Thursday, August 30, 2007

And The Power Goes Out

Go figure! I sit here and type and type and have links open on my computer to share. And poof - they're all gone. Just like that! Good thing that blogger now saves our work automatically. Not that it really helped me this time, because I had no links typed up when the power went out. Like I said, I only had the links open on my computer and I was all set to copy and paste and share them with you. I reckon that will be for another day. Yeah - the day I remember all the darn web pages that I had open.

Friday school work drug out because of JD. You knew it already - didn't you? I have to admit that he is certainly going to be my challenge. Hey - we all have to have our challenges every now and then.

Today has been a very long day for me, so I am heading off to dream land. My next post will be about "The Kitty That Found Us".

Is This Where I Live

Is this where I live? I had to ask myself that question today between 4pm and 5pm. The house was so incredibly quiet that I thought that I may have come home to the wrong house. Have you ever felt that way? I think this is a first time for me.

After our wonderful Home School meeting today, we all cleaned the car out and once we got inside, we put everything away. How cool is that?! Once that was done, I sat down to read a few emails and I started supper too. The phone rings and someone knocks on the door. Yes - all at the same time. That said to me - Welcome Home! It took me less than 5 minutes to answer the phone and the door - all at the same time. The knock on the door was one of the boys friends wanting to know if they could go over and swim. OH YES! Of course they can. The phone call was Superman saying that he had one more delivery and he was less than 2 miles from the house and he wanted MJ to ride with him. What a joy that was for MJ.

Now no one is home but me. Ok - me and 3 cats, 3 dogs and 3 horses. And the critters are so quiet. It was all I could do to keep from sneaking into my dark and cold bedroom for a quick nap. I resisted! I finished supper, WW and JD came home and started studying for their Science test. Superman and MJ were walking in the door about the time all of that was happening and the quietness was over. What a pleasant and relaxing hour that was. And I add - very much needed.

Today on the way to our Home School group meeting I was busy thinking of ways to make the ride a learning thing for the boys. So I started asking what the road sign that we just past had said. The boys had no clue. Then I started giving points and they were interested really quick. Talk about competition! Then I had to get more creative. Now was this a learning trip for me or was it for the boys? Ok - both! Now I try to make it real interesting. We start looking for road signs with US Highways on them. Oh yeah! US 27 and US 41 and on and on... They loved it. JD saw a solar panel and ask me what was it and then he ask what was it for. Without me really researching that particular solar panel, I couldn't give him a 100% answer. My answer was that it could be used to power the lights for the train engineer. Then they all ask about lights for the train engineer. Which lead to the question of what is in the cars on the train.

There was coal in the cars on the train. We talked about how coal is used to make power for us to use everyday. I am always telling the boys to please don't use the lights in the house during the day. Please open your curtains or your blinds for natural light. They just could grasp the concept of why I don't want the lights on during the day. Well today was an eye opening experience for them. The conversation about the coal lead to the miners that were trapped in the coal mine. I had to explain what miners are and what they do. Our boys had no idea that there were men and women that actually worked underground so that when we turn on the light switch we can have power and make the light work. WW said to me "Mom, why didn't you tell us about the miners? Now I understand and I will try harder to help the miners." What a wonderful think for WW to say.

Explain things to your children. Don't just assume that they will understand. Everything that you tell your children is not because you say so.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hump Day

We all made it to Hump Day! What a relief.

I have got to get out of the house more though. I am spending way to much time inside and our yard is really suffering from it. I need to pick up a few things and tidy the whole yard up. It really isn't too bad, but it isn't nice and neat like I prefer it to be. Since Rocko came to live with us, he has taken to laying in two places. Of course those places are right up against the skirting on the house. Right now it is just pushed in just a little but if I keep on putting off working on it, then it could get pretty ugly. I like to keep up with things like that so they don't get to far out of hand. It is one of the easiest things to fix too.

Speaking of getting out of hand. Yesterday I had the horses grazing on the yard. I hear a really weird noise in the den. I walk into the den and I can tell that the noise is coming from the window. I open the curtain and what do I see...Shadow looking back at me. Shadow is one of our horses. She has the screen from the window in her mouth. No joke! She pulls on the screen and it comes out of the window, then she drops it. Once she drops the screen, she starts licking on the window. What's up with that? She is just being her silly little (1500 pound little) self. And now I have a screen to fix. But this is just one of the things that happens around here from time to time.

School wasn't bad today. JD did have a small issue with a sassy mouth, but I just don't put up with it anymore. I just tell him in a very calm voice to go to his room. When he is ready to do school work and put his mind on the task at hand, then he can come back to the classroom. Today was just one of those days that he needed sleep. He gets that way from time to time. He went to his room and slept for over 2 hours. He knows that he cannot come out of his room without my permission, so after his nap he opened his door and called me. I didn't jump up right then, I waited a minute or 2 and then I went into his room and ask if he needed to go to the bathroom or get something to drink. He wanted a drink and then he ask if he could do his school work. He started on his school work and there were no problems at all the rest of the day. I really think that he is having some sleep issues and at some point they are just catching up with him. Superman and I are paying attention and we are trying to put things together and figure out ways that we can help him.

Tomorrow is our weekly field trip with our home school group. The boys look forward to it every Thursday. I have a few more emails to read and then I am off to bed. I refuse to stay up to late tonight.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Behavior at our House

Behavior can be such an issue at our house. It ranges from the behavior of a Saint to the Devil himself. Not only with the kids but with our critters too. If you have read some of my other ramblings, you would know exactly what I am referring to. For example: Biscuit (our black cat) walks around the house picking on Mindy (our Schnauzer). Biscuit will even chase Mindy. Really, she does. JD, he can be the sweetest little guy, but there are times when (I believe) that his head spins around.

Today JD just happened to be a Saint. We even had a couple of interruptions during class today. Yesterday I was certainly hoping for the best. I wasn't let down. I know that I will have to deal with the Devil himself, but not today in class. I am breathing a sigh of relief because I have been blessed with a nice day. Even on the bad days, I know that I am blessed, but sometimes it is just hard to see the blessings.

Today I tried something a little different. In the morning I did class with WW and JD. MJ and I worked together on his books in the afternoon. I know it makes for a long day but it really worked. Well, today it worked. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I am really enjoying the Lifepac. At this point we haven't bought the Bible curriculum, but I will buy it. The Language Arts, Math, History and Geography and the Science curriculum have enough reference to the Bible that makes it really interesting. The boys keep telling me that we need to get the Bible curriculum. Superman wants us all to do the Bible curriculum together. I think this would be a wonderful thing for us to do as a family.

Right now WW and JD are playing outside in the pool. They are sword fighting. I look out the window and see their faces smiling and their teeth shining from laughing. A second look and I see CoCo standing by the pool watching the boys play. What a glorious sight! Sitting beside me is MJ reading from his Science book. He has some trouble reading some of the words but I have to give him credit, because he sure does try really hard.

I keep thinking about a reward system, but the more I think about it the more I get confused. Well, not really confused but...it's hard to put into just one word. I remember my parents had a reward system - it went something like this. Behave and you won't get a spanking. Behave and you won't get restriction. I bet some of you remember your parents reward system. I know I certainly do! Nowadays all of the child experts (whoever they are) tell us that our children need rewards. A hug isn't good enough. In today's society we are supposed to take them somewhere and spend money on them. Buy them a toy, an ice cream or some other thing that says you did a good job. Manners are behavior. If you scream in class, you have bad manners. If you sneeze all over the table while eating supper, you have bad manners. Bad manners = bad behavior. Good manners = good behavior. It's pretty darn simple to me. But I know, I have to have a little compassion and a little empathy. Give me a little credit, at least I am trying! LOL

Monday, August 27, 2007

Home School on the Road

Today we had to take a trip to Valdosta Georgia. Granny Karen had a doctors appointment and I thought that we would make it a learning experience. In the back seat of the car sat Granny Karen, WW and JD. In the front seat of the car was Granny (my mom), MJ and myself. I always get the honor of driving when Superman isn't with us. But I don't mind. I mean really, here are the choices for drivers - MJ age 9, JD age 12, WW age 13, Granny age 72, Granny Karen age ? (late 50's - early 60's) and of course me age 46. And besides I am the one that has more driving hours than anyone else, since I used to drive for a living. And just who would you want to drive? LOL

In the front seat, Granny helped MJ with his sight words. In the back seat, Granny Karen certainly did keep WW and JD occupied with their sight words, sight phrases and their sight nouns. Not only did she keep them busy with all those words and such, they had to find things in the atlas. And I really lost track of how many things she did with them to keep them busy. How creative this lady is.

