Friday, December 31, 2010

Foggy New Year

Its foggy here, and the snow is melting away. I can see the grass in a lot of places (and piles of dog stuff). This is very strange Northern Michigan weather. It is suppose to freeze up again, but really, this is weird weather. My poor daughter was convinced that winter is over. But, I assured her, that no, it was not really over yet.

Baby is 10 weeks and 4 days old. My due date is July 25th. And, today, we heard the little ones heart beat! What a glorious sound! God really blesses families - with the ability to hear inside the womb. We all heard it, kids, daddy and I. What a lovely sound of life! No ultrasound yet, I must wait till about 20 weeks. This is because of my insurance. They won't pay for an ultrasound at any time, unless it is for a medical reason. The doctor assured me that it won't be a problem at 20 weeks.

The kids were intrigued. They put the jelly on my belly, and they wondered what in the world the doc was doing! Part way through, my daughter went to touch it. I started to laugh and could not stop. I kept picturing her finger painting my belly. The doctor laughed too, but must have been wondering what pregnancy hormones had gotten a hold of me!

I am measuring big, but this could just mean weak abs, or it could mean the baby is further along than we think. It is possible. But, I doubt it. (I don't think it is twins, the doppler had enough trouble finding one heart beat). The ultrasound will show what we need to know, so I just have to wait. My hubby was a little bit nervous about a June baby- with our moving plans and all.

Its not advisable that I travel after 30 weeks. Because, I have a history of gestational hypertension. That means after the half-way point, my blood pressure starts to go up. The risk is higher since I am over 35. And, this baby will likely arrive via c-section, because they cannot induce labor when you have high blood pressure, and there is risk involved with a VBAC, and I won't take that risk. I am a pro at c-sections anyways. I have never felt that I was missing out on the birthing process. And, no tears down there for me. No thank you!

I am not nauseous, as bad, right now. That's not a very good sentence. I mean, I don't feel wonderful, but, I am not suffering right now- the prime time for my nausea. I would love to ring in the new year with a settled stomach! I have swiss chicken in the oven, and it smells heavenly. Swiss Chicken is: boneless chicken, swiss cheese, mix sour cream and cream of mushroom soup, and cover with stuffing mix. Yummy! Food doesn't taste or smell good at 4:30 PM any night in the last month or more. So, that's a good sign - right?!

We got a nice advertisement magazine with the stages of pregnancy - great pictures of the baby in the womb, and it is much nicer than what I've been able to show my kids on line. The last online description was: Your baby is now the size of a Kumquat. What kid knows what a kumquat looks like, let alone its size?? Hubby says he ate a kumquat once, in Florida.

Ok, I don't know why the kumquats in this picture are wet.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas! This year was quiet at my house. It was just the four of us- no extended family or friends. But, we had a very nice day. All season long, we have celebrated Advent (The Coming of Christ) with devotional readings and lighting candles on our advent wreath. I love doing that with the kids. I love it for hubby and I too- because it is easy to forget the reason that we celebrate Christmas- the birth of our Savior so many years ago. And, I am so thankful for God's gift to us.

We did not go to church on Christmas eve, I wasn't feeling up to it. But, there is always next year! And, Christmas morning was fun- the kids enjoyed all their presents. We played a game of Sorry and built with Legos. My daughter is enjoying her Sponge Bob sno-cone machine. My hubby got a new bicycle saddle. I got pretty mittens and a wonderful bread machine. I will enjoy it when I am no longer nauseous. Even the dog got a couple toys, although he destroyed the first on in 5 minutes!

I tried to write Christmas cards. At least, a Christmas letter. Then, a New Years letter. I don't think its going to happen. Maybe, I'll send a change of address letter this Spring? It makes me feel a little bit guilty, when I receive such nice Christmas cards sent with love.

Friday, New Years Eve, the baby and I will have our first check-up. We will meet our first OB (first, because I will likely deliver in Alaska). I hope she does an ultrasound, or at least that we can hear the heartbeat. I had initial ultrasounds with my other two kids- but, you never know what a new doctor is going to do. I am bringing the family in case there is something to see or hear. The baby is the size of a kumquat. I don't know what a kumquat is- but, its a fruit, I think, and bigger than a grape.

I now have maternity underwear and bigger bras, maternity pants and a couple tops. I am busting out of my clothes. I have acne on my face. I can now brush my teeth, thanks to cinnamon flavored toothpaste (I know, weird), because mint flavored makes me gag. I need maternity pajamas. cause I have to tuck the current ones under my belly. I'm at 10 weeks people!! Only 10 weeks! My husband claims that I am not as big as before. He thinks that I'm more beautiful than ever. Perhaps, I am. Its hard to feel lovely when you are gassy, bloated, you've got acne patches and even some gray hair. But, I'll still accept the compliment.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A bit of snow

We got some more snow. I don't know if it was another foot? But it has been blowing around a lot. 193 school districts in the area were closed. Not our school, of course, but the air station was closed, so daddy was home and he helped us with school today. Fractional parts of a whole for our daughter, and Countries Around the World with our son, he was learning about England. It was so nice to have his help, we were done by 2 PM, and that hasn't occurred in a very long time.

I am still so nauseous all the time. I am eating lots of Clementines. They take the edge off, but they aren't really working as well. I wore maternity pants for the first time today. They do not fit right, they are too low, because I am not "showing" yet. I just can't handle the pressure of tight pants on my abdomen. I wore out by 9 PM, last night. I can't believe the amount of rest that my body requires.

My kids are making gingerbread cookies today. I barely made it through the dough, with my daughter. Butter, molasses, lemon and sugar smell miserable. I remember that these cookies taste wonderful, but I would have thrown the batter away, if I didn't know better. It is all mixed, and chilling in the fridge.

My husband snow plowed the drive, knocked down the icicles (the dog is playing with one), bought ingredients to make dinner, put gas in my car, washed it, and is holding down the fort today. He reminded me how wonderful things get when the nausea ends. I truly blocked out most of this experience with my other two kiddos. I don't remember being so run down, but he remembers and I guess I was. I do remember vomiting in the hallway - not making it in time, and my loving husband sliding through it in his socks in an effort to help me. That's real love, isn't it. I am glad that I'm not re-living that moment!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Brussel sprouts and dijon mustard?

Ok, I had dreamed last night that I was at a potluck, with people from my dad's church (in NJ over 11 years ago) and I was filling my plate with ziti, chicken alfredo, green bean casserole, stuffed shells etc. But, I woke before I got to taste it. I felt ill most of the night, I was so thirsty, and the bed was just not comfortable. I also got way overheated.

But, buy 9 AM, I am craving brussel spouts. I finally bought some last night, the kind that you steam in the bag. I swear, I ate almost the entire bag with butter and salt. I did give my daughter a few. And, then whole wheat pita, with ham, dijon mustard, tomatoes, basil, and cheddar cheese. These foods actually settled my preggo belly!

And, I'm trying to drink seltzer water. I just can't drink very much without feeling sick. So, I'm on to the next experiment. Peppermint tea is out, ginger tea is out, plain decaf tea is out, water is out, water with lemon is out. So, I'm down to cranberry juice, seltzer and V-8.

We are going into town tomorrow, to a Christmas party for the kids at the air station. They are so excited about it. I can't blame them, they have been stuck in this house with me all week. They played outside in the snow with Daddy last night, so at least there was that. I just don't have much pep.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Its Kodiak!

We are moving to Kodiak. We got the word today! I am very excited about it! It will just be a two year tour. We don't have official orders cut, yet, so I don't know exactly when. But, at least now, I know where!

I am feeling so nauseous today. I pushed through school, and managed to finish dinner around 3 PM, because when I get hungry, I must eat or puke. So, now dinner is ready.

We learned yesterday, that baby "pinky" (the kids named the baby) is the size of a blueberry. That's about 1/2 inch. How can someone so small - be such a huge impact on every minute of my day?? I am told that morning sickness is a good sign.

