Saturday, December 26, 2009

Beautiful Bicycle

Merry Christmas! This entry is totally, and selfishly all about myself. I got it! My husband got me the bicycle that I have been drooling over! It sits in my living room, I actually tried to ride it in the house, umm, no that didn't work out too well. But, I am now the proud owner of an Electra Townie, and it is Sage Green. It is the color of the bridesmaid dresses in our wedding. Pictures will follow in a later blog, I would imagine. (Right now I am blogging in flannel snowman pajamas, and so you will have to wait!)

I knew that I was getting the bicycle for various reasons, the first being that my little girl let the cat out of the bag, mentioning the bike shop her daddy went to for himself, and then the bike shop that they went to that she was not allowed to tell me about. Evidently, he actually purchased the bike that day. So, it is amazing that the kids did not tell me more information! Then, there was the rule that I was not allowed to visit DH in his office at work, or I would see my gift. And, well, I pay the Mastercard bill, so you know, I saw it.

But, the fun didn't get snuffed out completely. DH had to drive into work one day, very reluctantly, so I could go to an early evening meeting. He wouldn't have enough time to ride home after work- and help me with the kids in time for me to make my meeting. So, that day was awful for him. He rides to work every day, even in snow, because he loves it so much. Well, he brought the Electra home and hid it in my neighbor's garage. Then, on Christmas eve, he brought it home to the garage, while I thought he was taking the dog out to pee. On Christmas morning, he brought it inside while I thought he was getting coffee. So, I was surprised! And, I love it. i have several months to wait before it gets broken in, but if the icy rain goes away, I might just have to try it out a little.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

School update

School is moving along. It is good! My daughter just learned her plus-two facts. She learned them fast, first we did even numbers, odd numbers, and then adding two to those numbers clicked. She is doing so well in Math. Sometimes, I am frustrated with the scripts in Saxon Math 1, but overall it is a good program.

Reading and Phonics are moving along too. Phonics is so hard for my girl, but she is starting to slowly get it. We are using McRuffy Reading and Phonics, and both of us love the little books and puppets that she gets to make. There are fun learning games too. I hope we can stick with this program for a number of years. Its a good match for my daughter.

Handwriting is improving so much. We will finish Handwriting without Tears in a couple months, and then move on to some reading comprehension with written answers. She will be ready. We still aren't tackling writing stories. I would guess most first graders are doing this, but my daughter is just grasping how to spell various words and sounding things out. She can dictate amazing stories.

Science was fun, but could be better. Abeka science is a bit dull. Because my daughter loves learning about science, she soaks it up. We learned about owls today, but it was soooooo basic. I wish we had some owl pellets to dissect. You can actually find them around here. But, ummm, not with over a foot of snow on the ground.

Social Studies- also A beka, is very classroom orientated. I need to get a map and find some good sites on the internet to supplement. She will be taking a trip around the US, to learn about national landmarks etc. We need to spice it up, the text doesn't have too much to offer. I think this will be our last year using A beka. There just has to be something better out there.

Health, yes its A beka again. Hmmm, do you really need to teach Health at home? I mean eventually perhaps, but we work on cleanliness, good manners, healthy life style. I wonder.

Bible- We are using A Garden of Bible Stories. She is learning new stories from the Bible. I like it. The workbooks are boring. I like that she is listening to more in depth stories of the Bible, but I don't think I will use this with my son. At least not the workbooks. Blah.

Music- lots and lots of Christmas carols. My kids actually sing sometimes!

Art- I stink at art. This surprises me a lot. Teaching art to your children is very different than teaching art to a whole group of kids. I feel lost and haven't even come up with decent Christmas ornaments or card this year. I don't want to fix/make them for the kids. Maybe that's why all the preschool ornaments that were sent home looked so good. My kids didn't actually make them. Hmmm.

Fitness- lots of sledding, playing in the snow right now.

Reading together- anything and everything. Christmas books, Arch books, chapter books, picture books, we read all different stuff.

Games and puzzles- this is a really good family time. My daughter is learning not to tantrum when she loses, but she has not learned that gloating over winning isn't very nice.

Fine Motor- shoe tying! She is getting it. Next will be fastening a zipper, snapping pants, and buttoning clothes. Fine motor doesn't come easy to either of my children.

Our newest addition is Safety. I freaked out (ok, in my head, laid awake all night) when my husband was deployed. The thought occurred to me, if I got sick/hurt and was unconscious or even dead, what would my children do? What in the world would they do? The response I received,"Mommy, we would run around the house screaming!" This matched my other fear of, wondering what they would do if there were a fire. I have witnessed a first response to burning pizza and smoke alarms- hiding in the closet. Soooo, we are working on resolving this. My daughter is learning how to use a cell phone and the house phone. We practice basic info (and there is a sheet by the phone) or our phone number, where daddy works and phone number, address, family friend and number etc. And how to dial out. I wish there was a real way to practice 911, like a way to make "practice" calls. So, my kids could hear how to respond when there wasn't an actual crisis happening. But, for now we are practicing, and it is good.

The next post will be about my little boy. My preschooler. We are half way through the school year! Hooray!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Winter is arriving

It snowed on Thanksgiving day a little bit, and then some more on Friday. The ground is still too warm for it to stick around, but winter is blowing into Northern Michigan.

Today, we went to a theatrical performance of "Click, Clack, Moo" it was based on a children's book and it was excellent. We sat in the Opera House in Traverse City, and laughed. I will be on the look out for more family activities like this, it is nice to smile together! After the show, we got coffee (the kids got chocolate muffins). Then, I bought a journal. We had a lovely afternoon together.

On the drive home, the kids enjoyed a field guide on Michigan birds. They were pointing out all the ones they have seen before. We just put a feeder in the tree outside our picture window. I am tempted to add a few more feeders. We are all enjoying it. My son's favorite bird is the Cardinal. A female was on the feeder yesterday, but he can't believe that even though the girls aren't bright red, they are still cardinals. My daughter loves the Chickadees. So do I. I don't think I'll get to take them bird watching to see puffins anytime soon, but one day, I hope to do that again.

My husband is back, he has been back for almost a week (got home last Monday). Life is good. The kids can't get enough of him. I am thankful to have my best friend back. We are happy to be together as a family again. He put the studded tires on his bike, and is ready for the harsh weather to arrive. He will bike all winter long, craving it, and enjoying the solitude as everyone else here packs their bicycles away for Springtime.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A few more days

I have tried not to complain. Honestly, who wants to read about it. But, in a few days, I will no longer be a single parent. I have not had a day off in six weeks. I have not seen my husband in that long. I need to see him again, and I seriously need a break. I need to find a babysitter, I can't believe that I went six weeks without a sitter or anyone watching my kids to give me a break. Its a miracle that I still have my sanity.

I think this week is parent teacher conferences in this area of the country. I do not miss those things. I heard parents' at my daughter's dance class chatting about it. Parents are forever complaining about doing homework with their kids. I actually think that's kind of funny, but if you are one of those parents, I will be polite and not say that comment to you in real life. But, I am finding it is nice to know where we are at, every day of the year, with no surprises. I might not always like where we are at, but I can take full responsibility for it, and work to help my kids improve and learn. I am always improving my teaching, as well. How many teachers will admit to that?!

Oh, remember how several posts back, I said, "Skype is nice"? Well, its not. Not overseas anyways. The overseas connections stink. It is nearly impossible to chat, let alone use the video conferencing feature. Phones are bad too, so its not just one type of technology. And, email, well it is our only resort sometimes. I miss having a face to face conversation with my best friend.

My little ones are tucked in, I am waiting for my DH to log onto skype, and thinking about bed. Three days left. Only three days left.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Party!

Yesterday, my daughter turned 7. She had a lovely day. The cake lady at church made a puppy cake for November birthday's - and everyone sang Happy Birthday. We had a party, with 10 kids in all, and it was delightful. My daughter loved being the center of attention, loved the games, and of course the presents.

We now have four online pets, for the littlest pet shop online games, although the newest pet, her favorite will not run on our computer. And, it requires a monthly fee. What a gimmick. So, she will play on the old virtual world.

But, she is ok with this, and for that, I am proud of her. (She did say, "Well, Daddy is smarter than you mom." OUCH! So, she is hoping that he will fix the problem when he comes home from deployment.)

My son, he's 4, and its hard to see your big sister get so much attention and new toys. He did not like it one bit. He did like playing with friends, and cried when they all went home.

I got the post party let down. You know that kind where you should be relieved that its all over, but you kinda feel blue instead. I haven't slept well since my DH left, and last night was especially bad. But, he will be home in a week (maybe). And, there will be great rejoicing!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Planning the Puppy Party

Sunday, we will have my daughter's 7th birthday party. It will be the puppy party. I have decorated sun visors with felt ears, cut really fat pipe cleaner tails, and we have face paint for noses and freckles.

We will have games- feed the bone to the puppy (pin the tail on the donkey), dog, dog, cat (duck, duck, goose), find the puppy (hide n' seek), dog bone hunt (scavenger hunt for cardboard bones), and puppy toss (laundry basket game). Maybe, puppy tricks too?

We will eat pupcakes, and I'm still looking for those graham cracker Scooby Doo snacks. Hmm, maybe they aren't making those anymore? Oh, and corn dogs.

The thing is, this darn swine flu. Nobody RSVPs anymore. Everyone is waiting I guess. I have three definite, three unknown and three maybes, plus of course my two kids. And, I'm blaming the flu, and not people's busy lives. Please come to her party, it will be so much fun! With adults included, I could have seven people at my house or twenty!! Yikes! We have only four chairs! LOL!

The house will be clean, the doggie bags will be ready, and its almost time to bring your muddy paws over. Although, remember, in Northwest Michigan, take your muddy shoes off and set them by the door, its expected (Just kidding, BTW, I always wear my shoes in my house).

