Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekly Report

Quick Overview
It was a very busy week for me personally. Instead of giving you a breakdown of what each child did, here is a quick overview. We went over military techniques and the Roman Government. In science we went over volcanoes and earthquakes.
BOB Books
Big news this week is that Cameron started reading books! We love Bob books. I finally went to Barnes and Noble to pick up the first set, which I had lost. As soon as the kids saw the books, Jonathan ran and got the "lost" pack. I had combined it and it was in the second set's box. All my weeks of looking! Now I get to make another trip to Barnes and Noble!
Schedule woes
I really like how the new schedule is working out, but truthfully, with all the work I've been doing, I've been staying up late and then sleeping in. My body is crying for me to go workout. I haven't been getting the kids up early to exercise and they've been grumpy, especially Robert. I stopped school one day for him to get up and jump rope. I am also having a hard time fitting in school for Cameron. I am going to work on a few different ideas this week.
Little House
Something else new I started - I read aloud to the kids, but the books bore Cameron. At night, instead of reading her picture books, I started reading Little House on the Prairie. Her imagination has taken off! She jabbers the whole time I am reading about ideas that pop into her head, and we are working on her attention span during this time. I am incorporating science into it also, through situations in the book. I did a unit study of the Little House books when Raeley was in 1st and 2nd grade and it was lots of fun.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When a good day happens....

This picture made me laugh! Robert is making a snack for their friends and the popcorn is coming out of the top so we ran over to see. Jonathan shows the emotion of a hungry child watching his snack burn!

Today was a great day of school, and when I have a great day, I look to see what went right or different. here is what I am "chewing on".

I didn't let work or issues sidetrack me

Enough said

I told the kids funny stories

Robert kept distracting us with his sound effects. It's like, hello! Teacher here, remember me? I told them about when I was in school and, being the absent minded little girl that I was, I was playing with something at my desk. The teacher was standing over me, teaching, and I didn't even notice. She took it from me and I lost it forever. It was not even a consideration to ever ask my teacher back for whatever it was I had. I didn't think it was that funny, but the kids got a big kick out of it. Of course, I took it into the whole "you don't know how easy you have it being homeschooled" Inside joke for homeschool moms only.

I didn't get hung up on the schedule, but I kept things moving

We started late. Jonathan had speech therapy this morning. He was in a "MOOD" and right or wrong, I didn't make him go inside to his therapist. We were all the way there, standing outside the car and he was embarrassed he had been crying. It was a long , long walk down the hallway. It was a long hallway. His therapist and the other adults watched me walk the whole way in. It felt like a long, long time and I was imagining myself as little Jonathan, feeling their eyes on him, watching, watching, with each step. I am glad I felt the pressure of that long walk. For a kid, it would be hard. But on the other hand, we can't shelter our kids. I don't think I made the right decision. because he was smiling when I got back to the car. SMILING! The I WON kind of smile. He got his way. It made the rest of my day easier, though, because his mood was over. And it made me realize I suffer from the nice mom syndrome.

I had a reward for the kids to look forward to

I know this can't happen every day, but it does help! Their friends came over to play.

I didn't focus on work but on learning

Usually when we have a certain time we have to get done, I am too concerned about checking things off my list. Hopefully the kids will do their "homework" that they didn't finish before their friends got here, but I spent time asking probing questions and chasing educational rabbits.

Cameron was upstairs playing.

Not that this is optimal! I need to be more strict both with her not interrupting, and the kids not getting enthralled in her activities. Kindergarten is fun, though! Who doesn't like scissors, paint, playdough, and fun pictures?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not Me Monday

Make sure you hop over to McMamma's sight to have a good laugh at the other not me posts!

While playing with Polly Pockets, I didn't give my daughter fashion advice, keeping in mind that she's only five, and this should be a time of bonding and encouraging. I also didn't act territorial because her doll's shoes looked so much better with my doll's outfit!

After doing a mass printing for our business, I did not make 99 copies of dipthongs and digraphs(phontics, not fancy panties). Twice!

