Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

2007 is winding down.

My niece is spending the night. We just finished decorating our time capsule. This year I had the kids answer a series of questions. Favorite color, food, restaurant, song,activity.... Who is their best friend and why. What they want to be when they grow up and sharing some of this years memories and accomplishments.
I will take these questionnaires, along with some trinkets, a cd of some of my favorite pictures and songs. I may add some other things over the next couple days. Then it will be sealed up and stored in the basement until 2018. That seems like so long away. 10 years that is how long it will stay sealed shut.
I have a time capsule hubby and I made New Years 2000. It is to be opened 2010. Only 2 more years. DS can not wait to see what is inside. And since I have long forgotten, either can I.

Happy New Year! God's richest blessings in the coming year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Three Words

Per Mindy's request...


Good Morning America had a segment about 2007 in three words. Check out the link to see some creative ways others have expressed themselves in three words.
I would love to see what YOU have to say. Leave your three words here or link to a picture or video you have posted.

I Have Declared...

Today is "Help Yourself Day!"
Now upon first glance it may appear that I am offering whatever is mine, you can have it; not so.
It means do it yourself, help yourself, Mom is not doing what you are capable of doing...
You see my dear sweet daughter has been playing me. She loves to see what see can get mom to do FOR her. For example: socks, shoes, wiping her bottom and as was the case last night, feed her.
That was too much. How hard can it be for a four year old to put the fork in her mouth? With food on it? Really not all that hard. I have seen one year olds do it. My own one year old in fact. You know the now 4 year old that has forgotten how to do basic life skills.
So this morning I declared,"Today is help yourself today. You will be doing all things by yourself." She pouted and made a declaration of her own,"You are SO mean!" That's is up for debate...
First task, socks. No problem. She goes about her day. Then comes the bathroom. "Mommy wipe me." To which I kindly reply that she is to do it herself. That I will watch to make sure she gets it all. She is not thrilled but realizes that I mean it.She uses 3 times the necessary amount of toilet paper needed to accomplish the job but SHE DID it! For lunch she helped make her quasadilla and then poured her own salsa, stating that today was help herself day. (Smile)
After lunch she decided she wanted to go play outside in the snow with her brother. Which means snowsuit and all outdoor paraphernalia. She asked for help with the snowsuit but I told her to first try to do it. Low and behold, she did it. Then came hat, mittens and boots.She did them all, (gasp) without any difficulty at all. Perhaps a bit of pride and accomplishment.
I am rather enjoying this day. I realize much of her behavior is for attention. I would much rather dote my attention playing games, reading together, baking and the like. It is so much more enjoyable.
This declaration may just end up sticking around for a while.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sudoku Returns

After taking a very long break from Sudoku, less the occasional puzzle my dad humors me with, I returned today with a vengeance.
I did 31 puzzles today. 31!!! I may go do a few more before bed. My fastest time was 2:20.
What a fabulous lazy day!

Friday's Fragments

Our Christmas was wonderful. Fast paced and full of chaos. About an hour into each family celebration it was obvious the grandparents were not used to having kids running around their homes. Let alone kids hyped up on sugar and Christmas excitement. Ah good times.

On Wednesday, DD went to one cousins house for an all girls sleepover; my poor brother barely survived. DS went to another cousins to sleepover. I had grand visions of cleaning the house from top to bottom. No kids. No hubby. My thoughts were to crank the radio and groove my way through the cleaning. So imagine my surprise when I walked in the house and hubby was parked in his favorite chair, curled up in a blanket, watching TV. Deflated. I grabbed an assembly project and by the time that was complete, all resolve to clean was gone. Without my music I just could not muster the motivation. (Sigh) Hubby was feeling better the next morning so I had two blissful hours of music magic. And the living room looks great.

Once I booted cleaning out the window on Wednesday night I made plans to join a girlfriend at the movies. We went to see Enchanted. Super sappy! Also very funny. Not sure if I am going to let the kids watch this one yet. The lady in front of us at the theater actually took a picture of her daughters horrified face when the evil stepmother was working her evil. There are a few scenes that I think I would rather the kids NOT see. However, since watching this movie I am sappily singing my way through each day. Dreaming of true love's kiss, of course.

My niece and nephew got a Wii for Christmas. When I first took my Wii fitness age, it said I was 80 years old. My niece took pity on me and helped me to the door. I returned yesterday and played bowling and dance dance revolution. We had so much fun. I got the new highest score and my nephew had to go again to try and beat it. Heehee. We are both currently B students when it comes to DDR.

Tracy, I am glad we were able to get together. So many times throughout the year I wanted to give you a hug. It was great to be able to do that last night. You crack me up. Praying 2008 is a fabulous year, complete with British accent.

After reading Wendy's post I decided to join her. Check out the sidebar to see the latest addition. The plan is to update miles as I swim, bike and run my way through the new year. Training has just begun for my next triathlon. Which will be in June. I will probably add a few 5K's and maybe a half marathon to the lineup as well. I would also LOVE to do a bike trip traveling across Michigan. Keeping track on the sidebar will hopefully motivate me to stay on track. Anyone care to join me?

God bless and have an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pretty...

Coming in the door, Daddy asked, "How's my pretty girl?"
Little girl replied, "I'm your pretty princess, Kasi (our dog) is your pretty girl."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Why I Cry...

