Saturday, December 31, 2005

'How to Create Nine Dinners from One Meatloaf Recipe' - Dar Arechederra


I don't know about you but after all the turkey, ham and prime rib, I'm in the mood for some comfort food. I love to cook but I do love to save some time in the kitchen. (Is saving time one of your New Year's Resolutions too)

Dar Arechederra, Stay at Home Mom Bootcamp, has submitted a recipe to Ladypens.com, that takes from one meatloaf recipe to nine different meals! From chili to hamburger patties in brown gravy, I'm sure you and your family will love sitting down to dinner to enjoy these meals. In the meantime, you'll have more time away from the kitchen!

Visit Ladypens.com for this and many more recipes, as well as articles you can use on your blog and website, for free. The website provides guidelines regarding posting. Are you a writer, interested in submitting articles, getting traffic to your website and/or blog? Click here for more information.

Watch 'Living The Life' on Wednesday, January 4 - Darla Shine "Happy Housewives"



Must watch TV this Wednesday, January 4 on 'Living The Life'. Darla Shine, author of 'Happy Housewives' will be taking about her homemaking experiences and her book with Terry, Louise and Carolyn.

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

Can't be in front of your TV at the time of the show? You have errands to run or lessons to go over. Don't worry, you can watch it online. (this is what I usually end up doing) You can also watch the week's worth of shows, at your convenience, online.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Rona's Book Pick - 'Mocha With Max' by Max Lucado


After church service I decided to to browse the bookstore shelves. I found this cute little book, by Max Lucado. 'Mocha with Max' bookcover really appealed with me. The coffee cup on the cover really appealed to this coffee fan. I also love small books that you can carry with you and break out while waiting in a line. The stories are short and enjoyable. Many caused me to chuckle outloud. This is one of those books that when you need a 'pick me up' you'll reach for.

Check it out from your public library or better yet, stop by Amazon.com for your copy. This one is a keeper.
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Amazon.com Book Description
Brimming with personal stories and insights for life, reading "Mocha with Max" is like sitting down for a delicious cup of coffee with a special friend. This warm collection of inspirational thoughts from the writings of Max Lucado advise us to open our hearts to the joy and laughter in life. Designed with unique full-color imagery, "Mocha with Max" assures us that even on the days that bring pain and tears, anxiety and stress, God's love can fill our world with hope.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Kids' Thank You Note Cards Ideas

I've always kept Thank You cards on hand for those birthdays and holiday gifts. Now that Marcus is a teenager I've given him his own Thank You cards. Visit About.com Parenting K-6 Children site for ideas. You can purchase greeting card software or cards from stationary stores, like Hallmark.

So that he can personalize his own, I have a American Greetings membership. He can pick out the appropriate card for the occasion, personalize it, change colors and fonts, etc. It's a very affordable yearly price, $19.95. It's definitely worth the money.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

'Rebuilding Together San Diego' - Volunteering Opportunities

The Rebuilding Together San Diego organization helps the elderly and low income families in the community by doing housing repairs. Volunteers are needed for painting, re-carpeting, landscaping, performing plumbing and electrical repairs. People of all ages are welcome. Visit their website for opportunities and more information.

Donations of money and materials are always very welcome.
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If you don't live in the San Diego county area, check with organizations in your local area for volunteering opportunities. What a great way to give back this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Kwanzaa Celebration starts December 26

Kwanzaa begins on December 26 and continues to January 1. Would you and your family like to know more about the holiday? 'The Official Kwanzaa' website offers the Seven Principles and much more. I really like this celebration because of the focus toward family and values.

Gifts are given mostly to children but according to the website, should be a book or symbol. The focus of the gift being African values and education. Some people like to give learning tools and even contributions to savings accounts. What a great idea.

You'll find more information regarding colors, decorations, and frequently asked questions regarding the history of the celebration.

You definitely need to eat so I located a collection of Kwanzaa recipes at Nancy J's website. My mother always made a pot of black eyed peas with ham hocks on January 1. I still love this dish. Nancy has included her recipe, Black Eyed Peas with Ham.

The Knowledge Hound site offers links to several craft and activity ideas. Perhaps you and your children can dazzle your guest with a bit of Swahili.

Don't forget to check your local area for celebration dates and times. In San Diego County, the WorldBeat Cultural Center will be having a Free event on Tuesday, December 27, at 7:30pm. Visit their website for more tickets and details.

Oprah's National High School Essay Contest


The essay contest will be based on the book Oprah reveals and will be open to high school students across America. Then, based on their essays, a panel of learned judges will select 50 high school students. Each finalist, along with one designated parent or guardian, will receive a trip to a special Oprah Show taping in late February.

Visit Oprah.com for more information.

'Women By Grace' - Weekly Internet Radio Show

This Christian Women's weekly Internet talk radio show is hosted by Sandra Jensen & Kelly McCausey. Kelly McCausey's name may sound familiar since she's the host of 'WAHM Talk Radio', a weekly Internet talk radio show that focuses on topics that are important to WAHM's. I'm a big fan of Kelly's and Internet talk radio.

Sandra and Kelly discuss the bible and topics that can and are empowering to Christian women. Recently they completed a series about the great women of the bible. They finished with a discussion of Ruth and Esther. I learned so much from this program about the bible and my faith. This series received some fantastic viewer responses. If you missed the weekly shows or would like to own the series you can purchase the series on an eight CD set, at their website.

At the website you can find helpful topics on homemaking, devotions,
spiritual life, divorce and more. I appreciate that Kelly and Sandra have made their Bible study outlines available for us. You can share these with your bible study group or for yourself.

I believe after one listen this show will turn into one of your favorites too. Kelly and Sandra welcome your comments. Please call feedback line at (214) 231-2905, then enter extension '5283' and follow the instructions.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Local Kid Wins Mission Food Recipe Contest

Congratulations to Haley Price of San Diego County, for winning the grand prize in Mission Foods' "Be Our Chef" contest. Haley won $10,000 scholarship with her yummy Disney-themed dessert called "Snow White and the Seven Dollops Dessert Burrito".

Visit Mission Foods' website to see the award winning recipe.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

'Law and Order' Marathon on TNT Christmas


I am a 'Law and Order' fan. Actually my husband and son are too. We even quote Lennyhumorism. (that's Marcus' word) TNT has the original 'Law and Order' show on Christmas Day! For us diehard fans, TNT has given us a terrific Christmas present. All day long we can enjoy our favorite Executive Assistant D.A. Jack McCoy and others catch the bad guys and put them behind bars, while unwrapping our presents, eating our dinner and just kicking back!

The marathon starts at 12pm. Visit the website for a list of the shows, reminder services, photo gallery, and more. While you're there test your knowledge playing the 'Law and Order Triva'. We played it together and had a lot of fun answering the questions. There's also a demo of the interactive game. I've played it a few times and it's great!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays



Here's wishing you and your's a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season.

From Rona, Marcus and Charles

Help Emily Pick Out Her Wedding Dress

Getting Hitched ... the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Blog, at About.com, features Emily and Topher's process of making wedding arrangements. One of the latest entries is Emily's dilemma of which dress to pick. You can help her by looking at both dresses and commenting on your pick.

How fun. I picked dress #1. Which one will you pick? So, when you get a minute or two stop by her blog.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Working at Home and Homeschooling

There are many homeschoolers who also run home businesses or telecommute. I read several posts, on message boards and blogs, asking how to juggle the work and school demands. People are overwhelmed and stressed. What has worked for me is cutting my work day into various shifts.

As a Virtual Customer Service Rep I pick my own hours. Many of the shifts are only 30 minutes. Those are the ones that I select. While working Marcus can be reading, studying or doing homework. In between shifts, I can be teaching lessons, running him to guitar practice, field trips, etc.

When his schoolday is over, I can return to work, if I have scheduled myself. I also work weekends. To not overwhelm myself I split my weekend work day into the 30 minute shifts too. I also give myself a day off.

We follow the school district calendar. During school vacations and days off, I am to have more flexiblity to my schedule. My husband, who works for the County, has many holidays and special days off. He takes over the lessons which frees me up.

Every family, homeschooler and student are different. Do what works best for you. Don't question it if it works.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Making Road Trips Fun

When we have taken road trips we have found that it's much more pleasurable if our son is entertained. As he's gotten older we've done things a bit different. On our Yuma trip, we had Marcus bring his homework, some books, CD player, and Gameboy. We also played Road Trip Bingo.

So, if you're heading out this holiday season visit About.com Homeschool site. Beverly Hernandez has some great ideas for keeping the kids and you entertained. You'll also find our family favorite Car Bingo.

Have a fun and safe road trip!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Yoga May Help With Chronic Back Pain

As a severe back and neck pain sufferer I have been doing some yoga and pilates for several months. I have found that it has helped me with my flexibility, endurance and facing my pain. Don't forget to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Today's Yahoo News features a news article about a recent study. It does point out that those with spinal disc problems may not respond well to yoga.

I find that I do have to adapt the positions to what I can do. Many yoga instructors will give you different instruction, if you let them know about your conditions. I would also like to suggest looking for a yoga class for chronic pain sufferers. Our local gym offers a class called 'Gentle Stretching'. I find that I can do most of the positions. Many that attend have back, neck and other pain issues.

If you want to get your feet wet first, visit your public library for Rodney Yee's 'Back Care Yoga' Beginners. Rodney teaches gentle and safe yoga poses that are followed with a 4 minute guided relaxation. I enjoyed this one so much that I purchased it. Vist Rodney's online store for this and other yoga and relaxation DVD's.

Last Minute Christmas Gift Project - Felt Slippers



Leave it to Martha Stewart to come up with a fast and easy sewing project, felt slippers. They look so inviting that I may make a pair for my cold feet. These are just that something special to add to the holiday stocking or gift bag.

They would make great Valentine's Day presents too.
Visit her website for this and other fun, kid friendly projects.

Don't forget to post your pictures after you're done!

Monday, December 19, 2005

2006 Arbor Day National Poster Contest

Homeschoolers of fifth grader are eligible to participate in the 2006 Arbor Day National Poster Contest. Visit the website to request your free copy of the contest guide.

For homeschoolers of all grades, visit the National Arbor's website for FREE lesson plans center on the theme "Trees are Terrific…in All Shapes and Sizes!" The activities will help increase your students’ knowledge about the importance of tree diversity in a community. Activities will correlate with National Science, Social Studies, Geography, and Art Standards.

Don't forget to view the 2005 Poster winners.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tutoring Really Is Paying Off!

Our teenager was failing Algebra 1 so we got him a tutor, he attends a weekly Algebra workshops and changed his study habits. The results were that his last test he received a B-! Our son, my husband and I are thrilled.

Homeschoolers have a variety of choices when it comes to tutoring. We decided that the one on one, in person would work best for us. Fees and experience vary so shop around. If you're enrolled in an Independent Study Program or Virtual Learning School see if they provide tutoring service for free. Our program is through the school district so they provided the tutor. I would suggest getting references, interviewing the instructor with you and/or your child.

We also use the free online tutor service that our local public library makes available. The service provides homework assistance with Math, Social Science, History, Science, and English for grades 4 through 12. Check with your public library to see if they offer online homework assistance.

ITV Educational Channel, a local TV channel, has a live call-in math homework assistance program. Students receive help with math problems from teachers, over the phone. Our son has utilized this service and found it very helpful.

The fact is that there are many tutoring services available. Do your research and select the one that best meets the needs of your student.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Are You a Telecommuting Mom?


When people find out that I work from home and receive an actual paycheck they really want to know more. There are legitimate jobs out there. You just need to know where to look.

Here's a list of great message boards.

TelecommutingMoms - You'll find a message board with tips and support from fellow telecommuters,

Workplace Like Home - a message board with fellow telecommuters, links, tips and other interest for the telecommuter

WAHM Message Board - you'll find a folder for telecommuters as well as other virtual call center companies

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Can You Begin Homeschooling at the Mid-Year?

December 2005, my husband and I started our teenage son on a homebased learning journey. Marcus was falling behind, suffering from stress related disorders and just plan miserable. He had most of the month of December off to decompress.

This week's About.com Homeschooling section, has an article called "Can I Begin Homeschooling Mid-Year". It gives parents links and suggestions if they find themselves going down this path.

I wanted to add to check out your local Independent Study Programs, virtual schools and homebased learning programs. There's many choices out there. Pick the one thats right for your student and family.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

National Children's Memorial Day - Remembering


Tomorrow is National Children's Memorial Day, a time to honor the lives of infants, children and young adults who have passed on. To mark the day, candle lighting cermonies are planned at 7pm, in every time zone.

The goal is, as candles burn down in one time zone, they are lighted in the next to create a continuous wave of light around the world.

Here in San Diego, you can join others at the San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care for a local candle lighting ceremony to remember. Warm clothes are suggested. The event will be held outdoors in the Tribute Garden at the hospice, 4311 Third Ave, Hillcrest, 6:30pm to 8pm. Open to the community, free of charge.

Visit the San Diego Hospice's website for more information. You can also visit Compassionate Friend's website for events and chapter information, in your area.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

So Busy These Days - Who Isn't ?

Yes, I usually post to my Blogs daily but since I added going back to work and studying to my 'Best Intentions' list I haven't really had the time.

This week's events have included going to Sea World Homeschoolers Day. My family had a great time. We visited several exhibits, went on the Shipwreck and Atlantis ride, had lunch at Mama Stella's and had the 3D Haunted Lighthouse experience. The ticket rates are affordable. They even offer a Day Pass. (which we purchased) Check with your local Sea World on more details.

Marcus kept me in the car this week. He had his Math tutoring session, Science Lab, Writing Workshop and Algebra Workshop. Tomorrow is tennis lessons. I enjoy staying for Science Lab and tennis lessons. The kids have so much fun. It's also fun to watch them.

My schedule included my weekly chiropractic appointment. Dr. Carol Langley is terrific. She practices out of Dr. Z's Chiropratic Spa. After 2 years of rehab I didn't want to be going to a sterile doctor's office. The walls are beautiful decorated with garden scenes, pleasant sounds and scents.

In between I've been working a few hours at my virtual customer service job. I love having a little money of mine own. It's also interesting speaking with different people. Studying my training guide for a new work project.

Hitting the gym. Yes, it's true that walking that treadmill for 30 minutes makes this girl feel better. I can face my pile, on my desk with a cleared head.

Addressing and mailing Christmas cards. Wrapping Christmas gifts and doing housework. Ugh! Oh, and the everyday house management duties. Did I pay that cable bill yet?

So, with Marcus on holiday for two weeks I hope to again visit some of my favorite Blogs and well as post to mine more frequently.

See you soon.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Submit Your Feedback to Homeschool Talk Radio

Visit the Homeschool Talk Radio Show Message Board and answer the following questions. You will also be entered to win a PRIZE. Good luck.

What areas of homeschooling are you struggling with?
Which Homeschool Experts/Authors would you like us to interview?
What kind of homeschool resources are you most interested in?
Additional comments &/or suggestions:

Just click on the Homeschool Talk Radio Show icon on this blog.

'Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers' - Life Skills Curriculum

As a mom of a teenager I've been looking for life skills curriculum. Barbara Frank, author, has written a book called 'Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers'. You'll find plenty in this curriculum. Barbara also has a monthly e-newsletter, 'The Imperfect Homeschooler' and can be found on Homeschoolblogger.com.

Visit the 'Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers' website for more details. You can also download your FREE sample project.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Coffeetime with My Hubby

My husband took me out for coffee at 'The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf' after his shift. We like to purchase our coffees and find a comfortable spot to sit. Sometimes we play Yahtzee or cards. Other times we discuss our day, politics or just gossip.

Our time out reminds me of our dates. He would call me up and invite me out for a drink or coffee. Remembering those times always brings a smile to this lady's face.

One of our rules is not to talk about our son. Sometimes it's difficult because he works two jobs and this can be the only time we have. But, we do very well at sticking to our rule.

It's SO important to have some time just for you, as a couple. Even though our son is now 13 years old it still can be tricky. Don't forget that you started out with just the two of you. Put your marriage in the front seat, it deserves to be there.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Great Articles for Busy People

Susie Glennan, Busy Woman's Daily Planner, has an archive of informative articles on her website. You'll find articles on homeschooling, daily planning, time saving tips, home and family, business tips, holidays and encouragement.