My daughter is so excited. She got a Littlest Pet Shop VIP last year, and the stupid deal is, you must "borrow" or buy a new pet to keep playing the game once the year is up. Her year was up last month. She is absolutely obsessed with adoption day. On her birthday, she expects to get "Nadine" her new VIP (Very important Pet) and continue to play her online game. She will have two mice - last year's who is named "D.W." and this year's who will be "Nadine". This is the big exciting event of the day. I hope she doesn't try to break free from the festivities to play on the computer! (It is possible she will try).

See ya after Sunday, have a great day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leaves, please leave

It has been a lovely Autumn. Then it rained. It just kept raining. Now all my leaves are down. Lots of wet leaves. I am out there daily, for an hour or two, trying to rid my yard of them with a leaf blower that was on sale at the hardware store this year.

I keep going out there, but they keep falling. And getting wet. Well, now they are all down, and I can just feel the snow creeping around the corner. Yes, it was in the 50's today, but it won't last.

So, its man versus the leaves, or woman in my case. My kids yell from the house while I do this, they need various things. It doesn't matter what, they need it, and I must stop, help and go back to my chore. Sometimes they come outside and play, but these leaves have critters in them because its been so wet, and other stuff (yah, we have a dog). So, they aren't leaf pile quality right now.

Will I finish before the snow settles in? It arrived last year by early November and it didn't melt till April. My neighbors across the street have no trees, they barely have to lift a finger. On our property, we have at least a dozen trees, and some forest around the property. I guess its a forest, at least I tell the kids that. Ok, its a bunch of lots with a whole bunch of trees in them.

I saw chickadees today. I suppose they have been there hiding and now are exposed in the bare trees. Cute little birdies.

Ok, somebody please buy this lovely house, so I don't have to do this job again next year!?!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our Anniversary

Today John and I have been married for 9 years! I love my husband, and thank God for giving this wonderful man to me! Special days are often celebrated in curious ways when you are a military family. Since we are apart, this one was via emails. I'd like to say that we will celebrate big when he returns, but honestly, I will just be happy to have my spouse back home.

So, we got a couple cards (I never send anniversary cards to anyone- shhhh) and I told a few people, and I told the kids, and they really don't get what an anniversary is, even when I tried to explain.

And, we had a regular school day. Regular meaning, lately, I do school in what ever order appeals to me. Sometimes, I give the kids a choice. Sometimes, we start by reading a book (Charlotte's Web is the current one). As long as the work gets done, I have given up the rigid schedule. Well, ok, I haven't given up the rigid schedule, as much as the time table for the day. It doesn't have to get done by 2 PM. Today we finished at 4 PM. Lots of play going on today, and that's a good thing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A bit scatterbrained?

I have a sinus infection. I went to the doc, and she told me to use this neti-pot thingy. Eeww gross, have you used one or read about exactly how to use one? Evidently, this little contraption, used with special saline powder and distilled water will keep my head clear of sinus problems, if used a couple times daily. You pour this liquid through one side of your nose/sinus and gravity causes it to drain out the other. Breath normally, and don't swallow. You lean over the sink while doing this, obviously. Really? I'd ask you what kinda freak came up with this thing, but he is so proud of it, it includes his picture with instructions.

So, I went to Rite aid, bought the thing, and then realized, it was 100 packets of powder stuff to use with the neti-pot, only it didn't include the pot.

Now, my kids are in bed. I forgot to go back and pick up the antibiotic, get the neti-pot thingy, and am clueless as too when I took my other various meds today. One, is 24 hour med, Claritin, and I can't remember if I took that- but, I don't really want to take it twice?!

So, i have been living on cough drops, trying to decide what to do. Tomorrow, I will try to make a list, and proceed with a little more direction.

My daughter has told me that I need to stop coughing, because I am spreading millions of germs, and she and her brother might catch them. Smart girl, huh. I cough into my elbow and wash my hands, but yah, they will still probably catch my cold.

Its not swine flu! Although, its here in Traverse City, and I for one am glad we homeschool, because its hit full force in the public school, from what I've been told. Notes went home today. And lice notes when home in the city's catholic schools. Yucky, yucky!

We are gonna kinda hide out here, as there are no swine flu vacs here, and the regular flu shots have run out. Well, except we will go out tomorrow to get that funky looking teapot thing. Don't worry, I will spare you the details of my personal experience as to how well it works. LOL!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Simply Canceled it

In my last entry, I described my hatred for an old druid holiday, which is widely celebrated in America. Halloween. Well, we canceled it. So, now I don't hate it so much :)

See, since homeschooling, I have learned to make decisions about what I want or do not want to teach my kids. Sometimes the decisions are based on time, or what is vital for a good education. Sometimes it has to do with raising a Christian family. Some of these decisions clearly go against the norm of our society. So, this is one more thing that we are changing. This holiday really conflicts with the values that I want my children to learn. I teach my children that participating in things such as witch craft, the occult, having spiritual guides, visiting psychics etc. is dangerous. The Bible is very clear about only worshiping the One True God. And, even if the holiday appears somewhat benign on the surface, at the core, it is a celebration of evil. I pray daily for my children, and for God's guidance in my decisions concerning them, in Jesus'name.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I still hate Halloween

I was curious, and looked back to last year to see what I wrote in my blog last year. Yup, there it was. A gripe about a Halloween party. I hate Halloween. Gosh, its still two weeks away. We aren't even to the actual holiday yet. (And if you don't know me well, my birthday is the day before Halloween, and NO I don't wish that I had been born a Halloween baby!)

I have to say, the people who invite me and the kids to their Halloween parties are lovely folks. They are friends, and people that I like to spend time with. My kids love Halloween. In fact, it might just be their favorite holiday! Candy and little junky toys and spider rings are a big hit with my kiddos. They love to dress up and they love to play various games which are at every party. They love to trick or treat door to door - getting candy from strangers.

But, lets be realistic. Huge crowds of kids - especially when my kids only know a couple, paired with games where not everyone wins - just makes my kids fall apart. I come to the rescue, as they have their meltdowns, and as other parents look on with confused looks on their faces. This party added "wait in line" to the mix. Oh, and "the mean little kid".

My kids love the parties, because they love the junk from Oriental Traders. They love the chips, cupcakes, cookies, m&ms, lollipops, etc. They even love actually playing the games (well, except for musical chairs or pass the pumpkin) and the rewards they earn for playing. But, they whine and tantrum. They have no patience. They don't make friends. And, I watch over them, with a smile on my face, wondering why no one else's children are falling apart. Wondering why my kids are so tender and sensitive. And wondering, why in the world do we keep get invited to Halloween parties?

I will be hosting a birthday party in three weeks. We've invited about 11 kids. I am insane. My kids want this. It will be a puppy party. There will be no lines, my kids will know all the kids, and I will be taking Xanax before everyone arrives. Yikes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A little big sad

I'm a little bit sad tonight. I talked to my husband yesterday, and today again. He should be calling later tonight. I keep my chin up, but gosh I miss him. Its a little bit lonely here - and I'm worn out. I dog is keeping me company, but he is more of a pest at night, than "man's best friend". He wants to be pet, played with and taken outside. He is too young to be lazy and a foot warmer when I am exhausted and the kids are in bed.

I feel like my emotions are on a roller coaster. I grab the happy moments, but those depressing ones try to consume me. Back and forth, I go. I could make you a list of happy thoughts and blessings. I know God has blessed my family richly. I could poor out my heart about all of my sorrows. But, I will still ride this roller coaster.

Fall is so pretty, but it is also very dark and gloomy in Northern Michigan. The days are getting much shorter. The weather is rainy and cloudy most of the time. I think I like Spring and summer here. They are so short, but not so dismal.

Next week, its my wedding anniversary. We will celebrate our 9th year - apart :( And then my birthday. I will be 38. Then our daughter's 7th birthday (she reminds me at least a dozen times a day!). I keep telling people how its so much better for my spouse to be away during this time, instead of during Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, guess what. I don't actually feel that way. I'm sorry if you are one of those people who I lied to. I try to put on a happy face, and maybe even convince myself. But, I don't want to miss any special days with my husband!! During the next 15 years or more in the Coast Guard, we will miss many special days together. Well, you learn to keep your chin up, but it still sucks!

So, there you have it. I am not grateful tonight. I am selfish. But, at least I'm being honest about it. Waah, waah, boo-hoo, and poor me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Skype is Nice!

We got a new notebook - its actually a PC (I know, I know, its almost sinful). I have used a Mac for almost 10 years now. But, DH has it on his deployment and it has a webcam. We got a cheap webcam for our laptop, and now once in a while, I can "see" my husband while he is away!! Its very cool!

I know this technology is probably considered ancient to most of you, but I'm a girl who never text messages. I've never even tried it. I don't know how to download pictures from my phone, and on that note, I have a "pay as you go" phone. Only one of you (husband) has the number to that phone because I have 19 hours to last me the whole year. I did it last year, so don't laugh. Its actually possible!

But, our kids can see daddy sometimes during this deployment, and that is really awesome. I can see my husband's face, which somehow makes everything feel right. Cell phones don't work very well/at all, where he is, and email just started up after a whole week. But, the kids don't really get into email.

Put daddy on the computer screen, and my son goes wild. He loves it! They make silly faces at each other, and he tells daddy all about what he is thinking about. Its usually something about trains, helicopters, or being squashed by a big butt (its a guy thing- daddy/son bonding, he's 4 ok?) Our son walked by the computer later in the morning, after a nice talk with dad, and yelled at the computer, "Daddy! Daddy? Are you in there? I'm talking to you Daddy!" I think he sort of believes that Daddy is living in the computer, but I am not really 100% sure.

