Showing posts with label Family Updates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Updates. Show all posts

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December goings on, last post for 2015

With Christmas just around the corner, I am trying to get everything organized and ready for the holiday celebrations.  Thankfully, we all have a much better attitude toward December, even though a year ago we entered the dark days of my brother's decline-which means we are just beginning the "anniversary" of those terrible weeks.

We are determined to make it a lovely holiday season and to enjoy the goings on without too much sadness.  Frankly, it's a big relief to know we are almost done with this year. Sadly, after the new year arrives-we will have to journey through the one year mark of that dark day of my brother's passing.  I don't expect any of us to get through that very well.  But thankfully time does heal a bit, soothing over the rawness of losing a loved one.  The Lord has been holding us up in His love and we have become a lot stronger.

That said, we also have lots to be thankful for this year and we will focus on those things. Thought I would share, especially since I want folks to know that even though you may be walking through a terrible valley you can still have much to be grateful for. I have purposely sought out those 'good things' this year. And boy has it been a year!

Thankful for:
(these are but a few of the good things)

*My mother-in-law recovering nicely from her fall last November [2014].  It's been a long road for her but she is doing much, much better. (This happened just before we went to Portugal, and the care/healing process was also during the time we were dealing with my brother)

*My husband's early diagnosis of skin caner and subsequent removal of it.  Since it was caught in the very early stage, it was removed completely.  He was given the all clear.  All of his other biopsies hence have come back benign as well-so a mega PRAISE GOD moment there. (Again-this too was during that same time.  Actually got the diagnosis during the holidays. Yes, talk about a triple whammy)

*The end of the season. Our youngest was on a cruddy baseball team this year, and the weather did not cooperate all season long! It made it hard to want to go to the games. But he played well and improved his skills and I guess we'll consider that a big win.  Actually, we were all relieved when it ended.  That was a very happy day.

*Our oldest son purchasing his first home.  It was a big step into adulthood for sure.  He also switched to a different company/job and is now up for a nice promotion.  So obviously, we are very proud of him.  And to think-he was homeschooled from K-12th.  Huh. Guess we didn't mess him up too badly. He certainly seems to be able to function in the 'real world',  far better than the dire predictions we heard over the years.  Yes, I am being a bit snarky there.  If I had a dime every time I heard that one.....

*Both of our older kiddos entering serious relationships with two very wonderful people. My mom intuition thinks these relationships may actually lead to marriage somewhere down the road here.  We'll see how things work out but that is definitely a great thing to ponder.

*A 'Tag-a-long' work trip with my hubby that resulted in us being able to stay a beautiful cabin on a lovely lake in Wisconsin. That also resulted in our seeing a very handsome bald eagle whose residence was literally across the lake from us on a wee little island.  I mean that beauty actually put on a show for us. It was truly amazing!

*Getting the classroom ready, and curriculum mostly purchased prior to the beginning of school.  That has been a big challenge for me these past couple years. I was quite pleased with myself on that one.

*Getting a daily/weekly planner to try to organize our life and goings on.  I have been OKish with being consistent but need to be more diligent. That is why I started with a $10 one, but I really, really want an Inkwell Press planner.  Maybe next year after I have tested my ability to stick with it first.

*Finally getting the nerve to do some YouTube videos of our classroom, and various other things that I have long pondered filming.  I need to do more but it's just been kinda hectic, so that is my 2016 goal for sure. Baby steps here.
 My YouTube channel: 

*Positive results that at first were a bit sketchy.  After my initial lady check-up in September, I began a three month odyssey that was rather nerve racking and down right scary at times.  I ended up having some not so good results that lead to ultrasounds, tests and more tests, and even a biopsy. The "Let's rule out cancer." was mentioned here and there too.  Damn scary! Trying to ignore those "what if" thoughts while trying to keep the home running and educating the boy was a real challenge while we waited for the results.  I also had some bleeding issues (after the biopsy) which left me very exhausted, weak and probably anemic. Yah, it was that bad. Anyway-the thankful moment came when the uterine biopsy/mammogram results all came back negative for cancer or problems. Hallelujah! I may have to consider another procedure to alleviate some issues I still have but for now-I am not messing with it.

*Feeling strong enough now to plan and organize some Christmas activities. Such as:
House decor-check. Village set up-check. 
 Big cookie bake and frosting day-check.  
Xmas shopping-mega fail...working on it. 
Christmas cards written out and mailed-double fail, soon though.  

