Sunday, December 27, 2009
I can so identify with this problem as when I buy presents throughout the year and tuck them here and there, I end up spending most of December searching for the items in different little nooks and crannies. Apparently, this has actually brought some admiration of my DD who at almost 15 knows the secrets of Santa and has begun to be impressed by the true secrets of a parent that can keep such secret gifts hidden until the morning of Christmas.
How do you hide Christmas gifts? and if you have any thoughts on the missing candy canes, my children would love to know.
Friday, December 25, 2009
The excitement I am feeling is coupled with so many fears: What if we are not enough? What if I can't remain calm? What if we do something stupid to this child who is already so delicate? How do I best keep everything in balance for this child, for our current children, for my husband, and for myself?
But the biggest question that echoes in my heart is how as a society can we continue to let these children down?
This new coming year will certainly be a year of new things for us; This new child certainly being the largest. As you contemplate your new year, might there be a place for another child in need. Jesus was born in the manager, wrapped only in swaddling cloth. As he grew, he talked to us about helping the least, the lost, and lonely and he encouraged us to help. Can you hear his call?
How can you answer? I pray that you have had a wonderful Christmas and that in this new year you will think about how you will make next Christmas wonderful for a child who was hurt and lonely this year.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
It is interesting that a friend recently made a comment that you know you are doing what you should when it brings tears to your eyes. As I sat at the table with all the associated social workers, telling them why we would be a good family for this child, and hearing all about his issues, I found myself tearing up. I was able to control the tears, but I had to stop to take a breath before the reality of this child's life overwhelmed me. So based on my friend's philosophy, we are doing what we should be. I just wish things would come together faster for both him and us.
So, I am asking you all again for a prayer. A prayer this holiday, as we sit with our family around us, that all the children in the world can feel God's love and that one by one each of these needy children will find a home and people that love them. Amen
Monday, December 21, 2009
Spritz cookies have been a part of my family traditions from my earliest memories. My mother was not a big baker, but these I remember firmly. They are actually fairly quick cookies to make and do not require refrigeration, but they do require a cookie press. I so miss my mother's. Hers finally broke after over 30 years of usage a couple years ago; since then, I have gone through about five, but have yet to find one as durable and trouble-free as hers.
This year I was actually making the cookies for Breakfast with Santa that the library was sponsoring, but like an elementary school child who doesn't do their homework banking on the upcoming snow storm, I put off my evening cookie making. When the snow did not come, I started making them at 7 am.
Of course, as I wrapped up the cookies to go. I could see it in my husband's eyes: "More cookies please". And when my daughter and I drove to our old hometown to see their Christmas pageant the men baked away and by the time we got home cookies were freshly baked. Oh, so yummy.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
1. Book written by a long lost lover i.e. an author you enjoyed pre-kids.
This one was tough, but I read a great compilation of essays that my daughter picked out, Eloquent Essays that included many of my favorite authors: George Orwell, Barbara Kingsolver, and some very intersting essays by Carl Sagan and Martin Luther King Jr.
2. A book that allows you to travel to a place of your dreams.
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown - What I would give to see the art of Italy?
3. A book that brings you back to a place you’ve been before by location, character, job, or some other way.
Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr. This book takes place primarily in Maine, has a scene in Boston, and has a huge section that is based on the cancer his father is facing. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have been in all three of these places.
4. A book recommended by your librarian (If you haven’t met him or her yet, it is time to get reacquainted).
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
5. A book that is or was on the NY Times Best Seller list.
The Alchemist by Paula Coehlo
6. A biography of a person that interests you.
The Knockout Entrepreneur by George Foreman or Still Life with Chickens by Catherine Goldman. In these cases, I wasn't interested in George Foreman before I read his book and I had never heard of Catehrine Goldman, but both were great reads.
