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January 31, 2009

Swallowing Teeth

Yep Swallowing Teeth! Both DS and DD are right in the middle of losings those baby teeth stage of life. DS a while ago swallowed one of his baby teeth at dinner and this morning DD did the same thing at breakfast.

As I mention in an earlier post I had a good a amount of chatting this morning with other parents and I'm getting the feeling that swallowing teeth is much more common then I thought. It SEEMS that everyone I talked has either a child that has done the same thing and/or knows a child that has swallowed a baby tooth.

So what did DD have for breakfast this morning? She had a homemade breakfast burrito. soft flour toritilla shell, eggs, salsa, sour cream, and cheese. Before she ate this morning she did have me checked on this tooth. It was loose but I felt that it was still attached enough that I told her not to worry about it; it's not time it. Oh how I was wrong!!!

So has your kiddo ever swallowed one of his or her teeth??

Confession!

Well today was the BIG day for my DS! He received for the very first time the sacrament of reconciliation. He couldn't wait for this day! This morning before we left he was doing the "chicka chicka boom boom dance". (I'm not sure how else to describe what he was doing LOL)

When we asked him how he felt about going he said "I'm nervous, but I'm also EXCITED" He truly was grinning ear to ear. So we left this morning, arrived at the church shortly before 9:00 am. We walked in and sat down in the church. Shortly after 9:00 our rector started with a Gospel reading (the prodigal son). After the Gospel reading he did a short homily (sermon) and then explain to everyone that he would be in his confessional and one of our associate pastors would be in his confessional.

The rector then went on to explain that the children were to go first and then when the children were done the parents and/or older siblings were free to go confession. He also said that afterward we were invited to go to our fellowship hall area for coffee, tea, hot coca, donuts and fruit.

So we asked DS who he wanted to go to and he choose our associate pastor and thus got into line. After leaving the confessional he did his penance and then I took him and my DD to fellowship hall for donuts, fruit, and hot cocoa. DH stayed behind and when to the confession himself. The original plan was that I would go to, but we didn't know that there would be treats and the kids just wanted to go.

While eating our treats my DS asked "Mama, why didn't you go?" I told him because I felt that I needed to be mommy and keep and eye on you and be with you while you are here (in fellowship hall). My kids are good kids and I really do trust them, but I also know that it was best to keep an eye on them. I then shared with my DS that I would be going next Saturday and he right away perked up and said "would you take me?". I said sure if he wanted to go I would take him. He just beamed ear to ear and said "thank-you mama".

After a few moments DH joined us in Fellowship Hall and said that he asked Father how DS did. He said to Father I know that you can't tell me what DS said but I'm just curious on "how" he did. Father told DH that DS was very confident. Confident!!! Wow!! I then asked DS if he went face to face or behind the curtain. DS said "behind the curtain"; then I turn to DH and ask "Well then how does he know that it was our DS". DH just said, "Father knows"

I was taken back by that...yikes!!! Reflecting on it; it's NOT a bad thing. It just shocked me that's all, especially seeing this was DS first time and I can't imagine that DS told him his name, nor am I going to pry into what DS said, because truly it's none of my business. I just was shocked that Father would know MY kid by voice..... Wow, is all I can say. We finally left the church around 11:00 am. We easily spent at least half of our time eating and chatting with others.

It was a good morning. Now DS is just steps closer to receiving his first Communion. That will take place in April.

January 30, 2009

Plant A Sock!

This is something my kids learned this week while watching Real Science on PBS. (I'm starting to like PBS LOL)

They said on the show it's works best in the fall, but can be done in the spring and summer also. So we can't wait for Spring!! We are going to try this all 3 seasons and compare the results.

For each time you want to do this experiment and/or per child you will need:
2 Socks (large enough to go OVER your shoes)
2 flower pots
potting soil (from any store)
dirt from your back yard
and woods to go hiking in

This is what you do.... put the socks on OVER your shoes and go hiking in the woods. When you are done hiking take the dirty socks off. Make sure that they are NOT inside out. Make sure the "dirty" part of the sock is facing out.

Fill the flower pots 1/2 full with dirt. Fill one 1/2 full with the dirt from your backyard and the other 1/2 full with the potting soil. Place one sock in each flower pot.

Now cover the sock with about an inch or 2 of dirt. (You don't want it to be buried to deep). Which dirt you finish covering the sock with will depend on the pot it is in. If the sock in the pot with the potting soil then finish covering it with the potting soil. If the sock is in the pot with the dirt from the backyard then finish covering it with the dirt from the backyard.

Place the pots in a sunny spot and keep them watered for several weeks. Over time you should start to see plants growing!!! And the plants in the potting soil should be growing better then the plants in the dirt from the yard. Why is that??

This works best in the fall because that is when most plants loose their seeds etc, but it can work in the spring and summer.

Anyway I just wanted to share this will all of you, it's simple enough to do (and the cost is fairly low too). We can't wait till spring to give this a try. (Of course summer and fall too)

Oh and not only is it "science" but the hike in the woods could be counted as PE too. It 2 subjects in one!!!! Got to love that!!!

UPDATE: Our results can be seen here: Planting Socks The Results.

January 27, 2009

Footwallits! (foot-wall-itis)

Overview and facts: It is a rare hereditary disease where the foot actually becomes attached to the wall. Known cases of this disease is one in zillion. Symptoms of this disease show up in childhood around the ages of 6-8 and the effects are known to last a life time.

Diagnosis: The foot is attached to the wall

Treatment: The foot needs to be removed from the wall. This is done with the aid of a working model helicopter. The blades of the helicopter need to be in good working order. This aids in prying the foot off of the wall.

Care: Lots Of Laughter and good family fun is in order too!!! It's good to make up stuff and have a good laugh!!! Siblings are so much fun to play with!! Mom and Dad get a belly laugh too!!

Documented Cases: As this article stated in the beginning the chances of this happening are 1 in a zillion, but SAHMinIL cameras did catch one such case.
PS: The children were the ones that made all of this up. DD put her foot on the wall and was like oh-no it's stuck. She then called to her brother to ask for help. He said don't worry I can fix you. DH and I ask them what they are up too and DD informed us that she has footwallitis (foot-wall-itis). DS informed us that he was treating it to make her better. LOL What a belly laugh!!!

Blogger Friend School Assignment #118

WHAT DOES MOM ALWAYS SAY TO YOU?

  • DS : Yes or No
  • DD: I don't know

WHAT MAKES MOM HAPPY?

  • DS: Us being good
  • DD: kissing her

WHAT MAKES MOM SAD?

  • DS: Us being naughty
  • DD: not kissing you

HOW DOES MOM MAKE YOU LAUGH?

  • DS: tickle us, by doing something funny
  • DD: I don't know

HOW OLD IS MOM?

  • DS: umm, umm 29! Did I get it right?
  • DD: How old are you?

HOW TALL IS MOM?

  • DS: 6 feet? Is that correct?
  • DD: I don't know

WHAT DOES MOM LIKE TO DO?

  • DS: (not answering)
  • DD: sit on the computer

WHAT IS MOM’S JOB?

  • DS: (not answering)
  • DD: homeschooling us

WHAT IS MOM’S FAVORITE FOOD?

  • DS: (not answering)
  • DD: M&M's

HOW DO YOU KNOW MOM LOVES YOU?

  • DS: (not answering)
  • DD: Cause you always ask us to kiss you.
Editor's Notes: DS got mad that he did not get my height right therefore he refused to answer any more questions. He even tried to get my DD not to answer questions. :) If you enjoyed reading this then please see the Blogger Friend School Assignment Button on the right hand side for more!!

January 26, 2009

This Saturday!

This Saturday my DS will walk into the confessional at our church to receive for the very first time reconciliation. He of course is a little nervous, but at the same time he can't WAIT!!! He has been counting down the days and today announce with joy, the same joy a child would get when it's days before their Birthday and/or days before Christmas, "Mama ONLY 5 more days"!!!

To be honest I never in a million years would think a child would be so happy about this day coming; It does me good to see that he is so happy about it! I'm on the other hand think I'm more nervous about it all then him. Our church has set aside a special time for this to happen not only that, but the parents and/or older siblings are encouraged to receive the sacrament as well. So really it's a "family" reconciliation time, with special care for those that will be receiving for the very first time and for those that may not have gone for ages!!

I'm still at times in shocked that my DS is old enough for all of this!! At times it seem as only if yesterday he was in Kindergarten. Oh my how the time goes by...

After this Saturday there will be a week or 2 off then after that they will start up the Communion Classes. My DS is set to receive First Communion on April 4th. At this time I don't know if he will actually receive communion or not. I'm leaving that up to him. He'll have to go to the classes, but when the time comes he will have to decided if this is what he wants. He, on his own, has decided to go ahead and receive reconciliation. He'll make that decision when it comes to first communion as well.

I still can't believe it's that time!!!! Wow!!!

January 24, 2009

The Pope And Youtube Part 2

The Youtube Channel is up and running!!!! Pretty cool!!!

The Vatican's Youtube channel allows listeners/viewers to listen/view the videos in 3 different languages. English, Italian, German and Spanish. If you have a moment or two check it out!!

Nothing more at this point to say :)

January 23, 2009

The Pope And Youtube!

