Thursday, February 28, 2008

You're OUT!

Yes, Cameron was kicked out of baseball practice today. He really seemed so much better. I told him to tell the coach that he couldn't run today because he has a cough, but to go ahead and practice his catching and throwing. Well, just the exertion of throwing the ball in the quickly chilling evening air was enough to send him into coughing fits so we were sent home after less than ten minutes. Does that get me the Bad Mommy Award or the Good Little League Mom award?

The rest of the day was pretty productive... after I finally got my lazy butt out of bed! I finally crawled out to face the world about half hour before we had to leave for ballet so I quick fried up some eggs for everyone and got out the hustle alert. Amazingly, everyone listened and we actually made it on time!! That was nice. Cassia and I had a small disagreement over her teacher's name. She swore it was MissL (who was her first instructor over the summer) but I knew it was MissM. At least I thought I knew... she was so insistent that I finally said, "OK, let's go ask her." So I hauled everyone back out of the parking lot and back into the ballet studio just so I could say, "Ha! I was right!" to a 4 year old. LOL, mature aren't I? But the funny thing was that MissM told us that she and MissL had actually been friends since they were toddlers and were often mistaken for sisters. How sweet is that to be life long friends and to teach the same class in the same ballet studio as young adults.

Back at home, we wasted away the rest of the morning and early afternoon doing random things and then started school around 2:00 again. Cameron did a Phonics lesson on some of the more obscure silent letters. He was reading really well until we got to the "story" that he was to read. He panicked because it was "so long" - 8 lines. He totally froze up and started guessing all these words that I knew he knew. He kept saying that he was just nervous because he'd never read that much before... until I flipped back two whole lessons and showed him the nine lines that he had just read the other day without a problem. The difference? The nine line story had been broken down into two or three line paragraphs. This one was all one long paragraph. After seeing that he had, in fact, read that much before he relaxed a lot. He's been doing a lot of that "nervous" stuff lately. It seems so unnatural for him that I don't tend to take it very seriously. I guess I should try to be a little more sympathetic to it though.

Grammar/Language was working on memorizing Mr. Nobody and then studying the capitalization in the title and throughout the poem. Cassia already has half of the first stanza memorized after only two days on it. Speaking of Cassia, we worked on the letters P and Q today. She was really excited to do double Phonics. If only that enthusiasm lasted. ;) Next was Math which took over an hour for two pages. Ugh. And much of it had to be done twice because either I couldn't read the numbers that were doubling as hearts and clouds or he and Cassia were so busy laughing over the heart and cloud numbers that he wasn't paying attention to the actual problem. Somewhere during this, Cassia decided to break my part of our special mother/daughter necklaces by chewing the clasp off of mine. Nice huh. That put me in a really bad mood. Luckily, we only had a few minutes before baseball at that point so I read a quick entry in the Usborne Book of World History on the Phoenicians and then piled everyone in the car. Only to come home 10 minutes later, as previously described. But by then my mood was more one of sympathy to Cameron so we finished History with an entry in the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and then they went off to build puzzles.

They are supposed to be putting all the puzzles away right now, but it doesn't sound like they are, lol. I'd better go check on that and get everyone to bed. Have a good night everyone.

P.S. If you're lurking, post a hello! I like comments!! Speaking of lurking, Sandy, if you are, sorry to her about M's arm! Ouch!! Cameron wanted to know if he was snowboarding "in real life or in a video game" and if he was doing flips when he broke it. LOL, apparently the story wasn't dramatic enough alone.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Workbookless Wednesday

LOL, I get so jealous of everyone's "Wordless Wednesday" posts sometimes. As if I could think ahead to find a picture appropriate for the day! As if I could use no words. ;)

So today was Workbookless Wednesday. We had some friends come over today to play a Pokemon Championship. OK, there were only three of us who played and it wasn't really a championship, but both Cameron and I faced off against R11. (P.S. All age references in the names are approximate because I cannot for the life of me remember how old these kids really are!) Cameron won his match and I let R11 win. ;) I didn't want him to feel too badly after just losing to Cam. And if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you! Cassia and E6 played Pokemon Yahtzee. J9 walked our crazy dog all around the house and the backyard. A8 hid in various places around the house, avoiding the dog of whom he was terrified. She's a pug, by the way. Very terrifying dog.

