Thought since things have changed a lot here on the blog, I should probably put up a ‘sticky’ so that people have an idea of what’s going on.  Otherwise, it might be kind of confusing.

I’m Anna.  I’ve been blogging since December of 2000, (first Xanga, then everything imported here that WP would transfer).   There is a TON in the archives, and up thru July 2015, everything is viewable.  I used to blog completely publicly.  It was nice for everyone else, but not for me.

These days?  I put up a mix of public and protected posts.  Pretty much it’s like this:  anything homeschool, spiritual, craft-ish, or that I really need to share, is public, and can be viewed by everyone.  Everything related to my family, my feelings, our personal activities?  It’s all private.  Partly because on-line people are just plain vicious and have abused my willingness to be open, and also because people I don’t want having access to my life (IRL) lurk up my blog, and that just doesn’t work for me.

Why protected and not private?  Because I do have a handful of friends that I like to share with.  So it gives them access, and keeps out the people I don’t want snipping at me (or snooping up my family).  Everything on the sidebars is there for use, everything in the homeschool archive is pretty much up to date, and I’ll keep adding to it, as I blog.  But not everything is viewable.  If it asks for a password, it’s not for you.

Just a heads up, in case there are any questions.  :)
All new items will follow this post – this will stay at the top.  Theoretically.

___________February 05, 2015__________

Story of the World II:  Chpt 2

~~~~ Anglos, Saxons & Beowulf (oh, my!) ~~~~

Still playing catch-up, but this should be the last one to get us caught up!  :)

This week we read about the ‘barbarian’ people that came over to England and settled there.  The two largest groups of course are the Anglos and Saxons, but there were a couple of others from Europe and Scandinavia.  The best thing for this, of course, is a map, so we printed off copies of this to put in our Book of Centuries:

The second half of the chapter is dedicated to ‘Beowulf’, the oldest written poem and one of the most important pieces of literature in Old English history.  It’s also likely the most horrifically gruesome.  I didn’t know this, though – and thought “Oh, cool, another action adventure for us to watch!”

There are TWO recent movies done about Beowulf: one with Gerard Butler that is rated ‘R’, and one that is ‘PG-13’ that has Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, and Ray Winstone.  We opted to rent the ‘PG-13’ one, although I had my reservations.  ((NoTe:  Parents should understand that anything newer than the year 2000 that’s marked ‘PG-13’ is actually rated ‘R’.  It’s like the guidance board went lax about then.  Everything has gone downhill since 2000, I’ve said this before.))

I DO NOT RECOMMEND either movie to parents using ‘Story of the World’.  We only made it about 20 minutes before I turned it off and we were so grossed out, we could hardly stand it.  It was animated, believe it or not (in the same manner as the ‘Shrek’ movies, only these characters looked SO like their human counterparts, it really shocked me, at first!).  But it is GROSSLY underrated.  Don’t show your kids this movie.  Please.

I had originally thought that we would watch the movie and then make a paper mache of Grendel’s hand (like this one:  But frankly, 20 minutes of that movie turned both my stomach and my desire to do *anything* even similar to gore.  If you’ve a stronger stomach than me, maybe you’d like the project.  At the moment, I’m trying to purge my memory of the whole disgusting thing.

There are a list of fun alternative projects for studying Beowulf here (, where students act it out, do puppets, create the King’s hall… lots of things.  Have fun with that.  I’m not going back to Beowulf’s world ever, ever again.  It’s icky.

I will simply let this comic (by SquareSpace) sum things up for me:  _Beowulf

___________February 04, 2015__________

I really will change this to “Thursday” one of these days…!!

This week we (((FINALLY))) finished Tolkein’s “The Two Towers”.
Saturday night was a HUGE ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie-fest…

But we did NOT like the way they did Treebeard in the movie.  He’s the oldest of the trees.  Old trees are broad – wide.  The older the tree, the more rings, no?  So we were all pretty peeved with a skinny Treebeard.  This seemed like a very good idea for a sketch project – draw Treebeard the way YOU see him.  The only problem?  None of us were able to draw what we saw in our heads!  The results were varied and good, but… none of us managed to capture what we imagined.  Isn’t that just the way to goes, sometimes…!

As always, click to enlarge.

Protected: ______February 03, 2015_____ Crazy-ness!

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___________February 02, 2015__________

Story of the World II:  Chpt 1

~~~~~ Review of Rome ~~~~~

We made it!  Story of the World, Volume II!  Woo-HOOOOO!  Isn’t it exciting!?!

What’s even better is that the next book ties itself to the previous one.  Chapter one of SotWII (<wow, that’s long!) is a review of the Roman Empire, how big it got, how powerful it was, and what happened to it, in the end.  It’s all done from atop a magic carpet, I might add.

Since I don’t have a SotW activity book for *any* volume, I decided that we would make flying carpets.  They would be able to be used in LEGO houses, in Little People, in play… and could be fun, right?

If you’re not that ambitious, you can scoot over to Homeschool Ways, and see how she found a picture of someone on a magic carpet, and let her kids cut a personal photograph and put themselves on the carpet.  It’s quick, easy, and probably best if you have very littles or no time.  I love her ideas, and have to nudge people over to her place, when I can.

_carpetMy original idea was to make plastic canvas magic carpets.  Something like this – which would’ve worked out REALLY well as a handicraft… if it had been just the older children and we had nothing but time.

I had all of the supplies – a package of plastic canvas squares (apparently $1.29 at HobbyLobby), plastic yarn needles, and I printed out a whole bunch of ideas for the kids.  When we sat down to do this, however, the littles were overwhelmed.  So, frankly, was I.  My best laid plans are often overly complicated.  If you’re up for a harder version of this project, I’d love to see you tackle this.

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We ended up doing something far easier (but not stick-a-photo-on-a-coloring page easy).  I cut out 3″x5″ cardboard rectangles, and used my steel yarn needle to pop holes along both ends.  Then we got out markers and colored them up in rug-fashion.  It went fast and was fun for the kids – the older ones being able to punch their own holes.  I’m pretty sure this would work just well if IMG_1145 (444x292)you wanted to do it with heavy card-stock or even Styrofoam from meat trays (or thin plastic, if you have a sharper awl?).  Use whatever you have on-hand, and just make it fun, no?

The kids cut their own yarn and while the really littles needed help stringing the holes, it went very fast.  We simply did one strand in each hole, tied it off, and IMG_1147 (444x273)cut it really short once all the strings were in.  This picture shows all three steps, bottom to top: the strings thru the holes, then the middle section knotted, and at the very top, you can see them cut.  They already were unraveling, so we just unraveled all of the strings further.  It made them look fuller and much nicer, having them spread apart like that.

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Finished ‘tassled’ edge.  It turned out pretty nice, actually!

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Our  Little People ready to fly over the Roman Empire

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They’ve new fun to play with, too!  It’s a win-win.  :)


Protected: ______February 01, 2015_____ Happenings

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Protected: ______January 31, 2015_____ Slightly Better Sunday

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