Monday, April 30, 2007

Attached at the Hip

I made mention before of the many friendships that have shaped my life. It never ceases to amaze me. I have been blessed in relationships.
I do not fully understand the ebb and flow of them. How I have been SO close to a person and then a gradual distance happens. Before I know it what used to be a daily connection drifts to months and in some cases even years. It had been many many years since I had seen or talked to Jen. Jen was my best friend in high school. Closer than close can be. Both of our parents adopted the other and I practically lived at her house. After high school we went separate ways. She was the maid of honor in my wedding and then after that it was pretty sporadic when we would see each other. We hit highlights for the most part. Then silence. Years pasted. It did not take much for me to think of her. Her fingerprints are all over my life and there is TOO MUCH shared life to ever forget. A song could come on the radio and I instantly think of her. I can drive by an old hangout or be near her childhood home and of course can not help but think of her. By the time I am back home, I have forgotten that I want to connect and so it goes for years.
Until one day a few days ago when I get a call. It's Jen.
Yesterday, we hung out all afternoon and evening together and we talked so late into the night that she spent the night. We got caught up on all that has happened in life. It was evident how we had matured and grown but the core of who we are is the same. Jen is Jen. She can make me laugh with a single expression. She is intelligent and fun. We can have meaningful conversations and go deep. She still has her contagious laugh and her devious smile. And when she says something "I know what she means." The flashback has been fun. The reminiscing of old friends and things we have done. Places we have gone. Good times.

Love ya Jen! Always have and always will!

I leave you with this picture. It is of one of my favorite days. The two-headed fat farmer. I told you we were attached at the hip. In more ways than one.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

1001 Choices in Homeschooling

The last couple weeks I have been looking over home school catalogs. For us next year's curriculum is an open canvas. As I peruse the different pages and consider all that we COULD do, the options are endless. I have circled a few possibilities and checked out different sites. Then today I attended a curriculum forum where other mom's from our support group brought in materials they have used. All the books were set out by subject so that we could look through them. Then we had a formal discussion about everything that was brought. It was great to hear and see what others are using. I found some that have used what I am considering and got the pro's and con's. Narrowing my list in some subjects. Then I heard great reviews about some stuff I had not even heard of before. So it is time to do some more research. While I have time to make my purchases I want to know what direction we are heading. Our co-op has an awesome used books sale in June where many curriculum's go for GREAT prices. So if I have an idea of what I want I can begin to work out my budget. Then when the sale comes around I can hit it knowing what I need. After the sale I can look around online to find whatever it may be that I still need. This is the plan anyhow.

Here are some considerations (feedback welcomed if you have first hand knowledge on any of the following)
BJU Reading, Phonics, English and Spelling
Saxon Math 1
Mystery of History
All Through the Ages
Character First
Science ??? Apologia again????

If you have anything outstanding you have used, please contribute. I am looking for first grade for my son.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sweet Deals

When I woke up this morning I wasn't thinking, I am going to save a lot of money today...but I did.
In this post I made mention of some potential purchases. Today was the day. And I scored HUGE!

I got an email this morning that one of my fellow tri friends made an order for our new running hats. We ordered together on a closeout and split the shipping. Sweet. I got the light blue.

Cost me $12.50 savings of $7.50

Next, this same friend gave me an FYI yesterday that Value City was having a sale; $10 off your store purchase of $20 or more (thru Sunday). It just happens that their Nike chlorine resistant swim suits are $19.99. So I went and picked up a new suit and a bag of chips and walked out with both for $11. Suggested retail on the suit was $70.

Cost me $10.42 savings of $59.58!

This afternoon I did a random search on triathlon and it sent me to Ebay. After looking through some items, I made a bid on a triathlon suit. DESCENTE WOMENS AERO-XT TRIATHLON SUIT New $100 I bid $34.77 and WON!!! Check out how it matches my hat. How great is that?

After Shipping it cost me $42.76 a savings of $57.24!

So total spent- $65.68
Total saved- $124 .32

WooHoo Woohoo! Oh yeah, doing a little dance!

Sand Painting

Our activity this afternoon was sand painting.

The rainbow is mine, the rainbow swirl and butterfly are little girls.

This rainbow and carrot are the boys.

