Science: Respiratory System Resources

I love our anatomy/nutrition/First Aid class. The kids get wonderful hands on opportunities to learn.

Recently we learned about the lungs and respiratory system. Following our book work the kids dissected a sheep lung.



If you’re studying the Respiratory System, here are some helpful links

Respiratory System: Reproducibles, Videos & Quizzes

The Homeschool Scientist

Your Lungs and Respiratory System

Learn for your Life: Respiratory System

Make a Lung Model

Kids’ Health

Science Kids

Making a Lung Model

Fake Lung Experiment

Inside the Human Body: Lungs

Pinterest Ideas

The Respiratory System: Crafts


Where to buy a Sheep Pluck, includes heart, lungs and trachea.

Home Science Tools

Making an Investment: The Beginnings

In the mid-1980′s I attended an all girls’ college in America’s heartland. The school was full of gals from all over the United States. In my suite alone we had 10 gals from 9 different states and one different country: Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, Hawaii, Kansas, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Korea, and the last one slips my mind. One of my first new friends at this new school was from Utah. One morning as we headed downstairs to the lobby she began searching for the business section of the newspaper. Puzzled, I asked what could she be looking for in all that tiny print. Surprisingly, she informed me she was checking out the status of her stocks and mutual funds. WHAT? She was only 18 years old and had a portfolio and I had NO IDEA what she was talking about.

She opened my eyes. Teens could have a portfolio and they could wisely invest.


When our oldest son was about 10 years old, he began asking questions about finance, investments and stocks. Since my hub is an avid market follower and researcher he set the boys up with more information than they could ask for. The window panels on the French doors leading to my office became a business center. Taped to the panes were the latest graphs and charts of The Dow, The S&P, The NASDAQ, gold, oil, and various stocks they were following. Our boys had crash courses on Bollinger bands, trends and stochastics.


We had a friend who was (and is) a financial advisor so I set up a meeting for our kids to begin their financial education.

Since those humble beginnings our oldest, now 15, has purchased a couple stocks and today had a phone meeting with his financial advisor deciding which funds he will begin investing in. I loved hearing him discuss international funds, conservative funds, growth and income funds and monthly investing. He has been saving the last couple years and his initial investment is $2000.00.  We’re excited to see it grow.

I hope to post more on this financial adventure our kids are embarking on, but the main thing is to remember, it’s never too soon to begin investing!



Classical Conversations Foundations Cycle 2, Week 21 Memory Work

Free, printable memory work pages for Foundations, Cycle 2 Week 21


Just click on the subject and find a free printable.

Acts & Facts Timeline

History Sentence






(I’ve checked with CC twice to make sure I can share this information on this blog and was given the okay)


Learning to Sew

After numerous attempts trying to teach my girlie how to sew, we finally decided the best route for her to learn would be taking a class from someone else. I know that’s a bit strange coming from a homeschooler, but there are times our kids need the fresh encouragement from someone other than their mom. I’ve taught other kids how to sew, cook, and the love of reading and this time it was my time to turn the teaching over to another professional.

She’s been taking a little class at a local homeschool group and she loves it! Her attitude is completely different with someone else. It was hard for me to accept at first, but it’s okay. She’s having a great time and more importantly, she’s developing a love of sewing.

She decided to make a purse for my niece. She came up with the plan and pattern herself. I love what she made! She even came to me for a little assistance! Warmed my heart!

Anyway, here’s her first completed project.


My niece loves giraffes, so she found this fabric at JoAnne’s and thought it would be perfect. She cut two large rectangles from the giraffe fabric. She loves making pockets and little storage compartments. As you can see, she placed one pocket on the exterior. There is another pocket in the interior. Button holes have not come up yet, so she just cut a slit. She has learned how to sew a button on.

Every girl needs a coin purse, so she made a small coin purse to go with the purse.







She finished the purse with two ribbon shoulder straps. She used a 1″ wide ribbon and sewed it on. We discussed the fraying that can happen with ribbon so we purchase a tube of Fray Check at Joanne’s.

She’s also started a skirt to give away. Love seeing her working so hard on these projects!

