Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Semester Summary

In case you were wondering, yes, I did survive Christmas.

I definitely think I'll plan a more low-key holiday next year, as I was so spazzed out that I could barely enjoy myself.  Mom #2 really wanted lots of family around this Christmas, so I guess we'll have to manage a way to take turns so we can both enjoy our holidays.  I'm taking suggestions if anyone has a workable solution.  Maybe one of my New Year's Resolutions will be to be more laid-back in general  so that I don't obsess over house cleaning when people come to visit.  After all, it's mostly family and they all know and love us whether the house is spotless or not.

Of course, I've come to that conclusion only after putting Baby Boy and Mom #2 through high-holy-heck in the house cleaning department. Hindsight, you know. 

I hope everyone has and continues to have a wonderful holiday.  Ours was lovely and frankly, I'm glad it's over.  Kind of like a roller coaster ride . . . the anticipation is delicious, the experience is dramatic, and the after glow is oh-so-delightful.  *HAPPY * SIGH*

On the homeschool front, I guess it's time to wrap up the first semester and label our hits and misses . . . so without further ado . . .

  • Composition - We completed all the lessons in SWI-C.  I'm glad we finished it.  I did consider throwing it out a few times, but I'm also attempting to teach character here and we know that the entire world won't be structured to our liking once we hit the big time.  All in all, I think we learned a lot from it.  It really got us looking at writing from a different angle.  It certainly is a different style of writing.  Baby Boy and I had sort of fallen into the routine of simply writing book reports and lecture summaries, but this taught us to think outside the box a little bit and write from different angles and viewpoints.  My only concern is the extreme rigidity and formulaic approach.  Like any homeschool Mom, I tweaked it to fit our needs, but the setup can be a bit too structured for us loosey-goosey homeschooling types.  Another concern is that I personally think it's very expensive and I don't really know if I'd recommend it to a friend new, but I purchased it used at a substantial discount.  It's definitely worth it from that standpoint.  I think we'll label this one a moderate hit on sale and a miss at full price.     
  •  Vocabulary - We managed to get through the first half of Vocabulary Cartoons 2 book, approximately 150 words.  As a matter of fact, I gave Baby Boy a comprehensive quiz covering all of the words we've covered so far this year and he made a 100%!  What we really do is try to incorporate the words we learn into our every day speech, although you can't tell from the simpleton talk on this blog, LOL.  This helps to solidify what we've learned and take the knowledge from being only abstract in nature to more concrete.  We'd already had success with Vocabulary Cartoons: SAT Word Power last year, so this was a no brainer for us this year.  This is definitely a big hit. 
  • Literature -  We have thoroughly enjoyed our literature selections so far this year:  Frankenstein, The War of the Worlds, and our most recent The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.   After years of the obligatory American Lit and British Lit, it has been fun to branch out and do a little something free and fluid on our own.  I've never read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde before myself, but had lots of ideas about how the book would actually be since it's such a classic story.  It was fun to read the actual text firsthand instead of relying on popular culture for the plot.  Baby Boy also enjoyed it too.  I think he may have enjoyed this book over Frankenstein, which was hard to beat.  Neither of us really enjoyed reading The War of the Worlds, but listening to the 1938 radio broadcast and watching two versions of the movie, I can say we definitely made the best of that one.  I think this idea of reading classic sci-fi and fantasy has been a great big hit.   
  • Pre-Calculus -  I heart Teaching Textbooks.  That's all I have to say.  I know there is talk amongst those on certain homeschool message boards that it is not as rigorous as other math texts.  I don't know about too many other texts as we began homeschooling Baby Boy his last year of elementary school, reviewed a little with workbooks during an abbreviated middle school and jumped right into high school math.  I guess he can be labeled a "mathy" kid.  Our first attempt at higher level mathematics was Saxon Math with DIVE cds, as it was recommended to me by everyone as the gold standard, but it simply wasn't a good fit for us.  We switched to Teaching Textbooks at pre-algebra and have never looked back.  Pre-calculus has been the most challenging subject we've had to tackle thus far, but having the detailed video explanations for each and every problem has really been beneficial.  Baby Boy has consistently placed better than grade-level on standardized testing and also tested solidly into collegiate level math on the COMPASS just a few weeks ago.  That's good enough proof for me and I've long since gotten over concerning myself with what others think anyway, so as you can imagine, another enthusiastic hit is among us.  
    • Chemistry -  As you know, we've outsourced this subject this year, but that hasn't stopped me from developing opinions on it, LOL, because that's just the kinda gal I am.  If you've been reading for a while, you know this is our second attempt at chemistry.  Last year was a big-ole-bust.  Historically we've used Apologia high school science courses because they are extremely user friendly and many online retailers have supply packs for them at reasonable costs.  We've had great success with biology, marine biology and advanced biology/human anatomy (Can you tell we like biology?), however the chemistry was a huge struggle for some reason.  Baby Boy and I both read the textbook and couldn't seem to make heads or tails of it and ended up ditching it about 1/4 way through the year anticipating he'd just eventually take it at community college.  Our new textbook, Chemistry Matters, from Singapore Math, has been a transformational improvement.  Even though I am not the primary instructor for this particular class, when I do have to assist either with Baby Boy's homework, lab presentation, or grading during co-op time, everything makes so much more sense to me.  Also, this may not matter to some people, but the text is lavishly illustrated with lots of color and holds the interest of even the most non-sciencey Mom (and student).  Baby Boy has also commented on how much better he likes it at well, so I'm going to rate this one another hit.  Additionally, adding in The Teaching Company's chemistry DVDs have been invaluable.  Mr. Cardulla is both entertaining and enthusiastic about chemistry, something I thought was virtually impossible.  These have been well-worth the expense and receive a whole-hearted thumbs up from both Baby Boy and myself.  Consider chemistry to be a double hit.   
    All of the extra-curricular activities are still big hits except for homeschool bowling.  That will have to be put on the back burner for now because the time won't work for us any longer.  It will directly conflict with Baby Boy's community college schedule beginning next month.  Teen participation has really been dwindling anyway, which makes me feel even more guilty about letting it go, but something really has to give.  We're going to attempt to keep everything else going.  More intensive black belt training (IS there such a thing?) will also begin next month, so the spring and summer should really be hopping around here.  

