Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vocabulary Quiz?

Please forgive my effrontery, I don't wish to hamper your ebullience for reading my blog but I have been typing up vocabulary quizzes and I find some of these words completely ambrosial. It is my sincere hope that no one will admonish me for my ephemeral use of a few complex words. While not exactly "zany", it is somewhat prodigious to attempt to supplant my normal vocabulary for one that is so exaggerated. I am sure that if you will take a moment to peruse this short missive you will find the unwieldy words without much scrutiny. Some readers, (Mom) will be quite unruffled by the addition of said words. I'll wager she may even delight in the addition. I must admit, however, that I do actually use a great many of these words on my own. I don't usually use several in one sentence though. After this brief lapse I must once again immerse myself in work. Luckily, vocabulary is not a task that I abhor. What CAN be somewhat excruciating for me is answering the eternal question of what to have for dinner. While I don't despise cooking (quite the contrary) I certainly have haggled on occasion (usually about 4:00) with WHAT to cook. Tonight, however, I am okay as I already know that we are having baked potatoes and chili. I hope that I have not galled anyone by unwittingly misusing any of these words. I must go forth now and cook!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just a few minutes

I only have a minute to blog tonight... it is late and we have had a full day.
School was challenging and I have not yet been able to find my "stride" or rhythm for this school year. I am still working on it though....

An unexpected treat was when we went to the farm. Due to illness, a dog attack and #504 raiding the garden, our fall crop was nil. We needed to clean up our mess in preparation for the coming winter. The kids were not looking forward to this. Adding to their discontent was the drizzly weather. We did, however, have an enjoyable time. Sweet Feet helped our friends M & J fetch a cow that had "gotten out". Prima Dona, Sunshine and I helped Mr. N rip up the cornstalks and throw them to both the cows and the pigs. It was muddy and dirty but somehow satisfying to rip those things up and fling them with all our might. The animals were most appreciative too! So.. we cleaned up a bit. I am afraid we did not get it all finished but it was GOOD to be outside together.

Then the kiddos went with M&J to see M's new (i think old) horse! They even got to ride her. (while being led). I was able to have a visit with Mrs. C and it was nice.

We then ran out to Mom and Dad's to pick up Mr. Fantastic. Whew... now I am folding a load of laundry and trying to get ready to start over again tomorrow.

In all of the busyness I am trying to realize my blessings and be thankful. I am thankful for a muddy time outside, KFC when I am wet and cold, and parents who love to keep my kids.

Oh.. and we are enjoying on tape Igraine the Brave.. very good listen!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Will you let me be your servant?

My favorite hymn right now is called Servant's Song. The melody is only nine measures long... but I love it! I guess I sing it a lot because my kids are SICK of it. Bekah doesn't like it because of the first line.
I love it.. I am embracing it... I am going to try and live it. Here it is:

Will you let me be your servant?
Let me be as Christ to you...
Pray that I will have the Grace
To let you be my servant too.

Love it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Smells I love

Okay, I was working on a much more philosophical post but I have a hard time typing and editing in this tiny space so I will have to work on in it in a different format and then bring it here. Having said all of that I wanted to share something and so here it is my top 7 favorite things to smell:
7) Fresh cut grass
6) burning leaves
5) Spoiled ( perfume) .. really fancy stuff my Mom got me in California.. I wore it on my wedding
oh.. and now I love Amazing Grace (also stuff my mom got me)
4)roast in the oven
3) sugar cookies
2) anything with cinnamon
1) my kids.. and especially my kids when they were babies and I put Johnson's baby lotion on them.

What about you?? Favorite smell??

Sunday, May 31, 2009

the girls dressed for Pride and Prejudice

Stuff and such

Well hello,
I hope this post finds you all well and good and ready for summer.
We here in Karptown are VERY ready for summer. Mr. Fantastic has been counting down the days until the pool opens. We are going to swim for Sweet Feets Birthday although I am not quite swimsuit ready as they say. I have friends doing px90... and Brian would love for us to try that.. but I am not sure yet that I can survive it and so I am just trying to be very consistent on my elliptical machine.

My life as a plate is going well. (I am a villager too and I LOVE the MOB song!!.. kill the beast and all of that.) If you don't have your tickets yet... you should get them. This really is going to be a great show.

We have been busy here. We read Pride and Prejudice. (the girls and I) as did a few of their friends and so we had a tea party and viewing of the movie. We watched in its entirety the version with Kiera Knightly and then watched several scenes from the one with Colin Firth. Tonight Katie and I watched Bride and Prejudice which is an Indian (as in India) version. It was quite colorful and very fun.

Also this weekend we went to the Renaissance fair in Muskogee. Mimi helped the girls get their costumes ready and made capes for the boys as well. It was VERY hot.. but we had a great time.

In other news.. our AC died and we have to replace it. RATS. But truly I knew it was coming. I am just happy we made it five years before we had to do it.

Okay.. so that is rather jumbled and short.. but that is what we have been up to. I hope to chat more soon...


Friday, May 15, 2009

This whole plate business

Okay.. so I haven't posted in a while because this whole business of being a plate takes time.
My evenings no longer belong to me.. they belong to directors who ask me to do things I am not altogether comfortable doing. I am in a MUSICAL. (have you seen High School Musical?? You know how Mrs. Darbiss says Mus-i-cal.) Not just a play... no.. I must sing.

