Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008!!

This year seemed to go by really fast. I dunno, maybe it was because the kids and I were involved in more things this year. We certainly weren't bored! Here is a look back at some of what we've done:

Homeschool co-op: This is an ongoing group that meets the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month (aside from summer months). We've had so much fun with our co-op. We've done science classes, cooking classes, gym classes, a Wizardology class, the kids have had plenty of time to just hang out and chill, they've made some really funny videos. I've been able to watch all of the kids grow, not just my own. I've watch the babies go from just newborns to toddlers. I really love our group of homeschoolers. The new semester starts in a few weeks. YAY!

Earth Scouts: We got this group up and running in April. We met twice a month on Tuesdays at a local library. We've had some members leave and have gained some new members. So right now our group is staying at about 8 families. We did a lot with the Respect for Nature principle. Some things we did include: made field guides and went on a nature walk along the C&O canal; made bird feeders & nesting bags; made glass lanterns & some of us braved the cold and went on a nighttime stroll around the local park during the Christmas lighting; Trick or Treated for Unicef - the kids raised almost $200!! There were a lot more we've done since April, and it has been a blast facilitating this group.

Parties: Oh so many parties & potlucks!! In April we celebrated Earth Day with a huge potluck. We had a speaker come in from the recycling plant, the kids & parents enjoyed that. Our food spread was to be only earth friendly foods (meaning organic if possible, using the least amount of energy as possible to make it, etc); We had a park potluck for Cinco de Mayo, everyone brought lots of yummy foods; in September, we had our annual "Not Back to School" park picnic. As always TONS of food and great time being spent with each other. Then the year ended with our Geo-lunch international holiday party. There was lots of food, gift exchanges, games, and just some fun hang out time for kids and moms.

Field Trips: In March we had a trip to the local PetCo. My kids have done this before with another group, but they never pass up a chance to hang out in the pet store. It was a crazy day, we had the store totally overwhelmed with kids. The manager was a little crabby due to a misunderstanding on her part. But all in all, the kids had fun so that's what matters; April brought around a trip to a local Martin's grocery store. The kids learned about eating healthy and making good food choices; We also headed out to Philly for a day in April. We went to the Franklin Institute to see the Star Wars traveling exhibit. This was great. We all really enjoyed seeing the actual costumes and props from the movies; June brought a very impromptu field trip to Winchester to the Discovery Museum and Sonic. hehe It all started with a discussion of the Sonic drive-in's, so of course to make it educational, we went to the Discovery Museum which the kids had to themselves for the most part. Half of our group worked in the "apple orchard" business, the other half worked in the "hospital" business. LOL Of course, my kids were in the orchard. No big surprise there, since we live in one. ;) But they had a great time!; We headed back to Philly in October. Again to the Franklin, but this time to see the Pirates exhibit. It was nice, but I was pissed because we couldn't take photos. But the kids still had fun.

Geo-lunches: one of the moms in our group decided to start monthly Geo-lunches. Each month we'd have a different country, everyone would bring a dish from that area and if the kids wanted, they can share something they've learned about the area. We attended a few and had a great time. The kids were bummed we didn't get to them all. They'll be continuing in the new year, but I *think* we'll be doing the US this time around. We ended the year with an International holiday potluck/party

Losses: In June we had Amanda's cat put down. He wasn't very old but had a lot of health issues. I had really put this off for way longer than I should have. I don't think he was suffering, but he was getting worse. And it would have been way more traumatic if she found he died rather than just putting him down. And then if that wasn't enough, either on Halloween day or the day after, something killed her bunny. We are pretty sure it was a fox as we've had one stalking around all summer. But whatever it was, took the bunny. we couldn't even find any trails of fur; And not as sad & upsetting as the pets, but Amanda had her wisdom teeth removed in Sept. She did WAY better than I ever expected. So either she is really tough, or everyone else is wimpy. hehe We had planned to start back with school that week, but that was put on hold. Jake didn't mind one bit. ;)

Fun & Entertainment: I like April sometime I had won tickets from a local radio station to see John Mayer playing at Merriweather Post. So a friend and I headed off one icky day in July. Yep, it was storming something terrible on the day of the concert. We still went, in the rain. And wouldn't you know it, the rain stopped during the last song of the night. Aww, how kind of you monster nature. LOL We also saw a few movies throughout the year. Not as many as I had planned on. But oh well.

Birthdays: Amanda turned 15 in August. She just invites some kids over anymore, they hang out and chat, play Rock Band, etc. This year though they did Henna tattoos. This was fun, but stinky. lol I am glad the evening was nice and they could go out to the patio. Jake turned 13 in November. So know I have teens in the house!! He had some boys over, and of course, they played the Xbox & the Wii all day. lol Parties get easier & less expensive as the kids get older. :D

Work: Randy FINALLY got back to work in July. He was off for 2 years with a work related injury. He likes the job and it seems to be going quite well. So keep your fingers crossed for another raise next month. LOL

That's our year in a nutshell. I am sure I forgot to tell you something really exciting. But I figure this post was extremely long as it is. ;) Have a wonderful and safe New Years!! We'll be staying home as usual. I don't like going out on New Year's Eve anymore. We're ordering Chinese food for dinner tonight. YAY!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Brrrr!

It is so freakin' cold here right now! Winter certainly has slammed into us hard here in MD. Monday it was almost 70* and now this morning it is a toasty 11* (-7* with wind chill).

