Monday, June 29, 2009

Growing Up

Why is it that the words "Oh my gosh!" sound so much worse out of the mouth of a four year old than that of a thirty-two year old? I find myself not wanting my children to say phrases like this, yet I say them. What's your house rule? I find myself asking them not to say it. What exclamation should they say? And what on earth am I going to do when they are eleven and try to say something much less tame than this?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars

We've got monarch butterfly caterpillars!! We watch a couple of adults laying eggs on our milkweed about a week ago. You can see in this picture an egg, a hatched egg and the tiny caterpillar. I've found three caterpillars so far, but there are many more eggs. How exciting. Whey they get a little bigger we'll put one or two into our butterfly hatching thing-a-ma-doodle-thingie.
And look at this fungus growing in the zinnias. Weird. I wonder how to get rid of it. I might have to just take it out by hand.

Monday, June 22, 2009


This past weekend, I went with the boys to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Houston while Jerry was at school in Indianapolis. I always enjoy vising with Jonathan and Stephanie, and my kids LOVE playing with their cousins. It is great that they live close enough to drive to for the weekend. We went swimming twice, to an indoor maze/play area, and to the Bayou Wildlife Park. That was so cool! It was one of those places where you ride around in a tram with buckets of animal feed and the wild animals come right up, stick their heads in the tram and help themselves to the food! We saw giraffes, all sorts of different exotic breeds of deer, zebras, a zonkey, ostriches, emus, rhinos, all sorts of bulls and cattle from Africa, and one very, very fat pig among other animals. We all had a really good time, despite the above average temperatures in Houston right now!
That baby giraffe is only three 1/2 months old. He is already over 8 feet tall, though!

The ostriches were very bold and would peck at your arm if it was in the way of the food buckets!

Ethan and Ian were a bit more reserved than their older cousins about the whole thing, but still enjoyed it. They were more timid about the animals eating right out of their bucket, too!

I don't remember what this one was called...but it was nice and gentle about the feeding, which the kids appreciated!

In response to the ostriches!

An enormous buffalo!

Andrew's close encounter with a camel...the camels were by far the most bold animals. They practically got in the tram with us! They were going to find the food whether we wanted them to or not!
In wild kid news, both the big boys are going for allergy testing over the next several weeks. They have both been on daily allergy medication since they were one and have moderately severe symptoms. So I am taking them for regular torture sessions while we figure out what they are allergic to.
Here's Aaron showing of his 15 sticks from today which revealed sensitivities to baker's yeast, soy, tomato, and corn. I don't think any of them except for soy are all that strong of reactions, so I don't know if it will mean that he cannot eat these things or not. He still has some foods left to test, then on to inhaled allergens and chemicals. Fun, fun.
Speaking of wild kids, I think Andrew is going to take off all over this house in no time at all. He went from pushing up on his arms, to going up on his hands and knees, to rocking, to spinning around on his bottom, to rolling repeatedly to get to something, to hopping on his hands and knees in just a couple short weeks! Then he decided to become a yoga baby. He does a perfect downward dog pose!

Friday, June 19, 2009


This is a very interesting statistical video about technology. It is amazing to me when I stop to think about what kind of world my children will live in! And maybe a little bit scary...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Curriculum 2009-2010

I have now ordered all of my curriculum for next year's school! I love sorting through, deciding, ordering, and especially receiving all the new stuff!! I use Sonlight for my history, reading, and read aloud literature and I love their book choices! I don't really like their language arts, though. I'm not too fond of their math choices, either. But now that I'm "experienced," having one whole year of "real" school under my belt (kindergarten - lol), I feel confident enough to go out and find what I want and trust myself to look at a product and know whether it will be good for my kids or not. I also rely heavily on the opinions of trusted friends who have used particular books before. I am really grateful that you (Joanna) recommended The Well-Trained Mind to me a while back. I have gone with so many of their recommendations, and I have not been disappointed yet! I went with many of theirs this year, which means a lot of my school choices look the same as yours (Joanna's)! Fun, huh?

So, anyway, here are my choices for Aaron's 1st grade year:

Ethan is still only interested in school some of the time, which is fine with me. I am in no hurry to rush him into it since he has the rest of his life to learn and work. I'll let him play while he can! But, he does like to do some workbooks and math. On an ideal day, he would do these things, but it is all pretty much optional!

Ethan's K-4 year:

I have everything either ordered or in house already! Most of it is in transit. I love, love, love when boxes of books come in the mail. My total cost isn't as low as yours since my Sonlight uses lots of living books rather than one text book, but hey, that is why I like it! For the two of them, we came in around $760. I'm going to have to clean out my bookshelf now so I have room to keep everything in an organized manner!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's Your Favorite Candy?

