Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We will be having a nice lunch, then German Chocolate cake with ice cream for his dessert. This has been his traditional birthday cake since he was a kid. Karl went out to see a movie for some 'him' time this morning, always a nice thing on your birthday. He'll be home soon, and we'll spend the day honoring him.
Happy birthday, darlin'! We love you.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse...
The kids are all tucked in, we've gotten the rest of the presents wrapped, and the stockings stuffed. Now, we're just waiting for morning so we can celebrate together. Although, we already celebrated a bit today. We had our traditional cocktail sausages, cheeseball with crackers, vegetable tray (served with a new dip taken from Rachel Ray's 30-Minute Meals), and wassail. We enjoyed all these yummy snacks while watching The Polar Express on DVD. It's the kids' favorite Christmas movie, and I have to admit Karl and I are big fans too. We never have been big on telling the kids about Santa...we have focused on Christmas being the celebration of Jesus' birth...but the movie still makes us choke up in spots. It's a great story, and of course we think Tom Hanks is great in his many roles. :)
We will finish up our reading of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens tomorrow hopefully...we've gotten a bit behind due to preparations for Christmas. We should have started it a little sooner...the book is quite verbose and has been quite a challenge to read aloud, even for me who LOVES to read!
I made my first made-from-scratch cheesecake today...for tomorrow's dessert. We'll see how it turns out...I also mixed up the stuffing, so all I have to add is the broth and raw eggs before popping it in the oven tomorrow. I still have to prepare our sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes (making these just because I wanted them!), gravy, green bean casserole, salad, and rolls. We have canned cranberry sauce...berries and no berries...so all I have to do for that is open and pour. And the rolls are brown-n-serve, so they'll be easy too. Karl is planning to make french toast for breakfast tomorrow morning, then we'll open gifts with the kids before starting our lunch preparations. Karl is in charge of the turkey, and will be using our rather large fryer ( a great gift from family...thanks so much!) to cook it in. He has some sort of cajun marinade to inject in it...I can't wait to taste it... The only real downside is he has had to shovel off the deck just to be able to get out there to cook! We had so much snow last week, and with the wind whipping it around, it had drifted so much that it was covering some of the glass in our slider. It's not supposed to be too cold tomorrow (high of 32, heehee) so that's a plus. :)
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow. Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 22, 2008
The kids just donned their snow gear and went out to play in the 19 degree temps. Don't worry, I limit their time outside when it's below 30...they'll have 'warmer' days later this week when they can stay out an hour or two at a time. Plus, they are old enough to feel uncomfortable and come in when they get too cold. I am planing to relax a bit. We finished school very early (earlier than lately anyway) today, so we had lunch and now it's playtime...which means computer time, and possibly Food Network for me...I enjoy watching Rachel Ray, Emeril, etc. on occasion. :)
We've almost completed the organization of the basement! Karl came home Thursday night, and he helped get it cleared out over the weekend. We have to have it done in time for the Lego Lambs party we are hosting next Sunday. It's just an end-of-the-season celebration for the kids that participated on Logan's team for First Lego League this year.
We've had a ton of snow since Friday...I don't know the actual inches, but Karl and I both think it was about 10 inches from Friday's storm alone...and we got a few more inches yesterday from a smaller storm, but there were very high winds yesterday. We could hear the wind whistling outside the windows most of the night. Corbin was scared of it when he went to bed last night, but he told me he felt better once Logan came into the room. (Corbin goes to bed earlier than Logan) We actually had to let him get up and sit at the bottom of the stairs because he was screaming and crying from fear...though Karl and I both question how much was fright and how much was his discontent with going to bed earlier than normal (due to disobedience) and missing the T.V. show that was on...? In any case, sitting on the stairs calmed him and he still had to miss the show.
I finally found my missing Christmas tree topper today. When we put up the tree and decorated it we decided it must have gotten broken. Last year on Christmas day we took a family photo in front of the tree. Amidst all this, our tree ended up falling over! Karl was able to get it back in place and finish the 'photo shoot' but we decided that our topper must have perished in the fall. However, in going through yet another box in the basement today I came upon it, so now our tree is complete. I'm glad we have a topper for this year, but I have to say I'm a little disappointed too because I was planning to have Karl take me to find a new one..I love to shop for almost anything....I doubt I can convince him of our need now! Oh well.
We're looking forward to our Christmas Eve and Christmas day together, although we wish some family and friends from across the country could have joined us. We wish all of you a blessed celebration....revel in the joy of Christ this season and all He's done for you.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
All in all a pretty cool deal. Now I know that I posted once before about ordering seafood outside of the US, but when you’re hungry you’re hungry. Even still, a grouper is a pretty ugly fish when it’s alive. It doesn’t get any prettier when it’s cooked.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
- arrange baby's room
- organize baby clothes, and hang
- purchase cradle bedding
- pack hospital bag
- find someone to stay with kids while I am in labor
- create workable school schedule for once baby is here
- paint boys' room...won't have time after arrival
- purchase baby socks
- stock up on diapers of various sizes; Newborn to 2
- purchase Dr. Brown's bottles
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Today was a 'warmer' day...up to 46 degrees. So the kids and I were actually able to get in the car and go to church...we had not been anywhere until today since Karl left! Afterwards we went to Uno Chicago Grill for lunch, then Target and Tops (groceries) for some needed items. I spoke with Karl during lunch, and it was a very interesting conversation...he's having experiences he will never forget! But, I think I'll leave that for him to tell as he has time. :) After our shopping was completed we came home, unloaded the truck, and the kids went outside to play in our remaining snow (slush). Today and tomorrow are warmer days for us...tomorrow predicted to be into the 50's....might I wear a short-sleeved shirt?! I expect most of the snow in our yard to be melted by tomorrow afternoon. However, the warm weather will once again be gone by Tuesday morning as colder weather and more snow moves in. We have to go out tomorrow morning to mail some packages...then back home to start another week of school.
