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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More about Jack

I am (was) all prepared to be "on" with a new puppy, constant watching, taking outside, monitoring behavior, the whole nine yards. I wasn't prepared for this angel! He is well-mannered and just has basic needs which include staying with his master (lucky me Ü), play, sleep, eat, poop, play, sleep, eat, poop and be cute all in-between.

He hasn't lived in a house at all so he associates outside with doing his business. He slept quietly last night and waited patiently this morning in the crate. He has learned how to climb stairs which was a new thing for him and he doesn't mow down Danny when Danny runs through the house. There is an issue with Danny's blankie but that has more to do with Danny than Jack.

There is nothing more precious than a pup that whines because he can't see you. The kids are inside his crate right now and he's resting at my feet. I don't think I'll have to tether him to me at all if he keeps this up, tethering is like staking with children in case you didn't know and if you don't know what either thing means, it is keeping the animal/kid you're training beside you all day. With a dog you can tether him to you with a leash.

I'll update this post with pictures. We got Jack from one of the owners of Noah's Ark in Locust Grove GA. Other than driving, the meeting with the breeder and Jack were pretty uneventful. Jack was not the first to come running and took turns following around me and the kids separately. I inspected his ears, eyes, stomach and hiney for any signs of trouble, after spending some time with me he rolled over for a belly rub. His sisters were very hyper compared to him, in fact I have scratches on my arm to prove it! Lol.

I probably should have done more but we were sold after 10 minutes of Jack time. I talked more to the breeder, met Jacks's mom and pop and his pop is BIG! Both mom and pop were laid back. Jack is microchipped, we talked about what the breeder has done and what needs to be done soon on my end. I even got a copy of the pop's OHA report. Jack has a limited registration with AKC, which is fine with me because he will be neutered. I have absolutely no intentions of breeding, showing or dealing with a dog in that 'season'. Lol.

Now Petsmart yesterday was an adventure! I had to carry Jack because even though they allow animals, dogs have to be carried or on a leash. We didn't have a leash yet and Jack wasn't used to one either. Danny-3, Camille-7, Jack-25-28 lbs and Mom. Danny's putting whatever toys he likes for Jack in the cart, Camille wants to push the cart and I'm carrying Jack. Finally Jack and Danny were in the cart and Camille was assigned to "put things back".


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My date is sleeping over

and staying!!!!

Here's Jack, who's only 8 weeks old and is already almost 30 lbs. His daddy is 105 lbs.
More detail and cute, cute, cute pictures to come...we drove 8 hours today and we're all tired but happy.


I have a date

With this puppy who I'm starting to think isn't very photogenic, he seems to blink right when the picture is being taken! We taking a little road trip today 3 hours one way, probably 2 hours where this little guy lives and 3 hours (or 4) back because we might need to stop at a pet store for puppy food and chew toys.

His daddy's picture, which is what we're hoping this little guy will look like. We're excited but I also have in the back of my mind that this may not be the right dog for us- although I'm not sure if I'll be able to resist the charms of cute puppydom!

We have picked out the name Jack. Do you think it fits? Danny's name was almost Jack but it just didn't feel right when I saw him so he became my Danny. Let's see if this will be our Jack... full report with pictures to come.

I'm a ball of nerves, I didn't set up our crate because I'm not 100% sure we're bring him home.


Monday, October 29, 2007

New week, new day

It's Monday. We're starting our formal lessons back today, I've finally reached a place where I can function even if limited. My sprain has a dull pain and swells when I walk but I can't stay off it and keep it elevated. I'm a little worried about it because it feels like I'll be like this forever at this point. I can't wear regular shoes and it's getting cooler here weather wise.

I've been doing some wierd things lately such as yesterday when I vacuumed our living room, I simplified what was on our walls- removing visual clutter. It was unnerving at first but a visual change is always lifting to me in some way- the room seemed empty for the first two hours, now it looks clean to me. I've cleaned out my closet, decluttering again. The kids' clothes have been purged of the what I could determine doesn't fit them anymore but with Danny it's hard. The 3T size clothes "should fit" but when we put some on I find that some pants are 3-4 inches too short. As we go through this weeks' clean laundry I should have finally reached the place of finalized purging. The bad part is that I need to buy more clothes for my two growing weeds.

