Monday, October 22, 2012


So, as I am listening to the Presidential Debate (and am extremely tired of hearing them say the same things...) I have nothing better to do then dump my brain into this post.

  • The 6 mile race.  Sigh.  It was rough.  I ran the whole thing, but I have not run since.  It makes me a bit sad, but the race really hurt my knees, so I want to find an alternative sport. I have tried biking (too cold now, but I love it), swimming (bad on my hair :), and walking (too slow)!  I really want to just do Zumba (dance aerobics) everyday, but that doesn't work in my schedule very well.  Anyway, I am so glad that I set the goal to run the 6 miles in January and achieved it! Now I need a new goal!
  • School is going well.  We have finished our unit on Detectives and started our one on Fall.  We will start an Election one after Halloween, if I am not too disenchanted by this debate!  Math is going well for both kids now (Math U See) and we are using, which is fun for them.  We are also doing a gym class, art class, and a music class this semester.  I am teaching the music class.  It's been interesting to teach 13 kids to play the recorder...
  • I love watching the season change.  The weather is gorgeous...70 degrees today!  The colors are amazing around here.  
  • I had the absolutely amazing opportunity last weekend to help my best friend welcome her little baby boy into the world.  She went into labor at 1am and delivered little Brigham at 6:13pm. It was a long haul, but one I wouldn't have missed for the world!  My 13th "doula" birth on October 13th.  Fun!  When I grow up, I want to become a certified doula:)
  • I want to go on a vacation.  I wish George had more vacation time so that we could take a month and drive across the country and see everything we learn about in our homeschool.  The kids love to play "Stack the States" on the iPod and are curious about the states and the landmarks in them.  I want to just pack up and go...isn't that why we homeschool? 
  • Tried my hand at canning.  I planted a cucumber plant that produced about 30+ cukes, so I made lime pickles.  I used Linda's recipe and they turned out well!  I was so excited!  It wasn't as hot and laborious as I thought it would be, but it certainly was sticky!  A lot of sugar goes into those pickles...I am sure that's why the kids love them:)  George too!
  • We carved our pumpkins on Saturday.  They were actually Grandpa's pumpkins, grown on his farm.  I love this time of year...the kids have so much fun.  Grandpa's pumpkins were huge this year, so it was quite the job to clean them out.  I thought they turned out adorable, though.  I will try to post a picture.
Ok, heading to bed.  I just grabbed all of the pics off the camera so perhaps there will be a long, picture post soon!  Goodnight, blog world!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


One and a half weeks until Fort 4 Fitness.  My 6 mile race!!!!  Yeah, I am gonna die. 

Vacation, School, and Neighbor

So, I need to tell you what's going on.  There were some cliffhangers in my last 2 posts.  Well, at least that's what the kids would say:)

We did go on vacation and had a wonderful time!  We drove up Friday night to George's brother and sister-in-law's house.  It was so nice to visit and see some of the cousins and they actually gave us beds which was SO wonderful, because I would have had to unpack the whole car to get to the sleeping bags...thanks, Teresa! 

We arrived Saturday at dinner time and it was raining...of course.  Luckily, it didn't rain much, just that night and short showers a couple of other times.  We had a blast catching toads and frogs (at our "personal beach"), we made s'mores and popcorn over the fire, we hiked, we swam in the lake, we found a snake, we explored and visited some favorite sites.  We enjoyed our day in town, eating fudge and candy, window shopping, and playing at the local pizza place's arcade. Good times! We loved being up there with my parents and just today, Seth said he was ready to go up there again, in spite of  the 10+ car ride.  Yay!  A kid after my own heart...and my dad's heart...and his dad's heart:)

Since then, we have gotten back into school.  We did do Olympics earlier, but I couldn't motivate myself to do school while prepping for vacation, so we took a break:)  Tons of activities and field trips, including a bee-keeping one with Harry and Linda...thank you!  We have art class, gym class, Lego club, group library days, and are starting music class this week.  We are working on cursive, still doing unit studies, spelling lists, reading, Chinese and hopefully some creative writing. I am trying some copywork to help improve our printing and work on our spelling.   Math is happening, though we are transitioning a bit.  Levi to Math-U-See from Singapore and Natalie to second grade LifePac from first grade.  We'll see how that goes.  If it does not go well, I may check out Kahn Academy or Teaching Textbooks.

