Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Additions to My Bucket List

We're watching "Extreme Conventions" on Travel Channel and Spawn's eyes (and mine) just lit up as we sat in awe, taking in the spectacle of these awesome conventions:

Invention Convention:

Magic Convention:

Pirate Convention:

I think there may be a few weekend trips to special interest conventions in our future. ;) Spawn is going to be a magician for Halloween this year and he can't get enough of magic tricks right now!I can't deny that Maker Faire blows my mind. It looks like a brillant marriage of junking/dumspter-diving/upcycling and technology/engineering/tinkering. I can't wait until they have one on the East Coast!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pen Pals - Project 365: Day 15 (Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009)

Spawn had an assignment last week that we've been chipping away at and tackling in pieces over the last few days - writing to pen pals about himself and asking questions about them. Spawn's entire class will be writing to a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Baxter, who are friends of their teacher, Mrs. Remaize. Spawn has been struggling so hard to improve his spelling and writing the last few weeks. While his spelling showed some remarkable improvement today (he spelled his high frequency words AND 'good', 'live', and 'name' without asking for help!), he still required a lot of prodding a reminding about what he was supposed to be doing and writing about. I have to keep reminding myself - it's all part of a process. ::sigh::

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Saying Good-Bye to Cub Scouts - Project 365: Day 14 (Monday, Sept. 28, 2009)

At the beginning of every school year, we revise Spawn's activity schedule. This year, we knew our schedule would be changing soon (due to CS Dad's impending lay-off and job-hunt and Spawn's cyberschool commitments) and that money would be tight, so we knew a ruthless change was in order. We took a long hard look at each activity and asked Spawn to narrow it down to his two absolute favorites that he couldn't live without. Swimming classes at the Y and bowling with Mom and Dad on family night were at the top of every list.

Surprisingly, Cub Scouts was at the bottom of every one of Spawn's lists. Cub Scouting involves a lot of group activities and participation and Spawn is very shy around his public-schooled peers. He likes the solitude of swimming - even in a class with other homeschoolers - and spending time with his Daddy and I no matter what we're doing on family night each week. Family Night is most often sometime between Saturday and Tuesday and usually finds us at an afternoon matinee at the movies, bowling at Summit Lanes ($1 bowling!), or playing board games and watching Netflix movies at home over a pizza dinner.

I had known for some time that I just couldn't give as much time to Scouting as a I had last year because of our schedule changes and our need to share a car for the next month or two. So, I notified the pack chairman several weeks ago so we would have time to find a replacement den leader to take over my den. Unfortunately, the only really eligible parent was my poor assistant den leader and he really doesn't have the time to take it on full-time either. Thankfully, his wife and another den mom have agreed to lend a hand, so the Wolf den is in good hands this year! (I'll admit to being a little bit smug that it's taking 3 people to replace me and do everything I did alone last year. ;))

So, since I had given my notice that the pack meeting on Monday night would be my last meeting as a den leader, we decided that would be a good time for Spawn to make his exit, too. We'll miss it, but at the same time, it's nice to know we don't have the stress of keeping every Monday night clear for Cub Scout meetings for the next 9 months. We all breathed a sigh of relief last night as we shucked out of our Scout uniforms when we got home.

Last night's meeting was supposed to be the September Campfire Program at Scout Hall at the park, but the weather didn't cooperate, so the kids had to do their songs and skits inside at the church around a 'simulated campfire'. ;)

Spawn waits for the opening ceremony to start. He won't take that hat off for any other hat these days. Oh, and the ingrate refused to sit with his father and I. >:(

Spawn receives his Bowling Belt Loop, Wolf Totem, and 1 Bead for completing Achievements 8: Cooking & Eating, 10: Family Fun, and 11: Duty to God from his new den leader, Mr. Peterson. Note Spawn bucks the system and refuses to wear his yellow Wolf neckerchief or hat.