Pope Benedict XVI is set to have his own dedicated channel on the popular video sharing website, YouTube.

That's the news I just got done reading. This could mean that my kids and I could have more access to the pope, via the internet and Youtube. I know there is a lot of things not worth our time on youtube, but I have a feeling this would be worth our time, and would be a good teaching tool to use for religion, faith, morals, etc.

I'm actually excited at the news! I hope that it does indeed turn out to be a good tool!!!

January 22, 2009

It's Math Again!

This has been a sore spot for me when it comes to homeschooling and my DD. This moves with the tides and it's frustrating for her and for me. I can't ignore the subject, nor do I feel that I'm helping her any. Sure it would be nice to get the high end fancy math programs, but we can't afford it, and at the same time Math has been taught with the simple stuff for ages. So I know even though we are struggling with this I can reach her.

Today we met a whole new level of frustration with my DD shouting at me, in a very tearful, sad, angry, at the top of her lungs type voice. "You don't know what I know or don't know! You say you know, but you really don't know. You are just pretending to know what I know, because you just want to say that you know". Those words cut through me like a knife. I know she knows this stuff, but then I began to wonder, Do I really know?? Or is my DD right, I'm I just "saying" that I know.

Wow! I walked into this thinking I can help my children, I had dreams of them soaring high above their peers, but now I'm starting to wonder....my eyes are heavy with tears, the sadness is overwhelming. The weight I feel is pressing down on me....I don't want to do my children a disservice, I don't want them to "fail".

All is not lost, I did find a FREE online placement test for math, it's printing now, I'm going to get to the bottom of this and if needed I'm just going to start over at the beginning!!!

January 20, 2009

The Stress Of Money!

I am sure that the stress of money is felt in MOST families across the USA and even perhaps around the world. I'm sure this stress is especially true for homeschooling families for MOST of them are single income households. Every penny matters; It shouldn't matter the income level.

I got blessed with knowing some people that perhaps have more of an income, but at the end of the day they had the same amount of money we had for food, soaps, cleaners, etc. Yes it's true they had more money, but they also had more debt (bills and other debt). So their debt to income level was the SAME as ours. I've met a plastic surgeon's wife that had to call her sister and tell her NOT to cash the $200 check she sent her, because if she did it would bounce. She was basically telling her sister to wait until the next "pay day" to cash so it would clear. Sure more money is nice, but if we don't know how to save it or use it wisely we can seriously be living to pay-check to pay-check. I never in a million years would have thought that a plastic surgeon would be living pay-check to pay-check like so many of us. It's true that DH and I live pay-check to pay-check. We are trying to save up our money and watch our pennies, but at times mis-communication on things can cause huge problems.

We tried signing our kids up at they Y yesterday for dance classes. However, we learn that the classes were canceled do to lack of interest. Those classes would have been a total of $70 for both kids. I called DH and told him about that and told him I would have to look around at our other options. Well he took it upon himself to call around. While I was at the Library he called me back and told me to take the kids to this gymnastic/dance/martial arts place near our home. He told me that he thought the price was reasonable and that we could swing it. I also felt as if he told me the price was going to be $80 for both kids. (This is where the mis-communication came in)

Well it turn out to be $80 per kid! More then double of what I was going to pay at the Y. Not only that but we had to buy the shoes. DD cost $30 and DS still have to be gotten, because they didn't have them on hand. If I buy DS's shoe via the dance place it would be $50 (maybe even $60) because they would be "special order". I was taken back by all of this!! It showed in my attitude for the rest of the day and while I was still at the dance place I'm sure.

While I was there kept telling myself: surely DH misunderstood them on the cost. We had the money to cover it. (Thank God), but seriously we are trying to SAVE money so that we have money for the unexpected. Spending what extras we have is not saving it.... I think that's what troubles me with my DH at times. It seems that if we have the money in the checking in his mind we can spend it; where I tend to say we DON'T have money and don't want to spend it.

So I leave the dance place call DH and begin to tell him: Well I think you misunderstood the prices and began to tell him what I spend. He said yeah that's right, that's what the cost is! Hearing this my blood began to boil; I was more livid then I've ever been in a long time. As a result my poor kids began to feel that them being in dance class was a bad thing. I didn't want that; I just was shell shocked at the price and shell shocked that DH was okay with it. Surely he doesn't think we are made of money does he.... (I know he works hard for it, but he has left me to be the treasurer; so it gets touchy when I feel we can't afford it.)

It also didn't help that while there the lady (owner) didn't seem to know the difference between boy shoes and girl shoes, she had to go talk to the dance teacher, nor was she able to help determine if the shoes were the right size for the kids. Seriously I'm clueless at these things. My kids have NEVER done anything like this and neither have I. Oh and DD was also going on and on about how she wanted this outfit and that outfit. Why do they do that?

