Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I haven't been to work to water the Mums since Saturday....Thankfully! I actually won't be working at all this week, we have had so much rain and such little sun that they will be fine without it. I might have to work on Monday - Labor Day - and what really stinks about that is that I won't be getting holiday pay. I guess we will have to cross our fingers and hope that it's a rainy day so I won't have to be there!


Who's idea was it for me to start one of these time consuming money pits anyway? I swore that I wouldn't do it but under the influence of a couple of my friends, I have. Now, whenever I go to WalMart or Target or any craft store, I have to make a stop in the Scrapbooking section to see what's on sale, what I might want, or just to clean out the clearance section! It's like an obsession and Bob says it's another thing for me to pick up and get tired of in a few months...I hope not but there are some things that he tends to be right about...I am going to pick up pictures today to start a couple new pages. I even got Kristin a small one so I didn't have to do it by myself because her big one is in storage. I'm not sure how I am going to accomplish it but, I have this vision of a "pop up" scrapbook page...I think I will have to look up pop up pages online and see how I can put one into my scrapbook.

So many craft ideas, so little time...(sigh!)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Watering the Mums...

Here is an example of how our Mums look but the black tarp has more weeds in it. It gets EXTREMELY hot watering on a 85 degree plus day because the black tarp just seems to draw the heat!

I just wanted to share what I have been doing lately at work. It's not an overly exciting job at the moment but I USUALLY don't mind. But recently I have been put in charge of watering the Mums. They are where the owners money is at right now so I guess I should feel privileged that he has chosen me to do this job, after all if they all die because I don't water them correctly, I will be the one responsible. I HATE this part of my job. It takes about 6 hours to do it and there are over 2700 plants. It is very boring and tedious. I would probably rather pot or plant or water the greenhouses with all the hanging baskets in them than do this job. I also get to see some very interesting creatures while I do the watering, most of which give me the goosebumps and make me want to run and tell my boss where he can put that hose of his! Is it really worth minimum wage? I will let you be the judge...Here are a few pictures to demonstrate what I see on a daily basis...

This is a Katydid. I see them all the time and they are HUGE! I find it rather disturbing when they blend in so well with the leaves of the Mums and I don't ever see them until they move!

Here is a Praying Mantis. Again, the same color of the leaves on the plants but they are a little easier to see because they are not shaped like the leaves. They make me goosebumpy too... :P

And of course there are always a ton of grasshoppers. They fly and jump all over the place and make me jump almost as often! Sounds fun, doesn't it!?!?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Luke's Birthday Party

Well, as far as Luke is concerned, his party was "the best he ever had"! Did I mention that it was the first party that he ever had with more than just family? But before I get ahead of myself you have to know that only one other kid ended up coming. Not that I didn't invite a whole bunch but nobody else came. I was more upset about it than he was. And I knew there were some that weren't going to come because parents had to work, they were out of town, they were on vacation, had other plans, etc., the ones that weren't coming told me, but then there were those who just didn't bother. That really kinda bothers me. Wouldn't you think that if you kid got invited to a party and eventhough you may not know the parents, you would put forth some kind of effort to get to know the other parents or at least let them know that they wouldn't be coming? There is more here that I would like to say but I don't want to offend some people so I am going to censor myself here... :) Sorry about the rant, I was a little upset about the whole thing.

Anyway, Luke had a "Fear Factor" theme for the party that he planned with my mom one morning. There were rats and worms and fish and eye balls (all gummy of course!) on his cake, he had "pin the flea on the dogs nose", and we did a messy experiment with Diet Coke and Mentos (Thanks MythBusters!). The boys had fun and got to swim since there weren't a ton of other kids there I let them go in the pool. Jozie slept with me that night since she shares a room with Luke and Aaron spent the night - the boys didn't go to sleep until after 1am! They had a great time and I guess that's all that mattered - despite me being bummed that nobody showed up for my sons birthday party. :)

Here is our Diet Coke and Mentos "fountain". Not quite as elaborate as the one I linked above but the kids sure got a kick out of it! :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Meme of Fives

Amie posted this on her blog so I thought I would add it for some fun. It's been a while since I have done one of these.

Five things in my freezer:
1. Frozen Pizza.
2. My water bottle for work.
3. Perogies.
4. Popsicles.
5. Tilapia (fish).

Five things in my closet:
1. I don't have a closet (I live in my mom's basement)!

Five things in my car:
1. Bob's trash (literally the trash he doesn't take out of it!)
2. My Dog (bobble head).
3. Aflac duck stress squeezer.
4. Carseats.
5. A smelly air freshener.

Five things in my purse:
1. An invitation to Luke's birthday party.
2. Wallet.
3. Beaners punch card.
4. A mini pen.
5. Mints.

Five people I tag:
1. Jodie
2. Kristin
3. You
4. You
5. You

Friday, August 11, 2006

My Summer Blog Album Part II

Our mst recent field trip was to vitit a honey bee "farm". The kids got to see how the honey was made, from hive to the bottle. They got to stick their fingers in it and taste it and try the honeycome (my favorite part!).

