Thursday, November 12, 2009
The same year, another cousin (from a different side of the family) delivered homemade cookies that she had her children had made to Fred's dad on Veterans Day in honor of his service in Vietnam. He was extremely touched. What a great mom you are Katrine! I figured if she could do it, so could I. We don't have any local family, so we decided to find out which of our neighbors were vets and deliver to them the next year. Needless to say, our efforts were graciously recieved.
In years past, we have gone up to the VA Hospital in Asheville with some other homeschoolers and the children have lead the pledge to the American Flag before the start of that ceremony. After that gathering they would roam the crowd asking men and women if they were veterans and presenting a card of thanks if the answer was "yes."
This year, our 4-H group wanted to do something locally, so we visited 4 different nursing/assited living facilities and delivered cards and flowers.
One my favorite parts of Veterans Day this year was when we delivered cookies to a gentleman in our neighborhood that we had never actually met. Shamefully, this man lives directly across the street from us. We both have very long driveways and I have actually only seen him a half dozen times in 5 years. Each time he has been driving to the mailbox, turns around and drives home - never smiling waving or cracking the window for a quick hello. We found out this year he was in the Army for 30 years before retiring, so naturally, we wanted him to get some cookies.
We arrived at his house and rang the doorbell. He peeked out of the window, but was reluctant to open the door. "Hi! We're your neighbors," I called out. At that he cracked the door and then the girls took over..."We heard you were an Army veteran, so we just wanted to wish you a Happy Veterans Day and give you these cookies we baked to say thanks for your service." What an instant change. A smile took over his face and he came out to chat with us about his time in the service and his job as a college professor after leaving the Army. Then he invited us over to go swimming in the summer when he and his wife got the pool ready. (I didn't even know they HAD a pool!)
The girls couldn't believe the complete turn in personality once he discovered we had done something nice for him. The girls remarked about it later that he had done something nice for them (by serving) before they were even born. I think they get it, and that makes me a happy mom!
Monday, November 9, 2009
She had pretty much perfected an Artisian bread recipe. It's super crunchy on the outside and super moist on the inside, the kind that's awesome with olive oil and spices. Saturday, she entered it in the County 4H Bake Off.
Much to her surprise, she not only won the junior division, but also won Best of Show! In fact, when they were announcing the winners for the junior division, her face showed her disappointment when she wasn't announced as the 3rd or 2nd place winner. She said she was just hoping to get a ribbon, she didn't think there was a chance of her winning. Then to top it off, her bread was chosen over ALL the yummy cookies, cakes and breads that were entered.
Bread making definately takes practice. The first time she did it, it left much to be desired, but she was persistent and each time she made it, it got better. Now, after at least two dozen loaves, it is scrumptious every time, and the judges agreed. Yay for Becca!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Half of our family has been down with the flu over the past few weeks and with all the extra stair running and laundry and hand washing added to my normal mom/wife duties, I haven't had a minute to spare.
This week school is out (except for math) for a "teacher needs a break" week. Sarah has two days of make up work to do this week due to being sick last week and still isn't feeling great although today she is FINALLY fever free. I didn't want to pile her up too much - what's the point? We'll get the rest done eventually. It's really nice to be able to work around life's setbacks. Rebecca is doing a happy dance because she feels great and only has to finish math every day.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Our group has been searching for something interesting that we could do year after year to minimize the planning and prep for this event. This year I think we've found it! One of our families has started "raising" bees. What would a farm be without a bee? Bare. That's what. No fruits or veggies without those little pollinators. So, they did a display about bees and their grandfather built us a small glass hive which was a huge hit with everyone. Who doesn't like looking at bees up close without the fear of getting stung?
Our craft was an easy pipe cleaner bee pencil topper.
Looks like next year the Hawks will be teaching about bees again. :-)
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
My cousin leaves for Iraq today.
I'll admit, I haven't seen him in person for at least 10 years. Then, he was a typical teen boy closed up in his room with a set of headphones totally avoiding the crazy cousin who just wanted to hug on him. Plus, there's no doubt the infant and toddler I had with me caused him to turn up the volume and crawl farther into the teen boy cave.
But despite that, this kid has a special place in my heart. I'm sure I'm turning into a sappy old woman, and if he ever sees this he'll probably be mad, but this is how I remember him...
See, he really did love me!
Funny thing is, even though I have hundreds of memories of him, mostly little everyday things, he probably doesn't remember much about me since most of the time we spent together he was between 2 and 6 years old.
While I was in college in Florida, I spent my summers living in Wisconsin with his family, working at his dad's business, and playing nanny for him and his younger sister alot. I spent most holidays with his family too, so it was almost like me coming home when we were together.