I really should have shut my mouth, bit my tongue and followed DH lead on this one!! We hashed it out last night after the kids were in bed; and it's done. They are STILL going to dance class starting Thursday and my quest for today is to try to find an alternative source for my DS tap shoes. (We hadn't order them yet through the dance place, because the lady was out. She's suppose to call me today; So I'm hoping I can find them else where for cheaper). I also had to talk to each of the kids this morning and express to them that I am happy that they are in dance class and they they have express interest in it...and they are going to go try it out! I am truly happy about it; I'm just depressed about the "money". I don't like spending it! So when things start to cost more then $100 I start having issues.

We love our children and we may not be able to give them everything they want, we may not even be able to continue these classes once the 10 weeks is up. (I honestly don't think we can, but perhaps with God's grace we can if the kids really like it). DH said last night: "I know we can't afford every whim they want, but I don't want them to be afraid to ask us, because of money. There's always got to be a way to do it" He is much more hopeful on those things then me. I think I tend to worry about tomorrow a little to much.....

January 19, 2009

New Look! Perhaps I'll BE "Happy" Now!!

Wow! I am so HTML clueless. I have been for months trying to get 3 columns on this blog. I don't know why, but I just feel like I can have more info with 3 column vs. 2. I also just like the way 3 columns look. I don't think I'll be doing this with my other blogs at least not at this time. LOL.

This is actually my SECOND homeschooling blog. I deleted my other one and started over because I messed up the HMTL so bad that things were a mess. I finally after months of looking found a copy and paste code that actually worked without messing up some of my other stuff!!!

I did have to go back and add some things one at a time, but over all I think I'm happy with the result. It's not exactly the format I was looking for so I may tweak it again. But for now I think it will do. I just happy to have been able to up grade to 3 columns!!!!

January 18, 2009

Blogroll List!

This information can now be found here: Followers Blogroll

January 17, 2009

Marshmallow Sculptures

Marshmallow Sculptures are so much fun to do and eat. You can use what ever kind of marshmallows you want: large or mini; white or color. The only thing you need to go with the marshmallows are toothpicks. The toothpicks can be plain or color too. The options are endless!

Today's Sculptures were made with white mini-marshmallows and colored toothpicks.
DD's sculpture
DS's sculpture
What do you think?

January 16, 2009

Math!

Sometimes I wonder why I "have" to do this subject with my DD. Math and her are at times like water and oil (like today), but at other times it seems as if they were made for each other.

If anything I would say that this has been my "struggle" this year regarding the schooling. Besides at time my own lack of motivation. (but that's something I can deal with because it's me.) My daughter's mood swings regarding math is enough to send me over the moon at times. I just don't get it.

What troubles me more is the last 2 days she has done great with her math. She's gotten the work done within 20 minutes or even less. Today however was a different story it took her 3 hours to get it done. Sure if it was something "new" I would understand, but today's work was just more of the same. It was the same work she's been doing the last 2 days, the same days that she whipped it out in 20 minutes or less, but today 3 hours. What gives???

Not only did it take her 3 hours, but for every problem she was crying and whining that she does NOT know how to do it!! If she was complaining that it was more of the same work then I could understand that perhaps she is burned out from doing it, but to whine and say I don't know how to do it??? I know she knows how she did it for the last 2 days and she's done great with it, but today??? UGH!!!

It fusterating and I almost dread telling her it's math time because I don't know how she'll react to it. I don't know if she'll have a good attiude towards it or if she'll start whinning. I just can't win or loose with it!!! It's really starting to get old!!

School Closed Today!

Growing up that was one things I looked forward too!! I lived for those Snow Days! Days were we would we would have no school due to fresh snow on the ground, days where we would then go out and play. It was every child's dream!! In all the years that I went to school (and my husband too) we NEVER had a no school day due to the cold weather. If school was canceled it was because of the HUGE amount of snow on the ground.

Our kids did go to PS (public school) for 2 years. It was then that we learned that schools closed because of the cold weather. The first time it happened we didn't even know about the school closing; I got the kids dress and ready as always and my mom called. She said "honey, I don't know if you have the news on or not but I wanted you to know that there is no school today for the kids". I was like what?? There is no snow on the ground, what are you talking about?? She then informed me that the school was closed because of the cold weather. I told her I've never heard of such a thing, and she said I know me either. (so my other prove that it never happen while I was at school).

Well here it is -21 (yep that's right 21 below) and the schools around here are closed do to the cold weather. i.e. due to the TEMPERATURE outside. It's not like we can go out to play in that kind of temperature so school is still on here. :) It's Friday. We will go ahead and finish our week as planned...we are warm in our house, even though we have to wrap up in some blankets...but we are doing good.

