Friday, September 29, 2006

Test for Smart People.....I have determined that you qualify.

My dad send me this, and as much as his many forwarded messages frustrate me, this one made me laugh.

The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be a professional. Scroll down for each answer. The questions are NOT that difficult. But don't scroll down UNTIL you have answered the question!

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator? Wrong Answer. Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend.... except one. Which animal does not attend?
Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory. Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?
Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four-year-old.

Send this out to frustrate all of your smart friends
COOL (or should I say HOT?) GIFT IDEA!

Dad has been having lots of trouble with swelling so I went online and looked up homemade heating pads and found two really neat ideas with the directions and link below. These are microwave heatable heating pads. I think they would make perfect christmas gifts or baby shower gifts.

Pit Pads: Filled with CHERRY PITS!
Square (9x9) excellent for shoulders, back, llegs, arms, hands and feet
Rectangle (6x17) excellent for wrapping around the nexk, ankles, knees and wrists

They sell the already made pads for $16.95 each at their website, but you can buy a 40 lb bag of PIT STUFF for $29.95 (enough to make about 20 bags). Seems like it would only take a couple of minutes to whip them up and they even give you the dimensions! Even a challenged sewer like myself should be able to figure that one out!

Rice bags: similiar idea, just filled with long grain white rice. The lady at the health food store told me you can also just make these by using a tube sock and tying it off at the top! You can also add dried lavender, rosemary or whole spices (not ground) to add an aroma to your bag if you desire.

All you need is 100% cotton fabric and whatever filler (pits, rice) you chose. To make them "cute" you make a little pillow case to put them in. I plan to make one for my dad today to see how it works. Gonna work on a prototype (some directions recommend sewing a channel in the middle to help them keep their shape).

Heat between 90 seconds and 2 minutes, releases a warm, moist heat.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Birds of Prey Park Program

A mom in one of the homeschooling groups we are members of set up a park program on Birds of Prey. It is unusual for me to be the one attending a program and not the one setting it up. John, the naturalist at the park, even commented on how unusual it was! The woman who set up the program said that program was for children in grades 1-6 so since Em had girlscouts, it was just the 3 middle boys....Grant, Jacob and Cade. Of course their friend Chris joined us!

The program was great and they actually had 4 birds of prey for us to interact with....a redtailed hawk, 2 screech owls and a great horned owl. Not that being in the same room with 4 birds did much for my allergies!

Grant posed a question that John didn't know the answer to so we came home and looked it up on the internet.

The question: How fast does the great horned owl fly?

The answer: Up to 40 MPH

Here is the great link we used to find the answer:

The boys were thrilled that after the program we stayed and played in the park for about an hour (we had to leave by 12:15 PM to go and pick up my dad). It was WEIRD that other than Deanne and Chris, none of the other families that attended the program stayed to play in the park. It was an absolutely beautiful, cool day. So sad that even the homeschooled kids don't get a change to enjoy the beautiful weather!
We survived!

Today from 3 PM to 4 PM Brett drove for the first time! Hard to believe that the child I gave birth to not even 16 years ago now only needs me to be his co-pilot. The lesson went really well and he managed to keep the minivan where it belonged at all times. We made a loop around our neighboring streets, many of which I had never ventured down before. I will admit that driving down the same 10 streets over and over again for an hour is a bit tedious, but with each "lap" I could see his confidence building!

Poor kid has had his temps since May and just now finally got behind the wheel. First the van needed brakes, then he started feeling sick and didn't want to go anywhere, then he spent the better part of August in the hospital and then his little brother broke the rearview mirror off. I finally managed to get it glued back on yesterday.

Hopefully this is just the first of many UNEVENTFUL driving lessons!
What our week looks like:

Another often posed question, and here is a sampling of one possible answer. Of course I didn't throw the 3 loads of laundry a day onto the schedule, maybe it would get done if I did! Right now, Will is the only one without anything on the schedule, so hopefully it doesn't get too much more hectic in years to come.

