August 31, 2005

Empty House, Strange Feeling

I'm sitting on the floor in my house, leaning over my keyboard. I have a couple of coolers with some food, some boxes of homeschool books, a family quilt, a tall fake tree the movers forgot, some plastic cups and toilet paper. It took us all day to get moved in to storage. I'm crazy tired. I am pretty sure my back won't feel the same tomorrow (especially after a night of sleeping on the floor).

Good thing I left my computer plugged in, though. My title company emailed me while I was on our third load to the storage unit (the movers had a truck in the shop, and came with one of their smaller trucks). It seems the buyer's lender is not able to produce paperwork on time, and her bank is holding her funds she deposited for closing until next Tuesday. So, we have to mail the documents to my husband for him to sign and close on Tuesday.

I'm praying that we will be looking back on a smooth, un-eventful closing by this time next week... and that I'm half-way out of debt! Tomorrow is our day to move the little stuff that is migrating with me out of the house. So, I had better curl up on my frizay carpet and get some shut-eye. Have a wonderful Thursday!

August 30, 2005



I have had a lot of questions about Konos lately... so I thought I would do a timely post about how I do my planning. Planning is like anything else in life. It has to be learned. I say this because I have not only had to learn to plan, I've learned it the hard way. I am not one of those people that seem to have been born with a Day-Planner stapled to their body. I have struggled with trying to keep myself organized for most of my life. There are family members and friends who would tell you that I seem to have it all together... but my mom remembers the days when she would scream at me for leaving everything I owned at my friends' or grandmas' houses... she remembers the homework forgotten, and the trip to the office for forgetting every day for months to flip my lunch tag over in elementary.... the list goes on and on. My husband could also recount the (sad and pathetic) stories of forgotten purses, cell phones, and keys. I am organizationally challenged. I can admit it. So, this is an area that I constantly pray about, read about, and strive to perfect.

After three years of working with Konos, I have gone through many methods of planning. I have tried "winging it" (not a good idea - units seem to fizzle out and nothing gets done). I have tried being a "legalist" and strictly using the yellow pages in the volumes (didn't work for me - I like to have some creative license, and I couldn't stay exactly on schedule). I tried doing a co-op where more than one mom plans - so we do things together (very nice if you can find a family you click with well). And Finally, this year, we are using a new in-depth planning method that incorporates the "Control Journal" idea on Fly Lady's website with the Konos lesson plan pages in the Volume books and more.

So, without further ado, here's a peek at how I plan my units and year:
The Big PictureFirst of all, the Konos Volumes 1-3 are for Kindergarten through 8th Grade. The price of all three (and all their accompanying charts, timeline characters, etc.) is so small when you consider that you only need to buy it ONE time for ALL your children! It is a wonderful curriculum to use when you are teaching more than one grade level at once. To get an idea of how you will plan the units out between Kindergarten and 8th Grade, you just sit down and make a master list of every unit, and how long the unit is suggested to be taught in (or just use the link I provided and add the weeks to it). I would suggest praying about what character traits you need to work on in our family, and asking God to guide you in your planning as you get your pencil ready. Then, make a pencil draft of how you want to teach the units (in whatever order you are led) over the next few years (until your child is ready to start 9th grade).

I would also highly recommend buying the Konos Compass. For me, this book is as important as the curriculum books itself. I know that many of us, out of cost-cutting measures will decline to purchase teacher's manuals (I have done this often); but this is one book you WANT to have in your homeschool library! Reading through this each year before school starts has become a habit of mine that I don't think I will break any time soon.

After you have a rough outline of your over-all plan for the units, you can focus on this year's portion of your plan. Roughly outline the year's units on a blank calendar (you can use this link or make your own in MS Word) to give yourself an idea of when you will be doing what units. Sometimes you will want a unit to be in the Spring (Plants) or Fall (Thanksgiving)... so you can see this better with a calendar open. You will also want to work around holidays, vacations, birthdays, and other known family events. This will help you to create not just a list of units, but an actual school calendar for the school year.

3-Ring School/Konos PlannerI am a binder nut. I have a Fly Lady Control Journal, and have loved it (when I can keep up with updating it). When my life is not turned upside down (moving tends to do this), it really helps me out. I tend to forget things less when I have them written down at my fingertips. I have managed to migrate from a personal planner to a school planner over the past year or so. I am still perfecting this process, so feel free to take the idea and run with it. Make it your own. Below are steps that I have taken to create a planner that fits my needs. You can add or delete from this list. I have written it to be a guide that empowers you and inspires you... not to make you feel as though you have to fit inside my little box. Don't feel intimidated, but rather use my idea as a springboard, and implement only what fits for your own teaching style.

Take your Konos books to Kinko's and have them cut the binding off and drill them (3-hole) for use in a spiral. Put them into 4 inch binders. Buy a 2 inch binder to carry around with you as a 3-Ring School/Konos Planner. Print off, copy, gather, or create the following items to include in your planner:
  • Colored Pocket Dividers

  • Blank Unit Planner Pages (Adobe munched up the file, but you get the picture. If you use my links and files, please consider leaving a tip in my tip jar to help cover expenses and time blogging... it would make my husband less grumpy about sharing me.)

  • Your Konos Unit Schedule for the Current School Year

  • The Local School District's Calendar for the Current School Year

  • Your Daily School Schedule (list what subjects you will accomplish, and in what order)

  • List of your Rules for Good Behavior (rewards/punishments)

  • Directory of Homeschool Vendors/Co-op Friends/E-Groups/Etc.

  • General Goals/Yearly Goals (for you and your children)

  • Book Lists (mainly from other sources besides Konos because the Konos book lists are in the Volumes, and there is a space to write them on your blank planner pages)

  • Wish List (curriculum, games, books, and educational enrichment items you want)

  • Field Trip Lists

  • Forms (Grade Sheets, Report Cards, Subject and Chore Charts - whatever you use)

  • Grade Level Checklist (you can find this in the Konos Compass)

  • Monthly Calendar pages (blank for writing on - I print these from MS Word, or you can use the link above...)

  • Time Savers/Home Management Tips

  • Reference lists (I keep a Family Fun Craft reference list that I created from my magazines which I have bookmarked for future use)

  • Your Local Library's Information sheets/Calendars

  • Your Local/Konos Co-op's Information sheets/Calendars

  • Your Extra Curricular Classes (Piano, Spanish, Choir, Lego Robotics, Clubs, Scouts, Etc.) Info sheets/Calendars

  • Upcoming Events (printed out from emails - such as Scholastic Warehouse Sales, Book-It Programs, Book Sales, Meetings, or Conventions)

  • Blank 3-Ring Notepad

  • 2-4 sheets of "baseball card" holders or "business card" holders (clear plastic sheets) that are 3-ring punched for your homeschool discount cards, homeschool business cards with your school's name, and library cards if you have any

  • Letter of Intent to Homeschool (depending on your state, this item will vary)

  • If you are in a state that requires tracking of hours or attendance, keep this in your binder as well as school district telephone numbers you might need.

  • List of your state and local representatives

  • Clear pencil bag for behavior/chore chart stickers

Making Your Load LighterNow that you have your binder together, and your Konos Volumes hole-punched and bound in 4-inch binders, you can easily remove ONLY the section for the unit or trait you are working on and prevent yourself from having to tote those huge books around everywhere you go. In addition, you will have all the things you need while planning at your disposal since you have put them all in ONE place. You are mobile! You can now plan while you are at the coffee shop, in the doctor's office, or even in the parking-lot of Wal-Mart waiting on your husband to get back in the car.

No Cliff NotesThere's just no easy way to get around this step. Planning is best when you KNOW what your teaching. READ through the section of your Konos Volume you want to teach. You simply can't skip this step. Once you read through it, you'll get an overall idea of what Konos suggest to teach the topic, and you can decide WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS from the long list of activities. It is impossible to do everything in the volumes. You have to pick and choose. For perfectionists like me, this is really hard. I used to stay on units for up to FOUR times as long as recommended because I had to do EVERYTHING in the book and follow EVERY rabbit trail that resulted from our lessons. This is madness. It will only lead to burn-out. Read the section, pick your favorites based on your child's abilities and needs, and plan to do just those items. Limit yourself to three hands-on activities per day. Tailor your reading and writing around your Konos unit.
Writing it DownNow that you have your planner, and you've read through the section... you have a few options of how you can record your plans:
  • You can copy your Konos pages from the Volume on 3-hole paper and mark them up with highlighters or pencil.