It was a great day. MomK and I chatted a lot. I realized that having seven kids in the house was actually not any more chaotic than having three, lol. Well, having seven kids and two moms in the house, that is. Greyson absolutely fell in love with MomK. He's not the type to let anyone else hold him. It's either Daddy or Mommy and he decides which one it is to be. Well today it was MomK. LOL, he would not leave her alone and she was happy to oblige. She said that her recent 40th birthday has left her with a bit of baby fever and a few cuddles from Grey was exactly what she had been needing. He was so sweet with her too, giving her the back rubs and pats that he usually reserves for me.

Then we went to the park for a local park day that we haven't actually attended in months! It was fun, but I was reminded of why we don't go anymore. The park is set up kind of strangely and it is almost impossible to keep track of where your kids are. Add a rambunctious toddler to the mix and it can get frantic. Of course, Greyson wouldn't let go of MomK so I knew where he was, lol. It was so funny too because there was a woman there who has actually babysat him once or twice where he pretty much screamed the entire time. We did a little experiment to see if it was just his mood or something personal. So MomK tried to hand him off to MomM and he got this terrified look on his face, turned his head, and hung on to MomK for his life. It's so bizarre. She has a daughter just a month younger than he is and they get along great. He just doesn't like MomM for some reason!

Anyway, we had to leave the park after only about 45 minutes. Cameron came down with a case of the sniffles yesterday which turned into a cough after baseball practice. He woke up feeling better this morning, but after about 15 minutes at the park he was ready to go home. At home he crawled into bed and then came out about 20 minutes later saying that he couldn't stop coughing. I gave him some Vicks and then realized that he had a fever too. Poor guy. Some Tylenol and a nap later, he was feeling better again but I sure hope this isn't that dreaded flu that everyone has been complaining about. Greyson's the only one of us who got a flu shot.

So there is Workbookless Wednesday for you. We had lessons in logic, strategy, interpersonal relations, PE, human physiology, zoology (Go Diego Go), and history (Time Warp Trio). And all on a sick day, too. ;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monday & Tuesday

Nothing too exciting to report around here. I guess that's a good thing though, right?

Monday we had a slow start to the day and only got Phonics and Spelling done before it was time to go to gymnastics. At gymnastics, I made Cameron do his math while Cassia had her class. At home again we read about the Phoenicians for History and then reviewed all of our poems for Grammar/Language. See, I told you, nothing too exciting. ;)

Today, Tuesday, we started our day with a few errands. We went to the library to pick up a Bill Nye video on the water cycle and coincidentally, Cameron picked up a Bill Nye video on ponds and lakes for his video choice! Cassia picked I Love Toy Trains, lol. She's always picking things like that and Baby Einstein. I don't think she realizes that she's growing up! Or maybe she's growing up so much in other areas that she likes the comfort of toddler videos. Our TiVo choices certainly are very advanced for her, so maybe she needs that balance. OK, next time she picks up Baby Einstein, I'll actually let her get it, lol. Next we went to the drug store for this anti-staph stuff that I saw. Yes, it's back again. *sigh*

Finally we got back home got got school started at the bright and early time of 2:00 pm. LOL. Yeah, we're morning people, can you tell? At least everyone was dressed and beds were made before 11:00am. That's the sign of a good day around here. ;) So anyway we learned "sci" words in Phonics, started work on memorizing a new poem for Grammar/Language, did a page of Math, read half a chapter on evaporation for Science and then watched both of the Bill Nye videos.

