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!)

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.

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