Monday, May 24, 2010

Science & My Homeschooling Daughter

This is our last week of school.  We are wrapping up a few things and I'm cementing our plan for next year.  I'm feeling so much better about my choices after getting some valuable input from Jimmie.  I've got everything pretty much decided except ...
S C I E N C E.

This year (being our first year, I feel as though I should remind you) we used the same curriculum our District uses.  Ho hum.  I felt accomplished that she finished the book early....but that's the list maker in me...checking off a task.  It really didn't ignite any passion.  We didn't get too dirty.  But we got that darn book done.

I was considering that we should go it on our own this year for science.  Maybe we'll get that textbook for the vocabulary, but I'm thinking we need to go deeper.

Then I read the guest post on the Well Trained Mind blog.  I'm not a fan of deciding my children's future, but perhaps that's what I am already doing passively.  Maybe my lack of mastery in science has influenced my children.  My excitement for my comfort subjects (English, history) must be palpable.  Had my assumption that my artist daughter would never be an engineer accurate (maybe, but did I have to voice it?).  OK, so I promise to demonstrate equal excitement about all subjects.  That's the best I can do.

Then my oldest daughter (my artist) shows me this insane YouTube video.  Awesome.  My wrists are slapped.  I have a renewed passion to introduce my youngest to science in the most engaging, get dirty, love it kind of ways.

Try watching all of the Symphony of Science videos; even if they push against some of your beliefs.  I'm curious if perhaps the poetry of science and the poetry of religion just use different words, but come to similar conclusions?

One of my favorite lines from The Poetry of Reality (An Anthem for Science) is, "I think that science changes the way your mind works.  To think a little more deeply about things." (PZ Myers).  Atheists or not, the ideas presented in these videos spark a renewed wonder of God's creation in me.

Then my youngest daughter (the one I'm supposed to be 8 yr old) asks me if she can play with binary numbers for math.  Um. Sure.  How?  I wonder.  I guess I'll learn along with her.  My point being that the interest is there.  Was it there for my older girls?  In my focus on reading and imagination, did I miss it.

As a homeschooling mom, I now have to get past my insecurities in science and open the door for my daughters to explore.  It's now (and was then - *sigh*) my job.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Swapping Fun

This was my first time participating in The Homeschool Post's Swap and I had so much fun.  I was paired with Lynn at The Ladybug Chronicles.  I'm a girl who loves a theme so it was LOADS of fun for me to find fun ladybug things to send her.

And the love that was sent to me was extraordinary!  Lynn showered me with treats!!  It was so nice to look forward to something special in the mail box.  I've got to tell you; the bills are getting just a little old!
Starting from the special flower card on the bottom left, there are:
  • two tablets with great sayings ("a little more laughter; a little less worry; a little more kindness; a little less hurry" and "Wherever life takes you...enjoy the ride!", 
  • a perfectly wonderful menu organizer, 
  • From Here to Eternity - a collection of prayers and quotes (I especially liked the 30 day plan of prayers for your husband; day 1 starts today!), 
  • a very sweet bookmark (much better than the Pokemon card that I am currently using! - How did she know?!
  • an inspirational magnet with a star penny to wish upon, and 
  • The Orchard - a parable by Elisa Morgan.

I was so excited to use the menu organizer that I told my daughters that they were in charge of coming up with at least one of the days' dinners.  I may be in trouble.  My oldest quickly penned Schnitzel for this coming Thursday.  Does anyone know how to make schnitzel??

The best part about the swap was that I found myself saying an extra prayer for Lynn throughout the day each time I came across a ladybug something.  I hope she felt my hugs from so many states away.  What a great way to make the world a little smaller for us moms.  Thank you The Homeschool Post!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We Got a Free Cat That Cost $330

I love kittens.  I love cats.  I love how they snuggle.  I love how sometimes they kind of accidentally drool when they are purring a lot.  I love them.  However, I do NOT love litter boxes.  We have not had a cat in a long time because I can't get over my litter box hate.

My wonderful, loving husband is far, far away for a long, long time and we had a moment of insanity and agreed to give a home to a stray cat.  A stray cat that is used to living outside in the big, wide world.  (And yes, I did ask him!  And, yes, he did say 'yes!')  My husband demanded requested that we name it "Pussy Galore."  You know, from 007.

