Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wow Pow Wow

We didn't go to the park on Friday. I know, big shock. We took a field trip to a powwow. It was fantastic. We went with the families in our co-op group. One of the moms suggested it during our last one and we all said, "Heck, yeah!" It was at one of our huge flea markets that's also an antique mall. We're a little back woods here. And the price was right. The kids were free and I was only $3. The parking was free.

We all met at my church and caravaned out there. I was last in line and got dumped at two lights. I knew where it was at, but the fact that I got separated irated me a little. The first time was at a traffic light that is very quick to change. I knew if I ran it, it wouldn't be pretty. The kids were a little worried. I told them not to worry, because my friend driving the lead car wasn't a very fast driver and I would catch up. I caught them a couple of lights later. They had gotten stopped and I pulled right behind the number two car. The kids thought it was cool. The second time was at the entrance to the flea market. That time was funny. I had to laugh. But they waited for me at the top of the hill at a stop sign, so that was alright, too.

We parked together in the shade of a great, big tree. There were several schools there, but it didn't seem crowded. The center was open field with a ring of bleachers and a roped off area for the Native American dancers. There were several teachers in the middle that were dancing for prizes. That was fun for their students. When that was over they had a couple of exhibition dances. The kids were invited in to the ring after that to do the friendship dance.Everybody links hands and the leader starts dancing. Everyone follows the leader and he weaves them into a tight circle, then back out. It looks almost as if he is following a maze. The kids had done it at the library last summer when we had some Native American dancers. The boy took off and the baby was right behind him.

The last dance was the candy dance. They threw lots of candy on the ground then had the kids dance. They had to dance as long as the drums played. As soon as the drums stopped they could pick up candy. I worried about the baby until the drums stopped. My baby can fight for candy. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen. I almost wet my pants. She pushed and shoved just like the other kids. I think the big kids were so stunned that a sweet faced little girl would do something like that, they just let her have the candy. And do not think that the boy was to be denied. He had friends there that had to be outdone. I love my crazy kids.

We browsed the shops for awhile. I didn't tell the kids that they were going to get something. I waited until much later for that. They had some really great things in those shops. It was very cool to see crafts created by loving hands. They had handmade jewelry, and baskets, and flutes, and clothes and shoes and more. They had some pretty cheesy things, but there was some really incredible pieces as well.

We saw three other homeschool families there. They are normally park goers as well. I knew that since six park families were here, the park was going to be pretty empty. One mom was getting there as we spread out our blankets for lunch and joined us. Another called and asked if we were coming to the park. I told her we were all at the powwow. She headed our way and met us just as we were getting in line to paint the pony.

The kids got to paint a pony. It was done before going hunting or into battle. They got to pick a symbol and paint it on the horse. The boy picked hunt, which was an arrow. The girl picked eternity, which looks sort of like the lash line of an eye with only one lash. They both did a great job.

They did a tepee raising demonstration. It looked really easy. But I have a feeling that if I tried to do it, it would take a lot longer. But the poles go a certain way, then they're raised and turned and he made it look like nothing. It was interesting to hear how they engineered them to be water proof and weather resistant. The technology of today does not even compare to the brain power of Native Americans so long ago.

We did get to see more performances as well. I love to hear the music and see the pride and history and courage and perseverance in the dances. I would really like to take the kids to a really big pow wow. I think we would all have a great time.

We sure had a great time at this one. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. It was a balmy 78 degrees. The big girl ended up with a bit of a sunburn. We put her in a hot shower when we got home from dance class and loaded her down with suburn gel. The heat from the shower helps take the sting out a bit. It hurts like the dickens at first, but after it is so good.

