Sunday, September 30, 2007

Field Trip

Everyone loaded in the car and away we go, one little squirrel in tow. After JD's doctor appointment on Friday, we all headed to my mom's where she jumped in the car with us and we were off for a 1 hour drive. Have you every heard this "Are we there yet"? Of course you have, especially if you have kids. They are so funny.

Ok so back to the field trip. Yes, we took our baby squirrel with us. Why? Because no one was going to be home to feed him. It was pretty cool though. MJ has a neat little bag that Granny Karen gave him. I think it's some type of camera bag. I was able to put a towel in it and then put in the squirrel and carry a baby bottle.
I toted the bag with the squirrel all cuddled up inside all day long. I had to stop from time to time and feed the little guy, but that wasn't difficult at all. I just unzipped the bag and stuck the bottle in and he nursed until he was full. Once his little tummy was full, he snuggled up in the towel and was fast asleep. There was one time when I was feeding him that a group of kids saw what I had. About 10 kids wanted to see the little guy, so I did a short show and tell. It was pretty darn neat.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. It has been many years since my first visit to this park. During the summer the boys went with their 4H day camp. JD didn't want to go again, and his reasoning was that there were too many kids and they were rude. I explained that it was just us going this time. I mean there would be other people there, just not in our group. He thought about it and decided that it just may be fun. And it was!
We took a boat ride. We even rode a tram. We walked and walked and walked some more. My poor mom, at times I kinda felt sorry for her. She was a trooper though. And a very good one too!
At Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, there is a Hippo, bunches of Alligators, Birds all all sorts, Manatees, Squirrels, White Tail Deer, Key Deer, Florida Black Bear, Bobcat and so much more. There is something they call the fish bowl. You go underwater in a building and you can see the fish swimming all around. We saw Sheepshead, Red fish, Snook and more. The boys were all excited! They actually said that it was much more fun with me than with their 4H group. Awwwww!

I know - Pictures! You will all be please to know that the love of my life bought me a new Cannon camera today. It's fancy and I have no idea how to use it. LOL I am off to bed for now but there will be lots more pictures in the days to come.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Meetings and Fieldtrips

I am really loving going to out homeschool group meetings now. I don't know why but I am. Maybe it's the I don't have to if I don't want to thing. Today was a good day for all the boys, which makes it a good day for me.

There wasn't anything planned today for our weekly outing, we just played it by ear. And believe it or not, things worked out well by doing it that way.
There were several people at the springs that was fishing. One gentleman caught a very small bream and gave it to WW and everyone looked at the little bream and then WW was able to release the little guy. When you release a fish, you can't just throw him in the water and expect him to swim off. WW held him in his hand and supported him upright until the gills went to working and then the fins started working and then he slowly started to swim and then he swam off in a hurry. What a cool thing for kids to do.

One of the kids caught a very small Snapping Turtle. It wasn't much bigger than your thumbnail. I didn't know they were orange on their underside - but I know now. Snail eggs - not just any snail eggs, but Apple Snail eggs. The snail eggs had not been laid very long, they were still shinny and slimmy looking. Pretty darn neat if you ask me. Oh there were other little critters to explore and enjoy too. We look and we leave. Look at the critters, enjoy what you see and then leave them alone. The kids really like to pull the Water Lettuce out of the water. It is such an invasive plant that we try to pull some everytime we go. Another invasive plant is the Water Hyacinth. And yes we pull these too. They really do have some awesome flowers but they are killing our water resourses.

For some time now, I have been interested in learning Spanish and French. I just didn't have anyone else that was interested in learning it with me, so I just put it off. Ah Ha - the boys are interested in learning with me. Finally, someone that is interested. Tonight me and all 3 of the boys sat down and started on our Spanish. We started with Rosetta Stone. I don't know how we are going to do, but at least we are willing to try. WW seems the most interested in learning, well besides me. MJ sits with us and he tries so hard, I think that he may just get the hang of it. JD shows a little bit of interest, but who knows, maybe he'll come around. And maybe Spanish just isn't his thing. Maybe he will be more interested in French.

Tomorrow we are off on a field trip. Wow this has really been the week for trips, two days in a row. Actually, kinda neat. Our field trip tomorrow will find us at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. My mom is going with us and we are all excited about getting out of the classroom again.

I know you all want pictures, but please bear with me on this. I really hate my digital camera because it is so picky and is very old. Hopefully within a couple of weeks I will be able to buy another one. We are looking at a Canon and a Sony. So be patient and bear with me please.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Signing a Petition

Have you ever signed a petition? Have you ever spoke up for something that you believe in? Have you ever wanted to speak up for something that you believe in and never did? Make a difference now and sign a petition.

You can help Stop Dog Fighting. You can tell your friends and family about this petition and ask them to send a message to their representatives in support of the Federal Dog Protection Act?

Stop Dog Fighting

Thank you!

Calling All Parents

Ok - I have to admit, I really need some advice.

My middle son, JD, is 12 years old and he hates school. Yes, with a capital H. Some days he will do his work with very little complaints and other days - well there other days. Days that he complains about everything. He hates his chair, he hates his desk, he hates the clothes he is wearing. He hates to read and even refuses to read. Every lesson he starts to do is dumb. Ask him to add 2+1 on those days and he will tell you he is confused. He can come up with any excuse and every excuse to get out of his school work. He will say that no one can make him do his school work.
Instead of looking in the material he has read for the answer to a multiple choice question, he will just pick an answer. He will say that he doesn't care if he gets it wrong. He will say that the answer is not in the material he just read. He will say that the answer isn't where he is looking or where he looked. He will say that I never help him. When I am sitting less than a foot away from him, he will ask me to tell him what page the answer is on. Then he will want you to tell him what paragraph it is in. And then he wants to know what sentence it is. I mean it just goes on and on.
He will say so many other things too. All the things that he says is negative. We all try to work with him. We all try to help him. There is a limit to helping someone before you actually are doing it for them.

