Friday, January 30, 2009

Where's my shotgun?

Bert and I went out for a date tonight. We ate at the sushi buffet. It was ridiculously yummy. I like sushi.

When we came home, Bert said, "Is that David Peach's car?" Knowing that Andrew would be in bed and thus Emily and David would be alone I said "No, of course not."

Bert said, "That's David Peach's car."

I pulled into the driveway at warp speed. "Where's my shotgun?" I said. Then I grinned at Bert, "Let's go have some fun."

We came in the door and I joke not, Bert went upstairs and I haven't seen him since. What the heck??!!

I walked in and, quite frankly, all was quiet and fine. They were sitting at the table being studious. There was no spirit of "Uh oh!" or "They're trying to hide something!" It was just fine in the house.

Nevertheless, I told them off. David looked at Emily and said, "I told you!!!!" Emily tried to defend herself but to no avail. After I raked them over the coals in a non-threatening way, I told them seriously that they MAY NOT be alone in a house together. MAY NOT!!!!!

Then I sat down at the computer. I'm tired and I want to go to bed, but I have to chaperone. Groan. Ben's not home yet, so I suppose it's good that I'm staying up. =)




For some reason, as soon as I was in the house, hilarity ensued. All of a sudden they didn't concentrate on their work and were totally messing about.

It started with this:




Yes, they are the entwined toes of these two people:


Obviously, it was Emily's idea. Then she suggested they shove straw up their noses. They thought this was great fun. I have no pictures of that because I was busy landing my cute little planes.


After the straw insanity, Emily announced in the tones of someone offering a high treat, "Hey! Let's stick carrots up our noses!"







After this picture, David laughed so hard the carrots shot out of his nose at warp speed. It was so hysterical, this happened to David.


He laughed so hard he couldn't breathe and ended up curled up on the floor in a little ball.

Oh to be a teenager again. =)

Tennessee Snow Day

A few days ago Williamson County declared a snow day.


Honestly.




I am not making this up.





This is a snow day in Tennessee.



It was gone before 9am. The children were delighted. And so were the teachers. =D

Help!

Three weeks ago the Stake President got up to speak to us in church. We had rushed in at the last minute so were surprised to see him. He said, "I know you all get anxious when any member of the Stake Presidency come to Sacrament meeting, and you get even more anxious when all three members come....."

And I thought, "The whole Stake Presidency is here? GAH! Nonononononnonoonooooo!"

Oh yes.

".....and in this case your fears are correct. We are creating a Fairview branch."

Gack! All the fabulous people who were moved into our ward just 2 1/2 years ago are now being moved out. Ouch! That's so painful! Emily and Ben were BAWLING. It was uncomfortable and hurt.

So we were braced to hear from the Bishop or his counselors because in the reshuffle we knew there would be quite a few callings to fill.

To cut a long story short, Bert was called as Ward Clerk. This was a no-brainer to us. When we came home from church the Sunday it was announced we looked at all the leadership positions that would need to be filled and as soon as we saw that the Ward Clerk position was open, we knew Bert would be called to fill it. For some reason Bert and his Father are ALWAYS called as Ward Clerk.


I thought I was safe because just a short while ago I was called as Compassionate Service Leader. Because of the dearth of leadership I thought I might be called as Nursery Leader as well as Compassionate Service Leader, so I was surprised when the Bishop asked asked to talk to me. Bizarre! I couldn't figure out what it could be about. I knew that the 1st counselor lived in Fairview but I also knew that wouldn't be a calling for me. (Yeah, I know. You can start laughing now.) I thought that in the Relief Society shuffle I might possibly be called as secretary.

Uh huh.

So the Bishop called me to be "Education Leader" or somesuch thing. Oh ok. Yes, that's fine, I can do that. It only became apparent midway through the conversation that this meant 1st Counselor. I said, "!!.....wait....what?" So he repeated it.

