Monday, February 28, 2011

Lazy Monday

I was very tired this morning. So was Ki. and Connor. So we are a tad bit behind.

Connor actually went back to bed; he still has that cold.

Ki practiced his script lines with me while Gavin was looking up news articles on Paintguns that look like real assault riffles; being shot at cars by teens.... Not quite what I had in mind when I told him to read current events this week.... I was thinking about the revolts , Lybia, gas prices, rioting...


***I am freezing ***

Lipton Bavarian Berry Tea

I gave Gavin a math goal for the whole week; to master 7 new topics by the end of this week. I don't give many assignments but Brian is less 'unschool' than I am, so we have to keep the school principal happy.. and the boys have told me that they want me to give them assignments/teachings in the areas that they plan to go into in college.
So, I give Gavin 'end of the week' math goals. Then on Monday he plans how much math to do each day. Some weeks he will do it all on Monday-Wednesday and have the rest of the week free of math and some weeks he prefers to piddle around the first few days then get it all done on Thursday & Friday and some weeks he does a pretty even amount through the week.
Gavin decided to switch from Algebra 2 to Geometry a few months ago. He likes Geometry much better and maybe after geometry he'll be ready to finish the Algebra 2.

He has a goal of 4 'maths' during high school.

Ki is cutting words out of magazines to make a ransom note.

Monday Morning and once again I am BEHIND on my bible Study homework. But seeing as how I am in this same place every Monday maybe I should stop thinking of it as 'behind' and think of it as' just where I should be.'

and I don't have any Sugar Snap Peas to plant.

Instead of Science Class today, we player 3-Player Blokus (Connor was taking a nap)

Hmmm, Gavin was talking about Pandemic being a cooperative game
(and cooperative games in general)

and Ki mentioned RPGs are cooperative.
Ki likes Pandemic and he likes RPGS.
I like RPGs, but only when played at home.
I'm odd like that.

from one of my friend's blog, but I couldn't remember which friend so I had to Google it.
Recipe is HERE

Try it. It is YUMMY.

Brian is catching Connor's cold. So that means
I'll be picking the boys up from the Acting Class Carpool.
That means I might as well just hangout in A.G. at Starbucks or something,
finishing up my Bible
Study homework.

Change of plans. I drove the boys, picked up the friend, helped read lines, and did NOT get to finish my Bible Study homework.

got home at 7, ate frozen pizza, Checked on Brian (who is sick now), and will now go finish my Bible Study.

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WOW!! I feel SHINY! (thinks of Firefly T.V. series)

I am a Featured Shining Blog @ Lynda's Blog!!

There are TWO other Shining Blogs- so go check out her Shining Blog Reviews!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Getting Ready-

FIRST = My apologies for the whacky way the pictures loaded, all helter-skelter on the page. Just try to go with it.

We didn't really do any schooling last week. we just relaxed, watched Netflix, read books, and the boys played on the computer a lot. It was very laid-back week.

I need a structured week. So do the boys; though they may not realize it. Ki usually realizes it, though.
[yeah for homeschooling our sensory kids & teaching them to know themselves]

Here is my Prep for a Somewhat structured School week.
[we often end the week a lot LESS structured than it starts]

  • Wipe and clean the Dry Erase Boards. The Week Schedule board is old and needs Soft Scrub.

  • Fill in the WEEKLY Board.

  • Check my calendar for the week
  • Check Menu ideas for the week (esp lunches)
  • Find all the CD-Roms we'll be using
  • browse through thee CD-Roms making lesson plans/assignment lists

  • Send Emails to the boys with their school work
  • Have the boys find their notebooks
  • Clean the kitchen

SCIENCE: now that we are finished with the Forensic Classes, we are getting back to Chemistry.
[their chosen science for the rest of the year]
I need to go through the material in advance to decide what Ki will be doing with us and when he'll be doing something different from us. I am using Apologia High School Chemistry CD-Rom.
For things all 3 boys do together, I read through it and make some notes,
then I teach it to them (on the other Dry Erase board). {they watch online vids together}

~For things C&G do without Ki, I have them just do it off the computer [CD-Rom] together,
Ki does worksheets at the desk in his room
[this is the only time the desk gets used at a desk. and Ki is like his mom- and enjoys doing worksheets]

Worksheets give Ki the review he needs on those areas that are difficult for him
{due to his sensory problems & dyslexia, some things need constant reinforcement or he forgets them, no matter when/how he learned them earlier}

*I like to look up extra Science Projects/Demonstrations/Experiments to go with the lesson.
~ and YouTube videos ~


Today Brian and did some work in the yard; mostly pulling weeds. I planted radishes.

