Thursday, January 31, 2008

12 years old!


My oldest had a birthday yesterday! My baby is now 12 years old! I have no idea where the time has gone. It seems like just yesterday was the 3rd day at the hospital of the horrible contractions and no progress birth that was my daughters. I still remember the look on my midwife's face as I was pushing and she saw all the hair that baby had. She still even more hair now and all the 12 year old charm of being the old girl in a family of boys! Below is my little homage of her 12 years with us. We have laughed, cried, and screamed at time but she is my heart and soul. What I would do without my rock, I can not even begin to imagine.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Unfortunately I did not have my good camera with me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I love Papa Peep

Look what he just got us for our anniversary!

He is not the most romantic guy out there, but he sure knows what makes me smile. I sure do love him.

Since today is our anniversary, I will write ten things I love about my sweetie!

His eyes and those lush eyelashes!

His tiny, tiny ears!

His big, sexy biceps!

His silly, nervous smirk!

His not very funny jokes!

His brain......He is a very intelligent guy!

His childishness!!!!

His kisses!

His love for his children!

And the No. 1 thing I love about Papa Peep is.......

That he loves me!!!!!!

Happy Anniversary Darling!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My word!

They had called for snow yesterday but we got a beautiful sunny day so I thought the snow would not come. As I was going to sleep it started, but I awoke to this scene this morning.

That is a lot of snow!

Here are some accumulations from the front yard.

The view from the back.

Then of course the kids bundled up and ran out there to play.

(Note: The slideshow that should go here is in the post above because photobucket is determined to make me crazy and not work like it should.)

(Note 2: I think there is something wrong with blogger as I tried a new photo service website and it gave me a hard time also. I think I have it resolved above, but I still can't put it here where it belongs. Bummer)

I wonder if we will get any school done today. We are behind schedule as it is. These snow days don't help the matter.

Zoo Pictures

Last week Wednesday we went to the zoo on a very beautiful but still chilly day (at least no rain, right??)

I must say I was very impressed with the zoo. I am especially happy since it was a present from my mom. She gave us a membership to the aquarium and the zoo. We will go again really soon because we did not have enough time to see everything even though we were there for close to 4 hours. Next time we hope to start from the other side of the zoo. Some animals were not out (Hippos, Gorrillas) and we expected that with the cold but we still enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.

Well here is the slide show.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My evenings

I have spent the last 2 weeks in the evenings pulling metal buttons of all size, shape, and intricacy, off of Baby Peep's pants. He is allergic to nickel. He gets a rash from the metal buttons on pants just below his belly button and the metal buttons by the front pockets of some pants. Have you ever searched for jeans without metal buttons? GOOD LUCK! Almost impossible. Since Baby Peep is growing into not so much of a Baby Peep any more, the search for non-metal pants has increased to a frenzy. I have been fortunate to find a few in Target, a few in Old Navy and a few more in Kohl's. Those that Middle Peep wore and now fit Baby Peep must get demetalized (Is that a word? I just made it up I think!)
So the picture below is just from 2 jeans...ONLY TWO!!!
I repeat that HUGE pile of mangeled metal buttons use to belong to just 2 pairs of jeans. I need to call someone about this! I can't continue to pull these buttons for the rest of his childhood. This is not an easy task. My hands and fingers can attest to that!
But one I perform happily if it will end those nasty, itchy rashes he gets.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I've been tagged!!!

But this time it was not that embarrassing tag website thing that happened to me earlier in the week.

Jetihoja Academy tagged me for a cool book meme. I had no idea what that was until I visited her site. Here are the rules:

Book Meme

Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
Open the book to page 123.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the next three sentences.
Tag five people.

First the book! I am sitting at my desk which happens to serve as my night table since a small night stand would not do with all the books I always have around. I have two piles at the moment, and my current read IS the one closest to me.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Pg. 123, starting at the 5th sentence.....

A transaction in our fire company gave me some insight into their prevailing sentiments. It had been propos'd that we should encourage the scheme for building a battery by laying out the present stock, then about sixty pounds, in tickets of the lottery. By our rules, no money could be dispos'd of till the next meeting after the proposal.

Unfortunately I am not quite this far in the book, so I have no idea what is going on but now I look forward to getting there. I know I have not been asked but I am really enjoying this book; more so that I thought.

Enjoy ladies!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Poetry update

This week the peeps had to write an iambic poem that followed the da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM meter.

Well, Oldest Peep explained what that meant and then we got to work. She was not feeling well so her effort was minimum but I thought not too bad. Perhaps we will redo this when she feels better. I should look ahead to see if we get to do this skill again.
A tree is yellow today
The grass is blue today
The sky is purple today
The sea is pink today
Middle Peep's iambic poem:
A car is very fast
It must not get in last
A rock is very slow
Try not to stub your toe
I wrote one as well but oldest peep only copied half of it and the mama brain doesn't remember
the last two lines. Here goes:
In fall we like to play
A leaf is friend to me.
Have I mentioned how much we are enjoying CW's Beginning Poetry?

