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December 31, 2009

AFO (Braces) Are Here!!

This is how Superstar's feet where back in June when this whole process started:
He was NOT able to put his heels to the ground! No matter how hard he tried! It has been a trying summer and long fall with MRI and other testings. We finally after a delay due to illness were able to have surgery done. Surgery result in Superstar wearing casts for the last 6 weeks. However it was all worth it after seeing him today! This is below is him standing today!!!
Can I just say that I'm thrilled and overjoyed to see him stand flat footed! He has NEVER done that his whole life!! It's really amazing thing to see. In the picture above he IS wearing his new AFO (braces) and long with his NEW shoes. Can I just also say I was shock and taken back when we were were told we could get him a 5 mens! We were told a 5 Kids is the same as a 5 mens. We got from the kids department because Superstar liked the choice better. PRIOR to surgery he wore a 2 1/2. So I was shock to know his feet grew so much. If it wasn't for the brace he would have been in a 4 1/2. So 2 size in the last 6 weeks is A LOT!!!

Just so you can have a better look at Superstar's AFO! We love the turtle on the back with the rocket attached to its back. It reminds me of the looney toons cartoons I grew up watching with the coyote always trying to get the roadrunner! LOL Superstar will have to wear braces now for the next 2-3 years.

December 30, 2009

Paper Mache Masks

First I wished I took pictures of the whole process. We over the course of the last two weeks have made Paper Mache Masks. The over all process is simple but it is MESSY! So you have to have a bit of patience with this and you need a good place for storage while you wait for things to dry out.

You'll Need:
  • A balloon (1 for each child)
  • strips of paper, newspaper is most likely the best, but I didn't have any so I used some left over Christmas wrap (see picture below)

This is the side of the paper that was touching the balloon.
  • flour
  • water
  • salt
  • Paint (we used washable poster paint)
  • and Paint Brushes
The Process:

First blow up the balloon to as big as you want your mask to be. I told the kids to blow them up to be slightly bigger then your head. Once it's blown up tie a not in the bottom.

You'll also want to make your paper strips at this time if you haven't done so already. I did mine about 1-2 inches thick and about 5-6 inches long. Honestly I didn't measure them. You'll want them to be a thickness and length that is easy to handle for the kids, but also makes covering the balloon easy.

Then make the Paper Mache Paste. The Paste is made with the flour, water, and salt. It's about 1 part flour to 2 parts water and some salt added to help avoid mold. (Of course there are more detail instructions on how to make the paste.)

The process is really simple from there: Dip the paper into the paste, let it drip off some (although  the kids didn't really follow that rule), and lay it on the balloon and smooth it out. Repeat the process until about 1/2 of the balloon is covered. When laying the strips be sure they overlapping some. Seeing we were using Christmas wrap I told the kids to lay the Christmas Print towards the balloon so the underside of the wrapping paper was on top.

After this is done you need to find a space to keep them stored for about a week. Waiting a week allows them to completely dry out and allows the balloon to naturally deflate some which makes removing the paper mache from the balloon easier.

After about a week has past it's time to remove the mask from the balloon. This step is easy, but a bit messy. I found I had what looked like potato flakes everywhere when handling the mask. I have the feeling it was just the extra flour flaking off. Superstar's balloon deflated nicely and his mask just came off with no issues. Web-princess's balloon did deflate but not as much so I had to aid the process of removing the balloon by carefully puncturing it with a push pin. I did NOT want it to "pop" I just wanted more air out. As soon as the balloon deflated more I was able to remove the paper mashe easily.

We then put a base coat of white poster paint on the masks and allowed them to dry over night. We did this to help stop the flaking of the flour, which it did help greatly. We also did it to help cover the Christmas print that did bleed through and to cover those pieces that did get laid the "wrong" way. (Print side up). If you use newspaper the white coat would also cover up the newsprint.

Then today we finished up the mask by painting faces on them! Again we used washable poster paint and as I type they are sitting on the table drying.

This is web-princess's mask

This is Superstar's mask

I MIGHT cut out actual holes in them for eyes and mouths and add some srting so they can be worn as a "real" mask. I'll just have to wait and see how they are after all the paint has dried. I'm not sure if they will hold up for that or not.

Either way they enjoyed the process. The reason it took two weeks was giving it time to dry out. Laying the paper on that took the kids only about 20 minutes and the paint took them about 30 minutes. This easily could be a 2 weekend project. One weekend to do the paper the following weekend to do paint.

December 26, 2009

Out With The Old-In With The New

I enjoy Christmas at my relatives because I don't have the stress of making room in my small but modest house. Although the toys are enough to drive me bonkers. I would be so much happier if my relatives would each just do one nice gift vs. many gifts. Mainly because we have a small house and the kids are left with twice a year deciding what MUST go and what CAN stay!

You see each child has a toy (bin) shelf in their room. The only toys they are allowed to have are the ones that can "fit" in their bins.

I insist that the toys be grouped by like things. So they just can't have a mess of stuff. Now there might be a few things that are naturally too big for these bins and that is okay. I do make allowances for some things like that, but even then there is a limit.

This is the reason we don't allow them to open things while at our relatives' houses. You see in order to get the item the kids have to make room for it in their room's by getting rid of OTHER stuff. If they don't want to get rid of anything then they can't get anything "new". 

My son as gotten rid of one 13 gallon garbage bag of stuff and has only "earn" 1 new toy.  My daughter has gotten rid of half of 13 gallon garbage bag of stuff and has only "earn" 1 toy. They have a TONS more toys and will have to get rid of a lot more things to make room.  I have a feeling that when they are done they both would have gotten rid of 3-4 garbage bag EACH!!

We do a similar thing in the summer. In the summer they will get rid 1-2 garbage bags EACH. The main difference between Christmas and summer in the summer time there is less stuff and it's POST birthdays. So kid's do have a bit of an overflow of toys for a few months.

What's sad about the whole process is the only time my kids get new toys is on their birthdays and at Christmas.  So often the stuff they got at their birthdays are gone by Christmas and the stuff they got at Christmas are gone by the summer.

In other words the toys here will only stay for 6 months!! This is because often the kids rather keep the newer stuff then the older stuff. This is really the reason we only get them 1 toy each (and often wish other would do the same), because in 6 months we know it's going o be gone because it broke or because the kids got rid of it to make room for their new stuff.

So what do you do? Do you make your kids get rid of their old stuff regularly?

December 23, 2009

It's almost a cast off party!

One of the things we told superstar is when his cast come off we will have a cast off party! He is so looking forward to going to chuck e cheese!

Well we are almost there! As you can see from these photos superstar had his casts cut and they are ready to be removed.

However he STILL has to wear them until his braces (AFO) come! He was fitted for braces yesterday and it will take about 1 1/2 weeks for them to be made and ready for use. So we get to pick up the braces (AFO) on New Years' Eve!! We are so excited! (Normally this would only take a week, but with it being Christmas Week....)

In the mean time STILL no baths/showers and he has to wear his cast 24/7 until the braces come. The casts are being held on his feet with an ace bandage wrapped tightly around the cast. I did remove the top half on the one for the picture. :) However he didn't walk on it and as soon as I was done snapping the picture I put the top half back on and re wrapped it.