    Baby Boy will be taking Freshman Composition and math at community college and will continue with his chemistry co-op next semester, so the frequency and depth of our weekly monthly wrap-ups may diminish, but I'm going to try to find a way to keep them up.  I like putting our work down in a tangible way so I'm going to have to get creative about how to keep the rhythm flowing.  I'll figure something out.  I'm not sure what yet, but something.

    This has been a loooooonnnnnnggggg post.  If you read it all, thanks.  If not, I completely understand, it's just something that simply had to be done for my sanity's sake.

    We'll return to our regularly scheduled silliness . . . soon . . . you know . . . when I get around to it.  ;-)  

        Until next time . . .

        Thursday, December 24, 2009

        Holiday Honey-Do

        Here's a list of things that need to get done before we can consider this a successful Christmas.

        This is a list for everyone in the house to work from, not just me, although I think we can all agree that I'm the most psychotic and anal retentive serious about making sure it all gets done.

        During Holiday season, I generally do the majority of the cleaning and Mom #2 does the majority of the cooking. I have no patience for meals that take more than an hour or so . . . so everyone lives to die another day benefits from me not being in the kitchen during this time of year.

        Oh, and if you're wondering why some or all of this wasn't done in advance instead of being saved for the last minute, the answer's simple:

        I. Have. A. Problem.

        Housework must be done directly before guests walk into the house. Clean has a special feel and aroma. It cannot be imitated, duplicated or preserved. A house that is clean and sits is not as delicious or impressive as a freshly cleaned house. I know, sad, but true. Many prayers for my family. They have to live with it all. year. long.

        Wish us luck!

