Friday, December 24, 2010
It was the night before Christmas, when all through the abode
Only one creature was stirring, and she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
While visions of Nintendo and Barbie, flipped through their heads.
The dad was snoring in front of the TV,
With a half-constructed bicycle on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
Which made her sigh, “Now what’s the matter?”
With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, and saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes and soot, which fell with a shrug.
“Oh great!!” muttered the mom, “Now I have to clean the rug.”
“Ho-Ho-Ho!!” cried Santa, “I’m glad you’re awake.
Your gift was especially difficult to make.”
“Thanks, Santa, but all I want is some time alone.”
“Exactly!!” he chuckled, “I’ve made you a clone.”
“A clone?” she asked, “What good is that?
Run along, Santa. I’ve no time for chit-chat.”
It was the mother’s twin.
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.
She’ll cook, she’ll dust, she’ll mop every mess.
You’ll relax, take it easy, watch the Young and the Restless.”
“Fantastic!!” the mom cheered. “My dream come true!
I’ll shop. I’ll read. I’ll sleep a whole night through!”
From the room above, the youngest began to fret.
“Mommy?!? I’m scared, and I’m wet.”
The clone replied, “I’m coming, sweetheart.”
“Hey,” the mom smiled, “She knows her part.”
The clone changed the small one, and hummed a tune,
As she bundled the child, in a blanket cocoon.
“You’re the best mommy ever. I really love you.”
The clone smiled and sighed, “I love you, too.”
The mom frowned and said, “Sorry, Santa, no deal.
That’s my child’s love that she’s trying to steal.”
Smiling wisely Santa said, “To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed here.”
The mom kissed her child, and tucked her into bed.
“Thank you, Santa, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget it won’t be very long,
When they’ll be too old, for my cradle-song.”
The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, “It works every time.”
Thursday, December 23, 2010
...wrapping paper scraps
...ribbon, bows, and tinsel
...toy nutcrackers waiting to be painted
...gingerbread houses to be made
...presents under the tree
...boxes, boxes, boxes, still waiting to be filled
...candies and cocoa
...smiles and laughter
...the Magic of Christmas
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
WHY MEN ARE NEVER DEPRESSED:
Men Are Just Happier People-- What do you expect from such simple
Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can be President.
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life.
One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25
No wonder men are happier.:-)
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
This friend moved away a few years ago, and man, I wish she were still here. I'd love to show her that I have NOW learned to roast my own chicken and even chop more than one veggie in a sitting.
What always kills me though is that every time we talk, she requests my macaroni and cheese recipe. I think I took this dish to her once when maybe she had a baby or had a party or had....something....
Well, here it is. It's not fancy by any means, but nothing involving cheese, butter and pasta need be fancy in my opinion.
The Infamous Mac n Cheese Recipe
12 oz pkg dried macaroni
3/4 lbs. velveeta cubed
2 1/2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. Butter
3 c milk
pepper to taste
Cook macaroni in salted water until done. Drain and place in dish. Melt butter in large saucepan. Add a little of the milk and the flour. Using wooden spoon, stir until all lumps have gone. Gradually, add the rest of the milk. Next, add the velveeta and pepper. Stir over medium heat until sauce comes to a boil. It will thicken...promise... Pour over macaroni and stir until well blended.
Here's the yummy part...
Add topping as follows...
2/3 stick butter (6 Tbs)
3 slices of WHITE bread, crumbled
Melt butter in a small frying pan. Add bread and stir until bread has absorbed the butter. Spread this on top of mac n cheese.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until bubbly and TOPPING is crunchy.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
Hot Chocolate with mini-marshmallows, please.
2. Turkey or Ham?
3. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree?
Love a real tree, but the ones down here are pitiful, so fake it is.
4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
Lights and a few other things
5. Snowball fights or sleddin'?
Sledding as fast as possible
7. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
8. Favorite Christmas song?
The Holly and the Ivy
10. How do you feel about Christmas movies?
Love them! Funny, serious, cartoon or made for TV, classic or new - love them!
11. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
Christmas music starts here the day after Thanksgiving.
12. Stockings before or after presents?
Before of course.
13. Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them?
I would if any were to come by...
14. Go to someone else's house or they come to you?
Ever since having kids, the grandparents come to us. It makes Christmas day soooo much easier, plus I get to make my house smell good by cooking Christmas dinner.
15. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when?
My husband ALWAYS reads The Christmas Story to us right before the boys head to bed. Cookies and milk are set out, lights are dimmed, and we snuggle in for this tradition.
16. What do you do after presents and dinner?
Our present opening time comes early in this house, so we dive in to a big Christmas breakfast and play with our goodies.
17. What is your favorite holiday smell?
Peppermint mocha coffee from Starbucks...is that bad???
18. Ice skating or walking around the mall?
19. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?
We always open our Christmas ornament for the year on Christmas Eve. Everything else waits for Christmas morning.
20. Favorite Christmas memory?
I was always quite the tomboy growing up, and one Christmas my dad bought me a big set of toy cars and trucks. My mom was livid, but I LOVED them!
21. Favorite Part about winter?
I loved the stillness of a winter morning after a snow when we lived up north. Down here, I just love the break from the mosquitoes.
22. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?
You know what? I don't think I have....may have to correct that this year.
Feel free to post your answers in my "Comments" section or use the meme on your own blog.
Friday, December 3, 2010
I added a Christmas music player to my blog today.
If you're more in a "BA HUMBUG!" kinda mood than a "Fa-la-la-la-laaa" kinda mood, you can pause the music at the bottom of the page.
But just remember - 'tis the Season to be JOLLY AND BRIGHT! The music might just turn your mood!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
What I am READY for is Christmas songs to play everyday and drinking the occasional Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks!
Here are some of my favs for setting the festive mood in our house. (you can click on any of the titles to follow a link to hear a sample of the song)
Christmas/Sarajevo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Christmas Canon - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
(I love the anything Trans-Siberian and the purity of Boy's Choirs get me everytime...)
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
Please Come Home for Christmas - Eagles
The Holly and the Ivy - George Winston
Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
I Believe in Father Christmas - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
The Bells of Christmas - Loreena McKennitt
from The Santa Claus movie
Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty
Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
Baby, It's Cold Outside
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Bruce Springsteen
The Chipmunk Song Christmas Don't Be Late
Can't Believe It's Christmas - Veggie Tales
Christmas Time Is Here - Vince Guaraldi
Charlie Brown Christmas!
You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch
The Shape of Things to Come - James Horner
Snoopy vs. the Red Baron
Christmastime - Smashing Pumpkins
Christmas Song - Dave Matthews
I Saw Three Ships - STING
(Dare I mention, I LOVE Sting???)
Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty
Only You Can Bring Me Cheer
Gee Whiz, It's Christmas - Carla Thomas
Silver Bells - Relient K
a rock twist to a classic
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (New Wave Version)
Remember - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Faith Noel - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Yep, basically anything from Trans-Siberian is great.
The 12 Days of Christmas - Straight No Chaser
If you haven't seen this, you've gotta click on the link above
Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Straight No Chaser
Auld Lang Syne - Straight No Chaser
Why yes, I do love a cappella, why do you ask???
We also love the Charlie Brown Christmas, Polar Express, Home Alone and Elf soundtracks, Bing Crosby, and many more. I hope you can find a few new songs above to cheer your house from now until the 25th.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Inspired by the "I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar" blog. I have had a blast making t-shirts for Charger using freezer paper templates. The possibilities are endless...
(This is a pretty long post, so grab some coffee and/or chocolate, sit back and....)
Here's what you're gonna need.
Then, place your freezer paper SHINEY SIDE DOWN onto your shirt and iron over it. Make sure you really go over the small pieces of your template to make sure they are stuck down really well to avoid the paint seeping underneath.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
I HATE the mess stovetop bacon prep creates. So, I have come up with a solution. This is a totally new-to-me solution (please don't tell me you've been doing this your whole life...). :-)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Teaching Textbooks 5-6
This curriculum seems to be working out okay. We are moving pretty quickly through it and hope to finish both books this school year.
