The Day the World Twisted…

The day started with me being awakened with a start from tornado sirens going off.† I woke Kei up, grabbed Nomad and headed to the hall where we always get.† We always turn the TV up really loud so we can hear and wait it out there.

 

After that round of tornadoes went pass Kei had, ironically enough, an online class called “Wild Weather” with Jessica’s daughter.† She loved it and loved being in the same ‘class’ as Winnie.† We will definitely be taking more classes from Ms. Loretta from Lessons Worth Learning.

Wild Weather...

As soon as the class was over the madness began again.† The Meteorologists had predicted such severe storms that we actually cleaned out a hall closet to get into.† We just threw everything in the bathroom and made room for me, Kei and Nomad.† That is where we basically were the next 6 hours.

In the Closet

The sirens are deafening.† We are VERY close to a siren so it is very loud and goes off for several minutes.† If you live in the South and in Alabama, you have grown up with tornado warnings.† It is a fact of life, like earthquakes, hurricanes or blizzards in other parts of the country.† But never in my life have I seen anything like April 27, 2011.

On television even the meteorologists were amazed.† They kept saying they had never seen such tornadoes, so many, so strong.† They were bouncing around everywhere, hitting everything.† Cities and rural communities.† We had no information on anything except that they were on the ground.† I prayed a lot.† I cried for the deaths they were reporting.† I had no clue what the death toll would end up being.† We sat in our closet listening to the TV until the power went out.† When the power went out I lost cell phone coverage.† I ran around the house looking for batteries for my radio.† I wasn’t prepared, most people were not prepared.† I finally found batteries and we sat in the closet and listened for the next 3 hours.† Tornadoes were still jumping around everywhere.† Tuscaloosa, Cullman, Arab, Lawrence County, Madison County, towns everywhere were hit.† More than 150 tornadoes were reported, 342 dead at last count with many more still missing.† Google or YouTube “Alabama Tornado” and you will not believe your eyes.† These were F4 Tornadoes.† F5 are the most deadly. † People in a house, no matter where they are, have very little chance of surviving an F5 tornado.† Even people in basements here were killed.

UPDATE:†††† The National Weather Service confirmed the 4/27/11 tornado as a EF5 with estimated peak winds of 210 MPH. The total path length was 132.1 miles from southern Franklin County Alabama to near Huntland in Franklin County Tennessee. Maximum path width: 1.25 miles

 

When it was all said and done reports were spotty coming in.† 8 massive steel transmissions towers down at TVA, leaving 1.1 million people without power.† People missing and dead and CPR being given in the streets, rumors of chemical leaks and fires and us huddled in the closet, afraid to come out even after it was over.

 

I tried to call my Daddy because we have a wall phone that was not a cordless and I had service.† Unfortunately in the middle of it the line went dead and we were without phone for about 3 days.† We didn’t eat that night and went to bed early, in the dark with the radio on for awhile to listen to reports.† Next morning we heard the power was on in Athens, a town about 12 miles from us.† I needed some things.† I had no gas, no batteries, no ice for our food, no cell phone charger for my iPhone.† Things that I can assure you I will have from now on. Kei and I debated on what to do…if I took off with the little gas I had, about 1/8 of a tank and we ran into trouble, we would be out of gas.† We decided to chance it.† The traffic lights were down, but the day was beautiful.† The radio stations were playing no music…people were calling in with updates from their towns and information about what stores were opened and who had what supplies.† This went on for days and days…people connecting to people via radio.† It was a wonderful testament to humankind.

 

On the way to Athens we ran into a HUGE traffic jam.† I was afraid I was going to run out of gas so we had to turn around and come back.† We decided on the way back to run by our friends house and see how they fared the storm.† I was secretly hoping that we could stay with them for a day until, I thought, the power would be back on.† We got to their house, Laura, Livvy, Annah and Gammy and stayed with them until Friday morning.† You should have seen the kids in the neighborhoods!† Laura said she had never seen so many kids outside.† There was nothing for them to do inside, so they played.† We grilled out, ate and listened to the radio.

