Friday, October 1, 2010

WOW!! What a couple of weeks we have had!!

My lovely MIL was visiting for the last 2 weeks and this week was another busy one. If you know me, you know that I am a BIG homebody. I prefer to not leave the House at all at least 3 days a week, and the other ones maybe just to the park or something. But after a month of almost daily visits and trips, I am POOPED!!

We have had so many wonderful learning experiences these last few weeks, some of them traditional ( zoo, and a trip to the giant sequoias) but most of them were natural daily experiences, the kind that pass quickly almost without notice. I wish I had taken a moment then during these last weeks to jot them down because most of them have already passed my memory!

Today the kids and I put together a fence for the chickens. Its a pretty sad sight but it works!! Better than nothing I suppose. We went to our first Renaissance faire. That was a sight I tell you! I can say do not go to a ren faire if you are actually looking for historical Renaissance stuff. You mostly just see drinking and cleavage.

I found out that I am kinda bilingual!! How can you only be kinda bi-lingual you ask?? Well for the most part I dont say that I can speak spanish. But having the opportunity while hanging with my MIL who does not speak ANY english, I surprised my self with my ability to speak spanish with her! Its like I was storing nouns, verbs and conjugations beep within my soul that were just waiting to seep out if given a chance.

I had a meeting with the special ed people though our charter for superT. It was very uplifting to her a "professional" say that I am doing the right thing and that I am teaching her correctly. We have set up a testing day to REALLY get to the knitty gritty of exactly where she is struggling with her reading. I am so excited!! I really hope to see where I can help her more.

J received his very first lego robotics kit this week...I havent really seen him since. I think he has already gone though 1/2 of the book on different robots you can make or some such thing...I guess I should mosey upstairs and take a look.

Riffeyroo my rambuncious 4 yr old has taken it upon herself to learn her letters an numbers. I LOVE that about her. She says "Mommy I am going to do my school now" and goes and finds a dollar store sticker book or something and starts working. She calls it "unicorn school" I asked her if it was school to learn how to be unicorn? She said no....lol!!

Big M is blazing though her studies both planned and natural. I cant keep up with her voracious appetitie for reading. Sometimes I wish she would read something else other than magic tree house or julie b jones, but that is what she is into right now. I know she will mature into great literature...I think I will just leave anne karerena lying around until she picks it up right??

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

banana bonanza






Since friends gave me about 20 lbs of RIPE bananas I had to "process" them before they went bad. I had several options. Freeze them whole or peeled, mashed and frozen, or make something up and freeze that. I chose the glory road. BAKE, BAKE, BAKE!!! I took pictures with my ancient digital because my 2 new cameras were either dead and needed recharging or their cards were full.

I was SO proud of myself baking and taking pictures for all of you to see and be proud of me too! You should have seen the oven! there wasn't an inch of space in that thing! I probably had 3 pans on each shelf and I have 3 shelves in the oven. I took pictures of the finished product all baked and beautiful. But you may never see these pictures because my camera is SO ancient that the memory card is gigantic and wont fit on any of my computers! ( we have 4 of all different sizes and ages!!) I took some pics on the other cameras but everything is all wrapped up already)

"stick" with the stick

today started out as so many other days. Me screaming and yelling!! well I AM trying to NOT scream and yell so instead I have started a new parenting approach. Discipline. I know I know its as old as Adam right? Mu problem is that I am lazy....it is SO much easier to threaten and scream to get the kids to do what they are supposed to do than to speak quietly and carry a big stick. Well my stick might not be that big but I have been convicted again as of late to "stick" with the stick. So at 10:30 am, after I got back from the store and the morning chores were supposed to be done, I found to my surprise that it hadn't! SO instead of pulling out the lazy routine of "didn't I tell you...and why cant you listen.."etc etc I directed their attention to the undone chores and proceeded to explain that since they didn't finish their chores before devotions and reading, that they would be finishing them after devotions and were now grounded to "chore duty" for the rest of the day. I pulled out all of the odd and end chores from the binder that seem to get forgotten about and sent them to work. there was no yelling, I didn't even raise my voice. It was very matter of fact. A cause and effect discipline. Hopefully it was also a discipling of the children. Now I know that tomorrow I will be challenged again, and they will also be challenged. I just hope that I can remember NOT to be selfish and lazy when it comes to my children. If I love them, I will discipline them effectively.

