Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I woke up this morning and immediately started cleaning my bedroom, which is one of the most neglected rooms in the house.  I also took that time to fold laundry that the Princesses needed to put away. 

After that, I had to turn in some nominations for awards the our local Chamber of Commerce is giving, and had to take Princess Melody to check on her work schedule. 

When I got home, Princess Abbey began working on her New Jersey unit.  We watched a video about Thomas Edison.  Until this unit study, I did not know that he was from New Jersey.  Princess Abbey and Princess Melody read an article about Bon Jovi, who is also from New Jersey, and how he has started a restaurant that operates on donations rather than on set prices for his menu.  This gave them the idea to start something similar here in town.  That will be a BIG project, for sure. 

Princess Tarja did a few reading exercises on, and we read part of a Hans Christian Anderson story.  Then, Princess Tarja went with me to the stores to gather things that we need for our art association meeting that will take place tomorrow night.  It is my job to organize the making of Christmas ornaments for our little tree that we will have at the library, and to bring the snacks.  I plan on making sausage/cheese balls, little tuna sandwiches, and I bought some little Christmas cookies.  When I got home, I helped Princess Abbey make chili con carne for supper.  While the chili simmered, I read a chapter from Mere Christianity, and we discussed what we read about how if we focus on being friendly and nice to others, that we will discover that we like more people than we thought that we would. 

If you haven't read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, then you are missing out.

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I woke up this morning with a little issue with my tummy.  Colloidal silver seems to be knocking it out.  Princess Melody and the King aren't feeling so hot, either, so we're all on the colloidal silver, pepto bismol and alka seltzer. 

Princess Abbey ran my errands with me this morning.  We had to fax some papers to the Girl Scout council in regards to our troop account, considering that we can't sell cookies without an account.  Then, we had to go to the store to buy yarn to fill some crochet orders that have come in recently.  We also needed some colorful paper to make our giant New Jersey lapbook.  Then, we went to the bookstore to find some new books for Tarja.  To backtrack, we have stopped borrowing from the library because: 1) we NEVER manage to turn books in on time.  2)the librarians don't seem to like it when children come in and look at the books.  3)we found an assortment of books about "alternative lifestyles" rubbing elbows with books for preschoolers that we did not appreciate.  At any rate, I found The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter and Tales From Hans Christian Anderson.  The clerk at the bookstore gave me a discount on the most expensive book, so I am a happy book shopper.  We also picked up a 1/2 pound of fudge, which is entirely too good, and has entirely too much sugar for me.  I emailed the book store owner and asked if she had considered making some sugar free items, and she said that she had not been able to find any good recipes.  Now, I might be on a mission to find some good sugar free treat recipes, because I KNOW that somewhere out there, probably online, is a goldmine of sugar free candy recipes that have not been discovered. 

After that, Abbey completed a Conservation test and got a 100.  Yay!  We watched part of a movie about the book of John while I got her Forestry Management unit ready.  Then, we read Mere Christianity, in the midst of our parrot squawking, Princess Tarja crying and insisting on having The Nutcracker turned up full blast on the TV, and the dryer apparently drying rocks or something, based on all of the noise that it's making.  I'm guessing that we may need to go over that chapter again at another, more peaceful time.   Princess Abbey asked to take a break from some of her daily work to work on her New Jersey unit for our State Fair.  Judging from all of the stuff that I printed out for her to do, I guess that I will have to allow that.  I did manage to call someone about letting us borrow a building for that State Fair.  The two ladies that I spoke to seemed very happy to help out, but will have to get back with me at another time.  Now, it's time to get ready for our Tuesday baton twirling lessons. 

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Monday, November 26, 2012

It certainly is Monday.  I actually enjoy Monday.  Monday is a day to start fresh, and Mondays after holidays seem to have an even fresher feel to them.  The Princesses may not agree, as I had a hard time getting them out of bed this morning.  All Princesses, including myself, picked up a stomach bug over the weekend.  With the help of colloidal silver and pepto bismol, we are all well, but I didn't want to risk exposing other people to us, so we cancelled Girl Scouts today.  Princess Tarja was furious.  However, I am happy to report that nobody has any more signs of illness as of this evening.  Princess Abbey will go to her archery lesson tonight.