Homeschool Co-op 9 AM to 12:30 for Em and Grant, until 3 PM for Brett
Open Gym (noon to 2 PM)
Dance for Em and Hannah (4:15-8:15 PM)
Football for Cade and Jacob (6-8 PM)

Cat Scan for Brett (8 AM)
Girlscouts for Em (10-11:30 AM)
Park Program for Grant, Jacob, Cade and Sophie (10-11:30 AM)
Chemistry for Brett (11:30 AM-1:30 PM)
Get my dad from dialysis (12:30 PM)
Emily dance (6:15-7:15 PM)
Football for Cade, Jacob and Grant (6-8 PM)

Granny's Garden (Em, Grant, Jacob, Cade, Sophie) 9-11 AM
Sewing for Em and Hannah 12-2 PM
Dance Sophie 4:15-5:15 Hannah 4:15 -6:15 PM
Religious ed class for Em, Grant and Jacob 7-8:15 PM

Dance for Em and Hannah 9 AM to 4 PM (they teach)
Get my dad from dialysis and take him to chemo (12:30-4 PM)
Football for Cade, Jacob and Grant (6-8)
Mom time (Crop at local church with my friend! 5 PM to 10 PM)

Tour Cincinnati waterworks (9 AM)
Hannah babysit (10 AM-4 PM)
Em dance (3:15-7:15)
Sophie dance (6:15 -7:15)
Youth Football night at the Highschool- Cade, Jacob, Grant 7 PM

Grant football practice 9:30 AM -11 AM
Em and Hannah dance 10 AM-3:30 PM
Cade football game 12:30 PM
Jacob football game 3:00 PM
Mandatory Parent meeting for Nutcracker 2-3 PM
Teen bonfire with homeschool group 5 PM -11 PM

Church 8 AM
Sophie and Cade Sunday School 9:30 AM
Hannah and Em teach Sunday School 9:30 AM
Hannah and Em volunteer at Petsmart with animal shelter 12 PM-5 PM
Grant football game 12:30 PM
A fellow homeschooling mom posed a question to me in an email and I thought I would share the answer here.

How do you deal with family/friends who make you feel as if you constantly need to defend homeschooling?

My answer:
In a way, I guess we are really fortunate that my husband's family (including my MIL who passed away last month) has never questioned our choices. Occassionally they ask questions, but never anything like "what are you teaching" more like "they have a homeschool prom, that is so cool". I remember when we told his mom we would homeschool she said "oh, you will be good at that, you always read to those kids when they were young". She never passed any judgement on our decision (at least not to me or my husband or kids...she really wasn't the kind of woman to talk about you behind your back, if she had something to say, she said it).

My mom, on the other hand, tends to question more and is very critical of the fact that we won't send the kids back to school. She asks constantly if they are "going back to school" this year or if I have signed them up for classes. Then in the next sentence she tell me to go back to college and get my teaching degree/certificate and go and teach other kids because I am wasting my talents. I have never lied to her about our homeschooling, but I am also not straightforward with her either. She once asked how they know each year that they are where they should be and I said "mom, I either have to have them take a standardized test or have their work looked over by a certified teacher" so she now asks each spring if they passed to the next grade and I say "yes"...I never bother to add that the assessor I use doesn't ever look at their work and that he merely sits down with a group of parents and discusses our year with us. I suppose her fears may be calmed some as Brett goes off to college (in the next 2 to 3 years) or maybe not. When she asks if he will be ready, I often just answer "mom, they offer remedial courses at every college in this country. Obviously that means the kids coming out of highschool often aren't ready for college". She ususally shuts up.

My brother thinks I am smart to homeschool as he is a vice cop and thinks I am protecting the kids from the evils of school. He sees so many juvenile delinquints that he things I am smart to know where my kids are all the time and who they are with. He never expresses concern over what they are learning, but then again, he hated school and knows you only learn about things you have passion for.

I won't lie to you and say I never how doubts or fears. But the kids are happy, I am happy and for now that is enough! Annika is still so young and they have such a short time to be carefree!

In her next email she asks " do you sit every day with your kids and do school"?

