Sunday, August 31, 2008

Big Families

Big Families -- great article!

Politics Smolitics

While I don't find John McCain particularly exciting, I am finding his campaign more and more interesting. Do I need (or particularly want) excitement as a prerequisite for my president? Nope, I don't. I've always found his sacrifice as a POW to be inspiring (video clip). I have read VERY interesting and virtuous things about McCain's wife, Cindy. This woman LIVES what we all BELIEVE about being pro-life.
THEN, he selects SARAH PALIN!!! woohoooo (Jenn screams wildly). She's ...

Indiana Beach Homeschool Days

The tickets were sooo inexpensive, the kids had lots of fun (Dd#1 seems to be getting a bit beyond the age of admitting fun). Allergies were rough, but we came home healthy.

After Indiana Beach, we unpacked, Dave did laundry and the next day we visted Albion's Black Pine Animal Park. We hadn't been there since they renovated -- the animals were sooo close and the lions were HUGE!

On the way home we stopped at the Jail Museum in Albion -- it was very cool! Our vacation was so educational that I think I'll count a day as a school day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Differences between how boys and girls learn

Ds#4 has been having a tough time the last few weeks since we started school. He's been getting in TONS of trouble. He's doing early 2nd grade math and reading on a 3rd grade level. He learned all that from bouncing around the house while I did school with the rest of the kids. Now it's time for him to buckle down and sit and do some "seat work". He has about an hour of "real school" to do -- and he can't do it. He has been bouncing off the walls and I've been dishing out the consequences. ....but...I see in his eyes that he's mystified that he got in trouble again. It's not that he doesn't know the rules -- it's that he's genuinely trying to follow them. In talking to Dave and a friend who was a Montessori teacher before she started homeschooling (she's probably still a Montessori teacher, just in her home) they suggested I try some of the things I used with Dd#2 when we brought her home to school.

So, this morning, I pulled out Dd#2's first grade lesson plans that I wrote with her in mind. Do one 15 minute sitting activity without getting in trouble and you get to pull a piece of paper from a jar that has various physical activities written on them to do for 5 minutes. He did GREAT! This evening I bought and started listening to my friend's suggestion from IEW -- seriously good stuff at just the right time!

My friend told me about the audio called "Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day" that can be downloaded to your computer from the IEW website for $3 at www.excellenceinwriting.com .

The title of the book is "Why Gender Matters" by Leonard Sax. I'll let you know what I think when I'm done with it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Daviid and his protégé

Daviid (pronounced duh*VEED) is the pretentous guy who cuts all my kids' hair. David is the guy I married. Daviid appears each time he and a kid walk into my bathroom (usually after bathtime) to get a trim. Daviid does a wonderful job, even if his humor is a little irreverent. To see Daviid's work, just look a the picture under 8/15/08. Daviid just cut all the children's hair last week or so and did a marvelous job.

Daviid has an admirer who isn't nearly as skilled. Ds#4 had syrup stuck in his hair and decided to "even it out" by cutting out the syrup -- water hadn't occured to him. Ds#4 was sure that "daddy can fix it". Some things even Daviid can't fix.

Ds#3 when looking at his brother said, "It makes me want to laugh and cry all at the same time."

I responded, "Me, too, honey." It's amazing how an 8 yr old can encapsulate such a mixed feeling into words.

Code of Chivalry

This was Dd#1's assignment, but Dd#2 helped. They had the idea & brewed the coffee to stain the paper and they chose the layout and words. I just showed them how to put out the edges once they set them on fire. It turned out way cooler than the picture shows.

I. To be gentle to the weak
II. To be courageous to the strong
III. To be terrible to the wicked
IV. To defend the weak
V. Women shall be held sacred
VI. To defend each other
VII. To be merciful to all men
VIII. To be gentle to all men
IX. To be true in friendship
X. To be faithful in love


We had a beautiful Feast of the Assumption. I had a light day of school, a heavy day of cleaning and a few Mary crafts planned for the day.

Dave went to 8:15 Mass with us in the morning and we did some fun history. At noon our plans went out the window when my sister suprised us by knocking on our door. My sisters are like movie stars at our house where the kids all scream and come running from whatever part of the house to get a piece of their aunt. My sisters know this and always call first to see if it's a good time. This sister (one of 2) lives in Indy, so we don't get to see her much.

