Saturday, May 31, 2008

The following people get an "F"

No extra credit, no retest, no bonus points, an absolutely undisputed "ef".

1. Mr. Ludtke, Corey's high school geometry teacher.

2. Mrs. Dennard, Carrie's high school geometry teacher. (not a "dr." when I had her)

3. The people who instituted "college prep" track for high schoolers who weren't failing out, thus eliminating them from taking useful life-skill classes, such as "shop" or "carpentry."

4. The guy who sold us our flooring and gave us a "quick and easy" way to FAIL at installing laminate flooring!

5. Anyone who had anything to do with building our house, especially the ones who squared the rooms and doorways and hallways and calculated the angles between the rooms.

The following people get an "A", a blue ribbon, a gold medal, and an Oscar.

1. Our neighbor, Josh King, who revealed the secret BETTER and easier and RIGHT way to install laminate flooring.

2. Woodtick314, for being a carpenter for 15 years and contributing his answer to a question on "yahoo answers" about the improbability of being able to find a "right" angle in your house and the mysterious "bevel gauge" and "speed square" one could purchase to solve this common problem in home improvement projects.

3. Corey's dad for providing random but much needed tools for specific jobs. (points off for not being accesible today when we were going to request a "bevel gauge" and a "speed square" from his stash of tools.)

4. Andy and Bethany for not hating their friends for ironically being involved in a home improvement project every time they are in town and offer to help :)

5. Corey and I, for rediscovering the workings of geometry by teaching themselves how to use a bevel gauge and a speed triangle. Thanks going out to wikipedia, bobvila.com, and to the Addis method of looking at something long enough and turning it around in your hands until poof it comes to you. Corey, for doing mental math and remembering minor facts from the website that are key to dividing the degrees enough times to get a correct measurement.

Things I did today:

1. printed a protractor.

2. remembered that degrees count up to 90, then progressively go back down.

3. figured out a complementary angle.

4. wondered how so many students are directed toward trade school and away from higher level mathematics when it is clear they are one in the same.

5. decided that when it is time to homeschool our children in geometry we will add on to our house instead and have them do the work :)

Thought for the day:
Jesus was a carpenter. If you want to see how truly Jesus like you are, attempt a carpentry project :) It requires, among other things: wisdom, patience, and not to be discounted or taken lightly: FAITH!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wishing and Hoping...

As we "finish" our first year of homeschooling I am already thinking about what we will do/change for next year. This year was great, relaxed, fun, etc. But, I do want to be on more of a schedule next year...and with the help of a friend sending her preschooler over to school with us, I am sure that will help keep my on my toes.
We will be going with a new curriculum next year called "Sonlight." It has all my weekly lesson plans already made for me and I can supplement with our own handwriting and Math, which is great!
Today I have been making lists of books, etc. we will need to get to go along with our curriculum, esp with adding another student in the mix. I needed to come up with a list for her as she will be doing the same stuff as Noah so we will need some duplicates. Then I decided to just make a wish list of "stuff we would love to have" for our classroom next year. The #1 thing on the list is a new table....the desk thing didn't work too great for us this year, as we like to do stuff all together and ended up sitting on the floor a lot, which is okay sometimes, but not so great when the floor is cold!
On the right of the page is a link to my "Amazon wishlist" of things we would love to have, in case anyone happens to be in a giving and blessing others mood! ha ha!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Whirlwind Weekend

A lot has changed since the last time I posted. First of all, I did not win either of the contests that I entered and posted on my blog. The scrapbook stuff: no win. The photo contest: no win. :( I was really hoping on the honeymoon trip, but, I was not even a finalist. There were some really good entries, and I appreciate everyone who took the time to go vote for us!



Last Wednesday Corey and I stayed up painting. Our kitchen is now a nice textured yellow/green. And, the dirty walls in the living room/hallway are a nice CLEAN shade of the same beige they were before. What a difference a coat of paint can make!