High on my list are those yummy orange slices. I made some candied orange peels that taste exactly like those. Yummy.

Monday, June 8, 2009


That's what we should call my tortillas. You know, like mistake and tortilla. Ha!

I have made some really scrumptious and even classy dishes in my kitchen, but tortillas are not on that list. They might taste good, but they look terrible and fall apart. What is with that???

Lily, Get Out of the Trash Can!

Just so you know, if everyone in the house except Lily were to suddenly drop dead for some unexplainable, unforeseen reason, Lily would be able to forage for food and survive for months. She is a food hound.

Parental Puzzle For Monday

What is it about the laundry basket that no matter how many times you say "IT'S NOT A TOY, STOP PLAYING WITH IT" they still play with it?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Modern Couple

I just had a very interesting experience. Let me set the stage for you...

The older boys had been put to bed, I was sitting on the couch nursing Andrew and playing on Facebook, and Jerry was in our bedroom on his computer writing a paper for school. Andrew had gotten to that very important stage of nursing where he was asleep, but almost done nursing so at a point where one false move will wake him up, but stillness and quiet will send him into a nice deep sleep. Suddenly, I hear Ethan from the bathroom yell, "Mom! I cannot reach the toilet paper!"

Uh-Oh. If I get up to help him, Andrew will wake. If I yell loud enough to get Jerry's attention to help Ethan, Andrew will wake. What to do? What to do?

Then it hits me - I'll Skype Jerry! I love Skype, but I usually use it to "call" my friend who lives in Germany so we can talk free of charge. I've never used it to "call" someone in my own house. But, tonight, it was just what the doctor ordered! I used a Skype chat and typed, "Ethan needs tp." Before I knew it, Jerry walked out of the bedroom with a TP roll in hand!

Whew! Disaster averted!

Air Conditioning the Neighborhood

If I have to say, "CLOSE THE DOOR" one more time today, I may lose my mind. And it's only noon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Brain Dump

1) Need coffee. Must revitalize self. Dragging, dragging. Need sleep...or coffee.

2) I am learning to play the piano. It's fun.

3) While I was practicing the piano today I noticed a distinct lack of Lily; this is not good, especially as she had already come downstairs with a big box of Whoppers which means she had to scale my dresser and climb on top of it, grab the Whoppers, get back down to the floor and then meander downstairs munching on chocolaty, malty delights. So, I notice she's gone and go to look for her and she's has drawn herself a bath in my tub and is literally swimming in it. In her clothes and diaper. Must keep a closer eye on Lily.
We had a mini family reunion with two of my aunts and their kids and one husband andmy grandpa. It was fun.

4) Went to the beach Monday. It's beautiful. The water is so warm and it's shallow for a long way out. Unlike the Atlantic side where it's rather chilly and gets deep quickly. However, I got a very bad sunburn. The rest of my family though...Del got a nice deep brown and all the girls got tanner. Then the next day all their tans were almost gone. I'm still slathering aloe and getting pumped up for "The Great Peel". Whenever anyone touches my shoulders I go "ouch".
Lovely, dirty, messy, sandy beach.

5) Mom and Dad are in England. I'm jealous. They get to see my friend Tina.

6) I'm stalling. I'm supposed to be cleaning my cabinets.
My highly unsocialized, homeschooled children make friends with Katie at the beach.

7) I now have gray hair on the other temple, too. Del's got too many to count. I *love* that. I think it's so fun to grow older with him. Sigh. My tummy still does flips when I think of him.

8) Coffee?? Where is the coffee?

9) I still have 6 math lessons to do with Ella and the rest of OPG to do with Sarah but I haven't done anything this week at all. It feels nice to not worry about it.

10) I was really excited when I went over to Pioneer Woman Cooks to see if I won a mixer and saw my name. There it was. Joanna was a winner. Unfortunately it was someone else who'd been to New York before. I nearly cried. My poor mixer. I need a new one. For free. Because no one in their right mind spends that much on a mixer. Well, that's not true but still, we don't have the money for that so I'd like it for free. Hear that Ree?
Pointless beach photo, I just thought it was a cool photo.

11) I'm deep into the postpartum hair loss phase. I actually have nearly bald spots above my temples. Everyday I sweep huge amounts of hair off the floor and we're constantly cleaning hair out of the vacuum cleaner. It's never been this bad before. I wonder what the deal is.

12) I'm going to go make some coffee. Maybe a mocha. And then I'm going to clean my cabinets. We had some painted lady caterpillars and here we are letting them go after they had become butterflies.
13) Anna is teething. She is one cranky baby. I can see the little bumps on her gums. I hope they cut through soon because she won't nap she is so mad about it.