Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My little helper

Tank has been busy cleaning the glass on the french doors today.  With paper towels and Windex in hand, he then worked his way through the kitchen as well.  I see him duck into the bathroom and then out again with a big wad of paper towels.


What are you doing, Tank?


I'm cweaning the sink.


You are?  Why?


Because I sawed on the bawtle that it will cwean the sink and make it spawkle!  I heared it say that on the bawtle.  Don't worry.  It will just take me a minute.


He disappears again for a minute.


Is the sink clean in there, Tank?


Well, it's not spawkling yet.  It IS shiny, but it's not spawkling.  Maybe we should give it a few more minutes...


Yes, maybe we should. :-)  In the meantime, I will hug and kiss and tickle him and just enjoy him while it's just me and him.  Maybe dawdling isn't so bad after all!

Ups and Downs

The past two days have definitely had their ups and downs.   Today was not so good.  Dawdling, whining and more dawdling with just one little handwriting page!  Surprisingly enough, this was by my usually on-target-and-happy-to-race-through-it-all Tank.  *sigh*  So I sent him to bed until he was "rested" enough to get back to work.  So Dash finished and then went to run errands with dh and Dozer.  I rustled Tank out of bed (never did sleep) and he is currently in boy heaven washing my windows.  Weird, huh?  But very sweet and helpful!


Our Memorial Day was very relaxing.  It rained most of the morning and then off and on during the afternoon.  I don't know what it is about rain, but I love how it makes the kids sleep in!  The big boys stayed in bed until after 9am and I made Dozer get up when it was nearing 11am!!!  We went out for lunch, did a little shopping and then spent the rest of the day at home. 


The boys (all of them!) had such fun digging in the yard, sitting in puddles and oozing through the mud.  They were quite excited when they found a crawdad (aka crayfish) and kept it in a bucket with some mud and water.  We looked up more information online and found that they liked worms and snails. generous little guys didn't want the crawdad to starve.  They immediately began the hunt for snails and worms.  The take: 1 worm and 28 snails!  Good thing it was a big bucket!  They stored their new little friend under dh's truck (but it's not behind the wheels, mom!) so the birds and other predators wouldn't get it. :-)  Somehow, the little guy escaped and probably hid in the depths of the swampy jungle that is our front yard.


We also went blueberry picking for the second time in a week.  It is SO relaxing to go late in the's not too hot, it's peaceful and there are TONS of berries on the bushes.  We quickly filled a 5 gallon bucket in only an hour (including potty breaks).  You just can't beat the price of $1.50/lb either!  They were delicious in a blueberry-strawberry smoothie this morning!


And to end with another UP... the other day Dozer (who is 18 months old) was merrily playing with this construction set in the living room.  I asked him if he wanted to go outside.  He got so excited, picked up every single toy, placed it in the plastic container, snapped the lid on, and then brought it to me!!!  Without me even asking him to!!!  Whooohoooo!!!  Then he said "sssshhhhhooooooo" and started hunting for his shoes so he could go play.  Just when I think I can't handle his crazy into-everything-ness, he does something like this.   And I realize there is hope!  heheheee... just kidding... sorta...  He is really sweet and cute and cuddly and fun...but he is also into e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g !


Gotta go make something with blueberries now.  Anyone have a recipe that includes oatmeal and blueberries?  I've got tons of both!




Sunday, May 28, 2006

Finally! Pictures to share!

I guess it would be a good idea to start with a pic of my mom and sisters (and me!) at Coco's baby shower.  I'm only a month behind on the post...


(me, my mom, Lele, Bobo and Coco-- who is the prego one)


So I guess this picture would be before (April)...

And this one of my niece Emily would be AFTER (last week):



Isn't she beautiful?!  I wasn't very good with the camera on this one though...the flash kept making her squint her eyes.  She looks really big in this picture but she's really, really small on that quilt!  Which, I am proud to say, I made all by myself!  A seamstress I am not, but I think this quilt ended up quite lovely. ;-)


Since I'm in a picture uploading mood, here's one of Dozer making a tower from the pantry.  Was 4 enough for him?  Nooooo....he just had to go for one more which was his undoing!