On Thursday we took the kids for their first bowling experience with my brother and his girlfriend. I don't have any pictures because I forgot my camera...still waiting for Hannah to share the few she took.



On Friday we got to bed to rest for our busy busy weekend! At about 8:45 Corey's mom came and picked up Katie and Noah for a day and night of camping fun. And Corey and I hit the floor ripping! Ripped up carpet, finished up painting the stairway area and worked as much as we could until about 4:30 when we stopped to get ready to go to the wedding of our best friend's sister. You can see a slideshow of wedding pics here on Bethany's blog. It was, by far, the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended!

On Sunday Morning we headed to church and then home again to get busy! We finished up the cleaning of the floors, pulling staples, vacuuming, etc. Katie and Noah were transferred to the other grandparents for the afternoon/night and Monday. Then Corey started to lay out the floor boards according to the directions given by the floor guy where we bought our supplies. Well, two hours plus a friend's help later, we were not making any progress! The directions given by the floor guy just DID NOT work! Then comes our neighbor to the rescue! Our neighbors who have the same house plan as us just did their floors about a month ago. I gave them a call to ask for some advice and he volunteered to come help us get started. WHAT A HERO! In about an hour we were really making good progress and at about 8:30 pm on MONDAY, Corey laid the last board in the kitchen. YAY!

So, now we have BEAUTIFUL wood floors in our kitchen, hallway, and living room. It was a hard 3 days, but it is something we are really proud of. There are a few little things we didn't finish...still have to do the quarter round and slice a few boards to put along one edge in the kitchen that wouldn't hold full size boards. It started raining Monday night and we were just TIRED! We also still have to figure out how to do the thresholds in the doorways of the bedrooms.

I did take pictures of our project but I am waiting to post until I get some good "after" pictures when it is all done and cleaned up. It still looks a bit like a construction zone around here....but at least with a good outcome!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Graceland

Here are some pictures from launch day. I took the pictures of the band before church while they were practicing...the kids had some inflatables for the occassion and I threw in two more pictures I took of Katie and Noah at the park today..they were just too cute. Also, don't forget to look below for a slide of Katie and Noah's recitals.

Concerts and Recitals....

Here is a slideshow...(finally!) of Katie and Noah's end of the year performances. Noah had a tumbling "show?" I don't know what you would call it, anyway, and Katie's Spring Praise Concert. The pictures of her dancing are from the dress rehearsal since there was no flash photography at the actual concert. Then we took some pics outside after her concert.

Monday, May 19, 2008

*Whew!*

What a weekend! Corey got into town Friday afternoon after spending a week in sunny Orlando. We met when he got off work to eat a quick bite at Zaxby's then head up to the church to do some work. More about that later. We got home to get Katie in the bed for her recital on Saturday. It was incredible. Katie attends Steps of Faith, in Catersville, and their Spring Praise Concert was so good. Katie did a great job with her dance steps and just loved receiving flowers from everyone afterwards and the lunch she picked at Chic-fil-a. After the concert it was back to the church for last minute projects and clean up.