I am sick. :( Started feeling bad Thursday evening. It hit me all of a sudden. I was fine all day, then by about 8:30 that night I started with a bad sinusy headache, the major nose drippage. then when I woke up Friday morning, I felt horrible. I was feeling much better yesterday, but I guess being out grocery shopping wasn't the smartest thing to do, but hey ya gotta have food in the house. So this am. I woke up and my throat is on fire, I can't talk but a bit of a squeak (tried talking to the cat because no one else is awake). So I am downing hot tea today. Getting ready to make my 2nd cup here in a second.

Last week started our Christmas/winter break. Monday was our homeschool groups holiday party. After much craziness, we made it there. I had invited my mom to come along, but then she ended up not. So that left us without a ride. So we were bummed about having to miss the party. Then after some emails & phone calls back and forth we had a plan. :) One mom would come pick up 1 of of us (Jake) and another mom would come pick up the other 2 (Amanda and I) because she had 2 seats left as her littlest one was sick. :( So she stayed home with her daddy (and he ended up missing his Christmas party so the rest of the family could have theirs). This is what the holiday season is all about... being with your loved ones, lending a helping hand, and making others happy. So we have several people to thank for helping my kids and I get to our Christmas party: Mindy & Kim for the rides; Jim for giving up his party to stay home with poor little Maggie; Marti, Krista and Pat for their offers of help. I love my group of friends.

So then on Tuesday we had our Earth Scouts meeting & book group scheduled. But the weather was totally the opposite of Monday. It was cold, snowing/raining/sleeting. So I went ahead and canceled. The roads were most likely ok, but I didn't want to take that chance. So the kids and I finally got to decorate the tree. And Amanda and I baked some oatmeal raisin cookies.

The rest of the week we had nothing planned until Friday. Which was our co-op's last day for the Fall semester. We were going to build gingerbread houses, but of course we missed that because I woke up sick. But Marti's oldest dropped off our house before taking her sisters to co-op. So another thanks goes out to Emilee. :)

So I was hoping we could have done the house over the weekend with Randy, but I just didn't feel good enough to. I am hoping maybe this afternoon or at least tomorrow I be feeling better. I have a TON of baking to do also. But I did get the grocery shopping and Christmas shopping finished. Our ham is ordered, Randy will pick it up tomorrow evening. So we'll at least have food, maybe not too many cookies though. But I'll at least get a batch of chocolate chip cookies made. hehe

Monday, December 8, 2008

Updates and plans

Last week well, school wise. The kids finished up a lot of work. Grammar and math are finished until January, YAY! We have a little history and science to do yet, and well get that finished up this week. Hopefully by Thursday at the latest.

We didn't have an Earth Scouts or book group meeting last week. Our Earth Scouts had planned to go to a local nursing home to sing and spend some time with the residents. We didn't make it because I had some kind of yucky sinusy thing. I had a constant headache for almost a full week, couldn't sleep, and anytime I tried to do something I just felt horribly tired. But all better now.

Friday we had our co-op. Pretty much it was the last session of classes for this semester. So in Wizardology, the boys worked on understanding wizarding codes. Then they each had to write something in code. 2 of the boys wrote out what they wanted for supper, the 3rd used a form of pig Latin to tell me goodbye. LOL Then in science we used baking soda and vinegar to blow up a balloon. Place the baking soda in the clean bottle, vinegar in the balloon. Attached the balloon to the bottle and pour in the vinegar. The reaction of the 2 will puff up the balloon. It was simple and quick. The kids had fun.

Now, for this week, we'll be finishing up Unit 1 in our science book. We didn't get to work on this today any. We have 3 lessons to do, so we'll have this finished by Thursday. For history, we are behind in our Lewis and Clark unit study. But by the end of the week, we'll have at least 5 lessons out of 9 finished. So once we pick back up in January, we'll be finished that within the first week. Then we're moving on to Pioneers.

The kids are having some teens over Friday for a game day. They wanted to do something before Christmas, and I wanted them to do so before we put up our tree. LOL Otherwise, our small living room gets smaller. And I don't want anyone knocking into the tree.

Usborne Books - Huge Holiday Clearance Sale!!

All books are brand new, used for display only. Most titles can be found here - www.ubah.com/T0639 Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!


30% off Christmas Titles -
Christmas Snap (cards) 6.29
The Christmas Nutcracker (Ballerina Dreams Series), PB 3.49
That's Not my Reindeer (Touchy-Feely book), HB 6.99
Christmas Eve (Touchy-Feely book), HB 8.39
Christmas (You & Your Child activity book), PB 4.15
Christmas Fun (Preschool Activities), HB 9.09
Christmas Carols, PB 4.85
Christmas Sticker Dolly Dressing, PB 6.29
(2) How to Draw Christmas, PB 6.25
The Nutcracker (Picture Book series), HB 6.99

25% off Regular Titles -
That's Not my Kitten (Touchy-Feely book), HB 5.99
Baby Brother (Look and Say book), HB 5.99
Stories of Dolls & Fairies, HB 7.49
Illustrated Stories for Boys, HB 14.99
Trash and Recycling, PB 3.70
What's Happening to Me? (Girls Edition), PB 5.25
Ted and Friends, PB 7.49
Wizard things to Make and Do, PB 5.25
Growing Up (Facts of Life), PB 5.95
First Encyclopedia of Animals, PB 7.49
First Encyclopedia of Seas & Oceans, PB 7.49
Big Cats (Discovery Series), PB 6.70
Birds (Discovery Series), PB 6.70
Art Ideas, HB 12.70
1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland, HB 7.49
1001 Pirate Things to Spot, HB 7.49
On A Pirate Ship, HB 7.49
Little Read Riding Hood, HB 7.49

50% off Clearance Titles -
Egyptians Kid Kit 4.98
Halloween Activities Kid Kit 6.48
Science Activities, Vol 2, HB 6.48
Life on Earth (Starting Point Science), HB 8.98
Making Models, PB 3.48
Polar Wildlife, PB 3.48

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pumpkin rolls!!

