Thursday, November 29, 2007

Middle C

I just spent a half an hour practicing the trumpet.
I don't PLAY trumpet.
I don't know how to get through to this kid. He goes in to practice and plays all the notes the same, puts rests in where they don't belong, and doesn't pay attention to the counts at all. Fine, he's 8, I get that. But he thinks he's the next Dizzy Gillespie. It sounds like solid gold to him. I taped him and played it back and he thought that was the best thing ever and was doubly impressed with himself.

So I played it 5 times and then I had him play it 5 times.
Well, I actually played it but kinda flunked out on middle c. It didn't matter what I did I couldn't get a C out. It reads from G to C and they are the same fingering but different embouchure. I don't know what to tell him.
After 30 minutes of practicing Jingle Bells, I think I'll hear it in my sleep.

We're done with school for the day (YIPPEE!!). Yesterday school drug on forever and ever and ever. It was one of those days where I was pretty sure that I had ruined the kid's lives irrevocably. This morning I got up really flippin early because my shoulder (again,, I know.) was KILLING me. So I got up, knitted a little, surfed around a little, and knitted a little more. Then I was so so so so tired so I laid back down.
I woke up to T2 saying "help me with math!"
Sweet. They had done everything I didn't have to explain to them! I've yet to check T2's grammar assignment tho,, we could be redoing a lesson, as he does most days. How is it,, 30 lessons into Easy Grammar he still doesn't get it?
A statement tells something.
A question asks something.
A command tells you to do something.
What type of sentence is the following?
Give this to your sister.
T2 writes-
Give this to your sister
(puncuation left off intentionally by me)
This is why he gets to do it over most days. If he can do it right the second time why will he not make an effort to do it right the first time?!??!?? It's infuriating,, really.
Now I really must get a roast in the oven and we really must clean this house. Time to get our aprons on!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just a song before I go....

Ok, I guess I'm back to titleing my posts with lines from songs. What's up with that? I've been doing that since I was in 3rd grade. We had to write a short story to read for the class. I don't remember what the theme was supposed to be but I incorporated quotes from all the songs that were dashing around in my head.
I thought it was pure genius.
I was either wrong or the other kids didn't get it. That scene in the Christmas Story comes to mind. You know,, where he is envisioning how spectacular his theme on "What I Want for Christmas" was going to be. It was like that.
Grammar and writing have never been my strong suit.
We're off to Co-op in mere moments. Mere moments meaning, I'm still in my jammies and I haven't made the kids get out of bed yet. Never mind that the dashboard on my car is blinking "5 MILES, 5 MILES, 5 MILES"
I MIGHT make it to the gas station.
Sometime today I'm supposed to work Christmas candles into a post. Oooops, I just did!
Off I go!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Recipe Review

  • Tonight T2 and I made poinsettia cookies! It was so easy and so much fun! There was literally no mess to clean up either! 90 percent of the mixing is done in plastic baggies! Mine didn't come out like the picture but they came out really cute! They are pretty yummy too. I was a little worried with the massive amount of red food coloring you have to use. That has a tendency to make things a bit bitter but these are good!
    Here's some tips I have for you if you decide to make these.
  • The recipe says to seperate the petals. Don't. Just make the division with your knife and pop them in! The petals are not defined enough when you seperate them.
  • Use the cheap sugar cookie dough. I bought Pillsbury and Kroger brand and there is practically no difference.
  • Don't use liquid coloring, use gel or even better,, paste. You'll be much happier with the results and they taste better.
  • Buy 2 bags of spicettes. Don't joke yourself and think there is enough yellow ones in one bag. I'm just sayin'!
  • Over cook them. It said 10-12 minutes and it might be my oven but I needed to cook them at least 17 minutes before they weren't completely mushy.
    We're taking them to a party tommorrw night. I'm also going to make a Christmas Tree shaped veggie thing and some cresant wrapped weenies. YUM!

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Captain Underpants.

