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Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Just Love...

A Good Ole' Wienie Roast! Nothing like sitting around a blazing fire in 90 degree weather! Giving children sharp forked sticks and letting them shove processed meat into an inferno...Good Times!
This picture of Chloe is great! She looks like she's unconvinced her Uncle Denny knows how to even start an inferno!

My niece, Livy Grace, cause she's cuter than all get out...Know what else I love? Pictures of this goober throwing a fit...And... another ....and....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's All About Cheap!

Cheap books, cheap is good!

Well, I haven't blogged yet this week, cause nothing exciting has happened. Lillie and Jack spent Monday at Nanny's house and we went down to my sister's house Monday night. Tuesday, we just got math and reading done because I had to do my weekly shopping. Yesterday, we read about Noah in our Studying God's Word book. I printed out the kids some Noah coloring pages to busy them while I read. Don't ask me why kids listen better when they're busy with something else! It makes no sense! Lillie made a Noah's Ark craft that was really cute out of Paper Plates and they had little animal Stick puppets to put in there.

You can get this project by clicking here. Click here for alot of cute Noah's Ark games and activities.

Well, Math was a supplemental worksheet I made modeling the Math Mammoth program we are using. I still can't get over how much it clicks with Lillie and was well worth my sister's $4.00 (thanks Leila) as she is always letting me sponge off her. What is family for if you can't sponge now and then! We used our new gameboard to review sight words for our reading. Learned the cave stroke in our writing curriculum. Jack and Lillie now know 4 of the basic strokes outlined in the program. And it's been a real experience as Jackson is a lefty. For science, we read about Hippos from our Nature reader, did a coloring page, added hippo to our animal classification chart and Lillie completed a Notebooking page for her Animals I Know Book. Next week we will begin a planet unit study which I'm hoping will be a success.

Yesterday I realized something. Well, I suppose I have known it all along, so I guess you could say re-realized (is that even a correct usage?). Children find pleasure in some of the cheapest , most useless looking things. Like when my kids are more interested in playing with the bows and wrapping paper than the present inside! I wish we had never blew the money we did on Lillie's first Christmas, cause all she cared about was playing with the bags. So, enter clothespin dolls which I saw my sister making one day and thought they were pretty neat. I got a bag of those old slip on clothespins, you know the ones with the rounded heads. I hotglued somehair on and some material on, drew faces on them, and presto. Instant fun for $1.00! Even Chloe loved hers, falling asleep with hit clinched in her little hand. I plan on making the girls a whole set, but I've got to get some more lace and ribbon and such as I didn't have too much to work with. Next time I will know better what to do and they'll look a whole lot better, but the kiddos didn't seem to mind a bit. Lillie named hers Lady Bluebird.

Jackson's did have a powder wig on like George Washington, but he tore it off and it ended up looking like those ugly trolls with all the hair that were all the rage back in the early 90's. You remember...don't be ashamed. It was a trend, like crimping irons , side ponytails, legwarmers over pants and salad shooters. I wish I had a salad shooter, actually. They appeared to be very helpful!And here is Chloe with hers on the brink of falling asleep. Well, on my day off Monday, I went to the used book store and was so excited to find that some homeschooler mom, probably, cleaned off her shelves. And I found a bevy of nature and history books. Here they be...
I love the smell of "new" books! Well, it's time to arouse the remaining sleeping one, get breakfast in em' and get to work. I love Homeschooling! Have a great day!

Monday, August 25, 2008 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


Friday, August 22, 2008

Awww Shucks!

As everyday at Promise Academy is not recliner gripping , edge of your seat exciting, I sometimes like to save things up. Well, it never fails. The first day back after a break is always super productive. Then the next day something always comes up that hinders us from doing any work much at all! This time, it was corn! I was up to my ears (forgive the corny joke, see, hah! I did it again right there!) My dad, who is the Kernel (I mean, the Colonel) of Corn (That was the last time, I promise! Sometimes I simply can't resist good produce humor) came to help me again this year as my darling husband brought home, not just the bacon, but 10 dozen corn that demanded my immediate attention. So I have to say thanks to him and thanks to my dad who sacrificed a couple hours of retirement to shuck corn and explain worms to the kids. We had a good time just chatting it up on the porch!They say she's just like her momma... I just don't see it...Well, yesterday, we finally made it to the lake for a nature walk. It was a great day as it was not hot at all and so peaceful. There were a ton of shells laying around the shore and a flock of geese which were'nt a bit shy!

