Book Review: The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer

In this book, you’ll soar in the sky on an adventure on a flying carpet as you learn the history of the Middle Ages.

The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer was the second book in a series of History books that we use for homeschooling.  She includes religious aspects, including Christian religion, which I enjoy to add to my teaching.

Learn about the fall of Rome, the rise of the Muslim empire, the plague and King Henry VIII in the pages of this book.  Mrs. Bauer does a wonderful job of creating a story to keep young ones interested in History.  The book also is interesting and filled with facts that are new to many adults.  As we have read through these books, I have enjoyed our journey.

We look forward to starting book number 3, which we will be getting to in a few weeks.

I can’t wait to see how Mrs. Bauer will bring to life the Early Modern Times.  I’m expecting it to follow suit with the first two books.

For younger children, these books are easy to follow.  My children are a little bit older but we want to finish the series out.  They enjoy listening to History be brought alive through Mrs. Bauer’s words.


Very Late Update on Our Farm

cand197qWe are slowly creeping into Spring here in the Pacific Northwest.  Our baby chicks have grown into young adult hens and roosters.  The tulips in the front are exploding through the dirt to reach for the sun.  And we’ve actually seen the sun and not just buckets and buckets of falling rain.

Homeschooling is going along pretty smoothly lately.  We still have our little bumps here and there.  But I can see the progress that have been made and it is very encouraging.

We just finished the History book that we have been reading for a while.  This would be the second book in the series written by Susan Wise Bauer.  The enjoyment that we get out of reading these history books beats any text book, any day!

I have a few videos, well, about 24, lined up on YouTube for the kids to watch before we start reading again.  This is basically to go back through the times that we’ve learned so far.  The kids like the change of pace.  I’m not sure what they will think of these videos though.

The guy seems a little cheesy to me, but hey, kids like cheese, right?!

Anyway, after we are finished with the videos, we’ll start reading The Story of the World book three.  I really can’t see starting a different History program now.  We will finish this out with book four when we’re done with three.

Watch soon for a review on book three.

I have tried to schedule our days a little more.  Mostly because I have so many things to do, that if I don’t follow a schedule and work on certain things at certain times, I’ll just run around like a tazmanian devil and accomplish many areas of nothing.

And of course, it doesn’t work at all on days like today, when I just do not have the motivation to do anything.  The kids wanted to take off President’s Day, like public school students, but I had said no.  This morning, my body was screaming YES!


Life on the farm goes on though.  The animals don’t stop laying eggs or ahem…depositing waste, just because I am not motivated.  And today was one of those days that work on the farm needed to be done.  I’m very thankful that the sun was able to hang in the blue sky, with very little clouds dancing in front of it.  It made working outside just a little exciting.  But just a little because I was still freezing cold.

I was also able to visit with the girls and roos while I was out today.  Even snapped a photo of one of the babies that we had last Summer.  She turned such a black that she is has glossy green feathers.  Very beautiful.  I named her Raven.  She is almost completely black, except for a little bit of white on her legs, and maybe beak.  And that’s only been the past couple of months, before she was all black.

So while we all anxiously await Spring here, we’re taking the time to enjoy the beauty and crispness of Fall.  Hope you are also enjoying your Winter!

Gorjuss love

Homeschool 2014

As I sit here and scroll through my Facebook feed, I see a lot of moms worrying and feeling anxiety over their children going to school today.  I ask myself, why do they put themselves through that?  I know, to each their own.  But I still wonder.

My concerns for school this year are finding a math and english book that I can afford to buy for 6th grade.

That’s all I need for this school year.  What an awesome feeling really!  Only a couple of items for the whole year.

My son already has all of his books because he just uses what his sister has already used.  I don’t need to get school clothes because we don’t have a need for those.  And materials?  I believe I have plenty to see us through for a while.

I had decided to delay my school start up in English and Math for October because I was supposed to be working most of September.  Unfortunately things happened that created it near to impossible for me to work.  So, I can now replan my plan.

I had planned for History, Bible and reading already.  Although, we are already behind because I wanted to start 2 weeks ago.  But again, things happened that delayed it.  

Fortunately, it’s my homeschool, so I can do that.  

My planning for now will not require much history because I believe it’s not needed at this moment.  My daughter likes to play school, as most of us do or did as children.  But she has a very strict way to play it, and the same goes for how she plays house.  She likes it to be very realistic.  

She plans out her day and schedule according to how a real public school would be.  She then plans out each class and subject matter, along with giving herself little assignments.  This is the very reason why I have always kept all kinds of books on my homeschool library shelves!  She has learned a lot on her own by reading history books, social studies books and lots others.  

This is homeschooling people!!

Another thing that she likes to do is make a plan and schedule, along with assignments for her brother.  So when he plays with her, (when he can stand the strict schedule for a whole day!) he also learns.  

Daughter has gone online to see what the middle school here has for classes.  She then makes her classes as similar as she can to that school.  She wakes up at 7am, gets ready, pretends to “go to school” and plays that schedule for most of the day, if not all.  It is so weird to me that she can be so strict in her play and imagination, but not in her real life.  

But she does make my job easier this way.  *wink wink

Of course, this kind of play will not last a full year, so I will have to do some work.  

Just knowing that they are learning is all I need to feel accomplished at homeschooling.  I don’t care about grades, how they compare to other children or if they can remember dates and numbers.  They are learning.  And most importantly, doing it on their own.  

Self-guided learning.  What more could a homeschool parent ask for?


Book Review: Sons of Guns: Straight Shootin’ Stories from the Star of the Hit Discovery Series by Will Hayden with Adam Rocke

Book Review: Sons of Guns: Straight Shootin’ Stories from the Star of the Hit Discovery Series by Will Hayden with Adam Rocke


If you like to read books by an author who is going to be honest and tell you exactly how it is, along with some southern-Baton-Rouge Willisms, you’ll want to read this book.  Will Hayden, TV star of Sons of Guns and owner of Red Jacket Firearms, is one of those guys that you either love, or you hate.  Now me, I find his honesty and realness refreshing and wish more people were like that, so i am one who likes him.

If you’ve ever watched his TV show on Discovery, you know exactly what I mean!  If you haven’t, well, tune in sometime and check it out!  It currently airs Friday nights.  😉

Since Will has a tendency to be true to himself and he doesn’t hide how he really is, there is cussing in this book.  If this is something that bothers you, then maybe this isn’t for you.  But if you can get over it, or just not worry about it, read on.

Chapter six is a great quick history lesson on the history of firearms and the important people behind some of them.  This will definitely be a chapter I use for homeschool when the kids start  a unit on firearms.  My son likes to watch Sons of Guns anyhow on television, so reading Will Hayden’s book will be a treat!

If you like the honesty and realness of Will, along with some southern-Baton-Rouge Willisms, you’ll enjoy reading the chapter about Stephanie.  This girl is down-to-Earth and nothing is fake about her!

The fact that they are Christians and proud to say it, makes me want to hug them all!

Don’t waste any time getting this book to read.  It’s has been such a pleasure to read and I truly devoured it as fast as I could!  A book hasn’t had that effect on me in a while.  Took me back!

Spring Tulip

Homeschool 3/12/2014


The sun is actually shining here today in the Pacific Northwest!  Right now, my kids are outside, enjoying that sunshine, and throwing baseballs up into the air and trying to catch them before they hit the ground.  It’s 2:00 in the afternoon and kids are still in school right now, plugging away at their books.  While mine are getting their exercise right here at home.  All of the school work for today has not been completed, but they can do it a bit later tonight.