Let me tell you, I was so shocked I started crying. I wasn't sad or upset or anything, I was just so SHOCKED that I cried. We talked a little more and then I had to ask again, "1st counselor? Are you SURE?" and was fairly dazed for some time afterwards.

It is BIZARRE that I'm in this calling. I don't have a leadership bone in my body! (Unless you're talking about the whole dictatorial parent thing) I'm much more comfortable being told what to do and then doing it. OTOH, it's pretty nifty that the 1st counselor is all about education, music and literacy when my whole life revolves around the education of my children, I love music, and I'm teaching Andrew how to read.

I have to teach in the Visiting Teaching conference on Sunday. The topic is "Finding Joy and Fun in Visiting Teaching". Sisters, do you have any ideas of what I can talk about? These are my points thus far:

1. Get to know your sisters. You can't have fun with them if you don't know them
2. There is Joy in Service. Serve your sisters. This includes praying for them daily. You can't serve them if you don't know their needs. You can't know their needs if you don't know them. Get to know them.
3. Visit at least once a month. Not maximum once a month, minimum once a month. Talk to them on the phone. Chat to them in the hallway.
4. When you visit, leave "you" in the car and focus on "them". Say and do the little things that help your sisters feel comfortable around you.
5. No judging! Judging will kill the joy and fun. If you find yourself being judgmental, force yourself to think three nonjudgmental things in response. =)
6. Traditional 30 min VT visits are GREAT if that's all you can do. Better to do that than nothing at all. However, if you're in a rut or just bored, here are some things you can do: Pop around unannounced with a goodie. Have lunch in the park. Make "surprise" lunches for each other. Invite all your sisters together and teach them all at once - food helps here as well. Maybe have a cookie exchange. Go to the Temple together - one companion watches the children while the other attends the Temple, and vice versa the next month. Have a "come as your leader" party where you dress up as Julie Beck, Eliza R. Snow or your own RS Pres.
7. It doesn't HAVE to be complicated. The best things in life are sweet and simple. Just love your sisters and the joy will come.


What do you think? Any other ideas?

Hahaha!

An email my friend sent me:


A child handed in the drawing below for a homework assignment, the subject of

"What my Mum/or/Dad do when they go to work."














After it was marked, the little girl brought it home to proudly show her parents, who were horrified.

The next day she was sent to school with the following note:


Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT supposed to be a drawing of me pole dancing in a strip joint. I work at Home Base and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This photo is of me selling a shovel !



Reminds me of the time in Kindergarten when Ben got a paper cut on his finger, and so was hanging it out the window so the wind could blow on it and make it feel better. Unfortunately, we passed all the teachers lined up outside the school (at dismissal all the teachers lined up with the students outside the school and the parents would pick them up from there). This was unfortunate because the finger with the paper cut? You guessed it. It was his middle finger.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

parenting

I'm pretty sad today. I've gone from anger to hurt to very sad.

It all began when I had the temerity, several weeks ago, to tell my son that his math homework was not neat enough. I simply couldn't read it. I gave him instructions on how to do it. Then I gave them again. And again. And again. For several weeks.

Finally, I wrote on his paper:

"Ben, we've talked about this multiple times. Single pencil line with a ruler, then a darker pencil line or a single pen line with a ruler. You have the concepts correct but I am marking these problems wrong because of your refusal to follow directions."

Was this inflammatory and provoking? Apparently so, because Ben read this and flew into a rage. He said he's done with homeschooling and will NOT be doing any work. And he hasn't.

I have been speechless most of the day. The pain in my heart rises up to my throat until I can hardly breathe. I want to get in the car and drive away. If my son can scream, "I'm DONE I'm not doing it anymore!" why can't I?

I can't, because Andrew needs parenting. It's truly a blessing he came into our lives.

Ritsumei's post was apropos.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ok. I'm going to have to stop reading about politics

So here we go. In an excessively unnecessary move, Obama retook the oath of office.

What was missing? Anybody? Anybody?


A BIBLE!!!!