When I first got the part I was excited. (humbled, thrilled, scared) Then we started rehearsals and I was quite overwhelmed. I was VERY far out of my comfort zone. I was not sure I was qualified to do the part. Then.. I thought, I will just keep smiling and keep singing. I am in the chorus.. I will blend in. snarf!
Sing boldly they say. Don't worry about making mistakes, they say. (quickly followed by.. don't sing THAT anymore). I am trying. I am smiling. I am singing.

Then we started blocking. Blocking is the term used to tell the actors where to move on the stage. Not such a hard thing. I move practically every day. Surely, I can do that. I can even, sometimes, move AND sing. If any of you have seen my lovely rendition of "Hole in the Bottom of the Sea" you know I can move. Well, even that left me unprepared for what we did tonight.

If you are my friend, you may want to come and witness the spectacle that will be Beauty and the Beast. I sing, and I dance (if you really want to call it that) I smile and I SPIN. Yes.. you read that right. SPIN. It truly is an amazing thing. AMAZING. While our director has these very GRAND schemes and plans I must admit I feel really ridiculous. (All the while smiling and being enthusiastic, of course!) Have I mentioned that of the women in the play, three of us are moms. One mom is older, one younger and all other female leads are about 21 or younger. So.. I am a dancing, singing, spinning plate with a bevy of cuter, younger girls. (and one very tall boy.)

I keep thinking to myself.. what can I learn from this experience? I am not too old to learn. I do think it is a little harder than it used to be.. but I can do it! It is good to be in this position because it is a great reminder of what my kids go through. It is good to remember what it is like to be a student and to not have the edge. I have to rely on others for help. I haven't mastered the necessary skills for this task. I have to practice. (and I do) I have been "in charge" for a long time already. It is GOOD to be on the other side for a change. (uncomfortable.. but good)

Okay.. It is very late and I must rest. I am sorry that we haven't chatted more lately friends. I miss blogging and visiting and stamping and reading books... but this is an interesting journey I am on. I hope to be a better person because of the experience... and I KNOW without a doubt that I will make people smile.. (laugh.. roll on the floor.. gasp for breath... ) I have to SPIN!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Daddy is home and I am a plate

First things first.. My Dad is home.. yippee! He is home from the hospital and feeling better. He has oxygen that he is on all of the time... but they have him set- up so that he can go all around the house. He is feeling much better and is glad to be back home. We are glad he is too! They believe the emphysema is in the early stages which is good. We are still not sure how everything will work out with the CLL.. but we are so glad he is home!
So.. we will take each day as it comes and pray that he will continue to improve. Each day, for all of us, is a gift.

Also... there were call backs tonight for Beauty and the Beast. The sad news is that the girls did not get asked to the call backs... the unusual news is that I did. So.. with much trepidation in my heart I arrived at the little theater tonight unsure of what awaited me there. We had to SING. (not a big surprise as this IS a musical. ) Not sure what I was thinking. I am definitely more comfortable SPEAKING than singing. We had to sing PARTS. (Soprano, Alto, etc..) He told us not to waiver. Pick a part and stay on it. (I did actually laugh out loud.. not helping my audition there.) I haven't had to sing parts since elementary school. There ARE no parts to "The Hole in the Bottom of the Sea". So... when they told us that three or four people were to be cut I was fully prepared to be one of them. Alas, when they called us up on the stage at the end of the rehearsal.. they informed us that we all did so well that they were keeping EVERYONE! It is with great humility that I accept my role as a villager/plate. I am WAAAAY outside my comfort zone and yet I think it will be a lot of fun, a true learning experience. So... I am excited and scared and humbled and I know I will have a lot of work to do to keep up with the very talented people in this cast.

I will have to forgo some of my other leisure activities for the next 7 or 8 weeks.. but I think I stand to learn a lot from this adventure. I will keep you posted.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Daddy is in the Hospital

My Daddy is in the hospital and has been there since Saturday morning. Mom and I took him in because he couldn't breathe. They are treating him for pneumonia but we also got the diagnosis today that he has emphysema. This is a degenerative lung disease on top of the CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) that he already has. While we are trying our best to be upbeat, this is not the best of news. We are still trying to digest this and come to terms with exactly what this will mean for him on a day to day basis.

He is feeling a bit better and I am thankful for that. We know more each day. We are not yet sure when he will come home. Please keep him in your prayers!

In other, unrelated, news... the girls auditioned tonight for Beauty and the Beast which will be performed here in town. They both did well as did their friend Chan. After the initial SINGING audition the girls had to go upstairs and read. The director kept looking over in my corner waiting for others to audition, I told him I was NOT. Then, with some coercion on his part and from another friend.. I actually sang... and then went upstairs to read. The singing was TERRIFYING.. but the reading was actually fun. (Although my oldest daughter isn't so sure that I did so well.) Nothing like a little terror in your day to get your mind off other things. Call backs are on Thursday and I will let you know how we did!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rainbow Color Order

Aren't they beautiful!!

I posted earlier that I like to arrange, well... everything, in color order. By that I mean rainbow order.. Red -orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo- violet. I vary where I put pink, sometimes with red and other times after purple. ( It depends on the shade of pink and if I have browns and blacks to add.) Anyhow.. I just thought I would share a bit of my madness. I must tell you though, that my kids like it too! If I had not arranged them this way I believe Bekah would have.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christ Our Lord is Risen Today...