I don't have energy to write anymore. But, that's the news!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Burned out Bread Machine

My bread machine bit the dust. It died today. I think the motor burnt out. How disappointing! I bought it used for $20-$30, so we've definitely gotten our money's worth, but the whole family loves homemade bread. My mother-in-law is considering getting us a new one for Christmas, so now I need to do some research.

I have been craving oranges. This is a good thing, I guess. Except, it meant sending my loving husband out into the snow to get more. He is riding out there with his studded tires on his bicycle. He is loving it. Yes, he loves to winter cycle. We needed other groceries too. It is so wonderful to have his help.

All food smells gross. Pretty much all day long. I managed to heat up a turkey ham, steam broccoli and bake potatoes for dinner. We had sour cream, and that was good. I had to eat it, the ham, broccoli and potato, or I was going to be ill, but yuck. Nothing tastes or smells good. Then, I needed an orange. We had a couple left, and they weren't the greatest, but they made all the difference.

I am going to try seltzer water next. It just sounds good. Maybe with a squeeze of orange in it? And, I put ingredients for a vanilla fruit smoothie on the list. I need to drink more.

Hubby is home- lots of snow out there!

Friday, December 3, 2010

When will I need maternity stuff, baby stuff?

I got rid of everything. I mean, really- everything. We have no baby or toddler stuff anymore. When my two kids were little, especially my first, I wanted everything to be brand new. I didn't have a lot of new maternity clothes, I did borrow those and manage to stain nearly everything by spilling stuff on my shirts (poor sister-in-law who lent them to me). But, you know with your first child, you get this amazing baby shower. I even had one with my second.

Now, this will be the frugal baby. I probably won't buy cloth diapers, because they aren't cost effective for one child (but, I'm still thinking about it). I used cloth diapers with my daughter, but they were hard to manage, cause I lived with my mother, and I didn't know what the heck I was doing. They leaked a lot, through the leak-proof velcro diaper covers. But, I will use the consignment shops for when ever possible. I think with the first two, I used the consignment and thrift stores like they were cute little shops to buy "this and that" - stuff that I really didn't need. But, I don't do that anymore. Most of my own clothes are second hand. My kids clothes are second hand, and I feel like I've been robbed when I shop at department stores. Of course, Grandma helps a lot with the kids clothes. She is an expert on buying things on discount. I do buy some things new- like underwear, socks, and most shoes. My winter coat (its hard to find winter coats that aren't out of the 80's or worn out here, unless they are new).

I don't know what size maternity clothes to try on. I should do this while my hubby is available, because taking the kids shopping is awful. I am a size 16, sort of. I am not a size 18, and I am not always able to fit into a 16. So, I think this means XL. In shirts, I wear either a Large or XL. Some XL are huge on me.

Baby stuff, I just don't know when I want to start looking for the gear. We really are trying to stick to a budget. My girlfriend has offered to loan me some stuff. My sister-in-law offered her crib, but if we move to Alaska, I don't think that is a good idea. She isn't 100% certain that she is done having kids, and shipping would be a bear. Plus, I ruined most of her maternity clothes the last time . . . .

I am finding a trend. Every day, around 3 PM, things start to smell gross. This lasts till bedtime. Tonight, my hubby cooked turkey bacon for dinner, and pancakes. I did not eat any of this, but ewww. It smelled awful. Then, the gas. My abdomen blows up like a balloon. I have to say, I stop smelling the bacon. And, I know that I smell tons worse! But, the bloating and gas lasts all evening. This has been going on all week. I have tried to add more calcium to my diet. And, I have thrown beans and legumes into recipes - as these things are good for you when you are pregnant. I'm not eating more, in fact, I'm eating even healthier than usual - seriously, I ate anchovies with a salad and an orange for lunch. Maybe the bloating is the trade off for not puking this time?

Oh, this is a lovely post! Sorry! I'm going to surf the internet for cloth diapers now.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fixing stuff

Today, Cadillac Garage Door and K&K Heating arrived at the same time. So, now my garage door works right and we have heat again! All accomplished this morning before lunch! Actually, the heater needs a part, but it is repaired for now.

While this was all happening, I managed to read together with both kids, erupt a volcano (we recreated Olympus Mons- giant volcano on Mars) and finish I science lesson about Asteroids and Meteorites. I love these science lessons, because I learn stuff that I didn't know either! Oh, and we are learning about how the birth of Christ is celebrated in countries around the world. Tomorrow we will paint shells and make ornaments to hang on our tree, like they do in the Caribbean.

I had to pull out the snow blower for the first time this season. I managed to clear the driveway, mailboxes, and porch, because we had a few inches of snow last night.

Now, I have fed everyone, eaten lunch, and I am very sleepy. I didn't sleep well, because it was 2:30 AM when I realized that the fan on the heater wasn't shutting off and the temperature was starting to drop. It never really got cold. It is good to have a hubby to snuggle with : )

I need to wake up- and get moving now. There is more school to teach, bread to bake, the kids are begging to play in the snow, and perhaps a nap before dinner and dance lessons (for my daughter) tonight. Oh, and measure my daughter for a dance costume that she may never get to use. The deposit is due now, but of course we still don't know when or where we are moving. Well, she will have pretty play clothes, at least? Nausea seems to set in about 3-4 PM, so I have to make sure I clear time to just lay around like a lump around then.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The beginning of Advent

This morning, I took the kids to church. I am so glad that we went! The sermon was really good. And, I love the start of Advent. My daughter ran around and told everybody that there was a baby in my tummy. She was even singing songs about it. It was so sweet! Of course, everyone is very excited and happy for us. It makes me a little bit sad that our baby will be born somewhere else. But, then again, its all the more reason to say in touch with all these wonderful folks.

After we got home, Hubby made my most favorite sandwich. I don't know what it its called, but this is how you make it: Two slices of bread, spread on cream cheese, add lettuce, turkey and cranberry sauce. Yummy! I like this sandwich once a year. So, I have him make it after every Thanksgiving.

Then, we put up the Christmas lights outside. I held the ladder, I didn't climb up it. The kids ran around and played. The inside of the house is decorated too and looks so pretty! The kids and Grandma decorated the tree yesterday. And, I decorate the living room with various Nativity scenes. Since, "Jesus is the Reason for the Season!" after all!

Then, I went food shopping. Our bills are much smaller this month, I love it! I am baking, freezing, cooking, and so I guess you could say this is my new hobby. I got a wreath for the front door (50% off at Rite Aid) and got some cinnamon pinecones for a bowl on the table.

I am still so very very tired. I take a nap just about every day. That's what I did when I got home from the store. Hubby is very supportive of this, although, he was home a lot this week, and my mother was visiting, and the kids and I took a break from school. Tomorrow, I will gauge our school around my exhaustion. I will lay down in the late afternoon when the afternoon kids shows are on PBS.

I sort of have morning sickness, but it isn't bad at all (or yet). I had to eat after my nap today- I was ravenous. It was almost dinnertime, so this was ok. But, I over filled my plate, and actually couldn't finish it all. Which is good! And, then I just felt kinda icky for awhile, but not sick. I am eating the same as usual, but I am so curious about my weight. I guess it must be nearly the same, cause all my clothes still fit. But, those refried beans are making me very bloated (and causing other problems). We had tacos of dinner.

After dinner, I made a wonderful turkey cream soup. Its almost done cooking. And, it tastes great! I am just waiting for the rice to finish cooking. There is sooooo much! The recipe says it makes 16 servings! And, I used turkey stock that I made a couple days ago, and froze. I am sure that I will freeze some of this soup too.

So, its almost the end of a very nice day. I hope yours was just a wonderful!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Baby?!!

Well, It didn't take long really. John and I decided towards the end of August to try for another child, and I am pregnant! Tina, if you are reading this, that is why I called you yesterday : )

Towards the end of July, our baby is due. My son will be 6, my daughter will be 8 (almost 9) and me- still in my 30's! For a few months anyways : ) I will have three children before I turn 40 years old. Wow!

