Saturday, August 30, 2008


My daughter made this drawing on the Etch-A-Sketch last night. We've got one of those little Etch-A-Sketches, about 3 x 4 inches. I thought she did an amazing job. I've never been able to draw anything on one of those except stairs and straight lines. ;-)

A solution.

My youngest son got up early today and had to wait until any TV shows/cartoons came on that he wanted to watch. While waiting, he was watching a show on PBS that is targeted for kids about 4 years old. After a while, he came to tell me about the problems of the characters on that show and he said "I've got the answer to all their problems. Compromise."

He's very wise for his age.

Friday, August 29, 2008

End of August Progress Report.

Okay, so here's the status report for August. Surprisingly, our total school days for this year so far ... 18. Can you believe that? I looked back at June and July. There were 2 days of June I counted as field trip days (we can count 10 field trips) and there were enough hours of read alouds in July that I counted all of that as 2 days of school. I remember doing read-alouds in school, even into high school, so that counts. These were Newberry award winning authors, not that I put a lot of store in that, but anyway, I'm counting them. We're 1/10 of the way done with school. I'm very happy with that number. This has been a team effort with all 5 of us contributing to that, the kids doing their work, my husband helping and taking over when I've had to be gone.

We're also making progress on the whining. There's been a lot less of that since I imposed a fine of 1/2 hour screen time for each whine. Screen time is a precious thing now that I've cut their time back a little each day (also with no complaining, at least to me. Weird.) I think having the computers and TV only on at certain times is much easier to keep up with. It got crazy before I did this. They'd claim that they hadn't watched anything the day before and had saved up and so today they could play video games all day and frankly, I'm way too scatterbrained to keep up with 3 kids and all of that. This works much better for those of us like Winnie the Poo with very little brain.

We are still enjoying the various curriculum items I picked out this year. We really like Learning English through Art and Learning to Write the Novel way, so I can say we're enjoying English, which I don't think I've ever been able to say before. We're going through the elementary science book very quickly and look to finish it in a couple of weeks. Then we'll do the Microscopic Explorations

On the garden front (which is an interest of mine), we've done pretty well with the tomatoes but everything else is kind of small and pitiful. The morning glories (pictured above) have not yet completely taken over the yard, although they're getting closer. They are very pretty, but so agressive. I'm thinking of digging them up and carrying them down to the garbage bin at the bottom of the driveway. They could grow all over that and make it prettier and no one would care. I think I may have to burn my garden area to get rid of them and keep them from attacking my vegetables!

All in all, I'm very satisfied with our progress this month. The dish experiment seems to be going well too, except that I couldn't find my assigned coffee cup this morning and used a different one, so I guess I owe 50 cents to the penalty box!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


It seems like I am always doing dishes and not getting them done, either. Our dishwasher works sometimes and doesn't work sometimes so I spend a lot of time rinsing them and then running them back through if they don't get clean or just giving up and hand washing them. I read an article in Family Fun magazine about a family who got rid of most of their dishes, gave each child one bowl to use for everything and trained the kids to wash their bowl themselves. We are now trying a similar system. Everyone in our house picked out a favorite bowl, plate and glass and will be responsible for keeping them clean and putting them away. If you are caught using someone else's dish or a dish designated for storage or guests, you will be fined. The kids are taking to this very well. I figured at least someone would whine about it, but they haven't. They just picked out dishes and used them yesterday, washing them in between, without complaint. I packed up a bunch of dishes and put them in the closet. We'll see how this goes. It's just another method of getting rid of clutter, which I keep telling my packrat family, is something we need to do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trouble concentrating.

I'm trying to write something on my blog but my youngest has decided to listen to "Dog Train" by Sandra Boynton while I type and it makes it difficult to concentrate. Really difficult.

Let's see, where was I? We did get school done yesterday even though I was really tired from not getting any sleep all weekend. We wrote limericks about colors for our Learning English Through Art lesson and they turned out really funny. Here's my youngest son's as a sample.

There once was a crane that was green.
It was very very mean.
It decided to fly
and land on a guy
but it turned out that guy was a bean.

and my daughters

There once was a crayon that was blue.
It was owned by a girl named Sue.
She took it to color
all over her mother
and that's why her mother is blue.

I'm too lazy to go get my oldest sons limerick but it was about the color yellow. It's a fun way to introduce different types of writing. When they get done with this curriculum book they'll have a writing portfolio with different writing in it.