Friday, September 10, 2010

spicy "sweet" peppers

its SO unfair!! that is the LAST time I buy seedlings from Home Depot!! I purchased several and I mean SEVERAL seedlings from HD in the spring to make up for the untimely death of over 1/2 of my babies before I could transplant them. I got butternut squash and sweet bell peppers among other things like tomatoes and other squashes. Well imagine my suprise when ALL of the squashes turned out to be zuichinni!! Not my favorite but oh well right? I hand planted some butternut and am now watching my babies grow! Imagine my dismay when after waiting for my peppers to bloom and grown and watching them emerge from their blooms, I see that they are in fact NOT sweet peppers AT ALL! I acually dont know what these tiny red and yellow peppers are but they are SO not sweet they are BIG TIME SPICY! total bummer. Now I will have to still get my peppers from Costco. My garden yeild is SO not as much as I wanted this year :0(

where does the day go?

I swear some days it seems like I woke up only minutes ago and its already time to get the kiddoes to bed! I am truely blessed by these little mess makers...they sure do keep me busy! We had aour regular bookwork today as the kids havent quite finished their summer lang arts workbooks yet. BigM is almost done with her 4th grade one (she just started 3rd!!) so way to go for her! J is plowing through his 7th grade one. and SuperT just has to keep going till she can read and write well enough to do a reading/writing during project during english time. J is still wanting to use natural learning form math, and I still want to let him! but we are just not there yet in the year. Maybe when he finishes his grade for math that he is in. There is just too much other "life" stuff going on for ME to make sure he learns something! I know eventually this year we will get to it. till then 30 minutes of bookwork everyday wont kill him! We had the best day at the park this afternoon, it was beautiful and lots of friends were there. I miss going as much as we used to, but with the other co-op classes and park days we are going to, it doesnt leave much afternoon time to hang out at the park anymore.

We made homemade pizzas tonight and I took some more time this afternoon to quaduple the batch of pizza dough and freeze em. I hope that I will get at least 2 more meals out of the frozen dough. I also recieved a donated bucket of ripe tomatoes and since I didnt have all the ingredients for homemade salsa, I made homemade spagetti sauce but I put some poblanos from the garden in them to give em some pep!

Monday, September 6, 2010

gearing up for another unschooling week

I am checking out this amazing blog..."life as a MOM" its so awesome!! She has such great ideas for organizing your cooking such as Once a month cooking for the new millenium
( this is so not your moms monthly casserole cooking) and lunch ideas for the kiddoes and easy breakfasts etc. It really get s my juices flowing but I dont know if I will EVER actually do it all. But I am sooo tired of not knowing what is for dinner each and every night, searching though the freezer to see what we have and dont have etc. I might just have to take the plunge! I know we are supposed to do some "school" this week, I am just not feeling it so we will see what happens. I am sure we will at least do some workbook stuff, and maybe we will spend the rest of the time in the kitchen. It is after all zone 2 week! Kitchen all week! Today although it was supposed to be a day of doin' nutin' DH and I ended up de mousing the dishwasher. ( yup found a live one on the glue trap...YUCK!!)thats the second one this year! Ah well we really have no one to blame but ourselves, we never did get around to closing up the holes behind the cabinets where the plumming came in. So while we were at it and just to make sure there wernt any other critters behind anything, we pulled out the fridge and the stove, cleaned behind them (double yuck), and filled the holes with that expandible stuff from Lowes! To see behind that stove you would have thought we had lived here for YEARS without cleaning! its only been about 6 months since we last pulled it out and scrubbed. geeerrooss! anywhoo, the kitchen is now rodent free once again ( hopefully it will stay that way!) Unfortunatly nothing else really got done this weekend but a lot happened! Oh well ce la vie!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

colorful pizzas





It was girls night 2nite...I decieded to make homemade pizzas but with a twist!! I know Im not the first mom to think of it and I wont be the last but it was FUN! I got out the food coloring and we all went to town! BigM picked blue LittleH used yellow SuperT tried on pink...and I mean PINK! We all colored our individual pizzas and picked a variety of toppings. I used my peach salsa YUM! I will be doing that again!!

smells like school in the air!!