I don't feel pregnant yet. I feel like I have a cold. My husband has the same one, he caught it from me, so the baby isn't making me stuffy. But, you know, you can't take much for a cold in the first trimester. So, the neti pot and tea are my new best friends. But, its ok. I am coughing all night, in that vague state of asleep and awake - last night it was thinking of baby names. It turned into names that start with K, just like my last name. Weird names, like "Kangaroo Kirk" or "Knowledge Kirk" or "Kipper Kirk". Umm, no I won't be using any of those names. LOL! The night I found out, I dreamed about shopping for diapers in different sizes.

I haven't made a big deal about it, but I've lost over 45 lbs. this last year. So, I am actually no longer Obese. I am just fat. Like XL (some size large) fat. I love this size. Maybe I won't have to buy plus size maternity clothes? I am taking care of myself better than I have in my whole life. I don't eat sugar, sweets or junk food. I don't drink pop or and I switched to decaf coffee. I gave up artificial sweeteners and I feel wonderful! I am not this highly motivated great person- Its not that at all. I joined Overeaters Anonymous last November, and follow a 12 step program (like Alcoholics Anonymous) and ask God for the help I need not to binge eat. One day at a time, I have not binge eaten in an entire year as of this Wednesday. That is a miracle!

I am not worried about gaining weight with this baby. Cause I don't diet. I'll gain what I need to in order to have a healthy pregnancy.

The kids are so cute about the new baby. My son rubs my belly and decided that I cannot lift him anymore, because he doesn't want to hurt the baby. My daughter said this: "So mom, how exactly did the baby get into your womb? (Me, "Daddy and I prayed and asked God for a baby, and he answered our prayer") "Yeah, I know that. But, HOW did it get inside you? I understand about the egg and sperm. How did Daddy's sperm get in there?!" Yikes! I am not ready to go down that road yet. Cause, if I tell her, she will tell her brother. And, probably everyone else that she knows. But, by the end of these 9 months, I am certain that we will have "The Talk". LOL!

I do not feel any morning sickness yet. With my other two, I got lots and lots of morning sickness. It went to week 24. It occurred all day long. I'm still sitting here smiling about it. Maybe, I won't get sick this time? I'll keep you posted!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Goodbye Little Bear

My mother's dog got sick, and had to be put down today. Little Bear was a very good dog. He was my mother's dog, of 13 years, but once he was mine. I haven't seen him in years- since we lived in Northern Virginia, and I drove home to New Jersey to visit my mother and dog. My daughter was about 2 years old then. So, that means it had been 6 years. I missed half his life. But, I loved him.

My friend's family called the house to tell us that there was a sign posted in a local restaurant, "Golden Retriever Purebreed Puppies for Sale". I drove with my dad to see them, and I feel in love. It was a lot of money, but I bought him. He pranced around the house with huge paws. And, I named him "Little Bear" because he reminded me of a little brown bear. He wasn't easy to train, but I took him to puppy school. My dad was the one who housebroke him. He was a bundle of energy, as most retrievers are. He slept on my bed with me. He was naughty and ate toilet paper off the roll. I suppose that I attach a lot of my memories of Bear with the last years of my dad's life here on earth. My favorite photo album is of Bear, because there are so many pictures of him with my father.

I met my husband to be- the year my dad died, and the following summer, I moved to Wyoming to be with him. I couldn't leave my mother alone. It was heartbreaking, but I gave her my dog. And, she needed him. She took him on walks nearly every day of his life, after that. She would put me on the phone every once in a while, so the dog could hear my voice.

We got married in New Jersey, and I have a wedding picture with my dog.

My husband and I moved back to New Jersey and lived with my mom, after only a year. We brought my husband's bird, BoBo with us and he liked Bear a lot. He even sat on Bears back. And, Bear was gentle, and wouldn't think of harming Bobo. We had my daughter while living at my mom's and Bear use to love to clean up under the high chair. He was good with my daughter. He ate her baby socks and left colorful poops in the yard, which was really gross, but also funny!

We moved away again, and just close enough for a visit or two. I haven't been home since then, in over 6 years.

But, he was nearly 13. And, he wasn't really my dog anymore. He was my mother's companion and friend. But, he was one of the best dogs that I had the pleasure to know and love.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My big girl is 8


The party was very nice, and my daughter is now 8 years old. She had a lovely party. Seven friends arrived bearing gifts, and we set to work making a hamster craft. Then, my daughter opened her presents: pajamas and a dress from Grandma, a couple Fancy Nancy books, and Zhu Zhu pet accessories. She also received many many Zhu Zhu gifts, and now, between she and her brother, they have 15 of these motorized toys. Yikes! She got a few non-Zhu items, such as candy, a checkers game, and jacks.





After the presents, they ate Zhu Zhu cupcakes. It took a long time to make them. They were kinda ugly, but, they do look a bit like the toys. Cupcake, ice cream, Cheetos, and Hawaiian punch. Yum (I didn't taste any of it). Everyone played with the toys till the moms and dads arrived. They took their goodie bags home, and there were lots of smiles. My daughter had good manners, and her brother didn't throw any crying tantrums.

She went shopping with her allowance and birthday money, and bought more accessories. A pizza parlor. All this stuff is noisy, a bit annoying, and my kids love it to pieces.

I am baking bread again, making oatmeal muffins (the first batch fell) and I cooked up taco meat for tomorrows dinner, plus enough to freeze for next week.

I haven't blogged, because lately, I've just been exhausted. Maybe its PMS. But, I don't feel cranky today, but just as if all my energy has been sucked out of me. I'm just so tired!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cassoulet? Hmm

Tonight I am making a Cassoulet. I found the recipe online, on Hillbillyhousewife.com. I like this site, and have tried a variety of recipes from it. This one has lots and lots of beans in it. But, it was cheap to make. Tomorrow, I will find out if it was worth the effort.

Today, the dog knocked half a loaf of raisin bread on the floor. I caught him before he devoured it, but it was on the floor, with doggie germs, so it had to be thrown away. And, the kids will not eat the pumpkin muffins or peanut butter muffins that I made. I can't eat the pumpkin muffins either (too much sugar) But, I can eat the peanut butter ones. And, they are good! Great with coffee, I think. So, the kids ate saltines for a snack. My son likes the raisin bread, which is a miracle, because he doesn't like most foods.

The kids fought like cats and dogs today. My daughter makes faces at and "touches" her brother. Sort of like poking him, but not even a poke. It makes him scream very loudly. She is becoming an expert at teasing. He is an expert at overreacting. And, we did not go to Traverse City today, so schooling was very difficult. It should have been great. I loved the extra day to complete our lessons. But, my daughter was angry and mean all day. She did not like voting with her dad. It was just too boring. She got cold at the park. She hated math today. She hated reading today. I was labelled the "worst mom in the world" a few times. And, attempts to scratch and squeeze my arms were made. Oh, and her Zhu Zhu Pet Moo was "naughty" and was going to bite me numerous times. I realize that she did not get her play date today in Traverse City, but that is life. I have to cut back on our trips to TC to save some money. So, we will go every other week for a while.

My son cried about everything. He did not want to go to swimming lessons because he would have to jump in the pool at the end. He was starving most of the day, "So hungry I'm going to die!" He was also dying of thirst. And he wanted to change his shirt, because his long sleeve shirts get stuck in his coat. He spent a lot of the day running away from his sister and screaming "Stay away from me!"

What a day. Thankfully, my children are sleeping like little angels now, and tomorrow will be a new day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ugh.

Tomorrow I will turn 39! Yippie! I am not at all unhappy about my birthday. I am nearly 40, as my children keep reminding me. My daughter said goodbye my 38 for me before she went to bed.

