The best thing is that since "Mr. John" is our pastor, he knows their names when they walk in the door, which totally baffles the kids from the get go! Here they are:
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The best thing is that since "Mr. John" is our pastor, he knows their names when they walk in the door, which totally baffles the kids from the get go! Here they are:
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
When I was a young turkey,
New to the coop,
My big brother Mike took me out on the stoop,
Then he sat me down,
And he spoke real slow,
And he told me there was something that I had to know;
His look and his tone I will always remember,
When he told me of the horrors of..... Black November;
"Come about August, now listen to me,
Each day you'll get six meals instead of just three,
And soon you'll be thick, where once you were thin,
And you'll grow a big rubbery thing under your chin;
"And then one morning, when you're warm in your bed,
In'll burst the farmer's wife, and hack off your head;
Then she'll pluck out all your feathers so you're bald 'n pink,
And scoop out all your insides and leave ya lyin' in the sink;
And then comes the worst part!" he said not bluffing,
She'll spread your cheeks and pack your rear with stuffing."
Well, the rest of his words were too grim to repeat,
I sat on the stoop like a winged piece of meat,
And decided on the spot that to avoid being cooked,
I'd have to lay low and remain overlooked;
I began a new diet of nuts and granola,
High-roughage salads, juice and diet cola;
And as they ate pastries, chocolates and crepes,
I stayed in my room doing Jane Fonda tapes;
I maintained my weight of two pounds and a half,
And tried not to notice when the bigger birds laughed;
But 'twas I who was laughing, under my breath,
As they chomped and they chewed, ever closer to death;
And sure enough when Black November rolled around,
I was the last turkey left in the entire compound;
So now I'm a pet in the farmer's wife's lap;
I haven't a worry! , so I eat and I nap;
She held me today, while sewing and humming,
And smiled at me and said: "Christmas is coming..."
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
You can probably see the various ages in our group and the number of adults there, too. What a difference from "school field trips!" Our guide, Shawn, was very nice and guided us through the project in identifying what we had found. On our hike back to the building, Shawn asked if we wanted to go down to the bridge where we might be able to see a snake. Of course, we did, and we saw a snake! We also saw deer tracks and raccoon tracks. Then we went inside to evaluate using a numerical scale how the water faired. It was "good," I believe. Each type of invertebrate we found was worth a certain number of points. The more and varied the invertebrates are, the higher the point value, the better the water quality.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Which brings me to a bit of a sore subject, and I'd like to share what I learned. Because I had to keep them outside for a good part of the day, they brought fleas in. I tried to do the least invasive thing and bought them flea collars. They did not help at all! When I finally went to the vet to get something real, they sort of giggled and I know why. I mean, if flea collars were worth anything, why would all of these other products have come on the market? So the flea collars are in the trash. Sigh. More money down the drain.
Some good news, though. When my allergy symptoms included a sore throat, I began drinking lots of water with apple cider vinegar and honey. (Get Bragg's ACV with "the mother" and raw honey!) Before I knew it, the allergy seemed to have disappeared! The cats are in the house full time now and I've been fine. I've even gotten to love on them lots without sneezing, coughing, or itchy eyes. If you have an allergy, perhaps this remedy will work for you, too!
I'm sharing some of my favorite pics. It is so cute the way they cuddle up as much as they can. And so funny how they fight when they are awake!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Just before this project, we saw a Little House on the Prairie episode where "Pa" carved someone's name into a rock. Being television, it looked like it only took him a few minutes to carve. I don't think children can appreciate how long it took the Egyptians to carve into rock!
The clay we used was pretty nice to work with. It is the "Air-Dry Clay" from Crayola. It is very similar to the brown clay I used in school that had to be baked, but it is white, and does not have to be baked.
Our next lesson was on mummies. I had bought this book that is SO cool and had to share it. It will be useful for years, as the kids read more and more of the information that is available. There is a lot of information there! Basically, it opens up and each page you turn removes a part of the mummy, until you get down to the actual skeleton and the canopic jars showing the organs in them. The pictures I've taken are just a couple of the pages. Hopefully this is enough to give you an idea of what it provides. The kids loved this book and were eager to get through their lesson so that they could look at it. And that was before they knew what it would do! My son looked at it for an additional twenty minutes or so, mesmerized by everything he could learn! Here it is:
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Many Christians have tried to mesh two belief systems- the Christian "Bible story" of creation, and the evolutionists' theory that the earth is billions of years old. So we subscribe to the idea that God's "day" could have been a million years long. Unfortunately, most Christians haven't been taught that the science does NOT prove evolution, which is what we are led to believe. (By the way, most atheists or evolutionists know as little as Christians about the science behind evolution. We are pretty much all ignorant!)
