Thursday, September 29, 2011

Can't wait!

Daniel and I are going to see Tim Hawkins tonight in Tulsa. I have been waiting for this for months and it's finally here!

The kids are staying with Grandma and Grandpa and will meet up with us tomorrow for the Tulsa State Fair (Cheyenne has some jelly that made it to the State Fair-woohoo!) and the Icecapades.

The last time Daniel and I went on an overnight trip without the kids Landon was not quite two.

I. am. so. excited!

If you don't know Tim Hawkins, watch the video below. He is SO FUNNY!

Can't wait to share some pictures from our trip! Hopefully we'll be bringing home some blue ribbon winning jelly tomorrow evening!

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why Batman is not my favorite superhero.

The person who invented this thing
better hope he never meets me in a dark alley! Sure he looks like a superhero on the outside, but in reality, he's just pure evil!

The kids and I had some errands to run in town this morning. By the time we finished, it was lunch time. Since we didn't do the breakfast dishes and the kitchen was a mess Since the kids were so good while we were out and about, we decided to grab something to eat before heading home for the afternoon.

I was feeling generous today, so I let the younger 3 get kids' meals with toys. They were so excited to get these
(do-it-yourself) Batman bobble head dolls. Sounds like fun, right? Wrong!

Daniel was still at work when we got home, so it was my job to help Landon put his together. I knew I was going to be in trouble when I opened the package and found this.
I am not very spatially intelligent. I need WORDS to guide me through the process. But this thing came with NO instructions. Only little tabs marked with ABC's and 123's and diagrams of what each piece was supposed to look like when it was finished. Not even a "start here".

Landon punched everything out for me and I had the task of making the flat pieces magically turn into a 3-D crime fighting friend.

I started with the "neck" piece and surprisingly got it pretty quickly. I was so proud until I set it down on the table and it popped open. Grr! So, I had Landon go get me the tape. It was going to stay together one way or the other. Got that piece done, then on to the "fist". Same problem. So I decided that every tab would get a piece of tape.

After about 10 minutes, Landon decided that he would rather watch TV so I was on my own. I got the fist done and moved onto the body, and head. Those two went pretty smoothly and I was starting to think I had underestimated my abilities.

Then, I came to the arms. Every time I would put one tab in, another would pop out.

Attracted by me yelling at the thing muttering under my breath "oh, come on!" and "how is THAT supposed to go THERE?", Cheyenne came in to offer moral support.

"Why are you putting ALL THAT tape on it?"
"Because I don't want it to fall apart when Landon plays with it."

"Oh. Well, at least it's going to be really shiny when you get done with it."


FINALLY, I got it finished, over 30 minutes later.

Cheyenne said "Can I open mine now?"

"No way! I'm not doing another one of those. You'll have to wait for dad."

"No, I can do it myself."

"Go for it then." (maybe a little bit sarcastically)

About 5 minutes later, she brings it to show me with the body, cape, and arms attached. "Look, I've got it almost done. It's staying together without ANY tape."

Then, 5 minutes after that. "I'm done!"
Smarty pants!

Wordless Wednesday

Creepy, right?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Daddy got a new deer stand!

Can you tell which one is ready to head to the woods?
She's dying to get out there and get a big one this year!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to (home)school 2011

Crew Blog Hop

We finally got our new school year started last Monday, only a week later than I had planned. The week after Labor Day turned out to be a busy one, so we had to push it back. Last year, we started on September 13, so we really aren't behind at all. (at least I've been telling myself that to make me feel better).
We've made some changes to our days this year. The biggest one being the curriculum. Last year, we used My Father's World. I had three different levels going-K, 1st, and ECC (4th and 7th). It was CRAZY trying to keep up with everything. I loved the K and 1st, but the ECC was a challenge. It was a little too hard for Cheyenne and not quite challenging enough for Dakota. I was looking for something that would make it easier to include everyone and more of a unit study approach. This led me to The Weaver curriculum from A&O. I'm using it as our base curriculum and adding in Singapore Math for the younger three and Life of Fred Fractions for Dakota. I'm doing MFW 1st for reading with Landon (although I will be taking it slow. It moves pretty quickly). I'm starting Sierra out rereading the last several stories from the MFW reader and then we'll go from there depending on what she needs to work on.

