Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Like chocolate and peanut butter...

Two constants in our home - classical music and Warner Bros. cartoons. If you are at all familiar with both of these, you can see how the two go together so well.

Griff had a concert Sunday and they played Overture to Barber of Seville. We could not get the following out of our minds during the performance. It's pretty bad when you have to resist the urge to break into song during an orchestral performance. :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mother/Daughter Time

Ruthie and I went to a Mother/Daughter Luncheon on Saturday. We were unable to attend last year because of a conflict, so I've been looking forward to this year's. It was hosted by one of the mothers at our church and we had a wonderful time until... Well, I'll explain later in the post.

It was held in the our friend's backyard and the weather could not have been more perfect. It was warm and sunny, but a breeze kept it from being too warm. We had actually had some cooler weather come through the day before, which kept the humidity down.

Ruthie and the other girls played with bubbles and made a small craft while the last-minute preparations were made. It was a simple menu of sandwiches, fruit, and chips with dip. The hostess emphasized that the food was "plain" - plain turkey, plain chips, plain bread - for the possible picky eaters among the children. It was very sweet of her to make it so child-friendly.

For dessert, the adults had yummy lemon cake and the children had butterfly cupcakes. This is where we ran into a problem. The body of the butterfly was 3 pastel-colored peanut M&Ms (cute!). Ruthie didn't know they had peanuts in them, and I was refilling my drink when she decided to eat them. When I found out, I told her that they had peanuts in them and that she should tell me if she started itching. I wasn't too worried, though, because her allergies have never shown up too seriously.

About 10 minutes later she came up and told me that she was itching. Her face and neck were red and blotchy. I carry Benadryl with me for this (doctor recommendation) and gave her one. About 20 minutes later, she was still itching, so I gave her a second one. This seemed to take care of the problem, but it was still scary for us. This is the first reaction we've run into since she was diagnosed with allergies last fall. It really put a damper on the day, and since the party was officially over, we went home.

I had a talk with Ruth about how she cannot just eat something without being sure what is in it - especially things like candy, which can have a coating and/or unusual shape. It was also a wake-up call to me. I need to take this much more seriously than I do. Since Ruthie has never had an anaphylactic reaction, I have on many occasions left her without her epi-pen. That has to stop.

Despite the allergy learning experience, we had a wonderful time and cannot wait for next spring's repeat event.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Weekly Report - April 7-11

This was a pretty good week for us. I instituted a "by the clock" schedule, which is completely new for us. I was having a hard time getting back into a routine after spring break and this really helped. I don't think we'll stick to it long-term, but it's working for now.


We finally pulled out BJU Science 5 and are almost finished with Chapter One. I was really hung up on the fact that I did not have all the supplies for the expirements, but I finally decided to do what we can and move on. Done is better than perfect, right?


We studied the 100 Years' War. I've pretty much abandoned my history schedule. We've fallen so far behind and I really want to get through Queen Elizabeth I, so I'm picking the highlights of Our Island Story and moving through them.


We are continuing with IEW. We covered Unit III this week, which is summarizing a narrative story. I am so incredibly pleased with this program. I actually got three good paragraphs out of Robert and he is showing some creativity in his writing. Ruth, who has always fought the restrictions placed on her writing (she's the 18 page girl Andrew Pudewa talks about), is doing well also. I only wish I had started IEW earlier. I had it sitting on the shelf for months before trying it.

Composer Study

We are finishing up Handel this week. We listened to Harmonious Blacksmith (aka Keyboard Suite No. 5 in E Major) and did a notebook page. We are technically supposed to listen to one of his organ concertos before being done, but, again, we are behind, so we are moving on. Handel is one of Griff's favorite composers, so I know the kids will be exposed to plenty of his music.

This is the composer notebook page we did (map is a printed and reduced copy of Uncle Josh's Outline Maps). I know I got it from somewhere, but I can't remember where. If someone recognizes it, please let me know so I can give the appropriate person credit.

UPDATE: Katie reminded me where I found this notebook page. It's from Mrs. Happy Housewife. How could I have forgotten? Thank you, Katie!

Picture Study

We are still (!) on Mary Cassatt. I think we have been studying her all year! We'll finish her up next week, though, and should be able to move on to Leonardo da Vinci.

Our picture was The Boating Party. I found a coloring page of the painting at Enchanted Learning and the kids, who are not especially fond of coloring, humored me by coloring it with colored pencils (somewhat, at least). I thought it might help them remember it better.

Nature Study

I'm hoping to do the next Green Hour Challenge today. We'll see if the weather cooperates. We're only up to #2. I am not behind on that, though. I only learned about them after my blog break. :) Once it's done, I'll write about it here.


We finished Swallows and Amazons this week. We were going to start The Hobbit next, until we found out this book is available. We can't resist, so I'm going to get it this weekend and we'll start it on Monday.