7. A book that is found in the Children’s or Young Adult section.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
8. A book on which a movie is based. Then plan an evening to watch the movie too.
Ok, I have to cheat and use Angels & Demons twice. I was dying for the movie to come out and was thrilled when DD brought it home as a suprise. Next, we are going to read his Digital Fortress. Do you think I'll get a movie for that one too? Tom Hanks, if you are listening, please start filming for a March 2010 release: ; )
9. A book of historical fiction.
The 19th Wife By David Ebershoff - - - This was an incredibly good book that intertwined the life of Brigham Young's 19th wife and a current day 19th wife in a fictitious Mormon sect.
10. A book recommended on any blog. Ok, I have to stretch this one a bit two, mostly because I don't recall who recommended specific books or how I came to read them. However, I know that Faithful Ruslan was recommended by a fellow book club member. Recommendations from others is a great way to expand your regular reading repertoire. This book for example I would have never read without a recommendation but am so glad that I did.
11. A book that claims it will make your life better because you read it.
Guinea Pig Diaries - by AJ Jacobs. While AJ does not claim that he will make your life better, his experiments do open your eyes to looking at the world in a new way which can in turn improve your life.
12. A book that is recommended by someone else in the comments of this blog (hopefully the list will be longer toward the end of the year).
Well, I can't do this one, because I need you all to talk. It is great to read, but we need some interaction to know about some new books.
Well, we didn't get all twelve, but pretty close. So now I will need to set up the 2010 reading challenge. Do you have any ideas or recommendations?
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Ok, I have to share this one. A dear friend recommended this book to me the other day. She is a 1st grade teacher and she read it to her class and was astonished by the way it touched them. The book, irronically, is by Madonna or more specifically re-told by Madonna. The story is about rumors. The story vividly shows how rumors can hurt and sometimes all the hurt and pain cannot be fixed with an "I'm sorry": some damage is irrepairable.
I must tell you that I took the book out from our library here and was as impressed as she was. So I am passing on this recommendation to you as well.
HOME-SCHOOLING: Socialization not a problem - Washington Times
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
It looked like we were getting close to yet another year without a tree. We have not had a tree for two years. Two years ago, we were getting the floors done at the old house to prepare for selling the house, and then last year, we didn't put up a tree because we needed to be ready for showings. Unfortunately , a giant tree in the living room made the room look very small. So we settled for a 3' psychedelic Home Depot special for two years running. It is still used as a decoration in the house but not quite so prominently, though it has found a special place in my heart.
By the time that I got home from work, they had the tree up and decorated.
Now we just have to find tinsel which is almost impossible to find around here. Apparently we have about the same chance of finding tinsel as we do in getting the H1N1 vaccine. Why, we do not know, but DH and kids went to four different stores looking for it and could not find it. So right now the tree is a little bare, but soon will have it glittering.
Tinsel has a long history in my family. I have to admit that I was surprised to find out how cheap tinsel was. When I was growing up, you would have thought tinsel was gold. I remember being instructed by my mother to only put three strands on each branch which we would methodically remove and save at the end of the season. I figured that tinsel had to be incredibly expensive and so when I had my first tree, I did not even question doing the same thing. DH looked at me like I was insane. "Honey," he said. "A box of tinsel is only 99 cents. We can throw it out. It is ok."
What funny Christmas memories do you have? Show us your tree. Include the link in your comment and we'll come check it out.
Friday, December 11, 2009
In typical fashion my family kind of jumps in and out of it and looks down all different lineages to see what interesting tid-bits we can find. My aunt, however, is much more methodical and has created a wonderful book on my mother's side which she gave to all the descendants for Christmas a few years ago. Now I'm sure, in many households this book is a dust collector, but in ours it is a great reference book. What a better way to make history come alive than have a direct connection to a historical event. This week, the kids got the book out and were doing a comparative table of jobs that have been held in our family. DD found out that we had farmers, silk workers, bankers, entrepreneurs, gas company employees, inn keeper, blacksmith, and a whole boat load of teachers. DS was especially interested when he found that part of the Shaw family owned a grocery store. He immediately wanted to know if we were heir to the Shaw's supermarkets. He is no fool. Genealogy suddenly became very important.