Ah September! that new backpack smell! Gotta love it right?? It all seems so foreign to me now. Even my homeschool friends are starting school again for the year and breaking out all of the new packages of curriculum. The excitement is building....but will it last?

I find myself being drawn further and further away from the mainstream of homeschooling. Don't get me wrong, we still have school time and play time and we use different curriculum's pretty much every day for something or other. But the more I think of a box set of something or "doing" school, the more foreign it feels! I LOVE natural learning. Some days more than others but pretty much every day is a learning day. We don't ever "start" or "stop" learning, we don't have a summer vacation, or a spring break.

My oldest is REALLY wanting to try learning upper math using different strategies other than curriculum and I am all for that! I say GO for it!! But yet I am scared, still after so many years of natural learning and seeing the amazing results of letting my kids lead and facilitating their learning. What if he never learns geometry because we didn't get a curriculum for it?? I feel pulled. I don't want to waste his time and mine using a book that we will momentarily forget after test taking has come and gon. But I am not a math whiz, do how does one go about teaching all this heavy stuff in real world situations? Are there even real world situations for it? another day another mountain to climb. But you know what they say....the higher the mountain the better the view right??

Monday, August 30, 2010

this post was GREAT!!!

you gotta read it...it says everything I think but oh so much better!!

http://simplehomeschool.net/balancing-character-education-with-academics/

Garden giants!! well not really




our latest harvest from the garden. I havent seen carrots like these ones before!! we looked up why they grew like this and it seems like carrots usually grow this way! go figure!!

mezo america monday



So after a impromptu trip to the eye dr. because BigJ was complaining that something was in his eye all weekend (he's fine) BTW. We got back to do some history as a family. SOTW has us in mezo america. The Incas, Aztecs and Mayans. Yea I thought....I have SOOOO many cool books on this stuff! So out shopping to the garage I go and I come back with an arm full of "living books" about the mezo's and we dig in. Somehow I feel that my interest might be a bit stronger than theirs but oh well. Im interested and thats what counts right?? They held on and then after I was done yaking away for what Im sure seemed like hours to them I let them at the books and stepped back. They sniffed around for a bit and then Big J decided to make aztec headdresses that he saw in one of the books and they were off! I sure hope they are interested in these books for the rest of the week, Im going to leave them out till friday so we will see what happens.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ok so I know how this is gonna sound...

My 11 yr old just asked to unschool his math. I know I know we ARE unschoolers!! BUT my last hold out has been math because I couldnt figure out how to DO math any other way. But my heart has been leaning for a while in this area and as we were sitting down to have Bible study tonight we were discussing James 1:1-12 and considering trials joy etc etc. We were talking about what might be a trial in the next week and Big J was saying how he really does not like his math work. Well being a crazy unschooler I jumped at the opportunity to see where his mind was headed. I asked him " well if we dont do math curriculum, how are you going to teach yourself all of those complex math problems etc etc?" Well He figured that he could find out how to do those things other ways using science or history or art (his favored subjects). I have to say this really spoke to my heart. I was actually just reading in "the unschoolers handbook" that I picked up at convention last month a personal story that resonated with me. It spoke of worrying about our kids never learning "enough" math. What about the "higher" math? you know prea lgebra and above? The stuff "regular" peaple never really use? Arent we supposed to know that stuff? why, Im not exactly sure other than college courses etc. But if that is the case and he needs to now something in order to get into a specific class for his major, then he will learn it. Self motivation is a much better teacher than teaching textbooks or math u see. Big J wanted to read more about math. To understand it on a conceptual level not a algorithim a+b=c level. ( a boy after my own heart). I really want to give this a try. I think it will really work for our family. BigM LOVES her math and her workbooks but J and T not so much. They are more into the "natural learning"

Now I KNOW that God has given each of our children a natural gift. It is my job to help them grow and explore that gift while facilitating them and helping them along where they struggle. simple homeschool.net says this wonderfully..."Thankfully, it’s not all about academics. Man cannot live on books alone. We need to develop quality relationships, enjoy one another’s company, and learn to get along with one another. Better that my sons be godly garbage collectors than arrogant men with initials at the end of their names." another great quote from them is ..."good teaching isn’t filling a bottle, it’s lighting a fire."

