Monday, December 31, 2007

First post of each month of 2007.

I saw this on another blog as a way to review the year. It's the first few lines of the first post from every month this year. It gives sort of a snapshot of our homeschool. It's likely out of focus and jumbled, but here it is, the first post of each month this year.

January 2007
I was going to get started back to school today. I told everyone at all of the family parties this weekend that we were starting back today. However, we aren't. I was up until 3:00 because I couldn't go back to sleep after being woken up and I slept until nearly 10:00 and I'm not going to do school today. In order for them to have to do school, I have to have gotten up early and done my list. I didn't, so they don't have to ...

February 1, 2007
It snowed a tiny bit today and I toyed with the idea of giving them a snow day but then I figured with the little bit of snow, they'd play in it for 5 minutes and then want to watch TV and play video games all day, so I decided not to go that route. We're doing school today. I'm not sure if the county schools in our area are closed or not. I kind of enjoy not having to check that (especially since I had to get up around 6:15 a.m to find out if there was school and if I needed to wake the kids up!) Anyway, we're doing school and work as usual around here.

March 1, 2007
So far, it's been a pretty ordinary day around here. My husband and I kept to the no nagging routine and the kids pretty much did their work without us bothering them. Actually, that's kind of amazing if you think about it. They did all of their schoolwork with minimal input and no nagging from us. I helped my youngest with reading and grammar and I helped my oldest with his math, otherwise, school was smooth today. Weird, huh?

April 1, 2007
There is a definite downside to baking bread in the bread machine. For about an hour each day, no one in the house can think about anything except how wonderful it smells and when is it going to be done. Sigh. 14 more minutes.

May 2007
We're working on finishing our study of South America. That Sheppard's Software
web site has been great. The 2 older kids know the South American map backwards and forwards. The youngest is getting there. I've even gotten pretty good at it.
Yesterday, my daughter said that homeschooling was like having an endless campout. I'm not sure what that means, but I guess it's positive feedback?

June 2007
The last few days we've had a cardinal who has been trying to get in our window. He tries about a hundred times a day. It's weird.

July 2007
Yesterday I took the kids to a local aquatic center that has a pool and water slide. I didn't feel like swimming or even like suiting up so I wore a pair of pants and a shirt and sat down in a lounge chair to watch the action. I did kick off my shoes to be more comfortable. I ended up getting a slight tan/burn on my feet and the lower section of my shins and on the top of my head, in the part of my hair. It's very interesting. I guess to even it up next time, I'll need to wear a bathing suit, a hat and a pair of crew socks. :-)

August 2007
I've been trying to figure this out all summer and since Pam in Colorado asked, I'll tell you what I'm going to try to do this year ...

September 2007
Vacation is over and now we need to get back to real life. We took our Labor Day holiday yesterday, since Monday we were at the Renaissance Faire learning all kinds of things. That counted as our first field trip of the year. Tuesday, we visited a farm and petting zoo. That was our second field trip day of the year. Yesterday, we just needed some down time so we took it. Today, we'll start school again. I need to print out everyone's checklists and get going on mine.

October 2007
We did do school yesterday. Everyone got their morning lists done by at least 3:00 p.m. The younger 2 kids also got their afternoon lists done and then we went to the first ever tween event at the library. (Tweens are kids from 9-12 in case you didn't know!) They've set up 4 events for tweens this week.

November 2007
We have old-fashioned TV reception from an antenna. No cable. No satellite. Just 3 channels of broadcast TV. Well, last May, our TV reception went out completely. We decided not to fix it, just let it go. We had adjusted to life without TV, although I must admit missing watching "Dancing with the Stars". Suddenly, yesterday, it just came back on. My daughter was turning on the TV to watch something on DVD or tape and there it was. Now I don't know how to react. I did miss TV somewhat, but it was getting to be less and less. We were all adjusting to life without it and now it's back. Weird.

December 2007
The flooring is about 90% done. My youngest son said we ought to be on the show "Weekend Warriors" because we only work on the weekends. Truth is, I haven't done any of it. My idea of getting flooring put down is to call in professionals. I've just kept working at my job and supplying the workers with food and iced tea.
Anyway, it looks great and I'm very happy with it.

There it is. Our year in summary, Kind of.

Easing Back Into Our Regular Pattern.

That's what we're doing around here. Now that the new Christmas toys are getting more familiar and some of the newness has worn off it's no longer 24 hour a day Pikmin 2, Guitar Hero and skating back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. That's what youngest, oldest and girl respectively, were doing in the first few days after Christmas. The kids have been going back and doing some of the things they usually do as well, like reading, painting, watching TV. The younger 2 even played one of their big pretend games yesterday. I'm off work today and my plans are to grocery shop, clean and try and get the Christmas tree and other decorations put away. I might take 2 dogs and a cat to the vet today as well. I've been trying to get that done for over 2 weeks now. I doubt seriously if we'll be doing any partying tonight, maybe at home. We might just play games or something to bring in the new year. That sounds good.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Quick Blog Update

I need to get to work so this will be quick. The party was great yesterday. The cake was just okay, nothing to write home about and according to the results of a poll of 2 party goers, I did not stink. Maybe it's just children who find the scent repulsive. Hmmm. A child repellant. Interesting.

I'll be working today, all day, so I'd better get to it.

Entry for Carnival of Homeschooling button contest.

At Why Homeschool they're having a contest to make a graphic for their button. I used a graphic from this site and modified it a bunch to get it to the appropriate size, trim it and color it in. I think that's okay to do, as long as it is a public domain graphic and it is.

Here's my attempts.



Saturday, December 29, 2007

Stinky and weird.

That's what my kids have decided I am. I'm weird for wanting to make an inside out german chocolate cake for the party today. (You put part of the icing in the cake mix before you bake it and half on top). I think it sounds really good. I'm stinky for wearing the lotion and body spray my mom-in-law gave me for Christmas. I think it smells wonderful, but they don't like it. Not one bit. Too bad. I'm making the weird cake and I'm wearing the stinky lotion. Ya'll can pass on the other side of the street when you see me coming!

Weird Week.

The week after Christmas is always different from any other week. We pretty much let the kids do whatever they want, within reason. We haven't had any video game limits this week and they have been playing a LOT of Guitar Hero. I've been trying to catch up on work and get a few things done around the house. I feel kind of ready to get back to routine and kind of not. I haven't got our new, almost perfect lists done (I always think they're going to be so much better!). I've been looking for some kind of log system to keep up with my older son's units/hours of study and so far, haven't found anything yet. I may have to make up my own. We've got a Christmas party to go to today, and I've gotta work before that, so I'd better get busy.

Oh and for anyone who wondered, older son now thinks his foot is not broken and is just bruised, so he didn't get taken to the doctor for that.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still in a slump.

We're still in some kind of slump. We're tired. We haven't gotten our sleep schedules straightened out. Our house looks like a tornado hit it. I have been getting a few little things done. I have been doing transcription. I cleaned one closet and started on another. I retyped my mom's medical history (I do one for both of my parents and update it from time to time). I've also been trying to figure out how to do our schedules on a spreadsheet, instead of on Word, but it didn't seem as easy for me. I'll probably just go back to Word. I'm planning the semester in my head and writing a few notes, but so far, that's as far as its gotten. I also went to the store while my oldest was at game night and bought myself an index card file and some index cards. This is my new system for keeping track of all the things I need to keep track of and writing down any brilliant ideas I might have. ;-) Hey, it could happen.

Ah, well, tomorrow is another day. I doubt I'll get much accomplished since youngest son has a doctor's appointment and I may have to take oldest son to get his foot x-rayed. He tripped over his own shoe today and is limping around. We'll see how it is in the morning.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The day after Christmas.