Last night we were watching the finale of Biggest Loser. I had streams of tears rolling down my cheeks. My husband asks, "Why? You don't even know these people." I think I told him to leave me alone.
But Why? Why do I cry at TV shows? Or baptisms? Or kids singing in choir?
Here is my answer.
I cry because a life has been changed. I rejoice for the man who lost 150lbs and can now play with his kids. I cry knowing he is happier today and healthier. A life has been change.
I cry at baptisms, because a life has been changed. They have surrendered their lives. They have been saved. They will never be the same again. Praise God. I cry because they have publically proclaimed, "I am a child of God's."
I cry when kids sing because there is power in song.There is power in the spoken word. I cry knowing these kids are grasping biblical truths. I rejoice for these kids are moving heaven and earth. Something happens even in the hardest of hearts when a child sings. Lives are changed.
I cry at silly things too. Like at parades; when the marching band passes by. Reminiscing tears.
I get misty eyed when I see my kids grasp the meaning of something new.
I cry when I am angry and I cry when I am sad.
But mostly, I cry when I see a life changed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Winter Storm


Not sure the actual accumulation...I do know we got A LOT of snow.
Called the church and unlike all the other churches in the area,ours is OPEN. Since hubby and I are both serving this morning, it looks like we are on our way to church.

Update: Hubby had to go into work to clear pathways there. I attended church with the kids. Driving was slow going as plows had not yet cleared the roadways. Surprisingly enough I was not the only one at church.There were nearly 500 there for first service. And the snow still accumulates

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ministering Words

I just got news that my sisters father-in-law has passed away unexpectedly.
On my computer at the time was this link I was planning on watching. God's timing is perfect. I was just ministered to by a 13 year old boy from Texas. Listen to this broadcast from Sky Angel(89.3) Logan Henderson is wise beyond his years. I hope this ministers to you as much as it did to me.



Please pray for my sister and her family as they mourn.

So We're NOT Normal...

As Patsy Clairmont would say...Normal is just a setting on your dryer.

Hubby and I both received packages in the mail yesterday containing our Christmas gifts to ourselves. Evidence#1 that we are not normal; we give each other money to get what we want rather than buy gifts for each other. I got my new GPSr Garmin 60CX, WOOHOO! And hubby got an electric guitar. And we do not wait until Christmas day to enjoy our gifts to ourselves. Mine was out of the package loaded with way points and out on the trail in less than an hour. Perhaps this is evidence #2. But really the true indicator of how un-normal we are. We let our kids open their main gift from us last night. Heehee. It was so much fun. Complete randomness, we decided to let them open their "Want gift." We sent the kids to their room for a moment to prepare. They giggled their way there. Then one at a time we let them open their gift. Incredibly cute as they giggled and tore away the paper or in DD's case threw off the blanket. I think the below pics express well how they feel about their new gifts.





And as a measure to try and be normal...we will make them wait for the remaining gifts. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oldies But Goodies

My mom has been cleaning and found some old pictures. Enjoy!

All four of us kids in 1981.

Me holding a kitty...

And my sisters work should LOVE this one!
Check out those outfits. Yikes!

My mom entitled this one "My little angel."
I am pretty cute.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gabby Crump...Amazing

This little girl is amazing!
And super cute!

Spelling

A week and a half ago, the boy bombed a spelling test for the first time. Which left me with a choice. Do I continue on and issue the next list of spelling words? Or do I take a week to review the tricky words and concepts he missed. Hubby and I discussed and decided to do a week of review. As hubby put it"One of the benefits of homeschool is that you can take time were needed."
I looked through some stuff I had for Spelling Power. And used some great ideas,that really worked.
On Tuesday, I had him spell all of his words and recorded them on an audio tape. Then we played them back so he could hear himself spell the words.
On Wednesday we used some paint and with his finger, painted the words as he listened again to the tape.
On Thursday, I went back over the all 7 lists and had him verbally spell each word to me. Any words he missed he taped on the audio tape.
On Friday, he retested and got 100%!

So for each and every list now, we are going to tape them on Mondays after he takes the pretest.
It totally works for him. The Spelling Power activity box had some many great ideas. I think we will try something different each week.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Smell of Horrific

With cold weather in full blast, I tend to make more soup. So, on our way home from church yesterday, chili sounded really good. I made some with cornbread and for lunch we ate up. Shortly after dinner the smell of horrific had arrived. All of us contributed. It was beyond terrible. It was so bad, we had to sleep in separate rooms last night. It may be awhile before we do that again.

Caching

In October I lost my GPS. I was completely befuddled on where it could be. So for 2 months I have not been geocaching. (Insert sad sympathetic music here.) Then on Saturday just before the geocaching event. I found it. (Halleluia!) It had been in the cellphone bag when I got my cellphone. And there it stayed for 2 WHOLE months. (Sad I tell ya.)
At the event the kids and I went out for an hour and found 5 caches. We got to meet other cachers whom we had not yet met. Names in logs that we have seen MANY times, now have a face to go with it. We shared stories, laughed and sang the 12Days of Caching song,which was a hit. The team that always beats me to a new cache got the honors of singing #7 First to Find. Very appropriate. It was a great event, great food(Cancun) and the kids and I had a great time.
Since the event, my geocaching love has returned. We went on three finds yesterday. 2 had published while I was without me GPS and the other had too dense of tree coverage in the summer. It was great to be out caching again.
Too top it all off, last night I bought my long desired GPS (Garmin 60 CX) on Amazon.It should be here in a week. I am very excited. Perhaps I will cache this winter away afterall.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The 12 Days of Caching

I wrote this while singing in the shower the other day. I will be attending a banquet for geocachers this afternoon. I hope to debut it there.
Day 10 has a story. Scroll down to the log for climbingcachers.
You know the tune,feel free to sing it as you read.It sounds better this way

The 12 Days of Caching

By Climbingcachers

On the first day of caching my partner said to me:

1 Just Follow the GPS

2 Where is the trail?

3 Who put this here?

4 I have to pee

5 I AM NOT LOST!

6 Who's going in?

7 First to Find

8 Who's signed the log

9 Look at this coin

10 Gun it and we'll make it

11 I think it's poison ivy.

12 I'm going home

Friday, December 07, 2007

Books of the Bible

Shortly after his sister shared her video of reciting the Old Testament, the boy finished memorizing the whole bible. All 66 books. Below is his video, in super speed. He was going so fast he skipped one of the books. See if you can figure out which book he skipped.

video
37 seconds.You may need to turn up your volume. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Where?