I did not lay in bed last night thinking about what to post, then forget after an extremely busy day. By the way, I didn't forget the package I was rushing to mail, arriving to the post office arms full of letters that needed stamps and to be sealed- to get in line before they locked the door. I didn't notice till time to pay I had forgotten the most important one!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekly Report

We had a great week, getting back into the swing of things from the holiday season. We did a lot of review this week, but in History we covered the Roman government and military stratagies. In Science we covered the contributions the Romans made to the world, taking the ideas of other countries and improving thier application to society.
Raeley is studying for Mathcounts and learned the Pythagorean theorum and other challenging things I have no idea about. It coincided that this week she also learned it in her regular math work. She also covered solving equations using the "pemdas" order. She remembers it by Paraolympic Expert My Dear Aunt Suzy. Robert is using protractors and Jonathan is working on long division and reducing fractions. He asked me this week "Mom, how come when you teach me math I get all confused, but Mrs. Farmer makes everything clear?" Hmmm! Raeley may start teaching him math.
Raeley is studying for her adjectives test, Robert had a test on nouns, and Jonathan is working on adjectives and adverbs. We also went over encyclopedia skills. Raeley started writing a paper on Julius Ceasar and Robert and Jonathan wrote a paragraph comparing and contrasting two characters from our read aloud book, The Bronze Bow. The kids really like this book.

This is a picture of Jonathan racing to find info in an encyclopedia. OK, so it was posed, because if he was racing, he wouldn't stop to smile at the camera!

I know this is our first week back this semester, and we are already making changes! We are starting something new on Fridays. It is going to be more of a review/game day until mid February, when Co-op classes start. Thursday morning we are also adding an art class by Mrs. Farmer. For those of you who are not familiar with homeschool jargon, co-op classes are when moms get together to teach classes. I'll be teaching writing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

H is for hearts

Cutting out paper heart chains is right up Cameron's alley. Pink, pink, pink! And it's gotten her thinking grand thoughts for Valentine's Day. This activity is to introduce her to her new sound in reading, h. She is making great strides, having been introduced to long vowels last week and now reading words with the silent e. We love the book 100 Easy Lessons. It makes learning to read easy! Pretty soon I will be adding flashcards with phonetic rules into her school day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Basketball in High Heels

This was a fun time of goofing off with a few of my kids. Yes, I am blocking my son's shot, and yes, I am wearing high heels! No, I am not a ball hog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kid's goals for the New Year

I realized today that I didn't post the kids' New Year Resolutions.
I'll start with Cameron. She knew just what she needed to work on. She said that she wanted to do better at cleaning her room and to stop sucking her thumb. Her room, if she doesn't have any girlies up there playing, has stayed pretty clean. Her thumb, now that's a different story!
Jonathan wants to read his bible every day. He says he is doing pretty good on that, and his goal is to finish the New Testament in a year.
Robert wants to exercise more. To help him with that, when we started our new schedule, I included working out in the morning. It sure helps clear the grouchy bed heads! We are two for two days. No tears, but a few growls!
Raeley forgot what her New Year's resolution was. Oh well!

Monday, January 19, 2009

School Schedule is working!

The schedule worked! Today has been a great day. I let Raeley sleep in because she spent the weekend at Disciple Now, but after I got home from my workout, Robert and Jonathan and I stretched and used our body weight to exercise together. We started school on time (applause) and ended on time. As you can see in the picture, we work hard all day. Raeley and Robert were "experimenting with trajectories". Now it's time to go play with friends!

Not Me Monday

Join in on the fun, visit Mckmama's site to see more Not Me's!
I have had a pretty good week, so not to bore you, (Not Me!)I am going to relive a story I think about when I DO NOT NEED to laugh hysterically because I wouldn't do that at someone's expense, not me! We were looking at pictures from the past this weekend and it reminded me of a story when I was a little girl. When we traveled growing up, my mom would pack a lunch and we would eat at rest stops on the way. On one such stop, I don't know if you remember these or not, there were trash cans in the ground. You would step on the lever and the lid would pop open. I don't remember all the details, and due to the trauma, I don't ask (NOT because of my fear of uncontrollable laughter at the subject). All I remember is that I turn around and my sister is hanging by her armpits in the trash can in the ground. Screaming. And ants are crawling on her. Hanging by her armpits. Like a bobble head doll in a hole. Rest Area stops with picnics and green grass to run in were never as much fun after that. Too many ants.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Funny from the Kids

Jonathan was talking about a sirloin we were eating at dinner one night. It was a little too red for him, and he said, "Mom, I don't think this is medium rare, I think it's high rare!"

