Friday, November 30, 2007

A short intermission

I'm going to be gone for a few days while we prepare for Riley's Christmas musical and my mom and I take a day and get our Christmas shopping done!

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend, and I'll be back as soon as everything settles back down!

Movie Review: Enchanted

The kids and I went to see Enchanted this morning with Jan's family. We had the theater completely to ourselves and had a wonderful time!

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I laughed more than I have in a very long time, and I even teared up in a few parts! We were surprised to see some of our favorite actors: Idina Menzel, from Wicked; Timothy Spall, from Harry Potter 3&4; and the star, Amy Adams, was in an Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

As for things to be concerned about, I think it's going to be a little intense at the end for younger children who haven't grown up watching Harry Potter like Reece. LOL Of course, it wasn't any different than the other princess movies, just that this princess and evil queen are real actors this time, which might be more frightening than a cartoon. There are a few minor same gender insinuations, but I am fairly certain they went over my kids' heads.

I really enjoyed it, and we'll be sure to purchase it when it comes to DVD! I am not against going to see it again when it hits the dollar theater! ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Long division has been conquered!

Today was the 4th day in a row that Austin completed the long division portion of his math assignment with 100% accuracy! This has been a hard-fought battle, but we persevered! Austin is so proud of himself! He was making up his own long-division problems on the white board after lunch and solving them! He was telling me "this is just the first step on the road to being an adult"! I'm not sure exactly what that means, but if he's feeling proud of himself and grown-up, then I'm glad!

Also, today was the first day in a very long time that his math assignment was completely 100% correct! It's not that he can't do the math, but during these review sheets, there are word problems involving everything he has learned to far. And they just confuse him. And he'll just write down something instead of solving the problem. I know, it sounds obvious... but one thing I've learned with Austin is that you can't assume that he understands the obvious! ;)

And, while I'm writing about long division... Riley has conquered it as well! I keep wondering when I'll find something that trips her up, and so far, I haven't found anything. Or maybe by the time she learns something, I've worked it through a zillion times with Austin and I know the ins and outs of teaching it? LOL

Either way, I'm gonna pat myself on the back! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas in November

Because we are experiencing a severe drought here in Georgia, dh and I decided to purchase a fake Christmas tree this year, rather than getting a real tree like we do every year. It was a difficult decision because I love the smell of a real Christmas tree, and also we weren't planning on this purchase, so we would have to buy a fake tree with the same money we would spend on a real tree, meaning about $30. Have you seen a $30 fake tree? Well, you will when you scroll down, but it ain't pretty! LOL

So here is the traditional picture of daddy bringing in the tree: (It doesn't have quite the same impact when it's just a box!

Those little branches he is holding are mini-trees that I found at Walmart for $1. I was hoping that having a tree of her own would keep Reece from bothering the big tree --- so far, hasn't helped! ;)

Here is the 2nd traditional picture of the children placing their Hallmark ornaments on the tree. I purchase a dated ornament each year that represents their current interests, and when they grow up and move away, they will take the box of their ornaments with them. This year Austin got an ornament of a Bass fish, Riley got a Barbie Island Princess ornament, and Reece got a Disney princesses dancing at the castle ornament.
And the 3rd traditional picture from tree decorating night - the fully decorated tree. Like I said, it's not pretty! LOL But it's up.

Austin struggled a good bit with the change from real to fake tree. He was declaring this the worst Christmas ever, and he didn't like it and didn't want to be around it. He did get through it though, but he keeps asking if we'll get a real tree next year. I tried to be encouraging and remind him that if we had a real tree, we wouldn't be able to put it up until mid-December! ;) With the fake tree, we get Christmas in November!

Silly girl

This is how Reece was running around the other morning... short sleeve play dress with a pink knit winter hat. What a silly girl!

Another meme

Gadzooks, I've been tagged by Tammy!

