Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Made My Day!

Our homeschool co-op started today. One of the classes I signed up to teach was Newsletter. Only 3 students signed up for it. All brothers. Teenage boys. I cringed a little. They candidly admitted to me that they mainly signed up just so they wouldn't have to be in Study Hall that period. But they had some real good ideas, so I think they will enjoy the class. But what made my day was that these young men all politely answered, "Yes, ma'am," or "No, ma'am," whenever I asked a question! That clued me in that they weren't from around here. Up until then I hadn't noticed that they also spoke with sweet, slow Southern drawls! (Just sounds normal to me! However, no one says "Yes, ma'am," and "No, ma'am" around here! So that stood out to me more than their accents.) Come to find out they just (within the last month) moved up here from Tennessee. They were also helpful, courteous, and very respectful. It will be a joy to work with these young gentlemen!

Their dad was there so I made a point to mention to him how sweet the boys were. (Not sure if their mom was also there. If she was, I don't know who she was.) His reply, "Well, if you have any trouble with 'em, you just do whatever you need to to keep 'em in line!" With home training like that, I don't think I have to worry about any behavior problems! What a blessing!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Camping

Camping was great... 48 hours is just too short. We didn't get to spend as much time with "just us" as we usually do. We actually spent significant portions of our time visiting with 3 other families. We aren't by nature real outgoing, so I think that was good for us. We met up with some casual acquaintances who just happened to be camping at the same campground. Their kids are of similar ages to ours, so of course the kids played a lot... and we got to know the other family better. That was really neat, because they are also a homeschool family, and very like-minded in several areas. I hope we can get together with our "new friends" again soon. We also had an older couple from church come out to visit and share the campfire on Friday night. They brought along hot dogs to roast so we just joined our meals together and enjoyed the fellowship. They are of our parents' generation, so like grandparents to the kids. And then Lyle's brother's family came out on Saturday at lunch time for a birthday celebration. Building relationships these days is often a challenge because of how busy we all are... so I am glad we got to spend time with special people while we were relaxing.

We saw several deer while we were out. On Friday evening a doe and 2 fawns came up pretty close to our campsite. I grabbed the camera and was actually able to get pretty close. They must just be used to people, and probably come through the campground often.

Tomorrow it's "back to school" and our "regular" routine, which I am still working on. I can't remember when I've had a school year get off to such a rough start. I sure hope things begin to smooth out some soon. The homeschool co-op classes start this week, too. We are excited about participating in it, but it does add to the busy-ness of our days.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Goin' camping!

We get to go camping this weekend! Yay! Not that we have time to go camping or anything... but we're going to make time, since we haven't been out all summer. I have fifty kajillion things to do before we go... and about that many to take along to work on. Lesson plans come to mind. *sigh* Oh, well... maybe the fresh air will help clear my mind.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Busy-ness

Well, I was gonna post "before" and "after" pictures of our house. We finally finished painting it Saturday. Also, Lyle built new front steps... (and I'm quite impressed with his work, carpenter that he isn't!)... and we replaced the indoor/outdoor carpet on the porch. Spruced the ol' house up quite nicely!

However, it was overcast Saturday evening when we finished, so I decided to wait until Sunday afternoon to take some pictures... which I did. But I didn't get around to transferring the pics to the computer, and my BIL came by when I wasn't home to borrow the digital camera. Lyle didn't know I had pictures on it. So... you'll have to wait till I get the camera back to see the pictures. I could show you the "before" picture, but nah... it will be more dramatic if you see them together.

My days are so full. I worked out a "school" schedule with some flexibility built in. Last week was not real organized. I am hoping things will come together as we go along. Lyle says I just need to keep "plugging along". I guess that's all I can do. But now I need to find some time every day for piano practice (30 minutes, at least, I think), as our church pianist moved away and I'm filling in. I'm not what you'd call a good pianist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know that practice will help.

Cookie goes back for the rest of her puppy shots this afternoon, so that's a 2-hour chunk of my day. I am scheduled to work tomorrow and Thursday. Wednesday is our homeschool co-op orientation. Also, L has one class that day. Her Apologia science lab starts a week earlier than other classes... (And, oh, yeah... I need to be ready to teach my classes by a week from Wednesday!) Then, we plan to go camping this weekend, since we had to cancel our plans for camping on Labor Day, and we haven't been out all summer. We will go Thursday evening and come back Saturday evening.

I think the coffee's done. I need to go check the clothes in the dryer, and then pour some coffee and take my Bible out on the porch. The kids will be up anytime.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I Don't Have Time

I am so tired of hearing that! Of course you have time. Everyone has the same 24 hours as everyone else. If you don't "have time" to do a particular thing it's because that thing is not as important to you as something else. It's all a matter of priority.

I was almost offended the other day when I was visiting with some older grandmothers at church. (By older, I mean that these ladies are old enough to have great-grandchildren, so are quite some time past their child-rearing years. That's why I was only almost offended!) We were discussing homeschooling, and one woman said, "I don't know how you have time to homeschool. I would have never been able to do it. I was just too busy with [all these other things]." The other grandmother agreed. "Yes, I was busy, too. I can't remember what all I was involved in, but I know I was busy all the time." I stood there thinking, "Of course you were busy! Everyone is busy! Especially mothers are busy!" I just smiled and said, "Yes. It is a challenge. But I think it's worthwhile." I wondered if they thought I didn't have a thing in the world to do so just chose to homeschool my children as sort of a hobby?

