February 27, 2009

Gorgeous Thursday

Today was just a delightfully gorgeous day. The kids did their school work and played together for a bit. Then Alex and I played 2 games of Sorry. I won the first game and he won the second... worked out nicely. We did some cleaning up in the kitchen...nope, no blueberry muffins were made but we did have chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast! :-) And I got a little laundry done. We spent some time outside talking to our neighbors and letting the dogs visit. We listened to the soundtrack from Mamma Mia! several times. Alex was belting out the songs while doing his school work. He sounded great! Corey grilled some steaks for dinner and then Morgan had dance class.

We were going to head up to the used bookstore in Nashville today but after sleeping late and getting a slower start to our day we were worried about getting home in time for dinner & dance. So we have postponed it.

Tonight Corey and I perused a lot of green sites and talked about some more things we can do to improve our green living. I found some things to use in the dryer to eliminate dryer sheets. We found a compost bin for the kitchen scraps and some info to help with our compost pile next to the garden. We will also be replacing the 2 shower heads with low flow shower heads.

February 25, 2009

Mid-week sleepovers

Last night & today we had a mid-week sleepover. We've done this a few times and while we don't do it every week it is becoming a common occurance. It works out well for us. Morgan & Alex get along fabulously with the 2 youngest kids in the family and they are all about the same age. So the 2 girls have become really good friends and the boys have too. Last night Alex spent the night at their house and Morgan's friend spent the night at our house. LS (their mom) and I each make sure the kids have their school work and get it done. It makes a nice change for the kids I think because they get to do their school work with their friend instead of "just" their sibling. Today we met up at bowling since all 4 kids bowl. For us this is a plus to homeschooling and having such a good friends. It certainly wouldn't work for all homeschooling families and none of this works for all families...but for us it does and we enjoy it.

Last night we watched President Obama in his address to Congress. We felt it was a great address. The response given afterwards was one of the most obvious, devisive "speeches"
I've heard...outside of the campaigns. I'm sorry but the purpose is to work together in the best interests of the people. Standing up in front of everyone and making all of these "they did this and we did this...and it is their fault and we tried to do x" is NOT helpful at all. Instead of blaming or complaining come up with better suggestions, convince others why it is better,etc. Bobby Jindal did absolutely nothing to help the people of his state or this country. I had to laugh when he tried using the Hurricane Katrina tragedy to prove his point. What a goober. Quit pulling party politics...the elections are over....get to work for the people.

This morning I went up to Spring Hill to pick up our CSA winter shares. Meat & eggs in the winter. I am so ready for the spring/summer and fresh produce. :-) I have some frozen strawberries & blueberries from last year and have used the blueberries some. I think tomorrow I will make some blueberry muffins. :-)

Tomorrow after our school work we will be heading up to the Williamson County library and to a used book store in Nashville that buys books & sells them.

February 24, 2009

Hello in there? *tap tap*

There I go again trying to disappear. I really want to work on posting more often. We finished The Merchant of Venice (all 4 of us). We attended Shakespeare Club and had a great meeting. We did reader's theatre, had discussion, the kids showed off their projects and then we talked about the next play we will be doing. It will be King Lear and it will be spread out over 2 months since we will be doing a little more with it. In the past reader's theatre has been a translation and not Shakespearean English. This time we will be using Shakespearean English in the script. We are trying to add more for the kids now that they have some Shakespeare under their belts. We will also be acting out more of the play instead of "just" reading it. We already have some props & everything. So in March we will do the first half and then we will finish up in April. This should be fun.

The kids had Harry Potter Club and participated in a living labrynith. They had a great time. This Friday they will go to movie night (yea, date night for mom & dad) and next month they have house games. HP Club is wrapping up for the year. After this they will have a Quidditch match at the park and then all the points will be added up and they get to go shopping with their points in the Magic Market. Part of their school work has been to work on HP projects.

Bowling is going very well. Alex's game has suddenly improved and he is having a game or two each week that is much higher than his average. Morgan did this as she improved too. Near the end of March they will both participate in the Pepsi tournament in Clarksville, TN. And then in April they will participate in the state bowling tournament in Chattanooga, TN.

As a family we've been perusing the seed catalogs and talking about what we want to plant in our garden. We are also talking about increasing our garden area. I think we will be ready to make an order at the end of this week. We will be getting some pecan trees to plant at GC's house. We have committed ourselves to our CSA for the spring/summer season. We have really enjoyed our first year (spring/summer & winter seasons) and look forward to the delicious goodness that we will receive from them. Our CSA is Avalon Acres and they are wonderful. Tim & Jen send our newsletters to stay in contact, are great people and have some great people that work with & for them.

