Commander and I enjoy Homeschooling boys (Herogian, Hawk and Gluten), raising chickens, ducks, and dogs ( Penny and Casey), eating gluten free, surviving breast cancer, coach track and field, and loving God for every minute that He gives us to cherish our family.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blue's Clues Advanced

T13 and I were watching his Algebra video to prep for the next lesson. We were doing equivalent expressions. 2(x+1) =(1+x)2=2x+2 is not equal to 2x+1.

Then there was 5x-x is the same as xxxxx-x=4x.   T11 walked by when the screen switched to five apples - 1 apple = 4 apples.  An easy example to make the material sink in.

"That looks like Blue's Clue Advanced."


We took Penny to a friend's house yesterday. The two dogs really play together well. They really don't have a fence, but we thought she would stay with their dog and not run through the north side brush or the south creek, or the barbed wire fence at the far end. WRONG. The barbed wire fence at the far end of the yard didn't stop her. Under she went to investigate the horses. Wearing large muck boots, I ran after her with the leash once she disappeared past the yard.  Iexpected her to get herself kicked in the head. A fat Shetland ponie was very interesting to her.  She followed the horses along the creek (Thank God for the deep creek) then she scared up a gray Crane or Heron. Can you say Birddog? I thought we were doomed to chase her all day. She loved the run, the kids all chasing her, me growling at her. The creek and a second fence finally turned her around. Our friend had returned with large doggie treats. Once Penny ran circles around everyone she got a whiff of the treat. Penny finally was caught  - freedom for a treat. T13 and I came huffing from the far end of the field to get the leash on her. What a day. We are now the owners of a Sportdog 400S shock collar.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homeschool Legal Defense Association - don't homeschool without it

I wouldn't. HSLDA has a lot to offer to the homeschooling family. I can't possibly describe all the links for information, guidance, tips, curriculum market, and options they have for the new or experienced homeschooler. They are also offering three months free so you can check them out before joining.
We have been members since we started in 2003. Having a membership is like having insurance - it gives you peace at mind. 
The membership is worth having, a resource that is reliable and there for you at all times. They also send out a magazine that lets you see what cases they are working on. You can check out your states information and be aware of any changes your state might be making to homeschooling regulations.
Underlying all this - I'm hoping five of you will join them over at the right of my blog so I can get our next year membership free.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

the height issue

T13 - Hawk - from now on - he names everything new HAWK ..... anyway, he told Commander yesterday," you're only taller than Mom when you wear combat boots and Mom is barefoot .... standing in a ditch."  

How well do you think that went over? Hawk had to run for his life, Commander was after his ribs for that one.

Then comes today. T11 and his buddy Cam are having a sleepover/sleepin all morning, in the game room. The room has no windows so it is dark in there. Commander steps into the room to go to the pantry and flips on the lights. He put away some groceries then stepped back out, stepped back in, flipped the light on again to see if either of the boys would wake. They didn't.

At noon when they were having breakfast, Cam asked, "who came into the room at 7:00 and turned the light on?" Commander laughed and let him know that it was 9:00 when he came into the room.
 "So who came in at 7:00 and went into your pantry?"
"That was me at 9:00."
"That was you? You really look a lot taller when I'm sleeping on the floor. I thought it was Mrs. Jane."

How well do you think that went over?
Commander told the three boys at the table that they would all marry women taller than them. I'm not sure if it was meant as a curse, or a blessing. I'll take it to mean a blessing. He has me, doesn't he?
This afternoon I was leaving to pick up Herogian at the Dog Hunting Trials on post (in the blowing snow) when I asked Commander to give me a kiss goodbye. He came to the door, stepped up onto the entry step and told me to stand in the ditch.

Friday, March 25, 2011

and the animals came .... 5 by 4

We had an explosion of animals at our house. THey started showing up at 4:15am.  Herogian stumble into the bedroom to tell me that a chick had hatched in the incubator in his room. "The chick is letting the whole world know she is here, Mom. She's loud."
I let him move to the couch for the rest of the night.
 The chick is now named Vanilla for the color of her feathers. She is a mix between a Golden Comet and (we think) an Americana Banty. She/ he will have feathers on her lower legs.
Throughout the day the other eggs started hatching. The first two to follow Vanilla were in their shells, and five minutes later they were out. Welcome Cocoa and Fritz. Then DeeDee and Terry (named for the neighbors that gave us the eggs) slowly came out of their shells. The last hasn't been named yet. It might be Tiny Might if the little one makes it through the night. The rest of the eggs aren't expected to produce. I must say 'Thank You Lord'.

