Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ellie...Elmer's girlfriend

This is Ellie. She is planning on breaking into country music. She has already made her first video, pulling out one of the old classics.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Cool Video I found

I just really love this YouTube thing. I have not seen this video in years and years. Now some nice person has decided to share their copy with the world. I know they weren't really supposed to, but it's not like this is on TV all the time. If you're not familiar, it's the Travelling Wilburys...George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty.

By the way, I saw something that said it is Jeff Lynne's birthday today. Todd really likes ELO, I kind of make fun of it because some of the stuff is slightly weird. But you have to admit, the guy has made some pretty amazing music. I think this is the best, but that's just me. It is kind of sad to see this because George Harrison and Roy Orbison are gone now. I hear they are soon going to be re-releasing the albums that they made. It's about time!


Elmer is a character that Peanut and I created last night. He is a pretty funny guy, and he's wanting to break into the music business. Here is his first video. What do you think?

His girlfriend is working up a video of her own. We'll share it soon!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Pantry Game

No pics today. Bubby got shots today and he was just not his happy self.

I have been fortunate to not have to cook much lately, thanks to my mom, neighbors, friends, and people from church. It has been SO great. But that is slowing down, and I have almost used up my freezer meals also. Last night my goal was to fix a meal out of just what was on hand...because I really haven't done much menu planning and my shopping has been kind of disorganized. (Todd asks me what I need from the store, I scramble around trying to think of what we need in about 15 minutes, then he goes out and buys it.) 

This is a pretty fun thing to do. You can come up with some great recipes just by using what is on hand. Last night I made chili and potato salad. Here is what I used for the chili:

1 lb. hamburger meat
1 med. onion, diced
1 clove garlic
A little veg. oil to brown those things.
16 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1/3 c. ketchup (because that was not enough tomatoes and I didn't have another can)
1 can ranch style beans
Chili powder and salt to taste (I don't know how much I used!)

The potato salad was easy. I didn't use a recipe here, either. I just tried to think what might be in a good potato salad.

1 can sliced new potatoes (then I chopped them a little smaller)
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. Miracle Whip
Chopped roasted red pepper, out of a jar that we use for sandwiches
1 tbsp. pickle relish

The potato salad was really good. It would have been nice with a chopped boiled egg, I think, but I didn't have time for all that. The reason I had a can of potatoes was because I had seen a recipe for potato salad in Quick Cooking that used them, and I had meant to make it back in the summer.

I have a bunch of odds and ends in my pantry, so it might be interesting to try to use all that up in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Another Old Poem

Here is a second poem I found in my searching. Peanut and I got a kick out of it. It was also written in the 1800s. So cute! It must have been popular to write poetry in 'baby talk.' Maybe so people could recite it, and it would be entertaining?

Author Unknown

ONLY a baby
'Thout any hair,
'Cept just a little
Fuzz here and there.

Only a baby,
Name you have none,
Barefooted and dimpled,
Sweet little one.

Only a baby,
Teeth none at all;
What are you good for,
Only to squall?

Only a baby,
Just a week old;
What are you here for,
You little scold?


Only a baby!
What sood I be?
Lots o' big folks
Been little like me.

Ain't dot any hair?
'Es I have, so;
S'pos'n' I hadn't,
Dess it tood drow.

Not any teeth --
Wouldn't have one;
Don't dit my dinner
Gnawin' a bone.

What am I here for?
'At's petty mean;
Who's dot a better right
'T ever you've seen?

What am I dood for,
Did you say?
Eber so many sings
Ebery day.

Tourse I squall at times,
Sometimes I bawl;
Zey dassn't spant me,
Taus I'm so small.

Only a baby!
'Es, sir, 'at 's true;
'N' if you only tood,
You'd be one, too.

'At 's all I've to say,
You're mos' too old;
Dess I'll det into bed,
Toes dettin' cold.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

An old poem

I found a cute poem last night. I think this is a poem that my Aunt Lee used to recite. It is very close, anyway. It was written in the 1800s. We are not experiencing this kind of sibling rivalry at our house! I hadn't thought of this poem in a long time, but yesterday I told Bubby I couldn't give him any "tandy." It all came back, so I had to go look it up!


I'se a poor little sorrowful baby,
For Bidget is way down tairs,
The titten has statched my finder,
And dolly won't say her payers.
Ain't seen my bootiful mamma
Since ever so long adoe,
And I ain't her tunningest baby
No longer, for Bidget says so.

My mamma's dot a new baby;
Dod dived it, he did, yesterday;
And it kies, and it kies, so defful,
I wish he would tate it away.
Don't want no sweet little sister,
I want my dood mamma, I do,
I want her to tis me, and tis me,
And tall me her pessus Lulu.

Oh, here tums nurse wis the baby!
It sees me yite out of its eyes;
I dess we will keep it, and dive it
Some tandy whenever it kies;
I dess I will dive it my dolly
To play wis 'most every day;
And I dess, I dess -- say, Bidget,
Ask Dod not to tate it away.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Why do we have Christmas?

Not that we haven't talked a lot about Chrismas around here, but I thought I would get a feel for where Junior is in his understanding.

Mama: Why do we have Christmas?
Junior: Because it's fun and you get lots and lots of presents and it's about God and you get lots of presents. It's special.
Mama: What do you mean it's about God? (trying to help him out here...)
Junior: What you do is you make a Christmas list and you give it to Santa and then he brings you what the Christmas list says.
Mama: Help me out here, son. What is Christmas all about?
Junior: It's about sharing. God gave us baby Jesus. That was the first Christmas. Jesus is the Son of God.

Third time is the charm.

This was very revealing, because we really try to emphasize that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. Just goes to show what part of the message is coming across!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas Cookies

When we were at Grandma's for Thanksgiving, I enjoyed reading their newspaper. Every Thanksgiving, they ask the local kindergarten classes for the instructions on how to cook a turkey. They publish the responses, and they can be really funny. So in that spirit, I asked Junior if he could tell me how to make Christmas cookies. He has an advantage here because he usually helps me make cookies:

Recipe for Christmas Cookies

Start with dough. You go with eggs. Then you go with chocolate chips. Use a cookie spoon. Now squeeze the cookie spoon and cookies will come out. Put the cookies on a cookie pan and put them in the oven at 30 degrees for 3 minutes.

Since we are not doing a scheduled "school day" right now, Peanut and Junior are going to be helping with this blog so that they can practice what they learned earlier this year.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Peanut's Report - 2

A few weeks ago, Peanut had to give a report to her co-op class on an Oklahoma product or something invented in Oklahoma. She chose the shopping cart, which was invented in the 1930s in Oklahoma by Sylvan Goldman. It is an interesting story. Here is her report:

Sylvan Goldman was the owner of a chain of grocery stores in Oklahoma City, called Humpty Dumpty-Standard. In those days, when people shopped at the grocery store, they carried a basket in their hand to hold everything they wanted to buy. In 1936, Mr. Goldman got the idea to make a folding cart that would hold two baskets, so that it would be easier to buy more groceries. A maintenance man named Fred Young helped him design the cart. It took them a while to get it
right, but in a few months, they had shopping carts in all the stores.

At first, no one would use the carts. Men thought their arms were strong enough to carry around a little shopping basket. Women thought the cart looked too much like a baby buggy. A few days later, Mr. Goldman got the idea to hire men and women models to pretend to shop at the front of the store where people could see them when they came in. The lady at the front of the store would say, “Everybody is using these, why not you?” So their idea worked and now everyone uses shopping carts at the grocery store.

Mr. Goldman kept improving the cart, and he made them bigger so that people would buy even more. The shopping cart is the invention that has helped grocery stores the most.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Just as I thought...

