Links for Friday

June 12, 2008 Categories: Books , News , Parenting , Politics , Television , Videos | 3 Comments  

How was your week? Mine was busy. Let’s see: two trips to the pool, two trips to the library, one trip to Wal-mart, one orthodontist appointment, minus one boy for a sleepover, plus one girl for a sleepover, one evening out to dinner spending a little bit of our tax stimulus check, rain and cooler temperatures than we’re used to for June. (But at least it didn’t snow!) Oh, and I discovered that Supernatural is a much too scary show to watch; it causes nightmares. Even in grown women. It might even – hypothetically – cause them to sleep with the light on.

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Our weekend is shaping up like this: head to Mom and Dad’s tomorrow night to celebrate an early Father’s Day since Dad has to leave Sunday afternoon to be a counselor at Royal Family Kids Camp (did I mention my Dad is awesome?), take the kids to the rodeo on Saturday, and celebrate Dad’s day with Kevin on Sunday. And next week I will put on my chauffeur cap as I ferry Nan and her friend back and forth to basketball camp every day. Phew!

~ Here are some good book suggestions for the men – or teenaged boys – in your life.

~ Rod Dreher at Crunchy Con had the same thoughts I did when I heard about John McCain’s plans for Mars:

I know it’s obligatory for American politicians to come up with new goals in the space race. It’s also obligatory to tell people who criticize this kind of thing that they’re a bunch of plodders who have no sense of adventure, and who fail to honor something deep in the human spirit.

But you know what? Plodder that I am, I don’t want this country to put a thin dime toward sending a man to Mars until we have figured out what to do about the long-term energy crisis in this country. I know, I know, you could substitute any cause you want to for space exploration (How can we send a man to the moon when there are people going without health care?!, etc.). But get this: oil just closed today a smidge shy of $140 a barrel — up over $10 in a single day. Biggest one-day jump ever.

~ Hopewell Takes on Life has some well-spoken words about trying to be the perfect Christian mother.

~ This amazing baby was born twice.

~ Are you an Overachieving Homeschooler? Take this quiz and find out. I scored a 29. I’m not an overachiever anymore. ;)

~ What do you get when you cross a Rube Goldberg machine and a Cadbury Creme Egg? This. Hat tip: Don’t Try It At Home.

~ Ever felt like The Invisible Woman? Then this video is for you.

~ Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the worst book, movie, and TV endings.

~ If that list isn’t long enough to keep you busy, there’s a whole ‘nother list (with different links) at Books and Movies.

Have a great weekend!

Links for Friday

April 24, 2008 Categories: Books , Funnies , Homeschooling , Movies , Parenting | 4 Comments  

It’s been one of those kind of weeks: raging hormones, a squabble with the neighbor, squabbles with my husband, sad news from a friend. Not the kind of week I’d like to repeat anytime soon. So, instead of dwelling on it, I’ll get right to the links.

~ Anyone else looking forward to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? I can’t wait – May 22nd. To tide you over, here’s an interview about Indy 4 with Harrison Ford and an interview with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

~ Speaking of movies, Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is already showing in theaters. I have not seen it yet, but we plan to watch it on DVD. I read a terrific editorial by Brent Bozell III – a man who confessed he didn’t want to even see the movie. He writes not only about the film, but about the backlash from the atheists Mr. Stein interviewed in the film. Here’s a snippet to grab your attention:

“I went into the screening bored. I came out of it stunned.

Ben Stein’s extraordinary presentation documents how the worlds of science and academia not only crush debate on the origins of life, but also crush the careers of professors who dare to question the Darwinian hypothesis of evolution and natural selection….

It’s understood that God had nothing to do with the origins of life on Earth. What, then, is the alternate explanation? Stein asks these experts, and their very serious answers are priceless. One theorizes that life began somehow on the backs of crystals. Another states electric sparks from a lightning storm created organic matter (out of nothing). Another declares that life was brought to Earth by aliens. Anything but God….

Everyone should take the opportunity to see “Expelled” — if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism. But it’s far more than that. It’s a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little.”

~ Do you have an opinion on the Harry Potter copyright lawsuit?

~ Anyone who has taken small children out to eat at a restaurant will appreciate this Baby Blues comic.

~ It appears that memoirists aren’t the only authors who fib. Travel authors apparently write about places they’ve never even visited.