*Finding time to research/begin the Trim Healthy Mama plan. Talk about confusing at first.  But I have been trying to follow it.  I am what they call "a turtle" but I am determined to give it time.  It's hard. But I have had some good results and hope to see many more. And now I have a YouTube video up with two more coming relating to the THM plan!
Check them out! 

*Finally, finally getting a real Xmas tree.  For many years past there has been so much going on,  including but not limited to:  traveling out of the country too close to the holidays to warrant one, traveling in early to mid-December to arrive home only days prior to Christmas, illnesses, family issues, not being able to budget a spency real tree, not wanting to deal with the 'needle gate' that occurs with real trees, or just being grumps. Which if you ever have a year from hell, you can relate- it's very hard to be in the 'spirit' of it some times.  BUT this year-we have a gorgeous Douglas Fir that is like 9 feet tall (probably 10' in the stand) that makes the house smell wonderful and looks so pretty.

*Being blessed with a wonderful daughter who likes to decorate and do some of that for me esp. since I have been ill.  She also was the one who decorated the home for us while we were at the hospital with my family last year.  Her loving heart and willingness to create something beautiful has been such a huge blessing.  In fact, our boy has also really jumped in and helped too. His 6'1" frame makes decorating much easier! He has been a real trooper picking up slack while his dad is traveling.

*For a husband that is a great provider who works very hard, long days/weeks and still takes time to dedicate time to the kids/me/fam and the home.  I am also thankful he has made the effort to show our boy how to fix a few things things. Esp. since I have had to call on him (the boy) to repair broken stuff lately.  Like the garbage disposer.

*For our cookie decorating tradition that we have done since the kids were born.  Plus that fact that we had two extra 'kids' join us for this fun event.  This is one tradition I absolutely love-even though it requires many hours of baking a bunch of cookie varieties, including the dozens of sugar cookies that are rolled, cut, baked, then decorated. The results are hilarious, and the memories too precious to even describe.

*For my wonderful blog readers.  Thank you for visiting and your kind/encouraging words.

*For the Hope and Grace and Shelter only the Lord can provide.  So very glad I have Him as my Rock and my Provider.  No one else could have walked me through this year, lifting me up when I could barely stand, answering prayers and filling my broken heart with his Mercy and Love. So very thankful for that!

and lastly-

*Let's not forget Kitty leaving me a lovely little puke gift on my shoes one morn!  Yes, my cat truly loves me.  I think....

"Leave me 'lone!"  
 She loves the heat from the cable box.
Silly Cleo.

Well that is about all for 2015.  Have a Blessed Christmas, 
may the Lord be ever present in your lives 
and may the coming year be a good one!  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Where we're at, a long Fall update for you

Since we started the new school year, we have been trying to get into some sort of routine.  It hasn't worked too well.  There have been doctor/dentist appts. to go to, which are necessary but they are time suckers. I am sure you understand that conundrum. Then of course, just dealing with every day life has been a challenge at times.  I still struggle with grief.  It sneaks up in unexpected places/times and will knock me back a bit.  I also have brain fog from it, so deep concentration or planning is almost unattainable. I am keeping a schedule book-but that really isn't enough. Some days are better than others.  So being consistent and thorough hasn't been our strong suit. None the less, I am determined to meet our basic goals and to do my best.  I have to be kind to myself (all things considered) and pray for the Good Lord to walk me through this valley.

What we have accomplished: 

*We finished the Asian continent for our Geo studies.  Wow! That had a ton of countries to cover and yes, we covered them all.

*We started Africa. I have set up a basic layout to follow to get it completed by the end of February. Well that's the plan anyway.

*We only have a few weeks left of the SL 5 program. I actually mentioned it in another post, but the basic 411 is that I have been saving the final weeks for when we started the African continent, because they cover it.  I also have a few extra books I found (via the library) to add to it over the 14 weeks it's going to take to complete Africa. Finishing the SL 5 series equates to us reading just about every book in that program!  And there are a lot of em!  The only ones we didn't read were the ones we have already covered, or are ones I want to read later.  So that alone is huge.

*We finally started the Route 66 Bible program. We had to wait until my hubby was able to resurrect my old 'puter that has a CD drive, which we need for the teacher's guide.  I will update you on that after we have used it for a bit.

