Monday, August 31, 2009

Faith Like A Child

"Mommy!" Jaela announced from the back seat of the van, "I think I'm beginning to understand part of the Bible!"

"Oh good!" I smiled. "What part exactly are you beginning to understand?"

I could see in the rearview mirror that she was looking out the window, deep in thought. "Well," she said, "you know that part that says 'if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.' I think that means that when you sin it is better to ask God to forgive you than to go to hell!"

(That's Matthew 5:20, just in case you're wondering where she's been reading!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mulberry Bushes and Smoky Mountains

The cd player is playing the tune:

Here we go 'round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush. Here we go 'round the mulberry bush, so early in the morning!

And the kids are asking:

What's a mulberry bush?
Why are they going around and around it? Picking berries?
Why so early in the morning? Before it gets hot outside?

The cd player is playing the tune:

On top of old Smoky, all covered with snow, I lost my true lover, for courting too slow. For courting's a pleasure, and parting's a grief, and a false-hearted lover is worse than a thief. A thief he will rob you, and take all you have, but a false-hearted lover will send you to the grave.

And the kids are asking:

What's THIS song about?
Is this really a kids song?
Where is old Smoky?
What's courting?
What's false-hearted mean?
But what does the song MEAN?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Homeschooling Hazards: Part 2

While I was typing out this post, Isaak climbed up into my lap.

Isaak: Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!
Me: What, Isaak?
Isaak: (leaning forward, pointing at the computer screen) Dat's a M!
Me: Yes, there is an M. (Thinking, there is no way he really knows which one is the M...)
Me: (pointing at an S) Is that the M?
Isaak: NO! Dat da M! (pointing insistently towards the general direction of at least one M and multiple other letters)
Me: (pointing at the M in Macey's name) Is that an M?
Isaak: (settling back in my lap again, satisfied) Mmhm! Yes! DAT da M!

I think my last year of teaching 2nd grade will be here before I'm ready for it!

Homeschooling Hazards

Today in 2nd grade, Jaela and Macey learned about extinction (among other things). One of the examples used to explain extinction was the Dodo Bird, discovered in the 1800's and extinct within about 80 years. They felt sorry for the poor, friendly birds that walked right up to the hungry sailors, but thought that perhaps they were aptly called "Dodo" (after I had explained what it meant) because they laid their eggs on the ground and didn't even try to hide them from predators. They were also (unfortunately) amused by the sound of the word "Dodo", and repeated it every chance they got. I finally forbade the use of that word unless it is being used specifically to discuss THAT Bird.

I forgot to tell Isaak.

At the table tonight, after he had eaten enough that he wasn't quite starving any more, he sat back in his chair, looked around the table and announced, "Dodo!", then dissolved into giggles. He laughed so hard I was afraid he'd fall off his chair. He calmed down after a few minutes, waited until everyone else was eating again, and again proclaimed, "Dodo!", followed again by almost hysterical laughter. The third time he tried it, he couldn't even get the word out before he started laughing again.

I think when he gets into 2nd grade, we'll skip the Dodo example and substitute dinosaurs or Passenger Pigeons instead!

It Doesn't Take Long

It Doesn't Take Long
How to Drive Your Mother Crazy in 24 Hours or Less Without Even Really Trying
by the D. Children

Start with a boot sticking out from under the kitchen counter,

and the other one in the middle of the living room, next to the pillows that are not allowed off the couches. (A sticker left upside down on the carpet, waiting to be stepped on, also adds a nice touch.)

Try leaving one magazine open and another wedged behind the cushion of the only chair,

ponytail elastics and headbands on the couch,

and a stool pulled up suspiciously close to the cherry tomatoes.
Be sure to store a ball next to the couch,

and don't pick up the toilet paper you dropped on the bathroom floor.
(Don't flush, either.)

Leave a toy egg and a lego car by mom's bathroom sink,

a pair of pink flipflops under the table,

books all over the kitchen counters,

and a stuffed manatee on the old dining room table.

That ought to do the trick!
(It works sometimes with our mom, anyway!)

Garden Bounty

This is my garden. It consists of three large pots containing large, unproductive plants. We don't even know for sure what we planted. It's kind of pathetic.

OK, it's very pathetic!

Most of my friends have real gardens, the kind that get planted in the ground, on time, and that actually produce enough vegetables to eat.

Lucky for me, though, sometimes my friends have plants that overproduce, and they start giving fruits and vegetables away.

So far this summer we've been given blackberries, crookneck squash, basil and other herbs, yellow squash, cucumbers, green bell peppers, zucchini, and now cherry tomatoes. A lot of cherry tomatoes! (Thanks, Deborah!)

I kind of like this gardening business! My friends do all the work, and I reap only the benefits. I get to spend time with other moms, my kids get to play with other kids, and oh, yeah, we get to eat lots of yummy things, too!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


A fashionista is defined as being "a devoted follower of fashion". It appears this morning as though we have our very own little *ahem* fashionist-o.

