Monday, November 29, 2010


We had a very exciting week last week. Thanksgiving and visiting friends and then recovering from those things, then several children were sick.

To do:
Sweep living room and dining room
Homeschool math and lit and history and science
Bake bread
Make turkey noodle soup

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I'm doing instead of peeling spuds

I should be making the mashed potatoes. I use Pioneer Woman's recipe - it's below - and man are they good. They get made tonight and get plunked in the fridge until tomorrow afternoon, at which point I reheat them. They are amazing mashed potatoes.

But instead I'm, well, now I don't quite know what I was doing, because since I started this post I've been called away from the computer several times. Once to start a child's shower. Once to end a child's shower, and dry off said child. Once to discuss with the oldest child exactly how her life is filled with uncertainty and pathos because she has not yet seen the latest episode of Hannah Montana. Answer - it is not, actually thus filled (cf. Haiti, Afghanistan, Korea). Ah but look, now! She is brushing her teeth without reminder! Woohoo!

So I guess I best get hoppin' on those potatoes.

Here's the recipe.

Apple pies

Thanksgiving food documentation One: Sean's Apple Pies!


still more whinging about internet addiction

I know this is tiresome. Don't read it if you're bored with me.

It's already happening. I went back to Facebook, like, a few days ago and already my brain is fragmented. I can't handle it. I forget things in the time it takes to walk to another room or to boot a computer. I know some of this is normal and human but there is a striking difference in my abilities.

Also, I'm such an addict, and I don't use that word lightly. I feel anxious about not using the internet. I get a little happy surge when I do. This is bad.

In just days I went from 20 minutes to a few hours wasted on Facebook and that nefarious new-stuff-bringer, Recommended Items in Google Reader. The sad thing is there is so much good to be had from the internet but I can't keep the bad away from myself. I haven't got the will.

I think that's it then. Do I have the guts to deactivate Facebook entirely? Let's see.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

wall timeline

Here's a few pictures of some timeline items.

Ha, ha! The fall of Rome (by Abby)


Mouse Guard! (by Faith)


This one is a personal favorite (by Faith)


It's a long strip of masking tape, marked every five inches, from 4000 BC to AD 2100. The BC dates are by millennium and the AD dates are by century. When we get back around to the Ancients we'll need to alter the BC scale, but that shouldn't be a problem - there's more wall left.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

deciphering the spoken word

Me: Did you have fun at the store with Dad?

Bede: Um. Yes.

Me: What store did you see?

Bede: Yes. Spongebob Squarepants.

Me: What was the store named?

Bede: Bede Gleeson.

Me: (slower) Was the store Crest or Walmart?

Bede: Oh. Um. Crest!

The above demonstrates why it is best to think carefully about what words to use! Bede seems to hear about the last third of a normally-paced spoken sentence - maybe it takes him a good three to five words before he begins to process it. So that means he heard something like this:

Me: noisenoisenoisewordnoise at the store with Dad raisedinflection?

Bede thinking - must need a response because her voice rose - store with Dad - I went to the store with Dad. Yes. I did.

Bede: Um. Yes.

Me: noisenoise see raisedinflection?

Bede thinking - response again - say 'yes' - wait, this is easy, though, who lives in a pineapple under the sea!

Bede: Yes. Spongebob Squarepants.

Me: noisenoisenoise ..ore named raised inflection?

Bede thinking - My name is Bede Gleeson.

Bede: Bede Gleeson.

Me: noise the store Crest or Walmart raisedinflectionthennormal?

Bede thinking - Oh! She wonders what store we went to! It was C-R-E-S-T. Crest!

Bede: Oh. Um. Crest!

That's with no other noise either, we were in a room alone. More difficult to get with any other sounds, especially speech. Honestly it's amazing he does so much! He wants to communicate, to understand and be understood. Just like everybody else. What a great guy he is.

(Bede this summer)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nine things, in honor of Mom.

1. I am legally blind in my left eye. That means I can't see 3D movies. So far my life has not been tragic because of this.

2. I know how to juggle. But the first thing everyone says is "Can you do four?" If you want to please a juggler, say "Wow!" and leave it at that.

3. My favorite color is blue.

4. I have six children and I have been pregnant for four and a half years. In related news, I have been breastfeeding for ten years, seven months, and counting.