The rules:

1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


My 7 facts:

1. I have lived in 11 states: Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

2. I have lived in 19 cities, and we're not a military family. I went to 4 Kindergartens and 4 Eighth Grades. The cities are as follows, in order:
  • Quincy, Illinois
  • Decatur, Illinois
  • St. Ann, Missouri
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Fremont, Nebraska
  • Crystal Lake, Illinois
  • Keokuk, Iowa
  • Alton, Illinois
  • Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Quincy, Illinois (again)
  • Woodbridge, Virginia
  • Claremont, North Carolina
  • Conover, North Carolina
  • Conyers, Georgia
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Irmo, South Carolina
  • Hendersonville, Tennessee
  • Conyers, Georgia (again)
  • Norcross, Georgia
  • Duluth, Georgia
  • current city in metro Atlanta, Georgia
3. When I was in high school, I participated in drag races in my 1979 Ford Mustang.

4. I have an 18" tall talking Captain Jack Sparrow sitting on my dresser.

5. I am an only child.

6. I regret that I gave up choir in high school. I only did it as a way to 'punish' my parents for making us move again. The logic of a teenager, huh?

7. I was an extremely wild child in high school and early college!

Ok, now who to tag: Lisa, Jan, Heather, Daphne, my dh, and anyone else who hasn't done this one yet! :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ten Not-So-Good Reasons

The following things are NOT good enough reasons to send dh to Houston for a vasectomy reversal so we can have another baby? Right?!

1. Maya Wrap now has a lightly padded sling, which is the coolest thing ever invented!

2. I could give a girl the middle name of Isabella (Bella) or a boy the middle name of Edward. That would be a reference to the Twilight books again. :)

3. Everybody else is having babies.

4. I've had great first names picked out for 3 years: Reagan for a girl, Avery for a boy. Reagan Isabella.... Avery Edward. Absolutely fantastic!! (see #2 above)

5. Austin really wants a baby brother... he asked for one for his birthday. It's so sweet to see him around little babies, especially boys.

6. 3 is an odd number... we're off balance.

7. Riley is so nurturing and maternal now. She was not pleased when she was 3 and Reece was born. It would be so lovely to see her with a baby now!

8. Reece has always loved babies! :)

9. We're already doing zone defense... what's one more??

10. I've nursed a baby before, so it would be easier this time around!

11. Trying to Conceive = FUN!

OK, I'd better stop there.

I don't want another baby. I don't want another baby. I don't want another baby.

Really I don't! I promise!

But if one just happened to show up... I wouldn't pitch a fit! ;)





Sunday, November 25, 2007

The last week of November!

I'm getting ready to go to sleep, but before I do, I just had a few things to share about our week to come.

I have the rest of November/December planned out. I wanted to do this so I wouldn't have to think about much before Christmas. I am a bit concerned about pacing and the holiday activities, though. This coming week in particular will be incredibly busy as Riley's musical approaches with it's 8 gazillion rehearsals. (That's an exaggeration, but it will feel like it, once we add her 3 dance classes! LOL). She will be one tired girl come next Sunday!

Austin has a new change coming up with dictation. We use Spelling Wisdom, from Simply Charlotte Mason, and Austin has gotten to a point where he is struggling with the words within each exercise. I emailed the author and got her suggestions. Her main suggestion is not to do the dictation until he has studied enough and is sure he can spell the words and place the punctuation. Austin won't argue with this change, because he can't stand making mistakes. There is just no sense in continuing on the way we were, because he was missing the same words over and over in the copywork/dictation process. And I will have to sit with him and help him learn how to study words. He has the ability to know how words should look, which is how his ITBS scores in spelling are always so high. However, it is the recall - the processing from his brain to the paper- that causes him trouble. So we'll work on that specifically.

After the first of the year, we're going to focus more on our oral narrations. I am going to cut back on the amount of reading they are doing before they narrate. I have a big problem that I created within narration that I will have to try to correct. Through the process of using narration with the Story of the World books recommended in the WTM, I gave my children the impression that narration is about recalling facts only. I think this is why they give me blank looks when it comes time to narrate. It's not that they don't remember what I read (or what they read). It's more that they feel pressure to do the correct narration, rather than just talking about what was read.

