Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween…


From my little fly fisherman….


and our baby dinosaur…

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Campaign ad perspective…

And for a little negative campaigning perspective, try this on for size, you son of a nutmeg dealer…

Thursday, October 28, 2010

D is for dog…

Preschool is on Friday this week. =) Wednesday came and went without it…

D is for Dog

- Draw the letter D on the Magnadoodle. Have him attempt to copy it. Talk about words that start with letter D.

- D bag- pull out D items

- Read The Great Dog Wash Jamboree. Talk about dogs. Let him brush our visiting dog, my “brother,” Albert. =)

- Collect some fresh leaves and make wax paper leaves.

- Printed out this D worksheet, and let him dot the D’s with bingo marker.

- Play Alphabet Bingo, a game I inherited from my Great Aunt Mary, a preschool teacher. She has many bingo cards with multiple letters and numbers on them. You call out the letters, and if they get bingo, they get a little prize.

- Read new books from the library.


Seth seems to really like the repetition of drawing the letter on the Magnadoodle and doing the letter bag each week. He looks forward to it, so we’re continuing to do it because of the comforting routine it gives.

I was also pointed to this website by my friend, Rachel. Honestly, there is WAY more than I’d ever want to do here, and the panic that a site like this can induce could be prohibitive. Some homeschool mom blogs leave me with a guilty “Wow, what a homeschooling mother… I am a slug.” feeling. But, my mom reminds me that homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint, so I’m not going to fret… yet. And this is great stuff if you can get past feelings of inadequacy and enjoy what she so graciously provides!



- For a computer that works again, and for a friend to lead me to good people to fix it….

- A refreshing afternoon nap…

- Pajama pants…

- God’s leading to head to the children’s museum yesterday, spur of the moment. It was exactly the break from fussing that I needed. Just get me a t-shirt that says, “I’m a reactive parent”. =)

- A newly walking 16-month-old…. walking actually slows him down currently. =)

- Daddy coming home tonight for dinner and the library costume party…

- My little fisherman and my little dinosaur…

- A friend’s stellar post roast that made dinner for me and sandwiches for David…

- Boys who played happily in the tub last night so I could clean out under all the bathroom cabinets…

- Being able to talk through the latest parenting challenges on the phone with David as he drove home late last night….

- Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered caramels. Heaven in a plastic tub…

Sunday, October 24, 2010

kristin lavransdatter…

Well, I just finished Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter, and I feel a tad bit bereft. At 1124 pages, this book has been with me all week! =)

There aren’t many books that I’ve picked up that I would really like to add to my home library. I’m not a book buying gal; I get most books from the library, and I don’t usually read a novel more than once.

That said, I would like to own this one. It’s hard to describe exactly what is so meaningful about it…. but it’s a beautifully written portrait of a woman’s life, from birth to marriage, through motherhood and child rearing, and then from widowhood to death. Her sins and struggles and joys feel real and painful and fresh, and I related to her in many painful ways as she struggled to love God and her family and serve them well, conscious as she was of her own sins and failings.

But I’m having trouble contemplating the joys of literature while a sick baby coughs and whines for me to read him “Noah’s Ark” for the 4,381st time, so I shall depart now. =)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

computer virus and more….

Sorry about not posting our letter of the week “preschool” this week. Our computer was hit with a virus, so our computer guy had to come and get it and fix it up for us. I’m thankful for him… he’s kind, and he doesn’t charge an arm and a leg.

Oh, and if you have a screen pop up that tells you your computer is being attacked by viruses and you need to run antivirus, don’t click anything. It’s a virus that will download on your hard drive if you click anything. Shut down the computer, unplug your internet connection, and hope it didn’t get on there… Never, under any circumstances, should you sign up for this program’s “antivirus software.” They will take your credit card info… and then steal you blind. I’m glad I don’t know anything about the stealing thing firsthand.

The computer virus was a bad thing, but not such a bad thing. I actually enjoyed the internet fast. It’s been too long since I’ve done one. Since the computer is in my kitchen, its far too easy to pop on it when the boys are playing. I have an easier time concentrating and being a part of their play if I’m sitting with a book on my lap than with the computer screen up.

And in the past few days of computer free living, Evan has learned to walk. He’s truly walking now, at least half the time. He can push himself up to standing, and then he stumbles from place to place like a tiny drunken sailor. He can even carry us books, and when he falls down, he says, “Boom!” It’s stinkin’ cute.

In other news, I may be scarce on here, or I may be posting a lot. We’re entering another season of lots of work for David and single motherhood for me. Could be 3 weeks, could be longer. If you think of us, pray for us. I am struggling with anger and frustration and a trapped feeling.

I need to learn how to give David’s job over to God. This is the 3rd year he’s been with the job. The first year was great, the 2nd year sucked, and the 3rd year has been hard at times. I thought last year was a fluke, but I’m learning that the things I hate will apparently be with us always. That’s hard for me to accept. I fight it. I don’t want to make everybody around me miserable with my bad attitude, so I’m trying to learn how to cope better. I’ve been blessed to have family and friends help me when we’re daddyless around here, though I can’t do very much to lighten my husband’s load. We’re going to make it… but it’s hard for me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

first kiss…

Last night was special for me and Evan. As I lotioned him down and put him in his nightshirt and sleep sack, he kept looking toward the wall by the window. And, in his tiny voice, he said, “Doggie!” “Doggie!”

I remembered when I bought that vintage puzzle of a dog. I was out with my best friend, and we’d stopped by a neighborhood junk shop. It was the kind where you roam through and look at the different displays set up by various dealers. The dog and cat puzzles were cheap, and I snapped them up. I can’t remember whether I was pregnant with Evan or not yet, but I know that I had them in mind for the wall of our next child’s room.

That little child has just learned to recognize them and call them by name.

I hugged him to me and brushed his damp blonde curls. I held him in front of the mirror in my room, and I thought to ask, “Evan, will you give Mommy a kiss?” He’s been saying “kiss” lately, but I still wasn’t prepared for him to smile and lean toward me with his mouth wide open in the way of brand new baby kissers everywhere.

Two heart clenching moments in one night. My cup runneth over.

A masterpiece of prose…

This resonates deeply with me. Has he been to my house? Just read it… oh, and the end is the best. Hat tip to Amy’s Humble Musings…

homeschooling smorgasbord…

Hi, all! Well, the MOPs school forum went well this year. I had several more questions given to me than I had last year, and another added bonus was that the leader of this local church’s support group showed up to talk to interested moms… me included. =)

I feel encouraged because I’m noticing more interest in homeschooling around me, and its nice to be able to answer questions, give encouragement, and share my experiences. And in light of that, here is a smorgasbord of info I’ve heard about and links to enjoy…

In the category of the reasons to homeschool, here are my favorite posts:

- This one from Brandy at Afterthoughts has been more meaningful to me than any other I’ve come across so far. It resonates because I’ve seen the benefit firsthand of having time to of build a rich, family culture of Christian life and learning.

- In the same vein, here are some thoughts from Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience…

Books I’ve enjoyed on homeschooling…

- For the Children’s Sake- Susan Schaeffer Macaulay- a classic. My mom gave me her copy.

- The Charlotte Mason Companion- a great, practical explanation of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education. I had read bits and fragments here and there about her views of teaching the child, but this was a great read for putting flesh on how to go about it practically. I got lots of good ideas and saw how a lifestyle of learning is built on the framework given by Charlotte Mason.

- In light of the last book, see Wikipedia’s entry on Charlotte Mason, especially the Teaching Methods section. It’s a good, short summary for Charlotte Mason neophytes.

- A Survivor’s Guide to Homeschooling- this is another oldie but goodie from my mom’s library. It’s a light read, it’s realistic about the good and bad and ugly, and even though its a bit dated on some things, like how most outsiders will view homeschooling (keep your kids indoors during school hours or your neighbors will call the truant officer, etc.) , I found a lot of truth there. It was a good one to give to my husband, and it led to some fun talks with him.

And I’ve wasted enough time now at 4:00 in the morning with this little bout of insomnia. =) I hope some of you find these helpful in your educational quest. I may post curriculum resources I’ve enjoyed at some point, but that’s a post for another day…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

C is for Cookie…

Today’s alphabet preschool lesson:

- Write the letter C on the Magnadoodle and have him practice making c’s…

- C bag filled with items that start with C- car, cookie, etc.

