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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

VACTERL Conference 2009

Hello everyone. We had a wonderful time in Philidelphia. Other then the fact that we had a small stint of getting lost we had a wonderful time.
We met so many wonderful and amazing families, and their wonderful and amazing children.
Each of our children are just so unique that its truely possible to go to the conference and not find another child like our own.

We did take some video and some photos while we were there. I will say that I'm a little sad because some of my photos disappeard that I had taken. I'm not sure why or how. But what I do have is fun to see.

I am still working on the video of the conference and it will be made available really soon. I promise. Just a lot of work to edit stuff. LOL.

I can truely say that I miss everyone already. I knew that the conference would come soon and it went as fast as it came. We have met so many wonderful families online and at the conferences that our friendships will last a lifetime that is for sure. I really can't wait for the next one where ever it maybe.

Hope you enjoy the pictures I do have.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

HeadSprout Reading

Hannah has steadily been making progress with using Headsprout. I am still very happy with the program, and am glad at seeing that Hannah is making progress with her reading now. I decided to video take Hannah reading her stories today. Hannah was very proud of herself and she loves to put her stickers on the chart to see how far she has gone with her reading. I paid for all 80 lessons so I am hoping that by doing the lessons everyday Hannah will be reading at a 2nd grade level by the start of the new school year.
I hope that everyone can hear Hannah reading. I accidently had the background microphone off on the camera and didn't know it.
Hope everyone enjoys:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summer Freebie

I'll admit even in the summer I enjoy a good freebie. . I'll admit without the brave pioneers of the couponing and freebie era I don't think I would find these awesome offers without them.
This summer freebie is for the preschool crowd. Not exactly educational in nature but fun none-the-less.
This freebee is from Fisher Price. I'll admit it takes a long time to get it in the mail. I haven't gotten the first one yet that I ordered some time ago, but it should be coming soon. They make great surprises in the mail that's for sure.
This is more of a boy DVD but I can imagine girls would enjoy it just as much. The name of it is GeoTrax.


Click the Link : GeoTrax to take you to the link and be sure to click the country on the upper right hand side to get started on the online order.

I suppose if you have a boy you would be familiar with this Fisher Price toy. Being a mom to four girls I am not familiar with it but I think Maggie and Hannah would like watching it.

This week is our last week of school until the fall. I of course will through in some school work on those days where its raining or if I hear "Mom, I'm bored". I'm excited though because this will be the first year I homeschool the girls on my own, using my own curriculum and not worrying so much about sending in tests and sample school work. We can enjoy our school year and use what works for us.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Fun

I bet you thought I was going to tell you about the summer fun we've been having just by seeing the title of the post. Well I'm not. Just kidding.
Actually we have been having some summer fun. The girls have signed up for summer swim team and we are participating in a free program at the YMCA for swim and gym during the summer season. Can't pass up on free stuff that's for sure.

Actually Hannah and I made a Summer Fun shape book. I had taken some video of it before sending it out to her teacher for her end of the year assignment. We had fun reviewing some of the addition and subtraction facts that she learned this year by doing some cutting and pasting.
I thought I'd share it with everyone because it turned out really cute and also in hopes it spawns off some ideas for other on what to do during the summer if your taking a summer break.
Enjoy:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Somebody's in Trouble



Okay. Well after having four girls you would think by now that we would have a good handle with keeping the scissors put up in a high place. Well think again.

Maggie decided this week to get into that stage. You know, the stage where we learn to cut with scissors and hack our hair off stage.
Well she decided to cut her hair. Naughty girl. I'd thought I'd post some before and after pictures since, well, I had to take her to the hair stylist to repair the damage. As you can see Maggie was going for the Neo-Skunk look.

Here are the before pictures:

a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_142dEdOrymY/SirSvcbsR3I/AAAAAAAAAXg/YOQnJHulWPg/s1600-h/014.JPG">


Now here are the after pictures. Thank you Miss Hairstylist lady:






I wasn't about to attempt to try and fix it myself because she really hacked at her hair something fierce. I knew something was up when I found this trail of hair from our kitchen to her bedroom. The one thing I am greatful for is that it wasn't before getting any pictures taken. That was what my oldest Marilyn did from the time she was Maggie's age until at least the age of 6 or 7. Everytime we were ready to go for pictures Marilyn would hack the front of her hair. Unlike her oldest sister, at least Maggie got the sides too!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Head Sprout



Okay. I'll admit. I've seen this reading program a million times. I even used my other email addresses to give the girls their free trial of three free lessons. But I never bought the program deaming it to expensive. I went on to use other reading programs with either much success or even some failure.

