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B is for My favorite books!

Hello! This is my “B” article for the alphabet blogging series, B is for my favorite books. I love to read and I read a lot. These are my favorite books that I’ve read this year.

B is for my favorite books

I love reading book series. I have read many this year. I also love adventure novels. Boone is both. When Boone the Forgotten came out, I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning to read the whole book. I loved it! I can’t wait for the next book, Boone the Sanctified to come out.

Boone the Ordinary: It’s about a boy named Boone and three of his friends, Noel, Case and Wayne, and his little sister Kaylee. It starts with Boone and Noel sitting in church together and their Sunday School Teacher mentioned the legend of Elijah Craig.  Noel hadn’t heard it before so Boone told her how a man named Elijah Craig was searching for the Mishpachah. She was fascinated by the story and they, along with their friends, went out searching to see if the legend was true.

Boone the Forgotten: this is the second book in the Boone series.  Boone is in the 8th grade but doesn’t have any classes with his friends.  He is very thankful they still go to the same church.  One day a friend from the garden named Cora came and then another fun adventure began.

Favbooks

If you would like to read a great review of the first book in the Michael Vey series, my brother Chase wrote this one.

Michael Vey book one The Prisoner of Cell 25: Michael Vey looks like a normal fourteen year old student but he has a secret, a special power. He thought he was the only one until he figured  out that Taylor, a cheerleader also has a similar power. Later Taylor as well as Michael’s mom are kidnapped by the Elgen, an organization using kids with powers like the ones Michael and Taylor have to build an army. This book is focused on the search for his friend and his mother.

Michael Vey book two The Rise of the Elgen: Michael and his friends went to a friend named Mitchell’s house and looked through some information to try to find his mother. They find where she  might be and the search for his mother begins again.

Michael Vey book three Battle of The Ampere: Michael and his group of friends,  along with a guide, are starting to divide into two groups “Staying and Leaving”, but they still put their plan to destroy the Elgen’s main ship in work.

These are my favorite books I’ve read this year.  I think children aged 10 and older will enjoy these too. Hope this list is helpful to you!  

See you later!

A: Alphabet Posts and Animals

Do you ever get that feeling when you’re about to begin writing, and you don’t know where to start? In some cases, you could sit there for hours, waiting for something to come to mind?  I know I’ve done that once or twice. But wouldn’t it be great if you could limit it down to a certain number of possibilities? It would certainly make the choice much easier. That’s one of the many reasons I’ve decided to begin writing through the alphabet.

Alphabet Blogging

What do I mean by “writing through the alphabet”? Well, think of it like this. For the next twenty-six weeks, I will write one post a week.  As you can see in the title, today I started on A. Next week I’ll do B, the week after that C, etc. Not only does it help organize your posts, it also helps keep people on a schedule. You also know what you’re going to be writing about next week, so you can go ahead and begin working on it.

So what have I decided to write about for my “A” post? Well, a few things came to mind as I thought about it, but I finally chose to write about animals. Recently, we’ve been doing a lot revolving around animals. From raising chickens, to finding turtles, we’ve done it all.  Most recently, we let some of our newest chickens out into the pen.

A few months back, we bought a lot of chicks.  A good twenty-five or so. You may think this is a lot, but in reality it’s the average batch size, out in the country you can fit a lot of chickens in one pen, and still have a ton of room left over. But we didn’t just go and buy chickens for the heck of it, or for the eggs and meat. We had bought another batch of chickens previously.  They were very fluffy, cute, and tiny, but they had a few other problems. We had to be so careful not to incubate or let those eggs get hatched because if they bred, it would create genetic problems, such as feather loss.  Not to mention they were just so small. And to top it off, half the batch was roosters, so they fought a lot.  It looked to me like this wasn’t their natural environment, maybe they came from farther north.  Whatever the case, we eventually had to get rid of them. These were their replacement and we learned a valuable lesson.

When I first saw these chickens, I knew they were the type I prefer. Not the small, fuzzy, antisocial chickens. These are large, friendly chickens that are almost completely tame. They’ve spent most of their early life away from the rest of the chickens, but now that they’ve grown into larger, more capable birds so we’ve decided to let them out with the other chickens. When I say “Other chickens”, I’m not referring to the ones we got rid of.  We still have a few that we’ve had for years, ones that are beginning to grow old for chickens.  Those, are the ones I’m talking about.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It took as about thirty minutes to move all the chickens out. We would grab a chicken, go to the coop, and show them around inside.  This is so they know how to come in at night. Then I would hand off the chicken to one of my brothers, who would then bring it into the pen. We repeated this with every chicken, then we showed them the water and food. After that, they began testing out their wings. Since we had them kept in a small brooder, this was the first time they had actually gotten the chance to fly. Now, you may be thinking that chickens can’t fly.  That’s only partially true.  They can fly, but only for short distances, such as across the pen (or out of the pen, if they choose to).  And that’s what they would do, fly from one end of the pen to the other.  It was pretty funny to watch, one would fly from one end, and another from the other end, and they would almost collide!

