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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Well, we moving on up!

This is a short movie of me trying to put the chrysalises in the butterfly habitat. I don't know if you all know this, but I am petrified of most bugs. This is also a documentation of how my husband likes to torment me. LOL
video

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chillin' in Charlotte on a Sunday afternoon!

These pictures are in reverse order, because for some reason it wouldn't let me edit the page. Go figure.

Anyway this is us at IHOP Eating after a long day doing a lot of nothing. LOL





Sugar Creek Library where I used to work, and one of the more popular chicken joints on this that side of town for the after church crowd.

Train station and dh's childhood home.
Some of the homeless population gathers here until they are allowed back into the shelter and sleeping ds.

Factory and Lynx train thingy.
Pepsi plant that we all toured as children and some industrial art.

Riding uptown or downtown (?)

The way we started our day
And last but not least...the Worm Wars!!! Okay, so I have one in this container that is not building his chrysalis. Why, because he is too busy bothering the other three. He has connected the other one together using his web. Why? I don't know, I'm not a caterpillar. I do know this. When they are in chrysalis form the shake violently to defend themselves if they think someone is trying to eat them. Anyway here is video of what is going on.
video

Updates!

Yesterday, I had to go the hospital for migraine problems. I had left sided numbness, vision difficulties, and of course a headache. I am taking a chillout day today. I love chill out days, don't you? Anyway, we have been to Home Depot this morning to buy a water plant. They didn't have much really nice stuff, but what they did have was a lily pad bulb. It is what's in ds's hand. They call it "drop and grow", so that's what we did. Of course you all will get pictures as it starts to emerge. One piece of advice. If you are going to do a pond that is in a black tub or with black lining, I would suggest that you use some light colored rocks and such so that you can see your tadpoles and frogs. They can be very difficult to see against that dark background. I guess I will have to find my flashlight.

7 out of 9 caterpillars are in chrysalis form. Yesterday, we had some drama as one of the caterpillars was trying to assault a chrysalis. He kept wrapping his body around it and pushing it etc. The way that the caterpillar in the chrysalis "defends" itself is to shake violently. It is SO weird looking. Even my mom was looking at them and fussing at the guilty party for mistreating his cupmate. Anyway, the two slow pokes should be on their way in a little. If they take too long, I may just release them, but then something might eat them.

What's up with ds giving me the "joker smile" on the picture? IDK, but he keeps doing it. I have decided to just go on and post them. He will be sorry later. LOL Thanks for hanging with us.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Worms and chrysalises and tadpole! Oh My!

Okay, here are a lot of very unclear bad pictures of our caterpillars. The main thing that I want you to see is that in these pictures one is attached to the top. This is what happened right before it forms a chrysalis. They will hang there for a while, and then their skin will split. They will be green and slimy at first and then it kind of hardens or something.



I hope this movie plays. You can't really see anything, but I thought it would be cool to watch the movement.
video


On the far right is the one that already has formed a chrysalis. The other two are just hanging there doing whatever it takes to do the same as the one on the right. It is really hard to take good pictures because they have a lot of webs that they have spun on the inside.


TADPOLES! Yay us!
We bought 3 because that was all they had. I will go and get more on Wednesday. I was supposed to let the water sit for 5 days, but I opted to use the water conditioner instead. They are in the pond now. I will take pics of them outside tomorrow if I get a chance.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The pond is finished...as it's going to be.

Okay, first let me say that I am fully award that the pond is not fully submerged. Look, we are in North Carolina which means this is red clay country. We really intended on making hole deeper, but to add insult to injury the tree roots were a beast. I aske my dad for the pick ax, but he sent me a plain pick. I am not the most patient person in the world so I just made do. Anyway, I still think it turned out really well. It will look even nicer once the clay soaks back into the grass. Hope you enjoy the pictures.







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Opposition

I was talked to a family member today that strongly opposes homeschooling. I wrote a whole rant about it because I was hurt/angry. Then I decided to put on my big girl panties, so this is all the air time it will receive.

Thanks Subscribers

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that subscribes to this blog. I am so happy, because I thought I'd be alone here for a while. LOL I hope you enjoy it and I hope to be as helpful as some of you are one day. Enjoy this new journey with us as we get to know one another again.

