Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I think I'm allergic to fresh air

Two days in a row now I've come home with a killer headache. There must be a front moving in, because the weather tends to play havoc with my sinuses. And of course, all the things I'm allergic to are mostly outdoors. But that's okay, the headache doesn't get really bad until the end of the day. The kids are having a blast with all the camp activities: swimming, wagon rides, paddle boats, tubing. My assignment is watching the "push boat," a little rowboat that the junior counselors push upstream for a ride. It's nice and shady there, and there's nothing for me to do, so I brought a book and read the whole time.

I also somehow managed to volunteer to play piano the rest of the week. Not quite sure how I did that. I've been practicing since we got home, and it's shaky. I'm a very right-handed pianist. I can play the right hand no problem, but if I have to play the left with it, I slow down to a crawl. Throw in four flats in the key signature, and I might as well forget it. So they'll have the right hand only tomorrow, which I suppose is better than no piano at all, which they've had the first two days.

And hopefully this front will pass overnight and I won't have another headache.

Monday, July 30, 2007

First day of camp

We had our first day of Good News Camp today. I'm totally worn out and have a killer headache, but didn't want anyone to think I'd forgotten to blog! It's a day camp, so we're done around 3:30, but after a full day of swimming, playing, lessons and quiz time, everybody's just beat. Hopefully that means early bedtimes tonight!

Don't worry - I'll take the camera some day this week and get some pictures!

Friday, July 27, 2007

SPF - Rainbow

Kristine wants to see a rainbow this week. My son happens to have snapped this picture at the Creation Museum. The rainbow is just to the left of center.
Genesis 9:12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Did you play?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Random act of kindness

Last night I went to the store with just the 5-yr-old. I had a list. But I had left something off. I went blithely through the store, picking up everything, all the while listening to the incessant chatter of my son. His favorite thing to do was yell, "Ooo, oo!" like one of those kids in elementary school who sticks his hand way up in the air and waves it frantically. He did this every time he saw something he wanted, which was approximately every 9.4 seconds.

Finally, we got through the store, paid, and went out to the car. I opened the back, and that's when I saw the roll of paper towels we keep there for checking oil, wiping up vomit, etc. "Paper towels!" I said, smacking myself in the head. "I forgot paper towels!" I started loading things into the car. "I guess I'll put all this stuff into the van and then we'll go back inside for paper towels, 'cause we're completely out."

My son said, "You're going to put me in the car and go back in without me?" a look of horror on his face.

"No, silly, I'm just putting this stuff in the car, and then we'll both go back in." I turned to grab the next bag and saw a man coming towards us across the parking lot. In his hand were two rolls of paper towels.

"I couldn't help overhearing your conversation," he said (oops, was I griping that loud?), "and I happened to have these in my truck." He held the rolls out to me. "I have kids," he said. "I understand not wanting to go back in the store!"

I took the rolls and thanked him profusely, and we were on our way home. Now that's the kind of thing that really restores your faith in humanity.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

When the power is out

I woke up this morning to the sound of... no sound. We have a constant hum around here: fans or air conditioner, depending on the heat; the dehumidifier in the basement; two refrigerators; and an assortment of electronic devices. Together, they create a droning not unlike the deep underlying drone of the engines on the USS Enterprise. But this morning, we were dead in space. No power.

Have you ever noticed that it's hard to think of things to do when the power is out? My brain went through the following conversation with itself:
- I ought to get a shower.
- You can't - there's no power to run the well pump.
- Oh, right. ((dozing)) I should go do my blog for the day.
- You can't - there's no power to run the cable modem.
- Oh, yeah. Well, I need to call-
- You can't- you have VOIP service. No internet, no phone.
- Oh yeah.

I don't know exactly how long the power was out, but the freezer is beeping its little alarm that tells me it's too warm inside, so it must have been a while. Thank goodness I can do stuff now. Um, what was it I needed to do again?

I would never make it in the Amish world.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

11 years ago...

I was sitting in a hospital bed, holding my newborn son and wondering what on earth I was supposed to do with him. Oh, how many sleepless nights were ahead! How many endless screamfests when nothing at all would comfort him! Five months of sleeping with the baby because he wouldn't sleep alone. Refusing to drink from a bottle. Nursing every hour for forty-five minutes.
Yes, there's no question my oldest was my most difficult. And now he is one of the most amazing kids you'd ever want to meet. I'm so proud of him. Happy birthday, son! I love you!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Opening my own library soon...