  • You can jot down just the page number and item code for each activity and map them on your calendar by date (which will require that you refer back to the Konos section for each activity)

  • You can copy your Konos pages from the Volume on 3-hole paper and CUT them and PASTE them on your planner or calendar (or even use a baseball card holder with slots for each day with the cut-outs placed in the pouch for the day you wish to accomplish them)

    Continue from there making appropriate lists for crafts, books, supplies, field trips, to-do lists for teacher (yourself), reference items, ideas you want to add to your Konos activities that aren't listed in the book, etc. Your blank planner pages should start to fill up with exciting ideas, and you'll be anxious to get started. Now, the hard part will be staying on schedule as life happens!

    More PreparationsMake phone calls to plan field trips, make trips to secure supply items, visit your online library catalog, purchase books through Amazon (if you do this), etc. to prepare for your unit.

    Kick-Offs and Wrap-UpsKonos is a big proponent of making things fun. We are more likely to remember things (the purpose of learning) when we are happy and enjoying ourselves (even laughing!). I have learned that I stick to my schedules better when I am held accountable to others. Co-ops and Wrap-Ups which include family and friends tend to help me work harder towards my goals. Figure out what you are going to do as a kick-off or wrap-up for your unit. Start and end your unit with a bang. You can do both, or just one of these for each unit. Make a list of what you need to prepare for your event, and add your list to your planner. Make sure to mark it on your calendar as well. Wrap ups include events such as Indian Feast Night, Cowboy Night, Greek Olympics, Plays put on by the kids, Medieval Feast Night, Election Party Night, etc. We try and do some sort of Wrap-Up for each unit... even if it is just a simple field trip for a smaller unit. Once or twice a year, you'll want to plan a really big, memorable wrap-up that includes family and friends... to let the kids show off (such as at a open house or graduation ceremony).

    I hope this list helps you in your Konos journey. I wish that I had been given the benefit of a list like this when I first was handed my Konos Volume I in that first whirlwind year of homeschooling. I look back and see how God has been guiding me along the way, and am very thankful. Again, I am NOT an expert on Konos. I "evolve" in my homeschooling planning constantly. It has taken me three years of Konos to get to this point... and a LOT of prayer. Prayer should be the constant glue that holds your homeschool planning and implementing together.

    * This post updated with links upon request by all you wonderful blog readers out there as of 1/29/06. I love my Planner and am glad to share it with all of you.Subscribe to Sprittibee by Email

    August 29, 2005

    Moving Day Moved Up

    I am babysitting my two sweet nieces today while their parents look for a house. I have a friend with two little boys coming to help me pack later today, as well. We'll have six children running around in between our boxes. That's OK. We have plenty of packing tape if they get unruly! Just kidding.

    I found out yesterday that my movers can't come on Thursday... and I have to have the carpets cleaned and clean the house Friday while we are at the closing table... so I have to move out WEDNESDAY! The movers arrive at noon. That gives me a lot less time to get out than I had planned. I'll be sleeping on the floor Wednesday and Thursday night, also. Yuck.

    So, I may, or may not have any time to stop in this week... and I hate to admit it, but I will probably have DIAL UP connection for a couple of months *sigh* - which may make my posting irregular at best. I'll do my very best to be in here at least four-five times a week!

    Pray that we find a house in our price range and get our debt paid off so we can get back to a normal life TOGETHER as a family. I'm looking forward to looking back on this chapter of our lives!


    August 28, 2005

    Great Leopard Moth


    I have to admit that I took this photo LAST summer, so it is actually a little over a year old. It is a tiny bit blurry, as well, but if you want to get an even clearer view, you can hop over to "What's That Bug?" and see other photos of the lovely little guy (or girl?). I haven't ever seen one of these before up close (other than books), so it was great to get a chance to photograph it. This particular moth was on the wall (in a small town in Central Texas) just above a trash can at a Mc Donald's we ate at while passing through. I hated to leave him there, afraid some kid would touch him. He wasn't going anywhere. My camera was only inches away, and he just sat and posed. This is such a pretty moth. I like the plain white Tiger Moth as well (nice and furry). Neat little critters. If you want to read more about the Great Leopard Moth, check out this interesting site by Texas A&M.

    Want to Read More Bug Posts at Sprittibee?
    Green Spider
    Picturesque Praying Mantis
    Butterfly Farm Field Trip
    Eyed Elater Click Beetle
    Wicked Waspy Thing Part 1, and 2
    Chigger in my Refrigerator
    Thursday Challenge: Nature
    Spider Speak
    Bug Trivia
    Nana's Back Yard

    Subscribe to Sprittibee by Email

    August 27, 2005


    What has happened since 24 hours ago?

    • Well, we got two offers on the house. We played them against each other and got two extra thousand dollars out of the deal. The original buyer who pulled out last time because of her divorce submitted another offer (same contract), and we are back on for closing THIS Friday!

    • We got a storage unit and moved all those boxes I packed and moved to the garage. Poor Kev made six or seven loads to the storage unit while I kept the kids here at the house so he wouldn't be slowed down. What a way to spend your weekend off with family after being in another city all week.

    • We all got hair cuts. Morgan and I, most notably so! I donated ten inches of my hair to the "Locks of Love" program... and still have hair touching my shoulders! Morgan has a cute summer "Bob".

    • I had my comment erased from a "Christian" site today that was complaining about teaching "ID" (Intelligent Design) in public school. More on that when I have time to format the post I wrote after it happened. The whole whiny issue makes my blood boil.

    • I ate a Falafel (mmmm).

    • Nothing else really interesting. No time for Mrs. Pac Man. We're on a very quick count-down towards moving day! I may be sparse this week! Keep us in your prayers.


    August 26, 2005

    My Blog is Cooler than Yours

    In my elation, I couldn't resist that post title. But, I'm certain that the twenty to thirty people who happen to get trapped (like a helpless ant in a sand pit) on my site each day... know that real truth eludes that statement. I just wanted you to know how utterly wowed I am by my newest blogging phenomenon. Cloud lists by topic! Yes, that's right! [you may cheer if you wish]

    It is so neat, that I can hardly pull my tired eyes off of it and go to bed. Alas, I must. But, for your viewing (and researching) pleasure... I present to you.... [drum roll please]:

    I also linked this in my "Posts By Topic" sidebar item for future reference. Click the link, read my topic categories, click the one you are interested in, and a list of posts will appear! How hip is that? Technology never ceases to amaze me. So, I'll leave you with that wondrous thought as you browse my archives in a cloud of blissfully random words... a fuzz of data... a mist of blogish expression...

    OK, OK, I'm going to bed now.

    [P.S. By the way, tomorrow's post is about the CONTRACT we are going to sign!]

    Picturesque Praying Mantis


    Look what graced our little white porch today. We trapped the little bugger for a while, and watched him tip-toe gingerly up the side of a curved glass jar (always sliding backwards towards the base). Inquisitive little bug. It got tired of me taking close-ups and decided the only way to get rid of me was to jump on my camera - right in my face! Screaming loud enough for the entire block to hear me, I relented and went back inside!

    Quotes from the What's That Bug site:

    "All American species belong to the family Mantidae."

    "I now believe that the Norwegian name "kneeler" is from the same reason we say "praying" mantis: you kneel when you pray. At least if you accept the "praying" spelling. At least it makes sense. Why didn't I think of that before?"

    Q: "Thanks a lot for your explanation. And what is the correct spelling? "Preying" or "praying?" Both of them make sense."

    A: "Both spellings are correct, depending upon the author. I prefer to spotlight the hunting versus the religious connotation."
    [BOO, HISS.]

    This author will call it a PRAYING Mantis. How sweet....
    Blessing his food before he savagely rips it's crunchy little head off.

    Bite THIS, Blogger!

    Ha! I discovered a wonderful side-tool to add a Blogger feature that doesn't exist (credit given to FreshBlog)! I've sorted my blog by Category and added a search tool! Yep, folks, I've been doing my homework. I had previously been having cold sweats about trying to figure out how to migrate to another site where they offered the "file by category" feature... and this provides a temporary fix for me that I hope you, too, will enjoy! Now, my previous work is not buried forever in the E-grave of archive lists!

    So here's a special thanks to those of you who are so kind to frequent my site and actually READ my rantings. And here's a warm Hello! and Welcome! to those who are just dropping in for the very first time (most likely from some obscure google search that went awry! Ha!). Now you first-time visitors can find what you're looking for without having to pan through piles of posts!

    Viva la Blog!

