Monday, August 31, 2009

Keeping On My Toes

Since we have not finished the room over the garage (or Garage Mahal as I call it), we are having to conduct our homeschool at the dining room table.

Which also means that we sometimes have a "guest" observe our lessons.

Sort of like the Principal sitting in and conducting a "teacher evaluation." (Notice the extremely thick Instructor Guide!)

I hope I receive a good mark! She looks hard to please. She also looks like she could be bribed with a few treats:).



Thursday, August 27, 2009

1st Day of School

We all survived!!!!!!!!!

The Princess sat in on class since PreK hasn't started yet.

The Queen.

Big Tuna looking pretty excited to start 12th grade!!! I can't believe my first-born is a senior in High School because I can't be that old!


Godzilla looks almost as happy as his brother.




My baby is a 5th grader!




Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Sewing Projects Complete

When I got my new sewing machine for Mother's Day I became inspired to start sewing again. My old sewing machine was 30+ years old and was quite cantankerous. This new machine is more machine than I will ever use, but I love it!
I guess what inspired me most about wanting to sew again was the fact that I love the Matilda Jane line of clothing, but not the prices. I especially didn't want to pay $$ for clothes that my girls would not wear, and I couldn't be sure that they would wear it until I got it. So, I found an apron skirt pattern at Fabritopia. The pattern seemed easy enough with lots of step-by-step photos. All in all, one skirt can be made in a few hours. My skirts are not perfect, but the next ones will be better now that I know the basic assembly. Here are the results:


This is The Queen's skirt (back).


The Queen's skirt (front).

The Princess modeling her skirt. No, The Queen wouldn't wear hers. See, I told you I it is not worth the $$ to buy boutique clothes for them. I'm also glad that both girls wear the same size as The Princess can wear both:).


The Princess' skirt (back).


The Princess' skirt (front).
Tomorrow we start school and I probably won't get a chance to sew anything except repairs/mending for a while. I will make these skirts again if the girls wear/like them. Now if I can only figure out how to make the pattern in my size....

Monday, August 24, 2009

The box is opened

I finally broke down and opened the curriclum boxes.

Then I began to hyperventilate in a brown paper bag...


The Instructor Guide consists of a 3-ring binder that is about 6-inches thick full of schedules, lesson plans, etc. I immediately had to lie down and wait for that nauseous feeling to pass.

The packing boxes are designed to cut into a castle. The girls were thrilled with a new castle for their princess dolls.









Two more days to go before school begins.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's A Beautiful Thing

I'm so happy I could cry. It's one of those things that you dream about. It makes you so proud when you realize that the talent has been passed down to the next generation, as in this case, Mama-to-Princess. It doesn't happen often in any family. You may wonder what this gift is? After nearly 20 years of marriage and 17 years of children, there is someone else in the Sand Castle that can do this talented thing. Pardon me while I wipe the tears from my eyes....





It is a beautiful thing.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Me! Monday!



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

It's hard to believe that another week has past! We are now down to 1.5 weeks before school starts. Let's see what I haven't done since last week.

Being such a technically savvy person, I most certainly did not enlist the assistance of Big Tuna to charge up my iPod. No, Not Me! ANYONE with half a brain could figure it out, so why would I need my son to do it for me (darn 'Hold" button)!

As I mentioned before, I am always prepared and never leave anything to the last minute! So, I wouldn't still have 2 HUGE boxes of home school curriculum sitting un-opened by my door! No, no, no. I would have ripped the boxes opened, sorted and organized the contents, and placed them in my organized "classroom." Homeschooling (even Kindergarten) requires much preparation and this is not something I would put off to the last minute! I am also not scared of opening the boxes because there are 3 (count them 3) videos on the curriculum website regarding 'opening the boxes.' That would be for a wimp, and I am not a wimp! Not Me!

I also have not neglected my home-making duties by spending every waking hour sewing dolls for fun. No, Not Me! I am the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman and would never let my house become a "wreck" while I sit at my sewing machine having fun.

I did not leave (sneak out of) the house yesterday afternoon by myself to have dinner at a restaurant with the ladies from my church's women's group. No, Not Me! And I did not leave the family without first preparing a gourmet meal for them! No, Not Me! I always put the needs of my family first before mine. I would make sure my family had a well-balanced, nutritious meal and all the comforts they needed before gallivanting off into town. Yes, I am that kind of dedicated, nurturing mother.

No, I could not possibly do any of those things since it is totally Not Me!

So, how was your week?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dolls

I've totally blown off my house and other home-maker duties this past week by making dolls. I love this pattern from Bit of Whimsy Dolls . I started out making this girl and boy set to offer as a raffle for my ministry at church (Change a Child). However, as I started making the dolls I felt lead to offer them to a friend of mine who is raising money for her adoption. I'm not sure if she can use them or wants them, but they are hers if she wants them.


Aren't they cute? I have to say that I think the boy pattern is the cutest!



These lovelies are for another friend in the middle of her adoption. Hopefully all of her girls will be home for Christmas!

I have learned much in the doll-making process since I made my girls' first dolls. They each wanted a new doll so their dolls could have "sisters."

I guess I will spend this week playing catch up and opening up my boxes of curriculum (yes, they are still un-opened by my door). With the school year starting up I probably won't get many opportunities to sew for a while. I still have two skirts for the girls to try to get done, not to mention mending.
Anyway, I think the dolls will like their new homes.







Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer Vacation is Almost Over

No, we aren't packing up and moving. These two HUGE (and heavy) boxes contain my home school curriculum that I will be using this year for The Queen. The boxes have been sitting in my foyer, unopened for the past two days. As I look at them, I feel overwhelmed.

You may ask, "Why are you going to home school The Queen when your boys are in public school?" The answer is, "They are a lost cause." No, I am just kidding!!!

