Our two child things (5 and 2) are currently in Hawaii, but we are a military family, and we live where the Army tells us. This blog is designed to keep us in touch with our family and the friends we have made along the way, to offer insight into our turbulent military lifestyle, and to share our experiences as we try out "homing school." So glad you stopped by!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Seven Things I Have Learned This Year

1. How to make tortillas from scratch. Bread making has always been intimidating to me, and cooking with lard has always been TERRIFYING to me. But sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. Especially when you're pregnant and you're an ocen away from any good Mexican food. I found this lard-free on one of my favorite cooking blogs, The Homesick Texan, and how about that. I made tortillas! They were GOOD, too!

2.God doesn't care much about all the nit-picky details that Christians argue over. When my life is over, I just don't think that at the Pearly Gates, I will hear questions like, "Were you dunked or sprinkled?" or "Did you take communion sitting, standing or kneeling?" In my Bible reading this year, I came across this theme over and over, and I have decided that that stuff just doesn't matter that much to God. What matters is: did you, with a pure heart and honest intentions, seek to truely know and honor the Lord?

3. Cole Slaw is really good on pulled pork sandwiches. I don't know if this is a Hawaiian thing, a new thing, or if I have just been missing out all these years. But now that I know, I'll never go back!

4. If I ever have my own house, I do not want there to be a pool in the backyard. Talk about high maintenance! OK, so it wasn't so bad when we were enjoying the pool all the time. But then it got cold and we didn't go anywhere near the water, but I still had to clean it every week. That was kinda a bummer.

5. Real estate transactions are way more compolicated and involved than I ever imagined, and I would never want to be a professional realtor.

6. Home is with my husband. When Scott deployed last year, the kids and I moved back to my hometown, and I'm really glad we did. WE got to spend some good quality time with family and got to attend special events like birthdays and graduations. There's no place like home, afterall. Even so, home didn't feel quite right without Scott in it. When the deployment ended, we went back to Hawaii, and now that my family is all together under one roof, I am truely HOME.

7.Turning 30 isn't that bad. I have to admit, the first time I had to write my age as 30, I cried a little bit. Ha! But now that I'm on the other side of it...what was I so worried about? I am immensely blessed, and God has provided me with a life that I am so thankful for. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Learning About Hawai'i

If you live in Hawai'i, it would be a shame not to learn about Hawai'i in school, right? Of course, our curriculum doesn't include anything state-specific, but the islands have such an interesting history and culture! I decided we needed to find some way to add a little bit of Hawai'i to our school day.
Enter A Visit to Hawaii coloring book. Each page has a short paragraph explaining some part of Hawaiian culture, including anything from the formation of the islands (I find it very interesting that a single volcano produced all of the islands. It continued to flow as plates shifted, producing the 8 different islands) to fun facts about surfing. We read a page once a week, and then Child Thing #1 gets to color. She is sooo into coloring (and any artsy craftsy thing, really) lately.

I'm really glad I came across this coloring book. It is a great addition to our curriculum because it's fun, easy and both of us learn a lot from it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


In Texas, I'm a gringo (or is it gringa). In Hawai'i, I'm a haole. That's the Hawaiian word for "white guy," and it isn't necessarily a derogatory word. Just depends on how you use it, I suppose. But if you learn the history of the word, it really is not so flattering. :P

Basically, haole means "one with no soul." That's a loose interpretation, you understand, so let me explain. Everyone knows what "aloha" means, so I will start there. "Ha," in ancient Hawai'i, was the breath of life, what I understand to be the soul. "Alo" means to face, so the word "aloha" means to face another person and breathe the breath of life, to open your spirit and your soul to that person. So, to greet someone in old Hawai'i, you would face them and say "haaaaa," breathing into each other.

When the first Europeans came to Hawai'i, you can imagine they were not so comfortable with this way of greeting. Those prim and proper British people... So, instead of sharing the breath of life with the native Hawaiians, they did things like stand at arms length and offer their stiff hands. The Hawaiians thought this was weird and so called the Europeans "one with no ha."

This is the way I understand the meaning of the word; I hope it's accurate. I'm just a haole, of course, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What Should I Do?

*SIGH* Child Thing #2 now refuses to take an afternoon nap. I suspect, he's not really ready to give up his nap because if we happen to be in the car in early afternoon, he konks out for hours at a time. Or if I lay him down on the couch and turn on the TV for him, he will usually fall asleep instantly. But...if I try to put him in his bed...not gonna happen. He'll stay in there (sometimes) for a hour and not fall asleep.

So this has put a kink in my homeschooling schedule. I used to work with Child Thing #2 in the afternoon during naptime. As I see it, I have two options.
#1. This is what we have done for the past couple of weeks. We start working on school around 10 a.m., with little brother attending school with us. This makes for many distractions on the part of both student and teacher. We take a break for an hour or two for lunch and recess, then spend another couple of hours finishing our lessons. Today Child Thing #2 got VERY grouchy in the last half of school, so I laid him down on the couch and let him watch a TV show while we finished up school. Child Thing #1, of course, did not want to miss out on the TV time, so she rushed through her work to get it done.
#2. Attempt to get Child Thing #1 to take a nap in the afternoon (by either method mentioned above), and continue with our old routine of doing school during his nap. The thing is I can never guarantee that he's going to fall asleep. And if I use the TV to induce naptime, my scholar will not be interested the least bit in her schoolwork.