Note: I think as a homeschool mom, I thought I could do a fairly decent job teaching, or at least introducing, arts and crafts along with educational material. I’ve realized, sometimes, our kids learn better from someone else and that’s okay. Having a friend who’s an excellent knitter is a great thing! She can teach your child to knit, perhaps easier than you can. I’ve had a number of moms send their kids to me to learn to cook and it’s an honor to pour into these little lives. Share you gifts with others in your homeschool community. I definitely could have used a seamstress friend!


Classical Conversations, Cycle 2 Week 19 Memory Work

I’ve been very delinquent with these memory pages because I’m a rule follower and someone confronted me on providing these on this blog. A gal was concerned they were infringing on copyright and I should stop because it could be harming the CC community and more importantly Leigh Bortins. I was hurt to have someone think or accuse me of intentionally harming a program I’ve grown to love. I actually lost sleep over it, but I needed to get to the bottom of what was okay and what wasn’t. So, I called Classical Conversations, twice in fact. I wanted to be doubly sure I wasn’t doing something I wasn’t supposed to. I spoke with a gal, who told me it was fine. Just to make sure again, I had her ask the person above her and again got the okay.

So if these pages are of concern, know I contacted CC, but better yet, buy the book and use these as a supplement. The following information is from the wonderful homeschooling program called Classical Conversations. Please, only use these to supplement your CC Foundations program. If you’re only doing this program at home and not enrolled in a CC Community, let me tell you… You are MISSING OUT!! There is so much more to CC than some memory work.

It is my heart’s desire to encourage and support you in your homeschooling endeavor.

Cycle 2, Week 19

Acts & Facts Timeline

History Sentence






Momma, You Need a Break

Moms, especially homeschool moms,  if I could offer one piece of advice today it would be to take time for you. You give, give and give to your family and sometimes you just need a break. A quiet escape to read, a time of laughter with dear friends, thirty minutes of exercise not pushing a jogging stroller while your little leans out screaming to go home or even an hour shopping alone to buy a much needed new bra (Yes, homeschool moms often scrimp on necessity because there’s seems to be no time or $). Find the time, somehow, because you NEED it! It will refill your emotional tank so you can better serve your children and your family.

You are a Mom, NOT a Martyr.  Even the most dedicated, patient mommas need a break.

When our kids were little I didn’t realize how beneficial a little break from them would be to sooth my tired soul. I do remember expressing my desire to have a break only to be told, “You picked it!” I was too exasperated to realize this as a cry for help, so kept trudging along. Yes, I did pick it. My heart’s desire in life was to be a mommy and raise these littles to the best of my ability including training them up in the way they should go. I loved our time together, so I reasoned my desire for time without them was selfish or unwarranted. I tried to suppress this desire, but it was difficult.

There came a time when I began to feel like my mothering was martyrdom. Webster defines martyr as, “a person who pretends to suffer or who exaggerates suffering in order to get praise or sympathy.” I don’t think I walked around with an Eeyore complex, but did feel like my job as mother meant I needed to sacrifice my own well-being and time to be available at all times for my family. If you’re suffering to let people see what a sacrifice you’re making, that’s not okay. Your call as MOTHER is a high honor and a blessing to your family. Take the time to refuel so as to have the energy to be the best at this calling.

Hiring Help

Occasionally I’d hire a teenage gal to hang out with our kids so I could go for a run in the neighborhood, but like many homeschool families, we didn’t have the funds to do this regularly. I would guess my hub and I went out a handful of times during our children’s young years. Mommas, this is not healthy! You need time with your hub, alone. If hiring a sitter is not in your budget, set up a trade with a friend. Swap childcare. You need the uninterrupted time to gaze in your sweetheart’s eyes over a dinner or a quiet walk.

I know finding someone you trust to care for your children can be difficult. I trusted very few. That was a hurdle for me to overcome ( I still struggle). I remember a dear friend expressing how honored she was that I trusted her to transport our littles once. I pray you will be blessed with a family member or friend you can trust to care for your littles so you can find time alone. It’s important.

