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Friday, January 14, 2011

Travel agency & other errands

We had a very busy day of nothing but errands to do. First, we went to Pope AFB to get Jeff a new Dependant Identification card since his expired. I also got a new Retired Identification card since mine was so difficult for everyone to read. Jeff used to call it my cartoon card. I had an especially hard time picking up medications because all of the volunteers are “older” people that can’t see that good anyway. But add to the fact that the digital emblem rested right on my social security number. They would turn the card this way and that way and finally give up and ask me my social security number. Real tight rules for prescriptions huh?

Then, we headed of to the Ft. Bragg BX in search of the promised toy for JD. We stopped at the Mini-Mall on Bragg to have lunch. It was nice for all three of us to sit together during a “work” day to talk and laugh, and just be together Next, we visited the Travel Agency. The trip to the travel agency was more frustrating than anything. I went looking for flight information and answers to my list of question and got a sales pitch on a "package deals." But I did walk out with four magazines full of pictures and ideas. Jeff told me later that the travel agency people work on commission. (Duh, I should have guessed.)

Our last stop was back on Pope AFB for JD and Jeff’s medications. Then, we came home again. I've spent approximately five hours this evening researching flights from three US locations to Dublin looking for the best deal. I also checked into hotels, car rentals, and International Driver‘s License regulations since we want nothing to do with being tied to a coach bus tour. We want to be free to make our own choices.
Greg and I are in charge of the details for the vacation. Greg is handling the hotel reservations and it looks like he’s hooking us up with great deals. I asked him if we could stay at a castle hotel overnight and he’s looking into that. I got the idea from the travel agency lady who said she stayed at a castle hotel and attended a medieval dinner.

March 10th will be here before we know it. I’m getting really excited now!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Passport day

The three North Carolina Hyder’s have been procrastinating in getting passports for our spring trip (10-21 Mar) to Scotland and Ireland. I had planned to go the week of Dec 27-31, but we got snowed in for two days while in Tennessee for Christmas and had to drive back another. I went into a regular school week the week of 3-7 January because Jeff had to work.  Apparently, the rules for children’s passport are pretty strict these days. Both parents have to be present or one parent has to give a notarized copy of approval or the passport cannot be approved. I guess too many kids were being shuffled out of the country by one parent while the other one had no idea.  Then, a snow/ice storm hit North Carolina a kept us inside from 10-12 Jan. So this was the first date I said, “If I don’t complete anything else except passports today I’ll be happy.”  (Jeff was off work.)

I made an appointment yesterday for JD and I to get ours done today at noon and I made an appointment for Jeff on 18 January after work. But last night I said, “I’ll go in tomorrow during walk-in hours and you and JD can take the noon slot.” So that’s what we did.

While I was in getting my passport Jeff and JD went to Wal-Greens for Jeff‘s passport photos. JD was being so sweet to Jeff that Jeff decided to take JD to the BX tomorrow. When I finished getting my passport I turned back around to pick up the boys and came back for the noon appointment. JD was surprised that they made us raise our right hands and swear that the information on the passport applications was true.

The process was actually pretty easy. I thought ahead and saved $375 in cash for just this purpose. Can you believe they did not accept cash? I had to run over to the post office side of the house and buy three money orders.

Whatever, we’re done with THAT task and now we’re just waiting for the passport people to get us our passports. What in the world is taking them so long?

I also had to clean for 2 ½ hours today. Whew…I’m tired.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A fun school day

We had an enjoyable morning and it was a shortened school day.

The devotion talked about Shannon Miller (the Olympic athlete) and her metals. She won a silver metal in 1992, but not a gold. She was highly disappointed. But in 1996 she captured TWO gold metals. She was asked a few days after winning the gold, “How hard it was to keep practicing and working in the years between the two Olympics?” Her response was, “She loved her sport, and didn’t kind the toil of training.” Obeying God’s command’s is quite similar. Those people who don’t have a “relationship” with God look at his commands and a list of “Thou shall not’s.” I personally try to obey God’s commands because of my love for Him. God’s commands are not burdensome for me. The devotion says we should rely on the Holy Spirit’s power, by trusting God moment by moment.

