Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mistaken Identity

*sigh*

I am not a mindful person.  I try to be in the moment, but my mind is usually going five different directions at once.  Perhaps it is time for me to start meditation practice again.  Walking meditation is excellent for learning to be mindful.




A few weeks ago, I picked up my Eos Lip Balm.  Well, I thought I was picking up my lip balm.










 What I actually picked up was this:
I realized I had picked up the wrong thing when I couldn't unscrew the top.

While the egg is decidedly green, it is definitely not the same color or shape as my lip balm.

Since then, Xavier has repeatedly put the Eos lip balm various places hoping someone would be fooled into thinking it's an egg.  Since I am only half awake when I am making breakfast, I would have undoubtedly been fooled had I been the one to find it.  It would have made an excellent April Fools joke.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let Us In!

What do you do when it's cold outside?  You go inside.




The cats get to come in!  Why can't we?
 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Things Kids Say

I have been saving up an entire month's worth of sayings for you.  Too bad my brain can only remember a few.

Yesterday, we got a lovely shelf.  Today, Dominic, Xavier, and I put it together.  At one point, I was bent over in front of Dominic who said, "Mom, not to say anything against your gender, but have you noticed that women tend to have big butts?"  


Do you think he was trying to tell me something?




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Later, while discussing various bombers, Dominic made the observation that B2's were awesome.  


Xavier said, "You think everything is awesome."


To which I responded (admittedly setting myself up), "Dominic, do you think I'm awesome."


Dominic replied, "No."


After some whining on my part discussion on the topic, Dominic relented, "Fine.  You're a little awesome."


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Gary asked Xavier how a bump on his head was doing.  When Xavier responded that it was the same, Gary thought it might grow into a horn.


Xavier said, "I hope it becomes an Adamantium horn."


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Dominic said he's going as "Awesome" for Halloween this year.  Who, you ask, is Awesome?


Apparently, he's Legolas, from Lord of the Rings.


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And, on the husband front:  While I was trying to figure out how to make an invisible cast on, "The problem with knitting with invisible stitches is that you can't see when you drop one."


Everyone's a comedian in my life, which makes it kind of nice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Letting Go

When I first started homeschooling, I thought there was no way I would ever want to unschool.  However, over the last four years, I have discovered that my younger two children have a love of learning that I do not want to interfere with.  They are passionate about things to the point of exclusion of all else.  Dominic is more like this than Xavier.  Dominic will stay passionate about something for a few weeks or months, consuming all the information he can get his hands on before moving on to another topic.

This bothered me for a while.  After all, this is not the traditional way of doing things.  Traditionally, we give our children an overview of topics, not providing real depth until they reach college, or if they're lucky, high school.  However, lately I have begun to realize this is the way he learns best.  I introduce him to a variety of things.  When he gets interested in something, it is to his benefit to let him investigate it until his passion wanes.  When he is passionate about something, he learns it much better.  His interest motivates him to learn more.

So far, Dominic's been passionate about the human body, guns, airplanes, Harry Potter, and general science.  Currently, he is passionate about blowing bubbles, the science encyclopedia, herbs, and Lord of the Rings.

Xavier learns a little differently.  He likes to do something different every day.  In fact, he wants to do something different every five minutes.  However, it is working for him.

Yesterday, I let go of the plans I had for school and took the two little boys grocery shopping with me, because they were getting on my nerves.  I figured they needed to get out of the house as much as I did.  First, we went to Tractor Supply, where the boys spent their time trying to convince me to buy chicks, and on Xavier's part, bunnies.  Next, we went to the grocery store, where the boys got free balloons.  Xavier had been studying chemistry, and piped up, "Do these have hot air or helium in them?"  The response, of course, was helium.

After we returned to the car, Xavier started a long discourse on helium, and why it wouldn't be practical to put hot air in a small balloon to keep it aloft.  (It would cool quickly and the balloon would fall.)  He taught his younger brother all about helium, the fact that it is the lightest element, the fact that it has an atomic number of 1.  Dominic asked Xavier questions and Xavier answered them.  It was the best oral quiz I have ever witnessed, probably because it was organic in nature.  It flowed.  It wasn't meant to test what Xavier knew, rather to inform someone else.  I enjoyed listening to it.

Right now, Xavier is studying history.  He's listening to The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Vol. 3: Early Modern Times, 2nd Edition (9 CDs).  He's already listened to information about the three kingdoms of Korea.  This particular information was of interest to him because we have to know about it for taekwondo.  It is so fun to see the way our life gives us information, then our schooling reinforces it.  The boys love seeing things in their school books that they've already seen other places, and vice versa.  Earlier, he was reading The Periodic Table: Elements with Style!  He loves it.  He would like me to get him other books in this series.  I think I will.

Other favorite series are the Horrible History, Horrible Science, and Murderous Maths (which Xavier LOVES!).

I think I'll continue letting go.  Passion for learning, after all, is what I want most to accomplish with this homeschooling adventure.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pi Day

Today, as most of you know, is Pi Day.  That's right, folks, it's 3.14.  But, Vi Hart would like us to do away with Pi Day.  I think her argument is convincing.  Enjoy.





