Sunday, December 27, 2009

it's a chicken Christmas, y'all!

So if you've been in Texas lately, there is something strange in the air this week. We normally do our usual chinese food (okay, not usual) for Christmas Eve dinner after the candlelight service that I so labor over finding (and doing) sitting for. I was looking forward to eating it after driving in the treacherous snowy weather (again strange for Texas) and after begging countless amounts of people to join us ( I guess it is a strange idea). Apparently normal people have places to go on Christmas Eve and family to be with. Well... Anyway. We asked some new friends from church to join us and they were so nice to oblige but the Chinese place lied to me and closed early so we found out once we got there (after driving in the treacherous snow - strange for Texas). We had nowhere to eat on Christmas Eve in the snow at like 7:45pm. I was embarrassed that we had asked these people then we left them without dinner. So, we did what any normal people without food on Christmas Eve would do. We rescheduled our Chinese dinner with friends. Then, we got Church's Chicken.

So, we are driving around DeSoto (many fried chicken places there, by the way) and Wes said, "Hey, lets go look at Christmas lights!". Okay, so we drive around. I figure out pretty quick that it may seem portable but it is not. Drumsticks are messy. I don't currently understand, nor will I ever understand why they give you 3 napkins when you order the family box (it's fried chicken!).

So we retreated (in the snow- strange for Texas mind you). We went home and had a wonderful dinner of Church's Chicken, mac and cheese, fried okra, carrots in a bag and a plate of cookies and candies our friends brought over.

I know, it's pretty fancy. You can't handle it, can you? You just want to reach through that screen and grab it, right? It was very good, really. I hadn't had fried chicken in a very long time. It's nothing like Chinese though...


Nothing says "Merry Christmas!" like Chinese food, except maybe fried chicken.

Are you wondering what our friends did? They had Jack-in-the-Box...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I love shopping at Christmastime. I don't really like to think of myself as that girl who always has the newest and greatest thing from the trendiest shop in town. I don't value my life on racking up large amounts of things. I do like the feel of the mall at Christmas. It seems the way of the mall is dying what with all the strip mall shopping areas and whatnot. I miss the actual mall. It is completely impractical for a mom with 3 kids in a hurry but it is such a wonderful idea. I miss back when Abby was 2 or 3 and I worked at the mall in Plano. Most times on my lunch break I'd just walk around and sniff the Godiva chocolates (someone actually gave me some once- she was my employee and she went to school at Hockaday - she could afford it). I'd look at the large tree and listen to the swanky music playing. I'd go to Aveda and try their holiday scented lotions and scrubs. I'd go to the coffee place and get some fancy $5 coffee and sip it. I kinda miss that. But I am a mom of 3 kids. I live in the suburbs of Dallas. It is a long way to the mall and I have to get a sitter so I can actually shop. I think that this year was my absolute favorite, though. Wes and I argued about how many gifts to get each kid. We argued about how he doesn't need to spend that much money on me (seriously, don't). But ultimately, we did it together. We held hands walking through Target (off the mall, of course) and listened to the peppy new Christmas music there. We talked about how we "know" what our kids want. Maybe some day, a long way away, we'll be walking hand-in-hand at the mall, shopping for grandkid #3 and the young whippersnapper behind the counter will be getting ready for her lunchbreak to go sip coffee. In that case I'll probably give her a $5 bill and tell her to have one for me.

With only six days to go...

I did my Christmas shopping, with less than a week to spare. Luckily, I didn't have to deal with crowds like this. Trying to get out of Walmart was dern close though.
This was probably the most sophisticated approach I've ever taken. First of all, I went with Amy which ensured a logical search path from Target to Justice, etc. Mathematically speaking, it was a depth-first algorithm - making it the "shortest". We only backtracked a few times. It's maddening, but I never seem to find EXACTLY what I want, although I come close in most instances.

