Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Rest of the Story

Sure Kerry loves the science center, and sure he wants to help with the boys' education, and sure he wanted to give me a break for a day...

but the real attraction should be obvious ;D

Star Wars!
Note how carefully Wyatt positioned himself for the photo ;D

Yes, it was Grasshopper Nerd-vana!
 Kerry was thrilled and proud to release his inner geek, in all its glory.
Real models.  From the real Star Wars movies.
Like Luke's X-Wing fighter...

Luke's Landspeeder.
Oops.  With a wheel showing under the back.
Pretend you don't see that.

 Han Solo's Millenium Falcon.

 And costumes, too!

And to make it even cooler they linked the Star Wars displays
with exhibits featuring existing technology.
Here's Gunnar, driving a hover-car.

Wyatt, Gunnar, and Tate constructing Mag-Lev Trains.

Wyatt, trying his out.

Tate is building a Moisture Farm.
According to Gunnar, alternately you could put together the Mos Eisley Space Port,
or a Jawa Camp, complete with Tuskan Raiders and a Sarlac.

Wyatt and a Wampa.
 I think he was a bit disappointed at the size.
Apparently they used special effects to make it appear large in the movie.

Wyatt, again, building a Robot.

And, apparently, instructing it to do certain tasks.

Yes indeedy, a good time was had by all.  (Though I heard rumors of boys begging to be allowed to go eat their lunch, and having to pry Daddy Grasshopper away from the geek-tastic memorabilia for even a moment.) 

I know, I know, it's hard to believe that I could stay home and pass all this up for nothing but a few hours of peace and quiet.  And lunch out, with Gramma Grasshopper. 

But it's true.

Pacific Science Center

I've felt like we were in a rut, lately, with our studies.  Maybe we all do, this time of year.  Just plugging along to get to the finish line in June.  So when Kerry suggested a trip to the Pacific Science Center the boys were all giddy-up-and-go.  Now, I like the science center myself, but when Kerry told me his motive for a trip Right Now, I decided a quiet day at home was even more appealing... you'll see why, later ;D  But in the meantime, here are a few of the reasons the boys love the science center.

The permanent insect exhibit is full of live creatures as well as models.  Large models.
Tate is about to be eaten by a giant scorpion!

Unlike the zoo, (where they ding you an additional two or three bucks) the Butterfly House at science center is just part of your day.  Tate was thrilled to have one land on him :D

Tate gets up close and personal with... something.  Python?
They apparently saw a live show featuring a large anaconda, but weren't allowed to approach it.
Be still my heart.

 Tate would've liked to hold this little guy, too.

Touch Tank!
This is fun, and full of local creatures.

Water Park!
Probably not what you were expecting if you're from a warm climate.  This water park is full of hands on activities with water.
Archimedes' Screw, an ancient water pump.

One of several water cannons, (with a restricted range.)

 They're shooting at the circles.
Gunnar has the backpack.  Tate is next to him, and Wyatt is at the cannon.
(Random boy on the right.)

 But the coolest thing of all is in the background, and has been shut down for years.
See the blue poles, holding up a blue ring, with what looks like an enormous bowl beneath them?
The bowl is a safety net for the bicycle.
Do you see the bicycle up on the ring near the walkway?
The bicycle has special 'wheels' (like train wheels) that fit onto the rail - the blue ring is a curved rail - and has a large weight that hangs down below to balance it.
You can actually ride the bike around the rail, like a tight-rope walker.
I've done it.
But they never open that anymore.  Liability, I suppose.
It's a fascinating balance experience.

Of course, the science center is huge, and awesome, and very, very hands-on,
and there is much, much more!

But here are all the signs that a good time was had by all... 

Wyatt, where are you?  Were you the photographer of the day?  Because you're not in many pictures.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

There Is No Charge For Awesomeness

I have to ask...  

is there anything more adorable than a nine-year-old trying to keep a secret?

Gunnar had a plan.  He couldn't work it on his own, so he got Tate involved.

And Daddy needed to take them somewhere.  On Monday.  And it had to be Monday afternoon.  And they couldn't tell me.  And it sounded like it might have something to do with Redbox.  (Cheap movie rental.  But it turns out it didn't.  Just something near a Redbox.)

Me:  But guys, we just had a Really Big Day yesterday, and you were all up pretty late, so are you sure this is a good plan today?

Gunnar: Mommy, it'll be great.  It'll be A Perfect Day.  Don't worry.  And what are you going to make for dinner?  And when?

Me:  We have a lot of great leftovers from yesterday.  (Which suits my energy level just perfectly.)

Gunnar:  Great.  So don't make it until we get back, because.... I'm not sure how long we'll take.

Me.  Alrighty.

That established, Gunnar and Tate proceeded to check with me about 20 billion more times on Monday afternoon about what I was making for dinner and when it was going to be, and how I should not make it until they came back. 

So it's not like I was suspicious or anything.

When they finally went on their mysterious errand, they were back in about ten minutes.  Before I could get to the door to meet them, Gunnar burst into the house and insisted he needed a snuggle.  On the couch in the living room.  (Out of sight from the kitchen.)  And checked again to make sure I hadn't started dinner.

He smelled delicious.  In fact, like pizza. ;D

Which he and Tate had bought with their own money.

So we enjoyed a fabulous dinner of Little Caesar's finest, and Easter chocolate.  And followed it up with a streaming Netflix movie.

I'm not sure if their insistence that it had to be Monday was influenced more by realizing I put a lot of work into hosting on Sunday and I was pooped (do they notice that???) or that Little Caesar's always has a special Monday price.  Hey, that they were aware of either of these is a good thing, right?! 

And how glad am I that their idea of A Perfect Day is so accessible.  ;D

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grasshopper Days 4-25-11

Grasshopper Days

For Today, April 25, 2011

Outside my window...  gray skies, a few little lilies blooming, and silly string all over the yard -  an Easter present from Gramma Grasshopper.

I am thinking...  how can it possibly be Monday again already???

I am thankful for...  the resurrection (!), a good time yesterday with family, and
only seven more weeks of school ;D

I am praying for...  more work for Kerry, that the van doesn't need lots of work (it's been 'speaking whale' for over a year and one of the dummy lights just came on...), a smooth week.

I am wearing...  my not-leaving-the-house sweats.

I am going...  nowhere, today.  At least that's the plan.  We'll get school going just shortly (running a bit slowly, after yesterday), and the house needs a bit of tidying.  Not much though.

I am hoping...  the boys are more motivated than I am!

I am hearing...  they're doing something in their bedroom.  It probably involves several hundred toy soldiers...

From the learning rooms...  reviewing multiplication facts, JFK and his assassination, writing a tanka (poetry), positive and negative integers, the Civil Rights movement - MLK Jr., Rosa Parks, etc., editing, spelling, experiments with sound, courtesy at the table (probably should've reviewed that before yesterday!), and variables and controls in experiments.

From the kitchen...  lots of good leftovers around!

Around the house...  need to do a little picking up in the house and the yard, but it's not too bad :D  My family is good about everyone pitching in.  We take turns hosting things, and we all help - bringing food, cleaning up, etc.  And it's so nice, now that the boys are old enough to be truly helpful - cleaning and setting up beforehand, and clearing up and cleaning up afterwards.  Now if they would just pick up that silly string from out in the grass...

On my mind...  hmmm, there must be something... ;D
Taking it easy today, but working on a new To-Do list.

Noticing that...  good gracious these boys are getting tall!

Pondering these words...  
Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement:
he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.
C. S. Lewis

One of my favorite things...
The happy fun when the family all comes over,
and the quiet when they all leave.
I know, that's two.  ;D

A few plans for the rest of the week...  Gunnar is desperate to get to the library (he has a book on reserve) and has informed me repeatedly that he is overdue for a Mommy Date.  Which means he really, really wants to be taken to Dairy Queen.  And to buy a birthday present for his friend Juliann.
And there's always schoolwork, housework, yardwork, etc.

Here is a picture I am sharing...

Gunnar and Wyatt on a boat ride, recently.
(Tate was probably up on the bow, pretending to shoot all the other boats in the bay.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

More Than A Blitz

We've been washing the tablecloths, waxing the floor, tidying the bedrooms, picking up every single Lego, prepping twenty baked potatoes, and generally trying to make our house look like five people don't live here everyday.   


The dumb thing is that I generally keep the house reasonably clean and tidy.  I don't freak out if someone drops by unexpectedly (in fact, I kind of like it), even if they might see dishes in the sink, crumbs on the floor, or the general detritus of three boys.

But when I know ahead that I'm having company, for some reason I'll get on the crazy-train about a week or so before and it goes kind of like this, Why mop the floor today when I'll want it freshly mopped for Sunday?  And pretty soon I've got 28 (or more?) things on the To Do list.

Granted, the boys do a lot of them (especially ones like Remind Wyatt to shave), so it's not as overwhelming as it might sound.  But extra things do creep in, like sending Kerry down into town to bring home our 'new' bookshelf (yay Craigslist) and set it up in the family room.  (And yes, J, it is fixed to the wall already.  Before a single book went onto it.)

But we're just about there.  I'm setting the tables.  The ham is ready to go in the oven.  And the sun is shining so the laundry is drying on the line, and the boys are OUTSIDE, which is good for them and even better for my sanity :D   I can see one glorious red tulip blooming that the *%&$# deer didn't get to.  And by tomorrow it should be all smooth sailing.

Wishing you a joyful Resurrection Day, tomorrow.

I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end He will stand
upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh
I will see God.
I myself will see Him
with my own eyes - 
I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me.

Job 19:25-27

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Words I Do Want To Say

Yesterday was really exciting.  For lots of reasons.  I'll tell you in a minute.

In fact, I was so excited I didn't sleep well.  (Okay, that might have had more to do with the onion rings, but we'll go with excitement.)  In fact, laying (lying?) in bed at 2AM, listening to hail and then pouring rain (at least it wasn't the possible snow we were forecast) I thought about getting up and posting it right then.  But I didn't.  Because that would've been nuts.  Maybe.

And here's the crazy thing: the news is just as great today, but today I don't feel as excited about it, for some reason.  (Possibly that has something to do with 39F and rain.  Again.)  So I almost didn't tell you.  Which would be lame.  Not to mention ungrateful. 

So here is the absolute greatness that was yesterday:

1.  My brother, Dave, got the job.  Not just any job, not just the I'll-take-it-because-I-really-need-work job, but the Job He Really Wanted.  This is awesome.  We've been praying for a long time.  (BTW, he's not a lazy slacker.  Just wanted you to know.)

2.  Tate sailed through "Range Day".  That would be the practical portion of Hunter Safety training.  Not only did he successfully Keep The Fire-arm Pointed In A Safe Direction At All Times, safely cross obstacles, choose the correct ammunition, demonstrate safe zone-of-fire, etc.  He also managed to hit one of the clay 'pigeons' during the actual shooting.  Grampa Grasshopper was on hand to watch and encourage and celebrate.  Which for Tate meant a large-double-fudge-cookie-dough-extra-cookie-dough-blizzard.  And there was much rejoicing.

3.  Gramma Grasshopper's MRI went just fine.  Won't have results for a week, but the process went fine.  No claustrophobia.  They slid her in the tube and she just closed her eyes and prayed.  When the tech asked her how she did, she said she hadn't had time to finish praying for her family.  Go, Gramma!

4.  Successful junk removal accomplished.  Between #3 and #2, Grampa Grasshopper came over with his Very Big Truck and helped us load and haul away two full truck-loads of burnable JUNK - stumps, last year's Christmas tree, windfall, wood scraps, etc - thereby greatly decreasing the eye-sore-ability of parts of our yard (and removing appealing rat-habitat, shudder).  The property still needs a lot of work, but it's a huge improvement!

So, yes, I'm feeling better and more thankful again, having told you.  A lot of prayer went into those first three items, so hurray for answered prayer.

Thank you, Lord! 

And #4 just convinces me that, though I hadn't prayed about it, God cares about my mental state ;D

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Words I Didn't Want To Hear

A Miscellaneous Tip

Because I can't remember who I was talking with.  (You'd be surprised how often that happens.)

So here's a freebie for anyone who wants it.

Our boys all share a room.  Always have.  Some of them wake earlier than others.  Not a problem, now that they can all tell time.  But when they were smaller I did not appreciate little people getting out of bed at oh-dark-thirty and possibly disturbing their sleeping brothers at oh-dark-thirty to come wake me up at oh-dark-thirty to ask if it was time to get up.  Because, as previously noted, I am not very godly at that hour.

Sound familiar?

It also doesn't help that we live at a latitude where it can be dark until 8AM in the winter, yet light by 4:30AM in the summer.  Light is not a reliable indicator.

Simple solution.

I took a cheap light timer, like this, and connected it to a dim nightlight, set for whatever time I deemed acceptable for getting up.  If the light is on, you may get up.

You're welcome.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Veni, Vidi, Vici

We're back.

He needed 80% to pass.

He scored 73/75, which - if my math is up to par - is 97%.

Tate rocks.

Testosterzone #18

I made the executive decision to cut short our history lesson (the Space Race, the Bay of Pigs, and the Cuban Missile Crisis) and have an Early Release Day today, what with the boys being all distracted by the appearance of a long-awaited yellow orb in the sky.  Since the other neighborhood kids are still imprisoned at school, they headed out to hold the bunnies and work in Dino-opolis.

Heard Tate rummaging in the toy bins, asking permission to take some old plastic rockets, missiles, and such outside.  (They have to ask because once toys go out, they stay out.)

Gunnar came in to report that Wyatt and Tate were building Nuclear Power Plants. 

You know, so they could have a Cold War.

Fun times.

I wonder who will be Kruschev and who will be Kennedy?

Grasshopper Days 4-18-11

Grasshopper Days

For Today, April 18, 2011

Outside my window...  Well.  I have to come clean.  The picture above is totally false advertising.  It won't look like that for probably another month.  Right now it is 37F, dark, cloudy, and raining.  And isn't that a lovely way to start the week?

I am thinking...  about my parents IN HAWAII, eating fresh pineapple on their lanai.  Okay, probably not at this moment since it's 5AM there.  But they will be.  (What was that verse about rejoicing for the good things that happen to other people???  Grrrrr!)  Kidding.  They totally deserve it.

I am thankful for...  my parents, in Hawaii, etc.  They really do deserve it.
Also, a little story to let you know how my mind works.
I am thankful for a roof I don't worry about leaking.
I know, that's kind of a think we take for granted, but not always.
We bought our first house from a couple in their 90s, and to say they'd let things go would be an understatement.  It needed a new roof.  I can remember it dripping into the kitchen at least twice.  And we had no money for a new roof.  Lived their seven years and only (finally) re-roofed to sell the place.
Bought this place in 2003 and it needed a new roof.  The roof over the kitchen and mudroom was FLAT.  And friends, that is a special kind of insanity here, where it rains almost 300 days a year.  My grandparents lived here until they died and I know that roof leaked.  So bad the kitchen ceiling came down once.  We remodeled the kitchen and moved in.  No money to fix the roof and no point in doing it until we could remodel upstairs anyway.  Until the Big Remodel (that ate Miami) of 2005-2006.
Which means that for parts of eleven years I had a worrisome roof over my head.
And now I don't.
And I'm very, very thankful.

I am praying for...  my folks get back tomorrow and my mom has an MRI Wednesday morning.  That's the test where they slide you into into a little tube and you can't move?
Yah.  She's not particularly claustrophobic, but would appreciate prayers all the same.
We're also praying for Tate's Hunter Safety test tonight (post below).

I am wearing...  blue jeans, white T, blue sweater, socks, slippers... layers.

I am creating...  hmmm. A blog post.  Hah.

I am going...  to get school started momentarily.

I am reading...  just finished Rosa Park's autobiography.  Next???

I am hoping...  for good Monday morning attitudes.

I am hearing...  the dryer tumbling (no line-drying today), the furnace blowing, and tappety-tappety.

From the learning rooms...  the Cold War, words with cycle, graphing functions, the Bay of Pigs, experiments with heat, Fidel Castro, being courteous to adults, memorizing Philippians 2.

From the kitchen...  probably left-overs tonight.  Tate's class is right at dinner time, so our schedules have been different.

Around the house...  moved the furniture and really cleaned over the weekend.  Partly because we're hosting Easter, but mainly just because we were due.  Even Gunnar said, "Mom, isn't it about time to move the furniture?"  Love that boy.

On my mind...  feeling in a rut.

Pondering these words...  When asked how she stayed balanced, deafmom Karen Putz said,
After laughing hysterically I informed her that my life was actually an unbalanced washing machine on a lopsided spin cycle.

One of my favorite things...  finishing things.  Crossing things off my list. Yah.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  getting Tate to his written test (Monday) and his practical test aka Range Day (Wednesday), collecting my parents from the airport (Tuesday), Maundy Thursday dinner at church (Thursday - duh), Tenebrae Service (Friday), breathe (Saturday), Easter services and family here (Sunday).  And homeschool, and grocery shop, and laundry, and clean, and...

Here is a picture I am sharing...
Earlier this week.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tate the Great

So, Tate has been going to Hunter Safety Class.

Yes, I come from a hunting family.  You know, grazing at the top of the food chain, and all that.  Where vegetarian is slang for village idiot who can't hunt or fish.

He's a little excited.

Okay, a lot excited.  He's in heaven.  It's chock full of things he loves.  Grampa - his hunting partner.  Fire-arms.  Animals.  Shooting.  And stories.  Because all hunters have stories.

And who knew the class would be so funny?  (Okay, it's not all funny.  Much of it is appropriately serious, so don't get your shorts in a knot.)  Tate absolutely eats it up.  He listens intently.  He volunteers for anything they ask.  And he can't wait to get home each night and tell his brothers what he heard.

About the runaway (dead) deer careening down a steep slope on a homemade cart and dropping off a bluff onto a road right in front of a truck.

Or the guy who got lost with a rhino.  (Oops.  Not a rhino, a Rino.)

Or the infamous victory breakfast at Three Fingered Jacks.

He's got a lot to look forward to this fall.

And he has a test to pass to get hs license, so feel free to pray that his eagerness doesn't get him too jittery to show what he knows.  (In other words, that he'll slow down enough to think about what he's being asked.)


Friday, April 15, 2011

Another Post In Which I Ramble

I like to read.  Books, blogs, lots of things.  And I'll see something I like and copy it out - you know - because I want to remember it.  Or because I intend to post it eventually.  So I toss it into my blogorandom file.  Along with miscellaneous things I think.

Tell me I'm not the only one.

Trouble is, it gets away from me.  Or time gets away from me.  Or both.

Time to whittle away at the file.  So, without much commentary, here ya go.

1.  We need our "real life" friends.  No substitutes.  But bloggy friends are great, too.  Some of my bloggy friends took pity on us, in our deprived state, and sent us chocolate.  Thanks Ann and Doug!

2.  Kerry and the boys are heading out for a Father-Son male-bondathon at the fair grounds.  I'm sure there's some sort of speaker (famous football player), but the boys are going because it involves Activities With Projectiles (archery, BB guns, etc.) and Kerry is going presumably because of the magic words - free and chili-dog.  I may be joking.  Or not.

3.  I love the burst of activity after a meal when all the boys are helping.  Washing dishes, putting stuff away, sweeping the floor.  They've learned to do this stuff, hallelujah.  Because, moms, if you're doing it all yourself you've missed your promotion.

4.  Gunnar has wanted a violin for about two years.  Musical instruments aren't exactly cheap, but with the tax refund coming, I've been looking.  And I can't figure something out.  I will spend two-hundred bucks on groceries that will be gone in days, but I am oddly reluctant to spend that much or less on a violin that should last for years.  Why???

5.  The boys are planning a party tomorrow.  For one of our rabbits.  We've had Podger for a year now, and in our house no reason is too small for a party.  :D  However due to my obviously unreasonable refusal to make a gluten-free wheat-grass cake (a la Bedtime Stories) which appeals to none but Podger, Tate took it upon himself to scour the property for early dandelions and has compressed them into a revolting brownish lump that could only appear delicious to a rabbit.

6.  I was going to say with warmer weather... but clearly, we haven't been having much of that lately (see yesterday's post), so let me rephrase that.   With the lighter days I think a lot of us northerners feel like we're coming out of hibernation.  You know, bursts of activity all around.  But, not being a java-junkie,  I'm still out of step with the local vibe.  Jeff Bezos says,  In Seattle, you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running.

I may never catch up.

7.  And I close with this, from Wendell Berry,

Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Mom! Mom! Wake up!"

Not necessarily the first thing I want to hear in the morning, but thankfully, the voice held excitement rather than distress.  Because when I'm awakened out of deep sleep I'm not always very godly.  (ahem)

Mom!  Mom!  Wake up!  You gotta see this!

(Curtains being flung open.)

The view from my bed:


Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure the first day of spring was more than three weeks ago.
(Checking... yep.  Twenty-five days ago.)

Gunnar, flinging open all the windows to get better pictures.
I love that boy.

Aren't my dogwoods pretty?

And how did your morning start?!

Updated at noon...

Don't feel too sorry for us, the snow is melting.  Although maybe that's worse, because that leaves us cold and wet and muddy.  Beautiful up in the hills around us, but yuck-o here.

 So here are two unrelated pieces of trivia for you:

1.  NOON is reportedly the only four-letter word in the English language that is the same upside down as rightside up, when written all in capitals.  Check it out:


Stand on your head.  It works.

But oh-my-goodness, I just thought of a three-letter one:


Okay, so it's not quite as precisely identical on the computer, but when I hand-write it... pretty much.
I'm telling ya, they should update the brain-teaser book and give me royalties.
(Chances of that happening?  Zero.)

Can you think of any more?  This is what you've got to work with:

HIONSX  and M/W if they reverse positions.

But I digress,

2.  We're at about 350' elevation, and I'm guessing the snow-level is now about 1600'.

If you don't live where you can see the snow-line, it looks like this:

Oops.  Clearly I wasn't paying attention to the focus.  But you can get the idea, right?

Here is a wider view that shows the snow-line more clearly, and also illustrates one of my husband's biggest pet peeves.  Can you guess?

Power lines should be buried.

Wouldn't that be lovely?  Go outside and look around your neighborhood.  Imagine how much nicer it would be without the visual clutter of poles and wires.   (Think about how great it would be not to have your power go out during wind storms.)  *sigh*

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For Tate

Frederick the Great, of Prussia

(Too good to languish in yesterday's comments... thanks Doug!)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Grasshopper Days 4-11-11

Grasshopper Days

For Today, April 11, 2011

Outside my window...  sunny, but not like the picture (taken last year, probably in May).  None of the trees in the yard are budding out yet - it's been a cold spring, but I do have some primroses and a few bulbs blooming here and there.  What few the deer have managed to leave alone so far.  And it may be sunny, but there I can still see snow in the hills around the lake.

I am thinking...  of my parents, enjoying Hawaii!

I am thankful for...  by the grace of God, the generosity of friends and family, and Kerry's hard work we've managed to stay afloat (financially) for another year.  Having our taxes done revealed just what a big deal that actually is.  As if I didn't know.

I am praying for...  my mom's health, more work for Kerry, and some warmth to the sunshine.

I am wearing...  blue jeans, navy t-shirt, blue/green/yellow/orange stripe sweater, two pairs of socks.

I am going...  to make dinner early again tonight, as Tate and I will be at Hunter Safety class
from 6-9, twice this week.

I am reading...  Heaven, by Randy Alcorn.

I am hoping...  the boys continue working well today.  So far (Monday morning, after a week off) they've pleasantly exceeded my expectations.

I am hearing...  quiet.  They're getting a few minutes' break, having finished language and math work.
Tate is writing a story about the Easter bunny.
Don't ask.  It's not fluffy and cute.  I'm sure it features
heavy artillery and explosions.
And a happy Easter to you, too.

I am remembering...  a year ago I thought there was no way we could keep living in this house, and here we are.  I still have no idea how it's happening, but thank God for it.

From the learning rooms...  algebraic functions, the independence of Belgian Congo (Zaire), prepositional phrases as adverbs, converting decimals and fractions to percents, irregular plurals, Juan and Evita Peron, experiments with light and heat, punctuating an outline, squares and square roots, Patrice Lumumba, courtesy in public places, and (still!) memorizing Philippians 2.

From the kitchen...  hmmm, Tate wants toasted burritos.  Sounds good to me :D

Around the house...  the usual clutter of books, blankets, Legos, and other miscellania.

On my mind...  planning for next year's school.

Noticing that...  the boys are growing up so fast!

Pondering these words... 
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people
who think decorating consists of building enough bookshelves.
Anna Quindlen

One of my favorite things...  Gunnar, on trying calamari for the first time, saying to the waiter,
My compliments to the squid chef.
Yes, he did.
(And doesn't that bring an interesting picture to mind?  Sort of a vaguely placed adjective...)

A few plans for the rest of the week...  getting back in the swing of things (schedule), getting Tate to his Hunter Safety class and making sure he hears all the material, a bit of office-work for me (balancing the checkbook - I am going to stay up to date! - submitting some paperwork for insurance, etc.) and then, maybe, maybe, I could start a quilt...

Here is a picture I am sharing...  I got nothin'.  Maybe soon.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Afternoon


I've got that satisfied Sunday afternoon relaxation thing going.  (Which always makes me suspect I am forgetting something.  But what???)  I love our church.  Have I mentioned that?  Why yes, I think I have. ;D  Not perfect, I know, but GOOD.

Made a big lunch, because I don't make dinner on Sunday evenings.  Chicken in Italian dressing, baked yams, salad, and berry cobbler.  (Which would explain the appeal of a nap...)  It's a nice, lazy day.  A fitting end to an under-ambitious semi-Spring-Break week.  Not completely lazy mind you, we did a bit of school work and - on the one or two nice days - some yard work, too.  The boys mowed yesterday and I got two loads of laundry dried on the line - always a hopeful milestone for me.  I'd prefer to dry nearly all of it outside :D

But this is what cracks me up.  The boys were up between 6 and 6:30 every morning this week.  You know, so as not to miss a moment of play time.  They've logged a ton of hours with their Legos, and Dino-opolis has seen a burst of activity. 

But what do you bet that everyone will have trouble getting out of bed tomorrow morning?  Huh?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Brain Dump, Again

It makes no sense at all that this week should have flown like it has, except that we're kinda-sorta-mostly on Spring Break.  I think the lack of our normal rhythm creates some sort of a time leak (warp, vacuum, whatever.)  @@  <--- That's my eyes rolling, in case you didn't recognize it.

Since - until today - temps have been in the 30s and 40s and it's been raining, I have cruelly forced my boys to go ahead and do a bit of school work.  Better now than summer.  They might as well.  None of their friends are up and ready to play at 6:30 AM anyway.  (No, I'm not kidding.)

And I know I haven't been quite my normal self this week.  I could blame hormones (true, true) or the Boybarians bouncing off the walls during nasty weather (also true), but we've had some ups and downs this week, out of the ordinary.

1.  My mom just found out she has breast cancer.  Her only sister died of it, in 2006.  That is not encouraging.  However...

2.  She and my dad spent almost two hours with "The Go-To Guy" (breast cancer surgeon) in our neck of the woods and came away VERY encouraged.  He was amazed it had been detected so early, recommends a lumpectomy (and will take a lymph node to test), and probably some radiation, and is "99% confident" that will be the last she'll hear of it.

3.  Praying he is right.  As if I needed to convince God how badly we'd like her around and healthy for a good many more years!  She is in good spirits.  In her own words... I am completely at peace with all that is happening.  I am in the hands of my Loving Lord and He is my strength - and HE IS SUFFICIENT for all that comes into my life.  Amen.

4.  While she was seeing the doctor, Kerry was in at H&R Block.  The bad news is that for several months last year our income averaged in the hundreds of dollars.  The good news is that we're getting a stink-wad back from the government.  And our friendly accountant informs us that because we're so awesome (!!!) we'll probably be getting audited.  Fun times ahead.

5.  Yes, we're on Spring Break.  But since we're not jetting the family off to Mexico or the Caribbean this year (oh, I kill myself... ha ha ha) and we needed a fabulous plan, we broke out the Christmas gift-card to Coldstone  Creamery and had a family outing.  You can laugh if you want, but  I'm convinced that Peanut Butter Cup Perfection is the official ice cream of HEAVEN.  (How did Randy Alcorn miss that in his book???)

6.  Tate is about half way through his Hunter Safety course and is doing well.  That kid has more gumption than anyone I've ever known.  If they ask for a volunteer his hand is the first one up.  Even if he doesn't know what he's volunteering for.  The last time, they stood him up in front of the class, put a 20 gauge shotgun in his hand and presented him with this challenge :  The rope in front of you (about 30 inches off the ground) represents a barbed wire fence, you have to cross.  You're hunting alone, and the fence is in two feet of standing water.  How do you cross safely?  And he did it.  And all the instructors cheered him.  Tate rocks.  :D

7.  I'm irritated.  After many hours of researching materials and looking at websites, I was finally ready to order from Sonlight.  And then I got their new catalog.  What were they thinking???  I'm way over my saturation point of seeing photos of "Sonlight Families" reading in whimsical locations (On a trampoline! In a tree!  By the lake!)  What I'd rather see is more description of the actual materials.  Why did they eliminate the summaries of all the books?  GGGRRRRRRR.  Oh, and yes, thank you very much for splitting the Instructor's Guide into two books (parent and student) and expecting me to buy bothNot.

