Thursday, May 29, 2008


Boy have I abandoned this blog over the last two weeks. I have even missed 2 whole Wordless Wednesdays! I have been really busy enjoying the nice weather (on the days that it is nice) and thinking about our coming year. Usually about this time I switch to a lighter schedule for the summer. The peeps usually start their summer swim team. (It is hard to believe it is warm enough somewhere in the world to be swimming out doors!) I enjoy the warm but not yet muggy weather of Georgia. The neighborhood kids are out of school and knocking on our door at all hours of the day. This year however, the kids are still in school. It is still too cold to wear flip flops or skirts. And there is no outdoor pool to enjoy.

School must continue but I have been analyzing the fast paced schedule that we have had the last couple of years. I have been visiting the Charlotte Mason website of Ambleside Online almost daily. I am intrigued by their schedule. I have been comtemplating on how to integrate it into ours and how to let go of some of my (over) planning. We will see what the brain comes up with. Honestly, I have everything from now until highschool planned out already so this is a big leap I am about to take. I will keep you posted. For now, enjoy this picture.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Poetry Woes No more!!!!

I was talking to Jenny about CW's Poetry program and how difficult I thought it was. I told her how I just was not getting it. I was reading the lesson every night and then trying to explain and present it the following morning. The peeps were really enjoying it and were even explaining things to me. Jenny's feelings were quite the opposite. She thought it was simple and was hoping it would increase in difficulty as her girls were finding it easy. Jenny is a very smart lady. I want to be like her when I grow up. She may not know it, but the challenge was set. I had to understand this poetry thing and fast. Not in a competitive way, but rather I wanted to understand it like she was understanding it.

We are on Week 7 and I think I finally get it!!! What did I do different? Well two things really.

1. I told myself I could do this despite having never really studied any kind of poetry.

I had convinced myself that since I never studied poetry formally and what little I have read I had not really understood (I guess you should start with good poetry and not Papa Peep's lame college professor's stuff) I was just not meant to understand it. I convinced myself poetry was just weird. I had to get over it!

2. I started keeping a notebook myself and doing the exercises myself.

Doing the exercises myself got me to understand the difficulties and how since I was stuck I had to figure another way to explain it.

Believe me these two realizations have made all the difference. This week has gone so much better. We started on Monday with Week 5 (remember me telling you I was believe me now), Day 3. We managed to do both Day 3 and 4 on Monday because we were having so much fun.

Here are our Imitations:

The maid of books
She found some hooks
All on a summer's day.

The Snook of books
He ate the hooks
And downed them straight away

The Cook of books
Called for the hooks
And smacked the Snook full sore

The Snook of books
Coughed up those hooks
And vowed he'd eat no more.

The Duch of Earl
She found a pearl
All on a summer's day.

The Son of Earl
He took the pearl
And hid it far away.

The Duke of Earl
Called for the pearl
And whipped the son full sore.

The Son of Earl
Brought back the pearl
And never took it no more.

We have also managed to do all of Week 6 yesterday. Here is a sampling of our work there.

There was a Knight, a most distinguished male
Who from the day was first told this tale

O, Sam the Cat! With cunning strolled the house
Lest far too old to chase that mangy mouse

My mom a great and inspiring woman
Who from the very time she first began
To care for us was wonderous and kind
She truly is to be admired and adored.

My favorite collective effort came today when we each took a pair of couplets to imitate and then put them together for the following poem...

A Wolf who stole a sheep when light
From out a flock was in his flight
To take it home. A Lion went
And snatched the sheep. With rage spent
The Wolf stood well aside and yelled
"Unfair! It's mine!" The Lion held
In mockery, "So you say
You got it then all in a day?"

The green was Middle Peep's contribution; the orange was my contribution , and the purple was Oldest Peep's contribution.Thanks for letting us share. CW Poetry rocks!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Playing at the Iguana Park in Guayaquil.....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Museum Mouse

I have been contemplating sharing this story or not but my sister encouraged me so here I go.

We have a small mouse infestation at our NEW house right now. They are building more houses behind us and I think these new friends were looking for new homes. Fortunately they are really small (and according to the kids, "Really cute! Can we keep him?" NOT!!!!!!) so I am not too too freaked out yet! We noticed them last week. Some pantry items had holes in them and as I investigated further I found further proof they were feasting well. After I purged more than half of really expensive food (the most hurtful being the one pound chocolate bar from Trader Joe's) I sat down to cry. When I gathered myself together, I went in search of how to get rid of them. We caught one the next day and I thought my problem was over. Little did I know.......

