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Showing posts from April, 2007

I have a theory and my theory is this!

"Presenter (Graham Chapman): Good Evening. I have with me tonight Anne Elk. Mrs Anne Elk.

Miss Elk: (John Cleese, as a very prim lady) Miss.

Presenter: You have a new theory about the brontosaurus.

Miss Elk: Can I just say here Chris for one moment that I have a new theory about the brontosaurus?

Presenter: Er... exactly. (he gestures but she does not say anything) What is it?

Miss Elk: Where? (looks round)

Presenter: No, no. Your new theory.

Miss Elk: Oh, what is my theory?

Presenter: Yes.

Miss Elk: Oh what is my theory that it is. Well Chris you may well ask me what is my theory.

Presenter: I am asking.

Miss Elk: Good for you. My word yes. Well Chris, what is it that it is - this theory of mine. Well, this is what it is - my theory that I have, that is to say, which is mine, is mine

Presenter: (beginning to show signs of exasperation) Yes, I know it's yours, what is it?

Miss Elk: Where? Oh, what is my theory? This is it. (clears throat at some length)
My theory tha…

Bird thoughts!!

This Mandarin Duck is far from home. We discovered him at our local fishing hole. Of course, we didn't know it was a Mandarin. Upon getting home, we pulled out the bird books to find out what type it was.

We discovered that the Mandarin Duck breeds in eastern Siberia, China and Japan and winters in Southern China and Japan. There is a small free flying population in Britain stemming from the release of captive bred ducks. Also they are held in high esteem by the Japanese and the Chinese. In these countries, they serve as a symbol of happiness and marital fidelity.

Hmmm! So, what was it doing in a California pond?

Edited: I stand corrected -- this is a wood duck, common to California, but one I have never seen before. It really looks like a mandarin though because the wood duck and the mandarin are close relatives. They are the only members of the genus Aix and belong to the perching duck tribe Cairinini.

Thank you to the ladies of WTM. :)

These two love birds jus…

First Grade - Check!!!!!!

My All Star Cowboy

Bob the Builder

James recently wrote two short stories about “Bob the Builder” and wanted to send it to the writers of the show.

The first one he wrote so it ended up being much shorter than what he originally intended. He told me this wonderful long story and then when we told him to write it down, lost half of it because he can’t think and write at the same time. Father has the same problem. I end up taking lots of dictation for business letters, etc. but that is another story.

The story ended up as this:

"Bob the builder and the fast steam train:

It was a Halloween night and I was helping out with Bob and the can do crew. Build a new train station. Just then a fast train went by. The End.”

The next one I wrote down as he dictated the story to me. He does quite well with telling a story and pausing for me to write stuff down. He tells me long stories everyday and then says "did you get that". Ha! Then he repeats it slowly for me to write down. Anyhow, the second s…


Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I recently read “The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World” by Marti Laney. Very enlightening book…

I used to wonder why I would get so cranky and tired after spending time with people or at a function or work. According to Introvert Advantage “Introverts feel drained by having their physical space intruded upon. It takes energy for them to be around people even if they aren’t interacting with them. Children also need extra breaks during highly stimulating activities. In our Western Culture, where extroversion is valued and many activities for children are group experiences, it is extra important for introverted children to have time alone. Being in a bad mood is often a sign they need time out.” Not only children, but adults as well (like me!) I have noticed the need for time outs for me more as I get older.

I noticed this about James that when ever we went to a friend’s house, the park, or anywhere, after an …


Yes, crickets. Little did I realize when James decided he wanted planet frog what we would have to feed these guys. So we went to pet smart Saturday to look for crickets to feed Godzilla. They had containers of small, medium and large crickets. I couldn't bring myself to buy live crickets for some reason. Thought we would try the dead cricket in a can method first, since the froggies haven't been exposed to live food yet. No good! So as I peruse the internet, what do I find. Cricket farms. You can actually get a subscription and they will send you a certain number and size of crickets each month.

Okie dokie.. then what? How do we house them? Oh hey - a cricket keeper! What do you know..............

Looks like we are now getting into the cricket keeping business. Yeehaw!!!!!!!!

I am sending James and Father off to the store today for live crickets. Hope they have fun!



I am finished with my midterm and it has been submitted!

My two guys were very good about keeping themselves occupied this weekend while I was busy thinking and writing. Father recorded some old 1950’s movie “The Killer Shrews” and they watched that on Sunday. We previewed it Saturday night and it was so silly with dogs made up to look like huge rats, knew James would be okay with it.

Father came in very handy, proofreading my paper, except the first draft gave him a big headache for some reason. Hmmm… Once I figure how to link to it in the side bar, then it will be available to read. It is too long to post.

It seems my study time style has completely changed since I was young. Used to be that I couldn’t concentrate unless had complete silence, which usually meant closing myself up in my room or my dad’s office with the computer. Now, I really don’t have that option and have learned to adjust. I am so used to being interrupted by this, that and the other by both my gu…

Our Friday

Ohayoo gozaimasu. Ogenki Desu Ka.

Godzilla has completed his metamorphosis into a frog. It has been so interesting watching the changes over the past couple weeks. We have watched as the back legs popped out and toes formed. A couple days later arms appeared, then the fingers a couple more days later. The stripes on his legs have darkened and spots are now beginning to appear on his back. This morning I discovered him out of the water. He has a little bit of a tail left, which will disappear soon as it is completely absorbed into his body.

Herbie has yet to do anything but grow. We can see the shadow of the leg beneath the surface of her/his skin and will pop out when ready. She has been quite active this morning and trying to jump out of the water. Trying to emulate Godzilla, perhaps.

They are both the same age, but definitely having completely different stages of development. It is remarkable that they mirror how children go through the same stages of develo…

Well, I got a 93 on my first paper.

My professor said “You have done a VERY good job working the criteria here! Your discussion of each category with regards to this book is intelligent and insightful, and you support your points well. Mechanically, your writing is a bit choppy- try to avoid series of short, staccato sentences by combining sentences and using more transitions between sentences. For example, read your first paragraph aloud, coming to a complete stop at each period- you can "feel" the choppy effect. Let me know if you have any questions- I really enjoyed your work here!

She is right about the short choppy sentences, I think I have been reading too many “Magic Tree House” Books.

And now for your reading pleasure:

Daniel’s Duck
Written by Clyde Robert Bulla
Illustrated by Joan Sandin
Harper Collins Publishers, Inc 1982

Plot Synopsis: Daniel’s Duck is a story about a family that lives in the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee during the 1800’s. They survive by trading and selling goods. There…

First Language Lessons - lesson in dictation

We are getting to the end of First Language Lessons. The lesson for today was dictation. I was supposed to be dictating something to James and he write it down. However, since James loves to make up stories, usually consisting of various elements of movies or books, he dictated a story to me.

Godzilla versus Aguilas by James

It was a bright summer morning in Tokyo. A bird perched on a tree sang sweetly. On the ship, the people were making music. Just then, I saw some strange monster rising out the sea. "What is that?" said the Captain. "Don't Worry" I said, "It is just Godzilla." "Hi Godzilla," I said. "Roooaaaarrrr" said Godzilla, "I have some bad news to tell you." "What bad news" I asked. "Well" said Godzilla, "Aguilas is attacking Osaka and we must stop him."

"Okay" I said to Godzilla, starting up the ship and racing towards Osaka with Godzilla.

When we get there, A…

How our life together began

At the end of 1991, I decided for the fun of it to put an ad in the Sacramento Single News Magazine. The headline was “Ward Cleaver, Where are You?. My mother takes credit for the headline! SWF looking for a 1950’s type of guy…

I received about 40 replies running the gamut from a photograph with just a phone number to a four page letter detailing exactly what this man wanted in a woman and the type of wife she should be. I still have the letters in my memorabilia box. I received a letter from Father and we arranged to meet. We had lunch on January 24th at the Peppermill. Our lunch lasted three hours but only seemed like a few minutes. Since we liked each other, we arranged to go on a date the next weekend. After that date, I never answered any more replies from the ad. Somehow I knew he was going to be a part of my life forever.

Fast forward 5 years later. We got engaged on February 1st 1997. Our 5th anniversary of dating was January 31st, but due to taxes being du…

35 more books

As of April 9th, James completed 35 books (or what I consider the equivalent since some were hard)

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh (consider it 5 stories)
Storm in the Night
Good As Gold (Winnie the Pooh)
Leif the Lucky by D’Aulaire (difficult – 2 books)
Seabird by Holling C Holling (Difficult – 4 stories)
Patrick, Saint of Ireland
Guess How Much I Love You
Stories of Winnie the Pooh by Milne (Difficult as a read aloud, even for me – 4 stories)
Winnie the Pooh A.B.C. with Pooh
Pooh’s Scrapbook
Why Frogs are Wet
Safe in the Woods with Pooh
What Happens in Spring (National Geographic)
Pumpkin Runner
Higgens Bend Song and Dance
St Valentines
Three Names
They were Strong and Good
Racoon on the Moon
Put Upon Percy – Thomas the Tank Engine
The Cranky Day – Thomas the Tank Engine
Lady Hat’s Birthday Party – Thomas the Tank Engine

We recently acquired a few Winnie the Pooh books from the local used bookstore so James of course, tore through those quicker than quicker.