Robert was going to bed after a late night dinner due to deer hunting and having to skin a deer. I had cooked deer meat (we sound like quite the outdoorsy family, don't we?) and it was delicious! Hugging me goodnight, he said, "Mom, fixing that deer meat is something that will make me very happy, if you want to make me happy." He had a very serious look on his face.

Jonathan gave me a look that seemed disrespectful. For our sweet Jonathan, it came as quite a shock. He came up to me a few minutes later and said he really didn't mean to, he didn't realize he did it. He seemed very sincere and sorry. Cameron was standing there and said, "Besides, he can't see his face, he doesn't have a mirror. How does he know?"

Cameron received a robe for a Christmas gift. When she saw it, she lifted it up and said, "Oh look! a pajama coat!" I hadn't really thought of it like that before.

When my parents were in town visiting, my dad was helping Raeley with some math work. He asked her what the difference was between warm up and workout. She responded with "Well, at WalMart you walk all over the place, but in a workout, you stand in one place." We all just looked at each other. My dad, not known for his sharp hearing, asked her to repeat herself. She said it again, nonchalantly, lounging in the living room, long legs swinging off the side of the chair. Mom and I burst out laughing! Maybe she does do too many word problems!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My ideal school day

If I could plan an idea day, here is what my ideal day would be. We are starting school back full force on Monday.

Wake up at 6 (I am being realistic. I tried to get up at 5:30 and just couldn't do it) and be at the gym by 6:15. Work out and home by 7:30. Take kids on morning jog, weather permitting, or do yoga at home with them. Eat and get ready for school. In any extra time, do chores. Start school at 9am.

9 am - devotional, memory work, spelling
9:45-Noon- Together work in AWOA: Literature, History, Science, Writing
Lunch Break
12:30 - Daily Grams/Easy Grammer
1-2 Math
2-3 Finish with history and science

So where does Cameron fit in? I will get her started on her schoolwork before 9:45, and she will work/play quietly and listen to us. I will also have her do art while we are doing any read alouds. At some time I pick one activity to do with her, like playing with magnets, cutting with scissors, or measuring with water. I also fit in her reading lesson from 100 easy lessons. I also try to read to her once a day.

Sometimes I read aloud while the kids eat lunch.

At 2pm, I do my work for our business. I am going to try to refrain from doing any work during the kid's independant school work.

Then it's off to cook dinner.

The kids will begin helping with dinner and clean up in addition to their chores.

At 8 pm all the kids will have 10 minutes to get ready for bed. I will read Cameron a story if she gets ready for bed quickly and the boys will do independant reading for 20 minutes.

Raeley will go to bed at 9:30 and read for 30 minutes.

Since I'm not leaving myself much time to work or cook dinner, I will rely more on freezer meals and cooking on weekends. Of course, I haven't prepared ahead for this, so it will take a few weeks to get settled in.

We will see how this works!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Hunting

This is a buck Mark shot tonight. It was walking too fast for Robert to have a shot at. Jonathan was with his Big Daddy and they didn't see anything. It's the biggest buck of the season!

Wordless Wednesday - Good Old Books

We hunt for Gene Autry books, published in 1950. They are exciting stories that keep the whole family intrigued and introduce us to vocabulary you just don't hear anymore. My parents are in town visiting and we went antique shopping today and found one! This is the third one we have found.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hands of a child homeschool kits on sale now!

Attention all you homeschoolers! Hands of a Child homeschool curriculum is having a a sale. Check out their website! They have lots of lapbooks, and the kits are on sale for 35% off for a limited time only! Lapbooks are great ways to get your kids to compartmentalize information and gives them something fun and tangible to review. Even my boys have fun putting together their lapbooks. Scrapbookers really love lapbooks! It's like an informational scrapbook. We have done lapbooks on flowers, rocks and minerals, explorers, Pilgrim's voyage, election, and others. I have already ordered a few kits from Hands of a Child and they are very easy to use and logically laid out. Lapbooks are made out of file folders, so they are very easy to store!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not Me Monday

Join in on the fun! Check out the Not Me Monday with McMamma!

