Wednesday, September 26, 2007


D. taking a nap on the couch. I bet you can tell that Doodle bug picked out her own clothes today.... That is a round sticker on the back of her dress. Daddy or brother must have stuck that on her.

Daddy and T. doing school work together (I love this picture).

Little Z. sleeping. I have her in a sling or sleeping in our arms most of the day. I only put her in the swing to snap a few pictures of everyone else and pick up some toys off the floor.

I am feeling a little better today. I hope in the next day or two I will be able to sit at the computer a bit longer and write to you all!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday Pictures

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Sorry I was a bit fast with the publish button. I posted a short video of our baby that my hubby took right after birth (I was still in surgery). I thought maybe our family that lives out of the area might want to see it.

Baby Video


Zehira Grace
7 lbs 5.8 oz
18 1/2 inches long

We are home. I will try to write more soon as I am feeling a bit better. Picture below was just taken today. She looks just like her daddy (they even have the same hair style.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

T's school- D's school-baby update.

I think this will be my last post until after I have the baby. I hope to write again early next week. I have several emails to try reply to but I can't promise I will get to them in the next few days. I will do my best.

A bit of T's school this week.
This week T and I read about the British invasions and Dost Mohammad Khan ruling Afghanistan. We are still using the same large map. I gave him some more flags and pictures of some more leaders to add to his map. This lesson was about how hard this man fought to rule over an independent Afghanistan and he was able to do that before he died. My son was very sad because he only got to do that for 2 weeks before he died. I tried telling T. that the man accomplished what he wanted to do but it didn't seem to make T. feel any better. I guess he can be as emotional as I am when it comes to stuff like this. I think history lessons are better for T. to do with Rob. I get very emotional over the wars and ugly things in history. I think maybe this should go back to a father son subject. Rob has taught most history lessons over the last few years because stuff like this happens a lot in our home. Somehow my husband can read it and explain it all to our son and nobody gets emotional and they enjoy learning together. History is one of T.'s favorite subjects (that is when I am not sad or crying during the lesson) I don't want him to loose his love for history so I will talk to DH tonight about this. I want to let you know the part I LOVE about our history program and don't want to stop teaching is all the interesting things we get to learn about other cultures. I find that so interesting! I like learning about other religions, clothing, foods, beliefs, customs and such but the wars and deaths are so hard for me to explain to my little guy. The hardest part is being a Christian mom being asked by my child if the Bible says not to hurt or kill why did Christians do this to other people? I fall apart every time that happens. I haven't found an answer to that question yet. Maybe I can do the teaching of the things having to do with culture and Rob can do the wars. Rob isn't big on the making costumes, saying phases in other languages, making meals from other countries, and having holidays like I am. We also got to read this week about David Livingstone and the continent of Africa. I love reading about Africa. My hubby and I have often talked about maybe living in Africa some day (giving up all our material things for a very simple life I would love to work in an orphanage or hospital in Africa and be able to hold and love the babies and children who have HIV or lost parents to HIV and have no mommy to hold them). My dreams of Africa is a very long story and I don't have time to write about that now so I better get back to our school stuff. Next week we will be reading about Italy (T. LOVES talking about Italy I think he likes finding the boot shape on the maps). Then the week after we will be reading about the American Civil War (If I recover from surgery and baby is doing well). I hope Rob will read this with Travis. I get so emotional with wars and I know with this one I will have to answer many questions to my son about slavery. I think reading with my son on this subject with my hormones out of whack (right after birth) might be a bit too much! I can't imagine reading this when I have the baby blues (the crying I do at a drop of a hat after giving birth). I know I will cry thinking about all the people who suffered as slaves then once the thought of Mom's and young children being slaves I will loose it. I am crying now just thinking about what it would have been like being a pregnant slave. I feel so selfish feeling so bad for myself this week from lack of sleep, being sick to my tummy, and a back ache. I know that is nothing compared to what slaves had to live with! The thought of how some of the masters got female slaves pregnant, hurt them, and how they must have had to give up the time holding and nursing a tiny baby (time that I will be blessed with lots of) to work for someone doing very hard dirty work for the people who owned them is such a hard thing to even think about. The only good news is with that lesson we "might" be able to go on a big field trip. We live in PA so we can drive to Gettysburg. It is a few hours away and it is the only time in the next 4 years we will be reading about Gettysburg. I wonder if we will be able to make a trip like that with my son, toddler, new baby and recovering from a C section. My baby will only be 1 or 2 weeks old. Hmm.... I hope we can go but I won't mention this to T. until we are leaving the house for the trip. I don't want to get his hopes up then find out we can't go because of a new baby or mommy isn't feeling well. I will have to see how this works out. If we go Rob can walk with the older 2 children and read all the info on the statues and I will carry the baby and look at the beautiful farm land that surrounds them and be thankful to be free and holding my baby.

