Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekend Links - September 29, 2012

For Thinking:
  • I think I've mentioned before that I love Auntie Leila's advice posts. This one is no exception: What Does Nursing the Baby Mean? I love breastfeeding, but even after four children, I've never had anywhere near the challenges that some mothers have. I suspect I would have given up if I'd ever had a bout of mastitis. I do, however, have experience with the "tongue-tied" issue (more than one of our babies was diagnosed with this) and I will say that Philip and I chose not to have our pediatrician intervene and everything turned out fine. We followed our instincts on that one. (Not entirely easy when you're 20 and 24 and holding your first baby in your arms!)
  • Tricky People are the New Strangers. This is tough in our time. How do we teach children to respect adults, be aware of dangerous "tricky" people, and still have fun?
  • I love stories like this: Arkansas Town Rethinks High School. Their new plan just makes so much sense to me.
  • Great one for married Christians to read: Did I Marry the Wrong Person? (Hint: you might be asking the wrong question if you're asking yourself this.)
  • Where is God When it Hurts? This one is long but so worth it. Dana and her family have lived through unbelievable tragedy. Their testimony is real, their faith is real. I highly recommend you take the time to listen (or read) what Dana's husband wrote. And then read Dana's posts, too.
  • How to Safeguard the Love of Learning by Karen Andreola.
  • Some Things are Better Left Unsaid. Wise warning for these "let it all hang out" times.
For Fun:
Pins of the week:
Speaking of Fall treats, these need to be on my "To Make ASAP" list:

Oh, and these too, even though they're not specifically "Fall":

And, just to prove that I don't just pin dessert recipes:

Homemade color catchers? Who knew?

What caught your eye this week?
This post will be linked to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Five Question Friday

1. Do you prefer to drive to your vacation spot or fly?
I don't mind flying but we usually drive. Last year we drove from Ohio to Nevada (and then to San Diego. Yes, as in California). And then we drove back. We had a fabulous time, the girls were fine, and no, we don't have a DVD player in our minivan.

2. If you could live any where in the world, where would you go and why?
I'd live in England, at least part of the year. Maybe London, maybe somewhere in the country. Some day when I'm independently wealthy I will make this so. (Now to work on that becoming independently wealthy thing...)

3. Should grown women wear leggings?
Well, they can. Under a long tunic or dress, I think it's OK. As an alternative to pants, no. Leggings are not pants. Tights are not pants. This does not seem like a hard concept, and yet...

4. If you could change your name to any other name, would you? And what would it be?
I already changed my name to what I wanted it to be, when I married my husband 13 years ago. {wink} I have never considered changing my first name. If I were going to have a nom de plume or something, I'd probably go for some old fashioned kind of name.

5. What magazines to you have subscriptions to?
Well, I used to have more but right now I get:
Better Homes and Gardens
Readers Digest (gift from grandparents)
Family Fun
Town and Country (free)
Martha Stewart Living (free)
Architectural Digest

Plus my girls get Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.
In addition to those, there are several magazines we pick up at our library. which has an amazing selection.

How about you?
This post is linked to My Little Life.

Happy Birthday to...

Tigger!
Tigger is the great EIGHT today.

Which, really, just doesn't seem possible. Shouldn't she be about five? Or six?

Tigger is a challenge, that's for sure. She keeps us on our toes. She keeps us working those creative parenting muscles.

But she's also tenderhearted, funny, and a deep thinker.

She knows she wants to work with children one day. She loves babies. She's definitely my best helper when it comes to watching a little one.
One day she'll be a fabulous babysitter and she will be in constant demand. (I hope I can book her myself.)

Favorites at 8:
Color: Purple
Animal: still manatees (always manatees!)
School Subject: Language Arts
Food: mushroom pizza
Favorite place to go: water park
Happy Birthday to my 2nd Baby. Life would be so much more boring without you!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2012-2013 Homeschool Year: Language Arts

Grammar is one of our favorite subjects.

Yes, I'm serious.

