Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Notebooking pages from our Europe Study.

These were all done my my daughter. She really gets into notebooking more than the boys seem to, although, after 2 years of persistence, they've all gotten pretty good at it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finally, a mostly at home kind of day.

We got school done today. It was very productive too. Just as I typed this, it occurred to me that I had not done progress reports for either of the boys to make sure they got completely done. My daughter did show me her notebook pages and math ... uh oh. I hope they are done. We're supposed to meet the homeschool group at Fazoli's tonight and I won't let them go if they didn't do their work done.

I personally got several things accomplished, laundry, dishes, floors - basically the stuff that will all hae to be done again tomorrow but it makes me feel good anyway. I love the smell of fresh, clean laundry.

The picture is of a 'fractured' goldfish cracker. We were studying Picaso when my oldest son drew it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Long day.

It turned out to be a really long day. We did all the errands I mentioned in my other post, the eye doctor, Target, Michaels Crafts and also added in a trip to the pediatrician for the oldest 2 kids. My son has an infected toenail and my daughter jammed her finger the other day. The finger needed to be x-rayed and the toe needed antibiotics. So we had to go to the pharmacy for those. It kind of seemed like the places we needed to go kept snowballing. On thing let to another. It kind of reminded me of one of those "If you give a Mouse a cookie" books. Our version starts out "If you take a kid to the eye doctor ..." Anyway, it was about 7 hours later when we arrived home.

It's always something.

Today, it's eye doctor appointments for me and oldest son. For some reason, these things seem to take forever, so we'll be doing that half the day, then we have several things we need to do while we are in the area. We need to go to Target and Michael's Crafts, 2 errands we've been putting off because of the gas prices. Maybe we'll get some schooling in this afternoon or evening? We did watch Heidi over the weekend since it takes place in Switzerland and we're studying Europe. It seems like we're always working around something. We may have to start getting DVDs for every weekend to help boost our hours and get done.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Not much going on today.

I'm going to work and putter around the house today. I've got nothing else planned. I'm glad of a day like this every now and then. It's rainy out and that's kind of good because my new garden beds I've put out this week need the rain. I've put out 3 tomato plants, moved the strawberries and planted some annuals by the front porch. The kids and I also planted a peach tree. They can't wait until it is productive. I have no idea. Do we need another peach tree so they can cross pollinate? Will it be a few years? My daughter said "I love it. Even though it hasn't given me even one yummy peach, I already love it." She's already claimed the first peach. Oldest son has the second, then she's got third, fourth, fifth and so on. Youngest doesn't like peaches and wanted an apple tree so he could have unlimited applesauce.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Trying to get back to normal.

We had so much going on last week that this week it almost feels like we've come back from a vacation. We only did half days of school all last week. Then we had the field trip. We took Tuesday off to recover (really only Mom needed this!). So yesterday was the first full day of school for a while. It was the first day we have done our unit in a long time. I'm really not enjoying this unit study on the Eastern Hemisphere as much as I enjoyed the Western Hemisphere one. I think it's me. I am skipping over some of the activities this time because they just sound like too much effort, whereas last year we were doing all of the activities. That makes a huge difference.

I just have waxing and waning in my enthusiasm and that seems to be normal. I have to find ways to cope with it. I try to find my weaknesses as a teacher and figure out ways that these won't become weaknesses in the kids. Math, for example. I'm thinking of getting something with video or computer lessons next year. Netflix even has some math lessons on DVD. I don't know how good they are but it's worth looking into. Everyone raves about Teaching Textbooks but they are pricy, so I may look for them at the homeschool book swap in May.

Since I tend to sometimes procrastinate about doing science experiments and sometimes art lessons because of the mess and effort, we're going to have some science days at the park with the group this summer and a friend of one of the moms has volunteered to teach art to our group so that will be really nice.

Even though this year has been kind of busy, kind of crazy and sometimes I've completely lost my momentum, the kids are learning a lot. When I'm busy trying to catch up on work or something, they start unschooling themselves. For example, yesterday, the boys were discussing something they saw on Mythbusters with my 9 year old using the word "nucleation" correctly in a sentence (I had to look it up) and reading a book on science experiments trying to find one to challenge the Mythbusters. They found one and we sent it in. (I'll let you know if they ever put it on the show.) The point is, these 2 brothers, ages 9 and 15, were doing a lot of research for this, working together and enjoying each other's company. It was another one of those cool things that tend to happen more frequently when you are homeschooling.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here he is.

The spoiled rotten kangaroo!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Field Trip.

