Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Well I attempted to get it all into one blog, but that didn't work. LOL - I remember (too late) that I had pics from my camera that I hadn't downloaded. :) So here goes, another update!

Here is some of Red's latest work. I am really proud of him. He is one of those kids that gets really mad if he doesn't do it just perfect. So we have been working on that. He often just won't try again - just would rather thrown down the pencil and give up - than make another attempt. So we've been working on that - he is coming right along with his writing and I am so proud. He seems to slowly be warming up to "trying again" rather than just throwing in the towel (or pencil int his case). Although he still gets quite frustrated, I am really seeing some maturing going on.

I mentioned in my last update how much Bug loves Ms. Dena's drawing class at ECCHO - well he has been so excited about it that I decided to look for some drawing books at paperbackswap.com. I came across this Drawing Reptiles book and order it - he was just ecstatic when it came in. I have to admit, I had not realized just how much he likes to draw.

He immediately went to work and just draws all the time now! So I looked up another and came up with the dog one - which I knew he'd get a kick out off because Bug is a dog lover to the MAX!
Here is some of his drawings he's done:

Boston Terrier


German Shepherd (like our Ladybug!)

Bulldog & Boxer

And from the reptiles book:

sea turtle




Below you will see an update on the garden. It's all planted now, although it's hard to see since the plants are so small yet. Hubby is putting in the last of the veggies there - red cabbage. The boys have been working hard with Daddy out there - tilling, weeding, hauling rocks (and more rocks), planting, watering. Science has taken root in the garden this spring. I love seeing my Hubby get into the whole "teaching spirit". I got some great pics of him with the boys and the neighbor boy planting peppers and tomatoes. It was awesome. I do believe my Hubby has a Montessori style heart or perhaps he's watched me do it so often that it's just taken root. He used the three part lesson to teach the boys how to plant the plants correctly in the ground. It was so cool to see them in action. I show you, you show me, now recall what you just did. I love it! Hubby just finished up the hoses today, so I think it's all in place. Now just to keep the birds away so they plants can grow big and strong! He laid soaker hoses throughout the garden - we are hoping this will prove to be a more direct - less water wasting - watering tactic.

Here's another art project Bug came up with. We found several bags of precut Texas shapes in the garage last weekend when we had our garage sale. I had brought one in thinking we'd come up with something to include in our Texas Geography Boxes. Well Bug found them on the shelf and decided he wanted to paint some for ornaments, so paint he did. We didn't have white, so he used silver in it's place. I haven't added the strings yet as they weren't quite dry. I think these will be a great addition to our boxes!

Well I have a lot of pics posted on this one. We had a round of some weird fever/stomach virus go around our house and it threw me way off my little "schedule" I had recently worked out for myself. LOL But anyway I am going to try and catch up on my posts tonight!

We've had a busy spring already - not that life is ever slow around here! Between school, the garden, various reorganizing/rearranging projects, a garage sale, sickness and extracurricular activities it's been crazy. It doesn't look like it will slow down much either come April!

Here is one of Bug's latest creations...his name is Plank. Can you see his eyes (made from nails)? Funny. Bug loves to build and decided he wanted to make a man...so he did. ;)

Below you can see the bird nest a little brown sparrow built in one of the bike hats. What is funny is it hangs right next to the back door. I think it's some sort of house sparrow. She is small and brown with little dots on her back. I sneaked in to take a pic of her nest - I am just amazed at how birds manage to be so detailed without thumbs and fingers...I mean really! Well a week or so later I noticed she had laid eggs. So I sneaked a pic using the long lens. I promise to leave them alone now...well I am sure you will get a pic of the babies, but until then no more peaking! ;) I just can't resist I love them.

This is a funny one...can you tell what this is?

