Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mr. Bunny

We are pleased to announce our new family member, Mr. Bunny.

He is 10 weeks old and a very laid back kind of bunny. The kids have been great with him, very gentle and responsible. In fact a new sense of maturity has taken over Boyo. He was up yesterday before I got home from work in the morning (I do an early shift at work that gets me home at 8 am or so.) And not only was he up but he had gotten breakfast and gotten dressed. He had also feed the bunny. I couldn't believe it! Of course it was another 30 minutes before Girlie put in an appearance.


I had heard of this phenomenon. This older child helping younger child learn. I knew some families depend on it to get everyone schooled or just to survive, but I knew eventually it would happen in my home but I thought it would be later and in math.

But as I sit here loading pictures of our new (first ever) pet into the computer I realize this phenomenon is happening upstairs on the sofa. Boyo and Girlie have sat down together to practice Girlie's reading. I love hearing Girlie read and Boyo is not pushing or butting in. He is guiding and only giving the word if she doesn't know or mispronounces it. I am amazed and feeling the love as it were.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Little Travelers

I found this cute movie about 2 girls who visited the British Isles at the library. Girlie watched it and was amazed. The girls in the movie narrate their adventures as they travel though Scotland, England and Ireland. They also visit Aran Island (my favorite segment).

After we had to return this DVD to the library, we requested the other 2 movies that they have made, Bali and Japan.

Right now the kids are upstairs watching Japan. I love how fun these DVDs are. They are just at a kid level and a wonderful introduction to the country. Because the girls in the DVD are the narrators there is a little bit of difficulty understanding their voices some times. But when compared to my kids it isn't too much of an issue. I wish they were captioned though.
I just checked their blog and they are in the process of making one about Iran and probably Germany.
To order these cute movie or check out trailers, go to: Little Travelers

Friday, February 20, 2009


Boyo and Girlie has a playdate with BFF and her brothers the other day. As we were pulling into their lot, Boyo announced that he loved going to BFF's house because it was the "best place ever." When I pressed him on why he likes it so much I discovered a few important things

  1. Boys are different that girls.

  2. Boys, when put in groups of more than 1, will play war. (though they seem to play it with imaginary friends too)

  3. War games are very important to male child pecking order and social structure.

  4. I have stunted Boyo emotionally because even though he has all the swords he could want; he didn't have guns, or bombs, or know how to blow a bugle call to charge.

  5. Easter Eggs that break when you throw them release "sharp-nal."

  6. Boyo looks pretty darn cute in a WWI helmet.

  7. Most homeschooled boys know, in theory, how to make gun powder and they all would like to try.

  8. Most homeschool moms answer the question of "can we make gun powder?" with one of 2 answers. A) Why don't you talk to Dad about that? or B) Well that would be an interesting experiment but Homeland Security might get upset so we better wait until (insert some time far in the future or a location where it might be more acceptable).

I would have loved to get pics of the boys playing but I was enjoying Mommy time with BFF Mom and I forgot my camera.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I have been working on stream of consciousness writing with the kids. Well I've been working up the nerve to do it since spelling that doesn't include vowels gives me the heebie-jeebies. But I want to try it. I'll start first

Outside My Window... Bushes. I'm in the basement and we never open the windows.

I am thankful for... My kids, my hubby, my job that works around my homeschooling, my friends and family and elves that clean Daycare rooms after 3000 people have tromped through.

We are learning... the black plague, Butterflies, fractions, division, using the abacus, reading and Saladin. Next week we move to Joan of Arc, woodlands animals and the food pyramid. Oh and Continental knitting.

From the upstairs... Listening to the kids play superheros. I love to hear them negotiate which superpowers they have. "You can turn things to glass but I break things with my brain"- Girlie

I am working on... self striped socks from knitty. I have 2" left to go on the cuff and it is taking forever. They are odd construction a la Cat Bordhi.

I am reading... Little Big Mind by Marietta McCarty It is about introducing philosophy to kids.

I am hoping... to trade rooms with Hubby and move his stuff into another room so I can make the basement into a schoolroom/playroom.

Around the house... lots of Girlie art work

One of my favorite things... when the kids empty the dishwasher. I have simple dreams.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... Scooby Doo thing at the library today, work, focusing on phonics and math with Girlie, working on the striped socks and hopefully getting them done so I can start a sweater for hubby next week.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Update on 2009 list

So here is my list I started in January. The colored parts are the things accomplished. (I still need to figure out how to do a strike though on blogger)

Here is my plan for 2009 (and sub lists for Boyo and Girlie)
  1. Research insurance coverage for private speech therapy
  2. Learn to cook 2 new recipes that picky hubby will eat got 1 so far
  3. Put all recipes that picky hubby will eat in a binder so I will know if it is an actually thing he has tried and liked.
  4. Knit a new sweater for Boyo (the one I made for Xmas was too small, I plan on frogging it and redoing it)
  5. Knit a baby sweater for Jessica's bun in the oven
  6. Repaint the living room or at least touch up the spots that need a second coat
  7. Hang the DVD cabinet
  8. Organize school stuff
  9. Buy bookshelves for living room
  10. Buy baskets for daily school stuff, one basket per kid, so the daily getting started will be easier
  11. Separate the kids into their own bedrooms
  12. Paint the kids' bedrooms
  13. Put curtains in all the windows of the house
  14. Dry clean curtains for living room window
  15. Get the right kind of hardware for living room curtains and hang them
  16. Blog at least 3 times a week In process
  17. Offer the Andrew Lost lapbook templates to the homeschooling community for free
  18. Post knitting pattern for bitty baby socks and bitty baby sweater from sock yarn
  19. Make Girlie a dress to wear to the girl scout Daddy-Daughter Dance
  20. Get Jessica's recipe for Mac and Cheese
  21. Make everyone entire new wardrobes for good linen and wool for Pennsic

