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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Further Proof That My Kids Are Crazy...

This is another post where I needed to get some pics off the camera. I'll warn you, some are normal, others strange, but all remind me how grateful I am for my family...
Singin' a duet with Sissy...

Chloe's hair after Lillie dumped a half a bottle of baby oil onto it... Very curly and very pretty, though a little greasy:)
Makin' Pizza...

Yes...that is my laundry room packed to the nines...just keepin' it real for you...
Lillie in time-out or "The end of the world" as she'd call it...This was not the intended use of this pop-open hamper, but, oh well...whatever pops your clutch!
Have a great day, ya'll!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Going "Bowl"-ling!

Since we've been studying Daniel Boone and seeing as how Richard Henderson bought Kentucky from the Cherokees, thus sparking Boone and his men to cut the Wilderness Trail, I decided to let the kids play a Cherokee game called, simply "The Bowl Game" The Cherokee would have beans or pebbles with designs on one side. Each player had a different design and they would toss their beans or pebbles up and the first person to have all their pieces land face up won. So, I drew little designs on lima beans and brought out some small, shallow baskets (for authenticity). The kids each had 5 minutes to see how many times they could get all their beans to land design side up. What fun! A little messy, but what fun! Jack ended up winning but only because I couldn't make Lillie see that she needed to toss one time and then LOOK and see if her beans landed right. She just continously tossed her beans in her basket, mostly tossing them all over the living room and wasting precious time. The only reason she got any points was because I was watching her bowl close enough to catch most of the times all her beans landed right side up. It was a close race however. Jack won by only one toss.

Jackson caught cheating...flippin' his beans! Lillie after I tell her Jack beat her!

For our bird unit, we learned about migration. Here's two sites to check out....

Bird Flight Interactive

Migration Paths

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Heat Is ON!

Well, it had to happen eventually! Tuesday, as I was washing dishes, I noticed our heating unit making an awful racket and then it grinded to a halt. I didn't think much of it until about an hour later when the temp in the house started dropping. I upped the thermostat and...nothing. This same thing happened last year and I paid a guy $98 to flip the outside breaker! Well, my husband, thankfully, is in school studying heating and cooling, so that was a miracle within itself. He quickly diagnosed the problem and we headed off to spend the night at mom and dad's house, not sure what we were getting into come morning. Well, it needed a part, a very expensive part, a part that we just can't afford right now. Oh man! Talk about stress! Here it is, the coldest part of the season so far and we were looking at being without our heating unit! Well, this whole situation just goes to show a couple of things.
1. You don't know what you've got till it's gone
2. We are spoiled rotten in this country!

I was so used to it being 68 in the house, that 61 seemed sub-arctic! I honestly don't know how people used to do it! I guess they never had the conviences to get used to. Well, thankfully, our house is equipped with a gas fireplace, though I shudder to think how much my bill is gonna be from running it! And we had a tiny ceramic heater we borrowed from my dad, so we decided to "rough it" and spend Wed nite at home. Oh goodness! I'm telling you, I'd go from "everything's gonna be fine" to "OH LORD please don't let my children freeze to death" back and forth all night. So, we drug the mattresses out into the living room and we ALL slept there. And it was still a little cold at times and my kids were wearing so many layers they'd have to had help to roll over and I didn't sleep cause Chloe didn't sleep and I couldn't let her toddle around cause I was afraid she'd toddle right into the fireplace! Through it all, I tried to maintain the mindset that God was gonna work it all out. Well, the piece turned out to be way too expensive, and we decided that buying a new unit and installing it ourselves (way to go higher education!) would benefit us better off in the long run. But, we have to wait until our refund comes in and that could be a month. So, I start worrying a bit again. What if the weather stays cold! We'll not make it with the fireplace (it'll break the wallet) and one little heater! Well, Thursday morning, I prayed a simple prayer "Lord, I have a limited amount of money and I need to buy heaters. Help me to find the heaters that will do the job that will not blow the budget. Amen!" Pretty simple and stupid sounding prayer, huh?

Well, my dad went along to help with the kids (which was an answered prayer in itself) and we shopped around. I found two little ceramic heaters, like the one we already had and they were on clearance. I also found window insulator kits on clearance as well. So, for $50 (I had $90 in my account and several days before the next check comes in) I bought these things and hoped it would be enough. And guess what ? It was. (We were complaining that it was too hot last night) Why? Because I asked God to do it and never questioned whether he could or would , just let Him do what he saw fit. Skeptics will say it was luck, that the outcome was the result of random instances and happen-stance. Well, you're entitled to think that way, I hold no harsh feelings :) But I know why things happened the way they did! For kicks, here's two pictures from our "camp out" Wednesday night...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's Just Her Thang!

My oldest daughter just LOVES music. She loves to sing and play my various stringed instruments, but she absolutely has a passion for the piano. She has always been around music, as my family, on both sides love it. She has grown up sitting next to either her Nannie or Aunt Shanna on the piano stool.

