Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

What do I have in common with sunflowers?

We both get droopy when those rain clouds roll in!
And just so you can see that it finally did bloom....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I got an award!!!!! I got an award!!!!

Tina at Jetihoja Academy gave me this blog award. I am still blushing (even though it has been a week since she gave it to me and I am just getting around to posting it)!

Now I have to pick 5 blogs to award with this honor. But first I would like to recognize what I love about your blog, Tina. Let's see.....
  1. Your weekly reports are awesome! I love looking at what your kids did all week. It sets a bar for me.
  2. Your lapbook enthusiasm! It actually has me starting up lapbooking again.
  3. Your dedication to Atelier. Based mostly on your rave reviews of it, I purchased this and we could not be happier. I also plan on participating in Sketch Tuesday because of you.
  4. Your kids are so stinking cute!
  5. And you are so sweet IRL!
Onto my 5 picks.......drum roll please...........
Why do I heart these bloggers? Because they are all really cool people outside of the blogging world. I respect their opinions and views on the various topics they blog about and on the dialogues we exchange. I enjoy their friendships as they are friends IRL; only one through email contact but only because she lives across the pond. I hope you enjoy their blogs as much as I do.

Writing With Ease Update

I am so greatful for this book. It has finally given me direction in establishing an early writer. Oldest Peep would melt into a puddle of tears at any mention of writing. Not the physical act, but the creative aspect of it. Middle Peep would form scribbles he called letters but they really were indistinguishable. Enter Baby Peep! I was determined not to produce one or the other.  This writing monster had to be conquered and I had to find a way. Enter WWE. It is like Susan Wise Bauer heard my pleas for a step by step manual. When I read the samples for Chapter 3 found here, I knew this was the program for us.

So far, we are 5 weeks into it and while Baby Peep doesn't love it, his work has improved in just that short time. His copy work is going faster and faster and he needs less of my attention for this part. I don't always have to sit right next to him and anticipate his errors and try to remind him to think it through. For example, he would constantly start sentences with lower case letters. Now 3 out of 4 times he is doing the capital letter on his own. He still forgets the ending punctuation but we are working on that. His letters have become one size and he is thinking through writing his letters like a lower case p and an a. He use to write the P on the line without the "tail" below the line and then the a the same height. He now consistently writes the p hanging down on the line and the a as big as the circle part of the p. If I rememebr I will look for examples and scan them (tomorrow as Papa Peep is asleep and that would surely wake him) so you can see it.

As for narrations, well, they are proving harder than I thought they would be. He is a great storyteller. I can start a story and he can take off, talking for hours. But if I ask him to retell me something I just finished reading is more difficult for him. I have to ask very broad questions and then slowly get smaller and smaller and smaller many times reading the specific paragraphs over and over. It is slow going but I do see improvement. Today from Alice in Wonderland he narrated a scene with me only have to read it twice. The narration was very short and the details were very slim but the general idea was all there. That is improvement.

To summarize, if you were thinking about starting Writing With Ease I vote yes. It has given our beginning writing instruction some direction and a plan to follow. Check out my workbook with a read aloud schedule and loosely coordinated FLL 2 here.

Will they be ready in time?

We plan on not buying any Jack-O-Laterns this year. We have four growing. The longest one is turning yellow  finally and the roundest is just starting to turn also. Do you think they will be ready in time?? We saw some in the grocery store for sale already. I started them in June!!! This has been a strange summer!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I am not a flower person. At least I have never been in the past. Yes, they are pretty, but you buy them and they last about a week if you are lucky and then they die. Same with growing them. They only last for so long and then just die. I would much rather expend my energy into growing vegetables. You get something in the end and is it usable. I am nothing if not practical, just ask Papa Peep. Well, for some unknown reason by me lately I have been buying flowers. These are the latest ones I bought and photographed. By the time I thought to take pictures they were dying. The close ups make them look much better than the overall look. For your enjoyment......

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Another warning light came on today. Where is my man when I need him?
Chocolate Tuesday at our Homeschool Group Park Day.
The first Tuesday of the month, we homeschoolers  bring chocolate to share with each other. I would love to see this instituted in every group. How about it fellow homeschoolers???

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obama Has a Plan To Manage Our Oil Reserve

Read the full article here. I don't know if I should copy the article here to encourage reading, but click the article link. It is necessary that we are informed about all the issues.

It is an opinion piece written by John Shages, deputy assistant secretary for petroleum reserves at the Department of Energy. I would say this is a very informed opinion.

