Thursday, April 30, 2009


Today we are off to Pittsburgh to visit my mom in her new house. Girlie will stay the week while Boyo and I will be back after the weekend.

I am excited about Girlie getting the opportunity to be the first one to stay, even though the thought of not having her around for 10 days is worrying to me.

Since we are still doing school, (20 some days to go!!) I packed up Girlie's books and speech work and wrote directions for how they are to be used. Hopefully Girlie will do her work without too much trouble so that she and Oma can spend time exploring.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My sister

For her entire life my sister has had to share her birthday with Willy Shakespeare. Well, being born more than 300 years later will do that, I guess. Really most people don't know that April 23rd is his birthday or that it is also the day that he died, but that is neither here nor there.

For my entire educational career people have told me how great ol' Willy is and how there is no higher literary works that his plays. Ok sure. Good themes but how sad is it when the movie is better than the book? That is just not how it is suppose to be.

That all being said in honor of Willy (a day late because that is just how I roll these days) I would like to share with you my favorite Quote (actually it is the only one of his stuff I like and I recite it for the kids every Halloween)

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

I would like to thank whatever person who decided to print that bit on school folders back in 7th grade. That is the only reason I learned it.

And for my sister, well she is quite a wonderful writer in her own right, not Willy but that just means her stuff is actually good. I invite you to check out her latest work. It is near and dear to me since it is about homeschooling.

Lilka's Dream

Happy birthday (again a day late but still)!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Girlie Talks

For those of you who haven't heard Girlie talk in a while, Listen to how good her speech has gotten!!

It is a very short clip but her speech is so much better, we still have a ways to go though.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The weekend and Wikki stix

I have been sick this weekend. Sorry to share but I don't get the whole lay on the sofa and not move for hours kind of sick very often. This was it though. I feel much better today by the way. So other than updating you on my life what did this have to do with anything you might ask.

Well while I was sick on the sofa, Girlie opened her present from the homeschool fair. I had gotten her a big package of wikki stix which are wax covered strings that can be molded and shaped in to different things. See picture above.

Speaking of the Homeschool fair, BFF-Mom and I had a wonderful time. We met up with one of her friends and shopped together. I found some cute history comic books for Boyo and I have at least a grade and a half of math for each of my kids. We are also going to try some Charlotte Mason Language Arts this year with a nifty workbook from Queens Homeschooling. Each kid has one. The link shows the one Boyo will use. We have used Charlotte Mason LA before and Boyo learned a ton but he didn't like working from one book into a notebook. Boyo prefers workbooks for LA and math (he actually told me so) so that is how we roll.

I also picked up a creative writing program for him as the LA I chose is heavy in grammar, picture study and copywork but light on creative writing. I choose Write on Target to develop his creative and functional writing. I like that they use graphic organizers and they give a sample in addition to the prompt. Also because each grade level covers the same topics, just in more detail, I could use the same program for both kids for Girlie's 2nd grade and Boyo's 4th grade years.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2009 list

So here it is April, everyone has paid taxes by now. If not, you are late buddy!! So what's new?

I am going to the homeschool fair tomorrow. I've had 2 mama's nights out this week. Well one was to check out a new homeschooling option and one was the boyscout round table but I didn't have the kids with me for the first and someone else watched them for the second so I was mostly kid free.

But I was reminded to check my list to see how I have been doing on my goals for this year. Here is the list again in case you forgot: (updated with what I have accomplished- I even figured out how to do strike though!!)

  • Research insurance coverage for private speech therapy
  • Learn to cook 2 new recipes that picky hubby will eat I have 1 so far
  • 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.
  • Knit a new sweater for Boyo
  • Knit a baby sweater for Jessica's bun in the oven
  • Repaint the living room or at least touch up the spots that need a second coat
  • Hang the DVD cabinet
  • Organize school stuff
  • Buy bookshelves for living room
  • Buy baskets for daily school stuff, one basket per kid, so the daily getting started will be easier
  • Separate the kids into their own bedrooms
  • Paint the kids' bedrooms
  • Put curtains in all the windows of the house
  • Dry clean curtains for living room window
  • Get the right kind of hardware for living room curtains and hang them
  • Blog at least 3 times a week Trying but I =can't think of much to say
  • Offer the Andrew Lost lapbook templates to the homeschooling community for free
  • Post knitting pattern for bitty baby socks and bitty baby sweater from sock yarn
  • Make Girlie a dress to wear to the girl scout Daddy-Daughter Dance
  • Get Jessica's recipe for Mac and Cheese
  • Make everyone entire new wordrobes for good linen and wool for Pennsic
  • Boyo's List
    1. Lapbook the entire Andrew Lost series and get it bound
    2. Finish Singapore Math 2B and 3A
    3. Take a reading level placement test
    4. Finish History Curriculum
    5. Learn to knit with 2 colors
    6. Learn to play chess (to earn the cub scout belt loop)
    7. Fight at practice every day while at Pennsic
    8. Become a better, more detailed writer

    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
    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 I am not as far as I was hoping to be by April but I am not too far behind either. I think I will move the kids and paint thier rooms this summer when I can have the windows open (better than doing it in the winter!)

