Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jonathan as Mike Teevee

Madi truly enjoys and thrives being in the spotlight, Jake too. So many videos on here involve the two of them singing or dancing or both. Jonathan doesn't mind the spotlight, but really has found that he gets his greatest enjoyment out of running the spotlight. Tonight however, Jonathan blew me (and the entire audience) away! Here he is singing his Mike Teevee song from Willy Wonka. He really nailed it!! Don't forget, if you live close, you still have a chance to see Jonathan do this again Sunday at 2!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Willy Wonka

If you are a local reader I hope you come see Willy Wonka tonight at 7, Fri at 7, Sat at 7 or Sun at know where it is. If you are a homeschooler you can get in for $3 instead of the regular admission $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

While I was on the Theatre website getting the picture of the poster, I found this funny picture from Into the Woods...

Old Rough and Ready

We just finished our last last President study for the year, here is a picture of Zachary Taylor and my nephew with the same name.

Alphabet soup

I got this from a blog that was linked to a friends blog...

A is for age:

B is for burger of choice:
From the grill, cheese (ideally cheddar), ketchup and sometimes pickle OR From Shady Glen in CT!

C is for what kind of car you drive:
2003 Honda CRV with the extra third row seat because I'm always driving extra kids around. We also have two falling apart 1995 Hondas that Mike likes driving.

D is for your dog's name:
No dog, Darwin was our last dog.

E is for essential item you use everyday:
Shower (three times yesterday...we're keeping our AC off as long as we can)

F is for favorite TV show at the moment:
Dancing with the Stars and American Idol have ended so now it's back to Reruns of King of Queens when I get in bed (and Seinfeld if I stay awake long enough). We've also been recording Nanny 911 which is apparently on CMT daily.

G is for favorite game:
Depends, Skip Bo or Scrabble with Mike.

H is for Hometown:
Does this mean where we live or where I'm from? I'm trying not to put where I live (although it is probably on here somewhere)

I is for instruments you play:
Took piano lessons as a child, but can't play.

J is for favorite juice:
I don't drink much juice, maybe white grape peach.

K is for whose butt you'd like to kick:
Hmm, tough one....

L is for last restaurant you ate at?
Bob Evans

M is for your favorite Muppet:
Kermit the frog

N is for Number of Piercing:
One in each ear that has earrings everyday...(two more in one ear and one more in the other that I could get earrings in if I tried, but I usually don't)

O is for overnight hospital stays:
WAY too many last year with Mike. Two with Madi when she was 5. AND too many with Jonathan between the ages of 3 days and 3 years. Two nights when Jonathan was born, two nights when Madi was born. One night when I was about 5 and had to get my extra tooth removed (at a far away hospital because the local nurses were on strike, all by myself). Jake has never spent the night in a hospital (he was born in a birthing center and we went home in about 5 hours) but I did spend one night in the hospital when I was pregnant with Jake for a weird pain that never got diagnosed.

P is for people you were with today:
Mike and the kids, but Mike has gone to work and the kids are still sleeping.

Q is for what you do with your quiet time:
read books and blogs

R is for biggest regret:
Mike having the ERCP (which cause all the damage in October)

S is for status:
Home in my PJs spending early morning quiet time on the computer before the kids get up. It is the morning of opening night for Willy Wonka!!

T is for time you woke up today:
Before 6 when Mike got up, back to sleep until 7.

U is for what you consider unique:
Maybe our lifestyle, but in our crowd it's not unique.

V is for vegetable you love:
corn on the cob, broccoli, salad

W is for worst habit:

X is for x-rays you've had:
mostly just my teeth

Y is for yummy food you ate today:
Nothing yet today, tacos last night.

Z is for zodiac sign:

Tag to anyone who wants to play!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

On Sunday we went to the Devil Rays baseball game. It was family day and the first 7500 kids got those free yellow foam giveaways. Our seats were right next to the Sting Ray tank, and Jake and I got to touch them (this might be the first picture of myself that I have on my blog!) AND...the best part...after the game the kids got to run the bases!!! It was so cool!