The chickens weren't the only thing to multiply. You know how hard a time I have with saying 'no', especially when an animal is involved. We now have four Pekin ducks in the shed with the rest of the flock. I'm just going to say their owner was in a pickle and needed a home for them. Welcome to Patch, Chickapin, hedgewig, Pigsomething or another, I can't remember. They will be called, Patch, Chick, Hedge and Pig.
If you remember, there are still nine chicks, 3 weeks old in the trough, under a heat lamp, in the garage, that the boys picked out from T.S.C. Hawk, Nacho, Tortilla, Ruby, Cream, Soda, Root and Beer, and Red.

So we added 5 chicks and 4 ducks to the count.
 Arby and Julie, I see you both shaking your heads and laughing, You too, OKGRANNY. Enjoy your weekend. We are expecting snow tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Safety alert dog

Two post before this one tells you about T11 getting busted for playing his IPOD way past bedtime. You might want to read the story real quick just to know the background.

Today, we ended up on the internet looking at pictures of puppies - miniature schnauzer puppies to be exact. T11 really wants to have another one in the house. He wants it to be his. Don't blame him, I'd like to have one too, but this will be his lesson to learn in life.
Commander told him to make a Pro and Con list of having a dog. I tried to help him be realistic. Cute and snuggly really don't strengthen the PRO list. T11 was trying to get across that barking would be a good thing. I agreed that it would be good to have a dog downstairs with him, since he is the only one that sleeps in the lower room. I said we could put it down as a safety alert to warn him of danger.
T11 agreed - "Yeah, that would work, the dog could say,' Mom's hiding in the closet, turn off your IPOD'." He and I started laughing. Brothers were looking at us like we are nuts, so we had to explain the story to them. Then we were all rolling, and had to call Commander to get him in on the joke.

We wouldn't  have so much fun together in the middle of the day if they weren't homeschooled. Laughter is good medicine for schoolwork.
If you have any odds and end jobs T11 can do to make a little money, he'd like to do it. He pointed out that it would take him over 70 weeks to save enough money from his job chart. I didn't want to burst his bubble and remind him that there are only 52 weeks in a year.  I was pleased that he figured up how many weeks it would take him to save. At first he had Herogian and T13 offering to split the cost. I think he is on his own now.

Sometimes you have to have your chain yanked

Penny learned all about getting her chain yanked yesterday. We took Herogian and Penny to post to meet with the person in charge of the Dog Hunting Trials. He agreed to put Herogian and Penny through their basic steps of training to see how much they were accomplishing. All the different sounds, the traffic nearby, the leaves blowing in the wind, were distractions for Penny. She really had to focus on what Herogian told her to do - and when she didn't, the trainer yanked her chain and made her hop to. It was a good lesson. Herogain saw where his passive attitude toward detail can have an effect on Penny. It wasn't acceptable that she sat down when told, she had to sit beside Herogian's left side. It wasn't acceptable to look at Herogian and then decide whether or not she wanted to 'Come' when told to. She got yanked half the distance of the rope, and tugged in if needed. Then she received all kinds of love and a treat. By the end of the thirty minute session she was heeling beside him, sitting when told and coming. She even showed signs of learning the back and forth sweep they use when searching a field. But there was one piece of paper that kept blowing around the area, boy did it ever cause her fits. It finally flew right across her path and she pounced. Dead paper. A boy and his dog....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You're busted, again!

 I enjoy having a voice that can drop pretty low considering I'm a girl. From the dark recessess of the laundry room, peering through the french door shutters, a low voice does the trick when at 11:15 pm I find T11 playing games on his Ipod. "Take that upstairs to your father, right now!"  The glowing light fades, then blinks off, the boy sits in his bed with eyes unaccustomed to the dark. I slip out of the laundry room (his fan drowns out my movement) and step to the back door to let the dog in. He steps out of the room, hunched over, Quasimoto style (sp?) and slinks upstairs to the dark bedroom where Commander waits. The boy had been sent to bed over an hour before I arrived home from work.  I will find out in the morning what consequences will be initiated for this disobedience. It's nice having the Commander home to help set the boundaries.