We used q-tips dipped in Elmer's glue as our paint brushes then sprinkled on the sand.
The kids really enjoyed it!
I have sand if anyone wants to borrow it.

Future Career?

It was time to go to the YMCA and dear son was dragging his feet. "I don't want to go to the YMCA tonight." He complained. I explained that it was my only option for him as I did not have a sitter. He thought about it for a moment and begin throwing out ideas. His plan, to go to dinner with grandma and spend time with her and grandpa. Dinner would cost money as they were eating at "the restaurant." I asked him if he was willing to spend his own money to go to dinner. He asked how much it would be and he agreed that it was worth it. Guess he really did not want to go to the Y. He called grandma and asked if he could join them. She agreed. As soon as it was ok for son to go, little girl started in with her protest. She wanted to go with grandma TOO. She had $3, not enough she needed 4. When I dropped of the boy, grandma came out to talk to little girl. Little girl was so upset she could not talk and she began to cry a sad sad cry. I tried not to laugh but I did. She was really and truly sad but the look on her face made me laugh. In the end she borrowed a dollar from me and they both went to dinner with grandma and grandpa. The enjoyed themselves and thought it was worth it. Although DS discovered that pop cost more and next time he would probably just get water. He is slightly frugal like his mom.

I think I have a negotiator in the house.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Goggle Fog

I looked to Google to answer my questions on goggle fog and I found a few interesting results.
1. I could spit in them
2. I could put a drop of liquid dish soap on them
3. I could purchase some anti-fog lenses cleaner

I think I will try option 1 and 2 and if they fail I will look to option 3.


To those of you that read my blog through bloglines or RSS feeds, I apologize. You will be receiving random bursts of posts as I go back through old posts and label them. To be sure if the post is current or not check the date at the bottom of the post. Or enjoy the oppurtunity to take a look back.

Have a great day!

Evening at the Y

When I first arrived at the YMCA, I was planning on a workout and then possibly a family swim with the kids. It was 5:15 when I checked them into Totwatch. Each day I am allotted one and a half hours of childcare for each of my children. Sweet!
I headed for the pool and was happy to see I had a lane all to myself. I am willing to share, aI really do not mind sharing but I was thankful I would have one to myself. From the starting gate I swam a 400, then rested a few minutes and swam 100. I wanted to go further on this one but was having fogging issues and in my right eye there was just enough water that every time I turned my head to breathe my eye was baptized. So I rested for a minute, fixed the goggle and went out on another 400. It felt really good to be doing the distance. By the last 100 my goggles were so fogged I could barely see shadows. I could not see any sort of time on my watch. I have got to do some Google searches and see what can be done for the fog.
After my swim I headed upstairs for a run. While changing over to my workout closes I downed some Sports Beans. Love them! I also found them for 96 cents at Wal-Mart. Orange flavor or fruit punch, equally delicious.
I hit my run with the determination to get in a mile at a decent pace. I ran it in 8.56; 6 seconds off my fastest time. It felt really good. Not sure how much of it is getting necessary energy from the beans but I actually felt like I had some energy.
After the run I hit the weights. Doing upper body. At this time I had about 10 minutes left to pick up the kids so I headed down to get them.
Little girl wanted to climb in the Kid Gym, which she did for a couple minutes. Then the boy and I climbed the wall a few times each. Last night I tried something I had never done before on the wall. I climbed up as normal then I CLIMBED back down, ironically enough they call it down climbing. My fingers felt really tight after that. For my second climb I was going to do a speed climb up course one but opted for course two which I did in 57 seconds.
Since I had promised little girl we would swim, we did. A nice leisurely swim with the kids. I tried to keep it short because at this point we had been there quite awhile. So I set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer went off, I let the boy go down the water slide two more times then we were out of the pool. We raced to see who would get dressed first, DS won.
By the time we walked out the front doors it was 7:45. And well past time for dinner. Good thing becuase I had worked up an appetite.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

LSJ article

Here is a write up about the triathlon I will be participating in. The triathlon class mentioned is the class I took.

Here is the official site for the race including course maps.

It is not to late too join me. 39 training days left.

Real Age Update

On January 12th of this year I took the real age test and got a result of 24.6.
100 days later I took it again and found that although I am 3 months older, my real age has gone down to 24.2. A difference of -5.4 years.