I had shopped Lands End and Old Navy for Camille, wanting classic, basic styles but alas either the sleeves or pants were too long for her. That was frustrating. I measure her 5x according to the online size charts and thought I had her size nailed down. Luckily, I was able to return the item to the mall- you can return Lands End to Sears and we have an Old Navy store. None of the Old Navy pants fit her, she asked in the dressing room, "Mom, am I short?" We deal with pants being too long all the time. I told her no because there are some brands that are her age's size that aren't too long but that we have to find them.

In Sears they were having a 40% off sale and we were able to replace (with substitutes) what I had ordered from Lands End and Old Navy and actually got more clothes AND saved $40.00. I think she's done but we'll see as she wears the new clothes and the weather gets colder whether she'll need more. I still need tights and I want sweater vests for her but those I can pick up when I see them.

The walk through the mall was not pleasant with my ankle- stupid idea in fact but I was going stir crazy. It was good to get out and do something else but physically it was a bonehead move.

Magnum's memorial crystal that I purchased came in, I tried to take a picture of it but it was out of focus everything or I just don't know how to take a picture of something opaque. I'll try again this week. I'm glad I got it, it is beautiful although I've cried a couple times I've seen it lately.

Even with that, I'm ready for a new dog/puppy. I have this need to love something furry! I've contacted a few breeders about getting an English cream Golden Retriever pup. After much debate, we decided on a puppy because we have had temperament issues in the past when trying to find a second dog. We also want to be able to fall in love from the beginning with a new start. I'm reading up on training and puppy care, Magnum came housetrained and was 5 years old. Other than new toys and collar for a puppy we have everything already- a crate, food dishes and treats. We're looking at breeder that will have Christmas litters so we can bring our new family member home in February. I think that's perfect actually.

The kids will be a medieval princess and knight for Halloween- it's been hard keeping their costumes from them but they will have free reign of them after Halloween. Pictures will be posted, of course.

New day, new week-Happy Monday.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Weekly Non-Report

Healing from level II sprained ankle not mobile most of the week, dh had revival which I limped to the church dinners and then came back home with the kids.

We focused on character and behavior education this week, Danny has turned a corner in his temper tantrums which may start up again when we are doing school next week but I have learned quite a few things this week about my own parenting style.

Danny is no longer taking naps and is getting plenty of exercise during the day to wear...him...out by 8pm. We've played board games, figured out what we want for Christmas and played "let's avoid Mom's swollen 4x the size it should be ankle"

I have piles to sort and next week to organize and plan and I don't want to do any of IT! Lol. I had the thought today that I could just read one chapter of SOTW a night to Camille and then her and I go back and pick out what projects to do, what extra books to read and whatever else we want to do. Will I do this? Hmmm, probably not but it is tempting.

Maybe I need to think about it some more.

Oh I also gave my kitchen a facelift with decorative accessories that we really didn't need. I miss my dog and I really want a new one but I'm waiting. I mooched the book Dog Gone which is about grieving for your pet hopefully that will come soon.

I'm a little stir crazy right now...


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pre-buy Christmas Thoughts

I make the list, I double-check with my dh about it and then the grands find out what the kids want (which is usually the most expensive with the highest WOW! factor), then dh and I get the kids stocking stuffers, 3 gifts each and 1 gift each from Santa. Here's the list before double-checking with dh- Christmas for my kids is almost like Christmas for me.

