Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Having fun!

I did two! Count them two layouts!
The first one  is so not an altered layout, but Tangie's kit, She Found Her Bliss was just perfect for it:

I only used one paper and one element for this layout!
Tuesday evenings, I play over at Scrap Book Graphics, in the Ladies of the Evening Chat! It is an hour (sometimes more) of giggles and just a real brain drain for me.  My wonderful hubby takes the kids for ice cream.  They are learning the right places to get the best deal for their buck.  The latest is Rite-Aid.  It has ice cream that is yummy in pints, for a very good price!   They each get a pint, and nibble 1/2 of it when they first get home, then all go play, then eat more when they come in.  So, what you see are the spoons from the ice cream grazing! It makes me smile when I go to bed to see all the spoons in the sink!
Saturday, all day, yeah all day, was chat at SBG.  There was so much winning going on, it was beyond crazy!  I was there off and on, and I saw Gift Certificates handed out like mad!  I won Maya's newest and anniversary kit, Cosmopolitan.

I was totally caught unaware to win this kit, but I tell you I downloaded this beauty as soon as possible!  In May, we had some wild Night Life right here on Joseph Street! YATZEE!  We had the camera out and everyone was taking pictures, so that made it hilarious to view the pictures later.  I wanted to bring in the excitement of the night, and this kit was PERFECT:
I know my scrapping and blogging has kinda been sporadic, but I love these layouts so much, I giggled while making them.  I so hope you enjoy them!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

An evening of Scrap!

Just playing!  That is what I have been doing with my scrapping.  I am going thru and deleting a lot of old and useless kits.  I am trying to file along with the purging.  I ran across one of the Gold Kits from DST, by Jennifer Barrette, called Walk with Me.  I loved it.  I don't know if it is for sale, or where she sells, but it has some very nice things in it.  What it didn't have was stitches.  I got a bit addicted to stitching while creating for Dawn Inskip!  So, I started going thru my files, and found a way, way, way old freebie stitches of flowers from Creshan!  Beautiful!
So my layout, of my daughters with friends from a near by church.  They had gotten their hair all done up, so they look so grown up to me.  I love this pic and did a bit of Pioneer Woman actions on it...they all really didn't have peach lipstick on! bha ha ha
I played a bit with the fun and goofy ladies of Plain Digital Wrapper tonight in their Saturday chats.  These woman are just the most down to earth ladies!
I decided to start a mutiny over at ScrapBook Graphics, and since no one really reads this thread, I would share my dastardly deed.  They are having one of those forum games, A is for, B is for...etc.  They are on girls names now, so I am coming up with some doozies!  Come and join the fun!!
Life is fun!  Never lose your joy, and if you have an over abundance of joy, spread it around!!
If you would like to see me in complete cuteness, well as cute as one can get in a size 18, pop over to my OTHER blog.

New clothes-New pic!

My clothes were hanging on me, and my pants were down right irritating!!  Tony told me to get some clothes that fit!! Woo HOoooooooooo!  I went to Kmart, because I don't like shopping where a million people are shopping!  Kmart NEVER has people!  I went down from size 24 to size 18!!
I got rid of a big huge bag of tents, I mean
Here is the latest update:

History? Smistory??

History is fun.  I enjoyed it in school.  I had really, really good teachers that made it come alive!!  One out of the four love History.  Gabriel.  He reads these for the fun of it!

