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. :)

- 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.
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