Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stroller frenzy

I'll admit. I enjoy using a good stroller. One that is sturdy and one that will last a long time. Our last stroller I literally had it for eleven years. I used this stroller and kept such good care of it that it went through Marilyn , Katie , Hannah and the first year of Maggie's life until the tires fell apart. That's not bad for something that is made in today's world.

I ordered the Avila stroller as the medical company Allegra was having an awesome sale... free shipping. Gotta love it.
The one thing we didn't like was the fact the stroller was on back order and the company's website didn't state that it was. Other then that the shipping is insanely fast. I was emailed yesterday saying the stroller was shipped out only to recieve it today! I guess I can forgive that.

It was for the most part very simple to put together. The Avila stroller came mostly assembled in the box. All I had to do was put the bars in the back together and then add some back tires.
Of course when it comes to me putting things together I insist on NOT reading the directions. I'm not sure where that comes from. Usually guys have a habit of doing that, but since I'm not a guy I'm not sure why I do what I do.
The back tires were the most difficult part because I had to add a small pin at the end of the back tire to hold it in before adding on the little cap. That was just not fun. Luckily I had Marilyn to help me with that one. It was one of those Farkle family moments and of course a few choice words were coming out of my mouth as this was all taking place.

After all of the cussing and pulling we finally got this put together....

And in the end we had one Happy Maggie:

I also have a Kidsert that was wonderfully given to us by another family that I didn't take pictures of it yet. Maggie insisted on taking it out when I wanted it in. Of course by the end of the evening she wanted the Kidsert back in. She calls it her carseat. Silly girl.

Thought you would all enjoy a quick funny brought to you by Maggie Reed. I caught her dancing to Alvin and the Chipmunks today. She didn't know I was standing there for some time and I think she eventually sensed my evil presence.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The "fun" of shopping

I'll admit. I love to shop. I love shopping and buying things for my daughters and for my husband. My girls have more clothes combine then I ever will own in my own life time. I enjoy picking out their outfits at the store. Children's clothing has really gotten cute since I was a kid.
Picking out my husband's clothes is pretty easy, shirts, shorts , pants. Pretty simple, huh?

Then there is me. I hate shopping for clothes for myself with every fiber of my being. I hate wearing women's sizes. There is someone, somewhere that thinks fat people should wear ugly clothes. Either that they are the same clothes skinny people wear and they just look ugly because they are bigger. I'm not sure which is which though.

I'll admit. Its been so hard trying to lose weight. I envy women all of the time. You know those women who have a flat belly, perfect skin, perfect hair. They were born this way. You see them stuffing donuts and coffee in their mouths yet for some reason they keep their figure.
I on the other hand eat a pretty well balanced diet. We don't eat much fast food because well its just getting to darned expensive. Fruits and veggies our in our home and we eat them. I'll admit I don't exercise as much as I should. Which I'm really trying to work on.
But dang. I've been overweight all of my life. I just would like a break, a moment, a wish even to experience being thin. I would love to shop and pick out those outfits that I always tell my girls are so cute.

I know you say, but just go on a diet. Exercise more. Trust me , been there done that all of my life. Unless I one day wake up and find myself on the Biggest Loser I don't know what else to really do. I REALLY don't want to have surgery if I really, really don't have to. It doesn't always work and it has so many complications that come with it.

When it comes to my weight I have always felt like I've been climbing the mountain but never have seemed to get past the go. I've made it to the middle once where I had lost 55lbs and I looked good and felt great. But after having Maggie something just keeps me from getting past go. I'm not sure what it is. I'm not sure why it is either. I start, I stop. I get stressed. The end. Its very frustrating.

I guess in the end I know I have to make it happen. I just wish I could make it happen. I'm hoping one day I will be able to brag that I bought a cute outfit and looked great in it. I guess until that day I can continue to live vicariously through my daughters.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Maggie says hello

Okay. So I've been having a little fun with our new toy. We have finally after two years have saved up for a video camera. I sure do wish we had it a lot sooner. Actually we did have a video camera but it was a video tape type and that was around when Marilyn and Katie were little and we have one video tape of them before the camcorder had died. Ever since we really didn't have one and boy my life has been lost without it. Though its a luxury item. We really don't buy luxury things very often.

