Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Whole Lot Happened in A Few Days

Greetings! I dont even know where to begin with all the cool stuff that has happened around here!
As you can see the blog has undergone a major redesign. I feel like I spent the day in the spa getting a whole makeover! I couldn't be more excited! I have been shopping around for web designers to make my blog "me". Well, I think Traci at Sweet Cheeky Designs either stalks me secretly or is my twin seperated at birth becuase she "got me" right away! The result of our collaboration exceeds my wildest dreams! Go check her out because she is incredibly talented at what she does and lightning fast!

Next, I received an email last night from the Meal Makeover Moms that my flourless chocolate cake recipe won their award!

Mom Approved!

WOW! [Jen does the happy dance] Try the recipe--even if the whole beans-in-the-cake part sounds gross, now you have an unbiased third party telling you that this recipe really is yummy.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I had my free child labor my daughter and my niece pick twenty pounds of strawberries for a years worth of jam and some strawberry tarts. The day was fun, the clothes got messy, and we are dining on fresh jam.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Let's Go Play in Traffic

Ok maybe there was no actual traffic; but the road did provide us with a nice splashy puddle after this morning's storms.

My kids were all too excited to show Mayson how to splash around real good in a muddy puddle. She got the hang of it pretty quick.

Vacation- Rain, Ticks, and Dead Animals

So we went to Long Island and almost all of my best laid plans didn't quite turn out right. The weather was poor so we scrapped the beach and the evening stolls in Port Jefferson. Our letterboxing hikes brought us upon dead animals infested with flies and tons of ticks rather than cute stamps hidden in trees. But we fell in love with a trampoline and managed to steal our 3 year old cousin Mayson back to Syracuse for the week.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Being A Boy

This weeks challenge is all about boys. Go on and check more out at I ♥ Faces

Saturday, June 20, 2009


We are getting ready to make our first venture down to Long Island this summer to see Ba, Pa, Aunt Kimi, Uncle Glenn, Mayson, Brooke, Avery, and the baby bump also known as Bryson. We are looking forward to a week of fun with maybe a few new exciting twists. Since we are going to the hosue where I grew up, I am sharing a couple of things with the kids I did when I was younger. The week will shape up something like this:

  • Golf ball fishing at the golfcourse down the street
  • Going for a hike in the Pine Barrens
  • Visiting the beach both the north shore (Long Island Sound) and the south shore (Atlantic Ocean)
  • Taking the ferry
  • Walking through Port Jefferson in the evening: visiting the Puppy Shop, getting ice cream, and walking by the boats.
  • Going on Pa's boat at the marina and maybe for a short boat ride to the boat-up McDonalds
  • The Museum of Natural History in NYC
  • Learning to fish
  • The Aquarium in Riverhead

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Girl Power

How do you know you're tough?
When you are four and a half and you work on ripping out your tooth so you can be like your older brother and his friend.
And then you smile proudly.
Now that's tough.
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Just Another Tuesday For Homeschoolers

Whoever said homeschooling didn't have benefits other than small teacher - student instruction ratios has never spent the average Tuesday playing in a park and creek with friends, having impromptu picnics while sprawled on a blanket in the sunshine, and of course--as all outings must end, enjoying a ice cream cone in the warm sunshine.

We homeschoolers welcome the warm weather of June but there is a slight pang of sorrow, as we know in a week or two when schools let out, all of our parks and playgrounds which we have enjoyed to ourselves with other homeschoolers in the area will fill again with other kids. Suddenly the parks that were 'ours' will again be shared.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Kids Get Interviewed!

Stephanie from Syracuse University contacted us soon after the local news did last week to see if she too could grab an interview with those facinating homeschooling Medina's to learn more about homeschooling. Of course we love to spread the word about homeschooling so we were more than happy to participate.

The fun part this time: It was less about Mom and more about them- the actual homeschoolers.

So on went the microphones and they began their interviews. Mom got to say a few words too.

Oh, and watch for Stephanie to be showing up on your local news somewhere in the future--she's a great reporter!

Michael's New Scientific Activity

So apparently my son would like to be a geologist. He loves to excavate in the dirt to find rocks and "gems". Well, I guess his impatience finally got the best of him since it was no longer fun to slowly chip away at the dirt with a stick to uncover the mysteries hidden beneath.
He has begun "water blasting" using a high pressure hose to excavate and find what lies within the clay mud. His statement to me in the afternoon as I stripped him of the layers of mud; "I had poor results today. I'll have to try again tomorrow." God help me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Boy Who Loves Summer

Check out more sepia pics this week at I ♥ Faces

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My New Favorite Store

Seriously my new favorite store--and I havent even ordered from them yet! Just the fact that they exist and fulfill my need to help my kids feel "normal" by allowing them to have candy without all the chemicals I have banned.

Visit them: The Natural Candy Store

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Days

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Our News Interview Promoting Homeschooling

Recently we did a few interviews to respond to the recent USA Today article citing the two-fold rise in homeschooling. You can watch the interview here.

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Meg and Me

Most of the time we DON'T see eye-to-eye.

This is a rare moment that we do- figuratively speaking of course.
From Photography Portfolio

Monday, June 8, 2009

Michael: The Dateline Special He Wishes This Was

Michael is in his glory: a captive audience and a video camera focussed on him. He proudly shows off his homeschool journal and details his love of his cousins Brooke and Avery whose picture he has taped inside.

Why you ask? We have done a few interviews this week regarding the rise in popularity of homeschooling in a response to the USA Today article that came out recently. (Read more about that here) .

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Syracuse is most notably known for being white--covered in snow for many months of the year. During those months, especially in March when you can't take anymore white, you *try* to remember the other colors.

When we went to Erie Canal this week Iwas struck by the "greeness" that oozed from everywhere you looked. I almost can't remember the white.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Who Needs To Go To A Spa For A Mudbath?

Not my daughter. Apparently our back yard is good enough for a nice mudbath treatment.
She offered me one but I passed.

Then, it turned into making mudpies and mudbricks for building later.
A hose was required to de-mudify the kids before entering the house.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"I've Got A Mule and Her Name is Sal" Biking on the Erie Canal

Today we hiked and biked along the Erie Canal with some homeschooling friends. What a great way to spend an afternoon. All in all, the kids biked 3.7 miles...not bad for training wheels on a crushed stone path!

And after all that hiking and biking the only natural conclusion....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Giggles

Check out Chatting At The Sky for more special ordinary moments unwrapped.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Homeschooling Becoming Much More Popular

According to USA Today, there has been a "profound shift" in the types of people homeschooling. But even more profound than that may be the statistics released by the US Department of Education in the December 2008 publication Issue Brief.

According to the article in USA Today, "As of spring 2007, an estimated 1.5 million, or 2.9% of all school-age children in the USA, were home-schooled, up from 1.7% in 1999." The US Department of Education report further goes on to say that the relative increase in homeschooled students is 74% over an eight year period.

The parents are citing three major reasons for homeschooling: religious and moral reasons, lack of confidence in the education system, and school environment. Surprisingly, the US Department of Education reports that the number of homeschooled girls has risen sharply.

This news comes at no real surprise for families who are already homeschooling thier children. Many families belong to large communities, networks, and formalized groups which offer support and social activities for homeschoolers. To these families, the report validates what they have already known: homeschooling is not what the stereotypes portray it as. Instead it is a rich and growing educational movement which appears to finally be getting the attention it deserves.

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