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Oct 31, 2010

Terrific Tigers Winner! chose a winner for me. It's comment number 5. Kirsten! Congrats Kirsten! I know you and your littles are going to have so much fun.

Oct 28, 2010


It's funny (and thrilling) to me when the boys mention something they learned weeks or even months ago. This morning, when the sky was clear and the sun was shining, Mal told me that this bright sun was the same sun that is charging the batteries on the Mars Rover that we studied during Rocking Robots.

While watching What's in the Bible? DVD 1 (I think it's 1), Quacky the Duck rides his tricycle to Italy, which we all know is shaped like a boot. We learned that from Pizza Party.

Xav remembers that birds migrate in a V formation, even though the poor kid was sick on the day we got to practice V formations in Walk Like the Animals class. It just isn't as much fun with three people as it was with the whole class.

Some days, it seems like they don't "get" anything. And then they prove me wrong. Some little something did sink in.

Oct 26, 2010

Give Me Your Eyes

After a horrible, awful, rotten day with my boys yesterday, I climbed into the car to head for Zumba. I had the radio tuned to K-Love. The first words I hear are the chorus, "...give me your eyes for just one second, give me your eyes so I can see, everything that I keep missing, give me your love for humanity..."

Oh, to be able to look at my children "for just one second" with God's eyes. To see the beauty of His creation that He sees even in our worst moments of our worst day, to love them the way that He loves them. Just for one second. I'd love to know in advance that the second was coming so I could grab hold of the picture in my mind's eye and hold the feeling in my heart. To be able to go back to that second and remember even when the sight and feeling are gone.

I love my boys, just not as well as God does.

Oct 24, 2010

Tigers Week in Review and {GIVEAWAY}

Once on a tiger's back, it is hard to alight.

Actually, once you start this Download N Go unit study it will be hard to stop. I don't know what it was this time, but both boys kept insisting on calling them lions this week. I know. They are strange children. They get it from their father. :)

We created a fun lapbook using the components included in the unit study. My printer is out of yellow and until the lack of color overrides my cheapness frugality, I won't be changing the cartridge. But when I do, I will print a nice colorful cover for the front.Q. What do you get when you cross a tiger with a sheep?
A. A striped sweater!

Terrific Tigers Daily Objectives
Day 1: What is a tiger?
Day 2: Getting to know tigers
Day 3: Where are the tigers?
Day 4: The science of tigers
Day 5: Cool things about tigers

Download N Go is a unit study/lapbooking series created by Amanda Bennett and The Old Schoolhouse for grades K-4 and is intended to take one week to complete, though with all the resources available it would be easy to expand that. They are bright and colorful and loaded with information. DNG studies have five daily objectives with components for a smart little lapbook, clickable links to videos and websites, vocabulary, history, geography and more.

I spent a little time looking through the entire study before working on this with the boys. You could use this time to decide how many pages you will print, what household objects you will need for the week and what library books to reserve.

You can purchase your copy of Terrific Tigers for $7.95.

Download N Go is allowing me to give away a copy here to one of my readers. There are several ways to enter.

First, the required entry, go to Download N Go and look around. Come back and tell me which DNG title is your favorite.

After that entry, you can get one entry for the following:
1) Tweet about or share this giveaway link on Facebook or your own blog. Must link to this blog entry, not my main page or the blog hop page. (One entry)
2) Follow my blog. (One entry)
3) Tell me the last time you saw a real tiger. (One entry)

So you can enter a total of four (4) times. Post a separate comment for each entry. Be sure to include your email address or that I have a way to contact you. Otherwise I will have to select a different winner and that would be unfortunate.

Winner will be selected on October 31 using
TOS/DNG affiliates including the DNG Review Team and TOS Crew are not eligible.

Check out the blog hop of Terrific Tigers reviews and more giveaways.

***I was provided a free copy of Terrific Tigers in exchange for my honest review.***

Oct 19, 2010

Where's Xav?

The littles love playing hide and seek. Unfortunately, they aren't very good at it. They always hide under a blanket or under the table. Xav was hiding in my recliner and Mal was looking for him. Mal sat down and leaned back on Xav and asked me if I know where Xav is hiding. Meanwhile, Xav is giggling up a storm under the blanket. This is what ensued.

