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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Did I mention that it was going to be a long week??

When Bean broke her arm last week, I knew we were in for it.  She is not the most patient patient.  she is whiney, crabby, and generally hard to deal with.  She broke her right arm so she is basically helpless,too.  But beyond that she WILL NOT SIT STILL. 

She cries bc she can't do cartwheels.  Okay, that's not exactly true-we won't let her do them.  She can do one armed cartwheels but we have forbidden her to do them.  We also had to forbid her to jump off the couch, jump off the fifth from the bottom step, jump on a trampoline, play soccer, and just about everything else she is crying to do.  ugh  kill me now if she has to have a cast for the next six weeks.

I love her but oh my goodness I am done with a six year old in a cast.  

yeah, that doesn't win me any mothering awards but it's the truth!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Homemade Christmas

Every few years my family does a Homemade Christmas.  We really love it and usually start planning for it more than six months in advance! 

This year was no exception.  This was one of the best Christmases that I can remember.  It was low-key and focused on relationships and not on what gift was given/received.  Instead the gifts represented the person giving them and showed their love to the person receiving them.  Can it get any better than that?  I don't think so.

Our girls made some yummy food, played the piano, and wrote poems/letters as their gifts.  I can't wait to see what they come up with next year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It's a little different this year

We always give the kids pajamas for their Christmas Eve presents.  Always.  It's a fun tradition that they look forward to.

This year I just wasn't feeling it.  The Christmas spirit was eluding me so I took the girls with me when I went shopping for their jammies.  They picked them out-there was no surprise, no special moment of me choosing just the right thing for each of my kids.  Nope, there was a tired and lazy momma letting the kids pick their own jammies.

And guess what?

They loved them just as much as if I had spent lots of time choosing them.  ;-) 

That's not the only thing we did differently this year. 

We didn't buy presents for them either.  we bought a few stocking stuffers at the Dollar Tree but nothing else.  We did give them $25 but that's it.  It was simple and sweet. 

They loved that too! 

Here's to simple Christmases that focus on family and not on things.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gearing up for Christmas

It's no secret that I wait until the last minute to buy Christmas presents.  But there are several reasons that I do that. 

1.  I HATE shopping.  Seriously hate it. 

2.  I CAN NOT KEEP A SECRET.  It is so bad that I will buy it and then tell the person all about it.  I have always been that way, just ask my sister!

So, I waited until twelve days before Christmas to buy presents.  I don't think I will wrap them, though! lol

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What a long week

**I am post dating this to keep up the right dating for the book I am printing of my blog! bear with me, please?  ;-)

Sunday night my older two girls and I went to a Christmas play.  It was a play written and directed by a student in our homeschool group.  It was great!  He did a super job and I am so glad we went.

However, while we were at the play enjoying ourselves Steven was at home with the younger three kiddos.  He texted me and complained about the DRAMA that was going on at home.  No surprise there!

We finally got home and what did I find?  Bean sitting in the chair crying.  Her arm was propped up and she was very upset.

Evidently she and Peanut had been wrestling and Peanut(10) pulled her off the couch by her feet.  Bean(6) landed with her arm down and behind her.  Screaming like a banshee commenced along with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

By the time I got home her elbow was swollen and she was in quite a bit of pain.  I tried to move it, yeah not smart but I always do it, and she almost threw up.  Not a good sign.

The minor emergency was closed, however, and so we had to wait until morning to have her seen.

She and I were up early Monday morning to get to the meo by 8 and were there for two hours.  :(  By the time we left Bean had a half cast on and an appointment to see the doc again next week.

Her arm is broken up by her elbow but it was too swollen to see clearly or to cast it.  So not cool.

Here are some pics:

She was crying bc she thought it would hurt. 
She's crying bc it DID hurt.  :(

The nurse & I made her laugh after the tears.

She is not admiring it-it was throbbing. 
We finally got out of there with the cast, a sling, an appointment, and a warning that it would probably get worse before it got better.  It did.  She cried for almost three days.  Hopefully next week we will know more and they can put her in a full cast so it's better protected.

Monday, December 19, 2011

TOS Review Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting App-Letters Make Words

Who doesn't love technology?  It can used for so many things- to make life fun or it can be used for educational purposes.

But, there are times and Apps that combine both!  Can you hear the celebration going on over at our house?

I was fortunate to be chosen to be on the App Crew as part of The TOS Crew and our very first app review is for Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting App Letters Make Words.  You can find more about this cool app here.  This is an app for the ipad and can be purchased right now for $2.99.  Isn't that a great price?

I'll give you just a bit of info here until you head on over and check it out for yourself.

Learn and teach handwriting with phonics, an app designed by a Handwriting Specialist and an Early Childhood Specialist. The purpose of Letters Make Words is to help beginning writers develop good handwriting habits for all academic and adult needs, and to learn basic phonemes.

