Welcome to my blog! It's a place to write about my life. It includes everyday things, but mostly it's a place to share our homeschooling journey.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Call me crazy....

No really, call me crazy. See, when my son (almost 4 years old) was a baby I wanted to wear him. But I never could find anything that fit good. As an infant, he hated being wrapped tight or enclosed in anything. As he got a few months older, I tried those store bought carriers and I hated them! I'm on the larger size and blessed in the chest department...and they were not comfortable at all. Sure, I knew about ring slings and such, but 4 years ago the choices were slim. I tired making one of my own and well, that didn't work very well. So I gave up. My son was never clingy and never really went through the 'I want to be carried' stage.

But now....now he's almost 4 and has been out of the stroller for almost a year and I'm thinking about wearing him. Not all the time, the kid loves walking (running) to much. But as a family, we have started hiking. Hubby and I are both losing weight and trying to get in shape and set a good example for our son. And don't get me wrong, Little Bear can go about a mile without complaining. But after that, he needs a rest. We try to plan a rest spot and snack, but sometimes that doesn't work out so well. And it would be so helpful if I could tie him on my back and go. I mean, we are already carrying him there anyhow, all I would be doing is not having to hold him as much, right?

Here's what I'm talking about Back Wrap with a 4 year old

Anyhow, once I decide on a wrap....I'll update!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It's October!

Last week Super Why and I took (for the most part) the week off. We did take time to talk about Fire Safety, but nothing major. He's been working so hard I thought he deserved it. And it was nice. A solid week with no school. And this this morning he woke me up asking, "Did you do me any schoolwork today?" LOL! So we did a few worksheets and played a game and he was happy. So now, tonight, I'm sitting here working on our school for the week. We are going to the Pumpkin Patch on Thursday, so I thought that we would do pumpkins this week. Of course, Halloween will be the major theme of the month. I love the FALL! There's so much fun things to do. And what's not to like about October?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Little Bear the Super Whyer

I think it's time to change Little Bear's nickname from LB to Super Why. Why? First, he LOVES that show on PBS. Second, for the past week he's been wearing his super hero cape and won't let me call him anything BUT Super Why. And lastly, that's his favorite question. WHY?! When I tell people that i have a 'Whyer' I get, "Oh all 3 year olds ask why." That person does NOT have a Whyer. Yes, most 3/4 year olds ask why. Maybe 10, 15, 20 times a day. A 'Whyer' never stops. From the moment he wakes up until he FINALLY goes to bed, there's a why question rolling off his lips. "Why is it cloudy?" "Why are you making that for breakfast?" "Why don't you have more school work?" "Why are you driving this way?" "Why is the car going that way?" "Why are we stopping? Why does that say 'Wrong Way'? Why isn't Daddy home?" And it just goes on and on and on and ON!! Most kids stop asking questions after a while, but a Whyer doesn't stop. And because i don't won't to dim that light I answer every why question my Super Why can throw at me...well, at least I try.

So do you have a non-stop Whyer on your hands?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Preparing for our first camping trip

My husband and I have been talking about going camping for over a year. We use to camp...ok, we've been once. Well, he's been a ton more, as a long time Boy Scout. We decided last year that it would be a good family thing to do. Really get Little Bear outside and enjoying nature. We even have a tent! So this November, is gonna be the month (at least we think). So now we are planning! I'm a little nervous heading out into the wilderness with a very active 3.5 year old, but I'm excited too. We'll be hitting up one of our wonderful State Parks.

So far, I've found so good rules that I'll be remembering. And I thought I would share:

(1) Teach young children to stay within eyesight, and older children within earshot.

(2) Teach children to stay where they are if they discover they are lost. Instruct them to find a nearby tree and stay with it until they are found.

(3) Children over the age of four can carry a simple survival kit, or at least a whistle around their neck to call for help when lost. The standard distress signal is three blows to indicate "I'm lost" or "I need help."

(4) Sort and pack each day of your children's clothes within individual small plastic grocery bags in his/her suitcase. This way your child can grab a bag in the morning and have a full set of clothes for the day, and at night he/she can stuff the dirty ones back in the bag thus not mixing up the rest of the suitcase.

(5) Children get cold faster than adults. The key to comfortable camping with kids is to dress them in several layers, which can be peeled off as they get warm or added on as they cool off.


(6)Provide each child with a flashlight. To prevent any arguments, make sure each one has their own. Children love to play with the flashlights, and having one also makes them more at ease after dark.

(7) Flashlights are also handy when making trips to the restroom, for making shadow puppets on tent walls, and for reading before bed.

(8) Bring along a game you all like to play at home. Playing it outdoors with a lantern or flashlights will add to the fun.

(9) Teach your kids to treat the outdoors kindly. Make sure all waste is disposed of properly when camping or hiking along the trails.

*deep breath* OK, I think I can do all of that!

The lost of a pet

Back in June, we found a stray kitten (maybe 4 months old). My son had been begging for months for a cat, so we decided to keep the kitten. Cali-Boo (the cat) seemed to take to the family, but always ALWAYS tried to get out of the house. We would take her outback with us, and she never tried jump the fence or anything. She got out the front door a few times, and we either caught her, or so wouldn't leave the front yard and would come running back once we went back inside.

