Friday, February 27, 2009

Bible Reading

We've been working on our Bible reading program with our "Daily Bible". So far so good. I'm really pleased :0) The boys will remind me if I forget, and breaking it into chunks (OT in the morning, NT at lunch, and Psalm/Proverb at dinner) has made the reading times very manageable. The boys are willing to take turns reading, as well, and I love it. Especially little Gunnar. We often let him read the Psalm and help him with the big words :0)

I have to confess, though, that we've done a wee bit of "skimming" lately. Oh, we've soldiered through many of the long names in the genealogies and the census, the specific instructions for making the tabernacle and its contents, and how to deal with infectious skin diseases, mildew in the house, and detestable vs. acceptable edible insects. But then came the rest of Leviticus...

It's not only that many of the prohibitions no longer apply (wearing clothes of mixed fibers, eating animals that don't have a fully split hoof, etc.). It's the subject matter I'm really just not willing to discuss with the boys yet.


Like, Leviticus 15 and Leviticus 18.

I'm just not ready to "go there" yet, with the kids.



I'm having trouble with "comments".

While "operator error" is always a possibility (!) I've tried to be very aware of what I am clicking. A few of you have left me comments that I have tried to publish... and then they have vanished.

Not being a tech wizard, I haven't yet discovered how to even contact Blogspot about the problem. Still working on it.

In the meantime, if you don't see your comment, please don't take it personally!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Testosterzone #8

In case you didn't recognize it, the "sculpture" below is a DUCK.


The boys were out by 8:30am playing, taking advantage of the PS kids availability (due to Late Arrival). Doesn't matter if it's only 20F.

Tate just came to the back door.

"Mom? Is it lunch time yet?"

Uh, no. It's 10:30.

"Oh." (Shivering.) "Well, would you tell me when it's 11? Because I think we'll be cold by then."

Translation? "Since I'm a boy, I don't want to admit to being cold or tired. So please make me come in before I freeze."


Upon waking up to this, outside my window, the Principal and Staff had a conference this morning (in the bedroom, with three students in jammies)...

We've decided the curriculum has been lacking in spontaneity and exercise, so we are hereby suspending regular classes and ordering all students outside.

Today's curriculum includes art (sculpture), phys ed (running around, climbing the hill, and sledding), meteorology (observing the changes in our local area), and socialization (I'm guessing other schools will be closed or on 'late arrival').

Oh. And I almost forgot: Choir. All that whooping for joy is music to my ears, anyway!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

That's MY motto...

What with the sluggish economy Kerry has had more motivation to get his (previously non-existent) website up and running. It's still pretty bare-bones, but has a nice little slide show of a few of his projects. Excited, I called the boys in to have a look. They were politely encouraging. Tate said:

"Almost all the buildings he designed are better than most buildings."

Catchy, but not quite a business slogan.

Out My Window

A picture wouldn't do this justice...

Weird weather today... rain, snow, big snow, and now... is it hail? Or sleet?

But here's the cool thing:

Right outside my window is a dogwood tree, completely bare at the moment. And the little balls of hail or sleet are bouncing around off all the branches like a bunch of little pinballs.

Of course, I don't actually hear anything, but I can imagine them all making little plinking noises.

(Oh good grief, maybe I should've left the Bubbles and Daisies after all!)


I know.

Completely pathetic.

I keep changing the "look". And that's not what matters, right? I mean, I don't read your blogs to see what color your background is :0)

But for a visual person, it does matter.

Okay, I liked the bright colors with the "Bubbles and Daisies" background, but every time I logged on I thought, "This just isn't me."

It reminded me of Wyatt, who remembers the most ridiculous lines from the most ridiculous places (and can imitate them with scary accuracy), saying in a ditzy, fluff-brain falsetto:

"In my world, everyone eats rainbows and poops out butterflies."

(I think you have "Horton Hears a Who" to thank for that little thought.)

Granted, I don't spend a lot of time writing Deep Profound Thoughts. But on the off-chance I actually want to say something important... well, the "Bubbles and Daisies" motif just seemed hard to take seriously.

----- Oh my. We interrupt this moment of introspection to announce the arrival of MORE SNOW. It's not sticking, but I thought you should know. -------

So, bear with me. For those of you that are girly girls, I salute you. But I am not one of you :0) I am more convinced with each passing day that God knew what He was doing when he gave me a family of boys.


---- Well, yes, it is sticking. ----

Monday, February 23, 2009

Simple Woman #7

FOR TODAY February 23, 2009

Outside My Window... Sun peeking through the clouds, kindergarteners walking home from the school up the hill, and recently raked flower beds, with a few green shoots poking up – grape hyacinth, tulips, and irises.

I am thinking... I need would really like a secretary. And a maid. Better yet, a despachante. Yeah, that would be good.

I am thankful for... Kerry, home from a long weekend of playing in the snow, and the fun time the boys and I had while he was gone.

From the learning rooms... piles of broken rocks – the boys’ latest fascination. Since cracking the geodes last week they have been smashing all kinds of rocks from the yard. We’re trying to sort the sedimentary from the igneous. The plentiful sandstone is easy to identify, and they’ve found some beautiful pieces of granite with large-ish crystals. Not sure where that came from. And a lovely fossil imprint of a leaf and something grassy.

From the kitchen... I have some elk meat bubbling away in the crock pot with carrots and red potatoes, and the smell is making me hungry! But that’s for dinner. We’ll be making some PBJ’s for lunch, most likely.

I am wearing... blue jeans, two layers of blue shirts, and a purple sweatshirt.

I am creating... plans and schedules. Trying to get our daily schedule on a more even keel – especially the evenings. Now that the boys are all readers, it’s easy to skip reading aloud to them, and I don’t want that to fall by the wayside. If I can just get dinner ready by 6 every night (hence, the crock pot), then they can have some free time after dinner and still have RA time before bed. At least, that’s the plan…

I am going... to take Wyatt to the doc for a quick check-up, and then swing by the grocery store. The pharmacy there fills his prescription AND (oh glory) we can return our public library books there AND (even better) they back-date them a day.

I am reading... just finished “Wuthering Heights”, for bookclub. What a dismal, depressing story.

I am hoping... to finish tidying my office. It’s been a wreck. If I get it tidy and organized enough, then I give myself “permission” to get out my sewing machine and start another project. :0)

I am hearing... Wyatt, learning to play “Camptown Races”, and the younger boys having some kind of demolition derby with K’nex motorcycles they have built. I think.

Around the house... Wyatt practicing the piano, Tate reading, and Gunnar trying to entice Tate to play.

One of my favorite things... hot cocoa.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: put away the Valentine decorations, put some things on craigslist, go to bookclub, wax the kitchen floor, and invite someone over for lunch next Sunday.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Ya gotta love Model Magic.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'll take my chances

You might have to enlarge this, to appreciate the irony.

Compliments of Dan Phillips.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kudu? (I don't know, do you?)

From our friends in Africa...

and you really should check out their blogs!

family blog

ministry blog

A kudu is a kind of antelope.

3D Day

1. A new Day.

I woke up this morning, just after 6, to the sound of birds. Robins, I think. Seems a bit early to me. (In the year, I mean!) Love that the days are beginning to get noticeably longer.

I'd be a sucker to 'think spring' just yet, since last year we had snow on the ground in March and April. Still, I'm enjoying the sunlight :0)

2. Big D.

Kerry is gone for a long weekend of playing in the snow, and the boys and I are taking it easy. Though parenting is easier with two (!) it's actually kind of nice, being just the boys and I, once in awhile. We take it easy. And I don't cook as much.

Hello Kraft Mac and Cheese.

We've been pinching our pennies pretty hard, but I decided we could manage to go out for dinner one night. We got a $25 refund for something from our insurance company, which probably wouldn't quite cover it, but close. I let the kids pick the restaurant, just nowhere expensive, (not so much their preference anyway), and not McDonald's. Boy did that work to my advantage!

They chose Denny's. Not exactly a cheeseburger in paradise, but I'm not complaining. Especially not when the bill came. $15.03. That had to be a mistake. Even McDonald's costs more than that. Tate said, unhelpfully, "Well, can't we just pay what it says and go?" Um, NO, Sherlock, that wouldn't quite be honest.

Turns out the bill was right. They either switched their "kids eat free" night from Tuesday to Friday, or maybe they're running it all week. I don't know. We just thanked God and left a nice tip.

... then drove up the street to introduce the boys to the wonders of Cold Stone Creamery, thanks to some Christmas gift cards. Oh my goodness. Can I just say, "Peanut Butter Cup Perfection"? Wyatt and Tate's giant milk-shakes and Gunnar's bowl of chocolate ice cream are half-finished and in the freezer downstairs, for after lunch. Total? $1.31.

And to top off my fun feeling of splurging-while-being-frugal, we got in and out of the grocery store for under a hundred bucks.

3. A visit from the Drama Monster.

The boys are outside. So what if it's barely 40 degrees, it's sunny!

Gunnar wanted to ride his bike, but the tire was flat. I don't think it's seated properly. (That might have something to do with the fact that this bike has been ridden pretty hard by both his big brothers or that his dad ran over it once. You decide.) Anyway, he must've asked Wyatt to help him, and Wyatt couldn't get it to hold air.

Then the Drama Monster emerged.

Gunnar came sobbing up the steps to my office.

"That dirty rat!"

"What happened?"

"It's all Wyatt's fault! That boy has such a dull mind he can't even get my tire pumped up properly!"

"Really. Well, when you apologize to Wyatt, I'll think about helping you with your tire."

I think he's been reading too much Calvin and Hobbes. But, looking on the bright side, he expresses himself well! ;-)

And, for a bonus round, a fourth D...

4. Doh!

My friend is coming over today, with her kids. She's from Vietnam, so her name is kind of unusual. I wrote on the calendar on the fridge, for today, "Have Hang over."

Another friend took a look at that. "You plan these things?"

No. Not so much.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Re-Weirds of Parenting

Two things for today...

1. I love that my boys get excited about company. And it's not like we're so isolated that having company is rare. Doesn't matter. You come over to our house and you are a celebrity. Depending on the time of day and the weather, they will either be glued to a window or in a tree in the yard, awaiting your arrival. They will probably talk your ear off for the first few minutes, because they're so excited you've come to see them.

2. Life is exciting. Gunnar, in particular, is very expressive. Well, dramatic - for better and for worse. He's continually telling me things like they are amazing new discoveries. When he was 4 years old:

Mom! Bats can't see well at night, so they use echolocation.
(That was before speech therapy, so it came out like, "Mom! Bats can't see weh-ow at night, so they use echo-whoa-CAY-shun.")

Mom! Do you know how ants communicate? By smell!

Mom! Bees! Communicate! By dancin'!!!

Reminds me of Tate's epiphany, at the ripe old age of 3 1/2. Having been exposed to Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber all his life, I just assumed that he "got it." But one day he came dashing into the kitchen, his eyes as big as saucers, and said triumphantly,

"Mom! Veggie-tales are all FOOD! Talkin' FOOD!"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm just sayin'...

“It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

-Mark Twain

Science at its finest

Boys being boys, we're doing science outside today. We're wrapping up a unit on geology and I remembered a little box I ordered from Rainbow Resources last fall.


Just give them a hammer, goggles, and rocks to smash and they're happy for a good long time :0)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why not?

Gunnar got to sleep in the big bed, with me, last night. Everything was quiet. We were snuggling and he was drifting off to sleep.

Then, from who knows where, he asked me, "Mom, are there really such things as Black Holes?"

Hmmmm. "Well, nobody can actually prove it, but scientists see evidence for them."

"Oh. Well, then there must be White Holes, somewhere, that squirt everything back out."


Having solved that problem, he dropped right off to sleep.

The Presidents

I forgot to get this posted yesterday. Oops.

If you want to learn (or memorize) the American Presidents, we found a clever song, written by Genevieve Madeline Ryan. Apparently her dad challenged her to memorize the presidents, for Father's Day one year, and she came up with this. (She had a little help, which you can read about, if you click on the link.) I'll put the words below, and you can listen to it set to music, (the William Tell Overture), if you like. She's followed the Bambi rule ("If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"), and mentioned something each president is or will be remembered for.


The American Presidents, by Genevieve Madeline Ryan

America’s president number one,
Founding Father Washington.

John Adams, second president,
The very first White House resident.

Thomas Jefferson, number three,
Doubled the size of our country.

Then James Madison, number four,
Led us through the English War.

James Monroe is number five,
His Monroe Doctrine still survives.

Another Adams, John Quincy,
Rose to the sixth presidency.

Seven, Andrew Jackson,
Was a frontier common man.

Number eight, Van Buren,
First president born an “American.”

Harrison, nine, passed away,
One month after Inaugural Day.

President Tyler, number ten,
Ended the war with the Indians.

James K. Polk, eleven,
Looked to western expansion.

Taylor, twelve, of the army,
Nicknamed “Rough and Ready.”

Thirteen, Fillmore, in his eyes,
Best for all was a compromise.

Fourteen, Franklin Pierce is here,
The Civil War is drawing near.

James Buchanan, fifteen,
The one bachelor we’ve ever seen.

Sixteen, Lincoln, “honest Abe,”
Signed the law that freed the slaves.

Seventeen, Andrew Johnson,
Started Reconstruction.

Eighteen, Union General Grant,
Had led his troops with good judgment.

Nineteen, President R.B. Hayes,
Pursued the South in many ways.

Garfield, number twenty,
Killed while in his presidency.

Chester Arthur, twenty-one,
Sought reform and got it done.

Grover Cleveland, twenty-two,
Remember him ‘cause he’s not through.

Twenty-three, Harrison, comes again,
It’s William’s grandson, Benjamin.

Grover Cleveland, twenty-four,
Ran for the White House, elected once more.

Here’s McKinley, twenty-five,
The Twentieth Century had arrived.

Teddy Roosevelt, twenty-six,
“Speak softly and carry a big stick!”

Twenty-seven, Taft we see,
Biggest man in the presidency.

Woodrow Wilson, twenty-eight,
Thought a League of Nations was great.

Twenty-nine, Harding, Post-World War One,
“Normalcy” promised to everyone.

Calvin Coolidge, thirty,
Taught one and all frugality.

Herbert Hoover, thirty-one,
On no! The Depression had begun.

Franklin Roosevelt, thirty-two,
With his “New Deal” the country grew.

Harry Truman, thirty-three,
Won with atomic energy.

Eisenhower, thirty-four,
Commanded in the Second World War.

Thirty-five, John Kennedy,
Assassinated in sixty-three.

Thirty-six, Johnson, Lyndon B.,
He declared a “War on Poverty.”

Thirty-seven, Nixon, went far,
Opening China and the U.S.S.R.

Gerald R. Ford, thirty-eight,
Moved the nation forward past Watergate.

Thirty-nine, with all his might,
Carter fought for human rights.

Reagan, forty, from the West,
Taught the world that freedom’s best.

Bush, forty-one, showed solid form,
Freed a nation in “Desert Storm.”

Forty-two, Bill Clinton,
President through the Millennium.

George W. Bush, number forty-three,
Strengthened Homeland Security.

First to be elected of African descent,
Obama, our forty-fourth president.

Monday, February 16, 2009

More on scheduling...

I started to comment on a comment, and then decided to make it another post...

Back when I was in high-school (you know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth...) we had three terms in a school year (trimesters) and a five class-period day, meaning 15 classes a year. Each class was about an hour long, what with passing periods and a lunch break.

I also did a year of HS in Australia and had a block schedule there. Some classes were every day, but there were two longer blocks that alternated... if my failing memory serves :0)

I think the block idea is a great concept. I do that with homeschool. We do some things every day (math, LA, reading...), but I alternate science and history so we can take more time with those.

What really boggled my mind was the thought of expecting distracted, hormone-addled high schoolers to keep track of tests, assignments, readings, homework and expectations for nine different subjects with nine different teachers. And then, above and beyond that, to imagine that they could go beyond managing, and really absorb or enjoy any of the material.

Just my two cents...

Simple Woman #6

FOR TODAY February 16, 2009

Outside My Window... More fresh snow, but at a higher elevation than my house :0) “Dino-opolis” ( a miniature world the boys have created with their old toy dinosaurs) in the dirt in the back yard, and a fence, in progress.

I am thinking... about how to help Tate with his math. And his spelling. Yikes.

I am thankful for... homeschooling, especially after a conversation with my sister. She’s a high school English teacher. And if all teachers were like her, my kids might still be in public school :0) But too much is out of the control of the teachers.

Case in point… in response to new state-wide requirements, her high school is changing their schedule. As it stands now, starting next year the students will have a “block” schedule – meaning they have “A” and “B” days, where they go to different classes.

So far, so good! The block schedule allows longer class periods to really delve into the subject matter. I think of subjects like science. How much labwork can you get done in an hour? Or 45 minutes? So the block schedule isn't the problem. Actually, we kind of do that for homeschool :0)

But get this… as it stands now, they will have NINE different classes. NINE! Honestly, do you think most high schoolers can keep track of homework and assignments from nine different subjects at once?! Even if one class was an elective, or a PE or something like that, can they focus well on eight subjects at once??? Personally, I think it’s madness.

From the learning rooms... it’s “recess” and the boys are in their bedroom, with their digital cameras (a Christmas gift from Aunty Tami and Uncle Dave)

From the kitchen... nothing yet, but I’m thinking ‘fish’ for dinner. I’m kind of a ‘stock piler’ when it comes to groceries. I'm not a hoarder, I just don’t like shopping. I must be missing the gene. So, being really short on money, I’m trying to “shop” our own cupboards and freezer, and use up things I had been saving. I have some “real” tuna (not the canned stuff) from a friend, in the freezer. It needs to start thawing and then marinate…

I am wearing... gray pants, white turtle-neck, and a red and white sweater… still in the Valentine mood :0)

I am creating... tidiness, clean spaces, empty spaces, and breathing room.

I am going... staying home today :0)

I am reading... “Wuthering Heights”, for my bookclub, next week

I am hoping... to find/qualify for cheaper insurance. Ours is killing us. We pay almost $700 for the insurance (just for Kerry and I), and then they don’t seem to cover much. 50% or less is what it looks like to me. UGH.

I am hearing... my laundry slave washing machine.

Around the house... some red candles I’m still burning, an enormous K’Nex roller coaster the boys have made, and books. Piles of books everywhere. They multiply when I’m not looking.

One of my favorite things... a clean floor.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: homeschool, MITI prayer group, and then Kerry and some friends are having a manly-man weekend up in the mountains. They’re going snow-shoeing. (Personally, I think snow-shoeing is about the dumbest activity ever invented. Give me a pair of x-country skis any day.) But when he’s gone I get together with another mom and kids for pizza and playtime!

Here is picture thought I am sharing... Do you remember reading books about "Harold and the Purple Crayon"? Tate left this in the school room :0)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vintage Raggy-ness

Confession: I made a ragged-edge quilt a couple of years ago, and promptly swore I would never make another one. Ever.

But then I did.

I'm not sure I got a picture of the first one, but since I gave it to my mom that shouldn't be too hard. (I try to get a picture of each quilt I make - not that there are very many of them, but I do hope to see progress as I look back!) So, mom, if you're reading... could you email me a picture of the flannel quilt? Thanks :0)

The first raggedy quilt was a 'special case'... My mom and her sister had a lot in common; like their love for "country" and Americana decor. Both of their homes had a lot of red, white and blue folk-art stuff. Well, my aunt bought instructions and material to make a flannel ragged-edge quilt. All the materials she chose were red, white and blue. And they all looked like the shirts my grandpa wore. I remember her showing me the material and her plans for it, but she never got around to making it. And then she died of breast cancer.

My cousin, being somewhat less domestically inclined than even I am, (if that is possible), gave it all to me, and I made the quilt, and gave it to my mom. We're not overly sentimental people, but it reminds us of my aunt and my grandpa. Good memories. :0)

But, oh, making that quilt was not fun! You don't pre-wash the flannel and little fibers were everywhere. I was constantly sneezing and scratching my nose. It was summer, and the quilt was hot and heavy. And thank goodness somebody clued me in that I should take it to a laundromat to wash it the first couple of times, because that would've been the end of my old washing machine, I'm sure! The end result was okay, but the process was... yuck.

Over the years, I kept seeing pictures of cute ragged edge quilts and being drawn to them, but I stayed strong! No more! Until I saw this at the "crazymomquilts" blog, and had to try it.

And this is what I ended up with:

It's very 'rough', in that the squares aren't lined up really perfectly, and the lights and darks don't always show each other off. But I like it. I love the soft, vintage materials, and I love the wrinkly, crinkly quilty goodness.

The material came from a collection of fat quarters I bought ages ago, so I didn't have a big enough (matching) piece for the back. I used a brighter purple, with little white flowers and leaves. All the better to hide my less than professional quilting job.

So, ta-daaa, and three cheers for the domestically impaired!

And who is it for? That's a secret :0)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Of Roses and Thrones

We're off and running with history. From the Mongol Horde to the Black Plague to the French Civil War and the Hundred Years War... and now to England. The boys are loving all the wars and weapons, battles and intrigue, and - especially - artillery. Admittedly, they found it a bit incongruous that a war could be named after a flower - I mean, hello, war is manly-man territory! - but dove right into the War of the Roses, confusing as it is.

And it is confusing! Even with color-coding people to group them by "house", we had a hard time keeping track of guys with the same name. (I mean, how many Edwards does England really need?) But we battled on through.

Of course, the whole bit about the princes in the tower had them completely indignant. Some "protector" old Uncle Richard was! (The boys insisted I put the word "protector" in parentheses, fully grasping the irony.)

If you're rather bored, and would rather read this than fold your laundry, or wash your dishes (ahem), I'll throw in their summary of the Wars of the Roses.

A highly simplified summary. Highly.

The Wars of the Roses

Lancaster York

Henry the IV was a good king, who didn’t really want to be king! He more enjoyed reading the Bible and praying. He also had a problem – he went insane. His family asked the Duke of York to rule for him (Protector) until he recovered. But when Henry recovered, the Duke of York wouldn’t give up the throne, and Henry the IV had to raise an army!

Later, the Duke’s son, Edward got an army and took over the English throne, and became Edward the IV. However, he married Elizabeth Woodville, against his family’s ways. The nobles were upset and decided to get rid of Edward, Elizabeth and her family (5 brothers) and put Henry IV back on the throne!

Edward fled. He raised yet another army and took back the throne, put Henry in jail, and probably had him murdered. When Edward the IV died, his son Edward the V became king. But he was only a 12 year old boy!

His uncle, Richard, offered to “help” Edward until he was older. Richard really wanted the throne himself. He locked up Edward and his brother in the Tower of London, and then had himself crowned king – Richard III. The boys were not seen again.

Two years later, Henry Tudor gathered an army and defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Richard was killed and Henry became King Henry the V. He married Elizabeth’s daughter, and united the two families again.

The Princes in the Tower

When King Edward IV died, he wanted his brother Richard to help young Edward rule. (This is called being a Regent, or Protector.) Young Edward’s mother, Elizabeth, didn’t want Richard – she wanted herself and her brothers to rule! So she didn’t tell Richard that Edward IV had died. She wanted to get Edward V quickly crowned, so that he could choose his own helpers – his mom! But, Richard got wind of the plan. Richard quickly came and captured Edward, claiming that he was “protecting” him. Elizabeth took little Richard (no idea of the pun here), and hid in a church, but big Richard got him anyway. Richard locked the boys in the Tower of London, and had himself crowned King Richard III. Nobody saw the boys again.

Two years later, when Henry Tudor became king, he searched the Tower of London, but there was no sign of the boys. 200 years later, in a small chest, buried in the Tower of London, people found two kid-sized skeletons. The boys were murdered, but by whom?

And then, FNAR, they decided this needed to be put to song/poetry (depending on which boy is reciting), and came up with this:

The Duke of York
Was such a dork,
He took the English throne!
But Henry the Fourth
Raised a force,
And the Duke was overthrown!

At that point, overcome with their own humor (and the imagery of referring to the toilet as a throne), all educational aspirations were abandoned, and we took a recess.

Give me laps, boys!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Simple Woman #5

FOR TODAY February 9, 2009

Outside My Window... Another clear sunny day, more fresh snow in the hills around the lake, and the squirrels are running around on my roof… I can hear them.

I am thinking... about our eventful day at church, yesterday. Usually I come home from church with a glow, feeling challenged, convicted, inspired, encouraged, “fellowshipped up”, etc. :0) But yesterday we came out with a bit of an adrenaline rush.

Our pastor is away and the elders have been capably filling in. However, yesterday one of them passed out, right up front. He’d missed a couple of words in the Bible reading and I immediately thought he was having a stroke. His wife was right in front of me and nearly leaped over the pew in front of her. The woman at the piano, a medical doctor, was immediately at his side, and apparently he just fainted. He went down like a big fir tree, and narrowly missed whacking his head on the wooden railing. He seems to be okay – just sore from the fall.

Another elder picked up the Bible reading, where he left off, which was all too fitting –

1 Corinthians 12:12-27, one body, many parts. “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” No kidding.

I am thankful for... the episode with The Tooth being over, and Wyatt’s quick recovery.

From the learning rooms... Wars and Weapons! Aaahhh, it’s boy heaven. We’re studying the 100 Years War this week. And making Valentines :0)

From the kitchen... dinner tonight – sweet and sour chicken, with brown rice, and those little crunchy noodles.

I am wearing... jeans, yet again, and a blue turtleneck (with two layers under it).

I am creating... the sequel to the OCD quilt. I’m enjoying this one, and it’s nearly done. I’ll post a pic after I finish.

I am going... nowhere fast!

I am reading... a biography of Gladys Aylward, with the boys.

I am hoping... Kerry finds more work. Soon. And we’re not just hoping, we’re praying :0)

I am hearing... silence, blessed silence. The boys are in bed and probably asleep.

Around the house... dust and clutter. This is what happens when I do a project! But when this quilt is done, the sewing stuff is going away for awhile.

One of my favorite things... Okay, bear with me here for a moment, and this will make sense.

Gunnar was having a hard time, this afternoon.
The tire on his bike was flat. Again.
He and his brothers went to the neighbors. The child Gunnar’s age had another friend over and wasn’t playing with him, and the big kids might not have been including him (at least in the way he wanted.)
Mean old mom wouldn’t let him have any more screen time.
And he pinched his fingers in the door.

He wailed, with all the drama a 7-year old can muster, “I’m having a bad day! This is the worst day of my entire life!”

And I stood there, looking at him with compassion… and laughing a little, thinking, “You have a warm, dry, comfortable house, three meals a day, two parents and two brothers who love you, a healthy body, and nobody is hurting you, scaring you, or beating you. And this is the worst day of your entire life? Lucky kid!”

We are so blessed :0)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Looking forward to special family time for Valentine’s Day :0)

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I don’t have one. But a quilt-pic is coming.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Are you sure?

During today's unlimited "screen time" dispensation, the boys were watching a Planet Earth episode on caves. Do remember that one of said boys has significant hearing loss...

"Mom! Quick! Come in here and look at these birds, Mom!"

"They're called Spitlets, because they make their nests out of spit!"


Should I be worried?


As I was tending to the kids, I heard a voice upstairs.

"Kerry, who are you talking to?"

"Ummmm... my pants."

That's my boy

Earlier today, when his milkshake arrived, Wyatt said, "I'm getting spoiled today!"

Of course, he didn't mean he was becoming completely spoiled, but that he was receiving special treatment.... as well he should!

I can't believe how quickly he's recovering. And he's HUNGRY. Chafing at being restricted to liquids and "creamed foods". As he sat, watching his fourth (?) episode of Planet Earth, trying to drink chicken broth, I was scanning the list of suggested foods.

"Wyatt, I know what I can make you for dinner - mashed potatoes and gravy."

A sigh of comfort. "This just keeps gettin' better!"

It's Out

To all who prayed and were concerned:

Wyatt is downstairs on the couch, watching "Planet Earth", and doing well. Actually, he's complaining and upset because he's not allowed any "real" food today. I have promised - in spite of our "buying fast" - to get him a milkshake this afternoon, which is allowed :0)

The surgery went just fine. Wyatt was really nervous about The Needle. (They put him completely out with an IV.) The staff handled his anxiety just great - compassionate, but no-nonsense. "This is what we're going to do. This is what won't hurt, and this is what will hurt just for a few seconds, and then you'll go to sleep."

He was nauseous coming out of anesthesia (must run in the family *sigh*), but I don't think he remembers it. He's on clear liquids this morning, "blended food" (milkshakes, yogurt, cream soup etc.) for the rest of the day, and soft food tomorrow. They also gave him a prescription for Tylenol with codeine, so he's going to rest a lot today! And we'll see how he feels tomorrow.

Hallelujah, it's over. Once he feels a bit better I can tell him, "This was the worst of it! Braces will be nothing compared to this!" But I don't think he's ready to appreciate that yet.

They gave him the tooth - in two pieces. HUGE root. No wonder that thing was stuck! He's expecting the tooth fairy to come through in a big way for this one :0)

Anyway, thank you all very much for the prayers. We continue to pray that he heals quickly and have every reason to anticipate that he will. (If I can only get that kid to rest...)

P.S. We had none of the drama of the little kid in the video!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Wyatt is seeming pretty calm. I think he's put the dentist right out of his mind, for the time being. Thanks for the prayers and keep 'em coming :0)

Kerry sent me this link... a preview of things to come?


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Tooth

A post about a tooth, and it's not about Gunnar - can you believe it?

Wyatt's orthodontist noticed last month that one of his molars (a baby tooth) is "stuck". When we saw our pediatric dentist the following week I was hoping to talk him into pulling it right-then-that-very-day. I know that's not how things work, but Wyatt is an anxious child. A fretter. His name means "warrior", but he thought it was "worrier". Too true. But I digress...

Our (pediatric) dentist doesn't do "that kind" of extraction, but he has a specialist in his office once a month and scheduled us with her. That was this morning. After going through the whole process of getting Wyatt numbed up, and pushing his gums up to try to get a good hold on it, and really looking at the x-rays... she couldn't get it out.

