Monday, March 31, 2008

Several good things about today.

First of all, we got quite a bit done this weekend that we've been procrastinating about. We got our bedroom rearranged and, wow, does it seem like there's more room in here. It's crazy how much of a difference just moving things can make. I also took some junk from the backyard down to the road for our annual bulky item pickup, which is when the trash service will take your bulky, big items to the dump for you. It's nice. I got some books listed on ebay. All of these things I've been procrastinating about for some reason, so it feels really good to get them done.

Another good thing about today is that I get to go to Chili's tonight with the homeschool moms from our group. It's a combination mom's night out and planning meeting to plan activities and field trips for the next 3 months. I love Chili's so I'll enjoy that.

Also, I don't have to work today, which is always good. I think I may do a few jobs just because I'm behind in my work, but I don't have to. For some reason, that's an important distinction!

My youngest son was the one having nightmares last night. He said that he'd had a bad dream in which his friend Jacob was here visiting and instead of doing cool stuff, he wanted to watch Barney. And the worst part? "I had to watch it with him." he said. ;-)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sock Hop Report.

It was funny. The girls, dressed in nearly identical poodle skirts with their hair in ponytails, danced and played in the dance area. The boys went outside or upstairs to play bionicles or guitars. The parents sat around in the food area and ate and talked about when we were in high school and every time a boy walked by, we'd ask him if he wanted to dance. They always answered "No". I forgot to take my camera with me and took this picture after we got home, of my daughter's poodle skirt. My husband took his camera to the party so I'll see if there are any photos to share on his computer later.

Homeschool Event Today.

Believe it or not, we're having a sock hop with the homeschool group, with 50s music, poodle skirts, the works. It should be fun. I'm trying to think if I can count this as school ....

Friday, March 28, 2008

Last night.

I dreamed that I was doing my regular errands on a motorcycle. I had my 15 year old sitting on the back and my younger 2 kids riding in a side car. I was trying to make a call on my cell phone, driving down the 4 lane Dixie highway, when I woke up. I guess it got too crazy, even for me, at that point!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I think of things to blog about all day long.

When I'm away from my computer that is. I remember thinking of about 3 things I was going to write about tonight while we were at the library, but now I can't remember any of them. I had a very nice time at the library anyway. I took the boys to game night, my daughter sat and read a book and I looked in every section, just about, and came home with 2 huge bags of books.

I do remember earlier today when we were talking about how many days of school we've done and how many we have left to do and I said we might just go straight through the summer and my daughter said indignantly "I'd rather do school in the summer than in the winter!" The funny thing is that she meant the opposite. She wants to swim all summer, not have school all summer. Anyway, we have about 56 days left to do, not too bad.

Good news Thursday.

We finally got approval to be foster parents. We started this process in, I think, July of last year. We couldn't do the July classes because of my husband's work schedule. We finally took our classes in October and now we're approved. Someone once told me that foster care involved a ton of waiting and I know it's true. Waiting is not really my best thing, but I'm getting better at it. At least I don't whine about it as much as I used to.

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up, here.

Today, we begin Italy in our country study. I'm going to go look for resources now.

A part of our conversation this morning.

I had opened my blog site to type an entry when my youngest came in and started talking to me about the Sonic the Hedgehog game. After a while, I just started typing what he said.

Him: " wasn't exactly Shadow it was the Black Hedgehog, the Black Hedgehog got killed and Shadow is his clone. The Black Hedgehog died 50 years ago. His powers are cloned off Sonic. So basically he's a mixture of a blue hedgehog and a black hedgehog with red stripes. . . Are you blogging me?"

Me: "Is that okay?"

Him: "Yeah, you can."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Anyone else watching Dancing With The Stars?

What did you all think of the eliminations last night of Penn Juliette and Monica Seles? I guess I felt like they were the right choices, it just seems like they could learn to dance if they had a few more weeks. I like both of them and kind of hated to see them go. I enjoy seeing what they wear. I'm more a fan of the long dresses than the bikini-type gownless evening straps that Edita seems to favor. I liked that blue dress that Marlee Matlin wore and I think she's doing great. Cheryl's dresses seem to be getting lower and lower in the back so that I'm not sure I'm brave enough to watch it next week. They are odd, really. It's like she doesn't want any cloth to touch her from neck to behiney (as Junie B. Jones would say). Anyway, I'm enjoying watching the new season.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What is it?

