Monday, September 26, 2011

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ a ??Free?? Week

My original plan when setting up our school year was to have "structured school" for 6 weeks, then have a week off for whatever. As I was looking ahead to last week, I realized that I needed to make 3 school related trips to Wilkesboro, so we took our free week a little early. I use the term "free" very loosely!

Monday involved a 2 & 1/2 hour meeting on the 4H science fair. Followed by no time for lunch & a clothing exchange. Since I was coming to town anyway, I was planning on meeting a friend to sell hairbows. I got ALL the way to Wilkesboro when I realized I f o r g o t the hairbows so......I left the 4H meeting early & drove ALL the way back to Elkin. We inhaled lunch & made it to the park in time to grab some good finds for the kids. Sometime in the midst of this, I learned that I needed to scrounge around & make emergency plans for Contenders on Tuesday because what was planned fell through. Then back home & off to football.

Tuesday, we left bright & early for a trip to Walmart & biscuits on the road. Then to Keepers & Contenders. Thankfully, someone stepped up to teach the boys wood sanding & staining, so I just covered the devotions with them. I did stay out there to help. We only have 10 boys this year, but the majority (7 - I think) of them are K-2, so all the supervision we can get is helpful.

After the boys got finished, I went in to "save" Makenzie. Yeah....she was attempting to weave a basket. She was trying, bless her heart. Yet again, someone stepped up & took Logan for me. Thank God for willing vessels & helpful hands!

Ran off to meet daddy for a quick lunch and to sell hairbows. Thankfully!

Then off to Rendevous Mountain for 4H. We hiked around, & talked about mushrooms, insects, & leaves. We had to leave there a little early to ...... yep, sell hairbows. - Don't get me wrong, I not complaining - just tired. And, yet again, barely making it to football.

Did I mention, I had a cold? Oh yeah & it was kicking my hind end.

Wednesday we were supposed to go back to Wilkesboro for a Soil & Water field trip. Notice I said "supposed" to go. Yes, you heard me, I actually said no to something. It was pouring the rain & I was still sick, so we stayed home. I worked on hairbows & tutus instead.

Thursday, I went grocery shopping & attempted to clean house...........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday was devoted to cleaning Makenzie's room. Have you SEEN her room?!?! I HATE going in there. She feels the need to change clothes 15 times a day & hide all the clothes in the back of her closet. Anytime we go somewhere, she has to pack a bag of toys, but then never puts them back where they go. She hoards food, trash, & anything else she can sneak into her room. If its missing, check there first.

After emerging from the pits of insanity, Justin & I went to Olive Garden, the mall, & Toys R Us.

Saturday - Walmart, picked up Austin from a friend's, Makenzie's birthday party, the Pumpkin Festival & 2 football games.

WHY did I think it would be a free week????????????

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Week 5 ~ Attentiveness, Sound, Ears, & Nature

OK, so we are 5 weeks into the school year.....(wow, already?)....& I finally feel like things went decent this week. I was able to stick to our schedule (at least for the most part) & I didn't have to cry, scream, & beg to get anything accomplished.

We started our 4 week unit on paying attention with the ear & sound. We tried several different experiments on how sound works. I REALLLLLLY had planned to make a model of the ear. Oops, we couldn't find all of the materials & ran out of  time. I will get that accomplished before we are done - ah, the glory of flexibility!

We also started talking about Helen Keller & Annie Sullivan. Hopefully, after we finish a few books, we will be able to see The Miracle Worker.

Attentiveness: watching close enough to notice details & listening long enough to hear all the facts

Interesting tidbit of information ~ your ears "pop" in order to keep them from actually popping!

We also did our first nature study for this school year. My kids always love this because (to them) we pick a place & go "hang out" in nature. There aren't any rules or any real plans, but we do take our nature notebooks & collection jars - just in case we find something really cool.

For this week's nature study, we went to the park. After we ate a picnic lunch & played on the playground, we walked around & enjoyed the beautiful weather. The kids found different objects that caught their attention to study, inspect, or draw. Austin found a little red flower that, much to everyone's delight, could swear its color onto paper. Then of course, they wanted to play in the creek. As we walked along the banks, we were able to discuss erosion, floods, drought, & how flowing water is cleaner than stagnant water.

All in all, it was a good week......except for the attack of the Zoey Monster. Wednesday ended up being hot enough to play in the water. The kids took advantage of the warmth & broke out the redneck slip n slide
(plastic yellow slide propped up on our back yard bank & a water hose - sometimes we even make a "pool" at the bottom out of black plastic). Well, Zoey wanted to play too & attacked  jumped on welcomed Makenzie at the bottom of the slide. Thankfully Austin was there to save the day.

On a side note...I learned something this week. I should NEVER behave in a way that I wouldn't allow my children to behave. I'm supposed to be teaching them, right? Well, it turns out that they are usually teaching me as well. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where Were You?

If you asked me if I remembered what I did last Tuesday, I couldn't tell you. But if you asked me if I remembered what I did 10 years ago on Tuesday, September 11, 2001................. I could tell you exactly what I was doing.