 

The next morning we got up and went home.† I was so hoping the power would be on but it wasn’t.† We went to our church who had jumped right in to help immediately following the tornadoes.† We bought supplies and made hundreds of sack lunches.

Kei Lunches

We spent the next few days helping at Epic.† Our wonderful church has done and is doing so much.† We have been in the newspaper twice.† Here and Here. We spent the nights grilling out food that would ruin if we didn’t eat it.† Everywhere you could smell the grills with people having the same idea.† Neighbors talked to neighbors.† There were block parties and get togethers.† For a few days we were all truly connected.
Kei made her breakfasts outside on a little Sterno stove our neighbor gave us.† We had a blast.† In fact it was a bit like an adventure. A very dark adventure.

Breakfast on Stove

Even Toast!

Thanking God for keeping us safe...

Standing in line 45 minutes for 2 bags of ice...

Games and reading by candlelight..

Saturday was my birthday.† The first birthday ever with no power.† But it was awesome and we had a great day.† I got some balloons from my boss and we wrote on them and let them soar.† They said things like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “We Remember-April Fury 2011″.

Balloons

Sweet Home Alabama

Soaring Away...

Sunday we went to church. We had it outside because we still had no power.† It was a wonderful service.

Epic Church

After church we came home to get ready to go out in the community.† We were out there about 5 hours and you can not imagine what we saw.† You can look at pictures all day long, but it is nothing like standing in someone’s destroyed home to make it all real.† Miles and miles and miles of absolute destruction.† And this was ONE area. There were areas all over like this.
As horrible as it was, as much as people lost, I think we gained something too.† A new understanding of the human spirit.† The “get in there and get it done” mentality of most people.† People didn’t stand around crying and whining.† They stepped up and were proactive.† It was amazing to see.

We were so lucky, so blessed.† Yes we had no power for 5 days, yes I threw away tons of ruined food, but those things are easily replaced.† So many lost everything…everything.

Please pray for Alabama.
Karen

ìThere are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control.î† ~Leo F. Buscaglia

Posted in Learning all the time | 12 Comments

Earth Day, Easter Day and Skool Days..

Earth Day is always a special day to us.† Since we have been Homeschooling we have always found a way to celebrate.† It amazes me how more aware of Nature I am now.† I have always loved it, just not always ‘lived’ it.† We went on a hike with some of our best friends.† One of my favorite parts of the hike was when we started singing “Happy Birthday dear Earth. “
Kei sat in on Facebook’s “Live with Obama” talk.† She even sent in a question.† It would have been beyond cool if they had picked it.† It was so awesome to see how technology makes people, even the President, more accessible.
We learned so many awesome things this past week.† From Rodents to Aztecs to making poetry out of newspaper articles.† We spent tons of time outside in nature.† Kei drew her Spring Tree and she did leaf prints.
Easter was amazing.† AMAZING!† We went to the early service and it was so moving.† They had asked all the “Dream Team” to come to a 6:00 PM service because of room issues but we went to both!† We were supposed to meet some friends there but they weren’t able to come at the last minute.† We went ahead and went to the first service anyway.† My brother and his family went to this service so that is one reason we decided to go.† Speaking of my brother he just started a blog.† He has always been a writer, writing down stories from when we were little.† Visit his blog, leave a comment. He thinks no one is reading. :)
The 6:00 service was indescribable.† It was filled with believers celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.† There was something tangible in the air, you could feel it and taste it.† There were no kids church so Kei was with me and we both were moved beyond belief.† We had the Lord’s Supper which was a surprise and there was just so much love in the room.† In case you can’t tell, we adore our church.
Kei wore these to church because that’s just the way she rolls.
The Easter Bunny

The Basket

New Webkinz for Easter

I also taught her important life lessons.† She learned how to check the oil and change an air filter.† I was very proud of her and of ME!

Oil Check

Dirty vs Clean

So now it is Monday…a week filled with possibilities stretch out before us.† So we are off, to grab, to savor, to live!

Karen

“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

Posted in Learning all the time | 5 Comments

Festivals, Memories and Learning….