Traditionally at our house we don't make the kids do much of anything on this day. No chores. No going anywhere. They just get to play with their things. Tomorrow, we need to start finding places for those things and getting rid of some of their old toys that they no longer play with. Or, maybe the next day. Sometime soon. I've been feeling very lazy today. I did get up and clean out my bathroom closet, made some chili and did a few odds and ends jobs, but other than that, I have not gotten much done today. I guess after the holiday busy-ness, we need a restful day. We've got one more holiday party this weekend and one on January 6.

Hopefully we'll get some things cleaned and organized some time before we start back to school. I've changed as I've gotten older and for some reason, having a clean, organized home has become more and more important to me. I used to just not care that much, but now I do. Hopefully, I will become a better housekeeper. Or maybe I should just hire one! I really had no idea how much homeschooling would impact housekeeping, from the materials that we have to store to the fact that the kids are home so much. It's worth it and just lately, we're getting better at corraling the mess and using the kids to help do that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas thoughts.


It was a good Christmas. Right now, I'm blogging while hoping the younger two kids will just, for goodness sakes, go to sleep already. The boy has been up since 4:00 and is alternately very crabby and very silly. The girl has been up since 7:00. I can still hear them talking though. I guess it's hard to calm down. I managed to get a really, really good nap in this afternoon and I feel okay now but it's nearly bedtime and I think I'll be able to go to sleep again without too much trouble. If these kids ever quiet down, that is.

Here are my random thoughts about this Christmas.

1. A Christmas Pet Peeve: I like Christmas songs to be sung very closely to as they are written. I don't enjoy it when the singer changes the timing, the words or the tune, because then I can't sing along. This seems to be rampant in the Christmas songs they play on the radio.

2. Best Moment: The best moment of the season was when my aunt, who is like a second mom to me, said a prayer expressing how thankful she is to be born into this family. I second that.

3. Funny moment: A funny moment was when they were giving out treats at church. They started with the babies and ended up going by age up to 90 year olds. One woman didn't come up and get a treat and her husband (who was helping give them out) said "I know you are 70!" and she said "I am not! I'm 71! I thought it was funny because I thought she was going to say she was younger than she was, Lol. Anyway, it was cute.

4. Christmas Memories: A memorable moment was when we were sharing Chrismas memories and this same man told of his mischevious childhood and how one year he actually did get a bundle of switches! I think my youngest had a moment of fear at that point!

5. Goofiest Thing: The silliest thing we did was this. We have one of those mailboxes that raises a flag when the mailbox is opened by the postman and so we can tell if we have mail at a glance. However, this week, we were complaining about not getting any mail for 4 days and then realized that nobody had actually looked in the mailbox, we were all just looking at that flag and it was malfunctioning. So we had 4 days of mail piled in the box.

6. Best presents: My monster foot slippers. I've always wanted them. Guitar hero 3 for my oldest, roller skates for my daughter and Snap Circuits for the youngest.

7. Cutest: The cutest thing I saw this Christmas was my 15 month old nephew playing pat-a-cake along with the toy puppy we got him (it sings and talks).

8. Best food: Hmmm, that's a tossup between the broccoli casserole and the mashed potatoes.

Merry Christmas!


I was wrong in estimating that an exited 9-year-old would wake me up at 5:00. He woke me up at 4:00 instead. We didn't let him open presents that early so he played on my computer until 7:00 and then he woke the whole house! So, it's 8:15 a.m. and the presents have been opened and the kids are all playing with things and Dad is assembling other things. I think it's time for Mom to crawl back in bed for a few minutes before we go to breakfast at my mom-in-law's house.

I hope your holiday is wonderful!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Not a creature was stirring ...


except this mouse. Thank goodness it's not real! It's another one of my daughter's pipe cleaner creations.

Here's our plan for today. This morning, I'm going to work a little bit. I'm off tomorrow and I'll need to make that up sometime (no paid time off) so I'll do at least half in advance today. I'm letting the kids sleep in and it's 10:30 am and the little two are still sleeping! Sometime today we need to get the house in order, bake cookies and make broccoli casserole for tonight's dinner. We also have 3 or 4 presents still to wrap. Then this evening, we'll go to my mom and dad's for dinner and opening gifts with them, my brother and my aunt who counts as my second mom. Then we'll go to the 11:00 p.m. service at church, come back home and go to bed sometime after midnight. Then, I've got to get back up and do the santa thing in the middle of the night sometime and then crawl back into bed only to be awakened by an excited 9 year old at probably 5:00 a.m.

You know, I think I should try and work in a nap this afternoon!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's Christmas Eve Eve.



It's come to be a holiday in its own right around here. My boys have a thing they do every year in that the oldest gives the youngest a few hours of his time for Christmas. The youngest gets to choose an activity and they do it together. This year they're going to play Heroscape. We let the kids open their presents to each other on this day. They did it an hour or so ago. It's fun to see what they've picked out for each other. Tomorrow, they'll get to open the presents from us (parents) and us from them.

I can't believe it's here already!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Acrostic poems.


We did acrostic poems yesterday based on the words Candy Cane. I used these because they were a free printable and I was too lazy to make my own with a different word. Anyway, these turned out pretty well.

Here's my youngest son's.
C andy
A lways.
N orth pole.
D Deer.
Y awn.

C hristmas presents
A ll are here!
N ot sleeping!
E eek! We said as we jumped out of bed.

(He didn't really get into it until the last part.)

My daughter's.

C hristmas is coming soon
A nd we sing Chrismas Carols like
N oel Noel and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Rein
D eer and then its time for bed.
Y awn.

C hristmas! Shouts my little brother,
A nd everyone jumps out of bed to see what is the matter
N o one was sleeping anymore, not with
pr E sents by the door.

(She kinda cheated on that last line, using the E in the middle of presents!)

My oldest son's.

C hristmas is coming in just 4 days
A nd we are
N ot unhappy.
D awn on Christmas, we can't wait.
Y um, we get some taffy.

C ant' wait any longer.
A nd
N o one can make this sentence wronger
E veryone wants Christmas today. Hurray!

(He does know that wronger is not a word!)

Some things we used for language arts through the years included Caught Ya, Grammar with a Giggle and Jump In, A Workbook for Reluctant and Eager Writers.  I really think the second one, which my daughter used for 2 years, helped her want to become a writer.  She's been working on her first novel for a few years.

At the library.


I went to the library last night and returned a big stack of books. I had forgotten a couple and they were overdue. I remarked to the librarian, "I guess I need to keep all my library books in the same place." Then I asked the names of the books I'd need to look for and he named a book my youngest was reading and then the other one "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life." Obviously, I haven't read that one yet! LoL.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Funny Max.



Last night we came home from the Awana party with some home baked cookies from my friend and co-teacher. They were wonderful, some kind of oatmeal/butterscotch, absolutely out-of-this-world good. We sat down in the living room floor and looked at what the kids had bought in the store. We started playing the card game my son got, called Zeus on the Loose (cute and good for math). We put Max out at the beginning of the card game because he did his stand-with-nose-to-door routine and then we ate cookies and played cards. We each finished a couple of cookies, put the lid on the tin they came in and continued playing cards. Then Max scratched to get in. My daughter got up and let him in and sat back down with us. Max came running in, ran all through the house sniffing and finally sniffed my hand and knew that I'd been eating something that smelled wonderful. He climbed in my lap which he almost never does, then tried repeatedly to shake hands. When this cute behavior got him no cookie, he went over to my son and then my daughter, trying to shake hands. Still no luck. Poor guy. I have no idea whether dogs can eat butterscotch or not and I try to not let him have too much 'people food', but boy, did he want those cookies!

The last 2 days.


Will we get anything done today? It's questionable. Yesterday we didn't get afternoon school done for 2 reasons. First, we had the Awana store and we had to go set everything up for that. And second, my husband and I also had to have our last Christmas meeting where we drag everything out and look at it and check the list twice, so to speak. Turns out, we had bought 1 less present for the girl and we needed to either take one of the boy's gifts back or get her something else and we decided to give her one more small thing. We're never done when we think we are. We aim at 5 presents per child, usually 1 big and 4 small, but as the kids get older their tastes seem to get more expensive. The 15 year old got 2 presents last year, his computer from us and his monitor from Santa. Usually everything on his list is "big" as in expensive.