I'm sure that it was fine for a a quick snap shot like that! :) We just wanted to be able to show you how we are almost done with these casts! So next week we get to celebrate the new year with a cast off party!!!

Merry Christmas
Nikki (aka SAHMinIL)

December 19, 2009

Making And Capturing Carbon Dioxide

Recently in science we have been discussing gas, along with other things like solids and liquids. We have been discussing how gas has a volume; how it takes up space. One easy way of showing this to the kids is to make and capture carbon dioxide.

To make and capture carbon dioxide you will need:
  • some narrow neck bottles (we used some beer bottles, but any narrow neck bottle will work)
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Balloons
I'm sure most of my dear readers are aware of the bubbling, explosive reaction that baking soda and vinegar have together. That same bubbling, explosive reaction makes a carbon dioxide and you can capture that gas by placing a balloon over the bottle as soon as you mix the vinegar and baking soda.

Web-Princess after doing the vinegar and baking soda several times wanted to see what happened if we mixed the baking soda with other liquids: Water, Milk, and Apple Juice. She chose these other liquids because it was what we had here at the house.

To our surprise we had a reaction, a gas produced, when we mixed the apple juice and baking soda. The picture ABOVE shows that. The bottle in the middle is milk and baking soda, the bottle at the end (left side) is the water and baking soda. The bottle at the other end, with the green balloon, is 100% apple juice and baking soda. So when you mix baking soda and apple juice you get a gas too.

However baking soda and vinegar produces more gas as seen in this picture BELOW:

The bottle with the  blown-up yellow balloon is vinegar and baking soda. The bottle with the green balloon is vinegar and apple juice.

Of course we wonder now if would get a gas with baking soda and other juices like grape, cranberry, orange. However we don't have any more juices in the house. So we would have to wait until we get one of those juices at our next shopping trip. OR you could try this at your house and let us know the results!!!

FYI: We had to shake the juice and baking soda really well after we put the balloon on to get the result we got. If you decided to do this please blog about it and share your results with us! It will be fun to see what others did or what they observed!

Another Side Note: It was great that we decided to do this today when Daddy was home. It was great because often Daddy doesn't see how they react to the hands on activities such as this. It was also great because Daddy got to see our daughter get excited about the reaction of apple juice and baking soda. She went on and on how she discovered it. (After all it was her idea to mix the two items.)

I'm sure they would have had the chance to mix baking soda and vinegar in brick and mortar school. However I don't think they would have had the chance to say okay now lets see what happens when we mix the baking soda with other liquids. Homeschooling allowed us to take this to the next step and start mixing the baking soda with other liquids to see what happens!

Of course you could just blow up a balloon the "normal" way to show how gas has volume, but frankly it's more fun to mix vinegar and baking soda and capture the carbon dioxide!

December 17, 2009

I could never homeschool!

One of the most common things I hear from non-homeschoolers, family, other bloggers, and friends is "I could never do that!"; "I don't have the patience to be with my child 24/7"; "I need adult time: Time with other adults"; "I need me time"; etc.

First, I would like to say I'm not a saint, nor am I super human. I have my days where I'm pulling out my hair, stressed to the max, and saying "Why?" Then I have my days were everything is peachy keen and right with the world. Those days make everything worth wild!

I understand where my relatives, fellow bloggers, and friends are coming from. I was in the same mind set at one point in my life and at times slip back into that mind set. If a person chooses to homeschool then they are choosing to take on some personal growth.  Growth that up to that point they may have been resistant to do and growth that at times they may fight even with homeschooling.

Choosing to homeschool is like choosing to get married. It requires some personal growth and determination from everyone evolved. Like marriage, it takes hard work, some days are better then others.  Everyday I get up and everyday I make the choice to love my husband and to homeschool my children that day. Some days it's an easy thing to do; other days it leaves me pulling out my hair. At the end of the day I'm glad that I made that choice. It's a choice I have to make everyday.

Homeschooling like marriage is not for everyone. It takes some deep soul searching to find out if you got it within you to do. It also takes daily work and a renewal each day to hold fast to that commitment. It, like marriage, also requires you to grow....

What about me time? Time with adults and all the rest?  Well honestly most homeschoolers network with other homeschoolers. Those networks allow you to connect with other parents (i.e. adults). How much interaction you get is totally depended on you and how much you want or need.

If you connect especially well with another family then you will find yourself making play dates with these other families above and beyond your homeschooling group meetings.

For me time? Make arrangements with your husband. Perhaps he can watch the kids for a hour or 2 on a Saturday and you can just take off doing something you like: walking in the park, reading a book at the library, window shopping, just grocery shopping without the kids in toe. Or just go for a walk around the block without the kids, join a gym if you can afford it. Whatever really. Honestly even if you worked outside the home you would still need to find that little bit of alone time at some point. If mothers and fathers that work outside the home can find that little bit of alone time so can homeschooling parents. It just takes some creative planning and cooperation with your spouse on making it work.

December 15, 2009

Do you want to join us for a pizza?

I know not everyone approves of homeschooling and thats fine. Everyone has to decided what is best for THEIR children. If you feel that sending them to a public school is fine, then great. If it's a private school, fine. And if it's homeschooling, so be it. All schooling methods have pros and cons, plus and minuses. What works for one child might not work for another.

However some people have such hatred for homeschooling and Christianity that their OPINIONS are over heated and they share those OPINIONS as if they are facts!

Recently I read an article that can pretty much be summed up in the opening statements:

Until the 1980s homeschooling was a benign activity that effected very few children. After homeschooling became dominated by right wing Christian theocrats, millions of vulnerable children (estimates are suspect because of poor reporting requirements) became virtual prisoners in their own homes, pawns in a scheme to overthrow the United States Government and replace it with a theocracy. (source)

See what I mean about hatred for homeschooling and Christianity? I shared the article with some of the ladies at THL: The Homeschool Lounge and asked them if they wanted to go out for a pizza when we are done overthrowing the USA government. LOL

So I really just wanted to post this here and ask you my dear readers: Do you also want to join us for a pizza when we are done overthrown' the government?? LOL We've decided that we are going to meet in Chicago because Chicago is the land of pizza! (Chicago Style Pizzas IN Chicago are the best).

Seriously anyone that thinks that homeschoolers homeschool to overthrow a government has some issues. It's really not worth debating with him because honestly when there is so much hatred you can't reason with them.

So what do you want on your pizza?

PS: going out for pizza is a bit of scarcism if you haven't caught on yet!

December 11, 2009

About 1/2 Done!

I've before have listed what we are using for the 2009-2010 school year. I can't believe that we are just about 1/2 done with our books. Wow 1/2 the school year is almost done!

With 1/2 the school year almost done, I've realized that I haven't really been posting lesson plans like I wanted too. Honestly I haven't been making lesson plans like I wanted too. I just the night before look at our books and decided what to do next. Some of it also is just routine. I tell the kids to do math and they will automatically do 4 pages. I tell the kids to do grammar and they will automatically do the 1 page. There really isn't much planning to be done. We just are working through the books. From the beginning to the end! LOL

Althoug I want to be better planned out and have more of a schedule or weekly planner for them, so they know this is what needs to be done this week. With perhaps the goal of them being able to plan out their days accordingly or their week accordingly. That if they have to do 4 page of grammar all week, that it's okay if they do it all on Day 1 or they can not do it one day and do 2 the next, etc. That it really wouldn't matter as long as at the end of the week the work was done.