T. moved on to learning about wheels. We all built wooden cars together. I want all of us (Rob, T, and myself) to build a mousetrap race cars and race each other but I will have to see if we get the time to do that in the next few weeks. I hope to have time this week to go over gears and belts. I think the gear bucket we have would keep my 2 year old busy when I come home with the baby next weekend.

This is a picture of Daddy's car. The holes on the side are because he changed his mind on the style after he started building it.
This is my car. YUP! I used clothes pins and rubber bands for this style. LOL!

T. did make a small car but he decided it wasn't large enough so he took the wheels off it and this is the frame of the car he is working on now.

D.'s SCHOOL!!!!
I did take a few pictures of D. doing some school. I bought this puzzle block set for a couple bucks at Walmart a few weeks ago. I put the pieces together on my scanner and printed them out on photo paper. She now has picture cards to match up the pieces. This makes it easier for D. to put the puzzles together. A few of them look a lot alike so this helps her figure out the apple and strawberry or watermelon and lemon.

This is D. playing a game with her brother she loves playing games all the time now.OK, standing on the game isn't playing nice.

Below is her favorite thing to do right now. COLOR! She will spend hours a day drawing pictures. LOOK at all the colors she uses! I LOVE IT! All of her pictures look like small colorful dots or rectangles now. She will only use the boldest of colors for her pictures. My little doodle bug has always been a very colorful girl. My son never had this style of coloring. He always wanted pictures to color in (coloring books) and the correct color crayons to color with.

Poker chips are the hot toy in my house right now. D. and T. both love to play with them. I have a tray that had fruit from the store that I was going to toss out until I got the idea it would make a good sorting tray for poker chips. D. is very good at sorting. She can sort 200 or so chips before she looses interest. This is a few pictures of her chubby little hands sorting them in the correct spots.

This is another way I use poker chips. I have her put the number chips to match the card. You can see that today she thought 4 was 1. LOL! We will keep working on this one.
Baby info....
I should be leaving for the hospital before the sun comes up on Wed. I hope to give birth around 8:00 am and be holding, loving ,and bonding with my little baby soon after. I will be in the hospital for a few days and I hope to be home by Friday at noon. I know that might not all go as planned. I will try to get to the computer as soon as I can once I am back home. I hope even if things don't go as planed I will be posting pictures on my blog of our baby by Monday morning. I would love prayers for a smooth delivery and a healthy baby if anyone has the time! I get very nervous when I think about the delivery! I will write soon as I am back home again. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

our new family member.

My wonderful hubby brought us home a new pet today! I am so excited! I spin yarn and have wanted fiber animals for our farm for almost 2 years now. I now now have a fiber animal to spin yarn with. My children (and hubby) also love our new family member! D. took a nap today and when she woke up the first thing she said is I need to see the bunny! LOL!

He is a French Angora bunny!!! Isn't he cute????

Friday, September 07, 2007

T.'s shelf for Nana

Sorry I don't have much to post. I have been so busy and I keep forgetting to use the camera. I promise to get it together soon! T. got to see his Nana (my mom) yesterday. He gave her the shelf he made her. I can now post pictures of it. He made her this all on his own and he painted it orange dots on it because his Nana has a very fancy house so orange is a good color. LOL! I know he will be making me something soon and I will have to find a nice spot to display his creation. I don't know if I will be laughing so hard over Nana's orange shelf then. I have to say it is very creative! I am very proud he made it all on his own. I just love his logic that her house is fancy so she needs orange dots on it. I can't wait to see what she does with it!!!!

Nana looking at her new shelf.

