Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Schooling Wrap-Up

Our school year is finishing up. In IL your homeschooling requirement is you have to have 180 days of school. We do not stop cold during the summer but do half days for a lot of the summer months. I have not in the past counted those summer days of school as official days of school. Therefore, even though we have done much more than 180 days this school year, officially, we have three days of school, this week, to finish up our school year.

After our 180 days are up we will take two weeks of rest and then start our summer session. We will do four day weeks and only work on Math, spelling, reading, grammar. But with our busy summer schedule, camp, and visits too and from relatives we will have lots of time off. I don't want them to get burned out and not get a break but I also don't want them to start all over again in the fall! It seems to work for us.

But the most exciting news is that the community pool opened this weekend so after they finish their morning work we are going to eat a little lunch and take a little break at the pool for a couple of hours before we work on our bird unit. I am totally spoiled by our pool. I don't have to take care of it, it is right up the street, and I can come and go as I like. This AZ girl is really itching to spend some quality time in the sun while the kiddo's swim!!

So, that is our week coming up.


Friday, May 25, 2007


Is anyone else just completely tired of all the commercials on right now featuring the totally disrespectful and spoiled children and the idiot parents? The first one that comes to mind is for a cell phone company. The mom is tired of paying all the over charges for texting on her child's cell phone....

There are all sorts of problems that I can see with this scene, first the child appears to be maybe 11, she has a cell phone that her parents are paying for so that she can gab with her friends, she has time to send a ton of text messages to her friends, and finally when the child is confronted with the fact that she has been texting too much she is out of this world rude to her mom. She proceeds to argue with her mom and then when her mom, finally, takes her cell phone away she throws a tantrum and leaves the room. Seriously, is this at all a realistic scene. Maybe I am totally out of touch with reality.

Does anyone watch this commercial and think,"Thank goodness there is finally an answer to all my cell phone problems."?

Aside from the fact that the child is completely obnoxious the mother is an idiot. It started a few years ago with the shows that made the dads look like complete morons. Where everyone, including the children, just patted his head and did whatever they wanted behind his back. I thought that was horrible but now to be attacking moms!!

I don't think so.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Masks Completed!!

So there you have it. They are finally completed! I think they turned out great! They worked really hard on them and spent a lot of time designing them and painting them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Thanks Paula!!

Let me tell you about Paula. She is one of the most incredible people I know. She is an awesome mother of three gorgeous boys, two of which are twins. She is very smart and creative (don't you have to be with three boys?). She is also kind, generous, loving, fun, caring, the list goes on. She is just the kind of person that when you meet her you just want to hug her and spend more time with her.

I met Paula about three years ago. She was the first person to reach out to me when I moved here. I know that God knew that I needed someone here to talk to and to be my friend. I had just left a huge support network of friends in North Carolina and I was really feeling pretty alone. She called me because Mike was at a conference in Texas and she wanted to bring me dinner. It was awesome and let me tell you that little gesture began an awesome relationship.

There are days that I don't know what I would do if I didn't have her support and love. She doesn't always tell me what I want to hear but she does tell me what i need to hear, and that is why I go to her. It is called wise council and if you don't have someone who can provide it for you, get someone!!

She is always finding ways to bless me and my family. Like this past weekend she took me to lunch and a day of beauty. I got a facial and manicure and we had a blast. I would never have done it for myself. She knows this and is really good at making it happen.

I love her kind heart. I thank God for her everyday.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Two Crowns for Kristen

Yeah, unfortunately not that kind of crown. I had to have two crowns started today on my back molars. The dentist I have been going to is very good and gentle but I still hate going there. I had two giant fillings in my two back molars and of coarse since they are so old they are cracked and needed crowns.

So after it was over and I was making the appt. to come back for the permanent crowns and a filling that i have to have refilled, the dental hygienist told me that they must have made a mistake, because this other tooth that needs to be refilled actually looks like it may need another crown or even worse a root canal!! But they won't really know till they get int here. I have a problem with that. Because really once they "get in there" what can you say????

No just leave the nerve exposed.


So I have to go back in a month and I am praying for just a simple refill. Heck at this point I would even take the stupid crown.

Today I am very numb and I have a feeling that this evening when the Novocain has worn off, yes I had to have that many shots, I am going to be feeling it a little. But Mike is home and good for some sympathy!!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Native American Masks

Yikes!! Paper Mache is a mess!!!! They did such a great job on their masks!! I can't wait till they are painted and I can post a picture of them.

The boys' masks have crowders....I wonder why?

All i have to say is that it is pretty difficult making a goatee out of newspaper and paste. And that is all I am going to say about that.

Faith my sweet perfectionist who has NEVER liked getting her hands dirty jumped right in and did a great job. I guess if it is an artistic endeavor it is okay to get messy.

Kylee who has never had a problem getting anything messy did awesome and had fun.

All the masks are so creative.

Next week when they are painted I will post them.


Crafts, Crafts and more Crafts!