Well, that's it for now. I have to go get the kids ready for bed (okay they can get themselves ready, but you know what I mean!) and prepare myself and my snacks for the Survivor finale and the reunion show! Bye!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Well I call it a village, but it is probably the closest thing to a city for 50 miles. The hotel in which I’m staying for the week is easily the most modern building in the region. It is not much different form any budget hotel in the states. It seems very out of place in this isolated community. It is located right on the river at what appears to be the main pier that all the fishing, crab and squid boats use to unload their catch each morning. Across the river is a small community that I will likely not have time to visit during my stay, but it appears to be very similar to this side of the river, only less developed. The people here are vey friendly. One thing that has been unexpected is the lack of people begging for money. For the most part, hello here simply means hello. The people here don’t have much, but they are getting by and seem to be content with what they have. This morning before work I took a walk out to the dock to watch the fishermen unload. Walking through the narrow alley between two rusted out tin roofed buildings I couldn’t help feeling a little bit out of place. But aside form a few quizzical looks from some of the people milling about, no one gave me a hard time. As I reached the end of jetty I heard the call of “hello friend” from one of the buildings. This appeared to be a small coffee shop that serviced the fishermen with breakfast and coffee after a night out on the water. They wanted to know whether I was American or Australian. Apparently this is also a decent dive spot, so they occasionally get young travelers here on daddy’s money taking a “find yourself” journey. We talked for a short while and I told him I was just out to look at the boats. He said, so come see them, and ushered me through the building to the other side where more squid boats were docked. He also posed for a picture. Nice folks, but I have work to do. I’m off.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Yup, a fish market right there inside the airport. Crazy.
Loaded up on the plane for the last leg of my trip, KK to Tawau. On the 3rd day of the trip I’m finally ready to get to work… just as soon as I make the hour long drive from Tawau to Semporna.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The pool deck area with sunset in the background
Little Tiki Bar on a jetti pininsuila
I have been researching other curricula...which seems to be a constant pass time of mine, even when I'm happy with what we're using. I don't know if it's a constant need for change, a desire to make sure we aren't missing the perfect curriculum, or just a desire to find things I can add that are exciting...who knows? The problem is, I never seem to add the things I download for that purpose, because we don't really have a lot of time for that even with no extracurriculars on our schedule. The main reason I am searching now is because I am concerned that HOD will be difficult to use when the baby is here. We will finish out the year with it, so I'll have 3 months to try it with her in the house, but I want to research now so I'll be prepared if I feel we need to go with something different. Some things I am looking at are: Christian Light Education, Abeka, Core Knowledge, Landmark Baptist, Rod and Staff (we already use their English and the kids do great with it), Robinson Curriculum, A-Squared Homeschool Curriculum, and The Classics Curriculum. What I'm really looking for is something that will free me up to work on reading and math with Corbin, and of course to spend the time with the baby that I'll need. For now, Corbin has just begun using http://www.time4learning.com/ and is doing pretty well. It's done on the computer, has reports that I can look at so we can go back and work on something if he struggled, and it's self-paced. I think it'll be a good fit for now...and we'll get to LHTH with HOD if and when I carve out time in our schedule. So, it's a lot to consider. I definitely want the older to to begin to learn to be more independent, and we've already been doing that with English, math, and handwriting. I am of course available if they have questions about anything. So, if there are any of you in cyber-land that have used these curricula in the past, I would love to hear from you about how it worked, or didn't work, for you. I love personal recommendations, either for or against. I am also considering creating my own curriculum using the many things we already have on hand...I think I could do it but I also have a lot of self-doubt. We just have so much great stuff to teach from, I hate to keep buying curricula, adding to our piles of teaching materials, and not using what we already have. I may research that too...I know there are books available that tell you how to put together your own plan. I may need to make a trip to the library...or the bookstore.
Well, it's getting close to dinner-time. I need to get something on the stove so I can feed my hungry babies...and me too! Until next time...adieu!
I Arrived in Singapore after a nonstop flight from Newark, NJ. This was an interesting flight on Singapore Airlines, as the entire plane is configured for business class seating. I’ll go ahead and say it. I don’t care how nice the seats are, 19 hours is a long time to be on a plane. Landing meant time to stretch my legs.
I had an 8 hour layover here before traveling to my final destination in Tawau, Malaysia, and not wanting to spend it in an airport terminal, I decided to take a taxi downtown. I did not know this, but the country of Singapore is not much more than the size of a large US city. It sits right middle of the two main land masses of Malaysia and is separated on all sides by water. The city proper is very clean and modern. Once downtown, you really wouldn’t know you were outside of the states. It was Just before 7 am local time when I arrived, and most of the downtown area was closed. Because of this I had the Taxi driver drop me off a couple miles outside the downtown area in a residential area that contained a shopping district that he said was open 24 hours. This particular strip reminded me of some of the costal areas of Mexico and the Caribbean, and is probably where most of the locals do their day to day shopping. Interesting side note. I had something happen to me that I never experienced before. When the taxi let me out the meter read 20RM. (RM is shorthand for Renggit, the local currency). After giving the driver 24 he said "you gave me more." and haded back the extra 4. I never thought I'd live to meet a cabbie that didn't accept tips!
From here I hoofed it to the downtown harbor area, which was beginning to open for business by the time I arrived. In a previous post I think I remember writing about my ride on the London Eye, created as the largest ferris wheel on the planet. As cool as it was, I remember being slightly disappointed that by the time I got to it, a larger one had already been constructed… in Singapore. So on my way downtown I walked through Singapore’s new creation, the Singapore Flyer, which was of course built a few meters taller than the one in London making it the new largest. But as is the case with all record breakers, they are due to be one day broken themselves. Dubai is currently working on the Great Dubai Wheel which is due for completion next year.
