Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ceiling Tile Bulletin Boards

The nursery I recently painted with the camping theme has been put together and now they just have to wait for the baby - less than 6 weeks away! I love how they added a walking stick for the curtain rod & they hung a real lantern for some low light in the room. Too fun! Hopefully, the soon-to-be mom doesn't mind me posting pictures that I "stole" from her blog ;-)

The bulletin board I painted in this picture is actually a ceiling tile that you can pick up at most home improvement stores. I just painted it with acrylics and hot glued ribbon on the outside edge. I also like to hot glue cute, but small, items to thumbtacks so the user can display photos, important notes, artwork, etc. For this bulletin board, I actually hot glued small bumble bees to thumbtacks, trying to keep with the outdoor theme.
Here's a few more bulletin boards I've painted in the past...

Now, get out & head to your local home improvement store & buy yourself a ceiling tile! Turn it into a beautiful work of art for a friend, or better yet, keep it for yourself! You can do it!!!

Homeschool Co-Op PE

The kids in our homeschool Co-Op participated in a P.E. class this past Friday. Miss Karen, an instructor from the YMCA and fellow homeschool mom, taught the class. The kids had a blast doing relay races and learning about the importance of exercise. Can't wait until next time!

This is a video of the kids participating in a crab-walk race...

"A" Lost Her First Tooth!

"A" finally lost her first tooth last Thursday night. She was so excited! She's been telling her friends she's had a loose tooth for about a year now! (In reality, it's only been about 2-3 weeks.)

Even though she no longer believes in the Tooth Fairy, she still left her tooth in her little purple bag for the Fairy. Hopefully she'll let me continue to play this "game" with her for a while - as long as she's receiving money, I'm sure she will ;-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Fun Night Out

So I just celebrated my 29th birthday for the 11th year in a row ;-) My "birthday gang" of friends took me out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Ted's Cafe Escondido. My friend, Stacey, owns a limo service and she surprised us by picking us up in a PINK Hummer limo! It was totally decked out with mood lighting in the ceiling and disco lights on the floor. My girls would have FREAKED OUT if they could have seen it! Stacey said she just had it custom made in California and it's the only pink one in Oklahoma!

Ted's was great, as usual! Their tortillas and sopapillas are to die for! And, I got the "pleasure" of being serenaded by the wait staff. It was a fun night & helped make turning another year older a little easier ;-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Exposing a Trojan Horse

I attended a meeting last night for the leaders of homeschool Co-Ops in northeast Oklahoma. It was a good opportunity to network with other leaders and to get the latest "scoop" on homeschooling opportunities, as well as learn of disturbing things we should be aware of in the homeschool community.

We watched a short film, called Exposing a Trojan Horse, which warns homeschool families of the latest "tactics" the government is trying to entice us with in order for us to follow it's "agenda". They are attempting to get homeschool families to buy into a government-funded program that provides free materials, services and experiences. These "free" materials include free curriculum and possibly even a free laptop computer for your family. And what's better than "free", right?! Purchasing curriculum can get rather expensive; however, why would we want to forfeit our freedom to school the way we feel is best for our families for a few free textbooks?

As one becomes more informed, you can see there are huge dangers with these government-funded programs. They might be enticing and sound good at first glimpse, but after doing a little research, you can tell it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. The curriculum might be "free" but it still comes at some cost, not necessarily in a monetary value. The biggest issue I have with government-funded programs is that you are not allowed to bring "Jesus Christ" into your homeschool. You may not mention His name or do any type of religious training centered around Jesus. (Separation of church & state.) You might teach about Jesus outside of "school", but that is teaching your children that God and education don't mix. It teaches them to keep Jesus in His own little box and we're not supposed to pull Him out until the appropriate time.

Secondly, they provide you with so much material that many homeschool parents feel overwhelmed and end up putting their children back into public school (which I feel is part of the goal of this program). For example, if you participate in this program for 2nd grade math, you are given over 900 worksheets to complete within the year. Ridiculous!

Thirdly, you are given curriculum that does not consider your child's learning preferences or learning styles, which is supposed to be one of the benefits of homeschooling - being able to choose your own curriculum that best suits your child. So, if your child learns best with hands-on projects but is given 900 worksheets to complete - sorry, good luck with that! In addition, you must teach your children what the government feels is important for your child to learn - the culturally dominant values or common beliefs of our time. So, you might be "forced" to teach your child about sex ed in the first grade instead of when you feel they are ready to learn about it. Or you might have to teach your children about same sex marriage and how that is an "appropriate" choice for some couples.

Fourthly, once you "sign up" for this program, it is very hard to get out and you are basically signing away your freedoms. You become an "agent" of the State and you must follow their rules no matter what your religious beliefs are. Control follows money and as an "agent" of the State, they now have access to what you do in your home.

So what must homeschool families do when encouraged to participate in such government-funded programs? The dangers are real and I only touched on a few. Unfortunately, this movement will probably take over our nation soon and we must refuse to participate. We must contact our Senators and let them know that we do not want regulations put on homeschooling. According to the leader of last night's meeting, "We must not respond out of fear. Our platform is that the government is infringing on our beliefs. We must respond firmly, diligently and don't give up." Our kid's education and spiritual growth and well-being are worth it!

For more information on these programs, go to http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/HSatSchool.htm

Also, be sure to check out...

Advantages of homeschooling vs. Public or Private Schooling

Homeschooling: The Solution to our Education Problem
by Dr. Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.

The Bible: A Great Source of Modern Science
by Dr. Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.

Reasonable Faith: The Scientific Case for Christianity
Dr. Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.