So there ya go.  Happy Friday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

News Flash

(Do you think I just jinxed myself?)

In further news, after stopping by at least eight local stores and then spending a ridiculous amount of time on the phone this morning, I think I tracked down the last four bags of these in town.

And there was much chocolatey rejoicing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Grasshopper Days 4-4-11

Grasshopper Days

For today, April 4, 2011

Outside my window...  wet, wet, wet.  And cold.  Spring?  ... pthpthpth

I am thinking...  have just been reviewing hunter safety material with Tate.  He had already read his assigned chapters twice, without me reminding him.  He's doing fine :D

I am thankful for...  a warm, dry house.  Mmmm-hmmmmm.

I am praying for...  my mom's health, work for Kerry and my brother, and peace in the house.

I am wearing...  blue jeans, black t-shirt, black sweater, socks and slippers.  Actually, I wear Crocs for slippers.  My feet are not happy in slippers/flip-flops (or barefoot for long) with no support.

I am creating...  starting some preliminary planning for next school year.  (Always more fun than finishing out this one...)  And for the summer.  Which is mostly science.  So much more fun to do science in the summer, especially when it involves birds and insects!

I am going...  to create a master reading list for next year - historical fiction and non-fiction to do with American history.  Suggestions?!

I am reading...  Heaven, by Randy Alcorn.

I am hoping...  making good progress on purging and tidying in my office, hoping to complete that this week.

I am hearing...  silence.  What are the boys doing???

I am remembering...  to be thankful for God's protection.  I left a candle burning at home when we went to my parents' for dinner on Saturday.  Oops.

From the learning rooms...  we're mostly on Spring Break, but are squeezing in one chapter of history (Korean War), some vocabulary work, and a bit of science.  We don't have to do it, but it will get us done earlier in June.  And who wants to be doing anything outside today anyway???  It's raining and 43F!  (That's 6C, for you metric friends.)

From the kitchen...  I promised to make our "Big Meal" for lunch today, as Tate and I will be gone this evening.  Hmmmm, maybe shepherd's pie?

Around the house...  piles of books, a hyacinth that needs to get planted outside, blankets and pillows near the heat vents (how the boys like to read), and legos all over the family room.

On my mind...  the piles, before me, on my desk.  It's progress, though!  Want to get a bunch of junk hauled away, when my dad (and his truck) are free, but not in this cold rain!
(Yah, I know.  Waaa, waaa, waaa.)

Noticing that...  the boys and I went through their dressers and closet again and have another HUGE load of clothes to get rid of.  And I only have about a half an inch on Wyatt.  He stood back to back with my mom on Saturday and he is taller.  Then he gave me The Eye, and said, 
You're next!

Pondering these words...  
Life is not an emergency.
(Ann Voskamp)

One of my favorite things...  short haircuts on the boys and Kerry.  Absolutely.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  Tate has hunter safety class tonight and Wednesday.  Other than that, we're pretty "loose", being on Spring Break.

Here is a picture I am sharing...  
Okay, yes, it has warmed up a bit.  But it still feels like this to me!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Is It Spring?

Kerry is taking down the Christmas lights.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Moment of Randomness for You

In my purging, I also found a newspaper clipping from November, 1987.

THAT was pulled out of Lake Washington, in Seattle.  (Sorry, the quality isn't very good.)

It's a 900# female sturgeon (found dead), that had about 100# of caviar inside her.  They think it probably died of old age, and they can live 100 years.  Yah.

But, swimmers, fear not.  They're bottom feeders.  Still... I wouldn't want that thing brushing up against my legs!

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due...

I've been purging, the last couple of days.  No, I'm not doing anything that would alarm my doctor... I'm purging STUFF.  Papers, mostly.

And you know what?  I found something :D

When I introduced the March Pray-for-our-Kids theme, I couldn't remember where I got the idea, originally, (here), but I thought probably Focus on the Family.

Yep.  It was an article from eleven years ago, by Bob Hostetler.  Thank you, Bob, wherever you are, for a great idea :D