I really enjoyed reading 'Take Your Time and Focus'. I find myself reviewing it when necessary. I think that with the holidays there's much that you can obtain from this article. There's many other articles that I'm sure you will find helpful. You'll also find charts, schedules and list for you to print.

Have a great productive day!

Rona Berry-Morin

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Homeschool Yearbooks - Great Idea !

When my mother was visiting us, this fall, I pulled out our son's yearbook from last year. Her remark was " He has a yearbook?" Then she started looking through it and commented "That's a great idea!" We actually get that and similar comments when we mention that our ISP program has a yearbook.

The first day of school, kids get their pictures taken for student ids. They use those pictures for the class pictures. Through out the year, parents and students take pictures at field trips and activities.

Just because you homeschool doesn't mean that your kids should miss out on this opportunity.

You could have a yearbook made in cooperation of your homeschool support group. You don't have to miss out on the traditional yearbook. Many companies have recognized that fact. Visit Jostens Yearbook for homeschool yearbooks for details and sample kits.

Some parents make their own yearbook. It can be as simple as a a scrapbook of the year or elaborate as having it printed and given as gifts to family and friends. Visit Kath's Homemade Homeschool Yearbook website for creative ideas.

Whichever method you use to document your school year you'll definitely enjoy looking at your books in years to come!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Family Fun Volunteers 2006 Contest !

Does your family volunteer together? Yes, then you should enter the FamilyFun Magazine Volunteers 2006 Contest. Just tell them how your family volunteers together and why. You could win up to $5,000 for your favorite charity.

There will be 5 Grand Prizes of $5,000 and 25 First Prizes of $1,000 awards to be given to the winners' favorite charities.

For complete rules and details, go to FamilyFun website. Entries will be accepted till January 15, 2006.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Juvenile Daytime Loitering - Know Your Local Code

All homeschoolers are part of an unique group of independent studies. While this allows some freedom to complete schoolwork on their own time schedule, it will not release them from many municipal codes. Our local Daytime Loitering of Juveniles section (58.05) requires all school age children to be on a school campus, or at home, or in an adult supervised setting, or on their way or from school or home.
This applies to school days between 8:30am and 1:30pm.

We discuss the code with our son. He is aware that he can be stopped by the police, be questioned and we would be called. He's usually in our present till 2pm.

You might want to also consider having your child carry a Student ID. Our son carries one that was issued from his Independent Studies Program.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Rona's Movie Review - 'Madagascar'

This very funny animated family movie is now available on DVD. My family really enjoyed. We laughed a lot. There's some funny side comments that only us adults will get. I love the team of penguins especially the leader. The kids will enjoy the various animals and songs. This is a definite movie rental. You're going to love this one.
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'Madagascar'

Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Kids/Family and Animation

1 hr. 26 min.

Rating: PG for mild language and crude humor

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hot Dog On A Stick Deals


This is my husband and son's favorite stop at our local mall.

Hot Dog on a Stick is excited to announce the NEW "Hot Dog Deals" 2006 Coupons Savings Book. This book (up to a $35 value) is packed with great coupons and is yours FREE with a purchase of $10 or more at any of our locations! Be sure to stop by Hot Dog on a Stick or Muscle Beach Lemonade & Hot Dogs and get yours today.


Visit Hot Dog On a Stick for a list of locations.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Writing Contest for Students - Ages 9 to 14 years old

Portico Books and Thumbprint Press, publishers of books for children, are pleased to announce the first-ever international Writing Contest for One-of-a-Kind Kids. This year’s contest is The Grannie Annie -- A Family Story Celebration. Students in grades 4-8 will interview family members and write a 250- to 500-word story from their family’s history. At least ten stories will be selected for publication in Grannie Annie, Vol. I, a paperback book. For full contest details, see TheGrannieAnnie.org.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Homeschooler Walking Club - Lastest Stats


Visit the Homeschoolers Walking Club site at About.com Homeschooler section for the latest weekly stats. There are 108 participants signed up for the Walking Club so far and have walked a grand total of 2,295 miles.

It's not too late to sign up. You can join in any time. Parents are also welcome!

Take the Thanksgiving Quiz

I just finished the Thanksgiving Quiz at About.com's Homeschool section. I actually received 80%! Not bad.

I hope your week is going well.

Monday, November 21, 2005

'Army Wife Talk Radio Show' Hosted by Tara Cooke


I recently added the icon for 'Army Wife Talk Radio Show' to my Blogs. Even though I'm not a military wife I enjoy listening to the show. Tara discusses issues that important to those spouses that have a love one on deployment. She also discusses issues that are important to all of us. Such topics as depression, communications in relationships, parenting have been discussed.

As a former Air Force brat and married to a former Navy guy I know that military life brings unique concerns. I want to support this show. I appreciate the sacrifice of the military and their families.

Please let your military friends and family know about this great weekly show. Also, visit the website. It has so much information, as well as ways you can support the show and our military.

Hello ! Hello! It's World Hello Day

November 21, 2005 is the 33rd annual World Hello Day. You can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people.

World Hello Day was begun in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in the Fall of 1973. Since then, World Hello Day has been observed by people in 180 countries.

As a global event World Hello Day joins local participation in a global expression of peace. Visit The World Hello Day web site for more information.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wednesday, November 23 is 'Corny Joke Day'


So drag out your favorite knock-knock, dumb blonde, or take my wife jokes and call in on Wednesday November 23 from 11:00am to 3:00pm PT at 1-800-DRLAURA (1-800-375-2872).

Prizes will be given throughout the show to those who get to tell their joke on-air.

Afraid to tell your joke on-air? Hey practice on Uncle Henny, Cousin Fanny, or Fred next door. Begin by saying... "Did you hear the one about..."

Turkey still got your tongue?… You can submit your joke beginning Tuesday Nov. 22 to Dr. Laura by faxing her at: 818-461-5140 or emailing her through the DrLaura.com Family. But no prizes will be given to those who fax or email their joke.
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Don't have time to listen to the show? Subscribe for StreamLink. Enjoy the show.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Homemade Bread Day - Let's Get Baking

Homemade Bread Day is November 17th! This is a great day to introduce your family to the fun of baking.

Visit exploratorium.edu to learn more about the science behind how bread is made.

About.com's Family Craft site has some fun ideas such as visiting a bakery, making crafts, learning about different types of breads and much more.

After your lesson roll up your sleeves and get baking. Visit About.com's Busy Cook section for their assortment of bread recipes.

Now get your oven preheated and start baking!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

'Braised Short Ribs' - A Great Weekend Dinner


I just love my crockpot. I probably use it every week. It's just so convenient to assemble a dinner, leave it for a few hours and then eat. Last Saturday, I decided to make 'Braised Short Ribs', courtesy of Williams-Sonoma Kitchen. Marcus was the primary chef. He was busy chopping vegatables while braising the short ribs in olive oil. He had a big smirk on his face when he realized that the recipe called for a whole bottle of red wine. "I get to cook with wine? Wow!"

To round out this meal I served this it with white rice and bread. My husband and son really loved this one. No leftovers here!

Visit Williams-Sonoma.com's recipe section for this and more great and yummy recipes.

Learn to Sew a Button ! It's Button Day


Yes it's Button Day. So in celebration how about learning the sewing 101 of buttons. Maybe you're just a little rusty. Yes, there is a proper way to sew on a button.

Visit Martha Stewart's website for easy follow along instructions. There's even a diagram for you to follow. Yeck, print it out and save it for the next time you're going to need it.

Have a Happy Button Day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Enter HGTV's New Year's Day VIP Getaway Sweepstakes Daily

Enter HGTV's New Year's Day VIP Getaway sweepstakes. Just enter daily for the chance to win a trip for 4 to the Tournament of Rose Bowl Parade 2006, the National Championship Rose Bowl Game, accomandations at the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena, California and $10,000.

Sweepstakes deadline is December 5, 2005. Good luck!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

November 19 is National Adoption Day


National Adoption Day is November 19. Across our nation many adoptions will be finalized. It will be a celebration of families that have adopted. It will also bring awareness to the 118,000 child in the foster care system awaiting permanent homes.

