Monday, October 31, 2005

Are You an Average American?

I found an interesting future meme over at Absinthe and Cookies.

American Snapshot

According to the book, a majority of Americans:

Eats peanut butter at least once a week
I have a 5 and a 6 year old, what do you think?
Prefers smooth peanut butter over chunky
Of course!
Can name all Three Stooges
Unfortunately. Hubby has even taught Ds2 to say Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!!!
Lives within a 20-minute drive of a Wal-Mart
They're building one 5 minutes away right now
Eats at McDonald's at least once a year
Once a year? Try once a week!!! I know, we've gotta stop that!
Takes a shower for approximately 10.4 minutes a day
A shower every day? Are you kidding? I am a mother of a toddler.
Never sings in the shower
Wrong here too.
Lives in a house, not an apartment or condominium
We've been in our first house for a year now.
Has a home valued between $100,000 and $300,000
Has fired a gun
Never, but I'd like to get one and learn to shoot it well.
Is between 5 feet and 6 feet tall
Weighs 135 to 205 pounds
Yeah, I'd like to be closer to the 135 end than I am!
Is between the ages of 18 and 53
Right again
Believes gambling is an acceptable entertainment option
Not so much, but to each his own
Grew up within 50 miles of current home
WAY off, try 1,058 miles from my childhood home

Are you average?

Handwriting Analysis

I found this over at Waterfall's place. It is eerily accurate in many ways. I'm one of those people, though, who write differently each time they write -- a nearly different handwriting. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow and see if it turns out very differently.

Gem has a healthy imagination and displays a fair amount of trust. She lets new people into her circle of friends. She uses her imagination to understand new ideas, things, and people.

Gem is sarcastic. This is a defense mechanism designed to protect her ego when she feels hurt. She pokes people harder than she gets poked. These sarcastic remarks can be very funny. They can also be harsh, bitter, and caustic at the same time.

Gem is a practical person whose goals are planned, practical, and down to earth. This is typical of people with normal healthy self-esteem. She needs to visualize the end of a project before she starts. She finds joy in anticipation and planning. Notice that I said she plans everything she is going to do, that doesn't necessarily mean things go as planned. Gem basically feels good about herself. She has a positive self-esteem which contributes to her success. She feels she has the ability to achieve anything she sets her mind to.� However, she sets her goals using practicality-- not too "out of reach". She has enough self-confidence to leave a bad situation, yet, she will not take great risks, as they relate to her goals. A good esteem is one key to a happy life. Although there is room for improvement in the confidence catagery, her self-perception is better than average.

In reference to Gem's mental abilities, she has a very investigating and creating mind. She investigates projects rapidly because she is curious about many things. She gets involved in many projects that seem good at the beginning, but she soon must slow down and look at all the angles. She probably gets too many things going at once. When Gem slows down, then she becomes more creative than before. Since it takes time to be creative, she must slow down to do it. She then decides what projects she has time to finish. Thus she finishes at a slower pace than when she started the project. She has the best of two kinds of minds. One is the quick investigating mind. The other is the creative mind. Her mind thinks quick and rapidly in the investigative mode. She can learn quicker, investigate more, and think faster. Gem can then switch into her low gear. When she is in the slower mode, she can be creative, remember longer and stack facts in a logical manner. She is more logical this way and can climb mental mountains with a much better grip.

Gem is secretive. She has secrets which she does not wish to share with others. She intentionally conceals things about herself. She has a private side that she intends to keep that way, especially concerning certain events in her past.

Gem is sensitive to criticism about her ideas and philosophies. She will sometimes worry what people will think if she tells them what she believes in. This doesn't mean she won't talk, or that she feels ashamed. It merely means she is sensitive to what others think, regarding her beliefs.

