Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I originally saw this at BananaLand and it instantly became a favorite -- so since I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas, I thought a sing-a-long might be fun!

Merry Christmas to You!
Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The planning of School and holidays..

I'm sure, one day, I'll be able to plan everything in advance and take some "official" time off for Christmas break. But as it is, we often just get a day or two (or three) now and again when crazy things happen -- like Mondays. Or Ice Storms. Or snow. Or visits from Grandparents. Or ear infections. It could be anything.

The other day found me singing a cute little ditty I made up myself (you'll thank me for not recording it, I'm sure).

Oh, I love doing school work with Mini-Me and G-man..
I think we should do school work Everyday..
Oh , I love doing school work with mini-me and G-man..
I think we should do school work on Sundays and CHRISTMAS!!

That got their attention.

Mini-Me walks...stomps is more like it...and points her finger at me...

"Not on Christmas!!
How about Kwanzaa?"

Monday, December 17, 2007

It all boils down to this...

Have you ever had a moment with God?... One moment that seems to spark something within you that makes everything else pale in comparison? even blogging.

A moment with God that makes everything else ... common place .... mundane?

That's where I am. I have a sense of Destiny - a sense of God... a hunger for the Holy that is making everything else seem .... common place...

So as I sort this out and try to get my brain around it I realize that this could preach. I'm sure others have already preached on it, too.

The opposite of common place is "holy". Being Holy means being set apart. It's so easy to say that we're set apart - and only think in the legal sense. Being "legal" gives into legalism and religion. We're looking good on the outside - but on the inside we're really not set apart. We're acting an act. We look the part and still surrender to the things of the world.

We're supposed to be Holy as the Lord is Holy.
We're supposed to be set apart because of Jesus in us.
We're supposed to be Holy - set apart - so that the World notices the difference. If the world is going to notice any difference -- what is to take place?

I think that's where this holy hunger has come from.
That moment with God that has made things seem common place... because God is not a common god -- He is a Holy God. And yet He wants to have a relationship with me.

If He wants that relationship with me (and the key word is relationship) then don't I need to be Holy? Here the search begins...the search to understand. The search to feed this hunger.

I want to find Him.
Because He wants to be found.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bed Time Musings

J-man has gotten in the habit of wanting to talk at night, instead of sleeping. We'll get him all snuggled in and he'll want to talk.

I wish I could remember them all - but he's come up with some interesting things to discuss. Some of the most recent comments were:

My favorite will probably be when he messes my hair up, as I sit by his bed, and says, "I love your hair."

Last night's night discussion:
"Why was Green Lantern on Batman?" (Can you tell his communication has drastically improved since starting speech therapy?)

I told him because Green Lantern needed help.

"oh." was his answer. "Mommy?"


"I like your eyebrows."

That did get my attention. I realize that he's trying to stay awake - but I had to admit that was creative.
"Thank you, now go to sleep."

"My 'oolaid is 'elicious!"
I'm not entirely sure why he's leaving off those first sounds - but he made his point.
"I'm glad, now go to sleep."

Sometimes it's just too hard to keep from laughing. If I start, then he starts.

Then he said, "Mom, my eye hurts - right here." and he pointed to his temple, "Will you pray over me?"

Well, of course I will!!
I pray over him, I pray over his ears (he tells me that there's a boo-boo) and then he says 'Think you, mom."

Inside I"m just crowing, "I'm doing something right!! Yippeeee!!!"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Tags..

I was tagged By Cristina from here and well, she juggles here, too.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. It helps build the suspense. And sometimes I just don't have the right box.

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial - The professor is allergic. And well, it's hard to find a 3ft Christmas tree at a Tree "lot".

3. When do you put up the tree? Always tried to do so the weekend after Thanksgiving. We barely made it this year.

4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime before Valentine's day.

5. Do you like eggnog? Not really. I'll take a drink if someone offers - but it's not my favorite. The funny story in the family is when my little brother was really little and refused to drink the stuff. Calling it "Dirty Milk."

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I'm easily amused and love gifts. But the year I got my big red bike -- I actually shed tears.

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Made by Fisher Price.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My Father. The Professor is almost as difficult.

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? .... *drawing a blank* ...

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Yes.

11. Favorite Christmas Movie? I don't have one. Though I'm really fond of the original "Grinch" as read by Boris Karloff.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? It varies year by year. This year we didn't start until December.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Paper or plastic?

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? It would be easier saying I detest fruitcake - but will eat just about everything else.

15. Clear lights or colored on the tree? blue.

16. Favorite Christmas song? I don't have one. Too many to choose from. Though - this year a favored one is "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas"

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? It depends on where the presents are....

18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? They already have perfectly good names.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Snowman

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Oooo We like to keep the kids guessing. This year we were actually thinking of letting them open gifts from their grandparents on the saturday before Christmas... and then open ours on Christmas or Christmas eve. I rather like the idea of just suddenly announcing to the kids "Let's open Gifts!!"

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? I like Christmas, really, but when you need to buy ordinary stuff and all you can find is Red & Green??? it gets a bit old.

22. Best thing about this time of year? Presents!! This is a dream season for the person who's love language is GIFTS.

So what about you??

Monday, December 10, 2007

Would you like some ice ?

Because we have plenty...though not as much as some.
I almost wish the leaves had finished turning or something - because they look kind of sickly up-close and encased in ice.

After I took the picture, I thought it looked cool. They looked almost like raindrops had been suspended in time.

We are in the lightest hit area of the region. Those north of us were hit worse - but we still have plenty of ice to go around. I wasn't sure how bad the weather was going to be - they said the ice storm was coming - but the local weather men always blow things out of proportion. It's almost embarrassing.

The kids want to go outside and explore but they can't - because it's been raining all day long. So the trees are icy and the ground is muddy. That adds up to a cold and mucky mess.

We'll stay inside and watch the tree thaw out instead. I am a bit wistful though...I sure would have liked to have some of that snow that everyone is talking about.

How many more days??

"Mom, Mom!!! How many days until Christmas?!?!" asked the exuberant Mini-me.
I happen to know because of certain Christmas counters I've seen lately (one of them being my own at the bottom of my blog). I still turned it into a math lesson.

"Well, Christmas is on the 25th. Today is the tenth. You would subtract 10 from 25. So what is 25 minus 10?"

She thought for a minute and then her whole face took on circles. Her mouth formed a circle, her eyes became circles - "15 days!!!" And she bounced with glee.

I said, "Yes, roughly two weeks."

The glee stopped. The bouncing stopped. The bottom lip nearly pouted.

"Awwwww." she said almost mournfully.

I watched.
I waited.

"Oh. Wait!!" she brightened up considerably, "TWO Weeks?!?! Yay!!!!"

That was too much fun. It probably shouldn't have been, but it was.
I love my job.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I'm blogging several thoughts at once because I might not have another chance for a few days...and I want to have something new to read. It doesn't bother you, I know -- it bothers me.

I put a schedule on the board today because I noticed that Mini-Me was getting cranky at me again for the suddenness of the activity changes that were taking place in our sanguine driven home.

It looked something like this:

Breakfast Menu
Wrap ornaments - Don't pester me!
School work
11am - lunch
11:30 Naptime for E (I should have put a question mark here)
More school work.
Leave for party at 2pm.

Mini-Me loves schedules.
"Mom, it's 11:30. Isn't it time for E's nap?" We hadn't had lunch yet.
Lunch came and went - 12:30 I try to get E down for her nap. The Box Man comes with Christmas boxes - so of course we had to see what was inside them. They came wrapped (yippeee) and Mini-me was elated to see a box with her name on it.

