Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Field Trip to the Build Site

We are in our second week of school and things are going pretty well.  We have had a little bit of everything...fantastic days, not-so great hours throughout various days, and a lot of learning.  Today we had an extra exciting morning.  The concrete was being poured at our family's new meat market.  The kids and I loaded up and headed out to "the lot".  I guess when there is a standing structure we will have to stop calling it just "the lot". :) The kids eyes were huge when we pulled into the parking lot next door.  There were concrete mixers, skid steer loaders, a gigantic pumper truck and lots of people.  The hustle and bustle was so exciting.  I backed in and opened the rear door of our Yukon.  I gave the kids strict orders that they were not to get out of the car but could move to the very back.  My father-in-law spotted us and brought the supervisor over for us to meet.  We were also introduced to the supervisor for the concrete company and the head plumber.  We felt like royalty! For the next hour, the kids watched the action and my father-in-law, Pawpaw, gave them a play-by-play of what was happening.  He also went into a load of details regarding concrete, aggregate, rocks, plumbing, and so on.  The boys were ready to camp out for the day and glue themselves to Pawpaw.  Our daughter on the other hand, was done after about five minutes.  :)  She was hot! Take a look. :)
This was huge!!!!

So many guys working in a hurry to fill and smooth the concrete

Three kiddos with their Pawpaw :)

I was amazed at the amount of force in the hose.  The men have to hold on really tight in order to control the concrete.

Pawpaw explaining each step to the kids.  In his hand is a family Bible with a few specific verses which he marked.  He also explained to the kids that the Bible would be under the foundation of the new store.  He told them the store was a blessing from God and it is our family's duty to be good stewards of what God has given us.  I couldn't agree more.

This is a picture of the pumper truck.  It has four huge stabilizers coming out from the sides.  Notice how the tires are lifted off the ground.  We learned the reason behind this is to level the truck.

It was sooooo cool!

Pawpaw handing over the Bible and explaining where it should be placed.  

The Bible going into the concrete.

The head supervisor from the concrete company insisted he take a picture.  :)

We had a great time and the kids learned a ton!  

Thank you, Pawpaw!  We love you!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Home School: Science - Ramps (1st Grade)

Today I let the boys take over the science lesson.  Our youngest son was learning about ramps and I knew the perfect teacher for a lesson like this was his brother.  I gave them a few instructions and told them to "run with it".  I knew they would be much more creative with this assignment than boring old mom. :) This is what they came up with: Using books and scrap wood (from Daddy's scrape supply) they built a simple ramp.  Each of the boys ran to their rooms and dug out various toy cars. By increasing and decreasing the number of books, they discussed why the car sped up or slowed down. Then they decided to mark the length each car traveled with post-it notes.  On the post-its they wrote the number of books used with the ramp.  They wanted to see which had more of an effect on the distance (the weight of the car or the incline of the ramp).  Each car had a different color post it to keep everything organized. At the end, they measured the difference between each post-it. Wow!!! That was definitly more creative than what I would have done.
This was at the beginning before they started adding other cars and different color post-its.

Measuring the difference at the end.
If you are curious, our youngest son is wearing a king's robe.  That is just how our dress code rolls in home school. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Things That Make Me Happy

Even on a bad day, you can find something that makes you happy.  Sometimes you can find that happiness in a memory, special picture, comfort food, quiet time, etc.  Today was a bit of a rough day.  I can't really say it was a bad day but certain moments where not exactly desirable.  I refuse to allow the couple of rough hours to throw me into a funk.  Too many times I have allowed a small part of my day to determine all 24 hours.  I think it would be a much better use of my time to make a list of a few of my happiest things to deter that awful funk. In no particular order:  :)
  • Cooking and baking for my family and friends.  I LOVE feeding people!
  • Having family over for visits and dinner
  • Family game nights or movie nights
  • Date nights
  • Watching anything on HGTV with my hubby
  • Late night Starbucks with girlfriends
  • Sneaking a peak of my children when they are playing together 
  • Drinking a cup of coffee and watching Pioneer Woman
  • Reading my favorite blogs
  • Making my prayer list or journaling after reading my daily devotional
  • Spending time with my parents
  • Family vacations
  • Office supplies (I know... dorky)
  • Taking pictures of my hubby, kiddos, and family
  • Talking on the phone to friends and family
  • Every day morning phone call with my mom
  • Snuggling on the couch with hubby, kids, or dogs
  • Snuggling babies at church in the nursery (I would seriously adopt if my three were a bit more mellow... :) 
  • Watching my kids enjoy their activities
  • Writing my blog
The list could go on and on.  Those were just the things that came to mind in about 5 minutes.    Basically, if I am with family, friends, babies, or food I am extremely happy! :)

What things make you happy?