Anyway we are about 1/2 way done and it's AWESOME!! It took us 5 months to get here and that was with a month of no schooling do to flu and surgery. So I imagine that it will take us another 5 months to finish. That means we should be done some time in May. Which is cool seeing the public schools here go to school until Mid June! LOL

December 10, 2009

A Winter Wonderland

Just some pictures of our winter wonderland. We had several suggestions for some lovely people that said that we should put Superstar's feet into some plastic bags and pull him around a sled, etc. However Superstar was not comfortable with idea...So we brought the snow inside. (I'll have those pictures posted later.) In the mean time enjoy the pictures of our winter wonderland. :)

All of these are pictures of our backyard, taken from the kitchen doorway! LOL

December 8, 2009

Winter Wonderland Blues

I know this week many other people have already gotten their winter wonderland. Now it's our turn! The snow is coming down. We already have about an inch and will get 10 inches before the system is done later tonight.

I know many kids are happy and thrilled to have the snow, especially that first major snow fall. However, I have one little boy that is feeling blue today! He can't go outside and play due to the casts that are on his feet. They can't get wet!

So no outside fun for us today! This is one of those it sucks moments!

December 4, 2009

Update: ITW Surgery

I've had a few people ask how's Superstar doing? Is he stir crazy? Well he's doing FINE! NO more pain meds. He's been off of those since about Nov 23rd. That's almost 2 weeks no meds.

He started walking on Nov 27 and has not stop! He really does everything on his own. Everything but bathing that it. I have to give him a sponge bath to avoid getting the casts wet. We were told that we could put them in trash bag and duct tape the bags shut around his legs/casts. However after talking it over we were afraid that was too risky! We really do not want to get these things wet.

Around the house he does great. If he wants a drink then he gets one; If he needs a bathroom break then he goes all by himself. At meal times and school times he sits at the table with NO wheel chair. As a matter of the fact the wheel chair has found a permanent home in the trunk of our car. It is only used now for church, shopping, and things of that nature where it would be easier to use the wheel chair vs having him walk.

Besides the weather here as been a bit on the wet side with snow/rain. So we like to keep him from walking when outside to help avoid the moisture. He has his boot and sock to put on over the casts and that does help, but the less walking where there is moisture the better. (In our opinion).

There are even moments that Superstar walks without the walker. Often it's when he's not thinking about it. It just happens. Sometimes he even startles himself when he does that.  So things are going good. Honestly, if it wasn't for those strange green and blue things on his legs you wouldn't even know! LOL

I even forget sometimes. For example I took them to the gym with me the other day and left them in the child care room. When I came back to get them Superstar was crawling around. (He does that when he's super tired of walking). I looked at him and told him to get up and walk, totally forgetting for a moment WHY he was crawling. He just looked at me and said but Mom I'm.... and before he could finish I said "It's okay. You can crawl here, I just forgot for a moment that's all". He did speed up the crawl after that.... LOL

So things are going really really well!

December 3, 2009

Nature Explorations for Homeschool Families

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County invites homeschool students and their parents to join us for “Nature Explorations for Homeschool Families.”

Where: Kane County, Illinois

When: Dec. 15, from 10-11:30 a.m. at Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve in Elburn.

There also will be a session in January at Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserve and a third in February at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve.

Cost: $2 per person per session or $8 a family of 4 or more.

Registration is a must! For more information please read this press release.

2009 Homeschool Blog Award Winners

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!
Congrats to all of THE WINNERS!!!

December 2, 2009

Advent: Jesse Tree

Like so many other families we are doing a Jesse Tree. This is our first year doing an Jesse Tree. We are using Holy Heroes: Advent Adventures. I get a daily FREE email from Holy Heroes. This email includes a video, the scripture readings with a suggest symbol for the daily ornament, coloring sheets, and crossword puzzles.

We have not done the crosswords because my kids are not into crosswords. However we have enjoyed reading the scripture passages, making our ornaments, and coloring the color sheets. We didn't have a tree so we just made one out of a large piece of paper and taped it to the wall. Actually we made 2; one for Superstar and one for Web-princess. The ornaments are just circles drawn on paper. I used a drinking glass as the template for the the circles.

The kids are enjoying drawing their symbols. Actually they have taken to drawing little scenes that depict the scripture passage that was read. I think it's great that they draw little scenes. It shows that they really did listen to the scripture passage. Here are pictures of our Jesse Trees!

This is Superstar's Tree

This is Web-Princess' Tree

For my fellow Catholic-Christian Reader's: What do others have to say about Holy Heroes? This is what Patrick Madrid had to say on his blog:

I personally know and admire the people behind this apostolate and, while I am in no way involved or associated with the organization and derive no benefit of any kind from them, I can vouch for their orthodoxy, quality, and the effectiveness of their materials for the kiddos.
Source: Patrick Madrid's Blog

Personally, We have loved it this year! I will admit I was a little worried seeing we struggled to do Holy Heroes' Summer program. So I wasn't sure if I wanted to even give it a try. However, I'm glad I did!

I don't think it's TOO late! We are only on Day 4 and you can easily double or even triple up the activities until you are completely up to speed.

Even though we are only 4 days in I see that this is something we will do next year. I think for next year I'll buy a small 2-4 inch tree to hang our ornaments on.

December 1, 2009

Silver Spoon For Baby

I know there was a time when giving a silver baby spoon was a popular gift for baby. I know that I have from my own childhood a silver baby cup and at one time there was a spoon as well. However the spoon is long gone. It may not be a widely popular gift these days, but you can still buy silver baby spoons.

I know there is the saying "born with a silver spoon in their mouth". This saying suggest that a person is able to get way with thing or have opportunities given to them based solely on their wealth or families wealth. However did you know that silver has antibacterial properties?? It's true I learned it from watching the Silver Video made by periodicvideos.

Hum?? I know back in the day those of wealth overall were healthier and I'm sure a lot of that had to do with the fact they had money and thus access to better things. However, after learning about silver's antibacterial properties, I wonder if the fact they ate with silver had something to do with that as well?

I have a set of fine "real" silverware sitting in the bottom of my closet in its case. It's been sitting there and has been sitting there for the last 9 1/2 years. It was a wedding gift and we just never used it. I wonder if I should drag it out of the closet and start using it, just because of its NATURAL antibacterial properties.

Here's the video:

November 30, 2009

More On Linux!

I mention the other day that I was testing Linux. Well since that test DH has totally wiped out my computer and loaded Ubuntu 9.10 on it! So now I'm totally windows/Microsoft FREE!

We found compatibility software via Ubuntu that allows me to still use my palm, camera, and video camera. I have OpenOffice.org for all of my word processing, spreadsheets, needs. As a matter of fact OpenOffice.org is compatible with Microsoft Office.

The downside is that pretty much all of our software, including the children's games, are not compatible with Ubuntu. However, we have found games and software for Ubuntu/Linux that is comparable to what we have so we are going to be using that instead.