So on Friday, I really wanted to see the Roman Art display at the Seattle Art Museum from the Louvre. (Sorry to those I promised to organize a field trip. They never called me back and after several phone calls with no results, I was discouraged. Continue reading and you will be satisfied with the karma at letting you down.) As I arrived at the parking garage, I had to drive several levels down to find a spot. I pulled into one near the museum elevators and turned off the car. The children got out and I realized I was parked too much to one side. I got back in and started the car up again while the children waited to one side. I backed up and as I was pulling forward again, I saw a shadow running across the window wipers. I started screaming (and I am NOT ashamed) as I realized what it was. I pointed and screamed words I can not repeat on this family friendly blog.

The peeps started running back and forth across the front of the car trying to get a good look at it while I was ready to just die. I felt trapped. I did not know how I was going to get out of the car. I felt as though this mouse was a super mouse and at any moment would be able to walk through the window and get me. I know these things to be impossible and highly unreasonable. I am an intelligent woman, a strong woman, but put these creatures across my path and you will see me turn into a screaming, crying baby.

It finally ran under the hood so I jumped into the back and jumped out one of the sliding doors while screaming and then running towards the elevators. Now, you ask, where did the mouse come from? That is the same thing I was trying to comprehend. Was I being stalked by mice everywhere for "getting rid of" their cousin that morning. Because if I was, it technically was Papa Peep who did it. NOT ME!!! OR did he drop onto my car from one of the pipes at the parking garage? OR Was that thing in my car at home and I just now drove with it all the way into Seattle!!!!!!????? AWWWWWWWW!!! The more I thought about it the more freaked out I got. Because we had a time limit at the museum I had to just go upstairs and deal with the mouse situation when I returned. My hope was that he saw me as part of the mouse relocation program and that he would be happier where he now was. I hoped he would find some dark corner to go to once I was out of sight. I hoped to never see him again especially under my hood or my roof.

I actually called Papa Peep and asked if he could come get us. I really did not want to drive home. I really wanted nothing to do with the car. His suggestion was to take it to a Nissan dealer and ask them to look for the mouse. Yeah!!! Do I look like I want more people laughing at me??? (The children were enough! I know you are laughing too, but I am not seeing you, am I?) So I opened the hood (OK, middle peep did) and we looked around a bit (OK Oldest Peep did), and we gathered all our coats and things that were in the car so we could make sure he had not gotten inside (OK all the peeps did that!). Once I had a good look around (OK the peeps looked but I told them where to look and how to look) and was confident the mouse had found a new home, we drove home and waited for Papa Peep to come to my rescue. Because that is what Papa Peep does for me!

And just so you know, we (OK Papa Peep) have caught 3 mice not including the Museum Mouse. When will it end......

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #5

WOW!!! Let's start off by saying, I have never been to a tide pool before! Well, this will not be the last either. Tide pools are the coolest ever! Although you can clearly see in the pictures that it was a cold miserable cloudy day, we really did enjoy ourselves. Next time I will bring hot chocolate to keep us warm, some blankets to lay on the beach while we sketch, and lots of guides to identify what we are seeing. We have found the names of most of the animals we saw yesterday. (I will get that list up once it is complete.) Each child is going to pick one of them to research further. I will post a follow up once those reports are done. But now, enjoy the slide show!

(It takes a little while to load, so bring a cup of tea with you.)

Oh, and our focus area was going to be the lake, we have decided to switch to the Puget Sound. We plan on going to the next low tide in June so that we may see other creatures (different location). We can't wait.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I've been tagged!

Lisa at Koinonia Academy tagged me. This could be fun....

Here are the rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago: I was living in Charlotte, NC where it was extremly hot and I was constantly exhausted because I was very pregnant with Middle Peep. We already were preparing for the Dublin move (read below on Places I have lived) and all that entailed. Oldest Peep has always been the kind of child that needs a schedule and needs to know what is coming next so the whole move every 6 months thing was really hard on her.

