Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hanging in There

Okay so I realize I haven't posted in 6 weeks and the goal was to update weekly but in my defense I have been a bit busy. I am writing this post propped up in bed with yes another case of bronchitis/ asthma flare up. I have lost exact count but I know that this at least my 7th course of steroids in a year and my neck is starting to bear the signs. Oh vanity! I have been tweaking my diet and keeping up my usual workout regime when I can breathe so I have to believe that I will get through this soon and come out better than before and if I don't, well then it is what it is and I will just see what God has in store for me.
This week begins our homeschool 3 week break and I have big plans for myself including Christmas cookie baking, sewing, crafting, house cleaning, writing and reading, reading and more reading.
I am still hoping to get into a freelance career part-time so my goal is to submit an article a week.
For those of you who haven't read it. I wrote a little story inspired by Isabelle's great and a little deranged imagination. I am still tweaking it but welcome any feedback. If after reading this you have doubts about my writing skill just know that my article submissions are factual not children's stories so here it goes:

Bella the Tooting Tooth Fairy

Bella was the best tooth fairy in the village of Cuspidville. She visited more children in one night than any other fairy. (show her driving in a little people car around the house)

She never complained about her pickup locations, (show messy room)

and she NEVER missed a tooth pickup unlike some of the other fairies. (show child waking up and looking under his pillow to find his tooth still there)

But Bella did have one problem. She had a horrible tooting habit. Whenever Bella would pull on anything, out would come a fairy stinky toot!

This posed quite an embarrassing problem for the fairy because as everyone knows most children place their lost tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy to retrieve.

Every evening Bella would fly into the children’s room to get the lost tooth.

She would slip under the pillow,

reach for the tooth

and PULL it out from under and…. TOOT!

Bella’s boss, King Molar, was quite concerned when he learned of Bella’s trouble. He sent her to Dr. Wisdom for a cure.

Dr. Wisdom suggested Bella make some changes in her diet. Perhaps if she stopped eating tulip bulbs her toots would subside.

No luck. (picture of her pulling out a book at the library and….)

Next Dr. Wisdom suggested Bella eat soup made with rose petals. Rose soup is often eaten by fairies to give them a natural flowery smell.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. (show other fairies behind her who are bothered by her unpleasant odor)

King Molar knew he would have to decide what to do about Bella. The other fairies had begun to talk.

After careful consideration, King Molar held a Cuspidville town meeting without Bella.

The fairies voiced their concerns and then, King Molar made an announcement.

In recognition of Bella’s hard work and commitment to always do her best, Bella was to receive the first annual Tooth Fairy of the Year award!

King Molar reminded the other fairies that each of them is different and that everyone of them has some imperfection. What mattered was the kind of fairy Bella was and she was a great fairy

On that day that the fairies of Cuspidville realized that Bella had unknowingly taught them a lesson. Perhaps, one of the most important lessons of all

Soon all the fairies including Bella were back to work as usual. (show back to work)

To this day a child will still wake in the morning to find not only a gift from the tooth fairy but also something else that they can’t see. (show child waking in the morning to an unpleasant odor)

You can bet that those lucky children were visited by Bella the tooting tooth fairy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Easy Fall Craft for Kids

With Fall in the air,  I finally decided it was a good time to get out last summer's dried gourds and do something with them. I got out the paints thinking that this would be a fun craft for the kids but was not expecting too much in the area of decor. I have to admit I was quite pleased with the outcome. Here's how we did it.
I gathered a number of acrylic paints in fall colors and let the kids (ages 4 and 6) each paint on their own. After painting on a solid color, they splotched on whatever accent colors they desired.

Next we took a rag and wiped the gourd.
And here's what we came out with.

Simple, quick and fun for the kids!

Best Bread Recipe Ever

Lately I have been on a hunt for a good bread recipe. When I first saw this recipe post I thought to myself how delicious it looked but I was wanting a whole grain alternative. However, the more I thought about the bread and how good it might taste with my apple/butternut sqash soup I decidied to give it a try. I must say this was the most beautiful and tasty bread I have ever made and by far the easisest! Here's a link to the blog: A Soft Place to Land for No-Knead Bread 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Slacking off on the Blog

Wow, where does the time go? It didn't take too long for me to slack off on my weekly updates, but in my defense we have been quite busy.
Homeschool has truly been a blessing for us. The kids and I are enjoying it immensely. It is so cool to hear Ethan talk about countries and things I would not have imagined him knowing about at four and this is all stuff he has picked up on just by listening to Isabelle's schooling.

So far Ethan's favorite school activities are driving his trucks through balls of clay and science experiment day.
Isabelle's favorites are math and literature. So far we have read Charlotte's Web, Homer Price and Mr. Popper's Penguins. On Tuesday we will start Gooney Bird Greene.

I have to say I am learning a few new things as well. Some of the things we have discovered together so far was how to build a compass and a solenoid. For the solenoid we connected it to a straw with a flag on the end to resemble a train gate thast went up. The kids had great fun using the gate with their train set.
The solenoid is being used to pull a needle through the straw

In my free time I have been doing some writing and researching. I am hoping to get into freelancing but it is really hard to get into. All of the books and article say to be prepared for a lot of rejection but I plan to keep with it. It has been something that I feel I was being nudged to do for quite some time now. For now I just add it to my list of unpaid jobs.

A few weeks ago AWANA started up and I am one of the leaders for thr K-2nd grade group. I never thought I'd say this but I really like it. It's two hours of chaos but lots of fun. So cool to see kids so excited to learn about the Bible.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend at Okaboji

We had a great mini vacation at Okaboji last week and were able to spend some time with both of our families. Isabelle couldn't get enough tubing and would like to learn to ski next. Ethan was content to be in the boat but was constsantly telling Dad ,"faster, faster!"
On our last day we met two very curious and talkative baby mink. They were so fun to watch and I think they enjoyed watching us as much as we enjoyed watching them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

First Week of Homeschool

It's official the paperwork is back and we are formally known as a private school. We completed our first week of school this Thursday and things are going quite well. When I ask Isabelle what subjects she likes best she responds, "all of it."
On Tuesday we had our first out of the classroom adventure. In science Isabelle is learning about classifying animals so we packed up our bikes, camera and dog and went to the bike trail in the 100 degree heat and humidity. We found creatures of all categories except for the dry and scaly category, which I personally was happy about. After we got home and cooled off, we put together a book and labeled each picture with the correct category name.

Wednesday we used sidewalk paint to practice Isabelle's spelling words out on the driveway. The kids enjoyed it. The only problem was that Isabelle is a bit of a perfectionist and was not pleased that she could not make the lines of her letters uniform. Ethan practiced drawing circles and 1's and when he tired of that he began to paint the ants crawling on the driveway.
For the sidewalk paint I found a recipe on The Idea Room blog:
1/4 c of cornstarch
1/4 c of cold water
a few drops of food coloring

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekly Update

Another busy summer week for the Douma family. We spent the first half of the week recovering from the busy long weekend. This week Isabelle and Ethan both received t-shirts from the library for each reading 300 books since June 1st. We have read a variety of stories and have many favorites but deep sea exploration seems to be a hot topic with both kids right now. I'm so happy they share my love for books, my only complaint is that the library doesn't offer prizes to us moms for all of our reading!
On Friday we had our first day of school per Isabelle's request. She is really excited about it and both kids did really well. Ethan joined in for some parts and quietly did his own activities when he got bored. We are keeping a really loose schedule since it is only July. The early start will definitely give us quite a bit of flexibility.