I am a bit bummed as I thought I could get more done with Sam and Kindergarten.  Sadly, that is the first thing to go.  I need to take the time to get prepped and then it will work.  We are working on reading (he is doing very well) and he loves math, so we try to fit it in wherever we can.  He figured out the 9th number in the Fibonacci sequence in his head the other day and I was crazy impressed!! You don't know what that is?  Neither did I, but it was cited in the back of a book we had read aloud and he just figured it out and explained how he did it.  That is what really blew me away.  He divided 13 into 10 and 3 and first, added the 10 to 21 in his head and then added the 3 to get 34.  What kind of math do K kids do?  I don't think they add double digits in their head!! (Wow, that's some serious shameless bragging! :)

The neighbor situation is better.  George actually went and talked to her and she seemed not so grumpy.  But she did promise to come talk to me and hasn't yet. She may have said that to get him to leave.   I have not seen her outside very often, and when I come out, she goes in. It's ok.  I am thinking I will write her a letter that explains what I did/saw and see if that helps.  If she can't get over it, I am sorry for her that we will probably be in this house forever.  Ah well.

Hope life is good for all of you.  The next post may be only pictures...I have a whole summer's worth to post, you know:)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vacation or not?

I am so sad.  We had plans to leave tonight to head up to Wisconsin to camp with my folks, but I am just too sick!  I called George in tears this morning and said, "I just don't think I can pull it all together.  I feel so horrible!" So we are still here.  I do think we will be able to go later this week and I am praying I feel tons better..  I am just thankful that we don't have to cancel the trip altogether!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Need to vent...

Today, we went across the street to meet our new neighbors.  Very nice people, kids were a little rough, but it could be worse, right?  So, while I was talking to the mom, the kids began throwing around those small spikey seed balls off a sugar gum tree.  I had my back to the kids, but I noticed after a bit, that they were throwing these balls across the street into our neighbor's yard.  Now, this neighbor is VERY particular about her yard.  I know that.  As soon as I noticed they were doing that, I made sure that they stopped.  We finished talking and walked back across the street.  I asked Levi to go next door and pick up any seed balls that he saw in the neighbor's yard.  He came back with maybe 5. 

We sat down to have snacks and then someone came banging on our front door- like something was really wrong, you know, an emergency or something.  I saw my VERY particular neighbor and I could tell that she was agitated.  I ran to open the door, to help her with whatever she needed, and she started yelling at me.  She accused me of throwing all kinds of junk in her yard (and used some choice cuss words here while my kids were listening-boo).  She went on to say, "There's dysfunctional kids over there(pointing at the new neighbor's house) and then, add YOUR kids, and well...HAVE FUN!" in a horribly sarcastic way, and they stomped off.  When she got to the point where our yards meet, she yelled, "And mow your yard or I am calling the city!"  (She mows hers 4 times a week and we mow ours about 4 times a month, if that.)

I just stood there, speechless.  Mostly because I know this neighbor and I like her.  I have thought that perhaps she doesn't love my kids, but she has always been very nice to them and would give them popsicles and things.  She mows part of my yard (which I thought she was doing just to be nice...)  We would carol there at Christmas and take over bread and cookies.  Her husband often snowblows our driveway and front walk.  I did not expect this from her.  She is very gossipy and I have often wondered what she says behind my back, but now, I guess I know!  My feelings were are so hurt and I just can't get over it.  I don't care that much about what she thinks of me, but now I feel like I should keep my kids away from her and not ever say hi or even wave to her. 

Seriously?  I feel like I am in middle school trying to figure out what I have done to deserve this.  And, if this is how a 65 year old lady deals with conflict in her life, she's got bigger problems than I thought.  I guess I just need to let this go.  I think the part that really bugs is that she implied that I am a bad mom and that my kids are bad.  I have never gotten this vibe from her before and I talk to her often in the summer. 