He reads them and memorizes them.  To the point he then will tell all of us what he learned!  I mean he loves History!  Last year, we focused so hard on getting the basics of Math and Grammar, that History as a subject kind of flittered away! 
We started Story of the World (Volume 3), Early Modern Time, but used just it, and it got a bit monotonous.  I have to admit, I didn't put much into the planning of History last year, either!  I threw the book at them (along with the audio CDs) and a few print outs, here and there.  Gabriel would be laying on his bed, listening to the story and the girls would be there, but not really there.  They were bored beyond bored!
This year, History would be enjoyable.  This was my promise to myself.  I don't make these promises out loud anymore! I had been given Story of the World, the 1st volume and we had listened to it first, before delving into Volume 3, and honestly, Volume 3 is a bit blah next to the first one!  I should have gotten Volume 4, Modern Age.  But, that is behind us now!
Today we are enjoying learning about Ancient Civilizations. Using just Story of the World, I do NOT recommend, it takes some planning and lots of supplemental additions! 
I found a wealth of information on a few places, the first being a blog called The Chronicle of the Earth - this is a remarkable place!! She has done Volume 1 and 2 and has gone and blazed a path with some wonderful helps and links!! 
Another super blog, is Satori Smiles - this is so organized and she has pics of some of the fun activities and you can get an idea if you really want to try it!  
The next is a forum I just fell into, A Well Trained Mind, and if you are familiar with the author of SoW; Susan Wise Bauer, then you probably read her book by the same name of the forum.  This forum is filled with people of like thoughts towards home schooling, and very helpful. 
So, now I have a better idea of what I need to supplement, and I went for my Evan-Moor Catalogue!
I wavered back and forth, to do each civilization with Evan - Moor, but figured if we like a certain area, Egypt, Greece, or Rome, we can go more in depth later in the year.  This is just a glimpse!  We started with the Ancient Civilization History Pockets.  The girls love it, Gabriel wants to tell us everything, but he is liking seeing how History works right now.  We haven't even started the first chapter of SoW yet!  We spent last week, putting our first pocket and binder together!  Anna made this comment, gosh, this is a fun kind of History.  My hopes is to keep the girls excited and Gabriel not bored!  So far, it is working,  I got a stack of books on archeology and Ancient Mesopotamia (the next civilization)
so he is reading from cover to cover!!
So, now I am kind of ready to sit, and go thru the Story of the World book, activity and test books, and schedule our Hope to Accomplish list!
I use Donna Young and her wonderful FREE schedules. I use her 6-week planner  I make a master copy of the schedule for our school year.  Monday thru Friday with dates in the corner!  I write in scheduled events on this form, Doctors appointments, field trips we have with the group, or away times we are just not doing school in our home days!!
I keep that as an original! 
I will blog later on the exact methodology I use for organizing, and hope I will be able to explain better!  I like to make the planner for 6 weeks, that way we can readjust as needed.  Once I have a plan, I write it down and make copies, so the kids know what we are doing that day, and they LOVE to cross off what we have done! 
We are blessed to have the Charter School and the funds to purchase a lot of things, but one of my favorites is Discovery Education, a site with educational videos with blacklists to copy and activities to go along with some of the videos.  I went thru with the SoW book and found some pertinent videos that I think the kids will enjoy.  Magic School Bus at the top of the list!  I schedule those for slower days, but oh they love seeing that Discovery Education Video on the list!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

new things over at SBG, with Tangie!!

Okay, I have a whole different life in scrap now, and it affords me the time to scrap for pure fun!  I just laugh and open kits and love the whole process!
The ART Journal Caravan by Tangie that is over at ScrapBook Graphics is on week #34. 
Just a quick reminder, as of the 31st of August, the chance to be on this years journey are over!! 
  I am in a place of watching my children flap their independent wings a bit more, and I am learning that I do trust them to be places without me hovering over them.I did this layout with Provision #34 and it is called Trust from Afar
Okay, ya'll are gonna have to have a sense of humor for this next layout!  If it kinks you, please know I love Eve, she really gets a bad rap, as I know we are all sinners...but sometimes, I just want to talk to her...ya when Tangie had this kit, even the title of it made me laugh...Unconventional Wisdom
 Okay, now you have to smile, or know I mean no ill will, just thinking of Eve's response to the apple.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pics from the coast last week

This is one of my favorite places to stand in the world.  You can hear the boom of the waves hit the rocks and watch the ocean.  The ocean is ALWAYS different!!  This is Bodega Head, and is a 5 minute drive from where my parents stay for the summer.  The are inland a bit, at West Side Park at Bodega Bay.  