Then we planted trees. When I pulled in the garage earlier I had spotted a little brown caterpillar coming into the garage. We studied him for a while (I love homeschooling - we were able to point out his 6 real insect legs and his 8 other knobby pseudo-legs) and then dropped him into our winter garden for a snack. Cassia had meanwhile been collecting acorns and then proceeded to play with them while Cameron did his schoolwork. Just so you know, you can play a lot of different things with a couple handfuls of acorns! Anyway, she noticed that some of them were cracked and I mentioned that that was where the sprouts were trying to break free to grow more trees. (Truth is, I'm not entirely sure if that's why they split or not - we get a lot of acorns in our yard but no new trees! - but it sounded logical enough.) Anyway, she got so excited over that prospect that we had to rush out back and plant all ten of them along the back fence. She is imagining this huge wall of trees along the back and is so excited for them to grow. Too cute. Even Cameron and Greyson could not be left out of the excitement. Cameron helped to dig holes and to pat the acorns down and Greyson has, so far, made about 300 trips back and forth from the fridge to the acorns bringing them cups of water (and ice) to drink. LOL. Nature study at its best. Gotta love a 70˚ day after a week of rain and thunderstorms.

Soon we'll be off for baseball practice. Too bad I never got around to planning anything for dinner. We may have to resort to fast food - ick. Maybe Papa John's instead. I think if I pick up a pizza there after practice we could still eat by 7ish. I really need to plan baseball nights better, lol.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Insert Creative Title Here

Well, that beautiful weather we had on Wednesday gave way to more rain. It's been so bizarre today: sunny one minute and pouring rain the next. Even though Cassia is begging me to go to Favorite Park Day today, I just don't want to risk it. Both Cassia and Greyson have had the sniffles the last couple days and getting stuck in the wind and rain would not help that at all. Of course, it's been sunny here for the last two hours but who knows what it looks like half an hour northwest at the park. So I made them an alternate deal... do your chores, do your schoolwork, get the house tidied up for Daddy's return tonight and we can make cookies and hot chocolate. They readily agreed to my deal, making beds without a fuss, etc.

Cassia was the first one done with her morning chores so I took her into the schoolroom for a little bit of long neglected personalized schooling. We learned the "N" line for The Consonant Rhyme, sang Old MacDonald Had a Vowel, A-E-I-O-U, and then moved on to a couple pages in Earlybird Math. (Darcy, if you're reading, I always think of you when I pull that book out, lol.) It has been way too long since I really sat down with her and did concentrated schoolwork rather than just pointing a workbook in her direction while trying to do something else with Cameron. It felt good and she did great. I also finally had a chance to sit down in the schoolroom and clean up the mountain of foamie letters and crayons that somebody poured all over the ground a few days ago. That feels like a giant colorful weight lifted off my shoulders. Remind me never to buy little foamie pieces ever again. They suck in every possible way. Too bad the kids love them.

Next was Cameron's turn for school and we started with phonics. There was a section where they were saying something about certain "or" words having the /är/ in car sound instead of the normal /ôr/ in door sound... but 3 of the 5 we pronounce as /ôr/ in door! LOL! There was a note that said there were great regional differences in some of the words - I guess so! The words were forest, foreign, orange, borrow, and sorrow. Borrow and sorrow were the only ones that we use the disobedient /är/ in car sound for. How about you? Next was Grammar and a review of titles of respect. I guess our school outside day wasn't as productive as it was fun because Cameron barely remembered them at all. Good thing FLL really beats stuff into you until it is forever ingrained. ;) Spelling was next and we finished up a review section. Cameron did really well with that, especially at recognizing misspelled words in a list. Next was Math and a delightfully (for Cameron) short exercise on mental math and breaking a number into parts to add it (as in 63 + 26 = 63 + 20 + 6). He rocked. We finished up with reading a section on the Israelites in the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia.

