Monday, September 29, 2008

Random Nonsense from The Laundry Pile...

First off, I'm laughing at the comments from those of the OCD persuasion. The Offending Encyclopedia has been fixed. Do I need to post a picture to prove it?

Our weekend was quiet. The kids and I were attacked from some sort of allergy "thing". So school work was sporadic. J-man was discovered to have an earinfection. Friday, I decided I didn't feel good. So I sat. Well - and scrapbooked a bit. I'm waaaay behind. I had pictures from 1998 (!!!) that needed to be put in a book. Journaling was important for those pictures, because the memories were fading.

I found pictures from the Christmas where we got our very first Nintendo. The Original Nintendo. Then I found pictures when My brothers got the Super Nintendo. Then I found pictures where they got the very first Gameboys (The ones without the backlights and no color.) . It was fun to travel back in time to remember.

The weekend was fun. Nice and quiet. We took naps.
The Professor decided it was THE weekend. It was time.
THE weekend for the kids to see "The Empire Strikes Back".
Personally, I'm disenchanted with the entire franchise. I keep seeing so many plot flaws...and I used to like the movies. Maybe it comes from having seen Star Wars over and over again.

My 4 year old can hum the theme.

Han Solo is still the movies saving Grace. Yoda was giggled over much, I'd forogtten how fun he was when he first met Luke. The kids thought the movie interesting. G-man really was in Awe of the whole thing.

After watching Han Solo (who rocks!) get encased in Carbonite, I told him that the kids would now have to see how the original series ends. They couldn't just wait to see Han Solo get released. Han Solo really keeps the movies together for me.

After enduring the endless questions -- and comparisons to the Lego Star Wars game - The Professor wasn't sure the kids would ever watch Star Wars AGAIN. EVER.

He relented and let them watch "Return of the Jedi" on Sunday.

After watching-- this is the video that keeps replaying in my mind.

The Kids made the comments that Lego Star Wars is much funnier than the actual movie. I have to agree.

That's why I'm grateful that there are people on YouTube who do stuff like the above.

And that was our weekend.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Washed by the Water...

Ya'll, it was a morning.
I woke up grumbly. I did not get to peacefully (see: leisurely) awaken. At my own pace. I'd gotten up with Mini-E last night and I wanted a wee bit more sleep.

And.... um...

Truth be known -- I was a little trepidatious about facing a school day. Which, now looking up the EXACT meaning of the word, makes me feel silly.
  1. A state of alarm or dread; apprehension. See Synonyms at fear.
  2. An involuntary trembling or quivering.
Yesterday the big kids were not feeling quite themselves, they have stuffy noses and sore throats. So School in the afternoon was not accomplished. So I had reservations about today.

Then Mini-E decided she wanted to boss me...
and that's NEVER a good idea when I'm tired and sleep deprived. I don't respond well.
At. All.

So I was grumbly.

I visited a few blog friends. When I arrived at Growin' with it...Linda had chosen the following as the song on her playlist. I gotta tell you -- it completely changed my grumbly mood.

I am washed with the Water.
Gotta tell you, that will change your perspective.

Then my brain started to think and my heart started to sing...
I am washed by the water! Seated for Kingdom purposes.
This day can not get me down --

Even when the rain falls,
Even when the storm comes...
Even when the kids wake up at 3am
And have lofty ideals of being my boss...
I am washed by the water.

That Rocks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

There are no pictures with this's just a song to sing.
It's the song I was singing last night - and can't get out of my head...

I'll post the lyrics under the "video".

Knowing You - From Passion

Knowing You
All I once held dear
Built my life upon
All this world reveres
And wars to own
All I once thought gain
I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now
Compared to this

Knowing You, Jesus,
Knowing You
There is no greater thing
You’re my all, You’re the best
You’re my joy,
My righteousness
And I love You, Lord

Now my heart’s desire
Is to know You more
To be found in You
And known as Yours
To possess by faith
What I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh to know the power
Of Your risen life
And to know You in Your suffering
To become like You
In Your death , My lord
So with You to live and never die

Thursday, September 18, 2008

OCD Test

Just how long would it take you, before you had to change this around?
You know, before it would BOTHER you so much that you had to stop what you're doing to set things right??

