Feb 27, 2009

Fitness Friday Week 5

First I must say that I completely missed Week 4 last week, but there really wasn't much to say as I had been stuck in Maine most of that week and then I was just trying to get everything straightened out with my car and everything that I had missed once I got home!

This passed week has been a bit better, I did manage to get on the Wii Fit 4 out of 7 days for at least 30 minutes each time. I have been doing the Yoga stretches, the step and some balance games. I think this week I am going to try to push myself to do the combinations that come up for the yoga and strength training combined, but - here I go again - I just wish there was some way to get the combinations to flow so that you didn't have to fiddle with the remote constantly!!! So here is my mission for the week - 5 out of 7 days for at least 30 minutes and 3 out of those 5 days I will do all the yoga and strength combinations.

I am truly pushing myself to do it because I don't see any results happening from it. My weight just does not seem to be going anywhere - which is the norm for me. I fluctuate from 1-5 lb difference constantly and I don't know how to fix that. I am also one of those wonderful people whose body RETAINS all the stress that is going on in my life. Maybe as things smooth out a little bit, I will see some improvement and I know I can't expect it to happen overnight, but SOMETHING would be nice. I think that I really NEED to get back to my regular Yoga class as this will help with the stress, stamina, and back problem all with one clean swoop, but I don't know where to fit it in! I am just going to HAVE to do it!

I start another session teaching the kids yoga this week at our local co-op, so I know I will be getting at least two good yoga workouts in - I have to do the prep work for the little ones, who are a lot more limber than I am and therefore I tend to push myself to the limits! They are so much fun though and it is great that they have an interest in learning these techniques at such a young age, so that they can carry them with them throughout their lives!

Good luck to all who are going to be participating in the
Wii Fit Olympics Tomorrow!!!

Feb 22, 2009

Homeschooling Mom's Version of OCD -

Obsessive Curriculum Disorder!!!

I truly think I need help with this! I know I am not the only one out there! It is often more a case of the grass is greener syndrome when you hear about some great program that is working wonders for someone else's child, but my book shelves are begging for relief and my computer is overflowing with downloads. I am constantly second guessing myself as to what we are covering and how we are covering it. I want to make sure that I have all the bases covered, no matter what may come up. This has led to a constant nagging and obsessive gathering of information. I can't pass up a Freebie of any sort that MAY come in handy someday - even if it is something that I am pretty sure KM will NEVER be interested in. I also have a TON of cute preschooly things for SC - I know she is only 21 mo. but she will be ready to read and write before you know it and I want to make sure I am prepared! Hmmm.... What to do? What to do?

This is a list of my first steps to try to break this wretched condition!

First - I decided to reorganize things so that I could really see what we have! I have weeded through my files I was saving on the main computer, as it was getting VERY difficult to even find something we wanted to do, never mind trying to save some more info in the right spots. I also reorganized the closet shelves where I keep things that we plan to use in the future. I put a LOT of books, mostly on grammar and writing, that I KNOW we will NEVER use on Paperback Swap and they were snatched up in minutes - yeah more credits!!!

Second - I decided to make some sort of list so that I have an idea of what I have for each subject area. I began by writing out all the core subjects that I have accumulated information, texts and other materials on and then I listed electives in the same way. I believe I have everything for middle school completely covered, except for the Teaching Textbooks for Math - which I will purchase after reselling each previous edition.

Third - I WILL CONSCIOUSLY MAKE AN EFFORT TO NOT PURCHASE ANYMORE SCHOOL ITEMS!!! I should have come to this conclusion way before this point, but better late than never!

Fourth - I will not download any free packets, unless we will be using them during this term! With the exception of the weekly downloads from Currclick, because really how can you pass those up!!! Otherwise I will save the sites and get the information when we are ready for it!

Fifth - I will realize that my daughter is doing EXCEPTIONALLY well with what I have been putting together. She really enjoys the programs that we are using and until SHE has a problem or complaint with the things we are using, I need to just let things BE!

