Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oh dear...what has happened to the children?


Okay...nevermind. It cracked me up. I was just going to post that, but I just can't.

See, I try really hard to be honest on my blog. Private, but as honest as I can with the information that I present. I really do NOT try to ONLY show my children happy...they usually are...but I never want a new homeschool mom to find my blog and feel that there is ANY perfection here. I spent the first 2 years of my homeschooling experience with the mistaken idea that there were moms who got EVERYTHING done EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. That there were moms out there who NEVER regretted a single curriculum or activity. I've since learned that there are not. No, not one!!

This book is one of those humbling things that happened in the life of this homeschooler...Please note the age range on the top right corner...

I bought this when Bean was ABOUT 5...sometime in her Kindergarten year...she turned 6 that year...so somewhere in there. And I was EXCITED about it. Oh, the things that we were going to do...She would learn stuff about the body that other kids her age wouldn't know. She would learn to cut and paste AND have something to show the grandparents. It would be fabulous.

Except it wasn't.

She COULDN'T cut well. Some of these things are pretty intricate...so I ended up cutting them out.

Still I pressed on.

She could paste. I mean, BOY HOWDY! Could she paste! She pasted EVERYTHING and then she pasted EVERYTHING to the table, her shirt, her hair. And we should probably not even discuss the taping. She could tape, too. Or at least she was VERY skilled at pulling the tape OUT of the container and again, sticking it to every part of her person. It reminded me of a monkey with a tape gun.

So I, WISELY, put away the 3rd-6th grade book until such time as I HAD a 3rd - 6th grader.

Fast forward to last Friday. I wanted to make these models. I have a 4th grader now...she CAN cut...she CAN paste...she still CAN use the tape like a monkey, but if she chooses to, she CAN tape with great decorum. Plus we are STUDYING the human body this year.

One of the cool things about the book is that you can build an entire body. You build the skeleton from pages like these...

and then you build the digestive system from pages like these, and the digestive system lays on top and inside of the skeleton...like on the front of the book...

And so on...there is the respiratory system, the heart, the urinary system and the muscles that can all be added.

So KNOWING that the stuff was intricate...and KNOWING that each skeleton was 16 pieces...and KNOWING that the youngest child who would WANT to be involved was 3...I made some preliminary preparations...I cut EVERYTHING out. I found a place on the wall where they could be displayed. I organized the sticky stuff so that the littlest people could just stick it to the wall.

And Friday afternoon, I set aside time to get it done, early enough that we wouldn't have the 2:00 pm crab attack that ruins all good activities... (I REALLY need my nap).

Even with all the prep, it was STILL one of the most soul-sucking activities I have performed in my homeschool. They all wanted to help...all the piles got mixed together...I hadn't marked right and left on ANY of the limbs in one pile...the kneecaps got dropped...the feet didn't QUITE fit, which caused much dismay to the 5 year old..."IT'S MINE" was heard more than once...seconded only by "YOU'RE GONNA TEAR IT".


Bean ended up having a good time with labeling once the other two were tucked safely away at quiet time...she labeled stuff we hadn't even TALKED about...Carpals/Metacarpals/Phalanges...we're doing those THIS week...but she scoured the book looking for things to label. So I guess I could say, BOY HOWDY! That girl can label.

There was a lot of drama, but you know what? On Saturday morning, the VERY first thing they asked about was when they got to build their skeletons again.

Mercy ME...We have to do this AGAIN.

See ya around...

Friday, January 23, 2009


These have got to be my favorite boots of all time. They are tall granny-style boots...with a slim enough top to fit under my jeans and a high enough heel to make my small-ish feet look even smaller. I'll admit, I really like my feet in heels...it's a terrible pride issue, I'm sure. I mean I've never fallen over because I was too busy looking at my feet to notice my surroundings or anything...but still.

And they have the laces that I've loved my whole life. The laces that I'm positive that Laura Ingalls tied up on her boots...the laces that countless Victorian women laced throughout that age...the laces that just take you back to another place, where Nike and Sketchers simply don't exist and would have been considered too clunky to be beautiful.

Anyway, I bought these boots when I was about 10 weeks pregnant (give or take a couple) with Monkey-Face, so that is pushing 4 and some years ago. I got to wear them well into my pregnancy...probably 30 weeks or so...and then, as always happens, my center of gravity was off and high heels were a little too treacherous. As I was absolutely going to fall, Bubba thought it best I didn't fall from the terrifying heights of my favorite boots, so I put them away until a couple of months after the birth.

