Sunday, November 26, 2006

Knitty

Yay, I am finally knitting. I have finished enough projects now to say "I can knit" or "I knit." I really need to get this soaker done for my boy before he potty trains, but I am afraid of knitting in the round! Well actually I am less afraid of that than I am of the pattern (which I still haven't decided on) and I haven't been able to go to our knitting nights in three weeks to get help!

Today, I spent early morning casting on a boucle sweater for G. She chose the yarn at a Black Friday sales and I have to admit I despise working with it. For me, cute yarn makes for a hard time seeing stitches. Even still, sitting by the fire and watching the snow falling on the evergreens outside made for a nice coffeetime.

P and I are starting our pilates together time today. Yesterday was my first pain-free day for two weeks, and I am looking forward to strengthening myself enough that this doesn't happen anymore.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Home Alone with the Kidlets today

Emotionally we had a good day. No tantrums, no big spats between sibs.

My back was throbbing by the time Paul came home -- there is no way to get through the day without picking up your 22 month old-- but I took my first motrin when he came through the door, so I think we did well.

Each day is better, and that's all I can expect. I'll take it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Getting Jiggy With The Homeschooling

Oh YES! Will and Jada Smith homeschool their kids. I am so chortling right now. Rock on!


Apparently I am no longer sobbing in my sleep, so I am happy to think tomorrow will be a good day, even though Paul is going to work.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Curriculum Fun

I have been making some more materials for the Learning Room, and having a lot of mental fun while doing it. I am working up their geography exercises.

First on tap is continent cards. You print out the pictures of the individual continents and then keep relative pictures in separate envelopes. You also match animals to the continents where they originate.

Next is the felt globe, where you cut out felt pieces in the shape of the continents and the child can then do much the same thing, but with a felt board, or if I get a chance, a felt covered beach ball.

They've been studying the real Thanksgiving, which has made me happy. I don't want to teach our homeschooled children LIES, but I am also determined to balance historical accuracy without burdening children as young as ours with adult concerns like war, genocide and rape. There is a nice sanitized, but historically accurate set of activities on Scholastic.com It's been a good launchpoint for discussion, and there are always your standard printables on enchanted learning . The whole family is looking forward to watching the History channels new presentation on it as well: Desperate Crossing

And, more details for their quarter collecting, which is teaching currency, math, history and geography. That does not an inefficient curriculum make.

Back's Out

Wednesday night I was roughhousing with the kids and my back went out. This sucks and is very painful, but normally it's a finis by 48 hours. Here I am, Sunday morning, still spasming and miserable. It hurts AND it's causing anxiety. I literally can't function when I am like this and P-daddy has had to be Mommy and Daddy. He came home Thursday morning and took off Friday.

I have finished knitting hats for G and for N but I need to be better. I need to be better. Moms can't be Moms without use of their backs. He's holding his own so far but I NEED TO BE BETTER.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

MNO

Last night the PCCM went to the melting pot for a mother's night out. I haven't been to a MNO since, well, the last time I went to the melting pot. It was delicious, as expected, but also somewhat surprising. The woman who arranged it learned of happy hour pricing. If you eat in the bar, the salads and the cheese and chocolate fondue pots are half priced. They're full sized, so that made for haaaaaappy cheesy mommies.

And I think it would take a wedding to make that amount of us show up in cosmetics again!

It was a fun time, and I felt like a ME.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I've been holding out

and I would normally be in trouble for it, but I bet this bribe will work to get me off the hook:


Gasp




Anyway, I have posted pictures from:

our homeschooling conference at the art museum

our Halloween playdate

and again, our Halloween playdate!

So go look and have fun! (and forgive me for taking so long!!!!!!!!!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another American Tragedy


December 12, 2006

Drawing for a 2 night stay

at the

Ramada Hotel & Water Park

in

Ocean Shores!


Tickets for the drawing will be available starting Monday, November 13th. Though there is no purchase necessary to enter this drawing, we are asking a donation of $1.00 per ticket. All proceeds will go to the Zander family. For more information on the Zander family see below.

Zander family:

Tami Zander is the Chemical Dependency Program Manager here at SCCC. Her son Matt serves with the US Military and was recently serving in IRAQ when he fell victim to a IED bomb. Matt is currently fighting for his life at Walter Reed in Baltimore, Maryland. Family members from Aberdeen, WA have flown in to be with him, however are being faced with additional financial hardships as well as the loss of wages from being away to tend to him. Any donation would be beneficial to this family!!!!



[GRAPHIC--injuries described]
This is a woman who works for P-Daddy in Aberdeen. Behind the scenes: The company has given her as much pooled sick time as they have. The soldier has lost a leg, an arm, his buttocks and an eye. Some days he can't remember where he is, and insists he is whole. Other days, he wants to die. He is very young, single and needless to say this is a tragic situation.

I told P-daddy I would help raise funds for their family.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Penrose State Park


9-11 in music class

5/2007: transcribed from homeschooling board. I can't believe I didn't include it in the blog when it was happening. This will be disjointed.



G has been enjoying her ancillary classes with the school district, but last week she was in the back seat telling me about her day when she asked me if there were really two towers in NY that were knocked down by a plane.

