Monday, March 31, 2008

We're trying another schedule.

Call us crazy, but we're going to try to wake everyone up at 5am. We'll get up, ready, eat breakfast, and have devotions before Jon leaves for work. Then the kids will clean up from breakfast while I get ready for our school day. When Jon is starting work at 7am, we should be starting school.

We might just have the patience to make this work. Our moms watched the kids last night so we could go on a date. We went to see an ApologetiX concert and enjoyed the time as a couple.

Now I better get to bed so I can get up!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Psalm 150

The kids are doing Y'KNOW (Youth and Kids Night Of Worship) this April in place of their usual spring musical. Kitty Kat has been asked to recite Psalm 150 as a part of the program. One of the methods that helps her remember passages is to draw pictures that represent the passage. Psalm 150 is a very good candidate for this method of memory. I suggested she try this to keep everything in the proper order and she got excited. Kitty Kat loves to draw. Today, she showed me her sketches and I snatched up the paper to scan it in. Her eyes got big and she said, "Maybe I should have made it neater." Her first draft was very good, however, I wanted to give her a chance to draw it to her satisfaction. Here is the result:

Psalm 150 (NIV)

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing
Praise him with the sounding of the
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with tambourine and
praise him with the strings and
praise him with the clash of
praise him with resounding

Let everything that has breath praise
the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Kitty Kat Is Free From The Dishes At Last!

Several months ago, we had a family meeting and divided up the chores. Everyone got to have some say in what chores they would do. Kitty Kat was one of the kids who chose washing dishes as one of her chores.

While emptying the dishwasher one day, Kitty Kat got an attitude and sent Monkey away saying that she didn't need her help. So, Jon and I decided that if Kitty didn't want any help, then she wouldn't get any help. She was required to do the job alone until the dishes were caught up. She soon found out that this wasn't much fun. She left the job unfinished every day. Jon and I about went crazy. Many times Jon or I would step in and catch up the dishes to the point that there were only one or two pans for Kitty to wash. She still walked away leaving the job undone. This was a battle we were not going to back down on. However, we did allow Monkey to help dry and put away dishes for the last few weeks.

I am proud to announce that Kitty Kat finally finished the dishes a couple nights ago. We told her at the time that she was done, but it didn't fully register until last night after supper. I overheard Kitty and Monkey discussing who would wash and who would dry. I asked them to repeat what they said and I was told that Kitty had told Monkey that she could wash now that Kitty was no longer responsible for the washing. I said, "Neither of you are doing dishes. We're switching up the jobs remember?" Jaws dropped and grins spread from ear to ear. I did the dishes.


In other Kitty Kat news . . .

Kitty Kat got a book in her Easter basket that had all seven of the Chronicles of Narnia in it. As I type this she is on page 647, most of the way through the sixth book.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Win a Rosetta Stone Foreign Language Curriculum

Rosetta Stone has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while -- next week they are unleashing a brand new curriculum, and you can WIN the *all new* Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3… FOR FREE!

This is a $219 program (and believe me it's worth every penny!) and the winner gets to pick from any of these 14 languages: Spanish (Spain or Latin America), English (American or British), Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Hebrew, or Russian.

This will also include a headset with microphone, and students will participate in lifelike conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone still incorporates listening, reading and writing as well, in addition to speaking. Many homeschoolers requested grammar and vocabulary exercises, and with Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3, they're included! For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program and allow parents to easily enroll students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, and view and print reports.

To win this most excellent program -- in the language of your choice -- copy these (blue) paragraphs and post it in (or as) your next blog post -- then to enter the contest, go to the original contest page HERE: and leave a comment with the link showing where you blogged about it. And please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post it. And good luck! The winner will be picked randomly on March 26, and will be notified thru the link they left to their blog pg. And if you have more than one blog, you can post them and enter those separately for more chances to win. Yay for free stuff!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Kitchen is Suddenly Bigger

One whole end of my kitchen (about 10.5 square feet of floorspace) was taken over by tools and remodeling stuff. Some of the tools were Jon's and some did belonged to some of his friends. The friends may have claimed theirs a few months ago. I'm not sure. It has been like that for months and I didn't want to mess with it for fear I would misplace someone else's things. Last night, Jon found a new home for the pile. The items are now neatly put away and out of sight. Jon has some more sorting and purging that he wants to do, but he really did get a lot done last night.

Jon even cleaned off the tops of the cupboards in the kitchen. I had been dreading this task. The girls and I helped Jon in the kitchen, but I wasn't a lot of help. We had been shopping for most of the afternoon and my legs were cramping up on me. Jon had me pull a chair into the kitchen to help supervise. I did get one of our cupboards reorganized and got rid of some odds and ends that had collected.


I never did get a post up for Resurrection Sunday. I had a bunch of thoughts going through my head and not nearly enough time to plan and execute the post I wanted to do. I hope you all had a nice time with your families. Perhaps, I'll plan ahead next year and be ready with a post so that I can just add it to my blog without having to plan and type it that day.