Our daughter, well she is a little chatter box. On the Skype, its no different. She doesn't let him talk, she just has sooooo much to share. She shows him her Littlest Pet Shop Mouse, asks him about the room he is sitting in, and desperately wants to know exactly where he is, and what he is going to do tomorrow. It is hard for her to understand why Daddy can't tell her these details, and I think she will ask him every chance she gets.

The kids talk about Daddy on an off all day. Little memories, and excitement about when he is coming home. They really don't have a concept of how long 6 weeks is, but they understand the order of holidays, so we map out- first is Mom's birthday, then Halloween, then Delenna's birthday and then Thanksgiving. Daddy should be home around Thanksgiving time. I don't really want them to count on him being home for Thanksgivng, because you just never know. I have learned not to make countdown calendars, because the Coast Guard doesn't work that way. And that is ok. If he isn't home - I am NOT cooking a turkey. We'll eat at the galley at the air station instead. Hmm, I could actually do this if he is home (that's not very nice of me, is it? LOL!)

I am feeling content, and ready to have a fun weekend with my kiddos. Looking forward to emails from my love, and thankful for a good school routine that gets us through the week.

Blessing to all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Its quiet here

Its a very quiet evening. The heat just turned on, so its toasty in here. Tonight, I bought a leaf blower. Well, that wasn't quiet, actually, but my reflections on the evening are calm and peaceful. I tried it out, and the kids used their rakes. I cleared half of the front yard, and then surprised them by making two very large leaf piles. The jumped to their hearts' content! My son told me that this was the best thing ever! I had been scolding them and trying to keep them at a distance, because I didn't want them to play near the leaf blower- yah know, no eye injuries needed. So, when they realized that I was creating some fun for them, I actually caught them off guard. Mommy gets a star sticker tonight :)

They are in bed now, showered/bathed and squeaky clean. The dog is in his crate asleep. The bird in in his cage, covered.

I've completed one full week without my husband. He's my best friend, yah know, so its not easy. But, there are only 5 weeks left! He should be underway now, we talked last night for a few expensive minutes, and he is off to a boat out in the sea today, I would expect. I'm being vague on purpose. Military deployments are like that- all secretive and stuff.

I truly wonder who is following my blog, if anyone. I mean, I know my MIL is a faithful follower. But, now that I've left facebook (a colossal waste of time, if you are on FB, admit it!!) I don't know if anyone is still out there, or if I am just journaling to myself, which is not necessarily a bad thing either.

Its quiet here- feel free to reveal yourself if you are out there, and go jump in a pile of leaves for me, it will make your heart happy :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bold new glasses

Today, I took the kids on their "field trip" (hahahaha). We went to counseling (for me, and its working out great bringing both kids with me *sarcasm*, thanks for asking!), and then to the mall to buy a new pair of glasses for me, because the arm broke off my glasses two days ago, and I'm getting headaches from them not sitting right on my face. I went to 3 stores, had to order my lenses. And, quite honestly, they all sold really ugly frames. Ugly and expensive frames.

So, we had lunch in the food court. And we bought shoes and jeans (for the kids). We went home. After a half-hour breather, we took one more trip in town and got the job done. I spent almost $400 (YIKES!) on frame, lens, and anti-reflective coating (so I can drive at night). They sent me home with my frames, thicker plastic lens (temporary) and my new lighter lens in two weeks.

Guess what? Except that they are red on the top and rimless on the bottom- they are exactly the same size and shape as my broken pair. I did not realize this till I was home. I have a great imagination. I am willing to try new things. I thought I was being daring with red/rimless. They are almost the same. So much for bold. That is what happens when you look for the perfect eye glasses all day long- you end up settling on what is familiar. Even if it costs you twice as the first time.

Thankfully, these frames come with a three year warranty.

We now have to pay fines at the library since we never got there. I guess this was the "eye glass field trip". My daughter is ok with the fact that they are red, even though pink is much better. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Very whiny

Last night my glasses broke, while I was talking to my mom on the phone. I took them off to clean them, and the arm just snapped. So, now I have broken glasses sitting on my face. I will have to drive into TC to get them replaced. I am unmotivated, but they can't stay like this.

I am to start a new reading curriculum with my daughter today, and I think I will put my glasses on hold till after our school day, if I can manage. I bought "McRuffy Phonics and Reading", it looks both cute and well organized. I hope it works, and I hope my daughter likes it. We are rewinding to kindergarten and redoing reading/phonics. Explode the Code was a huge waste of time. My daughter didn't explode anything- she liked the little pictures, memorized lots of sight words, and didn't learn phonics at all. I don't think it makes you a "reader" to memorize sight words. If you can't decode words, you'd have to memorize thousands of words.

My husband is gone on deployment. I have still been able to talk to him everyday, but in a couple days, we will be down to just emails for most of his 6 weeks. I usually adjust to all of this, but currently I am just cranky and anxious. I am going through the motions and asking God for lots of patience with my kids, multiple times a day, because they don't deserve a mean mom. The dog is being a big pest, its been raining for 6 days, and my house is getting messy again.

I have revisited the "Flylady", and am working on getting organized. Its a good program, and my house has less clutter than ever before. I like that. But, one day I am very committed and the next, I throw in the towel. There have been only two showings on the house, and (ok very whiny part) no one ever visits me anyways, so sometimes it just seems pointless.

I just want to stay in bed some days and wrap myself in a cocoon, and hibernate. But, I have a barking dog and two sweet little voices that keep me from doing that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The First Showing

Its a rainy day, it rained all last night. The dandelions have sprouted, and there are "blowing flowers" everywhere, as my kids call them. But, the house is clean. I wonder what the chances are that we'd sell the house to the first person who looks at it? Probably unlikely, but it could happen :)

This will be a distracting school day.

It is a weird feeling to have strangers walk through your house and look at all your stuff.

That is all I have to say about that.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bicycle Shopping


I went bicycle shopping on Saturday, for a few hours with my family. Not for them, but for me :) It made my husband's heart soar, as I went into each shop (three of them), explained how my wrists, hands and butt always hurt when I ride. And, how for 8 years, my husband has tried to find me the right bike with zero success.

So I tried a few. I took them out on the road and bike trails. I found some bicycles that do not cause me pain and agony! My favorite is the Electra Townie. It put absolutely no pressure on my hands and arms, and the seat was surprisingly comfortable!

I have found the bike for me! Ummm, except the bike for me is $400. I will either have to save up or just keep dreaming. It would be so nice to have a pain-free family bike ride and share my spouse's love of cycling!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Summary of a great school day!

Well, let me tell you- IT ROCKS!

Today was an awesome day. It started with my DH being on duty tonight, meaning he would be home all morning, until about 2 PM. So, we put my daughter's eye patch on and he read to her about Galaxies. Its very cool to have time to read books about the things that interest your kids. She was fascinated. The book is called, "Galaxies, Galaxies" by Gail Gibbons. They also read a silly book about Dogs in Space, a book about Pluto. She also read some books to her dad.

While he read to her, I quickly showered, and then read to my son - more library books about trains. He loves the "one-to-one" time with me. We did a weather chart and calendar.

My daughter joined us, and we sang some patriotic music, the Pledge, a morning prayer, and Bible memory verse.

Next, my daughter did her Math lesson and calendar. She is so smart. She is doing worksheets this year, and getting fairly good at reading the directions. There are lots of math words, and I'm so excited that she is learning them (triangle, angle, first, fourth, etc.) She did the back of the worksheet with her dad. We use Saxon Math 1, and it is very hands on, as well as, very visual.

Then she ran outside for recess, while I did Math with my son. He is counting objects (today it was helicopters) and pattern blocks. He uses a picture pattern and is getting very skilled at making them. My son ran outside for recess where he drew pictures with chalk on the driveway.

My daughter came in and did Explode the Code, her reading workbook, followed by writing a journal page. Today's was "This is red." Not the most creative piece, but she drew/colored a red block. Then, a page from Handwriting without Tears, practicing numbers.

We all had lunch together. My son tried a carrot. He dipped it in peanut butter! He eats no veggies, so this was exciting.

DH started to teach our daughter the recorder. He said that she is learning to hold it right, but she wants to play it like a kazoo. I told him that since he played the saxophone, and was in band, he could teach her to play the recorder. It involves a lot of fine motor, but I think she will get it. I think they had fun together.

My son did music with me, he requested, "Ring around the Rosie" and we sang "Jesus loves me" and he actually sang! I don't think I've ever heard him sing along with me. I LOVED it! Then, we took out my guitar and rhythm instruments and we sang a melody of train/railroad songs. He loves trains (he didn't sing though). We also did his handwriting and fine motor lessons. He laced a triangle, cut with scissors (we are using Kumon) and scribbled ants, bugs and bees from Handwriting without Tears. He switches hands back and forth. I don't know which hand is dominant.

My daughter finished up with a Social Studies lesson on Symbols of our Country, The Great Seal, the flag and the Bald Eagle. She did a little geography too, and remembers her oceans from Kindergarten Smile We are using A Beka Books.

My son came back inside and we did a reading lesson. He is working on labeling lowercase letters, Brain Quest Questions, and Sequencing Pictures. I am trying to get him to talk about the pictures, instead of grunting.

Everybody cheered! We were done for the day! I love my kids, I love my husband, and I love my job!!! DH left for work, and I got to work in my flower bed for a little bit, while the kids played. It was certainly a nice day of school.

Monday, August 31, 2009

First of all, I am not pregnant. In yesterday's post I mentioned nausea, and the radar went up. I even began to wonder (there were other minor symptoms), but no, this isn't the case. Today, I am feeling quite a bit better.

