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Showing posts from June, 2007

Good Morning, Patrick!

This was taken on a recent day we lost power. See the lantern in his hand?

The Emperor Hates Electronic Toys!

School is Over

The homeschool school year officially ends today. Last day of classes was yesterday. I would have it officially end in Feb. or March but the state tells me when it starts and when it is over. They're pretty lenient in other areas so I will be grateful I get to keep my child home and schedule my school year accordingly.

G is now done with public summer school and the district paid him $40 for his attendance. I can't say that I wouldn't be tempted to take him out of school every now and then over the summer if it weren't for the cash incentive. G gets to keep $10 and tithe on that. He's starting to figure out that tithing means less for him. I'm trying to explain that the $10 is HIS but he can choose not to honour God and steal from him... his choice... He's still going to bring his dollar to church but actually I think this is progress for him. It costs us something to put God first. He really wants $10 instead of $9. By giving that dollar in the …

Elf's Seventh Birthday

Elf was very excited about his new books. Not so much about the Thomas the Tank Engine underwear. He opened that up and said, "Um, okayyy..." I guess when you're seven it's not as cool as when you're four!

Ann Coulter in the News

Oh, she says some things that aren't nice, but I like her! Her very blunt treatment of news items and people brings out what a lot of people are feeling, but are too "polite" to say. Elizabeth Edwards appeared on the news yesterday in some cloying attempt to ask Coulter to pretty please stop being so *mean* (boo hoo hoo) and mongering "hate." Did she really expect that Coulter would go, oh, I'm SO sorry to have offended you... I PROMISE to not get personal in any political discourse ever, ever again!


This was a calculated move on the part of the Edwards campaign to raise money. Every time Coulter opens her mouth and says something they interpret as "hateful," the Edwards' website rakes in some cash. John Edwards was on NBC Hardball this morning talking about how brave his wife was, but paradoxically how the entire exchange on such subjects takes away from the REAL issues like health care and poverty. He just HAD to get those campaign platfor…

Birthday Cake

The Elf and I made this birthday cake for his seventh birthday. Note the KEEBLER cookies on top in a checkerboard pattern. Elf was very excited about his creation!

Frugal Living

My online friend Aunt B at is going to be sending me a book soon about Frugal Living. Now, I'm going to admit to you that I *need* lessons in that.

My dad used to say that "it's only money." I grew up without any idea about how to manage money or worry about how to pay for anything. Ahh... That little respite from reality was niiiice. Of course, I went off to college without a clue. I had not taken the initiative to learn things like "how to do laundry" or, how on earth do you know what chemicals to clean the sink with? My first apartment roommate was in absolute horror that I *never* cleaned the toilet or sink, or vacuumed. Eh, it didn't occur to me. It didn't bother me so much that the algae in the toilet whooshed back and forth with each flush like seaweed. Just as long as *I* didn't have to clean it. You don't think I'm reaching in there, do you?

Once, I decided that I would like to cook …

My Yard

The top two photos are of my back yard. The last one is the pumpkin plant we transplanted to the front of the yard near the mailbox. It's about the only level part of the yard that gets sun. It seems to be growing well there near the beans. I am not counting on a real pumpkin harvest though.

Homeschool Update

The Elf has completed the first of two second grade math books in Horizons. He is almost done with all his PACE English and Spelling books, and will probably finish by mid-August. We're in LIFEPAC 4 of 10 in science, and in the sixth unit of ten in Bible studies. We're in the fourth unit of 12 in Social Studies, but I have been not "pushing" that as much because we are doing supplemental reading on colonial times. Social Studies is, I think, one of those subjects that is not confined to a year-based course of study. That is, you do not need to know EVERYTHING about Colonial times in America to move on to World War II the following year, if that is the order the publisher puts things in. So that might last us a year and a half anyway.

