Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Reformation Day

Okay, I know it's kind of corny, but why not?

And PS,
what does the Reformation have in common with a bird?

What???  No takers???

A Diet of Worms ;D

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Things That Make You Say "Hmmmm..."

This has got to be the oddest photo from Hurricane Sandy that I've seen yet.  I bet it will show up mis-labeled, sometime in the future.  My imagination runs wild ;D

On a creepier note... just what is the liquid those cars are submerged in???  Did a Jell-O factory flood?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, October 29, 2012.

Outside my window...  dark, wet, and blowing.  There are more leaves on the ground than in the trees, after all the rain and wind, but the trees are still clinging to a few bright yellow and red leaves.

It sure doesn't look like this any more, though.

I am hearing... rain splattering on the windows and gurgling down the gutters.

I am thinking...  we MUST stay on track for the next week and a half...

I am praying...  for all of us to work diligently and efficiently at our work work and our school work.  For my mom's knee to completely heal.  For a friend at church having chemotherapy.  For peace in the home.  (James 1:19-20)

I am thankful...  my window-washer friend who fell through the awning is doing wonderfully.  Still not quite up to full strength, and dealing with balance (and maybe vision?) issues, but mentally well, and physically making great strides.

I am wearing...  who in the world cares?  I remember when I was younger my mom saying something to the effect that if anything ever happened to her, and my dad had to clothe us we'd spend the rest of our childhood in Levi jeans and white t-shirts.  And I remember thinking that sounded just fine to me.

And guess what I'm wearing... blue jeans and a white t-shirt... and wool socks and a sweater ;D

I am going...  to get school started by (almost!) 7:30am.

I am learning...  that a little cumin goes a long, long way in my family.

I am looking forward to...  I have a secret... ;D

In the kitchen...  today is definitely a soup day :D

In the learning rooms...  ratios and proportions, Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde, marsupials, three classes of levers, dividing fractions by multiplying by the reciprocal, and the fungus-among-us.

Around the house...  things that make me feel cozy.

The Mother Load...  made some good progress over the weekend, but there's always more to do... making meals for friends,
must submit pictures for the boys' CAP ID cards,
need to decide if the Passport Cards really are worth the money,
wrap my mom's and Tate's b'day gifts,
sweep/dustmop the bedrooms (where does all that dust come from?  or do I want to know???),
"process" the pile of books in my windowsill (label and shelve),
sew or clean up,
file papers,
balance check book (eek!),
organize big freezer,
thaw and cook another turkey (making room for more ;D),
and... and... and...

Noticing that... time is rushing by.  We're nearly one quarter through our school year already.  How can that be?  And you know what else?

56 days until Christmas!

Something I want to remember for later...  thanks to netflix, the boys have just discovered Leave It To Beaver.  Absolutely hilarious.

Something fun to share...  guess who drove us home from church yesterday?

From a year ago, at Grandpa and Grandma's
And there were no white knuckles, nor even a single shriek.  He did great :D

And, no, we don't let the other boys hang out of the window and sunroof.  Wyatt actually takes driving quite seriously and is not nearly so relaxed as he is in the photo.  In fact, hyper-vigilant would probably describe it, though he's gaining confidence a little faster than I'm comfortable with!  He drove home from church last night, managing two roundabouts and several poorly-lit county roads, all in the dark.

And the first thing he said when we got home?

Can I drive to choir practice tomorrow night?

One of my favorite things...  homeschool hot chocolate breaks :D

A Bible verse...  James 1:19-20  (hover over the reference and you'll see it)

A few plans for the rest of the week...  homeschool, homeschool, homeschool... Messiah rehearsal, CAP, older boys volunteer work Wednesday evening, celebrating Tate's and my mom's birthdays on Saturday, and - WOOT! - an extra hour of sleep Saturday night!

A peek into my world...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Mother Load for Today...

Well, it's a rainy, October Saturday, and another exciting day at the Grasshopper House.

What to do, what to do...  As if!