Wow, what a field trip we had yesterday. We went to Kentucky Down Under which is a little piece of Australia here in Kentucky. It was great but I am tired and sore and sunburned today. The cave tour is a bit physically challenging and the whole place is built on a hill. Next time I go, I'm skipping the cave tour because it's hard on my old knees, but I'd definitely like to go back. If you are anywhere near here, I'll let you know, they are giving pretty good discounts to homeschoolers this whole month. I tried to post pictures of the kids petting a spoiled rotten kangaroo but blogger wouldn't let me. The kangaroo was so funny, he'd roll over to have his belly rubbed, just like a dog.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hopefully, this week will be better.

If it's worse, I'm leaving town, going into hiding or something.

We've got another field trip today and then we will have some free days to rest and recover. I thought I'd share a couple of youngest son's recent comments this morning to start this week out on a better note.

Saturday we went to the mailbox which led to a climbing trees and skipping rocks in the creek playtime. As we walked back into the house, my youngest said "Next time I get the mail, I'm wearing boots." Apparently getting the mail at our house is a dirty job. ;-)

Youngest son has also invented what may be the newest breakfast sensation since Seinfeld's "muffin tops". His invention is called "Muffin Plottoms" and they have coffee, with sugar and creamer already in it, inside the muffin. He hasn't figured out all the details on how to do this yet, but if anybody can, it would be him.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rough week.

It's been a rough week in many more ways than I can mention in such a public forum. Hopefully though, relief, at least from the busy-ness, is in sight. We've got foster care training today and then a birthday party, then work. Then tomorrow, I've got work, work and more work. School has been on the back burner this week as I knew it would have to be. The kids have done half a day each day for a total of 2 1/2 days this week. We'll finish school some time in June. Maybe.

I'm ready for a vacation.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's supposed to be Good News Thursday.

But I'm not feeling very good news-y. If you are, go on over to Why Homeschool and share your good news.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tired today.

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much. I'm tired and just kind of hanging in here this week, just coping and not much else. I'm halfway through the week, but the busiest part is the end, so I'm trying to get work done, knowing that I won't be able to work at all on Friday or Saturday. We've been getting in half a day of homeschooling each day and that's just going to have to do it for this week. We've got all summer to get those days in, even though the kids don't want to do that, they might have to.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Moving right along.

Yesterday I wimped out on the eye doctor appointments. I cancelled them and went to my regular doctor instead because I wasn't feeling good. So those eye appointments are in a couple of weeks. Today I have an appointment at 1:00 with another doctor. I don't know how I ended up scheduling everything the same week. Anywho, we'll try to get the morning school work done before I go, along with my transcription work.

My daughter has really gotten into the Warrior series of books. They're about wild colonies of cats. She and her friends just love them. She had me stop by the library to pick up one for her yesterday and they didn't have it. She sent her friend an email that said, "only 3 more chapters of this book and then I will be BOOKLESS!" I know what she means. I feel lost without a book to read. My youngest decided that there should be a book lending service like Netflix but called Bookflix. Does anyone know if this kind of service currently exists?

Monday, April 14, 2008


Monday, the beginning of our busy week. Today we have eye doctor appointments which I always dread because it takes so long. Then, we've got a bunch of errands to do there, since we'll be in town. With gas prices being what they are, we have to combine trips as much as possible. I'm also going to work today because I've got so much going on every other day this week that I'm not sure when else I could get it done. I've got appointments with the eye doctor, the regular doctor, the social worker, a foster care class, skate night, a birthday party and a family member's colonoscopy for which I'm the designated driver. School might be on the back burner this week for everyone but my oldest who needs to work every day to get his work done or he's going to be in 9th grade for the rest of his life. My experiment with getting the younger 2 to work more independently has worked and even my youngest has been doing his math and spelling on his own, thank goodness. I may add more independent study to their lists starting today.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's that time of year again.

Time for another shameless plug of my store. I work hard on it and I'm proud of it. I have a good selection of Mother's Day gifts, from ones saying "Real Mom" (for adoptive moms who get the question "are you her real mom?"

to ones for moms with a lot of kids.

to Grandmas who call themselves




abuela is another word shirt


Shop now!!

I have over 100 grandparent names and if I don't have yours, I will make it. Just leave a comment here on my blog.

End of advertisement.

Tomorrow we'll be back to our regularly scheduled randomness.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Still here.

I didn't have anything to say yesterday on my blog. I was busy doing some cleaning and gardening. It was beautiful outside and I enjoyed getting out in it. Today, there's at least some work in the queue so I'm working indoors although hopefully, I'll get to get outside later. We have a couple of days with no plans here and it feels good. Then, we'll go into another very, very busy week. I hate when we have something planned very minute. I need my downtime. I may postpone my checkup at the doctor yet again to try and find a less busy time. It's an hour to get there, an hour back and no telling how long to wait and I just don't know if I can work that in this week.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I can't believe it's Thursday already. This has been a fast, busy week. We've got a meeting today with our foster care mentor and then game night at the library. We have only done one day of regular school this week. We did school on Monday before the 4H field trip. Then the museum field trip on Tuesday. We took yesterday off. I needed a break. I was tired from the 2 busy days before and I needed to catch up on work. We didn't take spring break so we could have a day off every now and then so we took one of them. Today we'll at least do morning school. Then we've got the meeting, then the library and we won't be home for a while. We've been listening to a book based in Italy, The Thief Lord, at night for about 1/2 an hour and that counts as part of our unit study.

