Tag Archives: Emily

Wheat-Free Treats for a Sweet Pup


Today Emily and I noticed that our dog, Frank, didn’t seem to be feeling so hot. He had already puked today and didn’t seem to want to do anything. I mean, our dog is lazy, but he didn’t even get up when we started messing with the treat bag. So we looked it up on the interweb. After some searching, we stumbled upon the symptoms of a wheat allergy in dogs. Frank had all of them, apart from the seizures (thank goodness). We suspected that Frank was allergic to wheat. What made things a little harder was that Frank’s dog treats had wheat as the first ingredient. Emily decided that she was just going to start making treats at home for the pup-star, to make sure he didn’t get any wheat.


She found a nifty recipe for peanut butter pumpkin dog treats on Pinterest, and we altered it slightly to make it easier for us. This is what you need.


  • 2 ½ cups of rice flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 T. peanut butter
  • 2 tsp.-1T. water, whichever works for you


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl. Now, the original recipe says to roll your dough out and use a cookie cutter, but that doesn’t really work. Then, start pulling out little clumps and rolling them into balls with your hands. Flatten them out (about ¼ inch thick) and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. The original recipe also doesn’t include water or 3 eggs (only two) and it gets really crumbly. Just add 3 eggs and the water to make it doughier.


Voilà! You and your pup are now the proud owners of delicious peanut butter pumpkin treats. They can be people food too, but they are a little flavorless. Frank loves them, and that’s all that really matters.




Merry Christmas…Part 1


We won’t actually be celebrating Christmas with Grace here until Thursday, but I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas on the official day, so:

Merry Christmas!!!!  I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas are having a wondrous and magical day! 😀

I’m sure we’ll be sharing some of our “Second Christmas” festivities with you on Thursday. 😉

A Personal Narrative Sample from Grace


We actually struggled to get this personal narrative sample completed.  Grace didn’t seem to be able to leave the fiction behind and write about something that happened to her.  Her first attempt was completely fictional, so we ditched that one right away.  Her second attempt was about her first day of homeschool, but it was filled with things that didn’t actually happen, so we threw that one away, too.  After having a chat about personal narratives (something that, in theory, she had no trouble understanding), Grace decided to write about the very scary time she was chased by a dog.  Isn’t it strange that someone who writes so well would struggle so much with one little sample about herself?

Anyway, I share all of this so you know that our writing samples aren’t always great on the first try.  In fact, they rarely are.  Grace proofreads her work and makes corrections.  I proofread her work for grammar and spelling, and she makes corrections.  Sometimes, we still find corrections that need to be made after a sample hits the blog.  Sometimes entire essays get thrown to the wayside.

I’m also oh-so-grateful that homeschool allows us the time to deal with the grimy, gross bits of writing.  I don’t feel like she’d have the opportunity to trash things, re-write things multiple times, and spend days developing characters and plots in other schooling situations.  Yay for homeschool! 🙂

Okay, without further ado, Grace’s personal narrative:

I pushed away a low hanging branch and inspected the tree’s base.  Pulling away the dead leaves, I dug around its base for small boxes or containers.  I sighed.

“Any luck?” I called. Emily looked up from the bush she had been prodding.  She shook her head. I got back on my knees.  “Why,” I whispered. “Do geocaches have to be so well hidden?” I looked around.  At least the area was pretty.  A small fountain bubbled in the center of a garden, filled with violets and lilies.

Suddenly, just as I had leaned down to search some more, Emily let out a loud, triumphant ha-ha! I jerked my head up, whacking it   against a low hanging branch.  Running my fingers over the not, I walked over to Emily.

“What was that for?” I asked. Emily smiled.

“I found it!” she said, holding up a small grey lunch box. I smiled.

“Great! Now all we need to do is sign in.” Emily pulled out a pen and started writing. When she was finished, she stuck the box in a nearby tree.  We turned and followed the worn path back to the parking lot of the church. I could see the car, so I decided to run to it. As soon as I got within twenty feet of it, a huge black dog emerged from the trees.

He stopped, and I got the feeling he either wanted to play or to have a snack, so I did the logical, calm thing: I ran for my life.  But there was a small flaw in my plan: the dog was faster than me. Way faster. Soon I could hear him panting beside me. Fear bubbled in my chest. My legs burned, but I forced them to go faster. I saw Emily waving her arms and shouting. Whatever she was saying, it slowed the dog down.  His panting grew faint. I slowed, and started panting myself.

Emily grabbed my hand. I heard a snap from behind me and a short man pushed his way through the trees.  He called out, and after a few seconds, the dog came to him.  Emily’s eyes hardened. Oh no. She marched up to the man.

“Excuse me, but your dog just chased her halfway across the parking lot? Why was he not on a leash?” she snapped.  The man stared.

‘We were just taking a walk,” he said tonelessly.  I glared. Even if you’re ‘just taking a walk,’ your dog needs to be on a leash!

Emily rushed over to the car and opened my door for me. I sat down without a word.  Emily started the car and pulled out her phone. Please not 911, please not 911, please not 911, I thought.

“Animal control, how may I help you?” a muffled voice said. I sighed. Better.

“Hi, my stepdaughter was just chased by three large black dogs. The dogs had and owner, but he had practically no control. What? Ok, his license number was…” I stopped listening and leaned against my door.  I didn’t even notice the other two dogs. Sighing, I closed my eyes, and for the first time, did not feel very fond of dogs.


