September 25, 2008

Handmade items, pictures

We have been working on creating handmade items lately. I am working on a project that my mom came up with...making totebags from cloth placemats. She read about it in a magazine and we thought we would give it a try since she has a huge supply of placemats. She was once obsessed with all things pertaining to entertaining. Corey has been working with my brother learning some woodworking. The first two projects are shelves for our living low shelf unit to go under the window & has cubbies, one taller shelf unit for books.

Here is my first totebag. It doesn't have handles yet but I think it turned out pretty good. This is made from 3 cloth placemats.

Here is a side view, showing the squared off, flat bottom.

Here is the first shelf unit that Corey and my brother completed. Now I just need to cut & hem the curtains to fit above the shelf.

Tux and Bella just love hanging out on top of the shelf and looking out the front window, especially since it has cooled off and we have the windows open.


Alex has discovered chess. The other day we received a package for my brother from my dad. My brother asked me to go ahead and open it. In the package was this beautifully carved wooden chess set. Alex was very intrigued by it. Corey offered to show him how to play with his chess set. He's been playing as much as he can since then. He asks anyone that will listen if they will play a game of chess with him. Morgan has been shown how, by Corey, but didn't really do much after that. Well, now she's playing with Alex. :-) It is so neat to watch the two of them playing the game. On Tues I sat and watched them and decided to take some pictures. Here they are:

Here is Alex making his move.

Morgan makes her move.

Alex thinks about his next move.

Morgan seriously considers her next move.

A close up of the game.

September 21, 2008

Gas shortage?

No not really. We are just surrounded by panic-ridden idiots!! Thanks to the Bush administration we have a bunch of Republican conservatives that are completely panic ridden. The pipeline from the oil fields in the Gulf to Knoxville, which then supplies middle TN, was shut down prior to Hurricane Ike. The gas stations had gas, received deliveries,etc. However, word got out that the latest deliveries would be delayed by a few days because the pipeline just started back up. Now, this occurs after gas stations just received a delivery. But what do the people around us do? Freak the hell out. Yes, of course. Let's create a shortage where there isn't one because we are freaking out. No, they didn't say we wouldn't have gas for days on end or weeks....the latest deliveries would be delayed by a couple days...PERIOD! Seriously, you would have thought it was the early '70s. We had lines blocks long at gas stations, gas stations that had full tanks were seeing double (or greater) business and then running out of gas. Honestly, if people had not freaked out the gas would have lasted until the deliveries and no one would have had any trouble. But nooooooo...we had people topping off their gas tanks, bringing extra gas containers to fill up, bringing their 4 wheelers and RVs out to fill up! HELLO people?!?! Let's create a situation out of panic and fear where a situation did not even exist!! You know....this is just like what the Bush administration has done with terrorism! It is greed and fear that is creating the current crap our country is dealing with...and who has been a HUGE part of this...Dubya the Idiot in Charge. Is he the only one to blame or completely to blame...nope...but guess POTUS you have a lot to do with all of this. Could he have helped make things better? You betcha!

So all this is to say that the average person living in middle Tennessee has been dealing with a gas shortage. Gas stations all around us are completely out of gas. People that have to get to work are having trouble finding gas to make sure they can get to work & home again. People that have doctor appointments are having to cancel because they aren't sure they can get there & back...what if they can't find gas in between? Very frustrating and completely 100% unnecessary...and preventable.

September 16, 2008


Lice: a horrible, little critter that is a fairly typical childhood experience, that freaks out children and mothers everywhere, causing tons of laundry, vacuuming, and strange combinations of things in your hair in order to get rid of them.

Yes, we are having our first encounter with lice. Hopefully this will be our ONLY experience with the little buggers. Poor Morgan is the one that was chosen to be the lice host with the most in our family. Alex had a few, Corey didn't have any and I didn't have any. *phew* Of course, Morgan has the longest and thickest hair of all of us. We discovered the lovely guests and did one treatment. The following day we received an emergency call from the nursing home in Jacksonville where my grandmother lives. My mom had to get down there and can not drive I went with her. That meant that Corey had the kids alone for several days. He had to do all the lice treatment and cleaning and washing and combing as well as everything else involved in being a parent. I didn't get home until Monday night so on Monday he also had to work, assist the kids with their school work, do more lice/nit treatment & combing...he deserves a nice day off!

