June 07, 2012

Funeral of a Blog

After seven years of blogging {June 8th, 2005} I'm finally moving to WordPress... #blogging

RIP sbees.blogspot.com
June 8, 2005 - June 8, 2012

In lieu of flowers, please make sure your links and buttons are pointed to www.sprittibee.com so you can find me tomorrow.

June 06, 2012

The Ultimate Top Secret Guide to Taking Over the World

My teen boy has a love of humor. When I got this book in the mail, I asked him to review it for me. I knew he would love it after reading the email from the publisher. Here's his take on this hilarious book (that I hesitate to call a book for kids, because I loved it, too):

nesbitt book review

The Ultimate Top Secret Guide to Taking Over the World
by Kenn Nesbitt
Review by Kaden

Want to know how to conquer the world? Kenn Nesbitt's "The Ultimate Top Secret Guide to Taking Over the World" walks you through the process in 10 ("well, maybe not 10 exactly") easy steps. This book turns innocent children into self-taught tyrannical overlords nearly overnight! Through his carefully laid out, easy-to-understand instructions and slap-stick humor, Kenn Nesbitt instills in the reader all necessary skills to produce mayhem and madness on a global level.

Here are his 10ish steps and the chapters the book includes:

1. Becoming a Genius Overnight
2. Making a Name for Yourself
3. Equipping Your Underground Lair
4. Evil Robots 101
5. Stopping Time for Fun and Profit
6. Dressing for Conquest
7. Of Monsters and Minions
8. Your First Doomsday Device
9. Defeating Secret Agents
9 1/2. Your Evil Trademark
9 3/4. Spending Your First Billion Dollars
10. How to Rule the World

Here's a snip from Step 2, to give you an example of Kenn's brilliance:

"You don't have to be a real doctor to call yourself a doctor. After all, Dr. Seuss wasn't a real doctor. Of course, he wasn't a maniacal villain either, but that's sort of beside the point. Adding a title like 'Doctor' or 'Professor' to your name lends a certain gravitas. (Gravitas, by the way, means weightiness or seriousness, but it sounds a lot cooler.) It makes you sound like the genius you are, as if you've got a PhD in conquerology. And when combined with a wicked last name, the right title can make you sound like someone smaller countries shouldn't mess with.

Imagine being known as Doctor Destruction or Professor Sledgehammer. You see what I mean?"

This book came as a free review item, but it is one of my favorite books that I've read. I love to laugh, and this book inspired quite a lot of laughing. If you have a kid that enjoys humor (and we all need more humor in our lives), this book would make a perfect gift. Of course, if you have any kids bent on world domination, you could speed their conquest of the planet considerably with this DIY guidebook of evil dastardliness. "World domination has never been so easy!"


Disclosure: This book was free, our opinion was not compensated... and we aren't trying to take over the world. Besides maybe becoming the Mayor of a few key spots on FourSquare - does that count?

June 05, 2012

Doing What Works

Quote in a magazine... #quilling #quote #inspiration

Through this past decade or more of homeschooling, I've tried a lot of things to help us in our quest to 'get school done' and keep track of what we are doing. We've done daily white board lists, assignment binder systems, assignment sheets that mom printed, lesson planners that I filled out as we went along, just reading through our books and not really following a lesson plan because we knew what books we wanted to finish, and laminated flip charts with pictures. I've used baseball card holders with assignments stuck in them, peg board chore charts, iPhone apps, hand-written daily lists, elaborate worksheets that I have created or others created, and Homeschool Tracker software. We used a few different versions of workboxes (school boxes or drawers), too. I sometimes revert to one or more of these methods to change things up, but I find that I always fall back on low-tech lesson planning: good old fashioned paper and pen.

Even while I keep all of my graded work and records in Homeschool Tracker, I still enjoy writing out our weekly requirements. There's something cathartic about actually WRITING something out. It helps me get my mind around what all we have to accomplish during the week. It reminds me of my own school days. It connects me with my to-do list in a way that is tangible. Best of all, it seems to be the one thing that really helps keep the kids on task better than all of my expensive, detailed, complicated 'programs' and processes I tried to implement.

Lately, I've been in a weekly rather than daily mode for my list-making. I include our daily chores in one section, our weekly appointments in another, and then a list for mom and a school list for kids - all on one sheet of paper. How simple is that? I make notes on this list through the week and the kids add check marks for completed items (at the end of the week, some items have 5 checks). The hard part is making sure we don't misplace the notebook that contains our list if we end up taking some school on the road.

For those of you that like to see an example of our simple "what works for us right now" list, here's this week (mind you, this is a week's worth of work - not a day):

make worksheet copies (MOH final review, AC p.25 for binders)
post Kaden's last book report
add finished work to Tracker/enrichment club presentations from last week
cut in the paint on the kitchen/hall walls
Bible Study books procured

Blog Chat with Lisa this weekend, Help mom w/ tire & yard
7 year blogiversary Friday
Art class Friday

breakfast, kitchen
teeth, dressed
avoid distractions
gather, sort, rotate laundry
dishes, help w/ lunch
laundry folded, put away
clean rooms
help w/ dinner, dishes, floor, counters
cook or bake
extra chores: bathrooms, vacuuming, sheets, refrigerator, closets

Mapping MOH
Final Review 1-27 MOH
Haley's Bible Handbook
AC: p. 46
Chronology wksht in history binder
VC cards: green 3 & 4, purple 36 & 37, review order
Finish OWH 103-111
Chapter books on historical period
Iliad - keep reading
MOH Lesson 28
SOTAW 131-136 Sampson
OWH 112-121 Mid East & Test
UWH 142-143 Hebrews
Discussion p. 126 rationalizing powers

thank you cards
last few math pages, make sure graded and recorded
work on memory verse work : Psalm 90:10-17
practice piano
ch 8-12 Raising Maidens of Virtue
Psalm 96-105
24 Family Ways 3:1-6
Write 10 fave Proverbs in prayer journals
Write sponsored child : India
Read Science 241-263
Practice Piano

I don't have to add things like drawing and gardening since lately, every time I turn around, one of the teens is sneaking off to pick weeds and spend time outdoors - or doodling with some new art supply. This week charcoal was the favorite - which made for lots of smudges after the babies discovered that big sis had left the supplies unattended on the dining room table.

