Homeschool Shop Class in action...

We have had a matching couch and loveseat set in our living room for about 14 years. We knew the furniture did not have much more life so we began discussing the best method of disposal. The children thought it would be fun to dissect them!  Here are some pics of the process... 
The painful first cut...

Collin and Kaitlyn digging in...

Dave had to join in the fun...

Even Todd got involved when he came home from work

The end of the loveseat!
Our interesting discovery:
about two pounds of staples were used,
real oak wood was used for the frame,
the arms were made of stiff cardboard,
hammers leave big bruises on fingers,
couches make great storage for 47 cents, two pencils, one stale pretzel, one AA battery, lots of legos, one ink pen, cat fur, sand, dirt, three candy wrappers, and confetti.

Goodbye, my favorite living room set... 
Time to redecorate! WooHoo!

Be sure to check back often to see what the Boyle family is up to!


It's time to get up....

These are the beautiful little happy faces that greet me every morning...

Aren't they so sweet?????
Have a lovely day!!


The after Easter weekend post...

We enjoyed a very nice Resurrection Day celebration with our house-fellowship family.  Yummy food, great fellowship, fun singing and beautiful scripture reading. A wonderful relaxing day as we remembered the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. 

Here are three little bunnies that have hopped their way into our hearts...
EVAN, the oh-so-happy bunny

DAVE, the not-so-happy bunny

Sean, the yummy bunny!!

Have a wonderful week! ~Diona


Chickens and GREAT NEWS!

Just recently I was feeling quite at my end of patience with the animals. I strongly suggested that no more animals come into this house unless they can provide us with food somehow.
So, over the weekend Todd built us a chicken coop with the help of Collin and Kaitlyn. The frame is made of PVC pipe for durability and measures 10'X5'X5', the top is covered with sun shade material to give the chickens a place to hide from the hot summer sun, and the sides have green garden fencing to keep the chickens in and the stray cats out.  The hen house was attained through Freecycle, but still needs a little bit of work before the chickens can use it. When they are older we'll turn them out to spend their days in the yard, but for now their home will be the coop.
We picked up our six chicks: two Jersey Giants (Jenny and Janie), one Amercuana (Amy), a Plymouth Rock (Penny), one Rhode Island Red (Rosaleigh) and a Mystery chicken (Mystery).
They are very happy in their new home. These pets will provide us with eggs in a few months...so I am happy to have them here!
 Amy, Penny, Rosaleigh and Mystery.
Chickens are my favorite pets. I love to watch them walk and scratch, take a dirt bath, eat and drink, and I love the sounds they make. If they are handled a lot when they are young they'll be very friendly when they are older and will come when you call them. Kaitlyn has spent much time with the chicks and they seem very happy to sit at her feet and pick at her toes.

 More exciting news... our Ellie has been matched!! 
When a pup is returned to Southeastern Guide Dog school it is observed, tested, gets a complete check-up from nose to tail, and then begins the training process. Not all the pups meet the qualifications and standards needed to become a working guide dog.  These dogs are career changed with other careers that await them...

Canine Connection Dogs work as gentle companion dogs with visually impaired children, preparing them for a future guide dog.
Public Service Dogs work with Search and Rescue, Arson, Bomb and Drug Detection personnel.
Ambassador Dogs provide outreach, education and comfort to those in hospitals, nursing home, hospices and schools.
Veteran Assistance Dogs are exceptional dogs trained to work with veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Gaining confidence from these dogs, veterans expand their lives, regain mobility and independence and re-integrate into their communities.

Our Ellie was placed with a Vietnam War Veteran. We are so excited for Ellie! She has a forever home and  person of her own to love. 

It is exciting to be a part of such an awesome opportunity and to share in the raising of guide dogs who will facilitate life's journey with mobility, independence and dignity.  We are so proud of our Ellie Girl and can't wait to meet her person and see her again soon.



Today in Language Arts the children wrote limericks and I thought I'd share them...

Collin's poetry:
The Lady from Trent
There was a small lady from Trent
Who got herself a new tent.
The tent fell down,
And she lay on the ground
Her body all crooked and bent.

