Saturday, December 31, 2005

About New Year's Resolutions

You really should check out MMV's post on welcoming the New Year in with "resolutions". Here is the best bit of what she had to say. These are my kind of promises.

"If you must list and sort and promise, well, will these work?
(1) Resolve to read more, think more, write more, learn more. Update your wishlist at
(2) Subscribe to a magazine that opens new worlds to you. (No, Entertainment and People don't count.)
(3) Promise yourself more than twenty minutes daily to think, a space-time into which nothing and no one can creep without your express mental invitation. It is in this quiet zone that you will uncover your creativity.
(4) Begin a correspondence with someone who will share your reading discoveries.
(5) Keep a reading log, noting favorite passages.These are resolutions built to last."

Words of wisdom. Now I really do have to go watch some fireworks! HAPPY NEWYEAR!!

Starting to Think About Schedules/Routines

Okay, so now that I know what I am going to use, let's see if I can work out how and when we will use it! I want to get it figured out here, then I can try to figure out how to transfer this info to Homeschoolminder.
I will rise at 6 (I will, I really will!), have some blog/quiet time, and wake the kids by 6:45. Chores done and breakfast had by 8:00 am. Some reading aloud if possible. From 8 to 8:45, Boy can either do horn practice, or start on school work.

I want Boy to do his chores, but I don't want to overload him. I want his main job to be learning how to be a willing capable learner.

Boy's Daily Morning Chores:
Get up willingly, get dressed, room tidy, bed made, curtains open, brush and floss after breaky.
Clean bathroom: sink, toilet in and out, tub (inside once a week), counters, sweep, and tidy.
Litter boxes cleaned, area swept.
Garbage and recycling out
Gather personal laundry, put any laundry Mama has folded away.

Girl's Daily Morning Chores:
Get up willingly, get dressed, room tidy, bed made, curtains open, brush and floss after breaky.
Kitchen duty: Do any dishes not done the night before, dry and put away, clear and wipe counters, clean out sink. Clear and wipe table, sweep floor. She leaves soapy water for us and we do our own breakfast dishes.
Feed cats, check all water and food dishes.
Gather any and all laundry and sort/start/move over a load if possible.

Whitey the mini-van leaves the driveway at precisely 8:50, having been started and warmed up by the Boy for about 5 minutes. After I drop the Boy off, I head over to a friend's to walk. Girl uses this time for her first piano practice of the day. I pick Boy up at 11:00, then we head home for lunch and read aloud.
The only day this is different is Friday, and then Girl has her piano lesson and I skip my walk.

So, in theory it looks like we could just come home and start working from noon to dinnertime, taking some breaks here and there, but I haven't plugged in real life yet. I will say that there is much more time available to us now without any interruptions, or splitting my attention up between my kids and my job, so I am thinking this won't be so hard if we just stick to it, and don't get sucked into too many impromtu activities.

As I look at my calendar, our regularly scheduled events are these:
a) Nature Study on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 1 to 3 pm.
b) Horn Lessons every Wed from 2:00 to 4:00 (travel time included).
c) Food Bank deliveries the 1st and 3rd Wed's roughly from 11:15 to 1:30 (travel time included)
d)On Thurs we generally go to my Mom's and stay the whole day, 11:30 to 4 ish. I am really struggling to get the kids to do a full day's work at my Mom's and being able to split my attentions between her (running errands, etc) and the kids. They really need to be responsible for themselves much more willingly on these days.
e) On the 2nd Friday of each month there is an HSA meeting. Sometimes I go, and sometimes I don't, but it is from 12:30 to 3:30 (again that's with travel times).

I calculate roughly an average of 22 to 24 hours each week available to study, from the hours of 12 to 6.
Wow. Even though it isn't very many full days available to work each week, it still seems like I have about 8 to 10 extra hours a week more than I did just last month! Cool. I guess not working may truly be the blessing in disguise I was hoping it would be. We can also do a few things here and there on the weekends. In the past I have actually written that in for them on their weekly do list, hmm.

