Monday, January 31, 2005

Reece listens to the different sounds in tubes! Posted by Hello
Austin makes a bubble tunnel! Posted by Hello

This sounds like a perfect time for a...

... FIELD TRIP!!! Both today and last Monday were spent with homeschool friends at the Natural History Museum in Atlanta. The museum was offering free admission on select Mondays in January! How very thoughtful of them! I have lived in north GA almost 9 years and have never been to the museum! Normally, it would cost my family $45 just to walk in the door! Ouch! Free is much better! ;)

Last week we went with my friend, Jan, and her children. Today we went with Heather and her children! We also met up with Daphne and her children and mother there! Both times were so much fun! Today had somewhat more excitement as I lost Reece at lunchtime. We had gone to the bottom floor to have lunch, and when I looked up she was nowhere to be found. Heather finally spotted her on the middle floor! Side note: I have now lost all three of my children at some point in their lives! Thank God they have always been safely found within a few minutes! I would love to find the psychologist who did that 'famous' study of young children and found they would never go more than 50 feet from their mothers. I distinctly remember reading about it in college. I would like to strangle him. ;) Or make him take my 3 children out in a crowd somewhere!

Here is a picture from our first museum trip last week! I am going to add some more pictures of the kids in a few minutes! Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 30, 2005

End of January homeschool thoughts

This is our third year of homeschooling! Wow! It's really hard to believe! 3 years ago this week, I was 8 months pregnant, with a 2.75 year old at preschool two days a week, and a 5.5 year old at public school Kindergarten! We had just been through a really rough fall season, between a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes in the first trimester which prompted scores of testing for me and the baby, compounded by the fears of yet another miscarriage. We were also in the midst of a very bad fit with public school and our son! In December 2001, we finally took him to a developmental pediatrician who tested him, read his medical file and the school records I had taken with me, and voted the same way the school was voting: "Repeat Kindergarten". It honestly didn't bother me a bit! I informed the teacher right before Christmas break that we agreed with the 'recommendation' she had given me back in the third week of school. I wish I could tell you what Princess was up to during this time, but sadly, I don't know. Between the pregnancy and school messes, I cried myself to sleep each night! I totally lost my oldest daughter's third year of life.

Fast forward to 2005:

Bubba is halfway through his 2nd grade year (we did decide to 'hold him back' when we came home after public school Kindergarten, and the difference in social settings has been remarkable), Princess is halfway through her Kindergarten year at home, and Peanut is the one who is fast approaching three years old! (And I can guarantee you that I haven't lost a moment of her third year of life, despite the many times that I wish I could! LOL!) I won't deny that it's been a really rough transition! The support for homeschooling has been less than enthusiastic from my family, except from my wonderful husband, of course! It's such a feeling of pressure! I have curriculum-hopped so many times in this time that I'm surprised we all haven't turned into frogs!! And getting used to having three children home ALL the time, virtually overnight? It's only by the grace of God that I have survived! (Did I mention I'm an only child? LOL)

But, I'm starting to see everything fall into place, and my vision for our homeschool is coming into focus! I can really see us following through with a classical education ala the Well-Trained Mind (sorry Angie and Lisa, do you still love me??). It will definitely be more relaxed than the book calls for, but we will follow the general guidelines, adjusting for each child's strengths and weaknesses! I am finally coming into a place where I am confident about my curriculum decisions, while realizing that the curriculum itself isn't the main determinant of success for our homeschool! I am also understanding what it means to spend more time building relationships that dishing out knowledge! It may sound all too simple to everyone else out there, but for me, this is a major step!

So tonight I am going to bed with a little more confidence than I have in quite awhile! This homeschooling thing? It's going to work out OK, I think!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Bible Study

I vowed to myself I would not blog again until I learned how to insert hyperlinks. Unfortunately, if I keep that promise, I'm afraid the next entry may well be celebrating Bubba getting his driver's license, or Princess' homeschool prom! (It could also be celebrating Peanut's potty training since that seems as far off as those other topics!)

Yesterday was the first day back to our Bible Study for this semester! This Bible Study has been the biggest blessing in my life this school year! Last August, right after my best friend moved away and I was in a big black pit of despair, a dear old friend (Not calling you old, Jan! You know what I mean!) called and invited us to Bible Study at her new church! They were going to be offering classes for the homeschooled kids and everything! So we signed up and went! It was so fantastic! The kids learned alot about character traits from the Bible, I got into my Bible reading again, and we got to fellowship each week with Jan and her kids!