I have been waiting to sing this song for 50 long days! We begin preparing for Easter on Ash Wednesday. We spend Lent reflecting on the sacrifice that Jesus made for US.
The entire Lenten season is waiting and preparation for the celebration of Easter.
We even sing different songs (or at least different versions of regular songs) during Lent. We also refrain from saying Alleluia which is a regular response right before the gospel reading. Then, on Easter Sunday, we SING and say Alleluia!! Christ Our Lord is Risen TODAY!
I have been singing since Friday.... I couldn't wait.
We have mass on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and then a long Easter Vigil service on Saturday night. After Mass on Friday, we had a live 'stations of the cross' (or a reenactment of the passion).
It was incredible. The man who played Jesus was amazing. He really did a fabulous job. They even had a huge cross that he carried as we followed him all around our churchyard. They had a way to "hang" him on the cross that was quite realistic and made me look twice to be sure he was okay. It was incredibly moving. The girl who played Mary did an amazing job too... Now that I am a mom I have such a better understanding of what Mary must have gone through. I always get choked up at that part when watching The Passion when Mary sees Jesus fall and she imagines him as a little boy. I just bawl. Of course, I cry through most of it. I am awed by the gift we have been given. Watching this live.. is really powerful. I hope that this is a new tradition at church. (This was the first year that they have done this.)

So... today we celebrated Easter! Yes... the Easter Bunny came too.. but we know the real reason to rejoice today. Christ our Lord is Risen today!! A-a-a-a-a-le-lu-ia!!
Rejoice in the Lord!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Waiting for the clothes to dry

Hello! It is Friday night and everyone is in bed. Everyone that is, except for me. I have my oldest boys soccer clothes in the wash.. (need to give him a code name!!) He has a game at 8:30 in the morning and my hubby has a rehearsal at 8:30.. so I get to go to the game!!
Now.. I really don't mind watching soccer, but I don't "live" for it either. I am appropriately supportive and I certainly drive my kiddo all over... but I have never been a very sports person and so....

Anyhow, I am up and waiting for shorts to dry and so I will post a few more pictures. Prima Donna and Sunshine had friends over the other week and they took some "Top Model" pictures. Have you ever seen the show? Another one of my guilty pleasures. I don't watch it regularly or anything like that.. but I can think of two different days where the girls and I sort of got sucked in and watched on a Saturday when they were airing the whole season. What always amazes me is how "normal" the girls look before their hair and make-up. Also.. that some of the girls that I thought were just stunning... didn't necessarily take a good photo. Anyhow.. here are the girls:

Aren't they gorgeous. I want to take more black and white photos. Okay.. they took these in color... but they wanted them in black and white so I did that in my hp photo place.
Sunshine's picture is actually one that is already on this blog.. but she got gypped at the photo shoot. With Prima Donna and friends around... she just didn't get as many photos!!
I would like to really start putting more photos up. Prima Donna downloads the camera for me. Both girls are really quite good photographers. I would like to improve too.
I will go and see if I can find some pics of the boys so I can give them code names.
I think I found some.

We will call this boy Mr. Fantastic. He already believes he is a superhero.

And this next boy... hhhmmm ... let's call him Sweet Feet. He just can't sit still... (EVER)
He is in constant motion and he loves to dance. Once when we were at one of Brian's performances.. (I guess he'll get a code name too) anyhow, once when we were at a performance listening to the music, Sweet Feet asked Sunshine to dance. She immediately refused. Without blinking an eye, Sweet Feet said," If you don't dance with me, I will go out there by myself and embarrass you and then tell EVERYONE I am your brother." She relented and danced.
Well, the clothes are dry. Now, aren't you glad we have had this chat? I surely am.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pay it Forward

Hi there! It has been a while since I have posted. Been.. well... thinking.. and working some on the house and trying to get my ducks in a row.

I was reading my friend's blog over at Sweet Meadow Musings and I saw that she had this post on paying it forward. I agreed... so...

For the first 5 people to comment on this post, I will make something for you. It will be something specifically for you... I don't promise that it will be in your hands soon, just sometime before the end of 2009. The only catch is that you make the same post on your blog, or facebook, or where ever... I love to pay it forward... Now you can pay it forward too...

Those are the rules. For the first 5 people to comment I will make something for you... no promises as to what it will be.. but it will be handmade with love from me!! and I will get it to you sometime before the end of the year. So.. all you have to do is agree to pay it forward.
If you don't blog.. you can pay it forward any way you like!! If you don't comment on blogs you can e-mail me. (See how agreeable I am!)

I do hope to be blogging more in the future.
I hope you are all well and doing fine.
More soon! love.. from me

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Code names

I have noticed that in this day of modern technology, several friends have given "code names" to their children so as not to give their real names.(a safety feature) As I write this I am wondering if that means I have to go back and change any and all references of them to their code names?? um no.
I think I will just "Keep moving forward". This is one of my new mottos borrowed from Walt Disney himself! Don't beat yourself up over past mistakes just keep moving forward. I like it!

So.. here we are... I would like to introduce my children.

Prima Dona

Enchant me once again

The song is from Phantom of the Opera and this is what I sing to my lovely girl sometimes!


You make me happy , when skies are gray!

Alright. These are my first two children. I can't figure out how to keep the words centered under the pictures!! Drat. But I will keep trying. It won't let me upload more pictures on this page so the boys will be next.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


As I work with the girls on grammar and writing I become increasingly aware of the need for clarity and precision. Alas, I do not always achieve that goal in my OWN writing. When I said in my last post that I didn't notice this happening with other people what I meant to say was this:

My children, husband, mom and brother seem to give voice to my very thoughts. I do not notice that I can do this with anyone other than my own family.

I did not mean to imply that other people don't do this.. just that I only seem to do this with my own family!