So. What needs to be done every day?
Latin, math, instrument practice. Oh, and SAT prep.That's about 3.5 to 4 hrs right there.
Need to fit in Classical Comp, and grammar (these 2 daily?), and alternate history and science.
When am I supposed to fit in exercise or play breaks in there? I guess he is just going to have to learn that you don't have much play time once you get to the 8th grade, hmm?

Kids just finished watching The March of the Penguins on the new DVD player. Thanks Santa!
Gotta go for now, and get ready to go celebrate the New Year- there is a great view of the Space Needle fireworks from Papa's office building, so several folks are planning on meeting there for appetizers, and to bring in the new year with fireworks! Not as convenient as when we could watch them from our living room window, but still fun.
Happy New Year!

Another How To question

I worked on the School Plans post at 2 to 3 am this morning, then cleaned it up a bit now, and posted it at 2 pm. So when it posts, how can I make it post at the top of the blog, and not in order by time of day?

A tidbit for you

You know when you eat something really cold and you get a Brain Freeze? Here is how and why.
I know, I know, I need to go to bed.

Nickname Origins

Boy was reading over my shoulder, and noticed that I call him Boy and the girl, Girl. "Hey, mama, you're using our nicknames!!"
I can still remember how it started. The girl was just starting to talk, and called her brother Boy. She could pronounce his name fine, she just called him her Boy. Only, the way she said it, it had 2 syllables. More like Boy-yoy. She would just stand there and bellow for him, and he would love it. She called, he came. Still works that way. So, she called him Boy, and so did we. Still do. I think he was about 7 when someone in the grocery store heard me address him as Boy, and asked if he had a name. LOL.
I guess it's fairly simple to see that the Boy reciprocated by calling the girl Girl. When he didn't call her "Pissy", which is how he said Sissy for the longest time. Too funny. They have other nicknames, and lovey names that we call them, but these are the two that stuck.

I like nicknames. Some people do, some don't. Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?
LB (yes, that's another nickname story!)

School Plans

So, Dy. You like to discuss curricula? Me too. I actually have been trying to figure out how the new year is going to go, as I have changed so much- both curricula and goals. What we will be doing in January is so very different from what we were doing in August, and now bears absolutely no resemblance to what I planned last spring! We are now much more Latin centered than we have ever been.
I am lucky in the fact that I am basically teaching both kids at the same level- two completely different learning styles, but it does help to be able to do much of their stuff together.

Boy is still taking classes at the local middle school from 9 to 11. It really eats our morning up, but it should be interesting to see how it works out now that I am not working out of the home. Maybe it won't be as big of a deal to be working in the late afternoons. If he were in school all day, and then took drama and band after school, he'd be working till 6, right? And then still have to do homework. We can make this work.

I am going to plan in PE breaks this year, too. I have not been doing a good job of making sure they (especially the Boy) get enough physical exercise every day. (30 minutes? 2 breaks?)

Math: MathUSee is going so well, I see no need to change (thank goodness!). We are actually going to try to push through Epsilon fairly quickly, and will probably end up doing both Epsilon and Zeta at the same time. Such are the joys of having one child who is behind in math and struggles with it, but wants desperately to catch up, and one who loves it and wants to move faster. They are neck and neck now in what math concepts they know. They are also working in the Key To workbooks. They have all of them (Geometry, Algebra, Decimals, Percents, and Fractions), and just keep going on to the next book when finished. I let them choose which subtopic to work on. (up to 1 hour daily for all maths)

Latin: We are still in Primer A in Latin for Children. We need to move a bit faster in this, I want them to get to B soon. I still want to order a workbook for me for Primer A. I am having a hard time getting my studying in. We are using the workbook, activity book, and the reader, and the kids do listen to the CD as well. (45 minutes to 1 hour daily)

English/Writing: This is a big area of change for me. We were going to do Classical Writing Homer, but we are getting such a late start with the Progymnasmata, that I was worried about the depth with which each level is covered, and that they weren't all out yet. So I bought the Narrative level of Classical Composition. This doesn't look as thorough, and there isn't any grammar taught, so I hope it goes well. I now need to figure out how to implement this. (45 minutes a day?)

