Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Todays Lesson~Reading

I love to read. I love all manner of stories and I find them most entertaining. I also know as a daughter, sister, and mother of dyslexics reading is not always an enjoyable experience. My son who has dyslexia has not really found much joy in reading yet. He is now 13 and A is doing so much better with his reading that I am consistently proud of him. We however have used audio books to spark an interest in his desires and I think its really helped. We found this web site called 'Books should be free' where there are hundreds of classic stories all with free mp3 downloads. I have enjoyed many books myself this way. it is nice to be able to sit and crochet or craft and have someone else read me a story.

Today we are going to listen to "The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus" by L Frank Baum (yes thats right he wrote more then the Wizard of Oz)

Today we are working on site words for the little ones, They already have a love of books. They love when someone else reads to them. Now I want to encourage them to read to themselves. Until now neither of them showed the signs of reading readiness. We believe that until the children show signs we do not force reading, or reading practice. We learned early on in our homeschooling adventures that pressing kids to early can cause frustration and anger. Some kids are ready early some are ready late but at any rate when you allow a child to learn at their own pace and when they are ready they learn quickly because they are ready. So this morning I found this site where all the dolch site words are in puzzle form in groups of about 10 words per puzzle. I printed off several for each child to practice today. I then created a printed page with lined paper for them to practice spelling the words, I wrote 10 of the 20 words on the practice paper and had them practice writing the words. We will probably repeat the same ones in a few days just to see which they remember and which they don't. I am also in the process of writing little stories in word format to go with these that they can practice.

ahhh the joys of reading, it all starts somewhere.

Monday, November 29, 2010

new look

So I spent way more time then I intended to spend editing my background and redoing a whole bunch of stuff on my blog. What else is new?

Life has thrown some serious curve balls at us but we are regrouping as best we can. We are blessed with great friends, who are supportive in more ways then one. We also learned some people are not as good of friends as we had thought. So goes life.

We only have a few weeks then its Christmas. For the first time in 17 years my husband and I will be apart for Christmas. I know being that he is a Marine I should count myself lucky that he has never been gone for the holidays but with everything else that has happened this year it just feels like Icing on the proverbial cake. The kids and I are going to make the best of it. We will be baking and making lots of goodies for friends and family. We will have fun searching for some recipe that is vegan friendly for my sister, and looking for wonderful things to make for my parents, brother and other sister. This will all be worked into their lesson plans for the coming weeks. We are looking at the Great Depression and learning a lot about life back then. How families worked together and how it applies to our current situations. Life is not always easy but if you learn how to make the very best of it and enjoy what you do have you will get farther in this world then if you are a negative nelly.

So for the most part the moving is over, most of our stuff is in storage, a few more boxes must go to storage and a few need to come back because they accidentally went. Moving will happen soon enough to a permanent location as yet to be named. It will be decided by the Marine Corps. Hopefully sooner rather then later.

I am going to be back to blogging on a fairly regular basis, hope you all didn't miss me to much.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interactive video Andy Grammer

I know I said I was going to be away for a while but I just HAD to share this new interactive video by Andy Grammer. My good friend Zachary Rudolph is the Bass player in the band rockin the dreads in the video. Have fun changing the video around and discovering alternate views, its a load of fun!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stepping away for a bit

There are a lot of life changes going on at the moment and I will be away for a little bit. I am not real sure how long it will be but I hope to be able to resume blogging before thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis is Latin. Its probably the only Latin phrase I know. It means Always faithful. It is most well known or heard in its shortened term Semper Fi. Shouted at the top of the lungs of any United States Marine. It has become a term near and dear to my heart. The United States Marine Corps adopted the motto in 1883 on the initiative of the 8th commandant of the Marine Corps Colonel Charles McCawley.

Why you ask is this so important to me? I am married to a Marine. plain and simple. There is nothing better in my life and on this day, The 235 birthday of the United States Marine Corps I want to pay honor to the Marines in my life.

I want to post some info on the Marine Corps. Some will be history, some will be facts and some will be just things I love about the Corps.

The Marine Corps has the longest boot camp of all military branches. In the Marine Corps it is always called Boot Camp NEVER Basic training.

Every Marine is a rifleman. This means that ALL Marines are taught how to shoot a weapon with extreme accuracy no matter what other MOS ( job ) they may do in the Corps.

All Marines are always referred to as Marines. There is no such thing as an Ex-Marine. Former Marine if you feel you must but never should a Marine be refereed to as an ex-Marine, or a Soldier. A soldier is someone who serves in the Army. You can always refer to a Marine by their rank no matter if they are retired, discharged or active.

The Marine Corps Hymn is copyrighted and has been since 1891. The Hymn incorporates famous battles that the Marines have been part of since its inception.

During WWII the Marines used Navajo Code Talkers to confuse the German soldiers and win the war.

The most well known photo from WWII, and the statues erected in its image is actually the Second flag raising on Iwo Jima, not the first. The first flag raising was of a small company flag and when the fleet arrived with a larger flag the small one was replaced and returned to the Marine Company that it belonged to. This second flag raising is what is photographed and remembered.
First flag raising
Second flag raising

 There are many terms of  "endearment" that Marines and those that know them will use when referring to them. To a Marine these are not insults, that is unless you happen to be a squid in a bar and then you should hope you have plenty of other squids to back you up. A few of these are Devildog, Jarhead, leatherneck.

Devildogs is the english version of a German soldiers nickname for Marines and was given to the Marines during the battle of Belleau Wood in WWI, 1918. The actual name is Teufel Hunden which translated means devil dogs.