Amanda and I made pumpkin rolls today. Mmmmmm! It's really hard knowing these are in the fridge and I can't have them until tomorrow.




Happy 13th Birthday jake!

Can you believe November is almost gone! Today Jake turned 13. Wow! I now officially have 2 teens in the house. He had his party on the 23rd. Does anyone else think having 6 teenage boys in your house is worse than 6 teenage girls? I do! They are louder, they argue & wrestle, they're just plain obnoxious at times! LOL But they had fun, nothing was broken, no one was hurt. Ok so, that's a lie... apparently my old broom I keep out in the patio was used to whack Jake and it was bent. Jake said he wasn't hurt (must have been numb from being outside in the freezing temps).

He got some gifts cards to Best Buy & Borders and cash. Cash.. the perfect gift, especially for a teenage boy with a terrible game addiction. hehe

Here are some photos from the party and one of him tonight, now that he is officially 13.

Jake, the 13 yo, playing some Xbox.


Jake, the day of the party -

From l-r: Levi & Ben sitting on the couch; Jake, Alex, & Zack -

Jake, Alex & Brian playing on the Wii -

Zack, Alex, Levi, Ben & Amanda -

The cake, a chocolate cake with PB icing (no I didn't make this, it was bought) -

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Earth Scouts & Book Club

We had our dual-meeting yesterday. It went well. I've been wanting to start a book group, so my kids would have a reason to read more. Not that they *should* need a reason to read, other than to read.. but mine do. :( So I decided on "George's Secret Key to the Universe" by Lucy and Stephen Hawking. This book seems to be good for the wide range of ages we have, from 5 to 15.

So anyways, I thought since all the parents mostly were in Earth Scouts, we'd just shorten that meeting by 30 minutes, then tack on the book group at the end. So instead of being at the library for 3 hours to do both, we're there just 2.5 hours. So this only added on an additional 30 minutes. I hope it works out OK.

First we had our Earth Scouts meeting. I wanted to do a little bit about Thanksgiving. So we read a little on the history of, the kids all enjoy having discussions. So they were calling out their thoughts and answering questions about harvesting, what types of food, etc. Then we did a journal activity. Some of the prompts were "Pretend you are a turkey and you need to convince your family why they should eat a different animal on Thanksgiving" or "Why would you NOT want to live in the 1600's". So for the next meeting, the kids can share what they've written. It should be quite entertaining.

Then it started snowing as we were breaking from Earth Scouts into the book club, so the kids were all outside running wild in the tiny bit of snow. he he That gave us mom's a chance to discuss meeting dates and such. So we've decided to change the day of the week hoping to alleviate some stress for some of them because there are too many things going on at once. So we'll give that a try for a month or 2 and see how it works out.

I think our first book club meeting went well. The kids that are into the book a few chapters seem to really enjoy it so far. Yesterday we just did some pre-reading things and discussed vocabulary. We found the first few words in the book since most of us had read through at least the first chapter. We talked about what some of the words meant. We had a discussion on why using an actual dictionary and not the Internet is important. he he So I think this is going to be lots of fun for us all.

Since my kids are older, I sometimes wonder if I talk above the younger kids, so to speak. Not that my kids and I have these super-intense-college-level-mega-serious-all-out-debate/discussions, mind you. he he But I sometimes think maybe the kids are thinking "man, what is this nut job talking about?!". The way they jump into discussions and bring up their own discussions, I think they are getting me just fine. And the cool part is that the other moms were taking part in the discussion too. So this isn't just a group for the kids, I think us moms will have fun as well. :D

Monday, November 17, 2008

This weeks schedule

Last week went well, we had our first review of the year. I discussed the diploma program a little bit that my reviewer is doing now. Debating whether or not to look into it further for Amanda. She's iffy on it. We went to see Madagascar 2 with my mom. That was a fun movie. Of course not as good as the first, but it was cute. We all laughed our butts off. There were only 5 other people in the theater, so we didn't have to be quiet like usual. :D

So today the kids did their grammar. That's it. LOL I was busy thought, so I let them have it *easy* (cuz they always have it so damn hard any other day right?!). I did a major reorganizing of the pantry. Should have done before and after pics. LOL I need to find a cart to put in there yet for things like the potatoes and onions to live on and also to have a spot for the pencil sharpener, scale, and other various items I keep there. Jake, the smartass that he is, walked back this afternoon and was like "Wow I can see the floor!". Then I decluttered the hutch somewhat. And moved on to the table to declutter. We have one of those L-shaped benches with table (the only thing that would fit in our small kitchen area) and I basically use the table for me. We rarely sit here to eat. The kids use it for school work now and then. But normally there is only enough space for me to sit and sometimes the cat. So anyways, I've cleared this off tremendously! I'm proud of me. :) But I'm tired. So I need a bath and off to bed. But first...