Today we've gone through everyone's hair and we are clean for now. Unfortunately with lice you don't truly know if you are done for a week to 10 days. Sooo...every day we get to go through hair checking for lice or eggs. Whee!! I envy me. ;-)

September 8, 2008

Discovering Google Earth

Morgan discovered Google Earth today. She had finished all her school work and was enjoying some time on her laptop. She asked me about Google Earth and wanted to know if she could download it onto her laptop. It was approved and she downloaded it and started playing with it. She was so excited! Alex really got into it as well. They went on a sightseeing tour (slide show) and started looking up various places. Corey and I decided this will really come in handy with our science this year (Earth & Space). They looked at some starts, the Milky Way, various planets, etc. It was really fun just watching them discover all of this. One of those wonderful homeschooling moments that all homeschooling parents just LOVE! :-) A couple of my favorites were when they were looking for Mars and wanting to see if it was really red, looking for Venice, Italy but having trouble thinking of the name...Morgan kept saying "That know that is all water, all canals...oooooh it was in Thief Lord...VENICE!" The "a-ha" moment. Let's see...they found our house and Pompeii and the Grand Canyon, just to name a few places.

September 6, 2008

Naked Eggs - Part 2

Ok, after the first 24 hours we had to check the eggs, dump the vinegar out and pour in fresh vinegar. Now, the reason for this is because as the acid (vinegar) dissolves the base (egg shell) it balances out and becomes neutral...thus no more action going on. We did this Friday evening. A friend was over, fellow homeschooler, and she was fascinated by the whole thing. We all touched the eggs at that point...felt "wierd" the kids decided. Also during this stage Alex asked if he could put some red food coloring into his to see what would happen. Why not? :-)

This afternoon we pulled our eggs out. Below is a picture of our 3 eggs (L-R) Alex, Morgan, Mom. The stuff you see floating around is the remains of the dissolved shell. We used brown eggs, btw.

We took out Morgan's egg first since she didn't add food coloring. Here is her egg in a bowl.

I picked it up for her and she took a picture while it was in my hand. It felt rubbery, like a bouncy ball. You can see the egg yolk slosh around when you jiggle the egg.

And here we have another view of Morgan's naked egg.

Here we have all 3 eggs out in the bowl...purple: Mom, red: Alex, yellow: Morgan

Look at how much you can squish it!! Amazing how durable the membrane of the egg is!

Poke, poke. Ohmigosh...I can't believe it doesn't rupture. LOL! Well, I was thankful that it didn't.

We put our naked eggs in a jar of regular water. We will be doing some of the other experiments with them and talking about osmosis. The kids can't wait to see their eggs shrivel up and them plump back up. :-D You really must try that yourself.

Ooh, I almost forgot. One of the things Morgan *really* wanted to do with her naked egg...cook it and see what happens! LOL! I'm not sure I'm ready to go that route...but maybe after our next experiments I'll let her try it.

September 4, 2008

In Memoriam - Marcella M. Larabie

Corey's grandmother, Morgan and Alex's great grandmother, passed away early this morning. She was a little powerhouse of a woman, sweet & tough all wrapped in one. She was a mother of 9, grandmother of 28, and great grandmother of 34. We received news a couple weeks ago that she was having some small strokes and wasn't doing well. Corey's dad called us yesterday to let us know that they were calling in Hospice. Grandma Larabie will be missed by so many. She was a wonderful woman active within her family, church, and community. Unfortunately we are unable to get up to New York right now so we've had to send our thoughts and sympathies to family.

