Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kid Shots

If you give a kid a camera.
(Without your knowledge, mind you)

But because... your a great role model

You never know what he might do
He may just take a picture

Of cars in a line

Or better yet, catch you doing something 
That may be illegal, in a policeman's view

 Like texting while driving...

Oh No!?! That couldn't be true!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Free Stuff and a few coupons too!

Who doesn't like free stuff? 

Click here Shout it out and receive a sample of shout wipes for removing stains on the the go. You will have to fill out a form asking for your address but hey! so what.

SBR Sports Inc is providing free samples of Trislide, TriSwim and Foggle Shampoo, Conditioner and Lotion. Visit the linked page and complete the form. Even if your not a sports enthusiast, it's free!

Check out Women's Health a governmental agency from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' is giving away free copies of their 2012 Calendar's. Shipping will begin in December. You should receive it just in time for those New Year resolutions.

Checkout Blockbuster kiosk and enter codes 86TGAF3, 77BCRD6, 53JGMM7 or 82BRAB7 to score a free DVD rental. But hurry these codes will expire on August 8th! Tomorrow.  Also they are valid on the $1  rentals only.  Make sure to return your movies by 9:00 pm the next day to prevent a $1.00 late fee.

Print coupons to save up to $12 off Post-It products. These coupons expire on September 30, 2011.
NOTE: You may have to cut and paste for link to work; http://www.3m.com/us/office/postit/coupons/70-0714-4853-7.pdf

Feeling lucky? Enter here for a free chance to win a $100 Wal-mart gift card.  Good luck!!

Got any good saving tips? Please pass them on. We can help each other out so that we may all benefit. 

The runs

NO. No. No. Not those kind of runs. An actual, physical, get up and go run. Geez!!

I have this fantasy image in my head that I am a runner. Like a real athletic type runner whose similar to Micheal Johnson, the Olympic champion. Only. I'm white, female and I've never won any races. Anyway, these thought often lifts my spirits and ego a bit therefore I often sign up for various races around town in the hopes that someday my true self will shine through.

The last race (13.1 miles) was on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

It was one of those a freezing cold, miserable rain, mess days. At mile marker 2 someone knocked me off my footing and I landed in a huge puddle therefore having to run the 11 point 1 miles with soaking.wet and watered down feet. By mile marker 9 all I wanted was my Mother and a diet coke. At the end I was tired, cold, hungry, irritated and very relieved to spot my proud smiling husband under an umbrella ready to greet me at the finish line. I literally fell into his arms, cried myself a river of tears, and then threw up all over his shoes!! After that I swore that I would never run again! EVER.

Fast forward to a few months ago when spring sprung and I started doing my cocky little I'm a runner dance and signed up for not one. Not two. But four. yes. Four different races. The truth. I eat Oreo cookies and potato chips. I love my Mother's Chocolate Carolina cake and my sisters homemade fudge and often hide in a dark corner eating all of it all by myself.

But since the mind is often forgetful tool when remembering pain I signed up for a few races. A 1/2 marathon here in town with the delight of being able to run with my sister. Then somehow it came up that someday the kids would like to go to Walt Disney World.  I thought it would be a great opportunity if I could find a way to race at Disney in 2012 because it's an even year and I like even numbers. Don't ask.

As I started doing research and talking to people - low and behold - I found a 1/2 marathon and a full! Wa- la! Perfect. Then dilemma strikes, which one? Hmmm. I know! I'll do ALL of them!! Perfect. Payments made and exciting thoughts come to mind thinking about running a 1/2 with my husband and creating one of those great husband/wife bonding moments. And because I am so smart and a Micheal-Johnson-wanna-be-white-girl-athlete! I decided to run.both races. The 1/2 (13.1) on Saturday and the full (26.2) on Sunday.  yeah.  

What the blankety-blank was I thinking?!? Reality check. I am not a lean mean running machine. I have no plan. I'm not even sure where to look except maybe ask Mr. Google and everyone knows he gives way to many options.  I'm the gal that often takes all the options. If someone says do you want cake or ice cream I answer YES.  Basically, at this moment. It's August and I only have a few months of training.  I am in a state of panic and want to swear like a sailor has never sworn before!! I want to use expletives that not even a hard core criminal would think of using while in the company of a Priest whom he just made a full confession.