I have been reading Awakening Children's Minds, and in the 2nd chapter, Laura Berk discusses narration as a natural stage in children's cognitive development. And I am watching it emerge in Reece, as she incessantly asks me to tell her about "tornado alley" or "what you looked like when you were a girl like me" or when she wants to tell me again about her "dog going potty on the newspaper". It's driving me nutso, but I think it reflects a developmental progression for her. She wants me to narrate things for her, and she wants to narrate things to me.

Big brother and sister, though, are afraid they will get their narrations 'wrong' because that's how I approached narration before - getting frustrated when they couldn't tell me all of the details from a section of Story of the World. So I have so 'un-doing' to do. But I think we can overcome. It will just take some time of reading together, probably, so we can discuss informally and naturally and let the narration take place that way. Until we can do that, there is no sense in assigning written narration.

Those are my 2 focal points moving into this coming week. I'm so good at talking about something, and worse when it comes to implementing it. I'll panic about not having enough stuff to put into their school notebooks. Or about the children not writing enough. And it distracts me. So, like in RDI, I will have to focus on the specific objective! :)

I hope everyone has a lovely week of learning, whether you do it at home or at a school building or office!

8 Things Meme

LIST EIGHT THINGS I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT:
1. Autism awareness
2. Homeschooling
3. Movies
4. Pibb Extra
5. Good books
6. Good music
7. Chocolate
8. Baseball

8 THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE:
1. Visit every major league baseball park in the US
2. See the pyramids in Egypt
3. Go for a week-long vacation alone with my husband
4. Visit the Caribbean
5. Hold at least one grandchild
6. Own a Ford Mustang again
7. Visit Forks, Washington
8. Buy my husband a REALLY big TV.

8 THINGS I SAY OFTEN:
1. "Take your fingers out of your mouth."
2. "Get off your brother/sister."
3. "Go back to bed."
4. "I don't think I can do this anymore."
5. "Oh for Pete's sake!"
6. "Bless your heart!"
7. "Calm down."
8. "Obey your mama."

8 SONGS I COULD LISTEN TO OVER AND OVER:
1. "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns N Roses
2. "Crashed" by Daughtry
3. "Home Sweet Home" by Motley Crue
4. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard
5. "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock
6. "Baby Girl" by Sugarland
7. "Oh Praise Him" by David Crowder Band
8. "Everlasting God" by Lincoln Brewster

8 BOOKS I'VE READ RECENTLY:
1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
2. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
4. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
5. Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
6. To the Nines by Janet Evanovich
7. Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich
8. A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levinson

8 THINGS I'VE LEARNED THIS YEAR:
1. I am still very afraid of horses.
2. I cannot do this on my own.
3. I can do things that seem impossible at first.
4. Laptops are so much more fun than desktops.
5. Nobody should be forced to live without an mp3 player.
6. I'm sad that I won't have more babies.
7. I can drive a big pickup truck.
8. I love working out at the gym.

8 THINGS THAT ATTRACT ME TO MY BEST FRIENDS:
1. Love my kids.
2. Love to talk.
3. Can be silly sometimes.
4. Doesn't get too embarrassed when I get silly.
5. Enjoys going to the movies.
6. Family oriented.
7. Not fake.
8. Not judgmental.

8 PEOPLE I'D LIKE TO TAG:
1. Jan
2. Heather
3. Daphne
4. Sherry
5. Poohder
6. Tammy
7. Jamberry
8. Anyone else who reads my blog... link me to your responses in the comments, please!



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

RDI with Austin

video

Here is a segment from Austin's last RDI video with me. We are supposed to do non-verbal with him, as well, but sometimes I slip up. Especially because I choose complicated stuff, forget to go slowly, and then worry about the actual product rather than the time together. RDI has definitely been harder on me than on them! :)

RDI with Reece

video

I thought I would share a segment from one of our recent RDI sessions. Our objective with Reece right now involves her feeling the difference between when we are engaged and when we are not engaged. Because of her recent regression, I have to keep a very close Zone of Connection (distance from each other). Also, all we are focusing on is the pattern of our interaction, and not what she is doing. She has started the same pattern of focusing on not being 'good enough' when compared to how I did something, so right now, as long as she is in the pattern with me, it doesn't matter if she colors exactly what I'm coloring. Also, we are completely non-verbal, because with her (and with Austin) as soon as we start including language, they both check out!