In case some of you reading don't know, Corey and I have been involved with a church plant project....it is a ministry of the main campus of The Church at Liberty Square. The mission of the new project is to reach out to the community and perhaps draw families who aren't inclined to attend a traditional church. The first service was in March, with Corey playing an acoustic guitar as the only music and an old building with turquoise carpet and white walls. Two weeks ago the carpet was ripped and a major renovation was completed by many hours of hard work by people dedicated to making the church a success. The carpet has been replaced with a dark brownish/black color and part wood, the ceiling painted, new lighting installed, new church signs, a Children's Church room with a Hollywood (HolyWord) theme almost completed, a preschool room painted and themed, and now the music consists of a full band (four guitars, a keyboard, and drums) and awesome praise and worship music! My favorite song from yesterday that they did was "Counting on God by Desperation Band. It is just a really cool song that has a great message and the band and singers really sounded great...a lot like the original...so proud of them! Also, another favorite of mine they did was "God of This City by Chris Tomlin" which they played with a slideshow collage of pictures from around the Cartersville area. Sort of similar to the slide that is on that clip I linked to. If anyone would ask about the purpose of Graceland, I would direct them to this song.... Pastor Eric does a great job of delivering sermons with practical living themes, that are "meaty" enough for "churched" people to grow, but simple and intriguing enough for "unchurched" people to understand and apply as well.
So....long story short....this past week has been a busy time of finishing up painting projects, the men finishing up the wood floor installations, general clean-up, etc. The reason being that yesterday was the official "launch" of Graceland. The music was awesome...and I am sure the message was as well (I am the preschool "person" so I was with them during the service).
We are so exicted about the people who will come and come to love God and worship in this environment....I am listening to "God this City" as I write this and I am thinking I have to add it to my song list! You have to hear that song! Yesterday was great...we had 127 people in the service. A website is being worked on, but here is a link to a little info about the church: Graceland I left our camera in Corey's car, but as soon as I get it I will post some pictures from the weekend.

This week will also be a busy one. Corey and I will be working on getting our kitchen and livingroom/hallway painted and ready for us to rip up the floors. This coming weekend the kids are going camping and spending time with each set of grandparents while we put laminate/hardwood floors in our kitchen/livingroom/hallway. We are excited about it getting done....but not so excited about getting started! :) It will be a busy week/weekend....but good. We will also be attending a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese for our "best friend-in-law's" son on Tuesday night, perhaps going bowling with my brother and his girlfriend on Thursday, and on Saturday be attending a wedding for our best friend in law's sister. *Whew* No wonder we are all fighting colds right now! We have been so busy! As of yesterday afternoon, besides sleeping, Corey had spent about 2 hours at home since he got back into town! Maybe we can get some sleep and defeat the cold before it sets in too badly...no time for sickness around here!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Awww.....

I just posted, but I have to tell what just happened! I heard Katie crying and I went to her room and she was sitting in the floor with her Barbies. I asked her, "What's wrong?"
She said in a crying voice, "I just don't WANT to get married!"
I said, "You aren't getting married."
She said,"When I am a grown up and I am about to get married I will just wish for a fairy godmother to turn me back into a child......*sob*...I don't want to leave you!"

I said she didn't have to leave until she wanted to....and she assured me she would never want to.

A few minutes later she came into the kitchen still upset. She put her hands out in a type of exasperated expression and said, "It's because grown-ups just do boring things."

I really had to fight a smile as I asked, "what do you mean?"

She said, "grownups just sleep, and read and do boring stuff."

I explained that when you are a grown up those things aren't boring to you. She said, "But I just want to be a kid and read kid books and go to church and play."

I insisted that you can still have fun as a grown up and that we have fun playing with our children, and taking them to Disney World and going to church. She said she just wants to stay a kid.

I wonder how long this sentiment will last?

Strawberry Fields Forever....

We went berry picking today! Laura, from our mom's Bible study group, invited us all to go together to the strawberry picking farm in Calhoun.
Laura also emailed us all this afternoon saying she picked up kid's jelly making kits for all of us, so maybe we will be doing that soon too!
Here are the pictures...enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day and Birthdays.....

Yesterday was Mother's Day and Corey's 28th birthday (Corey was born on Mother's Day too!)....but who racked up?! Katie and Noah, of course!

Actually....I am still waiting to use my birthday/Mother's Day gift. I got the combo gift for my birthday...an hour massage and facial at a local day spa! I am very excited to use it, but I am waiting until the weekend after we do all our home improvement projects. We will be repainting our livingroom, kitchen, and master bedroom/bathroom. Also, on Memorial Day weekend, while the kids are camping with one set of grandparents and overnighting with the other set of grandparents, I will be assisting in whatever way I can while Corey replaces our carpet and puts down laminate wood floors in our livingroom/kitchen/hallway. I am very excited to get rid of the terribly stained carpet and excited to see a new color in the kitchen. I am also very excited about enjoying that Mother's Day/birthday massage afterwards!!!!!

