Thursday, March 30, 2006

Trapping, Running and Inventions

Now that Lee is seven, I can't hold him back. So many new things are happening for him. He learned to tie his shoes, which saved us $6.00. Tie running shoes are less expensive than slip-on Nikes. He runs his trap line alone or with Grace. Every morning at 5:30am they are up and dressed warm enough to ride the dirt bikes around the marsh checking traps. Lee then puts on his running shoes and runs to the mailbox and back. He's training for a Fourth of July funrun. He practices his guitar without any reminders, gets his seat work done in a reasonable amount of time and even says please and thank you most every time. What a great kid.

Grace has been on the social path this week. Since it's spring break for the school kids this week, she's been invited to 2 sleepovers and it's only Thursday. There'll be one more this weekend. Today we'll be visiting the horse ranch where Grace will be taking horseriding lessons this summer. Family friends are coming by for a visit as well. If we're not too tired out by this evening, I would like to attend a "Frog Talk" class at a local library.

Lou has been training Sara, the black lab. Although when I look out the window it looks more like Sara's training Lou.

Jack-Jack continues to increase his repertoire of ways of saying and screaming NO.

I'm running again; what a great way to start the morning, especially in spring with all the wildlife about. DH is cutting wood; three more days of that before next years wood is done.

We've still been reading about inventions and watched the Charlie Brown movie Vol. 1 about inventors. Next is vol. 2 about the Wright Brothers.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What Does School Look Like In Our House?

Participated in Minnesota Ballet Workshop
Attended Minnesota Ballet performance of Sleeping Beauty
Guitar lessons
Violin lessons
Piano lessons
Ballet and Tap dance class
Phonics workbooks
Reading about zebras
Reading By the Shores of Silver Lake
Reading Bob Books
Reading Schoolhouse Brides (me)
Reading about inventors and inventions
Baking homemade bread
Drawing lots of snowmobiles, dirt bikes, pirate ships, flowers and hearts
Listening to music and dancing, of course
Scraping Great Stuff off the house foundation
Buying and using a watch
Riding scooters
Doing pushups
Practicing the months of the year in order
Using ordinal numbers in relation to the calendar
Ice Fishing
Saving and Counting change
Sewing a quilt
Working on scrapbooks
Playing cards, Battleship and Mancala
Family Formation

Moldy Cookies

"A house full of love should always have a moldy cookie" said DH. His point is that each person should always be thinking of someone else. If we all saved the cookie for someone else it would eventually go moldy because no would eat it. This conversation came after finding out that my bestfriend's husband served her with divorce papers two weeks ago. It was a surprise then, but now that we talk about the past year so many things point to this. Hindsight is always 20/20. My prayer for her: Lord, have mercy on this family. Love them like only you can and guide them towards you. Amen

Sunday, March 12, 2006


I've always believed that one of my biggee jobs as a mom is to do all I can to get my kids to heaven. Until lately, I thought of that as something more spiritual, long term, continuing after my passing. We had another episode of Jack, Jack Attack at church today and I'm realizing that getting him to heaven is not going to be the problem; the problem is going to be keeping him alive until fatherhood. Mostly, because he is such a daredevil; I'm afraid that heaven could be closer than I think. He is always scaling something: the church pew in front of us, the shelves in the cry room, his changing table, the girl's bunkbed, basically anything higher than himself. I have to be in constant alert mode, which of course, is wearing me out. Here it is 9pm and I'm ready for bed.

I got a waffle iron so it'll be waffles for breakfast. Can't wait!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Schizophrenic Homeschooler

Recently, I read an article in Home Education Magazine about a homeschooling mom who wrote that she cringed at the question, "What curriculum do you use?" I cringe at that question, as well as: Where do you get your curriculum? Does your school district provide the curriculum for you to use? How do you know what to teach your kids? Who helped you choose your curriculum? All these questions imply that I use one set curriculum and that I'm not smart enough to choose one on my own. In the past I've somewhat stumbled over these questions, not because I second guess my choices, but because it's hard to explain that my ecclectic set of ideas come from traditional elementary unit lesson books, library books, current interests, on-line educational sites, my own agenda for my kids, homeschool group offerings, etc. Well, after reading this article I learned a great response to the question, "What curriculum do you use?".


How simple and why didn't I think of that. After all the stammering, stuttering answers I've given people I finally have one excellent answer. Thank you HEM.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Dare to Dream

Were you a Girl Scout? I was. I loved pouring over the Girl Scout Badge Book; I'd look at all the beautiful embroidered badges, starring the ones I dreamed of seeing on my sash. I would read over the requirements x-ing the activities I hoped to complete. I dug out my old Girl Scout sash last week and looking at all the badges and awards brought back many memories and reminded me of how I got to be the ambitious person I am today. Check out the book You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook For Grown-Up Girls by Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. I recently gave a presentation to our local MOPS group entitled "Dare to Dream". I challenged these mothers of pre-schoolers to rekindle the dreams they once had, rediscover their current dreams, and look into the future. Here are the highlights. Give yourself time to dream; commit those dreams to paper, maybe a dream journal. I dream of learning how to download pictures to my blog, ballroom dancing and becoming a medical doctor. Set up a time frame for yourself; would you like to work at something 15 minutes a day or 2 hours once a week? Set up a plan of actions necessary to realize the dream. A dream without a plan quickly becomes a nightmare. Carve out the unnecessary work from your schedule. For example, limit the amount of laundry you do be enacting the "Seriously Soiled Rule". I insist that my kids wear their play clothes for most of the week or until they are seriously soiled, before I wash them. They have one town outfit for the week. Anytime we go to town, lessons, library, etc. they put on their town outfit which is kept folded in front of their dresser. This works well for eliminating loads of hardly worn laundry. By doing this you will find some time that you can dedicate to fulfilling your dreams. Find a mentor; maybe a friend, specialty shop owner, librarian, older relative, that can help you formulate your plan or teach you a few of the skills. Once complete, celebrate with a badge of honor. You could design your own badge or use the above book for ideas and sticker badges. When you accomplish your dreams you become a beautiful, interesting, passionate woman. You will make a better wife, mother and friend when you expand yourself by dreaming. It's so important for our kids to see us as people. People who fail at our first attempt, people who get frustrated when the going gets tough, people who perservere and make great things happen. I dreamed of pushing aside the bread maker and making bread totally from scratch. Feeling my way to the perfect loaf. As Grace and Lee watched they joined in and now are proficient at making 60 minute mini white loaves from scratch. I, however, have gone back to the bread machine, but use the dough cycle and then bake the bread in the oven. The bread is much softer and tastes better the second day. Get cozy near a sunny window and dream big!