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.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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 tomorrow...so 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 Monday...it 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 still...it 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.