Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday 9/30/08 dry-erase boards and winter jackets...

Beth needed a dry-erase board for math class at school. We picked one up tonight. She thinks that they are going to use them to cut down on their paper usage. It kind of reminds me of when the pioneer kids had their personal size chalk boards.
We tried on our jackets tonight. It is going to get cold tomorrow. We have gone out to find new jackets, but the kids need jackets with hoods that are attached, not snapped on or zippered on. We have not been able to find jackets that they like yet. In the middle of winter, when it is really cold, the kids can put up their hood, over their hat, and have that extra layer of warmth. Plus, if the hood is attached, then it won't get lost. It is a bother to find a jacket with an attached hood, but we are always glad that we did.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday 9/29/08 playing board games after ice cream...

After dinner tonight the kids were joking around and wanted to know if they could have desert. We don't usually (or ever) have desert. There is nothing wrong with having desert. I just can't remember to buy it or make it. I knew that we had some ice cream left they they didn't know about...so I said yes. They were so surprised. We had some Rockey Road and some Mint Chocolate Chip, and four kinds of toppings and peanuts. There wasn't much ice cream, but enough to make us happy. We ate and passed around the toppings, and had a great time. Just before we started dinner, it started to rain. We decided to play board games this evening. This wasn't the best choice after ice cream, but it was fun. We played a few games of "Guess Who?" and then played "Blockus". The ice cream was in full force by the time that we got to "Blockus". (It is a fun game even if we haven't eaten ice cream.) The girls kept making their pieces into designs, Maggie likes to make flowers and Beth likes to make squares. We found one piece that looked like an antelope. We did manage to finish one game. It was a riot. Now and then it is fun to do something different.

Monday 9/29/08 driving...

On the way home on Saturday I asked William if he was ready to learn to drive. He said ''Yes.'' and was smiling. I am not ready for him to take the car, but I would like William to be able to drive. When we got to our driveway we pulled in and switched places in the car. William adjusted the seat and we discussed which pedal is the brake and which is the gas. He practiced going forward about two feet and stopping the car. William did this a few times up to the garage door. He needs to get a learners permit. Are the rules for getting a license any different since he will be nineteen next month? I would love to teach him how to drive a stick shift car. It is nice to know how to drive both kinds of car. The problem is that I have a automatic car.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday 9/27/08 window shopping...

The girls went to the amusement park today, so William and I got to spend the day together. It is always fun to see what interests my kids.
We dropped the girls off at the church and then went to the library so that William could get a magazine article for his class. Next we went home for lunch. After lunch, we went to the mall to see the graphics on a new type of computer game, I think that it is called Blue Ray. The picture is computer generated, but it almost looks like live people, not cartoons. It is almost scary how close it is to real life. William also wanted to go to the bookstore on the other side of the mall. As we walked over to the other store, we stopped at a few stores along the way that sold electronic things, like robots and glasses that have television screens in them so that people can watch a DVD on them. Next we went to the bookstore. We looked at books for a while and then William bought a book. After we left the mall we went to the computer store to look at computer games. Last we got William a haircut. It was an exciting day.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Saturday 9/26/08 tempered glass and high school friends...

We picked up the tempered glass today. I called the company and they said that they understood about us getting lost. They gave me more complete directions. The glass is a rectangle, and bigger than we had planned on, but that is OK. If we get a bigger inner tube, this glass will fit nicely. Right now the glass is in the dining room. We still need a black pan with a black lid, and to cut the plywood piece. The plywood that we have is much too large.
William came home today and said that he has run into another person from his high school. This graduating class was only about fifteen people. He has three of them at the Community College with him. He likes seeing familiar faces.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday 9/25/08 tempered glass and long tests...

I called the rest of the local companies today to get the price of a piece of tempered glass for our solar oven. The last company that I called had a piece of glass that they were throwing away and they said that we could have it for free...the other companies were charging between 36 and 65 dollars. The lady said that we could pick it up today. She gave me brief directions. I didn't get the address from the phone book, or look it up on the Internet. It was in an area where we had lived and I thought that I could find it from the directions. The girls and I drove across town and couldn't find it. I called, but they had their answering machine on. I hope that they don't get rid of it, I can call them and pick it up tomorrow.
After looking for the glass company, the girls and I went to pick up William. He didn't come out at the normal time. We waited a half hour and went into where he usually sits to see if he was there. He wasn't. We waited another fifteen minutes. No William. Is he hurt, and he didn't have any ID on him to have me called? Is he in the library? I thought about a lot of things. Finally we went to the security building. They said that no one had gotten hurt that day or had been taken to the hospital. I said that we hadn't seen William, were going home to see if there were any messages, and would be right back. At home there were no messages. We were ready to go back to the college when William called and said that he had had a test that had taken him a long time to do. I was so relieved. We went back to get him.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday 9/24/08 future field trips...