I want to fan the flame of the love of learning. I dont want my kids to hate math or writing or whatever. And workbook pages turn me SO off....I can see how they would turn off a child. SO how to unschool math? I guess its time to find out!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

just going along

I realized I hadnt written down anything in a few weeks and since this blog is the only way I will ever remember what happened even yesterday, let alone what happened during a month of school, I figured I had better write something down! Oh well I am the only one reading this any so what does it matter? hehehe. Well life has finally settled back into routine around here. Public school started this week and the sense of routine and schedules is in the air once again. We have gotten back into the math and lang arts each day until the kids finish their summer workbooks. Once I reminded J that he didnt have to do any more LA after he finished the summer workbook he was thrilled into action and completed 6 pages! BigM as always LOVES workbooks so I doubt she will ever not be using one. SuperT is plodding along as usual. She is doing alright in the math and LA dept.s but not spectacular. It hink she willget it when she is ready but I am still having her meet with the education specailist with our charter school. I want to make sure we arent missing anything. We are using more manipulatives and Living math during the day for her, and using this new (to us) curriculum called " rocket phonics" that teaches sounds instead of names for letters. She is enjoying it and I am getting the hang of it as well. I just wish I could more easily figure out Al Abacus, right start math. Maybe its to concrete for my abstract mind to understand!! Oh well I am going to keep trying to get the abacus thingy and the math games becasue I think that is the key to SuperT's door. LittleH has been doing "school" a lot lately. I found my self rmembering when J was her age and there was only him and baby BigM. Oh how I used to spend about 45 min a day with him learning all the ABC's and 123's. We drilled and drilled and drilled poor kid.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

jammin' saturday








I just spent about 5 hours in the kitchen makin jam with the kiddoes. My kitchen looks like a fruit massacre happened in there ( it kinda did! ) I started out with plum jam and our japanese exchange student helped a lot by peeling and chopping the peaches. We made 4 batches of jam today and they turned out AWESOME. That is until the last batch anyway. i turned my back for a moment to deal with the 2 yr olds "soup" that he created with the dogs food. And in that moment my glorious beautiful yellow marmalade that was perfect in everyway...(well in my eyes anyway) went from yellow to dark brown. 4 lbs of lemons and 6 cups of white sugar down the drain. not to mention the 1 hour or so I spent of my life making it. Oh well challk it up to a learning session on how to NOT walk away from candymaking or jam making

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Yea!! the veggies arent dying!




So superT went out to the garden this morning and came back with a GIANT!! zuichinni that is. Now I know that lots of other people grow giant zuichinnis and pumpkins and other things just to have giant veggies to show off. I on the other hand am just trying NOT to kill anything. So I am very exctied to see that not only have they manageds to stay alive despite my childrens best efforts to squash and mame, but are actually GROWING veggies! We have, from what I can see, 3 count them 3 watermelons and all the corn stalks are producing multiple ears. The tomatoes are a little on the squashed side from the lack of proper care and trellising. so I didnt get the hoped for over abundance of tomatoes this year. I am learning from my mistakes for next year. I even bought a backyard homesteading book that I am reading voracously while my husband laughs! I am looking forward to canning what I can (hehehe) and eating the rest. The giant zuichinni isnt good for anything but schredding for soups, bread, or anything else I want to add shredded zuichinni too! I made a "ragu" with garden yummies from the neighbors on monday and it was so good we were eating it with chips like a italian salsa!

a sad day

Well as we all know in like there is learning from happy times and from sad times. Today we had a glorius day at the river. playing and learning about the river currents and local inhabitants. When we got home, one of the neighborhood dogs a nice dog but still a dog, had gotten into our backyard and in an instant...while I was home killed carmel, BigJ's chicken. It was carnage! He is devistated. Its going to take a few days for him to start feeling better, then we will go and pick out a new group of chicks. We need a total of 10 or 12 so I havent quite decided how many to pick up. My moms heart breaks for him, but it is a teacable moment on animals and life. Scooter isnt a "bad" dog, he is an animal with insticts. We just jot REALLY lucky with our dog Buddy, who had NO instincts and thinks he's people!

too much curriculum talk;)

