Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tomorrow's the Day

I decided to take the job! I talked to the director today (C, our minister's wife) to see when she would need me to start. She said "Can you come tomorrow?!" Oh, boy, nothing like jumping right in. I'm still very nervous about driving into Detroit. Nothing really rational, just a Kansas small-town girl's fear of the really big city, lol! I've been living here for 10 years now, but have never had to drive IN Detroit. Tomorrow should be just a paperwork and learning the ropes day, but if it's like the first day of most of my jobs, I'll be thrown in right away. That's just how it's always been for me. Not that it's difficult work -- loving babies is old hat to me! Thanks for your prayers and please say a little one for me tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, January 27, 2006

How Hubby Spent Christmas Eve Day

I've had this one in draft, so I thought I'd FINALLY post it. I want to do a photo post of the whole basement renovation soon. It's not done yet, but he has two walls completely mudded with two coats of Kilz on them, waiting for paint. He has one more wall to build, drywall, and mud, then the other room that will be created by that wall to insulate, drywall, and mud. Then it's just painting! We'll have a new playroom/schoolroom and a new family room. Then the living room upstairs will become our dining room/reading room. Yay! I can't wait.

I guess Hubby thought the wasn't busy enough organizing and directing the Christmas Eve service, so he found a little odd-job to do in the basement . . .

Here's the basement all insulated, waiting for drywall. At this point, we thought we'd keep the faux fireplace. It had been a gas fireplace, but the city told us we couldn't use it since the water heater and the furnace both intake air from the basement. We thought we'd just put candles in it and use it decoratively, but everytime we tried to decide where the furniture is going to go, it was in the way. Christmas Eve day, Hubby decided to do something about it.

So, he decided -- AFTER getting the drywall cut just right around it -- to take the stinkin' thing out. I thought it would really be a job, but this thing must be nearly as old as the house. I think there were maybe 6 or 8 bricks out of all of them that didnt' just disintigrate.

And here's all that was left . . .

It's now all drywalled, mudded, and painted but I haven't gotten pictures taken yet. Soon!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Is It Thursday Already?

Wow, how time flies. Nothing much going on, just the same old thing. I'm really trying to get a better routine going for housework and such, so that I'm not constantly cleaning. I hate this part of my job. Not the new job, the old one -- mom and wife. I love the mom-ing part and the wife-ing part. But the housekeeping part just sucks. I constantly remind myself that I chose this job, it wasn't thrust upon me, and I need to just do it! I read inspirational posts about how this is blessing my family and about doing everthing 'as unto the Lord', but it just doesn't sink in very far - - you know, past the first load of dishes or the next mopping of the kitchen. Anyway, I've been doing better. I was sick last night -- just got finished doing my second hand-washed load of dishes for the day and was working on Little Dude's room and the headache and nausea nearly knocked me down! I lay on the couch and waited for Hubby to get home from church to put the kids to bed. He came home, sent me to bed, put them to bed, and brought me a cup of chamomile tea! What a guy! So, it's been pretty blah, blah, blah around here. How have you been?

Monday, January 23, 2006

More On The Work Front

I have had some concerns about the job I mentioned below, but took them to C and she answered every one. I didn't discuss the influences thing with her, but the more I think about it, the more I realize it will be a great thing for my kids to be surrounded by children of other cultures. I think I'll be at her center called Angels in the Neighborhood or in Spanish it's called Los Angeles en el Barrio (I think, my Spanish is non-existent). It's the only non-profit childcare center in SE Detroit, in the area called Mexican Town. I'm thinking this will be great for the girls to learn some Spanish and to be around some kids who are different. Our suburb is very white-bread, although we do have several bi-racial couples at church. I want them to meet all kinds of people and this sounds like an awesome opportunity. I will just have to keep my eyes peeled for any negative influences and be ready to talk about why we require certain behavior when perhaps some around us do not.

I think this can be a very positive thing for us in many ways, not just financially. Not being home for half a day every day may actually serve to hold me a bit more accountable with my scheduling, both for our schoolwork and for housework (I'm so NOT Donna Reed!).

Thanks for all the prayer and well-wishes!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work I Go

Well, maybe. I'm so not sure about this. You know, I've blogged a little about having some financial trouble. We are 100% committed to my staying home with the kids and continuing our homeschooling, but something's got to give! However, a possibility has arisen that just might help. Our preacher's wife runs a Christian daycare in Detroit, one that serves primarily single women who can't get jobs without getting daycare for their children, but can't get aid to help them pay for the daycare so they can keep their job. Children's Outreach receives corporate donations, church donations, grants, etc. so that they can help these families out. She has an opening for a closer, 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm. She has an afterschool program, so the girls can come with me. Little D may present a problem, bringing him would throw off the teacher/child ratio in his age group, but she's hoping to work something out there. I would be in the baby room -- no training necessary, I now how to hold babies and change diapers! I have a bachelor's degree for pete's sake. Sounds awesome, huh? But my basic feeling is -- I don't want to. I'm not sure why. I just don't. You know how some people say about things they've been praying about "I just didn't have a peace about it so I knew God didn't want me to do it." I'm not so sure. It is a ministry of sorts. It would bring in some extra dollars without costing us for childcare. Maybe it's just my stubbornness. On the other hand, one of the reasons I homeschool is that I'm concerned about the influences from kids at school. What are they going to pick up from inner city kids??? One of my friends from church works there and used to bring her daughter, I'll have to ask her if she saw any difference in her behavior.

Please pray for this situation. The preacher's wife is really pushing for a decision. I know she wants to help us out, but she does need to fill the position so I need to let her know. Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, January 16, 2006

My Dear, Sweet Son

. . . is making me crazy! I don't know if it's a girl/boy difference or just personality differences, but this boy is sooooo different than his sisters. Two weeks ago he put a tic-tac up his nose (I can't believe I didn't blog that!), but sneezed it out while I was getting him dressed to go to the doctor. Today he stuck a Cheerio up his nose. He sneezed, but since he had a mouthful of O's at the time, I couldn't tell if the one that had been up his nose had come out or not. I thought I could still see it in there, so off to the pediatrician we went. Of course, after half an hour of Little D bouncing off the walls in the examining room, the doctor came in, looked with the magic looker, and pronounced that it WASN'T THERE ANYMORE! Argh! I guess I'm glad, but really, argh! This is our third visit in a week, since we went last Monday for Miss T's eyes, then again Friday to find out she has strep throat - and is very contagious. I'm just waiting for everyone else to get it. I guess intelligent posts will have to take a back burner to nostril Cheerios and strep throat for now. Ciao!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I'm Still Here

Nope, Dy, I haven't been sucked into a vortex of homeschool science experiments gone awry. Do you ever have a period of time when you just don't have the energy, oomph, insight, or whatever to sit down and write a post? Nothing huge going on around here, just that. I've got lots of ideas running around in my head, ideas about homeschooling, faith and other assorted things, but just haven't taken the time to organize them into something coherent. I'll be back with something soon, I promise!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Holy Unschooling, Batman!


Well, let's see, what did we do today? The girls were playing princess in their room when they decided to listen to Miss M's Disney Princess song player. Lo and behold, it won't play so "Mommy, this needs batteries!" Luckily, we were still stocked up from Christmas and I actually knew where the tiny screwdriver was. Actually I thought I knew, so we killed another twenty minutes looking for that and getting Daddy's big screwdriver out. It worked and we put in new batteries, hit play, and . . . nothing. We discovered that when you let your Disney Princess song player sit for six months without using it your mom should give it away the batteries leak icky stuff out and it corrodes the little connector thingies so that the new battery doesn't make the connection. Science lesson #1: Batteries have acid on them -- DON'T TOUCH -- that can hurt your hands and even eat metal.

I tried to scrape the gunk off to no avail. I got some vinegar out to see if that helped, it didn't. I suddenly remembered a childhood experiment with pennies, vinegar, and baking soda. We got out the baking soda and some q-tips. It made an awesome fizz in the cup but took off very little of the gunk, leaving baking soda crystals in the player. Meanwhile, they asked why I was using baking soda. When I told them about the pennies, we had to go rob penny banks (my pennies were no good) to try it. After slopping around pennies, baking soda, vinegar, trying different amounts and combinations, and wiping up what Little Dude dumped out on the chair and floor, we discovered that it didn't work that well. I told the girls that maybe it has to sit a while (although I was sure our pennies started gleaming right away as a kid), then I managed to get that out and scrape off enough of the gunk so that it played again. I think they listened to it all of 5 minutes and were on to something else.

Then, while tidying up the kitchen, I moved the salt shaker and BAM it hit me! Not baking soda, SALT! I called them back in and we sprinkled salt into two of the cups. The third we left with just baking soda to see if it would eventually clean the penny (it didn't). Science Lesson #2: Salt and vinegar clean copper. If I were a reeeeeeally good unschooling mom, I would have looked up online to see WHY the vinegar and salt clean the pennies. Maybe I'll go do that now.

Curriculum, shmiculum!

I did a little Googling and found this neat experiment. Not only does it explain why the salt and vinegar clean the pennies, it adds a second cause/effect. I think we'll try that today if the girls are still curious.

(Cross-posted to my homeschooling blog)

Monday, January 09, 2006

An Eye Scare

We had a little scare today. Actually, it started yesterday at church. Little T's Sunday school teacher asked me after church "What's wrong with Little T's eyes?". I gave her a look like "What you talkin bout Willis" and told her that I didn't know she was having any problems. So much for homeschooling parents having a better idea of what's going on with their kids, right? She told me she had noticed her every few seconds peering out of the corner of her eye, sometimes one eye and sometimes another, almost like a tic. I hadn't noticed this, although she has an annoying habit of not looking at me when I'm talking to her and rolling her eyes at me when I'm trying to chastise her for something (yeah, call me dense). So I watched her the rest of the day and sure enough sometimes she would turn her whole head to do it and sometimes she would just roll her eye outward. We called the pediatrician today, I thought he'd probably just recommend a pediatric opthamologist or optometrist, but he had her come in so he could take a look. Actually, I was glad. With articles like this out there, you can't be too careful -- and I'm glad he is very careful. But he checked her vision and tracking, said it was fine and talked to her a little. Turns out she's probably allergic to our new wool rug. Her eyes are itching and she's rolling them around to wet them and stop the itching. But her rolling has come to be a habit and now she does it all the time. So he gave us an antihistimine to stop the itching and she'll have to consciously stop the eye rolling -- not easy! But at least it's not a too-mah.