I can't resist taking pictures of kids in direct sunlight...they make such cute faces!

Not really sure why she had her hands over her eyes...maybe the sun again?
After the kids were all natured out, we went on over to the playground.

I couldn't resist this one...she looks so contemplative. Yeah, by the way, that is a John Deere leash attached to her. I don't dare venture out alone with all the kids without it if she has to walk!

Jack loves this game, however, he usually plays by himself. I'm not sure why? Maybe it's because he loves to swing it around really hard and doesn't even try to dodge it! He usually gets hit in the head about a hundred times.Oh well, make your own fun if no one will play with you, I suppose.

Math Mammoth is working out very well with Lillie and I couldn't be more pleased. Yesterday, even after taking the nature walk and playground excursion, I managed to get school done and my house in pretty decent shape, better than it is most days! Lillie even did her McGuffey's reading lesson without whining. I'm gonna have to start doing things this way more often. The kids seem more relaxed after the fresh air and exercise, as do I. That Charlotte Mason kinda knows what she's talking about, huh?
Yesterday, I woodburned the kids a gameboard as it is more durable than the ones I have been printing off. I use a generic dice and board game to review with the kids. The competition really spurs them on. I just right down the questions, everything from history, to science, to reading words, sight words, writing strokes and math problems. So Lillie and Jack are challenged not in just saying something, but actually having to read,write move,and sing and work things out in order to move around the board. Here's a pic of the finished gameboard, though I believe I'll varnish it real good later.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

He's Quite the Catch Ladies! At least in 20 years or so...

Just a post that goes to show that kids do say the funniest and strangest things. I was in the midst of my usual lecture this morning to the children concerning what sort of folks they want to be. Our memory verse for this week is Proverbs 20:11 "Even a child is known by his doings..."

I was trying to tell them that our actions display what kind of people we are. "Do you want to be known as the mean, hateful little boy nobody wants to play with?" I asked Jackson, really fearing his answer. He was speechless. I asked Anna, "What sort of a person do you want to be when you grow up?" She said she wanted to get married and cook supper! Good answer! I then asked Jackson the same question. He thought for a moment and then said "I want to get married and eat cheesburgers all the time!" Well, go ahead and sign your daughters up on the waiting list ladies! He'll be availiable in 20 or so years! Of course Jody and I might actually have to save up some sort of dowry , you know, go Old Testament! Issuing a no return policy might not be such a bad idea either!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

11th Most Dangerous Job...

Okay, so I found a list of the top ten dangerous jobs in America . Now I agreed with the majority of the jobs on the list. Logger, no doubt, wouldn't want to do that job. Big trees fallin' on you, not pleasant. Airplane Pilot? Forget it, not without a concealed carry permit.Seriously. But where was motherhood!? I mean, there may not be as many fatalities as other occupations, but I know I've got more stress than a taxi driver or a chaffeur! Wait! I Am a chaffeur! My children experience (that's as kind as I can put it.)when driving around town. Jackson loves to scream 'Go Mommy!" at red lights when I'm not really paying attention. If we're going to , say, the library, and I decide to take an alternate route, they freak out and little Miss GPS in the back row starts saying "Mom, you needed to turn left back there." Chloe senses when we are almost to the grocery store and launches into full scale fit throwin' which puts me in the running for a fender bender.
Number 5 on the list was a Garbage Collector! Need I say anymore? I collect garbage all day. But does a garbage collector have people come and grab stuff out of his truck and strew it all over the road?
My job is very dangerous and stressful. If I need to make an important phone call, and my kids are awake, I have to hide in closets risking head injury because my closets are a fire hazard. Housebreaking a 3 year old ! I'm screaming right now inside! My nagging gland is worn out! I almost passed out the other day blowing on some hot pizza rolls at lunch! I have a repetitive motion injury in my wrist from diaper changing and nose wiping! A nervous twitch when I take them out in public and my tear ducts go nutsy when I think about them growing up!
In conclusion, I would like someone to recognize us mothers for our dedication in the face of danger everyday! It's a battle out there, man! I'm outnumbered by children every day. But, I wouldn't trade my dangerous job for anything in this world! I'm just gonna add a bullet-proof panel to my apron and truck on!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back To It!