Just yesterday Polly told me, "You know, sometimes I diagram sentences in my head just for fun. And the good thing is, my spelling is always right." (Spelling is not Polly's strong point.)

Diagramming for fun? Oh, yeah, I do that, too.

Required by the state: Yes, although it's called "Language Arts."
Curriculum used: various items, although we depend strongly on First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

• What are you currently reading?
I'm currently several chapters in to this one:


• What did you recently finish reading?
 The last two novels I finished are:

and

Both of those had their interesting and their annoying points. I'll try to elaborate on that in my monthly round-up.
The last non-fiction book I finished was:

Which was excellent.

• What do you think you’ll read next?
Well, I started this one before I started "The Hornet's Sting," but I got caught up in the latter so this one is set back for now:

I plan to read it next, but that's no guarantee. I have 45 holds on my list at the library and if any of those come in, they're likely to jump to the top of my stack. A few of those holds are things I've ordered for the girls, but most are for me.

These rainy, dreary days (Fall is here! We ought to just call Fall "The Rainy Season" where I live) are perfect for cuddling up with my favorite blanket, a hot cup of tea (or cocoa, or apple cider or something with pumpkin in it...) and a book.

Reading season is in full swing, in other words.
So what are you reading right now?

This post is linked to WWW Wednesday at Should Be Reading.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Action taken with these links could result in compensation for me. Opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to...

Miss Lili. Can't believe you're two already!

You are our blessing, our baby, and our boss.

You have Daddy wrapped around your little finger. OK, you pretty much have all of us wrapped around your fingers. You have been my sunshine in dark days and I thank God for the blessing you are to us.

Mama loves you, Little One. (And your daddy & your sisters do, too!)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend Links - September 22, 2012

  • Don't Tell Me How to Use Facebook. Our link host Jessie shared this last week but I thought I would share it again just in case you haven't seen it yet. This seems extra pertinent in this season because of the politics thing.
  • I saved two different posts about Pinterest this week. The first is from Pinstrosity: Comparison is the Thief of Joy.
  • The second is: You Can't Pin Love. I love Pinterest. (Seriously. It's my favorite social media site.) But it can cause some serious discontent if we're not careful. Someone will always have a bigger house, cuter clothes, or fancier photo shoots. Let's use Pinterest to inspire ourselves, not to tear ourselves down.
  • Altering Jeans: Adding Width to a Waistband. Interesting idea. Not sure mine would turn out that tidy...
  • I can so identify with this one: To Share or Not To Share? My blog is one thing, my fiction another. I'm trying to work up my courage and have a family member read some of my story. Maybe. Eventually.
  • We're using Apologia Stronomy for Science this year so I saved this list for reference: Apologia Astronomy Supplemental Resources.
  • I really think my kids would enjoy these, but we've never tried them. So I'm saving this post to inspire me to actually buy some: The Wonder of Water Beads.
  • Now, without getting too political, let me just say that there were a lot of ridiculous things in the news last week. But this is probably the dumbest: Texas Mom Arrested for Letting Children Play Outside. My word, has everyone lost their ever lovin' minds?! The article wants to know if you think this mom is justified in suing. My answer: yes. I'd sue the neighbor, the city, the cops, and anyone else (like maybe all those helicopter parents that can't let their kids be kids?!). This is ridiculous. (And seriously erodes my faith in Texas.)
Pins of the week:
We have a birthday party tomorrow and we're going to try and make something like this:

These cards are seriously adorable. Could be a fun project to do with the girls one of these days:

What caught your eye this week?
This post is linked to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Five Question Friday

1. What is one grammar issue you cannot let go without correction?
All of them. I am a grammar stickler. If I had to narrow it down, these are a few that make my eyes twitch: misplaced or missing apostrophes, people who say things like this, thinking it makes them sound smart, "Thank you for your kindness to Edgar and I," (in other words, a general lack of knowledge on when to use I, me, or myself) and general sloppiness. Everyone makes mistakes, but there should be some effort made to improve. (Grammar Girl is a good website if you'd like to improve your grammar skills.)