    August 25, 2005

    Gasoline Woes

    You have GOT to go listen to this song: "I Can't Afford My Gasoline". I nearly fell off my chair laughing! I could entirely relate. I put a five dollar bill and three bucks worth of quarters in my SUV this week... and that bought me about 70 miles. Good thing the post office, the grocery store, and Mc Donalds are only five miles away. I love the verse in the background that said "Choose Gas or Food" Ha! Too bad we're upside down on the SUV. I would surely consider a hybrid next go-around!

    Thanks, Honee, for sending this to me on email!

    Counting my Blessings

    I may be a serious person, when it comes to my faith, my family, and my homeschooling vision... but I do have a much lighter side. With all our stresses lately, it is easy to ignore the abundance of riches we actually do have in our lives. God continues to supply for our needs even when we are eating Ramen Noodles and being financially bailed out by family. Sometimes I bury myself in theology, education, Christian fiction or financial books... but the real me is a much more joyful and light-hearted person. I could passionately debate over Creation vs. Evolution until my teeth rattled (and enjoy every minute of it), and yet I still get crazy with the kids and boogie to 80's club music and techno. We are lovers of life in our family. We have a great time.

    My husband is my best friend in the whole world. When we're apart (which for the past few years, we've had to endure a LOT of time apart), it feels as though half of me is absent. We finish each other's sentences, we share each other's love for international food, Jesus, our kids, God's creatures (Science and Biology), music, movies, good Christian friends, cats and making each other laugh. He rarely calls me during the week without using one of a dozen foreign accents and pretending to be someone else. I always know it's him, but it never fails to make me giggle (as we carry on a conversation together in flavored, broken English). I have a hard time imagining a marriage in which a wife and husband didn't like each other... because although we didn't start out as Christians, we've always been friends. The love between us has deepened and grown more positive and selfless since our baptism into Jesus. Our relationship is better today than even those first giddy days when we were each-other's mystery and madness. I often feel so blessed to be married to my best friend that I feel guilty!

    As for the kids, they are a fun bunch. Fifteen years ago, I couldn't have dreamed I would have been a mother, much less to THESE two kids. Beautiful, smart, creative, thoughtful, well-behaved, personable, generous, talented, inquisitive, and funny... they blow me away. Kev and I often say that when you have kids, you don't need television (Amy at Amy's Humble Musings agrees). We don't pay for cable, and rarely watch any TV at all (although the kids and their father do play video games a little too much on weekends). It seems almost comical that God would trust me with these wonders. The chance to be a witness to their daily achievements and growth in all areas (through educating them at home) has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. Homeschooling has given me a BOND with my children that I could never have imagined. I see them turning into very productive, intelligent, capable adults right before my eyes. It is truly amazing.

    And, of course, I can't forget our cat. Although I really miss my baby (we lost our 12 year old cat this past April), I am glad we have a little furry feline running around the house again. She provides endless entertainment (mostly at her own expense). I have never met such a clumsy cat in all my life. She stalks PEOPLE... which is a riot. She will jump and pop at you (without claws), as if she is beating you up or at the least, teaching you a lesson for walking by without bowing to "her majesty". We return the favor and stalk her as well. We like to surprise her when she comes around corners to see her arch her back and jump sideways like cats you would see in a set of Halloween stickers. I've never had a cat that does it so well!

    Of course, there are the blessings of friends and family (the list of which could go on and on!) as well... the blessing of lessons learned (even though many are difficult), places seen (and the hope of places we want to see), provision (never lacking), and forgiveness (Praise God!). Even my blog is a blessing to me (albeit maybe not to you!). I always wrote (poetry, stories, letters, etc) in my younger years. As far back as I can remember, I stayed up wee hours into the night at my journal or a computer - filling the page and screen with all the swirling thoughts in my head. It was only after I gained the Holy Spirit that anything I wrote became "worth reading", though. I have binders full of poetry (the 4 inch kind) and many stories, and I have only a hand-full of the thousands that I would allow anyone to read, much less publish on the internet. So dark and dismal, those days. God is good (and merciful) for saving me from them!

    So I'm praising God for His blessings today. Even in the trails, He is here. And I am so glad I have Him. If you are a blogger, and you haven't written a post about this... I urge you to tag yourself and do it! Sheri over at Shades of Pink (a fellow blogger) has done a nice month's worth of listing her blessings. I've enjoyed them immensely.

    August 24, 2005

    Mrs. Pac Man Junkie

    OK... my dirty secret is out. About twice a year, I get my FAVORITE software down off the shelf and play the whole thing through... every level... until I whup-up on some ghostie bottom! I never could beat the arcade, so it's nice to be able to beat the newer, BETTER version. This is absolutely the BEST video game ever (for retro gen-Xer moms like me).

    So... here's the link, in case you wanna hop over to Amazon and pick a copy up for your gen-X self. *grin* It couldn't hurt me to get the referral!

    And, here's the pretty photo of Mrs. P. that you'll get after you reach victory in the Golden Maze! Gotta luv her!


    Green Spider


    This is a green spider that appeared on our porch recently. I had never seen one quite like it. Very interesting bristly legs. I wonder if any of you could identify it for us? We have packed away our bug books. We love bugs (and arachnids) - as long as they aren't ON us, or running amuck in the house. Very interesting critters.

    As for the 'Queen Bee' - I've managed to get my boxes into the garage with the help of a great homeschool friend and a furniture dolly. I packed up my spare bedroom closet last night and added that to my stockpile as well. My realtor told me that the lady who pulled out of our last contract is still considering our house, and her divorce (which is what prevented her from buying it) goes through this week. Who knows, maybe she will write out another contract and make another offer? Only the Lord knows. The two people who came by over the weekend, and the one on Monday have not given any word towards purchasing the house... so I am waiting and praying... and packing still.

    I have a wonderful homeschooling book I finished reading that I am going to review soon... and I have been reading my Old Schoolhouse Magazine and am impressed. I promised to review it as well. I am working on cleaning the house up and getting the first few weeks of school planned out so we can start by the 6th. Be sure to post a comment if you have any ideas about the spider. Have a super Wednesday. I'll see you tomorrow!

    August 23, 2005

    Book Review: Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

    While looking for a Christian based book review of Dan Brown’s book Angels & Demons, I had a hard time finding one. So, I decided to write one myself. Dan Brown is the best selling author of Digital Fortress, Deception Point, and most notably, The Da Vinci Code. I had heard negative things about his work from other Christians in passing, so I was shocked one night when my husband returned home with a copy of Angels & Demons. He told me that a professor at his college, who was also a Baptist preacher referred him to the book. He said that the man read them to "keep up with culture and know what he was up against". So, Kevin and I read the book together over a weekend.

    I'll have to admit that the fiction is wonderful. You can tell that a lot of research went in to this book and he does write well. Yet, his theology begins to emerge in the climatic points towards the end, and hints of twisted truths appear in various places throughout the book. It ruined the book for us when one of the main characters in the final moments of the book goes into a dialogue of how Christianity has been replaced with Science, and the Catholic Church is flailing to compete. I may not be a Catholic, but I know a lot about Science and I have noticed lately that the R-“evolutionists” are competing to keep up with the solid evidence against Darwinism’s failing religion. Why else would every liberal American news paper be screaming at the top of it’s lungs about how the Christians are trying to destroy Science by allowing Creation to be taught along side of evolution in schools? They are running scared. And rightly so.

    Angels & Demons is a story about a man named Robert Langdon. He is a man who loves "art, symbology, codes, secret societies" and isn't sure of his faith if you could say he has any at all. The Illuminati, a secret Masonic society from long ago who’s members were prominent and rich, appear to have resurfaced to destroy the Catholic Church (their main goal), and are wanting media credit for evil acts of murder and mayhem to scare the world. The Pope has died and his servant is in charge until a new pope is sworn in. There have been four cardinals (who were hand-picked to be successors to the church’s throne) that have been kidnapped by the Illuminati. It is Langdon's job to decipher the codes left by the Illuminati and find the cardinals before they are killed. Many of the cardinals die horrific deaths (the descriptions are graphic, and the book should not be read by children under 17), all seconds before Robert and his Scientific helper, Vittoria are able to intervene. While Robert is off trying to save the cardinals, a canister of anti-matter which could blow up the entire city of Rome has gone missing from a top Science laboratory (CERN) and a camera inside the Vatican displays it's count-down towards destruction for the world to see on television. Despite this media coverage, they are unable to locate the exact whereabouts of the canister because the Vatican is so huge. Not only is the Catholic Church running out of candidates for Pope, it is running out of time. The "end" of Catholicism is near!

