Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Dd6 just asked, "Mom, what is Democrat and Republican?" after hearing my MIL and I discuss politics for a few minutes. Anyone have a simple explanation? You should have heard my MIL try to explain it without actually saying "Democrats are rotten and Republicans are wonderful". I was trying to explain it without raising even more questions, but wow, what a question!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Get out your Depends

OK, now this will be funny in one or two ways. Either you will laugh at the fart humor, or if you're from the Church of Christ tradition, you will totally laugh at how his childhood church service was EXACTLY like yours. Or, you will pee your pants laughing at the mix of the two.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Question of the Day

I know that I don't discuss deep theological questions very often, but I'd sure like to more often! Here's one for today, from David U of Light and Salt. If the Holy Spirit decided he was NOT going to indwell in you anymore, would anybody even be able to tell a difference? Feel free to leave comments either here or there.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Not sure what's going on!

But we're trying to fix it. I know, you are dying to read my old posts and are terribly disappointed that they've disappeared. Apperently, there are weird < div> tags that don't show up on my Blogger template, but do show up when you look at the source code for the page. I don't understand it, but my blogging guru, Andrea does, and she's working on it.

UPDATE: Tried changing back to the original template Andrea wrote for me, it's still doing it. I do see now, the other posts aren't gone, just WAY down on the page. Curiouser and curiouser.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

No More Tagboard

It wasn't being used very often, and I think I may use the space to put up some more ads. Blogads is wanting to set up a network of homeschool blogs to run some specialized ads. Daryl has the scoop.

And He's Out!

Sleepy Boy Posted by Hello

After keeping Mom, Dad, and Auntie up all night, I'm just exhausted! The things a boy's gotta do!!!

UPDATE: Found out what was wrong with all the kids -- fevers, tired, tummy-aches and the symptom I didn't see -- throat and mouth sores. Coxsackie virus or hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Painful, annoying, contagious, but not life-threatening. And, good for Baby Boy, NOT an ear infection. It stinks, though, there's really no treatment, you just have to wait it out. Ask Dr. Sears says you might want to use benadryl to help them sleep. Ya think? Off to the pharmacy for some sleepy drugs!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Father's Day

Pictures below. I was going to cut and paste them all into one post, but just don't have the patience today. We had a great day, for most of it. Church was awesome, I skipped out during second service to come home and get ready for lunch. We had baked potatoes, cucumber salad (picture below), beer corn on the cob (Sis's secret recipe, grilled on Hubby's new grill), steaks, hamburgers and hotdogs. I don't think I missed anything! In the famous words of my hubby, it was yooooo-may. Hubby finished up the sandbox for the kids that he started yesterday. Well, almost finished, he needs 2 more boards for the seats on 2 sides. After that, he had a nap, the kids played, until Baby Boy started getting fussy. I brought him in and realized that he was very warm. He just layed on me, which isn't like him, so we rocked for a while. Then BLECH he threw up all over me. Thus started the crappy part of the day. The girls played for a while longer, Baby Boy stayed fussy. One-by-one, everyone came in, hungry, thirsty, needing something while I'm trying to rock a lethargic puky baby. He started feeling better by bedtime, but by then Dd5 had a fever and was "feeling barfy". She never did, thank goodness. But my evening was ruined. I was grumpy the rest of the night, Dh played Halo (last year's FD gift), and I went to bed. Everyone seems better today except Sis, whose tummy is a little rumbly today and Baby Boy is still a bit cranky. So there was Father's Day.

Mountains in SE Michigan? Posted by Hello

Did you know there were mountains near Detroit? Well, there are now!!! Actually, after this picture they were turned into a church building complete with auditorium, children's section, and teen center.

Father's Day Nap Posted by Hello

After hauling and dumping 60 bags of sand, he deserves a nap. Well, so did we, since we helped, but it was his day!