Any how, Friday we were out front playing in the afternoon. Little Bear wanted to ride his tricycle on the driveway. It was getting late and hubby brought the balls we were playing with inside, and Cali-Boo shot out. We chased her a bit, then decided to let her run (the closer we got the further she went). Much to our supraise, she crossed the road. Little Bear and I went after her, and with the help of our neighbors, caught her.

It shocked me that our normally loving cat, showed her claws and hissed when the little girl over there asked to pet her. Anyhow, we stayed over there for a while, me holding the cat, and getting clawed. Well, Little Bear fell off a little push scooter so I went to check on him. When I bent down to check on him, Cali-Boo scratched me across the face and jumped out of my arms. I just said, "Let her go." LB was fine.

About 5 minutes later, a truck came by and well, Cali-Boo attached it's wheel! Broke her neck *sniffle*. Lucky LB was behind our neighbors truck and didn't see anything. The little girl (she's about 9) took LB in the back yard to play a few minutes and out neighbor (such a sweet man) got the body and took it away so LB wouldn't see it.

Of course, when LB started asking about her, we said she ran away. It's been hard on me and on him. I told him that maybe she just wanted to be an outside cat doing big things (he likes the book The Fire Cat). So this morning he was really sad, so I told him that we would give Cali-Boo a few weeks to see if she came back (I know it's bad to lie, but my son is only 3.5 years old, and we feel this is the best thing to do at this age....don't judge that), but that when he was ready, we would let him get a new kitten.

Any advice on how long we should wait?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mama's Life

My weight loss journey. It's been a hard 6 months- I've been doing Weight Watchers since January. It's been tough. After all, this isn't a diet...it's a life style. It really is. At least for us it is. My husband has been doing WW for the past 2 weeks. And last week, at my Tuesday weigh in....I was down a total of 25 pounds!! I'm so proud of myself. And I'm looking pretty dang good. :-)

There's still more that I want to lose. And now that Papa is on board, things are going a lot smoother. The only, ONLY problem is trying to figure out what to eat for dinner each night.

But we are working on it. Being a healthy, happy family. A good role model for Little Bear.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

2 weeks down

Every time I would sit down to blog, something would come up. But it's a nice quiet Saturday morning with Little Bear sleeping in and Hubby gone off to a rare working weekend. Our first week of school, went ok. But I figured out one thing...it was WAY to easy for Little Bear. He got so bored. So last week we moved on. I moved from preschool to kindergarten. That worked A LOT better. He's having a much better time.

With him being able to read and write, he enjoys doing worksheets on his on. And let me tell you, he's writing all the time! And reading too. Yesterday I bought "Dick and Jane: the fun we have" or something like that. He's already read half the book to me with very little help (mostly he didn't know the words Father and Mother). I thought it would really boost his reading confidence, although he's also reading The Berenstien Bears with little to no help.

Last weekend, while we were grocery shopping, he wrote a story on my list. It's so cool watching him grow his love of reading and writing. And questions! There's a question on his lips from the moment he wakes up until the moment he falls asleep. 100s upon 100s all day long. About everything. Last week I got the questions out of the blue "Why does the sun come up then go down and the moon come up?" and also "Who built the United States?"....both during breakfast! Mama's head wasn't ready to handle them so early in the morning....LOL.

And of course me being me, I'm thinking about Christmas and birthday already. It's so hard! With Little Bear going to be almost 4 by Christmas, he really knows what he likes and wants...and he LIKES my iPod and computer! We thought about getting him something Leapfrog, but then we thought about the fact that at 2 he had the Tag Jr....that lasted about 3 months before he didn't play with it anymore. Last year, he got the Fisher Price iXL....yeah, that one lasted about 5 months- if that. He's just not into any electric device geared towards kids. So even though he plays with the Leapster Explorer at K-Mart, I wonder if it would last? He has, however, asked for a new tricycle....and an iPad....LOL! Goodness boy....

Of course I also promised Papa Bear that I wouldn't spend too much money this year....but yeah, I make that promise EVERY year.

I would love to hear what you are planning on getting your kids.

Happy Learning!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Geocaching

My husband and I have been talking about how we need a new hobby. Something for the family to get outside and enjoy. Today I found it...and it's called geocaching. You can read all about it at Geocaching...but simply put, it's a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online. Then you sign the log, choose a token from the box and leave a token in it's place.

We went hunting today after hubby got off of work. Found 4 geocaches within a mile of us! Little Bear had a blast on our 'treasure hunt'. We let him pick what treasure to keep, so he was so happy. Plan on hitting a few more this weekend.

So, do you geocach?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

You don't need a ROOM to LEARN.....

but it sure don't hurt! Welcome to Oakernut Academy! When we bought our house, the people before us had enclosed the garage into another bedroom. This room has been just about EVERYTHING in the years we've been in this house. Now, it's our classroom!

Here's our Arts & Craft/Play/Just about anything area. That black board is a chalk board. I used chalk board paint on the back of an old bookcase:


We found some old cabinets at the Habitat Restore. We painted them, and my WONDERFUL hubby hang them up for storage. Then I found some multi-color dots wall decals. And put the name of our school, Oakernut Academy. Then hung a thick string from one end to the other as an Art Clothes line.



Also took some colored buttons and hot glued them to clothes pins for some fun clips!