We will pile onto my bed, snuggle under the blankets, and get our work done. :)

January 15, 2009

What Have You Done?

Copy and paste this to your blog, facebook page, THL (The Homeschool Lounge) nook note , or any other social site that you use. Next indicate the things you've done by making the text bold, highlighting it, or even changing the color. I hope you enjoy sharing your experiences as much I will enjoy reading them.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art...cooking&baking
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29 Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33 Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41 Sung karaoke...
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45 Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60 Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67 Bounced a check...yes, embarrassing
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy...my cabbage patch kid
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79 Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the paper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Been to a foreign country

ps: I got this from My Mommy Kisses The Principal

January 12, 2009

Ebooks

I've been looking around the net. I have been looking for resources and materials to use next school year. I'm always looking for ways to trim the budget without trimming the quality of the materials used.

One good way to trim the budget is Ebooks. I have access to netlibrary thanks to my local library. My local library has team up with netlibrary so I can check out all kinds of eb00k and eaudios for free. Perhaps your local library has a similar program. If NOT there is always Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is FREE to anyone, not only is it free but they have TONS of material available.

The only downside to this is that my kids DO NOT like ebook or eaudios. They do not like being tied down to the PC. They prefer book/paper. My husband said yeah it's the textile the touch of the material at times that makes the difference. That seem every plausible to me!!! He said I understand the need to cut cost, but I think books are worth it at times. How cool is that!!

Of course, I know many are thinking well just print the pages out. Well believe it or not it will cost us more money to print the material out then to just buy books. This is true for us because of the type of printer we have available to us.

I would consider the TOTAL cost of printing before deciding to go that route. The cost of ink and paper can add up quickly. I know people that have told me that the cost of printing can be more but at the same time they don't have the hundreds of dollars available at one time to just buy books all at once. So there are plus sides too...If you don't have large amount available at one time then printing as you go could be good, but in the end it could cost more. There are pros and cons for everything. What is good for you may not be good for someone else.

I wish my kids would be willing to read the material via the PC, but they just aren't there. (That would of course would be the cheapest route: just read it on the PC) They don't want that. I don't blame them but at the same time it still would be nice. Nice for us and our pocketbook. :) I guess I should be thankful that my kids prefer to be "unplugged" and thankful that I have the $100-$200 avaible at one sitting to buy all the materials I need.

UGH! The Screaming!

It's moment like this one that make me want to pull my hair out and go "What I'm I doing?".

So the bell rang at 8:00 (about 30 minutes ago) and I told the kids it was time for devotions. Both started to cry and say, "But Mama you said we have to finish our rooms today" They wanted to finish cleaning their rooms vs. school work. Who I'm I to argue with that?? Go clean!!!

In the mist of cleaning DD found in her room a little $1 electronic game. It's a little pocket thing, 2 buttons, mini screen, and you can play soccer on it. It can't be worth more then a $1. It's one of those generic games. She came out and said look mommy I found my "gameboy" (I have no idea why she would call it that.)

Well DS right away shouted from his room...well it's not a gameboy because gameboy's are for boys only. That's why it's called a game boy. It has the word boy in it. (LOL got to love the mind of a 7 year old) DD of course started to argue that with him. I quickly ended that arguement.

Shortly after that DS left his room to hand me something and saw what DD had in her hand: the so called gameboy (now mind you it's just a genertic $1 toy). He right away started in on how that is HIS toy and DD is saying NO it's hers and now the two of them are screaming on the top of thier lungs over who is the owner of this toy. I of course had to raise my voice over theirs to get their attention to tell them to stop. UGH....I have the toy now and I won't give it back until we can settle this...but seriously the yelling is driving me crazy!!! It's moments like this that make me wonder WHY??? WHY I am I doing this....why don't I just sending them to PS, at least I would have x many hours of no fighting!!!

Of course I'm not saying they fight all the time. They do not! Nor am I saying that I'm seriously thinking of sending them back to PS (public school); it's just the stress level here is high right now!! UGH!

January 11, 2009

Sending Them To RE Classes

Sometimes, like other homeschoolers, I wonder if I should be sending my kids to RE (religious Education) Classes. The RE classes are held outside of Mass (our church service) so the kids still go to Mass with us. However, I'm starting to wonder if it's worth our time to send them to class.

Our Parish (Church) has "normal" RE classes once a month for the kids and then if the child is preparing to receive a sacrament they go to a sacrament prep-class weekly. Right now our DS is preparing to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. So he is going to the prep class after the 9:00 am Sunday Mass (service).