Spawn receives his Cub Scout Blue bowling pin - a trophy from the big bowling party this summer - from Cubmaster Paul. Siblings and friends who are Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts were also rewarded for attending the party in uniform. =)

There's Spawn on the far right, cradling his precious bowling pin.

Spawn (far left) sings "Little Green Frog" along with his den and Mr. Peterson one last time.

We got home after a quick stop for some late take-out and I got crackin' on my blog backlog. :o No sense wasting my time, so I also screened the newest CD CS Dad picked up for me Sunday night at Target. =D Appallingly, CS Dad informed me that he doesn't appreciate his ears being abused by the sound of my off-key warbling - with or without headphones. He did say that at least without the headphones, the music drowns me out... :p (I suck at taking these self-MySpace-style-portraits...)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Found a picture to share - just one, I swear! =D

This is the costume Spawn chose for Halloween:

The price was just right at $24.99 ($25 was our budget!) and the quality was much better than I expected at that price. It looks like Spawn can comfortably wear some jeans or yoga pants under the slacks for an extra layer and maybe even a long-seeve t-shirt or sweatshirt under the shirt and vest. The shirt is made of a nice, soft, cotton fabric - thin like lawn cotton, but not too sweaty or itchy like so many other costumes. ;) The boy wants to get a bunny for his hat and some other magic tricks so he can show them off on Halloween. =D

Anyone know of a magic store in eastern PA or online where we could look for some simple magic tricks?

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Tarheel Pie, Apostolic/Messianic Hair, Fat Tony, Jimmy the Weasel, Henry, just Henry, and Lola the Flying Lobster - Project 365: Day 13 (Sunday, Sept. 27th)

Sunday was a big day! Hence the: Tarheel Pie, Jesus Hair, Fat Tony, Jimmy the Weasel, Henry, just Henry, and Lola the Flying Lobster. ;)

DJ's godmother (and my sistah-from-anutha-mutha), Aunt Brielle, began a baking blog a few weeks ago. I never knew she was such an incredible baker! She's a vegetarian and eats some things that jiggle in a way that makes me not want to eat them ;), so I was admittedly a bit leery when she began inviting us over to try some of her recent kitchen experiements. Aunt Brielle also happens to have a friend - the lovely and patient Miss Diana - who had agreed to cut the hair of a very reluctant Cyber School Dad at Aunt Brielle's house since we were going to come down and have some cookies, pie, and vegetarian pot pie on Sunday afternoon.

Aunt Brielle has been working her way through a very difficult time with her mother's recent devastating double-cancer diagnosis. Her mother is like another mother to me, so I can understand how cathartic it must be to have an outlet like baking that keeps your mind and heart busy when your thoughts race and sleep eludes you and your baking just gives so much joy to other people. Could I ask you all to keep Aunt Brielle and her mom in your prayers? The next year is going to be a struggle for them and I think prayers and positive thoughts are every bit as necessary as medical intervention for a good outcome. Many thanks in advance for lifting them up!

So Sunday it was gloomy and either drizzling, pouring down rain, or threatening rain all day! I knew a long walk with our dog, Lola, and Aunt Brielle's dog Hank wasn't in the cards to burn off some of CS Spawn's excess rainy day energy during our visit, so I threw together a travel craft kit with some scissors, colored pencils, crayons, and some fun print-outs from The Toymaker's brilliant line-up of printable, paper toys. I was prepared with dodechahedrons and polyhedrons to decorate and color for Yule Tree Ornaments, little paper elvin houses, a book-o-meter, a faerie stage, and a tooth fairy gazebo and sign just in case of an I'm-bored-emergency. ;) Spawn also brought his Leapster and head phones for the car ride.

