Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Little Scientists

During my MANY hours
of perusing the web
I found a recommendation for
an at home hands-on science club.
by the Young Scientist Club.
They send a "kit" once a month
that is complete with everything you need for 
about 7 experiments
all relating to the same subject.

We got our first kit a few weeks ago,
(it was a little late)
but I haven't broken it open yet.

After being HOUNDED unmercifully
by the two that these kits are intended for 
I broke down and agreed to open our second 
kit today.

It was on magnets.

Here is what it looked like:

It included:  3 bar magnets, 1 curved one, iron filings,
a little plastic bowl, a small lodestone rock,
a 3"x3" piece of cardboard, a little car
and a bunch of plastic bags.
And a book with instructions.

They created 7 experiments
to use with these items.
And asked questions,
we have started science notebooks now...

The first was to discuss and play with the polarity on the magnets.

Then we experimented with the lodestone rock and iron filings.

Then attached a bar magnet to the car and pushed and pulled it around without
touching it.

Then the boys got to test different objects to see which ones would attract a magnet.
I took creative liberty with a few items.  Thought the kids
would get a kick out of testing some odd stuff.
And yes - I misspelled Chuck E Cheese
I was in a hurry getting the boys set up 
with daddy and this final assignment as I was running
out the door to take A to dance class.

They got to play with the magnet and iron filings and make designs and see how strong
it was (2 different experiments with this).
and my favorite:
We made a compass!!!

Ha!  How cool is that??

Along with talking about magnets,
we are still working on our plants.

The magnet thing showed up so we used it.
(And loved it)
but it didn't fit "neatly" in with the 
seed and plant lessons.

I have put it away and will pull the magnet
items out again when we get to magnets.

Tuesday, we checked our lima bean plants again
and discussed the difference in 
monocot seeds and dicot seeds.
Daddy learned something at dinner
that night, from J!

Here they are sorting out different seeds
and putting them in their group.

Look at the concentration on my sweet J,
he is working SO stinking hard 
on his reading and spelling!!

He was getting a little frustrated cause mommy isn't "telling him" how to 
spell everything, I am being mean and making him 
sound it out the best he can.
So he was mad at me and struggling with 
one of the seed names here but spelled the rest
almost perfectly.
(Meanie mommy, I know)

So in Math, I did have R go through and take about 4 tests,
that resulted in us skipping about 16 lessons.
I am struggling...
I don't want to push him ahead too much.
I want to make sure that he is getting 
a GREAT foundation.
Unfortunately, that means doing
the "easy" stuff a little more.
It really shouldn't be hard 
at this age.
So I might challenge him a little more and time
him on his math worksheets.
He is VERY competitive...
but might have to add time to his
final if he gets wrong answers
because he rushed through.
I dunno...
still working on this thought.

We wrote another letter today.
It is nice to get letters back from family.
I actually have one sitting waiting to be mailed.
Guess I need to get on that!

R was asked what his favorite subject was
in one letter,
his response:
and this was 
we did the magnet lesson.
Made me feel good.

I realized that little T hasn't made it in the posts lately.
So here is one for him...
showing off his new kicks!
I purchased my first set of
crocs EVER!
Well, knock off crocs,
so croc-offs??

He was less than impressed and 
we had a TIME
keeping them on his feet.
So not sure how much wear these
bad boys will get,
oh well.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Welcome to our new site design!!!
I love it!
I have been gaining readers
(thank you!!!)
heard that my previously 
chosen font was a little hard to read.

to the

"Are We Really Doing This???"

Hope you like it - 
I do!!  

As usual, 
we are always busy in this house.

our first bean growing experiment was a
Well, let's just say - 

pun intended there!

I wanted something without dirt
that would allow the boys 
to watch what was happening.

Being newbies, I decided we would follow
some directions on the web...
even though it was a bit contrary to what I thought...
they had success, 
so I figured we would try it.
it didn't work for us.

I chose NOT to cover
our container to keep the moisture in.
(per directions, but against my better judgement)
So our paper towel would dry out.
Apparently I was making it 
wet when I re-moistened it.
So this is what we got...

I *wish* I would have thought to have snapped
a picture of the boys faces when I suggested 
they smell them.
(Is that mean??)
Then of course we used that as an 
opportunity to briefly discuss

So here is round 2.

I started on Saturday.
And as you can see,
this time chose to 
put plastic wrap over the top
to keep the moisture in.
And guess what...

This morning (Monday)
here is what we found!
That's the way we spell success.
(Did you do the cheer in your head with me?)

I have been starting to think about what curriculums to use next.
I like most of what we are using and will keep with it.
But am considering different options for math and language arts.
We will see what we come up with.

