Monday, October 31, 2005
We held it at the new playground/park. I love that the play area is fenced in. The kids went in and played while the women chatted and the men (except Leslie, the one girl playing) played flag football. I designated myself "class photographer" and ran around getting photos of everyone. When I got home I burned the photos onto CDs to hand out next Sunday in class. In this picture our friend, Corey, is mid air catching the football! Daniel is on the left in a blue shirt and blue jeans. It was pretty funny watching all these normally sedentary adults turn into NFL wannabes. They were throwing themselves into the air, making dives, rolling across the grass, all in an attempt to rip socks off each other's bottoms or snag the (often fumbled) ball. Most of the folks in these "20-somethings" classes are between about 28 and 40 years old. You wouldn't know it from the determination and antics on the field this day, though!
Here are the pictures of some of the face painting the girls had done last Saturday at the mini-mall. Aren't they great! I wish the photos could really capture the shimmer from the glitter. Of course, that same glitter got in their eyes when they rubbed them. The girls really felt pretty going to their friends' birthday party and the costume contest later on. Everywhere we went people noticed their pretty faces. Then again, that happens even without the face paint!
We all had fun! I even played air hockey with Gloria and shot some hoops on the basketball game. Then the girls and I rode on the little scooters together. You sit down on them and then wiggle the handlebars to make them go. It's based on the same principle as roller skates.
Danya buddied up with Kayleigh and they held hands and helped each other climb on alot of the different rides. I can't believe how much energy those kids had! It made me tired just to watch! The birthday girls got a TON of presents and I have no idea how their mom's managed to keep them all separated since they opened them side by side. Their moms are nurses together at a local hospital, so they're probably used to working together. After they had cupcakes and juice and opened gifts all the kids ran back and played some more until the end of the party.
Danya was so cute! She's been singing these songs all around the house for weeks. Before the performance started at the mini-mall, the DJ played some good music and some of the kids broke into spontaneous dancing. Danya played it cool...she just kind of swayed a little and tapped one foot, lol. After her choir left to go to the next event, we stuck around and let Gloria jump in the jupiter jump and get her face painted. Later that day we brought Danya back to get hers painted too. They had a professional artist doing the painting and she did a beautiful job!
We also bought a kit for a whole set of weather experiments at a new store there. We're planning to use them this week during homeschooling. It was really cold outside at the mini-mall. Danya was so sweet, sitting next to her older friend in the choir, Mylyssia and putting her arm around her to help her stay warm. You can see Mylyssia in the orange shirt standing behind Danya in the photo. She's got a broken arm. We also got to watch a karate demonstration and some dancers perform. It was a fun event. Gloria even sweet talked a worker into giving her a balloon that was supposed to just be for decoration!
We got some strange looks from employees who came through there, but mostly they were just amused by the girls. We played "Donde es..." with Spanish flashcards. I would name something in Spanish and show them the picture and then they'd run around the room or to the giant windows and point out the object yelling "Aqui!" I even threw in a few tough ones like instead of just saying, "Donde es la mesa?" I added, "Donde es la mesa circulo?" and Danya paused for a moment and then ran straight to the circular table over by the television! Gloria even got one or two before Danya did!
At one point we had to be extra quiet while doing addition flashcards because someone was getting interviewed for a job at the next table. I was just happy that the girls managed to stay focused and get so much accomplished despite being in a strange location. It might have had something to do with my bribing them. They got to have some candy out of the snack machine when their work was finished. We got done just in time as Daniel came back downstairs from his meeting and we went off to dinner in the city and then on to church for the girls Awanas classes. I LOVE the freedom and flexibility that homeschooling offers!
Saturday, October 29, 2005
So we walked home and got the girls into their costumes. Daniel was sleeping still. The girls and I had a good time. It was from 6 to 9 pm, so it was dark, but they had the area lit well enough to see. They played, got their hands painted, since their faces were already painted, and walked around looking at all the emergency vehicles. We even got to go on a hayride in the dark along the pathways around the park.
The best part was when they decided to climb into the back of the ambulance. They started asking the EMT all kinds of questions. They wanted to know what every single item and piece of machinery was for. He was an excellent teacher! He patiently explained everything to them, some things twice. I learned alot just listening! We found out that even though the gurney says it can hold up to 500 lbs, they really can't put more than about a 350 lb person on it. Instead they remove the rail it sits on, and then slide the person onto the floor of the ambulance.
As we were getting ready to head home at about 8pm, they announced the start of the costume contest. The girls really really wanted to do it, so I told them they could be in it only if they promised not to get upset if they lost. But guess what? Danya won first prize!! She got a $15 gift card for Wal-mart. They also gave out items donated from the new YMCA being built nearby. Gloria got the first basketball because her birthday was the closest (the day before)! Then they threw t-shirts to the crowd and I caught one! When we got home we woke Daniel up a few minutes early to tell him all about it before he left for work. I gave him the t-shirt and the girls practically jumped up and down in their excitement to tell him everything.