Our schedule for the rest of the week -

Tues Nov 18: 4 pgs DG; 4 pgs math (Starting Key To Percents book 3); Then we have Earth Scouts meeting and our firts book lcub meeting. We're reading "George's Secret Key to the Universe" by Lucy and Stephen Hawking.

Wed Nov 19: 4gs DG; 4 pgs math; Science Lesson 4; History; reading.

Thurs Nov 20: 4pgs DG; 4 pgs math; Science Lesson 4/5; History; reading.

Fri Nov 21: Co-op (I need to come up with something for science yet!)

Then Saturday the 22ND is Jake's birthday party. My *baby* is turning 13 in 9 days. *sniff sniff* I'll have 2 teens in the house next week.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Food is good

A meme from Frankie.

What’s the last thing you ate? A slice of leftover pizza :)

What’s your favorite cheese? White Vermont Cheddar

What’s your favorite fish? To eat, haddock. To look at, any that are brightly colored and clown fish (Nemo)

What’s your favorite fruit? strawberries or apples

When, if ever, did you start liking olives? I only like them on pizza or in certain dishes. Not sure when I started liking them.

When, if ever, did you start liking beer? Never have, never will. Can't stand the taste or the smell. But I love beer bread!

When, if ever, did you start liking shellfish? no clue

What was the best thing your parent/s used to make? spaghetti, but I think I ate so much as a kid, I can't eat it that often anymore.

What’s the native specialty of your home town? Town of birth: Hagerstown. Hmm nothing really that I can think of.

What’s your comfort food? baked mac n cheese

What’s your favorite type of chocolate? Depends, I love a good plain Hershey bar or Hershey Kisses, Andes Mints, Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Hazelnut (and I am not one to enjoy dark chocolate). I don't usually turn down chocolate. ;)

How do you like your steak? well done

How do you like your burger? well done

How do you like your eggs? dippy or scrambled

How do you like your potatoes? Mashed potatoes I like a little lumpy, baked potatoes I like with sour cream, cheddar and bacon bits

How do you take your coffee? with a little sugar and creamer, prefer hazelnut creamer

How do you take your tea? depends on the tea: Iced, very sweet; hot tea, depends on the type: Mint - with a little sugar and milk; chamomile (and other herbal teas) - with either honey or agave

What’s your favorite mug? My Hershey Kisses mug Amanda bought for me a few years ago, the handle needs fixed though. 2nd favorite is my Scooby Doo mug

What’s your cookie of choice? can't go wrong with a fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie :)

What’s your ideal breakfast? One someone makes for me?

What’s your ideal sandwich? Turkey, lettuce, mayo and sometimes cheese on wheat

What’s your ideal pizza (topping and base)? Bought would be Pizza Hut pan meat lovers; homemade with all sorts of veggies, pepperoni and bacon bits

What’s your ideal pie (sweet or savory)? Apple

What’s your ideal salad? Baby Spinach with shredded parm, dried cranberries, and Newman's Honey Mustard dressing

What food do you always like to have in the fridge? Milk, eggs, applesauce, cheese

What food do you always like to have in the freezer? chicken

What food do you always like to have in the cupboard? pasta

What spices can you not live without? salt and pepper

What sauces can you not live without? tomato and pesto sauce

Where do you buy most of your food? Martins (branch of Giant)

How often do you go food shopping? Once a week

What’s the most you’ve spent on a single food item? No idea

What’s the most expensive piece of kitchen equipment you own? Refrigerator

What’s the last piece of equipment you bought for your kitchen? Cusinart Blender/Food processor

What piece of kitchen equipment could you not live without? microwave

How many times a week/month do you cook from raw ingredients? Daily usually

What’s the last thing you cooked from raw ingredients? Italian sausage and eggs for supper last night

What’s your favorite thing to make for yourself? brownies

What meats have you eaten besides cow, pig, chicken and turkey? deer, rabbit, squirrel

What’s the last time you ate something that had fallen on the floor? not sure

What’s the last time you ate something you’d picked in the wild? over the summer, I found a berry bush. :)

Place the following cuisines in order of preference (greatest to least) - Italian, sushi, Chinese, French, Indian, Thai: Italian, Chinese, French, Thai, Indian, Sushi

Place the following boozes in order of preference (greatest to least) - Whiskey, tequila, vodka, brandy, gin, rum: hmm I prefer wine. Rum is only used here for daiquiris

Place the following flavors in order of preference (greatest to least) - Garlic, ginger, basil, aniseed, lime: Garlic, basil, lime, ginger, aniseed.

Place the following fruits in order of preference (greatest to least) - cherry, apple, orange, pineapple, watermelon: Apple, cherry, watermelon, orange, pineapple.

Bread and spread: Wheat bread, no spread preference

What’s your fast food restaurant of choice, and what do you usually order? Hmm don't have a favorite place, but KFC is higher than any other. Usually get a m. potatoe bowl. Taco bell - Crunhcwrap supreme

What are three of the best dining-out experiences you’ve had? A restaurant in NH called the Galley Hatch. They have the most awesome clam chowder I've ever tasted in my life; pretty much any time we go to the Cheesecake Factory in Baltimore's Inner Harbor; And when we went to Olive Garden for my 30th (I think?) birthday. I had a lot of family and friends, we all ate and had a great time. The waiters sang Happy Birthday to me and one decided to go off on an operatic tangent. It was hilarious!