This look is priceless!!!
Closeup view.
This is the progress he is making on the HUGE lawn sculpture in our front yard that he is building. He told me this creation is going to be MANY things. I hope it is NOT something that has to go inside! I don't think I have a place in my house large enough for this.

His Nana and Pop gave him more wood so he is very excited that he can do more building. I will try to let you all know what he makes next.

shook her head and said NO NOT U..... Me D is a funny girl! She wanted me to read an ABC book to her this morning. It is a book we have read so many times she knows it by heart. Today when we got to the "U" umbrella page of the book she said "Y". I smiled and shook my head. I then said this is not a Y it is a U. She said NO not U (YOU) me Demi, not a U. LOL! I guess now our alphabet does not have a letter U because it is all about HER so in my house we have t, y,v,w, x, y and z or t, DEMI, v, w, x, y and z. LOL!

Anther funny from our 2 year old. She had a purple sippy cup of milk the other day. She held up the cup to look at it and said "is this chocolate milk?" She then took a sip and said "NO, this is not chocolate milk it is white milk". She then looked close at the cup and said "No, not white milk it's purple milk!" She shook her head and said "purple milk that is disgusting YUCK "!


I will post again soon as I can. T. has a game tomorrow and we are going to a festival and shopping later in the day. D. is yelling for me so I have to go. I will try to write again before the baby comes.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Qick note.

I thought I should give a little more info on why at the start of the story I had the thoughts I did on the Crimean War. The only thing I was using to tell this story was the book Story of the World and it started by saying how the Turks were Muslim and had control of Christian holy lands. When I read that it sounded to me like the war was going to start because of this fact. KWIM? I don't want anyone to think I was saying I thought Muslims are bad and I thought they started a war with Christians! I am only a substitute teacher for history class in my house. Two years ago our history covered the Christian Crusades and I was so emotional I had to have my hubby do it. I am Christian and I have a hard time reading all the horrible things Christians have done in our history books. Because of that my hubby tries to teach history I only fill in if he doesn't have the time. I do hear the lesson my hubby gives to my son most of the time and hearing about all the ugly things Christians have done to others makes me so sad. When my son asks me about why a Christian would do something to hurt someone I always have a hard time answering it. I am glad we are using the History program we are because my son is learning a lot more than I ever did. He is learning all about all religions, culture, and geography. I didn't get to learn all that in public school. I just wanted to explain why in yesterdays lesson I was surprised how the war started. I often write in a rush and expect people to know what I am trying to say as if they are inside my house or have the book I am using in front of me. I hope nobody got the wrong idea! I have an appointment today to check on the baby then T. has soccer. I will try to post some of D.'s school if we have any time to do some with her today.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


We took a board left over from the see-saw project for the base. We added a dowel to the center of the base. We put a nail in the pole and hung a ruler on it. Our ruler is NOT balanced so I used tape to attach a dime to the back of each side of the ruler to balance out our balance. One dime is all the way on the end of the ruler and the other is several inches in on the other side. We added cups to each side to hold stuff. I will replace the cups with thicker plastic ones later on. I wanted to use frozen ice cups, yogurt cups, or butter dishes but my children have taken all of them out to our golf course in the back yard, to use for outside building blocks, insect homes, child made ant traps, toys for the sand boxes, the water table, and to use with the paint supplies. We had 50 + cups a month or so ago. The children find ways to make them into toys as fast as we empty a container! I thought this set up would work for now. When the cups break I know T. will go dig in his building supplies and replace them with a better set of cups. One balance finished now we will play with this and move on to wheels and axles. This project is in the book More Mudpies to Magnets. BUT! It does not tell you what to do to make it work if your ruler is not balanced (not that I saw). I could not find a good balanced ruler, my son helped make this project , and we used all left over supplies. I don't know why the book makes it look like a balance will work on first try with a child making it and using supplies like this? Maybe it does say and I just didn't read it. I do have a habit of looking at a picture then trying to make something without reading the directions. Anyway that is how we made it. I think even little children would have fun and learn playing with this. I will let D. play with it once T. is done trying it out. He can make a new one himself if it breaks. It is easy enough for a 7 year old to make with very little or no help from a parent.

Crimean War.