On the trip home, I let the boys off from their work. I did have them read road signs to help me in finding the right roads and in telling me which way to turn. Honestly, I knew the way home and all the roads, but it made them feel really important. The best part was when they had to read the signs to find us a place to eat. We were in search of a Cracker Barrel.

"MOM, CRACKER BARREL, NEXT EXIT!" I saw the sign before they did but I kept my mouth shut. Yes, the billboard announced that the Cracker Barrel was at the next exit and then left. The boys missed the "left" part. I ask "Ok, I got at the next exit part, but which way do I turn then?". They didn't know. They just so darn excited that the Cracker Barrel was at the next exit and they were, as usual, STARVING.

That's when traffic came to a stop because of construction. LOL Just my luck! 15 minutes, 2 miles later, our exit was in sight. Off the Interstate and now which way to turn. They did it! They read the signs and found out which way to turn. I took them through a couple of parking lots before we pulled in the our destination. The whole time they were telling me that I missed it, I took the wrong turn and that I needed to turn around. It was hilarious. Of course I took them through the extra parking lots to get them to read and give verbal direction and to express themselves. Really, just what's the fun in just driving and getting it done. I had time, why not.

Full bellies and South Bound. We pulled into our drive way and off the boys ran to play. Off I ran to the barn to help Superman (who just got home) feed the horses.

I enjoy days like today. The boys had a wonderful time too. Now tomorrow, we will be back in the classroom with our heads in the books. I just have to wonder what kind of a day that will be. I'll just hope for the best!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Empty Bottles

Last night I thought that I would spend some relaxing time in a hot bath. I walk into the bathroom to start the water and Captain (as usual) thinks the running water is for her drinking pleasure. Much to her surprise, her tail ended up soaked and the cat hair flew as she took wing and hovered above the water for a brief second before finally finding her wings and flying across the bathroom. Well that's what it looked like in the blink of an eye. Cats sure can move fast!

With the bath water all steaming and ready for me, I eased down in the water and instantly could feel my skin start to cook. Ok - a little to hot! It's too late to back out now. I lean against the back of the tub and try to relax. I see empty bottles (now why didn't I close my eyes). The empty bottles are shampoo bottles, liquid soap bottles and heavens knows what else. I just looked at them and wondered how did they all come to live beside the tub. Oh, now I remember! (That comes directly from one of the boys sayings.) I buy the large bottles, because it saves money, and I refill all the bottles around the house. Once the bottles are low enough, I turn them upside down and put them by my tub in order to use them and not waste a single drop. I even put a little water inside them when they are completely empty, just to make sure that not even one teeny tiny drop is wasted. I managed to empty the shampoo bottle, the soap bottle and the conditioner bottle last night. Now around my tub looks all nice and neat again, no skeletons standing around upside down waiting for their brains to spill out.

So far today I have managed to get a little cleaning done (Karisma, this is all your fault). I hate housework! I really do. There is no doubt that I had rather move horse manure all day as to spend 1 single hour cleaning house. I always keep the house fairly tidy, because we all pick up behind ourselves. I can promise you that if I find a pair of socks laying around, I will attach them to the floor with a nail and a hammer. Well not really, but the boys think I will. I have them convinced and that is what's important. During the day we are all individually responsible for our dishes. You mess it up you wash, dry and put it away. After supper we all pitch in and do the dishes. Laundry, well I wash everyone dirty underwear. Isn't that a lovely chore? I know I do it because there is a certain way that I want it done. What can be so darn difficult about doing laundry? Nothing, absolutely nothing. It's just something I do. Ok - the boys help out a little. They fold their own clothes and put them away.

Since I have dial up and it's slower than molasses in January, I am able to do a few of these things, while I was waiting for a few (dozen) windows to open on my computer. Here are a few sites that I found that I will be saving in my favorites folder, for later use. DIY Ideas, Garden Ideas, Kitchen and Bath Ideas. I think these sites may be what put me in the cleaning mode and not Karisma. Ok Missy - I'm sorry to blame it on you!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Total Lunar Eclipse

You might want to know that there will be a Total Lunar Eclipse - on the 27th of this month. I wouldn't have known about it if it hadn't been for Karisma. She keeps me up to date on these kinda things. Ok, Karisma really doesn't keep me up to date, I stole the link from her blog. LOL Why? Because I love her blog and I have to read it or explode. Now I just have to teach her to open those links in different windows, that way her readers can stay on her blog.

And Saturday Rolls Around

I finally got up before anyone else today! Quiet and it wasn't 2 am. Ok that lasted about 5 whole minutes. LOL JD sneaked into the kitchen and peaked over the breakfast bar to see me trying to read the paper before anyone woke up. Cutest little good morning from the cutest little guy. I love being a mother - yes - even on the rough days.

WW and JD had decided to do their Science class today. We were just so busy yesterday and it got so late, so I gave them the option of doing it today. It was fine for all of about 3 minutes. You guessed it - JD wouldn't read his assignment and then he started whining about the answers not being in the book and he hated Science and on and on and on. It certainly was a morning to behold. JD ended up in his room for the day. Finally around 6 pm he decided that his room was boring because he was not allowed any toys or anything else. He came in the living room and worked on his Science and a few other assignments that were behind because of his behavior.

Here's the real dirty low down. JD was in his room and Superman and I needed to go out to the barn. JD came out to the barn about 5 minutes later and said that he was ready to do his work. Well of course now I am busy, so I sent him back to his room. Once I came back inside, I went to his room and ask him if he was ready to do his assignment. He said yes. Off to the living room / classroom we went. Without any complaining he sat down and started. I headed to the kitchen to put something in the oven. And 3 minutes later he announced that he was done.
Yes - done! I knew in my mind that there was no way in this world that he was done. How did I know this? It took his brother (WW) over 30 minutes to do this and I know that WW applies himself. And once I looked at JD's answers and saw that he got everyone of them right, I knew for sure that something was up. So I took a piece of paper and I rearranged the questions and gave it to him to redo. Sure enough he wrote down the same exact answers. He had to match 1, 2, 3, etc... to a, b, c, etc... This time all the answers were wrong. Why? Because the questions were rearranged but he had memorized the answers.

It took me almost 2 hours to finally get out of him what he had done. He had looked in his brothers book while we were outside and memorized the answers. I had him redo the test and he worked on it for about another hour (yes, he complained), finally he was done and made a 100.

I sure do have my hands full with JD but as I have said before - I will not give up.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Finally Friday

I made it! A whole week of Home School! I did think that it would go a little easier than what this first week was like, however, I also knew that it wouldn't be easy.

I know that our children have issues from their past, I know that there are things that they remember that they should have never been put through. I know that I love them and I know that I will never, ever, give up on them.

Today was kinda a mixed up day. We had to run 2 errands in the same town. Thankfully it was our little town and not the big city. We started out with me taking the boys through our little drive-thru burger joint for breakfast. They loved it! Then we sat down at home and ate our breakfast and then we hit the books. Yes there were some issues today, but nothing like earlier in the week. JD once again drug out a 20 minute assignment and made it over 2 hours. Not only is he hurting himself by doing this but he is hurting his brothers. But then again - they are all learning lessons from this too. They are learning that if they do not apply themselves to their school work that they loose privileges. Had I known that JD was going to act out again in class today, I would have probably skipped the breakfast thing. But then again - he knows that he must not act out in class if he wants to do breakfast like that again.

There have been a couple of days this week that I have really been at my wits end. My mind races to act quickly but to act properly also. In time, with experience, I think I might get the hang of it. Regardless of me getting the hang of it or not - I am not quitting!

We weren't able to finish science today. I need to refraze that. I ask all 3 boys if they wanted to skip science today and do it tomorrow (reminding them that it will be Saturday). JD and WW were ok with that but MJ wanted to do his science today. That worked out really good because I was able to work one on one with MJ.
Superman will be teaching science on Saturday! Let's see how far JD can push his dad.

Thursdays Fieldtrip

We met with our Home School group again. Yeppers - back at the springs. I don't remember if I told you the name of the springs or not but anyway, we meet at Rum Island Springs. The kids get to swim and interact with others of all ages, even adults. The park admission is free on Thursdays. We had a great time (as usual). Our coordinator couldn't stay because she had to take her oldest son to the doctor. An email from her today said that her son is fine and on antibiotics.

We had 2 new parents and 3 new children join our group in the last week. Great people! I think the group is really going to grow.

I will tell you all about JD a little later. Ok - I'll tell you now. He was not allowed to swim because of his behavior on Wednesday. He sat at our table and complained about his work. My gosh - he only had 7 questions to answer. It was open book and the answers were on 2 pages. Ok - enough of that for now.