This is 5 months into RDI, and as you can see, it's far from perfect. I am completely uncomfortable with the slow pace and lack of language. And I know our consultant will come back with "Too Fast!" when she gives us feedback! LOL If yu would like to give me feedback, or if you'd like to ask questions, I welcome both!

I'm going to load a video with Austin next, while we're watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving! :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

He's coming home!!!

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who loved baseball. She loved the Atlanta Braves, and, in particular, she loved a young up-and-coming pitcher named Tom Glavine. Alas, the young girl was broke, and didn't live anywhere near Atlanta. Her fascination had to be satisfied with t-shirts, hats, posters on her bedroom wall, and watching games on TV.

The young girl grew up, got married, had children, and moved to Atlanta. They began taking their family to the Braves games from the time her young son was only a few months old. Her husband even got to meet the now famous pitcher, and he signed a baseball for them. It held a place of honor on the fireplace. But in 2002, the pitcher left Atlanta for the rival New York Mets, and the not-so-young girl never got to see him in action in a Braves uniform.
There came a time, 2007 to be exact, where the pitcher came back to Atlanta, albeit in the Mets uniform. He played against his good friend (and other favored pitcher of our not-so-young woman), John Smoltz. The woman's devoted husband went to ebay and purchased tickets for her to take her pre-teen son to see this wonderful matchup. The woman became a girl again for that one day, and enjoyed herself beyond all imagining. She assumed that nothing would beat this. After all, her pitcher would surely be retiring soon. Wouldn't he??
The pitcher wasn't ready to retire, not yet! He won his 300th game this season, and there were more wins to be had. But he was tired of the commute, and who could blame him? His wife and children were in the Atlanta area! So, he pushed aside an offer of big money from those Mets, and he took a pay cut to come.... HOME!!!

Tom Glavine is coming HOME! He's going to be one of the Braves again! And I will get to see him pitch in a Braves uniform ... and, this time, you better believe I'm not going to miss seeing it in person!!! :)

Welcome home, Tommy!! I missed ya!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Week in Review: Nov. 12-16

I don't feel like we accomplished very much this week, but as I start thinking it over to write this post, I think we did more than I thought. We did get 'behind' because of our "80 degrees in November" day off on Wednesday, but I don't think that will be the end of the world.

Austin has been spending most of his free time listening to books on CD, specifically The Lightning Thief. That's the first book the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series that we just finished last month. Well, the series isn't finished yet, but we finished the books that are available. He and Riley have been taking turns with the CDs. Also he was listening to Knights of the Round Table, as told by Sean Bean, which is beautiful to listen to! It's fulfilling for me to see him enjoy stories so much! It's like a dream come true... I hope it continues! Of course, it gives me a huge desire to download tons of audiobooks from audible.com --- too bad they aren't free! :)

I'm not sure if I mentioned it here or not, but this week Riley announced her desire to be an architect when she grows up! She wants to design houses, which I think is so cool! My mom has already ordered her this Young Architect kit for Christmas! LOL (Wow, it's no longer available... glad mom ordered it already!).

Next week, I really would like to do some sort of Thanksgiving crafts with Reece. She has been talking a lot recently about missing preschool. :( It makes me feel guilty, especially when I look at pictures from my friend's daughter's Kindergarten class and all the fun things they do! Kindergarten is supposed to be fun like that, so I guess I need to get with it and make some crafts with her. Google, here I come!

I'm not exactly sure how many days of school we'll do next week... definitely no more than 3, but I was thinking Tuesday would be a good day for a field trip. ;) And then I need to figure out if I want to keep a regular schedule for December, or if I want to do "Christmas School" like Lisa does. I have a couple of weeks to decide, I guess!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One of those days

Sometimes it feels to me like we never have this kind of day, so I'm going to make sure and write out as many of the details as I can. It will help me remember that we DO have this kind of day on that kind of day when I'm feeling miserable.

