Thinking Politics??!

I voted on November 2.  But this has nothing to do with that.

You know when you’re in the shower, and you get all these great ideas?  Like mind-blowingly awesome ones that could change the world?  Then one of your kids bursts in, holding their pants, claiming an emergency is about to happen, and you forget all about it?  Come on, you know what I mean.

Well this morning that didn’t happen, and I still have the great idea.  I may run for office.  Actually, I hope someone else implements this, because I don’t *DO* things, I just think about doing them.  This is my life in a nutshell, and it really would not make a convincing campaign slogan.  I don’t have the energy for that anyway.

So, you know how some countries have bad, mean leadership, and that at times causes our country’s leaders to forbid trade with them?  Well, instead of doing that, let’s REQUIRE trade with them, but only with certain companies.  I propose McDonald’s, WalMart, Unilever, and Disney, but am open to suggestions.  Mattel and Viacom, maybe?

We could also make them eat all their food out of those compostable bags that SunChips come in, and all unhealthy meals could come with a toy.  I realize that the Hague may try to intervene with this one, but I think we could prevail.

Who’s with me?


Laughing is good. Most of the time.

In the words of storyteller Robert Munsch, “This house is going craaaazyyyy!”

Not really, but it sure feels like it sometimes.  I have tried to look at the ridiculous and the delightful, as a way of counting my blessings.  Here are a few.

  • “I want some of that too!  What is it?”
  • cantabump, n.  A person who eats other people.
  • “I’m full.  Can I have more?”
  • “I love you. You’re the best whole world.”
  • (At the end of the book, every time)  “Amen.”
  • Bear’s name is Foo Foo, but we can’t pronounce that, so we call him Poo Poo.
  • Name of a certain private body part: tooter.
  • Raisin Bran for breakfast please, but I will not eat the raisins.
  • “Finger out of your nose, please.  Do you need a tissue?”  “No, I just had to get this out.”  (produces “this.”)
  • Picking apples wearing a leotard and cowboy boots.  No, this was NOT me.

Halfway to Eighteen!?

This Friday, my firstborn child turns 9.  Here is what I looked like during the first week of October 2001.

Bare feet and a towel on my head.  Yep.  If I only knew that it was the last shower I’d get for six years.  I’m kidding.

I had spent the month of September watching television.  Mostly various Discovery network channels, plus lots of this:

Brian put his foot down on the name “Fox”, however.  My obsession with this show stopped shortly after Gannon was born.  (I wonder if this is why I heard this snippet of conversation just now as I was posting this… Gan: “And then an alien comes down and abducts the cow.”  Acadia: “Ducks?  What can a duck do to a cow?”)

We didn’t really know what we were in for with having a child.  The only experience we had together in the caretaking department, besides having a tadpole/frog, was with our cat.  Scully (don’t blame me; she came named!).

Isn’t she so cute?  She was the perfect child: ate without a fuss, never whined, loved to leave us alone.  She did have a habit of drinking out of the toilet, though.

I could only hope our child would be satisfied with the more standard beverages provided by us.

Turns out he pretty much was.

Gannon is really still this big.  He only looks gargantuan, lanky, and capable of anything in the world.  It’s a deception.

He’s not really walking up a tree.


A Sure Sign

You know you’re a homeschooling mom when the kids ask, “Can we eat lunch outside today?”

But what you hear is, “Would you like an extended, quiet meal all to yourself with minimal cleanup and happy children?”

Umm, “Yes.”


Hot August

It’s a hot day out there.  Heat + Kids = NEED WATER.  They asked to go to the pond, but I told them no.  The water is low, and the weeds are high, and the scent of dead fish is overpowering.  Too dirty to swim at the pond, but hey, get in your suits and go play with the hose.

This is what resulted.

A giant puddle.

It’s a big, giant puddle.  Some of you may recognize this as the location of Dirt City.  We let the Army Corps of Engineers have a go at it, and look what happened.

