Friday, March 21, 2008

Snow again??? and more

First, I wanted to post a few more pics from our nice day a little over two weeks ago, on the 13th. After dad got home from work we went to the park and to the library.

Here they are riding their bikes, then playing on the park equipment.




And of course, I have to post this pic of Rog. I absolutely love it. I am working on a way to play with it in photoshop.


This next picture is of Lilly cleaning the kitchen floor, VOLUNTARILY. Yep, you read right. She just WANTED to do it. You might say that it is just her age. Kids at that age love to help, right? Keep reading! (Pardon the crazy mess of a floor/cupboards. We are working on remodeling.)


Are you ready for this, you people who thought it was just age? Here is my 7 1/2 year old playing chore wars. On the 18th she just up and decided to log into her chore wars account, which she hasn't been in since October, when we were requiring chores.

Marti rarely WANTS to help out with chores. I would say "never" but often give her the line "Absolutes are rarely true, my young padawan", so I guess I should take my own advice. Anyway, when I say, "Marti rarely WANTS to help out with chores", that is like, almost never and when we ask her to do a chore (ie please put away your clothes) she grumbles and groans about it. We don't ask her often.


Anyway, since I have a record of it at chore wars, here is a list of things that she CHOSE to do a couple of days ago, on her own. No one asked. When she asked me if she could do chore wars, I told her that the prize really didn't hold any weight anymore (the prize was free time which she would usually use to play video games, but now she has unlimited game time) and she didn't care. She still wanted to play.

~Washed Kitchen Floor
~Took the laundry out of the dryer and put it in the appropriate basket
~Washed the TV
~Washed the floor in the front entrance
~Watered the cat
~Washed the mirror
~Washed the front door, inside and out
~Sanitized the door knobs

And she did some more chores the next day!!!

This next picture is of Marti and Lilly playing with their new toys yesterday that they bought with their allowances. They were getting along grandly. After playing for awhile with those toys the girls went outside and played in the backyard. When I told Lil it was time to come in to go to preschool she said she didn't want to go. So, we had a talk and decided that she is done with school. She is a homeschooler now, just like Marti and she was very excited about it.


THIS morning, the 2nd day of spring, when I left the house, it was a little chili, but was free of snow. I just took some pictures of our front step and our back porch a few minutes ago. We have gotten like 5 inches of snow. And I just put away the snow blower. Looks like I am going to have to get it out again. Curses! Michigan weather bites!

If you look carefully enough at the second picture you can make out dh's footprints from when he went to work only 4 hours ago.



Saturday, March 15, 2008

Funny Story

The girls are at my mom's house this weekend.

Last night Rog and I watched a video with Suze Orman discussing financial matters called Young, Fabulous and Broke. It got me thinking about our financial state, which like most Americans, is currently (and pretty much always has been) in a state of peril.


Roger and I were in the car driving to pick up something from Freecycle this morning and my head is reeling about what I need to be doing to help our financial state. I am driving and thinking (which I do a lot) when suddenly Roger pipes up with a question.

"Why do Pirates wear big hats?". I laughed and laughed. It made me think about all the self help books that I have read about the "complexity of women" and "simplicity of men". Roger said it was like something out of a movie.

I just had to share.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

1 Gig of videos, the trampoline & countdown to spring

First, I have an announcement to make. My daughter is growing up too fast!


The story of every parent's life, I know.

My oldest is 7 1/2 and about 3 days ago she told her dad that she wanted her own room so she could "keep it clean and make her bed." So, I made it happen, even though my first a year ago would have been "we don't have enough room for that".

You know what though? She has only been in there for two nights, but she has kept it clean (even though some of my sewing stuff was still in there) and she has kept the bed made. If eventually she decides that she doesn't want to clean or make the bed, that will certainly be fine with us.

We have been anxiously awaiting warmer weather here in Michigan the last couple of weeks. We even have a sort of countdown going on and Marti knows that the 20th is the first day of spring. The weather has been "teasing" us with back and forth warm and cold days. Today is not overly warm, but the big trampoline outside was dry for the first time in months so the girls went out to jump. Lil was actually trying to not be in this picture, but ended up in it anyway.


Oh, and I have to share this pic too. This pose was Marti's idea. Before I had gotten out there, she was meditating and she decided, after I had taken several pictures of her meditating that they were going to pose for one, like this. What makes this picture kind of comical is that Lilly (the one that is "praying") doesn't think God is real (completely of her own accord, but I suspect it is because she is more the logical "I don't believe in anything I can't see" sort of person because the same statement applies to Santa and the Easter Bunny as well) and the one meditating does believe in God.


Of course, I knew that that was going to be something that I was going to want to blog so I grabbed the camera to take the picture. I turned it on to find that the memory card was COMPLETELY full of videos. All of them made by Lilly. Now these videos are generally of her just dancing, talking to the camera and often, forgetting about it being on and going about her business. Here is a short example from the 1 gig of videos that I downloaded today. Can you guess that she has been watching a lot of Shark Tale lately?

I have many times had thoughts of deleting some of these videos. Then I think of Hannah, a girl from family I have never met, but who's story touches my heart. And I think of Isaac, a little man who changed my life. I just can't help but to think that if I ever lost my Lilly that I would never be able to forgive myself for deleting those videos.

Thank you Hannah and thank you Isaac.