I am a couple weeks away from burying Explode the Code. Its just not working. My daughter isn't learning phonics. So, we are going to move on. We will try "Teach Your Child to read in 100 easy lessons) and we'll see how that goes.

Math is going so well! She loves it and is quite skilled at math.

Handwriting overlaps reading. She isn't really spelling many words on her own, because she isn't sounding out words, but her penmanship is good.

Social Studies, Science, Health, Bible, Music, Art, Games/Puzzles, Fitness- well, at the age of 6, how do you measure these anyways? She likes these subjects and is learning.

My son, he is identifying numbers 0-10, usually forgetting one number. He can count objects 0 -5, and write a 1 and 0, so he can write 10 also! He knows all his upper case letters, and we are working on the lower case. He is still working on his grip for holding a crayon and scissors. But, he is making stuff, coloring stuff, and interested in it all. He knows his colors and shapes. We added hexagon today :) We played a matching game today too.

Both kids love to listen to stories (son- picture books, daughter- chapter books) and my daughter can read most level 1 books with a little assistance.

I don't know how to organize our day with the eye patch, so today we started after it was time to remove it. DH suggested teaching our son first, and then adding our daughter into the schedule when the 3 hours is up. I don't know.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Little books

Today, I felt ill. I think it was a stomach thingy, but I didn't get sick really, I just felt nauseous, and my stomach was noisy. My husband has a horrible cold, and I thought I'd be taking care of him, but the opposite ended up being true.

My daughter wanted to make me a get well card. She taped together a little book with paper and stickers. Then, she really really wanted tape. So, I helped her tape together a book and spell the words to the story. She wanted me to write author and illustrator on the cover too :) And she signed her name. It was about how she made a house, and three friends came over, and everyone went to sleep and dreamed about her. There were two thought bubbles with her name in them, because the friends were dreaming about her.

My son, wanted to make a book about trains. Only, I had to draw all the trains. He drew a self portrait. He alternates between hands, while using the pencil. I don't know what hand to have him hold scissors, a pencil or even a baseball bat. He holds a fishing pole in his left hand and reaches across to reel it in with his right. But, he asked me to write various letters on each page, "Make a B, make a Y" and then made up a story to go with the "words". Very cute!

Both kids had Daddy read their books, and both took their books to bed with them. I love it when they initiate this stuff!

I want to do school tomorrow, and hope that my tummy settles. My poor daughter has to wear an eye patch again (lazy eye), for three hours a day. We did this 1 1/2 years ago, and it worked, but there is a slight regression in her left eye. Friday she wore it during school, and it was horrible. So, I am going to try to move easier tasks to the morning, so she doesn't have to read or write with it on. She holds her hand over the patch the whole time, it must be uncomfortable. But, three hours goes fairly quickly, so we will endure.

We signed up for dance class, and will try ballet and jazz/hip hop this year. I don't know what I think of the hip hop part, but tap is kinda getting too hard for her. She doesn't get the "tap" part, so her legs go through the motions, but never actually tap. Dance is sooooooooo expensive. But, it is worth it, I think. She will be with a small group of kids who are nice, most who were class last year, and the teacher is wonderful. And, she loves movement and dance so much.

I am off to bed, so that I am well rested for school tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Perhaps another year?

My husband just go picked up for student engineering! He has wanted this so badly! He is a Coast Guard Aviator and this is the career path he was desiring to pursue. We found out last night, and will have to celebrate :)

It could be that we stay on here in Northern Michigan for an extra year. There is no word on that yet, but it is very likely. Student Engineering begins next September, so we are on a very different track for or next PCS. I would like to stay here another year, but I would still like the house to sell. We would like to move into Traverse City, a bit closer to everything.

So, Coldwell Banker Schmidt came by today - all their local realtors, to see the house. They noted the vast improvements since they last sold this house (to us) in 2006. No kidding :) No suggestions though. But, now they are familiar with the property, so maybe we will get a showing. Here's the thing, in the last year, 5 properties in Kalkaska have sold in our price range. The year before, it was 16, and the year before that, 24. Who wants to buy house number 6? Anyone? Anyone?

Today, I found out that my daughter must wear an eye patch again. 3 hours everyday. She is not happy about this, but the patches are kinda cute. We got ones with Dalmatian spots on them. She had a horrible 2 hours with it on. Its been over a year since we thought the lazy eye was corrected, but I guess she still needs a little more time with this. So, for the next 3 months, she will be a pirate for a few hours each day.

And, finally, I babysat for my friend's kids last night, and got to bed at 1 AM. I am so tired. I am eating pasta with shrimp and asparagus (frozen meal) and drinking some Pinot Grigio. It is not as good as White Zinfandel. No where near as good. Soon, the kids will get ready for bed and I won't be too far after them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I relaxed a bit

I just went for a walk in the rain. I looked at everybody's house and yard to get ideas. I decided that with all the rain we are getting, most everyone's lawns are overgrown, and flowerbeds/shrubs need attention. This is because we really didn't get summer here in Northern Michigan. Several days of hot weather were scattered throughout the summer, but mostly cloudy, rainy, cool weather. And, my yard (although we need to mow tomorrow) not too shabby :)

I took this walk alone. It was a nice quiet time away from everything. My husband is downstairs with the kids, and he has fallen asleep on the couch. The kids are trying to avoid taking a bath/shower, so they are still playing downstairs instead of climbing all over me.

I got a special treat- hubby was suppose to be in Fargo, but the trip got canceled. It was for an air show. So, he is home with us this weekend :) He was on duty, standby and the ready every day this week. He did ground runs every night till late, and there were a bunch of SAR cases (Search and Rescue) so he was busy. They didn't find anybody, but they flew around a lot.

I bought a couple Bible Study books, we are going to start doing a Bible study together. I am looking foward to that! And I bought a couple books for myself. I am in need of some distraction from this house. This beautiful clean house that no one has yet called to see. *Sigh* Patience!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Boring?

I just got my first negative response to my blog. Nice. You won't see it here, because I received it under my FB notes, and now it is deleted (as is my former FB friend). I like writing in my blog, but if what I write is dull, boring, offensive, etc. by all means, don't sit around and read it! Honestly, I write to sort out my thoughts, and if you want to join me, I love that you are here. If you are going to insult me, please find someone else's blog to read.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The cleaning plan

So, this sale is gonna take time. I have a plan. My house will stay squeaky clean all year if it has to!

6:30 AM - Get up and shower, dress, make coffee
7:00 AM - Kids up (they just do this, I don't wake them), make breakfast and eat, unload dishwasher, one load laundry- wash, fold laundry, put away, put laundry from bedroom in basement, re-load dishwasher, kids chore list (dishes in sink, get dressed, pajamas in laundry basket, brush teeth, make bed), wipe counter, wipe sinks, make my bed, put away random clutter.
8:30 AM- Weekly rotating chore: Monday- clean bathrooms, Tuesday- wash floors, Wednesday- Vacuum entire house, Thursday- wash interior windows, Friday- dust, collect/take out trash.
9:00 AM- Homeschool Schedule till 2 PM :)

The kids already follow the toy rule - put away your toys before you get a new set of toys, all toys cleaned up before bedtime. And, keep the toys downstairs.

And they follow the coat/shoe rule- take your coat/shoes off when you come in and put them in the front closet.

I am loading the dishwasher as soon as we finish a meal, and then wiping out the sink. I am using the broom when the floor gets gritty.

This is working!! It has worked for 3 days so far. My house still looks nice, and it gives me time to play outside with the kids, water the flowerbeds, look for ripe green beans in the garden and track the pesky mole that showed up Friday when we stuck the "FOR SALE" sign in the ground!

We had a playdate today, and I even served lunch, corn muffins! Corn muffins are very messy food for kids. After lunch my kitchen was spotless again, and before our friends went home, the toys were back in their places- even the ones from the garage!

I LOVE having a clean house. It feels wonderful!

Random question- now that there is nothing to get into, and Scotty is behaving, should I lock him up tonight in his crate, as usual, or let him sleep on the floor of our bedroom where he is contently sleeping right now? DH rises at 5 AM, I don't know if puppy will have to go out if he gets up at this point. Will he let me sleep till 6:30? Hmmm what to do, what to do?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wait, wait and wait

So the house is all over the internet now. I forced myself to take the kids out today. Nobody called to see the house. This is why we put it on the market a year before we want to move. It will take time.

So, we went to the Imagination Station. A playground in our town. It wasn't something I really wanted to do, but the kids love it there. Last Spring, some ladies started a screaming fight and one of them pulled out a knife. My girlfriend, kids and I left very quickly. Today, it was an adult with a dog running around the climbing equipment and pot smoking teens. Smoking pot in public at a children's playground?? REALLY? We are never going back. I should have called the cops.

If you want to smoke pot in the privacy of your own home, be my guest. Go ahead, kill some brain cells. But, next to little kids? Why? That is so stupid. Perhaps they are stupid from smoking too much pot.

My daughter was angry. She told me that I ruined her whole day, by making her leave the playground early. Her anger lasted about 8 minutes. It must be nice to be 6, she really doesn't stay mad for too long.

My house is clean. Its so very clean. I am getting a bit bored. I need to find a good book. I think I am very ready to start back to homeschooling next week.

Monday, August 17, 2009

House for sale




The house is for sale, it went on the market today. It has been an exhausting amount of work to get to this point. My husband and I worked like crazy to update everything. So, wanna buy a house in Northwest Michigan?

Homeschooling will start next Monday. I took most of the summer off. It wasn't possible to follow my plan. My in-laws visited, we camped, my mother visited, and we worked on this house. But, my school room is ready, and I have tested out our materials, since we did 3 weeks of school in June already.