Our decision to home school has come after much thought and prayer. I think the seeds of homeschooling started about 10 years ago. At that time we became friends with a wonderful family through our Cub Scout Pack. Miss M was the Packmaster, and mother of 2 boys and 2 girls. She also home schooled her children. Her children are smart, well mannered, out-going, self-confident, independent, and a host of other descriptive words. In other words, "she done good!"

I adore Miss M. She has inspired me over the years, whether she knows it or not. She has inspired me to be comfortable being me and the Mama that I am.


Yes, my boys are in public school. Big Tuna will be a senior in high school and Godzilla will be in 5th grade. They have both done well and make good grades. Neither have wanted to be home schooled. I also see things that they have or haven't been taught or allowed to develop because it doesn't follow the State mandated goals. Both of my boys are completely different from one another. Big Tuna is gifted in "math/science", while Godzilla's talents lean towards the "writing, creative, and art." Godzilla doesn't even begin to tap into his talents in public school. Only during school breaks and summer vacations does Godzilla have the time or energy to explore his talents.


See what I mean.

Getting back to The Queen. She is smart. I don't mean that in a bragging way. It is just a fact. Recently, our State changed the birth date cut-off for starting school. The Queen missed the new cut-off date by 7 days. She is so-o-o ready for Kindergarten. It wouldn't do her any good to keep her back a year. I also don't want her to be in a "one-size fits all" class environment. I really don't want that for any of my kids. I would love to home school Godzilla as well. The Princess still has a few years of preK to go.


So, in light of all of that, the timing just seemed right for homeschooling. Not to mention all of the cuts in the State education budget this year. Yep, the time is right.


I spent a lot of time researching homeschooling, curriculums, etc. because I am that kind of person. I love research and think that you can never have enough data! While that is one of my strengths, it is also one of my weaknesses. I can spend too much time doing research and lose site of what I am supposed to be doing. But that is me. We also knew that my time would be limited with 4 kids and everything that goes with it. I was worried that I would spend too much time compiling and getting things together for teaching The Queen, that I would burn out. Since we are new to homeschooling we opted for a complete curriculum. I am sure I will tweak it as we go through it, but at least I won't be starting from scratch.


While at this point I still feel somewhat not ready, The Queen most certainly is.



See how talented she is? She can work on the computer and suck her thumb at the same time!


I'll keep you posted on our progress and challenges!















Monday, August 10, 2009

Not Me! Monday



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Well, let me see....since I haven't been to a movie theatre to see a movie since the "Pre-Queen" era (2005), I most certainly did not plan and leave the house in "un-noticed mode" aka "sneaking out" to see a movie with my sons (sans daughters). No Not Me! And I most certainly did not use Big Tuna as a diversion until those of us (escaping) were safely outside of the house and running to the vehicle as though in "get-a-way mode."

You also did not catch me cleaning my house (inside) to avoid yard duty outside with Captain Daddy and the boys. No, no, no, Not Me! because I LOVE yard work and would never purposely avoid it by cleaning the inside of my house. I can clean the inside of my house any day of the week, so why would I want to do it on a Saturday when everyone else was outside having fun?

I most certainly, never in a thousand years drive 20 miles to church with my children and not check to make sure that each child had a pair of shoes on his/her feet. No, Not Me as I always make sure that the children leave several pairs of shoes in the vehicle so that we are always "prepared." We are a Scouting family you know and I could never let that happen. And I did not let The Queen attend church without shoes. That would be something only a really bad mother would do, and I am not a really bad mother.

And when shopping at a store with my daughters, I would never, ever tell The Princess that she "would just have to pee on the floor" when the store-clerk refused to allow The Princess to use to the store restroom. No, Not Me! I would never say that because The Princess would never assume the straddle/squat position right there in front of said store-clerk, and be ready to do what I wouldn't ask her to do. No, I wouldn't embarrass my daughter at the expense of teaching the store-clerk a lesson (though I may have wanted too!). No, Not Me!

No, I could not possibly do any of those things since it is totally Not Me!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nature Around Us

We have lots of nature out here in our neck of the coast. We've had all kinds of critters and creatures come pay us a visit over the years. Yesterday morning I noticed a cute little tree frog on my front porch.


Isn't it cute? Then as my eyes became accustomed to my surroundings, I noticed there were several more of the little critters.

The girls and I started counting and found a total of 8 tree frogs on the porch railings.


Must have been a tree frog party.



There seem to be a healthy population of them here.
I won't go into detail about the HUGE tree frog I found inside the toilet bowl in my house; or how I found the tree frog in my toilet bowl:).


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Get Your Verse On - Kid Style!

I have posted in the past of Wild Olive Tees and their charity work (not to mention c-u-t-e tees.) They have just announced their launch of their Wild Olive Kids line! They will be offering tees for both boys and girls in sizes ranging from 2-12. The tees will be available just in time for back to school shopping (around August 12th).
They also announced another Charity tee, CHOSEN. Through August 31st, 25% of their profits (instead of our standard 10%) from the sale of “CHOSEN” will go to benefit a charity near and dear to my heart, Love without Boundaries. Love Without Boundaries began in 2003, after a group of adoptive parents realized that people united by a pure love for impoverished children truly can make a difference. Love without boundaries strives “To provide the most loving and compassionate help possible to orphaned and impoverished children in China, and to show the world that every child, regardless of their needs, deserves to experience love and be treated with dignity and care.” In just five short years, the foundation has grown from providing a handful of surgeries to touching the lives of thousands of children today through foster care, medical, education, and nutrition programs. To find out more about Love Without Boundaries, you can visit their website here.

So, get your verse on over at Wild Olive Tees!

Wordless Wednesday (A Day Early)