We had to be out of the house way too early this morning, to go for Reece's post-op check of her ears. It's only 20 miles away, give or take a few miles, but there is no direct way to get there, and we would be battling rush hour. This morning, it took 1 hour and 15 minutes to drive those 20 miles. Don't you wish you lived in Atlanta?? ;) In and out in 30 minutes... the verdict is that the left ear has completely healed, but the right ear is being a pest and hasn't fully healed yet. Not realizing this was a possibility, I had promised the children we would go swimming this afternoon. Yikes. Austin cried when the nurse said no swimming for 4 more weeks until we go back for another recheck. I felt dreadful.

On the way home, the weatherman on the radio said that our high today would be around 80, but tomorrow's high would only be in the mid 50s. I made an executive decision and pointed our minivan in the direction of one of our favorite parks. The children call this the 'train park' because it is right next to a very busy train track. We first went to this park when Austin was a toddler and we lived down the street. We have since moved 15 miles away, so we rarely go anymore. Also, it's a park perfectly designed and sized for toddlers, so it's somewhat boring --- except for the trains!

When we arrived there was one little boy there with his mom. She asked how old the kids are, Austin told her we homeschool, a train came by. All was going fairly well. The park started to fill up a bit more, lots and lots of babies and toddlers. Riley found herself a toddler girl and played babysitter. The toddler would grab Ri's finger and drag her where she wanted her to go! Austin stayed off by himself for the most part, the noise and chaos of all of those toddlers was a bit much for him. But he would come over and talk to me or another adult, or even to try to engage one of the little boys playing in the sand. Reece found a lady who looked very much like one of our friends, and asked her, "Are you Miss A?" and the lady said, "No, I'm afraid I'm not." and Reece replied, "I didn't think so. I didn't see your boy and your girl, if you are Miss A, and you're not. But you look like Miss A. You have the same hair, and the same glasses." They, of course, thought she was just adorable.

We spent about 2 hours at the park. It was so rough on me. 2 hours of moms complimenting the children's behavior and kindness towards the smaller children. 2 hours of the first mom telling everyone who came up afterwards that I homeschool these 3 big, polite wonderful children. 2 hours of hearing "Wow, I hope when my kids are older, they are as kind as your children." Seriously, a mom could get used to that sort of thing! LOL

It was time to go, and I was planning to treat everyone to lunch out because of the great attitudes and behavior. They all stopped what they were doing, said random 'goodbyes' (Riley's little toddler sobbed when she left), and we quietly headed for the van. It was fantastic! I complimented everyone on their super behavior, thanked them for being such a blessing to everyone at the park, and got them some fast food! :)

It was a lovely experience! I know all days can't be like this, but I sure did appreciate this one!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blushing

Wow, I cannot get over the response to yesterday's "novel" blog! I am very flattered! Thank you all for your sweet comments on my writing! :) I plan to do the novel writing month next year, as I am totally swamped this month with the new RDI Operating System (OS). It was alot of fun to write, though just that little bit of writing took an hour! I think that's because I was writing for an audience and was trying to edit quickly while I wrote.

Thanks again for the comments, though! It really did brighten my day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Paths

I got the idea to write this blog entry in a novel style from my friend Lisa who is a participant in the November novel writing thingy.

She sat with her folders and binders surrounding her on the bed. Papers and books were piled to the left, and the open laptop was directly in front of her, waiting for the next click. She sighed as she looked at the mess that representing another week of homeschool plans and wondered again if she is on the right path.

The right path. How many paths had she been on in the last 5 years? She wasn't sure she could even count them anymore. They all led her back here- to the piles of folders, papers, notebooks, and binders. And none of them ever helped her feel more confident and secure for more than a few weeks.

A tear trickled from her eye. She sighed again as she struggled to fight back the tears that always came with a trip down this line of thinking. This was not going to be helpful! Monday was going to be here before she knew it, and she had to get something planned for the children. She had to focus.

She looked at the piece of notebook paper upon which she had scribbled her latest concerns about the latest path they were on: "Not enough writing", "Takes too long to get through the history cycle", "Not enough modern books". She just stared at it, unsure of whether or not they were valid concerns, or just echoes of deeper worries. I can't do this. I'm doing this all wrong. I'm a failure. I'm ruining everyone's lives. Tears began to flow faster this time, and she didn't bother to try to stop them. That's really what this was all about. That's what this was always about. There was nothing anyone could say to her to help her feel better. It was something she was going to have to get straight with herself. And it would just take time and practice.