I have gotten my 100TH follower! Yeah! THANKS~

I think I will write a New Friends Post this week....
so come back later this week and check it out!

[yes, I know I ended a sentences in a preposition.]

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Being Green & Other Colors

I rode my bile to the store and used my handmade, cloth, reusable bags. I can already hear some of you applauding my greenness; you can stop now.

I ride my bike to the store to get exercise & fresh air & sunshine...
and to not have to buy as much gas. And because the store is only half a mile away. it would be way too much work to actually drive.
I hate driving . I'd have to find the keys first. That presents a stressful dilemma most days. Then I'd have to get in the van, which is always a mess and smells kinda like [boys]. That is not fun either. Then I'd have to BACK out of the driveway. I hate backing up in the van. Then I'd have to pull out into traffic. I hate that. The other cars scare me. Then I'd have to turn LEFT... at an INTERSECTION. I hate that, too. Turning. and. intersections. But the WORST part is that I'd have to PARK. I hate parking. Then after grocery shopping [which is no joy] I have to do the driving nightmare all over again.

So, riding my bike is NOT to be 'green'. Being Green is just a side-product.

Those adorable handmade reusable bags?
Surely they are to be green and save the planet! Well, they are because I love to sew and though the fabric was cute and it is a simple project. Not only that, anyone who has to buy groceries for3 hungry boys know that anything that makes grocery shopping more cheery is a MUST. These bags make me smile. they are colorful. Orange. Blue. Red. and green. - - again, Being Green is a Side Product.

I also save water, from letting the faucet run to get it hot, or the shower, or other such times- to use to help in water the garden. And again, the main reason I do it is because water is so expensive here in California (and it's kinda fun). So, I guess 'being green' is a side product there, too.

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See that brown brown button up there? Do me a favor and just click it. Nothing else required. just click and then finish reading my blog.

or not. Because, really, who cares what my blog ranking is on TopMommyBlogs? I don't think anyone finds my blog via TMBs anyway; which was the goal in listing there- to be found and read by other homeschool moms to share experiences of homeschooling. so, never mind.

I didn't get enough sleep Tuesday night. So I was tired Wednesday and woke up already behind schedule. So I ran around trying to get everything done and get the boys driven to their Acting Class, then came home to finish stuff. So I ended the day more tired and worn out than I started.

This means that today I an exhausted, mentally and physically. being tired takes a little bigger toll on my body and it takes my body a little longer to recover from it.I pretend that's not the case, but it always catches up to me eventually. I'm thinking Gaming Weekend didn't help.

Ki has some tadpoles. They are from a few different 'batches' of eggs. His biggest tadpole now has back legs and tiny arm-buds. Ki is so excited! I need to get a picture of it to post here. I'm sure you will be THRILLED to see this half fish/half frog creature.

I was looking over my STATS page. The Pickle Autopsy has 50 views! I guess people like a good Dicey Dill Drama. my Crime Scene Analysis has 92 views. People like their crime scenes and dead bodies! Now, I have an older entry called "X-MEN"- and it has 92 views. It has so many views because people GOOGLE; "X-MEN", my post shows up in the search, they click it-and are probably very disappointed.

O.K. I am back. I bet you didn't even know I had left! I am that fast! See' I suddenly remembered I was boiling eggs downstairs and ran to go take them off the burner so I don't end up with rubbery boiled eggs that have green innards. I think my eggs are safe.

SO where was I?? Ah, yes...STATS... In other stat news,
I have 98 followers. Not sure what that means or if it is important, but it is 2 from 100
and 100 is a nice round number. And I had 25 posts in January. 25 is a good number, too. Quarters. Christmas. Connor's Birthday. (which is January 25). Brian's birthday. Quarters.

I added a THINK GREEN BLOG HOP button. I figured this post was "kinda-almost-a little-green"- so click the 2 Blog Hop Buttons to read more blogs/get more readers on your blog.