Most interestingly though was that this common interest brought the siblings together to work, which is not always that easy. They worked cooperatively at this for several hours. They would scour through the histories of individuals that my aunt had compiled and glean out the occupations, which DD put in a spreadsheet on the computer.
If you have a genealogy, you may want to dig it out to work with as you work on graphs, geography, language, culture, etc. And if you don't have one, this might be a great time to start one.
We frequently use:
http://www.ancestry.com/ - this is a web page that you need to pay for, but there is an initial 14 free trial.
Burial ground records are sometimes online and can be a great help.
My aunt gave DD a great book called Climbing Your Family Tree: Online and Off-Line Genealogy for Kids by Ira Wolfman.
and easiest and most importantly, talk to the relatives that are still alive to get down their history before it is lost. Perhaps a great gift this Christmas would be
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
My belief in this comes from the personal experiences of many homeschoolers. There is a plethora of anecdotal evidence of homeschoolers who have taken their children out of school because of reading / behavior problems and with a little space, some extra time, and success in other areas, these children not only learn to read; they recognize their own intelligence; they are not behavior issues; and they may even go on to love reading instead of hating it. Reading is not knowledge. It is one way to obtain it.
In our case, my son has many issues with reading and writing and the only thing that he learned in Kindergarten and first grade in public school was that he was dumb and that he hated school. Taking him out didn't solve everything, but we were able to reverse his feeling of self loathing and his dislike for education. His learning disabilities will never leave him, but he is learning tools to compensate. Most recently, I was impressed with this:
He was tasked to put together a cooking demonstration for Boy Scouts. He is a wonderful Dutch Oven cook as I have mentioned previously (and interestingly will happily pour through cookbook after cookbook to look for the perfect recipes). This diagram is his plan for tool, space, and equipment needed for the evening. This could have been written in a list, but for him the visualization was easier for him. Frankly, he accomplished what was needed. So is there anything wrong with this approach? I can't even imagine what the response would have been if he turned something like this in school, but this homeschool mom for one is very proud and I can guarantee you that everyone that eats the food that he cooks on Thursday won't know that he has done it any differently. Plus, look how effective this diagram will be when he explains what he is expected from his 3 or 4 helpers. They will know what he expects and where he expects. It would probably take your or I several pages of words to get this same point across.
How can homeschooling help a child with learning disabilities? It can give them the time and space to develop their skill set without outside pressures that begin to beat them down to such an extent that they give up and end up hating learning, possibly get angry, and become the statistic that the speaker recited the other night.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I have long since given up on the crazy decorate all in one day concept. I think the holidays should be savored like a lollipop or lifesaver, not chomped down like a cookie. This year the decorating is going to be especially drawn out due to the addition of the caroleers. So Christmas decorating started a few weeks early. Now, I have added layer two and three.
Layer two, was the majority of all the other self standing decorations. (You can see the front door in the new header above). Layer three, I broke down and went to the store. As our new house is a reproduction colonial, I couldn't resist the pull of candles for the windows.
Of course as I put them in the windows, I found out that we need yet another plug. The center window upstairs, which is actually in the attic stairwell, has no plug and so sits dark until I can get DH to put one in.
Layer four will be the addition of the actual tree, which I still have to find a place to put and the time to search for. Tree hunting in our family though is a process. It can truly take an entire day. The dear daughter of a friend of ours agreed to go hunting with us one year thinking it would be a very romanitc ideal - after six hours, she swore she would never tree hunt with us again. While I wish my husband wasn't so picky about his trees, I do love tree hunting. Growing up we always had an artificial tree so I appreciate getting out and finding a tree. Plus, the whole hunt alligns with my philosophy of enjoying and savoring the holiday.
Layer five will be one of our favorite traditions - gingerbread house making. I'm going to try to hold off on this one a little while as I'm kind of hoping that our foster child will be here before Christmas and this would be a great family project. Who can frown when you are decorating a gingerbread roof with Necco wafers? When we are done with these beautiful, sometimes rather unique creations, they become part of our decorations.
