Friday, August 29, 2008

The logic of being 4.

J-man is a hoot. I'd almost classify him as my class clown.

Yesterday, we discovered, quite by accident, that the PS1 games we own will play on the PS2. This morning, he got up before 5:30 because he wanted to be FIRST awake.

First awake around here means that you get to pick first for the TV. We allow videos first thing in the morning because the kids start their mornings at 6. I choose not to start my morning until actual daylight can be seen. So that means, 7am, most of the time. This morning, he would not be lured back to blissful sleep.

So we got up and made muffins for breakfast. I wish I could say that I started my day THEN, too. Because we'd be finished with school by now. We ran an errand, looked up some stuff on the internet, talked with the Professor.

Finally school came. He wanted to do numbers first.
He was doing really well counting and identifying numbers.
I congratulated him.

He looked at me and said, "Yeah, when I was a little kid, I couldn't do that."

Tuesday was really hard for us, school-wise. So THAT just melted my heart and made it all worthwhile.

I like this song...

I like this song.

After watching it a bazillion times, the movie is on my nerves. no matter what, this song still makes me stop and listen. So I post it here, because it was on the video again for the bazillion second time.

But whatever we do, we should Shine! Our Shine should be a Divine glow...and it should SHINE.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Doin' some weeding..

Anyone know what this is?
I don't, but it nearly took over my flower bed.

Two Sundays ago, Mini-Me wanted to ride her bike and/orRollerblades. I don't like to let the kids out in the front by themselves, especially to ride in the street, so I decided it was perfect time to weed the flower bed. It's on the side of the house and easily ignored. I thought the neighbors might appreciate the sprucing.
Besides, whatever that plant is, was really taking over the flower bed. Nearly smothering out the marigolds that we had planted.
I don't remember planting anything that said "Ground Cover" or "Borg-like tendencies" (you know, to take over and conquer. 'you will be assimilated'.) It was really funny. It had so many little sucker roots on it that I'm not sure I got it all. We'll see.

As I sat there and pulled this "weed" from the flower bed, I had this huge joke in my head. I just thought how funny it would be to blog about the flower bed in it's current state. Then talk about the fact that it's been neglected because of the tomatoes. (Only partly true. I told you, we can't see it unless we walk around to it.) So the blog would be a funny post about unfaithful.

Or so I thought.

The Holy Spirit started to show me the spiritual significance of the weeds. How neglecting the flower bed for the tomatoes created a messy flower bed and other unforeseen entanglements.

Spiritually, I put my fingers in my ears.
I wasn't sure I wanted to hear this. Even if it could preach.

Holy Spirit is a gentlemen, He stopped talking. I"m pretty sure He was standing there smiling at me. I could just tell.

I already knew what He was talking about. I just didn't want to hear it about ME.
I was thinking GENERICALLY. Not personally.

When we neglect one thing - for another - no matter how important that 'other' may be, weeds might grow up. *Sigh* That could preach. *whimper*

It took me a bit before I went back to revisit the conversation. What if He talked about Blogging?? What would I do then??

I did learned something, though.

God can turn a lesson out of anything, but you've got to be willing to listen.

To pull out the weeds, you've got to get your fingers dirty.

Once the weeds took over, some of the marigolds were choked. I'm not sure they're going to make it, even after the weeds were pulled, and they were set free.

All it all, it was a good experience. I kind of laugh about it now. I know Holy Spirit is, I think He finds me amusing.

Even as amusing as I am, I'm on the look out for weeds. I don't want good plants choked out because of weeds that might sprout up when I'm not looking.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A new meaning for Map*Quest

In a homeschooling house, it IS possible to separate the school from the other aspects of life. Around here, we can, but it's not necessarily fun. Or blogworthy. :-)

We have been studying Geography. For the groundwork, we have been studying maps, map language, and how to read/write maps.

On Saturday, we needed to purchase pants. What a better chance to try out our mapping skills - than at the Mall?? We took the Professor who took over the orienteering lesson. (It's one of his skills)

Here he is doling out grid paper and pencils in front of the "Directory".

He told them the number of the store we sought.
He told them what they needed on their maps.

And right about that Time J-man needed to find the potty.
Incidentally, the nearest one was down the escalator.
So down we went.

And came back to find this:

And this:

They had to write the legends down. They needed to note landmarks such as telephones and escalators.

We managed to find the store we sought.
There has been some discrepancy about who's map was best, but we managed to get to the store without too many hitches.

Of course, the Professor didn't bother to tell them that there were little folded maps of the mall right there for them to take.

And they didn't notice.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's Saturday!

It's My Blog-o-versary! I've been blogging for 2 years!
Time To Celebrate!

