Saturday, January 31, 2009

favorite words spoken this week

This first was said by the girl after she was done playing pretend with me. "Momma, can't you just be normal Momma who knows everything?"

The second was said by the Boy while I was shoveling the driveway out. The snow plow had plowed in the opening of the driveway and it was VERY heavy snow. I was complaining at how hard it was and he said, "Well, it is hard for you just cause you don't do gymnastics."

I smirked as I handed him the shovel and then hugged him when he found that gymnastics hasn't quite done it for him yet.

I LOVE my kids and the things they say... Have those around you said amusing things this last week? Share them in my comments so we can all have a little giggle!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

spelling in egypt

Sometimes when you work with creative kids (btw, I believe all kids are innately creative) you need to think like a creative kid.

Everyday I have my kids spell out the spelling words for the week. They can do this in many, many ways and I will be highlighting those here as we work through our wide variety of ways.

Today, I will show you how we incorporate ancient history into spelling.

My kids LOVE ancient Egypt. We have studied it quite a bit and they know more then most adults when it comes to this culture in particular.

They were not wanting to do their spelling words today at all until I gave them the job of apprentice scribe. They had to use manila paper and only their black water colors with small brushes to do their words. I constantly called them, "Young Scribe." and they played along quite well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

not me monday~ cardboard cookies

Monday is a special day here. I participate in MCK Mamma's Blog Carnival and I get to tell you things that I would not normally tell you, but I get to lie. So, these are things that I did "not" do this last week. It is a sad tale, so pull out the kleenex!

Last Monday I did NOT bribe my children to do their best at swim lessons by promising them something "special if they did a good job listening to their teachers. When they did a great job I did NOT fly around trying to come up with something for them. Not me. I had it all planned obviously. I did NOT finally find a box cookie mix for gingerbread bears that was a year old. Nope. Not me.

I did NOT mix up these cookies that were a year old and expect them to taste normal. I would never do this. Ever.

The kids did love the cookies. They loved decorating them and since my kids are angelic they would never decorate the poor bear like he had an alien coming out of his stomach. Not me. Not my kids. Nope.

I did NOT eat one of these cookies and wonder what was wrong?! They did NOT taste like cardboard on a bad day.

I did NOT let my kids eat these cookies. That would be something that a bad mother would do... Not Me.

So, I did NOT toss these cookies in the trash as fast as I could and make fresh new cookies for my kids and my dear husband.
Not Me.

Oh, and to comment on what I am actually doing on this Monday? I am NOT frantically copying lots of fun things for my kids to present at the geography fair tomorrow, cause I would NOT let us all wait until the last minute to pull together our unit study on Antartica and Alaska. Nope. NOT ME!!!! (can you hear the copier whirring in the background!? YIKES) I DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!!!!

Click on the "not me" graphic on the top of this post to check out other Not Me Mondays and be prepared to giggle!
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

simple works for me wednesday

I am participating in Rocks in My Dryer's Blog Carnival. Every Wednesday she does a Works for Me Wednesday and many, many times I want to participate and don't because, well, I really feel like I have some issues and there isn't much that works for me that I am happy with. I am continually trying to find things that work better. But, eh, I am taking the plunge.

I have found lately that simple is working for me. For example, we have had these great cordless phones and recently the batteries on BOTH of them stopped holding a charge for very long and with me that is a problem because I always forget to put them on the charger. I have driven over five miles with a phone on the hood of my car. It made it to the farm in one piece. No kidding. Unfortunately I got terrible reception out there.

So the phones finally just quit. Both of them. I have to get batteries for them, but since they are over two years old they don't seem to have replacement batteries just anywhere. I mean most people apparently don't care if their phone lasts that long but oddly enough I think my things should last forever. So, in the seach for new batteries for my phone I had to buy something to serve me in the meantime. My husband is in the military and they have to be able to reach him whenever they feel like it. So I bought this puppy. It is simple. It has a cord. It makes me stay in the kitchen when I talk on it. That sounds bad, BUT I have one big benefit from it. My kitchen has been much cleaner! I am trapped into cleaning! I highly recommend it.

