Thursday, December 20, 2007

An example of our inherit sin nature:

Today N. came in and whined "Z. kicked me!" Z. came in and said, "N. was hitting me.." So N. changes tactics and 'reports' "Z. is tattling!" :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Heheh-You know how (usually) liberals are always trying to make people feel guilty for (so-called) shopping too much? Like here there is always a "Buy nothing day" where they always picket the malls and so forth. Somehow I always seem to be at the mall that day too. Hmm..

Anyway, Dennis Prager just made a point I thought was rather humorous-that when we shop they always say "You're spending too much" but when the government wants to spend money, it's never enough. Ha! Too true. Way to true. Makes me want to go do some shopping of my own! :)
A friend of mine is convinced I have a light sensory disorder. At first I was kind of skeptical because I was always considered a good reader but I think more and more she may be right. I have always thought if I was in school today I wold be diagnosed with ADD. I had the hardest time with paying attention, doing school work, losing things, and especially day dreaming. The teachers would always say "Kerri would be so smart, do so well if she would only apply herself." I would work for days on a project only to drop it on the way to school or leave it in another notebook at home. My desk, locker, notebook, room were always a complete disaster. (I tell R. he was pretty brave to marry me.) I would hyper focus on one thing (like a really long report I did on cat breeds that went on and on until my mom made me stop.) that wasn't required and then I wouldn't do the stuff that was.

I have always noticed I lose my mind when I am under fluorescent lighting. I can have my whole grocery list memorized (or a list in my pocket) and when step inside the door my brain goes fzzzt. And all data is lost. Or I forget (honestly, I do this all the time) that I even have the list. I have completely walked out of the store and gotten halfway home before I remember to look at the list! I spent a bunch of time looking at the paint chips or earrings and I didn't get what was on my list!

The other day when S. and I went to the mall I had one specific thing I knew I wanted to get there. One thing. But when we walked in the door we were so hungry we felt sick so we went to get a sandwich. After a half hour in line and eating I completely couldn't remember why I was there. The information was just not there! I walked around trying to remember. Not there. Completely gone. We looked at Christmas music, clothes, wandered around and it still wasn't there. I couldn't remember until we had gotten off the bus in our own town and were walking home.

This can get so depressing sometimes. I feel like I'm always in a scatter trying to remember where I am going, what I am doing, who needs what.

Also at night I get really.. Well.. not afraid exactly because I know it is me, but when we drive at night the lights that whiz past are confusing and over stimulating to me. I don't know which ones to pay attention to and which to disregard. And more and more I have been having a lot of trouble paying attention when I read. My eye skips lines and my mind will insert a word when it really isn't till the next line.

I go for a lot of walks. I think that the natural lighting outside really helps to calm me and help me to think straight. I get my best ideas when I am outside walking.

I'd like to try to get tested for this light processing thing. And get Forrest tested too. I see a lot of me in that boy..

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We're still here. : )

Have you got your Christmas shopping done yet? I'm sure not done. Some of my kids are so easy to buy for it's hard not to get them too much and others..well..

Anyway, I've certainly been to the mall more than I care to lately. Saturday S. and I went poking around downtown but since R. was our ride we left early and went to the mall. We both noticed our responses were a lot different at the mall than at the local long running craft fair Saturday Market. At Saturday Market we were saying "Oh, I like this, I like that, I wish I had more money!" But at the mall it was more an indifferent "hmm, yeah, that's kinda cute." There's just something about mass marketing that doesn't hold a lot of interest I guess.

I'm feeling a little perturbed about Christmas culture in general this year. I guess it was sparked by a CD my MIL gave us (probably because she didn't like it. She just can't seem to bear to use a garbage can.) All the songs are so chintzy cheap on it. Why must we hear about grandma getting run over by a rain deer every single year? How did we go from "Masters In This Hall" and "Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming" to "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"? And there's all these potty humor Santas up in a store near us. Ugh. It depressing me because it's just another sign of the descent our culture is taking. All the beauty and grandeur being traded in for a cheap laugh.

Ugh, well, it's up to us! We are the ones who are going to teach the next generation what it's really all about! Better get back to it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Posted by PicasaMonday S. turns 16. To commemorate the event we held a dance for her and one of her girlfriends who also is having a birthday. Here are some random pictures of the event.
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I am back on my own computer. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! A good friend of a good friend told that good friend that we were having troubles. (Thanks Brenda!) So Aaron came and worked his magic and now internet is up, anyway. The CD reading is something else. Some problem there. And we have too many photos so we have to back them up and get another hard drive to store them. Thus I've started a family album on Picasa. If you are a friend and would like a link email me and I'll send it to you. But I don't think I'll link it here.
So I am quite happy.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Well, maybe having to come to the library will actually make me more disciplined to post. I have to come up here all the time anyway because it's right by the closest grocery store and fabric store, not to mention our favorite bookstore. Also it's a pretty good walk and I like to try to do it fast for the exercise. At home I think "Well, I only have a minute" so I don't post much thinking I'll wait till I have more time. But if I've gotten my hour allotment here, by golly I'm going to use the thing up! The librarian is rather a computer despot. Yesterday she came and was scolding me, really scolding me that I was over my time by ten minutes. I could only see the clock from the side and I thought I had five minutes left but I apologized and thought she was probably right. So I got off and looked back and I actually did have five minutes left. After she was standing there saying really loud "you need to get off right now. RIGHT NOW!" Ugh. Shayleen and I laughed about it, but goodness did we have to be so stressful about it? It wasn't as though there was a line of people waiting. There was one guy, but he had just walked in and then he was all embarrassed that she had made such a fuss. Anyway. It got me to thinking about a running list of things I want to make sure I never do when I am old. Here are some of them:

!. Give "drive by" parenting advice to young mothers in public. If I ever say "that baby needs a hat on" to someone I do not know in public, someone please slap me.

