Stop me if you’ve heard this one

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Here I am day 4 of homeschooling.  Yes, we are teaching the kids at home now.  I cannot believe how many spelling/phonics rules I’ve never been privy too.  Sure maybe you can rattle off, “‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ or when pronounced ‘a’ as in neighbor and weigh”.  When my kids were small they loved Starfall, and I learned the handy jingle, “when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking” (Like in meat or treat).  But this week while getting familiarized with Spalding’s, “The Writing Road to Reading” I’ve picked a gold mine of this stuff, for example:

1.  ‘c’ says ‘s’ when filled by e, i or y

2.  ‘v’ and ‘u’ can’t have the last word (meaning in English we don’t end words in ‘u’ or ‘v’

3.  ‘g’ may say ‘j’ when followed by ‘e’, ‘i’, or ‘y’

There’s about 29 of these rules, about half I’d never heard before!  Although my children don’t seem to be quite as enthused as I about this fascinating new world where the English language has started to make more sense, they did say they are having fun at school again!  That alone would have been worth it but knowing that many vowels have more than just short and long sounds also rocks.

 

 

 

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Addie’s House 2

Back to Arkansas where the only time I think about my hair is to check for spiders before calling it a day.  How about a little look inside?  Truthfully we still haven’t had the opportunity to fully assess the inside of the house.  A family member uses the house for storage and until we get everything moved out, we’re not really sure about how everything looks within.

Part of the back room of the house.

Part of the back room of the house.

Talk about the land of the lost, this house seems to be where things go to be forgotten, but try to look past the stuff and get a glimpse of the floor……I’m sensing some interesting things there.

Here's the other side of the room, whoa look at that natural light streaming through the bathroom.

Here’s the other side of the room, whoa look at that natural light streaming through the bathroom.

Time to roll up our sleeves and get cleaning.

Child labor is highly helpful, you should see this kid suck up the dearly departed wasps with the shop vac!  Who needs video  games with fun like that?!

Child labor is highly helpful, you should see this kid suck up the dearly departed wasps with the shop vac!   Who needs video games with fun like that?!

Many, many sweaty hours later we were able to clean out three rooms.  This whole exercise was a huge motivation for living simply!

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Hey, where'd the kids go?

Hey, where’d the kids go?

What the......

What the……

Nothing quite like building traps in the sand-like Arkansas soil while tethering yourself to the porch!

Nothing quite like building traps in the sand-like Arkansas soil while tethering yourself to the porch!

What else sounds like fun?

Sawing some stuff down?

Sure, never done that before!

So much harder than I imagined!

So much harder than I imagined!

Just keep breathing, arms must keep moving.  It's gotta come down eventually....

Just keep breathing, arms must keep moving. It’s gotta come down eventually….

That little 2 inch tree was my Everest, so darn proud of myself!

That little 2 inch tree was my Everest, so darn proud of myself!

Lastly, found this little inspiration for the house “skirt”.  We will probably only be able to do this in the front and use lattice around the sides and back, but I think it’ll compliment the house perfectly.

photo via the internet

photo via the internet

Hope you’re enjoying our Arkansas adventures, until next time!


Repopulation of the Night Furies

Meet Toothless, the lovable night fury from How to Train Your Dragon

Meet Toothless, the lovable night fury from How to Train Your Dragon

Halloween is nearly upon us and it’s a big holiday in our family.  My kids begin discussing costume possibilities in July.  This year my son made his proclamation in August, “I want to be Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon“.  I start trying to visualize some half-homemade type creations I can bang out for him.  Then in September, my daughter’s got her final choice, “I’m going to be Toothless too.”  Hmmmm.
“Did you check with your brother?”

“Yup, we are both going to be Toothless.”

“Okay, sounds good”.

Better than good, my job just got easier.

Then both my kids mention they are over trick-or-treating, they just want to hand out candy this year.

WHAT?  What kind of children have I raised that running from stranger to stranger and collecting all the contraband I never allow is now passé at the ripe ages of 7 and 9 years old?

So I decide we’ll find a party to attend all together and bring some spark back to this family favorite.  But now my husband and I need costumes………

“What if your dad and I also go as Toothless.”

“Oh yeah!  This is going to be awesome.”

“Yes, we’ve obviously been working on repopulating the night furies since the last movie came out.” (I think I’m very clever to work this all in).

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Kids:  Hoodies from Target, Black knee high socks for the tails also from Target, packed the tailed with left over packing materials, I used garbage bags that I cut and sewed for the wings and tails, mask from Etsy.