We still don't know where we will move. But, Los Angeles has opened up. Its actually on our dream sheet, because we expected it. Its possible that we could live near my brother. And, near my mother, when she moves there. She is planing to move to southern California this summer (maybe). I am not a country girl. But, I am not a city girl either!! That is why the UGH.

It would be wonderful to live near family. That is very true. However, I would make a strange California girl. Really strange, I think. I homeschool, I try to be frugal, and I think quite differently than my brother and sister-in-law. That doesn't make them bad or me good, or visa versa, just different. Think the city mouse and the country mouse. I am somewhere in between, I guess.

We want to sell our car (one of them) and live near the air station. Well, the air station is in LAX. The airport. The huge international airport. So, we can't live really far away from LAX and provide my hubby with a great cycling commute. Ok, he will prove me wrong on this. I know he will. I just keep picturing couches on porches with bars on the windows.

But, hubby wants a safe place for us to live. I have no doubt about that. We will need to find a place that we can own a big dog and bird. A safe place to raise the kids. I have a GPS, at least.

I am torn- I really want to go there, and I really really don't want to go there. I lived in Jersey for 20 years, so why am I anxious about this? I guess, cause I would have never thought about living in Newark. Ok, if you aren't from Jersey, you don't know what I'm referring to. Newark is the smelly congested place where the international airport is. So, I'm making a comparison.

I can drive like a crazy driver, I don't do that anymore, but I haven't forgotten. I can learn to live in a new place. I am glad this is not my decision, but up to God (even if the CG believes its up to them) "Home is Where the Coast Guard Sends You" I have a decorative wall plaque that says that. But, truly, its where God sends us, cause we are keeping it in prayer, for His wisdom and direction. God is bigger than the Coast Guard.

It is so hard to wait and wait and wait. Oh, yeah, wanna buy a house? I've got a nice big house here in Northern Michigan for sale. LOL!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A wonderful evening

We had a great date night for our anniversary! After dropping the dog off at the kennel, we pick up my husband at work. And, then we headed downtown, so that I could buy a new dress or outfit. I love the Raven's Child in Traverse City. I bought a dress there a few years ago (also for our anniversary). So, my hubby walked around with the kids, while I had fun playing dress-up. It was way to expensive, but hey, it was our 10th anniversary, and I wanted to look great for the best husband in the world!


That's my new dress! Isn't it cute? I wore it with tall boots. This is the only picture that I could find of it.




We brought the kids to a friend's house, and he showed them his Star Wars pinball machine, lego models and nerf guns. They were quickly sold on the idea, and I was too. He even had an oversized bean bag chair that they could jump on.




So, we went to the hotel, got changed for the evening, and had a wonderful dinner at "The Cook's House". Yummy! Then, we ran over to the State Theater, and watched "The Prairie Home Companion" a live broadcast. This radio show is so funny! It is lovely to go on a date with the man you love! And, oh I love mine to pieces!!!

In the morning, we picked up our happy children. They had a blast too. They made cookies, and dunked them in milk. They ran around in the yard with flashlights. My daughter slept in the giant bean bag chair. They shot nerf guns, pretended to be dogs, and played video games.

Everyone was tired on Friday. My husband fell asleep on the couch and the kids watched a Sponge Bob video and laid around. I made a pie for my hubby to take to work today (he had duty). And, I got the food shopping done for the week. I made the tortellini soup.

Today, after swim lessons- we did Saturday school to make up for Friday. It actually went really well! And, now at 10:30 PM I am remembering that I haven't reviewed tomorrow's Sunday School lesson, and I'm the teacher! Opps!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Muffins and Our Anniversary

We had almost a dozen eggs, that were going to expire today. First, I boiled a half-dozen, and then, I baked. It was lovely! The house smells so good. I made a couple kinds that I can eat, they are fairly low in sugar. I think a 1/4 cup across a dozen isn't too bad. One is whole wheat, and the other is very similar, but with cinnamon and granny smith apples. Then, I made oatmeal muffins that I will not eat, they have a half cup of brown sugar. But, the family can enjoy these things, and I will freeze a lot. I have been trying to bake and cook more, instead of eating out and buying snack food. It is much healthier for the kids to eat a pumpkin muffin or whole wheat muffin than sugar cereal or fruit snacks.

I made swiss chicken and green beans for dinner, and of course muffins, and the next recipe will be spinach and tortellini soup. But, not for tomorrow, because . . . .

Tomorrow, I will have been married to my love for 10 years!!! He is taking me out on the town! He is wonderful. Simply wonderful. He found a sitter, and the kids will stay overnight. They are delighted, the sitter is excited about it, and I get a full night off. I will even drop the dog off at the kennel. The plan is to see a live broadcast of "The Prairie Home Companion" at the State Theater, and he made dinner and hotel reservations. I am so excited!

I tried on my dressy clothes, and guess what? Most of my clothes are too big! My favorite dresses, they are too big! And, I even tried a few on from 8-10 years ago (I kid you not) and they are too big, well and a couple were just really out of date. They looked much better in my memory and on the hanger, than on me. This is because I have lost 45+ pounds in the last year. It is very satisfying to have to shop for pretty clothes, and not plus size pretty clothes.

So, tomorrow, after school, I will drop the dog off at the kennel, meet my husband- who will watch the kids, shop for a new outfit (downtown, I think), bring the kids to the sitter, go to the hotel- to get ready for my hot date!!!

I really would rather be out with my husband than anyone else in the world. He is wonderful, and the love of my life. I love him even more than the day that I married him. Our love has just grown deeper. I really am thankful to God for giving him to me. I couldn't imagine life without him.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stargazing



We had a fun evening. We took the kids to the Observatory in Traverse City, and looked through some telescopes to see Jupiter with 4 of its moons, and our Moon. It was really a nice night, and my daughter was impressed. We can actually see more stars at home, in our own backyard, but we don't have a gigantic telescope. My son, told me as I put him to bed, "I didn't get to see all the cool stuff." I thought he was referring to falling asleep on the car ride home, but no, he was expecting to see ALL of the planets. He knew there were 8 (or 9 if you count pluto) and so, he felt gypped. But, we will go back, and maybe next time, we will see some other planets.

One little boy announced, "Well you know, the moon is made of Cheese!" He was going to view the moon through a telescope. It made me think of Wallace and Gromit. Perhaps you're a fan too.

Our school day went well. At one point, my daughter wanted to finish first, so she insisted on completing Reading, Vocabulary, and Social Studies without a break. She was motivated, so we did it. Then, she drew cute pictures of me and wrote stuff like, "Mom is fun" and "I love my mom". This was a nice treat!

Earlier in the day, she told me that she noticed her birthday party was going to be very short. (The invitations read 2-4 PM). She explained that it was simply too short, and that I was ruining her party! LOL! Well, we are inviting 10 kids (plus my two) so I don't think that I am ruining anything. I think 12 kids running around with Zhu Zhu pets for two hours is plenty of time!

My son did great on his vocabulary assessment. Every two weeks I check to see if he has an understanding of the words we have been learning in Wordly Wise 2000. He got every one! During the last two assessments, he barely participated and barely answered me, so I was starting to wonder if I was losing him with this program. But, we had success today, so we will continue!

I am desperately waiting to see a picture of my niece! She was born on Sunday. If you are reading this Mom, let Jim know that I want pictures!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Beautiful Sunny Morning!

It is a bit cool outside, but sunny and beautiful! What a beautiful morning, God made for us! I am so thankful!

My muscles are starting to crave exercise. The morning workout wasn't so great, the heat came on and blew hot air in my face at the first mile mark, and I got winded really fast. I closed the vent, but then I was thirsty, hungry, and fatigued. And, honestly, I didn't like getting up at 6:15 AM at all. But, by yesterday evening (with no morning workout) I wanted to walk! And knee lifts felt really good! My body just needed to stretch and move! So, it will be back to when I put the kids to bed, and more often than every other day, because it makes me feel really good :)

I eliminated McRuffy Phonics and Reading with my son, and we have just been working on Starfall.com this week, while I wait for Explode the Code. He loves it, and it makes him laugh. The school day has been much more pleasant since we made the change.

