Sunday, February 12, 2012

Oh my, not the books!

The library I obtained as a homeschooler is massive. Every room has books in it. In an effort to down-size and get better organized, I'm purging our book collection.

For a few hours yesterday, Camille, Caitlyn and I made some hard decisions. Which books to keep, which books to donate, which to sell.

Some of the books were heartbreaking, a realization of a different path not taken fully. What will I do with Socratic Logic? A few books were choices I had made for Camille's middle school science years. I'm keeping them. Goodbye old intentions, I need shelf space for scout books, yarn, and art supplies.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Francis Beidler Forest: Nature Study

Short Update

We are a family of six, all four children are living with us now.
All 5 in scouts: 3 Girl Scouts (Daisy, Brownie & Cadette), 
1 Tiger Cub Scout and me (Adult Volunteer).
A very full calendar. Emphasis on very.
Volunteering weekly as a family at our local SCPA.
Have taken up crocheting again.
New job is still fabulous.
Winston's hair is really short- Michael shaved him (poor boy).
Still deeply, madly in love with my husband and grateful for every crazy,
patience-testing moment we've had that make us appreciate each other more.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No Drama Here

My new job is so very different than my previous, the amount of stress alone is a night and day difference. There are plenty of similarities since they are both banks and have similar policies and procedures. I am completely taking a backseat right now and just learning about the company and my co-workers. In simpler words, I'm keeping my mouth shut and my ears open. Lol.

Danny & Camille have received their progress reports, both are doing well. Camille's making As & one B and Danny is struggling a bit in 1st grade and the amount of homework vs. his academic abilities is reaching their limit. I've requested a new Individual Education Plan for him to be done since he will be judged by first grade standards instead of kindergarten.

Camille's favorite class is math even though she's taking dance and piano as well. She's doing well, study skills are what I'm focusing on with her. Danny is reading! WOOO HOOO!!! Granted it's still a struggle but I'm so proud of him and I'm glad we're finally breaking ground in this area. He wants to be lazy and guess at the words based on pictures but I make him sound it out. I also cover the pictures and isolate the word he's trying to read.

We're trucking along here, life has achieved a new balance with my new job and we're all very grateful. Everything is going well. Sort of boring but I'll take doing well and being boring over drama any day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Their Tech-Savvy Daughter

My parents are not completely out of it, they are mother is 51 and dad is 57. Ever since online banking and anything 'online' has been popular they have both not been interested in participating. They've been afraid of identity theft and other boogie-men like viruses, etc. I understand their stance although I tried to tell them that I had never experienced any problems.

Now, they are ready to join the technology bandwagon. I'm going to Verizon with my mom today to help her pick out her first smartphone. In the last couple of years, she has bought a Mac laptop, iPod and is pretty knowledgeable with those devices due to the computer training classes she took at the Mac Store.  I was very impressed when she made the decision to get a Mac book. But to highlight her charming ignorance of all these technological, she has no idea why there is a regular ABC channel on her cable and a ABCHD channel.

They have both asked me to help them become more technology-savvy and help them streamline their costs. My mom has a car that has SYNC which allows her to use her iPod in her car or cell phone and she's never used it. She wants a iPhone without knowing why, she just likes the idea of having a Mac product since she has the Mac Book and iPod. 

In one conversation, ahem long conversation, they asked about eReaders (Nook, Kindle), online banking, routers, firewalls, DVRs, cell phones vs. landlines, and it goes on. My head is spinning a little but I think it's great that they are ready to embrace what is available. My dad asked me to get him a phone when I take mom today- nothing fancy, no internet, just a phone. Mom wants everything, she loves how I can pull out my phone and do a quick internet search for something. It's neat that I'm able to help them with this...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Curious about Bats

Danny wanted to know what a vampire bat looked like and I told him to go find books on our shelves with b-a-t in the title. Smarty pants who has done nature study a billion times brings back the Petersen field guide on mammals and flips straight to the bat section. Of course, there is not a vampire bat listed. He then grabbed Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study and turned straight to the bat lesson, which was lucky but goodness he impressed me.

Thanks to our homeschooling time, we have a huge library of books on just about any subject and together Danny & I found, Outside and Inside Bats by Sandra Markle on our science shelf.

We spent about 45 minutes talking about bats and exploring the books.
Nature study is ingrained in him and I had one of those warm hearted moments when you know as a parent, you've done something right.

He is curious. He looks to books for answers. He wants to talk and ask questions. He can navigate a field guide.

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.  -Rachel Carson

We spent 3 hours watching two rabbits in our backyard a few days ago. Danny, who cannot sit still for very long, was patient and excited to watch them hop from area to area. He watched through binoculars and told Camille to be very quiet because rabbits ears are long, they can hear us. As I write this, I feel very blessed.

Our Tiled Kitchen

Our kitchen newly tiled! 
We're still working on faceplates and we have molding to still put up 
at the bar near the sink but all in all, we're 98% done! 

 I need a good phone camera is not the best. 
Mental note: add camera to Christmas list.

What I've learned while tiling our kitchen: Patience & communication is vital when tackling a project.
Things do NOT happen they way you THINK they will. DYI is very satisfying! Never underestimate what you can do. Michael and I are much more confident about tiling now- we have no qualms about tackling floors or a later date.

Our dishwasher's motor went out and we had to replace the dishwasher (the cheap one that came with the house)- decibel ratings really matter when selecting a dishwasher. We've gone from a 60 dba to a 52 dba and we barely hear the dishwasher anymore. We also looked for a dishwasher that had 3 full water sprayers: top, middle and bottom.  This website really helped us learn what to look for: