Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Friday Again

Yeah for Fridays!

A gal from our church has started coming to the gym in the mornings. She is in Suzy's Boot Camp and new to the whole workout routine.  I shared with her that none of us want to get out of bed and come to the gym each morning but always glad we did.  I thought of that this morning as I lay in bed listening to my alarm go off at the ungodly time of 4:35am.  Not wanting to be a hypocrite I got up and went in the gym.  She wasn't there.  Darn, I could have slept in.

So far, I have lost thirteen pounds.  My pants and shirt sleeves are loose and I am starting to feel really encouraged.  Just thirty seven more pounds to go. sigh...

We had co-op today with our friends.  We are making four dioramas of the Four Alls.  The Four Alls represent the four levels of people groups during the Middle Ages.  Today we worked on a diorama depicting a peasant scene.  The kids got into it with clay people, dry grass for hay stacks, cardboard wagons and hovels.  I am glad we did it with them.

Tonight all the kids go to the Imes for the weekend.  Todd and I are attending the Awana Conference in Spokane tomorrow with a few other leaders from our church.  It is a four hour trip to Spokane so we have to leave at 4am and won't get home until 8pm.  It will be a long but informative day of learning and encouragement.  I was kind of hoping Cheryl could take the kids right after co-op, then Todd and I could have gone off on a date maybe even seen the new movie Courageous.  But she can't pick them up til 8pm.Oh well.

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder.  I started a fire today in the wood stove to knock the chill out of the house.  It warmed up to the mid-80s this afternoon, making it a beautiful day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Strike Three

Todd's turn to have the flu.  Ugh!  I am locking Bonnie and Bryce in a sterile room for the next week. This flu zaps all your strength and talk about monster headaches, even my eyeballs hurt with this one.  Todd is complaining of the same effects.   Today he is going back to school, but I know he would love another day home to rest. After taking care of me on Friday and then being out sick yesterday, he needs to get back to work.

Shortly, after typing this entry, Bryce began to complain about his stomach.  I sent him back to bed although I am not convinced he is sick.  He is moving around pretty good this afternoon; nevertheless, he has been sentenced to bed rest.  (Note - Brian was just going over in language the use of semi-colons and how they are used.  As I was typing this last sentence the semicolon rules were running through my head.  At least I know THAT sentence is punctuated properly.)

Other stuff -

Today was not a great day.  I really wanted a do over, if you know what I mean.  With sickness in the house, we feel a little off balanced.  We started off fine, then Bryce announced his stomach was upset and was sent a way.  When it was time for Bonnie and Brian to start their work, I ran into some opposition with Brian.  He just didn't want to do anything that required work. - Wake up to reality boy. - I had just got in the mail the movie Camelot for us to watch.  Not the Richard Burton one but the Broadway production with Richard Harris.  We had just read about King Arthur and I thought it would be fun to see.  The kids were asking to watch it and I decided why not.  The morning was spent watching the movie and everyone enjoyed it.  After lunch, however, it was serious, get-down-to-work time.  Brian finally got through working with ratios and proportions.  Bonnie made a hundred percent on her Algebra test.  Science today was an experiment which failed miserably.  We blame it on faulty equipment.  (Our thermometer would not go down in temperature when it cooled.) The real crux of our science lesson was learning how to complete a lab report.  Apologia sets a high standard when it comes to lab reports.  Bonnie immediately  embraced the challenge while Brian about had a heart attack.  The boy was just not having a good day and it won't get any better until he realizes that school takes work.  We did manage to get through punctuation rules without too much fuss.

The school day is done. Thank Goodness!  The battle isn't over, though.  Once I can get Brian to face the challenges before him and accept them then we can shout VICTORY!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stomach Bug Strikes Again

Well, the stomach bug has struck again.  This time it's me.  Yep, Thursday night after dinner all of a sudden I wasn't feeling too well.  Bedtime I was feeling pretty queasy.  After watching Brian retch his guts out for eight hours on Tuesday, I had no desire to go through all of that agony, so I willed myself NOT to throw up.  All night I tossed and turned but I made it through the night without retching once.  Maybe that was a good thing, maybe not, because here it is Saturday night and I am still not well.  Maybe if I had given in to the nausea then I might be over this by now.

