Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Suggestions

For those of you who are wondering, the boys have come up with several ideas of what they would like for Christmas.

Gabriel wants lots of books. He finally ventured out of the children's section at Barnes and Nobles and discovered the adult sci/fi section of the store. He is in his idea of heaven. Only, he had to leave so many books in the store, where I'm sure they're very lonely without anyone to read them. Street of Shadows (Star Wars: Coruscant Nights II) is the sequel to the first book he bought and, I'm sure, would be well received. He would also like to have some Bionicles Legos. However, they will be getting some of these from each other, so I suggest asking which ones before buying.

Xavier is getting an MP3 player for Christmas and would appreciate gift cards to Itunes. For that matter, Gabriel already has one and would probably appreciate that, as well. Xavier would also like some more tees and balls for his golf set. He might like a golfing glove, but I'm not positive. He would like to have Backyard Ballistics for Christmas.

Dominic is easiest of all. He wants Kapla blocks. He would also like to have the entire Lego catalog. As far as books are concerned, he especially likes books about planes, trains, and automobiles. Last year, I bought him a book about the planes of WWII. There's lots of words, detailed drawings, and pictures of planes. He loves it. Anything in that genre will be good. Of course, he also likes books for younger children, but those are the ones he obsesses over.

Gary would appreciate email gift certificates to book stores. I'm sure he would also appreciate cards and if you would like to have his address, let me know.

Kristina (me) would like maid service, a personal chef, and laundry service. In the absence of those gifts, I would like a new pair of gloves, a better feather duster (there you go, Josh), a pair of pants for running in, chocolate covered strawberries, books, and more. Just ask, I can come up with more.

What is your family wanting for Christmas? What particular thing are your children after this year? What things have they gotten in years past that have weathered the test of time? For us, that has been Legos, which is part of the reason I'm not adverse to more Legos. We'll see how the Kaplas do.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Xavier's Birthday

I've got no pictures for you. But, I can tell you what we did.

We had drama club today. There was a little girl having a birthday this week, so the girl's mother and I brought cupcakes for them. The girl's mother had her cupcakes arranged in a 'cake' with "Happy Birthday, Megan and Xavier" written on them. Xavier was thrilled. We had a blast at drama.

Xavier requested spaghetti for supper. I was planning to make it for him, but on the way home, we decided to go to Olive Garden, instead. Because we weren't hungry yet (thanks to the snacks at drama club), we went to Barnes & Noble for a while. Dominic bought Xavier a birthday present.

We went to Olive Garden and Xavier opened Dominic's gift. All the boys spent most of our time at Olive Garden reading. I wish I had bought a book at Barnes & Noble.

After we arrived home, Gabriel gave Xavier his birthday gift. This birthday gift was a special one. I'm not sure Xavier understands how special this gift was. It didn't cost Gabriel anything, in the way of money. Instead, it required Gabriel give up one of his most prized possessions. Gabriel gave Xavier his golf set. Now, Gabriel had outgrown it, but it was a gift to Gabriel and Gabriel keeps everything that is given to him. So, the fact that he was willing to give it up to Xavier is huge. It means a lot.

Then, we all went to bed. Well, I haven't yet, but I will as soon as I finish posting this. We've got an early morning tomorrow. Gabriel has an engineering workshop to attend. The other two and I will be doing school at Borders.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Week in Review 11-16-2008

Tuesday, we went to the Patton Museum, then hurried home to be here before Karly, our babysitter, arrived. Then, I went to my beginning Hebrew class. Fun times.

Reading: Dominic is reading mostly Bob Books, and is slowly branching out into other phonics based readers. I tend to stay away from most easy readers, since they are "sight word" based and I'm teaching him using phonics.

Xavier is reading Mother West Wind's Children by Thornton W. Burgess. This is a book that has stories similar to Just So stories. He is enjoying it.

Gabriel is reading The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood. This is an assigned book and I only assign him a couple chapters a day. He's free to read on, but apparently he's not getting that because almost every day, he comes to me and says, "I accidentally read an extra chapter." But, he loves this book.

Math: Dominic is in subtraction. He is loving it and zooming right along at a reasonable pace. He's doing about two lessons a week. He's got 10 lessons left in this book, then it'll be on to the next book. I imagine he'll start a new book in January, what with all the holidays coming up.

Xavier is done with multiplication. He finished his book this week. He'll be starting division next week. He's also excited to be moving on.

Gabriel is finding pre-algebra very easy. I've forced him to slow down a bit, but really only because I'm not working one-on-one with him all the time and his mind tends to wonder. As a result, he doesn't get as much done.