I'm tired of old Santa, but the youngest still believes, so we're letting him share in the glory for at least this one year. If we get foster babies here, I guess we'll have to deal with him again but I don't want to. He gets the credit for the stockings and half the presents and silly me, I hate to see him look bad so I want him to give good presents and I want good presents to also come from mom and dad ...

Back to school, since this is a homeschool blog. We're trying to decide what to do with our highschooler. As I mentioned on this blog a while back, he says that what we're doing is not working for him. I had him doing these workbooks with the goal of enrolling him in NARS which I still think is a really good program to get an accredited diploma. But, we kinda decided to just do our own thing for high school, teach him what we feel he needs to know and get him ready for college. We may also try to get some of his college credits taken care of through CLEP or online college courses. We may have him get his GED. I'm not sure. We decided this yesterday, but after a night's sleep and visiting the NARS website just now to make the link, I'm starting to feel undecided again.

Gulp.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"It's a school day"


I go around announcing that in the mornings. This time of year I frequently do it in a song, to the tune of "you're a mean one, mister Grinch!" It's still an unpopular announcement. They groan and complain but then sometimes if we haven't done school for a couple of days, they'll get bored and one of them will stay something like "We don't have anything to do. We haven't had school!" (The older 2, not the younger one, he never says anything like that!) So I suspect they actually kind of like it, especially when we are doing more fun stuff. The last really fun unit we did, in my opinion, was the Christian Cottage South and Central America study. It was really good. I've got another one of their units on Asia, Africa and Europe to do and I was thinking we'd wait until we are done with American History, but I'm not sure. Maybe we could do both at once? Or maybe I can just try to make the American History more fun and interesting. So far, it's not really. I blame that on my teaching. I just haven't had time to add much to the textbook. We've been notebooking and that's always a good part of the school day. We've also been doing some fun Christmas things. We did the Night Before Christmas mad lib yesterday and some Christmas picture sudoku.

I need to get busy today!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A little trouble blogging.

I haven't been able to get in and blog last night or this morning. I'm not sure what the deal is, but while this screen is up and it's letting me blog, I'm going to type as fast as I can. I've been reading the carnival of homeschooling this morning. It's here. (I actually put the link this time, aren't you proud?!)

We've taken a little mini-break from school. You know, life just gets in the way sometimes. We took Friday off because our social worker came for our final foster care walkthrough/interviews. We took yesterday off because I went on a shopping marathon and then I needed a nap. I am the Awana commander at our church and I have to buy all of the products for the Awana store. The kids get play money for attendance and learning verses and twice a year they get to spend their money. So I went to Walmart yesterday and bought tons of kid things, toys, lip gloss, coloring books, party favors, balloons, etc. It's not easy because I can't spend too much money and the kids range in age from 4-13, both boys and girls. I also got the things for our kid's stockings. Then, after 4 hours of shopping and very little sleep the night before, I took a nap yesterday afternoon, so no school.

Still, as I said, we are pretty much on target for our number of school days so far this year. We'll have 73 if we do 4 days this week and we can finish in late May or the first week of June.

Between now and when school starts again, off and on, while celebrating the holidays, I'm going to think about reorganizing school again for the spring semester. It seems to me that last spring went well but this fall, not so much, so I'll need to pull out last spring's schedule and look at it again. It's always a challenge to try and balance it all, but so worth it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More decorations at our house.



This is a little nativity set that I got when the kids were younger. It's solid wood and I was looking for an indestructible set. All of the pieces store inside the barn which folds up. You'd think that would keep them from getting lost, but it hasn't. Joseph, one of the kings and all of the shepherds have been lost. Maybe someday they'll return. But maybe they're afraid to come back because of the giant, eyeless reindeer looking over the top of the barn? (Actually, since he's eyeless, he's probably not looking, come to think of it!)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Our Tree.



With it being 9-ish days until Christmas, I thought I'd share a picture of our tree but the ones I took of the whole tree ended up being blurry, so here's a picture of our tree-topper, a crocheted angel my mom made. The artificial tree we bought this year is pretty but I find it hard to get excited about an artificial tree. I always enjoyed going out to cut down a tree, bringing it home and putting it up. I love the smell of evergreens. We always got a cedar tree when I was a kid. We'd go to my grandma's farm to cut it. Now we actually live on a small part of that same farm and put up an artificial tree. Better for the allergies.

I guess we'll do 5 more days of school? I'm not sure what we're going to do on Monday. We've got a lot of errands to do and I'm not sure if we will manage school in the midst of doing all that. If not, we'll do 4 days and that will be 73 so far this year. If I'm counting the days right, that puts us finishing right at the end of May if we don't take spring break. Not as bad as I thought. I was thinking, that with all these doctor's appointments we've been going to, we were behind, but we're doing okay. The hard part is working up any enthusiasm for our studies this time of year. I'm ready for everyone to open the presents I got them.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Explaining homeschooling/Field trips.



I was talking to the social worker today about homeschooling. She doesn't seem to know much about it. We must be her first homeschooling family. I could tell that she was curious about what exactly we do. I explained what we do on a daily basis and showed her one of our lists that we work from. I told her about the curriculum that we use (various ones). I also told her about the field trips we've been on this year and started naming them and realize that there had been an awful lot. I can think of almost 20 this year.

Here's a partial list of field trips we've done since January.
Abraham Lincoln dramatization.
Mad Science.
Museum of Art and Craft.
Hayride.
Hubers Orchard and Winery.
Locust Grove historic home.
fire department.
letterboxing.
aquatic centers x 2
Funtopia.
Dinosaur World.
alpaca farm.
veterinarian's office.
Louisville Science Center.
City Hall.
Newport Aquarium
A Discovery Museum that I can't think of the name of right now.
The Ohio Renaissance Faire.
Kentucky State Fair.

Most of these we went with the homeschool group and some were just with our family. I'm not sure how many of the family trips we would've gone on if we hadn't been homeschooling. We might have done some of them, but it seems like we do a lot more fun stuff now that we homeschool. We can sometimes get group discounts with the group and go during off season times and that makes us more likely to go.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Whoops!

I forgot to give the link for the Carnival of Homeschooling. It's here.

Enjoy reading it!

I think we may actually be done.

With the Christmas shopping, that is. We have one thing that we need to take back and get something else, but other than that, we're done. It feels good. I think it was a week ago we started? Anyway, it's done, done, done, done, done! For today and tomorrow, we'll concentrate on our final foster care walk-through which is tomorrow at 1:00. (Pray we find the papers we've lost somewhere in this house!) Then for the weekend, my focus will be getting my lines done for my job as the pay period ends on Sunday. Then, Monday, I'll have to shop for the Awana store. Then, possibly, we can concentrate on school and get a good week of school in before Christmas actually gets here.

My youngest son is "in training" for Christmas. He's decided that I should wake him up earlier every day, so that he's ready to wake up really early on Christmas morning. (Actually, I think he plans to stay up the whole night, but he's currently denying that!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Various things.

The carnival of homeschooling is up and it is here. It looks long and good and interesting this time. I've not had time to read much of it yet, but the articles I have read, I've enjoyed.

We're almost done Christmas shopping. We've went from not knowing what in the world to get, to getting it almost done in less than a week, including getting my mom and dad's done. I'm hoping my husband gets the boys stuff done today and I can get the girl finished very quickly based on what he finds for the boys. We try to keep the spending and number of gifts for each relatively even and we try not to go overboard. The trouble with waiting this late is that a lot of things are sold out and we have to make substitutions. But, the trouble with shopping early is that the kids change their minds and no longer want the thing they've requested for months ... Anyway, we're almost done and I refuse to worry about it any longer. What's done is done, what's spent is spent. The kids will be happy no matter what.