Visit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption or the National Adoption Day website for more information.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Alpine Access is hiring !

This is a job listing from Mommys Place.net. Visit Mommys Place.net for other telecommuting jobs, support and information for those wishing to work from home.**********************
Alpine Access (www.alpineaccess.com), a leading provider of call center services using home-based agents, is looking for enthusiastic, customer service-oriented individuals. You will be handling inbound customer calls from world-class companies such as Office Depot and 1-800-Flowers. Alpine Access has been featured on both local and national news programs including NBC's Today Show, and has been rated by Inc. Magazine, Deloitte and Touche, and the Denver Business Journal as one of the fastest growing companies in Colorado and the United States. We are currently hiring for numerous ongoing and seasonal positions.

We offer:

Flexible work schedules built around the hours you are available to work
Hourly pay with the convenience of direct deposit. Customer service agents are Alpine Access employees and not subcontractors.
Paid training
Voluntary medical, dental, vision and life insurance benefits and a 401k retirement plan
No commute
No expensive work wardrobe
You must provide:

Excellent customer service, communication and relationship building skills. Previous customer service or sales experience required
Active listening an attention to detail with the ability to quickly organize and multi-task in a fast paced, changing environment
Strong computer and Internet skills. Ability to navigate through multiple screens
Passion, reliability, attention to detail, problem solving skills and the ability to multi-task
Ability to work 20-30 daytime hours per week, with 3-4 of these hours on either a Saturday or Sunday
Ability to be self-motivated and successfully thrive in a work at home environment
You will need:

Reliable personal computer running Windows 98 or later and Internet Explorer
Ability to be on the Internet (Cable or DSL) and on a land line at the same time (no wireless network, voice over IP, digital, satellite or dial up Internet)
Quiet home work environment during scheduled work hours
To function comfortably in a performance-based environment, with calls monitored, recorded and assessed
A corded telephone with a hands-free, corded headset (no cordless phones or cell phones).
Responsible for dialing into a (303) or (720) area code
We are currently hiring in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Texas
** PLEASE complete our online application at www.alpineaccess.com. We look forward to talking with you soon!

Friday, November 11, 2005

"7th Heaven" is Coming To An End

Cast of '7th Heaven'

It appears that one of my favorite TV shows will soon be cancelled. "7th Heaven" has just gotten too expensive. See the Yahoo TV news article for more info.

I wonder if Jessica Biel aka Mary will come back? That would be a nice way to end the show. Well, at least we will be able to continue to enjoy the show in syndication on ABC Family channel.

Oh No! Our Microwave Died!

And it wasn't a year old yet! So I called the Customer Care department for assistance. They gave me a reference number, advised me that they would send me a return shipping label and would send me a replacement once they received our package. Okay, I thought, I'm happy with this resolution. But wait! This family is still without one of our favorite appliances. (second to our coffeemaker) My husband reminded me that we'd be fine. "Just heat stuff up in the stove." he said. Well, guess what? That's a pain when you just want to heat up a TV dinner, defrost chicken or heat up last night's mashed potatoes. I just keep looking at the place it once was. Ugh!

I think this family will be throwing a party when our replacement microwave arrives. I've got a package of chicken thighs waiting for you baby.

Here's wishing you a great, relaxing weekend. I've got to go preheat the oven.

Fun Pom-Pom Turkey Decorations - Martha Stewart.com

Pom Pom Toms

Looking for ways for the kids to be involved with Thanksgiving preparations? Here's a real cute craft project courtesy of Martha Stewart.com.

The Pom-Pom Tom Decorations can be accent decorations or placecards. How fun. Also, it will make a nice party favor for your guests to take home.

Don't forget to post the pictures of your kids making these.

Visit Martha Stewart's website for this and more kid projects.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

'Family Dinner Table' - Menu Planning Service

How would you like to receive via email a weekly list of recipes and shopping list at an affordable price? Daisy, 'Family Dinner Table', offers just that!

Her recipes are wholesome and kid friendly. Your children can either help or make these easy recipes. You'll have a list that includes a weeks worth of recipes, including dessert and brunch. My husband and teen love the Rosemary Pork Chops. Yummy! Many have turned into favorites.

You'll actually save money, maybe even lose weight and not dread that constant question "What's for dinner?" And it's only $4.95 a month!

Visit 'Family Dinner Table' website to view a sample list, sign up and more information.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Let's Fly a Kite - Free San Diego Event

Are you in the San Diego area? Looking for some family free fun?

Learn about safe kite flying, fly a kite and participate in fun family activities. This event will be held November 12, Saturday and every second Saturday of the month, at 10am. This is a FREE event. Head to Tecolote Shores North Park, Mission Bay Drive, Fiesta Island entrance.

Need more information? Visit San Diego Kite Club or call 619-277-0319

Jill Hart Interviews Homeschooling Moms

Take a listen to Jill Hart, CWAHM Internet Talk Radio Show, interviews two Homeschooling Moms.

One of the moms, La Tara, Sister to Sister.org, speaks about why her family decided to homeschool, what their typical schedule is and more. I'm sure all of us can relate.

CWAHM Internet Talk Radio Show is a weekly Internet show. It's available on Podcast, for your convenience. Jill has archived all the shows so if you missed one don't worry about it.

'Life Balance Workshop' with Tera McHugh

In this interactive Life Balance Workshop, you will learn about 8 areas that combine together to form your daily life.

Where you are in each area of your daily life?
How to build a solid foundation of what it is YOU want?
You will receive simple techniques for staying in touch with what it is you want.

The Next Free Intro Tele-Class - Life Balance Workshop is:
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
10am Pacific/12pm Central/1pm Eastern

Visit Enjoy Your Daily Life to enroll. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Quick Bread Recipes Make Great Presents


I find baking very relaxing. I also love the way our home smells too. It makes everything so cozy. Marcus is at the age to make the recipes, assembly and help me with the wrapping. I usually make several for him to give to the various club and church leaders.

Quick breads make great gifts for all the special people in our lives. The babysitter, club members, spouse's co-workers, mail carrier, and newspaper person are great examples.

Visit Martha Stewart.com for three bread recipes. There's also a list of tips for wrapping your yummy gifts. One of my favorites is to cover bread in cellophane, then put in a loaf box from a baking-supply store and wrap with loose-weave cotton fabric and sewing thread. I like to decorate the white loaf box with vellum and tissue paper. I make my own tags, usually from last year's holiday cards.

May your home be full of warm, comforting baking smells.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Have You Read 'Marriage Partnership' Magazine?


When I'm done reading my magazines I put them in a bag and my husband takes them to the office. One of the magazines that I do keep is 'Marriage Partnership'. I like to re-read the articles. This magazine is such a positive, supportive outlook of marriage. Isn't that what we're all looking for?

I really enjoyed reading the article, 'The 5 Sides of Intimacy' by Gary D. Chapman. It showed me that I can be close to my husband in many ways. For example, I'm not a fan of modeling making. My husband loves it. I will go to the model stores, ask questions, look at his magazines, ect. He really appreciates the effort. My husband has purchased me craft kits, books and magazines. Does he enjoy crafting? No. We are able to be closer by appreciating each other's hobbies.

How about a chuckle or two today? Read Gary Smalley's article 'Motor Home-wrecker'. Mr. Smalley has other funny articles at the Marriage Partnership website.

Interested in reading more articles, signing up for the Marriage Partnership newsletter or subscribe for your Free trial magazine? Visit Marriage Partnership at ChristianityToday.com website for more information.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Rona's Book Review 'Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson' by Amber Frey

I just finished reading 'Witness' by Amber Frye. I have to say that I first picked up the book completely out of curiosity. I then found myself judging this woman for the many mistakes she made with men. Then I read her comments regarding Sarah. I really felt bad that I was judging her. Like who doesn't have skeletons in their closet. She definitely doesn't hold anything back.