Not quite finished, but ready to play in! Posted by Hello

Like I said above, it needs 2 more seats, but other than that, ready to go. I should have gotten a picture of the pallet of sand -- 60 bags! That is a stinking lot of sand, and very heavy.

Father's Day Gift Posted by Hello

This was pretty much totally from Sis, although she let us in on the giving of the gift. She is SO awesome -- she pretty much planned the whole meal as well. Sis -- YOU ROCK! Hubby was totally surprised -- a grill wasn't even on his gift radar.

Sandbox: Getting Started Posted by Hello

He actually built the box yesterday, we put the liner on the bottom today before lunch, while the grill was heating up.

Cucumber Tomato Salad Posted by Hello

I forgot to take pictures of the food-laden table, but I did snap this one. I love the colors of the salad in the yellow bowl. And it's quite yummy!

Calling Daddy Posted by Hello

He loves talking on my sister's phone! He talks and giggles, it's hilarious. Of course, if someone's actually on the other line, he won't talk at all!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Cutest Nephew Ever

Well, except his big brother, of course. My SIL had her second son, wow, it's been 2 weeks ago already! Her water broke at 4:30 am, they headed for the hospital around 6:30 am, she had him at 9:30 am, only 3 pushes!!! That's the way to do it.

New Nephew Posted by Hello

Oh, Brothers! Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Gaggle o' Girls Posted by Hello

I was watching a friend's daughter for the day, her school is out for the summer, but daycare isn't open for older kids yet. Then, the triplets down the street came down to play. So, we had a house FULL of girls. It stayed surprisingly sane, believe it or not! When M's daddy comes to pick her up, then we leave to pick up Nana from the airport and take her to my SIL's, who just had their second son last week. Hubby is working today, so I have the fun of taking all 3 of my kids through the airport to find her. Sigh. It's one of those days.

Update: It was so worth it, my new nephew is the cutest ever! (Pictures to come) It wasn't bad at all, we got a parking space in the structure very close to the moving sidewalk, then across to the terminal and there she was! It could have been SO worse. G'night!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Smiling Pretty

Smiling Pretty Posted by Hello

Sissy wanted me to take her picture, then insisted that I put it 'online'. So I'm obliging. No, she's not always this spoiled. Sometimes it's worse!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Blog This!

I keep finding other posts that make me think, and hit that handy-dandy Blog This! button. The problem is, I keep it as a draft and forget to come back to it! So, periodically I will go back and try to remember what it was about the post that inspired me. Here's one of the earliest, from May 19. Spunky Homeschool asked the question Homeschool: Conviction or Preference?. Basically, what came to my mind was more of a "Why do we homeschool?" type of post.

When Dd6 was a baby, I started reading about homeschooling online. It seemed so attractive, but I wasn't sure if I could do it. So I kept reading. For preschool, anyway, I figured we were already doing everything they did in preschool. Both my girls knew their ABC's, colors, shapes, and numbers to 10 by the time they were 2 or 2 1/2. Dd6 is a December baby, so when she turned 5, she still wasn't in Kindergarten yet. We took that schoolyear (when she was still 4) and started kindergarten work. Again, I was thinking "What do they do in Kindergarten? Play with play-doh, learn their letters and 3-letter words and numbers, and learn to sit still. We can do that -- without so much of the sitting still." I figured she would be ahead if we decided to go ahead and put her in school the next fall. So we started with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and some general Kindergarten workbooks from Sam's Club. We just messed around, no schedule, no pressure. Some days Dd6 (4-5 at the time) would just say "Let's do some schoolwork today!" After that first year, we decided to keep her home -- MI doesn't have compulsory schooling until 1st grade anyway -- and I am so happy with it. I still don't have a formal curriculum this year for Kindergarten. We continued in 100 Easy Lessons, still very laid back, and a 1st Grade math book (the K books she blazed through!) but we will probably start something a little more formal next year. Despite not pushing through 100 Easy Lessons (we've only done about 20 lessons in 2 years!), she has started picking up some early phonics readers and just zipping right through them. She's still a ways from reading completely on her own, but is definitely on her way! I'm thinking of using Ambleside Online for our 'more formal' curriculum next year. I'm really liking Charlotte Mason's philosophies, although I need to read more of her writings in order to articulate to my husband just what I want to do for school next year and why. He's a little more of the 'school at home' mindset, although he acknowledges that I have done a lot more reading and researching on the subject.