Corey got himself a new hat: A
Boston Red Sox hat. He had one years ago but lost it when Katie was born (we think maybe left at the hospital!) So...there's the one he got finally to replace it!

The day actually started at church, of course! The guys at church had prepared breakfast for all the moms...yum! Corey had a part in a humorous Mother's Day skit and played guitar with the praise band, as usual. I found a really cute project I prepared for the preschoolers. You take styrofoam cups (16oz or larger) and cut strips down the sides almost to the bottom. Then, you put them in a 270 degree oven for about 15 seconds...you have to watch them it is SO neat! The sides will curl down and under and make a flower! Then the kids can glue them on a paper and paint them to complete a cute flower!


We had a delicious birthday/Mother's Day meal at WOW wings in Armuchee with my parents and grandmother. Then we went over to the mall so Corey could pick out his new hat. I am glad we stopped by because I saw that Bath and Body Works had their soaps 5 for $10!!!! WOW! So, I got a little impromptu Mother's Day gift! 2 Wild Honeysuckle , 2 Warm Vanilla Sugar soaps, and 1 new one one to try, (can't remember the name right now!). And, a warm vanilla sugar mini hand sanitizer. What a deal! All that for $12!

We then headed over to the hospital to visit Corey's grandad who just had open heart surgery last week. He was doing well...as well as can be expected anyway! Then I was just about to crash so we headed home.

Corey went out to pick up some frozen pizza for dinner and a cookie cake for himself! ha ha While he was out he stopped to pick up a surprise at Nanna and Poppa's house. This is the part where they rack up! When daddy got back from the store he brought in the surprise: new REAL guitars for Katie and Noah. Here are some pictures of them experimenting with their new guitars. They have their own cases and can only get them out when Daddy is with them. They practiced strumming the strings with the picks. Daddy tuned them to an open tuning so it makes a pleasant sound when they strum. They had fun, but after a while they were ready to move on to birthday celebrating!


We ate pizza, the kids sang Happy Birthday to Daddy and then we all enjoyed a slice of cookie cake. Then Katie, Noah and Daddy played Wii bowling. They LOVE Wii bowling! Noah and Katie are actually pretty good! The have each won before! I was watching them and trying to stay awake on the couch, so as soon as we got them tucked in I WENT TO BED! I was asleep by 8:30pm! So, when Noah woke up this morning at 6:45am, I was actually ready to get up and feeling much better!

It was a great day!

FOOTNOTE: I have to share my secret to cleaning the house in one of my pictures in my slideshow! In the picture of Katie, Noah, and Corey playing the guitar, there was a blue water bottle lid under the edge of the couch....so....I used my Memory Manager software from Creative Memories to "erase" the bottle cap from the picture by cloning the carpet! fun!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two funny things...

Not one of the funny things: Southern Wife: I see other people have commented on your blog so perhaps my situation is an isolated thing....I comment on other blogs though, so it makes me sad that your's won't let me :(

On to the funny things: One short, One kind of long.

Yesterday when Noah was coming up the front porch stairs he was holding two footballs in his hands (one large and one small). Since he had one in each hand he said he couldn't hold on to the rail to walk up the stairs. Our stairs are a little bit steep, I mean they are typical porch steps, and I have a fear of one of them (well Noah, Katie never tries to go without holding on) losing their momentum and falling backwards and busting their heads on the sidewalk. It is about 9-10 steps, so it could be pretty rough if that ever were to happen. ANYWAY....he said he couldn't hold on and I responded with, "Well, you should hold on, because if you fall and bust your head on the sidewalk we will have to go to the hospital and you will have to get a needle in your head." (I KNOW I KNOW...I am not trying to scare him, but I am, besides I didn't use the negative mommy speech: You WILL fall and bust your head...I said IF he falls). The funny part comes next.... he kind of considered what I said for about 3 seconds and asked me with eyebrows raised: "Will it be a sharp needle?"
To which I obviously responded seriously, "Yes."
So.......with that information he decided to push both footballs under one arm and hold on as he came up the stairs.
Point: Mommy. (Note to self for future reference: Noah is only actually wary of needles if they are sharp.)