2. What's your favorite thing about fall?
Cooler temperatures and the smell of wood smoke.

3. What's your favorite dish to take to a potluck?
A big salad or fruit salad. Or a dessert. You can never have too many desserts.

4. When do you start Christmas (Holiday) shopping?
Around Thanksgiving and no, we do not "do" Black Friday. For one thing, we are usually in TN on Black Friday, which means we would have to pay extremely high sales tax, plus get the stuff home to OH. Not to mention that getting up early is one of my least favorite things to do.

Philip and I do buy a few things through the year for our girls but we don't for other people. We have a strict budget and we have a method to our shopping. (Yes, a spreadsheet is involved.)

5. Did you move homes a lot growing up?
Nope. We lived in one house until I was four and then we lived in the next house (in another state) until I was 18. Then I got married & moved to an apartment with my husband while my parents and siblings packed up and moved out of state. (True story.)

Philip and I have lived in two different apartments and then we bought this house. It's for sale right now, because we have really outgrown the space, but it's bittersweet because this is the only home my girls have ever known.

That's it for this week. If you'd like to share your answers, come join up at My Little Life or you can fire away in the comments.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weekend Links - September 15, 2012

Well, friends, I've come up with slightly fewer links than usual this week. Most of the reading I did on the internet this week was of the news ("You've got to be kidding me") variety. I hope you did some similar reading. With all that's going on in the world you do not want to be taking anyone's filtered or biased word as gospel truth. Now I'll get off my soapbox and get on with the links I did save.
  • Transitioning Your Wardrobe From Summer to Fall. (My advice: throw on a sweater and trade your flip-flops for boots. But no one asked me.)
  • Did you hear about the BIC Pens "designed for her"? Ridiculous. This sarcastic post about sums up how I feel about that idea: Nobody, Not Even Your Mom, Has Such Small Hands.
  • I thought this post was interesting: How Your Body Fights Starvation. (I find the intricacies of the body yet more proof of a designer, not less, by the way. So I was able to marvel at the science mentioned in the article without buying into the author's view on origins. Be forewarned about that.)
  • I love finding out about fellow Grammar Nerds. The first sentence of this essay made me swoon: Le Mot Juste.
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that it is only a short road that leads from grammatical laxity to cannibalism.
  • Great advice from Dan Miller on Writing Your Personal Story.
  • Related: Rachelle Gardner shared 10 Ways to Become a Better Writer.
  • Love Smockity's post: Careful Mother vs. Assertive Mother. Here's my related advice: don't ask a question when you're not really asking. And please, for the love of your children, stop saying, "Okay?" every time you ask them to do something. If you read the comments on that post you'll find some parents suggesting using "Okay?" for strong willed children. Let me tell you: I have strong-willed children (for Pete's sake, I was a strong-willed child!), adding OK does not help. Either really offer two choices or don't ask, just tell. Say something like "Understand?" Or "Clear?" if you want them to respond. (Just my $0.02, obviously)
  • Being the Homeschool Oddball by Jimmie. I'm guessing that all homeschoolers feel like "The Oddball" even around other homeschoolers, at times. I do for these reasons: 1. because we are strongly resisting the whole "co-op" thing. 2. because we require more academic work from our children than the other families in our support group (who are almost all more the "unschooler" type).
  • And finally, the post that I probably needed most this week (because yes, there were a few nights when I could hardly sleep I was so concerned about the state of our country and world): Be Anxious for Nothing.
Pins of the week:
I love the idea of printing a photo on a book page:

I still want to make some candles like this some day:

So, what did you read or pin this week?
This post will be linked to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

How do you organize/store your books? Do you go through them often? Or
do you pretty much just shelve them and then leave them alone until
you need them?

Well, my books are arranged in a way that makes sense to me. And, despite what you might think you know about me, this way is not: alphabetical order or Dewey Decimal order.