So, let's see. What's he saying here? "Yeah, when I did it on the bible it wasn't the real thing. But now I'm doing the real thing WITH NO BIBLE."

So.

Yeah.

I'm going to have to stop reading about politics. For the next four years I will have to ban politics from my eyesight and earholes. Because I will go insane at how awful this whole thing is, that's why.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The same thing we do every night

This will only make sense if you've watched "Pinky and the Brain"




Narf!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cakes for the New Prez

Congratulations Obmoa!

And look at the comment after the white house cake. Bwahahahaha.

Inauguration

Ben's reading "I am an American" while we watch the inauguration of the new President of the United States of America.


I take that back. Ben is cuddling with Andrew and looking at the Wall-e colouring book that Emily gave to Andrew while watching the inauguration of the new Pres.


What'll be the first thing Obama'll do, do yer reckon? Federal funding for infanticide? Rack up the debt so that my grandchildren will still be paying it off decades after I'm dead? Raise my taxes so that I can't afford to pay for my children's college tuition or gym or swimming classes and have to eat more rice and beans than we do already? Raise the gas tax so high that we won't be able to afford to drive?


Ok ok, fine fine fine. I'll be nice. For today. Maybe.











Romney would've been better at handling the economic crisis as well as a bunch of other social issues.



Update: Ok, what did y'all think of that opening prayer? Here's me being hideously judgmental - I didn't feel the Spirit at all. I felt like he was shouting at our Heavenly Father rather than humbly petitioning him. I should probably should quit being judgmental. Sorry about that. (But DUDE! If that's what people think prayer is all about no wonder they think most religious leaders are self-aggrandizing.) Sorry sorry sorry. Ok, I'll really stop now.


Notes as I listen to Obama's first speech:
Hmm. That's a pretty dang good speech, Obama.

Oh...wait....now he's talking about what he's going to do. With whose money, huh? Get yer hands OUT of my dang wallet!

Ok, big brother, keep your watchful eye off my business.

Oh make me puke. Either that or give me a wall upon which to smack my head a few time. Withdrawing troops from Iraq? Then here's Keeley's prediction: Doing so will leave a vacuum into which insurgents will flow, terror will breed, and within a decade there will be another attack upon America or its allies.

All these things he's promising to other nations: WITH WHOSE MONEY?????? Get your HAND out of my POCKET! If you want donations - FINE, I can donate, I DO donate to many humanitarian causes. But do not STEAL money from me to fund YOUR pet projects that I may or may not be able to afford!!!


Right after his swearing-in, I had great hope. It took only one speech to eradicate it. I now fear for the future. I believe that in the next four years our family will be much worse off financially than we are now, and I believe it will be because of programmes that Obama is about to implement.


And now we come to the poem.

"What the heck is she jawin' about?"

Sorry about the flash. Obviously, I took the pic off the TV.




"I am just so awesome."

Monday, January 19, 2009

What we're eating this week

Haha! It's Monday and I'm remembering to put up a menu. Go me! =)

So we've had some pretty good, healthy, frugal, easy-to-make, food storage appropriate foods the past couple of weeks. If I find the menus I'll stick 'em up here, because for goodness sakes, it's really difficult to get that combination in a menu.

This week I looked in the fridge and thought "Hrm. Time to clean out the fridge" so this is the menu I came up with:

Monday:
Breakfast - Green Smoothie
Lunch - Leftover Spaghetti
Dinner - Chicken, butternut squash, potatoes
(The only thing I needed to buy was spinach, bananas, strawberries and chicken)

Tuesday:
Breakfast - Green smoothie
Lunch - Ham and cheese sandwiches
Dinner - Miso soup and bean tortillas
(The only things I needed to buy were tofu and bread)

Wednesday:
Breakfast - oatmeal
Lunch - hummus and banana pepper tortillas
Dinner - Pinto beans, onions, cornbread and carrots
(Didn't have to buy a dang thing)

