Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Wishes

Rosie wants Santa to bring her a cake with pink icing and a pink Barbie.

I think he can manage that. :^)

Anna Kate wants a pink wall clock that is like a small grandfather clock with a pendulum - HELP!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What I'm most thankful for this year

This is baby at 12 weeks - we're at 17 weeks now and still waiting for the all-day sickness to go away, but still very thankful.

Best Cocoa Ever

At lunch today, we were out of kool-aid, I hadn't gotten the tea made, and I was hoarding the milk for my dessert and baking requirements. The kids suggested hot chocolate. And this was a perfect idea.

1 packet Swiss M*ss
Some of my hoarded milk to cool it
And a splash of chocolate mint truffle creamer that my Brian brought home the other day


Thanksgiving Kids Stuff

  1. Printable Thanksgiving memory match cards and lots of other fun activity sheets from Crayola
  2. Pilgrim hat handwriting paper from Notebook Learning
  3. Handprint Thanksgiving Wreath at Amazing Moms - we made a simple one last year with fall-colored construction paper and a paper plate. A raffia bow added a nice touch, and Gran has it up with her other Thanksgiving decor again this year.
  4. The Oklahomea Homeschool site has six Pilgrim/Thanksgiving worksheets that would make a nice little unit notebook. 1,2,3,4,5,6
  5. Colorful activity sheet, Thanksgiving Day Bingo (there's an easier picture version at Crayola's link above), Handprint Turkey - and lots more at Family Fun Thanksgiving Printables
  6. Learn to talk like a Pilgrim at Plimoth Plantation
  7. Beautiful things, including a gorgeous Mayflower from the Toymaker

What are we doing this week? Well...

  1. We're reading lots of Thanksgiving books
  2. Using the Pilgrim section of Draw-Write-Now 3 for art and handwriting, and we'll put them all in a portfolio
  3. We have an old Thanksgiving minipage on turkeys and John James Audubon. Our newspaper doesn't carry the minipage, but my mom mails them to us from her paper. They're so fun to do!
  4. We're working on our Psalm - only three days left - gulp!
  5. We'll be doing lots of fun worksheets from Learning Pages Thanksgiving collections
  6. We watched a neat DVD on Willliam Bradford and have another Thanksgiving video from the library
  7. We'll be printing Thanksgiving bingo and a matching game for Thanksgiving day
  8. We're making crafts from ABEKA's art books, like Pilgrim puppets
  9. We need to dust off "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come", but I keep forgetting :^)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight Movie review update

I think that my initial review would make you assume that I hated the movie. As I try to explain better in my edited version, I'd actually like to see it again. It's just hard to review a 3 out of 5 stars movie when comparing it to a 6 out of 5 stars book and knowing what could have been.

Twilight review at Common Sense Media

They pretty much agree with me.

And the Associated Press review really nails what one of the main problems was:
"But much of what made the relationship between Edward and the smitten Bella Swan work in Meyer's breezy book has been stripped away on screen. The funny, lively banter -- the way in which Edward and Bella teased and toyed with one another about their respective immortality and humanity -- is pretty much completely gone, and all that's left is a slog of adolescent angst." —Christy Lemire

Twilight Movie Review

Yes, I was at the midnight showing with my angel of a husband. (He let me read all four books to him too, so he already knew the story.)

So here's my opinion:

  1. my initial review seemed a bit harsher than I intended, so I've tried to do better in this expanded version
  2. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars - the book was 6 stars
  3. don't take anyone who hasn't read the book - it would just be too weird and corny
  4. Edward seriously overacted - sometimes it felt like watching a high school play with really good cinematography
  5. Edward is way too miserable, he's, like, frozen in a permanent grimace - he's cool when he lightens up, but that's not nearly often enough - the lighter moments let you see that this actor, who doesn't fit my image of the book's Edward at all, actually could have pulled it off quite well if he would have relaxed a little and understood his character better
  6. awesome baseball scene - with my favorite song, no less
  7. the rescue scene in Port Angeles was also amazing
  8. Jasper is like a freaky mannequin, and I really liked Jasper
  9. Alice, Rosalie, Charlie, Emmett, Carlisle, Bella, and Esme are wonderful, so are Billy Black and Jacob
  10. in fact, it makes you want to root for Jacob - and I've always pulled for Edward
  11. the meadow scene is pathetic, they chopped it all up - and the sparkle effect is seriously lame
  12. otherwise, the script adaptation of the book was pretty good, not much to complain about
  13. the first biology class is so overacted it makes you laugh
  14. it is, unfortunately, not very romantic - I think because the tension of the Meadow scene wasn't resolved as quickly as it was strung out
  15. it was fun to see - I'm certainly not sorry that I went
  16. truth be told, I'd really like to see it again. I couldn't help being analytical and comparing everything to the book, but I think I would enjoy it more the second time around
  17. Brian says Blade was better - haha

The Twilight Saga

Okay, this book review is seriously overdue.

I love the Twilight books! Love them. I saw them mentioned on Dawn's blog, and ordered the first one from the library without really thinking about it. When I finally picked it up, I was intrigued with the back of the cover, so I started reading. Straight through. And was dying to read the next one. It didn't help that the first book had the second book's cliff hanger of a first chapter in it. I found the next two books at Target the next day and read them in quick succession, then waited...for about six weeks for the last book to come out. The last day that my parents were staying with us. It nearly killed me, and I got very little sleep, but I got that read pretty quickly too. They were so romantic. I had read very little fiction since my kids were born - I used to read it all of the time. I went on a serious fiction binge. Trying to find books half as gripping or romantic as Twilight with little success. So I read lots of books, in between getting all of my girlfriends hooked on Twilight and reading them over and over again.

So that's my story. My review?

These are not Christian fiction, but they are written by a Mormon mother. Abstinence is a big theme here. That said, they are rather steamy. Not in the explicit sense, but in a charged atmosphere sense. Teenage girls all over are addicted to these books, but I would not feel comfortable recommending them to teenagers. The first book, Twilight, is pretty tame, but each one gets more intense. The last one is on a different level, but still not in anyway explicit. So I recommend them to my married friends. So far, everyone has loved them to varying degrees.

I love romantic lines. Beautiful romantic words. And these books deliver. While not written with the quality of classic literature, to me, these books have the feel of a great, classic love story. To me, Bella and Edward belong in a list that includes Elizabeth and Darcy, Romeo and Juliet, Maria and Tony, Anne and Gilbert, Noah and Allie... I loved their story. I loved the characters. I want Emmet to be my big brother, and Alice to be my best friend.

And Edward is the perfect man. The one that's too good to be true. Ya gotta love him. Even if he is a vampire.

Which brings me to another point. These are not vampire books. Are most of the main characters vampires? Yes. But that is the background of the book, and these are not your usual freaky vampires (at least not the main characters, they're good vampires). These books are the love story of Bella and Edward, and the vampire thing is the obstacle to their love. It's all about love...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Song

That's what Brian says. :^) Saw it last night on the CMA's - now I'm totally addicted. My kids are gonna be really sick of hearing this soon.

I'm the worst kind of romantic. Isn't this beautiful? I think we might be watching Becoming Jane tonight. Hope it's romantic too.

Our newest favorite youtube

If you're a Star Wars fan, you must click on this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The new dirty word

Apparently Ethan has begun using the word democrat as a new word that can be used in the place of dolt or idiot.

Tonight's example : "Anna, I know what I'm doing. I'm not a democrat, I've played this game before."

