Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Speechless

I just haven't felt like blogging lately.  I don't even read blogs much anymore.  I'm not sure what has changed in me, but right now, I'm just not into blogging.  I think one thing is I'm getting the opportunity to write in my personal journal every week.  That helps with all the adventures each week brings with the kids.  Plus, there is just nothing going on worth blogging about.

There's the kids.  They are busy.  Some days are very funny with them, some days are quite difficult.

We still don't have a family vehicle.  So, we are home a lot and that's OK.  Still, it makes going to church a logistical challenge.

I've been weaving when I have the chance.  I recently finished a scarf and I'm working on another.  I've got two projects in mind after I'm done with this scarf. 

I don't feel like cooking dinner anymore.

I went and saw the new Narnia movie.  Loved that!  Finally sat down and watched How to Train Your Dragon with the kids.  They've been begging me to watch that with them for two months.  I can check it off the list now.

With everyone home during the day, I'm wishing I had my own room again.  I need a place to escape and no where to go.  There is a kid in every room and they follow me.  I've been spending a lot of time in the garage lately.   

I guess it's a case of blogging blahs.  Perhaps I'll get back into it later.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Not much to say

As usual, there is always many, many things going on, but nothing worth blogging about.

So, what is going on?
There are some unfortunate things:
-The Capital Ship - This is what we call our large SUV that we haul our family about town in.  It's dead.  The brake lines blew and there is no way to repair them.  Apparently, the underside of the SUV is like the rusted Titanic.  Every time something breaks, and they try to repair it, it crumbles to bits.  The mechanic said to get rid of the thing.  Easier said than done.  So now we are dealing with what to do now?  Our entire family can't fit into the Hubby's car.

-My schooling - To continue on with my school, I'm required to take and pass a computer competency test.  To make a long story very short and to save you my rant, I'll get right to the bottom of this problem.  I didn't pass the test.  I can't take next semester.  So, right now, I'm a grad school drop out, but hopefully only for a little while.  This gives me several more months to study for this stupid test and hopefully I can pass it in time to sign up for Spring/Summer semester.

Enough with the bad.  What's good?
- Today is the last day of school for the kids before the holiday.  They are so excited.

- Netflix is great!  I've been on a major "SeaQuest DSV" kick for the last two weeks.  Netflix is feeding my obsession right now.  It will pass and I'll be normal again soon.  Until then, watch out!

- Christmas lights! I love Christmas lights.  Our Christmas tree has blue lights this year.  One of my favorite times of day is at night (huh?) when I can turn out all the lights in the house except the tree.  The blue glow is so peaceful.  I love to sit in the rocking chair and just look at the lights.  Why can't we have lights up all year?  I think I would like that, but then, Christmas lights might not be quite so magical if I used them year round.

Well, that's it.  Exciting, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The tree in my house

We've got a vaulted ceiling in our living room.  It's got to be 12 feet at its highest.  We have an artificial tree that is 6 feet tall.  It looks very puny in such a high ceiling room.  This year we decided to get a real tree.  Hubby and his dad cut it down themselves.  We brought it home on top of our vehicle like it was a prize buck.  It survived 13 hours strapped to the top of the SUV. 

How do you get a 12 foot tree to stand?  Well, we had to buy a heavy duty stand.  Hubby was sad, though when he realized to even get the tree into the stand, he would have to cut off a number of branches off the bottom.  Well, he cut off the bottom branches, put it in the stand and brought that huge tree into the house.  It scrapped the top of our 12 foot ceiling!  To get the tree topper on the tree, we had to cut another 5 inches off the top. 

That sucker is huge!  I've never had a tree that tall before.

So, the next step was to figure out if I had any working lights for the tree.  I must have sat for 15 minutes testing out a strand of blue lights and trying to figure out which bulb was the broken one.  Half of the strand was lit, half was not.  It took a while, but I finally found the bulb and replaced it.  Now, the next task was to figure out how to get lights around  the top of the tree.  Me, climbing a ladder, can only get so high.

With good teamwork on Hubby and my part, we got lights on the top 3rd of the tree.  Then I ran out of lights.  I guess I'll have to get some more.  That is one tall tree!  I can't wait until we can finish decorating it.  I'll defiantly get a picture.  Until I get out and buy more lights, the tree is going to wait with lights wrapped 1/3 of the way around it. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

can I leave?

I'm having a rough day.  I just want to get in my van and drive away to the mountains of Colorado and get lost in it's beauty.  That's about  9 - 10 hour drive.  When we moved here, I expected that I would be able to go to Colorado once in a while.  I've been to Colorado once in the two years since we moved here and was seriously disappointed.  I drove through the entire state north to south.  I didn't see a single mountain the entire trip because the state was covered in low storm clouds.

I keep telling myself it was a sign that I need to forget about ever going to Colorado.  I went there, didn't see my beautiful mountains and so I never will.  Still, the idea makes me sad.

However, today I want to go.  I'd even take my little kids with me, but I can't go.  The older kids need to be picked up from school.  There are piano lessons and scouts.  There is a house to clean, homework to do, laundry to be folded, dinner to be cooked and that ever present money issue for the purchase of gas for the van.

I almost left for Colorado last night.  I started down the road, when I remembered something important I had forgotten at home.  I was forced to turn around and so, here I still am.  Oh well. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Parades: The volume of the spectators

On Saturday, I enjoyed going to the Veteran's Day parade in the downtown area.  This is my second year to watch the parade.  Last year, my two Boy Scouts marched.  This year, my American Heritage Girl marched/rode on a float.

I loved watching the old cars drive by with horns honking and the motorcycles in their many varietites and sizes.  I love watching the Vets ride by in floats or march by in pride. Music played in the background.  I LOVED the marching bands.  They are fun to watch, fun to hear, fun for me to march down memory lane and my high school marching days.  The Cub and Boy Scouts marched past.  The Girl Scouts marched past.  The American Heritage Girls marched past.  Even the the library had several librarians march in the parade.  Each librarian pushed a cart of books and they handed out pencils.  Many groups tossed candy at my three children who joined me on the side of the road.

It was great fun! I was surprised, however, by the spectators.  Most of them just clapped politely when the Vets went by.  Other wise, they simply waved.  Me, on the other hand, cheered and yelled.  When the bands would march by, I was yelling, "Go Band!" and "Alright drum line!"  When the Boy Scouts passed by, I yelled, "Yeah Boy Scouts!"  and I yelled hi to them as they marched passed.  When the librarians walked by with their carts of books, I yelled, "Yay, Library!"  And of course, when my daughter went by on her float, I yelled to her, took lots of pictures, and waved like crazy.

I was the only one cheering on the parade as they passed.  The people on either side of me left partway through the parade.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am very respectful of the US Flag, and the more serious and patriotic moments in the parade.  I know when not to yell and when to stand in respect and reverence. Still, I thought parades were more fun and I like to happily acknowledge those who make the effort to make the parade great.  Maybe I'm just a noisy Texan in New Mexico, but I know I wouldn't have nearly as much fun at the parade if I didn't yell and cheer.

We are all watching the parade pass us by, but at least I'm noisily happy while it goes by.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy kids, happy pet

My kids have had a fun week.  They have played more than schooled.  Play is important, though.  They've played with their toys.  They've hidden away in their rooms and had adventures.

Kids learn a lot when they play and it keeps them happy, which make me a much happier mom.

We got a cat back in April.  I've pretty much hated it.  He has been mean and naughty since we got him.  Several times I've been on the verge of taking him to the animal shelter.  He would run out the door every time it was opened and because we had decided he was to be an indoor cat, I or the kids had to chase him down and bring him back.  Well, last week he got out and this time, I just shut the door on him.  I didn't care if I never saw him again.  Several hours later, I heard him meow at the door.  I opened it and he came in.  We've been letting him out now and many times he has stayed out overnight.  He always returns.  And do you know what?  He has become a better cat!  He doesn't fight us or bite us.  He doesn't attack my 6 year olds legs when she walks through the house  and he isn't getting into trouble in the house anymore.  Whatever adventures he is having when he is outside has taken care of his aggression.  Thank goodness!

Well, it's about time for our walk.  I don't like the time the walks take.  It takes a big chunk of school time right in the middle of the best time of day for school work.  But, I need the walk, in more ways than one.  I guess I had better get dressed and get the kids dressed warmly.  It's getting chilly!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some pictures

We live in New Mexico.  You play in the dirt here.

