Monday, March 31, 2008

More on the art of house keeping

Well, all this housekeeping must be a darned good lesson for Soph in being a domestic engineer. Yesterday she insisted on helping me with my daily chores (which have completely filled my days lately) - I showed her how to sort the laundry and let her push the buttons to get the wash goin'... much later after it buzzed I was changing B's diaper - when returning I saw the dryer going. I asked Soph if she did it and she said "yeah, I saw you do it, I made the light be at the top and took the fuzzies out of the screen and pushed the button". I'm not so surprised that she put the wash in the dryer as much as I am baffled and amazed that she did it correctly - and even took the lint out of the trap! What?! I'm pretty sure I was doing no such thing when I was 3 (or 4, or 5 or ever until I was on my own). After it dried she even folded it. Perhaps there's something to my non-academic lessons. She has been "reading" a lot too, perhaps because I spend my downtime (HA what down time?) reading books about being a better (and more organized) person. I suppose the best lessons are those that aren't taught but observed. I think our non-lesson will be my slim in 6 DVD, she can learn about the importance of structured exercise while joining me in my quest to live an all around better, healthier, more productive lifestyle.... it takes 21 days to make/break habits and I figure I have 39 until DH is home again - I can make so many good habits in that time!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Unplugged Project : We return for Eggs!

It has been so SO SO long since we've done an unplugged project! I totally should have posted this last night, buuuut I was baking tasty treats for DH and "the guys". It was a wee bit hard to do this one, as my Soph is really really really allergic to eggs. I can't wait until she out grows it 'cause I really want to dye eggs with her. I have a fun way of taking silk scraps and tying them to the eggs and then boiling them and they look AWESOME... alas I digress. You may have read a while back about how we made an Easter basket for daddy and mailed it to him. I took that to be our Egg project, plastic counts right? Here's the re post of the pictures.

B totally had a blast trying to put the eggs together
She never did quite get it, but she had fun banging them together too
Soph put peep chicks in the eggs to send to daddy
And little army men, so very appropriate!
I stuffed the eggs with not so Soph friendly treats like M&Ms and cadbury eggs, good stuff like that. If putting eggs in the cookies and brownies I baked counts then yay for me! Now! On to a super awesome contest that Momma (and more) is hosting on her blog! It's a chance to win a free subscription to KIWI magazine, and even more importantly, shared ways to be a little more green. What's more unplugged than helping our planet one family at a time?! Go check it out and share your ways of being more user friendly to our planet... after all, we only have one.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunshine and good times

The sun is shining, and despite a slightly chilly breeze, we headed outside for some fun in the sunshine.

Lil' B (not so lil') moving at lightening speed on her little ride on thingy... At least she didn't fall off.
Soph actually going quite quickly and throwing flowers at us - I'm very surprised she didn't fall off given she was throwing the flowers pretty hard.
Soph sharing her flowers with B
B trying to give it back.
This was the other day, but we were still outside! Brenna had too much fun I guess and passed out.
Since today is Easter for most that celebrate Easter, I thought perhaps I should include a picture of B's participation in the making of the package for daddy. She mostly pounded plastic eggs together.
Also, the other day, Soph made mud soup. Delightfully tasty.
B wanted in on the action ... or at least the ball.
Ah back to today - B found a pine cone and came to share it with me! So thoughtful.
So that's a lil' of this and a lil' of that -all of which involves a healthy dose of Vit D. If my children actually go to sleep (ha! a girl can dream right?) then tonight I'm going to bake some cookies for DH. Oooh I do miss him so. What's the countdown - 47 days or something like that? Little actual sit down learning is going on right now - it's mostly just trying to get through the days. Its hard enough when I just have to maintain a cleanish household, but to have to unpack and organize and maintain and do it alone? hot damn! I'm tired just thinking about it! Oh and I have a new found appreciation for DH - mowing a lawn as large as ours is hard work! Holy cow, I'm exhausted just thinking about the fact that I'll have to do it at least 3 more times while he's gone!

Hope every one's day is great!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rosetta Stone!

Well! It seems that this is so awesome that I couldn't pass it up. Having been one who has learned a foreign language, and even taken a gander at Rosetta Stone I couldn't resist posting this to share. I wish that they had Serbian/Croatian or Greek.. ok so I already speak Serb, but it would be awesome for the kiddos! I wonder what I'd want to learn next... hmmm maybe Russian - perhaps Irish. Oh the possibilities are endless!