We LOVE tie dye at OA. So I couldn't pass up this rug when I found it for only $19.99! Little Bear calls it the "Dance Rug". LOL!



This is across the Dance Rug from the everything area. I found that bin set for only $12.00 when we bought the cabinets. The keyboard is my old one that we use for music lessons. And the cart is loaded with Arts & Crafts items LB can get to anytime he wants.





This is the reading area (the front side of the book shelf). The magazine rack is an old quilt rack that I bought for $3.00 and painted.



I told you we LOVE tie dye! I had some old white curtains hanging up, so to freshen it up some, I tie dyed them. (found the tie dye kit for ONLY $2.50!)



This it Little Bear's desk. An old school desk that I had when I was little. This is just for worksheets mostly. He's also has a desk upstairs that he uses for coloring.



And this is MY desk. Found it for $10.00! It's awesome and was ALREADY that cool blueish-purple color!!



Well, that's our school room. Of course, learning happens everywhere, and I LOVE that, but I also LOVE having a place where all the school supplies can be kept.

Tomorrow is our first day of school, so I'll post more then!

Happy LEARNING!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

These are a 5 of my FAVORITE things

Okay, so school is a little slow right now. So I thought I would list 5 of my favorite things.

In no real order other than how I thought of them (click the name of each for a link)-

(1) Pipsqueak Makers : one of my nieces turned me on to these. And where I prefer 'old school coloring' (aka crayons), Little Bear LOVES markers, and these are just the right size for his little hand.



(2) Beethoven's Wig (a CD)- I read about this on another blog, and bought it the very same day. I simply downloaded it on my iphone for iTunes. Both LB and I LOVE this cd. My husband likes it too, but it did take him a few days to figure out why we can't singing, "Beethoven's wig....it's very big...." LOL! The songs are so catchy you'll find yourself signing them without thinking. I like playing this while Little Bear and I are playing with playdough, or coloring or something like that.



(3) An indoor trampoline - we use to have a small trampoline with an enclosure in the house, but for space reasons we moved it outdoors. It was just a little bigger than an exercise trampoline. Then I bought an exercise trampoline for myself, and it didn't take me long to realize that my son loved this smaller form because I could put it in the living room. And being in the south, where it is HOT! during the day, we haven't had much time outside to run around or anything. So I set the trampoline out and let Little Bear go. Jump, jump, jump. He's getting exercise AND I get a few moments to take clothes out the dryer. LOL.



(4) PBSkids- LOVE this site. It's on our family computer. So when Little Bear is having computer time, he can get to it anytime he wants, simply by clicking the link on his computer page. He only watches PBS so he knows all the shows, and has even discovered a few shows via PBS kids. I love that I don't have to worry about what he might see and the games all make him think.

(5) Muffin Tins (well, really Muffin Tin Meals)- I came upon Muffin Tin Meals by chance trying to find a way to present food so my suddenly picky 3 year old would eat more. WOW does it ever work. Little Bear asks for at least one a day...he calls them "Big Surprise Meals" cause the first time I gave him one, I said, "I have a big surprise for you"...anyhow, the concept is simple. Get a muffin tin, I use a 6 muffin one, and then put a different food in each hole. What I put in them depends on if he's having one for lunch or snack. I might put a half of sandwich in one, fruit in one, a veggie in another. A cookie in one. Yogurt or cheese in another. Sometimes there are themes, and sometimes there aren't. Click the link and check out Muffin Tin Mom for a TON of ideas. You can also find her on facebook.



So there you have it....5 of my favorite things. I hope that you learned something new, and maybe one of my favorite things will become one of YOUR favorite things. And if you have something you love, then feel free to leave me a comment about it. You never know, it just might be one of my NEW favorite things.

Happy Learning!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fun with paint

So today has been a super-duper lazy day for me and Little Bear. Just one of those days where we haven't wanted to do much of anything. Although I have learned that challenging a 3.5 year old to a dance contest is a big mistake...LOL.

Anyhow, this morning LB asked to paint. Sure...why not. And since it wasn't too hot yet, we took it outside. Pulled his little picnic table to the shade and went at it.



At first we started with simply a paint brush. Then I made him a potato stamp:



Then we got creative! We painted with flowers (ok, weeds but still), blades of grass, leaves and clovers (no 4 leaf ones).



We had a blast seeing what each thing was different then the next and how each object could be used to make a different pattern. We had a total blast!

Keep on learning!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Your Mind Monday

Every day I try to ask a question in the local homeschooling group I created. I decided that Mondays shall be "Free Your Mind Monday" and the questions are meant to get you thinking. Today's question is:

When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

This is a very important question for me, as I haven't 'done' much. I'm the youngest of 4 kids, so we didn't really go on vacation. I'm very free spirited (I AM Sagittarius after all)...but I was raised a lot by my dad (my parents are still married, but my mom worked night shift just about my whole life- which is 4pm til midnight). I spent A LOT of time with my dad....a Capricorn all the way! So I have a lot of Capricorn traits- such as being VERY cautious. (My husband & son are also Capricorns!!) Anyhow, I have this thing I do where I talk myself out of anything BIG! Or anything that I'm afraid I'll fail at. Or really anything I'm not 100% sure about. And we all know it's not all about being sure, it's about taking risks.

I've gotten better since my son has been born. I want my little Goat to be cautious but free. To think things through, but not be "too" careful. I want him to live. And I know that the best way to teach that is to live that.

Our family motto (and I think every family should have one) is- Savor Every Adventure (and everything is an adventure!).

If something happened to me right now, I would have TALKED much more than done. I don't want that to be the case. I want to try new things. Go different places. I want to teach my son to live life to it's fullest. To enjoy the time we have, because we just never know.

In the end, I want to have DONE much more than I've talked (and I TALK a lot!!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Not only kids learn (Just a blog about my life)

"They" say that you should never stop learning. I totally agree. That's why I'm considering taking a Hip Hop Dance class starting next week. I always wanted to take dance when I was younger, but it just never worked out. So the thought of taking one now, as an adult, I'm a little nervous. I love to dance, and it would be a great workout. And speaking of workouts, I've been working my butt off (I hope). My goal is 2 pounds a week with a total of 6 pounds for the month of July. I want to be down 20 more pounds by the New Year. That's my goal. That would put me oh, so close to my goal weight, which I want to be at BEFORE I go back to my RE (reproductive endocrinologist).

Some of you know that my beautiful son is an IVF miracle. We are thinking about trying to do another IVF cycle next year. 2 things really play into this...(1) I want to be at my goal weight. I wasn't when I went through it the first time, but I'm older now and REALLY want to be at goal. (2) Money. It all comes down to money. It's not a cheap thing. But that's next year.

With July being about half over (WOW) I'm really starting to think about our school year for the fall and spring. We are schooling over the summer, but Fall starts P4 and I really want to treat this like I am being help accountable. I have some fun things planned including lots of fun field trips.

Not much else at the moment.

Happy Learning!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dance Class & Planning Sessions

So today, my Little Bear had his first dance class. It's a Pre-Dance class for kids 3 to 5 years, both boys and girls, which is beginning tap and ballet. He didn't seem to mind leaving me to go into the dance class, although he did say he cried once back, but it didn't last long once the fun began. The teacher said he did good, and he said that it was "ok"...LOL. Of course, I don't think they did much, just tired to get and keep the kids interested. I know that 3 of the 6 kids in his class were brand new to dance. He's signed up to go Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest of July...their Summer Classes. After that, I'll let him decide if he wants to stick with dance or go back to gymnastics (which he's been in for about a year and a half). I'm not sure which he'll choose, but they are about the same price so either one will work, just so he has some interaction with other children and with other adults.

Right now, while I should be cleaning or something, I'm trying to work on my planner for this coming fall. I don't really have to keep notes or anything for homeschool right now, and I won't until my son is 6 (kindergarden here starts at 5 but my son misses the cut off day), but I want to go ahead and get in the habit, so I won't be totally loss when I need to keep records and such for the state.

Guess that's about it for the moment.

Happy Learning!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Reading, Writing & Video Games (week in review)

Whew, what a week. A niece and nephew from out of town were in town visiting family for a week, and wow, did they keep us busy! But we got a lot of learning done.

Including Little Bear learning to make S'mores. Yummy!!


We also practice writing a lot. I love his dry erase notebook. We get in a lot of time with those. He did A through Z (which is two pages)...here's a picture of him tracing the second half. Sorry about the flash, but its the best picture I've got.



I've also gotten into writing a short paragraph, only about 4 or 5 lines. And having him read it to me. The first time I did, out of 5 lines, he asked for help with 3 words! He knew all the rest. I think this will be a steady practice from now on.

Little Bear has played video games on and off for a while now. He spends most of him game play on the computer about twice a week, maybe 3 if he's been REALLY good. Video games come into play on weekends (Friday - Sunday) when his daddy and I are more able to play with him. He only plays the Wii right now, and we found the cutest little Wii controller for him!



And to tell you the truth, I like it a lot better to. Fits in my hand perfect, so we have been "fighting" over who's controller it is. LOL.

My niece spent a few nights with me and man did she ever teach Little Bear! She's amazing with him, and in just a few nights, he went from wild scribble when coloring (albeit, he would color different objects different colors, but it was still wild scribble) to this:

Which is LESS wild scribble...LOL...I think it's pretty good for a 3.5 year old.

Oh, and even though I prefer Crayola crayons (and I've always have), LB likes markers (for some odd reason). Well, this week I bought him Crayola Pip-squeaks and wow, can I see a different in his coloring! The above picture was colored with pip squeaks. They are a lot smaller than regular markers, about the size of a crayon. I highly recommend them if you're little one prefers markers.

Okay, I think that's all the high lights of our week. Now to start the new week, and hopefully keep everybody updated and little better!

Happy Learning!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm a bad blogger

I'm a bad blogger for not updating more this week! On Monday we got our July unit study started by starting our lapbook:



We added a copy of the Pledge, and a cool little maze. We also started saying the Pledge in the morning.



We are worked on cutting while following a line. Notice one picture he is cutting with his left and one picture he is cutting with his right. He still shows no teal preference to either hand.




We also worked on pasting and coloring.

I found this cool little thing at the book store; it's a wipe clean book about Phonics. It's super awesome and Little Bear loves working with it. Working on his reading/spelling/writing ALL at the SAME time!



