Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lynn over at A Mother's Journal has tagged me. I have to tell you six quirky unspectacular things about me.

Let's see-
1- I don't like tomatoes- yes- those of you who have seen my garden will find this strange- as it's half full of tomato plants.

2- (I'm stretching this to 2 things- cuz I'm not sure I'll be able to come up with 6!) I do like spaghetti, ketchup, salsa and most other things that have tomatoes in them- just not plain tomatoes.

3- I drive Ben CrAzY when I don't put the toilet paper roll on the holder.

4- I don't like Pickles- yes- that makes for boring hamburgers- no pickles and no tomatoes.

5- I love sour patch kids candy. Roo got me a HUGE bag for my birthday. :D

6- I love thrift store shopping- especially the books section.... Ben says I have too many- I often buy a title only to realize I already own it. (that's what paperbackswap is for!- check it out on my sidebar!) But I tell him that elementary schools have libraries- so we need a library the size of an elementary school!

oh- I'm supposed to tag 6 more people- let's see- I tag my SIL- Natalie, my long lost friend Marisa (I'm SO glad you found my blog and we can be in touch again!) Rachel and Kim because you were SO mean on Sunday! :p and anyone else who wants to be tagged.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Frisbee Golf

For Family Home evening last night we went to a local park and played Frisbee Golf. We've been to this park MANY times (Roo loves it because of the Trains to play on- hey and we could even call it a history lesson for school-The Golden Spike) Here's a few pics of the kids throwing their frisbees. I'm afraid I'm NOT very good at frisbee golf (I'm not very good at golf either.... unless you score golf like you do bowling- then I'm awesome!- close to a 300 game!) I did a graceful pirrouette and landed on my backside. The boys thought it was hilarious. :p Last time I show them how good I can throw a frisbee. OUCH! I still hurt!

Friday, August 22, 2008

More pics from the County Fair

First of course was the Parade- we sat on Ben's parent's front lawn- it was perfect! Thanks guys! The weather wasn't too hot, kinda shady, and the kids got to play with their cousins while they were waiting. Doodle was so cute as he was getting candy. He'd rush out and get it- but he was so considerate, every time he came back he'd drop a piece of candy in Roo's bag, and the other in his bag. Always certain to make sure Roo had enough candy too- as Roo wasn't too concerned about getting his own candy. I remember many many many fair parades, passing out popcycles for my Dad's grocery store- always begging to be the one to sit in the back of the truck instead of walking the route- as much as I complained- I miss that part about the fair.
Bug did and awesome job of showing his pig. He earned a Red Ribbon for his pig, and he was excited. Doodle's rabbit Roger took 2nd place too. It's a little nerve wracking not knowing what we are doing with this whole 4-H thing. It's all so new to us, and we're just a little lost- thank goodness for great neighbors, who will help us haul our pig when we needed to, help Bug know what he needs to do to show the pig, and all the other things that we know nothing about.
Of course- if you are a kid- the fair is all about The Rides. We did consent to take the kids on a few rides at the fair. $20 doesn't buy much there. Bug and Doodle wasted 4 tickets each- (had to go through twice!) on a "Harry Potter" maze thing. Kinda dumb if you ask me, looked more like a McDonalds playland- only you just get to go down the slide once and you are done. But the fact that it had Harry and Hagrid painted as scenery on the front convinced my boys to waste their tickets there. Roo rode the Train and a spaceship ride. And of course the Motorcycles (he got 2 extra tickets- lucky kid) Then all three rode the trucks on a track. They thought it was cool. I thought it was outrageous! The ferris wheel- cost 4 tickets- at $1 a piece- that would cost $20 for our family to ride the ferris wheel- just NUTS! Oh well, Hope that appeases them, and we won't hear any more about riding the rides at the fair- at least for another year.

A Lesson I learned from Caps for Sale

This has been a very busy week with our county fair, and the kids both have animals they have entered in the fair- Bug has a Pig, and Doodle a rabbit. It's been crazy busy trying to get it all done. I've had a particularly hard week with my 6 year old, and had sent him to his room for something- I can't recall what he did.

While he was down there, I sat down to read Caps for Sale our Before FIAR title for the week to my Roo. If you've never read the story- it's a simple one- in the story a Pedler is selling some caps, and no one wants to buy any- so he sits down to rest under a tree. When he wakes up, he checks to see if his hats are still there, but it turns out some monkeys were in the tree, and stole his hats. He trys to get the hats back by yelling, stomping and pointing his finger at them. The monkeys just yell, stop and point their fingers back at him. Finally in desperation he takes off his cap and throws it on the ground. The monkeys in return toss their hats to the ground.

