Thursday, March 31, 2011

One step forward, two steps back

~One Step Forward~
One of the easiest starting points 
- AND most important - 
was Einsteins room. 
Einstein NEEDS his own room. 
He'd also never had a room of his own so I was excited about offering that to him. 
We decided to put him on the first floor for safety reasons.  
This room was in VERY good shape! 
There were NO holes in his walls and his windows were in good shape. 
This would be a fairly easy room to do! 
We started by ripping out the old carpet, and found two layers of it. 
Look what was underneath...
Isn't that neat? 
I think it's cool.
Not so much for a floor...but neat nonetheless.
I saved a chunk that I'd like to do something with.
Under that...
We decided we liked the way this looked, so we left the floor like this.
I scrubbed and painted. 
I used an off white color for his walls, I think it was called popcorn or something similar to that. 
We were given a VERY nice bedroom set.
I was so happy with the way this turned out. 
I like the furniture and the way the light brightens the room. 
Very happy that when we were actually able to move in, his room would be ready.

~Two Steps Back~
Unfortunatly, it no longer looks this way.
In his anger, he has destroyed his furniture.
He busted the rails for the drawers under his bed.
He's kicked the footboard so hard that it splintered.
He broke the drawers in his dresser and nightstand.
He carved all over his desk.
He repeatedly threw things at his mirror trying to smash it.
He's broken his windows.
He's smahed his walls.
He's urinating on his walls and floor.

Here's just a glimpse of how it looks now...
Not one wall has been left unscathed. 
It's so sad that someone can be so miserable inside, so full of hate and anger that they refuse to even allow themselves a comfortable place of refuge from the outside world.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... It has been fairly nice today. The sun has been shinning brightly and it's been close to 40'. Currently snow and icicles are dripping off the house. 

I am thinking... That I won't be able to sit here long as I have pain in my right hip and knee and it intensifies when I sit here at the computer. Wondering why Sis seems to have attitude and why Hunny is SO busy? 

I am thankful for... Tax returns! and all that enables us to accomplish. :) Good Ole Boy was able to change his air filter and 6 of his 8 spark plugs & wires so far today. (needs help with the other 2 as his tools aren't working) It's running better! His new tires are supposed to be in tomorrow and he hopes to get the brakes done after work tomorrow too. Wow - no more grinding! It will be nice to have the truck running better AND safer for us. 

From the learning rooms... We are on Spring Break this week. Still had karate and gym class today but no homeschool. :)

From the kitchen... It's fend for yourself night. Hunny had a bowl of rice krispies. Einstein & Bug had the rest of the chicken soup. Sis is complaining their is absolutely nothing to eat! lol. :) And I am planning on peanut butter homemade toast. Good Ole Boy is off to his monthly meeting at work. After eating Einstein has dishes. 

I am wearing... Black hoodie, blue windpants & tennis shoes.

I am creating... Tweeking my school order which I hope to place within the week. 

I am going... To be tackling what will become Hunny's room this week. Yesterday I got the closet organized, kinda. That room needs the walls and ceiling replaced as they are all bubbly and peeling. Not sure what had happened to it but we have only used it as storage since we've been here. So I hope to get through as many boxes as possible this week and reorganize, pitch or donate much of the contents of that room. The reorganizing part is also removing it from there so we can get started on replacing the ceiling and walls. We really need to get her room available for her use. 

I am reading... Your defiant teen - still working on step one
Armageddon by Tim LaHaye

I am hoping... That Spring returns. I am cold. I want to bask in the warmth of the sun hitting my face. To feel it soaking into my skin. 

I am hearing... Hunny has found a recorder and is playing a "beautiful" song. Einstein is mumbling. Sounds like a chainsaw outside? 

Around the house... Much needs done. The display board and overhead projector are still in the dinning room needing to be hauled downstairs. Laundry needs work. Coffee table is mounded with toys... 
This evening I have done a load of laundry, took care of everything out of the tote from Friday night and most is put away correctly :) and dusted about half the living room. Always something and it never ends, lol.

One of my favorite things... When the kids are quiet and cooperative with each other and us.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Work upstairs, laundry, work, Fireproof group, Hunny sees the allergist Friday, Church, & then CT next Tuesday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
View of the 'supermoon' from our front porch steps.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A pirates life for me.... part 1

Every year our homeschool group has a "History & International Fair. 
This year, the kids voted to do Pirates.
So, the past month has been devoted to them. 

Since I am really no good at designing my own unit study, I searched the net for pirate lapbooks or unit studies. Unfortunately, the free ones were geared towards young kids and/or specific books. We currently are without library access (other than the church library) so that added an element of difficulty to my search. I did find some lapbooks that looked really nice but as finances are tight...I couldn't swing that extra expense. 
So - on my own I ventured....
We read -
The Pirates of the Carribean - the sword of Cortes
Treasure Island
The Black Pirate
Pirates Past Noon

Without library books I had to depend on the internet. 
Some useful sites -
Even though the HSS sites are geared towards a book, I was able to utilize some of the info and minibooks from there.
Week one was alot of basic background info. 
WHAT is a pirate?
What do they look like (and what are stereotypes). Pirate clothes. Food. Jobs. Weapons. Ships - different kinds and then parts of. Pets. The pirate code of conduct. Pirate talk. Health & hygiene. They attempted to make sailor bracelets. We played a game that was supposed to help teach the ship terms of aft, starboard, bow & stern - but it was pretty lame for my crew and I quickly had mutiny on my hands. We only reviewed knots since they do know many of them from working at the ranch I didn't see a need to practice much. (although ironically, I've suddenly been finding ropes all over the house tied in various knots!) They carved apple heads.
It was a fun week.