A few weeks ago, I got an email that said you could go to Dr. Phil's website and sign up to be on one of his shows about homeschooling. I thought about it, but then decided not to. I wouldn't get picked anyway, I'm not extreme enough. (And I figured that the show would be taped really soon, and it's not like we can go anywhere for a while!)
I had heard that he has a low opinion of homeschooling, especially the homeschooling of teens. I never watch his show, but I have heard some of his quotes, which show he either has a great deal of ignorance, or is misinformed on the whole subject. Here is an article about one family who was invited to be in the studio audience of this show. I don't know when it will air, maybe it already has. Dr. Phil Article

*Update* I got an email this afternoon from a different source that says this program is scheduled for October 27th. I don't know if I'll try to watch it or not. Stuff like that usually just makes me irritated. If he'd give his source for the "research" that shows that teenagers need the socialization of a public school environment, that would be worth a look.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Piano Juggler Video

Oh, my! This is worth the wait if you have to download it. BTW, he is not juggling pianos...just watch!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A surprise for mama!

I looked out in the backyard yesterday and noticed that my bell peppers were still growing. They looked pretty small, but I thought I'd better go check them out. I couldn't believe how big some of them were!

Some of them are really nice and big, and the undersides are flat, so I can even stuff them. I have never been able to stuff peppers out of my garden! They always taste fine, but they have pointy ends. They are also rather small, so I would have to stuff a whole bunch to make a meal. I think this kind of pepper needs some cool weather!

There are also some green tomatoes, I don't know if they have time to ripen before we have a frost, so I might bring them in anyway. But it is supposed to be above freezing at least one more week.

Peanut got us tickled the other day. She plays with the boy next door who is six years old. His dad sometimes will go out there and play football with them. Peanut is right in there playing with them. (She was always scared to play soccer with our former neighbors, but she likes good old American football.) One night I asked her if they played touch football or tackle football. She told me that they played both kinds. I guess I looked kind of surprised (or dismayed), because she put in really quick, "But I don't tackle hard...I just kind of grab their shoulder and let them down easy." Oh well good, Peanut. That wasn't what I was worried about, but I am glad you are not so rough on them!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Gerbils

Even though my camera is not cooperating, I finally got a couple of pics of the little gerbils. I am "babysitting" them today since Peanut has gone to her Grandma's. She was looking forward to the trip, but not looking forward to being separated from the little animals. So I promised I would play with them, which I did. They slept most of the afternoon, but when I went in to see them about 5PM, they were running around the cage, so I scooped them out and let them play in a deep plastic storage box. That way they had more room to run around. I made it a point to hold both of them for a while. They still are not used to being held. They were nice and did not try to bite me. I think they are starting to like it. They are very mouse-like to me, so playing with them is actually an act of motherly-love (for my daughter, not for the gerbils!) But I have not gotten so much as a tear in my eye. Maybe it is good therapy for me.

This one is Princie. She is the biggest one, and the most friendly. She spends most of her time on her hind legs, looking around. She is very curious.

Here is Pastell. She is a little younger. She is still pretty small. She is more of a shy girl, and a hider. I couldn't get a picture of her for the longest time because she doesn't like being out in the open. She runs from hiding place to hiding place.

They ran around in the box for about an hour. They seemed to like it, and I put them back in the cage when they started slowing down and acting tired. They have an exercise wheel, but they don't use it. One of the first things they did was to move their bedding into the wheel, and that is where they sleep. I guess it is cozy for them.

Now that everything is cleaned up, Mr. B and I are going to get some Chinese food! Yum! And probably rent a movie from the store.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Camera Troubles

Sorry I have been so slow posting. I have had camera troubles lately. I though maybe my rechargeable batteries had gone bad, they are over a year old. So I bought some new ones. Turns out, the batteries were probably fine, it is the camera. It is sucking them dry, sitting overnight turned off.

We had a fun day Saturday, though. Here is Peanut's cake.

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The guys got the trim all painted on the house. Thanks Dad! That has been such a load off Todd's mind. And the house looks really good.

Peanut got a lot of great stuff. She is now the proud owner of a pair of gerbils. I have a picture of one. I am trying to take a picture of the other one. It is hard to get good pictures of them, because they are pretty fast.

Monday, October 2, 2006

The weekend...

Yay for Walmart! They now have Brach's Mellocreme Pumpkins in a bag! Soooo good!

We had a good weekend. We went out for hamburgers Friday night, and on Saturday we got some things done around the house. I got some sewing done, and Todd painted. Saturday night our friends let the kids come over while Todd and I went out to eat and did a little shopping. We had a nice time, and I think the kids did too. I think our friends' little boy liked having them over, because they mentioned a couple of times that they would like to have them come over again some evening. Peanut said he kept laughing until he would lose his breath. After the baby went to bed, they watched The Incredibles. They hadn't seen that in a long time.

Today was a lazy day. We all ended up taking short naps. The only problem is that now it is 10:35pm and the kids cannot sleep. Ugh. You can't win. They didn't sleep that long!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

New Restaurant (to us)

Saturday night we were supposed to have a babysitter, but that fell through. We decided to go ahead and go out to eat with the kids, then rent a movie and put them to bed. We ended up eating at Los Vaqueros here in town. I had never been there before, but Todd had. His friend Danny loves the place. It was pretty good. It was kind of "old school" Mexican food. Some people would call it more "authentic" Mexican food. That is why Danny likes it. His mother-in-law is from Mexico, and that is how she cooks. It reminded me of what we had eaten on our honeymoon in San Antonio. It was a little more "mooshy" and bland. It was definitely not Alfredo's! I would give it a 7 out of 10, though. I don't know if we will go there much. It is close to us, but we don't eat out that often. There are places near us that we like better.

We rented Failure to Launch. It was just okay. I think they tried to add weird stuff to it so it wouldn't be so much of a "chick flick." Hmmm. But Terry Bradshaw was so funny! I wonder when he will get his own sit-com? I have been waiting for that for 3 or 4 years.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

One great thing about fall

I have probably complained about this before, but somehow nothing really tastes the same since I've been pregnant. I will think of something that sounds good, buy or prepare that item, and it just does not taste right.

But I'm happy to report that there is one thing that tastes every bit as good as I remember it: Brach's Pumpkin Candies! Oh, they are so wonderful. The only thing is, I had to buy them in a bag with the chocolate candy corns...yuck. Even the kids don't really like those. I hope I do not get cavities from these things. I am still looking for a place that has just the pumpkins in a bag. The website says they still sell them like that. I am not going to get the off-brand that WalMart sells, because they do not look right. Even though the off-brand yellow candy corns are okay.

School is going pretty well. Peanut is wanting to make her own illustrated manuscript. I can't find any instructions on how to do that, we are just going from a picture in a book. I will look at the library on Friday to see if I can find anything about it. She has to do a little speech next week on a famous Oklahoman for her co-op class. She picked Shannon Miller. We found a lot of info about her, we are trying to narrow it down. I just thought, I should have asked her if she wanted to do Roger Miller. Hee hee! She is a fan of the Disney version of Robin Hood, so I think she would know who he was. (And we used to have You Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd on one of her tapes.)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Today is a great day!

Praise the Lord! Todd is home from his trip. Yay! (And now I can blog again!) He is glad to be back too. He is catching up on his rest, so that's good. The kids were very glad to see him. He slept in quite a while today, and they were getting pretty antsy. There were many attempts made to wake him up. I felt like the Secret Service, having to guard the bedroom door so carefully. But they were just excited to have him home.

Here is the latest funny thing from our house. Junior has this big Spiderman action figure that Sus and Dan gave him (not to be confused with Spaderman, which is a totally different toy!) Then he has two little small Spiderman action figures. He pretends that the big Spiderman is the Daddy, and the two little ones are his little kids. They climb on him and hang on him just like real kids. One day Peanut got ahold of them. Of course, she decided to give the family a mom also, so she went to her Barbie box. Ballerina Barbie got selected to play the part of the mama. She brought them all to Junior and showed him what she had done. He thought that was very interesting (I'm sure it had never crossed his mind to make a family out of them.) He told her, "Umm...Peanut....get a cooler wife." Hee hee. Ballerina Barbie is kind of prim and proper. She has a perfect little bun in her hair, and of course she wears a flower costume.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Random thoughts leftover from yesterday

One of the solutions Ms. Winn offered in The Plug-in Drug was to remove the television set from the child's bedroom. This surprised me at first. What on earth is a TV doing in a child's bedroom?!! She quotes a survey that says that 53% of children ages 2 to 18 have a television set in their rooms. I'm sure most parents do that because they don't want to watch the same thing as their children are watching. Still, that is a lot of kids who are watching TV unsupervised. Scary.