I don't know...what should I do?

It definitely makes me wonder about next year, when there will be 3 child things. Will I be able to keep up the homeschooling then?

If so, I'm not so sure I will use Sonlight again. There are some things I really like about that curriculum, but some things that just don't make much sense to me. Maybe this is how kindergarten is supposed to be, but, it seems like the curriculum does not go in depth to any subject. You get just a little glimpse of everything, but don't do much true exploring and learning of any topic. I also don't know that it is organized that well. The science lesson plans bother me because we'll spend a week learning about, say...sea life, and then do a science activity that is not related to that at all.

But I have to say, I have totally loved the "read alouds" included with the curriculum. Child Thing #1 and I have both enjoyed the books, and sometimes I even try to talk Scott into reading some of our school books because I found them so interesting!

Anyway, lots of questions about the future of our homeschool. I don't even know where we'll be living next fall. We'll just take it as it comes, I suppose. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Favorite Websites

This month's 7 on the 7th topic (or as it happens, 7 on the 11th for me) is the websites you visit the most frequently. Here are mine.

1. Facebook. Yes, I'm addicted, I visit multiple times per day. How many? I'm not sure. I don't keep track, and I'd probably be embarassed to admit it anyway.

2. Friends' Blogs. I love that I can keep up with what's going on in the lives of friends who are spread out across the world.

3. CNN.com. Gotta know what's going on in the world around me!

4. Pioneer Woman. Love this blog! It's got hilarious stories, great recipes and even a homeschooling section.

5. Hostess with the Mostess. This website has awesome party ideas and themes with tons of pictures. Most of the parties are planned and designed by professionals, so they are a little out of reach for a regular mom like me, but I still love browsing the featured parties, getting inspired, and trying to make my parties look as fabulous as the ones on this site.

6. Homesick Texan. A food blog featuring awesome recipes from back home.

7. Yahoo. It's where I get my e-mail, do a lot of searching and sometimes check out news stories.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hobo Dinners. Fun fun!

When I was a kid, I loved going to my grandparents' farm. Especially if it was a bonfire weekend. Anytime there was any clearing of property, all the debris was piled up and set on fire. That meant we kids got to roast hotdogs and marshmallows outside. We would search the woods for the perfect marshmallow roasting stick. One that was forked on the end--and not just one fork--maybe 10 or so so that we could roast a whole bag of marshmallows at once. And one that was at least 5 feet long so that we wouldn't have to stand with our backs to the fire, arms extended behind us holding out the stick so the heat wouldn't scorch our eyebrows off. :P

There's definitely not room for a bonfire in our little backyard, but we did recently acquire a fire pit. And not long ago we cooked "hobo dinners," a meal my grandmother would prepare for us on bonfire days. It's basically a layer of sliced potatoes, carrots, onions, a ground beef patty, another layer of onions, carrots and potatoes, all salted and peppered and wrapped in foil. Then you stick the foil package directly in the bed of the fire and let it cook for 30 minutes or so.

Then when you open it up, you have a simple, hearty, super fun meal waiting for you! Everything about hobo dinners is fun. I sliced up the potatoes, carrots and onions then let everyone assemble their own packet, which was fun. Of course, anytime we get some good family time outside with no electronics on, we have lots of fun. But the very best part is probably the dessert. :) The Child Things used a single spear from our hibiscus bush instead of a multi-tined, extended handle marshmallow roasting stick, but from the looks of it, the results were just as good!

I'm Still Here!

Well, I haven't fallen off the edge of the planet. I'm still here. I have just been having some issues that have left me too exhausted for blogging after the kids are asleep at night. Issues like extreme fatigue, low blood pressure, nausea, lack of appetite, heartburn, occasional insomnia and an overall "blah" feeling. Ahh...the joys of pregnancy.

Yes, if you haven't heard Child Thing #3 is on the way and due in May! I am, of course, very excited, but to be perfectly honest, I am not the type that "glows" during pregnancy. No, I'm more the crabby miserable type, and this pregnancy seems like it's worse so far than my first two. I don't know if it really is worse or it just seems worse because with two at home I don't have much--or should I say any--down time during the day to recuperate.

But the first trimester is almost over, and I'm slowly starting to feel better and have more energy. Plus, I can't feel too sorry for myself, because my friend Amanda just gave birth to her third after spending the last half of her pregnancy taking care of her two boys by herself because her husband deployed. But then again, she was always more the "glowing" type.

So, there's my excuse for my absence. And In that absence, much has happened. Here are some of the highlights.

To celebrate my 30th birthday, I took surfing lessons. So much fun!!
Road trip to Hawaii Kai

The Child Things at the Pumpkin Patch
Scott and the rest of his company got muddy on the obstacle course.

Halloween: Kate Middleton, a crusader, an owl and a monster. :)