Hello from The 4 Brothers Ranch! Our family has a lot going on and a couple blogs in order to keep things organized. You can find all our homeschooling stuff here! Annissa's regular everyday blog is called A PAGE IN MY BOOK and also there is a blog to update the kids medical issues at MY UNIQUE FLOWERS. Please check those out too!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


You know at Target they have a section towards the front, by one of their doors (at least they do in our store) where there are a bunch of  DOLLAR DEALS ...   Well we went there this week to look for a baking scale for Dennis (for school & for home) ... and found these great deals!  All for $1 each!

SmartMats - wipe off mats that you can write on...  we got Space, United States, Presidents, Bugs, and the Alphabet  ... I think there were a couple others but I don't remember what

I love these things, they are an "overview" of subject - help remind you what to do what terms mean, what things are, etc...   I got one of every one I could find, Math, Algebra, Geometry, and the Periodic Table (which when you open it up, has a great periodic table) along with a bunch of other info on the outside. 

I found a cute Dinosaur Workbook for Noah when we do our Dinosaur studies soon, and a bunch of Grade Books :)  I picked up four... 

And Flash Cards... and let me tell you - these Flash Cards are AWESOME!!!   The Landmarks ones have great photos on the front and lots of info on the landmark on the back, the United States ones have a close up photo of that state on the map (but you can also see what it borders), and on the back has all the info (State, when it was made a State, State Motto, Flower, Bird, Animal, ect) ...   And the U.S. Presidents from the first to our current President.  They have great Portraits/Photos ............and lots of info including some little know facts on the back :)

One More Step to "Legal"

So I was putting off calling up the number I have to call to get the paper work to be "legal" in Homeschooling the boys, and I planned on calling beginning of August or so that I'd be able to have it all done before public school started, and ... well... next thing I knew, school was starting!!

Um.... oops!

Luckily I have until October 15th to have it all done.

However, I called the Friday before public school started - even though Cal's school had been informed at the end of the last school year, Noah's hadn't been so I knew I'd have to let them know.  Wasn't looking forward to that, I love his school, I love a lot of the teachers there, but I just started to feel that his needs weren't being met there in a lot of ways...  I've already gotten into that though. 

So ...  I called and did the recorded answers to get the paper work sent (screwed up might I add, but whatever, I got through it) ... and then school started.  We were out of the house the day it started and I got home, listened to my messages on my machine (something I just normally ignore unless I'm expecting something) and there were messages from BOTH schools stating both boys were out of school and wondering where they were.   Well I had tried to call Noah's school the day before school to let them know not to expect him and I didn't get an answer and they took their machine away a few years ago ... so I called them back and talked to the secretary - told her what was going on - she was good about it. 

Then I got on the phone calling Cal's school - who - remind you - were informed at the END of last school year.   So...I called and a young voice answered the phone, not the normal secretary - the one that had called me earlier.  I asked for the secretary ... "she's busy right now can you call back?" ... ah... yeah... sure....   So I wait a half hour (school has already been let out, it's 3pm) ... same voice...  I sorta explain the situation just incase it's a young sounding adult who works there now... and I get "she's like, in a meeting until 4" .. nice... real, nice....  So THEN ... I call back the following morning.  I tell her, I informed the school at the end of last year that we were doing this.  And I get "have you done the paper work?" ... I said "I'm in the process of doing it" ... insert attitude "WHERE in the PROCESS are you?"   None of your damn business ... so I told her, I am waiting to get it in the mail and will be sending it back in as soon as I get it.   She was still coppin an attitude with me, and I almost reminded her with my OWN attitude that I have until October 15th to get it in and to get over it. 


It frustrated me. 

So today I finally got the paper work... YAY!!!
And I've already filled it out, got it addressed, sealed and stamped, and it's going out in the mail tomorrow!  And the envelope under it is a free DVD I found an offer for that I'm sending off to get.  We'll see if I get it I guess :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cooking 101 - Pies & Cookies

Daddy, Calahan & Noah put on their aprons (note to self, by more "manly" aprons .. ha ha ha) ...  I thought penguins were great!  The one Dennis is wearing is the one Calahan made for me one Mother's Day :)

So the plan for the day....  making some Pig Ear Cookies (it's just a name people) and Chocolate Silk Pie  ...