For Both kids (Danny, 3 and Camille, 7)
Wedgits set & design cards
Seesaw (trying to figure out whether to build or buy)
Playmobil Castle (grands)
Croquet or bocce set (Mom's idea)
Badminton/Volleyball/Tetherball set from Hearthsong
Shield/Sword set (one for each child-they'll LOVE this)
Puzzle Roll-up (so Camille can do puzzles without Danny ruining them- Mom's idea)
Architecture blocks (Mom's idea)

For Danny, 3
skateboard (Daddy's idea, not Mom's)
punching bag (Back to Basics and has this, uncle will get)
CD player for his room (need, might buy beforehand)
Audiobooks I'll use online resources for this instead
Viewmaster slides (horses)
Three bear family set with pattern cards (Mom's idea)

For Camille, 7 (not the regular girly girl)
Klutz book of Knots
Moon in Room (she loves this)
Digital Camera (FisherPrice Kid Tough, dd's dad will get)
Origami book
Magnetic mosaic kit
Potholder kit
Sculpey Clay Just for Me kit
The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (anthology book)
Namits game (for car travel)

Family stuff
Fitness DVDs: Leslie Samone's Kids Walk, Tae Bo Kicks, and YogaKids
Blockus game
Magnetic pattern blocks
Charlotte's Web
Night at the Museum
Ratatouille ?
Shiloh √
Christian kids' videos- StoryKeepers 12 DVD set ($24.99 at √

Okay now to narrow it down and distribute. The grands are getting the Playmobil Castle, an uncle might get the punching bag, but I've got to figure out what else to delegate. Lol. Camille needs a new bike but I don't want to do that for Christmas. We're also

Update on this post, my Christmas list. In previous years I have listed books on education and what not that I wanted, I still have a few that I want but I want to avoid the, "I don't know what Jessica wants so I'll get her pajamas, lotion or some other non-personal item." Here's my list

1. Replacement heads for my Sonicare Toothbrush
2. Roomba or some other contraption to make cleaning our floors more efficient.
3. Movies:

  • Anne of Green Gables box set (all 3 movies)
  • P&P with Colin Firth
  • The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection [Remastered] (The Sound of Music / The King and I / Oklahoma! / South Pacific / State Fair / Carousel)
  • Emma with Kate Beckinsale
4. Music- Eric Clapton Unplugged CD to replace my worn out cassette tape
5. Golden Retriever books on training, care, etc.
6. DressBarn gift certificates
7. A golden retriever of my choosing (picky, picky, picky)
8. Money for next year's curriculum to be purchased by the end of January
9. Peace

Psst. Got dh what he wanted a TiVo but now I have to get the money out of the Christmas account which dh is overseeing w/o too many questions. Lol.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I've been bad.

I have written about 4 posts without posting them, one was a tearful grief-filled post about Magnum, one was about my recent troubles with our 3 year old son Danny and how I feel like no matter what I do, I'm not being an effective parent for him, another was about Camille and how she has been wonderful even with all the stress and how I feel I've neglected her and the fourth was about how I needed a little retail therapy lately.

I am a mess- I admit it. I'm seriously just getting through each day and I know that there are others will harder struggles in the world right now but that's not really a comfort. The people being affected by the fires in California, the children being abused or even killed by their parents (these newscasts have saddened me further) and the rest of the negative news related items that pour out of the television.

I don't think I've ever had to deal with so many events in such a short period before, of course there have been big events that rippled through the rest of my daily life but I've never had so many little big things happen all at once.

1. Mother in law has lost her battle to cancer, everyone grieving
2. My best pal, my dog Magnum passed away the day of MIL's funeral
3. I have sprained my ankle which has left me physically handicapped for days
4. Homeschooling takes a lot of effort, time and energy
5. Dh needs surgery on this back for a pinched nerve, he's in pain
6. With the recent remodeling at the parsonage, we have items that need to be taken away but we don't have a truck
7. Our back door needs replaced, the doorknow fell off and Danny broke a pane (sheesh, right?) BUT I think we need to pay to replace the door so I haven't called the parsonage committee or done anything yet.
8. My parents have traveled to Ohio to take care of details concerning my paternal grandmother and whether she needs assisted living or brought to live with them- she has Alzheimer's
9. Danny has been more than a handful lately, acting out, testing and church has been very stressful, bedtime is very stressful and we need to re-evaluate our parenting methods and dh and I need to work together.
10. Plus the usual stresses that plague a regular family

Sometimes I wish the Lord didn't trust me with so much. Really. So I've been bad- I've shopped for Camille because the girl has outgrown all her pants and it's getting cooler, which also means she has outgrown almost ALL her clothes. Danny is so tall that his clothes fit at his waist but are short on his legs- so he's needed clothes. I have never had good, quality clothes or undergarments so I have splurged and bit the bullet. With our new laminate floors, we need rugs! At the doors that lead outside and in high traffic areas. I have to sweep everyday, even with Mr. Shedder himself (Magnum) gone and damp mop every other day to keep things clean. I see a Swiffer wet mop in our grocery list for next month.

I have cleared out our bathroom, where I once had 22 bottles of lotion, I only have 6 now. The same for makeup and hair products. I am decluttering as much as I can to lighten the load. But since I've been crippled with a sprained ankle, I'm not able to do as much to keep my mind/body busy.

Okay, do you understand why I haven't been blogging as much lately? Who wants to hear all this? Lol.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Help me decorate- and my error

I have these canisters already and I love them. The other pictures of items I don't have but are better photos of the design and colors. I have these on the way...this bread box and a utensil holder with the same design pictured below

So which rug so you do think I should get?



Our floor is stone beige, our counters a golden with wood cabinets. These are the only sunflowers in the room.
Our dishes are plain etc.
NEVERMIND! The bread box came today, it's brown not black like it looks in the photo! So I got this instead

Which will complement, I think. Geesh, what an ordeal. This is what happens when you're not patient!
Lol at myself. The rug is from JCPenney who is having a home sale 25%-50% off. I bought three rugs, one for the kitchen sink, one for stove and one for the side door from the garage for $10.99 each. AND if they don't look like this I can just return them to JCPenney at our mall.

What an indulgent post.


12 of 40 Weeks-Where we're at

I need to sit down with a calendar and get a good look at where we're at, the first step was modifying our year at a glance. I think I went about this wrong but I can't say my brain cells are working 100% correctly either. I want to finished in 40 weeks by June 2008. I'll update this post once I can focus on this more. The white areas are completed. I removed grammar from our year because I've integrated it into copywork.

Okay grabbed the calendar and I have a better idea. Right now:

Weeks - Dates

12 - Oct 22-26
13: Oct 29-Nov 2
14: Nov 5-9
15: Nov 12-16
Nov 19-23 OFF

16: Nov 26-30
17: Dec 3-7
18: Dec 10-14
19: Dec 17-21
December 24-January 4th OFF

20: Jan 7-11
21: Jan 14-18
22: Jan 21-25
23: Jan 28 - Feb 1
24: Feb 4-8
25: Feb 11-15
26: Feb 18-22
27: Feb 25-29

28: Mar 3-7
29: Mar 10-14
30: Mar 17-21
31: Mar 24- 28
32: Mar 31- April 4
33: Apr 7-11
April 14-18 OFF
34: Apr 21-25
35: Apr 28-May 2

36: May 5-9
37: May 12-16
38: May 19-23
39: May 26-30
40: June 2-6 *** We want to be done!
41: June 9-13
42: June 16-20
43: June 23-27

If we're not done by the end of June, I will seriously consider just dropping items. We want to use July/Aug as an introduction period to Tapestry of Grace Units 3 and 4 of Year 2 Redesigned and hopefully Unit 1 of Year 3 Redesigned. We have a 4 day week so we have plenty of time during the week without feeling overburdened. Can we do this? We'll find out.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Right & Left Brain Results

Have you seen the dancer that is supposed to help you determine if you're right or left brained? Let the dancer drive you crazy here.

Here's results from another quiz:

Some of the traits associated with the right side of the brain are listed in the table. Not all of the traits will apply to you. Remember, we use both side of our brain, but your right sides gets the most exercise.

Type of Cognitive Processing

Brief Description

HolisitcProcessing information from whole to part; sees the big picture first, not the details.
Random Processing information with out priority, jumps form one task to another.
Concrete Processes things that can be seen , or touched - real objects.
IntuitiveProcesses information based on whether or not it feels right know answer but not sure how it was derived.
NonverbalProcesses thought as illustrations.
Fantasy-Oriented Processes information with creativity; less focus on rules and regulations

Another test:

Directions: This is a printable test to take yourself and give to your friends. Print out this page first. Get a blank sheet of lined paper. Every time you read a description or characteristic that applies to you, write down its number on the blank sheet of paper. There is no certain number of characteristics you must choose. After you are done, click here to view the key. Next to every number on your paper, write whether it was a L or an R. Count up the number of L's and R's. Whichever number is higher represents your dominance. If the numbers are close, that means you use both sides of your brain equally.