        • Get up EARLY CHECK!
        • Wash dishes (For the first time in GENERATIONS we manged to get to bed last night without a clean kitchen. My whole face is twitching which is why I'm up at such an ungodly hour writing this.)
        • Wash dog
        • Trim dog's toenails
        • Sweep floors
        • Mop floors
        • Vacuum carpet
        • Clean guest bathroom (to MY standards, not general purpose cleaning)
        • Dust EVERYTHING
        • Wrap gifts for Mom #2's grandchildren (because I'm too young and fresh-faced to be a grandma), daughter and guest (LOL), who will be coming over for Christmas Eve Dinner
        • Prepare big enchilada dinner
        • Be gracious hostess for above mentioned dinner which should last just long enough, but not too long as many chores still need to be done once they leave
        • Wash dishes, again
        • Revisit sweeping, mopping and vacuuming but hopefully not as aggressively as before
        • Pick up Christmas gifts from their secret sneaky-teenage-son-proof-location
        • Wrap above mentioned gifts and also wrap the gift for my Baby Niece (I hate wrapping gifts and prefer to leave it until the last possible moment. This strategy has obviously not served me well this year.)
        • Write my Mom a Christmas gift letter congratulating her on all the hard emotional work she's done this year with her mental illness because, even though my entire family agreed months ago that we'd only purchase gifts for the children this year, her quack of a therapist thinks we're gypping her out of her apparent birthright to have a present. *SIGH* This bullet could be parlayed into an entire blog post all on it's own . . . but I'll just let it sit at that for now. Maybe we can discuss it in detail after the New Year. I'll bring the couch. I'm sure I'll need to lie down (or is it lay down . . . no time for a grammar lesson today).
        • Get to bed early enough so that Santa Clause doesn't pass our house up
        • Get up EARLY Christmas Morning and hope Santa did indeed make it by
        • Have a short but sweet intimate 3-people-and-a-dog Christmas Morning
        • Put Christmas turkey in the roaster
        • Go to Mom #2's parents' house to have a delicious Christmas Morning Breakfast
        • Come home and prepare big Christmas Dinner
        • Yet again, be the Hostess with the Mostess as my Sister, Niece, Mom and Dad are coming over for Christmas Dinner
        • Wash dishes, again
        • Go to bed . . . and sleep-sleep-sleep . . . until it all feels like a god forsaken nightmare dream

        Everyone please have a lovely and safe Holiday. Be well and laugh loudly as often as possible. Spend it with someone you love and who loves you right back.

        Until next time . . .

        Tuesday, December 22, 2009

        Big Kids at the Festival of Lights

        Yesterday Baby Boy and I drove into town, which I rarely do, and ended up spending the entire day out and about.

        We started out with our homeschool group Game Day. Let me tell you, there is nothing more heartwarming than listening to 10 to 15 teenagers playing board games and drinking hot chocolate making so much noise that the Moms almost have to leave the room. They played Apples to Apples, I Doubt That, and some other made up games that only they know the rules to. We Moms had fun too sitting and chatting and not worrying about where our children were or what they were doing, because we could see them right there.

        After Game Day, we went out to lunch and had some delicious Mexican food. More teenage noise. We Moms wanted to relax and enjoy our lunches, but the kids forced us to hurry it up because they wanted to walk over to the park (which is really just a field) so they could toss the Ultimate disc around a little bit. Once again, we Moms were regulated to a park bench to sit and watch the whole shebang. Baby Boy has a little bit of a chest cough, so somehow he managed to convince the entire group that standing still and playing catch would be way more fun than a full out game of Ultimate Frisbee. Luckily for him because, I told him that if he started running, diving and jumping . . . he would be homeward bound. I don't want him getting a full-on chest cold the week of Christmas.

        Finally, we took another walk to the holiday Festival of Lights. It was so beautiful and such a fantastic time. We parked about a mile away so that we could 1) have free parking, 2) not get gridlocked by all of the traffic, and 3) leave whenever we wanted to. It was a stroke of genius, if we do say so ourselves. It was a lovely brisk night, perfect for a nighttime stroll to the park. We all had a great time looking at the lights and listening to the various holiday music. There were local bands around every corner performing their various interpretations of the holidays. Long live diversity!

