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 He's had a rough couple of years and has been withdrawn and depressed.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 . . .

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