Here is Jozie, Hannah, and Bob checking out the extractor (I think that's what it was called!). Jozie is keeping her fingers back so she doesn't get them caught in the machine! :)

Here the kids are checking out the bee polen. He collects it right at the hive off the bees legs and sells that too. They got to taste it too.

She got caught trying to sneek a taste! :)

Jozie and Hannah with mouths full of honeycome!

Jozie lost her 3rd tooth a couple of weeks ago! She said it kinda tickles and makes her talk funny!

We had the honor of having Heidi Holt as house gusts for a week. They had a concert at our church and one in a park in town. This is Heidi. Check out their website to see more about what they did while they were here and hear some of their music.

This is Nick. He is the little brother of a friend of mine from high school. He is the reason that they got in contact with us - he was also in the youth group at GTAG when John was the youth leader. He said he remembered me babysitting him with his sister sometimes when we were younger! Thanks for making me feel old, Nick! :)

Here is Luke, sporting his self done "Nick look"! While the band was here he took hair lessons from Nick, he set up a base guitar lesson with Bear Claw, and drum lessons with Crash - oh, and he thought Heidi was pretty cute! What a boy! :)

Here is Luke racing the waves in Ocean City, MD. The kids were pretty excited to get to swim in the ocean! It was a beautiful day and there were plenty of waves. I almost wish I would have gotten the kids wake boards, they looked really fun and "all the other kids had them"!

Jozie was a little hesitant at first - probably more overwhelmed. Though we swam plenty of times in Lake Superior, we never swam in Lake Superior with waves like this because if the waves were this big than that meant that it was WAY too cold to swim that day. She did eventually warm up to it though and ended up having as much fun as Luke did!

There were plenty of sand crabs to be had. You dig for them in the wet sand down by the water and they reminded me of HUGE bugs! They were pretty yucky but the kids thought it was great and kept bringing them to me up on the beach where I was trying to rest peacefully in the sun!

Here are the sand crabs! :P

Bob spent the day before the wedding with Levi, John, and Brian on the Potomac with the jet ski...

He had to remind them that he wasn't as young as they were (he's the one here trying to get onto the back of the jet ski!)

We went to Baltimore, MD one day and went Fort McHenry. It is the place where the National Anthem was first written. We love these kind of historical places and they are usually pretty cheap to get into! Here is Levi, Sami and the kids in one of the jail cells!

The kids found the map for the sight impaired and thought is was neat to see how blind people got to "see" the fort.

Luke and Uncle Levi tried out the cannon.
It didn't work...

There was a big storm coming so they had to take down their big flag and put out the "storm flag". It's just a smaller flag - and Bob got to fold the big one because he knew how. He thought it was a really neat experience.

Here is Luke trying to lift one of the big cannon balls - he never figured out that they were welded together! :) LOL
While we were in MD visiting Levi, we went to DC and spent the day at the Smithsonian. Here is Luke checkin' out an aircraft carrier at the National Museum of Air and Space.

We walked across the Mall and saw the Capital Building. Here is Bob, Sami, Jozie, and Luke. I took the picture so I didn't get to be in it. :) I'm pretty good at that!

Here is Luke holding some sort of a hissing cockroach at the Museum of Natural History. He got to see the dinosaurs too but we didn't get very good pictures of it. Bob said that everytime he tried to get a picture of the kids I got in it! He was right and NOBODY wants to see that in a picture!!! :)

You asked for more pictures of Levi's wedding so here they are. These are the mothers with the bridesmaids (wearing the dresses Jaclyn made) and the flowergirl - I think Jaclyn made her dress too.

I loved this picture of Levi and the kids! :) Luke looks just like him! :)

This is Levi and our dad with his best man and now brother-in-law, John, and Chris, his father-in-law.

I liked this picture of Levi. He looks like he is posing for some kind of commercial.

Jozie and I had a field trip to Buckley Homestead for Pioneer Days with other homeschoolers in our area. They had a great time and got to see what farm life was like in the early 1900's for kids as they did chores, helped with preparing a common meal - which we shared before we went home - and what a one room schoolhouse was like. It was a wonderful experience and very educational. It made us long for a simpler and slower paced life than the one we live now in NW IN so close to the hustle and bustle of Chicago...We would go back to that lifestyle in a heartbeat if it was possible! Most of the other kids you see in the pictures with her are in our homeschool group that we spend our time with and go on field trips with.

This concludes my Summer Blog Album! We have had a long and busy summer and it isn't even over yet!


Luke is 6 today! This child came into the world the epitome of the "Strong Willed Child". He has NEVER done things the "normal way". He was smaller than my first and I was in labor with him longer (They say that the second one is usually bigger and take less time!). He talked from the moment that he figured out he had vocal cords - Da was his first word - and walked when he was 10 months old. By the time he was 3 you could have a pretty good conversation with him and he usually knew what he was talking about. Luke does things his own way and in his own time - and absorbs more than ever really realize, which isn't always a good thing! He can be a very sensitive and loving little boy when he wants to be and he doesn't like to see other people hurt (unless he's the one hurting his sister!).

He is the boy I prayed for when he was still inside of me, and I thank God everyday for my Son.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Food for Thought

Here is yet another reason that I have chosen to Home educate my children and further confirmation that I am doing the right thing. This is a copy of an article written for a newspaper in Kansas about how education in the public schools has declined over the years. It speaks for itself.

- Testing Standards -
Compared to the 8th Grade Test in 1895

Could You Have Passed the 8th Grade in 1895?
Probably Not...Take a Look

by Michael Hodges (email)
prepared Feb. 2001and updated 3/05, as a section of

This is a sub section of the Grandfather Education Report, a chapter of the comprehensive Grandfather Economic Report series of mini-reports with dramatic pictures on critical subjects proving serious threats facing the economic future of our young, compared to prior generations. Poor education quality is a major threat to our nation, partly caused by unacceptable teaching methods, and dumbed-down textbooks and test standards.

This is about test standards, compared to the past.

Questions: What percentage of this year's seniors and last year's high school graduates could pass the following 8th grade test required in 1895, even if the few outdated questions were modernized? How many college students could pass it? For that matter, what percentage of high school teachers could pass it? And - - what percentage of today's schools have standards for promotion from 8th grade equal to or tougher than those required in 1895?

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, Kansas - 1895

This is the eighth-grade final exam* from 1895 from Salina, Kansas. It was taken
from the original document on file at the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society
and Library in Salina, Kansas and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7-10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts. per bu, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $.20 per inch?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10.Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865?

Orthography (Time, one hour) - Do any of us really know what this is?
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'. - What?
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e'. Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, super.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences, Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10.Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of N.A.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fermandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10.Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.

April 13, 1895 J.W. Armstrong, County Superintendent.Examinations at Salina, New Cambria, Gypsum City, Assaria, Falun, Bavaria, and District No. 74 (in Glendale Twp.)"

According to the Smoky Valley Genealogy Society, Salina, Kansas "this test is the original eighth-grade final exam for 1895 from Salina, KS. An interesting note is the fact that the county students taking this test were allowed to take the test in the 7th grade, and if they did not pass the test at that time, they were allowed to re-take it again in the 8th grade."

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. Gives the saying "he only had an 8th grad education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?!? It also shows you how poor our public education system has become...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Summer Blog Album Part I

Jozie turned 7 in April and got her first digital camera (a $20 cheapie! Hardly worth the money!) and this is one of her first pictures - Luke in a store when we took our mini vacation to Michigan City, IN - she wouldn't put the thing down and had the memory filled with over 60 pictures in like 15 minutes!

We went to see the Power Team at a local church (HUGE church) and Luke was mesmermized! This is Big Russ - Lukes favorite guy - the first two pictures are pretty self explanitory, those are cement blocks. The third picture is Big Russ blowing up a hot water bottle. This was the last frame just before it exploded! They were pretty impressive and I would HIGHLY reccomend anybody going to see them. Boys LOVE them and they have a very awesome and powerful testimony. Luke got his picture taken with them too, but I think that Kristin has those because we used her camera that night (we went 2 nights because Bob couldn't come with us the first night) - I will post them in my Blog Album Part II. Luke also got a 2 inch thick steel rod that Big Russ bent with his teeth then over the top of his head. The whole team signed it and one guy told him to practice with it and when he could bend it back to give them a call and they would put him on the Team. He was pretty excited about it and still gets that thing out about once a week to "practice" with and shows everyone new who comes to the house how good he's getting!
On a different note, Jozie HATED it! All the fire, noise, loud music, and sweat just wasn't for her girlie girl ways, she SLEPT through the last quarter the first night then stayed home with Amma the second night! What a girl! :) LOL

Congratulations Levi and Jaclyn!!!
My little brother got married on July 15th in West Virginia. We packed up - all 7 of us - in a rented 16 passanger van, and drove out to see it. It was a beautiful wedding! She made all the dress, including her own and she had wildflowers for all her arrangements. Jaclyn is perfect for Levi and if you know Levi, you know it would take a very special girl to be his wife! :) John, his now brother-in-law, was his best man with Josh E and Brian (from MD, not the one from CA, formerly of MI) as his other 2 guys (I foget what they are called right now!). We got to see family from MI who we haven't seen in quite some time, including my dad, and some friends from when we were kids were there too (Dave and Julie S and also Bethany and Josh w/Isaac, who Jozie and Luke adored!). I was going to post more pictures but it is in a HUGE file with a TON of pictures and it's late and for some odd reason the wrong pictures keep uploading so I guess I will stop with the wedding pics before I get too mad at this dumb thing and break it. If I get time in a couple of days I will post more if...

Ok, so it's doing it to everything now...I guess this will be the end of my post but there is more to stay tuned!

I'm back...sorta...

I debated about posting this since it has been so long since I last posted but thought I would just because I took the time to do it...I am really trying to find time to blog more and I got an extra day off this week so I thought I would take a moment out of my laundry time and post something...anything...! So here it is...but there is more to come! :)