Thursday, January 31, 2008

Who Can Comment?

YOU can comment!
When I first started blogging back in May I had it in my mind that it would be for family and friends who were/are out of town-ers. You know...to get a real feel for the daily grind around here. To keep up with what's going on with us - especially the kids. If they can feel like: Hey, I'm glad I live hundreds of miles from them. Then I've done my part of informing the fam!
BUT I'm not too sure that family and friends actually read this blog - and that's who it was intended for! Now I'm not saying anything against my family - who, btw, I see every week [w/the exception of my brother] and I know they read it - I'm glad that they read the blog, just in case they didn't get the down-low here at the house! However, I haven't a clue if other family even checks this place out. No one leaves any kind of comment - "Hey, cute kid" "Wow, nice haircut." "Sorry you had a crumby day!" "I'll take Joseph for a couple days." "Wanna go on a vacation to the beach?" - NOTHIN' ::smile::
Well, while trying to change some HTML formatting on my blog [which as you can see, didn't work...oh! - only if you check this blog out would you have noticed such a thing. I was trying to add another sidebar.] I noticed that my comments were only for those of you with Google accounts. Not anymore! I pressed a special button and now anyone can leave a comment!
So, if you're new here - and you know who you are - give me a little somethin' - huh? Hit the comment button and let me know how many days you'll keep Joseph!

Royalty

Here are Therese and Sophia with their father:

Antigone, Oedipus & Ismene

...aka, Therese, John & Sophia
All this time - I thought I was their father...

...an ancient Kayla sandwich

Kayla and Co-Actor

Sophia wearing a homemade Oedipus mask [made by Therese]

Therese wearing her Creon mask And below is a video of the two girls performing the lines which were recited during their performance on stage. These are just a few lines which they memorized - this is at the end of the play...

video

It's not really clear with the audio esp. since it's taken with the digital camera, pretty cute regardless.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"They Love Me!...


...they really love me!" [oh, give me a break!]


Danette @ A Crocus in the Valley awarded me this first ever award...for me, that is! Thanks so much! The fun part is giving it to 10 others whom you deem AwardWorthy! These are the blogs I go to for a smile [or a hearty laugh!], encouragement [I'm not alone...there are others in the trenches with me!] creative ideas [I will learn to knit/crochet b4 I die!] or just to catch up on lives: [drumroll, please]


The rules: By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. Thank you out there for having such great blogs and being such great friends! You deserve this! Feel free to award people who have already been awarded…

Candidate Calculator

I don't know about you - but I am UP IN ARMS about a candidate for 2008 that I'm all for.
I used this Candidate Calculator to see the candidate that matched closely with issues that are important to me. Who do you think the calculator matched me up with? Any guesses?
Who's your candidate?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fit for a Tea Party!


Can you tell what I brought to the Winter Tea for our homeschool group?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Prayers

Please pray for this family, as this mother of seven, Therese Fox, is in her final hours.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Learning Tower


Having never heard of or seen this before visiting Katherine, I now want one! Although, I won't pay close to $200 for one. Thank God Paul is willing and capable!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

17 Years Ago Today...

...Paul and I were blessed with our first child - Kayla! Isn't she beautiful! Her sisters love her so much. You should have seen the preparations they made for today's festivities - Dani as their ringleader!
Talking to Aunt Karen who called with a big Happy Birthday!

The 'actors'

Dani's Brownie Cake or should I say Brownie Pile! It stuck to the bottom of the glass pan. That's probably my fault. Dani said that the directions said to flour the bottom of the pan, I told her to skip it...just butter the bottom. So...my fault. But they tasted AWESOME!

Paper chains! Remember making paper chains in grade school? They were strung all over the downstairs.

...a banner that the kids made with all their artwork.

video

A little Happy Birthday Song before the Brownie Pile! Notice the 152 on the cake; we're a creative bunch...15 + 2 = 17!! [of course you didn't notice the numbers on the candle! Could you see anything at all!! LOL - Great video...::duh:: - you'll hear, since you can't see, Joseph crying b/c he wanted to blow out a candle. So Dani relit a candle and Joseph blew it out. Yay :o/

videoA little diddy by Dani & Therese!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAYLA! YOU ARE SUCH A BLESSING AND JOY TO OUR FAMILY!! WE LOVE YOU!

