Tuesday, February 28, 2006

On the reading list

Image hosting by Photobucket Write Right!

This book is compact, classic and thorough. A must have for every desk or bookshelf.

Image hosting by Photobucket Miss Alaineus (A Vocabulary Disaster)

What a fun and educational picture book! It is filled with vocabulary, wit and whimsical artwork.

Image hosting by Photobucket The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza)

A fun twist on an old classic.

Image hosting by Photobucket Staight Talk: Overcoming Emotional Battles

This is the first book by Ms. Meyers I have read. I appreciate her "straight talk," which is grounded in the Word. She covers topics such as stress, worry and fear.

Image hosting by Photobucket Connecting with Your Kids

A book with helpful advice for fast paced families.

:: sigh ::

My life is dull. I am not smart. See?

"One of the things I've done working on my book is to read a lot of the diaries online, and their description of their lives does not sound particularly interesting or fulfilling for a complicated person, for a complicated, educated person."

If you would like to read the whole article, you may visit this link - ABC News .
'Course, you have to be 'edumacated, fonny, talinted and brite' to understand her thought process.

Me?
I'm just simple folk, trying to raise a bucket of youngins. (ugh, that hurt to type)

Seriously, this culture of "you" against "me" when it comes to motherhood is doing serious harm. I wish it would stop.

Enough!

A school in California is implenting a new 'tracking' device(click to read) for students.
I understand the need for attendance and safety, but to use the same technology that ranchers use on cattle speaks of "big brother' to the hilt.

The way I see it -- this is one more step for the government. I wish more parents would stand up and say, "Stop. You do not own my children!"

Mark my words. If something isn't done soon -- parents will be kissing their sweet toddler on the head and sending them off to 'mandatory' classrooms.

It is already starting in some places. South Carolina has a bill in motion right now asking for the compulsory attendance age to be lowered to four. Four!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sharing some happiness

Trust me. You need to see/hear this incredible blessing.

Giggling Goodness <~~click and smile
Babies are such a wonderful way to start people!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Food for my soul

Spunky Homeschool has written a terrific piece for homeschool families!

The Ten Commandments for Homeschooling Moms
1. I am the Lord your God, Thou shall have no other curriculum before Me. Every homeschooler wants to find the perfect curriculum. God's word is the best one around. Best of all most of us already own it.

To view #2-10, please visit
She will bless your socks off!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

On a roll!

What is Kim reading these days?
Blogs. Lots and lots of blogs!

To see my faves - look to the right and you should see a long list of links (you may have to scroll a bit). There is something for everyone.

In other news, tomorrow is the City Championships for our gymnast.
Please pray for safety and fun. I will post scores asap.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Prairie Primer

I had a few moms email me about the unit study I am teaching for co-op. I am using The Prairie Primer by Margie Gray. What a fantastic resource! I taught Little House in the Big Woods two months ago with great success.
A few of my favorite memories from that class:
sugaring fieldtrip
making butter
forming corncob dolls
owl pellets

Our first class today for Little House on the Prairie went super well. The kids learned about Conestoga Wagons, mustangs and tasted unsulphured molasses -- which was greeted with hilarious faces! Next week will bring new adventure.

The Prairie Primer by Margie Gray Image hosting by Photobucket

A literature based unit study for grades 3-6 that uses the “Little House” series.
With this curriculum your student will:
Learn 1800’s American History
Do Pioneer crafts, cooking, and music,
Explore science and nature studies,
Improve writing,
Apply Scripture and increase character,
Discover health and nutrition practices,
Increase reading comprehension

For the next session, I plan on teaching from Plum Creek.

It's going to be one of *those days

It is Thursday - therefore, it is chaos city. For the most part, it is a great day, filled with challenges, friendship and activity -- but getting out of bed with a smile on this day is not always easy (unless you are rambunctious 4 year old twins!)

A short (or maybe not) outline for the day:

6:30 Mom up and on the treadmill
7:00 Mom in shower, dad feeds the boys breakfast
7:20 Mom downstairs - dad off to work
7:30 Boys watch Dora - mom does Bible devotion
8:00 Girls awake, dressed and breakfast
8:45 Morning chores started and lunch packed for day
9:30 Bible reading for kids
10 Leave for the day -- heading to homeschool gym

Sidenote about homeschool gym. This is a cooperative of families in the area. We meet at a large church with a modern gym facility and plenty of room. The group started 9 years ago with 12 families (36 children). To date, we average 168 children each Thursday morning.
We have a nursery, preschool, K-3, 4-7 and 8-12 sport/activity for each group. The young children have rooms filled to the brim with fun toys to promote activity and learning.
The older groups do everything from jump rope competitions to lacrosse out on the field. It has been a wonderful experience for our family. The support formed out of this group is simply amazing. I would be lost without them. Class runs from 10:15-12.

