Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Consider yourself mooned

And thus my inner photographer takes a grand sigh and says, "'d I ever pull THIS pic off??"

Friday, October 12, 2007


Hey guys - I know there are other Amy Grant fans out there. If so, check out Becky's blog - she's giving away three copies of Amy's new book, Mosaics, away!

For those who don't know me well...well, Amy was a HUGE part of my childhood. I remember the day Carrie brought a copy of Amy's first album to 4th grade recess. It was raining that day so we were stuck inside our classroom instead of out on the playground. The teacher somehow let Carrie play Father's Eyes and several others and I was hooked. I did talent shows and sang songs in church with Amy's music (and I had the mock leopard-skin jacket and perm to prove it!). As an adult, my music tastes have changed as much as her style of music has and I continue to love everything she produces. But in the last year, I had a yearning for the earlier music and I have gone back to purchase the oldies and it's amazing that those old songs really speak to me now as much as they did in 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. grades. Thanks Amy!

And Thanks for the chance, Becky! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Welcome at last!

Apparently Autumn heard my previous post because she has finally arrived at long last. Missing a plethora of her usual glory, she is also undaunted, shown by knocking the breath out of me as I opened my front door yesterday. Hubby is out of town this week and so I dutifully checked the weather last night and switched the thermostat from "cool" over to "heat" when I saw that it was supposed to get down in the 40's and 50's overnight.

This morning I awoke at 8am to a toasty warm 61 degree house, after realizing I had nearly frozen to death last night. NOW what? My first thought was to make some coffee and dig my winter robe and slippers out of the back of my closet. Having accomplished that, somehow my thoughts ended up remembering that when the Great Summer Floor Disaster occurred, the commercial fans had blown out the pilot light on the water heater. Of course, it was summer then and we didn't think about the furnace pilot light.

Naturally, I'm scared to death of pilots and lights but especially when you put them together in a sentence. Admit it - you are too. All your life, they tell you NOT to put an open flame anywhere NEAR gas. It's a *bad* *very, very bad* combination. But Hubby is gone and I have a sick kiddo running a temp. The light had to be lit, without a pilot (save me), despite my fears.

I couldn't find the instructions on how to do it. FIL uses electric but offered to light it if I could find the instructions (what a sweet man). After quite a bit of searching around the furnace (where Hubby swore the manual was) and rummaging through the filing cabinet of important papers and a quick not-really-any-help call to Hubby, I was able to locate and print out the re-lighting instructions online (amazing what you can find online these days!?!). I debated asking FIL to do it for me but he's a 30 minute drive away and has, you know, a life of his own to live. I decided I needed to be brave and at least attempt to light the durned thing myself (and yes, I can use the word 'durned' because I was raised, for all intents and purposes, a Missouri hick - this is the one slang word I allow myself).

As I plodded back downstairs, I actually found the instruction manual attached to the side of the furnace (guess it doesn't take a genius to know what Freud would say about that). Turns out that it is a newer model and is one of those automatic ignition contraptions. So there was no match to light. PHEW! I simply turned the electric off to the unit, turned the gas switch to 'off', waited 5 minutes, turned it back to 'on' and turned the electric back on. Soon we had that nasty I-just-turned-the-furnace-on-for-the-first-time-this-year smell coming out of our vents. But even those simple steps were very scary. There were cautions and warnings all OVER the manual about 'if you smell natural gas' and 'if unit has been in contact with water' (hmmm...water on floors did drip in that area - how much water is a concern?), etc. I found my stomach in all kinds of knots.

I also found my baby laying right inside the front door of the house, just in case we (rather, the kids) had to make a very quick exit. It's ok - I can say it out loud. Ahem. "My name is Laurie and I'm a nut job who's afraid to light things. Think of me as an anti-pyromaniac". Starting our campfire last summer caused me more concern than the average person, I'm sure. I don't know where this fear came from - I have no scary childhood tales of bad fires or anything of the sort. Though perhaps my mother's fear of my father falling asleep while smoking and 'burning down the house while we are all sleeping' hit a target she wasn't quite aiming for. That one might have been left better unsaid to this child. =;0D

So, I will rest warm and snuggly tonight and I wish you all well-lit pilot lights that never go out.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I miss you!

Where are your loud crashes throughout my day? Where is your smell of decaying leaves? The sound of crunching twigs beneath my feet and the wind ripping through my jacket, causing me to pull it closer to my skin? Where are my THUNDERSTORMS????

Alas, Fall, I miss you. Please visit soon.


Despite the disgustingly *very* unusually warm weather, we've been quite busy. We've had playdates with homeschooling friends, Bible studies, MOPS, poetry creating sessions with more homeschooling friends, etc. Rose and Jade have both had two different illnesses (again, COME ON Fall!!!). And Hubby has gone out of town for training this week. So it's only going to get busier, I'm sure.

