Monday, June 30, 2008

To take part in the Simple Woman's daybook go here.

FOR TODAY June 30th
Outside my window...we saw a hot air balloon this morning.

I am thinking...about how cute it was that Madi was singing Somewhere Over the rainbow in the shower this morning.

I am thankful for...all of the opportunities that are available to our family, most importantly being able to stay home and homeschool.

From the kitchen...homemade bread and cinnamon buns made last night from freshly milled wheat...thanks again Cris!

I am wearing...tan shorts and a red shirt, barefoot as usual.

I am creating...more whole wheat baked goods today (again, the real thing freshly milled not the kind from the store with no nutrients left in it.)

I am bring the kids to Theatre in a few minutes. Less driving this week because Kids' College is over.

I am reading...Ready for Love by Debbie Macomber, Childhood of Famous Americans Abigail Adams with Madi, Stone Soup almost everyday with Jake, Mothering Magazine and Brain Child magazine.

I am get a lot accomplished during Theatre.

I am hearing...the kids singing along with Multiplication Rock as they finish getting ready.

Around the house...clean sheets in the washer ready to be hung on the line and very messy counters in the kitchen that I want to tackle this morning.

One of my favorite things...the smell of sheets hung on the line.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: After Theatre today Jonathan will play in a four hole golf tournament, less going on the rest of the week. Fun Fourth of July activities on Friday which should culminate in us being able to see the town fireworks from our driveway.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Computer woes

The video of the newspaper article is only viewable on certain computers and I haven't got nearly enough computer knowledge to know why it works on some and not others. To add to that I can't seem to watch any videos on my computer right now. The temporary fix that we got on it before our friends headed out on vacation was to let us get on- line through a different browser (foxfire instead of internet explorer), with this for some reason videos don't work. Soo, that leaves me with all kinds of things to want to put on here and no good way to do it. The kids participated in our homeschool group's second annual Homeschool Exhibition last night. Madi sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow and she, Jonathan, and their friend Hannah sang a states and capitals song. Other kids performed poems, the Gettysburg Address, played violins, talked about things they'd studied this year, and much more. In addition to the performance part there was also a display section where kids could display their work and projects, kind of like a science fair, but not just science. This morning on our walk Mike and I were talking about how great it is to live here. Originally, a huge part of our wanting to the live in Florida was the weather, now that's the least of it (it is especially easy to say that in the heat of the summer:)!) I love our community so much. Last night I was talking to a friend who we've known since first moving here. When we met her oldest was five, now she is fourteen and spending the week at sleep away "whale camp" in Maine. It is such a blessing to be close to so many wonderful families and to not only be able to see our homeschool lifestyle working so well in our family, but in so many others too. Stay tuned, hopefully we'll have some pictures and video of last night before the next big event!

Friday, June 27, 2008

video link

For the second time this week our family was quoted in the newspaper. I may or may not get a link to that on here, but I'm going to attempt to put a link to a video from the newspaper website. Madi plays a big part in this...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What's new

Jonathan now has an article published in the Bunkroom, click here to read it. It is all about Florida. The last two weeks of our curriculum involved studying our state and writing a research report on it. We didn't get too far on the actual "research report" part, but they (we) learned a ton. Then time got away from us and pretty soon it was time for Theatre camp, kids' college, sports camp etc... My rationalization of it all is that it is really about what they learned as opposed to producing something to get "graded" on (which we don't do anyway). Jonathan's last day of kids' college is today already. He has loved it. Yesterday Meme was with me when I went to pick up Jonathan and the rest of the "kids' college gang" and she thought it was so cute how excited and talkative they all were when they got in the car. Jonathan's Harry Potter 1 class played quidditch yesterday, and he caught the golden snitch and won the game for his team (they didn't really fly...he knows he can't!) He was so proud!! He's really enjoyed his code breaking class also, and has come home with different codes for us to crack. In his other class, he's made his own website. He'll probably be blogging soon...and we'll call it "creative writing". I know he'll be using the computer to make up puzzles and codes (mostly about Harry Potter) for the rest of the summer (and beyond!). He is reading the book Eggs for the library summer book club.

Madi has most of her Dorothy lines memorized already. As usual, she is loving Theatre. She is reading for one of the local library's summer reading incentive programs. For every 20 minutes you read each week, you get a ticket put into a drawing to win a prize. She won a $5 bookstore gift card yesterday. As I watched her getting into the car this morning, I was once again marveling at how cute she is. I told her I wish I had her style (or any style really). She suggested I grow my hair long, I hate to tell her it would take a lot more then that to make me as cute as she is! Madi still hasn't sung Somewhere Over the Rainbow for us, but she is going to perform it at the Homeschool Exhibition this weekend.