Oh, I am also very happy at Office Depot or any teacher supply store! :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Home School Classroom - Successful First Day in Our New Room

Our family project this summer has been to turn our loft/playroom in our home schooling classroom.  Our classroom has played musical chairs over the past two years.  It originally started at the dinning room table then moved to a small bedroom.  When we had outgrown that room we switched it to our spare bedroom.  When we made the decision to home school all three of our children we decided we needed to move one more time.  This was an all hands on deck project.  The five of us spent countless hours working and preparing everything for our school year.

Here is an overview of this huge project.
  • We started with a huge toy clean out.  It was brutal!  I arranged all the toys and took note over a two week period of what actually moved from the original spot.  After the two weeks, if it hadn't moved (or played with) it was thrown out or given to Goodwill.  
  • We emptied all contents of the room, placing items all over the house. :)
  • All carpet was removed.  That was disgusting to say the least!
  • The kids were a huge help scraping the old floor, laying the new barrier, and installing the new floor.  We had quite the assembly line!
  • My husband and I discussed what I needed for organization in the new classroom.  We went over and over the details.  The main issues...STORAGE & ORGANIZATION!
  • He built one large desk into the room and then sectioned it off with handmade crates.  It gave each child a large area to work but also lots of storage.  
Take a look! :)
It was really important to me that each child have plenty of space and organizational areas.

We purchased large cork boards for the kids to display their work and charts.  The boards originally had oak colored trim.  We repainted the trim white so it would stand out more against the dark grey walls.

Each child picked out their own chair at Office Depot.  

I had already erased the white board before I took a picture.  Having the large board mounted on the wall is a great tool.  It allows the kids to get out of their seats and gives an alternate area to work.  Our calendar is below.  As you can see, we used it quite a bit today (everything is leaning side ways). :)

This is the opposite side of the room.  An old TV stand is now being used to house educational games, extra school supplies, stickers, and anything else that needs to be tucked out of sight.  The two towers are my favorite additions.  Each child has four drawers in their specified color and then I use the top eight drawers.

B-E-A-U-T-I -F-U-L!!! :)

Here are a few pictures from our first day.

The Oldest :)

4th Grade??? How is this possible?

The Blonde and Blue :)

First Grade!  Trust me, he was excited.  He just decided it shouldn't be documented in a picture.

The Youngest :)  I am not sure what she is doing. :)

She is in Pre-K but will be starting college next fall!

All in all it was a great first day!!!  The room was perfect and functioned just as I had hoped.  Heres to a good year!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"THINK" Free Printable

Our family has been working tirelessly on our home school classroom.  We are just about finished which is good news because we will begin lessons this coming Monday.  Like most siblings, my children need to be reminded (repeatedly) about the words that come out of their mouths.  I am sure you know what I am referring to... those oh so unnecessary comments they direct towards one another.  I recently saw a sign that spoke to this very problem.  I decided to create our own and hang it in the classroom. As always, if I make something for myself, I enjoy sharing it with others.  If you like it feel free to print away! :) After clicking (click here to print), you will be sent to a Google Doc page.  From there select "file", then select "download".  The image will download to your computer and then you can print from there.  

It is simple and to the point! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Mom Suit!!!

Every summer I dread when I have to put on a swimsuit.  I know I am not alone in this horrific tradition.  There is really no way around it.  I have waited for full bodied, turn of the century (as in 1900's) suits to come back into style but I have come to the conclusion that it is just not going to happen.

I have always known that I am not a petite person.  I am some what tall and I have ALWAYS had curves in the tooshie area.  However, after having three children, not taking the time to workout (consistently) and having a love for baking my body is not exactly toned.

Yes, years ago...I caved to the idea of the ....MOM SUIT!