My budget was approximately $50 and Amy seemingly spent three times as much (just kidding Pretty). She got me something, but I have no idea what. Of course I was reassured by her assertion that, "It's really nothing special". In which case, I say - anything that writes or can be written on is exciting to me. I've got a very strange attachment to writing utensils.

I can't tell what everybody got, but I will tell you that I did not get Amy 6 forks. It didn't take long for me to see the absurdity of having a set of unmatched silverware. Besides, how exciting could that really be? The lady in the checkout lane tried to hint to me after scanning all the toys...

"Sir, are these your forks?"

I didn't say I was perfect, only getting better. Christmas shopping without kids and with the wife was the best experience of the season. I can't wait to see the happy (or horrified/just kidding) looks.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I finished all but one class yesterday, it has been a very rewarding finals week for me. School became a surreal experience in light of my *Lord willing* graduation in May. All but one class morphed into an A. You might ask, "Why that one B+?" - because I couldn't tell you exactly how many different subcommittees can be formed from 3 freshmen, 4 sophomores, 6 juniors, and 2 seniors constraint to the following restrictions... and the problem goes on. If you've ever encountered counting problems in math, you know that they are either not as easy as they look and the answer is either 6 or 3,152,449 based on one critical clause or phrase. Yikes. Fortunately, I garnered a great deal of practical knowledge from that class.

Last night I got the "all small persons clear the house so I can make dinner" call from Amy so I took Will and Annabelle outside. Annabelle lasted 3.6 minutes, but Will and I spent about twenty minutes, Will playing outside linebacker with me beating him off the edge every time. My backyard fantasy team is doing well, my Yahoo! fantasy team is 1-11... Will and I saw a pile of dead wood over by the abandoned house and thought one thing in our boy minds - fire. We dragged it up front, both impressively breaking limb/twigs over our knees.

What to kindle the fire with? The contents of my binder. Out of the hundred plus pages of handouts over postmodernism's effect on the modern church and C.S. Lewis' famous trilemma - we soon had a roaring fire going. All the kids had fun crumpling up notes over group theory and algorithms as they tossed them into the inferno. A true academic should have all these items of interest filed away up top anyway.

P.S. We only burned material from this semester - if all my work from the past eight years was burned - the whole trailer would have gone like tinder...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kitchen, it's been rough..

Dear Kitchen,

It's been really hard this week. First the coffee maker dies, now the cheese grater. I am afraid it is too far along in the Christmas shopping season to go and splurge on you to fill your cabinets and drawers with nice, new *preferrably* Kitchenaid appliances and gadgets. Though, I do not believe I will make it without these things for another 16 days until I open new *surprise* things. They say things happen in threes, I can only hope it is not the fridge next because I cannot afford one of those for sure. Kitchen, all will be well soon. I promise.

The one who slaves in your room

On a lighter note, I found some matches of these while cleaning behind Will's crib.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rest In Peace

Dearest Coffee Pot,

I loved you. At the hands of my own flesh and blood you died. Will wanted to "cook" with you and didn't know his own strength. We have had a good, long 4 years with you. You have provided me with much comfort and pleasure in the mornings and, quite often, the afternoons. You matched my kitchen appliances. You were dirty because you were so frequently used. You are dear to my heart. But alas, all good things come to an end some time. I am just thankful I was not here to bear witness to your death. Tomorrow will be the "new normal" and I will go out and purchase a new, probably more expensive coffee maker. Just know that you were loved for the short time that I had you. Rest in peace dear one.

Your Adoring Fan,
The one who uses creamer

Monday, December 7, 2009

so, I am a Christmas Tree skirt snob..

I am a snob about quite a few things but I never thought one could be so particular about a Christmas tree skirt. I have had this old one from who knows when. It's been around probably a lot longer than I have and I love that it reminds me of home and when I was little. I do, however, feel the need to make my own home so I am on a mission to find a nice one. I want very specific colors. No green or gold or red. I want blue and silver. Strange, I know. I may put up with some other colors as long as the others are not dominate. Annabelle and I went shopping Saturday and I can tell that she is going to be the one that enjoys that with me in future years. She helped me decide that I did not like any of the ones they had to offer at any given store.

