Tuesday, December 23, 2008
But we made it through it all and here we are 13 years later. I can truly say that I love my husband more now than I did when we got married. Here are 13 reason why:
1. I love that he makes me laugh everyday.
2. I love that he is a wonderful father to our three beautiful daughters. He is the "Fun Daddy."
3. I love that he knows a ton of stuff and loves learning ( i.e. he is a genius).
4. I love that he encourages me to keep learning.
5. I love that he keeps me from being boring. He is always looking for another adventure for us.
6. I love when I stay up until all hours, the bed is all warm when I snuggle in next to him.
7. I love that he is an amazing cook. He creates dishes that are better than you can get at a restaurant. I have no idea how he does it.
8. I love that he doesn't let me feel sorry for myself and be negative.
9. I love that he buys me cooler clothes and shoes than I would ever buy for myself.
10. I love that he buys me the chocolateiest, nuttiest ice cream when I am having a bad day.
Which he hasn't done recently, hum? Maybe I haven't had a bad day for a while...See #8
11. I love that he comes into the bedroom in the morning to give me a kiss goodbye even though I am sound asleep.
12. I love that he encourages me to be a better person.
13. I love that he is my best friend and that we get to plan our future together.
Monday, December 22, 2008
But I guess I won't have to dream this year! It has been snowing all day and it is still snowing.
Here is my cutie pie Arwen. She rag rolled her hair last night doesn't it look cute?
Sierra - sliding down the snow drift in the church parking lot next to our house. Fun, Fun!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Other than that, I am just gettting ready for Christmas. My parents left Wednesday and I got the house back in order yesterday. Now it is Friday, so I am not motivated to do school today. I may do a few days of school next week, but I am really feeling like it is already Christmas Break...
Saturday, December 6, 2008
My youngest got to sing a solo. I was one proud mama!
P.S. this choir is made up entirely of homeschoolers :)
Monday, November 17, 2008
The other night at dinner we were looking at the map of the U.S. that I recently hung above the table. I had forgotten that we had it and had been planning to buy one, but a week ago Arwen found a mailing tube and opened it and pulled everything out and there it was. I guess curious, destructive children are useful sometimes...
Anyway, we started talking about how I remembered learning the states and capitals in the 5th grade and that since Sierra is 5th grade age that she should learn them this year, too. This lead to Rand quizzing me on all the states and capitals, which lead to Sierra and Kali pulling out the atlas and quizzing Rand on the capitals of all of the countries in the world.
By the time we were done it was way past the girls bedtime. Oh well, anytime the girls want to be geeky they can stay up as long as they want. Geography...check...
Friday, October 31, 2008
No, I am more the type of homeschooler that is always worried about whether my child is on grade level or whether I am messing them up by homeschooling them. Should a 10 year old know how to spell the word different? Oh no, my 8 year old has forgotten how to subract! Ack! it's been a week since I have worked on phonics with my 5 year old, I am scarring her for life!
But the time has come where I feel we are succesfully nerdy homeschoolers. Who cares if my 10 year old can't divide, yet. She -and her 5 year old and 8 year old sisters - can sing the U.S. Presidents in order!
I told them they can now go on Kid Nation. (I was all worried last year when the kids on Kid Nation had a challenge where they had to put the presidents in order and I knew that I was messing my kids up because they didn't know them, yet :P)
In related news, I added our book list from our recent government and presidents unit to the side bar.
Oh, and we got this song off of You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsePr32vOxA
While you're at You Tube check out the Anamaniacs and the Nickelodean versions, too. Fun, Fun.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
When I was a senior in high school, I took a quiz in government class and I score exactly in the middle on both the Republican/Democrat quiz and the Conservative/Liberal quiz. I kind of still feel that way. I think both parties/sides have some ideas that I agree with and some ideas that I disagree with.
One of the local homeschool groups allows political discussions (well, if you can call it a discussion since most of the people's views are pretty one-sided). The other day I got brave enough to comment to someone who posted a political joke that had some elements in it that went against that person's religious views. Instead of responding to what I had commented on many people in the group started making all kinds of comments about how the government should not be involved in helping the poor. Apparently, I had been talking about the posts a lot and how many homeschoolers I know are anti government involvement and try and "stay off the radar" because this week as the girls and I were learning about presidents and reading about how President William McKinley was shot by an anarchist and the book described an anarchist as one who doesn't believe in government, my oldest said, "Oh, like the people in your emails..." Funny, funny.
