Returning for a moment to the fact that this is a homeschooling blog...or claims to be...
David has had a little "down time" lately. We don't like to call this "bad economy" or "imposed family vacation" or "no work".
The fact is, we don't like to use euphemisms to mask reality. No, we like to call a spade a spade and just say "practicing frugality". Because it makes us feel all self righteous and eco-friendly.
So the fact that David has been home a bit means he gets to see what a mess I am truly making of our child be involved in our days.
And as the cook of the family, David has involved Ms. D in the morning pancake ritual. I love how this photo really shows up the grease splatters on the wall behind the stove the father/daughter involvement in the whole cooking process.
When I was ten I'm not sure I knew my way around a stove (much less a gas stove!) We're seeing to it that Ms. D is not handicapped in this area. In fact, the pleasant strains of "go make mommy a hot toddy" can be heard throughout the house.
Ms. D and David involved themselves in some acrylic creativity during this pleasant time off together.
Ms. D is wearing yet another loose fitting t-shirt she seems to favor lately. Since we're using euphemisms, let's just call it her "paint shirt", shall we?
While Ms. D is choosing her palette carefully let's see what David is up to.
How nice. A canvas as big as my table...8 feet you say? And supper, where were we going to put supper? Oh, that's right. I don't cook. Well until that north- facing- two -story- glass-paneled-art -studio is built out back,I guess this will have to do....
Ms. D's finished product is called "Bubbles the Mermaid"
Good color choices, Ms. D! I applaud your creativity, as along with cooking, your mom couldn't paint her way out of a....a....well...out of nothing.
Ms. D was very quiet one afternoon. Too quiet. She came out of the "craft dungeon" with a necklace of her own design and making. She fixed her hair and duded up for her close-up.
And Ms. D has been reading a LOT. And if you know of Ms. D's reading issues and struggles you will, at this time, pause for a respectful moment of silence.
She's also been putting her nose to the grindstone that is her "sit down" work. And with her new reading skilz it is going much faster. At long last. School has become much more pleasant.
A really great post from An Unschooling Life. Good reminders for us wanna-be's and a great introduction for those who are new to unschooling.
I also want to take the opportunity to tout a blog that I simply linger over. Lorna at Socks and Books has created a blog that makes me want to have tea every time I read it. I simply love her photos. The ideas she shares and the places she and her family visit are always a treat. I always learn something of interest. And besides, I'm in love with the hat and coat her daughter wears.
I just wanted to point out a link that I posted at the bottom left hand bar. Think! is "a program designed to encourage kids to think outside the box". What could be better than that? Each week another "challenge" is posted. During the week those that participate can send in their results. Be sure to check it out.
I also installed CommentLuv. That means when you comment your latest blog post can be seen. This makes it easier for others who visit the comment page to link to something they may find interesting.
I'm not ageist. By definition that would mean I discriminate on the basis of someones age. I judge their abilities, attitudes, beliefs and norms based on age. And you see, I just don't do that. One reason, of course, is that I myself am aging. And I recognize that I have matured in wisdom, intelligence and sheer know-how. I have a lot to offer.
But this ageism thing doesn't include fashion. Fashion is about ageism. I call it like I see it. (I'm not even going to get into those untouched photos of Madonna recently released...)
A few friends and I were recently discussing the inauguration. Not the real, history making part of the inauguration, but the "Oh my goodness did you see Sting?" part of the inauguration. At first, I hated to judge a man by his cover....but here is a supreme example of what is good for you one day,may not be good for you the next...that is to say the beard as Fashion Statement.
Oh, Sting! You slightly scruffy man of my youth! Those piercing eyes! The way you could put meaning and intent in "Dee Do Do Do, Dee Da Da Da"
Sting, my dear boy, I grew up with you and I have to be honest...you have succumbed to attempting to replay your youth with a new spin. That is called A Bad Fashion Choice and it happens to those of us going though Mid Life Crisis or the mistaken belief that we can make the same Fashion Choices we did 25 years ago. You can not, my dear Gordon Sumner, you just can. not.
I should have known there would be repercussions to mymatching obsession. And now it's time to pay the piper. Right here,at age 10.8.
What we have here is an eclectic cotton long sleeve tee shirt, with some sort of faux east Indian motif. Followed by a lovely pleated sweater-knit skirt in black. Underneath are the Lands' End Yoga pants, to top it all off we have a fly away 3/4 sleeve rounded collared plaid jacket in a fine wale corduroy. You can't quite see the shoes,which are a hiking snow type shoe/boot. And not seen to the naked eye are the RED legwarmers being worn under the pants. On her legs.
I have no 'truck' with the braided hair, and I applaud a book under hand. And as a mother who celebrates the innate creative spirit, when she appeared in this ensemble, I just swallowed the lump in my throat and said in a bright voice, "Oh, sweetie! Can I take a picture of you?"
The silent weeping for a childhood that can not be regained came later.
Many parents worry about "holes" in their kids education. Subjects or lessons that didn't get taught in the school system; subjects that were taught but your child was too worried about being beat up at recess to pay attention too.
Homeschoolers are no different. For example, I worry, "Did my child really understand the Pythogorean Theory or was she too busy playing video games in her PJ's all day?" But I felt so reassured the other day when I spoke to her about our desire to go visit NYC. Here was our conversation:
Me: Ms. D! Would it be cool to go to NYC, or what?
Ms. D: Oh, totally! Mom...that would be WAY cool! There is SO much to do there!
Me: I was thinking about some of the neat museums we could see and wow! The Statue of Liberty..Chinatown...what would you want to see in NYC if you could see anything??
Ms. D: Oh, I know, I know!! I want to see Central Park and the Eiffel Tower!!
So you see, I have no worry that by being homeschooled Ms. D is really any different than other kids. Holes and all.
So I was listening to Bossy today while she was complaining about typepad...(and I hear that)...but anyway, she had Poohie featured which reminded me of Hammy. And instead of slogging through my archives, which aren't all that slogging friendly, I decided to just re-post our adventures with Hammy.
This was a couple of summers ago. A camping trip.The best thing I can say about that camping trip was that we had Hammy. And lots of rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain. But the rain isn't the best thing I can say....but let me tell you it isn't the worse, either. No, that was when Mommy had a complete camping breakdown and came back from L.L. Bean $200.00 poorer and Daddy was just a wee bit tense after that. But at least Mommy had her ULTRA DELUXE CELIA WOMEN"S BACKPACK (because Mommy is such a big hiker, you know...but she could be if she wanted to be) and her first pair of faux Crocs. Hammy kept our spirits up. And Mommy didn't care if the crocs got muddy. Because did I mention it was raining???
Hammy didn't need an L.L. Bean backpack to enjoy some hiking.
Hammy loves nature...
Hammy thought the semi-outdoor toilets and showers were really cool. Hammy said he felt like he was traveling internationally. Like in a youth hostel. Except Mommy and Daddy weren't youths. Nor in another country. But they had the hostile part down. And Hammy said "You two, particularly the blonde, have no imagination."
Hammy also didn't see the problem with toweling off in the car.
Hammy was even inspired to keep a nature journal...
Oh, Hammy, was all about nature that weekend....maybe because the large misquitoes weren't bothering him a bit.
Of course, he got a little nervous when the cows wanted to investigate. Who's Mr. Outdoors, now, Hammy? Huh? Huh?
But for all that professing to love nature, we did catch Hammy trying to get a signal. Good luck Hammy.
We found other ways to spend our time...
Hammy and Daddy really enjoy a good conspiracy. Hammy was a bit of a pig when it came to sharing the book, though.
That having been said, Hammy was pretty much NOT into sharing that whole trip.
And thus were the adventure of Hammy. His latest adventure was being put in a box full of other animals for 100 months and just located a few days ago.
We have a feeling he may have some more adventures in him yet, but I distinctly heard him say "Toilets...that...flush....please..."
As parents there are some things we do that we are not proud of. Moments that we regret in parenthood. I am about to share some of my own mistakes with you. I meant well. I had the best for my child in mind. But I was wrong. Very, very, wrong.
You see, we pretty much knew Ms. D would be an only child. And still, if we decided to have more children, there was this 50% chance the next child would be a boy. I also knew, that at some point in a childs life, they like to be autonomous; make their own decisions.
I had to act fast.
I had to match our clothes while she was young, before it was too late. I share her fate and my ill conceived notion of parenthood with you now. Don't make the mistakes I did.
It started pretty innocuously, I think. I had a lot of black/white in my wardrobe in the late 90's. So did Gap Kids.
And even a little denim and red/black wasn't so bad....
...but then things started getting a little twisted...and perhaps this photo is a metaphor. Me looking a little too intense...hugging a little too tight...Ms. D looking a bit bewildered.
It would only get worse from here....
...with mix and match variations on a theme...
It didn't help that I worked at Lands' End..
Soon, I was encouraging others on the same path to lunacy...my friends children complied as in the two photos below.
Right down to the tights...
And soon...my BFF and her son joined...
...her very son that I watched come into the world, I knowingly and without regret allowed to become part and parcel in the matching game.
And it didn't stop there. I discovered Hanna Andersson. And soon the whole family could match. Oh, David tried to be a sport about the stripe t-shirts. He tried to make light of it....
