Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend

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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Things Which Humans Are Capable

So, I really wanted to end my title in "of" (The Things People Are Capable of) but I just. couldn't. do. it.
Anyways, I recently discovered a new Team/Detective/Drama, Criminal Minds; what you might expect, team consisting of common personalities: nerd, black hottie, chubby/quirky chick, rule follower, super smart older guy, hot caucasian, so everyone watching is both pleased and irritated. The "catch" for this show, is coming from a profile/psychological perspective...you know, psychobabble..made for nerdy folk like me. I like the show and catch re-runs from 9-11.
Anyways, I was watching at 9pm in bed last night (helps me get in chill out and sleep mode..tv is brainless) and I said to John, "I am continually amazed at the horrific things humans can do." He says, "Tina, men wanted to have sex with Angels in the old testament. We've always been a twisted race." Ouch. I hate when such harsh things are true. Anyways, I know we are capable of many, many beautiful and lovely things, but seriously, it is beyond my understanding the equally monstrous things that come out of the human mind...truly sick we can be.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Week in Review 9/14--9/19/09 TOG Year 2 Unit 30

I'm hoppin' on the wagon...here's our week in review for school and I'll save the best for last!
We have begun studying the Revolutionary War. What an amazing time in our nation's history! I see the independent nature of this country and why people fight so hard to keep capitalism alive, as entrepreneurship was in many ways equivalent to survival in the days before America was called America. I love teaching history. I am learning so many things...if only I could borrow George Artman (a reference to my favorite history teacher, ever).
We are making connections to, "There is nothing new under the sun." via The Sugar Act, Stamp Act and Townshend Acts. In other words, government needing money and/or control; therefore, taxing citizens, who weren't (yet) crying for a break from their government, but becoming stir crazy because they felt no representation amongst their government leaders. De ja vu. The names were changed, Parliament not Congress, King not President, Whigs/Torys not Dems/Republicans. I must admit concern for the next step...Revolution. I digress, sorry...I really have been pondering such. Anyways, back to lessons!
The little guys are mastering their geography. They can find the states and major cities of Colonial Times, talk about the French and Indian War/Seven Year War fairly well. We read The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds -- what a GREAT book. It really gave a living understand of what it meant to be afraid your home would be attacked and burned. The little guys get it. They drew pictures, gave narrations, and enjoyed some youtube demonstrations of matchlock guns. They also read about the Boston Tea Party. We practiced our own tea dumping by making some sweet tea for lunch...not really the same, but we talked a lot about tea and the East India Company over our sweet tea lunch. It was fun. Finally, using America in the Time of George Washington, by Sally Senzell Isaacs, I think we are painting a picture of history well.
Middle child, Danni, has really enjoyed learning about Paul Revere and continuing the experiments of Ben Franklin, via The Ben Franklin Book of Easy and Incredible Experiments. She's currently creating a weather station, full of gadgets Ben Franklin would have made. I'll post pics when she's finished everything. She also really like The Arrow Over the Door by Joseph Bruchac. She actually doesn't have to be finished with that until next week, but didn't put it down.
The boys and Sam, who is unhappy about her promotion into Dialectic, continue with their spines, George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster (thumbs up), The Struggle for Sea Power (haven't heard yea or nea), Streams of Civilization, Vol. 2 (my 2 concrete thinkers J, S like it, while JJ likes the biblical references) and The Story of the Thirteen Colonies, by H.A. Guerber (which I love and they all dislike). They have, enjoyed their literature selection a great deal, Early Thunder, by Jean Fritz. Fritz's work has oft been enjoyed in our home. A great combination of quality and adventure. I highly recommend it.
Ongoing projects include: History of Colonial Fashion for Sam, Science experiments for Danni, History of the American Flag for JJ, and a replica of the first American flag for Johnny. The boys are finishing up a replica of the Liberty Bell this afternoon..pics to follow! The little guys projects are cooking, mostly. We made Johnny cakes (which we ate before I photographed), tea and coming next week, pumpkin soup (fingers crossed for that one!). The book Hasty Pudding, Johnnycakes and Other Good Stuff by Loretta Frances Ichord has been yummy!
A nine week newspaper project for Danni is coming along and I have required each student to contribute, as well, one article. Sam is being smart and using her writings on Colonial Fashion for her project and newspaper submission. They boys haven't decided where to go yet; although I'm encouraging some military strategic information. They love the topic, it makes for interesting reading, and I enjoy it, too!
We sang Amazing Grace all week as recommended; a plus for Antonio, who needs to learn our hymns.
We also saw the ten year build up over taxes and individual control come to a peak as the First Continental Congress left states in agreement to train citizens for war...ominous music is heard in the background.
We got our first peak at the industrial Revolution too...Gotta share this! Sam,especially, enjoys sharing what we're learning with her dad via little quizzes, so she can show her daddy how smart she is, so she says, "Daddy, do you know who invented the first steam engine?" Oman, "Stanley Steamer." I rolled over that one! Sorry, James Watt, although you made the most effective power source of your time, that changed the course of history, we'll never forget Stanley Steamer now!
Finally, we touched on what was happening in France, Prussia, Russia and Poland. It seems the absolutism of the monarchs was in jeopardy as war was breaking the banks and silly notions of young rulers were creating angry people. I look forward to our next trip here history so I can really hit hard Marie Antoinette with Samantha. She's an interesting character in HiStory....it was a great week.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Updates, revisions and the ongoing process of Scheduling

Well, as with any program, with home schooling we must revise, revise, revise. I'm at a point in home schooling where I can tell pretty quickly when I need some revising in a subject, curricula or schedule. So far, our choices for the first two are working very well, but the latter was in need of some tweaking. So, I'll post our revised schedules. I am so fortunate that my oldest can work well independently. All those years of instilling and hand holding have finally paid off in full, at least it appears that way :) Ya never know though until the fat lady sings (that would be Me...at high school graduation :) ).

