Thursday, July 31, 2008

My list of items I don't want to Homeschool without

  1. Bed Chairs
  2. Car School Case Organizer
  3. Sticky Tabs (Thank you Dori for introducing us)
  4. Cell Phone
  5. History, Discovery,TLC, HGTV, Food Network etc..
  6. Net Flicks
  7. A Huge Basket of big pink Erasers & a Box of Yellow #2 pencils
  8. Big Fat Binders & Lots of Dividers
  9. Backpack Prepacked for Fieldtrips/Natures Studies (Compass, Clipboard, Binoculars, Travel Easel etc..)
  10. Day Planner (For Myself, Each Kid & J)
  11. Giant Wall Calendar (For Family Area & J's Office)
  12. Lap Desks
  13. Support Group & other Mom's to cry/laugh with
  14. Every Closet, Drawer, Cabinet Organized before the School Year Begins (Each Summer)
  15. Membership Fees (& Outside Classes/ Activities) set aside for Fall
  16. Curriculum Bought at beginning of Summer to insure time to plan
  17. Goals & Attendance Sheets etc...
  18. Reading, Computer, Audio/Video, Extra Curricular & PE Logs etc...
  19. All those Printed Punched & inside page protectors & placed in Binders(Thank you Jenny for page protector idea)
  20. School Desks Organized
  21. Science Experiment Gear Organized
  22. Game/Craft Cabinet/Area Organized
  23. 4 Electric Pencil Sharpeners (we can't seem to share)
  24. 3 Hand Held Sharpeners a Piece (Car, Desk & Backpack)
  25. Camera
  26. Slide on Shoes
  27. Timers
  28. Alarm Clock
  29. Calendar filled in for the year w/ family vacations already in place
  30. State Testing Days on the Calendar
  31. Quarterly Parent Get Away Planned to Regroup & Discuss Goals( No we don't go out of town. We have someone take our kiddos over night. Even though they don't need sitters any longer, we need focus)
  32. File System in Place
  33. Report Cards (On Card Stock) Printed
  34. Sport Equipment Sizes Updated (Snowboards & Bindings, Mountain Bikes Tuned, River Shoes, Sparing Gear, Gees etc..)
  35. School/Year Book Picture Outfit Bought (Hangs in Closet not be touched until picture day)
  36. Robes & Ughs & Lots of Hots Drink Choices
  37. Car Trash Can
  38. Car CD & Cassette Player (Lectures on the go)
  39. Lunch Box & Backpack for Co-op Days
  40. Daily Schedule Decided on.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm a Wanna Be ...

Most everyone knows I'd love to live in Maine. Yes, I do know it's cold there. And no, I don't believe it is the one spot not affected by the sin curse. Of course everyone also knows only Jeff has actually stepped foot on Maine soil. Although I really don't see what about that is such a big deal. After all people, who have never been, say they want to live in Hawaii all the time & no one ever thinks they're nuts. Since most everyone wants to know what the big deal is in regards to Maine I'll tell you a thing or two. Here are 20 reasons why I want to live in Maine.

(Vincent and Homestead cross streets in Cape Elizabeth, ME)

#1 Many Colors of Fall
#2 Loons & Chickadees
#3 Moose & Puffins
#4 Moxie
#5 Forests that Cover Most of the State . Yet leaving enough room for Farmers Markets to thrive & Horses to gallop.
#6 Crisp Clean Air, Blue Skies & Bright Stars
#7 Snow & Ocean in the same spot
#8 Fresh, affordable Lobster in abundance
#9 Jagged Rocks & Crashing Waves with Enough Sandy Beaches w/ Good Waves for Summer Pleasures
#10 Smell of Salty Air & Pine Needles
#11 Sunrise Coming over the Ocean
#12 Fiddle heads, Maple Sugaring & Wild Blueberry Barrens, Lilacs, Pussy Willow
#13 Its Green!!!!!
#14 Sound of Rain, Often Enough not to be a Faint Memory
#15 Stillness that Snow Brings, & the sound of it crunching under your feet, especially at night
#16 Outdoor Ice Rinks & Community Sledding Hills
#17 Neighbors who Actually Talk
#18 All the Water Ways (Lakes, Rivers, Streams & Ponds)-Their Ponds are what we call Lakes.
#19 Lighthouses & Historic Architecture (Aesthetically Pleasing)
#20 Hunting & Fishing Wonderland

However God obviously wants us here for now. So here we remain. Business is good. We have good company. Good health. Yosemite is 30 minutes away. It could be worse.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Spotted Bliss

When Ricky was a baby he was introduced to 101 Dalmatians, the Disney film. He was instantly in love. I don't know why, he just was. As soon as he was able to articulate the words he began asking for a Dalmatian. He even had his own word for them. He called them "Puppies" & all other dog breeds he called "Gogs"
Ricky continued to ask for a Dalmatian for 11 of his 12 years of life for every single Christmas & every single Birthday. He received many toys, book, clothes, posters, bedding and even movie sound track cd's-but no real puppy.
Our friend, Jenny, told me "You really need to get that kid a Dalmatian". Well did you notice that our two dogs are of mixed breeds? Can you say cheap? Also after getting a 2nd big, hyper dog, there was no way I wanted to add a 3rd!!! Well, Jenny said to me "He has to have a Dalmatian & I'm going to get one for him...someday".
So when I knew our Larry was going to be put down, I called Jenny. I like having two big dogs up here. Besides, Leroy needs a buddy. The Grandparents, us & the Shugerts with Jenny at our lead found Edison Boaz. He is perfect. He is the cutest little thing, a charmer.

Jenny & I drove to Aptos to pick up Eddy Bo. He threw up on me 4 times on the ride back to her house. There we waited until Jeff brought our boys. Jenny sat in her room with camera in hand ready to get Ricky's reaction on film. We all expected him to be wild & hyper when he found out the Dalmatian was his. But he didn't, he cried! It was a sweet moment & I'm glad Jenny nagged us.

Thank you Jenny.

Thank you for loving our Ricky.

Thank you for being a good friend.

We love you very much.

What a Week!

When it rains, it pours. We woke up Tuesday morning to a very depressed house hold, especially our German Shepard/Chocolate Lab, Leroy.
Yesterday was still lingering on everyones heart when Billy & Ricky went out to feed our Goats, Callie & Maggie only to find a pack of wild dogs in our yard. We all ran outside, but it was too late, the goats were done. We were devastated.
Now before you think our girls were just live stock, let me assure you they were not! We purposely picked these goaties because they were bottle fed & kid smothered. We actually got them earlier then we were supposed to because the Mama had too many babies & wasn't able to feed them all. The owners had to completely bottle feed them, so they asked if we would like that experience. Wow, that was exactly what we were looking for!
We set out on our new exciting endeavor. We intended on milking them when they were old enough & even keeping a few of the babies. We took Callie & Maggie on a walk every day. They were completely leash trained, no I'm not kidding. They ate from our hands. If we sat on the ground, they sat in our laps. They were like puppies actually. Our girls loved when company came over. They loved to follow the kids around.
One of the memories that will forever be etched in my mind is our two boys, two dogs & two goats running up and down our hillsides together. Everyone happy, everyone with a stick in hand or mouth. Yes, even the Goats. The boys had hiking sticks, the dogs wanted you to play catch & the goats always had a snack for the road.
Okay, we are nuts, we spoiled our goats. So what of it, we had fun. We made wonderful memories & we miss them terribly. Our hearts burn with sorrow. Our yard is quiet, the stillness is overbearing.
We have kept our Leroy in the house, only going outside to potty. Today is Saturday morning & he has just found out that two more of his playmates are gone. He is very mopey. He has stopped looking out the window for Larry to come back, he knows that isn't gonna happen. He understands everyone is gone. Poor baby.

What is a Larry?

When our boys were 2 & 4 we got Larry, our black dog. The boys are now 12 & 14 & Larry 9 & 1/2. Larry Boy was the type of dog everyone dreams of having as part of their family. He was "Nana", like in the movie Peter Pan. He believed with everything in him that Billy & Ricky were HIS responsibility.
Larry loved life! He went on vacations with us. He loved to go for car rides. He had an obsession with sticks, frisbee's, balls, basically anything he could get you to throw for him. Larr let babies crawl on & take toys from him. He was always patient, always loving.
Larry loved everyone, everyone loved Larry. As a matter of fact I can't even tell you how many times we have gotten phone calls with parents asking what kind of dog Larry was, what training he had or where we bought him, they wanted their very own Larry. For the record he was 1/2 McNab & 1/2 Black Lab, he was our McLab.
Three years ago Larry began showing signs of hip Dysplasia. We went through a list of diet changes, exercises & medicines to keep him with us as long as possible. We even got him a puppy. Leroy did bring a bounce back to Larry's life, for about 2 years anyway.
Monday morning we had to put Larry down. It was time, he was no longer our "Larry Boy" the pain made him too uncomfortable. It completely broke our hearts & we will forever miss our Larry Baby.