I may have accidentally stumbled on an OCD test.
I should title it "Just how OCD ARE you?"

I think it took Mini-Me about 5 minutes.

I had G-man put the book up for us. Mini-Me was doing grammar and we'd gotten the encyclopedia out for an example ('cause that's what she's learning about - encyclopedias). Mini-E Decided to try and tear it while I was rearranging things to unearth the rest of the encyclopedias.
So, G-man came to the rescue.
He didn't notice that he put it in upside down, he didn't care. He save the book and went his merry way.

I didn't notice until I was walking by it much later and thought, "That'd be a funny blog picture."
So I grabbed my camera and got down on "eye-level" with the books.
Maybe that's when Mini-Me noticed it.
I dunno.

Math lessons. I gave Mini-Me hers and sent her to the chair with a clip board, pencil and work sheet. She got all snuggled in while I taught G-man about tally marks.

Mini-Me put all her stuff down, got unsnuggled out of the chair, and decidedly righted the upside down book.
"how long did it take you before you noticed it?"
"I noticed it a long time ago, but it was bugging me, (emphasis hers) -- so I fixed it."

Yep. I think I've found an OCD test. long would it take YOU?

I did it!!

I bought my first Christmas present of the season!!
It's a gift of's a gift of necessity...

Mini-E will wait until J-man the Wookie isn't looking and take his Woody, Buzz Lightyear & Bullseye dolls. Claiming, "MY cowboys." as she secrets them away.

I had hoped to purchase them before the prices were jacked up for Christmas, and failed, but I still purchased a Jesse and a Woody doll for mini-E.

Hopefully, there will be a bit more peace in the Laundry Pile.

Maybe it will come after - I get over the fact that I've. bought. a. CHRISTMAS!! PRESENT!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A few things said around the Laundry Pile

Sunday, we had the pleasure of hosting my father in law for breakfast. The Professor cooked. I found these sausage links from Banquet that you just brown and serve. Which is awesome for me, I'm terrible at cooking sausage. I typically burn the outside and the inside is still pink.

My mom says I should cook them slower.
Who wants to wait that long?

My father asked J-man if he wanted some sausage.
J said, very sincerely and emphatically, "No. They spicy all the way down."
Which, to interpret means, They burn all the way down. Which also means - they're too spicy for him.

It's become a favorite phrase. Spicy all the way down.

Yesterday, we started our school the way I always want to - with our Bible reading.
This year, we are studying Matthew. Which should be fun, it's the Professor's favorite book in the Bible.
I was beginning to read, reminding the kids of what's happened before. G-man interrupted me, "Mom!!! You're preaching the gospel!!"

I had to grin.
At least he seemed happy about it.

We went with my mom to see my grandmother. My mom's mom. My kid's great-grandma.
Mini-e was in a great mood. She spent some time talking to my Nina.
Nina asked her, "What's on that rug over there?" (She meant the picture ... a bunny. It's an easter bath mat she keeps at the foot of her chair.)
Mini-E walked over and picked something up and took it back to her.
I just rolled, "You asked her what was on the rug! She brought it to you."
We still don't know what it was.

So Nina went over to pick up the rug to talk about the picture. Mini-E identified it correctly, "A Munny!!" (Which is bunny in her language.) They talked for a minute more until Mini-E declared,

"MY Munny."

She knows what she wants.


Yesterday, we went to a hobby shop to get some clay. I like the stuff I see at the stores, but with my kids I don't want to spend all the money to get the really expensive kind. It would bug me if they ruined the Sculpe*y I hunted out self-drying regular clay.

On the way in, I realized how scruffy I must look.
I had cut off jeans on and a t-shirt with a hole in it. I thought that the jean shorts didn't look bad unless they're coupled with the hole-y t-shirt.
I commented, rather absentmindedly, that I had a hole in my shirt.
"Yeah," said mini-me, "It looks like it's right where your... I mean MY belly button would be."