 The first screens offer suggestions of how to use Letters Make Words. Then letters are presented. The user can select any letter. Each one comprises a complete unit of instruction for that letter, a warmup pattern, the letter and a word to trace and to sound out. When a letter has a different sound depending on its usage in words, choose from either of two words. The next screen has three words to sound out with a silly sentence for the child to write on paper.

That's just a bit about it from the app store.  Now, here's what we thought about it.

Three of my children used this app and three of them loved it!  The 12yo needs extra help with handwriting due to eye teaming problems, the 10yo needs to practice on letter formation more, and the 6yo just needs more practice with writing.  Each one needed something different from this app and they all got what they needed.

They would sit down with my ipad and start it up-I didn't even have to ask them to do it they would ask to do it.  It did take a bit to get used to how to make it work but it wasn't too big of a learning curve.  It was extremely easy to download and it started right up without any hoops to jump through. The only thing we did have a problem with was the sound.  We didn't realize there was supposed to be a voice guiding the student through the steps until we re-read the start up page. lol  It's always a good idea to read directions!  We plugged in some earphones and it was like a brand new app.

My 12yo has been doing italics for handwriting but the 10 yo has been doing classic cursive and I was surprised at how easily both of them were able to implement this app.  It did not detract from their individual courses of study for handwriting.  That's a bonus when you have several kids using it. 

Here are some screen shots from the app:



If you are even the slightest bit curious about this app I highly suggest you head on over to check it out.  This is a great way for kids to practice handwriting that they won't whine about!

If you want to see what other Crew members thought of this app, head on over to The Crew Blog and check them out. 


**I was given a copy of Letters Make Words through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas shopping

Yeah, I waited until this week to do our Christmas shopping.  Why?  Well, I thought I had another month.  Seriously I did.  I know it was just delusional but I really believed it.

So, marathon shopping was in order.  I just love shopping.  And if you believe that you have either never met me or are really gullible.  Sorry, I am feeling a bit snarky.  The stress of the shopping experience hasn't worn off yet. 

Okay, I'll be nice now.  ;-)  We were able to get almost all of our Christmas presents on our extremely long day of shopping.  I even was able to buy the stuff to make homemade vanilla.  I'll let you know how that turns out!

I am still not ready for Christmas.  I haven't bought any presents for the kids yet.  sshhh Don't tell them!  We did finally put up the tree but no other decorations.  I just can't bring myself to get in the spirit of the season.  I will be glad when it is over.  How's that for cynical?

I better go before I get even worse than snarky!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Opportunity to Bless

Each year our homeschool group goes caroling at a local nursing home.  We sing four or five songs and then pass out handmade cards to the residents.  It is a sweet time for the moms to be able to watch their children bless others.  I love to see my girls hug, hold hands, and visit with these wonderful people.  To see the looks on the faces of the residents when the children are talking to them is absolutely priceless.

And this year we got to take Bug with us.  She was a little hesitant at first but was soon blowing kisses, saying Hi and Bye, and giving hugs!  She was so good and the residents just adored her.  I wonder how often the residents are visited by children or get to hug on little ones.

I love that our group makes this a priority and I look forward to it every year.  I think it blesses me more than it does the residents.  ;-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday, Oh Sunday

I love our new church!  I just can't say that enough.  I really, really love it.  The girls love it and so does Steven.  We are so happy and feel like it's home.

I got a great nap and watched most of two football games. I think that rounds out the day quite nicely.  ;-)  heehee

The week will start and we will try to get school caught up so that we can have a good long break for Christmas. Wish us luck!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Recital 2011

Our oldest, Sunshine, had her Christmas Recital this afternoon.  She did a wonderful job.  She was so nervous, but she overcame her fears and used her talent for God's glory.

So proud of all my kids.  :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This is the day Momma explodes

Did you hear it?? My head just exploded. Yup, that was the sound of my frustration bubbling over and spewing molten rage all ove the house. No one was safe from venting.

Why would I do such a thing you ask?

Hmm...let me tell you.

My wonderful children haven't been doing their schoolwork. Or at least very little of it.

Yes, we have been down this road before. Yes, I thought they had learned their lesson.

Apparently I was wrong.

They were even more wrong to thing that their lives would remain the same after today.

Life is going to get a whole lot harder for them 'cause Momma ain't happy.

And you know what happens when Momma ain't happy! (someone might want to warn my kids!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Double Digits

Today my precious third born turns 10! I can't believe it. It is crazy that she can be that old already. It seems like yesterday she was born and the older two asked if we could keep her! lol

What a blessing she is to all of us.

Her birthday is being spread out over the whole week as we are celebrating on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Oh, we also sang Happy Birthday on Monday at our hoemschool groups Craft Day.

