Thursday, June 30, 2005

School's Out For The Summer.

I am not doing any formal schooling this summer. We had several things scheduled to do this month and we've been doing those and in between, trying to rest, recooperate, get the house in a little better order and work on my job. Nevertheless, some learning has been going on. My daughter decided to calculate how many hours from when she got up until time for VBS at 6:00 p.m. She then divided this number by 2 to come up with how many half hour TV shows she could watch during that time. Not that she is allow to watch that many TV shows, she just wanted to know. ;-) My younger son has been doing calculations of his own, for example, how many days until each event, how many times we will get to go to the pool this summer etc. My oldest has been doing a lot of emailing with his friends. That counts for writing, right?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

How Much I Enjoy This.

Now that I have had my blog for a couple of months, I just want to comment on how much I enjoy blogging. It is fun to have an outlet for my thoughts and opinions and to record the fun things my kids are doing. I especially love to get comments on my posts, so please, keep those coming! If you leave a link to your blog, I will visit!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Homeschool Planning.

I have the KONOS curriculum for this fall and we've kind of already started on it, by reading Swiss Family Robinson. It is one of the recommended books. Now I'm off in search of a math curriculum. I'm really not sure where to turn for this. My youngest child loves math and wants to talk about it and work on math problems in his head all day long. My daughter is pretty good at math, but it isn't one of her favorite things to do. My older son came out of public school with a math phobia. He believes that he is not good at it and will never be good at it so why try? I'm not sure what to do with him.

While I was searching, I did find this site which looks good. Math Worksheet Site.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I can't wait.

I'm re-reading the fifth Harry Potter book in anticipation of the sixth one coming out on July 16. I am very interested to know what is going to happen next. Anyone else? I love these books.

Let's Pretend ...

The other day my daughter and my niece were riding in the middle seat of our van. They were pretending to be on a roller coaster, so they would scream whenever we went down a hill. After a while, they started playing another game and it was nice and quiet. Then my daughter said, "Let's pretend we are on a roller coaster again." My DH said, "How about we pretend we are on a roller coaster and we are mute?" They didn't go for it.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sleeping in the Bathtub.

My younger son has a tendency to eat too much sometimes, if we have just gotten a lot of groceries that he likes or if we are on vacation and have a lot of food in the hotel room for snacks. We have learned that it is best to restrict his eating after about 6:00 p.m. or he will throw up in the bed. The other day we were in a hotel and had a box of the cheese crackers shaped like whales. It was after his eating deadline had passed and he reached his hand towards the box of Whales. My husband said "Dan, if you eat even one Whale, you are sleeping in the bathtub!."

Friday, June 24, 2005

How Do You Get There?

Last night, I was printing a map from Louisville to a specific point in Indiana. my older son asked why I started the driving directions in Louisville, since we don't live there. I explained "I know how to get to Louisville." My older son said "Everyone knows how to get to Louisville." I asked my younger son if he knew how to get there he said "Sure, you just go mmm, mmm, mmm (showing the route with hand motions) and you're there." My older son did the same thing, "mmm, mmm, mmm (with hand motions)" and said "I'm not there." Smarty pants. Fortunately, my younger son thought it was funny too.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Last year in public school, my older son had a spelling assignment that included the words toleration and tolerable. He had to write sentences with each word. He wrote "I am practicing toleration of school." "My homework is barely tolerable." I hope it is easier to tolerate the way we school at home!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Everywhere I Go.

I love music. When we are in the van, we almost always have the radio on, pretty loud, and my daughter and I are almost always singing along. Sometimes the boys too. Occasionally, I have some trouble with the lyrics, especially, for some reason, pronouns. A couple of weeks ago I was singing along to a song that goes "Everywhere I go, I know you're not far away. You're right here." and I sung "Everywhere I go, I know I'm not far away. I'm right here. " The kids are still laughing at me over that one.

The Boss of the TV.