I finally get E down for a nap.
Then we had to get the rest of our things ready for the party.
We leave at 2. I need a Diet Coke.
Then I realized I'd left my Advil at home.
Go back home.
Start driving to our destination - "Are you sure you're supposed to turn here?" "Where is this place?" We arrived safely but I learned a valuable lesson today:

Don't put times on the schedule. The 9 year old can read.


it's not just a game....

What do you do when life gets in the way?

Sunday: I'm having major pains on my left side - LOooooong Story short - the professor sends me to the ER because it was hurting to breathe. And move. And Talk. And most importantly laugh.

I call my mom and say something like this: I .... need you to .... come up and ... either stay with ..... the children .... or take me.... to the ER.

Mom's reply, "I'm on my way." While mom was traveling, I called a Nurse friend who suggested I talke 800mg of Advil and be sure to visit my primary care physician in the morning. The Professor insisted I see the ER doctor that night.

She arrived at 11:30 at night and off to the ER we go. They took an x-ray to see if maybe it was pleurisy. Or a collapsed lung (???) or a broken rib (?????) that might have arisen from my recent bout of bronchitis. I hadn't even considered there might be worse things than pleurisy. Nothing was wrong with me - the ER doctor said it was probably a chest wall muscular injury.

In english that means I probably pulled a muscle from coughing. I thought I'd have remembered that...but oh, well.

The pain was still present the next day so I visited my DO. He adjusted my rib back into place. For which I'm very grateful.

Monday was a loss for school work between speech therapy (which went spectacular), lunch and then my doctor's appointment. That night I went grocery shopping after taking 3 advils -- I needed ribbon and stuff for a craft.

Tuesday - Mini-E was diagnosed with an ear infection. So we had to get that taken care of...

Wednesday - that's today, right? - we were heading to a Christmas party for our age group within the homeschool group we are a part of (That's really bad grammar...but my fingers are cold and I'm leaving it as is.).

This morning I needed to wrap ornaments for an ornament exchange.
My brother texted me to have me go check to see if we were going to get ice. He was at work or I'd have told him to look for himself. Our weather men pretty much said, There might be wintery precipitation NEAR the area -- Monday.
Mini-E wanted to rock for 30 minutes.
The kids wanted to eat lunch. (What's up with that??)
Then I had to get Mini-E to take a nap --
life just got in the way again with School work.

My grandmother called. In the course of the conversation she tried to encourage me that if I felt down to "look at Cousins." I finally told her "I don't want to!"
Cousin #1 is involved with her children in a theater in their town - she directs and runs and acts and practices - not to mention having 6 kids - and a son in a championship soccer team. And a doctor husband. She's far too busy and I don't want the issues that she has. Not to mention their house.....

Cousin #2 has 7 children - a large house with 2 sets of washers and dryers (they just added on to their house) she gets help from her in-laws...and well... I just don't want to compare myself with them, thank you!! three completely different situations...even if they are your favorites.

Silly people.

I guess this really nitty gritty and lifey-ness of the Denim family. It's always an adventure around here. I thought about getting concerned over our missed school days - but I've decided I'm not going to. We'll pick up right where we left off tomorrow and go on our merry way - and see what our next adventure might be.


The Professor and I have been listening to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. (Click here to see Dave's Site. Click HERE for FPU.)

During one of his sessions he talked about what he does at home for his kids regarding money.
He would give them Commissions. If they worked - they got paid. If they didn't work, they didn't get paid. If his children did 5 chores during during the week (I think this is how it goes) then he pays them 5 - $1 bills. $1 goes into an envelope marked "tithe". $1 Goes into an envelope marked "Savings". The rest is spending money.

I'm a "choreganizer". I really enjoyed the set up of the "chore charts" and the little chore cards - though, our chores don't always go with their cards. The problem came when it was time for the kids to buy something with their "Mom Money" and "Dad Dollars" from the "Store".

The first time, I was giving them little things that I had bought. Then when I couldn't find nifty things to be bought - I just gave them an exchange rate of 50cents per Mom Money or Dad Dollar and they could pocket the change.

They did learn a bit about money. They learned they could earn money. The learned the could spend money. The problem with giving them cash in this way, came when they'd gather up their quarters or $1 bills and go to the store with me. Those little vending machines are nothing more than kiddie slot machines. *sigh* Mini-Me was sorely disappointed more than once. G on the other hand, bought some little rubber aliens he keeps in a plastic tub on his shelf. Oh, I'm sorry, it's a space-ship.

When I heard about Dave's idea I jumped at the chance to try something different. Especially to teach them about tithing. (And to get out of stocking the MomStore.)

It has been an absolute blessing!!!

I started with the $5 Dave Ramsey suggested and we get paid once a week. Mini-Me discovered that her money would accumulate if she didn't spend it. G spent his quickly at first. They're starting to get the hang of this money thing, though.

Mini-Me went with me to an electronics department store and as we were sauntering through the movies (I was idea hunting for The Professor) she found a movie that was within her budget. She was thrilled to find it - but saddened by the fact that it was 67cents out of her price range. I had mercy and gave her the 67 cents. She offered to pay me back, by the way, but I told her to keep it. (I might need to borrow money from her.)

She takes her purse everywhere with her now and G will put his spending envelope in my purse, just in case. We can't always walk through the toy aisle...but the day we went window shopping at the toy store and he bought his on Robin action figure was a great day for him.

Mini-Me has also rejoiced in the fact that she bought her movie "With her own money".

I've really enjoyed them get the idea of tithing.
They're really not sure of the reason behind saving - and I tell them to just get used to it. I don't want them to make the same mistakes I made.

I've discovered that Ramsey's site has a site for kids and He's written some curriculum geared toward children. The Curriculum might have to find it's way to our home for next year. For right now, we're working on commissions and loving it.
Saw this at ShoreStories. I was intrigued by Jane's answer and had to give it whirl...
This is true, I think. You should see my little tree. We're happy together.

You Are a Minimal Christmas Tree

You're not a total Scrooge, but you feel no need to go overboard at Christmas.
Less is more, and your Christmas reflects refined quality.

Monday, December 3, 2007

After Dinner Dessert..

aka heard in the laundry pile...

J-man asked, "Can I have a d'sert, mama?"
He asked oh, so sweetly.
But I had to be strict.

"No, you can't have dessert (chocolate) because you didn't eat your dinner."


"Will you eat my dinner, mama?"

Nice try, bub.

A recap

I know it's been a while since I've sat down to actually write a blog post. I've honestly not been stewing over it, but I do like to write. I've discovered that I like to write about the kids. I like to write about God - but I don't really like to write about me. Unless I'm in the story with God and the kids.

We had a very peaceful and rather quiet Thanksgiving.
The week before Thanksgiving, I managed to finish painting our kitchen. It's a small kitchen and I didn't think it would take very long - but when you're doing it at night the time doubles. It's finally a nice, uniform peachy color.

Just before Thanksgiving, we discovered that Dry Erase markers do NOT just erase off a newly painted wall. Even if the wall is a semi-gloss paint. I tried scrubbing bubbles from Dow. I tried water. I got out my "Magic Eraser" and discovered that it worked with some elbow grease.

I'm a bit perplexed as to why a dry erase marker doesn't come off a wall very easily. Especially now that I have a red scribble on the wall right next to the green scribble, and of course, the first black scribble. I honestly do keep the markers out of Mini-E's reach. Honest. Somehow she just finds them.