I do know who I am voting for. It is my husband's job to understand international relations and ecomonics and the things he tells me make sense. So while I am becoming more curious about politics and would like to learn more so I can hold my own in a political conversation, I am going to vote with him on this one.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The Breakfast Club
Back to the Future
When Harry Met Sally
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Ack... I only have one more spot and 5 movies left on my list...
St. Elmo's Fire
Which movies are your 8 essentials of the 80's?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Reading - Arwen - Teach your Child to Read in 100 Lessons - I used this with both of my older girls. Arwen is proving to be a more difficult student, but we are plugging along. We also have a million easy readers.
Sierra and Kali - books. I instituted "reading time" this year. They have always read time at bedtime, but since they play so well together they don't often read during the day. I have assigned Sierra a book to read because I think she is getting old enough to have assignments. This month she is reading Caddie Woodlawn. Kali can read whatever she wants, but she wanted an assigned book, so I told her to read Kit from the American Girls series. She finished it in a few days and is now reading other books. I am having them narrate what they read, so I can gauge their comprehension. No boring workbooks for us...
Writing - Copywork, dictation, freewriting. Yeah, Charlotte Mason all these ideas are free! Although freewriting is an idea from The Writer's Jungle which is not exactly free. I plan to use more ideas from TWJ, but haven't gotten around to it, yet.
Grammar - First Language Lessons and Rod and Staff English 4 (which I already had from last year). Last year I did grammar with Kali and Sierra separately, but it was kind of a pain and they were learning much of the same things, so this year I am teaching them together. I use both books as a guide. We haven't done any of the written assignments, yet. I gave them each a spiral notebook to use for grammar and I have them write concepts that they learn in the notebook, like the 8 parts of speech and types of sentences, etc.
Spelling - Right now we are going through Rebecca Sitton's "no excuse" list and then we will move on to individualized lists based on words they misspell in their writing. For each word they misspell we will discuss the rules and patterns associated with each word and list other words with the same pattern. I have the book, ABC's and All of Their Tricks, to use as a reference for spelling patterns.
Math - I have all 3 girls using Singapore this year. Arwen is starting 1A, Kali is almost done with 2A, and Sierra just started 4B
History - Story of the World 2 - we only got 10 chapter into this last year, so we will continue it this year.
Science - Oh, how we love the library. I have picked topics based on What your __ Grader Needs to Know. We have worked through almost all of the topics in the K - 3 books and have a few more to cover in the 4th grade book. We have an electricity set from last year and I hope to start Real Science 4 Kids in the spring. I bought Lyrical Life Science Vol1, but I don't think we will end up using it this year. Maybe we will listen to the CD.
Music - Violin Lessons, Piano Lessons Composer studies using books and CD's from the library
Art - co-op art class, Artist studies using books from the library.
Foreign Language - We were using Rosetta Stone that we borrowed for free from a homeschool program in Colorado. When we moved I figured we would use the online library version, but the Rosetta Stone company took it off the libraries' databases - grrr... My plan is to get videos and CD's from the library instead. We also still have the Minimus Latin book, but I don't know if we will get around to using it this year.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Lyrical Life Science Vol 1 - The songs are good. The text and workbook are not as exciting, but they cover pretty advanced science information and I think they might be useful later.
Singapore Math - I have switched my oldest from Right Start to Singapore. Right Start seems to provide a good foundation (we actually started in Level D and skipped around covering topics that Sierra needed, but I have Levels B and C that I have also used as a reference for teaching). However, as we started Level E, I realized that Sierra was confident enough with her math that she no longer needed daily teacher taught lessons and I, having 3 students to teach now, didn't have the time for the daily lessons. So we are trying Singapore starting with 4B. I bought the workbook, textbook, and Homeschool Instructor's Guide.
Wrap Ups - Full Math set addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, and fractions and States and Capitals set. Hopefully, these won't sit around gathering dust...
What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know
Winston Grammar - I bought the basic set used super cheap and got the advanced set for free at a homeschool swap. I am not using them right now, but I could resist super cheap and free :)
The Writer's Jungle - loving the ideas in this. Hoping to find time to use them...
A " mice" way to learn about government curriculum guide and A "mice" way to learn about voting, campaigns, and elections - these book go along with picture books by Peter Barnes that I plan to get at the library. I should have know I would be disappointed by curriculum design for a classroom, but the picture books are cute and I am looking forward to reading them to the girls and discussing the concepts.