Anyways, it was a nice read. I even learned something about myself and my faith. Consider checking it out at your local public library or stopping by Amazon.com.
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Book Description by Amazon.comWitness is the chilling story of how a young woman became ensnared in Scott Peterson's web of lies, then risked everything to seek justice for Laci Peterson and her unborn child, Conner. It is also a story of forgiveness and faith, and of one woman's struggle to live with an open and honest heart.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Homeschooler's Writing Club - Upcoming Projects


It looks like it's time for some new winter writing projects for the Homeschooler's Writing Club. Students can write and submit a poem, story or essay. Beverly Hernandez, Homeschool, About.com, provides the details. You and your student can also read some of the past submissions.

Beverly even offers a link to CafePress. You'll find journals, mugs, t-shirts and more for your Homeschooler Writing Club member.

Friday, November 04, 2005

California Voters - Easy Voter.org

In the state of California, we have eight important Props that will be decided. I wanted to get more information so during my Internet search I found Easy Voter Guide. You'll find the voter's guide available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The guide is downloadable and can be printed.

You can also find your local poll place. There's links to the official Secretary of State voter's guide, campaign finance reports and Smartvoter.org.

For those that live in San Diego county, don't forget that we have a mayor race going on. (how can you forget) Visit Donna Frye and Jerry Sanders' websites for more information.

Remember to vote!

A & E's Biography of the Year Scholarship Challenge

If your students could pick this year's 'Biography of the Year', who would they choose? For a chance to win a $5000 Grand Prize, have your students in grades 5-12
write in 300 words or less who they think made the biggest impact on the world in 2005 - positive or negative.

Grand prize is one student winning $5,000 and the teacher winning a $500 grant to use for classroom activities in the A&E Television Networks DVD Library.

Log on today for prize information and official rules.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sandwich Day - November 3rd

The Earl of Sandwich would be shocked to see how his simple creation has evolved. These days, one has so many sandwich choices. You'll also find that sandwiches have gone beyond lunch. Good news for this sandwich fan.

Check out this fun website for more sandwich history and recipes.

Would you like to send your friends an Sandwich Day e-card? Visit 123greetings.com for your pick from their selection.

As always, have fun and enjoy your sandwich.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Recipe Choice for the Month: Chicken Pot Pie


My husband is always asking me to make a chicken pot pie. So, this Sunday I decided to do just that. Thanks to my Kraft cooking magazine, I had a simple, easy recipe. Now, I did make some changes. For example, I did use 2 pie crust, regular Italian dressing and cream cheese. It turned out so good! My hubby had 2 helpings! You're family is going to enjoy it too.

Visit Kraft Food and Family recipe website for more information. If you're aren't already receiving Kraft's recipe magazine, sign up. It's FREE. It's full of recipes, product information, coupons and more.

Descriptive Writing Assignment for October

Each month Marcus attends a writing workshop for eighth graders. They teach them techniques, ways to improve their writing, ect. Here's this month's assignment.
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Marcus Berry
Descriptive Writing
October 18, 2005

Yuma Trip

It started out like any other day; I got up, took a shower, ate some breakfast, and finally started my homework. Just then my mom said hat we should all go to Yuma, Arizona so we could keep my dad company. She also thought it would be good for us to check out the scenery.

The next day we packed and got ready for our trip. My dad headed out to get a rental car so we could have more room and air conditioning system that works. He and I packed up the car while my mom locked up.

When we were on the freeway for a couple of hours, I started getting homesick. Mostly because it was getting really hot and I was started to sweat. About another hour into the drive I started to see gigantic boulders and many dunes. Further I surprised to see farms. The farmland was really wet and green, which I thought was possible in the blazing climate.

When we finally arrived in Yuma, it was very hot and dry. The land is flat and brown. You don’t see much green or trees. It was very different from San Diego.

I realized that I really do like living in San Diego. I like the green grass, trees and bushes. It’s also much cooler.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

November 1 is National Family Literacy Day

I once had a customer service position, in a call center. We dealt with the entire United States. Most of our customers were located in rural areas. One of the issues they wanted me to know about is that we had customers that could not read well. I thought to myself okay, I can deal with it. Well, how could I know I could. I had never been knowingly been exposed to someone who didn't have the ability to read.

It was difficult to assist customers. Some were very embrassed by it. Others informed me that they would call back when their child got home. Most of our customers were not immigrants but American born. They dropped out of school early, never finishing their education.

Did you hear about Fantasia's (American Idol winner) confession that she is illiterate?

November 1 is National Family Literacy Day. It's a day to focus on the most at-risk kids and parents. That can be families who English is not their first language. Parents who have difficulty with reading and writing English.

Do you want to know ways that you can help? Visit 'The National Family Literacy Center' for more information.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Gourds Art Project - San Diego Natural History Museum

On November 6, 10 am to 3:30pm, the San Diego Natural History Museum, in Balboa Park, is offering a 'Gourds for Home Decor' class. The cost is $70. This is for ages 16 years and up.

You can turn gourds into works of art using a wood burning tool, baskerty techniques and embellishments.

To register, visit their website or call 619-255-0203.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Teen Nights are Back ! Boys and Girls Club

I'm really happy that Teen Nights are back at our local Boys and Girls Club. For kids that are 13 and older this is a great time to stay and hang out at the club or go out for fun outings.

Teen nights are on Fridays, 6pm to 9pm. They serve a light dinner. When we have outings they supply transportation.

For the month of November, we'll be going bowling and sports night. Sports night will have a variety of games that we'll play.

I really like Teen night. I get to be with my friends. We have a lot of fun. Karen, the program counselor, does a great job.

Marcus

Happy Housewives Have a Voice Out There - Darla Shine

This morning, while drinking and enjoying my morning cup of coffee, I was reading the Yahoo news. The article was titled 'Happy' Housewives Finally Get Their Due' by Carol Memmott, USA Today. That really got my interest. Ms. Memmott wrote an article about Darla Shine's new book 'Happy Housewife'. Now, this is not about the 'Desparate Housewife' show. This book is about appreciation of the Stay-At-Home Mom. Wow! A positive view of being home.

Ms. Memmott states that women can learn from June Cleavers. They looked beautiful and their homes were neat. They paid attention to their spouses too.

These are not new thoughts for this Stay-At-Home mom. I occasionally wear sweats and no make up. But, I do make an afford to be showered, hair styled and dressed when my hubby gets home. Our home typically looks neat. And I love paying attention to my husband. Sometimes, to the point of creepiness. LOL

The article got me really interested so I Googled Darla Shine. Ms. Shine has an official website. She's a host of 'Real Life', a radio segment on 'Good Day USA'. She actually does this show from home. (a real work from home mom) She gave up her full time corporate job in favor of being home with her baby. Now, a mother of two, she's wrote a book, 'Happy Housewives'.

'Happy Housewives' is a 10 step plan for how Stay-At-Home Moms can be happy. I really like the subtitle, 'I was a whining, miserable, desperate housewife - but I finally snapped out of it..You can too!' Great advice for many.

I have to say that I'm much happier being home. It took an accident and a chronic health condition but I've finally found my calling. I am a 'Happy Housewife'!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Haunted History of Halloween - 'The History Channel'

One of many favorite teaching tools, 'The History Channel' is featuring an hour long program on the history of Halloween. The show will trace the origins of the creepy day. Visit 'The History Channel' website for showtimes in your area.

If you miss the show, it's available on VHS and DVD.

John Hopkins University Talent Search Program for Gifted Students - Grades 2 to 8

The Johns Hopkins University Talent Search program is designed to identify, assess and recognize students with exceptional math and/or verbal reasoning abilities. Students scoring at or above the 97% percentile on a standardized test may apply to participate in the program.

This program opens doors to workshops, resources and opportunites to your student.

Visit the website for more information and apply online.

Visit 'Dr. Laura' s website - Stay at Home Moms and Dads

Are you looking for articles that address your needs, as a Stay at Home Mom and Dad, at? You'll find some of the top experts' articles on her website. It can be found at the Stay-At-Home section, at Dr. Laura's website.

Check out the 'Organizing Your Home Office' by Jill Hart. She has some great tips. I actually do file as I go. When I receive the mail, I immediately sort and file it. That includes the circular file - the trash can. It doesn't take much time and is a good habit.

You can get more articles and the 'Tip of the Week', at Dr. Laura's website. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Fun Fall Projects for Kids and Teens

Now that the nights are longer are you looking for projects to keep your kids and teens busy?