What’s your choice of tipple at the end of a long day? I don't need a drink to make me sleepy. I can barely stay up past 9:30am anymore. LOL Just some ice cold water will do.

Favorite cookbook/s? Love my Better Home & Gardens cookbook

Got any favorite food blogs? A Year of CrockPotting

What’s the next thing you’ll eat? Tuna casserole for supper tonight, yum. (Sans peas, though.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

You wanna do what?

Here is what's on the schedule for this week:

Mon Nov 10: 5pgs DG; 4pgs math; Science finish lesson 3; History Lewis & Clark intro and lesson 1; begin reading "George's Secret Key to the Universe".

Tues Nov 11: 5pgs DG; 4pgs math; Science lesson 4; History Lewis & Clark finish lesson 1 and/or begin lesson 2; read "George's Secret Key to the Universe".

Wed Nov 12: 5pgs DG; 4pgs math; Science finish lesson 4; History Lewis & Clark lesson 2; read "George's Secret Key to the Universe".

Thurs Nov 13: 5pgs DG; 4pgs math; Science lesson 5; History Lewis & Clark finish lesson 2 and/or begin lesson 3; read "George's Secret Key to the Universe".

Fri Nov 14: 5pgs DG; 4pgs math. Then we have our first homeschooling review with my private reviewer at 1pm.

I also have food co-op pickups and the kids want to go see Madagascar 2 this week, plus one of their friends are coming to spend the night on Thursday (I think). By then end of this week, Nov will be halfway gone already! Is the time/days going by faster? It seems so for me anyways.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Weekly review

Well last week we got all of our math and Grammar finished that was planned. We did some science, not as many lessons as I had wanted. And of course History took a back seat again. We didn't have our Earth Scouts meeting, most of the families were going to miss it, so I didn't want to run the families that live further away out, especially since we just were going to do some reading.

But we did have a great day at co-op on Friday. The boys (my heathen son included) in Wizardology were EXTREMELY hyper this week. But we got through that with no bloodshed. hehe During my break (2nd class session, I don't teach) I got to hang out with Mr. Lincoln. He is a 10 month old on the verge of walking and an extremely busy guy. He kept me on my toes for an hour. :)

Then after lunch, it was Kitchen Chemistry. Again, some of the kids tend to be very hyper and very impatient. This can be nerve wracking when 16-18 kids are yelling at you at once. But we got into the activity, making Lava Lamps!! I think Amanda has some pictures, so I need to get those form her. Here are directions for the Lava Lamps. I highly recommend this, it was a lot of fun. Just be sure the kids DO NOT SHAKE the bottle once the food coloring is in. :)

Materials
- One clean, plastic soda bottle (16 oz. size works well)
- Soda bottle cap
- Vegetable oil (the cheaper the better)
- Food coloring
- An Alka-Seltzer tablet
- Water

* Fill the bottle 3/4 full with vegetable oil.
* Fill the rest of the bottle with water (almost to the top but not overflowing).
* Add about 10 drops of food coloring. Be sure to make the water fairly dark in color. Notice that the food coloring only colors the water and not the oil. Hmmm?
* Divide the Alka-Seltzer tablet into 8 pieces.
* Drop one of the tiny pieces of Alka-Seltzer into the oil and water mixture. Watch what happens. When the bubbling stops, add another chunk of Alka-Seltzer. It’s just like a lava lamp!
* When you have used up all of the Alka-Seltzer and the bubbling has completely stopped, screw on the soda bottle cap. Tip the bottle back and forth and watch the wave appear. The tiny droplets of liquid join together to make one big lava-like blob.

How does it work?
First of all, you confirmed what you already knew... oil and water do not mix. The molecules of water do not like to mix with the molecules of oil. Even if you try to really shake-up the bottle, the oil breaks up into small little drops, but the oil doesn’t mix with the water. Food coloring only mixes with water. That’s why it does not color the oil.

When you poured the water into the soda bottle with the oil, the water sank to the bottom. That’s because water is heavier than oil. Scientists say that the water is more dense than the oil. If oil from a ship spills in the ocean, the oil floats on top of the water.

Here’s the surprising part... The Alka-Seltzer tablet reacted with the water to make tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. These bubbles attached themselves to the blobs of colored water and cause them to float to the surface. When the bubbles popped, the color blobs sank back to the bottom of the bottle. Now that’s a burst of color!

And last but not least, check out the fun video Amanda made of her and some of the kids dancing to Chumbawumba's Tubthumping. Great song to be blaring in a church gym. hehe

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'll get you my pretty...

And your little dog too!


You Are a Witch (or Warlock)



You are deviously brilliant and a perfect manipulator.

You somehow always end up getting what you want - without anyone knowing you're working behind the scenes.

Crafty and cunning, you can work your way out of any jam.

And it's easy for you to get people to do what you want, whether you're working for good or evil.



Your greatest power: Mind control



Your greatest weakness: Making people your puppets



You play well with: Ghosts

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Things don't always go as planned

The past 4 "school" days we have not gotten no where near what I wanted to finished. I don't plan a lot, but sheesh.. Thursday was spent redoing Halloween costumes. The kids were going as the Beatles until one other kid told us at the last minute she was going. I was pissed. She could have said so a week before, not the night before. But that aside, Amanda and Katie dressed up as Punk Rockers. Jake kinda wore what he did last year, a version of Leon from Resident Evil. (The girls were wavering back and forth on being zombie punk rockers, or just punk rockers.) Another friend came along as well, then we met up with Ben and Deana at their house. Another family also met us there. So we had a nice group walking around the neighborhood Trick or Treating.


