Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kickin' it old school with the Ts

I was looking around at my options for spelling, reading and grammar the other night when I ran onto THIS site. They've reprinted the old McGuffey's Primers. I thought to myself "why mess with something that isn't broke, that's great stuff!" then my next thought was "Hold on a second, I HAVE those!" and I went scurrying out into the garage and dug out these,
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I've got the ORIGINALS! 1878 versions. Now naturally I'm not going to actually let the boys USE these. I'm going to copy them. They list "W" as a vowel in these. Funny huh? And one of the first spelling words was FAG which is fine because I know it's a bundle of sticks but there would be uproarious laughter for an hour if I included that word for the boys. They are savvy beyond their years.
So we are giving it a try. I started T2 at the very beginning because I know I've mentioned that this kid can't even spell his own name.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Today's Project 365 picture is a rarity indeed. Look beyond the "Don King" blond hair and notice the amazing. Unprevoked reading with an Xbox controller laying in the floor in front of him. I'm without words.

Today was my official LAST DAY of work. I'm not on the payroll anymore. I'm going to miss the patients and the people I work with very very very much. But as all the hugs came today and everyone begging of me "WHY??!??" I reaffirmed over and over, "my boys need me at home". My boss took me to lunch and gifted me with a 25 dollar gift card to ACMOORE!!!! WHOOOOOOHOOOO!! She said "Now you have some knitting money to hold you over" Awwwwhhhh,,, I'm not a crier but I really had to hold back.
It's the right choice.

We finished reading The Swiss Family Robinson today. They both really enjoyed it. I did too. We're going to read The Last of the Mohicans next. That was their choice. My suggestions were Old Yeller or Where the Red Fern Grows but they apparently aren't on the "dog" kick that I am! ha ha
Here is a good pdf of excersizes to do with this book from Penguin Press.

Norah Jones

Finding a Conservative artist is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. I knew on some level that my all time favorite, Norah Jones was probably a far left liberal just like the rest of them but I lived in blissful ignorance. I resided there because listening to NJ makes the stress melt away, because I love the poetry of the lyrics, and, well,, it just makes me happy. Her latest album came out on Saturday and I couldn't be more stressed. There is a song on it entitled "My Dear Country". In this song she calls the president of OUR UNITED STATES, deranged. If Hillary Clinton (shudder) became president I would give her my complete respect because she would be THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Regardless of how I felt about her. People should have pride and decorum, don't you think? Now having said all of that. She does speak of her love of country and her gratitude for her freedom. I too am greatful for her freedom to say what she pleases. I respect people with liberal views so long as they didn't get all of their information from "soundbytes" and they are not being lead around by drama and ignorance of the facts. Scarier yet,, I still like the song. I have a feeling I'm going to be humming it A LOT in 2008.

Here's the lyrics

'twas halloween and the ghosts were out,
and everywhere they'd go, they shout,
and though i covered my eyes i knew,
they'd go away.

but fear's the only thing i saw,
and three days later 'twas clear to all,
that nothing is as scary as election day.

but the day after is darker,
and darker and darker it goes,
who knows, maybe the plans will change,
who knows, maybe he's not deranged.

the news men know what they know, but they,
know even less than what they say,
and i don't know who i can trust,
for they come what may.

'cause we believed in our candidate,
but even more it's the one we hate,
i needed someone i could shake,
on election day.

but the day after is darker,
and deeper and deeper we go,
who knows, maybe it's all a dream,
who knows if i'll wake up and scream.

i love the things that you've given me,
i cherish you my dear country,
but sometimes i don't understand,
the way we play.

i love the things that you've given me,
and most of all that i am free,
to have a song that i can sing,
on election day.

Monday, January 29, 2007

January 29 2007

Today was lesson day. I went to work for my second to last time this morning. I got 15lbs of liquid parafin wax spilled on me (were they trying some sick attempt to christen me? LOL) and then I went to lunch with my best friend and replacement! She went back to work and I went home to get the kids ready for music lessons. Tristen learned the chords to play "wild thing" today and Thom got to meet his new band director. Everything went very well indeed! Tristen has been wondering about Groundhog day lately and one of the other moms at band this evening just happened to be reading an article on the history of Groundhog day. She happily read it to us. Gotta love it when someone helps you out! Here's my project 365 pic for the day.
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My great Nanny made this quilt. She was a wonderful seamstress. She started to work in a textile factory in 1910. (she was 12) She made many of my clothes when I was small and there are scraps of those clothes in this quilt. My grandmother had this quilt and passed it to me before she died. It is one of my most prized possessions. This quilt weighs a TON due to the technique used in a cathedral window quilting. I gathered it up and stepped on the scale with it. It's about 45lbs. I've tried my hand at this quilt patch and it is very very hard.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I would eat them with a fox.........