Whoa!  It's a card catalog!  I thought those were long gone antiques. 
I guess not, though, I took this picture today in a real public library.

The race car cake.  A happy birthday to my youngest son.
He wanted race cars and mud on his cake.  The mud and dirt are actually chocolate icing and crushed Oreos.  The sprinkles are suppose to be brightly colored racing spectators.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Homeschool review

I haven't updated our homeschool review in a while.

In math, I'm just giving her math page after math page with answers equaling no more than 20.  I want her to learn the basics.  The rest of math is so much easier when you don't need to count on your fingers 8+7.  She is getting bored, though, so we might have to mix up the math for a while.

She is still loving reading her Magic Tree House books, although her reading has slowed down.  When it's reading time she wants to run off and play with toys.  We recently discussed compound words and now she is identifying them all over the place. 

She has learned most of her cursive lower case letters.  There's just a few that she isn't able to do without looking at an example.  Once she's got those down, we'll start capital letters.  Her handwriting is just beautiful when it's in cursive.

We have discussed some early American History by reading about and watching videos about the Mayflower and the early Pilgrims.  We also talked about the Liberty Bell and watched a fun video on how bells are made.  Then, we tried to make our own bell, but not with metal.  First we tried papier mache, but that didn't work well.  We couldn't get the dried bell off the cup we used as a mold.  Then we tried it with clay, but that was a disaster too.  It was lots of fun, but we couldn't make it work.

We've talked about tons of stuff.  Every moment with her is an opportunity to learn.  We talked about what a Coat of Arms was and I tried to get her to draw one for our family but she just didn't get the idea, even after looking at pictures of several.

In other art, we read about self-portraits and I had her draw one of herself.  Poor girl, she got my drawing abilities.  (I'm pretty untalented)  It doesn't keep us from trying and having fun though.

This week we will start a new science section - animal habitats and biomes.  I think she will enjoy it.  We will continue to do math, reading, grammar, art, history, cursive writing and what ever else we can squeeze into our days.  I've realized, though, we have not been doing any creative writing.  Her birthday is coming up and she will be getting a real journal.  Shhh, don't tell her.  Perhaps she will be inspired to write great things in her new journal.  I know I love writing in mine.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Getting cable

We haven't had TV for about 5 years.  Really, I can't say I've missed it at all.

Well, last month, we decided to get the introduction cable package.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it.  I like that my kids don't know the latest shows and are unexposed to commercials.

We got cable.  It has 21 channels.  Half of them are in Spanish.  We only watch the TV for one hour each day.  From 4:00-5:00 we watch America's Funniest Home video re-runs.  Those are a hoot!  It's good to belly laugh every day. 

We also get about 30 music channels.  Most of them I don't care for, but I love Soundscapes.  It's just peaceful instrumental music.  However, the station right next to Soundscapes is called "Sounds of the Seasons".  It's playing Christmas music non-stop!!!!!  I'm so happy!!!!

The selection of music on the TV station is so much better than the Christmas music that you hear on the radio.  Radio stations have a small selection of Christmas music that they play over and over and over.  Some of them are nice, but really, by the end of the month, I'm sick of the radio's music selection.  Not with the TV station.  I'm so very happy with our cable right now.

Let the Christmas season begin!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Taking a deep breath

Halloween was so much fun.  The kids are older and just a lot more fun to do stuff with. 

Now it's time for a deep breath.  Ready?  In through the nose.... ssssnnnniiiiiffff, out through the mouth.... phoooooo.

Very nice and refreshing.  Now it's time to put away the Halloween decorations.  I bought a nice big orange tub this year to store our Halloween stuff in.  We've been using the same tub for about a decade and it's never been big enough to store 5 pumpkin buckets plus the few decorations and books we have for the holiday.  An orange bucket.  How great is that?

The kids have today and tomorrow off from school.  Tomorrow is election day.  I can't find my voter's registration card!!!  If I can't find it by tomorrow, I'll go anyway with a photo ID and see if they will still let me vote. 

We are down to two months on our house rental.  We don't know what to do.  The house is really a very nice house.  It's large and has lots of space for our family.  I just can't stand the concrete tiles anymore.  My feet and legs hurt all the time from being in this house.  We have no yard and that's not fair to the kids to not have a space free of rocks to play in.  We don't know what to do, where to look or what. 

My 7th grader is happy at school and that is very good.  But do you know why he is happy?  He doesn't have to do anything while he is there.  I asked him last week to pull out his huge, heavy backpack and show me what it is he lugs around.  I know that he doesn't have textbooks and never brings home homework, so what is in there?  Three free time reading books.  About 7 folders filled with nothing except his drawings.  His music folder for orchestra.  And about 10 broken pencils.  That's it!  Well, that and about 15 pounds of trash and old drawings.  While he is in orchestra class, I know he is doing something good.  The other 6 hours?  I'm really questioning his education.  The boy has never come home with homework, has done zero projects, book reports or research papers, has never studied for a test, has nothing to show for the many hours he spends weekly in school.  I'm quite concerned.  VERY.  This is also weighing on my mind.

I have a paper for school to write today.  It's only a page, but it needs to be thoughtfully done.  That's hard to do with 5 kids in the house today.  It's only a page.  I just need to sit down and do it.  I'll just growl at any kid who tried to interrupt. 

I think I need that deep breath again - sssnnniiiffffff.... phooooooo.  OK.  I'm ready to take it all on!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm me

I'm a wife.
I'm a mom.
I'm a student.
I'm a child of God.
I'm a sister.
I'm a daughter.
I'm a librarian.
I'm a writer.
I'm a weaver.
I'm a taxi driver.
I'm an entertainment coordinator.
I'm a cook.
I'm a banker.
I'm a maid.
I'm a launderette.
I'm a reader.
I'm a dishwasher.
I'm a music lover.
I'm a teacher.
I'm a nurse.
I'm a family historian.
I'm kid rivalry mediator.
I'm an interior decorator.
I'm a repainman of minor repairs.
I'm an odor destroyer.
I'm a neighbor.
I'm a walking partner.
I'm a voting citizen.
I'm a nature admirer.
I'm a gardener.
I'm me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Crazy conversations

So, the conversation with my 10 year old son went something like this:

Son: Who's your son?
Me: You are.
Son: What's you are?
Me: You are.
Son: What's you are?
Me: The initials of that dude over there.
Son: What's a dude?
Me: You are.
Son: What's you are?
Me: Two letters in the alphabet.
Son: What's letters?
Me: It's mail.
Son: What's mail?
Me: A man.
Son:  What's a man?
Me: You are!

You follow?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The great escape

We had been out for a little while, gotten home, unloaded our stuff and I was hearing the call of nature.  I took two steps in the direction of the restroom and my daughter stopped me.
"Mom, would you zip my dress?"  She turns around and I zip her up.  Before I can move, my son is holding out his Halloween costume.
"Mom, open this for me!"  Peanut gets in between him and I and starts to fuss because she wants to see the picture of the costume on the front of the package.  I take the package from him and open it.  Peanut cries because she wants to hold it.  My son is asking for me to help him take off his shirt so he can put on his costume.  My oldest daughter is trying to talk to me, Peanut is crying and my son is trying his best to pull of his shirt. 
Meanwhile, I'm getting desperate.  "Please, let me go to the bathroom, I promise I'll be right back to help you."
I run down the hall, Peanut follows and is still crying.  I make it to the bathroom, shut the door and lock it.  Peanut is standing outside the door screaming.  I've got a book in the bathroom.  Maybe I won't come out after all.

(You know what's really funny?  To hear a two year old crying at you, "I'm done crying!" Obviously, they're not.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In the name of education!

In the last week:

We spent an hour tearing newspapers into strips, and gluing them onto balloons and a cup.  Hopefully when they dry we will have 2 papier mache pumpkins and one Liberty Bell.  It's all for education!

Yesterday we spent several hours watching YouTube videos on the color wheel, making our own color wheel and going through our clothes to see how the color wheel was used in the design of our favorite t-shirts.  It's all for education!

As soon as I can find some good clay or Play-Doh, we will be making little clay figures to represent Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea for a shoe-box diorama.  It's all for education!

We spend some time putting together a 100 piece puzzle, realized two pieces were missing and discussed how to figure out how many pieces we did have.  It's all for education!

We blind folded each other and fed each other foods to test 2 of our 5 senses.  It's all for education!

We dipped some candles (badly), but had a lot of fun.  It's all for education!

