Thursday, August 04, 2011

Can you believe this heat? Oh my goodness, I keep thinking if I walk out into my front yard I will see the equator singed into the ground! Oh my goodness!

Well to be the month of 100+ degree temps that we've been having the boys and I decided to make our own water sprinkler. I saw a post from someone on facebook one afternoon and thought – oh we can do that. I have to say though that it's important to have a good amount of duck tape. One little piece just won't hold that long! LOL I only had one little piece left on the roll so we did our best, but when Bug tried to pick it up the water pressure overtook it and “Ka-Plooee” it was over. But I got a new roll so I plan to reattach the bottle to the hose and try again. LOL – It really did make a good sprinkler!

Last week the boys went to SonSurf Beach Bash and I had a few hours each evening to do a little cemetery hunting. Well the first night I went up to Graves Cemetery in Rockett. What a sad little place this is.

You can see the beggar's lice that covered my shoe - oh what a mess!

Supposedly it's cared for, but the care is obviously not real well. Those storms last February knocked down several large trees and they are still laying precariously around the cemetery. One very large tree knocked down the Texas Historical Marker sign – right off it's post. It's really an odd place when you visit – no rhyme or reason to the layout...a few family plots, then one lone grave way off to the side. Strange to say the least.

Another evening I went up to Bell's Chapel Cemetery in Pecan Hill. This is quite a beautiful cemetery. And I was surprised but even with all the traffic on the road it's very peaceful. I enjoyed walking this one and took lots of pics for find-a-grave. Even though the heat was stifling I really liked the exercise.

Across from the main cemetery entrance I found quite a sight. Certainly brought a smile

to my face. Near the road is a sign that says Without prayer our nation will fail, then in front of the house is a flag pole with – get this – an American flag, a Texas flag and A COME AND TAKE IT FLAG! Is that not a hoot! Oh my I had a good laugh over that one. Those are my kinda people! This picture really doesn't do it justice, but I didn't have my long lens with me. You can see the red white and blue sign at the road – that's the prayer sign. Then on the flag pole the bottom, white flag – that is the come and take it flag. Priceless...

Last weekend was a busy weekend for us. Hubby and I went to the THSC conference in The Woodlands. We took to the boys to Cut-N-Shoot to camp with Memaw and Papa for the days we were at the conference. Then Hubby and I met up with them to spend one more night camping. It was a fun, busy time and we had a blast – both at the conference and camping! The conference was a delight I have to was so good to meet up with like minded people and be rejuvenated and reminded about why we do what we do! Hubby and I attended several really good workshops.

We also loved going to the book fair. It was a little overwhelming at first, but we really enjoyed seeing all the great stuff that is out there and having a chance to browse and pursue certain items more closely! While in the book fair we actually found a new chore system that I believe is just really going to help our family. I like the set up and the fact that the boys are “earning” but it's not based on monetary gain necessarily. I also really like the way the kids are held more responsible for their work and that they are in charge of completing, settling up and refilling their chart – score one for me! I also really like the accountability of it...we certainly need that!

Another purchase was the pathway readers and workbooks for Red – of course he won't be using them just yet – but when we get there I will be ready! Woo-Hoo! They were so inexpensive and I was very excited to see the prices so low, plus I saved 15% by purchasing there. That was pretty awesome. For anyone who knows me and knows how frugal I am – I was overjoyed! Another thing I was looking for was a phonics program for Red...I haven't really found anything that I think will work well for him yet.

He is a very auditory learner and thus far I haven't found our niche yet. But I did get some good information at the Little Giant Steps booth – we listened to a mini-presentation about auditory processing and learned that if you cannot process info at a level 6 (which means you can not remember 6 things) then you will not be able to learn phonics. Well Red tested at a level 5 which is perfectly normal since he is 5...but it also tells me that I need to back off and not pressure him. I plan to get a digit span deck (which works on auditory processing) to work with both boys. The other cool thing is that while in the booth we signed up and Hubby won a $25 gift certificate! Well score on that one! Woo-Hoo! I really enjoyed looking over their products and was very impressed with the rapid recall math system as well as some of their cd's. I plan to put that $25 to good use! LOL Another perk of being in Houston (or near it) was the Homeschool House book store - they were literally 5 minutes from the conference and having a 50% off all used curriculum sale! Woo-Hoo! Hubby and I went over the Friday afternoon and I was excited to find several things that I could use - I was super excited! I was so excited in fact that we ran by again on Saturday before we left town. I am a planner and I am also pretty static in my resources so I actually have a box of curriculum K-6th that I started last year. As I come across books that I use for dirt cheap I buy them, trade them, etc and put them in my box. That way I figure even if I change up my sources I haven't invested a lot. Plus anything I decide not to use I can either list on paper back swap or sell. I have an ongoing list of things that I have in the box for each grade level and I was very excited to fill in a few holes for $1-$3 each! Can't beat that!