I really did not send an email to the Chamber of Commerce instead of my business partner regarding regret that our competitor thought of something we didn't!  How did I know they did that?  They replied back.  I am really not that absent minded!

I did not forget to get our curriculum out of Mark's car before his business trip.  Math and Language Arts don't make for a very full school day. 

There was this really sweet little girl in my Sunday School class who wanted her mom and would not move from where she was standing. I told her that it would be a long time before her mom came back. I very quickly backtracked when those sweet big eyes filled with tears. Really, what was I thinking? But of course, I didn't do that.

I did not skip a work out after kneading the fondant for the birthday cake (see Aced the Cake post), thinking that would suffice for my abs workout.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cirque Du Soleil Saltimbanko

We went to see the Cirque Du Soleil show Saltimbanko. It is one of their traveling shows and it was pretty good! My parents were able to see it with us, as they are in town for a visit. It was fun to hear my mom shriek and gasp. I'm glad I wasn't sitting next to her, I'm sure she was grabbing Jonathan's knees or squeezing Raeley's arm!
My first two shows to see with Cirque Du Soleil (pronounced Cirk du so-lay) were in Vegas, so I knew it wouldn't beat that. For the price, it was without a doubt, a great treat.
We have talked about Cirque Du Soleil with the kids so much that they were excited to finally get to experience it for themselves: the amazement of the human body, the fortitude of strength, the creativity.
There is great beauty in the lines, form, synchronization, and costume. We laughed, gasped, sighed, and clinched our teeth in anxious suspense - particularly at watching someone hang from the feet of another human being while swinging way above our heads! And there was not one word of English spoken! It was an inspiring experience.

This is a picture of Cameron in 2006 when we were in the Cirque Du Soleil store in Downtown Disney. Cirque Du Soleil does an imagination good!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Aced the Cake!

Today I had a fun day making a fondant cake with a friend. Fondant is like playing with playdough and cookie dough all in one. For those of you who get any wild Ace of Cakes desires that hit you, here is a super easy recipe to make a cartoonish cake all your own. This website has the easy recipe that my friend Jennifer told me about, she helped me make my first fondant cake. I'm not known for being fast or neat, and it takes me about 5 hours per cake. But it's five hours of fun, and I don't do it in all one day.

The cake is for a Hollywood party, and I'm sure Auggie will one day remember the awesome cake I helped his mom make when he is a famous producer in Hollywood. It is for his birthday and to debut the film he has been working on for the past year! The cake is of a filmstrip - just in case you can't tell!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year Resolution #3

My third New Year Resolution is to learn how to take better pictures. Mark's hobby is photography and before the digital revolution we kept a darkroom in our house. Now the darkroom is in boxes and he's more into videos and video editing. He has already given me one lesson in photography and I've seen improvements! I took this picture for Jonathan.
A little story: When Mark and I were first married, I felt like we knew each other so well. I have always found photography inspiring. It was something I really enjoyed, but never really pursued. Mark and I had been married for almost two years and out of the blue he told me he wanted to get back into photography. I was stunned. I thought I knew him so well, and to find out, he was really into photography in high school. He had all kinds of cool gear, different lenses, antique cameras. He even had darkroom equipment! He pulled out some photos he had taken in high school for a contest whene he won 3rd place!
There was this whole element of his life I had no idea about - an element that made me fall even more in love with him than I already was. I felt like God had given me a big gift by hiding this little surprise from me. Mark has continued to surprise me by his creativity and spontaneity throughout our marriage.
I learned so much through that incident. Before I was married, I never could understand how you could pledge to spend the REST of your life with one person. It scared me about getting married. We continue to keep learning, trying new things, having new experiences together, and it keeps our marriage from getting stale. Life's too short to let it be ordinary.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Organizationally Challenged

How do you organize a pantry? I've never been good at this!

New Year Resolution #2

My second New Year Resolution is to spend more time praying, especially for others, and to read the bible more. What a Christian cliche I feel like this one is, but it is really going to be something I am going to focus on. Last year I really worked on adding a personal quiet time to my routine because I had just let the bible reading I do with the kids replace my personal one. This year, now that I am working out early in the mornings, it has been a challenge to find time for me to spend in the word by myself. I just don't feel like getting up at 5:30 for it to happen. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and it felt like the middle of the night!