Note to self - work on toning exercises.


Friday, September 12, 2008

How to tell....

When the 2-year old is doing something she's not supposed to be doing...

1. Quiet.

2. Quiet.

3. Hiding under the table, with all the chairs pushed in.

She had the box of ointments and medications.
She's not supposed to have it.
She knows she's not supposed to have it.
Which explains why she's under the table.

Gives me a new meaning behind the old submarine phrase, "Run Silent, Run Deep"

I Heart Homeschooling..

I don't know what's up with Blogger. My posts are not behaving normally. So if this goes bonkers, I'm sorry. I don't think it's my fault.

Now to point of my post. I really have one tonight.

I really love homeschooling my kids. There have been days this first month of school, that I've wanted to chase down the school bus on it's way to the school. But I realized the other day that I love homeschooling them.

Where else can you do math like this:

We've been studying the states. Since we've kind of covered American History, we've been spending more time memorizing the names of the states and their location on the map.
I used The Professor's projector and made a really big outline map and hung it in our entry way.

Then I found G-man, Captain Lego, himself singing and dancing a song he made up about the states he remembered.

He did throw me for a loop. He told me, "Where's Mars? We should study space!" I was caught by surprise because we studied space! And I even blogged about it! He didn't remember.

It was really hard to fight that "You're doing something wrong feeling".
Needless to say, We'll probably be studying space. :-)

This year, I've begun teaching J-man with a K-4 curriculum from ABeka. We focus on nothing but phonics and math, which is VERY basic at this point. He's already catching on to the math stuff really fast.

One problem we've stumbled upon was his insistence to hold the pencil incorrectly. He prefers to hold a pencil in a fist-like grip. On top of that, he seemingly can't decide what hand in which he wants to actually do the holding of said incorrectly held pencil.

I was a bit flustered that day. I really don't want to not teach him. It's really not an option. He wants to learn and I should grab hold of that opportunity. I don't have to teach him to write, right now. Which would be okay - with the exception of the ABeka curriculum that will follow. Writing is rather important.

like I said, he wants to learn. The standard store pencil grips were not working. They cushioned the fist-like grip.

So I did a search on "how to teach a kid how to hold a pencil" looking for tips from which I could glean. I found an internet site called Draw Your World, the produce the "Draw Write Now" books. Moreover...that's a fun word to say. Moreover, They sell pencils and pencil grips!!!

So I bought some.

They arrived. I"m so thrilled.

We'll spend some time, paused in the progress of our school, and work on Letter recognition and pencil grips. I love homeschooling for this exact reason! We could not pause in a school setting to work on these things. Granted, an experienced teacher would be able to get him to grip his pencil without the fist, but this sounds like more fun.

I heart Homeschooling.

The Dog is SPOILED

I thought our dog needed a new food. He didn't seem to like the Iam's small bits I had been feeding him. So I tried something from Purina. It seemed like the bits would be small enough for Shih-Tzu mouth.

I was wrong. Really, it would be better if the chunks were smaller.

Or I could just let Mini-E sit and do this:
Hmmm... decisions, decisions..

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nothin' to say...

And I'm still sitting here.
I was going to blog. Reason 1: I had a few moments. Reason 2: I hate leaving a blog post up too long. It's almost like I stopped to think and forgot to start again.

So now that I'm sitting here, I've forgotten what I was going to say.
So do I dare say "nothing" anyway??

Probably not. :-) Especially since I just remembered I'm distracted by the kid's cartoons. Which is currently "Martha Speaks".

Of course, I'm distracted by my own cartoons.

I used this song today in our review of the 50 US states. :-)

I'm not sure they're ready for this one, though.

But we might play it as we study Cultures and countries.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Surprised by a Teachable Moment...

G-man is reading quite well. Finally. It clicked at the end of school last year and the beginning of the school year this year. So he's reading everything.... well, every sign.

On the way home from a doctor's visit - he was reading the signs "That says 'do not enter'. Why does it say that?"

'cause it's an off-ramp - not an on ramp.