We have been so busy these past few weeks...doing what exactly Im not too sure. We have working on bookwork and H hasss been digging into her prek curriculum we have lying around. She has discovered the sticker book and sometimes we wont be able to find her! She will be hiding somewhere with her "school" putting stickers all over her new workbook. Thank you dollar tree! SuperT had been working with momma on her new borrowed curriculum for reading. Its called rocket phonics and so far she is REALLY liking it. I have used pretty much any curriculum out there for reading as well as no curriculum at all for SuperT's reading issues and so far no luck. We will see where this one leads. Not to say she hasnt made progress over the last year or so, its just that its glacierly slow! But slow is better than no! We had Vacation Bible School last week. so no book work then. Big J has been working on his teaching textbooks and doing GREAT! M is going along with her 4th grade lang arts and math. We will have to get a new computer for the kids so she can work on her teaching textbooks ....I feel all rashy now...too much "curriculum" talk.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

summer lazy days

We have been so busy these past few weeks...doing what exactly Im not too sure. We have working on bookwork and H hasss been digging into her prek curriculum we have lying around. She has discovered the sticker book and sometimes we wont be able to find her! She will be hiding somewhere with her "school" putting stickers all over her new workbook. Thank you dollar tree! SuperT had been working with momma on her new borrowed curriculum for reading. Its called rocket phonics and so far she is REALLY liking it. I have used pretty much any curriculum out there for reading as well as no curriculum at all for SuperT's reading issues and so far no luck. We will see where this one leads. Not to say she hasnt made progress over the last year or so, its just that its glacierly slow! But slow is better than no! We had Vacation Bible School last week. so no book work then. Big J has been working on his teaching textbooks and doing GREAT! M is going along with her 4th grade lang arts and math. We will have to get a new computer for the kids so she can work on her teaching textbooks

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

my baby is BACK!

Finally and shes running better than ever! Purring like a kitten! We have been rolling along with our summer workbooks. I have decided to use Rocket Phonics with super T. She is still having a tough go with reading and I'm not opposed to a curriculum when it suits me....and this time it TOTALLY suits me! I had to get a crash course in the curriculum ( It was too far above my head I guess!) I couldn't understand the sounds and blends etc. lol But it looks like something SuperT will totally get. So I am game for anything that helps my child love to learn!

On another note I found a baby blue Jay while on my morning walk. Buddy saved it from being a snack for another dog and we brought it home. The kids were so excited about feeding the fledgling and caring for it, I thought what the heck right? So off to the pet store to get some formula and a baby bird feeder. Then as I am reading all of the things you have to do for the bird to not die, my wonderful friend who is also a licenced annimal and reptile rescuer tells me that if we kkep the bird we will probably kill it for varous reasons and it might give our chickens a disease AND will become domesticated and hang out not being able to care for itself etc etc. so we gavew the baby to her to take to a rescue bird zoo or something or other...it was an open adoption however because we will still get pictures and can visit if we want to!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Still carless.....

Yesterday the mechanic showed up for a few hours, enough time to take apart my van's innards. They are currently strewn all over the table in the garage. At least he is generous enough to allow Big J to "assist" in the mechanics shop. I didnt even see J for those 2 hours! He was fetching tools and unscrewing "thingies" ( I know there is a technical term for those things but I have NO idea what they are) We went to a wedding yesterday, it was SO beautiful! we havent been to a wedding since OUR wedding! The munchkins stayed behind and spent the day at the neighbors birthday party. Im sure they had much more fun there then they would have had if forced to go to a wedding. But I sure had FUN! It was great to get away from teh kids for an afternoon and spend some quality time with the hubs! He sure cleans up nice too!

Today is fathers day(and our anniversary)....guess which one we are clebrating? Fathers day of course!! It homemade tacos for dinner and cute cupcakes that the kids are making. The BIG gift is a new "fancy" commuter mug for Dad, because one of the kids boke the old one....perfect huh?

So starts another carless wekk in the household. You would think iit would be cleaner and I would have gotten a lot more stuff done huh!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Big chickies!!