  • Bible:  Confusion Part 2, the population of countries after the tower of Babylon, Acts 17:26
  • Math 3:  Place value
  • Math 4: has not been completed yet today
  • History: The start of the Franks (France), Clovis, the ex-barbarian and the beginning of France
  • Reading: Peter, the Goatherd by Grimm’s Brothers
  • Science: No Science today, unless we decide to read a bit about Salmon later today
  • English 3: Using the dictionary, practice spelling
  • English 5: Being courteous, study habits and using the English book, practice spelling

We only have 2 stories left in Grimm’s Fairy Tales.  I want to hurry and finish that book, as well as my boy, so we can finish reading Scout.  If you have never heard of that story, and you like to read Christian books with your kids, you should check this book out.  There is a whole series of them.  I have the first one called The Secret of the Swamp.  It is written by Piet Prins.

You can find it in for some really cheap on Amazon. You can find it for sale on the right side of my blog.  Click on that link and you can easily get it for 1 penny!

Happy reading and homeschooling!  We’re halfway through the week today!



Homeschool Lessons – March 10, 2014


  • 20110212_9BIBLE: Confusion Pt. 1 – The Tower of Babel
  • MATH 4:  Roman Numerals
  • MATH 3:  Multiplication Table
  • HISTORY:  The Long Journey of the Maori, the people of New Zealand
  • READING:  The Water of Life by Grimm’s Brothers
  • SCIENCE:  Journey that a salmon takes in Washington, pt 1
  • ENGLISH 5: Sentences, Spelling test, New spelling words
  • ENGLISH 3: Intro lesson of English 3, Spelling test, New spelling words


Book Review: The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Henry Ketcham

book nerd stickerThe Life of Abraham Lincoln was a book that I chose to read for my January Book Challenge.  When I choose something to read for a challenge, it really bugs me not to finish the books.  I feel like I fail the challenge then.   Plus, I ordinarily hate to stop a book unless it really offends me.

This book started out well enough.  It was slow going, but I think it’s due to the time when it was written.  But then it started talking all politics and things that I don’t understand.  I tried to follow through.  I really did.  I got 58% of the way through.  I really hate to stop when I’m that far.  But when I am making myself read something like it’s a chore, then it’s no fun.  So I am better off just stopping.

Penguin in the Snow

To Go Back In Time

Jack, the farm horse

One of the joys of homeschooling, is field trips.  We love to take field trips!  We had the opportunity today to go to Pioneer Farm Museum and Ohop Indian Village, in Eatonville, Washington.

When I was a child, I vaguely remember coming here for field trips.  I think 2 or 3.  I loved it then!

Jack, the farm horse, welcomed us at the start of our tour.  I went and gave Jack a nuzzle and he licked my hand!  Never had a horse do that before.  🙂

Our first stop on our tour was the cabin where the Pioneers lived.  The cabin we went into was much larger than the real ones, so that they could fit groups of people in there for tours.  Because of the lack of windows, it was quite dark inside. The crackling fired burning in the fireplace kept it warm inside.

Our tour guide was a very nice lady.  She showed the kids how to do everything along with teaching them the hows and whys.  She explained things very well to the kids and I enjoyed listening to her!  Inside the cabin, the kids got to learn many different things.  Laundry, mashing corn for cornbread, milling wheat for flour, playing with children’s toys, making butter, grinding coffee, making your own yarn for wool, and the young men got to learn about shaving.  The kids also learned about discipline and the chores that children had.

After we were all done in the cabin, we walked out to the barn/smith/workshop.  Inside the barn we were introduced to T-Bone the calf, a milking cow named Betsy, a sheep named Cocoa, a goat that no one now can remember her name, a funny little pig donned Bacon Bits, one brown bunny who goes by the name of Stu and a few chickens.  The kids were able to go in all of the pens and pet the animals.  I visited Cocoa and Bacon Bits.  I so miss my sheep and pigs.

Cocoa and the sweet smell of her lanolin flooded me with memories.  Bacon Bits and her pig nose was something I had a hard time leaving!  (A little secret about me.  I love pigs and their noses.  Have you ever felt one?  I love to just squeeze them and play with them.  I call it Pig Nose.)  The smell of the barn and the animals was exhilarating.  I inhaled deeply.  One child said,

“It stinks in here.”