When we left the springs and went into Gainesville because as usual, I try to save time and gas and get everything done while I am out and about. We stopped by The Learning Path and the boys loved the store. I thought it was ok - well better than ok but I think it is more focused on Public School than Home School. There really are some wonderful things for the classroom, if you are into that sorta stuff. Once we left there we drudged across town and into the University traffic. Yeah - what a blast that was. LOL Barnes and Noble bookstore. One of my very favorite stores. The boys had read some books during the summer and for every 8 books that they read, they could get a free book. WW and JD was able to get 2 free books and MJ was able to get 1 free book. Pretty darn neat idea! I had 2 gift cards, one from Mothers Day and one from my birthday that I wanted to use to get me a couple of new books. I walked around and around and I looked and looked - no books for me. I know - how can I not find a book for me in a darn book store? Because I shop the bargain books. I generally buy my favorite author's hardback books for less than $10. That way I can get more bang for my bucks. Or more books for my bucks! I love a bargain! I did manage to find 2 wonderful wall maps for our classroom - one is a World map and the other one is the United States. I managed to get them for $6 and that was with my 20% Teachers Discount (more about this in a minute). As I was walking around looking for my books, I found a table with some school info on it. There was an application for a 20% Teachers Discount - It includes Home School. I'm all signed up for my Teachers Discount! Yee Haw! You really need to check it out!

5 O'clock traffic! Oh no! And to top all the traffic off, WW started screaming like a little girl! And crawling across the back seat and coming out of the shoulder harness of his seat belt. A teeny, tiny spider was on his seat belt. Boy, oh boy - You would have sworn that a giant man eater had jumped in the car with us. I had to stop the car and have a talk to him about spiders and they are not man eaters. It certainly made an interesting topic at supper.

Ok - now will you please pass the Xanax!

ps - JD finally finished his school work and the munchkin made a 100!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Knew It Would Happen

I knew it, I knew it! I knew it would happen! I was really tested today by our middle son. Superman and I were just talking the other night that home school would fall apart once we stuck our heads in the books. And it did. Did we make it happen by talking about it? Is is Karma? I don't have a clue but I do know that it happened. JD put me to the test today. In some ways I feel like I failed miserably and in other ways I feel like I did the best I could. Looking back now, I think I could have done better. And if hindsight were 20/20.
JD thinks that he should know all of the answers. Really he does - and if he don't know the answers he just gets very overwhelmed. How in the world can he advance to the next level or the next grade if this continues to happen? He refuses to read his assignments. When it comes to the questions he wants me to help him with every one.
For example:
#1 - 435 x 2 =_____ He will say that he can't do it. He will say that he is going to write down just anything and he doesn't care if he gets it wrong. He expects me to show him how to do it - when in fact I have showed him and showed him.
#2 - 17 x 1 =________ He says he doesn't know his times tables. He says he isn't going to do it. He wants me to show him how to do it again.

What am I supposed to do? I know he knows how to do it, I have seen him do it. I know he can do it, I have seen him do it. I know he knows his times tables, I have seen him do them. Not only have I been over this with him but so has his dad, so have teachers from public schools.
I really need some help or advise or some Xanax. Maybe a little of everything.

And just to let you all know right up front - I'm poppin a Xanax and gonna keep on keepin on!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rah Rah Sish Ka Bah

Ok I admit it - I have boys. They are all boys too! Today after class JD wanted to play softball or was it baseball. I can't keep them separate - they are both played with a bat and a ball. LOL WW and MJ didn't want to play softball, they wanted to play Frisbee. JD tried his best to tell me that I needed to enroll them in, in, something - he just couldn't get it out. I spoke up and said "You mean I need to enroll them in ballet?". "Yes mom, then they can stand around and jump and cheer and say Rah Rah Sish Boom Bah"! He was making fun of his brothers and calling them little sissies. It got a good laugh out of us all and JD and WW ran around the house cheering. But soon this got old and they ran outside. Only they know what they played, I tried to stay out of it and have my time.

Another good day for homeschooling. I never did get my little thing made with the pockets on it. I have an idea in my head about it, but I just can't get it out of my head. Once it's ready to come out, well I suppose it will come out.

I managed to catch the boys studying 2 times today. JD had to take all of his books to show his dad and he had to tell his dad all about class. WW and JD sat down before bedtime and had their books out and was going over them. I was impressed, shocked and proud. I certainly hope this keeps up.

After supper tonight, I walked around the yard and believe it or not, I actually took the camera with me. I sure did! Aren't you proud of me? So with that said and done, I have added a picture of our pound puppy - Rocko. In case you don't want to browse over and read about Rocko, here is a great silly picture of him. We were told that he is about 2 years old. We seem to think that he is younger than 2 years old, because he just acts immature and silly. More on the puppy side. He is wonderful with the kids and they sure do love him. Every once in a while he wants to herd the horses but our horses don't have much to do with that. They just kinda stand there an look at him as if to ask "You want us to do what?".


Now this is Molly, she is the queen of Beagles - better known as Daddy's Little Girl. What she has under her chin is a dog toy that was given to us when we first got Molly. She nurses on this thing, it's her pacifier when she wants to settle down and go to sleep. We call it Rudy - originally it started out as a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with a tennis ball in the end of it. Molly has never tried to tear it up at all, but some of our other inside dogs have teased her with it. You can tell her to go find Rudy and she will search the whole house until he has been rescued.



Mindy is our Schnauzer that came to live with us from a dear sweet lady that living in the Villages which is South of Ocala. It's a huge retirement community that is getting bigger and bigger by the day. Ms. Martha (90 something years old) couldn't care for Mindy anymore and ask her caregiver to call me because she knew that I would take care of Mindy. When Mindy came to live with us, her pads were as gentle as a new born pup. Not anymore - she isn't a city dog now. LOL I mean just look at her. She is dirty from playing in the pasture with Rocko. And she is in terrible need of a hair cut. She's as happy as she can be! And that's what counts.

OMG! I just looked at the time. What happened? It was just 9 o:clock. Ok, I'll have to show off the horse pictures and the club house and the 4 wheeler trailer another day. As for me - I'm off to bed. TTFN

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rambling Again

Once again I sit in front of the computer just rambling away about our little family. Our 3 boys have put us through a few test and I am sure that they will continue to test us as they grow older. Shoot - what are kids for anyway. And of course, Superman and I put each other through test too. But really isn't everyday a test. Don't we test ourselves. I know I certainly test myself. And if I were my best friend - there would be days that I just couldn't stand to be around me. The important thing is that we should be able to recognize those moments or those days. Superman and I had a little talk with the boys last night about such things. If we are having a difficult time or just a plain out bad day - admit it. If you can't see it in yourself and someone says "are you ok" or "did you get enough sleep" or even "wow, you sure are kinda grumpy today", take it with a grain of salt and take a better look at yourself. Maybe you are having a bad day or just not feeling very rested - say ok, I think I just might need a few minutes or even a little nap.

As I was typing this, my computer just decided it needed a little break. Imagine that! So while the computer was taking it's break, I was able to wash a few dishes and clean the litter box. I guess that was the computers way of saying HEY, this needs to be done - NOW.

Speaking of the litter box, how in the world did that ever become my chore. Who assigned that to me. I guess I just got the short end of the straw that time around. It's probably best that way because one time I ask WW to clean the litter box and no joke - he showed up with a clothes pin on his nose. Is it really that bad? Well any cat owner can tell you how bad it is.

Tonight at supper we talked about our first day of school and a few other things that we did. Supper was late tonight because Superman brought home a few tools so that he could take down a couple of boards in the barn to make more room for more hay. The boys really enjoyed using the hammer, the drill and the huge pry bar.
We don't have dessert after supper every night but when we do it is a big treat for all of us. Tonight I brought out the left over cup cakes from JD's birthday. I think the icing on them was at least an inch tall. WW was sitting there babbling about something while he was eating his cupcake and I looked over at him and I just couldn't resist pushing the cupcake into his face. I think he had icing up his nose but he started laughing so hard it didn't stay there very long. MJ thought it was funny too and when he gets to laughing, it's almost impossible for him to stop. Once the shoe was on the other foot or should I say the icing was in the other face - Yes, I just had to send icing up MJ's nose too. What was so darn funny about his face was his little Hitler mustache. How in the world can all that icing not stick except the little black part on his top lip? Of course I had to do it again after all the laughter cleared from the Hitler mustache. I just thought it was so fitting for the wonderful day that we had.