I have a little snapper turtle from one of our Safari Toobs-
so we pulled it out and moved her along the map as we went.

*We completed our final book/map of Minn of the Mississippi, from Beautiful Feet Books Geography-A Literature Approach.

All four maps are now complete and on display in our classroom!

Some changes and improvements to our curriculum:

*The notebooking pages for geography were proving to be too time consuming and too ink "needy". So I went on the hunt and found a new notebook page that has the main info we need without being so intense.  I only had to add the capital of the country to list on the blank lines at the bottom. 

You can find it here at The Notebooking Fairy.

Image 1*After the rebirth of our old computer-I found the All-About-Homophones worksheets I have wanted my son to go through but couldn't for the past few years due to the demise of the ole thing. Yeah! So I printed off 3rd grade to about 5th so far. It goes to eighth grade, but frankly-any age is OK to work on it.  I have seen many adults make homophone errors.  So it doesn't hurt to have him go through them as a quick review [like 5-10 minutes a day] as well as introduce some I simply haven't covered. Whoops. I love All About Learning Press' products (they make the All About Spelling and Reading programs) and this beauty of a supplement is a great refresher to cover these words.

Ancient Achievements*I love reading other homeschooler's blogs and watching a variety of YouTube channels.  I was on Erica Arndt's channel watching her 7th grade curriculum video where she mentioned this nifty program-Spelling You See.  I explored the site, but currently don't have the funding to make a purchase. What I have done is downloaded the free level samplers I thought best met my son's skills and tried it out.  I like it. He doesn't seem too terribly annoyed by it either-which is a great bonus. Currently,  I'm having him color highlight the different parts on the copy work paragraphs in his Learning Language Arts through Literature workbook.  I make a couple extra copies of it beforehand and have him work through the week on it. If I see him improving his spelling by this method, I will find a way to get a workbook, but for now I am "testing" the waters here to see if it suits his learning style.

Total "shoulda, woulda, coulda" moments:

*Should have already done an artist (Monet).  Epic fail.  Goal:  week of Nov 16, start it.

*Would have loved to have ordered the download for Saxon Math Algebra 1/2.  Hasn't happened yet. We have been slammed with many unexpected misc. and medical bills.  So I have temporarily switched to Life of Fred Pre-Algebra in conjunction with doing the last few chapter of our previous Saxon book for review.  

*Could have been more diligent with daily schedules, which would have meant accomplishing more.  I tend to beat myself up over this.  But then again-seeing how much our family has been through this year and what we are still going through, I guess I am shocked at all we have accomplished. Seriously.  

I know there are more things I can add to this category-like winterizing, deep cleaning and various other things that simply have been chucked aside for now.  It is what it is.  I'm OK with that.  

And there you have it.  A very long post with snippets of our life of late.  I wanted to catch you up and let you know-we're here, we're chugging along and we're making due.  Sometimes, that is all one can do.                                    
A little "keeping it real" pic here.  This is our coffee table in the family room,  There are books/teacher's guides and more piled up next to the chair by the couch too. Oh, and I couldn't bare to take a pic of the classroom tables.  Those puppies are a disaster.  So know that this is the normal look for us during the week.  As long as the cat doesn't decide to chew on any of it-it's all good. :)

**FYI:  I borrowed product pics from the listed sites so you could get a visual on the product I described.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Reader Feedback

I have a question for ya...well several....

Please leave a comment with your thoughts.  I am looking to do a few different types of posts/videos.

My questions:

1)  I wanted to post about how I organize my shopping lists/pull coupons and put it all together to save at the grocery stores.  Interested?  Boring?  Obviously, I understand no one needs to do it 'my' way but wonder if you all are wondering how I do it.....

2)  Interested in seeing a typical grocery haul of ours?  I could do a post and/or video.  I actually scout through YouTube to see what others buy/how they do it/what it costs....esp. since I am unable to shop a variety of stores in a variety of different states.  I mean I do shop a few stores here, but it is fun to see what others can buy at different stores and what their costs are.
Research people.  That is what I call it. 
Anyway-the biggest concern I have is that there are 'weirdos' who troll such videos and just rip the receipts out of the person on what they spend, and what they buy-esp if it is not all organic or super healthy.  I do not want to have to deal with that.  I mean I will write an entire post on those thoughts but my goal would be to show how we saved to get what I bought and hopefully, it will spur others on to try some of the saving methods.  I still need to really pray over that-but if I see others are interested, I may just give it a whirl.  Thoughts?