How about you? Find out by taking the test here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Half Tri

Tonight was a good workout!
I went into it with the desire to complete a half tri. 200yd swim, 5 mile bike and 1.5 mile run.
I completed the swim in 4.22
Transitioned into bike/run clothes and headed upstairs. Transition time 4.02
Biked the 5 miles in 19.16
Transition from bike to run 47 seconds
Ran the 1.5 miles in 15.53
For a total time of 44.21

The last time I did a half tri workout was 3/21/07 and my time then was 46.45. On that day my bike was faster at 17.42. I am wondering if I did it then at level 1 or if I was that much faster. Everything else I improved on. Dropping 10 seconds off the swim, 42 seconds off of transition 1, 2 seconds off of transition 2 and 3 minutes and 6 seconds off of the run.

Media Tickets

I spent the afternoon with my sister-in-law yesterday and had fabulous adult conversation. She mentioned how they had cut their TV time to one hour a day per family member. We talked about how this made more time for family time and decreased nagging and such. I have been wanting to do this for a long time and have just not implemented any sort of TV policy. I brought up the idea of tickets, giving each kid 7 one hour tickets and allowing them to allot their time for the whole week. So if there was a 2 hour special they wanted to watch they could turn in 2 tickets, which would mean no TV on another day. I also did not want the kids to turn to the computer or video games to make up for time they may have spent watching TV. Here is how the ticket reads:

(Insert Child's Name)
to 1 hour
of media time

It may be used for TV,
computer or video games.

I color coded the tickets and printed them out on card stock. I then made a sheet of 30 minute tickets so they can turn in an hour ticket, watch a half hour show and still have 30 minutes remaining.
Last night DS decided he wanted to use a ticket to watch a show with me. 1 down, six remain. Little girl woke up this morning and I showed her the tickets. I asked her what shows she would like to watch today and she said, "Franklin and Little Bear." I turned on the TV to see what time they come on. 2pm. While the TV was on her beloved Dora was just beginning. She asked if she could watch Dora and I told her she could and it would be her ticket. She thought about it for a second and said "No, I want to watch Franklin and Little Bear." YEAH!!!
She is currently contently playing in her room with her dolls and school is about to begin. These media tickets could be a very very good thing for our house.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Date with My Daughter

After church yesterday, Dad and son went one way while daughter and I went another.
My camera was left behind so I will try to recount some of the moments here.
We left church and had a few minutes before McD's would be serving lunch. So we went a mile away to see some horses with their fillies. The babies were so cute with their knobby knees. They were running and kicking all over the place. There was one that was so tiny it had to be only a couple days old, if that. We walked around the horse farm visiting the pregnant mommas, the daddies (one was very jealous and wanted all of our attention for himself) and then back around to the babies.
At McDonald's we both got a ranch chicken snack wrap to go. Passing back by the horse farm there was a huge group of horses we had not seen the first time. Little girl said "Look they're having family time!"
Next it was off to the Children's Garden, where we ate out picnic lunch on tot sized tables. Little girl loved this. Then we explored the gardens. While there was not much by way of flowers there was plenty to see. We had fun in the Maze and stomped on the chimes to make "beautiful" music. The real reason I wanted to go to the gardens was the butterflies. I had posted a couple of weeks ago about wanting to go to the Meijer gardens in GR but never went. And since I did not have much of a response for others wanting to go with I decided I would stay local and check out the butterflies here for FREE! I was very thankful to find that we had not missed them. There were many butterflies flitting all about us. Chrysalis awaiting their immersion and some butterflies that were still drying their wings as they had just emerged. We found eggs and caterpillars, bananas and tree frogs. I had a few butterflies that would stay on my finger. DD thought she wanted to hold one but as the opportunity presented itself she declined, when it was on her shirt she wanted it off IMMEDIATELY. Little girl and I had so much fun with the butterflies we decided to come back again today with my son and nephew. They thought it was pretty cool too. They both learned quickly how to get the butterflies on the ends on their fingers and learned the trick for keeping them there (dipping their fingers in nectar.)
After the butterflies we went back outside and found a pond with some frogs on it. She felt it was her job to call to the frogs, "Ribbet, RIBBET, ribbet" When we would see one she would say, "See it was because I called it."
Since it was a gorgeous day we finished our date off with two ice cream cones; chocolate and vanilla twists. Delicious.
It was awesome spending one on one time with her. We talked about what made her happy, what made her sad and things that made her giggle (trains, take note Uncle G), what made her feel loved, we said I love you more times then I could count. We had such a grand time, just girls no boys. I even got a "Thank you mommy for our date." How sweet is that?