J is doing a GREAT job with his reading!  
Makes a momma proud!!
The K Abeka language books we are using is actually 
going too slow for him,
so I looked through it last night and we are going to
speed things up a little
and skip some pages.
We are supplementing with
(the free trials/versions).
We dropped Time4Learning about a month ago.
Did I already say that? 
It was a great program and I highly recommend it,
I wanted more hands on stuff with my kids
less computer time
it was $35 a month.

I would rather put that into more
books for them
instead of computer stuff.

R is doing great with math and language as well,
but they are still not moving quite quick enough for me
I HATE to waste this stuff,
so poor thing is doing a LOT
of reviewing lately.
But I think we are going to start getting to some interesting
stuff in a few weeks (I hope).
Either that or I am just going to 
break down and let him take a bunch of the tests
and just see where he starts struggling
and start from there.
Cause we have GOT to
get to some challenging stuff

I have been struggling to come up with some stuff for A to do.
She is slowly dropping naps.
So today,
we hit Michael's for some 
some ideas.

I bought some pom poms
and we had a pair of tweezers that came with 
a bath toy.
(Don't ask)
Then I had some silicone muffin cups.
And viola...

A worked on sorting
and colors
(with a little tutelage from J)

This girl sat at the table for
today with us working
with these few items.

She actually pulled it back out while I was cooking dinner too.

I gotta come up with more more of these things!
(That don't require tons of supplies and prep work!)

This weekend was busy too.
I *think* we have found a home church!
It has only taken us 4 months.
I also think we have finally found a section of town we want to be in.
(Sort of)
While at church on Sunday,
the Cub Scouts were 
So we stopped and chatted.
R was in Scouts 
back home
and J always wanted to go.
Well, this new group is letting 
J join early!
So starting next week...
both boys (and daddy)
are headed to scouts!!
I am so excited.
And it seems like such a great group!
Can't wait to start posting pics of my 
All 3 of them!!

Because of the delay in getting started back with Scouts
we didn't want R to miss anything
or be behind...
so he and Daddy started going through his
requirements for his
Wolf Cub badge.
He has done most of it, 
but there are a few things left to do.
So, we are going to work on those together.
One requirement left
 is "Health and Nutrition".
One thing you have to do is 
help plan and prepare a meal.
So daddy and R are worked together on 
dinner Sunday night.

He took the 
"Set it & Forget it"
motto literally.

A has a candy stash!
The kids got some candy in goodie bags
from last weekend's 
birthday party.
The boys put theirs on/in their desks.
A chose to put hers in 
one of her kitchen 

I thought that was 
all too fitting for a female...
already hiding her candy in her kitchen!

Love it!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Roller Skating & a Rodeo Field Trip (& Lots more...)

Our fish tank is finally coming together.
We apparently shocked the fish when we 
put all of them in the tank
at the same time
we lost 3 the first 24 hours.
Unfortunately they were all J's fish.
We let each of the older 3 kids
pick out a fish.
And since they were schooling fish,
we supposedly had to get 3 each.
The neon tetras are the ones 
that didn't make it.
We got "hardier" replacements.
And everyone seems to be happy.
R got 3 IDENTICAL fish
but swears he can
tell them apart...
so he named them.

(its a long way from Uncle Jack's but its a start!)

We were invited to a birthday
party on Saturday.
A roller skating party...
not the best idea with 4 little ones.
But everyone
We got skates on the older boys
and let them skate around on the carpet.
R finally got up the nerve to make it out on the rink.
We are tough in this house and MADE him
go around the rink 
(holding on)
one time.
and getting overly
when he completed it.
He waited,
then decided to try it again.
Then that was IT!
He turned into a little speed demon after that.
But keeping his balance with those flailing
arms was a SIGHT!

We finally made J got out 
and go around the rink once
He was more apprehensive but
he responds really well to the 
excitement and praise too.
So he stayed out there but hugged the wall
almost the entire time.
He finally started getting brave when it 
was about time to go.

oh my mercy!
I had no idea about skating for her.
Honestly, hadn't even planned on her skating.
They had the little plastic "starter" skates
that fit over your regular shoes...
guess what shoes she happened
to be wearing that day!

She kept trying to make her way out 
on the rink,
but neither daddy nor I were
brave (or dumb) 
enough to get ourselves
So we did our best to keep her off of the rink.
I finally caved and let her get on.
I walked around the outside of the rink
within arms reach.
Every time she bit it
I looked over the rail and said
"Where'd you go?"
With a big smile on my face...
she popped right and kept right on going.