One big thing that did NOT work was Homeschool Tracker Plus! I guess my statement about being Microsoft free was false! OOPS! We have a 3rd computer that my husband remote connects to for work while he's at work. It's a machine that he uses to test things while he's working. He as loaded Homeschool Tracker Plus onto that machine for me and has given me remote access. So when I need to use my tracker program I just remote connect to that 3rd PC from my computer. This is because I really did not want to give up Homeschool Tracker Plus! This worked for us, because we have that 3rd computer for my husband's job.

The other downside is that we have found our printer is not compatible. So we will have to get a new printer at some point, unless DH can find a patch for our printer to make it compatible with Ubuntu. Printers are somewhat inexpensive and I would at this point rather get a new printer then having to deal with a computer that crashed all the time because I was trying to do to much at once! LOL

I have not have any crashing issues. As a matter of fact things are running faster and better. I feel like I have a brand new, super fast, machine that can handle all of my needs! Especially my "need" to edit pictures, layer pictures, and make "movies". LOL

The Radio Show

With everything that happen with Superstar this got put on the back burner so to speak. This is defiantly something that I want to do. I think I just have to wait until after the new year to launch it. Mainly, because I want to be sure things with Superstar turn out okay and things get a bit settle with that.

I haven't shared the results of the last poll I took for what day would be best, and to be honest I don't have them! LOL That was something I lost when I switch my operating system over to Linux. It's not that I couldn't have them, it's just I forgot to save the file. LOL OOPS!!

I do remember that the most popular options seem to be Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday Nights. So I think perhaps after the New Year when this becomes more of a reality and not on the back burner I'll ask what nights again along with what time. I know I can't please everyone, but I would like to know when I would most likely have an audience to listen to the radio show.

Oh and it wouldn't matter where you are in the USA or World; anyone would be able to listen, because the Radio Show is going to be Internet based. I'm HOPING to be able to have archived files so that anyone can listen at anytime. I'm HOPING that files will be MP3, so anyone can download them and listen to them on their favorite MP3 player anytime, anywhere.

After all I know that with me being in the CST zone that the time of the show might not be best for those that live in Spain or Germany. I also know that I can't pick a time that will please everyone.

Well that's the latest on the Radio Show front. Stay tune for after the New Year (2010). This is when Catholic Christian Homeschooling Live will be launch! (I HOPE!) At least that's the plan; as we get closer to the New Year I'll have a better idea if this will work. :)

November 29, 2009

How important is it to know your state homeschool laws?

Just how important is it to know your state homeschool laws? Well if you ask these moms in Indiana it's very important. So important that it could have spared them from being charged with a felony, and pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.

If you are going to homeschool or if you are homeschooling it's critical that you KNOW your state laws and that YOU FOLLOW them! This could save you many heart-aches and being charged with a felony. Not only that but it can also help insure that homeschooling is an option for EVERYONE.

How do I learn about my state laws?

  • 1) Visit HSLDA: State Laws
  • 2) Visit YOUR STATE department of education website and look for homeschooling or home education laws.
  • 3) Read the laws and understand them!
  • 4) Review them regularly to be sure something hasn't changed.

I'm not about to list all of the individual states' department of education websites. I'm sure that most of my visitors will know how to Google for those things.

However if you live in Illinois like me: Illinois State Board Of Education: Homeschooling

PLEASE, PLEASE if you are going to homeschool know your laws!! Don't rely on someone else to inform you, especially those that work in public schools. If you withdrawal your children from Public School (or any school), it's YOUR responsibility to know your laws. The school employee's do not have to tell you the laws.

November 28, 2009

Testing: Linux

This post is really just for me to test Linux. I'm thinking about getting rid of Windows for Linux. However before I make the decision I wanted to test some things out on Linux. This concludes my test. Thanks

November 27, 2009

Look Who's Walking!

Superstar is walking! He just started to do that today. He still is walking on his toes. However, I some what expected that seeing that's his "habit". I'm more sure then ever that he will need some kind of physical therapy or we will need some training so that we can help break him of the habit.

However I'm happy that he's up walking! At the end of the video Web-Princess had a message for everyone. I think the camera didn't pick her voice up clearly so I'll share here what she said. "My brother is awesome. Kisses for everyone...kiss...kiss...kiss." Enjoy!

November 24, 2009

CurrClick: Black Friday Giveaway!

You simply can't afford to miss CurrClick's biggest event of the year, BLACK FRIDAY! HUNDREDS of TOTALLY FREE education resources!

No Traffic, No Crowds, No Cost! 10:00 am CST Friday, Nov 27th, 2009 through 10:00 am CST Saturday, Nov 28th, 2009.  Enjoy!

Are they behind? Homeschooling vs. Public Schools

A while back I gave my opinion about Public Schools, Homeschoolers, and Socialization. Now I feel as if it's time to give my opinion about comparing homeschoolers to public schooler in general. This like the other post is a bit of a rant! Let's just say you have been warn!

I love my kids and like most moms I think my kids are the best! I'm often very proud of what they can do, and perhaps time to time will boast about their accomplishments just like any other mother would do. I will also at times will compare what my kids are learning here at home to what some of my friend's children are learning at pubic and private schools. I do this really for myself and not as a means to say my kids are smarter, more advance, etc.

Honestly, I'm really sick of those types of generalizations. It makes my stomach turn in disgust. As my regular readers will know my son, Superstar, is recovering from ITW Surgery. Over all he's doing good, but does have a bit of a break down in the afternoons, evenings, because he's overtired. I made mention these break downs in a live internet chat recently. I even mention  that at one of these break down moments Superstar flipped out crying that he didn't want to die.

You see he was complaining that his leg itched and we offered to blow-dry it for him. DH told him how blow drying it would take the water away and that's when he lost it and started to say "I don't want to die". When asked why he felt that he said "I need water to live, so if you blow dry it away I won't have any". Cute I know! When I mention this in the live internet chat a poster came on and said something along the lines. Got to love those homeschoolers they are so smart!

Really? I just wanted to say hey, hold on, wait a moment.... My kids are not smarter just because they are homeschooled! Sure homeschooling has it advantages, sure test scores for homeschoolers tend to be better; but lets be honest, homeschoolers are NOT any smarter then those in public schools. Let's get of our high horse and have a reality check!

Public Schools are NOT evil! I sent my kids to a public school and I would do it again tomorrow if I felt that was best for them. I have no real ills again public schools. As a matter of fact I have a vested interest in how my local schools do because I still pay taxes for these schools. I care about what is taught, how things are handled, who the schools employ, because I still support these schools via my tax dollars. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water okay! Sure, they aren't perfect, but how can they be? Even homeschooling is not perfect! Nothing is perfect...

I have seen homeschoolers posse questions like "Is it normal for public school children to be so far behind?" Behind compare to what? To what your little Johny or Janey is doing? I thought I read in the parent manual, that came the day the kids were born, that we aren't suppose to compare our kids to other children. That they all develop and learn at their own rate, blah, blah, blah.

We tell ourselves that. We say we shouldn't compare, but then they hit school age and it all changes. All of the sudden it's my kids can do this, mine can do that, we can explain how quantum physics work at the ripe age of 7. We can write a paper, have proper grammar, we can....the laundry list goes on and on and on.