Todd took the day off Friday to stay home with the kids and monitor the kid's school work.  He read to them their history reading and made sure everything got done.  Of course, we had to cancel our co-op with our friends so no dioramas were made on Friday.  I am afraid I don't know how to totally relax and turn the reins over to someone else, so I did manage to come down around lunch and help Bryce out with some of his work.

This weekend is Autumn Leaf Festival so the kids and I managed to walk over to see the parade.  The fresh air and the little walk was good for me but I was ready for nap when it was all over.  I am able to do some things today but still not up to par yet.

Hopefully I will be back up to full speed by tomorrow.  It is too nice outside to be sick. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yesterday was Brian's  birthday.  He is now 12 years old.  Just one more year and we will have two teenagers in the house.  Wow!  Talk about panic attack!   Am I ready to equip these two young people? Am I doing everything possible to prepare them for higher education, jobs, careers, families???? did I get off on that tangent?  Oh yeah,  it was Brian's birthday.  Tuesday when he was sick, Brian informed me that he did not want to have a cake.  I figured by Wednesday he would be feeling better and his sweet tooth would be operating again.  Sure enough, Wednesday morning Brian informed me that he wanted doughnuts to celebrate his birthday.  With fifteen minutes before breakfast was to be served, we hopped in the car and ran up to Safeway to grab a dozen.  Other than the doughnuts there was nothing else planned for his birthday.  We ordered Brian's birthday present off e-bay but it still hasn't arrived.  Brian had one thing on his list - Lego's Titanium Command Rig. The problem is that no one carries it anymore, not even the Lego store.  We found a gal in North Carolina who had a new one and bought it from her but it may not show up til next week. 

Today, everyone went to the dentist for their six month check up.  Thankfully, we had no cavities.  Although Bonnie has to have one of her sealants redone.  What a blessing to hear that their teeth are fine.

So now it is time to get ready for Friday.  The kids are to make a diorama of an Arabian marketplace and I have done nothing prep for it.  I'll just figure it out in the morning.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why is it that when one of your kids is sick, all of a sudden you feel sick as well?  Sympathetic illness?

Brian is sick.  He has been in and out of the bathroom all morning long.  Poor guy.  I hate it when the kids are sick.  Of course, wouldn't you know, during his brief moments of feeling decent, he came downstairs and grabbed his math book to work on.  Yep, that's Brian.  Of all of his subjects, math is the one he likes to do the most.

Bryce and I had a good science lesson today while Bonnie worked on her math and language.  Once Bryce is done, Bonnie and I need to sit down with her science.  She has completed her reading, listened to all the lectures, and now has to complete the study guide.  Then we will work on studying for her science test.

Group work today is working on a paper about Justinian I, emporer of the Byzantine Empire and the one who had all the Roman laws written down in a usable form.  Many of the laws that our judicial system uses today came from Justinian's Code of Laws.

Once school is done it will be time to head over to the garden.  My tomatoes are starting to come in.  Yesterday I can 3 quarts of tomatoes and 2 quarts of salsa.  Hopefully our nice weather will hold out for all of my tomatoes to ripen.  I have 29 plants and need lots more tomatoes.  Once my tomatoes are dealt with then we need to start working on apple pies.  My dear mother in law dropped off  two boxes of apples yesterday so I should get a few pies out of them.

Busy day.  I really hope I am just feeling sympathetic stomach turnings and not really sick.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thoughts By the Fire

It seems so surreal, but I am sitting outside by the campfire vegging in the darkness with the netbook.  Our school week is over.  There are many things I need to work on over the weekend to make our next school week better.  I really need to sit down and write down all the pages of history to read.  We are reading from about four different books and I need to coordinate them all.  One of the books centers on the history of the British Islands, Our Island Story, another centers on the history of Christianity and the church, Church History in Plain Language,  then there is the  book on key men during this time, Famous Men of the Middle Ages, and finally an overall look at the key events, Story of the World.  They all talk about the same men and same events just from different vantage points.  Yes,...I really need to coordinate it all better.

