Saturday, January 31, 2009

Caleb's Book Report

Caleb's Literature teacher at Co-op (oh, that's me) assigned each of the students a different Beverly Cleary book to read and do a book report on. My super education supplier gave me the book report posters for the class to use. This Literature teacher asked each of the students to prepare a presentation for the class on the book they read. Caleb decided to build a scene from the book out of Legos. In the book Ramona scribbles on every page of a library book that Beezus, her older sister, checked out for her. They have to take it back to the library and pay for the book.

(Luckily Caleb had exactly three girl Lego mini figures. Beezus is played by Agent Trace, Ramona by Princess Lea, and the librarian by the bad lady from Indiana Jones.)

Links for You

I have mentioned each of these blogs before, but they deserve another mention:

Katie is back in Uganda.

NieNie is out of the hospital. She is the mother of four small children who was severly burned in a small airplane crash. For a while the doctors did not expect her to make it.

Gwyneth is now a one year old. When she was born she weighed 1 lb 6 oz.

You have to check them out. You might need some time, you won't be able to stop reading them!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happiness in the kitchen is....

Caleb doing the dishes,
a clean sink and counters,
butterfly magnets from Goodwill,
Lukey and Jet-Pack man enjoying an afternoon snack,
new rooster canisters,
and a full pantry.
You crown the year with a bountiful harvest;
even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
Psalm 65:11

Brought to you by....

All smiles in the pictures below are brought to you by Grannie and PawPaw. A few months ago they traveled down to Beaumont to help us with hurricane repairs. They fixed our swing (even Fluffy is enjoying it)! And they gathered firewood for us, then PawPaw cut huge logs with his chainsaw. We are so enjoying our fires both inside and out.

(Here, Lukey is checking to see if the fire is hot enough. And it was hot enough.)
Thanks from the boys to Grannie and PawPaw.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm a Doris

I actually think this is right. Go here and answer two questions to see who you are.

I am a Doris!


You are a Doris -- "I must help others."

Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
  • * Share fun times with me.
  • * Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
  • * Let me know that I am important and special to you.
  • * Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships
  • * Reassure me that I am interesting to you.
  • * Reassure me often that you love me.
  • * Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a Doris
  • * being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
  • * knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
  • * being generous, caring, and warm
  • * being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
  • * being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a Doris
  • * not being able to say no
  • * having low self-esteem
  • * feeling drained from overdoing for others
  • * not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish
  • * criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should
  • * being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them
  • * working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

Dorises as Children Often
  • * are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
  • * try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding
  • * are outwardly compliant
  • * are popular or try to be popular with other children
  • * act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
  • * are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Dorises), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Dorises)

Dorises as Parents
  • * are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)
  • * are often playful with their children
  • * wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"
  • * can become fiercely protective

From the Boys

Caleb was telling me that Luke always wants to do what he is doing. I told Caleb that it is probably because Luke looks up to him as his big brother and wants to be like him. I asked Caleb if there was someone he thought was really cool, someone that he wanted to be like. I am thinking Caleb will say: Jeff Gordon, Tiger Woods, Toby Mac, Zac Efron, or maybe one of his TaeKwonDo instructors. What Caleb did say was this, "The only person who is really cool who I want to be like is Dad."

And Luke just informed that he has a problem. He says his nose is so stuffy that he can not smell anything but his boogers.

The Brick Testament

This is so clever. Stories from the Bible made completely from Legos. Check out more here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Homeschooling with The 44th President

Today at our house it was all about the inauguration. After breakfast Caleb made a poster about our 44th President. We then watched the swearing in ceremony. After that I pulled out some of our books either about The White House, America, or the presidency.

We read:

At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by: Crystal Wirth. This book gives many interesting facts about The White House.

Here's to You, America! by:Charles M. Schultz. The Peanuts gang travels back in time and they witness the birth of the Constitution, which set up the three branches of government.

America the Beautiful

The Pledge of Allegiance

The Flag We Love by: Pam Munoz Ryan. This book reveals the history of our flag.

Madam President by: Lane Smith. This book has become one of the boys' favorites. A girl imagines what her day would be like if she were president. This book has clever drawings that always make us smile.

We then went outside and hung our flag. The boys each saluted the flag. Lukey wanted Fluffy the cat to salute the flag as well. So I helped Fluffy salute the flag.

While waiting for the parade to start, Caleb checked out the model of the Capital Building and the inauguration that is on display now at Legoland in California. Yes, everything in the picture is made from Legos!

America is a wonderful country! I am thankful to live in a country where we are free to school our children in the way that is best for one's family. We are so blessed to be born in America! We had a great day learning more about our country and witnessing our new president come to power. God Bless America!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The library card that almost got me in trouble.