Consider visiting your local Michael's Arts and Crafts store. They have kid projects, on Saturdays. For only $2, your child will receive supplies and instruction for the featured craft. There's also affordable arts and crafts projects classes. Our local Michael's even has a knitting class for teens. Visit the website for more information on classes and events.

Visit about.com for some more free fall project ideas.

Happy crafting.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thermal Energy Workshop at USS Midway

San Diego Aircraft Carrier USS Midway Museum off onboard science labs for grades 4 to 8. This is a great enrichment for traditional Science classes and homeschool groups.

Our Science Club is going to be taking the Thermal Energy workshop. The students will be learning what turns the Midway's engine turbines, drives the propellers and powers the catapults. They'll learn why thermal energy is important to airplanes to cars. There's also a tour of the newly restored Engine Room.

Visit the website for more information. This is a great hands on opportunity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rona's Movie Review - 'Good Night, and Good Luck'

I love classic Jazz and my husband knows that. My husband is a big history buff and I know that. So when I heard that 'Good Night, and Good Luck' was playing I thought this would be a movie we would both enjoy. I was right.

George Clooney, director, did a great job. I loved his choice for a soundtrack. It was done to a minimum. His choice of black and white was right on the money. And of course, the story. Yes, the writing and the acting were fantastic. Dianna Reeves, the jazz singer, will send shivers down your back. I found myself tapping my foot and wanting to hear more. The CD is available on the website. I ordered it and cannot wait to receive it.

Now, this is not a movie for everyone. We actually saw some people walk out. This movie is for people who really appreciate a great story. It doesn't hurt to know alittle about the events. There was a guy behind us that kept asking questions. Ugh!

Looking for a Light Dinner ? Panera Bread Bakery Cafe

I took my husband to see "Good Night, and Good Luck", on Saturday night. After the movie, we wanted to get a bite to eat, nothing too heavy. I took his hand and led him to Panera Bread Bakery Cafe.

He ordered a French Onion soup, 1/2 Sierra Turkey sandwich and a Jones Green Apple Soda. I decided to have the Bacon, Turkey Bravo and a mug of Hazelnut House Blend coffee.

The server was very helpful and nice. He asked me if I wanted a mug or a paper cup. I took the mug.

We found a table, off to the side and immediately began our people watching. The restaurant reminds me of some of the smaller cafes back east. There was some classic jazz being played. The crowd was pretty diverse. Many families, couples, young and older, teens and singles. The cafe offers Wi-Fi so there were people with their laptops. I cannot see how one could get much work done with all the crowd.

My husband absolutely loved his soup. (I knew that he would) The ingredients were so well balanced. I managed to get a spoonful of the soup. It was yummy and hot. My sandwich was terrific too. The lettuce and tomato were fresh and crisp. The bacon was thick, not greasy and also crisp. The bread was moist and handled the amount of fillings.

This place is has found a place on our favorite list.

Partnering of Public Schools and Homeschoolers - Homeschool Buzz.com

A recent article, posted on HomeschoolBuzz.com, about a homebased learning program in California. The program offers parents and students special writing courses, science programs and reading programs. Each student has a Education Coordinator. The EC's meet with the parents every six to eight weeks. This allows time to review the progress of the student and plan.

Our thirteen year old son is enrolled in an Independent Study Program, offered through our state school district. They supply all the books and materials. If he needs tutoring, they will offer it. Every month, there are field trips, workshops and enrichment classes offered. There are also mandatory classes such Algebra, Physics and language classes. Our son takes advantage of many of the classes.

We also include additional Language Arts, U.S. History and other learning tools in our son's program. He does volunteer work through Teen Korps and Boys and Girls Club. He attends workshops and field trips, offered through San Diego Musuems.

Instead of being weary of non traditional homeschooling programs, consider the fact that there are many types of homebased learning. Each family must review and chose the one that best fits their lifestyle and student.

Monday, October 24, 2005

National Telecommute Institute - Looking to Hire Bilingual IRS Call Center Reps

National Telecommute Institute is looking for bilingual Customer Service Reps for the IRS project. They are making one exception, you do not need to meet the disablity requirement.

This is a work from home position. You can find the system and work requirements at their website.

Please visit the website to apply.

This Week's Homeschool Talk Radio Show - October 24

This week's show featured topics and speakers are:

Author Christine Field, from Home Field Advantage.org, talks about her experience homeschooling a challening child. True Learning Disabilities, Attention Disorders, Personality Issues, Learning Style Differences, and Discipline issues are all discussed as well as tips and tricks that can help you homeschool your challenging child. This is Part 1 of 2

JoJo Tabares, from Art of Eloquence, reminds us that humor and hands on activities are a perfect combination for ADD/ADHD kids.

Parent to Parent's own, Jodie Lynn, answers a question about whether or not to following traditional school curriculum for homeschoolers.

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Don't forget to visit the website. It full of resources, that are important to homeschoolers.

Achieving Balance in Your Life! Free Teleseminar

I would like to invite you to a free teleseminar, Achieving Balance in
Life by Aurelia Williams, owner of Real Life Coaching.

There will be a Prize Drawing for copies of Aurelia's newest book,
Journey To Joy.

I have utilized Aurelia's coaching services and found that them to be very helpful. She really got me to see that I always had the answers within myself. I'm a much happier person, these days. Her book, Journey to Joy, is a terrific ebook. I have notes in the margins. I continue to refer to it.

I hope to hear you on the line. Here's all the info.

When: Friday, October 28, 2005
When: 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time
Where: Sign up

Friday, October 21, 2005

Colonial Days Can Be Fun - History.org

Marcus is studying early US History, this year. The American Revolution, 13 colonies, Boston Tea Party can be pretty boring, to a kid. I recently found a website that provides some fun to the topic.

history.org offers monthly broadcasts that take students back in time. There are personal narrative, online discussion forums, lessons, streaming videos and kids' games.

I love the pictures of the colonists, acting out daily living. This really helps my teen get a visual of what life must have been like.

There's something here for many ages and grades. Remember that learning can be fun too.

Kids: Do You Have the Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich?

Has your child, age 6 to 12 years old, invented a new kid-friendly sandwich that contains at least two tablespoons of Jif peanut butter?

If they have, they can enter for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship fun.

For official rules and entry forms, visit Jif.com website. Deadline is November 15, 2005

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

First Annual "America Loves Math" Essay Contest for 3rd-12th graders

Do you love math? How about a chance to win a $1000 college scholarship? In 250 words or less, tell how math has inspired you. Has a certain teacher or a specific problem sparked your enthusiasm for math? Has math led you toward a certain career? Was there a moment when math suddenly made sense to you in a new way? Do you dream of using math to do something unique in the future? Visit the website for more info or to enter.

Good luck!

Our Favorite Writing Tool: 'Weekly Reader: Writing Magazine for Teens

One of our favorite writing tools is the 'Weekly Reader: Writing' magazine. This magazine contains insiteful articles, grammar and writing tips for teens. It's content will definitely appeal to teens.

The most recent issue features Stephen King. He talks about his love of writing, his writing habits, suggestions and tips. There's pictures of his home, the local bookstore and places that inspired some his famous books. If you visit the Weekly Reader website, your teen will have the opportunity to contribute to a story Mr. King has written. How cool!

There are other features, at the website, such as Teen Activities. Check out the Screenager Central for tips on keeping a Blog, building a website or making their own video. Teens can even read and post to 'Word', 'Weekly Reader's official teen Blog.

Marcus really enjoys receiving his issues, in the mail. We include them in our English curriculum. 'Weekly Reader' offers other magazines. Many can be purchase for individuals.

The website has writing ideas that you can also include in your curriculum. After one visit, it will probably find it's way to your favorites list.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rona's Book Review - 'The Prodigal' by Beverly Lewis

As autumn, cooler weather and daylight saving time approach, I love to increase my amount of reading. This month, I decided to check out 'The Prodigal' by Beverly Lewis. This book is part of a series. I believe it's book four. I've never read the other books but decided to start with this one.

Beverly Lewis, author, gives you a clear picture of Amish life. She actually grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The dialogue has been a been a bit of a challenge but as I continue reading it becomes easier.