I told Daniel that with all the things we had learned about the ambulance, and the other things we'd done that day, I was going to count it as a homeschooling day. It's amazing how learning happens so often when it's unplanned, unexpected, and still surprisingly fun!
The crosswalk in front of the store was painted with little white fish instead of normal lines. They were overwhelmed by the giant two story waterfall pouring into a real fish tank. After seeing their enjoyment here, Daniel and I both agreed we have to take them to a real aquarium. Daniel pointed out all of the different fish in the tank that can each be found in Oklahoma lakes and rivers. The girls discussed why some fish might need super long noses and why others had whiskers.
We walked around and upstairs looking at all the different stuffed animals (and I don't mean teddy bears). They stroked the fur on a deer, buffalo, mountain lion, bear, raccoon, and a few others. We showed them the foam deer that hunters use for target practice and how they outline where the heart and lungs and liver were. Daniel played a giant target shooting game. Finally, we followed the various animal tracks in the floor. The girls played like they were hunters tracking paw prints around the store. When one trail ended they'd just pick up the next nearest one and follow it.
There was also a mini NASCAR that the girls sat in for a picture and pretended to drive. We talked about the tree stands for hunters and why it was important to be where an animal couldn't see you or smell you and to be silent. We talked about the importance of good aim, so that you didn't just hurt an animal and let it run off and die in pain. We saw a display of a mountain lion about to sneak attack a big buck.
Daniel and I saw the giant buffalo and smiled, remembering how the first giant statue of a buffalo I ever saw was painted white and far off in the distance. Daniel and I were teenagers, and we argued about whether it was a large sheep or a buffalo as we drove closer to it in the church van. He still teases me over that, but I don't mind. This was a really fun activity as a family. Daniel and I agreed that this is where we're going to get our Dad's Christmas gifts from this year!
Friday, October 28, 2005
We had the house cleaned and a semi-low point chocolate cake baked. Gloria was thrilled that she was officially four years old! We sang Happy Birthday to her that night and she just grinned from ear to ear! She had already opened the last of her presents from us that morning.
The kids played games and acted like kids, getting into trouble now and then, but mostly just having fun. Stan brought a game called "Trump" and taught us how to play it. I didn't do very well, but Daniel and Leslie were pretty competitive and it looked like a tight race until the end when Leslie blew the competition away! This definitely wasn't "my game", but we all enjoyed playing together and just hanging out talking to other adults. We told them that next time they came we'd get to pick the game!
The cake was really good, and the kids wound up the evening by watching a kids' video with dancing puppets. What is it about grownups in giant animal costumes that fascinates kids? We had to call it a night at 9pm since Daniel had to be at work in an hour. The Davis' are fun to spend time with and I can't wait to do this again!
One of the presents was the National Geographic "Dino Xcavator" game from Target. It's like "Operation" but with a dinosaur. The girls loved it and I loved that it was a nice culmination to our homeschool week of studying dinosaurs. Next time we'll try playing it with the question cards, but for today they just practiced getting the bones out without touching the sides and making the T-Rex roar!
Some other gifts she got today were two Barbies which she immediately shared with her sister, "one for you and one for me!", a wooden truck for her and Daddy to assemble together (it comes with a screwdriver and all the parts to make a jeep), and a Mickey Mouse "bop bag" that she enjoyed whooping the snot out of all day long. She likes to "punch" our palms and sometimes pillows for play, so we figured it would be a "hit" (pardon the pun) and it was! With these birthday presents she may either be a paleontologist someday or the next "Ali".
Flarp. It even sounds gross. You can hear her maniacal giggles all over the house followed shortly by the squelching bubbling gassy sounds of Flarp. She thinks it's the funniest thing ever made. She smulches her hand down into the can smushing the pink goo to make rippling rat-a-tat-toot sounds and blames it on everyone in the family. She finds it hilarious to say, "Ewww! Mommy! Say Excuse me!" I thought only boys found bathroom humor funny. How wrong I was! Whatever happened to my delicate little princess? Actually, I don't think she ever fit that description. Her Daddy and I are soo proud.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
This post is for Lori, my SDS sister from Boot Camp Buddies. She rightly pointed out that I should be in more photos on my blog. So here ya go, Lori! Trust me, when I'm down closer to my goal it will be impossible to keep me OUT of every photo, lol! In this picture I'm wearing my current favorite pants, and they are snug on me. They're size 18. When I'm down closer to an 8 I will have a deep NEED to show off my cuteness.
In the meantime I'll just rejoice in my almost 12 pound loss over the last 3 weeks! Woohoo! No cake could taste as good as losing the weight feels!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
She was so excited when she got home she ripped open the packaging on all her presents. She had paper, stamps, dishes, and clothes scattered all over the living room. She was so cute at the party, saying thank you for gifts before she even got them opened.
The best thing about the party for Gloria was that her beloved "Mr. Rick" came to her party. She talked about him constantly and lit up when she saw him. Mr. Rick was her Sunday school teacher until recently. They have a special bond.
Gloria certainly had a great birthday party!
She looks so beautiful. She kept admiring herself in the mirror. The mirror she's looking into is actually the new mirror for Danya's bedroom door. It fell off. We haven't found a way to hang it (that lasts) yet. We're trying to avoid putting nail holes into her door. They've spent alot of time dressing up and posing in front of this mirror. I'm just imagining what it will be like when they are teenagers!
The series is Disney's Small World Library, and you can find a few of them on Amazon.com for less than a dollar. The girls really like these and they learn alot from them. At the end of each book there is a series of "Did You Know?" little facts about the country and the story.
Books have become such a big part of our homeschooling. It makes it alot easier for me to pick a topic for the week and find about 5 books on the subject (one for each day). I feel more like we learned something that week that I can specifically talk about with them other than just grammar and math.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Today we used the Electric Kit and we also have Radios, Phones, and Telecommunications which is really cool because Daniel works in Telecomm. Here's a link to see some of the project kits in the series that we picked up Projects for Kids.
Danya: "Mommy, I think I know now why you tell us not to touch things in the store."
Danya: "You always say that if we break something you'll have to buy it. Well, sometimes I think I should break it because then we could buy it and take it home."
Me: "You do?!?" (hadn't thought of that)
Danya: "Yes, but I've been thinking about that. If it was broken, it wouldn't be any fun to play with." (smart kid!)
On the way home we stopped at the local elementary and we all played on the playground. It's fall break for public school kids, so the school was deserted. Danya did great on the monkey bars! She's learned how to go all the way across by herself! Looking at this picture you probably can't tell that she had just fallen off her bike a couple of minutes before. Daniel did some pull-ups on the monkey bars, too. The girls had a race down the tandem slides. It's been a while since we've played on this playground. We all really enjoyed it. I wish we could have stayed longer, but Daniel is working overtime at work today. He had to be there by 3pm to work the swing shift.
The four of us left our girls with the babysitter and went out to see "Elizabethtown" with Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. It was strange and I think they could have done it a little differently and it would have been easier to follow, but it was worth watching. Maybe a rental, though. We just had a great time hanging out and talking, laughing together over the rediculous previews that are coming out. The kids behaved for the sitter. We will definitely have to do this again!
Monday, October 17, 2005
While baking, Danya got in trouble for something and Daniel asked her what she thought her punishment should be. She said she should go to her room and not get to watch Gloria finish mixing the cookie mix. It's funny how kids will think up tougher discipline than their parents would have had the heart to enforce. So that's what Danya did. She did get to be the one to frost it and add the sprinkles, though. I'm trying to find a place to buy new cake pans for the oven. The one we have is missing one. They sure thought it was great using their little pink Barbie measuring spoons. I've decided that I HAVE to learn how to cook better so that I can teach the girls how.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Thanks, Toni, for sending me photos of Riley!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
So this diorama kicks off our creature lessons. We also got some neat Reader's Digest videos that explore different regions of the world. They've watched one about Egypt and life in the desert there. Today they'll be watching another about the desert in Australia. I've been having trouble finding truly age appropriate books about Egypt for the girls. So we've also done little mini readings about another topic of interest for the girls, Greek myths. They watched Disney's "Hercules" recently, so we spent a day reading some stories about other Greek myths and a more accurate version of the Hercules myth. Here's a link to the book they liked best: Why Spiders Spin It's called "Why Spiders Spin: A Story of Arachne" by Jamie and Scott Simons. I thought it tied in nicely with last week's bug theme, too.
We got Danya a big art pad and we picked up some real paint for homeschool art projects. We've been using the little watercolors. We also ate at their snack bar. My favorite things there are popcorn and a pretzel to dip in cheese. It's a once in a while snack, but we all love it. I was kind of worried when I saw that they sold Pizza Hut products there too, but they still had the regular things too. We bumped into a friend from our previous church, Cari, and got to see two of her munchkins. We spent a couple of hours, all told, at Target before we were ready to leave.
Target is definitely going to be on the top of our shopping stops for this Christmas!