Ok - I gotta run, I am going to work on a little wall hanging with pockets for our classroom. Coming from public school, the boys know what it means to pull their tab (we're using clothespins). If they get their clothespin pulled 3 times during class they have to deal with their dad when he gets home. As the boys often put it - "It's not gonna be pretty". LOL

We Survived

We survived the first day of home school. Maybe I should say "I survived". Actually we all had a wonderful time. We talked and expressed ourselves, gave ideas and ask questions, we drew and we added, we talked about fractions, we talked about fish and water. We spent the first hour in class without any of us realizing that an hour had went by. For our first break we played Frisbee. I even showed the boys that their mom had a few moves when it came to Frisbee. I still got it! LOL
Once we returned to the classroom the next 2 hours went by extremely fast too. We went over our LifePac books and a few of our lessons. The last 30 minutes the boys reviewed their books quietly while I did a few things. They worked independently and quietly. Can you belief it?! Neither can I. LOL

I was certainly surprised that the boys did so well on their first day. Very little back talk - almost no back talk. A huge improvement from our (now) 12 year old (JD). He was very, very helpful in class. We completed class today at 12 noon and off ran the boys to play or to eat lunch. I ran to the bedroom for a little nap. I ask the boys to wake me up at 1:30 and we would head to the springs.

At the springs we worked on our diving, back flips, taking turns and snorkeling. I think we snorkeled more than anything else. We saw Gar Fish, Bream and Snapping Turtles. They all suggested that we learn more about the fish and the turtles. What a great idea!

When we finished swimming and headed home the boys were all talking about how cool home school is. They talked amongst themselves and I heard each one of them say that they never wanted to go back to public school. I hope they keep that attitude once we get involved in the books more. We won't go swimming every day that is for sure, but there is no reason that we can't end on a positive note. I kinda look at it compared to the time I was horse training and take a few training lessons. Always end on a positive note.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Our Weekend

All in all we had a wonderful weekend.

Saturday
Yes - we had a birthday party and it was a blast. JD is now officially 12 years old. Oh if you could have seen his face when he saw all the gifts on the table. He had a special chair that he sat in (my computer chair). They all love to sit in moms computer chair.

Superman sent me and WW shopping early Saturday morning for a few groceries and to pick up the birthday cake. JD and MJ stayed with their dad up until it was time for JD to go over to Granny Karen's. When we got back from shopping the house was spotless! I mean spotless too! What a neat feeling. And to think that I felt quilty for spending $250 on groceries. But it was 2 buggies full. Ok, so I don't feel so bad since I had 2 buggies full.

The party was a wonderful success. JD's facial expressions were so true of his feelings when he opened his gifts. The joys of being a parent and seeing their faces light up is worth the trials and tribulations that the children can put parents through.

Sunday
Do your children creep into your bedroom or open the door really quietly? I mean like they don't want to wake you up. And then they say "Momma?, Momma?". Mine do. LOL And they do this to ask me if they can watch a movie. My goodness boys, you know the rules, do all of your morning chores and you can watch a movie. It's pretty simple. You don't have to wake me up to ask.

We had spaghetti for lunch and it was delicious. I had taken some jar sauce Thursday night and put in a little onion and some ground chuck, cooked it and put in the refrigerator for Friday night supper. We didn't eat it for supper on Friday night, so today I heated it up, added more onion, garlic, oregano and some sausage that I browned. Served over angel hair pasta with toasted garlic bread - mm - mm - good. Ice cream for dessert.
Everyone washed, dried and put away their own dish and I ran off to take a little nap.
Superman woke me up and ask if I wanted to go with them to the springs. Of course I do. So this afternoon at 4pm we headed to the springs for the boys to swim. MJ had to do his famous back flips and show off for his dad. We gave him thumbs up from across the water. He just smiled, climbed the ladder and did another flip. We stayed about an hour and there wasn't any fussing from the boys about leaving. All 3 of them thanked us for taking them.

On the way home I heard JD say to his brothers - "I don't want to go back there because there's too much cussing". There were a lot of teenagers there today and they use such foul language. Now if you remember - JD is the one that had the cussing problem when we first met the boys. Times certainly have changed for the better around here. I explained to the boys that it was pretty crowded there today because of it being the weekend. They remembered that when we go during the week that there are less people there, including foul mouthed teenagers. And now JD wants to go again. Bless his little heart!

I am excited about tomorrow! It will be our first day of home school. I have big plans and high hopes. Tonight Superman and I talked to the boys a little about what to expect tomorrow and this week. We let them know what we expect out of them and ask if they had any questions or concerns. They were all 3 fine with everything and said they are ready to get started and believe that home school will be fun.

I have a few more emails to check on and a little more research to do before I head off to bed. I am sure the boys will be up at 7am tomorrow morning and I am sure that the door will creep open as they try not to wake me, only to say "Momma?, Momma?".

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Story of Rocco

About a month ago we had to have our big German Shepard put down. We hated it so bad and we still miss him a lot. So I have been thinking the last couple of days about getting another outside dog. I was thinking on the lines of getting one from an animal shelter that would otherwise be euthanized. I had even began to look online at some of the shelters in our area. I must have been sending some really heavy thoughts because Superman said night before last that he missed having an outside dog. ESP? I don't know - maybe we just know each other. And get this, I had even called and ask about a dog but she had already been adopted - that's when the shelter told me about Rocco. Last night we talked about it and I showed him a picture of Rocco. I told him the adoption fee was $30 and he told me just to go over and get him. I did! Me and the boys picked Rocco up today at about 11am. The boys fell in love with him when they first saw him and were ready to load him in the car right then.

The paperwork was completed and Rocco loaded right up in the car, laid down and every once in a while I could see his face in my rear view mirror and I swear he was smiling. Once we got home the boys opened the back of the car (actually an SUV) and out jumped Rocco and off they all ran to play. Now Rocco isn't too fond of the horses. But having herd dog in him - well, he's supposed to herd. I'm sure with a few little lessons about getting along with others that Rocco will work out just fine. He gets along wonderful with our little dogs.

Rocco was found at the animal shelter by a lady that loved dogs. She adopted him and took him home to play with her Peekapoo. They played together and had a great time. The lady and her husband started the process of a divorce and he would not let her have the 2 dogs when she moved. One day she went to the house where they lived and she took Rocco and the Peekapoo. Why? Because they were chained, thirsty and starving. She knew that she could not care for the dogs so she took them to the shelter in hopes that someone would adopt them. The Peekapoo was adopted within a few days but Rocco's time was running out. His status was urgent! He was to be euthanized this morning. Not any more - not him!

I can't save them all but I can do my fair share. Do your share and help an animal in a shelter. Make a donation, adopt a cat, dog, ferret, rabbit or whatever there is to adopt. But once you adopt them, take care of them.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Birthday Shopping

What a fun experience! This was actually our second birthday shopping experience for the boys. The first one was all organized, by that I mean WW had written everything out exactly how he wanted it and so on. He is our organized one, right down to measuring his room and all of his furniture in his room before he re-arranges it. And to the point that he will drive me crazy with his measurements. LOL

JD is the one having the birthday this Saturday. He is the one that flys by the seat of his pants at 90 miles an hour. He kept telling us some things that he wants for his birthday but he didn't make a list. Finally today he made a list. Why? Because Superman told him we were birthday shopping tonight when he got home from work. So there JD went flying by the seat of his pants at 90 mph again. LOL

So off on the shopping trip we went. WW was allowed to go with us because he wanted to buy something for JD and WW knew what JD wanted. So he was given the responsibility of keeping a secret and playing an adult by keeping the secret. He really likes feeling important like that.

Superman was a real trooper while we were shopping. He followed the list that JD had given us and started thinking about filling the buggy up. Oh the wheels were turning in his head. We started in the toy section and finished in the sporting goods - That's were Superman really came to life, he was in his element. With JD being so much like his dad and having camo as his favorite color, there was no way that Superman could go wrong.

Saturday we will get to see JD's face light up as if it were Christmas. He has made the comment that he has never had a good birthday or a good Christmas. We intend to change all of that for all 3 of our boys.

Oh yeah - another early morning in the morning and once again into the city and into the "Not NASCAR" traffic.

My First Home School Meeting

I am so excited! Me and the boys went to our first home school meeting today. It was great! The people were wonderful! We met at one of the Springs here in North Central Florida. Our group is the "Tri-River Home school Group" We meet every Thursday from 10am til 12pm. When we first got to the meeting, we had informal introductions, then all the kids ran off to play and swim. The adults kinda just walked around and watched the kids or went swimming. Me - I waded in the water, kidded around with the kids (all of them) and talked to a couple of other homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers. A very relaxing atmosphere. Merrillee (the group leader) called us all up to the table and we had a more formal introduction, she talked to everyone (kids and parents), just letting us know what to expect. That lasted about 20 minutes and then we were all off to play, swim, mingle and do our own thing.

While Merrillee was talking to everyone, MJ tapped me on the arm, so I bent down to hear his little whisper, He said "Momma, I think I am really gonna like this group". I think all of my boys are excited about being home schooled now more than ever. Even JD seems more excited about it.