T2 is reading. He's known how to read for most of his 8 year old life but he's never ever done it for pleasure. Most of anyone who knows us knows that T2 is a little "different". I say this because I need to tell you that the kid doesn't sleep. He goes on about 4 hours a night most of the time.
I can make him lay in bed, but I can't make him enter REM, Ya know? So I tell him he can read or color but he has to do it quietly and let everyone else sleep. He almost always complies. Three days ago he picked a Captain Underpants off the shelf.
He read it in an hour.
Then he read another one.
I quizzed him on it and he passed with flying colors.
So he read another.
He reads in the car, I had to make him put it down at Thanksgiving dinner. He's read 6 Captain Underpants in 3 days! There are quite a few out there but what am I going to do when he reads them all! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I suggested that he try a Geronimo Stilton when he runs out of C.U.s. There are TONS of those! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Ok, so what could be farther and more unrelated to children's fiction? Hmmmmm, let's see, Kohler Faucets? Technically that's all I'm have to write but it really got me thinking about my faucet in the kitchen. It's starting to fall apart. It's one of those that you pull the neck of the faucet out to use the sprayer. Mines a Price Pfister and I haven't been overly happy with it, maybe I will try a kohler next time!
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Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey Coma

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI couldn't sleep last night. My shoulder hurt and I'd had too much caffine. So I saw the clock say 3am. I knew I was getting up at 4am to go to Kmart with T so I just stayed up. I was fine until I got back home about 8:30am. Then I conked out. I was sleeping HARD. Big Daddy woke me up about noon and said it was time to go up to MIL's house.
Bummer. I want to sleep!
So, off to Dinner. Again, I was fine until I came home. I walked directly to the bed, crawled under the covers and slept till 10pm tonight!
Oh wow,, my clock is really messed up now! Here it is 2am and I'm all bright and bushy tailed!
I need to just make myself go to bed.
Hope everyone's Turkey days were wonderful! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Now.... on with the shopping!
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Eve

School got off to a late start this morning. I hate that. It screws up my whole day. I didn't get half the stuff done today that I hoped. No matter. It's almost Thanksgiving so today T2 and I read Thanksgiving at the White House. It's the story of how it came to be that the president always pardons a turkey on Thanksgiving. It was a cute story and incorporated a lot of history.

I mentioned in a previous post that I'm not going out shopping on Friday morning. There's just nothing to buy! I do have to get something for my mother. Last year I got her one of those makeup mirrors with the huge mangification. Yeah, you're thinking "this chick is lame!" but have you seen the price of those things? They can get very pricey indeed! I'm not saying I spent a lot (it's against my religion!) I'm just sayin....
She's a lot like me. We are SO easy to buy for that people end up being overwhelmed with choices and ultimately resulting in us getting crap. Don't get me wrong,, I love crap, I'm easy that way! But you know what I mean.
I am going to go to Kmart early tomorrow morning tho. I don't think *I* want anything but my friend does so I'll go fight the massess with her! I've got my fingers crossed that we're not standing in the rain tomorrow morning!

I also made Chili this evening. My friend Kim gave me the recipe. Her's must be fantastic because I totally "rigged" mine and it was still delicious! Here's her recipe.

White Chili Adapted from Midwest Living
1 pound dry Great Northern beans
6 cups water
6 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
2 4-ounce cans diced green chiles
1 T dried oregano, crushed
1 T cumin
¼ t cayenne pepper
¼ t black pepper
4 cups cooked, diced chicken
¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Rinse beans. Place in a Dutch oven and add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. In the same pot, stir together the beans, broth, onion, garlic, chiles, oregano, cumin, cayenne, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 90 minutes. Stir in chicken. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes more. Just before serving, sir in the cheese until just melted.

I did mostly the same thing except I used canned beans and I added one small can of El Pato Jalapeno tomato sauce.
I froze it in single serving sizes since I'm the only one who will ever eat it. Beats frozen pizza huh?
Well, off to beddy by so I can get up at zero dark thirty to stand in the rain for stuff I don't even want! Wish me luck!
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Are you setting down?