We had a pretty good week around here.† PS kids were on Spring Break so we had a couple of issues with that.† One of Kei’s best friends was out so Kei thought she should be too.† I reminded her that we took off the week of her play.† That being said we did find time for sleepovers 2 nights. :)

Kei and I went to the “Chicken and Egg Festival” last weekend.† It was ok..mostly food and crafts but we managed to find some fun.

Jumping

I like these bungee things MUCH better than those bouncing houses.† I was so sick of those things.† She actually flipped for the first time.† I was so freaked I didn’t actually get the flip.

FLIPPING

We saw several chickens…some were very unfamiliar to us.† This one was named “Hollywood”.

Hollywood

We found some cool ‘shoes’ for Kei.† I remember having some like these.† We always wore them on the beach.† Kei’s are much more ‘bling’ than mine were.† [Someone needs to polish their toenails....I'm just saying]

Cool Shoes...

After the festival I took Kei by my Grandparents house.† My grandparents have been dead for many years.† When I was little there was no place on earth I would rather be.† This house holds memories and also my heart.† They are in the midst of restoring it so we were able to walk around.

Anything….I would give anything if I could take Kei’s hand and pull her into the time where they were alive.† Mamaw would be in the kitchen cooking her fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread and banana pudding.† Mom would be with her helping.† My Papaw and Daddy would be out in the swing talking or walking the property.† They had cows and chickens and a pond and grape vines and a garden.

My older brother would be shooting birds with his BB gun and my younger brother and I would be trying to nurse them back to health.† We would run into the house yelling, “we need bandages and alcohol”.† We would be having throwing contests to get the old apples that fell from the tree into a small hole on the side of the building.† We would be exploring and creating new worlds.† We would be trying to build a tree house in the big oak tree in the front yard.† We would be playing chase on the wrap around front porch.† We would end the day by arguing which one of use got to sit on the ice cream maker.

My Mamaw was my favorite person in the world when I was little.† She taught me to make paper dolls, cook, sew.† She let me pack her suitcase when she was coming to spend the night with us, it never matter what I picked out, she would wear it.† I remember taking her hand and dragging her back to my room as soon as she walked in the door.† I had things to show her!† “She had a secret stash of candy that she told me about.† I would sneak in there, making sure my two nosy brothers were no where to be found and take a piece, secure in the knowledge that only I knew the secret.† I remember spending weeks in the summer with† her and sleeping with her in her big feather bed.† We fed the chickens, milked the cows and cooked and cooked. I remember walking to ‘town’ with her because she didn’t drive.† She would have her ‘pocketbook’ on her arm and we have such fun.† We would shop and talk and end up at the soda fountain for ice cream sundae’s.

The older I got, the less I wanted to go to their house.† I had my life, my friends, I couldn’t be bothered spending my time with 2 ‘old’ people.† I was a teenager with big plans.† How selfish we can be when we are that age.† And what I wouldn’t give for ‘one more day’….

Kei at the Side door at Mama's

Stained Glass window on the front porch

Liv spent the night and there were puddles to be splashed in.

Splashing...

and spitting contests to be had

Spitting...

Robin nests to be found…

Beautiful...

Forbidden Island to be played…

Strategy...

Kei took an online class about Lasers and Lights.† She did many really cool experiments.† Did you know there is an owl on a dollar bill?

Finding the Owl..

Making a telescope with 2 magnifying glasses.

Making memories, learning, laughing…

At the end of the day, isn’t that what it is all about?

Happy weekend,

Karen

A House I Once Knew
Written by Leo VanMeer 1907-2006

There are bars on the doors and walls
Its rooms are empty and wide.

Here and there is a broken pane
Where the night wind creeps inside.

The front porch has fallen to ruin
With vines in possession there.

A shed is tumbled and strewn
And rubbish is everywhere.

Somehow it softens in moonlight
And my fancy wanders free.

That old house is more than a house
It once was home to me.

I can see a place by the window
Where firelight once played inside.

I can picture the porch as it used to be
And grounds so clean and wide.

