11.15    - break

12p    - .5mi walk
12.15p    - Nat'l Geographic: Inside the Milky Way
1.30    - done

Wednesday, January 06, 2016


9:30    - Khan Math, 3rd grade to 87%
10am     - jump rope and bike
10:15     - break

10:30     - Math - area of triangle and circle equations
11a       - Harcourt language : sensory/describing words
11:30     - HHMI Evolution Lecture, Bones Stones and Genes
12p       - break

1p    - Infinifactory logic puzzles
1.45p    - timed multiplication table (missed 4 of 144)
2p    - .5mi walk
2.15p    - Minecraft
2.45    - done

We're halfway through Erin the Phoenix Fairy!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


8:30    - JJx50, 40xrev.situp, Canon LAB video
8:40     - Spelling #32,33, vocab review
9:00     - outside play and building a stick fort
9:30     - art : Dinosaur birthday party
10a     - reading : Lara the Black Cat Fairy (finished the book out from last night)
10:15     - cooking; adjusting microwave time for more food cooked
10.30    - break

11:30     - Infinifactory logic puzzles
12.10    - 15min timed multiplication table (84%, missed 23 of 144)
12.30    - .5mi walk
12.45    - box engineering, second new cat palace
1.30    - done

Monday, January 04, 2016

Back to Homeschool

We had initially said she would start back on the 5th, which is tomorrow - but she was really expecting to go back 'Monday'... and even had recommendations the past few days of what she should do when she started doing school again.

11.15    - Calendar creation
//Some very good artwork, creative pictures for every month of the paper printed calendar.

12.30    - PE: 100x JJ, 50x 10lb bench, 50x rev. situp
12.45    - electronics; examining faulty USB battery pack
1p    - break

2p    - writing: What I did for Christmas 2015
2.15    - minecraft
3p    - Vocabulary words review; multiplication table
3.15    - break

4.45    - spanish / Duolingo
//She requested a few days ago if we could continue with some Spanish.
5p    - video: Nova "Dogs Decoded"
6p    - done

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Simplicity 6824


It's been four years since I bought this pattern, thinking - the size 7s aren't that far away...since I was sewing size 6s then.  Well, we're finally there *ha* but maybe a bit beyond.  Esme is eight, now - but her measurements aren't far off from this pattern.  I did have to add an inch and a half to the shirt sleeve for comfort that she wouldn't grow out of the shirt tomorrow.  

in size 7, shirt without collar
The pattern is from 1974.

I made view 1 long sleeved shirt, but did not do the collar.  I have this thing I do with facing and turning over the front edge into a collar-like creature.  Esme said the shirt looked like a blazer, to her.  She had wanted the heart buttons on I think the watermelon backpack project - but they really didn't fit or have any purpose there.  So, she was happy when I said this was a project they could work in.

I finished it last night and she wore it to bed like a pajama shirt.  I promised her I can make a pair of pink cotton pants to go with it and maybe she can even wear it at a sleepover later this year.

If I made another one I'd make the tails a little longer.  The nice thing about shirts is that if they fit well in the breast and armhole areas - you can alter the length of sleeve and front as much as you want.