Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I received this in my inbox today. I really liked it so I thought I'd post it here too!
The simplicity of this concept can be demonstrated by the ancient story of the Greek wrestler who would carry a calf on his shoulders for a few hours each day. He did so from the time that the calf was born until she was three years old – and despite the fact that the calf grew heavier and heavier, he was able to do so. Those who watched him were amazed at his incredible strength; those who heard about it did not believe what they heard. None of them realized that what he done was fooling his subconscious mind by conditioning it.

His mind was well aware that lifting a full grown cow was a virtually impossible feat for a human being. However, lifting a newborn calf was within the wrestler’s abilities. The day-to-day growth of the animal was so slight it was nearly imperceptible. His strength increased daily in minute increments.

And therein lays the secret to accomplishing the impossible, the formidable or the overwhelming:

Break your huge task into many smaller goals. Create goals that are relatively easy to accomplish. The next step is to build upon them.

The bottom line is this: If you can make one change, you have the ability change once more, and then a third time as well.

Today, let’s start small. Small, yet effectively.


I know that I haven't posted in a few days but you didn't miss much!
Monday was lesson day of course. It started with another dental appointment for me. I dropped the kids off at my MIL's office to sit in the conference room and read/color/draw for a few. Turns out that my teeth have invaded my sinus cavity and I'll need to see a maxillofacial surgeon to repair that cheekbone that I mentioned was broken AND have sinus surgery and get my teeth pulled. Might as well have it all done at once. Like I have time to have mulitiple surgeries! ha ha ha. But in the meantime,, Wow,, does it hurt. Monday was the day that T1 had an extra practice with the band. This means that T1 and T2 had practice at the SAME TIME! Ugh. So I drove to the band's practice site early and prayed that someone was already there and thank God they were so I dropped T1 off and SPED down the road to get T2 to guitar. Finished up his practice and then sped back to T1s practice. I've said it before, I'll say it again, I hate Mondays. Nice to get it over with all at once at the beginning of the week though. On the upside. T1's band is going to play at the WV Capitol next week! It's all part of Homeschool Day at the Capitol.

Tuesday brought Co-op. That all went pretty well. We are currently studying Ireland. Betcha can't figure out why! ha ha. So with the older kids we learned about St. Patrick, the symbolism of the Irish flag, and the geography of the land. With the middle ones we did a listening (HA!) excerisize where they had to find stuff on the map and color it the color that I said. That was a disaster. We ended up having a stern talk on why you have to do stuff you don't want to do sometimes and follow instructions. Yuck. The little ones heard the legand of the Leprechaun and played a 4 leaf clover game. The boys and I also ate at the diner across the street for breakfast beforehand. That was fun and nostalgic! The boys thought it was a real life old diner but the truth is, they put it in last year some time.

Happy Last Day of February by the way! I'm so excited that March is finally here! Will it come in like a lion or a lamb?
Now it's 9am and the kids are STILL ASLEEP! They must be as beat as I am. I think I'll go set out their books and look for something cool for us to do today. It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day!

Friday, February 23, 2007


That's crushed stone and volcanic ash. We learned today that it is what the Roman's build their structures with and we did a little of it ourselves!
I may have mixed the concrete a little thick because they had a hard time pushing their decorations down into the sludge.

T1 hard at work on his stepping stone.

One of the neighbor kids came over to help (in the grey)

It's a shame none of those stones stuck! We may give it another try tomorrow. The book we're using is called ANCIENT ROME! Exploring the Culture, People, and Ideas of This Powerful Empire. It's a great book! We highly recommend it!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Aqua Duck my friend.........

I'll let you Jethro Tull fans out there finish the rest (you know who you are!).
Today we constructed a Roman aqueduct. Are little boys not a joy? They called it everything except an aqueduct of course. Aqua Duck was the favorite, closely followed by aquadud, and aquadump. Personally I like aqua dump, it makes the most sense. Grand Master C was home briefly this morning due to a fog delay so he went about the house singing "Aqua Lung". Here are some action shots!

