Monday, July 30, 2012

Starting to Say Goodbye

I sold the formal dining room table today. We won't have space for it in the new house and needed the cash to pay for some of the small expenses that pop up when you build. As I sat in my empty formal dining room I had my first real emotional response to our big move, I cried.

You need to know that I am not a "things" person. That is, I don't get emotionally attached to things. I can easily purge and I don't feel the need to keep every thing my children have touched. Things are easily replaced and other than a few extra special items such as a few baby clothes (and by few I mean 2 maybe 3 items) and pictures, I am not truly attached to things. This is why my reaction surprises me so much. But as I sat there on a chair, which is also being sold, staring into the empty space that used to be filled with the dining table, I was suddenly overwhelmed with memories. We have only been in this house for 3 years, yet I was shocked at how many wonderful memories we had already made. While none of my children were born here, and in fact Brianna has moved 3 times in her 8 years, they did so some "growing up" here. Maybe the fact that I spend such an unusually large amount of time with my children has made the memories collect faster, maybe this move is different because instead of moving two streets over we are moving clear out of the city, maybe I have associated this house with being where my last baby learned to crawl, walk, talk, and is now a nearly 4 year old little boy, maybe I am having a fight with my vanity and am wondering if maybe I do really want a big fancy house. I don't know at the moment.

I remember hosting a House Party for Wii Just Dance. I will spare you the photos. I am sure my friends appreciate that too. Even as I type this the scene playing in my head makes me laugh out loud. I remember family holidays with my house packed with people, countdowns to Disney, fish frys, Grandma Shirley visiting from England,  summer days spent on the water slide outside, the two freak winters where we got a foot of snow and we spent hours outside building a snowman that a teen decided to decapitate.  I remember how excited I was when my husband painted our school room and when Brianna and Keira learned to ride their bikes on our street. I remember making fairy houses along the walking trail and surprise trips to the community park. I remember...

 Right now it is all becoming real and during random moments it seems to all catch up with me. But that is ok because I know this is right. I know this is where we are being led and I know that the new house will offer us memories and experiences and that one day I will be able to call it home.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

List of Educational Documentaries

Picture Credit
Being a homeschool "activist" I love watching videos on education. It is incredibly interesting to get a peek into just how the system is run. As with all documentaries none of these are without some bias, but usually there is enough truth to make them well worth watching. Here are a few of my favorites. Be sure to check out Netflix if you  have a subscription. Many of these can be found there.

1. Waiting for Superman. Follows the story of five families trying to get into better schools (usually charters) through a lottery program. I highlights the pressures put on children to perform for standardized testing and entrance exams.

2. Children of Cesar. My personal favorite so far, Dr. Voddie Baucham addresses the topic of education and the Bible. It is basically a recorded sermon with some graphics, but Bro. Baucham is very easy to listen to, even for someone like me who usually doesn't care for audio or video sermons.

3. Indoctrination. Another Christian perspective on the damage the public school system is doing to our youth.

4. Race to Nowhere. This one hits mainly on the homework problem in the public school system. Is homework necessary and if so how much should each child have?

5. Teached. Controversy over teacher tenure and inequality in urban and minority areas is covered in this documentary.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Zumba - The Class that Makes You Want a Clinky Skirt

I was drug by my meanie friend/torturer/exercise-forcer-onner to the local YMCA for Zumba class.  She promised it was going to be fun.  I showed some hesitation, more for her benefit than mine, as she likes to feel like she has influence over people, so she basically told me that I had to have a broken limb to get out of going and told me that she would be picking me up at 5.  (I told you she was mean!)  After briefly toying with the idea of breaking one of my own fingers or something, I said ok.


At a little after 5, she arrives and we leave to go Zumba.  Another friend was there for the torture Zumba class as well, and at 5:35 we entered into the chamber room.  There were several people there and I was pleased to see that everyone was not skinny and 5'9", well one lady was, but I will get to her in a minute.

We sat our things down in the corner of the room and stood, waiting for the instructor.  Suddenly, I hear my friend saying, "Girls, we have to move our stuff, because it is in SOMEONE ELSE'S SPOT."  Friend met someone meaner than her that announced our bags and bottles of water were encroaching upon her territory.  So, we moved our things a bit further down the wall.

Speaking of the walls, all the walls have mirrors from ceiling to floor.  Pfft.....  I have not seen that much of myself all at one like that since the last time I tried on clothes and had to stand in front of those three way mirror things.  Hmmm, I was with torturer/friend that time too.  I am seeing a pattern here.

Anyhoo, the instuctor walks in and the class gets started.  It was a cross between wiggling everything on your body that can possibly wiggle - ON PURPOSE I MIGHT ADD AND THE MORE IT WIGGLED, THE BETTER - and aerobics.  The instructor was very difficult to follow and midway through I was doing some sort of twisty butt thing and essentially broke my knee.  How did I manage that, you ask?  You have to do a twisty knee thing to do the twisty butt thing, or at least that is the only think I can figure out.

The tall skinny chick I mentioned earlier knew how to do all the twisty things and made them look easy and fun.  She was wearing this clinky skirt and made it jingle jangle in a way I would never be able to manage.  She was clinking with rythm.  I suspect that if I were to have the clinky skirt, the only reason it would make any cool clinky noises at all is because of all the wiggling the wiggly parts of me do without trying.

So my verdict for now?  It was not fun. But I was told that was because of this particular instructor and that I should not pass judgement without going to another class.

But, I will have one of those clinky skirts no matter what!
My new choice of grocery store wear!

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Free Lesson Planning Pages from Around the Web

It is that time of year when the majority of homeschooling moms and some dads are getting busy. We have bought and sold curriculum and now have most of our "stuff" otherwise known as educational opportunities for our kids.  It is now time to clear the fog leftover from homeschool conventions and the heady scent of new curriculum.  We do this by planning.

You gather all your books and papers and laminated things and excitedly sit down.  A bouquet of freshly sharpened number twos grace the table next to your cup of hot whatever and your dominant hand.  You are sitting in a position that says, "I mean business, Y'all."  The only thing missing is a lesson planner.  You can buy one. There are lots of good ones. But, there are also those that are free.

Here are some favored links to free, create your own, lesson planners!

  1. The first, and one of my favorite resources: Donna Young
  2. This is a new one I have ran across, complicated looking, geared toward public schooling, but I know some homeschool moms will probably love it - Lesson planning in the cloud -
  3. This one is a KISS (keep it simple stupid) - Super Teacher Worksheets (opens a PDF file)
  4. Another KISS one that is all on one page from MeetPenny (opens a PDF file)
  5. Here is one geared towards Catholics - But I am willing to bet a protestant could use it too...
  6. This is cute for littler ones - Tot School
  7. This is one for Five In A Row
  8. A free one from Teachers Pay Teachers (A very nifty site, too!)
  9. Beautiful pages from Notebooking Nook 
  10. A free one from TeachingMy3 at Teachers Notebook
There you go. Ten awesome places to start.... I have to say I was VERY tempted by 9 and 10 and I already have a lesson planner.....

OH and one more thing, Anna says that the posts with more images gets more attention so here is a cute cartoon for you.

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