27 September 2009

I have butterflies in my garden

My daughters and I planted a large group of flowers in the spring and we planted some that would attract butterflies. So every now and then I would look out at the flowers and see butterflies. I have captured them on camera and would like to share them here. I have also seen a hummingbird in my flowers, as well as gold finchs. This is remarkable since, we didn't plant for them and they arrived. I was unable to photograph the hummingbird but I did capture the finchs and some chickadees.

Enjoy the photos and have a good Sunday. Today, is church day we tell the girls and that is where we are going now.

25 September 2009

So much happening....

Monday, my DH, took the younger two girls for a walk and to a playground at church to swing. When they stopped, my DD#3, grabbed her neck and started screaming and crying in pain. Her torticollis returned. Poor little girl was in severe pain and he is expecting me to come get them, at the same time that my DD#1 was on the bus being brought home. I couldn't leave the house. I told him to ask the people at church if one of them would be willing to bring them home, but no, he decided to make the poor child walk! Needless to say, he went into my doghouse! After DD#1 got home, I rushed her into the car and went to find my baby and bring her medicine. When she was not able to get comfortable, we took her to ER, leaving the older DDs with a neighbor. When we realized that we were not getting home anytime soon, we called my mother and asked her to come up, collect the older girls and stay with them until we could get home. The next day, DD#3, vomited or slept, an adverse reaction to the medicine given at the hospital. But she recovered much faster than the last time (3 days the first time vs. 26 hours this time). She saw a doctor who wanted to make sure that she wasn't coming down with something else.

Thursday, is shopping day. I hate to shop. But this is one of those things that has to be done, so that there is food in the house to feed the children and husband (and cats). On that note, Lucky, the outdoor cat, that I have been caring for, has decided that I am harmless and is getting closer to me and letting me come closer to him/her (still don't have that questioned answered).

Made cookies on Wednesday, with the girls. This is a great way to work on chemistry (baking) and math (doubling recipe quantities). My DD#1's teacher has requested that we work on so many different things, math, reading, writing, spelling. She wants us to write the words on sticky notes and put these on the mirror in the bathroom, so the children get to practice the words daily. So my bathroom mirrors are covered with words. Then I also have the post-it notes that help me to try and organize my day and get things finished. So I feel surrounded for by post-it notes. (Next year, I'll have three girls learning how to read).

Today, I had 2 of my girls and Chase. I took them all to the YMCA and they had fun playing in the Child Watch center, and I got to Exercise! I am going to have to take them there more often, after lunch. Then we had a walk (the girls were fighting again). Tonight is also movie night. We started this for the school year. We let the girls stay up late on Friday's and watch a movie or special show that they wouldn't get to see otherwise.

This week we were going to go without television for the week. This went by the wayside, when DD#3 became so ill. So we will try again (I challenge my readers to turn off their televisions for a week and let me know how you fare. I think it is interesting to find out how dependent we have become on these idiot boxes to entertain us. For instance, we didn't make it because it gave my child something to keep her quiet while she recuperated).

I also finished a prayer shawl today. I also gave it to the recipient, she is going on maternity leave right now. She has been having complications and she is so upset. I pray that this will help her through this time where she needs to rest. That she also has a healthy baby and an easy delivery (she is having another c-section).

I am almost finished with another afghan. I started another prayer shawl (3 on needles). One of the families at our church has a son who had a double lung transplant and he is having many complications. He is a children's hospital and his father is having to travel back and forth on weekends, the youngest son is in school and the mother is living in the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital. I feel that I need to finish some items for them quickly. If you haven't supported the Ronald McDonald House in the past, now is a good time to start. One of the young ladies at our church is collecting the pop tops from soda cans. What an easy way to help.

Prayers: Please pray for the following:

The family from my church. That their son gets through this time and that he is able to fight off the infection and come home soon.

My cousin Marti. She had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. She was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer and has been fighting it for two years. She went into remission once, but now her chances are not good. Pray for her brother Bill and his wife and children.

Please pray for all those who are searching for jobs. Pray that they are able to find something or make a job for themselves so that they are able to take care of their families and themselves.

Please pray for all our soldiers. They fight to keep us safe and they need our prayers daily.

Have a good weekend. I'll post a recipe for cookies and some photos soon.

19 September 2009

Nothing much happening

Okay, so the week has flown by. My oldest girl finally has homework and so every night has been an exercise in not killing anyone. My younger two girls who ignore me all afternoon, suddenly want my full attention. The reason: my oldest girl is getting my attention during homework time. We work on math and reading and writing and spelling. I have been working on finding out what books are what levels. Her teacher seems to think DD1 is a reading level D, but she is reading level J books at home on her own and with me. I think they are seriously underestimating her and her sisters. I have been searching the web for sites that will allow me to figure out the book levels and also give me names of books at the levels she wants DD1 to read.

