Monday, March 31, 2008


Well, here is what has been keeping us busy the last couple of weeks.

Car Repairs--This is the time of year for inspections and getting new tags. Also, I took the van in to have it checked for a few things before our trip. While I was without the van I drove the King's truck whose starter died while I was running errands. Yikes! I was stranded and so was the King (at work). We got that problem solved by my pleading for help from the shop guys. lol Then one place said I needed new tires. I go all the way to Sears for that, because that's our usual place, and they said I didn't need new tires. Thus a trip to the mall because I had already promised that we would go while waiting for the van.

Shopping--I've been doing a lot of shopping lately. Sandals for everybody, bathing suits, beach towels, SEA WORLD TICKETS (gotta love that one. Neither the boys nor the King have ever been to Sea world) AAA triptik, books for Ambleside Online's Year 1 found thru various sources online including,, and I'm having fun scoring hardcover books for the same price or less than the new paparbacks from Amazon. I got two Holling C Holling books in hardcover and 4 of the D'Aulaire books in hardcover. Also, Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare and the James Heriot Treasury. That's all that i can think of right now. I also shopped for Tigger who got a little gift for successfully potty training. I shopped both online and in stores for musical instruments for the boys. We decided to get Tigger a guitar (from Target) and a keyboard for Pooh (from Amazon). I also got a lap harp. I want to incorporate music lessons into our RDI as well as teach them to play. Tigger is a very big instrument lover already, just like the King.

Field Trip--I organized our local homeschool group going on a field trip to a local science center and planetarium. That was fun! Everyone was happy to get together.

Bowling--I have been wanting to do a little party for Tigger for potty training (before our summer pirate party--too far away) so I organized our homeschool group to go bowling. $2 per hour including shoe rental!!!! Can't beat that! Everyone paid their own way, but I brought a cake and the paper supplies. The kids are all itching to do it again one day.

Gardening--I start all my plants from seeds pretty much. So I have been transplanting broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage into the garden. Then going to Lowes to hunt down the mole repellent you sprinkle around the plants because they were getting eaten. Fertilizing said plants along with the asparagus, onion and garlic I'm growing. I also have started tomatoes, peppers and eggplants that i moved into their own cups last week. There are a lot of flower seeds in my house and getting ready to be moved to my little greenhouse. I want the space back in my living room. Unfortunately, my greenhouse isn't one i can afford to heat enough to start early stuff in.

All this means we've had a two week spring break. There has been a little reading and some listening to audio books. Oh and the RDI stuff! Can't forget that. However, this week I have to get back on track with our regular routine. Our FL trip is coming up fast and I won't be dragging our math along on that. (although I'm considering bringing some of the books we're reading in addition to the audio ones--not sure yet on that though).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

More New Things

I just thought i would mention some other new things we've tried for our current RDI goal.

1. Nutcracker: I finally hunted down a nutcracker in the stores. Those things are amazingly hard to find! I didn't find those basic versions we all remember from when we were kids. The only one I found is probably ergonomically correct (at least it looks like it could be) and also cracks seafood and was $10!!! I already had some pecans that needed to be eaten so I guess it was well worth it. It was sooo cute because after Pooh cracked them, he started feeding me the bits of nuts. He hates nuts so I guess he figured he'd better feed them to me so he wouldn't have to eat them. LOL

2. Making a protein shake with the blender. If we've ever done this, it was so long ago that Pooh didn't seem to remember. He referenced me all over the place for this activity. Also, I scaffolded the activity in the sense that when it was time to turn on the blender, I covered his ears for him so he could continue to be part of it.

3. Using the Wrap n Learn Math version from Discovery Toys. Pooh didn't reference as much with this one I think because he was so intense on figuring it out with matching the pictures.

4. Showing him a new kitchen tool---Pampered Chef's Finger Guard. Pooh declared that 'it's a great invention!" and i have to agree. Now i don't worry so much about him chopping off a fingertip or two and he feels easier about holding on to the vegetables as he's chopping. Before he would just chop 'at' the veggies if you know what i mean. He was keeping his free hand far away from the blade. We also chopped a new vegetable---drum roll please...........

CABBAGE. I can hear everybody now saying "oooooooo aaahhhhhhh". he he

5. Pruning shears. This was something laying on the kitchen island that Pooh picked up on his own and asked about. So I got my vase of fresh flowers and had him nip a bit of the ends off a few. Pretty cool when they do it on their own!!