Doors with well-oiledhinges
Let in our willing feet.

With everything in place as it should
And everything trim and neat.

I see it in mellowed reflection
Until years have changed it to be

A house with a memory; it’s more than a house
It once was home to me.

I’d give so much to live again
In that house when it was young.

Then it knew our laughter and tears,
With its memory only begun.

I was unwise to have left it, I know
All I got for my pains

Was a heap of things I thought worthwhile
And desire to be back again.

It might be made home again, who knows?

I watch the moonlight slant through a tree,
And know that old house was more than a house.

It once was home to me.

Posted in Learning all the time | 8 Comments

Plays, Parties & Posters…

There is not a day that passes that I forget to be thankful for the ability to homeschool.† Yes there are days where it is hard, when we clash, when things fall apart; but I still love this life style so much.

We went to see the local high schoolís production of Big River.† The role of Jim was played by a friend of ours who Kei has done plays with for 6 years.† He was ëblow me awayí amazing.

Going to "Big River"

Kei and Jalen...the STAR...

We went to Heatherís to celebrate all THREE of her boyís birthdays.† They fall within a few weeks of each other.† It was such a blast hanging out with our best friends.† There is always an abundance of laughter, food and talking.

Kids Playing "Dungeon and Dragons" ...

Cool Homeschool Kids...

Kei made a Recycle Poster on a site that we found.† She also made a couple of movies.† I think I am going to incorporate this into our school.† Give her a project due at the end of the week.† Make a play about anything she has learned.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

She made a play with Nomad called ìTime Saversî.† She said it was going to be a weekly series.† In this episode she went back to when Abraham Lincoln was running for President.† She and Nomad had to make sure he was elected.† It was full of facts and great actingÖwell at least Keiís acting was greatÖNomad mainly lay on the floor or tried to eat things!

Time Savers...

One of my favorite things we did this week was a study of Vincent Van Gogh.† Theresa at Our Life In Words wrote a post that reminded me how important Art was in our curriculum.† I love it, Kei loves it, but when we run out of time, it seems to be the first to go.† We learned about his life, looked at his paintings, watched YouTube videos of his paintings set to music and Kei did her version of “Starry Night”.† It turned out awesome.

Starry Night...

This weather was simply gorgeous, allowing for time to sit under the tree and just daydream.

Happy week,

If you’ve never stared off in the distance, then your life is a shame.† ~Adam Duritz, “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby,” performed by Counting Crows

You get ideas from daydreaming.† You get ideas from being bored.† You get ideas all the time.† The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.† ~Neil Gaiman

Posted in Learning all the time | 5 Comments

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast…

ìLet them be little ’cause they’re only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be littleî† ~Lonestar

 

Kei is growing up so fast.† Yesterday, wasnít it was just yesterday?† †she was learning to ride her bike and swim.† She was watching Dora and yelling ìSwiper No swipingî [although she vehemently denies she ever watched it].† She was clutching her pencil, with her bottom lip caught in her teeth, copying the letters of her name.† She was coloring by taking a crayon and scribbling all over the page, so proud of what she created.† She was falling asleep with her head on the table, exhausted by the day.† She was walking around with my high heels on like a just born baby giraffe.

I want to savorÖI want to taste every day.† Every moment I have with her.† Each one is precious and go by all too quickly.† She is 11, in 7 years she will be going to college.† 7 years!† How can I only have her with me for 7 more years?

My prayerÖ

íPlease God

Let me teach her,

Let me guide her,

Let me inspire her,

Let me appreciate all the moments..every one of them

Let me never forget Ö.

To giggle in the dark

Dance in the rain

Walk in the moonlight

Stop and smell the roses

Look under the rocks

Splash in streams

Have tickle wars

Count the stars

Catch lighting bugs

Always listen

Search for rainbows

Take the byroads

Eat ice cream for dinner

Stay up all night and sleep all day

Make blanket tents

Stop and make wishes in fairy rings

Skip

Make Kool Aid Popsicles

Make clover necklaces

Roast marshmallows over a fire

Have a pile up on the bed complete with dog

Swing as high as we can

Let me remember every single day

That all too soon

It is gone.