Well? Are you?
We were done with all subjects today by 11:30. That's A.M. folks! Don't tell anyone tho, I'm not entirely sure it wasn't a fluke! I guess I was still in fast forward mode from yesterday. Ahhh, only 3 more band practices and we're off for Christmas break! WHOOO HOO! Not that we don't love band,, it's just getting ready to GO to band. I try to get a full day of school in on Mondays because every other Tuesday we have co-op. Before you know it, we'd only be having class 3 days a week and that's if we don't have a field trip! I can't get in that habit so we rush all morning so I can leave a few hours early and get the 19 things that I heard over the weekend that I "need to do" done.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The first chapter of Island of the Blue Dolphins seemed interesting enough. Maybe it won't be all that bad! We might even enjoy it! We're also reading A Christmas Carol at bedtime. It has become a tradition with us over the last few years. Usually we don't start until after Thanksgiving but we were just in the mood last night! It didn't have anything to do with mommy's aversion to reading a lame Scholastic chapter book from the 80s that I picked up at a yardsale for a nickle.
No. Not. At. All.
"Why don't we go ahead and start A Christmas Carol!" I said enthusiastically.
Redirect. Redirect. Redirect!
Ahhh, saved from "The Lemonade Trick" once again!

So, I think, unless I see something really compelling in the paper on Thursday, I'm NOT going shopping on Friday. I mean,, there's nothing to buy! How sad is that? The kids don't want anything that's on sale. Anything I'm buying for anyone else isn't on sale. Essentially, nothing good is on sale. Now, that being said, Best Buy has 2 nice things. They have a very nice laptop and a decent digital camera. They only have 20 per store though. If I leave right now and set up camp,, I MAY get one.
If you don't read yet and you plan on doing any or all of your shopping online then you really should mosey over. She posts great deals many times a day.
I may have given you the impression that I have all my Christmas gifts figured out. Yeah... No. Far from it actually.
When I think about it I want to run away. Far, far away. If I were to do that though,, I'd need new luggage. Hey speaking of that, check out Travelpro luggage ! It's on sale and has free shipping! If you need something to put in that suitcase, check out Threadless Tshirts. They're having a $10 sale. If you use the code RUBBERDANPANTS you get an extra $3.00 off!
Now you can't beat that with a stick! Perfect for your hard to buy for teenager type!

That's all the hot deals I can think of right now. It's unseasonably warm and I've got the doors and windows open. It's so comfy in here, I may try one of those naps everyone has been raving about!
Have a great day!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Learning Links for our current book.

I mentioned the other day that our next book will be Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. I've found quite a few helpful links that we'll use as we make our way through this book.
Can I just throw a little something in? I'm not excited about this book at all. I'm trying to hide it!Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
A chapter by chapter guide.
West Virginia Instructional Goals and Objectives.
A 22 page workbook (PDF)
The real story of The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island and Here
Excellent interactive reading enrichment

I love the internet. How could I ever do this homeschool thing without it?!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

We're done!

Well, we had to finish the Hoboken Chicken Emergency tonight. We couldn't draw it out any longer.
Such. A. Cute. Book.
T2 loved loved loved it. He's reading it again on his own.
Apparently it was a movie back in 1984. Wouldn't it be fun to find a copy of that!

I think our next book will be Island of the Blue Dolphins. The boys have been asking a lot of questions about dolphins lately and it might be a good companion book to our research. It's also one of those "check it off the list of classics" kind of books. I've never read it so it'll be new for all of us.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tired feet = good day!

Off I went at 8:30am this morning! The hunt was on. Antique stores, little shops, liquidators, you name it, we hit it.
Oh the pretty things. I wish I had a nice house to decorate. Perhaps it's a good thing tho, I could go wild. I did not tho. I showed restraint. By the looks of the crowds today, I'm sure many checking accounts were emptied!
I bought.... (sorry, no pics right now,, batteries are dead!)
A pine swag (I'm a sucker for swag, but isn't everyone?)
Some old fashioned over sized candy canes.
A fallish platter (it was 50% off and how could I resist?)
A winterish platter (also 50% off!)
A feather tree
A Thanksgiving ornament for my multi-holiday tree
A little Christmas stocking which I cannot find now (I'm sure one of the other girls will run onto it!)
A gift for my MIL which I cannot reveal!
Another gift for MIL (again,, secret!)
A nice leather Tommy Hilfiger purse for $15 (hey! I NEEDED it!)
It was a fun day indeed. Can't wait till next year!

Friday, November 16, 2007

So excited!

Tomorrow is open house day! Whooo hooo!!!

For the last few years, my best friend, her sister and sometimes her mom go and hit all the open house events at the area Cutesy Country Crap stores! We hit every shop and greenhouse from Charleston, WV, to Parkersburg OH to Ashland, KY!

I'm not big on cutesy country crap "per se" but I love looking at it.