Then there's Jake. He's having a tough behavior day. This morning after he'd already made a few bad choices, he and I were in my room and I was going over (rather loudly) how I really needed to trust him to make better choices. He was still very frustrated (and looking back I think he was hungry too), and raised his hand saying, "I'm going to hit you". Then just as quickly, he put his hand down and said "Oh if I hit you, then you won't trust me." Then he climbed on my lap, hugged me and said "Does this help?"...we're getting there. He is thrilled to be in the Wizard of Oz. He's watched the movie a few times this week already, and practices his song and dance constantly. Jake is also involved in the reading incentive program, and I have made a very good effort to read to him every night. He is into the Berenstain Bears right now. I'm trying to get some mileage out of that because he certainly can use some help (today especially) with Manners, Room cleaning, etc...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook for Today June 23.

I am doing this week's version of the Simple Woman's Daybook from Jonathan's laptop because sadly I think our computer is kaPUT (I never wrote that word before!). I will probably have much less time on-line this week (and maybe for a while). I will have to edit sometime to add the simple woman picture and link eventually.

Outside my Window...there is a circle of chairs around the firepit, remnants of a fun night with friends last night.

I am thinking...about how blessed we are to have so many good friends.

I am thankful and friends.

From the dip and frozen pizza, Madi's got some friends here for supper.

I am wearing...a tan shirt with blue flowers on it that is considerably older than Jake and denim shorts that I bought last week for $5.99, no shoes of course!

I am reading...another Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe.

I am hoping...that I don't need a crown on my tooth, remember the filling I got last week...well now that tooth has a crack in it--I see the dentist on Wednesday. I am also hoping that "professor mouse" can look at our computer tonight before they head to NY in the morning.

One of my favorite getting into bed at night.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...the usual summer camp carpooling, babysitting Tues and Thurs, probably some Library programs, continuing organizing and cleaning out, Mike being home everynight for dinner!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Jonathan's computer only has "sample pictures" on it, so this was the best I could do!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Week in review

It has been an extremely full week, and I figured I might as well record it for posterity. Most of these things we don't have pictures of because Jonathan is taking a Photo Journaling class at Kids' College and he has been taking the camera with him all week. The pictures that I do have were taken with my phone. Saturday morning we did a fundraising carwash for Theatre, after that Jonathan had a golf clinic. Saturday night we met my parents at an "active" area on the beach where we played skee-ball (& got cheap prizes), had ice cream, and watched fireworks. We spent the night at Meme and Grampa Carlie's. Sunday morning we got up early, gave the Dads their presents and headed to Father's Day Mass. This was follwed by breakfast out, Grampa Carlie to work for a while, some of us to the beach for a short time, Mike and Jonathan then met Grampa Carlie for 9 holes of golf, while the rest of us relaxed some more, then we all had BBQ ribs for dinner (and finally the long ride home). Monday morning Mike had to head to Jacksonville for three days of meetings, and I started my Mommy's Taxi service. Jonathan and two of Madi's friends are doing Kids' College, while Madi and Jake and more friends are doing Theatre. I won't bore or confuse you with the details, but suffice it to say I had many many different kids in my car and different points during the week. This did however give me three free mornings this week which gave me time to clean a few bathrooms, organize my bedroom and Jake's room, as well as the usual laundry, dishes, etc. The kids also had sports camp in the evenings, which gave me more free time to go out to Thai food for the first time ever(it was good!), hang out with friends, and attempt to recover throw pillows (at least I am now becoming really good at threading my sewing machine, if nothing else). Here's a sports camp picture...

Jake's Theatre is only on M,W & F, and I also had to babysit yesterday (and today), so I took Jake and B & P to a morning library program where we met some firefighters and we got to check out the truck...

In the afternoon it was time for another library's program and we met lots of friends for the Jiggleman's performance. The Jiggleman is basically a comedian for kids who does all kinds of crazy things like bouncing on huge balls, juggling, and crazy stunts with a leaf blower (lots of kid humor!). Theatre finished just as this program started so Madi and the other Theatre kids got to go to this too. Then it was time to pick up and drop off various kids (on Thurs morning, and the other afternoons I didn't do the driving). Thursday night Mike and I went on a date out to dinner, ice cream, and a walk by the lake (if you searched the word "ice cream" on my blog it would come up a lot!!)

