Sunday, January 21, 2007

Prayers Needed

I found out at church this morning that the 14 month old son of one our families was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) this past week. Please pray for little Malachi, his parents, and his big sister Emily.

As I receive updates, I'll be sure to let y'all know.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pachelbel Rant

This video is hysterical. (I rate it PG for some cuss words.)

Deep Thoughts

Quote from Ruthie:

"I really wish they hadn't built the Tower of Babel."

My daughter is a thinker, so we wait expectantly...

"It's just one more thing I have to learn about."

And sometimes she's just an eight year old. :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

A New Schedule

We had the most productive week we've had in a long time this past week. I instituted a new schedule, and while we weren't perfect, we did stick to it pretty well.

I have been giving each of the kids daily assignment sheets for awhile, but I have been letting them choose the order of the subjects. What I found is that they would save all their "hard" work (like math and grammar) for later in the day. It would then either not get done, or get stretched out for way too long. Choosing their own schedule for the day was not working. So, I took the choice away from them.

I now let them know in what order their subjects will be done. I try to vary them so that I can spend time with each child for the subjects that that require one-on-one. I did not go so far as to set a schedule for exact times of the day, but I did put general time limits on subjects. So, if they have not finished math in 30 minutes, they still go on to the next subject. If they finish a subject early, I have them pull out unfinished work and do that.

Ruthie has done amazingly well with this. She finished her work before noon every day. Robert fought me on it, but he also got his work done much more quickly than normal. And, by the end of the week, he seemed to have almost completely adjusted to it and was no longer fighting me (as much, anyway).

I also managed to fit in the history project (make a hornbook) and science activity (make craters in a bowl of flour with rocks) that I've been trying to get done for literally months. I felt very good about that.

So far, this schedule has worked the best of any we have tried this year. I am sure I will have to tweak it over time, but for now it is working, and I will take that.


Books, glorious books!

We went to the library today and I actually got a couple of things for myself for once. We even (shock!) ventured upstairs to the (gasp!) adult section of the library.

I will now have the following two books sitting on my bedside table, waiting to be read.

An Old-Fashioned Girl
by Louisa May Alcott (I've only ever read her Little Women series)


Unveiled by Francine Rivers (highly recommend by a friend - It's a fictionalized account of the story of Tamar from the Old Testament)

Now, let's see if I can actually find the time to read them!

UPDATED: added links

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Some of My Favorite Posts

For those of you who use bloglines, do you use the "Keep New" option in the bottom right hand corner of posts? I was a happy girl the day I found that. I was always thinking, "Now, where did I see that recipe/craft/inspirational post?" and this nifty feature has solved my problem (for the most part). I have quite a few posts that I keep "new". I thought I'd share some of them with you here.

A Bravewriter's Life in Brief has a yummy-sounding lemon scones recipe that I think Griff would like.

Blest with sons has the CUTEST picture of a Barbie Bible Study.

Homeliving Helper has an excellent post on Good Housekeeping that I read when I need a good, swift kick in the pants.

Kim at Life in a Shoe mentions some George Sarris Bible CD's that I absolutely must look into.

Rocks in My Dryer reviews a children's book that sounds just wonderful.

I hope you see something you like. I know I did.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Problem With a New Computer

We used to have 2 computers. With the new one, that makes 3. I will be using the new one mostly, but will still use the PC for some things. (The 3rd computer is our old Mac. Griff also has Linux loaded on it and that will be its main OS now. I will rarely be on it.)

Since I will be going back and forth between the two computers, I decided to move all my bookmarks to I exported all my books and copied them to I am now in the process of going through each bookmark and putting appropriate tags on them.

I have 715 bookmarks. I need to put tags on at least 577 of them. I figure it will take me about a year.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Advice From Nancy Drew

I loved to read Nancy Drew books when I was young. They were so exciting! Mysterious! Fun! Hokey!

Okay, that last one I didn't discover until I picked up one of my old books a few years ago. I read and enjoy a lot of children's books as an adult. Nancy Drew has not stood the test of time. For a young girl, though, they were (and are) wonderful. I cannot wait for Ruth to start reading them. (Griff is the same way with Robert and The Hardy Boys.)

A couple of years ago, my in-laws gave me this tiny book. And it is tiny - only 3"x3". It also has a bookmark with a little magnifying glass on the end. Cute!