Hispanic Heritage Month


Chicago, IL – El Senador Barack Obama se unió a millones de estadounidenses hoy para celebrar el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, que se celebra del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre, e hizo las siguientes declaraciones:

"Este mes, acompaño a todos los estadounidenses en la celebración del Mes de la Herencia Hispana. Es una ocasión para honrar los logros y sacrificios de los hispanos, desde su larga y digna tradición de servicio militar al liderazgo visionario de César Chávez, a las luchas actuales por la oportunidad y la prosperidad. Es una ocasión para reconocer a todos los hispanos que han ayudado a escribir la historia social, económica y cultural de los Estados Unidos de América.

"Después de lo mucho que hemos avanzado juntos, no podemos dar marcha atrás. Tenemos que seguir marchando hacia delante. Yo he caminado junto a la comunidad hispana en Chicago, he estado con ustedes en marchas para defender a los inmigrantes y lucharé por ustedes en la Casa Blanca. Este es el momento de crear empleos que paguen bien, reducir la tasa de abandono escolar y por fin aprobar el DREAM Act. Es hora de por fin aprobar una reforma migratoria integral, de proveerle cobertura médica económica, accesible y de alta calidad a los 15 millones de latinos que carecen de un seguro de salud, y de ponerle fin a la guerra en Irak. Es hora de asegurarnos de que los próximos cuatro años no sean como los últimos ocho.

"En estos momentos, en estas elecciones, tenemos que jurar de nuevo que siempre marcharemos hacia delante. Lo que siempre ha distinguido a la comunidad hispana – y lo que nos distingue como nación – es la convicción de que en los Estados Unidos se puede salir adelante si uno se lo propone. Este mes, y todos los meses, cumplimos esa promesa. En noviembre, tenemos que renovarla."

Chicago, IL – Senator Barack Obama joins millions of Americans in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th through October 15th. He issued the following statement:

"This month, I join all Americans in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. It's a time to honor the achievements and sacrifices of Hispanic Americans, from their long and proud tradition of military service to the visionary leadership of César Chavez to today's ongoing struggles for opportunity and prosperity. It's a time to recognize all Hispanic Americans who have helped write the social, economic, and cultural story of America.

"And after all the progress we have made together, we cannot turn back. We must march ahead. I've walked alongside the Hispanic community in Chicago, I've stood with you at immigration rallies, and I will fight for you in the White House. And now is the time for us to create good-paying jobs, reduce the student dropout rate, and finally enact the DREAM Act. It's time to finally pass comprehensive immigration reform, provide 15 million uninsured Latinos with affordable, high-quality health care, and end the war in Iraq. It's time to make sure the next four years don't look just like the last eight.

"At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to always march ahead. What has always distinguished the Hispanic community – and what distinguishes us as Americans – is our belief that in America, you can make it if you try. This month, and every month, we keep that promise. This November, we must renew it."

The Hypocricy!!!!

stole this from the blog of a brilliant fellow homeschooler....The Genie Bottle.

I have been heard saying, "The best news comes from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report!!!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Schedule

Starting on Monday this is the plan. Let's see if I cry this time.

I must also tell you all that I have never had a timed schedule before. This is something  new for us as I am a fly by the seat of my pants type of person. Unfortunately, meeting our educational goals while balancing sports and socialization has required this type of schedule. We will see if this one works or if I go back to the drawing board.

Wordless Wednesday

They have been this size all month. This is the strangest summer weather I have ever encountered.

We anxiously continue to wait............

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Boy jobs and girl jobs!!!

Edited to add: Boy jobs and girl jobs may be different in your family. In mine, boys jobs are the jobs I don't want to do and girl jobs are the ones I like to do. These jobs will look different in your home than in mine. Don't take offense in my definitions.

I tell my husband all the time that there are boy jobs and girl jobs. I can not change a tire. He can not cook. I can not change the spark plugs. He can't grocery shop. I can not put air in the tires. He should not cook. You get the picture. Well, all of last week a light was on in my dashboard. The first time it came on I told Papa Peep to make it go away. It was making me nervous. He took the car to the gas station,  had no quarters for the air machine, and brought it back home to me without telling me he had not filled the tires. The next day I took it out but as I drove on the highway the light went away. Tire pressure back to normal. The next day it was back to being low. I stopped at a lube shop and they kindly filled all the tires to the appropriate levels. The next day the light came on again! I whined to asked papa to make it go away. He did nothing. The next day I was driving to the zoo and the air was even lower than the previous day. Now I thought I must have a leak. I went to the gas station and begged the agent to help me since I didn't even know where to put the quarters. Well, he checked the pressure, filled them with air and this is what I got once on the road.