I have seen a lot of recommendations online for a one-week TV Turnoff. After doing the 30-day Challenge, I would have to recommend that instead. After one week, we were really not seeing many benefits, and the kids were probably at the worst point. If we had not made the committment for a month, I would not have been all that impressed. It would have driven home the point that we watch too much TV, that's for sure. I don't think we would have learned much more than that, and we would not have developed any kind of routine where we didn't automatically think of TV first thing in the morning, or the minute we walked in the door.

Junior is really having difficulty with one show a day. I am not sure how this will work. Because we had errands this morning, I was able to hold him off of watching a show in the morning. When it was time for Peanut's school, I let him watch a short DVD, but tonight after dinner he was just dying to watch another tape. He doesn't get it. I let him help me refill my inkjet cartridge. He liked it, but I'm sure I have a few more gray hairs now. That is probably not a good thing for a 5-year-old to help with. From now on we will stick with cooking and taking out the garbage.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Book Review - The Plug-in Drug

While we were doing our TV Challenge, I found a book at the library called The Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn. It was originally written in 1977. I read the updated version from 2002. It is quite an interesting read. Some of it is a bit frightening, though.

She talks about how parents use the television as sort of a sedative, to get a break from child care. They become dependent upon using it, and soon it begins to disrupt their lives. They know there is something wrong with this, but most are not willing to get out from under it. In this way, she compares television to a drug.

The book is filled with study upon study that prove the negative effects of television on young children as well as school-age children. I liked that the author doesn’t stop there. She seems to understand why parents use television as a babysitter or a bribe, and offers solutions such as a TV-Turnoff, strict rules about television, time limits, and keeping TVs out of the childrens’ rooms.

This book should be read by all parents. When you finish, you may not want to throw the TV out the window, but I think you will have a more realistic, honest view of what television does to your family.

As for us, we have cut down our television use to about an hour a day. We are still playing around with the schedule, however. I am thinking that longer programs might be okay some weekends. Peanut has yet to request a show, though I told her she could watch one a day. Junior has had more of a problem with the limitation. He watches his program first thing in the morning, then he is out of time for the day. I have allowed a little computer time, though, while Peanut is doing school.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

TV Challenge Wrap-up - part 1

Well, the challenge is over. The kids were allowed to watch TV this weekend at Grandma's house. Of course they didn't watch much because there was other stuff to do. Junior and Grandpa did keep up their tradition of camping out on the livingroom floor watching Ghosts of the Abyss. That is a documentary about the diving machines going down to see The Titanic on the bottom of the ocean. I don't think they ever make it through the whole thing, they always fall asleep.

Here are a few of the benefits I've seen from skipping TV for the past 30 days:
1. The kids play together more often. This was not automatic, and not without it's problems, but they are better at getting along with each other.
2. Less complaining about being bored. Here is another that was just a gradual change. I would not have been able to say this if we had only had 1 or 2 weeks off of TV. They are able to find something to do when they need to, usually without begging me to come up with something for them.
3. They are less grouchy in the mornings. Junior is actually really cheerful when he gets up. He does not stick his thumb in his mouth and begin ordering me around. Peanut is less cheerful than he is, but she does pretty well if she gets some attention right at first, in the form of a hug and some cuddle time.
4. Junior no longer sucks his thumb first thing in the morning.

A couple of good things that have happened, I'm not sure if they are directly related to the TV Challenge:
1. The kids play outside more. The weather has cooled down a lot over the past month, though, and I think it is more because of that. Most of the outside time starts about 5 pm, and there aren't any kids shows by that time. Still, there were some things that they would watch with us after 5, like "Unwrapped" and some of the shows on Discovery and TLC.
2. Peanut has been helping me more with household chores. This may be more related to the fact that she complained of being bored more, and so was given work to do. She found out that there were a few things she actually liked doing.

We have some new rules about TV right now. I told the kids this morning that they could each watch one show. That means they technically could watch two shows, if they each want to watch a different show. This morning, Junior's "shows" were not on, I guess because of the holiday. So he watched "Mighty Machines" and Peanut did not end up watching anything. She was saving hers for later in the day, but we were busy with school and piano in the afternoon.

The other rule is that we will have the TV off when Dad comes home at night. He said that was one of the things he most appreciated was coming home and the TV would be off and it made the house feel quieter. Not that things are very peaceful around here at that time of day. That did surprise me a little, because usually when he gets home we would have something on TV that he liked to watch. So that was kind of cool.

Peanut and I watched a video from the library about taking care of babies. It was very sweet, and we are both excited about getting to take care of our own baby. We agreed that the babies on the show were too adorable, but of course ours will be much cuter than that. It was realistic though, and showed many newborn babies crying and fussing. Peanut learned how to swaddle a baby and we practiced that a few times. That is one of the main things she has been wanting to learn. Tomorrow I think we will work on diapers.

Tomorrow I'll tell some interesting things I learned from reading The Plug-in Drug, which was a very interesting book.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

TV Challenge - Days 29 and 30

This should actually be the end of our TV Challenge, but we will just keep going until the weekend since things have been going so well. I told the kids that since we'll be going to Grandma and Grandpa's for the weekend, we will just end the challenge there. They will be welcome to watch TV there. This Grandma and Grandpa do not have cable, and the reception they have is not all that great. There are a few Saturday cartoons that might get turned on, but the kids are not used to watching TV there anyway. There is too much other stuff going on, too many kittens, too many toys, etc.

Today was SO nice, we were going to visit the nature park, but Mom didn't know that it is closed on Monday AND Tuesday. That was a big disappointment! I thought it was just closed on Mondays. So we had a little picnic at the Yukon park and fed cat food to the turtles and ducks. I think it was 70 degrees during the time of day that we were there. What a nice relief. I have had a ton more energy today because of that. I think maybe the heat was just taking it out of me.

Peanut had her piano lesson, which Junior interrupted more than once, wanting to play down at the end of the piano. (Very quietly, but I could tell it was bothering her.) I had to tell him to go play elsewhere, and he was so dejected. So now he is taking piano also. I couldn't stand it, poor little guy.

(I guess I should explain that I am Peanut's teacher again this year. I wanted her taking from a nice lady at church, but when we added dance plus piano, it was just too much $$. She really wants to take another year of dance, and that is not one of the things I can teach. So I am trying again to teach her piano, which is going much better now that she is older.)

Junior was very proud of himself. He has to sit on a phone book, and put his feet on a stool plus a phone book. I guess he is still a lot shorter than Peanut was when she started. We went through about 10 pages of the book today, I hope he doesn't expect that every time.

Peanut is having two lessons a week for 30 minutes. I made her some little charts to keep up with her practice. I don't know what I am going to do with Junior, because I don't think he's old enough to practice on his own. I tried practicing every day with Peanut, and I think that's why we got burned out. We might just try the two lessons a week and see how that goes.

Friday, August 25, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 25

Everything is going well around here. I took a look today at my ironing pile growing and growing. I am bad about waiting until there is some show on TV I want to watch, then doing my ironing during that time. I'm going to have to just do it anyway. Maybe I can parcel it out into small jobs. I can set the board where I can sit down iron, I just haven't done that very often.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

TV Challenge - Days 23 and 24

Junior now gets up every morning and asks me, "Are you going to get fatter and fatter every day until the baby comes?" Some things kids say are really not that cute.

We are supposed to get an ultrasound tomorrow. That should be kind of fun. I have never had one this late.

The kids are counting down the days until the TV Challenge is over. I told Peanut that things are not going to be exactly the same, we are going to have some strict limits. She was disappointed, I think she was expecting a TV marathon or something. But she still admitted that she had gotten to do some fun things.

Today we went to the dinosaur museum. Junior did "D is for Dinosaur" week last week, so this was supposed to go along with it. The kids really had fun. The whole place was nearly empty. Of course, it is one of the first days of school, so I'm sure no one is really doing field trips this early. And they just took down their big T. Rex exibit. We got to watch them packing it into crates to be shipped somewhere else. That was kind of interesting. There were lots of volunteers around, and I was proud of Peanut. She talked to them nicely and asked lots of questions. It is good to take advantage of volunteers on days like today - to a certain extent. I am looking for our book, What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? It is written for kids. Here is a good article by the same name. It is difficult to explain things from a creationist perspective (Biblical worldview) when you are right in the middle of a museum where they are telling you everything happened 100 - 200 million years ago.