Daddy's Occupation

It was my turn to teach Xav's Sunday school class the other day. We talked about Esther and how it was God's plan for her to become King Xerxes' wife. We also talked about what God's plans might be for the children (2-4 year olds). I asked each of them what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Xav: I want to be just like my daddy.
Me: Do you know what daddy does?
Xav: He goes to work and he runs.
I explained that daddy does run a lot, but that isn't his job. Daddy is an engineer. Xav gasped and got all excited with eyes as big as saucers.
Xav: Daddy is a ENGINEER?!
Oh how I could see the wheels turning in his little head. His daddy drives a TRAIN! I had to break it to him that daddy was not a train engineer. He was so sad. I am still laughing about it two days later.

Making Orange Juice

Oct 15, 2010


From Wikipedia:
Geodes (Greek γεώδης - jē-ōds, "earthlike") are geological rock formations which occur in sedimentary and certain volcanic rocks. Geodes are essentially rock cavities or vugs with internal crystal formations or concentric banding. The exterior of the most common geodes is generally limestone or a related rock, while the interior contains quartz crystals and/or chalcedony deposits. Other geodes are completely filled with crystal, being solid all the way through. These types of geodes are called nodules.

The boys were gifted with a geode this week from our good friend Diane. We started in the kitchen inside a cardboard box on a wooden cutting board. I quickly realized the place to crack this puppy was going to be outside.

The boys took turns for a while and then I gave it a few whacks. Eventually, we got it open.Nice, huh? Thank you Dianey!

Ow. Ow. Ow.

Ugh! I got sucked into a 30 Day Shred challenge at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. Not sure what the 30 Day Shred is? Well, I don't watch The Biggest Loser, but I keep hearing this Jillian Michaels is tough. I have just finished the seventh consecutive day of the Shred. I've also continued my regular hour long Zumba classes on Monday and Wednesday. This has been an achy, but exhilarating week!

The Shred is not an easy workout by any means. Jillian makes big promises. I have some hope for delivering on that promise. It has been interesting to notice the flow of ache through my body this week. The first couple days it was my calves and lower abs, then my shins developed an ache that I wouldn't exactly call shinsplints, but... Yesterday, my back and thighs were achy. Now I just have the all over ache that feels like I'm coming down with something (hope I'm not). I'm still on level 1, so it was strange how the ache shifted from muscle to muscle over several days.

I am disappointed by two things at this point. You can't fast forward, skip, or menu out of her intro so I have to watch her blah, blah, blah every single day. Jillian also has a bit of a potty mouth. She's no sailor, but I do have two small children. I realize you can turn her off, but how am I supposed to know when to switch exercises for the ones where I can't watch the screen?

Oct 14, 2010

Mean Girls

I was listening to Casting Crowns tonight. Something struck me as so completely mistaken in the song If We Are the Body.

"The girls' teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know."

No. It very likely isn't. They know exactly how far their hurtful words and laughter are traveling. And that fills me with sorrow.

I was a pretty "good" kid in school and so were my friends. But all this time that has come and gone and I still remember an absolutely deplorable act in about tenth grade. I was pretty mean to a girl who liked my friend's boyfriend. I offered up a fake apology. And then we all laughed about it. Loudly. Pretty rotten. The worst part was that the second I did what I did, I realized that I could have *really* injured her. I don't even remember her name now. But it makes me sick to think of hurting that girl.

Girls can be pretty mean. Sadly, some of us grow up to be mean, petty women. Christian ladies, I beg you, let's all show someone God's Love this week. Let's be His body.

Oct 8, 2010

Rocking Robots Week in Review

UGH! Do we have to watch the Mars rover videos again?

That was me after a full week of the boys asking for the rover videos every. single. time. I got out the laptop and announced school time. We have a couple of future astronauts in this house. Remember this post?Well last week we learned all about Rocking Robots from Download N Go. Since we were down to one car, I never made it to the library for my usual "browsing of the shelves" to look for great books to use alongside our unit study. Guess what? It didn't matter one lick that I had not one single robot book in this house. It went quite well without them. Except for the little matter of the Mars rover videos!