This is a thought that is circulating the world of Facebook.

My grandparents had D Day.  My parents had the Assassination of JFK. Nine Eleven is the date that will forever be remembered in the hearts of my generation.

I know exactly where I was & what I was doing......
I was driving down 421 on my way to class at Wilkes Community College. I was listening to Ace & TJ on KISS 95.1. I remember Ace & TJ announcing that an airplane had just hit the first tower & they thought it was a joke until another plane hit the second tower. One of the other radio personalities was extremely upset because her brother worked in Chicago & at that time, no one knew if this attack was going to be confined to New York. Its strange that I can remember a radio conversation.

As all the students filed slowly into class, no one could focus on the task at hand. We were supposed to have an English test & it didn't seem to matter anymore.

I left school & went to my mom's house. I just sat in front of the television in shock.

Later that night, I sat in Justin's lap as we continued to watch the horror. I was pregnant with Austin & it scared us to death at the thoughts of bringing a baby into this wicked world. We held each other & cried.

I heard a song the other day that devastated me.
Its been 10 years since that horrible day.
Do we really remember what all happened in those few short minutes that seemed like forever? Do we really remember how many families were ripped apart? Do we really remember how America rallied together? Do we really remember how most of us turned back to God? Has it really only been 10 years? It sure seems like a lot longer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Week 4 ~ Patience, Human Birth & Growth, a Community Service Trip, & LOTS of Attitude

Did we accomplish ANYTHING this week? Um, it sure doesn't feel like it! We tried to continue our discussion of human bodies & how we grow. Honestly, I don't remember much. What I DO remember is fussing at my kids for most of the week to straighten up, to pay attention, to put forth a little effort. If there had ever been a week where I wanted to throw in the towel, this was probably it.


Anyway - one of the highlights was Tuesday. Tuesdays are always (usually) good because it doesn't consist of "real" school. We do extracurriculars on Tuesday. This week we had Keepers & Contenders of the Faith. After their devotions, the kids made Thank You cards for community service workers.

Our 4H meeting was canceled due to the impending hurricane. Thankfully, we only had lots of wind & rain.

The other highlight was a community service field trip. We went to the EMS station for an opportunity to express our gratefulness to these men & women who serve us everyday. We chose to honor them in remembrance of a man who lost his life on September 11, 2001. Its very important that we never forget the sacrifice, patriotism, loss, & bravery that came out of this tragedy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We May Just Starve

As a mom who has chosen to stay at home in order to teach her children, I try to save as much money as possible. I watch the sales. I clip mounds of coupons. I buy off brand whenever I can. I also plan all of our menus & go grocery shopping once a month.

Well, I was a lot better at this before Logan came along! Since then, I'm just happy if we have something that is half way edible & more than one roll of toilet paper!

So here lately I've really been trying to get back into cheapskate frugal mom mode. I was planning my trip to the grocery store this afternoon. I was finally cutting out the coupons from last week. I made my shopping list. No menus yet, so I was winging it - hopefully next month. I gathered the kids up & headed out the door.

While we were at Walmart, I let Makenzie walk through the toys for ideas on what she wants for her birthday. Yeah, well, she wants
e v e r y t h i n g! 

So, on to the grocery department....
HOLY COW - I FORGOT MY COUPONS! GGGRRRRRR! Now, I'm looking at this list & trying to think about what I absolutely have to have in the next few days & what I might have a coupon for at home. And I'm trying to think while Austin & Makenzie are running up & down the aisles, asking for this or that, & begging to go to the bathroom. (What is the excitement of public bathrooms? My kids ALWAYS have to go anytime we go anywhere!) Oh & of course Logan is screaming because he is hungry.

After ending up with a buggy full of stuff that I can't remember if we need or not, I gave up & went to check out.

I'm trying to manage enough sanity for putting all the groceries up on the belt & then the bags in the buggy while telling Makenzie for the 15th time to get out of the floor because she is playing with all of those evil toys that they place in the check out lines just for the sake of driving parents crazy & while asking Austin yet again why he is not helping me & begging Logan to quit crying - when (God Bless her heart) this little elderly lady in line behind me starts cooing at Logan & telling me what beautiful children I have. ..... (WOW that was a long run on sentence) ..... Thank God for grandmother types because Logan immediately stopped crying & started laughing & smiling at this angel in disguise.

We finally make it to the car, only for me to realize that Justin's fire gear is in the back. Now my Suburban has more than adequate trunk space, but that gear bag, a stroller, two lawn chairs, a couple of stadium chairs, Austin's football pads & helmet take up A LOT of room. Where am I going to put all of these groceries?

On my way home I made a promise to myself.......we may very well starve before I take all the kids back grocery shopping again.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Huh? Did You Say Something?

Why in the world did you do that?!?!

What were you thinking?!?!

Were you raised in a barn?!?!

How many times do I have to tell you?!?!