I am hoping that someone who has experienced something like this can please give me some ideas or suggestions that may help us out. At this point, I sometimes think a root canal would be more pleasant.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Side Tracked

I can get side tracked online so bad that I loose track of time. No joke. Especially since I started blogging. It's horrible. Kinda funny too. If I could just wean myself from the computer like I did with TV, then things for me would be ...well they just would be. LOL
Laying all jokes aside, I found some pretty interesting things today. And, I have just skimmed the surface. Of course we all know that there is so much interesting stuff online that we could read all day and all night for a long time and never get done.

Here are a few things that I found today...

Everyday Art Curriculum, classroom teachers and homeschoolers can find resources for teaching art, including classroom art projects for kids and guidelines for class discussion. These children's art lessons are open ended to stimulate creativity, and are flexible enough to work with a wide range of ages and abilities.

I entered another Blog Carnival and my article was picked. WoooHoooo! I love the Blog Carnivals. Mom On Wheels hosted the Carnival of Family Life this week. I'm tellin ya - if ya blog, you really should check out a Blog Carnival.

Now this really gets my hair standing up on end. I mean to the point that I look like a rabid bull dog with my teeth showing, foaming at the mouth and the hair on my back raised up and ready to attack.
Go Green and Get Sued, his veggie oil bumper sticker caught the attention of local law enforcement and he was fined $1000 for not paying motor fuel taxes. And that's not the end of it either.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Our Newest Addition

Nope - we're not making the house bigger. Even though we need too. LOL Our newest addition just happens to be another critter. A baby squirrel! He's about 4 weeks old, maybe closer to 5 weeks old. He is the cutest little thing too. Just look at him!

I had planned on Sleeping In when this little guy was introduced to me. He is between 4 and 5 weeks old, and his eyes haven't opened yet.

His favorite place to be is in a shirt pocket. This picture reminds me of a tree frog. You can see that he is pretty strong by the way he is holding on to my shirt.

PetSmart has the bottle, syringes, nipples and formula to feed him. It's not very expensive either. I spent less than $20 on the things I needed for the baby squirrel, 5 Comet Goldfish and a live plant for our aquarium. Not bad.

Freedom! That's what we call this little guy. Why Freedom? Because that is what he will have once he gets old enough and mature enough to be set free. Just like we did with the Baby Blue Jay. We don't try to save these critters so that we can keep them. We want them to survive so that we can enjoy them in their natural environment. The experience of raising the Blue Jay is one that the boys will never forget. There are many times that we see a Blue Jay feather and it reminds us of the one that we saved and returned to Mother Nature. It just makes for wonderful memories.

Sleeping In

Finally Saturday! I had some really awesome plans of sleeping in. Notice I said "I had"? There really is no telling around here what time one will get woke up or even how one will get woke up. It could be calm and gentle or it could be wild and wicked. Usually if you have plans on sleeping in, then you can pretty much plan on getting woke up by wild and wicked. Either one is ok in all reality, just as long as you are woke up. Because you sure don't want to miss the action.

Speaking of action.
Superman was going to get up early (not as early as usual for him) and he was going to take the boys and do a little welding. WW and MJ were the only ones allowed to go because JD just couldn't behave in class during the week. And you know my plans - yeah - sleeping in. So I'm laying in bed in my own little special dream land and in my sleep I hear "MOM!". I open my eyes and I see 3 boys standing beside my bed and JD is holding something. I hear "MOM, LOOK WHAT MJ FOUND"! Oh yes, they are all excited, I mean to the point that they might as well have just caught a leprechaun, except for the fact that it wasn't St. Patricks Day. Now I'm kinda squinting my eyes to get them to focus from being jolted awake. I see what's in JD's hands. It's a baby squirrel. No joke! I wouldn't have been anymore shocked if had been a leprechaun. The squirrel started hollering at that point. JD handed me the squirrel and I laid him by my neck, he crawled closer to me and just snuggled up to me and there he went to sleep. I talked to the boys about the squirrel and where MJ found him.
I laid there for about 15 more minutes and I just couldn't stand it any longer. I had to wake up Superman. I called his name once and he woke right up and I told him to look at my neck. My gosh - did he see a leprechaun too? Me - now I've raised a baby squirrel before and of course I was excited but not even close to the excitement that Superman and the 3 boys were feeling. I think I was more into the save it's life mode. Keep it warm and get it fed.

After Superman and I (with the baby squirrel) managed to crawl out of bed, we all went about our daily routine of brushing teeth and getting our other little chores done. Me with a squirrel in the pocket of my t-shirt. Superman, WW and MJ went off to weld and JD and I went off to PetSmart.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Don't Tell Dad

Yeah right! LOL We all skipped school today. We were supposed to go to our home school group meeting but the weather just wasn't quiet right. It was extremely cloudy and it rained almost all day yesterday. The boys just knew they were going to get to go swimming after our meeting today and they really wanted to go swimming. We've all had this summer cold thing going on and I really don't think they should swim right now.

When I told the boys that we weren't going to the be with the group - Whoa and behold! I thought I was going to have to fight them off of me. Ok - Ok! Here's what we'll do...We will go to Walmart and pick up a few things and we'll see what the weather is like. They were ok with that until we parked in the Walmart parking lot. Once again - here I am...defending myself and fighting them off. LOL I used the beep beep phone and called Superman. He agreed with me (of course) that it would be best if we wait at least one more week on the swimming thing. Ssshhewwww! I barely got through that.

Once inside the store the boys wanted to walk around while I shopped. I don't usually allow that with out our little walkie talkies. I said ok but you must mind your manners and stay together. I was free! Yeah for a whole total of 10 minutes. But that's ok with me. When they are with me, I know that they are safe and that is the most important part. We did our little bit of shopping and I had to buy some pencils. On the pencil isle, JD spotted some of the felt coloring things. I thought - what the heck...we missed drawing today at our group meeting and the boys can't go swimming - so why not just buy them each one. They all 3 picked out the picture they wanted to do and we were outta there. Easy as that!

Everything put away and now Art class begins. Skipping school - ha - that's what they thought. When we were driving home, I starting singing a little diddy about skipping school. Just something I made up off the tip of my tongue. WW commented that he didn't want to skip school. JD said we could get in trouble for skipping school. I just had to say that we couldn't get in trouble when mom was with us. Me, of course. Then I hear "Don't tell dad". It was really cute! Then the JD and WW say "Mom, you already told dad because you called him when we were at Walmart". They know that their dad and I talk about everything. There are no secrets in our house. In all reality, I think the boys like that about us.