        After we had looked at all the lights, the kids actually took over the play scape including the swings, slides, castle and moat. It's a good thing that it was dark outside or I'm sure we would have encountered dirty looks from the preschool Moms. I guess something about it being dark made everything more exciting and "teenagery" because they all let loose and had a great time. It was so funny to watch, because, as the Moms of teenagers know very well, they spend so much time acting too cool to move or speak that it's rare to see them run, jump, play and just let loose. It did all of our hearts a lot of good and we ended up spending an extra hour or so there after we had finished with the festival just watching our teen group play freeze tag, king of the castle and other childlike games. Hilarious!

        We came home and had a delicious barbecue chicken dinner prepared by our very own Mom #2. I'm so sorry she missed the good time, but I am glad she had that hot delicious dinner waiting. After all of that fun, we were ravenous for a good meal.

        We had such a fabulous day! With Baby Boy growing up so fast and many of the students in our homeschool group making college plans (although we Moms are seriously planning on holding things together as a homeschool alumni group since most of our teens will be doing time at the community college before actually going away to school), I get a little nostalgic as I know days like this will be fewer and farther in between.

        Don't get me started on Christmas just yet. Apparently our Thanksgiving dinner was such a roaring success that we are recreating the event two more times, once for a Christmas Eve dinner and another big gathering on Christmas Day. I really need a nice, low key, immediate family only day to get me ready to deal with the hustle and bustle of gift wrapping, cooking, cleaning and . . . more cleaning. I guess today will have to be that day . . . all the rest starts tomorrow.

        Happy Holidays to all of you!

        Until next time . . .

        Thursday, December 17, 2009

        Walking in a Winter Wonderland . . .

        Since we never get snow in this part of Texas, we like to make a little Winter Wonderland of our own around the Holiday Season.

        Since you've already dropped in, why not dust off your feet and take a tour?

        Go ahead and hum Winter Wonderland to yourself while you enjoy the attractions. It'll seem more real, if you do. I don't like blogs with music, so be sure to hum nice and loudly.

        We really enjoyed having you. Thanks so much for dropping by!

        Until next time . . .

        Tuesday, December 15, 2009


        Today I was doing a little lesson planning and entering some grades into Homeschool Tracker Plus and realized that this just may very well be the last week I'll homeschool.

        We'll be taking off the next two weeks to get ready for Christmas and just enjoy our normal winter break.

        The first couple of weeks of January is full of dental checkups, physicals, new student orientation, book buying and perhaps a trial run drive-by at the community college.

        January 19th is the first day of classes.

        Of course we'll continue to read good books. Good books are always on the menu around here.

        Our outsourced Chemistry class will continue, but not until January 6th as they're off for winter break for the next three weeks.

        But I'm not sure how much at home learning we'll be doing. Actually I am, because with two college courses for a student who hasn't been near a classroom in 7 years and the Chemistry class, I'm sure Baby Boy's plate will be full to the brim. I'm not looking to overload him.

        So . . . am I still a homeschooling Mom? Do I still maintain a homeschooling blog? Do I still have anything relevant to add to the homeschooling community? When you've dedicated your life to home educating your child, and that adventure (and it truly is an adventure) starts to draw to a close, do you resign yourself to a life of intense housecleaning?

        Do I become a trophy wife? I do have a dazzling smile. ;-)

        Inquiring minds want to know.

        Anyone been there done that? Anyone thinking about being there doing that?

        Until next time . . .

        Tuesday, December 8, 2009

        Transformation . . .

        You won't like them when they're angry.
        (Click for a full sized view.)

        Until next time . . .

        Wednesday, December 2, 2009

        Baby, It's Cold Outside!

        It's cold today and will be colder tonight. 44 degrees as we speak. Freezing cold!

        It took until the first of December, but Winter has indeed made it's way to Texas.


        Virtual hot chocolates and hot apple turnovers all around!

        Well, virtual for y'all. Real for me. Yummy!

        Until next time . . .

        Monday, November 30, 2009

        Yes, Teen Boys . . .

        . . . do play Ultimate Frisbee in the rain.

        No, they don't cut the games short. They insist on playing 3 full games.

        No, I don't have photos, because I sat safe and dry in my car and read a book. So did all the other Moms, although we didn't have the heart to call the game.

        Obviously all of our boys are spoiled rotten, LOL.


        Until next time . . .

