Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Scientific Method

I have collected the data, constructed a hypothesis, tested, analyzed the data, and am now reporting my results.

4 out of 5 children will become picky eaters in 1st grade.

Probably 5 out of 5 but I still have one who isn't of age.

10 years ago when Hailey, my oldest, was in 1st grade I noticed her being very particular about what she deemed acceptable at the dinner table. Things we had always eaten were suddenly unpalatable. With a Kindergartner and a 1 year old at the table as well, and being in the season of parenthood where developmental milestones for each child changed rapidly, we were used to adapting quickly and moving on.

Not immediately, but 1 year later when Hayden entered 1st grade, the same thing happened with him. Still thinking it may be a imitative response, we adjusted and moved on. Our menu was becoming quite restrictive. No more could I slap pork chops and sauerkraut on the table and expect that I would be applauded. Pork chops and ketchup...maybe.

5 years later, enter Griffin, a 1st grader. With 2 more babies younger than him and the beginning of our homeschooling journey underway, I had more to think about than the hypothesis I had formulated. It seemed like ages ago.

When something happens once...OK. Twice...coincidence? Three times...there has got to be something behind this. My first thought was "school". Griffin had attended Pre-school and Kindergarten, and the big kids had years of it under their belts before we started homeschooling, it MUST be related. Maybe it was their newly formed independence, being away from home all day and being introduced (via other's brown bags) to more "exciting" foods, or maybe it was the increased amount of responsibility placed upon them that made them yearn for more control in their lives. Whatever it was, it was annoying. And once again, we adjusted and moved on. By now, telling the offended party that "If you can't smell it, you can't taste it, so plug your nose and have a few bites. Then you're welcome to make yourself a peanut butter sandwich."

I was on a mission to find out whether this was a social issue or a developmental phase. I was hoping for the former... With 2 more boys yet to enter 1st grade and my menu options already dwindling, I was dreaming of sidestepping the obstacles I had encountered in the past.

I am doomed.

Pass the peanut butter.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Seven things

I was tagged for an award/meme recently from Karen. While I do appreciate that someone thinks I am creative, I was even more excited that I get to talk about myself because... they asked! (and I try not to talk too much about myself...unless I'm asked. I'm still working on perfecting that.)

Yay! Me, Me, Me!

Seven things I did before children:
Camped in a tent
Whatever I wanted
Worked full time outside the home
Remembered birthdays
Got good gas mileage in my cute little black car
You know...where ever...when ever.

Seven things I do now
Forget things
Camp in a bus
Home school
Wipe hineys
Get hugs and kisses whenever I want
Watch lots of soccer and football games
sometimes all simultaneously!

Seven things I would like to do
Not forget things
Whatever I want
One thing at a time
Live on a hobby farm
Use the bus off season as my own space
Have a secret, retractable 3rd arm installed
Make everyone happy at the same time

Seven things I say most often
One at a time
Who broke _______?
Did you brush your teeth?
Get off the computer
Did you sleep well?
I love you too!

There was another category Seven things that attract me to my husband , but I'm not going to share that with anyone but him. Hey, it's a family blog!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It Wasn't Just Me

I was very happy to see this report on posted on December 12, 2008.

Prepare yourself for a sight tonight — not to mention some wild behavior, if the legends are true. The biggest full moon in 15 years is set to grace the Northern Hemisphere tonight.

Because the moon orbits along an egg-shaped ellipse, not a circle, its distance from us changes. Today, the moon is approaching its nearest point to Earth, so it should look about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than this year's other full moons, according to NASA.

Since the moon takes about 28 days to orbit Earth, it reaches its point of closest approach, called perigee, about once a month. But since the moon's orbit isn't a perfect oval — rather, it wobbles — some perigees are closer than others. Tomorrow's approach will be the closest the moon has come to Earth since 1993.

On top of that, tonight's moon will become full just four hours after perigee. The next time these two events will coincide will be in 2016.

