Monday, March 31, 2008

shipping confirmation

Just received email confirmation from our neat little Biological Supply Company. Apparently Mark actually thinks Monty is going to hatch-- our vials of flightless fruit flies will be arriving any day. Oh goody.... isn't feeding 4 children and 2 other adults enough to worry about?? :) Hmmm.... that gives me an idea-- if Monty doesn't hatch.... there might be some extra protein around.... they'll never know......

Sunday, March 30, 2008

relax...

and wait... for warmth... so at last we -oops- I mean they- can sleep outside in their creation. The children were bummed out that it wasn't warm enough this weekend to enjoy their labor from the week. After returning home from a shopping trip, Lydia noted an addition to the tent area- 2 tiki torches- MOM LOOK- the torches are out!!! Ahhh, to be so thrilled with simple things!

The dinner topic of the evening was the discussion of how their new tent area was like Survivor- Daddy said we could have challenges and the loser gets voted out of the tent. Never fear little children. Mom grants immunity to all. She will be the brave heroine and send herself to exile house. :) She'll even be brave while she finds her own sleeping quarters all the while fending off PapPap for her own food for the night. :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Guess it's pretty official...

...don't think there will be a garden this year.
The little ones (and big one too) have worked for days now.

Shovel after shovel, load after load.

Elisha preferred to make tunnels from his pile.

Yes- we must be the only family with a huge orange tent in their backyard-- before the evening temps have climbed out of 30 degrees. At least we'll be ready when the weather does break-- or should I say -at least 'they'll' be ready when the weather breaks :)

All that work makes for nice, long naps! And where are the other two and Daddy right now? Yep- buying more supplies. We must complete the back with a split-rail fence you know.... who needs an addition??? I could just ship them all outside to their new living quarters :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My newest quest

It's time. I've been saying it for years and I'm hoping I'm not jinxing myself by saying what I'm going to do-- sometimes stating what you want to do seems to bring the forces of opposition upon you all the more. It's been like the plague for years now-- those few excess fluffy extra pounds. I decided to figure out just what my weight should be, and discovered that I'm not just fluffy, but according to the overweight BMI charts I'm (GASP!) bordering the obese point. Not good, and not the example I want to set for our little ones.

What am I going to do about it? I'm actually pretty active, so exercise isn't my downfall-- it's all in the sugar, sugar, and too much sugar that I love so much. Tried Weight Watchers, and think it's a great program- until I manipulate it so I can forgo eating all day and bank my points for a DQ blizzard before bed. Not the healthiest way of weight loss. Scratch that one for me.

Because of illness a few years ago we changed our eating habits to consist of whole foods, primarily fruits, vegetables, and their juices. I felt great and was 40 pounds lighter. But, unfortunately I went back to my old staples of-- sugar, sugar, sugar, plus now, a new found, addictive discovery of Starbucks - and we're not talking just black coffee!

Back to the basics. This is day 1 of a 21-day challenge for me. And why am I boring you with the details? In an effort to stay accountable to the program because knowing I'll have to report periodically to my few faithful readers should be a motivation to write in the evening instead of eating a chocolate bar. In the past few years I've probably become an expert in theory in ways of eating, especially in the raw food arena. Think I've read every book on the subject out there. Every different 'program' has it's own spin. I've come to the conclusion that you have to find what works for you. I just haven't put the knowledge into true practice.

Because it's not a strict 100% raw food program, I've chosen Natalia Rose's 21 Day challenge, with a few tweaks of my own that I know works for our family. It's also one I can stay with 'for life' -it's simple, and close to the way we ate when we were eating healthy. As we all know diets don't work, lifestyle changes do.

That's my new qwest-- when it comes time to test again for karate- I want to be my best, or well on my way to my best. I want to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. How's that for personal, honest exposure?

Sure hope I haven't totally bored you all-- I will still post about fun stuff the family is doing-- I promise! Updated Taj Mahal tent post coming soon - they're working away as we speak!

Monday, March 24, 2008

I didn't want my garden anyway...

Mark was off today. He had spring fever-- bad. Never mind the temperature didn't make it above the 30's. Forget the snowflakes that were flying around. Who needs the sun anyway? We'll just build a fire so we can stay out all day.
This is the truck...
that left the ruts...
...and had to stop at the end of the driveway because he couldn't make it to the backyard.
And this is the pile, left by the truck that had to stop at the end of the driveway because he couldn't make it to the backyard, waiting to be shoveled to the backyard by 2, maybe 4, very willing children :)
Why?? Because this is my garden. It is no longer a garden. It is now the Taj Mahal tent site. Who needs a garden?

I'm thinking it's time to find a good deal on one of these.