Next on our list was supposed to be tidying up the house, mainly the floor, so that I can vacuum but certain children... like ALL of them... suddenly disappeared into the bedroom. I should go hunt them down but they're all playing so nicely together (and with phonics toys to boot) that I hate to disturb them. Besides, it gives me a few quiet minutes to blog. ;)

Yesterday was a busy, busy, busy day but unlike the busy, busy, busy day we had on Tuesday, this one left me feeling good and productive instead of exhausted and cranky. We started by dropping Cassia off at ballet and then running to the drug store to grab a couple of things that we still needed for our 4-H Cooking Project. By the time we got back it was pouring rain and Cameron decided that there was no way he was getting out of the car to go wait in the boring ballet waiting room. So we just hung out in the car for the remaining 15 minutes which wasn't too bad since I wasn't too keen on dragging a million kids through the pouring rain either. Greyson only set off the car alarm once. ;) Next we were off to 4-H to lead our Cooking for Primaries (kids 5 - 8 yrs old) project. We made fruit and nut granola (yum) and raspberry-swirl yogurt (double yum). The only hitch was that the oven wouldn't heat!! We finally found out that it was because the pilot light was out but since we were already running over schedule we decided to just cook the granola on the stovetop instead. It worked surprisingly well and most of the kids really liked what we made. In fact, many of the boys from the adjoining project popped over and asked if they could have some too because it smelled so good! I'd say that was a success.

From there we headed off to baseball practice. This time we actually found the rest of the team, thank goodness. One of the families had donated their barn for us to practice in on rainy days so that was really fun. They even had a 3-yr old girl that was showing Cassia all the ins and outs of the barn and farm. I was pretty impressed with the practice and how they really strove to teach proper technique. Cameron wasn't the best on the team, by far, but it is a mixed team of 6 and 7 year olds and this was the second year of Little League for many of them. One thing that Cameron did excel at though was behavior! Can you believe it? My little Hellion was one of the best behaved boys there. Phew! Of course, he did insist on telling the coaches that his way was better than theirs, lol, but he wasn't kicking up dust and hay from the floor or climbing the hay bales and he was paying complete attention to what the coaches were saying. Yes, you read right, Cameron was paying complete attention without fidgeting! Woo-freakin-Hoo!!

And now you're caught up on our lives. Oh, in case you didn't figure it out, we did not find the time for bookwork yesterday. Not by a long shot! We were only home for about an hour between 10am and 6:30pm. But I'd say that we did P.E. and Home Ec at the very least. Actually, the cooking involved math and reading too and I don't think that I'd be stretching it too much to say that baseball also involved Social Studies and the ever popular "socialization." ;) I also got to practice my Homeschool Speech at baseball, lol. "Oh, you homeschool? How does that work?" LOL, I think I was enthusiastic enough about it without sounding too condescending or freakish but you never know. ;) OK, time to whip the monkeys into shape and get this house clean so we can dirty it up again with cookies. Mmmmm, cookies.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

School's Out!

Outdoors that is!

It was a nice day for a change, at least for a few hours, so we decided to do school outside today. Little did I know that they would want to play school too! LOL, so we set up the chairs and filled the classroom with plastic animals and babies (real and plastic). Cameron, Greyson, and I were the teachers and Cassia and the rest were the students. Greyson was actually a "student teacher" because he couldn't decide where he wanted to sit. ;) Cameron would demonstrate the lesson to the students by reading from his phonics book and Cassia would copy down what he said. OK, she would just doodle, but it was fun. When it was time for Grammar/Language, I brought out our slate boards and chalk and C&C learned the abbreviations for titles of respect (Mr., Dr., etc). Cameron did some copywork on the concrete. It was a fun change.

But by the time we got to math, it was getting chilly again and Cameron was more interested in playing than working. It took him over an hour to not even finish one exercise. He was doing well and then suddenly had a major brain freeze and couldn't remember how to do anything. I made him finish up the section and then said we would move on and he could finish it later. So we read a chapter in SOTW about Moses' birth and the story of the Exodus. The kids were pretty enthralled by the whole thing. They were shocked that people could be so mean and kill so heartlessly. That actually led to a discussion of the UN and human rights and war crimes and such. Somehow, I don't think the topic would have gone there in a brick & mortar school, lol. After that we went to the store to get supplies for our 4-H cooking project tomorrow. Once we got home, Cameron got right back to work on his math. He's doing much better on it now that he's had a break. The number of problems on a page seem to have taken a huge jump in this book. It's been a bit of an adjustment.