Today Jonathan and Madi had no camps (this morning) so they had their Homeschool Evaluation. One of the options for Florida homeschoolers is to have a state certified teacher look over the kids' portfolio and sign a form indicating they have "made progress comensurate with their ability". It is vague to say the least, but we are happy to have used the same evaluator since Jonathan was in kindergarten, and the kids really enjoy showing her all of the things they have done this year. That brings us up to lunchtime today. I currently have 5 hungry kids here eager for lunch so here I go... (then I think it's time for a rest!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Wizard of Oz

Madi was cast as Dorothy in the summer production of the Wizard of Oz!! Jake will be in it also, he is a Munchkin. Jonathan will be doing the lights, he isn't attending the first two weeks of Theatre camp because he is doing "Kids' College" instead.

"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn't there, I never really lost it."

-Dorothy Gale from Kansas

For all of you "out of towners" start booking your tickets now, this is one not to miss!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A funny thing from Jake

This evening all three kids started a week long "Mega sports camp" VBS. Jake and Madi are doing soccer and Jonathan is doing basketball. The first thing Jake said when I picked him up was "Why do I need shin guards, I didn't even get kicked in the shins!?". Then he told me he kicked the ball once and guess where it went..."out of bounce!"

I am so thankful...

Jonathan's thyroid is normal! A few months ago Jonathan had some blood work done because our pediatrician had a slight concern that he might not be growing as fast as SHE'd like. (I emphasize SHE because as much as we love this pediatrician, she has an issue about height...Mike and I both know we are short and it doesn't bother us and we don't expect Jonathan to be exceptionally tall either, but she wanted us to have all the info in case for some reason there was a growth hormone deficiency or something). Well anyway, when the blood work came back, his THYROID numbers were a little off (growth hormone is fine). The doctor called us and told us this while we were on our way up to CT for Memere's funeral. She said it wasn't a huge deal, but wanted to repeat the test in two months. I did a much better job than normal about not worrying about this, so much so that I don't even think I mentioned it to anyone. It has now been two months, so last week I called the office to schedule more blood work. They faxed the orders to Mike's office and we went to Labcorp on Friday afternoon. Jonathan, Madi, Jake and I waited an hour for Jonathan's name to be called. For some reason the only technician drawing blood was also the only person answering the phones and checking people in as well. By this time the waiting room had thinned out and so I left Madi and Jake in the waiting area and went with Jonathan into the next room where they took his blood. (There was only one lady in the waiting area with them at the time, she was the woman who told Madi there weren't any opportunities for homeschoolers.) The technician stuck the needle in Jonathan's blood, she moved it around a little...still nothing. Then she stuck the other arm, then she wiggled it around on that side-- no blood. By this time he's getting a little uncomfortable. He really wanted to leave and the technician was giving up. I encouraged them both to try one more time, knowing we had already wasted an hour there and had the next few weeks full of Kids' College, Theatre camp etc... Finally back on the first arm, she got some blood. As it slowly trickled into the test tube all of the color quickly drained from Jonathan's face. He almost passed out. I am no stranger to medical emergencies so I immediately go into panic mode! After a few cups of water, a lifesaver candy, and call to Mike, Jonathan was feeling well enough to head to McDonald's to get something to eat. (a little background...Jonathan had a serious blood sugar issue as a young child, and it comes back to haunt me whenever he isn't feeling well, which thankfully isn't very often) Like I said, I did really well about not worrying over the potential thyroid problem, but for the last few days (before and after the blood test), I've thought about it more and more..."Is he seeming to tired?" "does he not have enough energy?" etc...Well, we got the call a little while ago...his thyroid is NORMAL...Thank God!!

Stop by Peggy's for the Simple Woman's Daybook.

FOR TODAY June 16th...
Outside my is hot and sunny as usual.

I am thinking...I want the novacaine to wear off really soon, I just had a tooth filled and the whole side of my head, mouth, and tongue are numb...I hate it!

I am thankful for...My family.

From the kitchen...Meals on the run, between the three kids we're starting 4 different camps today!

I am wearing...tan shorts and a black shirt, barefoot as usual.

I am creating...a neat and organized house while the kids are at their various summer programs.

I am be doing a lot of carpooling for the next few weeks.

I am reading...Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg and Madi and I just finished The Wolves of Willoughby Chase yesterday.

I am hoping...that I don't bite my tongue while I am numb.

I am hearing...The air conditioner and the washing machine.

Around the house...There are messes to be cleaned up, we slept at Meme and Grampa Carlie's Saturday night and everyone just dumped everything by the front door when we got home at 10pm last night. (I'm the only one home to clean them up!)

