Thursday, December 18, 2008

Something to be Grateful For

I haven't been blogging much lately, and though I'd like to blame it on the extreme busyness of the season, I have to say that it's much more likely that I've simply been practicing the adage often repeated in my childhood: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Along with some other things, (that will remain unmentioned for the time being,) I've had a difficult time adjusting to the fabulous December weather in Southern California after nearly 6 lovely years in Tahoe spent shoveling snow and watching icicles form. I've come to the conclusion that winter is my favorite season. (This explains why I can live in a place where it can snow for 9 months of the year and not get tired of it.) Instead of being thankful that I will be able to spend Christmas, New Years, and part of January in Tahoe, I was focusing on how HARD it is to get excited about Christmas when it's 60-70 degrees outside.

Yesterday Long Beach remained around 46-48 degrees all day. It also rained almost 1.5". And in the midst of all this wonderful abnormal weather, my yard was filled with chickadees and doves eating, playing, and bathing. I decided that this was God telling me that His eyes are on the sparrow (or chickadee, as the case may be) and they are certainly on me. I can enjoy God's creation, even in the midst of the greater Los Angeles area, and God somehow enjoys me--even when I get caught up focusing on the wrong side of the coin.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Congratulations, Dad!

I'm very proud of my Dad. He's the first person in our be honest, the first person that I know...that has run for public office. He has served on the Planning Commission for his city, and when space opened up on the City Council this year, he decided to step out of his comfort zone and run for a seat. It was a close race, but he made it! Good job, Dad, in daring to enter the world of politics and public speaking. And thank you, Mom, for being willing to support him in his endeavor. I love you both very much!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blue Christmas

I recruited my girls to pose for a picture to demonstrate how I'm feeling right now. (I wasn't up to the difficult task of taking enough pictures of myself in order to find one I wouldn't mind showing other people!)Blue. Gloomy. I've realized that I've left all of my Christmas music and Christmas movies in Tahoe, where I won't be until 12.22.08. How on earth am I supposed to get anything done with out Christmas music and movies playing in the background? Really. Am I really supposed to be able to decorate or buy presents without my usual holiday soundtrack? What.was.I.thinking???

I'm already knee-deep in a temporary solution. A dear friend of mine expedited me some excellent Christmas tunes via email, and I ended up buying some more from iTunes. Now I have to do some searching to find when my favorite Christmas flicks will be showing on tv.

I will survive. I am determined. I just need to make myself a latte, listen to the Christmas music I have, and get the rest of my house decorated. (Is it merely a coincidence that the Pandora Christmas music station that I have on played "Blue Christmas" twice in a row while I was typing?)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blankie #2 Found!

Audrey has a very special blankie that her MeMa made for her. This blankie is so special that Audrey is actually NOT ABLE to suck her thumb if she doesn't have this blankie. Fortunately, she is blessed to be the owner of 2 identical blankies. MeMa brought blankie #2 to Audrey when blankie #1 was missing, and after blankie #1 was found, Audrey was unable to imagine life without both of them. So together they remained until early November, 2008. Shortly after arriving back home after a stay at Papa and MeMa's house, one of the blankie's disappeared. It remained missing for an entire month. Just as I'd resigned myself to the mysterious disappearance being a permanent thing, it reappeared! (Isn't that always how it happens?) Audrey said that it was hiding in the cabinet that holds our stereo equipment. Who knew that blankies can play hide and seek? All this time I just thought it had been misplaced.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Directional Fabric Onus #59872

Stink! Another issue with a fabric with a directional print. Will they never cease to plague me?

I set up my sewing machine for the first time since we moved (at the end of August). I've missed it SEW much! (har, har)

I decided to do more work on a quilt that I'm making for one of my uncles. There is one fabric in this quilt that has a pattern going a specific direction. It isn't a glaring, blatant, obtrusive fabric, but it was enough to catch my eye and make me be deliberate in placement. Yes, yes, my OCD personality traits demanded I take notice. Yet somehow, whether it be because I was doing my sewing at 2am or because I was doing my sewing whilst swooning over Mr. Darcy, I managed to sew quite a few pieces in the wrong direction. (WRONG only because there are MORE pieces sewn in the opposite direction.)