While I was scolding the boys on their lack of fine motor skills ( as they were cutting out the arches) I managed to slice my finger tip open with my scissors. I should hide in a padded room this week! LOL

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hot poker, searing white hot pain, suffering.... you get the idea

A while back, I had a tooth pulled. It was an inevitable thing that could not be rectified by any other means and I was a little freaked out going into it. It turned out to be a piece of cake and I can't believe I didn't do it earlier. So when it came time to have some more pulled (yes, I'm looking at getting a partial, YIKES) I though, "ehh,, this will be nothing" and I kinda looked forward to it. The relief I got afterwards was definately worth it. So yesterday morning I went to get 2 back teeth pulled. I was expecting a similar experiance. WRONGO. They had to call in an oral surgeon and they STILL couldn't pull one of them. You see, I have what is called "hooked root". It's a funky thing that happens when your tooth roots are too long and they curl. Kinda like Howard Hugh's tonails (YUCK! thought I'd give ya'll a fun visual. ha ha ha) It adds to the reason that all my teeth are going bad. It started when T1 crushed my sinus cavity when he was a baby (by head butting me). Then over the next 9 years, my sinuses drained into my "toothal, jawish" area and messed my roots up. Root canals are like flushing $700 down the toilet as the tooth generally explodes so I've got to get them pulled and get some George Washingtons. This should stress me out but they hurt so so so so badly that I don't care. So, back to the oral surgeon. They had to cut my tooth base open to get them out and still couldn't do the one furthest back. They are going to have to put me to sleep to get that one. I'm just going to have them get the rest while they are in there.
T2 had spent the night the night before with a friend so only T1 came with me to the dentist. It hurt so badly the night before that I got very little sleep. When I finally did rest, I managed to oversleep. So I got to my appointment in the nick of time. After that we traveled almost an hour to pick up T2. After hanging there for a bit (and bleeding everywhere,, Sorry T!) we had to pack up and go to Guitar practice. By this time all of my pain meds had worn off and I was a MESS! I HAD to stop by the house before going to band tho because I had dried blood caked in my hair. Wet head and all, I dropped off T1 at band and went directly to Kmart for "the good stuff" aka Lortabs. I would have really liked to have had some percocets but my dentist is a weeny. I came back and could hardly wait for him to get done playing so I could go home, drug up, and NAP! Well,,, I was in such a hurry that I forgot to pay the band director! It's my responsibility to pay him each week for the entire band! SORRY TIM!
I finally got him paid today. I hate it when slackers don't pay, don't you?! ha ha ha.
I'm still whining. I mean WHINING! It hurts so much more this time! We did do a full day of school today tho. We also went to the library to get some books on Ancient Rome for T1. T2 scored a Calvin and Hobbs book that he hasn't read. I even knitted a new hat during my moments of lucidity.
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This weekend they are giving away free knitting needles at the ACMoore here in town if you knit a chemo hat for our local hospital. You know I'm all over that! Please ignore the Eric Carr model head! That's a long story.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

AWWWWWHHHH! I love little birds! He's got a bit of seed in his beak! What you don't see is me laying on the floor for FOREVER with my camera poised in wait for a little bird to hop into my view finder. How do the cats do it? They sit there as still as a statue for what seems like hours just to get a glimpse of what was in a former life, a meal.

On another front, why can't I get people to empty the trash when it's full? I call this "Creative Trash Stacking". As you can see,, they have it mastered.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Here at the Backyard Academy, nothing new is happening. School is going well, uneventful at best. The boys are making a diorama of the battle in The Last of the Mohicans. I'll post pictures soon. Thomas was having some hang ups changing improper fractions into mixed numbers but he has it down pat now. Here's a cool game if you are doing the same thing.
Fraction Cafe- All Mixed Up
Tristen is plugging along with States and Capitals. I am also finally seeing some SLIGHT improvement in his handwriting.
Yesterday I was suprized with the most lovely Valentines Day gift! Diamond Earrings!

It's really hard to take a picture of one's own ear in the dark. You get the idea tho right? My husband is the best. He also was able to come home early that day due to the bad weather. I sent him out to buy a video game of his choosing and he let the BOYS PICK ONE OUT!!!! Lame lame lame. They bought Viva Pinata!

Good game,, but no Rainbow Six Vegas

That's what he wanted. Why does he let those boys strong arm him??? He's a softy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I've been a total blog slacker lately! I've been a slacker in general too! I know it's after midnight but technically I've not been to bed yet so I'm still considering it the 13th. The above socks are my submission for the Make it from Scratch contest over at the 100 acre wood! Please ignore my incredibly dry skin and bug bite!

Here's what my plan was. This was going to be the kick in the pants I needed to get the stuff I needed to learn to spin (wool). Talk about making something from scratch! But,,, alas, I did get the stuff but I still haven't figured out how to do it! So I whipped up these socks. I love making socks. It's utilitarian, crafty, it's pretty, and it's knitting! What's better?!

