Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Ann

The summer before high school the incoming freshmen would meet so that the seniors could teach us how to march (in the band.) That is when we met, Ann and I. We both played saxophone and so we were in the same squad. (Remember John Gegg and Pat Divietro??) Our squad leaders were pretty tough. We were in a military style band. No make-up in uniform, no jewelry and a full inspection before every performance. If you failed you had to work it off. The guys were tough... and we became friends.

Since that time, Ann and I have been through Band and boys and babies. We have laughed and cried together for years. Ann has this wonderful ability... to make me talk.. I have been able to tell her stuff I would never tell a living soul. A LIVING SOUL! and yet, she knows.

We have lived close by and far apart and thank goodness for e-mail because that has kept us connected when we couldn't chat as long as we would have liked on the phone.

Ann is creative, intelligent, articulate and beautiful. She is athletic.. she RUNS... and likes to do it! She is a fabulous Mom and loving wife. She is talented... and she is MY friend.

I love you girlie. Lots and lots and I can't imagine my life without you in it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Animal Farm

My girls, and a couple of their friends, read Animal Farm last week (by George Orwell). We had a book discussion on Friday.

It was fabulous. The girls did a great job recalling detail and describing the actual story. Some even drew parallels to slavery in America and even Obama's name was mentioned (without any prompting, I might add). When I asked them to consider the holocaust and this book... the lightbulb went on and they went bananas. They saw the similarities between characters in the book and Hitler and the Jewish people and the German people and even the SS troops.

It was all there and they "got it". Discussing a book is wonderful ... the sharing of ideas is exhilarating. The give and take and immediate feedback is quite rewarding. I enjoyed it immensely. I think the girls enjoyed it too.

We are going to watch The Crucible on Friday. I wanted to read this "classic" and I am having difficulty finding copies. I own my own tattered copy from high school, but I truly thought it would be in every library.. not so. As it is written in play format... the movie may be an acceptable alternative. I thought this would be interesting as the main characters are girls who accuse others of being witches when they themselves are caught doing what they shouldn't.

The power of words, doing what is right and good even when it isn't easy, taking responsibility for ones actions... all good topics for discussion.

These are the moments when teaching is fun!

Hours reading history in front of the fire while my girls knit and sew... that was our afternoon today and it was lovely.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Knight's Tale

Okay... so here I am about to post for the second time about something I saw on T.V. This may lead you to believe that I watch a lot of T.V. I would say that this is not true. I do sit down in front of that machine for a few minutes every night... but not usually until after 9:00. I promise I do not sit around all day watching... having said that... here goes.

Last night after we got back from seeing Rumors at the Sager Creek Arts Center (it was very good, by the way) I turned on the T.V. for a few minutes and I got to see the end of A Knight's Tale.
I LOVE this movie. We own it. None-the-less, I sat there and watched the last few minutes.

A brief synopsis for those of you who don't know the story... the movie takes place during the middle ages. It is the story of a boy whose father is a thatcher. The son is destined to become just like his father.. a thatcher. A peasant. When the boy is seven or eight his Dad apprentices him to a knight. Sending him away, he tells the boy, "Change your stars." During this time period the caste system was firmly in place and no one had the chance to elevate their status.

The boy is with the knight for years. He is a squire. The knight travels around and competes barely providing a living for himself and his attendants. When he dies.. the boy teaches himself to joust so that they can continue competing and therefore earn a living.

At the end.. where I came in... and I hate to give this away so if you haven't seen it... stop reading.. watch the movie and come back

At the end... he has been found out. The "authorities" are coming for him because he has been passing himself off as a person of higher status than his actual lineage proves him to be and all of his attendants... his friends .. want him to run. But he won't.
I LOVE this.
I would run. I hate to admit it.. but I would definitely run. He WON'T. He knows that once caught he will face dire circumstances but he won't run away from who he has become.

Later... when he is in the stocks, people are throwing food and becoming quite rowdy. His band of friends come and try to keep back the crowd. They are greatly outnumbered and yet they bravely stand together in defense of their friend.
I LOVE this!
Against all odds they are loyal.
I want to be the kind of person that stands by a friend no matter what. Later when the prince comes he says," Your men are loyal to you, If I knew nothing else about you, that would be enough."
I LOVE this. He is brave and beloved (is that a word) by his friends.

I won't tell you the rest just in case you have never seen it. If not.. do... if you have... watch it again. If you have children.. their is one very suggestive scene. You can fast forward through it and not miss the plot.