3) If any of my readers have done a video like that-please comment on it in your response.  I am really on the edge of not putting myself/fam out there like that b/cuz too many feel they can just be vile on said subject. I mean frankly here-what works for me or you or Joe Schmoe is not going to work for the next dude. Its's called grace-sadly, too many have missed the memo. Not sure if I wanna swim in that shark infested pool-unless there is a real interest from folks who truly would like to learn some tips.

4)  Want to see some of our family favorite recipes?  Can't guarantee they will be super healthy tho-LOL.

5)  I am still going to get the final classroom videos done.  YouTube was being jerky, so the one I did finally manage to film would not load.  I became so irritated that I had to walk away for a time.  So hopefully by the end of the month I will have that completed.
But the question is-would folks like to see more videos on certain HS products and curriculum? Other ideas?  Lay em on me sistahs!  I need ideas.

I really want to grow my YouTube channel into a little oasis of help and encouragement for the homeschooling families out there-well any family minded folk-but need to know what people would like to see.

So leave your comments and I will see what I can do. Spread the word too.  More feedback means a better blog/YouTube channel for you.

Not seen my channel?  Stop on by.  I have a few classroom videos uploaded, one on my Nature Study supplies and hope to add many more soon.

Thanks and I look forward to reading your comments!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Our annual pumpkin catapult project

A couple years back, we purchased a catapult kit (from Rainbow Resources) for our boy, since we were covering Medieval history that year.  It also happened to be the time of year when those little candy corn pumpkins were flooding the stores with their sweet goodness, and so one particular day the boy decided he wanted to see how far a candy pumpkin would go.  It was then that our annual pumpkin catapult was born.  So each year we now make an effort to see how far the pumpkins will go, and then add in a variety of other items to test their fly-ability too. The winner is noted to see what can break it the following year.

Mind you, this is not just play time.  The boy must mark out with a tape measure, the distances and mark them (math)-then once we have the distances marked, we will (do this next week) average out each item's distance traveled (math again).  We also are seeing physics and aerodynamics in play. We make predictions on which item will go the furthest (so we're calculating mass to figure this out)...and so on.  Plus, it is just plain fun.  We had a gorgeous day and our results were fun.
not sure where the ball was-but these were the main contenders


Pumpkin did the worst-but was consistent
Frog was quite the flyer actually, beating pumpkin by at least 4 ft each time
Rock, well it did pretty good-it was all over the place
Ball went fairly far but wasn't giving us the results we expected
Die was the champion hands down!  It rocked the competition and the winning catapult was at 29 ft. 6 in.!


We didn't touch the tension at first-so pumpkin could have gone farther after we tightened it right? Nope. Didn't go but an inch or so farther after-interesting heh?

Once tightening the tension-things did go further.

The catapult we have cannot withstand our grueling tests-we needed to tape the bar that the catapult arm slams against-so hopefully, next year we can do this with a new one.  This baby needs to retire.

 I pointed out the pumpkin-I actually caught it just before it landed-cool!

And there you have it-our annual pumpkin catapult results.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Back from Convention

I am dog tired and will get to the convention nitty-gritty soon (hopefully)....but thought I would leave you with one of those quips like David Letterman would do: top 10 kinda thing or "you know you are _______ by..."


so being that this is a Christian convention (altho you don't have to be to attend) they do a little "warm up" with some singing of some Christian songs-well the power point or whatever you call it was not working quite right this morn, at they just dug in and belted em out....cept they forgot something....not all churches sing the new music that is so popular nowadays-leaving some of us sitting there looking pretty stupid/lame or just looking like we were refusing to sing is the real issue...[at least for my daughter and I]

You know you are an old timey Lutheran  when everyone about you is singing some new fangled Christian music that you have never heard (nor most likely ever will in church) before and haven't a clue as to what it is or what the words are.  

And there you have it-my "top of the morning to ya" convention experience.  I breathed a sigh of relief when the words came up on screen and then they sang some I actually knew.  Whew.