    In the end, the person behind the evil scheme reveals their purpose in a shocking twist of the story's plot. He is obsessed with the fact that the Catholic Church can't seem to compete against Science and Technology. He states...

    "Tell me... How can the church condemn that which makes logical sense to our minds! How can we decry that which is now the very foundation of our society! Each time the church raises its voice in warning, you shout back, calling us ignorant. Paranoid. Controlling! And so your evil grows. Shrouded in a veil of self-righteous intellectualism. It spreads like a cancer. Sanctified by the miracles of its own technology. Deifying itself! Until we no longer suspect you are anything but pure goodness. Science has come to save us from our sickness, hunger and pain! Behold science - the new God of endless miracles, omnipotent and benevolent! Ignore the weapons and the chaos. Forget the fractured loneliness and endless peril. Science is here!"

    In this same monologue, he explains his need to convince the world of the evils of Science, and says...

    "For centuries... the church has stood by while science picked away at religion bit by bit. Debunking miracles. Training the mind to overcome the heart. Condemning religion as the opiate of the masses. They denounce God as a hallucination - a delusional crutch for those too weak to accept that life is meaningless. I could not stand back while science presumed to harness the power of God himself!....The day science substantiates God in a lab is the day people stop needing faith!"

    It is then that Vittoria (a Scientist herself) comes back with a response that seems as delusional as the statements above to a Christian who has sound doctrine...

    "You mean the day they stop needing the church!" And then she continues, “Doubt is your last shred of control. It is doubt that brings souls to you. Our need to know life has meaning. Man’s insecurity and need for an enlightened soul assuring him everything is part of a master plan. But the church is not the only enlightened soul on the planet! We all seek God in different ways. What are you afraid of? That God will show himself somewhere other than inside these walls? That people will find him in their own lives and leave your antiquated rituals behind? Religions evolve! The mind finds answers, the heart grapples with new truths….God is not some omnipotent authority looking down from above, threatening to throw us into a pit of fire if we disobey. God is the energy that flows through the synapses of our nervous system and the chambers of our hearts! God is in all things!”

    I have to admit, I could hardly write that paragraph above without wanting to erase it. It makes the hair on my arms stand up. But I’ll be OK after I pick it apart (like I had wanted to do while we were reading it). First of all, this book assumes that the Catholic Church is the only church. Christianity is not a denomination, but rather the body of Jesus Christ on earth. It spans denominations and is only recognized by the condition of the heart and the fruits in a person’s life. Not everyone claiming to be a Christian is actually a Christian. Yes, we have all done stupid things and the Catholic Church throughout history, especially, has been associated with atrocities (killing of Protestants, killing of Muslims and Jews, etc.)… but not all Christians agreed with the evils their church hierarchy committed – even back in those dark days. God sees into our hearts, and it is sad that the world can not distinguish between true Christianity and the fake kind which actually is self-serving and self-righteous. Anyone can take a good thing and make it bad - if we use it to serve our own purposes and thus begin to worship SELF or MONEY rather than GOD. Christians have a calling to live out our faith, and a lot of us lack in that area on different occasions (me included). We are called to be ambassadors of Christ, and we all should remember books like this one (and the sad theological suicide found within it’s pages) when we think of the seriousness of that charge.

    Secondly, Science, as I stated above is not proving that faith is archaic and un-necessary. In fact, every shred of TRUE Scientific evidence over time has proven the Bible to be true. I could write an entire book on this, but I don’t have to, because plenty of authors have beaten me to it – and their books are available for you to buy or check out if you are interested. I’ll just leave you with the link to CSE or Dr. Dino (dot com), Kent Hovind, who has over 17 hours worth of solid video evidence that Darwinism is dead. Science is actually a TOOL that has done nothing but prove the Judeo-Christian God’s account (through the Bible) is factual. Almost every branch of Science was founded by a Christian. You don’t have to leave your brain behind when you leap off the faith bridge. When you see the truth about what macro-evolutionists want you to believe up against the TRUE evidence (not the propaganda and lies), you will see that it is more of a leap of faith to accept their dogma than it is to believe in a Creator. Christianity has nothing to fear from Science. It is rather far-fetched to believe someone would be so afraid of Science that they would embark on a formidable killing spree (as this book depicts).

    The book’s statement that doubt is what brings souls to the Church is entirely wrong. Doubt is what turns people AWAY from church. Doubt is why people can read books like this and see nothing wrong with them. People go to church because they start to feel that something is missing. There is a hole in each of our hearts that God put there. We each have a need for Him. Nothing in life can fill that god-sized-hole but a purpose-filled life in Him. We can endure hunger, pain, loneliness, bitterness, anguish… but we can not live without purpose. Evolution provides nothing but a vacuum (and you’d have to have one in your head to believe it). Christianity provides an answer and a reason for living. With Jesus, you have a commission, you have a hope, and you have a future. What do you get with survival of the fittest (if you can manage to swallow that your great-grandfather is a monkey that evolved from a puddle of primordial soup)? Nothing but an excuse to kill and destroy anyone and anything in your way. Remember the Nazi’s? Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s entire evil plan was to breed a superior race in Germany based on a horrific evolutionary theory called “eugenics” (founded by Charles Darwin's cousin). Eugenics claimed to improve the human race using principles from the theory of evolution. Hitler believed man fell into two categories, the “unfit” and the “fit.” This is entirely contradictory to God’s loving claim that all of us are His children, and He desires all of us to choose life and be saved from judgment.

    The statement “We all seek God in different ways” is a common one, but is also one that I must rebut. If God is all-powerful, and any God you believe in should be (why trust in a God who is incapable to do anything for you?), then shouldn’t He have the right to make the rules? And let’s say He did make some rules... wouldn’t it then be our responsibility to follow them, as his subjects? Seeking God should be done the way HE desires. In the Bible, God calls us to repent, and live for Him. Here are the statements regarding seeking the Lord that would have been preferable to this misleading theology in Dan Brown’s book:

    Proverbs 4:19 - But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.

    Proverbs 5:21 - For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths.

    Proverbs 9:6 - Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.

    Isaiah 53:6 - We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him (meaning Jesus) the iniquity of us all.

    Isaiah 55:8 - "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

    John 14:6 - Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

    Some religions evolve, this much is true. But, Christianity is not merely a religion. Christianity is an entire way of life built on absolute principals given to us by the Father. Just because our society and culture changes, the commandments do not. It is still as wrong today to sin as it was when the world was new. To think that you can just rip pages out of the Bible and make it fit your own ill-conceived notions is wrong. Black is black, white is white – yesterday, today, tomorrow and always. And that brings me to a very serious question… How trustworthy is a religion that changes it’s rules with the changing of the seasons? If you were to play monopoly with your kid sister, and she changed the rules every time you went past “Go”, would you trust that you had a fair chance of winning? The religions that change and re-create themselves (add new holy texts) are the ones you should not trust. The Christian Bible has never changed. The Dead Sea scrolls prove that. What you read today (if you get a good copy of the original texts, and not an Alexandrian copy) is the same as it was all those many years ago when Jesus walked the streets in his sandals. Yes, there are a lot of bible versions, but you can do some research and find out why. It is not because Christianity is changing. It is because man tries to change things he doesn’t like to fit his own selfish motives. This will invariably pull people away from the faith, and create new denominative sects, but the truths of God’s word remain today – whether we believe them or not. This brings Paul's wonderful sermon to the intellectuals in Athens to mind (Acts 17). It is probably my favorite sermon in the Bible, as I relate with Paul the most of the apostles. I was the greatest of sinners, and yet I stand here today, a forgiven woman.

    Acts 17:18-31
    18A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean." 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

    22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

    24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'

    29"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

    This last section of the review will focus on the last part of Vittoria’s rebuttal...

    “God is not some omnipotent authority looking down from above, threatening to throw us into a pit of fire if we disobey. God is the energy that flows through the synapses of our nervous system and the chambers of our hearts! God is in all things!”

    To say God is in all things would be somewhat correct. The Bible says that in Him we live and move and have our being (see verse 28 in Acts 17 above). And I do believe he is in control of even the smallest atom and molecule… even the anti-matter discussed in this book. He knows every hair on our heads and numbers every beat of our heart. This is true. But to limit Him to the natural world, is to put Him in a box in which He doesn’t fit. We are not capable of understanding even the totality of our physical world (thus Science is only the observation and study of it – and is never fully complete), so how can we say that we understand the God who created it? Just because we can only observe the physical, does not mean that God only maneuvers in the physical. This is where Science lacks. There are things that we can not observe – there are unseen things. There are many things in nature that confound man and our Scientific methods of studying them… covalent bonding in water, the human mind, the make-up of light, the amazing creatures found under the sea… the list is endless. God is god of our entire universe, not just what we can see. He is not limited by natural laws. He is a God of Miracles.

