Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Week

It's Holy Week!

I'm excited because this year we're going to all of the Holy Week services, starting with Holy Thursday tomorrow night, and then Good Friday, and Easter Vigil on Saturday night.  Easter Vigil is my favorite thing ever.  It's so Easter-y!

We finally made it to Stations of the Cross last Friday night.  I'm always glad when we do, it's a lovely meditation--here's a nice virtual one, about 30 minutes long all together.

Do you follow @hiphopaugustine?  He makes me laugh so much.

Holy Week comin soon 
I be like BOOYAH 
joinin the angelic choir 
beltin ALLELUIA

This story about a sweet baby in the NICU and answered prayer made me happy cry.  And MJL got me her book, which means I got the free download of the ebook and I LOVED IT!  He rolls his eyes a lot at me now because I keep making the family talk through the "action steps" in the book-but I love thinking through things and building systems!  And I love having goals!  And I love being intentional instead of just floating through!  It's really a perfect book for me.  

And did you catch these pictures of my adorable babies?  Thanks Sarah!



Monday, April 14, 2014

Hampshire Jersey

I stopped following the Free Range Kids blog because most of the stories were negative examples of why the world is going crazy, and while I very very much agree with the idea that kids should roam around and do stuff, I'd rather see examples of the positive.


A week or so ago I read (OK, skimmed) this article about "The Land" a kind of wild junkyard playground in North Wales.  The whole thing is strange and fascinating.  I'm drawn to things like this-stories about the trouble and adventures that kids used to have.  Kids love things like this-My Side of the Mountain, the first Boxcar Children book, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, all of these are fantastic books about kids on their own.  Oh!  And Roxaboxen!



That's one of the reasons I don't go into Hampshire Jersey, the secret land the children are creating behind the chemical tanks in the cedar trees.   I'm sure there are lots of wonderful and dangerous things happening, and I choose to believe they're not REALLY that dangerous.  They haul old metal and bits of treasure from the junk piles and build things and have fights and compromise.   


Also whenever I go in there I get jabbed in the head with branches.  It's really just the right size for little people.  I had "The Shop", a place under a big tree in the back yard which I was constantly rearranging and changing into new things.  Some of my best childhood memories are from cleaning up the shop.  How about you?  Did you have a place to call your own?  Do your kids have one now?  Do you think I'm just asking for trouble?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy Birthday

It's my Birthday!  Here are some ridiculous things that I may be hoping for this year.

1.  Zentangle Kit:  Have you heard about zentangles?  Little paper tiles that you fill up with doodles, repeating designs and colors.  This kit is ludicrously expensive, and I think could be put together for much cheaper by buying the individual pieces.  Doesn't it look fun and relaxing?


http://sarasoulsister13.deviantart.com/art/Teardrop-Zentangle-Doodle-348814784

2.  Betsyann.com  Did you know my name is a chocolate website?  Wouldn't that be a fun treat?

3.  Long naps-for Katie and Jimmy-so that I can do some projects.

4.  The time/money/wherewithal to redo my pantry.  I suspect that there is a lot of wasted space there.  I dream of hard shelves, and many of them, and a step stool and beautiful matching containers.  Not super de duper fancy-not this


http://www.shorewest.com/blog/4-smarter-ways-to-remodel-your-home/

Just some hard shelves so things don't fall through, and some additional shelves for stacking on the shelves, and no more things stacked on the floor and falling over and making it hard to shut the door.

5.  The pre-order for Something Other than God by my favorite stranger blogger, because then I also get the free e-book The Family First Creative.

6.  But mostly mostly mostly, just happy and healthy family and friends, and an appreciation for this beautiful life.  I want to "realize life as I live it" as Emily says in "Our Town"--This homily brought tears to my eyes, and an ache to live as much as I can while I can.

Happy day to me!  And to you!  And to life!

Monday, April 07, 2014

graze box


I can't remember where I saw graze.com-something somewhere advertised a free box and it sounded like fun.  They send snacks through the mail.  You can get on the website and pick the things that sound good to you and nix the ones that don't.  It's a subscription service-they want you to get a box every two weeks, for $6.00 a box.  


It's expensive and there's no way I can justify anything more than the free box, but the snacks were SO GOOD I thought the least I could do was plug them in case one of you has a larger snack budget than I do.  I took mine to school and I have really enjoyed all of my snacks. 


