Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day!

We got to eat Indian food tonite. Well, 4 of us and not the schnitzel boy. Jal frezi, rogan josh and chicken korma with naan and safron rice warm the heart and fill the tummy on a night as thick as pea soup out there. No flying until January, but maybe some school come Monday the 29th. Yep, I'm just about mean enough to get a few days at the grind stone while Daddy goes back to work for the week. I do sometimes miss my old job of substitute junior high teacher and then I realize, I'm spending time with some of the most important people in my world.

Type at y'all next year. For now, I watch a little House on the nasty tv and plan field trips for the new year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FRIGID!


Home schooling on the go this week. With sledding included after lessons today. We appreciate hills in Iowa now that we've seen the lack of hills in Chicagoland. It's just that there are the trees at the bottom which aren't too handy. Where's the chainsaw? Mommy needs a lesson on a new power tool!

BTW, we included the great circle route in the lapbook as well as three or four of the minibooks from Homeschoolshare.com country report site. Many of the pieces are from train or site tickets which we experienced on the trip. It will all be stored in their school binders after I show it to the other set of grandparents this weekend.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter observations

The brightest moon I've seen just went to bed after keeping me up in the middle of the night. The owl that was whoot-doot-doodling on the tree outside my window around 2 am. is gone to bed too. There are still reindeer "food" and snow angels out there in the yard though. A beautiful new day awaits...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Space Rocks or Asteroid Belt, either way it's cool

We've moved into the chapter in astronomy about asteroids, meteoroids and the like. I also played the Bill Nye episode about comets and meteors. It was difficult to resolve the time spans discussed during the video and the reading, but I pray that these three will continue to understand that in His own time frame, The Creator made it all. It's a fine line for someone who's studied Earth Science for over twenty years. Lately, I've been trying to claim Psalm 90:4 "For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The last major site

We visited the Deutsches Museum on the only inclement weather day and it was a bit rainy. My favorite places were coffee with the little girl in the Internet Cafe and the basement Kinderreich with an amazing water display that helped to explain locks and damns. The next time they encounter those I hope that it is on the Mississippi River near Keokuk Iowa where I first saw it as a kid. Afterward we ate chinese food across the street.

This was definitely worth the stress of getting 7 people on an international flight stand-by. It wasn't free to fly, but it wouldn't have ever, ever been possible had we not taken the opportunity to try. God has a plan and we all learned a great deal on the trip even how to say hello and goodbye, our numbers in German. We learned that it isn't always possible to go to the bathroom for free, if you wish to sit down that is. We learned that even the most picky eaters would like kiwi and schnitzel, zaurbraten and apricot juice. We learned that we didn't need to see the inside of Mozart's home this time. We learned to stay together and follow the leader who had been there several times before. We learned to trust him as he knew what he was doing most of the time and was thrilled to share it with the rest of his family.

Of course we did Neuschwanstein!


How could we go that far and not visit the castle that inspired Disney or gave Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a place to land? It was the first organized tour I'd ever been on. Yep, I gave in to the luxury and swallowed every word the guide gave us. The children rode the train well by playing cards, drawing and yes, playing the leapster. It was a two hour trip and the day was beautiful for us to see the countryside, but the return trip was dark nighttime. I just couldn't get over how good Wagner had it to be bankrolled by Mad King Ludwig. The castle was still beautiful both inside and outside in the winter. I enjoyed the mosaic floors, but couldn't get over the lack of wildlife along the walk except for crows. I was looking for European Buckthorn which is such an alien nuisance here, and I found it in many places. We even listened to the tour guide when he told us a good place to eat on Leopoldstrasse named Wurthaus Brez'n. He was right.

BMW Museum and Olympiapark


While the girls shopped up and down Marienplatz, the boys went off to explore BMW and see a little of the 1972 Olympic Park. The big hit was the 1938 model car and the yellow one person car with the door in the front. Boys are so intrigued by this type of mechanical/ transportation history...

Chinese Tower and Englischer Garten


We stopped on the way back to our hotel one night at the Chinese Tower for their market and for a 3G ride on the carousel. It wasn't so glamorous, but it was memory making. There was a wonderful train set up inside a display for our kids too. Everyone enjoyed the hot, sugared nuts from each market too. There were many displays of food including a hot meat/cabbage combination as well as a crepe made with nutello. Scrumptious
The garden near our hotel was huge with a wonderful, full stream flowing through it. I wonder if this garden wasn't bigger than New York's Central park. It was big. We traveled through it on the tram to the subway to the train and had a wonderful visit in Munchen on public transport only.




Christmas Markets / Christkindlmarket

The Daddy had taken 3Gs down to Daley plaza last year for his first Christmas market, but I skipped it in favor of a quiet, warm Saturday on my own. This year, however, we visited many Christmas markets all over Munchen and Salzburg. My favorite was the Medieval market near Odeonsplatz in Munchen. There were fire breathers at the top of a high platform which my youngest G drew for us the next day.




The tea towel calendar is from the markets in Salzburg. It is for German, Italian and English speakers and is arranged differently than most calendars. I liked the German costumes and my green colors. The ornaments are for souvenirs. I saw them in each market and the tags say that they were made in Germany.
I could have spent so much more time in the Berchtesgadener Christmas market, but it's all good. I sure don't regret skipping the cuckoo clock purchase, because I may get a new bathroom sink instead. Trade-offs are ok.
I did purchase several single figure play mobil pieces that my Gs played with on the 10.5 hour flight home. The little girl, her gramma and I enjoyed shopping for those at Karstadts and Spiels toy sections. The children definitely enjoyed the chocolate covered eggs filled with small toys to put together inside (Kinder candies).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Marienplatz on the front and back side of our visit



We arrived into Munchen after a successful flight from Ohare on Wednesday, November 26th. In order to try to acclimate the children for the new time change, we took a walking tour from our temporary hotel on the south side of the main train station to Marienplatz. We found Augustinerbrau for dinner even though we weren't ready for white boiled sausage yet. We ate bretzli or pretzels. The children are beginning to like schnitzel. On the back side of the visit, we found the noonish performance of the Glockenspiele on New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) with Frauenkirche in the background. But while waiting we found an indigenous music group in the tourist information center. I assume they were from Peru, but they sure spoke German well too.
We found that there would be an organ concert at Frauenkirche on Tuesday night before we headed back to the states which was a must see. The children even survived the concert quite well a week later surrounded by adults. You know, it was an amazing blessing to do this trip with the odds we had. Four adults to three children is always recommended or at least out number the children by somewhat prepared adults whenever possible. Everyone appreciated the Lavazza Italian coffee even though this mommy would have preferred a regular shot of Starbucks.
BTW, we didn't do any American chain food along the way and were working hard to avoid it for the entire trip. We did have to visit the Hofbrauhaus for Daddy's ox nuckle dinner. Or pigs nuckle, I can't remember. It's all the same though. I found a new brilliant drink made from carbonated apple juice called Apfleshorle. I love it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Out of order already, but...