Rosetta Stone has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while -- next week they are unleashing a brand new curriculum, and you can WIN the *all new* Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3… FOR FREE! This is a $219 program (and believe me it's worth every penny!) and the winner gets to pick from any of these 14 languages: Spanish (Spain or Latin America), English (American or British), Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Hebrew, or Russian. This will also include a headset with microphone, and students will participate in lifelike conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone still incorporates listening, reading and writing as well, in addition to speaking. Many homeschoolers requested grammar and vocabulary exercises, and with Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3, they're included! For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program and allow parents to easily enroll students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, and view and print reports. To win this most excellent program -- in the language of your choice -- copy these (blue) paragraphs and post it in (or as) your next blog post -- then to enter the contest, go to the original contest page HERE: and leave a comment with the link showing where you blogged about it. And please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post it. And good luck! The winner will be picked randomly on March 26, and will be notified thru the link they left to their blog pg. And if you have more than one blog, you can post them and enter those separately for more chances to win. Yay for free stuff!

I'm on a roll ~

Well, I didn't think that I would be posting much until DH returns from his adventures - apparently he takes up lots of my time or something 'cause I haven't posted this much since... well a long time. Granted most of these posts are less adventuresome and more random pictures with captions - I do get some points for trying right? Well, here goes

Soph is doing well outgrowing the milk allergy, so we can have pizza now. It's still soy cheese, but there is casein in 98% of the soy cheeses out there, so up until now we have gone cheese-less. I let her make her own.Then while enjoying her pizzas she looked out our dinning room window and... SURPRISE - a few smaller turkeys were hanging out in our yard. Perhaps they thought it was the wilderness since it's in desperate need of a mow.
Brenna has taken a liking to feeding herself. This was fun because I put her in her exersaucer, thinking she couldn't get into trouble - or make a huge mess while I did dishes...
Apparently this is what sisters are for. I asked Soph how Brenna got food, she said "Oh, like this (view picture), she looked hungry so I thought I'd feed her)
At least she's helpful? I don't even know how she got the food without me noticing, since it is in the kitchen and yeah... does this make me neglectful? Brenna wasn't really hungry I swear - I have the lack of sleep due to Brenna being up all night with an upset tummy to prove it, really i do! It's pretty nice outside today, perhaps we shall go adventuring when I feel my house is "good enough for now".... right now, definitely not good enough for anything except cleaning.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I wasn't kidding around -

When I say 16 minutes I definitely mean it... So here's how we spent the rest of our day.

Soph was a mermaid, yes that is my pillow being dragged on our floor, I'd rather not think about it... next.
We proceeded to stuff plastic eggs to mail to dad while he's away. Nothing says Happy Easter like pink peeps and green army men!
B got in on the action too... well, mostly she tasted the army men and threw the eggs at me.
Then they built a house together... ok, so Soph built and B tore apart - at least it was a joint effort?
This was the charging of (not so) lil' B. Doesn't she look serious when she's attackin?

I do not recall signing up for this...

this being these... and these being crazy huge wild turkeys that seem to want to attack me while getting my paper. I know, what you're thinking... what does this have to do with adventures in learning? Well, for now this blog shall be about adventures in general.

Now that that's been said... back to turkeys. So, in my travels I've encountered many animals that seemed a bit out of place. Deer in my stairwell the first time I was in Monterey, fluffy cottontail bunny rabbits in Baltimore (city), and now I'm faced with a whole new slew of crazy animals. In the several weeks we've been here we've seen a coyote, a mountain lion, crazy huge turkeys, deer and ground squirrels - in our neighborhood. Now, lets keep in mind I'm not living in the woods, nor out in the country. Crazy I know.

Where is the adventure you ask? (As if all these new animal neighbors aren't adventurous enough)... well Soph is scared to death of these turkeys (after all, some of them are bigger than her) - however, she must have this natural "face your fear" thing inside her, for she saw them out her window this morning and asked me if they would bite, and then informed me we should go for a walk to see if they would run away. So, we went on a walk - they didn't run away, they just walked around us like we were in their way... which we probably were since I bet they were here first.

Other than that we didn't do much, it seems all I ever do is clean and try and have a somewhat inhabitable house. I really need to hurry up too, because B is into everything. If I take my eye off her for 4 seconds, this is what I see.

That is a sticker, on her forehead. I have no clue where it came from, but she came barreling full speed at me and then started cracking up. Good thing I was quick with the camera! I have a few other choice pictures from our day, yet those will have to wait until another time... perhaps in 16 minutes.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ah yes... at last

I have not only taken pictures, but have even put them on my machine! *small victory* So, here they are. Nothing special yet, as I am clearly not in any state to do anything that fun or educational. Alas - Here's what I have, in no particular order of course... and accompanied by my self justification that learning is happening. :)

