Friday, April 30, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up - Science Edition

We have had a great week!  It definitely helps that the weather has been great and we only have 2 more weeks of school left!  WooHoo!  Anyway, this week the kids have really enjoyed doing our little mini unit on volcanoes.  I had thought that we would wrap this up in a week, but not so much.  Looks like we will be finishing up our study of volcanoes and our lapbooks next week.  You can take a look at this post to see how we started our week with our KWL chart.  The next day we got to actually erupt our volacnoes. 
After this, we did a little activity for our lapbooks about "What is inside a volcano?"  The kids really thought this was cool!

Here is our in progress lapbook.  The flip page at the top is a map with US states with active volcanoes.  (Sidenote - Almost each website I looked at listed different states for this.  I finally just decided on discussing the states that made all or most of the webpages that I researched.)

Don't forget to visit Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what all the other weird homeschoolers have been up to this week! :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And the award goes to . . .

Me! WooHoo!  You like me!  You really like me!

I just want to thank sweet Rebecca over at A Southern Boy and A City Girl for giving me my first award!

There are a couple rules that come along with the award:

1- thank the person who gave you the award
2- name five bloggers who make your life a little sweeter
3- tell why I was given this award
4- tell the nominees why you are giving them the award

Here is what Becca said about me on her blog:
 "I know Elaine from a friend and I look forward to every time I think I might get to see her....typically during football season tailgating! Elaine is absolutely hilarious, doesn't take life too seriously, which is a trait everyone could use a pinch of, and I laugh the whole time I am with her. I am so happy she blogs because she also has 3 wonderful boys that make me laugh, too! So glad I get to see more of your family outside of football season....see you in September!"

Hehe!  I had no idea I was so funny!  I'll do my best to not let this sweet compliment go to my head!  I mean, I'll try, but let's face it.  It's hard when you are as fantastically funny as I am. . . How am I doing with this whole containing myself thing? What's that?  You think I need to keep working on it?  What?  :-)

Now, for the moment we have all been waiting for. . . (In no particular order - bahahahaha)

1. Jenny at Home is Where You Start From - I had to pick "Hen Jen" because I just know that if we didn't live on opposite ends of the country, we would be good friends!  Her blog is full of great ideas for homeschooling!  Some of her posts crack me up and others really make me think.  I love that!  You gotta check out her post about how she changed the world for a minute. 

2.  Jenny at just jenny from the blog - I met Jenny at our homeschool co-op.  She is amazing.  She (and her husband - duh) have three sweet kiddos and are in the middle of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia.  She does amazing things for God's kingdom and I am so glad that I know her.  Her blog is full full full of inspirational posts!

3.  Jennifer at Our blog - I picked Jennifer because of her creativity (hence the blog name).  No seriously, I picked Jennifer because she is a woman after God's heart.  She has 3 little ones, all under 5, and she is still sane.  Maybe I shouldn't have given her this award since she is moving (could be as soon as 11 days!), but I know that she is all up in God's plan for her life right now and I wouldn't want her to be anywhere else.  I always enjoy reading about the adventures that she and her little ones have.

4.  Lori (see your name doesn't have to be Jennifer or some variation of Jennifer, to win this award) at My Thoughts - Lori used to be my youth pastor's wife.  Now, she is my friend.  Well I hope, I mean we've never discussed it or anything.  She is an amazing Godly woman that I really look up to and learn from . . . a mentor of sorts - and a darn good one!  She is full of wisdom and encouragement.  Wait a minute, I think I am making Lori sound old and everything, but seriously she is just a little bit older than me - just a whole lot wiser.

5. Carrie at Live, Love, and Learn Together - I met Carrie through the blogosphere.  She is great.  I also think that we would be great friends if we lived closer together.  Carrie has some seriously great homeschooling ideas and our kids seem to be close in age.  I enjoy checking out all the things she is doing at home and maybe someday, I will find the time to do some of them at our house!  Also, I read her post about how she plans for homeschool . . . She (like me) is a curriculum junkie!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Science Fun!

Since we finished up our, oh so super boring will not use again science textbook for this year, I am doing some fun little mini units on whatever the kids want until this school year ends. (which by the way is 14 days).  Anywho, the kids picked volcanoes for this week.  I think they picked this topic because they have seen the coverage of the Icelandic volcano on the news.  I am absolutely certain that it has nothing to do with the fact that we got a volcano kit for Christmas that has just been sitting on the shelf. 

