Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Musings

I constantly have to remind Timothy that he can't write all in capital letters for his schoolwork. So, I'm always going over when to capitalize and when not to. I was helping him with his English lesson last week, when yet again we were reviewing capitalization.
Me: "You have to make these lower case letters. And what do you do here at the beginning of this sentence?"
Timothy: "I know, I know- capitalism!"

Some silly kids...............

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday Musings: AAAH! Nature! Edition

We've been outside all week so far because we are so excited about this 70 degree weather this week. However, we have encountered our share of creepy crawlies.

Brooke: "Whew! I'm so glad that jacket is gone!" (A "yellow" jacket was a flying nemesis the day before.)
Tyler: "OH My Gosh! There is a snake!" (Seen when down at the creek at the neighborhood park. Probably, and quite creepily, a cotton mouth not more than five feet from 4 of my children.)

Also seen at the park: a small lizard, a green beetle, a black beetle, a huge dead bee and and some lovely goldenrod.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Musings

What my children wear to church when I don't supervise them, and don't notice the details of what they picked out until we are actually at church getting out of the van.

Bethany: white skirt with stains
Brooke: a dress with a missing button, socks that are on upside down with sandels
Tristan: pants that are on backwards (which isn't really surprising becasue he always puts his clothes on backwards)
Thomas: dirty shirt- that smells funny

Conversation this afternoon:
Timothy: May I have some hot chocolate, Mom?
Me: Yes
Bethany: May I have some, too?
Me: Yes
Brooke: Can I have some hot chocolate?
Me: Yes
Tristan: Can I have some....
Thomas: Chockit?
Me: YES!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Penguin Lapbooks

The younger kids finished their penguin lapbooks yesterday. Tyler, Timothy, Bethany, Brooke and Tristan are studying the various habitats for the first half of the school year. We are covering Arctic/Antarctica, deserts, oceans, tropical rain forests, North American Temperate Forest/Mountains, swamps/marshes/rivers and grasslands. We're spending two weeks per habitat and they just finished Arctic/Antarctica. The two older boys are making a notebook with cardstock paper dividing each habitat. They are assembling a few small minibooks and cutouts that I'm just having them mount on cardstock and sticking in the notebook, as well as a few report sheets, maps and such. The younger kids are doing one lapbook per habitat, and this one happened to be penguins.
We added on a sheet of cardstock, attached with clear tape, because all the little things wouldn't fit in the folder alone. I got several little booklets from Homeschool Share. It's the study on Mr. Popper's Penguins, but we didn't read that book.
I used a sheet of small penguins to make some math flash cards, made a foldover and stapled pocket for them, and labeled it "Penguins 1 2 3". This was from a "Teacher Created Resources" book I picked up at a yardsale. I made the blue accordian fold bookelt from that also. It was a page with a penguins life throughout the seasons.
We found some penguin info. cards at I have gotten a lot of info. from this site for other habitats, also.
I used a shape book template of a penguin from ABCteach. There are other printables on this link that you could even use for older chidlren. I cut out three little construction papers, folded them over, and on the outside listed one question on each about penguins: What do penguins eat? Do penguins fly? Do penguins lay eggs? They pasted these on the penguin template.
The color page I got from Dover books weekly sampler.
We also cut out a black penguin from construction paper and glued cotton balls to his chest, and an orange beak and feet, and wiggly eyes.
We were going to make these cupcakes, but we ended up making brownies instead.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pass the peas, please.

Thomas decided to get creative with his Sunday dinner yesterday. He shoved a little green pea up his nose. I couldn't get it out. It kept scooting up further until I couldn't even see it. I tried getting him to blow, used the bulb syringe and held the other side of his nose closed, but to no avail. I took him to Doctor's Care, since I didn't want to go to the ER and they're the only other place that's open on Sunday. I paid them $142 for them to tell me that it was stuck too far up and I should go to the ER. So, off to Richland's Children's ER we went to sit and wait for three hours to be seen. ( I cringe because none of this is covered by our insurance because we have the high deductible policy.) Thomas was very good throughout all the waiting. He played with some other kids in the waiting area (hopefully not picking up any extra germs), sat quietly, and looked at a book or two. He did become very suspicious of anyone in scrubs after the screaming fit at Doctor's Care when they were just looking in his nose.

Finally, they called us back-we had to be in this teeny, tiny triage room, because they had no more rooms availlable, when finally an intern (?) who looked like he graduated med. school yesterday, came in with a paperclip folded into a loop at the end. Wait just a minute people. This isn't the picture the Doctor's Care guy was painting for me when he suggested I go to the Children's ER. Granted I have been there several times before, but never to have an object removed from so near to my child's brain. The Doctor's Care guy assured me that the ER does this type of thing all the time, they have a professional sucky thing that will pull it right out and no damage to his little nose. And if necessary, so it won't be too traumatic they can give him an anesthesia sucker and he would drift off to dreamland while they extracted said pea, and he would wake up in a field of daisies none the wiser. What I get is a kid coming at my son with a looped paperclip in a broom closet.