Today was test day.  All three children had test in either math, language, or both.  Bryce took his first test in math.  I have never tested him before but have used his chapter reviews to assess how he is doing.  He got an A.  Brian scored Bs. In math he made two careless mistakes, that he shouldn't have made.  He definitely knows what he is doing.  Bonnie scored much better than I expected in Language.  Language is her most challenging subject.  We are a math and science family. 

After lunch, we had our first co-op with another home school family from our church.  We made a salt map of Medieval Europe.  A salt map is a map that has been drawn out on cardboard.  You then fill in the landmasses with homemade play doh.  Carve in the rivers and lakes.  Build up the mountain ranges.  Finally, let it dry.  Once dry, paint and label the map.  It is a great way to do geography.  While you are at it you can discuss geographic terms like isthmus, straits, peninsulas, etc.  Next week we will make a diorama of an Arabian market place.  The kids drew out the map from looking at a printed map and as we filled in each area we talked about what country it was, the people, and events that took place their.  Our friends who joined us are not studying the same time frame as we are, but they thought it would be fun to get together and do projects with us.  I would like to eventually get something bigger going and invite more families to join us.  This is a good start, though.

Nothing special on tap for this weekend.  Now that I think about it, tomorrow is the flea market in Cashmere. Hmmm...I really want to check that out.  I will have to drag the boys with me since Todd will be speaking at a men's prayer breakfast.  It's the Crush Festival in town so nothing to entice us to stay here.  The Crush Festival is a wine festival. You know, it is time for the grape harvest and for you to jump barefoot into the wine press and crush the grapes. is really a day of wine tasting.  For thirty dollars you get a glass and can sample wines from about twenty different distilleries.  Now that I think about it, it might be quite amusing to sit downtown and watch all the wine tasters meander around.  I bet by dinner time they might have made their way through all the booths and could put on quite a show.  lol fire is down to embers.  Time to close up shop and head in to snuggle with my honey. 

Goodnight All!

Hallellujah! It's Friday

Thursday, September 15, 2011


The kids have earned dish duty.  They all have kitchen chores but a few days ago they earned the privilege of washing the dishes as well.  After lunch the other day, as I was dividing up the dish duties one of my precious children, who shall remain nameless, decided they did not like the task I assigned to them.  They began to grumble and complain.  Debates and arguments spewed forth to the point that this one sweet child of mine earned ALL the dish duties and the other two siblings were dismissed from the room.  Get the picture...feel the mood in the house...?

An hour later the dishes were finally washed, the other siblings re-emerged and school work resumed.  Some time later one of my other children went to fill up their water bottle only to notice that it filled up with suds instead.  Sabotage flashed through my head.  Of course, my victimized child had no clue and had only innocent feelings towards their dish-washing sibling.    We rinsed the cup out, filled it with water, and sat down to do some work and have a drink.  Coincidence, fate, or for-whatever-reason after taking a sip of water my victimized child began to clutch their throat.  Ug!  Something wasn't right.  After another sip, again more throat clutching.  Ok..soap is not poison and we did rinse it out really good, but the kid was having some problems.  I gave my poor child my cup of water and ventured a sip from their cup - no taste, no throat discomfort but hey...?!

When my "saboteur" came into the room, I quietly asked them if they had intentionally left soap in their sibling's water bottle.  "Oh,,,no," they replied.  Somehow, I didn't believe them.  The alleged saboteur sat at the kitchen counter while the victimized sibling continued to have problems only now it was stomach cramps.  Before long the poor, stomach-cramped, victimized sibling was in the bathroom retching and moaning.  I quietly stood in the kitchen watching the alleged saboteur become quieter and quieter.  Before I knew it a confession came pouring out.  I suggested they get their poor, sick, victimized sibling a dose of Pepto-Bismol  which they gladly did.  Once the poor, victimized sibling emerged from the bathroom the guilty-one, with tears, and pure repentance revealed their crime and asked for forgiveness.

What amazed me was how little I had to get involved but sat back and watched this whole tale unfold.  I, of course, did talk to the guilty-one about the worst case scenario and if they had thought about the damage they could have done just because they did not want to wash the dishes.  I have noticed a humbler child in my presence since the event occurred and feel they have definitely learned their lesson.