Five Snacks I enjoy: Only 5....that is like asking me to pick only 5 of my favorite chocolates.....I will give it a try

1. Dark Chocolate in any cream, bar, drink, cake, as a toping, as a side dish, as the main course, as a dessert, as the ONLY course.....(eating Haagen-Dazs' Amazon Valley Chocolate as I type up this tag)

2. I have an unhealthy addiction to SmartFood's White Cheddar Popcorn

3. TJ hummus with pita chips (YUMMMY!!!!!)

4. Plantains in all its many forms and many dishes

5. French Baguette with Breyer's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (Don't knock it till you try it!!!)

6 Berries......... Darn, I can't keep going!

In the real world:

I am smart, attractive, in shape, well rounded, funny, patient, ....WAIT!!!! REAL WORLD!!! OK! I get it......ummmmm.....

1. Hungry. I barely ate dinner...I think I ate some kind of dinner...because the boy peeps each had a sport practice today.

2. Cold. I live in WA now and apparently the sun doesn't make it up this far north.....EVER!!!!!

3. Colder. You asked what snacks I liked and I had to go get my Haage-Dazs Amazon Valley Chocolate Ice Cream.

4. Annoyed. Papa Peep is playing XBox live (you don't even want to know the game) instead of getting me a blanket because I am ccccccccold sttttttttill and it is (insert yell) MAY!!!

5. Stressed. Although you wouldn't know it by looking at me, we are sooooooo behind this school year due to our move and long vacation, that I might as well start the year over.

6. Thirsty.....Wait, there you go again cutting me off....

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Buy my grandmother a home with all the luxuries she desires.

2. Buy my mother a home with all the luxuries she desires and never have to work again.

3. Travel the world in my new yacht with my family.

4. Invest and give most of the profits to different charities!

5. Hire someone to clean the toliets and fold and put the laundry away in my house.

Five jobs that I have had:

1. In high school I had an internship with a VP at an investment banking company in Manhattan. It helped me figure out that I want nothing to do with investment banking.

2. One summer while in college I had another internship at Time Warner in the marketing department. That was fun.

3. In college I was treasurer of the local chapter of Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers. I was not an engineering major.

4. mom

5. homeschooler, or so it says on the Declaration of Intent.

Three of my habits:

1. I am an internet junkie. Must check email several times a day, and on my phone too.

2. I talk and write too much. I need lots and lots of words to say what I need to say because I have a great need to say things.

3. When I host a party at my house, I always prepare way too much food. I like feeding people. :-)

Five places I have lived:

Only 5....If you insist!

1. Bronx, NY (born and raised)

2. Troy, NY (Oldest peep was born there and Papa Peep and I went to college there)

3. Dublin, Ireland (Middle Peep was born there)

4. Marietta (just north of Atlanta), Georgia (Baby Peep was born here)

5. Bothell (North of Seattle), Washington (no peeps will be born here)

What do you want others to get from your blog:

What people read this thing??? I blog so I can put cute pictures of my cute kids on the net! JK! I think I have had too much chocolate tonight!

Seriously, I started the blog so that the family could see what the little peeps are up to and keep track on how big they are getting. Since we move around a bit and have not lived near family much, this gives them a peek into our day. I also wanted somewhere to document the craziness that occurs in this household. When I need to be institutionalized the doctors can read this blog to see where it all happened.

I hope you enjoyed this. I sure did, except the being cold part. I am going to get under my covers now.

OH, I tag.....

and whoever else wants to join the fun. Leave a comment so I can check out your responses.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 05, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #4

We are on a roll! Yesterday as part of the birthday outing we decided to go on a small hike. I am so NOT a hiker! I must say I did enjoy this one. The trail led to the lake and it was such a beautiful day and the water was so inviting and clear that I almost forgot I was exerting myself......ALMOST.

Here are some of the pictures we got along the way.

This is a strange fern (I think) type plant we saw. These were everywhere. They were pretty (from a far) and strange (from up close).

POST FOLLOWUP!!!! We did some digging around and we think the fern is called a fiddlehead fern and it is edible. They are however midly toxic so itis best to eat them in small quantities. It is only in season for a very short time in May. How cool! Have any of you readers eaten them before? Can you tell us what they taste like and what dishes they are used for? Thanks. I hope I am right but even if I am not, we had fun looking.

We liked this moss covered log and the little white flowers growing on top of it. Nature finds a way, huh?!

I have seen these somewhere, but where?

Then we started seeing shapes in the roots and trunks of trees. This one looked like an elephant. Do you see the two eyes and the (pardon me) trunk?

Click picture to make it larger and see the elephant.

Here is another example of nature finds a way. The bottom is the trunk of a tree (either diseased or it fell during a storm or something) but somhow another tree has decided to grow right on top of it. The visible roots are amazing!

The slug was not my favorite part, but the boy peeps enjoyed it very much.