Gem is moderately outgoing. Her emotions are stirred by sympathy and heart rendering stories. In fact, she can be kind, friendly, affectionate and considerate of others. She has the ability to put herself into the other person's shoes. Gem will be somewhat moody, with highs and lows. Sometimes she will be happy, the next day she might be sad. She has the unique ability to get along equally well with what psychology calls introverts and extroverts. This is because she is in between. Psychology calls Gem an ambivert. She understands the needs of both types. Although they get along, she will not tolerate anyone that is too "far out." She doesn't sway too far one way or the other. When convincing her to buy a product or an idea, a heart rendering story could mean a great deal to her. She puts herself in the same situation as the person in the story, yet she will not buy anything that seems overly impractical or illogical. Gem is an expressive person. She outwardly shows her emotions. She may even show traces of tears when hearing a sad story. Gem is a "middle-of-the-roader," politically as well as logically. She weighs both sides of an issue, sits on the fence, and then will decide when she finally has to. She basically doesn't relate to any far out ideas and usually won't go to the extreme on any issue.

People that write their letters in an average height and average size are moderate in their ability to interact socially.� According to the data input, Gem doesn't write too large or too small, indicating a balanced ability to be social and interact with others.

Gem has a desire for attention. People around Gem will notice this need. She may fulfill this need by a variety of ways depending on her own character.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chivalry is Dead at McDonalds

Now, let me preface this post with a disclaimer. I have 3 children, and am contemplating a 4th. I do NOT expect people to go out of their way to help me, I have accepted the gifts God has given me in this many kids and I am fully prepared to do whatever it takes to take care of them. But this evening as I struggled trying to balance three Happy Meals, a chicken BLT and fries meal, the toddlers drink, and my drink on our tray with said toddler on my hip and two excited 5 & 6 year olds dancing around my feet, it might have been a kind gesture of the two men in line to offer to take my tray to the table for me. They were friendly fellows, though, offering a sympathetic "Oh, I don't miss those days!" and "Oh yeah, I remember them well" with a twinkling eye and a chuckle. Yeah, thanks for nothing guys!!!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Funky Fairies

We had a Fall Fest at church today. Here are the girls in costume. Traditionally, they have changed their minds about their costumes between Friday and whichever day Halloween actually falls, so we'll see what they decide to be by Monday!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Renovations Underway

Update: We didn't make it to Home Depot today. Dh got a bunch of stuff ripped down in the basement, and the girls pulled off wallpaper in the back entry way. I guess after two years in the place, it's about time we got a fire lit under us! Now, let's see how long til it all gets put back together!

Monday morning I posted this.. Monday night I was reading it to Dh and giving him the responses. I had mentioned in the comments to Ron that I was concerned that the wallpaper might damage the plaster beneath, since it was wet plaster and not drywall. So we decided to try a small area to see how it would peel up. It was a dream! Since it came right up, Dh looked at me and said "Let's rip it all out!" I said "At 11:30 pm?!" "Sure, why not, I'm just watching TV." So by 11:45, we had the whole room free of nasty old wallpaper. We're going today to the Big Orange Box go get paint, if only we can decide on a color! You can see that the tile is peach and black. I'm leaning toward a very light peach or a white tinted with just a tinge of peach. Dh wants to go with a sage green color. Right now he's winning. I'll let you know what we end up buying!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Feast

Miz Booshay at Quiet Life posted her Friday Feast today and I thought I'd play along.

Friday Feast

Do you button shirts top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top?
I start in the middle and go up, then down.

What is your favorite sandwich?
Grilled Cheese with sliced tomato in the middle, or Rueben

What was a family project you helped work on as a child?
Remodelling our living room when I was a teenager

Main Course
When have you acted phony?
When I was a theatre major, I was so gothic and dramatic (NOT)

Do you write letters or postcards? If so, to whom?
Not nearly enough. My correspondence is pretty much limited to e-mail these days.

So now you know a little more about me!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Two Years Ago Today

It was so strange, to drive to the hospital NOT in labor to have the baby. Our first two children came after about 12 hours of light labor and then 4-5 hours of heavy labor in the hospital. Baby Boy (I guess I should graduate him to Ds2 now), on the other hand, was nice and comfy and did not want to come out. I had been having random contractions but nothing regular, so earlier that week my OB planned an induction on Friday -- incidentally his on-call day at the hospital. We went in, they placed the little pill to soften the cervix and it basically jump-started my labor. By that evening, little Ds2 was here!