Here is a funny about our trip. Thursday night after we took the boys to the campground, checked in at registration, attended a workshop by Sally Clarkson (so awesome!!!) we left the conference center starving! So we headed to our hotel to check in and find a Pizza Hut! Since finding out Red is allergic to cow's milk, pizza has gone by the wayside in our house...and sometimes you know how you just get that crazy craving for a good pizza...well Hubby and I had that very feeling going on! LOL It didn't take us long to get the pizza picked up and back to our hotel. (And up three flights of stairs) Where we could properly wash our hands and chow down! Yum!!! I think the even cooler part of the pizza was we packed the leftovers in zip bags and in the cooler and had cold pizza for lunch the next day! Oh Yeah! It was funny, as we sat chatting about what we had heard/seen/done that morning (while eating our cold pizza) we laughed and said hmmm...feels like we're in college again. LOL

Well while we were enjoying some adult time at the conference, the boys were having a ball at the campground with Memaw and Papa. Wearing them out that's for sure. They went swimming (every time Bug could drag someone to the pool) and fishing – a lot! LOL – I was very grateful for the slight decrease in temps last weekend. That made it possible for the kids to be outside and not stuck in the trailer. The pond was catch and release and the boys had a ball fishing with Papa. And it's a good thing Memaw likes to swim because Bug certainly kept her exercising in the pool! LOL When we got there Saturday afternoon the boys were more than ready to drag their Daddy to the pool and off to fish. It was a fun evening. Sunday morning we visited the Trail of Life Cowboy Church there in Conroe and came back to the campground for sandwiches and fishing and swimming before we headed home. Lots of memories made...

Okay so is anyone else ready to move to Alaska? I am so tired of the heat I just can't hardly stand it. We are going on something like 35 days straight of 100+ temps. It's the 4th day of August and so far it has been 114, 115, and yesterday was 117. Oh's already 113 out there today. Man oh man am I ready for Jack Frost to appear. We have been letting the dogs come in because it's just so blazin' hot out there. Even with the kiddie pool and the shade trees they are panting like crazy. Lady is so good...she already knows the routine (from winter) – she parks herself in the kitchen (in front of the box fan) and snoozes the afternoon away. The hounds are not so likely to park it in one spot. Sadie does a better job than “Chaos” as Daddy has taken to calling Scamp. He is like a tornado so the name fits him well. LOL They tend to wander around and try to nose into the rooms I do not want them in. Scamp likes the bathroom and I often find him lounging by the tub. (Or with his feet on the wall - crazy dog!)

The perk of letting them in I suppose is that it makes me sweep and mop the floors everyday. LOL – all I can say is you just have to get over it – I do not (on a regular basis) find the time to sweep and mop every day. I guess I did when the kids were babies, but it's been a long time since I had a little one crawling around on the floor. But with the hounds coming in (ugh) I find the need to sweep up and mop away the dog smell each evening. I am not a dog inside the house kind of person and Hubby isn't either, so this has taken some change on our part.

But we understand that it's just too hot out there and the poor dogs shouldn't have to suffer through it. We certainly aren't. The boys and I stay holed up in the house with the A/C and the fans going trying to keep cool. We have been venturing out to play in the yard after 7pm...and it's amazing that it's still 105 or more at that time of day...but the darkening sky seems to make it more bearable. We even went to McDonald's one afternoon just to have some run around time.

