Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Middle of the Week.

We're hanging in there, I guess. We are still learning about the ocean. We got a Blue Planet video from Netflix yesterday and watched that as a part of school. It was facinating. We also did start with the notebooking on Monday and that went okay. One of my children didn't like it because he doesn't like change, but he finally did it anyway. We'll do some more today. I'm doing pretty well with my morning "Motivating Mama" list and the kids have been doing pretty well with their lists too. The older 2 do their lists and check everything off without (usually) needing to be reminded much. We're still working with the youngest. I think the checklist system of schooling works best for us as a family, especially with me needing to work as well. Everybody except Dad has a list of things that they have to do each day and now that I mention it, maybe he needs one too. Hmmm.

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday and this is the hat we gave him. It's from my store on Cafepress.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I like Mondays.

Unlike a large part of the working population, I like Mondays. It's because I'm off from work on Monday. I worked a lot over the weekend and it is good to not have to work today. I'm taking care of a few loose ends around here, cleaning, blogging and making phone calls. I'm calling to enroll the kids in free 4H classes. Did you know that, at least in Kentucky, you can enroll your kids in 4H as independents and they don't have to be part of a club? We don't have a club to be a part of so we're doing the independent thing. This spring, our local 4H is offering classes in woodworking, photography, electricity, crocheting, knitting and quilting among others. I think it's kind of cool. This will be our first try doing the classes and it looks to be fun.

I'm also determined to start back on notebooking and I have added a time for it to Monday's lists. Hopefully, we'll get some good notebook pages made and I can share them on here.

Reason I'm glad we're homeschooling for today:
My boys are getting to take a class together. We would have never thought of doing it if they were in school but they said whichever class they take, woodworking or electricity, they want to take it together. Cool.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hungry anyone?

This is a hot dog, cut to look as if it has 8 tentacles like an octopus. Not very appetizing, is it? This is what the kids had for lunch today. This was a suggestion in one of the units I'm combining into the ocean unit (not sure which one!) but I've been planning to do it all week and hadn't gotten around to it. It was pretty gross looking but tasted good. We haven't got the courage to try real octopus!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The winner.

For those who are interested to know, my oldest son won the toaster streudel in the drawing today. He has a couple of days to eat it and then if he doesn't, it's anybody's streudel. He'd better get busy and get that thing eaten is all I can say.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Potholders and the problems with odd numbers.

My daughter got a potholder loom the other day at Michael's crafts and she has been making tons of potholders. Not one to stick with just a regular plain pattern, she's been experimenting with colors and patterns and has come up with some really pretty ones.

We got some toaster streudel this week, which is a very rare treat. It's probably been a year since we had it. On things like this and our favorite ice cream bars, we have to plan ahead and divide them up and tell each person in the family how many they will get to eat, otherwise, 2 hours after grocery time, all of treats will be gone and all of the kids will be saying "I only had one!" The trouble is, there are 5 of us and almost everything comes in a package of 6. We have to hold a drawing or draw straws to see who gets the extra one. Looking at each box to find out how many, dividing that number by 5 to see how many each person gets and deciding on a fair way to find out who gets the last one ... let's see, that's learning about nutrional lableing of food, math and diplomacy lessons all rolled into one.

Reason I'm glad we're homeschooling for today:
Time. Getting to spend more time with my kids than I otherwise would. They are very interesting people right now.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


As I've mentioned, we decided to do the ocean unit that I had downloaded for free from the homeschool estore. I went to the library and got a bunch of books on the ocean and put some ocean videos in my Netflix queue, I've got plans to make some ocean-y crafts and thought about visiting a local pet store that has a pretty nice saltwater aquarium. But, today someone sent me an email saying that the Newport Aquarium is letting kids get in free for the next 6 weeks or so. That's about a 4 hour drive from here and now I want to go! I hoping my husband will think it's a good idea to take a field trip.

Reason I like homeschooling for today:
An overnight trip with the family can be counted as a FIELD TRIP!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Various things.

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up. Here it is.
http:// I'm still in the process of reading it. It takes a couple of days for me to get through all of it.

