Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Hunger Games" Themed Cupcakes for Birthday or Halloween!

Hey there, friends!
 October is just around the corner
and I'm seeing lots of
Halloween-ish recipes and crafts about  and looooooooving them all!
What  a festive time of year!
Perfect weather, perfect memories.
The love of costuming the kids
(okay the craziness too, at times... all part of the fun though)
Year after year, even as the kids get older,
of trekking around the neighborhood, enjoying the friends, 
the aromas, the crunchy leaves, the snapping of pictures and capturing of memories.
This treat, though, doesn't exactly encapsulate
 THAT aspect of the beauty and the loveliness....
Nope, I'm sharing a real gorey, crowd pleaser!
We made these cupcakes at my son's 10th birthday party and  what a hit they were
 among many themed treats and snacks!
You can click here to glimpse a bit more about his

And here's President Snow
(AKA, the birthday boy!) 
surveying the treats before party time.
If you have not read the Hunger Games series with your kids
yet, what on Earth are you waiting for??
You. Must,
The political discussions, the correlation in SO many ways of
the characterizations to  ancient civilizations too...
the in depth discussions around current world events and
history are without number!
We also discuss the lack of any any religion at all within the series
and its impact on the leadership throughout Panem as well as  the citizens'despair.....
my kids have noted and compared the futuristic society within the books
to the direction in which our country is moving.
Really, the series is much more than meets the eye.

So, my son, upon our planning of costumes, treats and such for the upcoming
awesomeness of HALLOWEEN!! said I should share
our  "Clove's Impressive Array of Knives Cupcakes" 
( the line Katniss used to describe the knives wielded by one of her opponents)
from his party here on my blog for the holiday!
I thought it was a great idea,
especially for those of you with BOYS who cannot get enough of,
well, the bloodiness ( aka red food color!)
of the holiday!

So here goes:
A couple of shots of the cupcakes up close:
As you can see they are ultra easy to put together!


Here's what you need:

1. Your favorite cake recipe
( or a boxed mix)

2 .Your fave icing recipe  

3. mini cupcake holders ( I found  festive ones here

3. red food color You likely have it in the house, but if not and you want to make life easy, you can pick it up here.

4. candy knives as seen above
I bought mine at a local party store when I last needed them. This year the store  no longer sells them!   So I found them on amazon!

Just assemble as we did, above, or using your own creativity. Display on a lovely platter and you're all set.
Happy Halloween!

Happy Hunger Games 

and ......
May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor!

(If I could cue Vincent Price's laugh  from "Thriller," here,
I would. But I can't!! )

Until next time,


Thank you for visiting, friends!
If you enjoyed your visit here today, 
please subscribe to Campfires and Cleats by scrolling to
the box at the top left.

Sunday Snippets ~ 9/29/13

Hi friends and welcome!
It's been a while since I've linked with RAnn's Carnival of Catholic Posts......
I so enjoy reading the other bloggers' links at RAnn's home on the web!

So here's our week in blogging....


 Come on and click over for seven bloggers' contributions.
There are stories, reflections, crafts, a trip to DC for The March,
 a winning Respect Life video 
and more!  

Please head to RAnn's for more Sunday snippets....

Thank you for visiting, friends!
If you enjoyed your visit here today, 
please subscribe to Campfires and Cleats by scrolling to
the box at the top left.
Until next time,

Thanks to Shabby blogs for the   dividers

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Theme Thursday: "Out" 9/26/13

I always enjoy linking up at Cari's hop
 and discovering how others interpret the theme for the week...
Just lots of fun....
and we, Moms, do need an occasional, fun diversion, right?

So here's my take on OUT:

AS SOON as the rain stopped, my little man zipped 
from the cabin right OUTside into 'his' lake.
More in this post of Adirondack Memories.
Being 10 and cooped up all day in the cabin,
 even with a box of game-goodies.....
"Sorry" anyone? just no fun.

Thanks for stopping in friends and please click over to Cari's 
for more Theme Thursday posts.

While you're here......
will you take a walk with a few of us Catholic bloggers 
on the topic of "pro-life??"
Nancy coordinated the whole effort, contributed to by several bloggers.
Please click over for stories, reflections, crafts, a trip to DC for The March
 and much more on the prolife topic.

The post is here, along with all the pro life links.
Thank you for visiting, friends!
If you enjoyed your visit here today, 
please subscribe to Campfires and Cleats by scrolling to
the box at the top left.
Until next time,

Thanks to Shabby blogs for the   dividers

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Protesting the Legal Holocaust~ Respect for Life: Pro-Life Blog Carnival

~Hi there friends~~!
Welcome to my home on the web
 AND to the Catholic Bloggers' Pro-Life Carnival!
Thanks for stopping in to spend some time here.....
I am honored to be a part of this month's team of Catholic bloggers 
writing with a Pro-life focus.
Nancy of Do Small Things With Love is the creator and organizer
 of the series..Go Nancy!.... 