I delivered Meals on Wheels Wednesday and boy oh boy did I notice that people have been stuck inside and not out and about to see others. Usually the boys deliver with me, but it was so hot I really didn't want to drag them in and out of the car over and over so they stayed home with Dad. Everyone wanted to chat – which I normally do not mind at all...except that it was about 108 and I was sweating like I don't know what. I was drenched by the time I was finished. It was also the day that an elderly man (at the apartment complex on my route) was having car trouble – when I asked him if I could help, he asked if I could give his battery a jump with my car. I was worried about him being out in the heat – I had been there about 10 minutes already and he'd been at his car the whole time. I encouraged him to go inside for a bit, but he said he was alright he just needed to get his car going. So I proceeded to move my car next to his...which meant moving the dumpster so I wouldn't hit it. :/ Then after I had pulled up next to his car I had to crawl out the back passenger side because I was blocked in. ha! So I get out and he looks at me and says “Uh, Ma'am where is your battery?” At this point I am completely dumbfounded...uh under the hood where any normal battery would be right? Um No, my car has the battery under the back seat – what??? LOL So after looking in the manual for where the battery is and how to get to it we discovered it was under the backseat along with markers, various tiny toy pieces, popcorn, cheerios and many other unidentifiable objects. Yeah! How embarrassing! I apologized profusely for the state of my under-seat to which the gentleman laughed and said - “Well Ma'am looks like you have kids”. Whew...thank goodness for that. Now don't get me wrong, I am not a “cleanie” by any means, but I have to say that in the 3+ years I have owned the car I have never vacuumed deeper than what I could reach through the seat belt hole. (Which usually holds a wealth of treasures.) LOL But anyway after we found the battery and figured out how to get to it we figured out that I would have to back into the tiny space for the cables to reach. Fun – I do not profess to be a great backer-upper, but I got the job done without running over the man, his car or the dumpster...yeah me! So after we got his car going, he was so sweet to tell me he would get my seat all back together for declined saying – it gives me the go ahead to vacuum under there. He chuckled and thanked me again. I encouraged him again to get out of the heat. Boy was it hot and we'd been standing out there for 20+ minutes already. So it was an eventful and very hot day in the world of meal delivery.

Let's see what else is new around here. Oh I know, I found a dehydrator in the Aldi's ad for $19.99 – so Hubby picked one up for us to try our hand at drying foods. I was quite excited. I love dried cranberries and cherries and they are so darn expensive. I also want to try and make fruit leather and jerky and granola. Oh the plans are big already! LOL – I started out my first batch right away – I put in some cherries and a banana.

Well I don't have a cherry pitter and I couldn't find one at Wal-Mart the other day so I thought well I will tough it out and just do them by hand until I find one. Well this is what happens. Purple fingers...wonder how long this will last? LOL – oh well. Cherry pitter is on the list! LOL My Cherries turned out great. I think I may have over dried them a bit because some of the edges are a little crispy, but they have a great flavor and are nice and chewy. I used some Northwestern Cherries that I got on sale with an ad match!

I also did one banana – just to see how it would go...not so great with the banana – it didn't turn chip like it's really chewy instead. What's funny is it has a really concentrated banana taste (like baby food bananas). I am not giving up though! LOL

If you are into geocaching ( you will have to check out our newest hide in Midlothian – it's at the city cemetery – the name is “You won't find the hare here”. It's just a log, but the container is just precious and it's a fun hide. Don't forget to log the Woodman of the World markers and the home made headstones while you are here.

Yesterday we decided to give the hounds a bath. They were not real excited let me tell ya! I tried to dry them as much as possible before letting them out of the bathtub, but apparently that didn't satisfy either of them. Since they were not allowed out of the house (to roll in the dirt) they decided to roll on the hardwood floor (no way was I letting them near the rug). It appears that bathing them released twice the amount of hair as usual – yuck. It was a good thing that we had waited until later to bathe them, as soon as they dried - I sent them out. The sweeping and mopping began!

Sadie looked as if we were torturing her! LOL Poor baby!

She went down the hall shaking her tail at us...I think she was a little perturbed! ;)

Scamp was very offended...he looked at us as if to say "How could you take away my hound dog stink? I worked hard on that!" Poor guy!

My school planning is going well. I am sorta old fashioned and like to hand write my plans (I know I know they are in the TE's, but it makes my mind work better). I have most all of the subjects lined out and now I am working on setting up my workbox system. I haven't found my perfect containers just yet. Of course the state of the school room is terrible...looks like I let tornado scamp in there. LOL – I keep telling myself one thing at a time. I need to get my workbox cards and schedule sheets laminated. I am planning to use the schedule book – I found this method on a blog and I really liked it – it seems like a lot less set up time each day on my part which I think will help me stay on track and use the system more. I like the thought of the boys working more independently through their day. I guess we will see how it all goes.

Well I guess I better get this uploaded and on with my duties for the day...

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