Am I the only one who repeatedly asks these questions? Does anyone else have a problem with people listening to them? *I'm talking about LISTENING, not hearing. There is a HUGE difference.*

We have had LOTS of attitude issues at my house lately & I'm not exactly sure how to fix them. We have grounded, spanked, screamed, threatened, rewarded good behavior, used Biblical principal - just about anything & everything, but to no avail. My heatherns are still misbehaving (& driving me crazy in the process).

Don't get me wrong they are good kids most of the time, but here lately ....................

So as Justin & I were trying to figure out the next step, he made the statement "We keep wanting their behavior to improve, but have we honestly prayed about it?"


No, when was the last time I weeped with conviction for my children ... or for anything actually? I felt horrible. But this triggered another thought in my head as well. Do I live my life the way I want them to live their lives? Probably not nearly as much as I think I do.

Parents ~
     Do you want your children to listen to you? - Listen to them.
     Do you want their respect? - Respect them.
     Do you want to be able to trust them? Make sure they can trust you.

Spiritual Leaders ~
     Do you want people to have a closer walk with God? How close are you walking?
     Do you want to see more souls saved? What are you doing to show them the way?

Teachers ~
     Do you want your students to have a desire to learn? Let your passion show through your work.
     Do you want them to turn in their best work? Give 110% of yourself.

Anytime we are in an authority position over someone, even our own children, we need to lead by example. They will only do as much as they see us do.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Its a Man's, I Mean, a Boy's World

And just HOW do they plan on getting
those eggs back to the house
God had a sense of humor when He created boys.

If you have boys of your own, you know this to be the 8th Wonder of the World. If you haven't been blessed with boys, well, just trust me. They are unique creatures - quit possibly from another planet! Boys can be sweet & charming, reckless daredevils, Momma's baby in need of a little petting, or rough & tumble brawlers ... & this is all withing a 5 minute span!

All of my kids have a special place in my heart, but there's just something a little extra special ( & infuriating) about that first born.

Notice the same blank
expression on their faces.

Austin had a friend spend the night last night. They have participated in a wide range of activities that boys enjoy including riding their dirt bikes, shooting guns, playing video games, terrorizing their younger siblings, & of course, football.

We went to the BIG football game last night between East Wilkes & Elkin. (a little shout out - East won!!) Not only did we have Austin, Makenzie, & Dakota, but we also picked up my niece & nephew Kelsey & Ethan - we left Logan with Nanny. I don't think he minded too much. So let's see, that's 3 football players & 2 cheerleaders, yep, just right for those Friday Night Lights!

Not a black eye like we thought
it would be, but scratched up
& puffy just the same.
 No sooner had we got there, Austin decided to show off his skills by trying to catch a football with his eye. I'm not sure exactly what Coach Brian is teaching those boys, but I don't think that was it. Then, sometime during the excitement & heat of action, a fight broke out between Austin & one of his friends. A couple of punches, some blown tempers, lots of not too nice words (I'm guessing), & a misunderstanding or too later. I sure hope they make up at church on Sunday!

So, that was enough drama for one night, right?!


We ride red at our house!
Let's get back to the dirt bikes & other boy toys. Ya know, the biggest problem with boys growing up ... their toys get more expensive!

I can't leave out my little man from all the glory & recognition! I do believe that I have my very first thumb sucker here! You should hear all the noise as he tries to accomplish this great task!

Not sure how many fingers he has in there.

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Week 3 ~ Patience, Human Birth & Growth, Dinosaurs Have Chicken Pox, & Stone Mountain

Even though we didn't get everything covered that I had planned, this week has went a little better .... as long as you don't count Wednesday when we were STILL doing school at 5:30 - ggrrrrr. So, it seems to me that maybe I need to reevaluate my expectations - Nah, I think I'll wait a few more weeks & let my monsters get "back in the groove". Thankfully, Logan has been very cooperative this week, it was just Austin & Makenzie that goofed off to no end.
***chanting***it will get better***it will get better***it will get better***

Makenzie knows her numbers when she's counting, but gets a little confused when they are random. So to help her with them out of order, I tell her to draw a certain number of things. This also nourishes her artistic skills. Did you know that dinosaurs have chicken pox? Well, according to her they do.

PATIENCE: waiting without complaing
So maybe I reeaalllyy should have paid more attention for this one!

I love our unit studies from Konos because it emphasizes character traits that we all need to work on. In relation to being patient & waiting, we studied .... gulp .... where babies came from. EEEEKKKKK

OK, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. After all, Austin already knows. Justin taught him last year by using his paramedic book & scared the daylights out of him. He may never go anywhere near a girl for the rest of his life....wait, who am I kidding? My oldest son is a chick magnet. Oh well.

So I chose the book So That's How I Was Born to read to Makenzie. I did however, leave out 1 little bitty paragraph. I mean, really, she's 5 years old, she doesn't need to know everything.

We will be continuing this study next week to see how our bodies are constantly growing.

We returned to Keepers & Contenders this week. We had a time of fun & fellowship at Stone Mountain. Most of the kids & a few brave adults played in the always frigid water. Despite several bumps, bruises, & bang ups, I think that everyone had a great time. Except maybe the butterfly.

I’m Waiting on the Bigger & Better

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