I've been wanting to do a little bit of shopping for curriculum for next year, but I have restrained myself. It's not time yet. Around here, there is a huge book sale at the end of May and I want to get as much as I can there. Homeschoolers bring their used curriculum and set it up like a flea market. I probably need to decide what I want before I go, but I might just grab things once I get there. It's great to actually be able to open the books and look through them - much better than shopping on line. I found some really good bargains the one time I got to go before and I am really looking forward to it this year.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Yesterday's trip to the art museum.

It was pretty good. We happened to go when they were having some special things for kids so the kids got to do a drawing class and see a marionette show that was cute. We were very disappointed to learn that the exhibit with the DaVinci notebook was an additional cost and would have cost our family 28.00. Also, the kids section, Art Sparks, is an additional 5.00 a person. So the "free" museum could have cost my family up to 48.00 (just for the 4 of us that were there.) I had visited the museum's web site, but on the main page where the Medieval and Renaissance treasures are mentioned, there is no mention of the additional cost. It's also not mentioned on the Planning a Visit page. If you look up each exhibit individually, you can see it listed there, but I didn't hunt for it before we went, only after. My youngest son was the one who really wanted to see the notebook so I asked him if he'd rather see the exhibit or go to Art Sparks and he chose Art Sparks, so the "free" museum visit only cost me 20.00 plus 6.00 parking.

We appreciated the real art that was there, but in my opinion, some of the things on display really aren't art. For some of the artists, the hardest part of their job is convincing other people that their efforts are, in fact, art, and getting someone to pay for them. I kind of think it's like the Emperor's New Clothes and they are afraid to say "but that's just a pile of trash!" in fear of being thought a fool. My kids totally got this. My youngest said he was now seeing "art" everywhere. Of course, a lot of the art we saw was astouding either for beauty or technique or both. They have artists that even I've heard of like Rembrant and Monet. Hopefully seeing some of this was inspirational for my artistic kids.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hooked on Pomelos.

My daughter is getting 1-2 of these every week now. She loves them. My husband and my daughter took these pictures to show how thick the peel is on these things.

Homing Pigeon Field Trip.

The field trip to see the homing pigeons was beyond cool. We got to see several different types of pigeons, including a 2 day old baby pigeon, learn all about their care, how to race them, their history of helping in wars going back to the Roman Empire, and then the kids got to hold some pigeons and let them fly. If you click on the pictures, they will enlarge.

Here's how my youngest summed it up for his Dad.
"We got to let pigeons go today Daddy! I held it for about 3 seconds! It was a homing pigeon so it went back to the guy's house."

Watching TLC tonight.

I recorded some house flipping shows and we were watching them tonight after Dancing with the Stars.

In the first one, they pointed to a tree in front of the house and said that they were going to cut it down. My youngest son couldn't stand it. "Why do they always cut down perfectly good trees?! Anyone with kids could see that that is the perfect climbing tree!!.

Then they started talking about fixing up the master bathroom. He said "Why do they care about the bathrooms. I don't care anything about bathrooms. I wouldn't care about a bathroom unless it had a plasma screen TV in it."

Grocery Day.

Today was grocery day. We really, really needed them, but because of gas prices, I wasn't about to make 2 trips to town and go early and then head back for the 4H meeting, so we waited until after the 4H meeting to go. For lunch, we had to be creative. I was trying to get some bits and pieces of things eaten up, so as not to waste them. We had 2 chicken legs, 6 fish sticks, some leftover taco meat, some french fries, peas and biscuits. My daughter came in looked at the selection and said, I guess I'll be eating fries and biscuits. My husband remarked, "you know it's grocery day when lunch is fries and biscuits." (She would have eaten the taco meat if we'd had cheese, but without cheese, it is inedible to Ms. Picky.)

Ahh, Monday.

My day off from transcription, but my day on for doing all kind of things around the house I need to do. I am going to re-work the schedules yet again and clean the house, do school with the kids, then we have a 4H field trip later today. We get to see homing pigeons. I think that will be cool. Although my kids might be a little wary, having seen the pigeon poop episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe!

I don't seem to have anything clever to say, so I guess I'd better just get to work.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Reasons to Homeschool.

I've been jotting these down all week for some reason.