Just remember, when you skip home school...Take mom (or dad) along with you. That way you have a driver and someone to keep you out of trouble.


Family Life

What in the world has happened to the family life? What every happened to sitting at the table every night for supper? Well at our house, we have family life. We all sit at the table for supper at least 6 times a week. The other day that we don't sit together at the table is because the boys have youth night at church, Superman could be late getting home from work or maybe one of the boys is spending the night with one of their grandparents. Not only do we sit down at the table as a family, but we discuss things as a family. We talk about our day, no matter what we did. Superman shares stories from his work and we share stories about school, grades, critters, field trips and more.

Television - better known as TV. I can honestly say that I have not watched TV since 1994. I am extremely proud that I am not programed by TV. Superman hasn't watched TV since 2001. We have a TV in our home but we don't subscribe to any programming. It's way to expensive and there is more junk on it than anything else. If I were to watch TV, I would either watch the Discovery channel or the History Channel. I actually wish that we had those 2 programs for the boys to watch. I would be very selective in what they watched on them though. I just think that TV is way over rated. Way to many people spend so much time being a zombie to the darn thing.

I remember when I was a kid only having 2 channels to watch. It was ABC or PBS. I remember watching PBS more than anything else. PBS is the channel that me and my sister liked to watch the most. We would watch Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I grew out of that way before my sister did. At 4pm every weekday we always watched Dialing For Dollars. They would have a 2 hour movie on and during the breaks the host of the show would call a phone number, if the person that answered the phone knew the dollar amount then they would win that money. If they didn't know the dollar amount then it would roll over to the next call. I don't remember how much money it was or how the jackpot grew. I know that we didn't have a phone, so it really didn't matter to us. LOL

I believe that homeschoolers are bringing back the family life. I believe they are bringing back the values and the morals that every family needs and wants. Material items have become more important in day to day life. Not in our family. Family life is the most important to us.

Keep the Family life home fires burning!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fun Things

I found a couple of things that you just might be interested in. And if you aren't interested in them - well - that's ok too.

Halloween Survival Guide, not just a survival guide but fun things to do for all ages.

Something else that I came across today and I really don't even remember how I found it. Superman and I have considered buying the LifePac Bible curriculum for our boys. Why haven't we already bought it? Cost. Yep, plain ole money. We talked about it and thought that once we got the boys going on their regular class studies and all of the required by State stuff that we would start some type of Children's Bible Studies. Here is what I found today that is absoutely free! Bible Study Planet. Yes, I said FREE! All you have to do is print the lesson plans out from Adobe. Easy enough for me.

That's all for now, I'm off to read a little more in my book. We have our homeschool meeting again tomorrow and we are all looking forward to it.


Last week at our home school meeting, our fearless leader brought a few books that we were all welcome to borrow. She suggested a book for me and tonight I finally had the chance to pick it up and flip through the pages. Now I am having trouble putting it down.

"The First Year Of Homeschooling Your Child" by Linda Dobson.

I have read and read and read things about homeschooling. I never had any doubt that I couldn't do it or that I shouldn't do it. On the other hand, Superman did have a little doubt about us homeschooling. He was really concerned about the social aspect of it all. That is always the least amount of my concern. Teach your children good manners and those manners will follow them into the world. Ok - that's my opinion and my view, but when you think about it, it really does make sense. Once I talked to Superman about the benefits of homeschooling and he thought about it, then he was convinced. His idea now - Public school is not an option.

In this book that I'm reading, I came across something titled "What I wish someone had told me during my first year of homeschooling." Well let me go on and share this with you. Why? Because if you have read any of my other post about our defiant middle son, then you will understand. If you haven't read any of those post, then the word defiant explains it all. LOL

"First, I wish someone had explained that every day would not be perfect but that they all have value. Actually, I heard this basic message in a few different places, and read nearly the same words. But no on I knew seemed to experience any low moments, so even though I understood deep down that we would not have magical moments every day, I felt really bad when we had a less-than-stellar day."
"I felt especially sensitive to this on days when I was finding myself trying to explain homeschooling to someone who didn't quite get it. Or after I read lots of anecdotes in books and magazines about amazing things that other homeschoolers are doing."
"Lately I have tried to find something to cherish in everyday, even if it is simply a hug or kiss from my kids. I have found that as I worry less about having picture-perfect days, I am more able to enjoy good days and live with bad ones. I am also better able to see that my kids are learning even when things don't go smoothly." Deb Baker, Bellevue, Washington

Ok - that really hit home with me. I thought - "Alta, here's your sign". How many more writings on the wall do I need to let me know that what I am doing is ok? It just takes a little inspiration from someone or something else to let us know that "This too shall pass".

Fall in the Air

For the last couple of weeks we have been able to really feel fall in the air. It has been cool in the morning, then warming during midday and then a cooler in the evening. Well I have felt it anyway. Superman says it just started like on Sunday. Yesterday and today there was no mistake that you can really feel Fall in the air. It even has a distinct aroma. I love this time of year. Usually it's hot this time of year but not right now. The weather people say there is some type of front that could or will cause some type of El Nino that will dump lots of water on us this Winter. Even enough to end our drought conditions. Well it better be a lot of water if it's gonna bring our water table back up to the normal range.

On top of our water table being really low, I read in our local paper yesterday that some important people or company wants to create a huge pipe line that will send our water down to South Florida. Hmmm...Now exactly what are we going to drink when this happens? I guess they aren't thinking about that. Shoot, most of the swimming holes and fishing holes that were full when I was a kid are all pretty much dried up now. Will Florida become the next dessert? It kinda looks like it.

Today we have had a light drizzle of rain. The horses were running around all frisky and playful. They are so beautiful to watch. The weather means the boys have to play inside a little more, but that's ok too. They still get to play outside but not when it's cool and raining.

I'm off to do a little surfing and a little reading. I have more news to post, so don't run off.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Long Long Day

When class starts and 9:30 am and ends around 5pm, it certainly makes for a long, long day. And get this - class really didn't end at 5 pm, it's just that I had had enough. I couldn't take the whining or complaining anymore. JD can certainly takes hours and hours to whine and complain but he can't take 15 minutes to do his work. I think that for some reason that he believes that if he complains enough that I will just let class go and not do it, or he won't have to do his work. I have showed him time after time that no matter the amount of complaining that he does, he will still have to do his work. How in the world can I get him to understand? And even if he doesn't understand right now, if I can just get him to comply.

I know that some of you may have experienced what I am going through with getting JD to understand, sit still or just simply do his work. What can I do? He wanted my help today with math, no problem - but - the whole time I am explaining the division problem to him he is using his pencil as a car and even making car sounds. How much of this can a person take? I stopped and ask him to stop making the sound and to please put his pencil down. Oh yes - it worked for about 15 seconds. I know - take what is given to me. But the whole 15 seconds he is complaining that he doesn't understand. Well for goodness sake, I guess he doesn't understand if he won't listen.

I suppose some days I am just at a lose. Tonight we discussed his behavior at supper and he had to have a talk with his dad. He certainly doesn't like having those talks with his dad.

MJ is about to move on to Unit 2 of his History and Geography studies, he is also about to move on to Unit 2 in his Language Arts studies. He is really working very well and comprehending what he is reading.

I told WW that I am not holding him back and waiting on JD anymore. Tomorrow he will be able to pick up his books and do his studies by himself. I ask him to come to me with any questions that he has and I will check him from time to time.

Other than it being a long, long day, it was an ok day. Hopefully JD will get some really good rest tonight and we will be able to move him along.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Game Day

It was so much fun! For 2 and a half hours there were about a dozen kids, ranging from 5 months to 14 years old, all playing educational games together. All playing and getting along without any problems at all. What a wonderful thing!

Today was our first "Game Day" meeting. Our group leader planned it all and put it all together. We all (well all that could attend) met at one of our members churches (in the fellowship) hall. There were educational games for all of the children to play. It gave us all time to sit and chat with each other and actually put some things together on paper for our group. I think this group is really gonna do very well. We do have a website that is in the process of being built and when it's all done, it will be totally awesome. We are also about to put together a yahoo group so that we can all communicate with each other without the mass email thing.

So now I am off to take care of creating the yahoo group where we can all post away until our little fingers get really, really tired.

Over The Weekend

I just logged onto my computer this morning and I didn't remember what day it was. I really thought it was Thursday or Friday. My goodness where did the weekend go? I did the same thing with the month last night. I mean it was just August and now it is September and the middle of September to boot.
Now that I have established that I did actually go through a weekend, here's what we did.

A birthday party on Saturday. We had MJ's birthday party on Saturday. It was wonderful! Granny Karen and MJ had worked all week on making a pinata in the shape of a rabbit. It was pretty darn cool. I procrastinated and waited until Friday night to order the cake (not a good thing). Oh well! So I put together the most adorable little bunny cake. MJ said he wanted a rabbit cake and that's what he would get. I was up til way after midnight making a rabbit cake for my little guy. It was adorable!

Gifts! OH MY! He was so happy with all of his gifts. He kept saying this was the best birthday ever. He actually made me cry when he said that. Just a reminder that our boys are adopted and this is their first birthday with us.

Monday is actually MJ's birthday. The day my little buddy turns 10.

Friday, September 14, 2007

80 Miles Round Trip

Yes the round trip from our home to our home school group meeting and then back home is 80 miles. I know it seems like a lot and some days it feels like double that. I had thought about not going to the meetings anymore then I get reminded of how important they are. I also get to thinking about what we learn on that drive.

We learn things like this:
Time, distance, careers, patient, money, laws, reading, direction, manners, spelling, history, geography, language arts, math, science and my goodness, so much more.
On one of our little trips we watched men working on clearing under the power line. They were using heavy equipment and putting limbs into a chipper. We talked about why they were doing it, how they were doing it and how dangerous it could be.
On another of our trips we talked about the train that we saw. The cars on the train were full of coal. That started a conversation about electricity, coal miners, our planet and more.
Yesterday - oh yeah - yesterday!

Yesterday on the way home I saw smoke. I mentioned it to the boys and tried to point it out, but with the trees in the way it was kind of hard to see. We came to an area that is farmed and I could see it really well and pointed it out to the boys. As we drove we kept looking for it. We were getting closer and closer. Excitement was building. Oh my - it's in our neighborhood. What's really cool about is that MJ is studying about neighborhoods, helping and sharing (such as neighbors, fire departments and such). Oh the boys were all paying attention now and the excitement was getting more intense.

"MOM!!!" Yeah I know. It's getting fun now. I pick up my cell phone and dial 911. The fire was huge! It was running across the tops of the trees. It was burning on the ground. It was growing and growing. I'm on the phone with 911 and the boys are excited. The dispatcher was asking me question after question. I was giving answer after answer. Something you may need to know about cell phones - when I dialed 911, my cell phone was still on the tower that dials into another county 911 center. I was giving the address and the dispatcher was telling me that it didn't exist. I know I wasn't going crazy.

Finally - transferred to the right 911 center. I knew I wasn't crazy! LOL I've been a 911 dispatcher and I know how all this works. I should have known before the dispatcher ask me what county I was in. I was amazed that no one had called in this fire yet. It was pretty darn close to a house too. And get this - the house that it was close to had cleared some land, piled up the brush that they had cleared (right next to the woods). Now I don't know and I am just assuming, but who ever lives their had to have set that fire. They were actually inside the house, we found that out once the fire department arrived on scene.

Less than 5 minutes after my call to 911 the Forestry Department and the local Fire Department were there. I was very impressed. A total of 5 brush trucks, 1 Forestry truck and dozer, and one tanker truck showed up. One of the brush trucks was from an adjoining county and the tanker truck was from the adjoining county. The tanker truck was there to refill the brush trucks. The boys were able to see all of this happening. They thought it was the coolest thing and they could hardly wait until their dad got home from work.

What an exciting 80 mile round trip!