A few posts back I told ya'll about that crazy horn that Red came home with...the longhorn - well this is the inside...complete with it's own bird nest. LOL Another little sparrow thought this would make a perfect nursery to hatch her babies I guess. I had noticed her flying off when I opened the back door a few times and finally caught on to where she was coming from. We actually watched her build this over a few days, it was neat to peek in and see it come together. She has a nice little den in there now. I actually used a bungy to tie it to the top of the porch bench which is where it was sitting when she took up residence. (I mean really now what in the world was I supposed to do with this thing!!!) I was afraid that the horn might slip though and fearing the worst for the sweet little Momma I decided I had better tie it down for the season. No eggs yet...perhaps soon! :)

Here is some interesting pics from a recent math lesson. Bug and I were discussing lines of symmetry and used paint to demonstrate. The first set is the red and blue simple prints - I did the blue (Bug thought it turned out like a shell) and Bug did the red - which he thought was super cool since it looks like a heart. :) Then we used various colors to create a picture to see how it came out. We even tried writing our names to see what would happen - I think he enjoyed the "mirror" effect. It was a neat learning experience - complete with paint on the top bunk of the new beds. How brave am I? LOL

Oh I just had to share this one. Look at this awesome handwriting. Bug has really ta
ken off in his penmanship. He is being so much neater and cleaner these days, I am really proud!

These next few pics you will see are of our Tennessee geography box we received from our swap partners last week. I admit we haven't delved much into the whole geography lesson about Tennessee, but it's a great resource to use and we were very excited to get it in the mail. The boys especially liked the bubble wrap! Funny!

The box was really awesome and included some really cool stuff - a live iris (the state flower) hats, lots of brochures and literature about the state. Also Tennessee caps - the boys had to put these on right away! Our swap family also included a picture album which I thought was an awesome idea! It had so many cool pictures of places they had visited and things in Tennessee - I am going to steal this idea for our future boxes! They also included some real tree samples and seeds. And - I love this - a box of little Debbie snacks and a box of moon pies! Did you know that Moon Pies originally came from Chattanooga, TN (the town where our swap family lives). I didn't know that! And Little Debbie's are from Tennessee too!

Pictured next you will see some of Bug's latest
artwork from his ECCHO art class - they worked on animals and houses. He is becoming such a good little artist. I am so excited that he is finding something he really enjoys. He really like's Ms. Dena's drawing class. She draws up on a large white board at the front of the room and the kids draw at the table - I am impressed!

The House That Bug Drew...

Kitty Cat

Monday, March 21, 2011

Well we found, actually Daddy found a set of bunk beds like we were looking for. We picked them up last week and got them put in the room on Saturday night. Daddy had to run to Lowe's and pick up a couple of screws and dowel rods on Sunday so we finished them up on Sunday.

The boys are ecstatic about them...which is awesome!

Daddy has to fix a drawer and a knob - but other than that it's perfect! The boys just love it!

Bug has claimed the top bunk - which was a bit surprising (he is not too keen on heights), and absolutely loves it. I think he enjoys having his own "space". Red is in the bottom bunk and he enjoys having the bookshelf to set up his war on. LOL Go figure!

There is a desk at one end and Bug has already filled the top drawer with his goodies! :)

For school this morning Bug wanted to work at his desk, so he would get his assignment and head back to the bedroom. LOL It worked I suppose. We actually did science and history and bible/character from the top bunk.

In math today we chatted about venn diagram's and made one of families with children. It was fun to see the light bulb go on when he figured out our little "tabs" wouldn't fit on the bar graph. I love hands on learning...

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Peanut Butter has been working so hard on his RA's Character Curriculum. I am so proud of him! We spent a week going on "nature walks" and taking pictures of some of the things we found. I got the pictures printed and Bug put together a Nature book. This is part of his Discoverer 1 patch. This was actually the last requirement for this patch. I am so excited for him. We are going to set up a date with Mr. Jeff to "present" his patch to him so that Daddy can be there too!

He did a great job on the cover of his book and his penmanship inside is spectacular! I am so excited for him.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Can you believe it's already mid-March? Wow! It has been a crazy busy week - more so than usual around our house! Daddy worked overtime three days this week, which was weird because he was gone more than usual. Bug had a really hard time with this - he is such a

Daddy's boy that he would literally wait at the window for him. Poor baby! We certainly kept busy though. We had choir, school, RA's, Meals on Wheels and ECCHO (home school co-op). Oh my! I am tired just thinking about all the running we did! And betwix all that we did some shopping with Daddy for a/c units for the boys bedroom and living room as well as the plants for the garden.

