Breaking records

We broke the record low high on Tuesday and Wednesday night we broke the record low low. It was -12. Back in 1882 it was -4 on that day. I don’t mind the cold except that it means less snow, the snow is smaller when the air is colder, so it might snow for 3 days, but you only have a few inches on the ground. I’d rather it snow 4 feet and be sunny the next day. We might have a chance of that on Saturday (snow, not 4 feet of it though), snow and 28 degrees is expected, so a better chance to get some more snow on the ground.

Today we did some school and I threw a pork roast in the crockpot with some apple cider, apples, garlic cloves and onions. I did that for my dinner cooking sanity since I was going to be at the library doing a craft during dinner time. I went to the Denver library and made two terrariums. Everything was there for us to use, but I’m still going to need to go buy a plant for the small vase in the middle of the circle pot, I didn’t want just moss in there. I think they turned out cute.

Tomorrow it’s the zoo for us. Don’t worry, the temp will be in the 20′s while we’re there.

How cold is it?

Well, it’s been 98 years since it was this cold on this day in November. That’s right, the year Grandma Carberry was born the high for today was 16. We took off this morning to go swim at Apex. There were only 2 other families there from our group, not sure what happened to everyone else. The kids got to swim and the Moms talked and the snow fell. I was a bit worried about going up the huge hill on Ward, but the snow was crunchy, not slippery. It was so cold that the snowflakes were frozen in just the right way that every one that landed was this gorgeous work of 6 sided art. It was had to focus on driving and not just stare at them as they hit the windshield.

We did a little bit of school at home, then I started making angry chicken for dinner. It’s just angry because you use Angry orchard cider in it, which means that you get to drink what’s leftover. It was really good once the cider simmered down and formed a glaze, everyone liked it. It was so cold out side that when I put Maisy’s water bowl out it didn’t take long to freeze, so we just moved her water inside. You could tell it was cold because Maisy didn’t want to go out and pee before bed, fine…hold it all night.

Tomorrow it’s supposed to be even colder and we’re just going to stay in, wear pajamas and do some school and art. Sounds like a plan.

Happy Veteran’s Day, thank you to all who are serving and have served to keep our country safe.

Some school

On a snowy day. We dropped 40 degrees in a few hours here and by the time we went to dance it was snowing. So good to see the white stuff coming down. James set me up on his other computer, it’s a lot bigger than my laptop and the keyboard has taken some getting used to, but at least I don’t have to kick one of the girls off in order to do things. We did some school this morning, Grace and Hannah didn’t do very much, Bethany made a slideshow for Government and did Punnett squares in Biology. She thought the worksheet for making a monster was a bit beneath her, but I think her baby monster turned out cute. You could do the same genetics workout with SpongeBob….which I might do with Hannah and Grace later.

Dance went well, Grace and I finished our dances, Hannah’s class has about 30 seconds left. The snow was very light, but it was cold outside, so when we got home we decided that we were in for the night. I made sweet and sour meatballs which almost everyone liked. We watched some TV and went to bed.

Fun Friday {bowling}

The cyberschool coalition hosts a bowling get together once a year. I figure it’s a free chance to bowl and meet up with other virtual homeschoolers, so we always go.

We had our own lane and things went well until the second game.

All the kids were using bumpers and when Bethany didn’t want to roll, Hannah did it for her. This made Grace mad because she thought it was cheating, either play your game or don’t. Also, Hannah won the first round. But, I came back strong and beat everyone in the 2nd round. Still, no one was happy about either game.

The girls had a friend sleep over, which I wouldn’t have let happen except I knew that we were headed to the doc tomorrow. Grace caught a cold last week and is neither better nor worse, but it’s hovering in her upper lung. We’ve been doubling up on meds and I’m running out of some of them, so we’re taking her into triage at NJ in the morning. It won’t be busy on a Sat. and besides the next appointment they had at our NJ office wasn’t until Feb.! I need her better before the trip next weekend, and I’d rather not have her be on a billion meds while we’re gone. So, here’s to bumping up meds for another week.


School went quickly this morning. There was a little less to do than normal, not quite sure why, but I liked it. Bethany had to watch this video and write about it for science.

Math went fast, triangles, line graphs and multiplication. We left early for dance because I had to stop by the shoe store to look for ballet shoes for Hannah. I am going to have to go to Penny Robinson, Payless just doesn’t have her size, she’s in this weird between size. We made it to dance early, a first for me…I’ve been late or right at 1 pm every week. I made a decision not to be rushed today and it worked out. Today we were talking about our identity in Christ, a new creation, beautiful, and looking at what God says our identity is versus what lies are out there. We hear them every day, you are stupid, not pretty, fat, lazy, hopeless, but that is not who we are. Listen to this song, close you eyes and really listen, this is who you are.

