Apr 042011
 

Bugs on the left, Beans to the right. On Bean's 3rd birthday, isn't her hair gorgeous?

Today has been one of those days…..

Bugs has had a rather obstinate day. This morning she decided she couldn’t do school. It was quite the battle (we’ve been dealing with issues of jealousy with her friends at church who are truly school aged and attend public school. She wants to go like her friends do.). So, she got into a huge amount of trouble and wasn’t permitted to watch any movies, play on the computer or her Leapster Explorer.  She also wouldn’t clean up the 64 count box of crayons she dumped out on the kitchen floor in front of my stove and sink.  So I refused to cook lunch until she had cleaned it up so I could get to the stove.

Lunch was very late today….

Then, as I was taking a breather and going through the junk that was delivered courtesy of the United States Postal Service, Bugs came and told me that her bed was broken.  I told her I would go look in a second.  She told me I needed to come now.  There was something in her voice that said I needed to go check.

So, I walk into their room and find the Beans, sitting on Bug’s bed with a pair of scissors in her hand, and small wisps of hair surrounding her. I calmly state no, SCREAM in utter shock, horror and disbelief.

And of course, I break into tears.

I go over to the bed, and the Beans is now crying hysterically.

Upon closer look, I discover that more hair is missing from her head than what I saw on the bed.

You can see how short the side became after the self-barbering attempt...

I ask the Beans if she cut her hair.  Her answer was that the Bugs had helped.  The Bugs denied any involvement.  After more questioning Beans admitted to cutting her hair herself. She hid the extra three handfuls between her sister’s mattress and the wall.

Front view of the bangs. Yes, there is a patch that is less than an inch long.

So, after I got myself calmed down, and I called my mother to see what she would have done in a similar situation (apparently neither my sister or myself ever tried to cut our own locks.  However, my sister was fond of scalping Barbies and My Little Ponies. She became a licensed cosmetologist…and now a funeral director). My mom really didn’t say much other than to send her pictures.

So, I decided to plop her into the shower, wash her hair and attempt to fix the damage.  Yes, by myself.  A trip to the salon is not an option for us financially at this point.

It turned out pretty well. I think.

Her right side. It took awhile to get the sides even.

The back of her new 'do.

I trimmed the rest of her bangs and if you sweep them to the side, and perhaps with a large bow, that patch of super short won't be too noticeable...

We did figure out how the scissors came to be in the room.  It was the Bugs.  She is the one who can reach the drawer they are in if she’s standing on a chair. She got them down to practice in her cutting workbook the other day. And I was a negligent mommy who didn’t double check after she was told to put them away.

Thankfully Hubbs was very understanding of the whole thing and got a chuckle out of it.  He even cooked supper for me tonight since I was a bit busy fixing issues in one form or another all day today. Hopefully tomorrow is much smoother.  And the hair will grow back. I have to keep reminding myself of that one.  Her hair will grow back.

Oh, and the side rail of the bed did fall down.  It is an older bed, and we aren’t sure how it was originally made, but we had to screw a metal plate back in the side to reattach the rail to the headboard. It’s fixed now.

.

Curiouser and Curiouser….

 Beans, Bugs, curriculum, homeschooling, Reviews, TOS, TOS Crew, TOS Magazine  Comments Off on Curiouser and Curiouser….
Feb 112011
 

I was recently blessed with being able to review the Curiosity Files, Puffer Fish from The Old Schoolhouse Store. And I mean blessed! This was a great diversion during the doldrums of winter and a nice way to get back into the groove of homeschooling after the holidays.

The Curiosity Files with Professor Ana Lyze are a fun filled, easily adaptable unit study series by The Old Schoolhouse. They focus on the stranger and grosser topics of science (zombie fire ants and dung beetles anyone?) that seem to appeal to a wide variety of children. We selected to do the study on Puffer Fish due to the girls’ love of fish and a certain fish themed animated movie.

This study, while designed for children at about age six through middle school is very easily adaptable. My eldest is four and a half and doing kindergarten work, and was captivated by the topics regarding puffer fish in this study and was able to complete a lot of the projects. We did most of it orally and she did very well. Beans loved tagging along and seeing the puffers.

