Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Did you know that books are not machine washable?



Hoodies are great.  When you wear a hoodie, you feel like a kangaroo.  You've got a pouch to keep your hands warm.  And it's a handy place to put your book and some paper and a pen for taking notes while you read.   (It's a unit writing thang!)   When the weather warms up you can remove the sweatshirt and run around in the t-shirt you wear under it and throw the sweatshirt in the car.  And when your wonderful children unload the car for you and kindly remove the sweatshirt you carelessly left behind and considerately toss it in the wash bin for you and you neglect to go through the pockets before placing it in the washer.....well, let's just say it wasn't pretty!   Oh, here, see for yourself......

Book Damage1
Book Damage 2
Book Damage3

Thankfully, there is PaperBackSwap to rescue me.....some kind soul out there is going to send me another copy of the book.  I wonder if she would still send it knowing what happened to the last one???  Thank you, dear Flora......I'll try not to wash this one!!

The real bummer about the whole thing was losing the notes of the first three chapters!!  They didn't survive the wash.

PS.....my youngest wishes to add a public service announcement:

                       Do not try this at home.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Unexpected blessing


We wanted to do something special last night with the girls, and since Plan A didn't work out, we decided to make a Plan B and go to the movies instead.  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was playing.

I don't watch much in the way of TV and have never seen previews for the show.  Didn't even know the book was going to be a movie until someone mentioned it on the Homeschool Share Message Boards,  so I didn't know what to expect. Couldn't imagine taking the book and filling 1.5 hours! But, overall, we were pleasantly surprised and rather enjoyed the movie. Not something I'm likely to purchase, but it was good.  

Our unexpected blessing of the evening was, when we walked in and were trying to determine when the show was playing and how much it was, a lady came up to us and asked if we were going to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs--in 3D--and we said we were thinking about it. (Still didn't know the cost yet.)   She said that they bought a bunch of tickets and one child didn't show......we could have the extra ticket.  

Wasn't that sweet!!  It was a real blessing....it cost $30 for the other 3 of us.   Wow....when did movies go up so much!?!?!   (Can you tell we don't go often?  That we're used to going to the dollar theatre!?!)


Friday, September 18, 2009

Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?????


Really believe?

Oh, I'm excited about our church's new Sunday evening classes!  This time around, I'll be participating in Focus on the Family's The Truth Project!!

Truth Project

Most of the believers of today live pretty much like non-believers: not having a biblical worldview.  This small group study is designed to help Christians start to look at daily life through Biblical lenses.  I can't wait to start reinforcing this in my own life! 

I've come a long way in my thinking....

but I'm sure I've got a lot yet to learn...

do I really believe that what I believe is really real???? 


Monday, September 14, 2009

Invisible Illness Week: Sept. 14-20, 2009

Blogging for II Week

Many are shocked when they learn that I have a chronic illness...three of them actually.   I don't particularly look ill.  That's where the phrase "invisible illness" comes in.  Each year in September, for Invisible Illness Week, bloggers everywhere are posting about their life with an invisible illness--a chronic condition that affects their life every day. 

If you think you don't know anyone with a chronic illness, think again.  Almost 1 in 2 Americans live with a chronic condition--it just may not be one you can obviously see!

I have Dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disease that affects the muscles and the skin.   At various times, I've had sore or weak muscles all over and painful rashes on my face.  I cannot be out in the sun much, as that will lead to a flare in the illness.  So, I've learned to wear sunscreen almost daily and to wear a hat when I know I'm going to be in the sun a lot.    I'm hoping that we'll be able to get disease under control and I can stop taking the nasty medications for it.  One night each week, I take 6-8 pills and then try and fall asleep before the nausea hits.   The following day, I'm generally tired.  The second day after taking them, I generally get a headache.  (Hey, at least it's predictable!)

I also have Interstitial Lung Disease, another autoimmune disease that makes my lungs weak and susceptible.  At the moment this is under control (in remission) and I'm taking no medications for it.

And I also have Raynaud's Phenomenon, which seems to go along with autoimmune problems.  My body doesn't always regulate temperature very well.  My hands and feet have poor circulation particularly, and my toes have begun to get numb places due the damage to the nerves.

So as bad all that sounds, I'm doing really well!! \o/  God is so good!!!  He is faithful and merciful.  I've come a long way since first being diagnosed (see my post for last year's Invisible Illness Week). 

While I wake up stiff and sore each morning, I'm able to walk around and do normal things without breathing difficulties.  I'm able to lift and carry most things.  I can hug and laugh and love on my family.  I can teach and we can go on field trips.  I am able to live each day!  I now find joy in even the smallest things.....a hug, a sunrise/sunset, a rainbow, a butterfly, etc.  I no longer take things for granted, especially such things as health and the ability to walk and breathe.   I can do all this because of my God.....He is my strength, my resting place. 

(If you want to read more about my story, see the post I did last year for Invisible Illness Week.)


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Download free encouragement for your new school year!