    So little by little I hope to chop down my list. How is your list going?

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    The Quarry

    Boyo at the quarry

    BFF's middle brother E. overlooking the quarry.

    Today we had a field trip to a local Quarry with Boyo's cub scout pack. Girlie and BFF were the tag-a-long Daisy contingent.

    It was a wonderful time! The kids were taken to watch the entire rock process. First, we watched them blast some rock loose from the walls of the quarry.


    Notice the 12 holes drilled in formation? The blasting caps and other boom making things are in those holes. Yep, I know, really technical terms. I was wrangling a kid when they were talking about the explosives.


    To see it in action- Sorry my camera only shoots for 5 seconds and I am just figuring it out. Turn on your sound. The biggest laughs you hear at the end are Girlie.

    After the explosion, we drove into the quarry to get a closer look at the different machines and to watch the guys (only guys, didn't see any female workers) load up a truck full of the rubble from the explosion.

    Then we got back into our cars and drove to the crusher (Sorry again, I deleated those pictures by accident) When the rubble was dumped on to huge conveyor belts and moved this way and that to a big orange box that rattled and shook. This crushed the rocks into smaller chunks for landscaping stone. It it also crushed the rocks smaller into aggregate for concrete or asphalt.

    We were given a chance to pick though some rocks that were dumped into a special field for us. Many of the boys found Calcite crystals, along with bits of quartz and marble. Some of the boys even found Metabasalt (metamorphosed basalt) which they called coal since it is dark and layered looking, like coal. (Many kids in this area have coal stoves so it is normal for black rocks to be found, they just assumed that all black rocks of a certain size and look are coal. The difference was explained between coal and metabasalt. The main difference being that coal will burn in a stove and metabasalt won't).

    Thank you L# Quarry for the wonderful field trip! (I'd put the real name of the quarry but I have privacy concerns.)

    Sunday, April 5, 2009

    Homeschool Plans

    It is that time of year... Spring flowers start to peak out of the ground, bird reappear and the homeschool curriculum catalogs flow.
    Over the next week or 2 I make my lists, research my options, price check, compare and converse about homeschool curriculum, all leading up to the Mache Cric fair. This is the one chance many homeschoolers get to hold the curriculum and books in our hands, get the "feel" of a program and talk to people who are knowledgeable about the products.
    There are so many different programs out there that it is really had to choose one, let alone talk to another person who might know about it. The unfortunate part is that the fair only lasts 2 days. If you see something you want, and you don't want to have to pay shipping on it, you have to get it then. So this doesn't give you a lot of time the really think on products.

    That all being said, I spent the last month figuring out what products I wanted to look at close up, what I think will work best for my family and what levels I think my kids will be at come September.
    Of course all that planning was blown out of the water when I looked closer at a program and saw that they had changed it for the newest edition.

    So my new plan (subject to review and change)

    Language arts from Queen Homeschool for both kids. I like the Charlotte Mason Language arts method.
    Singapore math for both kids
    History co-op with BFF's family using lapbooks from Homeschool share and Homeschool Journey
    Science Co-op also with BFF's family Noeo Science Chem 1+2 (depending on the kid)
    BFF's mom is going to teach Art history since she has the posters and knows what she is talking about.
    Music- I am still working on, maybe a book on recorder since we have 2 already (and ear plugs!!!)

    I like to have a plan, and this is a framework. The kids will also do Library science classes and other co-op classes as they are offered. Girlie will continue with Speech Therapy, plus both kids will have Scouts. I think it sounds like a good year.

    Science- Human Body

    We have been working on the Human body for Science. So far we have covered blood, lungs and heart. Our project Friday was to figure out how all these different parts go together.

    We traced Girlie on some banner paper and Boyo and Girlie colored it. Then I cut of the body parts and name tags for the different parts and the kids worked together to put them all on the body.
    And because I didn't show you pictures of Boyo's new hair cut...

    Before After
    Which do you like better?

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Happy April Fool's Day

    I'm not a big prankster, mostly I am the butt of jokes.
    Girlie got me with a good one today though. I got home from work late this morning and it was all quiet. I knew Boyo would still be asleep since he was up gaming until 11:30 pm but I expected to hear the TV on for Girlie. The living room was all quiet and there was a pile of blankets on the sofa but that was all I saw. When I sat on the sofa to watch a little news before getting schooling stuff together, Girlie popped out from under the blankets and scared me.
    She thought it was funny, I laughed too but it took a couple minutes for my heart to start beating again.