Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Messing with template

I've been fiddling with my existing template, as well as looking for a new one... so things will be fluid here for a while.

WFMW - Free Video Maker!

I haven't been doing WFMW long enough to have a "best of." So I'm going to go ahead and post something new, because I'm so excited about this nifty neat free tool I happened upon through the blogvine...

At One True Media, you can easily put together video montages, photo books, etc. The one thing I've tried is the video montage. To put it together and share it via email and your blog is free! If you want a DVD of it, it's a pretty penny, but I'm thrilled with what you get for free. :-)

Here's my first project - The Reunion Montage.

KBC Reunion Montage

Monday, September 25, 2006

I finally remembered

I told Johnny I'd get him this picture, and I've been forgetting...

and one with Davey -

Note - This post done with old-fashioned HTML, thumbnails and all, because the blogspot image thingy-ma-jig was not working. Rarr! I feel so fabulously nerdy!

That's my girl...

I'm trying to figure out what to fix the Blessings for breakfast this morning, and I ask Grace, "What do you want to eat, Grace?"

She thinks for a bit.

"Ummm.... Chocolate."

"Did you say Chocolate?"


Yessiree, that's my daughter alright.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fall Into Reading

Katrina over at Callapidder Days is hosting a Fall Into Reading Challenge.

I don't feel like I have a complete list, because I've had a very busy weekend, but I'm going to post what I have at this point, because I need a bit of a push to get some reading done. The Cumberland Books catalog is superb reading, but I should probably not re-read that until mid-December, eh?

So here's what I have so far, in no particular order or fanciness -
Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
Uprising - Erwin Raphael McManus
The Complete Fairy Tales - George MacDonald
Adela Cathcart - George MacDonald
Wulf the Saxon - G.A. Henty
A Brother Beloved - Francena H Arnold
Three Shall Be One - Francena H Arnold
Twice Freed - Patricia M St John
Stories by O'Henry - (surprise!) O'Henry

I'm also wanting to go onto the Gutenburg Project and get some older biographies and autobiographies. But I don't have time to do that tonight, so I'll update my list later.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Capturing the Educational Moment, Part 2

This is my entry to win a camera in the "Capture the Educational Moment" Contest sponsored by Spunky and Academic Superstore.

Well, Mama can't resist an entry about her children's educational moments.

We have been blessed to be a part of a growing homeschool support group in our area, which has been all kinds of wonderful for our family. One big blessing for us has been the Friday classes. We have two 10 week sessions each year where classes are offered that most parents can't do at home. Things like art, taught by a true artist; choir, directed by a mom with a Masters degree in Music; Spanish, taught by a mom who was a missionary in Ecuador for years; strings classes taught by a proficient violin player.

Besides loving opportunities to visit with other like-minded moms, I love that these classes are not restricted by age. Our six Blessings, ages 3-10, can sing in choir and paint in art alongside children of all ages.


Capturing the Educational Moment...

This is my entry to win a camera in the "Capture the Educational Moment" Contest sponsored by Spunky and Academic Superstore.

My first impulse on hearing of this contest, was, as a homeschool mom, to write about some fabulous educational moment in our home. That could still happen, but for starters I've decided to write about my inspiration to become a teacher.

Miss Entz, my third grade teacher, was a life-changing teacher. She was of the few adults that I knew, besides my parents, who didn't talk down to kids just because they were kids. She treated us with respect and we returned that respect.

Many of the "educational moments" from my time in Miss Entz's class were due to her ability to think outside the box.

I struggled with grasping how cups, pints, quarts and such fit together, so she had me play at the kitchen sink measuring water into Mason jars.
I still think of the "greater than" and "less than" signs in terms of the green laminated alligator wanting to "eat" the larger number.
We performed the Nutcracker, and the Pied Piper, among other things.
We had "Christmas around the World" throughout the month of December, I think. My family lived next to the school, and I have in my head a photograph taken of me as St. Lucia, acting out the Swedish Festival of Lights by taking "breakfast" to my mother in bed (the whole class was in our house, and it was the middle of the day).

These are a few of the special moments Miss Entz gave our class. She inspired me to teach. And though I did not realize back then that I would one day be teaching my own children in my home, her respect and creativity stick with me to this day. If I'm half the teacher she was, my children will be very blessed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Arghh! Blogging time escapes me!

I want time to write about our weekend camping trip with FoMM, post pictures of said camping trip, write about all my splendid little new projects, etc, etc. But I must go do breakfast with the Blessings. Maybe later.

I'll just post this picture of me with a couple of my dearest friends (from the reunion a couple weeks ago):

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Apple Picking

We went on a wonderfully fun field trip with our homeschool support group today. We picked apples at an orchard - the first time our family has had the opportunity to do so. We've picked berries, and somehow I went with the expectation that it was going to be tedious that way, but no! It was easy and fun, and the apples are oh so fabulously yummy. The cost for the excursion with $4/child, including a hay ride, a small petting yard, a maze, a delicious cup of cider, a tall playset with nifty slide, and a bag for apples that holds 6-7 lbs. $4. 6-7 lbs. Around here, that's a real steal. And some of the best and juiciest apples I've ever had.

