Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
- Rock Star Name: (1st Pet’s name & current car) ~ Peaches Odyssey
- Fly Guy/Girl Name: (1st initial + first 3 letters of your last name) ~ J-Tha (okay, that makes no sense at all!)
- Detective Name: (Fave color & fave animal) ~ Red Giraffe
- Soap Opera Name: (Middle name & city/town born in) ~ Marie Woodstock
- Star Wars Name: (First 3 letters of last name + first 2 of first name) ~ Thajo
- Superhero: (”The” & second fave color & fave drink) ~ The Blue Water
- Nascar Name: (1st names of grandfathers’) ~ Ralph Tully (that's a doozie!)
- Stripper Name: (Fave scent/perfume/cologne & fave candy) ~ True Love Chocolate
- Witness Protection Name: (Mom & Dad’s middle name) ~ Marie Stephen
- Weather Anchor Name: (5th grade teacher’s last name & a city which starts with the same letter) ~ Dagley Dallas
- Spy/Bond Name: (fave season/holiday & fave flower) ~ Spring Daisy
- Cartoon Name: (fave fruit & article of present clothing + “ie” or “y”) ~ Nectarine Shirty
- Hippy Name: (What you ate for breakfast & fave tree) ~ Strawberry Pine
I think I'll just stick with the name my parent's gave me. I think it's pretty great!
Friday, May 29, 2009
"Dad, are you going to drive carefully?"
Jerry responded, "Yes, I am going to drive carefully."
"Good," Aaron said, "because Grandma doesn't have her seatbelt on."
"Mom, when you have a baby, do you forget things?"
"Well, yeah, you do get more forgetful when you have a baby." I
He responded, "Well, did you know you forgot...."
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
You know I get sweaty palms and all nervous whenever my parents hand me the phone to talk to him. I think it has to do with the fact that I disapprove of what he is doing in his life yet seriously abhor, like have a phobia of confrontation. I don't want to get into a fight, so I just don't talk to him at all. Which is another sad state of affairs.
Especially considering that at one point in our lives, Gabriel was my advocate, he took many a name calling (or worse) on my behalf. I can't figure out what happened (actually it's very complex), but he feels I became the good girl, the "favored" child and we've not gotten along ever since.
I can't help it if I learned from his mistakes. Sigh.
Anyway, he's coming to visit this weekend. I didn't really think all that much about it until today. My brother is coming over to MY HOUSE. He's never, ever done that before. True, this is the first official house we've ever had but he's never been to any of our previous apartments. We've always met up at his house (once) or my parents house (twice? I don't see him very often).
I got all paranoid. I made a HUGE list, two pages long, of things I want to clean, organize, straighten or otherwise make presentable.
How weird is that?
My brother with my niece, Gabby in September of 2006. This is the most recent photo I have of him although I did see him for Christmas in 2007. I can't find those pictures though.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Last year was better.
This year I’m downright excited. I’m not even done with school this year and I’m planning next year already. I’m excited about the curriculum we’re using. I am excited to learn Latin with Ella, I’m excited to learn piano with Ella, I’m excited to watch Rachel learn to read, and I’m excited to introduce Sarah to more complex math. Everything is exciting.
My advice to new homeschoolers: get curriculum you’re excited about. You’re enthusiasm will be contagious.
Okay, I’ll stop acting like I know everything (because I don’t) and move on to the facts. It seems like I’ve got a heavy schedule for Ella, but it’s not really that bad. The only things she will be doing daily are reading, grammar, math and Latin. The rest of the subjects will be just one or two times a week. I’ve found with history that I can accomplish it all in one day and then the rest of the week I can formulate a plan for a project that goes along with the history lesson. I’d like to try to get everything done in just four days so that Friday we can do “field trips.” This might be pushing it but I’m going to at least try.
My initial plans look like this. VERY subject to major tweaking.