My main reason for this change is that I hear if you need to hurry an older student through the progym exercises, that this can be done in two years with CC. I hope we can move quickly through the narrative and get to Chreia/Maxim as that is the level where they start learning essay writing, and we need to get going on that.

We have really bounced around quite a bit for Grammar- everything from Rod and Staff to Harvey's then back to R & S. I just recently found Hake Grammar, and want to order grade 8 for the Boy. The Girl is okay with R & S for now, but if Hake works for Boy, I may order grade 6 for her. It looks like the Hake Grammar is as thorough as R & S, and they would like a secular program. It also comes with a writing component I want to look at. So far, no one I know uses that part of it. (about 30 min. a day)

In addition to all this, I want to get back to poetry memorization, and dictation. I used to be very good about incorporationg these two activities into our school, but they have slipped. I have been memorizing poetry on my morning walks now for a month, so I have a few under my belt, and will start the kids on simple poems they already know, at least while they are doing the tough work of memorizing the Constitution! (10 min a day)

History: I seem to have a bit of a reputaion with the women in my WTM support group (which meets once a month on the first Tuesday- I am excited to go next week!) about our history journey. We have been in our first rotation for close to 6 yrs now, and frankly, we just need to get through it so we can begin again in earnest, at a level and with curricula more suited for two kidlets in the logic stage, one at the beginning, and one headed for Rhetoric. So, that being said, here is the plan (and I am thankful to have decided on one!).

They have either just finished or almost finished (GIrl has 2 more chapters) reading SOTW vol. 3 to themselves (I have 10 more chapters, however), and will work their way through my bookshelves. I have about 30 books or so that fit into this time period for them to read- mostly from the WTM booklist. They will take a couple of months to read these, and do a couple of projects from the activity guide. They will memorize the Preamble to the Constitution, the Declaration, etc, and the Boy will be reading George Washington's World, and taking notes, using the study questions from Beautiful Feet.

Then they will breeze through vol 4, and do the same with it- read some books, answer some questions, etc. I am hoping to be done with this rotation by June at the latest, if we get done earlier, it will be even better.
I also have Critical Thinking in U.S. History bk 1, which I want to implement as well. (??)

Then we will use History Odyssy by Pandia Press for the Ancients. They have levels for grammar, logic, and Rhetoric stage, and it looks fun, well put together, and best of all, it is written to the student- little teacher involvement. I like it!

For literature, both historical and otherwise, I gather book titles from the WTM lists, both the boards and the book. I add in titles from various catalogs and websites, including but not limited to Sonlight, VP, Ambleside, Tanglewood, and Greenleaf Press. I purchase as many as I can at used bookstores and at Homeschool Potpourri, as well as using the library, so there is always much more material here that it is quite impossible to read it all. We just finished reading The Dangerous Journey as our breakfast readaloud, I am not sure what book is next. (history and assigned history reading/outlining, etc. 1.5 to 2 hours a day?? Alternate with science?)

Nature Study resumes in January, at least I know some science will be happening. This is one aspect of our school that I just love. It is a small group, consisting of 3 mamas and 5 kids. I love teaching it, but the kids are really passing me up in the drawing department! In Jan, we will be getting a bird ID study kid from the Burke Museum. This should be tons of fun. Lord knows the kids enjoyed the owl kit we had. We also joined the Burke, and are looking forward to several trips there this year. We also have the zoo membership for one more month, too. (N.S. is 2 hours every other Tuesday)

I also have Real Science 4 Kids Physics to run through with them. This shouldn't take too long- I just need to go out and get all the ingredients for the experiments (There should have been a kid I could just order, that has the dowels, batteries, wires, etc. in it. I would have gladly paid for someone else to put it all together. Now I have to go to Radio Shack. Ugg.). Once we do this, I think we will go back and revisit Chemistry. We didn't finish Friendly Chemistry last year(surprise, surprise), and I also have RS4K Chemistry, too. (1 hour a week? more like 3 hours?)