I didn't even think to take my camera, but I did get some pictures on my phone. I can't get them into my computer, but they're on my phone. I have also decided that if we do a field trip to somewhere I don't know, I'm googling the directions in case I get dumped. And sunscreen before hand, because I forgot when we got there. But that's all for now. I'll tell you about our Evangelism walk in the next blog.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Follow Up

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers for the big girl. She has healed quite well and feels so much better than she did. Here's the updated picture.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

National Pancake Day

Today is National Pancake Day. IHOP was giving everyone a free three stack. They did ask for donations for the Children's Miracle Network. That's what we did for dinner tonight. It was a busy day and I didn't make time to cook or even thaw anything out. And the pancakes were fantastic. The service was a little cooky, but the food was good. And we got to spend time together, playing the games on the coloring sheet. And everyone's bellies are full.

We had co-op here today. I have been keeping some party favors and kids meal toys that we have a million of in a tin for prize box. I reviewed some of the parts of a dictionary and some of the special markings. Whoever correctly guessed the answer to the questions got to dig in the prize box. I did let everyone have one later, but it worked really well. Then I made the kids look up two words that describe them. They had really great words. Some of them were obnoxious, quirky, different, and crazy. It was neat that they learned the skills, but it was amazing to see the way they picked words for themselves.

Some took the task very seriously. I don't have enough dictionaries for everyone so some had to wait. As soon as they had their words they were ready for a dictionary. And everyone else needed to hurry up or hand over the dictionary. And then we read our words out loud. Mine were vivacious and crazy. I think they fit. The big girl used different and obnoxious. The boy used fun and builder. The baby was with her friend and the friend's mom was helping her friend with her words. The baby thought she was being helped, too, so she used the same words her friend did. Her's were famous and excellent. She's so cute.

It was 5:00 when everyone left! It's a dance night, and I usually try to get dinner as ready as I can before we leave. Hopefully we can eat shortly after we get home. But, it's National Pancake Day. I didn't have to cook anyway. It was nice not have to rush around before we go. And we got to eat pancakes. Yummy!

The big girl's burn is much better. It had scabbed up (yuck, cool) and finally flaked off. The kids spent Friday night with the grandparents and when we picked them up on Saturday, it was all gone. There was some pinkness from the burn under the scab. But that has crusted over now (yuck, cool) and has healed. So now she has this discolored patch that runs where she was burned. And I look at it and just feel my heart shatter all over again. But she thinks the healing process has been cool in a weird way. Or weird in a cool way. Watching the skin repair itself has been very interesting, to say the least. But what amazing bodies God has given us.

That's our update. We try to stay as boring as possible. Not that we have time to be anything else. Being any other way takes too much time. Tomorrow is busy all over again.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reading and stuff

We finished "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" a couple of nights ago. It was really good. It was nice to see some of the characters from "Prince Caspian" again. Reepicheep was one of our favorites. Frankly, mice are just plain cute when their animated. They are definitely not cute when they are scurrying around in your pantry. But it was also nice to be introduced to some new characters. We all laughed out loud at several passages.

We had a discussion about C.S.Lewis today. We watched "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" at our after school program today. I looked up some notes on the internet about the story and about the author. We wanted the kids to see the symbols in the movie, and for those that had read the book, that related to Christ. It was very interesting.

I had mentioned that he had been a Christian, but one of our teenage volunteers had always read that he was an atheist. The website that I looked at said he did the series so that children wouldn't be intimidated by the strictness of the church during that era. He wanted to "soften" the image so that children could come to know Christ. I rather liked that take on it. I guess you can't believe everything that you read. We still don't know who's right.

The big girl's burn is healing very nicely. We have the cream that they gave us at the "urgent" care center. That still makes me mad. Anyway, part of the burn has started to peel away. It leaves that tender pink skin underneath. It's kinda cool in a gross kind of way. I put her on the prayer list at church for a speedy recovery. She said she was going to ask if we could put her on it. She was glad that I did it.