Friday afternoon hubby decided to go to the library with us. Now I do have to admit, I am a library nerd. I love to go to the library. I think I have always been that way. Probably because my parents took us to the library when we were kids. A lot. When we lived in the country in Kentucky, we had about an hour bus ride each way. Every school in the county from elementary to high school rode the same bus together, so Julie, Joe, Tim, and I all rode the bus together. On some days our parents would have us get off the bus at the library in town, saving us the hour long trip home. I don't remember why we would get off at the library. There was probably a reason, more than us just wanting to get books. Even then I loved the library. Anyway, I have always loved books and I love the library because it is packed with books that they let you take home for free! And if you don't like the book, you can just stop reading it and take it back to them. (I hate it when I buy a book, and it is not that good. I feel like I have wasted money.)

Hubby does not share my love of the library. He doesn't dislike the library, he is just not quite the reader that I am. He does have a library card though. And at times I borrow it from his wallet and use it. Our library has a limit of four videos or DVDs and the ladies at the library know me and let me use Aaron's card so we can check out more than four.

So on Friday the boys picked out three DVDs, I picked out a video for school, and Aaron and I picked out three movies. (If you are wondering they were: Dan in Real Life, saw it before and loved it, Leatherheads, haven't watched it yet, and Cloverfield, we watched it Friday night- and I liked it.)

We head up to the check-out desk and I mention to Aaron, "Um Aaron I may have a fine on your library card." The lady on the left is checking me out, and the lady on the right takes Aaron with our three movies. I introduce her to Aaron. (She says I am one of the libraries best patrons, I know I'm a nerd.) And then she starts laughing and says to Aaron, "You haven't been to the library in a while, do you know she has a late fee on your card?" The late fee was $14.45!! I start to panic thinking how is that possible. I finish up on my side and join Aaron. He does not look happy. The lady starts telling me what books were late and that a DVD was turned in five days late, racking $5 in late charges. Now I never turn my DVDs that late. I tell her, "I can't imagine turning in a DVD that late."

Now remember we are trying to be wise with our money, especially now that Aaron is a full time student and not working. This is one of the reasons we are at the library, for free entertainment.

I can't believe the one time Aaron goes to the library with me, I have $14.45 in late charges on his card. The lady gets on the phone and goes to the back room and after me sweating it out for ten minutes she comes back and says, "I took all the charges off." No, I didn't get special favors. The late charges were from Hurricane Ike. I had used Aaron's card to check out books. They were turned in late because we were out of our home for two weeks because of the hurricane. The library removed everyone's late fees from that time. But they removed the charges the next time you were in the library using your card. So the next time the card was used was when Aaron was actually using the card. So we were able to check out our movies, and I didn't get in trouble.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Five For Friday

I know people, I haven't blogged since Monday. Reason? Well, one reason is that Aaron is around a whole lot more. Last year from August to December he was working 40+ hours a week and taking 12 hours at Lamar. Two days a week he would go to school from 8 to 12:30, then work from 1 to 8, then most days he had a project or speech or test to study for. He was extremely busy. We didn't watch much tv together either, his study time was at night after the boys had gone to bed. While Aaron was studying, I filled the time with reading, blogging, or sleeping. This semester he is working 0 hours and taking 16 hours at Lamar. He is still in his first week and he hasn't had a lot of school work or studying to do. So this week we have actually been watching tv together (is that a good thing?). Our nights have been filled with American Idol, 24, Lost, and The Office.

So I will give you five posts in one today to make up for my lack of posts this week.

1. 24 I am loving 24 this season. I was so upset about Tony being bad. Tony is one of my favorite characters on 24. Then wonderful news- he is working undercover and is not bad. Then not-so-good news, he had been working against the American government for the past three years. I am excited about this season with Jack, Tony, Chloe, and Bill.

2. Lego Death Star The Lego Death Star costs $399 and has 3803 pieces. Caleb has been wanting this since he saw it in the Lego catalog. We keep telling him it is too expensive. The other day Caleb said to me, "Mom since Daddy is getting all of that money you guys can buy me the Death Star." I was confused. Then Caleb said, "Mom, I know about the 41 K, I heard you and Dad talking about his 41 K and I know that 41 K is $41,000. So you have enough money to buy me the Death Star." Caleb heard Aaron and I discussing his 401K and what we are going to do with the money in his 401K. I explained to Caleb what a 401K is and how it is for Dad's retirement when his is old. Caleb asked if it is for a retirement home, and I said well maybe. Then Caleb said, "I don't want Dad to move into a retirement home, I want him to stay living here with us." Um, does that mean Caleb considers Aaron old now?