One of my favorite a clean house.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Lots of dropping off and picking up of my own kids and many others, and in between tackling some organizational projects around the house.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

This is NOT what the kids looked like when they headed out to their activities this morning!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Blogspot question

Does anyone know if it is possible to have the actual pictures of the books we are reading (like my list of read alouds) going down the sides of the blog on blogspot? Other people have this on their blogs, but they aren't blogspot. I was able to link some of them (tedious) to the amazon page like other people have, but I'm not finding a way to do it with the picture and link like others have.

Homeschool Thoughts--Stream of Consciousness

I'm thinking this will probably be a continuing topic for the next few blog posts because it seems like I've been hearing a lot of homeschooling questions lately. I'm not sure why so many now more than usual, maybe because schools are getting out. A lot of the preschool Moms have asked me a lot of questions recently as their kids are leaving the safety and love of St Edwards to head to various kindergartens. Each year some of those kids inevitably get pulled out to homeschool even when it was not in the family's plan because the public school situation ends up being "very different from St Edwards". One mother just asked me, "What do you do when they say they don't want to do their work?" I gave her my standard answer of it being no different than when kids say they don't want to eat their vegetables, or brush their teeth, or do their homework. Obviously it depends on the situation, but when homeschooling is your lifestyle, all of those things are parenting issues certainly not exclusive to homeschooling. Another common one that I heard recently is "I'm not organized, you have to be really organized to homeschool". I think it takes a lot more organization to get numerous kids off on time to different schools each day with the right clothes on, lunches made, homework completed and everything else that I may not even be aware of that comes with that lifestyle. It takes much less organization to tell my kids to meet me in the loft so we can read some more about the presidents or go get their math so we can lay on my bed and work on it. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to be organized (and in some ways I might even be a little organized), but as much as I think it would be a good idea to have a meal plan and know that "it is Thursday so it is spaghetti day" that is just not the way I function. We might not want spaghetti just because it is Thursday and on the same token we may not want to do math just because it is 9:00. A popular comment is "I don't have the patience for homeschooling"...guess what...nobody does! As a young babysitter and eventually as a child care provider and preschool teacher, I was loaded with patience. Unfortunately I used it all up before I had my own kids. Now I'm not anymore patient than anyone else, but I do love my kids more than anyone else does and that goes a long way. A newspaper reporter just asked me "What if they want to go to high school like NORMAL kids?" A woman in the doctor's office just told Madi, "My cousin sends her kids to public school because there are no opportunities for homeschoolers". These particular comments are so out of touch with our life that it would take days to explain to others what homeschooling really looks like for us. While doing his math last night (on my bed) Jonathan did ask the dreaded, "When am I ever going to need to use this?" interestingly enough it was about finding the area of a shaded part of a larger figure. I told him you might need that a lot for laying carpeting or flooring or sod and even (as I looked down at the quilt Madi is working on that is laying on my floor) QUILTINQ! His math is getting harder everyday though and eventually he'll say that again about things that he might not ever need, so I'm asking for some suggestions for when the time comes..."It helps you to think" is only going to get me so far!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Don't you worry about socialization?

Just a few families going out for ice cream before a summer reading program at the library. The program was a performance by a local magician (and our friend, Dad to two of the girls in the picture and the new baby from a few posts back). I love this town!

Monday, June 9, 2008

I almost forgot to add this...visit Peggy here to join the Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY June 9th...
Outside My Window...It is hot and we are hoping for rain, the garbage truck just got here.

I am thinking...I hope I am doing this right. It seems like I'm adding new features to my blog all the time, and I'm not really sure this will work!

I am thankful for...My family.

From the kitchen...Italian sausage in the crock pot, scones and muffins this morning.

I am wearing...shorts and a Tshirt with dragonflies on it, barefoot.

I am creating...memories for my children.

I am going...nowhere today and liking it.

I am reading...Can't Wait to get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg

I am will rain!

I am hearing...The kids playing and watching Toy Story 2.

Around the house...The last of the laundry is on the line.

One of my favorite when the kids get along.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I think we will go to Alexander Springs tomorrow. A pretty calm week in general as opposed to last week or next week.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Jake is very much into Toy Story lately, here he is today dressed up as Woody!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine

After the full day yesterday we were exhausted and didn't set an alarm this morning. However we woke up at 7:00 and by 7:30 we were at Mass at Mary Queen of the Universe Catholic Church. It is a Church and Shrine that was built for the Orlando tourists. It was a great way to start the day. When the priest mentioned that they'd have coffee and donuts after Mass I whispered that in Jake's ear (encouraging him to be good) and his response was "Good maybe that will help your bad breath" (in the rush to get to Church, I had neglected to brush my teeth, how's that for "keeping it real?").