We went to my parents' after church on Sunday. The boys stayed the night, so we got to play a board game with the girls after we got home. The boys are too young for the game, so it was the perfect opportunity.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cute Quotes

As Baby Bear was putting on his P.J.s, he was talking to Jon and I about the puppies and bones on the pajamas. He told us, "They're not alive, they're dead."


Puppy Dog was shouting, "Jelly fish, jelly fish!"

Baby Bear added, "Peanut butter fish, peanut butter fish!"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

After The Rain

The kids and I went with my mom to visit my grandmother. Along the way, we saw a lot of flooded areas. The water here was almost up to the house. Just below the house you can see the water rushing past (look for the white area). I took this photo on the way to Grandma's.

Behind that house was another house; the water came right up to the house. I took this photo on the way back home. I was hoping to get a better view, but this will have to suffice.

I also took some pictures of the covered bridge in Lynchburg, Ohio.

The bridge was built the year before our house was built.
From what I understand, this is the only covered bridge in Ohio that joins two counties. The Highland county side is paved (over the planks) and the Clinton county side is not paved. The bridge is blocked on both sides, so it is only open to foot traffic now.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rain and More Rain

All right, now sing with me in a normal volume:

"The raindrops fall with a pitter-patter-pit,
a pitter-patter-pit, a pitter-patter-pit,
the raindrops fall with a pitter-patter-pit,
showing God's great love."

Now we sing in a whisper:

"The raindrops fall with a pitter-patter-pit,
a pitter-patter-pit, a pitter-patter-pit,
the raindrops fall with a pitter-patter-pit,
showing God's great love."

Now we sing very loudly:

"The raindrops fall with a pitter-patter-pit,
a pitter-patter-pit, a pitter-patter-pit,
the raindrops fall with a pitter-patter-pit,
showing God's great love."

(I'm not sure who wrote this song.)

We are getting the rain we expected. I rained off and on yesterday. Jon plugged in our pump before he went to work. I didn't have to venture into the dungeon. Last night it rained all night. It's coming down pretty hard right now. I notice, as I walked out onto the porch with Jon this morning, that he had stretched out the hose that is attached to the pump. The water was poring out of the hose as if a spigot was turned on. Jon checked the basement (dungeon) this morning and the whole floor was wet, but there was no standing water. The pump is working.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I decided to make today a fun day for the kids. During several of our class times, I let them play with homemade, green playdough. We made shamrock badges and necklaces out of green construction paper and yarn. Then for supper, we had a green meal.

green milk, kiwi, green "shamrock" rolls in two sizes (homemade), and green tuna casserole with peas (made with homemade green noodles)

green cake with green frosting

Sunday, March 16, 2008

That Crazy Ohio Weather

Last Saturday, we had our "Civil War" snowball fight. We had somewhere around a foot of snow. Throughout the rest of the week, we experienced a weather roller coaster. A couple days we were able to go out in t-shirts or light jackets. One or two days it rained. Yesterday, we woke up to a very thick fog. Visibility was close to that of a blizzard. Jon had to drive to work about three hours before the following picture was taken, when visibility was even worse.

The girls had choir practice yesterday morning at nine. I took this picture just after nine from our spot in our church's parking lot. I included the parking lines to give you an idea of distance. The space between the sets of parking spaces is about one and a half times as long as the spaces.

This picture was taken of the same area at a little after eleven when the girls got out of choir practice.

This is a picture of the area where our snow "forts" were (Fort Leaf was on the left and Fort Bush a.k.a. Fort Mush was on the right). Yep, that is green grass growing. My tulips are about four to five inches tall now. Last Sunday, the snow and roads were so bad that church was canceled for the whole day. This picture was taken today.

I about forgot to mention that several days this week were cold enough to need our winter coats. On our way to church our van temperature gauge said that it was 34 degrees out.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Yesterday (Saturday, March 8, 2008) the North once again prevailed over the South. The South was totally dominated by the power and resources of their northern opponents.

It was a girls verses boys plus a volunteer. The boys chose the northern location for their fort and Officer Jon proceeded to use the recycle bin to build their fort (instead of the allotted bucket). Kitty Kat offered to join the boys, and Officer Brandi, against her better judgment, allowed her most promising soldier to defect. The girls built their fort using the allocated bucket. Fort Leaf in the North was fortified with a supply of wetter snow for better ammunition; thicker, higher walls; and a stronger officer. Fort Bush in the South had a nice supply of lower quality snow, thinner weaker walls, confused soldiers, and a commanding officer whose back went out while building the fort.

Both sides put forth a valiant effort. The Fort Bush soldiers had a hard time packing their snowballs. Officer Brandi had some pre-made ammunition, but her soldiers have not yet acquired the dexterity and strength needed for making snowballs. The Fort Leaf soldiers did not make ammunition ahead of time but Officer Jon and his soldiers were able to make their ammunition quickly during the battle.