The first meeting in September will be more formal and less play time. However, there will still be play time and swim time. We will attend as many meetings as possible and we all look forward to the lessons that we all will learn. There will be Park Rangers, Bread Makers and many other speakers for our group. We will take nature walks and learn lots and lots about nature. I am really glad that the boys are going to be in that first hand. And Merrillee is an artist and she will teach us all Art. How wonderful is that?!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Getting Hotter

I really believe that every year it is getting hotter here in Florida. I have lived with 20 miles of where I was born and where I grew up all my life and I really feel like it is getting hotter and hotter every year. That may possibly be proof of global warming. Honestly, I believe in global warming.

And to think that it is so hot that the boys come inside between 12 and 1 and they are covered in sweat and dirt. They are pretty much done outside for the day. Shoot, when I was a kid we didn't have air conditioning, so we had just as soon played outside as inside.

This morning we all decided that more cleanup around the barn was necessary. We all headed to the barn and the shade. You walk out the door and it's like walking into an oven. And that is at 9 in the morning. We pulled the 4 wheeler and the push mower out of the barn, hooked the trailer to the 4 wheeler and off we set to load, haul and unload compost. A much better name for our compost pile is Mount Manure. We loaded, hauled and unloaded the compost - 3 trailers full. By that time it was just blazing hot and the sweat was in all of our eyes and I had a salt buildup on my glasses that was horrible.

Tomorrow we go on our very first home school trip. We are meeting people from one of our groups. Yipee - we are swimming!

Bloggers Against Abuse


On September 27th, join thousands of bloggers around the world in BlogCatalog’s Blogging for a Great Cause Challenge.
This Month’s Blogging Challenge:
Bloggers Against Abuse September 27th, 2007
The Outcome we are after is to be part of the largest group of bloggers to ever blog about an important cause, all on the same day.
So how do you participate?
On Sept. 27th, blog about putting an end to some sort of Abuse (you decide what kind of abuse to blog about). In the meantime though,
Spread the word among all the bloggers you know. Perhaps even give them a link to this Discussion.
If you are a graphic designer, perhaps you can come up with some small badges announcing the event, that we can then place on our blogs. To share the badge, place it on this thread.
Let other members know of any organizations who are involved in putting an end to abuse.
What do you get?
You will receive a link to your Blog Post from the Blogcatalog blog when we list everyone who participated.
You get to use your blog for an important cause.
You get to create blogging history.

Not NASCAR

Up early and into the traffic. I hate traffic! Why? Because everyone is in such a hurry and they forget everything. Well almost everything.

Here's what they remember...
Drive as slow as you can in the fast lane.
Drive as fast as you can in the slow lane.
Use your brakes A LOT. To do this, you have to tailgate the car in front of you.
Stop in the travel lane to make a right hand turn.
How to use their cell phone.
How to apply makeup.
How to mash the gas when the light turns yellow.
How to blow the horn - for no apparent reason.
How to run a stop sign.
How to pass a slower vehicle with oncoming traffic.

I certainly don't agree with what the rush hour traffic remembers, but I sure do agree that those things are not what they should remember.

Here's what they should remember...
Slower traffic keep right. That's so that the faster cars can pass you.
Keep right except to pass. Move out of the darn way once you pass the other vehicle.
How to leave enough following distance. Not NASCAR! You are not drafting.
You do not have to stop in the travel lane to make a right hand turn (and you should not).
You do not have to talk on the phone all the way to work. You just left the house, what could be so important.
You should have gotten up a little earlier so that you could apply makeup before walking out of the house.
Yellow lights mean proceed with caution, not mash the gas.
Your horn worked fine the last time you HAD to use it, why test it now.
A stop sign means STOP. It does not mean Skid Tires On Pavement.
Never - Ever pass unless the coast is clear. Stop running other drivers in the grass. Once again - This is not NASCAR!
How to use their turn signals. They are there for a reason. At least give the driver behind you a chance to SCREAM before you dart in front of them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Better Ending to a Bad Start

Well I have to say that my 1 mile walk/trot thing was my workout for the day. I had all kinds of plans on what I wanted to accomplish today, but things happen. The horses made sure that I managed to get my exercise this morning. I guess they just figured I needed it - and of course - I did need the exercise. Thank you CoCo, Shadow and Redman!

After my little rodeo, I decided that I was pretty much done for the day. With the August heat outside and the air conditioner on inside - hmm... think I'll stay cool for the rest of the day. I started doing a few things inside and then I thought about getting a few errands done. Darn good thing I did. By doing 2 errands today I saved almost $100. Here's how I did it...

I decided to go ahead and run over to our local home school store and buy the Lifepac material that I needed to start school on the 20th of this month. They didn't have all the material that I needed, so I ordered it. By paying for the items today, I didn't have to pay State sales tax. Yes - no tax until midnight tonight for school purchases. How cool is that?! I had a store credit of $42.95 also. WW and JD will be starting in the 5th grade, so I don't have to buy the teachers guide for one set. That in it self saved me another $40. So with the credit, the discount for not needing the 2nd teachers guide and the no sales tax, I think I did pretty darn good. We were looking at $250 for each child, making it a total of $750. However, I managed to get all my material paid for at a grand total of $516.00. Yippee!

Off to Walmart I hurried so I could pick up a few last minute little things (3 chairs, 3 binders, 3 pair of scissors, 3 sets of binder dividers, 2 erasers and a quilt marking pen for me). We're getting ready for our big day - our first day of home school. I think the boys are as excited as I am. I showed all the material to Superman and I thought he was gonna cry. We both are so happy that we are able to love and provide for our 3 boys.

I almost forgot to mention that I started a quilt pattern today. I haven't quilted in several months of Sundays. So for now, I am off to bed (and lookie at that, it's before midnight), really early doctor appointment in the morning. Nighty, night, night!

How a Day Should Not Start

After being woke up at 7 am by WW, just to ask if he could shoot his BB Gun and then again by MJ asking if he could play the XBox, it seems my day just got worse after that. Finally after all of the interrupted sleep I crawled out of bed, managed to stumble my way to the bathroom, brush teeth, get dressed, make my bed and start to read my emails. Finally after more interruptions I managed to read all of my emails and even answer a few. Off to the barn I go to put the horses out to graze. Today I thought I'd graze them on the road - wrong idea. LOL

About 15 minutes later I'm hanging out clothes and woe and behold the horses are gone. I don't panic over these things because this certain isn't my first rodeo. So I grab my carrot stick and head down the road. Oh there they are, just grazing away in the tallest grass they can find. I do my little raspberry kiss to them and they turn around and start walking back...

No - don't go down that road, turn left - not right. Of course they turned right and headed to a small paved road (no big deal, it's just a subdivision road). So I walk and walk and walk some more. I call and call and call some more. I hear them in the woods and then the bust out on the 2 rut road beside me and start trotting back in the right direction.

No - go straight - don't turn right. Yeppers - 2 of them turned to the right and down the lime rock road. Off Redman and I go back to the barn and the pasture.

I run in the door, holler for the boys, grab the 4 wheeler key and run to the barn. Running isn't much of an option for me because it is already 98 degrees outside. I'm driving the 4 wheeler with WW on the front and JD on the back. We race down the 2 rut road and stop at the paved road - look left and right and back to the left. Deputy to the rescue! LOL Yes, down the road was a Deputy in his car with 2 horses grazing beside the road. We headed down toward him and he called me over to ask me if I knew who the horses belong to. "Yes sir, they're mine." "Ok, I will move out of your way and let you do your thing."

Off down the road the boys and I went on the 4 wheeler behind the horses, with the Deputy behind us. And in 3 minutes CoCo and Shadow were back in the pasture. A great big thank you wave from all 3 of us to the Deputy that helped. Not only did he help but he didn't even scold me for having the boys on the 4 wheeler. Just another thing that I love about the country. We use our 4 wheeler for our little farm and not for joy riding on the roads. Oh I'm not saying that we won't go and play in the mud with it, because we will. But there is a time and place for everything.
As you can see, all of the horses look so innocent. Just hanging out instead of getting out. I have to say - there is never a dull moment around here.