We did more, like spin art, but my camera died. We also decided to have a party- a Birthday Party- on the 4th of July. Because "it's America's birthday". So yesterday I took LB to the dollar store and let him pick out some decorations for our party. I promised to take him back to get some balloons ("it's not a party without balloons!")

What are your plans for the 4th of July?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Getting our July Unit study started

Well, tonight I'm working on getting our July unit study- Patriotism,started. We are starting it tomorrow so that we have a full week BEFORE the 4th of July. Mostly we are going to be learning about the flag and what the colors mean. Starting to learn the Pledge, and sparking all his questions (and he's full of questions!).

So far I have found some really cute pictures for Little Bear to glue to the front of his lap book, which decorating the lapbook is always our first thing we do. I have found a super cute 4th of July Maze, that you can print out at different levels, at Busy Bee. I have found some color pages at Coloring Book Fun

So tomorrow we'll start our by saying the Pledge and then listening to the Star Spangled Banner. I think this unit is going to be such a FUN month!

This past week in review

Ok, so there's really nothing to review. We played a little chess. Colored a few pictures. We have both been sick this week so we just kinda took it off. But tonight I'll sit down and figure out this up coming week. The LAST week of JUNE! Can you believe it? We are going to learn about America in July, and since the 4th of July is a week away, I'm going to start July's unit study tomorrow. So I should have that up tonight or tomorrow what I plan on teaching during the Red, White & Blue unit study. It should be a lot of fun. I'm a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Little Bear will be joining The Children of the American Revolution soon, so this is very close to my heart.

So my Sunday Question is this: How do you do to teach your child/ren to be patriotic?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Child-Led Parenting equals Child-led learning

My husband and I are a child-led family. That means that we watch for our sons cues as to what we teach, how we discipline, and just about everything else. Well, Little Bear found chess on his daddy's iPod about a month ago, and ever since has been begging to learn. So I found a game for the computer called "Learn to play chess with Fritz and Chester". It's a little over his level but I played with him for the first week and now he plays it on and off by himself. The other day, I bought a cheap $5.00 chess game from K-Mart and we set it up and talked about it and have been "playing" with it. I also started a lap book about chess:

The outside:


The inside (we started with the pawn):




In just 2 days of really talking about chess, he can tell you the name of each piece AND tell you how just about each one moves. SO I guess we'll keep up with the Chess lessons as our everyday lessons.

He's a few pictures of us playing a game today (oh, and he set up his half of the board himself):



Little Bear taking one of Mama's pieces:



Little Bear pointing out his options:



I was planning on teaching him to play chess but wasn't planning until he was like 5 or 6, not 3!! But this is where he has led us so this is where we will go.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

So what's the big idea about color?

I'm working of having a designated area for homeschooling. Now the question is- what color should the area be? In my research, I have found that for young children are attracted to warm, bright colors but tints and pastels work best. Blue, Green and indigo help with logic while green, violet, red, peach, pink light yellow and purple stimulate creativity. But red is also a hunger trigger (think Micky Ds, Pizza Hut, KFC, ect). Blue increases productivity and green is very relaxing and is associated with nature, creativity, and fertile thinking.

So I'm thinking either pale blue or pastel green. But I'm not sure. Do you have a designated place for homeschooling? If so, what colors do you have it?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 6, 30 Day Challenge

Day 6 – Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.
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Ok, I don't have a problem writing 30 things, but do you really want to sit there and read 30 things? Ok, here we go.

(1) I knew I wanted to be a mama since I was about 4.
(2) I met my husband at 17 (and knew I was going to marry him)
(3) The above mentioned husband was my 2nd boyfriend and only the 3rd guy that I went out on a date with.
(4) I'm a blue jean & tshirt kinda girl...don't like it, tough.
(5) I love making people feel better.
(6) I believe that everyone is born with a special gift.
(7) I can talk to just about anyone, I'm friendly with just about anyone, but I consider very few people a friend.
(8) My favorite sight is my son sleeping. My favorite sound? Him saying "I love you more Mama"
(9) One of my favorite shows is NOVA.
(10) I'm a PBS junkie.
(11) I try not to judge, but I really have to wonder about some people.
(12) I currently have the MUNCHES!
(13) When I was little I wanted to be an Anthropologist.
(14) I spent 5 long years in Speech therapy
(15) I have an interest in Native American history.
(16) I do genealogy.
(17) I don't have blood in my veins, I have sweet tea
(18) My favorite cookie is Oatmeal Raisin cookies.
(19) I love to bake.
(20) I may be addicted to facebook.
(21) I have 4 older brothers. No sisters (at least not blood related sisters).
(22) I'm starting to wonder WHY I decided to write 30 things about myself.
(23) I'm a little smarter than what people give me credit for (and a lot of that is my design)
(24) I homeschool my son (he's in preschool)...and I'm considering keeping it up once he's in kindergarden.
(25) I enjoy buying and selling on eBay.
(26) I LOVE the stars.
(27) My favorite colors are purple, yellow and chrome.
(28) I just got my first tattoo last Saturday.
(29) I've always had long hair.
(30) I'm VERY happy this is over. :-p

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous Friday!

What an exciting week of homeschooling we have had! We have done all kinds of fun and exciting things. Lots of arts & crafts this week.