I don't mean that to sound critical of her. Apparently the tooth is "ankylosed" - it's root is firmly stuck right into the jawbone. She (wisely) quit, rather than risk breaking it off and a potential nasty infection.

Wyatt was a real trooper. She said dealing with Wyatt was like dealing with a small adult. (A very anxious small adult!)

And that we need to go to an Oral Surgeon.

And the nearest one that takes our insurance is 2 hours away.

Oh, I will do it. I will take Wyatt wherever we need to get the care he needs. But the thought of having to put it off for another month, and Wyatt dreading it for another month made my heart sink.

But, delightful orthodontist to the rescue! Apparently he has a special (professional) relationship with an Oral Surgeon with offices in the same building, who will occasionally take our insurance (medical coupons) in an "emergency".

Thank you Orthodontist, thank you GOD.

We have an appointment first thing Friday morning. They offered to do it tomorrow, which was very appealing in terms of not stewing over it any longer, but the appointment was later in the day and he has to have an empty stomach as they will probably sedate him. Yeah. Wyatt on an empty stomach is not a pleasant experience! Actually, I gave Wyatt the choice - get it over with sooner, or take the 7:45am appointment on Friday. He chose Friday.

Again, prayers are very very welcome.

I'm praying that it will go smoothly, and that Wyatt will be calm and trusting throughout. He has enough stress already.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Simple Woman #4

FOR TODAY February 2, 2009

Outside My Window... cold gray skies, squirrels climbing all around the bare dogwood tree, and my boys running laps around the house (“however old you are, give me that many laps”).

I am thinking... sad, worried thoughts that aren’t fit to print.

I am thankful for... healthy boys :0)

From the learning rooms... Bubonic Plague – not literally, we’re studying it in history this week. (The boys are intrigued!) We’ve shaded in our maps, to show the spread over five years time, and have our chapter summaries to write. We’ll be picking up a few books at the library later today.

From the kitchen... yikes. What to do for dinner. I made the boys hot-dogs for lunch and ate one myself (oh gross) because I really wanted something warm.

I am wearing... Dark jeans, blue sweater (with another layer underneath), thick socks, and slippers.

I am creating... nothing at the moment. I stopped working on the “OCD Quilt” after finishing piecing the top. I’m not enjoying it, don’t like the colors/fabrics, and don’t have the batting to quilt it.

Here’s the “OCD” part – I bought a collection of vintage (reproduction) fabric a couple of years ago. Most of it just sings to me and looks very “happy” together, but there was one cluster of fabrics/colors that didn’t seem to go with the rest. So I felt I should use that up first, before using the “fun” fabric! Crazy, I know…

And I’ve wanted to make a large (bed-size) Irish Chain but wanted to try out the pattern, first. So this (baby-quilt-size) top only has 9 “blocks” – five chain blocks and four more plain blocks. It’s actually a triple chain. I do like the way the pattern looks, but what a lot of seams to match up! Aaack! Now I know that I can wait a long time (maybe forever?) before trying to make one big enough for my bed!

I am going... to Moms In Touch, the library, and the consignment store – Gunnar has grown out of nearly all his pants. Looks like he’s waiting for the proverbial flood.

I am reading... “Only Nuns Change Habits Over Night”. I won a book from De’Etta’s blog! It’s a pretty light read – sort of a Christian-lite motivational book.

I am hoping... for a change (for the better).

I am hearing... the furnace blowing, and thinking I should probably turn it down.

Around the house... boys and their toys.

One of my favorite things... the delicious smell of a candle my cousin gave me for Christmas – it smells exactly like warm, buttery, cinnamon rolls!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Wyatt will have a tooth pulled tomorrow. Ugh. Prayers are welcome.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Wyatt drew this picture of birds discovering a new suet block.

Goodbye Elf, I'll miss you

I had a brief moment of sadness this morning, saying goodbye to my favorite Elf.

No, not that one. (Though I like him...)

Library Elf has succumbed to the sagging economy and is now a subscription service. If you're only tracking one library card you'll pay $12/year. Not much, but what would be the point? I can log into my account at the public library for free. No, the benefit came in not having to log in five separate times to check everyone's cards. And to track multiple cards on Elf will now cost $20/year. Again, not much money, but right now it's an unnecessary expense, therefore I have to say goodbye to my Elf.

I'll miss you!