Tuesday, February 28, 2006

No posts for 2 weeks!

Did I fall off the edge of the world?

Not quite, just been a little busy lately. The business is not too likely to let up, but that is good news. Anyways, I am learning how to manage it with humor and some actual work.

Work!!! What is work!!! work is when you push yourself to do something you really don't feel like doing right now. Everything else is just play!! And boys, do they play.

You will have to suffice with a summery of the last 2 weeks in the following words:

tired arms, stiff back, dark circles
Flighing high over lights and under tunnels
Razzle, Dazzle-where is reality?

Spirling sea shells
all staring at me with open eyes
anna nana banana

Friday, February 17, 2006

Idiot's guides

The idiot's guide to fish tanks doesn't know everything.

Do you know that when the temperature differential is large enough, that a vacuum can be created, emptying the fish tank in less than 2 hours?- yeh through the air hose.

Our fish tank was nearly empty when we came down from watching the movie tonight. So we emptied the rest of it be hand and removed the rocks. The startling conclusion: the out side of the fish tank was completely dry! So where was the leak?

Just to be certain our hypothesis is correct we took the empty fish tank to the basement bathtub where we are running a leak test overnight on it. If it doesn't leak, then we will scrub it and return it to its formal glory.

Where is the fish? Spending the night in a 5 gallon orange bucket.

Monday, February 13, 2006

School Report

Home School report
Feb 13, 2006
For Student: Galen

During Galen’s first 2 months in an exclusive home school environment we have seen a large amount of changes in him and how he functions in relation to society and family.

Galen has become more verbal. He will not only talk to you, but he will make eye contact and works hard to make sure your eyes connect with his while he is talking. He will talk in full sentences with no encouragement and about a variety of expanding interests. Galen will initiate conversations in the home, at Tae Kwon Do and in many other places. He has learned how to get attention by asking and we are working on polite conversation techniques.

Galen has also been exposed to music and now will spontaneously sing by himself and occasionally in group settings. Along with speech and music he has developed an interest in foreign languages, often repeating the phrases of Korean used in his tae kwon do class and also in listening and imitating DVDs played in Spanish. Now we are taking home duel language books from the library every week.

Galen is learning the importance of group and family work. He tries to contribute to the meals and has made a rather interesting yogurt desert. He also has learned how to make soups and sandwiches. His favorite item to make for every one is toast. He is also required to help with the dishes and has learned how to clean his room. It is his job to keep his room clean and in so doing it gets cleaned about 5 times per week.

Galen has been helping some in the care of his younger brothers. This has been a very good learning experience for him. He has learned and shows some empathy, patience and brotherhood through these dealings. As he learns to connect with his brothers he also learns to connect with the society around him.

Galen is largely on a self study program. We allow him to explore all topics he is interested in. He enjoys exploration via the internet and local libraries. Mother guides reading time and planned outing and activities.

Galen has flourished in this open ended environment. He has started a thirst for knowledge and I have seen a lot of play with many newly learned items.
Recently Galen learned about the immune system, then when I set him about the task of picking up a bunch of clear plastic bags in the living room he grabbed a handful of white bags, called them “White cells” and he set about having them eat the “bacteria” clear bags.

Academically we have seen strides made in his understanding of reading. However, it is still a challenge to get him to want to read to me. Part of the problem seems to lie in his understand of the text non-verbally. I believe he pulls a lot of meaning out of the pictures and often doesn’t even want to look at the words. He can read almost all 4 letter words, but still needs help focusing on and following the text.

On Math he can do basic, adding, subtracting, especially when given a story problem. I believe this shows that math is intrinsic to his understanding and look forward to building on his understanding in the future. We have introduced the concept of multiplying and dividing, but have not practiced it.

Galen is hesitant on the writing. He will not write unless he sees a good reason to. Therefore I have made him write requests for movies and TV time. We are still working on the basic forms, but he is constructing sentences on his own.

Galen has been exposed to the history of Americas, however it is not enough of an interest for him to recall most of the stories yet. He has learned the basic geography of North America and can point out some native inhabitants of north and South America in visual texts. He understands that Spanish is spoken in Mexico and is slowly absorbing information presented on their cultures.

Overall we are still just learning how to home school, but have seem much success for our family as a whole and for Galen individually. He has grown greatly in verbal abilities and with participating in group efforts. We look forward to continue his personal and academic growth here at home.

Mother and homeschooler

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Saturday, February 11, 2006

it must be hard

it must be so hard to be a boy with curly hair, everybody always calling you cute and reaching out to touch your hair. Never being taken seriously because the girls are all to busy mooning over your beautiful locks.

Ewie washed his hair tonight, as you can imagine it is the curliest thing on the planet right now- amy mover over, he's younger and cuter :)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Truths about marriage

I have a friend going through a rough time in her marriage,
so I've been trying to think about how to help. Words about the only thing I can come up with, since I have no right to dirrectly interfer.

1. Marriage is tough sometimes, but it is tougher not to be married (any more, especially if there are kids invovled. ) One can easily think divorce will get you out of your marriage challanges. It doesnt. It just puts you in a whole new and bigger ring of challanges.

