Monday, June 29, 2009

Changing A Light Bulb. The Christian Way

How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?

Charismatic : Only 1
Hands are already in the air.

Pentecostal : 10
One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians : None
Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

Roman Catholic: None
Candles only.

Baptists : At least 15.
One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken.

Episcopalians: 3
One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about how much better the old one was.

Mormons : 5
One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.

Unitarians :
We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists : Undetermined
Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered dish to pass..

Nazarene : 6
One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.

Lutherans : None
Lutherans don't believe in change..

Amish :
What's a light bulb?

Simple Woman #24

Simple Woman

FOR TODAY June 29, 2009

Outside My Window... laundry flapping on the line, boys playing in the yard, and robins hunting bugs and worms for their babies.

I am thinking... that last week was just crazy. I forgot to post on Monday - no big deal - because we had appointments and meetings and check-ups and parties all week long.

I am thankful for... a more relaxed schedule this week!

I am praying for… the boys' attitudes, especially Wyatt's. It stinks. That boy needs to have an outlet for his boundless energy - like running about 20 miles a day, or something. Though I know nothing about it, there are times I wished we lived on a farm - somewhere there was meaningful physical work to give the boys.

From the learning rooms... we're picking away at a few things. I told Wyatt and Tate that if they will do just a couple of math lessons a week during the summer, then they will be able to have a four-day school week pretty much all year. We're also doing science experiments and writing them up with sketches.

From the kitchen... Must. Throw. Something. In. Crock-pot.

I am wearing... crop jeans, t-shirt, purple hoody. Cool today.

I am creating... feeling very flat in this department. Maybe when I get my office picked up I'll have the mental space to want to work on something.

I am going... as few places as possible this week!

I am reading... the boys and I finally finished the Joe Moser book. While they were fascinated by his experiences and enjoyed reading through the book, it was written for adults and assumed a certain amount of background knowledge that the boys didn't have, so I had to do a lot of explaining and "connecting the dots", so to speak.

I'm reading "The Light and the Glory", and our next read-aloud is ??????

I am hoping... to feel better. I've had some unexplained dizziness lately. Talking with the doc about it. Only possible conclusion so far is Stay Hydrated. Okay.

I am hearing... a few birds. Silence from the boys. I think they're playing with Legos.

Around the house... I've moved the furniture again - something I enjoy :0) The boys have tidied their bedroom, and I have summer sheets on our bed with big tropical yellow, green and turquoise flowers.

One of my favorite things... the brief feeling of satisfaction when the kids are behaving, the house is in order and nothing is hanging over my head. But it never lasts.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Looking forward to the 4th of July. We're invited to my parents' to hang out and BBQ. They live way up on a hill with a glorious view for miles and miles. We sit on their deck and watch everyone else's fireworks, far away from most of the hubbub.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I'm so glad Kerry snapped this picture because I forgot to save the "wrapping paper" - blue prints that the boys accessorized with personal messages. They read as follows:

To: Mom
From: your lovable, adorable, handsom, strong, helpful, smart and totally awesome son: Wyatt

No pecy pecy!!! (No peeky peeky.)
Tope Secret!!!!
and that means you can't loke inside!!!!!
from milita (militia) mastermind Tate

From your loveing compassionate son Gunnar

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Netherlands Are Not Frightening. Really.

Note: If you're one of my few male readers... well... I won't be horrified if you see this or I wouldn't post it, but read at your own risk.

Plus, Ambulance Mommy, if you're reading, I'm remembering a funny story you told back in March...

Someone should tell doctors to be careful what they say…

So, last week I went in for my not-so-annual check-up. My doctor is a man, and I’m fine with that. He’s been my doctor since I was 10 or 12, so we’ve had a long run together. He’s great with the boys. And I’ve always liked his nurses, too.

Anyway. We came to That Part of the exam. To distract myself from the basically unpleasant nature of someone probing my personal “Netherlands”, I started telling the doctor and the nurse the story about Gunnar walking in his sleep.

Meanwhile, apparently I have a tilted uterus. No big deal to me, but the doc is having some difficulty locating my cervix. This has all happened before. I know I have one. Children have passed through it. But, seemingly, it is nowhere to be found. Gone to Texas.

