pinterest-dd591.htm Oak Creek Academy: August 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013


While this post did start out as a photo prompt, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it is about traditions.  Things you hold dear to your heart and do over and over again because it brings joy to those around you.

In the five plus years I've been writing this blog, I have probably mentioned our pizza tradition quite a few times.  It's just something we do, it's a constant, a tradition.  I remember Thing One being about 15 to 18 months old and making sure I had the pizza dough set up in our bread machine before we left for the pool, on Fridays, in the summer.  We have visited with family, who know our tradition and bought pizza for Friday night.  Totally unexpected, but made us feel good.  Now that our oldest is camping more with Boy Scouts, we've been known to move Pizza Night to Thursday because it is tradition to eat together.

The dough and sauce ready to go!

Things have evolved and changed over the years.  There was the time that the bread machine totally gave out and we had no pizza dough ~ local delivery to the rescue.  Switched to making pizza dough in the Kitchen Aid and found this recipe that we like.  It's Ree Drummond's recipe.  She has it listed a few places and we just use the dough recipe.  Haven't wavered from this recipe in a few years!  It is even good with fresh milled flour.  Occasionally I need to add a touch more flour because the dough is too sticky.  It really depends upon how humid it is in the house!

As for a the sauce, it changes a bit with time depending on how home grown tomatoes, basil, oregano, or rosemary or growing.  We've had one banner year for tomatoes here.  We ate home grown until March or April.  Almost had a banner year this year, but wild life cleaned off EVERY.SINGLE.TOMATO.  Did not matter if it was orange, red, or green.  ALL were gone.  :(  Anyway, boys have liked what I've done recently for the sauce, which is:

combine in a blender:
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1/2 to full teaspoon of basil, rosemary, & oregano
1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick slice of onion, chopped a little bit
1 can (15 ounces or so) of Hunts diced tomato with juice
1 can (6 ounces I think) of Hunts tomato paste (your choice if it has extra spices)
1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar (sometimes you need it for tomatoes)
salt and pepper if you like
small splash of olive oil

Then blend till you reach desired consistency.
Transfer to saucepan and heat up on high if you need it right away
low heat if you can let it cook for away to let flavors blend a lot.

Toppings and shape of pizza change from week to week.  Sometimes there is a sparse amount of pepperoni in the house because we didn't plan.  Sometimes its a meat lovers verses just cheese please (after all I was born in Wisconsin) war.  Sometimes we have individual pizzas.  Calzones have made appearances too.

So, traditions are important to us.  At least this one has stood the test of time.  At least 12 years worth.  Or approximately 625 pizzas if we had just one a week!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Welcome Class of 2018 and 2021

School is, in fact, in session here!  We are actually in our third week, with just one day left at that.  14 days down, many more to go.  I find it incredibly hard to believe we have been homeschooling this long ~ 6 + years.  We're finding our groove and it feels like another part of life for us.  It's a way of life now.

Don't get me wrong, the beginning of each year is a hard with the adjustment back to school.  This year may have been the hardest as we took the longest summer vacation we have ever had.  Nine weeks of no school, no plans for anything other than summer.  I've learned my lesson, realizing we are more of a year round family.  6 to 8 weeks of school followed by a week or two off.  This allows for some good learning as well as a good break to get the big stuff done.

Anyhoot, here are some photo's I took this past Monday for "start of the school year" photos.  Yes, the first day of week three.  If you'd witness the first two weeks, you might just understand!  Not going to share the bad, but it was a hard transition back.  Life has settled down and we're finding our grove.  I am quite proud of both boys and learning to get their "job" done and doing it well.

Class of 2018
Class of 2021

Bad close up!
An even closer bad close up (both just because!)

What the dining room table looks like during school!
Thanks for taking the time to see a glimpse of our school!  Hope you've enjoyed what you have seen and read.