Yesterday, we made "Puffy Shapes". I don't know what else to call them. I took and cut out simple shapes out of card stock and them cut tissue paper into small squares. I put a little amount of glue on a scrap piece of paper. I showed Little Bear how to put a pencil, eraser down, in the middle of the tissue paper, then pull up the edges. Holding the tissue paper around the pencil, he dipped it in glue and then stuck it to the shapes. This is how they looked:



And today, wow, today we made Father's Day cards for Daddy, Granddaddy & Grandpa. I don't have pictures of those, but they turned out cute.

Then after lunch, Little Bear did water painting. It's super fun, and so easy that even the younger kids out there will be able to do it. First you take a paper towel (I had 3), using a washable marker, draw or write on the towels (I did numbers 14 - 20 since we are reviewing our numbers, and then one with simple shapes). Then give your child a *small* amount of water in a cup or dish, and a paint brush. Show them how to dip the brush into water, and then trace the shapes/numbers/whatever. The ink will feather out and look like painting! Then I simply put them outside to dry so that he can show his daddy when he gets home from work.

Here's Little Bear "painting" a few numbers:





And here are all three 'paintings' drying.



I have big things planned for next week too. I can't wait! But for now, Little Bear and I will be enjoying Father's Day weekend with the most important man in our lives! Happy Dad's Day to all the wonderful DADS out there. And to all the wonderful men who take part in the lives of children.

Day 5, 30 Day Challenge

Day 5 – A time you thought about ending your own life.
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I can't name a time. Oh, I'm sure there *is* a time- I've been struggling with depression since about 15 years. I'm also a cutter (or at least back in the day I was) and when they diagnose you as a 'cutter' they also diagnose you with suicidal tendencies, which I don't agree with. Sure the thought crossed my mind, but really, I kinda enjoy life. I became an Aunt at 12, so the thought of leaving my nephew and nieces hurt. Knowing that I couldn't do that to my mom or my family, really held me back. I met my husband at 17, in the depths of my depression, so he really helped me through. So, a time I thought about ending my own life? Yes, I'm sure there was a time, but never a time when I thought it was a true option. Ending your own life is the easy way out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 4, 30 Day Challenge

Day 4 – Your views on religion.

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Simple-
Religion is for those who want a relationship with God.
Spirituality is for those who already have one.

I'm a fan of Unorganized Religion. I don't like to be told what to do or how to have a relationship with my God. He's got a direct line to me, ya know?

I'm gonna leave it at that.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What a Wacky Wednesday!

Lets see, I tried my hand at a File Folder game for Little Bear. I came across them on another blog and fell in love with the idea! I just did a simple one, nothing fancy like some I've seen. Little Bear has a problem with rhyming words, so I made a File Folder Game about rhyming words.

Here's the cover:



And here's the inside of the game along with a handmade envelope to keep the 'game pieces'.



And here's Little Bear playing his first ever File Folder Game.



So the concept is this: I print out on card stock pictures with their name (ie.
a picture of a tree with the word tree under it). Then I pasted them to the inside of the folder. Then the 'game pieces' are pictures with words printed out (also on card stocks) that rhyme with the words in the folder. Then Little Bear has to match the game piece to the picture it rhymes with. He's already played it 5 or 6 times, even taught his daddy how to play. So I think File Folder Games are a big Thumbs Up!

We also pulled out the Play-Duh today. And also pulled out the cookie cutters. We made shapes, and letters and numbers- we had a blast.



Ok, now on to a problem that I have. About the time my son turned 3, he started giving up naps. Which was ok, he still goes into quiet time. However, he's not sleeping good at night anymore. So I did some research, and the 'experts' say that a 3 year old should be getting 10.5 to 12.5 hours of sleep at night and 1 to 3 hours (1 nap) during the daytime. Now, I've always been big on schedules. He's ALWAYS had a bedtime, and he's been such a good sleeper. I know that he should be napping during the day, but how in the world do I *make* him take a nap? Do I get him up earlier in the morning? But that just makes him grumpy in the evening cause even those days he doesn't take a nap. But it's to the point that if we go anywhere after my husband gets off work (which is 4) that he falls asleep in the car. Which of course leds to him staying up even LATER at night.

We have moved his bedtime from 7:30 to 8:30 since it's still day time outside (and he wasn't going to sleep until then anyhow). But now he's staying up until 10 or later and getting up at about 8:30 (maybe a little later, maybe a little sooner).

We have the same routine as we always had. Supper, play, bath, quiet play (like games, and make believe or something), books, bed. Why is he fighting sleep so much? HELP! I'm at my wits-end. So if you know anything that might help, please, please, PLEASE leave me a comment!

Day 3, 30 Day Challenge

Day 3 – Your views on Drugs and Alcohol

I'm kinda split on this one. As for drugs, I don't like them. Not sure why you need something that changes your mind in order to have a good time. It's been PROVEN people...drugs are bad. And people do them, and get behind the wheel. So know you are making yourself dumb AND putting my family in harms way. You don't have that right. On the other hand, I'm aware that certain drugs can be used for medical purposes, and in those cases I can understand (as long as you are not driving! or doing something else that can cause harm to someone else).

As for alcohol- well, I do drink....from time to time. I have never been drunk, and don't see the point in it. I have been tipsy....twice, and not sure that i like that feeling. My husband and I will enjoy a glass of something, from time to time, when we are out to dinner, but never more than one and always at the beginning of dinner. If we are at a party, only one of us will drink (even if it's only a glass).