Despite the fact that I would really have liked to go camping again this past weekend, I decided there was really too much to do around here. So we stayed home and worked. I did tons of weeding and trimming of bushes, so now our front walk looks a lot less like the approach to a spooky abandoned house.

I had mentioned to Hubby that a set of shelves in the school room might be nice, since I seem to have a talent for picking up huge stacks of used books, and I long ago ran out of shelf space for them. Instead of the simple set of two shelves under the window that I suggested, Hubby is building me an entire WALL of shelves. Now I'll have room for all my books, and I can shelve them according to Dewey decimal number. We just have a few more shelves to cut and mount and it'll be done.

Now I'm itching to go to another book sale.

Friday, July 20, 2007

SPF - Fork it over

This week's SPF is the silverware drawer. So here it is.
I bought those white trays for holding the forks, spoons and knives, but they always slide to the back when I open the drawer. Why don't they make those things shorter? I mean, really, who uses a foot-long spoon?

I have to say, it's been nice and peaceful around here now that our neighbors have moved out. They were very good neighbors, in that they kept to themselves and didn't bug us, but their six year old daughter was another story. She was over here all the time, particularly once school let out. And let's just say her parents didn't teach her much about social graces and leave it at that. I don't know why they moved (they sold all their pets, including three horses, and bought a smaller house with less land), but frankly, if I had two daughters and lived next door to a house full of boys, I'd move too. And quick.

So, did you play?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Creation Museum

Before I tell you about the museum, for anyone who might stumble across this review I wanted to tell you that I have studied evolution. I spent hours every day for two weeks straight reading books and websites devoted to it. I approached it with an open mind, sincerely wishing to understand what it is that so many scientists accept as fact. And then I taught it in my homeschool, before moving on to the Creation as taught in the Bible. Before you negatively comment on my point of view, I'd like you to do the same. Go to Answers in Genesis and read everything you can read in the next two weeks. Read the book of Genesis itself, in whatever translation you like. And read it all with an open mind, clear of skepticism. Take a couple of hours to explain it to someone else with no editorial comments. Then come back here.

The first things you notice at the Creation Museum are the dinosaurs. And not just dinosaurs, but dinosaurs next to people. As you walk into the first room, an archeological dig is taking place. You are shown through a series of illustrations showing the conclusions that man has come up with apart from the Bible (millions of years, molecules-to-man evolution), and then the same illustrations are used to show that what we see in the geological and fossil record can be explained by what we read in Genesis. The difference between the two is their worldview. One says, "God cannot exist, therefore..." The other says, "God exists and gave us a book of history, therefore..." But could all the stuff in Genesis really have happened? Let's explore further...

As you go through the museum, you see the six days of creation. Everything is good, and then Adam and Eve eat that fruit. Sin enters the world, and with it death and suffering. Corruption. God's creation is no longer good, and He decides to wipe it away with a worldwide flood. Only one man and his family escape. Now, we've all heard stories of Noah's ark. But hearing about it is nothing compared to seeing it. In one room of the museum is a full-scale replica of one tiny portion of the side of the ark. You can walk through the inside, too. Even at that, it's hard to imagine the size of it. Big enough to hold two of every kind? Absolutely. In a series of dioramas, we see the loading of the ark, the flood, and the receding of the waters.
Now, at this point, my children became restless. It was past lunchtime, they were hungry, tired from driving all night, and just wanted to move quickly from room to room. So I'm sorry to say I missed many of the more interesting topics covered by the museum, such as the Scopes trial, racism (the Bible is AGAINST it, in case you were wondering), and whatever else was in those last few rooms I got pulled through! We did, however, get to see the dinosaurs models, which come last. It was so refreshing to be able to read the information about each dinosaur without seeing that it lived "250 million years ago." Instead, most of the dinosaurs are biblically dated to have lived around 2500 BC.
From one visit, I would say that this musuem's main purpose is not evangelism. That may surprise you. But it is an unfortunate fact that many people who claim to be Christians do not believe the accounts in the book of Genesis. I think this museum's message is that you can be a Christian and KNOW why you believe. And in turn, tell others why. All Christians need to visit this museum, if at all possible.
I would say if you are not a Christian, and are not willing to open your mind to the possibility that this museum tells the truth, don't go. In other words, if you're going to approach it with a closed mind full of sarcasm and skepticism, save your money. But if you're prepared to believe that there is a God, go see it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

WCW - Party time! Excellent!

