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Friday, February 26, 2010


Posting will probably be spotty or non-existant for a while for several reasons. 
1.  When life is as depressing as it is now, I am not inspired to write.  Depending on how the hearing goes, whenever it happens, I may just end the blog. 
2. Our internet is so tempernmental. I just got online for the first time in a day, and everytime I go to read an email it kicks me off again.  Sometimes It will let me get as far as signing into email and then won't let you get to the inbox.  Or you go to change a page, and it kicks you off again.  It's very frustrating. 

: )

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Amazon & me!

If you noticed my new widget on the side there, that's an attempt to earn some badly needed $ for our family!  If you use the search bar, it takes you to amazon and I can earn a small percentage of your purchases.  The more people buy through me, the higher the percentage I can earn is (up to a point).  So when you're doing your Christmas or Birthday shopping, or just browsing for a book.......come here and enter amazon through my blog!! 

It takes a few days for them to approve my application (although they give you immediate access to their widgets, banners, etc.) I'm not sure if I earn immediately or if that doesn't begin until I'm approved.  So if you actually are looking to buy something in the near future, it might be wise to wait a few days. You don't get anything until you accumulate $10.00 and I believe you have to wait 60 days after the end of the month you accumulate it to actually get the money.  So this is not a get rich quick scheme, by any means! But it's something, and it's a start......writing is kind of on the back burner this week due to my lovely landlords. 

Emergency rooms

I thought this story about real life emergency rooms was interesting.  I know I recently saw a book on the medicine on the show House, MD which I'd read.  The comments also are enlightening.  The nurse made some good points for patients to consider.  You read the horror stories from patients also, and you have to wonder how the heck our healthcare system can ever be fixed? 

My favorite from the article:

When a 48-year-old woman presented to Conn with symptoms including abdominal pain, he called for a CAT scan. But first he asked the patient if she was pregnant. “She told me, ‘Absolutely not.’ I pressed again, since the X-rays used in CAT imaging can have an effect on a developing fetus, and she said, ‘I can’t be pregnant. I’m not even sexually active.’ We took her to the CAT—and there was a seven-month baby.

“I said, ‘Um, ma’am? One of the causes of your abdominal pain is this baby.’ I showed her the images we’d just taken. She looked me right in the eye and said, ‘That can’t be mine.’”

Doh! Sick child #2

First I spent Friday night up with a sick Timothy who kept throwing up every few hours or so.  Saturday he only ate a small bowl of cheerios, then that came up an hour or two later.  Sunday he was still just lying about, but he did eat four (small) bowls of cereal at once.  Today he's completely normal.  Now late tonight Leanna began throwing up.  Of course I had a sink full of dishes when she had to run out to throw up!  Gross!  So now I'm wondering if it will slowly spread throughout the whole family.  Just what we need now.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Once again, I agree with Diary of an Angry Mom's latest post

Creative high schoolers

I thought these videos, called LipDub videos, were pretty creative.  It's nice to see something spread around that shows a positive side to youth.  Generally you only hear about the bad stuff going on in high schools.  Although we're not currently in the public educational system, I still think it's nice to hear about something good there!  Particularly a way of using modern technology that is positive and creative.  In general I think that there are mostly negative consequences to a lot of the ways teens currently use technology.  I think it has resulted in a huge loss of freedom and privacy.  (that's another blog post though) 
Here's the link to a parentdish post on several of these videos.  I particularly like the one from Shorewood High School in Seattle. Theirs is a creative version of the lipdub genre. Set to Hall & Oats' 1980's hit "You Make My Dreams Come True," the short film features students lip-syncing -- in reverse.


We're still having all kinds of trouble getting and staying online.   Sometimes I can only get on for a minute or two at a time.  It's very frustrating. Especially considering I generally am not able to sit for long periods of time, there's always so much going on here that I'm on and off the computer, and right now I need to stay at the computer when it lets me online! 
I have lots of phone calls to make tomorrow, seeking legal advice.  Those of you that pray, please keep us in your prayers! 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Engery givers/takers

I found this through a link, and let me tell you, the soothing music playing in the background was just what I needed.  I'm so keyed up right now it feels like electricity's constantly running through my body.    She has a post about people being energy givers and energy suckers, and she talks about how people can be both at different times, but you try to teach your children to be energy givers in general.  This is something I struggle with, as for quite a while now I'm aware that I'm pretty much always an energy sucker. Hopefully one day I can at least balance the two, if not lean more towards giving. 