Oh, I completely forgot to include these pictures in this post (I usually go chronologically).

This picture is from March 2nd. We were on our way home from Grandma Gail's and Lilly wanted to go out to eat at Stir Max. We were actually on our way home so that Dad could go to work, so Stir Max wasn't an option, plus, we didn't have the money.

We actually only had a few minutes until we got home so I was trying to quickly understand what I could do to help her to quit crying. I offered to make her some rice when we got home or stop and buy her some fruit or ice cream (her usuals at Stir Max). Nope! Not what she wanted. So, I offered to set up our table with chop sticks and Chinese calendar placements, just like the restaurant.

Lilly: "No, that will be too much work."
Me: "But I am willing to do it if it will make you happy."
Lilly: "We can just stop for ice cream, mom."

Great! And just in time too because the last grocery store on the way home was coming into view and we were cutting the time pretty close for Rog getting to work. Anyway, she was very proud of getting her very own ice cream.


These next two pictures are from the Science Literacy Night that we went to at the local public school (my oldest LOVES Science and was exceptionally excited to go). Both girls got to test simulated blood from a crime scene, make silly putty, slime, learn about the periodic table of elements where they showed this video, and much more. They really enjoyed themselves. You even get to see the hand print smudges on my TV! Yay!



Friday, March 7, 2008

The blah days of February


We are all now stuck in the "blah" days of February. Well, it's March now, but until the snow melts, it's still "BLAH!" up here in Michigan. Not much to report really. We are just biding the days at this point. Taking in every experience and learning how to be better, more cooperative people.

I have no pictures, but last weekend we went to a pool party with our local homeschool group. It was LOADS of fun! We even took my nephew, Tommy, to the party (wow! I forgot how much work a baby is) and kept him overnight (I could joke about how little babies sleep, but he did surprisingly well except for a 5:30 am waking time, but I am a morning person, luckily).

My friend posted to one of my groups about all the holidays being about getting "stuff" these days and now that has me thinking

Here is my reply to her...

I tend to agree with you about "stuff", but then I think about Love Languages. One of the languages is gifts. Rog and Marti are gifts people. It doesn't have to be big stuff, but they love it. One time, I was out shopping and I got a little toy out of the quarter machine (well, I think it is fifty cents now, but ykwim) for Marti. She was absolutely ecstatic about that little toy. She carried it around all day and slept with it that night even. She doesn't carry it around every day anymore, but when it turns up amongst her toys she cuddles it and gets so sentimental. Sometimes I think it is crazy, but then I think again. Who am I to call her crazy? Wouldn't it be great if we could all get THAT much joy out of a little toy out of the quarter machine?

That reminds me of one time when we were at CiCi's Pizza and this little girl wanted a toy out of the quarter machine, but her mom said something along the lines of "You expect me to buy you that JUNK?" and the little girl said a very resolute, "Yes!" The mom said "No way" and practically dragged the girl out crying and screaming. All over TWENTY FIVE CENTS! How sad. That wasn't really related to your "stuff" post though. This next story is though...

My MIL was asking Marti this past year what she wanted for Christmas. Marti told her that she wanted to spend time with her (Marti's second LL is quality time). That was it. I am sure it seems to Marti that "grandma doesn't have time for her" because for the first 3 years of her life she went over to grandma's every other weekend. Well, MIL was STILL bugging after me to tell her what Marti wanted for Christmas. I was ticked. So, I went to one of my unschooling groups. They helped me see a different perspective, which is this. My MIL speaks (Love Languages) in gifts. If she isn't giving gifts to these kids, she doesn't feel like they will love her. Skewed, yes, IMO, but there it is. Laid out for me. I explained that to Marti about the LL and that MIL's was gifts and she understood. Now, she can appriciate the gift for what it is, an expression of her love.

As far as kids growing up thinking they are "bad" because Santa didn't bring them anything, I think that has WAY more to do with the way people parent. My mom was a single mom until I was 15. I have 1 brother (he's half as are all my siblings, but was the one I was raised with) who is nearly 8 years younger than me. We often didn't get a lot for Christmas, but we knew it was because mom didn't have the money. I also don't think she carried on the Santa thing for very long AND she got us things throughout the year AND she spent time with us.

We were also raised to believe in the "real life" Santas, instead of pretend men in red suits. The "real life" santas were people that had the gift giving spirit. A couple times there was a bag of stuff left on our porch when we were little with toys and stuff in it. Mom never figured out who it was from. A couple times, since adulthood, I have gotten cards in the mail with gift cards in them. Never signed. THOSE are the REAL LIFE santas and THOSE are what we should be teaching our kids about IMO. I let Marti believe in the Santa fantasy up until Christmas 06 when she thought Santa was going to bring her these great gifts. Well, we didn't have money that year so I told her that the man in the read suit didn't exist. I did also tell her about "real life" santas as well, but it pretty much "killed" Christmas for her. She was okay the rest of that year, but this past year, Christmas came and went without much notice to her.

Lilly doesn't believe in Santa. She came to that conclusion on her own. She also doesn't beleive in God, again her own conclusion. We think it is pretty much because she can't see them, but we will see, I guess. Either way, we aren't telling her she is wrong in either sense.

Wow! Now, I am rambling. Sorry.

I got nothing else for today. Thanks for reading!