Here's the link to the curriculum we're using: Learning English Through Art at CurrClick.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Life and school.

Yesterday we got a full day of school in. It was great, but we probably won't achieve that goal today. I've got a doctors appointment and will be gone for 2-3 hours in the middle of the day. They'll do morning school with Dad. I'm not sure if we'll attempt afternoon school when I get back or not. It depends on my mood, how I feel, etc. (I've got a headache today.) We'll get it done eventually, 180 days. So far, we've got 14 days in, so I think we're doing okay.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer flowers.

I'm avoiding working by posting some pictures. ;-)

Sleep deprivation.

I didn't get much sleep last night. First of all, I was reading Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky. Very good book. I had to stay up until about 1:00 a.m. to finish it. Then, I got into bed and tried to go to sleep. It took a long time but finally I drifted off. Then a little while later, my daughter was up apparently sleepwalking. I made her go back to bed and went back to sleep myself. Then my husband, who keeps very late hours, fixed himself something to eat. Freckles (one of our dogs) thinks that because she wants to wake up and go watch him eat that I will want to too. I guess I should be flattered that she counts me as part of her pack and expects me and Max to join her in the living room, watching my husband eat a ham sandwich at 3:00 a.m. Max is happy to comply. Me, not so much. I got up in self defense, to keep her from licking my face, but I was NOT happy about it. I can't really remember the sequence of events. I sat in my chair in the living room for a while, replenished the food and water in the dogs bowls and at some point I put the dogs out and let them back in and fell back into bed but I'm not sure when any of that occurred. Consequently, I slept until 9:30 this morning and woke up feeling like I had been run over by a truck.

I need a nap.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A couple of pictures.

This is the origami crane and the bees wax candles. The rest of my state fair pictures are on the other camera so I need to find the cord for that one. :-P

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Normal day?

I guess today was a normal day. We did school and went to game night, skating and the grocery. I'm still tired from the fair and I was glad that tonight's activities involved mostly sitting down for me. I waited for my youngest son to get out of game night while sitting on a couch at the library and reading a magazine. Then into the mini-van to drive the 2 younger ones to the skating rink. I sit and talk to the toher homeschool parents while they skate. I tried skating one night, but it doesn't seem to come back like they say riding a bike does. I only made it around the rink once and decided to retire from skating. I like talking anyway. :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Again to the state fair.

We had free tickets for today so of course we had to go again. These tickets included free parking and a free meal. I kind of felt like we'd seen most everything the first day and wouldn't really have that much to do today, but we found some things to occupy us for about 5 hours or so. We saw honey bees, produce, horses, cows and sugar gliders, did origami, made honeycomb candles, tasted sorgum for the first time, saw an alligator show, watched people making sculptures out of balloons, walked inside a house that had been built inside the fair building, rode the escalators about 5 more times and then the glass elevator once, rode the trolley twice and many other things that I can't think of because I'm too tired. I took my camera on Monday, but I haven't got the pictures onto my computer yet but I forgot to take it today. We had fun and we're tired now. I'm kind of ready for a normal routine.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mapquest Directions.

I just Map-Quested driving directions to my mom's doctors office. I was expecting it to say to turn left at the end of my street, but instead, it said to turn right. Huh? I had to read it more closely. It directed me to use a fire access road for the state forest that has been closed to any traffic for 20 years and even then was mostly a dirt road with 3 foot deep ruts in it. I think I might need the truck today!

Just kidding. I Googled it instead. Google sensibly directed me to use roads that have pavement!

In other news, MY VAN IS FIXED!!!!

State Fair.

Admission Tickets: 14 dollars.
Parking: 6 dollars.
Wristbands: Free.
Giant chili dog 4.50
Funnel Cake with cherries on top 6.00
Riding the escalator about a million times Free
Case of Gatorade 4.98
Newsboys Concert Free with fair admission.
Most fun day ever Priceless.

We had so much fun at the fair! The parking was surprisingly really good. We were right in front of the main part. We watched a tiger show and a dog show, dug for fossils, played putt putt, rode rides (someone gave us wristbands), went through 2 fun houses, walked around and looked at everything, rode the shuttle (my daughter LOVES the shuttle), rode the escalator about a million times, ate funnel cakes and chili dogs for dinner and then went to a great concert.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008.

