Sunday, January 24, 2021

Drift Creek Falls Oregon

Our plan was to go to the snow yesterday but we decided we weren't quite prepared enough, so we switched gears to a hike that we've had our eye on. Drift Creek Falls. It's located about an hour and forty minutes from us close to the coast. We packed up some lunch and headed out.


Going into this hike we knew it was a popular one. It was featured recently somewhere, like a travel Oregon thing, I can't remember, but we knew it would be busy. We just hoped it wouldn't be too bad.


When we arrived, it was busy and crowded. It was so busy there was no parking in the parking lot and people were parking along the side of the road. We weren't sure what to do. The road parking was iffy, and very rugged, and blocked the road a bit, so we decided we'd have to wait for a spot to open up or go find a different hike along the coast somewhere. It was lunch time so we pulled off the road up away from the trail head and the busyness of the parking situation and ate lunch. We decided to drive back through the trail head parking to see if we would get lucky.


We found a parking spot! It was perfect timing. As we were unloading and getting ready to head out we saw some friends we hadn't seen for a long while pulling out. It's so fun to see some familiar faces in such an unlikely place. We later saw another family coming along the trail as we were heading back. Two families from different parts of our life crossed our paths during this outing!


This hike we did is about 3 miles long out and back. Once we reached the bridge and falls we headed back. We passed a lot of people and we followed behind people, and people followed us. It was interesting, and not my preference to be there with so many people, but everyone was very nice and it was beautiful.


At the end of our hike as we came back up to the parking lot there were several emergency vehicles that said Sheriff and Search and Rescue team. They had blocked off the entrances to the parking lot and there was a large group of people dressed in gear like they were getting ready to go out on a search. As we were trying to get out of the parking lot (one of the sheriffs I think came over to move cones for us to get out) we asked if this was an exercise and he said no. They were probably getting ready to go out and help someone. We didn't see anything happen or unusual while we were on the trail, but there were a lot of people, so who knows.


On our drive back home we saw a smiley face on the hill. The trees were planted that way on purpose, so that when the leaves were off for winter it would make a smiley face. That was a happy ending to our family hike.

Here's a very short video of me walking back across the bridge. I was trying not to get all the people ahead of me so I focused on the falls.

Friday, January 22, 2021

My Weekly notes

Life this week...

I've had a lot of friends and people that I follow on various social media places recently take the challenge to be off of at least social media for a length of time. Some are completely leaving it, some are taking a long break (like weeks), and some for a few days or a weekend. I have decided to follow that challenge too. I've needed to for sometime, but just haven't been sure I wanted to, or could really do it. But, I need to. I've started to realize just how much Facebook and social media is affecting me on a daily basis, and how much I rely on it as an escape. For now I'm doing weekends with no social media (Facebook, and Instagram). I've taken the app off my devices already, and I'm already noticing how much my brain switches to the FB "craving." I'd love to do an extended time off, but I do have groups and pages that I am tied to or manage. So, I think weekends are a great compromise. I am already liking the relief of not worrying about what is happening or what I'm going to post.

Homeschool this week...

We have a lot of focus on finances this school year. Aric is taking a personal finance class at co-op, and that has led to us listening to a book called Katie Bell and the Wishing Well: A Story of Finding True Wealth. Even Alex has enjoyed this book, so it seemed fitting to start this Thinking Tree Journal: All About Money


This week he looked at the history of money. Like what was used before paper money, and he pulled out some old coins that were given to him, and that he's collected. (while we were reading about a kid who was showing his coins to his class). It turned out to be a fun lesson for him. He loves collecting coins.


Those are all Canadian coins (pictured below). Someone gave him quite a few of those! I never realized how much theirs looks like our American coins.

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Reviews we are working on... 

We have some reading reviews, a math review, and a few book reviews coming up. Lots of fun new things we're working on!

Helpful homeschool tips and advice to share...

Set the example for learning. Are you still taking time to learn each day? Either right along with your kiddo, or on your own? Sometimes digging in yourself will open up eyes and change attitudes toward learning and school. I have noticed that pretty much any time I set out to do something that involves reading or learning my kids notice. Sometimes they even join me! Without my even asking them. If I start they often follow. But, even if they don't, sometimes just seeing you plants that thought in their head that studying/learning must be important. I wish I were better about taking time each day to learn. I'm always working on it. I'm definitely trying to read more.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

We had a Dr.'s appointment this week, and some of us were waiting in the car, so we listened to an audiobook. It was a beautiful day!

My favorite thing this week was... 

Seeing these crocuses pop up in my neighbor's yard already. It's always a fun sign that spring is on its way.


My kids' favorite thing this week was...

Alex loved building this LEGO set last weekend that he purchased with some earned money. 

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Things I'm working on... 

Being intentional about my health and other areas of my life. I made a goal this week to exercise everyday, and drink my shakes everyday. So far I have 4 of 5 days for Shakes, and 5 of 5 days for exercising. Eating, sleeping and other bad habits need some intentional change too, which I'm working on.

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Random things the kids worked on... 

Just some LEGO building and beyblading.

Something I accomplished...

I can't think of anything other than basic house stuff.

What we're reading...

We haven't been reading much, but to see a few things we read this week look at my Facebook blog page posts

Movies we watched... 

We watched Rocketman by Disney. Such a funny movie. Alex is studying space and getting ready to dive into NASA's mission to Mars Student Challenge, so this was a fun way to get excited to learn about Mars. 

