Thursday, December 18, 2008
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
Thursday, December 4, 2008
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
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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.
Audrey: "My duck speaks Spanish. Do you want to hear it?"
Duck: "Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack" (to the tune of Old MacDonald)
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
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 http://www.faqs.org/health/Sick-V1/Chickenpox.html)
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
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
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
What a fun weekend distraction!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
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
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.
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
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
-2 cups of dry rice, cooked (usually cooked a day ahead and refrigerated)
-4 Tbsp butter
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
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.
I'm glad to be back home!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
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:
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
"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
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:
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
There. You can have the megaphone back.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
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
edited to add: I've found more premade templates, and I've also spent too much time trying to customize my blog...hmmm...
“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
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!
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
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
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
"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!