*Poof*

ìToo many people grow up. That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don’t remember what it’s like to be 12 years old. They patronize, they treat children as inferiors. Well I won’t do that.î† ~ Walt Disney

Posted in Learning all the time | 8 Comments

Epic Style Giving, Mayan Clay, Math is FUN…

I go to an amazing church.† It may not be your typical old Southern style church but it fits us to a T.† Our church has 2 main goals; to love Jesus and love each other. We take the 2nd one to Epic proportion.† Our church is a fairly new church, about 3 1/2 years.† Started with 34† members, we had over 900 last week.† Church has become very important to Kei and I.

Last week we celebrated “LOVE WEEK” at Epic.† Sunday was Senior Citizen Day where we visited Senior Citizen homes all across the city and took homemade cookies and goodies.† Monday was “Fast Food Frenzy” where you paid for the car behind you.† Tuesday was “All Teacher’s Day” where we took 20 schools individual Thank You letters and goodies, Wednesday was “Epic Gives You Gas” where we pumped over $1500 of free gas to cars.† Thursday was “To Protect and Serve” where we delivered over 30 dozen chicken and biscuits to the police and fireman.† Friday was “Cook Like a Fool” where we cooked something to take to a neighbor and Saturday was “Get Trashed” where we picked up trash on a several mile stretch of our busiest road.† One of the things Kei and I have always loved was volunteering, giving back and when I started HSing I was so excited that we would be able to do this more.† We have a church that perfectly fits this lifestyle.† I love giving, Kei loves giving, Epic loves giving.† It is an EPIC WIN ;)

Senior Citizens Goodies..

Fast Food Frenzy...

Epic Gives Gas...

Cooking Like a Fool...Cookies for the neighbor

We celebrated Earth Hour by turning off all lights in the house and playing Forbidden Island.† It is hard to see little writing by only candle by the way!

Earth Hour...playing by Candlelight

Thanks to Ami Kei has tons of clay but I bought her a different kind this week.† It is Mexican Pottery Clay and she loved it.† She spent hours working with it.

The Clay

Mayan Influence..

Clay Bunny...

We are using a new Math that Kei actually found.† It is IXL and she loves it.† It isn’t fun games, it is just problems until mastery of each new concept.† It is $9.95 a month but so far it is worth it.† There is zero preparation for me which is great because there is so much in her other subjects.† She and I both have learned so much.† If she gets to a concept she doesn’t understand she lets me know and we sit and work it out together.

We are studying Mayans and Aztecs for History.† We watched a documentary about 2012 and became interested in the Mayans.† That blossomed into more videos, Mayan numbers, alphabet, websites, worksheets and crafts.† We watched Time Warp Trio here. I have started using FreeRice as part of our homeschooling.† Kei and I have done this on and off for several years but now it is written into her assignments.† She has learned all of the New England, Southern and Western States and capitals.† She already knew them but now she can actually spell them. ;)† In Zoology we have learned about Primates.† We have read and made charts and watched videos, including a Jane Goodall documentary.

Kei finished her blanket that she made by hand.† She still has to do the backing but it turned out so wonderful.† I love how much she loves sewing and all things creative.† The first quilt Kei ever made was a very small 9×9 square.† She wanted to put it in Mom’s casket and I let her.† I know Mother would have loved that.

Snuggled in the Homemade Blankie..

Yesterday was the next to the last HS Skate Day.† We got in the groove by rocking out to some Ice Ice Baby on the radio. ;)

Ice Ice Baby..too cold too cold

Skate Day!!!

Livvy spent the night last night.† They destroyed Kei’s room per usual…ahhh girls..

It was a TORNADO...really!

Weather is supposed to warm up next week.† I am ready for it…there are hikes to be taken, camping trips to go on, nature walks to meander, crazy doggies to walk….