Walking the bridge.

Gannon made everyone line up and take a turn going over the bridge.  “Don’t fall in the mud,” Acadia said.

“It’s acid,” was his reply.

So yeah, don’t fall in.  But it didn’t stay acid the whole time.  This is a very versatile puddle.

It is also a very DEEP puddle.

Good thing we didn’t go to the dirty, smelly pond.  I want my kids to stay CLEAN!


What my kids say when they are asleep

Gannon sleeps soundly and rarely makes a peep. Instead, he can sometimes be found looking for the bathroom, while sleeping. This produces amusing and often embarrassing results, and I won’t go into detail.

Acadia sleeps, but remains her usual, social self even while doing so. Most of what she has to say is directed toward her brother. “Gannon, no! Mine!” is a favorite. Just now she asked me, in her sleep, what “very” means. I told her to go to sleep. She asked a followup question: “What does Very Very mean?”

She has also talked about people I have never heard of. This is mildly disturbing.

Another question she asked me tonight, after I thought she was asleep, was, “is it only the firstborn boy who got the blessing back then, or was it the oldest child?”

Always thinking. I like that.


Dirty Jobs

Our dryer is acting funky.  It doesn’t dry clothes adequately.  Of course the first thing I think of is cleaning out the vent pipe.  I mentioned it to Brian, but he couldn’t do it right then, and I got impatient.  He took the kids off to tennis, and I dove right in.

Cleaning out the dryer vent pipe on a hot July evening is a dirty job almost worthy of Mike Rowe.

After I got it all apart and cleaned out, I realized that connecting it back together again is really a two-person job, since one person has to be in the basement and one has to be in the front yard.  Then the two people have to yell at each other, each trying to find the part of the pipe that the other is moving erratically.  At least, that is how I imagine it goes.  He hasn’t come home yet for us to try this out.

I’ll let you know how this goes.  I hear the car coming up the street just now.  Back to the dust!


Laughing At Stuff That’s [Not] Funny

I don’t know, I must just have a weird sense of humor.  But some things are just plain funny to me.  Over the years, I have learned that it is not always appropriate to laugh and point when I’m struck with a fit of giggles over something, especially in public settings.  If I try really hard, I usually can control at least the pointing.

Here are some things that recently have had me snorting.

  • Fashion Against AIDS“…as opposed to “Fashion For AIDS”?  Am I the only one who thinks that’s a ridiculous name?  And is fashion really all that great at fighting against things?  *ponder*  I suppose it could be used to fight against something.  Like those jackets with lots of zippers and chains.  They look like they’d be a good tool in any fight.  Except maybe the fight for an airline boarding pass.  Those metal detectors are picky sometimes.
  • Things that upset my daughter are usually funny, but of course I can’t laugh at them.  Not while she’s around anyway.  Later, I laugh.  And tell everyone I can find to listen.  Like yesterday when she came in crying and sopping wet (in her bathing suit).  At first she tried to make it sound like she was crying because a bunch of boys had hit her.  Then it came out that it was because, “We were playing with the water and then it was every man for himself and it didn’t go very well for me.” Sob, sob, sob!
  • Another thing that I feel I shouldn’t laugh about, but really want to (and do), is Engrish.com.  It’s not appropriate at all.  At ALL. But it inspires serious snorts over here.
  • The people who canvass our neighborhood to spread the word about their church.  Yes, okay, this is not nice for me to laugh at them.  But really.  Picture, if you will, a completely average-looking suburban dweller.  You know, shops at Kohl’s, has kids at State Street School, borrows stuff from the neighbors. Okay, got it in your mind?  These are not the people who come to my door asking me to visit their church. The people at the door tend to be far from average.  Either really short, or really tall.  Bright red hair, or a graying perm.  Shopping not at Kohl’s.  Or at all.  I don’t think it is the people themselves I want to laugh at.  What gets me going is their standard non-standardness.  They are so like each other, but unlike so many others.  And that concept, for some reason, is pure hilarity to me.  I don’t quite get myself most of the time.
  • This subskate thing.  You might have seen it in the toy section of your local RiteAid.  It looks highly unlikely that any kid would use it for long.  I may be wrong, I mean, my brother and I spent a lot of time in the summer using everyday objects in some super-cool ways for way longer than any adult would have, I’m sure.  But really.  This thing is just lame, and if I see you with one, I will point and laugh and not even try to contain myself.  Unless you’re a little kid.  Then I will do it behind your back, just to be kind.
  • Okay, one more.  I saw an eyebrow comb at Wal-Mart.  I suppose people could need one, but it struck me as funny anyway.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.  Feel free to hit that ole ignore button, just to be safe for next time.