Curriculum Review/ Homeschool Convention

We are winding down our "school year" although we all know learning doesn't stop. This past year Jonathan and Madi's curriculum involoved studying the time period of Exploration through 1850 for History. Science was animals for the first half of the year and plants for the second half. Next year our History will continue with 1850 through Modern Times and Science will be Chemistry and Physics experiments. Jake will be doing My Father's Worlds First Grade next year. Jonathan and Madi both do "Singapore Math" which are work books and text books based on the way they teach math in the country of Singapore (where they are significantly ahead of Americans in math). This past weekend was our Homeschool Convention. We have attended every year since I was pregnant with Jake. This year we didn't all go (Jake had preschool--and it is almost over, and Jonathan and Madi had an important Theatre rehersal--Willy Wonka is this week!). I went down (and back) on Thursday night with some friends. We had a nice dinner and I bought most of our curriculum for next year. The exhibit hall is filled with literally hundreds of vendors. Friday morning Mike and I headed back down there and had a day long date. The convention is held at a huge resort (and I got another nice meal for lunch). We only listened to three speakers (there are about 8 sessions each day), but they were all really great. Some of the biggest reminders I got were...people were created for relationships (not diagramming sentences for example), education is not filling a bucket, it is ignighting a fire, and no one loves our kids like we do and even if we're doing this (homeschooling) pretty bad, we're still doing good. About half of my blog readers are living this same kind of life, and the other half probably can't picture what Homeschooling really looks like and what a Homeschool Convention might be like, but let me tell you it can be extrememly hard, but it is even more rewarding!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memere and Pepere

This is my grandparents' wedding picture.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Don't ya just love homeschoolers?

Here's Madi and two friends hanging out last night. Notice they brought 5 books outside (two on the grass) and there are only three girls!

Right now I have very elaborate game of "house" (as in playing house) going on in my family room. There are 9 kids and their ages are 12, 3 10 year olds, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 3! They are all playing together (this is not unusual!).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Your Life is 68% Green

You live a very green life, and you're aware of how your actions help the earth.

Of course, it's hard to be totally green. But when you make a tradeoff, you know why you're making it.

Performance Troupe

Jonathan and madi are a part of the Theatre's Performance Troupe, and they performed "A Year in Review" last night at a function at a local retirement community.

Here are the kids after a fun performance.

Madi had a solo, hopefully the video below works.

Is my last name worth $2100?

I'm not really sure I want to get into this whole thing here, but this situation just screams blog material so here it is... As many of you know, I generally hyphenate my last name. It is not a feminist thing, but more of a that's my name and who I am kind of a thing. My driver's license and checkbook are written that way. For a long time I was known by most of my friends around here by the two names, but more and more often lately I have called myself just by the last one (the same as Mike and the kids). Last week Mike went on the IRS website to check on our economic stimulus check and guess what? Apparently we aren't getting one because my SS# is "invalid" because it doesn't match my last name. (the Social Security department has my name hyphenated and the IRS does not) In the short term, my current plan is to "officially" drop my maiden name. This might then mean changing my name on my license, checking account, credit cards etc...'s the sad part-- we really will not be getting the economic stimulus check like all of the rest of you this year. There apparently will be a provision on the 2008 tax return for this kind of thing, so we MAY get it next year, but definitely not before then. This is extrememly frustrating! After all we've been through this year, this is pretty mild, but it is just one more thing piled on top of everything else. Why is everything so hard???!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A different kind of day

Today was a different kind of day for us...a home day. As homeschoolers we are home more than a lot of people, but frequently our "home" looks a lot like yesterday did with 9 kids running around in the backyard under the sprinklers eating popsicles. Then frantically herding everyone into the car so we could drop off the kids at various places (dance camp etc). Today, we've been home and no one else is here. Jake went to preschool in the morning and Jonathan, Madi and I read about the state of Missouri, John Quincy Adams, and George Washington Carver. Madi did about 6 days worth of math, and Jonathan's been doing assorted odd jobs around the house so he can go to kids' college. Kids' college is a two week day camp at the local community college. Last year he did two weeks of half days taking a Harry Potter class and a Gameshow Trivia class. This year he wants to do full days (4 classes), and we need to sign up and pay early next week, so he is frantically trying to earn money. He has cleaned out some of the garage, vacuumed and cleaned the hot tub (we had mosquito larvae in there), and now he is slipping around my shower in his bathing suit with soft scrub and a magic eraser. In addition to these bigger jobs, he's been the only one to load and unload the dishwasher, hang the laundry, etc, for the last few days. We really want him to get to go to kids' college, this will be his last year since it only goes up to age 12, but we are not paying for it outright, he's got to earn it. It's a win-win situation! He's got all evening to do more jobs because we have nothing out of the house tonight either! We even have dinner cooking in the crock pot (we don't have to eat in the car tonight!).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

She did it again!!!!

Tonight was the AWANA awards banquet. My three kids made me so proud! Jonathan was a flag bearer and recieved a special book award and trophy and an attendance award. He has now "graduated" from AWANA and plans to be a helper there next year.