...and I think his dignity was a bit assuaged when my BFF forced her own husband to join.
I shall end here...because I've disclosed to much of the pain and suffering that was my daughters early life. I will close with the lowest moment that we ever suffered together.
Just because I homeschool and feel somewhat passionate about my choice, many people assume that I am dead set against public schools, or that I had bad experiences in school. Neither is the case.
In fact, I look back on my school days with some fondness. For example, I recall "stores" with a smile. Every seventh grade class, for a number of years, participated in the concept of "stores". The seventh grade class was split up into groups. Each group had to come up with a store name, design the layout, the sales, pricing, marketing, employees, and set up the store. For three days the gym was turned into a giant mall. (In which every parent had donated their "garage sale" tchotchkes so their child could sell for a dollar. Some parents, no doubt, stayed up very,very late baking, too.)
And here is what I learned: How to make change. Yes. That's about the size of it. Oh, I learned other things too...like how to draw signs that said "Specialty Food: Pizza 90c". Because pizza is pretty specialty. And that you should always name a store something really,really, catchy. Like incorporating the year you graduate in the name of your store. For example, the catchy: "87th Avenue". I also learned that a lot of one dollar bills together look like Alot Of One Dollar Bills. And to demonstrate what I learned in Seventh Grade Stores here is a photo.
I learned that it's really all about the money. And about how you wear your sweater. (It should be wrapped very preppy-like over your shoulders.) And that you should also wear shirts with high necks and lots of ruffles on the front. And youcouldsee that my fellow store employee, Megan, has one of those shirts on, if it wasn't for the fact she, too, learned about money in the Seventh Grade stores. Meanwhile, the only person who looks hard at work actually speaking to the customer is Judi. You may recall Judi as my exclusive "Johnny Depp in Darlington" correspondant. (Relive the memories HERE.)
So there you have it. I harbor nothing but good memories from my school days. I studied hard, and I learned a LOT. Oh, yeah, and that we all wanted to talk like Valley Girls.
While, in it's entirety, Ms. D isn't "catching" everything, she is enjoying the rhythm of the lecture and some of the more major points highlighted. We listened to it while doing chores around the kitchen today. (She is making "India" soup, which has nothing to do with the country and everything to do with her middle name. It's a vegetable soup she was inspired to make. Recipe will follow shortly, I assume.)
Meanwhile, Ms. D did comment that the lecture reminds her of this:
Now, I know you've seen these meme'sand all, but you haven't seen mine. And my life is vastly interesting as are every experience therein.
Okay, the thing is, I don't like this type of thing because it's all relative, you know? I need definitions of,like, what a marathon is, or what constitutes a "solo", or say, define "a blog" or the word "starting your own".
So here is mine.....what does it say about me? Besides that I need strongly defined definitions in my life.
(the idea is to bold the items you've done)
1. Started your own blog (this is my REAL blog) 2. Slept under the stars 3. Played in a band (define band....) 4. Visited Hawaii 5. Watched a meteor shower 6. Given more than you can afford to charity (am I a charity? Cause that would totally count) 7. Been to Disneyland(if I have my say this will never be in BOLD print) 8. Climbed a mountain (er...define mountain. Everest no. Mount Battie, Camden ME, yes) 9. Held a praying mantis 10. Sang a solo (much to the dismay of those around me) 11. Bungee jumped (Grundy jumped, but not Bungee. Is there a difference?) 12. Visited Paris (Paris,Maine? Oh, yeah) 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (what person in their right mind would be out to sea during such a storm, I ask you??) 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (the art of parenting..the art of scratching..oh yes...) 15. Adopted a child cat 16. Had food poisoning 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty 18. Grown your own vegetables 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 20. Slept on an overnight train (although when traveling from Delhi to Goa "sleep" is not word you'd use. "Watching a real life Bollywood movie", is.) 21. Had a pillow fight 22. Hitch hiked (I'm a good girl, I AM!) 23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. 24. Built a snow fort 25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Run a Marathon (ANYONE who has had a toddler has run a marathon, but I don't think that's where they were going with this....) 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice 29. Seen a total eclipse 30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway counts, right?) 31. Hit a home run 32. Been on a cruise 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (again, you've got to define ancestors, here..) 35. Seen an Amish community 36. Taught yourself a new language (define "Taught yourself a new language" because I only got to verbs and then I had a kid, and then there didn't seem a need to learn Hindi, and well, you get the picture...) 