This unit study has everything you could want, from science (specifically zoology in this one), math (monetary conversion rates, other math problems), language skills (vocab, spelling, sentence combing and both print and cursive copy work), Bible (copy work and memorization), sociology (culture study with Japan) and even art. This study has TONS to do, and is easy to adapt to your needs by adding to it or taking away. We didn’t do the higher level math conversions for example (at 4 ½ we really didn’t need to). And we did most of our work orally. We discussed the vocabulary words and we talked about how and why puffer fish inflate. I think the girls (and I) know more about puffer fish than the average person….I didn’t know there were so many varieties!

The Puffer Fish study comes with embedded links to even more information online. There are pictures, articles and even videos of puffers puffing. The girls really enjoyed the videos (fair warning parents, look up all the videos and watch first. You would not believe what is out there on You Tube…) and still ask to watch them after we completed the work of the study!

There are tons of books at the library to add to your study. So if seeing a topic and freaking out because you personally don’t know anything about it is an issue, don’t let it be one! Each topic has a lot of resources that aren’t too hard to locate either online or at the library.

I was also very impressed with the fact that there were adaptions suggested for special needs students! I had yet to see very many ideas or alternative suggestions in curriculum I’ve looked at since I started homeschooling and researching curricula. I was very impressed with it, so if you have a special needs student, use the adaption suggestions as a springboard, you won’t regret it!

And the Curiosity Files are also on Facebook!  Feel free to go on over there and check them out!

We were going to do the paper mache puffer fish as the completion of our study. Unfortunately life got in the way (see the AWOL post…) and I didn’t feel like I could start a multiple day project last week and we’ve not been able to fit it in yet. I’m planning it for next week when Grandma is here for the Bean’s birthday. It will be lots of fun and I’ll come on and add pictures in a new post (and try to remember to link it….). The girls are so looking forward to the paper mache. In fact, when they saw the pictures and the directions for the art project, they were extremely excited and started begging to do it right away!

Our verdict: The girls loved this unit study! It was simple for me to pull off (I love simple planning), resources abound at the library and online to supplement it. It was so easy to adapt to what the girls can do, still challenge them and still hold their interest. You could take a week or two and only do the study, or do what we did and spread it out over the course of nearly four while still doing our regular school work. This series would also be great to do over longer breaks as an interest led study, like during the summer months when you want your children to still be learning, but you don’t want to do all school. I would also use this as week between quarters or semesters (depending on how you break your year up) and use this as a break from regular school for a week or two so you as the teaching parent can have some of a break, but still keep the students learning.

I highly recommend the Curiosity Files with Professor Ana Lyze to all homeschooling families. They are simple to put together, easy to do and are jam packed full of information. And what I love is that I can cycle back through this when the girls are a bit older and go even deeper yet into the topic! I learned more than I ever thought possible about puffer fish doing this study and found them to be more interesting than I thought. And no, I have no intention of ever trying one for food, they are poisonous you know.

The Curiosity Files are also very cost effective. You can purchase them singly. However, I suggest going the bundle route. You can now get ALL NINE of the studies in a bundle to save even more for under fifty dollars.  I don’t know of other studies at that terrific of a price! (cd for $49.00 or download for $46.00. I would personally do the download, instant gratification that way…).

I received the Puffer Fish study from the Curiosity Files with Professor Ana Lyze as a part of The Old Schoolhouse’s Crew. All opinions are mine and mine alone, and other than the product, no other compensation was received (it would be kind of difficult to review something without using it first, you think?) To see what my crewmates had to say about the Curiosity Files (and see the other topics covered), go visit the Crew’s blog here. Then go on over to the Store and get one or all for our yourself (and browse the rest of the store while there!)..