Second funny thing: Tonight for dinner I made turkey burgers and hotdogs. Well....actually I bought these "hotdogs" a few weeks ago (still good I checked the date ha) and the actual name of the product is "Smart Dogs" You can click on the name and see a picture. It was an honest attempt to try to get Noah to eat something healthy. He eats hotdogs...so why not give it a try?
So.....we sit down and Katie and I decide to share and each take half of a hotdog and a hamburger. (by the way, Noah wasn't feeling well today and only ate yogurt for dinner, big surprise)
We prepare our stuff and Katie takes a bite of her "hotdog."
She promptly stands up and spits it out on her plate. "Yuck"
Corey and I look at each other in amazement! If you know Katie, you know she will eat just about anything...ANYTHING! She eats beets, black olives, cottage cheese....any kind of bran cereal....onion rings (just the INSIDE of them!).....this is truly a surprise.
So, now I am afraid to taste it! We asked the obvious question as Corey takes a bite of his to try...."Did it not taste good? What does it taste like?"

Katie says,"Uh......it tastes like a little bit of a piece of paper." (word for word!)

Serious as she can be!
We died laughing! Corey decides he thinks it tastes like Vienna Sausage (which I don't think it does....) I very hesitantly take a bite of mine....it doesn't really have a strong taste....so I guess I have to agree with Katie.
I just can't believe there is a food that Katie won't eat!
I will end my blog with this truly hilarious review of "Smart Dogs" I found while looking for the link I posted earlier. I didn't keep the name of the writer who did the review, but I have to wonder if this person has ever actually TASTED a real hotdog!

"Lightlife's Smart Dogs are truly amazing. They tasted exactly like regular hotdogs and even better. These veggie links cook fast and do not taste rubbery. If you switch them on your children they will not even notice the difference."

HA!!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"New Goals for Moms"