The full moon isn't the only boost we get from this special alignment: Tides should be especially big, too. Lunar gravity at perigee pulls tide waters about an inch higher than usual.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guess What I'm Getting for Christmas

On the way home from the mall this afternoon, I noticed the moon waxing full in the sky. That explains a lot. The mall, the wonder I was having a hard time coping.

Earlier this week I began to feel edgy, like the kids walls were closing in all around me. I checked the calendar and no, that wasn't it, I couldn't blame it on hormones. It must just be cabin fever. For all of us.

Today, it seemed to come to a head. The harder I tried to get away from the noise (did you know that even flailing arms seems like noise?) the louder it got. Since Thursdays are Matt's early home days I decided to call him and ask him to take me to lunch. He was more than happy to provide a listening ear for my troubles. I even asked the waitress to turn down the music which seemed to be blaring overhead. I'm usually not this sensitive, what could be wrong?

Then I saw the moon.

About 3 times a year, the fullness of the moon turns us into raving lunitics. I've kept track.

This was one of those moons.

During supper preparations Isaac was helping Griffin and I make pizza's. As we were waiting for our yeast to rise he, in all his wisdom, stated that we better not invite Abby (our friend's 14 month old) over because she might spill the glasses full of yeasty water. "Like this" he said as he stuck his finger into a glass and tipped it off the counter.


While the pizzas were baking I escaped to the bathroom for some peace. I am a least behind a closed door, not that that stops anyone, it just slows them down. I listened as things escalated once again. Louder and louder, goofier and goofier.

"Please God, just don't let anyone get hurt" I prayed.

Supper was loud. Conversation was less than edifying. Talk radio in the background, kids in my face everywhere talking, giggling, smacking each other in the heads (I'm NOT kidding).

"Did you throw up this afternoon because you're sick, or because you were running around?"
"Geez Sam, knock it off, you sound like a cat yaking."


After supper was cleaned up and the dishes were done Matt scooted them up to bed. But not before I yelled at 3 kids for playing in the vaporizer.


Sam, convinced that he needed a throw-up bowl upstairs just in case, retrieved our huge bowl from the bottom of the stack in the cupboard.

Did you know that if you drop a nestled stack of mixing bowls, they'll all shatter.


Tell me I'm not alone. You have days like this too, yes?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Almost Like Cheating

Not that I enjoy cheating...

Not that I condone cheating...

Not that I think cheating is the way to go...

Camping with the bus is EASY.

Last month we went again on a spur of the moment trip to Devil's Lake State Park. We arrived around 5, set up camp, ate supper and started a wonderful campfire in less than an hour.

Back in the tent days it would have been dark before I could have unpacked all the gear to actually find the tent, round up the kids to help me construct it, blow up the air mattresses, lay out the sleeping bags and then have to make supper. UGH.

That is IF we would have even ventured out (probably not). It is cold at night and no amount of heater is going to keep a tent warm. We've tried. And really, I'm not about being uncomfortably cold or spending big bucks on bionic sleeping bags.

Before this trip I sewed up some curtains for the doorways leading to the bedrooms and the bathroom out of duck cloth which is why we got such a late start. Well worth it! With one heater in the bedroom area and another in the front and the curtain closed, it was very warm and cozy. I actually had to stick my foot against the side of the bus to cool off a little.

That's another problem yet to be solved. We did not strip the interior walls of the bus and re insulate as some have done, so we have cold walls. Our plan is to carpet them like we did in the seating section, and I think we're going to have to get on that soon.

As for the privacy in the bathroom...wonderful.

We also need to get the lettering on the bus. Right now it looks a little bland.

This is what we've chosen, now to just decide the best way to make it happen.

Early in the morning we hiked. After careful consideration, we chose a trail labeled "An easy trail, level and paved, winding through quartzite boulders at the base of the West Bluff just above the lake." as opposed to ones that said "drop-off's" , "steep grade", "spectacular views", "enormous climb" and the like. I'm pretty sure we would have lost someone.