The day after Thanksgiving, I went out for my first ever "black Friday" shopping trip. Wal*mart was having a sale on ShopVac's for a price that couldn't be beat. Of course, it's a no-name brand, but that's okay. We don't have a shop vac and they were $20. I set my alarm and when it started singing at 4:30 am, I quickly turned it off and snuggled back under the covers.

Only to discover that I couldn't sleep. I head out of the house by 5am and arrive at a Wal*Mart at 5:30. I see the shop-vacs go by me in people's baskets. I thought that maybe I had missed my chance. I almost got lost in the sea of people in the toy section because I took a wrong turn.

Behold! I found a shop-vac for The Professor - 1 of 4 remaining. Yippee!! Then I went to find the jammies that were supposed to be on sale for Mini-E and J-man.

I survived my first Friday after Thanksgiving shopping trip!!
We spent the day with a friend who came to visit. We watched Shrek 3 (which was on sale at Wal-Mart) and we ate lunch and went to see Enchanted. It was fun to see, really. We recommend it. I wonder if I should "review" it. Oh, here's a synopsis from IMDB (internet movie database).

I really can't believe that it's december. I can't believe that I need to finish my shopping.

Saturday I went to WalMart again to pick up some glue sticks for a project for The Professor and because I had promised J-man that we would go to the store. He wanted to go somewhere. He decided that he wanted to walk a few steps and then flop to the floor. Typically in front of me or -- someone else. I bumped him with my basket at least twice. He wouldn't stop after I asked him not to - so we ended up in the car on the way home. That's the first time I've ever had to leave the store because of the choices of a child of mine. My older kids never pushed past the threat. J-man, I guess, just didn't get the threat.

I guess there's a first time for everything.

While we were experiencing that First event, The Professor was experiencing another. Mini-E, who is now known to grab things and run, apparently grabbed and ran with the phone.

And called 911.

Not just once. but several times.
Hanging up on them each time.

The professor found her with the phone, whether it was before or after they called back, I'm not sure. He said that the 911 operator was very nice. They had called back to make sure we didn't need them and that everything was okay.

Apparently, first times for everything can happen several times in one day.

I'm not sure this qualifies as an interesting post or not - but it certainly crams into one post why I love my "blogging without obligation" button on my sidebar. Sometimes life is just full of First time events.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We interrupt this program...

I had to pause and write down the things I've heard in the Laundry Pile today.

Dateline: Morning - I hadn't been mobile very long. We had recorded "Shrek the Halls" from ABC last night. Because I was gone and wanted to see it. So this morning we had breakfast a bit too late and watched Shrek's Christmas. (It wasn't too bad. I laughed the most at Puss in Boots distracting himself with a fuzzy Christmas ornament. Because I NEVER distract myself. *snort* *Cackle*)

What was I saying??

Oh yeah... Out of the clear blue sky, G-man says, "They said on the news that spanking is against the law."

Oh, Massachussetts, How I hate thee right now... My reply was "Not in this house."
Now I won't get into my opinion because it would be lengthy - especially considering I think this new law is a serious infringement and undermining of the parental authority.
As was seen in my house this morning.

I still had to laugh, it was a valiant effort at testing the waters.

Dateline: Lunch.
The usual question "what's for lunch?" was followed by the usual "I'm hungry." Knowing that whatever I chose would be met with disdain, I replied: "Oh, I don't know, it's sure to be awful, though. Would you guys like to learn about fasting?"

To which I guffawed at my own joke. I crack myself up.

Then I had to explain fasting and they politely declined this learning opportunity.

Mini-Me asked: "What's really for lunch?"

in case you want to know: We then had a debate about chicken nuggets vs. Fish sticks.
Fish sticks won .... but just barely.

Monday, November 26, 2007

And Now -- Christmas...

A bad poem...

Thanksgiving is over
It sure was fun
now all eyes look to
Christmas that's about to come.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No clip art....

Or fancy HTML stuff...just a heart felt wish:

Happy Thanksgiving!!
From all the Denims in the Laundry Pile.
May Your blessings abound!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A recipe of me...

I saw this at Coffee Mom's blog and I had to try it out. I was highly amused by the results. I have to admit, though, that I almost had to call my brother to decipher one of the questions. :-)


- a scoop of wealth
- 2 teaspoons of crazy
- 1 1/2 cups of beauty

Blend together quickly and serve.
'What is your personality recipe?' at

Friday, November 16, 2007

If the shoe fits....

This could possibly be a tale of woe. Depends on how I look at it. Right now, it's just a tale of toe.

I knew Mini-E could possibly, maybe, might need some new shoes. Several times I've put her shoes on her and she said, very quietly, "ow, ow, ow." Never loudly fussing, never crying, never throwing a fit. Several times I've put her shoes on her to have her undo the velcro on them. Never once did she try to take them off. She'd just undo the velcro.

We went to the park today for a friend's birthday and I decided we'd swing by the shoe store before heading home. I'd saved up money to buy her a pair of shoes. Matter of fact, I was proud of the fact that I had saved some grocery money to add to the clothing money. I was ready. Here we go.

On the way to the shoe store, G tells me that his toes are pressing against the tips of his shoes. It hurts when he bends his toes. Of course, I wanted to tell him NOT to bend his toes. Wouldn't that have been the anti-mommy thing to say? So we decide to have his foot measured while at the shoe store.

Mini-E was in a 1.5 size shoe. She measured at 2.5. No wonder she was saying 'ow'.
G's turn. He's wearing the big-kid version of a 1.5 sized shoe - he measured at 2.5 and he walked out of the shoe store wearing a size 3.

I barely contain my garrumphing. I know J-man's shoes are fine. I can hear them flapping. But what about Mini-Me??

I get Mini-Me over and have her foot measured. She kept telling me that her shoes were fine. I had her measured anyway. The shoes she wore into the store were size 1.5. She measured at a 2.5 size.

The sales clerk gestured to Mini-Me and G, "Are they twins?"
I shook my head and grinned, "nope."

G did ask an interesting question. He said, "I'm a 2.5?? Does that mean I've shrunk?"
I almost laughed, but he had asked last night if he'd shrunk instead of grown, and he was serious about it. So I told him, sweetly, that it meant he GREW.
He was beyond thrilled.

Mini-Me had a hard time picking out a shoe. She wanted one that was all pink (And totally cute) but they didn't have it in her size. They had a similar style but it had neon green in it. Mini-Me didn't like it. She told me that she liked her old shoes because they had "gems" in them (see: rhinestone) and they were all pink. (They were also all worn out)

She walked out of there wearing a size 2.5 shoe. It's not all pink. It's a cute silvery thing with some pretty colors in it - and it was on sale!!

It's always an adventure shoe-shopping with the kids.
I think, too, I've maintained my record for not buying shoes until the kids feet are threatening to burst through. The lesson I learned today: If the shoe'd better measure ALL their feet.

Good Hair - Warm Heart

You guys are the best!!! I got so many chuckles out of your comments and they each one just warmed my little denim heart.
Toby, my computer skills are not good enough to put good hair on a fork...though...I might be able to put a fork in my hair as a hair pin...hmmmmmm...
Because I'm running short of time lately (I've been painting the kitchen) I wanted you guys to know that you've absolutely made my day with the comments about my good hair day.
Oh - other than the good hair day, that's typically what I look like, too.
I had a picture from the other day that Mini-Me took of me, in the morning.
Same smile.
At least I'm consistent in something. *LOL*

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good Hair Day...

