Tuesday, April 28, 2009


(rediscovered this photo..kids were 5, 2 and 4..and being a band in the back of our old van)
This morning the kids tumbled out of bed, ran downstairs, and said "Can WE go OUTSIDE!?" at the top of their lungs. It was about 7:30, I was just starting on my coffee...and I said yes..please. They ran outside to play basketball. Few minutes later my 7yo came in to tell me that my 5yo daughter made her first basket EVER and he was pretty proud of her. I was too.

I settled in on the couch with a book I have been reading by the Monks of New Skete called In the Spirit of Happiness. It is a book that I read a bit, pause, think, then go back to. During one of the pauses I glanced up and looked out my living room window. In front of that window is where our little apple orchard is. The kids had grabbed an encyclopedia, and climbed up into the largest tree to look through it together. It was one of those perfect moments....that my camera battery is never charged for. The sun was peeking out...the apple trees are in full flower, the grass is such a lush green, and carpeted with white petals. It was gorgeous, and sweet, and hit home for me just how amazing being a mother is.

We also had baseball today for the boys. Gwen and I played at the playground...sometimes in the rain even. I love warm spring rains.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be divisible by 11..yay! I have a haircut first thing, then out to lunch with Mr. C and the kids. Should be a fun day. This weekend the kids will be staying with my sister. Mr. C bought tickets for us to go see Franz Ferdinand on Saturday night...and Im VERY excited! A whole date night...with no curfew! :-)

Monday, April 27, 2009


I need to accept that I just am horrible with lawn equipment. Last year I broke our push mower...totally toasted it. With the riding mower...I had the front wheel fall off...ran over a tomato cage..caught the grass on fire (don't ask), got stuck in a rut from a HUGE farm tractor that drove over my lawn, and had a horrible paranoia of the tractor falling on me and killing me. In order to not have to use the riding mower I bought a self propelled push mower..which was awesome. And let us not forget the trimmer thing...that only starts for Mr. C and DIES the moment I touch it

Notice the was awesome part?

This morning I got up early and and was outside with the intention to mow at 8am. Checked the gas level..it was low, so I tried to fill it back up, but didnt realize how full the gas can was and spilled gas all over my mower. That caused a general concern that it would blow up and kill me, so I left it to dry off and went inside to eat breakfast.

I started mowing. I mowed for 10 minutes, and then all of a sudden my mower made a horrible noise. Figuring I had choked it with grass..again..I turned it off, banged it up and down a bit, started it up, but it would go. After a few minutes I realized I had killed the transmission.

Then I remembered the guy up the road had a sign up advertising the fact he mows lawns. I called him, he came, and did a great job mowing in about a 1/4 of the time it takes me.

Im out of the lawn mowing business.

Awesome things today...
~There is a cardinal nesting in my grapes that are on the side of my potting shed
~I found a really cute little brown snake
~ Kids are sunkissed
~ Apple blossoms blew in through my living room window.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


During school one day we were interrupted by this odd insect looking farm machine. It was spraying the fields with something...hopefully not some concoction that makes us glow in the dark

I drove down a street called Random.

And I opted for a new haircolor.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Figures my last post was about having TOO much time. :-)
Life has been very busy the past couple of weeks. I got us onto a sort of schedule...actually since schedules don't work well for me, Im making a list every morning of everything I need to do. After the list is made, I prioritize..A for what I HAVE to do, B less important than A but still important, and C what the kids can do or help me with, and D for nice to get to but not necessary. Ive been making my A's be homeschooling and exercising. We have been chugging through Saxon with two lessons a day...and I have to say I love Saxon. I love that it is all scripted for me...and I dont have to put much thought into it. I didn't think of ordering my lists the way I have, I got it from a Brian Tracy book called Eat That Frog.

This week has been Holy Week, and tonight is the Paschal service. We have been in Church lots this week...and tonight we will leave around 10pm and not be home till around 3am. Im drinking coffee and Mr C and the kids are all sleeping. This is my most favorite part of the year...Holy Week is like a marathon...and so intensely moving, tonight....tonight is just beautiful, and exhausting and lovely. I realized this week that when Im in Church among the Icons, the incense, the bells, the chanting, the connection to something ancient...I cannot doubt...every part of my body, every sense is immersed in this beauy of Orthodoxy.

BTW...my husband is now Mr. C...as that is what I call him a lot, and he likes it. It sounds like a spy name to me.

I was listening to a book on cd about the Founding Father's last week. Add heard Lafayette mentioned..and said "I know about that guy, he is French..and he wanted to join Washington's army, but the French king wanted to stay neutral so he said that Lafayette couldnt go to America. But Lafayette was SO determined to go and help the American's fight for their freedom that he sold EVERYTHING he had, dressed up like a woman and bought a ticket to America"
He then continued with a million other facts about the Revolution. That period in history has really caught his attention. He also watched all 40 episodes of a TV show called Liberty's kids. A book series he has really been enjoying is the You Wouldn't Want To books. He has read several but today I read the 3 he had gotten from the library...there was You wouldn't Want to Sail with Christopher Columbus, You wouldnt want to be a Suffragist, You wouldn't want to be a Roman Gladiator. They are really interesting with lots of odd facts.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Time has been a reoccurring thought for me lately. Mainly the proper use of the time I am given, to not waste it and to be productive with it. Our homeschooling days can be very long and empty...because all lessons take 2 hours maximum...housework takes an hour..and then there is just space and time. Often, if there is too much space, I get too introspective and too much inside my own head and then I get remarkably unproductive.