The kids were very upset about the whole thing.  As soon as I shut the door, Levi said, "What have we done?  Will she call the police?"  Natalie said, "Are we going to be arrested?" and Seth said, "Is she going to take all my toys away?"  It was heartbreaking!  I am hoping she had a horrible day and that this "yard junk" was the last straw, but I wished she would have calmly walked over and said, "There is junk in my yard.  It came from your kids, come pick it up."  We would have happily and apologetically done it.  As it is now, I am upset, the kids are upset and there is nothing we can do to fix it. Boo!!! 

Thanks, everyone.  I feel much better now:)  Back to my happy bloggy life!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Bucket List

Well, we have been doing lots of things, many of which were on our "summer bucket list".  I think I will list some of them just so you know we are alive and doing well!

  • Farm Camp and Lego Robotics camp.  That has been this week and the kids have loved it!  And I have loved the quiet time:)  It almost makes me want to send kids away to school...just kidding!
  • Birthday parties.
  • Water gun fights.
  • 3 Rivers Festival Parade.
  • Fourth of July parade, cotton candy, family party and city fireworks.
  • Swimming and splash pads.
  • Playing with lots of different friends, who are usually in school.
  • Getting excited about the Jones family reunion.
  • Planning for a Wisconsin camping trip.
  • Avoiding the heat (over 100*) often!
That's kind of a lame list, but I am tired and can't think anymore.  I have been rearranging the school room and figuring out curriculum.  I plan to start school in early August and turns out, that's just not that far away.  We'll see if I am ready or not!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Levi's 9!

I can't believe he's that old!  And I can't believe that I am old enough to have a 9 year old:)  Here are some pictures of my cutie 9 year old for you to enjoy.  Happy Birthday, Levi!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Diva Dash and other things:)

It was a strange week.  Levi spent a good part of the week at Cub Scout Camp and it's always strange for our family when 1 person is gone.  I guess we are just so used to being together.  We did a lot when he was gone...I figured it was fair, he was having fun that we weren't!  We went to the zoo, the park and splash pad, and played with friends while he shot BBs and arrows, did woodworking, and played tons of games.  It was a fun week for all of us. 

Friday was spent helping at a funeral with a dinner and then George and I went out.  We went out to eat at our favorite TGIFriday's, and then we attended a night hike at our local county park.  It was so interesting and lots of fun!  We observed a few night creatures, bats, owls (only heard them) and lightening bugs (which aren't actually bugs at all, they are beetles...who knew?).  As it started to get really dark, we went into "night vision" mode, which was interesting.  It was really dark by the time we finished, but we were able to see a bit still.  We went with some friends and had some interesting teens in our group that kept us laughing.  A fun date night.

Saturday morning arrived early at 6am. I popped out of bed to eat a banana and an energy bar so I would have the full 2 hours to digest that.  Next time, I am eating only the banana.  The bar was still too much food.  My Diva Dash (which is what they called this all-women's race put on by Curves) started at 8am.  My best friend, Becca showed up at 6:45am to go with me.  Isn't she awesome?!?  We drove over and I picked up my stuff and we walked a lap around the parking lot for warm up.  After a prayer (in which he said "divas" and "rock this race" or something equally irreverent:) and the National Anthem (during which I got all teary and now had snot issues) we started.  It was wonderful.  The race took us through a large subdivision where there was plenty of shade, garage sales to distract me as I ran by, and people standing on their lawns cheering us on.  I was good until about 1.7 miles and then became unmotivated.  I was trudging on and came upon a lady who was jogging a bit slower than my pace.  I immediately said, "She's mine" and fell in step behind her.  When we came to a place we could jog side by side, we began to chat and that saved me!  We talked about whatever until almost 3 miles.  We were getting close to the end and getting winded, so we stopped talking.  I started feeling really sick and decided that if I was going to throw up, I was going to do it on the OTHER side of the finish line.  SO I turned the last corner and thought I was done, but no...there were a couple of blocks left...the longest blocks of my life.  But then, Becca was there with a big neon green sign that said, "GO ANNA---FINISH STRONG" and I took off and "sprinted" to the finish line.