Speaking of Halloween, we still don't have a costume for Danya. We've tried convincing Daniel that we should all dress up like the Dukes of Hazzard ever since we saw a Bo Duke costume Daniel's size at the store the other day, but he doesn't seem real thrilled about the idea. Gloria said she'd be Boss Hogg and Danya said she'd be Daisy Duke. Nobody wanted to be Uncle Jesse, but I think that would be a great costume! Oh well, we'll keep looking for good ideas.
The girls decided to use their new chairs to create little beds in the living room. They were so cute, snuggling and giggling together. You can't see it in the picture, but they both have their feet up on two other Dora chairs like the ones in the picture. This week I've been limiting their t.v. watching more, so they've spent more time playing quietly together or inventing new ways to make a huge mess in the living room. Actually, they're getting pretty good at that.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
The thing I learned 8 years ago was: "No is a complete sentence." I used to say yes to everyone. I over committed myself. The reason of course was that I wanted to please everyone and have everyone like me. What would then happen is that I would get resentful of the person who had asked me to do something. I then would either lie to get out of it or I would do it and feel angry about it. I was so good at being the victim/martyr. I would then feel bad about myself and angry at myself that I couldn't stand up for myself. This lead into a vicious cycle of eating to push down the anger. Which then made me feel even worse about myself and then I would eat again.Then a very special person in my life told me: "Linda, no is a complete sentence." I have learned that when someone asks me to do something I don't have the time or the need to do, I just say no. I don't have to give elaborate excuses or explain why. I can simply say no. I then have time for me. If someone liked me because I said yes all the time, they didn't like the real me. They liked the phony me. I didn't used to have relationships, I took hostages. If I said yes, I expected something in return. Today that is no longer the case. The people who like me today like me for who I am. I like me today because I finally know who I am.When someone offers me food that isn't part of my program, I simply say "no thanks". No other explaination is needed. I have learned that when I say no to someone else,I am saying yes to me. Yes to being healthy. Yes to taking care of me.
Here's a link to the post and the site: Bootcamp Buddies
Wish me luck. My starting weight (SW) is 206. My goal weight (GW) is 140. I'll post updates as I go along at THIS blog Weighing Me Down, not my homeschooling/family blog.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
We ended up deciding against getting them a new table. Instead we just got them some new chairs. Their old chairs were broken. The screws just kept falling out. They've had their little Dora table for about 2 years now. The paint is peeling, but otherwise it's still in pretty good shape. We found some cute plastic Dora chairs for just a couple of dollars a piece. They're kind of flimsy, but the girls like them.
This week and last we were studying insects. We read some books about ladybugs and made our own out of paper plates cut in half and joined at the top with brads. The girls painted butterflies and used pipe cleaners and toilet paper rolls to make butterflies. We read about the life cycle of a queen bumble bee, here's a link to the wonderful book we read The Bumblebee Queen
I just got back from the library today. Danya helped me pick out some books about the desert for next week. We are going to learn about the land and the animals. If the girls enjoy it this week, then next week we will cover ancient Egypt and pyramids. We are trying to plan a trip to the "Little Sahara" desert in NW Oklahoma within the next couple of weeks to go along with our lessons.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
At the second area, the lady had a flute. She taught them the parts of the flute, discussed music in general, and played them a few songs. The kids really loved it when she started taking requests and improvising some of the tunes on the spot! It was so sweet that the kids all asked for bible songs that they knew and loved.
The kids played in a haybale maze and then we all went for a hay ride pulled by a tractor. They also ran through a small obstacle course. A lot of them rough housed on the big teeter-totter. Then the ladies in charge of the pumpkin patch had the kids sit at a picnic table and they served them juice and cookies for free! I was really impressed by the hospitality, friendliness, and organization of the whole event. The girls and I each picked out a pumpkin, then we went out to lunch with my friend, Betsy, and her two girls.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
1. Danya got picked to make an electricity chain with other kids during a science experiment show!
2. They danced up a storm during the musical performance of the "Raggs Kids Club" band. Here's a link to the Raggs website: http://www.raggs.com/
3. They got fake tatoos, colored fish, built block towers, rode kid-size tractors, milked a cow, planted seeds and "harvested" plastic vegetables.
4. We watched an exciting dog show with dogs that could do back flips and leap over kids to catch frisbees.
We also met a lot of very kind people. When we first parked at the fair and got out of our van, a woman gave us tickets for five dollars off the ultimate ride passes. So we decided to go ahead and get the ride passes for the girls. That meant that they could only ride kid rides since we couldn't go with them on the rides they were slightly too small for. Then when the girls were getting on the swings the attendant told me I could ride with them for free! Glory really wanted to ride the ferris wheel, but couldn't because she had to have an adult with her. Then another woman who was leaving the fair gave us her 2 extra tickets! So Daniel rode the ferris wheel with the girls. The whole day kept going like that. There were generous, friendly people everywhere we went. I love the state fair!