Having said that, thank you everyone for your comments!! I hope you understood what I meant and not what I said. I do think Sylvia, that if you and your sisters finish each others sentences then that is exactly what I am talking about. Pretty cool!!

(I had to edit this post twice just to say what I mean... argh.. just a little humility to help me when I teach the kids!) ha

Monday, March 02, 2009

Can you read my mind??

Okay.. here is the deal... my family and I are really connected. I mean REALLY connected. "Whatever do you mean, Sherri?" Well.. when I think something.. one of my kids or my hubby will say it out loud. Coincidence?? perhaps.. but it happens ALL THE TIME.

Example one: Brian and I were at Lowe's the other day looking for flooring for the bathroom. Anyone who has ever shopped with Brian know how truly excruciating this can be. He loves to shop.. and compare.. and shop and then go home and think about it and shop again.. arrgh!
I was tired. I wanted to go home. I didn't care what kind of floor we chose. Standing there in Lowe's I looked up at my all too cute man and said," Honey, you know what I think?" and he replied.."That I am getting kind of gray." Bingo. I had been looking at him under the fluorescent lights and thought that very sentence. We were not talking about hair or getting old and yet he said exactly what I thought.

Example two: During English today we were doing some of our exercises out loud. The girls were supposed to come up with more descriptive nouns. The answer key of course said that answers would vary. I was looking at the book and thinking the specific words that were listed. The girls named almost all of them. (they got other answers too.. but they mentioned almost every single one listed in the book. coincidence? perhaps..) However, there are a lot of possible variations for some of these words.. but my girlies got almost all of them!

Example three: When Caleb was little (two and a half or three) he was sitting on my lap as I paid some bills at the computer. I was frantically searching for a Discover statement. I didn't say this out loud. He looked at me and calmly asked if I was looking for Discover. How could he know? He was too little to even know what Discover is.

This happens daily at my house. I can also "do" this with my mom and my older brother. (you should see us play pictionary...Mom and I are awesome... we barely have to draw anything )For Brian it works best if he is near me. John...(my brother) well, we have always been "in tune".
He is especially close with my Katie.. she was born on his birthday (something he predicted even though I wasn't due until 12 days AFTER his birthday). When he sends gifts for her birthday he will often have it in paper that coordinates with the theme I have chosen even though we haven't discussed it. He got her a monkey the year she had a monkey party.. again without discussing it.
(He lives in Montana.)

When I read back over this is sounds a bit trivial but if you could just realize how often it happens. Does this happen to any of you? Please tell me it does.

In case you are wondering.. I haven't noticed that this happens with other people. Just my family. Weird?? but kiind of cool too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

the rest of the list

Well, it seems that writing that much about ME wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Still, in an attempt to finish what I have started, I will try to finish my list.

14. I worry.. way too much about everything. I need to let this go. My mom says worry is a lack of faith. Ouch! That is an eye opening statement... I certainly DO trust in God and therefore need not worry. I have that in my heart.. but still I tend to think too much. I am working on it though.

15. Worry's best friend is obsessiveness. I tend to obsess over some things. If I think of something late at night.. I have to get out of bed and go find said item. Since high school my OCD tick has been to check my curling iron (then) flat iron (now) to see if I turned it off. I can't tell you how many times I have come back home or just back into the house to check and make sure that I actually DID turn off the flat iron. I once left for Little Rock and actually had a neighbor come and check to be sure I had turned it off. Those of you who knew me in high school will remember I suffered from this affliction then too and know that my brother John and then boyfriend would actually check (or in retrospect.. at least tell me they checked) to make sure I had indeed unplugged said electrical appliance. ARRRGH. It is exasperating but not something I can help. I feel compelled to check because I am fearful of burning down the house. I once took a personality quiz that said I was obsessive and I spent the rest of the night obsessing about the thought that I was obsessive. Let it go man... let it go.

16. Onions. I love onions and although my Aunt will tell you that I eat them like an apple that is not totally true. I do like them raw but I eat them in layers not just a bite into it like an apple. I also don't consume a whole onion at a time. But.. when I am cooking and chopping them, I do eat them plain. I prefer vidalia's but have been known to eat or at least try just about any variety.
It is a good thing Brian will eat them too...

17. When I was in the 7th grade I got an award for Wood shop and I never even completed a project. I did, however, ace every test. At the end of the year, I got an award (much to my embarrassment!) My brother, who also took the class, did a much better job but had slightly lower test scores and did not get an award.. he should have.

18. In the eighth grade I got an award for "flying" the flight simulator. I lived in Bossier City, Louisiana and Barksdale Air Force Base is right there. People from the base brought a flight simulator around to local jr. high schools and eighth grade students took lessons and got to have a solo flight. I did really well. I even got my picture in the paper.
So there you go.. one award I didn't really deserve and another for a really unusual experience.

19. I believe Love is the answer. I am pretty certain that for most problems, at least where people are concerned, love is the answer. We learn early on that we are to love our neighbors and do unto others.. but to really internalize this so that is IS our nature and not just a platitude is altogether more challenging. (not that scripture is a platitude.. but I think sometimes it gets reduced to just a saying. Its simplicity is downplayed. If we would embrace and truly LOVE our neighbors and DO unto others many wrongs would be righted. ) Love is the answer. Love more.Give more.

Still with me?? You are loyal friends!