As Mother's Day approaches and I am currently reading the book Captivating I have been thinking about my duties as a mom.....and a wife...and all the rest those jobs entail. I do strive to be good at what I do...but sometimes it is easy to start feeling like you just do the same stuff over and over. I love my children so much....so very much... and it is during those times that I feel disgruntled or aggravated that I have to remind myself how blessed I am to be home with them. To be able to play with them....instead of leaving them for 8+ hours a day to raise other people's children.
When I remember those long days, the unappreciative-ness (is that a word) of the school where I worked and just how frazzled our lives were during those two years I really start ton think...wow...I really need to use my time more wisely here at home.
A while back something was shared through an online homeschool group of which I am a member. It could be taken critically, but I mean to share it as an encouragement. Sometimes you just have to be reminded...to be "exhorted" in your calling as a mom. These words made an impression on me and at the time I meant to type it up really nicely and post it somewhere in my home so I could see it on a daily basis. I am one who thrives on motivation....sort of like when I did Weight Watchers...I need that weekly meeting!!!!!
This isn't one of those "moms are the best go moms" kind of things...there may be parts that "prick your conscience" here or there...which is good every so often! I know it did for me! I hope you can enjoy and maybe share some of these goals! Please don't think that because I posted this that it means I have all these in perfect practice. I strive...I desire to, but no one's perfect...and if you are that's your mistake! (taken from Dave Ramsey)
So here you go: New Goals for Mom: (actually these could apply to dads as well!)
*I will put my Bible before the television, the radio, the telephone, and even before good Christian books, for my children will know my priorities by the way they see me spend my free time.
*I will make my prayer requests known before God and my children, enlisting their help in the process and informing them of the outcome, for by letting them help when I petition our Lord will they learn of a living God who still answers prayer.
*When times of crisis, conflict, or confusion arise, I will hit my knees before I hit the phone knowing that by my example my children will discover that although friends are important, God alone is the one who holds the solution to life's every problem.
*I will erase the words "lucky" and "luck" from my vocabulary and will instead by my speech point my children toward the One who orchestrates every detail of our lives and brings all good things to pass for by this my children will learn of an omniscient God.
*When bad things happen I'll neither grumble nor complain, but will instead help my children see that in the scope of our lives even the bad times are allowed for a reason, for by this my children will learn a quiet trust in their Maker.
*When normal childhood mishaps occur, I will remember that although difficult, it is still easier to remove grape juice from white carpet than to erase harsh and unloving words hurled at a child whose chubby fingers have failed her, for by this my children will see a God who understands when our best efforts fall short.
*When my children have witnessed something "ugly" in me-unkind words, an angry temper, "harmless" gossip, biting sarcasm, or even my infamous "mommy pout", when things don't go my way- I will confess it as a sin before them seeking their forgiveness, for by this my children will develop the much needed habit of wiping their spiritual slate clean before God and man.
*I will teach my children the importance of cleanliness and order while at the same time remain sensitive to the fact that a skinned knee or hurt feeling if more crucial than a spotless floor or uncluttered counter, for by this my children will learn to value people over things.
*I will make some time for the lonely, the sick, the elderly, the difficult to love, and iwll bring my children along, for with each afternoon visit, each ride to the doctor, each raked lawn or washed window, they will have opportunity to serve Jesus by serving the "least of these."
*I will make our home a haven of rest and retreat from the outside world and a welcomed place fo rmy children's friends, for with each impromptu backyard soccer game, each video viewed on a rainy day, each cup of hot cocoa or chocolate chip cookie, my children will have opportunity to practice the art of Christian hospitality thereby learning to share all God has given them.
*I will by my actions and speech let my children see a mom love their dad, for by this will my children sense family stability at a time when marriages all around them are crumbling.
*I will not require of my children obedience, honesty, patience, or kindness, without first being willing to submit to the same rules whether in speed limit, miscounted change from the grocery store, or when answering a toddler for the fourteenth time, for by this my children will see a mother who is also learning and not a perfect parent to whom they'll never measure up.
*In all things will I remember that more is CAUGHT than TAUGHT.
These are little eyes upon you, mom. You are the first Bible your children will ever read.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Our first "lapbooks!"

Today we tried "lapbooking." This is a term for a themed folder project that a student can make about anything in the world, practically! I heard about this through homeschool groups but always thought it sounded like too much work *lol*, and it is some work, but it is a lot of fun! I found a site where you can get tons of "pre-created" pages that you just print off and create your lapbook from their materials. The instructions for completing the different activities and how to fold them to put in the folder are included with each one! SO EASY!

The amount of work the students do depends on their age, so....... I did a lot of cutting and folding today. Part of that was due to the fact that I wanted to get this one all done today! Katie and Noah enjoyed it, of course, since this lapbook project was "All About Me." You use a regular folder and fold the two flaps to make a "book" that will fit in your "lap." clever huh? (What kind of books don't fit in your lap?!)

ANYWAY...this one had lots of little foldable "things" to put in, a section for their address, phone number, favorite things, "facts about me," a timeline, etc. Very cute and I think they will both enjoy reading them over and over and sharing them with the family. Here are some pictures of their lapbooks. Katie's hand and foot outline are on the back of her lapbook. Each of the little sections of the folder are either a stapled together mini booklet you can open and read or it is folded someway so that it unfolds and you can see several sections or pages.









I have a feeling this won't be our last one! What a fun way to practice all kinds of skills...cutting, folding, coloring, writing letters and numbers, plus whatever "skill" the lapbook topic is. This one happens to be about them, but you can get them based on all kinds of science and social studies topics, animals, books, etc. I am excited to have tried and liked this method of schooling!