I guess to answer Spunky's original question, "Homeschool: Conviction or Preference?", I would say that it started out as a preference and is rapidly moving into a conviction. The more we do at home, the more I remember how much I loved learning when I was in public school -- and how much I hated school! "Socialization" was the bane of my existence. In a small town (1200 people) where your identity is sealed by 2nd or 3rd grade, I was poor, plain, too smart but not super-smart, and painfully socially backward. As I got older, I was more mature than many of my PS peers in many ways, and just didn't get all the silly cliques and games (yes, even in a class of 20!). You know "those" homeschooled kids who are held up as awkward and backward and the reason why kids "need" socialization in school? I was one of those -- in PS! I am convinced that any homeschooler who is awkward would probably just be an outcast in public school as well -- it's not the setting or socialization, it's just a personality or phase. I think homeschooled kids are more free to explore who they are and be OK with it without pressure from their peers to conform. I was miserable in school, while simply loving books and learning new information. I wasn't the top of my classes, probably because I had no self-confidence, so no incentive so excel. Anyway, as we get into this homeschooling adventure, I am bound and determined not to let this happen to my kids. So, I guess you could say it's a conviction now!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

In Case You Were Getting Tired of Them,

More Baby Boy pics here.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Baby Boy

I realized, after reading Dy's Smidge post, that I have several pictures of the girls here at the Gems, but not nearly enough of the Baby Boy. And now, for your viewing pleasure . . .

Memorial Day Parade Posted by Hello

Peeking out the mail slot Posted by Hello

Boogie-ing down at Sissies' recital rehearsal Posted by Hello

Husband-in-training Posted by Hello

Daddy-in-training Posted by Hello

Answered Prayer

Thanks all who were praying for Hubby. As odd as it may seem, I guess his 'diverticulitis' attack wasn't, it was just an infection. He has no polyps, no diverticulum, nothing abnormal at all. Whew. He really doesn't want to have to do THAT again for another 10 years. And THAT isn't the exam, it's the drinking of nasty stuff to clean him out. He actually said it was worse than the diverticulitis attack, and he thought he was dying when that happened. Not fun.

God is good.

Just Wondering

As I watch Veggie Tales' "The End of Silliness?" silly songs video for the jillionth time, I wonder, as I often do, if Mike and Phil have the same warped sense of humor I do, or am I just one of the strangest people on the planet. Does anyone else see the Monty Python's Holy Grail parallel in the Keep Walking song (i.e., soldiers with French accents hurling epithets from atop a wall)? And in the Cheeseburger song, does anyone flashback to high school days of cruising the strip with Meatloaf cranked on the car stereo? It seems to me that they put some inside jokes in there to keep the grown-ups from going insane watching the same videos over and over. But maybe it's just me! Well, maybe not just me -- the first time Dh and I saw Keep Walking, he turned to me and said "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries." Yes, we are strange.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Sunday Stuff

I got up early-ish to get the kids up and ready for church, I sang with the praise team today and we rehearse before services start. Dh stayed home -- yes, he's the worship minister, but he has a colonoscopy tomorrow and had to fast for the morning to get ready to drink the yucky stuff tonight. We got there, the kids played in the nursery while we rehearsed. It always surprises me when they don't trash it before services! They were great. I got to do a little improv stuff on Zoe Group's "Worthy is the Lamb". I'll never get close to their rendition, but I worshipped and God was praised! Came home, Sis had lunch in the oven (Dh was bemoaning how great it smelled). Nothing like coming home from church to lunch in the oven, although I would have loved for her to have come with us. Napped, went back to church for our first-Sunday-of-the-month worship time and church meeting.

