Monday, February 28, 2011

Ladies (and Gentlemen?) : Start Your Engines...

For those of you who want to join me, tomorrow we start our month of praying scripture for our kids.  I'm excited about it.  Excited that some of you are joining in. 

I could use the accountability  =P

Sadly, my prayers of late have been more along the lines of, "Please God, help Tate stop coughing before he gags and throws up.  Again."  It has not been a glorious week.

But a week ago, (when I was in church,) guess what our pastor was preaching on?

Yep.  Prayer.  And oh boy, I wish you could've been there.  Actually, you could hear it if you want, or even read his notes.  (They're awesome.)  Here's the church website.  There's a link to sermons.  It's the series on Luke.  Look for Luke 22:39-46.

Sometimes I wonder, why pray at all?  God already knows what will happen and He knows what we need.  Better than we do, in fact.  So why?

What struck home to me was this - in prayer, I align my will with God's will.  Pastor Bert said,

Alone in prayer, Jesus conquered the cross. 

And then the zinger.  He said that Jesus prayed and He stood firm.  Peter slept and fell apart.  Ouch.

So, with a renewed awareness of my own failing, I'm ready to launch.

See ya tomorrow.

Grasshopper Days 2-28-11

Grasshopper Days

For Today, February 28, 2011

Outside my window...  snow. Can you believe it?  We've had snow on the ground for days.  And just when I thought we were done, it's back.  (Kind of like the boys' sickness, but I digress.)  Went to bed last night to the wind blowing and buckets of rain, and woke to snow.  But it's melting fast.

I am thinking...  about Kerry, off to the funeral of his best friend's mom.  Very, very sad.  She apparently refused to go to the doctor.  For years.  Got a little infection in her foot that turned into a huge infection.  Yep, diabetes.  Undiagnosed, and untreated.  And now she's gone.
I'd have been with Kerry, but the boys...

I am thankful for...  a beautiful view of snowy hills out my window, a warm cozy house, and Ibuprofen, our current BFF.

I am praying for...  the boys.  Headaches, fever, and coughing.  Oh, the coughing.  Tate especially.
He will cough and cough and cough.  Sometimes until he gags.  (TMI?  Sorry.)
And for the family at the funeral today.

I am wearing...  layers, people!  Jeans, red long-sleeve shirt, blue sweater, wool socks.
It's cold here!

I am going...  to treat the kids to McDonald's for lunch today.  Don't hate me.
They haven't been out of the house for days and days.

 I am reading...  lots and lots of WWII fiction and non-fiction with the boys.  There are a lot of good books that help them understand what it was like to live through the war.  Current favorites are The Spy Who Came In From The Sea, A Father's Promise, I am David, Escape From Warsaw, The Secret Cave, and Snow Treasure.

I am hoping...  Tate stops coughing and sleeps at night.  And, therefore, I sleep at night.

I am hearing...  quiet.  The boys must be reading.

I am remembering...  what it was like when we first started homeschooling.  Sort of.  It seems so long ago, I can barely remember what we actually did.

From the learning rooms...  finding the area of a triangle, prefixes that mean numbers (tri, quad, quint, pent, dec, cent, etc.) histographs, magnets and magnetism, adding with money, and the saddest history chapter so far - The Holocaust, but also the evacuation of Dunkirk.

From the kitchen...  nothing much.  The boys don't have much appetite, and with Kerry gone we'll have lunch out and just snack for dinner.

Around the house... boxes of tissues, piles of books, and extra blankets.

On my mind...  just realized that I missed the first rehearsal of spring choir last week, and with Kerry gone I'll miss again tonight.  Not sure if this is going to work out for me this time...

Noticing that...  the boys are well enough to be bored and stir-crazy, but not well enough that getting together with friends is a good idea, making this sort of an endurance event for me.

One of my favorite things...  new books!

A few plans for the rest of the week...  HA!  No plans until everyone is well.  But at least they're well enough to keep schooling.  Hurray for homeschooling, because if they were at public school I'd have to keep them home and they'd be falling behind.

No picture this week, but a thought...

Friday, February 25, 2011


Yes, Melanie, For No Apparent Reason.