This was taken from one of the overpass walkways on my trek downtown. That’s the other tip off that you’re out of the states. Everyone drives on the left side of the street. I really like those trees.
This is me across the harbor from the business district on my way downtown. Notice the little white objects in the water behind me. I was told that they are wishing balls. They are the size of large beach balls. The idea is that you pay a little bit of money to write your wish for the upcoming year on one of them and set it afloat in the harbor. I’m not sure if this is an old tradition or a new idea thought up to raise money for charity, but is seems fun. Also note the little white post over my left shoulder on the opposite bank. This is a Mer-Lion. The next picture is a closer view of this, but I just wanted to give a sense of perspective to the distances of the pictures.
This is a closer shot of the Mer-Lion, guarding the downtown harbor area. It is a half Lion half fish combo (think Mermaid, but fuzzier) and is apparently a national symbol of Singapore. Since taking this pic, I’ve seen a couple in tourist brochures taken from a different angle to make it appear as if the water from its mouth is flowing into the open mouth of a person in the foreground. I wish I had thought of that. Oh well, maybe next time.
After getting my morning exercise I hopped back into a cab for the next leg of my journey that would take me for an overnight stay in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Overall, it was a great morning. I think my new travel motto will be “Never waste a layover.”
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
We finally bought Wall-E and watched it today. During a scene that shows the Milky Way galaxy Corbin tells Logan, "The Milky Way..where the aliens can get milk." I just thought his innocence was so cute..he'll learn all about the world soon enough, and I'm still enjoying his fresh, untouched perspective!
We also got our Christmas tree up and decorated today, and it looks very nice. Now it really is beginning to feel like Christmas! We've gotten our Christmas shopping done..just have to send some packages to family members. And I do still have to wrap the kids presents....we'll save that 'til just before Christmas day. We're gonna work hard at 'school' for the next two weeks, then we'll be off again until after New Year's Day We'll start back once Karl returns to work in the new year. And then, of course, we have Hailey and Logan's birthdays. They want us to go to Splash Lagoon again; I'm not sure if we're planning to do that or not. It was fun, so maybe we will. I have to do shopping for that too, but I'll wait for the after-Christmas sales to try to get some good deals!
Well, I have to keep an eye on dinner. Have a great weekend everyone, and keep Logan's team in your prayers His big competition for Lego League is tomorrow.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Karl has one more day off before reporting back to work. We spent the day today just getting things back in place from our trip and also catching up on bills, unpacked the last boxes in the kitchen, and de-cluttered a bit. Tomorrow he will take Hailey to the eye doctor, we will go get some much-needed groceries, and I think Logan has Lego League tomorrow night. His team is doing awesome by the way, winning two trophies at the qualifying meet, and will move on to the regional competition that occurs on Sunday.
We will dive right back in to school, full-time, on Wednesday until about the 20th of December. I do plan to spend a little time making some sugar cookies with the kids, decorating for Christmas, and planning our Christmas dinner, too.
I'll be back to post more soon, but right now we're getting kids to bed so we can catch up on the T.V. shows we missed while on vacation!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Corbin took a 'theatre' class during the 10 weeks of co-op this fall. Here is a photo of him during the performance of The Apple Dumpling. He is the goose just to the right of the child in the red shirt.The kids bundled up to play in the first snow of the season...
Karl...playing goalie....there is a line of trees behind the house, with a ditch directly behind it. He came home early to sled with the kids (such a great Dad!) and had to stand at the bottom of the hill to keep them from sledding right into the ditch.
Our kids and the neighbor kids...working together to get our 'tube-ogan' back up the hill!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The kids have kept up pretty well with their English, Math, and Handwriting the whole time. They have also spent LOTS of time doing art projects and have spent a little time blogging. As a matter of fact, Logan is writing a story, so you all should check out his blog (see the link on my sidebar) to read it. He's just beginning, so you'll need to check back for the rest of the story...day by day, probably. Of course, they've enjoyed their time with Nana and PawPaw, just playing and talking and spending time playing with Jessie (my parents' dog).
We've been able to meet a couple of the neighbors and everyone has been very kind. A lady and her daughter brought over a grape pie yesterday to welcome us to the neighborhood...they were very nice, and the pie is delicious! The daughter, Emily, is a teenager and is available to babysit occasionally. They only live 2 doors down, so that would work great for us. We'll have to have her come over soon to see how she gets along with the kids.
Well, I'll try to get back soon. I have to get back to unpacking boxes and organizing the basement (school room). Take care!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Here are a few pictures we came home with.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
We did take a break today to go to church and out to lunch, then browsing at Michaels and Borders bookstore. We can't spend all of our time working!
Now, Karl is working on a paper he has due for his class, I'm blogging, Logan is reading, and the younger two are in bed. My mom and dad retired to their RV about an hour ago because they were worn out too. :) I plan to be back to blog more once we've made some progress....and I'd like to post some pictures once we get them taken. It may be a while yet!