Anyway, to make a long story short, I've got something for you, and something for the kids. First, stop by Answers in Genesis Bookstore and subscribe to Answers magazine. It is a great resource for parents, as well as older kids. It does have a section for younger kids, which is useful, so it's really great for the whole family. I found out about Answers magazine from Dr. Jay Wile, who spoke at our homeschooling convention. Great speaker!! I'm so glad I got to hear him and learned so much about apologetics and the best way to teach science.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I mentioned before that we chose Jeannie Fulbright's "Exploring Creation with Astronomy" for science this year, and it is working really well. Each day I read from the book, and the kids notebook about what they have just learned. The kids really like this book!
History is also very much enjoyed by all of us. We are using "The Story of the World 1" and have learned about nomads and living on the Nile River. We are currently learning about Egyptians. We learned how to make a "berry picking pouch" which was perfect timing because our neighbor needed someone to pick acorns out of our tree for a craft project! The kids learned a little about sewing during this activity. We did not use a machine! Here is one of our pouches:
We already had the fabric on hand, and we used shoestrings purchased for around $1.50 a pair. The shoestrings were nice because the ends made it easier to work with. My kids are 7 (boy) and almost 6 (girl) and they both enjoyed this. My son even made a cape last night out of the same fabric!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
(When you buy through these links, you help save our theatre! Thanks for looking!)
Monday, September 22, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
But last night, Shawn Johnson just BEAMED. She isn't even my child and I teared up just thinking about the work that went into that one event. The YEARS and HOURS of practice and training are something that most kids could not even imagine. Then I saw her parents, holding each other and bawling. What a great story! I can't even put into words how happy Shawn was when she knew she had the gold. She couldn't stop smiling. She waved to the camera, and you could tell she was finally able to relax. After all, she had not been able to get a gold medal until this event final. She had a silver for team competition, silver for all-around, and silver on bars until this final event. Her teammate and competitor, Nastia Luikin had already earned a gold on all-around, so it was just icing when she silvered next to Shawn Johnson's gold on beam.
Switching sports really quick, then there is Michael Phelps. Need I say more? LOL I actually grew up swimming, so that is a sport I definitely watch. Obviously he is a little more expressive and manly with his joy. If you watched any swimming at all, you know what I'm talking about. But watching these athletes and others compete- and excel- is not only pure joy, but a reminder of all the positive things that come out of helping children excel.
None of these athletes could be where they are without their parents. But what many parents don't realize is that we don't have to raise olympic athletes in order for our kids to gain the same pride and joy that we see at the olympics. It happens every day at little league games, summer swim programs, singing competitions, boy and girls scouts, academic competitions, and other competitive events. I still remember the amazing catches, and the look of amazement on swim coaches when I actually swam as fast as I told them I would- even though they didn't believe me. Not only did it feel wonderful at the moment, but I still remember them, even 25 years later. There is just something about working toward something, and it paying off.
Now you may be asking, what about when your child doesn't win? What if silver is the best they can do? The one thing I don't like about the Olympics is that you walk away with a feeling that gold is first and silver is last. That probably helps athletes do their best in training, but to see them disappointed when they get second is a little sad. With our own children, that is part of life. Sometimes you will win. Sometimes you won't. (Unless you are Michael Phelps and you take all the gold medals yourself!) Some kids will work harder for the next time. Others will quit completely. My feeling on it is that if your child was meant to do a certain sport or activity, they will love it so much that they look past the second place finishes, and even the last place finishes. Their passion for it drives them more than the recognition, and when they finally do win or place better, it's just the icing on the cake.
Helping children excel is important, but it's even more important that we do it in a loving, nurturing, and positive way. We have all seen the parents that push too hard. We are probably even that parent from time to time. My rule is that you should try what you want to, and finish out the season and give it your best. But you can't quit half way through, and you can't give up before the season is over. I actually play ball with my kids: soccer during soccer season, and baseball/softball during that season. This is how I can help them, by teaching them the skills they need and giving them a chance to practice.
In academic areas, it's really easy to excel when you homeschool. It just sort of happens. I think this is because they see their parent excited about the subject, and also because they still have a love for learning.
If I had to give three steps for helping children excel, they would be:
1. Be involved
2. Be active
3. Be loving
Yep, even when your child strikes out AGAIN, there will be something positive he did in the game that you will be able to point out. Focus on those things and keep on practicing!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
In the very same newspaper or the very same news program, you might also learn about the number of businesses that have moved overseas. You might hear the grumbles and gripes about losing manufacturing plants to places like China, that can produce the same products for far less.
Are you putting two and two together yet?
Has anyone but me noticed what's happened? We didn't so much improve air pollution: we shipped it to China! I guess that's a benefit to sending our business to China. And now they will have our money to help fight the cancer increases they have suffered due to their increased manufacturing with the lowest environmental standards (if any).
I'm writing about this here because most of the American public has been duped. And I hope that I am raising children who will not be so easily duped by news articles into believing every word that is spoken or printed. I've already given my children the "little kids in China made that piece of junk toy so that you could play with it for five minutes and then throw it in the trash" speech. As they grow, I try to teach them critical thinking and problem solving. I don't want them growing up to believe that politicians are on their side, the news is real, or that they have to go to college to learn how to work for someone else. We live outside the box, think outside the box, and grow outside the box.