School went well this week - we got a lot done - I was very proud of the boys diligence and success.
For RA's Bug and I worked on a first aid kit. He is learning about what goes in a first aid kit and what each item is for. It was a pretty interesting experience. He kept shoving and I kept saying "No shoving" put it in neatly. He was not at all interested in the neatness factor, but he was very excited to be packing it by himself. He did a great job and I was really amazed at his knowledge of the various items. He even put in one of his own pocket knives. I am so excited about this RA's curriculum we are using the advancement (character studies) as well as the campcraft (what they go over during meetings). We've studied Loyalty, Friendship and courage so far, we are currently studying responsibility. Bug loves RA's and really enjoys going and learning all the camping and survivor skills with the other boys.

One of the boys "outside" projects was a fort. They built this down by the creek that runs down behind our house. It was quite a project! They got it all set up and standing between a couple of trees. It comes
complete with a back door and "gun holes". They had the best time building this.

Here you will see Bug's work from his drawing class at ECCHO. They were working on animals. Bug did a great job. He loves the class and is so excited to try out what he is learning. He loves art and really likes the idea of knowing he is learning to draw "for real". :) I believe he takes after his Granny Faye in the art dept. I certainly can't draw this well.

Here you see Bug's mouse.
And his turtle...it even had some fruit to eat!

And here is Bug's frog...I love it!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Well it's been a fun crazy week around here! :)

What's new, right?

We've had a lot going on. Daddy got a new tiller so we can plant a couple of garden's a year without having to rent on in town each time. He spent last Friday working out there - tilling, hauling rocks to the creek and placing the ties on the edges. Here he is being He-Man - end over end with t
he tie to get it over to the garden. We are hoping this helps the soil to not run off! He got the garden all tilled and ready. He and the boys hauled a couple of loads of rocks to the creek. It's amazing how much rock there is - just below the surface dirt! No wonder carrots won't grow here! ;)

Daddy and the boys headed into town to pick up some manure at Lowe's to till into the dirt. They got it for $1.29 a bag (FYI - Lowe's will price match - just give them the price and they will call the other store to verify - you don't even need the ad!) It saved $5+ on the bill! Cool!!!

On the way home from Lowe's
the boys stopped at a garage sale - anyone who knows us knows we can't pass up a garage sale! ;) And true to the Johnson tradition - they found some goodies! ;) Bug found a stained glass candle holder - he loves stained glass stuff - so although it's a poinsettia - we will be displaying it all year long. ;)
Daddy found a cool book about battles for 50 cents. What a find! It's from the 60's and in great shape! It has about a dozen stories of great battles - so of course my kids are crazy over it!

On the way home from Lowe's
the boys stopped at a garage sale - anyone who knows us knows we can't pass up a sale! ;) And true to the Johnson tradition - they found some goodies! ;) Bug found a stained glass candle holder - he loves stained glass stuff - so although it's a poinsettia - we will be displaying it all year long. ;)

Red's find was probably the craziest of all. He bought a Huge horn. Yes, a real Longhorn. He loves it! It's almost as tall as he is. Daddy said he drove home clutching it like he had captured the world! My Red - he is a nut! I have no idea what we are going to do with this thing, but I suppose I will find something. I am sure it's probably not going to be all that difficult...it being just ONE horn and all. LOL

On to other news...the boys and I have been going on "nature walks" a lot...mostly everyday. I am committed to exercising more and the boys just love to get out and see what we can find. So it's a great thing for all of us. We've been working on Bug's nature book for his RA's discoverer 1 patch and our nature walks have proven to be an invaluable tool. I sent all the pics to snapfish yesterday to be printed (got a great deal on 100 free pics - woo hoo!) so as soon as we get them in we will begin putting the book together to finish up his patch. Here you can see Ladybug playing in the creek. She loves to go walking with us as well. She's our protector and "dog exciter" - lol!

I suppose that's all for now...until next time...love each other and serve A Mighty God!


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Howdy from this here fencepost... **smile**

I am a few days behind on this post, but I am trying hard to stay on top of my blogging these days! :) *sigh* The crazy days of this home schooling mom! :)

This sweet miniature donkey is named Charlie. (More about him below).

Last weekend Hubby and I took a little "working" trip to Houston. We had a blast on our "time-away" even though it was a working trip. The boys went to Memaw and Papa's for the night and they had a blast!

