Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rabbit Resemblances

Going through old, old, old photos yesterday I discovered that my Rabbit bears a strong resemblance to my older brother, Uncle Horrible Beast.

You know what's weird? They have the same birthday...

dah dah dah!

And that's as Halloween Creepy as you're going to get on this blog.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today I Didn't

Do you remember that famous email forward about the dad that comes home one day to find a terrifying mess all over the house? He goes upstairs and finds his wife in bed, reading a book. He asks her "WHAT HAPPENED?" She replies, "You know how you come home every day and ask me what in the world I did all day? Well, today I didn't do it."

I've been fighting a cold, so the last couple days I have only done what is necessary to keep the kids safe and fed. And I was reminded once again how fast this

happens when you're not doing. It's staggering!

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The Changing of the Oaks

As you know, I have two oak trees on my property. One is in the front yard and one is in the back. They are very similar in size and shape and type of leaf so I always have assumed they were identical species planted at the same time. But now that fall is here, they have surprised me.

The front yard tree is turning gold from the inside out. Gold leaves are currently intermingled with green all over the tree.

The backyard tree is turning red and orange from the top down and from the outside in. I've been watching the color creep slowly down for the last several days.

Does this mean they are different species or are they just showing their individual personalities?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've Got This "Life" Thing Down!

--By the Rabbit

I'm eight months old now.


I'm feeling pretty confident about things.

Much wisdom and capability has come to me already in my lifetime. I have three teeth and I can crawl and pull myself up to furniture.

But this is just the beginning! I get giddy when I think about what lies ahead.



Tying my shoes!

Reading poetry!

Eating Freddy's Frozen Custard!

Don't any of you forget what a great thing this "Life" business is, okay?

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Prairie Landscapes

Yesterday we went to a community-sponsored program designed to introduce preschool age children to the arts. The preschoolers in the group were squirming all over the place, but my boys totally ate it up. They talked about landscapes and at the end the children each got to make their own landscapes with strips of tissue paper and watered-down glue and a cardboard log cabin.

I pretty much made Roo's for her, since she was being reticent. She finally warmed up at the end and helped me with the clouds though. Didn't we do a nice job?

Fish made his completely on his own once I showed him how to work the glue. Didn't he do a nice job? I think the big blob of yellow was supposed to be the sun but it migrated downward on the way home and then the glue dried so now it's... uh... a big flower or something.

Bean went and sat on the complete opposite side of the room so I didn't even see his until he got home. He tried to make Laura from Little House on the Prairie, but he was having a hard time so he decided it was just a tree. In this photograph though I think it looks more like Laura than a tree. Didn't he do a nice job?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Featuring Me

Yesterday my response to the question "Why do you cloth diaper?" was featured on the blog "The Cloth Diaper Whisperer." This blog is run by Kelly Wels, a momtrepreneur who runs several online diaper purchasing websites that I have bought from in the past. I have to admire Kelly's marketing strategies. For posting this link to her blog from mine I get entered into a contest to win a dozen free bumGenuis diapers (which are wonderful and expensive). Everyone on Kelly's mailing list who has a blog is going to post a link with such a lovely carrot dangling in front of them and with all those links Kelly's blog will go way up on the search engines. Smart Kelly! Then by writing my little essay on why I cloth diaper I got free points on my Kelly's Closet account which add up to free diapers. I also get points for posting product reviews on the store site, so I'm really motivated to contribute my opinion. This helps Kelly, so she rewards me for it. Smart Kelly!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I just caught Roo at the piano, wearing a party hat, playing random notes, and singing "Happy Birthday." I'm not sure whose birthday it is, but I'm sure it's someone's, so-- Happy Birthday! Roo celebrated your birthday by getting ink all over her hands, juice all over her shirt, star stickers all over everything, and an unknown black substance all around her mouth. Quite the celebration, I'd say.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Little Birrd Meets the Little House

Today we went on a homeschool field trip to visit the actual site of the book Little House on the Prairie. It was a looooong drive, but luckily my cousin Glenda consented to come with us to help keep the munchkins subdued with her magical bag of Wee Sing tapes and pilgrim finger puppets.

The boys were so excited to see the cabin. It is a reproduction, but at least it is in exactly the right spot.