At least the kids will have one fun summer. I didn't really want the upkeep of a garden anyway...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Another encore

What an ending to an already full week! It was a 'cultural outing' to see the Lord of the Dance. Elizabeth and Lydia's feet haven't stopped moving yet- even Elisha was tapping around the house tonight. The show was incredible- ooh to be so slender and graceful. Guess I'll have to show my grace in karate for now, maybe I'll take up Irish Dance next- in my free time you know...

Since we weren't allowed to take picts or videos, here's a UTube link I found. (Hey Mom-- aren't you glad this won't take a week to download now?)
OK girls, is the hair their own?? Mark said of course it is- I told him I'd like to think so, but that's A LOT of perfect curls!

With all of the cultural enrichment from today and the winding down of Elisha's play, added to the addition of extra Easter sugar, it's going to be tough to get back to the books next week!

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008

EGGstraordinaire

With the Easter Season upon us, I'm finding eggs everywhere I look- and it got me thinking- yes that can be rare :). There is so much you can do with a simple egg. They are a symbol of life, and for Christians specifically during Easter, symbolic of new, abundant life granted by Jesus's death. They can be used for unlimited homeschool lessons- a Science lesson on mixing solvents to make colors stick. A History lesson on the old ways of using dyes to color things. Another History lesson on traditions and why eggs are used during Easter.

We attempted to combine all of those ideas in one afternoon-- plus it makes a great justification to get away from the books for an afternoon :)

We tried a new 'egg' recipe of Tye-died eggs. Ours didn't come out looking anything like the picture, but we still liked them. The directions called for 'vibrant' food coloring and I'm thinking ours was anything but vibrant. Another lesson in following specific directions I suppose.

Then there's the egg lesson in Candy-Making. Take Mom's famous peanut-butter, chocolate-covered eggs. And her cherry filled eggs-- YUM! I was really going to be good this year and have one- or maybe two- and exemplify the important lesson of sharing. Honestly!

Guess we'll have to save that lesson for next year. You can have the little crumb if you'd like. If I don't get to it first.
Maybe I'll learn my lesson next year. So much from a little egg. Happy Easter!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's here!

Time to put a new ticker on the top of the page (think it will have to be a countdown until Monty II hatches- or doesn't )-- spring is finally 'officially' here! YAY! Never mind the temps aren't supposed to make it out of the 30's- at least it's sunny :)
We had to celebrate by making pussy-willow pictures. The children took white paper, folded it in half and cut curves that when opened, formed the vase. (Great lesson in symmetry :) ) Then we added magic-marker stems and the fuzzy pussy-willows using Qtips dipped in brown, then white paint. Can you guess who's picture has three vases? Yep- that would be Elizabeth.

You have to love it when children make little pictures from the heart-- here mommy- this is you- you're a princess. (Her drawing of the hair isn't too far off!)

Off for a relaxing afternoon--theatrical feature of the day: The Greatest Story Ever Told. Elisha is fascinated with that Easter movie. Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Encore Encore

Have to add just 2 more pictures of the tree-man~

His final performance was last night- and the proud mom must say he did quite well. It was a lot of extra running around, but worth every minute to see the satisfaction of a job well done in his eyes. He said he loved it--'That was a blast mom!' Hmmm... I wonder if there is room for a back-hoe driving, hammer-pounding, demo-man actor somewhere on Broadway? Too bad he doesn't love math, grammar, or piano that much :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

first play

The day has finally arrived-- Elisha's first production in a school play-- this one was based on the story of The Three Trees. His hard work paid off and he loved every minute-- these picts were from the dress rehearsal last week~ the final production included painted leaves on their faces. You can barely see Elisha- he's in the back row on the right side.

Tree man~

These are very poor-quality camera clips, but they're for our family far away :)

Look close- he's there way in the back~

video

He was a 'toy soldier' tree- Mom was pretty proud :)

video

Woody the Wood-Cutter~ The song that is forever stuck in our minds- even Jacob knows all the words.

video

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Woo Hoo!

I saw robins in our yard today!! 5 more days until the 'official' spring season!!!
I'd like to say I took this photo, and while I tried, it did not come out like this. In fact, you couldn't even tell there was a robin in the picture. :( So, thanks to http://freedigitalphotos.net/ for this one!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Shouts of Joy

We spent a quiet evening 'out' at dinner -if you can call our family quiet-lol! After dinner Mark decided we needed to do our part to keep the economy going. First item in hand:
If you remember, our last tent was ripped/rotted from excessive use and sun damage. This tent holds 8 people- and no, I still don't plan on being one of them :)

Next item:
Time to spruce up the summer tenting experience-- what better way to add ambiance?!