Something life-changing happened with the birth of my third child. I'm not speaking of being blessed with a little life that would end up giving me great, abounding, joy...no, this was BIGGER than that. For the first time in my life, my third pregnancy CHANGED MY FOOT SIZE!!

It had never happened before...I'd been between a 6 1/2 and a 7 until just after I was married...and then something happened with the sizes in the stores because all of a sudden I couldn't buy anything smaller than a 7 and a 7 1/2. I'm pretty sure it happened at the stores because ALL my shoes still fit me...even my 6 1/2 wedding pumps that I hadn't worn since that day (who wears shiny white satin shoes with beads EVER, other than under her wedding dress).

So imagine my surprise when, after 11 years and two other children, my feet truly changed sizes. As in NONE of my shoes fit me...not even my very favorite boots!!! But get this...while I'm not a 7 1/2 REALLY anymore...I'm also NOT QUITE a size 8. That's right...it's almost impossible for me to buy shoes. I pretty much LIVE in tennis shoes, slippers and sandals...oh and I do have a wonderful pair of black boots that are reminiscent of the 80s and they fit pretty well now that they are getting old and sad.

Now and then I scrunch my feet into these boots...with the thinnest socks possible...but I'm always sorry.

I guess I'll have to save them for her for the next few years. She looks like someone who could love them as much as I did.

See you around...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Math Math Math


Can you SEE that she is working with the clock?

It's a block clock...every one of those light blue blocks is 5...this is something that they learn from the very first lesson...so Bear can look across the room and see that I'm holding a 5...or a 10 (dark blue)...or a two (orange) or a one (dark green) or a nine (light green) or whatever... and now that she is solidly counting by 5s it's time to take that knowledge to the next step and build a "BLOCK" clock all by herself.

Not even 6 yet (about 3 weeks) and the kid gets to build a clock and UNDERSTANDS it enough to move the minute hand herself.

I dig Math-U-See.

Raaaalley I do.

See you around...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ah January...

I love January.

It's like a whole new palette. I always want to try new and wonderful things...new and wonderful recipes...new and wonderful schedules...new and wonderful books. I'm a little too jaded for actual new year's resolutions...but it's still the time I think, "maybe I'll try this"

However, one of the main reasons that I love January is how quiet it is around here. We've just come off of a busy time with all the holidays, friends, family and church gatherings. The months before the holidays were filled with soccer, swimming and vacations hither and yon. All these activities really start right back up by mid-February. So January is like a deep breath in the middle of an otherwise busy year...well, I suppose that it's at the beginning, but you know what I mean.

For the last 3 years we've had a "RULE" for January. Here it is. We don't do NOTHING (fear for my children's language skills) outside of the house for the first 3 weeks of January. Now that isn't REALLY as harsh as it sounds. We have a family of homeschoolers that live 4 doors down from us that don't count in the exclusion because they are just outside our door...there are no plans necessary and no one to disappoint if we can't make it out to ride bikes. But overall, our entire purpose for being in January is getting back on track. Removing the distractions...Finding each other...settling attitudes that crop up every single time we are very busy.

So that's why all these pictures are of my kids slaving away on their school work. That's REALLY the most exciting thing we are doing in January...that and church. They really don't mind it all that much, I swear...(could these BE more staged?)

I just don't want to be voted MOST BORING BLOG of the year, YET.

See ya around...

Monday Memory...

I was supposed to post this last Monday...it's our newish verse we've been working on...but then school got in the way. I caught these two working on their memory verse together when they were supposed to be playing.

You'll have to pay attention, because a memory verse by Monkey Face is a special thing and subject to odd dialects...I'll put the verse here so that you can read along...

Romans 8:37-39

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

See ya around...

P.S. I looked this verse up in March 2009...you know what...it's Romans 8 not 3...and I absolutely WROTE 3, so I can't even blame poor penmanship...sad, now I have to re-teach at least that part.

Still...great verse.

See ya around...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I love...

Final preparations for the very first day of school after any break...

I love how quickly organized books can be put away and how lovely they look the few moments before we actually use them...

I love it when it's really TOO cold to play on that first day back to school because it's not so hard to get the kids to buckle down. But I also love when the weather freezes things so that during the little breaks the kids can run out and drink in the beauty...

You know what else I love. I love that they ate them. Shhh, the adult in me thinks it's gross too. But the little kid in me, the one who knows what the screen door tastes like, digs it.

See you around...