Biking and Gu

On Friday I picked up my bike from the shop. It was in for a tune-up. I had thought it was not shifting properly so I took it in for the free 30 day tune-up. It ended up that it was shifting fine, I was not pressing it firmly enough. Silly me.
So with the bike in my possession and a beautiful day, I hit the road. I did a 10 mile mostly country trip. It was windy and the hills were abundant. It was a bit of a shocker actually getting out on the bike. For the last several months I have been using the stationary bike at the Y or the spin bike during the tri class. No wind, no hills, no oncoming traffic or traffic laws to obey. It was great to get out and see what I could do. It was not exactly where I would like to be but I did it.
On Sunday I met up with a few fellow classmates from the tri class and did the loop around Lake Lansing. Less traffic to contest with. Fairly flat terrain. However, very windy on the backside of the lake. The loop is 4 miles to the T and we rode it twice through with my time being 34 minutes for 8 miles. A huge improvement from my 54 minutes for 10.1 miles the day before.

I have also been trying a variety of energy supplements over the last week. Here is what I tried and what I thought about each:
Gu- Tri Berry *
After taste was not so pleasant. Left me wanting to chug down a whole lot of water. Probably will not get again.
Clif- Apple Pie ***
Pleasant taste. Actually did taste like apple pie filling. Texture was a bit different. I know I made a funny face when I first had it. But overall did like it. I picked up another one today to give it another shot.
Sports Beans- Fruit Punch *****
Jelly beans that are not candy. Taste absolutely wonderful. Definitely will continue to use.
Honey Stinger- Gold *****
It tastes like honey because it is honey. I felt a quick pick-up and it gave me the necessary energy I needed to complete my ride. I love honey, so taste and texture were perfect for me. I picked up some more of these as well.

I am still learning about energy gels and their use in training and competition. I know that our bodies need potassium and sodium both lost during exercise. These gels have both along with carbohydrates to fuel you. I have found each of these at Playmaker's for $1 a piece. They have many flavors and brands to choose from. If you have anything that you have tried and like, please pass on the info.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Cost of Triathlon

New swimsuit- $20
New bike- $360
New shoes- $100
Training watch- $45
Triathlon class- $36
Workout clothes- $40
Race entry fee- $60
GU and other energy stuff- $6

Yet to be purchased- potential of $150
Triathlon suit- $42.76
Race belt-
Possible spin bike class
Possible wind/rain jacket for bike-$39.98
Running cap-$12.50
More GU sports beans and honey stinger- $10
Additional swim suit- $10.42

A lifetime of health, happiness and achievement- priceless

Very thankful for tax returns and overtime.

I, Jester

The cage door ascends, we have 15 seconds to disperse, then the mayhem begins. I, Jester, am a member of the red team and my mission; locate and zap members of the green team. I head for the back of the room, dodging around corners and putting my back to the wall when I think I have found a good spot. Game on. For 15 minutes I shot, was shot at, searched for the supreme location but mostly walked fast from location to location while getting disengaged as others hit my target. For some reason I kept forgetting the number one rule which was keep two hands on the gun or it won't work. Doh! Silly heat sensor.
For Son's birthday party we went to Zap Zone were we had a great time eating pizza, playing games and the above mentioned laser tag. 11 from our group played and 5 other guys joined in on our game. I ended up with the rank 10/16. Next time I think I will take a rubber band and secure the gun to my second hand.
In the end we were a bit sweaty and had a great time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy 6th Birthday

Dear Son,

This last year you continued to grow. You were finally tall enough to climb the rock wall at the YMCA and you love to do so every chance you get. Other bigger kids are impressed that you make it to the top. You make it look so easy. You have continued to get better in sports. You like to play basketball, baseball, racket ball, go skating, ride your bike and swim. You LOVE to run on the tread mill. You can do pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups and jumping jacks. This year you made a decision to be healthy and you like to work out. We think you are one healthy kid. Way to go!