I numbered the comments on a previous post about this auspicious occasion. Then I took those numbers and entered them into this

Random Integer Generator

And got this:

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-08-23 12:40:53 UTC

I'm not sure what UTC stands for - but it's about 7:40 here in The Laundry Pile.

According to my list,

5 = Coffee Mom!!


Happy Blog-o-versary To me!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Plant markers...

I cleaned out a flower bed and wanted to mark where something was planted.
What a better thing to use??

I admit it. It looks like a really weird, flower tombstone.
The nice thing, I won't have to worry about wondering what's there.
I thought about using a stick to mark the flower but sticks get pulled up or taken away.

Forks, they stay where they're put.

A moment to Worship...

I love waking up to a song in my head.

Just let it soak in.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Knight Unassuming

Just in case you might not know, This is The Professor. He's a professor by day, a gamer at night, and always my Knight in Shining Armor.

In this picture, you might not see the glint of his armor. Or his valiance. But it's there.

Today, we discovered that we needed 2 new pair of shoes. G-man and Mini-E were both complaining of feeling pinched. Since I needed to pick up some flea preventative, we headed to the shoe store. (What? You don't buy your shoes and dog meds at the same place??)

I should have said, since we were going out anyway, we'd stop at the shoe store first.

The very nice, very patient man measured their feet and, yes, they both needed shoes. They were both wearing shoes that were too small.

I think it's the challenge that comes with summer. They wear sandals all the time. And then suddenly, they need sneakers. Or tennis shoes, as we call 'em.

It took us nearly an hour at the shoe store, between waiting for help and then getting fitted. We were going to pick up lunch and take it to the professor and then go pick up the stuff we needed to pick up.

But then I looked at the gas gauge.
First things came first.
While at the gas pump, I noticed something missing from my wallet. In fact,Two somethings. My ATM/Debit card and my driver's license. Two things my wallet should never be without.

My plans were threatened. They were in jeopardy of being shot down in a horrible massacre. If I had to drive all the way home, I was not leaving the house again until Saturday.
Then, I called the Professor. I explained the situation.

I probably whined a bit.
I'm only human.
They were great plans!!

He was willing to drive over to pay for the gas, but allowed me to put it on the credit card, instead. (because I thought it silly for him to drive over to me.) Then he had us come pick him up. We went to the bank where he let me use his atm card. We had lunch. We took him back to work. He let me keep his card and I was able to finish my errands.

He was my knight in shining armor today.
I even thanked him for being so.
He said, "Well, I try."

Today he did more than try, he succeeded.
He's my unassuming Knight in Shining armor.

The Day the Boy Stood Still

Was a Monday.
Technically, I guess I should say, "The Day the Boy Sat Still".

He barely moved.

Superman can be felled by kryptonite.

G-man, by a stomach bug.

He's feeling better now. I just had to record the even for posterity.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Signs of learning

J-man is in K-4 this year. We made the decision to go ahead and start teaching him things...and he really wants to learn.

The other day, I was talking to the kids about the Bible lesson we were studying, and he got right in front of me and said, "Talk to me, too."

So I try to have his school with him all at once, at least here in the beginning, so that he can be done for the day. The first 5 lessons in ABeka Phonics and such is the Letter "I" and learning of colors. I remember playing color games with my other kids.

So we got our color signs out, and he went on a color search.
I sent him to his room for the color green.
The color black was the hard one.
Then I asked him where this little Kingon figure should go, and he agreed with me that the uniform was mostly black. so there ya go.

I was a bit surprised when he qualified the Yellow #2 pencil as Orange. Until we added it to an orange group. The yellow #2 is actually orange.

See the brown dog? I told him that the brown dog was lonely and could he go find something else brown for the brown dog.

He looked at the brown dog. He looked at the Red lady bug and he put them side to side.

Problem solved.
No more loneliness at all. For either one.

I was laughing.
Class was dismissed.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Carpe Degrium...

Juggling Paynes over at Homes Spun Juggling has coined a new phrase. "Carpe Degrium!" It means: Carpe Degrium /Car' pe De gree' um/- seize the educational opportunity!

I thought maybe our seizing of educational opportunities were going to be those weird things that typically happen to us. Like finding dead cicadas as we go into office building on Speech Therapy days. Or picking up pinecones (same location). I thought I had it good with the tomatoes I was growing in the back yard. All the kids tasted and only one appreciated the fine taste of home grown tomatoes. Mini-E is much more like me that I care to admit.

Mini-Me started a bug hunt. She started desiring to catch a butterfly to study it up close. But then the butteflies flew away from our really hot weather. It didn't help that the Professor mowed all the clover in the back yard.