You win... you win... ummm... you win my applause? :D

Long ago, before marriage, children, and settling down, I used to race sailboats.  Lots of fun and excitement.  Total craziness.

And people name their boats the darnedest things.  Like FNAR.

Why did you name your boat FNAR?

For no apparent reason.

I've crewed on boats named after a Viking goddess, a hero of the Trojan war, a household cleanser (?), and the owner's wife's favorite ice cream.  Go figure.

I've seen Road Kill (apparently the owner lost a bet), Flying White Patio Furniture (which described the wife's reaction when she learned he bought the boat), and my favorite - Dr. Ruth.

The story I heard went like this:

There's a tradition (obviously not always followed) for men to name their boats after their wives.  Well, apparently the owner's wife had been overweight, but had trimmed down and shaped up and become quite a beauty.  The problem was, the boat was kind of short and "beamy".  Not exactly the image of his wife, right?  That would be an insult.  So - problem solved - he named the boat...

Dr. Ruth.

Friday, Again Already?

I always feel that by the time Friday rolls around I should have some things accomplished.  Things crossed off my To-Do list, aka The Mother Load.  But unless you count the unusual number of loads of laundry I've processed, and all the half full bottles of Tylenol Cold and Flu we've used up and discarded, it's been a spectacularly unproductive week.  *sigh*  But, in better news, nobody has thrown up in 32 and a half hours.  Not that I'm counting or anything. 

Oh, and there's this.  Everyone should have one.

The Pig Gun.

Compliments of Tate.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Saddest Boys in the Whole World...

... are looking longingly out the window at "playable" snow and then running to separate bathrooms to throw up at the same time.

Very, very sad.

2pm update...

The sickness seems to come and go.  All seem fine for the moment.  Had chicken broth and noodles for lunch, read to them while watching for the mail man, and now - with the latest Netflix arrival in hand - they're watching Monsters vs. Aliens, and I have a short break.

The snow, sadly, is melting.  But I remind them that where we live we can drive to snow any day of the year.  Gunnar has decided that's what he wants to do for his 10th birthday, in June.

Alrighty, then.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ups and Downs

1.  Gunnar - better when I wrote last evening, then sick again in the night (2 am!), miserable this morning (starting at 5am!), and fair-to-middlin' as we've just finished lunch.  His fever seems gone, but the awful cough, sore throat, and headache remain.  I know that cough.  When I hear it I can almost feel it in my own throat.  Feel the headache.  And now Tate is somewhat subdued and thinks his body is trying to fight off the germ.

2.  Snow - it was snowing lightly last night and the boys went to bed with high expectations, but woke to just a dusting on the ground.  Oddly, it has snowed on and off all day, but nothing is accumulating.  Their hopes rise and fall with each little flurry.  Part of me wants a big dump of snow for them to play in, but with sickness in the house... maybe not?

3.  School - in spite of not feeling wonderful the boys are picking their way through most of their schoolwork.  Except - ironically - Wyatt, the only one who seems completely healthy.  He decided that provoking Gunnar and ignoring repeated warnings to apologize and shape up was a good idea, and is out in the driveway moving a pile of dirt.  Grrrrr.  He puts the boy in boycott.

I know, I know, it's just a bad day.  And not having good sleep contributes.  But sometimes I look at these boys and wonder if I'm doing anything right at all.  *sigh*  Screaming at each other over Legos.  Mouthing off to each other and to us.

Who on earth thought it was a good idea to put me in charge of these guys?

Time to do some more school with them - something more structured.  Work on our memory verses.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Update, and Gunnar's Notes

 It's Tuesday evening. 

I'm reminding myself what day it is because once again I'm discombobulated.  Seems like Monday.  Or something.  We weren't going to take yesterday off (school), since we're taking Friday off already.  And I don't give up PTO days lightly.  No way, Jose.

But with Gunnar being sick and the public schools being off for Presidents Day, we took the day off too.  Which sort of threw off my groove.  And then Gunnar was still sick today.  Poor kiddo.  We actually got quite a bit done though, considering it was pretty much couch school ;D

I know, I know, gripping stuff, right?

The good news is that Gunnar seems to be perking up.  Probably.  He seemed pretty perky last night before bed too, but was sick at 1:30 am.  Can you believe it, Mom?  At 1:30!  He has reminded me several times today.  You know, in case I'd forgotten.  I suppose that's about the time the Motrin wore off and his fever went back up.  But he's been "med-free" since lunch time and has been: #1 fever-free (at least to the uber-scientific mom-kiss-the-forehead sensor), #2 bored, and #3 a chatterbox, so I think he's on the mend.

Which is extra good because we might, we just might, get snow tonight.  Which would make tonight a lot more fun than last night.  Besides waking up repeatedly with Gunnar (being just a wee bit hyper-sensitive after the vomiting), I was also awakened by crashing thunder and hail.  Fun times.  But not a lot of sleeping.

In other news, (though also Gunnar news), he's been writing notes to Pastor Bert during church.

This cracks me up.  He's supposed to be taking notes.  All the kids do it.  It's one of the things I love about our little chapel.  The kids all take notes during the sermon, stick them on the fridge, and Pastor Bert collects them.  He'll usually acknowledge each kid from the pulpit the following Sunday.  At Gunnar's age I only expect him to get the main points.  Just two or three sentences, which he sometimes makes out to be an arduous task.  Really.

So Gunnar takes notes.  Laboriously.  But the last two Sundays something in the sermon caught his attention and off he went.  First it was the mention of preparing missionaries to serve in difficult, even hostile situations.  He wrote front and back of a 5x7 card about Don Richardson's Peace Child, which we'd just read at home.

Then last Sunday the sermon was about prayer.  Once Gunnar got the main points down, he was off and running again.  He asked me several times if words were spelled correctly.  And - if I remember right - this is what he wrote:

Pastor Bert,

There is a sign in my friend's dad's garage (is that the right grammar, Mommy?)
that says:
When man works, man works.
When man prays, God works.

Go Gunnar.

Pour Out Your Heart Like Water

Recognize the phrase?  It's from Lamentations 2:19.

Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord,
lift up our hands toward Him for the lives of your children.

For three of the years my boys were in public school, a Moms In Touch group met at my house every Monday morning.  It's probably the one thing I miss the most about public school!  I tried for a couple years to get a homeschool MIT group going, but it just never really got enough momentum.  In case you're not familiar with MIT, the idea is to meet weekly with other moms whose kids attend the same school and pray specifically for your kids, their teachers, and their school.  MIT isn't affiliated with any church/denomination and there are groups not only all over the country, but all over the world.

Every Monday morning we spent an hour together praying for our children, pouring out our hearts like water.  MIT has a structured format, to encourage the group to pray rather than just talk about things, because you can imagine our inclination... ;D  You can read more about them at their site (linked above), and I'd especially encourage you to find out more if your kids are in public school.

One of the hallmarks of MIT is learning to pray Scripture for your kids.

It's been a very helpful discipline for me, because it's all too easy to fall into the habit of praying as if I was presenting a 'honey-do' list to God.  On the other hand, I detest the over-generalized and cliched, "We just lift up Susie..."   And I wonder, am I the only one who sometimes doubts if I'm praying the right things for my kids?

Praying Scripture reorients all of that.  Here's what I mean.  Suppose I'm concerned about the depth of the boys' faith, and/or their behavior.  Instead of me trying to tell God how I think He ought to handle that, (because that's always a recipe for success... /sarcasm) I read Philippians 1:27, which says,

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel...

Well, right there I can pray:
  • that my boys will conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel
  • that they will be obedient whether I'm watching or not
  • that they will stand firm
  • that they will be united and back each other up
  • that they will contend for the faith of the gospel.  

I have something - many specific things - to pray.  I know that I'm praying in alignment with God's will.  And it takes my mind off my worries and puts the focus back onto God.  Amen?

Now, I'm not saying there's no place for other kinds of prayers.  Like, Please God, help Gunnar keep the medicine down and take care of his fever and headache.  God hears.  The Spirit intercedes.  This isn't about slavishly adhering to a formula.

This is about broadening and deepening the way we pray.


Okay.  Here's what I propose:

Each day in March I'll post a topic, a sample/sentence prayer, and a verse or two as well.  And you join in and pray along.

