Saturday, July 01, 2006


Flowers always make my day, especially when they are unexpected! A great-big thank you to my cousin/best friend for the surprise! The photo doesn't do the arrangement justice.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Too Scared to Sell

I have three boxes of homeschool stuff I need to unload. While I have been buying on Ebay forever, I have never sold and frankly, I'm almost too scared to try. I'm equally scared to sell on the homeschool boards.

Some of the stuff I have I will give to friends, such as flash cards, books that aren't in the best of condition, but I have some stuff that we have outgrown that are worth some money. I would imagine I could make enough to buy all the science supplies I want, plus some.

So why am I so scared?

If I try to sell on Ebay, I know to get a new checking account so that our main account isn't tied up with Paypal. I've heard horror stories about freezing checking accounts and I'd be close to death if that happened. I know how to accurately describe what I have. I'm just a chicken.

I don't know how to do shipping. I'd want to charge a very small fee for shipping and handling -- meaning I'd go out and buy something to ship the books in. I don't know how to do shipping charges, though. Personally, I don't buy near as much on Ebay as I used to because of shipping fees so I'd probably do media mail. I think everything I have qualifies for that.

I'm just a wimp. All I need to do is jump in.

Someone tell me to do it. I don't want to be tripping over boxes for the next month.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Oh what a mess!

The majority of next year's school books arrived at our house. They've been sitting on the kitchen counter for way too long.

I started to clean the school room today. Here's two boxes full of stuff to sell. I ran out of boxes, so the school room looks like this:

Oh what a mess. I find it very hard to get rid of stuff. The stuff in the foreground is 3rd grade completed work that I can't seem to get rid of. Uhm, we just finished 4th grade.

I've been sorting for an hour and now I'm just procrastinating. I want to finish this room today so that I can reclaim my kitchen. For some reason I am just not enjoying this process. I wish we had a room that was larger than 9x9! I wish I had more book cases! I would really like to get another 4-foot table so that Thomas and I each had our own workspace, or else we had a space to house fish tanks, hermit crabs, plants.

I wish for a lot, but none will come true (except maybe another table) and it is time to force myself to complete the task.

Monday, June 26, 2006

We're Crazy!!!!

All this late evening I've been surfing and my husband has been surfing on his computer. Thomas was in bed, fast asleep. We've also been smelling chocolate cake.

So I happen to notice the clock. It reads 12:20. I look to my husband and say:

ME: Honey?
DH: What!
ME: It's 12:20
DH: Yeah, so.
ME: It's my birthday.

He turns and looks at me, and we both are smiling evil grins. Without another word, we both jump out of our seats, run to get Thomas up and out of bed. When he was awake and in the kitchen, we slammed candles on the cake. Didn't have 41, so we made the number 41 with the candles. We lighted them, I made a quick wish, blew them out...and we ate cake.

Thomas has brushed his teeth and is back in bed. DH is getting into bed as I type. I'm sitting here laughing, because doing what we did is exactly the way I like to celebrate things. Crazy, out of order, unexpected.

I have a feeling it is going to be a wonderful day. DH even said he'd take the afternoon off, so we'll have to come up with new plans.

I love being weird!

Growing With Grammar 4 is now available!

Growing With Grammar is a fantastic grammar program. The author, Tamela Davis, started with a third-grade level and has just completed her fourth-grade level.

I have not seen the fourth-grade level, but my son worked through GWG3, so I'm positive that it is as fantastic as 3.

I like to compare GWG to Rod and Staff. Rod and Staff is a great program, although it's time consuming and writing all those sentences out by hand is excruciating. Also it is very religious. Growing With Grammar is to the point and very well laid out. Anyone of any faith or lack thereof can use this program without any hesitation. GWG's coverage is "just the right amount" whereas Rod and Staff tended to go on and on and on. Also, with Rod and Staff, we have to do grammar 4 days a week in order to complete the book in a year. GWG covers the same ground but it can be done fewer times a week and be finished in the year.

I just read on the GWG website that the author is going to write a 1st/2nd grade combo program and will also be working on her 5th grade program, both due out in spring of 2007.

My son was behind on his grammar skills, according to his 3rd grade CAT5 results. We did GWG3 in 4th grade and his English test scores on his 4th grade CAT5 went way up. (Yes, they were above grade level.) That, IMHO, is proof that it is a good program. I really do believe that her program helped give Thomas the boost that he needed.

Growing With Grammar

June 27th

When I was a kid, it was my favorite day of the year. Now it's just another day -- or maybe it's a day when I get sad and miss my mom, who had a gift for making birthdays special.

Another year older. Another year wiser. Another year, more gray hair. I'm getting old. It beats the alternative, though!

Birthdays were always a big deal to me. I make a big deal out of Thomas's birthday as well as my husband's. They don't for me.