CS Dad had th camera while I drove, so he happily snapped away -ingoring the fact that I was trying to drive while he poked the camera in my face and generally made a nuisance of himself. :p

This is the view as you drive down our 'street'. It looks a lot more rural than it is. We're literally 5 - 10 minutes from anything and everything our hearts could possibly desire. Just out of frame on the left side is the township municipal center (across the street from our house): township offices/police station/ball park/soccer fields/playground. It's also where we go to vote. =D Pretty sweet location, right? The fire station is just maybe 500 yards down the road. Which is why our house didn't go up in flames during the infamous Dryer Fire of 2007. ;)

This is the view coming down the far side of the hill we live on. If you were at the top of the hill, you could see over those trees on the left side of the road - all the way to the vineyard across the fields. We can see some of the vines from our house. Makes me appreciate every day that none of the fields around our home has passed a perc test recently so no one can build on them. Woot!

No self-respecting Eastonian could make a drive through Easton's suburbs without paying homage to the Dixie cup - a giant water tower shaped like a Dixie Cup that stands over a factory where they may or may not still make any actual Dixie Cups. Aunt Brielle lives in the adorable little neighborhood behind the Dixie Cup - one of my favorite neighborhoods in all of Easton. It's picturesque and city-suburby without being cookie-cutter. I love it! I admit it - I have neighborhood envy. ;)

Just look at it!

Aunt Brielle didn't waste any time, she had a pie in the oven when we arrived that she had decided to send home with us...Tarheel Pie that I had been begging her to make for weeks.

Then, while the pie was baking, she wanted us to test some cookies she baked over the weekend - Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies. I swear, I think there must be something as addictive as crack in them. Good stuff. =D I had been petting the dog and wanted to wash my hands first before I went rooting around in her cookie jar, so she just shoved one in my pie-hole. =D Awesome, but sugary! Spawn was bouncing off the walls all night!

We all noshed on the cookies, tasted some Vegetarian Pot Pie, and milled around while Miss Diana set CS Dad up for his first haircut in about 3 or 4 years. :p

Miss Diana dug right in, made two pony tails (so CS Dad could donate to Pantene who provides wigs for those in need for FREE - not low-cost like Locks of Love), and cut the first one off! :o

Then the second one. Yipes!

Then, gone! ::poof!::

14 inches or so - GONE! I still haven't recovered. I think this may be the shortest I've ever seen his hair!

Spawn loves going to Aunt Brielle's house and was, in this moment, wheedling a weekend overnighter with a visit to a wrestling show at the community center from her. ;) We <3 ULTRA MANTIS!!!

We had a great time at Aunt Brielle's, sampling her baked creations and playing with Hank and Lane (her dog and cat, respectively), but she and Miss Diana had plans to run to Target (in Phillipsburg), and we had to pick up some dinner and feed our poor, starving dog who had missed her dinner by all of 30 minutes at this point, so we headed out to Wegman's for some hoagies, but as we got closer, I realized there WAS a new Target right next door and we'd only been there once before on opening day...Maybe it was time to do some shopping for the starter bits for Spawn's Halloween costume. While the boys meandered around in electronics, I headed over to check out the costumes. I saw this ridiculous thing and just had to take a picture of it. It's a thin, brown, velvet, hoodie, mini-dress named Eskimo Girl. Nothing beats Whore-lloween!

I ultimately chose 4 costumes that are CS Mom-approved and that I thought Spawn would be interested in. He ignored them at first in favor of a Darth Vader costume, but we have strict rules about not letting a young child dress as a villain, rapist, murderer, or otherwise dastardly scoundrel. Spawn came reluctantly back to the CS Mom-approved choices. I showed them to him in order of which ones I thought he'd like least to most. I started with a muscle-bound Iron Man costume. Spawn: "Boring!" Then a muscle-bound Spiderman costume. Spawn: "Boring!" Then a cool cowboy costume with a long, leather-like, brown duster, sheriff's badge, bandana, and a cowboy hat that could do double-duty as an Indiana Jones hat for dress-up play. Spawn: "That doesn't look like an Indiana Jones hat. No. I don't want it. It's not cool." Then...I showed him the one I KNEW he would go nuts over - a magician costume with black slacks, a red, silk-like vest, and a real top hat with magic tricks and a bunny in it. :o Spawn: "WOW. I want to be that!!! And do magic tricks! Can we learn magic tricks for math class or something, Mommy?!" =D