    Although God does love us, and desire for us all to come to Him and be saved, He is also a God of purity. A holy God can not be corrupted by evil. He has reserved the right, as creator and ruler to prevent that evil (and all who commit it against others) from entering in to Heaven and His presence. If you spill a drop of red into your white paint, it’s no-longer pure white, but very light pink - the more red, the pinker it gets. God prevents Heaven from corruption by preventing sinners from staining it. This is the reason for Hell – and it is a real place according to the Bible (aside from articles I have read about the Catholic Church stating it is only a “state of mind”). Jesus spent much of his ministry warning us about Hell. He almost talked more about it than he did anything else. He didn’t yell or scream. He didn’t spit in anyone’s face or look down on them for their sin. He recognized it and told them to “go and sin no more”. The love that God desires to shower on us does not negate the promise of his judgment to come. For us to ignore it and only listen to “feel good” messages piping out from pulpits across America is to turn our back on Jesus’ warnings. Here are a few:

    Matthew 7:14- Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    Matthew 10:28 - Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Mark 9:43 - If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.

    Matthew 13:42 - They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    So to sum up my review of Dan Brown’s book, I would have to say that it would be a positive review of a well-written book, that had negative theology. I certainly don't want you to think he's a bad writer. I enjoyed the fiction, and it was a nice plot… but the theology ruined it once and for all. I would suggest that if you are a new Christian, and have not read the Bible all the way through on your own… do that BEFORE reading anything by Dan Brown. If you are already a Christian and want to keep up with culture and see what kind of mentality you are up against (like my husband's college professor), by all means, grab a highlighter and read Angels & Demons for yourself. Make sure to highlight it as you go, every time you see something contrary to scripture popping off the page. I pray that Dan Brown has a wonderful adventure of his own, getting to know Jesus personally – so that rather than living vicariously through the world of symbolism, secret societies, and codes… he can experience the purpose and peace given to us through Christ our Lord.

    August 22, 2005

    Monday Madhouse

    Box Management and Changing Course
    I think I'm going to tackle getting a few things back out of my boxes today (accessories for the mantle, the tops of the cabinets, book cases, etc.) and maybe a casserole pan. I'm going to stack the boxes out in the garage, I guess. I hate it that I finally got to park in there, and now I'm giving it up for storage. Oh, well. It's better than finding my way through the maze of boxes downstairs. I'm also going to organize the closets and get some more school planning done. We have decided to wait out the next buyer instead of paying for storage. The cost roughly comes out the same as utilities to rent a large storage unit and move out... but then we have to use up our welcome at someone else's house until we find a house of our own where we are headed. This seems to be the wisest choice. Praying a buyer appears quickly, and that God keeps us uplifted and strengthens our trust and hope.

    As for bloggie stuff... (sorry for the lack of 25-cent-words there), I ran into a few interesting things over the weekend I thought I would share.

    First of all, a great site (and radio talk show) for the financially impaired (us included) is Dave Ramsey's site. They have all kinds of calculators, quizzes, information, and more. They even provide counseling - but not sure about the details.

    Some interesting Homeschool News on fellow blogs:

    Homeschoolers Proving Skeptics Wrong at Central Indiana Homeschool


    Grizzly Mama's Homeschool Statistics Article

    If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going. -- Professor Irwin Corey

    Another wonderful financial related article can be found at the Christian Courier. It is entitled May a Christian Declare Bankruptcy? Be sure to stop in check out their awesome Statement of Faith FAQ Page.

    And, if you would rather read about world-view... I stumbled upon this article taken from Forming an opinion on the article... not quite sure if I agree with it's content.

    Hallmarks of Christian Materialism
    Some of these hallmarks have their origins in movements that predate Christian Materialism, and many have passed into the mainstream of modern American Christianity. Taken as a whole, however, they outline the character of American Christian Materialism.

  • The materialization of spirituality in the form of "spiritual gifts" such as snake-handling, speaking in tongues, faith-healing, visitations of the spirit and so forth.

  • The promotion of "Young-Earth Creation Science," as an exact analogue to mainstream science, except where that would conflict with the Bible.

  • A literal and inflexible reading of the Christian Scriptures.

  • The promotion of "Biblical law" as a set of social principles with the same kind of universal scope, immutable validity and unambiguous interpretation as the "laws" of material science.

  • Extremely large churches.

  • Wealthy pastors.

  • The use of sophisticated marketing techniques to attract worshippers.

  • The sale of Christian-themed knick-knacks, clothing and other material items.

  • The sale and distribution of prosperity-themed books, tapes, seminars and brochures (often from the pulpit).

  • A disdain for idealism.

  • A focus on "Biblical proof."

  • Music and entertainment that consists of Christian-themed variants of mainstream music and entertainment.
  • Not sure I like seeing all those items in one list. What do you think?

    August 20, 2005

    Series of Unfortunate Mortgage Events

    No, this isn't a Lemony Snicket review. Although we watched it last night, and found it to be pretty dark and gloomy with lots of irrational fears that kids probably shouldn't be worried about, so we won't let our kids see it. I'm actually referring to our contract in the dismal title of this post. Yes, it seems we left off an item on the REAL LIFE moving checklist... the possibility of the buyer pulling the contract on her last option period day! Yep, folks, we're now 1/2 way ready to move out... and have no buyer. Oh, well. My realtor called me yesterday and before I answered the call, I saw her name appear on the caller-ID screen. I flipped the phone open as my stomach sank and my breath caught in my throat.... "You don't want this call," she said.

    She was right. I didn't want it. But, I was sure glad it wasn't a call from a state trooper telling me my husband had died in a car accident on the way home from commuting between another city. I know that the devil wants my marriage. I'm glad to say that with Jesus' help, he won't have it. We're going to trust in the Lord and wait for Him to save us from our crisis. Unlike the kids in Lemony Snicket, we have a hope that will not disappoint us.

    Yesterday's post, which I never got around to typing out because of obvious distractions, was about the emails I have gotten regarding Starbucks. I love me a Frappuccino - a Grande Decaf Hazelnut Coffee Frappuccino, to be exact. Yet, I can break my habit and drink coffee at home. Coffee Mate's Hazelnut Creamer is good enough for me. Here are the two links that you should see regarding Starbucks and their support of the 'agenda'. I have no problem with people who are gay. I don't hate them. I just don't agree with the sin of homosex or the "agenda" being taught in public schools and workplaces. I also don't want to fund events that have known sexual predators working around children. So, with a sad wave farewell, I bid my drive-thru coffee habit good-bye. At almost 4$ a cup, it won't hurt my checkbook either.

    Be sure to check out the article "Starbucks: A habit easily broken" by By Meghan Kleppinger © 2005 ...

    And check out the image of a Latte being served near you from the Baptist Press News .

    Have a great weekend! God is GOOD!

    August 18, 2005

    REAL LIFE Countdown to Moving Day

    You have probably noticed that everyone is absorbed and enthralled by reality TV shows these days. It seems we like to witness other people's problems and identify with them in some strange way. I was surfing the net looking for a good checklist for moving day, when I started to wonder to myself... "What if someone wrote out a REALITY show type moving list?" Why not tell it like it really is for most people? Let's face it. The masses tend towards procrastination. Most of us are moving-day-challenged... even if we've moved nearly forty times in our life-span. With this in mind, I re-wrote my own checklist of sorts... some of it is actually true, but the rest of it is entirely fiction. Remember, I'm a less than a week away from moving yet! Hope you enjoy it.

    Real Life Countdown to Moving Day

    16 Weeks Before Moving

    Panic because you can’t sell your house. Take some of your stuff to someone else’s garage sale because you can’t afford to buy an ad in the paper, or the yard signs. Hide the clutter in the closets because the realtors really aren’t looking in there anyway. Drop a few things off at Good Will. Forget to take the trash out – the potential buyers will overlook the smell of aged cat litter and rotten banana peel in the garage. Make sure to stay in complete denial that you’ll eventually have to move. Unpack that last box from the last move and put everything neatly away.