So I guess, for me, the bottom line is- Drugs are bad, unless used for TRUE medical reasons. Alcohol, maybe not so bad, when used correctly and you ARE NOT DRIVING! (Are you starting to see a theme? It really comes down to, I don't care what you do, as long as what you are doing is not putting someone else in danger).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 2, 30 Day Challenge

Day 2 – Where you’d like to be in 10 years.

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Where would I like to be. That's a hard question to answer. 10 years AGO I thought I wanted to have 2 or 3 kids by now, but God choose to give me one, and I wouldn't want it any other way. I guess in 10 years, I would like to have 1 or 2 more kids running around. A nice piece of land where I can have a few dogs, and the kids can run around free. I grew up on nine acres, so I'm all for roaming through the woods. I don't want to be so far out nobody ever comes to visit me, but I like the country. Where I can sit out and look at the stars, and chase lighting bugs.

In 10 years, I'll be celebrating 23 years of marriage...yes, 23!

I guess the bottom line is that in 10 years, I want to be happy. Happy and having fun with my husband, my son, any other children I'm blessed with, my family and my friends.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 1, 30 Day Challenge

30 Day Challenge

A friend of mine is doing the 30 Day Challenge over at her, Peace, Love, Cloth. And well, that got me thinking, maybe I should do it too. But I didn't want to put too many posts up that people wouldn't read, so I decided to make a page just for this. So here we go-

Day One – Your Current Relationship

My current relationship...ummm....with who? With my spouse? Ok, well, I'm 31, he's 33. We've been married for almost 13 years and together for just over 14 years. You can do the math. I knew the moment I saw him that I was going to marry him. Told my mom the very night, "I've meant the guy I'm gonna marry". He's my best friend. He knows pretty much everything about me. He works very hard to support me and Little Bear. And he supports me in staying home and raising our son. He's unlike any other guy I've ever met before. And you can ask anybody that know him, he's amazing! I'm not sure what I would do without him.

My current relationship with my son? It's good, but he's three. I'm sure the road is gonna get rocky at some point, but for now everything is good....most of the time.

If you are asking about my current relationship with my parents, that's pretty good too. I act a little too much like my daddy, and my mama is one of my closet friends.

Wanting to know about my current relationship with my friends, all of those are up and down. Mostly up. Friendships come and go and I tend to let them. Everybody in your life teaches you something, and sometime when they can't teach you any more, you have to let them go. I'm lucky that I'm still learning from a lot of people, including my BFF for about 15 or 16 years now!!

And my current relationship with myself is so-so. I have my ups and I have my downs. Most of the time I get along well with myself. We have been through a lot together. I like who I am (on most days).

There you have it...my current 'relationship'.

Welcome to Marvelous Monday!

Well, okay, maybe not quite Marvelous. Had to take Little Bear back to the doctors this morning. He was there about 3 weeks ago, and was given some meds, but they didn't really work. He still has fluid behind his right ear, and congestion and a cough. So the doctor gave him MORE meds (two liquids and a nose spray), so we'll see if these work. Poor kid...hasn't slept good in days!

So with us getting right and heading right to the doctors, we haven't had school yet. My husband's computer went out (it's dead....rest it's little computer soul) so he was on my laptop last night, so I had to draw/write out all his work for the day. I really do kinda enjoy it!

The first thing I did was make an "I Can" chart. Little Bear will earn stickers for each thing he completes on the chart over the next few weeks. Such as "I can read 40 words"...I know that's a lot, but he knows at least 43 sight words, so I know he'll earn that sticker fast. Then "I can read 50 words" and then 60. And I can spell 5 words- which he can spell about 10. I tried to give him some stickers he can earn fast to get him going, and then some that will take a while longer. See the picture:



I think this will be a good way to see how much he's learning. This is our Summer Chart...and then I'll make one for the Fall, Winter, Spring.

Speaking of Summer, our unit studies are going great! We have learned so much about penguins. Little Bear really likes working on his Lapbook every few days. So that's a BIG thumbs up.

In other news, we are trying to clean up our down stairs room (which is where the people who owned the house before us enclosed the carport). Once it's all clean and stuff, we are gonna divide it up into a game section (we want to move a TV down there and hook up the game systems) and a homeschool section. I'm so excited that we'll have a room (or at least half a room) by fall. It'll be nice to have a desk or table to work at, and things on the walls and stuff. Of course I'll post pictures once it gets all clean and organize and things.

Not much else going on other than laundry, and I'm sure you don't want to read about that.

Hope everybody has a wonderful week!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Can I complain for a minute?

I'm gonna say yes, since it IS my blog. I hate shopping for a swim suit. With a passion. I normally avoid it, but this year, well, this year we are going on our first real family vacation (to the beach) and I've been working extra hard to lose weight. And I decided that the swimsuit I have is about 4 years old and it's time for a new one...one that flatters a little more. See, I can find suits that fit, that's not the problem. The problem is that they fit everywhere BUT the breasts! I'm not losing weight there, and well, GOD blessed me (or cursed me) with large ones. But designers think the bigger the breasts the bigger the rest of you. The smaller the suit gets the smaller the cup size goes. I'm not wanting a bikini or anything...although I LOVE tankinis. I just want to go to the beach and have my breasts contained! WHY is it so hard? I mean, I'm comfy with how I look in a suit...it's not like I'm trying to 'catch a man'. I'm happily married. We are going as a family to have some FUN! I just want something to contain the boobs and to withstand my 3 year old (and the hubby!). Why is it so hard? Does ANYBODY out there know of a good place to get a swimsuit WITHOUT spending $80, $90, $100+?? HMU! Tell me about it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sight Words & Muffin Tin Meal Success!