I hope everyone's had a great weekend. We have, even if it's been a long and tiring one. We're so excited to be in our own home, and out of the rental! I really feel so blessed, and I think this house fits us perfectly.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
1. I love the smell of freshly mowed grass
2. I like to mow the grass & rake leaves
3. I enjoyed shoveling snow (1st time experience) last winter
4. I had my first baby at the age of 23
5. I am now expectng my 4th baby at the age of 33
6. I am married to my high school sweetheart
7. My high school sweetheart is the love of my life
8. I want to travel in Italy, France, & Spain with my husband
9. I've been on 3 cruises
10. I want to go on a cruise to Alaska
11. I want to start my own in-home daycare
12. I would like to adopt children someday
13. I love to teach
14. I love words...to my husband's dismay!
15. I enjoy flavored coffees
16. I would love to move back to Alabama to be near family
17. My favorite dessert is cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory
18. I miss eating my Mama's lima beans, collard greens, and corn bread!
19. I love to read about/see the Amish life
20. I don't like mushrooms
21. Coca-Cola is the only carbonated beverage for me.
22. I am a certified PADI scuba diver...haven't been diving in 8 years, though
23. I have two gray cats...got them when they were 5 weeks old...the fluffy one was going to my cat. She fell in love with my daughter instead and tolerates me. LOL
24. I am moving into a new house in 8 days! :)
25. I am an avid Survivor fan!
26. I like to watch The Biggest Loser while eating high-calorie snacks...not really, that's just what we always end up doing...it's a great show.
27. I had lost 8 pounds before I found out I was pregnant (this time).
28. I adore the winter Olympics (ice skating) and summer Olympics (gymnastics).
29. I had NEVER spent a night alone until 2005.
30. In 2006 I spent 6 months of nights alone, except when Karl came home on the (2) weekends each month.
31. I often watch T.V., read a book, and surf the 'net' all at the same time.(ADD anyone?)
32. I wanted to be a model when I was a teenager.
33. As a 3rd grader, I wrote a letter to Michael Jackson...it never got to him.
34. Until 3rd grade, I often wore cutoff jeans and no shirt, requiring people(family) to call me Roger.(?)
35. I wanted to dress up as Tom and Jerry, or Popeye and Olive Oil for Halloween last year...couldn't get Karl to do it!
36. I used to roof houses with my Daddy as a young girl.
37. I always looked forward to playing Powder Puff football my Senior year of high school...I was really bummed when several years before I became a Senior the tradition was cancelled because some girls came to the game drunk.
38. I went to college for a year on a 2-year music scholarship, and gave it up. I wish I could do that over!
39. Where we live now, the mailman delivers our mail to our mailbox...right next to our door.
40. When we move, I'll actually have to walk up the driveway to retrieve the mail!
41. I can't stand snakes...my daughter wants to own one.
42. My favorite holiday season is Christmas.
43. I would like to own a Smart car.
44. My favorite dog is a Chocolate Lab or a Siberian Husky.
45. I love the smell of newborn puppies.
46. My favorite flower is a daisy.
47. My favorite color is green.
48. I love to learn about U.S. History.
49. I want to learn how to sew so I can make a quilt.
50. I spend TOO MUCH time on the computer.
I had just sat down to eat when the phone rang...it was Karl, calling to say good morning from Washington, D.C. He'll be home later tonight, so that was another 'good' thing about my day. We spoke for a few moments then he had to get back to his meeting, and I to my breakfast.
I had a few sips of my coffee, then decided to go ahead and replace the valance that we had taken down when we moved into this house. We had hung a curtain instead, because it keeps the glare off the T.V. when we're watching. I thought it would be best to just get that task done...it would be one less thing to do this weekend before the move. It was easy enough to get the curtain off the rod and take it downstairs to be washed. However, when I returned to face the task of putting the valance on the rod...hence my battle.
You would think this an easy, 5-minute 'to-do' on my list. Nope, not for me. I am not mechanically inclined as my mother has always been, not did God choose to bless me with her creative bent. And, my dear husband is not here, so I could not call upon him for help. I commenced to wrestle with this rod and valance for the better part of an hour! I did not realize (not mechanically inclined) that the end parts that are bent were removable, so I tried to get the valance on over that...it did not go very far. Once one fell off...well, then I realized I could remove the end pieces and the valance should slide right on. Could this be easy? No. The other end piece fell off inside the valance...try getting that out!
At this point I'm starting to pray, "Lord, please let me just get this done. This is so stupid and frustrating!" You might think that praying for something such is this is silly...but I happen to believe that God cares about ALL the details of my life...even my wrestling match with this valance and rod! :) So I finally figured out a way to work the end piece out of the valance without ripping it apart(do they really need this thing anyway?)either purposely or accidentally. Then I began trying to slide the valance on again. Now it's easy, right? Oh, no. You have to keep in mind that I am 18 weeks pregnant, and by now by belly is in the way of certain things. I was unable to handle this thing like I normally would. So, I'm trying to hold the rod with my feet while pulling the valance on. I tried placing it on the table and pushing the fabric on...across the top of the couch, in my lap...all were a struggle, but it was going on inch my tiny inch. I continued my praying...now saying, "Please let me get this on without breaking the rod or tearing the fabric. We want to get our deposit back...Lord, I know you understand." Finally, the fabric is all the way on the rod and I can try to put it up...oh wait, I have to put the end pieces back on. You would think surely this is easy for me, right? No, again. One piece says left and one piece says right...believe it or not it took me a moment to figure out which side each went on....and I thought I had just put the valance on upside down! However, God did spare me that crisis(He loves me!), and I soon figured out where to place them. Now time to climb back into the chair to put the rod back in place. Again, no easy task for me. I called Logan down to hold it for me while I put up one side...it's so nice to have a child who is both old enough and tall enough to help his poor, challenged Mama! Once I got my side on I stepped up behind him, had him step down, and then dismissed him to go play. (we are supposed to be doing school work by now, but I am determined to show this valance and rod who's boss!)Once it was in place, I began straightening the valance...to make sure it wasn't too bunched on either side...when the end piece falls off again..inside the valance. "Nooooooo!!" is all that was heard through the house, and my kids reply(from upstairs) with "Mom, did you call us?" No, I did not. "Lord, please help me," is all I could say. And He did. I was able to get the piece back on easily, and snapped back into place...that was the problem, it didn't snap before...and get the valance straightened with no further issues.