I have one more amazing item of simplicity for you today folks! So don't run away yet.

We homeschool and my children are addicted to very sharp point pencils. They will not write with a dull pencil point. I can understand this even though it does get annoying when I am trying to work with them and they HAVE to sharpen their pencil. The problem was exasperated even more when I had an electric pencil sharpener. That thing would just not sharpen correctly. It drove me nuts. They would keep messing up their pencil and it would take forever. FOREVER! I do not have tons of patience for things that should be simple and are not. So, after many versions of very, supposedly, high quality electric sharpeners, I picked up this little baby.

Guess what? It works and it works great!!! You need one of these guys! You can tell people that it is an antique if you need to! It sits right on my kitchen counter cause that is where we do school and it works awesome! Pencil points come out perfect every time and it doesn't look like it will break anytime soon.

So, what works for me is simple! Embrace the simple life!!!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today we woke up to the sun shining on the snow.

There are few things as appealing to small children first thing in the morning. They see snow and instantly think snow angels and snow men and snowballs and sledding and snow boards.

I just saw the sun sparkling across that snow and it made my heart glad. Overcast days and I don't get along.

The dog apparently enjoyed the morning snow as well. She kept rolling all over it. I found this picture to be quite sweet.

Besides the snow this morning, the rest of the day was fairly standard.

We did school, played outside had lunch and then we set off for gymnastics. It was just before gymnastics that I felt this immense exhaustion hit me. I felt like I could just curl up on the sofa at home and take a nice nap, but considering the fact that I pay $16 an hour for my kids to go to gymnastics I really didn't want to miss it. So I hauled my rear off the sofa and headed out the door.

At gymnastics I usually sit and chat with my friends and we have a great time. Today, I kinda wanted to curl up and fall asleep on the hard cold metal bleachers. I didn't. I felt I should mention that because there have been times in my life when I have been so tired that I HAVE just curled up and fallen asleep.

One of those notable times was when I was in college. It was in the summer and I was working full time as well as taking full time classes. Along with that, I was living with my sister with a brand new baby and I was dating this amazing guy who was occupying my every thought and my every evening. I really couldn't get him out of my mind and I still feel that way about him which is a good thing, since I am still with him and he does make an amazing husband, BUT this story isn't about him. It is about my exhaustion.

So, I was working during the day doing work on the grounds of the college campus that I went to school at and I was working hard out there. It was a hot, hot summer and I was weeding everyday and hedge trimming and raking and watering baby trees and I was doing something else called rock picking (which is a whole 'nother post). After leaving work I would head over to the local community college where I was taking a Biology class and I would do school there for a couple of hours each evening. We would have an hour of lecture and then we would have a 15 minute break before he would head in for another hour of lab.

The building was so cold and I worked in the heat all day outside, so for me it was even more cold and I just about froze in there everyday. This is probably a blessing because I would probably have fallen asleep if it wasn't so cold.

In the evenings my dear sweet John and I would see each other and we were poor and hadn't known each other all that long so much of our time was spent walking through parks talking and sipping coffee at Dennys as we stared at each other through the smoke. There may have also been a considerable amount of time spent kissing and holding hands and looking all sparkle-eyed at each other. The problem was that we were staying up too late for the rest of my schedule to work well. Actually this continues to be a problem for us. We are night owls.

So by the time I hit biology everyday I was exhausted. Completely and totally and I really wanted to sleep but that building was so stinkn' cold! So I would sit and shiver and make it through. Then I would go out of the building during our break and try to just sit on the hot sidewalk, up wind of the smokers, just to get warm. I would lean up against the brick building and just enjoy the heat.

One day I finally was just over the limit tired and after sitting out there for just a minute or two and trying to close my eyes and just rest them I wondered in my little head, "Why don't I just lay down right here and take a little nap." Now, to the rest of the world this may sound odd, but to someone as tired as I was it made perfect sense. So, I laid down, right there on the sidewalk right outside of the building and I proceeded to take my nap. It would have been great, BUT people kept waking me up. They would stop and ask, "Um... mam? Are you alright?" And I would sleepily look up at them and say, "Yes, just tired... thanks." And try to go back to sleep. It wouldn't be long until someone else would come up and ask me if I was alright. I really just wanted a nap and I ended up being quite annoyed with these people all interupting my nap.