Monday – spelling, reading, penmanship, grammar, Latin, math, writing, music
Tuesday - spelling, reading, grammar, Latin, math, science, history
Wednesday - spelling, reading, penmanship, grammar, Latin, math, writing, art
Thursday - reading, grammar, Latin, math, science, history
Friday – field trip or make up work
Spelling workout – 15 minutes, daily
Reading/making notebook page – 30 minutes, daily
Grammar – 20 to 30 minutes, daily
Writing – 20 to 30 minutes, 2x weekly (Ella only)
Math – 40 to 60 minutes, daily
History – 3 hours a week
Science – 60 to 90 minutes, 2x weekly
Latin – memorize vocab, study language daily (Ella only unless Sarah/Rachel want to)
Art – 1 hour, weekly
Music – 1 hour, weekly
Penmanship – 10 minutes, 2x weekly
I like the spelling book because I can easily divide it into three days. Each lesson has four pages. The first page is just reading a little blurb about something informative (frogs or kites for instance) and they highlight words that contain the spelling rule for the week. The back side of that page introduces the spelling words, rules and has an exercise in sorting the words according to the spelling rule/s in the lesson. I have them do that the first day. The next two pages are just more exercises in understanding the rule. I have them do one on each of the next two days. The last page also includes editing marks like the capitalization mark, etc., and a short essay for them to write using the spelling words.
Next year Ella will begin doing things more independently. Like history. So far I’ve been reading the history lesson to her and then asking her the questions orally. Next year she is going to read the history lesson herself and I will mix oral with written questions. They will do history at the same time only I’ll be reading the history orally to Sarah. I hope that this will cut down on the chaos. Sometimes this year it’s been nuts in the school room because I’ll be reading history or trying to do math with Ella while my mom is doing OPG with Sarah or her very own, innovative Kindergarten Potpourri. The curricula were so very different that we were very often competing for the kids’ attention. Since they will be doing history, art, music, grammar, science, math, penmanship and spelling at the same time I am hoping that there won’t be as much competition for air space, if you know what I mean. Hopefully all the training that’s gone into Ella will pay off next year in an independent learner.
I also plan to institute “quiet time.” For one hour starting this summer I am going to put all the kids down in a bed and they can either sleep or read. For Ella and Sarah this will be the “reading” portion of school. When they are done reading a book they will be drawing a picture and giving a synopsis of the book.
My school ROCKS y’all.
We’ll see how this turns out. The best laid school plans are often crushed by laziness and TOO MUCH BLOG READING.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Ella – 3rd grade
Ella will be studying:
History – Story of the World, Part III (received)
Grammar – First Language Lessons, Part 3 (received)
Writing - Writing With Ease (shipped)
Spelling – Spelling Workout “D” (check)
Art – Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes and we will continue with the art appreciation lessons from ...what's their faces. I'll find 'em. Hold a sec. (ordered)
Bible – may do family bible study with the catechism
Piano – piano lessons, music appreciation in the form of Great Composers coloring book. We'll do one a week and listen to that particular composer via Pandora radio. (shipped)
Latin – Latina Christiana (shipped)
Cursive – Handwriting Without Tears (shipped)
Science – Using a text as a guide and looking for a creation science curriculum (suggestions?), also Adventures With Atoms and Molecules by Robert Mebane (shipped)
Math – Right Start Mathematics, level D (shipped)
Sarah – 1st grade
Sarah will be studying:
History – Story of the World, Part I (check)
Reading – Finish OPG if she’s not done this summer (check)
Grammar – First Language Lessons, Part 1 (check)
Spelling – Spelling Workout “A” (ordered)
Art – Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes (she'll do music appreciation with Ella)
Bible – may do family bible study with the catechism
Handwriting – Handwriting Without Tears (shipped)
Science – A Beka science and health (check)
Math – Right Start Mathematics, level B (check)
Rachel – Pre-K
I don’t really like to do all that much until they’re in kindergarten but Rachel will be doing:
Reading – Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, as much as she is able or wants to. (check)
Handwriting – Handwriting Without Tears (shipped)
Art – whatever we feel like doing
Rachel really likes being involved in school. I didn’t do but 27 lessons of OPG with Sarah when she was 4 because that’s all she wanted to do. I have a feeling Rachel may want to do more as she loves being in the school with us and getting that attention. I only ordered the handwriting book for her because it’ll give her something that is “real school” to do during school. She really likes that stuff.