The youngest is trying to figure out how to get a lot of caffeine in his system and stay up all night Christmas eve, which is difficult since we only drink decaffinated tea, coffee, kool-aid, water, milk and juice in this house. He's thinking of blowing his whole allowance on Pepsi but I won't let him. I want him to sleep!

The kids are still counting down the days. Today is cool because there have been 12 days in December and there are 12 days left until Christmas eve, so both of the ways they are counting are on 12 today.

Youngest son is doing a reprise of Sandra Boyton's song "Banging on Pots and Pans" in the kitchen so the rest of us are hanging out in the bedroom. With the door closed. We don't want to stifle his creativity, but we don't want to listen to him either. It is a school day but the kids are done with their morning lists and are waiting for me to get done on the computer so we can do afternoon lists together. I guess I'd better quit blogging and get my real work done!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Counting the days.


The kids are counting the days until Christmas 2 different ways. We have a little felt wall hanging that they use to count it down and it's got little pockets to put things in and a little wooden candy cane that you move from one pocket to the next from 1-24. They are counting the days of December and have the candy cane on the
11th and they've made their own paper candy cane to count how many days left until Christmas, 14. So they have one of the candy canes in the 11 pocket and one in the 14th. It's funny.

Yesterday, we did school. Math is going well, I think, thanks to the Math Mammoth workbooks we're doing. We also made cookies yesterday during school time. If we'd measured the ingredients and all that, it would have been a math lesson(fractions, measuring) but I cheated and we got a roll of cookies from the grocery store, so maybe that counts as art? They were very artistic but not very tasty, sadly. I think they had a bit too much handling by the artists which made them kind of tough and floury. Anyway, it was fun.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Looking towards January.

I've got this list of things that I want to do or need to start doing with the kids that I plan to do in January. It started out to be kind of a small list, but now it's grown very, very large. In the back of my mind, I'm starting to worry about it a little. I want to change the way we're doing school somewhat. My oldest has said that he's not learning anything from his workbooks and I do want him to learn something, so we're going to add some of his subjects to ours and do them together like we're doing American History. We're going to add in more grammar instruction and writing for the younger two kids (if you hear whining in January, it'll be because of that!). I want to add more chores to everyone's list (or that!). I want to get my oldest enrolled in karate again. I need to see about getting braces for the girl. The list just seems to go on and on. I suppose I just need to tackle one thing at a time ...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Kind of busy weekend.

We're having a kind of a busy weekend. We've shopped quite a bit and we've got a birthday party this afternoon. We're also supposed to be getting the baseboards down in the living room, but that's kind of looking like it might not happen. We've got a foster care final walkthrough on Friday so I was kind of hoping it would be done. Anyway, the floor looks better than it did the last time our social worker was here. It was bare plywood then. We'll just clean it up the best we can and hope she's understanding about construction dust, I guess.

I've also got to get 2 dogs and 1 cat to the vet this week. I hope it stops raining, because I really don't want to take dogs to the vet in the rain. I am not fond of the smell of wet dogs!

We've only been home from the grocery (in the rain!) for about 20 minutes, but it's time to go to the birthday party now! No rest for the weary (or the wicked, I forget which.)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thank Goodness.

We finally got some of it done. My husband got a some of the boys gifts on the way home and I got a few more this afternoon. I still have my nephews to buy for and each of our kids needs a couple more things, but I feel better. I also do my mom and dad's shopping and I got half of theirs done today too. I see a light at the end of the tunnel now, the last couple weeks before Christmas maybe I can relax a little bit more, knowing this is done. I'm going to start earlier next year so I can shop online. That's where I messed up, trying to shop online too late for free shipping, I guess.

I have to confess. I told a fib today. After I was gone for a few hours shopping and I came home, the kids ran to greet me at the door. Fortunately, I had the foresight to leave the gifts in the van, covered up in the back. They asked what I'd done with the presents I'd bought and I said I'd dropped them off at Grandmas on the way home. A total untruth. I feel bad about it, but I don't think it would've been good to tell them they were in the van! Now I'll have to sneak out there after I they've gone to sleep and bring them in. It's bad, I know, but it was the first thing I thought of.

Anyway, I have gotten over my shopping paralysis and gotten started.

I'm starting to get worried about this Christmas shopping thing.


Usually, we've got a pretty good handle on it by now, but not this year. I spent a lot of time putting a bunch of things in my cart on Amazon only to find that more than half of them could not be delivered by December 25. That is a terrible disadvantage to shopping late! It's difficult for me to get any actual store shopping time without the kids, so I'm not sure when I'm going to get my part done. I've sent my husband a list of things to look for on his way home from work, but I like to do some of the shopping too, that way we've both picked some of the kids things out. I will feel better when this is done and I'm just trying to sneak around and get them wrapped!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pipe cleaner sculptures and other things.



These are some pipe cleaner sculptures the younger two made last night. They've been inspired by a book from the library which showed them how to make all these. I think they're cute. I'm not sure what we're going to do with them. Right now, they're all over the couch.

Today we don't seem to have any appointments or anything so hopefully it will be a good day for me to get a lot of medical transcription done as well as a productive school day. I'm giving some thought to changing the schedule when we get back from Christmas break, adding in more grammar and science. The science part will be met with a lot of happiness from my kids, but I'm not so sure about the grammar part.

To clarify, most of the time when I'm talking about what we'll be studying, I'm talking about the younger 2. The oldest is in high school and he has certain subjects that he's working on, on his own. We also use his American History textbook as a spine and we all study American History together each day. He's had a lot of trouble with a couple of the books he's been using to study on his own, science and language arts, and is doing well with all of other ones. I've been debating whether to replace the 2 that he's having so much trouble with. I hate to, but honestly, I tried to sit down and do the science with him and I just found the text to be very difficult to read. I've battled with myself about this for several long months. Yes, I know he will someday have to do things he doesn't want to do but on the other hand, he's not learning anything from these books and I do want him to learn. That's the benefit of home education, right?; an education tailored for the child?

If I can get a good high school science text we may all do it together as we are doing the American History, I can just adapt it to everyone's level.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Some Pre-Christmas fun.

We enjoyed doing this Mad-Lib of the night before Christmas.

We did it.




I managed to make school a priority yesterday and we got it mostly done. We worked on least common denominators. We studied American History. I had to take my mom to the doctor yesterday afternoon, so I wasn't around to supervise reading and writing. I never did ask my husband if he did, so that part may have been neglected a little. After I got back from the doctor's, I took the kids to craft night at the library where the youngest 2 got to make 6 Christmas ornaments for our tree (each) and the oldest got to spend some time on the library's computer's fast internet. The homeschool group was there too, so we all got to do some socializing. It was nice. After we got home from the library, I did the usual read-aloud. We're reading Hank Zipzer. Then we all had a discussion about the book character's learning disabilities and how his teacher handing him a homework packet to take on vacation was not helpful to him and the kids each talked about how they learn best. Then my daughter read 2 Christmas picture books to her younger brother, something that's good for both of them. He enjoys having someone read to him because he doesn't read very fast yet and she enjoys reading aloud. So if you add that day all together, adds up into a pretty good learning day.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The view from here.


This was the view from my kitchen window today, both of our girl cats, Zoey and Xena.

We're going to do school today and do a good job of it too. It seems like homeschooling has been getting the short end around here lately. Anyway, today we're going to get something done. I just know it.

Hopefully.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ahhh.

I don't have to work today, which is always good. The floor is done except for the trimwork. We have a Christmas party to go to for the homeschool group and that's it. I think we will do a kind of relaxed school schedule this morning and go to the party and call it a day. We deserve a break today. ;-) Whoops, I just remembered I'm supposed to bring cookies to the homeschool party. Maybe I'll go get some cookie mix this morning? I guess I could make them from scratch but who knows how that would turn out? I'm not that experienced of a cookie baker. Hmmm. Maybe I do need to go do some shopping?