Happy Saturday,

“For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi

“Why not, really, go to the fullest length, and the silliest length, in exploiting yourself and turn the proceeds back to the community?” Paul Newman

Posted in Learning all the time | 7 Comments

The Good, the Bad & the Glorious…

In some ways this has been a really bad weekÖ

Living in my Daddyís house comes with no rent but, at times a whole lot of strings.

The strings got very tangled this week.

That being said; as I try to live this simpler life there were many blessings to count.

A best friend since Kindergarten having an unexpected mid week break and spending the night with Kei.

A moon, big and orange suspended in a sky

A girl who especially loved Math this week and learned things that ìIî didnít know at the beginning of the week.

4 chapters read, without much complaining in her book.

Videos about Nazca drawings [which lead to fascinating hypotheses] †and Olmecs and apes and chimps and something very freaky called a marmoset.

Time spent on our cleaned up patio.

This site We are new fans of 9puz!† Great games.

This video which is the latest youtube craze which lead to investigating exactly what was up with it, why it has over 47 million views and discussions about bullying and cyber-bullying.

The sun, glorious and orange, setting and making everything it touches bathed in a golden glow.

Amazing poems written by my girl.† She wrote these for a Webkinz contest that the subject was “Poems about Colors”

When I think of blue I think of:
The blue spring sky with light mist in the air,
the soft clouds in the foggy sky,
the pretty blue flowers tickling my bare feet,
the blue birds cutting through the clouds,
the little blue dress mom is wearing with pink and yellow pockets,
when I think of blue
I think of the delightful blue stream right next to our house with fish swimming
living their lives peacefully and happily.

When I think of yellow I think of:
The yellow sun rising on a cool spring day,
my blond little puppy running through a field of buttercups,
my old yellow rain boots who miss the days of playing in the rain,
My toast cutting through the yolk of my egg and seeing the yummy yellow goo running down my plate,
When I think of yellow
I think of I think of a yellow canary singing a song to give bliss to all that hear.

When I think of purple I think of:
When me and mom played tea party and I would always wear the purple dress,
the little purple hat mom made for me when I was a baby,
a field of gorgeous purple flowers that danced in the wind,
A little me on Christmas morning looking under the tree to see gifts wrapped in purple wrapping and smiling at them.
When I think or purple
I think of me and mommy sitting in front of the fireplace with a purple-patched quilt wrapped in around us on a cold winterís day.

 

SoÖit wasnít the greatest week in one way but in so many othersÖit was amazing.

Happy weekend,

 

ìBad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.î ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson †(American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist, 1803-1882)

Posted in Learning all the time | 4 Comments

Leaves, Planting, Books and Bullying…

I feel like a bear, waking up from a long winter’s nap.† The air is glorious; the breeze coming in my window makes me smile; blooms ah the blooms, everything is blooming; birds are chirping; bees and wasps are waking up and buzzing; Spring has Officially SPRUNG.

I finally got the leaves picked up Saturday.† 2 guys were hired and I happily paid them.† How many bags of leaves you ask?† 56!!!!!!!† And Karisma, I had to put them in bags…my trash container filled up after ONE BAG.† There is no burning of leaves here, and the wind would have whipped them around worse than Willow’s hair. <if you have preteen girls you will understand that reference ;)>

Kei with the 'trash'

Chan spent the night with us for 3 nights and the girls had a blast.† They explored the creek and did some experiments.† As they walked off with their buckets and tools I called out, “Remember the Barrens and don’t flood the town”.† They looked at me like I was crazy until I explained.† They have both seen “It“.† One of my favorite books EVER.† They also spent hours playing Forbidden Island.† I has seen this game on someone’s blog…Helena??, bought it because it had rave reviews and just got it from Amazon.† There was much talk about helicopters, divers, messengers, sinking islands and endangered somethings and saving the day and giggling.

Forbidden Island...

We also bought some seeds to try to get some flowers started.† I never have much luck with seeds but we will see.

Planting Seeds...

Kei started a new book “Little Blog on the Prairie She is actually liking it!† She also got “To Kill a Mockingbird” from the library along with the audio.

Little Blog on the Prairie...