Boy is also doing some extra stuff on top of all this- he is working on a SAT prep course, and using some other materials to learn essay writing, etc. This will be his main focus through Jan and Feb, and some of his regular work may go by the wayside.(Another hour)

What's left? Oh, art and music appreciation. Man, it is so hard to implement these! The kids put in a lot of time practicing their instruments, but we haven't studied as many musicians/artists as I would like, and both Meet the Great Composers and Artistic Pursuits just sit around unused for weeks at a time.

But you can see, I have already used up at least 6 hours of their days, and those being stay at home days. How to juggle school and life, now that will be the tricky part! They still don't work completely independantly, and especially don't do it weel at Grandma's. We have to work on that- attitude, both theirs and mine.

In addition to changing, adding all this for the kids, there is all the studying I need to do for myself. So that I can feel comfortable teaching at the rhetoric level. I will be using Teaching the Classics, and want to attend the seminar in March. I should go sign up for that! For now, I have been reading through Reading Strands, and geting ideas from that. I am also slowly and painfully making my way through Composition in the Classical Tradition. This book just makes me want to sleep, so I have to be careful what time of the day I try to study it!

I also want to get going on the Dowling Method for our Latin study, okay, MY latin study. I think this will help me trememndously. If I can just get comfortable with all this stuff, and more importantly, get myself into some good study habits, to be modeling the behaviours I wish to see!

Well, I know I am forgetting something, but I was working on this at 3 am this morning, so will leave it like this for now. Now to figure out an actual schedule!

How do I do this?

1. How do I put categories for my links in my sidebar? You know, one for Curricula, one for blogs, one for quilting sites, etc.

2. How do I strike out words?

3. It's 2:00 a.m., I forgot what number 3. was going to be.

I am awake, I am not sleeping. Neither is my son. He has gone completely nocturnal, sleeping in till noon and not sleeping till 2 am. We were supposed to be schooling this week, but haven't been. He is going to have a rude awakening come Tuesday. Guess that makes two of us, hmm?

Friday, December 30, 2005

I'm here, sorta.

Okay, first off, I am sorry I haven't been blogging. There has been a ton of stuff (life, I guess) going on here, and I have also been being lazy, big time. Trying to sleep, but seems I sleep best from 5 to 11 in the morning lately. While not sleeping, I have been thinking, worrying, planning, you know, the usual. But I haven't been blogging.

In approximately the last 2 weeks, I have lost a job I really cared about, had to put my cat down, deal with/enjoy/get through Christmas, deal intensely with 2 pissy tweenagers, and I have also been with my mom (whose eyesight has really taken a turn for the worse), when I could. I have been feeling very conflicted about blogging about (or frankly, even talking about) the things that are happening right now.

Here's a serious question for you: When things are not going smoothly in your life, how do you blog about them without seeming whiny, self-absorbed, or like you are "using the blog as a confessional", as I have read it described?

I hinted about this in the ode to Max post. That I feel weird posting my life on the blog. Why is this wierder for me than talking to Dy or Patty on the phone? See, I am even timid about posting their names on the blog, even though they may well be the only two people who check the darned thing.

Not only that, but I see more and more, that I am not a strong writer, and especially not very good at catching typos. I am too perfectionistic for my own good, I guess, but I feel like the first thing I should do is to go back to previous posts and tidy up each one. Dy says you get better with time. I will listen to her.

So that's what's been going on in my brain, I will try to post on a more regular basis. I am working on one about all the great books we got/gave for Christmas.

Thanks for listening/reading.

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Bookly Christmas

It really was. We gave and received many good books as usual. And also have some good ones from the library, so the house is full of books! I am seriously thinking of a heavy literature focus for January.
I am not going to try to link to Amazon for all of the titles, or I'd be here all night!
Before I get to read any of these books, I need to finish Breathe of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, as it's a library copy, first.

Papa and I always make a couple of bookstore runs together in December. We do some serious library stocking this time of year. Here's what we gave us.
I convinced Papa to buy me some David Sedaris, because I have been told he is a good example of an essay writer. I have naked and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Lots of Kipling. Just So Stories, Captains Courageous, The Light that Failed, and Kim.
I gave Papa the New Neil Gaiman novel Anansi Boys, and The Cat's Pajamas by Bradbury. We also found A Tale of Two Cities. Thank goodness for Half-Price Books!