I am also dumping the Workboxes. I have no need for them, so they're just taking up space on my lovely shelves. Great idea, just not necessary since I have so many other things for organization. I am pleased to reclaim the space for the things I use in that area...like my teacher's manuals :)

Let me know if you have any better ideas for those schedules or if you'd like some suggestions for yours :) Happy home schooling!






Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant


In 1997 John, 1 y.o. Johnny, 6mo. old Jeremy and I moved from Atlanta to Florida. Our plan was to try and buy our first house. I told Oman I wanted a house with a fenced in back yard so I could have a dog. In my mind, a family just isn't a family without a dog. Low and behold, I got my wish and we moved to a little place in Largo with a nice backyard, just spacious enough for a picnic table, swing set, shed and room for a puppy to grow along with the little children. We signed papers on September 9, 1997, moved in on the tenth and picked up our pound puppy by the end of the month. We also made baby #3 by the end of September! It was a very busy month!

Welcome home, Sabrina, a rescued stray shepherd/setter mix from the Pinellas County Animal Control. We spent a couple of days looking at local places and finally decided on, Sabrina. I loved her big ears! She was so cute and sweet as she could be. Kisses abound. Gentle with the toddler. She was the one. We brought her home.

Like most puppies, we struggled through some chewing and potty training; we even had to take her to the emergency clinic once as she chewed through a lamp cord, electrocuting herself. The way she swayed back and forth, shat on the floor, foamed at the mouth...scared me to death. I thought she had rabies! I called John at work, locking myself and the babies in a bedroom. He came home and found the cord. Poor, stupid, puppy.

One time she even chewed up Omans 2-day old cycling shoes...to the tune of $250+ for a pair. Let's just say, she never chewed any shoes after that day...Oman was Not so happy.

She loved to knock over all of our diaper babies and bolt out the door for an afternoon run of the neighborhood. I was too busy trying to figure out how to train children, much less spend any training time with a dog! In time, though, she mellowed out and became a wonderful family dog that would not leave our sides and stopped runnin' the streets!

She never like other dogs much. She hated when we gave any attention to another beast. It made her a nervous wreck. The shepherd guard personality was strong in her. She would run the perimeter of the fence and herd the children. Once a friend tried to hop the fence and Sabrina grabbed him by the seat of his pants and pulled him back in the yard! She was not letting any of her babies escape - not on her watch!

Through the years, she was a faithful evening companion to Oman. He worked late and she would Always greet him with wagging tail and whimpers for affection when he came home. Always. She loved her daddy. He loved his good girl. She guarded our home when he was not there, always sitting between the family and the door. I believe she would have given her life to death for us. I know her purpose was to protect her family. She was a good dog who did give her life, faithfully to her family, every day.

She got hit by a car when she was young. Right in the hips. She was fine, but the spot grew arthritic fairly early and that seemed to slow her down. Over the past couple of years, she's gained cataracts and we noticed her hearing slipping away. Finally, this past year, she lost weight, got some bumps, and her skin was so irritated that she never stopped itching and scratching. Her health faded very quickly over the past few months. Today, when Oman came home, she didn't even get up to greet him, she just laid in the middle of the floor, tail wagging, whimpering, waiting for him to come and love on her.

We decided it was time to end her pain since she could hardly sit without crying, never came to the door, didn't hear cars pull up anymore, and barely ate. It seemed like the humane thing to do. Humane, but still hard. This morning, Oman took her to be euthanized. It has been a tearful day.

My children do not know life without her. They can't remember a time when she was not in their lives. They have some beautiful memories. She helped them love animals. She protected them. She helped them learn responsibility and caring for those less than themselves. She showed them unconditional love better than I ever could and she epitomized the words faithful servant. Well done, Sabrina, our good and faithful servant. We love you. We will miss you dearly. You have done well.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Test Drive..maybe


I have long known I made a terrible mistake when I freaked out on poor Oman and pushed for the big V (vasectomy). Huge mistake. I miss not having a baby and I feel guilt each time my dear daughters mention we should have another baby. I took that baby from them :( I digress, but I may have a small shot at redemption.

In addition to my new student, there is a chance I will be caring for his two little brothers come November. Today, being a national holiday where their child care facility was closed, yet their mother had to work, I took them in and had a trial run. All I can do is....blow into my fist and rub it on my shoulder! I was so made to have a lot of chilren! I had a great time schooling the lot. I pulled out a few old tricks, multi-tasked with baby in tow and toddler enjoying Starfall.com and building, coloring, and play dough. Meals went off well and nap time, thus the blog post, has been smooth. I am the old woman in the shoe, except, I know what to do!

I hope this trial run does reflect what it may be like in the near future. I know not everyday will be so smooth, but this one was fun, tiring, but fun.

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