Aside from chickens, we’ve recently found huge turtles in our pool, a snake in the carport, and more.  Sometimes, having all these animals around can get pretty annoying (like the snake, for example), but in general I don’t mind them. Of course, chickens are one of my favorite animals, and a whole lot more fun to play with than the snake was. Right down the street there is a large marsh, so as you could imagine, we get a few snakes.

But like I said, chickens are definitely one of my favorite animals. It’s the one animal we have in the most abundance. Unlike a few other chickens, these are friendly and healthy. They’re great layers, and worst-case scenario, they are good meat birds.  But I don’t plan on eating these chickens, I enjoy them too much!

Alphabet Blogging: A is for Amazing Adventures

I was thinking about what to write this week and was having a really hard time choosing a topic. My mom suggested alphabet blogging. I liked the idea! This week is the beginning of my series of posts for writing through the alphabet.  If you are (or want to be) part of our tween / teen linkup, you can join me writing through the alphabet! This first post is: A is for Amazing Adventures.

A

For about two months now we have been going on weekly “excursions” where we explore our neighborhood and county.  Our last excursion was the most exciting and fun. This one we did as a whole family excursion instead of our normal ones where it is just my brothers, my mom and I. This time dad was off work and he came with us. First we went out to eat. We really don’t eat out often, so this is always a treat for us.

Then we went started exploring. When we go out exploring, we are not going anywhere really just driving and looking and seeing the area. We started in Grand Junction, TN, and then we headed over to Hickory Valley, TN and explored a few other unknown roads near them.

The first road we took we found ourselves driving up a pretty steep hill that overlooked a bluff. It was an amazing view, I even thought I saw some caves. We drove several other roads around this area and kept ending up in Hickory Valley. We laughed because we were not really trying to go back there because we had just left there.

After a while, we were heading home,  but decided to investigate one more road. This last road we went on is what made the adventure so much fun. We started down the road. It was just a normal asphalt road with all of the normal road features. But then the asphalt road stopped and it turned into a gravel road.

asphalt 5

We only had 67 miles left in the gas tank before we were empty. Mom asked whether or not we should go back, but we just kept driving down the gravel road. At first we thought it might have been a long driveway, but we eventually saw other driveways branching off, so we ruled out it being a driveway. The further down the gravel road we went, the more narrow and less traveled it became and the more we thought we might want to turn around. But right then we stumbled onto this old house, and it was made out of logs… like a log cabin. At that point we knew there was an easier way to get in because they probably didn’t drive that long gravel road we had just taken to get to their house.

Log Cabin 4

So we kept on driving. Suddenly we came upon two asphalt roads, one going left and one going right. Since we were now down to 52 miles of gas left we decided to use our mom’s iPhone to figure out our way home. We followed the GPS’ directions and turned right. We popped out on a familiar road, the one that our dad would take us to soccer on. 

We drove home from there and were all cheerful about the fun adventure.

Do you go out exploring your neighborhood or area? Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite adventure has been.

Hope you enjoyed reading my “A” for Amazing Adventures post!

Be back soon!

blake

Middle and High School July LinkUp #23

Welcome to our Middle and High School LinkUp #23 for tweens, teens and their Moms! We are going to be doing these differently during the summer. Instead of these linkups renewing every week, we will leave it up for a month. So this is July’s Linkup. This linkup is for our children to have a creative writing outlet and for us moms to have a place to share middle school and high school homeschool tips and techniques. For the summer months, the students will not be provided a creative writing prompt.  Thank you all for being a part of it!

You can link up at any of the following co-host’s sites:

Amy at Homeschool Encouragement

Clara at Clara’s Blue Moon (teen co-host)

DaLynn at Holy Splendor

Jennifer at Royal Little Lambs

Laura at Day by Day in Our World

Trish at Live and Learn Farm

Vicki at 7 Sisters Homeschool

Wendy at Homeschooling Blessings

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

If you are interested in joining us, linkup your article below. If you want to co-host, email me and let me know.  Our focus for the co-hosting  is for only moms of the teens, or the teens themselves to co-host.

guidelines for the linkup:

  • The link-up will be open the entire month of June.
  • Please link directly to the url of your post (permalink).
  • Please check back and visit at least one of student’s submissions and leave a comment for them.  Our job is to encourage writing, their Mom (or Dad) will take care of the critique :-) 
  • If you don’t mind, please place the button and code in your blog post so others can find out about the linkup also!
  • That’s it!

and now it’s time for the link up!