We have been doing much better with our schooling organization and schedule. The kids are doing really good with doing their school work daily, much less fussing (phew). We are making progress with our science and history curricula. We seem to have no problem with math & grammar. Morgan has been reading like crazy (as usual) and Alex is increasing the amount he is reading. He still likes reading with someone or to someone but is getting better about spending some time reading by himself. As we head into spring we will be bringing more nature into our schooling. As a family we try to reduce the packaging & amounts of products, energy,etc that we use. We recycle what we can. We compost what we can. We buy our meat, eggs, and produce locally. We have taken steps to green up our energy and reduce our energy usage. We would *LOVE* to be able to incorporate solar power into our house. What we are focusing on right now is decreasing our energy usage some more. This spring we will be using our compost in our garden. Yea! We are getting the kids more involved in the garden this year. They are picking some things to plant and we are going to let them be in charge of taking care of that section of the garden. We are also getting a small fruit tree. Woo! This is all very important to us and we plan to keep doing all we can and moving forward with as much as we can.

February 8, 2009

Bowling results & our week

Alex enjoyed his sleepover with his friend. We met at bowling on Wednesday. Alex's thumb was still very bruised and sore so he wasn't ready to bowl yet. They did have the results from the city bowling tournament posted so we were excited to see how they did. As a team, they came in 3rd place in their division. Very good. Morgan & her bowling partner came in 11th in their division in doubles (2nd highest division)...so very good! Morgan came in 2nd in her division for girls for singles. Alex came in 5th place in his division even though he was only able to bowl during teams because of smashing his thumb. We are very proud of him and how he did during his first tournament. Morgan came in 1st place for girls in All Events (all scores added together). WOO!! They will participate in another tournament near the end of March, just singles...no teams or doubles. And then they will do the state tournament at the end of April and that one has teams, doubles & singles.

We did some more projects with our school work. We did some "stone" sculptures out of bars of soap. Morgan's turned out the best. Alex and I broke our sculptures. I tell you something, I thought this would be easy and it wasn't! LOL! The soap broke so much easier than I thought. We also made Hannibal's elephant ears....yummy.

We worked a bit more on Merchant of Venice. Friday was gorgeous so we had a short session of homeschool PE and then all went to the park. Due to the nice weather, we've had our windows open. We are hoping this will air things out so we can all get rid of this cold and not pass it around anymore.

This morning I discovered that Kali (our calico cat) outside! Now, our cats are indoor cats. I had the dogs outside and I kept hearing a meowing. I meowed, hoping to find whatever cat was around, and there she was peeking through the fence! I called her and she came running to me. I scooped her up and somehow managed to get her and the 2 dogs inside. Morgan told me she heard a cat below her window (she's on the 2nd floor) when she woke up at 6am. We went to bed at 2am..taking the dogs out for the last time at 1:30am. We know we saw her before taking the dogs out...but aren't sure after. The kids decide to investigate and see if they can figure out how she got out. They checked all the open windows to see if the screens were in place and intact. They checked out Kali, checked outside the house and then interviewed me and Corey...and the cat. ;-) They came to the conclusion that she somehow slipped out when we took the dogs out for the last time and was hiding in the plants near the house. Poor kitty...however it happened I hope it doesn't happen again!

February 3, 2009

Tunes on Tuesday

Today we started with some projects from our history activity book. We worked on a "stone" sculpture. All 3 of us tried it using a bar of soap. Unfortunately, we all had our carvings break, some of us more than once. Poor Alex got very frustrated but calmed down quickly. Morgan's carving turned out the best. We cleaned up all the soap shavings and started on our next project. We made some Hannibal's elephant ears. They turned out very yummy.

Then we worked on book work. Math went quickly and Alex's grammar. Morgan's grammar we worked on together. The sentence diagrams are getting more complicated. Man, it has been too long since I've had to diagram sentences. LOL! So Mommy is relearning alongside Morgan as she learns it. The kids wanted to listen to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack while doing their school work. It was funny to listen to them belt out the songs. Even funnier was watching Morgan make up dances while trying to write answers in her math book. It is a little difficult to write while you are doing arm motions & dancing in your seat. :-) Who would have thought that a 7yo and a 10yo would be singing ABBA songs.

After we were all done with school I met up with a friend so Alex could sleepover. I also stopped for more cold & sinus meds because ick is just going around our house.

We are hoping to find out the results of the bowling tournament tomorrow when we go to the bowling center.

February 2, 2009

Mask painting on Monday

After we did some book work this morning the kids painted some plaster of paris faces/masks that a friend made for us. The kids had a great time. Alex decided he wanted to surprise me with his, so wouldn't tell me what or who it was supposed to be. Morgan wanted her's to be a vampire, not a Cullen per se, but just a female vampire. Here are some pictures from today.

Alex mixes up some more paint.

Making sure everything is how he wants it.

Alex's finished mask. He tells me it is a character from a video game.

Morgan paints the base color for her mask.

She works on the eyes, getting the color just right.

Morgan's finished mask. Didn't she paint a pretty vampire?

After painting we watched the first 2 acts of The Merchant of Venice. This is the play we are currently reading for Shakespeare Club at our local library. We read the play, do some projects, everyone is assigned a part and we do some reader's theatre at the next meeting. So far it has been pretty neat.