Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Floridian Frog Friend

This is my dear new friend who I took way too many pictures of. Isn't he too cute?! Here he is just sitting and chatting with me over such interesting details and theologies. To Hop or not to Hop?

This last one is my favorite one. I am having WAY too much fun with my new camera. You can click on these to enlarge them.

More posts to come soon...
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Friday, April 25, 2008

From Florida with Love!

We are doing well here in the land of Sunshine. The kids have gotten slightly pink, even with me reapplying sunscreen often and they have had their ice cream at least once a day since arriving. My favorite is a Pineapple/Orange twist... fat free too!

We have discovered a few interesting things such as:

There is a Bald Eagle that sometimes fishes in the lake behind my grandparents house, he then takes the fish up to the roof of the condo across the way and eats it. We keep watching whenever we are over there but we haven't seen him yet.

The kids caught an interesting creature at the beach yesterday but we haven't identified it yet. We were told that it might be a trumpet fish? We haven't even looked that up yet.

We have found fossilized shark's teeth without even trying. You can just sit in your chair and use your feet and presto! Manasota beach was much fun yesterday.

Homeschool children seem to have very few prejudices, if not introduced to them by other children. They play easily with any and all children that they find, even some that would have been considered by others to be "different." I am proud of my kids... they didn't even think twice about it.

We are having a wonderful time here. We are taking a day off from the water as the pink shoulders of my daughter may need a break. We will probably visit the aquarium here instead. My kids love playing with the Rays and watching the Manatees have their lunch.

I will post pictures later... I haven't downloaded my pics onto their computer and don't want to do that without consulting them first.

Have a wonderful Friday!!! In fact, have some ice cream and think of me.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tomorrow I take my Candy Land Map

We are heading to Florida and my kids are over the top excited, they cannot wait to get on the airplane and head on out to visit the grandparents and the beach.

They have been planning this and plotting this and discussing this and expounding on this. They have talked about swimming and they have talked about building things in the sand and they have talked about getting tan and they have pondered where they will sleep, but the most important thing they have discussed is Ice Cream. That is capitalized for a reason.

My husband's side of the family has a love for Ice Cream, the more the better, the more often the happier they all are. Some in the family get more into this than others but the worst one is probably the beloved grandfather. He really prefers to have Ice Cream at least once a day. He has favorites and he does seem to prefer it served to him while he is out. He loves Gelato and he enjoys sorbet, but in a pinch ANY form of ice cream will do.

This is what he has been teaching my young growing children. Ice Cream is essential. When we drove with them last year down to FL we stopped, oh... at least 3 times on the way specifically for Ice Cream. It is a two day drive. We spent two weeks with them in Florida and I think we had Ice Cream every day. I think I came back at least 10 lbs heavier.

The kids have discussed this in the car:

Girl: I told Grandpa that we needed to have Ice Cream everyday before we go to the beach cause it is so hot there, we need to have ice cream before we go.

Boy: No, that isn't right, we always have Ice Cream after the beach. That is what we have always done.

Girl: Oh, well that is fine too!

Me: Yes, that is right, we always get the Ice Cream after the beach (to myself: at least this way I don't gain weight before I put on the swim suit, it is after. I suppose that is better...maybe.)

When I mentioned this conversation to the grandparents, Grandma laughed and said that Grandpa was considering taking them before and after we went to the beach. WELL... that makes sense! I will also be packing my thigh master, and my exercise ball, and my running shoes, and oh, my exercise bands... what else? Oh, my swimsuit? I don't think it will fit in my luggage now. Drat.

Now, you may say that I should just not have ice cream every time we go, but I have problems with that. I have no problem simply not stopping for Ice Cream, but when you are there at a fruit orchard where they serve their own fruit flavored ice cream it is harder than hard to say, "No thank-you, I don't think I will have any today." I don't think I managed to do it once last year. The other problem is that their cones are HUGE. These are not small cones, they are very large soft serve sherbet type things that are just mammoth. You can't order small cause well, they don't have small. They don't know how to stop the machine before the cone reaches a height of eight inches. Honest.

So, tomorrow I head out to the land of Ice Cream. If something happens and I can't catch my air plane down, I will just grab my Candy Land board game. I bet the Grandparent's house is on there and that way I can easily find my way to King Ice Cream's House.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Math Guy that U See?

This last weekend I attended the St. Louis Homeschool EXPO . I took the kids with me on Friday and they attended a kids expo where they played and made crafts and sang songs and watched puppets and did all sorts of things.

The absolute highlight of the day, for my kids especially, was getting to meet Mr. Steve. Mr. Steve is actually Mr. Steve Demme, who is the founder of Math U See, the math curriculum we use. My kids LOVE Mr. Steve. The program comes with DVDs that Mr. Steve actually teaches on. The idea is that you watch the DVD and then do the book/block work, so my kids see Mr. Steve pretty regularly, and are always thrilled to see his smiling face on their TV.

Half-way through the day, The Boy decided that he was done with the mass group of kids regardless of how much fun they were having and he opted to join me in my classes. He sat in on two hours of speaking and declared it was like church. Between the classes though he did get to meet Mr. Steve. He had wanted to meet his math teacher so badly, but The Boy is my shy guy and so upon meeting Mr. Steve he didn't talk much and was keeping the conversation very short. He did answer questions and we went on to checking out some of the myriad of booths to shop at.