JD and I started working on this third AWANA book.  I forgot to tell you on Monday that Jonathan completed his second AWANA book. We have been AWANA teachers since 2002.  And I can only count a handful of children that have moved onto the third (green) book like Jonathan did Sunday. That qualifies him for the AWANA Excellence award (a trophy.) This award is given to those who have completed two handbooks or studies between third and 12th grades. (Jonathan cut that time in half!) The amount of work for the Excellence involves memorizing 132 verses and includes all associated activities. The recipient must have completed fourth grade or higher.  The next hurdle will be the Timothy Award - This award is presented to those students who have completed any four of the third- through 12th-grade handbooks or studies, which involves memorizing 286 Bible verses and includes all associated activities. The recipient must have completed the sixth grade or higher.  Did you know AWANA has college scholarships?  JD pushed through four pages of reading, completing Challenges 1:1 (a book one review), 1:2 (a short memorization of 2 Timothy 2:15 - the verse where the acronym AWANA comes from), and 1:3 (answering the question, "How do we know the Bible is true?"  Then, we figured out a secret code at the top of 149 pages.  It revealed this, "Did you know AWANA's started in 1950? In Chicago, by Lance Latham and Art Rorheim.  AWANA's started in one church and is and is now in 10,000 churches."  That took us a lot longer to decipher than I would have wanted, but once we cracked the code we just had to know what the ENTIRE message said.  I counted this AWANA book time as both reading and language arts time.     

Lyndell, I did find the movie called Hoot in JD's room and asked if he’d watched it yet. His response was, “No, not yet.” I currently have the movie in my possession until he finishes the book. (smile)

We spent so much "fun" time doing the AWANA book, lunch time crept up on us faster than I expected.  For social studies I let JD watch a programs on the History Channel that was talking about Nostradamus. He lived from 1503 to 1566. He was among many other things a: prophet, a doctor, a pharmacist, a poet, and a chef for cosmetics, perfumes, and fruit preservatives. I remember a first hearing about him in the ’80 when a show about him appeared. For months after that I surely thought the world would end.

We did not do math or science today because JD and I had to go to Wal-Greens to have our passport pictures taken in the afternoon. My picture added 10 years to my face. (Ugh…is there a make-this-look-as-bad-as-possible-and-aged button on passport, driver’s licenses, and identification cameras?) Oh well that task is taken care of. JD’s picture looks really good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A good day until language arts

I’m happy to see there was another wandering home school mom who stumbled onto our blog. Yes Time4Learning is a wonderful site! It works well for those visual-spatial learners. It also greatly assists my son and others who were diagnosed ADD or ADHD. (Ok, now I sound like I'm doing a commercial for them.)

The devotion today was based on having a firm foundation like Psalm 111:10 says. It started out talking about the leaning Tower of Pisa. It took 199 years to build. By the time the first three (out of eight) stories were built it already started leaning. They unfortunately built it on unstable foundation. The same type of thing happens everyday all around the world. People go to school, devour books, pass exams, earn degrees, and graduate with honors. Yet in spite of all their learning and knowledge, they still do all kinds of stupid things. They make poor choices and mess up their lives BIG time. They have built their lives on faulty foundation too. Because “reverence for the lord is the foundation of true wisdom. The rewards of wisdom come to all who obey him.”

Today’s math lesson was something we only heard about this year and never used. It is called a Box and Whisker graph. The problem I have with these type of math lessons is what will JD or anyone for that matter use this for? It is similar to a line graph, but it’s divided into 4 equal parts of 25%’s. Once we learned this it asked us to find the median (middle number) the median of the lower set of numbers. And finally the median of the upper set of numbers. (Blah, blah, blah. Whatever!) JD scored a 100% on the quiz.