Logic Safari book 2 - I haven't used these, yet. We'll see if the girls like these.
Vroot and Vroom - this is a Cd rom that goes along with Signapore Math. It was kind of a splure. I needed to spend $150 on Rainbow Resources to get free shipping and even after I ordered some birthday and Christmas presents, I still needed a bit more.
I really, really, really wanted to buy Real Science 4 Kids, but I couldn't fit it in the budget. I am hoping to be able to get it in January or with tax return money.
After looking at Lyrical Life Science and needing to wait to buy Real Science 4 Kids, I decide to do science one area at a time starting next year. I have been skipping around through Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science using What Your __Grader Needs to Know as a guide, but I am thinking with RS4K dividing their curriculum into Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, it makes sense to learn about one area at a time. I think that will also make it easier to use Lyrical Life Science along with RS4K Biology instead of trying to skip around. My plan is to do some Physics topics this year - electricity (because I have a set that I bought last year and never got around to using), magnets, and simple machines. I also want to do a little unit on reproduction. It has been 3 year since the girls and I have really sat sown and discussed "the birds and the bees, " so I thought it might be time to revisit that little topic. And then next year we will do Biology, followed by Chemistry the next year, and then Physics and Earth Science the year after that. By that time Sierra will be a high schooler - ack! OK, I must go before I freak out about that.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The other show is called Crash, Bang, Splat. My friend, Heidi, recommended this show to me and I wasn't sure if I would be able to convince my daughter's to watch a science show, but they like it especially my oldest.
In other news, I am starting another blog called Behind the Mess to chronicle the boring details of our homeschool life. For those interested, I will be posting our learning experiences daily (or weekly if I get busy). It is mostly a way for me to keep records and to see in black and white exactly what we are accomplishing each day, but I figure it might be of interest to other homeschoolers.
Also, I have added the books that we used during our recent weather unit to the booklist side bar. Enjoy!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Get dressed AND put away pj's and put yesterday's clothes in the laundry basket
eat breakfast AND put dishes in the sink
brush teeth AND put away toothbrush and wipe out sink
Make bed NEATLY
It was so nice to be able to refer to the chart to make sure they had done everything. Then once we started school the girls helped me stay on schedule using the chart.
10am - Topic Read Alouds - next week we are learning about weather
11am - break
11:15am - spelling or grammar, alternating days, Kali and Sierra together
11:30am - Writing - alternating copywork, dictation, freewriting, etc.
12:00pm - Lunch
12:30pm - break
1:00pm - Math
1:30pm - Reading
2pm - freetime
4pm - Practice Piano, Violin (Kali), Typing (Sierra)
5pm - Clean up
This is the schedule for Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday we do our weekly chores, so free time doesn 't start until 2:30pm.
Wednesday and Friday we have afternoon activities so we have to shorten our school day. I haven't exactly figured out how to do that, yet. Something will have to be skipped.
Thursdays, I have the girls signed up for a choir that meets in the morning. I don't generally like morning activities because it messes up our whole day. None of us feel like doing school in the afternoon after getting home from a morning activity. But this year I have a plan. My dh had an idea to do stations like his favorite second grade teacher. At first I thought, "How am I going to fit this into my already super full schedule?" but then I realized it would be a perfect thing to do on Thursday afternoons. Arwen was feeling a bit sick, but the older girls did the following stations this week.
1. Do math wrap ups. Multiplication for Sierra, Addition for Kali
2. Practice spelling words
3. Do a Mad Lib
4. Draw a picture and write a short story
5. Silent reading
It worked out really well. The idea was to spend 15 minutes at each station, but some didn't take as long. I helped keep time while I got the dishes done. And right now the girls think it is great fun.
It was a busy week. I had meetings Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, a homeschool planning meeting on Wednesday afternoon, and a Homeschool Potluck on Friday. And I am now feeling the repercussions of it. I am defintely sick today Of course, it didn't help that poor sick Arwen was breathing in my face all week because sick kids alway need lots of snuggles... I am hoping to feel better by tomorrow, so we can a a good first full week of school next week.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
You Are Pocahantas!
Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.
Which Disney Princess Are You?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Here are my children at 8:30am:
Here is a slightly blurry picture of my youngest who is officially a kindergartner this year - Yikes! I am sure I would be sad and emotional if I weren't keeping her home with me.