2. Wear heavily perfumed powders.

3. Try to act younger than I am. Or dress "young".

4. Have any type of hair coloring that even approaches the color purple or blue. Someone, please tell me!

5. Bring bags and bags of stuff to people because I can't throw things away myself.

6. Use cat decor in any way, shape or form.

7. Lecture my sons or sons-in-law in front of other people or in public.

8. Assume that all the young folks are "up to no good"

9. Give the "well, you're just a young pup and you don't know the realities of life" lecture. Man, that just gets thread worn.

10. Squelch younger people's aspirations, goals, dreams etc. (If they are worthwhile) because I don't think they can or they don't know the realities of the obstacles.

And then the things I plan to do with abandon..

1. Bake cookies

2. Wear aprons

3. Smell like cinnamon

4. Play cards with the gandkids

5. Babysit any grandchildren I get a chance to.

6. Keep myself acclimated to noise as much as possible.

7. Maybe have one or two cats (or dogs) but NO MORE!

8. Have a comfortable house without a lot of breakables.

9. Be available to talk and encourage.

10. Not give criticism too freely, but try to be free with praise and encouragement. (But not flattery)

11. Pray often for those God has entrusted me with.

12. Plant flowers

13. Decorate lavishly for holidays

Well, those are some, I'm sure there are a lot more. Got any to add?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Well, I'm still at the library. (*pout, pout*) We were hoping that a good dusting would rectify the problem on our computer but apparently not. It won't read CD's, won't take the digital camera port and won't sign onto the internet. Basically all I use the thing for, though hubby can still do paper work.. At least for now. I don't know what the next try will be. I hope we don't have to replace the thing. The summer wasn't real fat for the finances (to understate.) and buying a new computer wasn't how I wanted to use the money right now..

Anyhow, I guess in the meantime I'll just make my way up here to check emails and so forth.

S. is on a cookie baking binge. R. will only eat three kinds of cookies, so we haven't done a lot of experimentation. (If you make a kind he doesn't like he gives us what we call his "Paddington Bear Stare". If you make the kind he does.. Well, lets just say he isn't always real inclined to share. :) But S. thought her married life might not include one so picky (She once remarked to me that it would be really weird to cook for a man who didn't come in and take over all the time and add his 2 cents on everything.)and maybe it would be nice to have some other recipes under her belt. So she's been experimenting. She's made white chocolate fudge with oreos, (get those things away from me!) a lime zest, hazelnut shortbread type thingy (those were really good and not so sweet.) a caramel nut bar cookie type thing (those were way too sweet. More nuts, less caramel next time.) and a couple variations of peanut butter (those are one of the three R. will eat so we packed him up with some for work-he went to Washington for a couple days.) Yesterday she wanted more supplies so I let her walk up to the store with my bank card thinking she would get some brown sugar and chocolate chips and she came home with thirty dollars worth of cookie supplies. Gracious!

But what's really fun is watching the little boys watching her bake cookies. She has this little herd of four little boys gathered about her as she goes around the kitchen, tugging on her skirts. "What is that for, are they almost done? Can we have a nut? Can we have a cookie? When will they be done?" on and on. And Babykins is right in there too with the only word he can speak with clarity-"UP!" He knows that's the direction to go I guess.

It must be good to be a little boy who has a big sister who likes to bake cookies. They are all just gazing up at her and she bestows nuts and chocolate chips and cookies like a queen and, for the moment anyway, she is all the bee's knees to them. What a sweet blessing for them to remember. These little details are something to give thanks for and be happy with, even when one is feeling a little put out with computer and other nagging troubles.

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and are warm and happy as well..

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I've often seen blogs around the internet that outline what gifts the parents are getting the
wee ones for Christmas. Well, I have a list of my own... This is especially for my little boys

First, we must have a big basket of PVC pipe of all shapes and sizes. These are essential for sticking a little arm through to play robot or to use as knight armor.

Next up, old pots and pans. Especially important are the lids. Those are shields, of course. But the pots are also important for drumming, hiding stuff in, and the pans are handy for hitting your brother. Ooops. Blowing that 'perfect home school family image' again!

This is the tube off my husbands shop vac. Well, not the actual one, but one like it. They need their own so they can play elephant. Also just for plain coming up behind someone and yelling really loud in their ear without getting too close. That's loads of fun! Also, if a little boy wraps it around his shoulder it can be an ammo belt. I have no idea if there are any ammo belts worn around the shoulder, but by the way they swagger it has the look and feel of a real one!