We have the countries all set up. We are ready to start. I couldn't tell how large Russia or Turkey should be to start so T. colored until he got tired. I will have Rob look that up when he is home for T. to see the right size. Below is our map. Flags are our men.Ottoman Turks (Muslims) ruled over the land of the Palestine (Christian holy places) The red on the map is the Turkish Empire. The picture standing up is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. T. put a British and French flag next to the church to show that the ruler of Turkey gave them permission to take care of the holy places in Palestine.
Nicholas I (Russian ruler) wanted to control Constantinople so he could sail ships through the Black sea into the Mediterranean. Below are tiny pictures of Russian warships (what Nicolas wanted to do).
Nicholas I went to meet with Queen Victoria and tried to get her to join him in fighting the Turks. She thought he had an uncivilized mind and wouldn't join him. The British thought the Russians were wild and savage (T.'s favorite part of the war).

Louis-Philippe (king of France) went to see Queen Victoria. She was pleased with him.

Russian and French Christians argued with each other over who should protect the Church of the Nativity. Picture below is showing the church again.

Nicholas didn't want the French to to protect the church so his men marched down and attacked the Turkish Empire.

Then the French and the British attacked the Russians. Lots of time was spent fighting at the Crimean Peninsula so they called it Crimean war. The British made a horrible mistake during the war it became famous with the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade.
Nicolas I heard that his son Alexander fired a general. He got so angry over this he had a stroke and died. Reading that has made T. think about anger. He told me that he is going to try not to get angry anymore. Nicolas I is laying down in the picture to show he died. LOL!
French captured Sevastopol. Alexander (Nicholas's son) lost lots of men and needed to give up fighting. He signed a peach treaty. The Peace of Paris said Russia would have Sevastopol back after returning the Turks land to them. Russia also had to promise not to have warships in the black sea.

That is our history for the day! T. now knows the story and I feel much better as his teacher. He can now write about it or tell his Dad the story. He didn't label everything on the large map yet. I will make sure he does and we can move ahead in history. I am amazed with how much history I didn't learn in school. When I started reading the story I thought the war was going to start because Muslims wouldn't let Christians go visit holy places. I was surprised when I read it was Christians arguing with each other for keys to a church that started it. Nice thing about homeschooling is I get to learn myself everyday!

History Crimean War.

I promise to put some of what my daughter is doing soon (I hope later today). I want to post this before I forget about it. I might need to do this again later in the year if we run into this problem again. I think posting it on this blog will help me remember it. T. and I read about the Crimean War the other day. He got a little confused with all the facts. We are using The Story Of The Word Volume 4. T. loves history! Most of the time he can repeat the stories back word for word but this was not the case the other day. Anytime my son isn't excited with school or doesn't know the story I read I take that as I was not a good teacher. This is just the way I view my childhood. When I look back at the teachers that didn't make learning fun all I can remember is not liking the teacher. I clearly remember the ones that would yell, punish or show frustration with some children in the class. I now think that is sad that that is all I can remember from spending a year with teachers like that. I think that the children I remember the teachers yelling at and punishing all the time learned even less than I did for that year. I hope from sharing that you can see "why" I spend so much time trying to make school fun and educational for my children. I am sad to say I did not know anything about the Crimean War. The year we went over that when I was in school all I remember is learning how to take proper notes. The school I went to gave A's for having notes in the correct form and I think all the history test I took that year I was able to use my notes so I never needed to learn the stuff in the books. I only had to write neat. Reading this story with my son even confused me trying to keep the facts straight. It is only a 3 page story but it has many facts to learn. 1. is the Ottoman Turks were Muslims and ruled over the land of the Palestine. They controlled Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Constantinople (3 cities important to Christians). 2. Nicholas, ruler of Russia, wanted to capture the city of Istanbul so he could send ships down the Mediterranean Sea. 3. Nicholas wanted the British to help him fight the Turks but the English thought the Russians were wild savages. 4. France didn't like the Turks but knew they were weak. France was afraid of Russia because they were a huge country. All of this confused T (and me a little). I read the 4 small paragraphs in the book 4 times. I then knew the facts but T. still was confused. He did know that people thought Russians were wild savages because he loves the to use the words wild and savage (you can tell he is a boy lol). I decided to just end our school day and try to come up with a better way for T. to learn about this war.