We are there and I don't mind staying around. Many of the parents stay and hang out in the fellowship hall area chatting and having coffee. Also many of us have younger kids that are NOT in the prep class so that kids play together. However the issue arises when DS shares that class is boring because he knows all the stuff already that they have been discussing in class.

So for him he's not "learning" anything new and that is upseting him because he wants to learn something new. I don't want him to be bored in class nor to I want to assume that he knows it all, but I do know that he know more and perhaps more "ready" then most of his peers. I truly believes that it has to do with who we are and what we have taught our kids.

So we have to supplement and add on a lot of information because my DS just wants to learn more and beyond what is being offer in the RE classes, especially in the reconciliation class. I happen to be an RE teacher for my parish although I am NOT teaching the reconciliation class. I know that the class is the very basic because many parents do not offer this info nor teach it to their children so I can understand my son's frustration in not learning anything new.

For example my son ask us: "So if God knows the past, present, and future. He knows everything that we are going to do or say or want. So does he want to hear our prayers? Does he want us to say them? Does he "love" that? Because you know he already knows it. He knows everything. So does he want to hear it even though he knows it?"

I want my children to be fed, but at the same time I don't want to assume that they can't be fed during the RE classes at the Church. I just don't know if it's worth sending them any more or not. They enjoy going because they do enjoy the teachers, crafts, and kids. They just get flustered at times when there is nothing new to learn.

My DS said this prep class was nothing like he expected it to be. He thought for sure they would learn about some saints, see the confessional, and learn some examples of sins to confess. Instead it's the Adam, Eve, the apple, and the 10 commandments. Mom I know what the commandments are, I know what happened to Adam and Eve..... (There are only 2 more classes left and then he will receive the sacrament of reconciliation the 31 of this month)

I just hope it's better for him when he starts his First Communion Preparation Class in February. I don't know: What do other homeschoolers do? Do you send your kids to RE (religious Education) Classes or do you just teach them yourself? I do teach my kids. That is clear if my DS feels that he knows everything that is being taught to him. I just don't know if I should be sending them to RE classes anymore. Over all I feel that I can do it and I'm doing it, but it is nice to send them to class too. I'm just confused I guess seeing that DS doesn't feel like he's being fed during RE classes at the church.

January 9, 2009

Wow! What A Moment!

Sometimes I'm amazed by what my kids do that I can't help but share.

DD (6) was playing PS2 with DH today. (He was home from work). While playing DD got a little bossy towards DH telling him what to do, how to play, etc. DS was in the room to and he made a comment on how DD being bossy was/is rude. So I immediately pulled DS (7) to the side, in the other room, and had a talk with him.

You see DS gets bossy with DD when he plays with her. So asked him why does he care what DD is saying to DH. He responded because it's rude to be that way, and it's annoying listening to that. I then shared with him that is how he sound when he plays with his sister.

DS right away became sad, his shoulders sunk, and he hung himself on me. So I wrapped my arms around him, scooped him up as best as I could, and just held him. After several moments I asked him why he was so sad. He responded with I should tell sis that I'm sorry. I asked for what and he said for being bossy while they play PS2 together.

So we went and told DD that he was sorry. After he said sorry, I had a talk with DS about not only saying it but showing it. He agreed that he has to try to show it and not just say it. WOW! He's only 7!

Finding Answers In Every Day Life:

Earlier this week I posted about sloth...

I have gotten some really nice replies back which gave me some food for thought. However, I got hit by a 2 by 4 today while doing our daily devotions with the children. It's funny how answers can be found in the everyday life.

For daily devotions I'm reading the book "Devotional Stories for Little Folks" to the children. (If you are thinking of buying the book then I suggest buying it through Catholic Heritage Curricula, not only because it's cheaper then amazon, but because they also sell the sequel Devotional Stories for Little Folks too.) We haven't started the sequel yet, but I know between the two books I have enough to work with for a while now. I plan on re-reading the stories once we finish book 2. It won't hurt any to go back and re-read especially when at times, like today, the stories speak to me.

Today's story is about giving your 100% for God and the game of life: where our goal is to win heaven. This statement of course could be misleading for those that are non-Catholic Christians. Often when a non-Catholic hears a statement like that they say "See those Catholic-Christians believe you have to work/earn your way to heaven". That is so far from the truth!

We don't believe that we can work or earn our way to heaven. Heaven is a gift, a FREE gift, from God. We just have free will to USE that gift or NOT. We have free will to USE that gift today, but tomorrow that same free will could lead us to THROW that gift away. Every act we do is a result of accepting that gift (using it) or rejecting it (throwing it away). Mathew 25 is every clear that when our judgment comes we will be judge on our deeds not just our words. It goes with that saying "actions speak louder then words". We may have the words but may not have the actions to back them up. Do we give our Lord lip service? Or do we show him that we are true? Do we give him 100%?