During the battle, Private Bear came out into the open in enemy territory. He was met with an onslaught of snowballs from Officer Brandi. Officer Jon put himself in dangers way to rescue his brave, wayward soldier.

The battle ended when Officer Brandi received a cannon ball sized snowball to the chest at the hands of officer Jon. The blow was enough to "knock" her over. She went down and stayed down. Officer Jon then stormed Fort Bush and declared, "We are victorious over Fort Mush!" Officer Jon then proceeded to help Officer Brandi to her feet to receive medical attention (read kisses and hugs ; ).

This is on the north side of Fort Leaf.

This is behind Fort Bush looking toward Fort Leaf.

Do you see why the girls were at a disadvantage?

The girls didn't have a chance, but they get Fort Leaf next time!
(That is if Officer Brandi's back recovers.)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Monkey's Prayer Was Answered

We had hoped to have a "civil war" of our own the last time we had a good snow. Unfortunately, the snow was powdery so we didn't get to have our war. That night, when Monkey was saying her bedtime prayers, she prayed that we would have a good, big, packing quality snowfall before Spring. (Changed to update: The 11 o'clock news just said we were officially at 12" of snow.) Yes, we were able to pack it. Yes, we were able to have our "civil war". (For those of you who didn't already know, we are currently studying the civil war in our homeschool.)

Our county and the surrounding counties have a level 3 snow emergency. Only authorized personnel are allowed out on the roads. If someone is caught out on the roads they can get ticketed. Jon took Puppy Dog back to our garage with him and PD had to go through some snow that was up to his waist.

Never underestimate the prayer of an eight-year-old (or any child for that matter). I learned several years ago that I shouldn't.

Click here for a WDTN article about the snowfall in our area.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ah...Peace At Last!

Er, I mean the kids are finally all asleep.

Wow, today was crazy! I was trying to get rid of a two day headache and the kids seemed to think they were outside all day.

There is hope though. Tonight is J.'s last night on the old schedule. We'll be converting to our new schedule this weekend.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

One of my favorite things...and a bane to others

This winter and in winters past, I have taken pleasure in looking out my front door and looking at one of the trees in our front yard covered in ice and backlit by the street lamp.

I took this picture tonight, started the download to my blog, and then turned on the news. One of the first things covered was the dangerous ice on the trees and power lines in my county and a neighboring county. There was even a picture that looked a lot like mine. I'm not sure if you can see it in this picture, but the ice covers the branches and there are mini icicles from the rain that froze as it dripped from the tree. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, then you can see the icicles lit by the street lamp. No, those are not Christmas lights on the tree.

The ice is so beautiful, yet oh so dangerous.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Today was beautiful!

I had an appointment this morning and I got to go on my own (J. was home with the kids). I came out of my appointment to go home and it was so nice out I couldn't help but get excited. Some kids were out at recess at a nearby school, and I was reminded that I had been talking about taking the kids to a park as soon as it was nice out. The boys especially needed to go somewhere that they could climb without getting into trouble.

I got home and the kids are excited. Daddy was up to something. I went into our room where J. was and found him packing up our swimsuits and beach towels. He was feeling the urge to get out of the house and get some exercise, as well. I let him know my park idea, he let me know his YMCA idea, and we decided to try to do both.

We went to a park and let the kids run, climb, swing, and get as loud as they wanted. We had one main rule. They couldn't play on the Cinderella carriage. The carriage is in a sandy area and the sand was wet. We didn't want the muddy sand in our van or all over the kids before going to the Y. After we had been there for a while, three of the kids wandered over to the carriage and we had to call them over and remind them of the rule. The kids handled it well. Then, J. called over the rest of the kids and started a game of "I Spy -- Race". J. told the kids that he spied such and such and that the first person to touch it would get a prize. The kids had a blast with this game. The first prize was a kiss and Kitty Kat got it. She had to pass the kiss back to Daddy when he solved her "I Spy". The prize changed any time Dad or Mom "spied". They could only spy within the play area and after the first warning, Mom took over a "spy" if anyone picked something outside the designated area. After prizes of being tickled, flipped by Daddy, and double flipped by Daddy, everyone was worn out.

We had lunch and then it was evident that naps were needed, so we had story time and naps. We didn't make it to the Y, but our things are in the van ready for the first chance we get.

The boys' hair was getting pretty long, so we decided it was time for a buzz. J. worked on clipping the boys' hair while I fixed dinner. Puppy Dog was amazed when he saw a boy with a tall mohawk the other day at Wal-mart. J. decided to have a little fun and left the boys with mohawks. He tried to get their hair to stick up, but their hair didn't cooperate. We took these pictures during supper:

Puppy Dog
Baby Bear
Baby BearPuppy Dog

We will finish their hair cuts before church Wednesday.