Thursday, August 30, 2007

Comfort Food

I have to add this here! Today on the WTM board someone asked what was a comfort food for you. Well for me it is.......

Rice in all forms! Fried rice with some kind of meat. Brown rice, white rice......preferable long grain..but RICE. I will eat it when I feel sick and all maladies are gone. I will eat it when there is nothing else to eat and I will be happy for rice. I will eat it when I need a late night snack. (There is always a made pot of rice in my house.) I will eat it with white spanish cheese crumbled on top. I will eat it with a fried egg on top. Not green! And NEVER with butter! YUCK! I eat it with my soup. I can eat it at every meal but always with dinner. I will eat it just to get to the bottom of the pot where the hard crunchy treasure can be found!


7th Grade Schedule

Middle Peep's Schedule


The start date was wrong. He starts October 8th!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

That is NOT enough time. I want to go home to NY before I head west. Not fair! Not fair! Not fair!!!!! Yes, I am having a tantrum! I need more time....more time, please!!!!!


Since we heard of the news this week, my motivation to school has waned considerably. I don't want to teach another lesson in our school room. I want to be in a new house, in a new city, with all our stuff. This is just silly because as much as I have to do here, I still have to teach these peeps. I don't want to get further behind. We took way more time off this summer than I wanted. The peeps were having so much fun with friends I just could not bare to drag them away and back indoors to study Latin. We have always schooled year round but every year I find it harder and harder to do. Now that we are going to a new city, this summer I bet will be filled with exploring. I will miss the fall and spring of the South. It makes for really lovely weather. I have been checking out the blogs of other homeschoolers who live in the Northwest and it will be a change. But an exciting change. Today we got an official start date that gives me some breathing room. I can't get comfortable in that idea or I will slack.

Back to the I come down the stairs finally to see what my peeps have been doing all morning and this is the scene I find:

Oldest Peep is at our table working on her Homer, BY HERSELF!

Then Middle Peep shows me what Oldest Peep helped him with. He wrote better for her than for me! And he did a good job spelling...only one error.

Later I found her doing this. She was reading the lesson to her brothers.

I just love these peeps!!!!!!

Back to the moving.......

If you know me well, you know that I am not a person who stresses. And if you know Papa Peep you know he stresses enough for the both of us. Well we have had some sort of Freaky Friday thing happen. I am very stressed and worried and he is a calm, cool, and collected cucumber. I tell you I do not like it. Not at all!!!!

Now the peeps are unwinding after a long day's work.

They are watching some mindless Disney Channel show. They deserve it.


Well after reading this article I think we are off hotdogs for a very very long time. Click here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


And They Headed West to Seek Their Fortune

That's right. It is official. I will no longer be a NYC girl stuck in the South. I will be a NYC girl stuck in the west coast. We are outta here.

We have been in the South for 7 years now. It is time to get out. If I had to spend another year here I think would lose my mind. I need a city. I was holding out for NYC but at this point any city will do. Papa Peep has been talking with the natives out there and he guarantees I will find kinship there. I hope so.

The craziness of the whole thing is that we have to be out there in give or take 4 weeks. Things are not ready here. We still have a bunch of things to tighten up on the house before we can even contact a realtor so they can tell us what else to fix. And I still have to go home for a bit to break the news to mom. She will be devastated. The long flight will be hard for her to take. I guess I will be going to NYC more often. That is NOT a bad thing but definitely an expensive one.

The boys are very excited about the move. Baby Peep woke up anxious the other night about his things but once I assured him they would come with us he settled down. Oldest Peep was not very happy at first. She resists change but a few nights ago she dreamt she was surfing and things have changed. She is still sad to leave her friends and they are all begging us to stay (some of the boys a little too insistent.....hmmmm) but the dream awoke her to all the new possibilities. The boys can't wait to ski and snowboard. They want to sail and last night I was reading about wind surfing. There is so much to do there we will hardly have time to homeschool by the books.