Backtracking a bit, we had a crazy day yesterday! We started out with a field trip to a local recycling center. That was pretty uneventful (and boring) except for the fact that of all the kids there, guess who didn't know how to keep a safe distance from the giant piles of broken glass bottles? I mean, it didn't even occur to them that it might not be safe to walk right up to the 8-foot high piles of broken glass and investigate! On one hand, I really, really like that they are so adventurous and curious. They probably got more out of the field trip than the others because they were so busy exploring everything. But on the other hand, don't they have any common sense??? Man! Cassia was being pretty contrary too. The guy was showing them the little bricks of aluminum cans that go together to make the large bales and said, "Now don't touch these because they can be really sharp," and what does she do? Of course, she immediately reaches out and touches it. And then Cameron has to because she did. *sigh* Oh well, they'll grow out of it, right?

Next we came home and did some quick schoolwork (Phonics, Grammar, Spelling, and Math) before heading out to gymnastics. They were closed Monday for President's Day and so we had a make-up class. Cassia, Greyson, and I had to spend Cameron's class waiting in the car though because Greyson decided that it would be fun to start throwing toys over the edge of the Mezzanine and onto the gym floor. They have a little toddler toy area that's enclosed (everywhere but the top) but it just seems like all the toddlers hate it, lol. I can convince him to spend a few minutes in there sometimes but not yesterday! He started by throwing puzzles out in my direction and then I thought he had calmed down but one of the coaches yelled up that he had tossed a plastic bowling pin over the edge and it almost hit someone in the head!! At least that was light. Next he picked up this big elephant pull toy - very hard, very heavy - and started to hurl it over the edge. Luckily, I got to him first, but that was the point where I gathered everyone up and headed out to the car instead. There he proceeded to just scream the whole time instead - but at least he wasn't hurting anyone. And I actually managed to get half a nap in too, lol.

When Cameron's class was over we headed home to change shoes and then headed right back out for Cam's first Little League practice. The only problem was that the coach never showed! So Cam and this other little boy just played catch for about half an hour and then we left. About an hour later we get a call from the coach telling us that they were there, just in a different place! Turns out that he forgot to tell several of us that in case of rain we would meet in front of the school, not around back. In the directions that he gave me, you turn just before you see the front of the school so I never noticed that there was anyone out front. I think that the other people just parked in front of the school automatically rather than driving around the side like our two families did. Anyway, you'd think that he would have taken a walk around to where we were just to make sure no one was there, wouldn't you? Well, he didn't. Grrrr. But the second practice is tomorrow and now I have his cell phone number to make sure we're all in the same place.

Monday, we took the day off of schoolwork for President's Day (aka DH is Home Day) but it was no vacation!! We spent the day purging old toys. Here's the before picture...

Scary, huh! We had the kids help decide what was to keep, trash, or donate. We ended up with 4 big trash barrels filled with broken and otherwise useless toys, a trunk full of nice toys for donating, and a bedroom full of toys that can actually be contained in their containers. WooHooo!! AND with all this extra floor space, we were able to move the toddler bed in there for Greyson. Yes, we now have room for four in one bedroom: bunk beds, toddler bed, and crib. Grey's still not quite ready to sleep in his big boy bed even though he loves to play in it. It's hard convincing him to actually stay in it though, lol.

OK, I'm done with my novel now. Hope everyone else is well. Love to all. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Water, water everywhere!

Wednesday was supposed to be our catch up day, but we went to the park instead. Guess what that meant... yep, no schoolwork! Oh well. We did start out the day with a scientific field trip though. We went to the pediatrician's to get Greyson the booster for his flu shot. I am more and more impressed with this doctor. I was just expecting this to just be a nurse appointment - wham, bam, thank you ma'am - but we were scheduled for a full appointment. She knew we didn't have anything specific to see her about, since he just had a check-up last month, but she checked his ears, chest, and throat to make sure his cold was going away the way it should. She checked out a few of his scrapes (he has so many, lol) to see if they were healing ok. She cleaned some gunk out of his ears. I mentioned that I was still concerned with his digestive system because even cutting out all dairy does not seem to have totally solved his "issues" so she is referring us to a GI specialist. All in all, it was thorough, friendly care. I like that. The front desk lady is a bit of a dingbat, lol, but I don't care.