Here are some of the sites:
Site for Book Levels This is my favorite site. It is also the easiest by far to use. You can enter the name of the book and it will give you the information they have available. Although, if you are trying to find out what level Slinky Malinki and Hairy Maclary are you are not in luck.

Book Levels This one is also okay, but it is interesting to note that it also doesn't rate Slinky Malinki or Hairy Maclary.

Scholastic Book Levels This one rates itself as for teachers, but since the teachers cannot be bothered to print a list of books from certain levels, to give ideas, it is another good resource.

Book List by Levels This one gives you lists according to titles or authors or you can request according to levels.

The teacher also wants us to work on DD1 counting by 2's, 5's and 10's. She wants her to practice addition and subtraction. DD1 likes to work on the computer and so I have been looking for free web sites, that are safe, fun and help learn math.

Cool Math for Kids This one was kind of interesting, but I haven't been able to explore the whole site yet.

Fun Brain This one I have heard about but again, I haven't had much time to explore it.

I think this is the one that is going to be best for beginning math. Math Playground
Math Patterning  This one is interesting. It has patterning. DD1 likes patterning.

This one is very colorful. Primary Games

PBS kids Cyberchase This is one of my all time favorites. The kids really struggled with it, but then it is for older children. Not for Kindergarten or 1st graders.

If you have any thoughts on some other sites that would be good for reading or writing or spelling or math, please share. I think this is important, because there is no way I can find them all myself with a limited time.

That is my other complaint. I feel that there is so much more I could have accomplished this week. But I spent a lot of time working on DD1 homework needs. I had to make copies of her homework pages, because the teacher would put a page for writing with a page for cutting back to back. Then I had to get post it notes (that is another story). Then I had to get some other things so we could accomplish her homework. I just get the youngest to school (a preschool program that is absolutely fabulous) and then I run around working on homework needs, then I have to run back and get DD3 and rush home to wait for DD2's bus to drop her off (she does not want me to pick her up from school or take her, she wants to ride the bus). (DD2 reading level is already at D, but then again it is another story). Then we work on lunch and other things, while waiting for DD1 to get home from school. Sometimes we even try to get out and play for awhile before my oldest comes home. Then we get her off the bus, I let her play for about 1/2 hour, get something to eat and/or drink, then we start working on homework, with breaks.

During this time, I have to have homework for the other two, because suddenly I am the most popular person around. They will fight to get my attention and then I get really irritated. They want so desperately to have my attention, so I give them something to work on. They are working on alphabet, letters, and numbers.

Because of this non-down time, I haven't been able to work on the things I really wanted to work on and I haven't been able to read any of the online blogs that I have been enjoying and follow. Hopefully, Monday, I will be able to get caught up.

Have a good weekend.

12 September 2009

An Evening with the Quilters

Our church has a group of quilters, who have made 150 quilts for the Lutheran World Missions. Last evening 4 of the children of the church (3 were mine) showed up to learn quilting from the quilters. They made four quilts for babies that will be finished and donated to another mission. It was really interesting and the children seemed to enjoy it. Every child had one adult to work with them. Here are some photos from last night.

The children with their respective adult helpers (my DD#3 is working with me and I am taking photos). My DH was the token male for the group. He actually enjoyed the evening. He worked with DD#1 and he said that he actually enjoyed the time. My DD#2 worked with one of our neighbors and quilter. She is a certified teacher. She said working with each child individually would be best. The other little girl and her mother are members of our church. This was their girls night event. These are the girls and the quilters with their quilts all tacked down and ready to be finished.

Also, yesterday, my DD#3 finally got to ride her own 2 wheel (with training wheels) bike. She was so proud of herself. DD#2 had a friend over (I have started watching her friend on Friday's to help out his family). They had a blast.

Have a good weekend.

11 September 2009

Let's try the Photos, today...

At the Art Museum with my youngest daughter. She loved the pots, vases and silver works. That is all she wanted to draw. But I took some photos of art that I liked as well.

Next, we spent the day with my in-laws. They are a great family and I am blessed to have them. We finally got to meet our neice and my brother-in-law finally got to meet his youngest two neices and see his godchild. It was great finally seeing them both.

My mother-in-law was in heaven because she had all her grandchildren together in one place and she now has a photo of her with the princesses! Her favorite photo is the Men all sitting in front of the television.
I am glad that I could finally get these up. Today, I will be watching my friend's son. He will come home on the bus with DD#2. She is so excited her boyfriend is coming over, she woke up at 5:30 this morning. Grouchy children all around.