The story, seeing it is geared for children, focused on chores: Do we do the chores completely 100%, or do we do the bare minimum? Example: sweeping the floor: Do we sweep the whole floor including corners, under cabinets, where some of the "real" dirt and grime could be hiding OR do we just do the middle of the floor so that at a quick glance it looks "good"?

These questions can so easily fit into all areas of life: Do we just go to church on Sundays (or whatever day you go) so that we can say that we were there? Or do we really listen to what has been said and try to apply it?

Do we just do the bare minimum with raising our children? Or do we reach in and get to the heart of the matter? Are we just doing things so that at a quick glance it looks as if it is done or are we really getting in there and applying some elbow grease?

I may have been hit with sloth, but at least I now I can see the antidote. I have to really truly cling to Christ and not only that but truly give him my all. My 100% all the time not just lip service but in action! Action everyday, all the time, at 100%. Sure I WILL fail at times, but at least I can say I gave it my all and an "honest" effort!!! (Assuming I honestly try)

We all have our paths, mine is to be wife, cook, keeper of the money, teacher, mother, maid, manager, taxi driver, etc. (We all know the life of a mother). It's time I accepted it, embraced it, give it my all....all the time. Not just some times or when the mood suits me, but ALL the time!

Now the question is how do I go about giving my all, my 100%, all the time? What method should I use? How do I go about doing it?

January 7, 2009

Have I Been Hit With Sloth?

Sloth is defined as spiritual and/or actual apathy or laziness, putting off what God asks you to do, or not doing it or anything at all. The Latin "acedia" can be translated as meaning "the don't care feeling". The History Channel last week was running a series entitled: The Seven Deadly Sins; which brought all of this to my front of my mind. Have I been hit with Sloth?

Why do I wonder? Well it's the state of my house that makes me wonder! It's my attitude towards schooling that makes me wonder! My house is a mess!! Sure it will never be perfect, but at time it's worst then others. I know what I'm suppose to be doing, I'm just not doing it.

Schooling has been slow this week... Caused by my lack of planning. I know that I have to do it, I just didn't do it. Sure it didn't get done when it normally does due to my nephew being here, but him being here shouldn't have stopped me dead in my tracks! Should it??

Maybe I'm putting off my calling from God to be a housewife/homeschooling mother? Perhaps I don't have my priorities in the right place? How do I know? What are my priorities? Is it the schooling first or the housework first?

Schooling is important but if the house is a mess it makes it harder? If I focus to much on the housework then I feel as if I messing up the schooling? I need a clear cut mission!! I need to clearly know that it is that God wants from me, but lately I feel as if I'm lost in the fog!

How will I find my way out of the fog??

January 6, 2009

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Lasted Edited On: October 28, 2015

January 5, 2009

Getting Started

UGH!! Sometimes Mondays are a drag...I just don't have any motivation today!! Got to get started here!!

January 4, 2009

Old Fashion Phones

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I think this will sum up what this post is about.That is my cell phone next to the battery pack for the video camera (camcorder) that we just got this week for the kids. Why is it next to the phone you wonder? Well the words on the battery pack should be helpful. Under the words battery pack it states "for camcorders AND cellular telephones."

LOL!!! I don't know of any cell phone today that uses a battery that is so HUGE!!! Clearly the video camera that we got for the kids this last week is an older VHS camcorder. The kids have expressed interest in making films. So I put a request out there on freecycle to see if anyone had a working camera they were willing to part with, even if it was VHS. My amateur film makers don't care they just want to be able to make films. Thankfully we did get someone willing to fulfill our request. The kids have been having fun making films.

We had huge laugh when we realized what the battery for the video camera stated on it. After all that battery is heavy!!! I think that this battery is at least 4 times the weight of the phone next to it. We made jokes of people falling over while using the cell phone. LOL

All of this prompted more interest from the kids. They now want to learn about phones and seeing real examples of what my DD called "Old Fashion Phones" like the "giant cell phone". DH and I just looked at each other with puzzlement and wonder when did we become old fashion....LOL

I do remember reading an article in my utility company's magazine/newsletter thing about a telephone museum of sorts near by (or at least I think it is). I don't remember now, nor do I remember the name. I guess I'll have to by pass the bear hunt and go on a museum hunt instead.

I'm going on a (telephone) museum hunt, can't go over it, can't go under it.....LOL

Money For The Poor

It's heart warming when you see a young child think of others besides themselves. It's even more heart warming when it's your own child.