Once again the boys and Commander are asking to move. THe neighbor boy "brat"clawed T11 today across the back of his hand -breaking the skin and causing it to bleed a little. THey were playing touch football and two people tagged him "brat" out - his older brother and T13. T11 stepped in when the child "brat"started swinging fist at T13. THey were trying to calm him"brat" down so they could keep playing. When his older brother went to tell his mom, she said it was late enough in the afternoon, they needed to come in for dinner. No discipline, no sorry.Brat controls the mommy.
 I'm praying about whether or not I should uninvite them to the homeschool P.E. group. THey say they are coming tomorrow. I don't want to turn this child "Brat" loose on unexpecting innocent children. There is no telling how he "brat"will lash out if he doesn't get his way. I need to do this gently in God's way, and not in my own bull in the china closet style.  So anyone have 40 acres of prime hunting ground with a house on it for sale, with a stocked pond? ( What else does Herogian want? Ummm.... turkeys, and deer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Homeschool P.E. class is kicking

Today was the first day of our spring session of homeschool P.E. My friend, Arby, (some of you know him) and I decided to reach out to the homeschoolers in the area with something our kids enjoy and something we do quite well together - play kid's games and coach. Last fall was tennis and flag football, this spring is kickball, handball (like kickball but smaller, softer ball hit with the fist, t-ball and softball. We might even throw in some good ole' dodge ball.

We had an amazing turnout of kids and parents. Numbers had to be close to thirty in all. The age range of players went from 4 - 16. The kids ran around the four baseball fields at the park when asked to, they lined up against the fence and picked teams, learned names, took turns at positions, and the only complaining I heard was when me, myself and I interferred with a play so that one of the little kids couldn't be thrown out. I stepped in the way of a throw while being infield coach. The throwee didn't like the interception and only said so once. So what, the little one got to first base, a big smile stretched from ear to ear. Taking an upclose hit from a soccer ball was worth it. They rotated into field twice in the hour time limit. Everyone kicked, ran the bases, and learned the basics of the game. Wednesday, we will split the group into younger and older groups so the bigger kids can throw their friends out by hitting them with the ball. 

You want to see socialization amongst kids? Go find a homeschool group to watch. The older kids help the younger kids run to the bases, there wasn't any yelling for dropping a ball, or flubbing a throw. No one was picked on for getting an out. Older kids would hand the ball off to younger ones so they had a chance to throw it. This is what homeschooling is all about, kids of different ages and adults all learning how to cooperate together and have fun. I don't remember ever seeing this kind of cooperation on a school playground when the age range was only 1 to 2 years difference. Yes, I've been a teacher; kindergarten through high school and division 3 college.

Homeschooling Rocks!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Every parent of public school children should hear this speech

This is from a post at The Homeschool Apologist ( you can find the link to the right side of the blogpage. "YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!"   The NEA chairperson list  his reasons for having so much money and power. It has nothing to do with striving to make education for the children better even though  he tries to slide that in there, it's about (teacher's getting  what they want in perks and salary) - my phrasing of his statement. UGH! The school system is so far on the socialism side of the board, it will make it easier in the future for our government to push the agenda to socialism and then communism since all the kids will think it is the norm.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Its been awhile

We are on our spring break. I'm doing things I didn't plan to do - burying a chicken the dog caught, having a homeschool garage sale, clearing snow off the steps, and working double hours at the store. Blogging, therefore, was pushed to the back burner. Hope you are having a great week enjoying the mix of spring and winter weather.

One of the birds flew the coop this week and landed in dog territory. Penny sure wanted something to play with, what better than a squeaky toy that flutters when you are a bird dog. She happily brought it to the back door. T11 saw her and screamed. Our friend Cam had picked this banty out of the bunch last year and she was named Camo for him. Herogian received the honors of burying the bird.

Yesterday I posted to our local homeschool group that I had books for sale. Today, before and after the St. Patrick's Day Parade was a great time for families already out and about to stop by. Yes. I still have a lot of books to offer if you're looking for any supplimental books, and also a bag of boy clothes I had stuffed in the attic. Just give me a holler. I'd love to pass it all on - clothes are free, books are almost free.

I've lined up our curriculum for school to finish us through high school. The only thing that might change is whether the course is taken at a local college for dual credits. I love to plan ahead, but I have learned to write it it pencil now.

Monday will start our spring session of P.E. with the local homeschoolers. My friend Arby and I will be coaching kickball, softball, and assorted similiar games. We've had a great response from the area. It will be interesting to see the age range that shows up and how many days a week most people show. We are planning for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for 1 hour. Not so much time out of the day to mess up the schooling schedule, but enough time to give the kids an incentive to quit lolly gagging around with work.