We bought for the kids, for all of us, really, the following fiction: The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming by Chitra Banerjee Vivakaruni. It looks good. So does The King in the WIndow by Adam Gopnik. High on the humour is Shel's last book, Runny Babbit. These will end up being saved for readalouds, or so the kids have declared. Between the Boy and the Girl, we also add to the stacks the first two volumes of the second Warriors Series by Erin Hunter, Drifthouse by Dale Peck, Wizardology, and several more nice hardbacks of the Redwall series, including the newest one, High Rhulain.

We also have a dear friend who loves to give the kids books. Lucky for us! Girl received Caddie Woodlawn and a nice edition of Little Women. She gave the Boy the latest Harry Potter book- egads, there are six of these now? I have to admit, I haven't read any of them. He finished that one in one 24 hr period, while he was down with a Christmas cold. She also gave them A Christmas Carol and other stories by Dickens.

In addition to all these new books, I have my usual pile of library books, most of them quilting titles: Fiber Arts Design Book Six, Quilted Planet, and Color and Compostition for the Creative Quilter. Many folks at various quilting blogs I have been reading lately have been using these exercises. I may need to get a copy of this book. I also have Transforming the Difficult Child, but I haven't cracked it yet. Gotta finish the Gabaldon book first!

Yep, it would really be nice to just sit around and do nothing but read for the whole month of January, wouldn't it? Lord knows we have tons of stuff to read!
Papa just stuck a movie into the DVD player Santa brought us, so I will talk to you soon.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Oh yeah! It is Christmas time, isn't it?!

It is just now starting to feel like Christmas here in rainy Seattle. I can sure tell I live in a teperate rain forest today. The weather has been really good lately (except for driving conditions). It has been drizzly, but warmer than the last few weeks, about 45 in the night, to 54 during the day. It's breezy, but balmy. Happy Solstice! It feels like it today.

Well, we've had Christmas carols on, aree folding laundry, and the Girl cleaned the kitchen. We have been to the fruitstand (persimmons, mandarins, okra, cauliflower, brocolli, chayotte, shrooms,and 3 kinds of potatoes), and Dread Meyer to get Boy's gift for Girl, and also picked up a ham. We ought to be able to throw together a feast with that, and what's in the pantry. To be ready to go to Mom's, I will just pack the picnic basket. easy.
We still need to bake cookies for the firemen, which we will deliver tomorrow. The kids will run through The Night Before Chritmas a few more times, so they can recite it for them.
I think we also need one more trip to B & N, and one to Target. EEEEEWWWW.

A note to Mindy- my kids are exhibiting wrongful actions over here, too. I am really tired of assigning pushups and asking them to choose to be their own integrity. I appreciated your post on that.
Does anyone know where to get coal? I am serious here. Would brickets work?
LB, feeeling better today. Still wierd, but better.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

spilling my guts out for the first time

I haven't edited yet, but am posting this anyhow.

Okay, this is one of the reasons I used to give myself for NOT starting a blog in the first place. Because I am afraid I will put too much out there, expose myself for all to see/read. Papa feels eeven stronger than I do about personal privacy. Does anyone else feel unsure about that? Used to a great deal of privacy, then deciding to offer an element up to the rest of the world.....
I don't subscribe to People Magazine but I do occasionally look at the covers in the supermarket, and have been known to pick one up at the Dr.s office when I should be reading my copy of George WA' s world ot SOTW vol. 3, both tucked in my bag, " Who the hell are all these people, and why is the fact they are in this magzine important?", I ask myself. I have never had any desire for fame, if it means lacking for privacy. Once an introvert, always and introvert, I guess.
So that being said.......

Whoever would have thought I'd be spilling my guts on the internet, giving intimate details of my life to strangers, to share a story-poem about my cat.

Maximum Cat

I remember when you were born.
It was a warm summer evening, a very different lifetime ago.
I was having 20 grandmals a day at that point,
which as I think about it, now seems a tad ironic.

