Monday, March 31, 2008

(Not) my 100th Post!

Technically speaking, this is my 100th post! It's hard for me to believe that... seems like I'm still such a newcomer to blogging! I have a nice post, worthy of the title of 100th, rolling around in my brain, but no time to get it out right now. We've had a birthday, doctor's appointments, visit from family, youth group outings, and a date (!) in the last week.

I've kind of been going by the "live first, blog later" principle.

But I'll be back soon - after I dig out from under wrapping paper and laundry, and restore some order to my little world - you know, just "Doing the Next Thing!" as usual.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Overheard

Just a couple of nuggets that made me smile this week:
"This is a calamity and it bites and scratches." 3yo A, describing a pink stuffed poodle while playing "Animal Show."

"The Cave of the Cyclops is under the desk." 8 yo M, playing The Odyssey with A.

"One, two, apple!" 22 mo K is starting to talk a little more, and this is the way she counts. "apple" seems to stand for just about anything, from actual apples, to butter, to ladybugs, apparently!

Pop on over to Mary's place for more Tiny Talk Tuesday!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Random Thoughts on Home Keeping

--do toys have some sort of magical way of propagating themselves? I am constantly organizing and purging, in the hopes of keeping toy clutter to a minimum. And yet there are still toys everywhere...reminds me of the movie Gremlins, when the little creatures are taking over.
--I need a dust ruffle. I spent the better part of Saturday de-cluttering my bedroom and in the sparkling newness it became very obvious that my bed is half na*ked. I have had the fabric to sew one for, oh, five years - but maybe it's time to give up on that idea and find one on clearance at TJ Maxx...
--Speaking of sewing, I realized (my mind was as busy as my hands this weekend) that I do my best sewing in the summer and I should just be content with that schedule. No more guilt over fabric that piles up during the school year.
--We need to use my wedding china more often. It's a durable pattern and I love it so much-it's a shame to let it gather dust on a shelf. I'm convinced yesterday's Easter dinner tasted better, simply because our table was pretty. (Thoughts of Mrs. Schaeffer flutter here.) I think I'll institute using our china on a regular basis, such as on Sundays (or when we have grilled cheese and tomato soup; or whenever we feel like it...)
--Nothing says love like plenty of toilet paper. I think FLYlady said that one time, but it's so true! I restocked all our cabinets with the good stuff and it was so gratifying to know that, when my sweet family hears nature's call, there'll be adequate TP for the job.
--I love training preschoolers to do chores. Yes, one more thing that makes me a big geek. But with 3 older children who started doing chores when they were small, I can see the payoff. Plus, it's just plain fun to have a little person at your knee, excited about putting away silverware like he was at Dis*ney*world. I've had a couple of inquiries lately about young'uns and chores, so I think I'll post about that soon. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Time to Cuddle

I don't have time for distractions this week. We've got a lot of schoolwork to get through, Easter Sunday to prepare for, and the house needs some TLC. But my sweet 22-month-old KL is sick. She follows me around saying, "up" in the most pitiful voice and my fleshly self groans inwardly at having to stop what I'm doing to pick her up.

But what a hypocrite I am! In the very week I'm trying to focus my children's hearts on Jesus, I forget that He stopped what He was doing (in Mark 10) to bless the children. Mark says He was "indignant" that the disciples tried to give the kids the brush-off. I think He would be indignant with me this morning.

So with a repentant heart, I'm off to spend more time cuddling and less time worrying about what's not getting done. After all, she turns 2 in a couple of months, and before I know it, my little chick will be grown and leaving my nest.

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the
kingdom of God belongs to such as these. " Mark 10:14b

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Overheard

Quotes flying 'round our place this week:

"Mom, I want to go to computer dot net." 3 yo A, requesting some tech time like his big brothers.

"Mom, my eyes can move - let.them.move!" A's response to my insistence upon him looking in my eyes while receiving correction.

"I wish these yoga people would just leave out all that religion stuff!" 11 yo C, always jealous for the honor of God, annoyed while exercising with me one day.

"Did a present come in the mail today?" 8yo M's daily question ... her birthday is next week. A couple of packages I ordered have arrived and she must think there are lots more coming!

"Don't hit a treeeeeee!" 13 yo S, cautioning A, who learned how to ride a bike w/o training wheels this week. (!!!He's three!!! Help!)

And in the I-can't-believe-this-is-coming-out-of-my-mouth category:

"No cell phones at the table!" Me at dinner last Friday. (My Sweetie and I got new cell phones and the kiddos have adopted the old ones (with no service, mind you.) It was kind of funny - they all ended up at the table and I was getting annoyed.)

Go visit Not Before 7 for more Tiny Talk.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Berrylicious!

After seeing a lady on a cooking show do this, then finding it in a cookbook, I thought I'd give it a try. Berry Napoleons. Sounds elegant, fancy, and difficult, doesn't it? Not in the least! Here's how you do it:
-take wonton wrappers (we used round ones-found in the natural foods refrigerated section) and place them on a baking sheet sprayed w/ cooking spray; spray the tops of the wrappers and sprinkle with sugar; bake in at 400 for 5 min.
-on the plate, layer a wonton, dollop of pastry cream, and a few berries; repeat and top w/ a wonton; sprinkle w/ powdered sugar
(I got an easy pastry cream recipe off the internet, but you could easily use whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping.)