These look like measuring spoons, don't they? Wrong! They are actually keys. And the boy that swipes these from my kitchen drawer and loops them into his belt has all the swagger and authority as the guy who has the keys to the elevator and the executive bathroom. Instant status.

Now this is just all for fun. This is for putting your blocks in and get it spinning really, really fast so you can watch the colors go. Beyond that, I'm not sure. But it does seem to have a never ending fascination. Since I can't usually find mine...

Tongs are very important if you might like to play pirate. They are a step up from a hook if you have happened to have had your hand chopped off in a sword fight.

Yarn. To tie to every conceivable object in sight and drive your mother a little batty. I have to admit I'm a little reluctant on the yarn. But this is self defense, you see. I'm trying to protect my own stash.

And lastly, hair ties. For shooting at people. (Well, I figure they sting a little less than rubber bands.) And fastening little objects to your belt loops-like if you need even more keys.
So there we are. The Blunderbussie household list of little boy essentials. : )


Monday, November 19, 2007

I think the hardest thing for me to do on this blog is to formulate an opening sentence!

Have you (those who blog) ever noticed that?

I am very frustrated because my computer won't recognize my digital camera chip port thingy. (Geek I am not.) So now my camera has 154 pictures on it and I can only look at them through the wee bitty window of the camera. Bah! I just bought a new portal thingy too.. I like computers just fine until they don't do what I want them to and then I can't stand them.

So there's an old family picture just because I wanted to put up a picture. Humph. You can tell it's old because J. isn't even in it . I don't know why I.'s nose is all yellow. She looks like she's been smelling dandilions.

I was recently re perusing _Marriage to a Difficult Man_.

"It was customary for girls to marry before they were sixteen. This was realistic in view of the life expectancy in those days (about thirty-three years..."

Isn't that sad? My goodness, even if you married at 15 or 16 you could only reasonably expect to be married for 15-20 years? It makes me feel sad to think of it. We could do better appreciating each other, I know.

Lately I've been a little irked at the tone of voice that creeps in around here. I guess with winter and everyone being inside for hours a day we start getting a little snippy at each other. It is something I would really like to work on.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I got this video from Blog and Mablog and I thought it was really funny. Especially because sometimes this is precisely the message I need to hear myself...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The real purpose of camo.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I always like this picture because it is so moody and fallish. But I always forget about it when fall rolls around.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oh, I just saw Amy tagged me-sorry! I have been so busy this week!

OK..7 Random facts...Gosh.. Umm..

1. I have been known to spend entirely too much time watching Monty Python videos online, but my kids always seem to know how to trap me into it, and we really do like to laugh.

2. I've seen Bob Dylan in concert twice and he was extremely drunk both times. And I don't even like Bob Dylan.

3. I cannot multi task to save my life. Rather I hyper focus and when I have my mind on something it is really difficult for me to do anything else.

4. I cannot organize to save my life. I just move messes around. I keep trying though!

5. I love to walk in the rain. And if it's windy too-all the better.

6. I wear my son's socks more than I do my own.. Much to his chagrin.

7. I love to hear the trains go by in the night.

Ok.. I tag Lyn, Marbel, Mrs. Darling, Joyce, Buttercup, Elly, and Susan.
Actually, I have to modify that. It was rather that it is more important to teach your children to trust God than to teach them to love Him. I wanted to get the thought down before I lost it. We were on our way out and I "jotted" it down, but I should have stored it rather than posting.

But anyway-I do think you can love someone and not trust them. I love O. but I don't trust him out of my sight! And some people I trust in one area but not another. I'm better with money than with chocolate. Maybe our ability to trust God proves that we actually know the true God because we aren't projecting human limitations and frailties on Him. And shows that we believe what He says about Himself and not calling Him a liar-Ouch, that hurts. That would really speak to worrying, wouldn't it.

But we were talking about how it can be rather self focused to worry about whether we are loving God, but trust is more of an outward action. Rather ties into emotionalism and Christianity. Also there are times when we may not have happy warm feelings about God but we obey Him anyway and our children need to know that that is acceptable at times and not feel guilty because they may not have those warm fuzzies at the moment.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A friend of mine said a freind of hers said that it was more important to trust God than to love Him.
The more I think about it, the more I think she is right.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In this culture we seem to have taken the idea that just open disagreement in itself is offensive and to believe that you are right about something is arrogant. So everything has to be said so delicately or we aren't being "open". But what really seems to result is that conversation turns into a big pile of mashed potatoes-hold the salt! I like to talk to people who can disagree with me and are even ready to argue their point. I like a good discussion. I like to analyze and think things through and argue with myself, and being able to bounce those ideas off someone else and even be able to sharpen a point of view, come across a new way of thinking about something, a new bit of information, or even be able to tweak my ideas around a little makes life interesting to me. You know, if I'm right about something, it isn't a threat to me if you disagree. And if I'm wrong and you point it out, then you've done me a favor. I grow weary of people who feel like they always have to qualify every little statement with half a dozen disclaimers and won't just get to the point! You know, I really don't mind if you don't agree with me on everything! And since I like to think things through, come to a conclusion, I'll respect the right of you to do the same!