Believe me when I say I am tired! My arms ache from trying to hold up that silly rod while sliding on the valance. My coffee,which I thought I would get right back to, was cold by the time I was done. But, I overcame....my frustration, my anger (momentary), my desire to cry...and I do believe it was because of prayer. Obviously I pray for bigger things, more important things; I think we all do...even if we do not profess to be Christians or lead a Christian life. But I often find myself praying for these little things, such as during my morning battle ;) or when I can't find a book I need, or when I can't find the building I'm looking for and I'm driving in circles....When I take the time to pray and ask God for help, He invariably steps in, calms me down, and gives me the answer...it's that still, small voice that says "Go look on the third shelf of the bookshelf in the living room one more time"...and there is the book. Or the voice that says, "Call your husband, he can help you with this." Or, the voice I heard this morning that said, "Just calm down, trust in me, and I will help you get this done." Now, these are not audible voices...but I do believe it is the 'voice' of God leading me to the answer I need. He is involved in the little things, and even when we're struggling, and we don't understand, He is there to guide us if we will just ask Him.
Now, I am going to get a fresh cup of HOT coffee....and enjoy it before I do anymore work. I think I deserve it after the battle I've endured. ;)
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sarah Palin is invited to meet with the Pope while he is vacationing
south of Rome in Venice.
The liberal press reluctantly watches the semi-private audience, hoping
they will be able to allot minimal coverage, if any.
The Pope asks Governor Palin to join him on a Gondola ride through the
canals of Venice.
They're admiring the sights and agreeing on moral issues when all of a
sudden the Pope's hat (zucchetto) blows off his head and out into the
The gondolier starts to reach for the Pontiff's hat with his pole, but
this move threatens to overturn the floating craft.
Sarah waves the tour guide off, saying, 'Wait, wait. I'll take care of
this. Don't worry.'
She steps off the gondola onto the surface of the water and walks out
to the Pope's hat, bends over and picks it up. She walks back across
the water to the gondola and steps aboard.
She hands the hat to the Pope amid stunned silence.
The next morning the topic of conversation among Congress, CBS News,
NBC News, ABC News, CNN, the New York Times, Hollywood celebrities, and
in France and Germany is...
...'Palin Can't Swim.'
Saturday, October 18, 2008
It's an interesting read, and I agree with many things said here. Read over it, maybe you'll learn a thing or two about this Presidential candidate. Here's the link.
Friday, October 17, 2008
There is some concern about my weight gain this time, as we don't want a repeat of the events involved with Corbin's birth, but I trust that God gave us this baby and will take care of him/her just as He has all the rest. To me, it just shows His strength that He's brought us through all the trials we've had with our pregnancies/births. I am sure He has a bigger, better plan for me than I would ever deign to know...so I'll do my part to keep my weight in check, but trust in Him for the ultimate result.
The kids were well-behaved again. I even left Corbin in Logan's charge and they all did fine...in the lobby of the Dr.'s office. We'll see if they can keep that up...I may begin to believe I'm raising responsible, obedient children after all!
I can't get my 'add a link' button to work, so just copy and paste this into your browser. I'll have Karl help me fix it when he returns.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
We went today on our Second-annual Woerner-family Apple-picking Hike at The Apple Farm in Victor, NY...only a short distance away. The weather was finally sunny and not too cold (58) so we headed out around 11:30 this morning. We got quite a few empire apples and some golden delicious apples, as well. The owners warned us upon our arrival that all the apples were spotted because they had been "hail-kissed" due to a hail storm, but they assured us they still taste great. They were right; most were very spotted, some had holes in them, and of course we saw and smelled the usual rotten apples that had fallen on the ground. However, we discovered (Karl's smart suggestion) that the apples on the underside were mostly okay, so we began picking from there and ended up with tasty and pretty apples for the rest of our adventure!
I am looking forward to using the apples to make filling for apple pies, homemade applesauce, apple muffins, and just for eating as they are. If any of you have other suggestions for how to use them, please post a comment. We ended up with 33 pounds of apples...
Friday, October 3, 2008
We have had somewhat of a schedule for our schooling. We always (almost) do things in the same order each day. This helps everyone to know what comes next. We don't have assigned times per subject...I feel that would be too much pressure for me...but we just do it in sequence. We do have a start-time goal of 8:30 a.m. and we go from there. Here is how we usually do it:
Bible study and music
Science reading and/or experiment
Geography/Art/Vocabulary (this rotates..1 day per week for each)
Health/Spanish/Creative writing(1 day per week for each)
Story time readings
We also have a reading program for both of the older kids that we will be adding in over the next week or two. I think we will do that at the end of our school day, as I need to work with each of them separately on this.
Corbin has been working in his 'workbook' each day while the older two are completing their writen work. We need to add the rest of his school, but I've been trying to get all the kinks worked out for the others before trying to do that. We are so close! :)
We have also had several days that we've had appointments or we've had to leave the house so the realtor could show it (for our landlord). Even though these have not been all day events, it does break up our day and makes it difficult to finish our work on those days. When this happens, we just carry that work over to the next day. Doing that helps me to feel less stressed, which I am very prone to do.
We have about 4 weeks until we move into our house, and I cannot wait! So, there will be more 'interruptions' in the weeks to come. But, it will be well worth it when we are in a house that actually fits us and our possessions. I know there will be several weeks of adjustment, but we plan to just keep working on the things we can...and we will get back to the extra things we don't get to once we're settled. I feel sure the winter season will provide plenty of hours for cuddling up and reading, as well as catching up on any subject in which we get 'behind'.
