Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm a homeschool mom!

Well, it was a long time coming, but we finally made the decision. The ElvenDude is being withdrawn from public school and will be homeschooled now.

We decided to go the online school route. Keystone National Middle School is the one we chose. This morning I used their online system to enroll him in their 7th grade program. As soon as the schools open again after Thanksgiving, I can submit the paperwork and it will all be nice and legal.

Yesterday we purchased him a brand new MacBook to use for his courses. It isn't technically his yet. His grades have been very poor this year, and he has to show improvement. Lots of improvement. If he does well, at the end of 7th grade, it will be his. Otherwise, he gets our old Dell laptop, and the MacBook is confiscated for his sister's use.

ElvenPrincess is staying in public school for now. She is doing well. I'd like to have her in homeschool as well. We are waiting to see how it works out with ElvenDude. If all goes well, she will be homeschooled in the next school year.

Here's ElvenDude with his new shiny:

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Sweatpants Saga

I needed new sweats for the winter. I grabbed a pair of Hanes womens small. Once home, I discovered that they were much too big. Next I tried girls XL, which fit but I didn't like the tapered leg. So I got a pair of boys XL without trying them on. Dumb move. Those were too big as well. Passed them on to P. Purchased boys large sweatpants. This time I tried them on in the store, and they fit. So I pulled them out to wear Saturday, and they were too small! The darn things shrank in the wash!

Dug out the XL's I gave P, and they apparently also shrank in the wash, because they fit perfectly now. So back to Target for more sweats for me this morning. Getting pants that fit should not be this much trouble!

Oh, and I suspect the women's small I started with did shrink as well, just not enough to make them fit.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Recap- July so far

The first couple of days of July, ElvenPrincess was finishing up art camp.

July 3rd we went out to dinner and had an experience that's funny now, but at the time, totally was not. We were eating at the Flying Biscuit Cafe, and I ordered the scrambled tofu, which I eat there quite often. This time, the dish had too much sauce, or seasoning, or something. I could not eat it. When our waiter eventually (very eventually!) checked on us, I told him it was overly seasoned. His response? "I hope it's edible anyway," and he wandered off again. I did finally get some food I could eat, but his attitude blew me away.

July fourth, we went to Medieval Times to celebrate. Last time we went, they had just changed the show, and we weren't terribly impressed. They've got it down pat now, and it was excellent. We had a great time, and our knight chose the ElvenPrincess as his Queen of Love and Beauty. She got to pull a sash off his lance, and she had her picture taken (it was later sold to us, of course, lol!).

July 6-10 ElvenDude had Fort Building camp in the afternoons. ElvenPrincess had a three day art class at the Foxtale Book Shop. Ballet lessons for Princess and Hip Hop lessons for Dude on Monday and Thursday.

Friday Elvendude had a sleepover in the fort he helped build. When I picked him up Saturday morning, I found he'd sprained his ankle pretty badly. Of course, nobody in charge had seen fit to notify me, sigh. Once I had him home, we managed to get him comfortable and get the swelling in his ankle down. He slept most of the day, since he hadn't managed much sleep Friday night due to the pain.

Saturday evening DD and I went to a free concert held in the little park downtown. ElvenLord and ElvenDude were both crashed out and didn't want to go. We had a pretty good time. It was Princess's first concert, and there was free face painting, and a bouncy castle, and I bought her a Pink Panther ice cream bar. She seemed to enjoy the music too.

Books read in July so far:

Briar's Book- Tamora Pierce
Austinland- Shannon Hale (this book was AWFUL!)
The Mysterious Benedict Society- Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey- Trenton Lee Stewart

Summer Recap- June

Wow, I can't believe we're halfway through July already. I had intended to blog every day or two to keep up with what we were doing. So much for that plan! So, here's a quick rundown.

ElvenPrincess and I did one more day of Book and Cook, with a Felicity the American Girl doll theme. We made raspberry flummery, queen cakes, and we squeezed in the strawberry jam that we didn't make on Moose Muffin day.

June 8-12 was ballet camp for ElvenPrincess, and Curator Camp at the History Center for ElvenDude. 15th-19th was Camp Cosmos for Princess and Camp CSI for Dude. No swim during those two weeks.

June 22-26 was Flavors of America camp for Princess and sign language class for Dude. Back to swim lessons as well. On June 27, ElvenPrincess earned her senior brown belt in Tai Kwon Do. She's giving it up now though, in order to concentrate on dance.

And June 29-July 3 was Camp Imagine art camp for ElvenPrincess.

Books read in June (Just a list this time, no comments)

Realms of the Gods- Tamora Pierce
Doomed Queens- Kris Waldherr
Unexpected Magic- Diana Wynne Jones
Goose Girl- Shannon Hale
Enna Burning- Shannon Hale
River Secrets- Shannon Hale
Witch Way to the Mall- Esther Friesner
The Book of a Thousand Days- Shannon Hale
Nobody's Princess- Esther Friesner
Nobody's Prize- Esther Friesner
First Test- Tamora Pierce (re-read)
Page- Tamora Pierce (re-read)
Squire- Tamora Pierce (re-read)
Lady Knight- Tamora Pierce
Sandry's Book- Tamora Pierce
Tris's Book- Tamora Pierce
Daja's Book- Tamora Pierce

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Summer Fun/Book and Cook Day 3

Another busy day. Today we saw a community theater production of The Princess and the Pea. It was quite different, since they had several princesses in a contest to see who would marry the prince. In the end, most of them decided they would rather go to college instead! The one who ended up marrying the prince had already been to college. :D ElvenPrincess is doing a drama camp based around this play in July, so it was nice for her to get to see it.

We also did a trip to Build A Bear today. This will probably be a recurring trip over the summer, since there are several stuffies that DD has her eye on. Today's choice was the brand new Sparkly Snow Leopard. Sparkly because there are little bits of shiny thread (mylar?) in her fur.

ElvenPrincess Plays with Dr. Snowy

By the time we were done with that, we had to pick up ElvenDude from camp and rush to swim. After swim, supper and bed. Whew!

Our book of the day was, of course, the Princess and the Pea. Our recipes were Polkadot Pea Soup and Minty Pea pops. The pea pops are a frozen treat made with cream cheese, sugar, peppermint flavoring, and green peas. They must have been pretty good, the kids each ate two! The soup wasn't as popular, I think the seasonings weren't quite right.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Summer Fun/Book and Cook Day 2

After dropping off ElvenDude at chess camp, ElvenPrincess and I went to the dentist's office to make appointments for cleanings. They were booked pretty solid, and so were we, so home we headed with the promise that we'd be called if they could work us in on our available dates.

ElvenPrincess told me yesterday that her sneakers were hurting her feet, so we pulled up the stride rite website and were looking at shoes, when my phone rang. We could both get our cleanings right away if we could come back, so back we went to the dentist.

After cleanings, we were off to Stride Rite for shoes. She immediately fell in love with a pair and didn't even look at any others. They were on sale even!

They are pink and shiny, of course she wanted them!

So we concluded that quickly, and had time to go home and freshen up a bit before our reservation for tea at our local tea room.

I only had a salad, but the Princess got the Mad Hatter's Children's Tea. It comes with fruit juice or hot chocolate, and she chose the hot chocolate.

Tea done, we went to the library (again!), as she'd finished 10 books for the summer reading program and earned a certificate and her name on the bulletin board. After that, Foxtale Books to pick up the copy of The Princess and the Pea we'd ordered, and then to buy ingredients for our book and cook session.

Our book today was Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones. Since Skippy is a Siamese Cat who imagines he is a chihuahua who hangs out with a gang of Mexican chihuahuas, our cooking theme was Mexican.

We made Flan, from a mix, and put it to set in the fridge.

Carefully stirring the flan on the stove

After swim lessons, we fixed quesadillas, both black bean and chicken, for supper. The quesadillas and flan were a big hit, and I've already had requests (more like demands, lol) that we have flan again soon!

Finished quesadilla and flan

Monday, June 01, 2009

Summer Fun

The ElvenDude has chess camp this week Mon-Thurs 9-5. The ElvenPrincess is free this week, so we are doing fun things, and a home cooking and reading camp I have dubbed Book and Cook (yeah, lame I know). We read a book each day and then make recipes relating to the book.

Today's book was If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff. Our recipe was strawberry muffins. We were supposed to make jam as well, but I bought the wrong kind of pectin for freezer jam. We will try it tomorrow, perhaps.

Measuring ingredients

Stirring the batter


Today's field trips: Library, storytime at the bookstore, lunch at Canyon's Burgers.

Books Read in May

1. Chalice by Robin McKinley- New, unsuitable Master and Chalice must heal the land from the abuses of former Master and Chalice while dealing with higher ups trying to unseat them. I always enjoy McKinley's work, but I don't think she'll ever write anything I'll love as much as I did Beauty.

2. The Language of Bees by Laurie R King- Russell and Holmes search for the missing wife and child of Holmes's son. Then the son disappears as well, and the wife turns up dead...

3. Ghost Dogs of the South- Yet another ghost story book.

4. Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce- I read her Alanna of Trebond books when I was a teen, and adored them. Also read most of the Keladry series as an adult. This book follows Alanna's daughter Aly on her adventures. She is captured as a slave. A god is involved, and Aly functions as a protector and spy for the family that owns her. The two elder daughters are half raka, the native people, and half luarin, the ruling conquerers. They are also royal on both sides of their family. They are thus set to fulfill a prophecy about a twice royal queen...

5. Beka Cooper Terrier by Tamora Pierce- Yeah, I'm on a Tamora Pierce kick, and loving it. :D This one chronicles the adventures of Beka, ancestress of George Cooper (former king of thieves and husband of Alanna). She is a trainee in the City Guard. Puppies, the trainees are called, as the full guards are Dogs. Beka talks to crows and whirlwinds, and uses their help in her quest to find a child murderer.

6. Beka Cooper Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce- Beka is back, this time chasing counterfeiters.

7. Young Warriors edited by Tamora Pierce and Josepha Sherman- Exactly what it sounds like, stories of young warriors. Enjoyable, but no one story stands out in my memory.

8. Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce- Conclusion of Aly's tale. Helping the Trickster retake the Copper Isles.

10. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce- The first book of Daine's tale. Daine has lost her mother and never knew her father. Her natural ability with animals gets her hired on with the Queen's Riders of Tortall assisting their horsemistress. Daine has wild magic, as opposed to the Gift, which is the source of her bond with animals. Numair Salmalin takes her on as a pupil. But Immortals have once again been released into the mortal world from the Divine Realms...

11. Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce- Book two of Daine's tale. Daine travels to Dunlath Valley to aid a wolf pack that once saved her life, and discovers that the lord and lady of Dunlath intend to rebel against the crown.

12. Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce- Book Three of Daine's tale. Daine and Numair along with various other important people travel to Carthak to negotiate a peace treaty. Of course, the Carthaki emperor is not really interested in peace...

Friday, May 08, 2009

It's May!

And it has been for awhile!

I've been reading quite a bit, and doing a fair amount of stitching too. And of course buying stash.

In fact, since I skipped Guilt Free January, I've declared May Madness. It is also shaping up to be Mirabilia May, since most of the stuff I've purchased/want to start is Mira. I started Winter White Santa late on the evening of the first. No more starts yet, but Venetian Opulence and La Nouveau Sampler are all ready to go. I bought Emerald Mermaid and Shimmering Mermaid yesterday, but I had to order fabric for them, so depending on how long it takes, they may not be May starts. I'd meant to buy the Rose pixie to stitch for DD, but I forgot to grab it. I did get Country Cottage's Princess Parade and Little Ballerinas for her, and I may start one of those today. Am also contemplating fabric for TW's Tracery Dragons.

Books read in April:

1. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon-- Now I'm waiting for Echo in the Bone to come out in September.

2. Best Ghost Tales of South Carolina by Terrance Zepke- Picked this up while on vacation. An okay book, but I didn't really enjoy the author's style.

3. Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (so far)- Pure fluff. Dave always makes me giggle. Basically his Year in Review columns from 2000-2007.

4. The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt- I grabbed this without realizing it was steampunk. At least so says a review blurb on the back. I wouldn't know steampunk if it walked up and bit me. Orphans on the run from murderers save the world. I really liked this book, and I'm eagerly waiting for the sequel to come out in July.

5. White House Ladies by Webb Garrison- brief bios of First Ladies. Not all of the First Ladies were included.

6. The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir- Obviously, a bio of the first Queen Elizabeth. I enjoy Weir's writing style, and liked the book.

7. Death's Daughter by Amber Benson- I grabbed this one because it sounded vaguely amusing. I didn't expect much out of it, since it's by an actor turned author. It isn't great art, but it was entertaining, and if there's a sequel I'll buy it. Calliope Reaper Jones is Death's daughter, and she has to take over his job while trying to discover who kidnapped him.

8. Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton- Old southern woman meddles in the life of a juvenile delinquent.