Saturday, July 08, 2006

Question of the day

Thomas: Mom, I have a question.

Mom: Shoot.
Thomas: (Blushing) Well, uhm, never mind.

Mom: Please, if you have a question, just ask it.

Thomas: Well, it's a dumb question.

Mom: NO question is dumb.

Thomas: Remember that movie we watched where the astronauts peed in their suits?

Mom: (Laughing) Yes.

Thomas: So is that how astronauts do it, they just go when they need to? And how do they, well, you know.

Mom: Good question. I don't know the answer, let's Google it.

Our Answer

Always in the front of a 10-year-old boy's mind: toilet behaviors. lol

Friday, July 07, 2006

Another Meme

Sixty-Two Question Meme
I got this from Those Weird Homeschoolers.

Call me strange, but I love to read these all the way through. It's a fun way to learn about people.

1.How old do you wish you were? 32

2.Where were you when 9/11 happened? I was on the internet at my cleaning group in chat...we used to chat for 5 minutes, then clean for 30 minutes. When I heard I was glued to the TV all day for several days. Thomas was in kindergarten and I was severely depressed missing him so my chat buddies were helping me. My depression skyrocketed that day.

3.What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Nothing, I haven't had money stolen from a vending machine because I hardly ever use them. If it did happen I'd probably say, "Oh sh*t."

4.Do you consider yourself kind? Very.

5. If you had to get a tattoo, where and what would it be? Never, ever, I admire them on some people but I could never do that to my body. Spider veins are bad enough.

6. If you could be fluent in any other language what would it be? Spanish

7. Do you know your neighbors? Sadly, yes. Most are -- never mind, not worth sharing.

8. What do you consider a vacation? One night in a motel would be a vacation. Going to inlaws, no. Going to dad's, yes. A real vacation is getting on a plane and going to a destination of my choice.

9. Do you follow your horoscope? Rarely

10. Would you move for the person you loved? Yes and I have

11. Are you touchy feely? Only with my son, otherwise keep your distance

12. Do you believe that opposites attract? My hubby and I are living proof that they do. He's a right-wing conservative and I'm not.

13. Dream job? Being rich enough to not have to work -- second choice, working in a greenhouse.

14. Favorite channels? Bravo, watch it daily. Movie channels.

15. Favorite place to go on a weekend? What, people go places on weekends? Besides Kmart or the grocery store?

16.Showers or Bath? Shower daily but enjoy long soaks at night in the winter.

17. Do you paint your nails? Who has time!

18.Do you trust people easily? Not at all.

19.What are your phobias? I-25 in Denver.

20.Do you want kids? Well, I wanted a bunch but was blessed with one. Sore subject.

21,Do you keep a handwritten journal? No.

22.Where would you rather be right now? Hmm, South Carolina or Disney World

23.What makes you feel warm and safe? My house.

24. Heavy or light sleep? Either or. Suffer from insomnia but sometimes I am so exhausted my husband can't wake me because I'm snoring. (Did I admit that?)

25.Are you paranoid? What makes you think I'm paranoid? Who told you that? Where did you get that idea???

26. Are you impatient? Sometimes

27. Who can you relate to? Almost anyone. I can get along with almost anyone and find things that I can relate to. There are always things I don't like (especially discipline issues) but I try to find the good in all. Except a very angry male senior citizen that I know, I cannot relate to anything about him nor do I want to.

28. How do you feel about interracial couples? This is a stupid question. I don't think any differently about interracial couples than I do any other couple.

29. Have you been burned by love? No, but I've burned.

30. What’s your life motto? Live and let live.

31. What's your main ringtone on your mobile? I have no idea. I have a different ring tone for everyone who calls me on my cell and there are few that I give my cell number to.

32. What were you doing at midnight last night? Surfing, looking at gardening websites.

33. Who was your last text message from? I don't do text messaging.

34.Whose bed did you sleep in last night? Our bed.

