Friday, September 30, 2005
Neighbor: "Hi, I'm Jean, and you must be a queen or princess or something."
Yes, I was wearing a little plastic tiara left over from our medieval party. Caleb likes to put it on me, reminding me that I am the queen, and He is King Arthur. It's so light that I frequently completely forget it is there, until I catch a glance at myself in the bathroom mirror. I didn't go potty before checking the mail however, so I feel like a complete dork.
Me: "Ha, ha, yes, my son likes me to wear this, ha, ha . . ."
Jean turns out to be quite talkative, so we chat for a few minutes. She brings up that she walks with another neighbor, Tracy, who I do know, and Tracy has told her that I homeschool. She asks, "How is that working out for you?" in a serious, concerned voice. I tell her that things are just fine, we're really enjoying it, blah, blah. She tells me that her step-daughter was homeschooled all the way through high school, and the only thing she (Jean) really worried about was the socialization issue. I didn't really say anything about that, but it certainly isn't my big concern. Anyhow, she went on to reassure me that the girl WAS able to get into college, although she had wanted to go to Virginia Tech, in their architecture program, but she only got accepted into Penn State's program. But she kept saying that she wasn't saying that to discourage me! LOL! I told her we hadn't thought that far ahead yet.
After she left, I realized that she will probably go tell Tracy that I certainly am one of those stereotypical nutty homeschoolers, one who goes around thinking she's the queen! Maybe she was worried about MY socialization! LOL!
In other mail-related news, we got the waiver letter today. And in it, they have picked my doctor for me and sent a letter to him. How nice. No, it was not who I picked. Grrr. So now we will have to call Tricare on Monday (after calling my choice of doctor to make sure she is still accepting Tricare patients and has room for me) to see if they will change. Then Tricare will have to send out more letters. I'm just so tired of this hassle!!! How utterly bureaucratic. How utterly frustrating that they would just assign me a civilian doctor too! I should definitely not be surprised, but I am tired of it. I will wave my royal scepter and send them all away. . .
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
8:15 Jonathan wakes up. I get up and get him up and dressed. I put him in Nathan and Luke's room where they are reading. He climbs in bed with Luke, who is reading a book on spiders. Nathan is reading D'Aulaire's Greek Myths, which I just bought used yesterday from a lady at co-op. Nathan is thrilled because we used to get it out of the library in Ohio, but they don't have it at this library. I get in the shower.
8:45 Luke and Jonathan are eating breakfast. I go out to get the paper and discover that it is not there. Hmm, this is a bad omen. I love the Washington Times! Maybe Bob took it. I go back in and eat.
9:00 Nathan finally comes down to eat, and Luke goes up to dress. I check email.
9:30 I call the paper to complain, then get Caleb up, dressed, and eating.
9:35 We start school. First I read a chapter in The Child's Story Bible (Vos), then we read a chapter in Wisdom and the Millers. Then we locate and read about the next country in Operation World. Today our country is Finland. We pray for Finland, for our country, and for our day. While we are doing all this, Jonathan looks at some books on his own for awhile, but then he and Caleb start wrestling, causing no end of distractions. I banish them to the playroom, which is really our formal living room. Since we have no formal furniture, it houses an impressive collection of Little People, Duplos, dress-up stuff, and other miscellaneous toys.
10:00 We start our regular subjects on the couch together, and the order depends on what strikes my fancy. Today we start with spelling by reviewing orally the words. This year both Nathan and Luke are doing Bob Jones Spelling 2, since Nathan is a weak speller, and Luke is a stronger one. Hey, another subject to combine! It's worked well for us. While Nathan does a spelling page, I do First Language Lessons with Luke. Then he does spelling while I do Rod and Staff English 3 with Nathan orally, but I assign him some sentences to do later. Then we do Latin all together. We're almost done with Minimus, which was our fun summer break. In a few weeks, we'll start into Latin Christiana 1. The boys have really enjoyed Minimus, although I don't think they are getting all that much grammer out of it. Amazingly, Caleb and Jonathan are still playing happily in the playroom. Do they know that today I am writing this all down? LOL!
10:45 I take a break to deal with a poopy diaper.
10:50 We finish Latin, then do some Mental Math and flashcards.
11:00 We move into our study, where the boys each have a little desk. They do handwriting, Explode the Code, and grammer sentences (Nathan) and copywork (Luke) by themselves. I go over each boy's math lesson with them during this time. Nathan is almost done with Saxon 3, and Luke is halfway through Saxon 2. Caleb and Jonathan want to "do math" too, so I give them some worksheets to do. Caleb likes to trace, practice his numbers, color, etc. Jonathan scribbles diligently (with his left hand, woo-hoo!). I help where needed and also go online to check the WTM message boards and read blogs.