Fourth Week of Home School

We are on the last day of our fourth week of home school. It certainly has been a long 4 weeks. We have had our ups and downs but there have been more ups than downs.
WW started out kinda like this was a horrible chore. Now he is wanting to start as soon as he gets up every morning.
JD hates school. He's also defiant. As I said before, I have my hand full with him.
MJ, well he is just excited about everything. He is really zipping through his school work and doing very well.

If I remember correct, yesterday was our 5th home school group meeting. We missed last week but our fearless leader caught us up to date. We meet at Rum Island Springs, it's a county park and a pretty darn neat place. Yesterday we took a walk up the river. We talked about plants, animals, the Florida Aquifer, protecting and respecting our planet. And so much more. The kids were also allowed to swim and enjoy mother nature.

Our little group is really growing. I mentioned to Superman the other day that I had thought about us not going to the meetings anymore because of the drive. I sensed from he that he really didn't think that was a good idea. I am really glad that we discuss things and can communicate so well with each other. Ok, I'm convinced that we will go to the group meetings each week. We all enjoy them very much, it's just that the drive is 40 miles one way. But then I think about all the educational things in the 80 mile round trip ride. And I have something really great for you in just a few minutes. The boys remind me every week that we have our meeting on Thursday. I like that they do that. Our group now has started what we call "Game Days", we will meet on the 3rd Monday of each month for educational games. How can I not want to go when we have so much fun?!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Gotta Admit

I know that several of you are expecting pictures from our weekend trip to Missouri. I know I am in a bunch of trouble because I didn't take pictures. Yeah - believe it or not. I know, go to my room!
Here lately I just haven't been toting my camera along. I hate dragging all kinds of luggage with me. My digital camera that I have now just doesn't hold the battery life like it used to. The boys always want to take the pictures. It's just one more thing to keep up with. Yada, yada, yada...
Darn it - I should have taken it and let the boys take pictures. Then I wouldn't have had to worry about dragging it with me. Oh right - I forgot, I always seem to end up with all the things that they get tired of toting. LOL But really I don't let them do that to me. They ask me sometimes to hold this or that, but not me. No way. I tell them that they brought it and they have to keep up with it.
I will figure all the picture taking thing out and I promise to take pictures the next time we go. Hopefully that will be within the next 6 months. Superman is actually talking about us taking another trip there before this year is out. I guess we'll just have to see how that goes.

We have another birthday coming up this weekend. Little MJ will be 10 on Monday. He is all excited about his birthday and just won't hush up about it. It's ok though, we know he is excited.

Tomorrow we take our weekly trip to join our home school group. We missed last week because of packing and errands for our weekend trip. I actually missed it, so did the boys. Our little group is starting to grow and there are several plans in the making.

I think I'll call it a night. It's been a long day for all of us and of course a few behavior issues today, so I'm kinda tired. Night, night!

Somewhere Along The Way

Ok - so Somewhere along the way I think I got lost. I have been trying to get caught up from the weekend. Laundry has become a mountain. What the heck happened? Unpack this, unpack that. Oh yeah, I am ate up with chigger bites and I am washing every thing that I have had contact with. That's where the mountain of laundry came from. At least all the darn chiggers will drown.

Have you ever had a chigger bite? It is the most painful, itchy, burning feeling I have ever experienced. I have read several post on different forums that said something like this..."Does anyone know what I can use on chigger bites that will stop the itching before I loose my mind". That's exactly how I feel. The itching is just horrible, I mean to the point that it will wake you up at night. I think I have tried everything for the itching - I've tried calla everything - I've tried finger nail polish, deodorant, bleach, vinegar, bacon grease, Vaseline, lamp oil and on and on. Finally I tried Desitin (yes the diaper rash stuff). It works! I finally got a full nights sleep without waking up itching so bad that I wanted to scream. I am now a believer in Desitin. I have also used it on my horses for something called Mud Fever. It's a rashy thing they get on their feet, just above the hoofs. The Mud Fever mostly affects white feet. Kinda odd I know but that's the way it is.

We are now in our 4th week of home school and some days are rough. We do have more good days than bad days and that's always a good thing.
JD of course gives me the most problems. I am trying really, really hard to help him overcome some of issues and I think if we just keep on the path that we are on, it may just all come together.
WW is just wanting to go on by himself. I am ready to let him just take on off but I have some concerns about that. Maybe I just need to wean him a little at a time.
MJ is zipping through his lessons. I think he is just so darn cute with his little professor self. I really think that he is going to do really, really well.

On our trip to Missouri everyone either had a summer cold or caught a summer cold, except me. LOL I just had to wait until we got home to start feeling cruddy. Today I feel the worst. I don't have much patience today either. Probably because I feel so darn bad.

Ok, I am outta here to grade a couple of test. Wish me luck! LOL

Monday, September 10, 2007

No Place Like Home

There's no place like home. No matter how near or how far, there's no place like home.
Once again we take things for granted and just don't realize that our boys haven't experienced some of the most common things in life. Security is one of them. Having a place to call home and being able to actually go home. Missing someone or something and then finally seeing and being with them again.

All the way from the airport the boys kept saying they couldn't wait to get home and they were glad to be back in Florida. When we pulled up to our gate the boys jumped out of the car and were just full of excitement. We all grabbed bags from the car so that we could get it unpacked and get inside. MJ and JD kept asking if they could go over and get Mindy, Molly and Rocko. Once inside we sent them on their way to Granny Karen's to get Mindy, Molly and Rocko. Later, Granny Karen called me and told me all about the hugs that the boys gave the dogs. They missed the dogs and were really glad to see them. Our boys have never had a home to come home to or pets who missed them or anyone to miss them. Oh the love that they are feeling now.
MJ and JD ran into the house with Mindy and Molly in tow. It was loud and the boys and the dogs were jumping everywhere. So silly! Then they were all off to fine all the cats. Once everyone was found and hugs were given out things began to settle down.

WW, JD and MJ walked around the house checking things out. Maybe to see if everything was just like we left it. They were really worried about all the animals on Thursday when we were getting ready to leave. They were worried that the horses would starve to death and no one would pet the cats and on and on...When we got back home they saw that everything was just fine and they were ok after that.

I am glad that we have these boys and I am glad that we are able to show them love and give them security. We are not rich in monetary value, however, we are extremely rich in love and value. Families need that more than money!