I am so excited!!!!! I want this to be my view every morning.

Or this!

I will be happy with either one!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Finished bedroom!

The new bed sheets added the finishing touches.

Her Girls of Many Lands dolls are on display. She likes having them there. We are now looking for the perfect mirror to put over her dresser.

We have not settled on curtains either or a big comfy chair for a lonely corner.
I will keep you updated.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Susan Polgar's Blog

A fellow chess parent turned me onto this blog and I have since read it weekly. Susan Polgar is a great chess player and a great advocate for getting more girls involved in the game of chess. Today's post was about the Hip-Hop Chess Federation's 1st Annual Chess Kings Invitational Tournament being held this October in San Francisco. Wu-Tang's RZA, GZA and DJ Qbert are going to be participating.

How cool is that???
Also check out this really cool chess product. Price you ask? OUCH!!! Well, a girl can dream!

Homeschool Musings..some of you might find this boring

I need to write this out as it is all jumbled in my brain and this is the best way I have to organize it.

Oldest Peep is 11.5, Middle Peep is 9 and Baby Peep is 6. GOALS! Every year I start out with goals. So far all the goals have lined up nicely for all three....well mostly the two oldest as I am just starting to include Baby Peep in our lessons. So back to the goals. They have always been the same. This year we will focus on Math, This year we will focus on Writing, This year we will focus on Latin, This year we will focus on........ ummmmm...

Well, I don't know. I really don't know.

Oldest Peep is progressing very nicely in Writing. She has made leaps and bounds. Next week I will post her latest story. I guess I could start asking her to move away from the CW models and have her write a little more creative stuff. The last time I tried that, it did not go over well though. But now she is older and more mature and not prone to having huge meltdowns when I mention the "W" word.......most of the time. *wink* Latin is coming along great and almost entirely without my help. I love Latin Prep. I will post what is going on in the Latin front next week as well. In Spanish, we could be working a little harder. OK I could be pushing them a little more to speak it more but other that that she is really doing great. We were at Walmart today and someone started talking to her in Spanish and she understood everything they said. They did not realize she did not speak it. She tried answering back in Spanish and that is when they realized she was not fluent....yet! I could not be happier in Math. She is doing Lial's Basic College Math book and doing it on her own. She is complaining about Chapter 6 and when I took a look I realized why. She never did like percents. I think I have the Key to Percents books around here somewhere. i will drag them out and see if they help her. She is actually enjoying History. She is making connections and she is remembering one chapter to the next what events occurred. She is connecting why WW2 happened. After the WW1 mess Europe was in, it really was unavoidable. She made that connection and we have yet to study WW2. Currently we are learning about the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. I would love to squeeze a Government unit in here somewhere but am having a hard time finding where to put it. Science we are, or rather I, am failing miserably. I only did one dissection this year. She has done more in the past, but I really meant to do more. I have the frog, starfish, grasshopper, and worm waiting to be dissected and I just did not get myself together. *Have I ever mention how much I dislike experiments?* I am not a crafty hands on mom. Just give me a good book and let's curl on the couch and read, read, read, read, read! Why is that not enough? Because I ended up with a visual, kinesthetic learner. I guess my goal for her will be to get Science done, experiments and all!

Middle Peep is the one I rarely worry about. He is the auditory learner so I just need to say it for him to learn it. He catches on quickly and can usually devise a better way before I am done explaining. Math is where he excels. He is done with Singapore 6 and I am not ready to move forward. He is ready for algebra. He is also only 9. Do I go ahead and do algebra? Do I use the Russian Math book I keep hearing great things about? Where do I go from here with him. Do I buy a Spectrum workbook and just make him keep his Math skills up to date while I Focus on say his.......miserable spelling! Spelling! Oh Spelling! This week I discovered he is a great speller! Really he is as long as he is not writing it down. Once he puts pencil to paper all reason goes out the window and he spells completely phonetically. Great for the Spanish language. Not so great in English. Spelling! Oh! Spelling! I guess my goal for him will be spelling!