I looked at her and said,

“I think it smells good!”

Unfortunately, my camera battery was dying, so I was unable to get photos of the animals because my flash took too much power.

After the barn, we traveled to the blacksmith forge.  The kids were taught the safety and knowledge that you can cram into about a 10 minutes

I loved how the sunlight was coming through the trees.

spiel.  We then walked over to the wood shop and was taught how to peel bark off of logs and small rounds of branches for making a cabin.  After the talks the kids were able to go and play around in these areas.

While we were listening here, I took a moment to look up into the trees.  There was rain drops glistening in the sunlight, hanging and dancing, glorifying in the warmth that He gave them.  This grabbed my soul and I thought,

Lord, that is beautiful.  Thank you for allowing me this glimpse of glistening and sparkling magic that is You.

Our tour guide for this area, was a very nice man.  He made everyone laugh and giggle and just made it fun!  You could tell that he enjoyed his job and likes the kids.

Next up on our tour was going inside a real pioneer’s cabin.  This was a cabin that had been donated to the farm by Richard and Camilla Stidham.  The cabin was owned by his ancestors before. Everything in the cabin was either from the first owner, or the Stiham’s family.

Stidham Cabin

Old pictures adorned the walls with their explanations posted under them.  They had the cabin moved there from where it was orginally built in Kapowsin on a trailer.  Everything was exactly the same and nothing had been refurnished.  In fact, the stairs to climb to get upstairs were not safe.  It was roped off and mirrors had been placed to see around.

We crossed the path to another cabin.  This one quite a bit smaller than the first.  In the yard of this cabin was an actual covered wagon.  I had no idea how narrow they were!  How their families slept in there with all of their belongings is incredible!

One of the highlights of the trip was riding in a wagon pulled by Jack.  After listening to the rules, the children boarded one by one.  Around the schoolhouse they went, picking up speed into a trot after the last corner.  Adults got to ride after the kids, so it was nice to ride with a few of my friends from church around the block in a wagon! 😀

The schoolhouse was very neat!  The desks were actual old children’s desks.  They told the kids the rules.  The kids were segregated by sex.  What would get you a lashing (it was almost everything!).  Then we were told that there is actual schoolhouse tours that you can come and do, where the children spend an hour and a half in school.  They do lessons just like the pioneers do!  How fun would that be?!

Covered Wagon
Rainbow of Promise

It warmed my heart when I noticed a Bible verse from Matthew written on one of the chalkboards.

Our last stop on the tour was visiting the General Store.  Here was our chance to buy some stick candies and other little treasures.  Hubby found himself a raccoon tail, Kyle got himself a toy, Amanda found herself candy (of all things, the child got candy) and I scored some homemade soap.  It is Lavendar Coffee Mint.  Beautiful.

If you are in the area of Eatonville, Washington, you really should take a trip out to Pioneer Farm.  Today, we were the last tour of the season.  But it reopens in the Spring.  If you’d like more information, click here.

To me, everything that I learned today, I stored away for future knowledge.  Not only is learning about the history great, but learning how to live off the land and without modern technologies may be something that we have to do someday.  I think it’s important that we don’t lose and forget the skills that our ancestors knew.  How many of you know how to make butter, make your own yarn, wash clothes by hand on a scrub board or forge your own metals?  There were some awesome lessons learned today.

I overheard one older girl today say to another girl,

This is a lot cooler than I thought it would be!  I thought it sounded so boring.

I’m glad to hear her say that!  Bringing History to life like this is important for children and adults.  Hubby even enjoyed himself!

One last thing I almost forgot!  The teacher’s house.  This was an actual teacher’s house.  The man had 11 children and they lived inside a 10′ x 10′ house.  Incredible!  I don’t see how, we looked inside.  Check it out:

10′ x 10′ Teacher’s Cabin
Inside of cabin

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise.

Proverbs 1:5