In the Fall we officially started Kindergarten. You learned to read like a champ. You can read and write your numbers to 100, counting by 1's, 5's and 10's. You like to make up math problems and figure them out. Such as what is 5 plus 7. You have also learned some Spanish words. You like school but you still do not like to color. You have a good concept of dates and times. You love to make up silly rhyming sentences. Sometimes I can not get you to stop rhyming. Everything I say you can turn into a rhyme. You can spell three letter words and like to figure out other words too. You are one smart guy.

You are so funny. You can make anyone laugh. Your favorite silly face right now is twisting your tongue through your empty hole. When you lost your two bottom teeth you thought it was great. Especially when you figured out your silly face. You are the king of knock knock jokes. You and your sister can tell jokes for a long time. Sometimes you two just look at each other and bust out laughing. I love the sound of your laugh, it is contagious. You fill my life with laughter.

I love you little man. I pray you will continue to grow big and strong. That your love for Jesus will grow more and more as well. You are one cool kid and I can not wait to see what God has in store for you this year. It is going to be great.

With a butterfly, eskimo and last but not least a kiss from mom.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Now He Knows The Rest of the Story

I have been waiting for the day my son figured out his middle name. He knows how to say it, he knows how to spell it, and now today he knows what it means.
As he came in from outside I asked him to spell his middle name. After supplying the first letter ha rattled it off. E-S-P-N
Do you know what it means?
It's a Sports channel.
No really it is.
Laughs again
I told him how daddy liked it and how I agreed because in another language it means God Bearer. Then I said really in America it means Entertainment Sports Programming Network. It is a channel on TV that has sports.
Laughs with eyes wide in disbelief.
What do you think?
I think God must have known you were going to be a sports kid to be named after a sports channel.
What kind of parent would name their kid after a sports show?
I don't know.

Now he wants to watch HIS channel. Ah- He also got the 411 about the do-do-do sound effect that accompanies the name.

Little Girl Quote

"I'm a cowgirl...all I need is a cow!"-DD 4/16/07

Hero of the Week Video

Nearly everyday a 67 year old veteran goes to the airport to welcome home troops from oversees.
Beautiful ABC News report.

Have Kleenex on hand.

Malachi 4:6

This weekend was our churches annual Men's Advance (Men advance not retreat.) My hubby attended with some of his friends. The main speaker for the weekend was Brian Molitor founder of Malachi Global Foundation.
Malachi 4:6
He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers...

The weekend focused on the hearts of father and their children. Healing wounded heart, preparing the next generation, rites of passage and how to be a Godly man leading the home. Hubby came back sharing the different skits and message points. We talked about our kids hearts and how we want to prepare them for adulthood. We had a great discussion. It sounds like Hubby had a great time.

I am so thankful that our church has taken seriously training it members to be Godly and gives us these opportunities to be equipped. I know it was affirming to my husband on all he is doing right and has given him tools in areas that he can improve. Such a blessing.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

New Site

I had a few minutes this morning so I typed kindergarten homeschool ideas into a Google search. The first stop was an amazing collection of ALL things homeschool.
A-Z Home's Cool Homeschool
It has everything between the letter's of A-Z that could conceivably be expected and or desired.
For fun I went to M- Found Michigan and clicked on a few of the sites. On this one I found some interesting places in Michigan. Anything related to ants could be found on one of these links. A click on Science Experiments took me took a link I am sure I will return to. A link from there had this handy little guide to field trips.

A-Z Home's Cool Homeschool Web Site is the link to many missing links. I am amazed at the wealth of information this site has. And I love her warning at the top:

WARNING: Before entering this homeschool site, be sure small children are safely occupied, you have gone to the bathroom, and have plenty of snacks on hand. This is a large home education site with lots to read and do!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

10 Mile Mark

I guess this is the week of break through. I got to the YMCA this morning and there was only the recumbent bike available. So I determined ahead of time that I wanted to make 10 miles. I began to pedal and 36 minutes and 9 seconds later I had made it the distance. I am wondering if my legs are more efficient on the recumbent or if I was peddling faster than normal. The splits were much faster than I had anticipated. This is a good thing. I am still left wondering how it will be when I get out on MY bike. Hopefully the weather will begin to warm and the sun will begin to shine and the wind will die down. So I can get outside to ride.