Baby Peep:

He is great! I wish I had more time for him. I wish he had my full attention like Oldest Peep had at his age. I wish I had the same energy I had with her schooling. With him I just want to get through the phonics lesson because oldest peep is waiting for me, or Middle Peep is making noise and I have to shush him 20 times in the span of ONE MINUTE! I guess my goal for him will be to give him more of me somehow.

But why oh why oh why are they all so different. Why couldn't I have given birth to identical triplets?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I have declared war!!!

I am waging war against the ants in my kitchen! They are coming and going without permission. They walk over my counters and gather in clusters to chit chat while I am working hard to keep a clean kitchen. I will not have any more of this. Today I went to Home Depot and bought Terro Ant Bait. I have heard from a bunch of people that this is a good product to rid yourself of these pesky creatures. They only had the liquid kind available. You have to put one or two drops on a piece of paper or aluminum foil. They will swarm it and then bring it back to the nest and most importantly the queen. Well, they are swarming and I must resist the urge to kill them. I must resist. I must resist. it creeps me out to have them all clustered like this and I have to let them come and go. I also put some outside where I think they are getting into the house. I really hope it works because I am going out of my mind because of them. I have spent a small fortune on ant spray and baits and nothing seems to stop these little terrors. My neighbors are all complaining of the same. Their kitchens are being invaded. I will stand for it no longer! This is war!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Math Brain

I wonder how the brain can hold that much information. I am a visual learner. Middle Peep is an auditory learner. I believe these are easy learners. You just talk and they soak it all in. I wish it were that easy for me. I must see it and do it. Older Peep is visual too. I can follow some things but most I must see and do.

Most of us must write out multi step math problems. Most of us can only follow it if we pull out pencil and start scratching away. Then there are some who just can hold all that information in their brains and write down the answer. That is middle peep. Everytime I witness it, it amazes me. I am so not this kind of person. Now don't get me wrong. Math is not my enemy. I always found math easy to understand. Only in college did I met math that I had to actually study for (Calculus) to do well. But this child puts me to shame.

A goldfish cost 3 times as much as a guppy. Gary spent 3/5 of his money on 3 goldfish and 6 guppies and had $8 left. Find the cost of a goldfish.


Baby Peep's Art Work

This is the youngest pupil I have. His temperment is one where he challenges just about everything we try to do. This will be a great quality when he is an adult. Of course I hope he develops some gauge as to when it is appropriate and when it is not. I am going to share his narration assignment with you all.

We are using First Language Lessons and are on Lesson 4. This lesson has the story of the Rabbit and the Turtle or as he pointed out the Tortoise and the Hare. I read it to him and he had to narrate orally. I did not even think about asking him to write it down. This would have been too much since narrations are new to him. When I finally got stuff I could write down for him I found this paper where he could draw a picture above the narration. Well you would have thought I asked him to cut off a finger and glue it to the page.

Today as he was bright and fresh from a good night's sleep, I was able to draw this out of him. He had me write FINISH for him. I wanted him to write "line" but he refused. I will get him to write it later. I just thought this was such a typical sample of his art work I just had to share. Enjoy.

My mantra....

This too shall pass.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I have a CueCat!! I am sooooooo excited! I have been busy scanning my shelves. Out of 8 shelves next to me, I have only scanned 3 of them as of this posting. I will slowly do this over time, but I must say I am having so much fun! Then seeing all the covers on My Library Thing is too much for words. Every household in America should have a Library Thing account.
I will never buy 2 of any book again!


I just love this face when it is happy and smiling. The huge dimples she inherited from my mother are wonderful to see. As she becomes older I see less and less of this spontaneous laugher. Due to many trying friendships I see these smiles have become more and more guarded. I will make it a point to help her smile, really smile, more often.

Let's see it one more time.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Parlez-vous français?