One of my favorite verses is Psalm 119:105  Thy Word is a light to my feet and a lamp to my path.  It creates a picture in my mind that I can meditate on as I walk through my day.  My desire is to have my feet walk in God's lighted path throughout my day.  How do I know what is in the light if I don't know know His word?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year Resolution #1

Did you know that the top three New Year Resolutions are about weight, money, and to stop smoking? I have mentioned quite a bit about New Year Resolutions since the 2009 (gotta love New Year Resolutions if you are in fitness!), but I haven't mentioned mine. I guess I fit into the top three on only one thing - kinda anyway. I like that. It means I'm not just like everyone else - kinda anyway.

I view resolutions more like goals than a firm resolve, anyway. I mean, come on, if I say I will exercise 4 days a week every week for three months, I would look for a way to blow it the first week. Then I would just give up.

All this blabbering and I still haven't told you my #1 goal. I want to look like I own a gym. After all, I mean I do own a few. I want to tone up. No other standard, no food deprivation, no set limits, no excuses. I'm just going to push myself a little more, make wiser food choices (bye-bye chocolate, bye-bye Starbucks!) and to be more consistant. Wow - that sounds good. I may work that into an ad! Anyway, to help keep me motivated, Mark bought me some awesome outfits. I can't believe how much that helps! Superficial and materialistic, I know, but hey, if it works.... after all, it's a pretty superficial goal anyway. At least I'm honest.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Not Me Monday

Not Me Monday is a fun blog to make light of otherwise shameful or embarrassing situations. I was so excited when I ran across it on McMamma's blog.

I did not sit down for just a bit to read 4 work emails today and then stand up almost 5 hours later, ignoring Cameron's cries of hunger in the meantime. I finally bade someone else to feed her. I did not snicker when I read my friends' blogs who started back to school today, so relieved that I didn't! I wouldn't do that. And that's just today.

I didn't laugh at a swiffer commercial when I heard the "Baby, come back" music play. Yes, my husband did shoot me a worried look. No, it wasn't the first time I've heard that commercial.

And I really, truly, didn't walk into the room where my husband was reading a book, stare into his eyes, and tell him how blessed I felt, while just standing there, have a loud, obnoxious noise escape my backside. I would never do that! I did roll on the floor, laughing! And I thought that was only a computer phrase. Mark thinks it was one of the funniest moments of our entire marriage.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thoughts on New Year Resolutions

This one step - choosing a goal and sticking to it - changes everything. Scott Reed

I love New Year Resolutions.
I know most people dread them.

  • Is it because they are viewed as a parameter for failure?

  • Is it because we look back at the past year with regrets and pick the biggest regrets and make those our new year resolutions?

  • Is it because change is hard?
Maybe I am excited this year because:

  • I have improved over the past year in some personal goals. Because I am hard on myself, I have chosen to rejoice in what I have done good and right and better.

  • Because I am ready for a clean slate.

  • I am ready for some new, big, exciting dreams.

  • I won't view not meeting my resolutions as parameters to mark failure but courage to try.

  • Because being in the fitness industry, New Year Resolutions ramp up our profitability!
What is not started today will never be finished tomorrow. Johann Wolfgang

I encourage you to set goals for yourself. Evaluate what is important to you and find something to improve on it and write down how you are going to reach that goal. Don't get down on yourself if you don't do it, or as a failure, but as a continuing opportunity to improve.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Year in Review

I was tagged by Weavermom to do this post. The directions are:

Post the first sentence of your first blog post of each month. You can also add a favorite picture from each month.

August: I have been excited about this day all summer.

This picture is a photo of my sister, who almost didn't make it through a surgery this month. A situation like that really shocks you into being grateful for things you take for granted, like life and good health.

September: We keep our life so busy.

We added another dog to our family, a brother for CJ named Buster.

October: I found out today that my cousin, George Guererri Jr, aka Sonny, passed away last night.

The annual mom-sister vacation, this year in Charleston, NC, features my twin Kimberly and I and a horse.

November: My dad, for one reason or another, is usually in town to carve pumpkins with the kids.

Jonathan and Robert in their boyscout uniforms.

December: I just posted my menu and thought, I wonder if this will actually come to pass as I had planned.

Raeley with my nieces Lindsay and Jordan.