Parents:  Hat found Target, Black dress (old)

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One afternoon of sewing and voila, all finished.

We’ll even dress up twice this year thanks to our first “truck or treat”.

Hope everyone has a nice Halloween!


Training gear

Like so many kids across the nation last month, my kids were glued to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, at ages 6 and 8, my kids could appreciate the drama, the agony, the triumph, the importance of these nations coming together in competition and celebration.

Snowboarding, in particular, made a huge impression.  After hearing the story of Canadian Mark McMorris, Bronze medalist for Slopestyle, who grew up wake boarding and skateboarding in preparation for snowboarding, they couldn’t get on their scooters fast enough, “to begin our training”, they said.

As you can imagine their first runs at riding horizontally on scooters without holding the stick  ended up with bloody knees and hands.  What’s a mom to do?  Run out and buy knee pads, wrist guards?  Nope, old socks to the rescue!

Future Olympian.....no pressure, though.

Hands:  Old kid socks, toes removed for fingers, small hole in the “heel” for thumbs.

Knees:  Old adult socks “feet” removed, ankle portion used for knee protection.

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Winter Olympics 2022, here we come.


It’s beginning to look a lot like…..

image via google

image via google

I love this time of year, people don’t look at me like I’m nuts while I sing Christmas carols and window shop to my heart’s content!  Whether you are into non-material gifts or can’t fill your Amazon gift cart fast enough there is a gift list out there for you.

This gift list has ideas ranging from $8.00 to hundreds of dollars, I appreciate that in a list, plus it introduced me to a few new online stores which is a gift in itself!

If you are interested in “green gifts” or gifts that give back or social change gifts there is something for you in this list.

A friend recently sent me this link which has fun and very specific lists, for example “the ten best natural beauty gifts”.

As for non-material gifts, there are lists for that too but I couldn’t find one I was happy to link to, so here is the 800arrows Guide to Non-Stuff Gifts.

1.  Memberships:  museums, aquarium, zoo, CSA (here’s a link for a farmer near you).

2.  Classes:  Tennis, Horseback riding, sewing, knife skills, how to make cheese

3.  Time:  Babysitting hours, reading aloud, doing dishes

4.  Donate on their behalf:  Something in tune with your loved ones values,  this site has some ideas, scholarship funds

Whether you are giving movie tickets or a month of “hugs on demand”,  embrace these lovely words from Winston Churchill today and everyday:

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Have a holly jolly Christmas,  Merry Kwanzaa,  Happy Hanukkah,  Wondrous Winter Solstice,

And happy festivus for the rest of us!

 

 

 


Today is a gift

gift

Last night my daughter, age 8, and I had dinner on our own.  Here’s a snippet from our tete-a-tete:

Me – You think you’ll like to drive when you are 16?  Maybe take some road trips?

Her – Mom, let’s just live in the present.

Also, here’s a game I’ve been playing when sitting at stop lights, waiting in lines, etc.

Someone tells you, “You have two weeks to live.”

GO.

Sure, it’s not as fun as playing Dots….but do you really want to spend your last two weeks playing phone games?

 


Buffy the wise

photo via google

photo via google

I know John Huges is supposed to be the “movie whisperer” to teenagers and young adults of the mid-80’s to 90’s.  But I would argue that where John left off, Joss picked-up.  Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and a slew of other shows that most people did not watch.  “Buffy” ran from 1996-2003 coinciding beautifully with most of my own coming of age years.  Interestingly, thanks to Netflix, I have seven seasons of Buffy at my fingertips and nights when even a YA book will not suffice I turn to Buffy.  As I watch now, as a late thirty something, I am astounded at how many “after-school program” type messages are hidden under the guise of demons and cool outfits……and way better writing and acting.  Feel like a misfit, check.  Dealing with a broken heart, check.  Dad issues, check.  There is a Buffy episode for almost every young adult issue that ails you.

In fact, I think Joss does one better than Mr. Hughes, for the ladies at least.  I stopped waiting for Jake and his Porche and Blain in his tux.

Jake

photo via google

Blaine

photo via google

After watching Buffy and Angel split up, something clicked, I had a new version to happy endings.  Buffy saving her loved ones from super evil WAS the happy ending, it was my long awaited end to the Cinderella syndrome!  Thank you Mr. Whedon for helping me look beyond the glass slipper, I’m eternally grateful for that and all the sassy fashion sense I gleaned from your show.