2. Marriage is about relying on each other, for your physical and emotional needs.

3. Men need to feel needed. They need to know they can provide for your needs. They also need to feel appreated.

4. Women need to feel charished and special.

5. When a women appreactes her man (with cookies, a nice dinner or a hug and soft wispers of thanks) the man then feels free to do things for her. The more the women appreachates the man, the more the man can do.

6. When a man charishes a women, a women then feels like she can give physically to him, and great sex can happens.

7. When a man charishes his women, then the women is more able to appreachate the man.

8. When a women is angry or feels like the man didn't help enough, it is because she didn't ask him to help, and then didn't praise him enough when he did do it. Women can often just pitch in and help with other women, but a man is not that way, he sees it as interferring unless he is asked. He aslo has a narrow field of view. That is he won't even see the sheets ready for the bed, or the hamburger on the counter waiting to be browned. Women have to accept this a a fact about men and learn to ask- politly for the help she needs. Then she has to be paitent and give the man enough time to finish the task he is doing before starting yours.

9. When a women critizes a man, he takes it hard. It dirrectly shrinks the help center of his brain. The only way to sucessfully cristize a man is when it is posative critism, and also contains lots of praise for even trying it at all. Like if you send your man to the store for yogurt, and he comes back with the wrong brand. Thank him! Thank Him! he has charted un known territories because he loves you. Use the yogurt, happily. Next time he goes to the store, tell him the brand, size and flavor you want him to buy- write it down. Then praise him forever is he comes home with the right stuff.

10. Men are fagile creatures emotionally- we may not see it, but they are. So treat them that way. When there is a problem you need to dicuss with him. Find a nice quiet time, feed him some praise for what you see that you like, then calmly open up the dissusion floor with what you are seeing and how that makes you feel and think. Listen to his side, eco it back to him. Make sure you both understand each others positions, then mutually brain storm on how to solve the problem and decide together on the plan of action. Follow through. Make sure if the man has to do something that you give him enough praise and love over it.

11. Have I empithized praise, love and the power of posative interactions?

12. Think ahead, dealing with a man is not unlike dealing with a child. Don't assume they know what to do, and also dont assume you are doing everything right.

13. Cuddle!! physical closeness can help bring you together emotionally. If watching TV, sit next to eachother. Walk over to where he is reading, or playing just to rub his head, give him a gental hug. When he leaves, kiss him. When he comes home be happy he is home and greet him with a warm adn tender embrace. Tell him how much you need him. Make him his favorite pie and you will see those stars of love in his eyes.

14. Never say the D word. You know which word I mean. Don't say it, don't think it. It can make you stop working at marriage, which will lead to the D.

15. Take time to be togther alone. On dates, trips to the store, or for a few hours during the day when you both have the day off. You need time together with out the kids.

16. Work together, solve problems together, play together, pray together.

17.. See family and marriage as eternal in nature and act accordingly. Understand that it is the fundemental unit of society, and that a country's strength comes from the strength of its familes. Realise that there is nothing better for your child then to show love and respect for your other half.

Well, That's it. 8 years of marriage, and that is all I know.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Valentine Card

This is what happens when one plays with construction paper and glue as an adult.

Happy Valentine's day!

From our family to yours. :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

opps, forgot one

Hi- please make sure to visit all the posts today- or you may miss something cute and funny.

This is Clayton in his Eco Sprout Organic Cotton bear suit- we started calling him "Baby Bear" because of this outfit. :)

More posts

I cluster post- finally all the cute things happening get to me and cause me to share with you.

So here are some recent photos of my favorite subjects. . . (organic clothing & my kids)

Clay and his first cookie -

Galen and Ewan do science hands on.

Reasons why I love being a mom

I love being a mom, but I finally figured out what makes it all worth while.

It is the hundereds of really cute or sweet things your kids do each day. The really little things- like Clayton sticking his toungue out while he smiles at me. Ian's giggle. Ewan trying to understand the world around him, by processing it through his little logic circuts. And Galen oh- man I've got to tell you this one.

We had the missionaries over for dinner the other night. Galen was being himself, and right in the middle of dinner he stuck his hand in the light and made a shawdow puppet. "Butterfly" he said.

"Cool" said one of the missionaries "Can you do any more?"

Galen out both his hands together in a fist. "Rock"

And the days are just packed with these little split second smile makers. How can any one handle being a parent without being around thier kids enough to at least catch most of these wonderful little smile makers?

Kids- you make me smile, laugh and giggle.

Ok- one more little antidote.
I just got a bunch of new clothes in from a catalog, and was trying then on to see what I liked. There was an outfit I was waffling over because it was a touch too short. So I went upstairs to look in the mirror. Ewan saw me, piped right up and said "Look Galen, Mom looks beautiful!"
I decided to keep the outfit. :)

Is it just me?

Or is his improvement real?

My precious 7 year old, whom I took out of school this year to spend me time with can now read about 1/2 the things he sees. The other half he actually has to want to read before he knows what is says. Not only that but he has become a non-stop power house of constant communication and and has amazing amounts of eye contact. He can now wax elegant on all his favorite subject- mostly StarWars, but elegant he waxes (or at least as elegent as any 7 year old I can remember). I am personally blaming this on the cod liver oil. And it's only been 2 weeks. I'm just about sold on continue to spend large sums of cash on the strawberry flavored stuff. And the children beg for thier allowances of it every day.