I had a good hair day...and let the kids take a picture...I'm only showing one because they thought it was fun to take pictures and we have 5.

So here you go --- a good hair day.
At least for me. :-)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Moment of Maudlin

I was sitting with J-man in my lap. I had to sit down because he wanted me to be with him. And he turned and said "Love you, mommy".

I cried and squished him in a hug saying "I love you, too, Bubby."

That moment, that time, they were the sweetest words I had ever heard. He'd been saying it before - typically at night while trying to stay awake and not sleep. For some reason, at that moment, completely unsolicited, those three words were the sweetest words ever.

In a comment on a previous post, Sprittibee had said "Don't you wish they could stay young forever?" I was thinking of that just now as I typed. But as I typed my post, thinking of those very sweet words, came the whisper that overrode my thoughts. ...

"Just imagine how your God feels when you tell Him, "I love you, Daddy," in the moment and completely unsolicited."

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Did you know that Christmas is coming? Yeah, I know, me too. Even though Christmas is the same time every year, for some reason, I'm just not ready for it when it comes.

I used to be the Christmas freak when I was younger. Then I had kids.
I still loved Christmas - but that whole budget thing really put a damper on it. I was decorating for me, because nobody else seemed to care about it. I think somewhere along the Christmas path, I sort of fell out of love with it all. Even to the point of NOT playing Christmas music. I was close to proclaiming that the Grinch was just misunderstood.

I'm growing back in love with Christmas. Last year was good. We bought a small Christmas tree and decorated it with blue and silver ornaments. I never thought I'd like having color coordinated things - but I can really get into it. I think I even want blue stockings to hang over the mantle -- after the kids learn NOT to pull them on top of their heads. By the way, the weighted stocking hangers make great hangers for Christmas lights. I use them to hang lights on my upright grand. And then store my Christmas presents on top of the piano, too.

This year's shopping is going to be different. I declare it to be the year of the gift card!! It will probably go down in history as the Great Denim Gift card Giveaway and hopefully not the Great Gift card Debacle.

We have to buy for my in-laws, 2 brothers-in-law, The professor's niece & nephew, 2 members of my family (we draw names), for our kids and for each other. I may, indeed, buy gift cards for everyone but my kids. For my kids, I'm very very tempted.

That's my plan -- with Christmas coming so fast and time not being my own, it sounds perfect for 2007. Let the gift card purchasing begin!!

The opinions of a 9 year old...

Mini-Me deemed this birthday the "Best Birthday ever!" She had had a depressing week (for her) and was so excited to be celebrating her birthday. She received some new "Groovy Girls" and a new Game boy game -- but more important: we celebrated her.

Which was perfect timing, because she ran a fever over the weekend and we thought she might have had strep throat. But her brother and sister had been tested and the tests were negative. So we waited it out. That was when the tummy bug hit.

I had told her that we would have a "Date" where we would talk about grown up stuff. She was sick on Saturday - but when she started feeling better on Sunday she was insistent that we have our date.

I had determined that it was time to have "the talk" and also to talk about the fact that she was going to start growing up physically. But in reverse order. I'll spare the details because she might read this and be embarrassed - and I wouldn't want to do that.

I will say that I was a bit scared when she started to cry. She did not want to grow up.
I almost didn't talk about anything else -- but decided to keep with my game plan.
I had read the tale of a Mom who had gone before months ago and sought out the book "Before I was Born" from this series. It's a story book format that allowed me to read a story - and then talk and answer questions.
Despite her chagrin about growing up, I was committed. We were painting fingernails and having chocolate. What better time to talk??
I talked and read and she listened and her jaw hit the floor.
"That's G.R.O.S.S.!!!!!"
Got to love the opinions of a 9 year old.

Where'd she go?

It sunk in that I didn't know where Mini-E had gotten off to. The front door wasn't open so she hadn't gone out in the cold. I sent Mini-Me to look for her - and she couldn't. That meant that the little sneak was doing something she shouldn't have been doing.

I was right. Found her sitting on her bed ... with a Gameboy.
Always wonder where she is and what she's doing.

A brother moment...

I have been taking pictures lately - trying to figure out if this camera can do nifty things - and so far, it can. I'll be posting more pictures I'm sure.

Here's a rare moment in the Laundry Pile. The boys were playing on the couch - cushion wrestling, don'tcha know. And they hopped up on the arm of the couch and I said "Hold it! Let me take a picture!"
And then the moment was gone - in a flash.
They fell backward on the couch and erupted in laughter and elbows and wrestling...Brotherly love.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

DefCon Conditions Lowered

We're at Code Blue right now -- but not the same Code Blue the hospitals would use...
Everyone seems to be feeling much better. No buckets required since Sunday.
The only possible damper to them feeling better is that I am having a tough time talking today - so School work will be interesting if attempted.
I thought, since I couldn't talk with as much volume as I normal do, I would choose a condition level of "Guarded".
You never know when a mom who can't talk like she normally talks will sneak up behind you.
Especially if you're a on your guard.
Edited to add: It's rather difficult to sneak up on someone when you're barking like a seal. I took myself to the doctor to discover bronchitis. We remain on Guarded condition until 7pm tonight - at which I will no longer be contagious.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bunk beds are evil....

The Laundry PIle has gone to Orange Level.

While the birthday was a huge success, the week was crazy. And last night, just when I thought I would be able to blog about it all, Mini-Me comes in and says that she threw up in her sleep.

She sleeps on the top bunk. I managed to get the menagerie of animals off the bed and the bedding changed and got her tucked back in. I went to bed myself as it was now too late to blog.

Somewhere about 2 am. G got sick. He sleeps on the top bunk and managed to toss his cookies over the side, getting the bottom bunk in the process. I've determined that in times of sickness, bunk beds are evil.

I asked the professor if he thought it might be food poisoning. He said, with conviction, "No. Because I don't feel wel either."

THe laundry pile is now on Code Orange. Anytime the Professor stays home from work, it's a serious matter. Besides, we have to stay on alert for those bunk beds.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Counting down...

She's been counting down for a month. Then she started counting down the weeks.
Then about 2 weeks ago, she started counting down the days.

This morning our conversation was this:

Tomorrow is my birthday!!!

Nah. Let's have it on Saturday.

No! Tomorrow!! It's my birthday.

nuh-uh. How about Monday?

No. My birthday is tomorrow.

I have something else to do tomorrow. How about Tuesday?

nope. My birthday is Tomorrow!!

How about Wednesday?

No! It's already SCHEDULED for tomorrow.

Oh! That's what it was I was going to do.

She'll be 9. She only gets the chance once.
But apparently, she gets MANY chances to tell me that it's coming.

She: dancing through the kitchen, "I'm excited that tomorrow's my birthday!!"

Me: walking through the kitchen and avoiding getting danced upon, "What was it I was going to do tomorrow??"

She: My birthday!!

Me: Oh, yeah. That's it.

She: That was pretty funny, mom.

Me: Thanks. (I thought so, too.)

Mini-Me is having BIRTHDAY tomorrow. She's determined that it's going to happen tomorrow. She's not willing to change the day one bit.

So I guess tomorrow will be a birthday. :-) The 9th birthday in a long series of birthdays. I hope she's as excited about each one as she is about this one.

making' memories...

and play-dough.

We've been studying that Jesus is the Bread of Life and one suggested activity was to make homemade play-dough. So we did. We mixed the ingredients. Added some red food coloring.

When Mini-Me hollered that "It's Pink!", G groaned. So I added some blue. It made a purple kind of color. Or Lavendar - as Mini-Me claims.