IN GENERAL homeschoolers get annoyed when their kids are compared to public school students, especially if their child seems "behind". (Behind compare to what exactly?) If a person was to compare a homeschool child to a public school child and the homeschooler seemed "behind", the homeschooler would automatically tell you "Well we learn at our own pace. We have plenty of time to 'catch up', etc". In other words it's okay, no biggie. BUT at the same time if the homeschooler is "ahead" then it's a in your face attitude: Homeschooling rocks, My kids are so much smarter, etc. These were GENERALIZED statements. I know NOT all homeschoolers feel this way, but I'm seeing it more and more and I'm disgusted with the attitude.

Perhaps some of it's a natural defense to defend our children and our parenting choices. Perhaps some of it's just plan pride. There is nothing wrong with either one of those things, but lets keep in mind how we feel about those things, when talking about public schools and public school students. Let's get off of our high horses, accept people for who they are, and learn to help each other grow and not stand around comparing and gossiping about how so much better we are because of...

Yes my kids are homeschoolers! Yes my kids have areas they exile in, but they also have areas that they struggle in. Yes I'm proud of my kids and will boast about their accomplishments. However I want to be clear my kids are NOT smarter just because they are homeschoolers.They are smarter because I am their mother! (FYI: that's a bit of a sarcasm there.)

Honestly, the statement my son made about dieing and water was made because that is his personality. It HAS NOTHING to do with the education he has gotten or where he goes to school. I know my son, and I know, he would have made that statement even if he was in public school.

If he was still in public school I know that response to that statement would not have been "Oh public school kids are so smart"; The response would have been something along the lines of "What a sweet kid" or "Poor thing, to have so much worries right now"; or "I hope he feels better soon". Or my personal favorite "LOL-Kids really do say the darndest things don't they!". They would have a chuckle and moved on, not make a statement about his education or where he went to school.

I just wanted to end with if you are going to compare your child's education to other child's education keep some things in mind.

  • 1) Not all schooling methods are equal
  • 2) Not all curriculum are equal.
  • 3) Not all homeschooling curriculum are equal
  • 4) Not all schooling methods follow the same scope and sequences
  • 5) Each child is different and despite what they are expose to will learn at there own pace.
  • 6) Not all schools have the same priorities
  • 7) Not all homeschoolers have the same priorities.
  • 8) What seems like a valid comparison could actually turn out to be comparing apples to oranges.

November 23, 2009

Lint Playdough

So I found via Google search a recipe to make some lint play dough. It took a TONS more flour then the recipe said it would, nearly a whole bag of flour to be exact.  I have made my share of play doughs over the years and this one by far is the WORST! It even after nearly a bag of flour is still "sticky". However the kids are having fun! If you don't mind the "sticky mess" then Google the recipe and give it a shot!

Back To School!

Today, we did our normal full day of work! Which is pretty good seeing Superstar just had surgery for ITW last week. He still doesn't want to leave the house, however he said it was "great to be sitting" at the table doing his school work. Seeing both feet are cast it's easier to sit at the table in his wheel chair.

November 20, 2009

Slowly recovering from ITW surgery

He is slowly recovering from the surgery he had last Wednesday. Last night was a little ruff. We called the doctor and was given Valium to go with his Tylenol with codeine. Just now he decided that he wanted to try to stand. He stood for several seconds, but that was enough.

He was asked to be taken to his room so he can play! I was able to get a few snap shots. As I type he is crawling around on his bedroom floor playing with his action figures. We are so proud of him!!

He also has gone 5 hours (while awake) without his medication. We just realized 5 hours has passed so we told him here is some medication. He may have been able to go longer, but we didn't want to totally risk it you know!

November 18, 2009


We are HOME resting! Surgery went well this morning! We went to the surgery center at 9 am this morning and as you can see in the picture we are home now resting at home! It's about 3 pm here now!

November 17, 2009

Comments Are Moderated!

I LOVE comments but they are moderated for a good reason! From time to time I get the SPAM post about this or that and other things that would not be good for my blog or readers. Sometimes I get comments just letting me know about xyz, because it's tends to be an easy way to contact me :)

I know there are SPAM bots out there that will deposit their SPAM comments and those don't really bother me, it tends to be clear when it's a SPAM bot. I do NOT mind the comments letting me know about xyz, because I know they are doing it for a good reason and they just want me to know about xyz.  NO Biggie! I don't approve them because they aren't related to the topic of the post, but I do see them because of moderation!

I also know that not everyone is going to agree with me and that's cool too! I don't expect everyone to agree with me and for the most part I will approve any comment as long as it's related to the topic of the post. However, I had a comment today regarding my sons surgery that totally crossed the line! This is the first time I've had this happen and I've been blogging for almost a whole year! (I'm sure it won't be the last)

I didn't approved the comment because it totally crossed the line and I'm sorry that someone would say something so cold hearted, mean, and uncalled for about my 8-year-old son!!

Well I've said my piece! Carry on! For those of you that pray please keep my son and the unnamed commenter in your prayers. DH is right someone that would say something so mean and cold-hearted is in need of some serious prayers!

Surgery Is Tomorrow!

Just a quick note! Superstar's surgery is tomorrow morning. Please keep him in your prayers.

For those of you that are new to my blog, Superstar surgery is for ITW. (Idiopathic Toe Walking). He was suppose to have the surgery the Wednesday before Halloween, but that got canceled due to illness. (We had the flu). So it has been rescheduled and will be tomorrow morning. Thanks for the prayers.

November 14, 2009

Disney Homeschool Days

Disney is having Homeschool Days @ their Florida Location.

Dates: January 25th and 26th, 2010
Location: Disney @ Florida, USA

The Event is a series of classes that are offered on January 25th and 26th, 2010. The classes offered are basically a range of science classes: how to make things move, marine science, physics, chemistry, etc.

For more information check out Disney's Website.

Personal Note: With us being in IL it's pretty much impossible for us to go, but I do know that some of my readers live a little closer to Florida so I figured it was worth sharing!

November 13, 2009

Humbled: "I would fall to my knees"

This year of grammar we have been using Language of God for Little Folks. Superstar, being in 3rd grade, has been using the Level B book of the series. The last few days he has been learning the difference between a proper noun and a common noun.

He also has been learning that God's Name is a proper noun. It doesn't matter if we use Lord, Redeemer, Savior, Son, Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, they are all capital letters because they are all proper nouns. At the end of yesterday's exercise he was to write what he would do if Jesus came to our house.

To be honest I didn't know what he would write but I have to tell you I was blown away by what he wrote and was actually humbled by it. He wrote one simple sentence and it read.
I would fall to my knees in front of Jesus.
Honestly that was the first thing that came to my 8 year old's mind!! Is that the first thing that crossed your mind? Just wanted to share!

November 10, 2009

Convergence Insufficiency and Toe-Walking!

I've made it known several times that we are "new" to homeschooling. We pulled our kids out of public school June 2008. This is our second year of homeschooling. I've had my share of struggles when it comes teaching my kids, especially my daughter, web-princess. I have shared in the pass how math, for example, has been a huge road block for us. So has the reading, she still isn't quite reading for her age level; she's still behind some.