The Not Yet Papa rescued your mama two or three weeks before you were born.
I chse you played all the time, and it made me smile, which helped me back then.
You were the littlest runt and the biggest troblemaker
of the four little kittens Hoover had on the fouton.

You escaped your box, and hid under the crates at Safeway when I was trying to find you a home. You never mewed, but rather myrourackxxed,
and it rather sounded like a sqeaky, drawled out Maaxx, which
was how you and I talked together for 17 years.

You were best friends with the dog named Lewis,
whose dog house you visited on a regular basis.
She and I would walk to the bridge in Verlot, a mile from the cabin,
and you would walk behind Lewis.

When we moved to the crackerbox in the city,over the Fourth of July,
you, Hoover, and feral Ozzie ran off to the woods for three days. Ozzie stayed, and
a move to the burbs was quite a change for you and your mama.
When Lewis died, you would follow me with the Boy in the sling ten whole blocks.
I always thought you were so adventurous and brave.

Sometimes I think you liked this forever home best of all.
You chatted with me while I built the garden, watched the kids playing
from the landing of the treehouse. and sat on the rockpile
in Papa's cottage garden, sleeping away the warm suns of Autumn.

I remember when one kid or the other would tell me in sleepy delight,
That you were at the foot of his or her bed when he or she awoke.
The kids loved you so much, they made you a stocking.
And always insisted there was something in it.

I'll end my descriptions of you here for now, because those are the things I want to remember. On this Christmas soon arriving, I will be thankful, for seventeen wonderful years
with the little round black feline whose nickname was Max.
Remember, that's short for Maximum Cat.

A special note to all of you on the WTM boards who took the time to read my posts about Max, and who shared their stories of their beloved pets. Thank you for being there and caring. I find it truly amazing that I find such support in what I can only describe as an invisible community. It may be intangible, but the caring, thoughtful support of so many diverse people, is truly an amazing thing. My invisible friends, as I affectionately call you in real life, are able to show true caring and giving natures to each other, whether it is helping each other through the death of a spouse, or the death of a pet. The miscarriage, the learning difficulties of our kids, and the stress as well as the joy of being the best parent we can be. I am truly blessed to know you in real life, whether it be in person or onscreen.

I tried to post to each of you individually, but each time I read a post and try to respond, I would drop tears on the keyboard. It has been an emotional couple of days, on a few different emotional levels, and I was just so touched by the stories.

Papa is on his way home, each of us has written something we want to say, and thanks to the tips from everyone on how to deal with the kids, we are doing well. Thanks so much.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Question Of The Day

Found this Question of the Day here, at an aptly named site.

How much traveling will you be doing on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day?

I wasn't planning on any traveling. When the babies were born, we decided we would stay home on the holidays and if people wanted to see us, they could come to us. We usually drove over and fetched my mom the last few years, so she could watch the kids open gifts.

But they aren't babies anymore, are they?

We will head out to my mom's late morning on Christmas day, as she has informed me she wants to just stay at her house and hole up. But she didn't say we couldn't come over, now did she?

We will pack her stocking, a simple meal, and just go for a short time, just so the kids can be with her. They need to see Grandma on Christmas, they just do. I think they cheer her a bit, too.
We are also going to Papa's sister's house on the day after Christmas, to eat leftovers and visit for a bit. That's it for us, not too far at all.

How 'bout all y'all?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What's your Pirate Name?

My pirate name is:
Dirty Bess Rackham
You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from

This is fun!

Here's something fun for you Latin students: Rudolph in Latin. This is what woke me up this morning. Actually, what woke me was Papa giggling while listening to it. Now if I can just figure out my media player stuff so the kids can listen to it!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Attitude Adjustment

Here is a great quote from Jess .
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company or a church or a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day. We cannot change our past: we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have--and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you--we are in charge of our attitude." ~ Chuck Swindoll

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Anti-Christmas cards

Wow. What do you think about this? What would you think if you actually received a card like this?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Is it legal?

Question for ya':
Is is legal for a police car to be in the car pool lane if there is only one officer in it, or is the police force exempt from this law?
Just curious.
Can you tell a policman was behind me in the carpool lane almost all the way home from Grandma's house? Freaks me out, even though I ALWAYS follow the speed limit.