They played with it and loved it...or so I thought.
At some point in it all G said "This is fun, but it stinks!"

I'm not sure what smelled, it had to be the cream of Tartar, but the fun must have outweighed the smell because they put their playdough in baggies for later play.

The things that are said around here are priceless.

Little Fingers are quick....

This is Leena, the Mushabelly Ladybug.
I didn't INTEND to own a ladybug...

I needed to get a pair of earrings for Mini-Me's birthday. I thought I'd go to Claire's to find something different than I might find at Wal-Mart. I know, I went from one national chain to another. I took the little kids because The Professor was going to grocery shop. Then G-man decided that maybe he might like to go with me. I promised him a commission for going and helping me.

We get to the mall without issue, and immediately had to take J-man to the potty. When we went back to the store, I didn't position Mini-E's stroller far enough away from a display and she promptly got a handful of earrings.

I found something and then headed to the back of the store to look at head bands and the cutsie earrings in the back. Mini-E grabbed ahold of the cute lady bug - and she squished it and loved on it and I thought, "Aha. She'll love on it for a minute or two and then I'll put it back. It will keep her hands busy."

G decided he wanted to get Mini-Me a gift from Claire's. So we had to decided what. Then we looked for a gift for a friend who is having a birthday soon - and we went to check out.

I'm still not sure how I managed to get so many things so fast. I was going to put the lady bug back on the shelf. It was just sitting on E's lap. I took it by the antenna and grabbed a handful of wet.

Apparently, Mini-E decided she liked Leena so much she was going to chew on her anntena.

I couldn't in good conscience put it back. So I bought it.

Have to admit, though.
She's got a cute face.

Sleepy Boys Say the cutest things...

Friday, my brother decided that he had the urge to buy in bulk. Since I'm the Card holder we load up and off we go. It was quite interesting to shop for bulk items with my brother and mom. The bonus came when we desperately needed a potty break and I was able to leave my stuff and baby with my sib & mom.

On the way home, both my little ones fell asleep.
They were OUT.

I get Mini-E into bed and go back for J-man.
He wakes up, very groggy, as I'm disengaging him from his seatbelt and booster.
"Come'on, big guy." I say to him in a quiet, mommy-loves-you voice.

"I not a big boy. I a tiny boy." was his sleepy reply.

My heart melted into a puddle of chocolate goo.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Crossing Over...

I think I'm finally crossing over to the otherside. The last few weeks have been filled with battles that I haven't faced in MONTHS.

I heard Beth Moore, in person, many months ago. She had prayed and asked God for a specific message for the specific conference of which I was in attendance. She had them put it up on the big - jumbo sized - Screen for all to see.

"You don't trust me in this."

But what I saw was "You Don't Trust Me." It quickened in my spirit and I realized that all my struggles about the season of life, about homeschooling, all the inadequacies I'd felt - all stemmed from a lack of trust. A lack of trust in the One Person who could get me through. How silly was that?

But it was true. After the end of the conference, I had a weapon to fight the battles. I was ready to face the school year, ready to face all those emotions - and they didn't come. Because I was ready. I had fought. I had the victory. I was an over comer!!

Until now.

Well, I'm still in victory, I'm still an over comer - but I started struggling with things I thought were dead. I started rehashing emotions that I thought were done away with. I've begun to read many things through my in-box that will help me keep getting the word in me - and as I was struggling with this new series of old hassles, the Holy Spirit kept reminding me of something I'd read. It was from an e-mail sent by the Spirit of Prophecy Bulletin.

Now understand, I read some of these and think, "Wow, God. Is that one for me?" Sometimes I'm just blessed and reminded at how much God loves me. This time, I had read the bulletin and forgot about it - but in the midst of the emotional struggles I face it kept popping back to mind. The First Sentence said:

Watch for the enemy to test you again in old places of defeat, which have recently become places of victory.

When I read it again, it sunk in.

That's why it was all very familiar -- all the struggles, the frustrations, the emotions. After I identified what was going on I wasn't sure what to do. I felt like I had already lost so much ground. I had really given in to feelings of being forsaken, that my prayers were not reaching past the ceiling -- it was odd. So how do I get past all this? It was at the conference that God shouted at me through a jumbo-tron...

Church last Wednesday. The Pastor was teaching about the sufficiency of Grace. God gives us grace to go through the trials and circumstances of every day life. Pastor said, Sometimes He won't pull us directly out of the situation, sometimes He wants us to grow through the situation.

"He's more interested in developing your character, than He is in your deliverance."

NOT what I wanted to hear. I wanted a quick deliverance. I wanted this attack of the negative to be vanquished immediately.

Yes. I want to be spoiled. I don't want to go through anything..especially NOW. But it seems I'm going to - wellllll....

I guess I don't HAVE to - but really, not going through isn't an options. I know what lies behind. I don't like it. So I press on.

Pastor said, sometimes after "you've done all - to stand" and then he said "Sometimes you just feel like you're standing and standing."

So he gave us somethings to do while we stand.
It has taken me 3 days to post this --- so let me share the things to do while standing...
He prefaced his list by stating that "The enemy loves for trials to last a very long time - because he can get The Word out of us. He wants us to give up."

Press in harder than you've ever pressed on before. God intends for us to grow while we stand. Not just stand while we stand.

1. Rediscover God's Word. -- We tend to get away from God's word during trials...we need to get into it more than ever.

2. Have a prayer partner - a faith friend. Some one you can call on for prayer. He said, not just someone who will agree with you or grumble with you - but someone who will pray and agree scripturally.

3. Find good meetings and go and listen. If your church isn't meeting, find one that is.

4. Remember & be thankful for God's blessings & Grace. Remember all that God's blessings have brought you in the past - remember all that God has done in the past. Make a list - it won't be long before you're shouting 'Hallelujah'!

5. Pray the Word
Pray in the Spirit

6. Guard your thought life - watch your confessions of Faith

7. Refuse any and all offenses at this time - especially taking on the offenses of others.

8. Read & review timely prophesies given over you.

9. Read & Review tstimonies of others that have had the same situations and struggles as you. Sometimes we think we're the only ones facing a situation...but we're not.

10. Worship MORE

11. The enemy tells you to stop giving - so increase your giving.

12. Witness more for Jesus.

13. Give your testimony of what God has done/saved you from in the past.

14. Plan now to use this upcoming victory as a testimony.

The more I think on these things and follow through with them, the more I see forward motions.

The one thing that hit me tonight, though, in all of it - laying down my rights.
Quick!! Get the bandaids!!

Laying down my rights in those areas that I'm struggling in --
I have to lay down my rights .. I think the list would be too long here...

This is what I'm learning right now in the Laundry Pile School of all Things.
It may not be pretty -- but hopefully, when all is said and done, there will be fruit to show for it.

Just reading...sending some link love....

CarpeBanana made me laugh today. literally LOL.

A friend forwarded this blog story to me and it made me LOL, too, and realize that I'm grateful for not having to take prenatal vitamins

Melanie at Our Happy Happenings blessed me with an award. In the midst of having a C.U.T.E baby, losing weight and creating a winter activity plan! I'm impressed (and need to blog about the award. ) and honored.

Mrs. Darling always gives me something to think about. I'm really trying hard not to hate her -- I think she's the Proverbs 31 woman in real life...not to mention the dreaded Christmas countdown on her blog. Really, though - I could never hate her - she's Darling *pun intended - and I'm highly amused at myself* She makes me think and aspire to greatness - though, I'm still stunned at how she manages everything. Today she's got book recommendations.