Enclosed within the pages are some of the great pearls of wisdom of Nancy Drew, Girl Detective. Here are some of my personal favorites.

  • When bound and gagged, you can still tap out HELP in morse code to attract attention. --The Clue of the Tapping Heels
  • If you hear the telltale sounds of a helicopter, step away from a blaze in the fireplace. The copter might send a downdraft into the chimney and shower sparks all over your sleek coif. --The Myster of the 99 Steps
  • Make your date work for you--send him on B-level errands you can't seem to fit into your busy schedule. --The Clue in the Diary
  • If a guy's hunch results in a dead-end, don't flaunt your better judgment and intuition in front of him. Smirk secretly to yourself. --The Phantom of Pine Hill
and my personal favorite
  • If you see something resembling a shark in a river, don't fret. It's more likely to be a small submarine operated by thieves. --The Mystery of Lilac Inn.
What a fun book for a trip down memory lane!

Just so you know how obsessive I am about the proper use of apostrophes!

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

HT: Higher Up And Further In

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

I totally missed Christmas here at Imagine, but I just hate to see the whole season go by without sharing what we did. So, I decided an end-of-season summary was better than nothing!

We spent time making ornaments and these absolutely adorable chocolate cake trees. Can I share instructions for a Christmas craft after Christmas? Is that acceptable? (BTW, the girl in the middle is a friend of the kids'.)

Here is a picture of my family at church on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Day, I made the decision to sit back and enjoy and forget picture taking. However, I did get a picture of a few things before and after.

I absolutely love our Christmas tree. It's a pre-lit tree and boy, howdy, has that made my life easier! The day I take the tree out and the lights don't work, I will be tossing it and buying another one. It is just that wonderful.

Our tree is covered with a hodge podge of ornaments. No theme tree for me! I just love how it looks.

Favorite Christmas gifts:

Ruth's favorite was her I-Dog. This thing is so cute. It will light up and "dance" (actually just shakes its head and ears) to the music. It also growls when you pull its tail. Adorable!

When I asked Robert what his favorite gift was, he said, "Jesus. He's the gift God gave us." It was enough to make me melt in a puddle on the floor. However, the Lego Mindstorm was also popular.

Griff's favorite was probably our new I-Mac.! The speed! The screen resolution! The speed! Can you see that he's watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on the computer? To say that we could never do that on our old computer is a massive understatement

My favorite (sorry, no picture) is the GPS for my car. Griff really hit the jackpot with this one. I go to so many places that I've never been to before (field trips!) that this will be used often. Love it!

It's interesting to note that all of the favorite gifts (other than my GPS) were from Griff's parents. They truly spoil us!

This past Saturday, we had Christmas for my side of the family. We had a great time! We did a $10 gift card exchange where we got to steal from other people. Poor Ruth did not keep her Barnes & Noble gift card (although she did end up with Best Buy, which was a good second choice) and Robert was thrilled to steal a Wal-Mart gift card. I ended up with Bed, Bath & Beyond and Griff ended up with... I have no clue! LOL!

Here's a picture of me with my sisters and brother.

Oh, Quit Yer Whinin'!

After further thoughts on my previous post, I've decided I don't want to give up on the blog. I will be making an effort to post more frequently and share it more openly.

I would make it a New Year's Resolution, except I don't believe in those. (Hey, that could be a post!)

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Blog Crisis

I am really struggling right now about what to do with my blog.
  • I do not update it often.
  • I have ideas, but never follow through with them.
  • I have other things that need my attention more than this blog does.
  • Writing is a struggle for me, and not something I enjoy. (can you say math geek?)
  • I get about one reader/day. Sometimes less.
  • I am shy about sharing my blog. (probably the reason for the number of readers) My family doesn't even know about it! (other than my husband)
  • I haven't figured out the "identity" of my blog. Homeschooling mom? Mother of a child with Asperger's? Christian mom? I know it can be all those things, but I feel it needs an emphasis.
  • I love the idea of a blog
  • I really do have things I'd like to share with others.
  • It's a great way to keep track of everyday events. (Of course, I'm not using it for this.)
  • I want to improve my writing (and enjoy it!).
Right now, the cons are greatly outweighing the pros. If I don't hear from the few readers I have (I'm looking for advice here!), I'll probably call it quits.