The Joys of Home Educating

Friday, October 21, 2016

Weekly Update - Fall time

What a few weeks we have had!  The colors here at the farmhouse are almost too gorgeous to describe in words.  We have been full force back to school and outside a lot! 

If you are a first time guest, welcome!  If you are a returning friend, howdie!

In case you missed a blog post this week we shared a goodie!  

What's been happening at Woodwater Farmhouse....

Art for kids - one of our all time favorite websites for art tutorials. Mostly drawing. They are fun and quick!  Art For Kids  great for all ages!

Learning about bats this week. We have plenty of them here at the farmhouse.  Did you know the giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), also known as the golden-capped fruit bat, is a rare megabat and one of the largest bats in the world. These creatures have up to a 4 foot wingspan. WOOZA

The little assassin bug was on our deck this week hanging out along with hundreds of ladybugs. 

For Science, I did not buy the A Beka series for the girls this year and we are doing a unit on The Human Body.  Loving the coloring book My First Human Body Coloring Book. It's more than a coloring book!  

We received our Nature Pal Exchange package this week and the treasures inside were great! We are keeping them up in the school room for more investigation. 

Lilly is starting to show her puppy side more now that she feels comfortable here. She is LOVING the pond and if you follow me on Instagram you will see her frog hunting.  We could not be happier with her! 

Here is what fall at the Woodwater Farmhouse is looking like!

A photo posted by Melissa Newell (@mel0293) on

Last weekend we went to a Harvest Fall Festival in our town. We have a community in our town called the Bruderhof. Such kind and loving people. They open up their community center to the public a few times a year and share all what God has blessed with them. My girls and the neighbors across the street from my mother became fast friends.  

I love this quote from their website:

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

What else is going on.....
We have had soccer practices, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, golden trees, warm sunny days, time with Bubby, closed the pool down, mourned the loss of a bird that hit our door and prayed a lot!  

My brother in law was diagnosed this week with testicular cancer and is in renal failure. Please put him on your prayer list. His name is Larry. Thanks 8)

I am prepping for the baby shower in a few weeks and looking forward to cooler weather to have a fire in our fireplace! 

In addition, I bought my ticket to the 2017 2:1 Conference!  So excited. It's in Virginia this year and it's driving distance!  Wha Who!  

Linking to: Weird Unsocialzed Homeschoolers

Friday, October 14, 2016

Healthier Candy Apples - kids can cook

Happy Friday! 

We interrupt the usual Weekly Update to bring you a yummy treat for the fall!

Tis the season for all things pumpkin and apple. Apple picking is a family tradition for us. Sadly none of our children like applesauce, apple pie or apple crisp. They are more just plain old apple kids. I wanted to make some sort of treat using the apples we picked at the orchard.  

  Trying to come up with some fall-like creative snack ideas for the children can be a task.  Here is a quick healthier version of the traditional candy apple. 

Using Macintosh apples, organic honey and organic graham crackers you can create a fun and healthy snack for after school.  

You will need some sort of stick in the center of your apple. 

 Dipping each apple into a plate of honey, rolling it around and getting is nice and sticky.  

Then smash up (the kids can help with this one) the graham crackers in a sealed baggie. 

Next roll the honey coated apples into the smashed up cracker mix.  Let them set up on some parchment paper and there you go!   

What recipes do you use with the abundance of apples this time of year?  Would love some new recipes! 

Linking to: Hearts for Home blog Hop, Thriving on ThursdaysMy Girlish Whims, Whats Cookin Wednesday

Friday, October 07, 2016

Weekly Update - Fall is in the air

Finally the weather we have been waiting for. Cool crisp mornings and t-shirt afternoons.  Nights have been getting nice and cool. 

We have had a busy week with our newest addition to the family! (scroll down).  We have been planning on getting a dog from a shelter for about 5 years but the timing was not right and then with the move we needed to be able to breath a little before we added one to the family! We have had to go to the vet twice this week. Sadly she has environmental allergies which means she will be on medication for the rest of her life...sigh...

We mailed out our 1st Nature Pal Exchange box!  We are paired up with a family in Tennessee!  Kids are excited! 

Also it's fall cooking time and I have been coking up a storm!  Baking a lot also (not good for the waste line but everything in moderation!)

Introducing - Lilly Newell.  Our BFF's last name is Lilly and we think she looks like a Lilly. Her name at the shelter was Elsa but she really did not even know that name.  She is a 8 month old puppy brought up from Georgia.  She is the sweetest dog. We have had zero signs of behavior problems.  She is fitting right in with the Newell family routine!

So besides the field trip to the Orthodontist for Molly (nothing happening there yet) and the Vet for the dog...we also had an appt for the two older kids to get their 1st real eye check up.  Zachary has perfect vision. Molly is getting reading glasses, although not convinced yet she needs them. 

We started back on our fulltime studies this week - Molly 4th grade, Samantha - 2nd and Zachary 7th!  Adding the dog in there and we have one busy day and one tired out mama at the end of it! 

I am still working out 4-5 days a week and TRYING to limit my wine intake to only 1 night per week and weekends. So far, so good! 

We have a real busy weekend coming up...

Friday Night - family friend over for a family dinner... Saturday - cleaning the garage!  Sunday - church then another family over for Sunday dinner and football!  Monday - more housework!  Plus our town has a fall festival this weekend that I am hoping to get to. 

