Friday, November 28, 2008

Mission accomplished.

This morning, I woke up at 4am. Because I was supposed to pick up Worldlighter at 6. And I was afraid that the alarm going off at 5:15 would wake up the whole house. It turned out that I should have just left myself sleep because #4 woke up at 5am and was right chipper.The King was not. And the boys were still sleeping. So #4 went with me. Because I'm nice like that.

So, we picked up Worldlighter, and we shopped until we got hungry, and then we ate. And then we shopped some more. That's how two pregnant women do things. We got home about 3pm after visiting Walmart, Panera Bread, JcPenney's, The Children's Place, Sears, Motherhood, Target, Panera Bread again, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Sam's, Borders, and Walmart again. I wore #4 in the Ergo from 6am-9:30am, and then I brought him back home to the King and #2 and #3 because I just couldn't wear him any longer. He was a sweet little guy, though - shopping in his fuzzy pajamas quite happily on my back. (I think my sweet hubby owes me a neck and shoulder massage for those extra hours of sleep I let him have, don't you think?)

We met our goal, though. All of the Christmas shopping is done. Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

When Pigasso met Mottisse by Nina Laden

Tonight, we read When Pigasso Met Mootisse together as a family as part of the nighttime reading. I picked it up from the library last week (they do have other copies in my local system.

The King and I loved the book - the pictures are fantastic, and the actual Picassos and Matisses that are depicted in pigs and cows are hysterical. There is a decent presentation of modern art including biographies of Picasso and Matisse in the back (did you know that they really were friends?), and also a stong nod to the concept that we have to choose to get along with people who are have different ideas than we do.

Bookworm #2 liked the book because "One time Pigasso and Mootisse met and became good friends. then they got mad and said, "You paint like a wild beast!" and "You paint like a two-year-old!" And then things were not really funny until they started being friends again."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quotes from Pocketfull of Pinecones

Karen Andreola, the author of A Charlotte Mason Companion, also wrote Pocketfull of Pinecones, a lovely book about a mom and her two children who embark on a homeschool journey during the 1930s. The book includes story after story of their adventures with the intent of showing us how to apply Charlotte Mason's educational ideals in our homes. It's a fantastic read for any parent who wants to teach their children to appreciate nature, and it is available in my local library system, so it might be in yours too.

There are some lovely jewels in this book - and I'm going to jot some of them down here because I don't have time to blog each of them individually - though each is certainly worthy of it's own post.

p75 - "My students have a lifetime ahead of them in which to observe and discover - to become self-educated in their leisure, so to speak. My job is to allow their feet to walk the paths of wonder, to see that they form relations to various things, so that when the habit is formed, they will carry an appreciation for nature with them throught their lives."

p81 - "My devotions give the day its energy. I may skip writing in this diary but I try not to skip my time with Him who cares for me. It is proof that I remember Him, depend on his mercy, which is so thankfully new every morning. It is the evidence that I trust Him. it is because my days are so busy that I have kept myself from yielding to the God-can-wait syndrome. I need my heavenly Father and so I seek Him early. Prayers are the wings of the soul. They bear the Christian far from Earth, out of its cares, its woe, and its perplexities, into glorious serenity."

p145 - "To get good grades in school is the motivation used in a system of education where children are constatly quizzed and tested. Here at home we are following a method of education - we are not participating in a system. It's been such a freeing way to teach. I've aimed at learning for the sake of knowledge and not for grades or prizes. Miss Mason recommends that children gain knowledge in three areas: knowledge of God (Bible), knowledge of man (history/humanities), and knowledge of the universe (science/math). Keeping these three areas in mind has helped me in my efforts to be a more orderly sort of person and to cover what is essential to know."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Well, that's a nice surprise!

I've been sick - pregnant sick - cookie-tossing kind of sick - for about three weeks. I thought I was only eight weeks pregnant. And the thought of there being five more weeks in the first trimester was almost too much for me. The nausea usually doesn't go away until about halfway through week thirteen.

However, today, I had a ultrasound and learned that I'm really about halfway through week eleven already! So the magic week thirteen is only two weeks away! instead of five! Hallelujah!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I need Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

We recently read Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as a bedtime read-aloud, and #2 loved it.. Each chapter is a story of a family that is dealing with a particular character flaw in one or more children. The only problem with the book was that it was almost too funny for bedtime - once #2 had The Giggles, they spread until #3 and #4 were no longer calm and ready for sleep.

My favorite chapter was "The Radish Cure," which dealt with the desire to throw a fit at bathtime (not a problem in my house, but that's probably what made it quite so funny to me). Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle suggested that the parents just let the kid get dirty until the layer of dirt was thick enough to plant radish seeds while the kid slept. The morning that the little girl in question sprouted radishes, she decided to take a bath - and after that, bathtime was fun again.

So, from a homeschooling/parenting standpoint, I'm wondering how I can and if I should incorporate Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle casually into habit-training and character education. It's an interesting idea. We've started reading another Mrs. P-W volume that has a couple of kids with problems that we have in this house, so maybe I'll give it a try.

As a desperate mom, I need Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (or someone who, you know, exists) to give me an idea for how to stop the flow of whine around here. #2 is whining about every single instruction that he's given, and it's about to drive this mama 'round the bend. And now I'm whining about the whining - but really, folks, I just need an idea.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WFMW Toy Edition: Wedgits - a fantastic building toy.

We bought Wedgits last year for #2 to play with. The starter set was such a hit that we bought several other sets for Christmas, including the nifty car set, of which I have no pictures. Wedgits are square blocks that lock together to make cool creations. These two were built straight out of #2's imagination. We did buy a set of design cards that shows different ways to use the blocks - and that was actually a good purchase because the creators of Wedgits are smarter than DH and I and came up with more ways to use them than we could. Wedgits have brought us hours and hours of entertainment.

You can buy them from many, many places - we ordered from Rainbow Resource. I'll let you search and hunt for your own. Find more good toy ideas at Rocks in my Dryer.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A daring adventure....

There's a Helen Keller quote that I love. She says, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure."

I agree with her. She doesn't mention that security is found in realizing that God is sovereign or that the children of God can experience security only because of Him.

We've accidentally embraced this quote. Bookworm #1 taught us that God is good, all the time, but he also taught us that no matter how stable we try to make our life, nothing is secure except for the character of God. With each baby that follows, the only security that we have is a word from God that all of our other children will be healthy. And each one has been.

And now we've got Bookworm #5 on the way - arriving in mid-late June. Which means that next summer, we'll continue serving Christ by raising the children He has entrusted to our care: three children under the age of four and a seven-year old.

If that isn't a daring adventure, I don't know what is.