In the local paper I found a list of places to take field trips with the kids. They had some ideas that I hadn't thought of, like petting zoos, and orchards to see cider being made, and factories, to see dolls or toys (or anything) being made, working farms, historical societies...the list went on and on. The web sites were also listed so I can get the hours and the times that they are open. It sounds fun...but with the library on Saturday mornings, and a bike ride in the afternoon...Church Sunday morning and playing in the afternoon, where do we fit it in? I will go on some websites and see what is offered, we will try to fit it in somewhere. We like going to new places.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday 9/23/08 Spanish homework and holiday decorations...

Beth had homework tonight. She had to write five sentences in Spanish. The problem was that all her class has learned so far are numbers, letters and food. We went on the Internet to get a few more words.
Our neighbor brought home another pumpkin to add to their Halloween / Thanksgiving decorations. It is a cute display. We have a witch that we put up for Halloween. It is one of the ones that looks like she ran into a wall. We usually put it up at the beginning of October. The kids all help to bring her out of the basement.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday 9/22/08 Kids and winter...

I have started washing the blankets so that they will be ready when it gets cold. They must be taken to the laundromat, they are too big for my machine.
I made a list Saturday morning of the things that need done before winter gets here...like trying on winter jackets...and then I managed not to do anything on the list. I did get some of the weekend jobs done...like making lunches...maybe next week I can look at the list again.
Beth got a lot of hair clips this weekend. She needs to practice using them before she wears them to school. So...Beth is putting them into her dolls hair.
Maggie is almost finished with her two new books. We may need to go back to the library in the next few days. She has decided to get longer books. Maybe it would be better for Maggie to get three longer books.
The leaves have started to turn colors. Since the big tree in our front yard is gone, we won't have many leaves to rake this year.

Monday 9/22/08 decorations...

One of my neighbors has put out their Halloween / Thanksgiving decorations. It is very festive, but it always makes me cold to look at it. They have a bale of hay and scarecrows and pumpkins. When their decorations go up I start to notice that the weather is getting colder.
Beth likes to take our tape measure around and measure all of the furniture. Then she goes around and tells everyone the measurements of all of the furniture.
Maggie is still playing with her Magnetix that she got for her birthday. Maybe she will get more at Christmas so that she can make larger items.
William has been doing a lot of homework lately. He looks very happy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday 9/20/08 Mums and candy choices...

The mums have started to flower. They are always so pretty. The hastas and the butterfly bush have almost finished blooming, so the mums are a welcome sight. We had a lot of rain last week, the grass is a lot greener.
Maggie has homework. She must ask twenty-five people what their favorite kind of candy bar is from the five choices. I think that some of the choices are: Hershey's, Reese's, and Crunch. I don't remember the other choices. Maggie must not be able to ask the kids at school, because she is asking the kids in the neighborhood.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday 9/19/08 weekend and playing tag...

We got all of our weekend jobs done today, now we can play all weekend. Tomorrow we need to go to the library so that William can get an article from Forbes magazine for school, and so that Maggie can take out two more books. If it works out, we can go for a bike ride too. Beth is having a sleep over at the neighbor's house, so we won't know until tomorrow how tired she will be.
The girls played tag tonight with each other until one of them made the flowers in the front yard it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday 9/18/08 solar ovens and school...

We have called two places to get prices for the glass for the solar oven. We thought that plexiglass would be better, because it wouldn't break as easily, but I don't think that it will let in enough sunlight. We are going to try tempered glass. It looks like the lead time is a week wherever we go, we just need to get a few more prices.
The trip to the amusement park was moved out two weeks. The girls are excited. So far the kids all like school.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday 9/17/08 my car, weekend jobs...

My car was in the shop for the last few days. We borrowed my mom's car. Now that we are back in my car, the kids are missing the other car. They miss the power windows, and the power locks...is it because the doors need to be locked by the driver and the kids then have one less responsibility? I am glad to have my car back, it is very comfortable.
I can't seem to do my weekend jobs (like matching outfits) on the weekend...I like to play with the kids...so now I am doing the jobs on Wednesday. It is working out so much better. I have been exercising for five to ten minutes a day. It has made a difference.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday 9/16/08 crickets and Scientific Theory...

We got more crickets yesterday for our frogs. We have gotten used to hearing their cricket noise, and seeing the crickets running around the container. The girls were wondering if the last batch of crickets have left any messages in the container that says ''The frogs will eat you, stay away from the frogs!!!''
Maggie is studying Scientific Theory and variables. She has a test tomorrow. Beth has decided that she is a dependent variable, she depends on her parents, and brother and sister, and relatives, etc.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday 9/15/08 homework and solar ovens...