**if you are wondering-we usually attend the service with Traditional music-so we could prob'ly belt out the oldies and most of the attendees this morn would have sat there scratching their heads.  17th, or 18th century hymn [old German like]-oh yea.  New music that is all fresh and alive-not so much.  They do offer a service a couple times per month with hip new music, but it is the late service and we usually are long gone by then.  I also do have some music on my iPod "wanna be" MP3 player, that I listen to and love-but not all that stuff...and I simply don't listen to music enough to know this stuff.  So yes, there you have it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A great hsing moment-kinda wordy but well worth it

So invariably, there comes a time in a young student's life when he just cannot be bothered with "schooling" you see, and is much too busy with thoughts of toys, playing a game on the computer and/or other boy thoughts (like busting loose from his mother's staring green eyes as she tilts her head in the manner that means nothing other than serious business)....

So here we are having another one of "those" weeks.  Things are getting done on a smaller scale than the head mistress is wanting and 'tudes are teetering one step below "this shalt earn some discipling if it continues" as we gathered the day previous, to settle into our usual meeting place (the couch) to listen to the story of the day (Matchlock Gun) for our history lesson-this little "AH gottcha" moment occurred.  Fear not newbies to hsing, these days will come and for those who haven't seen one of these in so long you are beginning to believe it is merely an old wives tale....hang tight, as it will happen again and when it does-your heart will sing!

Walk with me down this memory lane, if you please.  Mother is seated and poised to vocalize this story to a boy who not only will be interested in the subject matter, but most likely will "eat it up" due to the boy theme, gun toting and adventure loving moments.  She calls said student over to hear this enrapturing story (OK, I may be stretching it but hey I can peal out a story like a fine trained story weaver if need be~ and I needed to be spot on this day). Head Mistress waits and calls again-perhaps student's ears are full of wax and he simply didn't hear the request (even tho he was but a mere 15 ft away, in the same room).  Request reverberates across the room, this time with a sternness that indicates punishment may soon follow, if not met quickly.  Student bemoans the entire 15 ft walk to meeting place, asking "why" and "how long".  Head Mistress is confused, after all of the books we have been reading of late (minus the Chronicles of Narnia) this one meets and exceeds this student's awesome factor list.  Mother Mistress beckons child to her side and promises-just 3 chapters then.
The Matchlock Gun   [MATCHLOCK GUN] [Paperback]
image from

The book (acquired from library not so nearby, seemingly unopened and never read-the HORROR) is cracked open and the intro read.  Boy asks how long this will take.  Mother dear chokes back a rhetorical statement that would probably be followed by tears (hers not his), and chose to simply ignore rude comment.  Mother reads and completes the intro, looks up triumphantly to see twisted face of student (as though his skin is being pricked by a million quills from a porky porcupine)....she pushes on.

First chapter brought mild interest, a bit of confusion until the page with the Matchlock gun is displayed. Hmm, he has seen those on historical shows/at museums. Interest peaks slightly.  Mother moves to chapter 2...mind you in pure story telling splendor with voice inflections that would make a professional ooo and ahh in delight.  Mother is pouring it on thicker than a chilled maple syrup.  Suddenly, a student of despair speaks out (wiggly, distracted and just about to spring from his "imprisonment" if not released soon)..."Are we done yet?"

Mother dear has had it.  Insulted perhaps too.  "What is so important that you cannot sit for 15-20 mins to hear this wonderful boy story?"

Guilt flashes over boy's face, "Forget it." is heard and mother says, "OK fine, just one more chapter. You will survive."

The third chapter begins to wind down, mother's voice growing dry and raw from the dramatic inflectional reading skills-she too wants this misery to end.  Deflated and sad that that she somehow misread the student's love of such things, she looks at puppy dog eyed boy and says just a couple pages left.  But here is where that moment occurs.  The MOMENT educators across the globe yearn for....

But wait! What is this dear reader?  Could it be?

Perhaps due to Mother Mistress's distress, she doesn't notice that the boy has snuggled deeper into her side, and that he genuinely has become "drawn into the story".  Then Mother finishes last sentence in chapter 3.

About to shut the book, to go find some water and chocolate to drown her deflated self in-the boy loudly protests.  DID you catch that dear reader?  He asked, no begged, to have another chapter read.  Trying to not alarm child with a major "WHOOHHHOOO", mother dear quickly records this event into her memory scrapbook, deep within her mind.

Then another chapter comes to an end and the request stands, with a flourishing, "Let's just finish it."