We worked one of the Go Texan events in downtown Houston - Brookfield Properties caters a BBQ lunch for it's clients complete with Rodeo clowns, ropers, Longhorns, armadillos, donkeys a (girl) Buzzard named Oscar and awesome Texas BBQ! Hubby and I handed out plates and collected money from the people for the Houston Livestock Show Scholarship fund! The collection was close to $2000 this year! Woo-Hoo! At the event a local farm brings out a couple of longhorns for people to take pics with as well as 2 miniature donkeys. Charlie (pictured above) and Hee-Haw are the donkeys. They were so precious!

Here is Hee-Haw (so named because he gets REALLY loud with his "hee-haws" when he is hungry). They also brought out armadillos for Armadillo Races. Funny! I got to pet one. They do not have a hard shell like I expected. It feels more lik
e fish scales. The man I spoke with told me that the species of Armadillo that has a really hard shell (and rolls into a ball) is actually found in South Africa. Interesting! The farm that brought them out actually "rehabilitates" them. If they are hurt or injured they nurse them back to health and then let them back into the wild. Cool!

Another interesting animal (I wished I had got a picture, but I didn't have my camera out there when she was out. :( Boo!) was a 42 year old black-headed buzzard named Oscar. The story is "she" was thought to be a "he" when she first came to live at the farm. Then after about 20 years Oscar laid an egg - so they decided she was actually a gal! Funny! She was so cool looking - but don't get to close - apparently she is VERY mean and only her owner can get close to her. Did you know that Buzzards are actually an endangered species? And did you know that Buzzard and Vulture means the same thing? Buzzard is more of a "slang" or common term - I never knew this! Learn something everyday!

This is a picture of the fountain downtown Houston. It was really big and very pretty. I couldn't help but wonder...when the freezing temps blew through Houston a few weeks back did this freeze into a huge fountain of frozen beauty?

The night we stayed Hubby and I went out walking and found the most precious "diner" - it's called District 7 grill and if you go to Houston you have to try it out! It's got that classy
diner look from the outside - complete with chrome exterior and all! But the food is not the typical greasy spoon diner fare - sooooo yummy! And reasonably priced as well! I got a Parmesan chicken sandwich and it was absolutely delightful! I don't know what kind of rolls they use, but oh man was it good! They also have their own "spread" and it was super duper yum-o! Hubby got an Angus Moof Burger (Moof is short for Muffalata) and he raved about it! I kept waiting for Triple D and Guy Fieri to walk through the door! So yummy!

This is a picture of the church in the courtyard where we set up the event. It was so cool! The original was built in 1875 - can -you imagine! It was reconstructed in 1936 - the stained glass windows were absolutely beautiful!

Below you can see the corner stone!

It was just so pretty! I love old churches!

As I mentioned the boys stayed with Memaw and Papa while we were up there. They had a blast talking Memaw into all sorts of things like root beer, pancakes and jell-o! LOL

Bug had the best time working in the yard with Memaw and Papa - raking leaves, planting petunias and mulching leaves. After Papa got off work the next afternoon they worked on Papa's tiller and tried to get it running. I am sure to find Bug taking apart the lawn mower any day now. LOL They had the best time! While Red didn't like the yard work so much he enjoyed watching movies with Papa and playing Hide and Go Seek in the yard.

We had to rush back after one night because Bug had a race schedule with his RA's group. Bright and early Sat. morning Daddy and Bug headed to the Regional derby races for the Royal Ambassadors. He had a blast. His car didn't win any big awards, but he did take 2nd place in one of his races. He had a great time and enjoyed spending some quality time with Daddy.

Here is Bug's first derby car. He and Daddy shaped it and Bug colored it on his own!
He was very excited to take part in this event.
Bug is really excited to be a part of RA's at CCEC. He looks forward to the meetings each week and enjoys working on the character study here at home. He has earned 3 of his Lad bars so far - Loyalty, Friendship and Courage. We just started working on Responsibility. After that he has one more and he will be complete for Lad 1. It is a great curriculum and I really enjoy working on it with him. He has so far earned one service star for each lad bar. I am very excited for him! Red goes to the meetings with Bug (and I) but he is not quite ready to be a "part" of the group just yet. He is still a little young so I am not pushing him - I am amazed at what all he has learned already just by being in the same room.

Well that's the update for now...thanks for popping a squat with me for a nice chat! Enjoy your sweet tea and love your neighbor!

Till next time.... Wendy