I'd better show you some pictures from Salzburg Austria before I forget. Actually, we couldn't take pictures at the salt mines near Salzburg (ever wonder why Salz-burg sounds like salts-burg?). We got to slide down the miner's slide just like Rick Steeve's said we would. It was the boys, the Daddy, me and the Gramma. We got all gussied up in the suits and wondered around underground while Grampa and the girl explored Berctesgarden (sp?). She had puked all along the drive through part of the Alps only after moving her twin brother up a seat because he had been turning green. I now know that Dramamine is my friend.

Start at the end - here's the landing story



This is the image from our first visit to the new Ohare runway 27R in September. Trust me, it didn't look like this when we landed Wednesday afternoon during a winter weather advisory.

Thanksgiving was...

an attitude of my heart. Well, I WAS traveling abroad for a week with my husband, his parents and our three children. It was made easy to thank God for my blessings while wondering around Salzburg Austria after a puke-filled ride in the Alps and an adventure to the salts mines that Rick S. tells us about on his tv show. We finally found a what to eat for a meal? A Turkish restaurant not a mile from our place to rest that night. I had wanted to be in Turkiye for Thanksgiving, but eating the Doner Kebab that included veil and turkey meat was most excellent instead. I was thankful and I did have an attitude of thankfulness for all the thorny stuff of the year too. the decade. my life.

Can you say the same thing?

When you do say the same thing, how does that influence your relationships with your spouse and your children?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Daily Checklist

Monday morning school continues, but for now we're making Christmas cookies from a family snickerdoodle recipe. YUMMMY!


Color changes...

Ok, black background indicates a down time for our h-s household. We accomplished the Mars chapter and finished a talk about the spread of Islam. We read another story about Sindbad and received a new book to cover the Narnia chronicles from Veritas press. Boy #1 has lost 3 winter hats and it's not even December!

Technically yes, we'll continue to teach to the moment while trying to get to Munich Germany and Salzburg Austria for the Thanksgiving holiday with the paternal grandparents, but no insight into the h-s workings from here. Besides, they live not 100 yards from a propane truck wreck in SLC and were forced to evacuate their home for 12 hours yesterday, so won't be into ORD until tomorrow. I'll post to the facebook place if I actually get a seat on the outbound plane, but otherwise we're signing off for a hiatus.

But, before I do, here is a question. DO YOU RECYCLE? Why? Why not? Is it a way of living or just a hindrance to your successes? Are you easy to it or does the company that collects it make life difficult?

Also, if you were allowed by all the members of your household, would you hang your clothes out on the line to dry? Why/ why not?

Lastly, do you or have you ever bought turkey on sale during this time of the year to freeze for later servings or are you disgusted by the thought?

Love to all ;- )

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Home-school nature hike - Yahoo!

We're up to 67 days of school today, kicking and screaming. But, there was the incentive to go to St James Farm for a nature hike today with Ranger Kev from the DuPage county Forest Preserve. Our Daddy was able to attend with us for the first time in a year of attempting these outings. The 600+ acre farm was recently acquired by the Forest Preserve from the McCormick's of the International Harvester heritage. According to the history lesson today, Mr. McCormick invented the reaper in 1920 in order to make farming faster and more efficient. These people who owned today's site may not be the exact inventor's direct family, but they were involved in the collection of wealth due to the company's success. It had been since June at West Chicago prairie that we'd done a nature hike. But today, unlike June, there were no mosquito's. It was cold and windy. There were flurries while we stood outside in the weather, but we got a good walk out of the trip and we were witness to sand hill cranes moving south. Very cool for the Mommy.

Tonight G#1 is building a popsicle bridge with the Daddy for a Boy Scout activity. The little girl is cleaning the crayon off the carpet under her desk. Her twin brother is recovering from scarfing down home made pizza. I'm listening to The world is flat by Thomas Friedman.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not so easy...

As the holidays approach, I'm seeing a trend towards non-work attitudes. We are finishing Mars and chapter seven of SOTW2 about the spread of islam before we attempt to take off next week. But it is like cutting teeth here. It got cold too.


The highlight is that I received a new album for me. It's a mix of styles, that is southern blues and New Orleans blues, because, well, it is done by Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis. Two men with the Blues is fun today and is a welcome break for my children from Opera and Classical music while they work. That is not to say that the K-Love isn't still playing somewhere in the house too.


We started listening to the Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One more thing!

When was the last time you tempted disaster by shopping at the thrift store? I'm constantly faced with whining people who say that they don't have any jeans without holes in the knees. AND someone actually said last week that I should have also bought sweaters for them when I bought 3 sweaters on 1/2 price sale at Christopher and Banks. SO, I asked half the team to shop at Sam's last night and then one helper to come with me to the Salvation Army store further down the strip mall. I found dozens of jeans with knees in the sizes that I needed. I found ten sweaters that met my ctq's. So, I asked the Daddy to help me evaluate the pile and came away with 7, yes seven, pairs of jeans with knees AND 5 church sweaters for 35$ total. I came home and immediately washed everything and it all is just wonderful! I will have jeans for kids who love to play outside with their neighborhood friends and not worry or spar with people who think that it makes perfect sense to wrestle in mud puddles with jeans that are not torn.

Sorry, we don't subscribe to low waste lines and sliced jeans at our home. Yet...

Rambling...

G#1 and G#2 got well-kid checkups and immunization shots Thursday. It was the first time they had seen a doctor since leaving Kansas 2 years ago. I can't help that they are very good at eating right, drinking plenty of water and escaping peril at every turn. That's God's job to keep them safe. They enjoyed the introduction to our family doctor that I've seen and Daddy has seen since in Illinois. The daddy was actually working from home Thursday and Friday after returning from his business travel to SFO with a sinus infection. G#3 got to stay home with Daddy while the other 2 got shots.