I am inspired by his bravery. His courage to "change his stars" and to become the person he KNOWS he is.

So.. there it is.. go forth: be brave, love your friends, and be who you were meant to be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I am addicted.. I admit it. There was a time when I wouldn't even allow it in my house. My children were too young and I just didn't want it here... I didn't have time, but then, well....

Intrigued? I am talking about Grey's Anatomy. When it first came out, my children were younger and I didn't want to have it on in my house. I didn't watch it the first two seasons, but then they switched to 9:00 on Sunday nights and that was a little more doable. My friend Ann was a fan and so I checked it out. I became hooked. I even got seasons one and two for my birthday one year so I could catch up.

Now... I never really watched soap operas. A few girls watched Ryan's Hope or something when I was in college. It just wasn't my thing. I did watch All my Children with my Mom EONS ago... but really... nothing for the past 25 years. But I fell hard. I watched, I read the blog. I like the way that the patients ailments tie into the personal lives of the characters somehow. I know it is WAY out there and extreme, but still.. I watched. Then, Shonda Rimes didn't let Mer and Der get together and I staged a one woman boycott. I quit cold turkey and didn't watch at all. (Surely she could feel my wrath all the way in Hollywood??) Perhaps no, but I was done.

Then my mom would call and ask did I watch? No! "But," she said, " I hear that Meredith and Derek are definitely going to get together." So... I did my research, I read the spoilers and the promises were indeed made. I watched back episodes online and caught up in time for the season finally last year. Wahoo.... I'm back.

I am not able to watch in real time and I still don't really want it on in my house. I realize that if I can't watch it in front of my kids I probably shouldn't watch it... but this is a confession so.. just know... I know. I do enjoy it though. Their drama is so over the top. It is so far from my life...
but McDreamy is pretty cute!

I watch it late at night on the internet... just me basking in the warm glow of my computer... watching it all unfold. Then I check out the writers blog... checking their insight into the latest episode. I am hooked.

Oh... the guilty pleasure...

Monday, November 10, 2008

A new day... a new post

It seems as if the busiest part of our fall is completed.... whew! I now welcome a little time spent at home... getting back into a routine... although I confess we have just luxuriated in the stillness this morning.

I found this format on another blog... and I like it so I may use it from time to time. I think it will be interesting to look back on some day. Here goes:

Outside my window:
It is raining and the leaves have all turned colors. Many if not most are on the ground. It is cool, as in cold, outside.
I am listening to:
Katie give Caleb a piano lesson. She is a great teacher. He is a somewhat reluctant student, but he IS learning.
I am thankful for:
My family, my friends, my home.
From the Kitchen:
I made biscuits for lunch and I am planning to bake some pumpkin here in a bit. The boys are hoping for pie but that may have to wait until tomorrow.
Prayer Requests:
I pray for our country and the incoming administration that God will guide them and that He has a plan that I do not see. (What I mean is that I don't see one... but I truly trust in Him.)
I am wearing:
Old clothes. We get to go feed pigs later this afternoon.
Towards REAL education:
Katie is TEACHING Caleb, Noah spent over and hour reading to Caleb... my kids are are working with and loving each other.. that counts as REAL education don't you think?
I am creating:
Many memories of fun things we have done this past two weeks. We have seen 3 plays.. all good. Singin' in the Rain was the best though!
Bringing Beauty to my home:
Hmmm... I may clean later... does that count do you suppose?? Of course, I may fall into another book and then the cleaning will have to wait!
I am Reading:
I read The Wednesday Letters this morning. (I said I needed a break!) It was very enjoyable. Fluff... but oh so good.
I am hoping:
To reestablish our school routine.. or some semblance of it.
Around the House:
Remember the part about cleaning... yeah.. hoping that will happen
One of my favorite things:
Reading... a whole book in one sitting. It is decadent and delicious.
A few plans for the rest of the week:
We are going to be working on the farm this week, hoping to go see Rumors with Brian and Mom and Dad on Friday. Discussing Animal Farm with the girls on Friday. Pumpkin pie is definitely in our future. Oh and that cleaning thing keeps nagging me... so that too.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Indiana Jones


Luke Skywalker

A Fairy.

Girlie was a pretty witch for Trick-or-treating and..

she was a hippie for "costumed" bowling.

We had a lot of fun. The fun thing is that we had most of these costumes on hand. We did buy new wings for the Fairy, a hat for the witch and I made the little vests the girls are wearing, but other than that... we dressed out of our closets. What does that tell you about us??