I used to have little charts with goals that were character related back in the days when time was not so fleeting. Little people under foot make for much less thoughtful teacher planning time. I've been thinking this week about resurrecting those lists, though. I think each of us could work on some character trait issues. Big kids and mom included. For one thing, I'd really like to do less lecturing and more praising. I tend to turn in to a monster when the chores are not done properly and things are left around the house where they don't belong. The three year old is working on potty training (which makes our days even more interesting than usual - and the carpet a lot uglier). Tiny tot is needing to do a little less nursing and a little more eating of solid food - working on figuring out a way to wean him gently since he prefers milk to pretty much anything (and he's 16 months old already). Biggest dude needs to work on doing things without delay, and taking less time to get tasks completed. Girlie-monster needs to work on less complaining and remembering to pick up the things she gets out (which she gets honest from a certain man in the house who stubbed his toe on his workboots this weekend).

We all have our mountains to climb, don't we? Good thing we have a God big enough for all these monumental tasks.

I heart them. ❤

I love it when you are trudging along and you get a glimpse at the much bigger purpose...

"The most important decision anyone is every called on to make is to settle in one's heart, once and for all, the matter of one's attitude toward Christ.

On that depends everything.

It is a glorious thing to be a Christian, the most exalted privilege of mankind."

That was a snip of our devotional reading today in Halley's Bible Handbook. And so we shake off our medicine head (the cedar mulch and garden herb harvesting this past weekend has done a number on all of us), and we stick our noses back in our books... in between mediating fights over toys and filling tiny tummies with snacks to ward off nap-time crankiness.

This is what works right now. However slow and methodical it might seem.

What works for you? I'd love to read your ideas and thoughts about your homeschool journey as it is right now laid out before you...

Keep trudging along, mama of many homeschoolish kids. You aren't alone!

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June 02, 2012

A Mommy Blogger Unedited

Sweet Dreams

The Blog Post I wrote in the dark of the night on my iPhone notepad... and never planned to actually publish:

I can remember when I used to come here to write the first thoughts... the journal entries of my day. The blank page was just a close friend listening. Only my fingers, the keyboard, and the swirling thoughts from the day... no deep questions about who would be reading the words or what they would think about it.

Then came stats and counters... conferences and swag. The looking eyes. The measuring stick.

I've been through many years of stages. Love and hate with this blog thing. I have grown roses and thorns here.

I have let a lot of writing go since the babies were born. Humble pie, humble pie. God took my rug and shook it out, leaving me with words like dust piles swept under - waiting for a good shaking.

I used to be able to stay up to write. It seems my writer self only comes out to play after the 1:11 AM train has whistled and the cat has found a Curve of my blanket to purr against. in the darkness of my room I exhale and try to stay still enough to peck out a note on my dim iPhone notepad, or edit a photo while the thoughts come.

A mothers time to unwind is stolen in the night, stolen from herself. She knows she will pay twice for it when the morning comes and the little hands clamor.

I hold my breath when the nursing baby stirs and hide my phone to put out the light. Just a moment to be me. Exhale.

The cat nudges my fingers away from the pecking and my thoughts falter. Daylight is only hours away, and the list of urgent things screams through my mind louder than the late train. I should be sleeping.

I am ashamed of myself for being so selfish to stay up late yet again snatching mommy time like a child with handfuls of candy before dinner. I wonder if my thoughts were worth picking out in the dark; if they will make sense tomorrow? If I'll ever find time in the homemaking or homeschooling or nursing or bill paying to actually blog them.

I feel silly in the dark. I think of all the bloggers who seem to have it together. All the homeschoolers, homemakers, and even just mothers who are so much more interesting and put together. Clean houses, neat children, organized desks...

The post erases itself like an unraveling thread in my mind against the snag of self doubts and the rip of comparison. Blank pages can be bullies. So can blogs. So can I.

It wasn't supposed to be about comparisons. This blog thing.

I'm too tired to think.

Another post unfinished, my arms tired and cramping, my body sighing for rest... I sink in to the bed and feel the baby stir for one last bit of mama's attention in the darkness. Sleep is the only thought; blog forgotten. Another day tucks itself in without the art of words to memorialize it. Another day of thoughts and ideas - eyes closing.

Sleep comes like a giant eraser. Maybe tomorrow I'll think of something interesting to write about, I console myself. The iPhone tucked under a pillow, I slip into a dream-state and surrender my words to the greater task of motherhood again.



Some posts on this blog contain affiliate links or sponsored links. I receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through an affiliate link. Sponsored links are paid for by a company who wishes to improve their Google ranking, but I always check to make sure these are reputable sites and never allow any links that are questionable to be placed.

The links in my "Sweet Linkage" section are either sponsored links or personal links that I find interesting (including the links to the blogs that both of my teen children run).

I occasionally run ads on my blog in exchange for money or traded advertising, or receive products in exchange for a review or giveaway posts. I also participate in campaigns by brands that offer to pay me to write about their products after using them. Any post that is sponsored will be noted as such. All opinions expressed on Sprittibee.com are my own, and any review, give-away, sponsored post, graphic ad, or product that I mention or link to are ones that I believe are reputable and worthy companies.


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