Special blessings for an extra special girl.

Love ya, Peanut!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Not my favorite day of the year

Every year our homeschool group has Craft Day. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Yeah, it's not.

Don't get me wrong. I love the kids in our group, they are awesome. I love being with them.

I love crafts, as well. I do crafts every chance I get.

I just don't like putting the two together!

We have around 60 kids in our group that range in age from 1yo to 16. How do you find crafts that appeal to all of them?

You don't.

And we only get 20 minutes for each craft.

Can you say herding them like cattle? It is such a short time frame that we barely have time to finish explaining the craft when it is time to switch.


it is stressful

But we all survived and we got to eat some yummy food! lol That makes it all worth it. ;-)

At least I don't have to do it again until next year!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not a great reason

You know when you miss church because you are sick or on vacation or something like that? It's not too big a deal. But when you miss church because two of your children are being completely disrespectful and disobedient it is stinky. I missed church today, you know the church that I love, so that I could stay home and clean house. Not only that I had two kidds with me that were being beligerent and rude. We got to clean house all morning long.

Oh joy.

I was not a happy momma.

But at least the house was clean and I think they got the point about doing their work. ;-)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Blessings small and wonderful

Today I was able to go to a mom's get together for our homeschool group.  The gathering was small but we had wonderful food and even better conversation.  I am so blessed to be part of this group and so incredibly thankful that they accept me the way that I am. 

What a wonderful time we had refreshing our hearts talking and laughing for several hours.  Thank you ladies for your friendship and love.

Friday, December 2, 2011

TOS Review Pitsco Review

I love to build things.  Small things, big things, crafty things, and useful things.  It really doesn't matter what, I just love putting things together.  When we can combine school and building things it's a win-win situation!!

The TOS Crew was fortunate to review some items for Pitsco.  We received the Siege Machines pack from Pitsco and it is AWESOME!  The pack included a kit for a trebuchet and a catapult.  Everything we needed was included with directions that were easy to follow.  The kit sells for $21.95 and is well worth it.


We waited until we had plenty of time to build these siege machines but we only got to one of them.  We started with the trebuchet and when it was built the kids were having too much fun to stop playing and build the catapult!  The catapult will be built on Christmas vacation and I am sure that I will be dodging flying objects for quite a while.


When we started building this we cleared a space on the floor and we all gathered 'round.  The instructions were well written and easy to use.  I do wish that the pictures were a little easier to see-some were too dark and hard to see the details.  But, that was easy to overcome from the descriptions.

We laid out our pieces, found our super glue, and got started.  Before anything could be put together, the kids reminded everyone that Mom wasn't allowed to use the super glue.  Man, one time of gluing my fingers together and they never let me forget it.  When that statement was out of the way, Dad took charge of the super glue and I was in charge of the instructions.

After the pieces were laid out, we started the figuring it out.  Once we identified the correct pieces for the right steps we were on our way!

It started coming together pretty quickly and we were encouraged with our progress.  It was really starting to look like the picture. lol

Then the instructions said to cut notches in two of the small pieces of wood.  hmm...these kits should be used with adult supervision, by the way.  As you can see, Dad did the notching at our house.

Notches were made, the arm was attached and we really started getting excited.  Not too much more and we would be able to test it out.

We had a little trouble bending the paper clip the right way but once we figured it out, we were ready to test out our trebuchet.

See the purple sling on the left side of the picture?  That is where our clay cannon ball was before it launched across the room!  It was SO COOL!!  We all jumped with excitement and did it over and over again.

This is such a neat kit.  We have truly loved putting it together and playing with and can not wait to get the catapult put together.  This is a great way to study these siege machines and the history they represent.  And to help learn the history of these machines a neat booklet is included.  There is a section on the history of these machines and then the book is divided up into sections.

First up is the catapult.  There is in-depth information about tension, torsion, and how to do experiments using mass vs. distance.  There is also a section using math to calculate how far projectiles with fly depending on weight.

The trebuchet is next with much of the same type of information.  Except with the trebuchet there is an explanation of levers and gravity.  There are also experiments to conduct with the trebuchet and the science behind the force and motion of a trebuchet.

At the back of the book there is a list of Standards that are addressed the material covered as well as an additional resources list.

This is a great addition to the study of history, science, math, and hands-on for your school.  It is an amazing product for a great price.  Trust me, there are hours and hours of fun to be had with these siege machines. 

Wanna get your own kit?  Head over to the Pitsco website and order one!  While you are there check out the other amazing products they offer.  You can contact them, request a catalog, and find out about the company.   Be sure to look around and explore all the things the site has to offer. 

If you want to see more great reviews from other Crew members, head on over to The Crew Blog and check them out.


**I received this Trebuchet/catapult kit from Pitsco through The Crew in exchange for my honest review.