Saturday, May 31, 2008

Monopoly Pictures

As you can see, these pictures were taken during Xavier's initial winning streak. Others did finally start winning, and Gabriel even had a short streak. But, Xavier's streak lasted the longest. They're hooked and can't wait to play now that we're home again.





Friday, May 30, 2008

Christmas in May

Like most of the homeschool moms I know, I am a curriculum junkie. I want to see, touch and read everything. I want to make sure my kids are getting the best they can. On the other hand, I am quite pleased with the curriculum we used this year. I did a lot of research before I bought any of it and it has all been a really good fit. The only thing I would have changed was our spelling program and I already did that. So, for the most part, the curriculum I buy is 'supporting' stuff. 'Regular' books for our library, research material like atlases, wall maps, and other sundries.

Today, was our annual big curriculum swap. Here's how it works. Everyone that has something they want to get rid of goes to the venue and sets up a table or blanket and sells their stuff to whoever wants to buy it. Easy, right? The hard part is walking away from books that you really don't need or want. Thankfully, I was on a mission and it was easy for me to walk away, today anyway. I did find some of the curriculum that we need for next year and the boys found some things that they 'needed'.

I was especially excited by the Story of the World Activity Book and the Critical Thinking books. I got the Story of the World for 1/2 what it costs and the Critical Thinking for less than that. These are both books I need for next year. Also, that Castles book on the top was a lucky find. Earlier this week, I was looking at it on Amazon. I had it in my cart, but decided to wait on it. It is $16, and I got it for $1!! Yay!!!

Then, part of my order from Amazon came in. Xavier is the one that said, "It's like Christmas!" (We're always getting lots of boxes as Christmas time since we live far from everyone.) For what it's worth, I got the Amazon prime membership last August. It costs $79 and you get free two day shipping for a year (not on used books). It has more than payed for itself. I order books at least once a month. Sometimes more often. Having prepaid shipping has really paid off for me. Obviously, if you're only going to order books a couple times a year, it is not worth it. But, if you, like me, have given up on your local library and are trying to build up your personal library, it can be a really good option.

Something else I discovered today is Half Price Books. I have not actually been to the store yet, but I have every intention of going next week. They're having a summer reading program for the kids. Plus, they give a 10% discount to educators.

Today was a very exciting day for all of us. Tomorrow, back to our regularly scheduled programming: more Florida!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Naval Air Museum

We went to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola the first weekend we were there. Of course, I had not charged my camera battery in a looong time, so it died after only a few pictures. So, off I trotted to the gift store to buy a disposable camera. When I get those pictures developed, I'll add some of them to the blog.



Yes, I know this is not a Navy song. It just seemed more appropriate than "Anchors Aweigh"




Wednesday, May 28, 2008

First Night and Day

These are pictures of our first night and day in Florida. Of course, the first thing I did when we arrived was make a jug of tea. It is so nice to have a full gallon of tea to drink, again! The kids were wiped out, as you can see.

The next day, we went to the beach before we even got our swimsuits out of the van. Then, after they were all completely wet, we went back and put on our suits!

Friday, May 16, 2008

End of the Year

Well, that's it. Summer vacation starts today. The boys worked hard this week to get all their work done so that we wouldn't have to do work next week. It'll be nice to have a week off while we're here.

Of course, summer vacation is relative. Since I didn't bring their history book with us, we'll be doing history and science this summer. That's okay because we all enjoy history and science. We'll also be doing one math lesson each week to keep our foot in it. The boys have agreed that this is a better plan than being frustrated when our official school year starts again. Dominic will continue phonics practice this summer. It'll be a relaxed schedule with not much work each week. We're looking forward to an extended period of relaxation. I think I'm looking forward to it even more than they are. Sometimes, it is difficult to maintain the level of enthusiasm needed to help them keep their enthusiasm up.

Summer vacation plans:

Camp
Swim
Play
Paint
Move School Room
Build Tree House
Camp
Swim
Play

And, for me, develop Lessson plan and schedule for next year. Since this is something I really enjoy doing, I'm very excited about it!

So, this is the end of our first year homeschooling. It has been quite a year. There have been times when I wanted to take the kids down and enroll them in school this instant. For the most part, it's been great. We've enjoyed being together. There will always be frustrations and difficulties in parenting and childhood. Homeschooling doesn't change that. In fact, adding the duty of teacher is probably a catalist to a relationship. For us, it's been a catalist in the right direction. It has provided us a way to connect that we didn't have before. I'm excited about next year. I can't wait to start studying knights!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Heard Here

"The only sport, when stuck inside, is driving your mother crazy"
--Gabriel

Friday, May 9, 2008

Special Operations Warrior Foundation Fund Raiser

Gary, is full time for the Kentucky Air National Guard. He is in the Special Forces. Specifically, he's a Special Operations Weather 'guy'. They're the geeks of special forces.:) We moved to Kentucky in May 2007. Since then, he's been gone almost exactly 1/2 the time we've lived here. Now, he's in his 'final' school in Florida. That's why we're spending 5 weeks down here. We need to spend some time with him.

At any rate, the guys in his school decided that they were going to have a best mustache contest for the month of May. Then, they decided that they wanted to add a special touch to it. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation obviously has a special place in my heart. That's it.
Kristina

Dear friends,



I am currently completing the final phase of the Air Force Special
Operations Command's Advanced Skills Training course to compliment my
qualification as a SOWT. Our class is conducting a 'best
mustache' competition this month to raise money for the Special
Operations Warrior Foundation, an organization that provides collegiate scholarships to the children of military special operators killed in the line of duty. We are seeking sponsors to make the contest more competitive, fun, and most importantly, rewarding for the potential beneficiaries. No donation is too insignificant. If you have any interest in contributing, you can do so at www.specialops.org. Please specify that the donation be made in support of 'Advanced Skills Training (ORT)' in the comments section. Additionally, we encourage you to forward this inquiry to friends, family members, coworkers, etc. While Air Force regulations mandate that one's facial hair remain within certain limitations (sorry, no Rollie Fingers or Pringles Guy impersonations), we are confident that you'll be amused nonetheless.



Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.


Respectfully,


Gary Pelletier

Monopoly

First, let me say that for some reason I am having some trouble with Blogger. One of the things that is not working for me is spellcheck. Since I am lazy, I may have some misspellings.:)

Our first weekend here, our next door neighbor (who actually lives here) offered us a Monopoly game. We, of course, accepted it. Now, for 11 years, I've been working with the thought that Gary doesn't like Monopoly. Of course, when we got married he told me he didn't like green beans. I took that to mean he didn't like vegetables. Huh? Anyway, obviously, I don't know everything about my husband even though we've been married for 11 years.

We have been having a blast playing Monopoly. We've played 4 times. Gary won the first time. Xavier has cleaned up every time since then. It is really starting to irritate Gabriel. You see, Xavier starts buying houses as soon as he can. Plus, he just continues to spend all his money on them until he basically bankrupts everyone else. Gabriel plays it safe. He tries to decide whether he can 'afford' a certain property before he buys it. He NEVER adds houses because they are too expensive. Yet, Xavier is more than willing to mortgage a property to keep his houses on the other properties when he has to pay rent and doesn't have enough money. Then, on the next turn, he makes a huge amount of money because he is willing to speculate.

Hmmmm....

Friday, May 2, 2008

Wierdos

So, he said it again--this time to Dominic.

Dominic said, "I'm not wierd."

Gabriel replied, "Of course you're wierd. If you weren't, that'd be, well, wierd.....and boring, too."

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