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Archive for April, 2009

backyard camping

April 29th, 2009 at 05:36 pm

NWF has a national backyard camping day, June 27th.

Our cubscout pack will be participating, with each den gathering at one fellows backyard.

The boys will spend some time working on outdoor skills, like setting up tents, and cooking, plus maybe some rank work.

So I thought I would see what the girl scouts could do, at the Daisy level, they have no official camping/outdoor skills. But I figure you are never to young to enjoy some outdoor fun, and go over some outdoor safety.

Now if I can only manage to borrow an air mattress before then so I don't have to be woken up by EL all night long!

Songs mark time

April 28th, 2009 at 01:22 am

We have been converting our library of CDs to MP3, and of course that makes you look closely at what you have.

Having kids I spend more time listening to 'veggie tales' or 'fisher price ABC's' with the occasional 'classical' thrown in. Or if I am really in the mood for my own music some 'classic rock', or 'newer rock'

BTW our children's first intro to music was all the same artist we like to start them off right. Seriously packing to go to the hospital for UE we had to dig up the CD.

But now we are finding one of my favorites..trash

Along with lots of .. stuff my husband liked. But oddly enough we both grew up with Oldies, and yet have almost none.

But now I am looking forward to being able to find the music I want without finding dust

Going to buy my son his first beer this week

April 21st, 2009 at 05:00 pm

This is an exciting time in my sons life. He has discovered beer. And requested we buy him some to try.

I follow the theory that my kids are better off expiramenting at home while I am there to watch, rather than secreting it away.

So we shall buy some this week and see what happens. I expect a bit of a mess, but I am sure he will enjoy the fun. I might save it for Thursday or Friday when we will have several of his friends over and make it a party.

Cracked.com recommends Corona While I wish they would swear less, I do think they have a good point.

A Camping we will NOT go...Maybe

April 20th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

So I heard once that "If you eat good, and sleep good, You will have a good time"

I neither slept well nor ate well this weekend.

Let's look at food first. I packed plenty of fruit and some trail mix, I assumed the camps meals would be acceptable for carbs and protein.

Lunch was chicken strips on a white hotdog bun with sweetened applesauce and chips. Now the average Joe (or Jane) might find that acceptable, I on the other hand discovered a body used to whole wheat and unsweetened fruit (that also happens to be hypoglycemic) can't eat like that.

Dinner was more white hot dog buns with dogs in them, and chili for topping. Now my chili has lots of good stuff, tomatoes, beans, onions, meat, flavor. Their chili on the other hand..not so much.

Breakfast was white spray on pancakes..that tasted something akin to rubber and foam.

Then there was the sleeping, now I am not normally a difficult sleeper, I don't nap well, but I do fall asleep easily and usually stay there as long as possible regardless of how uncomfortable I am.

This time I was not only sleeping in jeans (because my Daughter wouldn't sleep out of my arms and I wasn't smart enough to change before the rest of the camp went to bed, and wasn't willing to let her scream and wake them up.) I was sleeping on LOTS of roots, with covers that were constantly being stolen. I was shivering from about 2 am on. At 6 am when my normal Sunday alarm went off for church I was HAPPY to get up! I jumped for joy! Which is the first time in my life I have been happy to get up, I hate mornings. Even for a good thing like Christmas, I would normally prefer to postpone morning till noonish.

PLUS my daughter HATED it (EL, 10 months) so she was up constantly, waking me up. Fortunately only one other person heard her once in the night, so I wasn't the bane of the camp.

Part of me wants to say never again...the other part of me figures I can solve those problems.

On the positive side I was able to say "she is not a happy camper" and for the first time I actually had a camper to say it about! (It is one of my stock phrases for cranky babies)

UE and JC had a lot of fun though, both had a bit of trouble sleeping, but enjoyed some nature walks, crafts, a 'bouncy bridge' (cable bridge), a 'pirate ship' (pirate shaped pavilion), the campfires,staying up late, playing with tents, and of course just being outdoors.

GMC was of course happy to be back, BBs, Archery, climbing wall, plus crafts and fires. He slept fine, I think he is getting used to roots and the like.