Our babies are getting soooo big!! I took some pics of them in the garden which is also getting soooo big! It turns out that the butternut squash I was SO looking forward to was in fact....get ready....ZUCCHINI!! I know I know be greatful for the abundance that is growing...blech...I SO am not a fan. But we shall partake joyfully anyway. Luckily I have been squirling away butternut seeds for a few months and we planted a LOT of them today, that oughta get me somewhere.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

bad news (of sorts)

We did get some bad news (of sorts) this last week. The family fan broke down and its going to take a couple of weeks to fix, so I am out of a car until then! Grrrrr! And we were supposed to go camping this week, so instead no camping stay home. However my darling had already taken the week off! But wait!! There’s more!! He found a job that he was very interested in getting so this week he has been upstairs in the office for hours and hours working on his portfolio and resume so he can apply for this position by the weekend. So providence prevailed. The car was already acting up and I was very concerned about taking it camping and it breaking down somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Instead it broke in our driveway and our mechanic was able to come right away for a diagnostic. Its just a spark plug issue…..but it’s a BIG one! Its going to take him several hours to repair and he needed a day off from work to do it hence the wait time for repair. It seems God has truly protected us from disaster and provided time for my darling to work on his portfolio. If we had gone camping, he would have had to do it in pieces when he had the time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

buzy with life...

OMgosh!!We have been super busy doing something or other....you go to finally write something down to have proof of your existence and....well....I KNOW we have done things....

Oh well The garden has been GROWING!! I believe this is my new pet project. I really enjoy hanging out in the garden and the new backyard with the family. I find my way out there at least once a day. Super T has been reading gardening books from the lending library about how to grow flowers etc. we have planted some seedlings as well flower seeds we got from the dollar store ( yea dollar store!!) J had been focused on everything and nothing at the same time. He is currently ( and I mean this minute currently) trying desperately to finish His AWANAS book. I gave an ultimatum that he MUST finish his book before the end of the year (tonight) or we would not be able to go back again next year to the Jr. High AWANAS. He has to fulfill his end of the bargain. AWANAS isnt just about hanging out with your friends, you are supposed to be learning as well. Seems he did not feel obligated to work on his book this year. I am so hoping that he does finish because I REALLY do not want to have to live up to my end of the bargain and make him stay home :(

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

interesting week....






well it HAS been! I was sick mon and tues, now little H is under the weather. SO I have NO IDEA what the kids did monday but the garage looks like a glitter fairy exploded and there are many mobiles and weird little thingies abounding in there. I recovered enough to to laundry and the basics over the last 2 days so there isn't a mountain of house stuff waiting for me (thank you Jesus) We go the backyard finished last Friday so we have been enjoying that immensely! Big J has been grounded form T and computer AND Lego's for a week because he fibbed about chores so he could do those things. although we actually did "school" yesterday...math for all and LA for the girls, we kinda did home ec etc more so. We gardened a LOT and worked in the shed cleaned that out and then hauled all of the Christmas stuff upstairs to the attic area...where it sat till today because I was too tired to do anything else with it ( I was sick remember!!) So today we did devotions after chores and then we watched 2 hours of the story of us civil war. (it was only supposed to be an hour but it was so interesting!!)then I went on a field trip of one to the local store to pick up a NEW dishwasher!! very exciting a new stainless Maytag is currently on its way. Antoher unschooling moment will soon follow as we all learn together how to install a dishwasher and remove a really nasty one filled with icky water. wiki how anyone???

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

math turned into science??





Every day is a new and exciting day around here. It is rarely the same. I almost always start the day out with a stroll. (notice I said stroll NOT walk) Its more about time alone that anything. That helps me focus for the day and prioritize. But even then its fluid. Insead of the math english stuff I was thinking of this morning we made stuff out of the family fun magazine and played in the sand in the backyard. Totally worth it. Followed by lunch and game room tidy up. a fulll morning. And very rewarding.