Which mama knows her boy best? ;) My dinner need was becoming urgent and I knew Lola would eat one of our cats if we pushed her too long to wait for her dinner, so we bugged out of Target to head over to Wegman's. On our way, I noticed something odd about the pavers at Target. They looked like the infamous Tiananmen Square pavers that were supposedly chosen because two men could stand comfortably on each one when citizens were expected to line up in the square and that's how they know the square will hold a million people because there are 500,000 pavers.

Look, Spawn at Target on their dictatorial row of pavers:

The actual Tiananmen Square pavers:

I knew I wasn't imagining it. There are fascists at Target! >:(

And it has nothing to do with me being chastised by a Target employee for telling my son to hop on the front of the cart where I could keep track of him as his meds wore off. I did send Target Corporate a nasty-gram about their employees minding their own business unless they want to lose every disgruntled mother who turns around and her kid is gone because their carts are too small for kids who are still too young to wander freely about the store. I will NOT be going back to that Target before speaking to a manager about the employee who undermined my maternal authority and took it upon herself to chastise me in front of my son for doing something we have done for years - since he grew out of sitting in the seat of the carts!!! >:(

Anyway, after Target, we made a quick stop at Wegman's for some hoagies. CS Dad and I took turns ordering our hoagies so neither of us would have to stand in line with Spawn for any length of time (he was still scaling the walls thanks to all that sugar in the cookies at Aunt Brielle's house ;) ANd his ADHD meds were wearing off to boot). When it was my turn to keep him occupied, we went to visit the lobster tank. First, we flexed our math muscles and counted the lobsters by twos, then by threes, then by fours, then by fives. Then, we noticed there were only 2 lb. lobsters left in the tank, so we counted off the pounds by twos. Then, still bouncing off the walls, Spawn utters words I will never forget: "We-should-get-some-lobsters-as-pets.-That-one-tried-to-hug-me.-Ha,-ha.-It-can't-hug-me-because-there's-glass-there-and-his-claws-have-rubberbands-on-them.-I-like-to-name-the-lobsters.-This-one's-Fat-Tony-and-that's-his-friend,-Jimmy-the-Weasel,-and-that's-Henry,-just-Henry,-and-that's-Lola-the-Flying-Lobster.-She-has-angry-eyes." Oh. My. Jebus. :o I about died laughing. Sugar is a rare thing for Spawn to have any day and he had obviously had way more that day than his poor little body could handle...

I think these pictures say it all:

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Call for Help

Okay, after three days spent cussing, spitting, and failing, I'm ready to ask for help. I have a basic, blank header (the one I've tried in vain to add to my blog for days, but can't add photos or text to that you see above) and I've been told it's a fairly simple matter to use if I don't have PhotoShop to finish my header. (CS Dad thinks we have PhotoShop somewhere, but he's been too busy to lend a hand with the blog this week.) In lieu of payment, I will gladly pimp your blog on my facebook page and my blog on Blog-Pimpin' Sunday for as many Sundays as you deem necessary to repay the debt that is owed... =D

If you're interested in helping or know something about that you think might help, send me a message and I'll either send you the two photos that need to be merged to make the header or gladly read whatever tutorial you send to me.

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Scarred for Life - Project 365: Day 12

It's not unusual for one of us to stumble across Spawn reading the newspaper or a magazine in the bathroom. (There's a milk crate full of reading material in there!) But apparently, CS Dad stumbled across Spawn thinking hard on the potty early this morning...These are so going in the baby book! Look at his little sleep-fuzzed head!

Also, Spawn learned the hard way today not to pick up his kitten when she's in a grumpy mood. The scratch on the opposite side of his palm that isn't bandaged anymore is where she sliced and diced him a few days ago. Why he keeps trying to hug the angry little furball is beyond me... :p

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Came to my senses...