As I got to the part where the pedler waves a finger at the monkeys- wanting the monkeys to do something- it hit me. I'm like that pedler. I wave my finger, shake my fists, stamp my feet, get angry and yell all too often. Expecting my little monkeys to do what I say. When they are really just watching and copying what I DO. Even MY little monkeys are like those monkeys in the tree, they do what I do. Monkey see, monkey do as the saying goes. So starting NOW! I'm trying harder to be a better example to them, if I want them to clean up- they need to see me cleaning. If I want them to read and study, they need to see me reading and studying. If I want them to pray, they need to see me praying. Wow....what simple lessons can be learned from a children's book. I guess that's why it's called a classic- because you can still learn lessons from it no matter how old you are.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hammy at the fair

Well bright and early this morning we took Hammy to the fair. They have it down to an art- pull up the trailor, open the gate, herd the pigs out, they go into the shed right to the scales, then off the scales on down the gates to the pig pens. It's quite organized. I'm impressed. We were worried Bug's pig wouldn't be heavy enough- they need to weigh more than 225 and less than 290. Luckily, Hammy weighed in at 230. WHEW!! Here's Bug with Hammy at the fair. So it's not "Zuckerman's Famous Pig" But "Bug's famous pig"

So if you are in town for the fair- go find Bug's pig and Doodle's Rabbit. They'll be thrilled you stopped by.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's County Fair Time

It's that time of year! I have always enjoyed County Fair time- mainly when I was younger- because my Birthday is almost always during the fair. (it's not this year- it's on Sunday- and the fair ends sat night) We went down to the fairgrounds this morning to enter Doodle's rabbit Roger in the fair. (Read more about Doodle's rabbit here and here)
Bug will be going down tonight to take his pig Hammy, the weigh in is bright and early tomorrow- and some neighbors said they could take Hammy in their trailer down there, and their 2 boys are just spending the night in the back of the truck- not sure if Bug's going to sleep over, or what he's going to do yet. His pig Sausage was sent to the butcher last night. yum! I'm sure the sausage will taste good. lol I'll have pics tomorrow of Hammy at the fair. Reminds me of the story Charlotte's Web.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday Doodle!!

Wow! I can't believe he's 6 already! It seems only yesterday we were getting a call from our RFC saying they had a foster care placement for us, a 4 month old baby boy who was cute as could be. He has a fun day planned- playing all day with his friend, picking up Dad and going swimming, then out to eat somewhere, and then of course, presents and cake.
Even at 4 months old he was energetic and fun. He never stayed in one place for long. Doodle's First birthday- just before he returned to his birth mom.
Doodle at the circus- 18 months- just after he returned to us.
The day the Judge finalized the adoption!
Doodle Riding his bike- Just before he turned 4!
Last fall at the Dinosaur park- Doodle loves to dig.
When Doodle says "mom take my picture" I have to hurry quick, because often he ends up running from the camera, or turning the other way before I've hit the button.
Happy Birthday Doodle! We love you! I am so grateful that you are a member of our forever family. Hope you have a fun day today!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I am an Artist- Roo's school

Roo and I have had such a fun time for School this week. Our B4 title is the book I am an Artist by Pat Lowery Collins. It is such a sweet book about recognizing the art and the beauty all around us, and of course, we've talked alot about the creation of the world, and this beautifuly world we have to live in. Monday I handed the book to Bug, and told him to "do school with Roo" So he read the book, and took him for a "nature walk" outside. Roo came back and told about the morning dove they saw- but they couldn't pet it. (which leads me to think we will read the story Play With Me for school next week.)
Then yesterday I read the book, and we talked about the sand dollar and the sea shells in the book. Living so far from the beach, I'm not sure that Roo has even been to the beach, so we had a good little discussion about the beach and sea creatures. Then Bug took him on another nature walk, and he collected things that he could find that were in the book. He came back with a bag of Flowers (Lellow of course), feathers, rocks, seeds, and even a caterpillar. (Which we decided was a Tomato Hornworm) and Bug's disappointed I don't want to watch it make a cocoon and release it....yah- like I want that in my garden!)
Today- Roo and I went and collected leaves from around the yard, and looked and the different shapes and sizes. Then we made leaf rubbings of them.

We are loving learning about nature and the Art that surrounds us with this story as the older boys are learning about the Olympics.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Zucchini aplenty!

Our garden is booming- and we have an abundance of zucchini. (ok- so ben keeps saying I don't need to use it- that it's free chicken food- but as it's sitting out there in the garden, I can't help but find recipes to use it in!) So here's a few of our recent favorite zucchini recipes

Doodle's favorite grilled zucchini
slice zucchini
brush with melted butter
add salt and pepper

grill on bbq grill until tender, turning as needed.

Lemon Zucchini Muffins
2 cups shredded zucchini
4 cups flour (next time I'll try whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3oz package lemon pudding
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup oil (I'm going to try and reduce this next time- that seems like a lot)
3 T. lemon juice
1/4 cup poppy seeds
2 t lemon peel

Mix ingredients together. Spoon into greased muffin pans. Bake 350 for about 20-25 minutes.