Disney the cheap way

Not only did we head down to Disney on Friday evening, but we packed up, cashed in some Hampton Inn points and stayed for two nights! On Saturday morning, knowing we wouldn't be going to the parks, we hung out at our hotel's modest pool for a little while and then headed to some resort pools. What a great way to do Disney for free! By the time the night was over we had gone in FIVE different pools!

Waiting in line for the great slide at the Contemporary Resort.

One of the two pools we went to at the Grand Floridian.

Jake on the slide at the Polynesian.

Mike and the kids in line for the "volcano slide" at the Polynesian Resort.

We took the monorail from one resort to the next and we all even had a chance to ride in the front. What a fun family day!!


I know last week I said that on Sunday we went to Disney for the last time before the summer blackout days, but I was wrong! We went down to EPCOT as a family on Friday night. It was truly the last day we could use our tickets before August 15th!

Video of last day

After the carnival, we (Moms and kids) had hot dogs together for lunch and then Miss Shawnie lined up the "graduates" and congratulated them and told them they were kindergarteners now. I was able to get this video.

Last Day

Jake's last day of preschool was Friday, and it was a carnival complete with games, snow cones, and even a "bounce house". I am really going to miss that place! Jake was a little sad too, but he wouldn't admit it. He just kept putting his face into my side and saying "I'm tired". I know he wasn't really tired because after school he went to a pool party, then another friend's house, and then we went to EPCOT at night, and he lasted just fine through all of that. I think it was a new feeling for him to be sad and happy about something at the same time. It is a little harder to him to understand being sad about something like that than being sad that he hurt himself or something. Growing pains!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jake---another video

Here's more video of the graduation. Our camera's memory filled up before the kids sang the last (best) song, but luckily my friend "hillsidehollow" got a great video of it, I just have to get it from her. In the meantime here are the boys from Jake's class doing the ABCs etc... (the girls were on the other side). Jake is third from the far side. His buddy Joe is on his right.

The bunkroom

Madi is published in this local newsletter by kids for kids!

Jake's graduation video

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jake's Graduation

My baby graduated from preschool tonight. It was very emotional for me. As a homeschooling family that is involved in many things, my kids have had many positive role models over the years. Before St Edward's preschool however, I had never shared the role of "teacher" with anyone else. I never handed over that huge responsibility to anyone. For the last two years Miss Shawnie, Miss Mary, and Miss Laura have been a huge part of our lives. It has been an amazing experience and as usual, I'm having a very hard time saying goodbye.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Stealing one more picture...

Close friends of ours had a baby girl today...isn't this the sweetest picture??

Stealing Pictures

Jonathan and Madi are in an ad for our friends' pool business.

This blog teaches me more about computers everyday. I am getting really good at taking pictures from other places and people and putting them on here. I can even type in between them now. My oldest God-daughter, Mary, was named the state of Vermont's female athlete of the year. Here's a picute I got from a newspaper link.

On Sunday after the 4th show in four days, Jonathan, Madi and I headed down to the Magic Kingdom with "hillsidehollow" and her girls H and G. Our passes don't work in the summer (it is too hot and crowded anyway), so we wanted one more visit before the fall. Amanda the theatre director is "Tinkerbell" at Disney and she "flies" from the castle during the nighttime fireworks display. We love to stand under where she lands and yell to her. It makes us feel important to know Tinerbell so well! I got these pictures right off of "hillsidehollow"'s blog.

In addition to the regular show, Madi did "dance camp" too which which is basically 4 extrs hours of class where they learned three dances. These pictures are from dance camp. All the make up is because they were getting a head start on some of the oompa loompa make up...she doesn't usually (ever) look like that.

Digital Photography

These pictures of Willy Wonka were taken by my friend "oneblessedmamma" and by the man who does the theatre website. I love that I don't have to try to get great pictures by myself because technology now makes it so easy to use someone else's pictures. Thanks everyone!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

"What a nice day for a walk in the park"

My parents (AKA Meme and Grampa Carlie) met 45 years ago today!! My father was 17, just about to graduate from high school and was driving around with his buddies. My mother was 14 and walking with some friends. Dad saw Mom walking and told his friend to pull over because he wanted to meet that girl. His first words to her were, "What a nice day for a walk in the park." In the beginning my grandmother (Mugga) said, "You can't go out with him, he shaves!" , but eventually they did get to go out (my father had to park his car in front of the house, and they walked to the movies for two years because my mother wan't old enough to "go in cars.") They are as much in love today as ever and are an inspiration to us all. Their lovestory is our whole family's story and this morning when I asked both Jonathan and Madi separately what happened 45 years ago today, they both quickly figured out what it was and even knew the line (except Madi said "stroll").

Do you know the lovestories in your family?