When we arrived back at camp, we relaxed, played at the park, sat by the campfire (It was still hours before lunch...we left really early) and I watched all the other campers take down their gear.

Tenters were the first to dismantle and Pop-ups followed close behind. As I watched I remembered just last year when, right after breakfast, we'd have to start taking down in order to leave at the appointed check out time. My job was to pack everything up and Matt's job was to make it all fit into the van and the trailer. Then we'd all crawl over coolers, squish in the empty spots, and leave. Usually tired and cranky and not excited about getting home to unload it all and put it away. It was an all day process just to leave and another just to return home.

Now, it's all so easy. The bus is already mostly loaded. We need to bring our clothes, blankets, pillows and personal care items and that's it! Stopping at the grocery store on the way out of town saves the handling of groceries too many times. We buy it and load it right into the bus, saving many steps in the process. That has got to be my favorite part! Plus it's fun to park the bus in the store parking lot, it makes for good conversation.

We're still not quite sure of what kind of mileage we're getting as we had some discrepancies with our tank. This was going to be the "fill-up" that determined it. Until someone left a light on (for 2 weeks) and the batteries all died, so we had to jump start the bus and let it run for awhile to recharge them. I'm NOT going to use that for my mileage comparison, it'll be depressing.

So that's the bus news. I'm really glad Matt had that kooky idea to buy a school bus and convert it into an RV. I can't understand why anyone wouldn't!

Next stop...Disney!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.

I am not decisive. Never have been.

I never beat myself up with regret when I face the results of indecision. I deal with it with grace and the knowledge that there could have had a different outcome IF I would have made a decision but, because I didn't, I have to deal with it.

It seems when ever I make a decision, it turns out costly. Not always, but mostly. Or maybe I just don't notice the good decisions.

I've been in the process of de-cluttering for awhile now, taking zones on a free weekend and paring them down to the things I love and/or need.

Last month: Clothes.

I went through the little boys (and my) closets and threw away anything stained or torn and donated things I was just getting tired of looking at (4 boys = lots of hand-me-downs). Do they really need 7 pairs of jeans? 10 sweatshirts? I think not.

My goal was to not be so overwhelmed at laundry time. Another benefit was to be that they were not so overwhelmed when it was time to get dressed, and maybe if they only had 2 pair of jeans, they'd not lose them for months under their beds, or throw them down the laundry chute just because they weren't sure if they were dirty or just laying on the floor.

My goal was to not have so much that my blessings became a burden. I always thought saving everything was being responsible. "Just in case" I'd always think. Slowly I'm changing my thinking, Just in case...what...? Suddenly I'm unable to do laundry for a month? Suddenly it's okay to wear stained clothes because it's better than nothing? I had plenty AND I had 2 washers and 2 dryers. I could easily get a buttload of clothes washed and dried in less than 2 hours.

And decision came back to bite me! All in one month, both washers and both dryers bit the dust. Can you believe it? First one washer started leaking, the other stopped agitating, and one of my dryers stopped heating. I made due with soaking in the non-agitator and stuffing towels on the floor to stop the leaking one from creating a river in my basement. Drying with one dryer slowed the process but still it was bearable. Then, right before the boys departed for deer hunting, the last dryer stopped working. With all my boy's clothes in it. The one who was going the the cold...with nothing warm and dry to wear. (I'll have to add that to the "Just in case" file.)

Luckily, it was a 4 hour drive to the hunting a warm van...with a hanging rack. I'm not too sure he felt comfortable with his undies waving for all to see, but he would at least have dry clothes to wear, unlike the rest of us...with just a few outfits...who will still have damp clothes in the morning...because the basement, although recently cleaned out, is not an ideal place for a clothesline.

Matt was able to fix the 2 washers cheap, but my 2 dryers are still lifeless.

That's usually what I'm rewarded with after a decision. Like the time the kids (I) splurged on a Kitchen Aid mixer for my Birthday/Mothers Day present and the van died that week. Could-have-used-that-money-for-the-van! (whacking forehead) Not positive reinforcement.