Games we played...

We played pictionary for family night and for math today we played a Fraction Formula game that Alex got for Christmas.


I'm grateful for...

Friday! For the end of a week, a chance to rest and prepare for a new one.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021


Some thoughts from an ordinary Friday...

I ordered some freeze dried Thrive Life and it arrived today! I have been thinking about getting into freeze dried food for a few years now, but wasn't sure if we'd like it or if the kids would really go for it. Then, Michele started watching some tube videos about freeze dried food for camping trips, and it all looked so good and easy to use. I ordered some from Thrive because a few friends sell it, and I've always wanted to try it. I've only opened the strawberries so far, but yum! I just want to sit and eat the whole can. I keep coming back to it, and it's good every time. I am excited to try the apples soon. I think I might really like eating/cooking with freeze dried food!


The Animal Lover's Funschooling Journal. The simplicity of these books is wonderful. It's a breath of fresh air some homeschool days. Alex is very interested in animals, so he has started this Journal, and works on this page each time. Coloring and labeling 2 animals. He's not big into coloring, so we take the coloring pages a bit slower. It's fun to see the animals he picks each day. Today was a bee and monkey.


He also read aloud Koala Lou by Mem Fox to me as part of his Animal Journal reading time. Getting him to read books lately has been like pulling teeth because he has declared that he doesn't like reading anymore. We will keep reading anyway! He still enjoys picture books quite a bit, so that's good I guess. 


These arrived in the mail today! Some free swag from the review crew/ It was a bonus for the end of last year's crew run. I love bags. And I love mugs. 


We have had these wrap-ups for years, but they haven't been pulled out a lot. We just keep forgetting about them. In fact, we have a lot of manipulatives that we just don't use a lot, so I've decided that we just need to start pulling them out more. I found a fun way to challenge the kids to get really good at their facts, and fast at the wrap-ups using a printable from Plan for Awesome. It was a great challenge. Alex wasn't sure and quite resistant at being timed at first, but after the first few rounds he saw he was getting faster, and decided he wanted to start beating his times. He did -1 today and I think his quickest time was 23 seconds.


That's a wrap for today!

Thursday, January 7, 2021 (A REVIEW)

Disclaimer: I received this product free through the homeschool review crew.


I have been exploring and planning homeschool lessons for the rest of this school year with the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership! It is exciting to have so much curriculum available at my fingertips and with the click of the mouse. There are hundreds of courses to choose from for every level and subject. There are unit studies, streaming videos, and even the World Book online! It's a one-stop online homeschool curriculum library. My favorite features are the complete curriculum school boxes (by grade level), the access to art courses from ArtAchieve, the holiday and unit studies, and the streaming videos. Logo

What is the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership? It's pretty much homeschool for your whole family. If you just had this resource, a library pass, a printer, and possibly a few school supplies you would be set for the school year. All of the lessons are accessed via the internet, so I guess you also need a computer and an internet connection too. Oh, but don't think this is online school, it's not! It's a collection of lesson plans and printables that can be completed at your desk or table at home. The computer will still be a valuable resource though for many of the lessons.

The website

The first look at the website can be a little overwhelming. There are so many choices to start with. The courses and content are sorted in so many different ways. Thankfully I am able to search by subject or by grade. I find those two options the easiest to start with. Once I decide on a course there are lesson plans and schedules available. 

One of the first subjects I checked out was art. I love art and when there's a section for art I'm always curious to see what's offered. I quickly discovered that I want to do too many of them.

Art Courses for all ages. I can also search for art courses for a specific grade level.

Soon I discovered that there were lesson plans and access to one of my favorite art websites, ArtAchieve. These lessons integrate other subjects into the art projects like history, literature, science, and many more. I am thrilled to have access to these lessons.

The lesson plans for the ArtAchieve course.

One thing that I really like about are these curriculum boxes. They don't really come in a box, but they are laid out with each subject and directions for what to do each day. Kinda like what you'd get with a boxed curriculum. I looked at the content for my 4th grader (we haven't used it yet because this review was during our Christmas break) for the rest of the school year, and I am really impressed. These are well thought out and have a lot of great resources. I don't always like to use boxed curriculum, but I am looking forward to using parts of this for my 4th grader for the rest of the school year.

The Fourth Grade Curriculum Box includes all subjects and lessons for a 4th grade level.

I have printed up all the math lessons for my 4th grader to try out starting this week. I love that it is broken down by weeks and days.

4th grade math lesson plan and curriculum guide.

One of the things that I did get around to using from the SchoolhouseTeachers website was the holiday stuff. I started out by checking out some of the advice for parents in a "12 days of Christmas encouragement" for parents. I read a few of the articles and it helped me bring the holidays into perspective.

One of the encouragement for parents articles I read for Christmas time called How do you Opt Out of Christmas Stress by Angela Fitzgerald.

As you can see there are tons of resources and so many things to choose from. It really could keep you busy all year long! It can be used as a full curriculum or as a supplement! The review crew all got to choose how they wanted to use it with their families, so if you'd like to see how other families used it click on the banner below! - Every Subject - Every Grade - Every Student { Reviews 2021}

Drift Creek Falls Oregon

Our plan was to go to the snow yesterday but we decided we weren't quite prepared enough, so we switched gears to a hike that we've ...