WHOA there.  That is what we call the "moment", where the child begs for something they originally thought they had no need to hear/learn or partake in.  Ah joy.  He did like it [Mother isn't so off the target after all]-the fleshy desire to not want to "do school" because he had other intentions, was flipped over to "I want to hear it all."

Mother Dear and Student Once Protester melted into one cuddly, learning bundle of sweetness. Boy walks away having stated he really enjoyed the story, that he really liked the gun, and how the boy was able to fire it. And how scary it would be to do it, but he'd have been brave and done it.  Ah. Ah and ah again.

These moments do exist and they do increase in frequency.  Mother Mistress' mistake was to start the day way too late...and boy's mistake was to think he could balk his way out of a lesson.  Fight for those moments dear reader, they are worth it.

And there is my great homeschooling moment of the week.  It's been a good week indeed.

**and Mother did get that water to replenish her wasteland dry throat from reading the entire book, and that chocolate too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trying it again-The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading program

So, if you follow my review blog 1 of 100 (plus 25) TOS Crew Reviews, then you may remember a product I was given to test out the Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading back in 2008/09 {I didn't seem like a good fit for us then}.  At the time, I was overwhelmed with several things, and so this one just seemed to frustrate and confound me and the boy.  I knew it could work, I just wasn't sure if my dyslexic child could "handle" it and if I could ever figure out how to teach it.  I had to put it aside for a time....well to just last week actually.

Our biggest struggle with this child, is that he is the most dyslexic of our [only our oldest child is not] children afflicted by it (and yes-it is an affliction....doesn't mean you cannot succeed and do well in life-it just means it takes longer to learn some things-such as reading; and one needs to find ways to work with and around it).  So we have been going over and over and over the same concepts and getting just about no where.  I am exhausted, he is downtrodden by it and yet-we cannot give up and "chuck it" out the window.  He needs to read-for life!  So, after trying several dyslexic friendly programs, reading several books (some more than once  or even more than twice), and repeating (kind of like the movie "Groundhog's Day") the same material hoping for a break thru....(and granted we have had some) but it is not where he needs to be-we're giving this a try again. 

Now this post is not meant to slam my precious child-but rather to give hope to those who are in the same  boat with encourage and offer another option to try. I want to write about this because I have watched my other 2 precious dyslexics struggle, struggle some more, start to figure it out, get on track and then with patience and time-read and read well.   LIKE really well-so there is hope- it can be worked through, it can be squashed folks-it can.

If you personally do not have a child with dyslexia, then what I am penning may sound well-odd.  Aren't all kids suppose to be reading fairly well by oh-6 or 7?  If you don't have a child who has more than the average struggles in reading-then you cannot understand the depth and scope of the issue.  That is a whole 'nother post...but suffice it to say-most children with it (depending on the intensity of it) it is a daily battle to have their brain interpret the printed word.  It is also a struggle for the one trying to teach them to read (and retain what they know) and to persevere.  It simply breaks our hearts and can (if not properly handled) destroy any love of reading (let alone the ability to do so) for the child.  

Anyhoo-I am all about giving the dyslexic child the time they need to "get it" and some kids take longer than others-but he himself has shown he is embarrassed at times by it, and definitely frustrated that he cannot read as well as his counterparts.  So our goal this year is to get him reading at a level that is closer to his age mates.  We'll take it as it comes, and keep plodding along-hopefully, with more success.  

That said-I was in prayer, and lo and behold-the Lord put that program in my heart.  OK, I can do it -as long as I can figure out what  I am suppose to do  and do it right. I watched the intro video again, scoured thru the material again, and decided to give it another shot.  So-here we are, 2 weeks into it and so far, so good.  He knows some of what we are covering, and that is making it easier.  We didn't need to do the alphabet part and such, and we have been able to go thru most the vowel teams fairly we are into week 4 now and  finding (his words) that he "likes this program."  GOOD!  That is half the battle.  So one of the ideas is to have the children make letters/vowel teams, etc. out of clay or write in sand (altho his father would whoop his behind if he wrote the letters on a dirty car [one suggestion by the author]-bad, BAD idea there-writing words in the dust/dirt of a vehicle scratches the paint-and if it is a newer car, you can kiss that shiny coating good-bye....don't do it!) so I had him make Play-Doh  ropes to build the vowel are some shots to 'splain it....

I had him use different colors for the different groups. The red dots are above the ones that are "never" used at the end of a word-kind of a visual to help his remember (and it worked).