- Make a Collage with glue stick and magazine pictures of animals

- Watch C is for cookie on YouTube and sing along =)

- Play our vintage Circocolor game (spin the brush on the palate with different colors and put the puzzle piece of the color you land on in the puzzle)

- Read the Frog and Toad Story about eating too many Cookies. I love that story. =)

- Eat Crackers and Cheese for snack…

Monday, October 11, 2010

Help me, homeschoolers!

Ok, so I’m representing all homeschoolers everywhere again tomorrow at the MOPs school forum. Fun. =)

This time I pulled together some info on local homeschooling groups and places to buy curriculum, etc.

But I need help with a sweet, non-offensive, deeply profound, yet short, answer to this question: “Why did you choose homeschooling for your children?” So, all you homeschoolers out there, help me out! You have 5 minutes… go. =)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

For my mom…


From the photos that I had yet to upload off my little camera… A grandma moment. Love you, Mommy.

Friday, October 08, 2010



Deep in the wood I made a house

Where no one knew the way;

I carpeted the floor with moss,

And there I loved to play 


 I heard the bubbling of the brook;

At times an acorn fell,

And far away a robin sang

Deep in the lonely dell.


I set a rock with acorn cups;

So quietly I played

A rabbit hopped across the moss,

And did not seem afraid.

- Katherine Pyle

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

B is for…

Today’s 3-year-old boy preschool lesson….

B is for….

- Write Bb on the Magnadoodle. Talk about sound it makes. Have him trace over it…

- Fill paper sack with things that start with B, and he pulls them out.

- Do this craft: hot air Balloon…

- Worked with our number line…

- Cutting practice with scraps…

- Read “The Biggest Bear” by Lynd Ward. Had him find the big B’s for me.

- Played outside with Bubbles and the Bean Box

I’m typing up these lessons for you in case anyone else out there with a 2 or 3-year-old might get some inspiration from them. They’re exceedingly simple, but that’s our speed around here right now. Enjoy!

Oh, I’m going to start tagging them as alphabet preschool, so you can click on that tag to find others…

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Thank you, Mr. Carnegie…

public library

(not my local library- way cuter)

I took the boys to our local library this morning. It’s one of my favorite places in our little world.

Most mornings of the week, they have a rhyme time program. We go in, get a ticket from a smiling children’s librarian, and then join about 20 other moms and kids for a half hour of songs, rhymes, and stories. Seth and Evan LOVE it. They dance, they clap, and they remember the rhymes later on… and so does their mom. Blowing and mass chasing of bubbles, a stamp on the hand, and we’re off.

This morning, I was looking for books that could answer this frequently asked question: “What does ______ (insert your animal of choice here) eat?” So I asked one of the children’s librarians, and she promptly hopped up from her desk and led me to a large section of children’s books on animals. She didn’t come up with an encyclopedia style book about animal eating patterns, but I did find several books on Seth’s level about the habits of some of his favorites.

We came home, and we read while Evan napped. We read about the mysterious giant squid, and we looked at beautiful photos of toads, and Mommy learned a thing or two about a cow’s stomach…

It made me thankful all over again for the institution of the public library. My local one is about 5 minutes away, and it has a great system for requesting and renewing books. Everything is online, and I get regular emails to let me know that I need to renew. I renew online, and if something won’t renew, its a short trip to take it back.

I also recently discovered their online interlibrary loan program. Oh, my… I am excited! You want a book they don’t have? No problem… just type in the author and title, give them your card no., and hit enter. In two weeks, you can have an obscure book from some other library in the U.S. I am going to be shamelessly taking advantage of this for many years to come.

I did a little looking on Wikipedia, and as far as I can figure, I can thank Mr. Andrew Carnegie for the bounty I enjoy today. He gave the public library in the U.S. its start at looking like it does today. Hmmm, wealthy businessman using the fruits of his labors to pioneer something new and beneficial to mankind… wait, wasn’t the government supposed to be the only entity that can do that? =) So, thank you, Mr. Carnegie. You’ve helped to make my life richer…