We went to the grocery store and talked about what we needed to cook foods that were good for us.  It's all for education!

We went to the library and picked out several Magic School Bus videos and enjoyed vegging on the couch while we learned about sound waves and meteors.  It's all for education!

I love our way of learning.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Homeschool Review Weeks 3 & 4

Week 3 was quite short - 2 days.  On Wednesday of that week, Hubby took the three older kids to California with him.  They went to Sea World and the beach.  My daughter learned a lot about oceans and ocean animals.  I think it was a wonderful experience for her.  She loved collecting shells and her favorite thing to see at Sea World were the Sting Rays.  They were in a shallow pool and could be touched.  She said they were soft and nice.  Before her trip, we did the normal school day stuff.  Math sheets.  She is having trouble with the basic addition up to 20, so pretty much for math, even this last week and this coming week, that's what we are doing.  She has read three Magic Tree House books now and has started her fourth.  I'm so happy she is enjoying them.

Last week (Week 4) was a lot of fun.  It was hard to get back to the ole routine on Monday after such a holiday, but we did and the week went well.

Grammar and phonics are still going along.  We're skipping some of the basic phonics in her book because she knows it and we are getting into the blend words.

In science we did matter.  We had various experiments we performed with gasses and liquids.  I wish I could remember, but I'm drawing a complete blank right now, but we had 5 different experiments.

We're doing a little American History now.  We read a book about Sacajewea and have books on George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, the Liberty Bell and the Mayflower to read about.  Those might seem like random bits of history, but they have a purpose.  We are working on some badges for her American Heritage Girls (AHG).  One of them is American History and they want the girls to learn about those people, events and symbols. 

We had a scrapbooking day.  It was also for her AHG.  We are taking pictures of the things she is doing and keeping an AHG scrapbook.  It was a lot of fun and quite the mess.

We did some other art and poetry, as well as other various odd activities, too. 

It was a busy week.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The pot of water

A pot of water sits on my stove from early October to late December.

I just turn on the stove, let the flames heat up the water, take my favorite mug and fill it with hot water and chocolate powder and voila!  Hot chocolate! 

Usually we heat up the pot of water in the morning for a cup of cocoa before school.  However, I like to heat up the water at night, after everyone has gone to bed.  I sit at the computer, listen to my school's lectures, and sip hot cocoa.  It's the only way to do class work.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Check out my weaving blog!!

I updated my weaving blog with my latest project.  I'm very pleased with it.

Inkle and Weave

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

It's either messy or messy

Some days are very good and I get a ton of stuff done.  Other days are the ones where very little gets done. My days bounce back and forth between the two.  The funny thing is, on the days I do a bunch of stuff, including cleaning the house, the house is messy by the time hubby gets home from work.  On the days I don't do much, the house is still messy by the time the hubby gets home. 

I don't get it.

Oh wait...

kids are in the house....

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Homeschool review - Week 2

This week went by quickly It was a  four day week.  We continued working on grammar, and phonics.  They are fine and I think the basics are good to review, but the book we are using is so easy.  It practically gives away every answer.  My daughter even realized this and commented on it.  I'm going to have to come up with something more challenging.

Math is moving along.  I've taught her the quick adding tricks and have showed her how to do double digit adding, but she isn't doing what I've showed her.  Instead of using the tricks, she insists on singing her way through her counting.  So, if the problem is 12 + 10, she sings her way up to twelve and then continues singing until she reaches her answer.  So, each question takes a very long time as she sings and it isn't the most accurate way to add.  I'm going to have to start timing her I guess.

In cursive writing, she is doing amazingly well.  She really loves to write and see the fancy letters.  Last week she learned the letter 'a', but they need some work.

In science we talked about classification and matter.  She enjoyed our object lessons.  Especially when we made the goop from cornstarch and water.

On Tuesday, she discovered The Magic Tree House books.  She started reading one, on her own, on Tuesday evening.  By Wednesday afternoon, she had finished it.  I think I read two pages to her in the middle of the story.  The rest was all her.  Thursday she started another Magic Tree HouseH book.  She finished it today.  My older boys loved those books, so we have about 5 or 6 of them.  She's set for a little while on reading.  It's wonderful because she had not wanted to read at all before and now she loves her Jack and Annie books.

Friday, we went to the state fair.  It was fun and the kids LOVED being there.  They didn't want to come home.  We saw lots of animals and Daughter became friends with a couple of sheep.  My 4 year old son like the hogs and the pigs.

Now, what to do this coming week.....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Books, books, books

Books have been in my thoughts a lot lately.  I guess they will be since I plan on making the library my future career.  After reading some essays and speeches by a children's librarian, I felt I needed to expand my exposure to children's literature.  Actually, I love children's lit.  I prefer it over adult books.

There are many classical children's literature I've never read, so I decided it was time to start.

This week, I read Heidi, by Johanna Spyri, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau.  I loved them all!  OK, City of Ember isn't a "classic", but it was a fun read.  I saw the movie when it came out several years ago and I really liked it. The book, while a little slow in some places, was great.

I see why Heidi is such a loved book.  I had seen parts of one of the movies when I was a kid and I just wasn't interested in the story at all.  The book is lovely.  It just made me want to hop on a plane to Switzerland and go climb the Alps.

The Phantom Tollbooth is fun and interesting.  I was first introduced to The Phantom Tollbooth through the old movie that was made in the 60s.  No, I wasn't alive in the 60s, but it must have come on television at some point and my sister and I loved it.  It's a fun movie and really sticks to the books quite well.  Of course, not everything that our hero, Milo, does in the book is put into the movie, but what is there remains true to the book. You learn a lot and you learn the importance of learning. I never knew what a dodecahedron was until I saw The Phantom Tollbooth

The current children's book I'm reading is Mary Poppins Dr. P.L. Travers and Mary Shepard.  I'm only one chapter in, but it's quite different from the beloved Disney movie.  I look forward to reading it more. 

My son recently found a book called Five Alien Elves by Gregory Maguire.  It is most certainly not a classic, but it looks like very funny reading.  I'll be diving into that book soon, too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Random photos: Sept 2010

Once again it's time for random photos!  I know everyone is celebrating at the news.  The title of the photos on display  is "What in the World?"

Enjoy

What in the world is this? It's a drawing by me.  I know, it's pathetic.  I would love to be able to draw, but I just can't.  Zero talent.  At least, you are able (I hope) able to tell what it is.
It's a cottage in a thick forest with a river running along side it.  I don't think you can see the river well in the left corner.  Do you hear the first song when my blog comes up?  If you look at the player at the bottom of the page, the song is called Explore 5.  It's real name in the soundtrack is called "Separation".  It's one of my favorite songs.  It's really quite sad, but this is the image that comes to mind when I hear the song.  At one time, in a life long, long ago, I must have lived in this cottage.  It was small, surrounded by trees, grasses, and flowers and a stream ran close by.  I feel like I've been torn away from that life and am currently in the one I have now.  This image is a part of me and for now I'm separated from it.  I hope heaven looks like this (but better than my silly drawing).

Next picture:  Again you are probably asking, what in the world is this?  They are cookies.  As a younger person, I was able to make the most wonderful cookies.  Now, they are flat, flat, flat.  It's hard to properly bake cookies when they come out flat, because they are usually always too crispy.  Baking friends, what am I doing wrong?  I just can't make cookies anymore.  Other baked goods turn out well, but not cookies.

Last picture:  What in the world?  They are fried pickles.  Yes, I said fried pickles.  It is late September, and the greatest state fair in the USA recently opened: The State Fair of Texas!  Among their culinary delights is this nifty treat, fried pickles.  Oh how I love them.  I pulled out our deep fryer recently.  Every time I've fired up the fryer, I throw in a hand full of flour-battered pickles.  Yummmmmy! 


I hope you enjoyed today's show.

lovely mornings

Sing with me now:

Oh what a beautiful morning!  Oh what a beautiful day!

The day started down right cool today.  It was so wonderful.  I've had the windows open in the living room.  The cat is in heaven when I have the windows open.  He has the funniest way of sitting in front of the window.
You can usually find him in front of the window this way.  It's pretty funny

The sky is clear as a bell (from the front window anyway).  My rock yard glistens in the sun and a light breeze is blowing.  The air is still on the cool side, even though it's noon now.  My thermometer says 79.  I love it!!!  Can it stay like this everyday?  Oh how I wish it could.