I don't think I could've made that big of a tower with those materials...


And here's one more of Dozer making the biggest, grinniest face that he could muster!



Well, that's it for now.  Have a great Memorial Day, my friends!






Saturday, May 27, 2006

Dash is actually doing Mind Benders all by himself!

The other day, I showed Dash how to do a logic puzzle from Bright Minds.  It is called Mind Benders Beginning Book 1 and teaches deductive thinking skills.  Now, I LOVED logic puzzles when I was in 4th grade, but I don't remember doing them at as young of an age as Dash (who is almost 7).


I couldn't believe it when he opened up the book today and did 3 puzzles all ON HIS OWN!  This is the same kid who needs "encouragement and prodding" just to do a simple math sheet or one line of writing!  He is a bright boy, but does not like to face any kind of challenge alone.  If an answer to any problem does not come to him immediately (be it grammar, math or even drawing a picture), he starts crying and pouting and I have to coach him throught it. about aggravating!


Man, it IS a good day today in our house!  Even if the baby is in his bed pitching a fit right now...he's tired and has a terrible temper and the boy just needs a nap.  But who cares?!  Dash did it ALL BY HIMSELF and said it was FUN!  And he got all the puzzles right too!


If you haven't had a chance yet, definitely check out Bright Minds where you can find lots of great products that help to build critical thinking skills.  And their nifty site lets you shop by grade level, which makes it even easier!  Great for Pre-K through Adult.


By the way, this was not a requested review from the publisher...I got this book on my own and just really love it!

Friday, May 26, 2006

I always associated with Bert anyway

<table width=350 align=center border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=2><tr><td bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align=center>
<font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif" style='color:black; font-size: 14pt;'>
<strong>You Are Bert</strong>
<tr><td bgcolor="#DDDDDD">
<center><img src=""> <height="100" width="100"></center>
<font color="#000000">
Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!<br />
You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you<br />
You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil<br />
How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others
<div align="center"><a href="">  The Sesame Street Personality Quiz</a></div>



Well, I always liked Bert more than that silly Ernie anyway.  I would like to think that I'm more fun than Bert!  But you'll have to ask my friends and family about that.  Dh does say that I'm a very nice person but I have a mean streak on the inside that scares him.


I'm not sure about the odd passion though.  Is it weird to collect cookbooks from my travels instead of magnets?  Or baking pans?


Okay, I'm going to stop asking questions now that I don't want to know the answers to!





Thursday, May 25, 2006

Update on my week

It's been a long and exhausting week, but lots of fun!


I got to see my beautiful niece Emily and nephew Benjamin this week!!! And spend lots of time with two of my sisters and even my mom and dad. 


I got back home from OOOOOOOOO-klahoma(!) on Tuesday, had our last day of Master's Club for the semester on Wednesday night, and had a fantastically fun and fabulous Homeschool Field Day with some friends from church.  I am simply exhausted!  But the entire family had a fun time of fellowship, yummy food, and giganto moonwalk-like slip and slide we rented, and a b-day party for a friend all rolled up in one.


I am SO blessed!


I hope to post a couple of pics tomorrow but don't hold me to it-- I am so ready to get back into the routine of school!


Now it's time for me to clean up and wash up.  By the way, flip-flops are NOT the ideal footwear when you're in charge of 4-6 year olds at a field day that is held on a mini-ranch.  Talk about dusty and icky feet!


Talk to y'all tomorrow.


Friday, May 19, 2006

I don't know if I've ever been more offended!

I got this in my inbox today from AFAI am offended beyond words!



The Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) has refused to apologize for an obscene anti-Christian assault in the campus newspaper Insurgent.

The March edition of the Insurgent ran one of the strongest attacks on Christianity I have seen. The paper ran graphics depicting Jesus as a homosexual. One was a depiction of a naked Jesus on the cross with an erection; the other, titled Resurrection, showed a naked Jesus kissing another naked man, both sporting erections.

When asked for an apology by Students of Faith, ASUO refused to give one saying that "there are no grounds for demanding an apology from Insurgent." The ASUO went on to defend the publication saying that the newspaper contributes "to the cultural and physical development of the university community."

