Saturday, October 17, 2009

Project 365: Days 26 - 32 - Week in Review: Saturday, October 10, 2009 - Friday, October 16, 2009

1. (Top Left) Saturday, Day 26: Nugga was bored and begging for belly rubs at any cost.
2. (Top, 2nd from Left) Sunday, Day 27: Spawn and Nugga mug for the camera - for once!
3. (Top, 2nd from Right) Sunday, Day 27: Mushroom-Beef Stroganoff for dinner.
4. (Top Right) Sunday, Day 27: Egg Noodles we had with the stroganoff.
5. (Line 2, Left) Monday, Day 28: I disturbed CS Dad's and Nugga's nap snapping photos and the dog gave me the stink eye.
6. (Line 2, Right) Monday, Day 28: Extra cheese pizza we had for dinner beacuse we were being lazy. :p
7. (Line 3, Left) Tuesday, Day 29: The view up my dad's back walkway. We call it Holland Hollow. It's creepy! Spawn won't walk that way alone. ;)
8. (Line 3, Right) Wednesday, Day 30: Half gallon 'prep kit' that I had to drink all of the day before my endoscopy and my very first colonoscopy. Don't let them fool you. It says it has flavors to choose from, but it's still Satan's Kool-aid!!!
9. (Bottom Left) Wednesday, Day 30: The 'flavor packs' that came with the prep kit. Flavor is generous. More like scent packs. ;) Nothing makes the prep kit NOT taste like ocean. In fact, I think it's worse that it smells like lemon-lime and tastes like freakin' ocean!!! >:(
10. (Bottom, 2nd from Left) Wednesday, Day 30: Spawn writes out a word problem for Math and draws a picture to solve the problem he created.
11. (Bottom, 2nd from Right) Thursday, Day 31: Yup, it snowed about 3 inches - on December 15th! Spawn started walking the dog - and I finished with an unfortunate fall after the dog down the peein' hill. :(
12. (Bottom Right) Friday, Day 32: Spawn couldn't resist his trampoline once I hauled it out of the dormer alcove during his autumn bedroom purge today.
13. (Center) Friday, Day 32: Reorganized books, boardgames, travel games, and puzzles in Spawn's room. I love when it's all tidy like that with the books all lined up like little soldiers in their cots. Makes my heart go pitty-pat! ;)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day Printables and Activities

You won't need a membership to take advantage of the Columbus Day activities on BrainPop Jr. this week:

There's some awesome Columbus Day worksheets, mazes, and coloring pages available at Classroom Jr., too:

I'll try to get some pictures up later of Spawn's Columbus Day artwork. ;)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ten Honest Things About Myself

10 Honest Things About Myself

1. I'm an OCD slob. I don't like anyone touching or washing my laundry (especially my well-meaning husband), but when I wash and dry it, I hardly ever fold it. I get dressed out of the dryer or out of the laundry basket nearly every day. However, when I pack for a week-long trip, I pack and fold so obsessive-compulsively that I can fit 3 weeks worth of clothes in a suitcase intended to hold only 1 week's worth of clothes. (And my husband will tell you that suitcase weighs like 10 yards of wet concrete. ;))

2. I love margaritas and fruity-frou-frou drinks, but I never drink more than 2 - unless it's a white wine spritzer. Then I'll stop at 3. I'm not a total prude. I do drink. But past over-indugences and experiences with unruly drunks have taught me there's nothing cute about being a fall-down-drunk - even once in a while. :p

3. I'm right-handed, but I can write upside-down left-handed for some reason. I have no idea why!

4. I swear like a drunken sailor on weekend leave in a house of ill-repute. :o The more I try to prevent myself from swearing, the worse it seems to get. I know words and phrases that make my 37 year old husband blush like a schoolgirl. ;)

5. I love my auburn hair. (You jealous brunettes can kiss my butt. =D)

6. I'm named after Tina Lousie (Ginger from "Gilligan's Island"), Christina Holland (the secretary from "The Courtship of Eddie's Father"), and my dad's step-mother, Mimi Louise.