Also, it is a Biblical command to mind ones own business. I do believe that God gave children to their parents. I do believe that men are to be the head of their own households. It's not my job to evaluate the job of another man's household. It's my job to worry about my own household. And that's a job quite big enough, thank you very much.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Often over the course of our Christian life we are called upon to make judgements. We have to or we would be jellyfish just moving along the currents of this culture. We have to judge what is good to watch, wear, eat, do, etc. And as a family we have made certain desicions concerning what we would or would not do because we wanted to build a family that glorifies God and was not just assimulated into the mainstream culture.

I am quite aware that other people may decide differently on different issues. Some will be more strict in one area and perhaps not so in another. They may have thought things through carefully and decided something other than we have. I am fully comfortable with that.

What I find ironic though is when I'm judged as being judgemental in an area that I am maybe more strict in. I'm prejudged as being judging. Is that not just odd?

Monday, October 22, 2007

I decided it's completely pointless for me to try to do a series on anything. I'm swearing them off. Peter Leithart wrote an entire book of seemingly random thoughts on Christianity, church, theology etc. (Against Christianity) so I guess I won't feel too guilty about being random either. After all if it's all culture than anything goes. Right?


The weather was beautiful today. The kiddos went out with Grandma. I stayed home, wrote an email, cleaned the bathroom, washed the kitchen floor, made dinner and listened to the clips from the Americans For Prosperity Conference on the radio. Some of them got in some really good Hilary jabs which were good for a chuckle. McCain's almost made me wish I could root for him. At they have clips of some of the best ones.

I really like this lavender cleanser I've recently discovered. It smell so nice I don't want to dump it out when I'm done with it. It makes the house smell really good when I wash the floors with it.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today E. was helping Owen with his phonics lessons. He was learning the "j" sound and was supposed to draw pictures of things that started with "j" for a juggler to juggle. He drew a picture of a jar-good so far-and then drew a picture of a man. E said "Hey, man doesn't start with "j"." O. said, "He's a jerk."

S. got her first cat call walking to the grocery store the other day. She was so shocked I thought she was a gonna lose her eyeballs. Guess now we have to cover "toss your head and look the other way" 101. Funny the wide breadth of subjects we moms have to cover. : )

Friday, October 12, 2007

Culture and Us..

Joyce @ Mom's musings linked an article on Christians and culture @ Reformation 21. Christians and culture is a topic that interests me very much.

In the book Plowing in Hope David Bruce Hegeman defines culture as such: "the beliefs, behavior, language, and entire way of life of a particular time or group of people." So this is the way I am using the word.

We are all cultural people. People need culture to give them a sense of themselves, where they belong, and who they connect with. When I was running with the hippie crowd, we had a certain shared culture with the others who shared our lifestyle. There were hand signals that were universally understood. There was an understanding of preferences for certain types of food. (Tempeh burger anyone?) there was shared music, types of clothes, places you 'would work or wouldn't work.' Basically, when you take on the lifestyle of a hippie, if you want to continue to be accepted in the group you voluntarily make adjustments to your life to keep your spot. And if you are unaware of these cultural dictates and slip up too much-like say wearing polyester too much and eating at McDonalds regularly, you will be rejected from the group eventually. You will be "excommunicated".

I really think that my desire for culture was what brought me to that group. Culture and a sense of belonging to a certain group of people. In this way, I do believe that these subgroups masquerade as a sort of false church. There are sins and 'works of righteousness'. There is communion, there is worship music, there are religious heroes, there are certain ethical standards, there are myths and tales of heroes. And if you leave one own and go to another you recognize each other by the dress code. It is all there. Now, this is the group I'm most familiar with, so I know the particulars on these. But I bet it is the same for punkers, yuppies, etc. Henry Van Til says that "Culture is religion externalized." That is true for everyone, whether a Catholic, hippie or the communism of the Soviet Union. Our external culture will be determined by what we worship.

So I do not think mankind can avoid creating culture, or even emulating the church. The church is eternal and we all need the church. It is an inner hunger that even when we are playing it out we are not always aware of it. That a person can live without the church and be a healthy Christian is a lie.

So when we are together as a church we will continue to do what man is created to do, glorify God within the context of culture. We will have music, talk together, our sanctuary will have some type of adornment, there are shared jokes, relationships etc. Culture is inescapable. There is discussion of whether or not the job of the church is to create culture. How can the church avoid creating culture? If you use cartoon characters or Betty Lukin felts to explain a concept to your children you are communicating an aspect of culture to your children.

So the question really should be "What is the church's culture?" and how is that culture established?

Shared culture in a church gives the members a sense of belonging. This is particularly noticeable to me in coming from a mega-mainline evangelical church where there was no discipline or real firm theology expressed from the pulpit, to a smaller Reformed church with a set liturgy, clearer focus on theology, membership expectation and an emphasis on church unity and relationship.

Well, from the noise I hear downstairs my home culture is deteriorating so I'd better go take command. I hope I can keep this thought going. It's so hard to get deep on stuff in 20 minute increments... I still haven't finished the book list. I get my mind on something and I obsess over it and then when it's gone.. well..Call this pt1..hopefully. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Have I ever mentioned that I really love my kids? I really do. I'm so thankful God gave me the life He did, even if I do feel like I'm bungling it half the time.

When I was in school I was absolutely convinced I would be 'The Next Really Great Artist'. I had an art teacher tell me I was the best painter she ever had. I knew I would just be God's gift to the art world. Truly. (Oh, stop laughing!!) One of my best friends and I were so convinced we would take the art world by storm. He as an illustrator and I as a fine art painter. We would go over each other's work and dream and walk around school with paint splattered all over ourselves.

Well, he did go on to work for Disney. Another friend of mine from high school bumped into him last week. We always knew he would. And here I am, middle aged, (I'm sure he's still 19 or so, right?) pudgy, not real glamorous.. Grace Kelly quizzes not withstanding. I wonder what he would think if we ran into each other. If I sold out my dream... Didn't have the guts.. No, he was a good guy and I'm sure he wouldn't be condescending exactly.. But still..

But I'm glad I'm where I'm at with my little kiddos and hard working hubby. Maybe someday I will show stuff in a gallery. Maybe someday I will get out paints and there won't be a clamoring of little hands who "wanna paint too." (actually, I switched from water colors to colored pencils when F. ate an entire tube of cobalt blue when he was a baby. Oh, how funny the diapers were after that! But I was glad I wasn't using oils!) But I hope there aren't too many days when it's that quiet. Because I'd rather have the grand kids over to make cookies. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Lyn @ Whimsical Dreams sent me a quiz to see which movie star I would be. This is what I got-

(35-42 points) You are GRACE KELLY:
You are a lover. Romance, flowers, and wine are all you need to enjoy yourself. You are serious about all commitments and are a family person. You call your Mom every Sunday, and never forget a Birthday. Don't let your passion for romance get confused with the real thing.

Well, that may be somewhat true. I'm not very good about making phone calls though. Email is just so much easier to keep in touch with. But the person I really want to be isn't on the possible results. I really want to be Myrna Loy.

Myrna Loy is soooo cool. I guess I wouldn't have gotten her because she is what I would like to be, not really the way I am. She is always completely under control of herself. Not one hair falls out of place.

In the "Thin Man", she is especially what I would like to be. No matter what crazy ideas her husband suggests, no matter the wildness of the situation (for example coming home from a vacation only to find a party in your own house.) she never is at a loss for a straight faced joke and a peaceful look on her face. Oh, I would LOVE to be is such command of every situation. And be able to think of a wisecrack at the drop of a hat. But she never criticizes her husband, never is reduced to words she hadn't said, always ready to pack and leave town at the drop of the hat..

And thin and beautiful besides. Yessireee.

But one thought S. and I were thinking is wouldn't it be funny to take all the results you get on these tests and combine them? I mean one day I'm Captain Hook, the next Grace Kelly. Must be that the Irish side is Captain Hook and the Swedish is Grace Kelly. Ya think?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I guess it's been hard to think of a post lately because the things that have been concerning me lately aren't things I can talk about on the internet. They seem to be taking up all my mental capacity though.. So I'll try posting ala Mrs. Darling today and just start typing and see where I end up. I feel a bit like a failure lately, I guess. I can go around to the "mommy blogs" and read about all these wonderful principles and high ideals and I mentally agree with them, but I know that lately I have really been struggling to just to keep routine and keep the little boys moving along in schoolwork, etc. I don't feel like I'm living up to my own expectations. I know I could be expecting more of them than I do, especially O. It seems like the minute I take my eyes off those little guys they take to rioting. Iyiyi.

It really, really rained today, and that was fun. S. and E. were walking home from S.'s piano lessons and the lightening got really loud and seemed to be quite close. They ran and came in dripping wet. And the little boys had to run outside and stand in it. My kids won't play in the pool all summer because "It's too cold" but then they LOVE to go out in the rain and play in the puddles.

I do love the fall weather. I seem to get a lot more energy in the fall. Maybe because the pollen all gets showered down, and maybe because I just like the weather cooler. Probably both. I've been taking a lot of walks lately just to think. I love to see the trees change and get some fresh air.

R. has been working a lot lately and comes home all tired out. It's hard to wait for him to come home all day and then watch him eat and go to bed.

Well, maybe I'd better go read to those boys.....

Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy Anniversary To Us;
19 years today. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

When I am knitting I think I should be drawing. When I am sewing I think I should be quilting. When I am reading I think I should be sewing. When I am doing the dishes I think I should be cooking. When I am folding laundry I think I should be menu planning. When I am looking up new recipes I think I should be paying bills. When I am cooking I am thinking I should have some new dishes to make to make life interesting. When I go to sleep I think I should be reading because what if I stop learning things and become an uninteresting person? When I am reading to my boys I think I should be teaching them math. When we are doing math I think we should be working on catechism. When I am doing catechism I think I should be checking the girls' math. When I check their math I think I should be washing the floors. When I am washing the floors I think I should be spending more time with the baby. When I sit with the baby I think I should be weeding. When I am weeding I think what I really need to do is look up gardening plans because by the way my garden looks I apparently don't have one...

Is it any wonder I get nothing done????

Friday, September 28, 2007

OK, I lied. I do have something political to say. Or at least, quote someone else with something political to say.

"As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning."

Czech President, Vaclav Klaus

Read the whole article on Al Gore's refusal to answer his skeptics here.

The issue of global warming, and it's correlating fear tactics are enough to make me scream.

Also, do you wonder if the producers of Kid Nation ever read the book _Lord of the Flies_?

Do you really wonder what on earth their parents could be thinking? I wouldn't let my children spend one day unattended in that sort of setting. Let alone over night! And the youngest is 8?

Tisk Tisk.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Well..You know, sometimes my life just isn't all that interesting. Does that ever happen to you? Suddenly you realize that you are actually quite a boring person? Anyway, what's going on here? The children are all sprawled over the floor waiting to watch Darby O'Gill and the Little People. I'm glad they want to watch that because I can go to sleep and not feel like I've missed anything. I usually fall asleep for movies.

Babykins turned one. Can you believe it? The audacity of him. Did he even ask me permission? And not only that, he's walking. Naughty baby. But we haven't had a party yet. I haven't had a party for I. either.

Fall is here and the weather has been so beautiful. It's supposed to start raining tonight. I love rain.

I can't even think of anything political.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Which Disney Villain Are You?

You are Captain Hook. The crusher of dreams. You are Disney's one and only funny villain. But don't discredit the evilness that is Captain Hook. You do your part in scaring little children and teaching a generation of adults to yearn for childhood again. Cuz hey, you just want to fly too.
Find Your Character @
Both sexes have their weakness, but one thing about us women is we are just plain too bossy. I guess God gave us that in our nature because we do have to micro manage our children. I mean in what other relationship is there the need to make sure someone brushes their teeth, eats their vegetables, speaks nicely to a sister and uses the handrail on the stairs all in one day? Even fathers don't micro-manage the way we do, I don't think. So in someways I guess it is a strength that we can give so much attention to the details in other people's lives.

But when we start feeling like we have to micromanage other people-Oh, like say maybe the WHOLE COUNTRY then micro managing has run amuck.

Anyway, here is a link to an interview with Carl Rove who gives a summary of Hilary's just jolly wonderful health plan. And then you just tell me this woman isn't Just Plain Bossy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Oh, my. I guess I do have a bog! One wouldn't know it by how I've been posting lately...
Well, I have a bunch more books to list, but the list has gone somewhere..Hmm..

So, I guess I'll just update a bit. Last week I came downstairs thinking about what to do with the chicken I defrosted and the daily cleaning schedule and when I sat down with my coffee R. said "How about we all go up to Cougar for a few days." OK, well! So we threw clothes together and some food, hitched up a jet ski and headed up. A client of Rand's has a cabin in the Mt. St. Helens area that she lets us use whenever she isn't.

That picture doesn't do it justice. It is so pretty there. The water just goes on and on. And the mountains, and the trees...

Anyway, it had been hot all week but as soon as we got up there it turned cloudy and cool. The kids were still up for playing in the water.

But what they really wanted to do was jet ski.

But then R. unloaded the thing and zoomed out a bit and it died and would not be brought back to life. What a bummer. He and E. had to paddle back to shore. Ah, well. That's how it is with those silly things. They only work about half the time. But when they are up and running they are the bee's knees around here.

So this is all the riding the silly thing got.

So we just hung out at the cabin for the day. The kids played,


found critters.

All in all a pretty relaxing time. I wished we could have stayed longer but we had commitments in town. So, that's where I've been. What are y'all up to?

Friday, September 7, 2007

I don't mean to make it sound like every book I hand the children is some great work of literary art. We do have a certain level of fluff. And I think it has lots to do with your child's temperament and reading appetite too. S. read all the American Girl books, Nancy Drew, most of the Mandie mysteries but she always read so fast and I had no money almost for books it was very hard to keep up with her. Plus I just hadn't thought about a lot of these things at the time. But she still went on and I wouldn't say she is greatly drawn to fluff books now. And Fi right now is on an Encyclopedia Brown kick and I don't mind her reading those as long as they aren't all she reads. I'm just saying these are some of the things I try to think about when I pick out books.

These are usually the first chapter books I hand them: (In no particular order except how they come to mind)

Milly Molly Mandy-Joyce Lankester

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-Ronald Dahl

James and the Giant Peach-"

Raggedy Anne and Andy-Johnny Gruelle

Encyclopedia Brown-Donald J. Sobol

Boxcar Children-Gertrude Chandler (I stick w/the lower #'s)

Yonie Wondernose-Marguerite de Angeli

Bears on Hemlock Mountain-Alice Dalgliesh

Courage of Sarah Noble-"

Thornton Burgess' animal storybooks (There are quite a few.)

My Father's Dragon Trilogy-Ruth Stiles Gannett

Rikki Tikki Tavi-Rudyard Kipling
Jungle Book-"

Sarah Witcher's Story-Elizabeth Yates

Winnie-the-Pooh-A.A. Milne

Trumpet of the Swan-E.B. White

The Ordinary Princess-M.M. Kaye (S. really liked this one.)

Betsy-Tacy-Maud Hart Lovelace

Betsy-Tacy and Tib-"

Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill-" (There are more Betsy-Tacy books, but I stick w/these three because of girl/boy themes and such.)

Railway Children-Edith Nesbit

Five Children and It-"

These Are My People-Mildred Howard (the story of Gladys Aylward)

Paddinton Bear books-Michael Bond

Ballet Shoes-Noel Streatfeild

Dancing Shoes-"

Theater Shoes-"

Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin-Marguerite Henry

Brighty of Grand Canyon-"

King of the Wind-"

Misty of Chincoteague-"

Stormy, Misty's Foal-"

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH-Robert O'Brien

Lloyd Alexander books-I haven't read these, S. has. She really enjoyed them and recommends them. They are fantasy.

Redwall series-Brian Jacques-These were very important for about a year or two...I could never get into them enough to read out loud, but they are better than most stuff put out these days.

Strawberry Girl-Lois Lenski This author used to have a lot of historical fiction. If you can find her out of print stuff at yard sales or the library they are all worth picking up.

Indian Captive-"

Phantom Tollbooth-Norton Juster (Fi has had her nose in this one all week)

The Lost Princess-George MacDonald

Princess and the Goblin-"

Princess and Curdie-"

At the Back of the North Wind-"

Sir Gibbie-" (this comes under various names. My copy is called Wee Sir Gibbie of the Highlands.)

The Maiden's Bequest-"(aka Alec Forbes and His Fiend Annie or Alec Forbes of Howglen)

Bunnicula a Rabbit-Tale of Mystery-James Howe

Howliday Inn-"

Return to Howliday Inn-"

Bunnicula-The Celery Stalks at Midnight-"

Bunnicula Strikes Again-" (These are totally "fluff books" -A vampire Rabbit-but fun and different.)

Well, I think that's all the computer time I can take today. I will have to get back with the rest later. The boys are taking over.

I've been working on a list of books for early to middle skill chapter book readers. It's a little longer than I thought it would be and I imagine I'll be flipping back and forth to the Exodus website looking up authors and such and hopefully I'll be able to get it done soon. But because of a conversation I had recently with another mother about reading material, I thought I'd also post about some negatives with some books. I am pretty picky about what I give my kids to read. Early on I read the Barth family's book _Child Training and the Homeschool_ and a major point I got out of that was that just as I was careful about the friends my children played with I needed to be careful of the "companions" they spent time with in books. That made a lot of sense to me because I was a big reader as a child and I remember characters from books who were as real to me as real life. So I tried to choose books whose characters reflected the type of traits I would want to see in my children's lives.

So there are some books that though they are generally accepted even by the homeschool community I've decided to bypass.

One theme I see over and over in a lot of children's books is the idea that the children have to keep a secret for some reason from their parents. For example in _The Indian in the Cupboard_ books. The children in those books don't trust the adults with a major event in their lives and they are left on their own to make all the decisions. The children think they are enlightened with some sort of sensitivity that the adults cannot possess. It is a shame because the story line otherwise would be engaging, but with the secrecy being a major theme I cannot allow them.

Another theme is when the child is disobedient but the outcome is somehow blessed. When S. was little she started reading the Mandy Mysteries, but after a while we noticed that she disobeyed quite a lot, but somehow it all came "right in the end." This too gives the impression to children that somehow they have the power to make their own decisions and don't really need the counsel of the adults in their lives. Mandy is also very independent which is a character trait the world likes to see in girls but isn't one I want in my daughters.

Another is when the children are just plain bratty. I like some of Beverly Cleary's books. Usually Ellen Tibbets is the first chapter book I hand my daughters. But I don't care for Ramona because she is kind of a brat. And Ralph in Ralph and the Motorcycle is awful to his brothers and sisters. I just don't feel like my children need that type of example. Also, Elsie Dinsmore. I'm sorry but that girl is a crybaby. She has this "poor suffering thing" persona that especially a couple of my girls just don't need to emulate because they can be prone to "tragic countenances" themselves.

I also avoid what I call "garbage books". They are the ones that neither the writing style nor the information are very important and reading them is something akin to watching television or something. These would be like _The Baby sitter's Club_ _American Girl Books_ _Saddle Club_, stuff like that. I just fell like the vocabulary is to controlled, the writing styles are to shallow and the story lines aren't all that creative and they are a waste of time. Also I'm afraid if they get into the habit of reading these types of books they will be content with that and not try for anything more challenging.

Sometimes in a book there may be a little of one of these things, but since it isn't a major portion of the book we can just talk about it and move on. Caddie Woodlawn does have the one chapter where she rides off in secret to talk to the Indians, but since it isn't the major theme of the book I feel like we can maneuver it.

So these are some of the things I try to avoid. Sometimes I have to backtrack or get rid of some things and it isn't a tragedy if one of these gets read, but I do try to talk about the problems they have, and especially my older ones are getting pretty good at identifying these themes as well. So sometimes I can have them screen for the younger ones if I haven't read something.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I went and got S. her last math book today. She's in her last science book, last spelling, last history...

And just last week she was my little piggy tailed girl and we had all the time in the world.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Well, we haven't had a party for I. yet. Around our house everything has to go through a sort of baptism of procrastination in order to be done properly, including birthdays. Last week my two oldest girls went to spend a week with friends and now oldest boy has gone to camp. I am looking forward to the cool quiet autumn days when we can all be settled under one roof and be quiet and relatively routine for a while.

I know Deputy Headmistress @ The Common Room posts a hymn on Sundays, but since I try to keep the computer off on Sundays I've never done it. I always thought it was pretty appropriate though, and since we sang one of my very favorites last Sunday, I thought I'd share it. I tried to find the tune on the net somewhere, but even the CyberHymnal doesn't have it. The tinny computer music couldn't have done it justice though, because it is a sort of hymn that part of it is sung in a certain "round like" way with each voice part coming in at different times. (Which has a technical name, which S. knows but I can't remember right now and she is downstairs reading. Maybe I'll ask her later.)

Oh Let My Name Engraven Stand

Oh let my name engraven stand
Both on thy heart and on thy hand
Seal Me upon thine arm and wear
That pledge of love forever there

Stronger than death thy love is known
Which floods of wrath could never drown
And hell and earth in vain combine
To quench a fire so much Divine

Come my beloved haste away
Cut short the hours of thy delay
Fly like a youthful hart or row
Over the hills where spices grow

I especially like the second verse. The idea that floods of wrath could never drown God's love for His saints. Even when I am feeling like I really do deserve His wrath still His love is bigger and stronger than His wrath. I won't be drowned or lost in a flood of wrath because His care of me is even greater than His own wrath. And the idea of a divine fire. God's fire burns away all our smucky icky self stuff. All that at the end of the day I feel like crying "Woe is me! For I am undone!" about. But He is never surprised or shocked or thrown off track by what I do like an earthly lover may be. It isn't like someone who you might think, "Well, they like me now, but if they knew how I really was.." He just consistently works away until He is pleased with the results. How glad I am of that! My parents gave up on me when I was about 15, but God never did! I could blow them over by my strong will and leave them shaking their heads. I always won. But not with God. Then when He has cleansed all that dross I can be like the young deer and run to meet Him with no guilt on my conscience because He has said He has forgiven and it is done.

S. says that is a fuging hymn. There you are. Don't you love it when your kids are smarter than you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My goofy one.
Lover of bees, dirt, babies, candy, and dolls.
Named after the princess in _The Princess and the Goblin_, and my grandmother.
Born the same night Princess Diana died. (I watched the footage all night long because there was nothing but footage on. And I don't sleep in
10 years old now.
Happy birthday!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

My, I've been "away" a bit. I wish I could account for this past week with stories of all I got accomplished, but no. I don't even know what I did. It's all a blur.

Truth to tell I came up feeling a little blue. My 2 big girls are away at the beach staying with friends this week so I don't have my usual company about. The little boys have been fighting all day. Sometimes I am just at a loss as to who is right, wrong, up, down, had it first etc. I'd like to just staple them to their beds. You know I'm kidding, right?

Well, like I said, I was blue. And I felt like I should post something but my mind was empty. Except for griping. Which isn't very edifying, is it? But I guess I already did that.

So I decided to peruse the other blogs. Amy has up sweet pictures of her new little baby. Yeah, I should be more grateful, huh? Lyn has stories of God's providence for her family. Been there many a time. Yeah, I really should be a lot more grateful. Carmon has a post up about salvation stories. Yeah, I got it. I really should be a lot, lot more grateful!!! Marbel has a post about the homeschooling Adams Family. I remember that episode. Gotta chuckle at that! And to cap it off, Mrs. Darling got to watch the ice cream man get arrested before her very eyes. OK, now I'm laughing. That could only happen to Mrs. Darling. I'm much cheerier now!! Thanks! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Warning: The following post is not for the faint of heart. Or the queasy of stomach...

Over the weekend we went to a birthday party for a friend. It was a Redneck Pig Roast.
They cooked up Wilbur. Well, I guess he was big enough now..

Hows that for a pig, Mrs. Darling? It's like to jump off the table any minute and walk right up to you!

R & Z

Z. getting all the jello his heart desires.

The overalls and bandannas were as rednecky as I could come up with.

Now how about some redneck games?
Watermelon spitting contest, that's pretty innocent.
But wait! What else do they have in store for us?

How about bobbing for raw pig and chicken feet??
I told my kids "Don't even think about it."
They said "Don't worry, we won't!!"

Yes, indeed, those are real pig and chicken feet.

Now it's the Spam eating contest. Here's E. primly surveying her dish of Spam.
S, R and I had to move downwind to keep from gagging on the smell.
Made me think of that line in Ratatoullie (I'm sure I spelled that wrong.)
"Once you get past the gag reflex.."

Yum yum..

F. won. The poor thing. It took all my willpower not to leap across the table and beg her to stop.
"It's not worth it! I'll buy you a whole case of candy bars if you will stop!!!" Doesn't she look like she's about to cry? That was the first time my children have ever encountered Spam and I think they will be careful to give it a wide berth in the future.
But it was fun and (other than the Spam) the kids had a good time playing with their friends.
But I made sure F. had a bag or something in the car just incase that Spam decided to reappear...