So my order from Ray finally came today. I think my mail person with holding my packages. They always take so much longer to get to me than most people. On the WTM board a bunch of people ordered from Ray and those living in my area received their books Friday and Saturday, but I did not get mine until today. I will have to keep my eye on that postal worker!

I finally had a chance to look them over quickly. We had a very looooooooong day today. Many interruptions and life skills got in our way but we still did accomplish our core subjects. YAY!!!

Back to the Galore Park books....I ordered book 1 and 2 of So You Really Want to Learn French and the Greek book they distribute. They are working on a Greek Prep series but it is still in the planning stages. I hope they hurry up.

I have mainly looked over the Greek book as a fellow homeschooler wants to use this with her son as well. At first glance it looks good but scary at the same time. There is no answer key and that is the scary part. It has a good chapter on letter sounds but it then delves right into words. It is nice that they introduce Greek words still in use in the English language, but since they are in Greek letters it scared me. I have to remember that κομμα is comma. μ is mu. My brain is too old for this. But the children want to learn it and it would be neat only if my brain were younger.

The French book looks a little easier.....but only a little! I still do remember *some* of my high school French. I did not order the Cd's. I hope I don't regret that choice. I am impressed with them and think they will provide us with just what we need to learn the language.

I will update this post as we start to use these books, but so far, like all the other Galore Park products I use, I give them 2 thumbs up.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What a difference!!!

Papa Peep and I finally got around to getting the carpet out of Oldest Peep's room. Boy did we procrastinate today. We did not get up before music lessons to start the painting. We did not rush home after music lessons to get to painting. We went to lunch. A Mama Peep needs a full tummy to work hard. We did not rush home after lunch either and when we made it home we did not rush to start our work. I think we started the room around 4ish.....maybe.

But we did finish......OK...we are almost finished.

The color looks good and I am not a pastel, light color kind of girl. I am from NYC after all. I have a reputation to protect.

The floor is finished. My knees hurt and my ankles hurt from sitting for hours on the floor and pushing and pounding those planks into place. It is finished and I will never have to install flooring again.

Wait our master bath is still not done, but I think we may just hire someone to do that. Wallpaper is just awful. I don't want to ever do that. Someone for the kitchen too. Those ivy walls have to go. It is too terrible to post a picture or I would. I am almost sorry I have not been chronicling the transformation this house has undergone since we moved in. That is for another post.

For now my baby girl's room is pretty much finished. We will paint the trim and the closet door white. When the baseboards dry we can nail them back in and move the furniture back. I may just get her some new sheets and a new comforter to go along with the new color.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Quiet Day!

Papa Peep is home.

This always changes our routine. Unlike usual he did not have 100 conference calls, hours of reading to do, and a million proposals to look over. He took one call and read for about 2 hours. It was just long enough for us to do Latin and......................................... reading. Oh music too! They practiced their instruments.

See our day changes when Papa Peep is home. We went to our favorite breakfast place this morning where they harrassed him for bring his laptop to the table. He received a phone call right as we got to the parking lot and whoever needed some information.

We came home, the kids read, we did a chapter out of Ecce Romani (just for a change) and then they played on the computer, did some puzzles, practiced their music, helped me cook dinner, and watched High School Musical 2.

Off to bed with me...........................

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Fortune Cookie!

My Fortune Cookie told me:
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

It just hit me! I don't worry. EVER! This was meant for Papa Peep I am sure.

My title!!!

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Excellency Patricia the Tremulous of Snotting on Wold
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

I know how Evel Knievel's mother felt!

Yes! He is jumping off someone's shoulders in the shallow end of the pool to catch the beach ball in mid air. Sometimes I just have to turn away!

My rock!

What would I do without my oldest peep? She will make a great mom one day. She decided since I have been so preoccupied with this disaster in Peru she would straighten up the living room and dining room for me. What a girl. These boy peeps can destroy the cleanliness of a home in a heart beat. Well, baby peep is not always agreeable to these clean up ideas of hers. He protested and she instead of yelling at him and getting me involved as she is prone to so, she called Papa Peep. Papa Peep is thousands of miles away probably sitting in a meeting discussing coffee and she is calling him to straighten her baby brother out. What a girl! Don't disturb mommy who is having a hellish day of her own.