The school year does not officially "start" until July 1. I want Elf to start third grade in February after the baby comes. (OK, maybe he'll start in March, who knows?) I am *tempted* to buy another second grade Eng…

G's Complaint Card

I'm tired of the complaints. The other day I forced G to do some dusting even though he wasn't in "trouble" and therefore deserving the chore. Patrick has a sinus infection and is allergic to dust. And I can't do *everything* myself. So I asked G because he is about my height and can reach the ceiling. Boy was he mad. Finally I told him that I honestly, truly, really am *not* listening to the screaming. If you have something to tell me write it down on this comment card and I will really hear what you have to say then. I think it worked. Can you see that he is upset about not using the computer too? Once it was written down it was much easier to work out with him. At least this time. I'm sort of thinking of a home management binder thing, and if I ever get round to it these slips of paper will be in the front pocket for older children. Mom just doesn't like the screaming, and she also doesn't like punishing kids for getting out of hand when we can ju…

My Cast of Characters

For those of you who are kind of wondering what kid goes with which nickname, I'm posting photos. The top is "Patrick" who will be 14 this fall. He *loves* chess and games with strategy. There is almost no question that he will beat about anybody at Clue. Next is the Emperor who will be 6 soon. He has just graduated from preschool and is very energetic. G, age 12, and baby J (six months old) are in the next picture. G will, despite all my training of him otherwise, just scoop that little baby up and bring him over to cuddle on the couch or chair. He loves to play with baby J and can't stand seeing him by himself! The last picture is my little Elf, who just turned 7. He is holding the green beans he grew very proudly. His little bracelet tells emergency people that he has asthma.

More Flowers Abound!

The daisies are fading for the most part, but more beautiful flowers are popping up all over the yard! I spent the day weeding with Patrick. See the transplanted green bean plant by the mailbox? Elf and Emperor are so proud of that.

More on Apartment Living

Martha Stewart should put out a magazine on "Apartment Living." Now, for those of you who live in apartments, please know ahead of time that you will be highly offended by what you read and skip this post. But I think Martha needs to tell us how "good things" can be brought out of crowded apartment living.

I hate, loathe, and despise apartments. I detest hearing the boom, boom, boom, of the stupid music that the people next door to me play. They not only are deaf, but they also have poor taste in music which includes some sort of bongo wailing. Then later in the day the people in the apartment above decide to play their selections, which apparently have been stolen from Bo and Luke Duke's residence somewhere in Hazzard County, Georgia. Now a motorcycle in the covered entry!! Do you have any idea how loud that is, or how that echoes? Thank you for waking the children up from their naps...

I don't like apartments because even at "home," you …

The Roach Motel

The first real job D had was in Florida. At the time, we were 24 and living in Indiana with baby Patrick. We were so excited about this opportunity!! D flew ahead to Florida while I packed up house and made arrangements.

I arrived in Florida to find that D had already picked out an apartment in F--'s Landing. He had signed a LEASE on an apartment he had never seen, after seeing the model. (I know, I know...) It turns out that this apartment had *quite* the roach problem. Thankfully our stuff had not arrived yet on the moving van. It is much more difficult to get rid of roaches, I reasoned, with a place choc-a-bloc full of stuff than it is with just a few blankets on the floor, a couple suitcases and a Pack-n-Play.

We really wanted to give the apartment managers a chance to clear the problem. Donald was taking classes at his new job and if he didn't pass them, he'd have no job and we'd be stranded in this new state with no contacts and no money!! So, we really…

Our Dining Room Light

It looks a LOT better than the three tiny bulbs sticking STRAIGHT out of the ceiling when we moved in. This is one of those things I wish we had done sooner because it just makes *such* a difference in the room.

Household Happenings

Well, the lovely bathroom pictured a couple posts back is having its ceiling painted by Patrick. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that the very FIRST thing you noticed in my series of pictures about my bathroom was that it really, really needed a coat of paint on the ceiling. The other stuff it took you a while to notice. That's ok though, because the ceiling is officially PAINTED! Whoo-hoo!

Yes, there is white paint all over my shower floor and in my tile grout. I stood under it at one point and got a clump in my hair too. But, since I didn't have to do the painting myself these things don't matter so much. Soon I will have Patrick paint the rest of my bathroom. I think the walls will be considerably harder just because of the layout of the bathroom. You can't beat the price, though.

How much?

Well, Patrick was just kinda hoping that he wouldn't have to do so much homeschooling the next day. HA! I told him I would be paying him but I didn't sa…

Mama's Tiny Tyrant!

Baby J is starting to get very demanding. It's so hard to say that and be honest about it, but that's what's going on. He's so cute, and he looks like a little chubby pumpkin, and he smells like baby sour milk and softness all mixed together, but he is becoming a very friendly tyrant.

Somewhere around four months of age, J would just howl at strangers for the most part, *especially* if they tried to pick him up. I know you're thinking that kids don't really do that at four months of age, and that's just the proud mom talking here. You know, the same sort of mom that would say her kid was potty-trained at one, read fluently at age three and is WAY better than YOUR kid. No, that's not really the idea I'm trying to convey here... But for some reason he really IS a bit wary of strangers, even this early. He is also deathly afraid of being left alone. The ear-piercing, gut-wrenching cries carry to anywhere in the house you're trying to hide! You can j…

My Interesting Bathroom

I love the lot our house is situated on, and the neighbourhood with a few exceptions is nice enough, but I will say that our downstairs bathroom is, um, not the most ideal in terms of space and location. We looked into various options on "what to do" with the space (too much money to change!!) and one remodeler told me this obviously used to be a utility closet converted into a bathroom. It's RIGHT between the stairs, the furnace room, and an outer wall leaving no way to improve on the area without spending major amounts of money. See the only area we can keep towels is on a shelf by the furnace. It's actually about two feet away, but the picture looks like it's touching. The hole has been cut into the wall so our plumber could figure out what was leaking a few weeks back. Looks terrible. D has spackled it over and it needs painting and then a picture hung over it LOL! Now as to the light. There is a fan in there as well, and the cover is literally disi…


D made hamburgers a few days ago. Guess what he forgot to do?

You're Forcing Me to be Rude!

I just feel like everywhere you go, you'll either be taken advantage of or you will be FORCED to be RUDE. Here's what I mean:

The telephone

Ok, we all know it is NOT rude to hang up on a recording. Is it rude to hang up on a wrong number? Is it rude to be snotty to the people who KNOW they have a wrong number but persist in calling anyway?

When we first moved here about ten years ago, we received a new (to us) number from the phone company. I don't think the phone was in service for a full 24 hours before we began receiving collection calls for the STOCKWELLS. Whenever I would receive these calls for the STOCKWELLS, I used to patiently explain that we had moved here from out of state and THIS is the number the phone company gave us. We have no clue even who these STOCKWELLS even are.

Of course, the debt collectors are used to being lied to continually, so they didn't believe me. I would get maybe 10 calls a day or so. And those were only the ones I answered. I began tellin…


D got this file cabinet from the TRASH near his office! It is brand-new looking with a few small scratches. Smells like pencil shavings (not a trash smell!). Yay for FREE stuff!

The Adventures of Little Elf

Well, we had quite the adventure at church this week. The church is undergoing construction / renovation until the middle of August and that means that the Elf's classroom is being moved temporarily. Guess what that means to the little Elf with autism? That's right... he ran away screaming because the change is overwhelming. Thankfully Mr. B was able to catch him and bring him to where my class was being held. One of the ladies I go to class with learned what was going on and stepped in. She was able to diffuse the situation and take him to get some toys and go into a classroom alone with him. Wow, was I grateful. He does so much better without lots of people around.