Thursday:
Breakfast - Green smoothie
Lunch - egg salad sandwich
Dinner - Vegetable curry and rice
(Didn't have to buy a dang thing)

Friday:
Breakfast - If we have the fixins left, Green smoothie. Otherwise, oatmeal
Lunch - Cheese salad sandwich. Or Peanut butter, depending on if there's any cheese left
Dinner - Hot dogs and macaroni and cheese
(Needed to buy the hot dogs - or, more precisely, el cheapo "smoked sausage" because it was only $1.20 - and the mac n cheese)

Saturday:
Acutally, I haven't made a menu for Saturday. I anticipate it will probably be either a smoothie or oatmeal, with tuna salad sandwich for lunch and probably something like homemade pizza or something for dinner because I have some cheese (hopefully I'll still have some then...) and spaghetti sauce and a handful of pepperoni slices left.

Sunday:
Probably Green Smoothie, some kind of sandwich with Spaghetti for dinner. We ALWAYS have spaghetti for dinner on Sundays.



Total cost for food, despite the fact that I didn't have to buy much was $70. SEVENTY DOLLARS!!! This is what I bought:

Milk
Sandwich meat (ham)
Mac n Cheese
Smoked sausage
Chicken thighs
cheese
rice krispies
rasin bran
Spaghetti sauce
Spaghetti noodles
Squash
Bananas
onions
cucumber
spinach
tomatoes
oranges
bell pepper
bread
Ice Cream (we had a "going away" party for the Fairview folks on Saturday. Oh yeah, I suppose I'd better blog about that sometime.
Kool aid
Kroger oreos


Take out the party stuff it cost me about $63!!!! I don't know how such a small amount of food cost me so much. I didn't even buy shampoo or soap or anything like that.

It's depressing I tell ya.



What we ate last week:


Monday:
Breakfast - Green Smoothie
Lunch - Egg salad sandwich with lots of salad. Milk
Dinner - Soy sauce chicken, rice, green beans

Tuesday:
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Tomato salad sandwich, carrot sticks, milk
Dinner - Creamed chicken, biscuits, peas, salad

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Green smoothie
Lunch - hummus and banana pepper tortillas
Dinner - Pinto beans, onions, cornbread and carrots


Thursday:
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - homemade veg soup, 2 slices bread, milk
Dinner - lentil and vegetable soup with dumplings

Friday:
Breakfast - Green smoothie
Lunch - leftover soup and biscuits
Dinner - homemade pizza and salad

Saturday:
Breakfast - toast and marmalade, orange juice
Lunch - Tuna salad sandwiches, milk
Dinner - leftovers

Sunday:
Breakfast - green smoothie
Lunch - ham and cheese sandwiches
dinner - Spaghetti bolognaise w/ roasted squash and peppers



What we had the week before that:

Monday:
Breakfast - Green Smoothie
Lunch - Egg salad sandwich with lots of salad. Milk
Dinner - homemade split pea soup, bread, salad

Tuesday:
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Tomato salad sandwich, carrot sticks, milk
Dinner - bean burritos, fried onions, salad

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Green smoothie
Lunch - hummus and banana pepper tortillas
Dinner - It was meant to be creamed tuna and peas over rice with garlic toast. I don't know why I put this on the menu as I HATE warm tuna with a PASSION - unless it's a very expensive tuna steak, of course. I can't remember what we ended up having, but it wasn't this.


Thursday:
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - homemade veg soup, 2 slices bread, milk
Dinner - Black bean soup with carrots, celery and onions, cornmeal muffins.