That's all that I can remember right now. The crayon making was a bust because the mold wasn't included in the box. I guess I'll try to hunt one down from crayola one day. I also bought a little origami set but I tried it by myself one night and I have a feeling it may just be too hard. We'll see. Target had a couple of little sets on sale that i picked up--sewing elephants was one and I can't remember the other, but they're on my very long "To Do" list.

This has been a crazy last two weeks and I'll blog separately about some other goings on soon.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Daffadowndilly is a poem by A.A. Milne (yes, the same man that wrote the Winnie the Pooh stories). We read it a couple of weeks ago. The boys thought the name was silly and fun (I agreed). I liked that it called attention to a flower and wanted to transfer that to the real world for the boys. Now is the perfect time to do that as spring has brought out the daffodils here.

We've made up a game where anytime we see daffodils, the person who sees them will yell out "Daffadowndilly!". Then someone else will say "Ding-Dong!" meaning you got one. It started out as 'ding-ding' but somehow ended up as 'ding-dong'. lol

Mainly it's been Tigger and I playing, but I do notice that Pooh is paying attention to what's going on. He'll look when we yell at the daffodils and today when I said 'ding-ding' instead of 'ding-dong' he pointed out my error. he he

Anyhoo, I thought I would share the game in case anyone else wants to play!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Salad Tongs

You guys are going to think I'm nuts. I finally just got around to buying a set of salad tongs. Pampered Chef's bamboo ones no less. Why haven't I had salad tongs before you may ask? Well, I have had two pairs in the years I've been married. The King breaks them every time. He's a bit of a klutz with that kind of stuff, but I put up with it because he does dishes. LOL We went through two complete sets of 20 glasses the first few years we were married. In addition to that, I've lost all but two of my wine glasses, my perfume bottle I bought in France and several plates and bowls.

So, salad tongs. This time they're bamboo, so maybe they'll last.

So for dinner tonight after the table was set, I placed the tongs on Pooh's plate. "What's this?" he asked. (meanwhile the King is trying to busily set up the video camera so we missed the very first part of the 1 minute activity LOL) I took the tongs and flipped them around so the spring action would work. He watched me, looked at the salad bowl on the table and started right in. I held someone's bowl while he put in the salad. I think it was toooo easy really. Yes, it was something new but he barely even needed help. He did reference for help though which I guess is the whole point of this exercise.

Tomorrow I have to remember to buy the nutcracker while we're running errands.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Flower Pressing

My King bought me a beautiful bouquet of roses last week and it is still hanging on by it's last little threads of life. They are the palest peachy-pink with a pale yellow color on the inside. I've been enjoying them all week.

Today as I was changing their water and trimming the ends, some of the petals of the roses were falling off. So I thought I should save these. I put them in a bowl and after I was done decided "Hey, why don't I use that flower press that I bought at Goodwill and have never tried?" So I'm moseying along cleaning up my flower mess, when suddenly I realized "Duh, Pooh has never used the flower press either! It's a new thing! We'll RDI it and video tape it for our consultant!!!"

This just goes to show that no matter how much you think about planning, nothing beats those natural moments when you realize there's a neat RDI thing to do. And sometimes, you don't even realize you're doing it until you're halfway through doing something! Then there's those times when you finish something and think "Ahhhh, I could have done an RDI activity with that!" I'm going to have to start note taking on my frig so that I can record all these passing ideas and thoughts that run 180 miles through my brain. The more busy life gets, the less I remember. Let's hope when I get up tomorrow I remember to start the frig list. ;D

Just so you know, the Flower Pressing went great. I was even able to include Tigger. I had to prep him by telling him he couldn't boss Pooh around and then decided that it should just be no-talking for Tigger. At one point through the activity,Tigger, who wanted to continue with us, said "Can I stop talking now Mommy?" "Sure, sweetie." I responded. LOL

Pooh definitely referenced for help in figuring this new thing out, was eager to participate and did great turn-taking with Tigger unprompted or aided by me. We did three sections in the Flower Press which took us about 20 minutes for the activity beginning to end. That included learning to take off the butterfly nuts (I only know the name because I just yelled for help from the King ;D) and screws, laying the cardboard, cutting the wax paper, laying the petals, cutting another wax paper, then laying more cardboard, etc, etc. The butterfly nuts were taking a little bit of time to get off, so I started singing Around the Mulberry Bush and when they came off, we said "Pop goes the weasel". When we put them back on they became helicopters coming in for a landing "bubububbububububu". They liked the idea of 'smooshing' the flowers.