~ Natalie and I just finished reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick – and we both found it delightful. This web site has some videos of the item that helped to inspire Selznick’s story. (If you haven’t read it yet and plan to, you might want to wait to check this web site as it will include a slight spoiler.)

~ The kids and I came across this wonderful site during our studies of the water cycle. Be sure to click on gallery to see photos taken with a special snowflake photomicroscope.

~ Moomin Light has an interesting and disturbing post about the practice of airbrushing photos of celebrities. Be sure and check out the link to examples from a company who does this work. The celebrities who are gorgeous enough without the touch-ups end up looking like mannequins.

That’s all for this week. Here’s to a weekend that’s better than the week was.

Links – and a poem – for Friday

April 3, 2008 Categories: Books , Funnies , Homeschooling , Music , Parenting , Poetry , Politics , Videos | 4 Comments  

People in Glass Houses

I build my house of shining glass
of crystal
prisms
light, clear,
delicate.
The wind blows
Sets my rooms to singing.
The sun’s bright rays
are not held back
but pour
their radiance through the rooms
in sparkles of delight.

And what, you ask, of rain
that leaves blurred muddy streaks
across translucent purity?
What, you ask,
of the throwers of stones?

Glass shatters,
breaks,
sharp fragments pierce my flesh,
darken with blood.
The wind tinkles brittle splinters
of shivered crystal.
The stones crash through.

But never mind.
My house
My lovely shining
fragile broken house
is filled with flowers
and founded on a rock.

~ from The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L’Engle

How’s your April going so far? Did anyone prank you on the first?

We started into our normal week on Tuesday after a long weekend of visiting with family, and it was hard. We had such a great time visiting, but it made for a very busy few days and none of us were ready to jump into school on Tuesday morning. It didn’t help that the rest of the neighborhood kids were all out playing, since this was the public school system’s Spring Break.

It also didn’t help things when I realized I’ve been too lax about doing history this year and we won’t finish by June, and will be continuing with history through the summer if we want to finish The Story of the World II: The Middle Ages in time to start book 3 in September. Sigh. Oh, well, at least we’ve been enjoying what we have learned and the kids seem to be retaining names and people groups well, if not exact dates.

After last weekend, I’m really craving a few days of down time, but I won’t be getting it. Saturday, Noah and Natalie will go through promotion at Tae Kwon Do, testing for their green belts. Sunday, I hope to take the kids to see Nim’s Island, which is playing in our little one-screen theater.

I’ve got lots of links for you this week, and I’ll start off with the poetry-related in honor of National Poetry Month:

~ The Telegraph ran a series called English Poetry Masters, with articles on Chaucer, Shelley, Christina Rosetti, Milton, and Robert Browning. Each article also includes a sample poem.

~ Sherry at Semicolon linked to The English Room’s 30 Days of Poetry. This is a great way to get your middle-grade kids writing poetry. You might even want to write along with them. ;)

Now, on to the book-related:

~ The Guardian has an interview with Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief (which I loved).

~ Literary Feline is having a book giveaway in honor of Give a Friend a Book Week.

~ I’m a little behind the times, but I guess the latest craze in evangelical circles is a book called The Shack by William P. Young. I have not read the book, and so will not give an opinion, but I encourage you to read this review by Tim Challies. If you’d like, you can also check out this You Tube video from a Mark Driscoll sermon.

Now, for some opinion pieces:

~ It’s a Bratz Country, by Rod Dreher of Crunchy Con. Hat tip: Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. Here’s a quote to peak your interest:

You will hear from very few people that the toxic culture in which we’re raising our children of all races is destroying them. The facts from the new study are pretty shocking for all Americans. What is it going to take for adults to realize how badly we are failing the younger generations? We’re going to keep on and keep on sexualizing little girls, acculturating them to the idea that they are sex objects. We are not, apparently, going to raise any effective objection to the increased sexualization of our culture by taking concrete and proactive measures in our own families, churches and communities to be countercultural in this regard. We’re simply going to assume there’s nothing we can do, or even blame the Other (it’s the right-wingers who fight comprehensive sex ed; it’s the left-wingers who are turning the culture trashy) instead of asking ourselves what we can and should do to build up a healthy and morally sane self-image in girls and boys.

~ The Nice Squad: Would you dare to say turn the music down?