Here is Junior looking at a display about fossils.
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He thought the dinosaurs were pretty cool, but he was mostly into the hands-on exhibits, especially the mechanical ones - surprise, suprise! Before he went to bed, he explained to his dad how some of the dinosaurs could chew their food, and others could just cut through it with their teeth like scissors. They had a little hinge thing that showed that, so of course that made plenty of sense to him. They also had a display showing how some dinosaurs would eat rocks to help them digest the plants they ate. He really liked that one. You could push a button to show the rocks moving around.

Here's Peanut in a canoe.

They have a nice exhibit on early Native Americans. There is a slightly scary part about buffalo (scary to my kids, even Junior), but it was still interesting.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Peanut and the little boy next door made a teepee yesterday. I will try to get a picture on here tomorrow. It rained last night and tore down the teepee, but she reports they got it back together. He had a book that showed how to make one, so they came in all excited and asked me for several things to make it. They harvested their own "bamboo poles" from down by the pond. They are pretty resourceful. I am glad that this little guy gets into stuff like that, because Peanut sure does. It was too small for them once they got it built, but he has a three-year-old brother that fits it nicely.

Sadly, tonight Junior went for a bike ride and had a bad crash. He was skinned up and his feelings were hurt even more. This time he skinned his lip and nose...very lightly, but they were swelled up when he went to bed tonight. He looked a little roughed up, but I think he will be better by tomorrow. His sissy was SO sweet to him. She got out a little frog washcloth puppet and let it talk to him. Then she got him a chair and a little question/answer book that he likes. She let the puppet "read" to him, and he liked that. I made her a coupon that said she could have french toast she is very excited about that! What a sweetie!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

TV Challenge - Days 19 and 20

We had a small miracle this morning. Todd and I were really wanting to sleep in, but a little before 8AM I heard little footsteps coming into our room. I knew that it was Junior, and I was expecting him to come in and ask for breakfast or something. Instead, he turned around and walked out. I didn't hear from him for a while, then I started hearing him very quietly playing in the living room. It was amazing! I rested some more, and got up at 8:30 to take a shower. When I was all done, I found him sitting on our bed talking very quietly to Todd. He was all dressed. I think he was wanting breakfast. He and I went into the kitchen and he helped me make donuts out of canned biscuits. I'm not sure he had ever had those before. They were quite a hit.

Saturday cartoons have always been our sneaky little way of catching a little extra sleep on Saturday morning. I assumed that without those, I would be on entertainment duty, but at least today I didn't have to do that. Maybe that is a "TV Challenge" benefit, or maybe just a gift from God. Anyway, it was very nice!!

The kids and I went garage saling this morning and that way Todd got to sleep in a bit. We didn't find one thing...even the kids. So it was a disappointing morning for that. Maybe we will get to go next week and things will be better. School started here on Friday, so maybe people were too busy this week to get a sale ready. There were very few sales, and most of them were junky.

Peanut scared me the other day. We had the radio on, and she asked me, "Why do they keep talking about the Ramsey murder case?" I think I broke out in a cold sweat. I was thinking, "What does she know? Oh, Lord, help me to say the right thing." If you know Peanut, that is a subject you would never want to discuss with her. So I very casually said, "Well, they mean that a person was killed, and their last name was Ramsey." She looked even more worried. Something clicked together in my head, and I said quickly, "It wasn't Dave Ramsey." He is one of the guys we listen to on the radio. She was visably relieved. "So he's okay?" "Yeah, hon, he'll be on the radio today and you'll hear." Big sigh of relief!!

Here is another website I found that gives a pretty balanced view of TV, and goes into video games and kids using the Internet. It's called National Institute on Media and the Family.

Friday, August 18, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 18

There was a bit of a cheat tonight. I had to go to the local homeschool meeting, and Todd said the kids could just go with him to his cousin's house because he was helping him fix his back porch. Well, there was nothing for them to do (I had forgotten that they have dogs in the backyard, and so the kids can't play back there.) So his cousin's wife had to keep them in the house, and pulled out Toy Story for them to watch. Oh well, if she was going to have to watch them, she might as well let them watch a tape. It couldn't be helped and it was only for a short time. If I had thought the whole thing through, they could have just come with me. There were several kids there anyway.

I have found a few websites about the effects of TV on kids that are interesting. I am finding that there is also some weird stuff out there if you are into the "no TV" thing. Much of it is "rich corporations are all out to get us" hype. Here is one that had some interesting info: LimiTV, Inc. And this one is also interesting to me because it is from the "Benji" website. Yes, the dog in the movies.

Here are two of our projects from school. Junior's assignment was to make a dinosaur out of clay. Peanut jumped right on it, and came up with this critter. Very cute:

However, Junior would not make a dinosaur. I tried to show him the easy steps to make a dinosaur, but instead he made a playdough dinosaur dig site and proceeded to dig for a dinosaur. See, this is what I mean if you hear me say that I don't think I would put Jr. in Kindergarten this year if he were in public school. He would be in such trouble all the time. He is too far "out of the box." So I didn't get a picture of the dinosaur digging mess. Instead, here is a picture he did of an apple tree when we were on "A is for Apple."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 17

Things are going smoothly. The kids are a little doubtful about that, but they hardly say anything anymore. I don't know if that is because they don't really miss it anymore, or if they have just given up. I would like to believe the former. That may be true for Peanut, though, because I'm not sure she would give up the whining if she really cared.

Junior's kindergarten this week is "D is for Dinosaur" so he is learning about dinosaurs. He looked at some pictures of different dinosaurs today. His favorite was the Apatosaurus. I think because it was the biggest of all the pictures. Then he drew his own. I don't think they are a certain kind of dinosaur, they may be a mixture of all the dinosaurs we looked at.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

TV Challenge - Days 15 and 16

I mentioned this last week, but if you are a person who believes in prayer, then please pray for little Anna Jane. I will let you read the latest update. My heart just goes out to her mama and daddy. I don't know how a parent would go through something like this, but I know the Lord is just carrying them through.

I got a new (to me) book at the library called The Plug-in Drug by Marie Winn. I will tell more about it later after I've read it through. I had heard of it years ago, but never got interested in the subject of TV enough to look at it.

It gave me a "duh" moment today. The first chapter of the book had a comment from one mother she had interviewed. The comment had something to do with thumb-sucking. Apparently, when the TV went on in the morning, the blanket and the thumb came out for this particular little boy. Oh dear! I'm thinking, there are only two times a day when Junior sucks his thumb: when he goes to sleep, and when he first wakes up. The thing is, TV was the first thing he asked for when he woke up, then he would sit there holding his blanket with his thumb in his mouth. Usually just about 15 minutes, but that was the routine. Guess what? Now with no TV, the first thing that comes out are the Hot Wheels cars. You can't suck your thumb when you are busy racing cars! I had never noticed that until I read about that today. I have also noticed that at night when it is time for the "softie," I can always find it on the top bed. He has to toss it up there when he makes his bed, and there it stays. No more dragging it around the house!

I may be onto something, huh? No TV = less thumb-sucking? I don't know why that never came to me before.

The past two days have gone pretty well. We had a park day yesterday, and library day was today since we did not get to go Friday.

I had another cool thing happen, kind of accidently. Peanut really does love school. She is just at that age, I guess. She always asks me when we are going to do school, and she's excited if we're starting a new book, etc. The only thing she doesn't like is spelling. We have been using something called AVKO Sequential Spelling. It is a great program, in my opinion, but she really does not like it, even though she is learning a lot. I have tried making it a little easier on her. My last effort has been making her write the words only once a week. The rest of the time, she can spell them outloud to me and I will write them on the dry-erase board so she can see them. That made it better (I think she is still concentrating on how to make the letters, so writing and spelling at the same time are hard for her.) Yesterday, she got out her Skip-it (a thing that goes around her ankle and she can jump over it with the other leg.) She did that the entire time she was doing her spelling lesson. For the first time, we were done in less than 20 minutes. Sometimes it can take 45 mintues. She loved it! Although she was sweating and short of breath a lot of the time, she didn't care.