20. I was incredibly fertile and I had really EASY labors. I can pop out a baby like nobody's business. Bekah was my longest labor. While I did have some mild pain with early labor it was certainly bearable. I won't tell the whole long story but from the first "hard crunching pain" until she was born was about two hours. With the other three I had NO pains in early labor and didn't feel anything until transition. (I could tell I was having contractions but they didn't hurt at all..) Katie was almost an hour. Noah was about 45 minutes. Caleb was about an hour. I go quick.
I was induced with the boys and even on petocin didn't have any pain until transition. So.. no epidurals for me. Just hard, quick labors. The nurse delivered Katie because she was born in the very early morning and the doctor didn't even have time to get there.

21. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot in my mouth. (no hands) Not a skill I will ever have to use and why I ever tried in the first place??? But there you go.

22. I danced the polka at my wedding. My grandparents once had a polka band. My grandpa played his accordian at our wedding and we danced. They also sang the Daddy's dance song in Germand and English. It is all about how I am grown up now.. but I still love you Daddy. Dad and I both cried.. and danced!

23. I love musicals. I think I have shared this love with my kiddos and now they love them too.

24. I am not a great housekeeper. I do know how to clean and I DO clean... just not often enough. I have too much other stuff I like to do (read and craft) and so.. I clean some... and then do other things (blog). So... if you stop by.. the house may be clean.. or just as likely.. not. Still.. I will push the (crap) out of the way and welcome you in! Love me.. love my mess.. or at least don't mind it too much! You are always welcome at Karptown.

25... Oh my goodness this has been hard. The 25th thing about me???

I believe. I believe that God so loves us that He sent His Son who died on a cross for our sins.
I believe that our time on earth is all a journey back to HIM. We are here to learn. We are here to love. We are here to humble ourselves and serve one another. It isn't always easy. I fail in so many ways everyday and God still loves me. God loves each one of us and made us all unique and precious and wonderful. He has shared in all of our "25 things".

So.. there you go. More than you wanted or needed to know.. but I did it. Whew!
Now I have chores to finish and kids who want the computer.

Friday, February 06, 2009

25 Things about ME?

Okay... my friend over at Griffith Family Life did a post on 25 things about her. This type of list is also going around on facebook. Why 25 things?? My guess is that whoever thought up this list REALLY wanted to get to the self-revealing stuff. *Warning* If you continue to read this you may learn more about me than you really wanted to know, after all, who can list 25 things and not say something a little personal??

Still here??? Okay then, this brings me to my second *WARNING* I may just " get into" writing 25 things about me, after all, who better than me to write about me?? This blog could take on epic proportions. So... if you are sure that you wouldn't rather be doing something else.... checking your couch for spare change?? or folding that basket of mismatched socks that haunts you?? Go grab a cup of coffee... or if you are a self-respecting southerner... a glass of sweet tea and we will continue with 25 things about me. (or more) (hee hee)

1. I WAS a northerner. I lived in Michigan with my parents and two brothers, one older and one younger, until I was twelve. We moved to Louisiana two months before I turned 13. While I remember Michigan, I am a southerner. I enjoy the cold weather for a while but not the 9 months of snow that Michigan offered. I have been south longer (okay MUCH LONGER) than I lived in the north and so I am a southerner NOW.

2. I love to teach. I got my degree in education and most of my masters in early childhood administration. At that point in my life (college )I thought I would teach in public school until I had children and then offer in-home child care in the form of a pre-school program at home while my kids were home. I had no intention of home-educating at all. But... we are and I love it. I wouldn't trade being home with my kids for anything. I love working with them. There are certain challenges with home education (like teaching new content at a new grade level every year) and we constantly are adapting "what works for us" but it is an incredible experience. I love teaching... and I enjoy a classroom setting as well. I love walking into a school.

3. But... when I grow up, I want to be a librarian or an artist. My first dream was to be a teacher and I am. (and I will be for 12 more years). But after that... who knows? If they had offered a masters degree in library science at the university I attended I would have gone that route. As luck would have it... they didn't, so I went with early childhood administration. (Never dreaming that I would indeed be setting up a school in my own home!!)

4. I don't like to drive. I don't. I can easily maneuver around our little town and I am able to drive north , south and west (all on country roads) for about 1/2 an hour but I have only driven in Springdale 4 times in the past 9 1/2 years. I hate traffic. It makes me VERY apprehensive. I am a good driver. I have no tickets and I have never been in an accident while I was driving. Still... I don't like to drive. I have been known to go out of my way so that I only have to make right hand turns. (Not HORRIBLY.. out of my way.. but a little bit)
This is one reason we live where we do. When we first moved here, my parents moved with us, they came and scouted the area. They partially picked our town because it was closer to bigger towns and I could drive here. If I need to go to one of the bigger towns I go with my hubby or my folks. (who said confession is good for the soul?? I feel a bit freakish.. but, pressing on...)

5. I love books. I could easily while away my days curled up with a book. Really... everyday.. it would be no problem. We could live on cereal and salad and I could read. (oh.. we do have an occasional day like this... but not EVERY day.) I am an obsessive reader and read most books in one sitting if possible. I am pretty quick... but not a speed reader. It takes several hours to finish a good book. I did read the 7th Harry Potter book in one day. It took all day and it was like consuming a plate of cookies. I did not retain it... but enjoyed it immensely. (okay, so not exactly like a plate of cookies because I definitely would retain them... right around my backside!! hee hee) I have a bookcase in almost every room in my house and they are all full and many have double stacked books. I keep trying to weed them out... but am not always successful. I have an 1865 copy of a Louisa May Alcott book. I mean.. how incredibly cool is that?

