Friday, December 31, 2010

Test FAIL!

Yesterday (Fri/Dec31)was to be a milestone day! Ki was to take his very first PANERA TEST!

Being the Quasi-Unschoolers that we are, we really don't do/take tests. But when the boys get about high school they have tests with their chosen Sciences. This is Ki's first Science with Testing. It is Chemistry. They all wanted Chemistry, though I think Ki is changing his mind as he is seeing MORE math and less "blowing things up with chemicals"

I had to change the Chemistry Lessons for Ki. The program we are using is Apologia and is a High School book. Ki is just not ready for the math. So I start the lesson with terms, experiments, videos, and notes with all 3 boys. Then Ki goes off to his desk in his room and has file folders with worksheets. He does what he wants from those while I teach Chemistry Math to his brothers.

Before this, when he sat with the whole time, he had meltdowns. Melting into a puddle of limp noodles and tears. But this new way works well. His brothers are actually bored with the 1st half of class (so far... because it is chapter 1- wait until we get a few chapters into it!)- so the math keeps them into it.
Ki actually likes worksheets and does well with them. I don't use worksheets to teach, but they are good for review and Ki is the type of kid that needs plenty of review.

I wanted to just BE DONE with chapter 2 before we start J-Term. For some reason (holiday rush? Skit rehearsals? Brian's Surgery? my birthday?) we never got to the last section of Ch1 or the test. So we finished those this week.

SO, we gather calculators, notecards with formulas, pencils, papers, etc... Ki searches HIGH & LOW for his notebook all morning and finally finds it....

We get to Panera. The Bagels, cookies, hot drinks are all ordered. We sit down.I open my Orange Folder that contained the tests.
They were not there.
They must have slipped out at the house or something. All that work to get everything ready, everyone out the door, waited in line, had a cashier that had to go through the order 4 times and then still mess up my Peppermint Hot Cocoa (but I got it free)... ALL TO NOT HAVE THE TESTS!

He had his notebook though, so I took a picture of him and am pretending it is Ki taking his FIRST Panera Science Test!

On the drive home, Gavin (17) ask what kinds of questions are on the test. he asks because Chapter was was the BASICS which he already knew.
I'm driving. driving takes up 98% of my brain function, so I rattle off something that I thought I remembered.

"Something about a farmer finding a chunk of gold. They tell you the mass and volume and ask you to find the density."
Gavin:"Gold has a density of 19.3 grams/cm³."
Connor: " .. and Uranium is 19.1!"

Me: (sighing in my head):" Well, they give the volume and you have to find the mass- or the other way."

Gavin: "O.K. - - - And diamonds have a density of 3.5" (I think that is what he said it was)

While taking the test, Ki calls me over. It goes something like this:

Ki: "mom, gold has a density of 19.3, right?"
Me: "yes, why?" (the test gives the density of gold for this problem)
Ki:"Well, it has 2 items that look like god and I need to find the density to determine which really is gold. I got 19.327. Would that be gold still or something else because it's not 19.3?"

Ki refuses to use cm³ or cc. He crosses them out on his tests and writes in "mL"

Well, all the tests are now done. I guess I should go grade them.


I have never been interested in Reading Through the Bible in a Year. Not in the 30+ years of being a Christian. It just never struck me as something I should do. Brian got me a new Bible for my birthday. It is a chronological Bible. It actually goes pretty much 'in regular order' until Psalms. But then it's all over the place. Verses out of 3-5 different books per page sometimes.

I was getting ready to start reading it today (Sat Jan1) and I decided to try reading thought from start to end; and hopefully in a year. So, we'll see how that goes. According to my math, if I read 4 pages a day that'll leave a buffer for missed days. click for My Reading Log

Gavin found a $20 while looking for the Wisemen in the laundry room. I knew I should have done laundry today. (The Wisemen brought Chocolate covered gingerbread men today!)

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Gifts from Wise Men

The boys seem to enjoy The 12 Days of Christmas! This is the 2nd tome we did it. Last year we did it and Ki made a King Cake for Epiphany.

This year I am hiding the Wisemen. 3 Wisemen. 3 Boys. Each day the Wisemen are in a different room. They are Travelling Wisemen, after all.
Day 1 was Christmas and we didn't hide the Wisemen.

Day 2 the wisemen hid in the kitchen. The Wisemen brought gifts of Dice. each boy got a baggy with 8 dice.

Day 3 the Wisemen hid in the Front Room. They brought a Big Bag of Pipe Cleaners. Sounds silly, but the boys ask for Pipe Cleaners occasionally.