We're going to the Kentucky State Fair today, at least for a little while. My daughter and I would like to go to the free concert tonight if I can figure out what to do with the boys, but both boys have sensitive ears and can't stand the loudness. Why are those things SO loud anyway? I have always thought they were too loud, even when I was young and the kids are way more sensitive to loud sounds that I ever was, so it's not my advanced age making me think it's too loud. Still, we love the Newboys, so we want to go. If we can talk Dad into going with us and then bringing the boys home before the concert, we might can go. I may have to put cotton in the ear with the ear infection in it!

Even if we don't get to go to the concert, we're still going to the fair, to look at the displays, shows and do all the activities. It's always interesting.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One week and a couple of days of school

behind us now. We missed another half day yesterday because I had to go to the doctor for an ear infection. It's always something. Still, the kids got their morning lists done and the morning lists have reading, writing and math, (algebra and computer for the oldest) so they got the basics in. If we only got the morning list done most of the time it would be okay. The afternoon classes are like the enrichment classes, the more fun, interesting things. I got a positive comment from the librarian the other day. I was checking out about 10 different books on Africa for our continuing geography study and she said "Studying Africa this week I see?" and I told her we were. She said "You all must have a lot of fun. That's cool."

Regular, sit-down school sessions are not looking too good for next week either. It's the Kentucky State Fair and we have 2 days of free tickets and I have to take my mom to the doctor on one of the other days. That leaves Thursday and Friday for all day school, but the state fair is educational and it does count as school. Even the public school kids here can get an excused absence for going to the fair, only one day, not 2 like we are planning. We love the fair though.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nintendo DS

My daughter bought herself a Nintendo DS for her birthday with her birthday money and some money she'd been saving for a long time. She also got a Ninten-Dogs game, so she's spent the last week creating dogs and then training them. This requires some voice activation so she spends a lot of time sitting around, looking at this little computer device going "Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit." or "Roll over." "Roll over" "Roll over" "Roll over". It's interesting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Remember when we first got Freckles and I started calling her Freakles because she was so, so weird. The name stuck. We've also given her a middle name, Marie. I wonder if my neighbors ever wonder about our sanity when they hear the kids out yelling for the dog? "Here Freakles Marie!"

Guarding Sleep.

My husband works a strange shift which means that he sleeps at odd hours, here and there, when he can. We do our best to try and guard his ability to sleep but sometimes it is very hard to keep 3 kids and 2 dogs quiet, to say the least. It makes me a nervous wreck some days. The other day, all of us were quiet and the smoke alarm went off for no apparent reason. I wasn't even cooking. ;-0

How it's going.

School is going okay this year. I think I have chosen well on the curriculum. The kids enjoy the earth science and they're learning a lot from it. Learning English through Art so far is enjoyable. I'm not sure if anyone has learned anything really from it yet though. We have been working on descriptive words, a.k.a. adjectives, and if there is anything my kids know well, it's adjectives. We do Mad Libs all the time. Yesterday's assignment was to draw a self portrait according to the correct proportions and write descriptive words about themselves around it. It was fun and they all did a pretty good job on their portraits. It seems like such a school-y activity, doesn't it? It was a nice, light assignment at the beginning of the year when nobody wants to do anything too difficult yet. Learning to Write the Novel Way has been a big hit so far. They have gotten into the character development and made very detailed character sketches this week. My daughter was still working on making drawings of her characters 2 hours after school was done on Monday.

The other things they're doing, math, writing, reading, etc. are going well with not too many complaints. There are some from the youngest of course and we are working on that. He lost 1/2 an hour of his already limited screen time yesterday because of whining.

We have our social worker coming to visit today and we might not do too much school depending on how long she stays. My daughter is horrified by the thought of not doing school. We'll see. Somewhere in the discussion, we were thinking that we'd only done 2 1/2 out of 4 days (in the light of day, I don't think that's right, I think it's 3 1/2 out of 4, but anyway...) and my 10-year-old piped up that that was 62.5%. Hey, I think we might be doing something right in the math department. ;-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Themed sweets.

Last night I was working late and had a craving for sugar. There was nothing in the house except my oldest son's leftover halloween candy from last year. I distractedly reached in the bag and picked out 5 things that looked good to me. My son came in to get the bag and asked me what I had taken. I looked at the 5 pieces of candy I'd gotten and realized how funny it was as I said it ... "Four Smarties and a Dum Dum."