The first thing I like to do when starting a unit (or mini unit) is make a KWL chart.  K - what do we already know, W -what do you want to know, L - what we learned.  Under the K part, I write whatever the kids say - even if it is an incorrect fact - that will let me know any misconceptions that I might need to clear up.  The W part lets me know what kind of info the kids will find interesting and often times shapes the direction of our unit.  And finally, the L part will be filled out at the end of the unit - hopefully answering the questions under the W part and correcting any misconceptions under the K part.  Here is ours from today.

 So, we began by talking about the layers of the earth.  The kids enjoyed making a little flapbook for their lapbooks.  We talked about each layer and then colored and labeled them in our flapbooks.
Next, we cut open a hard boiled egg to try and get another example of the layers of the earth.  The shell was the crust.  The egg white was the mantle, and the yolk was the inner and outer core.  Can you see it?
And then we peeled and ate the earth.  Gotta love edible examples!

Finally, the boys got to get started on making their volcano molds.  I would like for them to paint them tomorrow and then have them erupt on Wednesday, but something tells me that we won't be waiting until Wednesday.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up

So, we've only got 10 more days of school left until we reach our required 170 days.  Don't tell my kiddos that.  I've told them they have 15 more days.  Why?  I don't know.  I guess because I just want to be sure that we've done enough?!  Who knows?  But that's what they think and they are okay with it - so I'm going with that.  We started our school year in the middle of July and I think I am going to do that again next year.  I have really enjoyed having the freedom to take days off in the fall and spring when the weather is great.  By July, my kids are getting tired of going to the pool everyday and it's so hot, you literally can not handle being outside for long.  I've already hit them with the news that we will be doing math and reading over the summer.  Also, okay with that.  (As long as it is only 1 lesson a day - mom!)  Okay, moving on to this week's weekly wrap up.  Don't forget to head over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what everybody else has been up to this week.

Let's see . . .  We wrapped up our science book.  Speaking of  - what science curriculum do you use and love?  I haven't really dug ours for this year.  Gotta find something new for next year.  Anyway, our last unit was on space.  We talked about all things space related.  When we got to the stars and constellations, we made our own . . .
using those good ole star stickers and some black construction paper.  Next week (since we have finished our science book, we are going to talk about volcanoes.  You know with that whole Iceland thing there should be plenty of great images on the internet and we have a kit to build our own!)
What else?. . . We finished up school on Wednesday and I dropped the boys off at my friend Deborah's to play with their friends, Davis and Clark.  They had such a great time!  The next day, we decided the right thing to do was write some thank you notes using these super cute cards the boys got for Christmas from my dad and step mom.

Aren't they cute?! Anyway . . . The boys the did great and at one point my youngest came to ask me a question and I said, "Hold on honey, I am helping D with his school work."  D said, (while writing his thankyou note) "Hey, I amd not doing school."  You gotta love those kinda moments!

It was a fairly busy week when you add in baseball games and practices. And last but not least, we ended the week with my littlest man graduating from kindergarten. 

More on that to come later!  I hope you all had a great week!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This Kid

I love this kid.  There are lots of reasons why I love this kid. . . I love him because he is my "baby."  I love him because he is all boy - dirt, bugs, and sports. BUT  he also loves clothes.  I don't have a daughter, but I have someone to shop with!  I love him because he looks just like his daddy (although it is a little frustrating to carry him around for 9 months and he doesn't even look anything like me - but I digress).  I mean check this kid out. . .

I mean seriously, who wouldn't love somebody that cute? (what?  you think maybe I am a little biased?)  However, today - right now, I love this kid because he is a go getter.  He knows what he wants and he goes and gets it.  This boy doesn't take "no" easily.  He's persistant, passionate, and um, super strong willed.  And that's why I love him.  He lives life to the absolute fullest.  He'll never be known as a quiter.  He gives his all in everything he does.  He'll try anything at least once.  My littlest man laughs loud, plays hard, and loves intensely.  As shown by all the hugs and kisses he gives me throughout the day - for no apparent reason.  Man, I love this kid.

My Favorite Boys

Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up - The Socialization Myth

Well this week we have become "myth-busters" of sorts.  If you homeschool your child or children, I am sure that at some point, some kind and loving soul has said something like this, "Well what about socialization?  Don't you get tired of being at home ALL day long?  Don't you think your kids will miss playing with other kids?"  Well, this homeschool family has busted this myth to pieces this week. 

Home ALL DAY. . . What in the world is that like?  We didn't stay at home all day a single day this week! 

Let's see. . .

Monday - The big boys had baseball practice.  The little wild man had a game.

Tuesday - Everybody had baseball practice.

