Monthly Archives: October 2013

We Needed an Exterminator Yesterday…

Linking up for TGIF at 123 Homeschool 4 Me.

TGIF Linky Party hosted by 123Homeschool4Me

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A word exterminator, that is.  I recently found the idea to make a tape spider web on the floor and then put word flies on it for the girls to read/find/catch.  Whichever “spider” got the most flies won.  I can’t find the original pin, but if you are looking for sight word fun, check out momto2poshdivas board.  I’m certain she had the floor spider web idea, but I know that I know, she has tons of great ideas and I have or will use many of them.

We did two versions.  Patrice had colors and color words on her flies.  Caitlyn and Sue had sight words on their flies.

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I’ll admit, I originally told Caitlyn to not go too fast, to give Sue a chance.  Turns out, she didn’t need the advantage.  She did fine on her own…and won!

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I do have a piece of advice, use painters tape.  I used, apparently, paper tape, and it was a bit challenging to get off the floor.  Painters tape would come up MUCH easier.  I *might* have been sitting on my floor with a Pampered Chef scraper to get the rest of the tape off the floor.

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The girls loved this game.  We will definitely do it again…with painters tape.

The Pumpkins are Sat Around the Porch With Care In Hopes Candy Would Soon Be There

I am returning to a link up I have not done in a while, the phone photos.  I used to have to search for photos to use for these link ups, but since I got my iPhone, I’ll freely admit, I never use the point and shoot.  My phone does a better job.
Last night was pumpkin carving night.  This year, all of the girls were old enough to work on theirs.  Daddy was definitely there and helped, but each did some solo.
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I might have seen this pin on Pinterest so hubby, and girls, made it happen.
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The girls were heavily supervised even where you don’t see it.
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We had a lot of fun with pumpkin carving this year.  Though I forgot to read them the Pumpkin Carving Gospel.  We might have to do one more pumpkin tonight as part of our devotions.
How are your Halloween or Harvest time preparations coming?  Are you tackling it tonight or has it been done for a while?  I’d love to hear about it.

Growing a Tree

We started growing a tree today.

In the Living Room.

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It’s our thankful tree.  Each day we are going to write things on leaves for which we are thankful.

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Next step is to write our thanks on them and put them on the tree every day until Thanksgiving.

I have much to be thankful for, but here is one I shared on Facebook and want to elaborate on here.

Today is one year since I unexpectedly became a stay-at-home mom when my job, for all intents and purposes, was eliminated.  It was a welcome, albeit challenging, transition.

I didn’t know what to do with myself.  And due to car issues, I was not only stay-at-home, I was ALWAYS stay-at-home.

Suddenly I was Patrices’ whole world.  I changed the diapers, I decided how much tv she watched and what she ate.  THAT PART?  WAS AWESOME.

Slowly, all of it was awesome.  A lot of the anxiety I had dealt with since Patrice was born, was gone or reduced.  Life was so uncertain,  but so much easier to bear.

It’s been a good year.  Now am I not only home, but so our the girls as we have taken on homeschooling.

And it is beautiful, and for this I am so very thankful.

I think I should go add the first leaf.

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The tree trunk is free hand, but the leaves are from a template at Live Craft Eat and can be found here.

Just Flippin’ Around

We were able to enroll the girls in some classes at the YMCA, thanks to someones’ generosity.  Caitlyn is finishing up gymnastics, Sue dance and Patrice karate.

It has been a lot of fun.

I know we are not supposed to live our lives over through our kids, and I don’t *think* I am, but I am loving seeing them accomplish things I have never been able to do.

All of them are so tenacious.  They work hard and don’t give up.  They follow instructions and have fun.

I took one session of gymnastics around Caitlyns’ age.  I discovered I had no balance and I was afraid of heights.  She, thankfully, has discovered she is strong and can do whatever the instructor asks.

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Down Time Equals Thinking Time

It has become my practice, as of late, to take a few minutes by myself after the family goes to bed.  Sometimes, it requires hours, some nights it is literally just a few minutes.  But those few minutes have my brain churning.