7. I had what I thought was horribly embarrassing acne as a teenager that turns out was barely acne at all. Obsess much? :p

8. I once worked in an adult toy and 'novelty' ;) book store. When I was much younger (but still legal!) and it was a cool place to work. The only job I've ever been fired from. Considering my predecessor was fired when he was discovered passed-out, drunk in the back room during business hours, I think I got a raw deal for taking a cigarette break in the middle of an unrelieved, 10-hour shift. :p

9. When I read mystery-romance novels, I usually skip the 'romance' parts because they're boring and predictable, but I don't read just plain mysteries. :p

10. About 12 years ago (1997 or '98) I was still dating my ex-boyfriend, T (and a friend of my husband's), and we all went out to Old Naz for coffee one night with a group of friends. I was sitting on one side of a booth with my boyfriend, T, and my future husband, CS Dad, sat opposite us with another friend, Tab. I was chilly, so I ordered some hot tea. CS Dad said, "you know what, that sounds good, I'll have the same." Without thinking, I blurted out, "Huh. I always thought I'd marry a man who drinks tea." :o I don't know what came over me or why I said it! (Possessed by my tea-drinking grandmother, perhaps? She hadn't passed then, but she always loved CS Dad once she met him. ;)) I dumped the ex not long after and several months later, CS Dad and I began dating - in August of 1998 - and 6 weeks later, I asked CS Dad to marry me. =D I found out later, he had been planning to ask me in the next week or two and had already bought an engagement ring and asked my mom's permission when he showed her the ring. =D
Chrissi, Cyber School Mom
* If you post this meme on your blog, please link back here and post a link in the comments here so I can read your 10 things!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In honor of President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize...

We're having an Obama-thon Weekend here at the Cyber School Ranch!

Check out these awesome President Obama-themed activity pages - with thanks to the folks at Space Jr.

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Reorganization Begins - Project 365: Day 25, Friday, October 9, 2009

I reorganized Spawn's desk area today. You may wish I'd taken a 'before' photo, but I'd have been too embarrassed to post it anyway. ;) The 'after' looks about 1000 times better anyway. ;) (Click the picture for more detail and book titles if you're interested.)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Harvesting of the Bounty - Project 365: Day 24, Thursday, October 8, 2009

Remember that big squash plant with the tiny little half green/half yellow squash CS Dad discovered at the end of our yard in our old compost pile 2 weeks ago?

Today, this is what he found while he was walking the dog!

And there's about a dozen of them out there! CS Dad was floored that this could grow so well while being completely ignored! So, CS Dad and I are planning to plant a garden next spring to take advantage of the excellent soil we have here. Does anyone know of any good gardening blogs or resources for new gardeners? CS Dad has never planned a garden and it's been years for me, so I'm starting fresh like a newbie anyway. ;)

What kills me is that I had put squash and zucchini on the shopping list I had email to CS Dad to ask him to pick up on his way home from work this morning and Wegman's produce truck was running late so he came home without any zucchini or squash. Then he just finds this growing in our yard! LOL!

Oh, Nugga found this in the kitchen - a red light from Spawn's Nerf Dart Gun. (Let me just say - we did not buy the toy gun. >:( My mom signed him up last year for the Christmas party at the rod & gun club she belongs to and SANTA BROUGHT THE GUN. >:( We'd never had that problem before. They usually picked up fun board games and what not for the kids from Santa. The organizers got an earful from myself and several other mothers. >:( )

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Henry & Mudge and Glowing Eyeballs - Project 365: Day 23, Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spawn, working on a Language Arts assignment:

Spawn, playing with his favorite Knoebels souvenirs - bouncy snowglobes!:

The little one is blue with a blue, light-up-when-bounced eyeball in it:

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spawn's Skull and Cross Bones Phase Begineth - Project 365: Day 22, Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Spawn was so delighted with the new robe and glow in the dark jammies he got on Sunday, I couldn't bribe him out of them for days!!! Today, I finally took them away during bath time and hid them in the laundry room so he couldn't put them back on after. ;)