I read a fun series of articles - can two articles be considered a series? -- at
First one and second one - but pointing women to the disciplines of Christian living. I read the second one first - you know, just to shake things up. Really, I found the second one without realizing there WAS a first one.

I love Jane's honesty.

Paula's beginning to rewrite and write some more. I'm inspired ... really, even if I am sitting here at the computer blogging. Instead of writing. Oh, hush.

I think Cristina was in my house. Though, I'm not sure how she made the commute.

I love watching Holly polish up her Apples of Gold. She has some really fun times - but she also has the same kind of mom moments that I do - so it's nice to know I'm not crazy, despite what my brother says.

I was reading today and thinking - why blog? Others have so much more interesting things to say - at least today and at least in my opinion. I'm sure I've missed someone and it's not for any particular reason - save that it's way past my bedtime and my next blog post is stirring like potatoes in my brain. :-) I've got to get it started or I'll never sleep.

Head knowledge....

Buzz Lightyear lost his head today. It was a tragic accident. He took a fall off of a (probably) 3 foot boy. He lost his helmet months ago. He had to take it off because it wouldn't stay open to talk to his friends.
I told J-man that I would help him by maybe gluing Buzz's head back on, but I"m not even sure that will work. The plastic pieces that were holding his head onto his space suit is still attached to his head. That can't be good.
We all passed the poor guy around and had a look down into his innards.
We could see all the way through him to his toes.
We laughed at the circuitry. I had to admit it was funny to see the guy just totally headless but I thought J-man would be more upset than he was. He had brought Buzz to me to tell me that the laser didn't work. I'm not sure which came first the head injury or the faulty laser. Either way, I was surprised when J handed me the toy and said "Fix it mama, I have to potty."
The head was jammed into the body of the space suit and I though, My goodness how strange is that. I might need pliers. And then his head just popped out into my hands.
My first thought was "Uh Oh". I had a visual image of J man throwing a world class fit because Buzz had just gone and lost his head.
I was relieved at his smile and acceptance that we would try glue.
We went to church and came home. The big kids were blessed at church and were playing around (they always come home happy and slightly hyper) so I wasn't going to force the bedtime issue.
I was focused on the big kids until I noticed J was sitting at the computer table making sound effects of, well, a robotic nature. So I went to investigate - he's still playing with the Buzz Light year...
But he'd made some modifications.

I love this kids imagination and ingenuity.
I was also impressed that two action figures could fit inside Buzz's space suit.
Of course, since I knew I was going to blog about this -- I decided I'd have some fun.
I'm so fighting off the urge to be punny. ...
but you have to admit...
That's one way to use your head.
and if he hadn't lost his head, J-man wouldn't have used his.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What if we shrunk the sun?

We were learning about the stars in our Adventures in Father's World lessons.

Through the course of talking about stars, we've discussed that God made each one and knows their names. We can see the stars so well from here that we've stood on our driveway and looked up and each one of us has said "Wow."

We talked about Betelgeuse being so large. It was fun learning that "Betelgeuse" means in Arabic "Giant's shoulders". To Mini-Me she thinks it sounds really gross.

If we shrunk our sun to 1 inch diameter...

we'd have to shrink Betelgeuse down to 16 2/3 yards diameter. That's a huge scale.

Here are the kids at the ends of the diameter points. My biggest worry is that we didn't mark the length right. I'm just glad it wasn't suggested that we mark the actual circle -- That would have taken up territory in the yards of 4 neighbors.

Mini-Me had so much fun doing this she had to write to her pen-pal about it and send pictures. I love having these teachable moments with them. I hope it's a memory now and not just school. I got caught up in Mini-Me's enthusiasm and had to tell you about it.

Distinguished tastes...

I face painted last Saturday and kept my gear out to paint the faces of my children. It gives them joy and gives me lots of practice. It was a bit odd for me to see my painting gear scattered around - because the sponges I used all had bites out of them.
Uniform and perfect little bites.
Luckily, she didn't eat the pieces that she bit off the sponges, but she did bite into each one.
I'm not sure why. They don't particularly look appetizing - but maybe it's an acquired taste?

First Sightings

The First Jackets of Fall!!

It was weird to walk out in the back yard to find VERY green grass and a very crisp morning. The kids decided that they needed jackets and shoes.

I had to take a picture. I love fall. I love the crispness of the mornings. Especially, when summer continues to linger on.

I can't wait for more sightings.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Hope

It takes a moment for the actual song to come up -- I scrolled forward...
I walked into my room today - where I'd left the CD playing and this song was playing.

I listened for a moment and realized - "That's it!!"

My song for the day:

"My Hope"

You are righteous
You love justice
And those who honour You
Will see your face

I will arise and lift my eyes to see
Your majesty
Your holiness
And all I am will bless you

My hope is in the Name of the Lord
Where my help comes from
You're my strength, my song
My trust is in the Name of the Lord
I will sing your praise
You are faithful

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

There are no secrets

Today was the day of a county wide election. It's a vote for a project in the nearest big city. A project that would raise our taxes county-wide for a project in the city. I don't see how it will benefit me or my city despite what the newspaper keeps saying. I've read up on the project and have decided to vote no.

The kids wanted to know on what we were voting. I told them it was a vote to have more taxes or not and I'm choosing the "not". Mini-Me agreed. She promptly, for some reason unknown to me, went to tell her brothers why we were going to vote. I heard her say "It's to decide whether or not to have more taxes. Mom is voting no."

I decided that since we're going out, that it would be perfect timing to run and get hair cuts for G, J & E. So we grab clipboards and worksheets (a brilliant idea, by the way that I got from my comments the other day and from Cristina's carschooling - you guys are brilliant!!) Why I've never done that before is beyond me. It was SOOOOO very beneficial they got some work done and I didn't feel as if we lost time. We still did, but not nearly as much. When we got to the haircut place, they started feeding their gumball type machines with quarters that they'd grabbed from their piggybanks. I was impressed by their foresight.

But I digress.

Back to the voting booth. We arrived at the church (our polling place). We didn't have to announce our arrival. They could see us coming. The little ladies volunteering today were all elderly and could have been great grandmas. They just beamed smiles at my kids.

One of them said, "We've got a lot of voters today!"
I smiled and said, with realization in my heart, "Yes, lots of future voters." (I'm not sure when 4 started equalling 'lots' but I went with it.)

We find my name in the register and another little lady asks G-man if he wants a sticker. He jumps on the sticker opportunity and loudly proclaims, "We're voting NO!"

I guess I need to discuss with him the purpose behind a secret ballot - because there are no secrets in the Laundry Pile.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Notes and updates on the Denims

It's been a crazy few weeks but I wanted to update you on all the excitement.

Mini-E, I think, is finally contagion free. I can't tell though, for certain. We kept her home from church on Sunday because it's hard to tell which are old pox and which are new. After talking to my friend today, though, I'm very glad that we did have the immunization - a serious case of chicken pox would have really put a damper on our lives.

The boys never broke out as bad as Mini-E. G only had about 5 spots and J-man had somewhere between the two kids. He had enough for me to confirm that he had them. I didn't expect G to get them because he had the booster shot - but he only had 5 spots, so i guess the booster worked. His only complaint was that the spots itched.

We got our van back. After driving the Nissan Armada for 2 weeks, seeing my van back in the driveway -- it looked very short and small. I feel short (er) driving the van --- I really miss the size and height of the SUV. I totally agree with Mrs. Darling who said : "I feel so safe in it. Another thing I like about the height is that on rainy days you sit above most of the road spray! Have you noticed that? It makes driving an all new experience."

