Monday, January 25, 2010

Lady Liberty

Over the weekend, we drove to New York to pick up a van we bought. I thought you'd like to see some pictures from our stop in Liberty Park. Enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Put the pencil down!

When my oldest son was five, he hated the idea of me teaching him anything.  He didn't want to learn his ABCs, how to write numbers, or anything else.  So he spent a year in public kindergarten, learning what his alternative would be if he wouldn't let me teach him.  And he chose to be homeschooled after that.

Now, I have another five year old, my youngest son.  And some days I almost wish he didn't want me to teach him.  Almost.  But mostly I am awed and amazed by how quickly he picks up on things.  He just turned five in December, which means if I were sending him to public school he wouldn't be allowed to go to kindergarten until this coming fall.  However, here at home, he is doing first grade work, and blowing through every workbook I get for him in a matter of weeks.  He's doing simple addition and subtraction and just started doing two digit addition.

As far as reading goes, he is on the same level as my seven year old (who admittedly is behind where I'd like him to be, but I learned with the oldest that you can't force somebody to read).  He often will read something on a sign or a book just by using the phonics skills he is learning.  He is hungry for knowledge, and it's an amazing thing to behold.

My biggest problem is that he won't leave the school room.  He wants me to teach him all day long.  And I have to get him to understand that as much as I love seeing him learn, I'm responsible for three other boys and their schoolwork, too.  I can't spend all day with just one of them.  Next year my oldest starts high school and it's only going to get harder to cram all four of them into each day.

All I can say is that I hope I always have this problem with him, with one change - that he'll work on it independently!!  If he can do that, he can go through as many grades as fast as he wants.  And I can work with the boys who actually need me sitting right there with them or they don't get their work done.

Friday, January 08, 2010


I'm sitting here watching the snow blow across my front yard.  I still get that same thrill I got as a child, waking up and seeing snow falling, or looking out the window in the morning and where there was brown grass is now a blanket of white.  Love it.  Last year we had none and I felt like we missed winter completely.  And as I've said on many occasions, I love winter.

Now I'm going to refill my hot coffee and sit by the window in my nice warm house and watch the snow.  Oh, I didn't say I wanted to go out in it, did I?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Here I... recline

I've been sick for a few days now and as I reclined here in my bed with my new laptop, something occurred to me. After four years as an English major, including one very intense semester in Advanced Grammar, I still, STILL, don't remember how to conjugate the verbs "to lie" and "to lay". Am I lying in bed, or laying in bed? Did I lie down or lay down last night?  I have no idea.  I used to know.  In fact, we had to correctly conjugate one of those two words to be admitted to an exam once.  But now?  Gone.

For almost every other tricky grammar thing, I have a mnemonic device.  I love sharing them with my class.  But when it comes to this one, my memory fails.  I guess this is where being a writer comes in handy.  Why use a word I don't know when there are so many lovely synonyms out there?

And so I will set my computer down, curl up in my bed, and peruse my thesaurus.  And if anyone out there has a handy mnemonic device for me, please share!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Year, New Blog

Happy New Year, everyone!  I know it's been a long time and for that I apologize.  The three of you who were still reading this must have wondered what happened to me.  Actually, you're probably all on Facebook, so you already know what happened to me.

Anyway, I'm not really sure why I haven't written in a while.  It's not that I didn't have anything to write about.  So much happened this past year!  I won't bore you.  Some good, some bad, but 2009 kept me hopping.  And I have even more planned for 2010.  I guess I lost my creative mojo for a while there, but I think it's coming back.  The brain cloud is dissipating and I'm ready to write again.  I'm going to be playing with my template a bit, too.

This evening, Hubby went out for pizza because I've been sick and didn't feel like cooking.  In fact, we had planned to go on a weekend trip, but I had started to feel bad on Wednesday and called it off.  We didn't go to church this morning either.  Anyway, he went out for pizza and the fuel line on the van came off.  Imagine if we had been on the highway somewhere, with the kids, in this cold weather!  Or even just somewhere between church and home this morning.  Hubby called a friend who picked him up and brought the pizza home, then took him back to the van, and then followed him home again just to make sure he made it.  It will go to the shop tomorrow.

Sometimes we fail to take notice of the little ways God cares for us.  We take for granted that we will get safely from point A to point B without incident, when in reality it's amazing something doesn't happen to us.  It reminds me of that old Amy Grant song. "Near misses all around me, accidents unknown, though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home."  So, thank you, Lord, for the head cold that kept us home.