Hey, It's Jade! and family

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Photo Prompt Challenge, #12: Every Day

Something You Do Every Day

Yes, that is my hand and yes, my fingers are in the wrong place.
Obviously.  The internet runs my life.  I must check my email a dozen times a day.  I must check facebook at least half a dozen times.  Twitter here and there.  Blogs... oh.my.blog.ness., if you only knew how many blogs I'm subscribed to!  I don't sit and surf for hours at a time.  I do it spurts, between chasing the kids, cleaning up after the kids, feeding the kids, sometimes getting myself showered, cleaning the kids, playing with the kids, etc. etc. etc.  But, still.  I do spend WAY too much time online, in the grand scheme of things.  But considering how much I get out of the house these days, it's kind of my little window into the great, big world. What is going on out there?  The internet will tell me!  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photo Prompt Challenge, #11: Make Me Laugh

A Photo That Makes You Laugh

And, here, you thought it'd be one of the kids, right?  This is what comes up on my phone when my husband calls me, and it never ceases to crack me up.  That's my Mikey!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo Prompt Challenge, #10: Favorite Room

Your Favorite Room in Your House

I LOVE this rug!
The toy corner is a bit of a mess.
Changing table & rocking chair.
My favorite room is currently Callen's room.  It's so bright and cheerful, and the boys love going in there and playing in the floor, dragging out everything they can find!  It's the smallest room in the house, and it used to be our office before Callen was born.  Michael pulled out the carpet and replaced it with wood laminate, and that pretty much made it an entirely new and different room completely.  I barely even recognize old pictures of it!

United States Map
World Map
A cool thing about Callen's room is that we left the two large wall maps up to go along with his "travel" theme.  These two maps have an awesome story!  The National Geographic United States map came from my previous job at the call center.  It was up so we could pinpoint where our check cashing machines were because they located all over the country.  It survived the tornado and was put up in the new building for a while.  When we were all laid off and everything was getting moved out, I asked what would become of it and no one cared, so I brought it home with me!  Then, at the station, there was a National Geographic World map in the conference room.  At one point, they repainted and then decided not to put it back up.  I told the owner that if he ever wanted to get rid of it I would gladly take it off his hands, totally not expecting him to let me have it.  But he did!  He was just like "Go ahead and take it!"  So, my two jobs resulted in two matching National Geographic wall maps!  Pretty cool, huh?

Ok, and I also love Callen's room 'cause we have fun times like this:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Photo Prompt Challenge, #9: Treasured Item

Your most treasured item.

What?  Seriously?  Ok, let me explain.

I have never been able to answer this question very well.  It comes in a variety of forms.  "Your most treasured possession?"  "If you're house was burning down, what item would you make it a point to save?"  Besides my family (which doesn't count as an item, obviously), I can never come up with anything.  The items around me are simply that... things.  Things can be replaced.  So, if my house was burning down... I'd get my family and myself out.  Maybe I'd try to grab my bag, ID, phone, etc... but I wouldn't call those my most prized possessions.  And I have some things that I would be sad to be without.  I treasure things like jewelry from my Grandma and Great Grandma who are no longer here.  I treasure sweet mementos from my babies' early days.  Y'know... things like that.  But still... my most treasured item?!?

Last nite I was asking Michael the same question to try to get some inspiration for this prompt.  He, like me, couldn't come up with anything serious.  "Your wedding ring?" he asked.  Well, ok, yeah... I'd be sad if it was gone, but it's a hunk of metal and rock - it's not my marriage, which is far more precious to me than a ring.  Thankfully, he wasn't offended by that! Ha! Anyway, he then quipped, "Well, right now, your treasured item is definitely the DVR!"  Lol.  I had to agree... I have been enjoying the snot out of that thing!  And I'm going to be sad to see it go in a week or so.  I don't think I'd stop to save it in case of a fire, though.

I like "things" just fine... but I can live without things.  And memories can be spurred without mementos. So, prized possessions... meh.  (And just to reiterate, the DVR thing is a joke!)

Just a bit of catch up...

I've been doing a lot of prompts and homeschool and review blogs lately.  Thought I would take a few minutes just to write out some other stuff going on around here.

Michael: Working.  A. lot.  He's done an amazing job of juggling two jobs.  I'm very proud of and grateful to my husband for doing this for us.  I know it's not easy, and it's definitely not fun.  We miss him a lot on those days he's gone from 6:30am to 9pm-ish.  Unfortunately his delivery job started right about the time that gas has sky rocketed, so most of the tips he has coming in go straight into the gas tank. But besides that, the second income is keeping us afloat... which is relieving for sure!  The headaches are still there.  We're in the process of getting a prescription for a CPAP machine to see if the Sleep Apnea is the main culprit.  It would be so nice to finally have a cure for his constant pains.  We hope to know soon!