Or the time when we (I) decided to have Matt replace the basement steps and the hot water heater sprung a leak. At least we hadn't spent the project money on the new materials yet and were able to replace the appliance. I carried laundry up and down with ladder for about a month, but at least we had hot water.

I'm not going to be making any big decisions at least until Christmas is over, with newly processed venison to be frozen, my freezer is in jeopardy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Welcome To My Life With Sam

When Sam was 4 I enrolled him in the Speech Therapy program run by our public schools. I had no trouble understanding him, but by the advise or our Family Physician and out of courtesy to his Sunday School teacher we dove in, meeting twice a week throughout the school year with Mrs. Streckenbach.

On Sam's IEP the examiner stated "Sam does not care to articulate".

Welcome to my life with Sam.

The first year went smoothly with only minimal disruption to our homeschooling day. The twice a week sessions slowed in the spring to once a week meetings. His therapist was happy with his progress and agreed to my request for less involvement with the program. Two particular sounds that still grieved him were /G/ and /R/, we spent most of our time on those. Mrs. Streckenbach had many tools to teach with including picture cards whose images contained the sounds Sam needed to work on.

On one particular day she held up a cartoonish picture of a pink one-piece swimsuit and asked Sam "Who would wear one of these?"

"Not me!" he answered.

I think "Girl" was the answer she was looking for.

Welcome to my life with Sam.

This week, while preparing the 3 younger boys for their Well Child Checkups I mentioned, as well as their immunizations, the genitourinary check that would have to be performed. They were grossed out and none of them remembered having them before (Good thing!)

Sam asked "Why do they have to do that?"

My first line of defense for fielding these types of questions is to be as vague as possible and only go into a detailed explanation if absolutely necessary.

"Just to make sure both your testicles are there." I said in my best Marcus Welby voice.

"Well, where else would they be?" He asked matter of factly.

Obviously a detailed explanation was in order.

Welcome to my life with Sam.

During that phase of Sam's exam Dr. Lemkuil explained what he was going to do and was about to launch into the Why when Sam interrupted saying, "I know, my mom already told me."

It's good to be prepared.

Our doctor is very homeschool friendly and he sees quite a few families who are showing great success with their children, but it doesn't stop me from feeling like my kids being tested whenever they have their Well-Child exams.

He goes over basic safety rules and asks them questions like "What kind of job does your Dad have?" and "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Sam (who is not normally shy) was not cooperating and just shrugged his shoulders when it came time to answer, stating he didn't know my cell phone number, didn't know what he had to wear on his head when he rode his bike, and had no clue what his dad does when he leaves the house. Luckily Griffin was there to answer or Dr. Lemkuil might have started to wonder if I teach them anything.

Very patiently he moved on to the next question, "What do you wear when you ride in the car?"

Sam declared without hesitation, "A shirt."

I offer nothing more than humor to a busy man's day.

Welcome to my life with Sam.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

5 Already?

This is me, 5 years ago. 7:30am. I was overdue and scheduled for an induction. I had time to do my hair even, isn't it pretty?

This is me, 5 years ago. 6:30pm. I'm sure my makeup had worn off from the rag I kept on my face to quell the nausea. And, so much for the hairdo. Labor can do that to a gal.

But, boy, did I feel better. I didn't even care that Matt was being goofy.

Can my baby really be 5?

It's been fun today rummaging through old photo albums and talking about what they remember from the day.

My mom and dad kept the kids and made a birthday cake to bring to the hospital. He was born right during their supper, and they all left it on the table and hurried to meet him. This time, when the call came there was no hint of whether it was a brother or sister, but the nurse in the hallway gave it away before they came into the room. Here they all are getting to know Isaac.

Who would have thought he'd become my lego loving, camera stealing, hand kissing, singing, goofy, loveable little boy who isn't afraid to tell his Mama she's beautiful and lovely. God knew I needed an Isaac.
I can't imagine our lives without him.

