Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Favorites: Random Edition

Oh yes, it's Tuesday Favorites time. Now, since I write here every Tuesday, I won't make Tuesday favorites a weekly thing here. That would get boring pretty fast. But I will do this every so often just to let the general public know about some things that I am currently loving, or think you should currently love.

They are as follows:

1) Star Trek (2009) - Let me state first off that I am not a huge Star Trek fan. I've seen most of the movies because my parents liked Star Trek, but it's not really a driving force in my life. But this movie was awesome. AWESOME. And if you are one of the ten people who haven't seen this, dude, you are missing out. Great action, interesting plot, and super interesting way to make a new franchise out of an old one. Let me put it this way: I own almost every one of Jane Austen's books in movie form - I am not an action movie junkie. But I insisted we buy this the day it came out and we've watched it multiple times since and will be watching it tonight if I have my way about it.

(For the truly awesome and random rest of the list, come on over to The 728b Blog!)


Monday, March 29, 2010

A Taste of Tucson

Best.


Trip.


Ever.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am most thankful for these things:


1. I leave for Tucson tomorrow!!!
Squee!!


(it's not snowing right now, I just love this picture of him)

2. My DDawgg. He lets me go to Tucson, he lets me jabber on and on and on at him,
and he goes to the store to get me Pecan Sandies. And then he acts like it's all no big deal.
I struck gold with this one, friends.




Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dear Self


Dear Self,

A slice of cheese, Ruffles potato chips, a cupcake and a Diet Dr Pepper is not a balanced lunch.

Yes, it is bad to let the kids sleep in clothes that they were recently playing in the dirt in.

Yes, the baby does need a new diaper cover. This one smells.

No, you can't eat another cupcake. 6 is too many.

(Read the rest at The 728b Foundation Blog)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Science Project: Root Vue Farm

This Christmas Tot hit the science jackpot. My Dad and Tamara got her a kit that will let her grow root vegetables and actually see the roots as they grow! I wanted to start it around the time we planned to plant our regular garden, so we've been waiting for warmer weather to begin. Well, the big garden plans have been shoved back another month, and I've been getting itchy dirt fingers. So out came the Root Vue Farm!

It came with all of the things pictured above: A styrofoam container, seed packs, dirt circles, and instructions. Despite my incredible organizational skillz (har), I completely lost the instructions sometime between Christmas and today, so I had to wing it. I got out all of our supplies, stuck the Gator in her highchair so she could have a good view and feel like she was in the party, and away we went.

First off, it's a cool self watering thing. The actual soil container has three holes at the bottom where you put small pieces of rope in and then the bottom section holds the water. As the rope soaks in the water, the soil and plants get it. Well played, Root Vue. We set up the rope sections and container and then set to work on the soil circles.


Picture courtesy of Tot :)

We put the dirt circles into a large mixing bowl and gradually poured water in as we stirred. It took much more water than I expected, but this way both kids got a chance to pour and stir and you know we can't do anything with out it all being FAIR. Oh laws, am I tired of hearing about the fairness of things.


We broke apart all the still try hunks of dirt and dumped all the dirt into the container nice and cleanly. Hmm...maybe it was more like each child seeing who could get more of their scoop of dirt all over the table instead of the container, but whatever. Next we got to pick what seeds we wanted to plant and where to plant them. Little David chose carrots, Tot picked radishes, and I got the green onions. Personally, I think I won that deal.

We planted them right next to the window. The instructions said (well, reviewers on Amazon said that the instructions said this) to plant them 1/4" away from the window, but everyone online said that you still had trouble seeing the roots that way. So we got them good and snug up there and covered them all back up. I filled up the water tray, gave stern instructions to look and not touch without permission and then we all made guesses on when the first seed would show up. Tot thinks her radishes will start to sprout tomorrow. Little David said Yellow. I don't think he really understood what we were going for.

Anyways, here is a picture of our final work:



We'll be spending the next few weeks reading up on how seeds grow, what plants need to live, living vs. non-living things, etc. I've got lots of books picked out and hopefully we can wrap up this project by planting our big garden outside. And when these veggies are done growing, I'm thinking we'll toss some worms in there and see how that looks. Tot will be thrilled :)

Thanks Dad & Tamara!



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday


I am thankful for...

1. Close friends that I have that listen to my long winded histrionics "I'm thinking maybe baby #4. Am I crazy?? Yes, I'm totally crazy. Nope, no more babies for me. I'm 95% sure. Well, maybe 60% sure. I don't know. I never know. I don't know what I'm even talking about anymore."