Soph and her new very best friend at the Easter Egg hunt
The kiddies with the Easter Bunny, yes B is missing - she was busy getting a tattoo.
Ok, not the greatest picture, but it'll do. B was surprisingly not upset by the big furry bunny holding her - perhaps because Soph assured her it was a man in a suit. Talk about a killjoy!
The "sleep over", otherwise known as me watchin' the kids. Talk about out numbered! 4 to 1, I'm glad I survived. They had a good time playing with the "computers" - interestingly enough Soph's current catch phrase is "you're blog is awesome!", if only she knew what a blog was and that I do indeed have one.
Our new preschool room. Clearly I'm not done unpacking and it's still a work in progress, at least it's not a death trap anymore. It's too bad I couldn't have had "before" picture, this entire room was wall to wall boxes.
The other side of our promising room of learning :)
Our super tiny kitchen, fully equipped with our washer and dryer. I'm sure many math lessons and home skill lessons will be taking place here. Let's note it's maybe 1/4 the size of our old kitchen - talk about creative use of space.
Yeah, the other side - see very small. Soph's hand is on the fridge, it really is that tiny.
We planted our garden. The veggies are in front of our very unsightly outdoor storage shed, and although most of our learning will be on that side, the flower bed I dug is deemed Soph's garden. She helped dig up the grass and she waters it, she even helped pick out the flowers that we planted. That's definitely learning!
Well that's it, a quick glimpse of out weekend and a brief tour of our humble abode. I'm back to unpacking and planning our trip to AZ to visit DH. Hopefully I shall have more adventurous and fun filled pictures soon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ah yes... I have been tagged

Ok, so I've been tagged twice. To do this thingy. I'm really not that interesting, but I must come up with 5 whole things that are interesting about me. Then I'm supposed to tag more people. However I do believe I'm so far behind that everyone else has been tagged that I would possibly tag. (wow that's a lot of tagging) If you stumble upon me, or perhaps lurk, let yourself be known! Tag yourself for me and then let me know :) I love finding out things about other people. I'm nosey like that :) Here goes -

1. My father passed away when I was 16, and where as this would cause most people to have "issues" I'm surprisingly (apparently) well adjusted to this. I never really grieved, I just always accepted it - perhaps that in itself could be considered an "issue".

2. I wish I was more domestic. I try to be, but I hate the dishes and the laundry and the cleaning. Yet I hate having dirty laundry, dirty dishes and a dirty house. A great paradox I know.

3. Since 2002 I have moved 6 times and lived in 3 different states - Texas, then CA, back to TX, then MD then back to CA.

4. I love the smell of clean sheets straight out of the dryer. For this reason I always wash my sheets at night and then make the bed right before getting in it - so warm and cozy. I love it.

5. I am horrible about putting things in the mail. If I had to rely only on the mail to pay bills they would never get paid. I have piles and piles of cards, Birthday cards, thank you cards, Easter cards, Valentine's Day... you name it, I have addressed and stamped envelopes with these cards in it that simply never make it to the mail box. I'm that bad at mailing things. I try though, I really do - and I must say I'm much better at it now that I don't have to drive to the Post Office or find a blue mailbox. I've mailed more things in the 2 weeks we've lived here than the 3 1/2 years we were in MD.

And that'll do it. 5 things about me that you may have known, may not have known - but now ya do! Aren't ya glad :)

I suppose it could be called Unschooling

So... with all the chaos that has been going on the past couple weeks I feel I have been very neglectful of my children's learning adventures. I suppose the whole experience could be a bit of unschooling. Very unstructured, very uneventful - I find myself feeling very blah about the whole thing. DH left Wednesday for Army school stuff, which is better than being deployed - but none the less it will be 2 months of flying solo. So - back to our adventures. I suppose laundry and organization is an important part of life, so my kids are being very educated in household chores :) This past Sunday the weather was fantastic, so we planted our garden - yet another important life skill :) I must say in a crazy attempt to settle in, poor Soph has had to (or "gotten to" depends on who you ask) watch a bit of TV, more so than ever before. She is on a new kick where she really wants to be in 1st grade and so she's been asking for homework and she's teaching herself how to write - some of her letters are pretty darn good - others not so much, but I figure there's time for that. She's constantly finding things to add and subtract so I suppose learning is going on whether I instigate it or not. Such is life.

Oh and to any/everyone that commented on my last couple of posts (which were ages ago I know) - in all the chaos I totally forgot that I had email notification set up and that once we moved I had to change email addresses - here I figured no one bothered checking back anymore, come to find out I had 14 unchecked comments. My bad! I promise to catch up soon. Promise Promise :) I think we're going to do something productive now - what.... I couldn't say for sure, but something. I feel totally stuck in and exhausted by all our life changes, I need something to kick me back into the swing of things. Sorry for the rant. Hope everyone's having a nice day :) Oh! and I found my camera chip in a random box of bathroom stuff (Yeah... I don't know either) so there shall be pictures soon!