So, for the rest of the week, here is what I HOPE to finish:

Wed Nov 5 - 5 pgs DG; 6 pgs math; Science lesson 3; History intro to Lewis & Clark and lesson 1.

Thurs Nov 6 - 5 pgs DG; 6 pgs math; Science, finish lesson 3 or begin lesson 4; History Lewis & Clark finish lesson 1.

Fri Nov 7 - Co-op.

Then sometime in between there, I have to get my books packed up and ready for 2 vendor events this weekend. One in Hagerstown on Saturday, another on Sunday in Frederick.

And the kids are Uber thrilled to get to go to the Midnight Release for Gears of War 2. This comes out on Nov 7th. It is one of Jake's birthday presents, but I'll be nice and let him have it a bit early. (Even though part of me wants to make him wait until his birthday on the 26th to allow him to play it. Bwahahaha!!) So anyways, I told the kids we can go to this, they can play for an hour.. then they have to get to bed so we can get up for co-op in the am on Friday.


So I'll be beat by Sunday evening.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Another MeMe - Have you ever?

Have You Ever?

In the spirit of procrastination (articles due? piles of books to read? beds to make? laundry?):

Bold the things you’ve done and will admit to.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (on Rock Band at least)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62 Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounce a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Have you ever? Let me know if you join in, so I can read your answers.

From Paradise Found

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween MeMe

Halloween Meme

Anybody want to do a Halloween Meme??

Here are the questions:

Are you scared of bats?
No, not unless they are flying at me.

When you were a kid, did you go out on Mischief Night?
Umm once or twice.. lol

What is your favorite trick-or-treat candy?
Kit Kats & Almond Joys

Have you ever seen a ghost?
Seen? No. Heard/experience? Yes.

The most memorable costume you ever wore?
My plastic suit & mask that was supposed to make me look like Casper the friendly ghost. Ya know those costumes we used to have in the cardboard boxes with the clear plastic window that you could see the mask through?

Do you carve a happy or a scary face on the pumpkin?
Whatever the kids want. But this year we didn't carve anything. :(

Do you dress up on Halloween?
Not since I was about 14.

Any cooking or baking you do for Halloween?
Not specifically for Halloween, unless we have a bake sale or something.

Have you ever been to The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland or Disneyworld?
No.

Any element of the season you don’t like?
The fact that it is getting colder each year earlier.

What is your favorite scary movie?
Hmm.. don't really have a favorite.

Do you cook the pumpkin seeds from your carved jack-o-lanterns?
No.

Are you intrigued with vampires?
Not really.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekly schedule

Here's what the plan for the upcoming week looks like:

Mon Oct 27: 4pgs Daily Grams; 3pgs Math; Begin Lewis and Clark (didn't get this started last week) - intro and lesson 1; Science - begin lesson 3: Vocab, discuss Roger Bacon, read ch. 3.

Tues Oct 28: 4pgs Daily Grams; 3pgs Math; Lewis and Clark intro and lesson 1 (finish anything leftover from day before); Science - lesson 3 Quest Sheets: Read-Record-Share (pg 6); Tidal Time (pg 7).

Wed Oct 29: 4pgs Daily Grams; 3pgs Math; Lewis and Clark intro and lesson 1 (finish anything leftover from day before); Science - lesson 4 Vocab, discuss Anaxagoras, read ch 4 and Quest Sheet (pg 11).

Thur Oct 30: 2 pgs Daily Grams; 2 pgs math.

Fri Oct 31: 4pgs Daily Grams; 3pgs Math; Science - lesson 4 Read ch 5 and Quest Sheets (pgs 12-15).

Plus we have Trick-or-Treat on Thursday night. AND we still have to do some running to find more items for the kids' costumes. AND I need to get to the store to get Jake a new pair of shoes.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pay It Forward!

The delightful Damama is participating in a pay it forward plan. I signed up and now I am paying it forward. Let the fun begin!
Here are the rules: The exchange focuses on doing an act of kindness without expecting anything in return other than that the recipient will, in their turn, pass the kindness along and pay it forward in their own way. This is how it works... I am going to agree to send something fun, inspiring or uplifting to the first 3 blog owners who post a comment on this entry (please leave your email address if I don't all ready have it.).

In turn you will then post about this on your blog, link to me, then send something to the first three people who sign up to play along through your blog. There are no cost restraints, but don't go crazy! The little something you send can be something you made, bought, were given or found. No biggie, just a gift that will make the person smile. Maybe something unique from where you live? And remember that kindness don't have to involve money; there are untold ways to help others every single day, everywhere you go - just look around."

I signed up at Spookiez Spot and will be sending a small gift out to the next three people who sign up and post their own pay it forward :) Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you and a link to your Pay It Forward post!

Friday, October 24, 2008

This week went by quickly

Even though we didn't do too much (outside of the house), but it just seems like it went fast. We did get a good bit of work done this week though.