I just got in from walking the dog before this dark, threatening storm rolls in and I realized my dream of saving money by line-drying is a bit imractical thanks to our neighbor - a BBQ take-out stand. There are days we can't even run our air conditioners during the summer because the smoke from their smokers is blowing right at our house. Line-drying would leave everything we wear smelling like smoked meat and I'm not sure I love the smell enough to wear it with me when I leave here... :p

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

I admit it...

I hated hanging laundry out to dry when I was 12 and it was such a CHORE! Ugh! And our clothes line ran right through the dogwood tree in the yard below my bedroom window and even in the winter, we used the clothesline sometimes and the ground under the dogwood would freeze over like a dang ice skating rink...Meh. Not fond memories.

But now, I'm thinking of the 6-10% I could save on our electric bill every year, how much it would reduce our carbon footprint, and how much longer my jeans would last if I weren't drying them in the dryer. (Lint is fabric waste!) And all of CS Dad's tie-dyes would last another 5 years and Spawn's underwear and socks wouldn't disappear somewhere between the hamper and the opening of the dryer because I'd have to account for them as I was hanging them and pairing them up...Sweet!

I was reading the article below (linked to from one of the many blogs I read daily), and it occurred to me that the only reason we don't use a clothesline is because I hated the chore when I was 12. Now I'm thinking about all that time I could be spending outside in the fresh air, doing this relaxing, mindless chore, and listening to Spawn run around with the dog in the yard. We need more reasons to go outside and how great would it be to have that barrier of sheets and towels providing a bit of privacy in the yard from our neighbors?. I'm going to start looking for a retractable clothesline and some space to hang it in our yard. I'll let you know how it goes.

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Friday, September 25, 2009

Four Things - Project 365: Day 11

So, I know my blog is kind of random-stream-of-conciousness-nonsense sometimes and boring at other times, so...I got this idea from a favorite blog:

Four Things about Me

Four jobs I have had in my life:
Glazier Office Manager
Travel Agent

Four everyday things I couldn’t live without:
Wegman's Bottled Water
My Cellphone
My Family
My Glasses

Four places I have lived:
Bangor, PA
East Stroudsburg, PA
Portland, PA
Easton, PA

Four places I like to shop:
Old Navy
Barnes & Noble

Four TV shows I love to watch:
Nitro Circus
Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory
Ghost Hunters

Four of my favorite places to go on vacation:
Knoebels in Elysburg, PA
Wildwood, NJ
Orlando, FL
Isle of Palms, SC

Four of my favorite foods:
all shellfish (mussels, clams, scallops, etc.)
all crustaceans (especially shrimp, lobster, and king crab)
calamari (steamed with lemon, not fried)
pasta alfredo

Four things I want to do/see in my lifetime:
roadtrip the US with an Airstream
Glacier National Park/Alaskan Cruise
have another child (or twins!)
renew my wedding vows (in a traditional white gown next time ;))

Four things I/we did today:
Discovered a squash plant growing in our yard - with squash on it!

Read an ancient romance novel I picked up on clearance when I was pregnant with Spawn.

Started the Halloween crafts.

Walked the dog. (Well, I walked the dog, then Spawn ran the poor dog ragged around the yard chasing butterflies!)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Get No Respect: Just a Day in the Life of a Cyber School Mom - Project 365: Day 10

CS Dad gave me the "no-pictures-at-9AM-face" today. Can't a girl take a few pictures for a blog? (Wai so angreez?)

Remember that theraband I noticed was missing from the PE Kit yesterday? Guess what arrived this morning at 9:00 AM?!?! :o AND - it came with the Math Kit that was on backorder! Woohoo!!! Math toys! (The yellow thing on top is the theraband.)

Spawn earned some stickers for good behavior, good manners, and most of all - COOPERATION - first thing this morning, so he picked some rewards from the sticker bus...

