Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hello, Red Fox...

Our kiddos are loving visits to the library....
we come home with far too many books, but much to my delight (and that of my husband) we have not lost a single book.  (Not ever....that would be a lie...but in the past few months and I am mighty proud to state that one!)  How did I manage such an amazing feat?  Well, please let me share, it is really quite simple, not sure why I didn't think of this one many years ago...  In our living room there is a dedicated area with a cute little cubby box that is for nothing more than housing library books.  The kids are welcome to look at them and when they are finished simply return them to this little spot.  IT HAS WORKED for the past several months!  I am soooo happy.  No lost books, no late books (because they are hiding out in favorite but forgotten hiding spots) no searching high and low, just wandering over to the little cubby, bending over, retrieving and returning to the library.  How I love it when things (simple things) work out so easily!

Moving on...
April was a fun month of study for us...we did some fantastic weather experiments, added a new section to the younger kids Unit Study books on Crazy Weather and did a slew of reading random books.  Some of our favorites were a small collection of Eric Carle...
A House for Hermit Crab
The Mixed-Up Chameleon
All About Arther (an absolutely absurd ape)
Have you seen my cat?
and last, but certainly not least...
Hello, Red Fox

Hello, Red Fox was a fascinating book for the kids....can't really count how many times this book has been handled and "tested"...
it is based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's color theory
(which by the way was to him his most important achievement)
which is interesting to me considering the fact that he is known as a great German poet, a novelist and a philosopher..
.but I have to wonder if it is because of the length of time of his study (more than 20 years) and scientific research on color. his color theory, he determined that there were three primary colors
and that each color had an opposite, or complementary color. 
This story is an excellent example of those complementary colors with a touch of "magic" involved in the teaching.  LOVE it!

Eric Carle captivates children and their Mommas in his story Hello, Red Fox as he invites us to "see" by simply looking a little longer...

A message all in itself...take the time to look a little longer...and who is it that teaches this???
The child to the mother...
I learn the most important lessons from my kids!
Little Frog introduces his Mama Frog to each of his friends in this fascinating little story...
what an adventure as page after page, Little Frog teaches Mama Frog the beauty and marvel in taking enough time to really look and to see...

Even though this is just a short little story book it is not a book to fly through, as your kiddos will truly want to wait and "see" the magic that appears before their very eyes. 

i love the magic i feel from my happy to be a Mom!  Lucky, lucky me...  :0)

Friday, April 29, 2011

diggin' out...

A few posts ago I wrote about the garbage truck experience....

Well, I am currently diggin' my way out of the dump-load of junk that's been thrown my direction the past few days...

Can I just say how much I dislike unhappy, mean people???

They don't even have to be unhappy with you to be mean, the action of being yucky and mean is just a result of their unhappiness and I guess they have to fling it somewhere.  I need to get a little better at ducking when that crap is flying about through the air!  (sorry, but that is just what it really is, no way of sugar-coating it)

I spent the day in court with a family who has endured some awful times during the past three or more years...Wednesday was the "final episode"...someone had to leave unhappy...
It was my lucky day (actually my very unlucky day) to be ordered by the court to be the go-between person in the wrapping up of the final separation of this family...AWFUL!!!

I have heard more cuss words,
have been yelled at,
cried to,
questioned and I might even go as far as interrogated...
so now you know why I had a hay day with the brownies!

I think I feel better, I am just about out from under all the junk that has been flung atop of me and the bonus is that there is a touch of sunlight peeking through....
I Will Survive!!! 
One more pan of brownies might be in order,
but I am going to try to resist,
or should I just give in and have the last massive chocolate fix and then move on????  
decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chocolate Days...

So why is it that a most delicious brownie just makes a hard day a tiny bit happier?  

Why can't a carrot or an apple or a great salad do the trick???

I gave all of the above my best shot and they just didn't cut it,
so I gave in,
I indulged (and I might add, it was a splendid indulgence!)
I have to admit that my indulgence went just a touch overboard...
I am soooo going to pay for my last two days...
I have been doing soooo good...
but stress has taken over and I have absolutely sabotaged myself. 
After tonight, I will be good again, I don't think my body can handle all of this sugar intake!

I think I will institute a new rule around the Lytle House...
No Brownies Allowed 
unless Mom is delightfully happy...
If this seems out of the question to you, please allow me to explain my reasoning ~
When I am happy, I really have no need to partake of such a decadent dessert,
BUT if I have had a couple of overly rough days (as the past two have been)
just the smell of brownies will do me in.
I cannot resist, I must indulge! 
So it is either institute this rule or the next time my kiddos make brownies, I will need to leave the premises and not return until all brownie evidence is gone (including the little crumbs) and the house has been completely aired out ensuring that the sweet smell of deliciousness has dissipated entirely....

