Sunday, April 30, 2006

The butterflies, again.

Now they are forming the chrysalises, chysalisi ... You know what I mean, they're building cocoons!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Employee Appreciation Day.

My husband has been with his current employer a couple of years. Last year, for employee appreciation day, they had a big cake and free coffee for everyone. This year, they still had the free coffee, but instead of cake, they got fruit. My husband interpreted this to mean, "they still appreciate us, but they think we're getting fat." LoL.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Salad Anyone?

This is my daughter's version of a salad from the salad bar; croutons, which she dips in the ranch dressing and eats, and lemon slices, which she eats, straight up, with no sugar. Yum!

The Ha Ha Game.

Yesterday, we got to a point, during the afternoon, when we were all cranky and being grouchy with each other. I decided that the kids needed to play a mandatory session of the Ha Ha game which we got from the Hank the Cowdog book series. One person has to say Ha! The second person has to say "Ha Ha" and so on, adding a "Ha" every time until someone laughs. Of course they're trying not to laugh. It's a great tension breaker.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

All Talk

My youngest son was talking about my oldest son today. He said that he sometimes doesn't like playing with his brother because his brother talks too much. According to him, his brother is "All talk, no play!"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Butterfly/ Triops Update.

The caterpillars have grown a lot. Here's a picture.

The triops are disappearing 1 by 1. At one point we had 8 and now we have 3, but Killer is getting chubbier and chubbier ... This picture isn't very good as the water is cloudy and needs to be changed. I'll talk to my oldest son about changing the water tonight. He's completely responsible for taking care of the critters, thank goodness.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Tonight my youngest son was telling my brother about 4 leaf clovers. His theory is that you have to be lucky to find a 4 leaf clover and if you are already lucky, why do you need to look for a 4 leaf clover? Wise boy, that one.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Different Things.

We've had a different kind of week than usual. My Dad went back into the hospital for a few more days this week. He's better now, and home. Consequently, I spent a lot of time at the hospital and the rest of the time, pretty much, working at my job. I don't get any vacation time or sick leave because I'm an independent contractor. Anyway, the kids got to spend a lot of time with their Dad and I think it was really a good experience for them. They helped him get some things done around the house, he supervised their schoolwork on Thursday and Friday and I think they had a pretty good time together. The two older kids learned how to use the carpet shampooer today, a very valuable lesson, while the younger son and the dog practiced staying out of the way! I guess they learned other things too, things about helping out, working as a team and taking care of people when they are sick.

An update on our various science experiements going around on around the house - - The beans and potatoes are blooming, growing inside, in the kitchen. The triops who numbered 8 on Friday, this morning, numbered 4 and Killer is getting positively chubby. I think he's earning his name. The caterpillars that are going to turn into painted lady butterflies are eating like crazy and had all at least doubled in size, if not tripled. I think it would be fun to get an ant farm. I wonder if I could just catch some of the ones that have been trying to invade my kitchen this week ...

Even though it's been a difficult week, homeschooling is still good.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Wedding.

A family friend got married yesterday. We all attended the wedding and it was very beautiful. My husband and I have known this friend since junior high. In his 20s, he became a single parent to his 1-year-old daughter when his wife divorced him and he was awarded sole custody. We've watched him raise her alone and she is now a beautiful young lady of 15. Yesterday, he remarried, with his daughter's blessing. I noticed that it was not a completely traditional ceremony. The bride's 2 daughters and the groom's 1 daughter came in as bridesmaids, but there were no groomsmen. The new family of 5 stood together on the stage, with the minister. The bride's daughters were the maids of honor and the groom's daughter stood in the place of the best man. It was a very beautiful thing.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Butterflies!

They're much smaller than I thought they'd be. They are like little inchworms. It was fun getting the package in the mail that said "Live Butterflies".