J was reading the magazine and saw how much COOL stuff was in it. He wanted to make the DIY lava lamp and for once we had all the materials. So I said go for it! It actually turned out really cool and the girls and J learned about mass and weight from the water and oil and watched a chemical reation with the alca seltzer. Also watched the colors chnge in reation with each other and the other liquids floating in the lamp.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

landscaping and computers

My butt is numb. I have been sitting at the dining room table all day. I didn't plan on doing that. I sat down to answer some email. That was all. It is now 10:30 pm. Good news is...I answered the email! I have absolutely NO idea what the kids did today. Must have been unschooling:) There is a crafty mess in the garage...a PE mess in the backyard....a toy mess in the game room....and wii everywhere. no wonder it was so quiet! They were all occupied with stuff around the house. I got SO much stuff done! It was awesome, well except for the no lunch part and the numb butt. However the kids are happy and house is clean and I am peaceful. All is well. Oh yeah and there was math in there somewhere....I'm pretty sure they did it while I was at the DMV. But that's another story.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

las maraposas civil war days





Ok so without further adieu, the last Friday civil war reenactment day was TOTALLY AWESOME!! We had so much fun ad we learned so much! all of the actors were so great. They took the time to really interact with our group and answer untold thousands of questions. Just goes towards homeschoolers that they were NOT surprised that our group was so interested. They said that most of the groups with questions were the homeschooled groups! We saw the sutlers village, learned about laundry and lice. Saw how a proper lady would dress, including their underclothes! MAN you should check out the "panties" the ladies would wear. I'm so glad that I live in the present day. Thank God for Hanes Her Way. We watched the skirmish and I think the south won that one. If it wasn't for the car trouble we were (and are) still having the day would have been perfect!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

super crazy wednesday.

MAN haow much CAN you pack into a 15 hour day? lets all find out! Most of it was without even leaving the house so score double points for me!

so we started out the day first with a quiet walk before the insanity for me. (that is when the mob gets breakfast and does the kitchen chores supposedly:) then after I get back from the stroll we have music and devotions. Then the girls anyway did their math and Lang arts stuff and I went outside to work on the backyard. See the landscapers were SUPPOSED to come tomorrow to start on the yard I was VERY exited....too exited I guess because the inevitable calll came "sorry maam we are backed up cant come until next tuesday" waa waa whaaa. Oh well Guess I will probably have to clean up the backyard AGAIN next week.

Big M and Super T wandered out with the wonder twins as I was working out there. They helped pick up the craziness. Then We moved into the garage. Miraculously my oldest appeared as if out of a mist. (he was supposed to be upstirs doing some math) suddenly I see them ALL chasing bumble bees and captuing them in plastic tubs. They were trying to force pollination between the bees and various outdoor flowers that we have in the yard. so I ignored the fact that his math was undone. its not going anywhere but the bees are. Then he decided to get out all of his rocks from his ever increasing collection. spread them out on the driveway and started to classify and teach his 2 year old brother aqbout all the rocks he has. Izzy promtly dropped a fairly large one and turned it into 2 smaller ones! J was ok with it. He said thats how you see whats inside. so sweet.

Then we turned to the GARAGE! the bain of my existence. I think little gremlins come into it at night and move the books around and take out all the crayons and paper. Oh wait maybe its the kids? Oh well we got to work. WE had to move several shelves worth of books around to make room for yet MORE books ( thanks Poppie) Then I moved my giant and I mean GIANT file cabinet from one wall to another to make room for 2 more shelves:) This particular file cabinet has been laughing at me since we moved ( 8 months ago) I have all of the stuff IN the cabinet but not usably since everything is just shoved in there from the moving boxes.

then quick change and run over to teh dentist to get my teeth fixed. I called J becasue I forgot to put dinner in the crockpot. Instructions as follows. open bag of meatballs. dump 1/2 of bag in pot. add maranade. turn on! and voila!! we have din din! way to go J!!! add rice and a quick and tasty meal comes our way. ( thanks for the recipe patricia!)

Then it was a dash to the finish in the garage for one more hour and dinner and rush to awanas and babysitting for me. now its stime to put op my feets and relax! For tomorrow is another day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Civil war!!!!

We are gearing up for friday. Big civil war reinactment nearby! Soooo we spent hourds on learning all about what started the BIG war! read the bio on harriet beacher stowe. Read the first 2 chapters of uncle toms cabin. The kids put together paper dolls of abrahams lincolns family and civil war soldiers and battlefields. The coolest thing was we found all of that in our library int he garage. very spur of the moment. so cool. The unschooled portion of the day was when it started hailing outside. (very unusual for this part of CA) we spent the better part of a 1/2 hour outside in it. taking pics and enjoying the moment. It was also bread day here. we needed more sandwich bread so we whipped up 3 loaves. they are currently doing their second rise and awaiting baking. This is a learning curve for all of us as I am new to breading as well.(update they came out SOOOOO GOOD! yummy!one loaf is already gone.)