This was yesterday after I told him he couldn't live in his new jammies for the rest of his life:

His many silly faces crack me up!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Lazy Day - Project 365: Day 21, Monday, October 5, 2009

My tummy was still giving me problems on Monday, so we had a quiet day - or as quiet as my guys could give me. ;) I discovered all 65 - 70 lbs. of Nugga napping on top of CS Dad like they do that every day. Sweet jebus! I can't imagine how the poor man could breathe!!!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

You Sunk My Battleship! - Project 365: Day 20, Sunday, October 4, 2009

We're all about 'unplugging' these days. Spawn cyberschools, so he spends plenty of time at the computer. In fact, one of the reasons I started this blog was to show all the stuff we do that doesn't involve lessons in front of the computer because all of our friends assumed that cyberschooling meant Spawn spent his days being taught by a computer program! LOL! Not even close. ;)

I'm even more driven now that we're doing Project 365 to spice up our daily routines. I mean - how many pictures are you willing to look at of Spawn reading? :p

So, this past Sunday, we knew we had to make a quick stop at Target for some socks, jammies, and a robe for Spawn. (He's grown out of every darn thing he owns lately!) While we were there, we offered him the option of choosing one game or toy for $10 or less that had no buttons, batteries, or cords as a reward for his wonderful behavior the previous day at the fair. We were very impressed with his behavior the day before and we know how important it is to encourage good behavior through rewards rather than always just punishing the bad behavior. ;)

We wandered around and fiddled with some other toys. My handiwork on a Pin Print - Peace!:

Ultimately, Spawn settled on a boardgame: Battleship! He's played online versions before, but surprisingly, he wanted to play the unplugged version! (Oh, and it's ages 7 and up! Woohoo! It's right on the verge of his abilities, though, so keep that in mind if you have little ones. ;))

We weren't home even an hour before he began campaigning for the first game against CS Dad. Spawn, playing the part of commies and rocking his new skull and cross bones robe and old Mickey lounge pants, plots Daddy's (the other commies) downfall. (Everybody wants to be the commies when we play! Being the capitalist-pig-dogs is less fun, I guess. ;))

CS Dad plots like the sneaky, underhanded commie-Russian he is... ;) (Being Russian, the boys are going through a bit of a 'Hunt for Red October phase' these days. ;))

Spawn picked up the strategy of this game so FAST! CS Dad swears it's the latent-commie in him. :p

Spawn's winning game board. Look how close the final score was! Wow!

CS Dad pouts over his loss at the hands of a sneaky, commie 7 year old. ;)

Battleship - one of the best $10 purchases I've ever made!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

The 155th Annual Bloomsburg Fair - Project 365: Day 19, Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just a sampling of our crazy Saturday at the fair!

We noticed the leaves turning as we continued on 80 past Pocono Summit and 380 where we usually get off to visit my mother-in-law. Pretty far north as the leaves weren't turning at our house or CS Dad's mom's house in Pocono Summit yet at that point. That's my dad, Poppy Neil, and his girlfriend, Miss Debbie, directly ahead of us in his car.

I wish I'd gotten a picture of the muddy parking lot, but there was no time! The lots were filling and we didn't want to miss the tram - in case it was the last one to come down the row that morning before it filled! My dad muscled the wagon onto the tram and the ride took forever to go 200 hundred yards, but at least we didn't have to slug through the mud before breakfast. ;)

My dad kindly paid our admission (thanks, Dad!) and as we walked through the gate, I promptly pulled the front muddy wagon wheel right up the back of my right leg. Good thing I chose dark jeans and brought a change of clothes for each of us. ;)

The day began heating up right away, so we made a quick potty break by the exhibition buildings and looked for a breakfast pavilion so we could get out of the sun, get some coffee, and carb-up. ;) I had an awesome sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit with coffee (so did CS Dad, my dad, and Miss Debbie). However, if I had to do it again, I'd have a Mickey waffle like Spawn. ;) He also had an apple juice, but it was a bit sweet for him and the lid/straw situation wasn't working so well. :p

Dad, Miss Debbie, and Spawn (the little, red hat in the foreground) check out their menus:

CS Dad checks in with his mom by phone because she hadn't called that morning as she usually does on Saturday mornings and made us worry ;) :

Spawn's massive Mickey waffle - which we had to convince him to try because he was adamant that he wasn't hungry as usual - that he ate every last bite of. ;)

After breakfast, we skipped the Farming Museum (saved that for later in the day) and headed over to the Educational Exhibits to get some learnin' in.

