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


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 - 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

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