Happy Birthday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The "S" word

When I posted this video on YouTube regaling the issues imposed on homeschoolers by uninformed members of society*, I didn't ever think that it would travel outside my circle of friends.

I'm sure, still, in the scheme of things that this is small potatoes. But, in my corner of the world, anything with me attached to it that has been viewed this many times makes me kind of giddy. I was only a last minute replacement for my verse, saving a strapping homeschool dad from sure discomfort. (Although, he was willing and it would have been hysterical.) I didn't write it or even make it to the rehearsal. But since my daughter filmed it and my name is on the YouTube account, I feel responsible for its content. Not responsible as in "Looky What I Did". Rather responsible as in "I'm Representing Homeschoolers Here, I'd Better Remain Mature".

Receiving the comments from other homeschoolers has been fun. The issues seem to be universal. When I received a negative comment I was a little taken aback. I mean, what's someone opposed to homeschooling doing looking at homeschooling videos. Then I reminded myself that's what happens when you put yourself out there.

I don't suspect that the commenter really had a beef with homeschoolers but when cloaked with anonymity we all feel a little bolder.

While contemplating my reply, I did a little research on homeschool socialization. What a wonderful reminder to me as to why this is the perfect choice for our family. I think I may do it every year.

I do have my favorite comebacks to the "What about socialization?" question just as I have them for the inquiries as to the number of children we have. I take into consideration the asker and their true intent before I pull one from my hat, and it looks as if my children are following in my footsteps.

Hailey and Hayden were awaiting the start of a concert this summer, hanging out with a bunch of their Homies (their term for Homeschool friends) up near the stage. An exchange began between them and another group of kids in close proximity. (Yes, homeschooled kids talk to just about anyone) The conversation turned towards which group had the cooler school mascot. The Schoolies were impressed with the Eagle and commented that it was much more chic than their Polar Bear.

"Where do you go to school?" They asked.

"We're homeschooled." replied Hayden.

"Well then, HOW do you know each other?"

"Our moms lets us out the basement sometimes when it's sunny."

I appreciate his humor so much more when it's not directed at me.

*The use of this term is not meant to be offensive. By definition if you don't have all the information you're said to be uninformed. It only receives a negative connotation when those with the information refuse to make use of it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Road Closed

When I was a kid, Driver's Ed was a class at school. Your Sophomore year, they just scheduled it... You sat in the class with everyone else who just turned 15 1/2 (or would in the next 9 weeks) and studied the handbook, watched movies about drunk drivers and most likely, learned about the rules of the road.

In our city, things are not so. Maybe they had to cut out Driver's Ed to make room for more important classes like...Metal Shop, Interpretive Dance, or Remedial English and Math. I'm not saying these things are not important, I'm just saying that "normal" in our society says that 16 year olds will drive.

I know a driver's license is not required and that not everyone gets one. But it is a rite of passage. It is a cultural norm. And while I don't always like (and often speak against) cultural norms, this is one we have chosen to participate in. Am I hypocritical? I don't think so. This will benefit our family. Having another driver in the house will be useful. I guess I'm just angry that I can't teach it myself.

Were was I? Oh yeah, Driver's Ed as a separate, private, expensive institution.

She completed her Drivers Ed course 8 months ago with a thorough knowledge of the laws of driving plus a bonus education in Cheating, Stealing and How To Hide Crack In You Deodorant Bottle. Really great group of kids...their parents should be proud. Oh, and the teacher, he was a doosy himself. Money well spent.

But as it turns out, my 16 year old daughter does not like to drive.

Behind the wheel, she's not confident. In town she does okay, but is in no hurry to take her driving test and get her license.

Last night it was cold, windy and rainy. Perfect experience for a driver-in-training to take a spin on the highway for the first time. We had to travel about 30 miles south for a get-together with friends and I decided she would drive. As long as we would be in town we wanted to find the Pottery Barn store and check it out too, so we left a little early. She did great on the highway only glaring at me once or twice with instructions that I not *yell at her while she is driving.