We're also supplementing with Key to...books. We are doing the Fractions book right now, and I am loving the step by step method it uses.
Sonlight dictation exercises.
We're continuing on with Handwriting Without Tears Cursive again this year, since handwriting is probably Charger's most difficult area. Ideas are all there - writing them down still seems torturous.
We're using both Vocabulary Workshop Orange from Sadlier-Oxford (k12) and Vocabulary from Classical Roots 4 (k12). I LOVE the Vocab/Classical Roots series. I have used this for years with Viper and his understanding and use of vocabulary is amazing. We'll finish the Workshop book by Christmas and move onto VfCR in the next semester.
No spelling this year, since Charger does not have any problem in this area.
Mainly using Sonight 4 grammar sheets but also supplementing with Exercises in English Level D (k12).
Sonlight 4 readers
Lots of library picks
Also, some from the workbook - Nonfiction Reading Comprehension, 6
Sonlight 4 program
History Pockets - Civil War and more as we move through the year
Sonlight 4 science program
Scientist biographies from the library
Following along with some of his older brother's chemistry experiments
U.S. geography through Notebook Pages
We had started typing using Typing Tutor software, but his computer crashed, and we gotta find the $$$ to replace it.
I am also utilizing some fun stuff from edHelper and superteacher.com and anything else I find that would be fun for him.
He's continuing with piano lessons and thoroughly enjoyed playing tackle football for the first time this year. We're so sad the season is over...
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Ok, so I'm feeling all accomplished and everything since I actually completed a CHRISTMAS CRAFT before December even rolled around! Let me point out all that is AMAZING in that last sentence.
First, the fact that I am even crafting is shocking even myself! I am not that kinda girl people - I'm the "let's go throw the football" kinda girl and I'll just go BUY a pillowcase kinda girl.
Second, ummm...I started AND FINISHED a project before the intended holiday rolled around!!!
Now, this craft was a pretty simple one (after I finally figured out what that sausage-like roll of fabric could actually turn into). The one tricky thing for me was figuring out how to do the "applique" portion of the project. (And please don't comment to say that my applique isn't finished yet - I know, I know. Getting to that this evening.)
What caught me by surprise was the intricacy of Heat N Bond. Yes, I know many of you are laughing, thinking to yourself - Heat N Bond - easy peasy! And yes, in the end it was easy peasy. But, why o' why don't they tell you NOT to iron your Bond sheet to your fabric "snowflake" while using your ironing board????
I seemed to have missed that key instruction of maybe placing it on wax paper or marble or super duper teflon!!!
I'm off to find the post on sewing your own ironing board cover....
Spanish 2 - Rosetta Stone
U.S. Geography using these notebook pages -
His literature correlates to his American history and/or character building. I will try to place a list here sometime soon.
Vocabulary from Classical Roots, Level D
Daily Grams, Grade 11
I have to run but will post Charger's curricula later today.
And your daily pic...
So, last night I finally took the time to set up a new blogger account for myself and transferred my old posts over to this blog. Now, it looks like I blogged about a million posts in a single night, but I couldn't figure out how to do it any other way. Thank goodness I'm not great at keeping up with this blogging thing, so I didn't have too many posts to "cut-n-paste" over here.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
We had fabulous weather and even visited Inner Space Caverns on our last day. It was fun!!!
|This free scrapbook design created with Smilebox|
And now....Vader....(insert girls screaming).......playing....
The Star Wars National Anthem!!!!
He had a blue button down shirt on over his Star Wars shirt but just had to take it off to play his piece.
Way to go Vader. You did an awesome job!!!
We had a quiet, family Christmas this year. Fortunately, hubby didn't have to return to work the night of Christmas like he did last year, so we have been able to hang out together. The boys have been lost in their new videogames - but today we forced them out-of-doors and went to a (new to us) State Park to ride the trails. Not as exciting interesting as we had hoped, but we all got some much needed exercise and fresh air.