Friday:
Breakfast - Green smoothie
Lunch - leftover soup and biscuits
Dinner - Tofu and veggie stir fry over rice

Saturday:
Breakfast - toast and marmalade, orange juice
Lunch - Tuna salad sandwiches, milk
Dinner - We were meant to have butter beans with scalloped tomatoes and garlic toast, but Bert's tummy protested. I can't remember what we had instead. I think it was take out, which is good neither for the budget nor for the waistline. But it helped Bert's tummy feel better. =)

Sunday:
Breakfast - green smoothie
Lunch - leftover soup or sandwiches, I can't remember.
dinner - Spaghetti bolognaise w/ roasted squash and peppers


I used the Hillbilly Housewife's $45 menu as a springboard for most of this stuff. It cost me $80 or $90 instead of the $45, which just shows you how much prices have gone up, doesn't it?

A couple of unrelated pictures

Sushi

Mmmmmm, looks incredible, doesn't it?

Actually, it was hideousness itself. Looked amazing. Tasted worse than Kroger sushi. The rice was AWFUL, and you can't have good sushi with gross rice.


Steam rising from our fence.
video
It was a frosty morning and it was a fabulous sight. So sorry for the sun glare. I should have taken this from my neighbour's yard....but it was stinkin' cold that morning and I wanted to get back in the house. So I called it good. You can still see the steam somewhat. =D


It was my turn to do Joy School this week. Actually, it was last week, but who's counting? Here they are, groovin' to Spongebob.
video
Aren't they just stinkin' cute? =)


At one point the playlist switched over to Muse' "Supermassive Black Hole". I said "Oh dear, let's put something else on." and they all went "NO NO NO! We like it!" Whereupon they grooved on down. =)

Update

I updated the post on Andrew's Preschool with pictures and links.

Cookies

Some time ago, Ritsumei and her family visited us.


Upon that occasion, I gave Ritsumei just the bunny she needed to defeat the nefarious Mr. Ritsumei. Muhahahaha. Ritsumei promised to send me some cookies as a reward. =)

Some weeks later, Ritsumei had made several batches of cookies - and promptly eaten them all before they made it to the post office. ROFL! I think that's fantastic. Personally, I think it would have been great if she'd kept doing that. There we'd be, 90 years old and Ritsumei would FINALLY say to me,

(You have to imagine a bent-backed, white-haired quavery-voiced old granny here)

"I finally made you those cookies."


".....and I ate them."

Hahahaha! We'd meet in Heaven and I'd be like "Cookies?" =D =D

But this is all beside the point.

Ritsumei called to inform me that the cookies were on their way. WOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!

Imagine my delight when there was a box on our doorstep the next day.




We ripped into it immediately.




My good gravy!!! Not only was the postage extortionate (And I'm so sorry, Ritsumei. If I'd known it would cost you that much I wouldn't have bargained for the cookies.) but she also sent two nifty books.




And the cookies!!!




Oh my!


Just look at that would you?





Holy cow.



They're just so dang cute!



Can you tell which ones Andrew and Bert liked? =)




Andrew REALLY liked playing with the car cookie....and eating it. =D You can tell from the bites in the tires.




I looked at these cookies in astonishment. You could frame them and put them up on the wall they were so beautiful. I remarked to my husband, "My gosh, they're almost too beautiful to eat!"

Bert pondered this for a microsecond and then said, "uhhhhmmmmm....no. They're beautiful absolutely...but I will have no problem eating them." =D


And he was right.

They were delicious.

And they didn't last long.

Dang it

Just recently Andrew has been stealing my smoothie.








Dang it.

On the other hand, it's one way to sneak vegetables and fruit into him.

But it's mine!!! And when I make him his very own he won't drink it! *sigh*


Update: Apropos, I showed Andrew this post and said "That's you, drinking my smoothie."

And Andrew replied, "Well, actually, it's MY smoothie."

See what I mean??!! =D

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mr. Rogers

He's always been cool.


How come you're connecting the dots?

"In terms of the decisions I had made to protect the homeland, I wouldn't worry about popularity. What I would worry about is the Constitution of the United States and putting plans in place that makes it easier to find out what the enemy is thinking.

Because all these debates will matter not if there's another attack on the homeland. The question won't be, you know, "Were you critical of this plan or not", the question will be "Why didn't you do something?"