I am also looking into creating 'centers' for our homeschool area (our basement). I like this idea, as it will give any child who is waiting for me to work with them something educational to do while I am working with his/her sibling. Plus, when the baby is here and needs feeding, changing, holding these centers can be utilized then as well. I am thrilled with the fact that we should have room in the new house to do this. We plan to do school in the basement, and have most of the toys/games/art supplies there as well. So it should just be a matter of grouping like things together:
Audio center: cd's, cd player, headphones, audio books, computer, movies
Language center:Beginning readers, writing prompts, paper and pencils, poetry to copy and memorize, alphabet flash cards,spelling words to practice, list of spelling rules, spelling games
Math center::Number flash cards; addition, subtraction, multiplication, division flash cards; word problems
These are just a few ideas. I've found some web sites that have more complete lists of what to put in specific centers...I'll be referring to them when I begin putting our centers together. We are not trying to re-create the classroom at home by doing this...we really enjoy the flexibility homeschooling offers, and don't really want it to feel like a traditional school. The kids use all of these things at home already. I'm just looking to make it all more user-friendly, so I can tell them "go to the Language center and work on XYZ" and it will be easy for them to understand exactly what I mean. Plus, my hope is this will help reduce the 'downtime' we have between lessons and requests for tv watching...we already have too much of that, and I fully believe it reduces the effectiveness of our teaching time.
Another area we need to tweak is chores. The kids have things they are responsible for getting done each day, but we need to do a better job of following through(Mom included). We will change the way we do things when we move because many things will be different and change will be required in certain areas. We also plan to give each child a bit more responsibility in order to make things easier on us. We have a lot to get done each day, and their help is necessary to maintain a peaceful, clean home. I am not talking about spotless; that's not my goal, nor do I feel it's possible if I am doing all my other jobs properly. But we do need to eliminate the clutter as much as possible, keep up on laundry and the basic cleaning of the house. That way, we can relax each day, knowing we accomplished our goals. We will also be more likely to entertain, which we really enjoy doing, if our home is clean, peaceful, and virtually clutter-free. A girl can hope, can't she? ;)
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I will have more information and a link so you can browse for books listed here in a few days, so check back. I may have something you've been looking for.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Here is a FREE article on maintaining your budget.
The Simple Way to Maintain Your Budget
By Leslie Valeska
In the last two years it has been noted that Americans use their debit and credit cards more than their checkbooks. In fact, their usage has more than doubled! This is great in some ways, but it can be a nightmare for the budget conscious. When I left the envelope system of budgeting, in lieu of my debit card, something amazing happened. My expenses went up. In short, it is so much easier to spend one or two dollars here and there when the actual paper cash isn’t coming out of your hand. It’s like we aren’t really spending that money or something.
However, you CAN have a debit card AND stay within your budget. Actually, you can do this for all your budgeting needs for the household. The best part, this is a simple process.
Use a separate bank account and debit card for all your household purchases. For the most ease, you and your husband might want to look into opening another account at your current bank of choice if you are pleased with their services and they offer no fee banking. You will likely have to place a minimum of $25-50 dollars in the account when you open it. This is a good thing, because it will enable you to use your entire budget without penalty. Confused? Read On.
One good reason for this set up is that your husband can transfer money weekly or monthly, in an amount that totals your family’s total budget for the month. When you go to the grocery you will know exactly how much you have to spend and not a penny more. A way to provide accountability for yourself is to agree that if you go over your budget by $2, then that amount will be deducted from the next month’s stipend. In this way, you will have not only an incentive to stay within your budget, but a method of discipline for your budgeting. One extra bonus with this method is that it is much simpler to track your household expenses.
The beauty of this process is that you will do nothing differently than you do now. You will simply have a separate account with which to do it.
Need MORE Help? Check out my online seminar! We have an entire weekend of workshops that are sure to take you by the hand and help you to get back on track with your finances. When you purchase your ticket you get MORE help with our Membership Site full of articles, audio workshops and other free gifts that you can immediately download today! Grab your ticket here: http://www.cindysaffiliates.com/go.php?offer=wendyiw&pid=7
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I am feeling better these days. I'm still tired sometimes, and occasionally nauseous, but I think the worst has passed. Now, I'm into my second trimester and the supposed 'glory days'. We'll see...I'm trying to watch my diet more carefully, making sure I make healthy choices. The doctor says to avoid eating too many carbohydrates and gaining too much weight... in order to try to avoid the birthing issues we experienced with Corbin. Shoulder Dystocia resulted in a traumatic birth and we really don't want to go through that again if we can help it! I'm also hoping to get back to the gym 3 days a week now that I have some energy back...to help stay in shape and to aid in avoiding excessive weight gain...I gained a LOT with the other 3 kids...I'm aiming for the recommended weight gain this time..about 30 pounds. Plus, it should be easier to lose the baby weight after the birth if I'm in good shape. Don't worry...I'm doing all of this with the doctors' approval and supervision...everything is fine.
That's about it for today...it's about bed time for me. I'll post again soon.
Also, try http://www.cindyrushton.com/. You can also find her other web sites from there. There's some very interesting reading, online talks you can listen to, etc. Please check it out!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
We did go on a field trip with the home school group today...to the firehouse. We were able to tour the facility, see their gear, and the trucks and equipment. They also demonstrated for us how the ladder truck works. The kids loved that! At the end, we were able to go back in and let the kids climb into the other trucks and 'live the life of a fireman' so to speak. It was very informative...we learned a bit about fire safety, and the kids had loads of fun. All the volunteers there (it's a completely volunteer-run department) were very kind and accommodating. I'm very glad we went.
We will attend co-op in the morning..just our 2nd week..but the kids have had fun getting their homework ready for their classes. Hailey had to write a creative story and Logan had to read Voyage of the Dawntreader (C.S. Lewis) for his book club. Corbin is in theatre...and will be performing in a play at the end of the session...I wonder if there is a way to get video of that and place it here? I'll have to check on that...but we'll at least have pictures!
Well, that's really it. I go to the doctor tomorrow...so I'll update on that this weekend. Take care.