    12 Weeks Before Moving

    Get really depressed because you don’t have a contract. Fire your realtor. Hire a new one who charges more commission. Spam your friends over email that you are selling your house. Tell the kids they’ll just have to read books because the house has to stay clean indefinitely while realtors could show up at any minute. Throw away the solicitations you are getting in the mail from van lines and moving companies; it’s too early to worry about getting quotes. Who’s telling these people you are moving anyway?

    8 Weeks Before Moving

    Start begging people at church to buy your house. Become your new realtor’s slave and start fixing things and decorating things that you should have done when you first moved in a year ago. Use up your last sheet of “WE’VE MOVED” address labels for your current address that you ordered last year (won’t be needing those soon). Clean your garage out so you can finally park your vehicle in the garage for the first time ever.

    4 Weeks Before Moving

    Apologize to your realtor in the city you are supposed to move to, and tell her you’re sorry you haven’t sold your house in the last six months, and YES, you do still expect to eventually need her help looking for a house… but you just can’t start looking until you get a contract. Yell at someone to make yourself feel better (if you can’t find someone to yell at, just yell at your kids). Resign yourself that since gasoline prices have risen and the cost of commuting between two cities for seven months has drained your pocketbook… you’ll probably end up having to foreclose. Stop worrying if the house is perfect when the realtors come to show it… after all, none of the people have made an offer in seven months even though you had it cleaner than the feature in Better Homes and Gardens. Paint your kitchen red and yellow. Pull out overgrown bushes and weed your flower beds. Watch a lot of chick movies.

    3 Weeks Before Moving

    Get a call from your realtor telling you someone from out of state wants to buy your house, but if you accept the offer, you have to be out in three weeks. Get really excited, buy yourself a Latte. Call everyone you know to tell them the news. Mark a calendar with the option period and closing date – sure, three weeks is enough time! Spend the weekend hanging out with your husband since you only see him on weekends. No need to worry about packing right now – there’s time for that later.

    2 Weeks Before Moving

    Start to wonder where you’ll come up with the money and the boxes to move. Spam your friends on email to request their help with packing. Let the kids destroy the house. Eat every meal out… after all – you don’t want to buy groceries since you’re going to be moving out soon. Spend time making lists. Touch your trim and walls up with paint the builders left in your garage so the inspectors think your house still looks like new – even though the paint dries much lighter than your original wall color. Forget to water the lawn (again).

    1 Week Before Moving

    Drive 400 miles to get free boxes. Start packing. Get distracted by the books you are packing and read one. Forget to label some of the boxes and forget what’s in them. Wonder where your cat is going to live since you can’t take it with you. Continue to eat out, even though you probably should aim to empty your freezer and refrigerator before your perishables spoil. Feel like a martyr because no one is helping you pack and your husband is out of town working. Yell at the kids who have used every available box to build a small city in your living room. Yell at the cat because you trip over her while carrying a box (that you, yourself packed) that’s so heavy you felt your knee joints crack when you lifted it. Make a mental note to yourself to find the heating pad because your back feels like rubber and you’re not sure you’ll be able to move in the morning.

    5 Days Before Moving

    Put off packing so you can check your email and blog some. Reward yourself with chocolate for all your hard work since you have a few rooms finished. Hope that you can get it all done before your husband comes home for the weekend. After all, when he packs, he just throws stuff in the box, and you are such a perfectionist that you would rather whine that he’s not helping than let him help. Decide to move into storage since it’s too late to find a house where you’re moving. Throw out some rotten food from the freezer and fridge since you were eating out and didn’t eat it on time. Sleep in, you deserve it. Eat half a package of Oreos. Watch another chick movie. Water your brown grass.

    Three Days Before Moving

    Realize you still have no one to help you load the truck. Start calling to find a rental truck. Panic because you don’t have a storage unit yet, and there aren’t any trucks available (it is the end of the summer, after all). Wonder where your mail is going to be transferred to. Call your utility services and have them schedule to turn things off the day after you move out. Start packing your suitcases that will need to go with you where you stay. Pray that God helps you figure out what to do with the cat. Wash clothes. Pack some more. Find the moving tape dispenser and an un-used roll of packing tape in the garage after you just went to the store to buy one. Finally get a hold of some obscure movers from a small nearby town that are available the day you want to move.

    Two Days Before Moving

    Frantically pack the rest of your stuff (you had no idea you had this much stuff). Pay for a storage unit nearby. Start making loads of boxes over to the storage unit so you can get around in the house better. Get a call from the Title Company that tells you they need a copy of your Survey to close on the deal. Remember that you already boxed your filing cabinets and took the Survey to storage. Go to your storage unit and spend hours rearranging boxes and re-opening them to find the Survey (in a box without any markings) in the back, under 300 lbs. worth of books. Go home with greasy burgers and cokes (again). Let the kids watch Disney movies all night while your mom helps you pack some more. Discover that you haven’t even touched the drawers of all your dressers. Run out of moving boxes (and tape). Stay up late to go to Wal-Mart after midnight to scavenge boxes from behind the store (and buy more tape – what’s with 3M anyway? 4$ a roll?!?!).

    The Night Before Moving

    Load your car full of suitcases. Ask your mom to take your favorite pictures and coats to her house when she leaves. Eat another burger. Promise yourself to buy a salad at Jack in the Box tomorrow. Go through the drawers to make sure you packed everything. Discover a closet you haven’t even started on. Run out of tape again.

    On Moving Day

    Double check, closet, drawers, shelves, attic and garage to be sure that they are empty. Remember you forgot to put underwear in your suitcase before you boxed your drawers. Start packing the garage since you forgot about it entirely. Unplug your refrigerator and unload it into coolers (mutter under your breath about how stupid you are for waiting so long to do this). Let the movers tape and move your fridge onto the truck knowing when it comes out of storage, it will be hairy and green inside. Drop your cell phone on your driveway and watch it shatter into two pieces. Peel your toenail off while trying to help move your washing machine. Call your mother to come help the movers while you throb in pain on the couch (until they have to load it into the truck). Promise yourself never to move again (and especially not wearing sandals).

    August 17, 2005

    2005-2006 Konos Unit Schedule

    This post updated: June 6/12/06

    This will be our fourth year to homeschool, and my children are age 6 and 8 starting out this year. My son is in 3rd grade, and my daughter is in 2nd grade. We have a little review to cover from last year in our books, but we will be in those grade level Math, Language and Phonics books by the end of September. We use Konos as our main curriculum. Konos covers everything except Math, Language (although many of our Language projects stem from our unit studies), and Phonics. I had to get my schedule done today so that I could box up my office. I have 3/4 of my book shelves boxed, and I managed to get this schedule done for the school year, so I would call this day a success! Here's our 2005-2006 line up:

    As of June '06, we've accomplished the things written in brown.

    School Starts – Sept.6 th

    UNIT: OBEDIENCE - Consequences of Disobedience/Crime & Punishment – (2wks) Sept. 6-16th

    UNIT: OBEDIENCE - Friction/Resistance & Action/Reaction – (1wk) Sept. 19-23rd

    UNIT: OBEDIENCE - Military – (2wks) Sept. 26th – October 7th

    UNIT: INQUISITIVENESS - Explorers – Columbus – (only 1wk – week 5 of 9) Oct. 10-14th

    UNIT: TRUST - Floating and Ships – (2wks) Oct. 17-28th

    UNIT: TRUST - Flight/Airplanes – (2wks) Oct. 31-November 11th

    UNIT: “THANKFULNESS” - Thanksgiving – (1wk) Nov. 14-18th

    Thanksgiving Holiday – Nov. 21-25th - I'd say it was a holiday... we moved in October, took the entire month of November off (living in a hotel and looking for houses)...

