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...


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.