Well anyways. I had some fun with it today and Maggie decided she wanted to say hello to her VACTERL friends Eithene and Benji. So I hope that everyone enjoys. Don't mind my annoying voice in the background, or the fact the video is a little shaky, OR the fact that Maggie insisted to get really close to the camera at certain times, OR the fact that she gets a "brain fart" when she sings the last verse of the ABC song. LOL.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Notebooking. Well just what is notebooking? Notebooking is a much simplier form of Lapbooking. Bascially you can copy sheets, create your own sheets from paper, add essays,maps, lab reports, worksheet pages, scrapbooking pages, drawings, timelines. You can add just about anything you wish. As long as it can be three wholed punched and will fit in a binder. There is a website where you can purchase or copy free notebook pages to get you started. The name of it is Notebooking

At first I really shrugged notebooking off thinking it wasn't something we were going to enjoy and would be way to time consuming for us to do. When it fact its just as fun as lapbooking.

The Notebook shown here is Marilyn's Notebook for her Zoology 2 Science book. I will have to admit Apologia science has become our favorite science book. I was a little leary at first but the girls really do enjoy studying one concept at a time.
We are excited to continue the series, which is a Christian science program, and I can't believe next year Marilyn will be starting into their upper level science. We've actually be contemplating the General Science for this year. Their science is very meaty in the upper levels so I'm not sure if I want to try it or not yet. I could always give it a try and see and if it doesn't work then we could just go back to the Elementary series since I will be using it with my other two girls for this coming year. We are looking forward to studying Botany and Astronomy. We may even throw in Human Anatomy if the book comes out soon.

The Notebooking Pages for Apologia Elementary Science are located on Jeanie Fulbright's Website Even if your not using Apologia Science they make great notebooking pages for any science curriculum.

Also Apologia is now introducing their beautiful spiral bound notebooks for Astronomy and Botany. They are already made, no need to use your printer ink to copy the workbook pages out.
Each of the notebooking journals include:
A daily schedule for those who like to have a plan or would like their children to complete the book on their own
Templates for written narrations, the notebooking activities and experiments
Review Questions
Scripture Copywork, with both print and cursive practice
Reading lists and additional activities, projects, experiments for each lesson
An appendix with beautiful, full-color, lapbook-style Miniature Books
Field Trip Sheets to keep a record field trips
A Final Review with fifty questions the students can answer either orally or in writing to show off all they remember and know at the end of the course.
See the sample pages here:

Jeannie is giving away four Astronomy Notebooking Journals and four Botany Notebooking Journals to bloggers who post about this on their site. Visit her blog to learn more about this contest:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Homeschoolers Poem

To a Homeschool Mom
by Amelia Harper

He gave this gift with gentle hands,
A treasure rich and rare;
But sand and rock and rugged stone
Obscured the gem so fair.

“I give this gift to you,” He said,
“To polish and to prime;
The future lies within your hands,
So make use of the time.”

Some others placed their precious gifts
Within another’s care,
Because they knew the craft took time—
And time they could not spare.

But you were not content to trust
This task to other hands.
You sought to teach yourself the craft
That such a task demands.

For, you said, “No other hand
Can craft this gem so fair;
My loving eyes can better see
The treasure hidden there.”

So carefully you chipped away
Till brilliance sprang from stone.
You shaped each facet, smoothed each face,
Until the task was done.

Some days you feared that you would fail;
Some days, you saw success.
But still you labored on with love
And gentle tenderness.

Thus, soon the gem He gave to you
Reflected Light sublime;
And then you knew no other task
Was better worth your time.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Homeschool, Cyberschool and College, OH MY!