I almost didn't answer the door because Ds#4 had been knocking on the front door and hiding all morning watching and laughing when I opened the door. I try and be good natured about these things but he was about to get a spanking for it and when I heard the knock, I wasn't about to fall for it again. Then I realized it was someone knocking on the outside storm door.

We almost tackled her outside with hugs. She stayed for about 3 hours and our day was mostly shot.

We're moving furniture Saturday so we HAD to get some cleaning done. The kids were so excited with their finds under the couch. I kept hearing things like "...so THAT'S where that was!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Filling our day with hugs

I know I haven't been blogging much, lately. Our moments are filled with lots of school, trying to keep up on the house (failing, but making a valiant effort) and passing the baby back and forth while we try and get things done.

All the kids have commented on how SWEET it is to pick up the baby and have him hug you. I squeeze him everytime I pick him up, so he's taken to squeezing each person who holds him...it's soooo cooool!!
While I can hardly plan day to day and each day is so different, our days have been so much the same...filled with effort and baby hugs.
Dd#2 is the fabulous photographer of these treasures.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Crunch Time

I have 15 minutes before I have to wake up the kids to start our first day of school. I've been really scared. I just ordered my gate and haven't gotten it, yet.

I got all the kids and my planners done last night. I like my teacher's planner so well, I'm not sure how much I'll actually use the kids planners. Alot depends on how much they like their planners.

My house is messier than I would prefer, but just one day of me working on planners was enough for things to get out of whack.

Last night I worked on a sheet for the fridge so my big kids don't pester my tiny brain about food all day. I despise the "What are we having for..." or "Can we have..." when my mind is working on other things. I put it in a Word document and put a cutsie border around it and put it on the fridge.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
(everyone must choose the same lunch/dinner)

  • Cold Cereal
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Egg Sandwich
  • Oatmeal
  • Egg Casserole
  • Corn Bread / Fruit
  • Quiche
  • French Toast
  • Pancakes
  • Muffins
  • Easy-over egg & Toast
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • French Toast
  • Grilled PB
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Tuna salad sandwich
  • Tuna & noodles casserole
  • Spaghetti
  • Mac & cheese
  • SOS & veggies & dip
  • Chili / BLT / PBJ
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Minestrone soup
  • Chicken & rice soup
  • French onion soup
  • Map & potato soup
  • Potato soup
  • Ham & Bean soup
  • Nachos / Burritos
  • Egg salad sandwich
  • SOS over noodles
  • Celery & peanut butter
  • Frozen pretzels
  • Broccoli rice bake
  • Green bean rice bake
  • Hamburger stew
  • Hamburger helper
  • Chicken / turkey & noodles
  • Beef stroganoff
  • Turkey & dressing
  • Scalloped potato & ham
  • Ham sandwich
  • Turkey sandwich
  • Pork chops & applesauce
  • Baked potato
  • Hot dogs & tater tots

NO : Raemen noodles or pizza – SO DON’T ASK!

edited to add : as they read it this morning, each child asked, "What's Kwich?" "Honey, that's quiche."

Friday, August 01, 2008

That was one busy, crazy week

This past week was a whirlwind of computer work and house cleaning trying to get everything done to start school next week.

I'm glad it's over and boy did the kids earn alot of allowance (not always because they CHOSE to do all that stuff).

Monday we had our priests over for dinner (serious cleaning for that).
To make it fair for the kids, the fellows played tetherball on their knees.
Then Fr. Tom showed us his efforts to rise to spirtual heights by climbing the tree with the kids. We had chinese stir-fry -- everyone had a great time! We love those guys! They feed us spiritually whether they have other stuff going on or not, so who am I to say I'm too busy to have them over for a meal?

I feverishly worked on websites and message boards for our homeschool support group and co-op. That meant the kids had to be on baby duty ALOT! The baby climbed the stairs on Tuesday (he wasn't supposed to) and played with his fooler in the toilet on Friday (that wasn't exactly approved, either).

The kids wanted to spend the night with friends Friday night, so they had to get their Friday and Saturday chores done by Thursday -- then I worked them hard Friday before they left.

We got more done than we should have been able to accomplish, but apparently God wanted us to get things ready for school next week.