So I’m telling my story, the nurse is listening and nodding with interest and concern, the doc is still dithering around and giving distracted “uh-huh”s, and as I get to the part of the story where Gunnar left the house the doc blurts out, “Well that’s just frightening!”

I froze.

Please. Just tell me you’re referring to the story. That’s all I ask.

Friday, June 26, 2009

When 8 Year Olds Get Mad

Gunnar was really, really mad at Wyatt because of something he'd done to Tate.

Summoning up all the fury an 8 year old who doesn't know any curse words can command, he turned to me, with his fists and jaw clenched and said:

"Mom! Next time that boy gets sick, don't give him any medicine!"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brady the Brave

An update from our friends in Africa...

Bradyn seems to be responding to the antibiotics, and no further word about needing to med-evac her, so that is all good.

She is still miserable as well as sick and tired of "pokeys". She may get to go home, but would need to return 2x daily for IV antibiotics, or 1x daily for a "pokey" in the bum.

No fun for anyone, especially a 7 year old!

And now the little sister is coughing...

Thanks for caring and praying for my friends :0)


UPDATE - Saturday evening
Bradyn is home but going 2x daily to the hospital for antibiotics for one more day, then orally at home. They'll x-ray her later in the week to make sure she is clear.

God is mighty.

Thanks for praying for our friends :0)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's All About Perspective

It's just after 10pm here, so it is probably early morning in Zambia. No new word from our friends. Their day is just beginning.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch our house...

Today was Gunnar's long-awaited "Kid Party." June weather is unpredictable in our part of the world, and while yesterday was sunny and breezy, today dawned cloudy. About the time the emails started coming in from our friends, it began to sprinkle. And then to rain. And then to POUR. (Don't get me started. You know the old story about Eskimos having 50 words for snow? Same thing goes for Washingtonians and rain. Anyway...)

The anticipation of waiting for this afternoon to come, the downpour soaking through his image of the ideal party, and the concern and anxiety for our friends in Africa all churned together into the Perfect (emotional) Storm for a certain eight-year-old under my roof.

"Everything is ruined! Ruined, I say! And you just don't get it! I've prayed and prayed and it hasn't done any good at all!"

(Have I mentioned he can be a bit dramatic?)

"Ruined? It's not. It's going to be a great party. An adventure. We're going to have a fun time."

And we did.

I left our house, with the windshield wipers on hyper-drive, and headed to my parents'. We decided to have the party on their wooded, 15-acre property because Gunnar wanted what he calls a Scavenger Hunt - really, a follow-the-clues Treasure Hunt. I spent all morning writing up three sets of color-coded clues... so many I worried I'd "out-clevered" myself and was bound to put them in the wrong places, leading the kids in hopeless circles. But I scurried around in the still-driving rain, hiding clues I'd wrapped in individual sandwich baggies, finishing just moments before Kerry brought our boys and the guests began to arrive.

And the rain stopped, and the sun came out. God be praised!

We did a few silly relay races, had a quick lesson on identifying and avoiding stinging nettles, and then deployed the Yellow Team, the Red Team and the Green Team on their Treasure Hunts. Hallelujah, it worked. And let me tell ya, that was the grace of God, right there.

And you know what happened in the last few minutes of the Hunt? Rain. Yep. Right on cue.

But my mom (have I mentioned how great she is?) had gone above and beyond the call of duty. I only asked for the use of their property, planning to run the whole party outside, eat on the deck, and no muss, no fuss for her. When she saw the rain this morning and had visions of soggy, drippy, muddy kids, she hustled into town and came back with bright, sparkly, helium-filled mylar balloons (one for each kid!), decorated her living and dining room, and welcomed the kids all inside for presents and the treats I had brought.

Gunnar was absolutely thrilled (once he got over his grumpiness at not winning the Crab-Walk race), and loved the games, treats, and gifts. I think he may be sleeping with a certain wooden sword he received :0)

I'll try to post some pics when Kerry gets them downloaded. He took a bajillion, and they're nearly all shot from a distance - fleeting views of groups of kids running through the woods.