If you haven't seen the The Story of Stuff , go there NOW! Watch it daily. As I become a horrible consumer in the eyes of my country (shopping at garage sales, Goodwill, consignment sales, etc.) I wonder what would happen if our whole country became horrible consumers like me. Of course, it will never happen as long as there is money to spend. Some people will just never care. But I look at my kids and how their spending habits have developed. My seven year-old (who just sat down to watch The Story of Stuff with me) has decided that all he really wants is Legos. He has already learned that all those toys that look so fun on the shelf turn out to be- not so much fun. Like most kids, they are playing a lot of computer games or online learning games. Outside of the disc and packaging material, the main resource that goes into these products is intelligence. One day, I believe, we will not buy STUFF so much as we will buy the ability to DO STUFF.
For instance, I purchased Jump Start World at the store. It has an online component to it, where you can pay for your child to continue on with the game. A sneaky way of sucking kids (and parents!) in, but once I saw what my child was learning, it was worth the $75 I paid for the rest of the program! So now we have an educational game that my child has spent HOURS on, and not a big plastic toy that MIGHT get played with once and a while. I truly believe that this is the wave of the future. And I also believe that the children at the forefront of producing more advanced games or providing highly technical expertise will be homeschooled children like mine.
There are so many reasons why teaching kids to think critically should be at the top of our parenting list. Not only to decipher the news, but to make change, and become technologically advanced if that is your child's calling. Because mark my words, eventually China will wake up and want to send their pollution right back over and we will either welcome it back or decide we can go without McDonald toys and tell them, "no thanks!"
If you want to learn about the pollution problem in China, here is a great article:
I just got this link in a Yahoo group I am in and thought it was appropriate:
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Then it occurred to me how little structure I had been providing. Things were out of control. The kids were talking back. They woke up arguing with each other. They were not cleaning up after themselves. And I griped at them, but didn't follow up. I had become a lazy parent.
At lunch time, I apologized for the yelling, and told them that it was my fault that things had gotten so out of control. I told them that we would have more structure from now on, to help keep everyone on track with where we need to be, including myself. We did school, and there was no complaining! Gasp!
Later this evening, when my daughter yelled, "I HATE YOU!!" after I told her that her neighbor friend could not come inside at 10:15 at night and that she would have to come in for her bath at 10:30, I followed her outside and made her promptly turn around and come inside for her bath immediately. The night was over. When she knew I meant business, she said, "I don't love you anymore!" Well, it's good to see that things are back on track. :o)
Monday, July 21, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The girls' team is a bit of a different story. They have great coaches- a TEAM of coaches, actually- and their practices are very organized. While they are the same ages as the boys, I suspect they are more interested in wearing the uniform than learning the game. It seems that by now there are certain things they should have learned. And they just haven't. I'm not sure what the problem is. My daughter was playing 3rd base, and I could tell that the next batter was going to hit in her direction. There were runners on 1st and 2nd, and I hollered, "Anna, if the ball comes to you, run to 3rd with it!" It took a while for the batter to hit the ball, but when she did, it went right towards Anna. She stopped it beautifully, but then stood up like, "what do I do with the ball?" LOL This would not be so bad if the pitcher, who gets nearly every ball hit to her, also didn't know what to do with the ball almost every single play. And by the end of the game, STILL hadn't figured it out!
Since this is Anna's first year, I was just happy that she stopped the ball! It is hard to teach kids the game at home without having runners and other players. So that will come with time. But I can tell that hardly any (if any at all) of the girls' parents are playing with them at home. I wish they would. It is so rewarding for both parent and child. Getting to see the hard work pay off is something many kids don't appreciate these days because they don't put the work into it! Coincidentally, we are learning this with piano and swimming as well. Practicing a little every day makes a huge difference, and makes a child confident that he or she is able to do well. Anyway, here is Anna in her first game:
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I wanted the trophy to remind him what a great year he had and all the things he is good at. The last two lines that you can't see very well read "Soccer Player" and "Bible Verse Memorizer." The plate has his name and the date. We do a "birthday table" where we put out presents and balloons, and the trophy sat there waiting for Thomas to wake up. When he finaly came down, his eyes just lit up when he saw the trophy. He was so happy! If you would like to give a custom made trophy to your child for any occasion, just contact Troy at Classic Woods. The trophy is made from wood and acrylic (not glass) so it would be easy to ship!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
We had the cups, plates, balloons, and of course Darth Vader masks, but my favorite is the cake, of course! It did take me a while to get the frosting out of the little holes at the bottom of their feet, but it was still worth it! A few days after Thomas' birthday, we went to Build-A-Bear when my sister came into town, so hopefully I will have some more birthday pictures to share when she sends me some. In all it was a great birthday, and I'm still in shock that I have a seven year-old!