The Insurgent would never show a naked graphic of the Rev. Martin Luther King kissing another man, both sporting erections. But offending Christians was of no concern to the Insurgent or to University President Dave Frohmayer.

The ASUO Women's Center tolerates no defamation against gays and lesbians. Three years ago, ASUO demanded that the university radio station, KUGN, drop Michael Savage (a conservative talk show host). The university promptly discontinued the program. But depicting Jesus as a homosexual is perfectly OK.

Here is what Insurgent Student Editor Jessica Brown had to say about the graphics. "I have to say it is really fun to offend people. It is fun to break the rules. If it pi--es people off…good that's the point!!! It has here in this office. So read, get pi--ed and talk about it."

Incidentally, the University forces all students, including Christians, to pay student dues of $191.00 per term, part of which goes to support the Insurgent.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Win a free blog makeover!!!

Win a free blog makeover courtesy of RugbyHS Web Design!!!

As part of the birthday celebration, Ronda is giving away a layout (template) to the lucky winner.

To enter the contest:

Leave a comment on her blog with your blog address and the reason why you want your blog to get a makeover.

On Sunday, the ladies whose blogs that she has designed will vote on your entries.  A winner will be announced on Sunday evening.

Spread the word!

(RugbyHS will send web set choices to the winner so that you can choose one that fits your style.  Then everyone will be able to see it unfold on BlogDesign.)


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Helloooo World! My niece is finally here!

My big sis Coco had her beautiful baby girl yesterday at 1:56pm.  Emily Reagan weighs 7 lbs 6 oz and is 21 inches long.





No offense, J, but I am SO glad she looks like Coco and not like you!  Looks like she's got those asian eyes too...


The boys and I are heading up to OKC to visit her this weekend.  I CAN'T WAIT!!!  It is really hard not leaving right this minute...but since I actually want to be helpful when her dh goes back to work, I will be patient.


On the HSB front, we're just waiting on Amy (aka nutpickle) to have her baby!  She's went to the hospital early this morning so please pray for her and baby.





Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Birthday HSB!!!

I can't believe it's already been one year!!!  The Front Porch is a celebratin' ALL WEEK!  Here's the scoop...


Guess who's having a birthday?  Homeschoolblogger.  Yep, that's right our beloved HSB will officially be one year old on Tuesday, May 16th


Somewhere over in Eastern TN, I imagine Gena is sticking out her tongue at Jen saying, "Neener, neener, I TOLD you they would like it."


So, we just want to celebrate all week long with contests, prizes, and fun.  Carla from Shade Tree Cottage has already volunteered to donate two wonderful gift baskets of her handmade, all natural, organic soaps!  Wow, just look at her site, you can practically smell the soaps on there!!


If any of you would like to donate prizes for our contests on the Front Porch this week, just email me and let me know.  We so appreciate you all blogging with us and making HSB such a wonderful blogging community.


So let's get started with our very first contest for the week.  We want to take a look back through some of your best blog entries.  Choose one of your favorite blog entries (that you've written) and post the link here as a comment.  Maybe it was when you shared your testimony, maybe it was a great homeschool story, maybe it was funny or maybe it was a great picture.  Whatever it is, just post it as a comment here and we can all browse through HSB's "Best of..." And be sure to blog about it on your blog.  We want to spread the word all around HSB!


~Nancy Carter

Senior Editor of HSB

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Review of Every Man a Hero, Every Woman a Coach

Every Man a Hero, Every Woman a Coach by Joel N. Orr


I like the title. I really do. It sums up a good relationship, doesn't it? It's also nice to be reminded that MY DEAR HUSBAND IS MY HERO! I hate to say that I have to be reminded in the first place, but with three young little men at home I get caught up in the very busy daily "stuff" and sometimes forget the truth about my main man. :-)


On the back cover of his book, Dr. Orr asks the question: What does it take to make every man a hero? The answer: A coach who sees his potential and wants him to win!