Well we are pretty confident that we have found out why? It appears that our daughter has convergence insufficiency. This could every well explain why she isn't reading at her age level and why she struggles with math or anything that requires reading really. So we now have to work with that! Nothing is just easy is it! We have been given some vision exercises to do with her @ home and if they do not work she will have to have vision therapy.

Briefly for those that do not know convergence insufficiency is where your eyes don't turn inward properly while you're focusing on a nearby object. This can make reading very difficult because text can appear blurred or even floating on the page. It also can often go unnoticed because it's possible for a child to have 20/20 vision and still have blurred text while reading do to the convergence insufficiency. So this is not something that will be typically be picked up in a school vision screening test. It often can be missed at normal eye doctor's visit too. You need a doctor that would know to look for this or is a vision specialist.

Some of the symptoms of convergence insufficiency besides difficulty reading include difficulty concentrating. Learning all of this made me thankful once again that I'm homeschooling. I have a feeling given the symptoms of convergence insufficiency and that fact that my daughter has 20/20 vision she perhaps would have been mislabeled as child with ADD. Not only that but I perhaps would have been forced, or heavily persuaded, by the school to put her a medicine that she clearly does not need!

Now that we know this about our daughter we have to find way to work WITH her vision difficulties and NOT against them! I can tell you a huge weight was lifted of our shoulders this pass weekend.

Superstar Surgery: I've had a few people ask when is Superstar's surgery now? He is having surgery Nov 18th for his toe-walking! Thanks for asking and keeping him in your prayers.

Now the funny of the day: So DH and I were IMing this afternoon and he said in the IM "Well I'm going to go read your blog now".  I then tell him, that's fine but I haven't written anything up yet about web-princesses vision. He replies "That's okay reading your blog is how I know what's going on with my family"

That just made me laugh and reply back to him: "What are you doing?" "I'm looking @ my wife's blog. She said she's schooling them but I don't know if that's true until she blogs about it" "Once she's blog about it then I know it's been done."

To which my hubby replied back:  LMAO that's sound like a blog quote!

So honey this is for you: Yes, I do educate those children of ours. They can now count to 3 and tie their shoes. It makes me proud to know that they got themselves an edge-me-cation!!!! Thanks for letting me teach them!

Okay seriously that was a joke! My husband and talk regularly when he's home and we IM each other regularly during the day, especially @ his lunch hour like we did today! He's well aware of what goes on and doesn't need to read the blog to find out. It was just a funny! Those that know us would see the funny so I wanted to share! Oh and the kids can count beyond 3, they can count to 5! :)


Join Me at The Homeschool Post!I a few weeks ago mention how the nomination process was open for the homeschool blog awards. That process is NOW CLOSED and the voting process is NOW OPEN! GO VOTE! I'm sure all of the nominees will be thankful!

November 9, 2009

Saving Money! Teach Me HOW to feed my family for $4 a week!

My friend Judy has stated several times that her lovely daughter is the queen of being frugal, but I have to wonder: Judy is your daughter this good? And if so is she willing to come to IL to teach me?

This mom with the aid of coupons has been able to feed her family of 6 for $4 a week. Her secret is coupons and buying items that can be bought for  free or near free with the aid of the coupons. On the day the cameras went with her she bought her whole weeks of groceries for 1 PENNY! Yep, that's right 1 Penny! She said that was her new all time low!

I have tried the coupon game several times but have NEVER been successful!! I never really saved any real money so I don't try anymore.

However, I want to LEARN HOW to to use coupons so I can feed my family on $4 a week! If you can teach me or know where I can go to learn, please share!!! I wonder if the woman in this video has a website? Where does she get her coupons? What sites?  I wonder if she is willing to give lessons? Or really share those tips and how-tos?

November 6, 2009

Fort Hood: Why Mama?

I will admit I don't watch the news on TV. I get all of the news via the internet. I do this mainly so I can be aware of what's going on in the world with little to no exposure to the kids. I can read the latest on my computer screen and they are clueless. However, yesterday was different. As soon as I heard what was going on @ Ft. Hood, I had the TV on, the phone at my side, and the computer in my lap. I was extremaly tuned in to what was going on @ Ft. Hood.

Why? Well that is where my dear sister is station @ and that is where the kids and I went over the summer. We had been there @ Ft. Hood enjoy the site; we knew that my sister (Auntie) was there.

This is Auntie, Web-Princess, Little Man (Auntie's son) and Superstar @ Ft. Hood Aug 2009.

At first we didn't know if she was one of the ones injured or hurt, that was until her text message came over my phone.

yes there is a mass shooting here, yes we are in lock down, I am not hurt, on base, the boys at home.

This meant she was safe on base and her son and boyfriend where at their home off of base. I was thankful to have read that text. I knew then that one of the fallen was not my sister. Although, I still didn't understand fully what was going on.

As the day went on from watching the new, receiving text and phone calls from my sister, we learn that the shooter was a fellow soldier. This left my kids asking: Why Mama? Why would a soldier do that to a fellow soldier?

I simply told them I don't know know. Clearly he wasn't thinking properly. At the end of the day, I talked to my sister again, and I was telling her how her niece and nephew couldn't understand how a soldier would do this to another soldier, to one of their own.

My sister, a fellow soldier, of the Ft. Hood shooter, said to me "Tell them that war does crazy things to people minds. Tell them that sometimes they don't realize what they are doing, they aren't thinking straight. Your kids are smart they'll understand that."

Honestly, I don't know if my kids will understand that, but I felt her words being right in the mix was so important. They know how war messes up people. She knows having been in Afghanistan for 14 months. She knows what it's like having to be deployed, what it's like having to leave your family behind, what it's like being gone for over a year, and what she's going through being back. She knows how war can mess up your head!  My sister may understand it, but I know she doesn't excuse it!!!

I asked her where she was during the shooting. She said she was on base just 2 blocks away from it. So she really was in the mix of it. She could NOT share what she was doing at that time, but she was there and she was safe! Thank-God.

November 4, 2009

To facebook or not to facebook that is the question.

I've been thinking about facebook! As Judy shared with us this morning it's best to be who you are! If you love facebook then you love facebook. I being on the outside looking in have my doubts about facebook and well it's those doubts that keep me away.

I have been tweaking Catholic Christian Homeschooling and I'm happy thus far about my tweaks. Blogging for me is a passion. I love sharing with people, but I also love it when people share back. So I think the new tool bar at the bottom of the page will make it easier for my readers to share.

I have the option to add facebook features to the toolbar below, but I have NOT added them because I do not belong to facebook. So I thought it was best not to included the facebook options. Like Judy, I try to take responsibility for what is linked here, but I can't possibly control all links. So if you decided to click on a link here you are really doing so at your own risk. That's the way it is with any website or blog really.

So back to facebook. I've been seriously thinking about joining facebook. Not just because of the features in the new toolbar, but because of articles that I have read that have stated that facebook is better for networking and driving traffic to your site. Networking like Shawntele is not the primary reason for why I blog, but unlike Shawntele it does influence by blogging habit and what I may or may not share on my blog. So all of this had me rethinking my position on facebook.