Now, of course, I'm unable to imagine leaving it that way. Why, it'll look completely cattywampus. How did I JUST notice this? How on earth did I misplace these squares while I was paying attention to how I placed them??? And all you people without OCD personality traits need not bother trying to convince me that it looks fine. :-)

Anybody need some directionally printed quilting fabric? I just may rid my stash of the needless burden. Grrr.

Can your Duck Speak Spanish?

Audrey has a very talented duck. With only the slightest bit of help it can speak any language imaginable. Up until now I thought that it only spoke "quack" but I was mistaken. I recently had the pleasure of overhearing Audrey discussing this with a Spanish-speaking person we know.

Audrey: "My duck speaks Spanish. Do you want to hear it?"
Lupe: "Sure!"
Duck: "Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack" (to the tune of Old MacDonald)
Lupe: "Oh!"
Audrey: "Can you speak Spanish by quacking?"
Lupe: "Um, no...I don't think so."

Perhaps next we'll get to hear the duck speak French!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Could this be Chicken Pox? Again?

Anyone in the mood to play doctor? Any childhood disease specialists hanging around? Want to take a look at my son?

My 12 year old son is in the middle of experiencing this:

"The first signs of chickenpox are usually a slight fever and a general feeling of illness. Within a few hours or days, small red spots begin to appear on the scalp, neck, or upper half of the body. About twelve to twenty-four hours later, these spots become itchy and develop into fluid-filled bumps. These bumps, called vesicles, go through a series of changes. First they turn into blisters. Then they break open, and scabs begin to form on top of them. This process goes on for a period of two to five days." (from

And he looks like this:
Not too many spots, I'll grant you. It shouldn't be chicken pox, since Timothy has had the varicella vaccination. He's also experienced this exact same whatever-it-is once before. At that time, our doctor's office said that they couldn't be positive what virus he had without running tests, but they thought it was chicken pox. Apparently the vaccine is only effective 75-80% of the time.

What is more convincing to me, however, is the comparison between the following picture of one of Timothy's blisters, and the picture on this webpage.

EXHIBIT CWhat do you think? Should I be warning parents around me and canceling long-awaited sleepovers?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Picture Day!

Enough procrastinating, already. It was high time that I took some "school pictures". Thanks to the persistence of my lovely daughter Melinda, it actually got done today. And to top it all off, we had fun. Here's some of the funnies:I quickly found out that getting Audrey to talk about the reasons why she loves horses is NOT the way to get a smile out of her. It is the way to get to the heart of her little philosophical self. Ha-ha...I couldn't resist snapping this shot (even though you can see my Quasimodo-reminiscent shadow in the foreground). There is something so funny to me about children willingly and uniformly lined up without a parent nearby. It's just. not. natural. :-)Oh my. I am SO tempted to make this be Andrew's official school portrait. What a face! He was quite disgruntled that the sun had the audacity to unceasingly find it's way into his eyes. The nerve!Whodunit? Definitely not Melinda. She's as innocent as can be, can't you see?Timothy's laugh and smile really sum it up. Picture taking was fun. (Much more fun than math anyhow.)

And now I must convince myself that I need to work on denying the temptation to send these pictures out instead of the more serious ones. I just love non-traditional quirky photos!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Eureka! We've Struck Gold!

Well, instead of talking about how homeschooling is going today, I thought I'd reflect on happier times. Today is, as Mondays will be, full of tears and anguish, moaning and groaning, and gnashing of teeth. Today everyone is complaining that everyone else is picking on them. Today Timothy's math hates him more than usual. Today the milk has run out. Again.

But ahhh, last week. Last week was golden. Literally. Last week we broke out all of our gold panning supplies and tried our hands at prospecting. We had 2 kits from Hands and Hearts, as well as the supplies included in our history studies from Winterpromise: American Story 2, so we had 3 gold pans going. All 4 kids got to try their hand at it, and I think that Audrey came out as the best (she was the only one not worried about losing some of her gold).We did our gold panning in an ice chest--leaving the cloudy water and gritty residue for Chris to find later that day. Oops.Melinda was SO excited to try this. She enjoyed it very much, and did quite well...after she got her mind around the fact that the ants on the ground were not out to get her.The Hands and Hearts kits had 8 bb/pellet things hidden in the sand and rocks. Audrey found them all without digging around with her fingers (like the older kiddos resorted to doing out of fear that they'd be washed over the edge). They also included a vial of gold flakes to keep.Studying the Gold Rush has been fun, especially being familiar with many of the locations talked about in the books we've read. Adding activities like this has been a remarkable way to make our studies more meaningful. We're really enjoying the approach that Winterpromise takes to learning history, especially in combination with some of Sonlight's great literature pics.