The Marine Corps Mascot is the Bulldog. This is because of the nickname that they were given in WWI by the German Army. The first English bulldog who was made a Marine was Jiggs. Jiggs earned the rank of SgtMaj (thats Sergeant Major to those who don't speak Marine Corps rank fluently) and passed away in 1927. However a new English Bulldog took his place each year until the 1950s when the new bulldog was named after LtGen (Lieutenant General ) Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller Jr. Since that time each Marine Mascot has been called Chesty.  Chesty even has his very own specially made uniforms.

For those of you who do not know LtGen Puller Jr. "Chesty" was the most highly decorated Marine in the history of the Corps. He is beloved by all Marines. You can learn more about Chesty here.

Marines are taught how to adapt and overcome every situation. It is somewhat of a Motto for a Marine. It holds true in everyday life and serves them well no matter where they are.

Nobody looks better in their Dress Uniform then a United States Marine!

Happy Birthday Marine Corps. Semper Fi do or die.
For good measure here are some rather infamous quotes:

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"

"We're surrounded. That simplifies the problem!"

"I can never again see a UNITED STATES MARINE without experiencing a feeling of reverence."

"I have just returned from visiting the MARINES at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Todays lesson brought to you by...

Annie Leonard.

Seriously at our Luminous Learning Academy we LOVE Annie! She is fantastic at putting big information into easily understandable mini movies.

Today was the release of The Story of Electronics...

I want to encourage everyone to watch all of the videos on the website. Not only are they great from an educational stand point, they are short and packed with lots of information. The Story of Stuff website has videos on "The Story of Stuff", "The Story of Cosmetics", " The Story of Bottled Water", and "The Story of Cap & Trade". We have watched each of these videos and they are fantastic. Annie doesn't mix words about how bad for us so much of this stuff in our daily lives is. She does put everything in a very clear down to earth terms so that even the youngest person can understand. My 6 & 7 year olds watch these videos with us and we are all becoming more aware of the things that we buy, use and how we use them.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Craft purchasing etiquette

If you are someone who loves to purchase hand made crafts because you yourself are not crafty but can appreciate someone who is you should know a few things.

1. A crafters time is worth the money they charge for their items.

2. Just because you can find similar items cheaper at a box store does not mean they are worth less money.

3. Placing an "order" with someone you know who crafts, be it knit, crochet, sew, beading etc is not a polite way of asking if the person would be willing to make something for you.

4. Gushing profusely is completely appropriate.

5. Yes a handmade blanket REALLY costs THAT much! (see rule 1 for proof)

6. Unless a crafter has a booth, an online store, or other venue do not assume that they are willing to make and sell their crafted items.

7. Do not assume that a crafter is willing to create special items with your favorite color choices.

8. Compliment the crafter on their hard work, abilities, and color schemes.

9. Always tell people who the crafter is that created the item you love so much, when possible hand out extra business cards. If rule number 6 applies!

10. Share these rules with everyone you know so that we can all support one another.

* yes I am a crafter! I love to crochet, make jewelery, and sew. I however have gotten away from selling my items OR making them for people who do not appreciate them. To many people seem to think since they can buy a knit cap from a box store that my lovely crocheted items should be less expensive. The yarn alone costs between $5-10.00 and the hours it takes me to sit and make an item are still worth being paid a wage per hour. I am an expert in my field of crochet, which means I do very advanced patterns and my items are sturdy. They last a long time and are well put together. Yes you could probably find an item that would "work" just as well as my lovely handmade items, however they will be just like everyone else's. They also are machine made and took a fraction of the time to complete.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time Change?

Experts claim that day light savings time changes actually save us electricity. I personally do not believe this.

My kids still wake up every morning at the same time and they go to bed at the same time so for me changing times does nothing but mess up my sleep patterns. So instead of the kids getting up between 7-8 am when we fall back they are getting up between 6-7am and they still go to bed between 8-9pm. Falling back actually causes more disruption then anything.

So I started looking up information on why they think it saves energy. This is illogical to me. We use the same amount of energy it just varies. Do we use it in the morning? Or do we use it at night? Either way you are still using electricity and therefor it negates any "savings" we could possibly be getting from changing our time every few months. I believe personally that this is more detrimental to our sleep patterns and causes more problems for our bodies then it could possibly be for our electric pocket books.

You can find a link to some daylight savings for energy savings info here. It is on the California government pages, there is also a link to a study on how daylight savings time actually increases the demand for electricity not the other way around done in 2008 in Indiana. Indiana research article is actually done in a college format paper. It is easy to read.

To back my claim that daylight savings time actually can be more harmful to the body then it could be to save any amount of money on energy here is a website that answers questions about how it medically effects your body. medical questions answered

So what do you guys think?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Trying to find balance

In my life I try really hard to have a balance in all the things I do. Since starting school that has been really difficult for me to achieve. I want to do well in school. I have never gone to college before and honestly I hated school when I was a kid. That was one of my many deciding factors in my drive to homeschool my kids. It feels like I do not have enough time to do the things I want to do, let alone all the things I need to do. I am only taking 2 courses online at the college. The online factor has been great. I love that I can either watch classes on the tv or online after the class has been on. I however have a major project that I am supposed to do in one of those classes and I have not even come close to finishing it. I have to interview someone for this and I have not been able to find anyone to interview. Of course this is mostly do to the fact that I am home so much and none of the people I know fall into the category that I need for the interviewee. I find that at the times that I am trying to work with the kids for their school I am thinking about all the things I still have to do for mine. Or when I should be relaxing I am worrying that I am not teaching the kids enough and their schooling is so important. I do not feel like I have enough time in the day and a lot of things are falling by the wayside. The laundry is piling up, the floors need a good cleaning, the dogs all need baths (again!) and well I am certain that my kids are missing far to much of me.

How do you balance homeschooling, going to college, taking care of a house & family, and play time? I have not found this balance yet. Something may have to give.... I just don't know what!