        Thursday, November 26, 2009


        I'm thankful that currently there is no dust anywhere in my house.

        I'm thankful that the floors are spotless and sparkling.

        I'm thankful that the carpet hasn't only been vacuumed, but shampooed as well.

        I'm thankful that there are no dirty dishes anywhere in the entire house.

        I'm thankful that we're finally having the kind of cool breezy weather that encourages opening all the windows and thoroughly airing out the entire house.

        I'm thankful that Baby Doggy has been bathed, brushed and trimmed and won't smell like the not-so-great outdoors for our Thanksgiving Day guests.

        I'm thankful that the pies and cakes are already baked.

        I'm thankful that the hors d'oevres have been pre-assembled and only need to be warmed in the oven ten minutes before our guests' estimated arrival.

        I'm thankful that Mom #2 makes the best turkey in the world, so that I don't have to worry myself with that chore.

        I'm thankful that my Mom has been staying on her meds and is gracing us with both her presence and her world famous Holiday Dressing this year. It's been often imitated but never duplicated during years when she can't get herself together to make it.

        I'm thankful that my Dad has decided to come to Thanksgiving Dinner this year as well. He's had a rough couple of years and has been withdrawn and depressed. He is slowly bouncing back to his silly old self and he's always so much fun at family gatherings. We've missed him and welcome him back with open arms.

        I'm thankful that Baby Boy kept me company while I ran errands this week so that I didn't have a panic attack in the holiday traffic.

        I'm thankful that our family has come through a tough financial year still intact, still in love, and still full of hope.

        I'm thankful for all of my blogging buddies who allow me to whine, moan, complain, brag, fret, and cheer on an extremely semi-irregular basis, but still support me and read even when the content is not all that stellar.

        I'm especially thankful that even though I have some severely erratic, anal-retentive, abnormally psychotic tendencies . . . family and friends, both real and virtual, have allowed me to be myself and have loved me in spite of it all. Who knew there was so much unconditional love in the world.

        I wish the same and more for all of you, this Thanksgiving and every single day of the year.

        Eat, live, love and play well.

        Thursday, November 19, 2009

        Deep Breaths

        It has been confirmed.

        We're having Thanksgiving Dinner at our house this year.

        I really don't do well with house guests. Even family.

        Obsessive cleaning has begun.

        Meal planning is in full swing.

        The anxiety is already in full force.

        Breathe in. Breathe out.

        Until next time . . .

        Friday, November 13, 2009

        It's Reportin' Time

        Let's see, we've been so busy around here with life and such but school always gets done in one way or another. I just haven't taken the time to sit down and put fingers to keys to get it documented.

        Today I'm going to do just that . . . so here's what Baby Boy has been up to:

        • Composition - We're still moving steadily along with SWI-C. We just completed lesson 7 of 15, so I guess that means we're officially not quite but just about halfway through. We just covered note taking and study skills, which are essential for any young person who intends to make his move into college courses in a few weeks. I'm wanting to finish up this entire program by Christmas break, so we really need to pick up the pace. A lot of the lessons don't really take the entire week, but I guess I've been kind of lazy implementing them. Sometimes it has gotten pushed to the back burner, and although I love my son, I'll admit that initiative in schoolwork isn't one of his glowing attributes.
        • Vocabulary - Still loving it. We finished up section 6. I've been making up the quizzes using this website instead of using the reviews from the book. I find them to be more challenging and also more in line with how the SAT presents questions. It takes a little time to get them together, but time is all we homeschooling Moms have. Right? ;-)
        • Literature - We FINALLY finished War of the Worlds! For a short book, it sure was a long read. I'm not sure who it was that said the movie is better than the book, but it certainly is the truth. That book was so dry and boring that Baby Boy and I have just barely been limping through a chapter here and there. I thought we'd never get finished. Seriously, H.G. Wells spent about one hundred pages describing the narrator's walk from here to there. He got there, OK! Let it go. Next week we are going to listen to the Orson Welles radio broadcast that scared everyone silly in 1938 and probably watch both the 1953 and 2005 movie versions of the book. Of course, writing assignments will be involved. It can't be all fun and games. ;-)
        • Shakespeare - Baby Boy's group has decided to re-vamp and re-perform The Comedy of Errors. Baby Boy will be doing some behind the scenes assistance as well as playing the part of Duke Solinus. For those of you who've been reading for a while, they performed this play about a year and a half ago, but the director is feeling a little overwhelmed with other projects, so she wants to revisit it instead of starting a new play from scratch. There are several new students and most of the former students have chosen different parts than they originally played, so I think it will have a new flavor and energy from the last time. I guess only time will tell.
        • Pre-Caluculus - We just wrapped up chapter 3 on rational functions. Baby Boy has gotten very good at using the graphing calculator. I sit and nod and smile during all the lessons and thank goodness for the detailed video explanations. My specialty is checkbook math. Once they passed over that, well . . . I became quite useless in the whole mathematics equations, LOL. Next chapter up is Exponential and Logarithmic Functions. Anyone wanna trade lives with me for a few weeks?
        • Chemistry - Well Baby Boy came home from class extra excited because they melted magnesium this week. I'm not sure what magnesium is or why he had so much fun melting it, but I do know I had to send additional funds for a different high powered butane burner because the alcohol burner that was provided at the beginning of the year didn't get hot enough for all the stuff they plan to burn, liquefy and evaporate for the rest of the year. They just finished up a chapter on "The Mole" and I think I understand what a mole is now after listening to the Teaching Company DVD explaining it to me. Thank goodness for Mr. Cardulla or I'd be in the dark about everything going on in chemistry class. I'm also pleased to announce that Baby Boy made a 95.5% (isn't that a 96%) on his first 6 weeks review. I definitely think I made the right decision to outsource this class. I'm sure that would have never happened with me in charge!
        • Extra-Curricular - Baby Boy invited his friend-that's-a-girl-but-isn't-his-girlfriend to our bowling group this month. I got to meet her Mom and the two younger siblings. They all seem very nice. I don't have any photos, because I couldn't seem to get them very discreetly. Next time I'm just going to pop out from behind the ball return and scream "SAY CHEESE" when everyone least expects it. Baby Boy is also plugging along in tae kwon do . . . still going strong with the brown belt. I wonder how long it takes before he gets to test for his black belt. He's supposed to be finding out for me, but so far he hasn't, so I guess we may never know. Also, the boys were having so much fun with Ultimate Frisbee that we are meeting twice a month instead of once a month. We had to move it to an earlier time slot because, since the time change, it gets dark so early. Baby Boy has a light-up Ultimate Disc, so sometimes they play in the dark, but I don't like sitting out there being mosquito bait, so I like when they finish before dark.

        I think that's it. Well, actually that's only about the half of it, but this is a super-long post already, so let's just say that's it for now, LOL.

        I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. We have beautiful weather here so I'm going to try to get outside and enjoy it a bit.

        Until next time . . .

        Friday, November 6, 2009

        The Opera, The Waiting and Sisterly Love

        Baby Boy, my Baby Niece and I went to see Giacomo Puccini's La Boheme last evening. I so totally heart the opera. Baby Boy has come around to being fairly tolerable of the opera and I always include Baby Niece, because she enjoys the arts a lot, like I do.

        I have always enjoyed all stage performances: the opera, the ballet, plays, classical concerts . . . etc . . . you name it, but could never really afford it in real life. Luckily because I homeschool and am part of a fantastic homeschool group, we get to go to the final dress rehearsals, usually the night before opening night, for free. It's a great way to expose children, and art-starved adults, to the visual and performing arts.

        That's the plus, but there is the minus. Usually the performances are picture perfect, just like opening night, but sometimes they remind you that it's not opening night. It's a dress rehearsal. Last night the conductor had some fine tuning to do with the orchestra, so we had to sit through that process for about 45 minutes between Acts III and IV.

        Luckily, we have lots of experience entertaining ourselves in strange and unusual places. We took photos of ourselves with our cell phone cameras.


        It's pretty funny how my sister's child is exactly like me and, let me assure you, my son is exactly like my sister. My sister and I weren't best friends growing up. In fact, we were mortal enemies and fought like cats and dogs over any and everything. This was further exasperated by the fact that we shared a bedroom until I was 15 years old. It was sheer heck! This ambivalence lasted well into my early twenties. Oh, and I know that I'm not easy to love, so I didn't help the situation. At. All.