Christmas. My mom's favorite holidays. As a kid she would go all out. Then one by one all four of us left the nest, got married and had kids. You know, changing family dynamics. We now had in-laws and our own kids to include in celebrations. For a while I think we tried getting everyone together Christmas for dinner. 19 of us, trying to match up schedules. Crazy.
My parents gave up having a gathering many years ago. Rather than try to get us all together on Christmas, they come to us. They love this for many reasons. One they get to see each grand child in their own home environment. They get to see the cool gadgets and joy. They get to spend time with each family in a more meaningful way. Rather than a crazy 2 hours with 19, they get more intimate moments.
I think for my mom the empty home on Christmas day was too empty. She went from 6 to 2. Sometimes quiet can be too quiet, especially on a holiday. So rather than sit at home feeling depressed, they decided to get out and spend their day with their children. They confirm schedules a month in advance, but by now it is a pretty set thing. My brothers first where they have hot coffee. They spend about 2 hours there and then they head over to our place. If they have not already had breakfast they have some with us. Oh, and more coffee for my dad. They spend a couple hours with us and then head over to my sister's where they spend the afternoon and have lunch with her family. Then my other sister's in the evening where they have dinner. Are you getting the picture that they eat well on Christmas? Trust me, they do.
Another nice thing about doing things separately, it cuts down on comparing. I know my mom takes great pains to be as fair as possible with her gift giving. By doing it separately she doesn't have to worry that she bought one $50 item for this grandson while spending $50 on 7 for another.
What I love about it is this; I feel like I get to celebrate with them. Not endure mass craziness for an hour or two. They get to see each gift opened. Each expression. Impromptu dances, that may not have occurred had they been somewhere else with many spectators. They see each kid, at home, without restraint. They see how each of their kids are making memories for their own and they are a part of it.
For my family Christmas doesn't end when grandma and grandpa leave. It is out the door and on to the in-laws to celebrate with them.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kid Speak

My son LOVES the Discovery Channel. Myth Busters, Dirty Jobs and Man vs Wild are some of his favorites. Lately we have both been getting into the Planet Earth documentaries. They are amazing! This weekend we were watching an episode and there were two male mountain goats fighting for mating rights. I asked him if he knew why they were fighting and he answered,"They're fighting to see who gets to marry the girl."

Little girl this morning explained to me,"Last night I logged off the Christmas tree lights, but Daddy turned them back on."

:)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Advent

For the last several years my girlfriend has invited me to her church for a special Christmas tea. "Advent by Candlelight," each hostess decorates their tables with fine linen and china; while candles and lights adorn the whole room. This year I was pleasantly surprised to see Sooze there. Even though we rarely see each other, we both feel like we saw each other that week because of our blogs. Together we walked past the beautiful tables. Neither of us our girly girls, but we both have daughters that are. It was nice to have a moment to be a lady. Tea amongst women. What I really enjoyed was the devotion on ornaments. Are we ugly, broken, fragile or beautiful on the outside? The event an opportunity to put our focus on Christ, rather than the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas.

On December first, we started a new advent tradition in our home. I picked up this book, Advent Storybook, that has 24 stories leading to Christmas. It is about a little bear as he follows the star and the adventures he has along the way.



My kids look forward to each night as we tear off a link on our chain and then settle down to read the days adventure.


The chain has helped the kids grasp, how many days until Christmas. Which my daughter had been asking endlessly. Now she just looks at the chain and knows...21 days until Christmas.

Monday, December 03, 2007

On the BBC

Last night, hubby and I were watching a show on the BBC, Super Skinny Me. Two British journalist, healthy, intelligent, average size women, went on a one month Super model dieting frenzy. Each week they did a different crazy diet to go from a size 10 to a size ZERO. Crazy I tell ya. The women starved themselves, worked out like fiends and for what to drive themselves into depression and utter weakness. One started binging, purging and turning to laxatives as well. The other stuck pretty tight to the plan but ended up so weak she could not open the door to her office, she had to press the handicap button. The craze over size sickened her and she became very emotional.
Size. Who determines what size is best for a women? If the media had their way we would all be sick and gangly. I do feel that there is a point of too thin. I think there is a point of unhealthy. We need fat on our bodies to live. Without "some" we die.
I am glad I saw this program when I did. It reminds me to make healthy choices. I plan on entering back into training soon and I want to do it right. I want to eat healthy. Exercise in moderation and feel good about myself. I do not want to be a size ZERO, no thank you. I like food. Yes I do. I like my mental health even more.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

That Explains It

Unusually emotional, the boy took a 2 hour nap yesterday. He awoke much happier, enjoyed a nice dinner with some friends and we played games. WhooNu is a great game by the way. After our company left we got ready for bed. This morning little girl and I woke up at our normal time. The boy slept on. Since he has had a cough and not feeling his greatest, I let him sleep. A couple hours went by and I had some laundry to put away so I went into his room. One eye peers open and a declaration is made. "I still want to sleep." "OK, sleep all you want. You have already been sleeping for almost 12 hours; that's half a day." To which he replies, "That explains why I am so hungry!"
Um yeah, that might explain it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Gingerbread" Houses

Our homeschool co-op had a fun gathering today to make gingerbread houses. To simplify things they used graham crackers instead of ginger bread. I think there were over 100 kids that participated. Here is the boy putting his pieces together.