Since I have been having success with goal setting this week, my next goal is to run 3 miles.
I have been doing more training on the elliptical this last month as my shins were beginning to hurt if I went over a mile running. Super stretching and pushing through any pain will have to come into play if I am going to make this three mile mark. That and pure determination.

My other goal is to do another half triathlon for one of my training times this week. Taking all the distances for the race I will be doing and halving all of them. Meaning 200yd swim, 5 mile bike and 1.5 mile run. Continuous with minimal transition time between each. Transition times are tricky at the YMCA going from a swim to a bike. It is not like outside where you wear the same suit for all three events. I actually need to dry off and completely change before going on to the bike. And I know they would frown on me wearing my wet suit upstairs in the work out room. My fastest turn around for YMCA swim to bike is about 5 minutes. What are you going to do?

On the last triathlon class one of the members said something I had never thought about before, "The truly serious elite athletes will not waste time stopping to go to the bathroom, they simply wet themselves as they ride or run." Ew, it made me think, how many will relieve themselves in the water before I swim through? I hope I don't drink any of the water.

Friday, April 13, 2007


I went to the pool today with the hopes to increase my forward crawl distance. Previously my furthest distances of all forward had been 200. I wanted to beat that today with the goal of completing 400yds. I had hoped to try and do all 400 without rolling over. AND I DID IT! I was so excited. The time was 9.24. My breathing has finally cooperated and was not an issue at all. I think I could have gone another 100. I did notice my arms tiring in the triceps. So starting today I am weight training in the arms and shoulders. I think this will help. Our swim instructor showed us some target areas to work. Hubby had the day off today so he showed me a good triceps routine. I may not be able to move them much tomorrow. We shall see.
I also rode the bike 5 miles; 18.25. I do believe this is my fastest time for 5 miles. I need to start adding more distance to my biking. At a four minute pace I should be able to get 10 miles done in 40 minutes. I think is my next goal.

Last Tri Class

Apparently I have not posted much about my training in the last month. Oops. I have been training 5-6 days a week, going between the three disciplines of swimming, biking and running. When I started about three months ago, it was all a struggle. I could go one length of the pool doing a forward stroke. Then I would either stop or roll over. My first day of the triathlon class you can read about here. It was hard. I remember feeling short of breath and having to sit down at various parts of the biking.
On Tuesday we had our last swim class. We worked on sprints. 10 sprints with 10 seconds recovery. I never knew 1o seconds could go so fast. The we worked on counting our strokes to see how many strokes it took to go one length. Then we tried to reduce the number of strokes we used. I need to work on my efficiency. After seven weeks I can go a continuous 200 yds or 8 lengths. A huge improvement from my starting 1 length. I am going to test this today and see if we can go further the the 200, which I believe I can.
Last night, it was the last class for the bike/run portion of the class. I am pretty sure she used the same sound track as the first time we did the class. Which means the workout was the same or very similar. It was a great gauge to see how far I have come in the biking. For the last three weeks I was able to complete the routine without scaling back or sitting down. I noticed my breathing was easier and more even then the starting day. Woohoo!
On the first night of running we ran a base mile. My time was then 11.29. Eleven minutes and 29 seconds. Last night we ran the mile again to see how much we had improved. I ran it in 8.50. Eight minutes and 50 seconds. I dropped 2 and a half minutes off my time. Yippee! I had the most improved time in class. Woohoo!

For the next six weeks I will continue my training on my own. Balancing the three disciplines and pushing myself to do better and worker harder. I am excited when I think of the possibilities. I know I can do it. I believe I will be successful in completing this triathlon. How hard I work in the coming weeks will determine the times.
My goals are to swim the 400 completely forward stroke in a time under 10 minutes. To bike the 10 miles in 45 minutes. To run the 5K in 35 minutes, preferably all running. That would make the total tri time 1 hour and 30 minutes. The elite athletes and winners of the race will probably finish in under an hour. I will be ecstatic to finish and finish well, for me.

Updated: I forgot about transition times in the above goals. Since I have no idea what to expect and how long it will take me to go from one to the other I will add 5 minutes to my total goal time making it 1 hour, 35 minutes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


My friend sent me a new game. It is great and it is called Boomshine.
It is easy to play and rather addictive. So simple even my three year beat the final level, but not necessarily a given. It later took me over an hour to complete. Timing and placement are everything.