I felt somewhat better after he told me they succesfully took a kernel of corn from a kid's ear last week. I'm assuming he survived the experience and isn't deaf. So, after a few minutes of holding Thomas down as he was trying to wrestle free and let us know, not so nicely, that he was not enjoying this experience (my, I didn't realize how strong a one year old could be) the notorious pea was removed, and was stuck with all it's glorious green-ness at the end of the looped paperclip.

Thomas' good humor was now done. He was a crying break down, and escaped out the door when I set him down to give my back a break and we were waiting for them to come back with the discharge paperwork. He ran to the end of the hall, only to collapse at the closed exit door crying, "Van! Van!" I scooped him up and took him back to the room. I knew he was hungry and thirsty, so I told him I would take him to get a burger and fries. (I had a coupon for a free happy meal from Burger King.) So, then he cried, "Fries! Fries!" It was sadness. He did calm down after getting to the van, and he was back to himself after getting some food in his little tummy.
After we got back home, the kids were wondering about the little toy he got in the happy meal. We really haven't eaten out much at all in a long while, and when we have, we haven't bought happy meals. I probably haven't bought a happy meal in three years. So Brooke, says, "A toy came with his burger and fries? Wow!" Apparently the poor dears are very deprived! lol

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tae Kwon Do mini tournament

The four oldest kids were in a Tae kwon do tournament this morning. It was very last minute that we decided to go ahead and let them participate (their instructor had called us and asked if they could) and they were a little nervouse since we hadn't been in five months. Timothy and Bethany only did the sparring event, Tyler did sparring and weapon's form, and Brittany did sparring, weapon's form, and regular forms. Of course, they had nothing to worry about- they all did great. But, of course, I am a proud mama who would say that anyway. :)

Bethany took 2nd place in sparring. I couldn't seem to get one of her facing me. She's the black belt.

Timothy took second place in sparring, also. He creamed the kid from the first round, but then his best friend creamed him in the second round! I don't think Timothy was too upset, though! (Timothy is facing the camera.)

Tyler took first place in sparring and in weapon's form. Tyler is wielding his numchuks. (I'm not even sure how to spell "numchuks".) Tyler is in the blue top. That means he is a junior instructor under the age of 12.

Brittany took first place in forms. She was competing against four 3rd degree black belts who are all older than her, and she nailed them in all. However, the tide turned in weapon's form. She did fine, but had only been practicing numchuks for less than two months before we stopped going. The other girls had double numchuks and she only had single. So, she placed third out of five. And, for the first time in a tournament she didn't place at all in sparring. She was up against the 3rd degrees again, and although she earned two points for kicking the opponent in the head, the other girl got to five points first. Brittany is in the red top-that means she's a junior instructor over the age of 12.

A red-headed spectator.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Some political thoughts

I've had a few days to think and reflect on this whirlwind political scene. I'm quite shocked at the nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president. My forte certainly isn't politics, and I have to admit, I hadn't even heard of Sarah Palin before last week. I watched the Republican National Convention (after watching the Democratic one last week) and I though her speech was motivating and what the Republican party needed to hear. I wonder why McCain's staff convinced him to choose Palin when, in fact, he wanted to choose Joe Leiberman. Could it be because this was a breath of fresh air and change for the Republicans? Could it be that this would be the only way to have an advantage up on the Democrats- a first woman V.P. running against the possibility of Obama's being the first black president? Could it be that they felt that the women who supported Hillary, but not Obama would now support McCain with a woman V.P?
But, there's one issue that keeps coming to my mind. How can this woman be vice president of a superpower like America and take care of five children, the youngest of which is an infant with Down's Syndrom? I have a very close freind whose daugher has Down's, and she needs so much extra care, because it takes her so much longer to reach milestones, some of which she may never reach. Who will care for this baby that will definately need full time care, not to mention the other children? How could she possibly juggle that with the demands of a job like Vice President of America?
Sarah Palin seems like a really neat person. I don't dislike her at all. She seems so much like an ordinary mom that I could laugh with at mom's night out, or the kids' sports practice. But, I do not think that God intended her to be in this role with young children that need to be cared for. It has been brought to my attention that in the Bible when the men didn't lead, Deborah and Queen Esther stepped up to get things done. I'm not sure that's even comparable here. We aren't told, and have no evidence of, these women even having children at this time. Deborah refers to herself as a "Mother in Israel" (Judges 5:7)but there is no evidence that this means with natural children. I do know that God does not contradict himself. He says in Titus 2 for women to be "workers at home". And, he does give many clear pictures of women who stayed home and raised the next generation of men who would lead. What about Eunice who raised Timothy, and Jocabed who got Moses back to raise? What if Mary had run off to other engagements and left Jesus to be raised by who knows? What about the Shunammite woman who was at home with her son, and available to host Elisha, a prophet of God? What about the Proverbs 31 woman? Could her husband and children really rise up and call her blessed if they really didn't know her because she was always away running her country?
Would Sarah Palin's time not be better spent raising her sons to be the ones to stand up and lead and she, herself, not have to be the "pitbull in lipstick"? And, raise her daughters to raise up their sons to be the next generation to lead? I have brown hair and glasses. I can be fiesty. Should I put my kids in school, hire a nanny and run for governor? NO! The responsibility of a woman to raise her children and make her home is just so misunderstood. Especially if you have children, that is the single most important thing you should do. I do firmly believe that the moral decline, the crime, the decay in education, and a host of other issues we are facing in America is a direct result of the feminism movement and the idea that women can and should have the right to do whatever in the world they please. John McCain said in his convention speech that he learned as a POW that there was a cause bigger than himself. Well, guess what? Raising your children is a bigger cause than yourself! If God gives you children to raise, He is not going to contradict that by caling you to something that would take you away from them.
On a second note, what about the issue of being subject to your husband? Scripture mentions over and over about women being subject to their husbands. (1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5:33, Colossians 3:18) This is not meant to be degrading to women or make them less equal than men. It is simply God's way of organizing the home for the greater good. Remember in Genesis how Eve was a "helper" for Adam? I think women in the workplace run into this time after time. The boss wants longer hours, more work, etc. and all the while pulling more time away from husband and children. Now, she's not under authority and headship of her husband, she's under authority and headship of her boss. The government is a much larger entity than a just a corporation. Perhaps Sarah Palin is subject to her husband, but how can she be available to her husband when the country, government and the people will have to come first? This seems to me like a major conflict of interest. I don't think the question should be "Is she qualified to be the Vice Presidential candidate?" but, "Should she be the Vice Presidential candidate?"
I'm not trying to criticize her at all, or imply that she is a neglectful mother. She seems very in love with, and proud of, her family. But, this is far beyond just my opinion. God has already laid out clear plans for women in his Word. God's plan works, but we do all we can to go against it. We do all we can to scoff at God's desires for us, just to pursue our own. I will still vote McCain/Palin because I don't want the alternative, but I am not really comforable with being partly responsible for electing her to this position and pulling her away from her family. I think Sarah Palin would much better serve her country as vice president of her house, than vice president of the White House.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The First Day of School