The homeschool estore has free pioneer notebooking pages up to download. These would be good if you are studying that time period. http://

We're still plugging along slowly on our oceans unit. The kids had eye exams yesterday and when we went to pick up oldest son's glasses, we went out to eat at a seafood restaurant. Hey, we're learning about sea creatures, might as well eat some of them, right? I wasn't sure how much the kids would like it and would eat, since we don't eat seafood much. Older son liked everything, youngest liked the shrimp and fries and daughter liked the fries only. I probably could have predicted that if I'd given it any thought. That's pretty typical for them. We are also reading a book about the discovery of the coelacanth which is pretty cool.

I found a good site for ocean crafts.

I'm thinking of adding a reason I am glad we're homeschooling to the bottom of each post or maybe once a week.

Today's reason: I would have had to get doctor's notes for the eye doctor appointment yesterday and the kids would have gotten behind and had tons of work to make up. We would have missed that fun seafood dinner (because they wouldn't all be studying the same subject in school and I wouldn't be their teacher!) with my daughter saying "EW!" every 5 seconds!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The field trip went pretty well.

The people at the city hall really did a good job showing us around. The kids got to see the inside of a police car and a fire truck. We got to see an arial photo of our county which I found interesting. I wish I had thought to take my camera and get photos to share.

Field Trip!

We're going on a field trip today with the homeschool group. We're going to city hall, the police department and the fire department. Hopefully it will be educational and fun. I was the one to arrange it. All of the moms are supposed to take turns arranging field trips and it was finally my turn. My goals were to make it local and cheap. I called tons of places in our small town, but only had one "yes" and that was from city hall. Everyplace else I called either couldn't get us in for a couple of months or not at all. I'll report how it goes.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Our new restaurant.

The 2 younger kids have been running a cafe for the last couple of days. They serve all kinds of food. They expect pay, though and they are past the age where play money will work. They also hope very much for tips. My daughter is the cook and youngest son is the waiter. Here's the menu and sign. They had mom type the menu for them. ;-) We're out of leftover chili, which is apparently their biggest seller, so I'm going to have to cook today. In case you're wondering what a ham-a-dilla and a turkey-a-dilla are, they are my daughter's invention. They are made from ham or turkey lunch meat, mexican blend cheese and flour tortillas. She warms them in the microwave until the cheese melts. You all should come and eat here sometime. The food is good and the cooks and waiters are cute. What more could you ask?

Friday, January 19, 2007


Okay, it's better now. I put some leftover antibiotic drops in my eye (I know you're not supposed to do that!) and it is much better. Only one of the kids actually vomited. The other one just felt nauseous for several hours. Hopefully, the stomach flu has passed us by. Everybody seems okay as I type this. Today has turned out okay after all. Thanks for the good wishes and offers of Calgon.

Hopefully, next week will be better.

I wish we could've just skipped this week ...

It hasn't been a very good week. I've been sick. I made an appointment to take the kids in to make sure they didn't have the strep too and the receptionist messed up and scheduled us on the wrong day, so we ended up having to make 2, 35 minute (1 way) trips to the pediatrician's office. We've barely got any school or work done. Last night I did something to my eye while taking my contact out and it hurts. We've all been kind of crabby and now, I think we might be finishing up this lovely week with the stomach flu. Youngest threw up last night before bed and the girl got up this morning feeling nauseated. Calgon anyone?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I never know what to put as a title on these blog posts and I'm not very creative with them so there you are. Notes. Here are my notes for today.

1. I'm taking the kids to the doctor to get a strep screening this morning. They've had it before, many times, and now I'm being treated for a strep infection so they are getting tested. That will take most of the morning. I don't know if we'll attempt school after that or not.

2. I really like the homeschool estore materials. You all should check it out. .

3. The homeschool carnival is up. Here it is.

4. This site has free printable books for young readers. They are cute and free.

I guess we are off to the doctor and then maybe to the library to get some books about the ocean.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hot chocolate.

Today the kids went out to play in the teeny, tiny bit of snow we got and when they came in to warm up, they demanded hot chocolate. They always think that if it snows, they have to have hot chocolate. I said "what if I don't want to make hot chocolate?" and younger son said, "You have to. It's the law."

I kind of decided.