6. I also love paper goods and paper crafting. Brian has always had hobbies: golf, his trumpet, wood working. Not so for me. I always had teaching and the kids. Six years ago I was introduced to stamping and I have become a woman obsessed. I love paper. It truly is my medium. I even have my own room now to store all of my goodies!! I make cards and notebooks and framed art and I LOVE it. I design things in my head while doing dishes and other chores. It truly, truly is so much fun. Plus... I get to share this with my mom and my girls who also enjoy it! Bliss.

7. I do not have a great sense of smell. I can tell WHEN something smells... but I can not always discern if it is a good smell or a bad smell. Many things smell to me like cat pee... (peach candy for example... smells like cat pee to me... eww!)

8.I have a tendency to make a short story long filling you in on all of the details. If you have ever talked to me on the phone you know this to be true. My girls have inherited this trait. We are gifted gabbers.

9. I am afraid of being wrongly imprisoned. Okay... sounds weird I know, but have you ever seen those awful prison shows on t.v.??? Prison is a TERRIFYING place. I am not saying we shouldn't have them... I AM saying I sure don't want to ever go and since I have no plan on ever committing a crime...for me to end up there I would have to be falsely accused thus the fear of being wrongly imprisoned. I am not a tough girl. I am a WIMPY girl. I would not make it. Since she was about 4 Bekah has believed that we can do anything Martha Stewart can do... NOT THIS!

10. Someday I want to learn how to play the guitar and learn to sew better. I would also like to improve my Spanish. (you know... get beyond my colors and numbers, days of the week etc..)
A pottery class would be nice too. I realize that is several things... just count this as things I want to learn...

11. Things I Hate: socks that go missing in the wash, having to say every day "Did you do the......fill in the blank..... chore?", feeling guilty and inadequate (which I do all too often.)

12. Things I LOVE: My family-- hubby, kids, folks... all are precious and good.
So much so that they get their own number.

13. Other things I love: My friends!! books, paper, sweet tea, CHIPS, Michael Buble, lazy days, craft projects, going to plays, spring, fall, holiday decorations, blogging, kids laughing, silliness, and music.

Okay guys... that is it for now. Earlier I couldn't sleep and so came to write this list... now I am yawning so will go close my eyes for just a few more minutes. Pay no attention to the time stamp on this post. I am sure it is much earlier than it says. Stop looking... don't judge!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I THINK in words.......

I think in words. What does that mean? Well.... if I have something to remember, a short list for example, I think of the first letter of each item and remember those. (That would be thinking in letters but stick with me here.) My Mom would remember the same list in picture form.

I love mnemonic devices. I remember the planets in order with a sentence and the Great Lakes with a word. I make them up for other things I have to remember. Bekah HATES them. They make no sense to her and she refuses to use them.

When I have friends with the same name and I think of them.. I don't picture their faces... I picture the spelling of their names. In high school I had two friends Ann. (Ann and Anne) In college, there were four girls named Christy. (Kristi, Kristy, Christi, Christy)

If I am struggling with something and I am thinking about it I usually write a letter in my head. If I get an idea to blog about.. I think through the words first.

I don't know if this is "normal" or unusual. I do know that I am increasingly intrigued with the many ways that it seems people process information. I know that my children all "think" differently. They are raised in the same house with the same parents and teacher. They all process differently. I think this is HUGE. I know that they talked about the different learning styles in school... but not enough. I think there are MANY different ways that we process information.

In addition to thinking in words I am also a visual learner. I have to see to truly process. Bekah has an amazing memory. If she reads something... she can spit it out often word for word. (Not all vocabulary words.. but concepts definitely.) This same girl has difficulty with addition, yet she has memorized all of her multiplication facts!! (It took me a while to figure out that skill and ability and retention in READING does not necessarily transmit to math.) Noah is very quick with mental math and can add large columns of numbers in his head... yet doesn't have his multiplication facts as quickly at his ready as I would like.??? WHY... How can they absorb without trying some information and struggle with other parts?

Does anyone else find it amazing that math and reading are processed differently?? Has anyone else encountered this?

How do you think?? Pictures?? Colors??

I also have this thing with colors... I put everything in color order... rainbow order. My closet for example. I didn't know until I was teaching that everyone didn't do this. My crayons.. my inks.. my paper... I don't remember Mom doing this, but I assumed everyone did, until I was discussing this with some other teachers and they turned to look at me like I had three heads.

Guess what? My older brother organizes his closet this way too. Guess what... Brian won't let me do his half that way. (I have let it go) I also struggled a great deal when the girls were little because I couldn't stand the play-dough to be mixed... I have overcome that obstacle. Those of you who know me well know that it isn't because I can't stand the mess... I just hated the colors to be mixed (in globs). If I could combine the colors completely to make a new color that was okay.

All right, enough rambling here. Weigh in. How do you think?? Let me know.
And here is a special shout out to a few friends who read but don't comment. =)
More soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Disclaimer Regarding Deltora Quest (see previous post)

Okay folks... lots of fighting. I had forgotten how much. If you love Lord of the Rings and that type of stuff... then Deltora Quest is a match. If that is not your cup of tea.. then don't read them. Just thought I better add that. As Noah was reading out loud today I realized I had forgotten just how much fighting there is. Of course they ARE on a quest and all... and have to face these challenges, but still. Just thought I should say that out loud.