That was until I read the news article, this morning, about a woman in TX that is suing facebook and blockbuster over privacy issues. You see every time this woman rented a movie from blockbuster it automatically showed up on facebook. It automatically shared her full name, location, and what movie she rented. She wasn't even given a chance to opt-out. It automatically share her transaction at blockbuster with the whole world on facebook. This was done because of the web-beacon that facebook uses.
At the heart of the suit is Facebook's controversial Beacon system, essentially a tracking flag that follows you across a network of sites and reports back to Facebook on your activity. For consumers, it's a way to share more information about your daily activity; for advertisers, it's a way to learn a great deal more about an individual. source: Fox News
Reading the article this morning reminded me why I'm so leery of facebook and why I'm choosing to stay away! If you love facebook and are happy with it so be it:  No worries here. You are free to use facebook. Just know that I will not be joining you. Twitter on the other hand....well we can just tweet the night away. LOL

October 29, 2009

Seriously? Is that really necessary!

I know that H1N1 has lots of school districts worried. I understand the need to educate people and telling them to stay home if they are ill. In my opinion that is common sense: No Biggie!

However the local news report had me saying "What? That's just a big waste of money!" It was reported that the school district here just received 10,000 temperature strips. These disposable temperature strips will be SENT HOME with students within the next couple of days. Each family will get 4 one-time-use strip.

The reason the school is sending these home is because they recognize that there may be families that do not have access to a thermometer. That may very well true, but wouldn't it be more beneficial to give a a family a real digital thermometer that can be used again and again, vs. these 1 time temperature strips?

If the goal is to provide families with a  thermometer fine, but why not give them something that will last them? I'm sure MORE families would have been helped. Just another example of how my tax money is being wasted.

You Homeschool: So how did you get sick?

That is basically what the nurse asked us yesterday. You see Superstar was suppose to have surgery yesterday for ITW, we went to the surgical center with the intent to have surgery done, but got sent home because Superstar was running a fever. He had a cough too, and they listen to his lungs yesterday and they were clear, but because of the fever they said they could not do the surgery.

So the nurse turned to us after realizing that Superstar was sick and that I myself wasn't feeling the greatest, and asked "You homeschool, so how did he get exposed to germs? I mean he's not in school with other kids".

I just looked at her and said we belong to a homeschool group that meets weekly and a lot of the group members have been sick lately. And my husband piped in that they may have also got it from the workout place. She then just looked at us and said "oh, that makes sense."

Yes even homeschooler are not immune to germs and if we are expose to them we will get sick just like anyone else! Granted we don't spend our days with a bunch of other kids that may or may not be sick, so the likely hood of us being exposed is slimmer but it still happens. We do go to the store, we go to church, we go to play centers, and play grounds, and have weekly meeting with other homeschoolers. We are around other people that may or may not be sick.

I will say though that our group of homeschoolers are pretty good about staying home when they are sick, but you just never know. It's possible to be carrying the germs even if you have no symptoms yourself.

We most likely have your run of the mill viral infection: coughs, fevers, vomit, chills, sore throats, runny noses, etc.

October 25, 2009

Tomato Crisis

Is a tomato a fruit or a veggie? Watch and Find Out!

October 24, 2009

Chess Tournament and Prayer Request!

Today the kids had a Chess Tournament! They played against several other homeschoolers, public school, and private school children across the area. They had a great time playing today.

This is Web-princess waiting to play her first game of the day.

This is Superstar waiting to play his first game of the day.

After 5 rounds each we hung around and waited for the award ceremony. Both kids placed today! They each were in separate divisions. Web-princess was in Grade K-2 division and that division had 30 players. Superstar was in Grade 3-5 division and his division had 60 players.

Web-princess placed in 8th place. This is her with her 8th place ribbon (red). The purple ribbon was a participation ribbon.

Congrats Web-Princess!

Superstar placed 6th place. This is him with his ribbon (yellow). The purple ribbon is also a participation ribbon.

Congrats Superstar!

We had a great day! Both kids were happy to be there and were good sports today. Even when they lost a game they had a joyful heart. Superstar also clapped and cheered for everyone that won today during the award ceremony.

For those of you that pray: Please keep Superstar in your prayers especially on this coming Wednesday. This Wednesday is his surgery for ITW (toe-walking). We have to be at the surgery center at 6:00 AM (central standard time). We are told that we should be able to leave the center, with Superstar, @ noon that day. It's an out patient surgery. I know that it's going to be a tough day for all of us, especially Superstar. He's going to have both feet done and will leave the center with both feet in a cast. One will be a blue cast and the other will be a green cast. Thanks!

October 22, 2009

Christian Costume Ideas

With Halloween right around the corner I have noticed a pick up in traffic to my site. I've noticed that I'm getting hits for Christian Costume Ideas. So I wanted to take a moment to say, I know the post that is getting the hits: Costume Ideas?, isn't going to help because in that post I was asking for help for my own costume ideas.

Well, I should announce that we did find a costume for our son. He is going to be a road trip! Thank-You to Family Fun for providing us with the Costume Idea. Of course we are modifying the costume a bit seeing Superstar, will be in a wagon or wheel chair that night, because of surgery.

Or perhaps seeing Halloween is "All Hallows Eve" and the night prior to All Saints-Souls Day, you may want an All Saint's Day Costume. Just a thought!

As far as costumes are consern, You must do what you feel is best for your family. I really don't think there is such a thing as "Christian Costumes"! Costumes are just THAT Costumes. There's nothing Christian or Non-Christian about them, it clothing. The clothing can depict Christian Virtues, but it doesn't make the clothing Christian.

Of course a family may choose not to allow their children to dress up, or to dress in a certain way, because of their religous beliefs and convictions.  They have the right to do that!! That's fine....

October 21, 2009

Homeschool Blog Awards

I'm sure that if you have been combing the blogosphere like I have been then you may have noticed that the 5th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards have started. Currently they are taking NOMINATIONS between NOW and OCT 30th 2009.

After the nomination process is complete then they will start the voting process on November 9th, 2009. Please see the complete schedule for the time-line of events that will be taking place in regards to the Homeschool Blog Awards.  Don't forget to actually nominate your favorite blog! :)

UPDATE: Nomination is now close but the VOTING  IS NOW OPEN!

October 18, 2009

Review: Christians Courageous

Title: Christians Courageous

Author: Rev. Aloysius Roche

Short Description: True tales of 14 believers who defied the savage Roman emperors and evaded assassins sent by them; confronted Attila the Hun unarmed, saving Rome from destruction by his Mongol hordes; repelled bloodthristy Moslem invaders of Europe; overcame the deadly Druids; risked death to carry the Sacraments to souls with crippling disease; and --to preach the gospel to souls in the remotest regions --climbed even to the roof of the world!

Review: I got this book because when I was looking at it on the Catholic Company's site I noticed these words:
"Here you’ll read about, among others: The Irish monk who crossed the Sea of Darkness to discover America."
I was excited to see this, because at that time my kids and I were studying about St. Brendan and I thought to myself. "That must be St. Brendan they are referring too. This book just might be a great book to have for reference when it comes to Saints". So I was excited and I couldn't wait to get this book!