I looked at Christmas gift ideas for both kids. My daughter wants lots of Zhu Zhu pets and accessories. She also wants this Barbie doggie swim school. Its a pool with diving boards for pet (plastic) dogs. Barbie is their swim teacher, I guess. And, she wants more Littlest Pet Shop Stuffed toys. They have an online world - so at least its more than a weird looking stuffy. And, really, they are strange looking. Here's a picture of one.


My son, wants Kung Zhu pets and accessories. These are little motorized hamsters that wear battle armor and fight. They are very silly looking, but not as girly as Zhu Zhu pets. And, he wants more Geotrax. He doesn't want any of the GeoAir (add ons to fly planes and helicopters), but just the train layouts and trains. Below are pictures of Kung Zhu pets, oh my!





















I am in the mood for soup. I am making an Asian Chicken Noodle soup this morning. Its wonderful! I can't wait. But, I will cook it and save it for suppertime. Then, when we finish that, I have a Chili-corn soup with chicken and black beans. And, I will make homemade biscuits. I have never made "real" biscuits. I have used Bisquick, but then they have this "Bisquicky taste" I don't know, its kinda like how all the refrigerator biscuits kinda taste the same. So, I will try this out. I have a recipe for Ham and Lentil Soup with Tomatoes and Arugula, but I could not find Arugula. It looks like spinach, but I would guess they taste different. I have one more store to check, before I give up on that one. Its hard to find Arugula in the middle of nowhere, where we live!

I hope that you have a lovely day!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Its Fall!



I love this cartoon!!! Happy Fall everyone. Yesterday, we took out the leaf blower and rakes, and the kids jumped in a huge pile of leaves. I had my husband home to help, which is very unusual. He is usually out of town in the Fall. I told him that it was just a sprinkle of leaves. The trees have a ton of lovely leaves on them, it is so pretty!

I did not do school on Saturday. And, I didn't do school on Sunday either. We were just having so much fun! On Friday, the Air Station had a morale event at Pebble Creek Mini-Golf. We played 5 rounds of mini-golf with the kids! It was a blast. And, both kids got to ride the go-carts with Daddy. We had the afternoon, just to ourselves- just Coast Guard families. It was so relaxing and fun. Then, we went to a neighborhood park, and joined friends for a birthday party. It was another homeschooling family. The mom homeschools 8 kids! And, two other homeschooling families joined us, so we had a big crowd. We even brought Scotty, and he got lots of attention from everyone. He doesn't usually come with us, and was a good dog.

On Sunday, we went to church as a family. That is always a treat, because so much of the time, my husband is away or standing duty. Our friend that we bring was sick, so she could not join us, but hopefully she can come back next week. After church, and lunch, we went to Hoxie's Orchard. They have a corn maze, hay barn, wagon ride, pumpkin picking and apple picking. We did it all! Including donuts and cider. I didn't have a donut or cider, but I ate a delicious Honeysweet apple. Yummy! Then, we went into Traverse City and bought a Mac Mini at the Apple Store!! Hooray! We have a new computer :) My father-in-law gave us a computer monitor, so we just needed a keyboard and Mac Mini. It works great, and I will have so many more options for homeschool.

This morning, I am sitting here drinking my coffee (decaf) and thinking about changing my workout to the morning. Currently, I exercise about every other evening, doing between 1-3 miles of walking using a Leslie Sansone DVD. Actually, I have a collection of DVDs, so I alternate. But, my daughter wanted to walk with me this morning, and so we walked at 9 AM. I did the one mile, and she lost interest, but my whole body feels great! I seriously feel awesome! So, I am thinking, what if I could feel like this EVERY morning? I am going to set my alarm for 6:15 AM tomorrow. I will walk for 2 miles, shower and start the day. I have to finish before Arthur at 7 AM, because its my daughter's favorite show. But, this could be a very good thing! My days generally begin very sluggish. I have wanted to change that forever! So, I'll keep you posted!

I am going to check out Explode the Code online for Gideon today. It is a 12 month subscription, and costs around $70 for the year. It looks like a fun program, and I think it will solve the writing issues. He will type in answers, rather than print them, and it will move at his pace. McRuffy Reading is just too hard for him right now. If the program doesn't suit him, then I'm out $70, but I think my daughter can use it, and she could move through it quickly to her level.

Mmmm. this coffee is good! I think I've pushed past my cravings for "sweet" coffee, and I don't miss the sugar or splenda too much. I have given up artificial sweetners for a few weeks now.

Soon, my kids will have another cousin! I can't wait! My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are expecting any day now. Her due date is Sunday, I believe. We live too far away for a visit, but hooray! We will have a new little one in the family soon. They will make great parents. And, they are close enough to both sets of grandparents, that this baby will see lots of family. I am so happy about that! I am waiting for you Babykins!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Year Round School?

I am thinking about year round school again. We did it once, the first year I began homeschooling. I am wondering if I was wrong this summer to take a break. Its not like it caused any damage, but I think it would take some pressure off. I want to enjoy watching my children learn, not spend the day moving us from one subject to the next, so we aren't late for swimming, dance or some other appointment. I want to have the flexibility to go places and do family activities. If we move in the Spring, we could be on the road for a few weeks, anyways! Then, we will be moving into a new home. I need to learn and teach flexibility.

I am also considering Saturday school. We would use it as a "catch up" day. In other words, I won't plan to have school on Saturday, but if we need to spend an hour or so completing a reading lesson, we will.

My ideas demand breaking the "school" mold. I am still too tied down to my traditional school views. I can't seem to stick to a 9-2 PM schedule, no matter how hard I try, so why bother? Really, its not natural. Plus, my husband is not home very much, and then suddenly will have a morning home with us. I need to use this time to my advantage. Tomorrow, I will. I will go to the lab and get my cholesterol checked. I was suppose to do this a month ago. I will stop at the store and get some groceries without kids, and get the (late) registration renewed for both cars. My dear husband can guide the kids through their chores, and read with them. Maybe, they can even play outside a bit.

This Saturday, I am hoping that the family can all go into TC to the observatory, and see stars and planets. I have to check the weather. My daughter is really enjoying her astronomy lessons. Tomorrow, we will simulate a solar eclipse. This is why I need to break the mold. We should be loving this a whole lot more, and I am tired of hearing how everyone "hates school".

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dinner with a friend

Tonight, we went across the street to have dinner with a friend. She is in her 80's and lives alone. She made us macaroni and cheese, green beans, homemade applesauce, salad, and served grapes, bread, chocolate eclairs, and jello with whipped cream. My children ate off of real china. They did not make a mess, they used their napkin and washed their faces and hands after the meal. Then, of course they were bored, because there were no toys (they read Reader's Digest magazines LOL!) but, they allowed me to visit without breaking anything or fighting. My son only ate bread and dessert, and my daughter only ate salad and dessert, but they each took a bite of unfamiliar food and politely declined. We stayed for two hours. Amazing! My kids made me very proud of them tonight.

We had a decent school day, but it is taking me forever to start in the morning. We finished everything except Science. But, tomorrow we will catch up on that, because our TC day will be shorter than usual. My son did not do chores today, and he did not get allowance. He also told me today, "I hate school! You can't make me do school! I am going to play!" Then, he hit me in the leg three times. I told him to sit down and stop being disrespectful, or he would end up in time-out in his room. He complied, and we actually had a decent lesson. What he doesn't realize is, "been there, done that!" His dear sister's outbursts of past years have been far more intense. I'd be lying if it didn't bother me that at 5, my son is already claiming to hate school, but he has the next twelve years to learn to like it, right? :)

Kodiak, Alaska is really really far away! It will take two weeks to travel there, and half of that will be on a ferry! That is just wild! Did I mention that I get sea sick? I guess I will have to get over that. It sounds like such a neat adventure. I hope we can take extra time to visit some sites along the way. The ferry sounds interesting, its the Alaskan Marine Highway, and it makes different stops along the way. We would take a couple ferries. The dog would stay in the car - in a kennel. We'd get to walk him a few times a day, either on land or on the boat. My husband says, if we get orders to Kodiak, its an earlier PCS move, like in the early Spring. That is only 6 months away! I have this sudden urge to purge the house of more junk that we don't need. Like get ride of the treadmill, old clothes, the old couch, and old table. And, sell this darn house!