Back when I knew everything about what I would be like as a mom, you know before I had kids, I swore I would not celebrate Halloween with my kids.  We would go out for a fun dinner as a family, but we would NOT, NO WAY, do Halloween and Trick or Treating.

Then those kids were born.  And they were so cute.  The costumes were so cute.  It was a match made in Heaven, so Caitlyn became a pumpkin that first year, then we grew another pumpkin, and another.

Hubby and I have talked about it.  We’re pretty strict about what the girls can dress as.  No witches, no skeletons, nothing grotesque or scary.

This year we have a doctor, nurse and unicorn.

Turns out hubby thought we would not be doing Halloween now that we were homeschooling.  Oops.  I thought it was important not to take one more thing from them as we are transitioning out of school as they know it.

We’ve talked a lot about not dressing as witches because witches don’t love Jesus.  Sue walks through the store asking me why they have all the decorations of witches when they don’t love Jesus.  This brings on a conversation about how not all people believe like we do.  It sometimes gets weighty for an almost 6 year old and barely 7 year old, but they do a great job grasping it.

But is it enough.  Are we helping them understand what we do and don’t believe?  Are we doing enough to protect their hearts.

As you might imagine, these thoughts are weighing more on my mind as Halloween comes in 6 days.

Then last night I read this post about redeeming Halloween, engaging in Halloween or encouraging Halloween.  I have a lot more to think about and pray about before next year comes. I do absolutely love her Pumpkin Evangelism (downloadable PDF on the right side).  It talks about cutting off the top as letting Christ in, then the guts are our sin, cleaning it out is how Christ makes us clean, and the candle is like us shining the light of Jesus into the world.

I am so excited about sharing this with the girls.  We will add this our family desire to celebrate Halloween as kids getting to be kids and now talking about how Jesus changes us.

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How do you celebrate Halloween?  Has it changed over the years?

A Dose of Rambling

So, this has been a week.  It’s only Tuesday you say?  Yeah, well, it’s still been a week.

As I mentioned previously, things have gotten a little rough on the mental health front.  But I got through the weekend knowing I had an appointment with the psych today.  It had been confirmed via e-mail, letter and phone call.  So yesterday, my phone rang.  It was her office.  I expected them to be confirming again.

Wrong.  Oh so wrong.

There was a scheduling error, they needed to reschedule me for NOVEMBER 25.  More than a month away. Yeah.  NO.  Oh no.  I might have gotten a little disgruntled on the phone with the office.

She said she’d have the nurse call me.

Her solution?  To fit me in NEXT week.  Again no.  She said, “well I am shortening someone else’s appointment to fit you in.”

“But you’re not doing me a favor.  By giving me a new appointment.  I scheduled one for tomorrow.  And that’s when I need to be seen.”

Suddenly she found a new appointment for today.

I hate being obnoxious, but see, I don’t come to see the psych for giggles and grins.  I make those appointments when I have a need.

And by this morning, I REALLY needed that appointment.  My brain was telling me cruel things.  And the anger.  Oh the anger.

We have added in a medication.  I’ve  been on it before and it works.  I’d rather not be on it as it does make me a bit drugged and the initial side effects are humdingers, but I need to be the best me I can, so I gladly picked it up from the pharmacist who LITERALLY knows me by sight.  He doesn’t ask me my name, just if I am picking up for me.

I like him.

Then we headed on to Christmas pictures.  It’s early, yup, but dude this Groupon is totally worth it.

Here’s a picture I snapped with my phone while the photographer stepped away.

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And I have to brag on my Caitlyn today.  Hubby and I forgot to put out the garbage this morning.  I heard the truck coming but couldn’t get to the garbage…

Caitlyn saw the garbage wasn’t out and ran to put it at the curb in her pjs, without being asked or told!  Of her own volition.  This mama is PROUD!!!!  Super proud.

The Jumping Blurries Again

My head is a bit of a jumble.  I highly doubt this blog post will make sense, but maybe a miracle will occur as I type???

