Saturday, November 27, 2010

Of Chess and the Study of the English Language

There's nothing like a nice game of chess before breakfast...

...if you can talk your big sister into playing with you!

*** *** ***

Jaela and Macey began studying Latin and Greek roots this year, and although Anya won't officially begin the full program until next year, she has been learning along with them. They learn four new roots per week, then do a comprehensive review at the end of the week. During this week's review:

Anya: Hey, Mommy! Curro, cursum is just like corro in Spanish! Run! (Then, a few minutes later...) And Mommy, I haven't been pathos very bonus lately.

Translation for those of you not "up" on your Greek and Latin roots: Pathos means feeling, and bonus is good.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay...aka AAAACCCKKKK!!!!

We were going to move ourselves, so I started packing (slowly) in September.

Then our plans changed, and we decided to have the movers do most of the work and only take some of the stuff ourselves. So I unpacked a few things, rearranged others, and quit packing.

Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay.

As happens more than occasionally in this household, we then changed our minds again and decided to move ourselves. No movers.

Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay.

I have two weeks to pack up the house.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Almost Alexander

Remember Alexander and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?

My Thursday was only slightly better.

Our day started at 5:00 a.m., with excited whispering from four little voices upstairs. Only four more hours until their dentist appointments! I made them go back to bed, but none of us went back to sleep, so an hour later we officially started our day. It was gray, cloudy, and cold.

With beds made, rooms straightened up, and all four kids dressed, we started school. While they were working on their math, I started my coffee and the laundry. In hindsight, my first attempt at pouring a cup of coffee was the first warning that my day was NOT going to go as planned.

It was cold. It was clear. And it most definitely was NOT coffee.

So THEN I poured the pot of water into the coffee maker, and waited a little longer for my first cup of coffee. I should have just gone back to bed.

The girls finished their "at the table" schoolwork before we had breakfast, and after we ate, they finished their chores and got ready to go, finishing schoolwork "on the fly". We were planning to leave the house at 8:30, leaving plenty of time for the 15 minute drive to the dentist's office and our 9:00 appointment. At 8:25, I finished getting dressed and ran upstairs to do my final "leave the house ready to be shown" check.

On my way up the stairs, my skirt fell down.

I made a very quick decision to go with my back-up outfit, and ran back downstairs to change. Of course, I couldn't just throw the first outfit on the floor, because the house had to be left "show ready", so I hung everything back up neatly and scrambled into jeans and a sweater. After a hurried final, final check, we loaded up the van and pulled out of the driveway at 8:40.

Halfway down the street, I asked Jaela if she had locked the front door when I asked her to..."Oh, no, Mom, I forgot!" Growling, I turned around and went back to the house. I ran through the garage and into the house to lock the front door from the inside, only to find that it was already locked. I chose NOT to scream, took a deep breath, and got back in the van.

We pulled out of the driveway at 8:45, and signed into the dentist's office at 8:58. Whew! I hate being late.

An hour and no cavities later, we piled back into the van and headed to Goodwill. I am a big believer in combining errands once we're already out of the house. I should have just gone home.

Two hours and an overflowing shopping cart later, we were all starving. We had one more stop to make, so we went through the drive-thru at Chik-Fil-A to get lunch.

With a horrible grinding, crunching noise, my window refused to roll back up. Not with the automated up and down button. Not with pure willpower. Not even with all the elbow grease my already tired arms could muster.

So with the window rolled up only a quarter of the way, and sunglasses on to keep stuff out of my eyes, we headed to our last stop. By necessity it turned from a let's-all-go-in kind of errand into mom-will-just-drop-stuff-off-outside kind of errand, and when I was finished unloading the van, I managed to muscle the window up to at least halfway closed, and then we went home.

In the driveway, I managed to push and pull and coax the window up within a few inches of being closed, then took a break to put Isaak down for his nap. While I was inside, I called Mike to confirm which repair shop I should use. He answered his phone (a small miracle, actually get through to my pilot husband on the first try) and confirmed that I should take it in to the repair shop that we've used before. I called the repair shop, hoping for a Friday morning appointment.

Could I bring it in now? Well, my son just went down for a nap... They close at 5, and it's already 2, and it may take a while to get the door panel off, diagnose the problem, and get it repaired, so it's really up to me... A short nap is even worse than no nap, but it looks like it could rain again at any minute...

I got everyone ready to go again, and 10 minutes later, we were on our way to the shop. After sitting in the waiting area for an hour, the news came. It's an easy fix, but they'll have to order the $158 part, and it won't be in until Monday. Which is when we can pay the rest of the $378 total. Great.

They jimmy my window into a mostly closed position, which whistles horribly, and a tiny stream of cold air is directed straight into my eyes. At least it wasn't too dark yet for sunglasses.

Since we were already out, we stopped at Walmart to pick up a few groceries, then headed home for the second time that day. And for the second time that day, I forgot to stop at the gas station.

It could have been worse.

And for the record, I have no plans to move to Australia.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sing A New Song

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Psalm 96:1

Isaak: (at the top of his lungs, of course)
Ha-yay-yu-yah, Ha-yay-yu-yah!
We all live in a yeyow submarine! starts with Hallelujah, and I'm pretty sure no one has ever sung that particular song does it count as singing a new song to the LORD?

Saturday, November 13, 2010


This morning Isaak played Jenga all by himself. He didn't create the tower and pull a single block out to relocate on the top of the tower as the game is designed. No, he just used the blocks to create ships, cannons, soldiers, prisoners, and battle scenes. He invents a new game every time he plays, and every time it is called Jenga.

This morning, his soldiers were created to look like Ts, each with a horizontal Jenga block balanced on top of a vertical one. He set them up in a perimeter around the top of the coffee table, surrounding a building he'd created from more Jenga blocks, and then came running to tell me all about it.

"Mommy, come look! It's the Battle of New Orleans! And it was 1954! And one of the soldiers is Andrew Jackson! And George Washington was there too! And there was a lot of fighting, and only these two guys lived!"

Anyone up for a nice game of Jenga?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Not An Average Vocabulary

(Important background information: Jaela has been re-reading the Grandma's Attic series, and Anya is reading the 1930s versions of Nancy Drew. There. Now these little stories will make more sense. Read on.)

The other night, the girls wore their new footed jammies to bed. Jaela came to the kitchen just before bedtime to tell me how much she liked them. (It was a long monologue...)
Jaela: (wrapping up the monologue) ...and Mommy, Macey and Anya just look so CUNNING in theirs, don't you think?!?

Today, playing paper dolls in the living room:
Macey: Isaak, PLEASE don't bug me!
Isaak: (indignant) This is not called bugging you.
Macey: But you ARE!
Anya: (in her most gentle tone of voice) Macey, PLEASE don't speak to him so harshly!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I am loving that
what she loved then... what she loves now.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween, Schmalloween

Mommy could care less about Halloween. Daddy thinks it's fun.

Costumes were created out of what we had around the house, and the kids went Trick-or-Treating around the neighborhood with Mike and our neighbor Mark
(who got roped into helping wrangle four excited kids... in the dark).
I stayed home and watched football.

Everyone was happy.
(No, really, they were excited! But as everyone knows, pirates and indian princesses don't smile,
Davy Crockett has to look fierce, and fighter pilots only look really cool if they have their visors down.)