It's even better when there's an open house (can you say freebies and snacks?) and big sales!

We look for Christmas decor mostly. Garlands, trees, ornaments, boxes, ribbon, wreaths, you name it! I am NOT good at this stuff like the rest of these girls are. I go along basically to let them know what NOT to buy.

The general rule is....

"If Crystal likes it, don't get it"

They deny this, but I know it's true!

It's just like that phone commercial where the girlfriend keeps asking her boyfriend things like "pumps or espadrilles?" He says "pumps" and she says "I think espadrilles". Finally he figures it out and gives her a little reverse psychology. I may do a little of that tomorrow,, just for giggles. (TARAH, SHHHHH!)
School went pretty good today. T2 seemed to jump on 2 digit multiplication pretty quickly. T1 (I think) finally got his mind wrapped around fractional regrouping. The Hoboken Chicken Emergency continues to be funny and entertaining. It's a short read, we should be done tomorrow or the next day.
Everybody have a great weekend and wish me luck tomorrow!

Thursday- Snow

IT SNOWED! Yup! I knew something was coming. My bones told me so!
That's pathetic isn't it? Sucks getting old! ha ha.
We didn't get any accumulation to speak of. A little stuck to the grill but wouldn't stay frozen long enough to get a picture. Soon, I'm sure.
It was so stinkin' cold! I've got my slippers on for sure! I'm completely jealous of people with hot tubs when this weather rolls around! Wouldn't it be sweet to sit out on the deck, neck deep in near boiling water with snow swirling around your head?

We finished all our school work in a timely fashion today. Ultra violet light, prime numbers, graphs, 4 times tables, and verb tenses have been conquered.
Science-- I had these marvelous plans that we would be done with our science book by Janruary. Yeah,,,, not so much. We're only about half way through. We'll really have to step it up a notch if we're to start history in the new year. We may have to do both! (groan.)
Hey, speaking of home school, the HSLDA is offering a free trial membership right now! Just thought I'd pass along the info. Think of it as my gift to you! (har har!)

Dear Friend of Homeschooling,

The message of the holiday season is one of thanksgiving and hope.

In this spirit, via the gift of a free three-month trial membership
with HSLDA, we invite you to become an HSLDA member so you can
experience the security of partnering with 80,000 fellow homeschooling
families to advance home education in our nation.*

The trial membership runs from January 1, 2008 until March 31, 2008.

As a trial member, you will receive all of HSLDA's benefits, including
the services of our legal department. Whether you are just beginning
to teach your kindergartner at home, considering removing your
children from public school and giving your family a fresh start in
the New Year, or continuing your homeschool journey, we hope to help
give your family peace of mind.

In addition to receiving our outstanding legal services, all
three-month trial members will be given an issue of the Court Report,
access to HSLDA's special needs and high school coordinators, special
discounts on products purchased at the GPA SmartStore, and more.

This free trial membership offer is only available from November 15
through December 31, 2007, so please sign up soon. For the Free Trial
membership, go to http://app.hslda. org, and use 4015475 as the
Friend's Member Number.

From all the staff of HSLDA, may you and your family be blessed this
Thanksgiving and Christmas.


J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

* Offer valid for "new" members only; family must not have been a
member within the last six months.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Wordless Wednesday

Monday always stinks

And I don't know why!

I put a lot of pressure on myself to get stuff done on Mondays. Yesterday was no exception. NOTHING went right. It was Veteran's Day. Of course that never fully occurred to me. I think in some place in my mind I knew it but it didn't completely reveal itself to me until..... well, we'll get to that.

If you're reading for content you might wanna skip this one. If you revel in other's misery, you might enjoy this!

  • Early Monday morning- I'm still up. My shoulder is throbbing, it's like 4am

  • 8:45am- Crap, I over slept. I wonder why? ::: hard eye roll:::

  • checked the email- there was stuff I HAD to attend to there

  • 10:30 Now I realize that I still haven't gotten my majorly lazy boys out of bed. They will sleep ALL day if I let them. T1 I understand,, he's getting to "that age". I remember it well, I could sleep like that when I was a pre-teen/teen too. T2 just stays in bed to keep from having to do school.

  • Kids fight me like crazy during school work. I finally get them set up to work on math independently and figure I can clean up a little and make some important phone calls.

