Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Conversations over dinner: Alex - "Mom, what do you think it would be like to be a piece of cheese?"

(Later) Me - "Hey Logan, did you finish your piece of broccoli?" Logan proudly opens his mouth to show me that it is empty, then puts out his fist and says "Oh yeah! Fist bump!" while shaking his little butt and happily 'bumping' my fist with his.

On the way to a friends birthday party we were discussing what we could get our little friend at last notice... I decided money would be best as we didn't have time for much else, and it's always fun to get anyhow. So I get the card, and Cyan says "Mom, can you get her twenty dollars instead of ten?" "I guess I could honey, why?" "Because ours is more than a ten dollar friendship."


Long, but really, a must watch for homeschoolers.


Friday, January 22, 2010


I am having a hard time believing my baby is three. He is such a wild kid. Adorable, smart, but talks back and yells more than the other two put together (at his age). He is so full of fire, full of life. Somedays I don't know what to do with him, and I know that he is going to tell me he hates me before he is 5. He is the up's and the down's that are in all of us, all the time. I want to make the world gentle and tiny, wonderful and soft for him... but I haven't been able to in his life. He was born amongst changes that have set our life on a different path. A path not so gentle. Sometimes it makes me sad that I haven't been able to protect him as well as my other children. Other times it makes me glad that he is so strong of mind and heart already and he will be able to handle whatever life gives him.

Happy birthday my beautiful boy! You are such a joy in my life, even with the up's and the down's. You bring the thunder, laughter, and life to my days. I will adore you always!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Through the eyes of Logan, the day before he turns 3

This may only be cute to me, but this is what I found on my phone when I went to sync my calendars yesterday. It was pretty obvious who it was behind the camera, since me and Cyan were both in it. lol!

There were more pictures of the bathroom. I spared the repeats.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Science... with marshmallows!

The perfect science experiment. Spaghetti noodles, large and small colored marshmallows, and the Periodic Table of Elements. What a fun idea! This was the older kids lesson today, making molecules from marshmallows and spaghetti.

Here is water:

Then they had a chart of a few more to make:

The big kids got to work on what they thought propane, water, and other molecules would look like, and Logan and I made 'space ships' with ours (and of course, the space ships flew into our mouths too).

After a morning of being outside, and a wonderful school day this evening... I am beat, but it was a beautiful day.

Time for soup, baths, and bed.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New thoughts for school

Things have slowly been changing with Cyan this New Year... she is reading much faster and easier lately. And I think it has to do with her reading less. Yes, you read that right, I am having her read LESS. At the start of this year, I was frustrated by her lack of quick reading (she had all the rules down, it just took her forever!). So each time we would come across a 'learning opportunity' for her to read, I would jump at it with gusto.

But it has been 5 months...

and she is still a pokey Jane reader.

Two weeks ago I was reading the Workbox System Guide for the second time, and Sue mentioned to be careful about how many subjects you are asking your children to do at one time. Especially if those subjects are emergent subjects (skills that are not quite mastered). I realised that by asking Cyan to read while she was working on other subjects, I was overloading her little brain. So now, on her workbox, she has a 'work with mom' note on any subject that she may have to read more than one sentence... and then I read it to her. It may seem like good practice to make kids read the math problems, or instructions on their other assignments, but with Cyan, it was making her more reluctant to read during 'reading', which honestly, was inhibiting her learning a lot more than I thought it was. And making the other subjects doubly hard for her, because she is trying to figure out what 1/2 of 6 is, on top of trying to figure out what those words on the page mean, on top of trying to make sure she writes it in the correct place, on top of getting her 3's to face the correct way, etc. How confusing! It ended up that she wasn't really liking any subject. She would do it, but it would take her forever, and she would often loose track of where she was on the page, or what she was supposed to be doing because she was too busy deciphering the words.

So now, when she asks me what something says in another subject, I read it to her. I have found that this leaves her mind more refreshed when I ask her to read because she hasn't been stretching those same muscles for every other subject... and guess what? IT'S WORKING! She has been reading up a storm, and much faster than usual.


My teen and I have been plugging away at school lately. Some newly emerging personality traits (completely normal for the age, yet terribly annoying for the mama) have made the last few weeks difficult to say the least. But somehow, we have managed to do school nearly every day. Alex is FLYING through math right now, and when he is done with their curriculum for this year, I am planning a set of fun things for him to finish out the year with instead of moving on to the next level (considering he is already over a year ahead of his 'grade level'). I have decided that he is going to start Life of Fred. A lot of the series will be a review with Alex finishing up his first year of Algebra in the next few weeks. But there are ways that Fred teaches math, that many other curriculum's just miss... it is PACKED full of real life applications of things like geometry and algebra, fractions and statistics. I believe that children learning things more than one way is very helpful, and I am excited to see how he does with this new way of learning.