Day 4 the Wisemen hid in Gavin's room. They were found to be carrying gifts of Those Suncatcher ornaments that you sprinkle with glass beads, cook & melt.

Day 5 I forgot to hide the Wisemen, so the boys hid them for me to find and gave me hugs.

Day 6 We had company most the day. G&C fell asleep by 5PM I think, so I figured we'd skip the Wisemen. They of course woke up around 9 and I was getting ready for bed. I actually had time between when Paul Left and they fell asleep,I was just being A Lazy Mom again. I'm glad I am such good company in the area of Lazy Moms! ( Click to Read Stacey's Lazy Mom Blog)

Day 7 The Wisemen hid in the backyard and gifted the boys with coupons for 1 hour Free Computer Time- but the coupons are for 2 uses.

Day 8- hasn't happened yet. Ki wants to hide 2 of the Wisemen for his Brothers. He said I can hide the 3rd Wisemen for him.

I am actually out of gifts now. The dice & coupons were free, the Pipe Cleaners were about $1 a boy, the suncathers were about $4 I think. Tomorrow Morning I'll go to Michael's and get some things from their $1 bin.

Brian & the boys got me a KitchenAid Staning Mixer for Christmas. The stores here just had the smallest of standing mixers and in white. Brian & I looked online and found the a 6QT, in red, on "Day After Christmas Sale" and ordered it to have instead.

It will be perfect for making a KING CAKE for Epiphany! It should get here on Tuesday.


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Thursday, December 30, 2010


Hops & Follows

this is a blog entry about blogs. such a blog entry does not happen often.

though I have blogged for awhile, it has been mostly just 'for me to remember what we do in school'. lately, I have gotten into 'blogging to my readers' a little more.

this has brought me to Blog Hops. a place to meet other bloggers and for other bloggers to meet me and my blog. it's been fun. I have met new friends.

but lately I have noticed people seem to be obsessed with FOLLOWING. maybe I do not understand it. maybe I am missing some great, mysterious facet of information.

I do not understand why so many people seem to want followers, it seems just for the sake of having lots of followers. I see a lot of blog comments on my blog and others that only say "I'm following you, please follow me back." with no comment about the actual blog entry they just read. or maybe did not read. Again- I must be missing something.

*FWIW. I am glad to have readers/followers and hope I can encourage other homeschool moms or any mom! It's Frenzy of Asking for Followers that is odd I guess. *

SO. am I missing something in the blogworld of following?

NOW onto a little lighter of a subject:

I saw this on MARY's BLOG (homeschool success) . She did her TOP POSTS of 2010. my entries this year did not get nearly the Page Views as hers, so I am doing :

TOP POSTS of ALL TIME (and still have less views than her)

Coming in FIRST with 346 pageviews is
LOTS OF LINKS. Homeschool Links on 4/21/2007

Coming in 2nd with 297 pageviews is-
SKETCHING/DRAWING CLASS. This is a May-TERM posted 4/28/2010

In 3rd place with 128 pageview we have:
OBSTACLE COURSE. a Occupational Therapy Blog Entry from 5/9/2007

and if you go read them, their view numbers will be even bigger!!

To Join a Friday Hop...or not.....??

Sure. Why not?

Click the Bunnies and Hop-Along with us

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I have an AWESOME video to show you, if my husband can get it uploaded. It is of their Rocket Engine in a 2L Bottle Experiment. I was watching and taking pictures, but didn't get a picture of the rocket in action, ZOOMING at Ki's head with the fire tail twirling. I about wet my pants. Why did I let them talk me into these things??

I'm so excited for January! Yesterday I worked on J-Term planning. It was pretty easy. The older 2 are doing Computer Programming, You can CLICK HERE to read those plans. Brian will be teaching them the actual programming and assigning projects, I just planned a few research things to round it out a bit.

Brian took them out on a Computer Programming Field Trip yesterday. J-Term got a head start, thanks to the Movie Theater. My computer Programming Class went to see TRON.

Ki's Theater Plans are a little more extensive. (click to read). And we will doing an IMPROV DAY on Wednesdays and hope a lot of our homeschool friends will join us!

And, of course, our BIG PLANS are the C.S.I Classes!! I wrote those plans already (CLICK HERE to read our CSI Plans!) But spent some time reviewing them, making a few adjustments, and nailing down some time slots. On Monday we will have a Crime Scene in the front room. Gun Shots, a victim, other clues. Plus we'll make our own fingerprint powder. I can't wait! I'll be taking pictures and maybe even do a SKYPE with some Out-Of-State homeschool friends!


I love our Quasi-Unschooling!