We'll be taking the next week off for Christmas vacation and then heading back to the real world. Maybe by that time I'll be ready for it, but for now I'm totally enjoying having no obligations!
A LOT has happened in the past 10 months. One of the biggest was that Jake and I were selected to the USA National Karate Team and traveled to Punta Umbria, Spain for the WKA World Championships. We traveled from October 25- November 3rd, and had a great time.
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
Another big event that occurred was the death of my husband's Aunt Jerry. It was really a shock. She was 83 years old, but doing rather well. She passed away sitting on her front porch watching the sunrise. How perfect was that???
Along with dealing with the sadness of her death, we found out that my husband was to become the Trustee of her 420 acre farm in Arkansas - 11 hours from home. My husband is up to his eyeballs in the logistics of this, and we have a lot of decisions to make. One thing I do know is that Halen and Vader LOVE spending time on the property.
The boys have switched to using the Texas Virtual Academy for school this year. It's a public school option completed at home online. It's great because Halen has instructors for all of his classes, lightening the load on his good ole mom. Some classes I just don't want to have to learn all over again.
We are now getting ready for another Merry Christmas. The house is decorated, the stockings are hung, the shopping's even done. Now, if I could just find the Spirit....
1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler, she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!
by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007
Okay, now I don’t always go around feeling that way and I am not going to bite off the head of anyone who asks me questions about homeschooling. But sometimes I DO feel like this.
Just need to brag a bit about my oldest. Tonight, Halen, his dad and I were called into his martial arts instructor's office. Halen thought he was probably in trouble, although he couldn't think of what he could have done.
Well, after working really hard - Halen was asked to be on the karate school's WORLD TEAM!!!! I am so proud of him. It was a hard decision for him to decide he wanted to train 6 days a week and all throughout the summer to be a part of this team. He had to decide he would put forth that effort BEFORE he even tried out. Then, he also had to prove he was good enough to compete effectively. And TONIGHT he found out he was one of only 2 kids asked to join the team this year.
Way to go HALEN.
2009 SPAIN ALL THE WAY!!!!!
Number the Stars - Lowry
The Trojan War - Coolidge
Banner in the Sky - Ullman
Adam of the Road - Gray (?)
Archimedes and the Door of Science - Bendick
Escape from Warsaw - Serraillier (?)
The Great and Terrible Quest - Lovett
I Am David - Holm
In Search of Honor - Hess
It's a Jungle Out There - Snell
Leonardo DaVinci - Hahn
The Samurai's Tale - Haugaard
Snow Treasure - McSwigan (?)
The Good Master - Seredy
Only the Names Remain: The Cherokees and the Trail of Tears - Bealer
Year of Impossible Goodbyes - Choi
The Breadwinner - Ellis
The Light in the Forest - Richter
Tut's Mummy: Lost and Found - Donnelly
The Usborne Time Traveler
The Greek News - Powell& Steele
Detectives in Togas - Winterfield
Henry Huggins - Cleary
Homer Price - McClosky
Little Pear - Lattimore
Mr. Popper's Penguins - Atwater
Greg's Microscope - Selsam
Pompeii: Buried Alive - Kunhardt
Titanic: Lost and Found - Donnelly
The Chalk Box Kid - Bulla
Jake Drake: Bully Buster - Clements
The Last Little Cat - DeJong
The Littles - Peterson
The Long Way to a New Land - Sandin
The Long Way Westward - Sandin
The Secret Valley - Bulla
Viking Adventure - Bulla
**Vader may not read all of these selections, since others may be substituted to match our History Odyssey curriculum.
and having fun. Midnight's brother is laid back and positive thinking - just what this family needs. The boys had a great time playing with their cousins and getting antagonized by their uncle. Heading back soon is definitely on the agenda.
We had the dog and the camper. Both worked out surprisingly well. It was great to have our space, and the dog - well, he was in HEAVEN!!! Can you say, living a country dawg's life. He even tried to sleep under the house with uncle's two pooches. What a trip!