We went to the grocery today and when we first walked in, we saw an unusual looking fruit. We're always looking to try new things, so we put it in the cart. The handwritten card in front of it said "Pumelo". A lady near us said that they were sweet and that this, mixed with a tangerine was what made a tangelo. When we got to the checkout, we realized that it didn't have a sticker on it. The checker asked us what it was. We told him what the sign had said. He couldn't find it on his list. I looked at the list and we asked 2 other people. Finally, the last person we asked said "It's a grapefruit" so I said, "okay, in the interest of the poor people standing behind me in line, let's call it a grapefruit." We looked at it more closely after we got home and realized that it is one of the fruits pictured in our book about Israel that we studied last week. (In the book it's spelled Pomelo.) So we accidently blundered into buying a fruit that is grown in one of the countries we're studying and yesterday, we did a class we'd signed up months ago and it was the very craft we were supposed to do for our middle east study. Are these weird coincidences or is a higher power helping out in our homeschool this semester? Cool.

My daughter loves this fruit. It kind of tastes like a grapefruit but is sweeter.


We're back to normal life today. No field trip. No meetings. No 4H or library events. We do have to do work and school and somehow get to the grocery, but we can do all that in our own good time. It feels nice. I would kind of like to skip the whole work thing and go back to bed, but I can't. I will probably do the bare minimum though. I'm still tired from the flurry of activity around here the last couple of weeks.

The quilt in the picture is from the trompe l'oeil display we saw yesterday and is carved of wood. Here is the artist's website.

Testing my typing speed, just for the fun of it this morning.

69 words


I did this test 3 times and this was the fastest I can get. Ironic that I make my living typing, isn't it? I might have done better if my word expansion program would work with that web site. Still, kind of fun.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Field Trip!

We actually did 2 field trips in one today. We visited the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft for a printmaking class. It's funny because last week in the curriculum we're using, the instructions called for us to make a print out of an eraser and then print it and rotate it on the pages, which is pretty much exactly what we did today. The museum had much better quality eraser things to use, better tools to carve with and cool colors of ink, so it was neat that we got to do it there. Nevermind that I was just too lazy to do it at home. We won't focus on that part. They also had an amazing trompe l'oeil display today. It was facinating to me.

The second place we went was Schimpff's Confectionary in Jeffersonville, Indiana. It was very cool too. The tour was fun and interesting. We got to see them actually making candy and then we got to sample a little bit. Mmm.

It's funny because the whole trip kept reminding me of one of my favorite shows, Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, because he once visited a candy company that was very similiar to the one we visited (not dirty, just messy in a wonderful chocolatey kind of way) and the storm drain outside of the museum looked like a place he would have to go into.

A very good field trip.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter.

I told the kids to take pictures of their eggs and for some reason I have about 6 pictures of this one egg. The others must be on the new camera. Oh well. It's interesting because they crisscrossed rubber bands on it to make a kind of tie dye pattern. I managed to get enough work done yesterday that today I could relax some. It was a nice day and I only had to work a little bit, so that was good.

We have a field trip tomorrow, to a printmaking class and then to a candy factory. I'm really looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A little glimpse of my weekend.

I sincerely hope that you are having more fun!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The busy week goes on.

We've had a 4H field trip this week, the long trip to the doctor for my mom, Awana, game night, tween night (both at the library), skate night and multiple trips to Walmart and Kroger. Consequently, we've eaten out more than usual because we've been on the road so much. The house is a mess, I'm behind on my work. I tell you, weeks like this are not good for anybody.

I'll spend the next 2 days typing medical documents like a crazy woman, barely seeing the light of day and then hopefully, Easter Sunday, I can participate in some of the family events. Maybe.

Somewhere I read about a family that planned every single week to have 4 days at home, not going anywhere. They managed to cram everything into the remaining 3 days so that those 4 days they could relax. That kind of sounds nice, although I don't think I could do all I need to do in 3 days. Maybe one day of relaxation a week ... hmmm. Seems like I may have heard of that concept someplace before.

Good news revealed - I'm going to be an AUNT again.

Finally, the good news can be revealed. I'm going to be an aunt again. My sister-in-law, is due in October. She shared this ultrasound photo and now has given me permission to spread the news. I got a little ahead of myself a few weeks ago -- sorry about that!

My youngest got very excited on hearing the news and ran to tell his big brother who was not awake yet. He told him 2 things. "We're going to dye eggs and mom has a picture of our new cousin". My oldest heard "We're all going to die, but mom has pictures of our new cousin". Huh? LoL! Anyway, it's great news and we are very excited. We love babies!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Funny Word Card.

My youngest has moved beyond these cards now, but we went over them today for a review. This one always makes us laugh. It's does, as in "does this card make my butt look big?".

Studying the Middle East and North Africa.