12:15 I start lunch. Today I decide we will have turkey hot dogs in crescent rolls. This is a special treat, so the announcement is greeted with much excitement. Luke has finished his work, so he is playing with Caleb and Jonathan, while Nathan keeps on. Math is what takes Nathan a long time, and it is simply because he dawdles.
12:45 We eat lunch--hot dogs, carrot sticks, and pears. Nathan has a "100 sheet" of math facts to complete still. This is when I usually read the paper, so I am missing that. Instead I use my time wisely and organize my commissary list for tomorrow so that hopefully I won't forget anything and we will be in and out in a resonable amount of time! We listen to Classical 103.5 , our classical music station over lunch. Hmm, they are playing a familiar piece, but none of us can quite place it. I guess a Beethoven symphony. We also have a long conversation about gambling, of all things, specifically betting on horse races, but it leads to discussion of casinos as well.
1:30 We're finished with lunch (finally!). Nathan does his 100 sheet, while I look up the playlist for the radio station--yes, Beethoven's 7th Symphony! I was right!
1:45 We work on making a paragraph out of facts we have collected on box turtles. We saw one in our yard a few weeks ago, so we got some books out of the library to do some research.
2:10 We read Story of the World 2 about Good Queen Bess. We are almost done with this book, and then we'll start volume 3. We don't do a narration or mapwork today, although the boys do answer the review questions. When I last went to the library, I got out some books on her, so the boys were already pretty familiar with her story.
3:00 I put Jonathan down and collapse on the couch for a nap myself. The boys play Parcheesi on the the computer. A year ago, I found a "board games" CD at TJMaxx for $2.00, and it's been a big hit. It has games like chess, checkers, backgammon, Connect 4, Pente, and Dominoes, and it's nice for them to be able to play the computer when they can't find anyone else to compete with!
4:00 I wake up and start thinking about dinner. Jonathan doesn't usually wake up until 5:00, so I have time to play with Caleb, and often I read to the boys too, or they go outside to play. Bob usually gets home around 5:30, we eat dinner, and then after dinner we like to play games as a family or read or just play. Wednesdays are our longest day of school--usually we are done by lunchtime, unless someone hasn't finished their work. Monday afternoons the boys have art class, Tuesdays we have co-op until 12:30 and we don't do any school after we get back. Thursdays after lunch we usually run errands (tomorrow we're going to the commissary), and we try not to plan stuff for Friday afternoon either. We're in a good routine now, but I wonder what will happen when I have the baby, and also next year when I need to do more with Caleb! Also, writing everything seems much "quieter" than our actual day. In reality, there are lots of interruptions as well as some squabbles that break out. There can be whining as well, although today was a good day. Monday, however, was not!
Thanks for visiting us! Tomorrow will be more of the same, I'm sure. I love seeing the boys learn, and even though it can be tiring, I wouldn't change things. I feel very blessed that I am able to spend all this time with the boys, working on their characters as well as developing their minds.
Monday, September 26, 2005
After we dropped Nathan and Luke off, we came back home and I parked on the driveway, determined to get to the bottom of this smell. My nose has a reputation for great smelling abilities, and nothing motivates me to get moving like a nasty smell! I took everything out. I threw away a brown paper sack full of trash, but it was all paper and broken toys--no banana peels! I moved seats and floor mats. I vacuumed the whole van! I am sure that all the crumbs who thought they had found a comfortable and safe place to retire where they would never be touched were SHOCKED to find themselves getting vacuumed! I vacuumed up tons of crumbs, but they were all of the teddy graham/pretzel variety, with a few raisins thrown in for good measure. Also lots of sand. No banana peels or forgotten dirty diapers lurking anywhere. So everything went back in. Our van has never looked better and smelled worse, LOL! I did leave the windows down when I pulled into the garage. Maybe all that "airing" will cure the problem. I can dream anyways!
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel (I used 1 tsp. lemon juice, since lemon peel has the same texture as coconut to me so I never use it)
2/3 c. milk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. butter, melted
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and lemon peel (if using that--add juice, if using that, with the wet ingredients). Add milk, butter, egg, vanilla (and lemon juice), Beat for 2 minutes or until well blended. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with blueberries. In a separate small bowl, combine sugar and flour. Add melted butter and toss with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over blueberries. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
We brought dessert for Bible study on Friday. Nathan made rice krispie treats, and I tried a new recipe from an old Quick Cooking for blueberry kutchen. So we brought 2 9x13 pans of dessert, and both pans were compeltely cleaned out by the time we left! The blueberry kutchen was quite good and very easy--I will have to make that again.