Jake got a book award for "cubbies" and Mike and I got a parents' awards because at that age, if the parents don't work with the kids, it doesn't get done. He also got a big bubble wand that blows huge bubbles (his favorite part)

And then there was Madi... Madi puts a lot of effort into AWANA memorizing verses and doing the "extra credit" activities as well. For the second year in a row, she and another girl are the only ones to have finished the whole book (including extra credit) and for the second year in a row, Madi finished it all first and was recognized as "CLUBBER OF THE YEAR!" Besides the certificate and trophy, Madi received a $25 movie gift card and the T & T girls quilt (each girl in her class make a quilt block earlier in the year and it was announced that the clubber of the year would get to keep the quilt. Yeah, Madi! I am bursting with pride!

Preschool Concert

Last night was Jake's preschool spring concert. We videotaped it with our "old fashioned" camcorder (not digital), we were way in the back so I didn't get very good pictures either. It was fun though and toothless Jake looked especially cute. The next time we will be there in the evening will be for his'll be so sad! I actually cried in the pick up line today because I'm not ready for it to end!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A REALLY fun ride!!

Yesterday after preschool (and homeschool), the kids and I went to Disney's Hollywood Studio (formerly MGM). There is a really fun Toy Story Ride that hasn't even opened yet, but as passholders we got a preview (actually we went on 3 times). It is an interactive ride of midway games, you score points and it is soo fun! Jonathan and Madi beat me everytime. It was a blast! I highly recommend will be opening for real at the end of the month. The line is filled with giant size toys (Candy Land, Scrabble, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys......). A fun time was had by all!

Friday, May 9, 2008

My poor baby!

Last night at 1:30 am, Mike and I heard a crash followed by Jake crying. He had been sleeping in Madi's bed with her, so I rushed down the hall to find him in the 5 or so inches between the bed and the wall (near the window). I picked him up and took him to our room, where I said he could sleep as long as he could be quiet and still and go to sleep. He tends to be a poor sleeper, he's a very restless sleeper and sometimes cries in the night about his legs hurting ( a story for another time). At one point before going back to sleep he said his teeth hurt. I asked him if it was his grown up ones that are coming in and he said yes. I said "It'll be OK, go to SLEEP!" (remember it is 1:30 am!!). He whined a little more and fell asleep. This type of thing is not a rare occurance in our house. Fast forward to 6am where Jake is awake again and has now peed in my bed. I (still very tired) say, "You can get in the tub later, just take the wet things off, put on dry ones and get a towel to lay on." He whines some more and says he can't, so I drag myself out of bed to get him towel, but now I'm up so I might as well get him right in the tub. This is the point at which I look at him for the first time....there is dry blood on his mouth, his lip is swollen and his teeth don't look right. For one thing, there aren't as many as there used to be and the front top two are sort of dangling. AAAHHHHHHHHHHH! We called the dentist at 6:30 this morning and he was able to get us in at 8. Jake now has three missing teeth on top (in addition to the two he already lost on the bottom). He had Xrays and has no bone damage and his grown up teeth are up there and fine. After the dentist I lavished him with treats including a baseball tee that he's been wanting, a ball/sprinkler toy, and lollipops and popsicles. (He deserved to be alittle bit spoiled...he was very brave and had been through the ringer...and it shows!) We even made it to the Mother's Day Tea Party at preschool where the teacher read this poem that Jake wrote...

Favorites by Jake
My favorite thing about my Mom is...when she cooks
My Mom's favorite color is
My Mom's favorite thing to do to me
My Mom is so funny when she...dances!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Test Post

I am attempting to try to place pictures in the text. This is our GodDaughter, Sari, from when she slept at our house a few weeks ago.

Here's Madi with her GodFather at EPCOT earlier this spring.


Here's Jonathan and his GodMother.

This is too difficult, there's got to be an easier way!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Nature pictures Jonathan took in (and on our way to) CT