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Everybody had baseball practice.  But before that, we did the bare minimum of school (think the 3 R's) and headed over to my friend's house to play.  There were a total of 8 kids and we played and played and played all afternoon!

Friday - We have our weekly co-op meeting on this morning, so the boys had plenty of "socializing" during those 3 1/2 hours.  They get to go into a classroom setting with their grade level peers and learn/do all kinds of different things.  But it didn't end there.  Oh no, we went to the park AGAIN with even more friends.  Let me see. . . 18 kiddos total.  And THEN the big boys had baseball practice that night.

It was a great week.  If only these poor homeschooled kids could just get some social interaction.  I guess I'll work on that for next week.  :-)

Don't forget to head over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what alot of other poor unsocialized homeschooled kids have been up to this week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This Kid

I love this kid.  I mean, of course, I love all my kids - but right now - I really love this kid. 
He's my oldest (only by 22 minutes but you better bet it matters to him).  He's fairly quiet, you know, doesn't demand my attention like his little brother.  He keeps to himself and for the most part, does his school work with little or no complaint.  He's a great reader and loves his vegetables.  But right now, I love him because he loves to talk to me.  Not all day, all the time, gotta have your attention, but at night.  Bedtime.  After I tuck everyone in, he calls my name.  I know what he wants.  He wants me to get in the bed with him and just talk.  He usually ask the most random questions.  For example, today's question, "Mom, why do you have to be 16 to drive by yourself?  Do you think there is a big difference between 15 and 16?  Is it the same age in every state or is there some state where you can drive when your 14?"  We talk about this and then move on to just talking about his day. You would think that I would know all about his day (you know since we are together all day).  But man, life through the eyes of an 8 year old is a whole nother thing.  (Is nother a word?  A real word?  Probably not, but whatever) 
That's why I love this kid.  He waits ever so patiently to have me all to himself. Just him and me under the covers talking.  It could just be a ploy to stay up a little later, but either way it's become our time.  And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  That's why I love this kid!!!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Okay, I don't really have that much to write about today.  It's not that I haven't done anything embarassing, ridiculous, or something along those lines - No, I have most definitely.  It's just that I am having a hard time remembering all of the embarassing and ridiculous things I did this week.  But, my mom mentioned it tonight at the ballpark, so I thought I would try to remember something.

First, (since I was at the ballpark when I decided that I would write a post) I most definitely did NOT act like a crazy woman at my son's tee-ball game on Saturday.  I could care less that it was the only two undefeated teams in the league playing each other.  I did NOT jump up and down and cheer at the top of my lungs. I did NOT cheer so loudly at that game that my son did NOT tell me tonight before his game," You don't need to yell so much.  My coaches tell me what to do."  (Seriously he said this to me)  Even though his team lost, I did NOT run around bragging about how great my son played.  I wouldn't do that.  That could get real obnoxious!

On that same Saturday, I did NOT carry my big ole camera bag to the ballpark for great pictures of all the boys' games and then leave my camera in the bag the entire time.  We were NOT at the ballpark for 6 hours with no pictures to show for it.   

Next, since everybody knows that I love eating organic food and I think that high fructose corn syrup is the devil -  I most definitely did NOT take my children on this fieldtrip and then go eat at McDonald's afterwards.  For real, I would NEVER do that!

Finally, I did NOT get so fed up with my children's smart mouths today that I made them run laps to the end of our cul de sac and back everytime they had a smart comment to make.  I wouldn't do that.  That seems really mean.  Possibly cruel and unusual punishment. 

What did you NOT do this week?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

I am so excited about participating in the 2010 Ultimate Blog Party!  I just started blogging, um. . . last month so I am very new at this whole blog world and am thrilled to get to visit so many fantastic new blogs!  WooHoo!  (Also, I am easily excited - can you tell?)  Anyway, a little bit about myself. . .

I am a 31 year old homeschooling mom living in Tuscaloosa, AL - ROLL TIDE ROLL!  I have three boys - twins that are 8 and a 5 year old.  We use a whole assortment of curriculum and I must admit that I have a small curriculum addiction problem.  I promise you I could spend so much money on curriculum that it s not even funny! As you can guess with three (four if you count my husband - and let's be honest, sometimes he counts) kids in the house there is never a dull moment!  You can read about some of our homeschool adventures here.