She's compiled a few of the photos which appear 
in the posts of the contributing bloggers:

Beautiful, no?

In the posts that I share here,
I discuss our parish trip to DC for The March for Life 2013
and  the Respect Life video that my son created and for which he received 
an honor at the diocesan level.
I hope that you'll have a chance to visit all of 
the pro life posts of these bloggers,
 who wrote for this month's collective:

Jennifer from Catholic Inspired
Melody from Blossoming Joy

The post  links are below..........

Thank you for visiting, friends!
If you enjoyed your visit here today, 
please subscribe to Campfires and Cleats by scrolling to
the box at the top left.

Until next time,

Thanks to Shabby blogs for the rose  dividers

Friends, my son's video at link#5 is n-o-w working....!
Thanks to those who informed it was broken.
BUT the URL below has  been changed.
Please click here to get to the post with the Pro Life Video at #5

"And the Winner..." of the Ultimate Homeschool Planner Giveaway Is...............

DaLynn McCoy!

DaLynn's name  was randomly drawn in my   Ultimate HS Planner 2013
 giveaway of last week.
 For the Display of His Splendor is DaLynn's home of the web!
You probably  know her already...if not, please
 go say hi, enjoy her lovely posts and tell her I sent you!
(DaLynn, I'll contact you for your snail mail address.)

Can I tell you how very  happy I am to be part of a
<<<<< growing >>> >
circle of kind, caring, supportive friends 
here in the blogosphere!?

THANK YOU to all who entered!
I wish you EACH could have won.

Have a great day friends and thank you for stopping in!

Until next time,


(My giveaway post will be reverted to draft form in a few minutes
 to save  others the trouble of clicking there and 
entering now that the drawing is over.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Algebra SOS: Our Resources, Links, Materials and God + Algebra

I'm not sure if anyone's ever actually died of algebra.
I'm afraid to look into this too deeply, for fear of truly finding out.
When  I do <ack>  get myself and, most importantly, my son ( ! ) 
 through the curriculum and
successfully  mastering the concepts this school year,
I'll be by this lake,
subject of many of our vacation pics and blog posts:

with a pitcher of white zin, and  a massive feeling of accomplishment, 
come summer 2014.
Lavender Dreams divider

Until goes:
My son is in grade 8 and  while he'd be taking algebra anyway this year, 
we've decided to  "accelerate" him into
the curriculum for which he'll take the state test, the Regents exam, in June.
Here's the Board of Regents website, with a focus on algebra,
 for my NYS friends and readers.
For out of staters, maybe you might use this as just one more
additional resource for practice examples?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's  heavy in common core.
Well, whatever we think of the substandardization that CC is bringing down the pike,
we still need to master the material, right?
So let's do that.

We plan to enroll him in high school next school year and since he is learning algebra and Earth Science at home ( the latter, with my hubby as this is his area)
he'll take both of those tests and then enter high school in the "advanced" track.
Okay, so lots to say about that and to worry about too,
( though I think I've done a pretty good job of hiding my stress
over being an inadequate higher level math teacher where my son's concerned).
At mass today, Father said this in his homily, as he
discussed the Gospel,
"Fear is the absence of Faith."
Since I'm algebra-obsessed,
 I took this to mean that he was specifically telling me
I should  look to the Lord to give me what I need 
to not only conquer the course but make these numbers dance poetically.
It put things in perspective.

So, let's focus on the path to success this year with a plan, with great resources and
most importantly, with Faith.

Please jump in and share any resources which you've used 
and can recommend with assurances!
 Believe me, I am wide open to tips and advice!
Thank you for that!

Here is a listing of resources we're using this school year.

Lavender Dreams divider

Ok, I have to say that I AM an amazon affiliate.
 I am not affiliated with any of the other companies to which I link here. 
I'm really just linking to them because I'd like to make it easier 
for my readers to click to the source and get more info.

Lavender Dreams divider

As our spine:

Math U See Algebra (student text)
Math U See teacher edition
Test booklet
Algebra/decimal inserts
The entire set of Algebra 1 MUS is found here.

Product Details

 Product Details
Lavender Dreams divider

Resources for ME to obtain concept-background 
and presentation tips:

Bob Miller's 
Algebra For the Clueless

I LOVE LOVE the Bob Miller series!! 

You must check out Bob's series. 
He breaks every topic into fundamental,
manageable pieces of info.