I think the picture is blurry because Arwen kept sticking her legs up in the air and showing her underwear. It is probably a good thing that I am not sending this crazy child out into the world just yet.
And here is a picture of all of my students getting comfy on the couch for our read aloud time. I meant to take more pictures, but I got busy with the, ya know, doing school thing and forgot. It was a pretty good day. I will post more about it later since I should probably get to bed so I will be ready for the second day of school - homeschool style.
Monday, August 4, 2008
But then I went to the mall...
If you are over 30, I do not recommend shopping for clothing at the mall. I haven't shopped at the mall for years. I figured I couldn't afford the clothes there. But we just moved and I wanted to check out mall here and I had birthday money to spend. So Saturday, I went to the mall. Now, I gave up shopping in the juniors section when I was 29, but what I didn't realize is that the mall (except the department stores) is one big junior's section. When I came home crying - yes, I really did cry, I guess I am not quite as self actualized as I thought - my dh pointed out that, of course the mall is a bad place for a 35 year old to shop, the mall is designed for 13 - 21 year olds to hang out at... Duh!
But here is my dilemma. Where do women in their 30's shop? The cute clothing at the mall and in the junior's section is not cut to fit a woman in her 30's, skinny or not. Nor is most of it really appropriate either. I have been looking for graphic t- shirts, but I don't think a 35 year old mother of 3 should run around in a shirt that says," I kissed a girl and I liked it." I was also looking for a lace bottomed tank to wear under stuff, but apparently if you have short waist, the lace will hit you about mid thigh and that is just not attractive at all. But I don't want to wear old lady clothes, now or ever really.
So I have resigned myself to plain colored t- shirts and jeans. And until I get nominated for "What Not to Wear," I will be shopping at Target, Ross, Marshall's, and Macy's (sale rack and store brand) And carefully avoiding the junior's section.
Maybe next year I will become the confident middle aged - ack! - woman that I dream of becoming...
Sunday, August 3, 2008
They are in excel spreadsheets. Be sure to check out all of the sheets. Some of the lists have several sheets. I couldn't figure out how to give each column a heading and still be able to organize the lists. They should be easy to figure out. I put an X next to the books we have read and stars to indicate how much we liked the book. I also noted age level for some. My kids are 5, 7, and 10, so most books are appropriate for that age range. I also noted if we owned the book. If the documents have more than one sheet, it is usually because each sheet is a separate sub category. For example, the Around the World Books are divided by area of the world. And the ancient history list has separate sheets for Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
This is just a portion of my lists. The rest are still hand written. Check back as I will be adding new lists after I get them typed into excel. Enjoy.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Lately I have been posting more about life in general. I don't know whether that is because I am more confident in my homeschooling ( I doubt it...). Or because we haven't been doing much formal schooling with moving and summer (that might be it). Or because more family members have been visiting my blog and blogging is a good way to keep them informed about what is going on in our life.
In any case, I think this has become a hybrid blog. I am sure I will post more about our homeschooling when we get back to more formal schooling in the Fall and I will continue to post interesting happenings in our life. Something for everyone to enjoy :) If you are a frequent visitor, leave comment. I'd love to know who is enjoying my rambling on homeschooling and life in general.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Last Fall I signed up for Project Feeder Watch. It seemed like a great home school project and my oldest daughter loves birds. So I paid my $15 registration fee and went out an bought a bird feeder and seeds. You are supposed to record the number of birds at the feeder for 2 days in a row each week throughout the winter. I never did. Not once. Never. At first there were no birds at the feeder each time I looked and then I could never find 2 days in a row to take the time to look. I know, seriously sad that I couldn't schedule 5 minutes 2 days in a row to look out the window, but I couldn't. I finally just gave up. I am a Feeder Watch Flunkie. I am sure it would be a great project for some homeschool family out there, but not ours. My husband even made fun of me for paying $15 for the opportunity to do research for someone else :P
Sunday, July 6, 2008
You know you have sunk (risen?) to a new level of housewifedom when you start proclaiming your affection for a cleaning product. But I just love this mop. It is the Clorox large area mop with the terry cloth cover.
You see, my husband hates when I mop. He doesn't like the smell of the cleaning solution and he doesn't like that the floor stays wet for 20 minutes and he can't go in the kitchen. Now it would make sense for me to mop when he is not home, but I prefer to mop the kitchen at night when the kids are in bed, so I don't have to deal with keeping them out of the kitchen.