The Belt of Deltora

So.... Brian said no to the drum set. At least no for now. I personally believe that he is hoping that Noah will want to play some type of horn. (He, Noah, already plays piano. Brian is a trumpet player and really wants SOMEONE to play it too. Bekah tried violin for a few years but decided it wasn't for her. Katie plays piano. Caleb might be the kid who plays trumpet. He can already buzz a mouthpiece.) I, however, have promised Noah that he can be in band starting in Jr. High. He is very excited about this. (My devious parenting here is to keep him in band and NOT in football!!) He is SURE he wants to play drums and I told him that is okay. (As long as he keeps up his piano). So... crisis averted for a time.

As for the wii..... good grief! They really ARE expensive.. and Noah doesn't want to purchase the whole thing by himself. He is trying to convince the other kids to save their money with him. This could be a good plan if they will go along with it.

So.. after all of this excitement and discussion last night I found myself home alone with the boys. Brian was at band practice. The girls were helping a friend run the nursery at her church for a Bible study. So... the boys and I started to make the Belt of Deltora.

If you have boys and you need a good series for them to read, I recommend The Deltora Quest. This is a series of eight books that take Lief, Barda and Jasmine on a quest to find the seven gems and return them to the belt of Deltora. Noah first found this series at least a year and a half ago. I think they are published by Scholastic. We were at the bookstore.. (my favorite place) and at the age of 8he found this huge 400+ page book and said, "Can I have this?" (Don't panic here. The books are NOT 400 pages each. The book he found was the first 4 books in the series published together in one volume.) I said sure.

He didn't start the book immediately... but once he did get into it.. he devoured it. I had to read it too so we could discuss. We then found 3 of the other books and borrowed number 6 which I couldn't find until this year for some reason. We now have the whole set and Noah is reading them OUT LOUD to Caleb! They are definitely boy books. There are monsters and challenges and some fighting. It is fantasy.. but all done age appropriately. The individual books are just the right size for chapter books.

So... last night we started work on the belt. My challenge... making it so it will fit either boy. The boys are 4 years apart and built differently. I am using felt (although it is supposed to be made of metal. Since I am not up on my metalworking skills these days... felt will have to do.)
Caleb made the gems We took very smooth stones and heated them in the oven. Then he used pearly and glittery crayons to color on them. When the stones are hot the crayons melt and coat the stones. (This is a great activity.. heat the stones on 200 or 250.. but be very careful. The kids can't touch the stones. If you hold a crayon on the surface it will pool and melt. This works with all crayons but we have found that the pearly, silver and gold and glitter ones are the best.) Next he used glitter glue on the other side of each stone. They are quite magnificent.
My biggest boy.. helped me do a bit of bead work (not fancy) on a couple of the pockets. We are not quite finished yet.. but I will post a picture when we are. The younger boy wants to have a REAL quest and asked if we can hide the gems. So.. know that is what we will be working on today. Turning the bedrooms into The Forest of Silence, and The Shifting Sands etc. (at least with a sign on the doors).

As I lay in bed last night I thought... Wow.. this is so much fun. What a great story extension. I didn't plan this as a school activity we just did it. They don't think it is a chore or even that it "counts" as school they are just having fun. They are truly making the story come alive. Today we get to "play" and read some more. Homeschooling is REALLY, REALLY cool.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Devious Parenting??

Okay.. so Noah has earned some money working for friends. He started talking about purchasing video games with the money. Not gonna happen. To distract him I suggested he look at instruments. Perhaps a drum set? The last time I checked they were $6-800. He has a long way to go to save.. I figured I was safe. Even if I chipped in... he would have a bit more to save.

Well... don't you know that Whitmores has a set for $225. That puts him MUCH closer to having the amount. I wouldn't even have to pay half. Drat. That was not the plan. He was supposed to have to save for YEARS. This was just a distraction tactic.

So... in a moment of panic.. (and this is REALLY sneaky) I mentioned that the only video game I might consider is a wii. (They do look like fun.) Now the other children are following Noah chanting... "Get a wii, Get a wii, Get a wii!)

I am certain that this will come back to bite me in the behind.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year Resolution

I AM one of "those" people who make New Year's Resolutions. In fact I have a TON of them. Too many really and as most of them either begin or end with the words EVERY DAY I haven't listed them as it seems certain that I am setting myself up for failure. Why do I make them?? Because every year I seem optimistic that these are the things that will make me a better person.

(I self analyze way too much!) At any rate, I was discussing this topic with my girls and my ever practical oldest daughter said," You have too many, Mom. Just pick one."

Okay.. I muddled this over in my mind and threw all of my resolutions in a pot and distilled them down to this..I will go to bed on time and get up on time. One resolution that is key to making all of the other ones happen. If I do this I can better establish a routine that will incorporate the countless other resolutions!

I will also choose to forgive myself if I fail to keep this and to try again and not give up. I pondered all of this again this morning in my bed where I was snuggled up tight against the 14 degree weather outside. Brian had made a fire before he left.

I will let you discern whether or not I got up "on time". That is such a relative term isn't it?
Stay warm today kiddos... it's going to be COLD outside.

Monday, January 12, 2009

a minute more

Thank you everyone for the responses to my last post. The book was great and stayed with me for a while. I read yesterday, The Year of Magical Thinking, which was the book this month for book club. It was very sad.. a woman's account of the year after her husband's death. (Not so much uplifting stuff coming out of bookclub lately...) It was extremely well-written and I certainly "got it." The author's need to keep retelling her story. Her feelings that her husband would come back some how even though she knew he wouldn't. It was a good book, just not one I would have picked up on my own. I guess that is why book club is good for me. =)

I have started to read the new Jodi Picoult book that mom mentioned and I will tell you more when I finish it. It too is quite interesting. I, as you know by now, like books that make you think. I feel there is a philosophy student hidden somewhere in me.. perhaps not so hidden now that I get to blather on to you good people!