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I'm taking the easy way out of school today. I gave all 3 kids some handouts/ worksheets and craft sheets on butterflies and I'm making them do that while I try to get some work done. I'm having a difficult time lately juggling it all. It seems like I can only keep one ball in the air at a time. If my work is going okay, then school and housework are bad. If school is going okay, I'm behind in work and housework. If housework is going really well ... that never happens, so I'm not sure how that would work out! Anyway, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed today. I've got all this paperwork to fill out, a scavenger hunt/treasure hunt to plan for co-op tomorrow, transcription lines to get, kids to teach, relatives who are calling to see if we've forgotten them because we haven't been to visit, the adoption agency calling to see why the paperwork is taking so long and a huge volunteer job I said I'd do for my church . . .

Anyone got any Calgon?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Triops Again.

They're growing so fast. It's kind of facinating. This is an interesting and inexpensive project to watch an animal life cycle. I got the triops kit which included eggs, water conditioner and food, at Walmart for a little over 3.00. Here's a picture of the biggest one, Killer.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The News from Here.

My youngest son has become a news broadcaster. He's been reporting the "Bunkbed Local News" today, live from the second bunk of the bunkbed. As far as family news goes, we are getting ready to start our homestudy to see if we can adopt from China, we are doing some spring cleaning, doing minimal schooling (we need to work on that!) and working and finishing taxes (whew!). I wish homeschool expenses were tax deductible. We've been watching the triops grow. It seems they double in size every day. That's them in the photo, above. The biggest one has been named "Killer". We fully expect him to eat the other ones, but he hasn't yet. My older son has been doing a good job taking care of them, with his Dad's help. We haven't received our butterfly larvae in the mail yet, but probably will soon. This is an interesting unit, but I don't think we're really doing it justice. We're not very enthusiastic about anything. I think we're kind of doing what regular schools do and kind of winding down this time of year, counting down to summer!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

My Latest Project

I think a lot of homeschool moms try different ways to help contribute to the family finances. I'm no exception. I've been playing around with designing things for Cafe Press. Cafe Press is a web site that lets you design items of clothing and household items that are personalized. They don't actually make any of the products until someone buys them, but with their technology, you can take a look at them. I recently bought some baby bibs from them and was impressed with the quality. They were very cute. Anyway, I always have found it difficult to find things for grandparents for mother's and father's day, so I've designed a bunch of stuff that has different grandparent names on it. So, if you call your grandparents any of these names, take a look at my site and maybe you can find their Mother's day or Father's day present on there!

Here are the names I have so far: Memere, Pepere, Poppy, Poppie, Mamie, Mayme, Meema, Meme, Nana, Da, Papa, Glam-ma (for the glamorous grandma), Grandpa, Granddad, Gramps, Baba, Grammy, Bubbe, Nanny, Mamaw, Papaw, PawPaw, Mema, Pop Pop, Bop Bop, Gram, Gigi, Oma, Opa, Grampie, Poppa, Grandmom, Grandmother and Grandfather.

I have plans to add a few more. What do you call your grandparents?

Happy Easter

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Not too much school.

We've had a lot of life going on this week and not so much school. We've been hit and miss with school all week, a couple of hours here and a couple of hours there. My Dad's been in the hospital and I've had a lot of other things going on as well. It seems like I've spent the entire week in my van. Still a few things are going on, schoolwise. The triops have been growing and my older son is doing an observation journal about them. The butterfly larvae have been ordered. We've been doing some math, some reading, some spelling, some writing. It all adds up, but it sure has been a hectic week. Whew. Now, onto a hectic holiday weekend. Whoo hoo.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Subtraction Game

Revisiting the lesson plans site I found a game that involves subtraction. I played it a little bit with my youngest and he taught it to my other 2 kids. They were all laughing and enjoying it last night. It goes like this. Two people pick up a card and put it on their forehead without looking at it. The third person tells them the total of the 2 cards added together and then each person has to figure out (by subtracting the other persons card, which they can see) what their own card is. It's funny to see people with a card on their head and we have all enjoyed playing this.

15th Carnival of Homeschooling

Check it out here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Spring Blahs.