We eat lunch from 12-12:45 and go into Learning 4 Life Co-Op. We meet each Thursday afternoon in the same facility. This is our first year. I head it up with two other ladies.
We average about 68 students per week, with 9 different classes offered.
Today is the start of a new session (each session is 4 weeks).
Our classes this time around are:

5-7 year olds:
Arts/crafts
Unit study on heroes of the Bible
Cooking

8-10 year olds:
Unit Study on Little House in the Prairie (I am teaching this class)
Art
Cooking

11-13 year olds:
How to write the 'perfect' report
Art History
Drama

13-18 year olds:
Physical Science
Driver's Ed (open to 15 and up only)
Cooking (complete with preparing lunch for moms on last class day)

There are different classes each session. It has been a tremendous success. It allows the mothers to share their talents and help one another with the teaching load. We even have some of the dad's teach from time to time.

We will leave the church at 3:30 and head home. A long day, especially for the boys.
Once home, we will have reading and journal writing. Very basic school day.

The hub-man has school tonight, so he doesn't get home until 10:30 or so --- which means we are on our own for dinner.

:::: whimper :::: I'm tired already and it isn't even 9 in the morning. Know what my devotion was on this morning?

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them."
Matthew 19:14

Lord, I want to thank You for every moment I get to spend with my children. Help me to treasure this time, always.
Amen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Patience

"Clothe yourself with.....patience." Colossians 3:12*
That is what my devotion said this morning. My Heavenly Father knows me so well. He knew what I needed, long before I knew myself. He is so cool that way!
I admit it. My patience levels are not always at a stellar point. I allow words to escape my mouth in a fit of frustation. I yell when it would be just as easy to whisper. I make the choice to feel frustration instead seeking the solution.
I joke with my girlfriends when we talk about this subject, "Never pray for patience."
We all laugh, knowing the outcome of such prayers. See, God doesn't just fill our patience tank to the brim when we mutter the "Please God. Give me patience."
No. He sends lessons in patience. We must learn from reality and consequences. It makes us better disciples.

For instance, I can remember 3 distinct times in my adult life that I prayed for patience.
My answer to prayer?
1. Four daughters
2 Twin sons
3. Homeschooling
Bam! I will either learn with grace or drown in a puddle of tears. Sometimes I gracefully cry! Ha. Talent.
This is my prayer for today.
"Father, please fill me with Your wisdom so that I can impart it to my children."
Amen.
*The full scripture for Colos. 3:12 is quite wonderful.
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Monday, February 20, 2006

The city can thank us now

Image hosting by Photobucket

It should be known that our family helped fund the new library in town. No. Not by charitable giving (though that would be nice) but by late book fees.

Oh my goodness. ::: hanging my head in shame :::
A few dollars here and there happens from time to time. However, something happened over the holidays that screwed up my system. What a mess.

I just paid our hefty fines (no, I won't share how much) with a red face. The librarian was so sweet. She says it happens all the time -- especially with homeschool families. :: gulp ::

So, anyway -- if you are ever in the area and visit one of our fine libraries -- you can thank us for our support. I *know we purchased several of the books you may be checking out.

Friday, February 17, 2006

T.G.I.F

We are ready for the weekend! Bring it on!

I just got over the flu. That was horrible. Aches, fever, nausea - general crumminess.

Add to that the horrible weather we had over the last 36 hours -- and we are joyful for the shining sun today. You know you live in Indiana when:

1. In the upper screen of the TV it says "High wind warning" - "Flood warning" - "Flood watch" - "Tornado warning" Fun times for everyone!

2. A television show is interrupted with a "Breaking News Alert" -- and we are taken down to IU in Bloomington to hear about the resigning Bball coach and the future of the men's team.

On to some cute pics! This is Baxter, the hound dog. He has a rough life, no?

Image hosting by Photobucket


This is C, J and G. Notice the missing toofers on Miss G? I'm surprised I got her to smile for this photo. One day she will realize how cute she looks right now!
Image hosting by Photobucket

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The ultimate love

Image hosting by Photobucket
John 3:16



Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

Monday, February 13, 2006

Simplicity at it's finest

Summer in the dead of winter.

Our lunch (with cottage cheese or yogurt) today.
Image hosting by Photobucket

Sunday, February 12, 2006

:: nodding head :::

Yeh. I get it.