Many years later when I thought about my attempt at a nap I saw how crazy I must have looked to people, but I was so exhausted that I just didn't care.

Today, at gymnastics, I was almost that exhausted. Almost. Apparently I have decided that laying down on the sidewalk for a nap isn't that great of an idea. Probably a wise choice on my part.

Monday, January 19, 2009

not me, I certainly do not live in a children's museum

Ah... the life of a stay at home, homeschooling momma is just so tough. This week I did many things and I did not do many things. MCKmamma over at My Charming Kids hosts the blog carnival, Not Me Mondays, and I participate because, well... I can.

Basically, you lie on your blog. A lot. With lots and lots of brutal honesty! So here we go!

This last week I did NOT skip church Wednesday night. I did not skip church to clean for friends who were coming. I would never put the cleanliness of my home before my worship of God. Not me.

I also did NOT stuff an inordinate amount of junk on my desk into a file drawer beside the desk. I would never, ever do that. I always, always sort through things and file them as soon as they hit my desk... I mean... come on! Who would ever just stuff things in drawers? I never ever do that.

I did NOT feed my daughter popcorn for dinner last night. Nope. The boys went to go watch the football game at church and she and I did not just sit and watch movie and munch all night. I would never, ever do that. I suppose she did not also have soy hot dogs for dinner. And I am not a paranoid mom who still cuts all hot dogs lengthwise for my nearly 6 and nearly 8 year old kids. I would never be that paranoid and weird. Nope.

I did NOT visit the local children's museum this last week and wonder what it would take for me to basically redo my entire home in Children's museum style. I mean, really? Why would I want my kids to love their home? Why would I want swings hanging in my hall way? I would never even consider doing that. Crazy.

I do NOT have a copy of Photoshop Elements still sitting on my desk uninstalled. Nope. I would never procrastinate on something I have wanted on my computer for awhile. I would install that puppy ASAP!

Oh, and I did NOT actually pray for my children to just sleep any night this week. I mean, come on? I love singing sweet songs to my little ones regardless of how extremely exhausted and cranky I am. My house looks like pictures like this every night at bedtime. JUST like it. I never lose my cool at night and wish that I could just toss them in bed... clothes still on, not bathed, no teeth brushed, no prayers. I am a very responsible mom who would never ever consider doing that to her children. (gosh, I feel guilty just writing that!)

To check out what other people did NOT do this week, head on over to visit mycharmingkids and keep giggling on a loverly Monday.

Monday, January 12, 2009

granted reprieve

Yesterday evening I was tucking my little boy into bed and praying with him. For years he has said the beginning of his bedtime prayers as, "Jesus, Jesus day. Bless Momma, bless Daddy... etc... etc. Amen."

It may sound weird but that is how he prays and always has. He has prayed this way since he could talk. Since the day that he could lisp out the name Jesus, this is how my son started his prayers. I do know generally how this happened. You see when he was young I started off many a bed time prayer with, "Dear Jesus, Thank you for today."

He merely smooshed it so it was easy for his little mouth to say. He is now seven. Yes, seven years old and still saying, "Jesus, Jesus, day." Most of the time I do not even notice it. It has simply become part of praying with the Boy.

My problem is that yesterday evening that whole thought went up in smoke when he started by saying, "Jesus, Jesus, day..." and then he stopped. He paused and then said, "Dear God..." and he finished his prayer. When that happened I squeezed my eyes shut tight in shock and surprise. I know that my seven, almost eight year old, should not still be saying, "Jesus, Jesus Day..." BUT it is such a part of him. Such a part of his littleness. Such a part of the baby I used to snuggle and scoop up with such ease. It is such a part of so very many memories of us praying together, night, after night after night.