But in the midst of our busy-ness, we're still learning. Me especially. I told the kids that I got them a couple books on CD. This is a totally new experience for us all. In explaining what they were, Matthew asked why people wouldn't just read the book to themselves.
"Books on CD are really great for several reasons. One, if you have tired eyes. Two, if you are young and can't read yet. Three, if you have a long drive to work (like almost everyone in our city does), it's a great way to pass the time..."
"Oh, yeah, like Grandma has one about Jonah!" Matthew interjects.
"I'm sure she does. Grandma really likes books on CD," I reply.
"Yeah...Jonah...that's my wait. It's my second favorite Bible story."
"Really? What's your favorite one?" I query.
"The one where Jesus," [dub total astonishment voice over this part] "feeds FIVE THOUSAND from just a few fish and loaves of bread!"

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Flowers Schmauers

Believe it or not, I think they kinda nailed me on this one.

You Are a Nasturtium (incidentally, this is one of the things Hubby does grow and eat in our garden)

"You are more than what you seem. Outwardly, you are a confident person with just a little bit of a temper. Inwardly, you are someone who needs some serious TLC and attention."

What kind are you?

Case and Point

Thanks, Katie, for sending this one. Good illustration (and a good laugh too)!

Randomness again

I think the bottom line, for me anyway, is that we do what works best for our children.

Absolutely Pam! Remember they started out every one of our La Leche League meetings that way..."There are many different ideas shared here in our meetings from co-sleeping to cloth diapers and everything in between. Please take what you can use and leave the rest. We're here to support you in doing what works best for your family." I freely admit there are a lot of families where unschooling would not work.

An online buddy just emailed me this morning. Her son has been working on telling time recently. I don't think she considers herself an unschooler but they do homeschool their son. In working on time through workbooks, he gained an interest in it. She got some additional books at the library on time and yesterday, he went into their yard, all of his own volition, and made a sun clock with sticks, rocks, toys and used a t-ball bat for the middle. I would bet that he understands the concept of time and daylight much better than most kids his age from that freedom in exploring the concept in his own way. WTG M!! :)

Matthew, Rose and I caught an episode of "Don't Forget The Lyrics" a couple weeks ago. We've not watched it since but it made a big impression on us. Mostly because we all love music. As much as we all love listening to music (and I love singing it), it is *very* rare that I hear Matthew actually singing. Rose can make up her own songs and sing to herself for two hours in her room but I can't remember the last time I heard Matthew sing. And Rose makes up her own songs and sings the typical little kid songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and such but I don't hear her singing songs off their favorite CD or movies, etc.

After watching the show, I was talking to Hubby and telling him that a home version of "Don't Forget The Lyrics" would be a really fun party idea. We both enjoy entertaining, though we rarely do it, so finding an idea that appealed to both of us was fun to talk about. Matthew piped up that we should start out with a kids version. When he elaborated, he said we should start with their Veggie Tales Silly Songs CD that's in the van. So the past couple of weeks whenever we go anywhere, we've been playing "Don't Forget The Lyrics, Kid Style" (Matthew's name). I let the music play and at some point, I turn the power off and let the kids sing out what they think the next line of the song is. They can ask for a backup singer (each other or me) and occasionally I can come up with couple different multiple choice lines for them to choose from.

This game has been SO fun for us all. I think I enjoy it more than they do. You have *not* laughed yourself silly until you hear Matthew sing the lyrics, "Sometimes I'm off-key when I sing" or when he sings the line, "And you can't come because you don't speak French"... and to hear Rose pipe up the next segment, "Au revoir!" in that I-know-it-all-better-than-anyone four year old attitude.

So I'm finally getting to hear my kids sing. Aside from fun and silly, it's also been really interesting. They know the lyrics well. They can sing the Pirates of Penzance song, Modern Major General. Veggie Tales commonly takes well-known songs and changes the words around. There's a take-off on Funiculi Funicula called Larry's High Silk Hat that is just hysterical. If you haven't watched it, take the 4 minutes. You probably don't know which song I'm talking about from the title but I guarantee you, you'll recognize it.

Which brings me to the next item...cartoons. On Sunday night, I decided to go all out and make a fajita dinner from scratch. Yes, I made the tortillas, refried beans and everything (short of wringing the chicken's neck). This was quite labor intensive and unfortunately the kids didn't want to help out that night. The girls wanted to watch something on TV so I flipped around and found "Top Cat" was coming on Boomerang. I was just telling Rose a few weeks ago that was my favorite cartoon as a kid, after she had asked me about it. So I turned to it and we ended up watching the channel until bedtime. Since that night, we've watched The Flinstones, Pink Panther, Jetsons, Top Cat, Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry. What an experience for them! They often ask me about what my life was like as a kid; did I like this food or did I watch that show? It was fun getting to share a few of my TV shows with them. And they love them, which actually surprises me.

Do you know what's missing from todays cartoons? Classical music. They've taken one of the best features of cartoons out. At least Veggie Tales knows how to do it right. ;)