This is how I describe the "mom suit".  It most often consists of a swim bottom with attached skirt and 99% of the time the color is black.  Black is best because it hides ripples, dimples, and any other imperfections that need to be covered.  The top is longer so not to show off the left over effects of those children moms love so much.  The longer material also helps to keep every thing, ummm well, "tucked in".  Also, gravity has taken place so the suit must be made of an ultra supportive and thick material in order to put all body parts back in the place God originally intended.  Most of all, the mom suit must take at least 10 minutes to put on.  You see, the mom suit requires serious concentration when putting it on the body.  One must not be interrupted by small children or husbands.  The mom needs time to concentrate, pull, tuck, adjust and then try to convince herself she looks sexy.  Oh, and the mom must take the time to bend, squat, and wiggle to make sure nothing will peek or pop out when wrangling kids in public.  Obviously, if you are wearing a mom suit you don't have the luxury of lounging in a well thought out pose that only accentuates your positive areas.  Oh no, you are doing everything close to running a marathon or completing American Ninja Warrior in that suite!

When the mom suit gets wet three things happen.

1.  The skirt floats up around your waist.  This always makes me very self conscious about the small children swimming under water.  Most often they are wearing goggles and now all they have to look at are my extremely sun deprived thighs and all that I was trying to hide with the skirt that is now closer to my chin than my legs.  Plus, doesn't water make everything appear 25% bigger - isn't that helpful?

2.  Once I am in the water, I hate getting out and here's why.  That cute little black skirt  that looked great dry will now drag half the pool water with  it as I try to heft myself out of the water.  This also makes the most "serene" slurping and gushing sound.  It does wonders for drawing attention.

3.  The final curse of the mom suit is that after I have drained the pool by getting out, the skirt is now 8 inches longer than it was when dry.  It is not only hanging to my knees but it is also sucked to every ripple, dimple and bump that I was trying to conceal.  Oh but don't forget, I am trying to feel sexy!

So, my dear, sweet girlfriends this year I have decided to make a change.  I shucked that dreaded skirt and  I owned my "Baby Got Back" derriere.  This year my suit is a modest navy and white polka dot top with modest bottoms.  Instead of the skirt I opted for a light weight wrap.  I felt so much better in the pool without that horrible skirt.  I even got out of the pool on several occasions (mainly potty trips to the bathroom for my 4 year old).  I walked around that pool (without the above mentioned skirt) and strutted as if I were Heidi Klum.... Ok, maybe there wasn't a strut, I just got a bit carried away.  BUT the point is, I decided just to own my God given junk!  I told myself there will always be someone who is more toned, has a prettier tan, etc., etc.  This is what I have, if I was really that miserable I would bake less and workout more. Now I think I will go watch another episode of The Pioneer Woman. :) Here's to owning my God given junk! Love you girls!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

3rd Annual Summer Sleepover at Ma's

The kids recently had their annual sleepover at my parents' house.  They look forward to this every year.  You know, grandmas are better than boring old mom and dad any day! :)  This year the kids were extra excited because when they received their invitations they realized the sleep over was extended to TWO NIGHTS!!! I am not sure what the exact agenda was but after viewing the pictures I can tell it involved a lot of water, eggs, bubbles, soda, and fire.... Ahhhh, my mom is just simply the best!
Why have only one pool when you can have two and a tee pee?!

Everyone was equipped with safety goggles and aprons.

My daughter's soda rocket shot the highest - Girl Power!!!


Swimming at night with glow sticks - can't get much better!

This was an egg drop event.  Each child could pick three things to use in order to protect their egg.  They used things such as styrofoam, bubble wrap and duct tape.

Then they dropped the protected eggs from a ladder onto a tarp below.  Apparently my kids do not have a fear of heights.

I am not sure what this experiment was but it involved tea bags and a small flame... What happens at Ma's, stays at Ma's!

Making snake bubbles

Writing in the grass with shaving cream

Blowing up balloons with baking soda and vinegar

They are already planning next year's sleepover.  They will have a smaller sleepover in November but that will not involve experiments.  Ma limits the experiments to the summer when most things can be done outside.  :)

Click here to view pictures and experiments from last year's summer sleepover.

Thank you Mom, you are creating such wonderful memories for my children.  I love you!