This was an awesome race.  As I ran to the finish line, there were people with clapper hands, boom sticks, and someone threw a pink feather boa around my neck and took my picture.  I felt like a "Diva" :)  I will definitely do this race again.  It was a million times better than the first one.  I also loved that the trail was very well marked with "1 mile" and "2 mile" and guys at those points told you your time.  Very nice.  And then...they fed us pulled pork sandwiches at the end.  Yeah!  That's what I'm talking about.  None of this banana stuff...real food:)  It was a fun time and I found out that the girl that I chatted with lives near me and is my new running buddy!  Yay!

The day went on with volunteering at the Kate's Kart Ice Cream Social.  This is a non-for-profit organization that gives free children's books to any child that has to be in the hospital.  They serve 16 area hospitals.  Awesome!  The event had free ice cream, rides, bounce houses, games with prizes, face painting, and entertainment.  It was very hot, but fun for everyone! 

After that, there was a baptism at church (yes, I had time to shower, since I had like, 3 layers of sweat dried on me-nasty!) for a good friend of ours so Levi and I went to that.  Dinner when we got home, baths and kids to bed.  I am exhausted but need to finish my YW lesson for tomorrow.  Busy day tomorrow too! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hustle for Hunger 5K

Me on the last leg with my "personal trainer", Aaron York.

May 19th was the day of my big race.  My first 5K!  I have been training since January and felt fairly ready, though I still hate running:(

That day was also the day that me and two of my good friends went out to celebrate our birthdays.  So, we got mani-pedis in the morning and then went out to eat.  We ate Mexican (the prego lady chose) and I knew that wouldn't be all that great for my 4pm race, so I just cut a little off my quesadilla and boxed the rest up.  But I didn't stop before I ate a pile of chips and some really spicy salsa.  What was I thinking?!?

We ate way later than we thought so I had only 2 hours before the race.  I went home and got nervous.  I was going to go alone, but I was so nervous that I wanted Geo to come so I had to call around and find a babysitter.  Luckily, a friend's husband was home and offered to keep them:)  So Geo and I hurried to the race and we were later than I would have liked.  So, I didn't do much warming up and I had to go potty a couple of times because of all the water I drank because of the hot salsa I ate, etc, etc...The kicker?  It was 91 degrees.  91 DEGREES!!!  Misery.  Seriously.

 I started down the first leg of the race and wanted to die...and then the road turned and went uphill!  No shade at all.  Plus, people were stopping to walk right and left and I was not mentally prepared for that.  My brain was screaming at my body to keep going, but that only worked for 1.5 miles.  I walked for a bit after that.  When I hit the water table (probably halfway) I took some and asked the other 4 kids to throw their cups on me.  That helped a little, but I had already walked some and was not motivated to run the rest.

  I did start running again, and at about mile 2, maybe a bit later, the nausea kicked in (darn Mexican food!).  It was horrible.  I decided that it wasn't worth it to me to puke on the side of the road, so I walked some more.  I had about a half-mile left when I hit what I thought was the end, but it turned out you had to go a quarter of mile past the finish and then double back.  This is not good for me.  My brain sees the end and shuts down and that's it.  I continued on walking and then a friend of mine (not in the race) came up and said something like, "You can do this!  You are still below your time.  You can make with me!"  So, I ran with him to the end and finished in 36:47.  I believe I was 92nd out of 125.  I didn't achieve my goal of running the whole thing, but I did come in under 40 minutes, which I was hoping for. So, all in all, it was ok (though I would not have said that right after the race!).  I decided this was going to be my warm up race and my official 5K is on June 16.  This race is at 8am so it will be cooler AND I will run it on an empty stomach (like I do every morning I run)!  I hope it will be better.

I have signed up for a 10K(6.4miles) in September and am now questioning my sanity.  I still hate running.  And I really don't want to run any farther.  I am comfortable running 2 miles when I run (it's fun to say that!) and I can't decide if I want to train for longer.  I need to decide soon, though, so I can get on it. Or not.