Marshmallow Shooter

I was so darn surprised that I could not react. Yesterday I had to use Superman's truck to run an errand. He has some of his work stuff in the passenger floorboard with an odd piece of PVC pipe sitting on top. I kinda wondered to myself, (now what in the world is that for?). I just let it go because it really didn't matter. Hmmm...my mistake. LOL

Superman and JD took a ride uptown to buy a few things. While they were doing their thing, I managed to get WW and MJ's showers done, the horses feed and the sprinkler moved. I was out in the pasture when Superman and JD slipped in the back door and put away the bread and the milk. I walk in the laundry room and JD comes out to meet me. "Mom, dad wants to see you for a minute". Well that's pretty darn common and I didn't think anything about it. So I walk into the dinning room and then I come around the corner into the kitchen. That's when it happened...
I took the blunt force of a marshmallow right in the forehead. Yes, a marshmallow! The boys just busted out laughing and I am just standing there with this really dumbfounded look on my face. "What was that?" JD picks the marshmallow up off the floor, shows it to me and then eats it. Now the Superman and the boys are running around in the kitchen and the den shooting marshmallows at each other - kinda like spit balls through a straw. It was hilarious!

The strange piece of PVC pipe that was laying on top of the tools, has now become a marshmallow shooter. It may have been a marshmallow shooter when I first saw it, I don't have a clue on that. However, I certainly know that for about 10 minutes that's exactly what it had become.

So I will have to make a trip to the hardware store to buy PVC pipe to make more of these things. WW talked about how he wants to make one but he wants to be able to shoot 2 marshmallows at a time. Little smarty britches!

I was just sitting here and thinking about this fun and harmless game with mini marshmallows and thought I'd google it. OH MY GOSH! These things are online - You can actually buy them! Check this out! Marshmallow Shooter

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rabies

"Mom, he's gonna get rabies if he puts that hook in his mouth." I'm at the barn feeding the horses and that's what I hear coming from the back steps. I listen a little bit and chuckle to myself because the next thing I hear is "MJ if you keep doing that, your gonna get dead".
Personally, I have never heard of getting rabies from a hook. Gonna get dead...Well that's something else totally different. I guess it goes right along with DRT which is Dead Right There. Superman is always coming up with initials like that, and of course they are rubbing off on the boys. When you hide around the corner, you'll hear all kinds of things that you've said in front of the kids. Just chuckle to yourself and keep on going. It's pretty darn silly around here sometimes.

Now let me think, what was all the talk last night at supper? Oh yeah - it was about how the boy's were gonna have sisters and Superman was going to teach the girls to be mean. It was all in fun and every one's cheeks hurt from laughing so hard. The girls were all gonna be dressed up in camouflage and hiding in the woods to ambush their brothers. The boys would be swimming in the pond and the girls would all drop in from a zip line, shooting the boys with paint ball guns and taking them as hostages. Once again, you can blame it all on Superman who has a wild imagination and loves to make up stories. The boys followed suit and made up their own stories of what they were going to do to their sisters. Sometimes I have no clue where all this stuff comes from but I love the laughter and the freedom that we bring to each other to be ourselves.

Breezy Yard Sale

We finally set up for a yard sale today. I know...It's about time. I certainly wished that I would have planned better. But that's ok with us. It's not easy when you have 3 boys that are constantly calling "Mom" and for some reason there always seems to be a question mark at the end of "Mom". It kinda sorta sounds like this "Mom?!" We were set up with the yard sale at my moms house because she is right on the road and we are just too darn far for drive by buyers. We made a total of $34 - I split the money with the boys and kept $5 for myself. What I kept was all in change, so I just dropped it in our vacation jar. I know that $34 doesn't sound like much but to the boys it's a lot of money. Their faces sure did beam when I gave them their cut.
Right when we were packing up, an elderly man came by. He gave us this story about how he is disabled and trying to support 13 adults and kids. It doesn't matter to us. And I even told him, "I won't be offended if you have a yard sale with these items". He said that what he does is has a bunch of friends over and they all sit around and go through the items, then the items that no one wants are given to the kids and the kids are allowed to have a yard sale with those items. I'm ok with that. Think of it this way - we were gonna pack it all up and give it to charity. Then we woulda had to pay for gas to take it to charity. Now it's all gone and hopefully it will be used by someone else. It's not in the landfill and that is very important to us.

Today there was a breeze blowing almost all day. That's always nice when the temperature is 99 degrees. It was still hot but not as hot as it coulda been.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Biscuits In The Dresser

Biscuits in the dresser! Yes, that is exactly what I said. Not only are was Biscuit in the dresser but the napkins were in the refrigerator. There are some weird happenings around here. Biscuit is one of our cats. Now napkins - those are just plain napkins that you wipe your mouth and hands on at meal time. I think it was Monday when I hadn't seen Biscuit all day long. I thought and thought but all I could remember was that I saw her before I took the boys to day camp. I wondered if maybe she ran out the door. Biscuit always tries to blend in with us when we are heading out the door. I have no idea why she thinks she can pass for one of the kids. I mean really, she stands less than a foot tall and weighs less than 10 pounds. Maybe she thinks she's invisible and just sneak through the mass of legs trying to get out the door. With the boys an myself there are a total of 8 legs trying to get outside at one time, so I guess Biscuit thinks, what the heck would 4 more legs hurt.

Anyway - once I picked up the boys from camp and got them inside, I said "we have to have a cat search". We have them from time to time. Living with 3 cats means that 1 is always hiding somewhere. So our search began. We found tuffs of hair (cat hair) but no cat (these are the tuffs of hair that we have to throw away before they get a name). We continued our search and whoa and behold - MJ comes out and announces that he has Biscuit. We all flock around him as he holds Biscuit while she yawns like she was just disturbed from a long winters nap. MJ says "Momma, she was in my dresser". Oh my - poor kitty (I think to myself). But knowing Biscuit, her yawn was her expression of the kind of day she had. The napkins in the refrigerator - that happens around here, and so does eye glasses in the freezer and butter in the oven. We just laugh and blame it on the gremlins.

Swimming In The Heat

It's getting hot down here. I should have said HOT! The temperature at 11:30am today was 93 degrees. The heat index is in the triple digits. I mean around 105 degrees and above. It kinda seems like the first day of August arrived and so did the heat. What I want to know, is who left the oven on?!

We are fortunate enough to have a springs near by, actually within a 15 minute drive. And yes, we went swimming at the springs again today. I had one errand to do before we went, only to drive 22 miles and then get told that it had to be in Gainesville, which is another 25 miles in the opposite direction from my home. Ok that will just have to wait until another day. I'm not one to just run all over the place. I try to plan things and do everything while I am out and about and all in the same direction.

There wasn't many people at the springs today and that always makes it nice. There were 2 very nice kids (boys, whatever you wanna call em) maybe 15 or 16 years old, that helped my boys with their diving and back flips and front flips. WW said that he would never try a back flip again because he did a back flop - kinda like a belly flop but on his back. Now MJ on the other hand - well he was doing back flips and front flips until he looked like a pro. At first I had to sit on the dock and have him stand on my feet before he would try it. But once again, like jumping off the dock, he had to try it before he would jump off the dock. It really made great conversation at suppertime. I can't wait until Superman gets to see his flips and how his swimming has improved. JD is fine with jumping in feet first or doing his famous cannon ball. He isn't much for the diving and flipping stuff. But that's ok, when and if he does them, I will be fine with that. Here is a link so that you can look at some of the springs not far from us. The one we go to is Bronson Blue Springs.

There are lots of things that we want to do tomorrow - such as - mow my moms grass and set up for a yard sale. In order for us to mow her yard, we have to get a bunch of buckets off of the lawn trailer and put them away. Yeppers, they needed moving today and yesterday too. Nothing like planning ahead. LOL Then hook up the trailer, load the mower and so on and so on. I'm just not sure that I have the energy. I know I need to clean the windows on the outside of the house but darn it. They have been dirty for this long, what's another day or 2 gonna hurt. Oh just listen to me, I sound like I'm complaining. Blah, Blah, Blah!

Superman ask me to pick up a movie tonight and he requested Premonition with Sandra Bullock. I saw it while he was out of town and I recommended that he see it. I know I really enjoyed it when I watched it. So sat down tonight and I watched it again with him. I enjoyed it again and he enjoyed it also. We are just big Sandra Bullock fans.

Unless I can think of anything else to blah, blah, blah about tonight, I am off to go through my material tub again. I am ready to start cutting some material, just so I can sew it back together again.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Right Around The Corner

My parents used to say "Right around the corner". I remember looking for my birthday and Christmas around every corner that I could find. Now I find myself saying "Right around the corner". One thing I never looked for was school. And yes, it's right around the corner. From what I understand, some schools have already started. Here in North Central Florida we start on August 20th. I guess we don't have to worry about snow days. With heat in the triple digits, we can't even imagine snow. Not that we haven't had snow but it's certainly not something we get every year.

Now that I have mentioned school, I'd like to share some great resourses that I found for homeschoolers. There is so much wonderful information at Homeschool.com to keep you reading for a little while. Are you New to Homeschooling? this should really help.