Total cost = $383.15
It sort of seems like a lot, but this is a complete curriculum for three grades and the vast majority of it I will use for four more kids.
My biggest...actually, only problem with the book, what made it so difficult to read was that it's written as if Miss Jane wrote it and her speech is very colloquial. She's got paragraph after paragraph with no pronouns or other identifying nouns. I spent half the time trying to figure out who was talking, who they were talking about and then even if they were talking about a person or a town. It wasn't that I didn't understand the meaning of words, but the broken up English was hard to follow. Also, the lack of a timeline. I never knew when it was that events were taking place.
All in all, it was a pretty good book with a disappointing ending. What a schizophrenic review.
A few weeks ago Mom was rifling through some old papers and came up with this little tiny blue one with the names of a few movies on it. She said someone had recommended that she watch them. On the list was a movie called The Second Chance and another called Gospel.
The review at Plugged In says that Second Chance is about racism, but I disagree. I think the movie is about getting out of your comfy chair and helping people. Tossing money at problems is rarely the correct fix. I really liked this movie and even Del liked it and that's saying something!!
Gospel was depressing. Although this is supposed to be a story about a prodigal son who comes home and turns his life over to Jesus, I just don't see that. I see a story about a man who changes singing venues. I'd like to know how realistic this movie is. Del did not watch it with us but has said he would to give us his own review. I have a lot more to say about this movie but this is not the venue for me to voice it so I'll stop with...it's worth it to watch.
Then Del had the audacity to send me to Blockbuster. I just don't do well with picking out movies. I won't pick up anything that has "some sensuality" in it...period. And I'm not really into mindless action flicks. I usually just resort to my tried and true favorites when I want to watch a movie.
So anyway, I go to Blockbuster all by myself. I didn't even have Anna. Amazing. My eye and interest is caught by A Raisin in the Sun and Not Easily Broken. I don't know why, but that's what I came home with. Oh and Way of War, but we'll just pretend I didn't get that one. Sshhhhh. Del actually laughed at me when I walked in the door with these movies. LOL. I'm terrible at picking out movies. I think I did pretty well though.
The more I thought about Not Easily Broken the more I thought I had heard about this movie before. Then I saw "A TDJakes Film" at the bottom remembered that Terry had mentioned a TD Jakes movie before and when I checked out the post, this was the movie. It was fascinating to see what Terry was talking about in her review. I liked the movie, but once again, time and forum leave me with "let's talk about it later." It's telling that the married couple in this film are Dave Johnson and Clarice Clark.
A Raisin in the Sun. Go get it, watch it. I *really* liked this movie. I didn't feel it was a "black movie." It was simply a story about a family and they happened to be black. Except for Sean "P Diddy" Combs I though everyone's performance was stellar. Go get it, watch it. I'd like to hear what you like about it.
Friday, May 15, 2009
When Jerry and I first announced that we were adopting a baby girl from China, people who have walked before us told us that is was going to be a roller coaster ride with big, big ups, and big, big downs. "But," they assured us, "it is worth it in the end." The roller coaster analogy is so true. I cannot even begin to explain the highs we experienced as our dossier came together in ways that only God could have orchestrated. The dance I did when we received our immigration approval should be outlawed! The flood of emotion that I felt when our agency informed us that we officially had a log in date is indescribable. There truly aren't adequate words.
Right now, for me, is one of the low times. We are in that part of the process known only as "The Wait." I feel silly even admitting this, but each time I think about how much longer we have to wait to bring Hannah home I feel a sense of sadness at just how long the wait really is. I feel silly because we knew when we signed on that the wait would be long. We were told it would be 28 months, and that likely the wait would lengthen during the process. Our log in date was in October, so we are technically only 7 months into the wait. I know that there are people who are in month 34 of waiting for their baby girl from China, and they are still waiting, because right now the wait is about 38 months. And unlike me, many of those people don't have any children at home right now to help ease the ache of empty arms longing to be filled. Their arms are empty and their house is way too quiet. My arms are full and my house is never quiet, yet there is still this ache.
