Thursday, May 31, 2007

School Update

So we aren't quite done with school yet. Jozie has been done since about the first week of May. I have been working with her reading through SRA Reading Laboratory (I have an old edition from 1990 that a fellow home educator gave me) and some extra math too with Saxon Math (again, the same fellow home educator gave these to me - her husband works with the public schools and gets a lot of old curriculum that the schools are getting rid of), grade 2 worksheets that I have. She doesn't seem to mind too much. I also have an art/etiquette called Little Annie's Art Book of Etiquette and Good Manners that she really likes. I'm suprised that she hasn't complained about doing extra work since she knows that she finished her PACES (we are currently using Acclerated Christian Education) so long ago. Thankfully she finished before Luke because if he had finished first than I never would have gotten him to do extra work until she was done.

Luke is a little behind because he finished first grade at the beginning of the year and didn't start second grade until after Thanksgiving. We also took more time off for Christmas than I intended and almost 2 weeks for spring break when we were sick for a week and then had a break for the second week. Plus the here and there days that we did other things like field trips and such. I could just let him finish second grade next year but with us not really sure about next year I want him to be ready to start third grade if we have to put them in public school. He actually seems to understand and hasn't complained or throw any more fits than normal! LOL

Last night Luke asked if he could watch cartoons for a little while before bed when his sister was in the shower and I said no because I hate having to have them watch TV so I told him to find something else to do. There wasn't enough time for him to watch a whole program anyway. So he asked - ASKED - if he could work on school work and get some extra done! I was FLABBERGASTED!!! STUNNED!!! Is this really my son? My child who HATES doing his PACES when he has to, let alone the mention of extra work usually throws him off for AT LEAST a half an hour?! Well, I didn't react at all for a moment then, to cover my true emotions, I said, "Sure, if that's what floats your boat." Just like if he asked me to play with his legos - which he doesn't have to ask to do. I was afraid if I got excited he would change his mind! So he went straight to the table and promptly FINISHED the math PACE that he was working on! Test and all without even asking for help with instructions. I was a pretty proud mom and teacher. This is what it's all about.

Over the last couple of weeks with Jozie working on her reading I have seen great improvement. She has gone from sounding out most of her words - even ones that I know she knows much to my frustration - to sight reading almost everything only to have to sound out new words. She still could use some help with math, it doesn't seem to be her strong point, she must get that from her mother! All in all I am pleased with her progress and am confident she will make a great third grader.

Luke is also a wonderful second grader. There isn't much that gets by him and he really only needs instructions once for most everything. He has gone to reading most of his science quietly to himself and only asking if he needs help with sounding out a word. He hates the repetition of math because once he understands a concept he has it down and doesn't need to or want to waste time doing things over and over again. He's a boy, he has better things to do! LOL I think the only thing that he has problems with is maybe spelling. But again it's the repetition thing. Our Word Building is pretty easy and straight forward but when the introduce a new word they have to write it six times and then usually write several words that have the same ending sound as the one they just wrote. His problem tends to be that he just copies the word as letters and doesn't bother committing it to memory as a word. He found out the hard way that he has to pay more attention to what he is writing because he ended up having to erase and redo a whole PACE - which is 6 school days worth of work - because he only got like a 40% on the spelling test. He is doing better but still needs constant reminding! :)

So, before the end of June, both of my kids will be prepared for third grade. Luke needs to work on his attitude and fits and Jozie still needs work in math. I PLAN on continued reading and flash card work through the summer but those kinds of plans don't usually work out...I guess we'll see!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Corn, Clothes, and the Swimming Pool Garden

This week has been busy so here it is in bullets...lets see if I can keep it short! :)