Oh, and to top it off there's no such thing as refunds in races. Sooo. Now what? (help)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Learning style

Recently, my boys were tested on their knowledge of what they have learned in school. Since "we" home-school, I was a nervous wreck during the week of testing. Once I received the results I couldn't/wouldn't open it for several days.

My thoughts were random. Those wonderful self conversations went something like this:

"What if my kids fail the Iowa State Test?"
"That's fine. Whatever. I'll blame the teacher."
"Oh! #@$! I am the teacher!"
"Well.  I'll just send them back to school"
"Yeah. Right! Here comes Jethro! 21 and still in third grade!"

As I suspected! My children are stupid and it's totally their teacher Mother Father's fault!!

There. I said it. Now I can breathe and put down the bag of chocolate Oreo cookies. Okay, yeah. One more won't hurt.  Shoot! There all gone??!  Who ate all the coo...

And that's when I decided that I really needed help. No. Not with the cookies. With learning about the way  my children learn.  Meeting them where they are and not where I would like them to be. SO. For a few weeks during the summer. I put aside all of our "study" books and began reading a book by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. called The way they learn. How to discover and teach to your child's strengths.

In reading this book I had to rediscover the way I learn. One thing which has come to my attention is the awareness of several dominant learning styles. As we develop and mature over time we often mask or adjust our learning styles to fit our environment instead of allowing our environment to fit us.

Okay, so this may not be a great revelation to a lot of people, but it was to me..I'm not sure that I really put much thought it the way I learn things over the years. I went to school. Sat down at my desk and for the most part did what I was told. When I was told. How I was told. And that's pretty much the way I have run our home-school.

Many people may disagree with homeschooling. Feeling that children need to adapt to all of life's situations no matter what. That's life. Deal with it. End of story. However, My son Brian who appears aloof to a lot of people, and bit impulsive. Is the kid that would be kicked out of the classroom, often exasperating the teacher and sent to the principles office for not conforming.

Alexander on the other hand, appears to be organized and gives great attention to detail. He's the kid that would come home with bundles and bundles of homework every night because he spent to much time on one project trying to perfect the assignment that the teacher assigned. Always remaining as the teachers pet but  his loving parents would be up all night finishing the work he started at 8 am that morning.

While James our oldest often seems to need reassurance and acceptance with a lot of praise and acceptance. He's extremely bright but was the child that took most of the hits as a youngster and was often bullied so other kids would feel better about themselves.

Each one of them are so different and actually tested on or above grade level on the Iowa test. Brian, can learn basically anywhere, with a bunch of distractions and most usually is the distraction with a lot of tapping and standing while learning BUT he learns. Alexander needs a bit of nature around his environment with a quiet serene surrounding and a specific deadline to finish with a set timer. While James needs to be able to move around in a quiet comfortable room with soft light and little distractions.

Now,  I can work around a few distractions but benefit mostly in a bright warm environment. Outside running in the warm sun at the park near a meadow without bugs and other creatures and a package of Oreo cookies is perfect for me.

For the past few years of homeschooling I have pretty much created a very structured environment and although luckily we don't have a Jethro yet. "What? Speak American! Uncle Jed!"  Well then. How does one put all of these things into action and make their homeschooling experience a successful one barring serious weight gain? Thank you Cynthia! My new best friend.

Yep. It only took two or three (or twenty) years BUT  I have begun to realize that I have put a great many demands and stress on my boys.

With this new year, I hope to implement a new approach to the way we learn. Although we will be covering much of the same material, I hope to change the way we learn with a bit of each persons personality giving way to another. Therefore, making it a joy of learning instead of a chore of learning.

Hopefully, I will be able to update as the year progresses. However, I may start on the next book by Cynthia Tobias entitled Every child can succeed. (yippee!)  Who knows where they could end up!

Wish me luck! Better yet, with my high quality organizational skills I'd like to possess perhaps it's best to wish my kids luck.