Make big pot of chili
Make two big pans of cornbread
Make cabbage salad
Clean stove (gross)
Fold laundry
Replace pillows on beds (gross)
Prep homeschool for next week
Make sure everyone else does their jobs...

Study for Biology quarterly exam
Take Biology exam (should have done yesterday)
Finish lab experiment on mold
Finish homework for school
     Math problems
     Spanish vocabulary/pictures (bingo game)
     English - rewrite narrative into third person
Put away laundry

Write twenty times, for mom,
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
(Yes, we've been having issues...)
Put away laundry

Zoology - make minibook about Feliforms (big cats, and cat-like carnivores)
              -  label feliform territories on world map
              -  draw feliform (cougar) track in lab book
Put away laundry

Kerry (my honey-do list for today...)
Fix wobbly dry-erase board in school room
Replace burned out bulb in porch light (requires a ladder)
Caulk behind kitchen sink

Making progress...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Scatterday Brain Dump

Yes, I know it's only Thursday (not Saturday), but Scatterday is what it feels like.

1.  Paperwork?  Tate leaves on his big hunting trip in two weeks!  Okay, two weeks from tomorrow.  And it occurred to me that he probably ought to have a Wyoming hunting license and tag.  And that some important looking mail had come the Wyoming Game and Fish Department at one point...

And, yes, I did save it.  And found it.

Hallelujah and Amen.

2.  More paperwork?  Bloggy friends are coming to Vancouver from South Africa.  The least we can do is head up over the border to visit them.  That should be easy, right?  Minors traveling with their parents only need a birth certificate, and we've got those.  Except...

Wyatt turned 16, and they want a government-issued photo ID.  Looks like he needs that Learner's Permit, ASAP.

3.  MORE paperwork???  I submitted photos to the CAP website, to get the older boys photo ID from CAP.  But when CAP submitted it to their squadron's commander for approval, it was blank.  Huh?  Now it will take too long to re-submit it and get it back in time for the Canada visit.  Yah, gotta get right on that Learner's Permit.

4.  Live and learn.  Saw a picture of a gorgeous pillow that I wanted to make.  And it uses felt, which is so easy because it doesn't ravel, so you don't have to hem it - you can applique it "raw".  Only I didn't reckon on how the felt fibers would catch on the feed dogs, and draaaaaag through the sewing machine.  Next time... sew felt by hand.  It doesn't even take very long.  Duh.

5.  Time is racing by.  Much preparation to do before Tate's hunting trip.  Including planning for the other boys...

6.  The Mother Load is out of control.  Ack!  So many little things!  I need a secretary!  Or, better yet, a despachante.  Why don't we have those in America?!

7.  Must go correct papers.  You other homeschool moms out there... do you correct as you go?  Save it for the end of the day?  Longer?  Yikes, I can't get behind...


Monday, October 22, 2012

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, October 22, 2012.

Outside my window...   still dark this morning, but I can tell you that as of Saturday we have snow on the hills (far above us).

I am hearing...   lately I've been hearing a lot of RAIN.  For the first few years we were married, that caused me no end of anxiety, but now that we don't have to worry about the roof?  I love falling asleep to the sound of rain, knowing that I am warm, safe, sheltered inside.  But this morning... I hear the furnace running!  With the night-time temps down in the 30's we'll be getting our first frost any time now.  *Oops!  Now that it's light enough to see... we did get our first frost.*  (I knew you were all just waiting, on pins and needles, for that vital information.  *eyes roll*)

I am thinking...  we made it through our busy week, though I declared Sunday afternoon a "sanity break" - no company, just us having a quiet day at home.  Besides all our fun activities, we got a bit of winterizing done... got the BBQ stored, got the screen door off, and all the window screens down and washed and into the garage before the rain hit on Saturday.  I appreciate the screens when we want the windows open, but I just love getting them off and looking out through clear, unobstructed glass.

I am praying...  safety for Wyatt riding his bike to and from school this morning, return to health for so many friends, and for the boys to be kind to each other... to be considerate.

I am thankful...  for a full freezer and cupboards :D

I am wearing... oh boy!  Gray jeans, white tee, navy pullover sweater, and gray wool socks... wheeee!

I am creating...  oooo, a bit of tidiness in the office, but i still have a ways to go...

I am going...  to re-pot my geraniums and try to keep them going until spring... maybe?

I am reading...  just finished Women Helping Women but want to skim through again and pull out some good nuggets. Ooo, like this one, in relation to counseling people biblically about their sin (rather than seeing them as a "poor wounded victim"), from A.W.Tozer,
... suppose a man escapes from prison.  Certainly he will have grief.  He is going to be in pain after bumping logs and stones and fences as he crawls and hides away in the dark.  He is going to be hungry and cold and weary.  His beard will grow long and he will be tired and cramped and cold - all of these will happen, but they are incidental to the fact that he is a fugitive from justice and a rebel against the law."
I'm sure you can make the connection.

I am looking forward to...  having my office clean and tidy.  (Did I miss a step there?  Oh, yah, the part where I clean it.  Well, it's always nice to have goals, isn't it?)

In the kitchen...  making "leftover casserole" for lunch.  The boys actually love it, but I think it needs a better name, yah?  Dinner, the Sequel doesn't quite cut it.  Suggestions?

In the learning rooms...  I made myself a chart.  Every week we finish I color in a space, so I can see - in bright Crayola colors - how far we've come and how far we have to go in the school year.  Right now, we are 7/36 of the way through.  Last week we were 1/6, which is actually less, but somehow sounds like more.  As though we've gotten somewhere we can understand.  And yes, I am a dork.

Around the house...  why, for the love of Mike, is it so hard for people to put books away?  Why?

The Mother Load...  last week was just too darn tiring.  I felt like going to bed every single night by about 6pm, and the last time I felt like that I was pregnant - which I can assure you I am not.  *Sigh*  But this week is going to be better.  Because I say so.  And because the calendar is a little less crammed full.  Still, I have a couple of small sewing projects I want to do for me, and then I want to clean it all up  for awhile.

Noticing that...  when the boys are properly motivated they can work like a force of nature.  Hallelujah and Amen.

Something fun to share...  or crazy, take your pick.  When we were driving to Kerry's cousin's house for Octoberfest feasting on Saturday, the temperature dropped ten degrees in a matter of minutes and we had some very chunky rain hitting the windshield.  I'm not calling it snow, but it was... chunky.

A favorite quote for today...  already shared one :D

One of my favorite things...  ORDER!  And the wonderful smell my candles are giving the house :D

A few plans for the rest of the week...  Messiah practice, a doctor appointment (me), Civil Air Patrol, youth group (aka None the Wiser), and a game night at church on Saturday.  That sounds like plenty ;D

A peek into my world...

And this little bonus from my brother...

Why, yes, I think she's getting enough to eat ;D

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"These Are Not The Projects You Are Looking For"

If you don't have a house full of Star Wars fans that might not make any sense, but when has that ever stopped me before?

After giving my sister her handmade birthday gifts, she mentioned that she had some projects she was hoping I would "finish" for her.

She had some leftover fabric from a class she teaches (high school) and wanted - basically - a giant pot-holder, so she could set a hot casserole right onto her table.  She had bought some cotton-poly batting (not the insul-brite) stuff, so I doubled it and warned her it's not really safe for right-out-of-the-oven, but will do okay for getting hot food on the table.  The fabric she sent is mostly blue and orange, but her house has a lot of olive green so I bound it with some green I had.  Nice and quick, but nothing fancy.

Last summer, when she bought me some gorgeous batik fabric for my birthday that I used to make this quilt, she also bought herself a collection of charm squares printed with food, in a rainbow of colors.  She had begun piecing together a table runner and had pulled out a few extra squares she wanted made into coasters, with a red side...

... and a green side.

But most of the squares went into her table runner.  She had pieced the top, but wanted it layered, backed, quilted, and bound.  Good grief - the thing is ninety inches long!!!