Monday, September 27, 2010

insulted

Recently a person I know hurt my feeling.  She called me un-virtuous and said I was insulting her.

I think both comments are untrue.  What started was this person was complaining about her home-based business (a Pampered Chef like business that requires parties and catalogs to sell) wasn't doing well.  I commented it's a tough economy.  This person went off about how I was just trying to bring them down and insult the business.  I didn't mean to insult them or the business, but no matter, the economy's tough and if I've got a little extra money to spend on something fun, I'm careful about what I choose.

At first I was thoroughly furious.  HOW DARE SHE?  After a while, outside, hanging my laundry on the line, I realized I could not be insulted.  Obviously there is more there than I'm seeing.  She can feel however she wants towards me.

I'm not perfect.  Not by a long shot.  But, I try hard to be a good person.  I try to be virtuous.  I guess I haven't succeeded in that, but I'll keep trying.  So, for any of you out there who might read this, if I have insulted you, I'm sorry.  I hope you will forgive me and in return, I'll work hard to forgive those who have insulted me, directly or indirectly.  I guess that's about all anyone can do.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Homeschool Review Week 1

The first week of homeschool went great!  What a smart girl I have.

She has a couple of workbooks that she works in each day.  They have basic grammar, writing, and reading skills.  We are flying through the pages.  It's good as it is giving me an idea of what she knows and what we can work on.  She catches most concepts quickly.  The ones that give her trouble, we will work on those until she gets it.

In math, we've just been doing math worksheets - addition and subtraction.  I've showed her how to add double digit numbers.  One kind of addition graph we tried was very difficult for her.  She never really did catch on.  We'll try that again next week.  We've discussed ordinal numbers and skip counting.

We've started the Cuisenaire Rod lessons.  The first few weeks are just getting acquainted with the rods.  All the kids have really enjoyed this.  They have built 3D shapes and 2D pictures.  She created a robot with the rods and called it Jene (pronounced Jean).  She wrote a long, elaborate story about Jene. 

For science, we started with something fun - the 5 senses!  She spent most of the lessons blindfolded as I held various things under her nose to smell, placed foods and spices on her tongue to taste, put objects in her hands to feel, and made noises with different objects for her to hear.  Today the blindfold was put on her and I told her to go wash her hands in the bathroom.  She had to feel her way there, find the sink, the soap and the towel.  She walked into the living room and sat down in the rocking chair and then she joined me on a walk to the mailbox.  There was a lot of laughing and a lot of bumps into things.

She started learning some cursive writing.  It is something she has been attempting to do for several months.  This week she learned i, t, l and e.  They are the four easiest letters to learn.  She writes them beautifully!  Then I have her write words like, "lite", "ellie", "till" and "elite".  She is doing extremely well. 

We made a trip to the library, went on a number of walks, and made several trips to the new park that just opened in our neighborhood.  It's been a very busy week.

I don't have next week's lessons planned out yet.  I'll work on those later....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Expanding my capabilities

There was a time in my life when my brain didn't function beyond 10 o'clock.  I couldn't think straight any longer and would head to bed.  When Hubby and I married, he was baffled by my early bird rising and I couldn't understand how he could be an night-owl and stay up until midnight every night.  It was a rough thing for me to accept.

I'm still an early riser and he still prefers to stay up late, but after becoming parents, we learned that our schedules were not our kids schedules.  That was really rough to learn.

Now, many years later, I'm finding my best time to get anything done is after the kids are in bed.  That's my best time to write, to do my school work, to bake something special, or to relax.  My brain is able to think beyond the ten o'clock hour and thank goodness for that!  I'd never get anything done!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Updated Weaving Blog

I got a new camera (it's cheap and doesn't take the greatest pictures, but a cheap camera is better than no camera).

I updated my weaving blog with a few pictures:
Inkle and Weave

What do you think?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Test of technology

To be able to sign up for my next classes next semester, I'm required to take and pass a computer literacy test.  I downloaded a practice test yesterday and couldn't pass it.  I was shocked by the questions.  I not I'm not the most tech savvy person, but I didn't think I was that illiterate.

What's wrong with me?
I started to think about it and realized there are good reasons for me having a difficult time with this:
- I don't text, I don't have an iPhone or any PDA.  My cell phone is just that - a phone.

- I'm slow to join in many of the latest social networks.  I never MySpaced.  I eventually joined Facebook and last night, I joined Twitter.  I don't know what to do with Twitter, but my second paper due in my library class is about social networks and their relevance to the library.  I can't write about one of the most popular social networks if I've never used it.

-I haven't been in the work force in 13 years!  When I worked last, we were using WordPerfect 6.0!  Most people didn't have cell phone.  There were no PDAs at all!  I had just learned to use the Internet.  Nothing was digital.  The copier I ran simply made copies.  Your options on the copier were lighter/darker, number of copies and start!

I've had no need to learn more technology that I needed at home.  Now I'm expected to take a test about programs I don't know about and try and figure out the purpose of gadgets I've never used.  My husband says not to stress, just study.  I'll study, but I'm still stressed.  I have to pass or I can't continue my program next semester.

No pressure.

Reservation

I have to say, I'm not feeling all that positive about starting to homeschool my daughter.  I don't like feeling like this.  I 'm just being selfish, that's all.  It's not that having two kids at home means a quiet day.  Those two often fight, but it's really kind of peaceful after the other three kids and Hubby leave.  That quiet won't be the same with my daughter at home.  She's a talker.

I also enjoy a little more personal time during the day that I'll loose with homeschooling.

It was hard to send her to school today, for the last time this year.  As I watched her get on the bus I wondered, again, if I'm doing the right thing.  There are certainly some things about school that I can't offer here.

But I start thinking about the reasons I'm doing this.  It's for her.  I can offer her an education that she can't get in the public schools.  The schools must teach to the lowest denominator.  The slower kids need education too, but it's tough on those who are ready to learn more and can advance more quickly.  There are many reasons I'm doing this.  They are all for her.  That is what is most important.  My two little ones will benefit from her school instruction.

My daughter is excited.  That's reason enough.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reading

I've got so much to read!  Some of it in a fun way, some of it in a cumbersome way.

Fun things to read include:
The latest Names journal put out by the American Name Society. (Actually, I don't think I've completely read the last two)
Lord of the Rings and Philosophy - a birthday present.  I just read the Narnia and Philosophy and LOVED it
Summer of My Content - a gem I found in the church library

Some in the middle fun reading:
Social Software in Libraries
The Portable MLIS

Some I really don't want to read, but need to:
Library Ethics - yeah, as boring as it sounds
ABCs for Book Collectors

Toss in some Fairy Tales, Blues Clues books, and first grade level books and that pretty much covers my daily reading.

I think I'll get the kids in bed, turn on some quiet classical music, get comfy on the couch and do some reading.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Library thoughts

Now that classes have started, the library is constantly on my mind.  I might be doing a lot of library blogging over the next few years.  Just warning you now.

Last night I was listening to a few of this weeks lectures and reviewing part of last weeks.  The prof. mentioned how in the olden days of the library, card catalogs were in use.

Remember those things?  Actual card catalogs?  It seems so long ago that computers took over in libraries, but actually, it wasn't that long ago less than 20 years.  When I was in undergrad school, card catalogs were still in use at the university library.  There were some computers, but only a few at that time. 

I like how efficient computers are.  They make searching for books so easy.  But I think back to the elegance in the sight of those card catalogs and it makes me kind of sad.  Those beautiful large wooden bureaus with their many long drawers.  There was a flickering of fingers as one moved through the cards in search of the right one, a motion that has been lost as use of cards to store information has disappeared.  There was a smell about those dusty yellowed cards that was completely unique to a library.  It made the library more peaceful, I believe.  There were rows of books, card catalog bureaus, rows of desks and tables for study, and books were actually checked out with stamps.  An age of elegance was lost when the computer took over.

Now the libraries are filled with bright faced computers and the hundreds of wires that computers require.  More people sit at the computers rather than browsing the physical books.  They are nosier places and the unique smell is gone from the public library.  Last week, I had to go to a university library in search of a unusual title for class, and I was reminded of the smell of old, dusty books.  It was like I remember when I was a kid.

I have to say, I'm grateful for technology and that as a librarian, I won't have to check out books by using cards and stamps, but the old-fashioned romantic in me misses the sophistication and graceful age of the card catalog.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

celebration!

My last post was my 400th post!  Can you believe it?
It's a great reason to celebrate!

Know a greater reason to celebrate?  It's my birthday!

Yeah! Time to have a fondue!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Southern roots

I was born and raised in the great state of Texas.  Texas is part of the south, but at the same time, isn't part of the south.  I was raised with some southern traditions and without others.

When I was a kid, maybe even a teenager, I don't remember, I tried to wear a white skirt to church in the winter time.  My mother made me change clothes.  I learned the rule "Never where white before Easter or after Labor Day."  The rule stuck with me and I stuck to the rule, except for tennis shoes. (It's hard to find tennis shoes that aren't white, but I don't guess that matters too much.  I can't imagine a Southern Belle ever wearing tennis shoes to start with.)

I could tell the girls who weren't from the south when I was in college.  They would wear white during the time between Labor Day and Easter.  No decent southern girl would ever do that. When we moved to Hawaii, I learned they had never heard that rule before.  I guess when it's summer everyday of the year, you don't need winter clothes or winter colors.  I was part of a program at church one September and was told that we must all wear white dresses or white shirts.  How could I do that?  I would have to break the rule that I had stuck with for so long.  It was hard, but I wore a white shirt that September Sunday.

Since then, I'm a little more lax about the white rule.  While I'm still surprised to see women wearing white dresses in the winter time, it isn't quite as shocking.  As for me, I still avoid wearing white during the winter.

My husband says I'm silly and maybe I am, but there are some childhood lessons with Southern roots that have stuck with me and I will stick with them.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Starting school

I'm finally working on a dream I've had since I was in high school.  I dreamt of studying Library Science.  Then, the year before I graduated, the college I planned on attending, got rid of their Library Science program.  I was really upset.  After doing some research, I realized very few schools were offering the degree.  So, I went on to study something else and put the dream of a Master's in Library Science on hold.

Skip ahead a few years, more than a decade, and I'm finally beginning that dream I wanted so long ago.  I'm starting my schooling for a Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS).  I applied to the school I wanted and was accepted.  This being my first semester and first time doing an online course, I'm just taking one class.  After this semester, I'll take two until I graduate.

I've been pouring over the syllabus, reading ahead in my textbook and starting my research project that is due at the beginning of October.  Looking forward in the syllabus, I realized that I would need to read an extra book, assigned by the professor.  Our one and only public library in the city doesn't have it.  So, I've put in for an Inter-library loan.  It could take up to six weeks before they get a hold of the book.  This would be very bad since I need to have it read in three weeks. 

It's odd, I live in the second largest city in the entire state, and we have one public library and it's small as public libraries go.  Maybe when I get my degree, if I'm still living here, I should lobby for another library in the fastest growing part of the city.

So, I've been working hard on a class that hasn't started yet.  Next week, after Labor Day, my class officially begins.  I'm excited about all of this and terrified at the thought of what I'm taking on.  It's a lot of work and a lot of money and I've still got two little kids at home. 

If all goes well, I'll be finished in two and a half  to three years.

What to expect?

My daughter is in her third week of 1st grade.  Homework started this week for her.  In Kinder, she was given a packet of 4-6 pages of homework to be turned in on Friday.  Now, she is getting daily work to do and return.

So, what kind of homework does a first grader bring home the first day of school?

Preschool pages!

It's the exact same kind of work in my four year old's preschool book.  Matching shapes, big vs. small, and find what objects on this line start with the letter 'h'.  It's silly, I think.  I know they need to review before starting into the main work for the year, but really, preschool level stuff?

She should be doing things that she was working on at the end of Kinder.  Am I expecting too much for only the third week of school?  I'm really not sure what I was expecting for a first grader's homework, but it wasn't this.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cloud

I saw a cloud today that looked like a jellyfish.

That's unusual!

The Puppet Show

We have two hand puppets.  One is Bard the Dragon from Baby Einstein.  The other is just a grey dog.  They make beautiful music together.

The duets began with my two oldest sons.  They got the funny idea to do a puppet show and have the dragon and dog sing to the song Monster Mash.  It is so funny!  Bard (played by my oldest son) sings the main song.  The dog, (played by my 10 year old son) is the backup singer.

Now, when the kids are all at school, my two youngest get the puppets and have them sing to the song Puff the Magic Dragon.  The best part is when I actually hear my two little ones sing the song.  I love their sweet little voices singing together.

If Peanut had not broken our camera, I would take a video and add it to the blog.  It's so cute!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Much on my mind

I've got a lot spinning around in my head, but not too much that is blog worthy.

I've written about this before: music.  I've been listening to a small list of some of my favorite music.  Only one song has singing, the rest are instrumentals.  Gosh I love my music.  I wish I could describe what about music that is so magical to me, but I can't.  Even if I could, the way this particular music makes me feel may not touch someone else and certainly not in the same way.  But music is for me, very magical and it seems to tickle a memory that I can not reach. 

I'm working on becoming professional.  Does that sound funny?  For my school program, I will have to post my resume before the semester is over.  I don't have much of a resume of professional work to post, but I started thinking of the several organizations I belong to.  They are very professional.  I may not contribute anything to those organizations as of yet, but being a part of them and reading their newsletters and publications keeps me informed on the professional things others do.  It looks good and sounds good when I can say I belong to the International Council of Onomastic Sciences.  It sounds very impressive.

Hubby and I went for a drive the other day.  I thought of something funny I wanted to blog about, but have since forgotten.  Typical of me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Death of a camera

Peanut got ahold of our camera several days ago. 

She broke it and now I can't take pictures!

I miss my camera.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The idea of philosophy

I've never studied philosophy.  I never considered it before.  I never thought of myself as a philosopher in any way. 

Then, a few months ago, I ran across a book called, The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy.  I love the Narnia books and thought this might be an interesting read.  Boy was it! It was a collection of essays mostly written by university professors of philosophy.  Some of the essays I didn't care for much.  Some weren't to interesting to me, but I read them all and learned a little from each.  Some of the essays were excellent and thought provoking.

As I read the book, I realized, I've been a philosopher for a long time and just never realized it.  It's hard to explain, but about a year ago, I came up with an idea regarding the Narnia books.  I did my best to write down these thoughts, but they were hard to put into words.  I now realize I had a philosophical idea.  Who knew you could do that without knowing it?

Now, I'm looking to read another book from the same author/editor.  He has done several, but the next one I want to read is The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy.  It too is a book of essays.  I think it will make for very interesting reading.

When I started college, I knew what I wanted - to be a camp director.  To become a camp director, I needed to study recreation management and administration.  Done.  What I didn't realize while I was in college was the amazing amount of other interests and studies that were out there.  In the last decade, I've developed interest in the history of Indo-European languages, onomastics as a formal area of study, linguistics, etymology, and now I can add philosophy to my list.  It makes me wonder, what's next?

laundry conversations

Speaking to my 10 year old:
"Mom, I don't have any socks."

"Well, I did six loads of laundry yesterday.  There were no socks of yours in there.  What do you do with your socks when you take them off?"

"I throw them."

"Throw them where?"

"Ummm....."

Yeah, no wonder we can't find socks.

Speaking to my 6 year old daughter:
"Here, Daughter, is your pile of clean clothes.  Please take it to your room and put the clothes in your dresser."

"In my dresser?"

"Yes, in."

"Not on top of my dresser?"

"No, in your dresser.  That's why there are drawers."

Monday, August 23, 2010

phone conversation

A bit of the phone conversation I had with my 4 year old.  I was at the Phonix airport getting ready to board a plane to go home.
Son:  Hi Mom.

Me: Hi, how are you?

Son: I'm sad.

Me: I'm sorry.  Why are you sad.

Son: Brother got candy and I didn't.

Me:  Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.  I'll be home tonight and I'll be able to hug you and tuck you into bed.  Would that make you happy?

Son:  Playing Nick Jr. on the computer would make me happy.

The To Do List

To Do List

Those three words have the ablility to put fear and dread into the hearts of many.  Really, how many people say, "Yes!  I get to work on my to do list!" 

Not many.

Of course, it also has the ability to make great things happen.

My to do list is waiting for me.  It isn't pretty, but at the bottom of the list is "open up new thread"!  It's good incentive.  If I get my work done, I can finish getting my thread on the warping board.  I'm going to weave something new, big and different from anything I've tried.  I can't wait to get started.  I'd better go work on that to do list. 