I use Debrett’s Guide To Etiquette as my bible, and am lucky enough to know gentlemen who make me swoon by rushing ahead to open a door for me, or by insisting they take the correct side of the pavement. I’m clearly living in Brief Encounter, aren’t I?

So you can imagine how well it goes down when I get on a bus and an MP3 player mobile phone is tinnily blaring out some R&B nonsense about gold-plated Bentleys, b*tches and bling to the annoyance of everyone else.

On to politics:

~ Senior Democrats mull Al Gore’s nomination. Wouldn’t that make things interesting? (Shudder)

Some links to make you laugh:

~ Cathy Thorne who draws the wonderful Everyday People comics has a new website. Here’s one my favorites.

~ Another great edition of Zits.

~ This reminds me of how Natalie remembered acute, right, and obtuse angles.

~ I Am Woman – Size 36 D from Melanie at The Refrigerator Door.

~ Hugh Laurie from House singing his original song, America.

~ The Ultimate Cubicle Prank – Hat Tip: Don’t Try This At Home.

That list should keep you busy! Have a great weekend.

Mean mom

March 4, 2008 Categories: Homeschooling , Parenting | 5 Comments  

I’ve been a mean mom today. How, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

~ I made Jonathan do both the drill sheet and the worksheet from his Saxon math lesson today.

~ I made the kids listen to a “really, really” long chapter out of The Greenleaf Guide to Famous Men of the Middle Ages – and then, I had the sheer nerve to ask them questions about what I had read. I considered reading a second “really, really” long chapter, but I thought that might be pushing a bit past the limits of matriarchal mean-ness.

~ I told my daughter that she could not ride her bike while listening to her MP3 player, because she wouldn’t be able to hear oncoming traffic, or her mother frantically yelling, “Car! Car! Don’t you see that car?!

~ I didn’t give Noah “just one more chance” for his computer turn that he lost yesterday as a result of a behavioral issue.

Hmm, I’m sure if I thought a while I could come up with a few more examples. I’m a “really, really” mean mom.

Links for Friday

February 14, 2008 Categories: Books , Funnies , Movies , Parenting , Television | 5 Comments  

It’s February. Does anyone else get the mid-winter blahs in February? It always seems to hit me this time of year. I’m sick of winter, I want a break from homeschooling but there isn’t one in sight until Easter week, and the kids are squirrely. We’re done with the it’s-too-cold-to-play-outside days, done (for now) with the snowing-four-to-seven-inches-at-a-time days, and we’re into the it’s-above-freezing-and-the-piles-of-snow-are-melting-and-making-everything-soggy days. The kids play outside, and then come in completely soaked through. They saw the sun shining yesterday and Josiah yelled, “Spring is here!” I hated to burst his bubble, the poor guy.

The great thing is that I know the solution for the mid-winter blahs. It’s something Kevin and I do every year around this time – we head off to the nearest big city (that would be Spokane) for a weekend without our four wonderful children. That’s what’s happening next weekend, and I am SO ready! The cool thing is, I get an extra day of grown-up time this year. Kevin suggested that Michelle and I take next Thursday off, leave the kids with him and Don (they both work out of the home) and head to Spokane. We’ll be eating out, going to the movies, spending (too much) money at Barnes & Noble, and staying over in a hotel. All of that time, completely kid-free! Then Kevin will drop the boys off at her house Friday morning, drop Nan off at her best friend’s house, and come down to join me for the rest of the weekend. Of course, Michelle may need another day of rest and pampering after having my boys for the rest of the weekend, but we will be returning the favor and keeping their boys for a weekend so they can get away very soon.

So, what am I doing while I’m waiting impatiently for some Mommy time? Reading good books:

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The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee

(Yes, I’m supposed to be reading Anna Karenina for the Winter Reading Challenge, but this little gem arrived on Friday, and after Becky Sharpe, I just couldn’t pick up another long novel with a main character who is a ninny.)

I’m also watching good movies, like this one:

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Martian Child

Tomorrow is our Friday play date. (I’m writing this Thursday night.) It’s Michelle’s week to host, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will go better than the last two times we had it there. My boys were atrocious! Not to her boys, just to each other. They keep the fighting in the family, at least. But I don’t want her to be secretly wishing she hadn’t agreed to keep them next weekend! I love my kids, but every year around this time, they absolutely drive me nuts.

