Thursday, August 28, 2008
I don't think I've told you yet...
So, TJ started school last week. He is now officially a kindergartener. I haven't received all of the supplies yet, but for the most part, we are getting by just fine. AS a matter of fact, he knows most of the stuff I'm supposed to be teaching him in math and phonics already. I have been quickly going through two of those lessons a day to get to the harder stuff, just as a little review, you know.

He's also learned a lot of new and fun stuff, too. We've read three timeless fairy tales, "Cinderella", "The Frog Prince", and just today, "Jack and the Beanstalk". They are the old versions, complete with big, strange words, but even that's pretty cool. TJ asked me just yesterday what 'savory' means, and he now knows what an ogre is, and what it means to 'bulge'. He and Taryn both enjoyed making crowns and decorating them during the "Frog Prince" lesson, and when we act out a scene in "Jack and the Beanstalk" tomorrow, I'm pretty sure they'll love that, too.

In Science I think he's had the most fun. Already he's learned that he has five senses, and can name them all and what they do. He knows what the word "observation" means now, and "attribute" as well. We had a scavenger hunt on Tuesday, which he and Taryn loved, and then brought in the stuff they found and looked at it all through a magnifying glass. That was fun. Tomorrow we're going to play "I Spy" to use his sense of sight some more, and I'm sure he'll love that, too.

Also in Language Arts, I read them poetry and have them do stuff like act it out and the like. Today we did one about apples, and Taryn LOVED pretending she was eating a purple apple that was "jooo-ceee"! TJ's, of course, was a rotten one, and it was not very crunchy. The most fun they've had so far, though, is when we read a poem about a ship made of pillows, and then got to make our own pillow ship. The lesson said to pretend you are making a ship out of pillows. I said to myself, "Ummm, we're at home, why can't we just really make a pretend ship out of pillows?" And so we did, and it was great...well, till TJ hit Taryn b/c she wouldn't drive the ship for him to find the treasure...

Oh, and in history, TJ has learned there are seven continents. He's not 100% on what their names are and where they are, but he's getting there. Considering a week ago he didn't know ANY of this stuff, I'm beyond impressed!

What I love the most is that this stuff is sticking so well. If he were in school, I may not know what he was learning during the day, and thus, couldn't bring it up later to help practice and remember it. However, I know what he's doing, and it's almost like him having homework when I quiz him later at Mimi's to show her what he learned that day. Plus, I get to show off how much of a genius my little boy is, when he'll play along, that is! Also, Taryn is picking up on a lot of this stuff. As a matter of fact, since TJ knows all of the math stuff I'm supposed to be teaching him (colors, right, left, before, b/t, after, etc.), I kinda focus it more toward Taryn while we review it, and she's getting a lot of it. She really likes the stories, too. I think she gets more out of them than TJ...but girls are all about fairy tales, so maybe it will change when we get to better stories. Surely the next theme will be super heroes, right? I really can't wait till everything else comes, supply wise. Then we'll have books, math manipulatives, flash cards, etc. I had some little foam shapes I used in place of shape blocks today for math, and it was all I could do to get him to stop making patterns! I was just sad that I didn't have more, b/c I know he could have done awesome stuff with them! That kid can really pick up on some patterns, too!

I'm loving this program he's in, too. Like I said, I know it will be even cooler when everything finally gets here. Plus, pretty soon he'll start taking classes for an hour each day online, and there will be field trips and the like. He goes to Frankie's Fun Park in Sept. for his first field trip, to meet his homeroom teacher and others doing this in our area. I've already met one girl who's doing the same thing, her youngest of three in this in first grade. We've vowed to get together and offer each other support and human contact. It's easier said than done, though, with nine kids b/t the two of us (yes, that's right, I still only have three kids, leaving the other SIX to her!). I love that it's all set up for me, though, and I just have to teach it. I think that once I'm more comfortable with it, I'll start changing it up some, taking stuff out and adding stuff in. I've already cut a lot of stuff that I know TJ won't do and doesn't need, and changed some lessons around a bit to more fit his likes and interests (ie-real pillow ship). It helps some that I don't have all my stuff, so I don't feel any guilt about using my own ideas to teach the same skills...b/c I really don't have a choice at this point!

Don't get me wrong, there have been some challenging days already. Each day he's getting a little more used to the whole routine of going from the complete chaos of summer to a set routine of daily schooling. However, he's still not quite getting that it's pretty much everyday, and fights a bit. Today was one of those days, and we didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked, b/c honestly, we all feel sick, and I wasn't up to the fight! I know, though, that it's all going to get better and better and better. Just the other day Trey told me he thinks TJ's been a lot cooler lately, and I agree. He's definitely calmed down a bit. Unfortunately, he and Taryn still fight like siblings are known to do, and that sucks!

Anyway, this has gone long, and I have to go to bed. I'll talk to you later. Have a great day!
posted by Christi at 10:57 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Thursday, August 21, 2008
You should totally check this out...
I got an email today, talking about what an honorable, yet private, man McCain is. That led me to, to check and see the truthfulness of the email, which has yet been undecided. As I was searching around, I found one about his wife, Cindy McCain, that had glowing things to say about her, and was all true. It mentioned that they had adopted a little girl from Bangladesh, something I was unaware of, b/c she was desperately in need of a family. I was curious, and looked for a picture of his family, as he has seven children. However, as of yet, I have not found one with them all, or one from recent times.

Anyway, I stumbled upon his daughter's, Meghan, blog, where she blogs about the campaign trail. She puts a lot of pics up, too. I liked it a lot. I think it shows a side of McCain most people don't see. If you have a chance, you should check it out:

Have a great day!
posted by Christi at 11:57 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The fun's over...
I don't think I mentioned this yet, but for my birthday, the kids went to Nana's house. It was niiiiiccccccceeeeeee. I got some much-needed rest, which will come in handy this week coming.

Saturday Trey and I took the motorcycle and sped around town. Richard, Julia's hubby, came with us. We ate, bowled, ate some more, shopped. It was good. Trey tried to teach me how to ride the bike, and apparently, I can't keep the damn thing up! That's not good! I really want to have my own motorcycle one day!

Sunday, after sleeping for what felt like FOREVER, we went out to eat w/my mom and Bo at Outback. On the way home, Trey told me I looked pretty. I was checking out which shirt I had on, when he said, "No, it's more your face than anything." He said I had a different glow about me. I told him it was most likely b/c I actually got some rest, and hadn't had to yell at anyone or tell anyone what to do all day! I did feel better. I didn't have to drink coffee to wake up that day, I was in a great mood...kinda made me wonder if this kid thing was the right way to go...

Yeah, yeah, I know that one day it will pay off, and I'll be so glad I had kids. I mean, I already am, but man! They came back yesterday afternoon, and w/in two hours, my nerves were already shot again.

However, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. TJ started his new online school today, and I think that once we get in a routine, things will get a LOT easier. I'll go on more about the school once we've got everything and I'm sure what's going on exactly. It's all very exciting stuff, and I do want to tell everyone I know. I have good feelings about this.

Well, Trey's calling me to come watch a movie with him now. I'll talk to you later. Have a great day!
posted by Christi at 9:33 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Monday, August 11, 2008
By request...
I am a bitch.

Today Trey's work had a party at the beach. I was awakened to, "Do you want to go to the beach w/my work?" and hastened into the shower to quickly shave my legs (and of course, missed 90% of the hair anyway!). We immediately hopped in the car and set off for a full, fun day at the beach.

We played for an hour or two when we first got there, and we all started to feel a little hungry. There was quite a spread of good eatin up at the picnic area that the restaurant had supplied. We stuffed our faces to the max, and started to head back out to the beach.

As I was walking in the general direction of the stairs to get there, I bumped into a fellow coworker of Trey's who had some cool tattoo's. He started telling me about a plan to get a smiley face with "Have a nice day" that he wanted to get tattooed on his butt. That way, when he gets up after his random trysts with hoo-ahs, they get to see that on his way out. He said his girlfriend vetoed the idea (good), and we started talking about his random girl-visits and if his g/f would go for that (ummm, no). I told him of my old idea to get Cole's head tattooed w/666 when he was born, and not tell him. That way, one day when he was older, he could cut his hair and see it and think he was the devil's son...That would be SO GREAT! Anyway, I digress...

So he goes to walk away, and I notice a tattoo that is a bunch of small words on his inner upper arm. I go to look at/read it, and he starts to tell me what it says (b/c, apparently, it's easier than standing there holding out your arm while people take time to read it). I ask, "Is that, like, old English or something?" He tells me no. "Really" I continue, "Then why is appeal spelled wrong (apeal)?" "No, it's got an 'a'," he responds. "I'm aware of that, but it should have two p's" "Really? I didn't know that," he quips.

I look again, and notice that the word 'assailant' is also misspelled. I again ask if he copied this quote from somewhere, perhaps a Bible, or some old school writing. "No, I made it up myself," he tells me. I, again, point out the word, and he reassures me that it's correct. "No, no, Dear. Assailant has an 'a' and not an 'e' before the 'nt'," I retort. "Ohhhhhhh...." His voice seems to be a little on the embarrassed/shot down side. I'm starting to feel like a bitch for even mentioning it. I mean, the poor guy has this tattooed on his arm. It's not like he can just take an eraser or white out and fix it. I tell him he might want to hit up his tattoo artist for a little touch-up.

I really do want to read the tattoo, so I hold his arm out so I can see it. He lets me know that I'm squeezing his wrist so hard it hurts. Yeah, I'm so used to holding the kids still while they wiggle and squirm that I've adopted a kung-fu grip at all times. Oops! I let off a little, and realize that it only gets worse, and for sure I will never see this tattoo through to the end. I ask him, "Hey, spell 'himself'." He does, correctly. I ask once more, "Are you SURE this isn't in some kind of fancy old language kind of thing?" Nope. Dismayed, I say, "Here, look at this: 'himeself'." He tells me he's never even noticed it before. It's glaring at me like it's written in all caps on a NY City billboard. How could he miss that? The tattoo was not new. I say, "Ummm, have you ever actually read this tattoo yourself?" He has, or so he says.

I tell him, first, that I'm a bitch, and I really shouldn't have even mentioned this. The damage has been done, though. He lets me know that no one has ever pointed any of this out before. You know why? Everyone else is nice. They also realize that there's not a whole lot he can do about it now, so why bring it up. Not me, though. I'm a bitch, and I take pride in cutting him down to size. He must know what an idiot he is.

Really, though, I didn't mean to be a bitch. I'm such a spelling nerd that I couldn't stop myself from saying it all. He told me that it was a free tattoo, and I told him that he got royally screwed. I have been working for years now on having better social graces, and overall, I think I'm doing quite well. However, today was a step back on the scale. I do feel bad, and Trey told me as he walked away that I shouldn't have told him. He was right, and I knew it. It was too late, though. I've been trying to think of something I could say to make him feel better, although I doubt he's losing sleep over it. I got nothin', though. Later, I saw him out on the beach, and I told him that I really, really like the tattoo he has on his tummy. Yes, after I bitchily pointed out his spelling flaws and showed him who was the more intelligent of the pair, I used the word 'tummy'.

Why didn't he just punch me so I'd feel better? I mean, though, don't you think the guy kinda deserved to know that his tattoo is all dicked up? Oh, I dunno. I do feel pretty bad about it, though. Most of all, I've learned a very important lesson from this all:

Don't get words tattooed on your body.

Have a great day. I'll talk to you later.
posted by Christi at 10:43 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Fear and Loathing in Summerville
I'm scared. And excited. And terrified. And thrilled. And confused. And anything else you can think of, really.

I talked to the whoever guy today, and it's set. TJ will be "attending" the online school K12. He starts August 20th. That's in just 13 days! I'm not ready! They will be sending me all of his stuff in the mail very soon, and that will be that. I will have to meet with his coordinating teacher once a month or something, log in his attendance daily, and he will have to meet with the teacher once a week in a group setting where they do field trips and activities and whatnot. We will have to follow the school calendar, which begins on the 20th, and ends on June 5th. He will technically be a Berkeley County student. I can't believe this is actually going to happen. I'm totally freaked out. I mean, just a couple weeks ago I was going on about how I was considering unschooling, and now I've done a complete 180 and I will not only be unschooling TJ, but I will be following a set curriculum with accountability and everything.

In a way, I think it's great. Now I know I will be forced to work with TJ, and I won't be able to decide from day to day whether or not I'm feeling in the mood to do it. If I'm not doing a good job, or I need help, I will have someone to ask questions to, and who will let me know I need to get on the ball. I won't be able to make excuses. It'll be like being a teacher like I wanted to be, but w/o having to get up at the crack of dawn and put up w/other employees and the drama. I will have everything already picked out for me as far as curriculum, and all I'll have to do is work out the time and teach it. Plus, TJ will get to see a set group of kids each week at a set time, so it will be like school friends for him, and I know they'll be his age and on his level, I think.

In a way, I'm going to hate it. Doing this takes away a lot of the freedom I so love about the idea of homeschooling. What if I realize shortly in that some of the set curriculum is just not working for TJ? Can I then change it, or adapt it to better fit him, or do I have to stick to it and do it their way? As far as daily attendance, what if we decide to go out of town? Can I just bring the stuff w/us and check in from any computer? Can he just take the days off? If he's sick, do I have to send in a note? What if the teacher is domineering, and wants everything done by the book and completely thoroughly? I'm not really that kind of person. I hated doing the paperwork when I was a teacher, b/c I never wanted to do it their way. What if TJ just won't do it the way it's supposed to be done? If it's not working, can I withdraw him before the school year's over and just start homeschooling him some different way that works better? I assume I'll be hearing from the teacher soon to figure all of this out. The guy who called me today may have said so already, but I was busy making dinner and trying to avoid my kids who had the sudden "interest in Mommy b/c she's on the phone" kick. This is all so freaky to me.

Anyway, it's late, and I'm POOPED! I'll talk to you later. Have a great day!
posted by Christi at 10:33 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Monday, August 04, 2008
Oh boy!
Soon, my baby will be in the redneck pictures that you get in your email and shake your head at! (not sure why they came out so bad, but still, you get the picture!)

Yesterday was Trey's 32nd birthday. Man, he's OLD! We didn't do much, but we did go out to eat at Carrabba's, and we were told by our server that our kids were well behaved. That made my day! The kids and I also made Trey a cake:

I'll make the rest quick, b/c I am TIRED!

The other day I decided once and for all that there will be no more naptime on the days that Trey works. Why, you ask? Well, b/c for one, I had kinda known for a while that I needed to stop b/c the kids had figured out that when I was sleeping, they could get away with things they knew they shouldn't do. So everyday I'd wake up wondering what I'd have to be mad about and clean up. However, Saturday was the last straw for me. I was awakened by TJ cutting my hair! Yep, that's right, he cut a neat little chunk right out of the front of my hair. When I got up, I noticed he'd also cut his own hair and large chunks out of Taryn's freshly cut cute little bob! Needless to say, I was NOT a happy camper! Now, I will have to wait for the part to grow back in the front of my head, and look like a dope while it does. Taryn has two big baldish spots in the back of her hair. Naturally, TJ's was a pretty easy fix, and should be back to normal w/in a few days. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking when I decided that sex was a good idea!

Talk to you later! Have a great day!
posted by Christi at 10:52 PM | Permalink | 5 comments