Hopefully that will keep you busy for a little while. Many of you may already know about those two links. As for me - I need all the help I can get. Because school is "Right around the corner".

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Garden Gnome

Before we headed to the springs today, I decided to take the camera outside with me. I had to hang out a few clothes and put some hay out for the horses before we left. Here are a few pictures that I took.


This is my little garden gnome. He is hanging on an old screen door spring and he is riding a dragon fly. I actually found him abandoned one day and thought what a wonderful and cute little fellow (pronounced feller).








This is the little garden that we planted our beans in. They did really well and were so delicious.



Right now I have okra growing and it is just starting to bloom. I love fried okra. Hmm...I wonder what the boys are gonna think about okra. LOL



I also have some elephant ears, ferns, pinecone lillies, some other kind of lily and some type of running plant. I have no clue what the running plant is but I have always liked it. I guess I need to learn the name of it. It really goes well in the shade but runs toward the sun and fills in an area nicely.



By the way - I picked up the little limb tonight when I went to feed the horses.

Some Days

Some days are certainly better than others. Have you ever had one of those days? I have, and today was one of them. I think everyone just got up on the wrong side of the bed. My mom used to ask us when we were grouchy, "did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?". Really I think it may be because the boys are just not getting enough sleep. Since there isn't any school right now, I have been pretty much just letting them stay up late. I think it may be catching up with them. Well after the day we had today with tempers flaring up, Superman and I thought we may just need to put them all to bed a little earlier every night. Maybe we can give them a Friday or Saturday night of staying up later. I am sure this will help with the approaching of school time.

We did manage to go to the springs today. While we were at the springs there wasn't any trouble at all. They all 3 had a wonderful time jumping off of the dock and then swimming around to the ladder, climbing back up, only to jump off again. I have to admit, it really is fun. MJ would not jump off the dock at first, so I finally got him to walk out to the edge with me. We stood there for a minute or two (long enough for me to pry him off of me). He kept saying that there was no way that he was going to jump. I kept talking to him and asking why not. I explained that he swings on the rope swing at the river, but for some reason he was not going to jump. Finally, I have him pried off of me and he is standing in front of me, we take little baby steps up to the edge and wa la - I push him. I know, how horrible of me. Yeah right! He hits the water and once his head pops up he says, "That was fun, I'm gonna do that again!". Now a team of wild horses couldn't drag him off the dock. Silly little thing - it's always the first step.

Once we got back home from swimming, the trouble with the boys started all over again. Picking on each other and just irritable in general. Tonight we started the earlier bed times. Hopefully tomorrow will be much better.

Recent Sewing Things

I think I mentioned that I have been doing a little sewing in the last couple of days. I put together some curtains for our homeschool classroom. They have a map of the world on them. The cutest darn things (or so I think). All of the primary colors too. WW and JD helped me sew them and they really enjoyed the project.



Yesterday I made curtains for our den. Of course they are John Deere print. I had to think for over an hour on how to hang them. Finally it came to me...I had some left over legs from a pair of jeans, so sure enough, I used the jeans material and I left the seam out for them the ravel. How cool is that?! Superman picked out the material and he said that he would love to have curtains made with the material. I orginally had a sunflower print hanging underneath them but I just didn't like the look. Yes, I made the sunflower curtains too and now I have them set aside for another window.


Check this out! I think I am the proudest of my little jeans project. My youngest son MJ somehow managed to ruin a new pair of Wrangler Jeans. Me being the thrifty and frugal person that I am thought that I would try to fix them. Well I tried. Sometimes things are just not repairable. I kept the jeans out and I thought and thought about what to do with them. I just didn't want to throw them out. It finally hit me! So I pulled out the sewing machine and started planning and sewing. I cut the legs off just above the crotch, that way I could fix the rip below the zipper. Here is what I came up with...a clothes pin bag!


I took the legs from the jeans and made a cute little bag. Sometimes when there are jeans that no one wears, I will cut them up and save them for later use. I had some pockets left over from another pair of jeans and added them to the bag. I had some heavy duty camo material, scraps from another project that I made handles out of. I know they kinda look like a pair of short shorts, but that really is the whole thought. Well that and the idea of recycling instead of putting something else in the landfill. To use the clothes pin bag, the easiest way would be to untie the bow and unzip the zipper. So watcha think?


I put all of the seams on the outside of the bag for them the ravel and I think it looks really neat. I can't wait to take it to the grocery store and load it up. It is heavy enough to tote the heaviest of thing. Now if I can only tote it once it is loaded up. But who says that I have to fill it to the top.
I am thinking about selling things like this. I love to create them. They are all orignal - designed and sewn by the 3 of us...Me, Myself and I.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Summer Is Almost Over

Or so they say. Here in Florida in the month of August, we break a sweat just thinking about going outside. Seriously, we do. And it's a good thing that we have cloth seats in our SUV, if we had leather or vinyl...we would have fried thigh. LOL Funny how our hottest month is almost the end of summer. We swim up until the weather gets cold though and that could be until Christmas. And to think that Christmas is just around the corner too. Wow, I haven't even mentioned school starting again either. Yes, school is almost here too.
Do you have any big plans for the last days of summer? Anything up your sleeve for the few days left before school starts? We have more swimming days planned. We didn't get much swimming in last week because of all the rainy days. I mean every day it rained and rained and rained. We need the rain though.

The boys were supposed to go to camp this week. JD didn't want to go today because of issues with 2 or 3 kids that keep picking on the other kids. It was his choice whether to go or not. And today when JD and I picked up WW and MJ, we heard all about all of the picking on the other kids is still going on. This is 4-H camp! How can this be happening?! And it is the same 2 or 3 kids that keep causing trouble with the other kids. It has to stop. At this point I am considering writing a letter. Superman is not happy with it either. WW and MJ said that they don't want to go back to camp this week. I will not make them go and be uncomfortable and submit them to being picked on and talked down to.

I did a little more sewing today. I made some really cool curtains for our den. The only thing is - I can't seem to get the bottom material to match. In other words the curtains are kinda like cafe curtains. A curtain at the top and one at the bottom. I am thinking about buying some crocker sack material and seeing if that will match. My batteries for my camera are on charge right now, so hopefully I will be able to get some pictures and show them to you in the next couple of days.

Tomorrow I have a swimming trip planned to the springs. The boys are all excited about going to the springs. They have even ask Granny Karen to go and she said yes. I think the boys finally got their job done for her. WW and JD came home yesterday with a 100 dollar bill. I had to go to the bank today and get it changed for them, but I got 2 fifties and gave them each their money. Now they want to start a savings account. Well I am off to do a little more research because I just came across an awesome homeschool website.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Day After Yesterday

Hmm....Now wouldn't the day after yesterday be today. Yeah, that's what I thought too. Hey - IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! Oh that's right, Karisma reminded me that I am gettin old. Gee thanks, Karisma. Just kiddin! Thank you so very, very much for the birthday wishes.
This is how Superman told me happy birthday..."Last year you turned 45 and you had 4 acres and no kids, this year you are 46 with 44 acres and 3 kids, how's that for a birthday." I thought it was sweet.
We had to buy 2 new tires today for the truck that Superman drives to work. He said that he was going to Walmart and I could give him the grocery list. I thought well heck, why don't we all go and get the shopping done. So that's what we did. Superman got all checked in and the tire thingy going, WW and JD took off together to the sporting goods section and the toy section. Me and MJ? Well of course the tire area is right next to the craft area, so guess where we headed. Oh yes, right into the craft section for about an hour. I love the craft section in Walmart. I think I looked at every bolt of material there. Poor little MJ, he was so bored but quiet the little trooper. While I was looking through one of the pattern books, MJ said "momma, I think we are supposed to buy groceries, not looking through books". LOL Superman joined us in the material area and I said I was going to buy me some material. Check this out - Superman picked out as much material as I did. Now I have lots to sew. WooooHoooo! Yippie! And the boys are at camp this week. I think I'll play with my material.

Ok, I have my material and a few notions, we are off to buy groceries. MJ was a wonderful help today. I think he wants to follow his brothers when they are with us and I think that he just acts out and gets into trouble. There wasn't any peer pressure today and his behavior was more what I expect and appreciate. It's the behavior in public that makes a mom proud.

Unpack the groceries, put everything away and everyone goes their own way. WW and JD off to granny Karen's to help her finish their job. MJ off to play somewhere. Me and Superman sneak off into the bedroom and talk about the boys. Me - oh now I need a little nap, 30 minutes. That's what I ask for and that's what I got. I love my husband! He keeps everyone quiet and let's me nap. During that 30 minutes my mom called but I called her back later. She just wanted to give me my birthday wishes and sing happy birthday to me. Thank you mom!

