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Friday, July 31, 2009


I don't think I've mentioned this here before...but I have a sleepwalker! Elias has walked in his sleep since he was a toddler. It would only happen every so often. But man, this past summer, it's almost every night!

I haven't really researched this topic, so if anyone knows any good resources, please feel free to share!

I have told his pediatrician this and made sure she wrote it down, just in case he ever did anything crazy later in life...drove a car etc etc.

It might be of interest to note, my younger brother also sleepwalks. He's been known to fill bathtubs, walk out the front door, ask my other brother where his wife is (when she was right there!) etc

This summer though, it's started to get freaky! We woke up one recent morning and found our back patio door wide open. My husband and I both checked that door before we went to bed and it was locked. We asked all the big kids and none of them had gone out. Nothing was missing....was it Elias? I don't know!

Now, every morning we come downstairs and ask each other, "Did you see him last night?" and wait to hear reports. Forrest says Elias often opens his door and stares at him. Last night Elias came in my room dragging his blanket behind him.

Here's a weird one: One night I was sitting in my rocking chair upstairs, Elias came in. He walked right up to me, got in my face like he was going to kiss me, stopped just short and whispered, "I said nothing." AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH He's lucky I didn't scream. It was freaky, then funny, then freaky!

I guess I need to start looking into what is making it more frequent, and think of ways to protect him if indeed it was him that opened the back door. God forbid the kid try to swim or something while he's sleepwalking...ohhh now I'm scaring myself. I guess it is time to look at it a little more seriously. Up till now it's just been weird.

Love you, Elias...wouldn't change you for the world, you add spice and life to our world!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Transcripts..more detail

I've written before about transcripting, but another year has passed and I've updated Brian's 10th grade transcript. I figured I'd share exactly what I do, and how simple it is.

Each year I keep a running list (or at this point THEY keep a running list) of field trips taken, topics learned about, books read, resources used, etc etc. Here's Brian's 10th grade list.

We don't list time spent, but I know Apologetics Class was 2 hrs 1x a week, plus personal reading on the subject, which I translate into 1 credit for Religion (Religious Studies, Bible, whatever you want to call it). Things like The Shark Reef I add into the category Biology (although he did have a co-op class on this subject). Between 9th and 10th grade, all the books he has read I termed it "Contemporary Literature". I gave him a Child Development credit because over the years being pregnant he's learned with me about fetus development,reading books such as While Waiting, he attended one of his brothers births, he babysits frequently, and has intimate personal knowledge of various developmental stages.

After compiling the list, I log onto my local school district website,, find their school websites, click on a high school ( I actually go through quite a few), then click on their Course Guide. Then I surf through their descriptions, with an open blank document in another window. I know I'm going to skip the Theater Courses, the Music Courses, etc as he's not into those things...I get to the courses I need and read them...see if he's covered the topics listed. Then I copy/paste the title and description over to my open document. I surf quite a few course descriptions...different schools offer different courses. After I am satisfied that I have enough courses down to cover the things listed on The List, I start adding/editing/deleting from their course description to make it reflect what he did. For example, in computers he is top heavy on Open Sourceware, and rarely uses Microsoft Products. Therefore I wrote "heavy emphasis on Linux and opensourceware". Etc etc

Here's where you can see Brian's Course Descriptions. I did go ahead and add in some of the courses he is taking this year, but they have not been added to his transcript.

And, here's Brian's Transcript through 10th grade. I have a blank sample transcript that I used last year, but I found this free site that adds up all the grades for you, so I used it to generate this transcript. It's called

Some other posts I've written on high school homeschooling are:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

High School!

So, the dilemma today is...when do I graduate Brian? I just sat down and did his transcript through next year (cause I already know what he's going to do). He will have enough credits to graduate early, but still has no real focus on what he wants to do. He loves fixing computers, websites,photography and more, but has not had an "ahhh" moment of what his career will be.

Now, lest you think I want to push him, I do not. I want him to take the time to explore and get into a career he loves. But I do not want to "graduate" him and have him sit on his behind all day thinking he doesn't have to "learn" anymore. (He assures me this would not happen, especially with me drumming in "learning never stops".)

I've pretty much come to the conclusion that we're going to wait and see what happens. Isn't that life though? See what opportunities open, see where God is leading? I have no real time table for this to happen in...if it happens this year, great! If it happens next year, fine! If he's still searching after "graduating" that's fine too! Thanks for letting me talk it out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

He's Lucky I Let Him Live

Brian just got back from visiting his Grandmom and Aunt in FL. While he was there he decided to "surprise" me by getting his hair dyed. He's darn lucky I had already told him he could Henna it, and he's also darn lucky I don't really care about surface stuff like that (his step-dad is another story!)Trying to get a picture of Brian is just about impossible, but I tried!

After this one I tried to cajole him....I got this

After this I tried to get all serious and said, "I just want a good shot of your head." So, I got this...

Then I said, "Comeon, give me a good picture of your head and your teeth...smiling" I got this...

I give up! But, you can see his nice hair color! It's not too wild, and in some lighting you can barely even see it! Ok, he can live....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New PJs

Couldn't resist these Star Wars undies! We'll use them as PJs. Ignore the blue lips....poor kid's mom lets him have candy with food dye in it!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Science and Tech Expo

Our community is so great about including homeschoolers. How does that happen? By proactive homeschooling parents!

I'll give you a great example. Almost 7 years ago, a local homeschool mom went to a brand new neighborhood rec center and asked, what do you do with your gymnasium all day? Can homeschoolers use it one day a week for PE?

7 years later, we go every Friday, from 11-1 for a great time of cooperative play amongst all age homeschooled kids.

As homeschoolers we must be proactive...and when one person goes to an event or a facility and says they are makes folks sit up and take notice that we're around! That's what happened with a local event here in Las Vegas....

The College of Southern Nevada recently hosted it Annual Science and Tech Expo. It's a free event, and they wanted to make sure Las Vegas homeschoolers knew about it. We attended and it was very well done, and a lot of fun for everyone.

First we went in the Creepy Crawlies Room. Lots of spiders and animals. Very fascinating for boys.

Then we watched DNA get extracted from a banana

Another room was full of microscopes and various bacteria and mold. neat to see all the everyday items that mold is in...

Well, this sign says it all

This is a sheep's eye. It was fascinating to hear about the anatomy and the reflective layer in their eyes

There were displays set up all over campus. This was an area of robotics.

In the parking lot they had various medical sciences...and ambulances/firetrucks. Also lots of fun for kids!

And, it was all free! Look and see what events your local colleges might be hosting!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wills and Living Wills

Recently, my husband and I decided to get our wills drawn up. We've been putting it off forever and ever and after 9 years of marriage, and with 5 kids involved, it was high time!

We had a wonderful experience. Through word of mouth we found a great family-oriented attorney skilled in wills and estate planning. She rocked!!! We went in for a free consultation, gave her all of our info, and then she drafted it up, ready for us to sign 2 weeks later.

A few key things she brought up.

1) She looked my husband dead in the eye and asked , "Do you have life insurance?" When he said, "no", she responded, "Why not? You're the man of the family, the one responsible, you need to get it." Period. No question. Statement. Rock on!!!!!!!!! I love her. So, yes, we made an appointment with an insurance agent and are talking about the various types of life insurance and long-tern healthcare.

2) As part of the wills, she includes LIVING WILLS. You know, do you want the plug pulled, when do you want it pulled, etc. And also Durable Power of Attorney, which is who can speak for you if you're in a coma or incapacitated. Very Very helpful! She also gave us the information that once signed, copy them and print a set for each of your cars. Which I promptly did, and put in the glove boxes. She also told us about a neat program the state of NV has, called the Living Will Lockbox. Basically you fax them or mail them your documents, they scan them into their registry and assign you a #. They send you a card with that # on it to affix to your drivers license. Then, if you are in a car wreck or something, they can quickly call the # provided and get access to your documents! Very cool!! Here's the website for that Living Will Lockbox

It's never a bad time to discuss what to do when you die. We're all going to die. We sat down and discussed organ donation, pulling the plug issues, what we want to wear in the casket, songs to be played, cremation, etc.

I've printed a lot of the basics out to also send to both of our Durable Powers of Attorney picks. In case Chris and I both bite it at the same time...someone will know what to do!

Here's a funny....ever since I've been married to Chris he's always said, "When I die I want to wear a button that says WHO FARTED?" Off and on through the years he's said it more than once.

So, when we sat down to discuss these things, I asked him if he still meant that, and "Did I haveeeeee to?" whine. Yup. UGHH.

So, I went on Ebay and found a seller's store that makes buttons and emailed her the most embarrassing email....can you make a WHO FARTED button for my husband, who wants to wear it in his casket?! Yup, I told her the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She said her son got a kick out of it.'s what Chris will be wearing.


What a wacky sense of humor. Oh well, here's to hoping he goes first and I don't have to!! HAHAH Just kidding honey, of course I will. Your button is safely put with the wills, so it's ready and waiting for you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Learning Colors

I've been surfing all sorts of crafty websites, the Crafty Crow site and all of the craft sites listed there...I'm finding so much great stuff!!

I found this neat little "learning colors" activity but I can't remember where I saw it. Probably Ramblings of a Crazy Woman. Basically, they colored a rainbow and then had the child put color dot stickers in the right color line.

I didn't have color dot stickers, but a few months ago I scored BIG and found a whole folder of partially used stickers for $2 at a Used Curriculum Sale. So...I colored a rainbow, gave it to Sebastian..and off we went!

He loved it!!

Of course, this was his first day, so he wasn't really matching too well...but he had a blast!

In the ensuing day or two, he's grabbed my hand and brought me over to the stickers many keep playing this game! I'm so glad!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mary Poppins

One of our local movie theaters has been playing Classic Movies every Monday night. This week they threw in Mary Poppins. I can't think of the last time I watched this movie. Really.I can't! I don't think Elias has ever even seen it, although he says he had, years ago. So, we went, with a bunch of friends tonight.

Sebastian also went. This was his first movie!!He did so good!! He LOVES music, so this was right up his alley.

During the penguin/waiter song he was busy "dancing" on my lap...and during the tea party on the ceiling scene he took my hand and covered his the old guy covered his mouth when he was laughing! It was so cute!!

I realized while I was sitting there, how very blessed I am. I do think about it every once in awhile you know! This was one of those times. Good friends, happy movie, baby on my lap, money to pay for movie....I'm very thankful (Yes Chris, I know you're going to read this, I am thankful for you and for your work ethic, and to God for allowing you such success at your career and your willing heart to work so hard for us...there and it's even in print!).

Saturday, July 4, 2009


My parents were here in May...prior to coming Dad always wants to know what projects I need doing around the house. Usually I keep a running list of loose doorknobs, squeaky chairs, cupboard doors that need rehinging, etc. This year though, Elias wanted a treehouse. Dad spent months drawing up plans, revising, pricing the items needed and more. Elias was soooo excited!

So Nanny and PopPop Vegas....and it was the hottest May yet! Eureka it was nasty outside. But PopPop plugged away building this fort for his grandson. Our neighbor came over and helped a lot, and loaned us all of his tools too! Another friend donated much of the wood needed...and it all came together!

We did run into a snag or two....called neighbors and HOA. The height of the floor was at 7ft, and then there was going to be a 6 ft high area inside....but my back wall is only 8 ft high. SO when we put up the walls for the fort, and there was 3 or 4 ft above the fenceline, my neighbors were not thrilled. After meeting with them we agreed to lower the height of the walls and we added latticework to the top section to maintain their privacy.

PopPop worked on it up to his last morning here...and Elias is so proud now to show it off! There's not enough room to stand, but we bought an indoor/outdoor carpet for the interior...a bunch of chair cushions for seating and a little table. It's SOOOO cute in there!

Because it's so high in the air, we have plenty of SHADE underneath, so I put a few chairs and some of the play toys's perfect!!

All of the kids love it. It's already been used and used and used. Thanks PopPop for loving us so much and for always looking out for things we want (not need!).