Today the boys had another soccer game. Bob took all the boys while I went to 2 big children's consignment sales that were happening around here. I was specifically looking for some new maternity pants and shorts. In August, on a whim, I bought a pair of khaki maternity shorts from Target that have the new matenrity waistline--the elastic goes under the belly. Oh. my. goodness. They are so comfortable, I would wear them all the time if I could! They are SO much comfortable that the old kind that go over your entire tummy! So now I want to get some jeans, etc. that are like that, so I was hoping these sales would have that. I didn't find anything though. : ( Anything "new" like that was the total wrong size. I am really missing "Once Upon A Child", the consignment store back in Ohio. They have a big selection of used maternity stuff, and I'm sure I would be able to find something there. But I did find a coonskin hat for $1.00 at one of the sales, so the morning wasn't a total loss!
After the boys were done, we went out to Cici's pizza with the L's. We ate a lot (too much) and had a good time. Then Bob and Ed went suit shopping. Bob last bought suits I think the year we got married, so it was high time for a new one! He found a nice charcoal one, which is getting altered and what ever they do before you can take it home. Now he will look like a real professional realtor!
My big accomplishment of the weekend is that I finally made a scrapbook for Jonathan. This has been one of those little things nagging me to pieces: "What if I suddenly die and Jonathan has no scrapbook to remember me by? How will he know I loved him?!" Those crazy pregnancy hormones! Anyhow, I finally got his done, and I am feeling pretty darn proud. Now I need to just do last year's pages for the rest of the boys, as well as scrap the entire time we've been living here in Virginia. So I guess maybe I shouldn't feel so much satisfaction, considering I am still very far behind, LOL! I think it will be my goal to catch up by the time the baby is born, since I know I won't do anything after that happens! Who cares about housework?! Well *sigh* I guess that's not really feasible. I'm off to help with baths!
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I also think I need to make some room in our kitchen freezer so I can put some stuff in there while I'm defrosting. Two things that are taking up a lot of room in here are a box of fudgsicles and a box of ice cream sandwiches. Being the sacrificial wife and mother that I am, as well as being one of the few persons in the house that is not either lactose-intolerant or allergic to dairy, it falls upon me to clean those items up. I go willingly--I must do my duty!! I'll try not to complain. : )
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
I've been tagged by my Aunt Claire, otherwise known as Pilotmom .
5 things I plan to do before I die:
1. Visit England and Ireland
2. Learn Latin (I'm well on my way!)
3. Live in a nice commune in Colorado with my parents, Amy and Jason, the L's, Aunt Claire and Uncle Jim, Nana, Dan and Melinda, etc.--oh wait--that's what I want to do AFTER I die, in heaven! LOL!
4. Climb Mt. Everest (Just kidding! That would never be a dream of mine--I don't dream of doing anything dangerous!! But this exercise does highlight a problem of mine, which is to say that I really have no big dreams. I have actually talked to Bob about this, so I have already recognized it. I guess I am pretty content to live in the "here and now", and I don't like to set myself up to be disappointed.)
5 things I can do:
2. Read very quickly
3. Have babies (LOL!)
4. Plan trips
5. Remember where minutiae are in our house, such as assorted shoes, specific lego pieces, game pieces, etc.
5 things I cannot do:
2. Play chess or checkers (much to the disappointment of the boys)
3. Waterski AND downhill ski
4. Eat coconut
5. Vote Democratic (LOL!)
5 things that attract me to the opposite sex: (Bob in this case)
1. His broad shoulders
2. His sense of humor
3. How he got along with my best friend, Amy : )
4. How well we worked together
5. How he made me more out-going and sure of myself
5 things I say most often:
2. Stop touching each other!
3. Please sit down and listen! (Said primarily during school time)
4. I love you
5. Yes, 4 boys--we're very blessed. (Said primarily at stores)
5 Celebrity crushes: Well, no celebrity crushes here either, just like my aunt, so I will also do celebrities I would like to meet.
1. President Bush
2. Mrs. Bush
3. Susan Wise Bauer (author of The Well-Trained Mind)
4. Joni Ericson Tada
5. Umm, I'm drawing a blank, at least on current people. I'm not one to read "People" or anything like that and pine to meet celebrities who are full of themselves. I'm sure there are other famous people I would like to meet, but I just can't think of any right now. Maybe I'll update this later, if I think of anyone!