We're still studying the Middle East and North Africa. The unit study we're doing from Christian Cottage is a good one and it offers several activities to do. However I just wasn't in the mood to do those activities. Mainly, the book had us cooking some middle eastern dishes and then sampling them. I could read the recipe and just tell that my picky kids wouldn't eat it. Normally, I'd search for alternative recipes and make those, but I just wasn't in the mood to cook. So, we just did our own thing, something that seems to happen more frequently the longer I homeschool. We did a notebook section on the Bedouin who live in that area. We'll be starting a study of Greece today and we might have to go to a Greek restaurant. That would be fun and I wouldn't have to cook.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's catching!

This morning my Dad called to tell me that he thinks he may have caught something from my youngest because this morning, he snoughed* several times. I think that weird sense of humor definitely is contagious in this family. ;-)

* My youngest coined this word a few weeks ago, to mean sneezing and coughing simultaneously.

Carnival and Easter Egg Hunt.

The carnival of homeschooling is up here.

, which used to be the Homeschool Estore, is having an Easter Egg Hunt. If you see an Easter Egg on their site, click on it and get a coupon code or a free download.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My rant for today.

I do not think that doctor's offices should just leave patients sitting in a waiting room for 3 hours and 15 minutes. It's ridiculous. I took my mom to the doctor today and we were there from 2:15 (arrived right on time) to 5:00.


End of rant.

****Okay, sometime in the middle of the night, waking up from a dead sleep, I realized that from 2:15 to 5:00 is not 3 hours and 15 minutes, but 2 hours and 45 minutes, so it wasn't as long as I thought, but it was still annoying. ****

Busy Week.

We've got a busy week ahead of us, with something we have to do outside the house pretty much every day. When this happens, something has to go on the back burner; sometimes school, sometimes work, sometimes housework, possibly all three. This week, housework is already back there because we celebrated 5 birthdays over the weekend (3 parties). I've really got to work this week so that will be a priority. Looks like we're looking at work, then school, then housework. I hope we don't have surprise guests next weekend ...although, come to think of it, I do have a teen who is looking for things to do to earn money so I might put him to work.

Monday, March 17, 2008


The picture of the Hot Wheels track made of encyclopedias. It changes from day to day. Usually there are ramps.


was having trouble concentrating on his math review this morning. I wonder why? Freckles was not attacking his book as it looks like in this picture, she was just sitting on it. We removed her several times, but she kept climbing back up.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What if?

What if they were able to make a live dinosaur be born, by using the DNA that they got from a mosquito that was frozen in amber, that had sucked the blood of the dinosaur. And, then they put the dinosaur in a zoo and were able to train it? And what if they trained it to tell time and to roar at 6 o'clock every day? Then the people at the zoo would know when it was 6 o'clock.

These are the questions that we ponder in our household.

Before breakfast.


I bought an inexpensive older set of encylopedias last year on ebay, to help with homeschooling. They've been a great help, quicker to look things up in, sometimes, than the internet. Lately, though, they've been the material of choice for building. Right now, they are a race track for Hot Wheels cars. I tried 4 times to share a picture, but blogger won't let me. Annoying.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


blog posts just come to me in the middle of the night. :-)

Last night, my daughter was brushing her teeth and said something to my youngest son, which to me was completely intelligible. He understood it though. I remarked on his understanding and he said "Yeah, we can understand each other in toothpaste, pudding and mouthful" (He said this like these were 3 different languages.) and my daughter who had since spit and rinsed said "Yeah, we're almost like twins."

Friday, March 14, 2008


I decided to do one of those acrostic thingys for Friday.

F - Foster Care - Our application got approved at the first level yesterday and now will go to our caseworker's supervisor's supervisor. I don't know if that's as far as it has to go or not. It's been a 5 month process and the stack of paperwork on us is as thick as a phonebook from a relatively large city.

R - Reading. We're not really reading anything that interesting right now, Hank The Cowdog and The Phantom in the Mirror. It is one of the funniest Hank episodes, in my opinion. I've got 2 books for our unit study on hold at the library but they were "in processing" yesterday and I couldn't pick them up.

I - I am doing okay, but having a particularly difficult time focusing on work this week, don't know why. My mind is just jumping from one thing to the other.

D - Dog. The little dog is going to stay. She's been behaving herself lately. She's a character, that's for sure. I asked my daughter what to blog about and she said "Freckles" (the dog) because I guess, that was the first thing she saw. Freckles is her constant companion and whines at the window whenever my daughter leaves the house. The whole time. This is according to my teen and my husband who frequently stay at home when we're gone.

A - Advertisement. I might as well throw in a shameless advertisement for my store, Grandparent Gifts, on Cafepress, since there is an A in Friday.