1. More time with each other.
2. A schedule that can flex. (and frequently does)
3. Vacationing in the off season.
4. An education tailored to each child.
5. No peer pressure.
6. Better relationships with siblings. Our siblings are our longest lasting relationships. (I hate that commercial where the big sister can't even remember her little brother's name!.)
7. No zero tolerance policies.
8. No bullies.
9. None of that horrible back to school shopping, in the crowded aisle of Walmart with 3 different, very specific (picky!), expensive lists.
10. No fund raisers!
11. Way, way more field trips. We went on 20 last year. Our homeschool group gets school group discounts. ;-)
12. Doing science experiments in the kitchen.

Darn Clock.

Our clock played an April fools trick on me this morning. After a very long day of work yesterday, I finally went to bed around 12:30. At 7:45 this morning, I stumbled out of bed and went to make coffee. On the way to put the dog out, I noticed the living room clock that said 8:45. I went, before drinking coffee or sitting in my comfy chair gradually waking up, to wake the kids up. When my teen came into the kitchen, he said, "Why did you get us up so early?" They could have all slept an extra hour and still made it to Sunday School. Our clock was made to reset itself for daily savings time but it doesn't realize that congress has started changing it randomly. So instead of being lucky that we bought such a nice clock and no one has to climb up and change it twice a year, now we have to change it 4 times a year, twice when it actually goes to daylight savings time and twice when the clock thinks it does, but it doesn't.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Sorry, I can't come up with a title today. Sometimes I just can't think of anything. I wanted to send a link to this article about kids needing outdoor time, which I thought was interesting. It gives me more incentive to throw them out the door. :-) Another link I wanted to share was for the Chinese Starfish blog. They are raising money to fund surgeries for infants with spina bifida, heart defects and cleft lip/palate and every little bit helps.

I'm working today. We've been out of work for 2 days but today there are a few jobs in the queue. I'm going through as many as I can as fast as I can.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Kind of a yucky day.

Today I had a doctor's appointment to check on my anemia. It's better. The bad thing about today is that there is no work in any of my accounts. My paycheck is going to be very tiny this pay period. It's frustrating that this is happening again. It stormed last night and everything is gloomy and wet outside and that doesn't make my mood better. Some days are just like this, I guess.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Getting Things Done.

We have a bunch of kid-entrepreneurs around here this week. They are all in the mood to earn money. They all have daily chores and are expected to help whenever we ask, but this week I made a list of chores that I would be willing to pay for. Consequently, a lot of things have gotten done around here. The dogs have had baths. The yard has been cleaned. The shrubs that I planted in the front of the house a few years ago and had grown to hate, have been cut down. It's great.

The youngest has decided to re-open his restaurant and had me print out menus. He only needs 50 cents more to buy and pay tax on a bionicle that he wants. He's been asking everyone in the house, "Are you 50 cents worth of hungry?"

My new organizational system.

Sometime this fall I bought myself this little Rubbermaid index card holder and I keep it on my desk. I find it works so much better than a notebook and despite being in front of my computer the majority of the time, I feel like some information is better stored elsewhere. So in here, I have doctor's phone numbers, the vet, the people in the homeschool group, words I commonly misspell for my job, blog ideas, Cafepress store ideas, numbers I can never remember and all kinds of good stuff. Also, I'm always pulling cards out of the back to write notes to myself. This and my indispensible calendar are my organizational tools. Not perfect, but better than my old system. I might have to move the kids attendance records to this too. That way, I can totally get rid of that notebook.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Some of my youngest son's toys.

These are some of the things my youngest plays with. They are all over our house and my mom's house too. To him, everything is a toy. Rubber bands. Twisty ties. Paper clips. Paper cups. Paper plates. Duct tape! When he was 3 or 4, he liked plastic party cups and played with a package of them for months. He wanted to go see santa so he could ask him for more cups.

Spring break?

The county schools are closed this week for spring break. We're not. Our weather is rainy and gloomy this week and I think we should take our spring break on a couple of beautiful sunny days. We did take yesterday off to go on a shopping trip with Grandma. She always buys the kids Easter clothes but this year, Easter was so early, we didn't get it done before, so we did it after. Instead of dressy clothes, the kids got shorts and camophlage pants and new jeans. We all enjoyed ourselves very much. Then last night, I had the combination Mom's night out and homeschool group planning meeting to plan the next few months. It went very well. We planned a trip to the Lincoln Museum, Kentucky Down Under, Speed Art Museum, a park science day, visiting a local homeschool fair and book swap and a day of letterboxing at Bernheim Forest.

It all sounds good, but I get kind of frantic sometimes when I look at my calendar and it has something on every day. I like an occasional blank day to recharge.

Happy April fools day today. We haven't done any pranks today ... yet, but check out Google today for theirs. ;-)

*** Update *** This morning, on Google, you could sign up to join the first colony on Mars, but it seems that the openings must be all filled, because it's not on there now.


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