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Linking to:

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall Farm Camping - wrap up

Ah fall is here!  
With only one week left of our summer school schedule we were able to sneak in a fall farm camping last weekend with our BFF's.  You might remember we have been here before (Pleasant Acres). The children have so much fun and the family who owns and runs it is so nice. 

So much to see and do. The grounds are small and cozy. It's a tight knit group of seasonal campers mostly from NJ and NY and then some weekenders like us.  

It was the campgrounds Halloween Weekend. Complete with a costume contest for children of all ages.  There were 60 kids and adults total who entered and dressed up...Yours truly won the First Prize Blue Ribbon for the adults!  (16 and up)  Proudly displaying the blue ribbon in the camper!

The weather was perfect. Jeans and long sleeve at night and early morning and shorts during the day. Bonfires, s'mores and all of the fun that goes along with camping. 

Now that camping is over, we are able to keep the camper on our own property now that we moved. 

This past week was our last week of summer relaxed school. Starting Monday we start a fresh new year with new adventures!  I can't wait!!!

Up for the weekend:

Watch on Instagram to see what unfolds...big changing happening on Saturday!

Sunday is church and our monthly BJ's trip!

Life here at the farmhouse is wonderful!  Feeling blessed for sure!

Side note:  Made these pumpkin cookies yesterday, THE BEST EVER!

Looking for an October free printable - countdown calendar!  Check this post out!


Friday, September 16, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - summertime wrap up

Welcome friends and welcome fall?! 

While I swoon over all the Instagram pictures of everyone's perfect fall decor and loveliness, we are trying hard to get to cooler temps here in NY.  It tempted us for a few days but low and behold back up to the 90's midweek...sigh....

Oh well....we keep praying and know that fall will be here before you know it...

We were at Great Wolf Lodge, Poconos last week for the Not Back to School week!  OMGosh friends, over 300 homeschooling families from NY, NJ, PA and a few from Maryland were in attendance...homeschoolers TOOK OVER the lodge!   It was great having like minded people to chat with and throw ideas around. The kids were having a ball meeting new friends and exchanging ideas. 

The weather was great inside and out!  The girls and I conquered some fears. This ropes course looked easy from the ground but HOLY COW friends I had no business being up there once, let alone twice...I am the mom, caretaker, caregiver, teacher, cook, maid, taxi driver etc...what if I fell of that zip line 4 stories up?  Either way, I kept saying outside, God you are in control....and I did it!  The girls were not as afraid as I was!  

This past week we accomplished a lot!  We finished cleaning out our 10 X 10 storage unit that we had packed for almost 2 years!  The treasures we found...the kids were so excited to see their stuffed animals was excited to see no mice or mildew or anything had ruined a single thing!  But now we have a garage to clean out, again.. sigh...

We discussed 9/11 more this year than any other year. Maybe because the children are getting older and can handle bits and pieces of information. Maybe because they asked a lot more about it than every before...whatever the case may be, we talked about it as a family. 

After all the gatherings, vacations and good eating habits and work out schedule was almost non-existent...back on it now and ready to be healthy once again. We have a gym in our new house and I have zero excuses for not working out! 

Homeschool happenings:  The children have been sick on and off this past week..fevers, runny noses, yukky throats.  Not three at once, but at least two of them have been sick at the same time. We have had less school than I had hoped, easing back into our full time schedule.  

We are starting Latin this year and it makes me nervous..never learned it myself, learning right along with the children will be a challenge.  

Zachary took the standardized testing that NY state requires, this week. B.O.R.E.I.N.G. for sure..but necessary for the Education Board, I guess. 

Moving forward with unpacking still and getting the house arranged.  Since our bar area in the basement is still a dream on paper, we are using a little corner of our living room for our entertaining area. Not that we drink a lot, but we like to entertain.

It's bread and baking season!  We have gone full force on bread and homemade pizza crust. Also using my crockpot almost everyday this week - with schedules of soccer practice, martial arts and sewing classes, this mama needs her crock pot!

What's coming up:

This weekend we have soccer games in the morning, party in the afternoon...Sunday - dinner at Grammies after church...

Planning a baby shower for early November for our soon-to-be granddaughter!  

More unpacking this week and settling in...hoping the weather breaks so I can feel good about putting out fall decor..hehe..

I hope you enjoy your week and be blessed!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summertime Catch Up

So I have been real bad about posting this summer on the blog...I apologize for that....if you follow me on Instagram you know how busy we have been...I wanted to catch you up on what is happening around Woodwater...

We vacationed (not shown) in the finger lakes area early August (NASCAR) and had a great time as always. 
We moved my mom up about a mile and 1/2 from our new home (she retired July 30). Seeing her more often has been wonderful.
We are enjoying all the nature here at Woodwater and can't wait to see what Fall brings to the estate.

Of course with all these record breaking heat in NY, we have been swimming everyday.   Zachary had a pool party for his 12th birthday at the end of July. It rained most of the party but the kids got an hour or two of swimming in.
The rainbows have been frequent here and we are soaking it all in (pun intended)School has continued throughout the summer  - scattered teachings here and there. 

We have two more vacations scheduled and more overnight guests coming our way. 

While friends go back to public school shortly, we are still on our summer school schedule until October 1st, using all the great weather to our advantage.

I pray everyone is having a wonderful summer and finds some fun adventures awaiting you still.

Until next time - be blessed!