2. Thinking Putty.

3. That Dave works from home and we can have Lunch Dates. I feed the kids, put them all down for early nap/rest time and then Dave goes and gets us some Chick Fil A. We get to eat, chat, and enjoy the quiet together that we wouldn't otherwise get to do.

4. Warm weather. I. Love. Texas. And in the spring, I wonder why people live any place else. I understand why in the summer.

5. That I only have EIGHT days until I go to Tucson. EIGHT. DAYS. Sweet googly moogly I'm excited!

6. Homemade salsa.

7. Homeschool curriculum sales.

8. Moms that watch my older kids for a weekend (Thanks Mom & Tim!)

9. Blooming Bradford Pears.

10. My funny, funny, cute, cute children.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Badges? We Don't Need No Stinking Badges.

I was feeling pretty on top of my mothering game yesterday.

We had done all of our To Do's for the day, had school, ate a delicious dinner as a family, and Dave was off for his run. I looked at the clock, saw that it was barely 6pm and the sun was still shining bright. Heck. Yeah. How great of a day, right? All the checks checked and it's still daylight. We shouldn't let this great day go to waste inside - we should do something fun! So I loaded the Gator in the stroller and the big kids got their shoes and socks on, and off we went on a walk around the neighborhood. The older kids ran ahead of me laughing and smiling, stopping at all intersections and holding hands on the busy streets while Allie laughed along watching them. I decided I needed a badge. A Freaking Awesome Mother Badge.

You could probably see my smug...

(Continue reading the inevitable fallout at The 728b Foundation Blog)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Needed This.

Oh friends, did I ever need this day to come.

Today has been warm and gorgeous. Sunny and bright, with birds chirping everywhere and the sound of lawn mowers.

I needed this day.

After a baby comes, I go to the mattresses. It's not that I'm not happy or even enjoying myself, but I am definitely in Mission Mode. You know, when you slough off the extra things and you tighten the reigns and you put your energy into making life work. "How exactly do I grocery shop with three kids when there aren't any carts with straps?" "When should I do school if Allie is waking up from a nap at our usual school time and Little David is ready to go down for a nap?" "How many loads of laundry are normal now?" "Who holds the baby while the other two are running in different directions?" It's not earth shattering, but when you add something new to your family details simply need to be ironed out. The fun stuff has to wait because now is the time to focus on the nitty gritty.

And just like clockwork - I've done this with every baby - after 6 or 7 months of having my nose to the ground, I start getting depressed. Not "Depressed" with a capital "D", but "Weary from the Work" depressed. Tired from being in Mission Mode for half a year, tired of the daily grind, tired from lack of sleep, tired from all the problem solving, and just plain tired. You look up and realize it's been 6 months since your last hair cut, clothes aren't fitting right, at some point you stopped wearing make up and doing your hair in anything but a ponytail, you've barely left the house except for church and the occasional book club, and everyone in the house is feeding off your emotional slump. You use the old make up, because you just don't feel like thinking about what new stuff to buy. You don't get your hair cut, because weekends are full of family time and arranging child care in the middle of the week is a pain in the butt for three kids. You don't get out of the house much because you like being with your children and anyways you just aren't sure if you know how to make things work in an unfamiliar environment. And you start feeling frumpy, grumpy, and icky and you wonder how you will ever get your groove back.

But then, a day like today happens.

The sun comes out and the breeze blows through the house and you hear lawnmowers and birds and something inside you insists - demands - that you break from your normal routine and do something fun. So, you take the kids to the park to let them run and play and go crazy and you let the sun shine on your face and you realize - all of a sudden - it's safe to come out now. The details have been taken care of. You do know how to get three kids out the door and to the park by yourself without a major crisis. You do know how to hold the baby, let the older kids play in totally different directions, and take pictures of it all while drinking your DDP. At some point, it all paid off.


You did the work, you went to the mattresses, and now you can start to enjoy it all again.




Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shhhhhh......

Don't make a sound.

3-2-1 Penguins is on the TV and for some reason, some anomaly of wonder, my kids are not talking to me.

They aren't asking for a snack. They aren't asking for a drink. They aren't telling me they are bored or asking to go outside. They aren't asking me to read a book or asking to play a game. They aren't fighting or arguing or singing or tattling.