09 September 2009

Labor Day Weekend, Skydiving and Family

We were very busy over the weekend. A skydiver decided to set a record by jumping 100 times in one day. I don't know if he was successful. But we went for a little while. The girls and I looked at the medical helicopter (it had a great deal of use over the weekend) and watched the skydivers. This is the nicest group of people. Very friendly and just a nice group. Sadly, Saturday there was an accident and a chute did not open and the skydiver was seriously injured. Praying for his family and for him as they deal with all the medical he is going through right now. They are from Louisville, KY and he is in the hospital up here (about 4 hours away from his home). I'll add photos on a later post. Seems today, that the system will not let me.

Sunday, we took our girls to Kings Island for the last weekend for two weeks. The park will be closed for private parties until the end of September. We took them to the water side and let them slide and swim and play. They had so much. For the record, our day started with church. We will rarely miss church services.

Monday, we spent with my in-laws. They are wonderful people. We cooked supper for my mother-in-law, father-in-law, brothers-in-law, and niece. We finally got to meet my niece. She is adorable. The girls had so much fun together. My brother-in-law took all the girls walking to the park and took my camera (it was handy) with him and took some photos. My mother-in-law will be in seventh heaven when I print the photos. We have a photo of all the grandchildren together!!!! The ages are my nephew (21), DD#1 (7), DD#2 (6), my niece (5 in October), DD#3 (5 in November). Again, I'll post the photos later, since the system won't let me post today.

Have a great week!

05 September 2009

Keeping a list

My oldest daughter has been having a bad week this week at school. It is nothing that she is doing, it is what the other kids are doing to her. So now I must keep a list (and since I am packing things away so I can paint the house I need it somewhere where it will last for awhile).

On Monday,(the 3rd day of school) a boy in my daughter's class decided to hit her and continue to hit her. Since, her hitting him back is forbidden, she had to tell the teacher. Her rules state that an act of violence will result in being sent to the principal's office. She violated her rules and just had him apologize. Her letter to me, after I sent her a letter states: "Thank you for your note. I did talk with "D" after his bad choice. He apologized. I asked "H" to talk to me if it happens again. Thank you!" She didn't even sign her name!!! Also, my next reaction: It was a "bad choice," hitting someone is a "bad choice?" Hitting someone goes way beyond "bad choice." Also, her not reporting it to the office and/or contacting me, is a "bad choice" on her part. She has not apologized for her "bad choice" and I have decided that since she has refused to give out her phone number and her "bad choices," I should just contact the principal.

On Tuesday, (the 4th day of school) another boy, who lives in our neighborhood, has a history of being mean to my daughter on the bus, decided it was a good thing to hit my daughter in the face!!!! This is what prompted my phone call to the principal. He informed me that he would talk with both "H" and "J". I then contacted the bus driver and the bus superviser so that they would be on notice that this child is acting up on the bus and that additional measures need to be taken. The bus driver told me that "J" would be required to sit directly behind her so that she could watch him. My husband spoke with the bus superviser and told him that the situation was being handled. So on Wednesday, the boy had to sit behind the driver for the ride home, but he was not on the bus the next morning. Then, he was behind her for ride home on Thursday. Friday, he missed the bus again and then was on the bus behind my daughter again. That punishment lasted for a whole 2 rides! Let's just let the child off with a minor punishment. Last year, he made her life so miserable she didn't want to ride the bus or go to school!!!

On Thursday, the child from the class, who used her as a punching bag, decided to inappropriately touch my daughter and continue to do so, even after she told him (the counselor suggests that they use the TOMAHAWK TALK - lot of good this does) to stop. Now, I have contacted the principal again (teacher still has not provided her number). He tells me he will again speak with my daughter and "D" to find out what is going on. He may have to contact the other child's parents and he will also speak with the teacher. Basically, my daughter reports that "D" was moved to another spot away from her. Lot of good this does. First, why didn't the teacher do this on her own? I have a friend who is a college professor and she told me do not confuse a teaching professional with a professional teacher. I am going to have to agree with her. I liked the teacher when I first met her, but my opinion of this teacher has gone down this week. I wonder how far her approval numbers will go (just like the puppet president).

I spoke with my sister and she said I should encourage the girls to strike back, but I don't want them in trouble for the bad behavior they are having to endure. So, I told them I want them to drama queen up their behavior when someone is doing something to them. I would rather get phone calls telling my child is being so dramatic, over my child has hit another child (I can pretty much guarantee that the other parents were not notified that their child(ren) have been abusive). So we practiced them drama queening up even small injuries!!! First phone call I get, I am going to ask what was done to the child that caused the problem in the first place! Did you contact the other parents? If I am the only parent being contacted, I will look into a lawyer and bring a lawsuit against this school district. It is interesting that other school districts are so much more proactive on this front and this one just blows off the whole problem.