"Relationships are a mess worth making."
( I can't remember where I saw that quote, but I like it.)

The Opposition-The One I Didn't Publish.

You may ask why I am publishing this now. I am doing it because I still feel the same way, minus the anger. I think that it may help someone along the way that encounters the same thing when they make the decision to take the time and care to educate their children at home.

Well, this morning I got a taste of opposition about homeschooling. It was really bad too. I was so frustrated by the situation. It is almost impossible to argue a point with someone that has even less experience and knowledge than I do. I don't understand the thought processes of people that feel like they know both all the "other options" and all the outcomes. This is just beyond me. I am in no way claiming to know what I am getting into, but I do know that God is able to help us in what we are setting out to do. If I didn't think that He wanted us to do this I wouldn't even attempt it. My own mother wasn't this set against it.

Of course most of their argument was about socialization, when I put that to rest it was about the lack of maturity of homeschoolers. I thought that was the dumbest thing that I'd ever heard. So you are going to tell me that you think that children are immature from being exposed to a larger range of age groups as opposed to hanging out for 6+ hours with children that are all the same age. Our children's lives are made richer by being around different people of different ages, just like we are made richer by those experiences. The other thing that she said was that "they just need to learn to deal with negative situations, because after all we survived them." Yes, we did survive, but you couldn't pay me to do it all again. I realize that it is the societal norm to not deal with our kids all day everyday, but it doesn't mean that it is the norm everywhere. It also is not the norm for a husband and wife to work from home in part to prevent their niece and nephew from having to attend daycare, but we do it because it is important to us. Yes, we all need a break and I have to say that we don't get many, but lately we actually have fun with the children. Why/How? We had a change in attitude. I have noticed that time is flying by. Our children are getting so big. We can never get this time back and that is important to us. No, our parents didn't homeschool, but does that mean that we shouldn't. We all try to do what we think is best for our children and that should be okay. Again I say that we can do this.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Helpful Links

I recently found out that a young lady I know is going to begin homeschooling her dd next year too. I sent her an email with all the links that I had saved to favorites already to give a jump start and I thought I should post them here also. I hope they help some people. I also listed the books that I have...so far.


Books
The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child by Linda Dobson
What Your 4th Grader Needs to Know Edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. *
Homeschooling Methods by Paul & Gena Suarez
* I have this book in the kindergarten-fourth grade editions.

Blogs and Websites
http://lifewithoutschool.typepad.com/lifewithoutschool/2006/03/why_we_homescho.html
http://donnayoung.org/forms/help/newbie.htm
http://www.christianbook.com/homeschool
http://www.justenoughblog.com/
http://sandradodd.com/pam/howto
http://www.joyfullyrejoycing.com/academics/dayinthelife.html
http://sandradodd.com/lists/other
http://sandradodd.com/unschooling
http://lovetolearnconference.com/index.htm
http://frank.mtsu.edu/~studskl/hd/learn.html
http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3629#quiz
http://www.dhss.com/shop/
http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Visual_Spatial_Learner/vsl.htm
http://www.visualspatial.org/what_is_a_vsl.htm
http://www.freehomeed.com/
http://kidcultivatorsatlhomeschool.ning.com/profile/LaKeshaParkBroom#chatter-2088930:Comment:20201
http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/regional/NorthCarolinaSupport.htm#Charlotte
http://www.mathusee.com/placement.html
http://www.compasslearning.com/States/Default.aspx?st=NC
http://www.time4learning.com/
http://nche.com/how-to/the_law_DNPE_and_you.php
http://www.centralhomeschoolgroup.com/homeschooling_resources.html
http://www.charlotteparent.com/calendar/default.aspx?startdate=03-09-2009&enddate=03-09-2009
http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/event.php?id=5541
http://www.highlightskids.com/Science/ScienceQuestions/h1sciQtreeshaveBark.asp
http://www.charlotteonthecheap.com/
http://www.culturalkaleidoscope.com/
http://www.growingscholars.com/default.asp
http://hintsonline.org/join-us.htm
http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=ABM1401
http://www.learningplanet.com/
http://nfahm.blogspot.com/
http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Aquatics/Rays+Splash+Planet/Programs.htm
http://www.nchomeschooler.com/
http://www.thehomeschoolroom.net/
http://njoyscience.net/
http://www.freewebs.com/charlottehomeschoolinfo/apps/blog/
http://www.thehomeschoolhut.com/
http://www.learningthings.com/?B=41&A=1427
http://www.freewebs.com/mytwomonkeys/
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/walkingbytheway/666754/
http://www.homeschoolshare.com/
http://www.workboxsystem.com/
http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/spelling-levela.html
http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/
http://www.e-learningforkids.org/
http://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/Home.html
http://www.justmommies.com/articles/home-organization-plan.php
http://www.hewitthomeschooling.com/test/testfaq.asp#Anchor-Must-49575
http://www.learningresources.com/category/teachers/shop+by+subject/language+arts.do
http://www.surfnetkids.com/PrintablesClubTour-r.html
http://www.weyandts.com/contact.html
http://insectlore.stores.yahoo.net/nsearch.html
http://www.ncdnpe.org/hhh103.asp
http://www.bookitprogram.com/teachers/
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Jimmie/665345/
http://blog.choosyhomeschooler.com/?p=33
http://www.livingmath.net/
http://www.pennygardner.com/mathclassics.html
http://www.spellingcity.com/
http://www.homeschoolfacts.com/states/sub_sections.php/State_Laws/north-carolina
http://www.tobinslab.com/downloads/Lap%20Book%20Info%20Sheet.pdf
http://www.homeschoolfreebie.wholesomechildhood.com/
http://www.currclick.com/index.php

