Monday, August 31, 2009


‘Twas the night before the read-a-thon,

And all through the town,

The children were scrambling

To write their pledges down!

The parents had prepped;

They had printed out pledge sheets.

The I’s had been dotted,

They were crossing their T’s.

They emailed their family,

They called in their favors!

They twisted friends’ arms,

And harassed all the neighbors!

But when it’s all said and done,

The true test will be seen

When the library gets to

Behold all that green!

Please help us raise money

For our local library.

You can pledge us to read,

The options are varied!

Pledge Calysta per book,

Or Quin by the page.

You can set each a goal,

Or pledge a flat rate.

So, if you can sponsor us,

Please let us know!

We’re anxious to help

Our library grow!

Beginning tomorrow, September 1st, and ending on October 16th, our Spring Hill Area Parent Educators (SHAPE) group is raising money for homeschooling resources to be purchased for the Spring Hill Public Library. The children who wish (or whose parents insist) will be reading minutes/pages/books in the hopes of being pledged!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Please Do Not Feed The Wild Animals!

Our family's newest edition, Cocoa, has been having some trouble with food. She seems to have been fed table scraps prior to her home here, and it appears that she was permitted to take food from the hands of humans - even if it required jumping! We have been struggling to teach her that we do not do things like that around here, but we are really having trouble. So, today my husband decided to see what would happen if she was given the opportunity to eat her fill. Most trainers and books do not recommend "free feeding" a dog with food aggression (she does bite kids and dogs that come too close to any edible thing she wants), but we are at our wit's end, and we are worried that she is just hungrier than we are aware.

So, while i was at the store, Cocoa was given the opportunity to eat until she walked away. Yeah, that went about how i thought it would. She inhaled the first cup, slowed a bit to gag over the second cup, threw up after the third cup, then came back and consumed half of a fourth cup - at which point, my husband gave the remaining half-cup to Oliver. She is now a bloated, obviously sick dog without much energy. But what she isn't is hungry! Still, though, she feels compelled to beg at the right hand of anyone with food.....

Hubby wants to keep trying since she so clearly got enough to eat and didn't feel well for overeating. We'll see how that goes!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heard it Through the Grapevine!

This summer, the kids and I began our homeschooling lessons a little earlier than most (aren't I horrible?), and what better way to begin than with the Bible? And how better to begin our Bible class than with the Old Testament (a.k.a. The First Testament, around here)?

We began with the GrapeVine Studies program called Old Testament Basics - a Catechism ($19.95 for the student or teacher e-book, which is what we used). At first, I was uncertain - the title made me think of Catholicism, which is not our particular preference. However, when I sought answers to my question "what is 'catechism'?" I was pleasantly surprised to find that it simply means using questions to teach. Isn't that what I am doing anyway? Okay, sold!

The Teacher Edition begins with what the program is, why it was developed, and how the creators intended it to be used. The Student Edition is just that: the pages the students will use while working through the study (written question, then space for drawing and space for a written answer). There are 225 questions and answers, along with Bible verses and drawings for each one to concrete the discussion for the student (and teacher!). There are also review questions to help the parent/teacher further understand what the student remembers about what s/he learned.

I used to be a Children's Church teacher for a multi-level group in a small church, and I wish I had this study to use back then! I wasted precious time rifling through books, searching on the internet, and photocopying coloring pages. I have learned so much right along with my children using the GrapeVine Studies method, and it is so easy to use with multiple age groups. I am elated about this unit and cannot wait to begin a new one!

I would have to say that my favorite part of this Bible Study was watching my son, a.k.a. "I CAN'T!," get excited after a few lessons because he now knows that HE CAN!! It is also simple enough that the "I CAN'T!" in YOU will be confident in your ability to demonstrate the drawings for your kids. I mean, really, can you draw a purple triangle? Then you can draw God! Can you draw a stick figure person? Then you can teach your child the Old Testament using GrapeVine Studies' stick figure learning system! And you never know, you may learn a little bit of the Old Testament yourself!
Check out what other TOS Crewmembers have to say about GrapeVine Studies Bible Curriculum here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Me Monday!

We did NOT just get back from a fabulous vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama, so you are surely NOT going to be green when i tell you....

The kids did NOT fish so successfully that the adults got tired of taking fish off their lines.

The kids did NOT love kayaking down the open bay.

The Tiny Tot did NOT start the week in a life jacket, arm floaties, and a ring around her waist every time she got in the pool. Which is fine, especially since she was NOT swimming in just the ring by the end of the week!

We did NOT enjoy the beach as a family.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blogging Sabbatical!

I am in the midst of a lot of things right now, and my "Not Me Monday!" blog reminder has been popping up on my calendar all day. I keep hitting "snooze," thinking i'll get to it later. However, 2 new Chicken Pox, 1/2 a patio worth of placing pavers (which is fun despite the fact that i no longer have fingerprints), a puddle of water in the living room (boys are just not trustworthy alone downstairs with a water bottle available to them), a run to the bank and the post office, daily puppy walking duties, my oldest child's first excursion into the grocery store alone (since she is not contagious anymore!), a pan of homemade granola bars (though "bars" is a tad wishful), a puddle of another sort in the bedroom (remember laughing till you wet yourself?), 2 fresh loaves of whole wheat oatmeal bread, a couple of popsicles, a de-stickify-the-toddler bath, quite a few dishes, a few random loads of laundry, some vacation planning with my sister, and a couple of short conversations with little ones thrown in have made my day very busy.

So! I am taking a blog sabbatical! There will be no "Not Me Monday!" post today since i have no energy to put one together... and that actually makes me sad, but i HAVE to go to bed now that the bread is out of the oven!

Have a great week! I'll be back soon.....