William and Maggie had homework tonight. William has a lot of homework and Maggie had a little. I think that William was doing Accounting...he was in his room so I didn't see the book...and Maggie needed to look up the definitions to her vocabulary words. Beth didn't have any homework.
I started to call around to find tempered glass for our solar oven. We decided that Plexiglas wouldn't let in enough sunlight, and we didn't want regular glass, so I am calling around to see if tempered glass will be more unbreakable, but let the light in.We measured the inner tube. If we get a glass that is about three feet square, it will be more than big enough.We still need to cut the plywood...we have a large piece of plywood in the garage...and get a black pan.

Monday 9/15/08 neighbors, pastimes..

There is a new neighbor moving into the house next to us. I thought that he was moving in last Friday, but it doesn't look like he has. We share a driveway with that house. It will be nice to have the lights on again.
Maggie is still playing with her birthday presents. She likes the Konnects the best. She likes to make a rope, and see how long it will get before it is too heavy for the magnets. Beth is writing words for new songs. She wants to be a singer right now. She has a notebook that she writes them in.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday 9/13/08 amusements and libraries..

The girls were going to the amusement park today. This morning they packed their lunches in paper bags. Beth wanted her hair up, to keep her growing bangs out of her eyes. So we did two french braids on top. Maggie likes her hair down. They put on suntan lotion. But...it was raining. It had rained last night. We live a few hours from the amusement park, so we didn't want to guess that the park was closed. William came with us to drop off the girls. He needed to go to the library. When we got to our church, they said that the trip was cancelled. The forecast was for rain all day. They would reschedule the trip. Everyone took it well. The girls wanted to know if they could eat their lunches now. We all went to the library. While William found his books, the girls read Garfield books and I read a magazine. It did stop raining this afternoon.

Friday 9/12/08 amusement park and bike rides...

The girls are going to the amusement park tomorrow with the youth group from Church. William doesn't want to go. The girls are so excited. We picked out their outfits tonight. They will pack lunches in the morning. Beth is growing her bangs out. She doesn't want to wear a head band and have to hold it on every ride, so we will braid her hair. Maggie usually likes her hair down. Maybe she will change her mind tomorrow.
While they are gone, I was going to have William and I go for a bike ride, but he needs to go back to the library to get a magazine and some books for his classes. If it doesn't take too long, then we can still go for a ride.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday 9/11/08 birthday...

Maggie had her birthday party. Her grandma, my mom, came over. We had apple pie and ice cream...two of my kids don't like cake, so they choose pie. We have a six foot board that we measure everyone's height on at their birthday. We like to see how much they have grown. Maggie is as tall at thirteen as William was at fourteen. If someone grows taller than the board, we can put their added inches on the bottom of the board.
It is chillier out tonight. There is a slight breeze. The wind chimes on the front porch are playing slow, soft music and the flags are rippling in the wind.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday 9/10/08 dolls and houses...

Beth has been changing her dolls outfit every day. Sometimes she plays with her other toys, for now she is into her dolls. The outfit from today is put into the dirty clothes and a new outfit is put on. Her doll is carried around a lot. But...when Beth gets to a room to play, the doll is set on a couch or somewhere comfortable while Beth plays with something else.
Beth has decided to make a house out of cereal boxes. Tonight she cut the cereal boxes up to make the walls and started to tape them together. She wants the house to be about a foot tall. This house must not be for the favorite doll, because the doll is also about a foot tall.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday 9/9/08 rosses, school, birthdays and dollies...

The rose clippings that we planted are still alive. They are still green. We only remember to water them every other day.
William is getting more talkative about school. Every now and then he tells me about something that he learned in class. He seems very comfortable with the new schedule and classes.He has now started to look for financial aid for next term.
Maggie is very excited about her birthday. I am not sure if she is happier about the presents or about finally being a teen. I think that she is board telling every one that she is a ''tween''.
Beth is making out her Christmas list. She really wants a doll like her favorite doll. But she says that it would be nice if the new one is a little bit bigger than the old one. I guess that the new one will be older than the current one...the old one can stay the baby forever.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday 9/8/08 growing up...

Life goes on each day. The normal occurrences happen. We laugh together, we have dinner, we read at night, we fold clothes and play with friends. Then one day we look up and everyone is older. They have all moved into the next group. They are ready and capable. William needed an e-mail address to sign up for scholarships. Maggie turns thirteen this week, and Beth is done with Junior Church (when the grade school kids leave the service at church and go and do a craft or hear a Bible story for kids) she will stay with us during the whole service now. There aren't any tiny kids in my house any more. There are nice things about having older kids, there are no more bottles and everyone sleeps all night. I am glad that the kids are growing up, but I do miss having little ones, who need to hold my hand, and want to be at home. It is a joy to see the kids test their abilities and do well. I will need another hobby to fill up more of my free time.

