Archive for July, 2007

Well, I actually finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a few days ago (started Friday night at about 12:30 and ended about 3PM on Sunday), but I hadn’t been able to get on to post.  What a spectacular book and a great finish!  I’ll post some thoughts on my Book Bliss page so that I can avoid spoiling anything for you, but let me leave you with something someone else wrote on one of the message boards (wish I knew who wrote it!):

~~What I Learned From Albus Dumbledore~~
Posted: Jul 23, 2007 9:38 AM Reply

I noticed that Dumbledore teaches one very important lesson in each of the books. It may or may not have been Ms. Rowling’s intent, but this is what Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore taught me.

Sorcerer’s Stone
“It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enimies, but a great deal more to stand up to our friends.”

Chamber of Secrets
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Prisoner of Azkaban
“You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think we dont recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?”

Goblet of Fire
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

Order of the Phoenix
“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”

Half-Blood Prince
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

Deathly Hallows
“Do not pity the dead. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.”


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Fridays Feast

Come play at www.fridaysfeast.com

{Featured Flickr Feast by in2jazz}

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest) how much do you enjoy watching sports on television? 3… I like the odd sports better ~ tough man contests and such, sometimes volleyball or soccer or golf if my children are into them.  Never football/baseball/basketball (all of my Louisville/UK neighbors are gasping in horror).

If you could completely memorize any one work of fiction, which one would you pick? Hmmm there’s so many!  Atlas Shrugged, Screwtape Letters, Jacob Have I Loved

What is your favorite breakfast food?  Steak and eggs… but I could eat those for any meal.  I don’t get to eat them near often enough.  Alternately, and a little cheaper, waffles and sausage links.

Main Course
Name something fun you can do for less than $10.00.  Letterboxing

How long does it usually take you to fall asleep? 45 minutes or so.

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No kidding… I just slapped myself in the face swatting a gnat away. 

On a nicer note… it’s raining, YEAH!  The thunder has been rolling for the past hour or so and the rain comes in alternating torential downpours (short) and gentle whispers of fresh air (longer).  I love the rain.

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I’ve learned something new (or, at least, re-learned it):  there is no substitution for experience.  Kind of a “duh” statement, huh?  On the surface you’re going, “well sure… of course you have to experience something before you can understand it”.  It seems like such a basic kind of statement.  I guess the hard part for me is waitiing to get the experience under my belt when it’s not an immediate kind of thing.

My children and I have been in a transition period for the past 2 or 3 years with school.  Now, if you don’t homeschool your child, maybe you don’t understand the waves of doubt and fear that wash over me when I let this thought take up too much space in my brain!  But see, I’m in charge of my children’s future potential here… Ack!  *gulp*  If I screw up, it’s going to take extra effort to get them back on track.  The thing is, a lot of this stuff takes a good long while to expereince once, let alone recover from and reset!

So, the challenge at hand: if there is any one thing I would want for my children out of this education is to understand, well before college, that learning is an “anytime and all the time” kind of deal.  I want them to be excited at the prospect of putting their abilities and knowledge to use, whenever they have an opportunity to. 

This is the cycle… homeschool is fun and we only have to sit down at the table for the meat and potatoes learning, ie learning to read, write and cipher.  They were 6, 7 and 8… this was a great approach and perfect for the time, because so much of primary school learning is what they’re doing, not what they’re hearing an adult say.  Science was buying one of those caterpillar tents and watching the cacoon form and the beautiful butterfly finally emerge.  History was going to all of the state capitols you travel through on your way to Disney World and reading the markers and enjoying the enterpretive performances… maybe even making a candle or some butter.  I can SO DO primary school!

The next stage?  Well, let’s just say it becomes a little more frustrating…  Now that they have the basics down and they are use to hands on learning, teacher feels like her students are just not getting the idea that you have to put some effort into things.  “Anything worth doing is worth doing right”, right?  So I have the one who wants to be done quickly, they know it all (yeah, teenage sentiment in a 10 year old… what am I in for?) and can’t we just get through with school for today so I can get to the fun stuff?  We use to do so much fun stuff.  Whai, whai, whai… *eye roll, looking heavenward for a little patience.*  And another one who feels the “pressure”, 24/7 ~ perfection must be attained the first time out in as many handwritten pages as possible… *shaking my head and wondering how 2 children can get to 2 such different points at the same time, in the same atmosphere.*   Yes, folks, nature does have something to say when it comes to learning style, and sometimes it shouts louder than nurture.

So last year was the redemption year. “You guys are going to take control of your learning; you’re going to decide when you work and when you don’t with the only rule that you have to have 1050 hours in before you can call the year done.”  So they figured out how many hours a day they would have to do in order to get the breaks off that they wanted.  When it was all nearly said and done, P was able to break a good month before S.  *Exasperated sigh*

This year is FINALLY the year I have enough of their mistakes (ok, our mistakes) behind us to learn effectivly from.  Yesterday they sat down to figure out their schedule.  One needs to learn how to smell the roses as she’s dutifully picking out all of the weeds and over-fertilizing. The other needs to learn that you’ve got to set your goals high and strive towards them, not just accept good enough.  The mom/teacher has to remember to keep the curriculum in mind and cover that, not just get the time in.  We also want to get more fun and hands-on back into it before the high school years are upon us and we’ve totally lost sight of “learning as an adventure”.