Here are a few highlights of our week.

We start the morning together with prayer. I wish we would have done this last year. We take turns so everyone gets a turn about once a week.
Then we say the pledge and do some warm-up exercises to wake us up. The person who prayed is also the leader of the warm-up.
Next is our Bible lesson. This week, I've been doing the reading but I plan on having them take turns later on in the year. (don't they look excited?!)
After the Bible lesson, I send the older two off to work independently on Penmanship, spelling, writing, tae kwon do practice, etc while I do math with the younger two at the calendar.

Once we've finished that, I get Landon and Sierra going on things they can do by themselves. Penmanship, memory verse work, journal, etc. While I go over math with the older two.
We break for lunch around 1:00. They usually go outside or play inside for 15-20 minutes before lunch. Then after lunch, we finish up anything that was left from the morning, do science/social studies, art, or local field trips/errands. If
there is time after they've finished their work and before we have to leave for evening activities they can watch TV, get on the computer, or go outside.
I'm still tweaking the schedule here and there to try to fit everything in, but so far it's going okay.

Here are a couple of my favorite activities from this week:

We talked about the Tower of Babel this week. Sierra and Landon were to build a tower out of legos. Since we had discussed that the Tower of Babel was most likely a ziggurat, Sierra chose to make her lego tower one too.
Another day, we talked about building on the rock vs building on the sand. Landon and Sierra's job was to build a tower as high as they could get it on the carpet and then on the table. They discovered they could get it much higher on the table because it had a good foundation.
All in all, it was a pretty good week.

I'm linking up the the TOS crew (not)Back To School blog hop. Can't wait to check out how everyone else is doing with their new school year!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The annual feeding of the ducks and Theta Pond pictures

Wednesday morning, we got up bright and early (actually, it was still dark out) and made the trip to Stillwater for the first time in over a year to attend a Celebration of Life service for a wonderful friend, R., who went to be with Jesus on Sunday evening. The service was beautiful! Just the way she would have wanted it, although she probably would have been upset with us all for making such a fuss about her.

Afterward, we had a chance to visit with a lot of friends we hadn't seen in a while. It was fun to catch up! We went to lunch at Eskimo Joe's (because you can't go to Stillwater and not go there) with some friends and their kids. Last time we saw them, there were three kids. In January, they were blessed with a sweet baby girl, A. So, in that group, the adults were outnumbered 2 to 1-8 kids and 4 adults. The kids had so much fun seeing their old friends and hanging out. It's a good thing Joe's is loud! Ha!

For dinner, we were joined by some other friends and their three kids. It's funny to think that when we all started hanging out all those years ago, Dakota was the only baby in the group. Almost three years later, we added Cheyenne and then there was a baby explosion! Now, if we all went together, there would be a total of 6 adults and 11 kids! Not a lot of restaurants that can seat that many all together.

(Can you believe that I didn't bother to get my camera out of the car? Ugh!)

While we were in Stillwater, we made sure to drop by OSU to get the annual Theta Pond pictures. I made sure to take my camera for the occasion, but I forgot to plan ahead and bring something to feed the ducks. Luckily, I had some whale crackers stashed in the car.

Dakota wasn't much into feeding the ducks this year. She decided she'd rather take some video of the other three.

This is the first year Daniel has gotten to come with us. Doesn't he look thrilled? Ha! (I'll be in trouble for that one)
I guess ducks don't really like whale crackers much because they didn't hang around for long. The kids spotted this little guy on a tree and thought they'd try their luck with him. He didn't care for our crackers either.

Landon wasn't very happy that our furry friend didn't want his treat.
Cheyenne likes to strike a pose for the camera no matter where we are.

Sierra found a feather (imagine that!) and thought she needed to have her picture taken with it.

As we were walking over, Dakota said, "Ya know, someday I'll be walking these very same sidewalks on my way to class." Five years. She could be going to school there in 5 years. How is that possible?