Algebra 1 pub by Holt

The above is really intended for whole classroom instruction,
 as it contains overhead transparencies....
BUT, the ideas and unique presentation of concepts drew me in....
so, we put the overhead on the table between us and use it that way.
It can be adapted and it works out fine.
There are literally 92 "Lesson Openers" throughout the book 
on every topic imaginable within 
the realm of algebra. 
It is REALLY worth looking into.
Lavender Dreams divider

Ancillary materials for review /
 additional practice problems:

Algebra DeMystified

Algebra 1 Abeka

Algebra 1 Glencoe

Lavender Dreams divider
~Some Fun Resources In Which to Spend Algebra Time~

Fred's Home Companion: Algebra

Life Of Fred Beginning Algebra
as Serious as it Needs to Be

If you don't know Life of Fred, you should!
Go get a LOF book and have fun!

Lavender Dreams divider

~Review books for year end assessments~

Integrated Algebra
Barron's Review Course Series

Front Cover

Algebra Schaum's Easy Outlines

Front Cover

And, again, here is the link to past  NYS tests, presented by the 
Office of State Assessment.
These can be used as additional review!

Lavender Dreams divider
~ Algebra DVDs we've used and liked~

Math Relief!
( click for their site)

The Standard Deviants - Algebra Adventure

Lavender Dreams divider

Friends, thank you so much for stopping in today to take a peek 
at our journey and spend a little time here in my space!
Perhaps some of this info has been helpful to you on your quest
 to master algebra in your homeschool as well!
I'd love to hear from you if you have time to comment.

Lavender Dreams divider

Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Giveaway: Ultimate Homeschool Planner 2013

Hi there friends and welcome!
I'm happy you stopped by for the giveaway 
and I hope you'll click around and stay while.

You may remember my post,
in which I referred to a  planner  I intended on utilizing this  year,

Well, I purchased the planner here on amazon and boy was I over the moon
with new-homeschool-year-enthusiasm  when it arrived!
I am definitely a planner junkie, as I've mentioned here on my blog.
I carry 'em around.......
I prop color coded calendars on window sills here and there...
 And of course,  since a homeschool mom needs a spot to record plans,
 goals, book lists, daily accomplishments and the like....
 I really thought this would fit the bill.
And I really really liked it.
The ease of the spiral binding; 
the pockets on the inside covers for sticking papers needed that week; 
even a thorough and welcoming note from the author.

Comprehensive and even brimming with biblical references
 and motivational quotes, 
it's  not working for me.

Let me show you a few pictures of the planner so you can see it  for yourself.
I really tried to adapt my method of note keeping
to it, but to no avail.  ~~ ~

So, I'm reverting to my tried and true system of record keeping and planning 
with a  teacher-planner...
I know, I know,
dull and dry as dirt though that may be.....
it does fit my recording style and has, for many years,
as a homeschool mom and a teacher, pre Mommy.

Rather than let my copy of the
 Ultimate  Homeschool Planner sit and collect dust, I'm guessing that 
someone out there reading,
some homeschool mom who's heard of it and just never 
 wanted to go to the expense of buying it,  
would like to get her planner-addict hands on it!
I am happy to oblige you!

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is:
1. Subscribe, if you do not already.
Scroll to the top left sidebar and type your email in.
Do not forget to immediately check your email 
so you can "verify" your subscription and activate arrival of my posts in your inbox.
But you've done this a million times; so you know what I'm talking about.

2. Jot me a  comment below letting me know you want in.

Easy, easy.:)

Entry for the giveaway will be open til Monday night., Sept. 23nd.
The winner will be drawn at random the old fashioned
and announced here early next week.
Once I secure mailing details, 
I'll get the planner out so the lucky homeschool Mom 
can have the planner in hand asap.

Good luck!

Thanks for stopping in  and spending some time here in my space!

Until next time,


Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Huge Thanks to Misty, Susan, Jolene, Claire and the Hearts for Home Hostesses for Featuring My Posts This Week~~~

Welcome, friends and thanks for stopping in!

Just taking a short break from all things
 Treaty of Versailles, polynomials, mixtures, solutions and the like,
 for a shout out to thank some lovely people who took the time to
feature a couple of my blog posts at their link ups ~~~

Misty at Mimi's House  featured my post

 Forever West:

 Caricatures and Street Performers on The Wharf

at her "Field Trip Friday" hop .....


My post, Schoolroom Organization and Schedules: 
was also kindly featured by Susan at Organized 31

Organized 31

and by  the hostesses of the Hearts for Home blog hop.......

(tons more pictures... more than anyone really needs...
over at the post)

Jolene , at Monster's Ed Homeschool Academy
and Claire at Creative Mondays
graciously featured my Back to School Pencil Cake.
How sweet of them!!

Thank you, friends,  for featuring my posts this week!
You definitely made me smile.

Please click over to these hops for some amazing posts.

Thank you, also, friends, for continuously sharing, encouraging
and generally inspiring me on this homeschooling journey!

You are the best.

I appreciate the time you spent here at my little spot on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.

Until next time,