After reading this post, it seems like it has been a bit boring around here. Let's liven it up a bit.
Snake kill number 1 for the year happened today. T13 and I were tossing pieces of waste lumber on a burn pile. T13 sorta froze in his steps and whispered snake, his finger pointed to the pile of branches and leaves already in the pile. My reaction was automatic, I struck the thing over the head with the board in my hands then asked what kind was it. The neighbor boy (12) wasn't too happy that I'd killed one of God's creatures. So when we saw it's partner, we picked it up with a stick and moved it away from his younger siblings playground and took it to the woods. I'm sure his mother wouldn't have minded if I had clobbered the second one. I always think of the curse from Genesis when I see a snake. It is ordained that a snake will die by my heel.

Tomorrow at archery is 2d and 3d targets, camping out, 3d shooting again on Saturday (40 targets) and hopefully dinner out with the family. Chat with you soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

You Sandbagger!

That's what they were calling me at archery Friday night. It was all in fun!  If you remember, I started the league with my recurve which had the nock locator on in the wrong spot, the nocks were for compound not recurve, the sight fell off and then the limbs twisted with the new bowstring. UGH!
Friday night was our last night of league with award presentation at the end. I'm not positive on how they score, but it has something to do with improving your score each night counts as a win. When my team partner quit coming (an eight year old) I didn't expect to get anything but last place. Herogian and I were surprised to hear that my team won third. We received a nice mug (for rootbeer floats) with Tri-county logo printed in light green. The presenter then had to take some time with her computer to try and figure out which kid had the most improvement over the weeks. She started laughing because it was a BIG kid with 121% improvement. Herogian spoke out before she did, "It was my mom."  That's when the guys who have been coaching me, adjusting my sights and correcting my form decided to call me a "SANDBAGGER".
Last night I scored  273.  I was shooting for 280. Dropped 9 points in the first half. The gentleman next to me told me to quit counting them up. He dropped a total of about 4 for the night. Most of these guys shoot 290 and above. It's awesome watching them shoot.
I know what I'm putting on my birthday list - stabilizer.
Next Friday we start indoor 2D and 3D shooting. The following morning is the monthly 3D shoot of 40 targets placed throughout the woods and fields. Herogian, Commander and maybe the other two will be camping out with Herogian's new archery  friend and father. I of course claim the need to sleep at the house to take care of the dog, chicks, chickens, and incubator eggs.
Have a great Spring Break.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

camps for summer

We've been filling up the camp schedule for this summer. I think the boys will have a blast, if they'll just go. T11 has chosen to go to two church camps, boy scout camp and two weeks of science camp (4 hours a day with a sleepover). He's figured out that the weeks he is at camp are weeks  he won't have to do math in the summer.
Herogian and I just found him an animal camp with a Jr. Vet program. He'll do one week this year, then we will have to save and work his tail end off to pay for extra weeks next year. He will also do two weeks of 3 day clinics on skeet later in the summer. Don't know if I can get him to go to church camp or not, yet.
T13 he's the confusion. I thought he'd beg to go to this animal/science camp with Herogian, since they also offer spelunking, wilderness survival, and all kinds of out in the woods activities. He has reluctantly agreed to go to the science camps with T11 and their friend Cam. Can't get a commitment out of him either for church camp. Just can't seem to get a fire lit under his butt to get him off and going from the house. Will have to pray about sending him with a scrowl on his face that hopefully will turn into a smile by the end of camp week.

WHat do you have planned for the summer?

Monday, March 7, 2011

waiting for results but feeling good

This morning twittered away in three hours of sitting in the lab area at the local clinic having blood drawn at the start, 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 60 minutes. Thank goodness the woman with the needle does over 50 draws per morning. This woman is good, half the time you don't even feel the prick.  I did get a bit woozy and light headed with the glucose drink, but I didn't pass out or throw up, which I've heard people have done.  We'll wait and see if I need to moderate my diet more.

Herogian had his first 'fly tying' class at Cabela's tonight. He made three woolly buggers. He had two hour of tying, while I had two hours of writing. Loved it.

The weekend closed basketball season for us. T11's team went undefeated to win the 6th grade title. Second year in a row for the coaches. T13's team played like it was their first game of the season. They forgot how to dribble, shoot, and pivot. They did get second place out of the three teams, so they get a big hip, hip hoorah. It was actually a very comical game to watch, very entertaining. Inbetween the boys games was the 7/8th grade girls game. During a free throw attempt, one of the girls launched the ball to the plate at the rim and it stuck. The ball didn't even bounce. The referee had to do a lay-up run to jar the ball off the plate. Totally cool.

We have lost three of the banty chicks. We have also put about seven eggs in the incubator. I haven't checked it lately, I don't know if Herogian has snuck anymore in there (it's in his room so he has full responsibility for it). He's as bad as I am when it comes to chicks and ducklings.