This year with Hannah we were using the K12 with a virtual cyberschool. I love the curriculum but am not caring for all the 'extra' stuff we have to do. So this will most likely be our last year with K12.
So in my effort to start looking for curriculum for this coming school year I had gotten a Headsprout facebook invite. So went over and decided to let Hannah try the three free lessons before even thinking about purchasing it to use.
I'll have to say not only does Hannah love it but Maggie loves to sit in on it too. She really wants to play the games but isn't exactly quite ready for it. The nice thing is though is can absorb something out of it too.

The Headsprout program is worth the money. With a price tag of $198 ( the most expensive reading program I've ever purchased) they also offer an online payment of $33 a month if you purchase it online with a credit/debit card. I can handle $33 for six months. Plus hopefully we'll get in the mail soon some readers and a poster for Hannah to keep track of her progress.

So far Hannah has done 5 lessons and in those 5 lessons she is reading more fluently then she has all year with using K12 for reading. She was getting into a habit of sounding EVERYTHING out. I mean it has stretched into this process that makes me want to poke my eyes out with my fingers. She definitley has the process of sounding words out to an art. But man. She isn't learning to just read the word now.
So we will be using Headsprout this summer for extra reading practice and hopefully when she is done we can go right into a reading program such as Bob Jones or Christian Light.

I guess this is will be my word of mouth advertising of Headsprout. Definitely worth the money in my opinion and so far is providing good results.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Let's Exercise

Exercise. Well yes, that chore that I really hate doing. I'll admit that after I exercise I do feel better.
Today in attempts to motivate myself to exercise more I signed up with an aqua aerobics class with my mother in law. I'll have to admit other then being the youngest person in the group it was fun and a much kinder way of exercising. Well almost kinder. Feeling that I- had -4 -children flab going up and down in the water wasn't so funny( even though it sounds that way). But it was nice in a way that no one could see that under the water.

I'm finding having someone to exercise with motivates me more, and actually makes me do it. I have days where I'd much rather exercise by myself but I think most of the time I'd rather exercise with someone else.
The one thing I'm finding it is just plain tough to be a woman and adding the fact that weight just creeps up on you and it stays is even tougher. My husband comes out this morning and after giving up pop for the past month comes out and says: Look hun, my belly is going down. He really hasn't changed to much of his eating habits(which are a thousand times worse then mine). He just gave up pop. I can't even tell you the last time I drank pop. Even Tim admitted that one the other day. I eat a very well balanced diet. Complex carbs ( whole grains, no white rice etc.) fruits , veggies. Fish 3 days a week. Even my mother in law said I have eating food down to a science. Yet, its tough to lose the weight.
I even went in for blood work to check to make sure my body is working like it should I still suspect thyroid issues even though I'm on synthroid already. Just a really low dose.

Also I've been learning along the way with being a mom to a child that has special needs is that we give our all to our children and put ourself on the back burner. Which is really a bad idea. Its easy to slip into when you sit in hospitals, travel to multiple hospitals to see mulitple doctors that don't have a clue as to help your child. Its easy to get down and almost down right depressed when you try so hard yet things don't always go your way during that time. I've noticed a common theme with all of us VACTERL moms, Post traumatic stress. I'm most sure that families that have children with all types of health issues have this problem but since I follow most of my beloved VACTERL families I've noticed this as a common theme with us mothers.
The only way to really combat that is exercise , and well yes, therapy. But exercise really helps. So this is my start to a new beginning. Of being kind to myself. That is one of the most important things. If I'm not kind to myself and I don't take care of myself then I won't be around to take care of everyone else.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I actually won something!

All I can say is Wohoo! I can't believe I won something. Its a rare moment when I win something. Marilyn is my one that wins stuff all of the time. I tell her that she is the luckiest girl I know. Me, on the other hand not so lucky. I can count on one hand the times I've actually won something.
Today I was pleasantly surprised to see that I won one of the new science notebooks from Jeannie Fulbright's Apologia Elementary science series. Is that cool or what?
Marilyn chose the Astrononmy notebook:


you can see samples of this on Apologia's website . I'm looking forward to seeing it and I plan on getting one for Katie as well. I think that I will print out the notebooking pages for Hannah from Jeannie's website because these notebooks seem to be for older students( I would say grades 3 and up).







Now with all of that said there is another contest going on until June 8th. This is a Composer's Activity Pack giveaway from Homeschool in the Woods. If you enjoy doing hands on projects with your children, homeschool and love to lapbook this giveaway is for you. Just stop on over to The Lowe Piano Studio and enter today. What will you get? One free downloadable of the new Composers Activity Pack that is currently being sold at Homeschool in the Wood's website.
This visual activity will open up the world of composers to your child without boring them with just the facts.
Homeschool in the Woods creates great History products and are coming out with this new music program this year.

Be sure to click on the grey words in my post that will take you to the links I mentioned above.

Now I'm just going to cross my fingers and let's see if I can win this program too. If I do that would be GREAT!