Turns out Pussy Galore is a boy.  Pussy Galore becomes Knobjob (instead of Odd Job from 007, again).

We're idiots.

He's a full grown tomcat with a bit of an attitude.  Nice guy, but a little edgy.  Tough guy with lots of scars.  I decide he should be named after a fighter...thus Knobjob becomes Marvin (as in Hagler).

First things first....he must go to the vet and have his little "procedure."  Btw, I'm all about spaying and neutering.  Don't get me started.  I'll be on my no-more-pets-in-this-world soap box in no time!!

He goes to the vet.  He was covered with fleas.  Flea bath and treatment was added to the surgery bill.  The vet says one of his canine teeth (and why do cats have canine teeth?) is split and the pulp is exposed.  Well, no wonder he is a little "edgy."  Out the tooth comes.

Now Marvin becomes Bucky (as in Get Fuzzy - notice the tooth).

And this is how Bucky came to live with us and rang up a $330 vet bill the first day.  God bless him.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WFMW: I Steal Things

So what has worked for me these last few months is actually attempting to replicate some of the super cool things people share on their blogs.  The photo below is of chunky crayons we made from old crayons - they were cute, but as soon as you tried to color with them, their tails and heads broke off.  Yep.  I'm a total copy-cat.  That's me.  The sad thing creations don't always turn out the way the original blogger's did.

T and I made a Mini Office inspired from Jimmie's Collage:

Gound Hog Day Fun totally stolen from Gourmet Mom on the Go:

I tried to make Bakerella's Cake Pops...this was the best I could do (but, hey, they tasted delicious!):

And here The Pioneer Woman comes to my rescue for my birthday girl:

Easter Sweetness Fun with Peeps courtesy of Gourmet Mom on the Go:

Homemade Serenity helped me feel crafty with string eggs:

So there you have it.  My confession.  And these are only SOME of what I've stolen within the last couple of months!  I know.  It's a problem.  If only I could have some clever thoughts of my own!

Check out We Are That Family and find out what works for everyone else on  Works-For-Me Wednesdays!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stranger Danger and Bedazzled Guitars

My oldest was at college today and I received this email from her:

Well I owe you a lovely story.  A nicely inebriated (I would say pot or alcohol but this poor guy was so far gone and dirty that I want to say he may be doing a harder drug) asian guy with dreadlocks was playing the guitar outside the library today.  I sat down to eat some yogurt and have my tea and look over some school work before cracking down on sitting for the next hour until my next class.  This nice man (he introduced himself as Ryan) sat down and started playing the guitar right next to me, staring and drooling.  I ignored him, as I tend to do with weird people.  He kept playing and proceded to talk to me about how he thinks he may be becoming his own worst enemy, everything he hates; while smiling...and drooling.  He is quiet for a while, but an excellent guitarist so I just keep eating my yogurt and listening.  I start to draw him a picture as thanks for providing entertainment.  Before I left he told me a beautiful girl like me should never go anywhere without somebody serenading me and to have a lovely life.  Creepiness aside, it completely made my day.
PS. I forgot to mention that he had completely glued sequins all OVER his guitar.
It initially worried me that she had forgotten my "stranger danger" lecture, but then as it rumbled around in my head I realized that I was good with it.  She had seen beauty in an unexpected place.  She had probably given him a little bit of something by not scurrying away.  I'm glad my children can look at the world boldly.

She gave him the picture she had drawn.  When she left, he was taping it to the front of his bedazzled guitar.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

WFMW: Staying Creative in the Kitchen

This is the backwards edition of Works For Me Wednesdays hosted by We Are THAT Family.  This is where I get to ask YOU a question.

Here's what I'm dying to know; how the heck do you stay creative in the kitchen?  My husband is off on the almost other side of the country working until August, so it's just the girls and I.  I have zero motivation or creativity right now.  I'm like on auto-pilot; just making the same ol' same ol'.  And that's not each night. I must confess there have been quite a few nights of breakfast for dinner (and by "breakfast," I mean a bowl of cereal).

How do these women I read about who grind their own flour to make their own bread...because it's the healthy, right thing to it?  I so fail at the art of traditional homemaking!  (I do rock at the art of puddle jumping, though!)

Maybe I'm just in a funk and I'll snap out of it.  In the meantime, if anyone has any bright ideas to get me motivated/focused/encouraged in the kitchen...I'm all ears!