Friday, April 18, 2014

Fun Moments

A couple snippets from the last couple days.  I want to write these down so we can remember them and laugh at the fun we had.

Geeks

Girl, looking over my shoulder at an article about "geeks": Mom, what's a geek?

Me: Um, well, someone who doesn't just do what society tells them to do. They do what's interesting to them.

Girl: Oh, okay!

May we all be geeks in this house.  (I don't think there's any fear that we won't be!)

Colonel Mustard

I was reading to the kids recently about the War of 1812. I read this phrase: "They mustered troops to defend the fort." My kids, listening, dissolved into fits of giggles as they imagined the yellow condiment being sprayed all over some British soldiers.

Of course, we paused for a vocabulary lesson.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

For the Weary Mom

For me...

For me on those days when I struggle to keep my cool.
For me when I find myself yelling.
For me when I am being lazy.

Today I choose to be purposeful.
Today I will listen to each child.
Today I will listen to what is important to them.
Today I will pray and ask God for patience instead of retreating when I've had it up to here.

I will not yell... I will respond with kind words.

I will not bark demeaning words... I will build them up.

I will not ignore their words... I will listen, and really hear them.

I will show them that they matter to me.
I will show them that they are loved.
I will be the mom that they need me to be.

For them.

Today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Start happy

Wise words from my eight-year-old today:


"I think we're going to have a good day today,

because when we start happy, we end happy."






Friday, April 11, 2014

Nothing new under the sun

The kids were reading the biographies of "kid reporters" on a news site that they visit. My daughter read one reporter's favourite movie, Dodgeball. "What's that movie about, Mom?

Her older brother jumped in with a grin and asked, "Is it a movie where we watch other people play Dodgeball for an hour and a half?"

I started explaining, "Well, this one group of people has a gym and another guy wants to take it from them and he has a lot of money so he can do that. So they have to enter a Dodgeball tournament to win the money to keep the gym."

My girl interrupted by stating authoritatively, "The Muppets."

"Huh?" I wasn't sure where that came from

"So... It's The Muppets, but about Dodgeball. Right?"

Yep, I guess so.

There really is nothing new under the sun.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma Comedian

My daughter has been writing a story, based on her favourite characters from the Gregor the Overlander book series by Suzanne Collins. Every so often, I will sit down and help her edit her work. This morning, I tried to show her how to know when she needed to add a comma. Her dialogue needed quite a few commas. After adding several to just a few phrases, she protested, "We're going to run out of commas!"

Her older brother looked under the keyboard and declared that she had three commas left. She decided she had better use them wisely.

I love laughing and learning together.



Monday, March 24, 2014

Even if they're dumb as posts

Since we started homeschooling in September (really, since we started considering it in January of 2013), we have had academic excellence as one of our goals. My husband and I both did well in school, receiving Bachelor's degrees in our respective fields, and we expect our children to have the same desire and success in learning that we had. It makes sense then that I am enjoying setting catalysts before them these days to enhance their learning.

But...

I have finally fully realized what I suspected all along: Our experience as a homeschooling family reaches well beyond academics.

A year ago my children were in public school, following the schedule and routine of a typical school day.
They would wake up and start fighting.  They'd push and bicker and be anxious to leave the house so they could see their friends at school.

... Now my children wake up in the morning and hurry to each other's rooms so they can start playing before they have a chance to think about breakfast. On the rare occasion that only one is awake he sits and reads until he hears footsteps signalling a conscious sibling.

A year ago my children would trudge home from school at 3:30 pm, begging to play with their friends (the ones they just spent six hours with) and then complain at me when I reminded them that they needed to do chores/work/piano before playing with friends.

... Now my kids hurry to finish their work so that we can meet back on the couch in the afternoon to read a book together.  Eventually, around 3:30 or so one of my kids might ask to play with a neighbourhood friend. I usually am able to say yes since my child already got all her work, chores, and piano done for the day.

A year ago I would have dreaded Saturdays because those were the days of trying to figure out how to keep my kids occupied without listening to them tear each other apart.

... Now I look forward to Saturdays because my kids have all day to explore the games and activities they've been planning through the week.

A year ago we had a lot less family time that we could spend talking about things that really matter.

... Now we take as much time as we need to, sometimes putting off our French lesson until tomorrow, because what really matters is this time that we have to nurture each other, right now.

A year ago I chose homeschooling, expecting academic excellence.

... Now I know that even if my children come out of this as dumb as posts, we are all better off for it!

(And I sincerely hope and expect that my children will continue to thrive academically... not be dumb as posts.)

I've said to many friends recently, and I think they are starting to get annoyed, that I am kicking myself for not doing this sooner. It is so much more work for me, and it's exhausting some days, but it has made such a huge difference in the way our family functions. We know how to love each other. We are learning to work through our problems. This makes it all worthwhile!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pie Are Squared

I was going to wait and share this tomorrow but:

Since I know you like to plan for these things...

And you'll kick yourself if you don't do it...

This is the post for every person with a mathematician in their lives.

Tomorrow is March 14.  That is Pi Day.  Because Pi is a mathematical number that begins "3.14" and March is the 3rd month.  And tomorrow is the 14th day.  So it's Pi Day.

Anyway, since everyone knows that, at least on March 14, Pie Are Squared, I made a Chicken Pot Pie...  in a square baking dish.  If you follow suit, your local mathematician will go crazy.

(My crust recipe is at the bottom of the page.  The inside is just cooked chicken, veggies, and gravy.)



It'd help if you made a circular pie too.  That way he/she can calculate the area of the pie.  Or just eat it.



My current favourite crust recipe:

Use a pastry blender or a couple knives to cut 2/3 cup shortening into 2 cups flour and 1 tsp salt.  Add 3/8 to 1/2 cup cold water. Mix and roll.  This is enough to cover a 9x13 baking dish, which you really don't want since you're using a square dish (right?), so put the rest in a zipped up plastic bag and freeze it for next time.