Rocking Robots has daily objectives, just like all of the other DNG.
Day 1: What Is a Robot?
Day 2: The History of Robots
Day 3: People and Places of Robots
Day 4: Science Secrets of Robots
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Robots

We laughed our heads off watching a fantastic robot soccer video. Someone did a splendid job on those guys! Xavier enjoyed it so much, he used the little paperboard robots we colored and his small acorn collection to reenact a wonderful soccer game of his own!I love that the youtube videos open up in a special DNG window, but even so, we got sucked into watching the next recommended video several times. I mean, who could resist watching squids attack an underwater robot? Not us, obviously! Actually, the same thing happened during our Roller Coasters study! Not the squid part, just the video part. :)

We even made a robot cake. Xav did a great job outfitting this robot with all the necessary gadgets! He loves to cook. Download N Go unit studies are created by The Old Schoolhouse and Amanda Bennett. Geared toward grades K-4, I have found they can be adjusted a bit for the older and younger child. Each study is intended to take one week to complete, but can take longer. Each DNG study covers topics such as spelling and vocabulary, history, geography, science, it's all in there! And best of all, the work is done for you. The only time you need to spend ahead of time is checking out library books and choosing which pages you'd like to print for the lap/notebooks. It does not get any easier than that. A real blessing for busy moms!

Check out the blog hop for Rocking Robots.

***I was provided a free copy of Rocking Robots in exchange for my honest review.***

Oct 7, 2010

Thursday Think - Egg Yolks

So during French toast preparations for lunch the other day, Xavier and I were surprised by a double yolk. We got the egg from the neighbors. It wasn't that big of a deal to me because we used to have some hens and one laid double yolkers almost daily. But it's always kind of neat to get one unexpectedly.

I was kind of wondering *why* double yolks happen. I googled NoJoed it and found this website that explains not just double yolks, but double shells, no shells, no yolks, and some really unappetizing egg oddities.

It seems our hen had some sort of hereditary ability to lay double yolks. Most of the time though, they happen when ovulation occurs too rapidly and two yolks get wrapped in one shell. Kind of nifty. And now you know!

Oct 5, 2010

Molly's Digest {Review}

I was offered the chance to preview the October edition of Molly's Digest recently and I jumped at the chance. I keep eyeballing them when I see The Old Schoolhouse advertising them, but I've never purchased one. Can you believe that? Well, now I know what I've been missing.

Just what have I been missing? Well, there were recipes and cooking tips (the tip for cleaning up the turkey after dinner was worth the cost of this digest alone!), frugal decorating ideas, a great and sometimes humorous list of October "holidays", planned leftovers which is also called cooking once and eating twice, and so much more!

The October feature is Socks, Suds and Savings. You'll get tips on making your own laundry soap, organizing and managing the laundry and in the kids corner, your littles can start learning how to do laundry! I've made my own laundry soap before and a five gallon bucket full has lasted us just over a year. It cost less than $10 to make!

The one thing I *loved* about Molly's Digest and have found myself wishing for when I've purchased other ebooks with clickable links, is her directory of links. Every URL in the digest is all typed out AND the recipes are there without pictures for quick, easy printing.

You can purchase your own copy from The Old Schoolhouse for only $4.95!

***I received a copy of October 2010 Molly's Digest at no charge, in exchange for my honest review.***

He's a Lumberjack

and he's OK.Two fewer cherry trees in the yard to menace my house.
And he managed not to pull anything down on his head.

Oct 3, 2010

Theme Bags

Recently, I "discovered" something super fun at the library. St Albans Free Library carries Theme Bags! What's a theme bag? Well, the library has very kindly thrown a bunch of resources of various types and one topic into a bag and you just take the whole thing home. We get to keep it for up to three weeks, but I will probably swap them out more often.

We picked up animals last time. Yesterday, I grabbed transportation. The Transportation Theme Bag contains a floor puzzle, a dozen toy vehicles, books, a video about how cars are made, and a fireman puppet.

You'll find fun subjects like arts & crafts, music, building, and dinosaurs. Then there are the helpful topics like potty training, health & safety, and parenting bags (toddler and preschool to age 8). Coping bags cover such subjects as adoption and divorce. There are even bags for grown ups with chick lit, mysteries, history and crime.

I found this website where a teacher has posted the theme bags (she calls them take home bags) for her class. If you are interested in seeing bags similar to the ones in the library and creating some for your children/students, take a look.

Xav's Telescope

While helping dad with the heater, Xav finds a telescope.

Oct 2, 2010

Puppet Show

Mal's socks puppets perform songs, get tired and take a nap. You won't be able to hear much of it though! :)