DS was given money over the weekend as a late Christmas Present. Actually, my FIL (Father-In-Law) gave my kids the choice to have the money or to go shopping with him. The kids decided to go shopping WITH Grandpa. Which made my FIL's day; it just didn't happen until this weekend, because of weather and illnesses. The weather was good over the weekend and everyone needed for the shopping trip was healthy.

So that was the first thing that made me proud of my kids. They didn't just want the money, they wanted time with their grandfather. Right now they are 6 and 7 but I pray that they will be 10 and 9 or even 16 and 15 and still choose to go shopping with Grandpa instead of just receiving the money.

As I was saying DS received his money over the weekend and did go shopping with his Grandpa. He did buy things for himself, but it's what he did with the left over money that impressed me. Yep that's right DS had left over money he did not spend all of his money at the store.

The first thing he did when he came home was put some of his left over money in the YELLOWSTONE FUND. We have a jar in our living room called the Yellowstone Fund. It's a jar that we are saving money in to hopefully be able to go to Yellowstone in late 2009 or early 2010. So DS donated some of his money for our Yellowstone Fund.

The next thing he did was this morning at church. When we walked into the church he stopped and took out his wallet and shoved some of his money into the money box in the wall. The money box said right on it "Money For The Poor"

This action amazed me because honestly I didn't even know that he knew the box was there. DH and I never put money in it and we have never pointed it out to the kids. So I was shocked that he knew. He then asked why we don't give money to the poor. I told him we do. Then he said well you never put it in the box here.

This gave me a really good window to explain that when our church collects money during the Mass (our church service)4% of all the money collected automatically goes to the local homeless shelter, for the poor, every week. I even then pointed out that amount to him in the bulletin. Every week the bulletin shows how much was collected from the week before and how much was given to the local homeless shelter.

DS thought this was cool and then stated: Well all the money I gave will just go to the poor because I put it in the poor box; I was the first in my family to use the box. (That may be true and to be honest I don't know if anyone uses the poor box any more)

Anyway, it doesn't matter how he gave it's just cool that he thought of giving, all on his own. It's even cooler that he noticed the box on the wall. Kids really do notice the things around them!!!

January 2, 2009

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Testing (ISAT)

I love my mom dearly and she is a good help and actually over all is supportive. (For those that my not know this is our first year of homeschooling; our kids were in PS {public school} we pulled them out). However she, like all good grandparents, is worried about how the kids are doing compare to their peers.

She called me this morning and in the course of talking to her my DS asked to play his video game. I had to tell him no not now after school. This of course prompted him to wanting to start school right then and there, but I had to tell him that he had to wait until I was off the phone. Mom being on the other end could hear some of my conversation with my DS so she asked what does he want. I told her to play his video game but I told him not now he has to wait until AFTER school. So now he wants to do school right now, but I told him that he has to wait until I'm off the phone. She chuckled and light heartily made statements about me cracking down the whip because right now the PS students here are still on vacation.

This prompted her to ask about ISAT and when I was going to have the kids take them. ISAT are the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. They measure individual student achievement relative to the Illinois Learning Standards. I tried telling my mom that I don't have to send the kids to testing. That I don't have to do anything like that by law. All she kept saying in reply, was then "How do I know that they are learning what they need to learn and that they are retaining it?"

I briefly mention that they are free sites and resource that tell you what your child should be able to do for each grade level. I also explained to her that every year the school district here on their web-page has an outline of what each grade is taught. I also went on to tell her that we are still friends with people that send their kids to PS, so I also ask them what their kids are learning, so I can compare. However, all of this didn't seem to matter she was still hung up on the testing.

Sure I could test my kids, there is nothing wrong with that. It's just that I don't want to send them to get tested by the state; especially seeing I don't have too. It's just one less thing for me to worry about. I'm thankful that IL laws are reasonable regarding homeschooling. It truly does allow the parents and child to have the freedoms to learn in a way that suits them best.

It's just hard to explain that to my mom. She love my kids dearly and like me want what's best for them. She respects me enough to be supportive of our choice to homeschool. I honestly believe that she feels that I'm doing what I feel is the best and she's okay with that. She is just worried and wondering if they are meeting the "standards".

Of course they are not meeting the standards. In some areas we are way above standards and in others we have some ground to cover. However, that's not because of homeschooling, we noticed we had some ground to cover BEFORE we pulled them out of PS. I'm not sure how they would do on a test, that's not how I measure if they know the material or not. Being able to communicate the material back to me is how I measure, being able to communicate the material to other people is how I measure.

What my Mom may not fully realize is that when this school year is done we are going to jump right into the next one. We are going to take a break but it will be a short break: 2-3 weeks no more, no less. There is no reason to have a 2 (almost 3) month vacation. I honestly believe it's those LONG breaks that cause information not be retained.

January 1, 2009

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