Really nothing has been going on this week out of the ordinary, but some of us in this house have been kind of whiny and cranky. I think it is spring fever or some kind of spring blahs. We don't want to work. We are moving slowly through the animal growth and development unit. We purchased some triops eggs and a butterfly pavilion. We have had 2 critters of some kind hatch so far and we've send the card to receive our butterfly larvae. Our unit also includes studying eggs and this is a good week to do that, so after we get some at the grocery tomorrow, we'll study them a bit and do some of the activities in our curriculum and probably color a few, just in time for Easter week.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Best Mom in the World.

Apparently, today I'm the best mom in the world because I bought the kid's Icee's when we were out shopping. Funny how that works. One day this week, if I remember correctly, I was the "meanest mom in the world" and today, I'm the best. Tomorrow, back to meanest. Oh well, I'm not in it for the recognition or titles anyway. Good thing.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Surprising Kids and a Proud Mama.

Yesterday was a long day. We had co-op with our homeschool group and I taught the class of first, second and third graders a lesson on basic fractions. I had planned several activities, a couple of worksheets, a book called "Halfway Hank" which is very cute and the Hershey's Chocolate Fraction book. In case I ran out of things to do, I also took one of the suggestions from the lesson plans page below. It suggested that each child take a handful of beans and try to divide it evenly into half, then thirds and fourths. The kids surprised me by enjoying this activity the most - more than the Hershey's Chocolate Fractions book. I even gave each child their own Hershey Bar to divide and then eat and they liked the beans more. They did eat the chocolate without complaining, mind you, but they begged to take some of the beans home and went out with pocketfuls of them. Fun!

Later in the day, we had some thunderstorms. My younger son is afraid of storms and I couldn't seem to comfort him. My older son took him aside and played a game with him to help him not be afraid of the storm. It worked like a charm. I'm so proud of my 13-year-old for being so thoughtful. What a great kid.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lesson Plans Resource

In case I haven't shared this before, this is a really good place to find specific lesson plans on lots of subjects. I typed in "math" in the search engine and it brought up a list of about 200 things to do, book studies that involve math, games, even art, language and music connected ideas. Cool.

Scheduling Revisited.

It seems like I can't come up with a workable schedule, no matter how hard I try. Yesterday, we went back to one that had served us well before, with the kids doing their math and language arts in the morning, while I am doing medical transcription, so that we don't have to do that in the afternoon and school can be done earlier. I hear it takes a while for new homeschoolers to get something worked out that suits everyone in the family reasonably well and we are definitely no exception. I just hope the working out part gets here soon. We have about 40 days of school left to do this year (39 I think, as of today) and this is probably going to be our schedule until then. Youngest son 1 is working in a 2nd grade math book, a handwriting practice book for K-2 and reading, daughter is doing AKVO spelling (or AVKO, whichever it is), reading and 4th grade math (division). Oldest son is doing spectrum 8 writing and lots of math in the Key to ... series, plus tons of reading, which he does on his own. In the afternoons we do the KONOs units which typically have a lot of science, history and social studies, really a bit of everything and are fun and interesting and also spend a bit of time on our Spanish lessons which we haven't done for a couple of weeks. I'm getting kind of ready for summer to be here.

Monday, April 03, 2006

One Year Anniversary.

The one year anniversary of my blog here has just passed. I guess I celebrated by taking a couple of days off! Not intentionally, but we have been very busy. I've had fun, but I'm ready for some home time now. Here's my post from a year ago today, just for old time's sake.

April 3, 2005.

Yesterday, we were supposed to clean the house. And we did. A little. I told my youngest son he needed to clean and he said "I don't like cleaning." I told him that I don't like it either, but it has to be done. He said "my liking of cleaning is as low as the earth's core."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What Kind of Homeschooler Are You?

What Type of Homeschooler Are You?

Mr. Potato Head You have your ideal of how things should look, but youre flexible enough to allow for change. You are not bothered by changing methods, mid-course if necessary. You use an eclectic combination of curriculum sources. Visit my blog:
Take this quiz!

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Apparently, I homeschool like Mr. Potatohead would? Who knew?


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