Better late than never

Fine Art Friday

So I have a wicked headache and can't sleep. I probably should rest but it hurts more when I close my eyes. Most importantly I forgot Fine Art Friday. I really enjoyed Bits of Grey Matter's post as well as Short on Words. Bits always has something deep and thought provoking. Short is always so beautiful. Check them out and enjoy what they share with us.

As for my art.......well, I finally unpacked those paintings I was telling you about. I tried to pick one but it was hard, so instead I will start with pieces of the first painting.

I remember being a little girl and always wanting to hold my grandmother's hand. I love how they are wrinkled. I love their softness. I love how delicate they are. I love how they smell. I love how they feel in my hand. I love watching them knit or crochet. I love how they pat me on the head. I love how they counsel me. I love how they prepare such delicious food. In a few weeks, I will feel those hands embrace me. In a few weeks, I will be able to hold them again.

Peeps' Winter Wonderland

Monday night it snowed here. While the peeps did play in it that night, it was not until Tuesday morning that all the fun was really to be had. Everything froze over night and it was just slick enough for cardboard boxes (like we don't have enough of those about) and some cooped up peeps to really enjoy. We witnessed several trucks try to skid their way up our little hill while the peeps tried to skid down. I continually had to tell Baby Peep to STOP eating the snow while trying to get Middle Peep not to be so risky. Oldest Peep, as usual, first cautious quietly observing and then the last to be dragged back inside.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I have actually waited a whole week to post this as we went to the Science Museum last Wednesday. I hope you all enjoy it!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


We are in full basketball season....AGAIN.

Last year Middle Peep tried basketball out. He was very timid. He only took one shot all season. He was a great defender but keeping his man from scoring was his only goal. Off season he played around a bit but has not really found the passion for it. When basketball season rolled around again he was more than willing to try again.

New city + new coach = New attitude

Before the first game the new coach assigned him his role. He was to be the #2 point guard for the team. That was a HUGE step up from last season. He was very nervous but excited. He is still a bit afraid but he is breaking out of his shell. His ball handling has improved immensely.

And on defense he still keeps his man from scoring. :-)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fine Art Fridays

So I could not think of anything today. I have been scanning my brain all morning to come up with something clever. Then I thought about what is art to me? What does art evoke in me? I thought about art being something pleasing to the senses, something that evokes an emotion from me, something someone created with their hands.

I came up with books. Books please all my senses. They evoke strong emotions from me. They were created by an author's hands. So today I will pay homage to those books which are currently living beside my bed.

And because of books, today, I will go to the library and check out an art book so that I can really blog about art next week. *wink*

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Baby Peep

I thought I would end the week with Baby Peep since he has been prevalent of late. I know it is only Thursday but tomorrow is Fine Art Friday which means I need to find something for that.

He is a very funny child to work with. He can sometimes be so cooperative. He can be so NOT cooperative if his mood strikes. I have not figured out what triggers him. He is motivated simply by himself. He could have had a nice dinner, gone to bed early with a story to boot and will wake in the foulest of moods. For a while I thought it was the gluten messing with him. Sometimes I still suspect it. Even though we are careful with what he eats, it is impossible, in this country, to eliminate it completely. We depend on wheat for everything. That rant for another time.....

Today was a very pleasant day. He sought me out for school. This is rare but happening more often. (There is hope.) His reading is still behind what we consider appropriate but the strides he is making can not be measured in reading levels. He no longer runs from the room when I pull out Phonics Pathways.

I have considered getting something else but middle peep used something different to learn to read and he is a terrible speller. Oldest peep used PP and she is a great speller. It could be middle peep was destined to be a bad speller (Papa Peep can't spell himself out of a paper bag) but I see understanding in baby peep that middle peep doesn't have yet. I attribute it to Phonics Pathways. I am not taking any chances this time.

He doesn't enjoy reading, but he now tolerates lessons and reading practice. He enjoys First Language Lessons. He likes the memorization and the narration bits now. He especially likes it when I put them on the blog for others to see. You know, now that I think about it, he is an attention seeker. I will have to ponder more on that later...

So today he did school on the floor of my bedroom. I had to run back and forth between schoolroom and my bedroom to check on him. We cuddled on my bed for History. Yesterday I received Junior History Book 1 and 2 and he couldn't wait to start it. I hope to write up a review later today.

Then we worked on Math. He is really starting to remember the math facts but more importantly he is understanding the relationship numbers have with each other. The Right Start abacus has played a huge role in that. I am not using the manual right now because he was not enjoying it and it was taking too much of my time for one lesson. We now use the abacus with Singapore Math. I explain with the abacus the point I am trying to make and he "sees" it right away.

