Reading Out Loud

Monday, March 24, 2008


One of the standard things I see in most homeschooling philosophies is that parents should read aloud to their children.

Some preach the unreasonable (at least in my home) timeline of 2-3 hours of reading per day. Others simply advise parents to choose good, solid books that their children will enjoy hearing. Then there are still others who claim that parents should only read Scripture, and only allow their children to read Scripture.

I love reading - it's one of my favorite pastimes. B10 has been an independent reader for almost a year, but we still enjoy reading books together. One of our favorite times was when we read The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe before the movie came out.

My intention was to do the same for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, but I cannot find my complete Chronicles collection anywhere! I'm sure it's just lost in the midst of boxes, so I'm not overly concerned. Whilst searching for the book, I came across a stack of children's books from the 40's and 50's.

They are part of a series on Young American Heroes. Focusing on the childhood of Famous Americans. I began the book about Paul Revere and finished it just last night.

It's not outstanding writing, by any means. It's written for 8-10 years old children to be able to read by themselves. However, I enjoyed having both CW and B10 curled up beside me on the sofa, and Hubby sat most nights with our cat on his lap in the side chair. Late yesterday night, as I read the final chapter (which ends with Longfellow's famous poem), I choked up a bit.

Especially when B10 announced that he would always be a Patriot - and he was glad we voted for our Presidents, and didn't serve Kings.

The books aren't easy to find, but they aren't overly difficult either. My Daddy (Granddaddy, JR) has about 10-15 of them in paperback, (reprints). The orange hardback covers are first editions. The illustrations are beautiful to me, simple silhouette drawings that encourage the use of imagination.

I think we will read Jane Adams: Little Lame Girl next, beginning tonight.

What books do you read with your children?

~Lone Butterfly )i(

MORE Girl Cousins Come to Dinner

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Trying to get everyone facing the same direction with a smile on their faces wasn't easy! We had three cameras going so hopefully SOMEONE got a perfect picture. (And yes - Dragonfly's Mum is JUST out of the picture - ready to grab her if she should start to fall!)

See! Here is Dragonfly safe in her Mum's arms.

And here she is safe in my arms.

And here she is safe in B10's arms. He loves babies, and he's so good with them. Cookie talks all the time about how much of a help he is when she watches Little Sheep.

I hope everyone had a fun and blessed Easter.

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Cousins Come for Easter Dinner


Saturday was with our boy cousin, and today was a bevy of girl cousins.

Uncle Firefighter Deux (Henceforth to be known as FFII), his wife (Aunt Teach), and their two little girls (Mollywobbles and Hippo-Feet) all came over for dinner last night. It was still daylight when they got there, so Mollywobbles went outside to play with B10 and CW. Hippo-Feet hung out with us in the front room.

Before it got to late we took the cameras outside and snapped a bunch of pictures of the kids on the front steps.

Then there were the pictures of B10 and CW attacking FFII - which made Hubby very happy. He liked that they had someone else to jump on for a while!

Here's Aunt Teach, me, and Mollywobbles - staying out of the fight. (Hippo-Feet seemed content to walk up and down the front steps.)

This last picture is my favorite - gotta love the faces! (And Hippo-Feet acting as though they've all gone crazy!)

Just as we finished these pictures, Aunt CC and her girls arrived - see next blog post for those girl cousins!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

B10's Photography

Saturday, March 22, 2008


As I stated in the last post, B10 was given a camera. This is a sample of his "work" from his first day.

First - a picture of his brother, CW:

Second, a photo of his cousin, Little Sheep. Note the look of desire in Little Sheep's eyes, for he TOO wants a camera!

Another photo of Little Sheep. (I think we can all agree that he is adorable enough to photograph multiple times.) I really like the smile that B10 captured in this picture.

This is a picture of the ducks at the park we visited. B10 calls the Aflac ducks, after the commercial.

Finally, I'll close with a photo of the huge turtle. B10 loves nature and animals, so I'm not surprised that of the 50 or so photos he took, 35 of them were of animals.

For a novice, he's doing a pretty good job of centering his subject and focusing. Aunt Anne would be very, very proud!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Easter Saturday


Since we won't be seeing BooSheep, Little Sheep, and Uncle Sheep tomorrow - we met them for lunch today and then went to a local city park.

Little Sheep loved the swing and slide.

CW enjoyed the playground with his cousin, Little Sheep.