This semester, after raving about it for so long, I invited 2 more friends to join us and they came too with their kids! I was surprised to find out they are offering a specific study for the homeschooling moms called "Seasons of a Mother's Heart." I'm pretty sure that's the title. It sounds so wonderful, but I am going to have to stick with the study I signed up for. It's called Believing God by Beth Moore. I have felt a strong calling toward this study for quite awhile and I feel like it's going to be as life-changing as Breaking Free (another Beth Moore study) was. I sure hope they offer that Homeschoolers study again, though!

Bubba's class is going to be studying The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe! Neither of us have read that book before, so I'm looking forward to reading it to him! Princess' class is doing a study about not whining! (PRAISE GOD! lol) Peanut is in the 2s nursery class, and will probably be driving them as nuts as she did last semester. She started screaming "NO!!!" as soon as we pulled into the parking lot! Nice to know there isn't anything wrong with her long term memory, I guess! ;)

That's it for now! We're going to have some rest time, and then maybe venture out to go swimming at the pool with our new pool passes we got for Christmas! (Thanks, Mimi!)

Monday, January 17, 2005

I LOVE Mondays!

I am probably the only person on the planet who does, but that's OK! I just love Mondays! I'm fresh, ready to take on the week! I have a fresh set of lesson plans, and the dream that they are all going to get done like I plan them! We have had a couple of days off from school! Monday, it carries with it such potential!

Today was no exception! After the disaster that was last week, I planned to start this week off at a walk rather than a gallup! I woke up around 7:30 and just sat in bed waiting for the first child to come get me. Amazingly enough, the place was quiet! Princess walked in shortly after that and asked what was for breakfast! "Cinnamon Rolls," I exclaimed! The squeal she let out served to wake her siblings with great ease! Gotta love that girl's energy!

After breakfast, we usually sprint right into chores and getting dressed. But today, I was determined not to burn us out. So we sort of puttered around the house, not doing much of anything. I did set in a load of laundry, and made my bed, and I was dressed to my shoes, but that's just a Flylady habit. There is no messing with a Flylady habit!

At 10AM I turned on the TV for Peanut to watch "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends" which could also be known as "The only way we get any real school work done around here!" Imagine my dismay when I found out that Nick Jr. was messing with my schedule for the holiday! ACK! But Peanut was kind enough to oblige me and she set down to watching "The Backyardigans". I hold fast to the knowledge that one day we'll get back to no TV except at rest time. But it is not this day!

Bubba's always first with his 'mom' work! He is so compliant! The only problems I ever have with him stem from his perfectionism! But today, we only had reading, spelling, math, and grammar on the list! We're almost done with First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. This is a biggie... it will be the FIRST full curriculum I have completed in the 2.5 years we've been homeschooling! We may have to have a party! Bubba and I read a chapter of Riding the Pony Express by Clyde Robert Bulla. His reading has really taken off! He just lacks confidence and stamina! All of which will come with time! His work was finished and I set him off for a break, after which he will complete his assignment sheet (independent work).

By this time, the TV show is over, so I sit Peanut down in front of a snack and call Princess in! Now, what this child lacks in compliance, she makes up for in smarts! She is such a quick learner, but she just doesn't like to do any work! I introduced her to the wonderful world of copywork last week and it was met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth! So this week, I decided to let the little diva have some control! She was going to get to make up the sentence she was to copy! And here is it: "Mom loves roses." I don't, but oh well! I was only wanting her to copy 2 words! Shhhhhh! I won't tell if you won't! I wrote it out, let her trace it first with a highlighter, then copy it with a pencil. She wanted to do it with a pen, but I think that was just one of those arguments for the sake of argument that she enjoys so well. We did math afterward, then it was time for her 'break'. She has to be like big brother!

About this time Bubba informs me that "Dora's Pirate Adventure" will be coming on at 11 and could they please watch it! Well, what kind of question is that?! This is The Black Pearl Academy! Of COURSE we will watch a Pirate show of any kind!! After all, we must keep to the Code!

The kids enjoyed the show and before I knew it, it was time for lunch, and rest time. Rest time is another term for "Watch a movie, and let me go play on the computer." It used to mean "Peanut naps, and the big kids listen to books on tape!" which just is so much more educational. But Peanut stopped napping a couple of weeks ago, and so the movie rest time has begun! A mom's gotta go what a mom's gotta do!