Back in Time

This was the topic on a radio show as I was driving to Adoration last week:

What song is it that takes you back in time? When you hear it, something inside you just goes back to what you were doing, your state of mind, friends you were with...

For me...there are sooooo many. A few are:

Come on Eileen
Another One Bites the Dust
Sara [Jefferson Starship]
Kyrie
Straight Up
Black Velvet
Okay - and for my sister Karen - Abracadabra!

And the list goes on...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Better? Yes, Better...

Today was better than yesterday concerning Joseph.



A HuGe

"Thank You!!!!"
to all of my froggers [blogger friends] for your support, ideas and prayers! I will be including some of the ideas here after I show you THIS GUY:

Joseph sure had fun using scissors and a glue stick!John Paul did a fine job cutting his strips of paper! And he carefully used the glue stick.Here are the puzzles from yesterday. Today the boys and I cleaned them up! Joseph did it when I sat down with him.


I brought up a camping table that we had in the basement...pulled a couple chairs from the kitchen into our "dining room" [or our REALLY HUGE foyer :O) ] ...gave the boys some pieces of construction paper, a pair of scissors and a glue stick. I gave them a file folder ... I have no idea why I grabbed that, I just did! ... and they cut and glued their little hearts out! Joseph had fun with the scissors. He actually did really well! Sometimes he'd get a little psycho but all in all...it was good. He was happy. He was relatively quiet for Joseph.


Here are some ideas that I found from this site...thanks so much to Kimberlee!!


Mary Beth's I Spy Bottle: Into a 2-liter soda bottle, insert several small I-Spy type items (Barbie shoe, key, dime, marble, Cootie leg, Lego brick, paper clip, etc.) Make an I spy list, and tape it (folded shut) to the side of the bottle. Fill the bottle half to three-fourths full with bird seed. The kids have to turn the bottle to find the items.



Make some fish out of construction paper. Put paperclips on them. Make a fishing pole with a stick, string & magnet. It may keep him busy for awhile.



Let him "WASH" the windows. This one can keep a small, wild child busy for hours. Simply give him a squirt bottle with water and a dishtowel. This is not pretty for your windows, but this can buy a lot of time!


Let him "PAINT" the house. Bucket of water & paintbrush. He may decide to paint the cars & the sidewalks, too.


Make him a mailbox (tissue box works well). Put all that unwanted junk mail into his mailbox, for him to go through in the morning


Toothpick Punched Art: Layer a folded tea towel or face cloth, blank ½ sheet of black construction paper, ½ sheet of paper with simple "pattern" (heart, star, circle, square, etc.) drawn in heavy black marker (or print from computer). Layer so that towel is on table, pattern sheet is on top. Provide tooth pick and tell child to poke holes in the white pattern paper along the edges of the heart (circle, star, etc.). When done he'll like to hold his black punched piece up to the window to see the shape he made. I put lots of pattern pieces, lots of black construction pages and one face cloth in the activity bag along with 2 wooden clothes pins to hold the "sandwich" together while the child worked. He'd pick a different shape each time. We displayed the results by taping the black punched pages on the sliding glass door (sun shines through the holes).


Easy-to-use paper punch and strips of paper.


I liked the ideas at Sarah Faith's blog. Especially the following ones from Jen.


1. Make a mini-obstacle course. Over couch cushions, under dining room chairs, around the dining table then run between pillows, that sorta thing. Play music and time them - gets some physical energy out and gets that competitive spirit going (or gets really frustrating, so use your discretion!
2. Water is your friend. That and towels! I often gave baths in the middle of the day, didn't bother washing, just plopped them in a tub with some toys to give myself a break. Also, a chair pulled up to the sink (with towels on the floor and surrounding counters) filled about half full on one side with water and soap bubbles, then provide some measure cups and spoons - literally would keep them occupied for an hour or more!
3. If you get *really* desperate, fill one of those under-the-bed rubbermaid boxes with a bit of playsand. Put it in the middle of your kitchen floor (or wherever would make for an easy sweep-up) and give him some matchbox cars and toy earth movers 4. All my boys like to help with baking - must be that love of food they all have, lol! But, even if I don't feel like baking, I'd give them 1/2 cup of flour on the counter along with a small bowl of water. They'd make their own "dough" and make shapes and stuff - loads of fun for them, a fairly easy clean-up for me if I was careful and gave good instructions, lol (the flour MUST stay on the *counter*!)
5. Fort-building with pillows around the dining room table can be fun, too.