My answer:

No, we do not sit down and do any formal schooling every day. Brett (16), Em (12) and Grant (10) take classes at a co-op on Mondays and I was thinking I may sit with Jacob (8), Cade (6) and Sophie (4) for about an hour on Monday and do something that resembles "academics" but then again maybe I won't. Emily, Grant, Jacob, Cade and Sophie all take a religion class at our church once a week (1 1/2 hours). Other than that, things are pretty unstructured here, but it appears to be working (we have used the same approach for 6 years). I see huge leaps in their cognitive development at times I least expect it. Grant (10) really struggled with reading and I honestly started to think I might need to get him a tutor and then I noticed that he really was reading, just not books....he could read and make food in the microwave, read the guide on TV to determine which sports team was playing, read to play computer games, read sports stats in the newspaper. Of course, one advantage of having a large family, as the older group grows, I can gauge the things that I did wrong (or should have worked more on) and implement it with the younger kids.

Since you are looking for some help in organizing things for your daughter, here are a couple web resources I have liked. Use them as you wish, my kids always have.....

My kids love this website:

And this one has lots of printables and other forms: we liked her handwriting sheets. Sophie LOVES handwriting pages, the boys hate them, so have never done any.

And Jan Brett has a great site that you can use in conjunction with her wonderful children's books.... I personally love her coloring pages and crafts.

I think confidence does come with experience. Hopefully your family will come around some with time.

Monday, September 18, 2006

She made it!!!

Emily auditioned yesterday for the Cincinnati Ballet's The Nutcracker. They posted the results TODAY on their website (talk about a quick turn around)! She has been cast as a SOLDIER WITH RIFLE! Different role from last year, but still part of the battle scene. The parent meeting is this Saturday and hopefully we will find out which cast she is part of and which performances she will be part of. Especially good to know so we can buy tickets to see the school matinee which is only $10 a ticket versus the usually $30+ a ticket!

I am so ecstatic for her! It is such a big deal for her to be able to dance with a professional ballet company even if it is only for a couple of months. She dreams of someday being part of a ballet company.

She received a compliment a few weeks ago from one of the most talented dancers at our studio. This young lady told Emily that she thought she was one of the most beautiful dancers she had ever seen. Such a huge compliment coming from this young lady. Emily has been on cloud nine ever since!
Recipe submissions needed and click on submit recipes. A friend of mine is creating a cookbook to help offset a family members medical costs as he fights pancreatic cancer. As we watch the bill for our own son's recent hospitalization flood in, I can only hope that her efforts bring some relief to the family with their financial burden.

I plan to submit a couple of my fav0rite recipes. I hope you will take the time to do the same. And if you are someone who loves cookbooks, she is selling them for only $10, not a bad deal at all!

Friday, September 15, 2006

What: Reds Hall of Fame and Stadium tour plus "Build a Baseball Team" extra inning program
When: Friday, September 15, 2006 9 AM ARRIVE BY 8: 50 AM!
Cost: $6 for children, $7 for adults children under 3 are free
Organizer: Laura Riesenberg

Of course I got out of the house late. Miss Sophie needed a jacket and there wasn't one to be found anywhere. She finally ended up with a rain jacket, but it put us 15 minutes behind schedule. Not to fret...we made it to the Hall of Fame by 8:55 AM!

What an absolutely AWESOME time. The extra inning program was absolutely engaging and involved using math skills to build a team and stick to your budget. Each group was given an actual MLB team's budget (ajdusted for the fact that they were only buying 9 players and not the full roster a team would carry). The great thing was that none of the kids realized that they were sitting through a 90 minute lesson in math! The amazing thing was that the team with the lowest budget ended up with the best team (a little luck was involved, but I don't want to ruin that for anyone else who attends the program).

Following the program we toured the Hall of Fame. It is great, so hands on and engaging. We ate lunch and then were given a tour of Great American Ballpark. Will was EXTREMELY fussy as we went on the tour
and it just killed my back to carry him (I really need to bring a sling with me on outing like this as he is still small enough to sling but too heavy to just carry outright). It is so neat to see the places in the ballpark that you don't get to see on a regular visit.

The Reds season is almost over, but one of the moms is hoping to get a deal of tickets so we can attend the last day game of the season.

