Monday, July 23, 2012

I am going to be an AUNT again...

in a possible far off distant future... Amy and Brett are adopting again!  From Ethiopia!

A boy!  And it will most likely be an infant!

But it will possible take up to 36 months or longer.

So add Ethiopia and Amy and Brett to your prayer list.  Start praying for the ONE God has for them now!  And perhaps ready yourself for a few fundraisers.  :0) 

I am so excited and Kirsten is BURSTING with excitement!  She told Kaitlin that she would need LOTS of advice on how to be a big sister!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Woe is me UNTIL WHOA!

Probably about this time every year.. usually a bit earlier I start thinking my kids haven't done enough work- perhaps I am failing them.  YADA, YADA, YADA!  Well a few days ago I was cleaning out my bookshelves (yes, getting rid of some books ***gasp***) and going through boxes and found box after box of the kids work.  THEY DO A LOT of school work.  I need a reminder sometimes though.    So I was feeling all sorry for myself that I was such a failure of a teacher and doing such a bad job-- the kids aren't getting this and the kids aren't getting that and I watched McKenna.  Epiphany!  Her parent SEND her to public school and she needed a tutor.  ( I don't think the kids need a tutor BTW-- )

(also sadly enough I got rid of books but still bought enough books to refill those spots (some of the sold books were out of boxes) to warrant another bookshelf.  #Daveshakeshishead

I know I can be dense sometimes... I just need to learn to not wallow and to walk my path with a lot more courage that I feel!  God is in control and MY kids will NEVER learn everything they NEED to know-- NO matter who teaches them.  BUT while being taught and trained by Dave and myself we can pray and seek God that they learn what GOD would have them know and in HIS timing.  Right!

Its all good right! WHOA

ON a better note with more confidence I decided on Sonlight Core G for Kate and Matt.... I spent HOURS at the local home school stores and Half Price books and have found I think all but 8 books!  I only had to buy 4 of them new and they were still fifty cents to three dollars cheaper than listed in the Sonlight catalog.  I got 5 more of the Ebay still cheaper WITH shipping  and one more at a different Half Price books So I have 2 to order.  :0)

Plus on a bonus I took all those books from my bookshelf to the Home School Store and was given the BLESSING of $113.00 for them so I got to use that to buy the majority of the books!  God is good! 

I have a post coming on ALL the books I bought-- which are a lot.. my savings- how much I SPENT and what I have left to buy! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Waiting.... waiting.

So many blog friends, and even a few in real life are waiting for something.

Waiting for God to move.

Waiting to hear.

Waiting for "x" to happen.

Waiting... I know that I have been in that place before but right now it just not that season.  We aren't waiting for anything.  We are just trudging.


trudge/trəj/Verb: Walk slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions.

I don't feel exhausted all the time now-- this is more a mental exhaustion...... I am eating fairly decently, actually way less than normal! I don't have TOO many things going on- I mean I am busy but NOT overloaded or anything.  I think I am holding some things in that I need to deal with that I am not...

never good, right?

1. church-- do we stay, do we go?  It's not like there are better ones out there.. we have looked, it is all frustrating.  I really like the Pastor.  I like a lot of the people.  I have tried to involve myself.  I am just trudging.

2. finances-- I want to live in a hovel and eat beans and rice.  {{{sigh}}}  As a rule we make plenty of money and it is truly a matter of using the money wiser.  The wants outweigh the needs here!  I want the kids to be involved in activities... but that takes cash and it dips into our extra.  I want the extra to do this, that and the other.  Do you see.....????  Yes, I know you have the same issue.  We are not out of work.  We are not destitute.  I will say that the hospital bills will hit us a little hard for a while... but it is not long term.... We just have to make some decisions and come together on some things... trudging.

3. school- my exhaustion here is not the act of doing it.. it is that I feel I am going in circles on some topics with the kids and that feels USELESS!  When does "X" sink in?  Why don't they remember something I have talked about for MONTHS?  When do I discipline and when do I share God's grace?  I am trying to involve Dave in this however he is really busy at work (number 4) and so there you have it!  So trudging-- NOT burned out, in fact I am totally gung ho on school right now I just wish some SINKING in would occur!

4. Dave's work-- he has moved positions a while ago and is working more again. There is working late, more calls, ... I feel resentful when there is no extra pay.  ;0)  Then I feel bad because like I said he has a job, a good paying job.  He likes his boss and in fact the new position moves him away from a STUPID boss and back to the boss I love-- good thing!  But still it is just wearing on me I guess..... I want him ENGAGED, plugged in while he is here and don't always get that so I feel resentful, which makes me feel needy, which makes me mad at myself because I hate being a needy person!  BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.... {{{sigh}}} To be truthful he was great during the whole sickness thing and he kept much a float.  He got up and took care of me, went to work, came home and took care of things like grocery shopping or the pool or stuff with the kids.  He carried a lot of weight!  I guess my real complaint is there are not enough hours in the day! 

