September 27, 2007


Saturday, as my husband and I were puttering around the bathroom getting ready for the morning, the seven year old was packing. I saw he was packing and he came in to ask for a lunch sack for the sandwiches he'd made. For some reason, neither one of us thought much about it. Tralalala, the kids are packing up, making lunch and for some reason, we just assumed they were going to be "exploring" the back yard or the living room.

When we got downstairs five minutes later, we looked around for the kids. Hmmm. Not in the back yard. Not in the living room. The front yard? Nope. A glance out the kitchen window, revealed them trudging along through the church yard next door, carrying bundles of blankets, toys, clothes and other stuff. Then the oldest left the four year old and the two year old alone and he came back to the house for water.

We went out in time to reassure the concerned jogger who was passing by and questioning the children that they were not really the cleanest, most tidy homeless people he'd seen in the area. Nor had their parents dumped them and left them to their fate.

After that, we let them trudge around the church yard a bit more, before explaining to them that they could not hike the neighborhood for the day and camp out all night by themselves. The seven year old thought it completely unfair that we had let him pack, make lunch and get so far with his plans before cutting him off. He couldn't understand how we possibly could have thought he wasn't intending to leave the premises.

We finally cleared that up and made sure the children understood that running away, even with the best of intentions, was not on the agenda. Where do they come up with these ideas?

September 21, 2007

Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Actually, we didn't go to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, but we did hit Chattanooga yesterday. My husband had work down there, so we tagged along (the beauty of homeschooling or not if you are seeking a night away from the family).

While my husband was sitting in on boring depositions, we wandered through the Hunter Museum of American Art picking out our favorite pieces of art (this was one of my favorites and I'm not sure what it says about the seven year old, but he liked the naked nymph statue outside the building best of all). By the end, my two girls were yawning and fidgety, so I was glad we went there first thing while we were all fresh. We then strolled down the hill to the aquarium, went to the bathroom, wandered through the freshwater side of things. Went to the bathroom. Ate lunch. Went to the bathroom. Wandered through the saltwater aquarium, which also has a butterfly area, and went to the bathroom.

Then we headed to the children's Creative Discovery Museum, which was awesome. Water, music, art, dinosaurs, theater, magnets and pneumatic tubes kept us busy for the hour and a half until closing time. We didn't even make it up to the second floor.

My husband picked us up and we drove over to the North Shore for ice cream at Clumpies, which (after Hot Licks in Fairbanks, AK) has some of the best ice cream I've had. After dessert, we had dinner at Sticky Fingers and came home tired and ready for bed.

September 18, 2007

The Beginning of the New Road

Sometimes the simple can be the most profound.

My husband and I made first Confession on Saturday. During Sunday Mass at a beautiful little church in Kentucky, we were baptized (Justin and I conditionally) and then we and the oldest boy received Confirmation and Holy Communion. Justin took the names of St. Justin Martyr and St. Joseph; I chose St. Gianna; The Oldest, Sts. George and Benedict; the girls chose St. Joan and St. Elizabeth of Hungary; and the youngest, St. Peter. Our sponsors and the children's godparents are a couple that entered the Church about 12 years ago from the same background out of which we came.

We capped off the day with a cookout at our friends' farm with lots of
families with lots of children.

It felt strange to wake up Monday morning and say, "We're Catholic." We never thought that would happen. It was a wonderful experience, in the true sense of the word, and we will be mulling over the significance of it for a long, long time.

(a few pictures below the fold)

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Modern Life

Last week I was reading The Rag Coat to my Kindergartener. I thought this would be a good time to start teaching her to sew and to let my seven year old put in some more practice, since we really hadn't done any sewing in a year or so.

We started with the same project my son and his Waldorf Kindergarten class did -- a felt "dream pillow" embroidered on the outside and filled with rice and lavender (inside a muslin bag made by me). We use two small squares of felt, tapestry needles (which are pretty dull), and embroidery floss.

The seven year old has come a long way since his first sewing project in Kindergarten. He settled right in, stitching out a nice T-Rex head on one side and his initials on the other. The four year old went quickly from huge stitches to much smaller more controlled ones. I was quite pleased to see how much they were enjoying it all.

As they stitched and I watched and helped out as necessary -- unraveling threads, tying knots, or teaching new stitches -- I pulled out the iPod and we sat around it, sewing, drinking tea and listening to Alice in Wonderland. It was a modern take on a long ago, cozy domestic scene.

September 13, 2007

It's All Greek to Me

I can't remember where I ran across this first, but Steve Demme, the Math-U-See guy, gives a great lesson on memorizing the Greek alphabet in 10 minutes. My seven year old watched the video and now runs around saying, "Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta..."

September 12, 2007

You May Call Me "Your Majesty" says I'm a Cool Nerd Queen.  What are you?  Click here!

via The Llamas

Snips, Snails, Puppy Dogs' Tails and Rough Skin?

"Moooooom!" wailed my seven year old from the bathroom, "Is there any other soap I can use? I don't want my skin to be smooth and silky."

He's trying to grow up and be a man. Apparently, he's decided that manly men do not use soap that advertises its skin smoothing qualities. He hasn't learned yet that real men suck it up and use whatever soap the women in their life choose to purchase.

I made it clear that since there was only one type of soap available, he would be using it. He grumbled, but finally washed up.

And then I heard another howl, "But I don't have dry, frizzy, unmanageable hair!"

Where do I find soap that makes your skin rough and scaly and your hair limp and messy?

September 10, 2007


My seven year old has taken a fancy to pig Latin.

September 06, 2007

Ask a Silly Question

"How did you wet the bed?" I asked the two year old this morning.

"Well," she said leaning in as if she were going to confide a great secret, "I peed on it."

September 05, 2007


We spent the weekend cleaning up at Chez Purple and I expanded one of the flower beds with thick layers of newspaper and straw. It should be ready for planting in the spring, when I'm ready to fill it.

Justin cleaned out the basement and we moved stuff that has been sitting on the porch forever and looking incredibly white trash down to the basement. We went back on Monday and did a bit more work.

After it all, I was sore. Very sore. Can't move my left shoulder very well sore.

I whined enough that Justin came home from work early yesterday and I went off to the doctor.

I have tendonitis and need to do some physical therapy. As with any sort of injury, you never realize how much you use something in the course of a day. It hurts to raise my left arm above my head, or behind my back. That means getting dressed and undressed (especially putting on or taking off a bra) is painful. Unloading the dishwasher hurts. Washing my hair hurts.

This also means I probably won't be doing any more painting around the Purple House nor much heavy lifting for a long while.