Mondays are the nights hubby teaches guitar lessons at his church, so it's just me and the kids! We had homemade pizza for supper, then played for a bit, and I put Peanut to bed. Ok, so that IS a perk of no nap time.. she's in bed by 7:45! I sat down to do some reading aloud to the big kids... Princess wanted the next chapters of Junie B. Jones, First Grader at Last! She's totally hooked on Junie B., possibly because she IS Junie B.! I usually cannot make it through a book without thinking "Wow this sounds just like Princess!" I do not enjoy reading this series aloud... ranks right up there with Magic Tree House. But she loves it!

We started Farmer Boy tonight as well. We're working our way through the Little House series and we have run out of them on tape to listen to in the car. So I'm having to do it the old-fashioned way! I really enjoy sharing these books with my kids since I loved them so much!

I got the kids in bed with relative ease, mopped the kitchen floor, and did The Firm Calorie Killer! Then I read my 3 chapters in the Bible, and watched a little bit of Hannity & Colmes. See what I mean? I LOVE Mondays!! Why does everything seem to go so well on Monday!? Why does it fall apart on Tuesday? LOL

Well, I'm praying for an extra measure of strength and patience tonight before I go to bed! Maybe I can just pretend tomorrow is Monday? Make some of the Monday flavor spill over into the rest of the week? Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

My first movie review: In Good Company

This was a perfect Sunday afternoon movie! It's one of those movies that you can sit back, enjoy your refreshments, and have a nice time. You don't need a box of Kleenex like at Finding Neverland! You won't jump out of your seat and dump your popcorn like at The Village!

A general reflection: I noticed that I identified more with the older character than the younger character. I don't remember this happening before! I guess I'm growing up and getting settled in to the old married with children life! :)

The bad: the character of Alex (Dennis Quaid's daughter) was just too young for my comfort. For the sake of the storyline, she really needed to be 21 or so. Maybe even 20, but definitely not 18. That was just way too young!

The good: I was so pleased to see that this was not another "mid-life crisis, wish I could go back and change my whole life" sort of movie! It was actually the younger man who was realizing that, while he had everything he wanted, his life wasn't really what he expected it to be. On the other hand, the older man actually loved his family, loved what he did for a living, and just seemed content! It's really about time!!

Overall I have to give this a "3.5" on the Savvy scale!*

*That would be out of 5, with only Pirates of the Caribbean and the Lord of the Rings movies ever getting a 5. National Treasure comes closest with probably a 4.75!

Confession Time

I am a movie addict.

It really began innocently enough! I have always liked movies, and don't mind seeing good ones (well, ones I consider good!) over and over! I married a man who also likes movies, and doesn't mind seeing good ones over and over! But it was always videos from Blockbuster, or later on, DVDs from Netflix! I think I actually only went to 2 movies in the 90s.... Independence Day, and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

And then, something happened in the summer of 2003 that hadn't happened in a very long time: I went to a movie, and I found out that I liked it! The movie in question was Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. It was sort of an accident that Hubby and I went to see it, really! We were out for our once-every-two-years date night, and were sitting at our favorite restaurant and needed a movie to see. We borrowed a paper and found POTC was playing at the right time! We both enjoyed the movie, but I was so disappointed when it was over. I just wanted to see it again.

So I did. And again. And again! And then... it went to the local dollar theater! I won't go into exact numbers, but suffice it to say, I saw POTC in the theater alot!! My weekly night out had become a Movie Night!

In December 2003, I was fortunate enough to get a ticket for the Lord of the Rings trilogy! I need to blog about that one day! What an amazing day! But it just fed into my movie addiction! I saw Return of the King at the theater after that numerous times. (Never more than Pirates though, no movie will ever come close to my beloved Pirates!)

So that's how I became the movie addict that I am today! I'm going to start blogging my movie reviews, beginning with this next post of the movie I saw today!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

This is the day you will always remember...

... as the day I first started my blog! First of all, a warning: there will very likely be many random quotes from my favorite movies. These would include Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I just can't help it! It does happen in real life too, by the way.

Another warning: I love to use exclamation points! My husband tells me he can judge how my day is going by the way I answer him in IM. If he gets a "HEY!!!!" back, we're having a really good day! If he gets a "Hey" back, it's probably not a good day. And if he gets a "hey" back, then it may be a good day, a bad day, or Peanut may be sitting in my lap trying to help me type!

And a final warning: I have no idea what I'm doing with this whole 'blogging' thing. But it sounds like fun, and since my scrapbook time is limited these days, I really need a creative outlet! So I welcome you to my blog!

Now... bring me that horizon!