Last night my 7-year-old came running to me, pointed at my 8-year-old and said "who told her she's the boss of the TV?" I thought it was funny since it seems to me that in most households the big boys usually take control of the remotes. Thank goodness for our "kid of the day" system because the dispute was resolved without me really having to do anything except ask "Who's the kid of the day?" She was, so she got to be the boss of the TV which meant she got to pick a movie to watch during our weekly hair combing-out session. I hope she can work out some sort of similar system when she grows up and gets married. :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Our First Homeschool Summer.

This is our first summer as homeschoolers. Last year, I spent the entire summer trying to decide if it was the right thing to do, to homeschool our oldest instead of sending him to middle school. Now that the year has passed, I am convinced it was a good choice. With the other two kids the decision making process was much quicker. We had a month of homeschooling the oldest under our belts and the public school was beginning to drive us crazy, by giving my daughter 3 hours of homework a night that she didn't know how to do, among other things. She said that the teacher's aide couldn't explain how to do it because she wasn't the teacher and the teacher didn't have time, so the kids lost out.

I can't believe how much I have changed in this year. I am now such a pro-homeschool person, its funny. Right now we're sneaking in a little bit of school by reading Swiss Family Robinson at night before bed. The kids beg for 1 more chapter.

Monday, June 20, 2005

2 weeks ago.

Last night my kids were having a discussion about what day it is, what we've done this summer and what events are coming up soon and I heard my daughter say "Two weeks ago today was the day before the day before vacation."

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Comfortable Landing.

My youngest son just ran into the bedroom, tripped and fell on the bed. He said, "I hurt my leg, then I fell on the bed, so I had a comfortable landing but a hurtful beginning." Then he paused and said, "Now kiss my leg and get me a sandwich." Another pause, then, "Please."

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Perfectly Good Bread.

I was going to a party today and I was going to take spinach dip inside of a party style loaf of bread. The dip was in the fridge and the bread was in the package on the table. Just before the party, I scooped out the top of the bread to put the dip in. My youngest son said "Aw, Mom, why did you have to ruin perfectly good bread by putting dip in it?"

Friday, June 17, 2005

Sign Language

This morning my 7-year-old son got out of bed, walked into the kitchen and said "Mommy. If you are doing sign language, you have to take a break when you have to scratch."

I couldn't possibly make this stuff up.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Scholar

Is anyone watching the latest reality show on ABC, The Scholar? A bunch of recent high school graduates are competing for a scholarship, apparently a big one. Anyway, there is a homeschooler from PA on there.

See Scot's Profile Here

One of the judges keeps making remarks that he doesn't expect Scot to do well on certain tasks because he probably has no social skills. So now, officially, I'm cheering for Scot.


My favorite recipes are all quick and easy. The fewer ingredients, the better. Here are some of my favorites.

2 handfuls of spaghetti.
1 can Ragu (our favorite flavor is roasted garlic) sauce.
1 cup water.
cut up hotdogs, prepared meat balls or previously cooked hamburger (optional).

Put in crockpot and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Peanut Butter Cookies.
1 cup peanut butter.
1 cup sugar.
1 egg.

Mix. Drop onto cookie sheet, bake for 10-14 minutes at about 400 ish, (I think.)

Fruit Ka-Bobs.
My kids are much more likely to eat fruit if it is on a ka-bob. Why? I don't know, but I like to put strawberries, grapes, pinapple and cantaloupe on some kind of skewer for them. I dull the end of the skewer by clippng it with the scissors (or by hitting it on the table if I can't find any scissors!) and make them eat them sitting down because those skewer thingys seem kind of dangerous.

Can you tell I'm not a gourmet? I don't have time to get fancy, usually. It is amazing that I have any recipes at all. My mom is a great cook, but she doesn't measure. After I got married, I'd call her to ask how to make my favorite recipes and she'd say some of this, some of that, but there'd be no measurements. I finally have become that kind of cook too. I usually don't measure either, which means if it is really, really good, I can't repeat it. Sorry. I hope you enjoy it this time because next time, it won't taste like this. :-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Little Teacher.

This morning, my youngest son was going to try to sneak up my daughter and scare her. She said, in a very weary voice "I know what you are doing, I taught it to you."

Can't Go To Sleep.