Last week I started to feel the dark tendrils of depression coming.  They didn’t crash in, just tickled, to remind me it is still there.  In all my stomach issues I had stopped taking my meds.  I was desperate for the stomach pain to stop.  So I thought if I just restarted them, I’d be in the clear.  It hasn’t been so neat and tidy this time.

It’s getting darker, and other triggers are there.

I am feeling too many feelings.  I can’t let go of things that upset me or hurt me.

I think about them over and over.

From today.  From seven years ago.

The worst part, when I react, I know it’s not how I would normally react.  Things that might normally sting, are burrowing and causing anguish.  Things that normally wouldn’t matter at all are suddenly devastating.  If it weren’t for some wonderful friends, things would be really messy right now.

This morning, I was thinking in the shower (dumb, I know).  And got upset about a couple things in Patrice’s birth, you know 3 years ago.  And because that’s not enough, my mind when back to Caitlyn’s birth 7 years ago to get upset.

Logical, huh?

And I’m pretty good at the putting on a good face in the day to day, so it’s hard for people to see the truth.  My psych I saw, and liked when working, even said it was often hard for him to tell what was really happening—and that’s his job.  What it means is I often have to tell people in the day to day that I am struggling.  And I feel stupid for saying it.  Like I am making it up.  Then I get mad at them because I have to tell them.

It sucks. (classy vernacular, huh?)

So off I go to the new psych tomorrow. I’ve seen her once and talked to her on the phone twice.  She seems good.  Her office is responsive.  That’s huge to me.



Going Kapluie

Thursday is often bit of a different day for us.  We  have homeschool co-op in the afternoon.  It changes up our schedule for the day.  And yesterday was another shake-up.  There was no co-op.

So we had Science PALOOZA.

In the morning we made exploding, er fizzing, candy corn foam dough.

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We did the fizzing in the area Stuie used to spend his nights when the bladder was failing.  Some of the yellow leaked out of our experiment box and the girls kept yelling, “Stuie’s back.”  Trust me, the vinegar, baking soda, shaving cream and cornstarch was much more pleasant to clean up than his presents.

You need to check out this fizzing foam.

Then it was on to phase two of the volcano.

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Turns out the photographer got bored and only took this picture.  We tried two different recipes for our paste.  The first one involved boiling and was goop.  It was not what I remembered using in school. So I tried again.  Turns out, you just need two parts water to one part flour.  Dip the strips in and pile them on the form.  The form is currently drying, with the  help of a fan.  The goal is to paint it today and go KAPLUIE sometime this weekend.

Here’s your chance to vote.  Should we use a baking soda and vinegar mix or 6% peroxide and yeast mix?  What do you think will give us the biggest KAPLUIE???

As a few side notes, we caught up on our science reading while working on our projects and will be doing some reading about volcanoes as we prepare for KAPLUIE.  Also, I am new to this, but here is my attempt to explain a co-op.  It is a group of homeschooling parents that work together to provide additional classes for the kids.  We go each Thursday for three hours.  There are a few sessions each year, but for this time around I chose a class on Johnny Appleseed for Caitlyn and Sue, puppet making for Caitlyn, Inside/Outside games for Sue (focuses on Christian attitudes when winning or losing a game), Geography for Caitlyn and National Parks for Sue.  Patrice is in preschool all three hours.  I volunteer in the first hour (Johnny Appleseed) and third hour (preschool).  It gives the girls a chance to interact with peers, continue to use and learn classroom/group etiquette and for me to interact with other homeschoolers.  There is a woman there that has been homeschooling her kids since day one.  Her oldest is working on her Ph.D, another is at Harvard, two are at Wheaton and the last is getting ready to graduate high school.  That encourages this mama a ton that it is possible to raise educated, well rounded kids…and possible to teach them how to read and write!!!


Call for Ideas

I am here to let you in on a deep secret…

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My kids…

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are truly

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They amaze me every day.  I love seeing their giving hearts develop.