Next was Explode the Code which he loves. He groans about reading the sentences but he has gotten so much better because of them. I see the grumbling as habit because he gets most of them easily now.

Afterwards, he practiced his reading and this is where it got funny. Watch him read and then work on some spelling words.

I usually take his words right from what he is reading. It helps to cement them in his mind. I am trying to discover what sort of learner he is and he leans visual but not necessarily on everything. This write what you read method worked for Oldest Peep way back when, so I go back to it with Baby Peep. Middle Peep was such a reluctant writer that I did not employ this method. I am paying for it now as he is 9 and has trouble spelling the most basic words. Maybe I will highlight him next week.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Lion and the Mouse

Narrations don't always go right around here. Sometimes they end in meltdowns. Sometimes they end in whole new adventures. But when he cooperates, he can be so darn cute. Here is Baby Peep's version of The Lion and the Mouse.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Afghan Campaign by Steven Pressfield

I finished my first 888 Challenge book. I have to say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Papa Peep is a big fan of Alexander the Great and he is the reason I picked this up. I thought I would give it to him to read. After getting it we all went to the Y and while the kids played I sat down with this book as it was all I had to read. The beginning grabbed me right away. The entire novel was fast paced. The details were just enough. Being a visual person the descriptions must paint a picture in my mind making it easier for me to relate. The stand the Afghans take against Alexander's army is understandable. Their code, their culture will accept no less. This review I found explains what I want to say much better than I can.
Now what to read next???

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The flowers I promised

They did not tun out as I had hoped. I did not have my rebel with me. I had my old, beat up, pocket camera... The Canon Powershot. I love it because it fits in my pocket. :-) However, it has been much abused (by the children who tried to claim it as their's once I got my Rebel...HA!) and admittedly by me. I had taken it for granted and I think it is giving out on me. What will I do without my pocket camera?? I will share what might be the last shots it takes. Maybe if I had Photoshop?????

Kite Runner: Book and Movie

I read this book in 2005 or 6. The story haunted me for a long time. I would find myself cooking and thinking about a particular scene or some feeling evoked while reading this book. I felt every word the author wrote. Many times during my read I cried. Oldest Peep still remembers walking into my room while tears streamed down my face. When she asked what was wrong all I could say was, "Wow! This book is!" When I heard the book was being made into a movie I worried. I was anxious to see it of course but I worried it would not measure up. I finally went to see it today.

WOW!!! Oh WOW! OH WOW!! Again I cried. Again I felt all the emotions evoked during my reading. Again, I felt the pain, the injustice, the hopelessness, all that sadness. Again........

Although it is a story of fiction I find myself constantly asking, "How much is true? How much?"

All that said, the actors involved are very talented. The script is true to the book. The scenery perfect. The movie deserves nominations, .....Oscars, Tony's, Emmy's, Academy Awards, Indie's ......all and more. Go see this movie...better yet read the book then go see the movie...see the movie then go read the book. You get the idea.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Fine Art Fridays

Click Here to find out about this man's dying art.
This is why when I go to these markets I never haggle. I am no good at it but mostly it doesn't make me feel good. I know these people will simply not eat if they do not sell something. Why should I undercut their profit. They work harder than most people can even imagine. They do it for the love of their craft. I understand the need to modernize, but at what cost. It must be with the consumer to demand original, handmade products and to understand their worth. Off my soapbox.......

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Triple 8 Challenge

888 Challenge

I am game. I am ready. In anticipation, I went to the library today (this state has the BEST libraries I have ever had the pleasure of joining) and I found some more books to add.

Here is my list:

Elegant Universe
The Science of Leonardo by Fritjof Capra
The Ancestor's Tale by Dawkins

People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
1421 by Gavin Menzies
History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer
The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith

Stolen Lives
Biography of Ben Franklin
Lincoln by David Donald
Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire
Eat, Pray, Love
Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Thirteenth Tale
Passage to India
I am America by Colbert
The Borgia Bride
Water for Elephants

Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
Mansfield Park
Sense and Sensibility
Northanger Abbey
Two Histories of England

Evening Class by MaeveBinchy
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
One Hundred Years of Solitude By Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Daughter's of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Been Sitting on my night stand forever
Havana Boy
Stolen Lives
Thirteenth Tale
Autobiography of Ben Franklin
History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer
The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith

Library Shelf Additions
The Borgia Bride
The Afghan Campaigns by Steven Pressfield
Band of Sisters by Kirsten Holmsteadt
Reflections of Osiris by John Ray

I will update this list as I read the books and as I add to my categories. If you are taking the challenge and have a list, let me know so we can cheer each other on.

Wordless Wednesday

Boys! Who understands them?
(click the pictures to see the faces they are making.....he he he)