Monday, June 23, 2008

goal for this week

to start charting out all the things to do in the central valley when its hot out. and scheduling some field trips and other beat the heat ideas for the whole summer.

its HOT now (110 this weekend!) and it sucks the life outta me. (have i mentioned lately how much i HATE living in the central valley in the summer?) so i've become lethargic and depressed and unmotivated to do anything. which is NOT conducive to happy children. sitting around the air conditioned house doing basically nothing isn't going to continue to work. (not that it works now).

i need a plan, and i need one NOW. so this week my goal is to get some "what to do in the heat" info up on fresno family (which i use for my own reference...which is why i created it actually...just a side benefit that others get to reference it too) and start scheduling some field trips specifically with heat in mind (maggie moo's is the first one i plan to schedule).

i have to turn this summer around. at this rate the summer is going to DRAAAAAAAG...so i have to find some things to do to make it enjoyable for my children (and me!)

so that's my mission this week!

Friday, June 13, 2008

big room FINALLY underway!!

our "big room" is FINALLY getting fixed up! for anyone reading this (like anyone really ever does, LOL) that doesn't know about the big room...its our garage conversion that is our big play room/"school" room that we've been without since last year when it got all torn up to get rid of the toxic mold that was all over it. long story, but it all started with me forgetting to turn off a hose that i was watering the flower bed outside the room...flooded the room...activated dormant toxic mold spores in teh room...yada yada yada...thousands of dollars and LOTS of work and inconvenience later....room all torn up and we didn't get around to doing anything with it for going on a year now.

anyway, fast forward to now...

recently we've had the opportunity to have a family member help us work on the room. adam and i really had no idea where to begin...so the ball got rolling again when the "big pickup" was happening in our neighborhood and it gave us a date to get the old panelling out. so rob and adam worked on sunday for a couple hours and tore all the old stuff out and then later in the week rob was able to come over and help us start to rebuild! it SOOO exciting!

that room was in decent shape before...but definitely old and ready for some changes...but we never would have been able to get to it with all the other repairs that are needed on our house. the toxic mold situation forced us to deal with that room and i think it might all work out for the best! i'm really excited to get a new room!!

so this week that room has gotten all the insulation put in and a new air conditioner installed!! the room has ac, but it doesn't work very well...the unit on our room, we think, just doesn't have the power to cover the whole house so by the time it gets to the big room its pretty pathetic in teh cooling department. so adding a wall ac was just brilliant, i think...now we can spend time in the room even in the heat of summer! used to be when the temperatures got too extreme we would just avoid the room...so much of the year the room was unused since so much of the year is HOT, and a fair amount is cold. well now we have ac and i'm going to get a space heater for winter! yay!

rob also replaced some broken outlets and a bunch of other little repairs. its so exciting to see the room start to come together again! now we just need to get another chunk of money to get more supplies. we're currently out of "house money." ugh, what a pain. we had a LOT before, because of the loan we took out last year...and it got chipped away with very little going to the house. :( but we have a couple things that should be coming in soon (hopefully) and its ALL going to that room.

next we are going to replace the windows and the back door! i can't believe how exciting this all is! the panelling will be after that, i think...and once the walls are put back together we can get the carpet done. we're also talking about putting ceiling fans in. that room is gonna be friggin awesome!!! i can't wait for it to be all done!!

i have plans to start up my mommy and me classes again once the room is ready...so i'm really excited!

we're also working on the yard...the sand pit is all done (just needs some more sand) and i am working on that side concrete area...have some ideas for that!

its so nice to have our house finally coming together. this house is such a fixer-upper...it is an amazing feeling to finally get things started going to work towards making it a better place to live! :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

i agree!

i just read this on this very interesting website:
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Would you ever consider putting your children in a public school?
No. Not under any circumstances. For me, the public schools don't even exist. I don't mean to sound down on people who use them, but between the lack of freedom they represent, the joke they call education, and the deplorable moral conditions inside them, it would be like tossing my kids into a cesspool to drown. That sounds pretty strong, but that's how I feel about it. My kids are too important to me. I would never do that to them.
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i have to say i agree. totally.

i need some new ideas!

we have this great yard and so many ideas for it...so far things are coming along nicely.
in the past year we dug out a sandpit:









here's the finished product...tyren under the cat-proof (theoretically) net:

now i'm wanting to find something to do with this space here:

that's a concrete slab that we have outside our bedroom windows, on the side of the house. it has a gate (broken...needs to be replaced...on my long list of projects to get to) on one side (that's the wooden one you see on the farthest side in front of you in the pic)...that's the front yard side.

then another gate (metal fence/gate) on the inside (backyard) side of the space:

on the neighbors side of the fence, there is a grape arbor and the grape vines are always coming over our fence...which we don't mind...the kids like the grapes when we can remember to eat them before the bugs get to them. right now they are still sour, as you can tell by tyren's face:

anyway i need some ideas for something to do with that concrete slab area. i think it should be a great play area for the kids...but not sure what to do with it yet. originally i wanted to build a shed for our trikes/bikes/riding toys and build a ramp to the front driveway so we could open that big wooden gate and the kids could take the bikes to the front, or pull them to the backyard through the inside gate. but now i'm thinking that that would kill that play space. it would then just be storage and it has such a great feel to it that i feel like it should be used creatively for the children. so i'm open to ideas!!


i think it might be worth building a mini-arbor and encourage the grapevines to come over more...would help with the extreme heat and sun that beats down on that side of the house in the summer afternoons. would make that space nice and shady then.


i'd like to see it used maybe as a sort of playhouse...if i build the arbor and have the grapevines for shade, then the kids might want to go in there more...


but because it is concrete, then that might make it better for things like playing cars or something...i'm not sure yet...i need ideas! help!

i'm putting maeven to work on thinking of something too...so we'll see what we can come up with...we welcome suggestions!

great quote!

got this from a homeschool group i'm on where they are discussing the parade poll about whether or not parents should have a teaching credential to be able to teach their own children:

"...for people to assume that they can write laws or create standards that people have to follow in order to qualify to educate their children, they have to assume that they have learned absolute truth about how to educate ALL children. But in the field of education, in the field of psychology and neurology that are so powerfully connected to education, (but so poorly integrated into it) there is so much controversy, and so much that we DON'T know that no person is qualified to make those kinds of judgments of everyone. "

wow! great stuff!

and by the way, the "no's" are still winning against the "yes's" by a LANDSLIDE!! (95%!!) WOOHOO! nice to see so many people agree with us that a teaching credential is pretty useless to homeschoolers.

i decided a long time ago to NOT get a teaching credential or pursue teaching in the public school system because i vehemently opposed their idea of "education." its so hard for me to understand why anyone would think that a homeschooled parent would need to take a step BACKWARDS and learn how to teach in a crappy, inefficient way! *rolling eyes*