Intertwined with all of these steps is cookie making here and there, some Christmas carols playing, and the wrapping of presents. All of which I have also learned not to do in one night.
How do you decorate for the holidays? Do you do it in on fell swoop or do you laze it across several days?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
One of his gifts was this beautiful walking stick that friends of ours made DS. The time and energy his puts into these sticks is amazing. This particular one is made from left over redwood. It looks heavy, but is light as a feather.
The funniest part of the day came prior to the day when we were planning the menu. In lieu of a traditional birthday cake, ds wanted pie and so for dessert we had pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie: an odd choice but delightfully tasty. And his food choices may have brought him a future wife. The daughter of close friends was at the party and was so inspired by his dessert choice, she swore that if they could have a lemon meringue pie for a wedding cake, he would be the perfect future husband. We all laughed, but wouldn't it be funny if one day we were all cutting pie on their celebratory day.
This birthday though reminds me how few years we have left with them at home. The days are passing so quickly. DD has passed me out in height and DS is only inches away. They are both becoming so responsible and self reliant. Only a few more months and DD will be 15. I look at them at wonder where the time has gone.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
In this time of Thanksgiving, we so often overlook the simple things that we should be thankful for. When you read this book, you will realize the true depth of your thankfulness. Sold is young adult book written in a simple diary / free verse style. The writing style will bring you closer to the 13 year old narrator, Lakshmi, who begins as the hungery Nepaleese child who has just entered womanhoold. As if her suffering without food isn't enough, it actually becomes "the good old days" when her gambling addicted step-father sells her into the child sex trade of India.
This book will tear your heart out. And while it may be easy enough to read for a 3rd grader, its mature content should be left to older children who can process some of the horrors that they will read.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
So many of us are blessed. As the scripture says, our cup runneth over. So why not during this time of Thanksgiving don't we pass on our blessings to others.
In my life, I have found this philosophy to not only to help others, but also as a way to replenish my soul. Even when I don't feel like my cup is running over, I look for ways to share what I do have. After I share, my life looks much rosier and I feel better.
Today, our family is actually serving at a local homeless shelter. I have ham and maccoroni and cheese cooking in the oven; a cake sitting on the counter frosted; green beens and pickles are ready to go. I had been feeling very nervous about our serving this time. Our belt was feeling a little tight and I began to wonder if we could really afford to give in this way, but I knew that people were relying on us; futhermore, no mater how tight our belt was, it was way looser than the family's using the shelter. So, I decided to breathe and trust in God. Today, as I began my cooking , my husband called. He got a commission check that we had been waiting for and his boss bought him a vehicle to use for work. Phew! Thank God from whom all blessings flow. I will surely be looking for more ways to serve.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
Monday, November 23, 2009
On that note, our church has decided to use months with a fifth Sunday to do special service projects. However, we need some ideas. I would love to tap into your ideas on ways to give service. With what groups do you work with? How do you give service? I appreciate any ideas.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sometimes making a difference in the world isn't changing the course of a river, but making it possible for someone else to navigate it.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
In the center write your own name. Then on each of the outside bubbles write people, places, or things that take up your time / you are responsible for. After that connect each smaller bubble to the mane bubble using a line.
- A solid line represents that this activity / person replenishes you and is a positive part of your life.
- A dotted line represents that this activity / person is neutral and neither taxes nor benefits you but has to be dealt with.
- A fuzzy line represents that this activity / person is stressful and depletes your energy.
Yes, you may have activities or people that are connected with more than one type of line. When you are done, look at your map. You may be surprised by what you see. Seeing your life graphically represented may cause you to make some changes. Are there more solid lines or more fuzzy lines? Are there any solid lines? If you compared these connections with the time spent on them is your time dedicated to the most productive, rewarding things?
If you try this activity, let us know about your epiphanies. Did you decide to make any changes?