Look at these HUGE FFA sunflowers! (Spawn has been placed in this photo for perspective, but he's several feet away and you lose a bit of the awe we experienced when we saw these in-person. That one big one is larger than my biggest commercial-grade lasgana pan. :o)

I'm honestly not sure what this was about, but it looked like bath and body products made from EMU OIL?! Really? I was afraid of the impending lecture if I asked, so we just shuffled by this exhibit.

Spawn was fascinated by some of the projects made by fellow elementary-age children:

And it inspired an idea in him that I'll be mentioning to his head elementary teacher. He'd like to try to get his school involved in the fair - maybe even find ways to make the fair greener or suggest ways to vendors to make their stands more ecologically-friendly. (He was very upset over the styrofoam plate his breakfast was served on that morning and that his juice came in a styrofoam cup. :( We don't do that at home and the thought of all that waste at the fair upset all of us. :( )

One of Spawn's favorite booth/displays in the Educational Exhibits Building was made by Central Columbia High School:

Underneath the flower pot, it has a recipe for Carrot Patches. Sorry this one is so blurry! (If you click on any of the recipes, you'll see the high-res image and better detail.)

Below that was this little garden and these pepper lights that Spawn fell in LOVE with. =D

Left side of booth:


Right side of booth:


One of my most favorite displays (I'm so sad so many of these came out blurry without the flash on. :( ):

This display was based on the book "Eat This, Not That" and suggests that readers eat Twinkies?!?! Um...okay, but I don't think that's really the message they wanted to send. ;)

Poppy Neil explains how this display of an electrical system, circuit breakers, and switches works:

Spawn was all learned-out and needed to burn off some energy, so we did a loop through the kiddie rides by the old schoolhouse. I tried to talk Spawn into a Pony Ride or Elephant Ride, but he has concerns about animal exploitation (thanks to his vegetarian Aunt Bibi, methinks. ;)), so he opted for the greenest ride he could find - a walk-through fun house that he did with Poppy. (Spawn and I had done the same exact fun house 2 years earlier, so I was happy to pass this time.) Poppy had to talk the poor kid into going down the slide at the end alone. It's really high!

That's 6 tickets (1 ride for 2 people) = $7.50. For an attraction that takes 3 minutes at most to walk through. :o So ridiculous!!!

I missed most of Poppy Neil's slide as his weight carried him down the slide a LOT faster than Spawn. ;)

Spawn was delighted to find this little bulldog in the fun house mural:

From there, we headed over to the Poultry Barn (had some funnel cake and orangeade along the way ;)) just so Spawn could pose with what he thinks is the world's largest chicken. I'm sure there ARE larger chickens, but this is the biggest one he's ever seen. ;)

Just for Rachel - Baby Chicks!

Their little sign made me sad. I was glad they weren't out in the little open pen for petting when we stopped by. They looked a little peaky. :(

Our next stop was the Dog Show Barn. At first, we were just excited at the prospect of seeing more bulldogs, but when we started down the aisle, we realized unless you were one of the lucky dogs like this little guy on the end of the row, there was very little air circulation in the barn. :(

Anyway, while we were there, Spawn wanted to see a Chihuahua. He wants to get one as a pet for his Bulldog, Nugga. =)

We made our way to the cattle barns then.

This picture CRACKS me up! LOL! =D

Spawn 'discovers' where chocolate milk comes from and has a happy. ;)

The calf in the middle was born within probably an hour or so of our visit to the cow standing on the right.