This morning, it was my morning to turn in my Avon order.  That's always a little bit crazy, as I encourage and field last minute orders from customers.  I got that finished exactly by my noon deadline.  Princess Melody went with me to take an Avon catalog to a new customer.  We picked up bean and cheese burritos for brunch at a nearby burrito place.  Then, Tarja and I made some Huichol string art Christmas ornaments for our Christmas tree.  Abbey worked independently one some of her lessons and then we finished up her tenth lesson in Forestry and Wildlife Conservation.  We read Mere Christianity out loud, which brought forth a discussion of how loving our neighbor as ourselves, and forgiving others does not mean that we condone bad things that others do, but that we pray and hope that people that do bad things will be cured of their need to do them.  It was very interesting.  After that, we looked up and printed out a bunch of printables to assist with our unit study of New Jersey that we are doing for a state fair that we are having with our local homeschool group.  I believe that I have found all of the information that we need plus more.  This will become a very gigantic lapbook.

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What do Native Americans Think About Thanksgiving

Our Princess Thanksgiving is going to be simple this year.  I'm only making the foods that everybody most loves, which will be the turkey, dressing (just a little bit, because only myself and the king like dressing), mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, gravy and sugar free chocolate cupcakes.  There will probably leftovers, but I will not force my family to eat them right away.  They can be frozen for future meals that can go in the microwave.

We won't be having school today.  Of course, Princess Abbey prefers to study independently, so if she decides to do some of her school work, I won't stop her.  I am really thankful for her willingness and desire to learn all that she can about everything that she can, including subjects that she really doesn't like.  Along those lines, I am thankful for Princess Melody's wonderful work ethic and her drive to always try to make things nice for her younger sisters.   She has held down the same job for over a year, and has even received a little promotion.  I can't be more proud.  I am thankful that Princess Tarja is a fighter, but gentle and sweet at the same time.  I am thankful for Princess Ivana, who has graced our home with her laughter and playfulness.

Now, I have always taught Thanksgiving to my children by using the living books method.  Abbey and Melody have already had these lessons so many times, that we're not going to do it this year, other than that I would like her to read this article that I am about to post for you here.  Tarja is too old to learn Thanksgiving the way that I would like for her to learn it.  I won't dumb it down, even though I do like to make it fun.  However, Native American history is a serious matter that isn't always taught in a serious manner.  I can remember being taught about the cartoony Pilgrims and Indians in school, and am well aware that I walked away from those fun lessons with the wrong idea about Thanksgiving.  As a child, I enjoyed the little craft projects and the funny songs, and the programs, because I didn't know any better.  For my homeschooled children, they have learned by watching movies about and reading biographies about Native Americans that were important to Thanksgiving such as Squanto: A Warrior's Tale.  They love the story of Squanto, and I think that your family will be blessed to learn it.  One great movie or series to watch is Into the West.  Also, there is a movie called Spirit Rider, and another called Bury my Heat at Wounded Knee, and Dreamkeeper (my personal favorite).  These movies aren't specifically about Thanksgiving, but they are wonderful for illustrating the Native American lifestyle, both past and present. 

Here is the article that I promised you.  It was posted this morning, by a Native American friend on facebook, who is very knowledgeable about Native American traditions.  Please read, think and pray about how you would have your children learn the truth about early America and giving thanks. Clicky

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This morning started out with my needing to open up a bank account for our homeschooling Girl Scout troop, because the cookie sale will be upon us before we can get our Christmas decorations put away.  I am the cookie manager this year.  Imagine that!  A diabetic mama that is in charge of hundreds and hundreds and HUNDREDS.........of cookies.  Things like that are proof positive that God has a sense of humor.

