Thursday, February 28, 2008

Reach for the Stars

We've always told our kids to reach for the stars. We teach them not to be afraid of trying new things, being creative or failure. Well soon we'll not just be able to tell them to reach for the stars, but because of the creative genius at MicroSoft, we'll soon be able to show them the stars as well.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ian Pushes Aidan and Mia Over the Edge

Well okay, maybe not really! But this IS one of Aidan and Mia's favorite videos Ian has made. Take a look and you can see why. I like how Ian makes the screen go to static. It really adds to the effect!

video

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One of the Reasons We Home School

Attention Deficit Disorder is a very real condition that has been around for a long time, but only recently has been labeled. One of our children has been diagnosed with ADD and the others are pretty rambunctious too. The problem with the education system is they tend to medicate children like this to "calm them down". This TED video explains why that may not be the best thing to have done in the past, to do now or to do in the future. This video is right at 19 minutes long, so be sure to set aside some time to view it. Be sure to take a peek though! It's well worth the look!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Putting the Cake Together

The ingredients.






Mom's favorite toy!










The cake in rough form.








Starting the frosting.

We'll show the finished product tomorrow!
video

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fire Truck Accessories

The first step Tisha and the kids had to do was buy some candy for the Fire Truck Cake. The candy will be used to make the lights, hoses and other buttons and accessories on the truck.




It also looks like the attendees have some Fire Truck Tattoos in their future! Fun for all!!

Please excuse the blurry candy picture. Ian had a cold when he took it. :)

Next in line is a good board Tisha can use to build the cake on so she can add the wheels.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Aidan's Big Day!

Aidan will soon be turning five! That means he gets to have his first big birthday party with all his friends. This party will take place at the Camp Croft Fire Department. He is SSOOOOO excited!!!!







Tisha has some pretty big plans for his cake. She will be making it in the shape of a fire truck. Here is a picture of what it will look like when she's done, except Aidan's cake will be yellow to match the trucks at Camp Croft.

As an assignment, Ian will be chronicling the making of the cake. We'll share this with you throughout the week.



Tisha is one of THE BEST birthday cake crafters I've ever seen. My latest favorite was Ian's "Camp Fire Cake".

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ian and Lola

Two peas in a pod! We unfortunately lost one of our peas this month. Lola has gone on to be with the Lord, but her life was a life of hard work, giving, warmth and kindness. She was 98 and persevered in both mind and spirit to the end. May we all live lives as full as Lola's! (See Grandma Mickey's Blog for another perspective of Lola)

The other pea, has a good running start in the same race that Lola ran. He made me think of this today. I am so very proud of him! Let me explain why.

Ian struggles with Dyslexia. I've been working with him on his reading by training him to focus as he reads. One of his biggest struggles is his lack of focus on filler words and site words. He tends to look over them, add them or assume them. While reading last night, he would read the word "a" and "he" in place of the word "the". He got into habits like this a few years ago, because before we realized he had Dyslexia, he would read two or three words in a sentence and assume the rest. He was pretty good at this by the way! Even the Doctor that tested Ian for Dyslexia was impressed with how he could pull the content of a sentence out with so few words!

This is getting long, so I'm going to cut to the point. I gave Ian a writing assignment for the next day. I wanted him to write "I will not read "the" as "a" or "a" as "the", and the same with "he" as a focus exercise. He knew this would take some extra time to do, and that it might interfere with the rest of his school day. So he took it upon himself to set his alarm clock a half hour early so he could get the assignment done before he started school!

He may have trouble reading, but his work ethic is spot on! (I can thank his mom for that). Ian shows many of the traits that Lola had, including hard work. We do our best to teach him, but he also has a lot to teach us, and he a good teacher. Well done son!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sorry for the Silence!

We've been a little behind lately because Mia gave us a good scare this past week. It turns out that she was not sick with a bug, but that she developed a kidney infection that manifested itself in a strange way. The doctors found it quickly and after a quick round of antibiotics she is up and running again (to both Ian and Aidan's joy and dismay).

Just as a quick note. If you have any of those over the counter Urinary Tract Infection Tests, we tested Mia twice with one of these. Both times the UTI test showed no abnormalities! This caused us to misdiagnose Mia's condition, which if we had ignored our gut, could have put her in a dangerous position. Be very careful if you use this test in the future!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mia's Motocross Comment


Since Mia has been sick, she's been watching an unusual amount of TV. One of the new programs she's come across is Motocross. When Tisha saw her watching it she came in and asked, "So what do you think of this?" Mia said, "It's pretty cool. They keep going around and around in a circle and every time they turn a corner they crash." Tisha said, "That's right, it's called motocross." Mai said...

"Motocross? They should just call it crash."

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Two Forms of Sickness

We've had two forms of sickness in the O'Donnell Clan today. The first would be Mia. This kind of sickness would be defined as viral. She's had some kind of stomach bug that has put her down for the count. We're not 100% certain what she's fighting off because one thing we can say about Mia is she's tough. She rarely gets sick, and when she does, her little body fights the sickness in strange ways. We sometimes need to wait for one of the boys to get sick to finally figure out what she had.

The second form of sickness we have seen at the O'Donnell Clan today would be classified as mental. You'll understand this diagnosis once you realize that's a pair of underwear on Aidan's head. He decided to be a Chef tonight. I told Aidan that a more realistic (and perhaps more sanitary) option would be two pieces of paper and some tape. The result looked a little better and made me fell a little better about his future in food service.