I was finding he could remember the sounds these teams make when shown the flashcards-but (common for dyslexics-at least my kids)...but when the time came to write it "cold" or do this activity...he struggled.  This uses several areas (visual, kinesthetic, and tactile) which is helping cement them into the brain there for him.  It will have to be done a lot tho (he forgot a few sounds today when I quizzed him)-but we'll keep on keeping on 

I am excited to see if this may be the answer we have been so prayerfully looking for.  I think I will cry when we get to week 5.  Especially if he gets through it successfully-without too many glitches.  I will keep you posted....

I am going to update (probably once per month) on his progress.  Perhaps this will bless a few other folks who are in this battle with me.  If anything-someday my boy will be able to read about this journey we've been on.  I think this will be quite a lesson in perseverance for us both.   

**now some tips just in case you wanna borrow em :  
for the ay and ai-we say "this is what the Fonz says" (yes, my kids know the Fonz cuz we watch the Happy Days reruns) so he actually remembers with that clue. [aayyyhhh]
for the oy and oi-I tap my forehead like I forgot something-it helps him too. [oiiiiii]

I will add more when we create em as we go thru this....I am all about clues man-all about em.  :0)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ohh, my first guest blog post thingy! How cool!

I originally wrote this ditty on how to organize one's eBooks and then a new bloggie pal asked if I would mind having her highlight it on her blog-well of course, I am honored!

So please take a moment and visit the Shining Dawn Books post (of my post) and then take some time to look around this awesome site!  They have some unit studies called NaturExplorers that look really interesting.  This is especially timely, because I want to really get some more nature studying in with the kids.  I also see they offer up some useful ideas and books for nature study (and I have to second the Keeping a Nature Journal book recommendation-it is beautiful- and just so happens to be our main text for our co-op's nature study class!)

Thanks ladies~wish you lived closer, it would be so nice to meet ya, and hang out-seems our hopes and goals for homeschoolers is pretty much the same!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Another Let's Get Real here post

Just a few things that I find so annoying and down right irritating:
1. Swallowing a sip of water, but having an explosion of air somehow get ahead of the liquid, to have the water go down so painfully that you feel like you swallowed an elephant.

2.  People who mosey themselves up right in front of you, seeing quite well, that you were there first in line-to just whoosh by ya and claim the "next in line" spot.  Almost as bad as those folks who do not know what "Personal Space" know the ones...practically breathing down you neck as you are trying to swipe your goodies at the self-check out, looking all impatient like, to then being in your face as you try to make your payment.  THOSE people (and gosh I hope you dear reader are not one of those, if you are-back off please).

3.  Neighbors who think your backyard is their personal sidewalk to get to the other neighbor's yard.  Esp. those who feel it necessary to walk but a mere 5 or less feet from the back of the house...several times a day.  I do not like that I have to now go to (supposedly) these adults to lecture them on proper yard etiquette, and look like a crabby neighbor because we do not enjoy the invasion of our space.  The rudeness now creates a difficult situation that somehow will make us the bad guys.  Yes, after a whole summer/fall of that last year-I am speaking up.  I am sorry, but we do not weed/feed/mow, and pay for a yard so you can stand there and have your chats, drag wagons and dogs and children back and forth and have you invade our privacy-esp. when we are trying to have a family dinner in peace.  Ah-that felt good to unload.

4.  Folks who simply cannot read a "No Soliciting" sign and understand I mean NO soliciting!  I cannot tell you how many people I have leaving their flyers, or ringing the doorbell to sell us something we do not want! If we want it-we will find you...thank you very much.

5.  Toilet chains that fall off continuously to render the toilet to a constant state of running-which costs us more money cuz we pay for water.

6.  Fruit and veggies that look marvelous on the outside, but are bruised and or damaged to the point that I have to say-"great, there goes [such and such] dollars down the toilet [probably the one with the faulty chain]"
leaving us fruitless or veggieless for that situation and upset because we were unable to get our monies worth.

7.  Carpal Tunnel in the hands,  and fingers. Numbness and tingly digits are not what I consider exciting-esp. when I know I have lots of hands on activities to do.

8.  Lady Bugs [which are really those impostors with the orange backs-where did all the red ones go?] that decide to stay in your home over the winter, free of charge-to either die or leave themselves scattered then get sucked up the vacuum to stink.  Or poo on your windows.  Oh Ladybirds-fly away, fly away home.