15. The Best

Best means one of the following:
  1. Adjective Of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality: "the best pitcher in the league". 
  2. Adverb To the highest degree; most: "the one we liked best". 
  3. Noun That which is the most excellent, outstanding, or desirable.
  4. Verb Outwit or get the better of (someone): "she refused to allow herself to be bested". 
For the last several years (I have forgotten how many, but more than 5), my favorite coffee is "Mayorga, Cafe Cubano".  It's a good, strong coffee that I've become quite fond of iced - even in the winter!  :)  YUM!

Although it's more expensive than the store brand, whole beans (or the already ground varieties as well),  it is competitively priced with coffee shop beans.  We buy it from Costco and their regular price, per pound is about $7.50.  Crazy thing is, it is even cheaper than if I ordered directly through Mayorga.  Costco can get some great prices in bulk!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

14. Trash

Today's photo prompt is ~ Trash ~. Knew what I would photograph as soon as I saw the prompt. It is the following wash stand I found along our street on trash day a few years ago (8 years maybe). The door had broken off, was missing a towel bar, and desperately needed to be refinished. Fortunately, once in awhile I can see the beauty in things. I knocked on their door to make sure they were really throwing it away and asked if I could take it. High tailed it home, got the van, and picked it up!

With some tender loving care, the wash stand looks beautiful. Please see past the bad photography!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Photo Catch Up

Have been trying to keep up with the photo thing from FMS Photo! Getting them onto my blog has been a bit of a challenge this past weekend. Here's what I've done so far:

~ 10. Beverage ~
I really enjoy water; almost as much as much as my coffee!
~ 11. I Love Doing This ~
Most of the time, I do enjoy knitting.  Even when I mess up and redo (sometimes more than once or twice)

~ 12. Macro ~
My attempt at Macro!  This is a metal candle tin, with star cutouts!
Old camera, grainy picture, but still kind of good, I think.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Reading, Read Aloud, Audio books

On my "boys reading list" page, you'll see we've gotten through a number of books over the last year, mostly through audio books.  Still hope to get to Ann of Green Gables, Jungle Book, and Treasure Island.  After these, and the ones we have already read, what would you suggest?  Kind of at a lose of what to do next.

Not sure about the whole Harry Potter series, for no particular reason.  That may be saved for an individual read.  Youngest is working hard to get through J.R.R. Tolkien books, then wants to read through Narnia books.  Oldest is still working on Hardy Boys, almost finished with #2 with #3 put on hold.

Would love audio books, I think, so they can listen and work with legos, thinking puddy, or other finger related things.  Suggestions welcome!  If it's any help, one is in 5th, the other 8th.

Friday, August 9, 2013

~ 2:00 ~

Forgive my tardiness in getting a photo at 2:00 exactly. 2 AM wasn't going to happen and at 2 PM I'd been pulling some brownies together.

2:03 PM ~ why is it sort of special?  Approximately 13 years and 7 months ago our oldest was born at 2:33 in the afternoon.  That is the best I can come up with!


Thursday, August 8, 2013


Today's photo from FMS Photo a Day is "Peek A Boo". Wasn't sure what I'd try to capture until Charlotte went to her favorite spot and peeked behind the curtain!  She sure loves being outside and watching the world go by.  When it's too hot, cold or whatever, the livingroom window seems to do the trick.

To see more of the Peek~A~Boo, here's a link to the facebook page.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

~ Staple's Commercial ~

You know the one! A dad pushing a shopping cart through the aisles while you here the Christmas song, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"  Here's a link, just in case you forgot!

For us, school is a good thing!  The first couple weeks are hard, getting back into a good routine, hitting the books, prioritizing life!  We're half way through our second week.  We've had a few bumps in the road, but we navigated them fairly well, I ThInK!!!

If your curious, here's the line up for our school year:

Both boys:
Notgrass ~ America the Beautiful
Institute for Excellence in Writing ~ Student Writing Intensive Level B
Beyond Five in a Row ~ A few titles that oldest hadn't finished up
Miscellaneous Read alouds
Physical Education (sports, exercising, hiking, biking, and whatever else to get our body moving)
Word Roots

Thing One ~ 8th Grade:
Math-U-See ~ Algebra 1
Apples 2:  Daily Spelling Drills
Daily Grams: 8th Grade
Photography ~ through our co-op
Geography ~ through our co-op

Thing Two ~ 5th Grade:
Math-U-See ~ Epsilon
Spelling Workout ~ Level E
Daily Grams: 5th grade
Guitar ~ through our co-op
Art ~ through our co-op

What I like about a number of our subjects, is there is slight cross over from one thing to the next in grammar and spelling, both areas our boys need a bit of work on.  We'll keep an eye on it, a finger on the pulse, so there isn't to much over lap, leading to burn out.