Zucchini Casserole I got this recipe from my grandma- it was delicious!
4-6 sliced zucchini
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded carros
1 8oz package stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter.

Cook zucchini for 5 minutes (I just sauteed it). Mix soup and sour cream together. Add onions and carrots. Fold in zucchini. Melt butter, and mix with stuffing mix. Put half of stuffing in the bottom of 9x13 pan. Spoon zucchini mixture over top. Then sprinkle with other half of the stuffing. Bake 350 for 30 mintues.

And the final recipe

Zucchini Patties

2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter or margarine. Stir in seasoned crumbs, minced onion, flour and seasoning. Mix well.
Shape mixture into patties.
Cook on hot greased griddle about 3-5 minutes per side, or until zucchini is done, and patties are browned.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Breaking Boards

Bug and Doodle went to Karate last night to a Breaking class. They recently changed the requirements for the belts- and one thing they added was breaking boards- Bug needs to be able to break 2 boards vertically for the Purple belt he's working on. Ben took them down to the class. When I heard breaking boards- I was assuming (and you know what assuming does!) the boards they were breaking were like thin, maybe 1/4 inch or so..... but NO! Look at these boards! They are almost 2 inches thick! Bug broke 3! 2 at one time, and then the other 1 individually. Doodle broke one too! When they got home and were telling me about it- Doodle was saying that the first time he tried- he didn't hit it right, and hit his wrist instead and it hurt. Then the Sensei made him try again at the end of class, and he did it. He said to me "You just pretend it's paper, and you can do it"

Bug with the boards he broke- I'm still amazed!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Motorcycle Doodle

For school in June- each of the boys got to plan their own unit study. Doodle picked motorcycles. One of the things he'd planned was to go for a motorcycle ride with Grandpa. He finally got to go on his ride Monday night. (and hasn't stopped talking about it since!) Here's Doodle with my dad ready to ride.
Gotta get the helmet on- ready to go!
Here's a few pictures of the lapbook he made along with his motorcycle study.
Front Cover- a gas tank he designed, a helmet, and the paint job he wants on his future motorcycle. (When his wife says it's okay- he can have a motorcycle. lol)
Center- parts of a motorcycle, left- old motorcycles (opens inside to show modern motorcycles)right- costs of various types of motorcycles (opens to show more costs)Top fold up page- map of a route he'd like to take. (they didn't take this route- but it was a good exercise in map reading, finding roads, north and south etc) middle page- How an engine works.
fold down page- motorcycle menu (what you eat after riding motorcycles lol) and - acrostic poem on motorcycles

Tank of Gas

Center pockets- motorcycle safety cards and types of motorcycles.
And of course- any good school day has to include a game that Doodle invents. (with mom's phonics or math twist in it) So here's motorcycle gas tank alphabet reading game. lol- Rules- roll the dice-read the silent e word- move your gas tank along the alphabet game board- whoever gets both gas tanks to the Z first is the winner.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Start of a new school year!

Boy- I don't know how you public school moms do it- having the kids home all summer long! lol- I'm going nuts- and ready to start school...keep in mind- we only took July off! But it's time to start back up again tomorrow. The kids seem to have too much time on their hands- and they begin causing trouble. So tomorrow is the first day of School for Dean's Academy. My big homeschool order just arrived from Rainbow Resource.

Here's what we will be using for School

For Bug- 4th grade
*For the bulk of our studies Beyond FIAR and other unit studies on Egypt, the Olympics, and Elections
*Language Arts-
-Startwrite using the cursive font for copywork
-Daily Grams,
-Dictation (more on Dictation on Heather's blog it's awesome!), and
-Explode the Code- I think we're starting on level 4 1/2. It seems strange to me to be starting Bug on a phonics program- which is basically what etc is. As he is an awesome reader- reading books like Harry Potter, and Chronicles of Narnia, but spelling seems to really be a weak point, and I've decided it might be due to my haphazard approach to phonics when he was younger. (I didn't use a phonics program- just sort of threw stuff together until he was reading well)
*Math- Singapore Math
*Cub Scout Belt loops and Pins- assinged as they go along with our units using Worksheets from this site

Doodle's School plans- Kindergarten/1st grade
-Five in a row- unit studies- along with one on the Olympics, and a few interest driven studies.
-Rod and Staff Math- while I love Singapore Math- this seems like it will be a better fit with Doodle.
-Phonics- Starfall- AWESOME phonics game site, Explode the Code I think we're starting with level 1 1/2. I'd planned on starting with 3, then I found 1 1/2 and 2 at the thrift store for .50 a piece, and decided they were a better fit.
-Startwrite for copywork

Roo's plans- Preschool
While I don't do too much formally with Roo- lots of games, puzzles and just reading- I do try and include him in our school time. We'll use for some alphabet ideas, Before FIAR, and I just got some Rod and Staff Preschool workbooks for when he's wanting to sit at the table and do "school" like the big kids.