5. Motions feel like motions... I want to have clean clothes and don't mind doing laundry, really I don't but I also want to make time for other things so I have set up systems.  However my systems don't work if we are not here or if our days take a turn so I need to either tweak the system or be willing to get up earlier which as of right now I am NOT willing to do because I am not sleeping well..... viscous cycle-- do you see?

Friday, July 13, 2012

American Girl McKenna Movie Viewing Party

We had a bunch of girls over last Monday to view the new American Girl Movie out...

The girls came over and right off the bat they clamoured to watch the movie.. they were SO excited!

I had made the girls a goodie bag... with a water bottle (for at the gym), trail mix (for sustenance during your work out), things to make a star bracelet (McKenna's grandmother gave her a star necklace) and finally a notebook for the girls to write poems in (her grandmother also gave her one.)

All the girls had a great time!  After they watched the movie, spent time making their bracelets and playing they started the movie OVER again to wait for the moms to come back!  I think it was a hit!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Heaven Sent Choir-- Spring Concert 2012

Here is the Kirsty Loo Hoo Girl

Here is Kaitlin-- can you see her way in the back there!  My tall girlie girl!

Her first year in choir and she has grown so much.  She sings beautifully.  She has learned so much and enjoys, TRULY enjoys it.  We are so glad to have found a "place" for her! 

This is Kaitlin with her trophy-- voted on by students for Most Improved-- I don't know if any other award would have meant as much as to her-- she was one of the new kids in choir this year and had to work hard to learn so much of what they already knew... she did work hard and all the kids could see how much she had grown from camp week last August to the spring concert!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Matthew's math changes....

 As I mentioned on a post before we are switching Matt from Math U See to Saxon a completely different math program.  We have many reasons for the switch and feel that they are well thought out and that we are making the right decision.  When we did the math placement test for Saxon it placed him at LEAVING 5th grade-- which might sound shocking seeing as he is going INTO 7th grade but I assure you if you know anything about how Math U See works vs. Saxon it is simply a matter of when they teach what...  He was simply missing ANY introduction to decimals or fractions-- which we were well aware that he had not been introduced to.

Being fine with that we chose to go with a tutoring program over the summer to catch him up on the areas he lacks and retake the placement test in Mid August... We have every confidence that he will not only skip 6th grade math but possibly 7th and there is a real chance that he will move INTO pre algebra... to prove this to you let me show you how he is doing in his tutoring program.

He has in the past few days done 5.1 hours of math SINCE June 23..... 5.1 hours of learning (and this is just online with NO help from or discussion from us) and he went from 15% to 28 % on his assessment he just took today!  I think the boy is going to do just fine!  For the most part it is simply a matter of introducing him to the topic... obtuse angle/ acute angle.... tenths, hundredths and thousands, decimals, fractions, common denominators, protractors, quotients  ... he FLYS when there is any algebra involved and LOVES it!

Assessment type / Action Date Assessment performance

Course Mastery
Show: Percent / Topics
Learning data since last assessment
Topics learned
since last assessment
Hours in ALEKS
since last assessment
Topics learned
per hour
since last assessment
Progress Assessment 07/06/2012

28 %
0 - -
Initial Assessment 06/25/2012

15 +12 %
38 5.1 7.5
Free Trial Assessment 06/23/2012

12 %

Monday, July 9, 2012

School marms, sticks and inkwells... school in the early 1900's

Earlier this Spring (yes, this post is REALLY late) we went to the Fort Bend Museum...

we toured the museum and the John M. Moore Home on the property.  John Moore was in the state legislature and U.S. Congress.  On the same property, although we did not tour it this time (the kids and I have previously toured it during our study of Texas History) is the Jane Long Home-- who is the Mother of Texas. 

During our tour, we were able to experience life for school children in the early 1900's.

 The kids used slates and wrote with quill pens. 

They learned about how kids were expected to behave... shame on YOU Brenda!

and not behave. 

The kids then got to go outside and learned all about chores!

 and experience games from the same time period!  Hoops, stilts and lots of sunshine! 