I'm walking past the "finish line" to finish the race.  I was so done at this point.  I don't even look like I'm in the middle of a race.  What a weird picture.

Wanting to blog...

The desire is *totally*'s the follow through that's killing me!  And that is the story of my life:D

But, I did want to tell everyone that we are alive and had a great month of May.  Thought I would recap some of it and try to post some pics.  I got a new camera though, and have yet to transfer any pictures onto the computer, so we'll see if that really happens!

  • Got to see my SIL, Shanon at the end of April and that was fun!  She and I met in Muncie and just let the cousins play.  We were warming up for the family reunion later in May.
  • Early in May, I spent some time with my wonderful girlfriends at a cabin just outside of Shipshewana and had a great time there eating, playing games, and doing a lot of talking:)
  • School has been busy with field trips this month...we aren't the only ones ready to be done!  We also studied seeds and plants and tried our hand at gardening.  Even with the help of our nearby friend who is an amazing gardener, I think we managed to kill 50% of the plants already.  Seriously?!?
  • George took 2 days off in the middle of the month and we went to Kalahari Water Park  on a Living Social Deal and it was a blast!  They had so many things to do for all ages of kids.  Seth and Sam even went down water slides that were scary for me!  I rode a wet roller coaster and the 2 older kids and Geo did a surfing thing that looked crazy!  One of the best parts was the room.  A 2 room family suite.  This was the first time we actually did well in the hotel.  Maybe it's because Seth is finally old enough to just lay down with everyone else and go to sleep instead of standing up in the horrible hotel crib (if you are lucky enough to get one) and talk to everyone all night.  We ordered a huge pizza that night and let the kids eat pizza in bed and watch cartoons.  They thought they had died and gone to heaven:)  We were exhausted when we got home, but it was one of the best trips we have been on as a family.  I also realized that we should do vacations just as a family, in addition to the ones where we go on vacation to see extended family.  It felt nice to just be together and not paying attention to anything else.
  • My birthday happens to be in May and I got an awesome birthday present.  George bought me a Canon Rebel T2i.  That, my friends, is a really nice camera.  I have taken lots of pictures and most of them aren't all that great, but I am learning.  I really would like to take a class to learn how to use the camera better.  I am reading a few books and taking tons of pics of the kids.  It's fun!
  • We went to see the TinCaps in May.  Fun game!  Fun night with Grandma and Grandpa Lyon.  The weather was perfect, though a bit chilly for the kids.  I loved it.  We took all the kids (I think this was Seth's first time) and didn't get home until about 11pm.  Good times!  
  • Spent some time with Linda doing a garage sale.  I think we both realized the effort is not really worth the gain.  I really appreciated that she was willing to do it at her house and get everything hauled away at the end:)
  • May 19th was the day of my big race.  My first 5K!  See my other post for details:)
  • Got a haircut before the big family reunion and I don't love it yet.  I have a bandana on my head as I type.
  • Family Reunion in Maryland!!!!! Yay!  Can I just say that family reunions are my favorite things EVER!  So, I will blog about it on it's own, hopefully with some great pictures from my new camera:)
  • Last thing, we are on the tail end of the stomach flu.  It started with Natalie in Maryland, it followed us back to Indiana, and hit everyone else, except George.  How is it that he avoids sickness all the time?  It's a good thing, I just wonder why both of us can't avoid it? :)
So, the month of May was busy and I was crazy with prepping things and trips, doing laundry, doing school, cleaning, garage sale prepping, etc.  I am glad it's finally June and things are a little calmer, though the stomach flu has not really helped.  2 more weeks of school and then 6 weeks of freedom!  Or 6 weeks of time to plan all the unit studies for next year!  I do love that part:)  Life is good.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Couch to 5K

Does anyone know what this is?  It's a program that will get you from being a couch potato to running a 5K in 8 weeks.  In January, I decided I wanted to RUN a 5K(3.2mile) race this year.  Since I wasn't really exercising, I decided to walk at least 3x/week for the month of January and then start the running program.  I purchased an app for my iPod touch and went to it.  The app started me walking a minute/running a minute and then up from there.  Loved that the app would let me listen to my music, but would bust in and tell me to run or walk and for how long.  It was good for me.  Took me up slowly so I didn't get injured or anything like that.  Today, I am able to run 20 minutes straight.  Pretty amazing, really. 