So then we met a friend at the park to get back our Grammar book that they borrowed. They forgot it, lol, but we had a great time anyway. After that we came home and napped. ;)

Today we started the day with Cassia's ballet class. We got a notice about the annual show. Can you say "awwwww!" It's not till June, but I'm so excited I can barely stand it, lol. I would love to invite you all, but we only get 6 tickets total and our immediate family will take up most of those, lol. Maybe I'll actually figure out how to You-Tube a portion of it or something.

After that we went out to a Valentine's Day brunch. Nothing says love like strawberry pancakes that you don't have to clean up after! I'm also making salmon for dinner. That's pink. Don't tell me I didn't make an effort this holiday. ;)

I finally convinced Cameron to do schoolwork at around 2:00. We did Phonics (can I say again how impressed I am with his reading now?), Spelling, Math (adding/subtracting to 100, as in ___ + 67 = 100), and then Science which brings me to the day's title. Our topic was... the water cycle! We read the text book stuff on the states of water last time we did Science (gosh, I think that was last week!) and so today we read a bunch of library books on the topic. By the third book, when the author was asking those rhetorical questions like, "Did you know that the same water that you drink used to be a part of the ocean?" they were both saying, "yes, yes, we know!" LOL, I guess I can't complain about them not listening when I read aloud. We didn't do Grammar today because we don't have our book. And then I took a nap. And that was our exciting Wed/Thurs. Thank for stopping by. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tut Tut!

It's a record! We actually finished a chapter book in three sittings! Those three sittings did take about a week to accomplish, but I was pretty proud of us. They loved hearing about the Time Warp Trio characters that they know and love so well from the Discovery Kids' show. Some may say that tv is bad, but tv is definitely my friend and I am not ashamed to admit it.

So anyway, Monday we had a very productive school day. Cameron did Phonics (words ending in -ing); Grammar (review); Spelling (words with the "ow" sound); started his new math book with some algebraic type addition and subtraction problems (__ + 24 = 35); and then we read about Thutmose I, Hatshepsut, Amenhotep, and King Tut for History. It was fabulous that the TWT book tied in so nicely with our History reading. It was almost like I planned it. The truth is that we were at the library and I suddenly thought to myself, "Oh, I wonder if Time Warp Trio has an Egypt book?" and they just happened to have it in our library and it just happened to be about Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. Happy coincidences are also my friends. The kids were really intrigued by the story of Howard Carter's discovery of Tut's tomb so I brought out this neat book I have called, Into the Mummy's Tomb. (Thank you, Aunt P!) I actually have two copies of it so both Cameron and Cassia were able to flip through their own copies looking at the real life treasures of King Tut. Cameron especially liked the photographs that Carter's expedition made... the discovery of the staircase, the first lamps in the dark, the unwrapping of the mummy! Very exciting stuff! I love when History is exciting. :)

Today was mostly taken up by 4-H. It was the monthly business meeting, or The Boring Meeting as we lovingly call it. ;) Nothing too exciting there except for Greyson repeatedly running out the front door or screaming if I prevented him from doing so. *roll eyes* The Community Service Project for the month was bagging up Valentine's cookies for the underprivileged. The bonus of that one is that you bring three dozen cookies to donate but get to take home a dozen mixed cookies for yourself. The dark side of that is that you get to bring home a dozen cookies. Need I say that several children were sent to bed early tonight??

After that we had to go to gymnastics for a make-up Star Day for Cameron. You have to earn stars to advance through the classes. There are 4 levels in each class and 10 skills in each level. You have to get stars on 8 of 10 skills to move up a level. Cameron is working on level two and was really disappointed that he only earned one star tonight. Maybe I should start taking him to the open gym sessions on Saturdays so that he can practice more. I hate seeing him try hard and be disappointed like that. Of course, it's way better than seeing him goofing off and not caring either way, but it still bruises a Mommy's heart to see. Anyway, that got us home in time for dinner and the rest of Tut, Tut! before bed. I was really hoping to get a bunch of stuff done tomorrow but we have a doctor's appointment for Greyson first thing in the morning followed by a playdate in a far off town. We should get home by 2pm, but who knows if anyone will be in the mood for schoolwork then.