I returned from the doctor's office to find that the blue bathroom toilet was dead and it was removed later that night. Actually, it almost took my left index finger with it when I extracted the toilet tank from the 30 year old bolts that barely grasped it. So, now I've finished painting that wall and we've purchased a new white toilet to update that bathroom a little.

On the h-s news, everyone enjoyed sand art several times more this week. We learned about islam and how the story goes that Muhammad was visited by an angel with what he was supposed to recite. We've worked a ways through the study of Mars and all three children are subtracting and adding without great pain.

I took them to the grocery store to buy food pantry items for their AWANA assignment. Each gave 2 or 3 dollars so that we could take in food, but I made them add up the totals of each item in order not to go over their budget. I actually made them use cash at the drug store and hardware store for things that Daddy needed. I've fallen into the trap of demonstrating that all things can be paid for by some credit card Jeannie.

We'll continue to dress warmly and prepare for the attempt to get to Munich for Thanksgiving. We're practicing our common German phrases and I'm trying to get familiar with the geography of Bavaria. It'll be quite a trip to get all five of us and the two grands on stand-by, but it'll be worth it if we can accomplish the mission.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't be discouraged by inconveniences

Yes, it's cold and rainy in chicagoland, but it isn't that inconvenient. Not like what a CM&A missionary named Lisa spoke about at women's Bible study today. I was surrounded by women who visited warmly. My kids were just fine in the "nursery" with other kids their ages because of the national holiday today, that is Veteran's Day. Lisa spoke of her role in Gabon West Africa. She is a nurse who grew up in New Church and is here on a break from the field. She spoke of eating bush meat (i.e. porcupine), termites eating everything (including her clothes), and constant car or motion sickness/ nausea. She is a strong, young lady who works to stay healthy even when she is in the field a world away from her mom and caring family/friends. Something she relayed from her supervisor there in Africa for CM&A struck me profoundly. He claims that the goal is not so much to bring the west to the rest, but for the local reached to be used to witness to the unreached. Sure it's a tough job if you consider the mom home schooling her kids right here in suburbia, but imagine the horrible work it takes for locals there in the witchcraft run west African jungles to share hope to people with AIDS/HIV+ and all kinds of other life-threatening, painful ailments.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday Beef Roast & Gravy!

Yes, that's correct! I've made my own beef gravy without my gravy mentors or mom on the phone to walk me through it. My kids ate the beef roast without complaining. It was tasty. I've not baked one for over 2 years because of all the whining and moaning from the table of hungry people before. It's about time considering that I'm 40+ years old and it's my very favorite side dish at a meal with a decent baked potato handy.

I've also signed up for facebook and I'm really not sure if I like it or not. A bit addicting I must admit, but didn't keep me from getting through a bit of schooling on Monday with all three Gs doing well. We're listening to A door in the wall on tape from the library because it will have so much to do with our history lessons very soon. Today we finished talking about medieval India and will move on to the rise of islam tomorrow. Mars is going well so far and all the rest, spelling to math, didn't cause huge wailing and moaning today.

The little girl is enjoying a lesson from Draw and Write. She didn't even know that she is doing a lesson in art. I'll post it when she is done.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Triumphant Friday!

Legoland Chicago is conquered. Leads me to dream of other lego sites... Cold weather is here. Flurries even. I'm in the mood to plan my listening entertainment while preparing for the holiday season. The possibility of my kids listening to the Door in the Wall by de Angeli and me for The world is flat by Friedman exists. I've read From Beirut to Jerusalem by Friedman once upon a time, that is in another life stage, but never forgot how it struck a chord in me. So, for the children, Door in the Wall or the Narnia Chronicles to listen and follow along in the unabridged text. I've got my zen back from the shop where they replaced the motherboard because I administered too much electricity while plugging it into a usb jack for charging. OOPS. Won't do that again ;- )

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We're on to CASTLES!

Check out the new link to a site which teaches about the Romans in Britain. We hope to prepare the 3Gs for a 2010 visit to Scotland for the Daddy's momentous birthday. There are all kinds of opportunities to see castles and learn about Romans in Bavaria later this month. But for today, we've finished study about the moon and are listening to a chapter from history about medieval India. I can't wait to see how the kids react to a sand art activity suggested in the SOTW2 activity book. The sand art is actually from OTC and is pictures of the Nativity Story, but it's still sand art.

Pray for G#3 today please. He gets his shots updated at the doctor's office this afternoon. I hope to keep him focused on the trip to Legoland at Woodfield Mall tomorrow with the Daddy. HOPE

[Update on the bravest boy in the world today who got 4 shots! He is still the bravest boy today and enjoys the new lego magazine and a little playdoh right before the Rescue heros movie starts shortly]

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Still Indian Summer here in suburbia

I'm untouched as yet by the changes that occurred in the nation last night. My kids are still reluctant to do their studies. I'm still nursing a cup of 8'o'clock brand coffee. We've a busy day today and yet, I'm not rushing it. Such a day as this, for such a time as this...

I may even still be reeling from an article I stumbled across from a magazine I was given yesterday. I wonder if you can read about 52 weeks here and what your reactions are.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The calm before the storm...

All day, it's been a bit calmer here in chicagoland. I wonder if soon, very soon, the election whatnot will hit the proverbial fan.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Moving on to the Moon

WOW, it seems like a million years or miles - however you want to look at it. We've introduced the Moon, read about it and now completing Notebooking2Learn's mini books about the only natural satellite of the Earth. So, I've added the moon phase calendar. Hope it works so we can track the phases of the moon.

I was able to wax rapsodic about the Hagia Sophia this past week too. Our history chapter discussed Byzantine emporor Justinian. It made me almost homesick for a different place anyway. I've also finished reading book 14 of the Roman Mysteries series and now have to wait for the libraries in this area to buy book 16. Yes, they don't intend to by book 15 for some reason. I really do love reading about the time period of the Early Church.

Everyone survived spelling, reading and math for the week. Our familiarity with German phrases and outline map is growing. The 3 Gs start quickstart tennis this morning and are off to do the Home Depot kid project first before the lesson. Lastly, halloween was fun for the kids as they got to t or t in the neighborhood with friends from church then got to take neighborhood kids to New Church for the Trunk or Treat event where Daddy decorated his car trunk like a shark and wore his poopy suit and submarine attire.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week Ten Complete!







And, today is the last day of boy soccer. It's a bit brisk out here in Chicagoland, but those kids are determined to hold up their end of the team this morning and then go to the coach's party at McD. Later, the older boy is doing his part for the scout troop at school/church And then we all go to eat spaghetti at a fundraiser for the babysitter's high school band. I've added a picture of our bike trip last week in the woods and would have had the boys on bikes too if it weren't for the fact that they are fast. They'd already rounded the corner before we could get them in the picture.
Our babysitter has spent over 2 years in Germany and helped us with a lapbook study that we started yesterday. Some of the other Notebooking2Learn moms recommended that I teach the kids a few key phrases and their numbers. So, since Daddy and I had a date last nite and the babysitter was coming over anyway, she got to let them hear the accent and all those consonants in each word. HA! German is new to me and it'll be interesting to see how things go come November.
This week we got the little boy's staples out of his head where he'd been hurt on the SFO trip 10 days ago. It was a great trip to the doctor's office for him. Also, all three kids had a spectacular trip to the dentist who does such a wonderful job with them. No cavities AND loose teeth where they are supposed to be AND front teeth just below the surface finally coming in to a cheesy smile. JOY!
Everyone is very excited about halloween this next week and I'm excited that it's not snowing yet ;-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bike Riding at Fullersburg Woods

It is a beautiful day to ride bicycles as a family. The leaves in the forest at Fullersburg Woods weren't quite right, but the breeze was just right. Everyone went round the paths without complaining. The little girl may even be getting better at peddling... ;-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Exploratorium Visit





It was a wee bit of a haul from our airport hotel room, but it was an opportunity to field trip for free as part of our ASTE membership. We took the free hotel shuttle to the airport. We then rode the BART to Montgomery station with my new full-price round trip tix and the kids' Sunday discounted tix. THEN we took the 30 Stockton bus to the end of its path. We saw things that we'd seen on Sunday during the bus trip IE. Union Square, Chinatown, Pier 39 and Hyde St Pier. But then we walked two blocks to see the Exploratorium. I was thrilled to have seen my children experience this place, a landmark to remember. Yes, that is a cow's eye dissection. And when you turn around from the last landscape picture, you are next to the water that is just entered under the Golden Gate Bridge with container ships included.

Two out of three isn't bad

The sign says, "Please keep off rail."

Hyde Street Pier is a magnificent location for history, science, math and FUN! We took the daddy on a cable car past Lombard Street and Chinatown too Ghiardelli Square and Transamerican pointed tower.

A Sunday in San Francisco with Daddy


Not a painting, but a good day showing Daddy what we've seen and what we needed to see. Here the Gs are in Chinatown at the corner of Grant and Clay.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

True Women Galore!

While attending the True Woman conference in Schaumburg Illinois this week, I made some observations about the 6000+ mommys in the room. 99.9% believe you when you say that comfy shoes are better than heals while attending a conference. There were so many women and so little room on the conference hall chairs. I will be more exact and say that the conference chairs were not built for child-bearing hips sitting in a row. Simple as that...

I enjoyed hearing Dr Piper, Nancy Leigh Demoss, Mary Kassain, Karen Loritts, Holly Elliff, Devi Titus, and to some extent, Janet Parshall. I'd heard everything Mrs. Parshall said while listening to the Revive Our Hearts podcasts, so it wasn't that earth shaking. I met ladies from California, Chicago, Kansas, Missouri, Maryland and everywhere (except Vermont and Hawaii). There was a huge group from the Dominican Republic. I needed this time and now...

I have to pack for the attempt to get to SFO with Daddy and the kids. Take care :-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our little girl reads her first Little Golden Book!


Independent readers are popping up all over the place! Yes, first graders are reading stories and little golden books about a "shy little kitten." I'm pleased as punch and look forward to independent readers. Readers who read away hours of cold Chicagoland nights and days. I pray for time used wisely to explore pages and pages of books.

Monday, October 6, 2008

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

Our family enjoyed dinner with a young pastor and his wife from New Church last night. They pastor the 20 somethings group at church and they pray that God will take them to the Middle East mission field next summer. We shared some histories for each of us and got to know each other better. The children had spent some time with this couple one evening, shortly after they found out they were pregnant, while Daddy and I went to a meeting. But now, it's almost time for their first baby to arrive. I'm so glad to get to know them and their goals for the future.

Have you visited openly with one of your pastors lately? Real life visits are rewarding.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Brisk Chicagoland



I prepared the first hot chocolate of the season today too.

Wood floors in the living and dining room are done. School is still being held in my bedroom until Daddy is home long enough for us to move the furniture out of the library/den.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tell tale signs of autumn

Pumpkin spice latte is back, but it just didn't taste the same. It's nippy and moist in Chicagoland and I'm still drinking coffee, but maybe not a 5$ calorie laden cup of spiced latte anymore. Maybe it's my affair with my favorite tea, but maybe I've out grown the pumpkin latte. I'm anxious to save money for the Thanksgiving trip to Europe/ Asia Minor, but you'd think I could justify how much I deserve a decent latte. I went on a date to a new mom/pop Italian place on Friday night for a few hours with a stop at the bookstore to put my hands on travel books for Bavaria and Cappadocia, but waited to buy my choices on Amazon today. I'm even saving money for the trip by reading a kids' mystery series from the library instead of buying them or renting movies to fill my entertainment budget.

The series, btw, is called The Roman Mysteries, and I love it! I found it by searching for juvenile Roman fiction at the library. I made the kids listen to one of the books on the drive back and forth from Iowa. I started reading another book in the series to them out loud, because the library doesn't have the audio for it. But now I've read ahead and am on the next book. I made the Daddy read some to the kids (he's the expert in Latin btw). The story discusses a time period that I'm very interested in about the early church. The sermon today at New Church started a series on The Acts of the Apostles, which of course, delves into my favorite part of the world apart from Central Texas and western Iowa, that is Turkiye.