Here are the details:
Schedule: 9 AM- 10:45 AM "Build a Baseball Team Program"
10:45 AM-12:15 PM Tour of Hall of Fame
12:15 PM -12:45 PM Lunch (pack your own picnic lunch)

12:45 PM-1:30 PM Return to Hall of Fame
1:30 PM -2:45 PM Stadium tour

The Red's Hall of Fame and Museum is a Palace for the Fans! With the formation of the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, professional baseball and America's passion for the sport were born, and grew, right here in Cincinnati. Now, for the first time, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum offers fans of the Reds, and of baseball, the first comprehensive look into the sport's heralded past. Nowhere else are fans able to see as complete of a collection of artifacts from the first professional baseball team and its rich history in the major leagues. And nowhere outside of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., are baseball fans treated to such an amazing visual history of the World Series and Opening Day. The Reds Hall of Fame, which opened to the public Sept. 25, 2004, is just west of Great American Ball Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds, along Cincinnati's riverfront. The facility features more than 16,000 square feet of exhibit s

Our tour will begin with our EXTRA INNING PROGRAM:
Build a Baseball Team Geared towards 3rd - 8th grade (all ages welcome to participate!)We need your help! In this math-focused program, you must work with your fellow students to create the next championship baseball team. Using budgets and statistics from Major League Baseball, compare players' strengths, weaknesses and salaries to assemble a nine-man team. Then, present your team in a "press conference" and use math to figure out whose team is the best! Who would have thought the economics and mathematics of baseball could be this much fun?! 90 minutes in length

The Reds Hall of Fame and Museum is located on the west side of Great American Ball Park along Main Street.

From I-75 southbound: -Take the Second Street exit on the left toward DOWNTOWN/RIVERFRONT.-Stay on Second Street heading EAST, and the ballpark will be on your right.

From U.S. Highway 50 eastbound:-Take the Second Street exit on the right toward DOWNTOWN/RIVERFRONT.-Stay on Second Street heading EAST, and the ballpark will be on your right.From I-71/I-75 northbound:-Take the Second Street exit on your right after crossing the Brent Spence Bridge.-Stay on Second Street heading EAST, and the ballpark will be on your right.

From I-71 southbound:-Take the Third Street exit on the left toward DOWNTOWN/RIVERFRONT.-Turn LEFT onto Walnut Street.-Turn LEFT onto Second Street.From U.S. Highway 50 westbound (Columbia Parkway):-Take the Sixth Street exit on the right.-Turn LEFT onto Sycamore Street.-Turn RIGHT onto Third Street.-Turn LEFT onto Walnut Street.-Turn LEFT onto Second Street.

From I-471 northbound:-Take the Third Street exit on your right after crossing the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge. -Take Third Street to Walnut Street. -Turn LEFT onto Walnut Street. -Turn LEFT onto Second Street.

PARKING FOR THE REDS HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUMThe parking garage underneath Great American Ball Park can be accessed from the Pete Rose Way entrance (at the corner of Pete Rose Way and Broadway) or the Mehring Way entrance (facing the Ohio River). Once inside the garage, follow the signs for the Hall of Fame and Museum to access the elevator and stairwell that leads to the Hall of Fame entrance. Parking is $4 per vehicle. Nearby parking is also available on Third Street (parking meters).

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I got this off of one of the email lists I am on and I think this will boggle your mind, I know it did mine! The year is 1906. What a difference a century makes!

Here are some of the U.S. statistics for the Year 1906 ************************************
Average life expectancy was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more
heavily populated than California.

With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour.

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year .

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year,
and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at HOME .

Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which
were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month,and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.
October topic: Unschooling Math: If you’re like me and went to public school, you grew up being taught math from a text book. Now, as an unschooling parent, how do you live math when you’ve been conditioned to think of math in school terms. How do you go from one to the other?

Teaching math has never been an issue in our house. Outside of my oldest son, none of the children have ever used a math text or taken a math course.

Sports have been my best friend for the boys to actively engage in calculating. Whether it is how many strikes make an out, how many outs end an inning, how many field goals you need to outscore one touchdown, how a strike out will change someone's batting average, or how many seconds are left in a game, sports just naturally lead to math awareness. When coupled with my children's very competitive nature, math awareness quickly becomes math ability and accurarcy. Bragging rights goes to the child with the highest batting average, highest winning percentage, best free throw percentage and you can only boast if you can figure it out.