What did DVD James want and get for re…

homeschool - learning styles Part 3

Part Three

The ladies and gentlemen (yes, there are stay at home dads) from the message boards are a font of information. Some had been home schooling their children for a couple years to eighteen years. Yes, some people do home school their kids from kindergarten to High School. They guided me to so many different books to read about learning styles and everything else imaginable.

One of the first things I thought about was James learning style? Did I know my learning style? Once again with God as our guide and leading us down this home school path, I read Dreamers, Discoverers and Dynamo’s by Lucy Palidino.

According to Psychologist Lucy Jo Palladino:

“20 percent of children have what she calls the Edison trait: dazzling intelligence, an active imagination, a free-spirited approach to life, and the ability to drive everyone around them crazy. She named the trait after Thomas Edison, who flunked out of school despite his obvious brilliance. Edison-trait children think diver…

Homeschooling - How Part 2

Once we decided to home school, the next question was how. I did what most people do, headed to the internet and was overwhelmed by all the information and methods available. There are so many methods out there including classical, secular, religious, unschooling, unit studies and distance learning. We loved the idea of teaching James, but how were we going to go about it. Where do you start?

God was certainly leading me in my search, because I found Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education by Susan Wise Bauer. After reading through the website and seeing what folks were saying on the message board, I purchased the book. Both Father and I were impressed by the step by step instructions, curriculum resources, and techniques for home schooling from kindergarten through high school. Not that we had any intention of home schooling James through high school. We were just starting out and decided to take it one year at a time.

What is a classical education? As st…

Planet Frog

James got a gift certificate for Toys R Us during Christmas. As we are walking through the store, he discovers “Planet Frog”.

I ask him if this is what he really wants. Yes! So we purchase it and send in the certificate for two tadpoles. Father thought I was nuts for buying tadpoles, when we could have gotten them out of a pond. However, after all the ant, butterfly, and lady bug habitats that we have been through in the past couple years, he came round.

The tadpoles arrive after the cold snap is over so they don’t freeze in the mail. They are about 3 weeks old and very little. Since one is very skittish, James names him Godzilla. The other one is sort of calm and quiet, so it gets named Herbie. (as is Herbie the love bug). I am beginning to think we have a male and female on our hands. After doing some research about Leopard frogs and finding out they have a life span of 6 – 9 years, we will be making a terrarium with a removable pond for them.

Godzilla has recently…

Why we homeschool

Initially we started home schooling because James was ready to learn, but not ready for a classroom environment. At 5 he was (and still is) very curious about everything happening around him and into exploring the world.

As time goes by, the list keeps getting longer.

Learning has become part of our lives. It is not delegated to a certain time or hour or place. James is very analytical and wants to know all the details. Constantly questioning and wondering how things work and why this person did this or that. Vague answers get more questions. The World Book Encyclopedia has been a wonderful resource for us. When ever he asks a question I can’t answer, we look in the encyclopedia. Many a night he has laid awake waiting for his dad to come home from work, so he can talk to him and ask him questions. He is actively learning and not a passive recipient of information that needs to be regurgitated to a teacher’s satisfaction.

James can work at his pace: speeding through subjects tha…

Mom, who is the easter bunny? James asks

I take a breath, trying to decide how to explain to my analytical son and if I want to explain or debunk it. I make the decision.

Honey, "he is a spirit". Part of God. Remember Easter is all about Jesus and his sacrifice.

Mom, who hides the eggs. You or the easter bunny. Are they in the closet?

Um. Making things up on the fly (I hate lying when we are supposed to be teaching them to tell the truth)

"Yes, they are in the closet. I put stuff in them and put them out. We hide our eggs. The Easter bunny will bring you something for your basket."

Later that night, while I am watching tv and he is supposed to be asleep. He calls his father into the bedroom. I hear "easter bunny" and the murmur of voices for a while.

Father comes out and says James has figured out who the easter bunny is. Go talk to him.

" Mom - the easter bunny is an angel!!!"
(Okay, I can live with that) Where are the eggs mom? Are they in your closet?"

Treading lightly. …

Home School Blog Awards

Don't forget to vote for your favorite bloggers today. Another site that I also post on is well drained mind. They have been nominated for a group blog. Confessions of a pioneer woman, dura mater, trivium academy and others have been nominated.

Hop on over and vote for your favorite blogger.

I started too late this year to be nominated, but maybe next year.
(nudge nudge, wink, wink)

I have got to say, it has been festering for so long.PULL YOUR PANTS UP!I am so tired of seeing the male persuasion running around with their pants belted around their thighs and underwear showing for all to see.What is the purpose?Don’t they know they look like penguins?I watch these guys waddling down the street, one hand holding up their pants as they walk around and they really remind me of penguins.Do they really think it is sexy or cool?Someone please enlighten me as to what the fascination is.Why do you want to waddle like a penguin with your pants crotch hanging down to your knees?Thanks! I feel better now.

How do you picture the face of God?

This is a question I came across the other day.You know what?I have never tried to picture the face of God.It never occurred to me.As I think about it, I really can’t picture HIM.HE is more of a feeling to me than anything else.I feel and hear and experience him, but can’t place a picture on HIM.Why do you think that is?Now Jesus, I can picture and my picture of him has changed over the years.Growing up, I assumed he was white.Never took in account his earthly heritage.When I was in my 20’s, attended a wedding at a African American church.The crucifix at the altar had a black Jesus.I looked at it for a while, contemplating, and realized we all see him differently. Then when we started studying ancient history of Egypt and Israel,it hit me light a bolt of lightening.Mary came from Nazareth and Jesus was born in Bethlehem.He is from Israel.Yes, his father was God, but Mary was his earthly mother.His heritage is Israeli.So now I have a different image of Jesus that I see when thinking ab…

Do ya'll remember this?

Little Orphan Annie Little Orphan Annie's come to our house to stay,
And wash the cups and saucers up, and brush the crumbs away,
And shoo the chickens off the porch and dust the hearth and sweep,
And make the fire, and bake the bread, and earn her board and keep;
And all us other children, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire and has the mostest fun
A-listenin' to the witch tales that Annie tells about,
And the Gobble-uns that gits you if you don't watch out!

Once they was a little boy who wouldn't say his prayers--
And when he went to bed at night, away upstairs,
His mammy heard him holler and his daddy heard him bawl,
And when they turned the kivvers down, he wasn't there at all!
And they seeked him in the rafter room, and cubby hole and press,
And seeked him up the chimney flue, and everywheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was just his pants and round about!
And the Gobble-uns'll git you if you don't watch out!

And one time a little girl w…

It's here!

Have you ever fallen in love with a writer and their books?You read all their books and then wait with bated breath for the newest story to be published.This is how it is with Bodie Thoene’s A.D. Chronicles.She has taken the characters in the stories of the bible and given them life: from the blind beggar to the lepers to the centurion to Mary and Joseph.She has given them a life and wrapped the story of Jesus around them.I discovered that I am a visual-spatial learner and see things in pictures as I read, rather than words.This means,if the story is well written, it will draw me into the story.The A.D. Chronicles have personalized the bible for me.Now, whenever I read the bible, I feel a closer connection and envision what is happening in my mind.
The first three books of the series follow the lives of Peniel the begger, the Centurion and the Shephard Zadok as they follow Yeshua.

The last three books chronicle the lives of Mary and Joseph.

This is an awesome series. Get taken back to t…
Want to do something silly?

Planet M & M's

Need a laugh?

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

Need some mental stimulation?

Mental Multivitamin

Need a dose of inspiration today?

Hop on over to Christian Women Online Internet Cafe and read "The Shadow of His Wings".

Spring has sprung and we have spring fever (aaaaccchhhooooo!!!!!)
We are taking a planned break from lessons this week.We have lots to do including finishing the income taxes.Spring cleaning is also on the calendar:clearing out the dormant plants in the garden, washing windows and cleaning out the garage.My online class “Literature for Children and Young Adults” is going well.Just finished writing my first paper: an analysis of a children’s book.This is the first paper I have written for college in 20 some odd years.I managed to find a good used copy of“MLA handbook for writers” recently, so that was helpful.I just “might” post it for you all to read, silly as it may be.
An interesting debate took place in the cyber world yesterday between anti and pro home school proponents.A home school mom was ridiculed for her choice in curriculum material for her children, which led her to defend herself of course. (R rated due to the “F” bomb* -- It is always amazing to me when people resort to the “F” bomb because they can’t defend their viewpoint or to disguise the fact that they have no view point)The conversation meandered from home schoolers are over protective and making their children incapable of functioning in society to WE are being selfish.That by keeping our children out of school, we are somehow eroding the quality of public education.He says and I quote “Undoubtedly, socialization is a big part of public education. People talk about peer effects a lot, i.e. kids pick up a great deal of habits, values and outlooks from their classmates. Put a child in a class of kids coming from dysfunctional families – sons and daughters of crack addicts, alcoh…

Let's Celebrate

Congratulations to my dear husband, the electronics genius.Today he celebrates 19 years as owner of our business, Rainbow Electronics.He took a failing electronics business and made it into a successful audio and video repair facility.He has outlasted the majority of other repair shops in town and is still going strong.I am so proud of him.I do have to give credit to our two wonderful employees who have been with us practically the whole time.They are masters at their craft as well.Father loves to design and has come up with some wonderful ideas.He has an ear for sound and has taught me quite a few things.He has designed and built huge amplifiers for the high end audiophile world to a micro guitar amplifier for musicians to use to practice quietly behind the scenes or in hotel rooms.Just click on the links to take a look at his creations.