For this week's Wild Card, I had no trouble finding a picture. I saw this and immediately thought of TKW. This is the sign that was in a ballpark near the playground we visited Saturday.
I bet you know the W's I'm thinking of for this picture. As soon as I saw the sign, I could hear Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in my head: "Chick! Schwing!" Major Wayne's World flashback!

So there you have it. Did you play?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pics and a meme

Here's our camper all set up at the campsite Saturday evening. Notice the stove on the side, which I used to cook this tremendous feast:
And the weird thing was, I bought twelve burger patties thinking everyone would want two, and I think we had six left over. Everyone was just too tired to eat!! But what fun! I can't wait to do it again!

And now...
Tagged by Emom:
1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Okay, here are my eight facts:
  1. I used to keep all my books in alphabetical order. Now, I'm trying to put them all in Dewey decimal system order so that when we're studying something, we can find it!

  2. I drink my coffee black. I used to add cream and sugar until I met my college roommate. She was a tiny little 4'11" girl and drank her coffee black, and I thought, "If she can do it, so can I."

  3. I have been on this diet for 14 months now and have lost 55 pounds.

  4. I love trying new foods, but unfortunately, my kids don't! So I usually stick to the same basic meals for dinner.

  5. I won the Bible I still use, a nice leather Scofield Reference Bible (KJV), by memorizing and then reciting 50 verses all at once. I was 13. I still know those verses.

  6. I took a drawing class my senior year of college and the professor wanted me to switch to an art major. He was disappointed when I told him I was a senior.

  7. I love Disney World and I would live there if I could. Not near there, but actually in the park.

  8. I play piano, French horn and recorder rather well, but I know how to play pretty much any non-stringed instrument because my Dad taught music.

Okay, so now I'm supposed to tag someone. Um, if I've never tagged you, tag, you're it!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Home again!

We had a wonderful weekend traveling with our new pop-up camper! I thought going eight hours in the car with screaming kids would be bad, but it was worse. No, just kidding. They were really good, for the most part. Hubby decided around midnight that we would drive the whole way instead of stopping, so we slept at a rest area for a couple of hours and then ended up getting to our destination early. Like 6 a.m. early. We went for breakfast at Waffle House and then found a really nice park where the kids could run on the playground until it was late enough we could check into the campground.

We spent the day at the Creation Museum, and then enjoyed the evening at the campground. I cooked burgers on our gas stove, and then we took the two little ones for a walk around the pond. I enjoyed it so much, I asked Hubby where we're going next weekend!

Yesterday was spent driving home, and we got here around midnight. I'm tired, but happy. I'll share more about the museum later in the week - I want to take time to think about it. Oh, and if you're wondering what happened to our big trip to Wisconsin and back, that's delayed again. It might be just Hubby going in August sometime. ((Sigh))

Friday, July 13, 2007

Can't talk

Busy packing.

Read yesterday's post if you didn't already.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tim Taylor lives!

This is the funniest true story I've heard in a while. A friend's refrigerator died the other day, and after it was repaired, she found this thin layer of black dust on everything in the kitchen. She mentioned this to her husband, wondering where it came from.

"Oh, I know what that is," he said. "But you have to promise not to get mad at me."

She agreed.

"Well, when the refrigerator stopped working, I thought maybe the coils needed to be cleaned, so I figured I'd blow some air on them."

She nodded. "One of those cans of air we keep next to the computer?"

"No," he said. "I brought in my leaf blower."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

WCW - Overmerchandising

TKW's little game is back this week, and as soon as I saw this item in the grocery store, I knew it would make an appearance here.

We tried donut peaches a couple of years ago and loved them, but they're kind of pricey. I mean, if we each want to eat one, that's six, and when they're 4 for $3, that means you're spending $4.50 for one serving per person! That's more than a lot of dinners cost around here. Anyway, I saw these clamshell packs of donut peaches that had seven in them for $1.99. Then I picked it up and saw the label.
That's right, Pirates of the Caribbean peaches. Let me be the first to say huh??? Did peaches play a major role in the Pirates movies that I'm not remembering right now? I could see Pirates apples. I could definitely see Pirates rum. But peaches? I really want to know, who buys these peaches solely because they have a cartoon Capn Jack on them? Not me. I bought them for the price. That's my story.

So my W for this week is "Walt Disney is taking over the World!!"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Committee time again!