One of the boys friends is at our house for the Day Thursday. "P". He is a really good kid. The 4 of them together will most likely play lots of MTG and doing some Amtgard. His mom works in town (they live in Pismo) and will drop him off on her way to work- 7:15 AM. (yes, I wrote this Wed Night. I figure Wed night in Cali is Thursday in most of the US)

I had planed on driving to see the river/levee. I guess we could all do that still, with "P". I hope to get some good pictures.

We had a big rainbow out back Wed Evening. Brian was getting ready to hop in the van to take the boys to see TRON. The boys were in the van already, then I hear Brian yell for for me as he comes back to grab his trip to get pictures. Here are my pictures. (I need a photo stitching program)

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Obviously MARvelous

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Computer Programming J-Term

G&C are doing Computer Programming. Brian will be overseeing a lot of the actual programming projects & learning. I added some research and writing to round out the class. at their age they just need a fairly basic list of what to do and they can find a lot of the info on their own- so it is not as detailed as Ki's Plans.

computer programming

  • history-make a timeline (on the computer). Google a couple different information sites.
  • report- write a 2 page report on computer programming. Include an outline.
  • people- make bio-pages for important people in the history of computer programming (include pictures when possible)
  • careers- make a Power Point presentation highlighting different careers. include pictures & graphs

some links to get you started:

How to Write a Research Paper:

Plans for Ki’s Theater Class

I published this straight from my WORD Document! How fun! So, Ki is doing Theater & Lightwave. (as I did not think either alone was a 2-3 hour a day class)
Theater will be on M/W/F and Light Wave will be on T/Th.




1-1:45 Research/Notes

2-3:00 Writing/Designing


1-2:00 IMPROV at the Park

2:30-3:15 Writing/Reading


1-1:45 Research/Notes

2-2:45 Writing/Designing

3:00 Quiz


This will be what I email to Ki. I still need to make a Break Down of what exactly do do each of the days. But this is about 80% of the planning work I think.
IMPROV WED will be at a local park and we are inviting all of our homeschool friends to join us!

Mini Wed Blog/ J-Term

Lazy Wednesday's Walk

Click the Button- then add your Walk Down Memory Lane (past post) to the list! Don;t forget to read someone else's!


I will be spending the day writing plans for J-Term 2011.

J-Term Classes are as Follows: AM= Forensics [all 3] PM= [K] alternates Acting & Lightwave, [C] lightwave or Computer Programming, [G] Computer Programming. (C is deciding between C.P. or alternating C.P with L.W.)

Brian will be helping a lot with the Computer Programming.I get to plan the boring part of Computer Programming & Lightwave. History/Vocabulary/Research-Writing.

For those readers of mine who are not familiar with J-Term, I will give a brief explanation.
During January the boys do not do their regular schooling. Instead I make a list of classes I think they would be interested in doing/learning about. They choose 2 or 3. There is 1 class in the morning, then the second class after lunch. Ki, my youngest gets 2 afternoon classes. At first he did 1.5 hours of each, now he alternates. I'm not a good enough lesson planner to make Cooking or Sewing be a 3 hours a day class.

Some of the classes they have chosen in the past:
Culinary Arts
Church History

You can read more of our past J-Term Posts by clicking the J-Term tag or the J-Term2011 tag found below my blog entry.

(the arrows are not pointing to the J-Term tag, though)

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Monday, December 27, 2010

O.D'ed on the Blog Hops

life with my 3 boybarians <-- Click this link to go to a PHOTO HOP. My photo of the week will be this ornament:

Ellen Barrett is a cute & spunky fitness DVD guide , host , trainer. She is fun and I like her workouts. BUT my heart does not. My heart has a tendency to REV REALLY FAST, making me dizzy & weak. And though a good strong workout does that to people, my heart gets there in record time! (like 3-5 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical machine). I had forgotten about this fact when I went to NETFLIX to find a Yoga Workout. I chose Ellen's (Crunch:super Slim Down). The 6 minute warm-up was nice. But I then had to get my water bottle.
And, because I am a mom, I got sidetracked.
So after hiding the 3 wisemen and picking a lemon of the tree in the backyard, I filled my water bottle and returned to the CRUNCH workout- I just wanted some calming, stretching yoga. Ellen makes everything into a cardio workout. 5 minutes into it, I was done. Stick a fork in me. My heart about POPPED.

NOTE TO SELF: find a CALM yoga work out!

NOTE TO SELF: Red Bell peppers are YUMMY- just NOT in the juicer! (you don't need that story)


Homeschool Hop #1 Photobucket and Hop#2

Though some may think this is vacation from school, that is not the case. We are finishing up Chapter 1 in chemistry. We were supposed to finish it the week before the Christmas Skit, but got too busy with all the rehearsals.