These are the snacks that I got -  the "garden of england" and "hot cross yum" both had dried fruit and candied nuts.   Honestly super delicious, and just the right size.    

Sorry, graze.com!  Maybe someday I'll be richer.  :)

Friday, April 04, 2014

Grrr *sigh*


I bought these three books because they were on sale and since we're a country school, I think it's important we have a good agriculture section.  The kids love ag books. 

They claim to be informational books, but the slant in them is incredible.  Everything about farming is very negative, with no balanced opinions or solutions presented, other than this one small inset saying that one study found that organic farming could feed the word. 


It gets worse!  Can you read the last line of this snippet about GM crops and seeds?  A complex issue involving emerging technology, intellectual property, copyright, etc.  


"This is so that the companies can sell more seeds and become richer."

Gah! 

 Our farm families will definitely take issue with this.  If it were a balanced portrayal I wouldn't mind so much but this is pure propaganda.  I didn't read the books until they were already stamped so I think I'm stuck with them.  I'm glad they were on sale.  I'm considering putting a note in the front of the book describing the bias and asking students to look for it, at the very least then I would have stated that I know it's slanted and that they should not read it as truth. 
I can't read every book before I buy it!  How do I avoid this problem in the future? 

Or do you think I'm overreacting?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

TV TV TV and being old

We've been really loving watching The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  He's so funny! And nice!  I know, we don't really know him, but on the show, he SEEMS so genuinely nice.  And so I choose to believe it.  That he's really actually truly nice and anyway it makes MJL laugh before he goes to sleep and there is nothing in the world better than that.




But we're too old and tired to stay up that late to watch it so we've been taping it and watching it the next day, earlier, and then going to sleep.

Both things; watching the Tonight Show, and going to bed early, make me feel old, but in a happy kind of way.

Do you have anything that makes you feel old, and good about it?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pod Activities

I had a post request!  Isn't that crazy?  For ideas of things to do in the pod.  WE LOVE THE POD!  We use it all the time.


  • Playing in the sink.  With duckies, or cups, or bowls, or washing plastic dishes, or washing the tea set or playing in bubbles, or with warm water or cold water or with ice.  


  • Playing with play dough.  We really like this recipe-I made it a month ago in three colors, I just give the kids a hunk out of the fridge of whatever colors they ask for, and then they play with it and mix it all up and I don't feel bad throwing it away when we're done.  We still have lots left.  

jello playdough - Best homemade playdough recipe ever!  We really do like this recipe.
  • With the play dough, we use knives, or scissors to cut it, or cookie cutters and rollers, or beads to poke into it, or toothpicks and beads, or raw spaghetti and beads--whatever random thing I can come up with to make it a little bit new.  
  • Ice and cups and bowls and water and spoons.  Katie and Jimmy both love measuring out ice and water and spooning it around and mixing it up.  
  • Putting away the silverware from the dishwasher.  Great sorting activity and fun first chore.
  • Katie's been really into cutting and gluing lately, so there have been lots of projects with paper to cut and clue to cardboard.  All sorts of paper are fun to cut-newspaper, ads, construction paper, coupons, catalogs, and all sorts of ribbons.  I've been thinking we need to try cutting straws (bonus-beads to string when she's done!) and Styrofoam trays (run them through the dishwasher first).  We've been using a lot of glue.  I've contemplated mixing up some flour and water paste and putting into a glue bottle, but surely glue's not expensive and we're not quite out yet.  
  • Little animals in the play dough too- and we played with little animals in the snow that we brought inside, and with the snow dough that we made.  We did this one which was corn starch and oil and glitter but it didn't hold together that well and wasn't super fun.  
2 cups corn starch 1/3 cup vegetable oil 6 T clear/white/silver glitter

  We also made this one of corn starch and shaving cream and it was really really fun but
2 ingredient indoor snow  Way messy.

OH MY GOODNESS the mess was amazing and incredible.  I was so thankful MJL was home to bathe the kiddos while I cleaned up the mess.  

  • We also like to paint with water and paint with watercolors.  Those wooden trays that Melissa and Doug toys come in are great for watercolors, they soak up the paint nicely and go right back to being used.  Acrylic painting is best done with better supervision than I provided on this day.  Rocks are great things to paint.  

  • I keep trying to interest Katie into sorting beads into a muffin tray but that is a big no. 
  • I want to get them both into helping more with dinner, but so far scrubbing potatoes is the only thing they've done.  

How's that for a list?  Got some more ideas for me?