So, I have been thinking the children would start the first of August… they worked it out to be the 13th.  Great! (I think… at least until Christmas rolls around and we re-examine our schedule)… I have a couple more weeks to plan.  Phew!  Wait… that means I have a couple more weeks of vacation!?!  NO! Tammy, you can not put this off, you slacker Momma!  You must get the year off to a running start!  Learning from experience is hard! Whai!  😉

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Or, Get Your Tissues Now, 

‘Cause You’re Going To Be Laughing So Hard You’re Crying

First, a few links for you (the things people will insist are sports):

http://www.cheeseracing.org/   (yes folks, I said cheese racing)

http://www.extremeironing.com/  (um, call me crazy here, but I thought sports were supposed to be for fun and some sort of relaxation.  Ironing in any form can not possibly be fun.)

Now on to the really funny part… and of course it involves my little M.  I’m sitting here at my computer with M playing in the floor behind me when I hear “Bay-bee?  Bay-bee???  Baaaay-Beeee???”.   Not understanding what could possibly be so perplexing with a Barbie doll, I turn around to see M with a headless Barbie in her hands and she’s examining the hollow neck of Barbie, wondering why she would have lost her head.  “Uh, sweeetie, when you pull Barbies’ head off, she may be a bit indisposed and unable to answer you”.

I pop Barbies head back on (Phew!) and it’s “Bay-bee, bath?”  “Well sure you can give baby a bath, but I think sissy is in the bathroom.  Why don’t you go in there and knock on the door and tell her baby wants a bath”  Uh-huh……

P says she went in there, bangged on the door hysterically… “baby, peepee, baby peepee”.  P, not having heard the previous scene, opens the door saying “You have to peepee?”  To which M replies by rushing into the bathroom, pushing her potty seat onto the toilet, getting a square of paper to throw in, and puts her stepstool in front of the sink.  Sometimes it’s just as urgent to bathe baby as it is to get to the potty!  I’m just so glad that she’s not lying, but is, indeed including all of the potty steps too (minus the actual sitting on the seat and peeing part).


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Tip Time!

Hey all!  The tips have been sadly missing for a while.  But allow me to “esplain… no, I will sum up”.  Surfing takes a lot of time! 😉  To be true to a tip and do them justice, I feel I really need to know what I’m suggesting you read, and I just haven’t wanted to take the time.  I am sorry, dear friends… I know you understand though.

But, I really do want to introduce you to my friend T at Reflections Of Me.  T is new to blogging, but, boy has she gotten off to a great start!  She really reminds me a lot of myself, so what’s not to like there?  When she asked me to help her start a blog, well… of course I was ecstatic!  Gosh, what an honor to help someone start!  She has really just taken the ball and ran with it, though, so I’m sure the “leader” will be the blind one in comparison very soon.

So, boys and girls, you know the drill:  3 things I like and one thing that might make it better.  Plus a hearty suggestion to go check her out ~ she’s really worth every click!

1:  I love the format of her blog: T’s a complex person and one view of her life in a daily journal that mish-mashes everything together wouldn’t do her justice.  Her answer was to set up a page for everything and add to them as she needs to, without bogging down her journal page with all of her different facets.  To be sure, you get little tid-bits throughout, but don’t just read her pages once and then stick to her journal page.  You’ll want to cycle through it all every little once in a while to see how she’s adjusting her view!

2: I happen to know for a fact that she is always looking for stuff to spice up her blog and increase her knowledge about the whole thing, all of the time.  I just know I’m going to find the next neat widget to help round out my blog because she found it first. 😉

3:  T has an easy-going, not afraid to show the cracks type of writing that I love.  She’s just human like the rest of us and she doesn’t try to put on the good game face for her blog.  I can respect that.  In fact, it’s what is so calming about her writings… no pressure!

Something I would change?  Well, we talk often about the blogging hobby (among all of our other similarities) so I have to come up with something I haven’t said recently.  Hmmm…  Maybe it’s this… get out there and look around!  You would be surprised (well, maybe not) how many people there are out there that do this thing and share your interests.  And you meet so many neat people.  Folks that you really start bonding with, even though you’ve never seen them.  As if we need someone else to add to our “folks to be anxious for” list.  But it’s very freeing, in a way, to have friends that you don’t see and don’t have to live up to an image for.

Then add them to your blogroll so I can meet them too! 😉

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Monday Milestone

This is a tiny one… M and I shared a bag of MnM’s last night and I gave her the fe w remaining ones and the bag.  When I came back into the room she was a little frustrated that she couldn’t manage to get her little fist in the bag to get to them (think about the trap for monkeys and/or racoons… bait in a small mouthed container, reluctant to let go of the fist to get their hand out, and so they’re stuck).  The exchange went something like this:  Pease Momma – at which I pick up the bag and make the opening larger and hand it back to her – “Thank you, Mommy”.  Just as plain as all get out!  So I know she’s got it in her.  I never really doubted her abilities, but this proves her motivation… chocolate!  So, yeah for soon to be clearer conversations with my baby!

A bonus:  well, maybe not a milestone, but a hint that the next phase for S is on the horizon…  he had a friend over last night and, no joke, they were up ALL NIGHT LONG!  Doing what?  Playing video games of course.  And they’re still going strong.  PHEW!  I’m already tired.

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