It went well today. It was a short lesson. It had some math. It was multi-step math. Ki did it. He figured it out on his own each time and did not complain or seem like it is zapped every last ounce of energy. You know how some kids just don't get math and don't get math... then one day it just CLICKS and they GET it from then on out...? For Ki it all the sudden just clicks, but then seems to unclick a couple days later. I love those days that is clicks. Hooray for a CLICKy day!

Today they learned about denistiy and how to determine the density of an object. Gavin already knew of course and corrected me when I started to say a common unit was "grams per mL" It is though. G said it is measures in grams per cm3. He is correct, too, though. There are 2 common units for density.

And they already knew which liquid was more dense, of course, but they had to figure out the density for each.
Tomorrow we finish the chapter. I might have them find the percentages for density difference tomorrow.

This Entry linked to the following Blog Hop:

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Monday Madness & Mayhem

TODAY: a couple HOPS, a handful of mini-topics, and a few thoughts.

HOP #1

The above button is for a New To Me HOP. Listing things for which I am thankful. Gifts. Getting up to 1000.

Here is my list of 1,000 gifts numbers 1-10

-Facebook. Yes, facebook can be a gift and something for which to be thankful. Not just for keeping in touch with friends and family, and not just for being reunited with friends from the past, but today I am especially thankful for getting in touch with people I used to know and was not friends with back then- but becoming friends now, after all these years - and getting to see how God has been working in lives and taking the time to see how far we have all come.

-Health. A 'generic' sounding thanks, I know. But I am following it up with the particulars. Thanks that my husband's heart attack (about 6 yrs ago) was mild and there was no lasting damage. Thankful for his successful cyst removal surgery last week.

-Bracelet. My son made a bracelet for me, for Christmas. I love when the boys make things for me.

-Ninjas. The kind that cut cookies, anyway. Connor made Ninja Cookie Cutters for me.

-Future Ninjas. Ki gave me a pictorial list of different Ninja Cookie Cutter ideas from which to choose and he will make a couple cookie cutters, too

-modern transportation of groceries- so I can enjoy oranges and pears and other fruits and veggies out of season and out of local.

- Digital Camera. I love my digital camera that allows me to capture so many memories and moments. (with out the cost of buying new film and printing all 36 pictures just to get 10 good ones)

- boxes. Yes boxes. so I can pack and organize everything.

-plastic. it is fairly cheap, sturdy, colorful or clear- and allows me to be able to buy enough boxes to color code and organize things.

-Thrift Stores- A good place to get rid of our excess and a place to buy an extra pair of jeans for my boys who are growing like weeds and always seem to have outgrown everything, esp last minute.

NOW onto a few Thoughts:

Gavin has been out back shooting his new Air Soft Pellet Gun. It's a riffle of some sort. Brian and the 3 boys have been having a Magic Card Elimination Showdown. With all their new cards, between the 4 of them they had 18 decks. They made a flowchart of games and which deck won each. Winning Decks playing winning decks..... to see which decks are best. This may confuse you. That's OK. It confuses me, too. I will have to find out which deck won and let all of you know. That may clear up some of your confusion.

I played DICEcapades Sunday evening with my family. Connor can be a bit hard to handle with games. He debates everything. It's almost like a defense mechanism until he really gets nto the game and understands it. then he's all giggles and fun. He now know how to milk a cow backwards, though.

And Those Lists:
I love lists. on Sunday I made a list of all the things I wanted to talk about in my next blog. I think I'll keep the List as is and just fill it in with blogging. And, yes, I do this frequently. Make a little entry with reminders of what to blog or what links to include.

  • Juicer - It is once again time to get out the juicer and juice lots of fruits and veggies. I like to do lots of juicing for a week after 'big eating'. It helps me feel better. I need to get some baby spinach and pears & grapes. I have more than enough carrots. Not sure how we got so many carrots in this house. Strawberries are good in the juicer, too! but feels like a waste of a strawberry. I like to ad a little ginger root to the berry juices, too.
  • J-Term-It is almost time for J-Term to start. I have most of the CSI Class planned. I just need to review it so I can have everything needed for week 1 all gathered and in place. I need to get lesson plans for the other stuff though. Ki wants Culinary/Acting.(so probably alternating them every-other-day). Connor and Gavin will be doing computer Programming/animation.
  • Pilates- and Yoga. This is the exercise portion of my entry. I really want to do Yoga daily and get my Pilates DVD out, unwrap the cellophane, and actually USE IT. Not sure if I will get started today. But I plan on it. I'll let you all know.
  • 12 Days of Christmas- We did this last year (or 2 years ago), too. The boys seem to like it. We don't put up our Chrostmas Tree until Christmas Eve, but we keep it up for the 12 Days of Christmas. On those 12 days we read the Christmas Story/Wise Men (from the Bible), sometimes do gifts. This year I am hiding the 3 wisemen. each boy finds one and then gets a small gift (from the Dollar Store or Dollar Bins at other stores). Then we Have KING CAKE for Epiphany! I think we will do the Feast of the Innocents this year, too.
  • Rocket launch in the yard- I'll do this one tomorrow.
  • mommy monday hop. A New To Me Blog Hop I am doing with this entry. So click the button, join the hop, make new friends!

