Saturday, February 27, 2010

Beavers are busy, and so are we!

Okay I am gonna hit you with a bunch of pics! thanks to my new camera and of course doing things worthy of taking the pictures in the first place!


So we are doing Rodentia in science... for you non science minded people that is rodents... mice, rabbits, moles, schrews, beavers, rats!

We did most of our study on beavers... I am trying to pick one or two animals from each chapter to put a lot of focus on! I am also trying to add things for Emily to do to get out of the science that is really TOOOOOOO advanced for her! Also to help Matt and Kate get more of the hands on that they need!

So on to our Beaver unit:

My mom helped the girls make Beaver lodges! They are awesome!

I had to give you a close up of the beaver pushing the branch in the water... do you see his hands! I LOVE IT!!!

Emily worked on the copywork- Beavers are Busy Builders.

Our character training word for last week was Diligence so we focused on the fact that Beavers are such hard workers!!! They are busy.

We also learned the poem Idle Hands, becasue we have been having trouble getting in trouble when we have nothing better to do so we talked about being busy keeps the devils mischief at bay!

Emily also made a beaver mask and Kaitlin made an awesome beaver tail! So it made a cute costume!

We studied about beavers and different rodents from our Jonathan Parks Goes to the Zoo!

We LOVE this series and we love this particular one. It give quick, GODLY facts about animals and how and why they were made and how different animals show what an awesome God we have!

We read Paddy the Beaver

We did lots of other beaver activities, worksheets. We even go to watch a Beaver IMAX and see like Beaver bites at Martin Dies State Park.

The kids studies the anatomy and bone structure of a beaver. Kaitlin did an awesome job of drawing it...
Okay I had a picture of this to post and now it is lost!!!!!!!!!! It was awesome though.. If I find it later I will post.
So anyway...... beaver unit done!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

We had a nice day, ended up staying home one more day just to make sure emi was in the clear, but we are convinced she is good!

We did not do valentines big this year with our budget, but we had a nice day none the less. We actually got the storage room cleared out not all that fun for valentines day, but it had to be done so I am glad we did it!!!

We gave the kids each one small candy and a gift card for 10.00 to Build A Bear that I had gotten at Christmas for only 5.00!

We watched a bunch of Hallmark movies on our last day of cable. We have turned it off on last Friday over a week ago. So until they come turn it off we have legal free cable. But Dave is turning in the boxes in the morning so it will truly be gone!!! I am watching my last John Stossel right now--- my favorite libertarian!!!

I also made cup cakes! They were tasty and I think they looked good too!

I made Spaghetti bake for dinner, it isn't Daves favorite but the kids really like it.

So all in all a good day , and Dave is off tomorrow too!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Good Times and Fat Tuesday!

Okay, so i didnt get around to posting, but I have a good excuse I had 5 kid does! Becky and Joel came over early on Monday and dropped off the kids. It actually went pretty well. We got school, some of it at least, done in the morning. Dave and I each had appointments for the eye doctor. Dave took the boys to go shooting. We had Financial Peace University last night. It was a busy day but went well!

So onto more important things.. have you heard about Kevin Smith. He is an actor/ director. He got kicked off an airplane for being too fat. He fit in the seat, could buckle with the belt, and could put the arm rest down. Now I am all fine with them charging for two seats, but if you can fit in your seat with the arms down.. where is the line! I understand I am fat and guess what I DONT FLY. But really, my husband who is also overweight, but more than that he is a big fellow. I mean even if he wasnt over weight he would simply be big. He has huge shoulders. SO what is the line, truly?

I mean personally I feel the seats are just simply too small. If they KNOW most of Americans are obese.. I mean even Michele Obama is saying her KIDS are overweight! The girls BMI shows them overweight! So everyone is simply fat. SO MAKE BIGGER SEATS! Seriously! The airplane doesnt have to change anything to make a guest more comfortable...we keep letting this happen. I am all for business do what you want. PERIOD, I am not for ANY government regulation practically anyway. But if business wants to grow then they should have customer service. Does ANYbody remember that? If Americans are all becoming fat, than the airline should made bigger seats but the reason they dont is because us fatty, fat, fatsoes simply PAY FOR TWO SEATS. We do it to our self.

