Friday, April 18, 2008

All American History

We recently finished all of our World history curriculum and needed to start American History. The problem was, we couldn't find a curriculum that suited us. All of them were either bibliography only or a typical textbook style. There would be only a paragraph or two over the important things such as Washington. Go figure?! Two paragraphs on Washington. Well, let me tell ya, I have found an AWSOME history curriculum. It is call All American history. Volume 1 covers the explorers to the Jacksonian Era. There are at least 100 pagers per unit over the information. Did you know there were two Massachussetts colonies? I didn't. Each colony is covered at length. We have been having a blast learning about our history.

Something else that I like about this curriculum is that it is ACCURATE! It actually has the Bill of Rights in the back that is pretty close to word for word.

We have been supplementing the study with documentaries from Netflix. We have watched shows on Jamestown and we just finished Colonial House, which was a PBS publication. There is so much you can do with this curriculum. We will be posting our progress so keep watching for updates.

Matthew and Maggie say "We love it!"


Wednesday, April 2, 2008


You have heard the saying, "I am having a bad day", but actually I seem to be having a bad year so far. It all started in January when my son came down sick, then I got sick at the end of the month and stayed sick until last week. I just kept getting this nasty crud over and over again. Sinuses and congestion issues were the culprits. During this time, BOTH of our vehicles went on the blink. We have been trying to get them fixed, but are still having trouble. We thought our car was fixed, but Sunday I got in it to head to church and it died on me as I was pulling out of the drive way. We have replaced spark plugs, wires, fuel filters, fuel pumps, and coil packs. Still not running right. We have put shocks and struts on our van, still not running right. Then there are other things that keep popping up.....ARGH!!!!!!!!!!! Will it ever end? I feel as if we are under an attack from Satan and it is not letting up much. The little guy up there is laughing... which is the only thing I can do at this point. Crying doesn't seem to make anything better.

I have been trying to keep myself busy with other things, such as decluttering my house. I have been given some home made cleaning recipies to make. I have made them and I love them. Here they are:

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
6c water
1/3 bar Fels Naptha laundry bar, grated
1/2c Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1/2c 20 Mule Borax
1 1/2gallons, plus 1 pint hot water

In a large pot, put 6c water and grated soap. Boil until dissolved and turn off heat. Pour in soda, Borax and the rest of the water. Mix well and let sit over night. It will gel up as it cools. Put in containers and use 1/2c solution for moderately soiled clothes or 1c for heavily soiled clothes. I love the smell of this soap. A friend of mine does not make this into a liquid. She uses 1 1/2c Borax, 1bar of the soap and 1 1/2c washing soda. Mixes well and use 2 TBSP powder soap per load.

Homemade Glass Cleaner:
Mix in a spray bottle the following,
1c rubbing isopropyl alcohol
1c water
1 TBS vinegar
1 TBS ammonia

This works better than Windex. It does not streak. You will love it!

Strong All-Purpose cleaner
Mix in a spray bottle the following:
1 TBS ammonia
1 TBS laundry soap (Era or the soap you already made)
2 c water
if you want, you can add cedar oil or pine oil to make it smell like Pine Sol.

Natural Fabric Softener
2c white vinegar
2c baking soda
4c water
Carefully combine all ingredients (the vinegar and soda will fizz), pour into a plastic bottle, cover and shake. Use 1/4c in your laundry's final rinse or in a Downy ball.

Homemade Comet:
1/2c Borax
1/2c baking soda
several drops of wintergreen oil

Thanks to Rebecca for all of these little goodies.

I am going to keep my self thinking upward. If we can just get the van fixed, we will at least have our main vehicle to use. We are hoping to get it paid off as soon as possible.