I do so like green tacos Sam I am!
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A feast for the eyes and the tummy. Chicken tacos with romain, yellow tomatoes and spinich tortillas.

Where has January Gone?

Can you believe it's the end of January already? I'm glad to see it go personally. I can say with absolute certainty that I hate January. Every year since the children were born, we have been ill for the entire month. Now we just have to survive Febuary and we'll be in the home stretch. This weekend has been a Daddy-polooza for the kids. They ate pizza and played RISK for no less than 5 hours last night. I'm sure they are practicing "sta-tee-ger-ee" to take over the world. Today after our weekly Kroger/Target trip we went to the gun store so that Daddy and the boys could eyeball all the rifles, pistols and various accessories. It's like shoe shopping for men I think. Our particular favorite gun dealer happens to be in a pawn shop so I oogled the earrings. After I'd looked at all the cheap gold I could I went over to perform the ceremonious "I'm ready to go" stand. All three "boys" gave me the pouty lip and the "can we keep it mom?" look. I told the dealer to throw in a pair of diamonds and we have a deal. Daddy decided we'd wait a bit longer, possibly the tax money will go the way of the gun. So my children came home with their thirst for a Glock unquenched (Foil Hat,, there's your word!). Not satisfied they went to THIS website and decided to build their own. Very industrious I think. Daddy helped alot. Here's the results.
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Saturday, January 27, 2007

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Could this kid have any more Koolaide on his face? You can also see that he is in desperate need of a haircut. Right now his shaggy hair is covering his "Harry Potter Scar". His scar has been cracking open and bleeding a lot lately. Is that a sign of bad things to come? ha ha I hope not!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Homeschool Resources Meme
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I've been tagged by Trivium Academy to answer this meme...

The Well-Trained Mind
This was actually required reading for when my children went to private school

WVHEA Yahoo group

A Beka Spelling

Saxon Math

I'd like to have the LOOPS handwriting system. Anyone have one for sale?

A new house with a room to keep all of our learning stuff in

A guide book for producing a portfolio in WV

I've never really read one. I suppose's catalog


Andie at Life on the Yellow Brick Road
Mary - Adventures in Homeschooling
Angie - Home Sweet Homeschool

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My project 365 for the day. I'll post more later.
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It's been a sleepy, sleepy day here.

Ok, it's later now. Today only went slightly better. I did get a wonderful thing today though! The very best bloggy friend ever sent me a science book! It's perfect and I am forever indebted to her! I plan to write it into the lesson plan next week.
I had to break out the old math manipulatives today. For some reason T1 had a total mental block on the values of decimals.
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He finally got it and won the bath bee tonight.
What is "Bath Bee"? You might ask? (or maybe not, but I'm gonna tell ya! )
Each night it's an arguement about who has to get in the shower first. So,, I've started asking them questions about their lesson for the day. If one gets their answer wrong and the other gets HIS question right then the looser has to bathe first. It's fun for all and Daddy gets to get an idea of what we're working on.
They made it tough for me tonight.
T1's questions
What civilization minted the first coin?
Name 3 Proper adjectives
Where is the quotient located? The denominator? The divisor?
Which decimal is least? 1.4, 1.04, or 1.14?

T2's questions

Capitol of Pennsylvania
Spell WHEN
Of these 3 words, which one needs a capitol letter? apple, Arizona or ant?
He missed that one, T1 won!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday's school went very very well. We got everything done in just under 2 hours. WOW! They just flew threw their work. Today,,, not so much. I fought tooth and nail with T2 today. Whining is something I will NOT tolerate. I HATE it. You can be not in the mood, you can be upset about the lesson, you could probably even get away with a bottom lip pout but the long creeky whine sends me through the roof. Today T2 would NOT write his three language lessons. I wrote him three examples of the types of sentences I would like to see and then he threw his pencil in the floor about 10 times, whined, claimed he couldn't read my handwriting, refused to read them, etc etc. Wow,, that kid is really really trying me today.

I sent him to his room. When I went in to talk to him he was playing his Nintendo DS. More madness. So I made him clean the living room. He wasted my time so I told him I was going to get my time back and he was going to do one of MY chores. Then after we had both settled I gave him his lesson back and told him he still was going to have to do it. Whining all over again. He did eventually do it but it's 6:30 pm and he's STILL working on it. It was illedgable, so he's re-writing them. We didn't even get to read Swiss Family Robinson today because of all the wasted time. We still may do that before bed.