  1. I constantly look at a clock or wear a watch
  2. I keep a journal or diary of my thoughts
  3. I believe there is a either right and wrong way to do everything
  4. I find it hard to follow directions precisely
  5. The expression "Life is just a bowl of cherries" makes no sense to me
  6. I frequently change my plans and find that sticking to a schedule is boring
  7. I think it's easier to draw a map than tell someone how to get somewhere
  8. To find a lost item, I try to picture it in my head where I last saw it
  9. I frequently let my emotions guide me
  10. I learn math with ease
  11. I'd read the directions before assembling something
  12. People tell me I am always late getting places
  13. People have told me that I'm psychic
  14. I need to set goals for myself to keep me on track
  15. When somebody asks me a question, I turn my head to the left
  16. If I have a tough decision to make, I write down the pros and the cons
  17. I'd probably make a good detective
  18. I learn music with ease
  19. To solve a problem, I think of similar problems I have solved in the past
  20. I use a lot of gestures
  21. If someone asks me a question, I turn my head to the right
  22. I believe there are two ways to look at almost everything
  23. I have the ability to tell if people are lying or guilty of something, just by looking at them
  24. I keep a "to do" list
  25. I am able to thoroughly explain my opinions in words
  26. In a debate, I am objective and look at he facts before forming an opinion
  27. I've considered becoming a poet, a politician, an architect, or a dancer
  28. I always lose track of time
  29. When trying to remember a name I forgot, I'd recite the alphabet until I remembered it
  30. I like to draw
  31. When I'm confused, I usually go with my gut instinct
  32. I have considered becoming a lawyer, journalist, or doctor

My answers:
1 -L
4 - R
6 - R
7 - R
8 - L
9 - R
11 - L
14 - L
16 - L
19 - R
20 - R
22 - R
23 - R
24 - L
25 - L
28 - R
31 - R
32 - L

L=8, R=10. Okay, so my right brain is more dominant- off to read more about this to see if I use both side equally as this test suggests and what exactly THAT means.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

On the Mend

We're keeping busy. I've even cooked this week- real food instead of just throwing something together to eat. Magnum had a stray cat as a friend and a few dogs that their owners allowed to roam the neighborhood. They've come by the house to see him, the poor cat- meowed and meowed at our back door for Mags. The cat has left, realizing I guess that Magnum is gone. We actually called the cat, Magnum's cat because Mags was the only one he go to and follow around.

I've realized that Magnum has left some pretty big shoes to fill and even though dh wants a puppy for Christmas, I might not be ready. Camille is sad too, realizing the void Magnum's death has left in our family. What an integral part pets have in a family who loves them. A puppy sounds like fun and the kids are the perfect age for a new friend but my heart just isn't ready to be open for another dog.

Our turtle/tortoise acquisition is on hold while we wait to hear if our family friend will be able to send a few to the U.S., it's difficult to go through another person and do the waiting, patiently. DH will return home tomorrow and this is going to be a tough weekend between adjusting to his emotional level and going to church to receive all the sympathy that is awaiting us there.


I miss you so much boy, you were there for me through so many events in my life and I loved coming home to you. I've been so blessed to have you in my life and you will always hold a special place in my heart. You were my rock through my early 20's, having the kids and all of the hills and valleys of my life so far. It's hard without you here, just being around you brought so much comfort. You were the BEST dog, friend and companion anyone could ask for. I could go on with a million different memories and stories but I can't right now because even though you were getting older, I wasn't truly prepared for you to go. I love you.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cleaning & Grieving

I'm in a major cleaning mode right now, we're taking some time off while I try to become normal again. I don't know what to blog about at this time but I hope to do some school this week. Thank you for all your prayers and gracious thoughts.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

She's gone, he's gone.