She crumped up the piece of paper with a deeper sigh. But this time, it was not a sigh of frustration or of failure, but a sigh of resolve. She was going to turn herself around, and get back on the path. The right path? Who knows. Did it matter? Probably not. But it was the path she had chosen, and there was no need to diverge from it so quickly. How would she be able to determine the effectiveness of the path if she didn't give it time, or if she started adding too many side trips to the path?

She grabbed the piece of paper with this week's schedule on it and set to work. It took less than 5 minutes to distribute the week's assignments among the 5 days and 2 children. That was easy. That was the goal for this year, wasn't it? "Easier on me"? She typed a few final math assignments into the grid on the laptop and clicked print. All ready for the children! What a relief to be done for another week!

She put the piles away and joined her husband in the living room to watch an old favorite movie, and forget, for a few hours anyway, that there are any paths to worry about at all.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

August 14, 2003

Do you remember anything that happened on that day? That specific day? I don't. Austin does!

Russ was looking for our remote for our other TV because the on/off button broke yesterday. While he was digging under and around things, he found a ticket stub for a Braves Game: Braves vs. Padres, August 14, 2003.

Austin said, "I remember that game! Jake Peavey pitched for the Padres, John Smoltz for the Braves. Sheffield hit a homer. "

I asked Russ if there was a way to check, so we got online and looked up the box score. Yep, Peavey started that game for the Padres. Smoltz got the save for the Braves. Gary Sheffield hit a homer. Russ asked if Austin remembered anything else from that game. Austin said, "Chipper Jones hit a homer, too." Yep, he was right.

He's done this before with hurricane landfall dates/strengths, and with Atlanta area tornado warnings. And of course, he's always been great with baseball player statistics. But this is the first time he's ever picked out a specific ball game and gave us so much detail! And it was over 4 years ago!

Wow.

(Of course, don't get me started on the fact that he still cannot identify nouns or verbs in sentences, or that long division w/single digit divisors has taken over 4 months for him to understand --- lol)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Week in Review: November 5-9

This was another nice week. It was busier than last week in terms of our Ambleside workload, but we also didn't have baseball this week so that was a little nice. Austin's reading Tanglewood Tales, and seems to be enjoying it. I pulled it from a lower year of AO, but I can't recall which one. Our local library has one copy, so I didn't have to purchase it. Riley is reading Through the Looking Glass. Our lunch time read-aloud isn't on the AO list, that I'm aware of: Bridge to Terabithia. My mom bought the DVD, and I'd really like the children to be familiar with the story before we watch the movie adaptation. For geography, we're trying to finish up Paddle-to-the-Sea. It's another earlier year AO selection, but I've never experienced these books and I wanted to add them in! The assigned geography for Year 3 is Marco Polo, and we'll get to him at the end of the year. The kids are reading The Princess and the Goblin to themselves.

We are skipping a bit of the history reading this month because I want to focus more on the First Thanksgiving aspects and the story behind it. In science, we finished learning about seeds. We'll wrap up Botany for the season with the chapter on flowers, and start Astronomy in December. We'll pick Botany back up in the spring, then finish up Astronomy next summer.

Math is going fairly well. Riley is just beginning multiple digit multiplication and long division. So far, she doesn't seem to be having any trouble with the concepts. Austin is, finally, understanding long division with single-digit divisors. ::hoping that didn't jinx us:: We'll move on to double-digit divisors next week.

Both kids are doing well with their grammar and copywork/dictation assignments. Austin transitioned to cursive on regular wide ruled paper, instead of the HWT paper, and he's starting to get the hang of it. French (Riley) and Spanish (Austin) via CD-rom are also going very smoothly, and they race each other to see who gets to be the first to work on the computer!

I resumed lessons with Reece this week, and it has helped her to not be as destructive during her down time. I picked up our reading lessons again and she's doing nicely. Math is easy for her, and she loves it. "More Math!" is something that we hear from her alot. She's also starting lower case letters.