    UNIT: TRUST - Good Shepherd/Sheep/Weaving – (3wks) Nov. 28th-Dec. 16th

    Christmas Holiday – Dec. 19-30th - very short few days off and a January trip to Texas

    UNIT: ORDERLINESS – Rock Classification – (1wk) Jan. 2-6th

    UNIT: ORDERLINESS – Animal Classification – (2wks) Jan. 9-20th

    Kaden and Morgan’s Joint SAFARI Birthday Party – Jan. 21st - sorry, no party. :(

    UNIT: ORDERLINESS – Calendars/Seasons/Counting/Measuring/Solar System (4wks) – Jan. 23rd-Feb. 17th

    UNIT: STEWARDSHIP – Ecology/Conservation - (1 wk – finish up/field trips) Feb. 20-24th

    UNIT: STEWARDSHIP – Budgeting Time - (1 wk – finish up/field trip & projects) Feb. 27th-March 3rd

    UNIT: STEWARDSHIP – Money/Possessions/Careers – (2wks – finish up) Mar. 6th-17th

    UNIT: PATIENCE – Plant Growth/Gardening – (2wks) Mar. 20th-31st

    UNIT: ORDERLINESS – Plant Classification – (2wks) Apr. 3rd-14th

    Easter Holiday/Spring Break – Apr. 16-21st

    UNIT: STEWARDSHIP – Nutrition/Rest/Exercise/Fun – (4wks) Apr. 24th-May 19th

    UNIT: PATIENCE – Grain/Bread/Yeast – (2wks) May 22nd-June 1st

    EVENT: Dinosaur Day – (1 day – next unit kick-off) June 2nd

    UNIT: PATIENCE – Animal Birth/Growth – (2wks) June 5th-June 16th

    UNIT: PATIENCE – Human Birth/Growth – (2wks) June 19-30th

    July 4th Holiday – July 3-4th

    Standardized Testing – July 5-6th - Kaden took the Iowa Skills Test in April (Full Battery)

    Last Day of SchoolJuly 7th, or rather... July 31

    Graduation Ceremony – July 8th, or not?

    Reward Field Trip – July ?, this was our early summer vacation: Two weeks of May in Texas and one off at home afterwards

    Wow. Moving out of state really threw a kink in my year. We have another three weeks in June and three weeks in July to get Seasons finished, give Morgan her end-of-year tests, and do the Ecology, Time and Money wrap-ups. That ought to be good before Summer. I will get Kaden's standardized tests back from the State of Arkansas this July.

    August 16, 2005

    Buried in Boxes - But I'm OK

    Kids - A Welcome Diversion
    I'll admit it, I am a lot more comical in real life and over the phone than I am in my writing. Even while the stress is so thick in my life you couldn't cut it with a Ginsu knife... I tend to see the dry humor of things. Life really is very funny (if not warped).

    My children have picked up some of my wit. They, more than anything in my existence (other than my geeky, wonderful husband) bring laughter to my heart! Yesterday, when we were eating breakfast at the table, Minga (our young cat) was begging mercilessly, and jumped up on the empty chair at our breakfast table. Her eager head popped up from under the table and she shot each of us a hungry glance. Kaden - without cracking a smile - simply, and frankly told her, "Sorry, kitty. You're not a member of the 'All-You-Can-Eat' Club." I nearly fell off my chair laughing. He's so full of unexpected cleverness. What a joy.

    Every year, I put their 'funnies' in our Christmas letter (you know the kind that are four pages long and chronicle our entire year for those who could really care less). One day, I'll have to compile a list of the most hilarious things my kids have ever said on this blog. It would be neat to have them all in one place. Kev and I often reminisce about them, and they still make us giggle.

    Stress and Unscheduled Learning
    Because of our house selling, minor house repairs and decoration issues, pending move, and need to be in a state of flux for a while as we take time to look for a house, I've kind of resigned myself that we would just start school after September 1st. Morgan begged me for some Math worksheets yesterday. I gave them both one, and they completed them. Then, today, we went to pick up boxes from someone at our church. He gave me a tour of his machine and electronics company with the kids. We got to take an unscheduled field trip to see how circuit boards are built, cleaned and tested. It was really educational and fun, and my son especially loved it, since he claims to want to be an engineer. After we returned home, I got out the paint and retouched the walls and the trim in preparation for the buyer's inspection which was supposed to take place at 2 PM.

    At noon, we left town to drive to another city and pick up some free moving boxes donated by a friend to our cause. While on the trip, the kids helped me list all the different states we could find on vehicle license plates we passed. We found nine (MA, FL, TX, LA, KA, ME, OK, MO and TN). The kids grew tired of waiting between states, and I let them pop in a movie.

    Boxes, Buildings, Beasts and Bedtime
    Almost 400 miles later, we're home, and I'm very tired. I'm surrounded by a maze of boxes and little box houses where the kids are hiding with our cat. I think they know Mommy's about to tuck them in and tucker out! Tomorrow begins our packing adventure.... even in these busy, stressful days, God is good. He keeps me smiling.

    August 15, 2005

    Check out the New Homeschool Links!

    I've been in denial about the millions of things I have to get done before 2 PM tomorrow, so I've been a bad girl... and have been off task instead of getting things done around the house before the inspectors come tomorrow. Good thing for you, though - because while I was goofing off (FOR SHAME!), I updated my list of Homeschool Links on my side bar. There are some excellent links there - some that have been a real help to me in lesson planning, crafts, information, testing, curriculum, reviews, swap boards, coloring pages, printables, and more!

    Happy 2005-2006 School Year!!!

    Biblical Pool of Siloam uncovered in Jerusalem

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times

    Workers repairing a sewage pipe in the old city of Jerusalem have discovered the biblical Pool of Siloam, a freshwater reservoir that was a major gathering place for ancient Jews making religious pilgrimages to the city and the reputed site where Jesus cured a man blind from birth, according to the Gospel of John.

    The pool was fed by the now-famous Hezekiah's Tunnel and is "a much grander affair" than archaeologists previously believed, with three tiers of stone stairs allowing easy access to the water, according to Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archeology Review, which reported the find yesterday.

    "Scholars have said that there wasn't a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit" to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. "Now, we have found the Pool of Siloam ... exactly where John said it was." A Gospel that was thought to be "pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history," he said.

    Ok, so maybe I'm a little late on this one, but I love bible archeology, so I wanted to pass it on. You can read the full story at this site. Thanks Sara, for the tip!

    Pre-Moving Stress

    Ok... I'm just me today - no lists, no informative information, no lesson plans, no bible-inspired articles... sorry, but life has been going at the speed of light lately (and I thought the REALTOR had a to-do list for me that was a mile long)! I suppose I have been in denial about the REAL hustle and bustle that was bound to follow a signed contract on our home. But alas, my days of waiting are over (Praise the Lord), and now is the time to get up and meet the challenge!

    Today, I am trying to procure a storage unit and boxes, while dealing with paperwork and phone-calls that must be handled before our move. I have to fix the trim on the "red wall" in the kitchen, and let the handy-man in this afternoon to fix a tiny corner that has some sheet-rock damage (made by one of those shower poles!). Tomorrow is our inspection by the buyer, so I'm praying that everything will go without a hitch, and her option period will end as planned this Friday. We are praying she doesn't require us to shell out any more money since she asked us to professionally clean the carpets and the house after we move out, and she got the house for almost ten thousand dollars under it's appraised value (desperate sellers that we are)!

    I have to manage to pack up everything on my own, since hubby is working all week, and will not be able to take off next week when the move happens, either. That leaves me a week and a half (moving day is next Wednesday or Thursday) to get everything done.

    I apologize in advance for my blog being neglected this week... but I am going to try and use spare time (if I get any) to gather the data up out of my 2nd year lesson plan book to post the same information for our 2003-2004 school year that I have for our 2001-2002. The second year we homeschooled, my children had already lost a year (2002-2003) at a private school where I worked as the registrar, so don't be confused that we skipped an entire year. My son repeated Kindergarten at private school, and my daughter went to 3 year preschool there. Our second year of homeschool, we started late - we pulled them out of the private school at the end of September, and started homeschool in October. My husband was in Iraq, and we were doing Kindergarten for my 4.5 year old, and First Grade for my 6.5 year old. This is why my children are only one GRADE apart, and yet two YEARS apart. He repeated Kindergarten, and she started Kindergarten early.

    I guess this year's school will have to wait until September!

    August 14, 2005

    Learning Enrichment Ideas for PK-K (& Up...)

    This list is just a sample of things to enrich your planned learning for the early years... we did most everything on this list during our first school year. The ideas may or may not have had to do with our curriculum. I used an eclectic mix of curriculum, and I got ideas from a variety of sources, so at this point, I couldn't tell you where they all came from. Hopefully, sharing this with you will inspire you to add some extras to your lesson plan book (because learning is FUN!)... and inspire you to be flexible, rather than rigid in your days ahead so that you can make room for a few bunny trails and side-tracks without throwing your hands up thinking your precious babies are not learning. Sometimes the best learning is not provoked by what we have written down to learn that day... but by life happening instead.

