Green Butt Spider

I don’t remember where I saw this or when I actually took the photo.  I do remember thinking it was interesting, since it has a green abdomen.

A spider!

A spider!

This male spider is called a tropical orb weaver.  It comes in many shapes and sizes.  :D  Sometimes they have the green spot on the back and sometimes not.  Same goes for the two little black dots you see at the rear.

They like open woodlands.  During the day they like to hang around under leaves folded together with silk, like the one in this picture.  Their bite is not harmful to humans.

Kingdom Animalia 

Phylum Arthropoda 

Subphylum Chelicerata

Class Arachnida

Order Araneae

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Returning to Biology

That’s right!  This past school year, I have learned that I need to stick with the life sciences. I do like Chemistry, but I do not facilitate that class very well.

I have two daughters that need Biology, so what better time to return to something I really enjoy facilitating.  :)

The 2014/2015 co-op Schedule has been added to the Get Started post, but you can also click on the photo below to get the schedule.  As always, I used Donna Young’s forms.  My schedules are for my co-op.  You will probably have a different schedule.  If you need to make changes or tweak the schedules I have, you will need to download Donna’s forms.  My schedules are in pdf format and cannot be changed.

Biology Schedule


Several people have asked me, over the past few weeks, how and where do I order my supplies.  If you have been here before, you know I do not like the specimen kits that can be purchased through most homeschool supply stores.  They are very dry, especially the fish.  After trying to dissect a fresh then frozen fish, I decided to shop around.  I now buy all my specimens from Carolina Biological.   To make it simple and so I don’t have to answer the same questions several times, I have made a Supply List.  It is also linked in the Getting Started page, but you can also click on the picture below.  This list is for MY class.  It may have more than what you need or it may have less than what you need.

If you have any questions on the supply list, please ask.  I do like to answer questions. :)

Biology Supply List

Biology Supply List

I am so looking forward to this class.  Not only do I have my two daughters in it (they are so thrilled, I’m sure), my good knitting friend’s son will be in there too.  He will make the class VERY interesting. ;)

That’s all I got for now, folks.  Come back and check out what we do in Biology.

Posted in Apologia Biology, Homeschool, science | 1 Comment

Bragging on my Sister

My sister, Dava, has been taking art lessons for a while and she has gotten pretty good at it.  She has even sketched a couple of my kids.

Here we have my youngest.  She loves the slouchy hats, but doesn’t wear them often.  This was knitted by me in a burnt orange.


And this is what Dava sketched from the photo above.  :)


Joanna also loves the hats.  All kinds of hats.  This lovely blue/striped hat was calling her name and Joanna had to try it on.

Joanna and the hatAnd this is what Dava sketched from this picture.

Joanna sketch

After this I decided we needed to purchase the hat for Joanna and then we had another photo shoot.  It is fun to get a little goofy once in a while.


Below is a watercolor of my two sisters and me.


I love this painting.  Three sisters.  Each sister has her initial somewhere on her.  The conversation about this picture, between the three of us, went like this:

Leasa:  Michelle, did you get the painting of us yet?

Me:  Yes, I really like it!

Leasa:  Did you notice how wide Dava painted my butt?

Me:  Yes!  It was hard to miss.

Dava:  I paints ‘em as I sees ‘em.

Dava has painted many fun things, like door cabinets, tables, and a sink counter.  You can check out a few of her paintings on her Facebook Page DesignsbyDava.  I am hoping she will add more of her work.

Recently she enter one of her pieces in an Art Show and won third prize!

Bees in the bonnet

I am proud of her.  Way to go Dava!

I am pretty sure she gets her talent from me.  Just sayin’….

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Camping with Friends

To make this camping trip more fun for the girls, Sir Husband said we could invite some friends.   We invited three sisters to float down the Ichetucknee.  Yes, Sir Husband was trapped with seven females in the camper. Six of them are drama queens.  We all know I am not a drama queen. :)

We arrive at the campground and start setting up.  These girls have never been camping, so everything was new and exciting.  It was so fun to watch them as we set up.  I still cannot figure out why cranking down the stabilizers was so fascinating.  lol


The first night the girls watched the first Hobbit movie, ate hotdogs, giggled, giggled, and giggled.  It’s a lovely sound.

Early the next morning, we head out to the springs.  The girls opted to have double rafts, while the husband and I got singles.  It was very comical to see us driving down the street looking like this.