This Native American unit has been so craft intensive. We have made Navajo rugs, head warbonnets, pottery, and Faith sewed a doll like the one I got when I was a little girl living in Arizona. Today we are talking about the False Face Society and we will be using plates, cups, and paper mache to make masks.

I think it is going to be a huge mess. But I think they will enjoy it and I am sure they will remember the lesson about the Iroquois people. That is what matters.

Now that we have talked about a lot of the tribes of North America and some of the important chiefs these last two weeks, next week they will be expected to take what they have learned and feed it back to me. They will have the next week to research more thoroughly a topic from this unit and pull together a research paper. Seth obviously will just pick a topic and write what he learned about it. Kylee and Faith will be expected to dig a little deeper. They have already picked their topics at the beginning of this unit so that they could be thinking about it this whole time.

I did our Japan unit this way and Faith wrote the best paper.

I have my big giant Sunday newspaper just waiting to be shredded.

Here I go.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Handsome Husband!

Today is my gorgeous husband's birthday!

The kids and I will be working on making sure he is the King tonight when he gets home from work. Dinner, cake, and birthday surprises.

I always try to make a special cake on birthdays for my fam. Can't decide what this one will be but I am sure it will involve chocolate.

I know that lots of wives think they have the best husband but I really do. And today, I thank God for the blessing he is to me. I thank God that He sent him to be raised by his loving parents and that He gave him to me to spend my life with. I pray for him today to have a great day with encouragement and kindness and love all around him.

Happy Birthday Baby!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vapor Feet

I just found a cure for night coughing that has changed my life. I got an email a couple of weeks ago from an old friend and it told of this night time cough cure.

Here it is: Rub Vicks Vapor rub on the bottom of your feet and put on socks.

Ok, I read this and I thought RIGHT!!!! My first instinct is if this is so easy why doesn't every one know about it? My second reaction was I kind of wished someone would get a cough so I could try it....

I got my wish. Joshi got a cold. Not a big deal. No fever just a little summer cold. But along with it is the most annoying cough. Every couple of minutes a dry, non productive cough followed by me telling him to cover his mouth every time he does it.

So the first night after his cough started I broke out the Vicks and rubbed it on his feet. I put a pretty good layer on them and covered them with socks. No other meds. Put him to bed and not a sound!!! Second night same thing, no coughing. Last night was our third night and I heard him cough a couple of times but no big deal.

I am sold!!! The article said that the person had tried it on an adult and that it worked so I now have the cold and I will be rubbing some vicks on my feet soon. I'll let you know.

I just really wish someone had told me this 10 years ago when Faith was little. Think of all the sleepless nights we could have avoided!!


Friday, May 11, 2007

Pictures from the Museum

Thought I would just post some pictures from our trip to the Native American Museum yesterday.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

They Don't Call it a Hot Glue Gun for Nothing

My oldest daughter loves arts and crafts. So we do a lot of artsy stuff when we can.

She is also a perfectionist, especially about her art. This is where the hot glue gun comes in. I think she really feels if she is going to put all this time and effort into creating something it should stay together. And I agree with her. To a point.

But today after we came home from the Native American museum in Aurora (Thanks Joni!) I had the kids design their own Navajo blanket, with felt. The plan was that we would just design, cut out, and, glue. I was thinking Elmer's and Faith was thinking hot. So as I was helping Josh cut out his shapes I smell the hot glue gun warming up. You know the smell. And I look up and Faith is in the process of hot gluing her blanket together. I tell her to be careful and she is. She does hers and Seth's with no incident.

Then it was my turn to do Kylee and Joshi's. This is where it all went awry. My first sign that things were not going to go well was when I just missed the shape and got a little glue on my finger. That hurt. But next I full on glued a rectangle to my finger! Really glued it to my finger. I have to say I have not felt such burning pain since the time my friend and I were trying to curl our barbie head's hair and she put the curling iron down on my leg. That was bad but when the pain started with the curling iron I removed it. This time I couldn't get the stupid rectangle off my finger. I ran to the sink and thought of some words that I really would have loved to have said, but didn't. Thankfully.

Okay so remember that the glue that comes from hot glue guns really is very hot. Really.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Native Americans and Cowboys

Our Native American unit is going well. The kids are really interested in all the different tribes and chiefs. We started our unit out by mapping out North America and roughly drawing in where the various tribes lived. So far we have covered some of the tribes of the Pacific Northeast and Southwest regions. Found a cool site that give lots of great information about the ancient tribes and costumes. So for the tribes of Pacific Northeast we talked about and designed totem poles, and wampum. They were very creative and did a great job.

Today we moved on to Southwest tribes, the Pueblos, and talked about the pottery of the Hopi and the Zuni as well as Kachina dolls. Our pots are in the oven drying now and the Styrofoam is waiting to be carved for their Kachinas. Maybe tomorrow.

With all this talk I have been trying my best to use correct vocabulary. I have to admit I find this hard since things have changed since I was little. When we studied this stuff, which I don't think we studied the Native American culture very much in depth, we called them Indians or American Indian. I really want the kids to be sensitive and considerate of other cultures so I have been careful to refer to them as Native Americans. I slip once in a while but I think I am doing pretty good.