How do you handle Homeschool OCD? Please share your tips and tricks, so that maybe I can get this awful condition under control!

Feb 20, 2009


On this winter day, people go out at noon, wave their hands over their heads and chant "Hoodie-Hoo".

It is a day to chase away winter and bring in spring. After all, everyone in the northern hemisphere are sick and tired of winter at this point and a little crazy being cooped up inside all winter and not seeing the sun.

I think this is a pretty cool one...especially after my extra entrapment in the cold of Maine!!! We are going to be taking down a lot of the winter decorations and are going to go shopping for some new spring ones! So if you see some crazy person at the local store, waving their hands over their heads and shouting "Hoodie Hoo" just wave and say hi!

Feb 19, 2009

I was tagged...

by Dcart a few days ago and since I just got home I can play now!!!

The rules for this one are rather simple - you go to your pictures folder and go to the sixth one and then you find the sixth picture and post it...I had to got a step further as the 6th folder was filled with folders, but here is what I found...

Although this is not a great pic, it was a wonderful day and I actually have a previous post on it here . We spent the day at the Children's Museum with SC (you can just see her feet in behind KM) and this was an exhibit on South East Asia where they were planting the rice in nice straight rows!

Now I must tag 6 more people to play along, I think I will try to get some of my followers to play along! So here we go....

1. Jana
2. Karen
3. Gottfredsen

4. Spooky
5. Candace
6. Sarah

Can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Feb 18, 2009


I am home!!!

Just wanted to post a quick note to let everyone know that I am finally home safe and sound!!!
I don't even want to get into the ridiculousness of what went on today...I am just going to head to MY bed!!!!

Thanks for all the well wishes and though we did really have a great visit, it was such a wonderful relief to walk through my front door!

Feb 16, 2009

STILL in Maine...

...waiting for my car to be fixed! It hasn't all been bad, by any means, but I would like to go home at some point! The dealership got the part to fix my car on Saturday and it was broken - OF COURSE! - and since there is no mail service today they have to have the part over-nighted tomorrow, to arrive on Wednesday morning. The killer part for me is the fact that the part will literally take less then 20 minutes to put in.

Of course KM is having a wonderful time and even had her first successful skiing experience. Here are some pics...

Hopefully I will truly be leaving Wed - they are expecting 12-18 inches of snow and I would like to avoid that if possible!!!

Feb 14, 2009

Words of Praise

I thought since today was all about love and praise I thought I would mention that sometimes we need to change the wording to really make an impact to show our children how great we think they are!

98 Ways to Say "Very good"

1. You've got it made.
2. You're on the right track now!
3. You are very good at that.
4. That's very much better!
5. I'm happy to see you working like that.
6. You're doing a good job.
7. That's the best you've ever done.
8. I knew you could do it.
9. Now you've figured it out.
10. Now you have it.
11. GREAT!
12. Keep working - you're getting better.
13. You make it look easy.
14. That's the right way to do it.
15. You're getting better every day.
16. You're really growing up!
17. Nice going.
19. That's the way to do it.
20. That's better.
21. Best yet.
23. You're really going to town!
25. Much better!
26. You've just about mastered that!
28. You did that very well.
30. You're really improving.
32. Keep it up!
33. You've got that down pat!
35. Good thinking!
36. Keep on trying!
37. When I'm with you I feel like singing!
38. I'm very proud of you.
39. I think you've got it now.
40. You figured that out fast.
41. That's really nice.
42. You're right.
44. That's great!
45. Way to go.
46. Now you have the hang of it!
47. That's it!
48. Congratulations, you got it right.
49. You're beautiful.
50. That's RIGHT!
51. That's GOOD!
52. I've never seen anyone do it better.
54. Now you've figured it out.
55. You're really working hard today.
56. You've just about got it.
57. THAT'S IT!
58. Congratulations!
59. That's quite an improvement.
60. You're doing that much better today.
61. I sure am happy you're my student.
62. You're learning fast.
63. Good for you!
64. Couldn't have done it better myself.
65. You really make being a teacher fun.
66. One more time and you'll have it.
67. You did it that time!
68. That's the way!
69. I'm proud of the way you worked today.
70. Keep up the good work.
71. Nothing can stop you now!
73. That's the best ever.
74. FINE!
76. That's better than ever.
77. Good going.
78. Now that's what I call a fine job!
79. You must have been practicing!
80. You're doing beautifully.
81. Right on!
82. Good remembering!
83. You did a lot of work today!
84. You certainly did well today.
85. You're doing fine.
86. You are really learning a lot.
87. You outdid yourself today!
88. Good going!
89. Excellent job!
92. You're doing the best you can!
93. Good job.
94. You remembered.
95. That gives me a happy feeling.
96. Well, look at you go!
97. Dynamite!
98. You are amazing!

