Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A couple of pictures

Here are a few pictures from the last two days.  

The first is the new computer, with my old monitor sitting in front to show the difference in size.  This computer is so awesome.  Soooo much faster than my seven year old Gateway.  I'm having fun trying out all the Mac features, and loving them compared to the PC ones.

And here is a cute picture of Zeke I doctored on iPhoto.  Took out the red spots on his face and faded the color.  I'm loving the Fade Color option.  So cute.  

Anyway.  Not much else to say.  Just that I have stuff I need to do around here that I'm not doing.  I guess I should get on that.  Talk to you later.

Monday, December 22, 2008

To The Singer Family

If only in my dreams....

Decisions and Changes

I didn't originally think that having another baby was going to affect my decision to homeschool. But I guess, in some way, it has.

I helped at Sierra's classroom Christmas party last Friday. After I left, I started thinking about the school she attends. And how it reminds me of what school was like when I was little. Sure, some of the kids are a little too grown up for their ages (that's an unfortunate part of our society, I think). And yes, she comes home everyday with a little bit more attitude (Isn't that part of being seven, though?). But this school is pretty old fashioned in it's beliefs. It doesn't teach any of the "alternative lifestyle" curriculum that is being pushed on schools by the State of California. The school is small enough that the principal and the teachers know all of the students. The focus on academics is strong, but it's not all they think about. It's a great little school, in a great little community. If there is any public school I would want my kids to attend, this would be it. Also, when I was talking to Sierra's teacher about homeschooling, she was telling me how much they would all miss Sierra next year.

The main reason I thought about homeschooling was Tyner. With all the trouble he had at the start of the year, I didn't want him to attend public school, get in trouble all the time, and end up hating school for the rest of his life. But then I started thinking. If I don't give him a chance in school when he's actually ready to be there, how will I know if he will hate it or not? Yes, he got in trouble at the beginning of the year. But he also wasn't mature enough to be in a kindergarten setting (although he is now bored at preschool...go figure). So I feel like I need to give him a chance to go to school, to make friends, and to learn some structure and rule-following.

The reason I said that maybe the new baby was affecting my decision (besides temporarily stealing my brain cells) is because I didn't start thinking about these things until I found out I was pregnant. I started thinking logistics. Available space in our small house, noise levels and thin walls, how many hours are in a day, my patience and stress levels and capacities. All the things that make up our lives. And maybe the year we have a new baby is not the best year to start our homeschooling journey.

I'm not saying we will never homeschool. I still really want to. Who knows? Maybe Tyner will have a horrible kindergarten year, and I will be even more fired up to do it next year. :) If we ever leave this town and move home, I will definitely homeschool, because I know the culture there is a lot different than what it is here. And if they want to hold my child back because he can't read by the end of first grade, or because he hasn't hit some other state mandated milestone (forget that every kid is different...), I will be homeschooling. I just got a book called The Little Book of Big Reasons to Homeschool in the mail today. Maybe that will rekindle my desire to homeschool next year.

Oh, and another reason I can't homeschool next year? I just spent all my curriculum money on a new iMac. More on that later...

Anyway. Just thought I'd share what was on my mind. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

(Please Don't) Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

My lucky daughter. She got to play in the first real snow of the year, on her birthday.

We woke up yesterday morning to about four inches of snow. It was a culmination of two days worth of flurries and hard overnight snowfall.

I'm glad I've started parking the van in the garage. This would've been a pain to try and clean off the car with only five minutes before we have to leave for school.

Here is the beautiful view out our back window.

The cows are gone for the winter, which makes it even prettier outside. Don't be fooled by all this beauty, though. I'm stuck in the Valley. Forest Mountain (the only way into Yreka) is Chains Required for all vehicles. We don't have any chains in the van, so I couldn't go over this morning to do my grocery shopping. Shoot, even if we did have chains in the van, I wouldn't've gone. I'm not about to get out on the cold, wet ground to put them on. That's Jason's job! Luckily nothing on my list is urgent. Hopefully I can get out by Friday, because I don't want to spend a fortune at Ray's to get food to make stuff for potlucks.

This wooden shelf outside our back window is where our air conditioner sits in the summertime. Jason didn't want to bother with taking it down each year, so we decided to turn it into a bird feeder during the winter. It has been getting a lot of action, and I have the feeling we will be going through lots of birdseed this year. The birds are actually starting to fight over it. Maybe I need to put more seed out? Oh, and don't mind the stuffed duck watching the birds eat. I think he's just jealous of them.

Here are the kids, playing in the snow. They were so excited that yesterday was an early release day, and that the snow wasn't melted by the time we got home from the library. They bundled up as soon as we walked in the door, and headed outside. I'm so glad their snowsuits from last year still fit them. We will definitely have to buy new ones next year. Actually, Tyner has been outside twice today, and it's just now lunchtime.

Well, Zeke is in my lap, trying for all he's worth to hit the keyboard with a pencil eraser. I guess I should finish up on here before he accidentally stabs me in the eye with the pencil lead.

Hope you enjoyed our snow! And if you have snow of your own, be safe and don't drive like a moron!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday, Sierra!

Yesterday we had Sierra's birthday party. This was the first (and probably last) birthday party she has had that didn't have mostly family in attendance. She had three friends from school and five from church/bible study. I'm amazed (or maybe I'm not) by the differences in these two groups of friends. The girls from school were good, not outright disobedient or rude, but they were LOUD and a little crazy. The girls from church/bible study were a lot quieter and more calm. We had 20 minutes after we were done with everything for the girls to play. The school girls went into Sierra's room and were loud and crazy (they were under the covers of her bed, moved the actual mattress out about six inches, pulled her blinds all the way down), and the church friends sat at the kitchen table and colored and stamped pictures. I now know where the crazy/loud side of Sierra is coming from. It kind of makes me glad I'm homeschooling next year. Anyway. I digress. Back to the party.

Here is the cake I made for Sierra. The candy canes are really just there to cover up the crappy frosting job!Sierra showing me my due adoration when I brought her cake. Or...this might be an embarrased smile.This is what an Overwhelmed Party Girl looks like blowing out her candles. She told me it was "too wild" when I asked her what was wrong.My friend Kim was taking pictures, and she made Sierra smile so there would be at least one good picture of her.
I took pictures of Sierra with each gift, to use as Thank You cards, but I won't bother posting those here.
I didn't take anymore pictures of the party, because I'm a horrible mom (I also haven't posted any pictures of my poor middle child's birthday, because I'm an awful, horrible, no good, very bad mom). But I hope you enjoyed what I did take.

Candy Cane Envy

Tyner was eating a candy cane Sunday morning. Zeke, being the sugar-fiend that he is, wanted some. Tyner was happy to share with his brother. He was giving him licks, trying to get the candy cane out of Zeke's mouth before he could bite it. One time he didn't get it out fast enough and Zeke bit the top curved part off. Here is a picture of Tyner prying the candy cane out of Zeke's mouth.

Zeke looking at Tyner with envy, since he couldn't have anymore candy cane.

Smiling at me when he realized I was taking his picture.

As much as my kids drive me crazy sometimes, I love moments like these. When Tyner is being a good big brother (instead of tripping and tackling Zeke), and when Zeke just simply adores Tyner for being, well, Tyner.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Family Pictures

We went to a wedding today. Since we were all dressed up, we thought we would take our family picture. So, here it is:
Here are the three kiddos:
And here is one of Jay's grandparents:
So, if I have your address, you'll be getting that first picture on a "holiday" card in the next few weeks. "Holiday" just means I didn't order the cards in time for Christmas. I'm such a procrastinator...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Guess what I have?

And now I'm turning off my cell phone and taking a nap. Leave a comment if you want to react to this news!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My Non-Crafty Craft Project

Today at MOPS we got all the materials to make this cute nativity set. All I had to do was glue everything together. That's my kinda' craft project! Thanks, Glenda! Here is what it takes to make this:

-3 2-inch terra cotta pots
-3 1-inch wooden balls
-1 x 3-1/2-inch piece of light blue felt
-1 x 3-1/2-inch piece of brown felt
-grassy stuff to fill one of the pots
-yellow pipe cleaner, for crown (the original directions called for a plastic gold wedding band, like you would use in wedding decorations)

Fill one of the pots with the grass. Hot glue one of the balls on top. Glue "crown" on top of ball.

Turn other two pots over. Glue other two balls on underside of pots. Put a dab of glue on top of the balls and glue the felt pieces on. I put two little dabs of glue on the ends of the felt pieces and glued them to the sides of the pots so they would stay down.

My friend who gave us all this stuff said that she read someone had made these with bigger pots and styrofoam balls painted a tan color for their front yard.

So cute, and so easy!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What I'm Thankful For

Okay, I realize I'm about a week late in posting this, but I just thought I'd share all the things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for.....

...us. And everything we've been through. I'm thankful that we love each other more now than we did when we first met.
...her. This smart, beautiful, sweet girl. I'm so glad that God gave her to us, this girl of my heart.
...him. This loud, crazy, often obnoxious boy. I'm certainly learning a lot of lessons from him.
...him, too. My sweet surprise baby. He makes me smile and laugh all day long.
...a great view out my back window.

...wrestling matches. They are loud and sometimes painful. But they are SO MUCH FUN!

...cousins. And sisters too, for that matter. ...babies that like to share. ...caffiene.

...my dad and mom. And Jason's grandparents too (but I don't have a picture of them to share).

...yummy candles burning in my kitchen.

...having clothes to wear.
...a warm dinner in the crockpot.
But most of all, I'm thankful to God. For giving me this wonderful life that I take for granted. For forgiving me of all the dumb things that I say, do, and think. And for loving me and sticking around, even when I forget He's there.