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Friday, January 27, 2006

Tonight's the Night!

I am so excited. Tonight is the night that Saturn is at its closest to the earth. It can be seen to the east of the moon. The best viewing time for us is between 8:00 and 9:00 PM. We are so excited. When I saw Saturn a few weeks ago, it was at its closest to the moon. It looked like a star with a ring around it. Tonight, it will be much closer and appear an orange color. I am So Excited. Oh, please let it be a clear night!!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A place to call their own!

Jeff and his dad have just finished building a treehouse for the kids. It started out as a small project, but grew bigger as they built it. I think they had as much fun working on it together as the kids will playing in it. The treehouse is in Jeff's parents pasture next door. They are such wonderful grandparents to have so many fun things for the grandchildren. They have bought them a 4-wheeler, go-cart, trampoline, swingset, and so many other things. It isn't the "things" that make them good grandparents. It is their desire to make their home a fun place to be. Also, even though the kids have so many things to play with there, Jeff's parents find ways to interact with them. They spend time with the kids and always let them know that they are welcome and wanted there. We are so lucky to have them!

How Fun!

My sweet neighbor bought me a cool globe puzzle. She knows how much I like puzzles and also knows that I need a globe. The pieces are plastic and stay together without gluing. Once it is together, you have the option of hanging it or sitting it on its stand. The pieces are numbered on the back, so you know you are getting it right ! I'm so excited to put it together. I told the kids that we might do it during Science today! How fun!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I Saw It!

Jeff got me a telescope for Christmas. I have enjoyed looking at the moon so much, but wanted to see a planet so bad. I knew that Saturn was going to be its closest to the moon this morning, so last night I took my telescope out and focused in on the star that was the closest to the moon. I was taking a chance that it might be Saturn. IT WAS!!! When it came into focus I just got up and started running...no kidding, I did. It was little, but very clear. The ring was as clear as the planet and just beautiful. I cannot believe that I found it. The kids were at a basketball game with Jeff's parents, so they missed it. However, on the 27th of this month, Saturn will be its closest to Earth and even easier to see. How fun!!!!!!!! The really fun thing is that my friend next door has a telescope too, so we get them out together and hang out. It makes it even funner to have someone to enjoy it with. Hey, we have to play sometimes too, right?!?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Skating Fun

We met the homeschool group for our monthly skating fieldtrip yesterday. It really is about so much more than skating. It is really just a place to meet for so much more. It is a place to come together and make plans, exchange materials, play games, and just enjoy one another.
Patrick doesn't like to skate and has yet to discover that there is more to it than that. We decided that every other month he can stay with Jeff's mom, and every other month go with us. We are both satisfied with this. I hated for him to miss an opportunity to meet new friends, but also needed him to know that I was listening to what he wanted and needed. I don't want to force anything on him. He is happy with homeschooling, and if he doesn't, at this time, feel the need for more socialization, then I will not force it.
Madison and Carter, on the other hand, are enjoying the trips to the skating rink. For the first time, Madison participated in all of the games yesterday....the limbo, races, and other games. That is a very big step for her and one that shows me that she is feeling a part of the group. She is not one to jump into things quickly, so when she does it means a lot.
Carter has never had a problem with jumping right into things. He hasn't really made any significant friendships, but is just happy to have contact with different children here and there. He is just confident in himself and doesn't seem to need the presence of anyone to confirm himself. He just wants to have fun, and he can find fun in any situation. I enjoy him so much!
I had a great time visiting with my new friends. Every time I have a change to sit and talk with them, I feel more a part of who they are.
I signed all of the kids up for the Mathathon that the group is participating in. To my surprise, Madison (who claims to hate Math) asked me to sign her up. I have been so amazed at her excitement over the Mathathon workbook. The problems are on a 4th grade level, some pretty difficult, but because they are in a fun workbook, she LOVES THEM. It has really made me rethink using Saxon until she gets a bit older. She still needs some external motivation for doing the problems. I hope to find something more suitable for her next year. Wow, how great it is to be able to tailor their learning to what they want and need!
Patrick has expressed interest in an upcoming Spelling Bee at a local church. He has always wanted to participate in one and feels that he is ready. I really hope that it is a positive experience for him. He is so passionate about what he enjoys, but does not enjoy many of the things that boys his age do. Therefore, anything that I can find to spark his interest is a big deal. This is so unlike Carter who wants to do it all. It really is amazing how each child, no matter how many you have, can be so unique. It really is the hardest part of parenting, yet something taken so lightly by some. It is the huge task of finding what makes each child "tick" and expanding on it...encouraging it without forcing it. It is mentally tiring, yet rewarding. It is a job that I am happy and honored to do!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Back To Work

We started back with our schooling on Monday. I knew it would be hard to get my kids back on schedule and into the swing of things, but didn't anticipate having a hard time myself. By Tuesday, I found myself feeling down and not really knowing why. I had a good talk with the kids Tuesday about showing initiative in the mornings with getting themselves dressed and ready for school. That night, I really thought about it and realized that I hadn't set a good example for them. Today, I got up early like I normally do and got things moving. I had everything planned and laid out...ready to go. Between talking to them and setting an example, today went great! They all got dressed, brushed their teeth, and made their beds without me saying anything. I made my bed and got breakfast into the oven before sitting down for my computer time. We started by 9:00 and finished before 2:00.
I felt so much better today. My feeling down on Tuesday was a result of not having myself pulled together and back into our routine.
Children truely do learn by example. I pray that God will always remind me of this when I forget. I gave them a lot of praise today for their initiative. My reward was their obedience!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Madison

Madison has turned 10 years old...double digits. Most would say that they can't believe it has been ten years. I don't feel that way. I feel like she has always been here. It is hard to imagine our lives without her, so it isn't hard to believe that she is 10.
She had a wonderful day. Her birthday fell on a Saturday, so she was able to have her party on her birthday. She invited three friends to Libby Lu's for 2 hours of dressing up, having their nails and hair done, and all sorts of fun. She was so excited. Afterwards, we took them to the food court in the mall to eat. It was fun for them to eat there with their hair and all done.
That night, we had Madison's cousins and neighbor over for cake. She told me that night that she didn't want the day to end. It made me feel good to know that her day was special.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Jeff and Carter

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy New Year

We had a wonderful New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Jeff and I took the kids to see Narnia Saturday then went to buy our fireworks. We popped them when we got home then lit a fire in the fireplace to roast weiners and marshmallows for hotdogs and smores. We hung out and played games until midnight. The neighbors called us over at midnight to pop their fireworks with them. They had SO MANY. We popped fireworks from 12:00 until 1:30 and then went in for hot chocolate. It was a great night.
We spent New Year's Day with Jeff's parents next door. The weather was beautiful, so the kids had a great time outside jumping on the trampoline and playing in their new treehouse that Jeff and his dad built. It is no wonder that the kids love it there so much! We are lucky to live next door to them for many reasons!