Preston:  Well, I blog all the time about Preston's schooling, so you can easily see how that is going.  He's getting so big!  Well, taller anyway... he's still rather skinny and hasn't quite solidly made it to 40lbs!  He's been 38-39lbs FOREVER I think.  He's too active, he burns any calories he consumes within minutes.  Wish I was like that, geez.  Anyway, we're still having discipline and attitude issues.  Some days are better than others, of course.  He hates not being in charge, and constantly gets in trouble for trying to tell everyone what to do and being demanding.  But... we're working on it.  He's a sweet, snuggly boy at times and I do so cherish those moments!  

Callen:  My baby is learning new words every day.  He's recently started saying "light" and "ball" very clearly and purposefully.  He has said "buh-flu" (butterfly), he says "bop" meaning his beloved Boppy, and has repeated some things like "door," "more" and some others.  He has figured out how to stand up for several seconds at a time.  No steps by himself just yet, but I imagine it won't be long now that he has finally realized he stand alone.  He's eating lots of different table foods, and we're still nursing about 4 times a day.  He's going to sleep fine, but still wakes up once a night, sometimes more.  He usually naps twice a day too.  And good grief, is he a handful!  His favorite thing to do lately is mess with the TV and cable/dvr box.  Loves to turn it on and off over and over.  He loves getting into Preston's stuff.  Loves cords and plugs (yikes!).  Pretty much anything that's a 'no no'... that's what he wants.  Typical toddler behavior, of course.

Me:  Just getting fat and lazy.  We've had a free trial of U-verse and I have been watching way more TV than usual because of it.  Don't worry, it goes away in a week or so.  But, other than that... just trying to keep myself sane being with my own kids 24/7.  That sounds bad, huh?  :::shrug:::  I think you know what I mean.  I have a hard time juggling my load... I can have an awesome day with the kids and forget to make dinner till we're starving.  Or I can have dinner planned and made if I leave the kids fussing and crying for an hour.  I dunno, I just really don't know how some moms do it.  It's difficult.  I could be trying harder, it's true.  Less facebook, less blog reading (and writing!?), wayyyy less TV... that would probably help.  I need to work on my energy level, 'cause lately it's at zero.  And that's just not enough for two kids (or my husband or my house!).  Where's my motivation!?!

Speaking of motivation, we do have something to look forward to!  A vacation!  We're going with my parents to San Antonio for a few days towards the end of April.  I love having something specific to look forward to, and I dunno... there's just something about having a daily countdown towards something.  Haha.  I can't wait!!  I don't want to rush it, though... March has already flown by as much as it is. 

Ok, I think that's about all I can think of and get in right now.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Homeschool Recap, Week 27...

This week's activities were centered around Spring since Sunday was the first day of Spring!  And, boy, has it felt just like Spring around here!  I'm already wishing for Fall.  Is that bad or what?  We also decided on taking a vacation with my parents towards the end of April, so we've been pretty excited about making plans for that.  Can't wait for our Spring Break!

- Daily devo and Godly Character Trait: "Forgiving"
- Read A New Beginning, a book about the ways Spring is celebrated all over the world (old traditions and new).
- Winds of March poem and illustration
The Spring sun is melting Winter's snow
- A few leaf mazes.  The tree in our front yard doesn't lose it's leaves in Fall, it waits until the Spring buds PUSH the old leaves off.
He's really good at mazes!

- Daily devo and Godly Character Trait: "Peacemaker"
- Read In The Spring, which is about animals on a farm having their babies in the Spring.
- We talked about different kinds of animals, wild and tame, how to take care of pets and how wild animals take care of their babies.  Information from What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know.
- Went over to say some animals in Spanish from our Spanish workbook.
- Read a poem called "Little Blue Bird."

