Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::hook_event() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions_smarty.inc.php on line 92

Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::get_event_plugins() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/plugin_api.inc.php on line 746


Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::hook_event() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions_smarty.inc.php on line 92

Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::get_event_plugins() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/plugin_api.inc.php on line 746

"May I see your ID, please?"


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Wednesday, September 30. 2009

One thing that I haven't quite fit into my schedule in an effective manner yet is a time to run errands and get groceries......well also to clean the house but that is an entirely other issue. The focus the past few weeks has been to establish a working school schedule and get the kids into a routine with their studies. We take most of our mornings to do that and then the rest of the day seems to slip by. Errands remain undone and things stack up or run out as is the case of food/groceries. The past couple of days have been time crunch days. Paperwork needs to be filed with the district by 10/1 so I have been pulling things together and getting it ready. One of the papers needed to be signed by a notary so I had intended to go Monday and the day slipped away. Tuesday was more of the same. Today, it had to be done. I was up late last night working on some things and had needed my wallet for an online interaction. I had left my purse on the table and didn't really think anything of it.

This morning as I tried to get out the door to run three errands, I felt like I was herding cats and getting nowhere. Finally we were out the door. After an hour of running the first errand, I was standing in line at the bank waiting to get my letter notarized. Kids were nearby, not too much of a wait and all seemed to be good. Then the teller asked me "May I please see you ID?" I opened my purse and in sheer disbelief, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. When I grabbed my bag in the rush to exit the house, I noticed it was partially open but didn't really think anything of it as I thought in my half asleep state last evening, I hadn't closed it. When I peered into my bag, there sitting where my small wallet should have been (the one that contains my credit card, driver's license and all other ID) is a stapler and my wallet is nowhere. I had used the stapler yesterday to put together L's history test and also to get the paperwork ready to be send today. I guess my dear toddler who is loving known as the "toilet training, two year old tornado" by his siblings much have thought I would need that today and made space for it by removing my wallet.

I had this odd look on my face....one that is a cross between completely loosing it in hysterics and pure astonishment so the teller inquired if all was OK. I pulled out the stapler and showed her my new wallet and ID and I have this feeling it was all she could do to not burst into roll on the ground fits of laughter. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful new stapler that I bought for $3 yet, it doesn't serve the purpose of a picture ID!

The teller recognized me (benefits of a small credit union) but still needed some form of photo ID. The search of every pocket, corner and fold of the bag. I did find an expired membership card with a very poor quality photo but the teller humored me, signed my paper and we were on our way to the post office.....with one quick stop at home to exchange the stapler for my wallet!

You'd think that was enough excitement for the day, however AJ wanted to ensure that I had enough gray hair producing moments for the day so he decided to pull up the board in his closet that covers the "never used in many many years" laundry chute and send himself through the small opening to the freezer lid below. What possessed him to do that when I specifically told him to not play in the closet and to stop putting anything, especially K'nex and other small toys down the chute because they were ending up in the detergent dispenser for the washing machine, I doubt I will ever know. In talking with him following his journey through the laundry chute, slip from the freezer lid and land on the concrete floor below scraping your back all the way down in the process, he still doesn't understand what the issue is because I didn't specifically tell him not to personally go down the laundry chute!

Just another day in the life of this crazy home schooling mama of 4 wild ones!

Car Seat Upgrade


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Monday, September 28. 2009

I used to be more proactive with car seat safety and our children but have found myself lax in the past several months. About a year ago, the crotch strap broke on our newer car seat that LJ was in so we put him in one of the older ones. I contacted the car seat company and basically got the run around as they said I couldn't purchase a replacement strap and that I could use it as a booster. Well, that would have been great, however I need a harness and not a booster as I refused to put my active less than two year old in a booster seat. Life took over, and we just kept moving forward. The car seat we were using was great. Straps, buckles and all parts worked well. Our older car seat proved to be a much better made one although the question of car seat "life" and expiration dates were always in the back of our mind. I recently read a blog post of a mom that was a car seat safety person and I realized that we really needed to determine the expiration date of the seat and make sure LJ was in the best possible seat. I called the company again about buying a replacement piece for the crotch buckle to make our seat usable again. I got the same runaround that they wouldn't be able to send me the piece because they no longer made it. It was too old a seat (5 years). As our conversation continued the service person realized that I had not been told I could have had the seat replaced last year as a manufacturer's flaw but didn't have the receipt. Because they tape and document everything, the person I was talking with realized it was their error and told me I would have a crotch buckle piece sent to me in the mail in the next 10 days. I was left wondering how we went from the piece not being available to it being sent to me in a few days but was glad that we would have a more up to date useful seat. The piece arrived, we set it up and then realized a very large toddler was likely almost hitting the harness weight limit and he wasn't ready for a booster seat. The kid can undo the harness while driving, I just can't imagine the chaos of him in a booster seat. He's be out and running around while I was traveling 60 miles an hour down the freeway. Since he is approaching the weight limit for the harness in the older seat and not ready to be in a booster, we started looking at other options and found one that had a 65 pound harness limit and luckily one of the baby stores had a trade in sale going on so not only could we get rid of an expired car seat, we could get 20% off the price of a new one. This new seat fits our large toddler very well. It is a Graco Nautilis and goes from a front facing seat with harness to a backed booster to a backless booster so he will have it for the next few years. The best part.....he can't undo the bottom buckle although in the past month has figured out how to undo the top one!