They look deep in conversation.  I know what it is about, what are we gonna feed these ravenous children? I love these two people, and they have put so much in my life.  The fact I look just like them both is scary...ha ha ...but this is where they are happy, together. Getting to almost 50 years together! That is something!
The clan on the bench, my posture is courtesy of my Dad! That is Anna, who becomes attached to my mom.  She is so funny, she really loves being with my mom.  I watch her just make a bee line right to her each visit.
There are whales out there, every so often a blow spout will shoot up, and we all go oooooooooooooh or aaaaaaaaaw, it is the fireworks, but with whales.  Yeah, explains a lot on why I am the way I am huh?  What are we staring at:

Kinda looses the oomph here, but if that is all you can see and then spla loosh, a black thing comes up and water comes out the top of is cool!
You are looking at your Christmas card for this year, so act surprized when it shows up okay!! I might doctor it and add a whale in the background?
Tony took a good shot of me!! I am horrible with pictures, but he makes me laugh...and just keeps taking til a good one happens to fall into place:

After the ocean, we went down the hill, to this way cool place called the Hole in the Head.  Remember we were just at Bodega Head?  This is a story that I had never heard, and we go to visit my parents every few months, and cruise around.     A nuclear power plant had been planned for Bodega Bay in the 1960s but was abandoned after both local and statewide protests and the discovery of an earthquake fault across the proposed site. Excavation for the site began at Bodega Head, and when the project was abandoned the area has been referred to by locals as "The Hole in the Head." 
It is now a filled in fresh water reservoir, that flows into the bay.
On the other side of the hill you see here is the Pacific Ocean, behind me is Bodega Bay!  The contrast to the gray at the Ocean and the green here by the fresh water is astounding! The flowers are just beautiful also:

I know it is just a thistle, but isn't it beautiful...I love it!  I can stare at this pic and find so many different colors of green! 
The girls are drinking the water as it comes out of the fresh water spring!! This is right where it flows into Bodega Bay
This is the bay here!  Look at the top, you can see the fog!  Now we are on the beach at the bay but have the spring water back right to it, so you can see the fauna( I had to use that word, makes me feel so smart) that grows right there by the beach:
Those of course are my monkeys in the trees!  But again, the start difference..I am standing on the beach by the bay taking the picture!! Okay, it amazes me! 
Eric climbed the cliff, and then Anna tried, Gabriel succeeded and Abby, uhm pretended to try to climb it.
It is straight up and a bit scary to be honest.  Gabriel and Eric had fun:

By this time, my mom is shaking from starvation.  So we head back to the camp.  There is fresh fish to be cooked and food to be ate. 
My Dad loves to cook!  He has this whole little system, cooking outside, on a isn't the life I would chose, but they are having a blast!  My mom preps some fresh Tuna for me.  I love Tuna fish, so I am pretty excited!
Mom is in the coach, (the RV) getting all the fixin's for dinner and making me Tuna, did I mention, I love tunafish?  I caught the bestest smile of the day...and it is because I scared her to death with my flash on the camera.  ha ha 

While my parents were laboring for our meal, Eric told of his fishing experiences.   This is him reeling in a big one?  
There it is, fresh fried fish, delictable, oh yeah!!

This is just the way we do it at home, buffet style.  It was some yummi doodle food, I tell you, and my mom ate hotdogs, Nathans. Tony ate the fish and the must have been the ocean air??
You work at this camp site!! Well, I don't I have small children who love to help Granma!  She puts out orange cones in the sites that are researved, so people don't sneak in and take them.  The kids pulled the cart and helped!

Grandpa was done, he had already feed and entertained us, the afternoon coffee was being consumed.  He was helping by sitting right there!

After dinner and before we leave, sitting on the bench by the boat dock has adventures.  The boats are all coming back, with catch or not.  My mom and I sat there and watched the tide go out and the kids turn rocks to find crabs. 
The fog began to get a whole lot thicker, and we had a few hours to drive home.  I was full and smiling for the fun we had with my parents.  The day was over, but the memories, they last a lifetime.

Next up?!? I bald yet?

Math-I love Math, I mean I really, really, really enjoy numbers.  Unlike Grammar, numbers don't have exceptions, they are firm and steady.  The give me a feeling of confidence.  Enter the Saxon away, run away, all love of math ripped from my early childhood, nightmares of pages and pages of dry unable to understand new math?  Spiral? Spiral is good! Spiral is not good for me, or my like the spiral when you flush the toilet? We flushed SAXON!  Not really down the toilet, as we have a septic tank...but hey I am totally off subject!
The subject of the day! Math! 
I was very smart and listening to some fellow homeschoolers about their accelerated learners for Math, especially for Algebra.  Eric is one of those kids that gets it.  He tested (for what it was worth) for the GIFTed program in New Mexico, but I didn't need a test to see this kid has a super processor for a brain, it whirls way to fast for me most times. 