TC and I have been doing goal setting and re prioritizing everything. I told him I was slightly jealous of his days....he has to cram SO much into his week. Naturally with his goals in place and schedule in hand he has had a very successful week with his business.

Obviously since I am at home with young children my days will be slower with many interruptions and often some setbacks. I want my children to have plenty of time to play and grow and be kids. It is just me who needs to fill things up.

I would call yesterday a successful day for me.
I got all our tax information together...TC called the tax guy.
I fixed the innards of a leaky toilet...TC was amazed.
Mowed an acre of our yard...Ive decided to do it in 3 different sections, 3 days a week...otherwise it would take all day.
Fixed our mailbox that some kids whacked off with a bat or something.
And I rescued a woodpecker from my dogs. While I was mowing I had the dogs in the dog yard. I saw something fall like a rock out of a tree...into the dog yard. Finally realizing it was a bird and my dogs were VERY interested...haha..actually Bella was pointing at it..She is a Weimeraner and a bird dog by breed..my other dog is a Lab..which is used for hunting birds as well. I got in there pushed off the dogs, and saw that it was a nice sized Woodpecker, with a nasty gash on it's wing, and a broken wing. Im guessing it was inflicted by Jack the Cat. I scooped it up...it yelled at me, and bit me several times. The kids ran over and were very excited to see it. TC came out of the house looked over, heard the bird yelling at me, and said "HOW on EARTH did you manage to get THAT?" And then he took some pictures.
If you look to the upper left you can see Bella looking rather curious.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Living and Learning

WOW! Did we have an AMAZING day today! A month or so ago I got back in touch with a childhood friend of mine. We kept updated on each other through our parents, but havent talked in 12 years. We found each other online..I so love Facebook! She is a Zoologist and said next time we are in town to let her know and she will give us a behind the scenes look at the zoo. Today I had to drive my sister in law back home...I picked her up yesterday, we saw Morrissey last night (great show) and she needed to be back today. After dropping her off we headed over to meet my friend.

It was wonderful seeing her again. I thought she would show us around a bit, but WOW she went above and beyond! First she took us to look at some Ostrich..they are so tall! The kids learned how Ostrich will kick, they are really dumb, and when excited or mad they run around flapping their wings in a weird dance. We were only separated by a chain link fence.
She also cares for the Lions. She called for them, and they came inside, she unlocked the door, and there they were....two HUGE Lions. My kids walked in, and we just stood there looking at these incredibly beautiful but HUGE animals. Again, we were separated by a fence...granted a very very very sturdy one. All of a sudden the lioness got upset at her brother...so she roared at him and whacked him across the head...she wanted the treats my friend was giving him. My kids RAN out of there...I followed Eli and Gwen were ok, and went right back in...poor Add was FREAKED out. It took awhile for him to recover from the surprise of that.
I went in to see them again, and just marvelled at how large they really are. Their heads came up to my waist and they are so long.
I had to think about a favorite picture I had when I was a child...it was a painting of Heaven, and depicted children playing with the animals, and a little girl on a lion's back...I always wanted to be her. :-)

Then in order to help Add calm down we looked at some antelope in their stalls. Past that were the Giraffes. My friend brought out some giraffe nuggets, and the kids got to feed them. One licked me...they have very long raspy tongues. They were so sweet, and had the goofiest faces. We all fell in love.
Add was sufficiently settled..he was really shaken up, so she took us to the Zoo Veterinary hospital. There the kids were able to pet a snake, and a Galapagos Tortoise (they are HUGE too!) We looked at a kangaroo who needed some dental work, two grumpy looking Pallas Cats, an Anteater who was new to the zoo...she came to be the girlfriend of the existing anteater. She was sleeping in a dog crate..looked at us, and stuck her very long tongue out. They had two wolves in the clinic, and they were terrified of us, but it was great being able to see them so close up!
Then it was time for her to show us her true loves...the Black Rhinos. Again..they were HUGE! The male rhino peed on everything and nearly got us at one point. She gave the kids sweet potato pieces and they fed them.

It was such a cool day! When we got home, we went straight to the library. The kids found books about a lot of the animals we saw today because they wanted to know more. I already have several uses for our excursion..language arts: reading books about the animals, writing a thank you card, writing a short report about one of the animals...(course it all ties into science.) Making a notebook with facts, etc.
The one thing Im kicking myself about is not having charged my camera battery, so I only got photos with my phone.
Here is what I got!

Feeding the Rhino

Feeding the Giraffe
Add feeding Rhino
Eli standing in front of the lion..it is such a weird angle, and she looks little, but she was the size of a small horse! LOL! Eli said after we left that when I took this picture he was a little scared she would make that big noise again. We were all VERY impressed with how FAST lions can be, and how loud. Her poor brother got a nasty cut on his nose, and looked rather sheepish...if a lion CAN look sheepish.

Add feeding the giraffe