Next, most important, my brother-in-law and his daughter are in town and I finally get to meet my niece!!!!! She is going to be 5 next month and I have never met this child because of her mother. Now she is out of the picture and we get to see them!!! It has been a long time 6 years!!! My brother-in-law has only met one of my 3 girls. He hasn't seen the oldest, his god-child, since she was almost a year old. He doesn't know them or what they like or don't like and has only seen them through photos. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I feel like I am meeting strangers who are family. My girls are scared also. They tell me they don't want to meet him because they don't know him. But we remind them he is their uncle and he is really nice. I just hope all goes well and I have some pictures to show when we are finished.

Also, this week, I took my youngest girl to the art museum and she loved it!!! I haven't downloaded photos of this yet, but she has a fascination with pots, vases and tureens. But she seemed to have a really good time.

Yesterday, Friday, I took the younger girls to the airport and we watched the skydivers. They got to check out the helicopter and they watched the man who was trying to set a record by jumping 100 times in one day. They had so many people there it was fun. There were a lot of jumpers and I got some good photos (still on the camera) and I'll post them as soon as I find time to download all the photos.

Have a good Labor Day weekend. Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

01 September 2009

1st Day of School, Continued

Sorry for the interruption. DD#2 woke up to complain that she had peed in her bed and I had to rush to get off the computer. So back to DD#2's attitude photo. She gives me this attitude a great deal of the time, especially when I tell her "no."

She and DD#3 started school on Monday. It was such a nice day. All the girls in school. My DH at work and just me and the boys home alone. They couldn't believe it.

My daughters could hardly wait to get out the door. They had their clothes, their shoes and backpacks on and were ready to head out the door.

I read an article by a police officer, who said that parents should take a photo of their child everyday. They could delete it after the child is home for the night, but that this way they have a photo of their child the way the child looked when they left the house. The parent doesn't have to try and remember what the child wore out of the house. The photo is current, not 6 months old. I started doing this right away. I don't delete the photo, but save it. I know that the last set of 3 photos are the most current. It has been necessary. My DD#2 decided that she didn't need to listen to her father (my DH) and took off in an amusement park (water side) and promptly got lost. Fortunately, I had been drilling into all their heads who to look for when they get separated from us and she did find a security (police) officer and was reunited with her father (who was so mad at her she is still under punishment). I think this is a good idea for everyone who has young children. Your child might not like it, but what a good way to know what that particular child was wearing that day.

Now for all parents: Does anyone know a good way to break a child from stuffing food down couch and seat cushions because she doesn't want to pick it up? My DD#2 has been doing this for awhile and when I found it the first time, I made her clean up the mess. When she did it again, I made her clean up again. I just caught her stuffing food down cushions again. More cleaning up with her screaming (non-verbal screaming) because I was making her work. We have tried 2 mile daily walks and taking away things and obviously cleaning up the mess she is making, but this has not deterred her and all ideas are welcome.

1st Day of School, Art Museum and Projects

Well, I have some photos. The first are pictures of my projects that I am working on at the present time.
The first shows the three prayer shawls I have on needles, the dishcloth, the hat for my neice (it is purple) and her afghan (also purple). Then I took another photo of her afghan as it progressed it was 16 x 17". I have put some more stitches on it, since the photo was taken.

I started a project where I take my girls one by one to the art museum so that they can look at all the different forms of art and make sketches of things they liked. I started with DD#2. I left the camera in the car, because the rule used to be that you could not take the camera into the museum. So with her I only took an exterior photo. I then took her into the museum and in about an hour she was demanding that we leave. She demanded that we leave home to get to the museum, then she demanded we leave the museum. She just does not like these things. But, I will continue to work on her, because I know that it is important that she learn appreciation for many different things.

The next day, I took DD#1 (she was at school on Friday). She loved the museum. On this day, I brought my camera into the building and took some photos as we went through the museum. She did some sketches and we spent about 2 hours in the building before she asked if we could leave. She did seem to enjoy the building, but it is very large and there is art in every room. She would admire the art, and point to items that she liked. She also, would ask if we could stop long enough for her to draw something She would ask a few times for us to stop so she could sketch and I would also sketch with her or find something close by that I wanted to sketch.

School has Started!!!! My girls are all in school finally!!! DD#1 started Thursday and she loved every moment of it. Although, once she was home she didn't give information about her day easily. I had to keep calling her name to get her attention and ask the question several times. Yesterday, she finally told me that one of the boys has started hitting her and she told the teacher and this boy was supposedly sent to the principal's office. What a way to start the year!

DD#2 began school Monday! She was so excited, she was bouncing around and couldn't wait for her bus to get here. On Thursday, she was giving me some major attitude because she didn't get to go to school and her sister did!