Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wow, it's been a while!

Haven't blogged in quite a while. Summer has been busy so far and isn't really slowing down!

What prompted this blog entry was observations of my son and nephew together. I've been telling myself, since June, that I want August rather "schooly", in part, for preparation for September. Just some basic routines down for September to go more smoothly. I also had in mind to have some activities ready for ds (6) and nephew (7) because they tend to get too loud and rambunctious; they just feed off each other's adrenaline levels and it becomes insane!

Well, we had our nephew over for a sleep-over Monday night and boy, did the two of them go crazy at times. I was actually kind of feeling stuck this morning, trying to figure out how in the world I'm going to come up with activities for a month for the two of them when I couldn't figure out something then and there!

My mind turned to Montessori and how focused she was on kids having something purposeful to do, any activity that would capture their attention and keep them focused (in a natural way, of course, not like the addictive attention capturing of tv or other video). Her thing, for the young ones (ages 3-6) was to start off with practical life activities. I bet it's still a good place to start given the boys' ages. Science activities are always good; I need to make sure I go through some books and pick out some specific things we can do. Fortunately, our first week is only 2 days, so I get a milder transition to having the two boys together. Other than that, I've thought of getting some bingo games together for working on sounds, syllables and simple words. What I probably really need to do is sit down and think of things I already have the resources for, or can VERY quickly whip together, because I've just thought of various other things they've enjoyed doing in the past: plants, pots, counting chain, landforms.

So, some stuff for me to think about over the next week!

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Miscellaneous Monday

The weather is CRUMMY: windy, dark, icky, cold but refusing to rain over our house. Just rain already!! It came in yesterday afternoon which cancelled my plans for going on my bicycle (it actually rained yesterday afternoon and evening). And it cancelled our plans to go for walks with our dog. We did manage to get in about 15 minutes at a park this morning but that was it. It's so crummy outside! I guess that's okay since the forecast for later in the week is 30C! Woohoo! Actually, I find that rather hot, but we'll be at the spray park, so it's all good.


I've hit a snag: the 16yo and I were all happy about her French having been resolved. Instead of doing the French Language Arts credits, she'll just do the FSL credits and be done with French credits next year. When I had written to the vice-principal earlier a month or so ago, she said there was no problem but they would have to track down a French exam for her to take. Now the principal has informed me that they *may* be able to find an exam. If they can't, they can only offer her to French 20 (grade 11). ARGH. I don't know what we'll do if they can't come up with an exam.


The needlework craze has hit! We were out at the lake last Thurs-Fri and I was working on a cross-stitch I'm doing for my mom's Christmas gift. That had dd looking over my shoulder quite a bit and she thought wistfully of her cross-stitch kits: one has the instructions/pattern missing, the other one we don't even know where it is. lol. She asked if she could get a new one. I said sure. We picked up *2* at Michaels. Well, ds wasn't with me and when we got back home, he had been hoping I had something for him, too. He thought about his needlepoint that he'd started 2 years ago or something, but the paint for the guidelines is all but come off. So, we got him a new one today.

Dd spent about an hour yesterday and has literally spent HOURS today working on hers. It's almost done! This is what she is working on http://www.dimensions-crafts.com/showproduct.asp?reqtype=2&prodID=73038 . Ds has worked on and off on his. It always seems to amaze me on some level how the kids are so quick to follow suit on what I do yet I know intellectually that kids are designed to do that! I should take advantage of that characteristic far more than I do.


Which has me thinking: there have been a lot of questions about weather and clouds and all that lately. I should make sure to get some books out from the library tomorrow and maybe try to quickly put together some Montessori-style cards: labelling cards for ds and some definition cards for dd. While I've made some 3-part cards before, I've never made definition cards. I'm eager to do it! The difficult part will be translating into French. Maybe I can get started today with things on the web.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Babble babble

I had decided to make sure to take Sundays off during the summer but I'm so confused about the days! lol. I spent probably 45 minutes this morning developing a French course for the oldest and have laundry to do. It was only after I'd spent the 45 minutes on the course creation that I realized it was Sunday. lol. Ah well.

So, what to do with myself today? Other than having a nap... I guess there are groceries to be bought because we're getting low and I didn't do them yesterday. Dh and I also want to go into the carpet store and see about getting a different carpet than the one we'd picked (it's not installed yet, not worries). We were laying the old carpet from our family room into our basement yesterday when dh found a strip of carpet from something else that we actually like better than what we'd picked out. We haven't even gotten a proper quote on the installation yet and were told we could change our minds, so... We're hoping the place is open today. Other than that, we may have finally come to a decision on paint colours. It'll make the room cozier to be in, I hope. The colours we currently have dramatically cut down on the light and "warmth" of the room and the kids immediately stopped working down there. It's now become the room you're kind of banished to when you need to move and make noise but people upstairs are trying to work.