The Cat
A fat cat laid on the couch,
His gangly legs sprawled out.
Not a care in the world,
Til the dog was unfurled
And came at the cat with his snout. 

Kaitlyn's poetry:
The Lady from Trent
There was a small lady from Trent.
Who lived in a bright yellow tent.
She put on a hat,
And picked up a bat
And scared the man who she paid rent.

The Hair
There once was a man with long hair
Who gave it very much care.
His wife cut it off,
And threw it in a trough
And the pigs ate it up with a flair.


When we bought our current home 12 years ago all the walls and ceilings were white, and brand new white carpet had been installed in every room. The stark white was a little overwhelming, but for someone who enjoys painting and decorating as much as I do the interior represented a huge blank canvas and I was excited!  I have enjoyed painting and decorating each room over the years. The children's rooms and bathroom, the family room, and the dining area have all been painted many times, but the living room has always been the same. It was hunter green on the bottom, wood stained chair-rail in the middle and creamy beige on top.  This weekend, however, was the big paint-over for the living room. There are still a few touch-ups to do and the quarter-round to put down, but I'm really liking it!!

I think it looks so fresh and clean. There's nothing like a new coat of paint!!
Meagan also painted her bedroom and bathroom over the weekend. When it is completed we'll post pictures!

Have a great week!!!


First day of school...

Yesterday was the first day of the homeschooling year 2011-2012 for Collin and Kaitlyn.  In our home we have chosen to follow a lifestyle of learning in place of a set 'grade' in which the children complete a boxed curriculum each year.  We do have a few workbooks but most of our learning is reading, discussions, hands-on activities, and lessons learned from daily living.
This year I've chosen to use Walking in Truth Bible study by Notgrass, Language Lessons by Sandi Queen, Life of Fred-Math and Math-U-See, and Sequential Spelling.  We will continue using Mystery of History for our time-line and our science will be mostly hands-on dissections and experiments.  Oh boy, what fun!

Life lessons will include every aspect of our lives;  gardening (flower, herbs, fruits and veggies), yard work, building a chicken coop and raising chickens, bird watching, couponing and grocery shopping, furniture building with dad, meal planning and preparation, household projects, car upkeep and repairs, letter and story writing, budgeting and bill paying, character and relationships, volunteering...all the fun stuff of daily life! 
We cannot leave out the relaxation activities like swimming and biking, soccer, reading, arts and crafts, movies... our life is full and we love it!  I am so thankful for the opportunity to home educate my children.


Thank God for Electricity!!

Last Thursday Florida had some pretty rough weather. In our area the storms were fierce, the wind was whipping everything around, and our recycle bins were blown almost a block away!  Everything in our home went dark Thursday just after lunch..  This has happened before, during hurricanes or bad weather and we were quite sure our power would be restored within a few hours, so we opened all the blinds and windows just biding our time.  By dinner time, we still had no power, so Todd grabbed some take-out on his way home from work. The house was quite cool from the storm so we enjoyed dinner by candle-light and began our bedtime routine, feeling quite sure that sometime during the night our power would be restored.  Twas not to be so!!  We spent Friday doing laundry at a friend's house, taking our frozen and refrigerated items to the same friend's house, and hanging out anywhere that promised air-conditioning. We were certain that Friday evening would bring lovely electricity back to our home. We weren't enjoying our candle-light so much anymore, and the cold showers were getting old!
We spent Friday evening at a friend's house sharing dinner and fellowship, and hoping that by the time we returned home the welcoming porch light would be on.  Nope! One more night of darkness was to be tolerated by the Boyle family.
Finally at 8:25 Saturday morning the fans and lights, refrigerator and freezer, aquarium pump, pool filter, computers, printer, telephone, and dishwasher all began working again!! WooHoo!!! Life is good! It was an interesting adventure, but one that we hope not to repeat any time soon!!

Saturday, Collin had a yard sale with his friend, Matthew. They are both raising money to buy their own computers. Collin cornered friends and neighbors to ask for donations of items for his sale, set it all up with Todd's help, and enjoyed talking people into items they really didn't need. He made $124.47.  Way to go, Collin!!

We are thrilled to have our house back to normal, happy that we live in the times we do when we have so many luxuries and blessings.