In other news... We had a good day at school. Every day now includes PE too as Santa brought a trampoline to the Karp house and now the kids can't wait to get outside. I still am a bit nervous about having it... but the kids are playing together and getting exercise and those are both really good things! You will notice in the picture above.. the static in Caleb's hair from rolling around on the trampoline.

We are progressing through our studies and everyone is doing well. I really think that I was trying to do too much and by limiting our subjects a little... we are being more successful (to me as I feel a sense of accomplishment instead of the constant feeling that we aren't doing enough) and that is a great thing! We are working on our books. Bekah is finished with her story and Katie is pretty close. Just need to get those boys going.

I have been baking pumpkins. I bought pumpkins for decorations in the fall. I had this great idea that I would then bake them and freeze the pumpkin to add to different dishes. After Halloween the pumpkins went on sale for something like 50 cents. So.. I bought a couple more. I had to haul them down to the classroom at Christmas (they were clashing with my decorations) and brought them back up when we took Christmas down. I am baking pumpkins and pumpkin bread. And I am eating baked pumpkin.. though the kids aren't so excited about that. They do love the pumpkin bread though. I still have SEVERAL more pumpkins to bake up. Note to self... a little pumpkin goes a LOOONNG WAY!

I will leave you with this little tidbit that Caleb has been sharing lately. It comes from Veggie Tales.. but I didn't know that the first time he told it and I was quite amazed.

Caleb: "Mom, you have to eschew chocolate. (Now ask me what's eschew.)"

Me: " Okay.. Caleb, what is eschew."

Caleb: " Not much, what's eschew with you!! (much laughing here) Actually it means to give up or avoid, Mom."

Pretty funny right?? I think so. Good Grief.
So.. let me know... "What's eschew with you?"

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Just a quick note

Just a quick note tonight... I just watched a little T.V. and now I must scurry to finish a few chores before tomorrow.

I am doing Romeo and Juliet with my girls tomorrow. I definitely do not remember it being as bawdy as it is. Of course, when I read it in school I didn't have a line by line translation like I do now. It sounds a lot prettier in old English...and without the explanation of what exactly Shakespeare meant. I am sure I will skip over a few of the explanations! It is interesting though to think of his plays being performed. Even this tragic play has some (bawdy) humor. Wouldn't it be cool to witness a performance as it was all those years ago? see the audience reactions??

I just finished reading The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes.. a book Mom read and reported on earlier.
It was very interesting. I didn't think I would be able to read it at first because a girl becomes involved in a crime and ends up with the baby of a woman who dies. (She takes the baby and that horrifies me. But as you read you understand the circumstances and while it IS awful it is not as bad as you first imagine. )Well.... I got through that part and finished the book. The underlying theme is this: Can people change? Can you know someone one way for years (like 30) and then find out about their "secret" past? Does that effect you? Can you still love them?

This is the third book with this similar underlying theme that I have read and they have all had different results. In one, the wife could not forgive the past (which was horrific) even though she had been VERY happy for years with her husband. In another, The Reader, the man is sort of mesmerized when he finds out about the past... and tries in his own way to help but the resolution is not totally satisfactory. This story of CeeCee probably has the best ending of all three books.

Still, I find the idea behind these books intriguing. Hopefully we all grow in grace and love and life experience. Each of these characters has a criminal secret past. The characters totally turn their lives around and move forward but have not.. at least as the books begin.. paid for their crimes. If what we want (as a society)is rehabilitation then do they still need to pay?? Do we as a society only want rehabilitation or do we want repentance and punishment? Does it matter what the crime was and the circumstances under which it was committed?? I think so. I guess my answer differs for each case. HHMMMM
I hope that this wasn't too muddled. Trying to just articulate a few thoughts here..
I suppose I have gone on long enough... trying not to get those chores done I guess.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


We're back.... back at school and trying to get back into a routine. I excelled on Monday and Tuesday but backslid a bit already on Wednesday. I fear I am coming down with Katie's cold and I NEEDED desperately some extra sleep. I took it... which put us off to a later start, but we still managed to have a fair day at school. I am still trying to do some longer term planning... but that will come.

I don't have Christmas down yet as yesterday was Epiphany. The arrival of the three kings. Our church celebrates the Christmas season until this weekend. Father Tyler said that the Vatican leaves a tree up until February in the square. That is pretty cool. I will miss all of the lights but I will be glad to clear up some of the clutter. I do keep out my snowmen until the end of February usually. By then I am itching for spring.

We had guests yesterday, Maddie and Jackson, Noah's friends; and Chandlor, the girls friend; and for a while our neighbor Caleb..... friend of our own Caleb. I even took all of these kids (minus the extra Caleb) to the Animal Shelter for an hour and a half to play with the animals there.

Caleb is behind me singing... "So you think you lost your Llama, I saw her yesterday." to the tune of the Beatles... She Loves you! Pretty funny.

I do have more I want to say... but for now I must close and while I am the one who hasn't been writing I am still inclined to say, " Welcome Back!"

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My little guy

As I am putting the duvet covers on the new down comforters the boys got for Christmas

Caleb: So... does anyone have an "up" comforter??

Me: A down comforter is MADE of down. It is a material. (I later explained it was feathers)

Caleb: Does anyone have the material "up"?

I just love a 5 year old mind!