Frankly, I was really pissed off. I have done what I can to somewhat shield the kids from the gory details of all that. I won't shirk from it forever, but dd is SIX YEARS OLD. This is a music class for first graders. The song they were learning was apparently inspired by the events, (*Eagles: There's a Hole in the World Tonight) but I firmly question the necessity of that in first grade.

Now that I have completely calmed down, I want to confront the teacher but I am not sure what to say. I know I will ask her exactly what she taught them about that day, because *I* need to know, but beyond that....

------------------
It gets better!

Music Teacher didn't tell me the name of the song*, I heard G singing it, and it's one of my favorite songs.

Apparently there was an assembly yesterday at 2.15 where she was supposed to sing it with her class and the 4th grade class. Of course, no one told me that when I picked her up from PE at 2.10. I only found out there was an assembly at all because when I dropped her for music (she has music + pe on Thursday) the teacher was in the gym, not the music room, "working on seating for the assembly. G, you can sit over there."

So..... if G was supposed to be in an assembly, someone should have damn told me. I asked then "should I leave her? is there going to be a music class today?" and the teacher kind of tersely said "yes there will be a music class" so I left G there. But after PE, G came right out the same door where some parents had gathered for the assembly. I took her away, completely clueless as to what she was missing.


-------------

It's not the song that bothers me; it's that Graham a. was taught something politically AGE inappropriate and then B. was prevented from performing something she'd rehearsed and anticipated.

I would not have held her back, but I wasn't able to support her either because I didn't know about it.

-------------

[In a nutshell, some friends online suggested that I was expecting too much from a public school district, and that since I released my child to their care, they would not see anything wrong with any exposure they gave her.]

But you're right about me too, as a homeschooler I wanted to avoid all this horseshit, and here I am dealing with it anyway.

I am going to allow her to go through the December break, and then she's coming back home. I will tell her (truthfully) that's it is the end of the semester and (not so truthfully) that class is all done. Our financial situation has improved again and I can send her to something private or join a homeschool choir that I recently discovered.

This has been a surprising learning experience for me. I find myself agreeing with the (perceived, never stated) attitude of the PSD that she should be in or out altogether. They've never done anything aside from this issue to make us uncomfortable or to make us feel unwelcome, but I feel like she is so conspicuous and I want to make commitments to our own community, like the WashNFL.
------------------------------------
This is the pic my dd drew after the class dh and I were upset about. I have been cleaning my desk off today and I found it.


At least, in her vision, there was a ladder for the people to escape.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Not bad for a state of emergency


Yes. State of emergency in 19 counties so far because in three days, we've had 12 inches of rain. And this week, I chose to babysit three extra kids... twice.

But we had a good day! :) They are also a homeschooling family so the kids are well accustomed to the rythym of our lives here.

The incredible never-sleeping baby, however, fell asleep while I was changing her diaper and her Daddy was loading the carseats. :)




Sunday, November 05, 2006

I feel like I am not in a neighborhood

My daughter doesn't seem to like the concept of suburban life. She likes our neighborhood, but like her Mom she likes having an identifier to go along with her residence. We live in the country, along a beach, but we also live in a neighborhood. Horses and riders, rabbits, raccoons and deer are all familar sites; we've even had a pair of random escaped bulls come through. But it still looks like suburbia when you're standing in the driveway during the day.

Today we had a cord of wood delivered. It turned into a fun cooperative family effort, as the kids and parents all donned our working gloves and staked the load in the wood crib. When most of the cord was put in, D woke up from his nap, so I went in to get him. He stared while the "big kids" were working right alongside with Daddy. He looked at me and said "N strong! G strong!"

D and I went inside and made a round of hot chocolate, which the big kids sat and sipped while watching P-Daddy split some of the bigger pieces. G looked up at me with shining eyes and said "Mommy, I feel like I am not in a neighborhood!"

Friday, November 03, 2006

Snow in August

The kids and I stayed in. Totally. The kids refused to change out of their very comfy new pajamas, and I failed to see any reason to make them do so. The wind, so blustery it howled through the cedar shakes, swept our giant, tan and bright yellow maple leaves with the leaves from the other deciduous trees and whirled them about the yard like a colorful hurricane. It looked like snow in August. N and I stood at the back windows while I did dishes, watching the leaves fall.

Their focus on materials always ramps up on days like this. It was a day for Giant Creations. We watched Snaybaby for the afternoon, and he folded in well with the others as they, for hours, built an elaborately detailed tent house in the living room and a giant railroad depot in the schoolroom.

N broke from this long enough to vaccum the house. Really. I plugged it in and he vacuumed it. His joy at not having to walk on spilled cereal was voiced with "My feet are happy! No poky sharp things in my feet!" while he bounced up and down. Since his conception, bouncy boy.

After dinner, the big kids chose to work on their wooden construction set. "My Ls can fold up into Is," said G, showing me her construction letters creations. N chose to build airplanes and gutbugslayers.

I love watching them work together at the double desk, little heads bending close to their task, chatting and interacting well. This day, G learned from N how to makes best use of some of the tools, and she made a working helicopter. N followed theme and made a plane. As I write this, they're racing about the house like children out of a Hearthsong catalog, zooming their flying machines together.

P came home tonight from out of town. It's a somewhat peaceful evening.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006