Little girl,very proud of her creation.


The houses back at our home. Don't you love the little snowman?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Variety

This morning I saw a beautiful sunrise. Purples,pinks,yellows and blues. Since the snow has fallen, hubbies main transportation,his motorcycle, is no longer on the road. His winter vehicle is on blocks with the engine out. This means we are to one vehicle until it is fixed. Some days, I don't need it so he takes it for the day. Other days I do need it, like today, so we drop him off. Little girl was less than thrilled when I woke her to go. "Why are you not letting me sleep?" I had to dress her myself while she laid listless in my arms. She enjoyed the sunrise though. A ribbon of blue reminded her of a river.

Hooters. I have always been against the restaurant chain. Scantly dressed women, flaunting their hooters for tips. Don't like it. I have said that I do not want to support such an establishment that makes women into pieces of meat for money. For years hubby has told me it is not that bad and the food is great. Uh huh. Last week,the kids were at my brothers for a sleep over which left us kidless. With hubbies birthday over the weekend I told him he could pick where we ate,without complaint. He quickly jumped at the opportunity and took me to Hooters. It was not the most pleasant dining experience for me.The women were dressed more poorly than I had expected. How they stay warm in the winter months is beyond me. Their "shorts"were more like hipster underwear. There was soft porn up, for sale none the less. And the food? Well, even hubby had to admit that it was not great. His wings were undercooked and he left most of his meal on his plate. So yeah, I won't be going there again. EVER!

And just in case you have "SOME ASSEMBLY required" for any of your Christmas gifts this year....don't delay. With kiddos gone overnight on Friday,I decided to assemble little girls gift. It took me THREE AND A HALF HOURS. Three and a half hours people. Oh well at least it is done. And many days later I think my wrist has recovered from all that screwing.

Starting last year, I gave the kids $1 per each person on their list and took them to the Dollar Store to do their own shopping. On Saturday little girl and I went. Then she helped wrap them when we got home. She amazed me when she wrote the names on 5 of the gifts BY HERSELF.

Which leads me to the next thing... DD is learning to read. Last week when she began spelling EVERYTHING she saw. And wanting to know how this word was spelled and then that. Then I noticed she was writing real words as well. When we drove past she read the sign at Sam's, S A M that says Sam's. I knew she wanted to learn to read and after seeing her decode the world around her, DD and I decided it was time. So Monday we started Learning to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. She is loving it. She never ceases to amaze me.

Today at our field trip to Fenner Nature center I learned something new. You know when you shine a light on a deer, it's eyes glow green. Did you know every animal has a distinct color when light hits their eyes? The naturalist had a book with a list of animals and their color. Orangish Red is a skunk,you can thank me later.

Last night at the Mom's Night Out we enjoyed a Christmas celebration. I came home with some sexy underwear and a stocking cap complete with braids. If you were not there you missed out. Good times.

I rarely go to the theater. This month I have been three times. A Bee Movie. The Martian Child. And last night August Rush. As a mom it was hard to swallow at times. There were points where it was slow. But overall it was a good movie. If you love music it is worth seeing. There are still a few movies on my list to see. Especially National Treasure2,it comes out Dec 21st.

In response to Mindy's comment on Reciting the Old Testament... No song. Our church is doing a super duper bonus challenge to memorize so many bible books by a certain date. One of the teachers mentioned adding one book a day and in less than 3 months they can know all 66. So I took her up on it. And it worked. Some days they wanted to add more than one. But the repetition of doing it every day really worked. DS got the remaining 11 today so it won't be long until we record his video of him reciting all 66.

ThiswholetimeI havebeen typingthekeys on my keyboard havebeen sticking. I haveto go through each sentence andseperatethewords.Highly annoying.I think it istimeforanewkeyboard. And timelittlehandskeepfoodand other sticky itemsaway from the computer.

I am sure I could ramble on some more but I will leave you with this.
Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reciting Old Testament

The last couple of months both of my kids have been working on memorizing the books of the Bible. Little girl has completed the Old Testament and is 8 books into the New. The boy is 11 books from memorizing all 66. Now, thanks to my new camera, you can hear little girl recite the WHOLE Old Testament. Complete with impromptu spinning. Enjoy!
video

Monday, November 26, 2007

SNOW!!!!

Midway through our school day, it started snowing. The grass was green, the flakes huge. On a recess the boy stepped outside to catch snowflakes on his tongue. As we finished our last two lessons, he looked longingly out the back door. When school was over, he let out a war whoop and suited up. The yard was now solid white. He played for over an hour before he came in for a cup of hot chocolate. Then as quick as the cup was emptied he was back outside. He made the first ball of a snowman, then asked if I would help. I got my snow pants on, bundled up and headed out. It was not long until our snowman was complete.

The boy added the mohawk to match his own. :)

Then I got an idea. An igloo.
We found an old ice cream bucket and started mass brick production. Little girl dressed herself in her snowsuit, boots and mittens so she could join in on the action. We worked out a goodproduction line.I scooped the snow in the bucket to make the bricks. DD carried them to the igloo. DS put them in place. Reinforcing as we went. Until it was 4 rows high. Then we topped it off with our kid pool. Which by the way makes a fabulous roof. We packed it all into place, keeping a peek hole on the backside. It turned out GREAT! Here is little girl inside.