I wanted to go to Waukegan with my husband this September, but its not going to happen. Sorry Therese, if you still read my blog. We have no dog sitter. I don't know how we can afford it. I wanted to see you too, Tina and Tim. But, I don't know how we can afford to board the pup. It was going to be the first week of September. Boo Hoo :(

So, here I sit, anxious because all day long the realtor was suppose to list our house. It didn't happen till after 2 PM, and evidently it won't be listed on any national sites till 24 hours later. I took lots of nice pictures. We don't have a carpeted kitchen/dining room anymore!

Now I have to leave it in God's hands and remember that He knows how this is suppose to work in a nearly dead housing market.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Anxiety?

I am back to homeschooling, sort of. My in-laws were here for a visit, and then my husband had a couple days home with us. So, for a week and a half, no school. It is hard to get back on track. And, my husband is in Waukegan, IL, with the Coast Guard, so we are on our own for a couple weeks.

Before he left, my anxiety/panic attacks reared their ugly heads. I think I had several, kinda like waves. It is time to get meds, but my lovely doctor can't see me for almost two weeks. Isn't that the way it always works? If I had the flu, I'd probably get in today, but for mental health, well, that's not urgent? There is therapy, and that is helpful (thus the nudge to get meds). My son has been waiting almost two months to go to the allergist for his eczema. He needed help two months ago too.

Ok, it seems that all I have to post is complaints. Let me see. The kids did something cute today! My daughter put on her swim suit and her brother filled a sprinkler can and turned in circles "sprinkling" her like a pretend sprinkler. And they painted on an easle.

Happy July everyone!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Yah, its hot. We don't have an AC, but we do have a finished basement. This is the time of year that I really really love it. The kids are camping out there, and I may join them. We made a tent out of a sheet, and they are so excited. I caught them running around while I was outdoor watering the garden (they couldn't see me). I love that they are so happy. Now, they are asleep.

It doesn't get in the 90's too often. Tomorrow, I may surprise them with the sprinkler. I might even join them. I bought 3 box fans and they are all blowing on me right now. Bobo, our cockatiel is downstairs where its cool, and Scotty will go down to his crate soon.

Today, we went to the library to hear a storyteller. She was good. She told about the Big Mouth Frog, and something about the Turtle and the Beaver. The kids liked it. I was annoyed by all the parents who arrived late. It was kind of disruptive. And the mom's that did nothing when their babies/toddlers cried. Last year, my son made a fuss, and you know what we did? We left. Because he was ruining it for everyone else. I was disappointed, but better me, than me and everyone else! But, all and all, the library did a nice job.

We are doing the Summer reading program. I read 6 books with the kids. I owe a $5.00 fine. I am so bad about returning books and renewing them. Its because my mommy always did this for me. She is a librarian. It stinks because we weren't done with them. We were enjoying them. I don't like this rule. I mean, its not like we ate cheetos while reading and got cheezy stains all over them. I know this is how the library makes money and retains their books. For the record, I had a part time job for a couple years in a library. So, I feel that I have a right to complain. And, we checked out 10 more books. I think reading is important. Even if it makes me broke.

Well, its not fun to sleep in the basement when your little brother messes with the night light. I don't know what happened, but they were screaming in the dark. I wonder for how long- because I had my three noisy big box fans on. So, now my daughter is sleeping on the bed I drug downstairs for myself, and my son is sleeping on the couch. Everyone was too afraid to sleep in the tent. I am not sleeping there, because I can't sleep on the floor- its too hard! Oh, and my son has a noisy tiger flashlight too. Its 10 PM. I think this is going to be a long night. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone slept in? Haahahaha!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My handsome son!





My son plays t-ball this year. He is learning a lot. And, he really likes to kick up and dig in the dirt. What a big boy!

My lovely daughter






This is my daughter at soccer. She loved playing the warm up games.






















Here she is at her dance recital. She was a swan, and loved dancing on the stage with her class.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ramblings of the week

We made it through our first week! It was great! I think it is much easier to motivate my daughter to work, when she sees her brother doing school too. Both kids worked really hard this week, and I was exhausted every night. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, we had our 5 hour school day. On Thursday, I took the kids to therapy with me, and then to a nature literacy program in the afternoon. My son is still playing t-ball. And my daughter has one last soccer game left (tomorrow). That's ok, because in a couple weeks, dance begins again. We are very very busy!

Scotty is digging a hole in the yard. I have to figure this out. I think I read somewhere that if you put poop in the area, the dog will avoid it and not dig there. That would be an easy solution. I mean, I wouldn't always want poop in front of my flowerbed, but maybe he'd get the idea?? He poops all over the yard, anyways. Yuck, this is gross. Sorry.

Tomorrow, my husband is on duty, so the kids and I are on our own. We have a soccer picnic, soccer pictures (they are really expensive!)? A soccer potluck, a bike rodeo (its like a bike safety course), and I want to take the kids shopping. My daughter needs new pajamas, and both kids need socks. Good socks, like from the Children's Place or the Gap. We just don't have enough, and the cheap ones get holes too quick. I am thinking that the doggie is coming into Traverse City with us. He would be alone for a long time, if we leave him behind.

Which, also means, I must finally vacuum the back of my van. I got "Lily of the Valley" plants from church, and they spilled in my car. I have a patch of these flowers in my backyard. They are really pretty, and really really poisonous. I tried to rip them out when we moved here 3 years ago, but they are so tough. The kids are afraid of them, because I told them if they touch them or heaven forbid eat them, that they could die. And its true!! Any ways, I don't know why we have this plant in my yard, nor why I insisted on filling in the areas where its spotty. The plants even scare ME. So, I must vacuum the car so the dog doesn't eat roots or flowers and have cardiac arrest.

Our garden is sort of growing now. The tomatoes are sad looking, the cucumbers and peppers died, but the bean seeds sprouted and the carrots have started growing too. I am hoping to do better than last years sad pumpkins.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lots to do, lots done

The house is coming along. Now the master bathroom, bedroom, and both of the kids rooms are painted. We have all moved back to our own rooms. The ants have moved out of the master bathroom (they are dead), so I've moved back into that bathroom too.

So, now we have the kid's bathroom to tackle next. The wall paper boarder will come down, we will rip out the sink and cabinet, maybe a new toilet? Paint the 80's blue- a very basic white/yellow, and put in a new vinyl flooring. We have another sink and mirror to add. And, the light fixtures are already replaced. I will have to get a nice shower curtain, to brighten things up, but this ugly bathroom will no longer attract the kind of attention where people think, "Icky". My DH is determined that we will complete this project in one day, because he doesn't want the kids to invade our bathroom for long. Maybe? Wouldn't that be great? I hate long drawn out projects.

First grade began yesterday, for my daughter. And, my son had his first day of Preschool at home. It was great! I had very happy cooperative children. I found out that my son knows all his colors (even gold). And he can identify his shapes (except rectangles?) We made red play dough, which was the highlight of his day! My daughter, she loved learning about insects. While everyone else is just finishing up the school year, it is refreshing to be starting up a new year.

After school, I moved the items back into our bedrooms (my DH moved the furniture) and my son ended up in my room alone with a spray can of furniture polish. He sure had a good time until I opened the door and he saw the look on my face. After a lot of tears and timeout, he admitted that he knew it was naughty. So, my quilt needs to go to the laundry mat now, everything needs to be washed and we will see if my cell phone still works. On a positive note, we bought a new beautiful dresser at a garage sale, for me this weekend ($250 dresser and mirror by Ethan Allen with no scratches). It is lovely, and now it is also polished.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kindergarten is OVER!

My daughter and I completed the first year of school at home! On Monday, we begin first grade, and her brother begins Preschool. Yah, he did preschool last year, but not with the "World's Best Teacher", so this year will be bigger and better! (I crack myself up!)

Here is what I am thinking tonight. I am a different breed of mom. This doesn't bother me, but it is becoming more and more apparent to me. I don't jabber about the teacher my child will have, the great/not great school my kids attend, summer vacation, daycare, summer recreation, etc. I don't chat about going back to further my education, or my career. I don't converse about going to the gym, or "me time".

There is nothing wrong with talking about or thinking about all of these things. But, ladies, don't get me wrong, you may be very happy with all this talk, but I am NOT missing out. I don't want those things. (Me time- yah, everyone wants me time) I actually want to spend time with my kids. I don't want to taxi them all over. Do not tell me how you feel bad for me, because I don't get out, and I'm with my kids all the time. Do not assume that this is a problem that I am having.

Here is the truth. I do not want a career. I did that, and I don't miss it. I don't want to go back to school. I did that too, and I would rather chose the books I want to read, and never write a term paper for the rest of my life, thank you. I am very glad that I don't have to deal with bullies, homework, teacher expectations, bus situations, learning problems, etc. I am thrilled that I don't have to think about daycare (and visiting 40 before I choose one). Its simple. I love teaching my kids. I love spending time with my family. In MY family it does not take a village to raise a child, it takes a family to raise a child.

Homeschooling is not that hard. It takes commitment. Doesn't a career take commitment? I just have different priorities. In this world, public education is teaching kids stuff I don't believe in. Nothing is wrong any more, there is no moral compass, because God has been pushed out the door. Government has kicked God out the door. Thankfully, my kids aren't being indoctrinated into little tiny socialists. Are there other mom's out there who think like me? Maybe, I'm just a little bit strange. But, don't feel bad that I'm "stuck home with the kids", I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer School

It is raining today. I feel very sluggish. I just ate mac n' cheese and drank a diet coke, which isn't helping with the sluggish feeling. Out in the yard, the new little plants are enjoying these showers. My kids tried out their new umbrellas, and danced around in their rain coats and boots. The doggie is dragging in lots of dirt and mud.