We made them from scratch.  (Great thing about having Dad in Culinary School!) ...  First him and Cal started to make the filling for the pie... 

Noah is so silly...  he was waiting for his turn to do something, the graham crackers sitting there is for the home made graham cracker crust...

Here is Noah cutting cookies with Daddy
 Pie half done  (a smaller pie in a bowl was made for Noah)
Looks yummy doesn't it?  Dennis then gave Cal a bottle with chocolate syrup in it, told him he got to decorate his pie...  told him he could do lines, swirls, or write something....  so...
He wrote "DAD" ...  now this is a BIG thing ... Dennis is Calahan and Noah's step-dad for those who don't know and Calahan doesn't normally call Dennis "Dad" even though Noah calls Dennis both "Dennis" and "Daddy" ..  it has always been left up to them what they want to call Dennis BUT we make it a point that they always respect their Dad too...  so it was a proud moment.

Here he's piping the topping onto Noah's bowl Pie

Here is Noah with his chocolate decorating! LOL...  He is going
and keeps going until he RUNS OUT
 Proud Moments
The cookies are done too!!
The best part of baking ...... eating the evidence!!
Even Kaedyn got into the fun (Nathan was sleeping)

Noah's Reading

I've run into a little bit of a challenge with Noah lately...we've been working hard at phonics and reading, and I'm happy to say that he's AWESOME and he can SOUND OUT A WORD like a champ...  however, when he goes to put those sounds together..... he can't seem to? 

For example....

He does the word


He'll sound it out ...


then he'll go


Um... no... let's try it again... 



So then Mommy does it really fast.........


OOOOOOOOH soft ....

The cat is soft ....  

Anyone else run into a problem like this?

(here he is doing Math)

Our Glue Project

We got this idea through our Homeschool Group.  Someone was nice enough to share it!

Our project started out with a trip to the store to buy a few supplies....
  • Glue
  • Markers
We got enough glue bottles to cover each of the markers .... (actually, there were 11 markers, and we got 12 glues, figured we could always use an extra).
Before getting started, you HAVE to have an air-tight container (or a half empty glue bottle) because you need to removed some of the glue.

You'll also need:
  •  Scissors
  • Wet Wipes or Paper Towel  (just cuz it might be handy for messy hands)
Our fingers got pretty messy with the glue and the markers :)

Step 1: You take the top of the markers off with the scissors (some you can cut right through, some you have to manipulate the scissors and "wiggle" the top off) ...  what you want is the juicy insides ink pad where all the ink comes from. 
Step 2:  If you want to cut the plastic - that's fine, we did it for one of ours hoping it would make the color spread quicker, but it didn't.
Step 3: Empty out some glue from the bottle of glue you are going to drop the ink pad into ...  
Step 4:  Drop the ink pad in

Step 5: Put the cover back on, and repeat the process for each of the markers & glue.

This will make a fun way to "glue" stuff .... or could even be used as cheap puffy paint!!  A great way to throw a little science into it is asking the following questions.

What will happen when we put this inside the glue?
Why does that happen?
And just for fun...

Ask your kids which they think will be complete FIRST and which they think will be complete LAST.

Now when I first read about this project, I didn't expect it to take so long... but it took about a month for ours to be complete (for all the colors to be complete.)

Both my boys were asked separately:
Calahan's Guess:  Blue 1st, Pink last....
Noah's Guess:  Blue 1st, Light Green...er...no BLACK.. no Black will be SECOND... um... Red last ...
                   (he couldn't decide between black and light green and red, finally settled on red)

After 3 hours....  (you could start seeing the color spread)
Day 2

Day 13

Yellow was the first one done, Blue was the 2nd ...  Orange and Pink were running towards the bottom of the pack

One Month
 They are all done - but we're missing the teal and the yellow for the picture (the babies had been playing with them and somehow I lost track of them ... we're in search of the missing glue though! LOL) ...

Black was the last one to turn... just incase you were wondering.   If you do the glue project, I'd be interested in knowing what results YOU got!!