Thirty-one things to pray for our kids.
A March full of prayers.
A prayer-full March.

Sound good?

If you like it and find it helpful, go ahead and print them out.  I wrote mine on 3x5 cards, punched a hole in the corner, and put them on a ring so I can flip through them, day by day, month after month.

(To give credit where credit is due, I got the idea for the month's worth of prayers long ago from Focus on the Family magazine.  I don't have the article anymore and couldn't find anything like it with a quick browse of their website.  I'm hoping - being the kind of people they are - they would be glad to have the idea spread.)

I think it will be more fun and more encouraging if we do this together, so would you let me know if you're interested?  Feel free to invite your friends - the more the merrier.  I'll label all the posts "Parent Prayers", so if you miss some, or want to view them all, you can click on that label.  Or if it would be easier to have them emailed to you, there's a gizmo on the right that should fix that up for you.

Who's in? :D

Monday, February 21, 2011

Not Singing Tonight

I had anticipated being at rehearsal tonight - learning new music, catching up with friends, singing beautiful praises.  But plans changed.  I'm home with a sick little buddy. 

Fever.  Headache.  Awful coughing.  If you're so inclined, pray for Gunnar's healing - that medicine, fluids, and fevers stay down. 

And that the rest of us aren't next.


Grasshopper Days 2-21-11

Grasshopper Days

For Today, February 21, 2011
Outside my window...  cold and sunny.
I am thinking...  about yesterday - a good day :D
I am thankful for...  friends that came to lunch yesterday, elk in the crockpot, and the way all the kids (from 1 to 14) got along just fine.
I am praying for...  work for Kerry, wisdom for parenting and schooling, growing boys into men.
I am wearing...  jeans, sweater, the usual.
I am going...  to sing with friends tonight - rehearsals starting up again.
I am reading...  The Friendly Persuasion and Except For Me and Thee, by Jessamyn West.
I am hoping...  for the phone to ring for Kerry...
I am hearing...  tappety, tappety, tappety.  Duh.
I am remembering...  recently dreamed we were still living in our first house.  Small, but I miss the yard.  Well, I miss the dirt.  It was good dirt.  Things grew like crazy.  Unlike here.  Ugh.
From the learning rooms...  civil war in Spain and the rise of Franco, money math, creative writing using Chris Van Allsburg, converting decimals to fractions to percents, drawing regions of North America, handwriting practice, and working on memorizing Philippians 2.
From the kitchen...  leftovers, probably.  Kerry will be cooking because I'll be at rehearsal. :D
Around the house...  I moved the furniture again.  Just because I like to.
My valentine flowers are barely hanging on.
On my mind...  getting back into a better routine of praying for the boys.  Might share more about this.  Want to join me on a little adventure?
Noticing that...  the days are a little bit longer.
Pondering these words... 
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Abraham Lincoln
One of my favorite things...  sunlight.
A few plans for the rest of the week...  routine, routine, routine.
Here is a picture I am sharing...  
National Geographic, under the wave.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Brain Dump

It's Friday morning again, and time for a little mental down-load.

1.  Two thirds of the boys have finished their school work for the week and are busily at work on the bunny hutch, which is finally nearing completion.  (And there was much rejoicing.)

2.  Wyatt however is working on a research paper on beavers.  Since the main purpose of writing this report is to practice research techniques, he doesn't understand my reluctance to let him do his research on the computer.  (The topic, again,  is beavers...)

3.  It's sunny today, which is glorious.  Kerry stepped out of his office and said, "It feels like summer!"  Hmmm.  At 43F, I think not.

4.  I made the boys tidy up the playroom.  Again.  How does it get into that state so quickly?  Tate looked at me indignantly.  "But Mom!  We're going to play with those toys!"  And the plastic soldiers in the living room.  And the toy animals in the bedroom.  And the all the Lego.  And the Nerf.  It's an uphill battle, I tell ya.  I could probably make a lot of money if I could pass it off, not as a messy room, but as a work of modern art.  Give it a title maybe.  The Intersection of Chaos Theory and Fatigue.

5.  Good grief.  There is something I just do not understand going on in the minds of adolescent boys.  Where do they get this stuff???  They can be so mature and insightful one minute, and then the next... it's like they're channeling Mae West, who said, "Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."  Well, at least I'll never be bored.

6.  Must finish.  Tate has decided to bathe the bunny.  ????  I leave you with this:

7.  Grampa Grasshopper volunteers at a kids' club at his church.  They recently had a costume night.  Hope he didn't scare them all off.

He did think better of taking a large knife into a room full of overexcited children, and stopped by our house for a sword, which Gunnar thoughtfully wrapped in foil.

And that concludes this episode of random.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coincidence? I Think Not...

Good grief.  

As if we weren't broke enough, the government continues to find new ways to extort money from us.  In our state, not only do we pay for new vehicle tabs every year, but each seven years we are forced to by a new set of license plates.  


And to make it even better?

The plates, that Wyatt is so industriously installing, say this:

Yes... thank you, thank you, thank you very much... 

We'll be driving around for the next seven years with plates that proudly proclaim


 And - do the math - the next seven years will cover the period when all three of these grasshoppers learn to drive.  Irony, much?

Lord have mercy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Grasshopper Days 2-14-11

Grasshopper Days

For Today, February 14, 2011

Outside my window...  a Very Blustery Day.  Wind.  And rain.  And more rain.
 I am thinking...  mulling options for next year's curriculum/schooling.
I am thankful for...  all my sweeties on Valentine's Day!  And that we had no Monday melt-downs.  Hurray!
I am praying for...  fresh work to come in.  We're thankful for how busy Kerry has been since about Christmas.  But those projects are all wrapping up now...
I am wearing...  gray sweats and a blue sweater.
I am creating... nothing.  zilch.  nada.
I am going...  to make cookies for tonight.  :D
I am reading...  All Things Bright and Beautiful with the boys.
I am hoping...  the boys continue with good attitudes this week.
I am hearing...  the wind.  Very much wind.
From the learning rooms...  the stock market crash of 1929, experiments with electricity, FDR's "New Deal", multiplying fractions, the rise of Adolph Hitler, words with mono and uni, writing a story from a picture, beavers, and a special achievement by Gunnar.  (More below.)
Around the house...  a few Valentine decorations, mostly red candles.
On my mind...  trying to be frugal, not fearful.
Noticing that...  the boys need more work.  More "real" (meaningful) work.
Pondering these words...
An empty stomach is a poor political advisor.
Albert Einstein
One of my favorite things... the cards the boys pick out.  And the things they write on them.
Good grief!
A few plans for the rest of the week...  no real plans this week, beyond the ordinary.
Which is a Very Good Thing.
Here is a picture I am sharing:

This little happy face just finished his 3rd grade math, and was VERY excited to start
his 4th grade math.
Yay, Gunnar!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Brain Dump

Do you ever have a week when everything seems - as Gunnar used to say - upsidewards?  Yah.  Insufficient sleep (see previous posts) may have something to do with it.

1.  We normally do most of our schooling in four days a week, leaving Fridays for catching up, PTO days, or whatever we want.  Not this week.  Gramma Grasshopper is out of town for the weekend so the boys had their PTO day on Wednesday.  Which felt like Friday.  But wasn't.

2.  Today is Friday.  But not for us.  Oh no.  Today is Thursday for us.  Two thirds of the boys were so thoroughly rotten yesterday morning that I canceled school to reward them with a full day of manual labor.  The good news is they got almost all the pea gravel out of the ex-play area (potential future garden).  The bad news is, they'll be making up their missed school day on Saturday.  Awesome.

3.  In other news, I sincerely hope that Mr. Grasshopper is going to be on board with this, but I'm declaring a Lego Moratorium, here at the Grasshopper house.  They're great toys.  Wonderful.  And we have more than plenty.  Enough already.

4.  There's something else I'd like to declare a moratorium on, and that's people saying, "God showed up!"  Now, I'm not thinking of anyone in particular, so don't get your undies in a bunch.  But stop and think for a minute, for goodness sake.  Words mean something.  Words matterTheology matters.  And what are you saying, anyway?  God just happened to come by for a visit?  The omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God was somehow busy or distracted somewhere else, and on a whim, did a drop-in to impress you?  Unless you're Forrest Gump, give it a rest.

5.  I rose to new heights in the boys' estimation recently.  We were playing one of their new Christmas games.  Asked, "What is the strangest thing that could happen this evening?" I flippantly suggested that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir might appear on our front lawn singing, "Every single little bean, should be heard as well as seen."  And there was much rolling on the floor and laughing.

6.  The games.  Oh good grief.  The boys were given two games for Christmas (not by me).  Kudos to the relatives who noticed the boys really like games.  Woo-hoo.  However, the categories and questions in these games are 99% pop culture, and are inane to the point of being ridiculous.  The boys don't know or care who Justin Bieber is, don't ever watch - much less have favorite - reality shows, and will only blush furiously if they draw a card that says "Sex In The City."  The games themselves may be salvageable, but I'd have to make all new cards, and I'm just not that into it right now.

7.  Because, you know, I'm really busy cruising quilting blogs, avoiding cleaning that last bathroom, and settling disputes about Legos.  Not to mention cruelly forcing the boys to do basic household chores, deliberating over next year's homeschool materials, and putting the finishing touches on the Perfect Schedule that will carry us into smooth-running, pleasant and efficient weeks of homeschooling, chores, exercise, and nutritious meals.  Because it's good to have goals.

You're welcome.

Before Bed

I seem to be on a roll with Gunnar lately.

I was reading James Herriott to the boys last night.  They absolutely love his veterinary stories and the characters he describes - both animal and human - and were all listening intently.

Gunnar giggled.

I have a joke, Mom!  What does a farmer need when he milks his cows?

Udder concentration!

I love that boy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2:16 AM


The urgency in the voice jolts me awake.  That Sound usually means either a nightmare or that someone is about to puke.


It's Gunnar.  I peek in the bedroom and see him silhouetted against the window, sitting up in bed.

What's up, Gunnar?  You all right?

No answer.  Wyatt, however is now wide awake.  (Tate, HA out, sleeping blissfully.)  Wyatt turns to Gunnar.

Gunnar, what do you need?

Again, no answer.  I walk over to the bed.  His head is on the pillow again and I kiss his forehead.
No fever.
He is sound asleep.

I stumble back to my own bed, imagining the voice-over:

This had been a test of the Emergency Mom!Help! System.  If this had been a real emergency...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


It's the end of another day.  A day without a melt-down over division or handwriting.  A day without writing multiple copies of Colossians 3:23 for Mama.  Let's all take a moment and give thanks, shall we? 

In fact, in a total reversal of yesterday's modus operandi, Gunnar charmed both the doctor and nurse at our visit this afternoon.  I think the nurse actually used the word gentleman.  And the doctor - well now there's a man who knows how to compliment a kid.  As Gunnar answered his questions and described his complaint calmly and specifically, the doctor raised an eyebrow and asked, "How old are you, anyway?"

Gunnar gave me a sideways look.  (Doesn't the doctor know how old I am?)  "Nine."

"Well, you talk like you're fifteen!"

Now if we can just carry that over to Monday mornings...

Oh, and why were we at the doctor's office?

Growing pains.

That was the official diagnosis, and what I had suspected all along.  Gunnar has been complaining of pain in the back of his heels, on and off since before Christmas.  Not too bad.  He walks just fine.  He told the doctor it felt like there was a bruise, but there was nothing there.  Tender.  Apparently he is growing faster than his tendons.  Stretch them gently, ice them when they hurt, and he'll grow out of it.

I think he kind of liked being told it was growing pains.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Grasshopper Days 2-7-11

Grasshopper Days

For Today, February 7, 2011

Outside my window...  it was wild last night, but calmer this morning.  Still... gray and wet.

I am thinking...  what is it about Monday mornings?
I can just about guarantee that Gunnar will fall apart at least once, every Monday morning.
Why is this?
It's not the actual work, which is no more difficult than what he easily completes other days.
Is it a mistake to give the boys a three-day weekend?
Would more structure help?
Too tough on him?  Too easy on him?

I am thankful for... every day but Monday.

I am praying for...  Kerry and work (okay right now, just thinking ahead...),
wisdom for parenting and homeschooling,
to do everything without complaining or arguing.

I am wearing...  blue sweats, blue sweater, hair in pony tail.  Yah.

I am going...  to bake a ham this afternoon - woo-hoo!

I am reading...  The House of Sixty Fathers, with the boys.

I am hoping...  to get the bills paid, the checkbook balanced, and my desk cleaned off.
Clutter seems to just appear.  And multiply.
How does this happen?!

I am hearing...  boys outside getting exercise and fresh air.
However old you are, run that many laps around the house before you go play.

From the learning rooms...  Chiang Kai Shek, simplifying and multiplying fractions, electricity, Mao Tse Tung, signed numbers (+/-), words with reg and rect (can you guess the first one the boys thought of? I'll give you a clue, it wasn't on our vocabulary list), journal/story writing, and keyboarding.

From the kitchen...  ham!

Around the house...  our winter is getting very dull - lots of clouds, wind and rain,
but it's too soon to hope for spring.

On my mind...  what to do for Valentine's Day this year?

Noticing that...  everybody slept better last night, hallelujah.

Pondering these words..
The good news is that comedy is often merely tragedy plus time. 

One of my favorite things...  eating a meal I didn't prepare.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  early to bed and early to rise :D

Here is a picture I am sharing...  

Spent Sunday afternoon up at my parents' house, watching the Superbowl.  (Yay!)
Did NOT take this photo yesterday, as it was rainy and murky.  We were really IN the clouds.
But this is what the view is like in the evening.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mom Fail

Gunnar had trouble sleeping last night, for some reason.  And, being the generous sort, he wanted to share his troubles with me... at 10:30, at 11:00, and again around midnight.  At which time, since my foggy brain had no better ideas, I let him get in bed with us so at least he wouldn't yell from the bedroom he shares with his brothers.

Note - if there's any advantage to Tate's hearing loss it's that he was spared all the drama.

Naturally, Gunnar woke up just a wee bit on the grumpy side.

Mama!  I couldn't sleep last night and you didn't help!

Gunnar, I'm not magic.  What did you want me to do for you?

I don't know!  But, but... you didn't!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Boy Chemistry

We studied chemistry last year. 

The boys, having formed their expectations by watching Flubber, had visions of white lab coats, fizzing solutions, bubbling beakers, and-  most likely - explosions), but managed to contain their disappointment at being reduced to more mundane materials, like baking soda, purple cabbage, coffee filters, vinegar, balloons, etc.  And not blowing up the house.  In spite of the regrettable lack of drama, from their point of view, the boys enjoyed it.  And they were suitably impressed with the table of the elements and all the extraordinary and mysterious names.  Hydrogen, helium, selenium, polonium, plutonium...

... and my personal favorite, randomonium

Oh, wait, that's not on the table of elements.  No, but it definitely sounds like the boys.  Putting the three of them together sometimes, well, most of the time, sets up an exothermic reaction.  Means it gives off energy.  (And probably gas, knowing the boys.)

All it took this morning was a one-minute commercial to set them off.

Watch it here.  Trust me, it's worth it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Why do smoke detector batteries always go out in the middle of the night?  Never in the daylight?

Why do we go pretend it may stop beeping and we can just go back to sleep?  Has this ever happened?

Why do we have nine smoke detectors?

Why do they beep at such a random, intermittent frequency, making it impossible to anticipate the next beep?

Why does the ability to figure out which direction a sound is coming from seem to decline at night?

Why do we have no spare 9-volt batteries in the house?

Why can't we remember if removing the battery from one will make them all go off at once?  When they are hard-wired together?

Why do we forget how very, very loud the alarm in the boys' bedroom is?

(FYI: about a zillion decibels, because it's for the Hard of Hearing!  And it has a flashing strobe light!  Fun!)

Here's a tip that we apparently forgot last October: 

Change all your smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks on/off daylight savings time, which is about every six months.

That was a freebie, from me to you.  Then maybe you can avoid wandering around the house at 1am, getting frozen feet, trying to figure out which smoke detector is beeping, and why - with nine (an odd number!) smoke detectors - do we not have one spare battery?  Don't they come in packs of even numbers?  This is even more mysterious than the hot-dog and bun conundrum.