I am back to the school planning. I wonder how others do it. I truly wonder about this. I have tried to look for people I can relate to (by blog) and, well, I don't come up with much that I can relate too. I guess that I am curious to find new ideas or something.

I have planned a 9 AM - 2 PM schedule. This year seemed rather disorganized. I am going to clean things up. I have a rotating schedule, between kiddos. This is our summer schedule, 4 days a week, totally about 36 days. Because of course, family is visiting and we will hopefully take a family camping vacation too.

Summer School (D) is my daughter, (G) is my son:

9:00 (Both kids) Opening- Morning Prayer, Bible Verse, Missions Lesson/prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, Patriotic Music

9:30 (D) Calendar and Math, (G) Playtime

10:00 (D) Snacktime, (G) Calendar and Math

10:20 (D) Journal Writing and Handwriting/Computer skills, (G) Snacktime

11:10 (D) Computertime, (G) ABC's

11:30 (Both Kids) Read together, Books on tape, Delenna reads-aloud

12:00 Lunchtime and Recess

12:50 (D) Bible Lesson, Health, Science, Social Studies (rotate), (G) Videotime

1:10 (D) Playtime, (G) Handwriting/Computer skills

1:30 (Both Kids) Art, Music, Games and Puzzles, Fitness (rotate)

2:00 End of School Day!

Also this summer: 6 weeks of dance for (D), the library Summer Reading program, Kalkaska Cares Summer program (An early literacy grant), and Vacation Bible School (evening program).

If we are this busy, maybe the house won't have a chance to get messy? What do you think?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Good Friends

This was truly an amazing weekend. God blessed us really big!! On Friday, I went to therapy, and on the way home, found a bunk bed for the kids. It was marked $75, but I got it for $50. We were able to get a fairly decent price on mattress. The kids are very happy about this. Now, my son is out of his toddler bed. He was getting too big for it.

Then, my husband began to tear down the shed. Only, we didn't have the right tools, so it was slow work. The neighbor came over, and asked if he could whack at it with a sledge hammer. He pounded out an entire wall (and broke the sledge hammer). After having a barbecue, he returned with a bunch of guys, and they tied the shed to a truck and pulled it down. It was quite spectacular!

The next day, our good friends came over and my husband and Adam finished it off. It is now a big pile of rubble. Actually, a sorted pile of rubble. The neighbors had fun burning some of it.

Today, after church (my friend is going to be baptized next week!!) our friends came over again and helped us replace two light fixtures in our bathroom. Then, prune back a bunch of trees, cut down a rotted tree in the front yard, as well as, cut it up, and remove this ridiculously tall pole next to the house. It was welded together and much taller than the house. It is finally gone!! I hated that thing. The previous owner was into shortwave radios, and stuff.

Finally, we had a big fire. The kids moved helped clean up the yard, dragging tree branches, and then had smores by the fireside. They played tag, hide n' seek, and caught pill bugs. The day was fantastic.

We had a cookout, and later pizza. It was a wonderful full day of hard work and fun. Now to just get rid of the remains of the shed and burn up all that wood. Lots of campfires this summer : )

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Food War

My son just had his annual physical. He is four years old. He gained two pounds and two inches in a year. He is healthy, but he eats like a little birdie. So, I have initiated the "try a bite" at every meal. My son eats no vegetables. He eats no meat, except McD's chicken nuggets. He eats bananas, and a couple other fruits. He would live on water, chocolate milk, cheese, bananas and peanut butter sandwiches. Oh, and all the junk food and sweets in the world.

So, last night, he tried a bite of Ramen noodles. He tried a bite of cucumber. Today it was "try a bite of turkey from the Lunchable you chose". Great progress! And, he helped me make the shopping list. He requested raw spinach.

So, at dinner tonight, I asked him, "What would you like to eat for dinner?" He told me mashed potatoes. So, I said, "Where did you eat mashed potatoes?" And he said, "Preschool! And they were red!" Hmmmm, could this be possible? So, I made the kids mashed potatoes, and baby spinach, and turkey from the afternoon lunchable (lunch lunchable sounds dumb to type). He didn't want any of it. Big surprise! I forced him to eat one leaf of spinach, one small bite of potatoes, and one small circle of turkey. The reward was cookies. He fought me, he clenched his teeth, he cried and yelled. I won.

But, then he had mashed potato on his hand and chair. He rolled around on the floor crying and carrying on. In the end, after he calmed down and after his vanilla wafer cookies, I said, "I wish you would stop throwing a tantrum over new foods. I am going to continue to make you try new foods. You cannot live on bananas and peanut butter." He responded, "Mom, maybe you should be nicer to me, huh?" I am a mean mom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

More home improvement and a birthday : )

This weekend the plan was to tear down the rotted-out shed. But, it rained. So, instead we painted my daughter's bedroom. This time, no fighting :) and the room got done in half a day! (I don't play well with others). So, we moved into her room. And, the master bedroom is next. When the painting is done, we will pull up the carpet and call in the flooring guys for new carpet. I am going to stay away from pink and seafoam green this time. Ewww, I don't know what the previous owners were thinking. My daughter will miss the pink rug. She requested a purple carpet (hehehehehe). Thinking back to three years ago when we were house hunting, we passed up this home with a beautifully decorated master bedroom - hot pink carpet and walls with black curtains.

My kids have started some garden plants indoors- beans, basil, chives, cucumbers, parsley, peppers, and tomatoes. We planted wildflowers and 2 foot sunflowers in the front flowerbed, but we are still waiting for those to sprout. In the backyard, we will have a vegetable garden with the above veggies- plus, carrots, onions, and peas. Around the vegetable garden we will plant marigolds. This week, the plan is too dig out the garden and plant the peas etc.

Then, in about a week, we will rise very early to get annuals from the "truckload" plant sale at Glen's Supermarket. It starts at 6 AM, and we will be there!! My plan is to arrive at 7:30, right after the kids wake. We can pick up breakfast on the way home. I am going to make our yard look spectacular.

I do not know what to do about the grass. We have Scotty, so pesticides is not really a good idea. I don't want a sick doggie. And, my kids are helping to spread the dandelion joy- they love to blow the white puffy seeds. Everyday, I have cups full of little yellow flowers. It is a losing battle. We need more grass and less weeds. I will just try to fill in the bare areas and keep it watered and mowed until we can figure something out.

Lastly, my son is now 4! He turned 4 over a week ago- and we had a party with his best friend. That Saturday morning, I snuggled with him in bed (both kids invade my bed at 7 AM every morning), and told him about how little he was when he was born, first in my belly, then he was born and so tiny . . . . He interrupted me: "No I was not! Mommy, I was with all the kids! Delenna, Sophia, Emily, Morgan, Isaac. And you came and picked me!" I asked him, "You mean like how we picked out Scotty from the other puppies?" He smiled and nodded in agreement :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Little Paint

My daughter painted "Cheer Bear" from the Care Bears today, along with a puffy chair, flowers, the sunshine, and sky. I am sort of bad at setting up Arts n' crafts. Usually our projects consist of color, cut and paste stuff. I don't really mind the messy stuff, I just have never gotten my children into making "creative" stuff. Usually its a couple scribbles and they are all done.

The painting isn't great, but the thought and effort she put into her work was amazing. She was focused for over 45 minutes, mixing colors (we got to practice the color wheel first) and creating her picture. And, her attention to her reading workbook afterwards was astounding. She was focused and worked hard with no complaining.

We have school rules now.

1. Talk nice to Mom.
2. No toys at school.
3. Wait for a break for snack and play.

She followed these rules today as though her life depended on it. We wrote them up Friday when I was about to pull my hair out. I can't believe how excited she is about her three rules?! She voluntarily put "Baby Puppy" her favorite obsession, on top of the refrigerator (it is still there!!) and didn't talk about it the whole school day. She asked for candy at one point, but was more than willing to wait for her snack, when I asked her what rule three said. I can't believe this is working!

My toy room is still clean, my kids are eating/drinking only in the dining room (with less frequent reminders) and the dog is behaving nicely.

Oh yes, and my girlfriend helped me out in Traverse City today by picking up a lefty glove for my son, because we can't figure out if he is right or left handed. He starts t-ball tomorrow. (He has gone to soccer twice, but still refuses to play, and just stands there).

This is a nice day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Little Organization?

I finally did it. I started a toy "check out". You know how you go to the library and pick out some books, to check out? Then you return them and get some more books? Ok, by far, its not a perfect system (losing books, fines, etc.) But, I just put all my kids toys in the school room, locked up. They were already organized into bins. But, my kids regularly open every bin, and scatter toys all over the playroom. Nobody wants to clean up this mess, and honestly I end up doing the work while my kids are asleep. I am so tired of this cycle.

So, now my children can only have one set of toys at a time (each). In order to get more toys, they must clean up what they are playing with and return the item(s). So far, it is working. It isn't even 9 o'clock yet, but no one is screaming yet.

This will be a bit more work for me, since I have to "unlock" the toy storage each time, but I'm hoping the kids will learn some responsibility, instead of me constantly cleaning up after them.

I also implemented the rule- no eating in Mommy and Daddy's bedroom. I am tired of crawling into bed and feeling like I'm sleeping in a cereal bowl. My kids are actually learning to eat at the dining room table. We've been following this rule for almost a month.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My boycott of Earth Day

I did not celebrate Earth Day. And, I did not teach my children about it. I actually goggled "Boycott Earth Day". Did you know that some environmentalist actually boycott the holiday because they think it has become too commercialized?

I am not an environmentalist, and this is not why I boycotted Earth Day. I didn't even remember the "holiday" until I was in Ace Hardware and was given a "Green" bag with special eco-friendly soaps and detergents. I bought stuff to grow seed with my kids, so I thought the cashier was giving me some bonus gardening stuff. (Anybody want some eco-friendly detergent that I am expecting will not actually clean my clothes or dishes when used with well water?)