My MIL passed away this week, her battle with cancer over. The funeral was today and she would have been happy with the service. I have a lot of different emotions about this right now so I can't really talk about it.

When we returned to the house from the funeral, we found that our dog Magnum had passed too while we were gone. I brought him with us (to Dh's parents house) instead of finding someone to take care of him or putting him in the kennel.

On a lighter note, we did do school this week although I don't have pictures to share because I didn't bring my camera. We read about the Franks and Clovis, created a few volcanoes and did what we needed to in math and reading. The kids and I are going home Monday and hopefully we can transition back into a routine. We're just in a sad season right now.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Volcanoes and Reptiles

Of all the things to leave at home, we left our camera! Our Volcano/Earthquake/Tsunami experiment kit arrived from and the kids are super excited! I was not sure whether this kit would be as good as the National Geographic Volcanoes and Earthquakes one but since I needed 2 day shipping, I decided to go with this cheaper one.

I'm happy I did! There are 24 experiments, easily done and we're going to do about 6 of them here. I don't know where my in-laws keep all of their stuff so finding 'household items' for the experiments is more like a scavenger hunt I don't necessarily want to do at this time. There are experiments for continental drift and the earth's core as well so this is actually a great buy for earth science studies. Looks can be deceiving with science kits, you'd think that there should be a whole lot more in the kit- cool stuff like the National Geographic kits are but really this one may look simplistic but it packs a lot of fun and educational value, not to mention simplicity for the parent/teacher into one non-consumable box! We'll be able to use these for Danny when he gets older so I'm a happy Mama.

Getting a new friend update: Camille's turtle at her dad's is a suspected Herman's Tortoise. A family friend will send one so we're being very careful about this long-term decision and making sure we understand exactly what we're getting into. Seeing turtles/tortoises on others blogs, websites, etc. seem like a lot of fun but there is a high degree of responsibility that goes along with the fun. All reptiles carry salmonella in their feces, which is no problem for our OCD hand-washing family but it is a major consideration for families with young children who may stick their hands in their mouths after touching a reptile before a parent is able to wash their hands.

Another MAJOR consideration about adopting a reptile friend is their life-span and vet needs. Turtles/tortoises and other reptiles can outlive their human friends considerably, thinking about long-term responsibility of the animal is the most important part of the care. Acquiring a reptile for novelty and because it might seem "fun" in the short-term leads to many reptiles deaths, neglect and abuse. Find out before you get a reptile about their needs (housing, long-term care, foods, and their natural environment), purchasing an animal before fully understanding about what is required to take care of them is irresponsible. Find out where the nearest reptile veterinarian is located and how much it costs for care of your reptile, this alone may deter someone who isn't truly ready for such a responsibility.

In our research, we've read many disheartening stories of how animals have been mistreated, neglected and abused due to the irresponsibility of the once-excited new reptile owners. It goes back to the saying, "if you cannot say anything nice, don't say anything at all", "if you can't take the proper responsibility, don't even start."

We've decided on a turtle/tortoise because we can get a captive-bred one from a family friend, handling it will be easier for our children than a leopard gecko or snake, and we're able to create a natural environment in the backyard for it as well as inside the house without too much trouble. Another plus for us is the food requirements for a Herman's tortoise, we can easily create a "tortoise garden" filled with plants that keep a tortoise fed in a healthy manner.

Okay off to create a volcano and seismograph...


Monday, October 8, 2007

"You just call out my name..."

When you're down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running, oh yeah baby
To see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend.

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
And soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name and you know where ever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you.
Well they'll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don't you let them.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Oh babe, don't you know that,
Winter spring summer or fall,
Hey now, all you've got to do is call.
Lord, I'll be there, yes I will.
You've got a friend.
You've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
You've got a friend.

-James Taylor, You've Got A Friend written by Carole King

This song has been playing in my head in the last 24 hours as homeschooling friends have rallied to help piece together curriculum to use while we're away from home. I left all our curriculum at home thinking that there would be time to do anything here and that it might be inappropriate. Well, we're sitting here now while the rest of the family is at hospice with MIL and the kids and I are going a little bonkers. It's raining, the kids have limited things to do here and well- if we don't do something constructive soon (and distracting)...

