Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh Where, Oh Where, Has His Enthusiasm Gone...

Pin It Now! Oh where, oh where, can it be?

For the most part school's back in session for us ragamuffins, well, just 3 subjects if you count Bible, and glum's the word.

My sweet, smarter than he lets on student/child, who shall not remain nameless, LINCOLN, read and workbooked himself silly this summer to earn money. Now that money isn't involved, well, let's just say motivation and desire have suddenly disappeared. But, that surely hasn't taken this mama by surprise, cuz, I do know my children pretty well, I think. It just makes my job a tad bit more challenging. Trying to teach a slumpy-shouldered, frown face can kind of get to me at times. Oh boy, and this is just the beginning.

I am happy to report, though, that he diligently earned a little over 20 bucks this summer, and that's a lot considering he only got $.50 for novels (like The Magic Tree House series and such)and $.10 per workbook page. The child who squirmed and fussed over having to read a level 2 book out loud to me every day during the school year was begging me for more Jack and Annie books and Beyond the Code workbooks. And he worked with a smile of all things.

I will continue to do fun stuff and have fun incentives for work during the summer, but it's up to each child to keep a good attitude during the school year or face consequences. It is my desire to see that my kids can work hard and cheerfully as if they were working for the Lord and not men even when the work isn't necessarily fun. And men, here can be appropriately interpreted as mom. :) Hopefully, they will see, too, that work is a privilege and happy are they who have work to do.

I mentioned above that we've only started a few subjects to kind of get the ball rolling and to ease back into school instead of BAM, yesterday was summer and BAM, today is a full, 9 subject load day. I even purposefully started off with Science, which is a favorite subject around here, but Lincoln told me today, "I used to like science, but now I hate it." Hmm, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out--last year he only had to listen to me read the lessons and participate in oral retelling and projects, which he loves. This year I am teaching him to take notes, simple ones of course, but nonetheless, its WORK that takes time. So, I am guessing that because he has to take notes after every lesson, he just can't possibly like it any more.

I feel a Charlie Brown comin' on--------------------- GOOD GRIEF!!!

Tomorrow's gonna be a better day--we'll have a set of wheels to go to the library, run to the store (shhh, don't tell anyone it's to Wal-Greens so I can buy more coconut M&Ms), and I have promised to let the kids spend their money on 59 cent icies at Quick Trip. It gets HOT as, um, fire here runnin' errands in 115 degree heat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Black-Eyed Susie

Pin It Now! My poor baby girl ran into a door knob the other day and hit her eye. I was not an eye-witness, but her "bubbies" acted out an award-winning reenactment while I held my baby and iced her boo-boo.
I just hate it when my kids get hurt!!!! It was so sweet holding her in my arms, though, since she doesn't let me quite as often as she used to. She's an "I can do it MYSELF" kind of girl. Mullin and Lincoln relished the opportunity to wait on her hand and foot and grant her every wish. They comforted her with her favorite blanket and her beloved "Lovey". By the end of it all, Shiloh was contentedly buried under a plush pile of Care Bears. How appropriate. :)
Eye turning all sorts of colors, but she feels great and is "berry" much back to normal.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blog Binge

Pin It Now! This is the sort of page that happens when mama has been completely unmotivated to post and entirely void of anything remotely creative or interesting. So here's to a hodge podge of summer randomness...

I got smart and had the kids get a head start on a science project--one that will be ongoing throughout the year. They proudly present: Ocean Boxes. They had fun with their first spray painting experience, and to my utter dismay, I found blue snot up my nose later that evening. Guess next time I need to wear protective gear? The thought of blue paint contaminating my precious lungs is almost too much to bear.

Shiloh made a balloon butterfly a couple of weeks ago. Cute, huh?

Giddy children 30 minutes before bed. Yes, this is what happens when monsoon decides to show up right outside our desert window and grace us with gusts of wind, torrents of rain, loud claps of thunder, and zig-zaggy lightning strikes. I will always remember tumbling into a fit of laughter with my kids this night over an ice-cream truck melodically and casually passing by our window in the midst of the stormy chaos. Pulling up chairs to the window and making a fort was fun, too. :)

Lincoln and Mullin making "elf houses" in our backyard inspired by the story we are currently reading together: Afternoon of the Elves. Super great book!! I can't wait until the end is revealed and the kids realize...well I guess I shouldn't tell in case I spoil it for someone who hasn't read it yet.

Setting up a drink/snack stand at our yard sale last Saturday. Some twerp took one of our signs, so we didn't start getting customers until about 10:00. (Had to make new sign) The kids were so happy to finally make a few bucks. And so was I!!!
Well, enough of our boring, common, daily goings on.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Our Pumpkin Cantaloupe

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I just thought this was so weird--it's shaped exactly like a pumpkin. :)

This is the first summer for us to grow cantaloupe. It's cute and very sweet, especially made for small gardens. Our first few were perfectly round, but I have found a couple just like this. Mullin and I are the only ones who will actually eat it, but I sneaked some in our smoothies today and no one noticed.

I am beginning to get fruit split and have heard it can be from too much water?? But if I don't water everyday out here in desert land, the leaves start to wilt. I love gardening and it can be very rewarding, but it can also be so dern frustrating!!!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

"Beat It" on the Front Lawn

Pin It Now! I know, I know, everybody's sick of hearing about Michael Jackson already, but I just couldn't let all this Michael mania pass without sharing one of my very own fond memories of the smooth rockin', moon walkin' king of pop.