This weekend I went to the store and bought a chocolate cake mix and chocolate canned frosting. I told the boys that I will be getting a birthday cake this year. Then I pointed to the mix. DH got the hint and I'm proud to report the cake is cooling. =) (All the dirty dishes were stacked in the sink for me, though. lol)

I'm tired of crappy birthdays and decided I need to take it upon myself to have a great one. So tomorrow shall be a selfish Frankie day. I deserve it, right? ? ?

Thomas and I will go out for breakfast. I have not decided where we will go yet. Truth be told, I love an Egg McMuffin. However, a nice, sit-down breakfast would be nice too. We will then depart for a day of shopping. Ah, in my little town I should say a morning of shopping.

My husband did not buy me a gift this year because I nixed what he was going to get me. (A swing for the back yard.) It isn't enjoyable going in the back yard anymore because the neighbors on our north just hacked down all the privacy shrubs and there's no privacy and the neighbors to the south are always outside with their #$%# poodle that barks incessantly. When I go out to garden, I always check to see if Yappy is outside before I head out.

So I think I'll buy myself a gift, but I don't know what it will be yet. I want a food sealer, but my mom's words keep echoing in my head: Don't buy gifts for the house, buy them for the person. She hated any appliances as gifts because she called it a gift for the house. And she's right. Mom also hated money as a gift because she would use it for groceries. I disagree with her on that, I love getting money as a gift because then I can buy what I want.

Okay, so breakfast out, a morning of shopping, I think that Thomas and I shall go to lunch at a bar. My town has many lakes and there is a bar/restaurant that has been there forever. It was built on the lake. It is a busy place, smoke-filled in the evenings, but great for lunch. The food is greasy but fantastic. I think a pork tenderloin sandwich is in order. We'll go after the busy lunch crowd and look out on the lake. In the winter this place is great because we sit and watch cars driving over the lake. To this day it freaks me out seeing cars driving on the lake. Our town looks very similar to the town in the movie Grumpy Old Men. Ice huts everywhere. In the summer, this restaurant is great because we get to watch all the boats come to the dock and the people come in to eat.

I'm at a loss for what to do in the afternoon. Maybe a movie? Thing is, I don't like sitting through kids movies. We did just go see Over the Hedge and I actually enjoyed that movie. I think the theater is showing the Garfield movie. I know it's showing Click. I wonder if that's appropriate for a 10-year-old! Another idea is to drive to the next down east and go to their motel. They will let you swim for $3 an hour. Maybe that's what we'll do. I just am not in the mood to go to our local swim park because it's loud, noisy, full of kids dropped off for the entire day, and I know for a fact the pool is half bodily fluids.

I'll let my husband surprise me for supper. He's a good cook, or he can take us out, either one. Then we'll have cake.

What a boring birthday, but it will do. Birthday small-town Minnesota style.

I could get together with friends, but everyone wants to go to the water park in the summer and I just don't. Aside from what I already mentioned, I don't hear well and with the water spraying and gushing all over the place, I can't hear to have a conversation there.

41. Definitely middle aged, feeling and showing it, but loving the fact I get smarter and better every year.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Relaxing Sunday

We had a very relaxing Sunday at our house. Thomas and his dad continued playing games on the computer, played some games and read some books. I putzed around the house all day, finally settling in at the kitchen table with my books, pencil and paper.

Thomas decided he wants to work through How Nature Works first. After studying the book for awhile this afternoon, I find it doesn't provide as much information as I would like on certain topics. That will be easily remedied because we have tons of science books.

We'll start the book out of order doing the plants and fungi chapter. I grabbed my book Simple Nature Experiments with Everyday Materials to plot our game plan. I made a list of things to buy and then hit the internet.

I checked out Edmund Scientific, Carolina Biological, and Home Science Tools. For what I wanted, and the quantities, Home Science Tools was my best bet. I spent an hour perusing their website, putting things in the wish list. I saved the wish list frequently. When I was done, I had a very healthy wish list, healthy enough to make my husband complain.

We ate a nice homemade Mexican meal that my husband prepared and I came back to the computer with credit card in hand. I can't believe it, my wish list was empty! Is that a sign that I should not be ordering all those science supplies? It couldn't be me, I know I kept hitting the save wish list button. Great, now I'll have to start all over.

I will start over. Tomorrow. I'll need to get my list and remember that Sal Soda, the term used in the How Nature Works book, is actually sodium carbonate or good old washing soda. Yes, I admit it took me five minutes to figure out what Sal Soda was. And I guess that doesn't even matter because I can buy that locally.

I did learn that I need to order my iodine solution online because they iodine they sell in pharmacies is alcohol based and may not work with some experiments whereas the iodine sold online is water based.

I swear I'll learn more science than Thomas will.

I've heard of literature-based education, classical education, but has anyone ever put together a science-based education? Thomas loves science, is very good and intuitive with science, and our upcoming school year is going to revolve around science.

And me, the poor mom who always hated science class, will finally love science. (I can hope.)