*It's all subjective, yelling is. I would have called it instruction with an urgent tone.

The boys were all tightly buckled and I clutched the "Jesus handle" the entire way. She experienced windshield wiper usage, learned the meaning of the word "intermittent", discovered the headlights, adjusted her steering to wind sheers under overpasses, managed heavy traffic, handled merging situations, and maneuvered the mall traffic all with great success and confidence. Until we encountered an unbelievable scenario in an intersection the was under construction.

The road we were to be crossing was being expanded from a 2 lane highway to a 6 lane thoroughfare. The far 3 lanes were not yet open and traffic was routed to the 2 lanes directly in front of us. As we waited, first in line, at our red light a huge barricade proceeded to blow forward, sand bags and all, from the far lane on the right and turn perfectly like it was on a hinge to show us it's "ROAD CLOSED" warning. So animated, like it was supposed to do just that at just that time.

I glanced at Hailey's astonished expression as I surveyed the traffic in the lane next to us, she had NO clue what to do and there were cars behind us and next to us as far back as we could see. In her eyes the option of waiting until the oncoming lanes were clear and averting the sign as an experienced driver would do was out, crying and melting into a puddle sounded good.

Me, quick thinking due to the coffee I had ingested earlier, coached her on the whereabouts of the hazard lights and gave calm instruction on the plan formulating in my head.

"When the light turns green, put on your hazards and pull forward to the barricade. Hayden and I will jump out and push the sign back where it belongs. We'll hop back in and be on our way." She had a few moments to process the information. A glance back to Hayden told me he was in agreement. Someone would have to do it, there was no way anyone could get through otherwise.

Initially, the plan worked perfectly. The barricade was heavier than either of us expected and the wind was gusting making the goings very difficult. Hailey pulled ahead as soon as she could get by and Hayden and I jumped back in and we continued our journey. As I was commending her on her calm execution of the plan she stated excitedly that the light had turned red and everyone was honking at her to get out of the way. That's the only reason she did it.

Man, didn't anyone SEE what we were doing? It was so windy we didn't even HEAR any honking when we were outside.

She pulled into the next parking lot and told me she was d-o-n-e driving.

Hayden thought it would've been appropriate for certain gestures to be waved in that situation. I assured him, and I have a feeling that this might become something I have to say again in the future, "It is never alright to flip someone off. Not even on the inside."

His sense of justice was wounded. Since when is a good deed rewarded with seething impatience? Is everyone so preoccupied with what's in front of their noses that they fail to notice the roadblock ahead?

I'm thinking too many people's education ends when the class is over.
I'm thinking too many people are too preoccupied to drive safely.
I'm thinking too many people are not teaching acceptable behavior to their children.

I'm thinking it's going to be hard to get Hailey back in the driver's seat.
I'm thinking Hayden, when he's driving, is going to be a different story all together.

P.S. We never found Pottery Barn, the party was wonderful and I drove home.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A New Job Opportunity

I haven't lost hope that some day civility may rule in my household.

Again, last night, I sat them all down for a game of Quiddler. Again, I met resistance, silliness and nerf bullets. There is a time for such, but it shouldn't be all.the.time.

When I asked Sam if he could retrieve the dictionary, he looked at me with shock. "You ALWAYS make me do it!" then, "It's NEVER where I can reach it." I told him I do that on purpose just to irritate him. Because my life would not be complete if I didn't make everyone cry at least once every day.

Then I thought, what I need here is a Statistician. Someone, not unlike the NFL guys , who take every move and record it for posterity. At strategic moments I could blurt out things like:

This is the 3rd time during regular season play that Sam has been asked to retrieve the dictionary. Yes, and Mort, 2 of those times it has been out of his reach.