Another one that Sarah Faith added in her comments was the idea of putting a bit of water in the tub and letting him/them take a "bath".


All of these ideas are so great! As I find more, I'll share them.


After reading last nights post - my rant! - I realized I sounded pathetic. I didn't want to come across as not wanting to put forth any effort. I realize that I need to *be* there for the littles. I need to be there a lot more, actually. It was just a frustrating day and I needed to pick the brains of those in the same boat! A new perspective.


Having a Joseph is making me realize how much the little ones really do need me...just to be Mommy. And I've just started noticing [in the last week actually] how Joseph really wants to learn so badly. It's kind of breaking my heart that I've never taken the time to do things with him in that capacity. He's LOVING learning his letters. So even if I do something with him after dinner, in the tub, or snuggled up in bed reading...he'll be learning and glad that he's got me all to himself for a bit!

Hidden Treasure!

If you or someone you know is expecting a baby with Trisomy 21 [Down Syndrome] this site has info for your questions. The video there is AMAZING.

I saw this yesterday and was so blessed to see such beauty on such a sad date, January 22nd. There is a friend of mine among the shots with her daughter Anna, and her other 5 children. This blog was started by one of her friends for Catholic families who are expecting a child with Down Syndrome. There is information for families through this journey in their lives.

The video is beautiful, to say the least. I love one of the quotes they had on the video...something to this effect: This child will change your life! Hidden Treasures, indeed!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

HELP!!

I need a quick fix - and like I said: Quick!



Until I can really plan for Things to Do for the 2yo. I need a quick fix to keep him occupied. He is almost 3, next month. I'd like him to do things on his own, but I need him to be doing something instead of whatever it is that he wants to do.



I get so ANGRY at him for getting into things [ie. food, computer, camera [!], breaking whatever his hands are on...literally!], but after the fact it dawns on me that it's not his fault. I know and understand that HE HAS NOTHING TO OCCUPY HIS TIME. HE IS BORED. Since he's Number 6 he doesn't get watched as the others did. Well...he NEEDS to be watched. The others probably didn't get watched closely either, but - with the exception of Therese - they didn't need to be watched. Joseph is into EVERYTHING. And you can tan his hide and he doesn't GET IT. I'm exhausted with this one!



So I need some ideas. I know you Montessori method-ers have some cool ideas. I really need to stick with things that I've got here at home. Oh, he'll *do* puzzles. I've got about 6 of them ALL over my floor right now! I can't be by his side. I've got these 3 -4 other children to teach. How do I keep him occupied yet not getting bored and start destroying things in the blink of an eye? John Paul and he can only play together for so long. I don't want them sitting in front of a video watching whatever all the time either. Though it's easy to do that, I can't do that everyday. Some days I have no problem with doing that. And that's fine. But this can't be something on a daily basis where they can just veg.



I need some ideas. What works for you? What did/does not work for you? Do you have any online resources for help? Blogs?



All I know is this 2yo is pushing buttons I didn't know existed!! I'm talkin' about MY buttons!

Oh... thanks for listening. Rant over.

You Can Pass

I was tagged by Regina for this Book Meme...
Rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

"In all prayer, we have to gain the goodwill of Him to Whom we pray; next we say what we pray for. Goodwill is usually gained when we offer praise to Him to Whom the prayer is directed, and this praise is usually put at the beginning of the prayer. And in this particular, our Lord has commanded us to say nothing else but "Our Father who art in Heaven" (Mt. 6:9)."
From: Understanding "OUR FATHER" Biblical Reflections on the Lord's Prayer By Scott Hahn

I tag: Megan, Danette, Paula, PaulaB52, and Laura -

Monday, January 21, 2008

Seeing Crystal Clear

Watch this beautiful story. The Gifts from God. The sacrifice of a father. Thank you, Megan, for sharing this!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snow Day...

...the second snow day within 3 days! This is just about unheard of here in Atlanta. Here are a few shots from this afternoon:
Needless to say, the play was cancelled for tonight. They are going to try and reschedule for next Friday.

"Privileges"

An interesting privilege meme, below the cut. (Edited to add: From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.)

Bold the true statements.

1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
9. Were read children's books by a parent
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child [kid's work is original!]
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
25. You had your own room as a child
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
31. Went on a cruise with your family
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

Thanks to A Wink and a Smile for this meme.