Tonight my youngest son was sitting up in bed playing. I told him to lie down and go to sleep. He said that he couldn't go to sleep for 3 reasons. First, he couldn't find his pillow, second, there were crumbs in the bed and third, "my game is just too fun." The "game" involved a stuffed animal snake and a squishy ball, a lot of wiggling and talking to himself. There were also quite a few sound effects. Gotta love those little boys.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Scheduling Woes.

I'm trying to come up with a schedule for when we start back homeschooling and I honestly have no idea how to fit it all in. I feel like every person on the planet, just about, is more organized than I am. For my fall schedule I'd like to find time to do KONOS, math, Spanish, chores, personal hygeine, spelling, notebooking, library days, co-ops on Fridays, 3 days a week of going to Curves (alone!) and my job and, oh yeah, housework, grocery shopping, church, and kid's clubs on Wednesday nights, not to mention family functions, birthday parties, doctor's appointments, visiting family and other incidental things. If I could find the secret of getting the kids to work independently, this would not be as much of a problem, but I haven't found the secret yet. Maybe if I put some desks for them right beside mine or move my desk to the kitchen, then I could work while they do their schoolwork. I could take time out from typing to give them the evil eye or an encouraging nod every now and then. As it is now, if I assign them work, then go into my bedroom to do medical transcription, they stop working, 'forget' they even have schoolwork and start doing something else. :-(

Better Now.

My mysterious back pain is going away. Hopefully it will be completely gone soon. No more living in fear of sneezes, I hope! I'm going back to work now.

My Back is Out, Out, Out!

The day before yesterday and most of the day yesterday, I kind of had a twinge in my back. Last night, I went to a homeschool meeting and during the meeting, it kind of stiffened up more; then on the drive home, even more. By bedtime last night, I couldn't move any body part, including my toes, or even hiccup without my back hurting. This morning, I can barely move. I'm living in fear that I will sneeze!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Another Abridged/Unabridged Rant.

I was trying to find a link for an unabridged version of Swiss Family Robinson. I have a copy here at home that I think is an unabridged version. It was printed in 1963 so I think probably it is? Anyway, I tried to find a version on Amazon that was unabridged and all I could find was an audio tape copy. I think it should be easier to tell on Amazon and other sites whether a book is unabridged or if most of the interesting parts have been removed (abridged.) Grrr.

Swiss Family Robinson

You can't judge a book . . . Getting Blogged.

Last night I decided to sneak in a little of the KONOS curriculum on resourcefulness by suggesting that we read "Swiss Family Robinson". My daughter looked at the cover and said "I don't want to read it. It doesn't look good." I actually got to say "You can't judge a book by its cover." and actually, literally mean a book. Anyway, we agreed that I will preread it somewhat before I read it to them, in case it has scary parts. I've begun reading it this morning and am enjoying it very much, so far.

On another topic, I got frustrated about something and said "poop" and my 7-year-old said teasingly "I don't want to poop!" My 8-year-old thought this was the most hilarous thing in the world and said to him "You know you're getting blogged!" I didn't think the poop part was all that funny, being a little bit older than 10 myself, but the "you're getting blogged" part is very funny to me because it shows that she is tuned in to what I might blog about. I think that it is interesing. We have a new expression at our house 'getting blogged'.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hotel Lobby.

This is the lobby of the hotel we stayed in our recent local getaway. Before we got there, I thought this was an outdoor area, but it turns out, it had a 5 story atrium lobby. The windows you see in the background are room windows. We had one of the little balconies. We really enjoyed this hotel and we had an incredible price through Hotwire, which they probably don't want me to share, but it was really good, trust me. Posted by Hello

The First Two Sentences Today.

My 7-year-old woke up this morning, raised up his head and said "What did I get for my birthday again?" Then after a few minutes of pondering our answers, he got up and went to the bathroom. He came back and said "You know, if the house was upside down, I'd be wearing shoes, because the floor would be prickly." Sometimes I wonder about the workings of that boy's mind.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Birthday Boy.