We raided McDonalds for lunch, then got busy on our school work.  Tarja and I sat outside for quite a long while, and she noticed that the leaves are different colors on the trees, there were bugs on some of the leaves, and she even spied a butterfly.  I would call that a pretty good science lesson for a four year old.  Charlotte Mason would approve.  Incidentally, you must know that in the area that we live, we sat outside sweating and I think that I may even have a mild sunburn on my face.  That is mid-late November in West Texas.

Our day isn't nearly through. Melody still has to go to work.  I have an Avon book to deliver to a new customer, and we have twirling lessons.  As soon as twirling lessons are over, I need to drive to the next town to pick up a cool Christmas present for Princess Ivana.  As I write this blog post, Princess Abbey is showing me that Princess Tarja used one of my lip glosses to paint the lips of each member of Family Force Five on her poster.  Umm.....should we consider that to be art work? 

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Monday, November 19, 2012

I actually needed to make myself a things-to-do list to get me through this morning.  I had two packages to mail to out of town Avon customers.  There were videos to return that we rented over the weekend, which were Brave and RENT.  I had to take Avon books to a new customer.  Then, I had to go to the bank to make deposits for both Avon and twirling.  Then, I needed a few things from the store.  THEN, I needed something to drink, because all of that running around made me thirsty.

  As soon as I got home, we got ready for our homeschool Girl Scout meeting.  At Girl Scouts, we worked some more on our magazine page bowls, and had a little planning session about the children's magazine that the girls want to start.  When we got home from Girl Scouts, I took Melody to work and then we worked on Abbey's conservation course.  In the process, we discovered that Abbey only needs to pass 5 more lessons and then she will be finished with this.  She said that she wants to take the veterinary assistant course next.  We read out loud from Mere Christianity, which opened up a great discussion about the birds and the bees. After that, Abbey worked on some of her other lessons independently.  Then, it was time for Abbey to go to archery.  While Abbey was at archery, Tarja watched Peter and the Wolf on youtube, and I heated up smoked sausage for supper.

While I fixed supper, Ivana had to be confined to her high chair, because she has figured out how to climb up on, out of, into, and on top of just about everything.  None of her baby furniture keeps her safe except for the high chair, and I caught her as she nearly tipped THAT over.  I know that it's not nice to compare, but my other children all could talk quite clearly by the time that they were as old as Ivana.  None were as physically active as she has been.  The only word that Ivana says is, "Num!" when she is eating something that she likes.  The rest of her day is spent getting into, onto, out of, on top of, and under, everything that she can find.  Needless to say, we have had some crazy days around here.

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesdays, fortunately, are kind of an easy day for us.  We don't have any scheduled activities.  After doing our usual routine of running errands, I helped Abbey with her Forestry course, read a chapter aloud from Mere Christianity, and then read from a book that contains two minute Charlie Brown stories for Tarja.  Do you remember Charlie Brown?  I LOVE Charlie Brown.  Tarja did, which we refer to as "Ed Mouse."  Tarja has a love/hate relationship with Ed Mouse right now, because he gets to be more of a challenge as we go along.  Later, Tarja and I read some fairy tales together, and THEN, we watched Tubby the Tuba and Peter and the Wolf on youtube.  She thought that was completely amazing. 

Quite a few blog posts ago, I had started the grapefruit diet, and then the baby ended up in the hospital for a week, and that ended that.  I'm back in the saddle, and have enlisted the help of ACE, the dietary supplement that everybody is advertising on facebook.  So far, everything is going great. 

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This morning, Princess Melody and I had to run to the next town to pick up the pictures that we had made last week of the four of them together.  It was a nice little drive.  Then, we came back, picked up Princess Abbey's broken wii, and took it to the computer repair shop.  The man seemed confident that he could fix it, so let's hope.  THEN, we had to run to a local church, that had said that they would help our twirling team with an indoor practice area for the winter.  The lady that was to let us into the building acted like she was very annoyed with me, because I did not call her before today, when, in fact, I had tried to contact her over and over......and O V E R again.  She basically called me a liar, but she put us on the calendar, and at that point, I was too happy to be upset.  I thanked her so much that I bet she was even more annoyed with me, but being able to keep twirling lessons going during the winter months is a dream that I once thought was impossible.  All of this took place before lunch time.  After lunch, we had school work and twirling lessons, which doesn't sound like much unless you are the one doing it.  We did finish up a chapter in Abbey's Forestry and Wildlife course.  She made an 85 on the test, which I thought was pretty good, but she wasn't too thrilled.  Anyway, onward to the next part of the course tomorrow. 