I'm sure they didn't go home as tired as I did, but it was worth it. I think a good time was had by all :0)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Please Pray for our friend Bradyn

Our friends the Allens are missionaries in Zambia. You can read about their work and their family. Great people... really, great people.

Just got an email that their #2 daughter, Bradyn, has been hospitalized, and they suspect bacterial meningitis.

I'm sure your prayers for her healing would be welcomed.

UPDATE June 24
I just got an email from Bradyn's mom - she is improving (thanks for the prayers!) but still in the hospital, and quite upset about missing her older sister's birthday party. They're in Lusaka (the capital of Zambia) and have access to modern medicine and hospitals... but it's not like being at Childrens', by a long stretch.

We'll keep praying.

UPDATE June 24
Seems it might be pneumonia, not meningitis. She's still very sick, and the infection may be penicillin-resisitant, so they're trying other antibiotics. Good news - they have Emergency Evac Insurance and could be flown out to SA if necessary.

Praying it won't be... that she recovers well :0)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Handsome, or what?!

Nooooo, I'm not biased. Not me! Not one bit :0)

Wyatt... almost 13

Tate... 10 and a half

Gunnar... just turned 8.

I'll probably brag more later, as I just got their test scores back and we are proud, proud, PROUD!

Gunnar is 8!

Somebody had a birthday... we were busy "doing" on his big day (Saturday, the 20th), so I didn't post then. Here he is, all "duded up" for Wyatt's recital.

Isn't he handsome!

I know, I know... the sun is in your eyes...

He's my sweetie :0)

First Recital

Wyatt has begun taking piano lessons this year and with five months' of lessons under his belt, played in his first recital.

Our friend Jacob played before Wyatt

And then, Mr. Wyatt...

...looking very dashing and composed
(no pun intended.)

He did a great job, playing "Spanish Doubloons" (by ?) and Haydn's "Surprise Symphony".

Way to go, Wyatt!

In his element...

Tate can catch just about anything.

Of course, he doesn't have to bring it all into the kitchen... but sometimes he does.

I saw a little plastic container sitting on the counter and thought, "Now why didn't the boys put that away when they unloaded the dishwasher?"

Well, obviously, because a huge moth was inside!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Goose Bumps

To update the post below, about Gunnar's night-time adventures...

Last night was blessedly uneventful.

Kerry moved furniture in front of the front and back doors. This is sort of a safety dilemma. Not enough furniture to make it impossible to get out in an emergency, but enough to slow down a sleep-walking child, and maybe make some noise.

I tied a jingle bell around Gunnar's ankle. He was delighted.

I did hear a little jingling around 2:30am, but it was just a potty-break, and he was coherent and returned to bed.

BUT... there's more to the story!

I have a cousin (married, two kids) down near Seattle. She called me this morning and said, "I need parenting advice. Do any of your kids ever sleep-walk?"

Her youngest, about Gunnar's age, did THE EXACT SAME THING on THE EXACT SAME NIGHT! Got up in a deep sleep and walked right out the door of the house. (And my cousin did the same thing I did - slept with her the rest of the night, and piled furniture to block the doors the next night!)

Gives me goose-bumps, it does.

Oh my... just, oh my.

I dedicate this post to my sister, the English teacher, who will be at least as offended by this as I am. Probably more so, because she likely hears things like this on a daily basis.

This is a transcript of a rambling, addle-brained, stream-of-consciousness statement (?) from a video clip referenced here. Now, I do realize that spoken English is often less "proper" than written English, but I wouldn't even call this English... more like gibberish.

"Basically I was like, you know, I read what you said, and I had like, cuz see, I kinda come at it from a different perspective, like I totally don't begrudge frustration or anything like that, but I'm kind of wondering like, I guess for me it was sort of like, I understand it, but like, what is, what was your expectation, you know, like I guess, that's me, it seems like the hardest part to swallow about what you're saying is you sort of said that you and your friends expected everything to kind of change and it's not really changing you know. "

One sentence. That is one sentence.

And I dare you to diagram it.

Or even translate it.

Into English.