Ok, in reality, we might not get orders to Kodiak, but right now I can think about little else. I've got that itch to get moving again. We've been here 4 years already, and I am getting antsy.

Maybe its the tea, that I drank at my neighbor's house. I am not use to caffeine anymore. I bet it had caffeine. Maybe it was the 3 mile walk I took (in home walking tape). I have got to force myself to settle down and get some sleep!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Arrrrgh, the eye patch!

Maybe we are done with patching? My daughter has been wearing an eye patch for a lazy eye since she was around 5 years old. She has weaned down to wearing it for 1 1/2 hours twice a week, to not wearing it at all for three months. She is thrilled. In December, we will find out if her vision remains the same or if she needs it a bit longer. The treatment has essentially saved her eye from blindness. I am very thankful to God for that! The eye doctor thinks that her far sightedness will improve by her teen years. That would be great too!

I am doing better with our school schedule. We didn't finish math this morning, but I got right back on track after the appointment. We got everything done, including chores. And, both kids received post cards! Its great, I like this pen pal thing!

I am exercising at night again. It feels really really good. I have committed to doing a Leslie Sansone walking tape every other night, and I'm doing it! I think its been about two weeks now. The tapes are simple, and I rotate between a half dozen - 2 mile walk programs. So, its not boring yet. And, it doesn't take too much room, so even if there is a train track left by my son, I can still exercise.

And, I gave up caffeine, down to decaf. I am not having so many highs and lows in my day. It wasn't fun at first. But, this has been a couple weeks doing this too. No more pop (soda) either. But, I love Seltzer water. I must be the only person in this little town that drinks it. Maybe its an East Coast thing?

Well, we are off to dance- so that's all for now!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Late dinner and Cranberry chicken Pizza

Its Tuesday, and its getting late. My son is eating Mac n' Cheese at 7:45 PM. It seems the evening got away from me, and the back burner on my stove isn't heating things up. He is eating "Toy Story" shaped pasta. And, he looks really cute studying his macaroni. I made a great pizza. Its a pre-made crust, topped with whole cranberry sauce, cooked chicken, caramelized onions, thyme, and goat cheese. It tastes like Thanksgiving leftovers, and smells just as good too! And, since, the kids won't touch it with a ten foot pole, its mine for the next few nights. That makes me happy!

My daughter is making up a song and singing in the shower. She loves to sing, always. My son will be next. He started group swim lessons tonight. There are only three kids in his class. He got to wear cool blue goggles. His sister told him that he looks like a giant beetle with them on. Her lesson will be on Friday, just a few private lessons until she masters floating on her back without screaming and carrying on.

We go into Traverse City on Tuesdays, and it has been my goal this year to do a half school day on Tuesdays before going into town. We did it! We got reading and writing done this morning, plus one lesson for my daughter when we got back. The kids got to play with a friend in town, my daughter got snow boots, and I got a new pair of shoes at Sears.

In writing, both kids are using Handwriting without Tears. It is a good program. My daughters printing is beautiful on lined paper. She gets better each day. My son is working on lowercase letters, and has mastered capital letters. My daughter is also writing postcards to a pen pal. So far, she has not received one in return, but at least she has a nice writing activity.

My home is a mess. It is cluttered and dirty. I am not keeping up with things like I want to. But, I am completing our school days, keeping food on the table, keeping up with the laundry enough that we have clean clothes, and the dishes enough that we have plates to eat off of. But, its messy and needs some deep cleaning!!! If the realtor called for a showing tomorrow, I would be a wreck. But, I don't know how to keep up with everything. I'm not complaining, its just insane to have your home on the market for a whole year and counting. I'm not keeping it clean to have company over, because that never happens.

Friday, my husband comes home, after two weeks :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dance, dance, dance

My daughter started back to dance today. She is taking ballet and Jazz/HipHop. She told me that they did the "crazy wacky dance" in HipHop today. She just loves being back with her friends and teacher. She needs these classes to get her body moving. Talent has little to do with it. I'm not saying that she isn't talented, because she does just fine in the class. She is quite good at it. She pays attention, perhaps better than most of the girls in the class, who are her age. But, she needs to move and dance, because she craves it.

I signed my son up for swim lessons, which will be on Tuesdays. He is very pleased to hear this news. His sister, needs some private lessons until she masters her fear of floating on her back. I want both of my children to be good swimmers. We tend to live near water since we are a CG family.

My son was so much more motivated at school today! He was in a good mood, and he was happy to do his work. What a relief! I needed a good day with him. We played a game in reading, and read a Busy Town book too. I think he really like both of those things.

So, we have completed our first week of school. I am happy about how its going. We are just busy enough, but not overwhelmed. I am planing to take the kids to Shetler's Open Barn on Saturday, if the weather is good, and we need to make plans to go to Hoxie's for a hayride and apple/pumpkin picking. I will do an arts and craft activity with the pumpkins, we don't celebrate Halloween, so we will probably decorate them to look like stuff. My daughter wants to make a girl with a Zhu Zhu pet pumpkin hamster.

My husband forgot his cell phone at CG headquarters. So, I feel out of touch. And, yesterday our netbook got a virus. Its probably the end of it. I hate PCs. This Christmas we will update our Mac, with a Mac Mini. It is a much better system, in my opinion.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Solar system project and stuff

So, we made the solar system out of balloons today. It was to show the differences in size of each planet. It was fun, for our first project. I ordered a kit to go with the Apologia Science program, but for what I paid, the balloons were kind of a disappointment. If I had purchased my own balloons, we would have chosen more accurate colors. For instance, what planets are pink or purple? But, the kids seemed to like the project. It is hanging from my ceiling. Once the basement is less messy, I will take a picture of it.

My son is really really really difficult to teach. He is refusing to write with a crayon or pencil. He had a really good pencil grip in June, and now is pretending that he doesn't know how to make letters. Only, on his own time, he draws pictures, and holds the crayon or markers just fine. He will write his name too. So, its an act. Math wasn't so good today either. I lost my temper, and yelled. He is just refusing to do anything. And, in Social Studies, for Community Helpers we learned about teachers. He drew my picture. I was a box with a face. What am I going to do with my little boy?!

I mowed half of the front yard. Then it rained, so we went inside. We have "Stink horns" growing in the flower gardens. Bleh! Stink horns are really gross mushroom-fungus things. They sort of have a phallic look and smell like spoiled garbage. I dig them out whenever I smell and find them and toss them in the woods.

I am going to tackle the messing basement now, and see if I can get the kids motivated to clean with me for money. It looks like the basement exploded!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kodiak, AK Maybe?

Ok, well we won't be going to Humboldt Bay, CA or Sitka, AK, or at least it is unlikely. But, Kodiak, AK has suddenly jumped to the top of the list. There is a lot of reasons for this, and they won't make sense, so I won't try to explain. But, between my husbands future career with the CG, and the needs of the CG, choices get narrowed down. I just don't want to move to Miami, so honestly, I am not that picky.

Puerto Rico isn't off the list, but its not a likely choice.

So, Kodiak. Its a two year billet. Not too long, and lots of neat opportunities to explore a part of the country that most people never see. I would see my puffins! There are a couple dance studios, and so my daughter would be able to continue dance. There is little league, so the kids might get to play again. And the temperatures don't get as warm as they do here. The average high in August is 62 degrees, but they don't get as cold either. The average low is 25 degrees in January. Traverse City's average low in January is 9 degrees. And, there isn't much chance of getting lost, as there seems to be one big long road. Oh, and I just bought a GPS!