I look forward to reading fiction or non-fiction… whatever you guys decide to write is fine!!


Scaredy Cats Stink

Hello, how are you doing? Today I am going to be blogging about a strange subject. This post is part of my creative writing class in our homeschool. I will be linking it to our June creative writing linkup for tweens and teens. Well let me first start by asking you this! Did you know (Drumroll) that scaredy cats stink!?! No, really they do stink if they get very badly scared. And we found this out the hard way! Let me explain how we discovered this.

Photo credit: By Peretz Partensky from San Francisco, USA (This was a timely capture  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: By Peretz Partensky from San Francisco, USA (This was a timely capture Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

For a while now we have been trying to move six of our eight cats outside… Pumpkin, Precious, Tiger, T.J. (Tiger Junior), Salsa and Fuzzy have been going outside to play during the day. Two cats are staying inside, Gracie and Midnight. During this transition period, we have been keeping the doors open for the cats to be able to wander in and out to get them used to being outdoors. A few days ago, when our front door was open for the cats, Gracie was laying in front of it looking out. Molly, our Australian Shepherd dog, was laying on the porch. When Molly saw Gracie she decided she wanted to play and charged our glass door, scaring poor Gracie half to death!

Gracie ran into one of our classrooms and tried to climb the tallest cabinets to get away from Molly. She settled on a large bookshelf and after a few minutes, we started to smell a horrid odor in the classroom around Gracie! After some research we discovered that Gracie had skunked (as my brothers called it)! It turns out that kitty’s have anal glands in their hind quarters that secrete a horrid smell when they are scared as a defense mechanism, just like a skunk! Maybe I should get a book like this to learn about cat anatomy! But after about 2-5 days the smell is barely noticeable. We couldn’t believe it. Even mom, who has had cats her whole life, had never heard of this before. She told me I should write about this topic, so I did!

Now if your cat ever gets scared or frightened and starts to smell really bad, you will know why! I hope you all enjoyed my short but informative post on why some scaredy cats stink!

See ya’ soon!

The Great Kitty Migration!

Hello! This month we can choose our topic for our Creative Writing Link-up Posts. I’m writing about our kitties going outside…. I’m calling it The Great Kitty Migration. I’ll give you the background story of how we got these kitties, etc.

 Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

It all started out when one of our friends in Grand Junction, TN had a litter of four kittens she was wanting to give away. We gladly accepted and brought home three kittens. But when we released them from the carrier one of them ran and crawled under our cabinets in the kitchen. It just so happened that the cat that ran under there was mine. So we went back and got another, he didn’t run under so he was my cat. We named the cats we had Tiger, Gracie, Pumpkin and the one under the counter Precious. Pumpkin and Precious were orange kitties and Tiger was a gray and black striped tabby kitty, and Gracie was a tortoise-shell tabby. We tried every day to get Precious to come out and he would come out eat, drink and crawl back under. But one day Precious came and rubbed up against my brother Chase’s leg and then he started staying out and finally stayed.

So we had four kittens, but soon that would all change. Gracie was pregnant and she had a litter of four also.  We named them T.J., Midnight, Mysterious and Salsa. You might be wondering “Why those names… Salsa and T.J.s?” We originally thought about naming Salsa “S-face”, because she had a brown patch of fur that looked like an S.  T.J. we named Stripes, at first. We didn’t really like the name S-face, and Stripes looked so much like Tiger, we decided to re-name them. I don’t know why we named her Salsa but we did, but T.J. stands for “Tiger Junior” which was going to be a nickname but just like our turtle it became his real name.

Fluffy

After about three years every once in a while a fuzzy cat would come up on our porch and look at us through the glass door, and we would feed her hot dogs. Chase named her Fuzz ball because she was so fuzzy. One day we read the weather and it said that there was a chance of freezing rain, so we were going to let Fuzz ball stay in a night or two, but when she came in, she never went back out.

This year we lost Mysterious.  We already knew she was very weak and was getting weaker and weaker. We took her to the vet and they said she had Kitty Leukemia and we didn’t want her to suffer so we put her down.

Now that you have the background, I will tell you about the migration. The migration of cats is where six of our kitties are going outside. The ones going out are Tiger, Pumpkin, Precious, Fuzz ball, rather Fuzzy is what we call her now, T.J and Salsa. The ones staying in are Midnight and Gracie. Those are all the kitties that are staying and going. But right now we let them roam in and out as they please. In the next two weeks they’ll be outside cats.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my cats and “The migration” see ya’ later!