Friday, April 9, 2010

fun times....at casa ramirez

interesting week. very... Monday. zones, chores etc etc oh yeah and "school" stuff. Math and Lang arts for all. yippee! then, Tues basically park and home stuff. Wednesday, dentist in turlock. Thursday history we watched leo da vinci flying machines and how the states got their shapes. Friday math and lang arts. Tghats the regular version of what happened, but do you really want to hear what we did? I spent a crazy amount of time on our backyard. we all researched chickens. WE wanted to know what would be the best breed for us to have. Good layers vs cuddly feathery cute ones. Everyone has their own opinions. I told the kids I was open to ideas, they just had to be good ones! They are off making their cases right now. WE have interviewed landscapers galore, I have seen every price and idea out there for our martian landscape. Any where from 2500.00 for the whole lawn to 20,000! This was an opportune time to teach the kidlings about knocking the top and bottom bids out and weeding out from the middle.
so after deciding on a landscape company, we had to jump into gear with our raised planters for the garden. This admittedly is so my baby right now. I have spend probably untold hundreds of minutes (hours?) online "researching" beds, pricing, going to home depot to find out about wood. Trying to keep my champagne wishes and caviar dreams in line with my beer budget. Originally I figured 50 bucks outta cover it! Then I went to the store and realized how much wood is! and screws! OMG!! Plan B...Plan C... PLAN D!! even all fell through either because it was a silly plan that would never work or still to expensive. Who knew dirt cost so much!!?? I mean ITS DIRT! Its supposed to be FREE! Well in my little world it is anyway. SO finally after some god sent free lumber (yes!!) and 150.00 in 2x4's and 4x4's and screws. We are there. Well almost. I HAVE the stuff now but it hasn't been assembled yet. That will occur this weekend! I'm so exited. The landscapers will be here next week. I need to have them all done before they get here. so Sundays the limit. My babies are going in the ground! I'm going to take pics of before and after this weekend for y'all to see

Friday, April 2, 2010

weak week??

well everyone is probably wondering "what did they DO this week?" Good question all! For one I tortured myself with diet and exercise...still 2 days to go before the big weigh in. I'm hoping to drop 3 lbs this week. I even made a chart to "help" me reach my weekly goals. we shall see. The kids on the other hand did a myriad of things this week which I am struggling to bring from the recesses of my mind. It seems we did a lot of tidying this week. lots of baking and cooking ( much to the chagrin of my diet I might add) I guess we just did regular stuff...fun stuff...life stuff! J has started paying a computer game where you are a miner in a mine or something and he's walking behind me spouting off all the different things you have to do to get such and such out of the ground. He was using all this tech jargon for at least a few minutes before my radar went off and I started asking questions like "huh? what was that? what does that mean?" etc etc. I didn't want him to know I hadn't really been listening for le last few minutes, but he was VERY exited...I'm thinking segue to ca mining history? Ya know my brain is always on the lookout for new ways to pique my kids interest ( and mine) to learning something new and different! The girls have taken up reading to one another ...so cute...and me. I started using LA workbooks with the older ones. I think it will benefit them both for the time being to help them learn more quickly what they are interested in. Just this week super T has gotten much better with her reading and is probably up to her grade level ( if we cared... which I do if it looks good for us;) Big M is only interested in keeping her nose in a book and her hand on a mixing spoon. The cookbook is coming along. This weekend we are going to make homemade Oreo cakesters! Or try to anyway! Will post to let all the people in nowhere land know how it goes!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

snow day!

snow day! sonora. soooo much fun!

piano days



The 3 amigoes LOVE piano and their teacher mrs Gerstenberg! She is so caring and patient! here are some pics of them at practice for school stuff.

pet store day




learning about habitats and animals at the ceres exotic pet store. J was a bit ols but he still had a good time. Dont know if they learned anything new BUT we do know the scientific names for the different kinds of trees now! Thanks Julie!

Rock Day




the annual trip to the rock show was a success as it is every yer. Jus tone more reason we lived closer to modesto. MAN everything is over there!