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago
Yesterday, we had our homeschool Girl Scout troop meeting.  The Princesses cleaned the cage of our half moon conure, Pitbull, and put the California king snake in a smaller container so that they could show them to the rest of the troop.  Therefore, for our troop meeting, we had those two pets to play with, and we began making decorative bowls out of magazine pages.  We worked on using our good manners throughout the activities, which goes toward their Manners Count Patch, and we discussed how making something out of what would normally be considered trash (old magazines) goes along with the Girl Scout law of "using resources wisely".  It was a fun time until the snake died.  We don't have a clue as to why he died.  Princess Melody was heartbroken.

After the meeting, we took the snake to the pet store, so that they could properly take care of his remains.  Melody went to work, and Abbey and I got to the task of working on her Forestry and Wildlife Conservation course.  Abbey went to archery class, and Tarja and I worked on her activities. 

In between those things, I turned in a large Avon order, which made me very happy.

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I have been off of the blogging track for the past week, because I started off with jury duty.  Usually, court is cancelled, but this time, I was told that I had to appear.  I made the decision not to claim my right to stay home with the kids, because I do have two kids that are old enough to babysit, and I really didn't think that they would pick me, anyway.  After all, I would get $10.00 just for showing up.  We could have a princess lunch at McDonalds for $10.00.  Yay! 

When I went for my appointed time to appear for jury duty, according to the summons that I received, I found myself waiting for nearly an hour before we were called into the courtroom for questioning.  We were told to sit in a certain order, and only the first two rows of seats were questioned.  I was on the second row.  Each person before me was questioned extensively about his or her family life and background.  I was questioned very little.  The attorney remarked that he had never had a twirling instructor before, asked me a little about what the king does for a living, and moved on to the next person. 

We were dismissed for a break while the attorneys decided who they would choose for the actual jury.  I was ready for the names to finished being called so that I could go home.  THEN, they said it.  "Laurel Santiago."  What?  Were they kidding?  Everybody else was dismissed.  The other 11 jurors and I were given a cute little badge, some instructions and sent home for lunch.  Court started right after lunch and kept me busy for three days.  At any rate, I believe that God chose this jury, and I hope that decisions were made for the benefit of all concerned.

Be that as it may, we missed our weekly Girl Scout meeting, but Abbey did make it to archery and we had our twirling lessons.  Then, Thursday, we had a photo shoot of the girls together in the next town.  That was a fun time.  Today, we have done as little as possible.  There was even a nap involved.

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Princesses

I am so lucky to have been blessed with the experience of being the mother of these precious people.  Our lives together have not and are not perfect.  We've been through some terrible things as a family.  We've also been through some lovely, miraculous things together that maybe nobody else would understand.  Our lives have been full of art, music and great literature.  We have created our own opportunities, and we value God and family far more than we value standards and norms of society.  If God be for us, then who can be against us?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Today was one of those days that felt sort of like a let down after all of the commotion from Halloween.  Even so, I am glad that Halloween is over, and we can move onward to Thanksgiving. 

There wasn't a lot of actual school work happening today, because the Princess chambers were ghastly.  Instead of school work, I had them clean up their room.  To give you an idea of how bad it was, you must know that they will have to continue this project tomorrow.  Anyway, cleaning up one's living space is actually a life lesson as well as a lesson about health and home making.

We did have our twirling lesson today, and the photographer delivered our pictures. I wish that I could post them, but we aren't allowed to scan any of her work. 

I'm too sleepy to type anymore.