Today, I officially started Lillie's Kindergarten (As far as she would be considered in the school system) Fact is, it's so hard for me to peg down what would be my "first" day of school. Since Lillie was old enough to begin showing an interest (which was about 2 1/2 to 3 years) we've done "school work" Shapes, numbers, letters, sounds the usual stuff. We've worked as she is comfortable, read ALOT, lots of nature study, basically taking what Charlotte Mason called "Education as a Life." We've used our everyday, mundane lives as opportunities to learn. But, for planning sakes, today was our first day of 'kindergarten'.
Chloe had quite the fever yesterday and her nose was nasty , so we missed out on church. I was up most of last night with her, as she was very restless. That being said,we started lessons about 10 am and were done by 11:30! Can't beat that Charlotte Mason when it comes to short lessons. I believe this to be so key in education. If you push a child too much and they become disinterested, you can MAKE them complete the lesson, but it is unlikely they will 'learn' anything from it.
We began with a lesson from our McGuffey's Primer. I love the McGuffey readers. Trusted for years in the public (one room) schoolhouse, you just can't beat tradition of excellence. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we will be using McGuffeys. On Tuesday and Thursday, we will be working through the Dolch lists using activities found here.
Math was our first page in Math Mammoth Addition 1. Me and my big sis were just talking last night how surprising that when we tell people about the Math Mammoth series, they have NEVER heard of it. Well, you can order them for about $4 bucks a piece most of the time off of Currclick. Currclick, if you haven't checked it out yet is great. You pay and then you immediately download whatever product or curriculum you just ordered. NO shipping and No waiting! Okay, product placement over with. Just check into it and Math Mammoth because it is nifty beyond words! Lillie really liked the workbook pages and she usually fakes a need to go to the bathroom when you bust out a math workbook. Today's lesson focused on grouping items. There are 5 balls and Lillie had to group them (for example, 2 (balls) and 3(balls). She had to circle two balls, then the three balls and read it like a sentence "2 and 3 is 5" Next, she was given a set of 4 or 5 balls and the problem read "2 and _" Lillie had to circle two and then count and circle the remaining balls to fill in the blank. I made up another similar worksheet using a printshop program and some more numbers and also we will be using manipulatives as well until I'm sure she's mastered this concept.
I am using Studying Gods Word Book A from Chrisitan Liberty Press and todays lesson was Cain and Abel. I printed off a little activity book off this great bible lesson site to go along with the story and then we talked about Acceptable and Unacceptable worship and why it is important to follow God's guidelines for worship.
On Mondays, we will be reading from our Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader. Today was about Giraffes, we did a story page and added a giraffe to our animal chart. We also made paper bag puppets. I just love to watch how Jack just haphazardly glues things on with no regard for what is right and proper! His puppets always look like odd mutations.

I'll take this time to share how we notebook and document things. Since my children don't read or write fluently, notebooking is virtually impossible. But we do have our ways around the traditional notebooking process and it accomplishes the same thing. When we study an animal, I print out a story page from this site. Lillie glues a picture of the animal on and then uses the writing lines to "write" a brief tidbit of knowledge she gained. By writing, I mean I hold her hand steady but let her move the pencil to see if she truly understands how each letter is formed. If she has no idea, I kick in to guide her. Then, we put them in a 3 prong folder called "Some Animals I Know".

To also aid in our animal study, I have a posterboard divided into columns labeled Mammal, fish, Amphibian, etc. Then a smaller picture of the current animal being studied is glued in the correct column.

We are using living books to study people from the American Revolution. When we get through with a person, I print out a coloring page (if I can find it, if not just a regular picture) and a short biography and we add it to this notebook...

The state that the person is from or lived goes in this notebook...

These are what the pages look like. I print out a black line map of the US and then Lillie colors in the state and then glues (in leau of writing) pictures of the state bird, flag, and flower and we write and mark the capital.This is our weather log, which we don't do everyday but every week or so. I made the sheet using clipart of different weather conditions and then Lillie circles the current weather and we look up the temperature on

I secured from Currclick, this knifty little writing curriculum. It's called the "Visual, Kinesthetic , Auditory Alphabet" It teaches writing using a mixture of fun activities and stories that relate the form of all the letters. I can't begin to explain it in detail, but click here and check out a sample of it. Here are two videos, the first is Lillie doing the "thin man" which teaches the straight line up and down, top to bottom that is needed in such letters as lowercase 'b'. The second is the kiddos writing the stroke on paper. We will go through all the basic strokes before moving onto the actual letters. This way, Jack may be able to learn some writing as well, putting us all that more ahead on him. Thus making momma's life so much easier!

All went pretty smoothly and I was hoping to take the kids out to the lake and walk around a little, but it looks like rain. I sure hope so, we need it!