Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween!


We are having a pretty laid back day for Halloween, but we have had some educational, spooky fun. 😉

We started our day with reading some Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems.  Then Grace read about zombies and other spooky topics in Muse magazine.  (Thanks to Amy and crew at Turning Over a New Leaf!)

It’s important to brush up on your zombie knowledge at every opportunity! 😉

Of course, the real fun was on Monday with our pumpkin carving.  We planned our pumpkin in our traditional way, but Daddy let Grace play a way bigger part in creating a template and carving.

We always start our carving ritual with each of us drawing a face for our pumpkin.


Then we take a family vote on best eyes, nose, and mouth.


Then…presto, whammo! We have a jack-o-lantern. 😀


All of the “Grace carving” and “Grace cleaning a pumpkin” pictures are currently on her Daddy’s phone…I’ll be sharing those this weekend in “The Week in Pictures.”  Until then, amuse yourself with this bit of artwork Grace created from the Halloween candy:

Happy Halloween!!!  We hope everyone has a super-fun and safe night!



A School Day (Personal Narrative Sample)


Here’s a small sample of some personal narrative writing from Grace.  Her assignment was to write a letter to a friend about her day at school. 🙂

Dear Destiny,

School today was awesome!  We started off with a little reading. Fortunately I had finished the last book in the Percy Jackson series last night, so I could start on the first book in the Heroes of Olympus.  I got through a good chunk of it before we did grammar.  I whizzed through that…strange, grammar usually takes a good 15 minutes.  I guess I was just lucky.  After a good, educational sandwich, it was time for math.  Now, you know me, I usually love math, but today we were reviewing start and end times, and it seemed to go on FOREVER.   Finally, after a long hour of math, it was sweet, sweet science homework time.  I got to sniff, look at, and poke a bottle full of rotting food with brown watery stuff and write down my observations.  After that pleasant experience, I read a little about some funky, gazelle-looking thing that stands on its hind legs to get food.  Apparently, it reaches the plants that are too high for gazelles and too low for the giraffes. Cool!  Finally, after a long, hard day of school, the whole family (except Daddy and Emily and Frank the Dog) sat down to watch an episode of “Out of Egypt” about devil-like creatures in Ancient Egypt, Rome, and other places.

Send me a letter about one of your awesome school days! I’ll even give you a whole, U.S. penny! 

See ya soon!


Skills and Topics: October 29 through November 2


Now that we’ve finally gotten back on track with regular school weeks, I have a better idea of what we’ll accomplished in the week ahead. 🙂  Here’s the (vague, as usual) plan for next week:

  • Language Arts:  Grace is reading the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.  She’s reading the second book now.  In writing, we’re still working on personal narratives…look for some samples next week. 🙂  We’ll be starting a reading unit on making inferences.  As always, grammar and spelling will be part of our week.
  • Math:  We’ll continue to work with Perfectly Perilous Math.  I’m sad to say we’re not too far from finished with this book. 😦  We’ll also be working with integers.
  • Science:  Grace is currently working on a unit about light and sound.  We’re about halfway though, so we’ll still be on this topic for two or three weeks.
  • Social Studies:  We’ve just finished our Ancient Egypt History Pockets.  We’ll be doing to a Hands on History unit about Egypt before moving on to ancient China.
  • Spanish:  Grace is steadily working her way through the MindSnacks app for Spanish to learn tons of vocabulary.
  • Grace’s Choice:  Well, we’ll just have to wait to see what she chooses. 😉  This week she chose writing, making homemade chocolate syrup, and some extra science activities.
  • Community Good:  Grace and I have the opportunity to help the Literacy Council with preparing their newsletter for mailing this week. 🙂

That should keep us good and busy!  I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

The (Last Two) Week(s) In Pictures


We are finally getting settled in our house and getting into a routine…well, as close to a routine as we ever get. 😉  This means we will (I hope!) be back to blogging on a more regular schedule.

(Edit: This post is even more delayed than I thought it would be due to WordPress misbehaving.)