We thought maybe the kids would have a Tae Kwon Do promotion on Saturday, but our month off due to sickness has put them a little behind. There’s another promotion the first Saturday in March, and they should be ready for that one. Since they aren’t promoting, I am planning to take them to Spokane to see The Spiderwick Chronicles movie. They have been warned that their behavior can lose them this privilege, however. I’m sure Noah will be at his best, since the Spiderwick books are his all-time favorites. He has been waiting and waiting to see this movie. If Jonathan and Josiah continue behaving the way they did tonight at bedtime, it may be just Natalie, Noah, and I!

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough, so here are the links I’ve been saving to share:

~ If you’ve ever wondered what Sawyer would nickname you if you were one of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, wonder no longer. Mine is “Stubby.” Be sure to come back and tell me yours!

~ Every mom will be able to relate to this Baby Blues comic.

~ Check out the trailer for Indianan Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Can’t wait for this one!

~ Carol at Magistramater wrote a wonderful post on nurturing our appetite for beauty, goodness, and truth. After you read it, be sure to click on through to the Wendell Berry interview she links – it’s brilliant.

Have a great weekend!

Links for Friday

February 1, 2008 Categories: Homeschooling , Just for Fun , Kid Stuff , Parenting , Videos | 5 Comments  

It’s Friday! Anyone got exciting plans for the weekend? Kevin’s hoping to take the kids sledding tomorrow. It’s snowing – again. It’s pretty wet, though, and I have a feeling we’re going to have a big mess by the end of the day.

On Sunday afternoon, I will be at Mom and Dad’s, rooting for the Giants as they play the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and eating some of my fabulous bean dip. Want the recipe? It’s really easy: mix one small box of Velveeta (cubed), one package of cream cheese, one can of refried beans, and one small jar of salsa. Heat in the microwave, stirring every minute or two, until completely melted and mixed. Serve with tortillas – yum! (I said it was easy, not healthy.)

Here are a few links for your Friday browsing:

~ Andrea at Atypicalife is famous! She was interviewed for a Reader’s Digest article on homeschooling. You can read it here. In case you didn’t know, wonderful Andrea and her equally wonderful hubby Ron are the folks who run Homeschool Journal. If you’re a homeschooler and looking for a place to blog, check it out! I love blogging here.

~ Brant at Letters from Kamp Krusty has channeled his inner sage again with Should You Shelter Your Kids? I was going to post a quote, but the whole thing is so good – just go read it.

~ Kris at Paradise Found posted this amazing video. We’re going to try it.

~ It sure seems there are a lot of new quiz-type game shows on TV – and sadly, they are revealing how woefully uneducated many people are. Did anyone else see the grade school teacher on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? who didn’t know which country was our (the USA’s) neighboring country to the north? And people want to tell me I’m not qualified to teach my own children. Anyway, this news article highlights some of the dumbest ever quiz-show answers.

~ Don’t forget: there’s still time to enter my book giveaway.

Links for Friday, a little early

January 10, 2008 Categories: Books , Funnies , Homeschooling , Memories , Parenting , Television , This and That , Videos | 7 Comments  

It’s been a week, that’s all I have to say. We started back to school this week, and, boy, did I feel the three weeks off. Plus, Kevin is mostly working from home now, and with our little house and my freaking out if our schedule gets interrupted – well, let’s just say we all have some adjusting to do. Here are a few highlights:

Snow, snow, and more snow. I don’t know how many inches we have had since Thanksgiving, but I am praying for an early spring. The extended forecast for the next ten days? Snow, snow, snow showers, snow – with a few cloudy days thrown in for good measure. This is the time of year I always start to feel like a grouch about the weather.

Abcess on a tonsil. No, not mine – I don’t have any tonsils anymore. Kevin seemed to be getting over the flu just fine, until his right tonsil swelled up so big that it pushed his uvula (the little dangly thing in the middle) out of position and nearly closed his throat off. A shot of steroids and mega-antibiotics reduced the swelling enough that the doctor could get in there and lance and drain it. Yes, this involved a shot of novicaine into his tonsil, which was then sliced into, spread open, and sucked out. Too much information? Sorry. He was a drugged up sleepy-head for a day or two, and will be on antibiotics for a while, but all is healing nicely.