        Of course, the Fates thought it would be a hilarious joke to have me give birth to a little someone who acts, thinks, and talks exactly like my sister. Ha ha! Very funny! In turn, my sister, three years later - exactly how far apart she and I are - gave birth to a little diva who acts, thinks, and behaves exactly like me. It would be funny if it weren't such a pain.

        BUT - - this is the kicker. That simple fact is what has brought my sister and I close together. Now she and I are BFFs. It is hard to not like each other when I have to call her and ask her what the heck is wrong with my kid and what was she thinking anyway all those years ago when she did this, that or the other. After I realized how much like her Baby Boy is, and of course my undying love for him, it overflowed into love for my sister as well. It's really great to just call her up and pick her brain when I'm not "getting" what he is all about. She has shown me that different does not mean wrong, stubborn, irreverent or unbalanced. Different just means different.

        All together now . . . Different just means different.

        Oh, and don't forget. Different is good. ;-)

        So this post has morphed from a commentary on the opera to an impromptu assessment of my relationship with my little sister. That's just about right. I think I may be back to my old self after all, LOL.

        Have a wonderful weekend, Everyone! I'll try to get an actual homeschool report up next week. There wasn't too much school work on the schedule this week. It's been a week of life lessons, to say the least. ;-)

        Until next time . . .

        Wednesday, November 4, 2009

        So . . . What are YOU Eating?

        Have you seen this movie? Mom #2 and I watched it last night. It's informative, enlightening, disturbing and unnerving.

        All day long today, I've been mulling over the things I saw in the film and I think over the weekend I may watch it one more time before returning it to Netflix.

        The ideas introduced in this film are not new and really not even news to me, as I've read The Omnivore's Dilemma (after an enthusiastic recommendation by RegularMom) and seen King Corn along with other informational resources regarding the food we eat. Something about the visual images in this movie, really have me rethinking every. single. thing. I eat and feed to my family.

        We already try to stay away from processed foods because Mom #2 has high blood pressure and has also had her gall bladder removed and excess salt and fats are hard for her to digest. What really got to me were the images of the foods that are supposed to be healthy for you, can still really have hidden unnatural substances and just their very being have such an unnatural impact on the world we live in.

        I know a lot of people on my blog roll already live an environmentally sensitive lifestyle, so I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it's been on my mind today, so I couldn't go to bed tonight without posting something about this.

        So, I guess this is a movie review, a public service announcement, meaningless meanderings . . . I'm not sure. Watch. Listen. Learn. Discuss.

        Eat well.

        Until next time . . .

        Sunday, November 1, 2009

        Teenagers Give You Exactly 30 Seconds . . .

        . . . To take photos of them when they're busy socializing. Good shot. Bad shot. No shot at all. Either way, it doesn't matter to them. 30 seconds later, it's all over.

        If you've been reading for any length of time, you'll notice this is a recycled costume for Baby Boy. He's still getting his money's worth out of it, although I may have to charge him for using an excessive amount of my liquid eyeliner. I'm still not sure what it is, but I know it's from
        Naruto Shippuden. Please don't ask any questions, that's all I know. I would ask Baby Boy, but I have to admit, the long version explanation he gives makes me nod off.

        Full Body

        Ready For His Close-Up

        Ready To Party

        They're terrible shots, but the party was lots of fun.

        Slowly coming around from a sweet induced coma. ;-) My favorite kind.

        I hope your festivities were all you anticipated and more.

        Until next time . . .

        Saturday, October 31, 2009

        Let the Sun Shine In!

        We've been going through some really tough times lately, but I hate to blog about bad news, so I've just been staying silent about the issues. I'm sure you all can get whining for free at home, so why come here for such silliness.

        There is, however, the tiniest glimmer of hope appearing just above an extremely distant horizon.

        Positive energy, good thoughts, prayers, chants about found baby birds, etc . . . all much appreciated.

        I think I'll leave it at that.

        Oh, and, of course, Happy Halloween!

        Until next time . . .

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