Saturday, January 10, 2009

Only a Homeschooler

Today I was trying to get everyone caught up in school... so I was giving spelling tests, dictations, and checking memory verses. These things tend to pile up and then I do a marathon of tests... I know I shouldn't do that, but it just seems to happen.

Anyway, I was giving Josiah's tests, and Anna says:

Anna: Wow. Josiah's words are hard.

Me: When you are in 6th grade, your words will be hard too.

Anna: Josiah's in 6thGRADE?!?!

Me: Yep.

Anna: I thought he was in 3rd grade.

Me: No. You're in 3rd grade.

Anna: I thought I was in 2nd grade.

Me: Nope. Emma's in 2nd grade, you're in third.

I was trying hard not to laugh as I remembered what a big deal it was to go from grade to grade. Here they really don't even care! Anna didn't even know what grade she was even in!

My New Years Resolution

I have not been around much this week, have I? We are back full swing into school and all the busy-ness that entails. I am sure you can imagine.

I have also been working on losing some weight. It has become necessary... I want to be around and healthy and full of energy as my children grow up. So... I have been changing my diet, working out, and it has been working. I have cut all carbs (South Beach Diet Phase 1) since the 2nd of January, and am working out on my treadmill and with weights (Body for Life). I am down 10.6 pounds! I have a long way to go, but the progress is encouraging. The first few days I wanted to munch, and Wednesday was terrible as it was Nathan's birthday and there was homemade pizza for dinner, but since then I have not even wanted to eat anything I shouldn't I really feel good! You get to eat plenty on the South Beach plan, it's just not carbohydrates. I am never really hungry.

It helps that my friend Amy is offering a $200 reward for the person who loses the most percentage of weight by March 31. That would go far to help me save up for the camera I have been eyeballing for over a year now...

I'll keep you posted on how my weight loss is going on occaision.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

To Moms of Lots of Littles

Here’s my encouragement to you — this too shall pass. You will survive this. And, surprisingly, so will your children. They will grow up. Although the days are very, very long, the years are so very short... to read more, head over to Happy to Be at Home.

Affordable Copies for school needs

I will be having many children pass through our humble little homeschool through the years I will be teaching. At this point, by the time Bethany graduates, I will have been teaching for almost three decades. Early on I realized the need to do this frugally.

I NEVER copy books which are copyrighted and say that no pages may be reproduced. But many companies are seeing the benefit of letting people copy their materials for "single classroom" or "single family" use. Critical Thinking Press, and Total Language Plus are two which come to mind quickly.

I invest early in these books... my school shelves are full of texts which I am allowed to copy for every child in my home.

How do I do this affordably, you may ask. It would be cheaper to buy the books outright sometimes than to do my own. So... I had to find another solution. The past two places where I have lived, the churches have let me bring my own paper and copy at the church. Usually companies and churches have contracts which have a fixed price for the service of the ink, etc., no matter how many pieces of paper you use. So I can copy away and not cost the church a dime it was not already spending. And I get to do it for the price of a couple reams of paper a year.

It's what works for me! Head over to Rocks in my Dryer for some more ideas!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Your Wish is My Command...

You asked, the Cap'n helped, and now there is a search engine on the sidebar. It will search both this blog and my homeschoolblogger one, so you should find whatever post you want. With the exception of any I did / do for Happy to Be at Home. Those are over there... you'd have to search their site for that one!

Yet another Nathan Funny

Nathan (age 3 until tomorrow) came up to me this weekend, looking very, very sad. He said, "Mama. I am being pretty whiny today."

"Oh really." I was congratulating myself on the wonderful job I was doing raising such a self aware child at so young an age. "I suppose it's almost naptime, and you can just take a nap today to help you be less whiny."

"Noooo.... I think that you should put a movie in so I am less whiny. That usually works."

That boy is a piece of work, I tell ya.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oops... I forgot to tell you...

Well, I just tonight realized I forgot to tell all of you something...

I am now a "Guest Blogger"! It sounds so cool and official, but really it is an extension of what I do here... once a week I will be writing at Happy to be at Home on one of my favorite topics! Large Families! I will link over to it each week, just so you know what I am saying over there too. I'd hate for my 12 loyal fans to miss out on a post! haha.

There will be other guest bloggers, so feel free to check out their sites too. Each one has an area of "expertise" which they will be blogging about. It is a cool concept! Go check them out too, if you have the extra time tonight!

Have a great day!

Let's Continue Making Memories

I guess I got on a roll at Christmas with this whole making memories thing... if you haven't realized it by now, I am one of those people who does things wholeheartedly. ;) Anyway... we enjoyed reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever so much, we just moved right on in to The Christmas Doll , which I bought at a used book store over a year ago. Although it looks like a girl book, there is also a boy involved, and enough suspense to keep you hanging at every chapter ending. There is just no good way to stop reading! And the kids beg me for more every day. It may have something to do with the fact that it is bedtime when we are finished, but we are all enjoying it. Actually, if I even stop for a minute to pick up Bethany or something, they are all saying, "Keep reading, Mama! Keep reading!"

I know that someday we will all look back on these dark winter evenings with fondness, and remember the characters in the book which have become our "friends." For now, Lucy, Glory, Nick, and Miss Thimblebee are all a part of our collective memories... and the children talk about them as if they were real people.

So I challenge you... find a time to read aloud in the day sometime... maybe at snacktime, while having "tea" (shhh - don't tell my kids about that idea or I'll have to read then too, and I am not sure my voice will hold out for that long!), or in the evening. Use your imagination, and I am sure you will find a time. Get some exciting books... and read aloud.

BUILD THOSE MEMORIES!!! Our children are only with us a short time. It will be a dream come true sometime when I see my children reading to their children in the evenings and hearing the cries of, "Keep reading, Mama! Keep Reading!"

(And speaking of reading, go visit Ship Full Of Pirates for more Help for Growing Families!)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas Photos

Thought I would post some photos from the last few weeks... For those of you reading who are not family or friends in real life, and don't care about photos of the kids... feel free to come back tomorrow. I'll return to the regularly scheduled blogging at that time.

All 9 -




The three littlest: (Mercy's telling Bethie to smile.)


Youngest 4:

Emma: (With an ornery Nate looking in...)



See the "Dangerous Book for Boys under the pillow?)


Angela (and Eric):

And just to prove I really exist...