Image hosting by Photobucket

I "get" this one too. I really "got" it on Friday, when one Miss G came running down the stairs...face covered in blood. Seems her and Master J were dancing and his big ol' head slammed into her delicate mouth. She is now missing her two front teeth (one was already gone and the one that was bumped out, was already wiggly).
Seeing how I am the mother to 6 kids -- nothing much shocks me. This shocked me. Who knew the gum and lip could spew *that much? Eh. So, yeah...this....

Image hosting by Photobucket

Friday, February 10, 2006

Go Team USA!

Image hosting by Photobucket

The Olmpics begin tonight on NBC! Good times! The girls have been studying Italy for the past 2 weeks, so they are excited to see the area and athletes.

Watching the Olympics should be interesting. Not only are they exciting, but with time zones and delays -- it is going to be hard to ignore 'spoilers'. They will be everywhere! I hear you can watch a Canadian station for 'live' coverage...but I don't think we have that option with our cable package.

Fun way to celebrate my birthday, no? (eh, I'm 29 again....plus 7)

Blessings.
K.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Valentine Cards

Hey, two entries in one day. Go me!

I took the kids to Target after lessons today. We have a Valentine party at co-op this Thursday, complete with music, crafts, cookies and card exchange. There are about 125 kids there -- so it is a major "to do" each year!

Have you shopped for Valentine cards lately? Big changes. First, the little flimsy white envelopes are gone. You close the cards with a sticker. Less waste - makes sense.
Image hosting by Photobucket

Remember when we would make bags or boxes for our cards? We would attach them to our desk and wait for all of the cards and goodies to make a dent in our art work. Fun times. Look at this genius marketing ploy? The cards are inside the box. The box has a slit and handle -- perfect for receiving your "love notes" from others. Very cute!
Image hosting by Photobucket

Paige - Strawberry Shortcake

Gracey - Princess

Sarah - Groovey Monkey

Caleb - Elmo

Jacob - Cookie Monster

Em - not shown. She is going to make a few cards for her closest friends. She is too "cool" for "baby" cards.

Stepping stones and gold stars

Image hosting by Photobucket

So, I grew up in a home where I was told (many times) that "I had a math block. It wasn't my fault. I just couldn't work with numbers. It happens to a lot of people, especially girls."

Yeh. I heard that, a lot.

In my mom's defense...so truly believed what she was telling me. She believed it about her own abilities and in her mind, she was helping me. If I thought I couldn't do it for "real" reasons, I wouldn't get so frustrated.

Needless to say, math was a constant source of anxiety in my high school years. I feel behind in 8th grade and never recovered. As you know, math is all about stepping stones. If you skip a few stones, the whole thing crumbles.

Enter homeschooling. When we decided to go down this path - the thought of math scared me. How was I going to teach math? Me?

Thankfully, Jeff had confidence in my abilities. I set out to re-learn everything I missed the first time around. What an eye opener!! It all makes sense now. Maybe it is maturity or desire, but I simply do not remember the concepts being taught in such a concise manner during my school years. Of course, if I were to be honest, I wasn't giving it my full attention either. Why should I? I had a legitimate problem with math. My mind "couldn't" grasp number concepts. It wasn't my fault. Remember? Urg.

Those words will never escape my mouth again! My children know better than to even utter such things. They can (and will) succeed in all areas of learning. Heck, they already are!

The picture you see is a tiny portion of math books used over the past 18 months. Em was working on her Algebra 1/2 when I took the picture, so her book is missing. Yeh. That's right...I am helping my daughter with Pre-Algebra. Where is my gold star?

:: smile ::

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cookies and Gymnastic scores

Image hosting by Photobucket

The boys and I stayed home from church this morning. I woke up with a terrible headache (great way to start the day, don't you think?) and the boys are dealing with their allergies.


I assisted the boys with some cookie making. If you like chocolate chip, give this recipe a try!


The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
from: Kim's Kitchen

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco**
3 eggs
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 cup semi-sweet chips
1 cup milk choc chips
Mix the first 4 ingredients in mixer until well blended. In separate bowl, mix next 5 ingredients and add (slowly) to the wet ingredients. With spatula or spoon, stir in chips.
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 9-11 minutes. Allow to cool on rack before placing in container.
**I don't normally use products like Crisco due to health concerns, but I've tried butter as a substitute and it just doesn't work as well.
-------------------
The scores from yesterday:
Beam 9.4
Floor 9.2
Vault 8.9
Bars 7.1
(She slipped off the bars during a flip...scared the life out of me! She is fine)
She placed first in beam, vault and floor. She came in second for overall.
Next competition is 2/26 - City Championships

A word box

Isn't this a cool thing? It is from this site Snap. You enter your blog addy and the system takes prevelant words from your writings and makes a "word box."
You can have a t-shirt made, but I was just happy to see the finished product.
I am pleased with the prevelance of family, God, kind adjectives and home.