We ended our tour with a picnic lunch.. It was a great day!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Currently... June 2012

Currently loving...the show  Love it or List It.... I like that it gets the House Hunters and realtors in the same show as a renovation!  It is what I like about both sides of HGTV all in one show.  Of course I want to beat some of the people but it is the concept I enjoy NOT the people!  :-)

Currently reading...FOR THE KIDS: Guardians of G'hoole (for Kaitlin) a friend has read the whole series and so I have agreed to read it.  I will say that the idea is intriguing but I have my concerns... I am just wondering where they are going with some of the ideals.  FOR ME: The Princess (Lori Wick) one of my all time favorite books.  FOR GROWTH: Secret Place Revealed by Pastor Kevin Kinchen
FOR SCHOOL: Anne of Green Gables (actually listening on Itunes- unabridged)

Currently waiting for...normal.  It is getting there!
Currently excited about...planning and doing!  I am ready to DO things.  I have Pinterest projects planned, I get to order curriculum in 17 days and I have a mini school unit to do!  I am a theme girl so anytime I have a theme I am GOLDEN! 

Currently missing...normal.  I mean in the sense of my current situation of course.... just everyday normal but also missing normal in the family.  Dealing with "D" is hard and I just feel like I am struggling with the weirdness and not knowing how to behave.  Do I "defriend" on Face book?  It is all just weird to me....and no one really wants to talk about it.... and I struggle with that also.

Currently be thankful. 

Currently working at.. keeping my fear in check and anxiety at a minimum.

Currently enjoying...having a swimming pool... The kids love every minute of it.  I do not regret or resent ONE minute of the work that it takes to maintain the pool.  It is worth it.  The kids often swim twice a day-- some times even three times!  I love it!  We stay out of the pool basically between 12-4 and are careful with lots of sunscreen.. I love and am glad that they are getting so much outside time and exercise!   

Currently using...Aleks online math program for Matt to catch up on some skills and really enjoying it.  I am seriously considering signing up for myself and going through it to brush up on stuff... I think it would help to be able to deal with the kids math if I was brushed up myself! 

Currently wearing...pajama's... basically all I have been wearing for 35 days....  :0)

Currently planning...some school stuff.  Matt's birthday party (very low key) and an American Girl Mckenna MOVIE premier party!

Currently nothing right now.  :0)

Currently needing...for my current situation to be dealt with, for life to get back to normal on a completely different note I need to get to work decorating this home.  I have been seriously PINNING!   

Currently learning...everything I ever wanted to know about IEW plus some (the kids writing curriculum for next year)

Currently listening to... HGTV  (shocker!) and Lucy is still talking even though it is night time!

 Currently wishing...I had a Sonic Ice machine.  Who doesn't wish that?

Currently doing...well blogging obviously, and fixing to grade Emily's math.  I am waiting to take a pain pill sadly and after that blessed sleep.

Currently praying for...healing. about how to deal with a situation with a friend. about our finances and about some food choices (not a diet but OUR diet)   

Currently dreaming of... a vacation... actually when people say they dream of a vacation I think of beaches or watching HGTV all the time.. I don't want that soooo I am currently dreaming of a very busy week and a half of seeing tons of wonderful things and family together and awesome pictures and experiences!

Friday, July 6, 2012

a trip to the zoo... May 2012

A couple of weeks ago-- okay more than a couple of weeks ago now.... we went to the zoo with friends from church.  Rachel and Ruthie are sisters and are just precious!  They invited us to the zoo and we had the greatest time!  We missed out on feeding the giraffes because it was crowded and I didn't see the sign with times.  I was bummed... but we will go back-- just not until the fall (I am a summertime crowd snob remember!)

We lazily made our way around the zoo finally to the back new African section which was really well done! I have lived in the Houston area my whole life so I have watched this zoo change so much! 

Just a side note memory.....
When I was young the apes were under where the lions are now and it was like a cave... the apes would THROW their feces across the huge gaping crevice area and it would hit the back wall where visitors were standing.  That wall was always stained.  I don't ever remember SEEING them do this but it was obvious that they did. 

We missed out on the Children's zoo because it started to rain, but we had such a wonderful time!

and I don't know what kind of animal THIS is... what is this look!

I have no words. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

First swim of the season....2012

MAY 2012

Obviously very long overdue post!  But here are the kids enjoying the pool for the first time this season.  They worked VERY hard to help clean the pool and get it clean and ready for swimming. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's a whole new world...... transcripts, GPA's and credits Oh, MY!

We are entering a different time period altogether. I have never graded, kept records or cared about transcripts! There has been no need. We teach to mastery, if someone wants my records they can look at my blog OR go through BOXES upon boxes of finished books, and transcripts are not needed in elementary school! As we look toward the future things are changing. I started thinking about it last year and really began moving things around in my head to make room for all the upcoming changes that will be taking place! We began looking LAST year for curriculum that would put us on the path we needed to be on! SO we made a few changes with MORE changes coming this year in preparation for next year.