35. What color shirt are you wearing? None. I'm in a nightgown and robe. They're both pastel blue.

36. Most recent movie you watched? The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. LOVE it.

37. Name five things you have on you at all times? Skin, hair, gray hair, zits, undies. I don't wear jewelry, not even my wedding ring. My wedding ring was my great-grandmas and when I had Thomas my fingers grew and it doesn't fit and I don't want to have it resized because there is an inscription in it. I've always meant to buy another but never gotten around to it.

38. What color are your bed sheets? Two sets, one set is a tie dye type purlpe the other is pastel yellow.

39. How much cash do you have on you right now? ZERO. Spent it all today. I never have cash.

40. What is your favorite part of chicken? I hate chicken but eat chicken breast.

41. What's your favorite town/city? Charleston, South Carolina

42. Who got you to join MySpace? I have never joined

43. What did you have for dinner last night? Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread and a salad.

44. How tall are you barefoot? 5' 5

45. Have you ever smoked crack? No and hell no. I am *very* anti-drug.

46. Do you own a gun? Yes, several.

47. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Very strong coffee with fat-free half and half

48. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex? I'm damned old for that stuff!

49. Do you have A.D.D.? What was the question again? Possibly.

50. What time did you wake up today? a little before 9

51. Current worry? When will DH sell that junker in the driveway and when will we get finish painting the trim on the house.

52. Current hate? Strong word, but extreme dislike for my neighbor across the street, otherwise known as the angry senior citizen. He's mean to all the kids in the neighborhood, verbally attacked me and I wish he'd just move into a retirement home.

53. Favorite place to be? With Thomas, sometimes with DH too ;-) and always at home.

54. Where would you like to travel? Disneyworld, all over America. I'd like to visit battlefields.

55. Where do you think you'll be in 10 yrs? Don't like to think that far ahead because Thomas will be grown and out of the house. The only thing I know for sure is that if I'm still alive, I'll have completely white hair by then. :(

56. Last thing you ate? a few bites of left over spaghetti

57. What songs do you sing in the shower? I never sing in the shower.

58. Last person that made you laugh? Thomas

59. Worst injury you've ever had? In 3rd grade I fell off the crossbars at school on my face and the right side of my face was swollen so badly it was about double in size. I could only eat with the opposite end of a spoon things like applesauce, cottage cheese for almost two weeks. Couldn't see out of my eye. It was complete misery and the right side of my face is a little higher than the left because of it. The day after this happened was Thanksgiving break and my mother made me travel with the family to visit friends for Turkey day. That was pure hell for me. Worst was stopping on the way at a restuarant where I still remember being gawked at like I was a freak. (Well, I suppose I was a freak.)

60. Does someone have a crush on you? Giggle, yeah, right

61. What is your favorite candy? Peanut M&Ms

62. I can't wait til..? Hmm, tomorrow for a brand-new day.

A Day at the Beach

We had a great day today. We were off to a slow start because once again we stayed up way too late, but when it took off, it was fun.

We went to the beach and swam all afternoon. While in the lake, I saw four children ride up on their bikes unaccompanied by an adult. The four kids ran into the lake like they owned it and promptly started slinging sand and rocks at each other. I took a closer look and recognized two of the four children. These kids never got sand or rocks close enough to anyone else in the water or on the beach, but every adult there sat up and watched them like a hawk.

Thomas and I were in the water and they inched their way toward us. The language I heard from these kids made the hair on my neck stand up, and I'm no stranger to bad language. It just stinks coming from 10-year-olds. The two kids I knew used G-D and F more times than I have in the last ten years. If their mothers knew about this, they would be horrified. Both moms are very devout Christians and don't swear.