So, the rain stopped and the temperature is dropped. I've added a blanket to the beds and pulled out the cold weather clothes. I'm busy ripping up the carpet in the living room as the dining room is finished. The wood flooring is available for pickup anytime I'm ready to go up there and pay for it. I've contacted some people who are experts with power nailers, but in the mean time I'm set to prep the floors with black paper and the insulation level with a staple nailer. Soon the 17 boxes of flooring with arrive to set for 3 days and be power nailed by someone. Pray. Yep, I'm not big on asking for help and locating day labor. I will wait on the Lord according to His plan, but in the meantime to prepared for whatever He delivers.

And, btw, home school my kids, be a soccer mom, a gymnast mom, a piano lesson mom AND an AWANA mom all at the same time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

CORN FIELDS!

We got to do the first soccer game on Saturday morning and then drive to the Iowa City area. It's good to see corn fields! High lights for the weekend were riding bicycles in the culdesac at our uncle's house, enjoying all kinds of activities at the Iowa Children's museum benefit called "move it, dig it, do it" and visiting with maternal grandparents on Sunday for grandparents day. Thursday we get to visit with our paternal grandparents. It's good to get away and drive to the country every once in a while.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday Wiggles

We got the wiggles and giggles today. Can't help it. The breezes are cool and the windows are open. These three Gs are playing tag with their game hats pulled down over their eyes. Yes, they are crashing into each other and the laundry that I'm trying to finish. The oldest was outside for a few minutes to help with the recycling and got stung by a bee. No, he didn't die, but you'd think that was the most severe pain he'd ever knew in his life.

I'm also, between officiating independent work and laundry, trying to create a chore/work chart. The file from currclick created at Notebookingnook.com is full of just the right icons and tasks. These three children will someday need to keep track of their work as adults in an organized manner, but for now, the organization charts for school and chores will let us all know what is done and what is remaining to do.

BTW, maybe you could check out the article on msnbc about globe trotting kids. It's from an article in Forbes magazine. It would be wonderful to raise kids who lived in this world and knew how to navigate/deal with this world, but not of it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We didn't get away for the weekend, but...


My goal was to get in the minivan and drive away from Chicagoland, but we didn't. Friday we ate Mexican that was ok. The menu was fish-based and there weren't many choices, but what we ate was not fish and very good. Our little Eeyore finished a goal card and was rewarded with his choice in the Lego section of Target. The little girl decided she would finish her goal card and get an Easy Bake oven. Well, Saturday we still didn't drive away, but did get to the lumber liquidator store for, yes, the dining and living room floors. The decision was easy, but the move was labored. It will get more difficult to finish the payment and pick up the 17 boxes of pre-finished handscraped wood floors, but exciting. I get to rip up carpet! The 30 year old carpet is going the way of all things!!!


We stopped by a packed IKEA only to disappoint the children and find an even more packed kid's play place. They had to shop with us. We quickly found the pot rack, paid and got out. They were rewarded to play with their neighborhood friends once we returned home. Sunday we got to church and then later I accompanied the family to the pool. It was a bit disappointing that I still didn't drive away from the city, but got to watch my kids play blissfully in the pool. Eeyore did a belly flop from the high board which taught him a world of wisdom instantly. The little Pooh girl is holding her breath for at least 7 seconds each time she goes under water to play. AND Big brother is constantly looking for more adventures (wonder where he gets that from?).


Monday we stopped by the 1/2 price book store sale and found a cd-rom chess game with Lego characters, a recorder for one, a castle book for another and I just enjoyed the romp even though we didn't drive away from the city. BTW, I'm praying about spending next June and July on a farm somewhere. Anyway, I got to witness something amazing after returning from Target with the little girl. She did finish her goal card and did request an easy bake oven. BUT, I got away with granting her request for baking mixes and promising her a toaster oven she can take away with her to her own home some day. So, she did make her own 1.25$ cookie last night in the grown up oven and enjoyed it very much. I've promised her the mixes from the baking aisle at the grocery that cost less per serving for her next baking adventure. Wow, she'll be grown up soon!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A new week, A fourth week Oh Best Beloved

We've added Explode the Code as well as Spelling Workout today. We did well to discuss ancient India and listen to a few of Kipling's "just so stories." The sun chapter from Apologia wasn't so overwhelming at all and we'll finish it tomorrow. Then we'll go on to Mercury for a day on Thursday. We'll also review Ceasar and move on to the fall of Rome and the birth of a Savior.

My students did so much cleaning last week due to the fact that I inherited a different, new-to-us vacuum. There was a basil bread recipe for enticing workers. I also found the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Elgin on Saturday. That was interesting indeed. We recovered over a quiet weekend from the previous when an Iowa aunt and uncle with cousins visited. We had explored Millenium Park with the Air and Water show on the shore of Lake Michigan at Navy Pier.

So, soccer is in full swing and piano lessons begin too. I've signed up the little girl for gymnastics and we look forward to an adventure over Labor Day Weekend. We'll have 20 days of school by then, so hoorah for diligent students!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Soccer Started!

Both boys enjoyed their soccer practice last night and I enjoyed them on the same team. There was not as much running on the first practice, but it was a beautiful evening in Chicagoland. My little Pooh went off merrily to an Indian Princess meeting with Daddy and returned late very bouncy trouncy.



We finished ancient China and the Olympics study, and now have done a few days of ancient India too. We've studied the definition of astronomy and some information about the Sun. I'm prepping for a study of Mercury next week and the continuing saga of Rome through the end of SOTW I soon. I'm anxious to move on to the life of Jesus and the prophets because of my Fall Bible study in Acts. I'll be even more ready to get to a study on Byzantium because of my background in Turkish studies.



BTW, I was at the library (God bless those librarians in the Children's section of our Village library) and read a wonderful children's story from the non-fiction section called The Donkey of Gallipoli: A True Story of Courage in World War I. The artwork was wonderful and made me more interested in visiting Cannakkale some day on a trip to Turkey. I hadn't been there before because I don't usually visit sites of horrific destruction. I didn't have to see the Twin Tower site to know it happened and thousands died. I won't need to visit Auschwitz to know that millions died. I won't need to stand on Omaha Beach to know that freedom is paid by the lives lost. I certainly didn't go out of my way to find the site of death on the Aegean coast where so many died during WWI, but may now just to honor those who paid with their lives.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Almost without seams...