Speaking of busy-ness... I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed with the committments I have right now. School is taking longer than ever this year, but we also want to be involved in a homeschool co-op once a week. The girls are getting to the age where I think something like that would be an enriching part of their education, rather than just a fun diversion. I also have more than my share of responsibilities at church, due to lack of personnel (either that or everyone else is "too busy" to take on anything else). I think I wouldn't feel so very overwhelmed if I just had time to get better organized. But who has time for that?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I'm Sorry

Do you use "I'm sorry" as an expression of sympathy? Or only as an apology?

I was involved in a discussion today about whether or not you should apologize when you didn't do anything wrong. My position was that I often say "I'm sorry!" to be sympathetic. For example, a friend was telling me about a problem she was having with her child. I said, "I'm sorry..." She said, "Oh, it's not your fault!" Of course, it wasn't my fault! I didn't have a thing to do with it. I said, "I know. I'm just sorry you're having to go through that." In the discussion today I was informed that using it that way was a "Southern Thing"! LOL! All these things I've just grown up doing, never noticing that not everyone else does it... Who knew?

I also didn't know until recently that calling my mother "Mother" was a "Southern Thing"! I'm sure there are others... but I'm not thinking of them right this minute.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Book shopping

Seems like there oughta be something interesting to post about. Just too much going on, as usual.

We made a quick run to Boise--down on Thursday, back on Saturday. It's an 8-hour trip each way. The print shop has a contract to print the carbonless forms for the state. (You know how the government has to have everything in triplicate!) With the state capitol being in Boise, we have a lot of printing to deliver down there. So we make the run every two or three months.

My brothers both live down there, so we enjoy getting together with them when we go. One of my sisters-in-law is a book hound like I am... so every chance we have we hit the thrift stores and used book stores looking for goodies!

Right now I am looking for Dr Seuss Beginner Books to add to my collection to use with my younger daughter for school this year. She is supposed to use Dick & Jane and the Dr Seuss easy readers for the first semester. I have several of the Dr Seuss books but I'm looking for more. I found 3 at a used book store for $3 each. That's more than I like to pay for used children's books, but they sell for $8 or $9 new, so I went ahead and got them. I told my SIL, "Watch! We'll probably find these at a thrift store for a quarter or something!" Would you believe? We actually did! Well... just one of them... and it was 39 cents, not a quarter. But, still!

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Thirty-Thirty Chocolate Sauce

My mother-in-law emailed us a fun recipe for chocolate sauce this week. (My in-laws live in South Africa. They moved there as lay-missionaries when they retired.) She knows my 12yo daughter is interested in cooking...

Does L have the craving for sugar that her Grandma does? She might like to know a little recipe I found recently. I don't advocate eating too much chocolate or sugar, but this recipe only makes a half-cup. And I really like it for topping for icecream. It's called "Thirty-Thirty' because it has thirty grams of every one of the ingredients in it. (People over here use grams and millitres instead of tablespoons and ounces.) It so happens that thirty grams is the same as 2 Tbsp, so I use Tbsp on my recipe card. instead of grams, even if I keep the name, "Thirty-Thirty". "Two Tbsp-Two Tbsp" just doesn't sounds as good!

Anyway here it is:

2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. water

Simmer for a minute or two.
Makes 1/2 cup sauce.

Ummy-yummy!

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Painting Our House

We started painting our house today. Most of the youth group was here to "help". Some of the kids were actually more of a hindrance than they were help, but we sure didn't let on! The kids need to learn to do things like this, so we just gave 'em each a paintbrush and let 'em have at it! We did try to give some direction as we could, but a lot of it will have to be gone over. Oh, well! They had a good time, and we got a lot done. I think most of them plan to come back Monday to help some more. The only drawback is that most of the reachable-from-the-ground walls are finished. So Monday will be a lot of ladder work. Not sure it's a good idea to have the kids on the ladders. We'll see.

The paint color I chose was called "Perfect Blue". It's what I call "periwinkle" and it came out more purply than I meant for it to... but it's pretty. I think it will look better when we're done and all the old green and brown is covered up. The trim will be dark blue (almost navy, but the same family as the "Perfect Blue") and white. Oh, well... even if the color's not exactly what I had in mind it will be fresh and clean!

Thursday, September 1, 2005

"Father and Mother"

Reading Dick and Jane with my little girl. She has taken to calling me "Mother" instead of "Mommy" or "Mom"... which doesn't bother me at all. I call my mother "Mother"! I think it might be a Southern thing. But R can't understand why her daddy does not want to be called "Father"! I tried to explain that God was her Father, and Daddy was her Daddy. Not sure she got that!

My dad never let us call him "Father" either. Not that we really wanted to, but sometimes we might just joking around. He always quoted the scripture that says something about, "Call no man Father..."

We are enjoying the sweetness and innocence of the Dick and Jane books. She finished the first one, and is well into her second one.