So far, we're working on math, spelling, grammar, writing, P.E. (always, making it a way of life, not just a class).  Next week we'll probably add it History and more reading (again, this has become a way of life so it's not a hard thing).

What does your school year look like?  What kind of classes are your kids taking & what grade are they in?  Always interesting to see what other kids are learning!

A Sign

I have Jeff Foxworthy running through my head ~ he's saying, "Here's your sign!" We haven't even watched his show in a very long time. Weird how certain memories can be called up by a single phrase, scent, or picture.

Anyway, for the FMS August Photo challenge, I give you "your sign":

Town of Markham, out 66 in VA.
Don't believe I am related to the folks that started this area,
but maybe.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This Means A Lot to Me!

So many good and honorable things to choose from that would fall under, "This Means A Lot to Me!" category.  Lots of things come to mind quickly, things like:
  • Bible
  • my husband
  • wedding rings
  • oldest son
  • youngest son
  • house
  • car
  • food
  • husband's job
  • church
  • family
  • friends
However, one of the harder things to put on that list, and probably should be, is the dirty counter top after a meal, when everyone needs to bolt to get to the next activity.  Dishwasher is full and running, house is empty except for me and the pets, dishes are still there needing to be dealt with.  The right thing to do, is to just attack the pile and get it done.  That is not always something I desire to do.  Oh to be a kid again and be able to ignore it.  But we don't stay kids for long ~ thankfully!  So with a Pandora station playing, I got at the post dinner clean up.  And really, it didn't take all that long; ten minutes max.  Definitely something to be thankful for, a reminder of the blessings we have in life.  Without much more fan fare, here is the August Photo to go with "This Means A Lot to Me".

Monday, August 5, 2013

~ Early ~

Stretch, grumble, where's the coffee, it's EARLY!

 Today's photo FMS Photo is "Early".  Cool to see the photos
start coming in when countries are 10 to 12 hours ahead of you.
New I would not be one of those with an early morning
Normally, I am an early riser in our house ~ somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 without an alarm.  Today, not so much.  Think it was 7:40 or so and probably could have gone longer had I realized it was "late" and dragged myself downstairs.
In lieu of an early morning sunrise, I offer a photo of my "not early riser" being woken up!

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Today's picture is suppose to be something fresh! Wanted to avoid what I thought was the obvious fresh things:  a fresh new day, bowl of fresh fruit or veggies, freshly laundered clothes!  So I leave you with this photo:

A FRESHly primed bathroom.
A simple job to patch a wall turned into
a much longer, detailed project.  Praying
the end is insight.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Skyline {Drive}

Skyline Drive this past October!
Hard to get a photo of the skyline where we live,
~ to many trees ~
Our boys hadn't seen Skyline Drive before,
so we took a Sunday Drive and "they got it!"
Even overcast, it was a nice day.
See the FMS Series

Friday, August 2, 2013


Is it a mohawk or incomplete haircut?
Check out the series on Facebook.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

The first! Number 1!

August 1, 2013 ~ Eight month, first day, two thousand thirteen.

What does your month hold for you?  Are there any fun plans before school starts?  When does school start for you?

Hoping to get some fun things in!  Not sure what all, but some day trips would be good!

One fun thing I hope to continue throughout this month is another photo a day type thing!  Found it on Facebook, but here is a link to the blog it came from.  Two photo's this go around.  One of the 31 daily photo's and one of my "N"!

August Photo Challenge

Nasty wipe out bruises!  Treadmill got him, but he kept on!

If you want to follow my trial in a month of photo's, why not be a follower of my blog to get notified when I post!