A few snags, but nobody got hurt (squirted with a water bottle though). We didn't sit at desks at all, but the kitchen table and library room floor. It was a reduced workload and we finished before lunch after doing Bible journey journal, prayer/pledge/ weather observations (stormy Mondays seem to be my first day of school destiny), described familiar curriculum materials and durations. We read a portion and narrated a fiction story that describes the Olympics to kids. We listened to a few stories of the world pertaining to ancient China and then finally accomplished a devotion draw/write from "Right Choices." We will be sitting in the green reading chairs soon. It was way too overwhelming to begin the first day of school without help from the Daddy (who flew for work to SFO) in the storm waking everyone for a super early breakfix. I didn't loose any of the materials I needed. We will watch an old version of Tom Sawyer before box pizza for dinner, but right now the students are building an imaginary legoland.
PRAISE GOD!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Words of Wisdom

Every once in a while when my strong-willed daughter gives it all up and starts to melt down, I've started to recite wisdom that I need to hear also. “Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."- Christopher Robin to Pooh by A.A. Milne -- Someday the CR in her life will need to remind her of that more/less often than she'd like. We all need those CR's words of wisdom.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I've registered!

I'm set to be at the Revive Our Hearts True Woman conference October 9-11th. I'm thrilled! I've even scheduled the "first quarter" of home schooling to end that week, so there is a natural break when my kids won't wig out that mom isn't around to corral them. You can register too and join me for a carpool.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

North Pole: discovered by Pooh. Pooh found it.

This is the day that the Lord is made and we will rejoice somehow and be glad in it. Please pray that these brilliant young scholars will be enticed by all that lays ahead of them today.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Sound of Music

The Dupage county fair did themselves proud by including Jars of Clay and Steven Curtis Chapman. My children enjoyed themselves with the fair activities, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry & the bovine class. I've seen so many 4-H projects and ribbons in my time. I've also seen Steven Curtis three times now and finally, I've enjoyed this third time. I don't remember much from the Omaha performance. The Kansas City performance was overshadowed by the opening act from Mercy Me. I still feel the impression that opening act made on me a few years ago for the Mercy Me Christmas sessions album. But, Thursday night, I got to enjoy Steven Curtis so much. And, my kids knew all the songs due to K-LOVE 94.3 on all the time. However, my youngest son fell asleep on the bleacher during the "Cinderella" song.

So, come Friday evening we usually spend dinner in a restaurant. But we'd spent so much at the fair on Thursday and the attachment of a hitch to the van meant breakfast for dinner at home. We set the children to a part of the movie, Sound of Music. They'd not seen it before. We promised that they could watch the rest tonight and so we have.

Today was a day for finishing the stairwell painting. The extension ladder was used safely and the daddy helped. Who says that a wife and husband can't paint together? "Not dead yet..." And, now we've done dinner with an ending note of strawberry shortcake & whipped topping. Time to say so-long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen!, good-bye because I'd like to see the rest of Sound of Music.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

BREAD GOOD!

  1. Yep, I've made 2 versions of this bread recipe in 2 weeks. Mega dietitian diva from Mennonite Pennsylvania Dutch heritage is such an amazing source of inspiration. This week it took the form of foccacia bread. Last week is was two loaves of beautiful bread. The recipe is called OATMEAL BREAD. It is as follows: combine 1 c quick oats, 0.5 c whole wheat flour, 0.5 c brown sugar, 1 T salt, 2 T butter and 2 c boiling water in food processor. I cooled to luke warm. I dissolved 1 pkg of yeast in 0.5 c warm water and added it in too. Then stirred in up to 5 c of white flour or as needed. When dough is stiff enough to handle, I turned it out onto floured board (I love my kitchen counter) and kneaded. I placed it in greased bowl, covered and let rise until doubled. I punched it down and let rise again. I shaped into 2 loaves the first time and into a greased jelly roll pan the second time. I let it rise again and baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30-40 minutes. I had to keep the crazies away long enough for it to cool on a rack. Then we cut into it and slathered generous helpings of more butter. This recipe originated in Manheim Pennsylvania, so is quite authentic.
I'm also considering the example of Kansas IT farmboy and his wife, supermom, to get a toaster oven because of its multitasking uses. They can host and they can prepare food for kids and parents alike at their house, so I'm sure that their choices of kitchen tools are ones to be considered seriously. You know, Alton Brown supports multi taskers and I often go to his books for wisdom.
We're off to the county fair tonight to see Steven Curtis Chapman. But first a stop at Whole Foods for superior granola and a stop at the nearby office store for school copying jobs. It's just around the corner ya know. Less than 10 days away. We're set to put the hitch on this van tomorrow in order to hook up the bike carrier for longer bike rides. That's when we get to stock up at the nearby Sam's for food that can accommodate our home school hectic, stressed-mommy schedule. More on those recipes later. But maybe a hint at one of my favorites, that is instant potato soup. I make a double recipe in a large container and mix 0.5 c of mixture in cup with hot water when sugar levels are low. 2.5 c instant mashed potatoes, 1.25 c powdered coffee creamer, 1 packet chicken gravy mix, 2 t salt-free Mrs Dash seasoning, 2 t dried minced onion, 2 t chicken bouillon granules & 0.5 t pepper.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hmmmm....

School pockets are hung and filled with folders and curriculum materials. The children thoroughly enjoyed their daddy's birthday trip to the planetarium aboard the METRA train and the free green triangle trolley. The best part was watching my kids enjoy the last stop at the planetarium. We ended our tour learning about travel to the moon with Jim Lovell's collection of artifacts. My husband asked as we left why the airport in Chattanooga was named after him, but we are yet to answer that question. A rainy trip to and fro, but an excellent way to spend the day.


Sunday we enjoyed our first new church picnic. It was wonderful for the kids to play and win starburst candies while I visited with people I usually see once maybe twice a week. We got home for the kids to play with neighborhood kids and then took a few to the pool for an hour.


I continue to plan our studies on ancient China and the Olympics as well as the journey journal at the beginning of the school day and materials for devotions at the end of a school day. I want to make sure that I know they know what's important some day. That is, I love them. And, God made them special and loves them very much.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New supplies arrived!