I was very pleased with it all. Two more ideas I really want to do this week are 1. using the crayon maker I picked up at a yard sale this week (must read the directions myself first) and 2. buy a nutcracker as I have some pecans that we could crack. Both are 'something new' for Pooh.

Friday, March 14, 2008

RDI Update

We've moved into the new Stage 2. yeah!!!

This is per my consultant. If it was left up to me, I'd probably still be trying to figure out the objectives from Stage 1. I'm just not good at translating them into language I understand. I try to figure it out, but still feel a little lost when reading them. I apologized to my consultant for being a bit of a dunce with it, but I think she forgives me. ;D

Anyway, our new goal has to do with presenting new things to Pooh and seeing if he will reference for help. Does he just plod on through thinking he can figure it out himself? Or does he look to his guide (me) for help? Some things suggested due to his age were: using a cheese slicer or bottle opener, sewing, finger crocheting, origami, removing lint from dryer, checking oil and air pressure, putting on a doorknob, a new craft or recipe. Sounds daunting doesn't it? And I've got to get it on video. I think I'll be scaling back the school work while we do this because it means looking and doing new things which will required prep time and clean up time. That's what gets me in the end, the prep and cleaning. My plan is to come up with some good stuff to start working in on Monday and throughout the week to video. So I better hop to it.

Also, if there's anyone out there reading this who'd like to offer some suggestions for activities, feel free.

Quick Bird Update

I thought since I let you guys in on all the birds I have in my yard during the Backyard Bird Count, I would give a little bird update now and then. The King made me a tall bird feeder hanger , tall enough so that i can see my feeders from the living room windows. I used to hang the feeders in front of the window but the little buggers ruined the screens by landing on them and the Titmouse will actually peck at them. I love my new hanger stand!!!

Here are some birds I've identified or have returned since my last bird post:

Pine Warbler (so cute and loud!)
Red Winged Blackbird (first time ever)
House Finch
White Breasted Nuthatch
Red Breasted Nuthatch
Downy Woodpecker

Did I ever tell you about my experience with the Carolina Wrens? Well, first you must know that they will nest anywhere. Our shed has doors that allow a space for birds to get in at the top or bottom (its the way they are hung and they are old). The Wrens decided to nest in there about 2 years ago. Then at some point they started driving me nuts with their calls. It sounded like they were upset. For two days they kept making this call, from daybreak to sundown. Dummy me, finally realized that their babies were ready to fly but wouldn't try because they didn't know what to do with the doors closed to the shed. The parents could get in and out but now the babies. So I had to leave the doors open for two days so the parents could get all their babies fledged.

Ah, at last a peaceful morning song! The squawking is finished!!!! ;D

Thursday, March 13, 2008

3 Weeks Already!?!

I can't believe how long it's been since i blogged. I knew at least a week, but three?!? Goodness!

To tell the truth I'm having trouble remembering what we've been doing. I know I've been planning two events this month for our homeschool group, doing drama practice which required hunting down a box big enough to be the third little pig's brick house, art classes, park days and have started seeds for gardening this year. Hmmmm. Maybe that's why 3 weeks went by so fast. Oh and I forgot to add that i spent this past weekend figuring out how to save all my documents and Outlook info on a cd-rw so I could transfer it to a computer we were given. I was pretty proud of myself for figuring the Outlook thing. I don't think I could live without Google. ;D I'm also investigating going to the Charlotte Mason conference that is held in the Carolinas in June. I would love to go but have a few questions I'll be asking. Plus I can only make it for two of the days. Oh yeah, we'll be going to Florida next month because the King decided he couldn't live much longer without seeing his family. I'm freaking out a little over that! I haven't been traveling that long of a distance since before the kids were born. I know, I know I need to get out more. he he I guess i ended up remembering a lot of things I've been doing.

I also, just today, talked with our RDI consultant and will be giving a separate update on that.

I think I'm a little stressed. I need silence and a hot cup of tea but I'm going to have to wait on that since it's dinner time.