At the end of the day we got the Girl out of her classes and I took both of the kids with me to the sanctuary so The Girl could meet Mr. Steve. We had to wait in a short line of other adoring homeschool moms who wanted to talk to the man who "literally saved" their children, and in the meantime my children were um... embarrassing. They were running amok. They had sat still too long and now looked and acted the part of children who needed saving by Mr. Steve! We were in a church sanctuary and it was a large church sanctuary and my kids were honestly and truly running the aisles. I tried to get them to simply stop by asking them to stop. They just giggled and ran, we were so obviously beyond that simple request. I didn't want to go into a full blown run in front of the other moms who were seated and watching and waiting for the next session, which was due to start in another half hour. Finally, I did the one thing I have tried to stop doing. I counted. You know... ONE. TWO. THREE. HERE NOW! I had The Girl skid into place. The Boy mischievously grinned and followed. That had been the whole trouble, The Boy had chosen this moment to chase The Girl.

I kept the girl in line beside me by the hand, but The Boy, I merely confined to the boundaries of the nearest church pew. He continued to run from one end to the other. The other moms looked on with sympathy, I know that they had all been there at one point or another. They were all thinking, "Poor woman. I am SO glad I didn't bring my kids up here. She must have special needs children, you know, those uncontrollable ADHD kids. She should be over there in those special classes. I wonder why she is here with us normal-kids-people?"

Finally the two women in front of me stopped chit chatting with the amazing Math teacher and he looked at The Girl expectantly. Her eyes lit up and she put her hands up to her mouth. She was grinning from ear to ear. He asked her a couple of questions and she talked with him a bit then when I felt we had taken up enough of his time, I whispered to tell her to let him know how much we liked his math. She looked up at him and beamed and said, "I love Math U See!" She put all of her feeling into delivering this line. His face lit up and he called his son Ethan over, who is the director of marketing for Math U See. He asked The Girl if he could pick her up and she agreed and was overjoyed that this very tall Mr. Steve would pick her up and carry her to his booth out in the hall. There they talked and they filmed The Girl saying cute little mathisms and The Boy ran around the pillar in the hallway like The Flash. Granted he wasn't that willing to talk with Mr. Steve and he was done talking, it was time to play. Frankly, it was time for The Boy to run a good five miles in my very humble opinion.

Mr. Steve and Ethan finally scooped The Boy up and swung him side to side by his hands and feet. They threatened to toss him and finally set him down, commenting that Ethan also used to need to run a good five miles periodically as a child. They then tossed The Girl around and threatened to do a full loop with that one!

I finally gathered my children and all the paraphernalia that I was carrying around and said our goodbyes. We headed outside to walk to our car and The Girl looked up at me and said, "I didn't realize that he was a real person!" I could do nothing but laugh.

Today she drew a picture of Mr. Steve and Ethan swinging her through the air. I let her know that we would send it off to him. He will be getting fan mail from my kids, I bet he hadn't planned on that when he wrote his math curriculum.

Monday, April 7, 2008

God Remembers

I read this article tonight and had to post the link here. I recently heard that they weren't stocking his books in the more prominent places at the book stores any more because, well, it just isn't selling as well as say... Manga.

The ending line of this essay by Elie Wiesel is, "After all, God is God because he remembers."

I hope we remember as well.

Psalm 115

12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,

13 he will bless those who fear the LORD—
small and great alike.

Friday, April 4, 2008

What month is it?

On the Air Force Base, where we live, they have these teal colored metal ribbons on all the posts. I racked my brain trying to figure out what they were for. I finally remembered that it is "The Month of the Military Child," and assumed that must be what they were for. It puzzled me that they would put them up for The Military Child, as this wasn't really a cause to warrant the colored ribbon thing. We need to raise awareness of The Military Child? Is it a problem? I was confused, until I finally saw a sign that explained them. They are there to signify that it is, "Sexual Assault Awareness Month." This is something that apparently the military has some issues with.

Before I realized what the ribbons were about, I did puzzle over the fact that it could also be due to Autism Awareness Month, but figured that wasn't a big enough deal for the military to order all these metal ribbon signs made and then have them all bolted to the poles. I was right. I will say that as a mother it is something that you look for. You are told the signs. You know that it won't show up until at least 18 months of age. You look for and carefully scrutinize your children hoping that they will not be part of the growing number of children with Autism. There is tons of information on Autism, but they still really do not know the why and how of this disability. Much more research needs to be done to figure out what is going on with Autism.

I also know that this month is a big focus for environmentalists because of Earth Day, some people celebrate it as Earth Month, but that doesn't seem to be as widely recognized. They have a great map where you can look up events in your area to participate in. I will be checking out how I can take care of this great Earth God has given us.

It is also a month of Remembrance. It is Holocaust Remembrance Days. The actual days for this are April 27th - May 4th. To remember and to study so that we will not forget the oath, "Never Again."

I went ahead and looked up what else this month is about. This is the list that I found. I did not search forever and I am sure there are probably more official lists out there, but this list is quite extensive.

Now, this is where the post fizzles, because I cannot for the life of me think of a way to close this post. That is just sad, but there you go. A month of causes... check them out.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Bane of Moms Across the World

This is what I just pulled out of my dryer. Which now I will need to completely rewash in order to not look like I had balled my children up and stuffed them in the luggage to get them anywhere.
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