Do you remember the first time you "paid way to much for a snack at the movie theater"? You knew it the first time you did and lo and behold the prices kept going up and up and up but what did American do? did we protest and stop buying the snacks until they lowered the price??? NO we kept paying the exhorbiant prices for the ridiculous snacks! We do it to our self!

If we would decide to not let the company gouge us... then maybe the company would realize that tehy need to please the consumers! But NO we do it to our self!

I am on the edge of the whole fat thing on the plane, I see the reasoning that others shouldnt be allowed to "enter" our space in our seat because they are too fat. but what about a stinky person, or the lady with too much perfume, or the person you KNOW is doing "stuff" in the bathroom, or the one who is cussing, or the one who is simply loud or has a stupid laugh the whole flight, or the one who has a COLD! What is the line! Where do we draw it? Perhaps we are wrong to allow the airport to decide for us? I mean it is their airline and they can absolutely decide but if we stop using the airline maybe they will start asking What do you need?

Down to the minute?

I was reading a blog the other day she was revising for the millionth time her schedule. You know just general tweaking and little changes to make things run more smoothly for us all. You know dont you... a schedule? We all have one right, I mean surely none of us would be dumb enough to attempt to get all the things we want and need to get done without a schedule? I mean as CEO of our company surely we would insist on a business plan or model? Surely...

Ummmm... how about not. How about I have tried to schedule, I have tweaked and changed. I have made complete new ones and than overhauled the whole system. I have implemented and planned with military precision. I have failed and dropped to the depths of planning "H*LL", I know you know that place. I have done it all, I have tried it all.... I have failed too many times. I hate failing. I hate having to "try something new" I hate coming back and saying here is what I am going to try... because it SHOUTS TO THE NATIONS... FAILURE. It doesnt shout, "hey looks at this well organized machine, who has it mostly together and because of her organization she is completely on top of every situation."


Anybody feel that way? Anybody with me yet?

But.. yes there is a but.

I know I should have a schedule, I know that I am a child of an organized God and I am made in HIS IMAGE. I know that as flibbertigibbet as I can be, I SHOULD be organized and can be. I have the mind of Christ. I can do this.

So I will implement another. I will try something else? I will go another route, hoping and praying that this one sticks. Or at least that I stick with it long enough to see if it works for us. That is the crux of the matter, truly! It is not generally the routine that doesnt work, it is me that doesnt work the routine! It is my fault. I am to blame ( this is where the failure part comes in, just in case you couldnt tell)

okay so enough blubbering about failing.. onto the new schedule.

Since our cable is now a thing of the past... I am hoping to spend some of that used time for other things. I said hope! Since I cannot wake up and literally turn on Fox news, I can get up and make breakfast every morning without having to run to the TV to yell at Harry Reid for the billionth time! No really I dont do that all the time, and I do make breakfast most mornings but I do sometimes get sucked in by Fox News and now that wont be a problem. :)

I will to use lunch time which was sitting down with the kids everyday, then hubby started coming home and he would turn on Fox news and we would sit in our room with our lunch and the kids would sit at the table. Now, not to be mean I am with kids like 24/7 and I really enjoyed this time with my hubby because it was adult time and we talked and discussed. It has been very pleasant! But now it will be we all sit at the table and I hope to implement some school time into this, not everyday but some days. If I have lunch ready when hubby gets here than I have about 35 good minutes with him. We could eat and play a game or do some school work with Dad.. Like I said not everyday but most days.

The 4:00 slump? Does anyone else get the 3-5 o'clock slump? I know some people must because there are commercials about it. My slump generally means quiet time for the kids, which is much needed. For me it means sitting in my room watching the Barefoot contessa and folding clothes. Both necessary in my book. But now no Barefoot contessa! So I think it is the time of the day I am going to get out. This slump time will now be my running errands time. The library, post office, dry cleaners, grocery store for quick runs etc. I understand that it should be earlier so things are less crowded but my past history TELLS me that I rarely get school done very well during the slump if I have taken off the morning for errands. So I will stay true to what I know and simply schedule school around the slump! The errands will get me out of the house, it will get my errands done and I am more likely to stop at the park if I am already out and about.

Dinner, I will implement as many healthy crock pot meals as humanly possible, or at least put the casseroles together in the morning to pop in the oven come dinner time. I do better in the morning and when I realize that it is 9:00 and we are dressed, breakfast done, kitchen almost clean and dinner is already "made", I just want to break into song! So I am hoping to have more of those days!

I am going to limit my outside commitments, this year I have AHG, Bay shore support group, field trips, book club and other outside classes. I will not do this next year... I have pretty much officially decided NO AGH next year... Bay shore will be limited to one field trip a month and pretty much not participating for any other day minus parties, I will limit field trips to mostly things we are specifically studying and a few special activities but be more conscious in my planning and how often or close together they are. I do believe in hands on so I will NEVER cut field trips but I will simply make sure that I am really getting something out of it and make sure that I am not leaving the house too often. Matt will continue boy scouts but that is at night and does not affect my school time for the most part. I want the kids in a church activity- like awanas so that will take a priority, but again it is at night. Bookclub is still a priority with me, so I am still thinking on that!

We will be volunteering more as a family- which we have stepped up this year too but I want to do even more. This will however take time and I want to be careful of it not always replacing school work but doing it as a family in the evening or weekends also.

7:30 wake up family
8:00 breakfast
8:30 clean up (kids) make dinner, prepare for day (me)--- Daddy leave for work
9:00 start school -preparation/ memorization work/ grade math
9:30 kids seatwork (math, explode the code, spelling- if new teaching for each is not needed)
10:00- switch off time
2 kids go do chores for 10 minutes, I get 10 minutes one on one time with each
student going over seatwork, then we will switch. I might need more time for this but
we can tweak it.
10:30 break
11:00 history or science depends on day history MWF and science TT
11:30 me go start lunch, kids finish up any work on their own and work on seatwork if needed
12:00 lunch Dave home- game or school talk at table
12:30 clean up break
1:00 book club reading, read alouds etc.
1:30 writing/ handwriting/ Emily's Learning language arts thru literature
2:00 Bible
2:30 finish up any thing not done
3:00 errands if needed/ quiet time/ park time
5:00 get home/ finish quiet time or prep for evening activity if needed or next day
5:30 laundry/ clean up/ dinner prep
6:00 eat dinner
6:30 clean up/ begin baths
8:30 kids bed time

I have to work on schedules for when I am gone all day like for ahg, it isnt working well for me this year, but I cant simply drop out mid year or at least I dont want to! I will bring the kids school work with me that they can do on their own as much as possible, we can car school for some thing by using cd or doing reading in the drive time. I dont know what else to do but the kids are going to have to get the basics done at a different time or we might have to simply quit. I am still working this out though. I know everybody who does anything has this problem so please LET ME HAVE IT IN THE COMMENTS... what on earth do you do.

One day at a time, right

Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall.
Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day.
Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down.
And this is all life really means.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Current memorization

I have a folder full of "things to memorize", I got the list off a website years ago and have added to it as I come across things. Every school day we spent 15-20 minutes going over our current memorization items. I think this helps the kids really get these things into their long term memory banks. I have a very hard time with memorization, I mean a really hard time and I think my problem is a stumbling block for the kids. When I started the memorization folder I would do some here and there but now we are doing it daily- or at least daily as far as the days we do school work. . No really, we are doing pretty good right now! I have been home the last three days when I would have been out some and it makes such a huge difference!

So anyway here is our current memorization list plus what we are finishing up and soon to be starting:

*some of this we are still going over for Emilys sake, Matt and Kate already know it.

Days of the week

Months of the year


current poem- Against Idleness and Mischief, by Isaac Watts

Books of the Bible- we just started this and are on the first 10

Current grammar definition- we have a poster of the parts of speech and we are just picking one and learning the definition. Simply hanging a peg for the future!


counting by 2,3 and 4

Scripture of the week- Galatians 5:22

Fruits of the Spirit- we just started our study on this so after we have learned the verse and go on to another verse we will still go over the list of fruits each day.

Months Poem- FLL poem that helps remember how many days each month has

Character word- we are working on Gratitude

This is the going to be started or just started list:

The Lords Prayer- we will start this week. I found a neat printable game to go with it

Review of old FLL poems- I just randomly have them review a poem we have already learned

Science definitions- I have decided just this week to add this, we will simply go over some of the definitions we are learning to hopefully burn them into our brain!

States- we will be doing this basically in the order they became states! We have started with Delaware, I wanted to do the state lap books at the same time but that is taking more time so we will just continue with learning all the states and do the lap books as we get to them.

Presidents- This was supposed to happen this year but I think we have gotten through about 5 presidents, so I have to step this up!!!!

Tossed To and Fro

Okay, so have your heard the phrase "helicopter mom", this was brought up I think on The View a while ago. I believe it was Joy- I heard this second hand or watched the youtube so I dont know if I have the whole story but this is the basics. Joy termed parents that hover too much helicopter moms. I think they were mostly talking about moms who were overly concerned about safety but still you know they were actually talking about people like ME! I am a helicopter mom. I might be the leader of all the helicopter moms.

I have always assumed something is wrong with me, I am too fearful and too anxious. That is of course part of it but truly it is about so much more than safety. I have always just simply felt the kids should be with us. I didnt dream of leaving children with a someone else so I could grocery shop. I didnt really like children's church because I felt they should be in the service as a family. I dont drop kids off at VBS, I would go in and sit and wait. People made me think I was wrong. In fact they made me feel like an idiot for doing it. So I have tried to stop this. I tried to send my kids to small things and act like it was a victory that I had accomplished it! NO MORE.

So if I take the safety issue- abduction, being hurt, being abused etc.

and add it to the spiritual issue- being led astray, being swayed, being taught things we dont believe it.


Now I am not telling you to do this.. that is your business. What this post is about is I am tired of convincing other people that it is okay to be this way, or that something is not fundamentally wrong with me.

I dont have to do that. I dont have to feel like I am doing something wrong.

Now let me go back to the spiritual part. Easily half of keeping the kids with me when they were younger was probably fear, a healthy dose of common sense fear mixed with Carrie is an over anxious night mare fear. NOT GOOD. Bad on me for being anxious but dropping off my kids at a park and leaving and not being anxious doesnt exactly make it a wise thing to do? Right? So I had the right attitude of keeping them with me but I allowed fear and anxiety to rule me some and I have to answer for that sin in my life. So I must work on my attitude but that doesnt mean I change what I am doing. It doesnt mean they can suddenly go to Scout camp for a week. I dont believe in it.

I think if you want to let your kids get a taste of scout camping either sign up to be a leader and camp with them OR simply only allow them to go for family camping. I am not going to allow this world- or even my friends for that matter persuade me differently.

here is my proof...

Whoever our children are around will influence them. That is one reason why we are told in Deuteronomy 6:7 to be with our children. "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." If we are with our children we have the opportunity to influence them ourselves and to protect them from unwholesome influences. Because of the preciousness of our children and how easily they are led astray, the Lord is telling us to be with our children.

This is a quote off Titus2 in the Dads Corner . Anyway, the Bible instructs us to keep our children with us so that we can be the one who influences them. Now literally do we have to always walk hand in hand or sleep in the same room. NO. But we are instructed to keep our children with us.

I had a Pastor say once that the reason that his son was not home schooled was because he felt that his son was called to be a light to the public school. I say that is bunk! I say that our children are not called to do that. The Bible talks about children being tossed to and fro. We are told to not be like children in this way. What kindof nightmare waves are you throwing your children to in public school?

I want my children with me, I want to influence them. I want introduce them to the world in the manner my husband and I have decided. I dont want the world thrust on them. Now Dave and I have absolutely NOT done a great job of keeping worldly influences away from them. WE have struggled with this immensely. We have been tossed to and fro!!!! Do you watch Disney movies? Do you not? Do you listen to secular music? Do you not? Do you listen to the news? Do you not???

WHEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anybody else need a vacation from all the decision making?

But as much as the world that has been introduced to my children I was still responsible for the decision to introduce them. Does that make sense? I decided based on "X" merit to let them see this movie or that movie. I decided at this age they were ready to hear about "x". It hasnt been decided for me!!! At least rarely anyway, and the times it has was probably one of those times I felt pressured by others to just let me kids be kids, to go our on their own!

Well no more.

We will church as a family- none of this children's church stuff. (Which has been a HUGE hold up in the search for a church!) The church is inundated with children's church programs! I dont mind awanas- although I would probably be in their with them, but you dont have to split up the family for every second of church? Kids can sit and hear a message with our the lights, puppets, spinning prize wheels and play grounds!

We will do classes and activities as a family. I dont mean Kaitlin cant ever go to a class by herself, but we will be very particular and I would be waiting outside. I dont have to drop her off everywhere? Not that it wont ever happen, but Dave and I will be in charge of deciding who is teaching her, who she is with, what is being taught to her. It will not because someone made me feel stupid for not doing something. Just because most of the world does 'X" doesnt make it right for me and my house.

The kids in scouting will not camp without a parent in attendance. Period. If a parent cant go. The kid cant. Now unlike some parents I am willing to work in the group so that I can fulfil, but that is just how I am personally.

Stop telling me that leaving a parent is how a child learns to grow up. It isnt true. Staying with a parent that is teaching and training them is how a child grows up.

Now again... I am not telling you anything. I am telling myself and talking about how I feel personally.

In the e-mails I receive, it often appears that people prefer to "wink" at the
worldliness in others' lives than to risk the possibility of losing their
friendship or appearing to be "holier than thou." This is generally stated in
the context of a parent writing and expressing concern about the influences on
his children from worldly families and friends. Rather than offend a brother by
bringing up worldliness in his life or his family's lives, the parent will allow
his children to be in jeopardy of worldly influences.

I think I do this, I would rather let me my kids do something I truly feel is wrong because some might feel I was holier than thou. Or I have changed my mind over something I felt strongly about because it is normal to do this or that.

Dont get me wrong... I am sure that everyone struggles and God wouldnt have so many verses in the Bible if it wasnt truly a struggle. I dont have to get everything right, but I do have to stick with the convictions I have. If I no longer feel convicted than it is different. Dave and I have changed a few things over the years. We dont feel we are being wishy washy on all those changes, some of them simply have to do with who are children are becoming or the age they are getting too. Or even simply the place in life we are at.

Where does the time go???

So I was going to blog and I realized that it has been one whole week... I dont know where the time went? Why didnt I blog? What was I doing that whole time? I DONT KNOW!

No really, I was busy, but not to busy to not blog for whole week! I am waiting on some people to send me pictures so that I can blog with pics but that isnt the whole reason... I just keep getting to the end of the day, literally 11:45, and think "I didnt blog!" I dont want to get up and go blog so I just say I will make sure the next day and guess what the next day passes and the next day passes.

So many changes happening here. The biggest being our debt.

We are finally jumping on board with the whole Dave Ramsey plan and going for broke---bad saying...we are going for wealth! We went through the class about 7 years ago, and have implemented some parts of it. We do not use any credit cards and have not for over 6 years.
We budget but we having cut enough, we arent paying down our debt. Actually let me retract that, our debt is very, old debt. The kind where the credit card company has written us off. We have paid off some of it, we have done a few settlements and then we just stopped. I dont know why! LIFE happened.

Anyway, so we are back on the tracks and we are going to buy a car with cash in June, then start our debt snowball, then I get a vacation, then we do our 3-6 months living expenses. We already have our emergency fund, actually we had 2000.00 but we just had the suburban screw up our water pump. This led to the radiator, hoses and seals! So we our down about 1200.00! But we had it to begin with and I AM NOT STRESSED. The emergency fund is there for EMERGENCY's!

Now our actually goal eventually is what DAVE RAMSEY says, you get to the point that you dont have to use the emergency funds for an emergency! Wouldn't that be awesome!

We have cancelled an upcoming trip to California.
We cancelled our cable.
We shut off Dave's phone and he gave up his I phone and got a phone from work.
We have cut everything we felt we could and are having budget meetings like twice a day! Not really but it feels like it.

Dave gave me a very nice kiss the other day and said," I feel closer doing all this with you. "
He meant the debt stuff, not the kiss! I thought it was so sweet and wonderful and absolutely TRUE.

So anyway... this is where we are at!

Btw... I did get to buy a camera. It was originally in the budget for the vacation. But it is my concessions prize for giving up my trip! Instead of spending hundreds of dollars I just spent 2! Still sounds like a lot but I was so beyond ready to have a camera. I have waited SOOOOOOOOO long! So get ready for some pics on the blog!