Both kids have finished up the first Key to Decimals book. They'll start #2 next week. They've been breezing through the Daily Grams nicely. They want to finish these up so they don't have to work in this book the rest of the year (well for half of it anyways, since they only have the last half of the book to do). But at the pace they are going, they'll be finished about the middle of Nov. We started our Explorers/Lewis & Clark study this week. We read up on some of the explorers in the Americas and did a worksheet on Columbus regarding facts & myths.

And then we started with our Science program. So far I am really liking it. We're using Joy Hakim's Story of Science Aristotle Leads the Way and the Teacher & Student Quest guides. We've read through the first 2 chapters of the book and did the first 2 lessons. The kids are really asking a lot of questions and paying attention. They do like science, so I am hoping this will keep them interested.

We also had another Earth Scouts meeting this week. I was reading on another blog about a group that went on a lantern walk to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, and I really liked the idea. So we used recycled jars to make out lanterns and we'll be planning a lantern walk soon. The kids really had a fun time of pasting tissue paper on the jars, and they all turned out very nice.

I was told about about called Runemarks by Joanne Harris that sounded good. So I picked it up from the library and then downloaded the audio book from our library as well. We read through the first "book" and my kids really did not like it. They complained every time I would tell them we'd be listening. So I'll just take that back to the library. We're going to start reading George's Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy and Stephen Hawking. Hopefully they'll enjoy this more. If not then too damn bad. LOL

Not too much going on next week aside from a Halloween party and of course Trick-or-Treat night. We need to get to the store this weekend and pick up a few items.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekly schedule

Here's what we have planned for this week:

Mon Oct 20th: 4 lessons Daily Grams; 4 pgs math; Science - (We didn't get started last week on this) Unit 1 Lesson 1 & 2:Preview & Introduction - Start timeline; discuss Epictetus; discuss what B.C. and A.D. mean & why this system may cause problems; discuss C.E and B.C.E.; Vocab; Begin reading ch. 1 & 2; History: Read Explorers books; Internet Scavenger hunt - Columbus The Myth Behind the Man; Reading - begin Runemarks.

Tues Oct 21: 4 lessons Daily Grams; 4 pgs math; Earth Scouts Meeting; Read Runemarks

Wed Oct 22: 4 lessons Daily Grams; 4 pgs math; Science - Continue reading; History - Internet Scavenger hunts ( Louisiana Purchase and Lewis & Clark); Read Runemarks.

Thurs Oct 23: 4 lessons Daily Grams; 4 pgs math; Science - using vocab in workbook, find places on map in textbook; Compare Myths and Science chart; Discuss Persephone; Read Runemarks.

Fri Oct 24: 4 lessons Daily Grams; 4 pgs math; Watch Planet Earth DVD; Read Runemarks.

Week in review (I really need to come up with better titles)

We had a good week. Lots of activities. Lots of running. Glad its over. :)

Monday was a party for a HSing friends daughter, Kate. She just turned 9, but adores Amanda and another older girl from our group, Rachel. So of course, they were invited. hehe The kids had a great time, even Jake who didn't want to go thinking no boys would be there. They had popcorn, and veggies & dip, and apples, cheese, lots of drinks, and then cake. The girls all had fun playing with beads, tattoos, and colored hair spray.

Tuesday was food co-op pickup day. My mom and I rand to Target to get photos Amanda needed printed for photography class. then I ended up getting at co-op early, so was able to help unload and sort things when the truck arrived. I had only gotten 3 items, and was to get produce as well.. but that truck was late as well and had to get it later. As to the photos, if you didn't know it yet.. on Flickr, you have pictures sent to Target from your account and printed for just 20 cents per 4x6 photo! Amanda's turned out really good. So we spent Tuesday evening putting them in a little photo/scrapbook album she had gotten for her birthday.

Wednesday was photography class. But Amanda woke up feeling bad, she was complaining of a bad headache. So she didn't go. Then later in the day she told me she didn't really want to go back because she doesn't care for the guy teaching. She just gets an uncomfortable feeling about him. She's only "met" him once, but I don't want to not listen to her feelings about people. So, I need to get a post sent to our group that she'll be dropping this class. I am planning on doing something else, I guess starting our own group.

Thursday, we got to stay home finally. But had to do some cleaning as the kids had a friend coming over. He comes every Thursday before co-op. He says this is going to be the day he always comes. LOL

Friday was of course co-op day. It went well. First class, Wizardology, we did some reading. Some of the boys needed to finish their wands. They all were to write spells in Haiku form. So they were shared. Jake made a spell to cook scrambled eggs. Luke did a cleaning spell. Jayme did an attack spell that could also be used to feed yourself (along with wand movements), and Zach made a spell to transform a human into an animal. The spells were quite funny. Kitchen Chemistry we did a thinking experiment from this Blog: Think! We did the Apple one from week 4. The kids had fun. Friday night was Mom's Night Out. 8 of us mom met at Tara's home for an evening of good food and conversation. it was a nice evening. But you can tell all of us were worn out from the summer.. by 9:30 we were all yawning I think. LOL I got home a little before 10:30. At the beginning of summer, we all went to Jessica's and stayed until after 1am! So that's how much the summer has worn us all out. ;)