We ordered TEACHING TEXTBOOKS pre-Algebra, and he was done in 4 months, so hey into Algebra he went! It was wonderful...he did it, it wasn't easy peasy, but he pushed it through and it was challenging!  We completed it (most of it).  He is going into Geometry this year, and so far (3 days) so good. 

TEACHING TEXTBOOKS is good for those that can read and follow directions independently(key word-independently)!  They have placement tests to figure out just where they should be, and from administering these, I find their early elementary books to be a year earlier.  This means if you get 5th grade, it is actually 4th grade standard, see what I am saying?  I am going to work Gabriel into after we finish MATH-U-SEE.

I love Math-U-See!  Love it! My kids love it also, and after watching tears pour out of my youngest Anna's eyes in Saxon, to see her "get it" with Math-U-See is a wonderful feeling!  We once again had to start a bit behind in the "grade" they are supposed to be.  We started in GAMMA - Single and multiple-digit multiplication.  I really felt that the times tables were the biggest weakness of all three(G, Abs, and Anna).  We did a chapter a day for a few weeks, they loved eating up all the pages.  Getting 100% on a test, made for big smiles.  We were zooming.  This was a good thing, since we didnt' figure out what to use til January!!! We had "lost" half the year with Saxon battles.  Three months, we had finished the first book, now to DELTA-Single and multiple-digit division. 
 We worked for the last few months of school and into the summer.  We have 5 Chapters left, and Gabriel is beginning to move quicker, and finding because of the stronger foundation of his multiplication and division facts, he is able to retain the new topics!  He has pulled a few chapters ahead.  He wants to catch up and be with his (back in New Mexico) friend in Epsilon-Fractions.

  The girls will also go into Epsilon this year, but I am breathing sigh, as this is right where they need to be.  Gabriel wants to push thru to get to Zeta-Decimal and Percents.  That will be his last in the lower grades.  He really wants Teaching Textbooks for 7th grade, and with his maturity in alone work strengthening, it is a possibility. 

We ordered the manipulatives, and I really think we could have lived without them, but Gabriel made a cool tower with them!!
 Having said that, we haven't begun the fractions portion, and those manipulatives look really helpful!!
With Math-U-See, we do have the video series, and we watch them before we start the chapter.  The only part that I don't like is the way Steve (the owner and MC of the videos) does long multiplication, it confused me, and the kidlets, so we do it the old fashion way, carry the ten, etc....using the little number!  It hasn't hindered them at all!  We are pushing thru very long division right now, and my favorite part are the word problems, they are real life situations and make them think.  You can't just pull out the numbers and divide! 
We laughed and laughed as Anna tried to figure out the formula for how many hooves in a herd of cows.  She says, I can't find it on my Formula Sheet. 
There is also, free even if you don't use Math-U-See, worksheet generators.  This is a great feature.  We do extra worksheets for those times, they are struggling with the topic.  It really helps in mastering.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We interupt school for some fun!!

The homeschool group we are in joined up with a promotion Six Flags does for Reading. It is called Read to Succeed.   Read to Succeed is a FREE educational program from Six Flags that encourages kids to read for fun. . Students in grades K-6 can earn free admission tickets to Six Flags.  The Six Flags by us is called Discovery Kingdom!  Our family earned 3 student tickets and 1 teacher ticket!  I am one classroom! Isn't that coolest thing!??  Then another family in the homeschool group were unable to use theirs and they blessed us with them!  Due to our dear Anna breaking her arms the first day of summer, we had to wait til those pesky casts came off!  We went the last Thursday before the tickets expired! Perfect, the park was not crowded and it was a lovely cool day.  Vallejo, California is a whole lot chillier than up here in Yuba City!
The girls were so darn excited!  I can always tell when they are nervous, in an excited way, they hold hands!!
There was a whole lot to see, dolphins, penguins, tigers, and other animals.  They touched mata rays.
I think the place is nice, it was exciting.  The rides are the big attraction.  They are extreme rides or their are kid rides.  I was all pumped up to ride some rides.  I enjoyed roller coasters as a teen!! 
We went on the Roar- The Roar features a 10-story-high opening drop, then builds up to speeds of up to 50 mph. It is a wooden roller coaster, and it hurt me! BAD!  I ached!  So that was my last ride! ha ha...Gabriel was with me, and the poor thing, it traumatized him also.  Tony and Eric were ready for more! Here is the description of the next ride Tony and Mr. E went on:

Get strapped in and fly the fast track on V2: Vertical Velocity, the first coaster of its kind on the West Coast. V2: Vertical Velocity is a suspended spiraling impulse coaster that uses an advanced electromagnetic propulsion system to launch riders at speeds of up to 70 mph in less than four seconds

This it them on the actual ride!  I was ready to puke watching them!! You can see the height of the wooden roller coaster next to it!  That was insane. Eric was scared and a bit nervous waiting in line, but he liked it!  Tony loved it! I tell you I never knew this about my husband!  He is a bit of a thrill seeker!
Not the best pic, but he is so darn cute!! We went on a water ride, okay two of them...they were fun and the whole family went together.  Remember I mentioned it is cooler in Vallejo? Yeah it was like 70-75 degrees, the water that hits you is probably 50 of course doesn't spray your arms, but as you huddle forward on the ride, it washes up behind you and shoots right down the back of your pants!  Oh we were soaked to the skin.  Cold and in desperate need of something to eat or drink.
We wisely bought the all day drink (one and shared) for $12.99! Yeah, that is the price! aaaaaaah!!

Then sat in the sun to watch the dolphin show and eat popcorn! The show was grand!  The kids really, really, really all love dolphins.  
 My pics are okay, but if you want to see better ones, go to the Six Flags site! lol,
We were still wet, so we traversed to the tiger show, which was a bit strange.  The trainers use these glopping red meat slabs, and the tigers run to them and such.  The cool part is, that tigers go in water!! They actually eat under water.  The trainers threw the meat in the water and there is glass, and you can see them underwater eating the slab of food.

Pretty nasty eh? Not my pic, but you get the idea.  The white tiger was cool, the other tiger didn't really want to play that day, and it made Tony and me feel a bit weird.  This man is standing next to this beast that can take down an animal with one swipe of it's massive paw...just strange is all I am saying.
The men were ready for more scary rides, so they did a few more, than Gabriel got brave and went on one, and then Abby went on one too!  I was very proud of her.  Anna for a strange reason, perhaps, that roller coaster of years ago, harmed her pyschie? lol  
We were headed out, and Six Flags has some games that you pay extra for, just a word to the wise, Six Flags has a whole lot you pay extra for!! But our tickets were free, so yeah Six Flags, Read to Succeed, so you can afford to do the other things! bha ha ha
They have this climb this rope and win a prize...all 4 gave it a whirl, in order of appearance:
G-man-whom I thought was gonna make it:
Nope- So Abby giggled and did she make it???????
Nope!  Then Annabo, who made me kinda cringe, just a few weeks out of those casts.  Would she be able to master the rope ladder?
oh Noooooooooooooooooooooooo! She fell.   Eric was trying so hard to be cool, but have fun at the same time, he did have fun, and oh he was almost, almost.....
and then he flipped.  Look at that face...ha ha
We collected our participation prizes, each receiving a red stuffed snake.  That made them so darn happy for some reason! We filled up our coveted cup of soda (Abby has it in her hand, the day glow green cup) and began the trek back to our van.  Trek, seriously, I think it is about 2 miles to the vehicles!  
We went and had some fun food at Ihops!  Nothing like a plate of carbs after being soaked to the skin all day!  Then a quick 20 minute drive to my parents house in Napa for the evening. My Dad and Mom are at the coast for the summer, so it is just us there!  It was nice to be able to get comfy and relax that quick.  There is no way I could have driven 2 hours home.
It was fun, the jury is still out if we would go again.  But some memories were made, and a summer disappeared again!