Saturday in St. Louis

Friday night found us in a motel in Houston, Missouri. The boys told me that they have never stayed in a motel or hotel before. They have traveled but the slept in the vehicle. What an experience for a kid. Never again for our 3 boys!
WW, JD and MJ thought the motel was top notch. They wanted to know how much it cost and if we had enough money and so on and so on...They just needed reassurance because of their past.

Saturday morning we all woke up rested and ready to go again. We drove to St. Louis and talked and played games in the car. Superman and I had talked and thought about what to do. Saturday was the boys day since they were so good when we had to do business on Friday for the property. We decided that we would take the boys to a really nice breakfast, then to Cabela's, then to a really nice supper and in between we would just play it by ear.
When we walked into Cabela's the boys couldn't move. They stood inside the main entrance with their jaws dropped open. They were amazed! We walked around and looked at all the animals and talked about each of them. I took the boys to the aquarium area and we talked about all the fish. Beautiful fish and HUGE!

Shopping! I am not a shopper. I don't do the mall! Nope - not me! We stayed in Cabela's for about 5 hours. Yeah - I know! I was fine though, watching the boys and Superman with amazement and having the time of their lives. The boys actually got to touch things that they had seen in the catalog that we get every month. Needless to say, because of the amount of time that we spent in Cabela's were weren't able to do anything else that day. I had wanted to go to the zoo and maybe take the tram into the down town area and maybe do a few other things. As it turned out, everyone had a great time and that is what counts.

Hotel - oh boy! I thought the boys were gonna fall on the floor when we checked into our hotel in St. Louis. It was fancy! Or so said the boys. LOL WW and JD were able to walk around inside the hotel a little bit (as long as they stayed together). They were in the lobby area just checking things out and they found a wallet. The front desk called our room to tell us that we should be extremely proud of them because they turned the wallet in to the front desk (it had lots of cash in it). They did a wonderful thing. When they came back to the room we ask them what all they did and if they had fun. Funny thing is - they didn't tell us about the wallet. We ask them if they found anything. "Oh yeah" was their reply, and then they told us about it.

We talked about the last couple of days, about what the boys thought of their plane ride, the property, the Osage Indians, Lewis and Clark, the animals in Cabela's and a few more things. I was pretty amazed at how much the boys actually remembered about all the history that we had seen.

Sunday morning we packed the car and headed for the airport. The boys remembered the routine from the Jacksonville airport and they were directing us on what we needed to do. We ate at a wonderful bagel place in the airport. I had to help the boys with their decision on what to eat. I think sometimes we take things for granted and expect the boys to know about such things that are common to us. They have never ate at such a place before.

Of course JD ask for me to sit beside him on the plane again. For some reason he just couldn't sit still. I think it may have been all the excitement of coming home. He was asking me how much longer we had and if it would be bumpy again. We made it back to Jacksonville safely and we made it back home safely. We all had a wonderful time and we were all ready to come home.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Summersville Missouri

We all piled into the rental car. A really nice mid size SUV. The boys had plenty of room and there was lots of room for our luggage in the back.
It was about a 2 hour drive to Houston, Missouri. We went up hills and down hills. The boys had never seen foothills or mountains. We were in the Ozark Mountain Foothills. Beside the road there are cut outs in the mountains. Beautiful rock formations. Superman and I explained (as best we could) about how this was done. My dad used to work on roads and he had explained to me years ago. All of the boys ask question after question about the process and of course they wanted to know why. The "why" question comes up a lot. But that's ok with us.
Once we got in Houston, we had some paperwork to take care of with the property. We had told the boys that Friday would be for business and Saturday would be for fun. They were just fine with that. Not only were the boys fine with us taking care of business but their behaviour was excellent. I'll tell you all about a little issue with the closing of the property sale in a little bit.

After all the business with the property was taken care of we headed to see the property. OH MY! Beautiful! Superman had some concerns that I wouldn't like the property. I loved it! The boys loved it!
We took a little drive around the area of the property so that we could see the country side. Superman also took us to a State park that is a 15 minute drive from the property. 15 minutes and we can be swimming and playing. The park is Alley Springs. Around the springs there is a trail that you can walk on. On the side of the trail there are caves where the Osage Indians lived. What a History lesson for the boys! They were amazed that the Indians lived there at one time.

Easement issue with the property. Superman called about a week before we were to meet with the realtor, to double check on our appointment time and to ask about any easements on the property. The realtor told Superman that if he wanted to know about easements and such that he (Superman) would have to call the Court House. Now wait a minute here. Why can't the realtor call and make sure that things with the property are taken care of and that there are not any legal issues with the property. It really kinda ticked us off that the realtor wouldn't make the necessary calls or do the necessary research. Blah, blah, blah...
Woe and behold there's an easement issue. It has to do with a huge power line easement.
To make a long story short - the title company is working on clearing everything up. The money is in escrow waiting for any legal matters to be taken care of. All people involved in the property are content that everything will be taken care of. Our closing date has been moved up and we will be able to close via mail and email.

Summersville, Missouri is the closest town and it is a po dunk town. The population is less than 600. I like that. We will be close enough to Houston, that we will be able to do most of our shopping there. If we can't find it there, then there are lots of other towns within 50 miles that we will be able to shop at.

Thursday and Friday

Where oh where do I start!?
What a weekend - and a really good one at that.
We left home on Thursday around 6pm and drove right at 60 miles to my father in laws house. Our plans were to spend the night and have him drive us to the airport Friday morning. Things sure can get mixed up sometimes. LOL

Superman was supposed to get off from work early but of course things happen. He managed to actually get off from work later than usual. He was definitely not a happy camper about that. The boys and I ran all day to make sure that everything was taken care of around home before we left for Missouri. The boys were a wonderful help and they were really worried about their dad because he didn't get to come home early. They were actually upset with their dad's job because of that. We both explained that things like that happen sometimes and we just have to deal with those things when they happen.
We drove to Grandpa's house, had supper and started to settle down for the night. Everyone was so excited about getting on the plane on Friday and it really was hard to sleep. The boys finally settled down and it took them all of about 3 minutes to actually get to sleep. I think Superman and I finally fell asleep around midnight. I kept waking up because I just knew the darn alarm clock wouldn't go off or wake us up. Finally I woke up around 2am and just could not fall back asleep. 3am rolled around and I started waking everyone up and getting the boys dressed, teeth brushed and in the car.