Week two covered maps, geography and then famous pirates male & female. 
Do you know where/what the 7 seas are?
We also listened to an audio recording I'd saved long ago about The Mysterious Pirate Pit - which of course prompted a web search into that. Truth or fiction? :) Do YOU know? lol. They thought that was neat, despite the initial reaction to the sound of the recording.

Week three was wrap up week.
We discussed modern day pirates and piracy (illegal copying), made sea biscuits, assembled lapbooks/notebooks, and worked on our display board and costumes for the big event. :) 

Sea Biscuits
Preheat oven to 375'
this makes about 10 pieces 
 4 Cups flour
4 teaspoons salt
Mix flour & salt together
About 2 cups of water
Add just enough water so the mixture sticks together, making a dough that doesn't stick to your hands.
Mix by hand then roll out.
Cut into 3x3 inch squares 1/2 inch thick. 
Press a pattern of 4 rows of 4 holes into each square. Do not punch through. Turn over and repeat. 
Place on cookie sheet and bake 30 min. 
Turn over and bake another 30 min.
If properly dried, these will keep for a year.
They were really good fresh with butter & honey.
They do get pretty hard after sitting a bit so we've had them in soup too. :)

We also watched The Black Pirate (a "silent" film) and Treasure Island (an older black & white version).

To finish today, here are their books. Sis and therefore Hunny decided they wanted to do a notebook style so Bug was the only one who actually did a lapbook.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things....

By Einstein
age 15

* Video games
*Ice Cream
*Star Wars
*Bowling Alley
*Grizzley Bears

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For the love of goats

We have absolutely fallen in love with our goats. 
I am so anxious for warm weather so we can happily spend more time outside playing with them! 
Even Sis has begun to enjoy them. 
When we are outside, we let them out to play.
They like to eat leaves, run and climb on the picnic table. They are SO funny! Alot of times they will play king on the mountain and try and push each other off. 
Have you hugged your goat today?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... It is beginning to get light. It looks cold and dreary. We have been under a winter storm watch but so far...nothing. Funny how Friday was beautiful and had to be in the 60's, Saturday was nice but a bit colder, then Sunday it snowed....sigh.

I am thinking... Oh Lord, how much can we deal with?! On top of everything else, the truck is acting up badly! It's reading a whole slew of codes and we have no means of doing ANYTHING to it and it's sucked through our gas for the week already. Some days I just want to cry...

I am thankful for... Hot coffee, my husband and kids. 

From the learning rooms... Week 3 of our Pirate Study. The vital week and I'm not sure it will be long enough! The History and International Fair is Friday! We need to assemble and 'do' our display board, put together lapbooks/notebooks, watch Treasure Island, read Pirates Past Noon, finish the apple heads, work on a pirate ship, figure out costumes and try out some recipes! It's going to take motivation, cooperation and ingenuity to get it all done.

From the kitchen... Coffee! Dishes didn't get done last night as we had 4H. The counter to the left of the sink has been all cleaned and reorganized. I like it....maybe. I moved the microwave in hopes that it will deter the catch-all area of the counter. I've scrubbed the walls, cupboards and ceiling along the left side too. The shelves along the left side of the window and the big one over the window have all been scrubbed, dusted and have even eliminated a few items! yay me. :)

I am wearing... P.j's, robe and slippers.

I am creating... A clean house for the next season. My goal is to get through the entire house and get all the walls and ceilings scrubbed down. Probably to large of a goal but desperately needs done.

I am going... Nowhere today. Today is Karate and gym class day but Good Ole Boy didn't want us venturing to town with the truck like it is. Probably ok, as it gives us more time for school.

I am reading... Your Defiant Teen - no new reading but I have ATTEMPTED to find more opportunities to praise Einstein. There has been one day. ONE DAY that he was semi-cooperative. And that was only for the afternoon. But I did praise and thank him for things that afternoon. 
From a Distance by Tamera Alexander.
Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne for school.
Six Hours One Friday - with Sis for literature

I am hoping... That God starts bringing us up out of this pit. 

I am hearing...Lady is curled up on me purring, the computer is whirring, Hunny is sleeping on the couch and she is semi-snoring.

Around the house... Kids are asleep. SO much needs done! 

One of my favorite things... I just love watching Emmet run. He does this kick turn that is so funny. :) I love our goats! 

A few plans for the rest of the week: Well...all dependent upon the truck, but Good Ole boy & I have dentist appointments tomorrow for "pain only". (These were scheduled in January! Can't get in for our new patient consult until July and who knows how long for a cleaning! Crazy!) Tomorrow night is bell choir, youth group and a homeschool track meeting for Sis. School. Work. Fireproof group. Softball practice for Bug. History & International Fair. Ranch cleanup day. Church. Bug has a church activity Sunday afternoon. 
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Green pancakes & Orange peaches for our St. Patrick's day breakfast.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bell Choir Performance

Last week Bug's bell choir went to a local nursing home. 
They had shamrock cookies to frost and a spring craft for the residents to make and the kids performed several songs for them. 
It was a very nice way for the kids to reach out to seniors who are so often overlooked - especially this time of year.
I mean they get tons of visitors at Christmas, but in March? 
Not so many.
Having grandparents who had spent time in nursing homes, this is an area that really touches me.
The kids did a great job and sounded beautiful! So blessed that she is able to be apart of this.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A picture I love

Lol! A picture?! Yeah, right....
Taken by Hunny, I love how she captured this kiss.
I love the crystal clear water and the feathers shadow.
 I love feet.
 I think this is the cutest picture...but she is actually crying over team photos, lol.
 And I love the lighthouse from my hometown.

Just a few of the pictures I love...