Speaking from Experience and Still Struggling 

There was a time when my hub would ask me what I wanted for Mother’s Day or my birthday and every year I’d ask for one thing. All I wanted was to go for a run and not push a jogger or have kids riding bikes alongside me threatening to run across my path. I longed for an hour of solitude. I’ve heard, “How could you do that on Mother’s Day? I want to be with my kids.” To those, I say, I’m with our kids 364 days a year and I really don’t think my kids will feel neglected if I sought one hour of alone time.

I recently received a message of delight from a friend who is so looking forward to a getaway. She’ll leave her hub and school age (public school) kids to refuel with friends for a couple days. She will have time to laugh, share, pray and find solitude. I’m so happy for her! She blesses her family greatly and this time away will give her renewed strength to be the best mom she can be.

Last week I had a friend organize a girls’ night out. At the last minute, I almost cancelled. I had so much to do at home and our kids had sports and they had to be fed and how would they function for an evening without me and what would I wear and what would I have to talk about with a group of gals who don’t have kids and….? The list could go on and on. My kids and hub INSISTED I get out. Guess what? I got dressed up. I remembered what it was to put on a pair of Spanx and a dress. I was reminded how much fun it is to go out with some girlfriends and talk and laugh, and talk and laugh! It was good.


Time alone is something I seek out almost every day now. It’s usually just a 30 minute run or a few minutes alone to read. We all need reminders that it is good to care for ourselves. Prior to take-off, when we’re on a plane listening to the cautionary instructions we’re told to put on our oxygen mask then we can take care of our children. Do you have the necessary oxygen of replenishment to best care for your kids? It refreshes. My kids have learned I’m a MUCH BETTER mom when I have an opportunity to clear my head and recharge my soul.

Earth's Core Meatballs 8

Earth’s Core Meatballs

“Mom, why does everything have to be about food?”

I don’t know.

Um, perhaps because food makes learning more fun?

That’s the best I could come up with.

All I know, is if I was learning about the Layers of the Earth, I’d like to end the lesson with Earth’s Core Meatballs!

So that is what we did! My girlie and I spent one morning rolling meatballs representing the layers of the earth: inner core, outer core, mantle and crust.

We found a recipe in her cookbook, Favorite Brand Name Recipes Kids. We had a homeschool gathering to attend and found this would feed a crowd. The recipe serves 12.

Earth’s Core Meatballs


3-4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes

25 medium to large cherry or plum tomatoes, halved and seeded

2 eggs, divided

2 pounds ground beef

1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs, divided

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Hot cooked pasta and prepared pasta sauce, heated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and spray generously with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Insert 1 cheese cube into 1 tomato half; cover with another tomato half to cover cheese.

Earth's Core Meatballs Earth's Core Meatballs 2

3. Lightly beat 1 egg in a large bowl. Add beef, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, salt, garlic powder and pepper; stir until well mixed. Shape a golf ball sized beef mixture into a rough 2-inch circle. Place cheese-filled tomato in center, then bring edges of circle together to completely encase tomato.  Lightly roll meatball to form a smooth ball. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining meat mixture and tomatoes. (We probably made our meatballs a bit bigger than recommended, but that’s how we roll).

Earth's Core Meatballs 3

Earth's Core Meatballs 4

4. Lightly beat remaining egg in medium shallow bowl. Place remaining 1 cup bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Dip meatballs, one at a time, into beaten egg; shake off excess and roll in bread crumbs. Return to baking sheet(s). Bake 35 minutes or until meatballs are slightly crisp and cooked through, turning halfway through baking time. Serve with pasta and sauce.

Earth's Core Meatballs 5

Earth's Core Meatballs 6

Earth's Crust Meatballs 7

Despite the earlier questioning about why learning has to be about food, I can confidently report this project/meal was a HIT! The kids loved it! The meatballs were awesome and we were able to reinforce the layers of the earth.