It's really difficult not to compare the learning curves set by each child. Mini-Me was reading voraciously by the second grade. So G-man is a bit behind where she was in second grade. It's funny to hit this stage with him because I honestly thought we were going to just skip it.

Apparently not.

We had to stop at the stop light, and he was looking out the window.
"What's a 'smoke shop'?"

"Um. It's a place where you can buy cigarrettes, cigars and the like."

"To Smoke?"

"Yeah. People smoke them." I can't remember exactly what was said next, but I commented, "It's not exactly healthy."

From the back seat, came the authoritative voice of Mini-Me, "What do you mean 'not exactly'?"


A teachable moment.
I am the child of smokers.
My mom only stopped about 7 years ago when she had a massive heart attack that nearly killed her.

I've heard so many people talk about how they "pray for smokers" -- as if smoking causes their salvation to be questioned. or as if the smoker needs our pity or God's mercy any more than non-smokers. That philosophy rather irks me.

To present this topic carefully, inserting the love of God, was my desire.
I just didn't expect to have the conversation in the car. At the stop light.

So I had to explain to them that it's not healthy. That it can make your heart, throat, lungs sick. But it doesn't make everybody sick. I made sure that even though other people may smoke, we love the person. I don't want the kids to grow up with the notion that smoking is evil or wrong...which leads to judging of the person.

It was just a funny conversation to have at a stop light.
I wasn't exactly ready for it - which proves the point that teachable moments are often surprises.

I'm probably in for some more now that G-man is reading signs in the van. Every car ride could be a teachable moment.

Monday, September 1, 2008

mom-sized pat on the back...

Maybe it's just me, but I think that Mom's need little affirmations. Things, instances, words, happenings, whatever the case may be, that tell us we're doing the right thing. I'm sure Dads must feel the same way.

Our kids are cute. We love them to pieces.

Then there are the days that it's good they are cute.

I think Homeschool moms & dads have extra pressure on us. The stress to make sure our kids are growing spiritually, characterally (I just made that word up) and educationally.

I claim two instances that happened yesterday as pats on the back for me.

We have been reading, at night, one chapter from AA Milne's "Winnie the Pooh." It's a dog-eared copy that I've had for years. I love this book. Especially the run-on-sentence in Chapter 9.

So we've been reading, as the kids are settled in bed, each night for the past few, well - at least 10 days. We did have to skip one day because everyone was so tired that sleep had to happen instantly.

I've been thrilled to hear laughter coming from the bunk beds. I'm even more thrilled by a 4 year old's desire for me to continue the story.

So on Sunday, I dusted off an old VHS of the Disney movie "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh". The big kids hadn't seen it in FOREVER and they had completely forgotten about it.

While they watched, the just made me so proud by uttering comments like, "I remember that from the book!" or "That was in the book!"

I was dancing a victory dance in the kitchen.
They were so happy about the movie and the book that we had to watch it again right away.

Then that night, G-man made an observation while I changed Mini-E's diaper. You see, the kids have had some sort of stomach bug. G-man has had something for the past 10 days. We've prayed and cleaned, now we're waiting it out.

So after his observation, I asked him (seizing the teachable moment) "Why don't you come pray over her?"

"But I don't have my prayer language, yet."

I explained that he didn't need it. That all he had to do was put a hand on her and pray over her to be healed. So, like a teacher, I was giving him step-by-step instructions.

First you put your hand on her. I thought of her stomach - but he chose the forehead.

Then I was going to tell him sort of what to pray but he looked at me and said, "I got it." in that kind of "I-can-take-it-from-here" tone of voice.

Happy dancing on the inside.
I am doing things right!

On top of that, he prayed good.

I loved it. In fact, I'm still loving it. Obviously, I'm blogging about it. But it made me so happy. Those moments that we get to steal away, those God-kisses that we get to let us know that we are doing good as parents.

Totally patting my self on the back for noticing and giving God the glory.

Is. 54:13 (Amp) My Children shall be taught by the Lord (and obedient to His will), and great will be their peace and undisturbed composure.