Also, where ever we go, once we sell or rent the house, my husband will likely take a couple months of leave. He will have over two months accumulated. I would like to visit all the family. I would like to see my brother and family in San Diego. I haven't seen him in over three years! If its Kodiak, I will become very good a camping, and we will drive our camper out to Alaska. Its already been to Kodiak, so it will feel at home (we bought our Scamp from a Coastie family).

And, I will bird watch in Alaska! I will overcome my seasickness, cause I won't really have a choice. Kodiak is on Kodiak Island :)

School update:

My daughter wrote a post card to her friend who is vacationing in Virginia. They will be pen pals. It was fun and challenging to do this. This is our second postcard.

My son was about 5% more cooperative today during school. He was very very angry that one of the Grandma boxes contained a train set that I snatched away from him, as I opened the box. It is part of his Christmas present!!! I didn't know Grandma had sent it, so I opened the box in front of him. The other 4 boxes she sent were either clothing or books. He cried on and off for two hours. He did like the Wall-E books that Grandma sent. I have so many books, we could open our own library! Its crazy!

Oh, I almost forgot. Aunt Tina and Uncle Tim made the kids a wonderful photo book and story about our visit to Chicago! Its awesome! Its one of the nicest gifts they've ever gotten. And, we all love it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thinking about Puerto Rico today

I am giving Puerto Rico a lot of thought today. It could be a great adventure! My good friend and her husband helped set up a mission church there, and I had just looked on the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod website last night and checked it out. Its very close to the air station. How neat would that be to be "missionaries" while we were in PR? We would love to be involved in youth programs, like teaching Sunday School, VBS, or even adult Bible Study.

My daughter and I are using a book about "Bibleless people", people who don't have the word of God in their own language. We have an opportunity to pray for these people every day! It is part of the Sonlight World History curriculum, and really neat! Its a good introduction to learning about prayer and missions.

So, I'm pricing Rosetta Stone Latin Spanish. The whole family could learn Spanish. John and I could really use a refresher! Boy, its expensive, but if it taught me to understand spoken Spanish, and to converse, that would be awesome. Three years of high school Spanish, and three semesters of college Spanish did not do that.

I am wondering about my daughter's dance classes. I can't find out any information on children and dance in Aquadilla. Do they teach ballet to children in PR? Or, any other type of dance? She loves to move, and I hope we can continue lessons as long as she is interested. We start up Thursday night with Ballet I Advanced and Hip Hop/Jazz II. I'm not sure about Latin dance for little girls, I mean my daughter isn't going to wear suggestive clothing, and that's how the costumes seem to be in this area for salsa and other types of latin dance.

So, tomorrow my husband speaks to the detailer, and hopefully we will get some direction to where we might go. If not, I will just keep learning about all these air stations.

My son looked at a map of the world today and asked, "How do you get from here to there?" He was pointing to South America and then to Africa. I asked him what he thought. He suggested a bridge. So we talked about how big the Atlantic Ocean actually is, and how the slow way would be by boat and a quicker way would be by plane. Another question was about how toys and machines worked when you pressed buttons. Later, he wanted to know how people move their bodies. I will have to get a more detailed books for those question! After I answered him, he was giving me a really puzzled look!

My daughter is very excited about astronomy. She made a mini-book and explained information that she recalled from reading about constellations, gravity, Galileo, Copernicus, NASA, Hubble telescope, natural, and artificial satellites. She took her mini-book to her bedroom to read on her own. Tomorrow we will make a solar system project with different size balloons.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Wish List

My spouse is away in Washington D.C. and may meet with the detailer while he is there. The list is not finalized, but we put together our wish list, based on what is available. There are only 8 choices, so I'm not really leaving anything out. There are only these choices now, but more may be added or subtracted before a decision is made by the CG this Spring.

1) Humboldt Bay, CA (really northern CA)

2) Sitka, AK (think about Washington State and Puffins)

3) Aquadilla, PR (Puerto Rico!)

4) Cape Cod, MA (not for from Maine, so puffins)

5) Kodiak, AK (island in AK, not really near anything and puffins)

6) Barbers Point, HI (Beautiful Hawaii)

7) Clearwater, FL

8) Mobile, AL

My mother wishes that there was an air station near San Diego, because my brother is there, and she plans to move out there in the summer. Humboldt isn't really close to San Diego, but closer than the other choices, I suppose.

If I go to PR, we will have to order Rosetta Stone- Spanish and get busy learning. Cause, my Spanish is not usable. I managed to get additional towels from the Spanish speaking maids in our hotel in Chicago, but barely.

I really really want to see puffins again. I want to bird watch with my children. But, I'd love any of the top 6 choices, I think. Ok, and since this is a homeschooling blog, everywhere on the list is an easy transition for homeschooling except Cape Cod, MA. It would be a pain there, but still doable.

Friday, September 10, 2010

We are Floating in a Balloon

A Beka social studies at the kindergarten level begins with family and community, for just a couple days before learning about Community Helpers. So, the activity was to draw a picture of your family. My son, drew a balloon with a string. Followed by, "Daddy with a very very long neck, Mommy you are inside an egg, and now you are an elephant,and D is in an egg too." He drew himself small, but rather normal looking. The next page involved drawing your house. Our house has a big face that is smiling.

Every lesson for my son began with fake snoring. He used a growling voice to do the ABCs and count numbers on the number line. He is continuing his questions of "Why won't you just let me play, mom?" He is silly, angry, happy, whiny, and confused. But, it wasn't bad for day two!

My daughter, was not as happy about school today. If I could remember the nonsense words she made up to describe the kind of mother she thinks I am, I would post them. Something like "Mom, you are a banana butt stinky head" or "Mom, you are a jumping bean silly muffin". They are truly creative descriptions, that really don't mean anything, but are combine with snarly faces and pretend slaps and punches. Umm, I'm really am not describing this well. Let's just say, its disrespectful enough that I can't let her get away with it, but truly rolling on the floor funny if you step away and think about the things she says.

Even though my daughter wasn't happy about school, she had a good day. We finished school by 2 PM, and boy was I exhausted!

We took the dog to the vet, he was coughing today, but the vet thinks he ate grass and got some stuck in his throat. I highly doubt this, but it seems that he does not have kennel cough. On the way home, my son told me, "Mom, when i am not in the house, and on my own by myself, I will buy a hamster." Later, he wanted to know how to get a house. My daughter wants to be an astronaut and own two golden retrievers, like Scotty. She will ride her "future" bike (the green one in the garage that Daddy is saving for her) She will put her dogs in the kennel when she takes trips. Hmm, trips to space, I guess!

I am glad its the weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What kind of rock is this?

I am identifying rocks with my daughter that she brought back from Lake Superior last summer. We are using the book, "Is this an Agate?" I don't think that she has any agates, but she has lots of other rocks. This isn't a school lesson, but it is a great opportunity to learn, and she initiated it!

We began school today. It was a great first day. We got our chores done and all our lessons. My daughter loved the science lesson, we began our immersion study of astronomy. I like that the author gives credit to God for the creation of this amazing universe.

My son liked everything. He was tired when we finished. All day, he is desperate to complete his lessons and play. It was like a broken record every time I called him over for his turn. "Mom, I just want to play!!" He likes to listen to his big sister read aloud. I like it too.

We began school at 9:30 AM and were done at 1:30 PM. I didn't do a math lesson with my daughter, because we had to copy a page that she uses daily with her lesson. Then, we played outside. The kids rode scooters and played with chalk. I picked up branches from the rainy weather we got earlier this week. The yard was covered with downed tree branches and limbs. The leaves have started to fall, although they are still mostly green. But, it won't be long- Fall arrives early to Northwest Michigan.