We sat down for supper and WW and JD kinda looked at each other and then they told me that I had to close my eyes, so I did. They brought in a beautiful little blue velvet box that had 3 tea light candles in it. The best part was the note that they had written to me. It said that I am the bestest mom ever. Those guys are wonderful!

Superman said that he was sorry that he didn't get me anything for my birthday and I explained to him that the property, him being home today, the boys, and everything that they all do for me is my gift. It is my gift from their heart to my heart that is given to me every day.

Superman, WW, JD and MJ, I love you all with all my heart!

Someones having a birthday!

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday dear Alta

Happy Birthday to you!!!!



Hip Hip Hooray

Its Alta's Birthday today..

Wishing you many happy returns,

Im sure this will be your best Birthday yet.


Love, and hugs from Karisma xxxxxx

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Property Update

Now that things have settled down a little bit, actually everyone finally went to bed. And of course, you know me, still awake. Figures! But that's ok, I'm pretty much used to it.

40 square acres, located in the Missouri Scenic Riverways. A grand total of 15 minutes from natural rivers and springs that run crystal clear. Superman brought back a narrated video of the property, the nearby town, the river and the springs. Yes, narrated by Superman himself. Everyone of us was pointed out in the video and the boys really got a kick out of that. Even the part where Superman said "that's something dead in the road and maybe you can smell it when I get home and you watch the video".
Right now we have a signed contract. We close on September 07, 2007. Yeppers, we're all gonna fly out for the signing of all the paperwork to seal the deal. There are things that could happen between now and then that could make the contract not go through. But that gets into a whole bunch of legal matters and such. So we are counting our blessings and saying our prayers that everything works out.

The property is completely wooded. Lots of work to do, but that builds character in all of us. I kinda feel like it's a hundred or so years ago and we are gonna head out west. LOL

Superman Returns

6:30am EST the phone rings. It's my wake up call from Superman. Oh and to think that I coulda slept in until 7am. The additional time gave me some quiet time before I had to wake the boys up. That quiet time is certainly needed with 3 boys, well it is for me anyway. Remember that up until March 20th we had no children and since then there are 3 that are 9, 11 and 13. Oh heck no, I'm not complaining.

I think I got the flight arrival times mixed up. LOL I was only an hour early though, not to bad. I used that time to take the boys on a couple of escalators at the airport. They loved it! And shoot - so did I. My mom went with us and she was so darn funny when she got off the escalator. She kinda did a little hop and then a step. Or was it a step then a hop?! Regardless, it really was funny. Keep in mind that she is 72 years old. I remember trying to get her on the Merry-Go-Round years back and I almost had to drag her to get her on it. She was scared silly the whole time. My dad was the adventurous one that rode all the wild rides with me and got me hooked on them. I'll tell more about my dad in another post. The memories are still very tender to me, so I have to work up the courage (that way I don't soak my keyboard with tears). Back to reality now...I also had time to walk the boys inside the airport and show them a few things. They were able to find the sign that showed the arrival and departure flight numbers and times. They saw a jet taxi down the runway and take off. There were about 25 service men and women in a group walking and we moved over to the side and stood still to let them walk pass. I told the boys that they should show respect to them at all times and I explained my beliefs of the situation. It was all a wonderful experience for the boys and for my mom and myself.

Finally - And to think that Superman would never walk down that long hall. I stood there and said "I wonder where Superman is?". With that said, I saw him. Walking toward us and wearing his Superman shirt. Now how darn cool is that! The boys gathered around me and JD and me started waving. Superman was looking right over us. He thought that he was gonna land and then direct connect me and we would pick him up outside the front doors of the airport. Surprise, surprise! He saw us when he was about 5 foot in front of us. His face lit up and JD ran to him and jumped on him, followed by WW and then MJ. I waited patiently for my bear hug and my sweet kiss. What a wonderful homecomeing for our Superman!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Superman Trips

Well - not really. I should say, Superman's trip. But that doesn't even sound humorous, so I just changed around a letter. I figure what the heck, if the School Board could leave an "s" out, then I might as well use it.

Superman just direct connected me on my walkie talkie phone. That means he is closer to civilization. LOL He actually called me 2 times today on the land line, to tell me about what he found and the offer he was going to make. We discussed the property and in all honesty, I am kinda confused. But with the last call (the direct connect) here is what I know for a fact.
A CONTRACT IS SIGNED

Isn't that exciting?! And to think - I couldn't sleep before. I know I need to go to bed now but I will not be able to sleep. No need to tossing and turning and just messing up the bed more than I do already. Mmmmm...7am sure is gonna come extra early in the morning. I wonder why I feel like I am about to enter in the panic attack world right now? Excited? Not sure. Maybe it's that 7am thingy! Not that I can't get up at 7am or that I don't usually get up early, it's just knowing that I'm not gonna get much sleep tonight.

Sometime this afternoon I pulled out 3 Rubbermaid tubs that are full on my hoards of yarn, material, patterns and just bits and pieces of craft things. I started sorting through it and now it is laying all over the place. Well not all over the place but all over the dining table, my desk and a few dining chairs. I want to organize all of these things, but then I ask myself...If I organize it, will I be able to find any of those things? Maybe and maybe not. Ok, I know what I need to do. I need to sit and just go through some of my yarn, material and patterns. I have a couple of ideas and that is what led me to pull all of it out anyway. So off I go to play in my tubs of stuff. Have a great night or day (whatever time it is in your part of the universe)!

Stay tuned for "Superman Returns".

Boys Will Be Boys

Boys! I love our 3 boys. There is no doubt that "Boys will be boys"! But isn't that why we love them so. With all of the issues or problems or whatever you want to call it that JD (our middle son) has or reportedly has, he never ceases to amaze me. He has to be pretty darn upset for either myself or Superman not to make him smile. But generally, if we keep after it, the smile will peek out from under the frown.
We are gradually reducing his meds. Today I discussed this with his therapist (who wasn't happy about it), but then decided that it may just be time to reduce them and that is just what the therapist did. And - get this...The therapist ask when school starts and so on and so on...I told the therapist that I would be homeschooling JD and his brothers. Well with that said the therapist had to ask me why. Oh yeah, I told him why - peer pressure, bullies, crime, lack of one on one time and more. Making a long story short, when I got back home and checked the mail there were letters addressed to the "Parents of" all 3 of our boys. Here is a quote from the letter from our School Board - "Please only return the attached transfer application if you would like to transfer your child to Florida Virtual School or want your child tranported" to another school (I didn't list the school name). Look at the bold in that sentence. Yeah - I know, we all make mistakes. But really - from the School Board?! One would think that they would use spell check or something.

Today he discovered spitting out the car window. Sometimes I just have to giggle to myself. It's the kinda thing a parent does when they look the other way - that's only because we don't want the kids to see the smile on our face. LOL
Not only did he discover this new thing today, but yesterday he found out that when you put the hose nozzle in your mouth and then pull the trigger that your cheeks pop out and water sprays out your mouth. Oh yes - he just had to show me that trick yesterday. Funny thing is - when his cheeks pop out, his eyes get as big as saucers. They really do!

The last couple of days WW and JD have been helping Granny Karen move furniture, take out carpet and tack strips and paint the floor in her bedroom. They finally got half of the floor painted. I don't know why they are doing it in halves but that's what they are doing. Today WW, JD and MJ all sprayed their feet with spray paint and walked across the painted floor. Don't panic! That is how she wanted the floor done. I think it is a pretty darn cool idea. I guess over the next couple of days they will finish the other half. Once it's done I will have to go and see what it looks like.

Uh Oh! I forgot to call my sister yesterday. I know, I know! Today I called and there was no answer, but I did leave a message. Well - we left a message. The boys and I sang Happy Birthday on her voice mail. It was so cute, it kinda reminds me of the animals in Madagascar singing Happy Birthday. Hopefully she still has her sense of humor and will get a really good laugh at it.

Did I tell you about the ring tone that the boys wanted me to put on my cell phone? We listened to a couple of ring tones and the boys wouldn't have it any other way than for me to have "Bad Boys" as my ring tone. Now they laugh everytime my cell phone rings.

We did get to go swimming this week. Once! A darn thunder storm came up and out of the pool the boys had to get. Today is Friday and I finally see the sunshine. That was some thunder storm. LOL But that dosen't mean this was the last week of swimming. Summer isn't over yet. The rain hasn't slowed the boys down any at all. Since we havn't had any lightening I just let them play outside in the rain. What the heck, they would have gotten wet if they would have went swimming. JD thanked me over and over for letting them play in the mud all week. Summer camp is next week, it starts on Monday. This will be their last week of camp for the year. I will finally have a little time to myself. I'll probably be lost and not have a clue as what to do with my free time. Imagine that!