I decided to do an ocean unit I got at the homeschool estore and after that I'll decide what next. That will give me a couple of weeks to think about it. Then I can decide what to do next. I'm hoping to talk DH into a trip to the Newport aquarium in northern Kentucky. A trip to the beach would be nice too, but I'm not getting my hopes up for that.

We didn't do too much school today. I've been sick lately and it snowed about 1/16 of an inch, which I used as an excuse to call a half snow day. We had one half a day earlier in the year and this one made up the other half. Now we're even again.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Feels like Monday.

Since I don't have work on Mondays, I scheduled more cleaning on my 'motivating mama' schedule. I hate it, but it needs to be done. My good idea to have the kids education hinge on my getting my housework and exercise done has worked like a charm. Other than Christmas break, I've been doing this since November 12, 5 days a week. Cool. (Of course, there was that one mess up last week, but we'll try and ignore that!) I'm not sure what is going to happen this summer and I don't really want to think about it!

I've revised the younger kids lists and added a couple of things they're not going to be happy with like multiplication drills! I still haven't decided how or when I'm going to add more fun stuff into our lessons but I'm still thinking on it. My choices are going with Konos, the same unit we've been supposed to be doing since October, but haven't, a different Konos unit, using the book Nebel's Elementary Education (which I got last week), doing a geography study or doing a history study where we left off. I'm not sure what is keeping me from making a decision. Maybe I'll draw straws?

I hate not being able to decide!

Friday, January 12, 2007


I made it. I got my lines done this morning, plus my housework and exercise. I'm so happy. Of course the kids aren't sharing my joy, but that's okay. They are doing school today. We've been doing a very basic list of school activities ever since we finished our last KONOS unit in October and we are still doing that. No unit study. No theme. Just basic math, spelling, grammar, reading and science, a combination of workbooks and things I print out. I miss doing all the fun stuff. I'm going to try and get started back on the fun and interesting part of school next week. I'm going to try notebooking again and am trying to decide what to structure it around. For some reason, I just can't get excited about the KONOS units anymore. I think it is the amount of teacher prep that it requires. I might try one week on a unit study and one week off, to give me a break and just let them do the basics in between. That might work. Hmm. I'll think on that for a little while.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

First Failure.

Okay, I had my first failure with my "motivating mama" list today. I decided earlier in the week to try and add in part of my medical transcription work, giving me a deadline on that so that I wouldn't be working on that all day. The plan was to get minor housework, exercise and a major chunk of my workday out of the way before 11:00 a.m. The point is that I'm hoping to free up my afternoons to concentrate on homeschooling so we can get back to doing the fun stuff we were doing earlier this year. The exercise takes about 15 minutes. The housework etc. takes about 45 minutes (I cut this part down so I could get more transcription work in). So, if I got up at 7:00, I could get 3 hours of my workday out of the way before 11:00 a.m. That was the plan anyway. I forgot to set the alarm clock and the dog didn't go off at his usual 7:00 ish so I woke up gently, very well rested at 8:00. Whoops. Still, I tried very hard, hurried through my exercise routine, gave the housework a quick once-over and started typing. I'm paid by the line of typed text so I decided to set my goal in lines as well. I missed my goal by 5 measly lines. I was true to my agreement with the kids. If it is on my list and I don't get it done, they don't have to do any schoolwork. They still have to do the "life" parts of their lists including brushing their teeth, chores and exercise, but no school subjects. They are thoroughly enjoying my failure today, but I think they feel a little bit sorry for me too. That's okay. When I started doing this thing I knew there would be days when I didn't make it. Think how good I'm going to feel tomorrow when I get it all done. I'll let you all know how it goes.

(Can you tell I am enjoying playing with font sizes and colors on the new blogger?)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tagged! I actually got tagged!

It was a month ago, but I just noticed it today, so bear with me. Of course my family says "only 6?"

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the '6 weird things about you.' People who get tagged need to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

Here they are, in no particular order.

1. I thought the word misled was pronounced my-selled until 8th grade.
2. When I'm playing UpWords, I can't stand it if one letter is upside down, even if it doesn't make a difference in the way it reads, like N. My family laughs at me for this.
3. I once wrote myself a note that said "Feed laundry". This was sometime during the year after my oldest son was born when I was working a full time job frequently on 2 hours of sleep a night.
4. I almost never make up my bed.
5. My blogger profile lists my age as 250 years. I have no idea why it says that, but some days I do feel that old. (I am slightly younger than that).
6. My feet are almost always hot, not cold. I frequently sleep with them sticking out of the blankets at night.