Seth and Josh were at their friends house this weekend and apparently his family is about to have a garage sale. So of coarse, in come the boys with their arms filled with toys that this other family is trying to get rid of. They were so delighted though because they got a whole handful of "Native Americans and Cowboys" to play with.

I had to laugh to myself a little.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Three Shots for Joshi

Yesterday we reached another stage in our children's' lives. Our last kiddo got his five year old shots! That feels so weird to me. It feels like we don't have any babies any more. I am not sad about this though. How exciting that they are all growing up and doing so well.

The other obvious thing is that since he got his five year old shots that means he must be ready to officially start school!! It is so hard to draw the line here because he has technically been in school since he was a tiny baby!! But I do try and make a big deal out of Kindergarten so they understand that in the next few years they will have to start getting serious about this learning stuff. But my kindergarten philosophy is learn while playing so it won't be much different from what he does now.

Another exciting thing that happened yesterday is that we found out that Joshi has officially made it into the 50 percentile in his height and weight!! Now I am still wondering if she was looking at the right chart but I will take the news and celebrate!! He has always been such a peanut I guess I still just see him that way.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Another Busy Friday

We had such a busy day yesterday. The girls had well checks yesterday morning, so we got up and got as much as we could done before we had to leave at 9:30 and then packed up what we could and took the rest with us. The office visit was fine. Luckily they were digging up the parking lot and smashing cement right outside our window. That kept all of us totally entertained for the long wait.

I can't believe how Faith has grown!! She is 4'9"! Six more inches and she is as tall as me. And Kylee is now in the 25% in her height and weight!! For the first time ever! She has been in the 5th percentile from birth! So I was pretty excited to hear she had grown 5 inches since her last visit. I don't think she will be getting much taller than me when she is grown but that is fine.
Then the dr. informed me that they recommend a booster for the chicken pox shot now. I don't know how I feel about the whole chicken pox thing. Sometimes i wish I had just let them get it as little guys but I didn't so now I certainly don't want them to get it when they are older. Especially the girls. So, I okayed the booster. They were not thrilled. Faith did great. Kylee, not so much.

I talked to the dr. about Faith's headaches and she felt we should see a neurologist. I am torn. I somewhat agree because I think that will ease our minds, and maybe help us to look into other things. But then I also think it is kind of a drastic step. They changed her allergy meds and I am hoping that helps. My first instinct is to take her to a chiropractor. But I think I will make the appt. with the neurologist first and then see how the new allergy stuff goes in the mean time. If it takes care of it we can always cancel with the neurologist. The second problem is finding a neurologist that takes All Kids. But that will be Mike's task on Monday :)

After Dr. it was lunch and music then Bu krew for Faith. The other kids and I went to Paula's to hang out for a while. Mike met us there since Todd was out of town. We all went to dinner and then came back to Paula's and watched Night at the Museum. Very funny.

Home by 10ish and every one in bed. Long day but it was all good.


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Books, Bagels, Battle Star Galactica

Okay, books and bagels but the battle star galactica was for those Office fans out there.

We are just about finished with the frontiersman and trappers and will be moving on to Native Americans. There is soooo much material that we will spend at least two weeks on the unit. Maybe more. I will see once we get started.

We made a trip to the library, like we always do when we are starting a new unit, and left with close to 50 books. Basically, I had to get four different level books on each thing I want them to study. So Seth got some easy juvenile biography, Josh got a ton of books on Native American tales, Kylee got bios as well as the Kaya series, and Faith got some bios from the young adult and teen section as well as a couple of bio-novels. It took quite a while but I did all my research before I left the house so it was just a matter of finding the books. Other than Josh bringing me 10 Spanish picture books that he had pulled off the shelf and wanted to check out it was a fairly uneventful trip.

Then we came home and I decided that I wanted to make bagels to go with our breakfast dinner. When Mike has a late night we often make breakfast, it is easy and the kids like it and I don't have to be too creative. I found this recipe and tried it out. So easy and they were wonderful!!! I have been a little apprehensive to try making bagels because I had a bad bagel making experience. But this was so easy and very, very, delicious. I followed the recipe all but I made it in my kitchen aid and I did add a little extra water because it seemed dry when it started mixing. I didn't have any cornmeal so I skipped that and they turned out great.


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bye Bye Birdie

Kylee noticed on Saturday that there were three little blue eggs in another part of the yard. Two were cracked open and one was not. We looked in the grill and the nest was empty :( But Kylee felt that if she put the one little egg back in the nest the mom would come back. So she put it back in the nest and we watched for the mom. No mom. Just some little black birds poking around.

The next day the egg was gone again. We have not seen mom return but Mike said he saw some new materials in the nest.

We talked about it and decided it was time to pull the plug. It obviously isn't a safe place for her to lay her eggs so Mike torched it and took apart the grill. I just got him a new one that I am calling his birthday present.

The kids were a little upset with the prospect of torching the nest but after the fire started they thought it was great!

I didn't watch.

Mike video taped it and I am sure it will appear on his blog soon.