About this time of the day, 7 years ago today, I was being wheeled into the operating room for a scheduled c-section. I can't believe how quickly the time goes. I remember after he was born and I found out he'd weighed 8 pounds and 2 ounces and I was really shocked because we'd been told he was going to be a very small baby, maybe 5-6 pounds. Anyway, my now 7-year-old got a Zome building set and he picked out 3 video games for himself, for gamecube. It's been kind of a rainy day, so he had a lot to do indoors to keep him busy. We had the free cake at Grandma's house (since he has his budget to stick to) and it was fun for all. Now, since I am a medical transcriptionist and we don't really get Saturday off, I'll be working for the rest of the evening to make up for leaving earlier today for the shopping and the party. Still, it is worth it. I wouldn't miss his special day for the world.

Friday, June 10, 2005

My Blog Has Been Reviewed.

To read the review, click on this link!
AHA Homeschool Blogs

Birthday Musings.

My baby is turning 7 years old tomorrow. I can not believe it. I really can't. He's very excited about everything. Last year, I got tired of the birthday planning and negotiating and just gave the kids a budget. My DH and I thought a few minutes about how much we usually end up spending for gift and party arrangements and we set that amount as the birthday budget. Last year, my youngest decided he wanted to go to the local pizza / arcade place and he spent over half his budget there (just for our 5 family members.) Then he went to Toys 'R Us and spent the rest. My daughter decided that she just wanted the money, thank you very much. She asked grandma to provide the cake (a freebie!) and spent the entire budget on herself. My oldest son followed her example. This year, my almost-7-year-old has wised up too. He's planning free cake at grandma's and then we'll head out shopping. I'm not sure if this is working out the way we'd like, but at least they are learning a little bit about budgeting, shopping and the costs of entertaining. My oldest son had the idea to have a pot luck birthday party so he wouldn't have to pay for snacks for a party. I told him 'no way!" He can't expect guests to bring a gift and the food! Maybe we're learning a little etiquette too?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Games - Post-vacation Blues.

My oldest son got the game Three for All for Christmas and we played it for the first time this vacation. We had a ball with it, mostly I think because we were tired and giggly anyway. It goes like this, there are 3 words you have to get everyone else to guess and then someone has to try and figure out the connection between the 3 things. Whoever figures out the connection gets the points. For example, one list of words was lemon, cough and rain. They're all drops. Lemon drops, cough drops and rain drops. Sometimes we'd get the connection instantly and sometimes we'd all sit and stare blankly until the time was up or we gave up. The more tired we got, the more we sat and stared blankly. LoL. It was a lot of fun!

We also had a good time playing Cranium Zigity, which is a card game and has the added benefit of not taking up much room in the suitcase.

I really enjoyed the vacation but now I think I'm having a little bit of the post-vacation blues. I'm back to work, back to my regular life and back to my own housework. I miss the maid!.



My sons love Atollo blocks. They are these little blocks, Lego sized, 2 different types. Anything you make with them is flexible. It can bend and transform. My boys have built a race of robots they call Atollians. They play with these all the time, more than video games. Here's the link to the website.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Vacation Top Three.

My oldest son's top 3 things about the vacation were
1. The pool.
2. The children's museum.
3. The park.
My daughter's top 3 were
1. The hotel.
2. The pool.
3. The museum.
My youngest son's top 3 were
1. The pool.
2. The snacks. (We allow a lot more junk food on vacation.)
3. The tub. (We had a big whirlpool tub in the hotel room.)

The youngest 3 children particularly enjoyed locking themselves out of the room for a few seconds, then using the credit card type key to get back in. Amazing how facinating that was. ;-)

Vacation - Good Times

We got back from our vacation today, tired and happy. We were just about the only family with kids in the hotel we were in, so we had the pool to ourselves a lot of the time. We had several times when we laughed so hard our cheeks hurt. A great time was had by all. Yesterday, I got a little tired and announced that we would all take a nap when we got back to the hotel and my oldest son said "You can take a nap in the deck chair by the pool, because we're going swimming." I love vacations, even when we don't really do much, because every thing we do we do together.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Our Vacation Song

We get silly when we go on vacation. A couple of times, we have made up a song about our adventures, like the time we got lost for 2 1/2 hours in Indianapolis and made up a song that went "you can't get there from here, you can't get there from here. You can get there from anywhere else, but you can't get there from here." We were tired, okay? That's our excuse anyway. Finally some woman led us back to our hotel and actually drove us into the parking lot, not trusting that once we saw the Holiday Inn sign, we could find our way from it, into the parking lot and then into the hotel on our own.