I sat down on a bench for a few minutes to put my feet up on the wagon while CS Dad took Spawn to check out the horses, pigs, sheep, and - Spawn's favorite - the goats!

This a really huge horse named Fred. Spawn had to stand on a straw bale to reach him!

I think Spawn may have changed his mind about the adorability of goats after this little incident:

Ouch! Yup, Spawn got bit by a very hungry little goat!

CS Dad tells me the smell in the pig barn was too overwhelming to stay, so they made their way back after I called CS Dad's cellphone to see where they were for so long. Upon arrival at my bench, CS Dad reached for his cellphone to check the time and it was missing! :o Crap!

We left Spawn with Poppy and Miss Debbie and ran over to the goat barn to find it. I called it several times from my phone while we searched. Eventually, someone picked up. My dad. Uh..."Dad? You found it?" "Yup, come on back." When we got back, my dad explained that he heard the phone ringing several times and noticed it sitting on top of a power supply box at the entrance of the cattle barn they were sitting in front of. Someone must have found it just as CS Dad dropped it when he came back before and dropped it off by the doorway. We got very lucky!

Our day was winding down, so we went off in search of some dinner. My dad can't resist these usually, but he gave them a pass that day because of the heat.

I had seen a sign earlier for some cheesecake on a stick, so Spawn and I ran over towards Gate 3 to check out the ice cream stand near the kiddie rides while CS Dad took my dad and Miss Debbie over to check out the end of the world timeline crazies. =D Sadly, the ice cream stand was all out of the cheesecake on a stick, so Spawn had a twist in a cup and climbed in the wagon while we watched some nutter in the bull riding ring next door.

I opted for a half pound of fried cheese on a stick while CS Dad, my dad, and Miss Debbie all got some pizza. Spawn was happily eating his rapidly melting ice cream and I polished off my cheese, so I ran around the corner for a Lime Hawaiian Shave Ice. Yum!

After our quick bite, we made our way over to our last stop - the Farmin Museum (passing the old Cosmos Crystals trailer on the way and not even realizing it). Spawn checked out some horse-drawn sleighs and several piles of unrecognizable junk - according to Poppy Neil. :p We went back out to look for some blue barn stars as our last planned stop, but I couldn't find one I liked, so we decided to call it a day. As we were passing by the Cosmos Crystals trailer again, I explained to CS Dad that they were based out of Marshall's Creek - near where we used to live in East Stroudsburg. He stopped to look - because CS Dad can't pass up a hippie gift shop - and he realized he actually knew the two people running their booth! Never fails! He knows every hippie in PA!

Spawn was about tapped out at that point and feeling logie from his ice cream, so we made him a little nest in the wagon to lay down while we looked for CS Dad's deep-fried Twinkie before heading home. There were a lot of jealous comments and looks from adults as Spawn passed by in his wagon. ;)

Pulling a wagon full of 7 year old was wearing me down, so CS Dad parked us in a hot tub tent while he ran ff to look for his Twinkie and my dad and Miss Debbie shopped for hot tubs.

CS Dad never did manage to find the deep-fried Twinkie stand, so he came back to get us and we decided to head over to Gate 5 because my dad told us it was closer to where our car was parked. We passed this guy on our way - yup, that's a giant rubber duck on a massive hot tub. =D

We split up there so my dad and Miss Debbie could make a restroom break and we trudged out to the parking lot. We skipped the tram because the wagon was loaded, Spawn was beat, and the car was supposed to be so close. Ugh. Long, dusty walk! When we got there, Dad and Debbie were already there! They'd skipped the long restroom lines and cut across the lot and got there just before us - not being encumbered by a loaded wagon. ;)

We said our good-byes in the parking lot, knowing we would probably have to stop somewhere on the way home for some allergy meds for Spawn. The animal barns had not been kind to his poor, little sinuses. ;( He's still struggling with those allergies several days later. :( At the end of the day, though, we all agreed the animals were our favorite part of the fair. Spawn loved the goats!

Anyone else go to the Bloomie this year? Or another fair? What's your favorite part of the fair?

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom
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