Today was party day at our after school program. I stopped and picked up pizzas for our party. I had already picked up sodas and a couple of our full time volunteers picked up cookies and stuff. It was really nice. The kids remembered to bring their valentines. They had bags that they put them in. We had little gift bags for each of them and a special treat from the volunteers. They got to go outside and play for a good 30 or 45 minutes. And then they came in and we played more games. Then we finally got to watch the movie. I gave our teenager a large pizza. We had more than enough. And he is always good enough to come in every week and put up with us. One of our volunteers gave him a ride home. He was going to walk. Turns out he lives about 4 miles from the church. We have decided that if his other friend isn't there to give him a ride home, we'll find the time to take him.

I still brought home a ton of pizza, and cookies and popcorn. I know we'll eat all of it. And we actually had soda left. Not that we need that, but we have it. We have some ginger ale, so I might make lemonade. That sounds good.

The kids ran and ran. The big girl ended up with a headache. She went to bed a little early. She actually fell asleep on the couch while her brother and sister played Wii. You know she's tired if she can sleep through that. I gave her some melt aways, everybody brushed teeth and they went to bed. I let her use my heating pad and that seemed to help a little. Hopefully she'll feel better in the morning.

You're caught up on the big news for now. We have a weekend to ourselves. Well, a Friday night, but that can seem like forever if you play your cards right. We are so excited. We might go play bingo. No park for the kids, but strangely, I'm alright with that. It's going to be a great weekend.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Done, done, done

I'm done, I'm done. All of our curriculum for next year has been ordered. I looked through curriculum for weeks, plowing through websites and catalogues, and I don't know what else. I have searched, researched, re-researched. And finally, it's done. Now I am so ready to look for the year after!

Our foreign language should be here any day now. I am really excited about that. I don't want to do Spanish, but I think the kids will enjoy it. And hubby has already said that he wants to use the software as well. He could really use it in his line of work. And we seem to be getting more and more Spanish only speakers in this area. Besides, it's a four year curriculum. And after that we can always do the German that I want to do.

It took awhile to find the right math. For the boy it was easy. I'm using the same publisher, just a different set. And it's self directed. I thought about using this really great online curriculum I found through another mom. But I would still have to print all the work, so either way, I'm spending money on something. And by the end of the year, between ink and paper, I would probably have spent more. The big girl was a little harder this year. She'll be in sixth grade, which is transitional. I actually had to go with a text book this year instead of a "curriculum". That took me awhile, but once I found it , it was like a boulder coming off my shoulders.

The language arts was easy. The boy is using a self guided curriculum that is really good and fairly inexpensive. The big girl is using study guides for various books that incorporates all of language arts, except grammar. It's literature, reading comprehension, creative writing, and vocabulary. I did have to order some grammar workbooks, but that's alright, too.

I already have our history, science, and bible study. The best part is that they were all free. I am going to need a new bible study by the end of next year, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. And I think that next year for co-op, I might throw a little Spanish in there just for grins and giggles. It will be a busy year again next year. But I'm already looking forward to it, and we haven't even finished this year yet. I am such a glutton.

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Did you ever screw up really bad and think that nobody ever messed up as bad as you? Well, have a seat. I get the "Mama Screwed Up Really Bad" Award for Friday the 13th.

Friday was our Valentine exchange at the park. I was going to make cracker salad. It's one of those things you either really like or you don't. I haven't met any people who are undecided. You have to have boiled eggs for cracker salad, so I boiled some. As I was taking them off the stove, the big girl walked up behind me. She didn't mean to. She was trying to get around me so she could scrape her cereal bowl like the great girl that she is. I stopped when I saw her, but the water in the pot didn't. And it proceeded to splash down her left side and a little on her left arm.

I got her night shirt off as quickly as I could. We ran to the bathroom and on the way I grabbed two washcloths out of their cabinet. I ran one in super cold water and stuck it on her burn. Then I ran the other one under cold water and we alternated as the cloths got warm. And they got warm quick. She already had a blister that had formed and popped by the time I got her shirt off her.