Do you realize that since the inception of this team, there have been 7, 362 incidents in which inappropriate comments have flown from the mouths of the younger members of this organization while playing at home. It surprises me, Mort, because when they play on the road, they seemingly have much more control.


Can someone verify this for me? I'm thinking, Mort, that I did hear her say "no" 12 times to that specific request. Is the replay ready?


It's a proven fact, Mort, that when The Mom closes her eyes and sighs, 9 of the last 10 times on a Tuesday, someone has been injured on the next play. I don't know how she does it. Amazing foresight.

Yes, that would make me more credible in the eyes of those who think I ALWAYS pick on them and NEVER the other guy...any volunteers?

Monday, October 20, 2008

You Have To Be Home To Homeschool

What do May 12th, July 28 and today have in common?

They are the only 3 days in the last 6 months that I have not had anything on my calendar.

To celebrate I went no where, stayed in my PJ's all day, "did school" with each of my kids, cleared a few paper piles, played a game of Sorry, figured out Matt's MP3 player (not an iPod, for shame), scheduled a weeks worth of the little boy's "independent" work, did laundry, knitted a little, wrote this blog post, made breakfast, lunch and dinner. And it's only 6PM!

I could get used to this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I'm not perfect, nor do I expect perfection from others. I do, however, expect people to use common sense. Always.

Making good choices is so important. Knowing when you haven't and making amends runs a close second.

Just think of how many laws/rules have been put in place to protect us from people who make it a habit of making bad choices and/or not admitting their mistakes.

I've decided to create a new label on my blog ...DUH! Here I will document what I find ridiculous. Myself and my own family will not be excluded from scrutiny.

Installment #1

Recently, at my daughter's volleyball game I witnessed this.
I know, it's a little blurry. I didn't have my camera, just my cell phone (bad choice...forgive me?) How's this? A little better?
I just wanted to smack them! I knew that would not be a good choice, so I didn't.
Throughout the day people hung out in front of these signs. There wasn't only one, there were many, taped every 3 feet or so.


Friday, October 10, 2008

One Of Those Days

Yesterday, I was trying to change the atmosphere of my household by foregoing the usual routine. I would like to see something other than blood and broken bones craziness and chaos, if only for a moment. After breakfast, instead of starting the school day off with Whining Math, I decided it would be fun if we played a game instead. My favorite game, Quiddler.

With all the kids tied to at the table and Canon in D playing over and over on the iPod, we started. They say music tames the savage beast. I was willing, at this point, to try anything . Many times I had to tell them to knock it off! "Please straighten the tablecloth", UGH! "Please be nice to your brother.", Hands off! "Let's be encouraging instead of critical." Civility can be learned, yes?

We talked about this being played at several weddings I have attended and then I shared with them the music that I walked down the aisle to. Trumpet Voluntary. We listened to a snippet of that from iTunes before continuing with our game.

Hailey was dreamily planning her wedding concentrating on the hand she was dealt. At one point in the piece she interjected "...And this is where I will start walking down the aisle!" then added wistfully, "I'll have flutes and violins."

Sam looked at her with unbelieving eyes "Flutes and violence.....sweeeeeet!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Door County, Take Me Away!

We went to see Griffin's football game on Saturday and we watched him excel in his new position.

Water Boy.

Afterward, we piled in the bus for a spur of the moment camping trip. Just the kind of thing we were hoping to be able to do with the bus.

We set up camp in just a matter of minutes! What a change from the Ole' Tent Days.

We made lunch and took some pictures before heading out for a hike.

(gotta love the self timer!)

Sam took his role as Map Reader very seriously.

We found a butterfly...

(Don't you love pudgy little boy hands?)

and a beach.

We stopped at the park for some more pictures.

(This is harder than it looks!)
Then we returned to the campsite to relax.

(What is it with little boys and fire?)It got down to about 38 degrees Saturday night but we were toasty in the bus with the heater plugged in.
On the way out of the State Park Sunday morning the scenery was breathtaking.

Somehow, in some way, I think a sign like this would help me out at home.