Monday, September 21, 2009

Racing -- End of Season

John completed this trying season of racing labor day weekend and he finished well! The Crandon race in September is always one of my favorites as it is festive with a parade on Friday and lots of celebration and fireworks at night. The only downside is that there are tons of people and it is a little crazy that way. It is a small town but for this race they estimated 45,000 people there!  John wanted to end the season on a good note being that it has been such a struggle. He looked good at practice and we were happy about that.

The first race he started in the back row and was not able to get the holeshot making it harder to get to the front. He ended up finishing fourth and we were thankful that he finished!

Sunday's race we were excited for but it was also a little emotional as John had just sold his car (I'll tell you more in another post). All I wanted at that point was for him to get on the podium. This time he was able to start in the front row as he finally had enough points to earn him the spot but was on the inside making it harder to push ahead. There was a lot of carnage this race and thankfully John was able to avoid that even when there was a spinout right in front of him. It was an exciting race and John came in 3rd! The kids and I raced to try and see him on the podium one last time but could only really see him on the big screen as there were way too many people.

And so, we are done for the year and we'll see what the future holds.

Always a winner to me! Getting out of his Pro Super Buggy one final time...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Enjoying Math for a change

We loosely started school last week doing the things that we have on hand and beginning new things as they arrive in the mail. This summer seems to have gotten away from me and I never did get a chance to plan and order until I absolutely had to. Anyway, George's new math program arrived last week and I LOVE IT and so does he! He has never really enjoyed math and even though it is not his strong point he has done fine with it .

We began George using Saxon which went well but it was very repetitive and I don't think he caught onto some concepts very well. Last year we tried Math-U-See which starts off good and gives a different way to look at math problems (which I needed) but not one of the boys enjoyed it. Once in awhile I think part of George's problem had to do with my lack of patience when he didn't "get it" and I thought he should.  So, when a friend of mine told me about Teaching Textbooks and how well it was working for her son I looked into it and ordered it for George this year. It is a wonderful program written for homeschoolers. I like the fact that he can do everything on the computer and it reads the problem to him and so it is visual and auditory. When he answers if it is correct it gives him an encouraging comment (something his Mother can learn from!) and if it is incorrect it will allow him to try again and always will show the solution so he knows for next time. It also grades each lesson and quiz so all I need to do is check how he did and can see the problems he missed.

Now instead of the groaning when I tell George it is time for math he is actually asking me if he can work on math and will keep going rather than just doing one lesson. That in itself is worth the more pricey program! The only downside is that the other boys really want to do math on the computer also but the program does not have their level out yet. Hopefully next year!

If you have a child who dreads doing math and it isn't alway clicking for them check out Teaching Textbooks. They have Math 4 - Pre-Calculus.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More kittens!

You may recall that at the beginning of June our cat Jumper had kittens and within two weeks they all had died. Now I wanted to get her fixed right away after that and knew I only had a window of opportunity but didn't realize just how small that was. In finding out the price the vet charges my friend had recommended the humane society that does it for a reasonable amount. The only problem being that they couldn't get her in right away. By that time I knew she was probably expecting and she had noticeable signs early on or maybe I just knew what to look for. Sure enough, she got bigger and bigger and I began to wonder how many kittens were in there as she looked ready to burst!  I had figured her to be due the first week in Sept.

Jumper ended up giving birth Aug. 22nd which happened to be the day that George had friends over to celebrate his birthday (a little late). Again, I missed the birth but the boys alerted me that she had her kittens as she came out with her tail wet and was now skinny. Thankfully we were able to find them shortly after. The day before I had been walking around our yard with Jumper and she disappeared for awhile into a heap of wood behind our shed. I figured that was where she went and sure enough there were the kittens beneath the wood in a grassy area. She had nine kittens but two were not alive. This time we had two black and six orange and they seemed to have a better start than the previous litter that had been born stuck in an old couch. Jumper had cleaned them all off and taken care of them as she should.

George's friend who loves animals helped get the kittens moved into an old desk cabinet with blankets we had ready. Jumper also seemed more confident in feeding them. We lost one kitten a day later that had been the runt. I wasn't sure what to expect this time around but so far all is well. The kittens are now 17 days old and getting bigger every day. They grow amazingly fast! We are able to handle them a little more although can't wait until their claws retract so they aren't getting stuck on us. They each look so sweet with their eyes open, although a few are crusty the past few days so I am gently cleaning them. The kids are enjoying these little bundles of fur and are helpful in taking care of them.
  Next week they should be walking around more which will be fun to watch!

Anyone interested in a kitten???

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