Hubby and I have been talking about the death of our camera, and he decided to go ahead and purchase a small HP camera (8.0 megapixels) for us to use while we save up for a really nice one. It came this morning at 10 am, and so these are my first pictures with it.

Note the huge turtle, almost the size of the geese. B10 and Hubby found him on their walk.

So far, I'm really impressed and excited. The pictures are great!

Know who else is excited? B10. We gave him Hubby's old camera (the thing is from the late 1990's and is only 3.0 megapixels). He is in heaven! CW had gotten a kid's digital camera for Christmas this year, and B10 was feeling pretty left out. When we went to the playground, B10 asked Hubby to walk around with him so he could take pictures.

For almost an entire hour, that's all he did. He didn't play on the playground hardly at all (maybe 5 minutes worth). He asked that I post his pictures in a blog post, so I'll be doing that later tonight or tomorrow.

We had such a good time. It's not easy for us all to get together - usually three adults can make it, but with Hubby and I working different schedules and Uncle Sheep being a Firefighter - with an even weirder schedule - it's hard.

One of my favorite things about where we live is that BooSheep and her family live nearby, so my kids really get to know their cousin and their Aunt/Uncle. It's something I didn't really have growing up.

Happy (early) Easter to you and all of yours.

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Easter Pictures

Friday, March 21, 2008


Rather than try to wake up early on Easter Sunday and take pictures of the boys, I decided to take the opprotunity while I had my Mum's camera to dress them in their Sunday Best and click away.

I wasn't thrilled with any of the pictures of them together - I just don't think I've fully figured out how Cookie's camera takes pictures. Many of them came out fuzzy, which was disappointing. This was my favorite of the ones that did come out.

CW couldn't wait to hop into the tree, so I was able to take quite a few pictures of him. This was easily my favorite of his individual pictures.

B10 also braved climbing the tree (a big deal, because he has a fear of heights). He even managed to put on a happy face while I took pictures!

I love their smiles! If you want the Kodakgallery link to the rest of their Easter pictures, leave a comment and let me know!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Easter Shopping


It's Good Friday and I took the next two days off work to be with CW (who is out of school today) and B10 (who is having the Prince over to spend the night). This morning we met BooSheep and Little Sheep at Target to shop for Easter outfits. BooSheep found a really cute top/sweater set and the boys got an adorable matching set. (Is it okay to say "adorable" when talking about a 3rd Grader?) Cookie likes to carry her camera in her purse, and caught this moment of smiles. Sadly, you can't see the Dawgs outfit that Little Sheep is wearing.
We hear Little Sheep's Doctor's appointment today was a rough one - we'll be praying for you Little Sheep!
~Lone Butterfly )i(

3rd Grade Geography

Thursday, March 20, 2008


This year we have begun History & Geography lessons. I chose to use LifePac, which is what we use for Math. I didn't use their 1st and 2nd Grade curriculum, because it was very "social" (feelings, communities, civic helpers, etc). Starting with 3rd Grade, though, it begins with actual History & Geography.

The first book is focused on the Fishing Communities of Maine. Deer Isle, Maine to be exact.

B10 is absolutely loving Geography. I am very pleased with how well-written the story is, and the fact that it's about a real town (not a fictional conglomerate of Maine), has given us some handy real-life learning tools.

This is B10 with his 50 States Fandex. He found the State of Maine in the Fandex and we learned about the state bird (Chickadee) and the state tree (white pine). I think I love Geography, because it's not just one book.

If you look at the picture around B10, you can see him working in his 50 state workbook (which had a cool maze and secret code to find out Maine's State Tree (White Pine Tree). Next to him is his Fandex (a gift from Granddaddy, Jr and Minnie Mouse). Behind him is the US Map of the National Forests and his LifePac Geography Book. What you can't see are the printouts from the Chamber of Commerce in Deer Isle - Stonington, Maine. Or the Travel Guide to Maine that hasn't arrived yet (it's coming in B10's name).

We've gotten to see actual pictures of quarries and sunsets, coastlines and fishing boats, the things B10 reads about have come to life.

Geography could easily become my favorite subject!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

My Blog Gets a New Easter Bonnet

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Spring is here, and there's an excitement in the air.