So points to remember for the next time I camp:

1. Pack all my own food including whole wheat carbs, and real protein (hot dogs and fake sugar filled chicken doesn't count).
2. Pack an air mattress if I have a baby/toddler with me.
3. Acquire a larger sleeping bag, meant for two at least.
4. Pack something to hold organic waste till we get back to a compost bin (all that perfectly good scraps going into giant plastic garbage bags.....)

Freaky Friday

April 17th, 2009 at 07:41 pm

Today we had folks over for Science

The focus was Light, we broke it, bent it, and mixed it up.

I found a how stuff works article last night to read a bit of (mostly I paraphrased for smaller kids)

then we talked about how waves are NOT objects moving, but energy..prolly went over their heads, but playing in water was fun.

-broke light with a prism, wish I had enough for each kid Frown.

-bent light with water (pencil in clear glass) and magnifying glass (wish I had one for each kid)

-mixed light (filters over flashlights in dark rooms) had enough for them to take turns (yellow, blue and red light combines to white if you do it right)

-told the rainbow boy story, and they drew pictures about it.

And since I happened to have this big bucket of blue water I just had to add some baking soda and popcorn and red vinegar just because.

Next month we are going to do some fun optical illusions.

Kids and money

April 15th, 2009 at 07:49 pm

So my son had a birthday, recieved some gift money, and then all the kids got some for the holiday.

Now what would any sane boy do with all that? Dunno, but just as I insist they brush teeth every night, I insist they deposit some in long term savings, some for the church and do think about what they buy.

GMC figured out the percents (math class in target) to give and deposit, then with what he had left he went to the store with an eye to buy.

We hit the after Easter Sales, nothing good. Though the boys both wanted dino heads shaped like eggs. Like I need more eggs.

GMC found a game some sort of star wars board/collectible card game. He was very interested until we explained he would have to buy extra sets for the game to be fun, so that $15 game could turn into a $45 game or more before he had all the fun parts.

Then he found a computer game on sale for $10, and wanted a book. Normally I find books the best investment, but a jedi book? Do we really need the in depth 'science' behind light sabers and droidekas? Oh well it is his money.

JC found a simple recipe game with her money, good skills for UE to learn, but he wasn't interested she was..oh well they will both play it.

UE found a book he wanted about dinosaurs, nothing fancy, but a decent book he can mostly read himself, doesn't hurt anyway.

Husband found chocolate, and robins eggs.

Did I sign up for that?

April 14th, 2009 at 07:47 pm

All of the sudden I am getting emails asking me to make certain someone is signed up for all the stuff we need to take camping Saturday..I don't think I signed up for that.

And I have to find out who is going on the field trip the following Saturday.

AND I know I gave this job away finding out who is going to the summer Day camp...info and money due tonight..there is a reason I gave it away.

Plus I am missing a bear leader, may be missing a cub master, and missing an assistant GS troop leader. (the Leader is me)

This is not my day

BTW the company did show up last night, at 6:30....bit later than the 2pm phone call.

May or may not have company for dinner

April 13th, 2009 at 07:00 pm

And they may or may not be on their way over.

Don't you just love information?

I may or may not get off the computer to go clean.

Or I may go read with the kids and ignore the dishes.

The trouble with Unschooling

April 10th, 2009 at 08:50 pm

I have been thinking lately about 'true unschooling' and I am not actually a proper unschooler. The trouble with un-schooling, to me, is that it assumes a child will learn all they need to know without interference...and while that is true it isn't good enough for me.

I know for example that EL will learn English without my help, but I also know that if I point interesting things out to her stressing the name (Apple, would you like Apple? have an Apple, more Apple? all in the space of 5 minutes) she may learn quicker, (or not), she aught to learn what apple is at least. On the other hand she isn't very likely to learn kumquat..but then she doesn't need to. If I wanted her to learn kumquat I aught to go get one and treat it like I did the apple.

I think the same thing applies to older children, they will learn plenty on their own, but if I want something in particular. I prolly aught to teach it (like phonics) but I shouldn't try without relating the lesson to the kid (like getting an apple to eat)

Which is why I like much of Charlotte Masons teaching, while we can't always take a kid to the past or another country, we can use what she calls 'living books' to help bring kids reasons to learn.