Y - Youngest Son - He's had a very, very, very, very, very talkative week this week, which may, come to think of it, be part of the reason I've had trouble concentrating on work. It's cute though. He's been talking to me the whole time I've been trying to type this blog post. He just went into the living room, still talking ...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good news Thursday.

At Why Homeschool, they are asking all of us bloggers to post about something good today so we can read a bunch of good news. Sometimes it is harder than other times to focus on the good and my day did not start off wonderfully today, but we did see that our first bunch of easter flowers bloomed. I have a pot of chicken soup made so I don't have to cook lunch. Everyone is reasonably healthy here, except for me and the darn dog, both of whom have pinkeye. My kids are all doing their work today without complaining and have settled into the new schedule very well. Spring is coming. I can feel it in the air.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Feels like spring.

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up with a theme of spring and we're having a lovely warm day today. It was so nice we decided to do our art project out on the deck. It was a little weird, because the deck still has a considerable amount of snow on it. Still we enjoyed it. We did some middle east geometric art. I think that's a good enough combination of geometry and geography that we shouldn't have to do geometry today, don't you?

I noticed that a lot of the contributors to the carnival are getting tired of the school year at this point and ready for summer break, but I'm energized. Switching our main unit and switching our schedule around, not to mention getting to sit out in the sunshine this afternoon, has energized me. It's a good feeling. I hope it lasts.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The verdict.

We've decided to use mom's schedule with a few modifications. My youngest wants me to put a space on the page at lunch, so he'll know when he's done with his morning section. The oldest wants time for guitar on Fridays. We decided to put 4 freebies (things we don't have to do) per week. Most of the time we save our freebies until Friday and have a shorter day, but sometimes we use them on a day we just don't feel good for whatever reason.

So here's my 9-year-olds version of our new lists.
1. Breakfast.
2. Brush teeth.
3. Chores. (These vary from day to day.)
4. Exercise 1 hour.
5. Spelling words (writing, alphabetizing, sentences)
6. Math review.


7. Unit study we all do together.
8. Geometry.
9. Daily grammar.
10. Art/game.
11. Reading.

I found some good spelling lists here.
I found some good daily math review here. \
I found these daily review grammar lessons here.
And here is the best place for art lessons.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Back to regular life.

The snow is melting and we are going to get back into our regular lives. We're doing school on the new, improved mom schedule. I've thrown a bit more reading, writing and arithmetic, writing spelling words, doing daily grammar and math reviews. I'm sure it's going to be very popular. After today we're going to discuss all 4 schedules and come up with some kind of compromise schedule and that will be the one we'll use for the rest of the school year. (Probably). We've got no outside obligations today and I'm very happy about that.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


We're really having fun with the snow. It will probably be gone tomorrow, so we're making sure we get everything done. Snow angels. Check. Snow fort. Kinda. Sledding. Check. Snow men. Check.

Actually, I think one of these is a girl. ;-)


Freckles loves the snow, in short doses. She likes to go outside and run around for a minute. This is an odd camera angle of her. She looks like she's lying down, but she's not, just kind of dancing. Max has developed a new fear, the camera. He runs as soon as I get it out, so there are no pictures of him today.

Zoey and Sammy in the snow.

Don't the cats look thrilled?


We've got about 8 inches of snow. The kids are outside. I looked out to see what they were doing and they were swinging on the rope swing, the same thing they were doing on the sunny warm day a few days back. Oh well.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Snow and my youngest son's schedule.

Today is the day my youngest is supposed to come up with a schedule for us. He let me know what it is a few minutes ago.

Mom's list.
Clean the house.

Kid's lists.

I haven't decided whether I'm going to let him get by with this yet or not.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A different schedule?

Today, we did the schedule/plan that my oldest son wrote. He did a nice job, typing it on the computer and everything. The only thing is, he didn't write a list for me, only for his siblings, so I only really participated in the last part of the list. Again, I'm not sure what kinds of changes he made to the kid's schedules. We'll have to discuss this and see what kind of changes to the schedule that they feel are important. Tomorrow, we are supposed to do a schedule that my youngest will write. I don't think he's written it yet. I kind of wonder if he'll make an actual attempt to do a good job or just declare a field day or something. It is supposed to snow maybe tomorrow, so perhaps we will have a snow day. Probably not, though. We need the days and I think it is supposed to snow later in the day, after school.