About a year ago, my grandmother gave me her piano that her mother, my great-grandmother Louise (who is my namesake, at least as far as my middle name goes) gave her when she was a little girl. It now sits in my living room, covered with dust (yes, there's dust) and old church hymnals that are falling to pieces, pictures of loved ones and various heirlooms. It is a beautiful piano in need of tuning...badly. But, there is something about it, even in it's untuned state that sounds beautiful. I think it's probably the memories. I can remember my own little fingers playing the very keys my grandmother played as a little girl and now, my daughter plays with such passion. The music she creates can actually sound like she knows what she's doing, but most of the time, she gets caught up in singing a hymn we're studying or a song our family sings in church and she just wails on the piano and it's just her and that piano...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day!!!!!!!!

Well, the first real snow of the winter has arrived. I'll be honest...with the price of heating going up, it's been a real blessing that this is the first really cold run we've had. I do love to look at the snow, though I'm not a big fan of being out in it. Well, as far as school is going, boy it has been difficult to get back in the swing of things after our month long hiatus. We've started studying Westward Expansion and are currently reading about Daniel Boone, since his story is regional history. When warmer weather comes, I'd like to take a field trip to Sycamore Shoals where the treaty to buy Kentucky between the Cherokee's and Richard Henderson took place, sparking the cutting of the Wilderness Trail, a very important means of transportation through Kentucky and key in opening the western territory. Boone was an adventurer, to be sure! If there is a fine line between brave and foolish...Boone was it! His life is a peek into a time of great courage and is well worth studying. Here's some ideas and links if you're interested in a study on Mr. Boone.
*We are reading the Discovery Biography by Katharine E. Wilkie called "Daniel Boone: Taming the Wilds" but any book from your library would do.
* Lillie completed a state page (you can get it from Jimmie here) for Kentucky.
*We plan on playing some Cherokee games and maybe branching off a little into Sequoyah and the Cherokee Alphabet as well.
* Listen to an audio story about Daniel Boone from the Reading Well.
* Make a Log Cabin
*Archiving Early America has Boone's Adventures in his own words!
Jackson has gotten great use out of his Lincoln Logs he got from his Nannie and Poppie at Christmas. He really has improved on his building!
For science, we are starting a unit on birds. I made the kids "field journals" in which we will be using notebooking instead of lapbooking, just cause it's easier for the kids to be involved in the making of the notebook, as opposed to the lapbook. We did a really neat activity when we studied bird songs. I found some sites with free bird sound effects and downloaded them onto a cd. Then, I played it through telling the kids what sort of birds they sounds were coming from. Some , like the rooster and the turkey, they knew right off...some were a bit more difficult. Then I played the cd again and had them identify without assistance the calls being made. If you want to try this, here are a couple of sound effect sites...
Now, here is a site that has a bird song game.
Here are links to three fun songs from Singing Science Records your kids are sure to find catchy...I did!

I have more projects planned ...alot of notebooking and crafts and activities, so stay tuned. We plan on studying birds till the learning plays out!

Well, here's some random pictures of the the kids taken over the last week...
The scene this morning from the front porch

Sometimes it can be hard to be a Big Sister...

Like when Little Sis gets into Mommy's lip gloss and needs to be cleaned up and really isn't being very cooperative.
A very cold nature walk at Dad's house with cousins on Saturday! Dad and Roscoe.
Here's the kids marveling at the beauty of the snow, safely and warmly inside the house.
Tucker in on the action...
Chloe lookin' very comfy in her rocking chair...

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm It!

LeeAnn over at Joyfully His tagged here's the fourth picture from my fourth picture folder. I love this pic of Lillie. She looks so carefree and happy! The color's good too ;)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Keeping Things In Perspective...

With all that is going on, it's hard to stay in the right mind set. It seems like everyday there are new and discouraging developments in our country. Financial instability has hit all of us, upper, middle or lower. People losing their jobs left and right, bankruptcy on the rise, foreclosures running rampant. Everything is negative and there seems no end in relief.
I will admit, I've not been immune to worry and anxiety. Even as a child of God, I have succumb to the melancholy of it all.
When I heard about this lead testing deal, I was just...aggravated. To no end. I mean, what am I gonna do for clothing for my three kids. This will hit the economy at a time when it doesn't seem like it can take much more. People will be losing their jobs, prices of everything will go know how it is. Worry and Anxiety perpetuate themselves until, if we're not real careful we will get in such a state that our perspective is all messed up. The truth is, Jesus instructed me in Matthew to take no thought of what I would eat or what I would wear, that he would supply all my needs according to his riches. My needs, not my wants. In this country we have had it so good for so long and have been so pampered that we can't tell the difference between real needs and our wants. So, if every second hand store closes and Wal-Mart jacks up it's prices so high I can't afford to clothe my kids, it matters not to God. He's not one bit panicked, because he controls it all and nothing will take him by surprise. According to his Word, he will provide my needs.
I heard a man of God preach this last Sunday night and he said somethings that really stuck. We let the trials of this life harden us if we're not watchful. It can steal our joy. Instead of looking to the nightly news (which is mostly bias and probably not accurate) we ought to look to God's word. In it we will find out how things will really play out and be able to claim some wonderful promises the Creator has made to His children. I encourage you to maintain the proper perspective...see things the way God would see them. If we did that, we'd be a lot more encouraged. Just a bit of rambling...something that hit me last night as I was mulling over the state of our world.
"When all these things come to pass, look up, because your redemption draweth nigh."
Luke 21:28

Confessions of a CO-OP Hijacker...