I am reading another book I ordered for Kei.† “The Mother Daughter Book Club“.† It came recommended by Theresa. [waves]† I decided to read it yesterday just to see if I thought Kei will like it.† Which I know she will.

But it has inspired a rant.

::steps up on soapbox::

Why is it that EVERY book for tweens or teens, every TV show geared toward that age, every movie has bullying in it?† Why does Amazon have 4,460 hits in books when I type in the word “bullying”?† Why are there millions of web sites dedicated to this? Go to Youtube and type in “bullying”….over 30,000 hits.

I am so thankful that I don’t have to ‘live’ in a world where Kei is bullied.† And yes, she has gotten her feelings hurt in the past…that is going to happen no matter what.† But living day to day, knowing that people were going to be hurtful and mean and spiteful and nasty?† That is NOT her world.† But it is millions of kids world, and that breaks my heart.† I try to think back, wayyyy back to when I was a kid.† I remember I was NEVER one of the mean kids, I hated seeing anyone being picked on.† Bullying wasn’t as prevalent or as downright MEAN as it is now.† What’s up with that?† What has happened to make this such a serious issue?† Is it the Internet? TV? Movies?† something in the water? What?

I have heard people say, “But what about bullying? How will you child learn to deal with bullying if you homeschool”?

SERIOUSLY?????† SERIOUSLY?† This is a skill you need why?† I don’t know about you, but I am not around bullies.† If I have someone toxic in my life, I avoid them at all cost.† We do talk about her standing up for herself, and for others.

One of my favorite parts of her <and she has tons of “favorite parts of mine” in case you haven’t noticed ;)> is that she hates injustice in any form.† Always has.† She stands up for what she believes in.† Which isn’t always the ‘norm’ it this part of the South.† She doesn’t care.† She has a passion for all things fair and equal and believes people should be who they are and love who they want and be able to do it without being judged.† And yes…she gets those beliefs from me.† Doesn’t all children up to a certain age? Until they start thinking for themselves and having their own opinions. † But I know she will always have these beliefs.

One of her favorite shows is “What Would You Do?”† She watches it religiously and even tapes it.† She will scream and yell at the television.† She is such a ’causes’ girl.† If this was the 60′s she would probably be burning her bra. ;)

But back to bullying…all the TV shows, all the books, all the movies..while they don’t say “this is a good thing” and in fact usually the ‘mean girls’ get their comeuppance in the end.† But that isn’t the point.† They are ALWAYS there…like it is just a given.† The message is: If you live in the world and are between a certain age, you are going to have to face or deal with bullies.† There is something horribly wrong with society when it is just a given that you will be treated like crap and made cry and get pushed around.

I have no answers, only outrage; no solutions, only sadness.† But I do know this:

Bullying should never be a given.† Period.

ìNever be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.î ~ Harvey S. Firestone

Posted in Learning all the time | 8 Comments

Odysseus, Marsupials, & Friends…..

I do declare…spring is here.† The weather..the weather is glorious.

Kei's picture of Grape Hyacinth...

Yes it will soon be HOT and I will be complaining about that.† Seems like I know a lot of people who complain about the weather, including me.† Too cold, too hot.† But we do seem to be an area of one or the other.† Our Springs are very short, our Falls are very short, and there is a whole lotta hot and cold in between.

Kei took time to make a crown of Henbit this week.† Thank you Kaitlin, we† couldn’t find the name of this wildflower and she told us what it was.† It is EVERYWHERE here!† Like grass…

A Spring Crown...

I have had a pair of Doc Marten’s for 20 years.† They still look great.† Kei can finally wear them.† I love what she put with them…she has such a cool sense of fashion just like her Mommy ‘used’ to have.† I don’t have a lot of occasions to wear the cool stuff I used to wear.† *Thank goodness shoes can not talk…I’m just saying…

Doggie Kisses...

Kei, Nomad and Doc...

I finally found “The Odyssey” to rent.† After looking everywhere!† I had to join Blockbuster Online for 2 free weeks to get it.† We are really liking it.

Lunch with Odysseus...