I have read some inspiring, encouraging, or just plain kick-you-in-the-rear books on being a good wifey (depending on the season, I was in need of all of these types of books!). Joel Orr's book is a little of each.


First of all, I really liked his very analytical points. He ends each chapter with Key Points to think about, talk about and take action. This is one of the most systematic books on marriage that I have read and includes a very detailed Table of Contents.


Second, it's not as touchy-feely as some other marriage books, but much more explanatory. Definitely appeals to the brainy, fact-loving side of me! This book would be a good gift for your non-mushy know the type...


Dr. Orr also does not really mention God in his book until Chapter 46. I don't believe anything he said went against the Bible-- he just chose to approach the subject of marriage with a hero/coach model instead of using biblical references. His ideas and writing does actually support what the Bible says (so we can read on!). This also makes it a helpful resource not just for Christian's, but for those who are looking to improve their marriage but would probably not read a "Christian" book... Again, you know the type...


Every Man a Hero, Every Woman a Coach is written to both men and women. He encourages the woman to use her special skills to build up her husband. He encourages the man to take advantage of his wife's insights and to cherish her. Both are greatly rewarded for their efforts with a satisfying and joyful marriage!


And it is an effort at times, isn't it? Dr. Orr does not say that it's easy or comes natural to us. Great marriages take commitment. And for those that don't feel like they have one right now, YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM! Every day is filled with choices...You can DO something about it! Ahhh...I just love books that encourage action instead of the poor-poor-pitiful-me outlook.


Joel Orr knows what he's talking about when it comes to a joyfull and fulfilling marriage. You can just tell by his words how he feels about his wife and how highly he thinks of her! He was married to his dear wife N'omi for over 30 years.


Sadly, N'omi Orr died a few short weeks ago.  Dr. Orr sent a message saying that "My precious N'omi, the light of my life, accepted a personal invitation from the Lord of Glory to join him in heaven."  My deepest condolences to Dr. Orr and his family! It is comforting, however, to know that she is at the feet of Jesus and that she and her husband will see each other again one day. May we all have lasting and loving marriages like their's-- together in this world and also for eternity. That truly is the greatest gift and legacy you can leave your spouse and your children! Comfort and assurance of eternity.


Bottom line:  Two thumbs up for Every Man a Hero, Every Woman a Coach

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Great post on raising young men

Amy wrote a great post on raising young men... I like her.  She's a smart momma.


I am heading to my in-laws tomorrow for a few days so I will be out of commission here in blogland.  If anything cool happens, drop me a line, okay?  Amy V., that means you and your bebe too!


Speaking of Amy's, check out AmyBeth's latest batch of beautiful photos!  She is so talented with that camera...  Oh and dear Amy from Peru has changed her blog name, so be sure to stop by and say hi!


I'm sure there are more Amy's out there...but those are the ones I know off the top of my head.  Doubtful that there are any, let alone many, Marsha's though.


Have a great week, my friends!




Sad but true article and a hilarious video!

Amy posted this emergency prayer request today for Stacy McDonald of Homeschooling Today.  Please pray!


EmptyNestMom posted this article on her blog today.  It talks about the price high achievers pay.  I was one of those high achievers... While I loved to learn, the classroom actually kept me from truly learning anything in-depth or worth remembering.  Teachers were too busy trying to keep it under control or they simply did not show any type of passion or interest in the subject they were teaching.  It was simply a job to them...but apparently not one that they thought was worth doing well (there were a few exceptions of course).  Since I hate repeating myself, you can see my comment on her blog.  Thanks for the great article, Cindy! 


And mom and dad, if you're reading this don't take it personally okay?  I think y'all did a fabuloso job of raising us!  And I did learn, but it just could've been better...and times have definitely changed since then!  You know I love you both and could NEVER have asked for better parents!!!


Not one to want to end on a down note (well, at least not all the time!), I got this HILARIOUS video from my friend JaybirdWarning:  This will be extremely funny to some of you and just plain dumb to the rest of ya!

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Time to Pick Your Own

Nope, not your kids or your nose!  Time to pick your own fruit!  I know the Ig's have already gone...Coie's posted some great pics of their strawberry endeavors.  Here in Texas, strawberry season has only a couple of weeks left and we still have two more to go until the blueberries are ready.