As far as school goes, we are slowly adding more pages from our books and I have mapped out how many pages we need to do to keep Abby on track. She has gotten so much better at sitting and working quietly. She makes me proud. I am really liking this cheap language arts book I got at Sams Club. I may stick with it next year, who knows! Wes likes it too and he is pretty darn picky being the homeschooler that he is. I think we might be doing some work through the Christmas break as not to get off our groove and we have a long way to go. We started the school year all over again in October so we are a couple months behind. Also, I think we'll be going to DasCHE next year instead of SALT. This is a big deal. I am comfy in my co-op. I have made friends but SALT is moving to Camp El Har and I totally do not want to drive there every week. Oh well. *sigh* I am glad Abby has lots of friends in DasCHE. :-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

frogs and snails and puppy dog tails

I love having a boy. He is so refreshing after having two girls. I love my girls but they are both needy and have to be involved in everything. I like that Will is happy just playing in dirt or water, or whatever. It is nice. And he flashes his smile and everyone talks to him. He gets a lot of attention. I love him.

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails,
that's what little boys are made of.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My lessons got a little more complex this week as I mapped out our work last night. Wes and I sat down and made a few objectives. Here is what we are doing:

Math- multiplying 2 and 3 digit numbers with decimals, timed math skills
Reading- When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
Writing- She is doing brainstorming, a rough & final draft and illustrating a paper on "why the world would be different without tv? Good? Bad?"
Language Arts- Grammar and vocabulary
Art- making stamps in class for some note cards

Letters- M, N and O
Learning about Indians and will have a "feast" in class Wednesday
Painted a picture about her favorite thing she did this week

It's not complex. We hit a few snags today. Mondays are hard especially after such a fun weekend. Abby got to go to Great Wolf lodge where they have a huge indoor waterpark. She spent a couple of days there so she was pretty waterlogged and tired when she came home. So, I am learning a bit with this whole preparing objectives thing. I hope I am getting better. We are all learning together. I think the most difficult thing for me is juggling the usual household things and schoolwork. It's hard for me to seperate the two. We'll get through this!

Monday, November 9, 2009


There is something so totally wrong with this picture. Yep, they are all mismatched.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Okay, so that's not a word. I won't be teaching Abby words like strategery or ignorarrogance. But I have been a bit elusive. Someone stopped me at church and said I hadn't written all week. There are 2 reasons for that:
1. I was at a conference for pastoral/leadership staff for several days.
2. No one comments on my posts so I have no idea you are reading it.

Please, follow and I love to see your comments! It makes me think I am not just writing to myself. :-) Wait, I might be..but you are reading this, so I am not just writing to myself...right?

So as far as this past week is concerned, I am afr
aid I was a miserable failure. Well, I just had bad timing in starting all of this. I had the Trunk or Treat thing last weekend, then I had bunches of housework following that. We got some stuff done Monday-Wednesday. And just when I was in the groove, the conference started Thursday, so the kids went o Miss Donna's a.k.a their favorite place in the world and they did some work there. My conference was awesome. With the ministry that I have, it's hard to get away some times and just worship the Lord. I truly had one of those heart filling, mountain-top type experiences. I needed it because burnout happens so easily. If you've never heard Francis Chan or Matt Chandler speak, I would encourage you to listen to a sermon or two online. Wow. Anyway, back to church today and we shall have a productive week this week hopefully now that everything has calmed down. I will leave you with a picture or two (or more) for fun.