Oh the Weather Outside…

 Beans, Bugs, family, Homekeeping  Comments Off on Oh the Weather Outside…
Jan 312011
 

Is starting to get frightful.  In fact, they are actually calling for a blizzard in SW Mo…I’m actually kind of excited.  You see, I used to live in Grand Forks North Dakota on the air base.  We would get blizzards a lot.  It was great to sit at the window and watch it all come down. I haven’t seen a real blizzard in nearly 25 years. The girls are just excited it is going to snow.  Too bad they don’t realize exactly what they are calling for… At this point, they are predicting 16 to 18 inches and 0 visability for most of the day. That’s after midnight tonight with a great chance for thundersnow.  Yes, thundersnow.  It is like a thunderstorm, but with snow instead of rain.  Really cool, Swagbuck (or google) it for more info. Then, after this snow storm tomorrow (my husband’s boss called off work tomorrow already, he’s an ex-t.v. weather man and said in the very long time he did that down here, the words blizzard and warning never went together for this area.) we are supposed to be sub-zero temps until about Thursday.  Then, by Sunday we are supposed to be in the mid-thirties for it all to start melting off.  I’m sure by then I will be sick of it.  I normally don’t like snow.  At all since I did spend a lot of time growing up in North Dakota. But then, a lot of it is because the people down here have no earthly idea how to drive in it.

Bean’s birthday is in just over two weeks.  I can’t believe that my baby is going to be three! Grandma is planning on coming out for it and making her cake.  So far she’s asked for a chocolate butterfly cake, a polka-dot cake and a polka dotted, striped butterfly. The fact it is to be chocolate has remained the same. Grandma and I are thinking of a polka dotted butterfly and she can deal with it.  Beans is so laid back too compared to her sister.  When Bugs was turning three, she insisted for three months she wanted a castle cake.  So, Grandma came out and we put together a pink castle cake.  It took us four hours and two emergency trips to the store to get things to fix our mistakes. By the time we were done, we were both so high on sugar, it scared Hubbs.  He closed work that night, and was rather late.  He called to say he was on his way home, and I was laughing so hard from something we had messed up on the cake and the sugar that he questioned our sobriety.  He then heard his mom cackling in the background and sped home to see what was going on since I couldn’t make a coherent sentence.  It was sooooo funny. That poor cake looked horrid, but the Bugs loved it.

We had a chilli cook-off at church on Sunday.  I took some chilli but I didn’t place.  That’s ok, there’s always next year.

Today, Bugs and I made some Sausage Pancake Muffins.  I highly recommend them. I got the recipe here from Heavenly Homemakers.  We made some two weeks ago nearly and they didn’t last very long at all.  So I made a double batch today. Nearly ran myself out of eggs doing it, so Hubbs had to stop at the nearly stripped bare grocery store to get us some more.  All they had left was some packages of 2.5 dozen. He grabbed one.  And another gallon of milk…. I also highly recommend that you make these pop tarts. Believe me when I say they are delicious and I have no intention of buying pop tarts ever, ever again.  And I’m needing to make more graham crackers.  Yes, you read that right, graham crackers.  I’m out of parchment paper and no way am I gong to make these without it though.  And I will not buy graham crackers after eating these.  They are so yummy! I plan on trying out more of Laura at Heavenly Homemaker‘s recipes in the near future.  Well, after we get dug out of this snow that’s coming and we the stores get more food in them….

Well, I should go and schedule a few posts in case we lose power in the next few days.  We’re praying we don’t.  And that the roof holds.  Buildings down here aren’t built for this kind of snow..

I Think I’ve Finally Decided…

 Beans, Bible, curriculum, homeschooling  Comments Off on I Think I’ve Finally Decided…
Jan 272011
 

On what we want to do next year for homeschooling for the Beans.  Yes, I realize she turns three next month, but she’s showing signs of starting to be ready for a few things, and she is picking up a lot while sitting in on the Bug’s phonics lessons.  I mean A LOT!!!

This year has been fun with the Bugs as pretty much the primary student.  Beans has listened in and has picked up quite a bit, more than I thought she would, so next year she is getting some school of her own.  She doesn’t know it yet though 🙂  It has taken me quite a long while to decide what it is we are wanting to do, and I’ve been wavering on several things the last few months.  Things that I like, but question if it is truly the best choice for next year. So, since I’m still debating and comparing a few things, I’m just going to list what I’ve chosen for the Beans. Hopefully I will have solidified my history and Bible choices for the Bugs by next week.

For the Beans, I have chosen [I decided the easiest way to show what I’ve chosen is to hyperlink to a product description.  For ease of linking, I just used Timberdoodle‘s website.  They are a great resource and you can get 5% back on your order, so if they are bit higher priced, take into consideration their shipping is super cheap (4.95 for any sized order) and you’ll earn 5% back to spend on future purchases which would help even that out a bit.] I am not an affiliate so clicking or buying through these links won’t get me any income.