The Old Schoolhouse magazine has put together a compilation of encouraging words and advice from seasoned pros like Steve & Jane Lambert of Five in a Row, Amanda Bennett of UnitStudy.com, Malia Russell of Homemaking 911, Terri Johnson of Knowledge Quest/Bramley Books, Ruth Beechick, and more.

Their topics include:  cooperating with the Holy Spirit, managing a multi-level homeschool, organizing, and more.

Kick your school year off right......click below to read more and to download your free copy of The New School Year:  Planning Your Course and Letting the Lord Determine Your Steps.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Using Forunately for You's Pockets and Tags of Time in workboxes


Since we're doing workboxes (see older posts) this year, I've been looking for some items that can be put in them for the girls to do independently.

I had downloaded some of the freebies from Fortunately for You some time ago, but had not used any to date or even particularly looked them over.  (You know how it goes, download it because it's free and you might need it someday, save it on the hard drive somewhere, and forget about it. )  As I was going through my computer files recently, I found those freebies and took a closer look and got the idea that their Tags of Time or their Pockets of Time could be a great workbox items. 

After determining the difference between ToT and PoT, I decided to purchase a few of each.  I decided to use ToT with my younger daughter, who is not particuarly  creative, and I would use the PoT with my older daughter, who is my artist. 

Both products test the child's comprehension of a story.  For each chapter, there are summarizing sentences about the chapter for the child to put in order to show the flow of the events in the story.  

PoT involve the child coloring a rectanglular tag with the sentence on it a particular color, cutting them out, and then, as they read the chapter, placing them in order and putting them the chapter's pocket, which is created by attaching two pieces of cardstock together to create up to 3 chapter pockets on a page.  (An answer key for mom is provided and lists the order the colors should be in.)   When completed, the child can make a cover for the pocket pages, punch, and secure with yarn/ribbon and make a book. 

The ToT involve a child decorating a tag as desired.  The child places colored strips which contain the sentence in order on the tag.  (Fortunately for You thoughtfully include non-color strips that you can print if you don't have a color printer or if your color ink is low!  Then you must tell the child what color to color each strip.)  The child must also include the chapter number, the chapter title, and a small graphic that represents the chapter.  (Again, an answer key is provided telling Mom the color order and which graphic matches each chapter.)   The ToT allow the child more creativity in the placement of the items and how the tag is to be decorated.  Once all of the chapters for a book are completed, the tags can be secured with yarn/ribbon.

In both cases, the child can also use the tags to retell the story.

This works for my younger daughter because she doesn't have to go through the effort of writing (a laborious chore for her).  It will work for my older daughter, giving her an outlet to be her creative, artistic self.

My youngest will finish her first PoT today, The Courage of Sarah Noble.  Next week, my older will find The Sign of the Beaver in her workbox and will complete her first ToT.

  Works for us!

ETA:  To use these in the workbox, each day I would just place the book to read and the print outs of the rectangular tags for 3 chapters at a time.  Then doing one chapter at a time, DD9 would color the tag according to the instructions, making sure to read the sentences as she did so to familiarize herself with what to look for in the story.  Then she cut them out (just one chapter at a time), again reading the sentences.  I also had her write the chapter number on the back.  Then she read that chapter of the book.  As she read, she'd arrange the cards in order.  After she read the chapter, she paper clipped the cards and gave them to me for grading.  Once I verified they were in the correct order, they were placed in their pocket.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How do you know you're serious about making your own laundry soap?

When you go out and buy an industrial-sized soap stirrer (aka, paint mixer) to attach to your drill.  

Stirrer 1

I've been making my own laundry soap for about 15 months now, but this was only my second batch of the liquid kind.  It's cheaper than making powdered, but it needs stirring every now and again, so my dh went out and bought a stir stick that really does the job!!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Am I addicted to books or just paper?????



I've long admitted to being addicted to books.   Even back in school, I was the local book nut, the one kids went to to determine which book on the approved book list was good and, "oh yeah....can I borrow it from you?"  I had a lot of books then, and I still do.....and homeschooling doesn't help that addiction.

I have thousands of books.  Every room in the house has bookshelves and yet I still have piles of books awaiting a spot on some shelf somewhere!

Tonight I decided to put away the school supplies I had recently purchased from Wally World (that at the time I just threw in the school room).  

Gee willikers, why must I buy school supplies each year when they come on sale?  I know I have a bunch in the supply closet, yet I buy more....just in case.

I have almost 30 packs of paper (the 150 count kind) and about that many 1 subject notebooks as well.  And there's a half dozen or so 3 subject notebooks.  And a couple packs of construction paper.  And a large pack of cardstock.  And index cards.   And none of that includes the paper we keep near the printer(s).....pastel, neon, Christmas, more cardstock....

And people wonder why I don't scrapbook!!      Where would I put all that paper???

And my desk....well, the above picture says it all. 

......maybe I don't have a book fetish after all.....maybe it's just an addiction to paper in general?????