Nights when it took patience for me to even pray with him. Nights when I would pour out my heart to God in prayers that left me in tears. Nights when I would pray for help in leading this boy in the correct way and many nights spent praying with him for Daddy to be safe in Iraq. I have spent nights praying for sweet bunnies who have died and nights spent praying for aunts and uncles in China and then years later the same aunt in a hospital just hours away. I have spent nights hearing his sweet prayers open with, "Jesus, Jesus day... " and have heard him continue on to pray for young friends suffering with leukemia, and to hear him thank God for the trees and the flowers and the bushes and the bugs. All the innocent childhood prayers for years and years were encompassed with that opening phrase.

My momma heart felt slightly torn as I knew that he was realizing that his opening for prayer wasn't "right." That there was a better way. A more acceptable way... in his young mind.

It was hard for me that night to give him a soft kiss on his still soft cheek and to just walk away from his bed. There was actually a part of me that wanted to curl right up there with him and beg him to stop growing up. That would be a weird parenting tactic, but I can't deny that the urge was there.

I felt wistful looking back in on him later that night. I made sure he was covered up well and all was well in his room and kissed his cheek again knowing that, "Jesus, Jesus day..." would probably not be heard again.

Tonight, I prayed with him and I talked with him and in the process he actually licked me right across the nose, which was disgusting and wet and just plain gross and was so very little boy like. Then we prayed and he opened the prayer with, "Jesus, Jesus day..." and never paused and never seemed to think about it twice.

I however did pause and I did think twice and I did hug him close and know that I was granted a reprieve. It will not be long I am sure but I will treasure every time I hear, "Jesus, Jesus day..."

not me, I mean really... look around!

I have Not left up my Christmas Blog template simply because I am too tired to take the time to move it all around again. I do not look at my own blog in disgust because of this. Never.

Last week I did Not wait until the last minute to work on my son's Pinewood derby car. I did not want to wait for my husband to help him and I did not go ahead and cut the shape out myself. I was not worried that I would cut my fingers off and did not finally decide to use the ever helpful vice-grip in cutting out the shape of the car. I did not leave a bad cut groove on the top of the car that took way too long to sand out. I would never do that.

I also did not guide my little Tiger Cub's design theory on the car to make it more appealing. Anyone can put flames down the side of a car, but not just anyone can paint tiger stripes coming down the sides of a car and pull it off. When he won best use of color for his car design I did not smirk slightly at the fact that a 32 year old mom had just won best use of color. Nope.

I did not completely blame my husband when the car came in dead last in 4 of the 6 times it raced. I was so sweet and didn't say a word when I noticed that the axles were slightly crooked.

I have Not waited until now to send out the last of my Christmas packages. I did NOT try to make this alright by quickly printing off some pictures of the kids with the gifts from each person to make it alright. I also did not for the first time use real photo paper in my printer and become amazed at how well it printed and what a big difference it made. I am not behind on the times when it comes to this stuff. Honest.

My garage certainly does Not look like it exploded all over the floor and my dear friend who is coming to visit will certainly Not be sucked into it like a black hole never to return again. I am sorry dear friend. I will try to control the black hole before you get here, but this black hole just hates me with a passion. No kidding.

I have not just sat here writing this post when I should be making the kids breakfast. Nope. Not me. I would never put my writing, or erm... lying before the kids breakfast.




Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dia de los Reyes

Happy Three Kings Day!!!

This is also known as Epiphany and is a very important holiday for many people. Our family has some fairly strong Puerto Rican roots to it for which I am so grateful and because of that we have begun incorporating some of this holiday into our family traditions.

I did find an awesome children's book on Three Kings Day at our base library and as you know that I love kid's books and I love sharing them with you all that book is The Storyteller's Candle.

There are many great books on this celebration but I do think this was my favorite! It doesn't just tell the story of Three Kings Day though, it tells some of the culture of the Puerto Ricans in New York city in the early part of the last century and how a wonderful librarian reaches out to the community. I think it resonated with me and my kids because of our love for Libraries and books and all of that good stuff.

If this isn't a celebration that you are familiar with check it out. Find a book or two or at least google it and see if this isn't something you and your family would enjoy celebrating as well.

This celebration and Epiphany have been around long before Christmas was celebrated, so if for nothing else, you should check out the wonderful and rich history behind it.

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