I wanted to share in the brilliance of this idea:

I am planning on switching to this system for my entire family come Tax Return time. These boxes are much spendier than the plastic shoe boxes, and I am thinking of getting two for Alex, one for Cyan, and one for Logan. That is about $300. YIKES! But I think it will be the perfect system for our family, and if it doesn't work out... these systems are perfect for small toys, even clothes. I have no fear that they will go to waste whatsoever. It makes spending the money a bit easier when you know that even if they don't work for what you want them for, they will work in your household. :)

Logan has been SO interested in doing school lately, that I think giving him a set of boxes with preschool play stuff in it will really help with his behavior during our study time. I have been compiling lists of activities that I could add to his workboxes that are gentle, quiet, and yet enough 'work' to keep him busy while we get our school work done. And of course, there is always the 'work with mom' card... where I can put games and things for us to do together. He would LOVE that.

I am really excited about this idea. I am revamping the entire homeschool closet to make 4 of these fit across the bottom so they are all nicely tucked away, and yet completely accessible for all the children. I think I may take off the doors to the closet and put on curtains... that would make it even easier. Hmmm.... Lots of fun new ideas.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Logan's birthday invitations

I feel the need to preface this post with: I do not make cards, my 'scrapbooks' are videos that I make at the end of the year. I ordered both Cyan's AND Alex's birthday invites last year and I loved it! However, I do love paper, and I think that my love of paper is what got me so enamored with this project.

Ok, now that we have gotten that out of the way, today I made this:

This and 8 more just like them are sitting on my table... and before they get handed over to grubby toddler fingers I decided to make record of my card making adventure.

It took buying $30 worth of materials (because I do not scrapbook or make cards!), 10 hours over an exacto knife (literally, and then the tip broke off, so I was trying to get strait lines with a BROKEN exacto knife), getting a massive cramp in my hand from lining all the pieces with a sharpie (which I am still nursing), and going through not one, but two prototypes to get it... but oh goodness it is cute! And I doubt that I have ever been more proud except when I gave birth to my children.

I got the idea here. This lady is just as crazy about parties as I am, and she makes beautiful cards! I love all her ideas that I have seen so far, and I started following her blog so I don't miss any that are to come. She is a party genius (and she has a newly 3 year old boy... how cool is that? Can Logan have an Internet buddy?).

So, now that you can tell I have had WAY too much caffeine this week and am completely crazy about birthday parties, I think I should show you my ideas for the party... but I can't.... because the cramp in my hand is making it hard to type.

I can tell you that the gift bags include a CD with this song on it... and more...


Monday, January 11, 2010

MTM ~ School Days

Someone was really excited we are doing Muffin Tin Monday's again! :)

This weeks theme is 'School Days'.

Top: Peas and carrots to help us mind our "P's and Q's", Ranch Dip (of course), and the ever faithful school size chocolate milk.

Bottom: Apple (for the teacher), a 'school' of goldfish, and the trusty sandwich. I left the crusts on... and expected my kids to eat it. ;)

All the kids were just thrilled to be back in the game after a long market season of me working. :)


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Three Kings Day

Epiphany (feeling): The sudden realization or comprehension of the essence or meaning of something
Epiphany (holiday): A Christian holiday on January 6 celebrating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus

In adopting a more Waldorf approach to my homeschooling, I have been more interested than ever before in the festivals and holidays of all cultures and beliefs. Today, in the Waldorf circles they celebrate Three Kings Day, a holiday to honor the kings that found baby Jesus and gifted him with the three gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Muhr.

A large portion of our day was spent making a braided Challuah bread to go with the crock pot of white bean soup I had on. We called it "Three Kings Bread", but that only refered to the shape as Three Kings Bread is a sweeter bread than this yummy WW egg bread. Our bread literally took 8 hours to make with three raising periods... but we did it. Even in our crappy stove! And we didn't burn it! Whoohooo! I wish you could know just how big of a deal that is... my kitchen is usually the place where bread comes to die.

Last night I wrapped 3 small gifts for each of my children, in honor of the three gifts that the kings brought the baby Jesus. No need to buy anything...

I have never seen children so excited to open their own Halloween candy. :)

Add in a big green salad, homemade lemonade to toast with, and conversation about the things we are grateful for. It makes for a pretty great first Three Kings Day in our household.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Shooting Monsters and Pop Guns (ie: Mom is brilliant)

I talked in this post about how Logan is obsessed with guns. This has not gone away as much as I thought it had. He has spent months now sleeping with his purple squirt gun. And I have resisted getting him another, even though his gun now is held together by bands of tape. lol!

For Christmas I got him these for his stocking to try to find a 'healthy' way to use that shooting instinct he obviously has so ingrained in his soul.

Around that same time, we got a rare treat. Alex was at his families in FL, and Cyan was staying two nights with friends... so we got time with JUST LOGAN! I don't think that has happened since he was a baby and it was a welcome blessing by all. To make the most of it, Logan got to make a lot of decisions that are normally up to 'committee'. We had lots of oven baked French fries, and a few meals of 'eggs'. ;) But it was fun.

One of these nights, Logan was running around shooting 'monsters' and I decided, lets not make a big family game out of this? So we sat down, and made monsters.

First Logan would draw.

Then Mama or Daddy would draw to make a monster out of Logan's drawing.

We spent both evenings completely taken over by monsters and having to shoot them:

"HAHA!!! I 'ot it!"

Notice the bottom of the tree has no ornaments on it... lol... I might have two kittens and a toddler.