Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Odyssey books

J has finally, finally found something he likes to read. He's 10 and picking up a book is akin to torture.
The Odyssey series of stories about Odysseus by Mary Pope Osborne of "Magic Tree House" fame.
I ran across this series at the library and brought home the first 3 books. There are 6 in all.
He actually looks forward to reading them, narrating to me and writing book reports.
I tried to renew the books, but someone else wants them... so off to amazon.com and I ordered them. J said he would re-read them and they will be great to own for the other 2 kids later.
Amazon is having them buy 3 get one free. That's a good deal. I bought all 6 and 2 of Mary Pope Osborne's Research study guides: Greece & the Olympics and Knights & Castles.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Mickey on our minds.

We have Mickey on our minds. Couple more days to go................
I looked thruough some Disneyland books from the library. I didn't learn any "secrets".... but check in with me later.... I have some for you. I learned a lot of new things on this past trip!

Fun pancakes! Make all the big circles for the heads first and then go back and make the ears.

I got the books & dvd from the library. The kids & I enjoyed this dvd a lot. There was a lot of old black & white footage. We got to see Walt Disney and how he designed the park. Opening Day and the early years are on film.
After you watch the shows there is a fun interactive quiz that takes you around the "Lands" of the park and asks some pretty tough questions. Some we knew, some we guessed and some were quite challenging.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Geoff!

Happy Birthday Geoff. Let's just say.... enjoy your last year of 1/2 a century! I don't know how the kids came up with 7 candles.
Kids & I baked a yummy cake that was white with red & green sprinkles mixed inside, chocolate frosting & mini chocolate chips.
The night before we saw a red lobster commercial.... well it worked on us.... We saw the yummy shrimp and decided to take dad there for his birthday dinner. We love their cheese biscuits and the shrimp was yummy. I had a most delicious drink that tasted like Hawaii to me. I forget the name of it but it had coconut rum, pinapple juice, grenadine & cranberry juice... I hope I can duplicate it at home.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

my birthday ice cream cake

Yeah! I didn't have to bake my own birthday cake. G&K picked up an ice cream cake while they were out and surpirsed me after our dinner out at Trophy's Restaurant.

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Hey, hey its your birthday, Well it's My Birthday Too, Yeah!

Hi to all the wonderful visitors to my blog.

Of course the 2 weeks I've had the most visitors ... ever!.... we've had the flu-turned-into-chest colds-- around here and I've fallen far behind on blogging. But there's not much to say... we've just been keeping the cold medicine and TV people in business. Boy, have we watched a LOT of TV.

This morning it was a Spongebob marathon. Derek & I watched for quite a while. When Geoff remembered it was my birthday he jumped up with Katherine and they ran out to the store.
They brought me a cinnamon dulce latte and blueberry coffee cake from you know where.
He arrived home in time to watch the Charger Game. Cindy & Andre were supposed to come over, but they were not feeling well. Now we are watching "Little Bear". I love that show.
James used to watch it for hours on VHS tapes I made to watch when it wasn't on TV.
I remember we used to travel and take the tapes with us he loved it so much. Derek didn't think he liked it, but I put some on the DVR and we've been watching a few. Right now it is the Mermaid shows. I love mermaids.

Well, Have a wonderful Sunday. I guess I'll have to go make my own birthday cake. I think we'll be going out for dinner later. We're going to Disneyland for 2 days in a couple weeks so that's where I want to "celebrate" my birthday. We are going to take an Animation Magic Class inside Disney and go to a Minnie Mouse Breakfast with characters.

Go Chargers!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Field Trip.... Science Museum

We were off to the Ruben H. Fleet Space Museum today.
As Aquarium members the admittance was free! And the movie, which was the real reason for the trip, was discounted.

It is the National Geographic movie "Sea Monsters"

Still pretty expensive, even with $14 off.... $29 for the 4 of us... Yikes!

After the movie we explored the Science museum and came across this Experiment table where we were welcomed to join them and build a motor-driven-propelle-on-a-cup surrounded by markers........... Here are the pics and videos. Sorry there are 3 of them if you feel like watching them they are only a few seconds each.

next video

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Coconut!

Today is Coco's 2nd Birthday.
We were out of dog food so dh picked some up at the store and
also found this cute porcupine squeaky toy. (I think it is a hedgehog..but whatever)
She loves it.
It is easy to throw for her since it is shaped like a ball.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Night spa & pool

We have been using our spa a couple nights a week. We can get it up to 101 degrees in about half an hour. It is fun to sit out in the hot spa and look up at the constellations.
Even though the pool is in the low 50s, Geoff, Derek and Katie have been jumping in, quickly jumping out and running back into the spa.
I think they are crazy. Here's Derek listening to the countdown....3, 2, 1 JUMP.
and I snapped just before he hit the water and it looks like he is standing on the water!