After 2 days of thinking about it I decided to come up with a game for him. This is not a real game more like a play set kind of thing. I can and will make it into a real game if he isn't able to learn the facts of the war. I think he will have no problem once I set it up for him.

I made this up by first going to one of my favorite sites and I printed out a world map. I think I used the 6X6 36 page one but it was late last night and I can't remember right now the exact size. I then needed people (soldiers for the countries). I did tons of searches online and I could not find men to fight in the countries. I am stubborn and will not give up on things that I should be able to see are taking up a lot of time and not worth it so I spent way to much time on this. I hope someday to learn not to waste so much time on little things. Anyway after some more creative thinking I got the thought that I didn't need men to fight I could use something else. I thought of uniforms, country leaders, colored pegs and such but they didn't work out for me. I then got the idea of flags. I thought flags the countries used in 1853 would work. I found them on this link then I just clicked on each country involved in the firs paragraph. I printed out 25 tiny flags for each of the 4 countries on paper and gave them little stands to stand up. I also printed out a picture of Nicolas I, Queen Victoria, Louis-Philippe, Alexander (Nicolas's son) and a copy of the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade.

This is the little labels I made so T. will know what flag is for what country.

This is a picture of my "soldiers" flag armies to fight and defend.

This is a picture of the tiny tabs I folded and stuck on with a tiny piece of tape on back to make them stand up.

Picture of the leaders of the countries (The book doesn't say who the leader of the Turks was).

This is the back sides of the leaders. It tells the name of the leaders and the country they led.

Picture of all the pieces and they all fit in a tiny cup (so my 2 year old doesn't destroy them).

Picture of the map.

Next we will set up and do the lesson again. Only this time we will act it out with our map and pieces.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Can't win!

I was motivated by Heather. She has been organizing her house and making it very homeschool friendly. I have been feeling cramped in our little home and I wanted to make some room for my new baby. I feel my house is getting smaller. It was small to start with and we will be a family of 5 in just a few weeks. I took a quick look around and thought I would start by tossing out some stuff I made for the children to play with and they no longer use. I was happy to have a little extra room after clearing out some of the stuff I thought was just taking up space. A few days go by and I take a visit over to Kate's blog and I see pictures of her daughter having a fun busy week. One of the pictures are of her daughter making discovery bottles. My son sees the picture and asks what the girl is doing in the picture. I said she is making discovery bottles. He then said that he NEEDS to make some up for him and his sister to play with! I told him I had just tossed out the bottles we had because nobody used them anymore. When I told T. this he said that he didn't like the ones we had because HE didn't get to make them like the girl on the computer did AND because I didn't let him use red glitter! He said he thinks he sees red glitter in that bottle and that would have made them more fun! He said one like that girl is making would be very fancy for his sister to play with! I can't tell from the picture what is in the bottle I told him he would have to be patient and wait to see if Kate writes again on her blog about it. Kate if you are reading this I plan on writing you and asking you how you made the bottles I am just trying to hold off long enough to collect some empty bottles to do this. He does NOT want me to look up online for ideas. He wants his to be made special just like your daughters. He thinks hers are the very special ones! I think he is saying that because she is not an adult and got to add the stuff herself they are more fun. He will be OK with it if she doesn't have red glitter but he might ask you to see a picture of your daughter with her finished bottles. LOL! I often can find empty soda bottles in my husbands car (he has 1 hour drive to work and gets a soda along the way) but until I have a few bottles I am making T. wait for Kate's instructions. If he knows how the little girl on the computer made hers before I have some bottles he will drive me nuts! I am now thinking if I would have held on to the bottles for just a few more days I could have dumped out the ones we had and made new ones (fancy ones like Kate lets her daughter make). I guess one of my future projects will be letting the children make discovery bottles.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Expensive Science Project.

This post is going to show my age!