I just noticed her shoes our on backwards. lol. The boy had been out for nearly 3 hours, so he headed inside when I got the camera. We had so much fun and worked really good together as a team. This last one should give you an idea of how big it actually is.
Hope you enjoyed our snow pics.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I Got the MemoToo Late

After hitting three stores and getting some GREAT deals, I found this in my bloglines.
http://adbusters.org/metas/eco/bnd/

Who knew it was "Buy Nothing Day," not me. I got the memo too late.
I don't feel guilty, not even a bit. I bought things I was planning to buy. FOR HALF THE PRICE.
YEAH!!!

I even encountered NICE people. I stood in line for an hour at Younkers. I NEVER shop there but they had the one item, for the boy, that we wanted to get him. They opened at 5, I got there at4. The gentlman standing next to me in line was a really nice guy. They home schooled their 3 kids. It was actually fun,waiting. Cold. But fun.

Then at Meijer's I encountered ANOTHER nice person. YEAH nice people!
And then at K-Mart, THE STORE MANAGER, helped me find the item I wanted.He stuck with me and then retrieved it from a coke display. Someone had stashed it there. It took a minute but he was successful. So he was nice. His store was crazy but he was nice.

So after shopping this morning I know I am not the only one who missed the memo. How about you? Get any great deals?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I set two alarms for 5:45am and neither went off. I don't know, maybe you have to have them on the on position. Hmm. Hubbies internal clock went off at 7, the time the store opened. I dressed in record time and was out the door. Thankfully my mom got to K-Mart at 6am and got the ever elusive ticket for electronics. She was able to get her hands on my new camera, minutes after I arrived. YEAH! I got a new camera. I love it! 8 megapixels, 4xzoom with video! Woohoo.

The blog will once again be graced with photos. And video. YEAH!!!

We got our first sticking snow overnight. DS was more than thrilled. He spent over an hour outside. Good to know that some people enjoy this stuff. Enjoy is an understatement when it comes to my son.


Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy time with your family and friends, giving thanks to the one who blesses us beyond measure.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Today At My House

The phone rings.
I answer it,"Hello."
"Hello, we have an officer on the way."
"Um,I don't think anyone called the police here."
"Is this (enter my address), the (enter my last name) residence?"
"Yes, it is. But everything is fine."
"Ma'am, someone from that address just called 911."
"OK, my 4 year old is right here and I was in the other room."
"It was a call with a female voice but they refused to speak with me. "
"OK, well I am the adult in the house and everything is fine."
"OK, ma'am, I will cancel the call."
"Thank you, have a nice day!"
"Good bye."

My 4 year old is sitting on the couch oblivious, I ask her if she called 911. No. She did not.
I call down to the basement to my niece, 9 years old. "(Insert nieces name, did you call 911?" She sheepishly and guiltily peeks her head up the stairs.
"Yes it was me, I thought the phone was a pretend phone, DS told me it was a pretend phone."
"No, it's a real phone. The police were on their way but I assured the dispatcher everything was fine."
"OH! Sorry."
"Please leave the phone alone and don't call 911 again."
"OK"

In a later discussion I discovered she heard the dispatcher but never said anything to her. We talked about policies for calling 911 and also their responsibility. I tell. I almost had the cops show up. Thankfully they called back and I was able to correct the mistake BEFORE they came.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Red Skelton



Over a year ago I received an email with the story of the Pledge of Allegiance by Red Skelton. I enjoyed it when I read it. I enjoyed even more today when I watched it compliments of Utube. I hope you like it as well.

Records Day and a Cool Link

Yesterday after a late start I realized I HAD to do some errands. Deciding it best to do them earlier than later we headed out the door just moments after yesterday's post. A couple errands turned into a couple more and a visit to grandma and grandpa's. A little shopping and some more errands. Lunch and before I knew it, it was well into the afternoon. So I declared it a record's day. I had so many errands and paper work stuff to do for various things. Including but not limited to a non-profit I had a meeting last night for. So we took the day off. Record's Day.
Then I got thinking about it and decided that it would be best to take the whole week off. As I have various children on different days. Today I had an infant for a couple hours and my 4 year old niece for the day. Tomorrow I have my 9 year old niece. Then Thanksgiving. Then shopping. And the 9 year old again on Friday. Not to mention we could use the mental break. So we took a week vacation. YEAH!!!

My girlfriend sent this link to me today and I thought some of you may enjoy. With winter approaching, bad weather is inevitable. With that comes poor driving conditions. This link is to the states winter travel advisory site. It is updated twice daily. Click on the county and it gives the road conditions of major highways in that county. Could help you determine if the trip to grandma's is going to take 20 minutes or an hour. Go ahead, bookmark it today.
http://www.ohsp.state.mi.us/rw/home.htm

Monday, November 19, 2007

Here I sit on the computer this morning. Reading email, catching up on blogs, ignoring the fact that I need to get up off my butt and start school. My kids are as quiet as can be watching TV upstairs. They know if they seek me out that their forbidden morning TV session will be over. So we both continue on in our actions.
I just looked at the clock and it reads,9:15. Time to go click the off button and get this day going.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

XO Laptop

The mission of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is to see children all over the world connected and learning. Their vision is to see each child including those in third world countries to receive laptops. Education is huge and they want to see it become a priority, not a privilege. For 12 more days they have a deal going. For $399 you can send a laptop to a child in a third world country and also receive a laptop for the child in your home. Check out the details at the link below.
http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/index.php

Something to consider anyway.