Here's a picture from that day:

And from a couple of days later at home:

One year ago:

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Yes, those are his birthday pants from Grandma Sherry. Yes, they're on his head. What can I say? Home educating creates genius!

Sunday Hymn Post

The Common Room posts a hymn every Sunday. I love these posts, having grown up in the same church as The Headmistress. Our church does a pretty good job of balancing the newer worship songs with the oldies-but-goodies, but I could stand a few more. Today's hymn is "The Lord's My Shepherd", a rendition of Psalm 23 set to an old Scottish hymn tune "Orlington". It is one of my favorites. I just discovered (via The Common Room as well) audioblogging, so I thought I'd throw the tune out for you to listen to as a test post.

this is an audio post - click to play

(I tried to do this yesterday and my audio post disappeared, so I re-did it today)

P.S. This song is from the "Old Blue Book". If you are a CoC reader, you'll know exactly what book I'm talking about. If not, the reference will be lost on you.

Calling All Home Renovation Experts!

(Ron and Andrea, this means you.) We've been living with an ugly, small bathroom for 2 years now, and I anticipated living with it for quite a while longer. But the faucet really does need to be replaced -- it doesn't just drip, it runs, so it's a waste of money to let it keep running. In order to replace the faucet, we have to replace the sink bowl, it's totally rusted out since it's been running for so long (since before we bought the house two years ago). If we replace the bowl, we may as well replace the cabinet too. The cabinet top has this funky extension over the back of the toilet that will have to come out. So, our faucet replacement has turned into a total bathroom renovation. Well, except the tub, that's whole other ballgame!

All that to say this: The tile is beautiful -- if you like peach and black. I'm a little iffy on that. But otherwise it is in great shape, and has a cool kind of Art Deco look. But somewhere in the 1980's someone got a brilliant (not) idea to put up some pretty flowery pastel wallpaper. Blech! I guess it's not so bad on its own, but with that tile!

Here's my question -- what should put in place of the wallpaper? If we were to paint the upper wall peach, I'm not sure if I can stand that much peach. Hubby suggested black, but that bathroom (the main bath) isn't much more than a closet anyway and I think black would shrink it even more.

I'll let you look at the picture and tell me what you think:

Wallpaper Detail

The peach tile is actually graduated diagonally dark to light on each tile.


I was trying to make a cute little post to test-drive the new audioblogger function, but it seems to have disappeared! Have any of you on Blogger used it yet, and how long does it take to show up after you hang up the phone?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Blogging Reconstruction

My friend Rachel from an e-mail loop is from Louisiana. I knew that, but didn't realize she was hit so hard by Katrina. She's blogging their comeback, and it is slow! If you'd like to read as they try to get their lives back to 'normal', check out Life in the South. Tell her Gem said HI!

Friday, October 14, 2005

My New Bracelet

My Auntie V makes this really cool magnetic jewelry. It's supposed to make your body heal itself better by improving the electrical current in your body. She sent me a bracelet and it was cute, but I lost it when I was carrying Dd6 around to get her x-rays when her foot was sprained a couple of months ago. I got my new one today and it is REALLY pretty! She has a blog where she's started showing some of her bracelets and necklaces. I think she even takes orders there if you would like something like this one. She has all kinds of beads and can customize them. I told her I liked the heart and the irridescent beads, but she designed the bracelet all on her own. I think she's got quite a talent! Go by and say HI if you'd like, she'd love it!

I'm not sure why, but when I re-read what I wrote it sounds like a 17-yr-old wrote it. Oh, well, guess I'm like totally cool!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Soul Weary

Ann at Holy Experience describes herself as soul weary today. That's is a really good way to describe the way I've been feeling lately. I wonder if there's something in the air this time of year. Here's her response to her own soul weariness:
If I feel under a sentence or burdened, it is because I am carrying something I am not supposed. And He’s given it so I can see:

Heaviness is a sign that I am relying on the wrong person. Me.