I'm going to admit that lately I feel like I've bitten off more then I can chew.
After having Maggie and going through so much stress with her care. I decided to do something for myself, anything. Its one of my many weaknesses doing things for myself. I have always been this way, caring for others then thinking of myself last.
I was 18 years old when my mother was ill with cancer. On top of that I had two younger brothers that were seven and five at the time too. My mother had finally divorced my evil stepfather( literally, he was) and so it was me who was left to care for my mom who's health was failing by the day. She had breast cancer but it was an agressive kind. Sometimes I like to think though that if she were alive today she'd still be here. Anyways, in that time I cared for everyone. I was the oldest so that was my job. So here I had an opportunity arise where I could finally do something for myself. Maggie's health has stabilized to the point that I could do something for myself and yet here I am feeling like I shouldn't have.

I have the job of being mom first, next the wife, then I'm teacher and I homeschool my oldest on my own and PA is not a homeschool friendly state. The requirements are unreal, making me wish I lived in Texas or Alaska where you are free to homeschool your children without all the laborious paperwork that we do in PA. We are required to report to the school district with notorized paperwork and a list of objectives that are set for the year. After that you feel free, free that is until you hit this time of the year. When your child has to have standardized testing( required in 3,5,and 8 if you homeschool on your own), then you have to find someone to do an evaluation. This requires finding a teacher , psychologist or someone who is allowed by law. They all don't advertise so you have to go by word of mouth.That's not all, oh no, that is not all. You have to bring a handmade portfolio that has your child's work in it that shows improvement throughout the year. Which is tough because well we started in January. There has been some improvement but Marilyn still has a ways to go. We are maybe half way through her studies if best and I am finding I need to switch curriculum for reading because what we are using is just not working really well right now but its almost June so I can't. I have to make this porfolio like a scrap book with all the different subjects, math , reading , writing, science , history, art, phys ed, art and music and fire saftey . I'll admit phys ed is not something we did much of this year. We just didn't have the money and the weather was terrible this winter. So I'll just need to resort to taking pictures of her riding her bike , jump roping , etc. For art, well other then arts and crafts not much art appreciation going on around here. This subject is not one of my fortes and let me tell you right now of all subjects to start with college its none other then art and culture... ugh.

Then on to Katie and Hannah. They are both in different cyberschools. Requiring different tests and paperwork. Katie's curriculum requires us to do lesson test ever 20 lessons. Not fun. We are just plowing through them and that's all I'm going to say. After this year she will be homeschooled. Hannah's cyberschool requires three different pieces of work each month. It could be writing , math , history, or any other combination. Plus we are getting by with school work with doing the least amount possible. I'll admit though I really do like the K12 curriculum. Its very thorough and well put together. It can be time consuming though.

Then there is me. I had to start college now in my life. I feel like I'm going crazy and insane. I haven't been in school for 14yrs and education really has changed ALOT since I was last in school. I'm taking courses where they assume you know this stuff. For instance writing. I had always thought I was good with writing. Well, I'm learning I'm not really. I never had to write different types of papers such as expository or persuasive essays while in school. It was more , write a paper on what you just learned when I was in school. I never had much art. I went to several schools going up and art either consisted of arts and crafts , drawing or no art at all. I did play music in high school but never took any music appreaciation type classes or anything like that. I just was blessed I could play music by ear because I could never read music either.
College started off great for me. I enjoyed it at first. Now its become another stressor in my life that I just really don't need. Yet at the same time I do need and want my teaching degree. I have to manage being a full time mom , a full time wife , a full time at home teacher , and a full time student. My husband helps as much as he can and is my biggest cheerleader to make me keep going.
I find myself dwindling between regular mom stress, post tramatic stress from the birth of Maggie and now college stress/. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to pay for school. But I want to make sure I am making good grades. I just can't seem to get this old brain to learn the things I need.
Don't get me wrong , I'm still going to work through college. Just I feel like I've bitten off more then I can chew.