Okay, I could go on all day, but that's 6.

If you read my blog, and you have a blog, and you haven't done this before, consider yourself tagged.


I decided to make a change in my morning list and add work into it. I decided that I would try and get half my day's work done in the morning before 10:00 and take out some of the housekeeping chores. The plan was to add that housekeeping to Mondays when I'm off work. However, I got a dictation by the world's worst doctor (in the dictation category) and didn't get done until 10:30. The kids and I worked out a deal, though, since I was trying a new thing and didn't do so good, I'd give them a break and let them take 1 thing off their lists and they were nice about it and didn't mention that I'm supposed to get done by 10:00 a.m. It's a good plan, it just needs some tweaking. I need to figure out what my morning routine needs to include and what it doesn't and get it all done by 10:00. That way the kids won't be too late in starting their routines because they wait to see if I make it every day, LoL.

I thought I'd share some quotes from Hank the Cowdog today so you might figure out why once we started reading Hank at night, we've abandoned the reading of serious literature. We're almost done with all of the Hank the Cowdog books, so we'll have to go back to real books soon. Anyways, here's a quote or two from old Hank.

"Drover, at last I got this thing worked out. Listen closely so that I don't have to repeat myself."
"I said, repeat this closely, so that I don't have to listen to myself".

and another one:
"What about all those penquins and mounties?"
"They were fignewtons of your imagination."

These 2 were from Hank The Cowdog #34, Slim's Goodbye by John R. Erickson.

Monday, January 08, 2007

No school today.

DH and I went to a meeting about foster care. We are looking into the possibility. It seems like all of our paperwork from our attempted China adoption will still work for this program. That's good. It's was very rewarding to just pull out a paper every time they asked for one and not have to write it down and remember to go get it done. So anyway, the kids got lucky and got a day off of school today. They got to go to grandmas house.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Thank goodness it's Friday. I'm ready for this week to be over. I gave myself a pretty difficult morning routine this week and I also haven't felt very good this week, so it has not been easy getting my routine done, plus work and starting back to school this week. I almost didn't make it yesterday. Fortunately for me, youngest son came in at 10 minutes before 10 o'clock and asked it my routine was done and I jumped up and finished it! Thanks for the warning, kiddo!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Day 3 after the break.

I'm really surprised at how well this week has gone so far. Usually when we come back from a break, getting started on school is like pulling teeth but this time, the kids have been doing their work pretty well. Youngest son is getting progressively more and more behind in math as the week goes on, ( I think he's still on Tuesday's page!) but the other 2 are working well and getting things done in advance so they won't have much of a workload on Friday at all. That's the good thing about printing out a whole week's list of things to do. They can pace themselves anyway they want, within reason. Obviously, doing all the week's exercise on Monday probably would make them sore and stiff and wouldn't be a good idea, but my daughter did do the whole week's math on Monday. If it helps her feel better about the week, I'm all for it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Getting Started.

We've had different responses to the first day of school. I got up and did my routine this morning (yay me!). I have added to it so it took a while. My youngest popped out of bed around 5:00 this morning and immediately started doing school. I heard him doing laundry and that's how I knew he was up. I'm not sure why he was so enthusiastic this morning! Oldest son got up as usual, on his own and started reading. The girl, however, is not as easy. I guess that old thing about beauty sleep is true. She's beautiful and she seems to need more sleep than the average person. She's not up yet, at 10:07 as I am writing this. I stop every few words and nag her, but so far, no luck. She's crabby in the morning too, so I nag from a distance!

Anyway, so far so good this morning. Youngest is done with everything he can do on his own for school, oldest has gotten started and middle child is still in bed. My routine is done and I am getting started on work.
We'll see how the rest of it goes today.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy Near Year?

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. We are going to get the Christmas tree down, find new homes for the new toys and get ready to start tomorrow. I'm going to spend some time looking at the notebooking pages I downloaded from History Scribe and play the Sims 2, which I got for Christmas. It's the last lazy day for a long while. I hope.


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