- Daily devo and Godly Character Trait: "Courageous"
- Read about Plants and Flowers in WYKNTK
- Flower Observations worksheet.  He picked the rose out of the Anniversary Basket my in-laws sent us.
Observations using the 5 senses.
It doesn't make a sound.
It smells good!
It feels soft.
No, he didn't really taste it... he's pretending!
Callen wants to smell!
- Shape Flower worksheet (from the same unit as above)
Using shapes to build a flower.
- Daily devo and Godly Character Trait: "Discerning"
- Today we discussed flower parts: roots, stem, leaves, flower and did two more worksheets from the Flower Unit from 2 Teaching Mommies.  I can't tell you how much I love that blog.  A lot of it is geared towards pre-schoolers but not all... they have fun ideas, crafts, printables and more!  Definitely worth checking out even if your kids are beyond PreK or K. We also sang a "Flower parts" song to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus."  Haha!
Naming the parts of a flower.
- I read some information on plants that we eat from the WYKNTK book.  Preston was surprised to learn that we eat seeds (like corn, peas, etc), the stems (celery), the leaves (lettuce) and flowers (fruit) of so many different plants!

- Daily devo and illustration of something he learned (Preston drew me with Jesus in my heart and a caption saying "Be Joyful.:  Today's Godly Character Trait was "Content."
- We read a poem about Seasons and Preston illustrated "Spring."  He drew a picture of himself riding his 4-wheeler in the sunshine.
- I had Preston work on writing some letters in flour because he was really struggling with backwards letters today, even writing words in the wrong direction (ie. wrote the word "be" as eb - but both letters were backwards too).  I think he mostly wasn't focusing, but writing in the flour was fun for a few minutes and we worked on b's, d's, j's, q's and a few others.

Books we borrowed from the library for this week...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Photo Prompt Challenge, #8: Birthday Celebration

A Birthday Celebration

Ok, this one is easy seeing as how we just celebrated Callen's First Birthday!

It's funny that I originally set out to do these prompts in order to make my blog less kid-centric.  Well, it's not working.  Haha!  Oh well, it's a good thing they're cute.  Makes it easy to show them off!  =)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Prestonism on Statues...

For the past few years, Preston has often pretended to be a statue (usually at the most inopportune times, ie. "Preston, time to get in the bathtub!" "I can't move, I'm a statue." "Sigh.").  Anyway, today he decided that to be a statue he had to be holding something.  I dunno either.  So...

Preston: "Mom, I'm a statue, what should I hold?"
Me: (dismissively): "Um... chocolate."
Preston: "Ok!" :::runs to the pantry:::  "Hmmmm...." :::searches:::  "OH! Nutella!  I can hold Nutella.  MOM, CAN I HOLD THE NUTELLA?!?"
Me: "Yeah, sure, that's fine."
Preston: "Ahem" :::stands there for a good 5 minutes:::
Me: "Dude, you can play Nutella Statue all day long if you want to, 'cause at least you're being quiet and still!"

The Band That Played On by Steve Turner

Wallace Hartley, Roger Bricoux, William "Theo" Brailey, John Law Hume, John Wesley Woodward, Georges Krins, John Frederick Preston Clarke, Percy Cornelius Taylor.  Names you're probably not familiar with.  While their names may not necessarily ring a bell, it is most likely that you have heard tale of them.  It was those eight, heroic gentlemen who bravely continued to perform on deck as the ship that was supposed to be unsinkable sank into the icy Atlantic Ocean.  The Band That Played On is a comprehensive look into the lives of these men. Where they came from, how they became skilled musicians and eventually ended up aboard The U.S.S. Titanic for it's ill-fated first voyage.  There have been many, many books written about the sinking of the magnificent ship, but this is the first book to really delve into who the musicians were that were individually selected for the gig.  Steve Turner spends time on each of the guys, giving background on their family life, their schooling and previous employment.  

I found the stories of these talented men very interesting, often intriguing and amazing.  This book is teeming with details of the lives of these guys.  So much so that at times I became a bit overwhelmed with addresses and locations.  A true history buff, or perhaps someone better at geography than I, might appreciate those minute details, but for me it was a little much and bogged down the good parts of the stories.  Because none of the musicians survived the sinking, there was a bit of assumption imposed in what happened aboard the ship, but Turner writes with believable educated guesses based on facts and evidence.  A few things I found extremely interesting were that two of the men had previously been on board a ship that crashed into another just a few months prior to the Titanic disaster.  Another had a father who professed to be clairvoyant and begged his son not to get on the ship because something dreadful was going to happen.  He didn't listen.  

There is much history and mystery surrounding the Titanic, and while Turner doesn't go into all of it, but rather stays focused on the musicians, this books makes a great compliment to other resources out there on the subject.  It is inspiring to hear how brave and selfless those men were (they could have jumped aboard life boats and tried to save themselves, but they didn't).  And extremely intriguing to find out how their lives intertwined and brought them to be part of such a major historical tragedy.  Turner does a great job of being a comprehensive resource for those eight musicians who will forever be remembered - and who's stories are finally written on paper!