Here is evidence that miles mean nothing to disciplining baby peep.


I am feeling very nostalgic today. I wish I was home with my peeps in Ecuador. Since I can't be there I have been looking at pictures from our trip last year and I found this one.

This was taken on a road trip along the coast. This town was called Montanita, which translates as "Little Mountain." We were standing in a church that was in the shape of a boat. It was opened to the air where you could see the ocean on one side and the town on the other. This is how high we were up this cliff.

Across the street was a school and I think they were leaving for lunch or something. Many of them came to the church to "hang out." Suddenly, one of the kids yells, "Ballena" which means whale. We all looked and a little far off we could see a few humpback whales in the distance. They come to these water to give birth. Then they head back North where the waters are colder. We were there towards the end of the season. It was amazing to see them.

Later on our trip to Ecuador we did get a boat out to sea and did see a mama and her baby pretty up close. The winds were bad and the pictures we took did not come out so great, but the kids still talk about the experience.

This is strictly a mathematical viewpoint... it goes like this:What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then: H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

and K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But, A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

And, B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G 1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top

Peru's 7.9 Quake

The family of a very good friend lives there and we have not been able to get in touch with them. They live in Lima. We are all so worried. It sounds very bad.

I have never been to Peru but can imagine how terrible the situation is right now. They are saying over 350 dead and 1,300 injured but I know how slow this process can be so I expect the count to be much higher. It is very cold there and many people slept in the ruins of their houses. I can not imagine how huge the despair is in that poor country. Sorry to bring the mood of the morning down but I just had to get this off my chest. Thanks for letting me share.

Visit this site for a video

O este en espanol

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Clarinet Player, Violin Player, Keyboard AND Guitar!

Oldest Peep has been taking clarinet lessons for almost 2 months now. Sometimes she truly amazes me with her abilities. She has taken to this clarinet very well. I worried about her ability to juggle both instruments (she plays violin also) but hoped she could do it. She has not let me down. She practices everyday both violin and clarinet.

Now she is using her violin sheet music to play the piano. How did she do that????? Amazing!

Now the guitar. She is also teaching herself to play this. One day she opened Middle Peep's book and just started playing. She plucks the strings well and reads the music and uses the charts in the book to figure out which strings produce which notes.

The amazing thing is that I made the child that can do all those things. There is not one ounce of music know how in this body. Thank you Papa Peep. You can take full credit there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh my, I have a brother!!!!

My parents split up while I was still very young. I don't know if my dad eventually remarried or not but I have a brother....yes half brother..... but brother still. Growing up I always wanted a brother. It was always just my sister, my mom and I. All women in a NYC apartment. PMS was rough at times. How I longed for a brother and now I have him. I have not spoken to him yet. I hope to go to NYC soon so we can meet up. My sister has hung out with him and has talked to him on the phone a few times. I would love to also but I don;t want to scare him.

I have a brother!!!!! Would you like to meet him? I would!

Summer Vacation 07

Papa Peep decided that for 4th of July he really wanted to go to the beach. I was drowning in stuff for swim team before the 4th so I left it up to him to find not only a location, but a place to stay and the general schedule of the "vacation".

Well, that will teach me to leave it to him! As soon as I laid this on him I knew I had made a mistake. Papa Peep is just not the type to think these things all the way through. First off the place he found cost too much for what we got. Don't get me wrong, it was very nice and clean, close enough to the beach and the location in general was a good one. The big plus was it was walking distance to the local Wal-Mart. (Can you just hear the sarcasm?) BUT the size of the condo was smaller than my basement. That is OK if it was just Papa Peep and I, but he somehow forgets how much room the children peeps require. We were tight in that place!