She is so right. I think I want an SUV now. Before I was indifferent - I am no longer. Indifferent, that is....about SUV's. The Armada had this fantastic button on it. If you pressed it, the heads up display would tell you how much gas you had and how many miles you had to go before you refilled the tank. It was awesome.

My van is great, too. I don't have to worry about it getting scratched. I own it....and it's already scratched. The day we got the van back in the driveway, I wanted to make a quick run to the library.

It was dead.



We couldn't tell if the alternator was dying (or already dead) or if it was the battery. So we called a local repairman and he came out the next day to have a look-see. It was the battery and he suspected that it was the battery original to the van. The van is about 6 years old. And after seeing how it is placed in the van, I'm really glad we didn't undertake installing the battery ourselves. It reminded me of that Operation game....if I touched the side I was going to get buzzed and see lights...

J-man is doing very well with speech therapy. The only downside to speech therapy is that we're not doing well with following up with school work in the afternoon. Okay. I'm not doing very good with it.

After lunch, after getting the babies down for a nap and after mom goes home, I just want to sit. Today I gave Mini-Me a Math test, as opposed to a work book page. It took her over an hour to get part of it done, and she still wasn't done by 3:30. We needed a new toilet seat (not sure how it broke - but it split in two) and some apple juice. Luckily there's a wal-mart down the street from the hardware store. She'll have to finish that test in the morning. I know it would take her about 15 minutes if she'd just focus. J-man only slept for 45 minutes instead of his normal 2 hours. Which didn't help matters for Mini-me's concentration because he wanted to finish his movie.

Oh, I got the seat home and figured out that it doesn't fit - after struggling to get the old, broken seat off. So now I've got to see if Lowe's will take the seat back. The box is open, but the plastic is intact. (Insert sigh here). Another trip back to the store with 4 kids. Honestly, The Professor just doesn't know what he's missing out on.

When we do manage to get a full days worth of school done, it's been good. Both the big kids are doing great with what they get to do. It's an exciting year, really. I'm well pleased. I did make a change with our handwriting curriculum. During the Back to Homeschool Week hosted by Randi I had come across a curriculum called "A Reason for Handwriting" and I gave it a try and liked the look of I purchased it. On a whim, I tried the first lesson - with actual words. I was too much in a hurry to figure out why there were two sections in the book and two different pages marked "lesson 1". She was so excited with it. She came to me and said "Mom!! Look at this letter and this word!" She did so good. I think it was because there wasn't too much in the lesson. I have forgotten, in my haste, to give her a daily dose of handwriting - but was much encouraged by this. I've decided to switch from ABeka Cursive to this. And next year, I'll put G in this curriculum,too.

I'll also endeavor to learn why there are two sections in the book and two lessons marked Lesson 1.

Those are the notes that I can think of that might even interest ya. The challenges of daily-ness are still there: discipline, powerstruggles, struggles with self. But they often don't make good blog fodder, I think, because they are just so ... everyday.

Those are all the notes from the Laundry Pile for today.


While I've been busy with school, children with spots and children without, vans and rental trucks, housekeeping and budgets, it's been nice to know that my blogger buds haven't forgotten me. While I've been putting blogging on the back burner, I try to keep in touch and blog when I can - I've been surprised to log in and find that I've been blessed!

Actually blessed beyond bloggin' measure, to be sure.

Since I can't get them to fit into my sidebar the way I'd like them to -- I've opted to show them here.

The "You make me smile award" came to me from Cristina & Melanie.

MonkeyGiggles and Renae (who is not a dork) both blessed me with the "Nice Matters Award" at two different times. I'm flattered. I've been called weird, sweet, funny, odd, unique (my favorite) - but never, actually, "Nice". and Cristina again -- she thinks I think ... blessed me with a Femme Philosophers Award. (An award she made herself.) Follow the link there in her name and you'll read all about it. She's been one of my blogging buddies from the VERY beginning. You know when I said "Let there be Blog". *L* (by the way, it's open to men bloggers, too - go check it out!!)

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You!!

I can't thank you enough!!
Maybe I can and I haven't tried hard enough.

I'm honored.

Beyond that, I thank you for keeping in touch, even when I'm in-blog-omunicado.
*I slay me.*

Sign me --

A very humble Denim.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Super Power?

Your Superpower Should Be Mind Reading

You are brilliant, insightful, and intuitive.

You understand people better than they would like to be understood.

Highly sensitive, you are good at putting together seemingly irrelevant details.

You figure out what's going on before anyone knows that anything is going on!

Why you would be a good superhero: You don't care what people think, and you'd do whatever needed to be done

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Feeling even more isolated than you do now

Needless to say, I giggled.

Monday, October 1, 2007

You mean I can do that??

With two babies in the house, both of whom can be demanding, I've struggled with putting a schedule together. I want one, because Mini-Me seems to thrive with a schedule. A schedule would also help me in planning and mental preparation.

It was just difficult because I expected a schedule to be very decisive about when to do what. You know the kind I mean:
8:00 - breakfast
8:30 - Bible
8:45 - Math
9:30 - Phonics
Everything had a time slot. I couldn't do those because both my little ones would often need attention. I actually considered it a shortcoming in me. I mean, I should be able to control diapers and feedings, right?? Oh, and outbursts....and skinned knees...and munchies...

I've been reading the book "Things we wished we'd Known" compiled by Diana Waring. It's been an interesting book. I've not really gotten far as I"m trying to read one persons account at a time. It's compiled like a devotion might be. Each family writes an essay that might fit into one big category. I like that I can sit down and read each essay in a sitting. It's almost a devotional in that aspect. Something that could be read over with Hot chocolate or tea in the morning - or a sandwich during lunch...or those times that I lock myself in the bathroom.

My "aha" moment came with the article written by Madelaine Smith, entitled "Hanging Haman: Exploring the Bible One Day a Week". I loved what she wrote about Studying the Bible one day a week, I really did.

Here's what she wrote that opened my eyes:
"At home, we could do one subject a day, and that's what we did for the
first eight years. Math was our exception since the girls, 8 & 9 years old,
felt their brains might explode if they did several math lessons a day. Since
they were usually only required to do every third math problem anyway, math did
not take much time, so we still had about tow hours to do our one big subject
and finish by lunchtime, a goal we maintained until high school."

I read that and thought: You mean I can do that?? I realize that's a silly statement to make. Homeschooling is all about overcoming and adapting. Modifying to fit the needs of the student and teacher. While I knew all that, I felt like I was falling down the on the job if I didn't give my kids a rounded school day.

After reading that segment, I realized that the best times of school work, where we got the most accomplished, happened during the end of the school year crunches. The reason we got so much accomplished would be because I'd push through one subject a day. (Push through sounds like a military maneuver, but it wasn't ever a knuckle down kind of happening. When doing more than one lesson in, say, phonics, I can only do the repetitious stuff once. In math, I can practice reading a clock, once out of three lessons as opposed to once every lesson. Then we adjusted the work levels, too, on the paperwork. While one was doing work, I'd teach the other.

(Handwriting is still a painful topic around here.)

So I felt a new freedom after reading this and realized that I could do a schedule like this:
Monday: Speech Therapy & math
Tuesday: Phonics, Bible & History
or something like that ---
I always want to start my day with Bible I'm hoping this will help us get into a routine of Bible reading and History.

Mini-Me is already adjusting to this type of schedule, last week, while I was still writing all this down, I wanted to pick up on a math lesson and she said "But it's Tuesday (or whatever day it was) and we're supposed to do phonics."