P.S. It is tough when you do this activity next to your spouse and he puts a solid line to your name but you put all three lines to his circle - - -ooops! It may be better to do this in private.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This is a bigger deal than you might think. As a homeschooler, DD has never had a photo ID and has been frustrated a few times when this came up. Most of her friends have school ID's, but we have no need for them. Once, she even made up our homeschool ID's, but this volunteer badge will be a real photo ID. I think possibly for one moment all the dressing up was worth it for her. I think that she will cherish this ID for a long time. It won't be long until she has a driver's licence to replace it, but for now today was a big day in the life of a teenager.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I remember asking a boy to my first Sadie Hawkins dance. I took one deep breath and blurted it all out. I’m surprised he understood a word I said. Fortunately, he agreed to go or I think I would have died of embarrassment.
One thing that Sadie Hawkins day taught me is how hard it is to be a man / boy in this society. I can’t imagine having to ask other people out let alone asking them to marry you. What if they said no? This is an official thank you to all the men who have taken initiative over the years. I think to commemorate this day, we should all take the time to tell our men how much we appreciate them.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Our next read is going to be AJ Jacobs Guinea Pig Diaries and then for our January meeting, we are going to do the book club in Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society fashion and each report on a book of our choice. We've opted not to make Potato Peel Pie as the recipe sounds atrocious. If you have other suggestions for our group, please let me know.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Today's lecture was on the Mayan Calendar and how it supports or does not support the current mania of human annihilation in 2012. The speaker Dr. Edwin Barnhart has worked extensively on the Mayan Civilization. His work is primarily in archaeology and research, but even he understands the interest in 2012. The lecture was fascinating. Proof of that came when he said that he had to wrap it up as he was out of time and DD turned to me and said it couldn't be over yet. It was more that an hour past lunch and she hadn't even thought about it until the class was over. She took over 5 pages of notes.
We have also taken free lectures on King Tut and the history of the wolf. With many, many more colleges just a short ride from our home now, I think that we will be attending many more.
I did have to admit to my husband that it did cost something, because DD and I had a delicious lunch together. Mother / daughter time is very important me and something I intend to continue even after we add a new child to our life.
Monday, November 2, 2009
It was not my intent to feed the birds, but apparently they are enjoying my front door decorations. At first when we drove up the drive the other day, I thought the bottom had been eaten away, but upon closer inspection it was clear that someone, or many someones, have been nibbling away on our decorations.
So apparently, my reduce, reuse, recycle kick has extended to house decorating - - -holiday decoration or animal feeder? I guess it all depends on your perspective.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Anyone for Pumkin Pie ; ) I told you homeschoolers were geeks some times.
We had one more carved after I took the pictures, so I'll try to get shot tomorrow.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Hope you have a wonderful Halloween and be safe.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
We are looking to be intensive foster parents i.e. foster parents for children with special needs/circumstances. Certainly, all children in the foster system have special needs i.e. the need for family and love, but these children exhibit larger issues or for some other reason require more time than children in the regular system.
One of the first questions we got at our first meeting was why were we considering IFC (intensive foster care)? My first thought was of a student that I had when I was student teaching (Let's call him Patrick.). When I started teaching, I expected to really like the goodie two shoes and find the difficult children to be my biggest problem; however, what I found was that the "trouble makers" were the ones that stole my heart. Patrick was always bothering other kids. He was actually known to jump over a table and punch other children. He was outwardly aggressive and extremely confrontational to adults (mind you this was 3rd grade). I cannot tell you the number of times I had to take this child aside to talk to him. One particularly difficult day, when I took him aside, he finally just admitted that he was hungry. His mom was "saving" the food for this weekend when a friend of hers was coming by. He hadn't eaten since yesterday at school. I knew from the background on Patrick that this was most likely a true story. The concept of a parent withholding food from their child was foreign to me (Yes, I was naive, but I wasn't even 20 yet). Henceforth, I kept snacks in my desk and told him to come to me any time he was hungry, but that is when I knew that it was these kids that held my hearts--- Kids with all the promise in the world that just needed someone to believe in them, that just needed some stable ground to begin to grow in, that just needed to worry about being a kid and not all the adult worries. Patrick was also and incredible artist. I can only hope that his home life changed and he was given an opportunity to develop this talent or that he remembers just one of our many talks and had the strength to hold on to his dreams. Patrick has been held in my heart from these almost 20 years, but as a teacher there is only so much you can do for so long. As a mother, maybe I could ensure that the Patricks of this world would one day become world renown artists.