Reason # 3452 to Homeschool

Breakfast at Tim Horton's at 9:30 am.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Young Insight

The Common Room has an incredibly insightful post on happiness and doing right, and how the latter does not always equal the former. What caught my attention is that it was not written by Headmistress, but by Equuschick -- her teenage daughter. There's not a "like" or "kwim" in the whole thing. HM is doing something right over there!

6 Degrees of Meme

Andrea and Ron have a new scientific experiment going, here's how it works:

There is a game known as ‘6 Degrees of Separation’ (from Kevin Bacon - no relation to the best of my knowledge). The way the game works is to try to connect 2 famous people via 6 associations. We have been watching the blogsphere for the last year or so and believe that nearly all blogging homeschoolers will hear about important news items, etc. within 3 days of the first mention in a HS blog.

This experiment will work as follows:

1- If this is the first blog in which you have seen this post and you would like to contribute to the experiment, copy the entire post and post it in your blog.

2- Modify the post to add a link to your blog which displays the appropriate degree you are from the original in the following list:

{original, first degree, second degree, third degree, fourth degree, fifth degree, sixth degree}

That way, visitors can directly see the chain of communication that ended with this post in your blog.

3- Leave a comment in the blog where you first viewed this post indicating that your blog is among the next degree.

4- If you are a homeschooler or are interested in/considering homeschooling and either do not have a blog, would prefer not to blog this or the sixth degree is already taken, you can still contribute to this experiment by leaving a comment in the blog where you first read it.

5- After 3 days report back how many people read, commented and blogged based on your post to the blog where you first read this. (They only report this blog would receive is from the degree below and this blog will report the total from below and comments here to the degree above.) To illustrate how this would work let’s suppose that in this imaginary example every blog has approximately the same number of readers and that each blog entry for each degree ends up with exactly the same number of comments.

Let’s say that each blog would receive 2 comments where the experiment was posted and 2 comments from non-bloggers. This would produce the following:

original: 2 + 2 = 4
first: ( 2 * 2 ) + 2 = 6
second: ( 2 * 4 ) + 2 = 10
third: ( 2 * 8 ) + 2 = 18
fourth: ( 2 * 16 ) + 2 = 34
fifth: ( 2 * 32 ) + 2 = 66
sixth: ( 2 * 64 ) + 2 = 130

That totals 268. If you change the number of experiment posts to 3, the result is ( 5 + 11 + 29 + 83 + 245 + 731 + 2189 = ) 3293. Consider what the number would be when we average about 60 readers a day. (Welcome to math 101) Let’s allow a week for the reporting to roll back through the earlier degrees.

Sounds fun!

***Updated to link to Atypical Homeschool. Oops!***

Friday, January 06, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

It's Alive!

She did it! What do you think of the new look? I just love it, all rich and gem-y looking! I just logged on to post a blonde joke and found it!!! Woot!

Quick note: The RH sidebar is messed up in IE, she's working on it. Evidently, it didn't show up until she launched. Just gotta love Internet Explorer! NOT.

UPDATE: It's all fixed. Loooookin' good! Oh, and I'm going to re-install Haloscan comments, so the few Blogger comments that I've gotten will probably disappear. Sorry, but know that I read them!

New Look Coming

If anyone's left to read this blog, I'm getting a makeover! Andrea did a great job on this one (insert applause for Andrea here), but I am a compulsive furniture re-arranger. So, I've been thinking about a new look here. As a tribute to Andrea, I have used some elements of this blog over at my new Homeschool Blogger blog. Andrea, if I'm sucking bandwith somehow by using that background, please let me know and I'll try to upload it there myself. Anyhow, I ran across a blog designed by Kelly over at Nello's Designs and really liked it. She mentioned that Kelly was doing some free blog design in trade for a link. I can do that! So I contacted her, gave her my ideas and she went to town. It should go live in the next couple of days -- I can't wait!

I should also have some decent material coming up soon. I'm going to try to do some writing on paper instead of just blurting out my brains onto the screen. Hubby thinks I'm a pretty good writer, but that I do too much stream-of-consciousness. He's probably right. I had high ideas of writing out some of the deep thoughts that occur to me off and on (I bet you never guessed that happens around here, huh?), but I end up just blurbing whatever's on my mind because I don't think it out and write it down first. So I'll be trying some of that. I've been a bit discouraged lately at the lack of comments and traffic here, but I've not really given anyone much to read, have I? Hopefully I'll be taking it up a notch. We'll see. Thanks for sticking with me, those of you who are left! Stay tuned . . .

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Everybody Loves a Carnival!

The first ever Carnival of Homeschooling is up over at Why Homeschool. Henry's been working hard on this, pop on by and have a gander! I know some of my favorite blogs have submissions there and I can't wait to read some new ones. Tell him Gem sent you by!