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (jolly,ha.ha.ha.. define "satisfied") 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person 39. Gone rock climbing 40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (yup. We've got this GREEEEAT art book......) 41. Sung karaoke (see #10) 42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (define "stranger" because at times my closest friends are strangers to me....) 44. Visited Africa (no, but I had a farm....aw, never mind) 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight 46. Been transported in an ambulance 47. Had your portrait painted (define"portrait") 48. Gone deep sea fishing 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling 52. Kissed in the rain (these next three just seem to go together, huh?) 53. Played in the mud 54. Gone to a drive-in theater 55. Been in a movie (home movie?) 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business (insert "erstwhile") 58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia 60. Served at a soup kitchen 61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies 62. Gone whale watching 63. Got flowers for no reason 64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma 65. Gone sky diving 66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp 67. Bounced a check (oh HELLO?! Would my bank laugh at this one...because it's in the singular) 68. Flown in a helicopter 69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (ever seen my attic?) 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial 71. Eaten Caviar 72. Pieced a quilt ( I WATCHED a quilt being pieced and because that is such a learning experience I am going to count it as something I've done...) 73. Stood in Times Square 74. Toured the Everglades 75. Been fired from a job (although, I wasn't fired, I quit!) 76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London 77. Broken a bone 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person 80. Published a book (self publishing count? Okay, not quite sending to a publisher but having intentions to...that might count...okay WANTING to even write a book should count...) 81. Visited the Vatican 82. Bought a brand new car (now that would be STUPID. And I'm NOT stupid. I'm joining thepoverty party....) 83. Walked in Jerusalem 84. Had your picture in the newspaper 85. Read the entire Bible (several times,thank you very much) 86. Visited the White House 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 88. Had chickenpox 89. Saved someone’s life (this too, is subjective..I mean my BFF in highschool said "You saved my LIFE, man!" when I didn't report her for cheating on the science test...) 90. Sat on a jury 91. Met someone famous (define "met". Does "breathed on" count, does "within close proximity" count? And define "famous" because I've met my obsession Jamie Wyeth a few times....) 92. Joined a book club 93. Lost a loved one 94. Had a baby 95. Seen the Alamo in person 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake 97. Been involved in a law suit 98. Owned a cell phone 99. Been stung by a bee 100. Read an entire book in one day(define "entire book"... does Beatrix Potter count? Okay, okay, I"ve actually read up to three "adult-sized" books in a day. Perhaps I should put this up by Marathon...)
So what does this say about me??? Obviously that I have NOT traveled enough!! Clearly I am missing out on key experiences of life and have to make some arrangements to get to Italy, Paris, New York, Utah, and Colorado sometime very soon. Otherwise, I am an empty shell of a person. The end.
Looking back at '08. The best that can be said is that it's over. Our entire family agrees on that. So far '09 is looking up. I did turn forty in '08. Which I have mixed emotions about. And I think this collection by Anne Taintor sums up my feelings about turning forty in a nutshell.
I haven't managed to move from my house at all this year. Even if there has only been two days to this year. Because first of all I have been VERY VERY busy making lists. I am AWESOME when it comes to motivating list making. Except I'm never motivated after expending a GREAT DEAL of energy making the lists. Lists for homeschool, lists for daily chores, lists for projects, lists for goals, lists for lists, lists for eating healthy, lists for purchases, lists for friends, lists for gifts, lists for wishes, lists for vacations, lists for grocery's, lists for menus, lists for laundry, lists for sewing, lists for crafts, lists for the business, lists of e-mails I owe. You get the picture.
In an effort to join the Poverty Party, (which I haven't signed up for yet, although it's on my "To Sign Up For" list) I am trying to save money at the grocery store. While staying healthy and eating right. Mostly organic. I know, I know, the "save money" and "eating organic" doesn't quite go together does it? Kinda makes you laugh nervously.
Anyway, I'm making a MENU, cross referencing it to the grocery list, cross referencing to the chocolate and wine list, cross referencing it to the "Sodas To Stay Away From" list. And making this menu and it's accompanying lists and blogging about it has taken so much time that I'm gonna have to make a list that helps me actually get out the door. And at 9 degrees F (where F is FFFFFreezing), making lists as avoidance seems the thing to do.
Here are a few awesome recipe books I'm using. Seriously, all have great recipes. But these recipes are not all in the "saving money" category.
And let me just mention, this is my ideal way of eating. In actuality I'm making my How To Eat Healthy list,...but since I'm still in the deep, complicated process of making that list, well, I'm still eating chicken dinner leftovers.
"Everyone is someone else's wierdo."
~~Jim Beltran/Jamie Heisner
"The most important thing any teacher has to learn, not to be learned in any school of education I ever heard of, can be expressed in seven words: Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners."~~John Holt