You can kind of see the issue my camera had today. That "diffused lighting" effect? Not intentional. Got most of the way through the day before I realized I needed to clean my camera. Looking through the pictures, it created a wide range of effects, some quite pleasing.

Grocery shopping on the way home, roast in the oven, and now I need to start getting ready for our camping trip this weekend!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

God-given Instinct

My three year old... my youngest child... my child who has never seen me rock or burp a baby...

was just now standing by my desk, baby doll in arms. She had the baby on its tummy over one arm, well supported, while she patted it gently on the back. And the sway. The child has the sway.

So very precious.

WFMW - Homeschool Records

I homeschool in Missouri, where we are required to keep, among other things, a daily log of our schooling hours. The process of logging hours has, quite frankly, been the bane of my existence as a homeschool mom. One of the things that makes it difficult for me is that we are not required to produce our records unless we are called on the carpet (aka - accused of truancy). It's a remote enough possibility that it's unmotivating on a day-to-day basis, but real enough that I wouldn't want to chance having my kiddos taken away because I didn't have them "in school" as required. Then there's that whole Romans 13 thing with authority being given by God. So, yeah. Gotta log.

Well, I'm a computer person. I never thought I'd make that statement, but my husband's turned me into a minor geek. So I've looked for computer driven solutions to my logging problem. I've been excited about several nifty programs, but none of them worked for me. Well, it wasn't the programs that failed. It was me.

Long story short, I realized that, as a simple schooler, I need a simple logging program! And, I have found by many trials and many errors, I need it to be on paper. So I set out this summer to create as simple a logging program as I could, and yet one that would help me meet the requirements of my state.

LoggingSimply.xls is the result. I did the sheets in Word at first, but after a couple of months of using it, I love it so much that I want to share with other desperately simple schoolers. I thought I'd spiff it up a bit by putting it in a spreadsheet file, so things could be lined up properly (something I wasn't worried about too much myself), and all in one downloadable file. If you're interested, you can take a look.

NOTE: I have done my best to follow WFMW guidelines, but I'm new at this, so if you see I've done something wrong, please let me know gently. Thanks, and God Bless!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Having trouble spitting stuff out...

Despite the fact that I have lots of thoughts running around inside my head, I've been having trouble making my way to blogland to spit them out. And tonight probably won't be much better.

But I did get pictures from the KBC reunion posted here, under KBC 50 Reunion_People and KBC 50th Reunion_Grounds. Also some neat pictures of a field of sunflowers under the Scenery album.

Wild New Background

Well... is it too wild? It's a clip from some shots we got of a field of sunflowers on our way home from Kansas.

Here's one of my favorites from the same field:

A laundry addendum

I don't think I mentioned that the Blessings, for the most part, do their own laundry. The day that is their laundry day is the day **they** do their laundry. Hence the oldest two doing the laundry of the youngest two. And when Kate and Grace get big enough, the boys will use that day to teach them how to do their laundry.

And my sons shall never say when they're in college, as my brother did repeatedly, "Mom, can you show me how again??" lol Not that my brother didn't remember how to do it! But I think our boys will be so used to doing laundry by then that the thought of asking wouldn't occur to them.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Works for me Wednesday - Laundry for Ten

With six Blessings and four adults sharing one washer and dryer, laundry can pile up fast. Here are a couple things that have worked for me (inspiration thank-you's to Managers of Their Homes and to a fabulous mom of 10 who spoke at our homeschool support group meeting last year).

** Each child has a dirty laundry drawer. Not in their dresser (yuck!), but the plastic kind you can stack atop one another. So there's a stack of three in the girls' room and three in the boys'. I printed out a picture of each child (about 3" by 3"?) and packing taped them to the front of the drawers (yes, if I were really a cool homeschooling Mama, I would have contact paper, but somehow that never gets in the cart...). Anyhoo, the pictures make it super easy for each child to know which drawer is theirs, even the non-readers.

** Each child has a laundry day. The two oldest (who are boys) do the laundry for the two little girls, cause it's easy to sort. So, Monday is D and G, Tuesday is B and K, Wednesday is E, Thursday is E. I try to wash sheets on Friday, if they haven't been snuck in during the week.

** Adult laundry, along with towels and such, gets snuck in when the Blessings aren't doing their laundry - often in the evening or first thing in the morning.

Note - I don't manage to do this consistently every week. But when I do, it makes a huge difference! Hope that helps someone out.

EDIT - I've added an additional thought here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Moms for Modesty

We just got back from several days in Kansas (about which I have Much To Blog!) and I found this wonderfulness from Jules over at Everyday Mommy:

Moms for Modesty Mission Statement
*As a Mom for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.

*I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.

*I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter(s) to dress in an immodest manner.

*I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter(s) this truth.

*I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls' and young womens clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.