H/T to Subadra at Library of Links, Books and More (a fabulous blog, by the way).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Biddies at the Salon

I am going to a party tonight, so I splurged some of my allowance on a pedicure today.  There were two women in there that were about my age, maybe a little older.  I sat and listened to them talk, and was so thankful they were not my friends.

They started out talking about house hunting.  That was innocuous enough, but then they moved on to their neighbors.  Apparently, they live across the street from each other and they proceeded to pick apart each person in their neighborhood.  It was really quite disgusting.

My favorite part of the conversation was that they kept saying, "It's really a nice quiet neighborhood, but..." and, "I don't really care, but..."  One of the women in particular kept saying things like, "Well, it makes no difference to me, but..."  I just kept thinking, "If it makes no difference and you don't care, then why are you mentioning it?"  One thing I absolutely hate is gossip.  I try to avoid it like the plague.  My only question is, how do you you stop it?  I suppose the best way is to just change the subject.  Does anyone have any other ideas?  What do you do when you find yourself gossiping?  How do you stop that?

Finally, I just want to note that even if it is true, if it is not nice it is gossip.  I remember a song we used to sing in Sunday School.  The line "If you can't say something nice, say nothing" should be taught to adults as a refresher course!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A "Natural" Mistake

Dominic is holding discourse on atoms.  He is listing many humorous ways of looking at atoms.  For instance, he says, "If I'm bleeding, atoms are coming out of my body.  We're always walking on atoms.  I'm sitting on atoms."  He's saying "atom" to sound like "Adam" and giggling madly.

It reminded me of something that happened to Gabriel right after we moved here, when Gabriel was in fourth grade.  On his first day of school, he read all the names of his classmates.  He came home and excitedly informed me that one of the kids in his class was named "Eon."  After much discussion, I realized the kid's name was Ian.  Gabriel and I were both very disappointed.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wii Tournament


While we were in Maine, we had a Wii tournament.  Gary won.

But, look at all the snow they had!  They're probably not done, either.  I'm glad to be living in Kentucky!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just Let Me Finish This Row: A precautionary tale

Tonight, we drove to tae kwon do as a family.  As always, I was knitting on the way.  When we arrived, I was mid-row.  As most knitters will agree, this is not an acceptable situation.  Since I had no need to hurry inside, I decided to finish my row before exiting the car.  Gary and the boys got out.  Out of habit, Gary locked the car on his way out.

When I finished my row, I tried to open the car door.  The door wouldn't unlock, and when I tried to unlock it, the alarm started going off.  I tried to unlock the driver's side door.  No luck.  I could not unlock any of the doors.  Any time I tried, the alarm went off, and the doors stayed locked.  Finally, Gary came out to see what all the commotion was about.  However, he didn't realize I couldn't get out, so he grinned, turned around and went back inside.  A few minutes later, he stuck his head back out the door, this time giving me enough time to mouth, "I can't get out."  He unlocked the door, much to my relief.

The moral of the story is this: finishing the row can be dangerous.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Golden Rule

This is my Nicky.


He believes strongly in the Golden Rule.  He believes that it is his duty to make sure it is followed and strictly adhered to.  Hence the conversation we had this morning.

Xavier picked up the Sunday comics.  Dominic said, "I should get to read them first.  I got the paper."

Since he had not previously been at all concerned about reading the comics, I just looked at him.  He proceeded to attempt to grab the comics.

I said, "Dominic, you can't grab the comics from Xavier."

Dominic sat back on his heals and very calmly told me, "Treat others the way you want to be treated.  He's grabbed things from me before.  That must be how he wants to be treated."

Ah, the logic of a seven year old slays me.  No amount of talking would convince me that he should not treat Xavier the way he had been treated by Xavier.  He was, however, willing to mind.  I'll take that.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A New Piano

Today, we spent the day looking at pianos.  I really want the baby grand, but it's not in our budget.  I'll be perfectly happy with the upright.  I want an acoustic, and I want it to stay in tune.  Anything else is gravy.  

I have a piano.  However, thanks to bad storage and being moved 8 or 9 times, it won't stay tuned.  It makes me sad, but that is what happens when your piano is stored in a barn (even a nice, dry barn) over the winter. 

I have been wanting to get the boys piano lessons for several years.  Plus, I miss playing.  We've decided that the time is right to make the purchase.  Going to the showroom was exciting.  I know that I have room for a baby grand.  I know that I have other priorities for our money right now.  However, knowing that some day I may have the room and the money is a wonderful thought.  In the meantime, I'll get to play.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dear Gary

I could go into this long spiel about what a wonderful husband you are.  But, the honest truth is that words could never begin to encompass the way I feel about you.  So, let me just say thank you.  Thank you for 14 wonderful years.  Thank you for "picking" me.  I love you.

Love,
Kristina

PS.  Thank you for saving the chickens from the possum.  You're my hero.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Waiting for the Snowblower


The best thing about visiting Maine is getting snow blown all over you by Pepere.

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