Instead of Him.

Time to rely on the Right Person.

I need to be in the Word more. I need to be praying more. I need to focus on Him and His will instead of what I need to do to change my daughter or myself. It's funny how that works -- I stop focusing on me and start focusing on Him and everything becomes clear. Time for me to re-focus.

Holding My Daughter's Heart

I am trying so hard to foster this type of relationship between my daughters (and when he's older, my son) and myself. But here I am, up at 12:15, unable to sleep, grieving over ugly things my 6yo and I said to each other today. Six years old! I do not want to have an adversarial relationship with her, but we are constantly at loggerheads. I fear that if it is this bad at age 6, it's going to be just terrible at 16. Nothing seems to work. Spanking, removal of priviledges, stickers and rewards for good behavior. She's not a rotten child. She has a wonderfully soft and loving heart. But she is as stubborn as all get out, and bright -- you know, she thinks she knows so much more than Mom. Then I put my foot down because God put me in authority here and I WILL have obedience, and she's off. If I say red, she says white. Then we have a battle of wills. I can make her obey (theoretically), but I can't make her do it with a willing heart. It's her heart I want. It's her heart I long for. You know how some parents say "Oh, I could never homeschool, my child and I are just too alike. We'd end up hating each other"? That's where we are. Not hating each other, but I don't want it to go there, you know? But I know God has asked me to do this. I don't want to be fighting her peers for her heart. I don't want just five hours a day with her after school to come to know her and for her to know me. I don't want to be constantly undoing the lessons school life teaches her -- that it's all about the grades or the test or what other kids think. I want her to love learning for its own sake. I want her to love being with her family -- I want family to mean more than anything else other than her God. I want to foster all that. But I just can't quite get the magic formula right. And we're just in our first year of homeschooling. I know we'll get our rhythm. But I just feel so bleak right now.

Sorry, such a downer. I think I'll go to bed. 'Night!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Day in the Life . . .

Yes, it's 12:18, and I had to run through my Sage feeds one more time and see who has posted recently. I saw that Mental Multivitamin had posted and had to check it out. All I can say is "I want this." And I don't know if I have what it takes to get that. But I really, really want it.

Enough for now. Goodnight!

P.S. When I say I want that, start at 8:45 am. I don't want any of that early morning junk before that! ;o)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig Jig

Finally, back home. Wow, what a great weekend. Some chillin', some reading, some spiritual rejuvination, some spiritual challenge. Great music, great speakers. I think the number one thing that touched me was during Mike Cope's final talk. He spoke about each one of us being missional in our every day lives. During the (I hate to say sermon) talk, he mentioned different ways people interact in life -- in schools, at work, etc. But us SAHM's were kind of left out of the conversation. I started thinking (someone was whispering in my head), what kind of missionary can I be? I don't really interact with much of anyone besides church people and my kids. I know, my children are my ministry, but it just didn't seem relevant to what Mike was speaking to. But then he did what he called a commissioning. He said the early church would commission people as they left their church to go teach the gospel. So he called upon different professions -- teachers, business people, health care workers, etc. to stand up to be blessed and commissioned. But when he called teachers, he included homeschooling parents. I stood when he added homeschooling to the list of people who work in schools and with children. But the thing that touched me -- the thing that made my entire weekend -- was when MY HUSBAND TOOK MY HAND AND STOOD UP WITH ME. I consider myself a homeschooling mom. But I haven't really considered him a homeschooling dad. He works so, so much so that I can be home with the kids, I just have not included him in 'my' homeschooling plans. But HE consideres himself to be a homeschooling dad, and stood immediately when Mike called out homeschoolers. And that touched my heart.

We both got commissioned twice, by the way -- I, as a home educator and an SAHM; he, as a homeschooler and as a member of the media. I guess we're just double-blessed.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We're Here!