What was I thinking!


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Monday, September 28. 2009

There are times (more than I would like to admit) that I actually stop for a moment and ask myself the question "What were you thinking!!!" and most likely the answer is "not all the way through" Recently in a moment of frustration and exhaustion, I found myself asking the same question with regard to our fall schedule. In the moment, you can think it out and it seems to work, looks OK on "paper" or in thought but when life gets added in, it quickly dissolves into something less than pretty.

I knew this fall was going to be a bit more challenging as we started up our home school year as I added in a kindergartener to the mix. That meant I would be teaching Kindergarten, second and fifth grade at the same time. Three different levels, three different learning styles and three different motivation styles. Now this is much easier that a regular classroom where they have 30 different kids with different levels and learning styles but for me it was still going to be a challenge determining how to educate the kids, keep the house in some type of order, work a few hours and keep from feeling swamped. I also knew that toilet training LJ was also going to come into play and was thinking the first part of September might be a good time since we would be home more, my work at the Y wouldn't have started and things wouldn't have ramped up to full sports schedule. LJ showed us he was ready when we were at an amusement park on Labor Day and he went for many hours and was dry and asked to go to the bathroom 4 times! It wasn't my timing but we went with it since he was ready. It has proven to be a wild ride as we tried to integrate that along with the school stuff and keeping him busy during school time. He is a very busy boy, full of life and adventure so there is never much quiet time for him. If he is quiet, one needs to determine where he is quickly as he is likely up to something. He is pretty good about going to the bathroom on his own, however he has a fascination for toilet paper and running water so you need to be quick. If you are not right behind him, you may find this......






or water running over the top of your sink into the basement, things dumped everywhere from every corner of the house, food pulled out of the cupboards, a large branch form the back yard pulled into the kitchen, pieces of clothing tucked in the cupboards, kitchen items in the living room and you really need to think twice whether you finish off the spelling dictation for your one kid who is tired of waiting for yet another distraction and just wanting to finish or whether you should go and find your toddler who has been missing for a mere 10 seconds!

Out of the Mouths of Babes


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Friday, September 25. 2009

As we were making dinner the other night, all the kids were "helping." There was a lot of conversation about ingredients, tastes, smells and what we were cooking. At one point, I pulled out the container of minced garlic from the fridge and added it in. That brought about a lot of excitement, and LJ screamed "Let me stink that!!!!" As the other kids were waiting to also smell the garlic we all broke out into rolling laughter and poor LJ didn't quite know what to think.

Out of the Mouths of Babes


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Friday, September 25. 2009

As we were making dinner the other night, all the kids were "helping." There was a lot of conversation about ingredients, tastes, smells and what we were cooking. At one point, I pulled out the container of minced garlic from the fridge and added it in. That brought about a lot of excitement, and LJ screamed "Let me stink that!!!!" As the other kids were waiting to also smell the garlic we all broke out into rolling laughter and poor LJ didn't quite know what to think.

Camping Weekend


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Monday, September 21. 2009

This past weekend we went camping with some home school friends at a campground about a half hour away. The friends were wonderful, weather was great, the food fine and the memories many. We had 4 camp sites side by side and behind a couple was a ravine to play in and a great climbing tree. We had 8 adults (one was there for Saturday only) and 10 kids.

Shortly after arriving.


LJ was up bright and early. We decided to take a motorcycle ride at 5:30 to keep him from waking up the rest of the kids.




The ravine.


The very nice shower/bathroom building also had a dish washing area. A favorite with our two youngest.






















They also had a great bike trail system. LJ and I borrowed our friends' bikes and went with one friend for a ride.


Later, S and L rented a tandem bike and toured around for about an hour. S reported that this older model bike was definitely a workout. We didn't bring our bikes as getting them all there wasn't going to be easy as we can't get all of them o the van.


AJ also got in on the fun.


What did you do in school today?


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Friday, September 11. 2009







Leary LJ




Oh ya, and also learned about Russia; animals found in various regions, different landscapes and terrain in the different zones and also went on an archeological dig.

We were able to join C and L on a very spontaneous trip to the zoo this morning for a couple of hours. We hadn't been in years so there were lots and lots of changes including the fountains and new playground as well as the Russia exhibit and new animals.