Oedipus the King!

This is the play that Kayla is in. It's a Greek Tragedy. This is actually a class which the students took last semester. The performance is this weekend. So last night was Opening Night. I knew nothing about this story 2 weeks ago. Now...I know more than I wish I did. Those of you who know the story know what I'm talking about.

I have seen this performed 6 or 7 times in the last week and a half. You see, Therese and Sophia are also in this performance! So Paul and I sat through many a rehearsal.

Yes, I'm scarring my kids for life as the children of Oedipus - who gouged out his eyes at the knowledge that his mother and wife are one in the same. The girls come out at the very end of the play where Oedipus is begging Creon [the new ruler, also his brother-in-law] to exile him, but wishing to touch/hold his daughters one last time [Ismene and Antigone]. Enter Therese and Sophia. They just stand there next to their father while he spews out his pitiful lines - bloodied eyes and all [they had masks on - which actually were created by Kayla and a friend - and they looked really cool. I'd have backstage photos to share, but as I started to take pictures last night...I had forgotten the memory card at home...in my computer!! Arrgh! Never fails!]. As he exclaims: I am your father....and your brother! [ewwww]. Thank God they don't get what's going on! At any rate, they are the hit of the show. All the "aaawwwww"s as they come out are going to their heads!
The play is not what I would call exciting. Quite the contrary. But the acting is superb! Those kids do such an awesome job bringing this Greek tragedy to life!

Hopefully I'll get some pictures at tonight's performance. I say hopefully because it's snowing right now [again, I know!]. Sophia is SO hoping that it melts. She really wants to do tonight's last performance. Regardless - it will affect tonight's turnout. Snow in Georgia. People remain home. Even at the word "snow", people cancel any outings they might've had.

So hopefully I'll get some pictures tonight. If not, here's someone else's version of Oedipus with his daughters:

Therese and Fia just stand at his side, unlike the girls in this photo.

Winter Burn-Out!

Our homeschool group is putting on a Winter Tea next Saturday night. Usually it's held during the week, but the facilities weren't available during the week this year. The Tea is usually held in January and February to combat that dreaded "Winter Burn-Out" which many homeschooling mothers catch this time of the year. You know, when it seems like "I can't go on"..."is that the pool open down there?"..."...you mean summer isn't 6 months long?!" These thoughts need remedying.

We bring our own teacup and an appetizer to share. We fill our cups, dunk our bags and listen to the wisdom of the priest who was invited to speak to us. To lift our spirits. To encourage us. To re-focus our attention. Or slap us and yell, "SNAP OUT OF IT!". Well, not really. But that could be effective!

We all look forward to this relaxing night. I think we may even swap some homeschooling/parenting books at the suggestion of one of the mothers.

I am really looking forward to this Winter Tea. What do you all do for that Winter Burn-out?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Photo Phun --->

These were taken by Dani [11]: This is Cicero, Kayla's Bearded Dragon
Dani had a bit of fun with Charlie tonight!

They get better...
Can I just kiss those edible round cheeks!?

And...the dismount! Yay!

Joseph had to get in on the photo shoot as well. Not quite the same effect.


The following shots are by a Mystery Sharp Shooter:


Hmmm...I wonder WHO got his grubby little hands on the camera this morning when no one was watching him.

And finally...I had to get in on the fun as well. So while blogging in the schoolroom just now, I grabbed one of the hamsters that Therese and Sophia got for Christmas from Aunt Karen -

So I got 2 awful photos:
Their names are Panda [Therese's] and Fuzzy [Sophia's] and they are Panda Bear Hamsters. Can you see why?




And lastly, I took 2 dorky and probably boring to the naked eye, but really funny and adorable, videos

video

You'll notice in this first video that "Tubby" [aka, Panda] just sits on the wheel and won't budge so Fuzzy can't continue to burn a few calories!

video

They really are cute. I hold them a lot [the lizard, we've had for oh, I don't know 4yrs now...I've never even touched it!]. The girls will play with them in Sophia's dollhouse and the boys' Playmobil pirate ship [this isn't exactly like the one they have, but I couldn't find it online]. Well, I just found out that a hamsters gestational period is 16 days - while finding some info on them for this post. I hope ours are both female!

Worth a Thousand ZzzZZzzz's ~