5. My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip.

6. I secretly love Doctor Who fanfic. I ship Doctor/Rose. Some of it would scorch your eyes.

7. I've always wanted a border collie. I haven't gotten one because I figured it would be like having another child. I'm weakening, however.

8. I'm mildly autistic, and fall somewhere around the Asperger range. I often wonder how my school years would have been different if I would have had support.

9. I'm nearly always barefoot.

Monday, November 15, 2010

coming out from under a rock

The sickness is still here. I'm almost better. i was ableto clean the living room (big girls helped) and dining room today, which were so messy. It was crazy how messy. And then I made bread, which is on the second rise and aalmost done. I'll probably be able to turn the oven on after I finish this post.

We, well, only me so far, made a timeline today. It consists of ten feet of wall with marks five inches apart. I'm going to label them from 4000 BC to AD 2100, then we'll all put stuff on it. I think it will be fun. The BC portion gets five inches to the millenium and the AD portion gets five inches to the century. There's room on the wall to give the BC portion a bit more room when we come back around to the Ancients.

Gilbert and Abby just gave me an impromptu recital, in part:

G: Pussycat pussycat where have you been?
A: I've been to London to look at the Queen.
G: Pussycat pussycat what did you there?
A: I frightened a mouse from under a chair!

And so it goes.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mostly what I do is clean things.

I make things and clean up. I clean up what other people mess up. It's tiring.

Sean gets things. It's got to be a similar sort of futility, to be bringing home, oh, milk every week. Didn't I just buy milk? he is heard to say. We're out already? Really? Yes, I say. Already.

Our food budget is high, I think. It averages out to something like $80 per person, per month. I feel like that's high. I feel like I should be able to get it down to $70, or even $50. $50! Wow. Imagine that.

But that means I have to make more things. Even more things. And it's not the making as much as the cleaning-after-the-making that is wearing me down, man.

My usual response to this feeling is to get rid of stuff. Because if it isn't a source of good it's a source of pain, and I'm anti-pain. Especially stuff-related pain. I think a clearing of the house is in order.

Monday, November 8, 2010

sickness, homeschoolers

Everyone is sick with a cold here. Gloria and Bede were the worst hit today, feverish and wan on the couch. Faith was very bad off yesterday but is much improved. So far I have not succumbed; I hope for the best.

It brought homeschool to a halt though. I did nothing today. Faith is reading Beorn the Proud and Abby is reading How to Train Your Dragon, and they both spent an hour or so reading, so i guess that's countable.

We have the movie for How to Train Your Dragon but neither I nor the older girls and G-Lo have seen it. We would have watched it with everyone else but instead we went to a homeschool event on Saturday. It was a discussion followed by a hands-on demonstration of solar panels and wind generators - but we didn't watch that part. The kids were far more interested in the dozen-plus homeschooled kids on the playground, so I wandered thataway instead. I talked with a charming homeschooled teenager named Chris and another homeschooling mom named Kara. Kara also has six kids, the oldest aged ten and a girl - who was playing with Faith and Abby as we spoke.

I was yet again struck by the ease and grace the multi-aged children exhibited in their social actions. I so rarely see that in groups of institutionally schooled children. Within minutes these kids, most of whom had never seen each other before, were playing with abandon. The younger kids were included and tended to if they got knocked down or squished. The difference between this Saturday and the last event we attended with institutionally schooled kids was very plain. Not to say that nonhomeschooled kids are mean, but they are stiffer socially across age groups, and slower to socialize. Maybe because they have been rebuffed in the past, whereas homeschooled kids generally have more positive experiences? Who can say.

It's ironic that homeschoolers are badgered about "socialization"!

Also noteworthy was a visit from our friends the Roykas. Yall need to come more!

Beorn the Proud (Living History Library) How to Train Your Dragon Book 1

Friday, November 5, 2010

That last bit might be a problem

Bede: I want a dog.

Me: You want a dog?

Bede: Yes.

Me: What kind of dog?

Bede: A dog.

Me: What would you name the dog?

Bede: Uh. *thinks* John. (Note: we know no Johns)

Me: What color would it be?

Bede: Green.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

my civic duty

Off to Vote. I'm bringing an assortment of Glees with me. I remember going with my mother to vote.

(I'm bringing Gilbert, Faith and Abby.)

Go vote, folks!