Sep 24, 2011

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Homeschooling is well on it's way. 

Annie is in first grade now.  She is pondering the deep questions of life. 

 For instance, the other night, she approached me with:
"Mom, where does poop come fwum?"  I looked at my husband who was grinning from ear to ear.  He couldn't wait to hear how I was going to explain this one. 

"Well, Annie...ummm, that's a great question... basically, it's leftover food that your body doesn't need."


"Because your body doesn't use everything you put into it."

 "Why does it stink?"

"Probably because it's been through your digestive system."


"Any other questions?"

"Yeah. Where does tinkle come fwum?"

(Does anyone have a book of gross topics that I could borrow?)


I was thrilled to find this big bulletin board in the clearance section at Michaels.  I grabbed it,and brought it home.  I asked my honey to paint the border black so it wouldn't look so "bulletin-boardish" -Is that an adjective?  It is today.

It's a great spot to showcase good grades, as well as post daily schedules, jobs, music information, verses and reading charts.

And speaking of reading....I was alarmed the other day when Annie frantically called me from the other room. 

"Mom!!  There's a bad 'pictchor' in my reading book!"  

"Oh no, honey.  What do you mean?  I don't think there are any bad pictures in your reading book."

 -The look on her face would cause any Army sergeant to shake in  his boots-

"It's a 'VER-WEEEE' bad 'pictchor'!!"  (emphasis on the "WEEEEE" as you read that)

"Do I have to read this?" 



"Let me see it." 

 I'll be honest.  I giggled like a 4th grader.  I don't know what's more comical:

1. The fact that he's trying to dry off with a hand towel


2.  That he's wearing blush 

 By the way, I did make her read the book.  -Enough of this sheltering business! 


When Rocky first came to live with us, he had a hard time accepting the fact that the kids were not always available to play with him the second he wanted.  

Homeschooling has brought a little order to Rocky's life.  He now waits patiently for Matt to finish his work.

And when Matt is done, Rocky goes with him.

Matt and Mary had a rather interesting experiment during their English class.  The lesson was on "How to Write a Good Paragraph."  A good paragraph needs to have a great topic sentence and concluding sentence.  Some people tend to squeeze way too much information in between those two sentences.

Let's use an oreo cookie to help explain this a little further:

This is a perfectly balanced treat. It has a great chocolaty "topic" sentence, a lovely middle and an equally as great "concluding" bottom.

Could there ever be too much filling in the middle? 

Let's find out.....

a 30 stuffed oreo!

 The answer is yes, you can have too much in the middle. 

In conclusion:  I once heard that emotion and weird humor help people retain what they learn. You can ask Matt when he's 47 if he remembers this little experiment, because that's about how long it will take for his bellyache to subside.

Sep 17, 2011

Cucumbers...oh the cucumbers!

We planted a garden for the first time this summer.  We weren't sure how the garden would do with our soil.  Joel's grandfather rents his land to farmers. Grandpa pretty much has the best soil on the face of the planet.  So, Joel hauled some of that beautiful, mineral rich filth over here, and threw it down.  Mikey was there to help.

Because we're newbie farmers, we opted to plant less, and just see what we get.  

Our soil did not fail us!!! The tomatoes did great - as well as the the green and red peppers.  And then, there were the cucumbers....oh the cucumbers!!!!!

The cucumbers did well....


 CRAZY WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like, "I never want to see another cucumber as long as I live" well.

I've made pickles...lots and lots of pickles. I've put cucumbers in smoothies, soups, lasagna and sandwiches. I've put cucumbers on my puffy eyes, legs, arms and rear. -I mean, I don't know.....why not, right? 

I've tried just about every salad on the internet that has the word "cucumber" in it.  No one is allowed in this house, unless they walk out with a cucumber...make that 5 cucumbers! As a joke for Dad's birthday, I had each one of the kids take a cucumber and decorate it.  Then, they delivered his basket of bountiful blessings. 

I once loved cucumbers.  And now quite honestly, I never want to see another one again.  

Don't let that tear fool you.  They're evil!

Sep 13, 2011

The Enchanted Woods

Two days ago, Grampy took the little ones for a walk. They returned, wide-eyed and out of breath, as they burst through the door. "MOM! We found a waterfall!!" They told everyone around the dinner table about their "secret hideout." I guess that negates the "secret" part.

 The following day, they begged me to take them to their "not so secret any more" hideout. I looked around the room at the piles of laundry begging to be folded, the dishes pleading to be washed, the paper work waiting to be filed, the furniture choking on dust and my stinky armpits screaming for a shower.  I had much to do. I told them to wait.   The sun was moving across the sky, reminding me that there were only a few short hours left of daylight. I sighed in exhaustion.  I will always have "so much to do," but my children need to know that they are at the top of that list! I dropped the laundry in the hallway, told the dishes and paper work to wait and slathered on extra deodorant. I called the little girls (sidenote: they informed Joel and I that they do not like being called "little girls" any more.) 

 So, I called the "old ladies" and asked them to take me to their secret hide away. They were more than willing! On the way down the driveway, we grabbed a friend who knew the way.... :) 

We walked for about 5 minutes, and suddenly we were there!  I was shocked that I drove past this little area every day and never noticed it. This was no secret hideout. It was an enchanted forest! 

A place where little girls could dream and pretend to be whatever they wanted. 

The excitement was spilling from their eyes, ears and mouth. They couldn't wait to walk in the water!

As the girls took off hand in hand, I sat in awe of our Creator. I tried to take it all in. I want to remember this moment. I want the images burned in my mind. I try to engage all of my senses. The sun was streaming in between massive trees, creating pockets of happiness along the water. The girls were wading around the water holding hands. Shades of green and brown were encircling me.  I listened to the beauty of the birds singing mixed with mini water falls and giggles.  When I'm 80, I hope I'll remember this day.

Ann Voskamp writes about the danger of being rushed in her book, "One Thousand Gifts." It really opened my eyes to how I was living.  We live in a fast-paced world, demanded by clocks and to do lists.  We are in a constant hurry to get to the next thing.  Sadly, in our hurrying, we miss beautiful things. 

In hurrying, we don't stop and take time to smile at faces around us because we're too busy grumbling about how long a line is or why a car is going so slow in front of us. In hurrying, we fail to say "thank you" to our great God.

Look around you. What do you see? Laundry? Messes? To do lists? Mud all over your daughter's jean shorts?

 Look harder.  

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting." -Psalm 118:29

I guess I created a little extra laundry for myself that day.....but you know what?

There will always be "to do lists." There won't always be little ones begging to take you to their "secret" fort.