I checked the screen because the car was literally lopsided. At low speeds it was hard to tell but at high speeds we all felt like we were lower on the driver side. Middle peep just kept on laughing and luaghing all the way to the zoo. I was late already so I just kept driving slowly and hoped for the best.

On the way home, I could stand it no longer and went to a tire business and was ready to buy 4 new tires if that is what I needed to do. Fortunately the attedent was kind and did not laugh at my insanity. He checked all the tires and found one with a screw in it. He patched and filled it to the right level. I am back to normal now......I hope.

What lesson did I learn? I don't like the boy jobs.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back to the drawing board

I forgot about a new class I signed the peeps up for and the volunteering once a week Oldest Peep is doing so I have to go back to the drawing board on that timed schedule. I feel like such a dope! After Oldest Peep understood that the time was just a guideline so relaxed she has been doing very well. We actually finish most days before lunch. Baby Peep still slips through the cracks at times but that has more to do with his slippery nature than the schedule.

Speaking of is what we found hanging out by the lettuce....keep moving slugger....nothing to eat here.

Garden!!! Garden!!!

I did not think I could get the hang of this garden thing this year. I put seeds in the ground and hoped for the best. After I started I got some books and did some reading about the PNW soil. Now we are starting a small fall garden while the rest of our summer veggies finish growing up. So far so good.

Here are the tomatoes

The cucumbers........
The Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins are HUGE!
It's bigger than my hand. (I know! I know! Not hard since my hands are very little.)
We have 5 pumpkins and quite a few flowers trying to make it to pumpkin stage. I planted 3 vines. Next year I will only plant 2 and give those vines the room they need. They are not crowded just yet but they could use more room.
Since our one carrot was not the size we hoped for we are trying again. This time I grabbed the big shovel, loosened the soil and got all the rocks we could find out. Next I bought soil, manure, and compost, mixed it all up and made a garden bed in the loosened soil area. This area gets sun from about 10am until sundown which is about 8pm these days. I dread the shorter days. A week after we planted we got baby seedlings.
More Carrots
Oh and I got an aloe plant and a Venus Flytrap Plant. I am afraid the aloe is already looking sickly and the venus is enjoying the gnats and fruit flies that love to live in my pantry during the summer months.....dang bananas! I will post pictures of the Venus Flytrap soon. It is pretty cool to watch in action.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Into our grove

TeacherWe started school back up a few weeks ago. I have known for a while what we would use but of course the peeps had a different idea. We have already switched math, history and science. I will update the side bars some time this week but for now we found a grove to get it all done. Yesterday however, Oldest Peep was in tears most of the morning and could not tell me why. I finally got her to relax enough to talk to me about it. Well turns out that she was stressing about the times on the side. I put them there to give me an idea of when we can have lunch and when we will be done for the day and when Baby Peep could take his breaks. They are not set in stone. They will not be beaten if it takes 45 minutes to get done with math instead of 30. The reason I have a homework spot is that sometimes they do fool around instead of stay on task. When I see this happen and they are behind time wise then I will tell them they will have to finish in the homework hour. I have message boards to read, and laundry to sort, books to read, and a piano to learn to play. I can't sit in the school room all day waiting for them to be done.   Brows

Well, once I explained that the times were guidelines not set in stone she was able to relax and finish her work for the day. The funny thing about the whole thing is that she was ahead of the time schedule. There really was no reason to worry. Besides we finished with enough time for her to weed the garden with me, inspect what we have growing (Garden update coming soon!), watch 2 episodes of Little House on the Praire (we are reading Little House in the Big Woods and they were curious), make cookies (they did not turn out well) play some piano, and play outside with her friends for at least an hour! All this way before dinner!

Kung Fu Showdown! Part 2

So now that the forms competition was over, he had the weapons competition to think about. There was quite a bit of time between the two so he practiced to prepare....settle the nerves a bit.
This lady was helping him a long. She attends his school and even though they would be competing she gave him some tips. There are just the nicest people out here!
Here Oldest Peep wants in on the action. Although Papa and I would love for her to continue her study of Kung Fu she doesn't want to. She enjoys it but is totally more swimming focused than anything else.
Since he was only a yellow belt there was really only one weapon for him to perform. I would like to point out that he was the lowest ranked belt competing here. I wondered how he would do against those ranked much higher.
Here begins his routine.
He also took 4th in this event. Later his teacher told him he would have done better if he would have just taken off his socks. He has a complex about his feet. Maybe next time......
We are so proud of you Papa!!!!!!!