I am married to the most fantastic husband who just happens to be my best friend (even if he does count as a kid sometimes).  I love Jesus, coffee, good books, and reality t.v. shows - you know - Biggest Loser, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, 19 Kids and Counting.  I would keep listing them, but then you might have to talk about me and my "problem" with reality t.v. shows.  Did I mention that I love coffee and a good book?  Because I do, seriously. Alot.  I mean alot alot.

So, I have shared with you some of my "issues" (you remember - the curriculum, the reality t.v. shows, the coffee and the good books)I would love for you to leave a comment, follow, or whatever so that I can visit your blog and find out about some of your "issues."  Even though I am sure you don't have any, I mean y'all are all perfectly normal right?!

Click here to join the party!!!!

All the prizes sound great, but I would really like to win . . .
US 49 provided by feels like time
US 74 provided by a full cup
US112 provided by our homeschool home
USC1 provided by twin happy

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up

We have had a great week!  We started off the week . . .

by wrapping up our stinkin' standardized test.  We only had one section to finish from last week.  We were so busy last week with our study of the Easter season and this, that and the other that we weren't able to fit it all in.  Well, that is not the truth.  We could have if I really felt like it, but I didn't because honestly I hate standardized test and don't really give a flying flip about them. There I said it. 

On Tuesday, we went on what has to be one of the best fieldtrips ever!  We went to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.  Seriously, oh my at the sugar in the glaze . . . I won't even tell you!

At this point, they asked me to put away my camera because pictures were not allowed in the back.  Oops, sorry.  Didn't know.  Anway, here are the kids after the tour waiting for our FREE HOT NOW DOUGHNUTS!

So we all ate our oh so yummy doughnuts and then we were given coupons to use later for more free doughnuts.  Seriously, what a great fieldtrip!  We left Krispy Kreme and went to the park.  The weather was fantastic and the kids had a great time playing and the moms had a great time talking!  Socialization for both -hehe.  Anyway, we left there and kept on socializing at McDonald's.  I know what you are thinking - what a super healthy and nutrition loving mom you must be.  Yeah, I know.  But sometimes, you just gotta live a little.  After Mickey D's it was off to the library.  My friend at the park suggested some new books for my boys to read, Marvin Redpost and Horrible Harry.  We've already read one Marvin Redpost book and are getting ready to start the next one.  It's so nice when your kids find books that they enjoy!!!!!  It was a fantastic way to wrap up and truly fantastic day.  The rest of our week was spent on same ole same ole school day stuff.  Nothing else super special.  Oh, school and baseball of course!  How was your week?

Don't forget to head over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to read about everybody else's week!

It's Coming. . .

Ultimate Blog Party 2010


Monday, April 5, 2010

Not My Kids Monday

Welcome to Not My Child! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Okay.  So we have been super busy this past week.  I know that everyone out there in blog land knows that kids handle busy schedules, messed up schedules, and holidays like sweet and perfect little angels and my kids are no different.  Also, since I have been so busy, stressed, running around like a chicken with my head cut off um, perfect this week, I thought I would write about some things that my sweet angelic kids absolutely did not do.

First, they absolutely did not complain and argue about me wanting them to wear shirts that matched on Easter.  They did not practically throw fits over this topic because they are 8,8, and 5 and kids those ages do not throw fits.  Instead they ended up wearing similar shirts . . .

I don't know about everybody else's kids in the world, but my boys hate taking a bath or shower.  I think that they like smelling like stinky little boys.  We have to make them take a shower and consistently remind them about soap and shampoo.  (Hopefully, we will outgrow this stage and will someday happily bathe!) With that said, I most certainly did not look out of my kitchen window and find my children doing this:

I mean if only I had known that the secret to getting little boys to bathe was to send them outside with freezing cold hose water, a bottle of shampoo, and a wagon.  Of course, not MY kids.  They would never do something as silly as that!

Next, we (we being my husband and I) decided that this was the year to end the whole Easter bunny nonsense.  We still intended to fill their baskets up with goodies, but we wanted them to know that it was from us and not some bunny delivering things to people's houses.  (Honestly, we thought they might have outgrown it by now.  But. . . ) So, after the news had been broken, my sweet little Drew did NOT look at us and say, "Why did you let me believe that for 8 whole years?"  Um, parents were totally at a loss for words.

Finally, after enjoying a wonderful Easter service with our amazing church family, we headed out to my mother-in-law's to hunt eggs, fellowship, and eat.  My kids, more specifically the youngest, did NOT open the back door and set off the house alarm.  We did not have to begin frantically texting all members of that family (in the middle of their worship service) to try and find out the code for the alarm.  MY kids would never do such.  I mean they always listen, obey rules, talk with respect, and get along amazingly.


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