Once everything's done in the room, then I've got to either find slip covers for the couch or look in a book I have to make my own (scary thought!). I still have to find some stuff to help me and the kids pick some designs or something for their walls and curtains. They've got this cool aqua colour on their walls and need to have some suitable additions. I'd like to have darkened curtains for their room but I don't know how feasible that is with my limited sewing experience.

What else? Oh, yes, our basement is so much nicer now with the carpet laid down! Of course, laying the carpet down meant having to clean a bunch of stuff up ;) so that helped, too. But the carpet gives it such a different feel. It's great! It feels like a room and not just some unfinished area of the basement. My job now is to make sure the kids keep it clean!!!


Do you like Sudoku? I do. I'd done them for years in the Dell puzzle books under the name of Number Place (I think that's what it's called) before it got renamed Sudoku and started a big craze. I've been daily playing at http://www.websudoku.com . See, instead of playing The Sims 2 each morning this summer as I did last summer, I've been trying to find other fun things to play. I'm waiting for an expansion pack for Sims because I've hit a plateau with it and just really want the expansion pack. But, I got it through Amazon with some other things on the free shipping, which means it could be a few weeks since they send it all together. Oh well. Playing Sudoku is good, too. :D


It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day here today. I think I'll have to get my bike out. I haven't ridden it in years!!! And I had knee problems for so long this year (finally stopped hurting this past week), that I really couldn't have done anything on it. Today would be a good day to do a few minutes and test my knees out. And to get the kids on their bikes again. I wish we had room in the garage to leave them so the kids would see them more often and ask to go out, but we don't and they stay in the shed--out of sight, out of mind. It feels like ds is going to be 12 before he ever has the courage to ride without training wheels!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 4

It's hubby's birthday today. And Independence Day (which we, of course, don't celebrate not being American and all). And it's officially my second day of summer holidays since Monday was a holiday because of the long weekend. lol. I had been worried about sitting around spending too much time on the computer, but there's just so much to do and places to go that I was silly to have worried about it at all! Now sitting at the computer (or having the laptop on me) is part of my relaxation, not just something to do.

It does mean somewhat that I haven't been following my plans too well, but it's okay--it's summer holidays! :D Ds has done cursive once and dd's done cursive a couple of times; she worked on her x3 tables yesterday and Monday and I'll do a bit with her today. I didn't read an easy book to ds yesterday and he made a point to tell me that I had to read to him today because we hadn't read yesterday. lol. He learned how to read and write "dix" and "six" today. I'll have to try to make sure to review it tomorrow. We also talked about the sound "on" makes in French and made words that I wrote on a small whiteboard, "What will it be if we put m before the on?" and other things like that. It was a nice little session. Dd has been feeling off here and there and has spent most of the day reading.

I had started Plato's The Republic but in clearing out my family room yesterday, which is where I was reading it, I haven't a clue what I did with it! It's certainly a book you have to read when your brain is clear. lol. One could get confused very easily with Socrates' questioning. However, now I don't have to worry about that since it's probably in a stack of stuff that I won't be able to go through for 2 weeks--the carpet in the family room has been ripped out today, dh is going to start the prep work for painting today, we're going to the lake for a couple of days, then finish the prep work on the weekend, then paint early next week, let it dry properly, then on the 16th, the new carpet is being installed. Nothing can go back into the family room until then. Fortunately, I get to have the book out for at least 3 weeks. ;) (Oooh, and don't tell my kids, but we're getting a plasma tv and new sound system delivered on the 18th! They didn't even notice that I didn't give a gift to dh today but it's because he asked for the plasma and sound system as his gifts. Yes, expensive gifts, but not something we do often and something he's been talking about for a few years now.)

So, instead of The Republic, I've started Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It's a short book, but it's still a bit of a challenge since I haven't been reading older novels in quite sometime; my brain's having a tough time switching. It also has me realizing that I need to read this book at least a second time (if not a third time) in preparation for the oldest's novel study next school year (she doesn't start English until Feb., so that's okay). I'll also have to find a decent novel guide to really cover this properly. Oh, and I also got out Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but in German! I've already read the book in English and have a copy to help me out when I get stuck. haha. Haven't started reading it yet. But like I said, I've been busy. I only got it out yesterday, too, so I guess that's another reason. lol.

Other than that, it's starting to feel like summer! The weather is sure showing it and not absolutely having to get a bunch of things done is nice.