So I was surprised when she took an interest in this fella.
See, Mini-Me typically has an aversion to insects of any kind. I'm sure this guy has an aversion to children, too. If he didn't before - he sure will after this.
She was careful and cautious and he was basking in the sun. I'm sure he thought he'd just sit and rest awhile. Silly grasshopper. He's lucky the cat stays inside.
Her only problem came when she accident had the lid upside down. That was quickly remedied and the grasshopper was caught.
We transferred him to a glass jar to better view our captive. I looked up on the internet and found a diagram of the parts of the body for grasshoppers. And she sat down to draw him and study him closer. I was really proud of her.
Here's the picture she drew:

My favorite one was the view on the left. Of course, I've always thought that grasshoppers had funny little faces. She mixed colors - she used creativity and she asked me questions that I had no answers to.

The main one: Is this a boy or a girl?



How 'bout that.

we looked it up and we think it's a girl, but we're really not sure because we let him/her/it go before we could really research closer. I was going to have to pick him/her/it up to find out - because girl grasshoppers have pincer looking things on the end of the abdomen for laying eggs. She was afraid I'd her him/her/it and I could reach in the jar to grab him/her/it with Mini-Me sitting next to me sucking in air everytime he/she/it moved. So I think Mini-Me will call the grasshopper "She" and I'll call him "Lucky."

I drew the line at Mini-me giving the insect a name.
We have enough pets.

Today we cleaned out a flower bed on the side of the house and found a preying mantis. It was cool. She kept at him until she caught him. She took him in and drew pictures of him and then let him go back in the flower bed.

She said, "Mom, will we be studying bugs in homeschool?"

I was proud. She's thrilled about bugs! I told her, "The nice thing about homeschooling is that you can study whatever you want."

She's thrilled. I'm thrilled. This is the first time she's shown an interest in something - I mean, other than a passing interest. So I'll get us something to aid her in her study of insects and we'll study them in Science.
This is Carpe Degrium.
It's fun.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Some Forkin' Fun

My two year bloggy anniversary is coming up, as you can see by the nifty little widget on my sidebar. Yep, it's been two years since ThoughtfulMom suggested I try blogging at Homeschool Blogger, instead of Yahoo360.

I've met some awesome people who have become friends. Friends that I would gladly add to my facebook list. So, 2 years have to be marked by ... something.

This is an important occasion...I mean, not as important as some things going on ... and certainly not as eye opening as others.

*blankly stares at that last line*
Okay - it's not important at all.

I've been trying to figure out what in the world I should give away - because I want to celebrate.
So that means, in the blog o'sphere, that I get to give away something.

I want it to be great.
I want it to be awesome.
I want it to come from my comfy little heart..
I thought about painting something and I could not think of anything to paint.
I thought about crafting something and the same problem arose.

So -- what else can I give away??
Then I got an ingenious idea.

Or maybe it's just absurd.

There's really only one thing that would work...
That's right.
It's the only thing that makes sense...

To me...and probably to Toby and CoffeeMom, too (It might not make sense to you -- but you can read the start of all this here.)

I fully intend to throw in some chocolate and/or something school related, since I'm in the midst of school start-up. It won't just be the forks. :-) honest.

So -- if you think you might want to celebrate with me, leave me a comment and let me know.
On my blog-o-versary, we'll pull your name out of a hat - or maybe do the random-number-generator thing.

If you win, I'll mail you my celebratory forks and whatever I manage to collect.

If you don't want to be put in the random drawing, but want to tell me how absurd this all is, that's fine, too. I don't mind a bit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Girl, Meet hair dryer

Her favorite phrase is "I do it!"
I'm so glad that the hair dryer has a "cold" setting.

First Day of School....

...and what a doozy it was, too.

It started off EARLY. The little ones were up and going at each other bright and early.

We kissed The Professor goodbye. We had breakfast.
Then my plans started to unravel, like a badly knit sweater. My former pastor told me, that fateful year I was VBS director, that we should just plan for the first day to run late.

I think it applies to the first day of homeschooling, too.

The endeared themselves in little ways.

They rearranged their school boxes.

I gave the little kids some play doh. The carnage from the aliens was so severe, that I couldn't subject you to the pictures. They had fun. So much fun, the big kids wanted to quit school to play with the play-doh.

We're going to study cultures and countries. One thing each big kid needed was a pretend passport. The Professor said he'd handle those, but I needed to take their pictures. My eldest son put on a tie.
Then sitting down to work on phonics and grammar, he used some boxes I had sitting (in the way) to be taken out to the storage building. I love his flexibility.