I'm beginning to ORGANIZE for August 4th. Believe it! We arrived early Monday morning in Chicagoland after an awesome weekend with friends in Johnson County Kansas, to a new box of school supplies. My first task is to hang and fill these storage pockets for my 3 Gs. I hope to encourage independent work by filling each pocket with one subject assignments for the week. Yep, it might be a little early to ask my 2nd and 1st graders to find something to do from their school pockets, but I've got to start somewhere. I know that the goal is to finish work for math (MUS), grammar (Explode the code), spelling (spelling workout B &C), penmenship (reason for handwriting) & president/ music/ art/ latin reports using online forms & library books for research by Friday afternoon. These are all morning activities scheduled to be mostly independent while I do guided work with each on First Language Lessons and Bible journey journal.

The afternoons 3x a week are set aside for SOTW and 2x a week for space then earth science. These afternoons are, by necessity, guided and can take as long as we need to do them. I know that nature hikes will be included here in these hours. Trips that require flights to where ever field trips take us will include work out of school pocket folders and necessary books.

I've also received a solar system model to complete while we go through some lessons from Apologia and from the list outlined by Jessica at http://triviumacademy.blogspot.com/. I hope to encourage Bible verse memorization and small scale artwork/sketching by displaying images in this postcard holder that arrived in the box too. We might also be able to mail ourselves postcards and display them here too. We'd welcome anyone else's notes here, that's for sure!


These are all mere attempts to keep these children on a schedule that they appreciate and respond to in other parts of our lives. And for me to not "fly by the seat of my pants" this year while trying to get it right the first time, because that's the one time that counts in home schooling.

Friday, July 11, 2008

This weekend ... in Kansas!

What, might you ask, are we doing this weekend? Well, we, me & 3Gs, got on the 2nd flight we tried out of ORD on Wednesday for MCI and our dear friend was able to pick us up from the airport and drive us to another friend's home for the weekend. A third friend lives just around the corner and she is lent us the extra vehicle for the weekend and now we're playing in the back yard ecstatic for play with old friends. What a blessing! I drive to pick up the daddy as soon as he can get here too. We've an appointment to visit with my coach/consultant homeschooling family tomorrow that I'm so looking forward too. We'll get a good visit with all our small group friends this weekend too. What a visit!!! This is the first time that the daddy has been back in over a year and a half since we moved 2 Christmases ago. I hope/pray to watch him relish this time too.

Independence Day Bike rides & more

I love my new bike. It's an old lady Amsterdam bike like I saw on our trip in March. It has 7 gears and I sit up straight on it with a wonderfully comfortable seat. It has a kick stand too. Priceless... AND there is a new lift to park it at the ceiling of the garage. Yep, they don't make garages big enough in Chicagoland, but the ceiling is high enough to park the mommy's and the daddy's bike with pulley mechanisms for easy and quick use/ storage. After lunch on a beautiful July 4th day, my kids and me AND the daddy got to ride over from our home to Mallard Lake Forest Preserve which was a 7 mile round trip. Well, it was fine for everyone except the little girl who is still struggling with training wheels. She got to have her training wheels all the way down on the trip back.



The next day we enjoyed our first visit to Kline Creek Farm, also a section of the DuPage County Forest Preserve. Our tax money is well spent on these activities for the family. We toured most buildings, played children's games from the 1890s, heard the Declaration of Independence read aloud, and watched a home made small hot air balloon fly off into the air. We then enjoyed a drive to the local pump it up business for a friend's birthday party. It was such a good day. The kids also got to put together birdhouses at Home Depot as the first Saturday of the month activity. I love visiting the home store and only buying one thing on our list. I'm getting better at not lusting after all the conclusion of all my house projects.



There are more important things to do with what God gives us. And then the sermon on Sunday had a message on Matthew 16:24-25 which is continuing to challenge me on what I can give up in order to enjoy what God wants for me. That's hard for me to explain though.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fun insights

I just got some insight from a fun survey I took about where I prefer to live. Try is and let me know what you think... http://www.blogthings.com/whereshouldyoulivequiz/

Also, one from Jessica of Savannah, GA, a survey about a personality preference towards the South or the North is found at http://www.blogthings.com/areyouayankeeordixiequiz/.

Lots of fun. My results were as follows:

70/30 Yankee from Iowa farmgirl "You're so Yankee, it's possible you've never even been to the South!" This is fun! It's true too b/c I've avoided East Texas, most of Georgia and Florida, all of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. I might also add that I do prefer to live in the central time zone over most definitely the East and West. The only other place to try on the North American continent is the mountain time zone for all kinds of majesty and personality.

"You are definitely an urban person, but not any old city will do. Live in a small city: You want a city that matches you well. For you, big cities lack individuality.You prefer a smaller city with lots of personality, local culture, and history." Small is good and I agree that the best stuff has happened in my life in Omaha and Johnson County Kansas, but all kinds of good stuff awaits in Chicagoland.

That's a gun Mom!


Yep, a pistil. That was the answer my kids remembered this morning when I used this broken lily to reinforce lessons on plants from last spring. We reviewed stamen, anther, filament, pistil, stigma and style. They remembered the purpose for the stem and leaves. I reminded them the photosynthesis term, but everything else worked. These children really are little sponges.


We enjoyed a summer visit to the prairie on Tuesday afternoon only after the application of mosquito repellent. We'd been there in the fall and now we've seen it with all the beautiful flowers on a restored mesic prairie in the middle of an industrial complex. Nope, there is no path; we just follow the ranger.
One of the ladies at new church is continuing her life with cancer. She just suggested in a prayer request email that we "Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly..." and to remember that "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain." It's as simple/complex as that.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A year older & a month wiser

Well, we've finished day camp (new name for VBS) at new church and I actually didn't hate being a shepherd to my 11-3rd graders. 8 boys all with names starting with J. I have enough trouble with 3 kids and G names. So, I had a few moments of brain dead adult. It was even more difficult to not be dimwitted as I turned 41 on Saturday after VBS (it's just what I call it and I'm not about to get politically correct here). I planned to show my kids and husband the immenseness of a rock quarry and then proceed to dig for fossils of the Ordovician Period. Now, for me the historical geologist just peeked around the corner of my personality until we drove the almost 2 hours (at over 4$ a gallon to fill the nasty minivan) only to find the quarry flooded.

You know, you can't always get what you want, but you generally get what you need (I'm a closet '70s music fan- yeah Z92). I got a beautiful drive with the family to Rockford IL and a tour in order to get more familiar with a very nice town (high water, but nice place). I was able to enjoy Indian food for my birthday dinner and a slow Monday morning to follow-up a not-so-brilliant birthday weekend. Well, compared to last year when I turned 40 in Istanbul, this was a bit of a let down, but to be with my family was essential this year.