To the unfortunate mush-brained fool who uttered those words, I can only say, "Truly, you have a dizzying intellect."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Jail break

I'm usually a pretty sound sleeper, but not last night... and good thing, too.

Sometime in the middle of the night I heard little footsteps and assumed they were headed for the bathroom, but came wide awake when they quickly pattered down the stairs. No lights came on and I waited for a disoriented voice to call me, but instead I heard the squeak-bang of the screen door!

"Kerry! Run! One of the kids just went out the back door!"

I got to the window in time to see Gunnar standing in the middle of the driveway. He had apparently headed for the (detached) garage, found the door locked, and was contemplating his next move.

I called to him, while Kerry got out the back door and found him.

He was sleep-walking and not making any sense, but - thankfully - not frightened.

I was!

If I hadn't heard him, who knows where he would've gone next?

He really was still asleep. He came inside, started to change his jammies (?) and wandered around the house, muttering to himself, for awhile until Kerry and I made him sleep between us the rest of the night.

He told me today that he thinks he was dreaming that it was the middle of the day and he thought we were out in the garage. (Kerry's office is out there and I sometimes go out to talk with him, so that would be reasonable.)

I'm really hoping there won't be a repeat performance tonight!

UPDATE, 10:15pm :
Tied a bell around his ankle, and put him to bed with earnest prayers for a peaceful night's sleep.

I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for You alone, O Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

Yah. Old Fashioned.

Public school is finally out.

It's raining today. (Go figure.)

The boys were heading over to the neighbors to play.

Rainy days mean potential "screen time". And there was great rejoicing, because the neighbors have a Wii.

Me: "Guys! Go have fun with your friends! What if they didn't have a Wii? Build something with Legos, or set up a plastic animal world, or... "

Wyatt: "I'm not obsessed with the Wii."

Tate: "If they didn't have a Wii, we could... play the Ninendo!"

Gunnar: "Yah, I like the 'intendo just as well, because - you know - I like old fashioned things."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We had our (second?) annual End Of The Year Homeschool Party yesterday, out at a friend's farm.

8 moms
9 girls
12 boys
4 hours
Lots and lots of fun and laughter,
and only
1 "FDGB" (fall down go boom).

Funniest moment of the day: all the moms sitting around the patio talking, and the kids playing behind the barn. One boy came running up for a drink of water, then stopped and addressed us all, with his hands spread out in front of him,

"Just so you know, we're playing a game that involves a whole lot of yelling. But everyone is having fun."

Fabulous. Thanks for the heads up. Because with 21 kids yelling at the same time, it can be hard to tell.

But on to my little ankle-biters...


In honor and recognition of Wyatt Chase ***, who has successfully completed the 6th grade. He is an energetic learner, specializing in photography, movie making, creative writing, cartooning, explosives, and occasional blogging. Wyatt has completed 6th grade studies in: Bible, math, science, Grammar, Logic, History of the Middle Ages, Writing, and Sign Language. He has also finished his first section of Piano Lessons. Wyatt is a critical thinker who is always looking for ways to be more efficient (ie to get more done with less effort and time)… so he can get OUTSIDE!


In honor and recognition of Tate Andrew ***, who has successfully completed the 4th grade. He is curious and eager learner, an intuitive thinker, and specializes in Zoology – especially tadpoles, Northern Alligator Lizards, butterflies and moths, as well as Military Strategy (historical and contemporary - Dino-opolis). Tate has completed 4th grade studies in: Bible, math, science, Grammar, Logic, History of the Middle Ages, Writing, and Sign Language. Tate is a very sequential and passionate learner who is self-motivated… so he can get OUTSIDE!


In honor and recognition of Gunnar Scott ***, who has successfully completed the 1st grade… and part of the 2nd. He is an imaginative thinker who has mastered reading (!), aces Logic Puzzles, and excels at expressing himself… sometimes rather dramatically. Gunnar has completed 1st grade studies in: Bible, math, science, Grammar, Logic, History of the Middle Ages, Writing, and Sign Language. Gunnar is an eager and inquisitive thinker who enjoys creating imaginary worlds. He quickly finishes his work… so he can get OUTSIDE!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Simple Woman #23

Simple Woman

FOR TODAY June 15, 2009

Outside My Window... sunny, breezy, cool. LOTS of busy, twittering birds.

I am thinking... lots to get done today and tomorrow, and do I have gifts for all our June birthdays and Father's Day "honorees" for this Sunday? We have four fathers, (only two that I need to tend to!), and six b'days. Almost like Christmas :0)

I am thankful for... Good books, good friends, good family, good church, good God. (Not in order of importance!)

I am praying for… my friend's dad - just diagnosed with cancer.

From the learning rooms... nothing today :0)

From the kitchen... cupcakes on the counter, ready to go...

I am wearing... shorts, tank top, aloha shirt - hoping for a warm day.

I am creating... awards for my kids for the...

I am going... to our End of the Year Homeschool Party. Hurray!

I am reading... Just finished "Hands of My Father" by Myron Uhlberg, recommended by my friend Colleen. The hearing son of deaf parents tells his story. Could not put it down. He's very honest about the frustrations he experienced as a child, with the responsibility of functioning as his parents' interpreters to the adult hearing world, as well as caring for his younger brother, who apparently had epilepsy. But it's not a bitter book at all - full of love and the joy of living.

Then I picked up "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Must. Get. This. Book.

Actually, I'll recommend it for next year's book club schedule and make sure I buy a copy. Funny thing, like another book I read recently (Rosie Dunne) the whole book is in the form of messages (letters, telegrams, etc.), which I wasn't sure I would like, but it works. Part comedy, part drama, part romance, all fun.

Now I want to find out more about the Channel Islands and WW2 (occupation).

I am hoping... Gunnar feels better soon - he has a chunky cough.

I am hearing... the boys, playing in the next room, making some horrible tire-screeching sounds that only boys can make. They're quite happy.

Around the house... I finally got out and weeded the flower beds... well, three quarters of them anyway. I have a much improved view from my kitchen window! The boys and I cleaned the kitchen floor and - hallelujah! - it is again blue, and shiny. Briefly. Wyatt has been practicing piano regularly and we're all humming "Go Down, Moses".

One of my favorite things... how good it feels to feel well again, when you haven't felt well.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: party this afternoon celebrating the end of our homeschool year (with - I think - 23 kids), Gunnar's check up Thursday, Wyatt's last piano lesson until fall, his recital on Saturday, and the big Father's Day/June birthday gathering on Sunday. Hoping our trip to Seattle is much less eventful than last year's.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

The boys at Grampa and Gramma's, on their PTO Day :o)

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I know he's nearly eight, but he's still my "baby"...

so I felt kind of bad about this:

Gunnar went over to the neighbor's house to play this morning while I was outside weeding. He ended up staying through lunch and came home for a swim-suit because they were setting up their pool. I noticed his knee was covered in bandages and the other knee and his forearms were scraped. Tripped over the curb, he explained.

Then, inside later, I picked up the message... from this morning. It was Gunnar's voice, trying not to cry, asking the voice-mail to "please put Mommy on the phone".

Well, I'm sure Linda comforted him :0)


Not only did he get "road rash" tripping over the curb, he also had a bloody nose. Then this evening got into stinging nettles. By the time we got home he said, "My head feels dizzy. I don't feel well."

Not Gunnar's best day!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Believe It

Yep. That's Gunnar, driving the riding mower. By. Him. Self.

What you can't see... is what he's sitting on.

Not only is he really too short to reach the pedals comfortably, he's just too light to make the tractor go. There's apparently a safety mechanism, which requires a certain amount of weight to be applied to the seat for the mower to move forward. (You know, so if 97 year old Uncle Buford falls off the tractor, the thing will stop. Possibly also so that 7 year old boys can't take the tractor for a joy ride... Possibly.)

Grandpa solved the both problems by bringing a 25# weight from the weight bench and using it as a little "booster".

Go, Gunnar, go!

Who needs expensive toys?

Plastic Tarp + Hose = Joy

Happy Friday

I love Fridays :0) And today is a "PTO" Friday. Although we're officially done with school for the summer (kinda, sorta), the boys still love to go to Grandpa and Grandma's, and I still love a quiet day at home.

And - isn't technology great - they're won't be home for at least another hour, and Grandma has already sent me some pictures of all the fun they're having!

Tate reminds me a bit of the youngest boy in Disney's Swiss Family Robinson. He's always catching something - though usually smaller creatures than the ones in the movie. Check out this teeny tiny salamander!

It seems to be a Western Red-backed Salamander. (No, I didn't make that up.)

They've been happily setting up an outpost of Dino-opolis, playing in the treehouse Grandpa built, playing with a homemade slip-n-slide, learning to drive (*gasp*) the riding lawnmower, and probably running around yelling their heads off in the woods.

More pictures to come. But none of the baby fawn they saw from the treehouse.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Buzz Off 2009


three boys at the park...






You may have noticed that I have not posted recipes on the blog. There's a good reason for that. Really.

Nobody's jaw will drop in awe at what comes out of our kitchen. Ordinary food, people, just ordinary food.

Oh, I can make "company food" - you know, the home-made bread and soup, turkey dinner, various crock-pot concoctions, etc. But we're pretty boring really. More likely to have Taco Salad (again) than anything gourmet.

Good thing my crowd is so easily impressed. What with the cupboards being a bit bare (and a Costco run planned for tomorrow), I was searching for inspiration this evening.

Salad-in-a-Bag? Check.
Green beans? Check.

And, for the main course... sausages (you know - fancy hot dogs) left over from last week's BBQ, chopped up and baked into Jiffy corn-bread batter. Sort of a corn-dog casserole.

But get this - all three boys asked for seconds.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Go Figure

I'm always a little curious about who visits the blog. Besides, you know, all three of my friends :0)

So I found a way to track some of this and learned some interesting things:

1. Lots of people are googling "Northern Alligator Lizard".
* I don't know it it's legal to sell them
* I don't know how to tell a boy from a girl
* They eat bugs and snails.
* Around here (PNW) they seem to be about 6 - 10 inches long.
Hope that helps.

2. People in Georgia and in Warsaw (Poland) are interested in "Saint Gunnar". This probably wasn't what they were looking for.

3. There are at least two other Homer Price fans searching for "pounds of edible fungus".

4. There is someone in New York looking for "Alien Herding Quilt". Wow. I really am curious what they had in mind.


5. To the person in California who is "dreaming repeatedly about grasshoppers in the bed"... I really, really can't help you. Maybe you should get a chicken or two.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Simple Woman #22

Simple Woman

FOR TODAY June 8, 2009

Outside My Window... leaves. The trees are almost all leafed out - looks like summer! The boys are playing in the dirt - where else? And a breeze is blowing my laundry dry.

I am thinking... that last week was great, but I'm looking forward to a quieter week ahead. We just finished our testing today - hurray! Now we start on "Summer Projects" - heh heh heh.

I am thankful for... finishing testing, good times with our friends this week, and some jobs for Kerry - a neighbor's remodel, a sewage treatment plant (fun times, people!), and - I think it's a go - a small library.

From the learning rooms... I'm cleaning. Took all of last year's projects off the walls and into "portfolios" (doesn't that sound fancy? folders, okay?), cleaning the white board, table and chairs, dusting, (ick), and shuffling books we're done with and books we'll be using, and marking all the little science projects I want to do over the summer.

From the kitchen... a dismal mess, only somewhat related to all the company we've had over the week. (Not their fault, I just wait until they all leave and then I clean.) I think my floor was blue, but I'll have to check.

I am wearing... t-shirt, capri pants, crocs. Sunny today, but cool and breezy.

I am creating... well, a mess, really. But it's all part of the process, I tell myself.

I am going... to meet a friend from out of town at a park this evening. And, with Kerry in Seattle visiting old classmates, I may just take the kids and myself out to dinner first :0)

I am reading... just starting the next book for bookclub - Tom Sawyer. Actually, I've read it several times, but probably not in 20 years.

I am hoping... the boys will have good attitudes about cooperating with my summer plans :0)

I am praying... thanking God for WORK, for our friends' adopted baby's arrival, and for finishing this school year; and praying for other friends that are in the process of adopting and at a difficult stage of waiting, for continued work to come in, and for peace in the house - with less school structure this is sometimes more of a challenge.

I am hearing... the boys playing outside, the breeze rustling the leaves, and the washer finishing the next load.

Around the house... the table needs a leaf taken out, the living room needs to be vacuumed, the kitchen floor needs to be graded swept and mopped (and waxed, if I'm really ambitious), laundry has piled up through some cooler days (waiting to be washed when I could dry it outside), and my office looks like there has been a small explosion. *sigh* In other words, things are pretty normal.

One of my favorite things... finishing things. Just about anything, really. Except chocolate, because then it's gone.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Really, very little. And I'm happy about that.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is from a couple weeks ago. Tate looks "blown", but I think they were just both concentrating, and utterly determined.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hot Hot Hot

What a gorgeous day, but HOT.

Okay, 90F may not seem hot to you, but around here... that's hot. Remember that it rains here, about 9 months of the year, so when the temperature does start to rise it draws all that lovely moisture up out of the ground.

I was just a bit envious of the boys, sleeping outside last night! Check it out...

This is the tent, with eight boys inside.
Before setting up the tent the boys did rock patrol.
Notice the pile of foam mats outside?
Big manly boys don't need no stinkin' foam pads.
Then big manly boys roll around, groaning, and trying to get their brothers to move over, so they can move over, because there are lumps underneath them.

This is Wyatt (on the left), giggling nearly uncontrollably, and Tate, on the right, looking very, very annoyed.

Rafe, Per, and Luke have also found something funny.
I realize that we have no pictures of Jan, who is 'hiding' behind Per.

Kai looks bewildered, as any sane 4-year-old would, at being awake at that hour of the night. Gunnar and Rafe giggle on.

But aren't those happy faces at the breakfast table?
Ignore the date. I'm techno-incompetent.
And - oh! - happy discovery, we do have Jan in a picture, top right, blue shirt.

After breakfast and clean-up they all headed outside for more adventures. A neighbor (one I don't know) was walking her dog in the alley and stopped to watch the back door, as the boys kept coming, and coming, and coming... like the clown car at the circus.

They sweet-talked me into taking them to the swim at the park again. Much nicer than yesterday, probably because we went earlier. As opposed to yesterday, which reminded me of that classic line from Steel Magnolias... "Well, the nicest thing I can say about her is that all her tattoes were spelled right."

I know, I know, I live a sheltered life... but it really creeped me out, being there with all these sweet boys, who - thankfully - were more interested in swimming and the boats they had built and brought, than in the trashy people around them. I'm not Amish, but I was wishing there was some sort of Modesty Police, who could give some of these people a clue. This is a park for families! Yikes.

Fun times, people, fun times :0)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


It's 11:23pm, and I'm sitting in my office with the lights out and the window wide open, listening to eight boys, in a tent, still giggling and telling jokes.

Well, make that seven.

Tate's hearing aid is out, so he's probably oblivious to the swirl of silly-ness surrounding him.

There's only one problem...

it's going to get light at about 4:30am.

So far, so good :0)

We've had hours and hours of fun in Dino-opolis, broke out the slip-n-slide, walked to the park and went swimming (!), and caught and released another lizard. Wyatt and Tate are sure they recognize this as the lizard who lost his tail. Because, you know, there couldn't possibly be another Northern Alligator Lizard who has lost his tail.

The boys are all having a great time. I have remembered how much I dislike the park. And the only thing I've gotten pics of is the slip-n-slide. Well, seven out of eight. The bigger boys were moving pretty fast... faster than the slow shutter on the boys' camera.

But you can cheer for me for taking eight boys swimming and not losing any of them ;-)




Per - I think, but possibly Jan.



Tate - in motion

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Faces

I love happy summer faces :0)

We had some friends from church over, for a few hours today. How quickly I forget what it's like to have little ones around :0)

I love the way my "big boys" looked after their younger friends. Don't you just love Adia's little hand on Gunnar's leg, and his arm around her?

Um, kinda blurry, but they were so full of fun and giggles and joy that I had to post them anyway.


We've finished our math, finished our grammar, finished our history, finished our science, and we're all done, but the testing, which I can do on my own time. I was going to try to wrap that up this week, but with having guests today, tomorrow, Thursday, and on the weekend, I think we'll wait until next week.

No problem!

I did do one thing today... reading assessments. A homeschooling friend recommended the McCall Crabb series, (and I found them used, at the homeschool sale last year), so we went through those today. I had the boys do six exercises each and averaged their scores. (They have three minutes to read a selection and answer eight multiple-choice questions.)

So, this is my "bragging mom" moment:

Wyatt (finishing 6th grade) tested at 8.2, which may be low, because he finished his tests, with time to spare, and had all answers correct. But he was not interested in doing more tests to up his score, so I was happy to leave it.

Tate (finishing 4th grade) tested at 6.3, also a very happy place to be.

And Gunnar, (finishing 1st grade), tested at 4.5!

Whether or not the tests are wholly accurate, I don't know, but I'm proud of the boys :0) And, anyway, it'll give us a baseline to compare to next year.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Simple Woman #21

Simple Woman

FOR TODAY June 1, 2009

Outside My Window... I'm being serenaded by birds, birds, birds. And they start early. But I'm not complaining. I love waking up to the sun. Good thing, since our bedroom faces east.

I am thinking... we've had a welcome change of plans for the week and I'm re-prioritizing what needs to get done when.

I am thankful for... warmer weather (hallelujah!), selling a couple of small items on Craig's List, being oh-s0-very-nearly done with our school year, and toast with real butter.

From the learning rooms... I'm loading up a laundry basket with stuff we're really truly done with, to take to Friday's "Homeschool Recycle Sale". Along with my wish list...

From the kitchen... we've cleaned up the breakfast mess, but I haven't thought ahead to dinner yet. *ugh* I need to grocery shop.

I am wearing... try not to be shocked, shorts and a tank top. And I'm not cold.

I am creating... a schedule and a menu for the week. At least part of it. I need to be organized. You'll see why.

I am going... to give Wyatt and Tate their last math test for this year, and probably do reading evaluations on all the boys, to wash all their sheets and comforters, and to move the living room furniture.

I am reading... last month's book club book. Yeah.

I've been reserving books at the library, rather than buying them, but this one must've been more popular. Book club was last Thursday at 8. I got the book last Thursday at 4:30. So I've been reading "Gilead" and "Home" by Marilynne Robinson.

I am hoping... to be shocked and surprised by my sudden ability to complete all the projects I'm dreaming up, rather than the usual tenth of them. It's pathetic, really.

I could just leave that up all summer!

I'm hoping to create a good, workable schedule for the boys' summer.

I am praying... two families - good friends - are coming down the homestretch in the adoption process, and we are praying for you guys daily! One is a secret, and the other is a family from our church. They have two (adopted) kids already, and Cutzi is on a plane to CA today to witness the birth of #3. You can read her updates here.

I am hearing... throw rugs flopping around in the washer, several different kinds of birds, and the boys playing downstairs.

Around the house... dust, dust, and more dust. It's not even dust bunnies. More like dust elephants. Bills that need to be paid, books that need to go back to the library (although - thankfully - we can turn them in at the grocery store), plants that need to be watered and just maybe moved outside for the summer, and three boys that need direction...

One of my favorite things... my Moms In Touch group. :0)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: prayer group coming over this afternoon, finish math curriculum (testing today), do reading evaluations, assemble (with the boys) a little book for doing nature sketches this summer, do Testing with Wyatt and Tate (though some or all of this may be deferred to next week), piano lesson, sign language class, decide whether we can manage signing up all three boys for fall soccer, get the boys' sheets washed and back on the beds (bunk beds are not the easiest...), company coming for lunch on Sunday, and...

five boys coming for all day Wednesday, an overnight, and part of Thursday.

You can pray for me on that last one. Don't get me wrong, they're good boys or I wouldn't be doing it. It's just that there will be eight of them. That's a lot of testosterone. I'm thinking that a back-yard sleep-out would be just about right.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...