Truth be told, I don't think that there was any soap residue left in the cup (we did rinse it out very well.) but it seemed as if a stomach cramp from being really hot and drinking water too fast may have come at just the right time to teach someone a lesson.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Pressure is On

Well, the pressure is on now.  My brother's cookbook/diet plan just came in the mail so no more excuses.  I like his layout.  It is a three week plan of meals and menus.  He starts off each week with your grocery list and what you need to keep stocked in your pantry.  That is especially helpful.  So it looks like I need to sit down and do some inventory and then head to the store.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Awana, Auditions, and Other News

 Awana starts this week. This year, Todd and I are in charge.  Well, actually, I am in charge; Todd is just the mouth-piece.  Let's face it.  I have been involved in Awana for 16 years as either a clubber, leader, director, and secretary.  I have gone through trainings, trained other leaders, and attended a few conferences.  Todd has done none of that but has helped out a time or two.  However, since he is the pastor, he has been made the commander so I tell him what to do and plan everything. 

Yesteray we dedicated the leaders at church then had a cookout and final run-through with all of the leaders.  I thought it was very successful.  We went through each Awana station - game time, council time, and handbook time.  Talked about how everyone rotates and settled everyone's questions.  I am nervous and excited for this Wednesday.

After our Awana meeting, Bonnie auditioned for the Leavenworth Winter Theatre (officially it is called the Leavenworth Summer Theatre but they put on a play in the winter for Christmas tourist.)  This year's play is It's a Wonderful Life.  Bonnie auditioned for the role of the young Violet.  I was proud of her desire to audition.  The very act of auditioning takes guts.  She had to sing again for the director and then read the script.  I don't think she made the cut.  She should have received a call back by now.  I am not surprised as she was at the top of the age limit.  The role called for a girl who is 9 to 14 years old.  Not only that , but the girl they choose has to coordinate in height, hair color, etc with the other characters and the adult Violet.

Regardless of whether she gets the part or not, I am proud of her desire and courage to try out.

In other news, we are trying something new at school.  (It seems like we are trying alot of new things this year,  Hopefully, we will settle on a new course and stay with it.)  Todd and I agreed that we need to train the children to work as independently as possible in the mornings.  The reason is that the day may be coming where I have to work on church projects that will take up my time.  For example, I am currently working on updating the church website but have struggled with finding the time.  Our instructions to the children is that they are to map out their studies and work independently from 8 to 11am while I work on the computer doing church projects.  After lunch we will do group studies and any work that requires moms help. 

The kids did well today.  Everyone worked on their math, language, and reading while I hammered away on the computer setting up pages for our website.  I am hoping this is our new trend and will open up new possibilities for me.   

Finally, last Thursday Bonnie and I attending an information meeting on College Plus.  I am very excited about this opportunity for Bonnie to begin working on earning her college degree.  She would not enroll in the program until she is sixteen, but next year she could sign up for College Prep.  One of the things that impressed me the most with the program was the young man who directed the meeting.  This young twenty-two year old man impressed me by his presence, his manner of speech, his preparedness,...I could go on.  Another family was at the meeting who have two sons currently in the program.  They stated that their sons are learning more than ever before and their oldest will have his college degree by next year at the age of 18.  What does that mean?  Well, it means that our children can enter their field of interest earlier than their peers.  Look into your history books.  The men and women who made the greatest impact on our country did so at a younger age than today's youths.  We have taught/programmed/conditioned/brainwashed our youths into thinking that their teenage years are the time to play/have fun/sow their wild oats before settling down.  Wrong!  This is the time to be training them to be the thinkers of tomorrow, the entrepreneurs, the leaders of our homes, churches, town, and governments.  Ok...I am jumping off my soap box.  Time to fix lunch and get ready for group studies.

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This is a Test

Test Day...not a paper test or a test of how well have you listened, but a test in self-discipline. 

Today, the ladies of the church met together to do odd jobs around the church.  I have participated in these work days in the past, but I was really hoping to skip this one.  We haven't had a full week of school yet, and I really want to establish a solid routine in our day.  However, my husband strongly suggested I be there, so off we went.  The test was to see how well the kids would discipline themselves in doing their school work while mom was busy elsewhere.  I instructed them to bring more than what they could do and even encouraged doing tomorrow's work as well so that they stayed busy the whole time.

