Saturday, November 22, 2008

A different kind of pie

Your slice of life was so much more substantial than ours usually is...If we were different kinds of pie, I'd say you're a calorie dense, filling pecan pie and we're a pumpkin custard without whipped cream.
Here's a rough version of our day:

All the kids wake each other up because they're in the same room.
The younger two yell until I get out of bed. (Junior Mint is already up watching cartoons or infomercials--he likes those for some reason.)
I get dressed and get the babies up.
They watch PBS while I change diapers, get babies dressed, acclimate my brain to the new day.
Everybody has cereal.
They watch more tv.
I read stories to kids.
I do cleaning and bed-making.
I check computer stuff.
The babies get their diapers changed again.
If we're lucky, the babies go to bed around the same time and sleep for 2 hours.
Then my official homeschooler and I argue about starting school for the day.
Eventually, I win.
We sing the Articles of Faith 1-3 (right now) and often 13 because it's his favorite.
Usually we sing at least 1 Scripture Scouts song from the songbook I have. He likes 'Melvin the Monster' best.
We pray.
We read scripture stories and/or the most recent Friend. Often, we take turns reading every other sentence.
We read a chapter in 'The Black Cauldron'.
We read from a Zoobooks magazine about an animal--about 1/2 a magazine at a time. This week it was camels. We usually do at least one puzzle of some kind from the magazine.
We have a snack or'll notice we forgot to eat it earlier.
We do English work, taking turns reading again.
Junior Mint usually takes over an hour to do one page of English grammar. (We use the 2nd grade Building Christian English Series from Rod and Staff, a Mennonite publisher.) He asks me why they're always talking about God all the time. Lately, he's liked English more and sets a timer and races against the clock.
If the babies aren't up and screaming, we'll read a history section from Story of the World, Vol. 1.
If it's a geography day, we've been doing a good U.S. Map puzzle over and over, talking about state capitals, political boundaries, and products from different states. This is not very focused, yet.
If we're still friends by then, we'll go onto BrainPop Jr. on another free trial. (We're getting a subscription soon.)
Then, the babies are certainly awake and it's hard to accomplish any other formal schooling.
Junior Mint plays and snacks most of the rest of the day. I like it when he spends hours building a Leggo fleet downstairs. (Not because I like him away but because the quiet time is good for him and I like him to play with building toys.)
If he hasn't been naughty, he gets 30 min. of recreational computer time.
Sometimes, usually earlier in the day, Junior Mint will just find an encyclopedia type of book and start copying from it. Sometimes it's a science book--he'll copy a diagram of the inner ear. This week, it was a history volume--he copied a section about the Onin Feudal Wars in 15th Century Japan. I figured that was good handwriting practice.
The day after that is usually a blur...diapers, baths, stories, more tv than I should allow or watch, blog stuff and now facebook, dishes, dinner (always late), stories, phone calls, cleaning up toys, kids going to the corner for hitting, there is always a lot of screaming, (not usually from me), brushing teeth--for the 2 year old, this is a 2 person job and can only be accomplished if my husband is home and there is definitely screaming involved--reading scriptures, individual and family prayer, another drink of water, etc.
I write in my notebook/journal and read from the Book of Mormon every day, though sometimes the result is pathetic...I'm maintaining a habit mostly.
Eventually, we stumble into bed because we've stayed up much later than we should have again.
We say night prayer as a couple and if it's my husband's turn, I often have to squeeze his hands several times to keep him awake long enough to reach amen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Slice of life

7 am I went for an early jog
8 am shower
8:15 am personal scripture study and journal time
8:30 am first round of wake-up calls, touch base with husband (one of the girls is sitting in the kitchen listening to Where the Red Fern Grows on CD) (the other girls is reading a YA novel that a friend of ours is prepping to send to publishers)
9:30 am everyone is awake, thinking about breakfast and I'm nursing the baby
the times get fuzzy after this, but here's what happened
Everyone eats breakfast, reads two Emily Dickinson poems about Hope, gets dressed and all beds are made. We have family prayer. Not necessarily in that order.
The oldest girls read scriptures alone. I read to the younger kids.
The oldest girls write in their journals, quiz themselves on multiplication on, and complete daily grammar.
The 6 year old reviews yesterdays easy reader and has a new reading lesson. Then she draws a turkey and writes "turkey" underneath it. Finally, she does a number recognition worksheet. I promised her she could take a nap once all of those things were done, but then she got excited about her workbook pages and did more math, coloring and alphabet review. It's glorious not to have to push her or bribe her. She can be a stinker!
#1 does history of music reading and completes an assignment from Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain
Private spelling lesson for #2 based on errors found in Christmas story draft
Everyone spends a few minutes working with the baby on her exercises and games for therapy. That's a daily joy and a daily assignment. =)


The older girls and I take turns reading about atomic mass and google a question about nuclear weapons.
Then the oldest girl outlines the Christmas story idea she selected from her brainstorming yesterday, practices calligraphy and reads more of the new YA novel.
The second oldest begins typing her Christmas story.
I read to them about Huang-Di and Lei Tzu from the yellow river valley of ancient China and the story of how silk was discovered.
I discuss current economy and potential career options with husband. We make lunch while husband moves the car. Everyone gets something to eat. Husband tells me that I shouldn't be spending $$ on mythology books right now. The baby's occupational therapist arrives and departs. Two neighbors come for a playdate which includes turning my dining table into a fort. The older girls take this opportunity to play pop music (not allowed before 3pm) and groove to Pandora.


Playdate continues.
Checking in on various internet interface sites, blogs, facebook, etc
6:30 pm Pasta for dinner. .
Dinner chores
Bedtime routine
Family study of the Old Testament which lines up with our daytime study of ancient civilizations
Read aloud Journey to the Center of the Earth chapter 35, 36
I get to write

Fortune Cookies

For our study of Asia:

Fortune cookie batter is like crepe batter and works better if it sits overnight before baking.
1. Mix:
1/2 Cup flour
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2. Beat into flour mixture until smooth:
1/4 cup melted butter
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 Tablespoons milk
3. cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
4. Drop batter a tablespoon at a time onto a buttered, non-stick baking sheet. Space cookies 3 inches apart because they spread a lot. Make only two cookies the first time, then four cookies at a time after that if you are fast enough with the folding process.
5. Bake at 300 for 10 min. until edges are golden brown.
6. Remove from oven and use a metal spatula to slide on cookie onto a smooth kitchen towel.
7. Wearing gloves and working quickly, place a paper fortune on the center of the cookie, fold the cookie in half, and press the edges to seal.
8. Bend the folded edge over the rim of a glass to give the cookie the familiar shape.
9. Place in a muffin cup to help keep the shape until cool.
10. Repeat quickly!