I also have pretty much gotten our taxes done, but that's not a pretty story, so I won't share it here.

I hope you had a good week, too. Homeschooling or otherwise.

Poor Customer Service (AKA How I Totally Lost It)

(Apologies to those who may have already read about this on a particular homeschool message board I visit. You have my permission to completely skip this post.)

I called Papa John's somewhere between 6:45 and 7:00 pm last night and ordered 1 large pizza and an order of breadsticks. I was asked how I would be paying for it (cash), given the total, and told it would be about 45 minutes.

At 8:00, after having not received my pizza, I called Papa John's back and was told that I had never placed the order. I have ordered many times from this particular Papa John's, and had even used the re-dial feature on my phone to call them back. After the girl I was talking to just kept repeating that I had not placed the order, I asked to talk to the manger.

I told the manager that I was angry at this point, but that all I had needed before that was an “I'm sorry. We'll get your order out right away.” The manager promised that they would do this.

By 9:00, I still had not received the order. I called again and spoke to someone different. He was very apologetic, told me that the delivery person had just left, and I should get it soon.

9:30, still no pizza, so I called again. By this time, my two children and I were very hungry, but as I have always had good experiences with Papa John's, I kept expecting the pizza to show up. I think I spoke to the same guy again. He was very surprised I had not received it yet and asked if I wanted to cancel the order. I said, no, I just wanted my pizza, but I would not be paying for it. He said this was fine and I was to have the delivery person call him if there were any questions. (I later found out that it was sent out as a no-cost order, but I did not know that at the time.)

10:00, still no pizza, so I called again. They said all the delivery people were back. The guy who was supposed to deliver my pizza insisted that he had delivered it and that he had given it to my husband. This is impossible because my husband had not been home since he left for work that morning. The delivery guy said that my husband had told him that I was out, but I had been home all night.

I talked to the delivery guy on the phone and he kept insisting that he had given it to my husband, but I knew that could not be true. He also mentioned seeing a black and white cat, which we do have, but there are 3 black and white cats on our block, so I was still convinced he had taken it to the wrong house. However, even when I described the house, he insisted that it was the house he had delivered the pizza to.

At this point, I asked to talk to the manager again. He kept repeating that the delivery guy said he had delivered it. This is where I lost it. I confess that I did start yelling at the manager. I was frustrated, not to mention hungry. I also take offense to being basically called a liar. My son (who I've mentioned before is mildly autistic) was very distraught over the whole thing, which wasn't helping anything. However, it was not appropriate to yell at the manager, and I did apologize for it. I was wrong to speak to him that way. The manager asked if I wanted a credit for my next order, but I really doubt I will ever be ordering from Papa John's again.

I called Griff (who was on his way home by now) and told him the whole story. He went by Papa John's to talk to the manager (and defend my honor - isn't he a sweetie?). He told the manager he had not been home since 8:00 that morning and had NOT had a pizza delivered to him. The delivery guy was apparently close by and asked him what our address was and then proceeded to tell my husband that he had delivered to him that night.

My husband leaned closer and said, “You're saying that you recognize me? That I'm the man you gave the pizza to?” The delivery guy insisted this was so. He even mentioned the cat again.

At this point, Griff turned to the manager and said, “I have never seen this guy before. He is lying. He is lying to you.”

Griff then left.

We are pretty sure that this delivery guy gave our pizza to someone else (probably some friends). This means that he is stealing from Papa John's. Not only that, but his actions have caused the loss of a very good customer.

And I want to know what kind of person can lie so blatantly?!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Green Hour Challenge #1

One thing that we have really missed out on during my blog block are the Green Hour Challenges at The Heart of Harmony. They are wonderful, and even though we are late to the game, we are going to join in.

First thing this morning, we went out to take a walk around our neighboorhood for Challenge #1. We have not done much nature study, and are true suburbanites, so we are still learning how to observe nature. The kids weren't noticing much, but kind of got into it by the end of the walk.

Our observations...

Two squirrels were chasing each other around and up the trunk of a tree (really funny). (We couldn't get close enough for a picture, so I'm using one I took last May in our backyard.)

These lilies were in full bloom in several yards. I am still trying to figure out exactly what kind of lily they are.

Our yesterday, today, and tomorrows are blooming. You can see the range of colors of the blooms in this picture.

Robert discovered this ant bed (nest?). You can't tell from the picture, but there are a lot of very tiny, but busy, ants.

After coming home, we read about ants and squirrels in The Handbook of Nature Study. I was thrilled to actually use this book, after having it sit on my shelf for about a year.

We didn't spend long on this - probably 30 minutes total. We haven't done any drawings yet, and I don't know if we will get that done this week. However, we did have nature study and I am thrilled about that. Thank you, Barb, for giving us an easy plan to follow! It was just what we needed.