So far, I am enjoying this book. There's even a family secret that is revealed.

Visit Amazon.com for her other books, in the series. Or check with your local public library.

Have a great day.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Dr. Laura is on

One of my daily habits is to listen to the Dr. Laura show. Our 13 year old can actually set his watch to the show. It starts at noon PST, in our area. He even mentioned to me, today, that I should get a T-shirt that says that.

I really enjoy the questions that callers have. Dr. Laura's advice is very direct. If you're not a regular listener you'll soon know that she doesn't approve of premartial sex or living together. You'll also never say that you don't know where she's coming from.

Her website has many features. Check out the 'Call of the Day'. Take a listen to Amber's call. It was about her conflict with her mother-in-law giving gifts to her son. I think many can identify with this one.

There's a section for Stay at Home Moms. Many articles about parenting, budgeting, arts and crafts and work at home.

You can order her varies books too. Including 'The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands'. I've known many women who credit their improved marriages from reading this book. I actually had a friend give me many of these tips years ago. That didn't stop me from reading the book.

If you don't receive Dr. Laura, on your radio, in your area. You can sign up for StreamLink. Just look for the icon on the website.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

October 15 is Dictionary Day

Today is Noah Webster's birthday. Noah Webster wanted Americans to have their own form of the English language. To do this, he decided to make the first American Dictionary.

Well, that's enough history, now onto the fun projects. I located 'Education World' website. They have projects for all ages. A fun one for the younger crowd will be the picture dictionary. There are also games and creating your own words.

Looking for a free online dictionary for your kids? Marcus introduced me to Dictionary.com. It's easy to use, has word origin, will show and will show the top possible words. (if spelling is off) He uses it often for grammar, vocabulary and writing. It also has a thesaurus.

Have a relaxing Sunday. I have to find out what dromedary means.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Marcus' Computer Class - Creating a Newsletter in Microsoft Word

This Friday, I went to Computer Lab to learn how to make a newsletter. We got to use any subject that we wanted. I have to take these classes to meet my computer skills requirements. Eighth graders are also required to pass all of the Computer Literacy tests.

So far, I've completed the Microsoft Excel and Word. I still have to take a test on Database.

I do enjoy learning about all the things I can do on my computer.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Tennis Lessons for Marcus

Our school program was offering a chance to take 4 tennis lessons, for $20, at Barnes Tennis Center. The kids will have a chance to get an introduction to the basics of tennis. The kids get into groups of eight to one tennis pro. After their lessons they have a chance to play a little tennis.

This will be a great refresher for him. He had tennis lessons when he was 6 years old, at summer camp. My husband also has shown him some tips.

I really enjoy our Independent Study Program. Each month, they provide an array of field trips, workshops and classes.

This time will be credited towards his weekly P.E. requirements.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

An Afternoon Chuckle Courtesy of 'Zits"

My husband likes to remind me that the comic strip, 'Zits' reminds him of our 13 year old son and I's relationship. Our son is also an aspiring guitar player. I actually have to agree.

This Wednesday's strip was no exception. I received a nice afternoon chuckle courtesy of 'Zits'.

I noticed that the site has an online store too. I'm thinking that I'll hint for a 'Zits' mug, for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rona's Movie Rental Review -'Million Dollar Baby'

In the wake of a painful estrangement from his daughter, boxing trainer Frankie Dunn has been unwilling to let himself get close to anyone for a very long time--then Maggie Fitzgerald walks into his gym. In a life of constant struggle, Maggie's gotten herself this far on raw talent, unshakable focus and a tremendous force of will. But more than anything, she wants someone to believe in her. The last thing Frankie needs is that kind of responsibility-- let alone that kind of risk--but won over by Maggie's sheer determination, he begrudgingly agrees to take her on. In turns exasperating and inspiring each other, the two come to discover that they share a common spirit that transcends the pain and loss of their pasts, and they find in each other a sense of family they lost long ago. Yet, they both face a battle that will demand more heart and courage than any they've ever known.

Genres: Drama
Original Release Date: December 15th, 2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, some disturbing images, thematic material and language.
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I had no idea what happens in this movie! Well, I knew it was a boxing movie and that it was sad. No one would really tell me why. I'm glad I didn't know. My husband and I watched this one, last Friday. Oh, man was it great! I love Morgan Freeman. Do you remember him as 'Easy Reader' on 'Electric Company'? He's always had a special place in my heart. His narration was so beautiful. Clint Eastwood is more then a director. It's like he takes your hand and personally walks you through his work.

This is rental must. Not appropriate for younger kids. Our 13 year old son wasn't interested either.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Essay Contest for Teens - "Souper" Parents Contest


Many virtual schools and Independent Study Programs have fundraising programs. This is a great writing project for your homebased student. If your student is in a traditional homeschool program make sure to read over the rules before entering.
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Students, 13 years to 18, are invited to write an essay of 200 words explaining why their classroom parent is SOUPer. There will be one winner in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. Each winning essay and school will be awarded 10,000 Labels for Education bonus certificates and a $50 gift card. These certificates can be put towards educational merchandise that is redeemed through the soup label program. Deadline entry is November 30, 2005.

You can get more information, enter online and download the entry form by visiting Campbell's Labels for Education.

Monday, October 10, 2005

This Week's WAHM Talk Radio Show

This week's show is for those of you are looking to work from home. Sylvie Charrier, author of You can Work in Your PJs and owner of Workaholics4hire.com has been a single mom raising three kids while working at home. Sylvie tells us about her beginnings in the Virtual Assistant market. You'll love her story.

Kelly McCausey, host of WAHM Talk Radio is always bringing great topics and hosts to her audience.

I hope you will make time to take a listen to her show. You can download it onto your MP3 Player too. I hope that Kelly's show turns into a weekly habit for you. It has for me!

Columbus Day - Second Monday of October

Christopher Columbus set out to find a route and found a new country. This is an important part of history for negative and positive reasons. For a discussion, with older children, visit "The Columbus Navagation Homepage". It has information on his 4 voyages, his ships and crew and much more.

For the younger crowd about.com has some fun games and activities. Sherri Osborn even has some great activity ideas.

Learning can be fun. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to our friends in Canada.

Rona Berry-Morin
Marcus and Me

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Homeschool Talk Radio Show - October 3

This is part two of Learning Without Textbooks: Cindy Downes, from Oklahoma Homeschool.com, talks about her product "The Checklist" and all of the other fabulous resources that you'll find on her website.

Creator Linda Romero Criswell shares her inspiration for creating an exciting history resource.

JoJo Tabares, from Art of Eloquence, wants to talk about the many questions homeschoolers get while out and about with our homeschool children.

Parent to Parent's own, Jodie Lynn, shares a special moment from her parenting past and gives us a great suggestion.
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When you get to Homeschool Talk Radio take a moment to visit the supporters. There's many great products and resources.

Lunch at Via Pizzeria



My husband's cousin and a family friend came for a quick visit, last month. We decided to meet a little Southern Italian restaurant. The food was terrific. We caught up and had a great time.

Since I'm a scrapbook nut, every moment is turned into a photo moment. I asked Stella to take a picture of our family. Thank you.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Enter a Photo Contest - Hispanic Heritage Photo High School Contest

The History Channel and The History Channel en espanol are having a national Hispanic Heritage Photo High School contest. All high school students are invited to enter this contest. The prize is $2000 in scholarship money.

Are you currently studying Spanish language, history and photography ? You'll find this project appealing.

Visit The History Channel and Hispanic Heritage Month for more information.

Friday, October 07, 2005

October 6 is National Mammography Day

Friday, October 21 2005, is National Mammography Day, first proclaimed by President Clinton in 1993. On this day, or throughout the month, we encourage women to make a mammography appointment. Mammography screening is the single most effective method of early detection. To find a breast imaging facility, contact the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER.

Throughout the year, low-cost or free mammography screening is available to women who are over 40 and underinsured or uninsured. For more information, contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 1-888-842-6355 or visit their Web site .

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Boston Market Sandwich for Lunch


I decided to buy a lottery scratch ticket, this morning. I then give them to Marcus to scratch. He came into the room telling me that I had won $20! How cool.