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Planning on Making Plans

I love using my Google Calendar. It is color coded and orderly. It works with my email.
here is a picture of my Google Calendar Page. Month Calendar box: upper Left. Large Grid Calendar to fill in with plans & events. Task List:To the right of the weekly Grid -->

The Large Grid can be a Daily, weekly, monthly, 4-Day, or Agenda.

Here is a close up of the Large Grid with the Task List. I can have different task lists. My daily One (shown), or a Boys Tasks, or a School Check List.....

When I put New Calendar Entry on my calendar I just click with color-code I want. So in the above you see AMTGARD in blue for the boys, Game Night in green for me (though it is a family/friends thing- I'm Hosting it & it is something I esp want to do), Menus in the raspberry color, Chem Test in Purple. ** Here is a chart of the Color Codes I use. --->

I can add an Email Reminder (or 2 or 3) to the event. This is helpful for Doctor Appointments. I tend to forget about them, so I put them into my Google Calendar and get 2 email reminders about them. But I recently started using iGoogle. It is a personalized Homepage. It had current news, a calendar, Weather updates, My List of Up Coming events, etc:

Right under thee Calendar is the list of what is on my Google Calendar. See the red arrow- highlighting my Planned trip to the Farmers Market?

All the events are links to what is on the calendar page. so if I click the Farmers Market Link, it shows what I have written- To get stuff for both the Veggie & Fruit Pizzas and the address where the Farmers Market it. Next to the Address is a link to a MAP.

I click that and up pops a map, so I can print that and take it with me so I can find it.

Of course, that was an example. The farmers market is just down the street. I ride my bike. But with iGoogle, I really don;t need to use email reminders for things anymore. I still like them for Doctor Appointments, though.

On Dinner/Menu 'events' I can add links to online recipes, or a list of ingredients. I can even send an email to my husband and boys to invite them. (Or for school I can do an email invite to the Test @ Panera, or invite to the Family&Friends Game Night)

I don't have much planned for school right now, but I use this for school, too. Field Trips (with maps and reminders), Check Lists , Daily Plans for Special Classes; like J-Term. We don't use much curriculum or testing or grades, so I don't think those Homeschool Tracker Planners would work well for us. They might, but I am fine with what I have and don;t want to learn something new. As it is, all my things are all together, I like that.

What would make life more perfect is if I had a Smart Phone and could plug things into my Google Calendar while I'm Out & About.

This week my plans are to work on J-Term Plans and oragnize my bedroom. I also want to finish the last section in Chemistry Chapter 1, and have a little test- just to be done with chapter 1 and get it out of the way, so we can start chapter 2 in February (After J-Term) You can click that to read a little intro about J-Term, or you can click the TAG LINKS below this entry to read more J-term or J-Term2011 entries.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas~

Chocolate Cake and Turkey Bacon! The Christmas Breakfast of Champions!

Connor was all; "Where's the CINNAMON ROLLS??" like we have then every Christmas. We don't. I thought about making Chocolate Muffins, but we had Chocolate Cake. Cake. Muffins. there is little difference. But we needed some more protein, so we added turkey bacon to the menu.

But, let's back track a bit.. roll the film back to yesterday.
Gift Wrapping. I love wrapping gifts.
Lining up the edges of the boxes with the edges of the paper.

Measuring the box and aper to see if I can get away with a sideways wrap....

This one did't work. It was close though. The box was 2 inches bigger than the paper. The next one worked. The box was 18" on the remaining 3 sides & the paper was 17"

and when lines line up it is a thing of beauty!

I love cutting gift tags that match the paper design!

I got DNA Earrings from Brian! They are so pretty!

No snow here. I don;t think it ever snows here. I am sure it probably has in the way past. The boys miss snow. I miss watching it fall outside the window, but to NOT miss the cold, the wet, the slush, the grey skies.
Baby Jesus got snow Christmas Morning, at least.
I got the boys INSTANT SNOW for their stockings. Ki could't wait to use his & give Baby Jesus a White Christmas!

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