The way tubing works on the  Ichetucknee Spring, is your party is dropped off at the beginning of the spring and the driver takes the car to the end point.  Once at the end point, a van returns the driver back to the beginning.  While Sir Husband was busy parking the van at the exit, the girls  and I waited.  I was able to talk them into swimming in the Head Spring while I waited with the rafts.  The water is a constant 72 degrees, but at 8:30 in the morning, it felt a lot colder.


Finally we head out.  The girls had a blast!  Things they saw, jumping fish, Heron, turtles, alligator, and an otter.20140620_094309


It was a good thing Sir Husband and I had separate floats.  At the beginning, I ended up in areas I wasn’t suppose to be in, found myself having to lay flat to float under a very low branch, and actually got stuck on top of seaweed.  Close to the half way point, I started acting like I knew what I was doing and I so enjoyed the lazy movement of the spring.


After 3 hours of tubing, we head back to the camper to do a little hiking.  A little hiking, because it was hot and buggy.  The tree below is one that we always sit on when we visit O’Leno State Park.



Next morning the girls decide to have a mean game of UNO while their breakfast is being made. Fun game!



I tried to get a picture of all of them in the back room that has the four bunks.  It wasn’t easy, especially since they were reading Susanna’s story and I am not allowed to read it, therefore; band from the room.   We had four girls in this bedroom and the two oldest on the fold out sofa in the living room.  Since the bed touches the kitchen cabinet, I had to step over the girls to get to the coffee or other area of the kitchen. My morning routine sounded like this, “Excuse me girls.  Oh sorry, didn’t mean to step on your feet.  Excuse me, excuse me.  Coming back through, excuse me, excuse me……”    They love me for that morning wake up call.



We enjoyed it so much, we have invited them to go camping with us again.   Camping is more fun with friends.

Posted in Camping | 2 Comments


I want to go over what happened in my Chemistry class during this past co-op year.

Here is what I learned.

  • I have no business teaching Chemistry.  :/
  • Using the Carbon Lab Notebook was not a great idea.  It was just ok.   There were two times when I was able to prove the student did not do her lab work, so that was good.
  • The math… Oh the math!!  AKA Stoichiometry.
  • You cannot teach Chemistry with a lab in 1.5 hours a week.
  • I wish I had a lot more time to go over the Periodic Table.
  • I am so done with Chemistry.


Since I was working as Admin at my co-op, Testing Coordinator for H.E.R.I., teaching my own kids, etc….   I had no time to prepare for anything extra for the Chemistry class.  That really bummed me out since I do like to embellish my classes.  But we still had some fun…


Powdered drain clear. Lye.  Seemed like that was the main ingredient in every experiment. LOL  We did not have a window to open, so we did the best we could inside or we went outside.


The last co-op day before our Christmas break is usually just one big party.  Chemistry class was no exception.  We played with Helium balloons.  Helium molecules are lighter than air, which makes the balloons float and make your voice sound funny.

046 - Copy

We also played with dry ice.  That stuff is cool.  When left alone in the bucket, the vapors “fog” will flow down the outside of the bucket real creepy like.  Solid Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air, so it will drift downwards.   Must still have some kind of lesson on party day!


Module 9: Molecular Geometry   I do not have a molecule learning kit, so I improvised and used tooth picks and playdough.  It was easy.  It was cheap. It was fun.  VESPR theory.  Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion. :)  I gave the students different molecules to use, which they had to figure the Lewis Structure and then build the 3D model.  It turned out great!



It wasn’t too often we got to play with the test tubes.  Acids and Bases.  Yes, there is Lye in there somewhere.



This experiment was in place of another one and I just can’t remember which one it was. LOL   All I can remember was the experiment in the textbook required Lye…again.  So, I chucked that one out the window and made Elephant Toothpaste.  This is what I really wanted to do.  But ended up using the “safe” recipe.   The students loved it.




Those are just the few fun things we did.  We drudged through the book and made it to the end.  I am happy to say that all the girls did very well.


Now that I am no longer the Testing Coordinator, I have been helping updating the H.E.R.I. Website and just took over their advertising.  This is all done at home, which is what I really wanted.   If anyone needs a place to advertise their homeschool friendly product, on the H.E.R.I. website, just let me know. I’ll send you some info.  We have 600+ families!


On a very brighter side, I am returning to facilitating Biology.  So excited about that.  Yes, this will be my VERY last year in Biology.  My two youngest girls will be in the class and once they are done, so am I.

Blessings Y’all!

Posted in Chemistry, Homeschool, science | 2 Comments

I’m Coming Back!

Very, very soon!


Posted in Home | 4 Comments

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Home | 3 Comments