There is nothing finer than having a support group: people to help, rally around when they need it, give a boost when they are low and someone to just listen. The surprise is that when you're in a situation where you might need someone else, there they are doing the same for you. Unfortunately, my support is mostly online so I don't get to take dinners to my friends' houses that are experiencing a difficult time, or wrap my arms around a friend that's hurting, or just sit and listen over a cup of coffee while a friend just pours her heart out. I can't tell how much I wish I could be that person for the ladies I've met online, they have hearts of gold.

Our curriculum free week, without any books other than a few library books is:

HISTORY- Story of the World Volume 2, Chapter 11
printed from the Internet:
Clovis I - wikipedia page (pictures included)
The Story of the Middle Ages by Harding from The Franks
Famous Men of the Middle Ages from Gutenberg
Roland from Heroes Every Child Should Know by Mabie Hamilton Wright (via Ambleside to

provided by friends:

-SOTW2 pages for Ch. 11 & Activity guide - emailed
- coloring page, map work, narrations, copywork from Hannah's Yahoo Group
- Favorite Medieval Tales, chapter on Song of Roland- emailed (local library doesn't have the book)

- math worksheets that address the concepts dd's learning now plus review
- a friend offered to provide the Horizons 2 pages that we'd be doing this week

- for volcanoes/earthquakes
- Usborne Quick Links for interactive activities
- library books
- Volcano/Earthquake kit being delivered soon, paid for 2 day delivery.

True Nobility - the poem we're currently memorizing, printed out

Haydn - Surprise Symphony, lyrics from Themes to Remember book 1 provided by a friend so now we can listen to the song online at and practice the lyrics.

Library books for reading, I have a few books with me and the library will open tomorrow (today is Columbus Day) so we can grab whatever else we need/want. Hopefully we can find something Bible related to read and some leveled readers for Camille.

We're not doing French (unless it's online) this week but other than that, this week can be as normal as it would be at home- because of my homeschooling friends reaching out and helping. I really can't say how much this blesses me, not just in practical terms but how deeply touched I am and it shows me that God WILL provide. He provides in ways that you may never dream of, but He does.

Thank you ladies for making my heart sing with joy during this difficult time, for reminding me that God's grace can be shown in many ways and that although I may be physically alone during this time, I am not truly alone. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fish, Frog, Snake or Turtle?

I'm interested in getting the kids something that is containable yet educational (and fun). Our dog is 15 years old and he's not interested in playing anymore. Dh is talking about a puppy (no way!) so I need to distract/satisfy Dh and satisfy my own requirements.

All of the animals we're considering would require an aquarium. I have books coming from the library so I can make an informed decision but here's what we're considering.

1. Fish
I hate to say this but easily replaceable, beautiful. Requires medium maintenance depending on type (aquarium filter, water temp, etc.) Unsure about the educational portion of this, watching fish swim doesn't really spark an interest in science. 2 stars out of 5

2. Frog
Walmart has fire-bellied toads and they look very cool. If we had a frog it would be a spectator pet like the fish, eats crickets. Fire-bellies require heat lamp. Educational - 3 stars out of 5.

3. Snake
Very cool, but very creepy. We're considering corn snake or ball python. The icky part is feeding of mice which can be live or frozen. Heat lamp, shelter, needs secure aquarium (slide lid or something better than screen). Will need to provide mice, eek. Very educational- sheds skins, kids will be interested for a while.

4. Turtle
Heat lamp required, aquarium 1/2 aquatic, 1/2 land. Depending on type they eat various plants/animals (crickets, fruits and vegetables). Educational quality? Hmm, maybe 3 out of 5 stars. If we get a turtle, I want the kids to be able to handle it. I like the idea of a turtle the best because if it escapes (which is unlikely), we'll be able to find it better than a frog or snake.