I don't think that sounds too drastic ~

Well tomorrow is a new day and if all goes well, I will be back on track...maybe all I really needed was a little sweetenin' up...and if that's the case, I should be good as new!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Somebody find me a Valium!!!

I am convinced that mothers were never, ever meant to drive with teenagers!!!

I did it once and now I am having to endure the same terror all over again...and to think I still have five more kids to go through...I'll never make it!

I can teach all these kiddos just about everything, reading, math, cooking, writing, history, science; you get the picture, but driving???...that one just should not be my job...I really think I've taught enough things....

It is not good for a mother to sit in the passenger seat of her own vehicle
(which she really should be driving herself!)
while one of the children she brought into this world sits behind the wheel...
to start with, what the heck do they think they are doing growing up like this??? 
I asked them and asked them to just stay little, but not a one of them has listened! 
And then they want to drive around my car and make me ride along with them (with a happy smile on) praising their effort at staying in the correct lane and not hitting any cars around them, and not going too fast or too slow, they actually want me to be okay with being jerked from one side of the car to the other as they figure out how to maneuver the car about, not to mention the abrupt stops and starts...oh, and the best one was almost hitting the barrels on the side of the road while attempting to merge into traffic on the freeway, she really thought she should be looking behind her to see the traffic coming and failed to remember that the car was still moving forward, aaaaauuuuggghhhh!!! 
...teenagers should never put their wonderful mommas through such extreme torture!  This is not good for my heart, I think I am becoming somewhat fragile!!!

I had hoped it might be easier with the second daughter, I was WRONG!  I was pretty sure that my life could have come to a premature end as I sat in that passenger seat just praying to make it home safely. 
Oh, and I might add she thought she was doing really great...
oh my... the hardest part; I had to remain calm and keep smiling or she may have flipped her lid and lost all control, not a good thing to happen while learning to drive a car...

Are you all feeling terribly sorry for me at this point?  If not, you really should be! 
Our first daughter tried to run me into a mailbox in the neighborhood and now this lovely daughter tries to take out the barrels...

I've made an executive decision
(I know I really should talk this over with my dear hubby, but some things just need to be handled in such a manner as this)
so as of this time, I refuse to get in the car with this adorable daughter of mine until she has spent many, many hours with her Dear Daddy accompanying her on this journey of learning to operate a vehicle.  
Whew...I feel much better!

That should relieve my need for Valium, which is good, since I have never actually had one in my lifetime and I'd like to keep it that way!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Christopher ???

The funniest thing happened the other day...
I was finishing up reading Morning Girl by Michael Dorris aloud to our three youngest kiddos and my biggest kid (aka Hubby). It was just a short, sweet, little story so when it was over so quickly, my kids were a little disappointed, but at the end of this wonderful little book is a journal entry by Christopher Columbus that relates to the people on this Bahamian Island that I also wanted to share with them. We'd already read what Morning Girl thought of the strange visitors that came to her island,
See full size image

so it should be interesting to see what these "visitors" thought of the life lived by these simple island people.  My goal was for our kids to see the differing perspectives of how each people saw the other. 

Since the kids were so disappointed when the story was over, it was easy to keep their attention while I read the epilogue to them...
I thought I'd "test" their knowledge a little...
note to self: 
Do not do this with your husband present ever again,
it will bite you everytime you try to "show off"

...moving on....

Sooooo I told these adorable little children, "There is a little bonus at the end of the book called an epilogue, which is like a journal entry written by someone you all know about, it was written in 1492 and it was written by someone named C h r i s t o p h eeeeerrrrrr" 


waiting for them to finish up the name so that I could marvel that I had, in fact, taught them something of great value...

the response that came was most surprising...
and I might add I did not have that marveling moment I was so looking forward to!!!

 I was expecting to hear COLUMBUS come flying out of their little mouths,

Instead, I heard something quite different!
In the most perfect unison imaginable,
three little mouths enthusiastically blurt out --

I laughed so hard I was crying ~ did not see that one coming!
My little hints did not give it away at all...unbelievable! 
They knew this one...hmmmm, where did I go wrong? 

My hubby was horrified in a funny kind of horrified way,
his response was just about as hilarious as theirs!!! 
While he is in complete laughter,  he says

"You have failed my children...
The Hundred Acre Wood, Winnie the Pooh??? 

No, we are talking about

(and he breaks out in song at this point...priceless!)