This afternoon was some of the regular stuff (math, spelling, reading, poetry) but this morning was definitely the highlight of the day.







LJ was disappointed to find out that this was actually an animal. He was convinced we were saying we were going to go and get a taco and ran off behind the others chanting "Taco!! Taco!!" They were chanting "Takin! Takin!" He was a little confused.








I'm Gorgeous!!


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Wednesday, September 9. 2009

I was in the laundry room and heard LJ at the top of the stairs stating "I'm gorgeous!!!" As I came out of the room, at the top of the stairs stood LJ dressed in a Chinese robe that was amongst various clothing items given to us by a friend.


Lost tooth #8


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Wednesday, September 9. 2009

AJ went on a play date this afternoon and came home with a tooth in a plastic baggy. The tooth was somewhat loose but not quite ready to come out. While the three boys were playing he somehow was tackled in a way that knocked out the tooth. He wasn't hurt and the boys all had a good laugh over the missing tooth. In a discussion this evening, he and I realized that of the 8 lost teeth, only 3 have fallen out on their own. The others have been knocked out or removed during surgery due to trauma. 38% of his teeth have fallen out normally while 62% have fallen out forcefully....these are not good statistics. Poor kid.

Potty Training 101


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Tuesday, September 8. 2009

You would think by the 4th kid, potty training would just happen but alas it does not. One seems to forget between children this developmental stage. Each of them learns differently and progresses differently in their own unique way. LJ has shown interest on and off for many months....likely over a year by now but still isn't diaper free. He does however, seem to be ready to move forward and so we push on. Yesterday he managed to stay dry for several hours and request us to take him to the bathroom 4 times and all while wearing a bathing suit. I figured today would be a great day to celebrate his progress and put him in underwear at home. 5 clothing changes later, I decided it wasn't a day to move forward. My first clue should have been this morning, when I left him in the bathroom to tend momentarily to one of the other kids and returned to this...........

Farewell to Summer


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Monday, September 7. 2009

We celebrated Labour Day with family time, lots of sunshine, water and a few adrenaline rushes. S took L on her first mountain bike trail early this morning and then we all headed to Valley Fair. We didn't intend to stay as long as we did but it was a great way to say farewell to summer and welcome in our fall schedule.

Our girls are thrill seekers and A-girl's appetite for roller coasters was insatiable. AJ enjoyed "Mild Thing" but wouldn't try the next level of thrill that "Mad Mouse" provided the girls (and I as I had to ride with A-girl. The water rides were a favorite and we were fortunate to have warm weather to try out Soak City and Breaker Bay on their last day of the season. The two younger ones were not impressed that they couldn't go on Thunder Canyon (too short) but enjoyed watching how wet Dad and the kids got in the water falls. Neither of them however were interested in going on the "big water" ride where the three others got so wet that the color in L's denim shorts turned her white socks blue! They thought a ride on the 125 year old carousel was a much better deal. It was so much fun to see LJ enjoy the rides. He was very nervous at the State Fair and didn't seem to enjoy the rides at all but this was a totally different experience for him. It was also great as a parent to watch the 4 of them encouraging each other, celebrating the excitement and pure joy of each ride even if they weren't the one on it and being so patient waiting (well for the most part). As a family we racked up 150 plus rides, often many times on the same ride! What an awesome way to end the summer.













































Back to School


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Friday, September 4. 2009

As part of the regulation for home schooling in our state, we opt to follow our local school boards calendar so we also are "formally" heading back to school this week. Monday, Home School Coop friends planned a back to school party and celebration complete with pseudo names, activities, games and food. The kids had a blast. Tuesday was a light day with getting a few things organized and introducing new books, Wednesday was a field trip to the State Fair and Thursday was a full day of the regulars. I asked the kids what their favorite thing about back to school/starting school and was a bit surprised by the responses. L loved the reading tests (get three minutes to read a paragraph and answer 8 multiple choice questions), AJ's was reading (which he usually complains about having to do as he is not a confident read despite being able to read fairly well) and A-girl's was math. As the older kids hit the books, LJ is going to "underwear school" and hopefully we will be diaper free in our house in a short time.



















State Fair 2009


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Thursday, September 3. 2009

Once again, we were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the State Fair. We started off our day with a ride on the space tower and then some exercise. We rode bikes to generate power for the local TV station. S and I generated 500 watts and L did an awesome job generating 200 while the younger family members cheered us on. We then enjoyed food, exhibits, food, rides, food and some of the many fair offerings. This year we ventured to a new level of fair going. We left the Kidway and explored the Midway as L is too tall for a lot of the rides in the kid area. We also were able to stay much longer than previous years (spending about 9 hours). It was wonderful to spend the day together exploring the fair.



















































Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::hook_event() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions_smarty.inc.php on line 92

Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::get_event_plugins() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/plugin_api.inc.php on line 746