I finally got to put a name with a face for Stephanie (of the 100 acre wood) today at the Homeschooler skating party! It's really nice to be able to see the person in your mind when you read what is being wrote.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Book Mooch

I'm trying out BookMooch. I have the following books up for mooching if any moocher wants them! You can search my inventory by browsing member CNEWMANS

Meeting Many People

States and Regions/Grade 4

Richard G. Boehm America's Story (Student Book)

Richard G. Boehm Living in Our World

Jackie French Koller Nickommoh! A Thanksgiving Celebration

Linda Meeks Health and Wellness Grade 6

Linda Meeks Health and Wellness Teacher's Edition Grade 6

Scholastic Big Plans (Literacy Sourcebook)

Scholastic Hit Series (Literacy Sourcebook)

Scholastic What's New? (Literacy Sourcebook)

I just had to post this. I always struggle with the kids and their attitude towards homeschool. To sum it up, they hate it and are embarrassed by it. I try not to sweat it too much as they hate most things and are embarrassed easily! Ha ha. BUT,, this is funny. I saw it over at The Foil Hat one of my favorite blogs. (waves at foil hat and grins like an idiot!)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

You're just like a school in summer........

You got NO CLASS. (insert laugh track)
You might recall that I've been talking about my plumbing a lot lately. Well it's like.... catastrophic! Actually, it's not anymore, it's fixed. It better be for $710.00. A toothbrush was caught sideways in the pipe. Can you believe it? Well, I've been running around like a crazy woman this week and not been able to do my dishes or laundry in any type of civilized manner so we have, in fact, been like a teacher in the summer.

We did study ice crystals today. We finally got that snow I've been asking for! Here are some of the resources we used. The first one was so much fun and I just about never got the kids off the computer!

Make your own snowflakes
About William Bently
digital snowstorm
temperature vs crystal shape
snow volume

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


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I hear that it was colder this morning before I got up but isn't 0 cold enough? ha ha.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Cold. Did I say I wanted it to get COLD?

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Take a gander at the temperature in the corner of that screenshot in the above picture. 3 stinkin' degrees. Wow, is it ever cold here. I've had cats all over me today trying to stay warm!
The boys have music lessons today and I've got to call the plumber. Waiting around for the plumber that I can't afford is not my idea of a good time. Our plumbing woes started with the back bathroom. That saga can be found HERE. Well, we never really did get it fixed. We thought we'd wait for the tax money and just get the whole kit and kaboodle replumbed. WRONG! I ran the disposal and then started the dishwasher last night and less than a minute later lettuce and "other matter" came shooting up like a fountain out of our back toilet!

Last night Mr. C was cleaning out his "arsenal of democracy" (aka, his gun safe and closet) and found found a set of Vietnamese Camo. What does he do? Tells T1 to go put it on. How sad is it that it fits?! T1s a pretty tall boy but he's 10! The Vietnamese must be tiny tiny people.

The Rolls Family over at Wisdom Home Academy posted some great reasons to keep your kid in public school. TOO FUNNY!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Cool Slideshows

We had a snow day yesterday! So no school for us, just sledding and exploring the park in the snow.

Friday, February 2, 2007

I'm going to take the Stop the Ride Challenge and try and make something from scratch. There are prizes! Go check it out.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Calvin and Hobbs

I love this comic. It kinda says it all. I've typed it below, it's kinda hard to see.

"Today for show and tell I've brought a tiny marvel of nature: A single snowflake"

"I think we might all learn a lesson from how this utterly unique and exquisite crystal......"

"Turns into an ordinary, boring, molecule of water, just like every other one when you bring it in the classroom"

"And now while this analogy sinks in, I'll be leaving you drips and going outside"


Daddy's Home

Dad was home today with me and the Ts. He had personal days to burn. School went smoothly (ish) if you call taking 45m to write the letter "i", smoothly. Copy work is a great tool if you can get them to do it. Nothing really to report. It was nice having a bit of assistance. Dad went over capitols with T2 and helped us read The Last of the Mohicans a little.
T1 is still working on the Assyrian Empire. Here's a cool link for seeing the history of the Middle East in 90 seconds.
The boys also gave a book report today. Thomas on "The Babysitter II"
I know, not the most intellectual reading ever but it was his choice and he really liked reading it. The cover says "Knock, knock. Who's there?..... Don't Ask" HA HA HA HA. That's hilarious.
T2 read "The Adventures of Captain Underpants" Again,, not exactly a brain buster.

Now we're going to go "keep the roads hot" for the rest of the evening. Maybe I'll pick up a loaf of bread from Panera for dinner/breakfast. That's an evil, evil place! ha ha. I'll try and take a picture while I'm out to fulfill my 365 obligation