If you have any more to add please feel free!


Lots of links for the history of Valentine's Day can be found here!
Hope you all have a wonderful day!!!

Feb 13, 2009

Friday the 13th


KM's best friends -twins who live two states away - were born on 2/14. I received a phone call about 2 weeks ago BEGGING me to bring KM for their birthday party. We had not seen them in quite awhile and it worked out that I did not have SC on the weekend in question, so to quiet the squealing tweens I agreed to make the trek.

Since the sleepover was being held on Friday, I figured I would be able to be back by late Saturday afternoon to still spend Valentine's Day with CJ. We left right on time and everything was going great! We made it through Boston with no traffic, Rt 1 was clear sailing, and we made it to the Burger King just in time to not have to wait in line. I thought for sure everything was going to be fine! Then suddenly as I was coming to the crest of a hill, the car felt funny. It was as if I had hit the cruise control off, but I could not accelerate. I pulled to the side of the turnpike and my car died!

I must interject here to state that my ride is not really fancy, it is a Land Rover Freelander that I have had for just over 5 years. I have NEVER had ANY problems with it. Other than regular maintenance I have not had to spend a penny. It has under 50,000 miles on it, as most of my driving is within a 10 mile radius.

Now back to the story - I swear I thought my head was going to explode!!!!! What do I do? I am in another state. I barely know where I am. The neurotic over packer, only packed one change of clothes and one set of pj's for each of us, as we were only suppose to be staying overnight. I did not pack extra snacks or drinks as I knew we were going to be stopping at the same rest area we always do. So here I am the one who is always prepared for everything, TOTALLY UNPREPARED FOR THIS!

I call CJ and of course immediately start FREAKING out! I have no idea what I am going to do. I am not unfamiliar with the workings of a car, I took mechanics in high school, my grandfather was a mechanic, CJ is obsessed with Jeeping, my brother-in-law is a mechanic, and my father drag races and has been featured in several racing magazines. Yet here in this situation, where I have no control and there are HUGE trucks and cars whizzing by me at 80-90mph I can not think of what I am suppose to do! CJ of course is also freaking out at the thought of me broken down on the highway, but he talks me through checking everything as best as he can. This is no use as everything that I can check is fine!

Back into the car I go and we begin thinking. Okay I have a Land Rover, hey they have this really good roadside assistance program which is the reason why I do not have AAA. So we call them up and I am told that the nearest dealer - which is the only place that they can tow me to, is 58 miles away and they will only cover tows if they are under 50 miles. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

Okay next option - have the computer limited CJ look up a local tow service in the town that is listed on the only sign that I can see on the highway. NOT GOING TO WORK - I love him, I truly do, but he is just not computer savvy AT ALL. I think for a second and as I turn my head to the right I spot my GPS - DUHHHHH. I pull up the menu and locate the closest gas station - I love my GARMIN!!! it even listed the phone number! I called and they were only a gas station, but the attendant was sooooo helpful. He gave me the name of a station right around the corner and even looked up the phone number for me!

CJ was of course very leery of me going to some totally random auto shop to have my car worked on - see above mentioned reasons as to why this maybe so... - but I was very optimistic, when the man who answered the phone new right off the bat that they need to send out a car carrier to get me as my vehicle is AWD!!! Most mechanics don't even know what a Freelander is - they only made them for 3 years and as I mentioned they RARELY break down!