T1 added more stuff to his Ancient Middle East notebook.

The we set a hypothosis for science. We wondered if changing the salinity of water would make it boil faster. We all guessed that it would. You know what? It did,,, but not that much! We tried many different amounts of salt and even when we did a 1:1 ratio Photobucket - Video and Image Hostingit STILL didn't boil that much faster! But all of this led to a discussion on how Sodium is a base mineral. Then we pulled a lot of food out of the pantry and noted how much salt was in each. It was interesting. They learned stuff. ha ha.

Tomorrow we will start with Language. I'm going to get it out of the way. YIKES I hope we don't have to fight over it again. His handwriting is so atrocious. He MUST practice and it's hand to hand combat making that happen!

So on to today's Project 365 picture. It snowed here today btw,, but as you can see,, you can still see GRASS!!! BOOO!
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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It used to snow

It used to snow when I was a kid.
Neither of my kids, 10 and 7 have seen a good snow in their "snow playing years". I seem to recall a good one when my oldest was a baby but that doesn't count because he doesn't remember it. The other morning, we woke to "It SNOWED! IT SNOWED!" as my youngest ran through the house so I immidiately jumped out of bed (well,, lumbered out of bed is more like it) to see that it in fact had NOT snowed, we just had a heavy frost. Now for a long moment I was thinking "that kid ain't right". Then I thought, you know, at first glance I bet that did seem like snow to him, he hasn't seen a good snow in a long time. We've had snow, don't get me wrong, an inch or two here and there. It's been enough to sled on and get the yard nice and muddy. I even have pictures in the scrapbook of a snowman with both my children doing their best immitations of Randy and Ralphie.
It's January. Come ON! my kids haven't cracked the sleds out one time this year. Not that it matters right now as they are vomitously ill for the 3rd week in a row. (That's a post for another day) The forcast has been threatening for some accumulation for the past week and NADA,,, nothin',, zippo. This morning it started to "ice ball" but I haven't got high hopes for anything of any substance.
It used to snow in WV when I was a kid. I'm just sayin'........
Here's 2 photos for the Project 365 since I was keeping a barfer company yesterdy and didn't get to blog.
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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cheater Picture

So I didn't take any pictures today but I did take one last week I like. It was really really warm out and it caused the weirdest fog in the middle of the day. I stopped on the bridge and took this picture.

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On the school front, I got a great Email today outlining a really cool program coming up. I'll post it here for all to read!

Subject: Solar Week Event Coming!

Hello Tri-State Homeschoolers, & West Virginia Home Ed

I'm Jim Stryder in Grand Junction, Co. I am sending you
information on an upcoming "run" of the 2007 Solar Week
event! Solar Week, is an "Online" event for students on the
study of the SUN! I am strongly encouraging more
"cyber-school" , and "homeschooling" involvement in this
program! See the site at;

www.solarweek. org

Solar Week has been conducted, now twice-a-year, once in the
"Spring" and "Fall", since 1999. It is a series of week-long
learning activities on the study of the SUN, and also
features the "Ask A Scientist A Question" forum, all week
long! If you go into the site, look at the "Meet The
Scientists" section, I believe you'll be surprised to see
just who they are! One of them in fact, is with the High
Altitude Observatory (Univ of Col), at Boulder!

Students can submit questions to Scientists all week long,
and they get personalzied responses from these highly
talented people who donate their time and wonderful "energy"
to help students! SOLAR WEEK's next run, is planned for
(Mon, Feb 26, through, Fri, Mar 2nd), and will be announced
or updated on the official SOLAR WEEK website above shortly!

If you have a teacher, or know of an Astronomical Society
near you, check out their availability to assist with actual
(SOLAR) observing, using solar-equipped telescopes and other
learning instruments to supplement!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me,
otherwise, please distribute or forward to your teaching
staffs for their information and review. Kindly acknowledge
receipt - thank you.