The mountain of laundry is ugly!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hanging out on campus

School has changed so much since I went and I didn't go THAT long ago.  I graduated from college in 1997, so that's what, 13 years ago?  It might as well have been a hundred years ago for all the changes.  Wi-Fi didn't exist.  Heck, I didn't use the Internet for the first time until my senior year in college.  If you had a laptop, it was huge and weighed about 30 pounds.

The catalogs needed to search for the classes you needed to take were actual paper catalogs.  Now, everything is online.  As handy as that is, having everything online, it can be a pain.  To see one classes description, I click here.  Nope, that wasn't what I wanted, back click.  Maybe this class, click, nope, back click.  It was handy when it was just on a sheet of paper where I could dog ear pages, circle a class that looked interesting, and X out the classes I didn't need or couldn't take.  Now I'm like, what was that class again?  Click on link, nope not this one, back click, this one? nope, back click, etc.

No one had cell phones, much less iPad, iPods, smart phones and all.  It was notebooks and paper.

So, here I sit, on campus, linked into their Wi-Fi, typing on my blog, listening to music on my headphones, and enjoying the college atmosphere.  I have to go home tomorrow and my little college life will be over.  I'll start classes, but I'll be at home, with kids running around in the house, trying my best to figure out how to take an online class.  Who would have believed that thirteen years ago?

Monday, August 16, 2010

back to school

We survived the first day back to school.  I must say, I probably had the best day of anyone else in the family.  :)

My oldest son, who is starting 7th grade had a really long, frustrating day.  It has to do with schedules and a group of kids (including him) who should be at a brand new school that isn't finished yet, so they are joining with another middle school until mid-October.  It's way to much to get into, but I feel bad for him.

The two elementary aged kids had a better day.  My 4th graders homework for today was to read for 20 minutes and he is happy to do that work.  We ordered him a book he really wanted to read and it's sequel.  Well, the sequel came last week, but the first book has not.  He is really hoping to get it soon.

The two youngest, who are still at home, had a good day.  They played a lot together and they fought a lot together.  They just love to annoy the heck out of each other.  I find that very annoying.

I enjoyed the peace that can only come with having three less kids in the house.  I got a ton of laundry done, dishes, general cleaning and a little packing for my trip later this week.  You know, the fees they put on luggage these days makes packing much more difficult.  Still, because I don't need to back extra clothes, books, and toys for kids, it will keep my suitcase light and I'll be able to get by on one small on. 

Hmm, I guess I had better get my MP3 player charged up.  It's going to be a long flight.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The things Peanut says

Peanut's grasp of the language is really growing.  She is starting to use prepositions.  "He is in his room," for example or "I want to watch a movie." (both things she has said to me recently)

Today she said:
"Hey, cut it out!"  when her brother annoyed her.

"I want to play Nick Jr. on Daddy's computer." (although she says Mick Jr.)

"Will you turn off the music?"

"I'm done crying now." (said while crying)

She loves to review the 12 - 15 sign language signs she knows.  Her favorites are baby, milk and eat.  She didn't do any sign language for a while and about two weeks ago, she started to do them again.  I need to teach her a few more.  My sign language vocabulary is very limited, but I know a few more.  I need to teach them to her.  We also sing the ABC's a LOT.  I should sign the letters while we sing.  Maybe she'll pick up on those too.

I love watching babies go from crying to speaking language.  It's an amazing journey.

Mom's homework

Every year we've lived here and had kids in school, they bring home a million forms during the first week of school for me to fill out. 

Today I filled out at least 10 forms.  With one son, I think we might be done with most of the paperwork.  For my daughter, we've got at least six more forms to fill out that will come home the first or second day of school.  I've done several for my middle schooler as well, but I know there is more that will come home.

Mom's homework.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So many projects...

I have so many projects to work on and there just doesn't seem to be time to do them all.  I want to weave more.  I've got a project that only needs 20 more inches.  It wouldn't take too long to do, but every time I sit down to weave, one of the kids needs something.  Then another kid needs something, and on it goes.

I've got my next weaving project all planned out.  I know what I want to do, but I really need some thread.  I've got 9 cones of thread, but they are all the same size and the same colors and although they are two different materials (one is cotton, one is acrylic) they feel exactly the same.  So, it doesn't make for anything diverse.  To tell the truth, I've got several weaving projects planned.  I just need to buckle down and do them!

I've ordered my textbook for the semester, so I'll have plenty of reading soon.

The house is in desperate need of a good cleaning, but it always is.  We did a good cleaning last week, but you wouldn't know it.  We even did a good cleaning yesterday, but again, you wouldn't know it.  These kids trash the house faster than a tornado.

My youngest daughter doesn't have her Christmas stocking yet.  I cross stitch all my kids stockings, and Peanut has had two Christmases without hers.  I want to have it ready this year, but that takes a lot of time and I haven't put much into that lately.

Also, this school year, I want to work on my youngest son's education.  He is too young for Kinder this year, so I have the joy of keeping him for one more year, but he doesn't know basics yet.  He can't say his ABCs or count to 20.  I've got a good pre-K curriculum and I'm going to work on it with him this year.  Peanut will join in as well and probably pick up the information very well.  She's smart!  She doesn't know her colors yet, so we'll work on that too.  I hope to help them both and make a bit of progress with my son.

Well, there is much to do today and the time is passing.

Monday, August 09, 2010

end of summer blues/joy

I never like sending my kids back to school after the summer break, but at the same time I love to send my kids back to school after summer break.  Can that be possible?

One big reason that the love of sending them back overcomes the dislike of sending them back is by the end of the summer, they seem more, oh, I don't know, argumentative?  There is some boredom in that they really start to miss friends.  So, instead of becoming better friends with their siblings, they start to annoy each other.  Why is that?  There is more fighting and more teasing.

My youngest two are going to miss the others when they go back, but I think they will find more peace and happiness with each other when the older three aren't around to antagonize them.

Still, I hate to send them off each day for 9-10 months to sit in a school room and do their best to learn in an environment that doesn't always encourage learning.

I guess you can have opposite feelings about some things.  This time of year is truly a sad and happy time, for all involved.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Party!

Yesterday my two older boys had an end of the summer party with some of their buddies.  They had a great time.  They tossed a beach ball around in the living room for a while.  Well, tossed is hardly the right word.  They threw the beach ball as hard as they could at each other.  It was pretty funny.  Then, one of my sons brought out a big foam puzzle and they threw the pieces at each other like they were Chinese Stars.  I'm still finding pieces of that puzzle around the house.

I BBQed hamburgers and hot dogs for them and they had lunch.  There was lots of food for them.  They turned on the X-Box for a while and discussed the pros and cons of Halo vs. Halo 2 vs. Halo 3 and what the future versions of Halo will be like.

After such a deep conversation, they went out in the rocky front yard to play some water games.  The game started with tossing wet wash cloths at each other, then one of them turned on the hose and started spraying the water at anyone who came with in range, including myself and my two littlest kids who were out there too.  My oldest son is so funny when it comes to water.  He loved it when they would spray him with the hose, and he encouraged them to fill up the buckets with water and dump them over his head.  They were all completely soaked and so was I.  My shoes are still sitting outside in the sun getting dry.

After several hours, moms started arriving to pick up their boys and I started cleaning the mess inside the house.  One friend stayed until dinner time and they had fun playing more X-Box.  I should have kicked them off and had them help me clean, but I'm too nice and I let them play.

The party was a great success and everyone went home wet and happy.  Now this last week of summer, we will be getting the last of the school supplies, making sure everyone is registered properly and attending open houses at the schools.  It is sad to see summer end (but I'm ready for them to go back).

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Summer is coming to an end

The days just fly by when it is summer time.  The kids are certainly not ready to go back to school.  We have a week and a half until the first day of school.  And two weeks from today I'll be on my way to my own student orientation in Michigan!  I'm so excited.

So, we are almost done buying school supplies and a few new items of clothing need to be bought.  My daughter is tough to shop for.  She has one of those beautiful, long torsos.  (I wish I that)  Anyway, it makes finding shirts long enough for her tummy difficult.  She is set on pants, skirts, and shorts, but all of her shirts are belly shirts.  That means when she raises her hand, part of her belly shows.

The boys are good on shirts, but need new pants and shorts.

At least I have two at home that I don't need to dress up for school.  I can't imagine what next year will be like when I have four in school!  I just know, shopping for school supplies won't be cheap.

So, we are spending these last few days of summer trying to squeeze in as many activities and time with friends as we can.

Monday, August 02, 2010

picking the next president

I've said this before, but I don't like presidential election years.  I get so tired of the ads, the debates, the hate that pretty much splits our country in half.  I know this year isn't a presidential election year, (thank goodness) but I started thinking about the next election.

I've come up with a new system! This will be great.  The candidates will have two weeks to prepare for the big day.  What will happen that big day?  Grocery Shopping!  Yes, I said grocery shopping.  Whoever can get the most groceries (non-food items are included) for the least amount of money is made president.  This proves you have excellent financial understanding and can actually work on a budget - a small budget. What do you think?

I think other qualifications should be considered when choosing a president:
1. The candidate should have served on a PTA board.  You can not understand the incredible amount of work, organization, and financial planning that goes on in a PTA meeting unless you have been there.  It is incredible and it's all for the kids and their education.  This proves your organizational skills and true dedication to education.

2.  The candidate can not own more than four pairs of shoes and at least one of those pairs need to be at least 5 years old. This shows the American people you are resourceful.

3.  The candidate can not have had any previous political experience.  The candidate needs to be a regular American who has spend his/her life working, raising their family without hired help (the appliance repairman doesn't count), and been a good law abiding citizen.  This proves you understand the average working American because you are one of them.

If we get a president who can get $200 worth of groceries for less than $50, I think our economy will turn around. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

ho hum

I haven't had much to say lately.  Nothing is really going on (among the chaos of life).  School starts in three weeks and my kids are crying about that.  I need to go register my son at his new middle school.

I've been trying to weave, but I'm not liking what is going on with my threads.  Half of the warp is loose and half is super tight.  The pattern I thought I was doing isn't working out either.  I've restarted this project three times.  I just need to finish it, but it's a long way from being finished.  I've already got my next project picked out and I'm very excited about it, but now is the toughest part - picking out my threads.  What colors? What textures?  So many decisions.

Peanut has learned to turn on the Internet, go to the Nick Jr. website and play.  She has also learned to work the VCR.  (She has been a pro at the DVD player for half of her life.)

Now, a sneak peak at my new book I'm creating:  Cooking with Flamethrowers!
Cooking steak with a propane torch!
Burning, cooking marshmallows with the propane torch!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Storms

I love lightning storms.  We don't get them often where I am.  We live on a Mesa, and the storms usually seem to be surrounding us, but rarely over us.  Tonight has those huge clouds with lightning all in them on the western horizon.  It's quite amazing and I love to watch the clouds light up.  Now, we just need a home that is out of a neighborhood filled with two story houses.  They block the view!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lastest weaving project

This is what I did in my weaving class.  I'm working on another project in class right now, but this is the big one.  It's 7 feet long and about 14 inches wide.
I had never finished a weaving project with anything but a tassel.  I didn't know how to do anything else.  My teacher taught me how to do this cord. I like the cord look a lot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

back into the swing

Well, after a fun vacation to see lots of family, we are home again.

Within 12 hours of being home, the kids were back into their normal routine, the good, the bad and the ugly.  My oldest son leave for a camp out tomorrow, so he is re-packing today.  He will have lots of fun, I'm sure.

I went to my weaving class last night.  We only meet two more times.  There are four of us in the class.  The other three ladies will be taking it again this next time they offer it, but I will not be.  While I'm having tons of fun and learning good things, I will not spend the money again to take a second round of classes just so I can keep weaving.  I have a loom at home to use.  So, I'll go twice more and finish my second project in the class and call it good.

I was terribly flattered last night at my class, though.  My teacher said he wants to take a break from teaching beginning in January and he said he would like to submit my name to be the next instructor.  It may or may not work out when that time comes, but it was so nice to hear.  I would love the opportunity to teach.  If it pays a little, so much the better!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer, where have you gone?

It's hard to believe that summer break is half way over for the kids.  It's been much busier than I expected.  When summer started, we only had on big thing on the calendar plus a few camp outs for my oldest son.   The calendar didn't remain empty for long.  It good, really.  I would rather have things going on than absolutely nothing.  Today my six year old has been walking around like a bored zombie.  So bored, so bored.  We have no yard to play in, and she is tired of playing with her toys.  So, we called up a friend and now they are playing dress up.  So great!

We have some acquaintances that have moved, but they are renting out their home.  We went to see it last week.  Oh my, what a house!  I want to move in now.  Hubby is more cautious and probably much more reasonable in hesitating before giving an answer.

The house has three floors.  The bottom floor has a common area, and four bedrooms!  The main floor has the usual rooms of kitchen/dining/living/laundry and the master bedroom.  The top floor has a large loft, a large playroom, a small room and a large storage room.  There is actual carpet in the house and the areas that are tiled are a much nicer tile than in my current home.  The house is huge and it has a yard!  Actual grass.  Not much, but enough for the little ones to play in and run through.  It has an area that isn't landscaped and it is obvious they have had a fire pit.  Doesn't it sound wonderful????  Oh it does.  Can I move in now?

The reason for being cautious - our current lease isn't up. Moving isn't fun, or cheap, even when it's in town.  Also, we might have to move again in 6 months.  That's the biggest draw back with Hubby's job.  It's a yearly contract and if the contract isn't renewed or his position within the contract isn't renewed, we've got to look for a new job.  It isn't a pleasant way to live, but that's the life we've got right now.  So, do we want to try and break the lease, endure the major hassle of moving with the possibility of moving again? 

I say YES!  Hubby, is still thinking about it..... well, we've got to give an answer soon to the owners.  I'll let you know what we decide.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Promised pictures

My computer isn't reading my camera's memory card, so I haven't been able to do much in the way of pictures, but now I can, so now you can enjoy my random summer time photos.

One evening, as I was trying to get the house clean for company, I put Peanut into the bath tub to occupy her.  It only took minutes, but when I came back in I found Peanut had occupied herself by dumping water out of the bathtub.  The water went all over the bathroom, of course, out the door, into the bedroom and underneath bookshelves.  It took about 10 big towels to mop up all the water.  Well, at least the bathroom floor got clean.

This is Peanut.  This is her brother's toy army helmet.  Peanut likes to wear it like this, with her entire face covered by the helmet.  She giggles and runs around the house.  Amazingly, she doesn't run into to many things, but if she does, at least she has on a helmet.

A recently completed weaving.  I like the way this turned out.  It's quite festive looking, but the yarn would separate every time I would advance the yarn on the loom.  It created gaps that I really can't fix.

Cake Entry #6
Last year my siblings, their spouses, my mom and I participated in a family 4th of July Cake decorating contest.  My sister won last year.  My cake tied for last place with Entry #6.  The problem was, there was no #6, my dad just voted for it as a joke.  Well, this year, I have created Cake Entry #6. 
Get it?


And last, but not least, a view from our garden.  Because we have a rock yard, our garden had to be improvised.  Our garden is made up of 4 large storage tubs filled with soil.  We tried to grow some new things this year, one of them is watermelon.  We didn't think anything was going to happen with the long vine that is growing from the tub, but the other day we found 3 small watermelons.  This one is the biggest.  At the time of this picture, it was smaller than a tennis ball, but it has grown since then.  We are very excited.  We might actually have home-grown watermelons to eat at the end of the summer!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the summer time photos.  Unfortunately, summer is about half way over for us now.  I ran into a store today for something and saw all the school supplies being set out.  Crazy, crazy.  I hope by the end of the summer, there will be more photos to share.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

5+1=0 ???

Five kids, one messy house and zero motivation.

Ever have those days?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Crazy summer days

I use to go walking three times a week with a friend.  We planned on keeping it up after school got out.  Guess what.  I think we have been once since school let out a month ago.  Things have been crazy!

I don't think they are going to slow down much either.  Still, it's better to keep busy than be bored and lazy.  There haven't been many opportunities to be bored and lazy.

It hasn't all been bad.  In fact, we've had some really fun things going on, but that doesn't keep it from being crazy.

The two kids are healed nicely from having their tonsils out.  That's good to have done.  My oldest son went to scout camp and had a blast.  Peanut has kept me on my toes cleaning up messes that go way beyond the ordinary messes of everyday life.  I'm getting excited for grad school, but I'm not sure what I need to be doing to get ready for the start of the semester.  They are going to want money at some point.  Monsoon season has begun, but I haven't seen more than 10 drops of rain.

Funny, all this craziness going on and I can't think of anything to blog.
Well, watch out for future blogs, I'll be doing some pictures. What of?  Wait and see.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Weaving

I've been weaving as much as I can lately.