My feet are not swelling anymore. They are back to their boney, ugly selves!

Monday, August 14, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 14

This challenge is actually going by quickly. Two weeks already!

I'm not missing it much at all. The times I miss it most are when I have handwork to do, or ironing. That is when I like to keep it on for company...and that is even when the kids are around being loud. I have started listening to the radio a little more. I found a website called Shoutcast which lets you find Internet radio stations playing different kinds of music. There is one station I have found which is just great. It is called KCEA and they play all sorts of big band music. It is a fun station to listen to if you like stuff like Sinatra and Benny Goodman.

Here are several other shows I listen to, usually during the daytime:

Dave Ramsey You can only listen to him so long before you know exactly what he is going to say.
Chuck Swindoll
Charles Stanley
Focus on the Family
Nancy Leigh Demoss She is the one who talked about the TV Challenge on her show.
Dr. David Jeremiah
Dr. Michael Youssef
Hank Hanegraaff Very interesting guy. People call in with Bible questions, and he is able to answer very clearly and Biblically.
Sean Hannity
Dr. Laura She is like Dave Ramsey. After a few days, you can predict her answers to everyone.
K-LOVE Contemporary Christian Music.

That is a lot of stuff. I don't listen to all that every day, of course. Just here and there. I think all of these let you listen to their shows for free online. Well, I don't think you can listen to Dr. Laura online for free. I very rarely listen to any of them online. Nancy Leigh Demoss's radio shows are transcribed on her website, which is very nice. I wish that Focus on the Family would do that...I am always catching the last 10 minutes of that show, then wish I could have heard the whole thing.

On the baby front, we had a good appointment last week. In about 10 days we will have another ultrasound, so that will be interesting. They want to see the placenta again, but I don't think there is anything to worry about. My feet are swelling, I guess it was about time for that. I'm just going to take it easy for a few days. It started last week while traveling all that way. I'm sure I didn't drink enough water - not that we didn't still have to stop every couple of hours for that anyway. They are not bad. If you ignore my ankles, my feet actually look pretty for once. My feet are the one part of my body that could stand to gain a little weight. My mom will know what I mean!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

TV Challenge - Days 11-13

We had a great trip to Austin. It was a bit tiring. We enjoyed sleeping in today, somehow it worked out for everyone to sleep until at least 10:30. That is a very rare treat for me.

Sus and Dan were great hosts. They took us to eat at Threadgill's and showed us a little bit of Austin. The highlight of the trip for the kids was a trip to Cabela's outdoor store. It is a bit like Bass Pro Shops. We all thought it was a pretty neat store to visit. They had several "museum-type" displays through the store, plus a shooting gallery, and a little aquarium. We got to swim in the pool at the apartments, which is is what the kids were looking forward to doing. It was nice. Junior got to try jumping off the side of the pool and he really liked it. Our city pool is usually too crowded, and I guess the thought of so many kids being around makes him too nervous to even try. He kept telling me to move farther back, and if you know how wary he is around the water, that's quite an accomplishment for him.

It was a quick trip, but we had a great time. We didn't get to visit the Dallas Museum of Art on the way home, mostly because Mom and Dad slept in on Friday, and by the time we left town, there was not enough time to go and really enjoy the museum, so we had to postpone that one. Maybe in another month or so we can plan a trip there.

Great news on our challenge, though! There was no DVD watching on the entire trip. I brought the DVD player along, even though that would have been a little cheat. But why have the crazy thing if you can't even use it on a 6-7 hour trip? It wasn't needed at all on the way down because the kids were sleeping. On the way back they slept quite a bit also, then they played silly in the back of the van. (We made them go to the back because they were so noisy!) The last two hours were the worst of the trip, but by that time we had almost made it, plus we would have had to stop again to set the whole thing up. Instead, we played the Guessing Game, the Alphabet Game, and the Quiet Game.

Today the neighbor kids came over. Laura and the older boy each have a toy microscope, so they were scientists. I think they mostly did experiments with mud and unfortunate bugs. Peanut also bought her daddy a rather nice racing jacket for his birthday. It was $5 at a garage sale. She found it and thought of that herself! It is nice, but it says Dry Clean Only, so I will have to take it somewhere on will need a cleaning, but she had a very sweet thought.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 10

We had a good day today. Everyone played so nicely...even me! We got some exciting news, so we get a little mini-vacation, thanks to Todd's work. They are sending us to see my Sussy! So that is cool. It will be a long trip, but a good trip.

Tonight it was very tempting to turn the TV back on, I admit. The kids got all packed and were so excited I thought they were going to drive me crazy. It was no where near time to leave, and they had their stuff carrying it around the house, like they had to be ready to go at a moment's notice. I made them put it at the door, and they did good. They only picked it up 2 or 3 times after that. Todd had to leave for a while, and I wanted to take a bath, but they were so hyper I felt like I had to stay right with them.

I went in the living room and they had wrecked it. So I told them we just couldn't go unless the living room was clean. You should have seen them. It did my heart good. Junior was running full speed to put everything where I told him to. Peanut had a spring in her step, too. And they got it done in about 5 minutes!! I have never seen them like that. Sometimes you just have to harness that energy, I guess.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 9

I am still getting some flak from the kids, but it is sparse. Peanut asked me when was it going to be fun. I had to remind her of all the fun things we have done in the past week or so. (Not all of it was because of the TV Challenge, but it did give us more time to do fun stuff.) So she agreed, although I think she is still expecting me to do great and marvelous things to entertain her.

Today we met some people from our homeschool group at the pool. It was really hot, but fun. Peanut loves the pool, and it is even better when she sees one of her friends there. So she had a ball. Junior saw one boy he knew, and I think they spent more time out of the pool. This boy apparently knows some things about Spiderman. Junior is always looking out for boys that know some things about Spiderman, as he has never seen a Spiderman show. So he depends on secondhand information about what Spiderman can and cannot do, who are his enemies, etc. Poor kid. He cannot watch the Spiderman movies, of course, but I am on the lookout for some of the old cartoons that we used to watch when we were kids.

I was thinking I was going to have another ultrasound on Thursday, but I'm not. That will be in two weeks. The thing on Thursday is instead, a shot. That is kind of a downer. I am Rh negative, so I have to get these shots everytime. My zoology professor in college told me that means I do not have "monkey blood", so I guess that is a good thing. Which reminds me, I thought I saw that professor last night at Walmart. But I wasn't sure because she looked rather older. I got home and thought, well it has been nearly 18 years since I took that class, I'm sure she does look that much older. So that makes me feel older too. I saw this quote today: "Women should not have children after 35; thirty-five children are enough!" hee hee

Monday, August 7, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 8

Junior is doing much better at this. He got up this morning and did not say a word about watching a show. He just asked for his breakfast and after that he got dressed without being asked! He did ask me today how I decided that we were not going to watch TV. He thinks we ought to end it today, but I told him I thought it would be good if we stuck with our original 30 days. After all, there are only 22 days left.

Last week I mentioned the TV Free Challenge to a couple of other moms in our homeschooling group. One of them asked me how I ever was able to get my husband on board with it. I didn't really try. I told him what I was thinking of doing, and I told him that he didn't have to, it was more for me and the kids. He isn't that much of a TV guy, though. When he watches during the week, he will watch the History Channel, or sometimes one of those shows where they are fixing up cars or motorcycles. On the weekends, he watches This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop. He has been known to check out the old movie channels also. He said he would do it with us. I don't really know if it makes him much difference. It has probably been good for him, just for the fact that this week and next is the PBS pledge drive, and it keeps him from turning on the TV for his PBS shows and seeing that they are off the schedule. I know we seem grumpy about that, and we really are. It is twice a year that you will hear both of us griping and moaning about the same thing.

If you have a chance, please visit this site and say a prayer for Anna Jane. She is the 4yo daughter of a lady that I used to go to Bible Study with. She just had her second liver transplant because of cancer. You can find out more about the story on that site, but just pray for her and also that her mom and dad would be encouraged in the Lord!