I think that's about all for this week. :) I still can't shake the feeling that we're not doing enough writing, so I may be adding back in the paragraph writing for Austin. Argh! LOL

Another picture and an eclipse

I was looking at the rest of the pictures from Austin's team party and came across this one. I love how Austin is looking at his buddy with his arm around his shoulder! This is the same boy we went trick-or-treating with. We've really enjoyed getting to know this family, and their son has been a good friend to Austin!

I was looking through posts and I noticed I forgot to mention that I purchased Eclipse! I was waiting for another coupon from Borders, or was thinking of ordering it from amazon.com. Finally an email came from Borders offering 40% off the newest best-sellers, of which Eclipse is one! ;) So now my collection is complete, at least until Breaking Dawn is released in 2008!

Daddy moments

We got some great pics with Daddy this past week!
Here is Coach Daddy giving his son his trophy for this fall baseball season:


Daddy and Austin:
Daddy with his girls:


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Omegabrites Update

We've been on them for a little over 3 weeks now, and unfortunately, I'm not seeing any differences in mood or behavior in anyone. I stepped myself up to 4 per day after 2 weeks, and still haven't noticed any effects. I've got enough to last about 12 more days which will take me through my next battle with PMS, so we'll see. I am terribly disappointed, mostly for myself. I am starting to wonder if I need to be on some sort of medication for depression and/or anxiety. I have always been one to cry easily, but it seems that the days I cry about something are outnumbering the days that I don't. I've already changed my diet, been exercising at least 5 times a week since January. I'm not sure what else I can do on my own.

As far as the kids go, they are taking the Orange Cream Omegabrite Kidz and they take it without any hesitation or argument. The girls like to have a glass of water nearby to rinse it down, but they all line up when it's time for 'Fish Oil'. I'm giving them all 2/3 tsp, but may back down to 1/2 tsp. since I'm not seeing the results for mood and attention that I was hoping for. At least the 1/2 tsp. will be good for health benefits.

I wish I had better results to report! I know there are many people who have great success with Omegabrites, and fish oil in general. We haven't had much luck at all with supplements or special diets, so perhaps it's just our brain chemistry or something. I would still recommend giving it a try if you're dealing with autism or ADD or the like.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ahhh, glorious Monday

Monday is my favorite day of the week. I know that's backward. :) But the week is new, the lesson plans fresh, and all things are possible!



I have noticed a direct correlation between my hour of wakening and how smoothly our days go. If I get up 'early', the day goes smoothly. If I get up 'late', the day goes poorly. Today I got up 'early'. I use the quotes because I'm speaking of 7 AM, which is early to me now, but wasn't early 5 years ago when Austin had to be at the bus stop at 10 minutes until 7. And it wasn't early 12 years ago when I had to be at work at 15 minutes until 7. But as with anything, it's all in your perspective. And now? 7 AM is early.

So today, I woke up 'early' and was showered and dressed before the children woke up. And we got to work on time. And I got all of the laundry washed/dried/put away. And all of the planned school work was accomplished. And several messes were put away around the house. And we had recess. And Austin rode his bike. And the girls had time to play with their new webkinz. And now we're having rest time with nothing looming over us except Riley's dance class.

It's nice! Wish I wasn't dependent on my getting up 'early' though! LOL What a bummer.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Week in Review: October 29-November 2

I sat down with the computer to do this week in review, and it took me a second to actually remember that this was only one week and not two! I cannot believe all we crammed into this week, and now I understand why I am so tired today.

I mentioned earlier that this week's Ambleside schedule was very light, and for that I am grateful. I had nearly decided to try to double up this week, but I'm happy that I didn't. We were quite busy enough as it was.

There is not too much interesting to share: Austin struggled, Riley was fine, Reece needs more structure again. It's like a recording! :)

Gracious, how terribly boring! LOL If I think of anything really exciting I will come back and update! If not, maybe this coming week will be much more cool!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pics as promised

The angel... costume designed and made by Riley herself:
Atlanta Braves baseball player (not sure what the hand thing is about lol):
And the black kitty cat:
My trick or treaters: