Friday, December 11, 2009

Why do dogs have to get old?

We have five dogs that were our kids before kids and now probably more like brothers and sisters to the kids than dogs.  But my pups are getting old…two are 9 years old and three are 8 years old.

Well today we had our first bought with what is to come.  And I can honestly say that I am not ready for it!

Athena has been having accidents in the house.  I took her to the vet today since she also seemed majorly bloated and has been excessively thirsty .  Usually when a potty trained dog begins to have accidents, it is a UTI.  But Athena’s urine test came back mostly normal.  Which meant more tests to figure out what is wrong.  She had blood work and an abdominal x-ray.  Her liver is grossly enlarged and her blood work shows some high numbers in relation to the liver and adrenal glands.  So now we have to have an ultrasound to determine if it is liver disease, Crohn’s disease or (huge sigh)…cancer-lymphoma.  We have her ultrasound next Wednesday to try to determine how to proceed.  I hope hope hope that it is not cancer…did I mention hope??   I pray that it ends up somehow being nothing at all and she is miraculously better come next Wednesday.  

This picture is Athena being fed at on the table when she was having tummy problems last month (due to dog food allergies).  She is eating steamed white rice.  

 athena eating

Thought I would include a picture taken yesterday of one of our other dogs wrapped up in our daughter’s favorite blanket. 


These are some spoiled pooches that live in this house!  I hope they will LIVE here much, much longer! 

I am a Droid (owner)

My husband surprised me today with a new phone…it uses the Android operating system by Google.  Thanks sweetie!!!!


Now for the rest of the story…(Chris did not know this when he bought the phone).  Remember that Gingerbread House Party?  Well since I forgot my camera, I was using my blackberry to take pictures.  (just remembered that oops, I should have posted some of those pics from the party).  My blackberry was sitting in the middle of the table and a knife of icky sticky dripping icing accidentally got laid on it.  Well now the keys are nice and stuck.  I tried cleaning it quickly but that icing went deep behind the keys and though I can’t see it, it has majorly hardened.  Now the keys don’t work very well.  I was so worried about how I was going to fix my phone and wow what a surprise…my husband hand a new phone for me when I got home! 

Ryan is excited because the light saber application can be used on this phone.  Chris put it on his phone but I am not so sure about loading it on mine…do I really want my 3 year to be swinging my phone around like a light saber so that he can hear the sound effects?

Thanks Nana and Dala

When Chris got home last night, he found a giant box was left at our garage…it was the kids’ Christmas gifts from Nana and Dala.  The kids were so excited!!

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Ari loved her gown that was like Susan from Narnia.DSC_0052 DSC_0056

Ryan loved his coat!-literally


Ari and Ryan got a really cool Narnia castle and lots of figures to go with it!

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Ryan in his Peter costume.DSC_0077

My Knight in Shining Armor!

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The kids loved playing in the giant box! 


They made a HUGE mess with these popcorn fillers:)  You have no idea what I mean! 


Thanks for all of the great gifts Nana and Dala!

Handwriting without Tears


Ari and Ryan playing with the wood pieces from Ryan’s Handwriting without Tears.

Celebrating this Season

We are having a great time getting ready for Jesus Birthday.  We have been busy decorating our house for the celebration. 

Ari and I made an advent wreath.  We light the candles each Sunday and discuss the meaning of the candle.  I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find purple candles…so we improvised. 


Each day the kids and I have been studying the lineage of Jesus.  We then make an ornament to remind us of the person that we study.  It is great to walk up the stairs and follow the history leading up to the birth of Jesus!


We are also learning about the origin of different things that our society uses to celebrate Christmas (eg:  Candy cane, Christmas tree, angels, Santa Claus, etc).  We usually do some sort of activity around this…below is a candy cane we made when discussed the Candy Cane.


We made angels from our feet and hands on the day that we discussed angels. 


Every day we open a day on our Lego advent calendar.  Arianna does odd days and Ryan does even days.  They LOVE legos!!!  They are so excited to see what each day’s surprise holds. 




We made a Christmas Tree out of Shrinky Dinks.  Ari and Ryan enjoyed coloring the ornaments and then watching them shrink in the oven.  Ari wanted to give this to Daddy to take to work so he has a Christmas Tree.


Ari colored a picture from our Color the Christmas ClassicsDSC_0009     

We went to a Gingerbread House Party but guess what…you’re not going to believe this…I forgot my camera.  So all I have are the pictures from once we got home.  We had a great time decorating Gingerbread houses with some of our Homeschool friends.



Only 2 weeks to go…

Putting up our Christmas Tree

It is our tradition to put our Christmas Tree up when we return to town after Thanksgiving.  The kids were so excited! I love going through each ornament and telling the story behind it.   We purchase an ornament for each child every year which they will receive when they go off and start their own family.  We also buy a family ornament that reminds us of the year. Ari got a Three Musketeers Barbie Ornament and of course Ryan got a Star Wars ornament. He is obsessed with Star Wars! 

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Ari decorated the “tree” (aka tree stand) while we were bringing the decorations down.

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This is the first year that Arianna has helped with just about every part of putting the tree up.  putting up christmas tree (5)

putting up christmas tree (3)

Ryan goofing off under the treeputting up christmas tree (6) putting up christmas tree (7) putting up christmas tree (8) putting up christmas tree (9)

Ryan goofing off in the tree box (can you tell what he did while we put the branches on??

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Ari putting the top on the treeputting up christmas tree (11) putting up christmas tree (12)

Ryan goofing off while we are putting the ornaments on.  He sure does do a lot of goofing off of late:)  He is a clown!putting up christmas tree (13) putting up christmas tree (14)

How do you hang these on the tree?

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Critical Thinking Company

I love this company.  I am excited that they have come out with a Core curriculum for Math and Language Arts.   At the homeschooling store, I got Ari the Language Smarts 1st Grade curriculum and for Ryan I got the Mathematical Reasoning for 3-4 Year olds.  They both love the activities and ask to do more.  

My wishlist fromthis company for the Spring (being a curriculum junky is tough): 

Mathematical Reasoning Level B

Building Thinking Skills Primary (K-1)

Mind Benders Beginning 2

Developing Critical Thinking Through Science Book 1

Building Thinking Skills Beginning ages 3-4

Handwriting WITHOUT Tears

Arianna taught herself to write when she was 2 years old.  Great for then but now she is having to learn correct letter formation.  She writes very well but not necessarily efficient. A lower case a is 3 steps for her to write.  She draws little tails on the lower case a and u. 

Enter Handwriting without tears.  We purchased the 1st Grade handwriting without tears to help her with correct letter formation to help her be more efficient for the upcoming years of paragraph writing.  Well we started yesterday and guess what…There were TEARS!  She was so frustrated with how to hold her pencil that she was in tears. 

I have a difficult time teaching her the correct way as I was taught by a left handed person.  I hold my pencil just like a left hander and I remember in 3rd grade getting so frustrated because the teacher was mad that I couldn’t hold my pencil correctly.  Whenever I hold it like she would say, I couldn’t write.  Ari has the same problem but she holds in her very own way. 

After the tears began, Ari couldn’t even remember how she normally holds a pencil.  She was using the fisted grip. We kept dropping the pencil and just doing pencil pick ups but to no avail. 

I closed the book and said look Ari the book says without Tears.  You can’t have tears when doing this:) That made her laugh.   I told her that she can hold it the way she always does and we would just work on letter formation instead of worrying about how to hold a pencil.  We learned the frog jump letter formations (E, F, B, D, R, P, N, M). 

I am also beginning the Handwriting without Tears Pre-K with Ryan.  I like that it uses multi-sensory approach.  Today we played with the wood pieces (little line, big line, little curve, big curve).  Ryan enjoyed playing with these. 

Celebrating Saint Nicholas Day

We celebrated Saint Nicholas Day last Sunday, December 6.  We learned about the real Saint Nicholas. He had an amazing heart for God and love for others.  Ari and Ryan thought it was cool that Saint Nicholas was from Turkey which is where our friend Zuhal lives.

The kids enjoyed opening one gift in celebration of the acts of Saint Nicholas. 

I was amazed at how little I knew about the real Saint Nicholas…so much has been jaded by the American Santa Claus.  We discussed where the American view of Santa Claus evolved from. 

I was excited to learn about this day since it allows us to separate the celebration of the birth of Jesus from Santa.