Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sift my Thrift: A Bouquet from the Discardables

Psalms 103:15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth

When it comes to landscaping, I'm no competition.  In fact, I really don't care much how our yard looks, as my main focus is on decorating the inside of the house.  My husband on the other hand does care about the yard and landscaping.  He's always thinking about how he can make the yard better, just like I'm always thinking of how I can do this or that to the inside. 
Yesterday, he decided it was time to re-do part of our front landscaping, which meant ripping out some of what was there.  Somehow we ended up with some wild flowers growing right smack dab in the middle of our landscaping among all the weeds that were beginning to take over.  My husbands plan was to just rip them out and discard them.  It was a shame since the wild flowers were in full bloom, so I picked and put in a jar of water the loveliest of the bunch.  Here's the result!
The color combination is so pretty!

Maybe you can identify the flower?  I have no idea.


I wonder if this bud will bloom?
Just a little 'show and tell' from me.  Hey, and they were free!
Thanks for sifting my thrift.
Oh, and hi moms!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Homeschooling Adventure: Buy! Sell!

Proverbs 31:16
"She considereth a field, and buyeth it..."

I want to teach Iggy the value in money and how to evaluate the worth of it versus the worth of what can be bought with it.  I want her to learn to spend wisely, to consider her purchase, to be less impulsive when it comes to spending.  I understand that 'loving' money can be a bad thing, so I don't want her to be obsessed with it, just thoughtful about how she uses it. 

So, about the title.  No, we're not talking stock market.  I'm actually discussing our little store, our 7/11, our very own piggly wiggly that resides in my closet.  I began a system to try and keep Iggy on her toes when it comes to being on time for class.  I also, want to teach her about buying and using money.  So she is able to earn these 'Bean Tickets' (little northern beans with a black dot marked on them).  She gets one per day that she is on time.  That's it.

Today marks the very first day that Iggy spent her Bean Tickets and bought something.  Ok, so I caved in on her third day and let her pick something out without having to spend her tickets, But that was IT.  No more melty mom after that.  She MUST earn her treasures in her efforts at being on time for class (if I can keep those puppy dog eyes from drawing me in again).  As a side note, she didn't ask for something free.  I just saw how she kept eyeing the buckets of treats, and felt that 'proud of her for not asking/wish I could just give her a break' sorta feelings and then gave her a 'begining of the year' freebie. 

No, but seriously, she must now earn them and has.  She saved up 10 Bean Tickets so she could get the biggest 'thing'.  It was a mesh bag filled with plastic food, and mini tableware.  Well, and also a piece of candy that I attached to it a couple of days before she was going to buy it.  Okay, okay, melty mom had a weak moment, BUT she did wait and wait for it.  She passed up the 3 Bean Ticket bucket that had some candy and things and kept saving her beans.  She also passed up the 5 Bean Ticket bucket that had better candy and better things in it and kept on saving her beans.  She had her sites set on the 10 Bean Ticket prize!  The dollar Tree is wonderful by the way.  So now she is beanless, but so liking her new digs.  That is, her new cooking things digs, if I can call it that.  One happy girl = one happy mom.


The now empty Bean Ticket Container after she cashed in all 10 of her Tickets.

Inky gets to earn them too, though I do all the 'getting her ready for class' duties for her and have to remind her like a 1,000 times to be in her seat before the bell rings.

I'm proud of her for being able to resist the immediate satisfaction of 'candy now' in order to get something that she really wanted later by saving her 'money'.

Time to start earning more Bean Tickets.

Thanks for stopping by.  Do you have a Bean Ticket system of your own?  I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vacation: Ocean without the Salt

Psalm 34:8
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him

It's was vacation time for the Rossimores and we decided on Holland, Michigan. Why you ask?  We wanted water without the super long distance drive and that's what we got.  I mean, I expected water, but what I didn't expect was the 'ocean feel'.  In fact it was EXACTLY like being at the beach without the salt water (and as silly as it sounds - without the fear of sharks).  There were waves and loads of beautiful sandy beach.  The weather was perfect as well.  Definitely glad we opted for this instead of Florida.

Me enjoying the water and waves

The girls and me in the sand

We also visited the dunes while we were there.  They were amazing too!  

We went on a Dune Buggy ride and it was like being on a roller coaster (even that wierd funny stomach feeling when we went over hills). 

After a while, the driver stopped on one of the hills and let us stroll and view the lake below.

Then we traveled on toward Chicago and took a little boat trip.

I'm not sure what's up with my posture here.  I'm just gonna blame it on my outfit.

We rode a double decker tour bus. 

Then we visited Chinatown.

Here's the view from our Hotel window on our one night stay in Chicago.

Thanks for visiting!  I hope we've inspired you to take a peek at Michigan for yourself one day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Homeschooling Adventure: 2nd Week Blues

Romans 15:5

"Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus"

Well, I dreaded this moment and it's here already.  I think we've hit the 2nd Week Blues.  Not for me necessarily.  Iggy woke up saying, "It's school again?".  Thinking back, we had only said that on such and such day we would be starting school.  We had never discussed that it was a long term commitment.  I had to then explain it's permanency in her life's schedule for long period of time.  She loves the educational games we play, but is not so thrilled about the more disciplined things such as practicing writing her letters and numbers.  It's a little too precise a thing for her, but it's something she has to do.  I've already seen improvement in her penmanship in writing her name, but it was a tug and a pull to get her there.  Her response to me when I told her that she needed to make sure her little y wasn't as tall as her big L?  "This is the way that I do it."  I then opened a book to show her that there is a proper way to write our letters and that using capital letters the correct way, was the way they did it in books that we read.  She was still a little insistent, but eventually gave in.  Whew. 

At the very beginning, the first day of school that is, she didn't quite understand that this was all real.  She had pretended 'school' for so long, that when it was actually here, I had to keep reminding her that it was real.  That we weren't pretending.  She kept saying, "I'm gonna call you teacher" much in the same tone that she might say, "I'll be the princess and you'll be my white horse and we'll ride to the butterfly palace to get my glass slippers."  Well, after the 2nd day, Princess glass slippers was fully aware that we were in school, but periodically she would exclaim very giddy-like something to this nature, "We started school.  This is so neat!"  So, I guess we have went from pretend mode to the giddy mode, and then now on to the 'some things about school are super neat to some things about school kinda stink' mode. 

Ideally, she would stay forever in that giddy, jump up and down, let's do it again, let's do it again stage, and from subject to subject carry that continuous enthusiastic smile (as seen here),

but even I, a newbie homeschool mom, know that it won't be that way.  In fact, I think I've prepared myself for the worst - hopefully.  I went to a homeschool meeting and met some really nice ladies.  One lady shared a story about how she dealt with those tough days.  She said that she had had such a difficult homeschooling day that one time she ran out of the house and took a few laps around it in an attempt to get her frustrations out, and just came back in and apparently started teaching again.  I've got that on my to do list just in case.  : )

So, in saying all this, I am trying to keep in mind how I can be patient with her, and not lose my cool when things aren't going my way (my ideal way).  I have to remember how much patience the Lord has had with me, for it has been given to me over and abundantly.  When I feel that audible sigh trying to escape my lips, or sense my voice begining to raise out of frustration, I'm going to try to consider the patient leading that my Father in heaven is giving me.     

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Homeschooling Adventures: First Day of School!

Isaiah 26:3
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."

All in all, it was a great first homeschool day.  Some things weren't quite right, but some things worked out really well.  She was super stoked about the Bean Tickets and the Store full of goodies and was even fretting over being late to class (not on time for start of class = no Bean Ticket).

Getting directly to the point, here are some photos of our day. 

Iggy with Daddy just before he left for work.

If you can see that cord in the background, I am fighting ants because of such messes captured in this photo.  My girls are NOT graceful eaters. 

Again, I repeat.  They are not graceful eaters.  This one acts like she is parking a bus when she eats.  She holds her mouth WIDE open and then slowly steers the food in her mouth.

Waving goodbye to Daddy.

Getting ready for school.  Trying to be on time.

Waiting not so patiently in line to brush her teeth.

Ah-ha!  We made it to the classroom.

Here are those cozy little shoes at $2.99 a pair.  : )

We learned about family and community today.  After our lesson I let her play with a family of dolls on our chalkboard drawn community.  Our community included a house, a church and Walmart.  Lol!  She was a little distressed that the dolls couldn't enter Walmart through the chalkboard doors.  Hee, hee.

I wish I had taken photos of them outside on the playground, but alas, I was busy taking this and that to the potty and pulling weeds all the rest of the time.

Thanks for sharing in part of our first school day.  I would love to see some photos of yours as well! If you happen to stop by here, leave your URL as a comment so I can see your homeschool photos as well.  I am the worlds nosiest person I think.  Not so much in a loud sort of questioning sort of way, but in a quiet, "I wonder what goes on behind them doors", and "Do they do the same sort of stuff we do," kind of way.  : )

The Rossimores

Homeschooling Adventure: Extra Curricular with who?

Psalm 92: 1 "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:"

I have labeled one of my teaching slots (if I can call it that) 'Extra Curricular'.  It includes Home Economics, Music, Art, Computer Time, Learning Games, Public Library visits and Foreign Language.  I actually have two outside teachers to help me with two of the subjects in that slot: my mother (Ba - shortened version for Grandma in Japanese) and my mother in law (Mammie). 

My mother in law has taught preschool for many years and was a teachers assistant for a number of years as well.  She plans to help me with most of my Art classes.  She has also volunteered to do my laundry.  : )

Our first day with Mammie.

Mammie is reinforcing our Social Studies lesson about family in her first Art Class.


Iggy painting mommy's dress.

Inky working hard too!

Iggy loves to use scissors.  Unfortunately, her scissor adventures lead her to the brown locks of her sister's head.  The evidence was found in her own hand.  Thankfully, Inky's hair is wild and crazy to begin with and you can barely tell.

Inky wasn't at all too happy that it was time to put the paints away.

I love little kid drawings.  

Our painted family.  : )

My mother (from Okinawa, Japan) will be teaching Iggy Japanese Language and writing and then will be heading with me and the girls on our weekly grocery run after school is out.  I don't know about you but 4 hands is better than 2 when it comes to grocery shopping with children.

Our first day with Ba.

Ba showing Iggy how to bow Japanese style.  Bowing takes the place of handshaking.

Iggy bowing in return.

Basic Japanese characters

Inky trying some Japanese too.

Iggy's name in Japanese at the top left of the page.  Pretty easy.

Iggy telling Ba that two of the characters look alike.

All in all, it was a good first day with Ba in Japanese Class.  The first class gave Ba some new ideas for the next class.

Gotta give more than a few hip hip hoorays for those blessings.  I am thankful that God placed these two helpful moms in my life.

As far as the other subjects, I plan to rotate them on the other days.  Public library visits will be once weekly if I can fit it in. 

Hope this all pans out. 
Wish me well.