Wordless Wednesday: Allergies

It happens to me every year when they harvest the cotton around here.

Allergies. Extreme head pain, coughing, stopped up nose…the works.

I took to my bed this Saturday to try and get better before Sunday. That left Preacher Man in charge of running the house.

While I was coming in and out of my Benadryl-induced stupor, Monkey stopped by to check on me.

He sneaks up from the foot of the bed…

I try to make him happy by taking a picture of us together…

He wanted to take pictures…

Then he wanted me to smell his poopy diaper…

At this point I politely, but firmly set him out in the hallway and locked the bedroom door.

When you are feeling poorly and need to rest, your best bet is not to be in the tree house,

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway!


Tasty Tuesday: Medieval Meal

I love this recipe. It is one of my go-to favorites. It’s simple. It’s healthy. It’s really good. It’s Medieval?

Well, according to Preacher Man it is. Every time I make this he says that he feel like we should be living in a castle with our knights and ladies in waiting. Then the history major in me feel the need to inform him that the odds of you being wealthy enough in the Middle Ages (in case you didn’t know “Medieval” and “Dark Ages” are passé in history circles or at least they were when I was in college) to eat a meal like this were slim to none. Just for fun, though, the next time I make it, all I’m going to lay by his plate is a knife and tell him to dig in Middle Ages style, aka knife and fingers.

Here is what you need to make Roasted Chicken with Veggies:

Assorted bone-in chicken pieces of your preference (I use legs and breasts.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
6 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 celery ribs, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 medium sized potatoes, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 onion, sliced
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried rosemary

First, place chicken pieces in a roasting pan and rub with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Next, bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. While it's baking, chop your veggies.

Arrange the carrots, celery, potatoes, and onion around chicken. Feel free to play with vegetables at this step. I’ve used squash, zucchini, eggplant, and sweet potatoes all cut into pieces (not sliced). I love them all!

Combine butter, thyme, and rosemary. Drizzle over chicken and vegetables.

Cover and bake 45 minutes longer.

A meal fit for a Medieval King…or a knight…or a peasant…or a modern day American family.

Feeling like royalty in the tree house,



Sunday Stroll: Episcopal Church Meditation Garden

Today’s Sunday stroll took us to our local Episcopal Church where they have a beautiful meditation garden. We were working on pages 20 and 21 in The Nature Connection. Our goal was to find nature in action on this nature walk.

We definitely saw some interesting things:

Magpie found this little tiny acorn and while it doesn’t fit our parameters of nature “happening” she felt that this little guy was still doing some growing. “He’s a baby, Mom. He’s growing bigger every day.” Well, there you go!

Ants busy carrying food in and out of their home under this stepping stone.

Oleander berries

Web going up the branch of this live oak tree. We’re not sure if the web is made by an insect or a spider. Preacher Man voted insect.

Wasp building its nest or feeding young on the inside.

Storm clouds rolling in for a very long stay. It started raining right after we got back home and is still raining now at 11:00.

I tried to get a sequence of this guy changing colors. He jumped off the oleander bush bright green…

Slowly started changing to brown as he sat on the wall of the church…

Solid brown by the time he scampered off on the chain-link fence.

Wishing I could change clothes at will…it would make getting dressed much easier in the tree house,


Summary Saturday: Griffins, Tadpoles, and Bears! Oh My!

This week I felt like our homeschool was super animal focused: mythical animals, real animals, and books about animals! But of course we had a lot of fun and learned a lot as well.


This week besides our usual core subjects of math, grammar, spelling, and writing, Chipette started working on her mythical creatures bestiary. Her first entry was about griffins. Here is the information page telling where griffins are found, their diet, and special powers associated with them.

  On the back she copied the poem The Griffin out of Eric Carle’s book Dragons, Dragons and Other Creatures That Never Were.

Entry number one is completed.

Chipette colored in her first countries on the world map that we ordered from Beautiful Feet for their Geography Through Literature course.

I hesitated on ordering these maps, but I am so glad that I did. They are a wonderful size and a great thickness. This course is going to be wonderful! Chipette loves it already.

Since our caterpillar changed into a moth a couple of weeks ago, we decided to try another animal and watch it change. A wonderful lady from our church brought over a container full of tadpoles.

Now we just have to see if we can keep them alive so they turn into frogs. I have no idea how to do this one, so if anyone has any advice let me know!


This week Magpie made a lighthouse out of lowercase “l”. We used our ocean stamps so she could stamp the fish out in the water.

Here is her finished product which she did NOT want me to take a picture of for some reason.

 I love her expression!

We are continuing to work through our Explode the Code Primer books. Magpie loves workbooks and had amazing fine motor skills from a very, very young age, but even Explode the Code gets a little writing intensive for her, so I thought we could use our letter stamps to fill out some of the workbook pages.

It works great and keeps little hands from getting too tired. Plus, getting to stamp anything makes it more fun! I found the foam alphabet stamps in the arts and crafts section of our local Wal-mart.

Magpie also finished up our first literature study using the book, Bears by Ruth Krauss. We acted out parts of the book including the jumping in squares.

Finally, Magpie had to place picture cards from the story in order the way they happened in the story.