In loving memory of Marcella M. Larabie, August 22, 1923 - September 4, 2008.
Marcella Larabie

Naked Eggs - Part 1

Today we started our science experiment...naked eggs. Sounds wonderful doesn't it. Who knew that eggs were ever *not* naked. lol A naked egg is an egg without a shell, held together only by the membrane. If you want to read more about the experiment and how it works then check out this web page. There is also a link to a page with experiments that you can do with your naked eggs.
Naked Eggs

For our experiment we each put an egg into a jar and then poured enough vinegar into the jar to cover the egg. In my jar we added red & blue food coloring to see if that will do anything to the egg when it becomes naked. :-) The kids wrote down a hypothesis after we talked about what the vinegar is, what an egg shell is made of,etc. Alex thinks the vinegar will eat the shell and the membrane and the egg goop will be floating all around in the vinegar. Morgan thinks the shell will dissolve but the membrane will remain intact. We are all interested in seeing if the egg white soaks up any of the food coloring in the 3rd jar.

We will check our eggs tomorrow afternoon and see what has happened.

September 3, 2008

Typical Wednesday

This morning Alex and I went to pick up our weekly CSA share. We got a huge cantaloupe...seriously, bigger than Alex's head....a bunch of October peas, summer squash, tomatoes, a couple onions, zucchini, bell peppers and a bunch of peaches. Yum! We also got eggs, sugar cured bacon, ham steaks, beef stew meat, and 2 pkgs of chicken wings. Gotta love it.

The kids and I did school work and then set to relaxing a bit. I have some library books I want to read and the kids did various, watched a dvd, did some educational games online. Normally we have bowling on Wednesday afternoons but for some reason the schedule said we were off this week. So we are hanging out doing our own things (kids not dressed) and a friend calls from the bowling center and asks if we are coming to bowling today. We have a quick conversation that basically consisted of me repeating "But we don't have bowling says so on the schedule". LOL! The kids quickly dressed and we dashed out the door to bowling. Turns out that YES the schedule said we were off but it was a mistake and when people showed up they decided to bowl. Those that paid attention to the schedule (like I had been doing) can just make up the games so they can post their scores. Both kids had a couple of good games in them today. Afterwards Morgan went home with a friend and Alex and I came on home. We played some games and read. After Corey was done with work we started dinner....peanut butter & banana stuffed french toast. is seriously as good as it sounds!! :-) I shelled our October peas while Corey made our dinner. After dinner Alex and I went outside to play frisbee. He's getting pretty good! We came in when we noticed the mosquitos...yuck. I plan on freezing the October peas and our peaches. We've made a couple peach cobblers but I think I want to save some peaches for later in the year.

Today we did history (we trade off with history & science every other day) so tomorrow is science. I plan on doing at least 1 experiment. I'll post about it.

September 2, 2008

Guitar, Book Club, and Labor Day

Sunday we got quite a bit of yard work done. It was hot but it needed it. Gee, doesn't the yard look better after it is mowed. ;-) LOL! Morgan and Alex took turns with the backyard, Corey wielded the weedwacker and then I did the side & front (on Monday). Sunday evening we went to guitar lessons. Corey and Morgan have lessons and Alex and I have visits with friends.

Monday was Labor Day and Corey was off but he's on call this week so had to be available by pager. We all went to book club & I participated in book club while Corey got to hang out with the dad of that family. Then we all hung out even longer just for fun...and that lasted until dinner time! I had not planned on taking the day off from school but our lovely Principal Corey declared it a homeschool holiday. The kids were thrilled. LOL! We had delicious Papa Murphy's Pizza for dinner. Ohmigosh...I've never had it before and it was great. We will definitely keep this in mind for our busy Tuesdays...we drive right past it on the way home from the park & library.

Today we went to the library with GC, then did school work after lunch. Morgan had dance at 4:15pm of her favs...hip hop. I found an experiment that I want to do with the kids. So I'll post when we do it. Tonight we are having delicious pork chops from our CSA and orzo with summer squash & carrots. YUM!! If I do say so myself. :-)