  • Luke loves corn on the cob. I made a dozen ears on the grill last night for supper along with hamburgers and hotdogs. Luke is always the first one with corn on his plate, finished with corn before anything else touches his plate, and has it all over his face - literally from his forehead to his chin - which isn't uncommon for him when he eats corn on the cob. Jozie was sitting next to him and noticed and said as she picked up his napkin and wiped his face, "Oh, Bubba, you have a mess all over your face! Here, let me help you." It was so funny just the way it came out, I had to laugh. She is such a mother!
  • I finally got approval for a clothes line! Yeah! My mom's dryer doesn't work the greatest so it takes an average of 2 hours to dry a load of clothes in the dryer! I can hang them and get them done SO much quicker it's unbelievable! I'm just excited to have sunshine fresh clothes again! Did I already say, Yeah! :)
  • We are late getting our garden in again this year. Today we finally got it tilled. We have a Man*tis tiller and it's kind of a pain. It's ok for small jobs or in little areas but it takes SO long to do it in our swimming pool garden. I only did about a quarter of it and my hands are KILLING me. They are so swolen from the vibration that I am having a hard time even typing!
I will have to post pictures of my clothes line and the swimming pool garden when I get them. It probably won't be tomorrow though, it's supposed to rain.

Monday, May 28, 2007

To Those Who Died For Our Freedom:

Thank You.

Happy Memorial Day

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Another FREE Concert - Thanks!

Yesterday Luke and I spent the afternoon together taking in some FREE music. It was sponsered by a local church and it was an outdoor outreach event. They were raising money for their new church building on the sight of the event.

Luke and I went to see Skillet! (I have been listening to them since I was in high school so I am considered one of their "old" fans! LOL) It was nice to spend some time with my son one on one where I only had to talk to and listen to and play with him. We had a great time. He got a poster for them to sigh and we waited in line for them to sign it and to give them high fives for almost an hour. He was too shy to tell them that his daddy used to drive their bus though! :) The music was awesome, as always with them. I had to put Luke on my shoulder so he could see over the crowd so I'm a bit sore today but not as bad as I thought I was going to be! He loved the loud music and the fact that he got to stay up way past his bedtime!

After the concert he convinced me to take him to Pizza Hut with some of the kids from our youth group that were there so it was after 11:30 when he finally got to bed! Bob got home just as he was getting into bed so he had to show Daddy his poster and tell him all about seeing Skillet and Jarius Cry. He was disappointed that he didn't get to meet the guys of Jarius Cry - he thought they would be with Skillet to sigh autographs - but Papa John promised him that when they come here this summer him and Luke would out for dinner with them and even play with their kids if they bring them. That seemed to please Luke and he asked for clarification several times just so he had all the details. :)

I even let him drink Mount*ain D*ew and have a Bo*mb Po*p from the ice cream truck, two things that NEVER happen in our house, he thought he was pretty special...and he was right! :) He is a very enjoyable child to have, when he wants to be! :) I love him and I wouldn't trade him for the world! :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Morning Drive

This morning we decided to go for a drive wit the kids just to get them out of the house - they are DRIVING ME CRAZY!!! Here are some things we found along the way:

If you notice there are no pictures of me. There is a simple explanation for that...I AM SO FAT I AM EMBARRASSED TO PUT UP ANY PICTURES OF ME! I should just find a picture of a cow or a pig or maybe one of those advertisements for fat pills to put in for me. I knew I was fat but when I see pictures of myself I think it makes it that much more obvious....I almost cried.

I am going to go and throw up this ice cream I have and quit eating now.

Baby Sadie! - Sorta.

We checked out the pictures of new baby Sadie yesterday morning and when Luke saw how tiny she was he wanted to know how it would feel to hold a baby. So for comparison sake I got out a 5 lb bag of sugar. I showed him how to hold the "baby" in his arms and he thought it was pretty easy, "she" was a little baby. But after a few seconds he got tired of it and said, "Here, you take her mom, she's drooling!" And handed "her" back to me! What a boy! He even did it gently, like he had a real baby in his arms!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Free Concert! Woo Hoo!

Last night Kristin and I took Sami to see Bui*lding 429 (my space) and Jacks*n Waters (my space) in a free, yes I said FREE, concert! It was awesome. We were the first ones in the doors and got second row seats. We were about 5 feet from the hugemungus speakers on the stage. I didn't take the kids because Bob just wanted to stay home but I almost wish I would have brought them anyway. There were a lot of other kids there and I'm sure they would have liked it - but I was afraid Jozie wouldn't like the loudness of it so I left them at home. When we went to see the Pow*er Te*am last summer she complained about it then and we were in the BACK row!