 She loves learning this way!

Magpie studied the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem this week in Little Hands to Heaven. She made her own version of the Ark, and she and Monkey carried it back into Jerusalem (the dining room) via our backyard.

And speaking of Monkey…


He found his sock monkey hat that Aunt Fluffy bought him last Christmas and of course, he had to “monkey” around in it!

He’s such a ham!!!

Loving animals and loving our crazy life in the tree house,

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for my first giveaway: Bible Study Guide for All Ages!


Final Analysis Friday: Bible Study Guide for All Ages

For Chipette’s kindergarten year, I tried to go cheap on the “extras”. You know, science, history/social studies, etc. to really focus on the 3 R’s. One of the items I skimped on was our Bible curriculum. About two months into the school year, I had the following conversation with myself.

Me: Why are you trying to go cheap on the most important subject your children will ever learn?

Me 2: I don’t know. Because this home schooling stuff can get expensive quickly.

Me: Is it more important that your children know math or that they know the word of God?

Me 2: Point taken.

Sometimes I do not like myself. She can get a little blunt and testy.

So I went with the Bible curriculum I’d been dreaming about owning one day. And I have never regretted it. The best part is that it’s not expensive either.

I want to share with all of you my review of Bible Study Guide for All Ages (BSGFAA).
BSGFAA is set up to cycle through the entire Bible in four years if you do two lessons a week each year. We do a lesson every day. 

*****UPDATE***** I went through and put all of the lessons into chronological order so that if you want to study straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you now have that option. My schedule is based on doing one lesson a day based on a four-day a week school schedule. If you do a five-day a week schedule, I suggest using the fifth day as a review of what you learned that week. If you follow this schedule you will study through the entire Bible in three years (based on a 36 week school year) with some free weeks at the end of each year for deeper study of a topic or review of the year. Here is a link to the file: Bible Study Guide for All Ages Chronological Order ******UPDATE********

All children are studying the same Bible passage at the same time, but doing different student worksheets based on their level.

The program takes you through the Bible, but not chronologically. Rather you will do some Old Testament, then some New Testament and vice versa showing how the entire Bible is interwoven and points to Jesus. At first I was worried that this would be confusing to my kids, but they seem to have no problem with it.

The Lesson

We do the review section from each girl’s worksheet which asks questions from previous lessons. Usually the questions are the same, but sometimes they are different.



Next, we do the memory work section which usually has us working on memorizing books of the Bible, lists from the Bible, and Bible summary cards or timeline cards.

Now it’s time for the Bible lesson. I read the Bible chapter or verses that the day’s lesson is from. I use my daughter’s ESV Bible, but the lesson questions are written using the NIV. Using two different versions is not usually a problem. As I’m reading Magpie colors the picture on the front of her worksheet, while Chipette just listens.

Once we’ve finished the Bible reading, we flip the worksheets over to the comic strip looking section. There are instructions to help review and cement the story in their heads. I read Magpie’s sheet to her while Chipette follows the instructions on her own asking for my help if she needs clarification about what to do.  The best part is that if she gets stuck on an answer the verse citation where the answer is found is in each frame of the comic strip so she gets the extra practice of looking up verses!

This is what their finished worksheet pages look like:



Now we turn the sheets back over and do the Apply It section. This is my favorite part! You take the Bible story and apply it to situations in the child’s own life. I do Magpie’s first, then Chipette’s.

Usually the point of the story is the same for both girls, but the scenarios presented are different which is good for them to understand applying scripture in many different circumstances. We finish by saying a prayer about what we learned today.

At this point Magpie can leave the table while Chipette and I finish her extras on the front page (timeline, maps, lesson review).

The Setup

I wanted to share some pictures of the actual materials so you could get an idea of how the program is set up.

Timeline section from Chipette's sheet.

Map section from Chipette's sheet. Map and timeline are not on the same day.

The lesson part of Chipette's sheet.

 Coloring page on the front of Magpie's sheet. This ties into the Apply It! Section.

 The lesson part of Magpie's worksheet.

The Extras

Just this year, I discovered a new product (new to me anyway) that the folks at Bible Study Guide sell. They are called Bible Book Summary Cards and they are AMAZING!!!! 

The girls and I are focusing on learning one card each week of school. What makes these so great is that anybody of any age would benefit from learning the information on these cards. Plus the cards are not tied specifically to this Bible study, so if you wanted to use these cards with your current Bible program they would be extremely useful.

The front of the card is a picture that symbolizes what the book of the Bible is about.

On the back is a quick synopsis of the book that explains what the picture is referencing.

At the bottom of the back, under the synopsis, are review questions to ask your children until they learn all of the information.

We’ve already learned the card for the book of Genesis and are currently working on the book of Exodus which is pictured above. I am looking forward to using these cards so much for increasing my own Bible knowledge.

I think this is the perfect setup for any family (even non-homeschoolers!) to all study the Bible together. And in case you are curious there is absolutely no doctrine taught. These are just the Bible stories so families can add in their own beliefs.

The final analysis this Friday about Bible Study Guide for All Ages is that we are using this program for the long haul. For our family, this is a perfect 10!

Knowing and loving the Bible is the number one goal in the tree house,