30 Days of Me: Day 27

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Day Twenty Seven:
 Post a photo of yourself & an extended family member. Why did you choose this photo? What is so special about this family member? Tell me your favorite memory about them.

1st:  Auntie Lane and I; 2nd:  twins and twins (skipped a generation)

I chose this photo because it's the last photo I have of my Auntie and I together.

I could talk all night about why she is special to me.

For starters, as a child I always wondered why she was "Auntie" and all other Aunts were just Aunts.  I remember even testing it out in ways children do, by starting to call others Auntie.  Like Auntie Pat, or Auntie Sue.  I always got corrected.  "No, you say Aunt."  So I just shrugged it off thinking Auntie Lane was just special.  So special she was an Auntie, not an Aunt.

I know a lot of people love/like their Great Aunts.  But I loved her.  When I heard she was coming to a family function, it made me so happy.  It was just never the same without Auntie Lane there.

She was always happy to see each and every person.  Always looked you in the eye, smiled, gently grabbed you by both shoulders, at arms length smiled again, then hugged you.  Always.

I seriously could go on all night about her greatness.  But I won't.  So I'll wrap this up with my favorite memory of her.  My last memory of her.

We were at my Aunt Sue's house for a family picnic.  I had my video camera out panning the room, trying to get the feel of it in my video.  Trying to catch people acting how they truly are, not the awkwardness people (including myself) get when the camera is on.  Everyone was dodging or politely stepping out of frame.  I continued on and turned and found Auntie Lane behind me.  She stopped... paused... gave a huge smile and a little wave.  She didn't run and hide and I love her even more for it.

By the way.... I learned much later than maybe I should have that her name is Elaine.  Not Lane.  I think I was about 12 or so when I figured it out.  She'll always be Auntie to me, regardless.


2nd Birthday Photo

Connor's 2nd birthday.  I loved this day.  I blew up an entire package of miscellaneous balloons, and then first put them in his gift, a wooden toy box from Ikea.  Then later while he was playing I moved the balloons to his crib.  After he ate lunch I brought him to his room and let him play in his crib.  He had so much fun!  He ran back and forth squealing with delight.  He would throw out a balloon with all his little 2 year old might, and I'd toss it back in, much to his amusement.  Then he would do a free fall into the balloons, shrieking with laughter as they all would bounce upwards around him.
So. Much. Fun.


30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day 26

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Day Twenty Six:
Post a photo of someone/something that means a lot to you. Why does this item/person mean so much? Tell me the story behind the item & if it's a person, tell me your favorite story about them.

my Prince Charming
 This was so hard for me to choose just one item.  I have at least 3 things that I would be greatly upset to lose, yet I struggle to not give items so much weight.

One item I took a picture of, but I'm afraid to share it because if my family may disown me if they find out I'm the owner of this heirloom.  Or they may rob my house.  (kidding!)  I hope.  lol.

Another is a Hummel figure that was my Grandma's.

But this one (pictured above) is my own.  I was a teen/young adult, and had the typical emo-ish emotions that come along with that.  Thinking my "life" was never going to start.  (because apparently I thought life didn't truly begin or become interesting until marriage).  I felt like a loser because I never had a boyfriend yet and felt like I'd never find "the one".  My Prince Charming.  Ohh if only I could go back and give myself a good "wake up" shake.  It's kind of embarrassing to admit I felt this way.  But I did.  ha!

My mom bought me this, I think on Valentine's Day.  I've kept it ever since.  It's survived two attempts of homicide, by our cat.  It's chipped, and the crown is glued on, but I still keep it.  My first Prince Charming.

I like the acronym that goes with it, also.  F.R.O.G.  Forever Rely on God.  If only I knew that and did that back then.  Would have saved so many silly tears.  lol.


Simplicity Photo Challenge: Something Different

This is diffrent for me for several reasons.  I don't normal let her eat 100% by herself.  I don't normally photograph the mess.  I normally wouldn't zoom in for the details and leave out her face.

I'm glad I did all 3.


Fix it Friday

The original:

My edit:

This isn't my favorite edit I've done.  The colors were challenging for me.  I wish I would have editing for black/white now, but I only have time to edit one.  So this is it!  =]

Preschool Week 3: Letter Tt

Connor is in love with this week.  So many things he adores start with this week's letter (T).  Tractors.  Transformers.  Toys.  Toy Story.  Train.  Thomas the Tank Engine.  Trucks. 

Character trait this week was:  TeachableVerse was:  "Thou shall not steal." Exodus 20:15

I used the foam letter idea from Totally Tots, since it was a tractor (T) and a toothbrush (t) and he loves to brush his teeth.

At first I wasn't going to go with Raising Rockstar's theme of 10 Commandments, as I knew he wouldn't remember them.  But then  I (1): decided it is good to expose him to them, even if he won't remember and (2): I found this 10 Commandment Train from Christian Preschool Printables!  He was in love!  He colored it, I cut it out, and then he worked to put them in order.

I found a Thomas workbook at the dollar store.  Winner winner chicken dinner!