She also tends not to place emphasis on what you don't know so we can fill in the gaps (really like in Gods world we could ever hope to know all of it?) instead asking kids to share what they did learn, might not be the exact high points we found, but it is bound to be interesting what they learned.

Bringing kids into the nature we teach them about, and placing real items in their hands, helping the lessons mean something to them (you pick a tree to learn about, doesn't have to all be the same tree for all kids) these are the parts of CM that appeal to me. And in some ways it looks like unschooling, because we are not to terribly worried about having the exact right lessons according to state, and are not taking these lessons out of the real world, (from the real world not out of it). But because we bring interesting lessons to the kids it isn't unschooling.

On the other hand the most important lesson an unschooler can give us is that it will be ok, a child is designed by God to learn, no matter what you do they will, and for the most part they will learn all they need in the world, without a single drop of interference.

So if one lesson isn't sinking in, that is ok, they either wont need it or it will sink in later. When they want-kids have to choose to learn for it to stick, we forget that often because children naturally want to learn, from birth, and I bet before they are naturally inquisitive, it is only after when one drills the curiosity out of them that they stop wanting to learn. (though all children are different, one may be a fountain of questions another more scientist exploring without asking, a third content to skim the surface, a fourth who knows?)

Dentist again

April 8th, 2009 at 09:56 pm

Visits to the dentist really take a bite out of your wallet, especially now that we have 3 going. (EL has only two teeth, not much to clean!)

But good news all three have no cavities, and all were praised for being good at brushing.

Since I am there to see them spend way to little time and be sent back every night, either it doesn't take much, or the kids have good genetics. Or they eat the right kinds of things?

I am not sure, but we have no plans of changes, so I guess we can expect the healthy teeth to continue for a while.

Before the appointment and during the wait we finished a full days worth of learning. (though there was some learning going on during as well)

Then after, my oldest spent 4 hours with my husband at work. I heard he had a lot of fun, I hope he learned something.

JC will get a turn later this month.

So when did I get so busy?

April 6th, 2009 at 06:53 pm

I used to have no need of those weekly organizers, what would be the point when I barely have anything scheduled?

Now I am working with a group of moms on a homeschool book club of sorts, and we are having trouble choosing a day.

I actually sat down and typed out my weekly schedule (evenings only)

Some Mondays-meetings for church (CE or Tech)
All Tuesdays-scouts
Most Wednesdays- Music
Most Fridays (after Lent)-games here

That doesn't leave a whole lot of free time! But at the same time I don't really want to drop any of them, though I would love to do scouts during work hours so we can have more nights home.

fried double yolk eggs

April 4th, 2009 at 06:56 pm

Lately we have been buying a brand of eggs that is often double yolked. For the most part we don't care.

Last night however I tried to make fried eggs. Out of 6 eggs, 9 yolks broke. Not that I am very skillfull, usually out of 8 yolks 2 or 3 break.

Now for the math..3/8 compared to 9/11 (one was a single yolk egg).

Which is the better average?

Not that busted yolks are the end of the world, the kids don't seem to mind.

Sign up for book it

April 3rd, 2009 at 05:21 pm

Just found out the homeschool enrollment for 09 is open.

book-it

Who is eligible for the BOOK IT! Program for homeschools?
Any student in grades K-6 (5 years old by September of current school year) that is homeschooled and does not attend any other educational facility.

What are the program dates for 2009-010?
October 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010.

When will the 2009-10 materials be shipped to enrolled homeschools?
Materials will arrive by early to mid-September.

hunting butterflies

April 2nd, 2009 at 06:14 pm

The Daisy troop voted to grow butterflies for their garden service project, so now I am hunting butterflies.

I found several kits online, which seem a bit pricy.

I also found a few websites, which ask you to already have a native plant (like milkweed) for your butterfly. which we don't of course.

I wanted to find a local butterfly farm, would be nice to support a local group, but I can't find info of any in the Charlotte area.

so we will prolly go with the kits, because they come with food.

L sleeps, I catch up

April 1st, 2009 at 06:52 pm

It is amazing how much I can get done when she takes a real nap.

It is also amazing how relaxed I feel with a snack eaten, juice drank, and a todo list as long as my arm all checked off!

Course the todo list for the other arm is still there, but one thing at a time (or 20)