I welcome any thoughts by others that have fostered or been fostered. Please let me know how we can be a good family for the children that will hopefully come through our doorway. We still have a long road to travel, but we are now a little farther today.
Monday, October 26, 2009
If you love any of the news agencies that I mentioned in my Watching the News post or are fascinated by new ideas; If you love learning; If you get Discover, National Geographic, Scientific America; this is a website you have to check out. I can't even imagine how exciting it must be to actually be at one of the seminars. The brain power and creativity must be electric. Even listening to these ideas over the internet is electrifying (ok, that might be because these speeches are my new background "music" while I was dishes). I have listened to stories by authors Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Love, Pray) and Amy Tan. I have learned about how food has developed our cities and should continue to do so. I've contemplated how this recession has actually been helpful and how Wikipedia is like no encyclopedia that anyone has ever known. It is like having the best college seminars ever at my finger tips: short, succinct, but provocative.
Have you ever heard the Eleanor Roosevelt saying that, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people"? Well, this could be your first step to being a great mind.
It has left me with trying to find out more about the speaker and a trip to the library to find the book he mentions Epiphany (which I found out was published under the name of The Element).
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Here is one of the stories that I found when perusing the site. I thought it was an irronic story since I found it online, but let's hope that using the computer never gets like this.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Our deepest sorrows
with the whispers of our past
the teachers of true deep laughter
and tears that may never stop
a reason to go on
a wish that time would slow down
reasons to work
desire to be home
...........................but so much more than us.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Apparently, in Kyrgyzstan, a country in Asia, it is still common practice to kidnap your wife especially in the more rural areas. I don't mean like a cute reenactment of an old tradition. I mean a brutal, scary abduction that leads a young woman to the house of someone she may barely know, where she is forced to marry. If she can resist the attacks of the woman of this household and can extricate herself from the situation where even the law turns a blind eye, she may be shunned by her own family for breaking the tradition.
The piece was so compelling that I followed a link to find more on this story which was covered by PBS's Frontline. Please be aware that this is not a story for children and the harsh reality of what is going on can be disturbing, but I believe that you cannot change what you do not acknowledge. Kudos to Modern Bride for bringing up such an important subject.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
1. Candy corn: Your thoughts? I wonder who ever thought of this idea. Corn it is so good and healthy for you. Let’s turn it into a sugary treat.
2. Briefly, what was the first conversation you ever had with your spouse? (or best friend, if you're not married.) (Or someone significant, like your librarian.) Well, it wasn’t our first conversation as we grew up together, but DH actually asked me out on bet. He and his friends debated who was going to have the guts to ask. DH won or lost depending how you look at it.
3. Could you ever become a vegetarian? Yes – as long as I didn’t have to cook for DH and family.
4. Have you ever dressed up your pet in a costume? NO!
5. Name something about childhood that you miss (like Clark Bars, Teaberry Gum, Malibu Barbie, cracking fake eggs on people's heads with your fist and "It's the Great Pumpkin" airing only once a year).
Christmas at my Grandfather’s. It was so traditional we even had mashed turnip. It was like living in an old movie.
6. Have you ever won a trophy? If not, what do you deserve a trophy for?
I think dance when I was like 6.
7. When do you think is the appropriate time to begin playing Christmas music each year?
December 26th – I love Christmas music. It is appropriate all year round and love when it starts playing on Sounds of the Seasons.
8. What's your favorite board game? Hmmmm – Scrabble, Life, PayDay. That is a hard question. Trivia Pursuit, Monopoly, Made for Trade.