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And the Winner Is…


We have an official winner!  (We actually drew the name from a hat…how goofy are we?)


And the winner is… 최다해 gongjumonica!  Congratulations!  Just send us an email at with your mailing address, and we’ll get your new book in the mail. 😀

The answer to the riddle, of course, a shadow. 🙂


A Poem for Our Feline Friends


Grace is continuing to use History Pockets to learn about the history of Egypt.  One of her assignments today was to write a poem about cats since they were so very important to the Egyptian people.  She chose to do an acrostic poem…she thought using the word “CAT” was kind of a punk out, so she went with “FELINE” instead. 😉  The picture of the poem is a bit blurry, so I’ll type it out for you first. 🙂

Faster than a human

Easily you glide

Lazily you succeed

In moving faster than the eye

Naughty little mouse, beware

Easy dinner you are for a FELINE!!


Also…don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day to enter your answer for a chance to win a signed copy of The Mark of Athena!

The True History of Hello Kitty


Another nonfiction sample from Grace:


The True History of Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty was originally created to fit on a coin purse in 1974 by the Japanese company Sanrio. She was created as a white Japanese Bobtail with big ears, dots for eyes, a yellow dot for a nose, no mouth, and a signature red bow in her left ear. Hello Kitty was created to be able to relate to pre-teen girls.  With her no mouth and blank stare, young girls could imply their own emotions into the lovable cat. She weighed the same as three apples and stood five apples tall (including her ears). Even though she was introduced to the world as a Japanese character, Hello Kitty herself lived in London.  She lived in the suburbs with her mother, father, and sister.  Her name was Kitty White.  Her sister, Mimmy White, looked identical to Kitty, only she had a yellow bow on her right ear.  The White family was introduced to America in 1976, shortly after their creation in Japan. All around the world, children, teens, and even adults (my stepmom included) fell in love with such a wonderful character.

 Hey, you can’t refuse such a cute cat!



Information from:


 Also, don’t forget about your chance to win a signed copy of The Mark of Athena…you have until 2:00 on Friday afternoon. 🙂

Signed Copy of The Mark of Athena Giveaway


When we went to see Rick Riordan speak, Grace and I ended up with an extra signed copy of The Mark of Athena.  We would love to give the extra book to one of our blog readers, but we want to be fair, so we decided on a simple contest/giveaway.

“How do I enter?!?!” you’re all screaming.  Well, it’s easy.  Read the riddle below and leave a comment with your answer.  The winner will be chosen randomly from the correct responses.  We will accept responses here on the blog or on our Facebook page.

The winner will be chosen next Friday (October 19th, 2012) at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Here’s the riddle:

They follow and lead, but only as you pass.
Dress yourself in darkest black,
And they are darker still.
Always they flee the light,
Though without the sun there would be none.
Good luck!
-Emily and Grace

Holes Book Review


Stanley Yelnats was a normal boy.  He went to school, got picked on by the school bully, and then mentally strangled him.  But, thanks to his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather, Stanley has always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. One day, after fishing his notebook out of a toilet, Stanley gets hit in the head by a pair of shoes.  Thinking that the shoes could be some sign of good luck, Stanley keeps them.  But it turns out the shoes were stolen from a famous baseball player, and Stanley is charged as the thief. The judge says that Stanley can either go to jail, or he can go to Camp Green Lake.  Stanley chose the camp.

Stanley has always wanted to go to camp, but his parents could never afford it.  The thing is, Camp Green Lake is no ordinary camp.  For one thing, nothing is green, and there’s no water within a hundred miles of the camp.  Campers there dig one hole a day, five feet wide, and five feet deep.  Their counselor says they dig to build character, but Stanley doesn’t believe it.  He thinks the Warden is looking for something.  Can Stanley find out what, or will he be stuck only with holes?

Holes was written by Louis Sachar.  I absolutely love this book and was sad when I was finished.

My favorite character is Zero, one of Stanley’s fellow campers.  He’s quiet and keeps to himself, like me (most of the time). I love the fact that he’s awesome at math, but can’t read.

Your life is full of holes, unless you read Holes!