Mostly, I'm excited because when I got home from work today I was able to put on SHORTS and walk with B10 to a neighbor's house. We were dropping off a sack of treat-filled eggs for the neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

In honor of Spring here on the Internet, I decided to do two things - one was give my blog a new template. I'm hoping to branch out in the next month or so to something "bigger" than the normal Blogspot templates. I'll let you know how that goes.

The second thing is to actually share my blog address with some of my family members. Or should I say, most of my family members. Only my sister Boo and her husband, Firefighter, know about my blog in my family. I'm a bit hesitant, because it also opens up my writing to my family, which I rarely share. (Though, they may beg to differ!)

I really want my family to be able to see pictures of the boys growing up, and this is such a great way to do it. The Internet has opened up so many doors, it would be a shame not to use them. After blogging for a year (I began in March 2007), I think I'm finally ready.

So, I hope you like the "Easter Bonnet"! Welcome (especially if this is your first time here).

Much love to all this Spring,
~Lone Butterfly )i(

p.s. - On a personal note - if the "original" LB reads this, please send me an email. I've lost how to get in touch with you, and I miss you in my life and would like to try again. ~LB )i(

2nd Grade Graduation

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Yesterday was officially B10's last day as a 2nd Grader. He'll begin 3rd Grade on Monday morning, bright and early.

To celebrate Husband, Cookie, B10, CW, and I did three of B10's favorite things.

First we went to the park and fed the ducks and geese. I keep a bag of old bread and we go once or twice a week to the county park where the boys have swim lessons. There is a small walking trail, and also a little pond. We've never seen more than a dozen or so geese, along with five or six wood ducks, and a pair of (as B10 calls them) Aflac Ducks.

The boys love to feed them, and they can be pretty friendly (or agressive, depending on their mood) and don't shy away even when the boys are being loud.

Husband doesn't usually get to come with us. His new job is great, in that he seems to be able to get out a little early on Fridays (4:30 pm, instead of after 5 pm). Plus - he gets to wear jeans on Friday!

After we fed the ducks, we headed to Dollar Tree, where B10 was given $2 to spend. He actually decided to only spend a dollar and saved his second dollar for later.
We ended our celebration at Cici's Pizza, where I (being the coupon Queen) had a free Adult Buffet. The boys loved their pizza and salads - CW especially enjoyed the fresh mushrooms. I love how they give the boys baby Blue Bell Ice Cream Sandwiches as we leave! (Which, sad to say, still aren't as creamy as Mayfield, but good anyway).

The night was over after baths and a bit of Wii Lego Star Wars, just perfect for my almost-3rd-grader. It's hard to believe he's growing up so fast.

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey (ECHL)

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Woo Hoo! It's one of my favorite Cub Scout Activities (acutally, one of my favorite activities, overall). It's Cub Scout Night at the Gwinnett Gladiators Minor League Hockey Team (GO ECHL!).
Hockey is one of my personal favorite sports to watch, coming in right behind Baseball. Now, if it's on the TV, I prefer Football, but few things beat a Hockey Game in person. I'm so glad the boys agree with me!
B10 was able to sit with one of his good friends, Prince -

This was because he was sitting in Princess' seat. Where was Princess you ask?

Right here -

- sitting in my lap. She didn't move for almost three hours, until we had to leave. You can see CW in the background, scoping out his hot dog options (the hot dog was his fifth meal that day).

I'm so excited that Princess was also there at the Hockey Game with us - I'm (hopefully) going to be a co-leader in her Daisy Troop (Girl Scout Troop) next year when she enters Kindergarten. I miss Girl Scouts so much!

We won, 8 to 3, beating the Augusta Lynxs. It was a good win, even though we'd already secured our spot in the post-season. Let's hope the Gladiators bring home another Kelly Cup!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Field Trip Day

Saturday, March 8, 2008


March was both the end of 2nd Grade and the beginning of 3rd Grade for B10. As a special treat, I took Friday, March 7th off and we went on two field trips with CW and Cookie (my mum).

We woke up early, and left the house for Fort Yargo, a Georgia State Park. B10 did his schoolwork while Cookie drove. It only took us 45 minutes to get to the park in Winder, GA.

Fort Yargo was built in 1793, as a fort to protect the farmers from Native Americans. We had fun looking around the campground/park and working on Junior Ranger books.

Junior Rangers is a free program put on by the Georgia State Park Service. The boys will be able to earn three different patches, for completing three levels of study. Right now, both are working on their Deer Patch (Level I) and we did wildlife sightings and pine tree leaf comparisons while at Fort Yargo.