After picking him up from his Reading Comprehesion test I decided that we would have lunch out. For a change of pace we went to Boston Market. I haven't been there in 6 years. We were surprised to find that they had a lunch menu and sandwiches. I decided to have the Sirloin and Cheddar Sandwich. It was so good. I love the texture of the roll, fresh lettuce, firm tomato slices, red onion and dressing. The sirloin wasn't overcooked. I really enjoyed it. Marcus on the other hand, had the Sirloin Dip. He didn't really like the dressing and the red onions. He did enjoy the macaroni and cheese.

Did you know that Boston Market has online ordering. They also have special offers that you can sign up for. I'm thinking that we'll have Boston Market for Thanksgiving dinner. Yummy!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Pros and Cons of Being Homeschooled

My friends think it's really cool that I'm homeschooled. Yes, I do sleep till I wake up or get woken up. It's much later then my friends. Yes, I get to go on fun field trips, don't have the same daily routine, and get to watch TV, play video games or listen to my music during breaks. I was able to go to Six Flags with my youth church group and not worry about school. I do have a short school day, usually just 4-5 hours. This is when I get the "Oh, you're so lucky."

But, I also cannot get away with anything. My mom knows what and when my assignments are due. I have to do subjects that I don't like;English, Science and History. I like Algebra One and do that on my own. My parents do make me do homework at night and on the weekends. They even made me bring my books on our trip to Yuma.

Overall, it's pretty cool. Somedays there's not much schoolwork because I'm at Science Club or a field trip. I get to go to the Boys and Girls Club everyday. I guess I do have it made. Now, I'm going to take a break and play my Star Wars game.

Marcus

Monday, October 03, 2005

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month



Country Bunny Bath & Body is offering our popular Salt Scrub, Lotion Butter and Wax Kit with a special $2 donation to support Breast Cancer Research. Set includes a Sugar Sweet Pea Lotion Bar, Salt Scrub, Body Butter Tube and a FREE Pink Scrunchie. Sells for $35.00 till October 31, 2005.

Just visit our Country Bunny Bath & Body website, enter my Rep #6717 and start your shopping. Payment Methods: Visa and Master Card. Thank you for your support.

Country Bunny Bath & Body Customer Special - October



October's Customer Special is the Mini Cinnamon Stix Candle and Vanilla Cream Bath Bomb Set for $10.00. It makes the perfect early holiday stocking stuffer. They are only available for a limited time only, so be sure to get yours before they run out.

Visit Country Bunny Bath & Body, enter my Rep #6717 and then place your order. You'll also find our full product line. We accept Visa and Master Card. Thank you for your support.

"Field Trip" by Marcus Berry

This was this month's writing assignment. We had to do Narrative Writing.

A couple of weeks ago I went on board a ship called the Star of India. I found it really boring for me because this was an activity for 9 year old students. Since I'm 13 years old, going into a cow's stomach and watching grass digest would have been a thrill ride compared to this. My parents made me go for educational purposes. Which made things worse.

The best thing about this field trip was "working". What everyone did was break up into three separate groups, each group hauled a sail up by pulling a rope attached to the top of the sail, and then pulling it down using a machine called a capstan. Then each gropu lifted and pulled a 100 pound barrel with ropes attached onto a block of wood which was put into about 4 different places in that area, which you needed to put the barrel on. After that it was pretty much over. The captain showed everyone the crewmen ate, where passagers slept, where the captain ate and slept, and finally where to stee the ship. We gathered for a Q&A and then everyone left for home.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I Had a Time Out

I decided it was time to start going back to a chiropractor. I had my first appointment with Dr. Z. She asked for a brief history, did an exam and then began a series of chiropractic sessions.

I was then led to a massage chair. They placed an ice pack behind my back. This massage chair was amazing. While sitting in the chair, listening to the water fountain, and having my massage, I began to relax. I really started enjoying my massage. I even treated myself to a bouquet of daisies, from the local flower stand.

It's so important to be nice to ourselves. It makes me a happier person to be around. Ask the hubby. He'll tell you that it's money well spent.

Travelling with Our Teen to Yuma, Arizona

Since my husband was going to Yuma, Arizona and our son is homeschooled, we decided to take the trip as a family. Our 13 year old son wasn't that receptive to the idea. Somehow, he got the idea that we would leave him at home. After we got up from the floor from laughing we informed he was going.

We rented a large sedan for the ride, from Budget Rental. I'm glad that we did. On the ride there, Marcus fell asleep and had plenty of room to stretch out. He also had plenty of room for his schoolbooks, CD's and stuff. My husband and I were able to listen to our CD's without any complaints.

To make it a more bearable trip we booked a suite, at the Clarion Suites, through AAA Travel. We saved about $75 a day.

The room had two TV's, 2 queen beds and a sleeper sofa, Nintendo, MusicChoice and Pay-per-view. (which Marcus loved) There was a swimming pool and whirlpool spa, which we took advantage after our long, hot drive.

The Clarion also offers a free breakfast buffet, which will save you some money. Most Clairon Suites offer a gym. This one provided membership use of the local World Gym.

Marcus and I had a great time hitting the open stores at the Yuma Palms Mall. The mall has water sprayers, on the outside walkways. It felt so good, especially with the Arizona hot sun.

On our way back home, we stopped off at the Golden Acorn Casino. Marcus played video games, in the Arcade, while my husband and I tried our hand at the slots. If your kids are 13 years or older they can play in the arcade. They have to be 18 years old and older to play the slots. I lost, my husband won $48.00. We then had lunch in the restaurant. Our food was very good.


When we got home, Marcus took off to tell his friends that he was back. He had a great time. We didn't hear any complaints out of him doing the whole trip. It was a fun trip for all of us.

Monday, September 26, 2005

National Equal Parents Week - September 26 to October 2



Equal Parents' Week is an event which sends the message that parental rights and responsibilities must be shared equally by both parents. The purple ribbon is the symbol which sends this message. People are urged to send this message by wearing purple ribbons and tying them everywhere they can be seen.

International public and home candlelight vigils will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2005, at 7:30pm. You can download an online form if you would like to have organize a vigil.

Visit the Children's Rights Council website for possible ways you can bring attention to this important issue. There's also links to organizations, planned events, and chapters.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Marcus' Movie Rental Review - "The Incredibles"

'The Incredibles' follows the adventures of a family of former superheroes rediscovering the true source of their powers - in one another. Once one of the world's top masked crimefighters, Bob Parr (AKA Mr. Incredible) fought evil and saved lives on a daily basis. But fifteen years later, he and his wife Helen (a famous former superhero in her own right) have been forced to take on civilian identities and retreat to the suburbs. Today they live as mere mortals and lead all-too-ordinary lives with their children... who go out of their way to appear "normal." As a clock-punching insurance man, the only thing Bob fights these days is boredom and a bulging waistline. Itching for action, the sidelined superhero gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a topsecret assignment. Now, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, the family must come together and once again find the fantastic in their family life.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Kids/Family, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Animation
Release Date: November 5th, 2004
Rating: PG for action violence.
Distributor: Disney/Pixar
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I think the movie was okay. I knew what was going to happen. After all, it's a Disney movie. I liked the character Dash. Running really fast, super speed is the best super power.

Rona' Movie Rental Review - "Sideways"

Miles Raymond, a divorced middle school teacher and failed novelist, and his altar-bound friend Jack take a wine-tasting trip in California, pondering questions about their directions in life.

Comedy and Drama
Release Date:October 22th, 2004
R for language, some strong sexual content and nudity.
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We finally broke down and purchased a DVD player, last week. On Friday, we picked up a couple of movies. We weren't disappointed. My husband and I decided to watch this movie on a Saturday morning. Neither of us really knew what the movie was about. It was a pleasant surprise. The story just rolled out at a steady pace. I have always enjoyed Paul Giamati's work. He usually plays characters that you wouldn't want to hang with. Miles was definitely on that list. Thomas Haden Church showed he can be in a movie. Do you remember him from the show "Wings"? Wow, has he come full circle. Anyways, we really enjoyed the movie. I also have to say that I'm glad our 13 year old was still sleeping. Some of the nudity and sex scenes would have been a bit uncomfortable. Definitely add this one to your movie rental list.

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