Sunday, August 6, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 7

This was a special day for Peanut, she was baptized this morning at church. Her daddy got to baptize her, so that made it even more special. Grandma Millie, Grandpa Charles and Grandma Mary all were able to come. Afterward we went for hamburgers and she got a banana split.

Today was not much of a challenge day for the kids, as we do not watch that much TV on Sundays. In the evenings, we will turn on Extreme Home Makeovers because Peanut likes those, but that is more in the winter. The kids played outside once it stopped being so hot today.

This was the first night I actually turned on the TV without even thinking. I turned it right back off, and felt a little embarrassed. I'm glad no one saw me. It was sheer habit, I had just kissed the kids night and tucked them in, so I went into my routine. My shows aren't even on tonight anyway, it is PBS Pledge-a-thon and they take them off for that. To be honest, I wouldn't mind seeing my shows tonight, because I feel kind of "bleh." Peanut started in on me tonight because I was busy looking for a lost book. She is not sure I love her since I never spend time with her, and did not stop until bedtime. It is just one of those manipulation games she plays, (Todd assures me that's right) but is hard to hear over and over. It just wears on me.

While I wasn't spending time with her today - (ha ha), we had a lot of fun playing on the computer anyway. Peanut took a quiz:
You Are Fozzie Bear
"Wocka! Wocka!"You're the life of the party, and you love making people crack up.If only your routine didn't always bomb!You may find more groans than laughs, but always keep the jokes coming.

Then we did a quiz for Junior. We just tried to pick the answers that were appropriate for him. This turned out so funny, we laughed and laughed:
You Are Animal

A complete lunatic, you're operating on 100% animal instincts.
You thrive on uncontrolled energy, and you're downright scary.
But you sure can beat a good drum.
"Kill! Kill!"

Then I did this one:

Who is your Jane Austen hero?

Your hero is Captain Wentworth! As an officer of the navy, he is a man full of life and ardour, with a fearless mind, intelligence and spirit. The journeys upon the seas have tanned his face and emphasized his features, his experiences have rendered him a confident temper and open disposition. Captain Wentworth has charming manners, brown hair and eyes and meets people with consideration and politeness. His severest fault is his unquestioning resentment of feeble character. Wentworth will love a woman with ever-growing attachment and with respect towards her feelings.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

Sigh! This one is true, I think. Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel, so I'm sure old Frederick would have to be my ideal. Who doesn't love Mr. Darcy, but I don't know if I could live with him!

TV Challenge - Day 6

The more busy you are, the easier this is. No one thought of TV this morning, because our friends were still here. Once they drove away, both kids asked if we could please watch cartoons. By then it was 11:00, and there is nothing much to watch at that time anyway.

Peanut and I spent more time cleaning her room. She and the girls had made a nice attempt to clean up. I noticed, however, that the dress-up box would not close. I decided to work on it a bit because it is not supposed to have that much stuff in it. I found wet towels, bathing suits, some dirty sheets (that have been missing for a month!) and Peanut's little throw blankets that are not used for dress-up. Quite interesting. I'm glad I found the wet stuff today and not in two weeks when the smell got worse and worse!

Overall, it was a good day. Junior practiced some more on his bike riding, and I noticed he is getting more cautious. He got in trouble last week for not paying attention -- so somehow Dad made an impression on him!

Now that Peanut's room is getting cleaned up, I had a good idea. We are going to take pictures of the top of the desk, shelf, bed, and dresser, for examples of how things are supposed to look. Then she can use that to go by to tell if she's done her job. I will try to post pictures of what we do.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 5

Friday - This was an easy challenge day also. Things went so smoothly in the morning that it almost makes me think that Junior's whining on Thursday morning was for Grandma's benefit. (??) I don't know. She was an excellent participant, though and did not really give any sympathy. So if that was his purpose, it didn't work.

We had a fun trip to the library. Junior is used to getting a videotape or DVD each time he goes, and of course he wanted one this time. Even though I told him he couldn't watch it, he thought it would be nice to just go ahead and check one out, even though he wouldn't watch it. Habits are funny things. But he actually took the time to look for books that he wanted. Usually he plays computers at the library, but this time all the computers were being used. So we went to a card catalog computer and he told me he wanted to look at all the books about cars. So we found the number for cars - it is 629.2 (I will have to remember that one!) And there were three books right there about cars. One was even about race cars. So those are what he has now. He was excited to check those out and take them home. Usually when I tell him to go get a book, he takes about 5 seconds. He knows where to find Dr. Seuss books, so he goes and gets the most colorful one and he's done. I will ask him if there is anything else he wants and make a few suggestions, but no, he just wants the one Dr. Seuss. (And his tape of course.) So this was a big thing for him.

We ate lunch, then came home and got ready for our friends from Kansas City to come see us. Everyone had a ball. They played outside, had dinner in the playhouse, and splashed around in the kiddie pool until almost dark. We had a nice visit. It was so much fun having them. The girls put on a play for us before bedtime, which of course was extremely silly. The boys fell asleep pretty easily, but the girls did not go to sleep until long past 12 midnight. I could still hear them whispering when I fell asleep.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

TV Challenge - Days 3 and 4

Yesterday was an easy "Challenge" day. We got up early to leave for Tulsa to meet Mom. Poor thing, she was up there with nothing to do but eat out and shop all day while Dad was in classes at his convention. Luckily, we came to save the day. We got there a bit after 10 AM and drove to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. It was a neat experience. We had taken Peanut about 3 years ago, but Junior was too little to come, so this was his first time. We liked all the exhibits. The shark tanks were a little bit of a disappointment. We had been there the first year it was open, and there were a lot of sharks and it was amazing. This time they had very few sharks, which takes some of the drama out of the whole thing.

After the aquarium, we ate a late lunch, then went swimming at the hotel. We ate pizza with Grandpa to end the day. We did not get back until past bedtime, so of course there was no time for TV that day.

Today was a bit different. Junior woke up and requested his usual breakfast routine of a TV show. That wasn't going to happen, so instead of whining for five minutes or so, he chose to whine for an hour. It did not get him anywhere, but finally I ended up getting out his marble set and putting it together. He had not played with that for a while, and he did marble races several times during the day. Watch it, though. He is quite a cheater on marble races. He tends to pick out "his" marble when it is halfway through the race and it is pretty sure which one will win. If he doesn't do that, he will start his marble ahead so that it has a better chance. He needs a bit of training on the race stuff. He does well with card games. When he first learned to play cards, we made a big deal of the end-of-game routine which consists of congratulating the other player whether you win or not. But this does not carry over to marble races, I suppose.

He also was able to show off his two-wheeler-riding skills to his Grandma and Grandpa.

Peanut worked on cleaning her room today. At the beginning, Grandma was here to help, so that was fun for her. When Grandma had to leave, she kept on going. We straightened another drawer, and then she cleaned up one of her infamous "corners." (I have those too, so I can't fault her too much.) I was proud of her that she stuck with it even after the fun person was gone, and the only one left was boring old Mama.

Tonight at about 4:30, we got an unexpected rain. It was nice and cooled things down quite a bit. It made the pavement slick and Junior took a little tumble on the bike. He scraped his knee, and it was not too bad a scrape, but he took it hard. He said he would just walk from now on and not ride his bike. Later he thought better of it and got back on, so that was good.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

TV Challenge - Day 1

Today did not go too badly. We had already planned a morning at the park with some people from our homeschool group, so that helped. Junior woke up this morning asking for his "show" and when he did not get it, he was disappointed. But some of his Hot Wheels were still out from last night, so he started playing with those instead. No more complaints the rest of the day from him.

I spoke too soon when I said Peanut would not have as much of a problem with it. She really only expects to watch two half-hour shows in the afternoon, and a lot of times she misses half of the first one because she doesn't get her school stuff done. But she was really bored today. I think she expected me to entertain her 100% of that time, but I was behind on my work because we had been to the park. So I told her she would have to find something to do. She put on her pouty face and started to whine about everything she could think of. I tried the reasoning approach, which went completely over her head, so that was a waste of time.