We also talked quite a bit about the watershed, and how we need to conserve water, for humans and animals alike. It was a lot of fun, even with the light sprinkles and wet ground.

For lunch, Cookie gave us a special treat - McDonald's! CW and B10 had lunch and were able to play on the playground for a bit. Then it was back in the car for the second field trip destination of the day, and a big surprise for the boys...

...the Mayfield Dairy Plant!

The Mayfield Dairy Plant gives free tours every 1/2 hour. We started our tour with a great video that explained how ice cream production and milk processing is different than from other dairies. We learned why Mayfield uses yellow containers and why Mayfield Ice Cream is the creamiest ice cream of all.

Then we were able to actually take a tour of the Mayfield Milk Plant, and see where the milk was purchased from the big trucks, where it was tested in the laboratories, and where it was bottled into jugs of all sizes. Wearing the hairnets was fun, as was seeing the giant cooler/refrigerator that can hold thousands of gallons of milk at a time.

Last, but not least, there was of course the eating of the creamiest ice cream of all. B10 was able to get his favorite flavor (Birthday Cake) and CW tried Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Cookie purchased a brand new 2007 flavor - Coconut Cake, and I went with the fresh Peach Ice Cream, with hunks of delicious peaches.

It was a great day, with lots of learning and food, topped off by getting to spend the night with Aunt Boo and Cousin AG. Overall, a fitting final field trip to a special 2nd Grade year!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

The Lizard Who Came to Dinner

Monday, March 3, 2008


Okay, the Lizard didn't actually come to dinner.

Nor was he dinner for the fuzzy daughter of our family.

B10 finds this lizard almost every day (he says it's the same one, and I realized long ago that unless I had written documentation - he was going to be right almost every time we were discussing animals). He catches him and brings him inside to show me (which is fun, except for the time I was taking a bath and the door was flung open and a lizard shoved in my face...not fun while bathing).

Lizard doesn't have a name, and he sits in B10's hand and puffs his little throat out.

This is, of course, a great source of excitement for B10 and CW.

Late last week B10 came running in the house, huffing and puffing, and carrying on about how he had a surprise. Apparently our Lizard friend has a Lizard friend.
B10's hoping this summer for lizard babies...
~Lone Butterfly )i(

Cooking Lessons


Food has always been an adventure in our home, between my severe allergies and Husband striving to become a healthier eater, but it goes beyond that.

One of the achievements I am most proud of as a parent is that B10 and CW will try almost anything (at least once). B10 is a huge sushi fan, and he and Husband are constantly trying new types. CW tends to enjoy the more European fare - and I was stunned when he began trying various uncommon cheeses with his Italian food.

They are both relatively healthy eaters, they enjoy salads with dinner and while they have a sweet tooth, it's not all-consuming. Carrots and such are yummy!

So, as part of their Homeschooling Home Economics lessons, and just as general life lessons, we've been allowing them to help us cook meals. CW is still in the "open cans and pour them" phase.

This is his effort last night, he made the pizza pasta casserole all by himself (even turning on the oven and setting the timer). I had to pull the hot dish out of the oven, but otherwise it was all his doing. He was especially excited about being able to tear off the tinfoil and cover the dish.

B10 helped today with the cooking of the sausage for our red beans and rice, and we cooked extra sausage for our Jambalaya. He's allowed to use a knife with supervision, and actually stir things on the stove that might have hot grease.

For B10 we are focusing on meals that take time, and preperations that aren't instant gratification in the form of food. We talked about how beans have to have time to soak up the water and get soft, and how flavor is added, and how salt makes beans tough when added before the beans are done.

With luck (and another ten years of training or so) both boys will feel comfortable in the kitchen, being able to plan meals, shop for groceries, and cook a wide variety of healthy food. I really enjoy when a "school lesson" translates so easily into a "how to be an adult" lesson. It's those times that give me a little sense of success!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

2007 Writing Awards

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I received the thrilling news this morning that I had won two OWL writing awards this year. It's exciting, because I wasn't even sure I would be nominated after having a rather slow Fall/Winter as an author.

In 2006 I received 4 awards, three second place runner-ups and one third place. This year was I was stunned as I took a first place award.

Without further ado - my 2007 OWL Awards:



I will point out that this is the second year that I've taken an award in the "Best Death Scene" category... Let that tell you what it may about me...

~Lone Butterfly )i(