Jim Stryder
UC-Berkeley/ Solar Week Volunteer
Grand Junction, Co.
Tel. (970) 434-1873
E-Mail: rjusa@acsol. net
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Interestingly enough there are 0 people in the US according to this searchbot that have the name Tristen Newman. Even though google found a 5th grader in Louisiana that plays basketball right away!
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people with my name
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Conversely, Thomas has a lot of name buddies.
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people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

My husband had slightly less
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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Warm Up America

Today I drug the children to a "knit in" for Warm Up America. I had no sitter and dh was working so that is that. They were bored stiff. Our knitting guild's outreach partner came to speak to us and brought us pictures of the recipiants of our afghans, hats and scarves. I can't even tell you how many things we've knitted and crocheted. It's a great group and it's such a great feeling to know that the area homeless are so greatful and touched that we *MADE* them something. Each time we meet, we make at least one heavy blanket. Our first blanket went to a woman who was a prostitute, a drug addict and had many health issues. She was so touched that someone took the time to make her something so she wouldn't be cold. She has since gotten into a half way house, she's off the streets, she's out of rehab, on her meds, looking for an apartment, and wants to learn to knit so she can give a blanket to someone who needs it. Now I'm not saying that it was our blanket that turned her life around, the love of God did that, but that blanket didn't hurt! This is such a simple thing and there is such a need. If you knit or crochet, please consider making a square for Warm Up America. Most of your local craft stores have drop off boxes and joining parties. If you don't knit or crochet, consider helping at a joining party, all you have to do is a "whip stitch" to join and it is such a big help! Check out this site, WARM UP AMERICA for patterns. Here's my favorite "stash bustin" quicky pattern. You can make 3 or 4 of these in a few hours!

4 skeins of worsted weight acrylic yarn (4 strands will be held tog. throughout)
Size 17 needles

CO 14
K plain 3 rows
K 2, P10, K2
K 14
Repeat last 2 rows until peice measures about 8inches
K plain 3 rows
Bind off.

Easy eh? I made 4 of these today at the knit in. They don't knit up like a rug like you'd think. They are still pretty soft but the goal here is HEAVY. These people are sleeping under the bridge and on the river bank where it's 20degrees colder. Asthetics are nice but warm is better.

toilet troubles

Now I have renewed vigor. I have my tummy full of Super China Buffet takeout. Ask MARY. She'll tell you, it's truley a glorious thing. I will attempt my post from yesterday. Not that you were missing anything really.

Our back bathroom toilet has been on the fritz. About a month ago massive amounts of poo came shooting up throught the sink and the tub. Loverly eh? Aren't you glad you know that? Anywhoo, dozens of trips under the house to recreate the plumbing were made. Turns out that our contractor didn't glue the pipes together some 9 YEARS AGO! "Human discard" has been pouring out onto the ground for Lord knows how long. We thought we had it fixed. A few days later during a shower I heard the toilet say "glug,,,,,, glug, glug, glug,, GLUG". I did some research, dh did some research, friends and family were called on. We came to the conclusion that the pipes were not "venting" correctly. After trying to fix it ourself and ending up with another royal mess (I'll spare you), Roto Rooter was called. And called again,,, and called again. They were out here 3 times in one week! The toilet still glugged but everything was flushing fine so we thought we'd live with it for a while. WELL DON'T DO THAT NEIGHBORS! Because we are back to square one! You guessed it. The other day poo shot up through the plumbing again.
I couldn't use our shower. Not because it was poopy,, I cleaned that. I couldn't use it because the water wouldn't drain and it backed up into the toilet. So I went into the boys' bathroom to discover that they had been showering with their liner hanging from ONE GROMMET. Oh Lord,, please tell me,, are they mentally challenged? have you decided that giving someone more than they can handle might be at least entertaining to watch? So, I rigged it up and bathed.
Friday morning I woke up at 5am and went to walmart. Yes cartooners,,, 5 *AM*. Because I remembered that there was not a reasonable shower curtain in the front bathroom. So off I went. Did some shopping whist there and made it back by 6am. Upon coming home, I took to cleaning the bathroom I so infrequently visit (big mistake btw) so it would be sanitary for adult use. I got on a roll and cleaned the laundry room, kitchen and living room too. At 7am it was time for me to get ready for work. I came home at 11:30am with the worlds biggest headache and acheyness all over. I tried to lay down but I felt awful. So no,, not much was learned here at Back Yard Academy Friday. We all learned that plumbing will not heal itself. It's a lesson everyone should heed.
It's supposed to finally snow here tonight. I seriously doubt it but we'll see. My almost 8 year old has yet to see a serious snow. How sad is that?! But they say the storm's a 'comin and the picture today is photographic proof! It was taken from my car window on the way to the Super China Buffet! Cool how the lights streaked huh?
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Friday, January 19, 2007

Well,, I had a ginormous post about my day,, but then lost it. So just enjoy the photo of the day. My favoritest little bowls.
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Today we went to Co-op. T1 and 2 had a better time this week. There were more boys. After that we went roller skating with the area homeschoolers. The boys loved that of course. We're all exhausted now and I've got a head ache but here's today's picture.