I'll post later about some of our other school activities.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yippy Skippy! New Furniture...

Today was like Christmas. Crying kids and all. Oh, except the food (we had reheated spaghetti for dinner). But the gifts and the mess and extreme emotions and all that...Our new furniture arrived today! The girls were very excited, while the boys remained calmly and distantly interested. This is our new dining table. It is currently missing it's extension but still seats 6. We have 8 chairs, and when the leaf arrives it will seat 8 comfortably. I love how wide it is, and the fact that there are no armchairs (only sidechairs) makes it feel very conversation oriented.A detail photo of the chairs. The table is at counter height, so the chairs are a bit taller than normal dining chairs. The height is another thing I like about the table. It is not as high as the bar height tables, but taller than a regular table. It gives it a unique look, as does the combination of straight lines and curves.I love this chair. It had me at "hello". It makes my heart go thump-thump and drop into my stomach. I don't know what else to say. This is my chair. I might actually go write my name underneath it, in case an issue should ever arise (the "I don't see your name on it" issue). *sigh*We now have a couch and chair in our living room. It's more of a "formal" living room (I often call it the "front room" since it is at the front of the house). I'm not much into formal, so this will our conversation room--no tv, and a nice view of our center courtyard. The above picture is of the new couch alongside my chair. Yes, it is another brown leather couch. No, it is not identical to our other one. It's difficult to see in the photos, but this couch has some character. It, like the dining room set, has a nice balance of curves and straight lines. It is very dark brown--near black, but with great contrast at the seams.Here's a detail of the couch seams. Hmm...still hard to tell from the photos. You will all just have to come over to my house and check it out for yourself!Another photo of my chair. This one is so you can see the adorable little munchkin wrapped around one of the legs. This is also so that you can see the art above the fireplace--it makes a great focal point (this is what you see when you enter the house)--and notice my new dining set behind the fireplace. :)

What a fun weekend distraction!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. brown sugar-packed
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
dash cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp. butter-melted

Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry all at once, whisk until smooth. (Add more buttermilk if necessary for desired consistency.)

Cook over medium heat on a buttered nonstick skillet. Turn when bubbles form, cook until bottoms are golden brown. Serve with hot maple syrup.

Fall in Long Beach

I'm back in the land of no seasons. Or, at the very least, the land of very obscure, sublime, and subtle seasons. I have to make a concerted effort to make myself feel like I'm experiencing the seasons, for to be without the mere impression of seasons is for Melody's mind to turn into chocolate pudding. I sincerely hope we can all agree that is NOT desirable.

So I've been flavoring the air around me with the scents of autumn. Literally with apples and cinnamon, abstractly with a new burnt orange purse, and gastronomically with pumpkin waffles and beef stew.

I am blessed to have a tree on my property that has the decency to lose it's leaves at this time of year. It can't figure out how to make them turn orange, yellow, or red before shedding, but it makes up for that lack by being big enough to spread it's autumnal joy quite a far distance.

Hey, I'll take what I can get.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Lightbulb Goes On!

Or...The Idiosyncrasies of the English Language as Demonstrated by a 4 year-old American Girl.

I've occasionally heard my 4 year-old, Audrey, say things like "Melinda didn't HAIV" or "The boys weren't being HAIV" (pronounced like waive or wave, pave, shave, crave, etc.). I've never put a lot of thought into it, only assuming that she'd shortened the word "behave".

Today I realized that I was actually witnessing an excellent form of language and grammar assimilation. This is how young children build their vocabulary--they hear a word said and observe it's application, thereby learning it's meaning. Likewise with grammar, they apply common and logical conjugations to their new found vocabulary.

Audrey often heard me issue the instructions "Be nice!" and "Behave!" which, as soon as the lightbulb went on, I realized she heard as "Be nice!" and "Be HAIV!". Being the amazing language learner that she is, she fit what she heard into the patterns she already knew. HAIV must be similar to NICE, since it's used in the same context...therefore it must be conjugated the same as well.