I did not celebrate this dumb holiday, because I believe in worshiping my Creator, not His creation. Good stewardship and being "green" is not the same thing. I don't need a special holiday to take care of God's creation. I will not teach my children this garbage either. And, yes, I am one of those people who do not believe the human race is causing global warming.

How did I boycott Earth Day? Easy, I just thanked Jesus for his words in Matthew 6:25-34. If you want to read it, here is a link:

www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%206:25-34&version=31

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bestest Teacher

My daughter told me that she was so very excited that her friend Nick does home school, and that soon, her friend Billy will too. I had to tell her that Billy was not going to be home schooled, and the question of what other kids do if they aren't home schooled finally came out.

So, I explained how public school works (20 or so kids, 1 teacher, going to school together from 9-3 PM) I truly expected tears or a comment like, "I want to go to school with lots of kids". But, do you know what she said?

She told me how she remembered going to Birch Street School for preschool, where the other kids go to school for Kindergarten. Then she said, "Mommy, you are the bestest teacher of all, because you help me to learn stuff, and I get to learn with you at home!"

That was so wonderful and unexpected :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yuck

Yuck. I feel yucky. I binged all day today. All day long. The kids Easter candy, a whole box of mini blueberry muffins, 4 or 5 chocolate chip granola bars, hot wing barbecue pretzel nuggets (why those?), pepsi, etc.

Why?

I don't know why. I could make up a bunch of well thought out reasons, but I'm not going to. I saw this binge coming and didn't do anything to stop it.

I have nothing else to say. *sigh*

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Doggie Trolley, Autism Insurance and Soccer?

My wonderful husband installed a dog trolley. I LOVE it! He added a retractable leash, so I just grab the end of the leash, hook up Scotty and send him out the back door! Since August, I have taken him out multiple times a day - on his leash. Not fun in 4 feet of snow or other icky weather conditions. This is so awesome. It will get even better in the Summertime. He is getting use to it, and doesn't love being out there alone yet, but in time- maybe he will!

I went to an Insurance Reform for Autism press conference today. Michigan is one of those states that excludes the diagnosis of autism from its policies and refuses to cover any services related to the disorder. Its a neurological disorder, and I think it is horrible that people pay for private insurance and then their child's medical condition doesn't get covered.

For the record, I really hate Big Government. I don't like that the state government it trying to force insurance companies to cover autism. But, I'd rather see it happen at the state level, than the federal. And, I think this is discrimination. Did you know that diabetes wasn't covered by insurance, not long ago? And psychiatric disorders- like bi-polar and anxiety? Its all about the almighty dollar.

So, I sat in the press conference feeling like a bit of a hypocrite, but I don't think this is the government's job, but in our country, its come down to this. If the issue isn't forced, it won't happen. And, my child got the services she needed (Applied Behavior Analysis- because teaching kids with autism use to be my career, so I provided the therapy myself for two years), and she is doing fantastic. My friends and neighbors children with ASD aren't able to afford ABA, and so their kids lose out. It makes me so sad. Here in Northwest Michigan there is no one to provide behavior therapy- but, that could change if the money to cover services became available.

In two weeks, my daughter's ASD educational diagnosis will be removed. Then, we cut the cord with the public school- hopefully forever! Can you tell that I really don't like public education? I really don't like it. No more OT. No more Speech/Language. No more feeling like I have to tell new people I meet that my child has an Autism Spectrum disorder. I am still retraining myself. We had a play date with a new family on Saturday, and I zipped my lip. It really wasn't necessary to expose.

I signed the kids up for soccer. It starts in a couple week. They have been kicking around a soccer ball. My son loves it so much! He carries the ball all over the house. (Its a Nerf, so it hasn't broken anything yet.)

That is all for now- off to exercise (I got a new Leslie Sansone DVD- I'm addicted! And down 29 lbs!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Phonics Rant

My daughter is memorizing her phonics words. You know, little sets of rhyming words (at, cat, fat, bat, mat, rat, sat), and not understanding the "phonics" part. She doesn't really sound them out, she memorizes them. So, she has even more sight words. I think at least 200 now! I don't think it would be easy to memorize the entire English language. My methods aren't working. We have been using Explode the Code and supplementing it with Starfall.com stuff, and other work books. She has been working on short a and short i for almost 3 months. Today, it was really obvious to me that she is just a sponge, soaking up the words, and adding them to her sight word list in her brain. Oh yes, and rhyming, she doesn't really get it. How do you actually teach someone to rhyme? I mean we read Dr. Suess, sing "Down By the Bay", practice little rhyming games- nope, its not happening yet.

So, I ordered another book. "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons", because several moms have recommended it. It was cheap on Amazon. So, we shall see.

We started journaling today. She kinda likes it, because she gets to draw a picture, but really hates to write. I think we just need to do a lot more practice with the fun chalk board. I have a special one with double lines.

We went outside today :) It shortened the school day, but hey, it was 50 degrees! We took Scotty for a walk. Then, the kids played in the driveway. My daughter roller skated and my son ran around with a toy wheel barrow (Aunt Nee Nee, its the one from you and Brianna), but he kept chasing the poor dog!

I had to empty and wash out the trash can (soooo gross!) because my trash company merged with another, and doesn't dump the can anymore. Now they drive up in a truck with a big wagon and put the trash in by hand. Well, they left half of my trash! And the bottom had a huge soggy leaking bag of doggie poop. I am NOT happy about this. I pay extra for a can, and if they can't provide a decent service, then I will find another trash service. Tomorrow is trash day- I will be watching from my window. They better take it all.

Ok, the good news is my husband comes home tomorrow night. He has been in
Fargo, ND for a week. Thankfully, the crisis is over.

Ok, off to exercise. I have been stressed. I have been binging again. I will exercise now, because I will fight through this and win.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Doing my job

My job is simply to "hold down the fort". My DH is off to Fargo, ND, to aid in the flood rescue. He is a US Coast Guard pilot. Sometime tonight, I will hear from him, I expect.

Its Saturday, and its 40 degrees outside. Its so much warmer than its been, but chilly and damp. More snow on the way tomorrow. (Waaaahh!) I should have taken the dog for a walk. I should have made the kids go out and play. We were suppose to have a family bike ride in Traverse City (which has been postponed). We didn't do any of these things.

I did laundry, I did dishes, I vacuumed the upstairs. I checked email, called my mother, and let the kids watch videos and play. Its one of those lazy days, and I refuse to feel guilty over it.

Tonight I will exercise and then watch a DVD.

And then the week will begin again. Go to church, food shopping, cooking, cleaning, schooling, organizing, maybe a playdate or two. Missing the one you love never really gets routine, so you have to stick to your routines and just keep going.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Easter Candy Ponderings

It has arrived. The candy. My mother loves to send her grandkids candy. I opened the pastel M&M's today. My daughter is working on estimating in Math, so we used M&M's today. Why are there so many candy holidays? Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter? I am sure I missed one.

We steer clear of Santa being the reason for Christmas, and I've been fairly successful. Nobody in my house believes in the Easter bunny, but if they didn't get lots of chocolate at Easter, it would be a disaster. We have been learning all throughout Lent about the death and resurrection of Christ, but that isn't the focus on Easter morning, just like Christmas is ultimately for presents, no matter how much I teach them about Christ's birth.

So, the M&M's are now in the back of my freezer. Can you guess why? Because I don't want all of my hard work to be destroyed by the Easter Bunny!!! I LOVE M&M's and could eat them by the handfuls. Chocolate = Evil. Seriously, I just can't have chocolate hanging around.

I remember in college, requesting no candy when I was doing WW. My mom sent me cheese shaped like a bunny and a chick. Ummm, that was kinda weird. But, chocolate keeps coming back into my life.

So, this is what I'm going to do. I am going to give my kids a chocolate treat tonight, and then it goes in the trash. For Easter, I will buy them Jolly Rancher jelly beans. Yuck. I hate those, but my kids love them. And, I'll buy them on Saturday before Easter.

I'm off after Arthur (PBS kids) to buy ingredients for dinner (Greek pizza with spinach, feta and olives), stuff for tomorrow's lunch and snacks. No binging today. Chocolate, you lose again! And tonight, I am walking 3 miles with Leslie Sansone. By the Way, I have lost 26 lbs. now!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Missions and Springtime

I ordered my daughter's Bible curriculum tonight. I am going with A Child's Garden of Bible Stories. It has two workbooks and a book on prayers. And, I am waiting to hear about a book recommendation on missions. I just emailed an old friend with Operation Mobilization, to find out if the book "Window on the World" is the children's book that I think it is (but, gave up years ago before having kids). I want to add learning about missions and praying for missionaries/people around the world to our Bible time. My daughter is asking so many questions about Jesus and heaven. A big topic of late is how everyone loves Jesus. It is a very foreign concept to her that not only does everyone NOT love Jesus, but everyone doesn't even know who Jesus is. But, I want to let her know as well, that there are children/people around the globe that worship, praise and love Christ, just like she does : ) (And a concrete way to pray for those who are not yet followers of Christ). She loves geography, so I think missions will be a lot of fun!

Along with missions, we support the mission group, Christar. They share the gospel with people of Hindu and Muslim faith and heritage. I just got a mission letter today from the friends we support, with a DVD. There is a great DVD (the one I just received) they distribute "The Life of Jesus Christ" which is a special edition of the film "Jesus" in multiple languages. It has been well received. I don't know if my kids are old enough to sit through it yet, but it makes me cry. I love it.

I got my two mile walk in today, and managed to walk our dog and kids (two different events, my 2 mile is in front of the tv/VCR. My son cried about the cold the whole way. Its warm too! 40 degrees today, and the roads aren't icy anymore. I love Spring!