It's a little depressing, out of 420 members representing 283 families, we had under 40 people there tonight. They announced in church this morning that the elders were going to be talking about some changes in the way they approach leadership -- sounds like serious stuff, right? I guess not serious enough. If we had held a chili cookoff afterward, we would have had quite the crowd. I shouldn't be so hard on our church members. We do have a great congregation, it's just so easy to get used to the status quo instead of pushing ourselves to dig deeper and keep growing in our walk with the Lord. Heck, if I weren't married to a minister there, I'm sure I'd be at home thinking "I'm not getting my kids out again tonight! Someone will tell me what went on." But I guess God put us in this ministry partially to kick my butt and make me take a good hard look at myself. I hope now that hubby's stepping back in his duties (yeah, I know I still haven't blogged about that yet -- too hard), that I will still hold myself accountable whether or not he's on staff.

It turned out to be a wonderful evening. Our elders have been studying and praying and listening to God's call about their roles as elders. They've basically come to the conclusion that they need to be less of what our tradition has always expected elders to be (decision-makers, de facto board members, the big honchos), and more of how the Bible describes them -- shepherds. They need to know their flock better -- 6 elders for 420 people is quite difficult to get personal with -- in order to lead them. They are going to begin visitations with families, having the deacons make calls to see how families are doing and who might be needing such visitation. They really want to be more in tune with the spiritual life of the church, and are taking steps to make sure they are. They aren't abandoning the decision-making, but are delegating some of the day-to-day, administrative stuff they've been bogged down with to deacons, ministry leaders, or other qualified members of the congregation. It really touched my heart that they were tired of being the 'big guys'. None of our elders is the type to be power-hungry, so I know it was weighing on them, the responsibility. The fact that they are in a position of responsibility won't change, but I think that God will bless their efforts to follow HIS leading in just what that responsibility entails, and how to go about fulfilling it.

Well, anyway, if you're reading this tonight, please say a quick prayer for Dh, he's still trying to get that nasty prep liquid down. (He's been drinking it since 5, you're supposed to be done in 2-3 hours, it's 11:00 now.) If you're reading later, a quick prayer that the colonoscopy helps diagnose or rule out diverticulitus. He's only had one attack, back in September, and we'd like to find out that it's his last -- that it was just a quirk or something. Not likely, I know, but anything is possible!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Carmon's Ten Commandments for Homeschoolers

Carmon of Buried Treasures lists her Top Ten Commandments for Homeschoolers. My favorite?

10) Thou shalt not be a curriculum junkie, always looking for the new and improved version of the latest homeschooling fad, but settle on a reasonable method to teach the basics to your children, and spend more time conversing with them than cramming information into their heads. They will remember those heartfelt talks far longer than they will the facts you forced them to memorize so they could fill in the blanks.

They're all good -- go read them all.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Heard Around the House

Dd5 to Dd6 "Sissy, what do you call a chicken with no legs?"
Dd6 to Dd5 "What?"
Dd5 to Dd6 "A not-walking chicken"
Dd5 cracking up "Get it? A not-walking chicken!!!" Giggles with glee.
Dd6 puzzled, face scrunched up, thinking hard. "It doesn't make sense!"
Dd5 "Yes it does. Hey Mommy, what do you call a chicken with no legs? "
Mommy, trying hard not to already be laughing when Dd5 gets into the room for the punch line, "What DO you call a chicken with no legs?" . . .

UPDATE: I have been corrected. The proper punch line is a NON-walking chicken.

New Look Around Here

So, tell me what you think? Andrea did a great job, didn't she? Does it work for you? If there's anything that doesn't look right, it's probably something I requested that way -- let me know and I'll see if she can change it or help me change it. I just love the roughcut rubies in the background, that's my favorite change.