From the post: "Sometimes, life’s burdens become so great that it is impossible to see even a twinkle light of goodness in the present darkness. This is why the Lord placed the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6), in order that we might bear each others’ burdens, lifting the load for each other, sharing the pains and troubles that weigh us down. We do this both within our own homes and also within the family of God, one friend at a time."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A few lessons.....

Though short, I thought this blogger made some good observations.  This is from
What Homeschooling Has Taught Me
by Andrea Hermitt
More from this Blogger

30 Jan 2010 08:47 PM

I began homeschooling because I felt I had no other choice. My children that seemed exceedingly bright to me, and others who would comment were not thriving in school. I knew I had to do something different.

In my quest to teach my kids all about math, reading comprehension, grammar, history, and science, I learned a lot more. Here are some of the things homeschooling taught me.

1. Homeschooling taught me that my kids are my responsibility. This might seem like a no-brainer, but these days we are programmed to hand our kids over to schools and care centers and to only be responsible to pay their expenses. Homeschooling helped me to change my mentality about who is responsible for my kids and helped me to feel comfortable in making decisions for them that might be against the mainstream.

2. Homeschooling taught me that kids' feelings and opinions should be valued. I have done a bit of listening to my kids over the years that I have been homeschooling. That have shown me that they understand things on a level that I had never imagined and have provided input that sometimes my elders cannot provide. By listening to them and valuing their opinions, they feel validated and are much happier people.

3. Homeschooling showed me my own potential. The fact that I have been able to teach my kids with and without the help of instructors has been liberating and had boosted my confidence. It has made me think past my limited time as a homeschooling mom to a time when I would be working toward my own personal goals and aspirations. After homeschooling, I feel that there is nothing out of my reach.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just a warning

Since a couple days after we've had the wireless connection we've had a lot of problems. Sometimes I can't get online for most of the day. So if you email me something and I don't respond, it's probably because I can't get online.

Does anyone have any experience with wireless? If you click on the box to fix it, than it tells us it can't renew our IP address. Restarting the computer occasionally fixes it. (that should renew the address, but doesn't always work)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Allergy confusion.

This article on allergies says that kids are sometimes told they have food allergies when they don't.  It has to do with the testing and more which I don't completely understand.  The article doesn't really offer a resolution though, it seems to just add more confusion to an already confusing topic!  I really hope Jacob's one of the lucky ones who outgrows his allergies!

My cowboys

Justin was gifted with a new pair of cowboy boots from a friend's son.  They're a little too big for him yet, but he loves them.  So now Timothy is allowed to wear Justin's old pair(even though they no longer fit, he couldn't give them to Timothy).  Jacob cried today because he wanted to wear them too! 
I didn't notice Justin's red mustache until I unloaded the picture.  With his loose pants tucked into the boots it kind of makes him look like a villian or an evil nazi!  Timothy's just plain impish, as always. 


This is our Little House in the Big Woods lapbook.  Actually, it's a triple lapbook (meaning we used 3 folders to make it).  It's not the neatest, but it was our first attempt ever at lapbooking.  We added an explanation to the back page after the picture was taken (it's vocabulary, pa holding Laura and telling stories and the dance at Grandpa's). 
This one was fairly simple, educationally.  The lapbook is from
We modified it somewhat and added other material to it.  The pictures don't show all the flaps being lifted, because I figured this is probably overkill with the pictures already.  But I wanted to share it.  This was a fun educational project which hopefully will pave the way to explore lapbooking further. 

The cool thing about a project like this is that not only do you review the book while making it, but some parts give background info or further explains things from the book, plus every time she looks through it-for herself or to show someone-it's a natural review of all the materials! 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pop-Pop had three very excited volunteers to help remove extra snow from around his car on Saturday........they each woke me up to remind me to get them up early so they'd be ready to help.  They were so excited to help.
But once out there, Timothy didn't seem much interested. 
Jacob wanted to get all dressed up in snow gear like his siblings, but is still too young to go near the street to help.  So I waited with him on the porch and he rode the horse while waiting. 

Still more......

Another cute one of Jacob, and Justin showing off his "gun"

More snow

Clearing cars-which they loved doing
And Leanna sitting in the snow
Enjoying old fashioned hot chocolate after the snow.....the younger two came in first, they couldn't handle the cold.  