After dance we met Lola at the coffee shop and got to visit with her and tell her about our CA trip. The girls told her about all the cool things we saw, the whales, the tide pools and more. We talked about church, how fast kids grow up and watched the girls plunk dominoes and create a domino train. We had a long visit, then we said goodbye and went to the canal trail to get some Fall pics.

Tomorrow is a busy day!

Catching up

Some pics from the improv show Saturday.

A nice sunset.

Tuesday Hannah had an art class and made a picture of a macaw, then we drove Bethany to Parker for a teen writing class on how to write, edit and publish a book. Once again she said she wouldn’t like it, once again I scored.

Wednesday morning we made plant and animal cell cookies, it was for Bethany’s class, but we all made the cookies. Once the cells were labeled, we ate them and brought extra cookies and cell parts to the park. It’s much more fun to eat a peppermint patty nucleus than to make one out of paper or playdough.

Don’t know what the cell parts are or what they do? This site uses cards with the cell parts labeled and what their function is.

For park day we were at Fly’n B park and I fired up the grill to cook hot dogs and whatever else people wanted to throw on there. We also had a fire later for s’mores and I found the best s’more – toasted coconut marshmallow between 2 honey cinnamon nut thins….heaven. The park is full of color right now.

The pond is full of fish.

Grace found a hiding hole of a bullfrog, but no frog, we did catch some toads though. Hannah was being a ninja.

Analivia ate crabapples that I picked.

We saw 5 hawks circling through the trees (there are no hawks in this pic, just trees.)

And some children got wet, note the sign says ‘no swimming’ not ‘no wading.’

We had a great time at the park, met a new family, ate hot dogs and s’mores and pumpkin chips with pumpkin salsa, yum.

Today it rained and we stayed home and did school. Bethany had to compare some sonnets and finish up a Biology webquest. Grace was reading and doing grammar while Hannah was doing cursive, vocabulary and spelling. Bethany did a virtual lab with cancer cells, you can do the lab here.

My computer is still not working, but I’ve made a run around by using Hannah’s computer after buying a new camera cable. Tomorrow we were going to the library for some art, but if it doesn’t rain we’ll be heading to Daniel’s park instead.

I’m thinking

we might never get to play tennis this week. Monday it poured down rain and hailed like crazy everywhere but my house (but that’s okay.) Tuesday we met James for dinner after the park. Today we were just heading out the door when it started raining. There is a slight chance that we will get to play tomorrow after our hike…slight.

Today was the ever important count day for our on-line school (even though 2 of my kids are using the curriculum as homeschoolers, they still ‘count’.) So we did a lesson in every class, which didn’t take Grace and Hannah long to do. Bethany had some very easy things to do in most of her classes, one exam to take (but they went over the test in an on-line session), one report to drop, one essay to drop and a few quizzes thrown in there. She was working on an essay for Government about four powers of Congress that Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives it. There are more, but she only needed to talk about four. I’m pretty sure I took Government in high school, I’m pretty sure we talked about the Constitution and I’m pretty sure we talked about the powers of Congress, but we found out today that Congress can hire pirates to protect the US against enemies. I know, right? Pirates like the ‘Ahoy matey, avast ye landlubbers’ kind of pirates…I assume.

I’m pretty sure that today no one would think of hiring pirates to scour the seas of our enemies, assuming our enemies were on the seas. But still, it’s a cool thought. (Although I’m not sure Larry would scare many people.)

So, instead of tennis we went to the library. We got some cool books like:




new york



and some other random books. Hannah is making a salad recipe that she found in the cook book to go with our eggplant and chicken parmesan.

We had a very low key day, the rain was nice, we have to drop Bethany at church tonight so we might go to the gym during that time. I’m looking forward to getting out on a hike tomorrow, so I hope we’re done with rain for the next few days.

To end, here is something Bethany made for Government. It was her first try at using Moovly and I think we’ll be using it again. The music is lame, but it’s the only thing we had downloaded to use that worked. Next time we’ll download some more music clips.

Monday, Tuesday…almost Park day!

Monday went by fast. The girls worked on school stuff, then Grace, Hannah and I went off to dance. Bethany continued to work at home and then she read and wrote some fiction stories. James was working from home, so he took a break to go to the gym. Our devotional this week at dance was about Christ becoming human and divesting Himself of all His glory. We’re supposed to spend the week looking at the meaning of obedience and writing down thoughts of how the old and new covenants are different. Here is Hannah’s poem from last week:

God never lies
God is bigger than the mountains
He sustains my life
He protects me
He loves me
God is patient
He waits for me
He listens to me prayers
I dance for Him and He likes it.