I liked the music for JW - they opened for B429 - but I had a hard time hearing the words because the music was so loud. The drummer was great! He was very animated with his facial expressions and you could tell he loved doing what he does best just by the way he did it.

Buildi*g 429 - which stands for Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." - was better than I was expecting. I was expecting a concert, that it would be entertainment and good music but that's not what it was. I was excited to find that it was a worship service. They didn't come to bring glory to themselves but to God. The whole purpose of their newest album was that the people who come to their concerts and be able to sing the words to the songs with them. They did a couple of the songs that they have had on the radio and some new ones too.

I GOT A FREE T-SHIRT!!! They were throwing out t-shirts and I caught one. It wasn't what I expected but it was free! :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Meet William!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Goodbye Buster, Hello Bugs!

No, we didn't get Buster back or anything crazy like that, but my mom talked to the guy she gave him to at work today and things aren't going as planned with him. He said that Buster had been doing great for the last few weeks - he was obeying commands really well and not having any problems with his anger issues - but then he got home from work on Friday afternoon to find him sullen and cranky. Buster snarled and snapped at him 2 times that afternoon for no apparent reason so when his kids came he wouldn't let them play with him. He got excited and wagged his tail when the kids got their but the guy didn't want to trust the dog with his kids - I don't blame him. So, he is going to have to put Buster down. It's a sad and hard thing to do but we all agreed that it would be for the best before he bites someone, especially the kids. It would even be hard to give him away to someone else for fear that they would turn around and sue you the moment that he bit someone. But what else can you do with a dog that can't be trusted?

And no, we didn't get bugs now that the dog is gone either! :) This summer is the summer of the 17 year cicada and my kids are extremely excited. They are suppose to come out in some great number here in our area so the local paper has been having stories about them almost weekly. I got this link to an interesting and disturbing video of them in my email today and thought I would share it with you guys. I HATE these bugs, they are ugly, huge, and noisy so the moment I see them on the move, you can guarantee that I will be on the move too - straight back into the house! Though they are harmless, I just can't stand them! Yuck! So, check this out and see what we get to experience in just a few short weeks!

Don't say I didn't warn you though! :P

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

I got this cute little story via email the other day and figured it would make a great Mother's Day post!

Hope you all have a wonderful and memorable Mother's Day!

So, we had this great 10 year old cat named Jack who just recently died.

Jack was a great cat and the kids would carry him around and sit on him and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on this mat in our bathroom.

Well, we have 3 kids and at the time of this story they were 4 years old, 3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli really loves chapstick. LOVES IT. He kept asking to use my chapstick and then losing it. So finally one day I showed him where in the bathroom I keep my chapstick and how he could use it whenever he wanted to but he needed to put it right back in the drawer when he was done.

Last year on Mother's Day, we were having the typical rush around and try to get ready for Church with everyone crying and carrying on. My two boys are fighting over the toy in the cereal box. I am trying to nurse my little one at the same time I am putting on my make-up. Everything is a mess and everyone has long forgotten that this is a wonderful day to honor me and the amazing job that is motherhood.

We finally have the older one and the baby loaded in the car and I am looking for Eli. I have searched everywhere and I finally round the corner to go into the bathroom. And there was Eli. He was applying my chapstick very carefully to Jack's . . . rear end. Eli looked right into my eyes and said "chapped." Now if you have a cat, you know that he is right--their little butts do look pretty chapped.

And, frankly, Jack didn't seem to mind.

And the only question to really ask at that point was whether it was the FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat's behind or the hundredth.

And THAT is my favorite Mother's Day moment ever because it reminds us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious little creatures, there will always be that day when you realize they've been using your chapstick on the cat's butt.

Friday, May 11, 2007

UP Pictures...Finally!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Trip Details....

We had a great trip to the UP last week. We just happened to be up there the same time that my dad was so we got to stay with him at the farm. If you don't know he doesn't live up there anymore, he lives in Fli*nt now where he works driving truck. He still owns the farm but only gets up there once every couple of months.