We got our Christmas tree up, finally. The younger 2 kids have been chomping at the bit to do it since Thanksgiving, but we wanted to wait until the floor was done. They put it up last night and had it decorated in no time flat. Later today, we'll go put up Grandma's tree. I can't believe how fast Christmas season has come upon us!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Flooring again.



The flooring is about 90% done. My youngest son said we ought to be on the show "Weekend Warriors" because we only work on the weekends. Truth is, I haven't done any of it. My idea of getting flooring put down is to call in professionals. I've just kept working at my job and supplying the workers with food and iced tea.
Anyway, it looks great and I'm very happy with it.

The first picture was what it looked like when they stopped working on it. (The furniture is still all shoved up against the walls.) The second picture is about 2 hours later when it had turned into Littlest Pet Shop world.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Revisiting old Friends.

We've been reading a bunch of picture books this week that we hadn't read in a while, revisiting books we love like old friends, all of Dr. Suess, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Cricter, Leo The Late Bloomer and others. It's been fun to take a little walk down memory lane. We are also reading the latest Hank Zipzer book from the library, called "Barfing in the Backseat, How I Survived a Family Road Trip". My oldest is revisiting all 54 of the Animorphs series currently. I definitely think our love of books as rubbed off on the kids. The news yesterday was that the youngest, who is 9 but has had some reading difficulties, picked up a book at the library yesterday and read quite a bit of it. He's been able to for a while and now he's starting to believe that he can. How cool is that?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Home!

We get to stay home most of the day and I'm looking forward to it. We'll do our school routines. This is the first day all week that I haven't had something I needed to do during school time. I'm thrilled. I hope no emergencies crop up today. I might actually get to cook some lunch, get the laundry caught up and work on those least common denominators with the younger two kids. Doesn't that sound like fun? Except for the least common denominators, it all sounds good to me.

Home.

Ahh.

At least until 5:30 p.m. Hey, we can't stay home every minute, can we?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I did it.


I spent the whole day away from my responsibilities and worries and it was mostly nice. I got a little tired and I'm not much of a shopper, really, so I did a lot of waiting for others to shop. We ate at the cheesecake factory which I'd never done before. We ordered lunch and by the time I'd eaten half of it, there was no way I could have room for any cheesecake. If I ever get to go again, I'm just ordering cheesecake and nothing else! During the shopping part, I did pick up a gift I need for a gift exchange in a few weeks at Bath and Body Works.

Anyway, it's good to be home today, at least for the morning, which is all we get since someone has a doctor's appointment at 1:00 pm today ...

Oh well. For a homeschooling, work at home mom, I sure don't get to spend much time at home, do I?

(picture from Great Homeschool T-shirts

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Call me irresponsible ...

Today, I'm running away from my responsibilities and going shopping with the other homeschool moms. We have a Christmas party each year for the kids and a Christmas party for the moms each year. This is ours. We'll shop, have lunch out and exchange presents. I'm looking forward to it, but there is this sense that I should not leave all my responsibilities even for one day that I struggle with. I'm, of course, working before I go and will work when I come home because I don't get any paid time off from work. I hope my husband does the school work with the kids today, but if he doesn't, it won't be the end of the world. We'll make up the day sometime, even if we have to do a Saturday. Now if I can just relax and enjoy myself ...

Monday, November 26, 2007

The new sport.


The new sport around here is putting on socks and sliding on the new floor. It's funny. Here's a shot of my youngest, pants rolled up and socks on, sliding. They've even made up a new game which has very complicated rules and involves sliding and throwing a ball into a goal.

They did most of their school with their Dad today as I was running errands, tons of them, in 2 different towns, in the rain. It's good to be back home and inside, even if my house is a construction zone!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More flooring!


We've got more flooring, almost half the room is done. I tell you, those HGTV shows where they're just putting that laminate down and it's so, so, easy, are so, so false. It takes a long time and it is a pain. If any flooring manufacturer is reading this and wants to donate their easier flooring so we can use it in our kitchen and then I'll write a good review, okay, but it better actually be easy.

Anyway, I'm happy it's going down.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Flooring!

Today was a pretty good day. We got part of our new laminate flooring put down (yay!). I'm very excited about getting these bare plywood floors covered up, although I think they were an improvement over the ugly carpet we had before. I'm slowly getting into a Christmas mood, although we're waiting on putting the tree up until at least half the floor is down, so we won't have to move it to put in flooring. I think waiting a little bit might be a good thing. It seems like Christmas is coming to quickly! I think it's 32 days?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Another Thanksgiving day for us.

I guess we need to be doubly thankful! We are having dinner at my mom and dad's today. Yesterday, we had dinner at my husband's mom and dad's. I also have to work this morning, but that's okay. At least I don't have to go out into the cold and work. I can do it right here at home. That's something to be thankful for, right there.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


I've got the day off and I'm so thankful for that. I don't have to cook today, or clean and that's just wonderful. We're going to my mother-in-laws house for some of the best home cooking in the world, then tomorrow, we'll go to my mom's for some more!

Here's the turkeys I had the kids make this year. It's just not Thanksgiving season in school if you don't have to make a turkey, is it?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Frustrated.

I just haven't felt like blogging. It's been kind of crazy around here and in my juggling act of work, school and housework, I thought I was doing pretty good with housework and school but my knew my work was't going all that well, (but still passable.) Now my high schooler says that he's not learning anything with this workbook approach we're using for him so I feel like I've dropped the school ball. (Did ya'll hear a loud thunk?) He didn't want to do Konos (which is very hands-on), he didn't like the computer based program that we tried and now he doesn't like workbooks. I'm not sure where else to go from here? Just make him do it? (We've been trying that approach for over a year) or try something else? It's frustrating. We may all just have to follow along with his studies. He's learning about geology in Science, so I guess we'll all have to do geology ...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Maybe the last of the appointments for a while?

We did not do school today. We had dentist appointments for everyone in the family then we had some shopping to do and errands to run. We had to buy a new Christmas tree because last year I just got disgusted with the old one and took it to Goodwill. It was very difficult to put together and branches would just fall off. Hopefully, this new one will be better. I can't believe how quickly the holiday season is getting here. Thanksgiving is this week!

The rest of the day, I spent cleaning, working on my store on Cafepress and watching Dancing With The Stars. I really wonder who is going to go home tomorrow night. They all seem good.

Anyway, we'll get back to school tomorrow, do some Thanksgiving activities and try to have a good time. Sometimes in my crazy rush to just get it all done, I forget to stop and enjoy it.

Thanks for all the great comments on my blog. I've tried to comment on everyone's blogs this week as well as commenting on my own blog to answer questions, but blogger has been shutting me out sometimes, randomly, so sometimes I can comment and sometimes I can't.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday.

I gotta say, I'm glad to have this week behind me. It's been a little crazy trying to get things done. Hopefully, next week will be better. It's Thanksgiving week. I can't believe how quickly it's come this year! I love Thanksgiving though. It's a nice holiday. Sometimes it's a little hard to be thankful, when you feel that life is getting you down, but that's when you should do it. It helps to count those blessings.

We are going to do all 3 days of school next week and hopefully we'll get a lot done. I've started my youngest on Time4Learning and so far, he likes it. I have yet to see if he's really learning anything though. We've kind of been trying to find the proper level for him so far. Yesterday he had already done everything and asked to do Time4Learning anyway. That's a good sign. I haven't had much time to navigate the site and figure things out but I'm going to try and tweak it to the right educational levels for him. He's behind in reading and writing and way ahead in science and math. With him doing that, hopefully I'll have more time for the other 2 kids.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Homemade pumkin pie.


I can't say the pie was from scratch, because we bought the pie crust, but we actually gutted and cut up a pumpkin and made pumpkin puree and then pumpkin pie from it. It was fun. We felt like pioneers. We actually made 2 but one of them was no good. I thought the recipe called for evaporated milk, but it was sweetened condensed milk. We used sweetened condensed in the second pie and it turned out to be very good. Today, I think I might try a sweet potato pie.