The second day of school.

I'll admit it. I'm crabby today. I had to work yesterday and I was so sleepy yesterday afternoon that I did a total no-no and drank a cup of coffee around 3:00 p.m. Apparently, caffeine takes at least 12 1/2 hours to clear from my system so I can sleep. In the past, I could and did frequently fall asleep in the middle of drinking a cup of coffee. Anyway, I was up until 3:30 a.m. this morning and so did not really wake up raring to go, shall we say, this morning. The kids are working on their lists and I've mostly got mine done, but it's been a very frustrating morning. The youngest couldn't get holes punched in his math pages right, then he got confused about place value. There was some whining. I'm not sure how we are going to get a handle on that. I doubt he will make it through the day with all his screen time intact.

My daughter whines the totally opposite way. She asked me how many pages of math to do today and I said "one" and she whined, "Only one?" I said "Okay, 14." Then she said, "I don't want 14 but can we at least do 2?" I agree to this and then hear my son say "Why do we have to do 2?" Is it asking too much that they at least agree on what they want to whine about?


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Working/ Read Alouds.

I'm working this weekend. The weather is nice and I'd really like to take this opportunity to go camping or at least pretend camping, but I don't think there's any way I could get time, with all this work. (Pretend camping is when you go, set up your tent, eat camping food, swim, play, etc. and then come home before bed time and sleep at home!) I guess I could take my laptop with me. Some campsites do have internet access these days. Nah. I'd rather stay home than work outside with the mosquitoes.

Since I don't have much to report today, not much going on, I'm going to give reviews of some of the read-alouds we've done lately. Actually most of them have been audio books, so if I say "we listened to" that's why I'm using that phrase.

Last night we finished Charlie Small Gorilla City. Very weird little book. It didn't end really either so we're supposed to get the next one in the series to find out what happened. My 10-year-old wants to but I think he's the only one. The rest of us don't really want to carry on this adventure. It's just weird.

Last week we listened to Ygraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke. It was good. The younger kids liked it better than the teen and I did. It was entertaining though it seemed for a younger audience than the other book we read by her, The Thief Lord. I think we might read some of her other books as well, since we liked these 2.

Hank Zipzer "story of my life" or something like that. It's the latest Hank Zipzer book. These are co-written by Henry Winkler and he says that Hank is himself as a child. They are very entertaining and funny. We all like these.

Before these 3, we read "Esperanza Rising" by Pam Munoz Ryan and it was excellent. It is based on the life of her grandmother. We all enjoyed this one. There was one scene where I thought something very bad was going to happen to a kitten in the book and I would have to put my daughter into therapy after reading it, but it turned out okay.

When we go to the libary next, we'll need another book to read. Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 09, 2008


She did call about 7:00 p.m. and apologize. She had been busy at work all day, didn't get to take a lunch break (she was supposed to come here during lunch) and their phones were not working. We're going to try again next week.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A teensy bit annoyed.

I think I mentioned that an old friend wanted to find out about working as a medical transcriptionist and invited herself here to my house today? So I got up a bit early, got some work done, cleaned the house for over an hour (with the kids help), downloaded a job so that she could hear what it sounds like (personal data of the patient concealed of course because of confidentiality, although the odds that she would know any patient 3000 miles away from where we live is pretty dang remote.), put on some less junkly clothes than I would normally just wear at home and excused the kids from morning school to help with the cleaning. Then we waited. I did do some typing while waiting. It's now 2:00 p.m. She was supposed to come at noon. She didn't call or anything.

Day Two.

Already, life is interrupting school. An old friend wants to drop by today to discuss medical transcription as a career option, so right in the middle of our school day, we'll have a visitor and before that, we'll need to clean, of course. We always need to clean. It's a never ending battle here. So we'll clean this morning a little bit, try to get our lists at least partially done and then do school this afternoon, if nothing else interupts us. We may end up counting it as half a day.

Speaking of counting the days, I've put my attendance records on index cards this year and put them in my regular index card file along with everything else I keep in there, doctor's phone numbers, blog ideas, addresses, user names and passwords, etc. It streamlines my desk a tiny bit because now I don't have that big binder for attendance here. Hopefully I'll keep up with the attendance well this year and not have to go back and fill in a month at a time by looking at my calendar.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

How it went.