Photobucket <-- Being or Thinking of Green?
or just want to socialize? -->Smart and Trendy Moms

Monday, February 21, 2011


Strategicon (orrcon) came & went. I think I am my happiest at Gaming Conventions. Some folks are their happiest at Disney's Magical Kingdom. Some folks come to life at Gamers's Magical Kingdom.

(not me pictured above)

I was talking to a mom there and it came up that I homeschool. Whenever we are on vacation, doing something fun. etc., and people learn that we homeschool I get the same response; "Oh, so this is a fieldtrip!".. Somehow homeschooling means every fun thing we do I need to make into a 'school session' or need to document it legally that it was a school field trip. So I told her what I always tell people when they ask that question; "No. we are just having a fun family weekend."

but YES, it was a learning experience. Everything is. Gaming is GREAT for their little minds, their imagination, their problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and their color-matching skills

....AND it gives them a little social experience in a comfortable setting.
But I would never call it/list it as a field trip. It was my whole family having fun at a gaming convention.

My friend Eric (Marketing Staff for the con) helped my entire family find volunteer positions so we got free badges for the whole convention! I feel I didn't do enough demos, but I did a few extra impromptu events to make up for it.

(Pirate Fluxx-scheduled event)

(Martian Backgammon)

(teaching Volcano to game designer Bruno Faidutti)

(Binary Homeworlds)

My husband was a Convention Photographer.

He took pictures the whole con! Eric came and asked me if he was ever going to take a break & play some games- enjoy the convention! Taking lots of pictures IS having fun for Brian (me, too). Brian played more games on Sunday.

I took some pictures, too.

Connor took some Videos (a part of the deal for his badge). And played a lot of Magic the Gathering.. and Ca$h n' Gun$- the LARP version.


Ki worked the Registration Desk for 6 hours on Saturday. He played a lot of GURP, Werewolf, & Ca$h n' Gun$ Larp, too.

Gavin was in heaven once the Battletech People arrived! His free badge was paid for by manning the Paint & Take Table for 7 hours. He enjoyed it, too. He got to paint figures and get a few pointers on painting technique.

mote pictures of the fun:
I missed the TWISTER YOGA Competition!

Some "normal games" were played, Hearst & Spades & Poker were big events there, too.

I think he had enough.......

... and I never turn down an invitation to play a game! (and I lose a lot- which might be why I get asked to play games a lot... )
below---> SmallWorld


Something from the Miniatures Room--->


No Game Convention is complete without an AUCTION!

Or a Seminar~

Or a game of SETTLERS

Or someone knitting....
Or Magic Cards.....

Or Fascinating People!

My Friend Devi-->
And my friend Arthur-->>

(I am pretending to look fascinating there... go with it)

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Guts & Glory

Monday is Ki's Breakfast Making Day, but the Fridge was OFF LIMITS (just today-due to the gang wars) so he had to wait for me to come get the milk & eggs out for him. I have a Heat Pancake form that he used. I had 2 before we moved I think. Ki made some hearts for us, them a pancreas and liver, some kidneys and a stomach and hearts with tumors. I got my Anatomy Book out for him. My husband sees our breakfast "Lesson" and shakes his head as he walks out the door.
we had pics like this at the breakfast table:

Connor made a ninja pancake with my Ninja Cookie Cutter.

Then the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! It is PAID JOB WEEK. (our alternative to 'allowance')
With the big Gaming Convention next weekend, I thought it'd be a good week for Paid Chores. I made a list of work for the boys to chose from to earn some money to take to the gaming convention. A few of the jobs are:
Scrape the moss of the front porch
Clean the outside of the cupboard (Murphy's Oil Soap and a green scrubby cloth)
Clear the weeds and stuff to make way for Strawberries
Clean the Shoe Closet
... and more...

They got to work while I colored my hair. Today it get's colored, tomorrow cut and Wednesday it gets the tips bleached and dyed- for I, too, must get ready for the big gaming convention in L.A.

The BESTEST Part of our Valentine's day...

FORENSIC CLASS: The Big Gang War Autopsies!
What better way to end our Forensic Group Classes than with a big autopsy??
(I got the idea HERE and HERE -)
It's a long description/post but STICK with me! It was such a fun CSI day!!)