What are your experiences? I've never had any of these animals as pets. I'm a dog person. We did try guinea pig, that didn't work out. I want an aquarium-kept animal.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Week 10 Report Part 1

Story of the World 2: Chapter 9, East of China
History Copywork with grammar integrated

Story of the World 2: Chapter 10, The Bottom of the World

pictures from our supplement books

History Copywork with geography

My Maori Warrior kids
thank goodness for Crayola Washable Markers!

We're leaving tomorrow to be with Dh, here's what we've done this week with a reminder to myself of what to do when we get back. I'm taking our reading books with us, math and possibly our science spines. I want to be able to keep the kids occupied if I need to plus they will revolt if they don't have their reading time. Oh, sidenote- I cut Danny's hair today by myself. That was an adventure, I don't recommend it.

Jesus, My Shepherd- Week 10, lessons 1-3. Do 4-5.
Horizons 2- Lessons 37-39. Do Test 4 and lesson 40.
Spelling Workout- Lesson 9, finish
Earth Science- Finish Lesson 7, Volcanoes & Earthquakes
Music- Haydn week 1

Officially MIL has not passed but Dh has said it'll be at any time. Everyone's prayers have been appreciated so much, it touches our hearts deeply to know that you have been praying- what a testimony to God. Thank you.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Staying Occupied

MIL is not doing well, she has fluid on her lungs and the medicine the doctors were giving her to help with that is not working. Dh left yesterday (Monday) to be with her indefinitely. Thank you for any and all prayers, I know it was God's grace that allowed us to have a great weekend with Dh during this stressful time. We all needed it.

In lieu of what is going on, here's what the kids and I are doing this week. Of course, I really don't have much else to say.

1. We're tackling two chapters of SOTW2 in our studies, Chapter 9 East of China and Chapter 10 The Bottom of the World. Today we'll finish the coloring page, mapwork and our origami art project for Chapter 9 before reading Chapter 10 and painting our faces like Maori warriors.

2. Friday, we're going to the Georgia National Fair so this week is about making sure we get done what we need to in order to be gone all day Friday.

3. Purging the kids' drawers and taking everything to Goodwill. (Sounds like fun, eh?) Getting things ready for us to go be with Dh whenever we need to.

4. I'm ecstatic about figuring out our LA path, now it's just the matter of doing it. I had to break away from what the WTM subscribes, listen to other homeschoolers, pray and just deschool myself a little more. Grammar this year with FLL has left me wondering if it is truly necessary as a separate subject and the timeliness of grammar studies. In fact figuring out our LA has forced me to evaluate our goals even closer and determine what exactly is the end we're trying to reach. I'm feeling confident about it now and happy that we're not going to waste time spinning our wheels. Formal grammar will be in 4th grade with Junior Analytical Grammar, then in 6th or 7th using Analytical Grammar, in high school we'll use High School Reinforcement book from Analytical Grammar every two weeks. Ta da, grammar done.

When I think about how WTM laid out grammar studies, or about how others are using Rod & Staff every year, I know I don't want to do that but I want solid results from our studies. I just have this feeling of satisfaction of figuring out what I would be comfortable with that would still obtain our goals. And this is the perfect reason I have this blog. I can say this stuff without eye-rolling, sighs, etc. Who in the world wants to discuss grammar programs in real life? Lol.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Week 9 Report

These are in order of our studies:

Bible- Jesus, My Shepherd Lesson 9
Scripture: Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." John 8:12

Music- Themes to Remember, Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

French- numbers 0-20, alphabet, games and basic conversations
How are you?
I am fine.
Hello, I am (name).

Grammar- We worked on proper nouns in our grammar workbook. I have discovered that FLL alone is not working like I thought it was. Camille needs more hands-on practice.

Spelling- Camille did the lesson last week so we've had no spelling this week.

Math- Horizons 2, things have been much better this week shifting to facts copywork instead of drill. I look forward to teaching math next week.

- We studied China this week in SOTW2's chapter 8. We've read library books and had fun.

Earth Science
- It has been a lot of fun studying rocks this week, it could have lasted all month but Camille is ready to move onto earthquakes and volcanoes. We have an ongoing crystal growing experiment though, no pictures yet.

Now for the pictures....

Daily Mental Math (above) Horizons 2 (below)

Lots of fun identifying rocks!