The floor in our old kitchen was white and always looked dirty, so it needed mopped rather frequently. I thought about getting a swifter mop after I saw someone mopping with one and noticed that the floor seemed to be dry almost immediately, but I really didn't like the idea of constantly having to buy the replacement pads.
Then a friend mentioned terry cloth mops. I had never heard of them and thought I might have to order one online. But one day I went to Target and there they were - a whole selection of them. I have to say now that I am so glad I got the large area one.
At first I tried to use the mop swifter style. I put cleaner and water into a spray bottle and sprayed the floor and then mopped the sprayed area. It didn't take me long to figure out that the dry terry cloth made too much friction and was difficult to push across that floor. So I tried wetting terry cloth and using the spray. This was still kind of a pain, but better that the ol' sponge mop and bucket routine. Then brilliance struck. I wet the terry cloth and put the floor soap on the terry cloth and squish it around, put the Terry cloth on the mop, and go. Swish Swish, Swish and I am done. The floor is dry in less than 5 minutes and I have no bucket of yucky water to deal with. I pull the terry cloth off and throw it in with the dirty laundry. And you can buy extra terry cloths (which I did), in case one is still dirty and you need to mop.
I wouldn't recommend using this mop for a gross - o mopping jobs, but for regular floor cleaning, it is great! Also, if you have crusty stuff stuck on the floor, you may to to keep a scrubber sponge (another one of my favorite cleaning products) handy. You know, the one with the yellow sponge on one side and the green scrubber on the other. The terry cloth isn't so good at the crusties, but still better than the bucket and mop... You can get terry cloth mops with their own scrubbers build it, but the large area one didn't have that feature.
Go, buy yourself a terry cloth mop. I highly recommend it.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Welcome to my new house. Are you ready for a tour? It's good, it's bad, and it's ugly. I cut off this picture so you can't see the other side of the duplex. It looks just like our side only reversed. If you walked in the front door you would see this:
Well, actually it would look more like this:
Here is the other side of the front room:The kitchen is bad and ugly. It is small and has no counter space. Our IKEA table takes up half the room
The counter NEVER looks like this. We have no dishwasher, so the counter is always covered with dishes. There is only on thing I like about this kitchen and here it is:
Why doesn't every kitchen have a built in cookie sheet cabinet? I have been wishing I had something like this for years!
Here is the upstairs bathroom. The yellow counter top is pretty ugly, but at least is matches with my butterfly shower curtain.
The girl's room: They wanted to all share a room, but the room is so tiny. They look like little orphans with their beds all in a row.
Here is the other side of the room with its tiny carpet space showing.
With the girls sharing a room, the other upstairs room became the play room:
I know we have way too many toys.
That's the whole upstairs. It is very tiny, but this room saves us from killing each other due to being crowded:
It's a basement, but it gets tons of light. And this room is huge. It can fit our new couch, the TV, all our instruments, both Rand's and my desks, and several book cases. And still have floor space for the girls to play games. I was tempted to make this room the play room, but my dh wisely suggested that we should make this big room a room that the whole family could enjoy.
Here is our bedroom. My dh bought all the decorations when we lived in Colorado. He did such a great job. It is the nicest decorated room in the house. And now it is in the basement... When we first got all the decorations up my dh said it looked like our old bedroom had been shrunk in the dryer...
We have a garden plot in our backyard. That is one of the "goods" assuming I can get anything to grow. I have tried gardening before, but I never really had a good space to work with. I love planting pretty flowers, but I haven't had too much luck planting things from seed.
Here is another on of the "goods. " This is the view from our backyard. Feel free to be jealous and then remember I have no dishwasher.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Me: Arwen, have you been STAPLING the graham crackers?
Me: Um, why?
Arwen: Because I wanted to.
Me: Uh, OK.
What was going through that 5 year olds mind? Did she come up with the idea to staple the graham crackers and go and get the stapler? Or was the stapler sitting on the table while she was eating the crackers and stapling them seemed like a good idea? Who knows, but I am stilling laughing at the sight of the stapler with the graham cracker crumbs in it.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
But that is not what this post is about. Last year my dh decided that Sierra was old enough to get her ears pierced if she wanted, but she didn't want to, yet. This year she was ready. Here are some hilarious pictures of her reaction to getting her ears pierced.
Before the first piercing... feeling a little nervous
Time for the second ear. The crying has begun.
Getting the second ear pierced. Love the reaction!
Very happy to have gotten her ears pierced?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Here are some pictures from our adventure: