Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Be Afraid

Be very afraid.

(This set-up is not a re-enactment. it was actually discovered on the living room floor.
No animals were harmed in the shooting of this photo. No action figures were disfigured.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lord Peter Wimsey

I have fallen in literary love. Again. Of course, I've been familiar with the work of Dorothy Sayers. She is a strong advocate for Classical Education, having written, The Lost Tools of Learning. In fact, I've have a small collection of her books, having scored a handful at a garage sale for a quarter or two. But I hadn't gotten around to actually reading any of them. Till this week. I was perusing the book shelves and grabbed Strong Poison. It was delightful. Difficult to read because it's an older print run and the type is small, the margins almost non-existant and the pages yellowed. Despite all of that, it was a delightful read. So much so that I followed it up with Unnatural Death.

Sayers is  a master story-teller. The mysteries are well executed and intriguing, the language- totally delightful; the humor- superb, the dialog- brilliant. Did I mention I'm in love? Lord Peter Wimsey is the man. And I love her "in house humor" making comments towards other murder mystery writers of the time, actually naming them in dialog with such witty comments as, "don't go all Jeeves on me!" (From Wooster and Jeeves by Wodehouse).

Unnatural Death
The wonderful thing is that there are more; many more. I'm happy. Cause KB, Feeche and I have a road trip coming up and I plan on letting them drive while I engage in hours of reading.
I might even sneak a peak at some of the YouTube episodes. Fun, fun, fun.
What are you reading?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pastoral Ruins

Eugene Peterson is a poet and a story-teller extraordinaire. If you don't believe me, pick up a copy of The Message.  Dh aksed for his book; The Pastor this Christmas. It's a beautiful book, full of rich and vibrant stories about Petersen's life and calling as a Pastor. I've just read snatches here and there, but it's going to be a wonderful read. On Sunday, dh and I were reading our individual books, together (I'm still loving my latest find- Lord Peter Wimsey) and he read this out to me:
Men and women who are pastors in America today find that they have entered into a way of life that is in ruins. The vocation of pastor has been replaced by the strategies of religious entrepreneurs with business plans. Any kind of continuity with pastors in time past is virtually nonexistent. We are a generation that feels as if it is having to start out from scratch to figure out a way to represent and nurture this richly nuanced and all-involving life of Christ in a country that "Knew not Joseph".....Many pastors, disappointed or disillusioned with their congregations, defect after a few years and find more congenial work. And many congregations , disappointed or disillusioned with their pastors, dismiss them and look for pastors more to their liking. In the 50 years that I have lived the vocation of pastor, these defections and dismissals have reached epidemic proportions in every branch and form of church.
I think this is interesting given Willowcreek's very public apology in 07.'  Willowcreek has been the church de rigeur in America for the past 30 years, pushing the market place model on the emerging post modern American church. Hybel's daughter, a best selling author, writes as one would expect having been raised up front and personal on the church as business model.  Bittersweet, by Niquest (Hybel's dd) is a beautifully written collection of essays chronicling Shauna's situational heartache. I wrote about that  here and here. Great, phenomenol, cosmic power, little bitty Christian living. Judgemental, I know. But it was another great read- fantastic wordsmithery, with very little substance. Reminds me of many church services I've gone to. Excellent show with little thought to TRUE discipleship, or relational congregational life. It's heirarchy and hipdom. Scenerio II:  battle cry sounded, now everyone get in thier very nice cars and go out to eat; middle class business as usual folks.

I hesitate to post this because it IS judgemental.  But I know in my bones (creaky as they are) that there is a movement underfoot, and it's outside the established system, much like the educational movement we've been involved with for over 2 decades. Petersen is  much more of a craftsman than I; he states the obvious without being extreme or insulting. He's a poet. I'm just a middle aged, creaky woman, looking at the signs of the times.

How do we apply what Schaeffer exhorts us to do; understand the spirit of the age in which we find ourselves, when our established practices no longer do the job? Thoughts?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lego League, Good It Is

Under the intrepid leadership of Mrs. I, our First Lego League team, The Organic Republic, survived months of weekly 4 hour practices, learning curves related to programming, team-work, skit writing and more. Their hard work and diligence culminated at the state-wide tourney. A FULL day of fun, competition, noise, and lots of team work!

Getting ready for the 2nd run of the day...
Between runs they passed out origami Yoda's, with popsicles inside, cheered like wild ones and said over and over and over, "Raw Milk, Good it is!"

Setting up, ready, set, "LEGO!"

The robots performing their missions. Our team's runs resulted in better scores each time. WOOT!

The Teamspit stop wall - as well as their T-shirt design. The Organic Republic on the back. Yoda and their slogan on the front.

The team play, presenting a solution to the problem. The judges are questioning them, after their performance.
 (Sadly, I have no pics of the Technical Briefing).

The Award Ceremony. Each participant received a medal for competing.

Our Team's Take-Away:
 The State FLL Programming AWARD!!!

Proud to bursting!!
 Major kudos to Mrs. I, who has a heart of gold and tons of patience!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Full Week Flying By

We've been using the Learn Math Fast System for  a couple of months now. It's simple, inexpensive and does what it says; teaches kids math, fast. I'm hosting a give-away of ALL 4 eled books! (WOOT!). Here is the more comprehensive review and give-away details.


As always, Calvin confronts 2 of my fav topics: science and religion, with a fresh perspective.

School this week: Latin- another chapter of First Form-KaBam (my new fav onomatopoeia). Greek- vocab. Cub missed his class time and was so bummed. He listened to the recording but it just wasn't the same. I am loving how much they are loving their Landry Academy classes.
Math- LoF Alg II, Laern Math Fast, Singapore Story Problems
Grammar- Rod and Staff- 2 lessons  a day on the days we're home. I learned how to I.D.a direct object this week. I'm so happy. Seriously. It's been one of the mysterious unknowns in my life. 
Writing- Feeche finished his first short story- 20 pages. WOOT! WWS Week 8 for Cub and IEW fused outlines for Flower.
 We had a blast in Creative Writing this week (am I supposed to be having this much fun?!)
 talking about Plot Devices and sketching out everyone's 2nd short story. 
Feeche knocked out another Case Study for Pre-Law and a project for Copywriting.
Memory Work- Flower has The Spider and the Fly down cold (sooo cute as she adds in inflections via Mr. Pudewa!)
History of the Medieval World- more chapters knocked out and Feeche read more of Mary Daly's history hand-outs.
Shakespeare's Scribe- about to be done.
The younger 2 have been absorbed D'Aulaire's Greek Myths for fun and watching Bill Nye YouTubes, along with Wes Olsen's Biology DVD's (they finished Chem and wanted more).
McHenry Pre-Chem and Apologia Anatomy and Physiology- Cub and Feeche both knocked out another chapter.
Whew. Got some stuff done.
Feeche is feeling the heat of it though and works doggedly through the week just to stay caught up.

Mardi Gras was celebrated in style this year, with a unit study on New Orleans and Fat Tuesday, facilitated by our friend Mrs. A. A gathering of girls celebrated with crafts, beignets and learning!

It's been a dry, mild winter and today it decided to give a go at winter weather. Delightful snow!

The Battle of the Snow Grunts.). I love the expression on Cub's  face!

I'm reading my first Dorothy Sayer's book, Strong Poison. Oh baby, this girl can write! Strong plot line, engaging characters and wit ala Jane Austen style. I am loving it. Next up is Gaudy Night, per Caitilin's recommendation- another lit lover who has never steered me wrong. There are YouTubes of the Lord Peter Wimsey books- I think I just found a new hobby!

KB's Cosmetology program is ovah in a matter of weeks. She is applying to a medical program at a near-by university for fall.  We spent the morning there. I like the fact that it's within driving distance (unlike Miss. R who is 16 hours and a universe away). We had a lovely ride home together, though the thick falling snow. KB made decaf mocha's when we got home. Warm and frothy.

How was your week?

Learn Math Fast System Review & Give-Away!

I am thrilled to be able to tell you about the Learn Math Fast System. I've been using them with my two younger kids, grades 3 and 6, since January. First a little back-ground:
We've been filling in with workbooks, Prentice Hall books, Frankie Schaeffer Singapore knock-offs, etc. but haven't actually landed on a math program since the fire. My 12 yo ds is a linguistic guy, not symbolic and I've been teaching and re-teaching fractions to him since. Honestly, the fire knocked the math stuffing right out of him.  My 9yo is a math geek and has been doing long division for a couple of months. O.k., that's the back-drop. Two kids, totally different starting points.

Into this scenario comes Learn Math Fast. I had both kids start in Book I. Book 1 starts at the beginning with addition and subtraction facts, and moves quickly to multiplication and division. There are no manipulatives, but there are great graphics. The author, Mergans, gives lots of mental math tips, practice and timed tests. It's straightforward, basic moves quickly and is very effective. It's mental math, baby. Love that. (I do, I'm one of the fastest mental math people I know). The kids are almost done with book 1. They are working hard at it, but it's not overwhelming and they are really nailing memorizing the math facts. Good, good stuff.

Book II starts with fractions and moves to decimals and percents. I'm excited to get there with my 12 yo. He felt no self-consciousness at being in Book 1 with his sister. In fact, he is excited to be really nailing math. The end of book II sees the student ready for pre-algebra.

Book III covers pre-Algebra and slopes, covering this oft mis-understood concept in 5 easy steps.

Book IV covers geometry. I'm excited to get to this 'cause frankly, geometry and I did not see eye to eye. I love learning stuff I missed growing up. I have high hopes with this system. And it really is a system. Connections and explanations are clear and straight-forward.

Mergans, (the author) explains the system this way: "My method of explaining math and giving ways to remember and recall important aspects of math is what makes it different.  Also, I talk in a friendly mom-ish voice (like Life of Fred) making math non-intimidating and "kind of" fun.

I'm a basic, get er' done type for the pesky have-to-dos, like math and phonics. The reason is this: once you get the "have to dos" done and out of the way, you get to move on to the fun stuff, like reading everything in site and doing percentages in your head and algebra. This is my kind of program. In addition to getting the job done, pain-free (added bonus), it's inexpensive. Totally my cup of tea.

For only $145 plus shipping, and with nothing else to buy, it is a very economical way to buy 8 grade levels of math


The Learn Math Fast System folks have graciously offered to give away the entire k-8th grade program (WOOT!) to one blessed winner. We'll be drawing the winners name from sign-ups on March 16. The winner has 5 dyas to claim their prize, which will be mailed to them from the publisher.  

TO SIGN UP for this incredible give-away: 
1)  send  an email to . The email should include yoru name, email address, and why you  would like to win.  
2) Join this blog, and leave a comment letting me know. If you are already a friend, just lmk.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine will be publishing an article Mergens wrote in their January 2012 issue.  It is called Unlock Your Fidgety Childs Ability to Focus and Learn.  
Learn Algebra Fast 2, will be coming out next spring. Can't wait!

Find more give-aways at Giveaway Day

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mardi Gras

My sweet friend, Ruth, inspired by the American Girl books Marie Grace and Camille, hosted a Mardi Gras party for our girls writing group + a bunch. A very fun time was had by all.

 I don't have pictures of the actual party becuase I wasn't there (major bummer!) but the girls made masks, ate home-made beignets created by Chef A.

and did a lesson on New Orleans and the history of Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). Ruth created the study from the books and from her own interest in finding out more about the history of New Orleans.

A wonderful, simple but very rich, unit study. Thank-you, Ruth!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Making Blood

Another great science day at co-op for Flower. Last week they dissected cow's eyes. This week they made blood

Here's the recipe:
Corn syrup = plasma
Sprinkles = platelets
Marshmallows = white blood cells
Red Hots = red blood cells (they are on the bottom of the jar, turning the corn syrup red.

Pretty cool, eh?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mundane Superheros

Humble Home. I so love this.
Remember Amy Dacyzyn of Tightwad Gazetteer Fame? I remember reading an interview where the reporter, in exasperation, asked Amy when she would do something frugal. Amy replied, do you want to take a picture of us driving around McDonald's and NOT going in?  Her point was that a frugal life-style was just as much about what you don't do as what you do do. I think about that a lot as we homeschool. We had a great homeschooling week. We got a TON done for school this week. Not only that the house is tidy, the laundry caught up, and dinner's were shared at the table.
And then I go to write it all down and it sounds so mundane. We did math. Pages blahblahblah through blahblahblah. We did this. We did that. We did x.
And part of the reason we get so much done, on the weeks that we do,  is because of what we don't do. We live 2 miles past the middle of nowhere so on the days that we are home during the week; we are home. We also don't watch T.V. Both of these things free up a lot of time to do stuff like tons of academics. I'm not saying we do all of the time. We get distracted. We get side-tracked. We need mental health days. But sometimes we hit a great stride and just knock it out of the park. I love that feeling.

The on-line classes that Cub and Feeche are taking are 1 1/2 hour long. That has really chewed through a chunk of our 3 days at home. So I've made everybody a personalized weekly check off list (at first Cub thought it was to be accomplished DAILY and he totally freaked!)
English, Math, Science, Latin, History, Lit, Memory Work, Italic, Work-out, Chores. Ka-Bam.

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(Bill Nye, the Science Guy)
Ran into our old friend Bill Nye on YouTube this week and the kids had a fun time learning Science from one of the  most entertaining science guys around. Bill. Nye.

Leader in Education, Susan Wise Bauer.
Susan Wise Bauer
Reading fools that we are we have tackled History of the Medieval World as a read-aloud. It's History, right, but Susan Wise Bauer has such a conversational tone, dry wit and excellent way of presentation  that it's story time. As "Booklist" states on the cover of the 700 + page tome, "She (Wise Bauer) writes briskly and interpretively, and is attuned throughout to the challenge of rulers: appearing to the ruled as legitimate holders of power." Flower, especially, has been a bit horrified at the lengths that some will go to to establish their divine right to rule. I appreciate Bauer's wit during such delicate tales.

Shakespeare's Scribe (Shakespeare Stealer)

We are also reading Scribe of Shakespeare, the sequel to last week's read, Shakespeare Stealer. Delightful stories. And a good light read in contrast to HOMW.

Strong Poison
I have picked up Dorothy Sayers, "Strong Poison." I used to love Agatha Christie's books way back in the day and I've had Sayers on the bookshelf for awhile. Sayers use of language is lovely and beautiful. I'm already intrigued. And she was an Inkling, and wrote on Classical Ed, The Lost Tools of Learning, what's not to love?


(Domino Magazine)
I have been busy planning the garden. We have all the usual suspects listed and then some. I want to plant more berry bushes and might try red currants. I'm curious to see whether any of the berry bushes or asparagus from last year made it through the winter. Kale is one of our new veggie for the year. My friend Gala gave us a bunch she grew last summer and it's great dried or frozen, in soups and sandwiches and packed with vitamins. I'm hoping my crop does as well as hers did. We're also going to try turnips and sweet potatoes.
The edible landscape will expand with currents or maybe elderberries. One of the hivers said elderberries are invasive so we might put them back where the about to be terminated chicken shed is.
The eggplant is a keeper and the beets- well, KB likes them so I'll plant a few for her. To me they smell like dirt, feel like dirt and, regardless of the different ways I tried to cook them, taste like dirt. I just haven't grown out of my childhood dislike for them, despite their being great for your heart.
I'm also going to try sauerkraut.
What are you planning on growing this summer?

I think we're going to try chickens again this year. We're going to use our old tramp frame (the tramp itself melted in the fire) to make a chicken tractor. Last year we had a horrible grasshopper infestation - I mean, they were eating everything in site. We finally put poison down but it didnt' kill them off and you know they laid eggs. Chickens to the rescue. Have I mentioned my dislike of chickens? They are fine in theory but up close and personal- not so much imho. I am so not an animal person.

We had the house appraised this week and the appraiser said that it was the unfinished 2nd floor bathroom that is really in need of attention more than anything else.  Time to start looking (again) at tile patterns in order to tile the shower surround, with built in shower shelves.We decided we're going to use the large 1'square tile we already own and just get geometric with it rather than invest in different tile.
I would like to clone the man for a couple  days a month and get some light fixtures and mirrors in bathrooms installed. It's all the little things- there are so very many of them at this point.

It was nice out again this week and we were able to get some great walks in. 4 miles in 2 days.
 KB and Ruth have been my walking buds. Willing to slow down if I need it, speed up when I can and take time from their busy lives to go with me. They are a couple of my superheros.

Love that.

How was your week?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Back2Back2Back Birthdays

We have 2 January Birthdays. This is good for catching after Christmas sales but challenging in terms of timing a celebration. Not only are we re-grouping from Christmas, the Christmas Eve birthday and travelers, but New Year classes and obligations start. It's either spur of the moment or in February (or both). This year we just had them both over one week-end.

Flower invited just a small group of friends. Bonus for the boys, right, cause one of Flower's bff's big bros just happen to be her big bros buds, too!

Isn't this the cutest bunch of people?!

Cake by KB. Another Pinterest inspired idea.
 I think I'll ruin my mil and send her an invite for her birthday which is TODAY! (bwahaha!)

One of Flower's favorite gifts was a "Lego Friends" set. Pink Legos'. The boys shouted, "Sacrilege!" and "Heresy!" and "Betrayal!!" LOL

The next day, Cub invited a bevy of friends, consumed pizza and cake, engaged in a rousing game of Capture the Flag (it was cold out, we served up Hot Chocolate), played Charades ....
find the lego man
Pattern for lego man here.
Find the Lego Man (we hid 30 paper men and Lego heads on our first floor. Feeche and his friend hid everything and made it a challenging hunt!).

and played with toys while enjoying good friends!

Here are our 2 notsolittles- 9 and 12. They are amazing people.
Aren't they adorable?!

And here are the February partee-ers. My mil and fil, both having birthday's this week-  today and on the 18th!

This is from their 50th Anniversary Celebration 2 years ago, but I LOVE this picture of them.
 They seriously look this great!

Happy Birthday, Mom and Dad!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Length and Width

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This week-end I started having some self-doubts. You know the kind. Where someone says something about a situation that explains why they do what they do, but at the same time,implying that their way of doing things is the only right way of doing it;  "btw, your way of doing it is wrong."
And it had to do with gathering info. I'm an info gatherer. It's what I do. If I read a book, I want to know who wrote it and what year it was published. So I look up the author. If the author's parents, or dog, or city look interesting, I look that up too. I'm not ADHD. I'm global. I see connections, make connections, love connections. It's what I do. But I digress.
 I do that too.
Anyway, I started feeling kind of guilty. 'Cause I do that (my husband is practically sure I'm a Jewish mother).  Like I'd collected too much info. I'd been too curious, and not tidy.
 I'd thought about the situation too deeply, and looked cluttered. Not hip at all. Not curious. Just...messy.

Oh well.
Yeah. Just oh well. Cause life's short. And I'm doing the length of my life pretty well.
Like, it's going fast, speed of sound fast.
And I want to do the width/depth part well, too.

All the stuff I've read about "how to have a successful blog" (yeah, I read up on that too, right, cause I have a blog and all) says have ONE topic per blog.
Like that's gonna happen.
But wait.
It has.
My blog topic is this:
LIFE, dude.
It started out about homeschooling. But the reality is that homeschooling is an extension of our faith and we've homeschooled so long that it's more than about school, or even education and is about
a lifestyle of learning, and faith and living.
Not just life. A WAY of life.

My husband, who is very linear and sequential and irritatingly charmingly logical makes jokes about  how disorganized I am all the time. Usually when I can't find something.
I'm like, Dude, I have entire universes of Venn diagrams in my head about tens, probably hundreds, maybe even thousands of topics. And to that he laughs.
And says, I'm incredibly productive and a very hard worker, but the fact that I don't have things alpha sorted and filed proves his point.
Well, whatev. He would live in a cave if he hadn't had the good sense to marry me (it would be the most highly organized, clean cave on the planet, but still...) so I guess it's great that I've saved  him from cave dwelling and he can alpha sort our important documents.(I am eternally grateful for his logical, organizational abilities. Truly). But back to my point....

I've been told a couple of times in the past couple of months that I dont' even use my education.
Hmm. I'm assuming what was meant was that I don't generate income with my degrees.
And that's true. But education, and even degrees, aren't always about money.
It's about digging deeper. Getting pushed, pushing yourself. Seeing what you can do, what you are capable of, what choices you have on the other side of them. And sometimes it's about giving what you have away so that people can benefit from what you have, without asking them to pay for it.
You know, like being the shoulders someone else is standing on.
Odd concept, I know. (believe me, I know. I've been called sucker by everyone and their uncle).

My point is. I like to dig. I want to know more. I want to go farther.
You know? Not just do the status quo.
It's what I want for my kids.
A long life. Deep and wide.
Homeschooling is just a part a that (said via Rizzo impersonation).
But a big part.
Giving our kids the time and space to look up things, follow bunny trails. To make connections. Time to think widely, along with quickly, and go deeply into a subject if that's what they need to do. Melding overview and mastery, rather than having one at the expense of the other.

I really like the line in the new Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe when the kids and the Beavers are running from the White Witch and they get to a summit and Susan says, "It's so big!" 
Mrs. Beaver responds, "It's the World, dear, did you expect it to be small?"
Susan, as she looks out over a vast area of snow and trees, says, "Small-er."

Insatsiable curiosity.
I believe that's what it takes to create a life that not only gets to the end of itself, we're all players on a timeline, baby, but has width and depth as well. I'm old enough at this point to realize that my way is not always best, it's not always tidy, it's hardly ever hip, but trying to create an impression rather than living fully and outloud; well, I just don't have time for that.  I learn and grow and find out about cool things by gathering. It's how I keep trying new things, even though the world and it's minions would like to burn us out (physically, spiritually, mentally) and leave us small and shriveled and small- like a dot, instead of expansive and generous, like a river.

Living the width of our lives. And I'll add depth. Great concept.
Any thoughts?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Everything's Gonna Be Amazing

I am loving our spring schedule. We go to Lego League and our class day on Tuesdays (Wow. Lego League is an amazing program, led by engineer Mrs. I. Tutoring Center is great all the way around). On Friday's we have co-op. (We love co-op. The kids all have music,  art, and a unit study. Feeche is studying the Medieval World with thinker extraordinaire Mary Daly, Cub  is studying geometric math and Flower is doing anatomy. Last week they dissected cow's eyes. I mean, really, how much cooler could a co-op be? And all I have to do is help out with music or art (insert comment about how happy this makes my inner arteest).  I mean, really. )

From Ana's blog- just a sample of the incredible teacher's my kids have. This is from Cub's history class. They are studying India and everyone had to come up with  a rendition of the Taj Mahal.

But it gets better cause on Mondays and Thursdays the boys are taking on-line classes with Landry Academy. Feeche is taking Copy Writing and Pre-Law (pre-law is fantastic!) and Cub is taking Intro to Greek. He loves it- it's like crack the code.
The kids are watching Chem 101 together, and we are reading The History of the World together. It's a good high school level text but geez, louise, it is packed with persons, places and conquest. Along with maps and time lines. Cub actually was able to tell me the name of an unpronounceable Chinese ruler today, based on SOTW CD's. My thought is that we are layering the info. Lasagna schooling, anyone?