We've been working on the unit study on the middle east a little and today we talked about Egypt and the Coptic people and their art. (I'm learning a lot too). That discussion lead to our own artwork and a long session of painting out on the deck in the sunshine. It's going to be weird to have such a change in weather by tomorrow. I guess that's March for you.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


We followed the schedule my daughter made up. It went okay. She didn't change the afternoon schedule much and she didn't have a list for me, just the kids, so I got off easy. Tomorrow, we will do my oldest son's schedule if he has it ready and Friday we'll do my younger son's schedule. (That should be interesting!) Then, we'll have a meeting and see what we want to do and what we need to change. I don't know if I mentioned, but we've finished American History finally and we're working on a unit study on the eastern hemisphere, starting with the middle east. It feels a little odd to be following a curriculum after just using a textbook the last few months. Hopefully, we'll get back into the groove.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Okay, I wrote the perfect schedule.

Mom's Schedule
Mom gets up at 7:00 am, eats breakfast and cleans the house.
Starts work at 8:30 and finishes by 12:00.
Eat lunch (which she prepared in the crock pot earlier).
All exercise together/long walk/biking in the sunshine.
Unit study.

Kids Schedule.
Get up at least by 9:00
Eat breakfast
Brush teeth
Clean house (it always needs more cleaning).
Do math with Dad. (Oldest works on algebra 1 on his own. If he needs help, he can ask Dad.)
Work on grammar, spelling writing worksheets, working independently. (Oldest does computer and studies American History for CLEP test and practices guitar.) They do all of this with no whining.
Eat lunch.
Long walk/bike ride.
Unit study.

The main thing about this schedule is that Mom has no exposure to math (Yay!) and the kids work independently on some subjects, something that the younger 2 never do. Trouble is, I can write them, but I can't follow them. I'd be making excuses and not getting my work done. It's also quite possible that I'd be one of the ones whining.


Changing things around.

We do this every little while in our school. We change things around, add things in, do things at a different time of day, etc. Normally, I do it, but this time, the kids want to get involved. Each child is going to come up with a school schedule for us to follow. We'll do my oldest son's schedule tomorrow, my daughter's plan on Thursday and my youngest son's on Friday. I might even revise my schedule plan and present it on Monday. Then, we'll vote for our favorite. I'm not sure if we'll actualy adopt one and use it or not, but it's interesting. I'm toying with the idea of block scheduling. I liked doing a large amount of history on each day and wonder about scheduling our unit study 2 afternoons a week, math on 2 other days and science on the fifth day. I don't know. We've been on our quest for the perfect schedule for how many years now? 3 1/2 I think. Yes, of course I know there's no perfection, but that shouldn't keep us from striving for doing better should it? I don't know. I waver between striving and just giving up. ;-)

Monday, March 03, 2008

One reason why.

Today was a beautiful day, 75 degrees and sunny. The kids could not wait to get outside after breakfast. I let them go. I told them we might finally finish American History later and out they went. They stayed outside most of the day. I read an article the other day about how just plain, old fashioned play is so good for kids and helps develop their brains in very vital ways, so I just let them go and play. About 6:00 p.m., after it started raining, we finally finished American History. The flexibility is one of the main reasons we love homeschooling.

Field Trip Rescheduled.

That's a relief. We started calling and emailing yesterday and realized that fully half of our small homeschool group was also sick, so I called and rescheduled our trip today. Our family gets to have another day trying to recover without traipsing all over the state. We might even do school today. At this point we have 108 days of school in and I would estimate us getting done with school the second week of June based on that. However, I personally have no objection to taking some time off in the spring when the weather is wonderful and doing school when it is 100 degrees outside so we may just plan to do school all through June. We'll see. We've done 7 field trips so far. I've also got no objection to a Saturday or Sunday field trip. When I get over this horrible flu-like illness, that is.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Word verification.

I hate the word verification thing. I'm just about the word's worst at typing those things in. Sometimes I have to try 3 or 4 times. Sadly though, my blog is being targeted by automated posts in the comments and I guess I'm going to have to put it back on. Sorry about any inconvenience to all my human readers. ;-) Hopefully, you all are not as bad at it as I am.

Still sneezing and coughing.

Darn it. I was hoping we'd all feel much better today. I personally feel worse. We're supposed to have a really cool field trip tomorrow the the Museum of Art and Craft. We've been looking forward to it for a couple of months. It's not looking too good for us to go at this point. Oh I hate having to make a descision like this. I'm going to search the internet and see if I can find out if we're still contagious.

I hate this.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sneezing and coughing.

We're all still in the midst of this whatever it is. None of us feel all that bad today. It's mainly just an annoyance. We are keeping tissues in every room. We have tons of cough drops, Cold Eeze and Fruit Breezers. My youngest son has been doing these funny sneeze/cough things which means that he somehow sneezes and coughs at exactly the same time. They sound funny. He calls them Snoughs.


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