She sat on the potty lid while I swapped her cloths out. Here's the kicker that really knocked me to my knees. I had to stay strong for her. I tried very hard to remain calm on the outside while I was screaming on the inside, "Stupid, stupid, stupid mama!" The big girl kept apologizing to me for walking up behind me. I kept telling her to stop apologizing because it wasn't her fault. I didn't look behind me when I turned with a hot pot. I apologized to her for being an idiot. So finally we took a couple of minutes to cry together and hold each other.

I finally got to the point that the boy could help me swap out her rags. So he helped mama while I looked in our medical book to see what I needed to do. Exactly what I was doing. Either use cold compresses or ice. That is one of the few times I have been ecstatic that the water in the kids bathroom runs really, really cold. Then I called the doctor and she said go to the ER. Great. Our MD doesn't want to see us and wants us to go the next step. I called hubby and he met us at church, which is on the way to the Urgent Care Center.

Smarty me thought it would be quicker than the ER. Here's a hint. If it has "urgent" in the name, it isn't. 4 hours later we left, soothing cream in hand. The big girl has a second degree burn. It runs from a little higher than the picture shows to almost her hip. I felt so bad for her. And we were supposed to go to Disney on Saturday. But we just postponed the trip for another couple of weeks. I teased her and said if she didn't want to go to Disney all she had to do was say so. She didn't hurt after about the first hour we were there. And she doesn't hurt now except if she gets jostled or poked or something along those lines. We have made new rules for the pathways around our kitchen and the kids are not allowed to come past a certain point when we are cooking. Say a prayer for the speedy recovery and for the sanity and removal of guilt from the mama. And as always...

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's almost love day. I love love day. Ok, I really ike the abundance of chocolate, but really, is that a bad thing? We have at least two V day parties and a birthday party. And we are going to do a craft tomorrow and fill out our exchanging cards.

We are going to make a mailbox to put out cards in. You take two paper plates and cut one in half. You glue or staple the plates together to form a pocket. I have colored staples that we are going to use. Then you use a hole punch and punch holes around the rim. Then you lace it with ribbon. Or you could glue lace around it, but that would mean a trip to the craft store for us, which is so not happening. We have foam stickers that we are going to decorate with. The only problem is that I have to figure some way to make a kick stand with the piece I cut off so that it stands up. I'll figure something out.

We have our party at the park this Friday. Everybody is bringing food to share, which doesn't break my heart at all. And the kids are going to exchange cards. I'm wondering if I should get some candy, but there are at least 35 kids coming. I'm not sure I want to tackle that problem.

And next Wednesday is our party at JAM. We are going to watch a movie, eat pizza, and eat lots and lots of candy. I need to get some little gift bags to put together for the kids. They all love getting the gift bags. It makes them feel special that we have taken the time to think of them. Don't you feel special when someone does a nice thing for you?

Saturday is a very special day for us. Not only is it Valentines day, but we are doing something we have never done. We are going to Disney. We are so excited. We have lived here all of our married lives, our oldest child is 10, and we have never been to Disney. But we got a little money and decided to do something really fun for our family. I told everyone we could get the hats with the Mickey Ears. Even hubby is excited about that.

And Sunday we have a birthday party to go to. We have this really neat place that is glow in the dark mini golf. We've went for the boys birthday last year and it was fantastic. We had the best time. It was cool to see our shoes and socks glow. But it was even more impressive to smile and see our teeth glow. We laughed so much. We needed an excuse to go back, and here it is!

And I ordered our foreign language curriculum for next year. It's a little pricey, but I thnk it will be well worth the money. It is interactive, includes a microphone and headset, and covers four years of learning. You can have interactive conversations with the program. When you speak into the microphone, it processes how you spoke the word and corrects pronunciation. It does grammar, reading, speaking conversationally, and I think it's going to be fantastic. We won't use it until next year, but we have the money now, if you know what I mean. So hopefully, we will all be fluent in Spanish soon.