Kei has been playing some really good games online to learn about Greece.† I usually have a link at least once a day for her to play with or watch.† The internet is just full of cool things!!† Here she is helping Icarus make his wings.† We have loved this site.

Kei and Icarus...

We are learning about Marsupials in Zoology.† We have both enjoyed it very much.† Even more so because 2 of my favorite bloggers, Helena and Karisma live in Australia.† Kangaroo’s are such a ‘magical’ animal to us.† It isn’t something we can imagine seeing outside in the yard.† But Helena and Karisma can!† Kei just thinks that is so cool.

Here is Kei with her Koala watching a video about Koala’s.† They are lazy little things. ;) Sleeping 20 hours a day!

Lazy Lazy Koalas...

Kei made brownies to take to Esther’s to a much needed “day with our friends”.

Yummy...

When I swiped a little bit of brownie mix on her face she wasn’t amused…well she SAID she wasn’t, but she kept giggling.

Not Funny Mom!!!

We had a blast at Esther’s.† There was food and giggling and stories and silliness and laughter and talking all at once.† The kids had fun too.

Our kids...

Homeschool Super Heroes!

Homeschool Shiva...

Best Friends...

Just Swinging...

Kei is loving her shorter hair.† Well it isn’t short but shortER. † We had it cut about 4″ and she wasn’t sure about it at first but now she says, “You were right Mom” as I mumble under my breath “As always.” :)

My baby girl...

Chan came home with us for a few nights.† They are off playing in the creek and have big plans of a WebKinz Play Extravaganza.

I have cut the grass today for the first time and decided that if there is any way possible I will hire someone to keep the yard this summer.† Almost 3/4 acre is just too much for me!† Argh.

Lovely weekend to all,

Spring has returned.† The Earth is like a child that knows poems.† ~Rainer Maria Rilke

 

 

Posted in Learning all the time | 6 Comments

Computer Geek Girls…

We have both been geek girls lately.

My best friend lives in California.† We have always used the internet to stay in touch, mainly by playing online games.† I am always a Ranger chick with a bow.† She is always a Cleric.† We have a blast.† A new game just came out.† Rift.† We beta tested it for about 6 weeks and then it went live a couple of weeks ago.† I have since been spending my time in Telara, a world full of beauty and mystery.† I play on a PvP server.† That is Player versus Player for you non-gamers.† Which means someone from the ‘other’ side can come and kill me at any time and vice versa.† We play with a bunch of people from all over North America.† We are in a guild called Black Daggers.† We have a vent channel so we can talk because typing is soooooo 2000.† I have a blast.† There are tons of† “Achievements” you can get in the game.† Carla and I saw this one and had to do it.† You had to find this remote area on a huge mountain and find these little squirrels.† When they started dancing you had to make your character dance with them…your title…”Dances With Squirrels”† We HAD to get a screen-shot of it.

Me and Carla and Squirrels..

Kei has been living in the Webkinz World.† She has had Webkinz since she was 6 and has 114 at last count.† That is a lot of pets to keep happy.† She decorates their rooms, chats to other people, runs a restaurant, does tons of research to find our the best items in the trade rooms, keeps a chart with all the things she trades and what they are worth, finds new recipes and patterns for clothes, plays with one of her best friends and has a blast.† She always cracks up at what some people name their Webkinz.† She had to take a picture of one of them.

Justin Bieber

Kei in WebKinz land...

Like Mother, like Daughter.

We have managed to get work done.† We† are still in Ancient Greece.† We are fascinated with Gods and wars and ancient cities.† We finished up Cats in Science and learned so many fascinating things about them.† We are still using the iPhone for a lot of our educational time.† It rocks.† We are learning about Drafting Geometry and it amazes me how quickly Kei catches on. She gets so frustrated because there is 4 pages of the same concept so if she gets it, we just move on.

It has warmed up here. Spring is a comin’… I can hear it calling our names.

Hope we can hear it in our virtual worlds.

ìGive a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeksî† ~Unknown

 

Posted in Learning all the time | 7 Comments