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!