So I started her on chores. She had to sweep the floor - with the electric broom. Which should be an easy job. Are you aware that when you make a child do work, it means that you don't love them? Well, I was made aware of this. Also, she had to wind the cord back up on the sweeper, which is clearly child abuse. I expect DHS to be by anytime.

Since the sweeping did not cheer her up, she had to wash all the dishes that I couldn't fit into the dishwasher. And what is more, she had to wash them until they were clean, which meant Mama would put them back into the dishwater instead of drying them and putting them away. Of course, this also means that I don't love her, and when I correct her like that it hurts her feelings.

But when that was over, suddenly life was a bit more pleasant. We got one of her dresser drawers out to sort out and put back in order. She said that she did not mind this job, since it was a fun job. I had Junior do one of his, and he didn't do half bad for his age. He liked folding T-shirts into squares like I showed him and he actually did two before running off to play with his cars. I made him come back and finish one minute later, and for some reason he had completely forgotten how to fold a shirt, and no amount of demonstrating and coaching could get him through it. It was like he had lost all use of his hands. Odd.

Now I have missed "Headlines" on Jay Leno, which is pretty much the only way of marking Monday nights for me. Oh well. It was probably a rerun.

Monday, July 31, 2006

TV Challenge

We are going to take the TV-free challenge that Nancy Leigh Demoss has been talking about on the radio. We're starting tomorrow, it should be pretty interesting.

It will be hardest for Junior, so you might be praying for him. He doesn't watch that much, but he is probably the most addicted to "his" time on the TV. Peanut likes a few shows, but if there is a fun alternative somewhere, she'll take it. I will miss my Brit-com on Sunday nights, but the next two weeks are "Festival", so it will get pre-empted anyway...for Doo-wop Senior Citizens or Old Lawrence Welk Stars.

It should be an interesting month. I will let you know how we are doing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Funny things I found out

For about a year now, Junior has insisted on having the tags cut out of all his shirts. Most of the tags are out now, but once in a while he will come up to me and say, "Mom, why does this shirt still have a tag?" Like I am falling down on the job or something.

This weekend we went to Grandma's house. She showed me something interesting: most of her shirts and Cindy's shirts have the tags cut out of them. So there you go. That explains quite a lot.

Junior just walked in and informed me of something else. Easy Off BAM is much better than Lime-A-Way. This is because it cleans your kitchen much better, and also if you put a dirty penny in Easy Off BAM for just a second, it will come out all clean and shiny. I need to go turn off the TV!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

S is for Sun

Junior's school lessons this week center around the letter S, and the topic is "The Sun." Today he was supposed to draw a picture of the sun. He didn't exactly follow directions, but if you see the picture in the encyclopedia that the kids have, it really is similar.
Junior's artwork

Picture like the one in the encyclopedia

Friday, June 9, 2006

Latest drawings

Here are a couple of the kids' latest drawings. I got Peanut a new drawing book from a garage sale last weekend, she loves books like that. This was her most colorful out of a few she drew Saturday.

Here is one that Junior brought to me today. I am glad that he is actually drawing, and this is a big improvement over his last one. That may not be saying much, the last time he really drew anything was probably 3 or 4 months ago. He is more of a writer, I think. He only wants to practice making letters.

He looks kind of wild, huh? He was just in that kind of mood today. He started real "school" this week, since Peanut is busy with camp. He is doing very well. I am very proud of him, he really likes it. I read to him and he pretends to not be listening, but he can repeat everything back to me. He is making a "Creation Book" this week, and we'll try to put some of it on here when he is done. It is more of a "crafty" project that I thought he would not do, but he is doing very well. It involves coloring and cutting out with scissors, two activities that he would rather not do, but he acts like he is having fun. Who knew?

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Sports Camp

Peanut is going to VBS this week. Our church has been doing a sports camp with Uncharted Waters for the past five years. It is a pretty neat thing. Covenant (our church) is the kind of their summer training camp. It is a group of mostly college athletes who spend their summer traveling to different churches putting on sports-oriented programs that are similar to VBS. They work with kids on their sports skills and also incorporate character building, Bible teaching, and evangelism into the program. Peanut is really enjoying it. She picked cheerleading as her sport this year. She likes all the coaches that work with them. All of them that I have seen, seem to be really good with kids. One little girl at church on Sunday pointed to one of the coaches and told me that she met her that morning, and said, "I can't believe I already made a friend and camp hasn't even started yet!"

When they first started doing this I was a little disappointed, but it is not really that different than a normal VBS nowadays. They end up spending 3 hours there, instead of 2 hours, and that extra hour is mostly sports. They still have music and Bible stories, a Scripture to memorize, and even some homework. I can see why they are doing it. VBS around this area is getting to be just a fun thing for kids that already go to church. The idea of a sports camp really appeals to a lot of kids that would normally not come to a regular VBS. And they do bring them in. I think there are three churches in this area (counting ours) that are having sports camp this week.

I will try to get a few pictures this week. Junior is just hanging out with me, he will be old enough to go next year. He got to meet a couple of friends at the park today while Sissy was busy with camp. I'm not sure what we'll do tomorrow.

Friday, June 2, 2006


Yesterday was our big ultrasound. We have a little face picture, but it is not the best quality, so I won't put it here. It looks a little like a spook, and I'm not having a ghost-baby. We went to a specialist, he was very nice, and he assured us that this is a very healthy baby, right on target for everything, and weighing 8 oz. which is the perfect weight for 18 weeks. Praise God! He is so good to us! I'm glad that it is not already too big, but don't worry, it'll get there.

So you might be wondering if we were able to find out if we are going to have a girl baby or a boy baby. Alright, I'll tell you....




Woohoo! A new brother!!!! And Peanut is very happy. She decided at the last minute that she didn't really care, after hoping for a girl for so long. I told her that makes her the one and only Princess, so that's a good thing.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

We had a party for Junior on Saturday. He had a great time. Here is a picture of his cake. He had a "Cash Cab" cake in honor of his favorite show

Afterwards, Dad and the two grandpas worked on the backyard playhouse. It looks great.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Congratulations Todd!

Todd just got his Ham Radio License! Woo hoo! He studied hard, took the test, and made a 100% on it. That was a couple of weeks ago, and they just gave him his license last week. His station is KE5IRG.

Way to go, Todd!!

Baby birds

We have baby birds in our backyard birdhouse again this year. This time has been better, as they are sparrows and no other birds have decided to mess with them.

There was some worry on Saturday as the mama and daddy did not show up for a long time, and we wondered if something had happened to them. The babies were still alive when we got home from church Sunday, so I thought that was a good sign. I sat at the kitchen table for a long time Sunday, and in about an hour and a half, the mama came back for like 5 seconds, but I guess that is long enough to feed baby birds. You know, I try not to pass judgement on other parents who are hopefully doing their best, but still...

But on Monday, the mama and daddy both were very busy coming by to feed them just every few minutes, and yesterday was much the same. The babies are much louder now. You can hear them all over the yard, they are very cute. Peanut has figured out how to hush them, I didn't know you could do that. She just makes a long "shush" sound and they hush right up.

There are at least three and maybe even four, it's hard to tell. I tried to get a picture, but it is impossible, the little camera can't get it.

The picture is from All Posters

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Our new car game

Junior has found a new favorite show, Cash Cab. He really gets into it. The "three strikes and you're out" rule is very interesting to him. He acts really worried when someone gets a strike, "Oh, no! If they get three strikes I'm gonna cry!" But I think he really is living for that moment. And not that many people get kicked out, but it's just enough to hold his interest.

So today we had to play it in the car. I'm the driver, but we turn the tables so that I'm actually the contestant and he is the host. Let me tell you, his game is much more challenging than the one on TV. Today it went like this:

Junior: Ok, Who built China?
Mama: Ummm...ah...The ancient Chinese?
Junior: No, that is incorrect! The correct answer is: China Guy!
Mama: Okay, wow, that was a hard one.
Junior: You have One Strike!
Mama: Alright, one strike.
Junior: Next question: Who invented numbers?
Mama: Umm....Arabic...Guy?
Junior: That is correct! You got it RIGHT!!!
Mama: Oh, good.