So I Had a Bad Day

Monday. It started out typical enough. Maybe even a bit joyful. School prep was not completed so it got off to a later start. And maybe this is where it starts declining. Being just ever so slightly off routine. It does something. I think the kids begin thinking "Oh today is not mom's way. We are already off schedule. Today is going to be our way." Oh, they don't say that but I think they think it. At times I even think they think to themselves, "Hmm, what can we do today to irritate mom?" I do. I think that some days they just have it in them to reek havoc. And it may begin with, "I don't want to do this lesson." Oh, yes you will! Or it may be, "I don't want to eat that!" Oh but if you want to eat you will. It may be harassing their sibling until they are both in bad moods. One pestering, the other crying. And you find yourself saying parent stuff. "Be nice to your sister. Stop that. Do you need to be disciplined?" Ah Duh, of course this child needs discipline. So you proceed to the bathroom to discuss the sin, the consequence, the forgiveness. And the day begins to look a little better. Until the next thing they do not want to do. And you chant your new mantra, "Obey right away, all the way, with a cheerful heart." And after an hour or two of this you feel yourself getting weary. Finally you make it through the school day but there are many hours still in the day. Grandpa calls and gives you the excuse you need to get out of the house. You go to grandma and grandpas, hopeful, hey at least your out of the house. You bring along some stuff for them to show grandma and grandpa, school stuff. And instead of showing it to them, your child climbs up on top of the car. Finally they get off and show grandpa the folder. Then when asked to read the story he brought, your child puts on a stand up comedy routine, only mom is not laughing. Mom walks away and the child willingly reads the story to the grandparent. Mom reappears and the funny stuff reappears. I know he is thinking, "I will show her , read a book, ha, Will I do want to read for grandpa, but NOT for mom too, Nanner nanner, ok back to the book." Really I think these are things my child might come up with. After removing myself from the scene I go in to see my mother. The ads are out for all the upcoming sales and I sit to go through them. Children join me. The "I wants" begin. The taking ads out of my hands so they can get a better look at the loot. And the will you get me this and that and this and that. To which I mostly answer I will think about it. This was a good response. Then unfortunately I answered with the wrong response. I actually said an outright no to one of the requests, gasp! To which I got relentless whining and complaining. While the other child climbed about on my head. The boiling point was rising. So we made our exit. Attempted exit. The more pushing toward the door. Counting to 100. Deep breathing. Picking one up as you swiftly made your way out while be pulled by the child you are not carrying. At the least the pulling brings the child along as you finally make it to the car. Once in car, you declare many things. Mainly how there behavior is unacceptable. No you can not have the motorcycle you saw in the magazine. We do not act that way. You will both be going to your room. And finally mom is no longer talking. Upon arrival home, they are sent to their bed until dad comes home. They are not pleased but see that it is in their best interest to comply. Mom calls dad. 45 minutes later dinner is done and dad is still not home. So mom has to decide if the children eat while the food is hot or really truly make them wait for dad. Since dad's schedule can be unpredictable, I opt for feeding the children. The first 10 minutes is complete peace as they eat. Then the picking on each other tries to rear its ugly head. "Do you really want to push me?" They think about it, but no, they really don't. Then dad comes home. YEAH. We survived. Dad enforces clean up of the home. Had a discussion with the children, in which they confess their naughtiness. He has them get ready for bed as he calls me out to the living room. Instructs me to put my feet up, hands me industrial headphones like air traffic control might wear and I just lay there in peace for a few minutes as hubby smiles on. I love his sense of humor. Then he lets me in on the plan. He would call the children out to apologize. Give me a hug and that he was sending me on my way to do whatever I wanted to do for the evening. They came back in, he ran a mini boot camp with sit -ups, jumping jacks and the like. Then he did as he said he would do. I grabbed some money and out the door I flew. I went to see the movie The Martian Child. Perfect for the day I had had. In it Joan Cusak says, "Kids they are like mosquitoes they just keep coming at ya attacking, sucking the blood right out of you." Uh huh! The movie was heart warming and sincere. Near the end I had a good cry. I proceeded to cry in the car as I made my way to my friends house. Once there things were looking a lot better.
In the car I could not help but thinking, "We try to love out kids, teach them, guide them and we can not help but wonder if it is enough." Each day we have to embrace and do the best we can. Some days are great, full of life and reward. Other days are stressful and bleak. But through it all we press on clinging to the promise. To train up a child in the way they shall go and when they are old they will not depart from it. Lord, let it be so.
Oh, in case your wondering the rest of the week has been MUCH BETTER, even great.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Math Facts

This link is to an awesome math facts site, whether you home school or not.
http://www.haelmedia.com/basic_fact_sheets/index.html

It is put out by Saxon Math, which is the curriculum we use. It's great. Enter what math discipline you want to work on; addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Put in the highest number you want to use. And how many problems. You can choose whether it will be timed or not.
You then answer the math problems and it corrects it for you when your done.

There is also this link by that has online activities to reinforce different concepts for K-3.