It's funny because I was using a receipe, which I don't usually do and my daughter was helping me. She can't stand it if I don't measure exactly. I was putting the pumpkin pie spice in and it spilled into the bowl and I said 'close enough'. She was scandalized! When she measures a teaspoon, it is exactly a teaspoon. Exactly.
She sure didn't get that from me!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm back, hopefully.

I'm feeling better. We don't have any doctor, dentist or optometrist appointments today and we are going to get some work done! Hopefully. As I mentioned, we've been squeezing school in here and there. Today, maybe we'll get a full day in. If not, we'll just keep plugging right along. I know that the public schools do things some days like cleaning the classroom (right before summer break), watching movies, field days and all kinds of things that aren't strictly educational and count them as school days. I haven't been counting the hours we watch educational TV (Mythbusters IS science) even though I could. I don't count expeditions into the woods as nature hikes, but really, I could. The trips to the post office, bank, grocery, and especially the library, are very educational, but we just count those as part of family life although the kids do learn things from these trips. Public school kids do these things too and they don't count them, so we don't. We only count the days we go on educational field trips with the homeschool group or the days we stay home and 'do school'.

My youngest son right now is waging a campain for us to by a Wii, which would, of course, count as PE!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Squeezing school into life.



I've had doctor's appointments again this week. i went in for my anemia and then for my back and it just seems like everything's out of whack. My hemoglobin is too low but my cholesterol is too high. Hopefully, I can get things back in whack with better food choices. Middle age so fun. Anyway, we've had or will have somewhere to go all 5 of the school days this week so we're just trying to squeeze in school wherever we can. We've had to be flexible with our times. Yesterday, we were still doing school at 5:30 p.m., but I guess that's just the way it goes sometimes. For American History yesterday we read the book "Follow the Drinking Gourd" and the younger 2 kids made these pictures. I thought they turned out really good. I love notebooking. These are made from construction paper cutouts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Not better.

I've still got that muscle spasm in my back. As a matter of fact, after sleeping in the bed last night, it's worse. Very much worse. I may have to go to the doctor for it today, if I can get in the car. I haven't made any decisions about school or work today. I'm off to search the internet for muscle spasm home remedies!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bargaining and other things.

My youngest and I just had a conversation. He said "what time is it?" and I said "10:14." He said "what time are we going to bed?" I said 10:30. He said "11:00." I said "10:30." He said "10:45." I said "10:30." He said "10:35." Finally, he said "10:31!" and I said "okay". So now the kids get to stay up later tonight.

Earlier tonight we were watching Dancing with the Stars. Mel B. was trying to get in character for the tango by being angry. Youngest son said "He could hit her in the face. That would make her angry." I bet it would. (For the record, this child is not violent or anything. He doesn't really go around hitting people in the face!)

The kids did half a day of school with their dad this morning while I was gone to the doctor again. I had a muscle spasm in my back and didn't feel like doing school this afternoon. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel better.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What I did today.




We picked up a old Scrabble game from Goodwill and played that and had pizza. I also did some work for my job, some work for my cafepress store and went to my parent's house for a while. I haven't played Scrabble for a long time, since we abandoned it in favor of UpWords about 10 years ago, but it was fun and the kids like it better than UpWords because they have a hard time thinking in 3 diminisions. With everything flat, they find it easier. They really caught on quickly to the double word score and triple word score concepts and enjoyed those. I lost the game, but I still had fun.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Invisible.

Yesterday, my daughter came to me and announced that my youngest son was invisible to her for the day. She was going to totally ignore him all day. I wondered how that would go, since they hang out together pretty much all the time. About 5 minutes later, I heard her yelling his name. She couldn't stand not having someone to boss around, LoL.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Moving right along.

It's a school day and a work day, so I'm working at my computer, but every now and then I make the announcement, "remember, it's a school day!" They tend to forget, you see. Conveniently. Just about every day. So this is important that I remind them otherwise they will goof off all morning and end up grounded because their morning lists aren't done. They'll claim, very seriously, that they had no idea this was a school day (even though 5 days out of every week are school days. They do this even when we haven't just come off of a break, so it's not just this week, although, since we didn't have school yesterday I can see that they'd get confused today. Anyway, we're back at it today. I've exercised. I've done almost everything on my list. It feels actualy good to be doing the routine today. Comforting or something.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Harvest Party.

I forgot even to take my camera to the harvest party. I did remember to take my chicken noodle soup but forgot the crackers. I also remembered to take the craft stuff, since I was the one in charge of the craft this time. I'm in one of my moods today. I didn't feel like the soup was good, even though people said it was and I didn't feel that the craft was any good. It was too messy and all of the kids wanted to do it at once instead of just doing it a few at a time as I had pictured it. The moms and dad pitched in and helped and we got it done but it was very, very messy. Hopefully the kids had fun. I'll try something that does not involve paint next time. I gotta realize that things that go well with only my 3 kids at home won't necessarily go well in a group. Oh well. Tomorrow is a wonderfully blank day on my calendar. I probably won't be able to stand staying home and will go somewhere, but at least I'll have a choice about it.

Nothing too facinating today.


Dad is taking the girl to the eye doctor. The boys and I are hanging out, not doing school. I'm working and making chicken soup for the harvest party tonight. They're playing. I would like to get some school related stuff going on but there's just no time. I've got to work sometime, youngest has a doctor's appointment this afternoon and the harvest party is at 5:00. I did count the days of school we've gotten done this year so far and it is 47 1/2. It's looking good for us to have almost 80 by Christmas and then get done sometime around the first week of June, if we keep a pretty easy pace, like we've been doing, taking a day off here and there when we need to. Even if we didn't get done in early June and had to go to late June, it wouldn't be the end of the world, now would it? Still, we like to be off for the summer so we'll try and get done late May or early June. That will motivate us more towards the end of the year, I'm sure!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Okay, today was better.

We did get our morning lists done and our afternoon lists done. It's a miracle! And that's probably the only time we'll get them all done this week. We have 2 doctor appointments tomorrow, plus a harvest party with the homeschool group tomorrow night. (That probably doesn't count as school, does it?) Friday, we've got nothing so far, but the way the month has been filling up with dentist appointments, eye doctor appointments and the like, I'm not going to count on a free day.

Today was nice though. We talked about the American civil war and the kids did some really good notebook pages, then did math, writing and reading. We haven't added spelling and grammar back in yet, but we will. I've also got some good books on hold at the library, so we'll read those. (Thanks for all the good suggestions!)

Thats our report for our second day back from fall break. There was not as much whining this year as last year and that's good.

Starting back to school.


We started back to school yesterday from fall break. It's never easy with that long of a break, to get started back. We all did our morning routines, but I didn't feel well and went to the doctor in the afternoon. Dad took over their lessons while I was gone. There was definitely some whining from our youngest going on but we survived. Hopefully, today will go better. I feel okay this morning so far. I just need to get them started on their work.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Upgrading our technology on this blog.



As you can see, we've installed Bluetooth.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007.


Can you all believe it's November 5 already? I can't. There are 49 days until Christmas. We have a co-op class today for school and after that, we're probably going to do absolutely nothing. This past month of having all my Saturdays tied up with foster care and all of my Mondays tied up with co-ops and field trips has really been tough. After today, I get my Mondays and my Saturdays back. For the rest of this month I have 9 things written on my calender. Of course, I haven't written in a bunch of stuff I need to do, eye exams for me and one of the kids, physicals for me and my husband, vet trips for the dogs and 1 of the cats, etc. but still, the month is looking pretty good and I hope it stays that way. I want some time to garden, get the flooring done and things like that. I just need some down time.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Warning: This post is a Shameless Plug for My Store.