Questions of the day from Donna Booshay

My friend Donna from Quiet Life is asking these Q's on her blog today:
What do you think of tip jars on blogs? You know, the "Donate Here" button? Do you ever give anything?
I haven't so far, but I am known to be cheap.

Which song is the most over played Christmas song?
I don't know the name of it, but it about a woman and a man who never meet up successfully all year, then meet on Christmas Eve in the checkout line, both of them buying cranberry sauce. WAY overplayed!

Which of the seven dwarfs personifies you the best -- Dopey, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Grumpy, Happy , or Doc?
I am a dwarf with multiple personalities: I was going to say I am a combo of Sleepy, Grumpy, and Sneezy, but the more I look at the names, the more I think I am all of them!! Now I am giggling over an imaginary conversation between all the little dwarf voices. Sad. I am really sad.
Thanks, Donna! That was fun! (That's Happy responding.)
No it wasn't, these blogs are silly. Harrummph! (Grumpy)
Garsh! Blush. (Dopey)
Hmmm. I better stop now, or Donna will think I have flipped.
;-) LB

Learning to link

I heard three interesting articles on NPR this morning as I was waking up. I will use them to learn how to link today. Let's see if I can do this!

The first one was a salute to John Lennon who died 25 years ago today.

The next one was about macular degeneration. This is the condition my mom is dealing with. She recently opted out of the injection treatment you will hear about, in favor of one where another expensive drug is injected into your arm, and the Dr. goes after those offending vessels with a cold laser.

The last one followed the Macular story. It was about the connection between babies visual and verbal development. Very interesting.

Did I do it right? Let's see.
Yay! I did it. There is hope for me yet. It only took me 3 tries to get the John Lennon link to work.

Yesterday was our busy day. After Boy's morning classes, we delivered for the Food Bank, and took the Boy to his french horn lesson. Today is Grandma Day. We will head to her house after Boy's classes. We haven't had a home day since Monday. Sigh.

Have a good one,

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Day of service, evening of rejuvination

Good Tuesday morning to ya'!
Not much to report on yesterday, except that we had 2 cords of wood delivered, and the Papa dude already has a fair amount of it split. Hopefully between busy moments we can get some serious stacking done the rest of this week. Other than that, I fell asleep while reading Pilgrim's Progress to the kids while they folded laundry. Do you know who "MomBob" is? She would call this a "tipover". I took it easy, but it was good to feel a bit more energetic and non-headachey for the first time in about 2 weeks! Thanks for the thoughts and prayers, I think they helped me fight the nasty virus even harder.

Today we have a big day ahead of us. First I will go out walking with a friend, between dropping off and picking up the Boy. I'll also swoop by and pick up Girly, and Pony (that will be her blog name, cuz she looks like a sweet pony when she runs free), my respite care kiddo, and all of us will head to do our first Christmas community service of the year.

One day a year, we wrap presents for Toys for Tots. We usually end up with about 4 or 5 homeschooling families joining us, and although it is intense work, it is lots of fun. I usually end up coordinating the kids- getting the littles to pull tape, cut ribbon lengths, etc, while the older kids cut lengths of paper, cut price tags, and do the actual wrapping. A fair amount of Christmas song singing happens (I need to remember to tell them no "Robin laid an egg" verses before we go!), as well as the occasional piece of scotch tape in the hair, or a squabble over scissors, but it is all good.

That's the service part, then tonight will come the rejuvination, as it is my meeting night! The night Mama looks forward to all month- getting together with other Classically educating moms for discussion and conversation. Tonight is our annual Christmas get-together, and I am doubly excited, because for the last two years, I have done a talk on Charlotte Mason, and am not this year, freeing me up to enjoy the party a bit more this year. I loved doing the presentations, but it will be fun to visit and mingle this time.

We are supposed to bring something to show how we or our kids have been creative lately, and I have no idea what to bring. Maybe the owl drawings the kids did during nature study? Have to think on this one. Oh, and fruit! I must remember to squeeze in a trip to the fruitstand, to pick up some fruit to bring tonight. Remember, remember.