Is it time for our homeschool co-op committee to meet already? Yup. We've got to go through all the class ideas sent in and decide which to offer and during which period (there are 3). Then one of the other members will send out the class lists and registration forms. And then comes the really fun part - I get to put all the kids into their classes. Except there are always people who won't get their first choices because they didn't send the form back, or just because of the luck of the draw. If 30 people sign up for a class all on the same day, but the class only takes 20, I have to cut it off.

And then there are those people who refuse to list a second choice class. They assume they'll get first choice, or they don't see a second choice they like, so they just don't put anything. Which means phone calls from me, because I am not a mind reader.

I think next semester I'll offer a class called "Reading and Following Directions" but it will be for the parents. You see here where it says, "List a first and second choice for each period." This is not a suggestion. We actually need that information! Oh, and the deadline date? Yeah, that actually means something!! And teachers, see where it says, "Maximum class size?" If you leave that blank, I will not limit the number of rowdy six year olds in your class. SO ya might want to fill in a number. Thankyouverymuch.

((Deep breath)) Okay, I can do this. Those forms won't roll in until August. Must rest now.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Happy Birthday!

My second son is now eight years old! I can't believe it!

Happy birthday, big boy! (This is an old pic, obviously. Wasn't he a doll?)

Friday, July 06, 2007

What's cooking?

I have recently become somewhat enamored with watching Gordon Ramsay. The other night when I was doing my weight lifting, I turned on the tv and there he was, on Fox's Hell's Kitchen, making the losing team of chefs eat things like tongues and stomach lining. And I thought, "Oh, how great it would be if all bad chefs were forced to do that!"

Then I checked out my On Demand menu (a service from Comcast where you can watch thousands of different shows and movies anytime), and there he was on BBC America. This time, it was a show called Kitchen Nightmares, where he tries to help out a failing restaurant. It was absolutely unbelievable to me that the owners of these restaurants would not take his advice. One of them did, and guess what? His restaurant was succeeding! One decided to sue him (she lost and he was awarded a settlement), and one basically ignored him and continued to fail. I don't get that. This guy might be abrasive and vulgar, but when it comes to running a restaurant, he knows what he's doing. Why would you ignore his advice?

Now I see that Fox is going to have an American version of Kitchen Nightmares, set in US restaurants. That should be interesting.

The scariest thing about Gordon Ramsay is that he's only 4 years older than I am. If I look that old in 4 years, somebody get me to a plastic surgeon!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Vacation is coming (really this time)

The trip we were supposed to take last month has been re-scheduled for this month, and it's coming up fast. We're going to take a couple of days on they way out to Wisconsin and a couple of days on the way back, to see what there is to see. Technically, they're field trips, since we're on next year's school calendar now.

The camper adds a new dimension to the whole vacation experience. I need to pack not only the usual clothes and toiletries, I also need cookware, towels, lawn chairs and other things like that for camping. Now I know I'll forget something. ((Sigh)).

I'd like to get the house cleaned up before we go. I hate coming home to a messy house. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A-camping we will go!

You know how sometimes you say something and you're just thinking out loud really, and then someone else takes what you said and runs with it? I mentioned to Hubby that I had been thinking a camper would be fun, maybe a fifth wheel or something we could pull with his truck. Next thing I know, we're looking at pop-up campers on Ebay, and now we've got one!

I should point out that camping was unknown to me growing up. "Camping" with my parents was in an RV, with all the conveniences. "Camping" for Hubby and his family was in a tent with no conveniences (though they traveled with a pop-up before I knew him). So this is a nice medium. We have sleeping space for six, we have a gas stove and a refrigerator, and even a furnace if it's cold outside. Best of all, it pulls behind our minivan (Or will when the tow kit gets here), so we don't have to go hunting for an extended cab truck just yet.

I am really excited because I think this will allow us to travel more, and I love to travel. Hotel costs have gotten so ridiculous, we barely ever go anywhere. Not to mention the frustration of trying to get four boys to be quiet in a hotel room to keep from annoying anyone nearby.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Read together

I think reading together is one of the most exciting things you can do with your children. Jennifer at Snapshot came up with this idea to read a book with your kids this summer. She explains it all here. Basically, the idea is to get to know your kids better, specifically teens and tweens, by reading what they read, and then discussing it. When you're done, write a post about the experience. There are even prizes to be had!

So if you're interested, head over to sign up. Then, pick a book and start reading!