Thursday, November 29, 2007
Another thing I knew, as well as I know my own name, I knew that I had one more weekend before the month of December. I'm telling you people, I would have bet money on it. Until someone at the party (who shall remain nameless but here's a link to her blog) told me that the following weekend was December. I tried to tell her as gently as possible that she was quite wrong. Then the others at the party started ganging up on me and taking her side and before you knew it "poof" one week of my life just disappeared! Now I need this week -I was going to organize myself. I was going to buy and wrap all my presents. I have a half decorated tree in my living room. My Christmas village is only half set up. We just watched a documentary on extreme weather and my little village kind of looks like it could be a homeschool diorama- "Christmas Village....After the tornado". But the thing I am most behind on is making 75 handmade ornaments for a Christmas Party favor. The party is always on the first Sunday in December. Which,as it turns out, is in fact this upcoming weekend and not the week after that. So that's what I've been doing the last couple of days. I'm making little wreaths out of puzzle pieces. I 'm pretty happy with how they're turning out. The top photo shows a few of the finished wreaths and stacks of the wreaths that are still waiting for bows, poms poms and hangers. The photo under that is of piles of candy for the treat bags. Whoever makes the ornament also brings 75 little bags of candy, one for each child at the party. It takes longer than you'd think to put these little bags together. If only I had one more week....
Monday, November 26, 2007
So another reason yesterday was so lucky for me- my good friend Laura hosted a craft party. She called it a cardmaking party but there was so much more to do. I made a beaded keychain and a bunch of Christmas ornaments. There was also Quilling and giftbags to decorate. Laura is so generous with all her crafting supplies- she puts a ton of stuff out on the tables and lets you know thats not all of it- just tell her what you need and she'll get it for you. She puts out a beautiful spread of food and she gives out party favors too! She's probably the most generous person I know- she even gave me her quilled snowman! See- again with the lucky.
Of course, no lucky day would be complete without hearing from my Johnno. He sent me an email from Prague! He's traveling there with his friends Marta and Vidar. Next week he goes to Dublin- he's lucky too. Sometimes these things run in a family.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
She has also been known to "triple mat". That's scrapbooker talk for crazy.
Of course I had someone take a picture of me at the chocolate fountain. And because it was a scrapbooking event no one even looked at me funny. These are people (myself included) who never leave the house without a camera. Scrapbookers can actually buy scrapbook paper and scrapbook stickers that have scrapbooks and scissors and such on them that we can use to make a scrapbook page documenting ourselves in the act of scrapbooking. Really.
I brought my photos from Europe to the crop. I spent a little time organizing them and then I got to work . Photos above- three pictures of the stages of a mosaic I made of John and I at the Eiffel Tower. When you become a scrapbooker it changes the way you take pictures. While I was there at the tower I was thinking it would make a good mosaic page so I took some close up photos of the iron work. Back in the states, I wasn't really happy with how it was looking on paper so I chopped up and added some of the pictures I took at the flower stand a couple blocks away from the tower. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
- Choose photographs that have a common theme. You will need about 8 - 10 photos for a 12x12 page.
- Don't use one of a kind original photos. Always have negatives or make copies.
- Start with choosing your main photos. These are the photos that will be the biggest on the page and the focal point. Trim them to the size you want.
- Save all trimmings from photos.
- Choose the paper for the background. Light solid colors with little or no pattern work best.
- Using your choice of adhesive, attach main photos to page. (top photo)
- Begin with the largest images and start filling in the rest of the page. (middle photo)
- If you start to have trouble with the placement of the photo pieces, try looking at the page from more of a distance. You can also try letting your eyes go out of focus. This usually helps me decide which piece belongs where.
- Lastly, and probably most important- don't get all caught up in perfectionism. The cut bits of photo are more interesting if they are different sizes. It's near impossible to get the pieces aligned with the exact same amount of background paper showing. Just relax and enjoy the process. Happy Scrapping.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
In the oven-
Today we spoke to Johnno over the internet using Skype (FREE! I'm thankful for free!) He's doing Thanksgiving with about 20 or so of his friends. They got a 27 pound bird in the oven- he made an apple pie and people are bringing side dishes. Sounds like fun but I wish he was home.