We survived the first day of school-barely! We did manage to get quite a bit done today. Brittany will be doing independent work this year. Tyler will be doing independent work except for the second half of the year he will be doing history with Timothy and the little girls, and all year he will be doing science with them. So, my main focus this year will be on Timothy, Bethany, Brooke, and Tristan when he wants to be a part of it. They will be working on Bible, math, spelling, language arts, writing, history and science on Mondays through Thursdays, with Fridays reserved for all the kids to work together on Bible recitations, and art, music and poetry which we'll do on a three week rotation. Park day is Friday afternoons. However, since I don't have my spelling books yet, or Tyler's math book, and I have a few more small details to work out, because I didn't get everything done, I decided to do one of the five week long unit studies this week. We did the government/election unit I had planned. The other four units which I will disperse throughout the rest of the year will be: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover, and Economics.
Today was challenging. School is just flat out challenging with a toddler, which we seem to have had every other year for the past 7 years or so. Preschoolers are easy compared to a toddler, who has no concept of "don't crinkle that paper", don't eat that glue stick", "don't write all over yourself with the marker your sister left out". Sigh.
I have to be constantly right on Timothy (3rd grade) or he will not finish what he's doing. He gets so very distracted-constantly. I feel like part of it is that he is an 8 year old boy, and I take that into consideration, but he gets distracted on the way to brush his teeth thirty seconds after I've told him to go do it. If he were in public school he'd probably be on ritalin by now. He's very bright, and he's also very giggly, and silly. Hopefully we can work on the attention span and the silliness this year.
The only extra activity we are committed to right now is a book club, which only meets once a month. Our Spanish class sort of dissolved and we are on indefinate leave from Tae Kwon Do at this point. But, it certainly is nice to not have to run out, and that means lots of extra time to get plenty of stuff done at home. It is definately not a bad thing.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Monday Musings

I have not vanished off the face of the earth! I am feeling tons better. I don't have that "on the verge of throwing up feeling" anymore, and a great deal of energy and motivation has returned. I'm so thankful. I was just praying for the Lord to have mercy on me this time, and He did just that. It's so hard to care for the rest of the children, and husband, when you feel absolutely aweful for weeks on end. It's just sort of a depressing feeling when you wake up in the morning and all you want to do is just lay there all day, but you know you have to get up to get a million things done. All the while feeling like the few crackers you kept down will be on there way back up. I'm sooo glad to be feeling better!
Thomas apparently has his daddy right where he wants him. The other night David and I were having a late evening snack of Doritoes (which is rare for me, but I could sense that the baby really wanted some, so I had to eat them!) and David informed all of the other children, who are Doritoes' hogs, that they were not getting any. These were for him and me. So in walks Thomas (18 months), takes one look at the chips, gives his dad huge puppy dog eyes, and says, "Chips. Pweese. Pweese." I, of course, was not falling for this little scheme, but his daddy says, "Well, good grief, give him some chips already. He said please!" Uh, huh. Who has who wrapped around their little finger?
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