And I never tag anyone, but if anyone would like to do this, please feel free!
One time, back in Colorado when we just had Nathan, I went over and watched the L's 3 children while Elizabeth had Amanda. Wow, it is so weird to think of that because I was watching a total of 4 kids that day, and it seemed like so many, although they were all great and very well-behaved! LOL! Anyway, back to the story--the L's had just moved into their house about a month before, so they had a whole ton of books just stacked up randomly on this really long ledge in their basement that they had not yet gotten around to doing anything with. Since everyone played so well, I was able to organzine the books by categories, stacking and ordering them in nice arrangements. It was so fun!
Bob said I should be a librarian, but that's not really it either--I don't like just simply organizing by alphabetical order by the Dewey Decimal system. I like the books to LOOK nice and ordered too. Unfortunately, there is not a market for this kind of skill, so I will not be able to make my fortune with my "hobby"! I guess this means I will have to continue buying books for us so I can just relax by arranging our own books. LOL!
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
As an update to our prenatal saga, Bob just called. We went out to lunch today with him and another co-worker to celebrate their passing of the fitness run (praise the Lord again!). Of course, we went to an all-you-can-eat pizza place, so maybe that was a wash, LOL! But while he was gone, Tricare (the office that determines the waivers) called and left a message. The message didn't actually say anything, just to call back, so he did. Well, the lady who called had just left, and no one else was willing to find the paper saying whether or not the waiver was denied. So we don't know anything more now, but hopefully we should know something on Monday. I should just be thankful the lady didn't leave a nasty rejection message on Bob's machine!
And this last note is for Dy--I just saw your comment about the Trailblazer books. It's probably too late for you now, but I wanted to tell you that Nathan really loves them. They are exciting and interesting, and he is certainly learning about great Christians who don't really get a lot of press nowadays! His favorite was something about a Drummer Boy--I can't remember the exact title--but the Christian character was Florence Nightengale. The reason he liked it so much though was because it takes place during the Crimean War and so involves a lot of battle scenes. He's also read about John Bunyan, the Judsons, John Wesley, and Samuel Morris. If I ever found any of these books used, I would snatch them up!
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
Sunday, September 11, 2005
In other news, today the boys start AWANA again. We have gone back and forth about this. Our church is too small, so they don't offer programs like that. Last year we did AWANA at the church where the L's go and where we have our homeschool co-op. It was just fine, but they have a small facility for the numbers of people attending, so they have a few odd things. First, only 4 year olds can be Cubbies, so Caleb would have had to wait another year to start. Second, only Cubbies and Sparks are at the same time --the Truth-in-Training group (where Nathan is this year) is later on Sunday afternoons, so that would really take up our entire Sunday together time. Luke would be gone 4:00-6:00, and then Nathan would be gone 6:00-8:00! That just sounds crazy and stressful. So we decided (this afternoon, about 1 hour before it started, LOL!) to try AWANA at Christian Fellowship Church in Ashburn. This is where the boys are doing their Upwards soccer program, so we're hoping they see some familiar faces. Our friends the P's who are also in our OCF Bible study and go to our church send their girls there for AWANA, so there will at least be 2 familiar faces! Luke was not real excited about trying something different, so we'll see how it goes. Nathan thought we should try it so Caleb could go--what a sweet big brother! I was ready to just not do it at all this year, but the boys do really enjoy it, and I'm not very disciplined otherwise about having them memorize Bible verses, so it does fill an important place for us.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Thursday, September 01, 2005
I have the most empathy (meaning of course that I can most easily picture myself in their situation)for the people who evacuated and now have heard that their houses are underwater. I'm sure, if we were ever in that situation, that we would evacuate when told to, but I don't know how you decide what to take. I've thought about that over the past few days, as a sort of mental exercise--scrapbooks, schoolbooks we're using right now, clothes, food, water bottles . . . but then I think about how much else is left. I alwyas get so annoyed when the movers lose a box in a move--"How inconvenient! Now I have to replace that, but I LIKED what I had!" I can't imagine having to replace everything I owned. Wow. And of course there are things that are irreplacable. It's so depressing, frankly. I've heard reports say that displaced people are already trying to settle in wherever they fled to, but how do you do that if you own a house? I mean, you still have to make house payments, etc., even if it's underwater, right? You can't just pick up and start over and start totally over, unless maybe you were just renting. Sigh. The situation is overwhelming just to think about. I truly can't imagine living it.