Monday, January 19, 2009

2009 Presidential Inauguration

Even though the person I voted for President didn't win, I still want to be supportive of our new President and I pray that he is able to help bring some positive change to America. Since his inauguration is tomorrow, the girls are learning about President-Elect Barack Obama and the inauguration process with our homeschooling for a few days. I found a great website that has lots of information about him and what will be going on tomorrow. It also has info about previous presidents, their views and inaugural speeches. Can you answer the following questions?

Inauguration, 2009
In America’s capital, ________________________, on ______________, President-Elect _______________________ will become the ________ president of the United States. His Inauguration will be an historic event. He will be the first ________________________ to become president of the United States.
President-Elect ____________________ announced his candidacy on the Old Historic State House steps in Springfield, _________________________. It was in that very building that President _______________________ delivered his famous “House Divided” speech. He, too, was running for President of the United States at the time. The stones that were used to build this court house were laid by ___________________ .
As a United States __________________ from the state of __________________, President-Elect __________________________________ has just over three years of experience as a United States Senator. He is __________ years old and graduated from ________________ University in 1991. He was president of an important publication as a student called the _________________. He is the first _________________ to have held that position.

For Further Research:
What Happens on Inauguration Day?
An Online Video of a Historical Perspective of American Inaugurations
Historic Images
View President Ronald Reagan’s Inauguration Ceremony
View John F. Kennedy’s 1961 Inauguration

Inauguration Crafts

Obama Stencil Silhouette

“Yes We Can” Can

Clip art of President-Elect Obama

Coloring pages, word searches, and mazes of President-Elect Obama

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Geography Fair to benefit family adopting Russian orphans

We attended a Geography Fair tonight and got to visit about 10 different countries! The proceeds went to the Duncan family who are raising funds to adopt 2 children from Russia. The girls were given passports that they got stamped at each country. The families that presented the countries at the Fair did a fabulous job! They wrote interesting facts about each country and we got to sample some delicious food that you would easily find if you were to visit that country. I think the egg rolls from Japan were our favorite although the sweet cookies from Australia were very yummy, too ;-)

Visiting Thailand and eating egg rolls

Visiting England and eating scones

Visiting Australia & eating lamb
Many of the Russian Orphans came to the event tonight. This is a picture of them speaking with the interpreter.

We got the privilege of hearing them sing traditional songs from Russia.

We really grew fond of the two girls from Russia. I wish I could take them home with me ;-)

I thought it was so sweet that they were holding hands. They seemed to be really close - almost like a big sis and little sis. The girl in the white sweater sang a precious song by herself. After she sang, we were able to meet her and we tried in the best way we knew how to tell her she sang beautifully. I gave her the "thumbs up" and "M" clapped her hands but she still looked at us a little confused. She went and asked the interpreter what we were trying to say and when the interpreter told her that we said she sang beautifully, she gave the biggest grin ever ;-)

The interpreter said the children have had a wonderful time in America and many even felt like "they got their childhood back". They start their two day journey home to Russia in the morning. I'm so glad I had the privilege of meeting them and I pray that God will place them in loving homes soon.

For more information about adopting one of these precious angels from Russia, please visit the Tulsa Lighthouse Project's website at http://www.lhproject.com/ .

Upwards Cheer - 2nd game pics

Silly girls ;-)

The girls loved their new room so much, I can't get them to leave. They have slept there on a palette of blankets on the floor for the last 2 nights! Silly girls ;-)

I just had to show this cute little metal mailbox I found at Target in the $1 section. I bought one for both girls and they put it on their new desks. They are loving writing "secretive" notes to each other and putting them in each others mailboxes. Whatever gets them writing ;-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It Is Finished!!!

With the exception of a few minor projects left, we finally finished our Game Room/School Room Extreme Makeover Girly Girl Style!!! The girls have been patiently (well, that part is questionable) waiting to see the room for several weeks now so we had our big "reveal" tonight. They were sooo excited to see it! (As you can tell from the picture below, they were begging to see it!) I've known for a while now that I wanted the main colors to be pink, black & white; however, within the last few days, I decided I needed a 4th color and added turquoise blue to the mix.

Here's the "before" pic...

And here's the pics after the makeover!

My desk...

This is a close-up of the stencil I painted on my desk. I love this damask pattern!

Of course, I couldn't leave this black lamp plain so I added some pink paint and hot-glued ribbon to the top!

These bar stools used to be painted purple and had green cushions. I painted them black, reupholstered them with turquoise fabric and added black pom-pom trim.

Abby's desk that Steve made...

I made this bulletin board from a ceiling tile. I painted it then hot-glued ribbon to the edges. I also hot-glued "jewels" to thumb tacks so they can display pictures of their friends or of their artwork.

Abby and her desk...

Mackenzie's desk...

Mackenzie's bulletin board...

Mackenzie and her desk...

Yes, we purchased a PINK couch and ottoman for the room. It is a girly girl room, you know?! Maybe now those icky boys will stay away ;-)

Pillows for the couch...

Our new reading area...

I couldn't find a black and white rug so I bought this plain black one (Wal-Mart $20) and hot-glued ribbon to the edges...

Steve made a long window seat with storage! Love it!!! I may have to add pillows or some decorative painting to it later ;-)

I decided against curtains and I couldn't find any valances I liked so I made these from ribbon and tool.

Kind of reminds me of a ballet tutu ;-)

You can never have enough storage!

I painted pink dots on the girl's trashcans...

And the Husband of the Year Award goes to....my hubby for doing all of the bulk painting, building things and most of all for putting up with me and my crazy ideas!!! I'll try not to change this room for AT LEAST A YEAR - I promise ;-)

And here's video of us revealing the room to the girls. (I REALLY need to get a new camera!!! It turned out so blurry!)

Design Dazzle

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