I'm taking a class at the local art museum and have learned a few tricks that have already made things much easier.  For me, getting the massive amounts of yarn onto the loom was a multi-day task because I ended up with everything in a tangled mess.  Now after my class, I've learned how to keep things fairly organized while taking it from the warping board to the loom.

So, at home I just took something off the loom and have started a new project.  At class I've got something interesting going on too.  One or two more class periods and I might have that project completed.  I'll be able to start a new one.  I don't know what I'll do with it.  At 17 inches wide, it's not wide enough to be a shaw or wrap, but what am I going to do with a table runner?  I could place it on the table, but the kids or the dumb cat would pull it off.  I really need to remember to take my camera with me to class so I can show you what it looks like.  It's pretty, but I just don't know what I'll do with it.

I'll get some pictures of other recent projects up soon.

Today, however, I'll be cleaning my house.  My parents come in tomorrow for the weekend and I need to get the house spic and span.  Again, I'm not sure why I work so hard, my kids will have it destroyed by this evening.  Oh well, I try and that's the important part.

My oldest son just had his 12th birthday!  He is about an inch shorter than I am and his feet are bigger than mine (and I wear a size 10 in women's).  His voice is getting deep, but when he is playing chase with the cat, he can still yell like a little girl.  (hee hee hee)  I can't believe how much time has passed.  Scary to think about, but in four years, he'll be driving!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's time for Random Photos!

Mutant gummy bears!  This is a regular sized gummy bear next to a mutant!  The mutant was left in a cup filled with 7up for more than 12 hours.  (Mutant gummy bears taste terrible!)



My water bottle dilemma.  Living in the desert, I have a fear of something happening to the water supply.  I can't throw away water bottles.  I always keep a supply of water bottles in the fridge and freezer for outings on hot days, but these are the left over water bottles that I don't have room for in the fridge or freezer.  There is more than 20 in that picture.  I don't know what to do with them, but I can't toss them either. They are taking over my kitchen counter, though! (BTW, they are all filled with water.)

My bathroom counter.  Do you see that mess?  Only the mousse is mine.  The kids have their own bathroom, but all of their toothbrushes are in my bathroom.  There is a doll, a beanie baby bear, kid necklaces, and a variety of other things.  You can't see it, but on the far side of the sink, there is a 6 inch spread of toothpaste across the counter - courtesy of Peanut.
I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into my summer life.

House dreams

I dream about houses a lot.  Last night I had another house dream.  I love those dreams!

Last night's house was large, but I didn't realize how large until I got inside.  There were two kitchens each one had two stoves.  Think of the meals that could be cooked.

The house was a maze of large rooms, small cozy spaces, and closets all over the place.  There was even a long hall on the second floor was could be used as a gallery for art work.  I found a perfect room for my looms and instead of a closet for food storage there were large rooms that could be chosen from.  There were enough bedrooms and large rooms that I could have about 20 kids in the house without crowding.

The back yard was large, had various levels and terraces, a walking path through a nicely landscaped area, and plenty of grass for the kids to run through. 

It was a great house!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tonsils Out

Yesterday, two of my kiddos got their tonsils out.  What a day!

My son has had the hardest time with recovering.  He is just in a lot more pain or seems to be.  I joked with Hubby that it's because he's a guy and just can't handle the pain as well as our daughter.  :)

My son has basically stopped speaking.  He is afraid it will hurt, and maybe it does, but he won't even try to speak.  He does hand signals and a lot of pointing.

Poor kids, it wasn't easy and the next few days will still be sore, but it's worth it for them.  They won't gasp for breath at night, they will be able to swallow foods better and the doctor told me they will have more energy because they will be getting good night sleeps.  I also hope this helps with the colds they seem to have constantly.  My daughter was sick with a cold from September to May. 

I'm so glad it's over with.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How did Colorado know?

Colorado knew I was coming. I've spent 20 years longing to return to Colorado and see the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It hurt me to know that I probably would not see it again because the state had no appeal to my husband and so we would never vacation there.

Well, through a long set of circumstances, we drove Colorado this weekend from the north state line to the south state line. I could hardly stand the thought of driving through the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

Colorado knew I was coming. For the entire trip through the state, it was cloudy. Low, dark storm clouds covered the entire state. I never saw a single mountain. Not a one. Can I tell you how upset I was? I cried. I cried driving from Denver to Raton, NM.

I spent 20 years dreaming of returning to my favorite state and never saw the one thing I wanted to see - the Rocky Mountains.

Colorado knew I was coming. It knew that if I saw Pikes Peak I would never return home to the desert. I guess it is just as well, but I sure am upset about it.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Happiness

For various reasons I've been quite interested in happiness lately. I've been reading books, articles, talks and scriptures related to joy and happiness. It's been fun.

One rule of happiness I've learned is "be true to yourself."

I have found this to be quite easy to do in some areas of life and hard to do in other parts.

I'm one of the few women in America that hates the Twilight series. It is easy for me to say, "No, I don't want to see the movie," or "No, I'm not reading the final book" (or any sequels or prequels.) It's easy to stay true to myself. I don't have to like what other people like. If I don't like the fad, I don't have to follow it. I remain happy.

What is hard is when it is related to church social functions. I've become quite anti-social in the last two years. I really don't like being in a crowd of people, especially women. Every time you get a group of women together, the topic always turn to weight and loosing weight. I'm heavier than most of the women I know, so when they talk about loosing weight, I feel terrible. If they feel the way they do and they aren't nearly as heavy as me, I can't imagine what they must think about me. I know I'm a horrid blob. I don't need to be reminded when I'm already self conscious in a room of people who are skinnier than me. Why should I go? There is no reason. I feel worse for having gone than I would have had I skipped the entire thing. But then, I feel guilty for not going to a church social function. I'm not true to myself and I'm not happy.

If I'm true to myself in such times, I would never attend, but that makes me a bad person too. So, I'm working hard to realize that being true to myself means that I don't have to like social functions because others like social functions. I need to be true to Molly.

What does make me happy? Good music (I've always got music going), old movies, working on projects, creating things, a green forest, peace and quiet. Hmmm, I'm feeling happier just thinking about those things.

Friday, June 04, 2010

I wish I had my own room

Most of my growing up years, I had my own room. I spent most of my time in my room listening to music, reading, doing puzzles, and of course homework.

I wish I had that now(my own room, not the homework). I'm an early riser and these days I get up at 5:30 to go exercise. So, to make sure I don't disturb Hubby, I have my clothes out in the living room and I sleep on my alarm clock so I don't disturb him when it goes off.

I'm often back from exercising before he wakes up. I would love to go shower, but I don't want to go in to the bedroom and make noise while he is sleeping. I don't think that is very nice of me to do. So, I wait and by the time he gets up, all the kids are up and I'm in full swing mom-mode. So, often, showers either don't happen or they happen at odd hours.

My Hubby's computer is in our bedroom. The kids play their games on it most of the day during the summer time. So, there is always a kid or two in my room. (Another reason it's hard to shower any time of the day.)

So, I don't get to shower when I need to or when it is convenient for me. I work around everyone else. I don't have a place to go be alone any time of the day or night. No where to read quietly, write in my journal, or get dressed. I wish I had my own room. It doesn't have to be big or fancy just a place to call my own with nothing in it that would attract the others.

Oh well. In that dream house of mine, I'll have my little room. My own little room.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

One week down

So the kids have been out of school for a full week now. Can they go back?

Summer chores have been assigned. The older boys have been swimming three times at various pools around town and spent an afternoon hanging at the mall together. Squirt guns have been shot in and out of the house. We've picked five cherry tomatoes from our garden. We've watched a couple of rented movies. There has been lots of playing, lots of cleaning, and a few tears from the smaller kids. I'd say the first week of summer break has been a success.

One of the things the kids can do on their Bingo chore/project chart is fix one new recipe. They have all put it off and today they have all asked if they can fix something for lunch or dinner. YEAH! I might not have to cook today. I have a feeling I'll have to do a lot of cleaning in the kitchen this evening, but I won't have to cook!

I've been so uninspired lately with dinners. I feel like I cook the same things over and over, just in different variations. (Is "different variations" redundant? I think so.) I got some great new cookbooks from a local used book store. I just need to go through them, pick a few and try them out. Once in a while I come across a gem recipe that becomes a family favorite. But, today that is the kids job. I'll let them go through the books, pick the meal and cook.