I Am Legend. Dad and I went and saw this Sunday evening. Quick review: much scarier than I expected; Will Smith is fantastic; surprisingly strong message about God’s sovereignty. If you’re squeamish, skip it; if you’re not and you like sci-fi, see it.

Cable hook-up. After being frustrated that our antenna doesn’t work when it’s snowing, we decided to hook up very basic cable. And I mean basic: NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, FOX, TBS, The Weather Channel, C-Span – and a couple of religious stations with very big-haired people asking for money. But, I can watch my football games – and Lost returns on the 31st! All this for around $15 a month – and no contract, unlike satellite. The kids are happy to be able to watch Cyberchase and Zoom on PBS again.

Did I mention the SNOW?

Well, enough complaining – I have a bunch of links to share. Some will educate, some will make you laugh, all are guaranteed to be a worthy waste of time.

~ Karen Edmisten on Blogging, breaks, and mother guilt.

~ Albert Mohler on The Reading of Books. (I owe someone a hat tip for this, but can’t remember where I saw it.)

~ Why don’t you use the little wench? – hilarious column on the misuse of homophones.

~ For Natalie’s writing assignment this week, she wrote a persuasive essay on why everyone should read the Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket.

~ What do I do now? – great video at Lovin’ Life.

~ Moomin Light on watching Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth, duh) for the first time.

~ Beautiful photos of libraries around the world – Hat tip: Sherry at Semicolon.

~ Panoramic views of selected rooms in The Louvre – be sure and look up at the ceilings!

~ Column on why the WGA strike is dragging on.

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Lastly, I discovered that this week was De-Lurking week in the blogging world. What does that mean? Well, a lurker is someone who reads a blog, but doesn’t comment. I would love to hear from any and all of my readers – if you’ve never commented before, just click on Comment and say “hi.” Have a great weekend!

Happy New Year

December 31, 2007 Categories: Blogging , Books , Faith , Holidays , Kid Stuff , Marriage , Memories , Music , Parenting , Writing | 7 Comments  

What are you doing this New Year’s Eve 2007? I am sitting on the couch with my new laptop, watching the kids jump and sing and dance along with their High School Musical game on their new Playstation 2. They are happy, especially since their daddy told them they could stay up until midnight to welcome the New Year. Without asking their mommy. He’s the crazy one – I’ll probably head in to bed, and he’ll be up. And he’s still getting over the flu. He did, however, take a long nap in a quiet house this afternoon while the kids and I were visiting at Michelle’s.

I’m also listening to the song Revival from the CD Revival in Belfast by Robin Marks. We found a new church home this year. It has been nearly two years since we left our old church home. And yet, as soon as this song comes up on my MP3 player, I am fighting back tears. This CD came out when I was worship coordinator at that church, and we did many of these songs on Sunday mornings. Hearing this song brings me right back, and I am sad again. How long until that goes away?

I remember when New Year’s Eve was an occasion to stay up late, party hard and celebrate. I must be getting older, because it is now just fine with me to stay at home with my family, and mentally reminisce about the past year and plan for the new one, while they party around me.

My heart is full tonight, and I want to get these thoughts down before they are gone in the flurry of the rest of the week.

I have many things to be grateful for as I look back on 2007.

We were able to refinance our house and get out of debt. Because of that, and in spite of the fact that Kevin still faces the possibility of unemployment this year, we are better off financially than we were last year at this time. God is good.

I wish you could see what I see right now. Josiah is laying on his back with his ankles crossed, hands under his head. He looks like he should be laying in a hammock. He’s watching his sister and brother sing and compete, and when each song ends, he jumps up and shouts, “You got an A!” (The game grades you on your performance of HSM songs.) And on my MP3 player is playing the song This is a Moment Made for Worshipping by Steven Curtis Chapman. “This is a moment made for worshipping, because this is a moment I’m alive…”

I’m grateful for a husband who believes in my writing to the point that he would buy me a brand new laptop because I need something better for my work. And a husband who bought me a second MP3 player for Christmas, because he remembered that I jokingly said in passing that I needed one for music, one for audiobooks. And he indulges my book obsession.

I’m grateful for friendship. We’ve lived in this town for 10 and a half years now, and during that time I have made many good friends. They have all been exactly what I needed at the time, but each friendship has been for a season. And now, for the first time since I was in college, I feel like I have a true best friend. God ordained that Michelle would move here for me; you’ll never convince me otherwise. Our friendship is still relatively new – although I can hardly believe we just exchanged Christmas gifts for the second time – but I have no doubt that our friendship is for a lifetime. Some things you just know.