Somewhere in here I need to tell you this...We had this all planned out for over 2 weeks about staying at my father in laws (Grandpa) house. Him and his wife were supposed to cook supper for us. So Superman calls me when he is on his way home and said something about his dad and supper. I think I just half listened. When Superman rolls in and we all pack into the car and roll out the gate, he looks at me and says "My dad said that we are having hot dogs for supper". I thought I would puke right then and there. Oh don't get me wrong - I really like hot dogs, but not as a main course. I just looked over at Superman and said, "I have got to have something to eat other than hot dogs". Nuff said!
We did have something different for supper. Thank goodness!

5am we roll into the airport. My first flight! I loved it! The boys first flight! The boys loved it! Getting checked in and through security was really easy. The boys manners and behavior were excellent. Superman actually saw and talked to some friends that he used to work with. We introduced them to our boys and told them about the adoption. Superman just glowed when he talked about the boys.
Time to board the plane. We boarded without any problems, sat in our little seats and the boys just kept asking questions about what this was and what that is and how this works and on and on...JD made sure that I sat beside him. He would have it no other way.
So many people at the airport and on the plane talked to the boys and made them feel really important. I was so proud of them!
Landing in St. Louis was a little rough. It was raining and the winds were blowing around 15 mph. Can you say "Turbulence"? Yes, we hit a little turbulence. JD was a little scared and he made sure that I was right there and I had to be touching him. I reassured him that I wasn't going anywhere and everything would be just fine. WW and MJ were fine with all of it. MJ actually laughed when we got into the turbulence. He is so darn silly anyway.
We grabbed our luggage, caught the shuttle bus and headed to pick up our rental car. I have to say that all 3 of the boys thought they were royalty. They have never been treated so nice. They had never been in a brand new car (our rental car), never stayed in a motel or a hotel and so many other things. They just seemed to glow!

Off in the rental car and headed to Summersville, Missouri - a 2 hour ride and beautiful scenery.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A little bit of sunshine!

Well today started like every other day this week. We got out of bed and it was "STILL" raining! The boys were not too keen to get started on their maths, and who could blame them. We have not been out for our usual daily walk or bike ride for four days! Good Heavens, its so hard being a little boy, don't you think?

So we did English instead, and then as we were all a bit fed up we thought, forget it, lets go for a drive. So we all hopped in the car and headed for the country side (you know a whole five minutes inland from our place). It was nice viewing and it stopped raining, so we called into a garden centre to buy some sugar cane mulch for the garden. I also could not help myself and bought some more plants! Oops!

Then we stopped at yet another garden centre on the way home and bought a few more plants! Needless to say, a lot of gardening went on and not much school work. Oh well, we will catch up tomorrow. The garden is going to be so full in a few weeks. It will probably look more like a jungle. I have more than filled up the new garden and there is no where left to plant anything. Hmmm that front garden better watch out. Im finding that more and more I want to get rid of the useless ornamental type plants and replace them with herbs or vegetables. Every time I look at a piece of grass, Im thinking. I could dig that up and put in some more dirt there. I really do think we need to move to a farm. LOL.

Cameragirl has informed me that her friend is coming over to stay the night. And the house is looking a bit like a bombs hit it at the moment. So I guess I should stop blogging and go sort it out. Hey Alta, where is my poem? I hope its a good one.

Crayons In The Shower

I think tonight my husband (Superman) finally figured out the true meaning of fatherhood. I have to say it was rather amusing too.

I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and Superman opened the shower door to start the water for his shower. He did something in the shower and then turned to me and said (while holding a crayon, "What exactly do ya'll do during the day and exactly how did this get in there?" Being the comedian that he truly is, his face was distorted in something that favored Bozo the Clown. All I could do was laugh! That really is not such an easy task with an electric toothbrush in my mouth. Needless to say that the electric toothbrush popped out of my mouth (to keep me from choking on it) and sprayed the mirror before I could get my wits about me. I literally had to catch my breath in order to give him a sensible answer. But before I could catch my breath and give him the answer of the crayon in the shower, he spoke up and said, "I know, MJ wrote in the shower I love you dad, in invisible crayon". Ok, it took me a little longer to compose myself because he is narrating on how the crayon got in the shower.

While I am doing my best to stop laughing so I can at least breath, he goes on to tell me about the activity of MJ helping him unload the feed and the hay this evening. Superman is trying really hard to get the feed out of the truck before the rain gets here. He grabs a bag or 2 of feed out of the truck, walks through the gate and into the barn with the feed. In the meantime, MJ gets bored and stands in the gate opening doing some type of gyrating boogie dance. Hands, feet, hips and head just a swinging around. Superman walks out of the barn in a bit of a hurry (because of the rain) and walks up behind MJ (without MJ knowing). MJ just continues with his boogie dance thing and Superman tries to get him to move. Well MJ being surprised steps to the left and then to the right and then to the left and so on and so on...Now it is like Superman and MJ are doing this boogie dance thing together. Superman just looks up and says to himself "let me get through this now because I know that I will be laughing about it later". There is no doubt that we will laugh about it now and later.

These and lots and lots of other things are just pleasures of being a parent. Some days I wonder how my parents did it. But in reality, I know how they did it. They simply ask to get through it now because they knew they would laugh about it all later.

Oh yeah - the crayon in the shower. I washed some back packs today and put them in the shower to dry, the crayon fell out of one of the back packs. I can hear you now - yeah right. That's exactly what Superman said.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Count Down

The end of this week we will be signing all of the paperwork on our new property. Our closing day is Friday the 7th. 40 acres! I am trying to contain myself and not get all giddy, but it really isn't easy. As I say that, I think - hmmm....I don't get giddy very much. I always remain pretty darn calm and level headed until things are all over with. Just my nature, I guess.