Today I did not have a twinge of a migraine so I braved the dreaded written/typed language arts lesson with JD. It was a struggle for both of us. I struggled with not yelling and typing it myself. JD struggled with finding the keyboard attached to the computer right in front of him. (Smile) I remembered about JD’s new colony map when I was reading Fox News this morning. A privately funded trip is expected to go to Mars in the next 20 years. Or so says a special edition of the Journal of Cosmology. It prompted 400 readers to volunteer as colonists. The catch is it’s a one way trip! (Um let me think about that for a minute, um NO WAY!) I read the two page article to JD and then showed him his map from 7 &8 December. I prompted him to type out a paragraph about the start of his colony. I asked questions like: name, how it started, how he selected people, qualifications, education level, age, number of males and females, would they be allowed to return home, and how they would be supplied. I asked for complete sentences and only got short answers. Therefore, the paragraph never cultivated. But the lesson made him reasonably think. After all if you have equal numbers of males and females the men will tire easily after all that building. And bringing too many kids won’t benefit anyone.

We continued yesterday’s lesson on Hebrew civilizations and the history of Judaism for social studies. It had a lot of information that we already knew about. It talked about the Mosaic Law being long and detailed. Then, it touched on the ten commandments and how they are used by monotheistic religions like Islam, Christianity, and Judaism as ethical and moral code of conduct for the western world. The lesson also told us of the major holidays for the Jewish people. We did learn the terms monotheistic (believe in one God) and polytheistic (believe in more than one God, or many Gods.) There was a chapter quiz at the end of the lesson and my little theologian scored a solid 100%.

We only touched on seeds for science today. We used Time4Learning on this too. Trees, flowers, vegetables, and grasses are all seed plants. They all produce seeds of some form or another. They also have some shared characteristics. They have the presence of a vascular system, true leaves, stems, and roots, produce seeds, and are complex sporophyte; dependant. We learned about bryophytes and the fern group. We will continue this lesson tomorrow since it was a complex lesson and requires more time to digest.

JD’s last task of the day was to read for 30 minutes. He read his book called Hoot.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A snowy school day

We received snow all day, but only an inch or so stuck around. It was a Faith Christian Academy school day though. This will catch us back up from the snow days we had in Tennessee. (Don’t worry, I let JD play outside today, and the school day was fairly easy and short.)

Today’s devotion was written like a game show. There were two teenagers who were allowed to open one door. The red door had two free tickets to a concert but they wouldn’t have enough money to bring their friends. Behind the blue door was a night with mom and dad watching a rerun of Matlock. Of course they both chose the red door to the concert. They later found out that in order to pick the red door they had to agree to “borrow” money from mom’s purse. The devotion never said which door the kids chose then. But it did say Moses was faced with a similar situation. He could turn his back on God and stay in the lap of luxury or he hang out with a bunch of complainers in the desert. Moses of course chose the longer lasting rewards of obeying God instead of the immediate gratification of sin.

The first thing I did for math was go back through Friday’s lesson because the internet went down just as we finished the lesson. So rather than have JD go all the way back through it with me I completed it and brought us to the quiz. Then, JD took the quiz from Friday and scored an 80%. The math lesson today was all about stem and leaf plots. It reviewed for JD how one is designed and the proper labels for the graph. Then, it walked him through finding the mode, mean, median, and range. It was an easy lesson and he scored a 100% on the quiz.

The language arts lesson taught JD all about figures of speech. He learned about: similes, metaphors, analogies, idioms, and hyperboles. Until today I had heard of all of them except hyperboles. Who makes that stuff up? When you say I died laughing, that’s a hyperbole. Or if you say you’re hopping mad; you’ve just used another hyperbole. (Are you guys learning new things each day, like I am?)

JD read Hoot for thirty minutes today. It has 292 pages and JD is on page 74.

We went a little out of order today and did social studies last. We did Time4Learning today. I was surprised it had religious references. I don’t know why I was surprised though, after all we were studying early Hebrew civilizations and the history of Judaism. It taught us about the Torah (the first five books of the bible.) I love that JD is a child brought up in a Christian home. He was able to completely understand as it told us how God made a covenant with Abraham and about Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt after 400 years of slavery. We will continue that lesson tomorrow.

My housecleaning client called me today saying she didn't need me today.  Ft Bragg closed because of the snow and she felt compelled to clean herself.  So I with all that stored up and unused energy I baked cookies after dinner.