Monday, September 15, 2008
We went to 'our house' on Saturday; the owners were having a garage sale and had let us know about it. They had a snow blower Karl had already agreed to buy, and they're gonna leave it in the garage for us. They certainly won't need it in South Carolina where they're moving! I also spotted a canning pot for $1...she had some jars too but had sold them the day before. Karl and I had just talked about canning a couple days before that. I've been wanting to try canning some vegetables, or making homemade jam or applesauce. Now, I'm one step closer to being able to do that. I need to go to the Goodwill store to try and find some jars.
While we were at the house, the neighbor boy came over...it turns out he is in the 6th grade and he has a sister in the 3rd grade...so the kids got to meet them. They played the whole time between our back yards...Charles (that's the boy) likes Bionicles like Logan, so they played with those some. And Hailey and Natalie (the girl) seemed to get along well too. The kids also introduced our kids to the neighbor boy across the street, Kurt. So, they have some built in friends; yeah! We have never lived anywhere that we had neighbor kids that were the same age and gender as our kids...we're very excited! Corbin just tagged along, no little one for him, but the 'big' boys played with him and he had fun anyway. :) Something else funny...the father's name is Carl and he also works at Harris...we did not get to meet him, but we met the mom and her name is Marianne...she was very nice.
Well, that's about it. We have to get a snack and watch our daily (almost) dose of Little House on the Prairie now.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I have added a basic list of our menu items that we use here for breakfasts and lunches. We may have cereal several days of the week, we always have pancakes on Saturday as that has been dubbed 'Pancake Day' around here, and the kids often make grits for themselves for breakfast to eat along with fruit. We always add a fruit and milk or juice to whatever we are eating to round out the meal.
I did not add a menu for Dinners yet. I like to have a variety of meals, but we do often repeat them. I am going to try to put together a list of those meals as well to add here. I may eventually have a set menu, either weekly or monthly, that I follow. I am finding it is much easier to have things like that listed on my blog instead of in a notebook or on a scrap of paper...I am always using my computer, and it can't get lost or misplaced like a notebook or slip of paper often does! Plus, if there is anyone struggling with being organized in this area (or others) as I do, maybe having a list to follow will help them too.:)
I will probably add to the lists as I remember other meals that we often have. My goal is to eventually have them listed at least by week, if not by day. Then, I will be able to have some items on my grocery list each week that are always the same. My hope is that this will aid in saving money because I won't be buying strange and unusual items that we won't use a lot.
This month, so far, I have been able to keep it at the amount I was aiming for. We have the ability to spend more, but I really want to try to keep it lower because we are trying to save money towards closing costs on the house (I can't wait to move in!) and every little bit helps. One thing I have done is start shopping only for the week. In the past I have stocked up on items that I know we use a lot of, and we may do that again eventually, but right now shopping only for what I need for the week is what is keeping us under budget. We are still eating well, with plenty to eat and plenty of healthy options, so I'm excited. I am hoping to be able to utilize the sales more next week. I have some coupons too, so maybe between the two I can save even more. We'll just have to see. Anyway, that's my grocery store savings update....about $18.00 less per week so far. It's not a phenomenal amount, but I'd say it's pretty decent! :) If anyone else has tips for saving money at the grocery store I'd love to hear about them. Just post a comment here. Thanks! Have an awesome week.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Well, I am very tired. I am going to go lie down and read until I fall asleep...I don't expect to get very far in my book.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
We've been fairly busy around here with getting school started back up, so I haven't taken much time to blog. Once we get our routine in place I expect I'll have more time again. We've been reading about Christopher Columbus and his voyage across the Atlantic to the "Indies", as well as reading another book about him, but that is written from the perspective of a 'ship's boy' on the Santa Maria. We've also been reading about Phillis Wheatley, a young slave girl, and we're enjoying her antics and 'watching' her learn new things. We're anxious to find out what happens to her in future readings. In Science, we've been conducting some experiments, and we've learned why some things float and others sink. We've also learned what causes waves. Corbin has been joining in on these as he has fun with it too. It's been fun listening to him to see what he remembers from them. Today, he was able to point out every planet (on a place mat we have) when we said its name, and he even pointed out that Pluto was not there! I guess they've removed that since it is no longer considered a planet. I certainly have not taught him the names of the planets...so how did he get so smart? No matter...I am constantly amazed at the things the kids know just from reading on their own, or that they've learned from a sibling. It's enough for me that he knows it at the age of 5! We've also begun a timeline where we will mark certain events that take place in our History readings. It's very simple but I think it will be fun. We are off to a slow start, adding things gradually so we can incorporate them easily into our school day. Last week we started learning the Spanish alphabet (and sounds). I plan to teach them many words this year, and eventually get them using Rosetta Stone Spanish...at least Logan and Hailey. I have Hooked on Spanish for Corbin to use. I look forward to it because we will all be learning together...I've wanted to learn Spanish for a long time, and I've had the Rosetta Stone program for 2-3 years. It's time we all used it!
Karl has officially started his classes, so he'll be busy with that 2-3 nights a week. So far I don't think he believes it will be difficult, but maybe a bit time-consuming. He continues to acclimate to his new role as Program Manager, and seems to be doing well with that. This week will see him back to work 5 days a week, as the summer hours end with the Labor Day weekend. He's enjoyed having his Fridays off, but not so much the longer days. It will be nice for him to be able to work less hours each day (if he's not too busy).