Its the weekend finally :) My husband is taking some rare time for himself. I am so glad! He is out with some buddies from work, and tomorrow will take a nice bike ride. He needs it, and I am just so happy to have a couple relaxing days. The kids want to decorate their "room" for Easter, so we will take a trip to the $ store. They are still sharing a room. No progress my daughter's room, but that's ok. And, I want to get fresh air, bake some stuff, and smile a lot.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thinking about school

One room is painted! Hooray! I didn't actually paint it, my husband did, I seem to get grumpy when I paint. Hmmmm. But, I peel wall paper really well, put up painter's tape (don't buy the cheap brand, it falls down) and help clean up when we are done. So, except for the baseboards, my son's room is basically done. We moved him back, along with his sister, and her room will be next. She needs a new carpet, and so does the master bedroom, the current rugs are yucky, faded and ugly colors. So, we are actually making progress towards putting the house on the market!

My fridge is full of healthy stuff. I made a bland asian salad, oh well. But, I made really good pizza last night : ) Barbacue chicken pizza. My husband thinks its weird with slaw on it (you know the cabbage mix, not cole slaw itself), but it cuts out some to the cheese and it was great! I have a new blender, thanks to a big sale at the Coast Guard Exchange, and it purees frozen fruit, unlike my first blender, which pureed nothing. Hooray for Smoothies!

Our vacation is over. DH goes back to work tomorrow, and school resumes. I think my daughter missed it this past week. Our next break is the first week of June. It will be a long haul. 2 1/2 months. But, that will bring us to 180 days of school, my goal for Kindergarten. She is barely missed a day for sickness. Its awesome! We will actually begin First Grade Math, Bible Lessons, Science, Social Studies and Handwriting in May. Umm, and we are in the First grade reading materials sort of. Expode the Code teaches beginning consonants in Kindergarten, and then Books 1, 1 1/2, 2, and 2 1/2 are First Grade books, but I think it all evens out eventually. I think public schools get into the vowels and sounding out words in Kindergarten. (Since we began Explode the Code book 1 in February, we are on the same page as the State of Michigan, except my daughter has over 100 sight words! I think the state guidelines suggest about 24 sight words. I would hope that the kids learn more than two dozen in public school. So, technically we start First Grade in May, but I'll be telling her that its still Kindergarten. I don't know why, I'm just stuck on an abstract number of 180 days. Dumb, probably. But, I am still going to stick to it.

I am going to try some new materials in June. There is a reading curriculum, theme/book based, called 5 in a Row. I plan to use some of this to extend our reading program and include my son who will start preschool in June, at home. I ordered his writing workbook today. He has been asking for one all month. I won't start it with him until June, however.

Ok, that's my rambling for the evening : )

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Walk away from the binge

I won't give up, but today was hard. My kids drove me insane, my dog drove me insane, the dishes are piled sky high, the laundry is undone, I feel like I accomplished little or nothing. I did manage to feed my kids, and the dog. I made waffles for the kids, and a pizza for myself (it has some French name, but basically is a thin crust with mustard, ham, caramelized onions, thyme, swiss cheese and a hint of sour cream - I get 1/5 of the pizza). Everything bothered me today.

The dog is locked up at the moment, because he keeps mouthing my arm and jumping on my lap with his front paws. When he isn't doing that, he is stealing stuff, so I will chase him. The kids are in bed, thankfully. My daughter was freaking out because she wanted curtains (she has shades) because the car headlights scare her as the cars and trucks drive by at night. So, after I explained that I had no curtains, but would pray for her, she relaxed and snuggled into bed. Only for my son to start yelling that he didn't want God's angels to watch over him and protect him!! And, that I shouldn't pray for that! (hmmm, I don't know what he thinks angels are). Nice, soothe one child and terrify another in one moment.

Mostly, I am complaining because I want to binge. I haven't felt this way in a month, I think. I ate too many mixed nuts. It was sort of a mini binge, even so, not cool. I am trying to drink my seltzer water and push past the urge to eat. I will walk next, and then try to relax. I am not relaxed lately, even when I try to relax. I think I will force myself to watch a movie after my walk, instead of cleaning. Here I come, Leslie Sansone. Walk away the pounds!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Another day of school

Our school break is around the corner! Today we will finish up the week nice and solid, and then take a much needed break. My daughter and I have been working very hard. She is learning the short a vowel, and phonics is really a challenge for her. She is my sight word girl. She has over 100 sight words, that I know of, but probably more. Do you remember the Dick and Jane books? We have some revised copies, (I think my mom actually used them as primers) and she loves to read them to her Dad. I can't wait till she gets decoding words. Right now, she isn't there, but when my daughter gets a concept she soars. I can feel it just around the corner.

I ordered new curriculum a couple weeks ago, and the order got lost. But, it is suppose to arrive this afternoon. Getting new workbooks and curriculum is like opening a box of candy. I love it! I so love new school supplies! I ordered materials from Starfall.com. If you homeschool, check out the website, its really neat! And, then I have a couple other workbooks ordered from Evan-Moor that should arrive next week.

We are doing the 4 seasons in Science, and its lots of fun. I am terrible about art projects, and I am finally throwing some creative ideas in there. We cracked open some supplies from my husband's aunt, and made a Spring flower with glitter, popsicle sticks, wooden shapes, jewels, pipe cleaners etc. I have to pull out my creative side more often. My daughter had so much fun!

And, Lent is upon us. I loved doing Advent stuff with the kids, and now am gearing up for teaching the kids about Christ's death and ressurection. We read about it, learn about salvation all year long, but last year we started reading Arch books all through Lent, and my kids started to "get" it. This year should be even better. We have a set of eggs with a Bible verse and piece of the Easter story in it (e.g., nail, piece of purple cloth, thorn). It was a big hit last year.

My daughter has been asking lots of questions about heaven lately. Its really cool. I think one of her kids shows mentioned "looking down" from heaven, and she is very curious. She wants to know if my dad can see us from heaven. Are animals in heaven? Where is it? Does everyone go there when they die? Do you sit on a cloud? Will I be rich in heaven (streets paved in gold)? What's above the clouds? What's after space? Where is heaven???

I like all this! Here are some of my responses: The Bible doesn't say that you will look down on people from heaven (hmmm, stupid Disney!) and doesn't tell us that our pets will be there. I know some people will say that is harsh, but God's word just doesn't focus on those things, so I won't lie and tell her otherwise. The "does everyone go there when they die?" Is an awesome question! Its perfect for Lent. Gosh, I want all my friends and love ones to be there! Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me." I do not teach my kids universalism. It a lie. I teach them what is in God's word, the Bible. I teach my kids about their baptism and John 3:16- For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Yes, I teach my kids about Hell and the devil. And, I teach my kids about salvation. At six, my daughter loves Jesus and is so excited to be one of God's children. The carebears might sit in the clouds (LOL!) but, Jesus is preparing a place a whole lot better : ) Umm, the being rich question is tough. She is kinda stuck on it, "Mommy- there is gold in heaven, and I will be rich! rich! rich!" I'll tackle that another day : )

School is good. I'm glad that all I have to teach isn't just Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. That would be dull.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stupid Jeans!

I have lost 18 lbs. Hooray for me! I looked back in my journal, and was thinking that I've been doing this for about 6 weeks, but no, its only been a month! I have lost 18 lbs. in one month?! I am eating yummy stuff, and walking daily, and it is falling off of me! I love it!

Ok, so I pulled out a box of jeans, and thought that just maybe they would fit. Like, at least one pair, because I have gotten too skinny for two pair that I wore a month ago. Nope! Shouldn't have done that yet! What was I thinking? It was a great reminder that after having two kids and having abdominal muscles cut twice, from c-sections, I have a mommy pouch. It will be the last thing to go. Before it goes, my boobs will disappear, my feet will get narrower, and fat will disappear from other places - but, the belly will be last.

I live in sweat pants. I have fat jeans, and a pair of nice pants for church, but otherwise, its sweat pants. I long to leave my wide pants behind (a friend keeps reminding me that the W is for Woman, not wide, but I don't think so, some clothing designer knew that when a fat woman saw the size 18W or 20W - they would read 18 WIDE, not 18 Womans).

I will keep going until I leave the plus racks behind (and I'm sure my behind will disappear long before my belly too!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Peeling and Painting

Well, I gave up waiting and got started. The CG keeps sending my DH places, and we never start our projects. So, I had the kids move my son's furniture to my daughter's room (except the his dresser, which is in my living room), and started to peel ugly wallpaper. I will get out the spray and wallpaper tool, and get back to work tonight. It feels great to get started. (And, Lyndsey if you are reading, I'm thinking about you today!)

We are gearing up to sell this house, this summer. My son's room needs a new coat of paint, and some helicopter pictures on the wall (instead of safari animals. He already has a nice quilt. I might hang it, cause its got a beautiful airport scene with lots of helicopters. Then, I want to add a shelf for some toy helicopters and aviator teddy bears. I think I will get a Coast Guard blanket for his toddler bed, and then its done. (New furniture, ok new to us used furniture after we move).

My kids, in one room. Wow. My son woke at 2:30 AM with a nightmare about bees. Poor little guy! He thought a hive was under his bed. I managed to come him down with about 5 minutes of snuggles, prayer, and one of my pillows. Then he went back to bed. My daughter woke during this too, but was cooperative. Then, they both woke at 6:15 AM to fight and play. I didn't move a muscle. I calmly let them work it out. They yelled and fought (verbally) for a while, and then suddenly were giggling and happy! I love it, it almost was worth the early wake up. (Ha, they won't come and get me till 7 AM, they are so well trained!) I love it!