I have a store on Cafepress that I'm very proud of. I design gifts for grandparents. It all started when my oldest child was born and my mom chose to be called Grandma and my dad chose to be called Granddad. There are products all over the place for Grandmas. Things that say Grandma's house and I heart Grandma, but very little for Granddad. My husband's parents are called Popaw and Memaw. They are even more difficult to find things for. I figured I couldn't be the only one who had that problem, so I made a store on Cafepress for every grandparent name I ever heard of, just about. I do know a family that calls the grandma Gongi and I don't have that one yet, but I might one of these days! Here is a link to the store.

Here are some of the grandparent nicknames I have:
Abba, Ajji, Abuela, Abuelo, Abuelita, Abuelito, Baba, Babcia, Babci, Babka, Babushka, Bamma, Bestemor, Bompa, Bop Bop, Bubbe, Bubby, Bunia, Da, Dziadzia, Dziadzio, Gram, Granddad, Great Nana, New Grandparent 2007, Great Papa, Gaga, Gammy, Gamps, Gampy, G-Dad, G.G., G-Ma, Geegee, Gigi, Glam-ma, Glamma, G-Mom, G-Pa, G-Paw, Granny, Gramma, Grampa, Gramp, Grampster, Grampy, Gran, Granddaddy, Grand-Dad, Grand-Dude, Grandpap, Grandpop, Grandmama, Granna, Grandpere, Great Grandma, Great Grandpa, Grumpa, Gramps, Grammie, Grampie, Nana, Memere, Nona, Kapuna, Lita, Lito, Mami, Mamaw, Mamie, Me-Maw, Mayme, Meema, Meemaw, Mema, Memaw, Meme, Memere, Mimi, Mom-Mom, Momaw, Nan, Nanny, Nonna, Nonnie, Pappy, Oma, Opa, Papi, Pepe, Popaw, Papa, Pop, Poppa, Popi, Pop-Paw, Pap-Paw, Paps, Pap, Papaw, Pawpaw, Peepaw, Pepere, Pop Pop, Pops, Poppo, Poppy, Poppie, Vovo, Yaya, Zayde, Zaydeh.

Okay, I'm done now. Back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

PS: Amy, I now have a few products with "Maw" on them.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

Notes for the Babysitter.

At the foster care class, they gave us a dry erase board with babysitter notes on it. It says:
We are at:
We will be home at:
You can reach us at:
If you can't reach us call:
Mealtime is:
Snacks are:
In case of Emergency:

One of my kids who shall remain nameless filled it all out for us. Ours says:
We are at: Home.
We will be home at: Now.
You can reach us at: Our home phone number. (Our child actually put the number, but I don't think that's a good idea on my blog!)
If you can't reach us call: The same phone number.
Mealtime is: 5:00
Snacks are: Fine.
In case of emergency: CALL GRANDMA.

;-)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

One more thing crossed off the list!

We're done with our foster care classes. Yay, we get our Saturdays back! It's going to be so nice next weekend, to just sleep in. I love this fall weather we're having.

Monday we've got co-op and then I guess Tuesday, we'll go back to school. The next break will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Can you believe how close they are getting? The stores are already putting out Christmas decorations!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Still on fall break ....

This is the last day though. We have a co-op thing on Monday and this character actor who does Abraham Lincoln is going to come speak to our group. Very appropriate since we start studying the Civil War next week. I have a book called Dear Mr. President Abraham Lincoln, Letters from a Slave Girl that we're going to read. I'd love to be able to go to the Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati, but that's kind of far with gas prices the way they are. There is a civil war museum in our home town and we'll probably have to content ourselves with going there or Lincoln's birthplace in Hodgenville. I guess we could watch Gone with the Wind, but I never did like that movie, sad to say.

We have our homestudy initial visit today with a safety walkthrough of the entire house. We're ready for it, thanks to our war on clutter last week. Hopefully, she won't open my closet though, because it is a disaster area. Our floors in the living room are still bare plywood, but I've told her about that and she's expecting it. Hopefully, we'll get that flooring done this weekend. (crossing fingers!)

I guess I'd better get some breakfast in before she gets here.

Have a good day everyone!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Our TV started working again.

We have old-fashioned TV reception from an antenna. No cable. No satellite. Just 3 channels of broadcast TV. Well, last May, our TV reception went out completely. We decided not to fix it, just let it go. We had adjusted to life without TV, although I must admit missing watching "Dancing with the Stars". Suddenly, yesterday, it just came back on. My daughter was turning on the TV to watch something on DVD or tape and there it was. Now I don't know how to react. I did miss TV somewhat, but it was getting to be less and less. We were all adjusting to life without it and now it's back. Weird.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I messed up.


I messed up Halloween tonight by doing things backwards. The time change thing made 5:00, the normal trick or treat time seem weird, because it was still really light. So we felt like we would be going to peoples houses too early. We decided to go to a couple of local church's Trunk or Treats since we missed the one at our own Saturday due to the party. This took too much time and by the time we got back to our own little street where all our favorite people, aunts, uncles and cousins live, we were too late. They had their porch lights off and I figure they'd given up on us. The kids got mega bags of candy but we missed out on a lot of the visiting that makes Halloween fun for me.

I never know what kind of title to write.


I almost always want to put "Today" as the title. Maybe I should just type the date?
Anyway, here's a picture of our 3 pumpkins, yet to be carved. I guess maybe we should get to that today, as it is Halloween? Since we had the party the other night where the kids had to wear costumes, the costumes are already done and we don't have to do any last minute sewing or anything. That's good. I hate last minute costume issues. I do need to hunt down my youngest son's black sweats, which are somewhere in the laundry process.

In other news this week, I've been reading the Carnival of Homeschooling. Here it is and we're still doing some cleaning and renovating.

We had a bit of excitment last night having to do with our flooring renovation. While we were pulling up the carpet, my husband had pulled the truck up to the front door. It has a topper on it and apparently, the kittens enjoy climbing up into the truck and sleeping on the carpet. Last night, he moved the truck back to the driveway and the kitties got to go for a little ride. It was funny. My daughter was yelling, 'the kittens are in there!" and we ran out to make sure they were okay. They were a little surprised, but fine.

That's it from here. We're still on fall break and I guess we'll go back Monday. It's going to end up being 10 days off because I get to count the 2 field trips. There's been quite a bit of learning going on with renovations (wood shop?), watching Mythbusters (science), dividing 5 enchiladas amongst 3 people (math) and of course the 2 field trips which were Mad Science (more science) and the Museum of Art and Craft (art), but still, we need to get back into our routine. I think it will actually be more restful! It's been a very busy couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ta Da.



Here are the sculptures. The alien was done by my oldest son. The creature attacking a building was done by my youngest son and the giraffe (which is now sans the pointy things on it's head (are they antlers?)) was done by my daughter.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Report.

The field trip to the museum of Art and Craft was great. The kids made an animal out of polymer clay, wood, fabric, ribbons, wire, etc. A good time was had by all, I think. My youngest son who hasn't been in a classroom situation had a slight problem with the teacher telling him what to do at first, but we had a little talk and he decided to listen to her. Funny how that works. I can't share pictures of the creations right now because my camera is not working. I might see if I can get my husband to take some pictures with his camera so I can post them.

Another field trip.

Today, we're going to the Museum of Art and Craft to make polymer clay animals in a workshop. It sounds like fun. The only thing we don't like about field trips is the getting up early. The kids are spoiled to sleeping until 9:00 or 9:30 every day and this 7:30 a.m. wakeup call I'm about to give them is not going to go well.

On the home renovation front, we got our carpet taken up. The floor underneath it looks awful but it's a step in the right direction. Our beautiful laminate floor is on it's way. (Actually, it's all piled up in the kitchen, but you know what I mean!)

Later today we need to tackle cleaning my teenager's room, which is not going to be fun. Anyone want to come and help?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Day of Rest?