Co-op starts for the kids and I next Friday, September 12. This is a weekly day at a local church here...classes are available through our home school group. I will be co-teaching a class, as well as taking a class. All three of the kids will have classes for 3 hours in the morning each week. I believe the classes continue through November 14. Logan will be learning about the election process, Hailey will take a dances class, and Corbin a science class, among other things. They are excited about the opportunity to get out of the house for an activity each week, as well as being able to see their friends. And I am looking forward to the 'adult time' for myself, too. :)
I think that's all I have for now. I'd love to have some comments from some of you. Take care!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Right now, we are in the middle of 'school'. We all just finished lunch, and Logan is heading back to complete his Math and Health assignments. Then we'll be able to finish with our Science and History readings. Later, we will head to the library to pick up our story time book. We're learning about Christopher Columbus in History, and the book Pedro's Journal is our assigned story time reading. It is apparently a journal written by someone who traveled/explored with Columbus. Anyway, it will be fun to read and will increase our knowledge of what the explorer actually endured. In Science we're learning about the ocean and beach and it's animals. I so wish we were near the ocean right now so we could actually go there as a field trip to explore some of the things we're reading about. The good thing is we've all been before, so we are personally familiar with crabs, shells, the feel of the sand (I miss that tight sunburned/sea-salt feeling you get at the beach!), the sound of the waves, and of course the breath-taking sight of the vast ocean waters. As far as locations go, that's probably the thing I have missed the most since we've moved...going to the beach on a Saturday morning with a picnic basket/cooler in hand. I can't wait to get back there to visit again!
Today is a beautiful day...it's cool and breezy, but sunny. I can see our neighbor cutting his grass and hear the sound of the mower. Something I identify with summer, and have always loved, is the scent of freshly mowed grass and how nice the yards look just afterwards. Not to mention (oh, I already mentioned it!) the beach and wonderful smells there. Even though it's still officially summer, I can tell fall is on the way. A very few of the leaves have begun to change. This won't begin in earnest for several more weeks, but it's still nice to see. Our summer has been too short, but we will enjoy our fall and winter. We'll be going apple-picking, out to the Grape Festival in Naples, to Chase Farms for sweet corn and raspberry (or peach)shortcake and whatever other good produce they have, as well as to feed the goats. We look forward to Halloween and the fun of trick-or-treating. And of course we move into our house at the end of October. So it seems we'll have plenty to do in the next weeks. Co-op also starts, so we'll be learning new things there. I am still very tired, but I'm sure my energy will return since I'll be getting enough sleep now (no Olympics) and I'll be into the 2ND trimester in a couple of weeks anyway.
We finally found out that our house is fine. The renters said the water came to about the middle of our back yard, so no flooding there. The road apparently only had about 3 inches covering it, but he did say the ditches are full. I imagine they will be for a while. I'm just glad that our home and their 'stuff' in the house got through the storm with no damage. There are many that were not so fortunate.
Well, I don't have much else to write about at the moment. I'll be on again later in the week, I'm sure. Take care!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I have already gained a few pounds..uuugghh!..I tried so hard to lose weight this spring! Oh well, that's the nature of pregnancy. :) My clothes no longer fit. Karl gave me some money to go buy some 'in-between' clothes to wear until I can fit into maternity clothes. I have a feeling it won't be long. These 'in-between' clothes are more snug already! I think in a few more weeks it will be maternity all the way. It's been earlier with each pregnancy...my body just remembers, I guess.
We're getting very excited about the purchase of our new house. We can hardly wait until the closing...it seems so far away! I'm hoping the weeks will pass quickly and it will be here before we know it. I can't wait to have all the space in the kitchen. I love to cook and bake, and growing up our kitchen was always a gathering place to cook, eat, and talk. Our (Karl and I) kitchens have always been so small that we've told the kids to go out because there wasn't enough room. We have let them help some, but now there will be more than enough room for ALL of them to be in there if they want to. I'm especially happy with the island in the middle of the kitchen. It seems like the perfect spot for kneading bread dough...yes, I've begun making my own bread...rolling out cookies and pie shells, pizza crusts, etc. I've managed to do this in our previous kitchens, but I believe it will be so much better and I'll have plenty of 'elbow room'. We are also thrilled with the prospect of a finished basement. I overheard Hailey telling a friend recently (we were visiting their home and they have a finished basement) that we don't have a finished basement and it's all spiderweb-by. I had to laugh...it is, and no one really likes to spend much time down there! We go down to do laundry and that's it. Now, we will have our school books in the basement, as well as most toys. We''ll head down there each day during school time. We may even put some furniture down there if we decide to buy new. What we have is about 9.5 years old. It could last us a while, and might, but we may also just move it downstairs and get something new for the upstairs. We still have to decide on that. We may eventually have a T.V. down there and our video game equipment, but right now we only have one T.V. so that will be upstairs in the family room. We are talking about having the cats stay in the basement, as well. We will be down there every day for a lengthy amount of time, so they should still get lots of attention. That way, any cat hair (Simone sheds terribly) will only be down there and easier to vacuum up, and the cat box can be down there and out of sight/smell! There's a separate room where we could place the litter box and their food. We're so happy we were blessed with this opportunity..and it seems like such a great fit.
Karl took Logan and Hailey out bike riding on the canal path today...around 11:30 I think. I took Corbin with me to the grocery store and to pick up a b'day gift for a party they have to attend tomorrow. We came back, ate lunch, and they are still not back. He was planning to stop and have lunch with them in Fairport, then head home. Karl just called and they are now in Bushnell's Basin, which is about 5 miles away by car. They're just now heading home, and it's 3:04. I think I know some kids who will sleep hard tonight! But I know they have had a great time with their dad, and that's definitely worth it.:)
We have not heard anything about our Florida home...we're praying that means there was no damage from Fay. We plan to call the renters this weekend just to check on the house. If any of you can give me any information about how the Ripley Terrace area is doing in NE Palm Bay, that would be great. Just send a quick email. Thanks!
Well, I don't have any more news. I really am gonna try to post more often...I should be getting a bit more energy back soon. Maybe once the Olympics are over, I'll only be tired from being pregnant and not from that combined with too many late nights! Ya'll have a great weekend. :)