A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Birds & Gold & Cats & More

There I go again, painting more TP tubes.  I'm hoping these turn into "firecrackers" for Chinese New Year.  I usually have lofty goals, but I need to get better at the follow through part.  

I'm planning to put gold washi tape along the top & bottom of them and use baker's twine to hang them in a chain.  I'm really looking forward to decking the library out for CNY.  

We'll be talking about birds in the library next week, so I pulled out the animal toob bucket and the letter tiles.  I'm going to have the primaries do some matching.  I think I'm going to hand a card to each of the children as they come in and have them try to find the bag with the right bird in it.  Crossing my fingers it goes as well in person as I'm imagining in my head.  

I'm reading the 5th graders Badge of Honor, which is set during the Gold Rush.  So I got them pyrite mining kits to dig some "gold" last week while I read aloud.  

Speaking of the library, we're having our very first fundraiser!  Check it out!  

I kicked a chair and bruised my toe.  :sigh:  

Went to the fabric store, hoping to find something to inspire me for Chinese New Year, and saw this agate fabric that reminded me of Brianna, who loves pretty rocks.  

I pulled the Tylenol out of my desk at work this week and thought, "That's probably not going to last me the rest of the school year, is it?"  It was NOT a full bottle when the year started, though, just a random one I brought from home.  

You can really see the size difference between 6# Fiona and 12# Grumman here.  

They're tolerating each other a lot better these days, particularly when it comes to sharing the "electric sunbeam," the space in front of the space heather!  

Jack Jack went on a hike with some friends.  I wanted him to bring a hoodie, but Heaven forbid his friends find out he owns sleeves or pants.  :eyeroll:  It was 53* when I dropped him off.  

Because I rank among the #worldsokayestmom team, this is my First Day of School picture on Josiah's second day of school.  :facepalm:  

Hannah's project

Dante forgot a circle:  Science Fair.  The most undervalued benefit of homeschooling is that there's no science fair.  You can science any way you want.  I hate science fair kind of like I hate school performances & ceremonies.  I'll go along with it, but I'm going to complain the whole time.  I should probably work on that.  Although, it seems like the kind of sin I'll outgrow in a few years, anyway, so maybe I'll just wait it out.  

Katie's project

I found it amusing that Katie never bothered to "experiment" on Fiona.  She could have had twice as much data.  

Grumman has been far more of a lap cat than usual lately.  And I've been getting less and less accomplished lately.  But it's really not his fault.  I feel like my "get up & go" got up and went.  It's just that since I'm sitting around doing nothing, my lap is more available to him.  I don't know if it's the weather, or I'm fighting a cold, or what, but I really hope I can force myself to start getting more done soon.  

Friday, January 7, 2022

Cats, Chocolate, Books, and Shopping

As we headed back to school after Christmas break, I wore my new book scarf from Zach & Heather.  

The cats continue to be big purrsonalities around here.  Tuzi (the bunny) has been spending some time out of his cage lately, and Grumman wants to wrestle with him the way he does with Fiona.  Um, no.  That's not going to fly, you predator.  

Fiona will be going in for her spay surgery soon.  It was surprisingly difficult to find a place to get her in to.  As soon as one of the places I put her on the wait list for sent me a link to schedule an appointment, I scheduled, but even still it was 2 months out.  

Paul put an assorted bag of Ghirardelli chocolates in my stocking, and one of the parents at school gave me some girl scout chocolates, so the kids had a comparison taste test.  Responses were pretty evenly split; they were both good!  

The filing cabinets got moved out of the library, and a new to me cart was moved in!  Since our theme for the first week back was SNOW, I thought a penguin/Antarctica display would be appropriate.  

I haven't found a source site I really like for my monthly Notable Events display yet.  I'm sort of cobbling things together from a variety of places.  

I taught most of the classes about Snowflake Bentley this week.  (affiliate link)  Since Wilson Bentley had such a thirst for knowledge that he read his mother's set of encyclopedias, I pulled down the dusty 1995 encyclopedias in the library and explained to the high schoolers that back in the days before Google, this was how we learned stuff.  I had them do their silent reading time with an encyclopedia, and afterwards the students shared something they'd learned.  All sorts of new fun facts, from Blood to Taoism.  It went well enough that I think I'm going to try it with the middle schoolers.  

There's a saying among Air Force mamas, "Find a dime; your airman's fine."  So I was excited to see a coin in the washing machine.  Except, it's an Australian 5 cent piece.  Hmm.  

A very well packed envelope.