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Epiphany 2008

Happy Epiphany 2008! The kids have travelled not so far to see the Christ Child in the Manger.

Our annual photo of the kids with the Nativity scene at The Immaculata.
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Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's Saturday... do we have school?

Derek asked me first thing if we had schoolwork to do today.
Well it is Saturday... you don't have to do anything if you don't want to. What do you want to do?
He can't wait to start watercolor painting the lesson ideas we learned in the video last night.
I set everything out for him and he did everything else himself! He applied the paint to a kitchen sponge for the background.
We have some sea animal stamps that he used to make the prints.... instead of cutting out the shapes from sponges.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Today's activities

Here's my finished watercolor from yesterday with the inked in outlines.

Woke up with the monthly visit I’ve been expecting because of the headaches, cramps & grumpiness. So we are taking it very easy today. sllooooow and easy
Watched tv for a while flipping around the morning shows and some recorded shows from hgtv on a kitchen remodel.

boys were on webkinz until I called everyone together to start with our prayers.
We forgot that yesterday, and had a grumpy day, so time to restart and refocus.

Next I read from “God’s Little Angels”. Chapters 1 & 2 from www.chcweb.com

Then “Magic School Bus Takes a Dive” About the coral reef and symbyosis

Then “Weight of a Mass”. Everyone enjoyed that.

Lunch & trampoline

Try to do some schoolwork. I’m not sure what James & Katie did.
With Derek & reviewed the alphabet with flashcards. He only missed letter H. Yeah!
Looked at the number words. Introduced the color words.

Kids went out to play with neighbors who have been gone a week and were missed very much.

Once they were back in we waited for dad to bring home Chinese food by watching Volume 3, all 4 watercolor lessons of Donna Hugh’s video “Art Lessons for Children”
Lesson 1 was painting light & dark flowers with the tip of the brush. Boys were so so about that.
They were very excited about Lesson 2… A Chinese Dragon.
Lesson 3 were delicate flowers on a branch. First drawing the flowers (like large magnolias) with a felt tip pen and then wetting the flowers before adding the color to the center and drawing out the color on each petal.
Lesson 4: Underwater fish scene done with sponge painting. Sponge the background with blue, green & purple. Cut a fish shape out of a sponge and apply paint to it and stamp onto the background. Paint on more fish, an octopus or sea star if you like. Add some sea grass.

We’ll try painting tomorrow or next week.

Please pray for dying mother

Please pray for my friend Suzanne's mother who will soon pass into Heaven.

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I share with you that my Mom is not long for this world.
She had a massive stroke Dec 27 and has never regained consiousness. We have her at home with the help of hospice care at the moment. She is an amazing woman! The doctors gave her just hours to live two days ago. She has amazed them. Please pray for us. I would really like God to come get my Mom. It is very hard to see her in this condition. I am grateful for these last days that I can tend to her with love however the strain is immense.
Please pray for my family and all those who are helping us during this time.
I'll pray for you too.
God Bless! Suzanne

**** UPdated....
Hi Friends,
Thanks for your prayers. Just wanted to let you know that my Mom went to our Lord early Saturday morning 1/5/08. I was honored to be by her side.

Tuesday evening are Rosary & vigil and Wednesday are Funeral/burial.
God Bless you all!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

today didn't go as well as yesterday...

I'm not proud to report that mom was a grump today.
I suppose if I can write about the good/great days I can write about the bad, horrible, unsuccessful days.

How about I just summarize with:
a headache all night
a wet bed - on clean sheets @ 1 a.m.
ibupropen for breakfast, but followed by 2 more hours of sleep
a headache all morning - but I had a vanilla frappaccino
watched Jon & Kate + 8... 2 shows with Katie. while the boys played webkinz
whine and nag everyone to get some schoolwork done.
James did fine, except math - he proclaimed he was done after 1/4 a page... if that?
Katie moaned and groaned.
Derek .. I finally talked him into sticker math and he liked doing ordinal numbers and some subtraction. Then 4 phonics pages doing the sounds of s, t & b
then we worked on reading the number words one to ten.
well let me sya there was lots of nagging and screaming all in the middle of the day.

Then we watched parts 2 & 3 of the Watercolor lessons video with Donna Hugh again.
#2 was about experimenting with color and not a desirable picture by anyone.
#3 was exploring using red, yellow & orange to make desert scenes.
We all loved that and got busy painting.
Starting out with the colors.
James & I used watercolors from a tube and he didn't quite understand to add LOTS of water. So his was quite thick & dar.
Katie's Sunset.
Derek moved on to adding Green for his cactus.
James' finished work.
My artwork.