My laundry is calling. Talk at you later. :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Still sick

Blech, I hate colds that linger forever. So, needless to say, we haven't done much lately. Yesterday the library and the grocery store totally wiped me out for the day. The only thing school-related that we did was for me to read the first third of the Time Warp Trio book, Tut Tut, for History. LOL, that counts as literature, right?? In other good library news, Cameron actually picked out a chapter book to check out!!! It was Star Wars: Boba Fett, The Fight to Survive. Quality literature, I'm sure. I'm not even sure if he was planning to read it or if he wanted me to read it to him because he hasn't mentioned it since... but it's a great start!!

Today we made it to ballet early for the first time in I can't remember how long, lol. Some sad news though. One of the moms there lost the baby that she was expecting. She must've been at least 10 or 12 weeks. I feel awful for her, but I really couldn't say anything but "I'm sorry." It all just hit too close to home. I really wanted to reach out to her and say something more profound, more personal but I barely know her and was pretty sure that I wouldn't have been able to open my mouth without crying. :( So sad.

Anyway, after a long afternoon of making Valentines, napping, and watching DOOL, we finally got settled into schoolwork at about 4:30 pm. Cameron did some excellent reading today. We worked on two syllable words ending in "er" for Phonics; practiced picking out nouns, pronouns, and action verbs from "The Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens" for Grammar; finally finished off that math workbook (I always write down the dates we begin and end and this one took 5 months and 1 week. A little slower than usual but not too bad considering how often we slack!); and finished off with reading about water and evaporation for Science. We were supposed to do an activity for Science too, but I was a bad girl and didn't read ahead so I didn't have the necessary supplies. So this weekend I need to go out and buy a couple of lab thermometers and some beakers. The funny thing is that I will have to go to the hobby store for those. The teacher supply store doesn't carry that type of thing, lol.

And that's our day. I'm ready for a nap now. ;)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

We're Back!!

I would like to start out with a big apology to Meesh and Maria for not calling when I was in town. Greyson's cough did subside by Wednesday but by Thursday I was popping Sudafed and Tylenol like candy. Blech. Seems like the first time we met I ended up infecting everyone with a nasty virus so I thought I would spare you this time, lol. I hope Emma's birthday party was fabulous.

We spent the week with MIL and step-FIL for his 70th birthday party. It was a nice time despite the colds and the little spat DH and I got into because I didn't bring Cameron's schoolwork with us. Well, he said he was just "making a comment" and I got defensive. Whatever. Anyway, he said that he thought it was important to keep up the requirement of school everyday to instill structure and blah, blah, blah. He said, "I thought the main benefit of homeschooling was that you could do it anywhere?" I said, "I thought the main benefit of homeschooling was that you didn't have to wait for public school breaks to go on vacation?" Then he said that it seemed that we had been taking a LOT of breaks since Christmas and that's about the point where it crossed the "comment" and "discussion" line for me. Annnyyywwwaaayyyyy... I don't mean to be airing dirty laundry, I just hate when suddenly it seems like you're not on the same page anymore. I think we left it at him thinking me hormonal and me thinking him a Neanderthal. And we never brought it up again. ;)

I did make a point of pointing out all the educational stuff that we were actually doing though. For example, Cameron was watching me doing my Sudoku book and wanted me to teach him how to do it. He even asked if they made kids' versions of it and if we could get him one! Math puzzles? How can I resist?!? So of course I went out and bought him one (and found a great $1 sale and got a bunch of "100 Things You Should Know About..." books and a copy of the Atlas Maior of 1665 for a dollar each). It was really great watching Cam struggle with the puzzles and then finally figuring them out. He was really surprised too at the elated feeling you can get when something seems so utterly impossible at the beginning and yet you still manage to do it. He also drew me a wonderful picture of the solar system... Darn, I just realized that I left that there! I wanted to keep that one. We spent time with their cousins and I don't know about you, but I think that spending time with one's extended family can be extremely educational! They also watched Black Beauty for the first time and loved it which has me thinking that it might be a good read aloud.