...and slapped 'em all over those grungy jammies he's refused to take off since his tummy virus started two nights ago...Ick. If that's his security blanket when he's sick, fine. At least I can wash the jammies once I do pry him out of them when he is feeling better. I hope this virus isn't going around - or coming back any time soon!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Who gets excited about PE?! - Project 365: Day 9

Spawn does. =D

Yesterday was the big day - Spawn finally got to open and examine the contents of the PE Kit that was sent this summer to supplement the 2nd Grade PE Classes. Spawn's PE teacher, Mr. Slusser, held a live chat earlier this week going through the contents of the kits to explain them and remind students not to use them for anything but PE Class. ;) The boy doesn't handle web cam chats especially well. He has a very hard time sitting still and not playing with the web cam the whole time, so we usually view the recorded weekly chats at our convenience later on.

This is what arrived over the summer:

Clockwise, starting from top, left: (1) red jump rope, (4) sticks of sidewalk chalk, (1) beach ball, (3) juggling scarves (under the rope, chalk, and beach ball), (1) hand pump, (1) water bottle (for weight-lifting AND rehydrating!), (4) obstacle cones, (1) tennis ball (under the cones), (1) pedometer, and (1) 7" kick ball. There was supposed to be a theraband, too, but it wasn't in the box. A quick phone call to the man in charge of school supplies straightened that out and it was on its way yesterday afternoon.

Spawn thoroughly enjoyed inflating the kick ball himself. (It was packed deflated to save space and sent with the hand pump so we could maintain it throughout the school year).

The Math test was next and, as usual, Spawn breezed through it like it barely registered on his radar, much less actually challenged him:

Spawn was a little under the weather (I wonder who he got that nasty bug from ;)), so he spent the day in his jammies all day yesterday. He despises me for putting the camera in his face - much less when he's sick. I had to turn the flash off just to get him to look at me! Look at this crabby face:

Mrs. Remaize assigned Spelling Bingo this week, so we had to choose three ways to practice this week's spelling words from a chart and we had to choose three in a row to get Bingo. Spawn chose "Write each word once. Divide the word into syllables using slashes.", "Write each word. Cross out all the silent letters.", and "Have an adult give you a practice spelling test at home. Be sure the test is checked and signed by an adult." He needed practice writing and he's getting it this week! =D

Yesterday we worked on "Write each word once. Divide the word into syllables using slashes." I <3 quiet work - when I can just kick back in the desk chair, watch how his little mind works, and snap pictures on the sly. ;) I just noticed the dirt on the bottom of his foot. Methinks someone snuck outside with Daddy to get the mail without slippers on... ;)

I taunted Spawn while he worked on writing the spelling words in his journal - flicking his ear with my big toe. At one point, I really thought he might turn on me and bite me. ;)

Spawn: "Mommy, your toe is flicking my ear, you know! Could you tell it to stop flicking me?"

Me: "I don't know what you want me to do about it. That toe has a mind of its own. Never could do anything about it. Ask Uncle Chad some time. That toe drove him crazy when he was 7, too." =D

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Some Blog Tweaking to Share

Since I was mystified as to how to get rid of this ugly template border, I thought I'd share in case anyone else wants to know how to do it. It's in the last minute and a half of the video, but if you're new to Blogger, it'll all come in handy. =D Still tweaking the header, but at least I got rid of that ugly border! WOOHOO!!!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Please Excuse My Dust

I'll be renovating the next few days. Please bare with me. =D

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Fun with Newspapers (and Scrap Paper!!!)

We are all about up-cycling in this house, so I've been on the hunt lately for paper crafts to use up some of the paper scraps and newspapers I can't bring myself to recycle without some sadness each week. The more vintage the craft - the happier I am. Imagine my utter joy when I discovered WhiMSy love's vintage, crafty, newspaper-centric blog posts last week!