All right, answer me this: how can I go from lovingly gazing at my children having fun and thinking about how wonderful it is to be their mother to being completely annoyed that they are interrupting my blogging? My blogging about how grateful I am? For them? (The song on my MP3 player is now Fabulous from High School Musical 2. I’m not as selfish as Sharpay, honest.)

I’m grateful for happy, healthy kids. Other than the occasional cold and flu, my kids are healthy. They are also good kids. Yes, there are days when I want to pull my hair out, but there are also days when the receptionist at the orthodontist’s office tells me how much she enjoys it when we come in, because she knows my kids are well-behaved.

I’m grateful for Natalie. My 11-year-old. Just typing those words makes me sigh. She is changing so fast, from an adorable little girl to a beautiful young lady. She is goofy, feminine, able to break a board with her foot while blushing over the cute boy at Tae Kwon Do, and – most importantly – she has a strong desire to follow Jesus.

I’m grateful for Noah. He’s 9. When Kevin gets the pictures off the camera and onto my computer, I’ll post the picture Kevin snapped while we were opening gifts Christmas Eve. Noah has always been a joy to watch open gifts – he is thrilled with each and every one. And though he loves the Playstation and his camera, the gift that got the biggest smile was Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide of the Fantastical World Around You.

I’m grateful for Jonathan. He’s 8 and his energy is astonishing at times. He is like contained electricity; he buzzes with it. I love the fact that he is now an accomplished reader, and likes to share with me what is happening in his book. It makes me laugh to see how fast he can go from picking on his sister to defending her honor. (Now, I’m listening to Long Train Running’ by The Doobie Brothers: “Without love, where would I be right now?” Yes, my musical taste is varied and odd.)

I’m grateful for Josiah. He’s 6 and still comes running up to me to say, “I know what you need, Mommy. You need a snuggle from me.” And he’s right; I do. As he has completed the familiar pages in Abeka’s Letter and Sounds this year, it has been startling to realize that this is the last time I will be leading a child through this phonics program, the last time I will watch a child experience the joy of reading for the first time. I am now the mother of four readers.

I’m grateful for parents who live close enough that we can watch football games and go to the movies together. I’m grateful that we found a church that our kids love. I’m grateful that there is a (however tentative) peace with our neighbors. I’m grateful that my kids have good friends. I am grateful that we are on our sixth year of homeschooling, and I still enjoy it and I am still convinced that it is the best path for our family. I’m grateful for weekly phone conversations with my sister Andrea, chatting online with my other sister Debra, and visits with my sister Marni while she still lives close enough. I’m grateful for quiet evenings with a book, a glass of Pinot Grigio, and dark chocolate. I’m grateful for 24, Numb3rs and Ballykissangel on DVD. I’m grateful for all the blogs on my blogroll – and some I haven’t added yet – for making me think and laugh, for giving me encouragement, and for suggesting some brilliant books.

May your New Year be filled with books that make you think, friends you can be “you” with, and days bright with joy and laughter.

Links for Friday… two days late

November 18, 2007 Categories: Football , Holidays , Homeschooling , Just for Fun , Kid Stuff , News , Parenting | 4 Comments  

I didn’t post a links post on Friday, but I did have a few things to share, so I’m doing it today. For those of you who were wondering, singing Friday night went fine – in spite of the fact that I came down with the cold the family’s been passing around for the past few weeks. I wasn’t too sick to sing, so that’s good.

Yesterday, we went down to Spokane to meet some new friends at Chuck E. Cheese’s. We met Chris and Carrie at the lake this summer while we were camping, and our kids hit it off right away. We found out that they were just getting started on their homeschooling journey this year. Kevin and Chris have stayed in touch by e-mail, so we met yesterday. We had a great time – visiting for three hours while the kids played and played and played.

This morning we went to church, even though the cold has settled in and I pretty much feel like death. The kids are rehearsing for their Christmas program, so I didn’t want them to miss. This afternoon, I curled up on the couch and watched the Seahawks beat the Bears. Go, ‘Hawks – you’re back!

This is a week off of homeschooling, and we’re all ready for a break. I’m ready to have some good reading time on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday will be spent cleaning, since we’re hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year. I haven’t done the whole turkey dinner thing in seven years, so I’m praying it will all turn out all right.