I thought I had the "10 Wishing Stars" book and had planned this craft of stamping stars after reading the book.  But then I realized we have "5 Wishing Stars", not 10.  I was going to scrap the idea when I remembered the song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Duh!  haha.  That actually worked better to enforce the sound of "T".

We did more than is pictured.  He did some worksheets. We sang songs.  Did the calendar board.  Calendar is a daily thing, of course, as well as the songs and reading the Mount Sinai (the mountain where Moses was given the commandments) story in My First Message, as well as The Good Samaritan in the same book, or Flibber o loo from VeggieTales Bible Storybook.

He chooses to go to "school" as a fireman.  We role play for awhile, he likes to act out the book, 5 Little Firefighters.

He did well with his letter T worksheet.  He has this weird obsession with "E", though.  After circling the T's he couldn't move on until he also circled "E".  Then he had to write an "E" after writing his T's.   

He got some writing practice from the turtle practice page made by Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I decided to add more writing practice like this to his curriculum for next week, as he didn't do as well as I thought he could.  But, he did have the great idea to cut the lines after tracing them!  Why not?  Get in some more fine motor skill practice!  I was pleased with how well he cut out a turtle. 

This kid loves to paint.  I let him choose daily if he wants to color with crayon or marker, or if he wants to paint. He always chooses paint.

With his free time he wanted to play Boohbah, which he calls, "Grandpa jumping on the chair."  Afterwards he played his CD-rom games from Hooked on Phonics, he loves these games, and watching him play helped me realize he is finally getting the concept of the letter sounds!

I forget where I found the snack idea of "teeth".  We used Almond Butter and it's much more messy than peanut butter, but Connor was still a huge fan.

We also did our daily songs and readings as well as Teddy Bear math, and watched "The Tortoise and the Hare".

We finished up the turtle craft, having to glue it down to a paper because the paint curled the pieces.  (note to self:  cut pieces out after painting.)  I felt bad because Connor was so upset his turtle was stuck to a paper now.  He was also upset I taped his train to the wall. Poor kid.

He did some work books and a page from his First Book of Cutting, and of course we also did the daily things.

He really loved his T puzzle this week, from Alphabet Avenue.  Train and Truck!  This is too easy for him, but since he enjoys it I continue with it.  Plus it is extra practice of the lower case alphabet.  He doesn't know them all like he does the upper.
Happy boy today with two things to paint.  He painted "T" with a toothbrush.  Then I gave him a choice to paint or color his verse picture.  Of course the little Picasso chose to paint.
He also got in some cutting practice, cutting out his verse, and then he pasted "T" sound pictures to a letter T, also from Alphabet Avenue.

We played a memory game and a matching game from his Hooked on Phonics cards.

We read again, but this time, when I read about the good Samaritan he got on the floor, pulled up his shirt and said he was beaten up.  Role play!  I went with it, and got down and asked him if he needed help, gave him pretend bandaids, then brought him to the "doctor" (the couch). 

We read There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow! and then made a toilet paper roll snowman.


30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day 24

Day Twenty Four: Post a photo of something you wish you could change. Can you still change it? What about this would you change & why?

There are countless things I would change.  But we don't all photograph those things.  I do, however, have this photograph of something I would change. 

5 years later and it still upsets me.  We still occasionally talk about it.  Yes, Pyrex, if you are listening reading, I still talk about it, 5 years later, and it's not a good review. 

We were poor.  Wait, we still are.  Ok, so we were "ramen noodles for dinner" poor, back then.  We "splurged" on this dinner.  It cost us $20 for the chicken, cheese and broccoli.  And that is all we could afford to put in it.  Plus I was using a recipe from The Best of Cooking with 3 Ingredients, because well.... we were poor.

The food was all fresh, not frozen. The dish was freshly made, not cold. 

We're sitting there minding our own business when we heard an explosion.  Our poor man's dinner was ruined.  I was so hungry I seriously considered eating it anyways.  $20 gone and in the trash.  $20 is a whole lot when you're on a ramen noodle diet.

I think I sat down and cried.  Then laughed. Then cried some more.

Pyrex is supposed to be able to go from freezer to oven, is it not?  Yet our new casserole dish can't even make it from counter top to oven.  Not impressed Pyrex, not impressed.

So, if I could change this evening, I would take my $20 and buy a decent take-out meal and forget about my Pyrex dish.  And then I would write a 'note to future self' that it won't just be a one time fluke.  Yes, it's happened again.  And again, I'd like to say, not impressed Pyrex, not impressed.

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Wordless Wednesday

linking up with Paper Mama


Secret of Peacocks

Connor is so very hard to photograph lately.  He won't look at me for anything.  No tricks, no games, no bribes.  Nothing can get him to look.  If I do manage to happen to click the camera when he looks up I can never capture a smile.  A true smile.  So how did I get the following smile??

The smile is a result of the Peacock. 

I pulled back my zoom to show the silliness.

The Peacock is something my siblings and I used to do when we were little.  It doesn't even look like a peacock, so don't ask me how we came up with the name. 

