Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Organizer is finally Happy with Our System

I am a frequent visitor to a homeschooling forum called  The Well-Trained Mind Forums (aka Hive Mind), 
and one of the ladies asked about seeing pics from our set up.  Now I have only been homeschooling for one year...oh my, almost 1 and 1/2! (that snuck up).  I am very into lists, organization and everything having a place and run a tight ship.  We have 6 in our family, and scheduling and organization is important or it just won't get done. 
We have tried numerous systems, workboxes (too much work for mom) to a kinda system with cards for subject, worked okay, but still finding mom is working too much daily or weekly.  I wanted something done, to pick up and go.  I was willing to tweak, but not every week!
To begin with, we stumbled upon this montrosity, from a store closing for $10, it is on wheels and the shelves are on both sides, so storage on the back and each child has a cubby, a locker so to say.  They actually are organized to our daily schedule!!

I read the book, Managers of Their Homes by the Maxwell's,
and it really helped the way our schedules work.  The book is a life saver, and typing this, I just pulled it out and think it is time to reread. 
Back to my schedule.  The kids have their books/notebooks for morning on top shelf.  After their morning break we have History or Science and each has a journal/big notebook.  They put away the morning things and bring out needed supplies for what is next.  I have my schedule on the front of MY BRAIN.  MY BRAIN is my teachers plan for EVERYTHING! 
The tabs on the side go in order of the schedule.  I have 3 in one grade, and one high schooler (he is a bit more independent, but we schedule together, and I can at a glance see his progress and where he is scholastically)    I use Donna Young's free 6 week scheduler. FREE download!!  I make originals with the dates, and then copy for each subject.  I then give each child the schedule, so they can also cross off as we complete.  I don't have it for Math, as it is mastery, and we use Math-U-See and it has a check off sheet, each child uses to put x's and test scores into. Well, my Anna puts big pink hearts around each item she completes!
This is our schedule for Easy Grammar.  You can see we finished today's, by the check marks on the page.  I go thru and look at each page of workbooks and write this out in 6 week increments.  I mark out days we have appointments or field trips.  We only school Monday thru Friday.  
Here is my rolling body for school.  We do bible first in the morning and under that is MY BRAIN.  It is opened all day!  The drawers hold the Teachers book for Grammar, Math, Spanish, Writing Strands, and extra Science and History papers/workbooks.
 I am a dry erase mom, so I have a smaller one that I can lean against my rolling body!!
This is a stationary bookcase by my computer.  I have in order.  Our important paperwork, state test results and financial papers in first binder, then our Art program, Artelier, NaNoWriMo, our November writing craziness, Green binder is our Science, Christian Kids Explore Biology.  I have books for Biology, as I am studying it before teaching. The white binder is the SotW, Volume 1, I cut it out of book and like to have in 3 ring binder. It goes with our History in the Blue Binder, which is Evan-Moor Ancient pocket books.  
There is our set-up, and it is easy to move most of it out of the way, so I can sweep and wax the floor! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just saying hey!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bit on Pioneer Catch Up!!

I have been very remiss in church  pioneer updates, and I  am sorry, we went through well,  they are coming, and then they are not, but some other people are syndrome.  Now, we are learning okay, yeah these ones are here now, let us do what we can now!  Tony had the opportunity to have Richard Brooks come up to Yuba City for a few hours one Saturday.  Apparently, Richard Brooks had just finished a revival meeting in Modesto, and so was headed to the airport.  Tony picked him up that morning and brought him to our church for a few hours of WOW!!
Pastor John Foley in Chico brought a wonderful couple, Raymond and Tanya, and Greg one of our awesome new converts came too!  My kids were totally captivated by Mr. Brooks!!  He began working with all about their testimonies, and then showed how to give it quick and precise and on the streets.  Everyone practiced in the church, and it was fun and relaxed. the streets we went!! It fired me up!  I love street preaching, must be because God gave me a LOUD voice to lift up His name!!  Richard Brooks had us gather for quick song, then testimony, then song, testimony.  It was fast, then he took the new converts and had them handing out tracts/flyers to the cars!!  We went from preaching to witnessing in 15 minutes!  We established dominion!  We were out there for almost an hour! 


 We have been on a whirlwind of exciting times here in Yuba City, we are gearing up for a revival with Jeremy Hocker come November.  

Yesterday we went to a new area in town called Tiarra Bueno.  It is just a section, we had never gone too.  It was rainy and so we drove around and got a feel for it.  Some sections are mansions, and others are regular middle class, and this small circle of duplexes, that I seriously felt transported to another place.  It was like a park of green! The rain stopped so we jumped out of van, and gave it a whirl.  Great response, and got us excited about being on outreach.  Tony says, lets go down to that trailer park real quick! Sure, we were warming up, it wasn't raining now.  This is the first trailer park we have done since we got here.  There are not a lot of trailers here, most are senior citizen parks.  This was a conglomerate of trailers.  BIG BIG dogs with BIG BIG poop!  woo hoo!!  
Gabe and Anna were with me, and it was a lot of knocking and okay, not listening.  Then a precious woman AnnaLouise, she is in pain. Fybromyalgia. That is some wicked stuff.  She listened and I prayed for her! It was a big step for me, something I am personally pushing myself to do!  I believe she will be in church this morning!!  Then we were on the last trailer, Tony and the other kidlets had been busy.  I went up and knocked, no one.  Left the revival flyer and the kids and I got talking at the foot of the porch.  The door opens, and this young girl (21) opens the door.  I went and started talking to her, she is open and admits to being a backslider and miserable. Tony walks over and looks at her and says, "I know you"  She nods and says I used to work at Target, I got fired.  Laughter and conversation, she has already said, she would come to church.  I ask her, are you right with Jesus Christ right now??? NO.  
She prayed and received Jesus right then with me!! Denise will be in church this morning!  I told her I am a stalker for God!  I ask for prayers for this young lady.  
Oh and one more fun picture.  Last weekend, Pastor John Foley up in Chico (45 min away) invited us as a church to a church picnic.  ORoville church came also.  We were buzzing as Leeland and Lisa both came, and Greg and his family came also.  It was so nice to have people from our growing church there!  It was especially nice, as Raymond and Tanya from the Chico church were there, and Greg and Raymond had established a friendship during the Richard Brooks evangelism Saturday!!
I have to tell you why Sherri is giggling with her hand over her mouth.  She is beyond cute.  She brought this huge bowl of fantastic salsa, and everyone was asking oh did you make this?? I said, oh of course.  She was all embarrassed, she had picked it up from a local restaurant called Casa Lupe's,  She told me, so I was saying your Grandma Lupe makes the best salsa.  She would giggle every time.  You all know me, I love to see people laugh! 
We are having a blast here, my friends and thank you for your support and prayers!! Tony is at the church now putting the heat on, as the winter rains have begun, and the wet can chill the bones! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Latest from Tangie!!

I was playing with Tangie's DiA Los Muertos {dos} two  kit about the Day of the Dead had me searching the internet about this celebration. That lead to Dance of Death and the words here are some of the dialogue attached to the victims that Death uses as he summons him to dance.
Just got me creating!! Kinda morbid, not my usual style, but enjoyed playing with shadows!
This is only @ Studio Tangie

The week that was...last!!!

The daily updates of a blog are just beyond me, so I figured I can give the weekly run down a whirl, and every now and then, surprise you with a just because posting.
Our lives in school, are really full right now, everyone is hitting on all cylinders, and it is a full day, from 8am to almost 2pm, Monday thru Thursday.  We really work hard so that Fridays can be an "off" day.
Right now, in History, we are finishing Egypt, in the ancients.  The whole mummy process really intrigued us, but we opted (after a lengthy debate for and against) to do paper mummies versus the mummy of a cornish game hen.  The kids didn't want to wait while the process happened, and I am secretly happy! woo hoo
So, we learned about the process and colored our own:
Abby is very careful about the perfect placement of her instructions for a mummy.
We give her a bad time, as she is the neatest writer.  Mistakes drive her crazy.  She will erase a whole page, to make the paragraph fit nicer on the page. 
Doing History this way has really helped Anna grasp the concepts.  She has a hard time with books, retaining the information, but listening to the CDs from Story of the World and coloring and making things (almost daily), have brought enjoyment for Anna-bo.
Gabriel is INTO History, I mean he will take the Usborne's or the Kingfisher's Encyclopedia and read for hours. I will say at the beginning of the History time, today we are going to learn about (insert subject), and he goes, "oh, I know all about that!!" and off he goes and he does know all about it.  But he loves when his sister's are excited about Ancient History.  He tells little stories about other books he has read, that I didn't cover. We all sit and listen to G-man wax eloquently.
While we are busy, cutting, pasting, coloring and painting our ways thru the Ancients, Eric is squirreled away with his guitar, practicing hard.  His instructor comes to the house!! I love that!!  His lessons are on Wednesday at 10:30, so we just put his practices at the same time!  Pretty smart eh??
Now I don't want you to think all we do is work, work, work.  Okay, so we work a lot, but I let my kids play.  Gabriel enjoying the fact that his mom lets him have whipped cream sprayed in his mouth!!! They are all excited, as we now have our costumes for Halloween, they are going as Rabid Homeschoolers......seriously!!
Here is a dress rehearsal: 
Back to work you children with skulls of mush!! oh mush? oh yeah!! We are doing biology for Science and learning about cells.  The fun hands on for the week was a cell made from jello and candy! Oh yeah!!
We had licorice and Manderine orange jello.  The vocabulary and picking the right candy to be the nucleus and different parts of the cell was hilarious.  Putting the top part of the geletious mass upon the set portions, and into the fridge to enjoy later.....
The magic of bloggging, here is the final product:
Only Anna wanted to eat it.  I let her have a little and took it away, as my girl will eat it and puke to prove she could eat it. Crazy girl.
I'll be back later with our trip to the pumpkin patch, and the weekend in Chico!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We flew over our City!!

The EAA Yong Eagles sponsored an event this morning in our area.  This program was created to introduce young kids about aviation.  We had done it, while in Alamogordo, New Mexico. That was over 4 years ago,  were little!
Insert pictures from June 2006 in New Mexico, oh my, look at my tiny kids!  
Anna with her broken arm! The first of 3 of them!!
Okay back to now!  I heard the announcement on the radio last month and filed it in my head, remembering 10 the month, 9 the date and 8 the time.  So this morning, 10/9, we headed to the Airport in Yuba City.  No one there!  But a flyer for the event at the Yuba County Airport in Olivehurst.  See we live in Yuba City, that is in Sutter County, but Yuba County is across the river.  Confused? That is where I live, permanantly!
We arrived and there is a whole lot of pilots, and only one group of kids ahead of us.  The boys were excited and ready.  My dear hubby, who had just got off work, went also!  He flew with the boys!

The twins were petrified.  They decided to stay on the ground.  I was bummed and thought, here I am wanting them to go, and yet I wasn't going.  I said, come on girls, I will go with you.  They were still scared but agreed to go!  We walked out to the plane, and the girls did not want to go.  I could feel it.  The people took pics of us:

Our pilot was Chris Matthews, and he explained every thing.

 We got in the plane, the girls in the back, me in the front.  We drove (taxied to the end of the runway) and I looked back and Anna has tears rolling down her face, she is so scared.  They have a death grip now on my hand. In a stroke of brilliance, I handed them the camera.  Both girls took turns and it got thier mind off the fear!

Chris, our pilot, showed everything, and they began to relax a bit.  We took off, and it was nothing, easy, and the girls giggled.  They started looking out and finding, pools, soccer fields, the lake, the river and Wal-Mart!!

They told me I didn't have to hold their hands anymore, they were no longer scared. 
 They started giggling and asking Chris questions and really got into the flight! 

We were in the air about 15-20 minutes.  We headed North towards Live Oak, then west to the Sutter Buttes (the smallest mountain range in the world) then headed back towards Marysville and the Airport in Olivehurst.  The landing was easy, and the girls bounced out of the  plane!   I took a little video on the plane, sorry for the bumpiness, that is me, and not the plane!


Friday, October 8, 2010

What a Week - Recap

Monday, we officially joined the NaNoWriMo, and the first task is to bury the inner editor, get rid of it, stop it from stopping you.  We colored fun little papers of "our inner editors" and then we buried them...Really!!
The idea is that you just write and write without worrying about spelling or grammar.  The inner editor makes you want to erase and redo, wasting precious creating time.  The kids were not real sure about it, but we had fun!

The kids went to Archery with Tony, and that is a real nice time for me, as it is the only time, that no one is asking me questions, and I have silence in the house.  I have almost 2 hours.  I am spoiled and it really helps my brain alot!!
Tuesday- The NaNOWriMo has invaded our school!! I taught a computer class today to all 4! Eric on my computer, Anna on the kid's puter, Abby on the school's laptop, and Gabe on my laptop.  I had set up gmail accounts for each of them.  They learned how to do their home pages and open email.  Then late afternoon, our friends that Pastor in Oroville were in town, so we met to babble at Starbucks and I had a Iced Chai! Beyond marvelous!!! Then, we splurged and had Wendy's for dinner!!  Needless to say, sleep came hard that night!!

Wednesday- My favorite day of the week, because we have bible studies.  We also started a new Science for my younger 3, called Christian Kids do Biology.  I was having a real problem finding Science that was going to teach Science not just theories.  I want them to know the theories, but know that they are theories. 
I enjoy this one, and it is set up for 2 days a week, perfect for our schedule!!  I like the author (homeschool mom) and she does real things that the kids seem to enjoy.  We read it together and do the concepts.  The beginning is a bit dry, but I read ahead and it looks perfect.
 By Wednesday, I am usually brain tired, so I took a small power nap, when I woke up there was this package waiting for me!!
From HONG KONG!! From Fhung!! I won a necklace from her!! I was so excited, I had to look at the stamps and all the fun parts.  Front and Back:

Isn't that cool? The green part is a custom's tag.  This package was a few days ago in Hong Kong!! oh but the best was inside:
A handmade necklace from Fhung and a magnet, which I think has her cute little face and the box!! She made the box!! It is delightful!! I am spoiled by her!! So everyone, go now and buy something from her Ztamph studio @ SBG!.