Did I say giddy? The boys wake up every morning this week and instead of saying good morning, I hear "5 more days" or "4 more days". WW wanted to start packing 2 weeks ago. He is one that has to plan ahead and be prepared. It's almost like Christmas around here with the excitement.
I don't think that the boys will get much sleep the night before we go to the airport. Instead of Santa flying in, we will be flying out.

It's hard to have class when the boys are all fired up. WW is so concerned that he will get put on restriction or make a bad grade and not be able to go swimming while we are in Missouri. I have tried and tried to explain to him that I rarely have any trouble from him. Today he explained (after making a C on a practice spelling test) that he was really worried that his dad was going to be really upset with his grade. I explained to WW that he should not worry that nothing bad is going to happen and his dad would not be upset. I explained that his dad would just tell him that he needed to study a little more. Now if you remember, our boys are adopted and their past memories are not very good ones. It's very natural for all 3 of the boys to think the worst. In time, I believe that those memories will fade and they will have more good memories than bad ones. Superman and I will do everything in our power to make that happen.

Ok - now you can join us in the count down! We fly on Friday in the early am. Less than 3 days and counting...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Blog Carnival

Have you ever heard of a blog carnival? I somehow stumbled on someones blog that had a blog carnival. And of course, me being curious and all, I just had to see what a darn blog carnival was. I found out too. Not only did I find out, but I actually submitted an article and I was included in a blog carnival. How darn cool is that?!

You can check out the blog carnival that I was picked for. Down With The Kids. It's not what it sounds like, it's The Carnival of Family Life (by Kailani). A really cool blog!

If you are thinking about submitting some of your blog entries to a blog carnival (or 2 or more), then I say go for it. This is the link where you can get more info.
Blog Carnival.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Because We Can

The boys took a vote and decided to have school on the holiday. We will be out of town starting on Friday and I talked to the boys about doing school on Monday (the holiday) and not having school on Friday or take Monday off and do school on Friday. They voted and decided to take Friday off. I am glad that's the decision they made. Superman will be off from work on Monday, and that will make it a lot easier on me with the boys and their school work.

The boys all have test tomorrow and we have been having them study the last couple of days. JD always wants to study in his room, but he has no self discipline and he starts to wander off from his books (studies). WW and MJ know that they need to study and they both work really hard on it. If I could give them both a passing grade just for how much they apply themselves, then I would.

Tonight Superman helped me out with the boys by asking them a few questions that would be on their test. He also made a few suggestions of a few things that I could do. Very good suggestions too. One of them was with the test that is coming up. It is fill in the blank and there is no way the boys are ready for that. So...Superman suggested that I make a multiple choice sheet to go along with the test. I just finished creating it, double checking it and printing it out. I think it will really help the boys.

I'm not giving them the answers by no means. You have to understand that these boys have been held back because of their history. They have no idea how to take notes or study for a test. They just have not been exposed to general things dealing with everyday life. We are hoping that at some point they will just take off, but if they don't that's ok too. We're all here for each other.

Why - Because we can.

Mud Bogging

Have you ever been mud bogging? I have - many, many times and I love it.
Many years ago, when I was much younger (in another life) we used to go mud bogging. As life moved on, so did my mud bogging. Oh from time to time Superman and I have played in the mud. Find a little slick spot in the hunting club or on the 4 wheeler trail and can't resist spinning the tires.

Superman has been doing a little research on 4 wheelers and trail riding and such. He found a wonderful place for us to go and play in the mud. It's called Ocean Pond. It's kinda pricey ($15 per person over 10 years old). We had to pay for 4 of us and MJ got in free. We took our 4 wheeler and all of us got as muddy as we could. It was a blast! Not only are there places to play in the mud, but there are dirt bike trails and 4 wheeler trails. There were monster trucks and 4 wheelers. There were little kids and big kids. There were boys and girls and men and women. Anyone that played in the mud or even close to the mud, got muddy. Of course I didn't even think about taking my camera until we were there. It's almost an hour drive from where we live but well worth the drive.

Since I didn't take my camera there aren't any pictures of us. However, I did manage to get a few pictures from the website (with permission, of course). I hope you enjoy them!

Kitty Found Us

Friday -
School didn't go very well for JD. Well maybe I should say that JD acted out and had to spend some time in his room. He just does not want to do anything that is related to school. He does not want to read. JD will just write down any answer. The question ask "who" and he puts down a date that he remembers from the book. He scanned over the reading and saw a number and that was it.

Finally much later in the afternoon, I had reached my limit on the amount of whining that I could listen to. I had an errand to do, so I loaded up the kids and off we went. Walmart was so crowded and the customer service was horrible. I waited in the pet food section for 22 minutes and numerous times of having someone paged before someone finally showed up to help us. Yes that just added to my frustration.
On the way home we all laughed and sang. That way I was able to get rid of some of the frustration.

Sometime before supper the boys were outside playing and one of the neighbor kids ran in the house and said that JD had found a kitten. About that time JD showed up at the back door with the kitten. I grabbed the kitten to help protect him and calm him down. Everyone gathered in the laundry room to see the new critter. Why do all the critters stop at our house? Maybe they know that they will be taken care of. I told everyone that we could not keep him. We have enough to take care of and there is no way that we can keep another cat. Yeah - right!
The kitten somehow managed to get into our back yard and JD saw him climbing a tree. So JD ran over to rescue the little fellow from Rocko. We now know that Rocko really doesn't like cats.

The kitten is safe in MJ's bedroom, all set up with food, water and a little box. This little fellow is so extremely lovable. He loves to sleep right beside you and snuggle with you. We guess that he is about 4 months old.

Not keeping him! We thought that the kitten may belong to the neighbor that lives behind us. It's not their cat. We found that out today. So.....
We're keeping him!

Keeping Track of Time

What day is it? The computer tells me that it's Sunday. This morning it was sunny and we all had planned on working around the barn and re-doing the fence. I started some laundry and managed to get one load hung on the clothes line and then the thunder started. So much for that. We all sat down and watched a movie. And we all pitched in and did more laundry.

I just remembered why I have lost track of time. It's because we all went out and played yesterday. Even Friday is kind of a blur. But when I really, really think about it - I start to remember what we did Friday and Saturday.

I will put it all in another post.