Wow, this is so cool! La Quinta has free wireless internet service in the rooms! I figured out how to get Hubby's laptop connected all by my little blonde self and I'm surfin'! I promise not to live-blog my afternoon in the hotel room, but I can give you the schedule:

Surf the net
Read a novel (currently Orson Scott Card's Magic Street)
Surf some more
Hubby takes me out for dinner

It's a hard life, but someone's got to live it. AND I'm free tomorrow until dinner! I really am not sure what I'm going to do with myself, although I did bring 4-5 library books and that should fill some time. There's a mall nearby, but not really a budget for shopping, so I'm not sure if it would be worth my while.

Well, off to surf some blogs! You all have a great day!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

And We're Off!

Well, the girls are gone, the Baby Boy is dropped off at his sitter, and I'm here at home alone, packing. Boy, that was hard, dropping him off. I lay him down in the pack-n-play where he'll be sleeping the night, gave him his pluffies and blankie, turned on his music, kissed him and shut the door. He fussed a while, then quieted right down. We had a practice run last week, so it's not actually his first night away from Mommy, but it will be his first weekend away. Mommy's not so sure about this! I will really try not to call more than once a day, I promise.

Anyway, we're totally looking forward to the conference, and to a little time alone. It's going to be a whirlwind weekend, though. Hubby gets home from work tonight at 12, then we leave around 3am for Nashville. His conference starts at 1pm, through the evening. The leadership conference runs Thursday afternoon and Friday, then we'll go to the worship conference together Friday night and Saturday. Then we drive back Sunday -- and he goes back to work Sunday afternoon at 3. Poor guy, he works too stinking hard! But, when you're a per diem employee and don't get vacation time, you work when they say so you can make sure you get scheduled regularly.

Well, I better get the packing finished up and get the house together. There's nothing I hate more than coming home to a house that looks like a tornado hit it! Toodles!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

New Homeschooling Forum

Ron and Andrea of Atypicalife have started a new site -- not surprisingly named AtypicalHomeschool. They discuss a lot of their own homeschooling journey, both on the beaten path and off. My favorite part of the site? Their (somewhat hard to find) forum. There aren't a lot of members yet -- if you're looking for a homeschooling forum that's about as eclectic as you can get, take a look over here. Unschooling, curriculum, homeschooling toddlers, year planning, there are a myriad of topics. And if there's a topic you haven't seen discussed in any of your other forums, bring it up here. No dogma, no "do it this way", just lots of anecdotal advise and wisdom. And a little silliness. Check it out!

Update: They've added a forum tab to the main website. It's the far right tab. No problem finding it now!!!

Another Argh Day!

Well, we have had one of those days today. You know, one of those let's-see-if-we-can-send-mom-to-the-funny-farm kind of days. I'm trying to get us all ready to be gone this weekend. The girls are going to my sister-in-law's, Baby Boy is going to a friend's here in town and Hubby and I are going to the Zoe Conference in Nashville. So of course, everyone is on their very worst behavior!! The baby (he's almost 2! Not so much of a baby anymore, huh?) is at his very clingiest, won't let me put him down. The girls are at their very most sassy, mouthy, disrespectful, shouting at mom, stomping, temper-tantrum selves. Not to mention that I've had a huge caffeine headache all day (out of everything and Hubby doesn't get paid til Thursday. We have dance AND soccer tonight and Hubby's working til 11:30 pm. We're rushing around, no one can find tights or soccer socks, we're digging under the bed and behind furniture, all yelling at each other.

And then Dd5 steps on a needle. Oh, joy. It went straight in, maybe 1/2 inch, she's hopping around and crying -- it took me a few minutes to realizes she was hurt (ok, maybe just a few seconds, but I'm sure it felt longer to her!). It came right out and she soaked her foot in peroxide and water. She seems to be feeling better now, she's even walking on it. So it's off to pick Dd6 up from dance and head to soccer.

I can't wait til tomorrow. Everyone leaves and we get up early Thursday to leave for Nashville. I'm sure I'll be missing them an hour into the trip, but right now it's looking REALLY good!