The book came, I ripped open the package, and immediately starting to comb the book looking for the bit about St. Brendan, after all that's who we were studying about. I was eager to learn more about this Saint. I was eager to share more with the kids.

That was the end of my eagerness! I was disappointed because first and forth most the chapters are not labeled by the Saint's name. So it took me a few times to find the correct chapter.

Once I found it I was disappointed on what I was reading. It seemed to be random content and there was no real flow to the content. No matter how hard I tried. I just couldn't stay engaged in this book. I simply found it boring. The author would share things that I felt were out of place or off topic. I just didn't like this book and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't read it; completely that is.

I tried several times, but I just couldn't stay engaged. I wasn't liking the book, thus I didn't want to read more. There isn't much more to say. I just was disappointed.

If you're interested in learning more about Christians Courageous then be sure to check out the Catholic Company. For more reviews about this or other products from other bloggers then please click here. 

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of Christians Courageous by the Catholic Company in order to write my honest opinion of this product for this review.

October 17, 2009

Periodic Table in Videos

My daughter (7) bought an MP3-Video Player for her brother (8) because of his up coming surgery. She felt that he would really enjoy it, especially seeing both of his feet are going to be in a cast.

Anyway seeing we now have this player I have been looking for videos that I can legally download for the player. In the process of looking for videos I remembered about this website that has the Periodic Table in Video, FREE for viewing!!. Here is just one example of the videos available:

Warning: Don't try this at home! :) 

If you visit the Periodic Table Site you will see they have videos for all 118 element. You can also visit their Youtube Channel. They have all those element videos AND more on their Youtube Channel.

October 16, 2009

A Choir Of Angels?

Judy @ Benmakesten talks about how a Choir of Angels is there to help us discern the will of God in her latest post: Week Two of Co-Op. Do you know about the 9 choirs of Angels?

After reading Judy's post I had angels in mind and can't help but wonder if they had a hand in saving this little boy from the train. The little boys stroller rolls off the platform and lands on the tracks. Right before the mother's eyes a train comes rolling in and drives right over the boy! He was safe and fine and unharmed!!! Praise God!

Let's Have A Laugh!

The kids and I just got done watching the above video. They are now in the living room making their own sticky notes! LOL Web-princess told me she (the young lady in the above video) is a GENIUS!!! Which just made me laugh more! LOL

Update: Meet the new Superstar!

Update: Meet the new Web-princess!

Monkey See Monkey Do! LOL

October 14, 2009

Finding Time For Me

Finding time for me is a struggle that every mother goes through. We feel guilty if we do have time or we feel as if we don't have time. I, because of homeschooling, have come to realized that I perhaps don't have all my priorities in the right place. I've noticed that if it's something important to me I always seems to have the "time".

I've been under going some structural changes within our daily schedule, things that aren't set in stone, but things that I know need to be done in order for me to maximize my time! My husband is fully supportive with the idea of me having my own radio show.

However seeing I already struggle some days with the house work and daily chores, he doesn't want the radio show to trump housework, nor does he want it to trump the kid's schooling. Just like when I approached him and said I really need to do something about my health, going to the gym, something, he said that's fine you have my blessing, but I don't want it to trump the kid's schooling or the housework.

I'm fine with that! I don't want it to trump the housework or schooling either, but I'm at the point that I need to do something! I have several DVD and things here at home, but staying home doesn't work for me! It's all to easy for me to say oh I'll do it later, I'll do it when DH gets home, I'll do it when.....as long as I'm home I don't make the time I know I need for this.

Just like with homeschooling, everyone is different, and they have to find out what works for them! Leaving the house and having a place to go works for me. Going to a place that has child care for the children works for me. Well I've been bless to join such a place this week. I know joining a place isn't going to work for everyone especially if they don't have the income to do that. So I'm really, really bless that not only do we have the income right now, but that my husband is supportive of it.

The place I joined this week is medically integrated. It's part Dr office, Immediate Care (walk-in clinic), physical therapy etc and part fitness center (gym) with child care. I joined the fitness center. I'm so looking forward to this place and can't wait to get started. I can leave the kids in the child care for up to 2 hours per day. So that means I can get up to 2 hours for me.

This place features and indoor (1 mile) and outdoor (2 mile) track. The outdoor track goes in and out of the woods, prairie lands, up hills, down hills, etc. The kids are welcome to walk the outdoor track with me, so that is something I will do with on fair weather days. We also can bring the dog to walk the outdoor track. I'm sure that Gravy (the dog) would enjoy that.

On the inside there is a warm water pool, lap pool, treadmills, stair climbers, weight machines, etc; your standard fitness gym equipment. Then they have rooms for like dance, yoga, kicking boxing, etc. Those classes along with the water therapy classes are free. They all are apart of my standard membership. If I want to go to a class I just have to show up.

In the locker rooms, they have showers w/soaps, shampoo, conditioners, lotions, towels, hair dryers etc; this items are free for members and apart of the membership. Also in the locker room there is a hot tub, sauna, and steam room. Although I don't know what the difference between a steam room and sauna is, again those are free for members and all apart of the standard membership. The cream of the crop is that in the locker room there is a lounge room. The lounge room features over sized stuff chairs, tables, and ottomans to put your feet up.

In my mind I'm thinking I can do my 30-45 minute workout, go to the locker room, shower, change my cloths and hit the lounge area, within the locker room, with my spiritual book or books, put my feet up and just enjoy the quiet time to read, pray, and reflex. So I would be use the time to better my whole-self: Body and Soul! And seeing they provide everything there the only thing I would have to bring with me is my change of cloths and books. How easy is that!

I'm so looking forward to this tomorrow! I'm sincerely hoping that with this I will have the energy I need to accomplish everything that I need to do daily. I'm hoping this will help me be better prepared mentally and physically for my day.

I know not everyone is going to be able to join a gym. I'm by no means saying the only way to get exercise and spiritual reading done is to join a gym. It's just for me I've come to realize that is what I need to do! This is how I work!

This is not one of those I need time away from the kids and I don't want anyone to think that. It's just I workout better when I can go to a place to workout outside the home. I also workout better when I can do that during the day, while DH is at work. My kids are young 8 and 7 so this means I need to go to place that has childcare so I can leave them with a responsible adult while I workout. I can't have them on the gym floor with me, etc.

This is really important to my physical health. As part of my standard membership fee I got an health assessment done today. Here are the results:
Height: 5'6" (I shrunk; in high school I was 5'7")
Weight: 305 lbs
Body Fat %: 47.9 That means about 1/2 my weight is fat
Blood Pressure: 132/88 (Pre-hypertension)
Cholesterol: 203 (normal 50-199)

I had other things measured and analyzed by the fitness center today as part of my standard fee, but I'm not going to share. The bottom line is I know that I need to do somethings to correct these numbers. The really cool thing is that I was given a customized workout routine that I get to start tomorrow. All apart of my standard fees.

Here's hoping and praying that things workout! I'll be posting future updates about this on my site: Catholic Christian Living. I post this here at first as really a reminder to all moms, especially homeschooling moms, that we need to MAKE time for ourselves for our physical health and spiritual health. If we don't take care of our health then we can't take care of our family.
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