I also purchased some expensive awesome running shoes that I am sure have helped me be more comfortable with the running.  It's hard, but I am super motivated to get up on running days.  I like the thought of being a runner and I like the feeling after I am done.  I don't love the doing, so much.  But that sounds pretty normal, from what I hear.  I am doing a 5K in May and then a 10K in late September:)  My goal to actually RUN them both. 

My one beef is that I have not lost weight at all.  In fact, I have put on a few pounds.  Everyone says, "That's just building muscle" which is great, but I would really love it if all those pounds would just fall right off.  I am working out 4-5 times a week for over an hour!  It seems like it should work!  It's not that big of a deal, just a wish.  I don't want to change my eating habits, so if I exercise that should work, right?  Not so much.  But I will give it time and see.  If not, I feel better and feel like I look better.  Clothes fit better and I know I am healthier because I can run without my lungs feeling TOTALLY on fire!  It is fun and very rewarding.  Come and cheer me on!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy 10 years to us!

 Don't we look happy?  Because that's what we are!  It's was 10 years ago on March 9th that we got married in Chicago in the Mormon Temple and we have been happy ever since.  So thankful that Geo asked me to marry him on that busy street in Lafayette early one Sunday morning.  To celebrate, we left the kids with Harry and Linda (a million thanks!) and went up to Pokagon State Park for 2 nights.  We loved it.  It was completely relaxing and we did just what we wanted...which was pretty much hang out:)  These pictures are not fabulous as they are all taken from way too close or too far away, or I have too many chins, a red face, etc, etc....but it's fun to document our time together so here you go!
 We brought Geo's guitar and he played a little.  It's definitely become George's way to relax.
 We spent a few hours putting a puzzle together that some other Inn guests had started and we actually finished it.  Fun!  And while we sat there, some deer came right up to the window and we had a great time watching them.  We also chatted with lots of people as they walked by.
 This is George writing on the box (and actually marking with an X where they were missing) that there were pieces missing.  We tried to start a new one, but it was the dumbest puzzle ever and we got frustrated and gave up.
 This was us in the Inn room.  It was pretty big and really nice.  We got a great deal as they run a 2 for 1 deal through the winter.  We spent a lot of time in our room watching the Star Wars Episodes 4-6.  We finished the last one 1 minute before we checked out:)  Sounds exciting, eh?  We loved just hanging out and watching movies and eating junk food!
 These 2 pictures are from the lobby of the Inn.  I liked the carved eagle and the fireplace was nice as it was a rainy and a bit chilly.
We really enjoyed our time away and felt pretty lucky to have Harry and Linda willing to watch the kids, especially because Sam ended up with the flu on the last day.  So sorry!  We enjoyed a few restaurants, went swimming and hot tubbing, ate junk food, slept in, went shopping at Goodwill (got shoes and a breadmaker :), and just had a nice time.  I highly recommend Pokagon...the 2 for 1 deal lasts until the end of April!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Blue and Gold Banquet tomorrow.  Need I say more?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hair Pictures:)

 This is kind of a scary picture, but it shows my curly hair and that's what I was looking for.  Turns out, there just aren't very many pictures of me around.  And if there are, they are not good hair pictures!

 This needs to be documented!  Every day for 2 years, I have "plopped" my hair in a T-shirt for most of the morning.  This was the look!  I even went to Tom's Donuts with Levi with my hair up like this.  Levi said he didn't mind.  Wonder how long that will last:)

This is the new hair, after the Keratin treatment.  Don't George and I look tired?  9am church will do it to you!

Christmas 2011

Posting this for my own info.  Sorry Everyone!