That's pretty much the update. I apologize for being a slacker. But I guess we're all allowed once in a while, right?

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Catching Up

Sorry it's been so long. But we've all been sick and I haven't felt much like blogging. My other page is pretty much caught up, but I didn't feel like doing school and neither did the kids. So we played a lot of catch up this week.

We worked one day last week, Monday, and then none of us felt like doing a darn thing but hacking, coughing, and being miserable. But you remember being in school and all the makeup work when you were sick. Yeah, we did that this week. We did the abbreviated version. I love home schooling.

We only did those things we had to do to continue our curriculum. We had to catch up our science. We are doing Geology, and we were discussing landforms. We had started plains, but we had to do plateuas. Mountains were this week. That actually was fun for us. The curriculum is pretty intense. It's more than I thought it was going to be, but we are having the best time with it. I also downloaded a ton of printables and articles from the internet from a website that I had a membership for. The membership was getting ready to expire so I downloaded history and science for this year and next. And the year after. Next year is animls and the year after is the human body. But back to topic, we had to finish the rest to get to mountains. So we did last week and caught up on Monday. It was a lot, but we did it.

Same with our history. Some chapters build off the previous chapters. We are skipping a couple of chapters because we just don't have time to do them before the end of our school year and hit some really important times in history. But they get done in the next year of the curriculum, which I already have and got it for free! I have the text, student pages, activity book, test book, and answer key for all three years of the curriculum. I also have some geography and maps, and I don't know what else with it. But I can say it pays to have connections some times. But last week was one of the chapters that builds up to the next. We even did the craft, but it was quick easy and fun. We need to do the craft for this week, but I need to get white shoe strings, and I forgot, again.

Our craft from last week was making a Greek timpanon. It's basically a tamborine. You take two paper plates and glue them together. You punch holes around the outside rim with a hole punch. You thread ribbon threw the holes until you get back to the first hole. Tie the ribbon and leave some to dangle, how ever long you want it. Tahdah, timpanon. And then you decorate. It was quick, easy, and even I could do it. This week we make Persian shoe strings. The activity guide gives us patterns or we can use our own. Basically you color shoe strings with markers. The kids are excited and want to put them in their shoes. I'm good with that. Maybe I'll post the pictures of both the crafts.

The boy was quite the feisty one this week. He got frustrated getting his paper plate to stick together. I told him I would help him in just a second, because I was helping the baby. But he got this really ugly look on his face. When he's frustrated like that he starts to cry. And the look made me angry. It made me so mad I wanted to slap him. I am not one to slap in the face. It happened too much to me as a child. I did it one time to the big girl and swore I would never do it again. I haven't , but the temptation has been there a couple of times.

It happened again at our JAM program. He was rough housing, like he shouldn't have been and got dropped. He was mad I didn't have more sympathy for him. Sorry, you weren't supposed to be doing it. I got nothing but love for you, baby. And the look surfaced. Just anger and pure mean. The first time I was shocked, the second I was angry. I told him to direct that anger at the person who deserved it, himself. He almost looked shock that he was to blame. But that is such a different blog for a different time. We got through that, but the week was not over.

It was not an easy week, and there was a ton of work to do. I cut some of their work load, but it was still a lot. We got through it and we all even got to go back to dance class. That was my favorite part of my week. It happened that my dance class was on my wedding anniversary. It was almost like a present to myself. Fourteen years of being loved by the best man for me, ever. What a great day.

And we're all mostly over our ickies. There is still the lingering cough and the occasional snottiness, but mostly we're well. And we're caught up and ready to move on with school. And I get to buy curriculum next week. We get our taxes back and my palms are itchy, ready to spend a little cashola on school books. Whoo hoo! Like that upsets me.

Here's to hoping you are all well. I hope you don't get what we had. It all started the same but turned into something different for each of us. Stay well, stay warm, and as always...

Have a great day!