He is modeling the very latest in helicopter jammies, and showing off his new Mr. Happy backpack (because all fashionist-os shop at Old Navy and Walmart, right?)

He also has three older sisters...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Six Hours Later...

Today was our designated commissary shopping trip for the month, but we never just go to the commissary. If we're going to be out and about, I want to get it all done, so we don't have to go out again. So, we went to the PX mall, the commissary, Sam's Club, Walmart, and Kroger, and we did it all in almost exactly six hours. We got groceries, produce, cleaning supplies, diapers, and a new office chair, and while we were at Sam's Club, we also got Jaela's glasses tightened.

The chair was in a huge box, and it wouldn't fit anywhere except for behind the passenger seat in the van, in front of Isaak's carseat. He liked his temporary footrest, though. Anya had two packages of toilet paper and a box of pears for her footrest, and Jaela and Macey shared the back
row of the van with a huge insulated bag full of cold food.

It took me an hour to unload the van.

It took another half an hour to get all the cold food put away in the fridge and freezer, and all the rest of our purchases unpacked and set on the counter. They will live there temporarily in relative safety from my littlest helper until I have a chance to put them away.

I don't even want to talk about the state of my fridge.

Let's just say that we'll need to eat a lot of food before I can even begin to think about buying more milk or making yogurt.

I spent a lot of money. I am very, very tired.

But I'm not complaining! :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jesus Loves Me

Isaak's latest version of Jesus Loves Me:

The Bible tells me so,
Jesus loves little ones,
Yep, Jesus loves me,
Yep, Jesus loves me,
Yep, Jesus loves me,
Yep, Jesus loves me,
Next time sing with me!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Budding Artist

He likes to draw spiders, using any medium he can get his hands on; pencil, crayons, markers (washable, of course!)...
and he often draws Daddy (you'll have to take my word for it though).

And unfortunately, his artwork sometimes turns up in inappropriate places (like, for example, the schoolroom wall)!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jaela's New Accessory

We picked up Jaela's new glasses yesterday!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

School x 2 = Fun?!?

It's already the second day of school for the kids in our house, but today was the first day of school for some of the tiniest members of our household...the girls' miniature stuffed animals! Yesterday I refused the little guys admittance to our schoolroom while school was in session, but their little mommies made up for it today by creating little schoolrooms just for them. They had to wait a few hours, but as soon as 1st and 2nd grades were officially over for the day, the tiny creatures started school.

When I came in to the schoolhouse, Anya's creatures were engrossed in their Literature selection,

Macey's were working on Bible and having a snack (with a special guest lecturer for Science),

and Jaela's were paying close attention to their Science lesson. (Please note the neatly organized school books standing on the teacher's "desk" -- I don't know where she gets these ideas; I don't know anyone who would do something like that...)

What I want to know is, where did they get the idea that it's so much fun to be the teacher? (Wait, don't answer that...)

Monday, August 10, 2009

First Day of School

At breakfast this morning, much of the conversation centered around the excitement of starting the first day of school. After the girls had all had their say about what they were looking forward to most, and all of the obvious questions had been asked and answered, there was a moment of quiet contemplation.

And then Jaela asked, "How long ago did people discover school?"


Lunchtime Activities

A few days ago, at lunchtime, I left the kids alone at the table to finish eating, and when I came back, I found Anya reading the ingredients label on the bag of pita chips!
(Mommy, what's enrich-ed flooooer?)

(What have I done?!?)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spicy Juice!

I haven't written much on this blog about our adventures in working around Isaak's wheat allergy. (Mainly because I realize that it may not be as fascinating to you as it is to me!) The short version is that if he eats whole wheat, barley, or rye that has not been soaked, he needs to eat pickles too to help offset the allergic reaction. (You can read the long version here.)

The other day at my friend's house, we had whole wheat pita bread, and she didn't have any pickles. (I know, horrifying, isn't it?!?) She did have apple cider vinegar, though, so I mixed up a concoction for Isaak to drink; about a half a cup's worth of half vinegar, half water. If he would drink enough of it that I could be confident that it would offset the wheat, he could have the pita bread with the rest of us.

He took a small sip and instantly lowered the glass, blinking. "Spicy juice!", he announced. I agreed and told him that if he would drink just a little bit more he could have some bread. He took a few more swallows, then set it down and accepted his bread.

And then he drank more! He kept sipping from his glass throughout the meal, and when it was halfway gone, I switched out his glass with a glass of water, thinking that he had probably had more than enough vinegar water.

He was having none of that! "No!", he exclaimed, "No wan water! Wan my 'picy juice!"

Yep...he's related to my side of the family, all right! :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Macey's New Accessory

The verdict has been in for a while...Macey needs glasses!
We finally picked them up today, and oh, the things she can see!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I woke up this morning to the sound of the girls singing at the top of their lungs:
(Macey's version):

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, even though the sound of it is really quite atrocious, if you say it loud enough you'll always sound atrocious...

(If you're a little rusty on your Mary Poppins song lyrics, I'll remind you that it's supposed to be "you'll always sound precocious...")