    Count and roll money/Count change
    Let child pay for something at fast food counter or store
    Help grocery shop/Use calculator
    Help cook/Help measure ingredients
    Ride a bike
    Help pick library books/Learn to use library's online system
    Pray/Make prayer list
    Veggie Tales Videos
    Bible Memory Verses
    Nature collections (bugs, rocks, leaves, etc.)
    Kingdom Chums Video - Squire Rushnell (story of the Ten Commandments)
    Build with Blocks/Build with Lincoln Logs
    Build things with toothpicks and marshmallows (paint it)
    Watch Nest Home Videos
    Help with chores/Decluttering (include the kids in a Fly Lady 27 Fling Boogie)
    Draw and Color
    Board Games (Sorry, Candy Land, Connect 4, Scrabble, etc.)
    Hang Family Rules/School Rules
    Positive Rewards/Consistent Punishments/Conduct Chart
    Screen Time (videos, computer, gameboy, tv) Earning Program
    Provide calm consequences for disobedience
    Set up long-range plans for your kids/goals
    Discovery Toy Games: A B Seas
    Play money/play kitchen toys
    Talk in rhyming words
    Syllable clapping game
    Outdoor time/Gardening/tending plants
    Weekly Bible Class at Church
    Read educational children's magazines (My Big Back Yard/Highlights/Etc.)
    Watch Mr. Rogers/Sesame Street/Read Between the Lions
    Play Groups (church or homeschool friends)
    Meet Older Homeschoolers/Veteran Moms
    Sing Songs
    Play with Cousins
    Sort laundry by color
    Take a walk/Take a walk in the rain (splash in puddles)
    Listen to the water run under a manhole
    Discuss what you are learning
    Participate in National Day of Prayer/See you at the Pole
    Make a card for a Civil Servant
    Take Cookies to your Librarian/Fireman/Police Station
    Watch Zaboomafoo (and other animal shows)
    Kingdom Under the Sea Videos
    Eat International Foods
    Rake leaves/Yard chores with parents
    Visit other people's churches
    Have a dinner party
    Join a book club
    Play card games (Hearts, Crazy 8, War, Go Fish, Old Maid)
    Play Dominoes
    Clean out toy box and donate toys to Good Will
    Call and sing Happy Birthday to someone
    Color Leaf Prints
    Do a puzzle
    Visit a playground (swing, slide, climb)
    Make a tent with sheets and pillows
    Learn the Hebrew Alphabet
    Learn the Spanish Alphabet
    Check out Nature/Animal Videos at Library
    Go to a Family Reunion
    Do a connect the dot
    Finger Paint
    Go to work with Daddy
    Catch and play with a lizard or gecko
    Handle a snake
    Play Simon Says/Mother May I
    Play in McDonald's Playscape
    Watch Reading Rainbow
    Make instruments out of pots, pans & spoons
    Learn the Pledge of Allegiance
    Catch a Caterpillar/Grow a Butterfly
    Watch Prince of Egypt/Joseph King of Dreams
    Watch Jesus "Miracle Maker" (Claymation) * Our favorite!
    Watch an animal have babies
    Play in the dirt
    Practice a random act of kindness/service project
    Visit someone in jail
    Go Antique shopping
    Attend a wedding
    Play with an Etch-a-Sketch
    Ride on a tractor
    Watch skydivers
    Send a letter to a politician
    Cook someone a meal who's sick
    Pack, Move, and Unpack/Help someone else move
    Write a relative that lives far away
    Build something in the yard with sticks
    Catch fireflies
    Have a "tail-gate party" (picnic on the back of a truck)
    Pick wild berries
    Take care of a pet (walk, feed, bathe)
    Take a nap
    Help daddy trim a tree
    Blow bubbles
    Play with neighbor's kids outside
    Find a bird nest
    Do jumping jacks
    Help pack suitcases for a trip
    Have a pillow fight & tickle session
    Play Chase, Duck/Duck/Goose, Race, and Hide & Seek
    Learn to wash dishes, sweep and vacuum
    Decorate for the holidays
    Do holiday crafts
    Make kid art-snacks & treats
    Listen to Christmas music (or classical music)
    Listen to a book on tape
    Pray for your day to go well before you start school
    Help clean out the garage
    Start a little scrapbook
    Learn to take pictures
    Make ornaments to give away at Christmas
    Free reading time alone/quiet time
    Be in a Christmas Musical at church
    Help Mommy mail Christmas Cards
    Play with Playdough
    Write in shaving cream on a cookie sheet
    Make a bead necklace (or macaroni)
    Play Dress Up
    Learn what an Author, Cover Page, and Title Page are
    Learn what Characters and Plot are
    Set up a nativity scene (or act it out)
    Play with Christmas Toys
    Take a trip to visit family out of town
    Play road games in the car (ABC game, I spy, map the license plates by state)
    Build with Legos
    Work out with a Video in the Living Room
    Find countries you learn about on a globe
    Go see a fireworks display
    Play games with dice
    Start saving allowance in a piggy bank/Learn to Tithe
    Play a matching game
    Color with sidewalk chalk
    Make gingerbread cookies
    Crawl on a haystack
    Get inside an army tank
    Roast weenies and marshmallows over a fire/Make Smores/Go camping
    Learn to play an instrument
    Watch history videos
    Look up pictures on the Nasa Kids Website
    Look up information in Microsoft Encarta
    Hang a Poster chart of the solar system
    Decorate a bulletin board (hang your best work)
    Have an "OPEN HOUSE" for family and friends
    Have a themed birthday party
    Put on a play for your family
    Look through family photo albums
    Make a family tree poster
    Fold shapes in half
    Watch Daddy change a tire
    Make home-made Valentines cards
    Do some simple Science experiments from library books
    Invite a friend to church
    Dance to 80's music
    Learn how to fold an American flag
    Color print-outs from
    Learn to count to 100
    Plant birdseed in painted (face) eggshells to grow hair
    Take a Teacher "Mental Health Day" OFF
    Make magazine cut-out collage of things we're thankful for
    Dance to The Nutcracker Music
    Take a skills assessment test online
    Free time to play
    Play hopscotch and learn to jump rope
    Learn to catch and throw a ball
    Stick glow in the dark stars on your walls (learn some constellations)
    Read poetry
    Cut and paste
    Decorate an Easter Tree
    Make Resurrection Cookies
    Plant wildflowers (Bluebonnets for Texans!)
    Do some lesson plans from the internet
    Build a home-made kite
    Trace pictures
    Build a frame with popsicle sticks & put your picture in it
    Measure yourself at the beginning and end of the school year
    Use alphabet, number, and word flash cards
    Paint a room together
    Send a drawing in to a children's magazine to be published
    Draw and color the food pyramid - beware... don't believe everything your "taught"!

    August 13, 2005

    Konos Indian Unit Photos (2001-2002... PK-K)

    This is a photo record of the fun we had doing our favorite Konos unit for the year (2001-2002) when the kids were 3 and 5 - when we co-oped with Kelly's family. You can see that we had a blast. This is when we really started digging in and doing the full Konos schedule (towards the end of the school year) the way it should be done. Kelly was a big help in getting me to give up the shallow end of planning, and teaching me to dive in and really get to the meat of learning - more hands on stuff! This was one of our favorite all-time units. We spent four weeks on it, and culminated in a fabulous Indian Feast where we ate buffalo burgers, and other Indian-type foods. Our relatives were impressed with the kids' oral reports, the artifact museum we set up displaying their crafts, the foods we made, and how much the kids had learned. The kids hardly knew they were having school - they were just enjoying having a good time!

    Kaden displaying our Indian Territory Map

    Making our False Face Mask (Iroquois)

    Final product - False Face Mask (Iroquois)

    Painting our Teepee and Playing In It

    Giving an Oral Book Report on Northwest Coast Indians at our Indian Feast

    Making a Turtle Shell Rattle

    Building and Painting a Totem Pole

    Visiting an Indian Gift Shop

    Making Sand Casting Art with SW Indian Designs

    Archery Lessons

    Rachel in her Feather Headdress giving a Report on the Plains Indians at our Indian Feast


    Some posts on this blog contain affiliate links or sponsored links. I receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through an affiliate link. Sponsored links are paid for by a company who wishes to improve their Google ranking, but I always check to make sure these are reputable sites and never allow any links that are questionable to be placed.

    The links in my "Sweet Linkage" section are either sponsored links or personal links that I find interesting (including the links to the blogs that both of my teen children run).

    I occasionally run ads on my blog in exchange for money or traded advertising, or receive products in exchange for a review or giveaway posts. I also participate in campaigns by brands that offer to pay me to write about their products after using them. Any post that is sponsored will be noted as such. All opinions expressed on are my own, and any review, give-away, sponsored post, graphic ad, or product that I mention or link to are ones that I believe are reputable and worthy companies.


    blog design:

    blog archives