Next up:

Jacob didn't have his own chair. The one Daddy carved for him from an old tree stump just isn't all that practical for the inside of a tent, if ya know what I mean! So, Jacob was as excited as could be to have his own chair- I can pretty much guarantee that when he disappears tomorrow I'll find him in the basement sitting in it. And our last item- new plastic bottles to store yummy green smoothies in-- ooh aahhh-

Hey- I was excited because I've wanted them for quite awhile now :) We just happened to turn the corner in the store, and there they were-- begging to come home with us-- it was a sign! Right Mark??

And 4 little ones shouting with excitement and "can we use the tent tomorrow- when daddy- next week- it'll be dry enough- come on daddy! You're the best daddy!" completes our evening.

What's that sound I hear?

With a break in the weather, Mark couldn't stand it anymore- he just had to demolish something. The victim of the day- the back porch.

Sure doesn't take him long to destroy something!

Bird's eye view~

Hope something gets put back in it's place soon-- if only the reconstruct could take the same amount of time the demo does!

And house project #322 to be continued... the story of our lives ;)

PS- Carrie- I found a TON more cobwebs today- and in a high-traffic area! Can't believe you didn't see them yesterday :) Would have snapped a picture, but too lazy now... you'll have to take my word for it ;)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Daily Life

'Normal' day-to-day life with 4 little ones is busy to say the least, and the past few weeks have been no exception. We decided it would be beneficial for Elisha to participate in the production of an Easter play, knowing it would require many extra trips- 10 per week to be exact, making a total of 17 extra-curricular events. But weighing the 'cost' with what we believed Elisha needed to do has proved to be quite beneficial. He is learning life lessons of getting work done in a prioritized order, adhering to a stricter schedule to allow for the 'fun stuff' like plays, getting along with a group, following orders from someone other than Mom, and feeling the satisfaction of doing a great job. We can't wait to see the finished product next week!

Our daily routine for the past few weeks has been:

4am- up with Daddy to get him off to work
5am- shut-eye for a quick nap after he leaves
6:30am- kids up, dressed, breakfast, chores
7:30am- leave for play practice
9:15am- arrive back home to do school, piano practice
12pm- lunch
12:30pm- attempt to finish school ;)
1:30pm- leave for 2nd play practice
3:15pm- arrive home, make dinner, get Elisha dressed for Karate
4pm- eat dinner
4:30pm- off to karate for Elisha
6:30pm- home and get ready for our karate
7:30pm- leave for our karate
9:15pm- arrive home, little ones tucked in bed, Mom tries to finish up loose ends from the day- and believe me there are lots of those- most of which get carried over until the next day- and the next day...

And that is a day in the life at JuJu's place~ add making dinner, laundry, minimal cleaning, baths, and a few computer time-outs, and you get one pretty busy day. Thankfully Daddy is not working daylight shifts now, so he has been home to help- and start more demo-projects on the house- more on that tomorrow~ three cheers for Daddy!!

While we were finishing school yesterday, the office grew strangely quiet- and I discovered why: Jacob had enough-

And Carrie- this picture's for you-- the Taj Mahal has been neglected- check out the cobwebs I found yesterday- I'll have to do something about that- in a few weeks :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Petition

Last week the state of California made a ruling that in order to homeschool, you must have a teaching degree. While there are 2 sides to every issue, usually with some good and bad on each side, this ruling hits a little close to home. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to sign a petition, it would be greatly appreciated: Here is the link: http://www.hslda.org/

Thank you in advance!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ice, Snow, and Monty II

Life with 4 little ones has been extremely busy these days-- we've stated we would never be parents who run the little ones around all week, and here we are- 17 extra-curricular items per week later- leaving little time for much else. But, it's temporary and been a blessing the past few weeks watching Elisha practicing for an Easter play (that accounts for 10 of the extra trips). I think that once Easter comes, that familiar saying of 'it's fun, but we're done' may apply :)

All of the running around and problems with blogger and picture uploads have led to few posts-- here is the weekend recap~

Brrrr! Cold, icy, and snowy!
Leaving LOTS of time for indoor play-- BANG! I got you Mommy!
Thank goodness for LEGO's on a day stranded indoors due to weather...
Jacob decided his dinosaur was hungry-- what did it want to eat? Mommy's knee. And what better time to make a praying mantis cage -again? One must be very careful when stringing up an egg sack. And we're ready-- patiently waiting the 6-8 weeks until arrival.... does this look familiar? Hmmm... seems as though I've seen this before....
PS. Mark says we need to name him Monty II. Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

it's only the beginning...

This was what was waiting on our doorstep today.

The beginning--- the beginning of the children's pet. The pet praying mantis that is. Maybe.

You see it here in black and white. 6-8 weeks to hatch! Uh huh--- sure. Let the countdown begin...