The kids had a blast at the farm. They found out quickly that if they ventured too far off the cut grass into the tall dead grass in the fields than they got a good dose of wood ticks...we hate those little creepy crawly things and I was really hoping we would get there before they arrived for the summer! :P I was sorely disappointed! Luke figured he could outsmart them or something by running fast through it but still failed...he couldn't figure out how he kept getting them because he had to be running at least 50 mph! LOL

My dad has a road that goes out behind the old chicken coop to the woods and the kids loved running back there with Ginger and seeing who could do it the fastest. It was wonderful to spend almost a whole week outdoors without even worrying about the TV and when they were going to watch cartoons! :) I tend to say no to that more often than not at home but they didn't even ask the whole time we were there! Miracles never cease! :)

I think Luke's highlight was getting to shoot Papa's .22 and pellet gun. Both kids got in quite a bit of target practice out behind the woodshed and also some gun safety. Luke mad the mistake of getting too close to the scope and luckily only got a small cut in the middle of his head when he was shooting the pellet gun. It was almost funny if he hadn't actually gotten hurt! He tried to hide the pain at first but then he saw the blood and it was all over. He cried and it was worse because he did it in front of Papa! Jozie didn't really care too much for the target practice but she turned out to be a pretty good shot when she took her time and aimed! I even got in on the fun and the kids were amazed at how good their mother was. I was in the shooting club in 4-H when I was in Junior High and took hunters safety when I was 12. So I have handled a few guns in my day! I think my dad was surprised to see that I still had it in me. :)

We spent a day at my grandparents house and I found them - with a bit of relief - pretty much the same. I was a little bit worried that I would find them old and decrepit and on their death beds for some reason...maybe because I haven't seen them for a couple of years. I pretty much grew up with them only miles away so it was strange to go so long and not see them. It felt good still have grandma still want to baby me after all these years and be able to baby her a little instead! :) I did end up needing her sewing expertise though because I started a project that I couldn't finish myself! I am a little embarrassed but I found what I thought looked to be an easy pattern for an apron for Jozie for her birthday. I cut it out and had my sewing machine out and ready to only take one look at the directions and dew a complete blank. So I luckily was taking this trip up north and decided to take it to Grandma. She did it. It took her most of the afternoon and into the evening but she said that I never would have gotten it on my own and she has never seen a pattern for an apron that hard! So much for my big head when it comes to sewing....I guess I need a little more practice! I will also have to take a picture of Jozie in it so you can see the final product. It is so cute! Grandma even put a little tag on it that says "Made with Love by Grandma". She's the best!

We didn't get to spend enough time with A. Darlene but that was my fault. We weren't sure we were going to end up going because of my other grandmas health so I didn't call her and let her know we were going to be there. She did stop by at my grandparents house on her way home from work but she was sick with a nasty cold and didn't want to stay long and spread it around. She stayed long enough to talk and play checkers with the kids. She beat Jozie (she's not the best checker player around) but I think Luke took her down. :) It was wonderful to see her even for a short time. :)

So that's my trip. It was hard to come back to the business of suburban life but we managed. Even Jozie noticed how quite things were while we were driving through the UP without even being prompted that we don't live in such a nice quite place now. It must be pretty bad if an 8-year-old notices!

I will post pictures tomorrow. Our Internet was down for most of the day here so I didn't have time to upload any pictures. I'm going to bed now! Goodnight! :)

**Thanks for the tip Jodie! I noticed the Edit Html tab and the compose tab before but never looked at them both so I didn't think to check and see if there was a difference...Duh, I feel really cool!!! 8)**

Friday, May 04, 2007

What's up With That?!?

We got back from our trip yesterday afternoon. We only had 2 close calls with the wilds of WI - one with THREE deer and one with a turkey who wanted to see our dinner table but never made it...

But, while traveling through Milwauke*e, WI we came across this billboard that made absolutely no sense...I guess it's like a tease and reveal technique of advertisement where some off the wall thing is put up to get attention and then the real ad is put up a couple of weeks later so it gets more attention...who knows. I just don't understand. Do you?

More to come about our trip and pics...I've got a headache tonight though and the ghetto Wa*lMart didn't have my brand of headache pills surprise I'm headed to bed early tonight to try and sleep it off. I will post more soon!