Boyo's List

  • Lapbook the entire Andrew Lost series and get it bound
  • Finish Singapore Math 2B and 3A Almost done with 2B
  • Take a reading level placement test
  • Finish History Curriculum in process
  • Learn to knit with 2 colors
  • Learn to play chess (to earn the cub scout belt loop)
  • Fight at practice every day while at Pennsic
  • Become a better, more detailed writer In process

Girlie's List

  1. Learn to read at a 1st grade level
  2. Take a reading level placement test
  3. Learn to speak well enough to not need speech therapy In process
  4. Take a tour of the local elementary school in case she does end up there
  5. Learn to count to 100 using English words (thirteen instead of 10-3)

So this is where we are a month in. I figure it isn't too bad. We are working at the list a little at a time, and I try not to add anything too it, though I might make a new an improved list for the spring if I get more knocked off this one.

Daddy Daughter Dance

Last week was the Daddy Daughter Dance. Hubby took Girlie and they both had a great time. It was fun to hear about the dance from both of their perspectives and then from other dads who were there.

Before Girlie and Hubby left, Girlie was so excited to see her BFF. They had been on a playdate a few days before and had a plan to make sure they found each other and that the Daddies met. According to hubby, Girlie found BFF and they ditched the guy to make crafts.

I made Girlie's dress. It is Ottobre Design spring 2003 item 19 I used size 115. (on page 5) I used flannel backed satin and purple sparkly organza. Girlie called it her fairy elf dress.

I have been on such a knitting kick that I had forgotten how much fun it is to sew clothes. I might need to do some more sewing before too much longer.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Warm Weather

It is suppose to get up to 50 degrees today. That is practically spring-like. Of course the thought of spring brings on consignment sales which is were I was at 6:30 am this morning, on my off day when I could have slept until noon! But Girlie needed a new coat (found one for $1) and Boyo was in need of pants that didn't have holes in the knees (got 3 pairs)

But my best purchase was this:
Plaid pants made from midweight cotton (think golf pants) Throw a tunic over top and Boyo will be ready to do Bar-Bar in the Bog. And how much did these little darlings cost (besides getting me laughed at as I squealed with glee) only a buck. Can't do better than that!

And in honor of Pennsic (less than 6 months to go) here are some photos. Cue heroic music.

I still can't decide who is a cuter warrior, Boyo or Hubby.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another tooth

Boyo lost another tooth.

This makes 6 teeth gone from his darling little head. And Girlie has a loose one too. When did my babies decide to grow up?

Boyo lost his bottom two teeth at 5. It was almost exactly a year (to the week) before his lost the top ones. We are still waiting for one of those to grow all the way in.

By the way, the newest one lost is the hole on the bottom.

Boyo is already talking about how he is saving his $1 that he will get from the Tooth Fairy. (Boyo likes to save money. Girlie likes to spend it. Oh well.)

When we had our first Tooth Fairy visit, Hubby and I talked about what the going rate on teeth was and we each had different stories on what we got. I remember one year I got a new book, and for the teeth I had pulled, I got $5. Hubby was lucky to get quarters.

How much did you get from the tooth fairy?

Monday, February 2, 2009

On my needles

So last night I finally finished Boyo's Christmas sweater. This sweater has been blessed in all kinds of ways.

I started it last year with a different pattern. The weather got warm so I put it away about 1/3 done.
  1. I started it again in Nov. to make for Christmas. The previous size was too small so I had to frog it all the way back and go up about 3 sizes.
  2. I finished it in plenty of time for Christmas (about a week), but on Christmas day when I had Boyo try it on it was too small!
  3. I frogged it all again and tried a different pattern.
  4. I was able to salvage the sleeves from the other sweater but I used every bit of the green yarn I had.
  5. A year later the yarn was discontinued.
  6. I had just enough Green for the whole sweater and a small ball of black left over.
  7. It fits great!!

The Pattern I started with- The Wallaby. Last winter my mom made my entire family (except me) wallaby's for Christmas. Hubby and Girlie still wear theirs often. http://www.nakedsheep.com/wowaknpa.html

The Pattern I ended up with- I made it myself with the pattern generator. I love this generator as I can use the same principle for sweaters for everyone from Hubby to Max (Girlie's Bitty Baby) http://www.woolworks.org/patterns/raglan.html It is a bit confusing the first time but after you do one, the rest are easy-peasy.

More on Johnny Law- Reprieve

So all that I have fussed about, written my Washington people about and told everyone who has listened about is now being given a reprieve for a year. Yay, Glory and Hallelujah!
Basically everyone who makes stuff for kids has an additional year to get their ducks in a line. This is also to give the small mom-and-pop shops time for their manufacturers an/or suppliers to get their stuff tested and approved. IE curriculum providers will be able to have the ink and paper manufacturers do the testing on the components instead of the mom-and-pop shops being forced to do the testing which would have killed them.