Okay, I guess is the word. The morning started out with the kids enthusiastically tackling their morning lists. But after they got into them a bit, the novelty kind of wore off and the younger son got kind of crabby. He whined a lot about the list, the chores, the writing, the math- all of it. My oldest 2 did fine, except that my daughter needed some help getting back into the math groove and remembering how to do long division. The afternoon language arts and science lesson was purposefully easy and fun and it went well with a lot of laughing. We went through 2chapters of the very easy science and about half a chapter of Learning English through Art.

My morning list went pretty well. I had assigned myself exercise, cleaning and a ton of trancription work. It was really pushing me to try and get it done with all the interuptions to re-teach math and listen to whining, but I got done. Now I'm going to have some relaxing time before game night/skating and errands later this afternoon.

Can you hear the whining?

We started school today.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I've exceeded one of my goals today!

A while back I set my computer up on this service. Rescue Time. It's really neat. It keeps up with how much I am doing things on my computer, how much time I spend blogging, how much time I spend working, getting my email, etc. and sends me a report once a week, telling me what my productivity is for the week. Yesterday, I realized that I could have it send me alerts for when I'm spending too much time getting email or blogging or too little time doing work. So today I got my first email alert from them. This is what is said.

"You've exceeded your goofing off goal for today."

Hey, at least I'm excelling at something!

I accidently left a game running while I went to the grocery so it's actually not true, but funny!

Happy Birthday!

This is my daughters birthday. Twelve years ago today I headed out for a doctor's apppointment not knowing that he'd say "let's do this today" and I'd have a baby before the end of the evening.

Happy birthday sweetheart!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Memory Lane

We have been getting some old TV series from Blockbuster. Does anybody remember WKRP in Cincinnati? We watched the Thanksgiving episode last night. My favorite quote: "With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly".

Good times.

Day After Tomorrow

We're supposed to start school. I do feel like the time is right. I've been hearing the B word around here a lot lately, "bored". The kids are getting bored with summer and ready for school. We'll start and then we'll play it by ear with things like the state fair and camping and if we get our pool up, we'll do that in the afternoons instead of morning exercise. I need to make a library list I think. We usually only do one subject together and this fall we're doing 5 so it's a big change for me. I will need to see what books I need to get for Science and Geography, really I guess that's all. I doubt I'll need any language arts reference books.

I would have liked to have gotten the kids rooms thoroughly cleaned and the kitchen painted this summer, but if you've been reading this blog, you know what my summer's been like. We have made progress and I'm just going to put cleaning their rooms on their lists. I might even put painting the kitchen on my list, somehow or just wait until I get in the mood, cancel school for a couple of days and just do it. At the beginning of the school year, getting those 170 instructional days and 10 field/trip, noninstructional days in doesn't sound all that difficult. It's usually not until May that I start to worry about that, LoL.

Monday, August 04, 2008

We did it.

We went ahead and went to 6 Flags, just the 3 of us, me and the youngest 2 kids. The oldest does not like anything that goes high or goes in circles, so that pretty much eliminates rides for him. The temperature was high, but the crowds were low and if the kids wanted to ride a ride 5 times, they could, since there were barely any lines. We had a good time, but boy am I tired now.

Going to 6 Flags today, I guess.

It's going to be Africa hot out there today, 97 degrees, but the kids free 6-Flags reading tickets expire this week and we need to go if we're going. Thursday, it's supposed to be cooler, but Thursday we've got game night etc. and I have to work every day this week except today. Maybe I could switch it? I guess we can stand the heat. We're not going to stay all that long. Since we didn't pay for the tickets, we don't feel compelled to stay and enjoy it 120 dollars worth. I don't want to do the water park part since it will only be me and the 2 younger kids. I don't think I could keep a good enough eye on them there by myself. So we'll be riding rides I guess. Probably they will be and I'll be watching and thinking how hot it is.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Looking forward.

I'm looking forward to starting school. Now I need to figure out how to write checklists/schedules for me and the kids that include all the chores I want done and all the school stuff we need to do, but do not seem overwhelming.

Here's the list of curriculum that I have so far for each child. I tried to pick several things that have grade ranges of 5th to 12th or 6th -10th so we could all work on them together and the high schooler can get credit. The Rainbow Resource catalog is great for this.

Daily math review (a few problems of each type to practice each day.) More here.
Math Mammoth - Measuring, Money and Geometry from Currclick.
Handwriting - copywork.
Reading - Magnetic word bits/ review sight word cards/ reading practice/ word attack skills.
Personal hygiene.