I bought a BIG jar of BIG dill pickles:

I put 4 into a smaller jar and added Baking Soda Water (to neutralize the acid)

I put 4 others into a different jar and added pH Down (It lowers pH - increases acidity)

I let them soak for a day. in the meantime I made RED CABBAGE INDICATOR (so test the pH of the victims pickles)

Our friendly meat department grocer let me have 10 foam meat trays to use at mini-autopsy tables!

I gathered my weapons supplies for killing marking the victims pickles and got to work!

I started with the Extra Acid Pickles.
I named their gang; Club Claussen.
I named the individual gang members:
Maisy- has a belly ring
Luke-Has a stubby, short left arm
Dilbert-had a red mohawk
Darwin Dill- no description

Then I decided how they'd be killed:

Maisy- GSW to the chest and stab wound in lower right body
Luke-Stabbed 4 times
Dilbert-garroted, a broken left leg, and abrasions to the right side
Darwin Dill- 2 GSW to the head and laceration on the left shoulder.

Then I went to work. I used jewelry wire to garrote Dilbert, a cheese grater to make the abrasions, G.I. Joe knife for the stabbings, and tiny foil balls for the bullets.(I will leave a few GI Joe guns at the scene)

I tested their blood juice with the DNA extractor Cabbage Indicator to make sure it got nice and pink/red. it did.

I added colored toothpicks for limbs, tiny glass beads for eyes, then set them in a shallow dish with their juice poured over them and placed them back in the fridge.

I did the same with the base gang. I named them the Gherkin Gang. Pinky was stabbed with a SWORD! Thom Thumb was garrotes and has 2 broken arms (and a green spiked hair clump). Then there is PK and Gus. PK had 2 different colored eyes and we know Gus is a member of the Base Gang.

We don't know which the gang the others belong to, so the coroners will have to test their pH. (checking their blood type, pickles gangs group by blood type)

I set the stage and cordoned off the scene with CRIME SCENE TAPE!

When my CSI Team arrived, they donned gloved, grabbed Autopsy Trays, and recovered the victims.
Too Much Butter can be bad for one's health!

Yep, that is "Pinky"- she was shot and stabbed onto the caramel container- it could be worse I guess.

Poor thing- upside down w/ her head in a puddle of blood juice

This is Maisey-- see her Belly Ring!!

I told them the facts that we knew and gave the descriptions of the victims. The victims weren't carrying IDs so they have to look for the distinguishing marks and made IDs. Gus's only ID was he was 1 of 2 non-described-victims, but we KNOW he is a Base- so his ID came from the Blood Test (pH test)

The team measured, weighed, determined gender, draw diagrams marking wound marks, dug out bullets when needed, and found cause of death.

After making observations and recording their findings, they cut open the bodies pickles to check out the insides. They made some discoveries and drew some diagrams.

THEN, they tested the ph by taking skin samples and putting them into a test tube of purple-colored pH indicator. If the indicator turned redder they victim was Acidic and part of Club Claussen. If the indicator became bluer, their victim was part of the Gherkin Gang.
They filled out Toe Tags and completed their reports. I had them tell me their findings, then I read to them the complete description of the wounds I inflicted. A few of them missed a thing or 2, but oddly, a few pickles had extra wounds.

It was hypothesized hat the regular Dills in the Main jar must have escaped when left alone in the fridge and went to Bottom Shelf and inflicted some more wounds on the victims.

After we cleaned the autopsy room kitchen table, we went over their conclusions for the FATAL ERROR Murder Mystery and then we taught ZENDO to the R brothers.

I am tired and have a sore throat. It was a GREAT CSI DAY!!!

(the bestest part was my date with my husband.. but pickle autopsies comes in a very close 2nd)

** Pics of making our own Fingerprint powder and using it: CLICK HERE

** Click to see our "real Crime Scene Processing" CLICK HERE

** Check Out Pictures from our Cake Mystery and Shoe Impression by clickingHERE (shoes, foam, & cake).

** Our Tool Mark Analysis Activity -> CLICK HERE

** Blood Forensics --> CLICK HERE

** Anthropology --> CLICK HERE

** Odontology Dissecting teeth --> CLICK HERE

The Entry is part of the following Blog Hop:


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