----Homeschooling Side Note---- KM was in the back of the car during this whole panic attack inducing affair with her headphones on and doing her SCOPE magazine assignment. She didn't even realize that there was anything wrong until I got out of the car before the tow truck got there!!!

So they came in no time to rescue us. When we walked into the shop, the very nice man behind the counter said "What were you thinking trying to travel on Friday the 13th!" Well gee thanks!!! I began to state how I am not superstitious and I don't think that the date had any relevance to the events of the day, but stopped myself mid sentence when the tow truck driver came up behind him with a not so happy look on his face. "It doesn't look very good!" Great, I thought, I am just going to hold off on my speech as to not tempt any further aggravation of the gods - hmmmm maybe I am a little superstitious. I sit down and wait for them to run the diagnostics.

Minutes later they come out to tell me my fuel pump is junk! FANTASTIC!!! I know that on a "normal" car this would run about $300-400. The man calls around and finds one that is $975 - are you KIDDING ME! Well I don't really have a choice now do I. So the man gets back on the phone and goes about getting the parts and I go about trying to find a way to get out of this place!

A few minutes later the man calls me into his office. He says he has called several locations and not only do they need the part, but they need a special tool because it is a Land Rover - OF COURSE THEY DO!!! - they could do the work and it would cost me about $1480. I swear I thought my head was going to explode!

He then says, "but today is your lucky day! I called a friend of mine at the Land Rover dealership and apparently there is a recall on your fuel pump!" I could have kissed him! I swear I almost reached over the desk and kissed him! So my car was off to the dealership and will be fixed Monday.

At about this same time I get a phone call that the grandparents of the aforementioned twins we are going to visit are about 20 minutes away and would be more than happy to swing by and pick us up on there way! Yippeee!!! Rescued again!!

KM is very happy that she gets a few extra days with her friends and I get a few days of doing, well not much of anything, but hanging out really. Guess Noni thought I needed a break!

I truly don't feel that I am superstitious, but I think Noni was looking out for me today! Friday the 13th was always a running joke in our house when I was growing up because my parents got me on Friday 10/13/1978! I used to tell Noni that she should have known right then to send me back because I was going to be a handful!!! THANKS NONI for letting me know that you are still there keeping your eye on us! I guess I do believe the date played into the events of the day, but next time Noni, you truly could do something a bit more subtle!!!

Fitness Friday

So my Fitness Friday post is short and sweet - I totally tweaked my back last week doing kayaking on Jillian Micheal's Fitness Ultimatum - so I did not get any workout in! Not a one - I did the body test each day as it helped me to see how unbalanced I was/wasn't to help with my sciatic nerve. It is better, but I am now "TRAPPED" in Maine, so I am hoping I will have a better week to come!

Feb 8, 2009




Feb 7, 2009

Pangaea Project

We made a paper mache earth, using a one part flour to two parts water recipe and a balloon. We only did two layers as it seemed to be strong enough!
Then KM painted it blue to represent the water and we printed out a copy of Pangaea from here and taped it on.

Then we printed out a second version from here to show how the plates separated and shifted apart.

It was amazing to see her actually get the concept!

Feb 6, 2009

Fitness Friday - Wk3

I have to say I ABSOLUTELY ADORE the Jillian Micheal's game!!! It has it's downfalls, but I must say it is a pretty good work! I had really good intentions this week, I tried to stay on top of things and then midweek I just lost it. Here is what happened -

Friday - I got the game in the mail late in the afternoon, but decided I had to try it out. I really wouldn't have considered it to be a work out because I was just fooling around with the controls and seeing what worked best, using the balance board on some, not on others and so forth. I figured out how to program a routine - LOVE THIS FEATURE - and that it gives you about 15 seconds of instructions if you need it, before it switches from one activity to the next - if you don't need the instructions then you can just click right through it, no wasted time - my biggest pet peeve with the Wii Fit game! You are moving the entire time from start to finish!