Click here to find out what's available in your state!  Don't forget to CALL AHEAD to see what's available... Also, be sure to pack sunscreen and insect repellent.  You may even be able to bring a picnic and make a fun day of it!  I usually go blueberry picking twice-- once by myself (for the sheer solitude and quiet) and once with the kids (because they just love it!).  Have fun!!!

Monday, May 8, 2006

Buy/sell used curriculum!!!

Sagerats is having a contest to help promote The HSB County Fair where you can sell and buy used curriculum, EVEN teacher edition's/guide's/answer key's, with no host percentage fees!

Oh be careful what you say around these parts

I was looking through my friends' blogs and came across a post that was a bit frightening.  Sagerats was writing about some information she got from her sitemeter.  I have a statcounter but no sitemeter on my blog.  Apparently, you can find information about the people that visit your blog-- like the site they came from and the site they went to after visiting.


I know Amy (DandelionSeeds) has mentioned at length about internet safety as well...and using safe codes for our children.  If you haven't already thought about nicknames or using the safecode, maybe now would be a good time to do that.


Also, AmyBeth has written a good post on The Company Porch on how to keep your blog from showing up on a Google Search.  I haven't done this yet, but I will now!  I was rather surprised at church last night when a friend mentioned that they had come across my blog!  What???  No one at church knows about my blog.  Apparently, they were doing a search on radiant barrier paint (which I mentioned in a previous post complaining about my electric bill).  Zoiks!  No telling what I've talked about in previous posts that could lure some sicko to my site (implies no reference to my friend at church).


I hope this has given some of y'all food for thought.   I know we can't live in fear or anything, but it doesn't hurt to take some simple measures to increase our privacy.  And be careful which words you choose to use in your least throw those weird a*ster*isk*s* or other symbols to mix things up.


Speaking of privacy...  


On Sunday night, someone charged 1.00 to our credit card.  The fraud department notified us since the transaction detail only came through with a bunch of letters (instead of a store name, etc).  We were told that it is common for a low amount such as a dollar to be used to "test" the card first...before further fraudulent charges are made.  I am SO thankful that they found it in time and we were able to cancel our card immediately and reissue a new one!  So be sure to always check your statements VERY carefully!  Our cards have been in our possession so I have no idea where this fraud originated.


I promise a peppier post tomorrow (hopefully!). :-)




Sunday, May 7, 2006

Saturday, May 6, 2006

What is your mothering type?

I was visiting Nancy's blog and she directed me to a quiz that she found through Janne.  I would say that it pegged me pretty well!


Your type is: ISTJ  —The “Responsibility” Mother


“I have a serious love affair with to-do lists. I could sit for hours reading, organizing, and rearranging my weekly calendar.”

  • The ISTJ mother has a highly developed sense of responsibility: for work, home, family ... particularly her children. Whether she’s overseeing daily baths or insisting on a 10 p.m. curfew, her efforts are largely focused on providing her children with order and routine. She wants them, regardless of age, to be able to count on her and the structure she provides.

  • In carrying out her commitment to her responsibilities, the ISTJ mother is organized, industrious, and detail-oriented. Because her focus is the day-to-day realities of life, her children are likely to feel secure and well provided for.

  • The ISTJ mother also sets a good example and provides her children with practical guidance on being a productive, responsible individual. Still, with all her seriousness, she may delight family members with her quick wit and observations about the details of life.

If y'all take the quiz, let me know what it says about you and whether or not you think it's accurate.


Have a great Saturday!




Thursday, May 4, 2006

Contests, prizes and I actually WON one!!! :-)

There are just so many contests going on right now. 


Much thanks to berrymorin for allowing me to win April's drawing for a very yummy-sounding Mango Banana Lip Balm from County Bunny Bath and Body!  I'll try to use it on my lips instead of eating it!  If y'all haven't had a chance to check out her site-- Marcus and Me-- you really should.  It is pretty much updated every single day with different contests, activities and other fun and interesting tidbits for you and your family.  And be sure to leave a comment since there is a new winner drawn every month!