Snowstorm, as promised



I think they got seven of this type of car this year for Christmas, and one of them just didn't make it.  So naturally, what do you do when a toy car doesn't function?  You take it apart.  If you're Justin you do.  And you find it pretty darn enjoyable too!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I'm all kinds of excited tonight!  We have internet again!  I really really missed it this time.  Particularly because of homeschooling.  Although I had saved stuff to the computer and printed things in advance; I do so much of it by the seat of my pants that it was tough.  I'm used to being able to go instantly look up something that we come across when I don't know the answer (for example: what does an English moor actully look like?  Well, I'm not sure, let's see if we can find a picture online!)  Now I can be online without bothering anyone, and I can do it inbetween making food and cleaning and everything!  I can take the proper amount of time to look for jobs and such!  It's a real relief.  It's amazing how much my spirits are bouyed by such a small thing. 
On a sidenote: does anyone using blogger know how to spellcheck posts now, with the new version of blogger I can't find it anywhere.  It has an "ABC" button but it's for strikethrough. 

Looking around craft stores lately I've noticed they are now stocking a lot of material suitable for school supplies.  Very cheap workbooks and literature in addition to educational craft and project supplies!  It's killing me to see all this great stuff I could use now or in the future and not be able to get any.  I saw some Alice In Wonderland stuff, tied in with the new movie coming out of course.  Hmmmm, I think we'll read Alice next (after we finish James and the Giant Peach) and maybe I'll manage to get one of the sticker books to tie in with it.  I did splurge on a clock with hands you can manipulate for Justin tonight.  It was $1.00, and it had a dry erase surface and pen included.  He was thrilled.  He's interested in telling time right now.  And it turns out if I tell him he's learning something faster than Leanna did, that's a huge motivator!  He gets a real kick out of that! 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Still here!

We're still alive, just don't have internet access.  Hopefully my Uncle will drop off stuff for wireless soon and we'll be part of the modern world again! 
The kids, particularly Justin, are enjoying the snow.    :) 
I'll post pictures when I can. 

Friday, February 05, 2010

Learning tools

Just a thought.......
a week or two ago I ended up using a method my grandmother used when she helped out a cousin who was living with her at the help make the math more real and more visual, we used Leanna's Twistables to count out multiplication problems.  She really enjoyed it.  I remember my cousin telling me that when she was having trouble with math in school my grandmother got out the spoons and worked out her homework with her.  I think they were doing simple addition and subtraction but the priciple is the same.  Maybe my grandmother would have made a good teacher if her life had gone a different route.  Just a passing thought. 

Recent stuff

Recent stuff.....
*still selling cookies, so if anyone wants more Girl Scout cookies, feel free to order from your favorite girl scout! 
*Some interesting revelations this past schoolyear-Leanna really enjoys myths and poetry. 
* I recently discovered AC Moore as a source of cheap books and workbooks for homeschooling.
*One day when I commented to no one that I was hurting, Justin helpfully suggested that maybe one of my ribs fell out.
*Timothy drew me a picture of a volcano, I assume it was exploding (kind of hard to tell)
*I wrote a letter requesting a second scholarship to the Baum so Leanna can take the next session of her art class. I felt kind of guilty about that, but when I asked the secretary about it she assured me it was fine and that Leanna would almost certainly get it.  She really loves that class!
*We made our first lapbook this week when I found a free Little House in the Big Woods one online.  So I dropped any plans for the next day and we worked on that. Pictures to follow later, if possible. 

I tried a new recipie for lemmon scones, which were pretty good.

Hey, did you know if you try to kill moths by spraying water at them and accidentally spray a lightbulb......the lightbulb will actually explode a bit?
Justin and Timothy know that now.

Jacob got into some decorator iceing, that boy will eat just about anything!

Tom found a brand Jacob can have, so there they sat, each with their own bag!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


I love love love this post on why I don't think having four kids is ungreen.  I love the author's polite attitude on the subject-she even reminds commentors on her side of the arguement to talk nicely!  And she answers people in the comments. 
It's always bothered me that people are so anti-people, it's a form of self-hatred.  I don't think that we were meant to care for the earth at the expense of people.  Balance, it's all about balance!

House of Testosterone

I found this book called House of Testosterone in my amazon recommendations and it looks great! Keep this in mind for my next birthday (and used copies are as low as 1 cent plus shipping/handling!) I'm giving plenty of notice!  I started reading the sample pages and really wanted to continue.