One day, around Christmas, I was frustrated that Connor wouldn't give me a good true smile.  With out even really thinking about it, I put my hand up and started talking to him in a silly voice, introducing him to "Peacock".  It was love at first sight.

Peacock works every time.


finding myself again

For 15 solid days I've spent nearly every spare moment researching homeschooling, or planning a curriculum.  It's been exhausting.  I need to find a balance so I don't lose myself.  I fear throwing myself to far into this program and into schooling Connor that when it's over I won't know what to do with myself.  I don't want to hit a depression thinking my life is now worthless, I have nothing to do.  So, I'm trying to make a point to find a balance somewhere.

While Connor was doing his free play (always very interesting) I grabbed my camera and took a photo I've been meaning to take for weeks now.  It felt so nice.

I took it to complete my Day 23 of 30 Days of Me Photo Challenge.  This 30 days is lasting for-ever.  haha.

The prompt is: Post a photo of your favorite book. Write down a favorite paragraph. Why did you choose this paragraph? How has this book influenced your life?

This would be my favorite book.  My bible.  I bought it way way back in the day, when I was young and carefree.  When I was a teen.  Ok, so it hasn't been that long.  Maybe.  But anyways, these words have gotten me through some tough times.

It has been there all these years... like 5 years.  ;) 

Sometimes I'm embarrassed by it, because it's a "student" bible.  My first.  I feel like maybe I should buy a "grown-up" bible.  But I love it.  It explains things I wouldn't otherwise understand.  It's in plain English. 

I certainly can't pick one favorite paragraph.  But, so far, my favorite book has been Romans. 

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The Extinction of the Dinosaurs

There are many theories on why Dinosaurs are extinct.  Death by asteroid.  Deccan Traps.  Failure to evolve.  Flood.  And many more crazy ideas

I have my own theory.

The Dinosaurs died because they were consumed by giant carnivorous babies.  I have proof. 

Emma went in for the kill.  She chose a Metriacanthosaurus.  I know the name of it because I'm super intelligent.  Or because it's printed on his tail.

He's a goner for sure.


Preschool: Week 2

We survived our second week of preschool!  This one went a lot more smooth for me, in planning, but I was still putting things in order the night before each day.  It's hard to catch up when you decide to homeschool so promptly!  I do have most of next weeks plan done though.  If I could just stop changing my mind on the themes I would be set!  We're doing Tt.  I keep going back and forth on focusing on character attributes "Teachable" or "Thankful".

Connor did really well this week.  He kept talking about last week, mentioning apples frequently.  And I frequently overheard him singing A Tisket A Tasket, or Ants Go Marching. 

This week we focused on letter Ll.  I did a combination of Hubbard's Cupboard curriculum for 3's and for 4's.  Connor doesn't fit either, so I thought I'd combine them.  Then I also used Raising Rockstar's Preschool.

We started out the week doing a fun activity I found on Family Fun

I really wanted Connor to have something he could relate to and something he loved, so for his big letter cut out I made him "Little Joe."  We read the story in his Veggie Tales bible storybook and then watched the the DVD: VeggieTales - The Ballad of Little Joe

I would share the link where I printed off Little Joe's eyes and mouth, but the website nearly caused my computer to get a virus, and I don't want to pass that on to anyone else. 

The next day I read him the real story of Joseph, and we made Joseph's colorful coat.  I know, I'm lame in my coat shape cutting abilities, but Connor didn't seem to mind. 

From Homeschool Share I printed out this page that Connor painted. Once dried we pull off the masking tape to reveal the "L".  I loved his painting and didn't want to cut it, so I took a photo before "destroying" his artwork.  lol.

Our new Calendar wall.  Added cork board I found at Walmart and then pinned up the "daily's" from Raising Rockstars Preschool Lesson "L"

Last week I found Valentines stamps at the dollar store.  I cut out a cross and let Connor stamp them on.  Only then did I realize just how fitting those stamps were.  ;)

On a different day he stamped L and l with a Lego.

Connor needs lots of cutting practice, so I printed out a Ladybug cutting piece from Confessions of a Homeschooler's blog.

We also, from that blog, did the Llama activity and the Ladybug Craft.  Here is the Ladybug craft:
preschool for Firefighters

Yet more cutting practice:

After taping it together he pretended it was the train from Toy Story 3.

making a face with big ears to "Listen"

His Llama craft.

Matching big L to little l

Today Connor's My First Book Of Cutting (Kumon Workbooks) came in the mail.  I was eager for him to start more practice. 

He didn't to too bad, after I re-explained that he should stop cutting at the end of the line. 

Patterns is something he struggles with.  So I was trying to get in some good practice to no avail.  (print out also from Confessions of a Homeschooler)  So I started to sing them out to him.  "High.... Low...." even using the appropriate pitch.  And by 'appropriate' I mean I sang the word high in a high voice, then low word in a low voice.  I do not promise it was in tune. But he got it!!  So I sang the next set and he would purposely mess up so he could hear me make a "bad" noise.. a honk.  haaa!

His painted candle for the end of the lesson with Rockstar Preschool, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good work and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16"

My favorite of the week:
I caught Connor reading to Emma while I made lunch. 


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