I review for BookSneeze
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photo Prompt Challenge, #7: Something Useful

Something you use everyday.

I'm thinking something obvious like this laptop, my cell phone, my toothbrush.  Um... the refrigerator, the couch or my own eyeballs?  But, I'll go with this...

Not the baby, the Boppy.  Since he was born, the Boppy has been something we've used every day.  Seriously, new moms... if you don't have one, get one!  Best baby accessory ever.  Even if it's not for nursing/feedings, Callen has always loved playing on, laying on, loving on his Boppy... so, definitely worth it!  Of course, we got this one when Preston was born, so it has been through a lot!  In fact, a few months ago I had to repair the inside seam because it was coming apart and stuffing was starting to come out.  This is one well-loved, well-used Boppy!  Every day!

I haven't really started weaning Callen yet.  I mean, we've cut back on a few feedings because he is getting a lot of table food and snacks and so he doesn't need/want me as often.  But, he still nurses at least four times a day, and sometimes once or twice during the nite too.  I'm ready to wean, but I'm being lazy I guess.  But now that we've finally got Callen's bedtime routine and sleeping figured out (for the most part), it's probably a good time.  Sigh.  I guess that means he really is becoming less of a baby and more of a toddler!  Sad face.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tyndale Book Giveaway

Tyndale House Publishers are starting up a new e-newsletter that is geared towards book clubs!  Their Book Club Hub Newsletter will offer "suggestions, discussion guides and great ideas" for many types of groups or clubs centered around books!

And, in honor of the launch of this new feature, they are holding a 30-day Giveaway for all kinds of books!  All you have to do is visit this page, choose one of the books you'd like to try to win and enter your info to receive their newsletter.  Check back often and enter each day because the books will be traded out for different ones every couple of days for the month!  You can only win one book over the 30-days, but you can enter as many time as you like until you win. Sounds like a good deal to me!

I Review For The Tyndale Blog Network

Photo Prompt Challenge, #6: A Favorite Memory

A Favorite Memory.

Wow.  I'm thirty years old, how do I pick a single memory to reflect on?  Hmm.  Instead of picking out a specific memory and finding a picture for it, I'm going to pick a random picture from my Photobucket account and tell you the memory that goes along with it.  Ok?  Ok.  HOPEFULLY it's a good one!

And the winning photo is...
Clarks and Martins
Ha!  That is a good one!  Michael, me, Ronnie Martin, his wife and daughter!  We were at The Door in Dallas for a Joy Electric show.  It was on a dark and stormy night (no, really!) and the weather kept a lot of people away so it was a very small, intimate show.  And right before Ronnie started his set, the electricity went out.  Yeah... at a Joy ELECTRIC show.  Many "Unelectric" jokes were made that evening.  But, it was amazing, so much fun!  During the down time, Ronnie answered questions and told stories.  And I think someone got out an acoustic guitar and did some songs (Ronnie wouldn't though, we asked him too, I remember).  It was really neat.  Michael reminded me it was in 2004, so we searched our Xangas and found the posts from this concert.  Mine is here and Michael's is here.  Ah, yes, the good 'ole Xanga days.  Now THOSE are some sweet memories, right there!  Haha!

Just for the heck of it, here are a few more from that nite...

Yay, the electricity finally came back on!
Pow! Pow! Pow!
Oh yeah!  There was an odd band that opened.  They had balloons all over the stage and as they did one of their songs, the girl went around popping them (No, it's not Children 18:3 "All My Balloons Are Popping").

Monday, March 21, 2011

Photo Prompt Challenge, #5: Your Day

Your day.
My boys never allow for a dull moment!

A quick rundown of my day looks a little something like this:

My phone alarm goes off at 6:15am, I check to see if Michael is up and getting ready for work.  We've had a few scares where he slept through his alarm, so I am the backup... must make sure he gets up and off!  Then, I usually fall back asleep till 7:30 or 8am.  Of course, I've already been up a time or two with Callen, and at this point he is most likely already in bed with me anyway.  If he's not, I get up and take a shower.  If he is, we get up and start getting ready for breakfast, waking Preston up by 8:30 at the latest.  Sometimes we watch cartoons/check email before we have breakfast and do school.  Sometimes we go straight to breakfast and school.  Either way, school is usually finished up by 10:30 or 11am with a few bits and pieces to finish up during the rest of the day.  We chill, watch cartoons, play in the floor, read blogs, facebook, email, etc.  If I'm not already showered, I do that while the boys are playing nicely (or Callen is taking a nap), then get them all dressed and ready for the day.  Preston is a big fan of being in his PJs, so that's why all the pictures of him doing school work usually have him PJ'd.  I figure as long as he cooperates with the lessons, I don't care if he's dressed or not.  At some point around 12:30pm or so, we'll have lunch and attempt to tidy up a little.  There's more playing, hanging out, whatever, and around 2pm, I TRY to get the boys to both take naps.  I usually fail with Preston, and we'll fight for an hour (sadly, I'm serious).  If I get them to nap, I catch up on one of my shows (not my 'stories' now, I'm talking about Chuck or Parenthood here, haha), do some housework, blog, chat with Rosie, whatever.  Then, about the time they're getting up, Michael gets home from work, unless he's working his second job (then he usually doesn't come home until 9pm or so).  I'll scrounge up some dinner, we'll play (inside or out), watch TV, tidy up a little, then start bedtime prep.  Callen's prep starts at 8, with him down around 8:30.  Preston gets to stay up till about 9, then his prep starts, with him in bed by hopefully 9:30pm.  Then I do another round of picking up toys and discarded clothes or what not, see if the kitchen is still in working order, and collapse on the couch, try to do some reading or spend some time talking to my husband.  I am usually worn out by 11pm, but don't usually get to bed till midnite.

So, now you know WAY more about my day than you ever wanted to.  What an exciting life I lead as a SAHM, eh?  =)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Homeschool Recap, Week 26...

This week we did a lot of Saint Patrick activities, having to do with the real story of the famed saint,  the holiday and the familiar symbols of Ireland (shamrocks, leprechauns, green, etc).

- Daily devo and Godly Character Trait "Teachable."
- I found a whole host of adorable St. Patrick's Day worksheets and activities at various sites.  I only kept track of a few places I got 'em from, mostly here and here.  We did a fun little Leprechaun worksheet, where Preston cut out the parts and put 'em together to make his Leprechaun.  Then he created a story about him, including coming up with a name "Luopy," describing where he found him ("He was in the forest on a rock") and then describing him. My Leprechaun's coat is as "green as a tree." His hair is as "red as a leaf." His hat is as "square as a box." His voice sounds just like a "elefint with a toy duck."  That one was completely out of left field, and I love it!
Everyone, meet Luopy!
- He did a traceable lines worksheet to help the leprechaun get to his pot of gold.
- Then we did a "Lucky Patterns" worksheet.
Gluing on the next piece of the pattern.
- And a "Color Code" math sheet, where he had to solve the addition problems, and color the shamrocks according to the answer.
- We continued the Time4Learning lessons of his choice.  He learned about amphibians!

I had to take Callen in for his one-year check up so my mom came over to hang out with Preston for about an hour.  She got to do school with him!
- Daily devo and Godly Character Trait: Obedience (oh boy, do we need to learn that one!).
- See, Trace, Make words: Gold and Rainbow
- Scissor Skills worksheet
- Shamrock math worksheet
We also went over to the library to return our stack of books and get a new one.  They were having story time while we were there, so Preston got to hear four St. Patrick's Day/Irish stories, read some poems and he brought home a Leprechaun Craft to do as well.
Meet Luopy #2!
 - He worked on Time4Learning for about half an hour.

- Daily devo and Godly Character Trait: Respectful.  Boy was this a doozy.  Preston has a habit of talking back and always responding in a very smart-alecky way.  It's something we've been working on, and I was hoping going over the word "respect" again would help.  Not.So.Much.
- We did a cute St. Patrick's Day 'secret code message' worksheet from Musings of Me.
- Shamrock math.
- See, Trace & Make worksheet with the words: Leprechaun and Shamrock

- Started with reading St. Patrick's Day.
- Created a rainbow out of stickers and counted the dots, a worksheet found here.
Counting dots in the rainbow!
Michael is working 2nd shift today and tomorrow, so he was up and took Preston to run an errand.  They came back and had lunch, and we resumed work...
- Daily devo and Godly Character Trait: Honesty.
- Fill in the blank number worksheet, discussed odd & even numbers.
Coloring evens and odds.
- Then we created a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, an idea and printout from here.
Three-leaf clover!

- We read Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland.

- Daily Devo and notebook illustration.  He drew a picture of a web with himself stuck in it, a "worry web" from one of our daily devotionals.
- Finished the Odd & Even worksheet.
- He also spent some time playing some Charlie Church Mouse games while I took Callen shopping this morning (Daddy was home, but taking a nap).