I was proud of the fact that even though I was "not a real mom" I could dress and feed two kids, pack a diaper bag, strap them in the car seats, and take the mini-van down to the grocery store or even to the mall for a whole day without blinking an eye; not to mention caring for them for up to a week at a time if my aunt and uncle needed to travel. Granted they were good kids and I was the cool cousin (not the mom) which made it fun. If they had been alot of trouble, I probably would have been scarred for life and never had kids of my own.
I feel like I really watched him grow up, even though I've mostly missed the last 17 years of his life. So, please keep him and all our troops in your prayers today and every day.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
For the most part, nothing take a great deal of time except history. So, I think we are going to have to cut back on that even though that's the girls' favorite subject. It's just taking TOO much time! Is there anyone out there who has used Sonlight Core 5 that can give suggestions on what is critical for this year?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Here are some good links for activities:
Read the whole thing here:
Here is an outline of the Articles:
Article I - Legislative Department - how senators and representatives are chosen, rules of procedure, compensation, privileges and restrictions, mode of passing laws, powers granted to Congress, powers denied to the Federal Governmnent, powers denied to the states.
Article II - Executive Department - President and Vice President, powers and duties of the President, Impeachment
Article III - Judicial Department - The Federal Courts, jurisdiction of the Federal Courts, Treason
Article IV - The States and the Federal Government - state records, privileges and immunities of citizens, new states and territories, guarantees to the states
Article V - Method of amendment
Article VI - Public Debt, Supremacy of the Constitutuion, Oath of Office
Article VII - Ratification
God Bless America!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
In the years past, they have always placed very high with everything they entered. This year was a little different. The competition is getting tougher and to be honest, they didn't put alot of thought and prep into the items they entered this year.
Nevertheless, we had fun.
Rebecca won 3rd place for a beaded necklace she made and 2nd for a colored pencil drawing. I personally think her drawing should have won first. The first place picture looked like it had been traced from a coloring book! Here's Bec's:
Sarah only entered two items, neither of which won anything.:-( But she did help with the county 4H booth that won first place. :-)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Look! They are even smiling!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Enjoy this one. :-)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
For awhile she set up a little stand at the end of our street and sold to the neighbors. (We live on a dead end street in a very rural area, so that was the only traffic.)
One lady who loved the bar she bought, placed an order for 40 small bars to give away to her home health care business customers. Now she has ordered 40 large bars to resell at the local craft fair. My baby has become a wholesaler at 10!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Next, I move to planning a specifc week. I only do one week at a time -usually on Sunday afternoon - so that I can make adjustments as needed depending on our schedule. Below is a picture of the sheet I use. I just made it on Exel. Each child gets her own up on the fridge Sunday night. I make a copy of each one and put it in a binder for my own reference, because they mark theirs up pretty heavily. If you're wondering what "couch" is, that's our reading time that we do together in the morning. "Extras" are any appointments/lessons we have.
When it's filled out it looks like this...
The "x's" in a box means that subject is not assigned on that day.
We've used this little "grid" assignment sheet for years. When they were very young, I didn't post it on the fridge. They didn't really know I had a plan. We just moved from one fun learning activity to another. When they got a little older they got one of their own every day, but with far fewer subjects than I've listed here. About 2 years ago, they got one for the whole week. Each year it changes a little, but the overall concept stays the same. I tried to change the layout of this little assignment sheet this year, but it made me confused, so I went back to the old standby.
Do you have any scheduling tips?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This year the girls have been a super help - peeling, cutting, chopping, measuring, filling jars. I'm very thankful they enjoy doing it.
So, we'll be starting "official" school in September when the kitchen isn't so hot. When do you start?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
That's not enough feathers for 4 chickens. I could not understand how a cat (or anything for that matter) could carry off 4 chickens and leave only a handful of feathers on the ground. Maybe one got "got" and the rest escaped to the trees. Maybe they'd come home in the evening when it was time to roost. None of these were viable options in my kids' minds.
Sarah was hysterical, Becca was reservedly gloomy, and I was bummed because we'd been feeding these chickens for nearly 5 months and now that they should start laying eggs any day, 4 are GONE.
The story does have a happy ending. About an hour later, Rebecca was on our playset and heard something in the bushes...all 4 chickens. I guess they literally "flew the coop". We had clipped their wings, but I guess it's time to do it again. Not to get cliche happy, but they probably realized that the "grass was greener of the other side of the fence" since they have totally destroyed every bit of grass they had in their yard. We let them out in pairs in a small chicken tractor, but I guess that's just not enough for them. They had tasted the good life and wanted more. I just glad for the girls that they are all accounted for. :-)