Middle and High School June LinkUp #22

Welcome to our Middle and High School LinkUp #22 for tweens, teens and their Moms! We are going to be doing these differently during the summer. Instead of these linkups renewing every week, we will leave it up for a month.  So this is June’s Linkup.  This linkup is for our children to have a creative writing outlet and for us moms to have a place to share middle school and high school homeschool tips and techniques. For the summer months, the students will not be provided a creative writing prompt.  Thank you all for being a part of it!

You can link up at any of the following co-host’s sites:

Amy at Homeschool Encouragement

Clara at Clara’s Blue Moon (teen co-host)

DaLynn at Holy Splendor

Jennifer at Royal Little Lambs

Laura at Day by Day in Our World

Trish at Live and Learn Farm

Vicki at 7 Sisters Homeschool

Wendy at Homeschooling Blessings

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

If you are interested in joining us, linkup your article below. If you want to co-host, email me and let me know.  Our focus for the co-hosting  is for only moms of the teens, or the teens themselves to co-host.

guidelines for the linkup:

  • The link-up will be open the entire month of June.
  • Please link directly to the url of your post (permalink).
  • Please check back and visit at least one of student’s submissions and leave a comment for them.  Our job is to encourage writing, their Mom (or Dad) will take care of the critique :-) 
  • If you don’t mind, please place the button and code in your blog post so others can find out about the linkup also!
  • That’s it!

and now it’s time for the link up!

I look forward to reading fiction or non-fiction… whatever you guys decide to write is fine!!


 

Middle and High School LinkUp #21

Welcome to our Middle and High School LinkUp #21 for tweens, teens and their Moms! We are so excited to have a linkup for our children to have a creative writing outlet and for us moms to have a place to share middle school and high school homeschool tips and techniques.  We have decided to keep the linkup running through the summer.  The students will not be provided a creative writing prompt every week. For the month of May we decided to the topic be open.  So the students are writing articles that interest them.  They are writing on their own blogs or on their moms’ and then link their articles below. I am so encouraged and excited seeing how their writing skills are developing and their creativity is flourishing!  This has been such a blessing to me personally and to our own homeschool!  Thank you all for being a part of it!

You can link up at any of the following co-host’s sites:

Amy at Homeschool Encouragement

Clara at Clara’s Blue Moon (teen co-host)

DaLynn at Holy Splendor

Jennifer at Royal Little Lambs

Laura at Day by Day in Our World

Trish at Live and Learn Farm

Vicki at 7 Sisters Homeschool

Wendy at Homeschooling Blessings

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

If you are interested in joining us, linkup your article below. If you want to co-host, email me and let me know.  Our focus for the co-hosting  is for only moms of the teens, or the teens themselves to co-host.

guidelines for the linkup:

  • The link-up will be open Monday through Saturday evening (except on weeks like this week… where Memorial Day fell on Monday and I am completely thrown off for the week)… so I’m LATE posting 🙂
  • Please link directly to the url of your post (permalink).
  • Please check back and visit at least one of student’s submissions and leave a comment for them.  Our job is to encourage writing, their Mom (or Dad) will take care of the critique :-)
  • If you don’t mind, please place the button and code in your blog post so others can find out about the linkup also!
  • That’s it!

and now it’s time for the link up!

We will continue with the author’s choice for the rest of this month. So, our children will be sharing their own stories and inspiration. I look forward to reading fiction or non-fiction… whatever you guys decide to write is fine!!


Top 5 Reasons to Join Civil Air Patrol

Hello! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been working on older posts that have not gone out yet so you can expect them soon! Today I am going to be talking about one of my favorite things to do, and that’s  Civil Air Patrol. I’ll share with you my Top 5 Reasons you might want to join Civil Air Patrol.  And don’t forget this post is being shared on our 20th linkup. 

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit corporation that serves as a volunteer organization with an aviation minded membership. The Civil Air Patrol, C.A.P. for short is basically a volunteer group that is a branch of the military and is based on the Air Force.  C.A.P. has three main missions Emergency services, Aerospace education for youth and the general public, and cadet programs for teenage youth.

In C.A.P., right after you sign up, you are Cadet Airman Basic, the first rank. The link I am providing shows what metals or pins you get at each rank on the C.A.P. Super chart. The first rank, Cadet Airman Basic receives no pins or metals but it is not hard to get your first pins and ribbons. The rank above Cadet Airman Basic is Cadet Airman, and you receive your first pins when you  are promoted to this rank.