I was looking ahead in T.'s science experiment book to see what supplies we will need in the next 2 weeks. We have read about inclined planes, wedge, and levers. We are working on a balance so he can learn about a type of scale right now. We are going to read about wheel and axles, and gears next. We are just covering basic things simple stuff I learned in elementary school. I looked in the experiment book and they have an experiment with gears. It is just to show children how a gear works. T. has a large bucket of gears we bought them for him when he was 2 or 3 years old (he loved to build even back then). I remember we spent a lot of money on them because back then the only place that sold them was a high end educational store. Now you can get them for a lot less money in any toy store. My point is I know T. knows how gears work he has spent tons of time building with them but I still wanted to do the simple experiment just so he could see a gear that looks different than his bucket of gears and his K'Nex. The experiment says to use bottle caps for gears. I looked at the picture and saw they use the old metal pop tops. The kind that come on glass soda bottles! NOW this is how you will see my age! I remember buying soda in glass bottles in soda machines when I was young! I haven't seen a glass soda bottle in a very long time! I am 36 and I think the last time I got a glass bottle out of a soda machine I was under 12 years old. I then started thinking well they still sell beer in glass bottles with bottle tops! Hmmm... I don't know anyone who drinks beer out of a glass bottle. When I met my husband he would drink an occasional beer and when he did it was always in a glass bottle. He was never much of a drinker and I haven't seen him drink anything in about 4 years. I can't go into a bar and ask for bottle tops! I am VERY prego! You know with my luck the second I walk into a bar someone will see me walking in and in the area I live the rumors will be going around! I know before I got home people would be calling me saying they heard I had left my hubby, was sitting at the bar drunk and in labor, I was having a baby that isn't my hubbies, and well I am sure anyone who lives in a small town or way out in the country knows what I am saying. I decided I enjoy my quiet boring life and want to keep it that way so I would go looking at the grocery store for glass bottles. I checked 3 stores before I found one that sold soda in a glass bottle! Good thing the 3rd store had them because we only have 3 stores in the town near me. I found 6 packs of CocaCola in glass bottles with metal tops! YAY!

BUT the price was sooooooo expensive! For me to spend all that money on pop just seems silly! I did fork over the money and I hope this experiment works! If it doesn't I will be MAD!!! BTW this is a good lesson for others! If you are looking at using a science experiment book that has a copyright date of 1959 you should be willing to skip a few experiments or be willing to spend money and time looking for things like metal pop tops! I guess if I was a person who had lesson plans made up a year ahead like other homeschoolers do I wouldn't have this problem! I am the type of person who is happy that I look 1 to 2 weeks ahead to get supplies. I get a bit overwhelmed when I try to look a month or so ahead. I don't see myself planning out a full year ahead anytime soon. I don't think I could ever find the time to do that! I have always spent money on school stuff. Needing supplies is something that comes up a lot BUT $10 for 2 6packs of little 8oz glass bottles of coke seems like a lot to show gears to a child who already knows about them. Like I said before my son has a HUGE bucket of plastic gears in his room. I will blame this all on my prego brain. I have to admit I did like having a coke with my hubby in a glass bottle we got to talk about our childhood memories. T. thought it was so cool to drink from a glass bottle also! I guess that is all worth something. I then came up with a use for the glass bottles. I know they can be recycled but I wasn't willing to do that just yet. I want to get my moneys worth out of this. LOL! I made my children up a musical instrument with them.

I filled the bottles with colored water from full to empty (each one has about 50 ml less than the next). I added a spoon and then let the children play.

So if you happen to be using the book Physics Experiments For Children and have spent money on glass bottles of pop you could look at it like this....

1. gear experiment
2. enjoying a bit of your past (if you are old enough to remember glass pop bottles)
3. telling children how it was in the old days
4. letting the children taste the past
5. making music together

That all should be worth $10. RIGHT????? LOL!

I think my big problem with this is when I was young bottle tops cost NOTHING! I remember them being free and children doing crafts with them. You could find them all over on the ground in front of the soda machines! Does anyone else remember this??? I don't feel that old! I feel silly paying $10 for something we use to get all over for free. WOW! I guess I am getting old and I am turning into my grandparents already! LOL!

I bought two 6 packs because the directions said to use only caps that are flat be careful to not bend the caps. I thought it would take me two 6packs to get 3 caps that didn't have bends in them. I was able to open them slowly around the cap and not put much of a bend in them. I guess I could have done this for $5. Oh well, live and learn. We still have a 6 pack left to enjoy.