As I watched, I thought about the fact that I would want to know if Thomas behaved in this manner while I was not around. (I know kids do things when parents aren't around and that is a part of growing up.) I had to chuckle because Thomas won't say a bad word, let alone spell it for me. (If he's relating a story about one of his friends used bad language.) He does say "sucks" which I hate, but I'll take that any day over a word that rhymes with suck. ;-)

Anyway, as I was watching I just couldn't help but think about the fact that these kids were unsupervised. Call me overprotective, but I don't think kids should be in a lake that does not have a lifeguard without an adult. At age 10. I don't know what age I would feel comfortable with that, but 10 seems to young to me.

One of the kids' moms works for the area Youth Foundation. She tells and teaches people how to raise their kids and provide them with good opportunities. Hmm, I don't think swearing like sailors at age 10 and flinging sand and rocks at each other is exemplary.

Thomas asked if he should go say hi as he knows the boys and I told him NO. The funniest thing about these kids was that one boy finally recognized me and when he did make eye contact with me, the first thing out of his mouth was: "This is boring, let's get out of here NOW." I was laughing about that!

They scurried away and all the adults on the beach laid back down, started reading books, etc.

After the beach we grabbed a bite to eat, came home, showered and relaxed with some movies. Thomas made supper for his dad: grilled cheese sandwiches and Spaghetti-Os. lol

This was the first day we got to the beach this summer! And I thought the same thing I always think when I'm in the water: Why don't we do this more often! So we've made plans to meet friends two times next week.

Now, if only we could come up with a sunblock that isn't greasy. . .


My mom died 13 years ago today.

At the time of her death, I was extremely co-dependent on her. Time heals all wounds, and I can say that she has continued to teach me even though she's gone.

I had an awakening period where I was very angry at her. This started a few years ago and lasted a few years. Mom was very similar (minus the alcohol) to Joan Crawford. I am not over-exaggerating here. My sisters and I sat down and discussed Mommy Dearest one day and we all thought we were reading about our mom. It was not startling to us as it was to the rest of the world, it was normal. I think that book was the turning point when the three of us realized there really was something wrong. I was the golden child so didn't receive her wrath nearly as often as my other siblings. However, in my mid-30s I realized how manipulative she was toward me.

I worked for 11 years in my profession. I had a best friend that I stayed in contact with for a few years after I left to raise Thomas. One day Teri and I were talking on the phone and she informed me that during one of my mom's first visits, a time when I took mom to my job and introduced her to people, mom took Teri aside and told her that I needed to be watched over because I was very immature, naive and didn't know how the world worked. She did this on a mother to mother basis because Teri was about 15 years older than I.

I was absolutely horrified when I learned of that. That was the end of the relationship !!! (Trust is a huge issue with me.) The funny thing is I was extremely mature, responsible and I wasn't naive. I did know how the world worked. I worked with hardened criminals every single day. I worked with lawyers every day.

This little episode is just the tip of the iceberg on how mom was a master manipulator. In respect of her memory, I won't share more.

I am finally at a stage where I'm over my sorrow, my anger and my loss. Now I can look back and see some of the happy memories I had with mom. I can look at the bad things in a new light: She was ill. She did the best she could, she loved the only way she knew how, and she lived her life the best that she could under the circumstances. She had many wonderful qualities and I wish she had had the opportunity for therapy because she could have been so much more.

I now look at it like this: Take her good qualities and run with them. Mom would have put Martha Stewart to shame. She could cook, clean, sew and craft amazingly well. Learn from her mistakes: Type A personality, master manipulator, one of the angriest people I have ever known: Do not repeat.

There's a little voice inside my head that talks to me as I am parenting. It always asks a question: WWMD? (What would mom do?) Sometimes, I go with what mom would do such as teaching about how to clean, organize, teach good work ethic. Usually that little voice crops up when I need to do a 180 and the exact opposite of what mom would have done. It crops up when I need to bite my tongue so that Thomas can learn from mistakes. It crops up when Thomas does typical 10-year-old things that mom would have nearly killed for.

She continues to teach, although she'd be surprised at how those lessons are applied.