What an enjoyable lightbulb moment!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mmmm...Comfort Food

Anyone know what this is? Well, as far as I know it's something that my mom came up with, so most of you are probably missing out. This is Comfort Food--HEALTHY Comfort Food. This is Eggs and Rice...this is something that every single one of my children enjoys eating. Typically this is something my mom would throw together for breakfast if she had leftover rice. I always have to make a ton in order to keep my boys happy, so I usually have to make rice specifically for this purpose. I'm sure my mom probably cooked it a bit different, but here's how I make it:

-2 cups of dry rice, cooked (usually cooked a day ahead and refrigerated)
-4 Tbsp butter
-9 eggs

I get my huge 12" deep dish non-stick skillet and heat it over medium heat. I add in the butter, wait until it's melted, and throw in the rice. Stir this around until the rice is mostly separated and coated with butter; cook until heated. Meanwhile, beat 9 eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add all at once to rice, stirring to combine, and occasionally while cooking (like scrambled eggs). Add salt and pepper to taste.

I was thinking of home, eating comfort food, and decided to share. Yum!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mission Trip to Honduras

Chris and I, and our boys Timothy and Andrew, just got back from our missions trip to Honduras. Our girls enjoyed a nice vacation with my parents, their Papa and MeMa. We were gone for around 10 days, and worked for 7. Our projects were located in the city of Catacamas.

We worked on two different projects. The first was replacing an old leaking tile roof and putting up a tin roof. The second was at another church that has been only halfway built for nine years. We put 2 more rows of concrete block on the top of the building, started the roof trusses, and poured the concrete floor and stage area.

The group we went with is mostly from around the Tahoe area with Church Family Missions. Including our 2 leaders, there were 19 of us in the group. Chris enjoyed being one of the drivers on the trip, and especially enjoyed the food. Timothy and Andrew had fun helping their dad and some local children get water from the river for cement and dishwashing purposes. They also had a blast trying to catch chickens, making paper airplanes, and playing soccer with the other children. I got to help with some of the cooking, dishwashing, shopping, as well as some of the other ministry and labor projects.Above is a photo of Chris (and others) behind the home of the family who hosted us for breakfast and lunch. The family attends and lives near the second church we worked on. The food was great, all cooked outside in the kitchen right behind Chris.
The above photo was near the first church we worked on. It rained, providing a small stream on the side of the road. This entertained Andrew, Timothy, and Jade (the other child on our team) for quite a while--which in turn entertained the local children.This is the truck that Chris drove, and this was the way that they got water from the river.Timothy's friend helped him catch the bunny rabbit that had been hopping around.Yay! Andrew caught a chicken! That was his goal as soon as we got to Catacamas.The cats and dogs (and chickens and rabbits and cows) all eat together. No food is wasted.VBS at the first church we worked on. This was one of the days with lower attendance!

I'm glad to be back home!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday Melinda!

My sweet girl, Miss Linnie, has turned 8! I can hardly believe it--I still think of her as 7. We had a small celebration at home, where she had her BFF stay the night. We had Mexican food for dinner (her fave) and she picked out her cake and ice cream. She got her much desired Nintendo DS from Dad and Mom. We love you Linnie!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Name that School!

The time of year has come and gone in which I must register as a private school in the state of California in order to homeschool my kiddos. Going through this process spurred me to consider a new school name. I am required to have a name for my school, and am driven by my inner perfectionist to consider and reconsider until the last moment.

Last year I'd settled on SageCrest Academy. A sage is a wise person, and combined with the word crest, I felt it to represent the pinnacle of wisdom. This was all very good until I received a random advertisement in the mail for a Sage Crest School for gifted learners in Reno. Zap! My name was no longer creative. Drat! That led into me feeling like Sagecrest was really a name more suitable for a subdivision than a school. Thus, the desire for a new name quickly surfaced.

We had a couple of amazing contenders this year. This one is great, but showed up on the scene a tad too late:

Scholastic Spantastic

Isn't that fabulous? The next is probably my favorite, although it lost the winning spot because I was unable to say it without giggling. It still may become our school slogan, though. It's that good.

Academia Mesopotamia

Tee-hee! Isn't that wonderful? That's was from the brilliant mind of my hunny. In the end, I decided on Vita et Veritas (meaning Life and Truth) because I figure that anything in Latin sounds intelligent. And if my darling children need to transfer to another school someday, I'd at least like them to sound intelligent. (where are my emoticons when I need them?)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Cool!

Today while driving Audrey made a comment that made my day. She said:

"Mommy! You're driving with one hand! That's COOL!"

What can I say? It comes naturally. Never mind that the comment came from the girl with the monkey hanging on her neck.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An Observation from Melinda

Melinda was talking to me yesterday about why she likes the neighborhood we live in. This is what she said:

"I like that everything is green. All the trees and bushes are all so green that if you dressed in green you could be completely hidden. Especially if you climbed a tree"

My thoughts exactly. Especially the part about climbing trees.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Meet-Up at the Zoo

I took the kids to the San Diego Zoo on Monday. We met up with some homeschooling moms that I'd met in May. We had fun, everyone enjoyed seeing all the animals and taking a day off of the normal routine. They especially seemed to enjoy the birds, which is good since that is what we are studying in science right now!

Here everyone is enjoying looking at some of the small exhibits: snakes, turtles etc.
Following are poses that are most necessary upon encountering gorilla statues:
What a hot day! Icees were most definitely called for.All in all, it was a very fun field trip. Where should we go next?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Give me the megaphone!

Although it most definitely will not come as a surprise to those who know me, I must confess that I sincerely, decisively, passionately do not enjoy getting dressed up. I can not stand it. The thought of it makes me want to eat a quart of ice cream. I'd rather drive for 8 hours with 4 kids in the car. If I could live the rest of my life without ever dressing fancier than jeans, a black t-shirt, and some jewelry, I'd be perfectly content.

There. You can have the megaphone back.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Day in Temecula

We went to Temecula this weekend to visit family: Nana and Grandpa Jack. We had a nice relaxing time, and enjoyed the great weather. While we were there, everyone got to do a little horseback riding. Fred and Jake (the horses) were obliging, as usual.

Audrey was the first one to go for a ride, since she's the biggest horse lover in the family. This picture is of Audrey with Nana on Jake.Audrey got to ride Jake by herself a little too. Here she is showing some of that horsey-love.

The other kiddos got to ride too, as did Chris. Melinda was a little afraid to be on by herself at first, but warmed up quickly. Andrew was very glad to have a brother to hang onto! They were all riding bareback, so it was a new experience.
This has to be the best picture of Audrey and her daddy around...I love it!It was a lot of fun to be able to visit just for a day or so. The kids definitely did not want to leave, although that may have something to do with the fact that there are enough computers there for everyone, and there are desserts aplenty. Fun inside as well as outside!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Trying a new Blog Template

The other one was bugging me. I sure wish there was more selection in the premade templates. I really don't need to spend time designing a custom blog!

edited to add: I've found more premade templates, and I've also spent too much time trying to customize my blog...hmmm...

Book Review: Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning

“An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education”

This book has a lot of interesting information, still applicable to schooling today even though it was written in 1991. The book discusses education in general, with a focus on what Christian Education should be, in the framework of the Classical Education model.

I really appreciated the depth of the discussion about what Christian Education should be. Much of the book was spent comparing a Christian Education to a Humanistic Education, exploring exactly why they are different. Basically, one must realize that a complete Christian Education is not accomplished by adding prayer and bible study to a Humanistic course of study. Christian Education is built on the framework of knowing that all study is connected to the Creator—they are not individual disconnected areas of study.

As much as I enjoyed and agreed with most of this book, I have to say that I remain unconvinced that a complete Christian Education is the only way to reform education in America simply because this is not the method employed by other countries whose educational systems far exceed that of the United States. It is probably true that countries whose students perform better academically do so in part because of societal expectations. Therefore, in a broader sense I suppose the argument could be applied that Christianity is (or was, or should be) America’s framework for such expectations. In that case the breakdown of the Christian faith in America would account for a degeneration of academic and moral expectations. I tend to think, however, that the problem is more likely to lie in the fact that we are a nation of immigrants tied together by the idea of freedom. Without any other unifying moral framework this ideal has evolved into a sense of entitlement which has had a detrimental affect on many different aspects of our country and government.

I don’t think that the answer to education, or any other government program, is to attempt to make it distinctively Christian. I do think, however, that it would benefit Christian families to put more thought into the issues that Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning raises. Overall, I have to say that it was an enjoyable, well written book. If you are in the mood to refine your educational philosophy, I suggest you pick up a copy and see where it takes you!

Hi ho, Hi ho...

It’s off to work they go. Fridays have become work experience days for Timothy this year. This has been one of the great benefits of living so close to Chris’ office. He does take some schoolwork with him (always math, plus today he gets grammar and science) since I’m not willing to completely let it go by the wayside.

At work he does inventory, he sorts and alphabetizes paperwork, he is a courier, and he is beginning some data entry. Chris says that it’s “high time”. He is 12 years old after all, time to get his rear in gear!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nothing like the last minute

Oops. I think that I just changed Andrew's writing program without meaning to! This would be the 3rd program so far this the whole 5 weeks of schooling we've done so far. This wasn't my plan, far from it. I had researched all my curriculum extensively before purchasing for the year, really hoping to find the right fit on the first try.

I bought Writing With Ease by Susan Wise Bauer, and read through it last night. Ms. Bauer is the co-author (with her mother) of The Well Trained Mind. Many of her opinions are ones that I agree with, so this book really made sense to me. It is a longer term gradual approach to good writing, although she includes instructions on starting older children in it as well.

I purchased it with my girls in mind, but as I was working with Andrew today on his writing I realized that this approach very well may make more sense to him than what we were doing before. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, I'll be typing up a short review of WWE, as well as a comparison to IEW. (And to all you non-homeschooling types with the glazed over eyes, feel free to skip over those posts! There will more fun stuff coming as well.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Parroting Parenting Skills

As a parent I often cringe when I hear one of my children say something that they've learned from hearing me speak...since it is typically a less than exemplary selection of linguistic material (something like "geez!" or "yeah, well..."). This week, however, I've had the privilege of hearing both of my daughters say something that had quite the opposite effect. They were both wonderful tidbits proving that my efforts in parenting are not completely wasted.

First was little Audrey. I was busy on the computer (work, not play--of course!) and she was trying to explain to me how she had divided one stick of gum into enough pieces for everyone to have some. Instead of being the wonderful nurturing homeschooling mother that I typically am, I attempted to multi-task. Oops. I faintly heard her say which piece was mine so I reached out, took the piece, put it in my mouth and started chewing. I was in the middle of thinking that I was doing a fabulous job of handling two things at once when I realized the Audrey had completely stopped chattering. Then she sighed. I glanced over at her and she said, "Mommy, I was making a point!"

Second was Melinda. I was watching Pride and Prejudice (the REAL one, thank you very much) and Melinda impatiently asks, "why do they keep playing the same song?". I try to never let an opportunity pass to give Melinda some grief, so with half a smile I replied, "Well, you are more than welcome to leave the room, you know." She gave me a longsuffering, patient look and explained: "Mom. I like the movie, and I like spending time with you, I'm just getting tired of hearing the same song over and over again." Ha! That's something my wonderful brother Matthew would appreciate. What a step for this girl of mine! To see her separate emotion and feeling from facts is a fabulous treat for me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Civil War Dinner

We have been studying the Civil War with Winterpromise's American Story 2. When I told the kids that there was instructions on how to make hardtack in the instructor's guide, they all got excited.

"We should plan a Civil War Dinner!" they all said at once. Well, okay! Who am I to pass up an opportunity for further education? So we made cornbread and hardtack, and served it with beans and coffee under a tent the boys constructed outside. We talked about a soldier's life and sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic.What a great experience. Andrew decided that we should have a Civil War Dinner once a year in remembrance of the Civil War. Everyone was beyond thrilled to be told to drink coffee. I was gracious enough to allow them to add cream and sugar, which is probably the reason that everyone (except Audrey) finished their whole mug.History with Winterpromise has been one part of our day that everyone has enjoyed. We all agree that the afternoons are the best. Andrew likes just being able to listen and discuss. Timothy won't go so far as to say that he enjoys it, but does admit that it is much less painful than math or grammar. I like that I can have them all together, learning about the same thing for some portion of the day.Next, we need to find a place to go gold panning OTHER than our pool!