We woke up at 5:30am to put our turkey in. If I had to prep the raw turkey- we'd be having frozen pizza for dinner. I'm a total carnivore but I could turn vegetarian every time I handle raw meat. So Tim wakes up with me and rinses out the turkey while I stand behind him and make retching noises. Ah- holiday traditions. Tim's parents and one of his sisters are coming for dinner at 1:30. We eat early because his parents like to be home before dark. Hope you all enjoy your day!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
From- Unconscious Mutterings
Free association is described as a "psychonanalytic procedure in which a person is encouraged to give free rein to his or her thoughts and feelings, verbalizing whatever comes into the mind without monitoring its content." Over time, this technique is supposed to help bring forth repressed thoughts and feelings that the person can then work through to gain a better sense of self.
- Treadmill ::Gerbil
- Stroke ::Paintbrush
- Exclusively ::Yours
- Lash ::Eye
- Red carpet ::Oscar
- Credit card::Yes,please
- Points ::Credit card
- Domestic ::Cat
- 21 ::Drinking
- Inject ::Shot
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Now I'm not saying I can control the weather or anything- but the temperature has gone down 15* since I bought this coat today at a rummage sale. Really. The coat was $4.00- the vintage dish towel-25 cents. Today was homeschool bowling and Riley bowled two strikes in a row!! One of the strikes was for his friend because he was playing a video game when his turn came around but the second was on his turn. My Poppy K spent a lot of time at the bowling alley- he once bowled a 297! So it's just in our blood to have sweet bowling skills.
It's been about ten weeks since I made a solemn vow to never ever ever host a sleepover again. So guess what we're doing tonight- evidentially ten weeks is my cut-off date for never ever ever. They have promised to go to bed by midnight and I'm going to hold them to it. We've had pizza- we're making milkshakes with leftover halloween candy in them- and we rented this movie. I might be the only one filling the birdfeeders for the next few weeks.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Here's a couple projects I've been working on. Top photo- today we got about halfway through spray painting 3000 puzzle pieces for a Christmas Party favor ornament I volunteered to make. I'm making 75 little wreaths out of puzzle pieces and mini red pom-poms. Even though I was outside and tried to stay upwind, I think I inhaled some spray paint- I have a metallic taste in my mouth that's just not going away. Bottom photo- I'm making a three layer "cake" out of disposable diapers for a baby shower gift for my cousin. Griffin walked by and said it looked just like a cake with fondant frosting- that boy's been watching too much Food Network!
*W.I.P. = work in progress
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List
From Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1
1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is - and it is - it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-
12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool,
14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education - and many of us prefer a more organic approach - we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!
Friday, November 9, 2007
A couple years ago I took a class in how to Feng Shui your home with my sister JoAnne and my friend Julie. (Shout out-- Hey) The class taught us that the front door and porch is the face of your home. Well my "face" had lots of dead and wilting plants and cobwebs on it so yesterday I feng shui-ed my front porch.
Tips on how to Feng Shui your front door-
- Paint your front door red, a high energy hue that symbolizes good fortune. Or you could place a red wreath on your door.
- Hang metal wind chimes outside your door to attract positive energy.
- "Plant" three coins just before your threshold to boost your family's prosperity.
- Place a charcoal or black doormat by the door to attract water energy, which brings good luck.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.
Take the quiz at www.FightConservatives.com
Monday, November 5, 2007
We had a ketchup taste test tonight at dinner. I picked up packets of ketchup from England, Italy and France to bring home and of course we had good old American ketchup on hand. Riley is The Ketchup Kid and I have to say I was very impressed with his advanced palette. He guessed them all correctly. I had removed the packets so it was truly a blind taste test. The end results are- American Ketchup is number one!!! The ketchup in England was a close second and basically if Riley ever finds himself traveling to Italy or France he will defiantly be bringing his own bottle along.
*Number of times I wrote the word "ketchup" in a one paragraph post - six - seven if you count the title- that must be some sort of record.
Also- I know my trip was so two weeks ago but if anyone besides me still cares to read about it - John has updated his blog!!! He wrote about the days we spent in Rome and Paris here.