Do you remember what it was like right after September 11th around here? In press conferences and opinion pieces and in stories that sometimes were news stories and sometimes opinion pieces? People were saying "How come they didn't see it? How come they didn't connect the dots?" Do you remember what the environment was like in Washington? I do! When people were hauled up in front of Congress and members of Congress were asking questions about "How come you didn't know this that or the other?" then when we started putting policy in place, legal policy in place, to connect the dots and all of a sudden people were saying, "How come you're connecting the dots?"

President Bush
January 2009



Monday, January 12, 2009

Food Storage

I have budgeted $100/month for food storage items. This is just a drop in the bucket. Every little bit helps, I suppose, but when I look at the things I can buy with this amount of money I see that it really IS just a little bit.

I have divided the $100 into two $50 areas. $50 is for food storage from the grocery store, and the other $50 is for food storage from the cannery.

Our amazing Food Storage Specialist in our ward, Frances Scruggs, handed out a plan yesterday that if followed would yield a year's worth of food storage for one adult by the end of the year.

This is what I need to buy in January:
1 case canned fruit - $20
9 lbs yeast - $40
2 #10 cans potato pearls - $40
6 #10 cans dried milk - $45
as much water as we can buy. - $0

As you can see, just buying the absolute basics means not only can I not buy any water, but I'm also over my budget by $45. Yeah. Soooooo. Not happy with that.

Anyone know where I can get a case of canned fruit cheaper than $20 and 9lbs yeast cheaper than $40? The potato pearls and dried milk prices I'm pretty much stuck with as they're the cannery prices.

Unfortunately we can't get cans of potato pearls. They only come in a bulk package of twelve 28-oz bags. How irritating is that? How am I meant to store that?

Maybe we should just give the potato pearls a miss? That'd certainly keep me within budget, wouldn't it?

But then, of course, we'd be without potatoes in our food storage and that would be a problem.


I'm so depressed. I'm going to eat another cookie.



This is the cost:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

When writing an essay, remember these rules.

1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)
6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
7. Be more or less specific.
8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually)
unnecessary.
9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
10. No sentence fragments.
11. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than
necessary; > it's highly superfluous.
14. One should NEVER generalize.
15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
16. Don't use no double negatives.
17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20. The passive voice is to be ignored.
21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical > words however should be enclosed in commas.
22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
23. DO NOT use exclamation points and all caps to emphasize!!!
24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
25. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.
26. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
27. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
28. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
32. Who needs rhetorical questions?
33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
34. The passive voice should never be used.
36. Do not put statements in the negative form.
37. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
38. A writer must not shift your point of view.
39. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
40. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
41. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
42. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
43. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
44. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
45. Always pick on the correct idiom.
46. The adverb always follows the verb.
47. Be careful to use the rite homonym. And Finally...
47. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.


I'm ashamed to admit that I have no idea what's wrong with numbers 37 and 46. I know SOMETHING is incorrect there, but I have no idea what.

I found these on this website at this particular page.

This is the type of education I'd like for Andrew. I don't think I can pull it off though.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Andrew's preschool

So sorry that I haven't posted lately. I've been really "meh" about it and just basically not wanting to post. So I haven't. I'm kind of bummed about the whole posting things. I know not why.

BUT in any case, I was inspired by Ritsumei's post on what she and her son do for preschool, so I thought I'd post about Andrew's preschool.