Will working on his times tables.
My Abby girl
Conference fun-ness

Monday, November 2, 2009

First Day

Well, we started home schooling today. Annabelle did her work and Will was very happy scribbling in my lap while Abby picked up her room then Abby started on hers. She did a lot of math today but I realized something that might hinder us a bit. She doesn't know all of her times tables. Yup, that's right. Somehow she received commended performance on her TAKS math portion for several years without knowing her times tables. I drew her out a table and had her fill in the numbers. This will be her only "calculator" for quite some time. She went outside and found 4 types of leaves per her science book, but otherwise, we just kind of did house work after the crazy Trunk or Treat weekend. I bought a book at Sams Club for her to go through while I am looking for more stuff to do. Tomorrow she'll be in the home school room at church while I go to Bible Study. Wish us luck! We had a few snags today, it can only get better, right?

Friday, October 30, 2009

uh oh

I had a serious 'oh crap' moment when I was walking out of Life Charter with all of Abby's school records. What have I done?

What have I done to him?
Note that the sippy cup is exactly
where I put my coffee cup.

I know. He's adorable.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pro-con list

I am a list fanatic. It's another way that I cope with my ADD. So here goes one of my famous pro-con lists. Enjoy!

Teaching at Home

  1. make my own schedule
  2. no herding of my children
  3. choose electives
  4. no expensive uniforms
  5. no ridiculous rules like what color pens you can use
  6. there aren't 30+ children per classroom
  7. no materials fees
  8. no bad influences
  9. I actually know what they are learning
  10. no TAKS tests!!
  11. no packing lunches
  12. less miles on the van
  13. more time for fun
  14. no packing in and out of the van at terrible times of day
  15. no science projects that need to be done just so
  16. coop classes!
  17. God tells me to
  18. no overstressed, overextended and discouraged children
  19. no one telling me what to do
  20. not tied down to a school district or location when buying a home (big one)
I am sure I could come up with many more....
So here is the Con list:


  1. motivation
  2. organization
  3. making sure her learning is balanced
  4. my own inadequacy as having basically an 8th grade education (though I have high grammar/writing/reading skills)
  5. making a schedule
  6. buying books and/or finding them
  7. the kids don't go away much (time for me)
  8. room for learning in the tiny house
  9. The stereotype of home-schoolers (this is big)
Okay, really, that's all I can come up with for now. It clearly outweighs the Cons. Success!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So I am not real crafty (couldn't sew my way out of a paper sack) but I have to say that hot glue does wonders. Annabelle is really into Fancy Nancy books. If you haven't read them they are a hoot. So this is my attempt to copy a Fancy Nancy costume for our church's "Trunk-or-Treat" event this year. The little things at the bottom are supposed to be the ribbons to make her ballet shoes she'll be wearing like pointe shoes.

decisions, decisions

So I did my normal SALT coop day today with the little two. I do sitting during the classes which covers the cost of Annabelle's little preschool class each month exactly. I have made quite a few friends there (this is a big deal since none of them go to church there). I am going to have a hard time paying for Abby's classes as the sitting doesn't cover any of those fees and I'll have to buy materials and whatnot, but since we live within ( actually way under) our means, I think we'll be fine. I am in the process of making our weekly schedule. I want to go to Office Depot or somewhere to buy one of those marker boards with the calendar on it so I can map out our weeks chores and school. I am struggling with self control these days so it'll be interesting to see how close I can stick to it. I got Abby's first workbook today from her coop teacher. She is quite a bit behind so she'll have some catch-up to do. Luckily Life Charter has her way ahead of her grade level so it should be okay for now. Also, I am contemplating doing a Fun Food (or craft) Friday each week. I want to find a junior food science book she can cook through that has things mapped out. Any suggestions? Please pass it along. Off to pick her up from school now. I will NOT miss loading up all the kids in the car seats at 3:15 each day!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It has begun...

So here it goes. I had 3 children. I have now decided to home school (yeah, it sounds crazy to me, too). Take a journey as I find out if I am smarter than a 5th grader. It all goes down next week. I am sure Abby will be enjoying the last few days at Life Charter school in Red Oak as she is taking benchmark testing ALL week long. I'd sure love to sit in a room for 8 hours for no reason other than to bubble in circles. Awesome! Hence, the withdrawal from school Friday.