So pretty and SOOO delicious!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Shameless Plug

Ya'll know by now that I'm a huge fan of Master's Academy of Fine Arts. I just found out that they're opening one next fall in my old stompin' grounds - Nashville. So all my Nashville readers, spread the word... It will be in the Hermitage area. Their website is just up, so check back often for updates on registration, etc.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Is Tacky Glue non-toxic?

This is a question I asked myself the other day when A. announced after rest time: "Mom, I ate a sugar cube." Let me explain...

All last week, while the Big 3 were working on history projects, A. kept saying, "I wanna do a projrect!" I told him we'd do a project on Saturday when all the others were done. He loves the book The Three Snow Bears, so I decided we could build an igloo out of sugar cubes and talk about living in the arctic with the Inuit people. It was honestly a blast - he enjoyed making his " 'gloo house projrect." The igloo is now proudly displayed on his dresser. And yes, Tacky glue is non-toxic!

Friday, March 7, 2008

History Project Day

Is mummification a skill you wish you had on your resume? Did you ever wonder what the ancient Romans ate? Speaking of eating, would you like a piece of the Great Pyramid or the Great Wall of China? (made out of cake, that is) Then History Project Day is the place for you!


We had a great time over the last few days, not only helping our children complete their own projects, but also enjoying the diverse creativity of all the students at Master's Academy. This really is one of my favorite events of the year - one of the things that makes me love Master's! I'm always amazed at the fun ways these kids come up with to show what they've learned this year in history. A couple of teen guys wrote and performed a song based on one of the Psalms; another group of teens did a hysterical film called "Greek Idol" - like the tv talent show, but starring Hades, Hercules, and their Olympian pals; an 11 yo boy built Tiberius' Water Compressor; a middle school girl made an intricate display of ancient African puppetry; and so much more. It truly was a delight to see these kids reflecting the image of their Creator as they created their projects.

My kids' projects turned out well. For C's Parthenon, we went with simple wooden dowels and styrofoam. We did a little math, to make sure that our columns were in proportion to the size of the roof and base (though they didn't exactly achieve the Golden Ratio, I think C and My Sweetie did a pretty good job!) S. did extensive research on the styles of warfare used by Egypt, Athens, Sparta, and Rome. He displayed C's Playmobil Roman ship and had a "Final Four"-type tournament and Ballot Box for viewers to vote for their favorite. Apparently that was a hit - his table was crowded the whole night! (I don't know if you can tell from the pics, but Egypt was the winner... a little revisionist, perhaps, LOL!) M's Greek and Roman dresses turned out really well - but the most rewarding part for me was how she kept saying, "Mom - this is so much fun!" as we did research together, shopped for fabric together, and as I taught her how to use my sewing machine and sew buttons. Good times!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rose From Brier

While she was no Wordsworth, Amy Carmichael was a prolific poet. I have a volume entitled Mountain Breezes: The Collected Poems of Amy Carmichael. Here is my very favorite:

"Rose From Brier" by Amy Carmichael

Thou hast not that, My child, but thou hast Me;
And am not I alone enough for thee?
I know it all, know how thy heart was set
Upon this joy which is not given yet.

And well I know how through the wistful days
Thou walkest all the dear familiar ways
As unregarded as a breath of air;
But there in love and longing, always there.

I know it all; but from thy brier shall blow
A rose for others. If it were not so
I would have told thee. Come, then, say to Me:
My Lord, my Love, I am content with Thee.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Overheard

"That's ghastly!" 11 yo C., whose vocabulary always makes us chuckle.
"I love my vocabulary!" I guess we've told him that one too many times.

Mom: "S, how many algebra problems have you done?" after 20 min.+ down at his desk.
S (13): "One."
Mom: "What exactly have you been doing?"
S: "Reading Dad's thesaurus."
Mom: "What words did you look up?"
S: "Damage, death, ..." oh, great! uplifting stuff!
Mom: (trying to decide whether to laugh or scold) "Well, what synonyms did you come up with?"
S: "mutilated, expired, wounded..." well... glad to see you have a love of learning, but why not get back to math? Man! Is this what homeschooling w/ teens is going to be like? I guess that's why Dorothy Sayers called this the "pert stage."

"Oh, M! You look like Helen of the Fair Cheeks!" C, again, commenting on how cute M (8) looked in her Greek chiton and with her hair braided.

"Mama! Get [me] Out!" 22 mo. old K, finally putting words together in short sentences. Her way of making sure we don't forget to get her up in the morning.

"I need a Lip Helmet!" 3yo A, glad that his sore lip was healing, and wishing he could prevent further owies to his mouth. Lip Helmet sounds like a good idea, as well as nose helmet, ankle helmet, finger helmet ... how about just a roll of bubble wrap?!

That's what the tiny (and not so tiny) ones around here are saying this week. Head over to Not Before 7 for more Tiny Talk.