They are loosely arranged by type and size (large books always on the outside, progressing to shorter).

Right now because we're trying to sell our house, we've moved several bookshelves out of our house. Which means some of our beloved books are packed in boxes and stacked up in Philip's church office. Sometimes we go through the boxes and bring some home. I've also managed to set aside some that don't need to come home, ever.

Whenever I'm getting ready to buy new to us books (usually at the big library sale in June), I go through our books and get rid of some. Space is limited so a book has to be worthy of shelf space. My list of reasons to keep a book: useful, rare (not available at our library), favorite re-read, something I want the girls to read eventually, or beloved for whatever reason. If a book doesn't fit one of those categories, I generally list it on Paperback Swap or turn them in to Half Price Books.

Want to see how books are displayed at our house?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?
Still plugging away at this one:

But I've also just started this one:

They're different enough to balance me out.

What did you recently finish reading?

A decent post-apocalyptic story, the first in a trilogy.

What do you think you’ll read next?
I've already ordered the next book in the Eve trilogy from the library. But until that comes in I plan to read this:

or this:


I also recently finished two books by Alexander McCall Smith (from two different series. I can't believe how prolific a writer he is). And I bailed on that Barbara Ehrenreich book Dancing in the Streets because it was just awful. There are too many books in my "to be read" stack to waste too much time on a book that I just don't like or with which I strongly disagree.

What are you reading now?
This post is linked to WWW Wednesday at Should Be Reading.
Book covers in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. Action taken with these links could result in compensation for me. Opinions are my own.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Monday Muse: Parenting

Yes, just in case you didn't get enough links to read on Saturday, I'm going to share two more.

These are two I've saved for...well, a long while. I thought I wanted to write my own posts about these subjects. But that, obviously, never happened. And I think they're posts worth reading.
  • How to Miss A Childhood. Here's a hint, just in case you don't want to miss your child's one and only childhood: put the phone away.
  • I Like Them. I can identify with this mom (although she has boys and I have girls). This may not be how I envisioned my "perfect" family way back when, (you know, before I had kids) but I wouldn't trade any of my girls for anything. And I like them. A lot.
There you go: encouragement for your parenting week.

And now my children have every pillow, blanket, and pillow pet they own piled up in the living room. I better find out if moms are invited because it looks really comfy in there.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Weekend Links - September 8, 2012

I'm scheduling this post since I'd rather be swimming in an indoor pool with my girls than putting up a blog post this morning. I'm sure you understand. Anyway, on to the links!

For thinking:
  • You must read this honest and difficult post by my friend Julie: My Story.
    But some stories are so life changing, they are meant to be told. And in the center of them, we see God's goodness and forgiveness and his unconditional love. We can also see how easy it is to make one bad choice and where it could lead.
  • Great post by Kris of WUHS: Getting it All Done: When Homeschool and Housework Collide.
  • The Great God Entertainment. Prepare to have your toes stepped on.
  • An older one from the archives: The Case for Kids. (H/T: The Common Room blog) Here's a related anecdote that made us smile this week: we were listening to a news story about teen pregnancy on the radio (couldn't switch the station quick enough!). We didn't think the girls were listening but Polly was. Philip and I were contradicting basically everything the announcers on the story said when Polly piped up, "But Mom, Dad, you're not teenagers and you like making babies." Oh my word, how we laughed at that. She meant that we think children are a blessing, not a curse, but it sounded way funnier the way she put it.
  • How and Why Our Kids Drink (Almost) Only Water by Simple Mom. Our kids drink mostly water too (Miss Lili is primarily on milk still, but she also drinks water). They like it. We like it. No juice fiends in this house. {wink} I will contradict this advice from that post: we do not let our kids take cups or bottles of water to bed. We used to let Polly do that a long time ago. It wasn't necessary. So we don't do that any more. No food or drink in the bedroom is the rule here. (A rule that some of our children are constantly testing.)
  • Word Banks to help Emerging Writers. I need to remember this idea with my young writers.
  • Run From Your Problems? I am not a runner. But I'm trying to be a regular exerciser. This post was encouraging.
  • Why I am Grammar Obsessed by Thom Rainer. Yes, it does make me feel better that there are others out there like me.
For fun (or, at least, slightly less serious):
And now, for the first time in weeks, my links folder is cleared out. I'd better get busy finding some for next week!
    Pins of the week:
    Yum:

    Cozy:

    True:

    (I can't find the source for this quote. Does anyone know? I hate to run around misquoting C.S. Lewis!)