Thursday morning, cold and dark.  I was up way early, so thought I would get my beans cooking in the crock pot, I also had a small pork roast I wanted to put in the little crock pot.  (see, homeschooling takes my brain and by Thursday, the easiest dinner needs to happen).  I went into the laundry room to get the two crock pots.  I got the big one and the cord seemed tangled, so I pulled.  Wrong cord.  I pulled the cord to the deep fryer.  The one filled with oil. 
I wanted to sit down and cry.  I wanted to go back to bed.  I wanted to cry.  I didn't cry, sit down or go back to bed.  I knew I had no way of cleaning it, but I could get it ready to be cleaned!  I took a roll of paper towels and layed them on the spreading stinky gooey oil.  Then pulled everything off the floor I could get too. 
There is the now broken fryer.  Along with the *sniff*  *sniff* feather comforter that took the brunt of the spill.  If you remember a few weeks back, I had clean laundry room on my list? Well, I hadn't done it.
I called my AWESOME hubby and left a message, please bring home some cat litter.  He went to a janitorial supply and got the most wonderful greaser picker uppper.....and he cleaned it all up for me!!
We were able to keep schooling, and he knows how hard that is for me!  I was so relieved and surprised at how quick it picked up the grease.  We had a small Science lesson! 

So, he put it under the dryer, the washer and swept it up.  It had oozed everywhere!!  The kids kept working and I cleaned out the whole laundry room.  I threw so much stuff away.  This had become the catch all of the house.  I did cancel 30 minutes of school, so the kids could help me load up the thrift shoppe and garbage in the back of Tony's truck.

Amazing, that all that was in that room!! It feels so much better and now nothing is on the floor!!  I scrubbed the floor and it smells lovely.
 We then took all the stuff to Goodwill, and the garbage to the church.  Big huge dumpster!!  While we were there, I mentioned to Tony that there is archery on Thursday, so he took 3 of the 4.  Abby doesn't really like it, but she goes anyways on Monday.  She came home with me.  I scrubbed the kitchen floor, as there was a bit of grease from my feet and the such pulled out of laundry room.  I prepped dinner, and Abby washed down the driveway.
My cat, Lady Fluffypants? She ignored me all afternoon.  That is really what she does most days.
Oh wait, she is coming to me!! She loves me, she wants me to pet her and snuggle and love up on her!!

Erase that, she wants to show me her fluffy pants and ignore me.  I laugh at your ignore Lady Fluffy Pants, as my laundry room had a french fry grease bath today, and I am made of tougher stuff. 
Today, is Friday, and we don't do school on Friday, for me.  I need the day.  The boys slept til almost 10, the girls are up at the butt crack of dawn every day.  I got up at 5am, and had great plans. 
They came down too:
grocery shopping -Walmart and the local grocery store-new fryer!
add laundry!
  Just a hint, towels smelling yucky from kitchen or moldy in bathroom, do a soak in vinegar, for an hour or so and then wash with regular detergent, dry without fabric softers.  The towels are like brand new!! I washed all our towels today... they are so happy!
Off to make bacon, onion and mushroom swiss burgers for dinner!  I hope your week was full also!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

NaNOWriMO-no I am not playing Mork!!

It is so cool and so free!!  National Novel Writing Month becomes NaNoWriMo!  There is one for adults and then one for young writers that has the coolest workbook ever!! WE are all doing the higher elementary one, and started our game plan today!! 
My kids buried their inner editor today, put in sandwich bags and buried in the backyard! This is a fun thing! I took Grammar out of my high schooler's schedule and pulled the Writing Strands out of the 4th & 5th graders daily schedule. They are excited, and I am too!!  
Just wanted to let you know about it!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Good News, our ants are happy, happy, happy!

Last week, on a very hot day, our ants arrived:
Thirty were ordered, but it was hot and well, they were not amused in that little tube.  We already had an ant farm container with this new fun blue stuff.  I did the pouring, and Abby took the pictures. 
 They began running to and was obvious, that a few of the 30 was dead.  But the live ones were very lively.  We gave them some time to adjust.
They are very fun to watch!  
Now a full day went and no tunnels, I was bummed and Eric read the directions.  Ants need directions? We then push 4 holes into the blue stuff and the ants went wild!  I had seen this cool light that went with the ant farm, but it was like $15 and it wasn't happening.  Last week, I ordered Christian Kids do Biology program and the light was on clearance for $3!  I ordered it and I am so glad I did!! It is beyond cool watching the ants now:
 Now with the lights off and the blue on:
Can you see the cool little ant?  Tony is so mesmerized.  The kids come in and look and move on.  Last night Tony stood and watched them connect a tunnel for a good 10-15 minutes, I was lucky enough to get the blow by blow play call of the ants accomplishments!