Sunday  (Christmas Day) was super nice with our regular morning and then we took a meal to a single lady, visited our friend that is in the hospital, and visited with our friend Laura.  Her mom passed away on Friday and she lives alone in assisted living.  We sang her some carols and played with her dog:)  It was nice.  We came home to overcooked chicken (oops:), yummo mashed potatoes, veggies and dip, fruit, and lemon-blueberry cake.  It was a tasty.  We then read Christmas books until bed time, left cookies for Santa, put the kids to bed, and then watched 17 Miracles.  Man, emotionally draining for me!  It was extremely moving to watch these stories.

Our Christmas on Monday was quiet and uneventful.  The kids got us up about 8am and we opened presents and then stockings.  Fun!  Then we stayed in Jammies all day and ate candy and soup:)  The kids helped clean up the house (woa, it was bad!) and then they went to bed while George and I worked on school stuff.  I am planning a unit on Ancient China and he is writing a program for his blackberry where he can type in a word in Russian, Spanish or Arabic and hear the correct pronunciation (he got 3 books for Christmas...First Words in each of those languages.  He plans to read them to the kids.  He is currently doing Chinese with Sam and Seth because he already has that one!)

A nice relaxing Christmas.  Is that even possible with 4 young kids?  I guess so:)

Polaris Press: Explorers

Yes, I am still homeschooling...though you wouldn't know it by the content of this blog:)

Explorers of North America is our new unit study.  I am using a curriculum/workbook called History Pockets.  It has 10 explorers that you learn about and for each, there are a couple of activities.  They are things like tracing maps and routes of the explorers, writing a letter to Christopher Columbus telling him what job you would like on his ship and why you would be good at it, and making "hardtack", the hard biscuits that the sailors would eat at sea. (The kids loved hardtack and decided they could all be sailors, until we read about scurvy.  They all changed their minds pretty quick!)

I like it because all of the info is right there in the book, but it's hands-on enough to keep the kids interested.  Today, we learned about John Cabot who sailed for England and landed in the Newfoundland area.  Because he claimed that land for England, the pilgrims were able to go there and colonize and thus begins a huge chapter of history. I had no idea!

We are also working on our All About Spelling with some tweaks.  We got fairly burned out at the beginning and I realized that the program caters to every kind of learner and it was too much for my kids.  So now I just do the parts that fit their learning style and it goes so much smoother.  Yay!  I really liked the program, but couldn't figure out how to make it work for us, so I am glad it's working now.  The kids are also willingly doing dictation, which shows me how much they have grown up in the last 8 months!  This used to be the cause of many melt-downs!

George is teaching  Chinese on Wednesday nights and I am teaching an art lesson on Fridays.  When we are home, school goes pretty well.  (We are often not home!) It's nice, especially since the beginning of the school year was really rough for the kids and for me!  We also had an awesome Ancient China unit in January.  We ended it with a Chinese New Year celebration on Jan. 23. That was so much fun and so interesting for all of us.  We went to Lego club one week and Levi had built the Great Wall of  China and was explaining all about how and why it was built.  Awesome!  Though I don't think his buddies were as impressed as I was:)  Our next unit is Pioneers, though I haven't decided if it should be 2 or 4 weeks.  If we just do pioneers, we could do it in 2, but if we include the California Gold Rush, the Native Americans, or any of the wars that were going on at that time, I am sure we could fill up 4 weeks.  Our read aloud is "Little House in the Big Woods" and they really like it, so we may spend some time on it.  After this unit, we will probably focus on some science units, as that seems to be where I slack a bit.

School is going well and that is a good thing:)

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Hair has been the focus of my existence for about 2 years now...well, not really the focus, but it comes up a lot!  So, the new hair news is...I got it professionally.  Yeah, I know.  I am a curly girl!  And really, I still am, I just have straight hair for now.

It's not a permanent thing.  4 months the hairdresser said.  It's called a Keratin Complex treatment and it's so nice!  I wake up and my hair is normal.  I shower, wash my hair, dry it off with a towel and go about my day.  My hair dries quickly and looks fine.  I have hair like other people!

The only problem is I find it a bit boring (am I never happy?).  It just lays there, flat against my head.  It is shiny, though, which mine has never been.   I hope I don't get too used to it because the treatment is crazy expensive...especially every 4 months!

The long and short of it is I like it, but I'm glad it's temporary:)