Personal Experiences Meme

This one's from Jacki.
Play along - it's easy. Just highlight what you've done on this list.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (I've sung in lots of choirs, though)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (probably ot the whole thing, though)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from the beach)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (just tomatoes)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (I think it's attitude not quantity)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (I've been drawn by my husband, though)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (just teaching piano - the IRS considers this a business)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (I might have , but sadly, never in order. Although I've read the entire New Testament multiple times, as well as many other Old Testament books multiple times - it's those major prophets!)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

I was pleased that I've actually done three of these for the first time this year!

Fall on the farm

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Leave it to my kids to need a song

They needed a song to help them memorize the poem. Fortunately for me, there already was one.

Sheeeeeee's back!

My sister Hannah has reappeared on the blogging scene.

So go give her a shout out. :^)

In Flander's Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

~Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

  1. Print the poem here and the minibook version here
  2. Wear poppies in remembrance - I love to find the ones made by veterans at the VA hospitals, but if they're not available use these

Monday, November 10, 2008

My southern girl

As a northern child, I found the idea of southern children confusing their vowel sounds kind of amusing. You know the "pin", "pan", and "pen" all sounding the same, when to me they were distinctly different.

My Anna girl is a girl of the South. She loves her greeits (grits). And today she was stumped by that adorable southern accent of hers (she's really the only one in our immediate family that has one, Daddy's wore off in college speech classes long ago). She was on the "st" in "stop" page in her phonics book, and got stuck on a word. She asked, "Mom, what is s-t-i-l-l ?" I replied teasingly, " 'still', as in are you still reading that page?" "Oh!", she returned, "I thought it was 'steal' like you steal something!" After many attempts she proudly nailed an "i" in Indian sound right in the middle of "still."

I know it's going to improve her reading, but I kind of hope that she doesn't lose that drawl.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


thanks to Ann for finding this video for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Autumn rainbows

Election Day 2008 brought a gift - beautiful rainbows all over the sky. First we saw this one in the field across from our home. It was so wide at times, almost like it was double-width.

Eventually, we had a double, but it only lasted a couple of minutes.

We left about ten minutes later and drove ten minutes away to Ethan's football practice and got to see this one and all the beautiful foliage around it.

Ethan forgot his cleats and as I drove home I saw another rainbow in a different direction towards the library.
Then as I neared home the most amazing one of all - a complete and absolutely HUGE arc across the sky in front of me and it seemed to be right there near the end of my street as I turned in, but I knew that it was too dusky (and I was in too much of a hurry) to get pics of that one. It was such an amazing experience and friends all over my area were talking about the rainbows on facebook that night. :^)
It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And our response?

The same as it always should be - PRAISE. God is good all the time; He is control; and the Church, despite persecution or roadblocks, is unstoppable.

So join me in our Third Annual Thanksgiving Psalm Memory Challenge.

So far we've memorized Psalm 100, 150, and 67. This year's Psalm will be Psalm 63.

A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

Now, it's your turn. Choose a Psalm to say with your family at each meal (or however you memorize) and leave your name in the comment box with a link to your Psalm on your blog.

In case you actually wonder how this happened

Children of the State by WORLD magazine

hat tip to Kendra

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The election for kids

Update: Check out the links for election printables at LaPaz Home Learning

  1. If possible, take your kids with you to vote. Try to avoid voting between 7-9 AM, noon-2 PM, and 5-7 PM.
  2. Then head to Krispy Kreme for your free patriotic donut with your "I Voted" sticker - buy one for your kids too. :^)
  3. Make a Future Voter button from Kaboose's election page.
  4. Solve election word problems for math or print other election day worksheets from abc teach.
  5. Need a mind-numbing game? Try the online election word search at the weekly reader election pages. Not really for younger kids - it took me four times to beat the timer!
  6. There's lots of interesting stuff at Scholastic's election page.
  7. And, of course - Time for Kids. The page of worksheets is a real gem. My fav on that page is the electoral college map. I alos like this candidate comparison sheet for young kids. Older kids can read this article, then fill out these worksheets.
  8. Check you local PBS station for some of these new Election day episodes:

Electoral College