Mathematical Reasoning PK

Building Thinking Skills Beginning Both children will benefit from this (and it looks like fun!)

Language Lessons for Little Ones 1

and

I Can Trace Big Skills for Little Hands We used this book with the Bugs and we all loved it.

I also wanted Mind Blowing Science, and my wonderful MIL already bought it for us.  Doesn’t it look like a blast?

I want to get the Owl Puzzle and the Bug Puzzle, but we won’t be getting these unless we have the extra money.  Don’t they look like a hoot?  Ok, so I just realized the pun there in regards to a hoot and the owl puzzle.  Not intentional, but I’m not changing it.  I guess I’m just a punny person.

Beans can tag along with the Bugs for our history choices and phonics lessons and Bible curriculum.  She seems to be absorbing a lot from just hanging out with us while we do school, and they are close enough in age that we can incorporate quite a bit of things.  I’m just planning on getting the above items just for her.  She’s been jealous of school time with the Bugs recently to the point where it has been nearly impossible some days to conduct school with her trying to crawl into my lap between me, the Bugs and the books (yes, I tried spending time with her before school, after school, diverting her with another project, all to no avail.  I think she felt left out and wanted included with her sister.  After doing a few things with her, I think her comprehension is close to where her sister’s is, so I figure why not do as much together as we can. Hopefully they’ll get along, they’ll both enjoy it and I won’t lose any more of my depleted sanity level).

I am comparison shopping so if I can find any of these items at an incredible deal, you had better believe that’s where I will be getting them (if it is cheaper with shipping and the five percent back).  We will also be reading lots and lots and lots.  No, I don’t have a book list at the moment, but that is something I plan on working on probably after Easter and my crazy insane need to reorganize my house is over (and simplification of said house).

If you are looking for ideas, hope this helps you a bit..

Blech

 Beans, Bugs, homeschooling  Comments Off on Blech
Jan 262011
 

So I didn’t get the weekly house status up. And this week’s homeschooling status is in jeporady too.

We’ve been frantically rearranging and I about have things where I want them (well, until I decide it is time to rearrange again…) and the massive purging and simplifying is going well. Well, it was all going well until this morning.

Beans woke up sick this morning. She crawled into bed with us as the sun was coming up and didn’t get up until going on nine. All she wanted for breakfast was a glass of milk. She took two swallows and I found myself getting to bathe her, all her clothes, an afghan and scrubbing the couch while trying not to lose it myself (which is strange, puke never used to bother me). After an hour, I gave her some lukewarm tea and she at least waited a half hour before that came up. We just tried some lunch (she got a pink popsicle and after that remained for five minutes she decided she was starving so she got one scrambled egg and then she wanted more popsicle so hopefully….) So, since she’s puked twice now, she and I shall be staying home from church tonight. We’ve been working hard on sharing in our family, but this is something that shouldn’t be 😉

I also woke with a roaring sinus headache and feel generally horrible. So, since I have no subs, school is called off for the day which isn’t too big of a deal, but so is the rest of organizing the living room. I’m annoyed as I am so close to getting my living room just the way I’m wanting it, even to moving some pictures around on the walls. Oh well, guess it can’t be helped. I know If I push myself, I’ll feel bad longer.

So today is movie day in our house. The girls don’t mind.

I’m going to write up what we’ve finally decided on for school next year. I’ve been flip flopping repeatedly on two choices for history and I’m not sure on our Bible yet but I’ve finally found something I like. In fact, I’ve found three somethings I like, and possibly a fourth.

Yesterday, I went out for the mail. And both girls asked me if they got any (that’s a daily occurence anymore). I only got a magazine and my coupons for free soy milk. Bugs asked if she got mail, I told her sorry but not today. Then the Beans asked if she got mail. I told her sorry, not today for her either. She asked me what we got and I showed her my magazine and told her the envelope had coupons for free soy milk. To which she started jumping up and down, clapping her hands and exclaimed “Yay! I love free!!!!!”  I think she is learning well and is embracing my love of couponing.

Well, I’ve got to get started on that post of our school choices for next year. I’m stuck typing on my phone since the girls are watching movies on the laptop today (the one drawback to not owning a television)

.