3. Webkinzs/ Kookeys Aunt Julie bought Caleb a new Webkinz from Cracker Barrel. We tried to register his cat at Grannie's house but he couldn't remember his login and password. He gave me the tag with the secret code and asked me to hold onto it until we got home. We got home and I put the tag with the secret code next to the computer on the counter. Well this week he was ready to register his cat. We went to enter his secret code and we couldn't find it anywhere. We searched the house everywhere, no tag anywhere. Then he remembered that at the Trunk-or-Treat we went to they gave all of the kids a Kookey. A Kookey is like a Webkinz. So he decided to register his Kookey that we have had sitting in the closet since Oct. 31st. No offense to the Kookey company, but they just don't measure up to Webkinzs.

3. Super Fudge While in Dallas Camryn introduced Caleb to Superfudge. I have never read the Fudge books, but Camryn and Caleb can't seem to get enough of them.
The Fudge Books are:
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great
Double Fudge.

Caleb checked out 4 out 5 of the Fudge books from the library last week and has read them all. I guess they are good.
5. Chicken Taquitos Caleb and Luke were eating chicken taquitos for lunch the other day. Luke said, "Can I please have some more tuxedos?" Then Caleb said, "Luke it's not tuxedos, it is tarketoes."

Have a wonderful Friday!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Links for the Moms

What Mom hasn't wanted some time to herself? Read this if you have ever been there.

And for those times you are tired of the mundane tasks of being a mom, read this.

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.

Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.

Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.

She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.

She's up before dawn,
preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.

She looks over a field and buys it, then,
with money she's put aside, plants a garden.

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.

She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.

She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.

She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.

She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.

She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.

Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.

Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:

"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.

Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!

Proverbs 31: 10-31

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our Zoo Trip

On Friday, we made a trip to Houston to visit the zoo. Going to the zoo always makes me think again of the awesomeness of God's creation. Animals really are amazing. We only saw Jonathan the lion asleep. We did see elephants, giraffes, a tiger, a cougar. But the boys were not impressed with the big animals. They preferred the smaller animals. Luke loved the meerkats. And Caleb's favorite part of the zoo was the tropical bird house.

We did have a run in with a squirrel. We were eating lunch outside and a gust of wind came and blew Luke's plate up and part of his pizza fell to the ground. Like a flash, a squirrel came and ran off with Luke's pizza. Not just any squirrel, but one of the fattest squirrels I have ever seen. Luke was not happy that the squirrel was eating his pizza.

Happier times came soon- the boys playing with the prairie dogs.

They really enjoyed swimming with the fish.

One of the funniest events of the day. Two tortoises looked like they were playing tag. The little one kept knocking into the bigger tortoise.

We took a stroll through the butterfly garden.

A good time was had by all.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise
because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:

all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,

the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Joe

Dad, Joe, and baby Justus
Today is my brother Joe's birthday. He is two years younger than me. Anyone who knows Joe knows what a great person he is. I thought I would list a few words to describe him.
J- Jack-of-all-trades def. : a person who can do passable work at various tasks : a handy versatile person. Joe can do just about any task that is given to him. The only job I am not for sure that he can do is cook.
O- Original def. a person of fresh initiative or inventive capacity. This word probably defines Joe more than any other word.
E- Eloquent def. having or exercising the power of fluent, forceful, and appropriate speech. I got to hear Joe give a Christmas Eve message, and I was reminded of what a gifted communicator he is.
Happy Birthday Joe!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Our Van

I still can not believe that God has given us a brand new minivan!
In our Toyota Corolla, last week, the inside door handle where Caleb sits broke. He was unable to open his door from the inside. He asked us when we could fix it. We told Caleb not for a while, because money was going to be tight with Aaron being laid off. Caleb said, "Maybe I will take some of my birthday money and get this door handle fixed." I don't think I will ever forget him saying that. Well, a week later Caleb is riding in style in a brand new minivan, with a DVD player and leather seats, and doors that not only open from the inside, but open at a touch of a button.

God can do anything!

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your
wildest dreams!
Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)

I love this verse. And I feel like I have lived this verse this week. On December 31st, someone called Aaron up and said that God had told him to buy us a van. Aaron went and picked up a brand new Kia Sedona. This minivan has the luxury package and includes leather seats, 6 disc CD Changer, DVD package, a sunroof, heated seats, the works! It was given to us free of charge, we didn't pay a cent, with no strings attached. I still can not believe it! This is more than Aaron and I could have imagined or dreamed. We are entering 2009 with Aaron without a job, getting ready to attend school full time (and graduate this year), and we thought we would be facing some difficult financial times. But God has turned it around and 2009 should be a great year for us. All I can say is: To God be the glory!

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Matthew 7:11 NKJV
If you are going through hard times- just hold on. God is your source and he knows just what you need!