Catch all

There are a lot of pictures that I've not gotten on here yet from the last few weeks, so I'm going to attempt to do that now. Also the original intent of this blog was to record our school work, so I'll include an update of that as well. Jonathan and Madi are up to the war of 1812 in history. I'm still loving it. I don't know how I could've gotten through so much formal education, done pretty well, and never learn so much of this stuff! Did you know for example that the War of 1812 basically started because France (under Napoleon) and England were fighting and England began taking Americans off of merchant ships and forced them to fight in the British Royal Navy? It is so easy to learn, when you're reading from good books on a comfortable couch! In Science we are still doing Botany. Did you know that tree's "annual rings" form because trees add cells to their "stem" (trunk) around the outside and in the spring and summer they add a lot (the light colored larger part of the ring) and in the fall they add less and it is different (the dark line). In the winter they add nothing. I always thought the rings really didn't show how old the tree was...and if I did believe it a little, I certainly didn't know why!! Last week while I was with Mike getting his CAT scan, Jonathan and Madi were with friends dissecting owl pellets....for some reason, I've yet to figure out how to add pictures to the middle of the text. Jonathan, Madi and I also went to see The Miracle Worker last week.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Blueberry Cottage

Before and after Jake's show today we worked at our rental "Blueberry Cottage" listed it for sale with an agent. It was an 11 hour day for the five of us and Meme and Grampa Carlie. There was also a little silliness thrown in...notice the "fruit face" pictures!

Little Theatre Recital

Jake's Theatre class had their recital today. Madi is a "helper" for the class, so she was in it to (as well as in the "performance troupe" numbers between scenes). Jonathan did the sound for it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A couple of hard days

Last week Mike had a Dr appt where they discussed blood work that he had done about a month ago. The tests showed that his blood sugar was high at the time of the test and also that it had been running high for at least the last 3 months. After his pancreatitis, he had "temporarily" been diabetic (the pancreas is what produces insulin), he came home from the hospital in October needing to count carbs and on oral medication and insulin shots. He was weaned from the medications in December. Since December, Mike has done great at cutting out most sugar, but not so well with counting carbs or checking his blood sugar...we were trying to get back to normal afterall. Well at this point it looks like the diabetes may not be so temporary and last Thursday Mike was put back on the oral diabetes medication. He's been a little more tired than usual which seemed fairly easily explained by a stressful job, busy family, not so successful rental properties, and a trip to CT for a funeral. Since the weekend though the tiredness got significantly worse and he also felt very weak (this instantly made me weak!). He came home early from work on Tuesday and yesterday morning he had another Dr appt. He was sent for a CATscan and blood work. Yesterday I was a wreck! Immediately my body went back into panic mode and I felt similar to how I felt the whole month of October. It was torture. Unfortunately I tend to think the worst in medical situations because everyone who knows us knows we've come very close to the worst too many times in our family (and on the same token we almost never have plain old illnesses like other people get). The anxiety was heightened last night when we happened to run into Mike's primary care Dr at the grocery store last night, where she told us point blank..."your pancreas looks ugly". She did not have the other 10 or so CATscans Mike had between Oct-Dec for comparison however. Well, today, after a little runaround and many phone calls we finally found out his bloodwork was normal except for his high sugar (which we know and can handle)...most importantly his pancreatic enzymes are normal...this is GREAT news!!! A little while later we also heard form the gastroenterologist who had the old scans, that his pancreas is SIGNIFICANTLY better than December!! Now I can attempt to feel normal again. It is hard to explain how panicked I got, but I immediately went into the mode of "he's getting pancreatitis again"--which almost killed him. I sincerely don't want to be a panicker, but crazy scarey illnesses seem to be our cross to bear. Mike's current situation is far from a crazy scarey illness, it is only tiredness because of elevated bloodsugar and a need to figure out how best to control it, but like I said we've had too many life threatening situations in our family. In the first two and a half years of his life I rushed Jonathan to the ER close to death3 a three day old infant his blood sugar was undetectable and he had a stroke, at 2 years old it was 19, and at 2 1/2 on the day Madi was supposed to be baptized he had a grand mal seizure and his blood sugar was 21. It turns out he was born with Glycogen Storage Disease type 9...his body couldn't store glycogen(sugar)...he outgrew it. Madi had almost never been sick in her life, and just before she turned 5 a random virus caused her body to start attacking her blood platelets and she had to spend 2 days in pediatric ICU with Idiopathic Immune Thrombocytopedic Purpura. She is no more likely to ever get this than anyone is a fluke thing. Mike also had periocarditis about 7 years ago (inflamation of the lining around the heart). I say all this to explain why I tend jump to worst case senarios...because we've been there, done that. We do seem to bounce back though, so while I was freaked out yesterday, by tomorrow I should most likely be my normal self again. This might be very confusing to read because I'm currently in the period between totally stressed and normal. Sorry for the confusion! I do just want to thank all my wonderful friends who immediately stepped up to help us once again in our time of need. (You all know who you are and I love you!!) (You too Meme and Grampa Carlie who drove the 1 1/2 each way to sit in the waiting room with us.)