We're not as nifty doodles as Ritsumei, mainly because I'm lazier. However I noticed that Andrew's schedule has kind of blossomed lately and that's been fun. =)


This is how it goes:


Calendar: We sing the days of the week song, then Andrew puts the day and date on the calendar. If it's a new month we put that on too. Of course just recently we had a new YEAR so that was very exciting to put on. =) Then Andrew puts on the weather (from the choice of sunny, snowing, windy, raining, cloudy and foggy) and the season.
(2-3 minutes)




Music: Then we sing songs from the Children's Songbook. One song is chosen by me and is usually the song the Primary are practicing that week. Andrew then chooses a song. That's normally "Book of Mormon Stories" or "I am a child of God" or "Nephi's Courage" or....something else I forget what. There is nothing sweeter than playing the piano ever so softly so you can listen to your three year old sing. =) He's learning the words really well. =)
(about 5 minutes)




Prayer: Usually Andrew prays.
(30 seconds)


Journal: This is a recent addition. We bought a file-folder and I printed out some pictures Andrew liked and we decorated the front and back of the folder. The pictures were Speed Racer and Wall-E. =) Andrew dictates to me for about a paragraph, then he "writes" underneath that.
(Maybe 5 minutes or so)






Geography: This is also a recent addition to our schedule. I found an old map of the USA that Ben had made in public school. Andrew has thus far learned "The United States of America", "Tennessee", "Texas", "Minnesota", and "Michigan". =) We add another state every day or so.
(2-3 minutes)





Math: Another recent addition, since the New Year. On the back of Ruth Beechik's "An easy start in Math" is a 100 number chart. Every day Andrew counts to 100 and then counts by tens to 100. Often we'll go over the "teens" before we do the tens, to emphasize the difference in the sound.
(about 5 minutes)






Learning to read: Today we did lesson 21 in "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lesson" or whatever it's called. Andrew is doing really well. We don't do the writing portion, as he's not quite there yet. What's wonderful is since we've been doing the 100 chart Andrew is starting to recognize the number of the lesson. After we'd finished lesson 21 Andrew looked at the next lesson and said, "Next time we'll do number twenty-two". Wow! =)
(5-10 minutes)



Bob Books: Today Andrew read the fifth book in the second box set, "The Big Hat". He's doing really well. =) We usually read a book for two days.
(5-10 minutes)






Writing: Well, not really writing. We are using Rod and Staff's preschool books. We have moved onto the "C" book, "Color and Cut", so we're doing a lot of coloring. Being quite the traditionalist, I emphasize coloring within the lines and doing it carefully. I'm trying to teach him, even at this young age, to do his work with excellence. I'd also like to emphasize that I'm not standing over the little tyke with a ruler or anything. We color together. He tells me which part he wants to color and which part I should color. As we're coloring I say "try to stay in the lines" and "To do it neatly, go carefully around the edges first then fill in the middle." He does his best and it ends up scribbled, but that's just fine because it's his best and he's really proud of it. =) So I tell him it's wonderful and he gets a huge smile. =)
(5 mins)




Activity: This is totally Andrew-directed. He sometimes wants to play pattern blocks or "Let's Tackle Math" or Vehicle match-up or Frustration or Candy Land or something. I do whatever. =) Sometimes, rarely, he wants to paint or do play-dough.
(5-20 mins)




Reading: This has been a difficult one for me as Andrew likes to do it in the evening. We have dinner, I clean up and pick up downstairs, then we head upstairs and Andrew has a bath while I sort out the laundry. Then we snuggle up in bed and read - we're working through the Sonlight books that I bought a while ago. Andrew REALLY enjoys reading with me snuggled up in bed. After a few stories we turn out the light and go to sleep.
(15-60 mins)

This has been difficult for me to get used to. Because of this routine I get absolutely NO "Alone" time in the evening. For a little while it was driving me absolutely insane. I breathe through it by thinking that this is a very special time with Andrew. He won't be three for long. Soon he will be a huge 13 year old and will have no interest in reading with me whatsoever. So I'm taking this blessing with gratitude while it's here. These are the kinds of books we read.


Andrew will also play "Starfall" once in a while and really likes it.


Things I need to work on: Getting outside with Andrew. This is very important and we should do it more. I'm totally failing in this area and feel a great deal of guilt about it.

We also don't do science, or as much art as I think we should. We did once make a blueberry cobbler in Joy School and it was really fun. =) We should probably do that again sometime. =)