And finally to the lake!!!!!

So today I asked the children to pick a focus area as Barb over at The Heart of Harmony asks us to do for Challenge #4. Since we have never done any sort of nature study it was hard to narrow it down. I think we want to focus on lake areas. We plan on going to the library to check some things out.

See you outside.......

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!!! Baby Peep!!!!!!

Today was Baby Peep's 7th Birthday! I can not believe how old my baby is! He has been looking forward to being 7 for a long time. I don't really know why. Soon I will have to pin him down long enough to ask him why and what his goals are for this year.

We spent the morning making some of his favorite breakfast foods, since breakfast is his favorite meal. He had eggs (fried, over medium with peppers), tortillas de maiz with cheese I brought back from Ecuador, and chifles (plaintain chips). He was in breakfast heaven. Forgot to get pictures of that!!!

Afterwards, we decided to take his birthday present for a spin. He got a new bike! He was so excited!

We took the bikes to a trail at a new park we discovered last week thanks to our homeschool group. The trail we took led to the lake and he was again in birthday heaven.

We rode for a while and then decided to get his favorite meal for dinner.....singapore rice noodles. YUMMY! They also serve THE best fried rice I have ever had. Ice cream for desert at Baskin Robin and then home for a homemade birthday cake.

Since he is wheat and gluten free I have to make his birthday cakes. I am not a baker. A cook? YES! Baker? NO! So I sooo look forward to this time every year (insert sarcasm). One morning while we were in our morning routine, he said, "I wish my cake could say Happy Birthday with the icing writing thing!" He made this statement that broke my heart and then went about his business. Did I mention I am NOT a baker? How do they do that? Can I find a place to do it? NO! Boy, was I in trouble. So I went to the store and tried to find something so easy even I could do it. Well, I don't think I did a great job, but just to see the look of happiness on his face was enough for me.

Happy 7th Birthday Baby!!!!!!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #2-3

Well, we are back and up to the challenge once more. Yesterday we had a beautiful day so we went out for our walk despite the fact that dishes were piling and I had a million phone calls to make.

We stayed out for over an hour to accomplish both challenge # 2 and #3. My fellow challengers are up to #12. I have to get caught up!

Barb over at the Heart of Harmony wanted us to observe nature as quietly as possible. Well, if you know my children this can be the most difficult thing you can ask of them. They are always talking, singing, pointing things out, or just chattering away for no particular reason. Baby Peep was especially challenged this week. After observing, these are the things they shared with me.
Oldest Peep
One word to describe something she heard - caw
Two words to describe something she saw - beautiful flowers
Three words to describe something she felt - bright warm sun

Middle Peep
One word to describe something he heard - chirping
Two words to describe something he saw - extremely prickly
Three words to describe something he felt - green prickly tree

Baby Peep
One word to describe something he heard - tweet tweet
Two words to describe something he saw - a cool rock and wiggly worms
Three words to describe something he felt - green spiky tree

I tried to get them to draw but they actually were more interested in climbing the rock wall

and then in lifting stones to find worms and other bugs.

EKK!! Mom is not a fan of bugs. It was really hard for me to take pictures of these.

Oldest Peep was much more interested in drawing and she found a nice sunny spot to set up shop.

We picked this tree to investigate further but we have not done that yet. It has intrigued us since the first time we saw it. It is the spiky prickly green tree both boy peeps refer to above.

Afterwards we went to the playset and did some leaf rubbings. The boys stayed long enough to see what I was doing and then they ran off to gather more leaves. However they found an area to explore and never came back.....

We saw lots of signs that Spring is acoming. We could not be happier as this cold weather really gets us down.

Well, that is it for this week. Come back for our other challenges.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


You Are Flip Flops

You are laid back and very friendly.

Cheery and sunny in disposition, you usually have something to smile about.

Style is important to you, as long as you can stay casual.

It takes a lot to get you to dress up!

You are a loyal and true person, though you can be a bit of a flake.

You tend to "play hooky" and blow off responsibilities a lot more than most people.

You should live: By the beach

You should work: At a casual up and coming company

What Your City Walk Means

You are optimistic and hopeful. Sometimes you do get disappointed by expecting too much.

You are very outgoing and friendly. You feel very comfortable in a crowd, and you can get to know anyone.

Money is very important to you. You like to have lots of nice things... and you don't care if you're being greedy.

You are curious about ideas. If you had the means, you'd like to explore the whole world.