We took pictures on our bench (okay, maybe not the same bench. They all look alike)

And Daniel thought they should take some on the bridge.
I wasn't supposed to post this picture, but I thought it was funny so I did it anyway. (shh! Don't tell on me!)
Hard to believe how much they've grown! Cheyenne is now the same age Dakota was in the first picture and Sierra is the age Cheyenne was.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Miscellany Monday 5/5/11

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

I almost waited too late to get this post up! If I don't hurry up, it will be Miscellany Tuesday and that just doesn't have the same ring, does it? Here are a few random things from the past week:

1. The van on my air conditioner died on Monday. It's been going downhill for a while, but Monday it finally just gave up.
*yes, I noticed that I said that backwards when I was proofreading my post. It's actually the air conditioner on my van that went out, not the other way around. It made me laugh out loud, so I decided to leave it. Does anyone else ever talk like that? I do it all the time!*

2. I'm so thankful that my mother-in-law is letting me borrow a car to use until the van gets fixed (on Saturday, yea!). It's a PT cruiser.

3. It's been a long time since I drove a "cool car". I've driven a mini van since Landon was just a couple of weeks old. It's kind of fun!

4. I have found a few drawbacks to driving a car instead of a van when you have many children. First, everyone is very close together. This means that someone is always touching/breathing on someone else. Second, the noise level is twice as high-Dakota trying to have a conversation with me, while Sierra and Landon are playing rock, paper, scissors, with Cheyenne singing along with the radio in the seat behind me...Normally, the noise is spread out in the back of the van so I don't notice it as much. Third, there is not nearly enough cargo room for all of our stuff. I took the kids with me to buy groceries this afteroon and barely had enough room for all the bags.

5. Guess I'll be sticking with my van for a while longer. Hopefully it'll be good as new on Saturday.

6. Our new school year "officially" starts tomorrow. We're not getting off to the start I would have liked, though. Landon pulled a cap off this weekend eating a sucker, so we've got to get him in sometime tomorrow (hopefully early in the morning) to get it put back on. I forgot to take my library list to town with me yesterday (and of course they were closed for Labor Day today), so I also need to check out books while we're in town tomorrow. I'm hoping we can get all that done and be ready to really dig in after lunch tomorrow. We get our first day off on Wednesday because we'll be going out of town to a funeral. :( But Daniel is working on Thursday and Friday, so we'll still be able to fit in 3 days this week like I had planned.

7. Sadly, our friend, R., went home to be with Jesus on Sunday evening. My heart is torn between being broken for her family and friends who have lost an amazing lady here on earth and rejoicing that she is healed in heaven. She will be missed!

8. I've still got a few things to finish preparing for school tomorrow so I'd better get to it and get to bed.

Yea! I made it with 5 whole minutes to spare!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Slim Down Sunday #2

Heartfelt Homeschooling

Goal – 24 pounds by Nov. 18.
Pounds Lost (Week 7) – The scale has gone back and forth this week between 1 pound up and 1 pound down. This morning, it said the same as last week, so I'll just go with 3 pounds down do far. I have a doctor's appointment at the end of this week, so my very short-term goal is 5 pounds total by their scale. So, only 2 pounds to go this week!

How it Went This Week:
I did pretty good with portion sizes and between meal snacks this week. Not so good with the water and salads. Also, not so good with exercise. I have added some exercise time into our school schedule for this year, so that should help me get started with some regular exercise. I'm going to have the kids start teaching me some of their TKD forms, too.

What’s my Plan for next Week:
More of the same. More water, more veggies. Less snacking, smaller portions.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My first time to use manual settings...

Cheyenne volunteered to be my subject the other day so I could play around with the manual mode on my camera. I have no idea what I'm doing. I just pushed buttons until I thought it looked good. Ha! I still have a lot of work to do.

A bit too bright...

Too blurry...

Dark and blurry...

If it was a little clearer, I might actually like this one. Reminds me of a school picture.

This one was my favorite.
At least I had a cute model!

Anyone have any tips for me? I'd love to learn how to take really great pics!

Did you notice my new button on my sidebar? I'd love it if you'd grab it and put it on your blog!