It had to be around the summer of '83 or something like that when my aunt (who is just 3 years older than me) and I decided to blast the neighborhood bullies away with our hip shakin', finger pointin' version of Michael Jackson's number one hit, "Beat It". Yep, we stood on my front lawn for all to see, and I honestly can't remember if we were singing along to a boom box of some sort or if it was just our voices. And I don't remember if our smooth moves worked either. If the bullies weren't blasted away, though, I am almost positive it would have sent them into a fit of gut-wrenching laughter. I remember listening to M. J. songs, too, on camping trips with my aunt. Oh, those were the days...

I admit I have been watching a few of the Michael Jackson specials lately. Mark's downloaded a bunch of his songs, and I loved watching my mom rewind him doing the moonwalk over and over again the other day. Regardless of the strangeness surrounding his life, he was extremely gifted and uniquely talented.

You know, I'm sittin' here right now thinkin', we've got a couple of bullies on our street. Hmmm, ya think my kids would mind if I put on my black jeans and a red leather jacket and kind of relived my 1983 memory? Yeah, I could do just that--set my Zune on a rock, turn up the volume and have at it. I sure would like to point my finger and shake my hips at a few kids blaring, "Just beat it, beat it, beat it...

Okay, maybe not.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Princess Overload

Pin It Now! What sort of girly momma doesn't like to dress up her daughter and pamper her every now and then? I mean, I just treated my very own daughter to a Diamond Castle Barbie birthday and adorned her pretty little head with a fabulous, heart-studded tiara. But, there's a limit, a line that shouldn't be crossed, because when it is... it can become UGLY!! 100% pampered "princess" = 100% spoiled BRAT.

I read a great post the other day on Vicky Courtney's blog about how to "princess proof" your daughter. Plus, there is a really neat picture of a princess room-- I have to admit, I was like, "Wow!" Seriously though, I hope, as a mom of a beautiful daughter, that I will spend more time helping her bring out her inner beauty and building character than puffing up her flesh with all that princess fluff. So if you are a mommy of a sweet, precious little girl or girls, Vicky's post is a must read!!!!

The Disney channel recently premiered one of their original movies, "Princess Protection Program" starring Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, and I actually thought the movie had a really great message. Carter (Selena) learns from Rosie (Demi) that there is a whole lot more to being a princess than gowns and crowns. Being the most popular and the prettiest aren't the most important things in life. It's about servanthood and good character. It's about true friendship. All in all a cute movie, for little girls, that is. Though, thinking back on it, my boys sat on the couch and watched the whole thing. They probably just thought Selena and Demi were cute. Yeah, that's it.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Pardon me while I brag...

Pin It Now! I promise to try and be humble about it, though. :)

A few months ago I nervously dropped off my 9 year old at school for the very first time so he could participate in the Stanford Achievement tests. I wasn't nervous because I was dropping him off at school, though. Mullin had never taken tests like this before, and I knew that his scores would, in some sort of way, reflect me as his teacher. (Yikes!)

Nobody was forcing me to have him tested, but I just felt it was something we both needed. Math has been a bit of a struggle, and I felt writing skills needed some improvement. I could tell Mullin was feeling like he wasn't any good at school, therefore hating it, therefore not putting forth his best efforts etc. There were some tough days last year. I wanted to know where we stood academically before moving on or shifting direction. I have heard of some home school families who are against government testing, but that little mother's instinct voice thingy deep down inside me was telling me to do it. And boy am I GLAD I did.

A few weeks ago the principal of Calvary Chapel school handed me the envelope at church. I debated whether or not to even open it there, but we just couldn't resist. I opened it and was first to see the results. Okay so, my jaw dropped and my eyes got all big!! A huge smile erupted off my face and I was like, "Oh my gosh Mullin, oh my gosh, you did awesome!!!" Yeah, so here's where that braggin' thing comes in...

His lowest grade equivalent was a 5.7--everything else was much higher, and then there were these letters in all caps, PHS. I had absolutely no idea what they meant. I had to look on the back for the abbreviation translation--Post High School. You're kidding me!!! I am surprised Daddy, Mullin and I didn't jump up and start whoopin' and hollerin' like good southern folk should. Mullin's ear to ear smile was all I needed to see to know we had made a good decision!! We both got the encouragement we needed to move on, and I think we are both a little more excited about the upcoming school year!! Now Lincoln wants to go to school to be tested, too. :) Excitement over tests, now that's what I like to hear!!!!!

A very wise woman (my mom) says that Mullin's teacher needs a pat on the back. That is a good idea. I think she would like some chocolate, a GTF, and a Target gift card, too. Aren't those the kinds of gifts teachers get these days??

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Intercontinental Montelucia Resort and Spa

Pin It Now! My sister's husband treated us four girls to a wonderful weekend retreat at a new resort in Paradise Valley. Same resort in which our president stayed when he was here.

My sister, Brooke, sister-in-law, Lindsey, and me

This was my very first time to ever have a pedicure. It isn't like a normal one, though, according to my sisters and mom. For this pedicure I was able to sit in a massage chair for about 45 minutes while sipping cool, hibiscus tea. I enjoyed every minute of it!!!!

Beautiful landscaping throughout...

Fountain to wash your cares away before entering Joya Spa

Entrance to Joya Spa

I believe this is Camel Back Mountain

In front of Brooke and Lindsey's room. My mom and I did have the one next to them at first but had to be moved due to air conditioning not working. Bummer--we had already unpacked almost all of our stuff.
We all had a great time and will always remember the "laundry bag" incident!!! :)


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