So first on the list, I bought Little Bear some Sight Words Flashcards (by Mead). There are 55 cards making 110 sight words (they are double sided). So today we sat down, opened the cards and we went throw them (our first time, mind ya). Out of 110 words he read 43 of them. 43! On his first round through them. 43!? I didn't know that he could read that many words. Guess he got me pretty good.

Muffin Tin Meals...I first heard about these over the weekend. It's where you take a muffin tin, and fill each little cup with a different food for either snack or lunch time. The idea is to have at least one thing from each food group. This concept sparked my mind, and well, today I tried it for lunch. Little Bear is in his 'picky' stage and I hear "I don't like that" at least 2 or 3 times a day. He was getting stuck on PB&J sandwiches every day...nothing wrong with that, I just thought it was time for something new. So this is what I made for him:



There's celery (which he's never eaten...just put to his lips and spoke his motto "I don't like that") with peanut butter. Real Fruit Bites by DOLE. 3 Nilla waffers (I know, I have two foods in one cup, but hey!). Vanilla yogurt with sprinkles. A serving of cheddar cheese (LOVE pre-packaged). Some honey turkey (he doesn't eat meat hardly). And lastly, some wheat thins.

Well, he was super excited when I put it down in front of him at lunch time, but the question is, did he eat it?

Yup, all but a bite of celery and he didn't care much for the fruit bites. I was amazed! He ate the celery. He ate the turkey!



I guess sometimes it IS about how you put it on the table. Who knew serving lunch in a muffin tin would be a complete SUCCESS!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's Monday

I need some catchy titles for days....like...ummm...."Make-it-or-break-it" Monday. Naw, that may be too long. "Might-be-a-good-start-to-the-week" Monday? HA, even longer. Ok, so I'll have to work on the week day titles. So, what's going on on our Monday? Well, Little Bear and I did school this morning. And he earned himself some extra iPod time today. He was such a good boy at Wal-Mart and the grocery store. At Wal-Mart he walked right next to the cart and held on to it, and stopped and turned when I asked. And even helped put the stuff in. That's been a HUGE problem with him- not wanting to stay right beside me (or Daddy) when we are out. Normally I have the rule that if it's just me, he HAS to ride in the cart, no question. But he asked very nicely today to walk so I decided to give it a shot. And he did great. Earned the right to walk the next time we go out. Now, at the grocery store he rode, just because we were getting so much stuff.

Then some friends came over to look at a climber-slider thing for outside that we are selling. Little Bear informed me that he was too big for it now. I want to get him a swing set anyhow. We are getting some clean-up work done to the very back of our land, so it'll be the perfect place for a swing set.

Got a lot of cleaning done today. We are having a yard sale this Saturday. I'm hoping to earn some more money to put in Little Bear's Swing Set Fund. Not to mention that my house just needs to be de-cluttered.

Me and Hubby have had a lot of things happen over the past few months, and well, I feel the need to release. And part of that is getting rid of all the crap that has built up in my house. I wish I could take everything OUT....then put things back all nice and neat and what doesn't fit just gets thrown out. Know what, that's a pretty good idea!!

Anyhow, hopefully I'll get some new pictures up soon. Lots of new and cool things planned for this week. Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Organizing is the Name of the Game

So about a month ago, I noticed that my homeschooling stuff was everywhere in my house (which isn't very big to begin with). So I decided to start putting everything into one closet, just to keep it together. Which worked great and looked a little like this:



It wasn't bad, but not too organized. So I got to work and the closet turned into this:





It looks A LOT better. And so much easier to find stuff. I can just go right to whatever I need. That is until today...when I bought all this stuff at a yardsale:



And I contacted the lady this evening about if she had any of the 4 MORE boxes of stuff left, and she told me she had ALL of it. So guess who is going tomorrow to get ALL the rest? Yup, that would be me. I'm gonna need a bigger closet!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Penguin Crossing

Along with our normal worksheets and writing practice, we started our first Lapbook today. We did a simple one, with only one folder.



I wrote "PENGUINS" across the top, but he glued down some pictures and colored the front. You can see "Little Penguin" (the stuffed animal) in the upper corner- that's what started it all!



I glued a piece of construction paper to the inside middle, just to add some support.



Next, we read a Mini Book about penguins that we then glued to one of the flaps. And we also song a song about penguins that we glued to the other side. We glued a small sheet of paper to the middle part with 6 Fun Facts about Penguins. Then he colored a picture and practiced writing "P". We added glue only to the top of these pages and glued they atop one another, to make a kinda flip book. This way, he can flip back back through the book and see everything he's done.





As the next two weeks pass, we'll had more poems & songs, more mini books and more colored pictures. As well as mazes and penguin math problems.

So stay tune for more even pictures!!

Thanks so much for reading.