To give credit where credit is due - I must say "Thank you" to, Sue -- my Buffalo buddy!


Image hosting by Photobucket

Friday, February 03, 2006

It finally happened!

I became the mom to a teenager! Our baby girl is 13 today. Isn't she gorgeous?! This is her last month in her volleyball gear.

Image hosting by Photobucket

Image hosting by Photobucket
Looking back, I have learned so much while parenting Em. She is such a blessing to our family. She adds laughter, debate (!), energy and compassion to our lives. She also loves the Lord with a pure and willing heart. I pray this year is filled with adventure, learning, friendship and plenty of hugs.

Happy Birthday, Emily. We love you so very much. Rock on, girl!





Thursday, February 02, 2006

I sneak around my house....

... and eavesdrop on my children. It is quite enlightening at times; downright funny most of the time!

What I just heard (while they were upstairs getting jammies on):

Jake: I want ice cream for dessert.
Sarah: That would be good.
Gracey: Oh. We have chocolate in the garage freezer. I saw mom toss it in there they other day. It's the "good" ice cream too!
Caleb: ::: manic screams as he gets stuck in his pj top :::
Paige: Is mom ready for us to have dessert? You know how she doesn't like us asking over and over.
Emily: :: grumble :: I just helped with the dishes. She should be ready.
Sarah: I want a cone, not a bowl.
Jake: I am going to ask her.
Paige: Okay. Tell her we all want some, okay?
Jake: I am going to say, "Mom, we want ice cream. Look at my darling face. See my smile?"
Girls: ::: bust gutting laughter ::::
Caleb: I really *need ice cream

Me? I hightail it away from the door, trying to stifle my giggles. You had to hear Jake's voice when he said the last part. Hilarious. He was laying it on thick.

I have happy kids right now. They are playing Mrs PacMan - chowing on ice cream.
(Hub-Man is at school......wishing he were here).

K.

11 hours and 38 minutes until...

Image hosting by Photobucket
That's right. Survivor starts tonight! Wahoo!
For those looking for some inside news about this season of Survivor, try Survivor Scoop.
Take special note of the ages in the "older women" camp. I wonder - should I laugh or cry?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

State of the Union

Did you watch the State of the Union address last night? We did. We watch every address given by the President, regardless of who holds the title. I think it is our civic responsibility. The older girls watched as well, which opened dialogue on a few topics. Always a plus!

I think it was a fine speech. He was brave and tackled several topics - line veto, immigration, border, terrorism, healthcare and education. That is a lot for 51 minutes.
I loved how he stared *right into the screen when speaking about Hamas (Palestine) and Iran.
He was making more than a speech at that point -- he was drawing the proverbial line in the sand.

On a side note, did you know that the US and other world leading countries donate millions and millions of dollars to Palestine annually? It is for re-building and Gaza Strip well being.
Now that Hamas is in control, a well known terrorist group, that money needs to cease.
No money to terrorists. None. Put those funds into our economy, schools and military.

I have to say, watching all of the "stand up, sit down" business reminded me of my early years in the Catholic church, sans the clapping of course. The whole room division was sad. Frustrating too! I know this type of thing has been around since the beginning, but it seems to have turned into a sporting activity. I was actually ashamed of some of my fellow Americans last night. The blatant disrespect was so obvious and childlike.

One of my favorite quotes from Mr. Bush last night was :
"Second guessing is not a strategy."

There was one area that I disagreed adamantly with the President. That would the No Child Left Behind Act.
I applaud the idea -- but it was flawed from the beginning. In my opinion, President Bush was caught between a rock and a hard place. If he said, "No" to this plan -- he would have been known as the leader who dismissed education. He said, "Yes" and he is blamed for the failure of the program. Tough spot.

So many people think more money is the answer. I disagree with that as well. Yes, supplies are necessary in the classroom and it is horrible that teachers are left empty handed, which in turn leaves the children without. That needs to be fixed. However, throwing more money at our current system won't magically repair it. They need to get back to the foundation and start building again. Our children are falling behind more and more with each passing year.
And no, I don't think it is all the "system" at fault. I think the parents need to share the responsibility. Until parents get it together and urge their child toward success....things won't improve.

*When I say system...I mean the whole government education system...not teachers. Teachers are doing the best they can with the circumstance they face.

Whew. Where did that come from? :: grin ::

Have a great one!
K.