9.  Telemarketers. Need I say more?

10.  Bats. Not that I am against these creatures in their natural settings-but I am so against them shacking up in our attic space, to scratch, squeak and leave a disaster up there.  To torture our family with the threat of being swooped upon in our sleep [thankfully, they haven't broke thru] or to leave me with nightmares of having the biggest colony in the county up there.  The cost it will take to now get rid of these home invaders, plus the cost of replacing the insulation up there because their poo and the fungus' it creates.  Yes, just another day in the neighborhood.

So there you go-my ranting and raving for the month.

Now to be fair-I have to say that: I praise God...

1. Because I have clean drinking water to painfully swallow
2. I have enough money [barely lately but still] to be at the store making food purchases
3. My husband still has a job so that we still have a back yard
4. We have a doorbell/door solicitors can approach to sell their wares
5. We have a toilet to use, in a house that has water
6. We live in a country where there is a wide variety of fruits and veggies available from which to select from, due to the vast amount of free market [well at least for now] and transportation to provide such things
7.  I have hands and fingers that work-let alone actually having them to begin with
8.  That there are good bugs to eat the bad bugs and they look good doing it
9.  That we have caller ID and a list of standard "no thanks" we can apply to those that slip past the caller ID
10.  That there are bats that eat the pesky squitos and such that are most annoying of all.  That we have an attic to even be concerned over when many a families no longer have a door mat-let alone an attic.  [speaking of foreclosures, fires, natural disasters like in TN and so forth]

SO I guess it is up to me to decide if I will dwell on the negative aspects or remember the is fun to spew the frustration, but it is all done in jest.  As annoying and overburdening these things can be-I praise GOD that we have them at all.

Have a blessed day and stay real folks-stay real.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some Dinah Zike going on

Oh yeah.  Well, I am in the process of helping my teen dd get her Algebra Notebook going.  I have a whole ditty on it over on my What's in the Box? blog. I plan on doing another post down the road-where I explain how to get it going. I am new to this stuff, and do not have Dinah's Notebook book yet, so I have to wing it for now.

My plan is to keep adding more visuals and unique ways to remember this material, as I have been noticing that the majority of the stuff we are covering is going in one ear and out the other. Plus, we were getting tired of the we'll see.

I also had to get creative with a way to motivate my fledgling reader to practice more. I simply cannot do it all, and by the mid-afternoon-I am toast. So I created a mini-folder where I placed coupons for him to have filled out. I stuff 5 per week in there (on the left side) and once he has read a book to another family member, they can fill out the title, who they are and the date. He will be able to "cash" these in for prizes. I haven't tweaked out all the details yet-but so far, so good. I have a tub of readers I know he can read to select from. Once I get the system up to par-I will post the forms on my Scribd page for you to download. The folder is simply one piece of 8 1/2" X 11" card stock folded in half (fat way-not long and skinny), with the bottom folded up about 2-3" to create the holding section. I stapled the ends, and on the cover wrote his name and "I can read it folder", then on the left inside pocket- "coupons", and right inside pocket- "read for the week". It's that simple. Sounds kinda hard, but it isn't. I guess time will tell if this works. Our biggest hurdle is that he isn't getting the needed practice to become fluent. With the help of the family, he should get enough to really sink those skills into his ole noggin.

And that my friends, is my big ideas for the week. Not too exciting, but hopefully successful for us!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Snowman Explosion

So, I visit my friend Lynn's blog often, and she wrote a ditty about making these Marshmallow Snowman treats, which looked really fun and well-good to eat. We decided we'd give it the old college try too! So glad we did, because they turned out quite cute. We decided to not coconut all of them, since we know some are not fans of it (meaning my son and nieces/nephews), and we used mini M&Ms for the eyes/buttons, and orange frosting for the noses for ours. Here are our swell snowman dudes, waiting to be given as gifts. Thanks Lynn for posting that project, it was a fun, new adventure for us.

The assembly line-I had the boy separate the mini M&Ms by color to make adding the eyes/buttons quick and easy (that is why there is an ice cube tray there).

Waiting to be bagged.

Aren't they darling?  They are good too-rather tasty combo of ingredients!
We'll attach a wee little card with them as well.  I have to make those still....which is what I should be doing, not blogging!  LOL.

Merry Christmas everyone!