Recently they have been talking about giving to people who live in the nursing home right down the street from us.  Caitlyn wants to make them paper flowers, Sue wants to give them presents and candy for every holiday of the year forever.

I got the ball rolling today.  I called and happened to get the owner of the facility.  He was very receptive.  He said just coming would be a huge help, that everyone just loves people and ESPECIALLY kids.  So we put together a plan.  We are going to come and bring little gifts they can use for for bingo.

Now I need your  help.  I think the paper flowers are fantastic.  And maybe a little candy, but I need more ideas.  HELP.  Have you taken your kids to a nursing home to visit people?  Did you take anything?  What worked, what didn’t.  We are not rolling in cash,  but I am going to find a way to let my girls do this.  Do you have simple fun craft ideas?  Little dollar store gifts thoughts?  Yummy treats we can make?


(And don’t worry about me getting too gushy.  I just had to stop typing to fuss at the 3 year old, you know, the spectacular 3 year old???)


The Many Facets of the Day…

I realized this weekend Caitlyn was not being challenged enough by our homeschool curriculum.  The reading and vocabulary get her, but there is very little copy work and the math is well, Easy Peasy!

So, I set about making some changes during my lesson planning Sunday.  I found some of what I needed, got great feedback from friends and teachers…and got overwhelmed.  And realized I needed to restart one of my meds I decided I should go off because of the stomach issues.

Monday I woke up hopeful.  And then the girls joined me at 7 am.  They were wired and I realized the day was going to be a little more challenging than I had hoped.

We started with a great Christopher Columbus unit.  I have to say I just found out it is hip to bash Columbus.  And while I’m aware he had shortcomings, that wasn’t the focus I was going for.  So, I tried to make it truthful and age appropriate.

Then we moved on to several other items.  And I mean it when I say several.  I realized I might have overshot the planning when I told Caitlyn I was going to glue her butt to the stool.

It was not a stellar day.  I finally called it after lunch.  I ate breakfast at 11 am and finally showered at 1 pm…

Patrice fell asleep after several trips to her room for LOVELY 3 year old behavior.  The moment I knew I was WINNING at parenthood?  I heard her yelling from her room, “I only like daddy.  I don’t like mommy.”  FYI, the day before, I was her best friend.  Guess I can’t derive my value from what a three year old thinks of me.

I knew that nap was going to bite me in the rear, but after the day she had, I was not waking her up!!!  No way, no how.

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Of course, in her life, that means if she sleeps during the day, she doesn’t sleep at night.  So, do you take the fussing more or pay later when she is a little night owl?

I have to say I ran away.  I had to run two errands.  Hubby had the girls out back, so I got in the car and drove away.  I texted him from the end of the street that I ran away and joined the circus, dinner was waiting in the oven.

And I enjoyed my errands.  I came home, she was awake, and I was rejuvenated.  Time to do pinterest crafts, right?

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Hubby cut the hole in the pumpkin, Caitlyn helped him get the vase in there, Sue and I arranged the flowers (with lots of help from daddy!)

And then on to preparing the wire form for our Candy Cane Volcano.

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Then everybody, except Patrice and I went to bed.  It was after all, bedtime.

But my buddy was wide awake.  We rocked and chatted.  Then I said I had to go mop the floor, with hopes she’d settle down.

No such luck.

She wanted to help.  And truth be told, it turns out she is a pretty good mopper.  But the end fell off my dollar store mop.  We kept putting it back on, but gave up.  I didn’t realize how sharp it was without that stupid piece of plastic.  And there was an area I had to scrub on the floor.  She still wanted to help.  She grabbed the end of the mop.  I kept scrubbing, and hit her in the chin.  And cut it open.

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She cried, I cried and what sucks more?  This picture is of her this morning, so her lovely cut will be immortalized in pictures forever (I’d reschedule but it is a groupon that expires Thursday…wait, maybe we could do it Thursday, you know, since we homeschool.  Does anyone think her chin would look better by then????).

She says her chin hurts a little bit…my heart hurts a lot.