    This post will be linked to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife, when I can get around to it!

    Weekly Wrap-Up - September 7, 2012

    Three day school week? How awesome is that?!

    Monday - no school. Spent the day at Grandpa and Grandma's house. Played games, ate, watched movies, and some of us intrepid types went swimming (Tigger, Sweet Pea, yours truly).

    Tuesday - Regular day of school in the morning. Used Oreos to illustrate the phases of the moon (only had mini-Oreos on hand so didn't have pristine results but we liked the activity anyway). Went to Gram & Granddad's for Happy Meal Day. Sweet Pea suffered the rest of the day with some sort of stomach virus or food poisoning. Not from the Happy Meal, you understand, as her sisters & cousin all had Happy Meals and only Sweet Pea got sick. Sweet Pea recuperated the rest of the day. Philip took Polly & Tigger to the library with him when he went to his tutoring job. Polly, Tigger, Miss Lili & I went on our usual walk in the evening while Philip stayed home with Sweet Pea.
    Wednesday - regular school and Sweet Pea was all the way better (and bouncing off the walls). I went to the grocery in the morning. In the two hours I was gone Tigger got approximately nothing done. So I had to sit on top of her work right beside her in the afternoon. Finished up our moon chapter in Science and also did all our mapwork for Chapter 5 in History. Kids' program at church in the evening.

    Thursday - our last day of school for this week. Did a moon phase project with Sweet Pea (who missed Science on Tuesday because she was off with Granddad & Fen). I'm using resources from Homeschool Share to do Science with Sweet Pea so that she can be in on the lessons with her older sisters even though she's not quite ready for the official Apologia notebook.

    Housecleaning day (not the girls' favorite). The girls' room hadn't gotten too bad since last week. The worst thing is we had to move the baby's bed so she would stop climbing out onto her sister's bed. It makes the whole room more cramped. (And yes, all four girls share a not very large room. We'd love to move, if we can ever sell our house. Meanwhile we're thankful for girls who are actually pretty happy to be together.)

    The entire family made it to the park for our usual walk / playground time. Sweet Pea beat everyone back to the playground so she "won". (As she so graciously informed us upon our own arrivals at the playground.)

    Friday - no school because we're traveling for a family reunion. We plan to visit a waterfall and spend a lot of time in the hotel pool.

    We kept it simple this week. I had Polly review the first four lessons in Latina Christiana II instead of going on to the next chapter. Tigger only reviewed vocabulary. Polly & Tigger both finished three math lessons. Tigger & I did two language lessons. We did a full chapter each in Science & History. Polly & Tigger both did some cursive. Sweet Pea worked on the various sounds of "TH", a sound she has trouble pronouncing, much less reading.

    Three books I read aloud to the youngest three:
    Sweet illustrations and my girls could easily identify with appreciating hand-me-downs. Sweet Pea in particular liked this one (that child loves anything to do with clothes, jewelry or accessories).

    The adventures and runaway imagination of a sometimes naughty little boy. I was a little bit worried that this one was glorifying bad behavior but everyhting turned out OK.

    Sweet and reminiscent of The Wind in the Willows or Beatrix Potter characters. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but Miss Lili really loves saying, "Cuckoo" after reading this one.

    All in all, a nice week and we're looking forward to a great weekend. Wishing you all a lovely weekend too!
    This post is linked to the Weekly Wrap-Up at WUHS.