Saturday - I did an actual workout. I love the way it is setup because you can either do a custom workout where you choose the setup and order of the activities that you want to do or you can have Jillian pick your routine based on what you want to work on. I decided to let Jillian pick my routine and worked on cardio. I did the full 20 minutes and then played around a little bit more to try to figure out some of the more difficult games. Here is one of the downfalls - it does not give you the greatest set of instructions so you need to decode what it actually wants you to do. Once you figure out what the graphics symbols on the screen mean you are golden and can pretty much figure out how to do each of the parts of the workouts.

Sunday - I did a 15 minute custom exercise in the afternoon and then played a few of the games with KM in the multiplayer mode. Another AWESOME feature. Of course you can only have one balance board working at a time, but as long as you have multiple controller you can play the multiplayer games and go head to head against each other or against the computer.

Monday - I was SOOOOO sore that I had to have KM demonstrate all the yoga positions at the kids coop class that I teach!!! My shoulders were the worst, there is this one exercise where you swing your arms over your head as if you are crossing monkey bars - I was almost in tears the night before when I was finishing it up. Needless to say I did NOT do any workout on Monday.

Tuesday - I did a short workout on Jillian's game and did 20 minutes on the Wii Fit playing balance games, boxing and doing the advanced step. I felt like I needed to recover a bit from the weekend!

Wednesday - We had a lot of lessons to get through and KM was having a difficult time with one of her math concepts - remember when to divide and when to multiple while converting lengths - I got some disappointing news about a family member, the phone wouldn't stop ringing, I had to pack for a field trip......and these are the "reasons" I am sticking to as to why no workout got done on Wed.

Thursday -We were up and out of the house very early, to go into the Museum of Science with MC & SC. I did a TON of walking and we made sure to take the steps instead of the elevators. When we got home my back was aching, it hurt to stand, sit, lay down, just about anything caused a wretched shooting pain across my back. I have had siatic nerve problems in the past and I think I have been neglecting my yoga practice so much lately that it is coming back. So I did a few stretches, took a muscle relaxer and went to bed at 4:30. CJ made dinner and brought it in to me and I was sound asleep by 6pm, I slept straight through the night until 7:30 this morning! Yup, straight through!! My back is feeling better, but if I turn the wrong way or stand up to quickly it is still a bit sore. If it isn't better by Monday I am going to have to have it checked. I know it is just one of those things that they are going to tell me to rest and let it heal, so I don't want to waste my time or my doctor's for that matter.

Depending on how I feel tomorrow I will try it again. I may need to regroup my ideas and start out with just yoga again to get my back where it should be before I start anything else at the moment.

My goal for the week will be to do the body test EVERYDAY, do 1-2 yoga flows on my own EVERYDAY and at least 15 minutes of aerobics on WiiFit 4 days this week! Lets see how this goes...

Feb 3, 2009


We were finishing up a unit on geography, mapping, and archaeology, before we begin our study of the prehistoric periods, so I though it would be fun for the kids to design their own islands!

I took out the Crayola Model Magic, paint and let them have at it.....

KM decided to draw out a plan for her island on the whiteboard first.
Then they formed the bases and began painting.
Next she formed the higher points, painted them, glued them on and stuck toothpicks in to be able to label them after it was dry.
She named her island "Homeschoolmania" and declared that EVERYONE WOULD BE HOMESCHOOLED HERE!

SC's was a bit less structured, but I believe it would be a very interesting place to visit!

Feb 2, 2009

Celebrate Imbolc & Groundhog Day

Imbolc is the holiday in which we celebrate the midpoint of winter! As during Yule, we celebrate the return of sun. Spring is nearly here, though the days are not warmer they are getting longer. I really liked the image above, as it can mean so many different things. KM felt that it was mother earth rejuvenating the "earth's energy".

Here are some great links for information and activities to help you celebrate Imbolc -

The mainstream for this holiday is of course Groundhog Day so I thought I would also add some links for things to go with that theme -
That should be enough to get you started, I will be back later to let you know how our day goes!