We had talked about good behaviour at church before we went in, and there were rewards promised... but that is never enough when you have autism. Sometimes I don't know what to do with him. The public school district we pulled him from had the answer of changing his teacher every few minutes and locking him in …

The Famous Couch

This couch is 24 years old now. It used to be in my parents' living room, a room in which you were NEVER ALLOWED TO ENTER except on Christmas or special family gatherings. It has been used a bit more frequently in our house. I finally had to remove two covers because it was fraying in such a way that people were getting tangled in the frayed edging or tucking things inside the gashes. The meticulously pressed armrest covers are long gone. We're not *trying* to trash the couch, but I think the fabric is more of a showpiece design than a child-friendly one.

Education R Us

I'm looking at the HSLDA website again and see my state is in the blue now. That just means that the proposals to make education mandatory for kids FIVE and up (rather than SEVEN) is dead for another few months. I have a feeling it will come back though. It seems that *all* governments want control over how you raise your child, in more areas, and for longer periods of time. There are just lots of people out there who feel that because there are a few wacky and bad parents, that we need to make a bunch of stringent laws to "protect the children."

Lately I've been wondering what we're protecting the children from. I looked into the state of Massachusetts on the website. Now I've always known things are weird out there, and not just because my friend Erin and my uncle's family live out there. (Hi guys!!) People like Ted Kennedy not only get elected, but they get RE-elected year after year. That would *not* happen here short of a massive population shift or a…

Good Morning!

It's time to wake up, grab some coffee and see if you've commented on my blog. I might look at the news or at my Bible before sniffing the baby and waking him up. He is *so* soft and sleepy smellable then. But very hungry and not afraid to tell you so. Then it's time to get breakfast for the other children. Patrick and G pretty much have this under control, but I need to give medicines out and lead the prayer and Bible time for the day. G leaves around 6:45 and homeschool starts at 7.

Homeschool Time!

I am partially homeschooling Patrick (13, going into grade 8) over the summer. Elf (7 next week!) and Emperor (5) are learning at the kitchen table. Baby J plays, demands attention or naps. G is at summer school with the district.

Throughout the Day

Throughout the day, when I'm not actively homeschooling, I can be found cooking or organizing cabinets at times. You'd be surprised at how often the routine organizing takes place and it still looks a little messy. There is a method though. I know which pile everything is in... I keep my silverware (well, stainless steel) on hand in a basket by the breadbox. Salt and pepper shakers go nearby. I bought this set for about $5 at an old antique store. It was covered in yucky yellow paint, but once that was removed, this is a nice amber glass set. It has even been dropped on the floor and not shattered at ALL. And I like that it is not a tiny set that can get easily lost. My laundry room is in almost constant use, but this summer it has been very easy on me. Since the children are not in public school during the summer (except G is going to summer school for a bit), I save a LOT on laundry. I am trying to convince dh I will save a lot on gas and sanity if we keep at least a couple …

Getting Dinner

Getting dinner usually involves asking older children to entertain younger ones, and/ or get stuff from the downstairs for me to fix in the kitchen. Today's special is from Kraft. This is another time of day that is SO SO SO much easier now that the children are home from public school. There will invariably be homework on an inconvenient night, or an activity we *have* to attend or forever be labeled a "bad parent," or a big batch of papers to read (Sign up for Karate! Did you know that next Thursday is Mrs. Higginbottom's birthday? Next week is Silly Sock week! The following Thursday, bring in all your spare change because the classes are competing to see who can raise the most for the United Way!) and you HAVE to read them or you are certain to miss something of deadly importance. I can tell you that for a fact. Then there are the little notes with the smilies from the teacher 'requesting' that you bring in x number of brand Y widgets. If you don't, th…


Winding Down

The children are tucked/ tuck themselves into their respective beds for the night. Reading goes on for a bit and the older four listen to the radio in their rooms.

After Childrens' Bedtime

I'm cleaning messy countertops, changing over a load of dishes or checking things on my computer. This is the shelf above our computer. Then I will play cards or talk with dh.

Baby J **smooch**

Daisies in My Rock Garden (Back Yard)

Daisies in Front Yard

G with Daisies in Back Yard

I have a lot of daisies...