Mom, I love you anyway. Live and let live.

Homeschool Meme

I haven't had anything to blog about lately, so was glad to find a homeschool meme at the Imperfect Genius blog.

1) What country/region/state do you live in?


2) How long have you been homeschooling? Just getting started, old pro or somewhere in between?

Just starting our third year! Wow, where does time go!

3) Write a little something about your family. Ages? Stages?

One ten-year-old son, starting 5th grade.

4) Share some good homeschooling advice you’ve run across.

My own advice is to follow your heart. We know our kiddos better than anyone else, their learning styles, their likes, their dislikes, and what they need help with. I think if we listen to the little voice inside our head, we know the correct path to take.

5) Tell us something you’re passionate about (besides your family and homeschooling, those are givens!).

I am very passionate about genealogy. Very. It's my thing. Gardening is another passion of mine.

6) If you could take the ultimate field trip, where would you go and why?

The ultimate field trip would be an American history study in an RV visiting all the states. I'd like to see old homes, battlefields, museums, etc. In that field trip, I'd also like to visit my ancestors' towns, homes, places of work. (Many of my ancestors worked in places that are now a part of the national parks. While I would enjoy this, I don't know if my son would or not.

7) What is a resource you can’t do without?

Hands down, the internet.

8) How do you homeschool? Classical, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Unschooling, Eclectic?

Frankie method. Okay, eclectic. Actually I should say Thomas method. We homeschool to suit his learning style, which is varied. We unschool in science, we follow a classical outline for our history studies, we follow our own style for everything else.

9) Share a website or two that you visit often - can be your favorite blogger or a curriculum supplier, just any sites you really like.

Doc's blog, bloglines to keep track of the blogs I read, the blogs listed on my sidebar, and yes, I read The Well-Trained Mind's boards on a weekly basis. I'm also in lots of yahoo groups.

10) Tell us about one of your favorite projects/activities/trips you’ve had in the past few months.

Well, in Nov of 2005 we got on an airplane and visited Columbia, South Carolina for a week. My husband was working there and we went with him. We fell in love with South Carolina, hit every museum we could find, a wonderful zoo, toured historic homes, swam and even ate at a Waffle House Restaurant. (We were quite surprised there were more of these than McDonald's.) We also drove to Charleston for a day and toured Ft. Sumter, the South Carolina Aquarium, and an evening walking ghost tour of Chraleston. I must add that we met a good internet homeschool friend and her kids while we were there, and that was the highlight of the trip for me!

11) What is a current/previous homeschooling challenge you’ve faced?

Teaching Thomas speed, focus, concentration.

12) Share an accomplishment, something about you or your children. Come on, brag about it!

Well, I don't draw the line from homeschooling into activities, so I'll share that Thomas has won his Cub Scouts pack's Pinewood Derby two years in a row and also won the District Pinewood Derby two years in a row. Quite a feat, because those derbies are highly competitive. He spent many hours working on his cars and learned a lot.

13) What are you looking forward to over the coming year?

Starting up again in September! Taking an afternoon off here and there to go swimming. Tons of science that we -- Thomas actually helped -- have planned. The breaks that I worked into our schedule. Those wintertime blues really got to me and I planned some good breaks after the new year to help.

14) Name three things you like doing in the summer with your family.

Going to the beach, gardening with Thomas, sneaking off on a hot evening to get a McDonald's ice cream cone. Have to put in a number four here: Little excursions around our area, such as visiting Walnut Grove, MN to play in Plum Creek, or going to the Sioux Falls Zoo for the day, visiting the Jeffers Petroglyphs. I want to get to the Grotto of the Redemption in Iowa this summer, but Thomas doesn't want to go there even though it would be a great reinforcer of our geological studies this year. I think I'll make him go anyway.

15) Have a favorite homeschooling quote? Share it here.

Not a favorite homeschool quote, but a favorite quote I try to live by: Live and let live.