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm gettin' some beer!

I have snails attacking my Hostas and apparently they like a good kegger to their own demise. All you have to do is bury a container in the ground level with the earth and fill it with beer. They find it, fall in, and drown. Cheap and quick. I think you are supposed to change the beer every couple of days unless the container is full.

Sankofa Learning Center

We have a name...I think. Sankofa Learning Center means that although we will learn many modern lessons, will recognize our forgotten past as people of African descent and the Diaspora. It will not be based on hate of other cultures/races, but just a focus on our culture which is often left out of mainstream history.

I was thinking about getting tshirts made that say "I am homeschooled" so that when we are out during the day people won't have to ask. LOL

More Books!

Mom brought more books. One is all about paper arts and crafts. It seems like it will be fun. I am really excited about how things are turning out. She said that she will buy me a Discovery Place family pass for my birthday. I am so excited. She works really close to Discovery Place, so when we go we will probably be able to meet her for lunch. It is also withing walking distance of ImaginOn Library which will be a nice way to have 2 field trips at once.

Sundays in God's Creation!

We spent the day today in the yard making it more beautiful. These two little areas are at the end of the driveway. I planted 2 lavender plants in one, which I am really excited about because I have wanted some lavender for years. Now I have it. Yay me!



This is the area right in front of the front door/ramp. Last year I planted the cute little bushes that turn red in the winter. I had to use some of the rocks that were there for the end of the driveway, so we put some wood that had been cut down last summer around the plant bed. I think it's cute. I used one as a stump for my pot the I put my new "hens and bitties" plant in.



Here the kids are beginning to dig for the pond. I was ready to take a nice long break and a shower, but dd wanted to keep going. At some point ds started to get in the way and pout endlessly so I told him to go in the house. That made him straighten up for a while...not for long.



My ds started feeling better, so we decided to take a break and repot the African Milk Tree that we bought yesterday. Please use gloves when repotting a cactus. We used shells that we found at the lake yesterday along with some rock piece that broke off of the larger ones.


Here is the work in progress. My mom said that we should keep digging, but I am trying to think of a way to work this whole thing out without having to dig. I'm thinking back fill and and build up around the edges. Lazy...yes, but it just might work.


Whatever we decide I am going to transplant more Hostas from the back to the front to give more shelter around the pond. Either way the pond has to sit for about a week before being fit for frogs. That will be plenty of time seeing as I haven't even gotten the tadpoles yet. I think that the book shelf is about to double as a place for the tadpoles and whatever else we try to grow.

My dd and I discussed how many things we reused. Here's the list:
  1. Juice bottle converted into a shovel used to get dirt out of the huge bag of dirt.
  2. Unprocessed wood used as a border instead of firewood.
  3. Larger rocks broken into appropriate size for projects.

How did I get all that wood and those rocks moved from the front to the back? My lovely dd and ds. Yay!