Just total, complete, wonderful, delicious silence.


Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

10 Things You Never Thought You'd See Your Child Eat

1. Neosporin.

2. Neosporin with a side of Vapor Rub.

3. Half a cup of salt.

(for the rest of the list - and you know it's a good one - visit me at The 728b Foundation Blog)


Monday, March 08, 2010

Homeschool Plans Revisited

We are in the middle of our second semester of Kindergarten, and like I mentioned awhile back, I'm constantly going over what we're doing and if it's working and what should be kept and what should be changed. We did a major overhaul in November and it is working splendidly for the most part. Tot and I both love what we're doing and I've seen her move ahead leaps and bounds in math and reading. Part of what is so awesome about homeschooling is that there is an insane amount of things you can do and use in your school. With all of the wonderful programs and resources available, it's so easy to try do everything and do it all right now. We all know how your old Unsinkable loves a good idea, so this is particularly dangerous for me :).

So, what I'm doing here is writing out all the thing that I want to get done in the last part of this Kindergarten year, what I want to work on this summer, and what I want to start thinking about for 1st Grade in the Fall. Dave and I talked about doing school year round, but I'm not quite sold on it yet. I'm going to keep rolling on the year round school schedule and I'll take stock again at the end of April.

Kindergarten Goals

* Keep working through Phonics Pathways
* Finish Horizons K Book 2
* Finish Explode The Code Book 2
* Finish A Reason for Handwriting - K
* Keep working through Bible lessons
* Keep working through Great Composers & Great Artists
* Field Trips: Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, Dallas World Aquarium, The Heard,
* Order the Tropical Fish Hatchery Eggs & begin the Root View plants when weather is consistently warm
* Maybe order butterfly larvae, ladybugs, or praying mantis (?)

* What's Not Working: Tot got an awesome science kit for Christmas called "The Magic Schoolbus: Journey Into The Human Body". We loved the book, but the experiments were just a little over her head. There was much talk of synovial fluid and villi and such. After a few weeks, I packed it all away and we're going to pull it back out next year. Way cool, just a little much for Kindergarten. In place, I'm going to do a few mini units on other things.

Summer Plans

* Work on Garden
* Identify birds in our yard
* Certify our backyard as a Wildlife Habitat
* Field Trips (or really, just family trips): Dinosaur Valley State Park, Palo Duro Canyon, Arbuckle Wilderness, Turner Falls


1st Grade Inklings

None of this is set in stone, really. I probably won't order curriculum until May (around the Homeschool Book Fair time) so I've got time to keep browsing around and see what I like. As always, there is so much I want to use and look at, but we only have so many hours in a day and I don't want to over do it. I'm marking the ones I know I will use with an asterisk, the rest of it is up for grabs.

* Math - Horizons 1
* History - Story Of The World Volume One
* Reading - Phonics Pathways
Spelling - All About Spelling (??)
Writing - Writing With Ease (??)
Grammar - First Language Lessons
* Science - R.E.A.L Science Odyssey - Life
Art - Artistic Pursuits
* Handwriting - A Reason For Handwriting - A


So, there you (and I) have it. It helps my head to have everything laid out in front of me and a rough plan to go with. And of course, the beauty of homeschooling is that if it stops working, you can chuck it back to the bookshelf and save it for the next kid :)


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Spring


You just can not overestimate the power of sunshine and a warm breeze.







Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Cuteness



She crawls.

She has two teeth.

She eats whole avacados in a single sitting.

She sleeps through the night.

She sits unassisted.

She laughs like a machine gun.

She is scared of people with gray hair.

She grins at her siblings.

She splashes the water and laughs in the tub.

She holds her toes while she nurses.

She's becoming a person.

A really, really cute person.




Monday, March 01, 2010

25 Days!!

Only 25 Days, my friends, until I will be going here,


(Tucson)


To visit this friend,



To go to this conference,



And maybe have a little this and a little that,




And a little more that,

Mmmm......


And lots of this


(This is supposed to be smiling. We'll have lots of smiling. Not lots of smiling cats. That would be weird.)


Anyways, I am SO TOTALLY EXCITED. I'll be going with just Allie and Diana's sweet husband Josh is watching her while Diana and I go to the Beth Moore conference, so there will be plenty of girl time and lots of refreshing and rejuvenating. I am needing this girls weekend ever so badly and I can. not. wait. to see my friend!!

Only 25 Days!!

Hmmmm.....what am I going to wear??