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It's a tad blurry. The light in there was awful.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

T2 finally has his states and capitols memorized. I was beginning to think he'd never get it. T1 and I skipped history today, he had a visitor and wanted to go out and skate (Heelies,, gotta love it) I figured that would be ok. Gotta get some Gym class in sometime eh?
We'll make up for it tomorrow when we get home from C0-op.
I quit my job. Well,,, I chickened out and put my 2 weeks notice in, in written form in the company mail box. No one has called me or asked me anything but I expect to hear it when I get back to work on Friday. It had to be done. More things were not working the way I wanted them to work. Call it a control issue,,, call it being hyper vigilant,, I don't know. I just need to be home. I've felt convicted about this for a long time and I finally got the gumption to do it. I'm sad about the loss of the job though. I loved it.
Andi at Life on the Yellow Brick Road has jumped on the take one picture every day for a year bandwagon and I think I'm going to waddle up behind the wagon and hoist myself into the bed as well. It's all part of THIS project. I'll post more schooly stuff later but here's a picture.
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Baby,,,, it's cold outside. Finally.

January 16 2007

Today's school went pretty good. Better than yesterday because YESTERDAY,, T1 had a virus. Yuck. T2 had it last week. Who waits a whole week to catch their brother's bug? We zipped through pretty quickly. We even did a few make up lessons. T1 is still having a bit of trouble dividing. He's letting 3 digit divisor's throw him off. He's got it in his head that it's harder than say.... 2 digit divisors or 1 digit divisors. He's getting simple algebra like it's second nature though so I'm not very concerned. T2 did well with math today but was thrown off by his problem set sheet. It normally wants you to "draw out" the word problem but today's PS eliminated that drawing box. Change is bad with T2,, very bad.

Language went well. Uneventful, but well.

T2 almost has the 13 colonies capitols and states memorized and we broke down the Pledge of Allegiance and went over what it means. I know he's done that a million times but even we big people need to be reminded every once in a while. We also discussed being responsible with the freedoms we enjoy in this country. Perhaps everyone should be required to review this material once or twice a year?!

T1 is still studying Phoenicians. We're going to start a lap book on this. We haven't done that in a while.

The guys are LOVING the Swiss Family Robinson. They are arguing over who gets to read next! I've got to say that I am too. I forgot what a cool book this is. Everyone has imagined what they would do if they were stranded on a island with only their ingenuity to keep them alive. If not,, LOST wouldn't be so popular eh? I love LOST btw! ha ha ha.

Tomorrow we plan to go to the Kroger and guesstimate weights using the scale in the produce section. I bet the Kroger people will love the way we fondle all the produce and food! LOL Maybe I'll take pictures and post. I haven't been doing a lot of that since Homeschoolblogger started stinking.

So that's all that's fit to print. More tomorrow!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Jan 12, 2006

This week has been very good indeed. The boys have done their book work without any fuss at all. Thomas is tackling the second part of Saxon 76 one problem at a time and I'm just so proud that he is doing so well. We are finally to the point where the math is becoming challenging. Tristen is zipping right through his math with 100% accuracy so I'm considering giving him the fronts of 2 lessons instead of the front and back of one. He'll be through the book in no time flat.

Language is going fairly well. I don't think I'll buy ABeka language for next year tho. It's boring and we don't find the lessons to be explained very well. This passed week Tom and I were completely hung up on Possessive, Objective, & Subjective personal pronouns. We decided to skip it for now. I have also made the decision to start working from the back of the the language books at the same time, we'll meet in the middle by the end of the year. Most of the latter part of the year is designed for writing skills and I think they could use some of those now.

Thomas is learning about the Phoenicians and the Ancient Middle East in Geography and History. It's very interesting to us both.

I decided to rekindle my efforts to teach Tris the 50 states and Capitols and he is flying through them!!!! He just wasn't ready at the beginning of the year. We are also learning about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Music is music- We skipped both lessons this week as the boys were ill.

Art- We painted a bunch of stuff for my Valentines day tree (aka,, too lazy to take down the Christmas tree) and learned about hue and tint.

Science. ehhhh,,, still not much for science. We just can't get interested in anything right now. We did see lots of really cool creepy stuff in formaldehyde at the vet the other day. Sounds like science to me! ha ha

This week went so well that I know next week will be full steam ahead. OH! I forgot to say how much we are enjoying reading The Swiss Family Robinson!