"In 1492, he sailed the Ocean Blue" 

and from the back seat we hear,

"Ohhhhh!!! Christopher COLUMBUS!"

I am convinced nothing could be more entertaining than my life!!!

Now the only thing to worry about is whether or not all the Winnie the Pooh movies disappear from my house!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Latest & Greatest...

What to share tonight???

The highlights, hmmmmm.....

School is good, the house is still standing, the kids are all doing just hunky dory, the dog (TINY) has moved to the back porch, I had lunch with one of my favorite people today, I'm down 14 pounds, General Conference was amazing, we spent the afternoon outside burning branches and cleaning up the pasture (I LOVE living in the country!), I've been reading some great books on Nutrition and Diet, we've decided to go to the Manti Pagaent this year for the first time...can't wait!, I get to see my oldest daughter and my grandbabies tomorrow, I only have 4 mountains of laundry to tackle, my flowers are starting to pop up in areas, the sun has been shining off and on, Spring is coming, we've almost memorized the entire Living Christ (our goal is to have it in our minds and hearts by Easter), I've started a new workout program that I am is called T-Tapp...I mostly love that it is based on working your lymphatic system and it's a huge bonus to do your measurements and see those inches melting away, our little school co-op is going great...I love teaching Early American History,  Hosted a dinner and dessert evening for the Young Women and their Moms and then headed over to watch YW Conference with all of them ~ great aftn/evening, I have an empty box of butter sitting in my kitchen window...when I want to eat something REALLY bad for me, I just look at that butter and imagine fourteen of those hummers back on my body and it's a lot easier to go without!, I've been wondering to myself what I might be when I grow up, I've been playing around with the idea of going for chickens hubby is not so sure he wants to tackle having a zoo or a farm again...I'm working on him...fresh eggs might be a nice thing to have, just read Morning Girl to my little kids ~ I really love that story ~ the sweet, simple life they enjoyed...the innocence...the purity ~ packed with beautiful lessons, Crepes on Conference Sunday were divine and the Quiche was mighty tasty as well, during one of our Family Home Evenings we were all playing a game called Do You Love Your Neighbor...well it was Natalie's turn and she said "Yes, I love my neighbors, but I don't love Obama" -- the random things that come out of my kids mouths amaze me...that was our favorite quote of the week!, we've learned that the only thing harder than trying to get all of our school work done with only three computers in the house is to lessen that number by one for 2 weeks ... aaaauuuggghhhhh...maybe the lesson to be learned in all of this is patience, my hubby has been such a huge help with all of our business paperwork over the last little has been so nice to have a little less to worry about, my brain is starting to think about RETREAT time, I am loving the delicious peppers and cucumbers that I've been eating ~ but I could do without the high prices, which brings me to my next thought...Garden...last year it was all in pots, do we repeat that again or go for the gusto and do it big???, I still have amazing photos and experiences to share from Cassie's baptism that I haven't been able to do...mostly because I have no idea at all how to get the photos from the phone to the computer...might be time to enlist the help of teenagers, I've had contact with our "other daughter" who isn't technically our daughter and it was wonderful to see her...she has a long way to go to find true happiness in her world but she is making a little progress here and there, Chad and I have had two dates to the temple recently and it was great...funniest thing ever happened and it was on April 1st so I was really wondering if someone was playing an April Fool's joke on us...during a sealing we stood in proxy for Lord Crab and Crabby Crab...everyone in the room, including the sealer was losin' it (maybe you had to be there!), we've had lots of time training the horses lately ~ I just sit and watch (and pray) and smile and tell them all just how great they're doing, the boys have made an absolutely amazing bike is very picture worthy because words simply cannot express the creative minds these kids of mine have...where there is a will, there is a way ~ and we have some serious will going on around here!, our oldest son is becoming quite the handy man...he can fix just about anything -- the motorcycles, four wheelers, truck -- he just has a knack for it all -- Chad is going to set him loose with a Kohler Motor and see if he can work his magic (I have no doubt at all!),  our next son is now a den chief (basically this means he is acting as a leader for the younger boys (scouts) and helping out with planning and executing their meetings) he'll be such a wonderful helper in this area ~ his compassion is amazing and his main boy that he works with has some physical disabilities and Bryce is ever so sweet and gentle with him, we spent some time at the local fire station for a tour and it looks like my hubby is going to pursue one of his dreams...he's always wanted to be a volunteer firefighter, I really want to stand in his way and keep him nice and safe and protected, but I will step to the side and smile the biggest smile I can muster up...

Well I think that about does it...there's a random list of some of the Latest and Greatest around this crazy house...

Sweet Dreams  :0)