-Hannah :)

After dance we ran by the shoe store to buy new ballet shoes, but they were all out of the sizes we needed. Back at home I made garlic chicken alfredo pasta. James and I had tickets to see The Treasure of the Sierra Madre at Alamo drafthouse, so we headed over there after dinner.


John Huston certainly made a winner when we made this movie, it’s got it all: characters, big names, great quotes, wonderful themes and truths about life. Bogart is Fred C. Dobbs, he’s gritty, selfish, greedy and not the brightest tool in the shed. Tim Holt plays Bob Curtin a likable character that chooses the moral high ground. But, the lead character is Walter Huston as Howard a down and out gold prospector that knows how the love of gold can change men’s souls. I don’t know if John Huston was always going to cast his dad in the role of Howard, but I can’t see anyone else playing that role as well as he did. Huston cast himself in the role of the wealthy American who keeps getting hit up by Bogart. Anyway, we got to see the movie playing from 35mm film – scratches and all. It was nice.

Howard: Ah, as long as there’s no find, the noble brotherhood will last but when the piles of gold begin to grow… that’s when the trouble starts.

Dobbs: Conscience. What a thing. If you believe you got a conscience it’ll pester you to death. But if you don’t believe you got one, what could it do t’ya? Makes me sick, all this talking and fussing about nonsense.

Dobbs: Let’s see, three times 35 – is a hundred and five. I’ll bet you 105,000 dollars that you go to sleep before I do.

Bob Curtin: You know, the worst ain’t so bad when it finally happens. Not half as bad as you figure it’ll be before it’s happened.

Tuesday the girls woke up late. We got some school done and I finished up a Shutterfly book about our CA trip (I was trying to hurry because there is a half off coupon good till Wed., just made it!) I made pork steak and pasta with tomatoes and olive oil in it (time to go shopping, I had nothing to add to the meal except pasta.)

Tomorrow is Park day and I have to remember to bring leftover things from last week to the park to be picked up. So far, a good start to the week.


Today, after doing school, we got the supplies for Bethany’s science lab. I made everyone do it because, well, why not?

Safety first!

The lab is pretty simple, but the reaction of the liver to the hydrogen peroxide was pretty cool.

Also, lighting matches with the oxygen gas being given off was cool too…

which led to lighting matches just for fun.

Which led to Hannah asking why toothpicks don’t light from the match books. I asked her if she thought the toothpick was the same as a match – one is wood and one is paper, but they both burn. She looked at the matches and thought that the stuff on the match must have something to do with why matches light when you rub them on the cover and toothpicks don’t. The chicken liver that we used bubbled up so much that it kept overflowing the test tube.

It was fun to listen to the pop of the toothpick relighting when it got near the bubbles from the liver. Hannah’s piece produced some nice popping sounds.

The same experiment with apple, potato, onion and carrot wasn’t as neat.

The potato and onion foamed up, but didn’t light a glowing match. The apple and carrot did practically nothing. You can find one version of the lab here

Doing laundry and cleaning up liver fluid overflows took up the rest of my day. Next week it’s a photosynthesis lab, that one shouldn’t be as gross.

Park day!

I tell you, nothing beats park day. The kids get to play, the parent get to chat, the shade was nice, the water was cool – it’s nice. We had a huge crowd today, probably close to 40 kids ranging in age from 2 to 15 (with lots of 8 and 12 year olds in there.)

But first, school. Bethany worked on Driver’s ed today (don’t worry it’s just the book work side of it – though I don’t know why you’d be worried, you don’t have to drive with her…), some Government and some Music. Grace worked on a Math test and got a 100, even though she was pleading to not do it. Hannah has started working on cursive and it’s true – when someone wants to do something, they will do it easier than when they don’t want to and you force them to do it. This week she took her training wheels off her bike and is riding without them and now she’s learning cursive. Maybe tomorrow she’ll ask to learn Algebra (I doubt it.)

The park was nice, we found 3 picnic tables in the shade and set up there.

2 boys (twins) had a birthday today and were turning 12, they brought cookies to share. We got to chat about our trip, vent a little about lots of things (not just me venting, other people venting) and play.

There were so many scooters that looked alike it was hard to keep track of which one belonged to which kid.

We stayed until 4:30 and then headed home with an extra kid in tow. Bethany has youth group tonight and we’re taking the girls to the pool until it’s time to pick her up. Tomorrow we’re all doing a science lab (that’s really only Bethany’s), so we’ll see how that turns out.