Saturday we took off early and went to Philly for the day. We wanted to see the Pirates exhibit before it ends on Nov. 2nd. It was ok, not as good as the Star Wars for sure. And I was bit upset because we weren't allowed to take any photos. But we had a nice time regardless. Bore going into the Pirates we walked around the Franklin a bit. My kids have been all through the place, but Amanda's friend Phoebe hadn't. So we went into the Heart area. Jake walked up to the guy doing the heart demo and asked if he could touch the brain he had out. LOL Of course he said go for it, so Jake did. Eeew! Then he was telling Jake more about the brain. I learned some things, such as different parts of your brain store different types of words. Nouns in one section, verbs in another, etc. I truly never knew that. Then he had Jake do an experiment. He put on these goggles that were a bit funky, they were kind of like swirls on the lens instead of clear. So he had Jake touch his nose, then a penny, over and over until he could do it fairly quickly without missing. Then he started moving it until he could do the same. Then while touching nose then penny, back and forth, he told him to remove the goggles. He of coursed then missed the penny. LOL It was cool how your brain would adjust to the different situation of looking through unclear glasses, then having to adjust again once you can see normally again. He had fun.

So today, we are just relaxing. Plus it's my birthday, and I don't feel like doing much at all. But of course, I say this right at supper time and everyone is going to whine about food. *sigh* But in was a good week. We finished up most of our work for the week. I'll post in a few what we have up for this week. I need to get some of the pictures from yesterday as well and upload.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Plans for the upcoming week

I like to blog about what I have planned for each week. Then when I go back at the end of the week and blog about what we did, I can compare the 2. This way I have a better idea if I am planning too much or little. So anyways..

Mon Oct 13 - 4pgs Word Roots; 3pgs Key To Percents; Afternoon birthday party; Read Explorers book.

Tues Oct 14 - 4pgs Word Roots; 3pgs Key To Percents; Start Lewis & Clark unit study (continue throughout week until first lesson is finished); Food co-op pick-up & other errands.

Wed Oct 15 - 4pgs Word Roots (book is finished); 3pgs Key To Percents; Photography class; Science reading.

Thurs Oct 16 - 4pgs Daily Grams; 3 pgs Key To Percents; Science activities.

Fri Oct 17 - All Day Co-op; MNO

Sat Oct 18 - Day trip to Philly

So we'll see how well it goes. We normally do not do much running, hehe.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Week in review

This week seemed to go fast! I guess 'cause we kept pretty busy with school things. I am proud of us, because we did our week EVERY single day. :) I'm a slacker at times, so this is a big deal for me.

The kids really do not enjoy Grammar/English/Language Arts (whatever you wanna call it), and I just want to be sure they know something. So they don't have a lot to do this year. Just a book (maybe more later in the school year) of Word Roots and the last half of the Daily Grams Jr/Sr. So since they hate it so much, we do lots of extras each day just so they finish it early. By Wed next week, they'll be finished the Word Roots books. they did 4 pages a day. Then we'll start the Daily Grams. And these literally take less than 5 minutes per day/lesson, so they do another 4 pages of these a day. So that should be finished off by mid Nov. They are happy knowing that they'll be done then with that stuff. And for L. Arts then, we'll just be doing lots of book reading (with some study guides now and then).

And hopefully if they continue with at least 3 lessons/pages per day of the Key To math books, they'll be finished with the Percents books by the end of Nov. as well. then after the Holidays we start with MUS Pre-Algebra.

Amanda missed photography class this week, since she wasn't feeling good. But aside from that, we had no outings planned. So it was a nice calm week. :) Next week is going to be busy thought. Only 1 day we have no where to be. *sigh*

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Phlour (flour), Philly & Photos

Phlour/Flour -- I guess when my kids were littler, I just didn't let them bake with me enough. (I will admit, I didn't bake with them often, because I am not always very patient.) But anyways, when we do bake.. I swear to dog my 15 yo turns into a damn 3 yo again. She can NOT scoop out flour without playing in it. And most times, she has to dust her face with it also. It'd be funnier if she was doing this while baking with someone else. hehe

We are planning a day trip to Philly on the 18th. I've been wanting to go see the Pirates exhibit before it ends in Nov. We basically go just for the special exhibits, which is why we are members. Saves us a bunch. Amanda is a tad upset that we aren't spending the night... but we just don't have the extra money now to do so. I do plan to stay over sometime soon hopefully because we want to visit the Adventure Aquarium in NJ as well. But for now, just a day trip. I think Amanda is inviting a friend along.

And lastly Photos... I am such a slacker when it comes to taking pictures. I always forget when we do cool projects to snap pictures. At co-op I am always so busy teaching, I never get shots of the kids doing their kitchen chemistry experiments. I don't EVER have the camera on me while out and about when something really fucking awesome happens. I need to remind myself to always keep the camera with me. *sigh* And I never get really cool, candid shots of my kids. (Same as mentioned a second ago.. never have the camera at the right times.) Oh well, what can ya do? Bitch about it then move on right. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I've come back...

I think. The other site I was blogging at doesn't seem very active anymore. So I figured I'd just come back over here. I can edit my blogger page easier. Plus the oldest brat can help me over here, I think.

And blogger feels more "grown-up" kinda. Sometimes on other sites I don't feel like I can say what I really want to, because I don't want to offend anyone. I know, they were my personal blog spaces, but I still felt like that. And I don't want to. I want a place where I feel as comfortable as I do in my own home. So in blogger-land, I am pretty much an unknown.. so I can do and say whatever the hell I want. :) Plus I want a space that, for me, is secular.

So anyways, whatever.. I am just talking to myself again. So for now, I shall be here. Right here. On Blogger.
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