There's this boutique clothing shop, Take Courage, that I found on Facebook.  I don't think I've mentioned it here, but I've picked up a few things, and been happy with them.  I like that they help families fund adoptions.  

I got Katie a Year of the Tiger Chinese New Year shirt, since she was born in Year of the Tiger.  And the other two are Valentine dresses for both girls.  Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures when they wear them.  


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Our End of December and Happy New Year Week

I'm writing this in that between time, where Christmas has passed, but school has yet to start, and every day feels like Saturday.  

So, if you remember, the girls got Target gift cards from Grammy.

One day, we went to see what they could find to turn them into.  I loaned them purses for the event.  I've been talking up the concept of carrying a purse, and what things might be useful to have in a purse.  

Once inside, I pointed out purses, and Hannah chose one.

Katie, however made for electronics, and picked up an SD card for her new digital camera.  (I feel like it should have come with one, but it so didn't.)  

We explored a few other departments, but they didn't find anything else they needed that day.

This was the first time they'd been in Target in literally 2 years.  It was a very educational experience.  When we got home, they wrote thank you notes to Grammy, and packed purses.  

More library books

When we cleaned out Jack's old room, I discovered someone had hidden the noisy birds in his closet.  I like the noisy birds.  The cats are really not sure what to think about them.  

Grumman, in a rare cuddly moment.

How I rang in the New Year.

Paul picked up display boards for the girls to use for science fair.  He put them in my room, so they wouldn't mess them up.  So Grumman took it upon himself to do it for them.  Those puncture marks correspond with his fangs.  

Oh Grumman.  

Monday, January 3, 2022

The Great Room Shuffle

I feel like we do this every few years.  

Step one:  move Jack into his new room.

Which used to be Eli's room, and then the guest room, which was used by Bri for 6 months in 2020 and then by Sam for 6 months in 2021.  

Step two:  clean out Jack's old room.  Which included a treasure trove of clothes that don't fit anyone any more.  And, on the chair, an old pair of Eli socks.  :sigh:  

Then we moved Katie into Jack's old room.

I'm feeling like it needs a colorful bedspread.  There's a lot of blue there.  

I had each of the girls pick out their top 10 favorite stuffed animals.  Then I picked out a few that were favorites of the older kids.  The rest are going bye bye.  

Take note of the bed in the above photo.  

With the disappearance of Katie's furniture and the lego buckets, we got to vacuum a nice large portion of the room before


We flipped the Ikea bed and added a desk.  

Lots of excitement with all the changes.  

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Our Christmas Week

Fiona has a sunbeam that she likes to lay in on the stairs, but she's also a big fan of the "electric sunbeam."  

Remember the Grinch punch that went horribly wrong and nobody liked?  I was able to redeem myself with a much better version, which everyone enjoyed.  

I used rainbow sherbet, Hawaiian punch, and cherry 7-Up.  

No complaints this time!

Hannah made holly from chenille stems.  

This is what happens when you wait too long to buy cinnamon rolls.  Fortunately, Josiah is *awesome* and made them from scratch for me.  

Speaking of sunbeams...  Grumman was enjoying the school room sunbeam one day while Katie's science fair project was all over the floor.  

Library books

A little geography review with a GeoPuzzle.  I love these.  

We use fabric gift bags for Christmas, instead of wrapping paper.  Fee got in the bin and when I asked her what she was doing, she gave me a look that clearly said that she's the gift.  

She's a very happy little cat.  

"Everybody go sit on the couch for Christmas jammies!"  

....gosh, there's not much "everybody" any more.  

We also re-use gift tags from year to year, but sometimes they get lost along the way, so Christmas Eve found me Crikey-ing up a couple more.  

In a blink, it was morning.  I had to get everybody up at 7:30.  Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas album helped.  

Stockings o'clock, people!  Rise & shine!

All too soon, the stockings had been emptied, and it was time for the Christmas morning traditional breakfast:  

Orange Juice & Cinnamon Rolls

Paul came home after breakfast, and we started opening gifts.  

And when he got up to get something, Grumman took his spot.

Lots of games this year

Which is wonderful

They've already been playing them.

Popcorn, to be enjoyed with movies

Another trap shooting shirt, since he liked the one I got him a few months ago so much.

Miss M, opening her kitchen stuff.

Some books that Katie asked for.  

Eli's Miss Adorable dropped of some gifts, including this Air Force necklace.

And my Daddy made me this bracelet.  

Overall, it was a pleasant, low-key holiday.