They all LOVED it!
Needless to say,
both boys were
literally black and blue
and had knots on their
knees and elbows 

Little T was even patient enough to
let his big sister put the skates on
He made it onto his feet briefly,
but I didn't let it get too far
since he is new to this whole
walking thing as it is.

School is going well.
We have incorporated
history and religion
into our studies so far this week.
Tomorrow we will look at our 
lima beans...
I peeked 
and noticed that one is sprouting...
more on that in a later post though.

We have decided to try out 
our green thumb on aquatic plants...
so the boys planted some aquatic bulbs 
in the aquarium...

we will keep you posted on those as well.

I also have an art project planned.
Will fill you in when and if that works out. HA!

This week we also went
on our first
homeschool field trip!!!
I have always loved participating in the kids
schools and was room mom when they were 
in public school 
and did my best to stay involved!
I loved doing the field trips 
and ALWAYS wanted to be there
but with the littler ones at home...
I couldn't.
I can't express what it meant to me to 
take all of my kids on this field trip.
It was wonderful!!  
The kids were great and we had a great time!

We went on a trip to the San Antonio Rodeo!!!
It was basically just a tour 
of some of the exhibits at the rodeo.
It is a lot like the State Fair 
that I have gone to for as long 
as I can remember back home.
But smaller!
Apparently all the exhibits and rides are
built around the rodeo and stock show.
So the main draws are those items...
with the exhibits and rides 
being almost an after thought.
I would love to go back
and see the 
Might as well...
already brought out a little
of my inner redneck since
we have been here 
at the Monster Jam!

We had about 45 people I think go with us.
The craziest part...
there were only 8 families!

A checking out the chickens...

J Checking out the pigs...

Then we all had to stop and pose as a cow!

I have volunteered to be
the field trip coordinator
for our group
and attempt to plan about
one field trip a month.
Wish me luck!!

 Here are some other random pictures
from this week with one straggler thrown in there...

No explanation needed or available for this first set:

 I couldn't resist snapping a picture of the set of skates on this kid!
My mercy - that is a serious skater!  
Look at those wheels!

 "Fook Mommy - my bawberry has a hiney, hahahah!"
Oh good gracious...

Guess who got to feed himself yogurt for the first time...
I think he did well, 

Today - 
Mommy:  "A, if you don't take a nap you cannot go to dance class"

This was a first... 

Impressive coloring job by my newly turned 3 year old!
She got this picture from dance class...
we got to go since she took a nap.

Then tonight I discovered that there are camera settings
on my phone...
hopefully I can take better pictures now.
Here is one under the new settings.

And final random picture of the day...
To ring in the new year
we decided to purchase a piece of 
exercise equipment. 
We finally had room for one.
It arrived unassembled...
in an AWESOME box!
And we all know the 
deal with kids and boxes...

We still have this silly box...
wonder when we are going to get to 
throw it away!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Some School Stuff

We have really started falling into a little bit of a rhythm
since we got our new supplies.

Everyone seems to enjoy having structure,
mommy too!

We have been using the "menu plan"
contrary to the previous post.
(The meal tonight was NOT a redo)

It definitely makes my day a little easier.

The kids have enjoyed their new books.
And are blowing through their books too!

L got a Kindle for her birthday so that keeps her busy (sort of)
while we are working on school work.

And T just wanders aimlessly,
playing with whatever happens to be out at the time.

Today we did our first Science lesson
our of the CHC Behold & See 1
and took it a couple steps further...

The lesson was to open a few re-hydrated
large lima beans and look for the little 
starter plants. 

They really enjoyed peeling the skins off, 
then breaking them apart and examining the insides.
Not all beans had a little plant in them, but most did.

Then we discussed the differences in the dried beans
and the re-hydrated ones.

The size, texture, ease of peeling
and opening.

And we learned that the bean is the food
for the baby plant...

so, we decided to grow some bean plants.

The boys brought some seeds home from co-op 
a few weeks ago and they 
attempted to plant them in 
sand toys with dirt from the backyard.
I just let them.
But decided that we should try to do some

We did 2 batches:
one of dried beans
one of re-hydrated beans.

We put them in clear containers
with a wet paper towel 
so that we can monitor their growth.

Here is Day 1:

 I am looking forward to watching them grow and watching the kids watch them grow!

This teaching thing is neat
watching MY kids ENJOY learning!!

After we finished our lesson, we had a few re-hydrated beans left over.
I caught J, later that afternoon, sitting on the floor peeling 
the leftover limas.

Then there were a few leftover dried ones,
he asked to put them in water...
go ahead J.
Then this morning, he peeled those and 
explained to his little sister
what he was looking for 
and then showed
her what 
the little plants looked like
and which part of the plant were the leaves
and which part was the stem.
Makes a momma proud!!