The only downside I see to this is that when the day is tough, I still don't get done all I want to get accomplished. We're working on it though and I know it will come in time...because I've also had the revelation that I am, really, quite organized - but not organized the way I think it should look. That's another topic for another post.

Overcoming and adapting - Homeschooling at it's best.

A Comfy note: I started this post yesterday and just now finished it. I don't know why I can't change the date on my post, ah well, It will help my feeling of being in a time warp.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A quick review from a Veggie Fan

I'm a veggie fan.
I admit it.
I like Veggie Tales. It's really not such a bad thing. I tell people all the time the reason I had kids was to play with the toys. Videos are not that far removed.

I sought out the Veggies after a co-worker told me about the "Hairbrush Song". He told me about "Larry the Cucumber" and a tomato whose name he couldn't remember. I bought Veggies before Mini-Me could really enjoy them. I liked them. She was 1, she couldn't have cared less.

I get shivers every time the big wall falls down and Joshua pops over the rubble and says "My Name is Joshua!!" I cry when I hear the "Thankful heart" snippet at the beginning of most of the videos....I will sit and watch "An Easter Carol" even if my kids aren't in the room. I love "A Snoodle's Tale" and I can sing along with most of the silly songs (many of which are genious!) I think Larry Boy Rocks! I also wish they made more Penguin videos.

I will say, though. I'm not a die-hard fan. They sometimes just aren't funny. The opening story to "King George and the Ducky", for instance. The Lord of the Beans, as a whole, is just not funny. It has moments, granted. Who'd have thought that sporks could be evil henchmen? And the Eagle always gives me a chuckle.

Despite a few misses, I remain a Veggie Fan. So when I heard about the "Demise" of all things veggie from another parental fan, I went looking for information. On the internet I found Phil Vischer's website. He had a long story about the 'rise and fall' of the Veggie kingdom. I read what I could of it but came away with the impression that he was bitter. (Whether or not that impression was right is impossible to say...)

Recently, I discovered Phil had written a book and that stirred up my desire to know more. (isn't it funny how we talk about authors by their first names - as if We know them so well? How many of us call Beth Moore "Mrs. Moore"?)

So I asked for the book, "Me, Myself & Bob" for my birthday (and got it). Though, it was just recently that I read it. It was a good read and very informative. I'm a person who wants to know details. Vischer spared none in his book, in fact, he gave quite a few.

He is an engaging story teller even when not behind the animation. He starts his story with his childhood. It makes sense to see it all laid out from the VERY Beginning. He felt God's call on his life to change the entertainment industry.

He shows how he managed to start in his basement as a child.

He continued seeking after his goal as a young adult in college - where he met Mike Nawrocki (the voice of Larry). Vischer tells how he started his career and tells how he started "Big Idea". I found it interesting that he was a reader of instruction manuals and wonder if he still reads them today. It was fun reading how Big Idea got it's start. Like I said, I am a person who likes to know things...and knowing how Bob and Larry got started just makes them more special.

Larry did not start out as a cucumber, just so you know.

He talked in some detail about the animation process, about the challenges of selling the first videos, of not having enough money to pay bills. Details. It was fascinating though I'm glad he didn't get TOO Techincal. My head was reeling from the basic stuff he was detailing.

It was a struggle to get Veggies off their "feet". But it happened, through word of mouth and the veggie kingdom went from sprouts to full-blown harvest crop.

About here the tone of the book started to change. I felt it. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but it was a tangible feeling. I found myself getting agitated. Physically and spiritually. As Big Idea grew in the story, there were many "I"s written. "I" did this or that. "I". "I". "I". I was getting more frustrated. I wondered why in the world I was getting agitated! It's a book! All this happened years ago. I was agitated none-the-less. I nearly threw the book down, or away. What kept me from following through was the fact that I wanted to know what happened!! (And I was more than half-way through the book.) Despite all the pride that I was seeing and the mystery agitation, I read on.

I decided to try and finish it quickly.
As Phil was writing about his business, he wrote nothing about God. As the business grew and grew - I began to wonder "Where is God in all this?"

Not in the "Why is this happening? sort of wondering - but where is Phil's record of seeking God's direction? Why doesn't he write down where God spoke to him? Where does he say "God nudged me this way or that"? It wasn't there. I wonder if that was the source of my agitation.

He writes that, essentially, Big Idea became a secular company. Even though, as head of the business, He remained steadfast in his faith and convictions. I find this fact fascinating..a Christian who's own business of putting out a Christian product was, in fact, secular at the basest of levels.

Even so, Big Idea grew. I think he wrote that it was the distribution of "Madame Blueberry" that pushed them up and into the mainstream.

One of my favorite quotes in the book happens toward the end. Corporate prayer did not always occur at Big Idea and then someone finally had the "big idea" that maybe it should (pun intended).

It was this segment that answered MANY of my questions.
Let me read it for you:

Prayer meetings at Big Idea were interesting affairs, because, unlike most churches, the Christians at Big Idea came from many backgrounds -- Catholic, Episcopalian, Baptist and Pentecostal, in addition to a big bunch of generic, white, suburban evangelicals like myself. We white, suburban, evangelicals typically organized the prayer meetings and kicked them off with an opening prayer, which, in typical white, suburban, evangelical fashion, were usually short, polite and pleasantly earnest -- heartfelt, without expressing too much passion or expectation of divine response. Given my background, this didn't strike me as anything but typical. Until, that is, one of our Pentecostals stood to pray -- and African-American woman from Chicago's southwest side. Suddenly, I was at a different meeting entirely. Words and emotions and heartfelt petitions rolled through the room, surrounding and enveloping and lifting us all about a mile closer to heaven -- so close I was sure I felt God's warm breath on the back of my neck. My music major wife learned early on about the difference between singing from your nose and singing from your diaphragm. For the first time, I was learning about the difference between praying from your head and praying from your heart. The generic suburban evangelicals kept organizing the prayer meetings, but the real praying never started until the Pentecostals showed up. -- pg. 230.

Many of my questions were answered in the last chapters of the story. The agitated feeling finally went away as Big Idea crumbled on the pages. In essence, to quote 'The Lorax': they kept biggering and biggering and biggering until that final, fateful smack on the last truffula tree. In the story of Big Idea the smack came in the form of bad business handling + Jonah + Lyrick's lawsuit. It was not just one thing that took Big Idea down - it was a series of one things.

I was cheering God, though, at the end of the book. Because it was only a few pages ago that I had wondered "Where is God?" -- He showed up. In a big way. God dealt with the Pride that Phil was honest about. I admire the fact that he wrote the book with such honesty.

Phil met God in such a such a new way ... that at the end of the story I think it's safe to say that he is no longer an ordinary, white, suburban, evangelical anymore. Just before the Lyrick trial someone gave Phil a word of knowledge. "I don't think this is about God and Big Idea,"she said. "I think this is about God and Phil."

At the end of the book, that is what it was all about. A grand scheme for one man to meet up with an almighty God. Was the fall of Big Idea in God's plan? Of course not. Scripture tells us that God doesn't bring the trials - but He will allow them. Just like He allowed Peter's sifting and Job's trials. ... After reading the book, it became obvious that it was God's plan for the PRIDE behind Big Idea to fall. It makes me want to search my own heart for the pride that I know lies within me.

I can't wait to see how God restores Phil Vischer. He's got a new company going and a new book out. This time around, I bet I know who is going to get all the glory. :-) Because God doesn't like to share.