We already made a change to our curriculum. I was going to use "A Reason for Handwriting: Transition" - but there's not much transition to it, and G was bit overwhelmed at the thought of it. So we got out ABeka's 2 grade writing, and looked it over. It really is transitional. So we switched.

We may have to switch science, too. The first few topics that we have covered with My Father's World, are really over his head. Frankly, they're presented in a jumbled manner. I'm looking at "Considering God's Creation" again. I had it on the shelf (because) and I think I'll buy another student text and go from there.

My first thought with science, I want it to be fun and not all text books. So we'll have to see what fits best.

That was our first day of school.
And a teensy glimpse into the second day.
I'm hoping that it's all going to fall into place starting tomorrow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Faces of the Past...

Okay. I admit it.
I've been splitting my time between Blogger and Facebook.
I haven't had anything to blog about and, well, Facebook has GAMES.

So I've been plodding along playing games (I beat my highscore on WordCube-- now at 10,100!!) (yes, I'm bragging) and playing with this crazy little thing called "Flair". I like facebook in that it allows me a little bit more connection with my friends - in a fun way. It does not, whatsoever, replace a good old fashioned telephone call (or letter) or new fangled e-mail. It just gives me glimpses into their lives.

This is where I'm having a difficult time reasoning things out in my mind.
On Facebook, if you've never been there, there's this thing called a "Friends list". You add people to be your "Friend" - and only after you've done that can they see more details about you (what you've posted on the "about you" list). It can be lots of details or little details. You can post pictures. You can actually blog on there - but I refuse. (It's not nearly as nifty as Blogger.)

I'm having the most trouble with this thing called a "Friend's List" and adding in faces from the past who WERE NOT actually friends at all. Do I add them to a thing called a Friends List?? Ack. I have blogger friends that I would gladly add as friends (and have done so) but some of these other faces from the past -- they're not much more than acquaintances. Nodding acquaintances at best.

Most of these people are from the church I left many months ago...and we barely talked at the church - let alone now that I'm no longer wandering the halls.

I have a friend on Facebook who has over 300 people on her "Friend's List" - that's amazing to me. 300 people.

I'm not sure I KNOW 300 people. I realize that Facebook is mostly about networking and meeting people - but I can't really see how - when you're not really meeting each other and most likely you're just sending invites to join a group or pass along penguins (which I have been invited recently).

I love being connected to people who actually KNOW me. It's fun to get their comments and to see the snippets of their lives -- but..

It's all put me to thinking of the meaning of "Friends".
I have realized that I don't take this word lightly. Just like I don't put the combination together of "best" and "friend" -- because that's almost like a covenant to my thinking.
I'm not sure I can adjust my thinking in this facebook economy where, apparently, friends are as cheap as "sheep tossing".

As I was thinking of this word "Friend", I got to thinking of friends that have passed through my life. And even though their season as friend might be over, I'd still add them to this, now nefarious, list.

I'm still having trouble adding those that weren't my friends to begin with to my friends list. I may never figure out the right solution - but I'm grateful for the friends that I do have. Those that I blog with and those that I talk with... they make life so much sweeter and interesting. Like Strawberry lemonade.

You never know what you're going to get in your glass - but you know it's good.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

That's Miss Snot to you

I took Mini-Me with me last night to a meeting. Knowing that there were going to be moms and a few other kids there and hoping that she'd find a friend to play with. There were kids from 4 - to teenagedom there.

The Mom's were busy talking homeschool stuff - and the kids were busy trying to be quiet and noisy at the same time. On the way home, Mini-Me told me a story.

There was a boy (Boy A), she's not sure who he was - just that she thinks he was a teen, and BoyA had a pingpong ball. She said another boy, BoyB, took the ping pong ball and hid it in the kitchen area.

Boy A "made" Boy B show him where he'd hidden the ball. It was gone. Swiped. Not by Boy B, though.

Mini-Me had followed them quietly because she wanted to know where the ball had been hidden. Boy A turned to Mini-Me and asked her, "Did you steal it?"

To which she replied, "I did not steal it."

To which he called her a "Grammar Snot".

In the car last night, in the dark, she paused at this point in the story and said, "What's a 'grammar snot'?"

To which I did the only motherly thing I could think of....

I laughed.

and then I stopped. I had to think of it...and had her repeat the story as exact as she possibly could. Really, why else would he tell her that?

I said, 'You speak clearly, you use big words, and you enunciate properly. In short, you communicate well."

She uses big words that make grown ups laugh. It's quite fun...
Now I've got to figure out a way to insert some sass into her answers for comments like that... ...the trick is being respectful AND sassy at the same time.

one thing about it - they'll understand her.