But he is very fair. He wouldn't let Peanut count an answer wrong because I got it right, just not the thing she was thinking of. Even though she insisted that I needed to be able to tell what she was thinking, that was the rule.

See what I mean? It is a hard, hard, game.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mothers' Day

I had a very nice Mothers' Day. The kids both gave me cute cards and Todd fixed lunch for me. I didn't have to lift a finger!! He even cleaned up. Wow! Oh, and Peanut made me a craft, which is very nice. It is a pretty sand art bottle. I'll try to take a picture tomorrow.

The kids even went to bed early! That doesn't happen too often. I got to listen to Riverwalk Jazz, I finished up our homeschool yearbook pages, and now I'm just waiting for my BritComs to come on TV.

Here is a very nice article I read this week, called The Pursuit of Happiness. It is a bit long, but really good. And I just love the picture she has of the seashell candles. We went to Hobby Lobby this week and they were selling bowls of seashells. I was so tempted to get some and try to make those candles, then I thought better of it. I don't know how to make candles, and I have enough projects backed up because of my lack of energy the past couple of months.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hee hee! Lookie what I got today!

I wasn't even hoping for such luck, but it so happened that today the doctor could not find a heartbeat with her fancy Doppler thing. I think it is just too early, but I guess they also don't want to take any chances since I will not be back for 4 weeks. So they sent me down the hall to get an ultrasound!

Here is the best picture they gave me. It is still not as clear as it looked on the screen.

They found a heartbeat just fine with the ultrasound, and the baby was wiggling and squirming a lot. Very cute. I should say, the child's nose did not really look as long as it does in the picture! Both kids got to see it. Peanut was quite overjoyed. I am not sure how much Junior understood about it. He did not have too much to say, but he did like the ultrasound equipment. It looked like an elaborate video game.
That is all for tonight, because I'm tired. I am uploading some pictures of the kids and I will try to put them on here tomorrow.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Sad Day

Today is such a sad day for me and all the other fans of "The Andy Griffith Show." On the front page of my Sunday paper are the words, "Barney Dies." That is so far from the truth, though. Barney will never die. Don Knotts was the talent that brought him to life, but Barney will live forever. He was truly the best television character ever. It is really sad to watch the TV stars of today even try to live up to the standard set by people like Don Knotts (not to mention the beloved Lucille Ball.) The writers do not have the heart and soul for it, and the actors don't have the understanding. They are reduced to stupid insults and sex jokes that only cause the kind of uncomfortable laughter brought on by embarrassment.

I am just grateful that my family and I can still share a little bit of what was Mayberry. A huge part of that was the talent of Don Knotts.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

In my mailbox this week...

I finally got the COOL thing I ordered a while back. It is a DVD set of "The Electric Company" episodes. I really don't know why this is so entertaining to me, but it is hilarious. Now it seems very low-tech and corny, but I'm sure they were as well-done as they could be back then. It was still PBS and all. You can see clips of it here You have to click "Audio and Video Clips." I guess you would had to have watched it back then to appreciate it. My kids are young enough that they find it very interesting. They really like the "Silent E" song. It starts out: "Who can turn a "can" into a "cane?" I think Peanut just likes it for the music, but Junior is fascinated by the fact that there is a letter that doesn't make a sound.

Scott, you need to get one of these!

Todd doesn't remember this show. At all. I don't know what the deal is! I think he watched plenty of TV as a kid, I guess not daytime TV. He was probably listening to the radio. Whenever we hear a song from way back in the early seventies, he'll say, "Remember when this song came out?" No, hon, I don't remember when "An Old Fashioned Love Song" came out. How can you remember '71 or '72? He probably was listening, though.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Going through my pantry

Today I got I burst of energy (or maybe it was insanity!) Or both. First, I just meant to go through our medicines because I knew some of them were probably expired. That went well, so I decided to go through my spices. I have heard that you can keep spices for a very long time, but I think they do lose some of their flavor. Anyway, I got on the Internet and tried to find out how long you are really supposed to keep them. McCormick's website says 3 to 4 years for whole spices and 2 to 3 years for ground spices. Then the question is, "How do you know how old they are?" They don't have a date on the bottle. But McCormick has a decoder on their webpage that you can type the code from the bottom of the bottle and it will tell you the date it was packaged. Pretty cool. I noticed that the newer bottles actually have an expiration date on them.

The weird thing is that they have a little blurb on there where they say if a bottle says "Baltimore, MD" on it, it is over 15 years old. Well, I had one of those bottles. But here's the thing: I remember buying it, and it was not 15 years ago! It could have been 8 years, maybe. But think of how long it must have sat on the store shelf! The little decoder gave me the date of 1981, but I know that can't be true, because the label says "Copyright 1985." But still!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Homeschool stuff in our state.

Yesterday I got an email from the Home School Legal Defense Association. This is a great organization - they do a lot to protect our rights to homeschool, this is the first thing they have sent along that I am not too sure about.
Here is what they have to say: (This is for the state of Oklahoma.)
Calls are needed immediately to stop Senate Bill 1690 which would prohibit 16 and 17-year-olds from obtaining a driver's license unless they first pass a state-approved math test. The bill is scheduled for a hearing today at 2:30 p.m. in the Senate Public Safety Committee.

A student would be required to pass either the state-wide 8th-grade math test, or another test approved by the State Department of Education. Homeschooled students would be at a tremendous disadvantage since they don't use the state's math curriculum and would have no control over the alternative test the Department of
Education might approve.

I can see part of their point. This looks like just another hoop to jump through to get a drivers license, and I wonder what 8th-grade math really has to do with being able to drive. But I can't see calling and identifying myself as a homeschool parent and then saying I was opposed to this. What does that say? That I'm afraid my kid will not be able to pass the math test and might not get a driver's license? At 16 or 17, they had better be able to do 8th-grade math! I am not sure that homeschooled students would be at a tremendous disadvantage.

Of course, I'm one of the people that doesn't think it is a terrible idea to raise the driving age to 18, so what do I know?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Peanut's Report

Monday at co-op, Peanut went to public speaking class. This is the first time she has gone. The theme was "Space," and she chose The Sun for her topic. I had her tell me some questions that she might have about the sun. Then we went online and looked up the answers. Now mind you, I read all this stuff to her and kind of pulled out the important parts. She asked some really good questions and this is what she came up with:

My talk is about the sun. I had some questions about the sun, so we wrote them down, and then tried to find the answers.

When was the sun created? The fourth day of creation.

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. Genesis 1:16 – 19.

The sun is a star. We are just closer to it, so it looks bigger.

How do scientists study the sun if you’re not even supposed to look at it.

Scientists use a satellite called SOHO that orbits around the sun. It has telescopes and other things that help scientists study the sun.

What is the sun made of? Mostly hydrogen and helium.

Why do things orbit around the sun? The sun is so big that it is always pulling the planets around it. The reason they do not fall into the sun is because they are going so fast. They would go straight out into space, but the sun pulls them so they go around in a circle instead of straight.

How hot is the sun? 10,000 degrees. There are stars that are hotter than that, and stars that are not as hot.

Yay Peanut!! She did a great job. She spoke up nice and clear, which was no surprise from her. She had some visual aids as well, two balls out of Junior's toy box, but they did not turn out to be that helpful.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Today is Tuesday

It hasn't happened yet, but Peanut is about to ask me what day it is. I will tell her that it's Tuesday, and then this song will go through my head:

Today is Tuesday, you know what that means...
We're gonna have an extra special guest.
So get out the broom, sweep the place clean,
And dust off the mat so the welcome can be seen.
Roll out the carpet, strike up the band,
And give out with a "Hip Hooray! (Hip Hooray)
Wiggle your ears, like good Mouseketeers.
We're gonna present a guest today.
'Cause Tueday is guest star day!

The sad thing is, sometimes I will actually sing this song. That will throw the kids off like nothing else. "What does that mean, Mama?"

We had friends over for a little while yesterday.

Yesterday was a dreary day, lots of clouds, it was cold, plus we were getting ready for Dad's trip. Still, something happy for me in the midst of all that. Two words: Seed Catalogs! I just love those crazy things. I don't really order that much from them, but they really brighten up the days. I think I like the pictures of strawberries the best.