The kids looked long and hard, but they didn't seen any papooses. Roo kept her ears covered in case of wolves though.

Here is Little Rabbit on the Prairie:

And here's my whole crew sitting on the well that Pa dug by hand.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

On Track

I may not be as in control of my life as I'd like, but when it really comes down to it, we're basically on track.

I'm still losing weight. Only 10 more pounds to go, can you believe it? This is actually the hardest part because you get complacent and think "I can eat nothing but lots of birthday cake and ice cream for dinner tonight because I only have 10 more pounds to lose and that won't be hard." I never DID lose the last 10 pounds after Roo and that was precisely why. So I have to have a little mental pep talk with myself and recommit to some goals, which is hard with the holidays coming up. Thank you, readers, for being my accountability. I appreciate you.

School went very well this week. Bean had gotten a bit behind on his math, so I made him a deal on Monday. If he would catch up, I would play Settlers of Catan with him. I have never seen that kid work so hard. He got probably a dozen pages of math problems done. Then he BEAT ME at Catan. I couldn't believe it! It was his first time playing and I was NOT trying to let him win. He has a great mind for strategy, just like his dad.

He's also been working hard on piano. He learned to play the Porcupine Song this week, which is an adaptation of Hayden's Surprise Symphony. I played the real symphony for him on a CD, telling him the story why Hayden wrote it. He thought that was fabulous and he practiced the piano a lot after that. At one point he made me sit down for a "Recital" where he played through the 10 or so songs in his book that he's learned and made me clap hard for him after each one. I love to hear him play.

We did a lot of reading aloud this week, more than usual but still less than I feel my children ideally should have. I got lots of books from the library about colonial times, which are mostly only interesting to Bean, with one exception. One of the picture books we checked out concerns the Liberty Bell and how it was hidden from the British when they were coming to occupy Philadelphia. Fish has fallen in LOVE with this book for some reason. One morning after reading it he told me he wanted to be George Washington for Halloween. YESSSS!!!

A few weeks ago there was a contest on my friend Janet's blog for which the prize was a free subscription to The Old Schoolhouse homeschool magazine. I won the subscription and recently received my first issue. It was a much longer and more well-put-together magazine than I had expected and I have really been enjoying reading though it. It has given me lots of support and encouragement, which every homeschooling mother needs bales of. I have become aware of many more curriculum resources through their ads, several of which I'm very excited about. And last night I read an article in there that changed my entire paradigm about my son Bean.

The article was about kinesthetic learners. I've known Bean was a hands-on kind of kid and I've known that he had challenges when it came to learning. This article put it all together for me and made it all make sense as to why he does things the way he does. He is a kinesthetic learner! Then it gave me suggestions as to how I can work with that and not against it. Finally, it pointed me to resources online that can give me further information and suggestions. I ended up staying up way too late researching all this. I was so excited! I totally need to change my approach with him in so many ways to help him succeed and now I'm finding out how to do this.

I would love to tell you more about this, and I hope I will soon, but right now it's time for me to stop blogging and pay attention to my children!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Grand Finale

Today was the last day of soccer for the Fall 2008 season, and it was exciting. Fish's game was supposed to be at 10 but the other team showed up at 9 and then left, so they combined Fish's team with the boy's 1st grade game at 10:15, which happened to be Bean's game. So Bean and Fish ended up playing on opposing teams, which was really fun to watch.

In this picture Fish is in the middle in a white shirt and Bean is the kid in the blue shirt with red sleeves.

At the end of the game, they got their YMCA medals. They love those medals.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Daddy-Daughter Dinner

There was a Daddy-Daughter Dinner over at our church tonight. The Badger wanted to have a really special date with his little Roo, so he wore his nicest suit and I dressed her up in her fanciest little dress and did her hair. Then the Badger went and bought her a pink rose. The "Pretty Flower" was an instant favorite. Here she is in the driveway as they're getting ready to leave:

The Badger said she clutched that flower all evening and completely enchanted the entire assembly. (I can just see all the pre-teen and teenage girls there cooing over her!)

Even as I write this, she's trotting around the room with her Pretty Flower firmly in hand.