It’s Our Step-iversary!


Eight years ago, I married my very most favorite fella in all the land.  This is him…

Love, love, love! :)

Love, love, love! 🙂

But something else really important happened that day, too.  I officially became Grace’s step-mom.  I have been so very fortunate to have such a wonderful step-daughter, so I like to acknowledge our “step-iversary.”  Grace is an extremely thoughtful, bright, clever, funny, easygoing young woman and it has been a joy (most days 😉 ) to be part of her life.  I look forward to being there as she continues to grow into an awesome grown up.  I am so proud of her, I just might pop. 😀

Picture 797

Love, love, love! 🙂


Happy Step-iversary, Grace! 😀

Record Keeping


People frequently ask what my record-keeping and organization strategies are for homeschool.  In light of that, I thought I would add a page under our Resources tab for Record Keeping.  Today I’ve added our form for daily records…I’ll continue to add more forms and strategies as the weeks go by. 🙂

Record Keeping Link

Skills and Topics: July 10 – July 13


Grace and I are back at this school thing with enthusiasm.  Yes, Grace seems pretty enthusiastic, too.  She gave a lady the stink-eye yesterday for saying that having school in July is unfair…Grace even went so far as to ask her what was unfair about it.  I, meanwhile, became quite enchanted with the ceiling tiles, the carpet, and the wall colors as the two of them hashed it out.  Never fear, no one was injured. 😉  So, now that we’ve established that there is enthusiasm, I’ll let you know what we’re enthusiastic about for the upcoming week.

  • Language Arts:  Grace will continue reading Tangerine.  She is also practicing reading comprehension skills, spelling, and grammar.  We will begin a lesson on writing business letters next week as well.  I’m curious to see what business Grace finds worthy of writing to and why. 😉
  • Math:  We will continue with The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math (we started work with this yesterday) with a math lab involving pendulums and a challenge by the name of “Pizza Peril.”  Grace will also be practicing her sixth-grade math skills with IXL and her basic math skills with XtraMath.
  • Science:  Grace will finish up a review unit on diversity and adaptations and begin a new review unit on Earth’s structure (complete with a rather nifty experiment).
  • Social Studies:  We are working on finishing up The Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History.  (I want to get that all finished before we shift focus to ancient civilizations.)
  • Spanish:  Yep, we’ve added Spanish to the mix this year.  We’ll finish up a lesson on classroom objects and begin reviewing numbers.
  • Field Trips:  It is the perfect time for picking blackberries and making blackberry jam, so we’ll spend some quality time with the berries in the week ahead.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Skills and Topics – May 29 through June 1


We have a crazier than normal week ahead.  We’ll actually only be having school for 3 days, but we’re going to make them count. 😉

  • Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies:  We will continue doing review activities in each subject.  🙂
  • Field Trips:  Grace has a class about kites coming up this week.  She’ll be learning to make and fly kites in addition to looking at the science behind kite flying.  She also has a survival hike…she’ll be learning how to take care of herself in the woods.  We’ll be going to her final class at Young Writers’ Academy this week where she will read her story for the group.  (I’m sure the story will be appearing here after her final class.)
  • Testing:  Yep, the time has come for us to take care of that pesky mandatory testing.  We’ll take care of that on Thursday.  I have seen Grace grow and learn so much this year…I’m not even a little worried about what those test results say, but we’ll both be glad to have it out of the way. 🙂  To celebrate, we’re taking the day off on Friday.  To top off a year well done?  Cake, ice cream, and a day at the pool. 😀
  • Where do we go from here?  We will be homeschooling again next year.  (Insert hoots and hollers of glee here.)  In order to not suffer from the summer slump (and to get a bit ahead), we’ll continue with our school pursuits as frequently as possible over the summer.  We’ll be taking things easy though.  We’re looking at short “school days” and afternoons spent swimming, hiking, and goofing off. 😉

Have a great week!


Skills and Topics – May 14 through May 18


We wouldn’t be us if we didn’t have a busy week planned. 🙂  Here’s what our busy week will involve:

  • Language Arts:  Grace will finish reading The Giver (our book club book).  She will also complete her final short report (she’s writing about the parts of a circuit).  As always, spelling and grammar are on the agenda.
  • Math:  We will keep up with our review activities.  IXL and XtraMath are still being used daily.
  • Science:  Grace will continue her review activities in science.  This week, our review includes making an accelerometer and an experiment with potential and kinetic energy.
  • Social Studies:  Grace has really been enjoying CNN Student News.  We’ll continue watching this short, daily program and using the discussion questions provided to guide our conversations.  (Thanks, Amy!)  We’re also still working our way through The Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History.
  • Field Trips:  Grace has two science classes, a writing class, and “Migration Madness” this week.  We’ll also be heading outside for some quality outdoor-school time….if it would ever stop raining. 😉

Have a great week!


Skills and Topics – May 6 through May 11


We have another crazy-busy week ahead – our favorite kind! 🙂

  • Language Arts:  Grace will finish up reading Insurgent, and begin reading the book that her new Book Club picks out.  She’ll continue working on spelling, grammar, and writing short reports.
  • Math, Science, and Social Studies:  We will keep up with the review activities that we’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks.
  • Field Trips:  We had so much fun canoeing last week, that we plan to go again this week.  We will also be going to a World War II battle reenactment, our first Book Club meeting, a class to learn more about trees, and Young Writers’ Academy.

Have a wonderful week!