Do you have lots of plans for the holiday week? Will you be brave enough to shop on Friday?

Here are the links I wanted to pass on:

~ I’ve seen this Bitter Homeschooler’s Wish List a few different places now, but I first saw it at More Than Fine.

~ If you like word games as much as I do, you’ll want to check out this one. Improve your vocabulary while helping the hungry. My highest score is 43 so far.

~ Here’s a great editorial explaining why the writers are right in the current strike situation.

~ Amazon has set up a Homeschooling Store – how cool is that?

~ Finally, I’ll leave you with another hilarious Baby Blues comic.

Deep breath

October 24, 2007 Categories: Blogging , Books , Faith , Holidays , Homeschooling , Kid Stuff , Marriage , Parenting , Writing | 9 Comments  

My thoughts of late have gone something like this:

Articles due – need to finish Gryffindor scarves – why doesn’t Wal-mart have crowns or wands? – grocery list: can’t forget yarn to finish scarves and ingredients for dessert to bring to Tae Kwon Do party – more articles due – need to write review – haven’t written a personal blog post in ages – miss my books – ah, girls’ night – need to plan party for Mom and Dad’s 40th anniversary – oh my gosh, Josiah lost a tooth – oh yeah, Josiah’s birthday is coming up – which Harvest Party are we going to? – more articles due – forgot to call that lady about that thing – need to cancel satellite – stacks of papers to correct and file – etc. – etc. – etc.

Is it any wonder that this frantic feeling is building up and I just need to stop and take a breath? In the midst of all this busy-ness, I don’t want to just breeze past the things that really matter. Like:

~ Josiah is reading. Short-vowel words and some sight words so far, but he’s reading. Four down, zero to go. What a strange feeling – no more non-readers in the family.

~ He also lost his first tooth, and he’s turning six next week. Thank God, he is still a cuddle-bug. Lately, he has taken to jumping on my lap, wrapping his arms around my neck, and saying, “Amo, Mommy!” (Amo is “I love” in Latin.)

~ The kids and I have been doing origami every afternoon this week. We just finished the chapter on Japan in Story of the World II: The Middle Ages, and we are enjoying origami as part of that study. We also wrote haikus. These are the days I love homeschooling.

~ My parents are celebrating 40 years of marriage! I’ve watched them go through a lot of ups and downs, and they’re still together and still love each other.

~ Christmas is coming. This will be the last Christmas that Marni and Hans and their little boys, Peter and Andrew, will be with us for a while. They have sold their house and moved into an apartment and are planning to move to St. Louis in the spring. Hans will be attending Covenant Theological Seminary. Right now, they live in the Coeur d’Alene area, which means Marni is the closest sister geographically. (Andrea is in Boise; Debra is in Silverdale.) When they move, there will no longer be any siblings within a distance that takes less than a day to drive. Sob.

~ Natalie is not a little girl anymore. She is turning into a young lady – she’ll be eleven in December. Oh. my. goodness.

~ We’re in the process of… starting to… begin to get our house ready to sell. ~grin~ I’m very excited about moving into a bigger house in a different neighborhood, but… This was our first home. When we moved in, Natalie was 3 1/2, Noah was 2, Jonathan was 1, and Josiah wasn’t even being considered yet. It is bittersweet to think about moving.

~ We are slowly getting more involved with our new church. It’s the best choice we’ve found for our family, but I still feel a longing for something more. More community, less programs, more worship, more tradition, more authenticity, more loving God with all your mind as well as your heart. The kids are thrilled with Awana, and I’m glad they like it, but I have some reservations about making the studying and memorizing of God’s Word into a competition. And can anyone please tell me why children’s programs and obscene amounts of candy have to go together?

~ I have a bounty of riches when it comes to my to-read shelves. (And stacks.) The extra income from the freelance writing is so needed, but I don’t like feeling guilty whenever I sit down to read. Every once in a while, my stacks catch my eye, and such a feeling of longing comes over me – when will there be enough time? There are so many things I want to know, to understand, so many stories I want to dive in to. Sigh.

In the midst of all these thoughts, I want to thank you for sticking around. There haven’t been many comments lately, but I know people are still reading and visiting, and I appreciate
that more than you will know.

That’s what’s been going on with me. What’s going on with you?