9. How do you feel about surprises (receiving, not giving)? Depends on what the surprise is. Surprise, DH is taking me away for the weekend or we won the lotto – yeah! Surprise party which you will have the joy of cleaning – Booo!
10. Is it easy for you to say, "I'm sorry"? I say, “I’m sorry” way too often – even for things that I have no control over. This is a very bad habit.
11. What is your favorite candle scent? Vanilla
12. October is traditionally "open house" time in public schools. If you had a literal open house in your home (like a reception) what light snacks would you serve visitors and what would you show them (as in art projects, graded papers) that would uniquely represent you?
Girl Scout cookies – since that is a huge part of my life (it would fulfill both categories).
I guess I would put out photo albums, play some music, and have books lying around.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE magazines. I LOVE getting them in the mail. I LOVE reading them. If I could afford it, I would order 100 of them. I would probably personally be responsible for the destruction of the entire Brazilian rain forest, but ugggh:
1. How do I narrow it down?
2. How do I afford such an expensive habit?
Some of the magazines that I most enjoy are Home Education Magazine (which is not on this list but should be), Consumer Reports, Taste of Home, Discover, National Geographic. What are your favorite magazines? How about for the kids?
P.S. Don't think my reading is all good. Lately, I have been addicted to People magazine which I've been reading like crazy at all the doctor's offices. Once upon a time I would snub my nose at people who read People, but it has become a bit of an obsession. Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Remember the comment about homeschoolers being nerds? Well, here is the proof. This is my daughter and I with the Old Sturbridge Village Singers. I chose this song because it seemed most appropriate for the Halloween season. Plus, I just think the song is funny.
What things do you do with your family that others may say is weird?
Saturday, October 17, 2009
after giving birth to my beautiful daughter, it was like someone put the reading brakes on. Who had time? and if I had a moment, that was all I had. During that moment, there were so many other things to do like showering, going to the bathroom, brushing my teeth. Thus, my reading material drastically reduced. Actually, it reduced not just in length of time but in form as well. With the lack of sleep that I was getting, I couldn't remember where I put my car keys, let alone keep track of a book plot. My reading materials shrunk down from books to magazines. Soon I was pregnant with number 2 and book reading was put up on the shelf for several more years.
I cannot even tell you how glad I was to read again. When finally the kids were older and more independent, I dared to turn the page again. I even joined a book club, so that I had a responsibility to read - - -no excuses anymore. I was thrilled to read again; Until, recently when I was reading Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. This book pulls you through it. There is no putting it down. There is one climax after the next. Every time you think everything is wrapped up, something else happens. Oh, what I would have done for a private island. It seemed as if my kids suddenly could not do with out me. "Mom", "Mom", "Mom". They had questions, requests, complaints. I couldn't get them to stop. Every time I fulfilled their needs and would get back to the book, another question was forming. AGGGGGGHHHHHHH! All I wanted to do is read in peace. Page by page with a million interruptions, I finally finished it last night. Wow! I'm glad I kept up the battle.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Boggle is always a favorite at our house. I love word games. Phase 10 though is a newer one for us. My father-in-law and his girlfriend enjoy the game but we have always pacified them by playing but never really got into it. This weekend though, the game got very serious. Even though DH kept calling it a stupid game, we all enjoyed it. DS actually stayed up with the adults to play until 1:30 am. Phase 10 is played in multiple rounds (a minimum of 10 rounds, but could be extended to many, many more depending on the luck of the draw). One of our games took over 3 hours, so do make sure that you have time to play. During each hand, you are trying to create a specific type of hand i.e. a run of seven cards. As you meet each set, you are allowed to move onto the next phase. Winning the game is a combination of getting through the last phase and having the lowest score (points are accumulated by adding up the cards in your hand when a player goes out).
DS was so enthralled with this game that he had to get it the next time we went to the store. It wasn't very expensive. I think less than $6.0o and makes a great stocking stuffer for those of you thinking of Christmas. Best of all, it is one of those games that require family time - something you can never have enough of.