Wednesday, October 26, 2011

He's Not Here Yet

Oh yes, the baby is a he. :) Found that out at a late ultrasound a couple of weeks ago.

He's due on Friday but there are no signs that labour is imminent. I had an OB appointment today and the doctor has me scheduled for one more ultrasound Monday (I have big babies. They keep wanting a sneak peek into how big this one might be) and at that point I'll probably be scheduled for an induction. That's absolutely fine by me. My other two were both induced and I rather like the predictable nature of inductions.

Anyhow, hopefully there will be pictures of the new arrival for everyone sometime next week!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Odd Ideas About Math

I was in the hospital Friday. Thought the baby might be coming but it turned out to be a false alarm. Like any good homeschooling mom I took along a new Algebra text I'd picked up in a thrift store and wanted to look over. New is relative of course; the text was published in 1945.

I had it sitting beside the bed on a table when a nurse came in to take some blood. She noticed the book, asked about it and I explained I was looking it over to see if we would use it in our homeschooling. She said it looked like something she would have used in school so I told her how old it was. She decided it must be outdated.

Outdated? Algebra? Huh?

I said that I didn't think it could be but she assured me that the math kids do today is very different from what she did as a teenager and the implication was that a 65 year old text book simply couldn't work in 2011. I disagreed. Catherine even spoke up and said she prefered her current older text (of the same vintage). I will admit, some terms might be a little dated but that's an easy and quick fix when faced with more modern terms.

I then made the mistake of mentioning that my daughter doesn't use a calculator for her algebra. Oy. Apparently she translated that to mean I will never teach my kids to use calculators and she then educated me about how essential calculator skills are. Yes, I know this. But no 8th grader needs a calculator for basic algebra. *sigh*

None of this was nasty of course. She was very pleasant and I did think the conversation was interesting but this idea that math from the 40's is somehow fundamentally different from math today is a puzzling one. What would she have said if I mentioned that many homeschoolers like Euclid for geometry? Goodness.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Homeschooling History Deal of the Decade!

The World in Ancient Times set, a collection of books on Ancient history published by Oxford University Press, is on sale right now at and the publisher's site for just over $35!

This is a set that is wonderfully well written, has a volume of primary sources and usually costs over $200. I own the other set in the series, The Medieval and Early Modern World set (bought on sale as well although not nearly as good a sale) and can certainly vouch for it's quality. Even the husband, a history buff, has enjoyed reading through the set.

Use it as spine, as an extra resource or just put it on a book shelf and let the kids explore it but for gosh sakes, don't let this deal pass you by!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The New Chicken Coop!

For the past 3 months or so I've been checking out our local Kijiji ads to see if I could find a used chicken coop or shed that would be suitable for our layers. Although I found a few that would have been suitable my husband nixed them The conditions were that it had to be cheaper then building our own, wood and not too far away so that it wasn't that difficult to get here. Saturday morning I found winner.

This winner was a coop, not a shed we'd have to convert. It was 8' by 12' so big enough for our layers plus the 10 or so a friend of our parents would be giving us and was only a half hour drive away over low traffic rural roads. It came with all the accessories and, unfortunately, even more chickens. But we thought we'd make an offer and see if we could get the coop sans chickens.

Saturday afternoon we went to see it and gosh darn it, wouldn't you know it, but we fell for the chickens. You'll see why in the pictures.

Today we borrowed a truck from my brother, a trailer from my husband's uncle and manpower from family members and got the things home. For much, much less then the cost of building our own coop (that never would have looked this good anyway) we have a chicken mansion.

Here my husband (in the black shirt) and our neighbour guiding my father-in-law as he moves the coop into position.

After much levering and blocking the coop is down and the new chickens are out. All of our other chickens are normal red production hens. These guys are something special.

Here's Dolly:

Here she is again with two, as yet unnamed, chickens. The black one is a rooster and we're considering the name Snape.

These are most of the rest. The reddish-brown fellow is another rooster and a Rhode Island Red. You can just see another beige hen behind one of the black and white girls.

And here's everyone's favourite so far. He's the third and last rooster of the new crew, a little Silkie rooster named Brutus. Yes, he looks a little weird but he's very sweet and quite willing to be caught and carried around.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Being Very Pregnant While Homeschooling - Help!


I'm 37 weeks now and can't get enough sleep these days. When I think I have had enough sleep my body usually puts the lie to that by slowing down a couple of hours after getting up. I'm cranky with the kids and not getting normal stuff done around the house. Homeschooling is getting to be very, very hard.

Today is the second day in a row where my son ended our homeschooling with a fight. I don't have any patience to help my daughter when she comes to me for help. I KNOW what the answer is. The answer is to take a break, right? Except we're not getting enough done right now. And I will definitely be taking a break after the baby gets here. And soon after that we'll be taking a break for Christmas. With all those breaks, when does the work get done?

The perfect solution would be if the little guy (and it is a guy, I received confirmation of that this past Monday) decided to show up tomorrow. Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend so it would be ever so convenient to break right now. *sigh* I may have to do that anyhow before the kids revolt and toss me out a window.