Somehow, as soon as we received word that our dossier was logged in, Hannah became a member of our family. I'm sure it happened more gradually than that, but our hearts already have a spot for her. I catch myself talking about all four of my children, and people must think I am totally crazy because they can clearly see that there are only three! But in my heart, she is already mine. This creates this hole that I cannot quite fill with the children I already have in my home. This hole is full of longing. I long to take that sweet baby in my arms and begin to show her what a "forever family" really is. I long to kiss the top of her head while she sleeps and hear her sigh contentedly once she realizes that we are not leaving her. I long to comb her straight, black hair and gaze into her brown eyes and marvel at their color. I long to drink in her scent and learn who she really is. I long to show her just how very much I love her.
I know the days will melt into weeks, which will somehow form into months and years and I'm sure that one day, when we get our match I will think about how the time flew, but for now it crawls. So I pray. I pray for the woman half a world away who will someday conceive the baby who will be my daughter. I pray that someday she would know the unmeasurable love that God has for her. I pray for God to keep her healthy. I pray that she will leave our baby in a safe place when she decides she cannot keep her and that this baby will be found quickly. I pray that she will be taken to a good orphanage, and that God would begin drawing her unto him from those very first tender days. Then I pray that God will make me patient through the wait, and make me into the mom each one of my children needs. And I thank him, because no matter how hard the wait is, I know that I would wait as long as I had to for each one of my precious boys, and it won't be any different with her.
Dr. Mommy. Waahaahahahahaha!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Don't worry, I'll share. If you want a cute little girl you can come rub my elbow or something. Maybe it'll rub off. Or maybe you should rub foreheads with Anna. She'll share, too.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
We bought new pepper plants after whatever-it-was ate the others (we think it might be raccoons now). We put them in the ground and immediately they were chowed down. But we managed to rescue this one with one leaf and now it's growing more leaves.
And this one ha already got a pepper growing on it. Wahoo!
She's got lofty goals.
We have been studying the Renaissance in history. This week we read about Good Queen Bess. That's Queen Elizabeth I. Edmund Spencer wrote and epic poem about her called "The Faerie Queene." So as a project for a house full of giggling little girls, we made fairy wands. Lily is now pointing with her wand and saying things like, "I'm hungry" and "Go get it". I might have to take her little wand away. She's getting a wee bit too big for her britches.
That's when I found this site that had all sorts of different methods for making a can of dulce de leche out of a can of sweetened condensed milk! I was happy, because none of them called for putting a can in boiling water as is! I decided to try two different methods: using a double boiler to cook the milk and filling a pot with water up to 1/2 inch from the top of the can (with holes poked in the top) and boiling the milk in the can.
Doesn't it look so much safer? :) I liked doing it this way because I could see the process happening with the double boiler! It took about 1 hour 45 minutes on the double boiler, and about 2 1/2 hours in the can.
In the end, the two methods produced similar results. You can see below that the color of the dulce de leche was about the same. The bowl on the left was still hot, which is why it looks thinner than the other. There were a few differences: The double boiler method produced a smoother texture. If you were going to eat it straight or as a topping for something, this is the better method. The can had parts that were a bit grainy because the milk that was over the water line never fully cooks and just mixes in with the rest, while the milk at the bottom of the can closest to the heat gets more done. If you are baking it into something (like my cheesecake), this is just fine. The flavor of the one in the can was a bit stronger. I liked the overall flavor better from boiling the can, but I imagine that if I had cooked the one in the double boiler longer, I could have achieved the same depth of flavor this way, too.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
The only problem came when we realized we didn't have a vacuum tool that was both long enough and skinny enough to fit down into the vent! So out came the redneck solution: paper towel tube and tape! And whamo-presto!
Now the lint is gone, and the dryer dries my loads in about 60 minutes. Still not stellar, but the fix was free (well, except for that $60 charge for the man to tell us where to vacuum) rather than $350! Who said redneck was always a bad thing?
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
The next day, assemble the remaining ingredients:
Roll the dough into a rectangle to a 1/4 inch thickness. Brush this will the melted butter, and then sprinkle with cinnamon and nuts. Roll up 1 1/2 turns and cut lengthwise. Roll another 1 1/2 turns and cut lengthwise, and then do it one more time. You should now have three long rolls.