On a spiritual side, this game made me think. It could have been all the time spent playing it or perhaps true inspiration. But it made me think about our circle of influence. How we can effect other's with the love of Christ and how that can grow, affecting everyone around us. Unless we get out there and share our love some will never be reached with the love of Christ. Some will get away and some we will miss the timing, but the potential is there. We can reach the unreached. With a little help of our friends.
As you play this game think of each person as some one walking around. You have the potential to reach them all with the love of Christ.
I hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Break Over

Back to school.
Since we took a couple weeks for break, I decided to get back into the swing of things with a review day. I scoured the internet for worksheets that covered skills we had been working on prior to the break. I made some 100 charts both blank and one with missing numbers. Then I found some stuff for word families. I printed off all the word families we have covered so far; at, an, am, ad and ap. To get writing again I had him write a simple sentence for each of the five word families. His favorite sentence that he made up was the ram ate ham. He thought that was hilarious.
For math I had him fill in the missing numbers off the hundreds chart. We had a disagreement about which way to make a 4, open or closed. His closed four looks like 9's so I really wanted him to make the open. Dad came home for an early lunch and settled the matter. He can choose between the two but if he does closed it must be at an angle and look like a 4.
As he was working on the number chart, little girl and I played some memory with her Pooh cards. Then DS and I played with the cards a version of word go fish. He read the words on the card to make matches. Brilliant.
After lunch Dear Son made a clothes line, putting numbers in order, then hanging up clothes on it. Currently he is still on break and playing with Tinker Toys.
It is good to be back to school. Next it is off to read a GIANT stack of library books that must make their way back to the library.

Here are some of the sites that I found today. Many interactive learning opportunities. I plan to come back to this for skip counting. Free practical worksheets for grades PK-5. This is where I found the word family worksheets. This site covers a wide variety of subjects and the content was exactly what I needed. To get the worksheet only, I clicked on the picture and it took it to a screen to print worksheet only. Otherwise you end up with three sheets of paper to your one worksheet. This is the site I printed the 100 charts from. All things math should be found on this site.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Butterflies are Blooming

Meijer Garden - Butterflies are Blooming
March 1 to April 30, 2007
It’s the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit in the nation and our most popular annual event! Escape the Michigan winter and mingle with thousands of tropical butterflies flying free in the 15,000 sq-foot Lena Meijer Conservatory.
The exhibition boasts more than 40 different species from the Far East and Central America. Each week hundreds of Chrysalises arrive at Meijer Gardens and are painstakingly sorted, inspected, labeled and pinned in our sealed Butterfly Bungalow. Here, visitors may even get the opportunity to witness a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis.
Once ready to be released into the Conservatory, the butterflies are paced on the Butterfly Rest Stop where they acclimate to the environment and gain strength before taking to the air. It’s a wonderful place for photos and just one of the opportunities for visitors to observe butterflies up-close and personal. Throughout the tropical environment, butterflies can be viewed drinking nectar from the flowering plants and feeding stations, landing on the odd nose or shoulder, and
congregating along the stream beds, as well as in flight all around.
During the exhibit, the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden will offer special activities, and interactive displays will be featured.
Exhibit Hours: Monday - Sunday, 9am to 5 pm; Tuesday 9am to 9pm.
It is a bit pricey as single families but groups of 10 are $3 a person. Which would save my family $12.

Anyone want to plan a trip and go with us?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Week Two of Spring Break