  • "click",,, "click click click" I have NO PHONE. Say WHAT? So I run around in a panic trying all of the outlets and then I hook the phone up in the outside box and still nothing. About now my blood begins to boil because I KNOW we've paid the bill.

  • During this frantic panic about the phone, I was trying to bathe and fix mac and cheese. I bathed but the Mac-N-Cheese was a total disaster. (I didn't say "Fail",, flip me a fish!)

  • "KIDS! , get your stuff together for band,, I have placed to go!"

  • I packed up some ebay packages and hit the door.

  • OH,, I forgot to add, my mortgage company won't take my stinking house payment, but that's a whole other story. Again,, plenty of cash,, they're just morons. I NEED TO USE THE STINKING PHONE!

  • First stop,, a pay phone. Gross. You just don't know how grossed out I am by pay phones! I call the phone company and I get "Please call back during normal business hours. We are closed for the holiday"

  • Holiday?? WHA??? Oh,,, it's Veteran's day.

  • I call my Friend Whose Husband Works for Verizon and say "IS ** Home?" She says (nervously) "uh,, yeah?" that's about when I scream.

  • Fine. Phone isn't getting fixed any time soon. Off to the post office and the bank. You see it coming don't you? Well,, for some reason, I did not.

  • Post office is closed, bank is closed. Funny, the only Vet I know (Big Daddy) is AT WORK!

  • About now, I'm sitting in the parking lot with my forehead on the steering wheel weeping again. The kids are scared,, Mom's obviously not in her right mind this week. I haven't been all week and probably won't be for a long long time.

So, yeah, Monday sucked but in retrospect I can see now that none of the stuff that I was trying to get done really mattered. We did get to band on time and had Wendy's for lunch. So it wasn't all bad. I think I need my phone rewired. It was working fine when I got home. It's gonna require some new Cat5E cables since we use our phone through the computer. Fun, fun, fun. I so hate rewiring!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hoboken Chicken Emergency

When we were at library class the other day the boys both picked up a new book to read. T2 picked the one shown above, The Hoboken Chicken Emergency. Just by chance it happens to take place at Thanksgiving in Hoboken NJ. It's SO FUNNY! We're really enjoying it.
What do you do when you can't find a turkey for Thanksgiving? You bring home a 266lb live chicken of course!


I haven't posted for almost 10 days. Before this past Tuesday it was just because we were being very boring and there was nothing to say. I wish I had nothing to say now. People I haven't talked to in a while often ask "What's new?" and I'll say "not much,, but that's a good thing right? no drama" and we share a laugh.
This past week has been full of new things for our family and I've never wished I could rewind time so much.
One of our very best friends died tragically and suddenly.
We will not be the same without him. A little piece of who we are died on Tuesday too. We loved him dearly and he knew it.
I'll miss picking up the phone and hearing "Hey, what's going on?" and then having a hour of "gripefest" before I ever handed the phone to my husband.
We griped about politics.
We griped about work (His. I mostly commiserated)
We griped a little about family and the trials of parenthood.
We griped about bad neighbors.
We griped about how hard it was to loose weight.

"So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for Glory"

This one's for you Lodd Means,, "Chances are", you did what you had to do to survive.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Shhhhhhhh, don't tell anyone I'm here!

Shhh, be very quiet.
I am in my house............ alone.
The kids are at a slumber party and Big Daddy is at work. It's early in the morning and no one is putting anyone in a deathlock in the hallway. No one is screaming because someone peed on the seat. No explosions or gunfire coming from the xbox. No dueling banjos in the bedroom (aka Youtube vs. the TV)
Just silence.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Update one "THAT" post

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If any of you have been reading for a while you might remember "THAT" post. You know,, the one with the cloth menstrual pads? The one that got me flagged for inappropriate content? Please do not flag me again!! I'm beggin' ya! A few of you asked me to update you on how they work.
I get few opportunities to use them (yeah me! BOOOO PCOS!) but this week I've got the "lady issues".
Let me just say this. I'll never, ever use a commercial menstrual product again. Why in the world did women buy into this notion that they need to buy this chemical laden, expensive, ineffective stuff anyway?
I'm feeling so cheated all these years! I want my money back! They work great! The only issue I've had has been the snap. I remedied it with a safety pin for now but I'm sure I'll come up with a better option soon.