On Monday's I have a scheduling meeting with Feeche and go over what's due, what is happening when and just make sure he's not letting himself get behind.
I love Tuesdays. It's cause I get to teach, not 1, not 2, but 3 writing classes. First, my 3rd grade girlies who are eager and sincere and totally adorable. Then my class of high schoolers who are smart and ohsofunny and really cool. I mean, really, they just have awesome ideas and they want to learn how to make them work. It's so great. Then my class of pre and jr. high boys. They are funny and serious and most of them have illegible handwriting but they are awesome. It makes my week. Every week.
I like Friday's, too, 'cause I teach drawing. But it's more work. I have to draw, not just talk. *lol*

The Shakespeare Stealer [Book]

And we've had an on-going read-aloud for weeks. This has totally shot my 52 books in a year so far, but the kids are basically going through the library again. This weeks read is The Shakespeare Stealer. Cub is going through The Roman Mysteries on his own.
Back -to-back birthday parties this week-end. Flower is having a group of girlies spend the nite on Friday and Cub is having a horde on Saturday. Feeche is game master for Saturday, so hopefully, it will be nice and not cold out (o.k., just checked NOAA, it's going to be 19. I'm thinking these are hardy souls, they can stand playing outside for awhile, right?!)  I should be about catatonic by Saturday evening. Happy kids are worth it. Happy kids are worth it. *click*click*click*

Making cake. Cub thinks I can re-create some crazed bionicle in cake form. If I can't, he's happy with a square cake, blue icing, candy top. I'm thinking we'll be seeing a square blue cake on Saturday.

Flower's cake, created by KB

We are also serving up some pink and blue popcorn. I think popcorn might be the official food mascot of our home.
This is unbelievably good. Popcorn,vanilla bark + food coloring. Mix, fridge, yum.
Dh's winter on-line class is ovah. Which means...ta da... he will be working on putting in door frames and doors on the second floor. And soon....even bigger ta da... he will be cutting trim for the baseboard, doors, windows and closets for the second floor. And then...even bigger ta da...we will have real closets. You know, the kind that have rods and shelves in them. The kind that get the clothes and stuff out of site, off the floor and neatly stored. The kind that signal you are a civilized, orderly and conscientious family.  But seriously. I'm totally cool with waiting another year, (if that's what it takes)  for functional closets. I'm mature like that.

I feel like the past week or so I've been able to remember what feeling happy is like. It's odd how grief works and I know it's ebbed and flowed the past couple of years. And last week I got really, really depressed. Over a number of things. Mainly having to do with disappointments, feeling ripped off, hurt and lost. And this week, I don't know, it's like that shadow of depression and hurt/grief is gone. That veil of sadness that has been over me for over two years has been lifted. And I feel, normal, regular, like...I don't everything is o.k. Not just thankful, 'casue I've been thankful. But like, for the first time since the fire, and  Sue's death, and then Dad's death, like everything is going to be o.k. I'm going to be o.k. It is so good to feel connected when I talk to people and a sense of it happiness? joy? normalcy?
There is a scene in the Courageous movie where the Dad is talking about his day (after his dd dies) and he says, "It was a good day." And he's kind of surprised and he says, "We're going to be o.k." And it's like a revelation to him. And that's what this week has been like; everything is o.k. It really is.

And I feel like crying....once again...about how good it feels -that sense of well-being. That sense of everyday, normal, good solid O.K.
It Is Well With My Soul.
(Isaiah 66:12)
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(another fab pin from Pinterest)

How was your week?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Back Door Decoration

We created a magnet/ blackboard on the triangle wall by the back-door. Miss. R and KB decorated it over Christmas!



(The slight tilt to the bottom right isn't noticeable when you're reading this coming up the stairs. The ceilings are high)