Last week we took a break from the books and declared Spring break. After Chrysalis I needed some time to relax. We watched a lot of TV, went to the park, played around the house and rode bikes. Nothing fancy but relaxing.
So Monday rolled around and I was faced with a decision, school or no school. Public school is currently on break and while I don't follow public school schedule, I knew the kids would enjoy spending some time with their cousins who do. First thing Monday morning I held a meeting. And presented the kids with an option to have one more week of Spring break. Of course they were all over it. However, it did have a stipulation. This week would be considered spring cleaning week. Everyday a room or two would be designated for thorough cleaning. Only after the room(s) were done would we watch TV or hit the road for fun. The kids thought this was a great idea, choosing cleaning over school. Day 1 we did the kids rooms, which were yet again disaster zones. They did great. Especially little girl who stayed on task and kept asking, what next. Day 2 I chose the living room and bathroom. Now my house has been severely neglected in the last month or so as I focused on other things. The kids went to work hanging up coats and organizing shoes. They put their things in their own rooms and kept at it. There was a stack of laundry in the living room so I set to sorting and folding. When I gave DS the job of matching his socks, he baulked. That was when I adopted the cheerful heart attitude or the chores get harder. I assigned him the job of scrubbing out the shower. We sprayed it with kid friendly cleaner and I handed him the brush. He was less than thrilled. He decided to fold the socks and put them away, which he did. Then I insisted he do the shower, which he did. I handed little girl the magic eraser and set her on the job of washing walls. Seeing that most of the dirty spots were caused by them she could reach all the areas in need of washing. Brilliant. I finished folding, then went to help in the shower. Rinsing it down and asking him to do a couple spots that he missed. Then it was time for a job that was a little more fun. Window washing. He have a wand similar to those used at the gas station to wash windows. I taught my son how to do it and off he went. He loved it. Little girl continued around the room scrubbing walls. She by the way was enjoying that as well. Next, it was time for the toilet and surrounding the bowl. Disgusting! After I had the boy move the pile of magazines that always stack up next to the toilet, I had him go find the yellow rubber gloves. I decided that since it was the boys that made it so disgusting I wanted him to learn how to clean it up. Which he did, less than thrilled I might add. I think at some point he exclaimed that this was the worst day ever. To which I responded you get that done and you are done. I cleaned off the counter and put things away as he scrub-a -dubbed around the base of the toilet. He was making good progress but I could tell I was going to have to finish it after he was done. He called for an inspection and he had done a pretty good job. I took the cleaning supplies from him and finished it up. Calling him over to take a look at how clean it can be. With son done with his duties I called in the little girl to help wash the mirror, she loved it. She watched as I cleaned up the counter and took it from mud splatter to clean in just a couple swipes. After lunch I finished up the rooms and it felt good to have things looking so nice. As a reward for their work we went to see the movie Meet the Robinson's.
Now it is time to see what room we will tackle today. Yes, I like this little spring cleaning plan. It may just be a part of our school year every year.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


With thunderstorms brewing, little girl and I took daddy to work this morning. While out we hit a few stores to get groceries. Store number three, Sam's, we arrived at just after 8am. I got out my card proceeded to the door and was stopped. "I am sorry I can not let you in until 10am." We turned around and went back to our car.
DD- I thought we were going to shop at Sam's
ME- We will have to come back later today
DD- Are they closed?
ME- No, they are just open for business members.
DD- They are not open for us?

The confused look in her eyes made me think. She did not understand store policies. She saw a store that was open but refusing to let us in and shop. She let it go as I buckled her into her car seat. But I continued to think about it on the drive home. How do you explain to your kids that discrimination is real? That some people will not allow you to do certain things because they think you are not good enough. That you can buy privilege. That some people are not allowed to do certain things because of where they were born, what they look like or the financial resources that they don't have. That in the big picture waiting 2 hours to go to the store was insignificant when you think of the people that don't have food or the one who is homeless on the street. When you see different nationalities refused entry simply due to the color of their skin. When there are orphans around the world waiting for homes, some not chosen for whatever reason.
I can wait to go to Sam's. I can also wait forever for little girl to experience her next taste of discrimination.

Update- So we did not make it yesterday to Sam's. This morning I let my husband take the vehicle as kids were still sleeping and more storms today meant he would not be taking the motorcycle. When little girl woke up she was upset I let Daddy take the car. She said we HAD to go to Sam's to see if they would let us shop today. She said, "Remember, they would not let us shop the other day only other people, we need to see if they will let us today. We need tuna."

Monday, April 02, 2007


Last Friday the kids and I got the tag-along mount transferred to the new bike. It took a few minutes of unscrewing this and tightening that, with dear son's help we got 'er done. The test run around the block was successful so we decided to take a trip to grandma's. Which is one mile by car or 2 miles by bike (taking a safer route.) With helmets secured and water bottles in place we were off. Little girl was thrilled! She kept exclaiming "I am riding a big bike like you, I am big now." Dear son rode his bike, leading the way. When we arrived grandma and grandpa were out front to take pictures and cheer little girl's arrival.

Doesn't that smile say it all?