Monday 9/8/08 projects...

We need to finish some of our projects. OK...I need to get the items so that we can finish some of our projects. First we need to finish our solar oven. We have the plywood and the inner tube. We need the Plexiglas (which we are substituting for the glass) and a black pan. The inner tube goes on the plywood and the Plexiglas goes on top, holding the heat inside the center of the inner tube, and the black pan absorbs the heat. We have found a store to get the Plexiglas from, and most stores sell black pans. Our second project is the solar panel. We got stuck on the converter. It is the part that goes in between the solar panel and the radio. It converts the energy from the sun to electricity. We need to find a small, cheap one. Boaters and RVers use solar panels, so a good place to look would be boating and RV stores. It will be good to get these first two projects done, so that we can go onto something else.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday 9/6/08 folding bike and rooting roses...

I have decided to return my folding bike. There are too many things wrong with it.I will buy another one from the local bike shop. When we had four bikes on the bike rack, it was too much weight on the plastic bumper. With a folding bike, one bike can go in the trunk. We love to ride our bikes, we will need to make something work so that we can continue riding.
We took some cuttings from my Great grand-mother's rose bush last weekend and planted them. I would love to have a few more of this rose bush planted around the yard. Also, if/when we move, if we only have one of this plant and it dies, well...we would have none. But if we moved a few bushes, there is a better chance that one will live. My Great grand-fathers rose bush has rooted almost every time that we have planted a cutting.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday 9/5/08 weeds and toys...

We have more weeds in our yard than we have grass. I don't want to use weed killer because it might be harmful to the kids. I pull the weeds, I rake the weeds, the weeds are still taking over. The weeds in this yard are green, so they look like grass. I need to go to the home improvement store and see if there are any non-toxic solutions to this problem.
We went to the store today to get William a new backpack. We ended up in the toy department. There were Legos and robots and dolls and Rubik cubes...We had a great time. William and Maggie like the building toys and Beth likes the dolls and dress-up toys. I am ready to Christmas shop now.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday 9/4/08 exercising...

I need to exercise more. I decided to start with five minutes a day, just after the girls go to bed...don't laugh, it is more exercise than I am used to getting. This is a quiet time, after the family things are done, but before I start my evening cleaning, etc. It has worked well, except that I do have a TV by my exercise machine and I always end up starting right when the commercials are on. I do feel better now that I am exercising. Maybe soon I will change to ten minutes a day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday 9/3/08 school lockers and homework...

The girls have been in school for over a week. They now have lockers and are more used to their schedules. Beth wanted a locker so that she could tape her schedule to it. Then she would know which books she needed and when each class was.
The girls do have homework this year. Last year the Junior High and High School had study hall during the last class and could get their homework done. If they had a question, there was a teacher there that could help them. This year they don't have any study halls.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday 9/2/08 moving the pine tree...

We have a pine tree planted in the back yard that we take with us every time that we move. William received it on Arbor Day from his grade school. We planted it in the yard. Soon after this we decided to move. We were outside trying to figure out which plants to take with us. William looked at his pine tree and I asked him if he wanted to take it with us. He said yes. I know that pine trees aren't usually moved, but it was still so new, so I figured that if we moved it once, at this early stage, it would be OK. We took it to the next house, and when we moved here, we dug it up again. I am guessing that we have cut the tap root so it has stayed small, about three feet tall. It is very healthy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Monday 9/1/08 holiday goal list...

I had a goal for my free time over the Labor Day weekend. I was going to write some thoughts down for future blogs. It was a nice goal and very simple. It didn't work. On Friday night I started a list of things to do over the weekend so that we wouldn't forget anything. Writing was on the list, as well as things like...play, match outfits, make sandwiches, etc. and really big goals that I want to do like clean out my closet. We did do the necessary ones, like match the outfits and make lunches, but then we started to play and do other things that were never on the list. We did weed the backyard and fill the bird feeder. I need my list, it helps me stay directed, but sometimes I don't finish it. Maybe next weekend I can look at this list again...or maybe I will make a new one.

Monday 9/1/08 birthday presents...

Beth and her friend across the street exchanged birthday gifts last weekend. Their birthday's aren't for a couple of months, but they had their gifts for each other so they exchanged early. Beth gave posters and pictures of movie stars from a magazine and she received a statue of a bird, over a nest. The nest is open on top so that items can be put on it...the nest looks like a gourd with holes in it for the bird to go in to make a nest. I think that it is ceramic. Beth wanted help to decide what to put in the nest...not a necklace or a toy, but something that says ''I'm older now''. I suggested marbles, to look like eggs. She said no, she wanted something that said that she was growing up. We decided on a list of things that Beth wants to do when she gets older: future goals, like driving and going out with friends. This idea made her happy.