Next was the fact that we were there for only about a week. We actually had to cut it short for several reasons I will get into as the post progresses. During that week, he WORKED 3 days. I almost wan tot say he worked on the 4th but I can't remember specifically. Maybe my mind is trying to block that fact out. The point I am trying ot make is that he WORKED! We actually had to drive around to find a Starbucks so he could get his email and make conference calls. He actually got the children some terribly expensive drinks and expected them to sit at Starbucks for who knows how long and wait quietly and patiently while he chatted away. Sometimes it really dawns on me just how clueless Papa Peep is.

Needless to say, we headed out. We actually found a Books-A-Million. It was great I was pissed at him. This way I could buy without remorse. I don't even remember what I bought but I know I enjoyed buying it.

The places we found to eat dinner were terrible for the most part. The sad truth is that Applebees had the best food around. Terrible!

The beaches...well we will just say that the seaweed and the jellyfish hanging about made it tough to enjoy.

Now you are wondering where did Papa Peep take us too.....The RedNeck Riviera!


This is why I love him!

Why don't I ever get to see my uncle!

These were the words two cousins uttered this past week. Papa Peep is always traveling and his older brother is always busy with his business. Their family lives across the country from us. We use to see each other more often but now it is few and far between. They have 2 boys that fit nicely with mine. Oldest Peep is the only girl cousin in both mine and Papa Peeps family.

When Baby Peep's cousins visited last week (they were in town for 2 weeks), he wanted to know where his uncle was, and his cousin wanted to know where Papa Peep was since they never get to see their uncles.

This past Sunday we made an effort to get together at Papa Peep's youngest brothers house. He lives in the same town we do but his job and a new baby keep him pretty busy too. We had a cookout and we swam at their pool. All the little peeps had a great time swimming, eating, and playing Transformers. The Brother Peeps had fun watching their sons play together with toys they played with when they were younger. Life comes full circle.

Here is a picture we took to remember the occasion.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The local schools start back today!

We officially started 2 weeks ago, but since the local PS had not started yet, we have not gotten much done. I am glad they are starting today. We are falling further behind on our schedule. It is nothing we can't catch up. I will post those schedules soon.

I received the grammar program I will be using with baby peep and I think it will be perfect for him. I tried it with middle peep and it was too repetitive. He bored. With baby peep it will be just what he needs. I will report after a few lessons.

Oldest peep is really understanding CW Homer. She completely impressed me last week with her grasp on grammar. Latin Prep is really working out far better than I thought. She is basically working alone on Latin and fully grasped the language. Spanish is coming along great. I must remember to make them speak it more. That is the goal. 30 minutes of talking in Spanish. Math is wonderful as I am not teaching her. She is doing it on her own. She is getting most of the problems correct. Most is review still, but she had not fully understood it before. French comes this week and even I am excited about it. I think it is something I will do only with oldest pep unless the boy peeps beg for it too.

Middle peep is chugging along as usual. He will start Latin Prep soon and I can't wait to see how he does. I think he will really like it. He is working through SM 6B easily. I was hoping he would slow down. Tonight I will look into Russian Math 6 as I am almost convinced NEM1 will be too much for him. His writing is coming along, but his handwriting is still lacking. I will start another HWT books with him today. Let's see how it goes. Spelling has to be our focus this year. I must get him to par on that.

Baby peep is adding himself to the mix nicely. I seriously considered sending him off to school . *GASP* It was just that bad! Now he is asking for school work everyday and gets upset if we don't do something. I should not have picked Right Start for his Math. Not that he is not learning with it, but it is so time intensive that it will be the first thing to go if we are pressed. He doesn't have the Math understanding M had at that age so I must make it a point to do it everyday. Something! Anything!

Well, our first full school day must begin. No interruptions! No calls to come play or swim! Just me and my peeps working hard to learn.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Music Rx Concert

I should have taken a picture of them with all their instruments but I totally flaked. Well, here is Oldest Peep with all her Ensemble Mates. They did very well considering they practiced for less than 8 weeks. I am a proud Mama Peep.