I got over to an office supply store, made copies, and bought paper clips and post-it notes. We got food for dinner tonight, and for the next couple days.

Now, I have to clean up from supper, get organized for the morning and get the kids to clean up the basement playroom and bathed. I am so happy that school has begun. But, unlike so many of my good friends, it is not because I get to send the kids away because they are driving me crazy- I am happy to see them learn and grow under my own roof, with God's guidance.

Quartz, chert, epidote, basalt, porphyry, rhyolite, and granite are the rocks in my daughter's collection.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back from Chicago

We are back from vacation! My husband has a few days home (well, at work) before he goes to Washington DC for training. He will be gone two weeks. He will go to a lot of training this year as an Engineering student with the CG. But, we are seasoned in this type of lifestyle. Last year, he was gone a third of the year. Homeschooling fits this lifestyle perfectly! We get to spend time with him when he is around and keep busy while he is away.

Chicago was nice. I now own a GPS! I am very skilled at getting lost. It is true, I could and have gotten lost in Traverse City. I got lost one too many times in the Chicago suburbs. I drove through Calumet and it was just like driving through Paterson NJ. You just keep driving and all will be well. Then, I got lost in downtown Chicago. Our 7 hour trip to Waukegan took over 9 hours. I got lost plenty more around Waukegan, with a map in hand, and sometimes with bad directions from Google maps. Let me tell you, this GPS is a miracle. I love it!

In Chicago, we went to Shedd Aquarium. The kids saw the animal show with their Aunt Tina. We had a very nice day with Aunt Tina and Uncle Tim. Daddy was able to join us all for the day, and the kids loved that. My son was thrilled - watching and riding the trains. He still loves trains.

The next day, I took the kids to the Jelly Belly factory in Wisconsin. It was on the border. The kids liked the tour, but not the screaming baby which sat behind us. The little boy cried the entire tour, and stopped when it was over. But, they gave out samples of jelly beans, so it was still worth it. We had Mexican food with Daddy and his crew, and then went to the mall in Gurnee. It may be the largest mall my children have ever been to. But, there was no escalator, so they we not impressed. I endured lots of whining here, because my daughter got the "gimmies". Daddy had a night flight, and a SAR case, so he didn't get back to the hotel till 7 AM the next morning.

Saturday, we drove to Lambs Farm. I got very lost from bad Google directions. We rode a little train which broke down, and had to be pushed to the station. Then, we played mini golf with a bunch of wasps, and rode a beat up merry-go-round. Hmm, Lambs Farm was nicer a few years ago, and needs a little work. But, in the afternoon, we picked up Daddy and went to the Chicago Botanical Gardens, and that was very nice! They have a "train garden" with a model railway. There were dozens of engines running, and my son was in heaven. There was also a fruit and vegetable garden with was a favorite with my daughter. It was very pretty there. We had a nice dinner together in Libertyville, at a steakhouse.

Sunday, we had "church" together in our hotel room. And then Daddy had to go to work again. Aunt Tina and Uncle Tim came over for a visit, and the kids swam in the pool all afternoon. The hot tub was a favorite. We went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. My son came down with a fever of 102, but, it was gone by morning. I always carry motrin and a thermometer when we travel.

Monday, after Daddy got off work, we went to the Illinois Railway Museum and rode two trains (and Electric, Diesel, and trolley) and the kids loved that. We looked at lots of old steam engines, too. This museum is a lot of fun. This is the day I got my GPS too!

Tuesday, we drove home. It was a long drive, but 7 hours, instead of 9 hours. We picked us our dirty dog (he got a bath first thing when we got home) and got the house ready for school and work. My daughter woke with a fever at 4 AM. She is feeling icky, and has puked once. So, no school today. But, we are ready to go, once she is well again.

That's about it for now!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Its hot, beach day

Ugh, its hot today. We took our van to the shop, and a friend drove us to the beach. Its was beautiful weather. We had a great time. There were 5 moms and 15 kids! We had a section of Acme Beach on the East Traverse Bay to ourselves.

My daughter played with a tube, and floated everywhere with her friends. My son wore his life jacket and floated on a kick board. They couldn't get enough of their friends and the water. My beach umbrella (first time using it on a beach) broke. I am not a sun loving person, because I burn. But, there was a nice breeze, so I made the best of it and kept my t-shirt on so I wouldn't burn.

After the beach, we got ice cream shakes at McDonald's and I ate grapes. I do not eat sweets or junk food anymore, but the grapes tasted very good. My friend drove us to the repair shop, and they asked me more questions about the problem my car is having.

At 7 PM, I called about the car, and there was no one there. Hmmm, so I wonder if they figured out what was wrong? I have no car, but more importantly no information on whether or not it needs a repair. I more day until our vacation. It would be nice to know if we get to go on time!!

It is very hot in the house. My son cried tonight because I would not let him wear flannel pajamas to bed. Am I the only one who thinks 85- 90 degrees isn't the right weather to wear flannel? He also told me that he did not need a shower tonight, because he got clean at the lake. Hehehe, I made him bathe anyways. No swimmers itch in my house (if I can help it)!

My Apologia Science kit arrived today, and so did one of my daughter's books for language arts. Chicago, here we come! Hopefully. And then school begins!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chicago attractions

I spent last night pricing and reading about things to do in Chicago and closer to our hotel, as we will be an hour north. There are so many choices! This will be fun!

The Illinois Railway in Union, IL (trains running all Labor Day weekend)

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (free military admission)

Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Shedd Aquarium (sister-in-law says this is great)

Morten Arboretum (Discount on Wednesdays)

Jelly Belly factory (silly, but they give tours)

Millenium Park (concerts and outdoor stuff)

Sears Tower Superdeck (military discount?)

Lego Discovery Center (ooh, build with legos)

I think we will skip the Field Museum. It seems expensive and very environmentally and evolutionary based- plus its expensive. The Alder Planetarium is also really expensive - especially to see the shows. Plus, the show for my children's age includes "Big Bird" and I am sure my daughter would not like that, I wonder why its rated up to age 8?

The pet arrangements are made, Scotty will go to a kennel, and Bobo will be watched by a friend. I might get his wings clipped before we leave, then he can sing on Chad's shoulder. I think they would both enjoy that.

Tomorrow afternoon, the car gets an oil change and inspected for that weird problem it gave me last week. Then, we should be good to go!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Going to Chicago?

This summer, my husband has gone to the Chicago area twice, because the CG opens an Air Facilities there during the summertime. Twice he has gone, and twice he has returned early from his temporary duty assignment. The second time, we were going to join him, but we found out that he was coming back to TC, the day before we were leaving. I had just boarded the dog, and was ready to take our bird to a friend's home.

So, now, he is going again. It was a last minute decision, and he is leaving this afternoon. We will try to join him again. Guess what that means for school? We will postpone it for a week. We will start the day after Labor Day, just like the rest of Northwest Michigan.

It is a nice surprise, but also complicates things. I need to find a sitter for the pets. Scotty has ear drops every night, and he fights me when I put them in. He isn't easy to deal with. He got an infection during our summer vacation. I have already rearranged doctor appointments and commitments. Our car needs an oil change, and a check-up, as it acted up earlier in the week. That appointment is on Monday. So, I think we will leave on Wednesday - earliest.

I want to see my husband's sister Tina, and her husband Tim. We have tried to visit them twice, and cancelled twice. Once the snow flies, it is not a great idea to drive to Chicago, or Wisconsin for that matter. They have a flock (seriously, a flock) of birds, and great ideas to make the kids visit fun. The kids and I haven't seen them in a couple years.

School. I am resisting the urge to start school on Monday and Tuesday, only to go on vacation for a week. It sounds like a perfect invitation for unhappy children. They won't like it, and I won't like the tantrums.

So, I will concentrate on great things to do in the Chicago area, as it will be the last time for a very long time that we will get to visit that area.