So I wasn't too proud of my day. But we learn from our mistakes right??.
We do better when we know better.
Tomorrow is a new day and I'll try harder.

***Found the video at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Watercolor-Techniques-Lessons-Children-Vol-1/dp/1931021007
But I got them thru the libary.... I ordered Volume 6 today to be transferred to closer branch.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

watercolor flower painting

K painting w/ watercolors

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January 2008.... off to a good start

My mom called today and asked how it was going.... Great I said.
She was shocked. Not too often heard around here mid-day lately. So much bickering and fighting, arguing and hitting.

Praise God... We are off on a good start back to schoolwork.
I'm going to pray that we can have many if not all days to go as well as today! (Those Divine Mercys are helping)

10 a.m. Yoga. Borrowed a tape from the library: "Yoga for the Rest of us"
It was in 3 - 20 min sections. James Katie & I started out and Katie made it thru a few minutes. James & I kept going thru the1st & 2nd sections and then the first section of sun salutations. But we lost steam and turned it off. We made it about 50 minutes.
We'll try again tomorrow.

Next it was introducing our New discipline program.
Each child gets 10 coins. It was going to be all dimes so it came to a $1 a day.
I think my sanity is worth $3 a day. But I decided on 3 different coins so I can tell whose is whose. They all have cute little boxes they rec'd Christmas money from Auntie to use for their coins. At the end of the day I chart how many coins they have and after we decided on a goal we'll cash them in. Like $3 ice cream, or $7 movies or $20 for anything they want at Disneyland. Overall everyone only lost 1 coin. This might cost me some money.... but at this point my sanity is worth it.

Next I pulled out the flip chart and we reviewed our prayers & Mass responses.
Concentrating on the first 6 words of the Our Father with Derk and the 1st 5 words of Hail Mary.

Next handwriting time. I was doing it to work with Derek but everyone joined in.
Derek worked hard and did well writing both big & small letters from A - J. That was enough work for one day. James worked on print and cursive. Katie had a bit of a trantrum that cursive was too hard and I wasn't praising her enough.. so I have to work on that.

Next.... Henri Matisse. I read the book from the "Getting to know the world's greatest artists" series. I borrowed it from the Charter school. It is a good biography for the kids at their level and there are a lot of great picures.

Then an Art Lesson on video... sort of goes with Matisse, but it is a video from the library that has to go back, so we have to do it sooner than later. "Art Lessons for Children.. vol. 1 with Donna Hugh" The kids cheered and loved it. A very nice woman ... "Everyone has art inside of them" she says twice! An easy watercolor lesson.

Here are our results. I watched in on Saturday and painted mine so I would have a sample, but they didn't need to see it at all.
Mom's picture.
James' picture.

Derek's Picture. He did it all by himself.

Katie's picture. (i don't know if she is going to do the black outlining or not) She wanted to add the Flicks of paint and then the running paint after doing the "flowers".

The kids painted and I worked on cleaning the kitchen. We had a big dinner yesterday (turkey stuffing & fixins) and not all of the dishes were done. Filled the dishwasher, cleaned the pots, turkey platter, baking sheets and the roasting pan. Cleaned the microwave... ewwww.

Moved the dining room table and mopped under there and vacuumed the living room.

Guess I'll add in the load of sheets and a load of towels.

Time for lunch. We looked up the manual on how to use the convection and crisper options on the microwave oven. I cooked up some popcorn chicken for the kids and the oven worked great. Always interesting to figure out new ways to use things around the house.

Time for some more schoolwork. Everyone got new assignment charts. James & Katie did some Seton religion. James did English. Derek wrote more alphabet. He's acting weird about working in the MCP Phonics book.

James got him to do a couple pages in the Usborne Sticker Math Fun book and then a couple in the phonics book.
I had to wrestle with Katie to get a page of her math book done.

That was enough.... around 4 they got a call from a friend and all started playing webkinz.
That lasted a good while.
I was able to watch "Dog of Flanders" It was a good movie. I'll have to look for the book.

Now we are watching "In the line of Fire".... James Geoff & I (Derek is passed out, Katie's upstairs). We were discussing Secret Service agents a while ago and I brought up the movie.
And then some other time we were discussing something and I think James asked if a gun could be made out of something else. I have no idea, but again I mentioned the movie and that the guy makes a gun out of wood (OK the movie said that it is made of a composite).
It arrived in the mail today.

Time for Project Runway... gotta go.....

I must include in my prayers that tomorrow we get as much work done in a joyful manner.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Jane Austen Novels on Masterpiece Theatre

I have my DVR set to record Masterpiece Theatre every Sunday Night. (Last Sunday was Jane Eyre)
Starting in January 13th All 6 of Austen's novels will be played.

Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey
Pride & Predjudice
Sense & Sensibility