Okay, the kids are begging me to get off this thing and read them another chapter of Pilgrim's Progress- do you think I can do it without a tipover?

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Burned socks sad kidlets, and punkin pies

Question of the day: What is the wierdest thing you or your kids have put in the microwave?

I was in the kitchen cooking bacon this morning. Boy came through, headed for the microwave. He turns around to face me, lets out a sigh, holds up two socks which have brown burnt marks on the heels and toes, and says in his charming, matter-of-fact way, "I was just warming my socks in the microwave, and they started to burn! I guess that wasn't such a good idea." He walks out of the kitchen, holding the socks at arms length. I was good. I said nothing. I am just glad he only put them in for 1 minute. With the bacon cooking, I didn't smell anything!

The kids are a bit upset today. We were supposed to go visit the Godparents last weekend, but rescheduled to today, due to me being sick. This morning, Godfather calls to say they have 3 inches of snow on the ground, and their power is out, but we can come anyway. Just as Papa is walking in the door with newly purchased tire chains in his hands, GF calls again, and says he just found out the power outage is going to take a long time to fix, so they would rather drive the hour to visit us. Great, I say, and set the bacon in the oven and enlist the entire family's help in picking up the living room. After a week of me being sick, it looks very pitiful. Fifteen minutes and a beautiful living room later, GF calls again, and says it has been dumping snow like crazy since he called last, and they are worried about driving home in it. Even though it means we probably won't see them till after the New Year, we cancel for the day.

The kids alternate between sobbing and sulking for the next ten minutes, and then they seem to be better. These are their two most favorite people in all the world, and they just don't get to see them often enough, so I can't blame them for being upset. I am going to have to figure out a way to see more of them next year.

I threw some chicken thighs, wine,onions garlic, tomatoes, and a can of Trader Joe's Moroccan simmer sauce in the crock pot a while I was cooking the bacon, and with the snacks that Papa bought when he went out for the chains, we should be set for a fun evening-maybe not as much fun as spending it with the Godparents, but hey, we're fun too!

Now, Girly and I are in the kitchen, where she is making the punkin pie she promised GF (We might as well enjoy it!), and she is even doing the crust herself! I am supervising while I type this. Papa and Boy-o are outside working on the latest house project- I think they are working on replacing the basement windows. We have more movies to watch tonight- Monster In Law, and Madagascar. The kids chose Polar Express last night instead, and we all just loved it. I cannot say enough good things about this movie. I hope Madagascar is as good. I hope we can at least get a silly laugh out of Monster in Law, too.

Well, I think it's time for a Saturday afternoon nap.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Bed Rest = Hard Work

Man, fighting a virus is such hard work! I made myself stay in bed all day yesterday, sleeping most of the time, and letting the kids fend for themselves. I was pleasantly surprised that they got most of their work done.

Today the kids and I sat in my bed and read all morning and I only got up about 2:30 in order to get the Boy to his well child visit. We were only 6 months late getting him there. The Dr.'s job today was to convince Boy that he is perfectly healthy just the way he is, even though he is 2 heads shorter and 40 pounds lighter than his age-mates. I hope it worked.
Afterwords we stopped by our fave fish and chip joint for a snack of fries and a hug from our fave waitress (we'll call her FishLady, and she gives the BEST hugs!), then picked Papa up from work. I let him drive us home.

Now I am tucked snugly back in bed, and Papa is down with the kids fixing supper. What a nice dude. I just need to ditch this virus so I can go back to being the full-time mama! I am not used to lounging in bed, and I am starting to feel a bit of mother guilt. Not enough, of course to get my hiney out of bed and go fix dinner or anything, so don't worry.

We have The Aviator and Madagascar to watch later tonight. Have you seen them? How well do you think DiCaprio played Hughes?

One last thing tonight- a quick thanks to Dy for all the phone calls- that made bed rest much easier to bear!

Well, here we go!

I always said that when I got my own laptop, I would start a Blog. So here goes. Not sure what all will go here, probably a mix of things as eclectic as I am! More to come.