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Getting Around

The Rabbit is everywhere lately and she loves it!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Life is Good

I haven't had so much to blog about lately. Life is good, things are normal (what a blessing!), school is going better and better. My favorite season is here and I've been in squirrel mode, gathering nuts for winter. I've stocked up on all my favorite immune system boosters for cold and flu season. I've put away shorts and brought out sweaters. Tomorrow I'm going to open a big blue tub I found in the storage room today labeled "Autumn decorations." Soon my order of kid craft projects from Oriental Trading Company will be here. And a chimney sweep is coming next Tuesday, after which we can have a real fire in our real fireplace. Hope you're all enjoying autumn too!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kindergarten Soccer

I've been having the hardest time getting pictures of Fish and his team playing soccer. This is the best picture I could get. Fish is in the middle, white shirt, with the red flag over his head.

The term that always comes to mind when I watch Kindergarten soccer is "free radicals." These kids ping all over the field. And my son is a total spaz. When he's not going after the ball he's practicing his Napoleon Dynamite moves.

He may not hold still long enough for me to get a good picture of him, but his coach loves him because he always has a smile on his face. That's because in Kindergarten soccer you still get to be yourself and have fun.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

We had the funnest family activity last night. We sat around the computer and put all our faces into and then shrieked with hysterical laughter at the results. You've really got to try it. Here's me, a la 1952, 1962, 1986, and 1964. I think I've got some new hairdos to try!

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Making Muffins

Since today was "Making Day," I let the boys do most of the work in making muffins for lunch. I specifically tried to get Fish involved as much as possible to help him feel more a part of our school. I let him handle a sharp knife for the first time so he could chop the dates for these bran date muffins. I also let him use the scooper thingie. He did such a good job.

Roo helped by trying to drop grapes in the batter while no one was looking.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What Sisters Are For

Everybody should have sisters are as wonderful as mine. My sisters are experts at bringing random joy into my life, often in the form of unexpected surprise packages. Yesterday I opened such a package from my sister the Crocodile and discovered what I have been missing in my life:

An octopus laundry thingie from Ikea. I needed this! Though I'm still using cloth diapers I haven't had time to carry them upstairs and outside and to the clothesline to dry lately-- it just seems to be one step to many for my hectic schedule. So the ones that really need to be hung dry have been clothes-pinned onto hangers that live on a rod next to my washing machine. It's worked okay, but THIS!!! This was made for cloth diapers! And it's an octopus!!!! Do you have any idea how I feel about octopuses? No, you probably don't, but my sister knows. She could clearly see that someone designed this creature just for me.

Now every day as I go about the mundane chore of hanging up my diapers I will giggle as I clip them onto this Object of Joy.

Oh, what would I do without my wonderful, wonderful sisters?

P.S. Bean sure needs to learn how to get people to pull normal faces when he takes their picture, doesn't he?

P.P.S. The octopus needs a name. Suggestions?

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Conference Snapshot

We all enjoyed watching the LDS church's General Conference this weekend.

It was an incredible conference. The Badger and I kept looking at each other and saying "WOW!" during the talks. Bean even sat and listened to most of it. We all felt spiritually renewed and strengthened and we all have specific ideas about how we need to improve ourselves and our family life. I am so grateful that God still speaks to us through Prophets as He did anciently.

We also enjoyed watching the documentary on the life of Thomas S. Monson that they showed between sessions. And I love the new media player! (I'm watching the documentary again right now!)

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Monday, October 6, 2008


I love Land's End canvas tote bags. I have two and I wish I had more. The large ones are really big and perfect for library books, trips to the beach, and soccer games. They also make good temporary play pens:

I was at Fish's soccer game and I needed to help him with his shoes, so I secured the Rabbit in my tote bag. Her head is down in the picture because she was trying to suck on my water bottle. I kept trying to get her to look up for a picture but she was too into the water bottle. Then she discovered there was a highly fascinating plastic bag just outside her container, so she went for that and I had to stop her. So ended the amusing bag episode.

But then yesterday we had the amusing block container episode. The Rabbit somehow scooted herself into this Sterlite container full of blocks and hung out happily for quite awhile.

I still can't quite figure out how she got in there. I know she did it by herself, approaching the tub from behind. She's a pretty talented little critter.

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