In other friendly news, it is time for Round 3 of "How Well Do You Know Your Homeschoolblogger" hosted by Amber.  I'm very sad to say that I did not do very well on this quiz.  I must have missed a post or two from my friend's list.  Oh well, it was still LOTS of fun!  And you have to check out the very silly pic of Amber too.


The mucho-moocher JenIg is also having a contest where you can win the book From Basic to Baghdad by none other than the son of fabulous Maggie Hogan.  Just visit Jen's blog and leave a comment about the friends you’ve made at HSB… ones you find yourself thinking about, or praying for, throughout the week.  Easy-peasy, huh?


Okay, time for me to go now.  It's been a good day and I don't want to ruin it by spending waaaay too much time on the computer (like I usually do!).  The kids are happy, the sun is shining (sorta) and my hubby is home.  Life is good!


Have a great night, y'all!





PS For those who have asked about my sister Coco, she has still NOT had her baby.  She is at a 3 though so it shouldn't be long....maybe tomorrow, say when her hubby gets off of work?  That sounds like a plan to me!  Might as well save as much vacation time as you can and utilize the weekend.  Besides, this weekend would be good for me too. :-)  Thank you for your continued prayers!



Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Homeschooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles

Like the cover says, it really is like a homeschool convention in a book!  I only wish I had this book when I first started homeschooling!  Oh well, better late than never...


This is my 3rd year homeschooling and I thought I knew all about the different learning styles and methods available.  But who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?


It was quite interesting to learn that I am in fact... a Traditional Homeschooler.  Who knew?!  I have always loved the Charlotte Mason Method and the idea of Eclectic Homeschooling... but looking at what I am currently doing, I am definitely in the Traditional category.




It's funny how God reveals things in His own time.  I've been debating, wondering, praying, wondering, thinking, and wondering about our curriculum choices for next year...  And then I read this book and realize that the current curriculum we are using does not match up to my ideal of homeschooling.  While it appeals to the busy, organized, check-off-the-box side of me, the fun and excited wonderment is definitely missing.  And this little book helped me to put in words what I've felt all along.


So whether you are thinking about homeschooling, just starting out, or still tweaking the process (like me!), this book is definitely for you!  It is truly a handy-dandy resource that is laid out in easy-to-read chapters.  It discusses the what, why and how of several different approaches/methods/philosophies of homeschooling.  These include Classical Education, the Principle Approach, Traditional Textbook, Charlotte Mason, Unit Study, Special Needs, Carschooling, Eclectic, Unschooling/Delight Directed and Whole-Heart Learning.


A BIG thank you to Paul and Gena Suarez (and the many talented contributing writers) for putting out such a great resource! Two big thumbs up from me!


I just love contests!

And here's a very cool and very easy one!


Spunky is giving away a Benz Microscope and Apologia Biology Set this week. Click Here to get the details.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Where babies come from

When I was prego with Dozer, Dash and Tank were quite fascinated with my expanding belly.  They were very excited about their baby brother's impending arrival and loved to feel his strong kicks and watching mommy's belly bounce and jiggle.  One of their favorite things to do was to try to look in my belly button and try to see the baby!


On Dozer's birthday, they were not too surprised to visit me in the hospital and hold their new little brother for the first time.  This, of course, comes to the question of How does it get out, mommy?  Fortunately, I didn't really have to answer this question.  They had always assumed that baby would come out of my belly button!


This was told to me yesterday by Tank, who is my very sweet almost 5 year old.


Tank: Heheheheheheeee.... (running like a spaz around the room with his shirt pulled up)


Me: I see your belly button!  It kinda sticks out doesn't it? (he's got a little bit of an outie)


Tank:  Whoa!  It looks like I'm going to have a baby!!!  heheheheeee.... (continues to run around the room like a spaz)


Me:  What?


Tank:  Noooo...  I know... only girls can have babies!  Hey Dash, it looks like I'm going to have a baby! heheheheee  (giggles again and runs around the room like a spaz)


I just love my little spaz!!!  He always cracks me up.