Tomorrow we get to wander on a nature hike. I've also put the color-coded, weekly school schedule on a spreadsheet and I'm working on my to-do list in order to be ready for the August 4th beginning of 2nd grade for the oldest and 1st grade for my twins. I'm planned out for 176 days of school spread out over approximately 35 weeks for materials and curriculum. This year we don't have to fly by the seat of our pants. Yippeee

Friday, June 13, 2008

Painting in Living room & Entryway DONE!

Creme brulee is on most of the walls which is darker than what you might imagine. The focus wall is 3 shades lighter than that called Bonjour Beige. I have no idea where they get these names, but I chose the colors firstly b/c these were in the tan area of color wheel, but then finally on the name of the color from the company. My boys used the paint roller even though it was very heavy and the little girl was helpful to apply paint along the taped base boards. She is so much closer to that area than me and I taped it for help from the Daddy, but he wasn't able so the kids used the tape to their advantage. I never tape if it's just me painting, but this time I was wasteful and used a whole role on baseboards and ceiling boundary. It was a goal of the summer break and now it's done. Well, not quite all the way. I have to choose another shade for the stairwell and walls up the stairway. Daddy said that the creme brulee was too dark to go into the even darker space that has no light (yet).

The Daddy and little girl plan to go on a special girlclub campout tonite even though there is flooding in the general area of the camp site. The boys and I are on our own for 2 nites and a whole day. Maybe I'll get them to read a book with me. I read them a story about Ghenghis Khan yesterday that they enjoyed. Actually, the older boy started reading to me while I painted and when I was cleaned up I finished the story. It was part of my plan to study the Far East before August one. We started the Ms Frizzle book on Ancient China last night too. They are excited about the DK book on the Olympics that I'm starting soon.

It's time to supervise the AC guy outside fixing the condenser so I'll sign off for now. He may need some help against the kids out back too. HA!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Other Summer break activities




I've just found a new interesting blog http://handmadehomeschool.wordpress.com. They seem to be very multi-cultural, all too welcome to this Iowa farmgirl in suburban Chicago (I can only get so much from the walk thru IKEA). The latest reading material include the above pictured books. I've actually used librivox for The Burgess book.
Number one boy just lost his 2nd front tooth and enjoyed the book very much.
I'm beginning books about China with the purpose of covering ancient Asia and China before we officially begin school again at the beginning of August (prior to the 2008 Olympics in China). I've actually been accused of CIA behavior/writing and I fully intend to exercize my skills in home-schooling as well.
The little girl still insists on bringing up the issue of a purchase.

Calm, Monday morning

Sleeping in while the kids play games, build lego-creations and fix their own breakfast. Yep, they get their own cereal, toasted & cream-cheesed bagels AND juice these days. Soon they'll be going off to college and by-gum, they'll know how to feed themselves. Well, not going to college quite yet, but they have plans. Little girl wants to buy a Mattel Disney Enchanted Tales Deluxe Princess Castle and the boys are content right now to watch the library videos about transformers and hot wheels animated drama. I'm almost content to look back on the completed certification exams and first home-school conference experience and just enjoy a week of summer break. Next week I get to lead a 3rd grade group of kids at our church VBS or as they call it these days, "day camp." I plan to paint the front room and adjacent halls in order to get that ellusive can of paint off my shelf.

Kids are reading books for the library summer reading program, so I'll have to get back to you later. It's so exciting to listen to them read, I mean READ!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Imposing week ahead

Yep, school is over, but I get to do soccer practice and games 3 nights this week by myself as Daddy is not able to co-captain the delivery team. I'm set to attend a home-school conference and hear one of the creators of a curriculum we use AND meet those ellusive vendors of curriculum I can't find on their websites. I'm a newbie remember? I don't navigate vendor websites very well yet.

It is the first week our park pool is open and I look forward to a visit there. Maybe on bikes for the 5 mile round trip or maybe by van. We'll see. I know that the week will include some study time for my ICTS testing on Saturday to renew my teaching certificate in Illinois. Yep again, I'm a certified secondary teacher in the geography and earth/solar science subjects. I need to pass these tests though and I'm not good at that kind of pressure. Can't imagine the stress going back to work would hold for me someday, but testing is no picnic either.

No travel this week, but maybe some trips to the forest preserves or library to gently ween the triple G threat away for the two months of break. Can't have them getting soft, but need them to be ready for an amazing 1st and 2nd grade year. No major wisdom to impart and no major gifts to give, just really glad that the lessons and pursuance of their completion is on hold for a few months.

What will I do with the two months you ask? Well, I've already started. The garden is set as much as it's going to within my power. I can do no more to make it work. Sun, water and soil is how that "bird's gonna fly." Daddy and I washed the concrete basement walls down and I put a coat of paint (a whole paint can off the mis-tint table at home store) on those walls. The storage is now stored and play in the cooler basement will commence during the summer.

What more? Well, there is this living room, entry hallway and stairway that need a wash and coat of paint. IT maybe be one more can of paint off my shelf and that's ok with me! Then, maybe a wood floor compliments of the government's economic incentive check. We'll see if the Daddy can part with it for a wood floor in the living and dining rooms.

Bedtime for these people here and I hope/pray a good week ahead. My best to y'all too.

Friday, May 30, 2008

LAST DAY...

Can you believe it? I'm kinda shell shocked. I've finished the shrinky dink medals for completion of kindergarten and 1st grade. These are placed in frames to be handed out when Daddy gets home after lunch. Little girl is finishing her math chapter test and the boys are playing crazy 8s card game peacefully. The boys have vacuumed and cleaned off their desks. I'm putting away my stuff for August 4th.

Daddy is taking them to see Prince Caspian movie and maybe a baseball game (in the rain) for fireworks after. I'm going to do something else. I need a break.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hawk Hollow Nature Hike




Our favorite parts of this nature hike lead by Ranger Kev of the Dupage Forest Preserve was the log bridge crossing over this creek, the beautiful purple shade-loving native flowers and the smokey the bear hollowed tree. Just another beautiful day in Chicagoland (if you take away sounds of the planes approaching O'Hare over head).