Now it’s time to tell my experience with C.A.P.! When I first signed up I felt out of place or uncomfortable. But at that time I did not know that more than half of the members there were new recruits too. But after a SAREX with my C.A.P. group I felt more in place. (SAREX means search and rescue exercise.) So the more you participate with your C.A.P. squadron, the more comfortable you feel.

There are several different activities that our squadron does at each meeting. There is Drill, which is performing many different maneuvers / movements in unison. There is PT also know as Physical Training which is actually several different exercises like a mile run, sit ups, push ups, stretches and other exercises.  There are Character and Safety Activities which help us build strong character and how to perform certain operations safely. And many other special activities like SAREX, camp outs, etc…

And now I am excited to say I got my first promotion two days ago on 5.19.14 and I am now ranked Cadet Airman. The ranking badge and ribbon  are below. The one that looks like an intricate shape is the pin and the one I wear on my BDUs (battle dress uniform), and the one that looks like a ribbon is the one I wear on my dress blues, which are more like a dress uniform.

C.A.P Cadet Airman

C.A.P Cadet Airman ribbon

I must give credit to someone for introducing me to Civil Air Patrol! One of our linkup bloggers and new friend named Liz from Royal Little Lambs was blogging about things she likes to do, and one was C.A.P. Thank you Liz, for introducing me to C.A.P.!

Reasons to join Civil Air PatrolI hope to encourage some of you to look into Civil Air Patrol too! If you do decide to join, please contact me for my membership number. We earn credit for new recruits!  So… here are my Top 5 Reasons you should consider joining C.A.P.:

5. Being able to meet many homeschoolers in my community (yes, our C.A.P. squadron is almost completely homeschooled students)!

4.  Earning new ranks and growing in the squadron.

3.  All the activities (campouts, SAREX, etc.)

2.  Learning Life-Saving skills!

And my NUMBER 1 reason is…

1.  You get to fly airplanes!!!!

I hope you all enjoyed my post, and you can be expecting more soon! See ya soon!

Meet our Turtle Wurtle!

Hello, this post is part of our creative writing linkup for teens and tweens. It is dedicated to my turtle, named Wurtle.

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

 

His name was originally Kristal when we thought it was a girl, then we thought it was a boy and renamed it Kris. We still are not sure what its gender is, so its nick-name, Wurtle has sort of become its permanent nickname / real name.  Wurtle is a red-eared slider that we found in our pool. My dad was getting the pool ready after the winter and was putting Shock in the pool. After he had poured the Shock in, he found the turtle. He brought it in the house in a container and showed it to us. We were in the classroom doing history at the time and were studying Kristallnacht (Also known as The Night of Breaking Glass). When he told us he had just used Shock in the pool we were scared we might have blinded the poor turtle so we decided to keep it.

 

Wurtle

When we first got Wurtle, he was about the size of a quarter, now he has grown to about the size of my hand. He is a huge eater… eating close to a can of turtle food in a month. My brother, Chase, trained our turtle to bite your fingers. We used to hand feed Wurtle and when he bit you when he was little, it did not hurt. Recently, when I was hand feeding Wurtle, he bit my hand and just wouldn’t let go! I could have dragged him around the tank with him still attached to my finger. That was unusual, most of the time he let go after a few seconds. I have been working on getting it out of the biting stage and now, it won’t even eat out of my hand anymore! So now I put the food in the water and on a fake log for it to eat.

Disclosure

Our turtle is in our classroom, and it just so happens that it is right beside my brother Gage and close to me. The reason why I like this is because it is very calming to watch and hear. Turtle swims around the tank a lot and dives off the rocks. The sound of water is nice and our filter has a waterfall, so it’s pretty to look at too! Since the turtle is in our classroom, it became part of our school work too. Mom wrote a post about some of the works we used to study about turtles.

When we first got Wurtle, we had to do lots of research to learn all about red-eared sliders. We needed to know how to take care of it so we researched things like:

  • What it likes to eat
  • what its tank needed to have
  • how big it would grow
  • how warm to keep the water
  • what kind of heat lamp to use, and
  • many other things about how to care for Wurtle.

These are the books we used to research turtles:

We quickly learned that keeping a turtle healthy and happy is a little bit of work. Not so much that we didn’t want to keep it, but more than we expected. One thing that we found out the first week… turtle tanks get dirty and FAST! That was the worst part of taking care of the turtle in the beginning. We had to clean the entire tank every week to keep the water clean. Until mom bought a Viquarium. That was the best thing we found to help keep the turtle tank clean. Here is a video from the company that makes it.  We highly recommend it!!

Do you have a turtle or other reptile?  Tell us about it!

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