At least today is more restful than yesterday. We got to sleep quite a bit later. Yesterday, we had to get up early and went to the class and then straight to the party (with an hour and a half of driving, give or take). We didn't get home to stay until around 10:00 last night. We're all kind of tired. Still, we need to work on our floors and I need to work at my job. As usual, work has been kind of slow all week, until the weekend got here and then they're begging for help. I guess I should be thankful I have a job and that I don't have to leave home to do it and since we homeschool, I don't miss my only opportunity to be with my kids by working on the weekend. I get to see them during the week.

We really enjoyed our little party with the homeschool group last night. We made smores, had a hayride, ate a wonderful meal and just had a good time. That was the parents. The kids ate a quick meal and then ran amok the entire time, wearing costumes and carrying swords and light sabers having a ball. Tomorrow, we have a field trip to the Museum of Art and Craft with a polymer clay workshop. I hope it is fun.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

We're off to class.

I'm really tired and kind of sore from cleaning yesterday. I think from moving the bunk bed by myself, probably a mistake in retrospect, but hey, it's done now. After our class, we will have to hurry home to grab the pot of chili we made last night and head out to a halloween party. The kids are going as a Jedi, Herminone and a dragon ninja. Last night, my daughter decorated the dragon ninja's sword for her younger brother with a dragon that she drew and put flames going all the way up the blade. It's pretty cool. I had to do some bargaining with my oldest, who wanted to go as Boba Fett from Star Wars instead of as a Jedi, but the Boba Fett costume was going to cost 75 dollars and I just can't see that for a halloween costume. I told him he could be that next year when he has a job and for this year, he can be a Jedi. (He already had the cloak from a couple of years ago.)

Uh oh! Time to go!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The War on Clutter.

Today, the children and I fought for several hours in the war on clutter. It was exhausting, but the house does look better. We got several bags of things that can go to Goodwill or consignment and some things that we were just ready to throw away. The Flylady would be proud. I, personally, am tired.

Busy, busy.

I do like to stay busy. Sometimes on my days off, I don't know what to do with myself. That said, I'm just a tad bit busier than I like to be right now. We've got foster care classes all day tomorrow and a Halloween party with the homeschool group tomorrow night. We need to work on the flooring on Sunday and we've got a field trip on Monday. We have our foster care first homestudy meeting on Friday with a home walkthrough/safety evaluation, so of course we have to clean our house a bit (okay, A LOT) and put our medicines in locked boxes. My bedroom, which tends to be a storehouse for all the stuff we don't know where else to put and my teenager's room, which is a total train wreck, need to be cleaned up. I'll be glad when all the classes are over. Tomorrow is our last all-day one and then we only have half a day next week. That will be a relief to have our Saturdays back and to be DONE.

We will also have to start back to school at some point! I really don't think a 2 1/2 week fall break is appropriate but it might be necessary to get this all done. I may have to think of some independent study type things for the 2 younger ones to do. Maybe Grandma would like to go over their fractions with them? Probably not.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Making my day.

I had 2 comments today that kind of made my day. My youngest son was talking with the receptionist at his doctor's office and told her that we homeschool and told her that "other kids have to worry about whether they'll like their teacher, but I know I like mine." and also said that his mom had a hard job because one kid is in 9th grade, one is in 6th and he is in 4th and she has to teach all of them, but "she handles it really well." What a compliment coming from my 9 year old! (That is the way he talks, sounds like he's 9 going on 30 sometimes!)

Then later tonight, at Wal-mart, the lady put the prescription slip in front of me to sign then said "You are over 18 aren't you?" LoL. I loved that one. I don't know if Wal-mart's new policy is to flatter the middle aged, but I'm all for it if it is!

Fall Break continued.

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We did have fall break yesterday and it's looking good for today too. I have several things I need to do and youngest son has a doctor's appointment mid-day at 1:00. I think we may even stay 'off' until Monday. The public school kids around here took 7 or 8 days earlier this month, so this shouldn't put us behind them in the number of days. I do like to finish in late May or early June about the same time they do, but hey, we can take an educational field trip on a Saturday or Sunday to make a day up. We have been watching Mythbusters, is pretty educational, although I'm not counting the hours or anything!

When we start back we'll be covering the American Civil War in our history lessons, so I've been looking around for some good books to read to go along with it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This week.

I'm not sure what we are going to do this week, as far as school goes. We have quite a few things to do that are not school related. I have something written on my calendar every day this week. We may need to take a bit more fall break and try to get this other stuff done or we may just dive in and do work, school, housecleaning and a bunch of errands all at the same time. I'm not sure. We might do a half day of school each day this week so we can get 2 1/2 days done. I have to go to the grocery, pick up prescriptions, do fingerprinting for foster care, get the rest of that foster care paperwork done, finish halloween costumes, make something to take for the foster care dinner on Saturday and make chili for the homeschool party on Saturday night, plan Awana, set it up and teach it, get groceries, take youngest son to a doctor's appointment on Wednesday that is a half an hour drive each way and lasts an hour and somehow, get this house cleaned up and I need to do it while working around 30 hours this week and homeschooling the kids. With my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, I also have to have a little rest period (okay, nap) each day. It's just one of those busy, busy times that hit every now and then. It seems like everything happens at once, doesn't it? When it rains, it pours.* My November calendar is looking pretty blank and I think I'll try and keep it that way as much as possible!

*Speaking of rain, it actually is raining outside! We got an inch of rain yesterday and it's looking good for today too. We really needed it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Today.

We had the co-op with Mad Science this morning. I was a little disappointed. I thought it was just going to be so cool, and it was just okay. They did a cornstarch and water slime thing and a crystal growing thing, both of which we've done at home a couple of times, so for us, both of the experiments were kind of old hat. I think that I could have done at least as good of a job teaching it myself, and for a lot less money.

As my youngest son's friend wrote in a letter last week, "I am out of words."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Working.

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This is one of the pictures my daughter took that did not have a cat or a dog in it, so I thought I'd share.

As far as this weekend goes, we got through another foster care class. I think we really lucked out by going to another county and getting these instructors because they're really good. That took up most of the day yesterday. For today, I'll be working. My job now only seems to have a decent amount of work on weekends for some reason. I hope this is just a temporary thing because I really don't want to have to change jobs.

For tomorrow, we've got a co-op tomorrow with our homeschool group and Mad Science is going to come and do a science class. We're all looking forward to that.

Meanwhile, I'm off to work.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stuff.

We did our second day of fall break today. Since there wasn't much work in my job queue (actually none at all) we worked on halloween costumes. We got my younger son's dragon ninja almost done and my daughter's Hermione almost done. My oldest son, I think, is going as a Jedi again this year and he already has the cloak so that should be pretty easy. I hope. I got a couple of small things done around the house too, but no where near what I wanted to get done. My back started hurting halfway through the day and continues to hurt despite Tylenol.

Anyway, speaking of Hermione and the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling has done an interview about the Christian imagery and message in her books. It's here. I love these books.

In other news, there is work in the work queue now, at 8:00 pm, so I'm going to start working. I guess I should be thankful that there is work, but I'm feeling a bit whiney because my back hurts and it's late and I could be relaxing with my family now. I guess I'd better quit whining about it and just do it, shouldn't I?

I gave the camera to my daughter and told her to take some current fall pictures.


Here's one of the ones she took. About half were of the pretty trees and about half were of our cats and dogs.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fall Break.


Okay, I did it. I declared today at least as fall break, probably tomorrow too. I have a some things I need to get done and I'm going to try and get as many as I can done in the next few days.

*This picture is from a couple of years ago, but it this tree looks very much the same right now and I'm too lazy, I mean, um too busy to go out and take another picture. ;-0

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today's Notebooking Pages.



We read about the underground railroad, Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe today and these are the notebooking pages they made. My daughter's is about the 2 Harriets and my son's is of a stop on the underground railroad with a secret door hidden behind a bookcase. I really like notebooking and the kids really seem to be enjoying it too.

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