Newspaper Crowns for Birthday Parties:

Newspaper Hats:

She even planned a whole birthday party for her daughter around vintage paper crafts and other vintage party games:

I love these paper toys, too, because I can use old one-side-printed-paper to run through the printer the other way and make fun new paper toys for the boy to keep him entertained all afternoon:

If anyone knows somewhere that I can get a copy of "50 Ways to Have Fun With Old Newspapers" (which is the book featured by WhiMSy love and now unfortunately out of print), I would be eternally grateful!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

First Day of Autumn 2009 and a Sound Walk - Project 365 Day 8

The day before yesterday (Tuesday, September 22nd), was the first day of Autumn here in PA, just south of the Poconos. Just so you can see the progression of the seasons, I took a photo of the house from the end of the yard and a photo of the end of the yard from the house.

You'll notice the lawn is only half-mown at this point. CS Dad hadn't mown in about a month due to vacation and the incessant, flippin' rain, so the lawn was very nearly rain forest and the mower kept quitting on him. So, there the unmown side sits for another week. I'm sure our neighbors TOTALLY love us for our redneck, half-assed mow-job. Sweet. The firepit made of big rig rims looks super redneck sitting out there rusting with no benches around it to suggest what it's for. Geez, my yard needs work...

After taking a few 'First Day Of' photos, we moved on to Spawn's assignment for Music Class on Tuesday - a Sound Walk. Spawn needed to go outside, walk around and listen to the sounds around him for 10 - 15 minutes and see how many he could name and fill in on a chart. (Well, technically, I carried the clipboard and filled in the chart because having him walk and write without a helmet on is a recipe for disaster. He's 7. His feet should come with training wheels until he grows into them. :p)

Now I know some of these are blurry, but you have to keep in mind that CS Dad was taking them from the far side of the yard so he wouldn't interfere with our 'nature' sounds. Also, I included some of the blurrier ones because they're reaction shots. You'll understand in a moment...

Spawn and I walked under the maple trees in the front yard, crunching sticks and leaves underfoot.

We spotted a spider web and took a moment to ooh and ahh over the pretty web and just as Spawn says, "But where's the spider?..."

I spotted the maker of said-web right over MY HEAD!!! I screamed like a girl! CS Dad thankfully did not get the picture of me screaming, just the screaming-laughter that came after when Spawn was having his huge belly laughs at my expense. :p

After my near-death spider scare, we wandered next door to the BBQ joint and poked their windchime to see what sound it makes. It does not make the charming 'tinkle-tinkle' type sound I anticipated. It's all rusted and went 'clunk-thunk'. :(

It took us no time at all to fill the worksheet for the sound walk, so we headed inside as it looked like rain - AGAIN. We did stop in the driveway for one of Spawn's favorite games - he calls it Butt Tango. It's a little thing he came up with when he was 2 where he invades my personal space, hugs my butt, and sways with it while singing "Tango, tango, TANG-GO!"

(Notice, this was also the first day I wore cords this school year. ;))

We have a nice redneck heap there by the backdoor, I notice, where CS Dad went digging for the stray cat who's moved in this week. Ugh. One more thing to put on my list...

Anyway, when we came back from our short walk (I mean no more than 10 - 15 minutes!), this is what greeted us at the door to the mudroom. CS Dog missed us, where were we, what did we do out there, where did we go, why did we leave her - all this was written on her face and in her desperate tail-wagging when she brushed past Spawn and I to barrel down on CS Dad - the only one she really missed. :p

Schoolwork done for the day, Spawn settled in for a cuddle with CS Dad and a game of online Sudoku.

On a final note, I learned the hard way that evening to check the neck of my shirt before bending over to pick something up off the floor in the bathroom. Guess what fell in the toilet and had to be soaped, sudsed, washed, rinsed, repeated?

Spawn had some issues at bedtime that night and disregarded our most basic rule about no tv after bedtime, so he's lost all tv and PC game privileges for the foreseeable future. His attitude improved greatly today when he realized the path to privileges lay in good behavior and cooperation, so we'll see how that goes. ;)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom
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