I love the vibrant colors - hard to make out, in the pic above, so here are some close-ups.

This is my favorite section here, with the blue-blue-blueberries, yellow lemons, oranges, cherries and limes.  Yum!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Brain Dump

Friday, Friday, Friday... makes me happy.  Because the weekend is supposed to be relaxing, right?

1.  Fall has fallen.  With a big, wet, windy, rainy thud.  So I'm putting up these pictures from a few days ago to remind me of why I love fall.  Because the wind storm last night, the power flickering on and off, and the huge pile of soggy leaves right outside my back door (and what is it with that? why is the back porch such a leaf-magnet?!) are actually not why I like fall.

Virginia Creeper

2.  Two words: corded phone.  Yah, the power blinking on and off - besides being a pain in the rear and forcing me to reset all the digital clocks in the house - reminded me that Kerry swiped our bedroom phone for his office, so I picked up a new one today.  Because when the power is out, cordless phones just roll over and play dead.

This is more like what our fall looks like.  Soggy.

3.  Tate and Gunnar already finished their school for the week and are enjoying a PTO day at Grandpa and Grandma's house - hallelujah and amen.  We'd gotten out of the groove of PTO days, with Grandma recovering from her knee surgery, but she extended the invitation and we are glad to accept.  And it's not as if the boys need to be carried around, you know ;D

4.  Wyatt went to school...  had a Spanish test (20/20 - yay Wyatt), and an algebra test (no result yet).  He missed the PTO day for a doctor's appointment, because his back has been bothering him, apparently since July when he lifted a glider wing above his head with his back arched.  Oops.  Probably just a pulled trapezius and he should be fine.  No heavy lifting for a month, no working over his head for a month, and if he does his stretches he should be fine in a month.

At the moment, he's working on one of his Biology labs.  And with all this rain, do you think we can find a mushroom?  That should be easy, right?  Not so much... *sigh*

5.  I'm tired.  All the time, lately.  I suppose it could be the combination of choir practice, CAP, ladies' craft night at church, doctor's appointments, homeschooling, sewing projects, and the perpetual Mother Load.  Do you think?  There's also "girl trouble" thrown into the mix, which is being addressed.

6.  Or it might be the season.  Does anyone else feel like their body wants to go into hibernation this time of year?

Especially when this...

... and this...

... start turning into this...

... and this...

Same tree, a week or two later.  It's hard to see the difference, but look closely.  The leaves are covered with black spots.  I guess it's mold.  Still pretty, but dying.  And after last night's wind, most of them are on the ground... somewhere.

7.  Meanwhile, I'm brushing up on my high school Spanish as I try to help Wyatt with his.  My vocabulary is a bit rusty, so thank heavens for Uncle Google.

And let me tell you, we just lost twenty minutes we'll never get back lamenting the fate of Kiko and Marilu.  And all I can say is that a boy as creative and generous as Kiko should take a hint and take his gifts somewhere else, because he deserves better than a snotty girl who hits birds.

Or maybe we missed the point entirely.

8.  More wet leaves... so soggy, but still so pretty.

9.  Joy to the Whirled.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bye Bye, Bunnies

Well, it's been (and still is...) an eventful week.  Most memorably, the bunnies have all gone to their new homes.  They're eight weeks old now.

It was time.

They've grown so quickly - and so cute along the way!  From gangly "infants"...

... to adorable still-blind babies...

... to inquisitive "toddlers"...

... to these irresistible little bunnies!

The boys have loved raising them.  I know they'll miss the bunnies, but it helps to know they've gone to such good homes.  A family from our church have taken two of them, and the third went to friends right around the corner from us.

Thanks to Hans, we realized why they all looked alike to me (anatomically)...
they are alike.  

Our bunny family is just like our family - three boys :D

Yep.  Sure looks like the bunnies will be loved :D

So we said our goodbyes.

Wyatt wasn't angry... just serious.

And the boys are already asking about breeding them again in the spring, if there's any local interest... ;D