This year, my 6-year-old has taken on the job of writing the song, prior to the vacation. It goes something like this "We're on our way to vacation, uh, uh, uh, uh" (repeat this line about 400 times). My daughter says if he's singing this, she's riding in the other car.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

My Other Almost-Mistake.

I use word expansion software in my job. The program I use is called SmartType and it expands words for me, so that I don't have to type the whole word every time. For example, I can type "hi" and the word "history" will appear in the document I am typing. It is very convenient, but I have gotten spoiled to it and expect it to expand words sometimes when I shouldn't. For example, I tend to expect it to expand the word "head" to "headache" but since the word "head" is a legitimate word too, of course, it doesn't change it. Therefore, I end up typing things like "The patient came into the emergency room complaining that he has had a head for 3 days."

Friday, June 03, 2005

My Funny Typo.

As a medical transcriptionist, I get a lot of typing practice. Nevertheless there are common typos that I always make and I have to watch out for them. I have to proofread very carefully. The funniest typo that I make repeatedly is "diet" for "die". Yesterday, I was typing for a psychiatric patient and the doctor asked him if he was suicidal and I typed "No, I do not want to diet."

Of course I corrected it!

Counting Down.

My daughter said last night "The day after tomorrow is the day before the day before vacation."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Be A Statue!

We have a puppy about 6 months old. His name is Shadow. I'm currently trying very hard to teach Shadow not to jump up but he does it a lot. On me, it isn't bad because he's not very big, but for the two younger kids, he is big enough to bother them a little. Today, on our walk, the youngest got the idea to be very still so that the dog would pass by him and not jump up. It actually worked. What was so funny about it, though, was the boy said "be a statue!" and then he'd strike a pose. He wouldn't just be still in the position he was already in, he'd get in some statue-like position every time the dog would come up to him. Think "boy running", "The thinker" or even "The Karate Kid". Hilarious poses. The girl and I laughed until we cried, then we joined him, every time the dog came up to us, we posed. The dog sat down and looked at us, head to the side, thinking we had clearly lost it. It was a fun walk. Although, I can tell I need to go back to Curves and get in better shape again, I was huffing and puffing up that last steep hill.

Brave Potatoes.

Last night we read a book from the library called "Brave Potatoes". When we finished it, I made the comment that it was a silly book. My daughter said "Well of course it was a silly book! It was called "Brave Potatoes" not Brave Warriors or something like that! A book called "Brave Potatoes has to be silly!" She's right. It is a cute book, by the way.

Funny 6-year-old quotes.

Here are some of our funnies from yesterday.

There was a moth in the bathroom, flying at the light and my youngest son said "I don't like moths in the bathroom, they disturb the privacy." Like he even shuts the door!?

He came running into my room where I was working on the computer and said "Mommy! Do you know what?!" I said "what" and he said "Well . . . There was a ..... Nevermind. I forgot what I was going to say." I thought that was an age-related thing, forgetting what you are going to say. Well, he is almost 7.

Speaking of his birthday, he's counting up how old he is. He has been saying for a long time that he is 6 3/4 and now that his birthday is very soon, he's said yesterday, "I'm six and three-quarters and a dime!"

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


We have a card game, which is kind of like Uno, I guess, but it is called Duo. My youngest son loves to carry the cards around and talk people into playing this game with him. This morning, he talked his father into playing but forgot to tell him a couple of important rules and before they played, the little one "personalized" the deck so that he would have all the wild cards. The little one won, of course, but not by as much as one would think. Daddy's pretty smart too. We've had a few talks about how what one person might call "personalizing" the deck other people might call it "stacking" the deck, otherwise known as cheating ...he still does it, he just tells people up front that the deck is "personalized." This means that his siblings won't play with him and he has to find a kind adult to play, usually grandma, but sometimes mom or dad. He's been trying to teach grandma to play chess, but somehow, she hasn't caught on. You should hear the explanations ...


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