Go check them out. Enjoy!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thoughts on Schooling

We are making our way through first grade. It is amazing how much he has learned over the last 2 months. He is growing daily in his reading. The further we get into this school year I can not help but think about learning in the public school format. I can not imagine DS missing a day of school and having to jump back into his lessons. 2 days in a row off and we are taking MAJOR missing pieces in their learning. I used to think, "How much could missing a day of school hurt? Probably it doesn't." I no longer feel this way. I have learned each and every lesson have value and purpose. Every lesson builds on the one before. If you miss or do not grasp the concepts taught, you are at a huge disadvantage for the upcoming concepts. This may not be as much the case for the second half of the year, where you do spend a great deal of time reviewing and perfecting skills but the first half....too important to miss.
I have had a few discussions with some of my friends who are teachers (public school) about curriculum. I have asked each of them if they get through all of their curriculum each year. All of them have laughed at me and then replied, "Um, NO!" So my next logical question for them was, "Do you just go as far as you can and call it good when the last day of school comes around?" Again the reply was No." Each looked at the lessons and cut out some of the review or lessons that repeat information. Then they get as far as they can. I have taken a close look at my schedule and my Language Arts curriculum is 165 lessons. Rightfully so, Language Arts is huge in first grade and it takes a couple hours each day to complete all the components. When looking at the calendar my realistic goal for completing it is the middle of June. So I ask myself, "Are you going to complete the curriculum?" My answer is yes. I really want to complete each and every lesson for I feel each one has value and purpose. If this means we do school when others are already out, so be it. My hubby reaffirmed this decision for me, as I have had doubts. He reminded me that not all subjects are 165 lessons, so as we complete a subject our school day will get shorter. When we get to the point of only having Language Arts we (together) will have the choice of doing an additional lesson on any given day. This seems doable. And if we need to take another look at the approach in the Spring and cut some of the lessons, as my teaching friends have urged me to do, then we will.
However the year looks like, I really am excited by his growth. It is fun to see him pick up a book, on his own and read it for enjoyment. And he is just really getting to this point. Every day I can see his confidence grow. I love it!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

And what are you now?

Today my daughter said, "When I was still a girl. When I was 3. I did that."
Hmmm...I think she is still my little girl. Apparently she thinks she's grown.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Again

There is a new book in our house. A very sweet book titled, I Love You More by Laura Duksta. It is absolutely adorable. A mother and son are out walking when the son asks his mom, "So, just how much do you love me?" What follows is the mother explaining how much she loves her son. Basically, she loves him more than anything in the world! I can relate to that. Before I had kids if you would have told me I could have this much love for another being, I am not sure I would have believed you. In fact I do love my kids more than pretty much anything else in this world.
What is really great about this book we are reading is that is not just the mother's response in how much she loves him. The book flips over and is then the mother asking her son how much he loves her. The boy from a child's perspective then tells how much he loves her. Basically, he loves her more than anything else in the world. A touching story of love.

I thought I would pass on this book to you as a recommendation for when we got through it, the kids beaming both said, "Again!." That tells me this one is a keeper. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Homeschooling in the State Journal

Last Friday our local paper had an article concerning homeschooling. Apparently a middle school in a neighboring county was pulled from the school to be home schooled. The teacher had concern and investigated, leading to the original article, found here. The result of this column was a message board blood bath. Some insisting on strict regulations for home schoolers. Home schoolers flooded the in-box and voice mail of the columnist, resulting in a follow-up article, found here.

Attorney Chris Klicka of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) responded to the columnist. Read his letter at this link http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/mi/200710300.asp

Of the comments posted to the article the one I enjoyed the most was the listing of historical and famous people that have been home schooled. The list is taken from http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/famoushomeschoolers.htm

Constitutional Convention Delegates

· Richard Basseti - Governor of DE
· William Blount - U.S. Senator
· George Clymer - U.S. Representative
· William Few - U.S. Senator
· Benjamin Franklin
· William Houston – Lawyer
· William S. Johnson
· William Livingston - Governor of NJ
· James Madison - 4th U.S. President
· George Mason - Justice of VA
· John Francis Mercer - U.S. Rep.
· Charles Pickney III - Governor of SC
· John Rutledge - Chief Justice
· Richard D. Spaight - Governor of NC
· George Washington
· John Witherspoon
· George Wythe - Justice of VA

Presidents

· John Adams

· John Quincy Adams

· Grover Cleveland

· James Garfield

· William Henry Harrison

· Andrew Jackson

· Thomas Jefferson

· Abraham Lincoln

· James Madison

· Franklin Delano Roosevelt

· Theodore Roosevelt

· John Tyler

· George Washington

· Woodrow Wilson

Statesmen

· Konrad Adenauer

· Henry Fountain Ashurst

· William Jennings Bryan

· Winston Churchill

· Henry Clay

· Pierre du Pont

· Benjamin Franklin

· Alexander Hamilton

· Patrick Henry

· William Penn

· Daniel Webster

Military Leaders

· John Barry - Senior Navy Officer

· Stonewall Jackson - Civil War General

· John Paul Jones - Father of the American Navy

· Robert E. Lee - Civil War General

· Douglas MacArthur - U.S. General

· George Patton - U.S. General

· Matthew Perry - naval officer who opened up trade with Japan

· John Pershing - U.S. General

· David Dixon Porter - Civil War Admiral

U.S. Supreme Court Judges

· John Jay

· John Marshall

· John Rutledge

· Sandra Day O'Connor

Scientists

· George Washington Carver

· Pierre Curie

· Albert Einstein

· Michael Faraday - electrochemist

· Oliver Heaviside - physicist and electromagnetism researcher

· T.H. Huxley

· Blaise Pascal

· Booker T. Washington

Artists

· William Blake

· John Singleton Copley

· Claude Monet

· Grandma Moses

· Charles Peale

· Leonardo da Vinci

· Andrew Wyeth

· Jamie Wyeth

Religious Leaders

· Joan of Arc

· William Carey

· Jonathan Edwards

· Philipp Melancthon

· Dwight L. Moody

· John Newton

· John Owen

· Hudson Taylor

· John & Charles Wesley

· Brigham Young

Inventors

· Alexander Graham Bell - invented the telephone

· John Moses Browning - firearms inventor and designer

· Peter Cooper - invented skyscraper, built first U.S. commercial locomotive

· Thomas Edison - invented the stock ticker, mimeograph, phonograph, and perfected the electric light bulb

· Benjamin Franklin - invented the lightning rod

· Elias Howe - invented sewing machine

· William Lear - airplane creator

· Cyrus McCormick - invented grain reaper

· Guglielmo Marconi - developed radio

· Eli Whitney - invented the cotton gin

· Sir Frank Whittle - invented turbo jet engine

· Orville and Wilbur Wright - built the first successful airplane

Composers

· Irving Berlin

· Anton Bruckner

· Noel Coward

· Felix Mendelssohn

· Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

· Francis Poulenc

· John Philip Sousa

Writers

· Hans Christian Anderson

· Margaret Atwood

· Pearl S. Buck

· William F. Buckley, Jr.