American History: We are almost finished with our elections unit study. Quite frankly, I'm not happy with it. I don't feel they learned much about the election process. So, we may do elections again next year. We are getting ready to move on to the revolution, though.

Science: We are studying Earth Science this year. Every time Gabriel sits down at the computer to do his lesson, he immediately jumps back up and runs for paper. I had forgotten how much he loves Earth Science. But, really, anyone who will spend two hours in the "rock" room at the Museum of Natural History, has to love Earth Science. I bought him a rock identification book and he's quite thrilled with it.

We've decided to align our book study with our computer study, so this week we did lots of reading about the layers of the earth.

Memorization: Xavier is memorizing the first 10 presidents. Gabriel is memorizing "All the World's a Stage." Dominic is memorizing the theme music for Star Wars. Wait, he already knew that.

That's it for this week's review. See you again next week. We have one more week of school before Thanksgiving break. We'll have a week off for Thanksgiving, then three more weeks of school before our winter break.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sea Horses

Sea horses have tails like monkeys. Sea horses carry their babies in a pouch.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Earth's Layers

There are four layers in our planet. The crust is the thinnest and outermost, solid, layer of the earth. The mantle is the largest, partially melted, layer of the planet. The core has two layers. The outer core is liquid, and some quakes cannot pass through it. The inner core is the hottest layer of the earth. It is solid, made up of iron and nickle, and is magnetic. The ground beneath us holds many secrets and is more incredible than we might ever know!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Catching Up

October 24th, the boys attended a lock-in at a local kids' gym. This particular center has gymnastics, swimming, karate, and cheering classes. For the lock-in, they were allowed to play in the gymnastics area (we go there twice a month for a "free play" with other homeschoolers), swim, eat pizza, and watch a movie from their sleeping bags. Then, they "went to sleep." I asked them if they got any sleep at all. Gabriel replied, "a couple hours." They went to bed around 1, and got up around 7 for the pickup. This is what happens when your 5 year old only gets 6 hours of sleep:

He zonked at about 4:30 while watching Myth Busters with Gary and slept all night and well into the morning.

That week, we also went to a farm to pick pumpkins. The boys had a lot of fun.

Here they are on the tractor after picking their pumpkins. They're goofing off with a friend.

Here they are in the pumpkin patch after I realized I had no pictures of them in the patch. They jumped off the tractor as soon as it stopped, grabbed their pumpkins, and jumped back on before half the other people had even gotten two feet from the tractor.

Then, we did some carving. Xavier designed his pumpkin face, as he has for several Halloweens, now. It was a vampire. Gary carved it for him. Dominic chose a cat walking in front of a full moon. I carved that for him.

Gabriel did all his own carving and scraping this year. That's a first. By the way, that's not a dip in his lip, for you people in Oklahoma, it's his tongue. He was working hard. He made a voodoo doll with blood dripping from it's mouth, nose, and eyes and a knife sticking out of the forehead. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of all of their pumpkins after they were finished.

We went trick or treating on Halloween. However, Gabriel chose to go watch Young Frankenstein with a friend. After that, Xavier decided he didn't want to trick or treat. So, Xavier and Dominic lasted about 20 minutes before we packed it up and left.

Gabriel was Zuko from Avatar.

Dominic was a criminal. Thank you, Dominic. That was the easiest costume I ever made (I bought it a couple years ago after Halloween for dress up). Xavier was the muscular system. I think I did a pretty good job.

We celebrated Xavier's birthday early so that Gary could be here for it. We played laser tag. That was the first laser tag Dominic can remember playing and the first time Xavier could hold his own gun well. We all had a blast. Note to self: Don't wear heels to play laser tag in. But, really, we had gotten family pictures taken. I should have taken a change of shoes.

We are, officially, an ice cream birthday cake family. This means that I eat less cake, since I am lactose intolerant. That is fine by me. Xavier had a batman cake.

Yesterday, we went to the Gen. George S. Patton Museum with some friends. The boys took lots and lots of pictures. They should be able to get on here tomorrow and share some of their pictures with you. Hopefully, they won't save all of them for their blogs. But, if they do, I'll be sure and let you know.

Today, Dominic decided to use the camera while Gabriel and I were working on Grammar. He took lots of interesting pictures, including pictures of Harry,

toys, which he apparently posed for the picture,

and of course, every page of a book. I'm pretty sure that's a copyright violation.

Gary left for Afghanistan Sunday. We'll miss him terribly, but intend to have lots of fun while he's gone.

That's all for now.


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