Yes, it's true...I have been known in the past to crash Co-op get togethers. My sister has a great little group she's involved in and I wish they all lived closer to me! We don't have a group we work with currently, so I am very glad that my sis always invites me to their activities. Thursday she was teaching an art class so we tagged along. First, I must give my sister props. Look, so what if Martha Stewarts house is perfectly neat and decorated...she's got a maid! My sister, she has a husband, five girls and one brain cell (she knows this is true) and works miracles. She is sooooo very clever, creative and crafty. Nope, Martha ain't got nothin' on my sister. Okay, now that I've kissed up, I'll get on with the post.
Well, here's the pictures of the class. Nothing shows the true nature of homeschool mothers than how they react to a long table full of paint and preschoolers sitting around it, poised and ready to "create". You can feel the tension in the air. The nails bitten to the quick...the cat like reflexes. It was very fun and all the kids seemed to really enjoy the time together and more importantly the church didn't get a free paint job!
This is man of multi-tasking. Notice the stamp in one hand, the brush in the other. This man is a PROFESSIONAL. However he does not grasp the concept of moderation when it comes to painting. He'll pour a whole bunch of paint on the plate, then gob his brush full of it and just slap it on. He builds on it until it looks much like a topographic map with hills of paint all around.

It may look like he's giving me pointers here...but he isn't. I can paint just as good (not much better) as any three year-old, thank-you very much. Not bragging or anything, but I've been known to make some pretty good lookin' fingerpaintings in my life...
This is my darling Lillie who did a very nice job sitting still and listening to her aunt Leila teach about pointillism. Baby Lauren and the FABULOUS Hair!!!!!!!!!! Chloe trying to plan out what paint she's gonna knock off the table first...

Monday, January 12, 2009


Well, when the people come out in protest in mass numbers, this is what you get...It ain't over yet, but it is a glimmer. Though the commission can't change the law, they do have control over how it is enforced. Let's just hope they keep their word and use their heads. However, on a sadder note, one aspect I hadn't even considered was the publishing industry and those who sell books for children 12 and under. Apparently from some things I've had emailed to me, this crazy law might just affect them too. I sure hope not, because I order almost all my books through which is made up of private sellers. We'll just have to see how this thing plays out.

Relief for Second-Hand Stores

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Getting Caught Up!

Well, it's the new year. I reckon this one will go by faster than last year.
We read a great book Monday called "Mailing May" by Michael O. Tunnell. Ted Rand illustrated it and I love, love , love Ted Rand's illustrations. It is a great story of ingenuity. May is a little girl who wants to go visit her Grandmother Mary who, unfortunately lives across the mountains in Idaho. The only way to get there is by train and May's parents can't afford a train ticket. So her father hatches an ingenious plan. He decides to mail May to her Grandmothers. He takes her to the post office, they weigh her, and put a stamp and an address label on her. Her uncle is the mailsorter on the train and she boards with him and makes it to Grandma's house. The best part, this story is absolutely true! It really happened. It was charming and the kids loved it. So we've centered some activities around the book. Lillie is embarking on a 50 states notebook, using the literature we read as a guideline. The book took place in Idaho, so she completed a notebooking page for Idaho. You can get a blank of the notebooking page here and some great info on a 50 states unit from Jimmie here. Here's a pic of the page she completed...

We made our cards for our story journal pockets...

Well, it stands to reason, that while reading the story, the thought came to me...How much would it cost to mail each of my children to their grandparents. Since both sets live about the same distance, it's safe to bet the price would be similar. So....I got on the USPS website and they have a postage calculator for non rectangular packages. I made each child a sheet and we got to measuring and weighing each other. Here's the pics...

The results: To ship Chloe to her Nannie's or her Mimi's would be $14.00 for 1 day priority mail.

To send Lillie would cost $22.85

Jackson came in as the most expensive with a rate of $24.40

Grandparents! Watch the can get awfully noisy here at my house!
I've started more organized work with Jack this year. He's working on an ABC Scrapbook...

He did 4 worksheets today and he's so proud...

Jack has shown alot of interest in cooking and he's been becoming quit the little pancake maker!

Hope everyone's year is goin good so far! Blessings, Della