· Willa Cather

· Agatha Christie

· Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

· Charles Dickens

· Robert Frost - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

· Charlotte Perkins Gilman

· Alex Haley

· Brett Harte

· L. Ron Hubbard

· C.S. Lewis

· Amy Lowell

· Gabriela Mistral

· Sean O'Casey

· Christopher Paolini - author of #1 NY Times bestseller, Eragon

· Isabel Paterson

· Beatrix Potter - author of the beloved Peter Rabbit Tales

· Carl Sandburg

· George Bernard Shaw

· Mattie J. T. Stepanek - 11-year-old author of Heartsongs

· Mercy Warren

· Phillis Wheatley

· Walt Whitman

· Laura Ingalls Wilder

Educators

· Amos Bronson Alcott - innovative teacher, father of Louisa May Alcott

· Catharine Beecher - co-founder of the Hartford Female Seminary

· Jill Ker Conway - first woman president of Smith College

· Timothy Dwight - President of Yale University

· William Samuel Johnson - President of Columbia College

· Horace Mann - "Father of the American Common School"

· Charlotte Mason - Founder of Charlotte Mason College of Education

· Fred Terman - President of Stanford University

· Frank Vandiver - President of Texas A&M University

· Booker T. Washington - Founder of Tuskegee Institute

· John Witherspoon - President of Princeton University

Performing Artists

· Louis Armstrong - king of jazz

· Charlie Chaplin - actor

· Whoopi Goldberg - actress

· Hanson - sibling singing group

· Jennifer Love Hewitt - actress

· Yehudi Menuhin - child prodigy violinist

· Moffatts - Canadian version of Hanson

· Frankie Muniz - child actor

· LeAnne Rimes - teen-prodigy country music singer

Business Entrepreneurs

· Andrew Carnegie - wealthy steel industrialist

· Amadeo Giannini - Bank of America’s founder

· Horace Greeley - New York Tribune founder

· Soichiro Honda - creator of the Honda automobile company

· Peter Kindersley - book illustrator and publisher

· Ray Kroc - founder of McDonald's fast food restaurant chain

· Jimmy Lai - newspaper publisher; founder of Giordano International

· Dr. Orison Swett Marden - founder, Success magazine

· Adolph Ochs - New York Times founder

· Joseph Pulitzer - newspaper publisher; established Pulitzer Prize

· Colonel Harland Sanders - started Kentucky Fried Chicken

· Dave Thomas - founder of the Wendy’s restaurant chain

Others

· Abigail Adams - Wife of John Adams; mother of John Quincy Adams

· Ansel Adams - Photographer

· Susan B. Anthony - reformer and women’s rights leader

· John James Audubon - ornithologist and artist

· Clara Barton - Started the Red Cross

· Elizabeth Blackwell - first woman in the U.S. to receive a medical degree

· John Burroughs - Naturalist

· George Rogers Clark - Explorer

· Davy Crockett - frontiersman

· Eric Hoffer - social philosopher

· Sam Houston - lawyer; first president of the Republic of Texas

· Charles Evans Hughes - jurist; Chief Justice

· Mary D. Leakey - fossil hunter; wife of Richard Leakey

· Tamara McKinney - World Cup Skier

· Harriet Martineau - first woman sociologist

· Margaret Mead - cultural anthropologist

· John Stuart Mill - Free-market Economist

· Charles Louis Montesquieu - Philosopher

· John Muir - naturalist

· Florence Nightingale - Nurse

· Thomas Paine - political writer during the American Revolution

· Bill Ridell - Newspaperman

· Will Rogers - Humorist

· Bertrand Russell - Logician

· Jim Ryan - World Runner

· Albert Schweitzer - Physician

· Sir Ernest Shackleton - Explorer

· Herbert Spencer - philosopher, sociologist

· Gloria Steinem - founder and long-time editor of Ms. magazine

· Jason Taylor - plays in the National Football League

· Mary Walker - Civil War physician; recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor

· Lester Frank Ward - "Father of American Sociology"

· Martha Washington - wife of George Washington

· Frances E. C. Willard - educator, temperance leader, and suffragist

· Frank Lloyd Wright - Architect

· Elijah ben Solomon Zalman - Jewish scholar


Famous Homeschool Parents

Will Smith - singer, actor

· Michael Card - singer, songwriter

· Mike Farris - lawyer and co-founder of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

· Robert Frost - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

· Christopher Klicka - attorney and Senior Counsel of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

· Len Munsil - attorney and President of The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP)

· Paul Overstreet - musician, songwriter

· Kelly Preston - actress, wife of John Travolta

· Mike Smith - lawyer and co-founder of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

· John Travolta - actor, pilot

· Lisa Whelchel - former actress, "The Facts of Life", now a pastor's wife and author

It's nice to know we are in good company and that we have organizations like HSLDA to fight for our constitutional rights. Time to go educate my children. :)