Girlfriends Road Trip to PA

Jill, Laura, and Eva (and Ben), picture taken by Janet

The city of Philadelphia, in Legos.  This was at the Franklin Institute.

Bottled water, named for my daughter.

Janet hosted us for our weekend.  My room had a lovely view of her lacy-looking, whispery Locust Tree.  I want one.

We saw lots of farms like this one.

The roads came after the farms, I think.  While on this road, we almost had to drive through the barn before making the turn.  It reminded me of another road that Fran and Jenn and I used to drive on in the White Mountains of NH, where it went through someone’s back yard.  (“Excuse us!”)

Some very cute ponies near a craft shop we stopped at.  I didn’t feel weird taking pictures of the animals and buildings, but I avoided taking pictures of the people, as if they were local oddities.

Okay, so I did take this man’s photo.  It was from far away though, and I didn’t get out of the car and point.

This place…just…whoa.  It does not fit here pretty much at all.  It would look better in Las Vegas.  It even had a fountain.  No show girls or slots though.  It’s the Millennium Theater of the Sight and Sound production company.  The show was a spectacular musical of the life of Joseph.  I found the whole experience surreal.

Just to the right of the edge of the photo, four Amish children played.  It would have made a nice photo.  I resisted, though, thinking how I would feel if strangers got out of their cars and started photographing my own children. So just picture it in your mind.

Marge Simpson, hiding the Check Engine light.  Jill, driving.  This was just before she began to panic because the gas was approaching the EEK level, without a gas station in sight.


Thanks, Janet and Chuck, for opening your home to us (not that you could say No to Jill anyway).


Home School History – Civil War

I’ve known for years that at least one of my great-greats fought in the Civil War.  His name was Oliver Norton, and he wasn’t a general or anything.  He did, however, achieve relative fame because he was a writer.  He wrote many letters back to his family, and later wrote an account of the battle at Gettysburg that is still in publication today, The Attack and Defense of Little Round Top.

Doesn’t he look all young and rosy-cheeked in this portrait, like a kid dressing up in his father’s clothes?  He grew up to have Burnsides-style facial hair, which I can only hope never comes back into style.  He also became a banker, which I also hope never comes back into style.  Before the war, he had started out as a teacher and a farmer, two occupations of much better use.

I didn’t know the stuff about Oliver being an author until this morning.  Now I’m all excited to read his letters and other eyewitness accounts!  Here are some links, in case you want to dive into the War Between the States with the help of some primary sources.

Note: Oliver Norton, being a bugler, is sometimes said to have been the first person to officially play Taps, and to have collaborated on its writing with Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield.  This is up for some debate, although he himself made this claim.


My blog. Herein read entries related to who and what is important to me. Feel free to leave comments. I feel free to delete them if I don't like them. So there. By reading about my life, readers should expect to begin to see their own lives as increasingly more organized and sophisticated, their homes cleaner and neater.

Why This Blog?

Well, mostly this is for my family to see pictures and read anecdotes about the kids. It's also a venue for telling the story of my struggles and victories in my life as a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a teacher. Occasionally I toss in some weird or touching item that I've found.

What’s Christianity All About?

The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. [as said by John Piper]

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