Bonnie did the best of the bunch which is what I would have expected, she being the oldest and a girl.  She completed her math, language, science, and history.  In fact, I gave her our read aloud and marked the chapters I was going to be reading today.  She read those chapters and more, then shared with me what they were about.  That is what I love to hear.

The boys are boys, and still strive to do the minimum.  Brian completed his math, language, and his reading for the day, while Bryce completed his math and language.  I gave Bryce one assignment that was a challenge for him. I asked him to pick out one page in his Middle Ages book that interested him and to do his best reading that one page.  With Brian's help, he managed through it.  Yeah!

The one part of today that frustrates me, though, is that when we got home I was done.  I struggle with getting back on board.  Since everyone completed their core material, and we are on track with our history work, I didn't mind calling it good for the day..

It looks like tomorrow will be another off-the-schedule day.  The Chelan County Fair starts tomorrow.  Kids are free during the day, so we might just head over there for the day with another homeschool family.  Can you say "Field Trip!"

I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Week 2

Labor Day Weekend has come and gone.  It was fun to take the break.  Our friends, the Harpers, came over from Seattle for a few days.  Mike and Sue are our Rook buddies, so visits with them always mean late nights playing Rook.  When the girls get tired enough to go to bed the guys pull out the cribbage board and keep going. 

On Saturday, Todd and Mike took the kayaks up to Lake Wenatchee and paddled down to Plain.  The water is pretty low now and it made for a nice, easy paddle.   Sue and I took the kids to Black Bird Island.  Just off the island is a kid's fishing pond.  It is kept stocked with Rainbow Trout, so the kids are guaranteed to catch something.  We didn't have much to fish with, but the boys managed to pull in three fish for dinner that night. 

Once everyone was done fishing we headed over to the river to swim.   Even though the water is down, it still has a good current and is still ice cold.  After a while we headed back home but then decided to stop off at Barn Beach to swim in the swimming hole.  Finally, we meandered back home.

It was so nice having our friends with us.  Monday was quiet as everyone took it easy and just relaxed.  No extra kids around, just us.

Tuesday, we started week 2 of school.  I wish I could say it was as easy as week 1 but that wouldn't be the truth.  Everyone, including me, was sluggish. I didn't even make it to the gym.  My alarm went off and I purposely rolled over and reset my alarm for another hour of sleep.  I was feeling pretty rebelious at 5am.  House chores didn't get done properly, rooms stayed messy, and there were a few attitude issues. 

Today was better.  I made it to the gym.  Everone did their house chore, and we made it through our school work.  I even put up all the produce I gathered from my garden on Monday. 

So, here we are.  Two days left in the week.  No more holidays around the corner to get us off track.  For that I am thankful.  We need to get in the groove.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Still Going Strong

We have now completed days 3 and 4 and still going strong.  There are a few kinks to work out with our science.  I sat down with the dvd yesterday and finally got a handle on how it all works.  The kids are to read the module and do the experiments and the "on your own" questions first.  Then they are to pull up the lecture on the dvd to listen to a more indepth discussion of the module.  I also found the notes to print out so that they while the kids listen they can take notes.  There was some mutinous looks at first when I fully understood the dvd.  The kids did not like the idea of listening to a lecture, but I explained to them that this is part of their training.  They need to be prepared for the college classroom and this is a great way to start.  Today everyone seemed to be more on board.  I am going to do some more prep for the kids and I think we will jump fully into science on Tuesday.

Other than science, everything else is going great.  My history books are showing up from the library and I have found some great videos  online that link right in with what we are studying.  Bryce is really getting the hang of his phonics program and everyone is eager (at least, not complaining) to do schoolwork.

Today, after completing our group work, we packed lunches, and loaded up our backpacks with workbooks and pencils and headed out to the river.  The kids worked  on their math and language and  then jumped in the river.  It was a lot of fun and a great way to spend the day. 

Now I need to get busy canning pickles and peaches.  Then off to make some goodies for this weekend and clean house.  The Harpers are coming!! Yeah!