Sunday, October 26, 2014

Eight years ...

As of today, it's been exactly eight years since we moved to Montana. We actually left California a few days before, but it was October 26, 2006 when we spent our first night in this house. It's hard to believe we've been here this long. However, some days it feels like we've just gotten here, and other days it feels like we've been here forever. So strange. 

I took this picture of the house not too long ago. Those double doors on the lower level towards the left lead into our classroom. It's a great place for our homeschool room, especially since we get the afternoon sunshine there. Denny loves it. That's also where he begs to be let out to eat grass, or for "recess" as we say. But still—eight years—pretty unbelievable.

Friday, October 24, 2014

CrAzY WeEk!

First of all, thank you to everyone who has visited my blog recently. I know I've completely sucked at blogging lately. I've been even worse at visiting my favorite blogs. I have no excuse. I just suck. I hope to get better though, so please bear with me.

This week has been crazy. Actually, it started last week with a health screening for Rick's work. We do this once a year to get some money off our insurance fees. Then Monday I had a root canal. I was actually looking forward to it because the tooth has been a problem for awhile and it had just started hurting. It already had a root canal done previously, but something was wrong, so I had to have a second one. Turns out the remaining root has a fracture in it, so the endodontist suggested it be extracted. Ugh -- not exactly the news I was hoping for.

Then Tuesday I had a podiatrist appointment for something going on with my foot. I'm not sure if he's making it better or worse. I can barely walk without hobbling now. Wednesday was free, but Thursday the boys had dentist appointments. Those were just cleanings and check-ups. Neither had any cavities, which was good. While I was there, they slipped me back for a consultation about my tooth. My dentist gave me options of what to do--bridge or implant--and then prescribed some stronger antibiotics than what my endodontist gave me. Those darn things cost $40 for 6 tablets.

Today is Friday and I have an eye exam, which is part of the requirements for the health screening I mentioned earlier. To be honest, I'd rather have another root canal than have anyone mess with my eyes ... or my feet, for that matter! It's been a sucky week. I'm looking forward to the weekend. I'd like to think I have all this behind me, but it seems I have more in the future with a foot check-up on Halloween, the extraction as soon as the infection is cleared up, followed by the three month wait before I can get the implant put in, and then ... another three month wait to finish the tooth completely. Sheesh! I hope you are all doing well!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I finished reading Coraline last night. My daughter, Nicole lent me her book awhile back, and I've had it sitting on my nightstand for the longest time. I finally gave myself time to read it. I've been a big fan of the film for a long time, so the book didn't disappoint at all. It's funny how people call her Caroline Jones in the book. That's my mother-in-law's name. Coraline is such a unique name, just as the story is unique.

Now that I've finished the book, I'll probably watch the movie again. I was going through some old photos recently when I came across the one I did after the movie came out. They used to have the photo thing on their site, but I don't see it now. Talk about The Other Mother ...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blue Jays

I've really enjoyed seeing blue jays at the feeders lately. We have blue jays everywhere, but they haven't been regulars at my feeders. A pair has been coming by lately, so I've been trying to get some good photos of them. They're really noisy birds, so it's easy to hear when they're out there, but they aren't so easy to photograph. They see the slightest movement, even from inside the house. Hopefully I can get some better shots of them soon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Homemade Art Supplies

In addition to their regular school work, the boys have been making homemade art supplies all this week. Monday they made birthday cards for their sister, so that day really didn't count. Tuesday they made paper out of bits of torn up paper. We didn't have a very big screen, so basically we just made small pieces to see what the process what like. It was a lot of fun. I'm seriously thinking of scouring the thrift store for an old blender, so I can do more of this. I was a little hesitant doing it with my Ninja, but it didn't seem to hurt it at all.

Wednesday we made star-shaped rainbow crayons. We used broken, small crayon bits we had, so that was a fun way to get rid of of them. Years ago, my mother-in-law gave me this foil star-shaped cups. They're almost like cupcake holders. We decided to use those for the crayons, which worked great because they came out really easy. This would be a great party favor, or even party craft idea for kids. You could use pink crayons to make Patrick Star from SpongeBob. Or red, white, and blue crayons for the 4th of July. 

Then yesterday we made a no-cook PlayDoh. I only had a little cream of tartar left, so we made half a batch. Even so, that was plenty. The boys picked green because they have this unusual obsession with Squidward from SpongeBob. The dough turned out really well and the boys were fascinated just by the ability to make it from scratch. That was more the point of these crafts because we are certainly not lacking paper, crayons, or Playdoh. Today is Friday and we were going to make homemade sidewalk chalk. However, it seems my Plaster of Paris is either all gone, or never made the move with us. So anyway, I'm looking for another project to do today instead of the chalk. I was thinking maybe homemade glue. Hmmm ...

I was playing around with the panorama feature on my phone the other day and got this funky shot of our classroom. It looks weird—and long—but I thought it turned out kind of interesting. If you click on the images, they should show up a little bigger. Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lost & Found

Many years ago—way back in 1998—I created our own health curriculum using the book pictured above. Generally, we use mostly A Beka Books for our curriculum, but that particular year I decided to make my own for the girls. This year I decided it would be fun to go over the same program with the boys. I looked and looked and looked, but I couldn't find the blank worksheet pages. Whenever I make my own worksheets, I usually print up one extra copy to keep blank. I thought I had done that with this program, but it was so long ago.

When it came time to do the first lesson, I ended up going through the girls' binders and finding a copy of the first worksheet. I made a copy to replace in their book, and then I erased all their answers so I could make a fresh copy for the boys. I was DREADING the thought of having to do that for every worksheet, nor was I too keen on the idea of having to recreate all these pages again. After searching through all my books and files, I thought for sure I had tossed them out. That's very unlike me. Then, just out of the blue, I decided to look in a drawer that had mostly Rick's stuff in it. To my surprise, there was a huge 4-inch binder filled with past school records, all sorts of curriculum programs I had created, AND the health worksheets—YAY!

I had this gut feeling I still had them, but I had no clue where they went to. I was so happy to find them because there were over 30 pages of worksheets I had created. The thought of having to redo them was mind-boggling, and I certainly didn't want to have to make copies of the girls' pages and then white them out to make blank pages. I rarely throw things like this away, even when I think I might not use them again. I was thrilled I had hung onto them, even with them being in some obscure spot.