Cheese: Inner Core

Tomato: Outer Core

Meat: Mantle

Bread Crumb Crust: Crust

Searching For The Lost

I will search for the lost bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak… Ezekiel 34:16

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin… Luke 15:8-9

On a busy freeway, in 2011, we trekked to watch the Little League World Series Western Regional playoff games in San Bernadino. Making the most of our time, I phoned my Grandma to catch up. As most of our conversations go, we covered the latest happenings in each other’s lives then smoothly transitioned to a walk down memory lane. My Grandma loves to tell stories of her past and then reminisce on the antics she lived through. Our conversations often lead to the lost. We’ve lost so many family members to death and divorce, it grieves my sweet grandma. She shares stories of those who are missed and for those who are still alive, she poses questions, “I wonder where they are?” She wonders what happened and tells me she never wanted the distance which has grown into a crevasse of separation.

When  I was little my mom and her brothers had kids at roughly the same time. I was one of the 7.


We had a small group of cousins. My dad’s brother didn’t have any kids, so this was it for cousins my age. I have a sense of fondness of time spent with this group. Somewhere in my brain the memories are stored, but I have no specific memories because half of these kids slipped out of my life before I was five years old. My mom told me one of my aunts was my caregiver so I spent a great deal of time with these kids, so when they disappeared I felt a sense of loss.

I prayed for the six and their parents every night of my childhood. My prayers always began, “Dear Lord, Bless Uncle D, Aunt P, Uncle, Aunt, Aunt… then I’d go through all the kids.”

A whole childhood. Every Night. Praying.

I didn’t know that I was praying for restoration of our family or praying that they’d somehow walk back into my life. I just prayed that they’d be okay and that one day maybe we’d meet again.

As the years went by the accusations as to whose fault all this was lurked in the background of life. Assigning blame and taking sides does nothing to heal. The blame game does little to foster restoration. There’s not enough time in this life to argue whose fault it was. We only have time to make tomorrow better than today or yesterday.

So I began trying to build bridges. I’d reach out when I could trying to locate or foster some sort of relationship. Some times it worked, some times it didn’t. But I tried.

On the drive to San Bernadino, hearing my Grandma’s voice lament the loss of some of my cousins tugged at my heartstrings. I decided then to make and effort to find some we hadn’t seen for nearly 40 years. I wanted to provide some peace for my Grandma and I wanted to find my long losts.

Like many these days, I turned to Facebook and low and behold, I found them!

I was excited and nervous. I wrote letters introducing myself as their long lost. The responses I got were mixed, everything from, “Sure I’d like to meet you” to “I want nothing to do with you” to no response at all.

I was okay with whatever. I left it completely in their court. I knew I’d have to build trust to build relationship. We became Facebook friends and I think they watched me from a distance. Eventually, after about six months, we were all able to meet and it was like I had found long lost family. Oh wait, I HAD found long lost family. We laughed together and enjoyed each other’s company.

Eventually the time came where I asked them if they’d be willing to meet our Grandma and I gently broke the news to her that I found them. I asked if she’d like to meet them. She definitely did.

It broke my heart to hear my Grandma wonder and cry about those lost. I would do anything for her and I think finding the lost was my attempt to help her find peace. She no longer wonders where they are because we know. She’s met two of the three that were lost for 40 years.

Ezekiel 34:4 reads,

You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 

I don’t want Ezekiel 34:4 to be my verse. Strengthening the weak, healing the sick, binding up the injured, searching for the lost, bringing back the strays. That’s what I hope for. I will continue to seek out the lost in our family and in the world. There’s much work to be done and only one lifetime.


Prepositions, Latin & Other Mind-Boggling Topics

I’ve had prepositions on the brain lately. Every once in awhile a homeschooling subject haunts me because I realize either our kids didn’t grasp the concept or I did a poor job teaching it.  I mull over new ways to teach the subject to proficiency. I wonder how they didn’t grasp it over the last many years. Honestly, this preposition issue actually wakes me up at night.

I know, it sounds unbelievable. Some people stress about life issues while I completely stress out about Latin and how complicated it seems to grasp. I can see the pattern, but I need to pass that pattern knowledge onto my kids. It was a Latin exercise that brought my attention to our issues with prepositions. [...]