Math review.
Math Mammoth - Measuring, Money and Geometry from Currclick.
Reading - I may get her to work with her brother on his reading or just assign her things to read.
Handwriting - Copywork.
Personal hygiene.

Algebra 1 from Key Curriculum Press
Computer course from Christian Light Publications.
Computer text that was recommended for the CLEP/Dantes test.
Assigned reading.
Personal Hygiene.

Afternoon/Group activities.
Geography Christian Cottage Unit on the Eastern Hemisphere.
Learn to Write the Novel Way.
Teaching English Through Art from Currclick. This may also be an art credit. I got it from Currclick because I'm an affiate there and I had a few dollars credit which made it cheaper than anywhere else.
Home Science Adventures Microscopic explorations from Rainbow Resource.
Free Earth Science

I had to shop carefully to make sure these things we all do together can go up to high school level and down to the elementary level. I guess I will be doing some adapting, but I'd rather we all work on some things together. It's fun and it promotes bonding and it's easier for me. With this schedule my high schooler should get 2 language arts credits, 1 science, 1 computer (and college credit too if he passes the CLEP), 1 math, maybe 1 art, 1 social studies, 1 music, 1 PE (we'll do an exercise log). I'd also like to get him into Karate if our finances permit. The science curriculum that says it is ages 6-9 really doesn't look that elementary to me so we're going to use it and supplement it with the microscopic explorations and a lot of books from the library.

Now if I can just find the wonderful high school planner I bought last year ...

Friday, August 01, 2008

What a Month!

You know I was just thinking about it and I'm actually glad to be rid of July this year. It was quite a month. I started thinking about all the stuff that happened this month and there were so many things I started making a list in my head. It's no wonder I've been kind of stressed, gained weight and let the housework go. Honestly. Here's a partial list of things that happened in July 2008. The main thing was that my mom got very sick so that she could only lie around for more than a week, weak, tired and very worrisome. I had to call multiple doctors and take her to the emergency department, try and keep her household going and keep her medications straight. Ya'll know how I love making phone calls, but I will if I'm forced to. I really feel for people who are doing full time caregiving. I do not know how they handle it.

Also this month, I got lost going to the doctor who had moved (wasting a lot of time), I've had 2 visits from my dreaded monthly visitor (with accompanying splitting headache and PMS), a bladder infection which has been going on the whole month and has gotten me referred to a specialist who can't see me until the end of August. Our air conditioning went off for 2 days. I couldn't put gas in the van because the gas door thingy got stuck. The insane cat peed in my kitchen twice. Our pool's not up and the backyard is a mess. The house is a mess. Our roof leaked when the remnants of hurricaine Dolly got here. Finally, at 8:30 p.m. on the 31st of this month, my van broke down. *

Meanwhile, I've just kept plugging away at work, not missing any hours, took the kids to swimming and skating, the library, 4H, the fair, VBS and everything else. Hanging in there. Being a trooper.

There have been some good things this month. We got Zelda, who is the world's cutest kitten. My daughter did well at the fair. I baked my first ham and it was delicious. The sunflowers have bloomed and the tomatoes are doing great in the garden. And finally, my youngest is on chapter 5 of Harry Potter book one. This is a major reading triumph for him.


Let's hope August has more of the good and less of the bad, difficult, messy and just plain annoying.

*I forgot to mention that our mower is broken.

My order from Rainbow Resource Center arrived!

I love it. I can't wait to get into the science kit I got. It's called Home Science Adventures, Microscopic Explorations and it says that it contains everything in the box that you will need except for a piece of bread and an onion. It looks fun. The language arts curriculum I got is called Learn to Write the Novel Way and each child will be writing a novel this year while learning grammar, sentence structure, etc. How cool is that? I'm kind of excited to get started, but we will have to get the house in better order before we can do school. Much better. It's a total mess right now with the younger 2 kids cleaning and hopefully decluttering their room and their system is to move everything out into the adjoining rooms while they work, so the living room has really taken a hit this week. It looks like a war zone or something and there are even little toy soldiers everywhere.

The bad news is there is something wrong with my van. I hope it's something easily and cheaply fixable because I'd really like to get a couple more years at least out of the poor old van before it goes kaput.

Can you all believe it's August already?


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