All good stuff. I think the problem with DH is that when he is home, he (and so they) spend a lot of time playing video games and watching movies so he assumes that if we're not actively doing schoolwork that we are just being lazy and goofing off. I guess it's just hard for him to be so removed from our lives at times. Anyone else have that problem? But I also made a point of having the kids show off a bit for one of DH's cousins. She was complaining about the lack of English grammar skill among the students in the college courses she teaches and so I started in with, "Even my 4 year old knows English Grammar!" and had them pipe up with the definition of a noun and a pronoun. And then Cameron impressed me by spouting off the entire three part definition of a verb. I don't even have that one memorized yet! That led to a bunch of poem recitation, including The Five Vowels by Cassia and Work by Cameron which led to a discussion on work ethics and the importance of always doing your best. Basically, they ended up looking like a couple of brainy, little smartie pants and I was very proud of them. I didn't even bother to say anything smug or I-told-you-so-ish to DH. It wasn't necessary. I just smiled and didn't give another thought to our taking "too many breaks."

Our last day there we went to the Griffith Park Observatory. That was a real treat. We saw the most amazing planetarium show. I don't know how they crammed so much information into a half hour and yet kept it so engaging. It was really a delight and both Cameron and Cassia loved it too. DH was kind enough to stay outside with Greyson while we watched. Greyson spent the time running up and down all the stairs in the building, lol. The Observatory also had these random little "classes" all over the place. We'd just be looking at an exhibit and suddenly someone would come over and ask any interested parties to have a seat and hear a little lecture on whatever the subject was. They really want you to love what they're offering. I like that. Like I said, we had a fabulous time and you can't beat the price... FREE!

Now at home, I'm trying to find the bottom of suitcases underneath all that dirty laundry. We had a 4-H project today and made little animals out of recycled paper egg cartons. They came out surprisingly cute and everyone had a good time making them. Cassia made a feathered fish, a bunny with a cotton tail longer than its body, and a cat with a curly gold tail. Cameron made an airplane with eyes. Funny how Cameron is the one in 4-H and Cassia is the one who really gets into all the projects, lol. Afterward, several families met up at Baskin Robbins for ice cream and the ever elusive socialization, lol. I really needed the socialization - I don't see nearly enough adults that I actually enjoy talking to. ;)

While we were chatting, I found out that even if I had wanted to hide my pregnancy it is now impossible. We were talking about breastfeeding and I mentioned how I wished Greyson would wean because it is killing me and MomM looked over at me, looked down at my belly, and exclaimed, "Oh! You're pregnant!!" She is convinced, regardless of what the u/s says, that I am having twins because I am showing so much already, lol. I hope she is willing to offer some nanny services if her curse turns out to be right. ;)

We finally got home around 4 after much ice cream, playing, and a couple of mad dashes toward heavy traffic by an unnamed little maniac. Said maniac and I took a quick nap, C&C watched a couple episodes of Little Einsteins and then we all got up to finally do some schoolwork. Cameron learned about words ending in "le" for Phonics; listened to and narrated back "The Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens" for Grammar/Language; did several workbook pages on the phases of water for Science; did 2 pages of Spelling; and 1-1/2 pages of review for Math. He was supposed to do 3 pages of math to finish off the workbook but he just didn't have it in him so late in the day. I was happy with the amount of work we did though. It was much more than our usual lately. Cassia also learned another line of The Consonant Rhyme and then wanted to work in her workbooks but I had to tell her no so that I could make dinner. I will make a point to spend some time with her doing workbooks tomorrow. We don't have anything going tomorrow except grocery shopping and the library so we will have lots of time to spend. Will we have the patience after the grocery store? Only time will tell, lol.