Change #1 - science. We needed Kaitlin on track to start Apologia sciences, it would have been nice for her to start General Science in 7th, but I actually love that Matt and Kate are doing it together and will actually finish out their sciences together instead of me teaching three separate sciences!

Change #2- math. Kaitlin we are keeping on with Math U see, but Matt we have chosen to switch to Saxon. Matt is currently looking towards a more scienc"y" degree, possibly being an engineer and while we like Math U See and believe that it teaches math in an exceptional way... Matt will benefit from Saxon. Dave used Saxon- We can get Matt caught up to match his math with his sciences. We feel we need to make sure to do OUR job to give him the best foundation we can! This might also be the route for Emily as she also "sees" math much more like Dave than Kate and I, but we are not sure and feel we will give it one more year to decide!

Change #3- grades. I am going to start actually grading Kate's work. Yuck. Not really excited about this of course. I have every intention of continuing with our mastery plan.. I mean you do it till you learn it right! But do you put the first grade they initially got down? Do you put the grade after they checked their work down? HMMM... anyone?

Change #4- basically just the keeping track of everything and anything.  We need to track of our hours, track our grades, track our activities.... I tried last year to get into the habit of some of it but will focus this year on REALLY doing it!  This is very hard for me....I plan for Dave to set me up an Excel worksheet to track and calculate everything and I will only need to fill in the numbers. 

So what changes are coming up in your schooling choices....

math games....

If you are currently a home schooler and NOT on Pinterest well, I just don't understand!  It is wonderful!  Just having the INTERNET at our disposal is wonderful enough, but to already have all these wonderful sites PINNED and marked is awesome!

Here are a few of the math games I have either been having the girls use or plan to use with the girls soon....

I am trying to link up with orginal links... if you find anything to be unfairly linked please let me know and I will change it.  ;-)

I have, Who has ... Place Value  (this is like the game Wrap Around that we enjoy so much!)
100 mile dash

online MATH GAMES..
a baseball mulitplication practice sight...  NO ads attached to this or links off of it.
a timed test where you can print out an award when you are done.  :0) no ads or links off of this page.
timed test-- harder and very challenging you are given the answer and must tell what two numbers mulitply to equal it. 
mulitplication== SUM SENSE also challenging. no links off this

Domino Math sheet download from website  First Grade School Box
Card Games Math---


Double this
= download (I am thinking to change these numbers and use it for any math area you are working on.   for instance you could use higher numbers in the bubbles and mulitply every number by 7's or 9's?  Here is the  link for instructions... once you go to this link just scroll down until you get to  DOUBLE THIS for the instructions. 

Elimination gameboard
Elimination directions

Multiplication GO FISH
Multiplication RACING RECTANGLES (works on multiplying and finding area!)
Gain or Loss  addition/ subtraction game directions
Gain or Loss print out sheet you do have to sign up for a site for this free down can easily make this sheet to play this game with out it.
Math Toss- interesting... seems a little timely to set up but you could keep changing the numbers making them larger and get use our of the idea for any operation you choose and the kids are DOING something.

MATH WAR GAMES with deck of cards
Lets Play Math blog-- lots of stuff!
    20+ things to do with a 100 chart

a few math apps for the IPhone I have found:
Math races LITE APP
Burn Your Brain APP
Make 24 Lite APP

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Matthew turns 12...

I cannot believe it. I want so much to keep watching and seeing the young man he is turning into but I also want to stop time...

The kids have missed out on a lot of activities and have been stuck at home for over a month now for the most part.... but we had weeks ago promised to take them to see Brave.  I have not really been left alone except for a very short time period between one person leaving and Dave coming home and we were trying to figure out when the best time to go was.  Matt came to Dave and said that he knew how much the girls really wanted to go and that he didn't want me to be home alone and volunteered to stay home with me... I mentioned to Brenda that I think Dave swelled up with pride!  It was such a sweet moment. 

He is growing up.  There are so many character traits that we work on... but he is so sweet and can be so caring.  I am so proud of him.  I know that he will struggle but that I pray that HE will continue to seek GOD's word and use it as a measure of HIS character.

We are having a party later on this week but for his birthday today.. he got to pick breakfast...

Dave and he went to Freebirds for lunch!

Becky and the family came over and brought cookie and cream ice cream for dessert and we had pizza for the kids and brisket sandwiches for the adults. 

We gave him part of his present today and it was SURPISE.. BOOKS!  Brian (my brother) had already given him The Hobbit, but we could only get it in a pack altogether so we bought it this way.  If he loves it as much as we THINK he will I am sure we will at some point buy a really nice set.